Abdullahi Adamu for Probe over Alleged Plot to Destabilise Senate, Oust Saraki Senator denies allegations, says Senate President is like a son to him Damilola Oyedele and Alexander Enumah in Abuja There is more trouble in the offing for the ousted Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Senator Abdullahi
Adamu (Nasarawa, APC), as the Senate yesterday directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate allegations that he was involved in a plot to destabilise the Senate.
Adamu, a former Governor of Nassarawa State, was also accused of planning to trigger protests against the leadership of the Senate led by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in order to get him impeached.
CCT adjourns Saraki’s trial indefinitely
The accusations were levelled against the embattled lawmaker by Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi, PDP), who claimed to have documentary evidence to support the allegations. But in a swift reaction,
Adamu denied the allegations, saying that Saraki was like a son to him. Adamu was one of ten senators recently accused of being part of a plot by the presidency to impeach Saraki.
He was also vocal and openly criticised the recent amendment to the Electoral Act, which is proposing to change the sequencing of Continued on page 6
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Again, US Secretary Tillerson Warns Nigeria, Other African Countries Against Chinese Loans
Okechukwu Uwaezuoke with agency report U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson has counselled Nigeria and other African countries not to forfeit their sovereignty when they accept loans from China, the continent’s biggest trading partner. Tillerson, who spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday on the first leg of his African visit, said the U.S was not trying to Continued on page 8
CELEBRATION OF OSINBAJO AND WOMANHOOD… Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (centre) celebrates his 61st birthday and International Women’s Day with female workers at the State House, Abuja... yesterday godwin omoigui
Fresh Crisis Looms as APC NEC Plans to Amend Party’s Constitution Stakeholders warn against illegal amendment Demand conduct of national convention, congresses Lagos chapter ready to challenge move in court Gboyega Akinsanmi Fresh crisis may be looming in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the national leadership is alleged to have perfected plans to amend the
party’s constitution at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for this month, in order to validate the tenure extension of its principal officers at all levels. Consequently, some
concerned leaders of the ruling party have vowed to reject the planned amendment, which according to them violates Article 13(3-4) of the APC Constitution and Section 223(1-2) of the 1999
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. APC, at its last NEC meeting on February 27, had announced a 12-month extension for its elected and appointed executives at all
levels of the party. Citing Article 13 of the APC constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of the convention, the party said NEC decided to extend the tenure of the
current NWC members and other executive committees at various levels for another twelve months, starting from June 30, 2018. Continued on page 8
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L-R: Wife of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mrs. Gimbia Dogara; wife of the vice-president, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo; wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari; and Director-General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta, during the 2018 International Womenâ€™s Day celebrations, held in Abujaâ€Ś yesterday nan
A B DULLAH I ADAMU FOR PR OBE OVER AL L EGE D PLOT TO D ESTAB I L I SE SEN AT E, OU ST SA RA K I general elections in the country for the presidential polls to be conducted last, claiming that it was a pre-determined move to weaken President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 polls. But in a push back by the Senate, his colleagues in the Northern Senatorsâ€™ Forum removed him as chairman of the forum and accused him of not being able to account for N70 million in the coffers of the forum. Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna, APC), who gave the expose, said the excuse given by Adamu was that the money went missing when monkeys invaded his farm. No explanation was ever given as to why Adamu chose to keep N70 million at his farm. Ogba, citing an order of personal explanation, said that the planned protests would involve civil society organisations, market women and others against Saraki and the Senate. â€œIn January, Senator Isah Hamman Misau made a revelation here that there was a plot to remove the Senate President and the entire leadership. Now, I have reliable information that some people are already planning to destabilise the Senate, including the leadership by organising demonstrations. â€œI believe that all of us are leaders and none of us should do anything that will destabilise the country or the Senate. Anything that will destabilise our democracy, we should avoid it. â€œIf there is any issue at stake, you have the opportunity to raise it here. But not to go outside
and start planning with civil society organisations, market women and others to lead protests against the leadership of the Senate,â€? he said. Ogba called for investigations into the plot, adding that there was a telephone discussion between Adamu and others on the development. â€œThis is a very serious issue. When this issue was raised in January, we did not take it seriously. We must have to stand up and look into it. Waving it aside is not the best thing. If I have your permission, I want to lay the evidence in full,â€? he said. Presiding, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said all hands must be on deck to preserve the sanctity of the parliament. â€œThe difference between military, autocratic or any oppressive regime and a democracy is the parliament. Once you remove the parliament, you are going to have problems. â€œIn whatever you do, we must continue to preserve the sanctity of the parliament. I want to appeal that anyone who is interested in destabilising this country, the person is not doing anybody any good. â€œWe have received this information and for whatever it is worth, we will refer it to our Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to look into it and report back within two weeks,â€? Ekweremadu ruled. However, Adamu yesterday denied the allegations, saying the Senate President was â€œlike a sonâ€? to him and at no time did he make an
CORRIGENDUM In our story titled, "At THISDAY Healthcare Financing Dialogue, Experts Call for Legal Framework, Improved Funding for Sector," published in the March 7, 2018 edition of the paper, we erroneously attributed a statement calling for â€œfor a neutral regulator that would observe what the HMOs are doing and take impartial decisionsâ€? to the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Primary Healthcare Services, Hon. Chika Okafor. The statement was made by the Managing Director of Afrinvest, Mr. Ik Chioke, not Hon. Okafor. The error is regretted. - Editor
attempt to oust him from power. Adamu, who was not at plenary when the allegations were made against him, said he was not interested in becoming the Senate President and expressed disbelief at the claims. â€œIâ€™m not in town. I lost someone and Iâ€™m presently in Nasarawa State. However, a colleague called me and drew my attention to what happened on the floor of the Senate today. It is amusing but very saddening at the same time. â€œI am not in anyway after Saraki. He is like a son to me. I had every right to contest for the Senate President seat three years ago when the 8th Senate was inaugurated, but I never did because I wasnâ€™t interested. â€œIt is therefore not logical for anyone to say Iâ€™m interested in the seat now, and will be planning to destabilise the Senate. To achieve what? For what purpose? â€œIt is not right for anyone to make such unfounded allegations. We are almost three years in office, the election year is drawing nearer, and I think anyone thinking of upstaging the leadership of the Senate for any reason will only be fighting a losing battle because it is not what should naturally occupy the mind of any serious-minded lawmaker now,â€? he said. Adamu said he was prepared to appear before the ethics committee, which was directed to investigate the matter. â€œI am not in anyway afraid of anyone who thinks I have offended him. I have the neck to carry my cross, but no one should cook up lies just to discredit me or any senator for that matter. â€œIf Iâ€™m asked to appear before the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, I will come out clean because whoever raises the allegations will have to come and present incontrovertible facts to prove the allegations. â€œThen names of other socalled collaborators will be
made known, they will be confronted, evidence of such meetings will be produced, those accused will be asked to defend themselves, and recommendations will be made by the committee based on the facts presented to it,â€? he added. Adamu, however, vowed to continue to fight for what he believes in, saying: â€œAs for me, let me repeat that Iâ€™m not in anyway after Saraki, I canâ€™t be after Saraki, and I wonâ€™t do anything to upstage the leadership as being claimed because itâ€™s a fruitless venture. â€œBut if I believe strongly in a cause, I stand by it. If Iâ€™ve offended anyone by my strong stand on some issues in the Senate, in accordance with my conviction, I stand by it anytime. But the allegation of trying to cause disaffection in the Senate is of no issues at all.â€?
Trial Adjourned IndeďŹ nitely The allegations against Adamu were also made in Sarakiâ€™s absence during plenary, as the Senate President was at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where he is facing trial for false assets declaration when he was the governor of Kwara State. However, at the resumption of hearing in the case, the Chairman of the CCT, Mr. Danladi Umar adjourned the case indefinitely, saying it would be best to wait for the outcome of the decision of the Supreme Court since both parties (the federal government and Saraki) were already at the apex court over the three-count charge returned by the Court of Appeal to the tribunal for trial. When the matter was called up yesterday, both parties were ready to adopt their final addresses. But having taken into consideration the fact that the appeal filed by Saraki and the federal government against the decision of the Court of Appeal was being given accelerated hearing,
Umar decided not to continue with the trial. He subsequently adjourned further proceedings, pending the determination of the matter by the Supreme Court. â€œThe tribunal is not insensitive to circumstances in which the defendant was asked to return by the Court of Appeal to answer to allegations in the three-count charge. â€œSince the Supreme Court is already giving accelerated hearing to the appeals before it, we at the tribunal will be hesitant to proceed further when the Supreme Court is already seized with facts of the matter. â€œTherefore, this tribunal has decided to tarry awhile so that the integrity of the Supreme Court will not be toyed with,â€? he said. Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had objected to the indefinite adjournment, claiming that doing so would amount to granting the prayers of the defendant. He added that the appeals in question could not in any way stop the continuation of the trial at the CCT and urged the tribunal to carry on with the dayâ€™s proceedings. â€œThe appeals filed by the parties before the Supreme Court cannot in any way stop us. I would have said My Lord should tarry a while in respect to the integrity and authority of the court. â€œBut in this case, the prosecution will want this matter to proceed. Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) enjoins the court not to entertain any cause for stay in a serious matter such as this,â€? he said. According to Jacobs, the appeal before the Supreme Court was not an issue for reference since Section 305 of the ACJA enjoins the court to go ahead. He added that the defendant had written a letter on January 19 asking the court to stay proceedings pending the determination of the appeal before the Supreme Court, but he never stuck to that line of
argument and went ahead on February 6 with the trial. Jacobs therefore prayed the tribunal to allow the prosecution to adopt its final address. On his part, lead counsel to Saraki, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), urged the tribunal to stay proceedings until the Supreme Court has decided on the appeals, adding that the court had informed the defence that it would be sitting on the appeals on Thursday, March 15. â€œThe tribunal summoned us to come on February 6, we even thought the tribunal will say they have received our letter that we are already before the Supreme Court but the tribunal did not tell us that. â€œThe principle of the Supreme Court is that the right of appeal must not be stopped; the court itself does not joke with the right of appeal. â€œThe Supreme Court, being a constitutional right, dominates every other right contrary to it. We therefore appeal to the tribunal to stay proceedings until the appeal before the Supreme Court is decided,â€? he said. The CCT at its last sitting had adjourned to yesterday for the parties to adopt their final address in the trial. The adjournment was predicated on claims by the defence that it was served with the final brief of argument by the prosecution and would need time to respond to it.
TOP GAINERS NGN NGN JAPAUL 0.08 0.89 WAPIC 0.05 0.63 UNILEVER 4.50 64.60 CONSHALLMARK 0.02 0.37 LASACO 0.02 0.40 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN C &I LEASING 0.18 1.76 REGENCYINSURE 0.03 0.37 JAIZBANK 0.05 0.95 MAYBAKER 0.15 2.91 CAVERTON 0.13 2.63 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,375 Volume: 574.806 million shares Value: N 3.393 billion Deals: 4,340 As at 1/3/18 See details on Page 43
% 9.8 8.6 7.4 5.7 5.2 % 9.2 7.5 5.0 4.9 4.7
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PAGE EIGHT AGAIN, U.S. SECR ETA RY T ILLERSON WAR N S N I GER I A, OT H ER AF R I CAN C OU N T R I ES AGA I N ST C H I N E S E LOA N S keep Chinese dollars from the continent but it was important for African countries to consider the terms of the agreement and not forfeit their sovereignty. Tillerson is using his first diplomatic trip to Africa to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade. He may also seek to smoothen relations after U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly dismissed African nations as â€œshithole countriesâ€? in January. Trump later denied making the comment. â€œWe are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,â€? Tillerson told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital. â€œIt is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.â€? The U.S. is the leading aid donor to Africa but China surpassed it as a trade partner in 2009. Beijing has pumped billions into infrastructure projects, though critics have warned that the use of Chinese firms and labor undermines their value. Tillerson said Chinese investments â€œdo not bring significant job creation locallyâ€? and criticised how Beijing structures loans to African governments, reported the AFP. If a government accepts a Chinese loan and â€œgets into trouble,â€? he said, it can â€œlose control of its own infrastructure or its own
resources through defaultâ€?. But he did not give specific examples. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting Zimbabwe yesterday, told reporters that it was inappropriate for Tillerson to criticise Chinaâ€™s relationship with African countries. â€œIt was not appropriate to criticise the relations of his hosts â€” when he was a guest there â€” with another country,â€? he said. Earlier this week, Tillerson had criticised â€œChinaâ€™s approachâ€? to Africa which he said encouraged dependency through â€œopaque contractsâ€? and â€œpredatory loan practicesâ€?. But the Chinese government on Tuesday dismissed the U.S. criticism of low interest loans to the continent on the grounds that it had driven some sub-Saharan African countries deeper into debt. According to the Chinese government, Tillersonâ€™s remark was â€œtotally out of line with the truthâ€?. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mr. Geng Shuang said China hopes that other countries will do more good for Africaâ€™s development and treat ChinaAfrica cooperation in a fair and objective manner. â€œSuch remarks are totally out of line with the truth,â€? Geng told a news conference. â€œThe debt of some African countries is the result of longterm accumulation instead of a recent appearance. China is not the main creditor of African countries,â€? he said.
The spokesman said it was hard for Africa to realise industrialisation and modernisation without financial guarantees. Geng said Chinaâ€™s financing support to Africa was mainly in infrastructure and production areas. â€œChinese companies have built a lot of highways, railways, ports, airports and communication facilities, greatly improving Africaâ€™s economic development environment and helping Africa attract foreign investment. â€œI emphasise that the Chinese side attaches great importance to the sustainability of Africaâ€™s debt,â€? Geng said. He said China was insistent that large-scale infrastructure and industrial development in Africa go hand in hand, and that attention should be paid to both the economic and social benefits of projects and increasing African countriesâ€™ ability for independent and sustainable development. â€œWe have done our best to avoid increasing Africaâ€™s debt burden,â€? he said. Many African governments enjoy close ties with both Washington and Beijing. Kenya, for example, inaugurated a $3.2 billion railway funded by China last year. For the last three years, Kenya has received more than $100 million annually in U.S. security assistance. Asked about Tillersonâ€™s criticism of Chinaâ€™s approach on the continent, Kenyaâ€™s foreign affairs minister Monica Juma said: â€œThis country is
engaging with partners from across the world driven by our own interests and for our own value.â€? Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia, Africaâ€™s second most populous nation, on Wednesday and visited the African Union headquarters. The complex was funded and built by China and is seen as a symbol of Beijingâ€™s thrust for influence and access to the continentâ€™s natural resources. Ethiopia is home to some of Beijingâ€™s biggest investments, from a railway to Djibouti that opened last year to factories and industrial parks. Ethiopiaâ€™s prime minister resigned suddenly last month and a state of emergency was imposed but protests in the restive Oromia region have continued. Tillerson said after meeting his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu that the answer to political turmoil in Ethiopia was greater freedoms and said the state of emergency should be lifted as quickly as possible. Tillerson reiterated previous calls for African states to cut ties with North Korea. North Korea has more than a dozen embassies on the continent. The Trump administration has said that Pyongyang earns hard currency from arms deals with African governments and the trafficking of wildlife parts from Africa. Tillerson was due to fly to Djibouti, host to military bases owned by the U.S., China, Japan, France and Italy. He will then visit Kenya, a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Shabaab Islamist
militants in Somalia, before traveling to Chad and Nigeria, which are also battling to contain Islamist insurgents. Analysts have said Trump has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links. â€œWhen you look at the set of countries that are being visited I think it kind of reinforces the perception that security, indeed, is the overwhelming focus,â€? said Brahima Coulibaly, director of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution. Meanwhile on Wednesday, the U.S. government announced $533 million in humanitarian assistance for African nations facing lifethreatening food insecurity and malnutrition. Tillerson announced the grant, saying it will support safe drinking water programmes, emergency healthcare and hygiene programmes to treat and prevent the spread of disease, and reunification of families separated by conflict. From this donation, South Sudan was allocated the highest amount of funds totaling to $184 million for emergency food and nutrition assistance to help the nationâ€™s vulnerable populations. Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria and nations in the Lake Chad region, affected by ongoing conflicts or prolonged drought would also benefit. According to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department, a swift influx
of assistance from the U.S. government, along with that of other donors, was helping to improve humanitarian conditions in all of these African countries. It noted that it was up to the leaders in these countries, particularly in South Sudan, to stop the violence and put the welfare of their citizens at the forefront of their actions. The U.S. government also reiterated calls to all warring sides in South Sudan to allow aid workers safe and unhindered access to civilians in need. More than 7 million people in South Sudan risk facing severe food insecurity in the coming months without sustained humanitarian assistance and access, three UN agencies said in a report last week. Last month, 5.3 million people were already struggling to find enough food each day and were in â€œcrisisâ€? or â€œemergencyâ€? levels of food insecurity, according to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report that was recently unveiled. Jointly issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the new report warned that progress made to prevent people from dying of hunger could be undone, and more people could be pushed into severe hunger and famine-like conditions from May-July if assistance and access were not made.
Based on these provisions, the APC leader argued that the NEC lacks the power to amend the APC Constitution. â€œThe power to amend the partyâ€™s constitution can only be exercised by the National Convention. Even if the NEC can exercise the partyâ€™s constitution, it cannot amend it to deviate from the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. â€œSection 223(1-2) of the 1999 Constitution is clear about the conduct of national conventions and congresses. The section states clearly how the officials of parties at all levels can emerge at the end of their tenure. â€œIt never made provisions for tenure extension. Also, it does not give any organ of the party â€“ except at the National Convention â€“ the power to amend the constitution,â€? he said, He also recalled that it was this kind of impunity and lawlessness that destroyed the People Democratic Party (PDP). â€œWe are all witness to the fall of the PDP,â€? he said, warning that some APC leaders were already walking on the path of destruction. â€œThe implication is huge for the future of the APC. First, it is a dangerous precedent for a party that promised change. Second, any person produced from that process can be removed
if challenged at the court. â€œBesides, opposition parties can take advantage of this to challenge the APC in court after the general election. So, the mandate of any political official produced from this process will be under threat,â€? he warned. Another party source who spoke on the issue also confirmed that there was a plan to amend the partyâ€™s constitution at the next NEC meeting, but said should the national leadership of the party go ahead with the plan, the Lagos chapter of the APC was prepared to go to court to challenge the validity of the decision. According to him, â€œThe move to amend the constitution at the NEC meeting can lead to a series of litigations and crises. I am aware that the Lagos APC is ready to go to court should the NEC amend the constitution and not the National Convention of the party.â€? When he was reminded that Article 13 of the APC Constitution empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of the convention, he said: â€œEven if we have to consider Article 13 of the constitution, it is still debatable if NEC can assume the power of the National Convention or whether it can legally carry out an amendment of the constitution.â€?
FR ES H C RIS IS LOOMS AS A PC N EC PLA N S TO AM EN D PART Y â€™S C ON ST I T U T I ON It said the extension was done to prevent the likelihood of discord that might arise from a convention of the party in the run up to the 2019 elections. But this was immediately challenged by the Zamfara State governor and other leaders of the party, who said the decision taken at the last NEC meeting was only a â€œmere expression of interestâ€?. He had cautioned that the tenure extension could only be achieved through an amendment of the partyâ€™s constitution by the National Convention of the APC. However, one of the concerned leaders yesterday disclosed the plan to amend the partyâ€™s constitution at the next NEC meeting in an interview he granted THISDAY in confidence, warning against the decision, which he said will promote the reign of illegality and impunity in the ranks of the APC. He also faulted the process by which the National Working Committee (NWC) under the chairmanship of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had set up the Constitution Amendment Committee led by the National Legal Adviser of the APC, Mr. Muiz Banire on January 25, 2017, noting that the process did not comply with Article 13(3-4) of the partyâ€™s constitution.
Article 13(4) of the APC Constitution empowers the NWC â€œto establish ad-hoc and/or standing committees of the party and appoint members to such committeesâ€?. While Article 13(3) empowers the NEC â€œto ratify the type, nature and membership of the ad-hoc and/or standing committees to be set up by the National Working Committeeâ€?, a condition the source said the party leadership did not comply with. Contingent on these provisions, the APC leader faulted the process that set up the constitution amendment committee in January last year, noting that the NWC constituted the committee without NECâ€™s ratification as provided in Article 13(3). The APC leader further disclosed that the constitution amendment committee was meant to have submitted its report to the NEC meeting slated for October 31, 2017 but the meeting was postponed. As a result, the same constitution amendment report was slated for presentation at the February 27 NEC meeting of the party, but it was not considered. Instead, the party went ahead to announce the tenure extension for all its executives. He also pointed out that
it was after the presidency had realised the illegality of the tenure extension that the NEC had granted the national and state officials, that a plan was hatched to table the report at the next meeting slated for this month. The goal, he said, is to allow the NEC exercise the power of National Convention and amend the APC Constitution to validate the tenure extension. He noted that the rationale behind the constitution amendment is to correct the flawed decision of the NEC â€œto extend the tenure of the APC national chairman and other national and state executives by 12 monthsâ€?. After President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the APC leadership to start preparing for the convention and congresses at the last National Caucus meeting of the party, the APC source alleged that it was the Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu who had misadvised the presidency, informing it that the NEC could exercise the power of the convention to extend the tenure of the principal officers. Already, he noted that the presidency â€œhas realised the illegality of the tenure extensionâ€?. â€œThat is why the national leadership is planning to convene another NEC meeting. The meeting may
hold between 10 and 15 days from now. The national officials want to use the meeting to correct their errors,â€? he added. He also disclosed that the agenda of the meeting is first to tell the world that the tenure of the APC national chairman and other executives was not extended as reported in the media. â€œThe plan is to tell the world that the NEC only issued a notice of extension and not an extension,â€? he explained He also warned that the move by the national leadership of the party would be at variance with Section 223(1-2) of the 1999 Constitution, which according to him, states clearly the processes, procedures and requirements for the emergence of political party officials. Section 223(1) states that the constitution and rules of a political party â€œshall provide for a periodical election on a democratic basis of the principal officers and members of the executive committee or other governing body of the political partyâ€Śâ€? Section 223(2) further states: â€œThe election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party shall be deemed to be periodical only if it is made at regular intervals not exceeding four years.â€?
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News Editor Davidson Iriekpen Email firstname.lastname@example.org, 08111813081
Buhari Expresses FG’s Commitment to Ending Cycle of Violence in Plateau Christians kick against renaming of road after president
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the commitment of the federal government to support and assist the peace-building agency of Plateau State Government to end the vicious cycle of violence in the state and lay the foundation for sustainable peace, enjoining other states of the federation to emulate Plateau by setting up similar institutions. Buhari, who is currently in Jos on a two-day working visit, where he inaugurated some projects executed by the state Governor, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong, and launched Plateau Peace Roadmap, also held a town hall meeting with stakeholders in the state. The president said: “I have been monitoring the activities of the Plateau State Peace-Building Agency; I am indeed quite impressed with gains and successes recorded in the area of conflict management and peace-building, which have returned this state on the path of relative peace. As I formally endorse and launch the Plateau State Roadmap to Peace, let me express the federal government commitment to support and assist the Peace Building Agency in its effort to arrest the vicious cycle of violence and lay the foundation for sustainable peace.” Buhari also promised to look into the genuine request for the dualisation and construction of the road from Abuja to Jos and the gateway extending to the North-east, given the economic viability and conveniences. He added that he would also look into Lalong’s request for more slots for the state in federal appointments so as to reflect federal character in line with his government’s determination to address the issues of marginalisation in the spread of appointments and
other privileges. “The desire of the state to turn Riyom General Hospital to Trauma/ Disaster Hospital is a genuine one in view of the location of Riyom as the gateway into the state capital from Abuja. I will direct the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to work in close collaboration with the Plateau State Government towards the actualisation of this project,” Buhari assured them. In his speech, Lalong who told the president that he met a dislocated state, said: “When this administration came on board on May 29, 2015, the scenario in the state was that of despondency, despair and discomfort, as the citizens were groaning under varying degrees of adverse sociopolitical and economic conditions. The citizenry was even further plunged into life-threatening insecurity challenges with many lives lost and properties wantonly destroyed in the wake of crises and sporadic attacks. On the economic front, this spectacle of instability had drastically affected the economic well-being of our enterprising women and youth group. For the common man, life was very challenging as the government then became helpless. “Even more pathetic was the backlog of workers’ salaries as civil servants were owed arrears of eight months salary, teachers were owed seven months and most pathetic too was unpaid pensions of over 12 months and 13 in some local government areas. We also met a seriously demoralised civil service characterised by low performance and productivity due to neglect of staff welfare and training. This gloomy scenario was in the face of a staggering debt profile of over N222 billion which we inherited. The prospects of getting out of these tragic spectacles at first
FIRS Threatens to Sell Properties of Defaulting Tax Payers The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, has said the federal government is processing court documents that will allow it sell properties of companies which have been evading taxes. Speaking last Wednesday night on The Core, a Channels Television programme hosted by Kadaria Ahmed, Fowler said the N20 billion realised from the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) was paid by 262 people. “We have identified properties worth N2 trillion that belong to corporate organisations that have never filed any tax and now we are in the process of getting a court order to start selling those properties if the owners do not come and pay the taxes,” the former Executive Chairman of Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) said. He added: “And this is a programme we are going to roll out across the country and we’ve concluded in Kaduna and in Lagos, and we are going to other states. “On the federal level, people have declared and paid N20 billion; and one thing I will let you know
is that based on the experiences of other countries, usually, people wait till the last minute. “In terms of applications received at the federal level, about 262 applications have been received. So far paid is N20 billion and people are still in the process of putting together their facts and in the next two or three weeks, the figures will be different.” VAIDS offers a grace period of nine months from July 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, for defaulters to voluntarily pay their taxes. The government promises to waive penalties that should have been levied and the interest that should have been paid on overdue taxes. Those who declare their tax obligations honestly will not be subjected to any investigation or tax audit after the grace period. The programme also featured the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and other panelists. Adeosun lamented the low tax compliance in the state, adding that there is no political undertone to the VAIDS programme. She said an efficient tax system would ensure more revenue for the government.
looked almost impossible, were it not for our resilience and the president’s timely interventions in critical areas of need.” The governor disclosed that the secret behind the success story of his administration “lies in our vision, commitment, trust, painful sacrifice and judicious use of limited resources. It may also interest the president to know that the five-pillar policy thrust of my administration has remained the Trojan horse on which we rode towards tackling the enormous developmental challenges confronting us in this state. “These policy thrusts include peace, security and good governance; human capital development and social welfare; agriculture and rural development; entrepreneurship and industrialisation, and physical
infrastructure and environment. These policy thrusts are targeted at meeting the peculiar developmental aspirations of the Plateau citizens, while taking into consideration contemporary economic challenges and our new normal in the areas of agriculture, mining and tourism.” Meanwhile, a Christian group in Plateau State, Arewa Christians and Indigenous Pastors Association (ACIPA), has condemned the re-naming of Mararaban Jama’a - Bukuru road after President Buhari by Lalong. But in a statement signed by Reverend Luke Shehu, the group rejected the re-naming, describing it as “obvious plunder of Governor Lalong in a desperate effort to please the grand patron of Fulani, flag bearer of Danfodio Jihad and the recently coronated
Bayajidda. Not only did Lalong mischievously claim credit for Jang’s PDP projects, Lalong has just re-named the Mararaban Jama’a to Bukuru expressway after Buhari. “Lalong does not know the relevance of Mararaban Jama’a road as a gateway to Jos. The entire Plateau people must arise and protect our collective heritage and value before the hangman’s noose is pulled under our very eyes.” Aside from the Mararaban Jama’a road, the president also inaugurated Secretariat Junction Flyover and Miango Road before proceeding to the Gbong Gwom palace where he met with state traditional council. Most of these projects were though commenced by the past Governor of the state, Jonah David
Jang, they were taken to completion by Lalong. The president, whose aircraft, Nigerian Air Force marked 5N-FGW, touched the ground at the Yakubu Gowon Airport about 11:54a.m., proceeded to inaugurate the projects after inspecting the guard of honour and exchanging pleasantries with the dignitaries. His visit temporarily united diverse politicians in the state, who came out irrespective of party affiliations to receive him at the airport. Some of the dignitaries who came out to receive the president were Lalong’s Nasarawa State counterpart, Mr. Umaru Tanko Almakura; Senator Jonah Jang, Senator Joshua Dariye, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and members of the House of Representatives from the state among others.
61 HEARTY CHEERS
L-R: Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly, Ita Enang; NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Services, Mallam Isa Inuwa; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Mariam Uwais; and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, while cutting a cake to celebrate vice president’s 61st birthday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja...yesterday Godwin Omoigui.
Osinbajo at 61, Says I’m Gradually Attaining Class of Senior Citizens Tinubu, Dickson fecilitate with vice president Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja with agency report Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday in Abuja, marked his 61st birthday with a remark that he was gradually approaching the class of senior citizens, a level he said would place greater responsibilities on his shoulder. Osinbajo who did not initially seem to pay cognisance attention to his birthday, was however, treated to a surprise celebration by some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, and some government officials in the Presidential Villa. In his short remarks at the event, the vice-president who said he was grateful to God for preserving his life, thanked the officials who organised the surprise event, saying it was exciting to be a year older. “I’m grateful to God for preserving my life. It is just exciting
to be one year older. I think we are gradually getting to that class of those who are called senior citizens and in some way, it places greater responsibility. But I’m immensely grateful to God and thank everyone for the surprise. “I pray that our country will be greater and greater, that it will prosper and that we will experience true joy and true peace,” he said. Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Mustapha prayed God to continuously keep Osinbajo and fill him with wisdom to offer godly counsel to the president at every given time. “We are gathered to share with you on this very auspicious day. Our prayer is that God will continue to watch over you, continue to fill you with wisdom and understanding, that at every point in time as you counsel with Mr. President, you will give him godly counsel, that he will depend on you for insights into the governance of this country, and for those of us working with you, we will receive direction to
take this country forward and to greater heights,” he said. Present at the meeting besides the SGF, were Minister of Water resources, Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Presidential - National Assembly Liason Officer, Senator Ita Enang, and the vicepresident’s staff and aides. Meanwhile, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday said public office did not change Vice President Osinbajo as he remains humble and committed to performance, In a letter to Osinbajo, Tinubu said the vice president, who clocked 61 on Wednesday, had remained committed to the principles of justice, fairness, honesty and equality of all people. A copy of the letter was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos by Tinubu’s Media Officer, Mr. Tunde Rahman.
Tinubu, a two-time Governor of Lagos State, prayed God to grant the vice president more years in good health, strength and wisdom. Also, Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has felicitated with Osinbajo. The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, described the vice president as a great stabiliser and prayed God to grant him long life and good health. While thanking Osinbajo for service to fatherland, Dickson said clocking 61 years calls for celebration. He said: “On behalf of the Government and the good people of Bayelsa State, I warmly felicitate with you on your 61st birthday Anniversary. You are a great stabiliser in the system and I thank you for your service to fatherland. As you celebrate your new age, I join your family, friends and associates to wish you many happy returns! May God grant you many more years in good health,” he said.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
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T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ ÍˇËœ 2018
Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email email@example.com
PEACE CORPS BILL AND MATTERS ARISING
Carl Umegboro argues that proliferation of security agencies is no remedy to security of lives and property
resident Muhammadu Buhari a while ago declined his assent on the bill establishing Peace Corps of Nigeria earlier passed by the National Assembly. In the reasons adduced by the presidency for withholding assent as required by law, apart from the financial implications, the bill has overlapping responsibilities of existing security agency. The conflict has generated hullabaloo in the society with the executive and legislature drawing a battle line. Funnily enough, the episode developed at a time innocent citizens either by politicallymotivated or communal crisis had ceaselessly been massacred as animals by unknown gunmen. A cursory look at the evil and sophisticated weapons being used by the perpetrators of the heinous crimes leaves many to believe that the attacks may not be completely isolated from the security agencies, and therefore, a need on the federal government to be cautious in empowering and equipping any group of people with arms. Without a doubt, the legislative powers of the federation are pursuant to Section 4(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. And by the provision of Section 58(5), the National Assembly is clothed with unfettered powers to override the president on bills with two-thirds majority votes. But sensibly, could the latter be liberally invoked without first considering the whys and wherefores of the presidentâ€™s knockback? To start with, the Navy, for example is vested with the duty of providing security at the seashores; Air Force on the airspace, Army at the territorial borders whilst the Police handles internal security in the society. This therefore connotes division of labour with clear-cut jurisdictions and responsibilities distinct from each other, for security of lives and properties pursuant to Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution. By this arrangement, all the security-agencies identify clearly their respective primary operations zone which therefore eliminates unnecessary squabbles. Though, in exceptional cases, there may be joint-operations as directed by the president who doubles as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. At the moment, the police already are complemented by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) alongside the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and State Security Service (SSS). The federal government stringently carved out financial crimes from the duties of the police for EFCC as a specialised agency albeit both agencies operate with coordinate jurisdiction. On the other hand, the Department of State Service (DSS), also known as State Security Service complements the police in providing security to high-ranking government officials and other intelligence issues. This is sufficiently convincing that there are many agencies sharing responsibilities already with the police. Sadly, the police remain under-funded and short-staffed. Arguably, proliferation of
DUPLICATION OF SECURITY AGENCIES WITHOUT CLEARLY SPELT-OUT DUTIES IS UNCONSCIOUSLY CALLING FOR A CATASTROPHE
agencies is no remedy to security of lives and property but efficient coordination and funding which aligned with the presidentâ€™s explanations. Incidentally, the Peace Corps bill aimed at establishing the organisation to perform the same duties delineated for the police was rejected by the executive arm, the section that will be held liable if their services are compromised. The questions begging for answers to the promoters of the bill are; first, are the reasons adduced by the president weighty enough for the bill to be rejected? Second, what responsibilities would the proposed agency be assigned-with since grassroots and internal security is the duty of the police, and third, will the legislature coordinate its operations if established and fund the agency from its mind-blowing budgets? Above all, is it proficient to establish security agency without necessary planning and funding knowing that a security agency that is redundant will likely take advantage of uniforms and arms at its disposal to do more harm than good to the society? Arising from these, duplication of security agencies without clearly spelt-out duties is unconsciously calling for a catastrophe. At most, the interested applicants could seek for recruitments in the existing organised agencies rather than sporadically setting up parallel organisations with overlapping duties which will create unnecessary disasters in no distant time. Again, if the proposed body is not targeted as political tool for the forthcoming general elections, why the sudden pressures when it could run as voluntary organisation until there is necessity, adequate resources and mechanism in place. Concluding, a new security organisation to be controlled by the presidency should logically come through executive bills after a thorough consideration of the prerequisites, funding and coordination. The DSS and EFCC are productive on account of holistic planning prior to their establishment. Thus, an agency proposed to exist under the executive arm cannot suitably be a product of private sponsored-bills. Undeniably, employment is a fundamental issue in any society but the principal objective of security agencies is not employment-driven. It is perilous to empower a group with arms without proper coordination, control and training as the helpless society will certainly bear the repercussions. At this point, the appropriate legislative action is to deliberate extensively on the two cogent explanations by the president instead of absurdly gathering signatures as laws that are impracticable will inevitably retire in the wastebaskets. Generally and commonsensically, the legislature cannot arbitrarily foist a body on the executive without consensus, otherwise, abuse of legislative powers. Thus, to override the president should always be the last resort and strictly after extensive consultations. Umegboro, public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja
TREATING THE SYMPTOMS The Senate roundtable on migration and human trafficking holds lessons for Nigeria, writes Sanni Onogu
he Senate Roundtable on Migration and Human Trafficking held in Benin City, the Edo State capital, may have come and gone, but the lessons therefrom will go a long way in drastically mitigating the negative implications of illegal migration and human trafficking on the national psyche, prevent the scourge and help refocus young persons who feel that the only way to happiness and good life is to migrate to a foreign country at all cost. The first lesson is that the 8th Senate has raised the ante on legislative interventions by practically moving its sitting to different parts of the country which it considers as requiring its reach, intervention, and influence on key issues of urgent national importance. The method has led to the staging of national discussion in certain areas of the country to galvanise needed consciousness, resources, policy and legislative input from a broad spectrum in tackling different crucial socio-economic issues that are assuming grave implications for the overall wellbeing of the people and development of the country. The Senateâ€™s Roundtables on Drug Use in Kano in December and the one on Migration and Human Trafficking in Benin City are cases in point. Another takeaway is the fact that Nigeria and the international community are genuinely losing sleep and are ready to do something about the spike in illegal migration and human trafficking as evidenced by the impressive attendance and contributions. From victims of human trafficking to returnees to community leaders, traditional institutions like the Oba of Benin who was represented by the Obasogie of Benin Kingdom, Chief Eduwu Ekhator, state governments represented by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa - who sent a representative - senators, ministers, heads of federal agencies, ambassadors, members of the global diplomatic community, heads of security agencies, the media, academia and civil society, the event had quality audience.
The presentations, analyses and facts made available at the sessions, it was clear that the root cause of this national malaise stems from a convergence of multiple factors including but not limited to economic hardship, individual and collective greed, cultural values - where negative practices are discretely encouraged - and the high cost and gaps in the educational system that do not emphasize the acquisition of skills among others. Testimonies from some returnees and experts at the session point to issues like having a landed property to bury ones parents, lack of jobs, epileptic power supply and high level of school dropouts - due to high cost of education - as potent fuels for the raging desire to illegally migrate at all costs or yield to the guile of trafficking cartels. Some even expressed the desire to embark on similar trips in future, irrespective of present dangers. Another takeaway is the fact that apart from the low international image foisted on the country by the increasing criminal acts of human trafficking and illegal migration, the victims often have a tale of anguish, exploitation, dehumanisation, bloodied nose, psychological and social disorientation to tell. While many suffer death in the process, others survive by the whiskers after serving jail term, forced labour, sexual exploitation and outright sale into slavery as being witnessed in Libya. The horrific signals of acts of torture, wholesale slavery emanating from major international media on the ordeal of Nigerians being trafficked or involved in illegal migration across international borders has been ineffectual in terms of deterrence as the orgy has not only become an epidemic of grave concern to government at all levels, communities and the international community, but remains a festering sore on the relations between Nigeria and global community in terms of individual, corporate and diplomatic engagements. Moreover, things have become worse in that other Nigerians who are legally making forays into European countries often suffer the indignity of
being treated with ignominy until they can prove that they are â€˜clean and legitâ€™ in line with the laws of individual countries. It is further noteworthy that even though governments, in transit and destination countries, have since rolled up their sleeves and initiated plans aimed at mitigating the modern slavery through effective law enforcement and provision of social incentives - to prevent the practice, prosecute traffickers, protect and reintegrate victims - the measures still seem like a drop in the ocean. This is in view of the sheer number of persons willing to embark on the tortuous expeditions through the apparent graveyards of the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Also worthy of mention is the undertaking by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, that the roundtable would not be an end in itself, but the beginning of a series of initiatives and activities involving legislation, improvement in the quality of policy and implementation capacities as well as a re-engineered social response in tackling the menace of illegal migration and human trafficking. Appalled by the seeming helplessness of state, federal and international agencies who daily sweat to put a stop to the whirlwind of human cargo with little success, the roundtable proffered both short and long term strategies as a way of taming the monster. After the two-day intense deliberations, the participants in their communique recommended that strong measures involving all governments and communities must be adopted immediately to stem the tide of young persons still undertaking dangerous and illegal journeys out of the country. They also canvassed that Nigerians in distress in countries wherever they are located should be assisted to return home. Their safety, security, and other rights must be protected by the Nigerian government and host governments until their status are clarified or they are returned home. They also advocated that intense awareness campaigns must be mounted to warn gullible young people against embarking on dangerous journeys, and to destroy the perceptions
that foreign lands are the only route to wealth and happiness. They further stated that law, order and other regulatory agencies must be made more effective, efficient and accountable while their capacities to prevent, arrest and prosecute traffickers and collaborators in illegal or irregular migration should be strengthened and made evident. The conferees further urged the global community to improve its responses to the issues of irregular migration and human trafficking, adding that there is the need to intensify collaboration and cooperation between the Nigerian government and other governments to strengthen legal frameworks, innovative steps in dealing with repatriation and re-integration matters. The roundtable called on destination countries to invest in the Nigerian economy to improve its capacity to engage its young people who may be tempted to migrate to other countries. Besides, the roundtable resolved and recommended that government should radically improve the nationâ€™s economy to improve its capacity to grow and provide quality education and skills, jobs and other opportunities for young citizens because there are genuine roots of irregular migration and human trafficking located in the failure of young Nigerians to find places in the economy. The experts also advised that improvements in coordination of all government agencies involved in irregular migration and human trafficking need to be undertaken immediately. They underscored the need for state governments, particularly where younger people are more involved in irregular migration and human trafficking, to invest more in the acquisition of quality education, skills and jobs. Moreover, they stated that it is imperative that communities must be more open in acknowledging and addressing where traditional and cultural values have been compromised; perverse mindsets have taken roots; and negative practices are discretely encouraged. Onogu is Chief Press Secretary to President of the Senate
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EDITORIAL MALNUTRITION IN NIGERIA
The relevant authorities must do more to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition
he United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that the South-west has the second highest number of stunted children in Nigeria. Some 19.4 per cent of children in the zone are stunted. The South-east and the South-south are relatively better. The North is worse off as millions are undernourished. â€œThis calls for more work by everyone â€“ government and all of us. As agenda setters, we must do more to keep child nutrition conversations on the priority list of those that can act to reverse this ugly trend,â€? said UNICEF Communication OfďŹ cer, Blessing Ejiofor last week. It is very depressing that in Nigeria no fewer than six million children, representing about 37 per cent, are stunted while the worldâ€™s average is 25 per cent, even when the ďŹ gure for Rwanda, another African country, is 20 per cent. Meanwhile, going by the same dreary statistics, 29 per cent of our children are underweight, compared with the global average of 15 per cent. Again, the ďŹ gure for Rwanda is 2.5 per cent. For all the zones IT IS EVEN MORE in the country the UNFORTUNATE THAT THE situation is bad, but CHILDREN BEING BORN alarming in the rural BY THOSE ALREADY IN areas. This should DISTRESS ARE MADE TO worry the authorities. FACE A VERY UNCERTAIN The cost of disreFUTURE garding this issue in human and economic terms cannot be quantiďŹ ed, especially when child mortality in Nigeria has malnutrition as the major underlying factor. It is even more unfortunate that the children being born by those already in distress are made to face a very uncertain future. It is worse for the mothers since pregnant women who are not adequately nourished would eventually give birth to babies with low weight, thus further putting the survival of the babies at risk. Since stunting also severely limits the cognitive
Letters to the Editor
senses, what we are doing is permanently shortchanging not only the physical, but also the mental capacities of our future citizens. â€œThe nutrients a child receives in the earliest years of life inďŹ‚uence their brain development for life, and can make or break their chance of a prosperous future. By protecting and supporting childrenâ€™s development in early life, we are able to achieve immense results for children throughout their lifespan,â€? said UNICEF Senior Nutrition Adviser, Roland Kupka. With the intellectual potential of children gravely constrained, wherein lies the future of our country?
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ALEX OTTI AND 2019 ELECTIONS IN ABIA
inutes after Osama Bin Ladenâ€™s inspired terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the then US President, Mr. George W. Bush held back tears and said, â€œTerrorist can attack the foundations of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but cannot touch the foundation of Americaâ€?. In response, emotionally revived Americans chorused, â€œGod bless America â€œ! Today, Alex Ottiâ€™s name is mentioned countless times negatively by non- performing political desperadoes, their allies, and their media agents who see him as a baby intruder whoâ€™s coming to take away their mouths from their motherâ€™s breast. Unlike Otti whoâ€™s more concerned about the health of the breast feeding-mother and the fate of the numerous unfed babies whose loud cries have even provoked the heavens, these breast sucking adults are willing to see the mother and the unfed babies pass away as long as they, the breast sucking adults meet their temporary satisfaction. The breast sucking adults are the Abia political undertakers who are yet to wake up to the realities that this small man called Alex Otti with a big God could challenge, expose their leadership ineptitude and seek to end
ut unless our governments, at all levels, take immediate steps to address hunger and malnutrition, especially in children and pregnant women, our poor indices on maternal and child mortality can only further worsen. Indeed, if concerted and deliberate actions are not taken, millions of Nigerian children will be physically and mentally stunted and their lives devastated by malnutrition. Political commitment is therefore necessary to ensure advocacy on the adverse implications of malnutrition and how to avoid its devastating consequences. Partnership with civil society and academic institutions with focus on food and nutrition is also an imperative. But such political commitment is best demonstrated by a tangible increase in resource allocation, with the relevant ministries and agencies doing their bit and a road map to up-scaling nutrition in the public sphere. Such a road map should consist of clear roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders, as well as implementable strategies with milestones for mainstreaming nutrition into agriculture, fortifying basic foods with essential minerals or vitamins, mobilising communities for action on growing more beneďŹ cial foods, and educating them on the perils of malnutrition. Our governments need to sit up and confront malnutrition with resolute decisiveness if the future of our children is to be secure.
their oppressive leadership which has seen the economic fortunes of Abians continuously go south. The most shocking is that, in their above-God poor political permutations, these people thought that Otti would disappear immediately after the 2015 governorship election, but they failed to remember that when God wants to redeem his people, he chooses a servant whom he equips beyond the comprehension of little minds. We have repeatedly read the many juandiced analysis of our opponents which have continuously and fallaciously set out to present Okezie Ikpeazu as a governor that has re-written the chequered history of Abia and wiped out the tears of oppressed business men and women, and those of the miserable Abia workers. At the same time they deploy every space, energy and resources to present their political nightmare, Alex Otti as an enemy that must be cut to size by hook or crook, so that he doesnâ€™t plunge them into perpetual sorrow by disconnecting them from their anti-people economic route. With the level of fear, sadness, desperation and intolerance with which the Okezie Ikpeazu team and the Peoples Democratic Party are going into the 2019 governorship election, 2019 obviously promises to be very interesting in Abia. Ferdinand Ekeoma Umuahia, Abia State
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE 2019 ELECTIONS
he political landscape has changed quite a bit in the last couple of decades. The internet has played a large role in this transformation. Social media including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, in particular, have played significant roles in political campaigns and has indeed changed the way people think about issues. One of the most important developments in election campaigns come 2019 will be the It will primarily change the ways in which candidates and parties conduct their campaigns. Social media will fundamentally change the way in which citizens are exposed to political information. That many Nigerians have embraced and are deeply involved in the world of social media may be stating the obvious as it would be disastrous for politicians not to fully embrace this important information platform. Election battles are going to be on social media and less at the big rally fronts. Politicians will have to familiarise themselves with social media, make their presence felt and stay engaged positively with the electorate. As I write, many opinion polls are already going on twitter and several other platforms on who should be the next Nigerian president. The interesting thing about the social media integration into elections is that it allows these
elite candidates (politicians) to talk directly to the people without having the press in the middle. By having this ability, they can say whatever message they want to all their followers very quickly. This is obviously much faster than to have to go through the news. This also allows them to have complete control of their own message. I think this gives unprecedented power to campaigns apart from circumventing news almost entirely. It mobilises certain segments of the election. For example it will mobilise a younger audience, and it keeps them aware of what is going on. On the other hand we have social media allowing for non-elite to communicate. Before now, it was solely the responsibility of the press to talk to most people. With just a twitter account or a Facebook page, one can now go ahead and spread a message and talk to each other. Twitter and Facebook have become instrumental in organising campaigns as campaigns are going viral. They allow like-minded voters and activists to easily share news and information such as campaign events with each other. Thatâ€™s what the â€œShareâ€? function on Facebook and â€œretweetâ€? feature of Twitter are for. Donald Trump used Twitter heavily in his 2016 presidential campaign. Dike Chukwuma, Wuye District, Abuja
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T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018
Group Politics Editor Tobi Soniyi Email email@example.com 07054786260 SMS ONLY
Igini: Debate Must Be Compulsory for All Candidates Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini has called for an Act of the National Assembly that will make it mandatory for those seeking elective office to participate in debates, in order to enable the electorate determine their competence. He spoke with Jonathan Eze. Excerpts: What is your take on the released timetable for the 2019 election? The commission is being proactive to make election scheduling and all other consequential schedules tied to a general election, such as party conventions and nominations, less shambolic. The current election activity schedule in addition to the earlier schedules for the state elections for Ekiti and Osun states, which were previously released allow everyone to have a degree of scheduling certainty for the current election cycle that will climax between February and March 2019. Furthermore, what the commission has done by fixing all future general elections at federal levels on the 3rd Saturday of February and 2 weeks thereafter for the state elections is in consonance with the provision of the constitution and in line with international best practice wherein dates for the conduct of election in an election year such as 2019 and 2023 and so on are now known well ahead of time. That is, in this country starting from 2019 and beyond, every Presidential and National Assembly elections would always take place every third saturday of election year such as in 16th February 2019 while the election of governor and members of the state houses of assemblies would take place every first Saturday of March in every election year and that means the 2019 governorship and state houses of asemblies would now be on 2nd March 2019. The detailed timetable as issued by the commission also provides deadlines for other electoral activities such as fixing the conduct of party primaries including the resolution of disputes arising from primaries for August 18, 2018 to October 7, 2018 for national and state elections while that of the FCT Area Council is slated for between September 4 and October 27, 2018. It is noteworthy to remind political actors that the 2019 election is now a matter of months. By this timetable all party pre-election issues must end in less than 8 months from now. Also going by global conventions, the National Assembly is seriously urged to perfect all matters relating to the amendment of the Electoral Act within January 2019 because globally any amendments to electoral laws must be completed a year to the election in which it is to be used to avoid partisan tinkering with the legislative framework for an election. There is a pending bill in the National Assembly for a compulsory debate by all who seek elective public offices. What impact would it make on leadership selection process in the country? Under part 1 sections 1 and 2 of the Electoral Act, we have a statutory duty to educate Nigerians on sound knowledge of democracy and its processes. l have no doubt that a compulsory debate would make a great impact indeed if we can get such law in place before the 2019 election because the strength of democracy and the opportunities it creates depend on the vigour of multi-party politics in terms of policy issues, debates, moral arguments and value formation. We should not be contented with just having elections after every four years without real democratic values being canvassed. In the first place politics is about competition of ideas on how best to influence the course of development in a country, how then we really say we are playing politics of ideas when political competitors have no formalised platforms for canvassing the ideas and so compulsory debate
and life of the people because ultimately elections are the minimal goal of democracy, the maximal goal of democracy is the development of the people and society, when the people feel they have benefited from democracy in terms of their development and the maximisation of their welfare, it mobilises voters out of apathy.
is the most significant platform for doing so. Nigeria is at a critical juncture and we need people who have the competencies to address issues of the economy and how to create jobs, issues in education, health, the crippling energy crisis, security and so on. A compulsory debate would reveal to the electorates who amongst the candidates has the competency, credible ideas and capacity to deliver on them. The 2019 election debate should not be about who can abuse most or make promises because anybody can make promises but who can tell Nigerians how the promises on the various sectors would be achieved and how he or she would generate the resources to deliver on campaign promises. As I have noted, the electoral contest ideally is meant to pick people based on the voters’ perception of their competencies, policy preferences, and the attributes of their character. Voters can’t make these judgments clearly if the candidates do not debate on these policy matters and the people having opportunity to assess them individually as is the practice in U.S and other countries. Even if we say only parties as entities contest elections in Nigeria, practically, those parties will still be represented by people; those who present themselves for elections must be able to convince the public about what they are promising and how it would be achieved. Those debates will also allow the voters to see those around the party and judge them by their public records, their moral and professional attributes; this may even act as a self-censoring social sieve for those
Politicking has become the biggest business in the country, while other legitimate businesses are closing down.
who know they fall short of the competencies for the position they are seeking and may have to pull out of the race before actual ballots are cast. INEC seems to be improving especially with the conduct of the Anambra elections but challenges remain. The Anambra election succeeded in many respects and at the same time there is still room for improvements in future elections. This was why Bratton and later Lindberg came up with three widely accepted metrics for measuring the performance of an election namely: Legitimacywhether the election outcome was accepted by stakeholders as an acceptable way of selecting those who emerged as leaders; Participation- whether voters and candidates, election managers and other stakeholders had untrammeled ability to play their expected roles before, during and after the elections; and Competition- if all eligible candidates who were willing to compete were freely allowed to compete. So basically, a good democratic election is one in which stakeholders freely participated, there is competition among political parties, and the process is seen as legitimate. Although the turnout of voters in Anambra was quite low compared to the number of registered voters,however participation of voters did not vary too much from recent historical records.The metric shows that more needs to be done in terms of voter education, mobilisation of voters by political actors, and how to sensitize citizens to see the link between political participation and the derivable benefits of leadership selection with development. I want to believe that a race in which there were over 30 political party candidates was truly competitive, and the general acceptance of the outcome even by participants enriches the legitimacy of the election. One important comment one must not fail to make on the mobilisation of voters by political actors is the fact that the biggest mobiliser is when the policies and actions of elected officials affect and improve the welfare
What is your take on the massive open vote buying on election day? The growing trend of vote buying during election is condemnable and that is why the level of poverty and illiteracy has been rightly identified as threats to democracy because the electorates are not really making informed choices which is a basic assumption of democracy. We do not have to go that route that other societies have travelled even though vote buying has a chequered history in the development of democracy and democratic elections globally. It is very important to closely understand the general and contextual contributions of the phenomenon in order to abate and mitigate it. In Europe and North America when politicians used to rely on voting machines, when middle men mobilise voters with pecuniary incentives, politicians who contested later found that every election cycle made them more dependent and vulnerable, with less guarantee of assured outcome, the middlemen who bribed voters for them grew greedier and many politicians lost both the votes and huge fortunes. This is not my opinion; you can research the phenomenon of vote buying. Both the political class and the society will lose in the end if such behaviour is not stopped. That was why the use of anonymous ballot papers was introduced because middlemen who bought voter’s votes used confirmations of how they voted to get their payments, even recently in Italy, North Carolina and India, the use of cell phones was banned in polling centres because some voting machine gangs asked voters to send a picture of their ballot from inside the polling unit by MMS messaging to confirm their payments. We have to deal with this form of political corruption now and should not happen in subsequent elections and in 2019 even though vote buying is not a phenomenon that you can stop with legislation alone due to desperation for victory by any means that can be checked only if the society makes changes in many areas. In Nigeria now, some people dismantle businesses and companies to become politicians, why? Politicking has become the biggest business in the country, while other legitimate businesses are closing down. So we must look deeper for solutions, there must be normative remedies for the legislative remedies to be effective. You have always spoken of collapse of values and absence of good role models? Indeed, I repeatedly called attention to the crisis of values, and a distortion of our sense of what is right and wrong and the dearth of role models. It is not because there are no good people or positive exemplars in our country, but they are not recognised, rewarded and celebrated. In fact, they struggle daily to maintain their sense of decency and sanity. Celebrating our positive exemplars reinforces the emulation of such behaviour. Values are the accepted principles or standards which are desirable in society, if we reflect very deeply about the motivations CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018
RIGHT OF REPLY
Re: Ambode’s Reputation on the Line Olu Abayomi defends the performance of the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode with respect to the construction of roads in the Ajah axis of Lekki Peninsula, explaining that the roads are captured in the 2018 budget of the state
n a determined, but rather futile attempt to make a political capital out of the challenges faced in the construction of the roads at the swampy terrain of the Lekki-Ajah axis , one Femi Animashaun recently went to the extreme. That was in his article with the title: “Ambode’s Reputation on the Line”. Literally brewing with untrammeled emotion, suffused with hyperbolic terms, he mixed facts with fanciful fiction. To state that all the drains or gutters in the area are completely blocked and the potholes have degenerated into craters is pure fallacy. Were it so, the entire Ajah would have been submerged by the ocean tide by now! Similarly, the spurious claim that the area has been completely abandoned is far from the truth. For instance, the place in question, like its counterparts in other local government areas of the state benefited from the 144 roads constructed across the 20 local government areas back in 2016. Notable amongst these of course, is the Ajah bridge, constructed to ease the traffic gridlock in the ever-busy and densely populated part of the fast-evolving mega city. This was in fulfilment of the earlier promise the governor, Akinwunmi Ambode had made in December 2015, that the government had approved the construction of flyover for two of the state’s high-density traffic zones- Ajah round about and Abule- Egba junction. Subsequently, the promises made by the goalgetting and highly focused Ambode during the town hall meeting, precisely on August 2017 were aptly captured in the 2018 state budget. This incidentally, has only recently been passed into law by the Lagos State House of Assembly. And to make good his promise, the Lagos State Government released the sum of N5.563 billion to contractors to flag off the construction of the 181 roads spread across the 20 Local Governments Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state. That was in early February, 2018. Another laughable aspect of the writer’s appeal is that: “the governor should not reconstruct the road but patch the potholes”. Admitted, that with the rains coming early in the year due to climate change, some structures on ground would be adversely affected, it does not make any economic sense to patch sections of the road only for them to open up in less than a season. To give meaningful value to the money earmarked for the projects as spelt out in the 2018 budget, reconstruction would make them more sustainable.
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode
Perhaps, unknown to Animashaun, it would have amounted to a breach of the constitution if work had commenced on the 8 kilometreAjah-Lamgbase-Addo stretch of road when it was not captured in the 2017 state budget. It
Indeed, it amounts to fuelling the ill-feeling of inequity and injustice to place undue emphasis on whatever infrastructural transformation being currently witnessed along the Epe axis
is worthy of note that amongst the roads in the Lekki-Ajah axis to benefit from the 2018 budget are the Eleko -Iberekodo road, the Oribanwa to Lakowe link road and the Otolu Township road. Others include the Ojuoto/Ajegunle Road and Lekki-Epe Expressway. Indeed, it amounts to fuelling the ill-feeling of inequity and injustice to place undue emphasis on whatever infrastructural transformation being currently witnessed along the Epe axis. This is an area that was neglected for a long stretch of 16 years! It could boast of only the Magistrate court built by the Babatunde Raji Fashola –led administration. In a similar vein, the Epe Chalet reconstructed and renamed Jubilee Chalet under the Ambode administration was constructed during the Jakande era. There was not a single road constructed there despite the proposal of it being part and parcel of the Lekki Free Trade Zone. What is more, the Master Plan is to have an airport and a sea port. What the forward-looking Ambode
administration is doing in Epe is to open it up for international business, which it rightly deserves, being a coastal area of the state. So far, the new set of roads in Epe have started to make the desired impact as they are taking the pressure off the traffic hub along the LagosIbadan expressway. Commuters now prefer to ply along the Ijebu-Ode to Epe town en route to the city. Furthermore, the construction of the dual carriage way from Epe through Itokun to Ijebu-Ode will definitely promote the proposed South-West Regional Integration. Such is the virile vision that elder statesmen such as Chief Olu Falae and Chief Bode George have openly commended the potentially profound impact such would have on attracting global business to Lagos as a state and Nigeria, as a country. It therefore, smirks of sheer mischief to misconstrue such development as a mark of nepotism. As clearly captured in the words of the honourable Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya: “The roads will be done in phases. Already phase one has been released. This phase involves 57 roads cutting across the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas. To enhance immediately mobilization to site, 30 percent had been given to all the contractors upfront. This is in line with the magnanimity of Ambode’s administration to ensure service delivery all year round.” He highlighted the fact that due process was observed in awarding the contracts, adding that bids were opened on November 1, 2017 after which they were evaluated and considered. He said there are 57 contractors involved in the first phase of the construction with a mandate to deliver in six months. According to him, the governor is totally committed to ensuring that Lagosians continue to enjoy good governance. “There are many projects going on simultaneously across the state and the roads to be constructed will further open up the LGAs and LCDAs for economic prosperity”, he added. Taking an objective and unbiased appraisal of the governor’s commitment on infrastructural development, one would admonish him to keep up both the pace and focus towards realising his set goals. All the hue and cry from his traducers and sponsored critics would come to nothing. What matters most are his achievements that cumulatively uplift the quality of life of the good people of Lagos state, the Centre of Excellence. Olu Abayomi wrote in from Lagos
I G I N I : D E B AT E M U ST B E C O M P U L S O RY F O R A L L C A N D I DAT E S for our actions irrespective of the sphere of such actions, the central point where all actions lead is the human desire for a life in which satisfaction is attained. For some people, what brings satisfaction may be austere, for others it may be grandiose and ostentatious, but most of the things we pursue in life are the means to attaining that satisfaction, however modern society has become so engrossed in the means of attaining satisfaction that even when the goal of satisfaction is reached it is no longer recognised, the means becomes the end. This inability to differentiate between the goal of satisfaction and the means to attaining it has eroded the values in our country, that most people are simply in endless pursuit of the means of satisfaction, and there is no longer any recognition of what is excessive or morally superfluous. We now find people who are pursuing billions that they may never need at public expense, why governments are increasingly giving up the obligations to meet public services and welfare such as housing, healthcare, education and basic life’s comfort to profit making organisations. There is nothing wrong with encouraging profit making, but it is the common value of society that people who serve the public should provide affordable alternatives for such basic satisfaction of human needs. It is sad that we have lost these
values. If we still have such values, top civil servants will put in place a system that allows everyone including themselves safety nets that allows everyone to get affordable homes instead of stealing pension funds to buy many mansions for themselves alone. Businessmen who will make a tidy profit from importing petroleum products for the use of the citizens will not undermine the government that favoured them with such contracts, by collecting huge funds without supplying what they claim to supply. As a society we need to re-examine our values, what do we really want, money or fulfilment? If money brings fulfilment, when is it enough, when do we think the collective members of society deserve similar utility, our societal collectivity is gradually been lost to extreme individualism, we must be careful. What do you make of the growing disaffection of the public to how local governments are run and how elections to local governments are conducted?It is indeed a very shameful situation. As a core federalist who believes in true federalism and has advocated over time the idea of non-interference of Federal government in Local Governments and the need to devolve development decision making to local levels to increase participation of the grassroots, it is a
sad reality that governors in various states of control have hijacked local government system as conquered territories of the political parties in government of respective states. How do you explain a situation in all 36 states controlled by a party would win all councillorship and chairmanship positions of the entire local government in a state but in INEC conducted elections the situation is different as evident with different parties today that won different states. True and genuine election in the local governments where majority of Nigerians are domiciled should be the building blocks and foundation of our democracy. If true elections are allowed today, many of the 68 parties would win and control some local governments across the country, run the system differently as a basis to win more and build the fortune of the party by attaining a threshold to be able to participate in higher elections. But given the hijack of local governments by governors, a party that is just registered today wants to field governoship and presidential candidates when it has not won a single council election. The continuing abuse and rape of democracy in the name of election is quite distressing and has to stop. If the federal government interferes with states the way local government affairs are toyed with by most states, will there not be a social upheavals or revolution
in this country? How did we get to this low point where we have completely surrendered our sovereignty in a whole 774 local governments to state governors ? A governor determines who could be a councillor, chairman, state legislator, commissioner, senator and also wants to nominate a federal minister for a president. Governors by whim dissolve elected council, determine when local government tenures should begin and end, I learnt, they are even toying with the idea of dispensing with the use of ballot papers or printing limited numbers in conducting LGA elections, they would rather want result sheets printed and no more casting of votes. All over the world, actual developments that affect the people occur at the local government, if we do not pay attention to this ongoing farce, our society will simply remain socially retarded and whatever we need to do to stop this must be done. My first recommendation is that rather than replace state interference with federal interference, a better approach is to criminalise certain infractions by federal and state chief executives by listing out in the Constitution, criminal offences which by our experiences tend to make elected executives unaccountable and thereby strip them of immunity against prosecution from such actions; specific local government interference including tenure and, elections should be on top of that list.
T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ Íˇ, 2018
Group Business Editor Chika Amanze-Nwachuku Email firstname.lastname@example.org 08033294157
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Quick Takes APWEN Recognises Female Engineers
UNVEILING WORLD DEVT REPORT 2018
L-R: Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; representative of Nigeriaâ€™s Executive Director on World Bank Board, Bongi Kunene and World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Rachid Bennessaoud, during the launch of World Development Report 2018 (WDR 18) by the World Bank Group in Abuja â€Śrecently
FG Still Eyes Arik, Aero as Fulcrum for National Carrier Chinedu Eze
Despite the process currently going on to create a national carrier, THISDAY has learnt that the federal government still hopes to establish the new airline on the foundation already laid by Arik Air with technical support from the maintenance section of Aero Contractors. According to informed source from the industry, it would be a lot easier to build the national airline on the operations of Arik Air, which is currently under the management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) along with Aero Contractors than to establish an entirely new airline. The source said that establishing a new airline from the scratch would take a longer time and might not be realised before the termination of the current administration.
AVIATION The federal government early last year established transaction advisers for a new national carrier and also for the concession of the nationâ€™s major airports. THISDAY also learnt that with the advancement made by Aero Contractors in establishing a maintenance facility for Boeing B737 classics and working on upgrading to conducting maintenance on New General Boeing B737 aircraft types, which is the aircraft largely in the fleet of Arik Air, it would be easy to marry the two airlines and form the basis for the establishment of a national carrier. Although it is not yet confirmed by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, but THISDAY learnt that the federal government may work with Qatar Airways
as core investor for the new national airline and if it goes as planned, the Middle East airline would supply the new carrier most of its large-body aircraft to commence operations to international destinations. However, many airline owners currently in operation are not positively disposed to Nigeria establishing a national carrier because they believe government would favour it against them and this would drastically affect the market, as most of the passenger traffic would be mopped by the new airline, which would enjoy governmentâ€™s support with waiver in charges and many other favorable considerations. THISDAY also learnt that the owners of Aero and Arik, which are currently under the management of AMCON, have muted that they would sue the federal government if
their interests are not met in the plan to establish a national carrier. Also AMCON may not be disposed to incorporating Arik Air and Aero into the national carrier project because the Corporation is disposed to recovering its huge funds sunk in the two airlines and there would be no guarantee that these funds would be recovered when the two airlines metamorphose to a national carrier with a core investor and private sector driven management and ownership with little government stake, as enunciated by Sirika. AMCON had earlier indicated to THISDAY that its management had severally turned down the request to use the two airlines as national carrier, arguing that the debt overhang Continued on page 20
Nigeria Seaports Record Lower Ship Call over FGâ€™s Unfavourable Policies Eromosele Abiodun The fortunes of Nigeriaâ€™s seaports have continued to dwindle following the federal governmentâ€™s unfavourable and inconsistent policies leading to reduction in the number of ships calling at the nationâ€™s seaports across the country. In 2016 and early 2017, the inability of importers and exporters to get the needed foreign exchange to transact their business as well as insecurity in Nigeriaâ€™s coastal waters, brought activities at the nationâ€™s seaports to all time low.
MARITIME These and other developments in the industry reflected in the numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Nigeria Port Statistics 2012-2017, which revealed that ship traffic at the seaports is on a downward trend. The Nigerian Ports Statistics 2012-2017 released by the NBS revealed that ship traffic at the ports recorded a total of 4,175 ocean going vessels in 2017 as against 4,622 in 2016. Also, the Gross Registered
Tonnage (GRT) followed the downward trend with 131,569,821 in 2017 as against 134,2,13,076 recorded in 2016. Conversely, the traffic for service boats recorded an increase with a total of 12,243 (with 5, 910,406 gross registered tonnage) in 2017, against 9,418 service boats (with 5,193,402 gross registered tonnage) in 2016. The statistics revealed a total of 71,903,266 cargo traffic recorded at all ports in 2017 as against 70,819,092 in 2016. According to the report, about 43,019,889 of the cargo traffic came as inwards while
28,883,377 were outward. A total of 181,404 vehicle traffic was recorded in 2017 at all the ports as against 105,189 and 131,994 vehicle traffic in 2016 and 2015. Classification of data, according to the seaports, revealed that the Calabar Port complex has really suffered from the shallow water level due to controversies surrounding the dredging of the channel. The NBS report revealed that the cargo throughput in 2017 was highest at Onne Port with 25,836,246 (while inward Continued on page 20
The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), a non-proďŹ t and non-governmental organisation, has recognised female engineers who have distinguished themselves in the profession as well as other illustrious women in sundry professions, who have impacted on the advancement of women as a society. TheawardtookplaceonMarch8, 2018attheLagosStateChamberof CommerceandIndustry(LCCI),Alausa,IKejatomarktheInternational Womenâ€™s Day. A statement signed by the President of APWEN, which is also a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mrs. Felicia Agubata, said the organisation is an umbrella body for female engineers covering all engineering disciplines. â€œOur mission is to stimulate women engineers to achieve professional growth and to provide a mentorshipplatform for women engineers as well as to be a potent voice for the advocacy to get the GirlChild to take up the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics (STEM) tailored towards the Engineering profession. We have mapped series of programs to achieve our goal including the â€œInvent it , Build it â€œschemeâ€?, she said. â€œWe celebrate Nigerian women who are pressing for the progress of the emergent Nigerian Woman. We recognised female engineers who have distinguished themselves in the profession as well as other illustrious females in sundry professions, who have impacted our advancement as a society and have thus, become worthy examples of inspirational ďŹ gures for the Girl-Child. â€œAs we (APWEN) celebrate these eminent women, we are full of hope that more women would follow in their footsteps by exploring and exploiting local and global opportunities to attain new heights and raise the bar in their chosen ďŹ elds. Competence, collaboration, performance and moral courage, are the watchwordsâ€?, she added.
Emirates Unveils Spacious Aircraft
Emirates has unveiled a brand new Business Class cabin and conďŹ guration on its Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, with new wider seats laid out in a 2-2-2 conďŹ guration for the ďŹ rst time. The airline has invested over $150 million to refurbish the 10 existing 777-200LR aircraft in its ďŹ‚eet. The newly refurbished Emirates 777-200LR aircraft is set in a two-class conďŹ guration which oďŹ€ers 38 Business Class seats and 264 seats in Economy Class. While the Business Class seats are in the same design and shape of Emiratesâ€™ latest lie-ďŹ‚at seats, they are now two inches wider for a more comfortable journey. The seats retain the champagne coloured ďŹ nish and diamond stitch pattern on the full leather cover, and the ergonomically designed headrest revealed on Emiratesâ€™ newest Boeing 777 in November. The Business Class seat has a pitch of 72 inches and moves into a fully ďŹ‚at sleeping position. It also has touch screen controls for the seat and in-ďŹ‚ight entertainment system, several personal lighting options, privacy panels between seats, a shoe stowage area, footrest and a personal mini-bar.
Boeing Workers Seek Union Recognition
A group of workers at Boeingâ€™s South Carolina assembly plant have petitioned the aerospace giant to seek union recognition at the North Charleston location.Airwise.com reported that the petition by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is the third in three years, but this time is limited to ďŹ‚ight line employees, Boeing said in a statement. General Manager at Boeing South Carolina, Joan Robinson-Berry, said the IAM union â€œrefuses to hear the clear message our team has voiced repeatedly. Now they want to pit our teammates directly against each other.â€?She said the company would challenge the petition as it attempts â€œto isolate our ďŹ‚ight line teammates, is unreasonable and is prohibited by federal law.â€?The National Labor Relations Board will now determine if the petition will proceed as submitted. If the NLRB approves the petition it will be put to the relevant workers in a ballot. Boeing pointed out that in the last ballot, 74 percent of votes cast opposed union recognition.
â€œAirside critical infrastructure is more important to us than terminal buildings, which bring comfort to passengersâ€? Minister of State, Aviation
Senator Hadi Sirika
T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ ÍˇËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś
BUSINESSWORLD FG STILL EYES ARIK, AERO AS FULCRUM FOR NATIONAL CARRIER in the airlines would not make such start up feasible because this means that the new airline would be laden with debts at inception. Besides, AMCON said that it was more interested in recouping the whooping funds projected to between N16 to N20 billion expended on Aero and about N190 billion on Arik to save them from sinking and to sustain their operation. Industry consultant and CEO of Belujane Konsult, Chris Aligbe, who is fully in support of establishing a national carrier, told THISDAY that to a large extent, the federal government has been very transparent in the process of establishing a national carrier; unlike in the past when negotiations were done under the table. On the adoption of Aero and Arik Air, Aligbe said the federal government cannot use the airlines without involving their owners, so if they sue government it might obstruct the plan to establish the national airline or delay its emergence. NIGERIA SEAPORTS RECORD LOWER SHIP CALL OVER FGâ€™S UNFAVOURABLE POLICIES was 1,947,347, outward was 23,888,899); followed by Apapa Port with 18,909,238 (inward was 17,523,313, while outward was 1,385,925); TinCan Island Port was third with 15,520,925 (inward was 14,623 and outward was 1,385,925). Delta had 6,015,333 (inward was 4,514,481and outward was 1,500,852); Rivers recorded 3,462,425 (inward was 2,332 and outward was 1,129,458) and Calabar came last with a paltry 2,159,099 (inward was 2,078,542 and outward was 80,557). The number of passenger traffic at the Calabar Port within the period under review was put at 6,704 in 2017 as against 7,442 in 2016. Also, ship traffic record of ocean going vessels in the five-year analysis showed a downward slope from 4,837 in 2012 to 4,175 in 2017. The GRT increased from 120,818,683 in 2012 to 131,569,821 in 2017.
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Africaâ€™s Population Explosion a Ticking Time Bomb, AfDB Warns Chika Amanze-Nwachuku The African Development Bank and its East and North African Governors have stressed the need for urgent measures to match the continentâ€™s growing population and youth unemployment, which they likened to a â€œticking time bomb.â€? Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth. The meeting described the continentâ€™s growing young population as a potential growth engine for the world. â€œThe good news is that the solution is within our reach and will require investments,â€? AfDB, President, Akinwumi Adesina said. At the end of a two-day consultation at the headquarters of the Bank in Abidjan, Cote dâ€™Ivoire, the Bank and the Governors discussed strategises for closing Africaâ€™s $170 billion infrastructure investment gap. To bridge the investment gap, ensure inclusive growth, and create employment for the continentâ€™s population, the meeting endorsed the AfDB-led African Investment Forum and described it as a timely opportunity to catalyse investments into projects and attract social impact financing to Africa. Tanzaniaâ€™s Minister for Finance and Planning, Isdor Mpango, called for closer involvement of the private sector in financing development on the continent. Mpango said: â€œThe African Development Bank is well positioned to advise and assist Governments and the private sector to come up with bankable projects.â€? He called for direct resources to provide budget support and investment opportunities.â€? Through the African Investment
Forum, scheduled for November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Bank and its partners intend to showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across Africa. The forum will bring together the AfDB and other global multilateral financial institutions to de-risk investments at scale.â€œA uniqueness of the African Investment Forum is that there will be no speeches. The only speeches will be transactions,â€? said Adesina. Rwandaâ€™s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said: â€œThe African Development Bank has already discussed the concept of the African Investment Forum with us. The Rwandan Government
takes this Forum very seriously.â€? â€œJobs will come from industrialisation. The new approach using the African Investment Forum to de-risk the sector and attract investors is the way to go,â€? said Kenyan Finance Minister, Kiplagat Rotich. 13 per cent of the worldâ€™s population is estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa today. That number is projected to more than double by 2050. Four billion (or 36 per cent of the worldâ€™s population) could live in the region by 2100, according to the UN Population Division. Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth. According to Adesina, â€œWe
have 12 years left to the SDGs. It is an alarm bell because if Africa does not achieve the SDGs, the world wonâ€™t achieve them. The African Development Bank is accelerating development across Africa through the High 5s. We are deepening our reforms. We deepened our disbursements to the highest levels ever last year and we are leveraging more resources for Africa.â€? Tunisiaâ€™s Finance Minister Zied Ladhari recalled how the Bankâ€™s 11-year temporary relocation to his country helped strengthen the bonds between them. â€œWe share the Bankâ€™s vision. Africa is the continent of the future. This is a great Africa moment with the Bank
at the centre. Unleashing the potential of African economies is a task which the Bank must accomplish.â€? As part of the Bankâ€™s High 5 agenda, 13 million African women have benefitted from new electricity connections and 23 million from improvements in agriculture. Also, 10 million African women have benefited from investee projects An analysis of the African Development Bankâ€™s impact from 2010-2017 indicates that 27 million Africans gained access to new electricity connections. 899,000 small businesses were provided with financial services. 35 million have benefitted from improved access to water and sanitation.
L-R: Chief Legal Counsel & Company Secretary, Sterling Bank Plc, Mrs. Justina Lewa; winner of N1,000,000 (One million Naira) in the One Woman category of 1dament Promo, Akarigbo Oreoluwa with General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank Plc, Mrs. Moji Bakare, during the prize presentation at the bankâ€™s corporate headquarters in Lagos â€Ś recently
LADOL Boss: Equal Female Representation Boosts Companyâ€™s Profit by 42% Eromosele Abiodun The Managing Director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi has revealed that a company with more female in its board will be 42 per cent more profitable than companies that donâ€™t have female directors. Jadesimi, who stated this as part of efforts to mark this yearâ€™s International Womenâ€™s Day, said women see the world differently and
makes decision differently. Speaking on a CNBC Africa â€˜Power Launchâ€™ programme, the LADOL boss said: â€œIf you have women on your board of directors your company is going to be 42per cent more profitable than companies that donâ€™t have female directors. Part of that comes from the fact that women look at the world differently and they make different decisions.â€? Citing the United Nations Business and Sustainable Development Commission
(UNBSDC) report titled: â€˜Better Leadership, Better World: Women Leading for the Global Goalsâ€™, she said women are able to increase both private and public sector profit by 42per cent because they talk about sustainability, they bring in more ideas that help the company and public sector achieve sustainability. â€œSo, if you donâ€™t have women in your company or in your government, you are going to miss out from all that information,â€? she said.
To help women achieve their goals in work place, she recommended that both the private and public sector must invest money to achieve female empowerment and equality adding that the status quo of female inequality in work place must change. One of the key areas to long term investment, according to her is human resources. â€œOne of the major areas has to be in human resources. How do you recruit? How do you support women who
are already in the company? If you find out what most companies do, then in the lower level of your company you will have just equal ratio men to women but by the time you get to the top level of the company you donâ€™t have women. First you must do an analysis why that is happening. The common reason is that women have to have babies but then you donâ€™t have policies that attract them to come back in and have flexible working time.
Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă˜Ă”Ă“ Capital Market Editor
Ă™ĂŽĂŽĂŁĂ‘Ă?Ă˜Ă? Senior Correspondent
Customs Arrest Chinese National over Goods Banned for Export
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Eromosele Abiodun The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja Lagos, has announced the arrest of a Chinese national, Mr. Li Chaomin in relation to goods banned for export. Controller, FOU, Mohammed Uba, who stated at a press briefing, said the interception of endangered species slated for
export shows the cartel behind the illegal act are unrelenting hence the need for the NCS to redouble its efforts. Speaking on how the syndicate was smashed, he said:â€œ On Monday, 5th March, 2018 at about 1600hrs, the Warehouse Operations Team led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule while on credible intelligence again searched an apartment at No. 64 Opebi Road, Off
Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos and evacuated the following after physical examination: 329 sacks of Pangolin scales weighing 8,492kg with a duty paid value of N1,732,857,393.96. â€œChaomin, a Chinese national was apprehended in connection to this seizure, making it two Chinese nationals in a roll in relations to goods banned for export. You will recall that in the month of February also
we evacuated 55 sacks of the same pangolin and 218 pieces of elephant tusks, which were all, handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA).â€? Uba said the Convention of International Trade in Endangered species (CITES 1973) entails that customs administration all over the world protects wild life by
intercepting illegal trade on such animals. â€œAs you are aware, Pangolins are the only known mammals that have large and protective keratin scales covering their skin. After a surge in poaching across Asia, the international illegal wildlife trade is now also a growing threat to African pangolin species. These scales were sourced from other African countries to be trafficked.
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Subomi Balogun @ 84: Portrait of a Rare Bridge Builder As the founder of First City Monument Bank, Chief Subomi Balogun clocks 84 today, friends, business associates and well-wishers have continued to pay glowing tributes to the legendary banker and philanthropist, with many describing him as a portrait of many treasured virtues As the founder of First City Monument Bank, Chief Subomi Balogun clocks 84 today, friends, business associates and well-wishers have continued to pay glowing tributes to the legendary banker and philanthropist, with many describing him as a portrait of many treasured virtues It is difficult, if not out-rightly impossible to read the story of his life and not be eminently inspired. This is for the simple reason that each chapter of that life leaves sundry lessons. It is all about the impact, visionary commitment to courses, transparent honesty in dealings with others, as well as diligent pursuit of purpose, human limitations notwithstanding. In fact, say it that Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun (CON), the man they call the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, is a lesson to life, and you would be stating the obvious. From the perspective of entrepreneurship, he is a front-liner, visionary leadership, he is there; manager of men and materials, he has a tall reputation; a philanthropist of note the same way he is an outstanding bridge builder. For example, it was his great entrepreneurial foresight that saw to the birthing of one of Nigeriaâ€™s leading financial institutions, FCMB, at a time of seeming impossibility. An individual seeking and obtaining a banking license was unheard of at the time, but Balogun did not allow popular sentiments to smoulder his tall ambitions. He envisioned, he prayed, but he also undertook shuttle diplomacy when it mattered, cried when the need arose and equally appealed where it was necessary. The point really, is that he has learnt to give to life, whatever is genuinely necessary to achieving the desired results. Born on that auspicious 9th day of March in 1934, Otunba Balogunâ€™s citation is like a scroll out of the hall of fame, gripping and intriguing no matter from which perspective it is told. Yet, it would remain incomplete without a reference to a few Nigerians who stood in support of this visionaryâ€™s mission to accomplish his ambition. In every interview, comment or discussion the Otunba Tunwase, who is also the Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Ijebuland, Dr. Michael Olasubomi Balogun will always appreciate such people, eternally remaining grateful, sheer humility, virtue, rarely found in men of such exceptional worth. At 84 therefore, Otunba Balogun is a portrait of very many treasured virtues. He epitomises principled living, genuine love, detribalisation, and the eloquent apostolic dictum that one good turn deserves another. His bridge-building antecedents are well known, and has lent tremendously to the quest for inter-ethnic cohesion in the country yet, Otunba Balogunâ€™s life-story shows that nothing could be impossible to anyone who believes and that there is light on the lips of a nine-year toddler. When frustrations came over obtaining needed resources from then existing banks, it had taken a seemingly innocuous rebuke from his nine year old to awaken his faith. The boy had innocently observed whether his father could not establish his own bank, if the one he had worked for denied him what ordinarily, should be his. That was the kick he needed to jumpstart a bank of his own. Today that modest idea has grown to a mighty oak, sheltering hundreds of thousands of people, covering the interests, needs and care for millions of people, offering direct employment and making available to them, resources to multiply their incomes and keep families running. Ever so grateful to God for what his life has become, Otunba Balogun is humbled by the realisation that he is neither the biggest nor the smartest, yet, swims in a rich measure of divine grace. This is the reason behind his unwavering philanthropic gestures. He cites his ascendency to the stool of Asiwaju of Ijebu as example, affirming that this was given even when his mother was the Iyasuna of Muslims in Ijebu. According to him, â€œit is God who has been doing this that I was also made the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians So, it is in appreciation of what God has done for me and so I have
thrown myself into the service of the people. I am always joyous to do good and to have people around me. And the good Lord has always been faithful to meâ€?. Having been accepted across philosophical, political and religious divides, he has thus far operated as a bridge builder of sorts, deploying resources as regularly as required. In fact, in the area of development of the town, he has played a sterling role, falling back on his being picked by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Ijebu land and requested to rally round others to develop his people and the community. A few years ago, he transferred the OtunbaTunwase Paediatric centre to the University of Ibadan, a project in which he had sunk billions of naira. That handover was on the auspices of his 80th birthday. On the spiritual plane, he is not just satisfied with the tag of Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians but is thrilled by initiatives that advance the course of Christianity. Part of these are the Annual Christmas Carols in December and Prayer sessions and Thanksgiving Services in January in his country home of which he is a convener. Reflecting on the prayer sessions recently, he observed: â€œThe tradition I met when I took over from the first Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians was that annually Christians and even Muslims would kick-start the new year by going to offer prayers in the house of the Awujale and after that they would come to the house of the Asiwaju. The significance is to give an opportunity for the Asiwaju to join everybody in thanking the Almighty God
It is difďŹ cult, if not outrightly impossible to read the story of his life and not be eminently inspired. This is for the simple reason that each chapter of that life leaves sundry lessons. It is all about the impact, visionary commitment to courses, transparent honesty in dealings with others, as well as diligent pursuit of purpose, human limitations notwithstanding
for what He has done for all of us in the year before and asking him to continue to guard and take care of us for the new year. I think that its significance is not just for Christians but for all people. The Yorubas say if you give thanks for the favour done in the past that you will receive more favoursâ€?. These sessions have grown in popularity with attendant extensive positive impact. In fact, his reference to God is so well known around the town that it has become the tradition of local musicians to start playing the tune â€œNipa ifeOlugbalakiyosinkankanâ€?, (which means by the love of the Saviour, there shall be no evil) anytime and anywhere he makes his appearance. For the Baba Oba of Ijebu-Ife, it is the good Lord that has been protecting and guarding His people and it is only natural to sing back in appreciation. â€œI genuinely worship my God. In every home of mine, I have a chapel and on my birthday, I go there first to thank God for mercy received and to pray for further mercy. The secret of it is that I throw myself into the hands of God trusting that He will do the best for meâ€?, he says. Otunba Balogun may not be so much swayed by the tag of a politician as he appreciates the appellation of philanthropist. He is a living proof that it is in giving that one secures the channel of receiving. And that for Nigeria to remain, there has to be prayers. â€œThe first thing I will say to Nigerians is to be conscientious in praying and having faith that having prayed, the good Lord will answer our prayers. There is a lot that Nigerians expect from the country but my prayer is that the good Lord will guard everybody including our government, so that everybody will do the right thing. Between friends, family and universally, we should put God first and seek His face and everything else will be rightâ€?, he admonishes. A holder of the 1959 LLB Honours, of the London School of Economics (LSE), he was called to the English Bar in December 1959. He was trained as a Parliamentary Counsel by the Government of Western Region of Nigeria at Whitehall and the British Parliament in London, and started his Civil Service career in February 1961 in the Ministry of Justice, Ibadan. He was later transferred to the Federal Ministry of Justice as the Assistant Parliamentary Counsel of the Federation, where he remained until July 1966. For nine years, between 1966 and 1975, he was the first Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB). During this period, he received extensive training at the International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), otherwise known as the World Bank, and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) both in Washington DC. He also received extensive training from leading stockbrokers, investment banks and merchant banks in London and New York. There were other outstanding moves within, but Otunba Balogun was seconded to Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), as an Executive Director following its establishment. During this time, he represented Icon on the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and he distinguished himself in the handling of many capital issues on the Exchange. He resigned in December 1977 to set up his own company, City Securities Limited, which became the first institution in Nigeria to combine Issuing House and Stockbroking businesses under one roof. In less than two years of the establishment of City Securities Limited, he was cited as â€œa most distinguished and leading Baron of the Nigerian Capital Marketâ€?. The Asalu-Oba of Ijebu-Imushin, Otunba Balogun in 1979, single-handedly set-up the first wholly Nigerian owned merchant bank, known as the First City Merchant Bank Limited. Under his leadership as Chairman and Chief Executive, FCMB in its first twenty years of existence, experienced unprecedented steady and un-interrupted growth, earned national and international recognition as a market leader in investment banking and capital market services. Otunba Balogun was the first in Nigeria as at 1987 to endow a Professorial Chair in a University, this at the University of Ibadan. He has equally donated to several altruistic causes in a number of institutions such as the Olabisi Onabanjo University (formerly Ogun State University), Yaba College of Technology, African Leadership Forum, etc. Otunba Balogun took over, reconstructed, refurbished and perpetually endowed the maintenance of The Childrenâ€™s Emergency Unit in the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan which has now been named after him, the â€œOTUNBA TUNWASE CHILDRENâ€™S EMERGENCY UNITâ€?. He has donated to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital a newly built and fully equipped air-conditioned 40-bed Childrenâ€™s Centre, made provision for the perpetual maintenance of the Childrenâ€™s Centre, and actively provided financial assistance to various local institutions, individuals and other charitable organisations. To date, he has awarded over 300 scholarships to many Nigerians at secondary and tertiary levels; established an umbrella organization known as â€œOtunba Tunwase Foundationâ€? to cater for all his philanthropic endeavours and services to the community. Under this Foundation, and on his 60th birthday, he commenced the construction of a special gift to the nation - the â€œOTUNBA TUNWASE NATIONAL PAEDIATRIC CENTRE.â€? Otunba is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, a holder of the Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) University of Ibadan and a Merit Award holder of several organisations. In terms of traditional titles, he is the Baba Oba of Ijebu Ife and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians amongst others. In November 2000, he was conferred with the National Honour of â€œCommander of the Order of the Nigerâ€? by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Otunba Balogun as an author, a prolific writer and a distinguished opinion leader was also at one time a member of the National Presidential Advisory Committee on the Recovery of the Nigerian economy. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, the Nigerian Institute of Management, and the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Former Deputy President now Life Vice President of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Council Member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman, Primrose Investments Limited; Chairman, Bluechip Holdings Limited; Chairman, Swiftdrill (Nigeria) Limited, Chairman, Primrose Properties Investments Limited and Director of a number of other companies.
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Why Nigerian Passengers Pay Higher Fares on West Coast Routes Chinedu Eze Nigerian passengers pay higher fares to destinations in West Africa due to lack of competition, poor connectivity and exorbitant charges on airlines. In fact, THISDAY findings indicated that the fares, for example, from Lagos to Dakar, capital of Senegal, which is about three hours flight, could be compared to Lagos-Dubai, which is about eight hours flight. According to industry experts, lack of competition is occasioned by the fact that airlines in West and Central Africa generally have short life span, so no airline operates the routes for a long time and there are not many airlines in the sub-region that could be operating the routes at the same time, which invariably would bring fares down due to competition. Reports also showed that an average price for return ticket from Lagos to Kenya on Ethiopian Airline, Kenya
Airways and RwandAir ranges from N350,000 to N400,000 and N320,000 to N350,000 from Lagos to Egypt using Kenya Airways, Etihad, Turkish Airline and Ethiopian Airline. Also, average price of a return ticket from Lagos to South Africa using South African Airways, Kenyan Airways and Rwand Air is between N450,000 and N500,000 and costs between N300,000 to N350,000 from Lagos to Morocco on Royal Air Maroc and Egypt Air. On the other hand, an Easy Airline return ticket from Milan to France cost about 50 pounds, which is equivalent to N25, 400, using black market exchange rate of N508 to a pound. Also, an Emirates airline return ticket from Dubai to Bahrain costs 925dihrams, which is equivalent to N90, 660. Average price of a return ticket on from Germany to Poland costs between N85,000 to N110,000. While an average price of a return ticket on from New York to Miami using
United Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airline cost between N40,000 to N55,000. Although it is believed that the newly implemented treaty, Single African Air Travel Market (SAATM) would create the enabling environment for more airlines to operate these West Coast routes, but airlines are still sceptical that the fares would go down in the near future because there is yet a level playing field for easy implementation of the policy. Travel expert and the organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ikechi Uko said that SAATM would be the best thing that would happen to the Nigerian airlines if they could take advantage of its because it would open up the West Cost and other African market to the benefit of Nigerian operators because most of the passengers doing business in many cities in the West and Central Africa are Nigerians.
Super Intâ€™l Travel Makes Flight Booking Easy, Unveils Website Super International Travels Limited, a travel agency with branches in Lagos and Abuja, has launched its website, www.wesabitravel.com, at a programme which held at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, amid fanfare. Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Mobisola Shobayo used the occasion, which was attended by leaders of blue-chip companies from major sectors of the economy, decision makers from the travel industry and senior government functionaries, to thank customers, airlines and the travelling public for their unflinching support over the years. In her welcome address, Shobayo said the travel agency had been in existence for 36 years adding that the company deemed it fit to launch its own travel website because e-travel and e-commerce had already overtaken paper and manual ticketing globally.
According to her, the founders of Super Travels had a big vision for the company, adding that she and her team, which conceived the vision for wesabitravel over three years ago, would not leave any stone unturned in taking it to an enviable height as a company. â€œE-commerce has come to stay in the world, at first, we thought it was a joke but that is what is in vogue now and Super Travels has to key into it. We have been in existence for the past 35 years with so much experience, the website is a one-stop shop, with it, you will be able to make choices, the system will tell you the best and cheapest fare, you can also book hotels of your choice. â€œWe have bank guarantee, you donâ€™t need to call anybody to complete you travel plans, all you need do is to just log in and make your choice. When it comes to travels, this is our passionâ€?, she said.
Also speaking, Chairman of Super Intâ€™l Travels, Mr. Adejare Shobayo, said the product is mobile friendly, adding that a customer has full control of his booking. â€œIt is about best practices in the travel world and it is to the benefit of the whole aviation industry. You can book, make changes, confirm your bookings and pay online, it is mobile friendly and within two minutes of your login, you are done with your bookingâ€?, he said. Some of the clients and partners in their goodwill messages, praised the management of the company for consistency, loyalty and prudence. Mr. Ademola Sanya, spoke on behalf of British Airways (BA) while Mrs. Odion spoke on behalf of GTA. They both pledged their loyalties to Super Travels, adding that the new initiative is a better step towards the right direction in travel.
Latest Search for Missing MH370 Flight to End Mid-June The latest underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is likely to end by the middle of June, Malaysiaâ€™s civil aviation chief said ahead of the fourth anniversary of the aircraftâ€™s disappearance. Airwise.com reported that the Director General of Malaysiaâ€™s Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman,made this known when he was speaking at a memorial event for relatives of passengers and crew on MH370. Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew onboard on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Investigators believe
the plane was deliberately flown thousands of miles off course before crashing into the southern Indian Ocean off Australia. A range of debris found along western Indian Ocean shorelines has been linked to MH370, including a flaperon positively identified as coming from the Boeing 777 operating the flight. Other objects have been found on and around the coast of Mozambique, and on RĂŠunion. An initial search of a 120,000 square-kms (46,300 sq. miles) area of the southern Indian Ocean was carried out on behalf of Australia, China and Malaysia, but was called
off in January 2017 after nothing was found. Malaysia launched a new search for the aircraft in January 2018, with US company Ocean Infinity employed to carry out the underwater search. The company will only receive payment if the aircraft is located. The latest search will last about 90 days, not including refueling and supply visits to Perth in Western Australia. As of February 28, 8,200 square km had been searched with no significant contacts identified to date, according to a Malaysian government update last week.
AIR WATCH Investing in Airside Infrastructure
New Abuja Airport Runway
An airport has two sides. There is the land side, which hosts the terminal and all the things needed to make it possible for passengers to access the airplane for a flight. These include structures for passenger facilitation, security system and passenger comfort. Then there is the airside, which is dedicated to ensuring that a flight takes off safely and lands safely. The airside is equipped with safety critical equipment without which flight operations cannot take place. Over the years, there have been shortcomings in the provision of airside equipment in many of Nigeriaâ€™s airports. This has made some airports to operate only daylight flights, while some airports only allow small body airplanes to land in them. When the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika was appointed, he said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would focus on providing infrastructure on the airside to make flight operations safe and to ensure that many of the airports in the country processed more flights to meet the demands of the flying public. Before 2017, none of Nigeriaâ€™s airports was certified because they did not meet the given criteria for standard airports. These include fire cover for the category of the airport, water supply for fire cover, number of trained personnel for Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS), landing aids, which include effective communication, navigational aids, airfield lighting and standard runway. Besides the heavy work done at the Kaduna airport terminal to prepare the airport as alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja when the later was closed for rehabilitation work on the runway for six weeks, THISDAY learnt that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has concentrated on providing critical infrastructure on the airside of the airports under its management. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set out criteria for airport standards. So FAAN told THISDAY that its objective is to meet these criteria at all its airports, starting with the five major airports in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu. According to the agency, since 2015 it has been rehabilitating the runways of the 22 airports under its management. For example, work has been completed at the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. Due to the peculiarity of the topography of the area, the runway has been problematic. Water collects under the runway and makes it unstable for the heavy weight of the aircraft when it lands. So FAAN devised a means to build it in such a way that the water underneath is diffused and channeled out with a unique technology adopted by the construction company, PW in collaboration with FAAN engineers. The agency also said that it is providing airfield lighting at many of the airports so that flights can land in the night. It noted that with the growth in population and the increase in air passenger traffic, some of the airports hitherto underutilised are now experiencing increase in flight operation, so FAAN has to provide
these safety critical facilities to make the airports functional. â€œWe have extended many of the airport runways, including that of the Kaduna airport, Enugu airport; we are working on extending that of Benin and we are installing airfield lighting at these airports. We are striving to meet the ICAO standard in airport infrastructure and at the same time to meet the demand of our airlines which want to operate to almost all these airports,â€? a source in FAAN told THISDAY. THISDAY also learnt that when Senator Sirika was appointed as Minister in charge of aviation, he insisted that Nigeria should prepare its major airports for certification by meeting ICAO requirements and standards. This included the training of personnel and the procurement of equipment as well as the provision of fire tenders, the marking of runways and provision of other amenities like the lighting of the ramp for taxing of aircraft. This was what enabled the certification of the Lagos and Abuja airports last year and the plan to certify the Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports this year. The FAAN Managing Director, Mr. Saleh Dunoma told THISDAY what it entailed certifying the Abuja airport after that of Lagos and how this has notched up the image of Nigeria in the world aviation community. â€œWith the certification of Abuja airport, Nigeria has become the first state to achieve the certification of more than one international airport in the AFI (Africa/Indian) Region. However, we are not resting on our oars, as the certification of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports in 2018 in compliance with the Abuja Ministerial declaration and safety targets of 2012,â€? he said. Dunoma said ICAO devised this certification in order to make airports keep up to the standards and noted that anybody that wants to develop an airport must decide the aircraft size that he wants to operate in that airport and this will set out the criteria of what that airport needs. He said: â€œIf you want to build an airport that can land Boeing B747, ICAO will tell you how many firemen you need, what category of fire you want, what is the length of the runway, what is the width of the runway and other conditions. So once you finish your design and it is implemented and the airport is up for a B747, then ICAO comes back to see whether what you said you did is what you did. â€œDo you now have an airport that can handle a B747? Do you have the processes and procedures in place to handle a B747? Are you compliant with all the safety requirements? Are you compliant with the security requirement? Are you compliant with all the ICAO annexes as specified in handling this particular category of aircraft?â€? It is to meet these criteria that FAAN has taken it as priority to develop the airside infrastructure at the airports and unlike the development of the terminals that can easily be given out in concession to the private sector; for security reasons, the infrastructure at the airside must be provided by government and its agencies.
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Cavertonâ€™s Drive to Strengthen Capacity To further assert its dominance in the offshore logistics services, the Chief Executive Director, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Olabode Makanjuola, spoke on the firmâ€™s new acquisition and the need to continue to attain pioneer status in ownership and operation of offshore support services through capacity expansion and infrastructure development. Caverton Nigeria, an indigenous company with operations in major cities in the state, has since inception, gradually ascended to become the biggest offshore logistics service provider in Nigeria. The company in response to the Nigerian Governmentâ€™s Local Content Act has aimed to substantially increase indigenous participation in the local oil and gas industry, thereby positioning itself as one of the leading indigenous oilfield services companies in Nigeria. The companyâ€™s commitment to the development of the local aviation and maritime industry and increase participation of indigent is evident in its growth over the years. It has made immense investment across Nigeria, growing operational bases and fleet of aircraft. Over the years, the group has positively impacted the socio-economic development of the country through various stakeholders; clients, employees and communities alike. Its global workforce has grown remarkably. With its rapidly expanding fleet of aircraft and vessels coupled with its acquisition of key offshore assets and strategic partners, the group is able to provide diverse range of services to its clients ensuring their objectives are completely fulfilled, offshore and on land. To this end, the company recently completed the acquisition of 12 helicopters. It has taken delivery of three while the remaining nine would arrive in a matter of weeks. This acquisition was an addition to the 22 fleets of helicopters currently in operations. This was targeted at expanding its capacity and build a world-class firm that can compete favourably with globally recognised organisations. Safety is very vital in the aviation industry and the companyâ€™s record of 100 per cent safety testifies to the fact that the IoC takes this part very seriously. According to Makanjuola, â€œWe have put in place very stringent procedures built around local and foreign standards, our ethos of safety is embedded in us. It is our top priority and we are very committed to this. â€œSo far we have a raised the standards of through our safety practices. Considering the nature of the industry, this is probably why they are a few players in the sector and we still maintain the largest share in Nigeria right now owing to our safety recordsâ€?. Caverton takes pride in putting safety and quality at the core of its business and had been rewarded for this by its growing customer base. For instance, in September 2014, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) awarded the company the â€˜Shell Safety Conscious Awardâ€™ recognising its safety conscious culture. Recently, they also won the contract to service the Chevron Company, a testament to the standard it has operated over the years. They also pride ourselves with several infrastructure spread across the country as presently they have a massive hanger at the Lagos airport, which is their actual base. The companyâ€™s Helipad is situated at Ozumba-Mbadiwe, even though they also have two Hangers in Port Harcourt situated at the airforce base including a base in Osubi, Warri and another coming up in Cameron. With the winning of the Chevron contract, another base in Escravos is in the works. Makanjuola went further on saying â€œWe have a diverse fleet of Helicopters numbering about 22. Different sizes both fixed and road trip, also considering the new aircraft that are arriving soon. â€œThey vary from a Booster Wesler139 with a capacity of 15 passengers to the Bell 407 with a capacity of five passengers. Then we have the fixed wing, the Trinoter which is on a contract for Shell and also another in Cameron, both with a capacity to carry about 20 passengers. The bell 412 is basically a mid-size aircraft. The aviation industry has attained a huge
growth over the period and numerous players are springing up in the industry with stronger focus on infrastructural development. Before Caverton commenced operation in 2008, there were limited facilities on ground. But now there are many and there is more push for more infrastructural development. The strong desire to match global practice has led to significant growth. Makanjuola explained: â€œFor instance, when we started no one gave us the opportunity to break into the oil and gas space, the major players then were Bristow Helicopters and Aero contractors and the major oil players, Shell and Chevron, were serviced by foreign firms. â€œThere was no opportunity for any local player. Today, that story has changed, Caverton now services both Shell and Chevron. â€œMore so, the past years witnessed only few companies tendering bids for oil and gas sector, but today it is a different ball game, because many other indigenous companies such as Oas, Nestoil and others have developed and are bidding for different services in the aviation space. â€œThe aviation sector has now expanded and people are open to investing in infrastructure as opposed to just being agents for foreign entities.â€? Clearly, building capacity and infrastructure development are the key to compete favourably in the aviation sector, which was why Caverton took a giant leap to become the first indigenous firm to build helipads and hangers. The company has clearly taken the lead in infrastructural development, thus serving as a benchmark in the local content drive for enormous capacity building. They have submitted themselves to a higher level of scrutiny to be at par or even surpass their competition. They have pushed boundaries to enable and empower them to control
the market. Makanjuola further stated: â€œWith the Chervron contract, we donâ€™t have any technical partners, it is 100% Caverton contract. We intend to keep it that way. Hence, the Engineers, Pilots, are on our employ are mainly Nigerians. â€œThis is something we take pride in and it should be encouraged. The feedback we get from our manufacturers and partners further inform our decision to consolidate our services as companies are more inclined to work with you who have a full setup.â€? He added: â€œWhen you consider the â€˜Nigerian factorâ€™ with an appetite for foreign goods and services, it is surprising how one can break even. First we have to give God the glory for such a feat. â€œThe board, including the chairman who had the foresight, has been very outstanding and supportive. Though they were apprehensive at first, they had to buy into it, and the success is to be able to control such projects. â€œOtherwise we would have resorted to partnering with a foreign firm to provide support services while we fold our arms and watch which wonâ€™t help us grow as an entity, nor a state.â€? With an invisible path on the back, Makanjuola also stated that â€œGlobally, we stay very relevant.â€? But like with every project of this size, one major challenge in the industry is financing. Yes they might be lucky enough to attract foreign financing but will most likely be faced with double digit interest which, in itself, can kill any business. Financing a business like this is highly capital intensive as they are a dollar denominated entity and as such can get very dicey when raising funds. In light of this, Cavertonâ€™s concern about service delivery surpasses the challenges. They are more focused on the possibilities and this has propelled their drive to move against the tide to attain their level of successes.
Another major challenge they face is also security which is majorly a FAAN controlled sector. Issues such as cattle on the runway that could stall an airline for over 15 minutes, or people breaking into baggage hole or luggage area are also concern. They have had to handle such issues decisively so it doesnâ€™t result in a major catastrophe. Caverton are also currently building the largest commercial Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre (MRO) in Nigeria, the first of its kind. This would cater for the fixed and rotary wing and is expected to be ready by 2019. It will cater for both helicopters and fixed wings and will be run by local and foreign employers. Makanjuola reiterated that â€œThe local content has helped the industry. Bank of Industry, some commercial banks, and also government support, has helped to encourage the industry especially if you have the right structure in place. â€œBeyond that, itâ€™s really about us helping each other locally in terms of development. For instance, you donâ€™t say local content and have expatriates all working for you - yes there is a competent level and training that has to be maintained â€“ but promoting local content requires that you give back your bit to promote the policy that has enabled you. â€œThat is why we have one of the highest number of trained indigenous pilots and engineers go through our system till date. I will be surprised if any organisation has the same level of composition of people as we do. â€œOver 70% of our pilots are Nigerians. We have both male and female pilots. And everyone undergoes the same level of training to be fully qualified as a pilot. Our safety record speaks for us on our competenceâ€?. Makanjuola concluded that Caverton intends to re-invest in opportunities both in the oil and non-oil sectors. The ultimate aim of the firm is to be the benchmark of indigenous offshore logistics service providers in Nigeria.
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T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
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WEEKEND Acting Features Editor: Charles Ajunwa Email: email@example.com
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DISSECTING OGBENI MO, THE GOAL DIGGER
Dissecting Ogbeni Mo, the Goal Digger Moses Akerele, better known as ‘Ogbeni Mo’, is what you would call a sensational exemplar in the entertainment industry. The vibes and aura he exhumes while hosting the red carpet vibes on YAW TV, can be classified as phenomenal by entertainment lovers and socialites. In this interview with Sunday Ehigiator, he shed light on his route to stardom, among other issues Who is Moses Akerele? I’m just some random boy, just one small boy, I love art a lot, I’m this very compassionate person in terms of relating with people, doing the kind of things I love to do. I’m vast. Basically, I’m a goal digger. I like to call myself a goal digger, because all my life, since I realised that, okay, there is something called hustle, since I realised that I needed to live for myself, and not depend on my parents for anything, I have always been on the move, I have dreams and I believe in achieving them. So basically, I’m a goal digger, vast, creative, and spontaneous. How was it like growing up? I grew up with my grandparents, and my sister in the village. My dad was a very busy type person, and at some point we needed to move down with my mum to my granny’s place, to give dad the room to travel the whole world and do everything. And I basically grew up indoors. I barely went out. I didn’t really play with kids. When I go to school, that was the only room I had to play with kids, so once I come back, I am back indoors. I can only watch other kids playing from the window. So growing up was just me inside the house, playing with my toys, and my sister, watching TV, and trying to explore anything that comes to my mind. What are your passions? Drawing from what I said earlier, my passion is basically art. Art drives me a whole lot, it really does. It burns inside of me, I feel like it’s a part of my life. Primarily, I write, I present, I act, I produce as well. Those are the primary things I do. But there are other things that boil inside of me. But for these things, I have passion for. I started to realise them as I grow up, though at a very early age. I think I started out with writing, before presenting, before acting, but I always knew I wanted to do all of these things. I just always waited for the right time. I wanted to start to unearth them, time after time. I wanted to horn all of these skills and then unearth them time after time, I don’t want to rush. I never wanted to rush. So I wanted to always take it step after step, till I get to where I want to be. So my passion basically is art. What was it like while in school? Were you able to exploit your passion? I graduated from the University of Benin, I studied Mass Communication. During my internship, I interned with Silverbird Rhythm FM in Benin and I got retained there, and was co-hosting a radio show and another one on TV. I was doing other things on the background but majorly, I was co-hosting a show on radio and TV. I came back to school and I became one of the pioneers of UNIBEN FM, I was a producer and a presenter there as well before I started Campus-Prodigy which is my own production. So in school, I was working and schooling, I wasn’t exactly the person you will see in school and you will say, okay, I am this bookworm or I am this person who takes school too seriously, because I was just being me. Many people might have seen me as this very unserious person, but the truth was, I knew what I wanted to do, I knew what was driving me, I knew what my passion was, I knew I needed the theory aspect of it but I was working even before I got into school. I knew you were working with YAW, what was the experience like and how did you get involved with YAW in the first place? I still work with YAW. Working with YAW, Steve Onu, he is a very incredible man. He is vast, talented, and I see a me, when I look at him. I see what I want to be when I look at him. When I was in school, I would send him messages via social media. I’m like “boss,
there is something that I am working on, I don’t mind if you want to look through it and tell me what you think” or “I am looking at coming to Lagos to do this and do that.” And that was random, he probably didn’t know who was talking and he would just reply me “ok, drop at the office, let’s talk about it” and I’ll be like “oh! Sorry, I’m not in Lagos but whenever I am in Lagos, I’ll come and see you.” And I bet, till today or tomorrow, he might not even know that we ever had that kind of conversation. But I do. And after I got out of school, before my service year, I heard of an audition somewhere, and I went for it. The name wasn’t YAW Naija Entertainment, it was a random name. And then, I just put in for it. I got an invite to come for the auditioning, and I said okay fine, then I took a shot at it. But then I realised it was his firm, I wasn’t even sure if it was his firm or if he was just standing in for the person, I wasn’t sure what was going on but I know I saw him, and then I presented my CV, to him he felt like it was a brilliant one, and seeing the places I have worked before, then the experiences I have had even while in school and all that. They put me to test, I auditioned, I did like four things, and then I got a call back when I saw him next at an event. He was like “have you gotten a mail from my office?” I said no. then he said “okay come on Monday, and then we would discuss. That was it, that was how I got the job. How many red carpets have you hosted or co-hosted for YAW, and which of them is the most memorable to you? Okay, I’ll let you know that working with YAW Naija TV, aside from being a producer and all, I was a presenter, and one of my main programmes was ‘The Red Carpet Vibes’. If I try to count now, trust me, I’ll lost count. It should be close to a hundred or more, in and out of Lagos. I mean, I have met different people on the red carpet, I have been treated right on the red carpet, I have been treated wrong on the red carpet, I have been
embarrassed, I have been shunned, I have been appreciated, so it’s just a whole lot of mixed feeling trust me. I might not be able to pinpoint one moment, but trust me, every moment I have been on the red carpet, either for the TV station I work for, or personally where somebody has hired me, it has been fun, all around Nigeria, it’s been fun. Aside red carpets hosting, what other area do you function? Aside all of the things I do, I am also an event host, M/C, hype man, I hype for shows, I also M/C weddings, corporate dinners, and everything. I don’t restrict myself. I really don’t like to restrict myself when it comes to what I do. So tomorrow you might see me with a bandanna on my hair, being a hype man for a club or a concert, and the next day I am in my corporate suit and tie for a corporate event or for a dinner, or I am in my agbada being a wedding M/C. I just want to be as vast as that. I want to taste every water there is in my field. So I don’t choose what event. Call me, if it works for me, I am there. Aside YAW, do you have any role model you look up to. Also considering the fact that some segment of the public feels they see Denrele Edun in you, from your style of dressing, hair style, stature, and especially your vibes on red carpets? Oh! Yes, I have heard that before, I have even heard I sound like a lot of people, but yes I have always heard that I sound like Denrele, or I have this kind of Denrele aura and stuff. I have not seen it, yes, I haven’t. I am not watching myself, I barely ever watch myself, so I don’t know where the vibes come from. But then, he is friend and senior colleague. He’s been one of these people who has always been there giving me advise and all, but if he has any influence on me, I think it would be having a free mind to do what you want to do in your own way. About role models, I have always asked myself that what is it I am looking for if
I want to have a role model or a mentor. And I have never been able to answer it. But I know there are a lot of people who I admire. Okay, we have mentioned YAW. I like YAW for his versatility, I mean, he is a writer, he is an actor, he is a presenter, he is so many things that have to do with art and he is pretty much good at all of them. So I actually respect and admire him for that. Denrele too, I respect him for his originality. I like Frank Edowo. I think the man sounds very fantastic. In the acting industry, I really do love RMD, I love Olu Jacobs, and I love Ramsey Nouah, for longevity. The fact that they have been there and they are still there and they still know how to do these things, I mean they were not shoved away by the new bees, I love them for that and the fact that they know their craft. News about you being part of the main characters viewers should be anticipating to hit their big screen come 6th of March this year in MTV SHUGA season 6, broke out last year. How did you land this massive deal? I have always believed I am a product of God’s grace. That doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. Like the popular saying, heaven helps those who help themselves. I am a very shy person. People don’t know but yeah I am a very shy person. It’s hard to relate it but I am a very shy person. But for SHUGA, I didn’t see it coming. Honestly. All my life, I have been auditioning myself for different roles. I can just stay in my room and imagine a character in my head and act it. So, at some point I saw that an international TV series was coming to Nigeria; Smart-Media had posted on their Instagram. But as at the time I saw it, it was late. So I sent a mail, asking if it was possible for me to still come for audition, but I didn’t get any response. But luckily for me, I saw that they were having a hangout in their office, and I realise their office was just by my office, just few streets away. So I decided that after work, I will just close and go there. Then I tried to look for the street, it rained, and I was just walking through the
rain, trying to get to where this place was. So I got there, I met a lot of people there, playing games, drinking, having fun, eating, and I tried to join them (unlike the shy me though). I tried to mingle with them, I kept staring. Then I looked for somebody that worked there and I asked to see the boss. I knew the boss, I knew his name, we have never met, but I knew his name, so I acted like I knew him and asked? “Is Mr. Emma around?”, and he said, yes, and I said “can you please tell him that I want to see him?” they asked for my name and I told them. Okay, this was around 8p.m., and when he was ready to see me, I went in and I tried to talk, but there was fear. I wasn’t exactly sure of what I wanted to say. I mumbled a couple of things, I think I told him, yes, I am a presenter, that wants to practice an act that is inside of me, then I saw that there was an audition, but then since it’s past, I don’t know if I can just be closer to the firm, and then try to grow my skills as an actor, while I wait for opportunities to come, and he was like, “young man, what exactly do you want?”. And I said “I want to start acting, and I am just hoping since you people here produce movies, I can be closer to the firm and when they have auditions I can come for it.” He said “okay, do you want to audition now? I said “yes”. And he said “okay, fine”, then he called the guy in-charge of the studio to ask if the lights were still up and the cameras. And he said no. And he said, “okay, try and see if you can put back the light.” The guy went for like 30 minutes and came back to say no, they have packed everything. He said okay, that I should just wait. Then he went around asking for a particular script in the studio, which he got and he gave it to me, that I should go through the script and try to have the lines in my head. I said okay; but trust me, all through this part, I was jittery, I was praying to my God not to fumble. When he returned and said am I ready? Which I responded yes, we went into the studio with his camera phone, and he told me the spot to stay, and he literarily held his camera phone himself and told me to audition. I was worried, I was jittery. He told me to do a monologue for myself, I didn’t have any monologue planned, I write poems, so it was easy to just bring out something in my head and just act it. He said “okay, fine, do something from the script.” Then I did. I was worried that this man is holding a phone; he was tired obviously, because he kept on changing his hand. So I was worried like okay, this man is tired; I hope I can do this? But I did. And they asked me to give them my e-mail and some other details, which I did. I still stayed for the hangout afterwards. And then, after two days, I got a mail, to come for another screening. This time I went, it was a proper screening with cameras and every gadget needed. Honestly, I’ll tell you, I did not feel like I impressed him. He didn’t even look impressed. He gave me some tips to leave with. I wanted to ask him, can I try it again, but I was scared. I wasn’t comfortable with what I did, but I couldn’t ask. So I left. And after a while, I got a call to come to see the director. I went. I met a lot of other people there. This time around the director was supposed to test us. With the other people there, we read. I was jittery because I have another event which I needed to attend, but I have to be here and do this. I did my part then left. I had given up after a long while, and then I got a call to come and see the producer. So I went there, I saw people trying to read their scripts, and get familiarised with it. They were there for auditions I went in later, and saw the producer. And he went by saying okay, “we are considering you for a role in SHUGA”. I was almost happy, but then he said “considering”, I mean; it can change. After a few discussions, he gave me that big handshake and said “welcome to SHUGA”. Honestly, I was elated, I was super prompt inside of me, but I just tried to keep calm. I said okay, and he just said I should go to the receptionist and get my contract. I think, I flew home in excitement afterwards.
I mean, I started hustling at a very young age; I was 17 years old when I got my first job. I am still very keen about people like that. I wanted the platform to be something that they would love more to be a part of, so I am starting to shoot Campus Prodigy season two, in a few months’ time, we would start to air it. So that’s like the major work in the background. What is your billion dollar dream, say in five years from now? Well, five years from now, you see, when I do the things I do and I get messages from people saying I inspired them, commending my efforts and all, it makes me want to do more. So, I want to do more than I am doing right now. As much as I would always be a presenter, I want to be a presenter on a bigger scale. I want to horn my skills more. I want to be better than I have been, I want to be better than I would be for the rest of this year. So in five years time, I want to be that household name that is a force to reckon with. Not just for me, but for many people who are looking up to me, who have dreams like me, to know that it can only be better.
Akerele...fondly called Ogbeni Mo by admirers
On a lighter note, how do you cool off? The truth is, I barely never relaxed, because I am always working. But if I have to relax, like I said before, I would be in my house. Honestly, I would probably be watching TV or cooking, because I like to cook a lot. Or go out to see movies. Recently, my friends dragged me out to the beach. So, I think I might learn that culture because, that place is just peaceful. So maybe that’s a way to unwind. What is your relationship status? I’ll just like to keep that off for now. So how old is Moses? I am 24 years old. Akerele With Ramsey Nouah
Akerele with legendary Nigerian singer, Daddy Showkey
Akerele with an international actor and comedian MCP
What role would you be playing in SHUGA, and what are we to expect from the character? I will be playing Khalil. Expect to see a young and passionate hustler. Who is creative, considerate, relentless, a fighter, but what is most inspiring about Khalil is how much he knows how to put everything in check, and how much he can be a hustler. He is a serial hustler. That is what I keep telling people. So expect a serial hustler.
When would MTV-SHUGA hit the screen? From 6th of March 2018, it would be televised. I have known you since the days of Campus Prodigy; you always know how to take the world by surprise. Are there other projects going on in the background, which we should
likewise be anticipating? (Laughs) I have learnt to always boil my yams quietly. Having said that, there are a whole lot of other projects, but one that is very close to my heart and it’s closer now, is Campus Prodigy, the second season. Yes, I took time to grow, to understand more. I wanted the show to grow as well. I am passionate about young people who are artistic.
So, what is your advice to young talents out there who nurture this dream of someday being where you are presently or maybe surpassing you? You see this thing pains me a whole lot when I see young people who ought to be doing a lot of stuffs for themselves, but are awaiting somebody, or a messiah to come. The truth is, you are all you have got. All you’ve got is you and your craft. You don’t have to rush, if you leave a good impression on people, they will remember you. So, it is not until you think, you have to jump around and look for celebrity or that celebrity before you can make it. Many people will tell me, “Oga, I want be like you”. And I ask them sometimes, do you want to be like the me you see on the screen or social media, or do you want to know my story? To know how I became the me you admire? Because it took a whole lot, hunger, pains, hard work, sleepless nights that I still go through even till date. But the part that many young people see is the glamour. So my major advice to young people is, forget the glamour, and think about the hard work you can put through, you can put in to get to where you want to be. Whatever talents you think you have, don’t wait till somebody polishes it for you, do as much as you can do, it would get you to where you need to be someday. The more we think about the fact that we need a messiah to help us get to where we want to get to, the more we think wrong. Because even these messiahs, they want to know that there is something you have to offer. Personally, if you have nothing to offer, I don’t have anything to do with you, I don’t have anything to do for you. If I am going to introduce you to somebody, there is something you must have done with your talent. If you can sew cloth, be sewing it. If you can make shoes be making it. If you can write, be writing, put it out there. Like, my poem got adapted into a movie not because I was pursuing a producer. She saw what I could write, she saw my posts on Instagram and then, we got talking about it. And then she said, “I want to make one of your stories into a movie.” That was a start for me, I was putting something out there for people to see, and you need to do something. So it starts from doing something. Young people have to understand that you have to put an effort, don’t just wait. And then, you are not entitled to the fact that somebody must help you. No, work hard. The basic thing is to work hard. Pray and work hard. With God on your side, everything would fall in place.
Microsoft, Tech4dev Graduate over 400 Women Coders Mary Ekah In a bid to bridge the gender divide in the tech ecosystem in Nigeria and to empower women to be self-dependent and become leaders in tech, Tech4dev, with Microsoft’s backing, has successfully trained over 400 women coders from the Nigerian Women Techsters’ first cohort of training. Tech4dev is a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to create proactive and reactive technological solutions to help solve the world's greatest problems, with primary focus on education, public health and civic engagement while the Nigerian Women Techsters (NWT), is an initiative that is aimed at helping young women between the ages of 18-40 get the training and support needed to acquire coding skills. Training in the first cohort began on November 11 in Ondo State and subsequently in Ekiti and Oyo States. The women were trained in the three training tracks of Web and Mobile Applications Development, Embedded Systems and Games Development as well as an online business training module. The training which lasted 12 weeks has seen to the birth of over 400 women coders. On Saturday, March 3, 2018, to mark the International Women’s Day themed #PressforProgress and #MakeWhatsNext, the women, who had undergone training under the Nigerian Women Techsters Initiative were graduated at the Curator’s Hub. This event, powered by Microsoft, featured Keynote addresses from Kitan Aboluwarin, Project Lead, SeedDev and
L-R: Education Programs Manager, Tech4Dev, Peace Odili, Most Committed Participant in Ekiti State, Adaeze Timilehin, Most Committed participant, Ondo State, Ngozi Aduloju, Nigerian Women Techsters (NWT) Advisory Board member, Dr. Ronke Thompson, and Communications Lead, Tech4dev, Laide Ajanaku, at the closing ceremony of the Microsoft YouthSpark programme held at the Curators Hub, Akure, Ondo State
Dr. Ronke Thompson, Member, NWT Advisory Board and Lecturer, Computer Science Department, Federal University of Technology, Akure. Both speakers stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment for women to thrive in the tech ecosystem. While Aboluwarin admonished the participants to never get too comfortable but to constantly seek knowledge, Thompson encouraged beneficiaries of the programme to think themselves activists for other women henceforth by pressing for improved conditions and access to development training. Olusola Amusan, Philanthropy Lead at Microsoft Nigeria reiterated that Microsoft believes that empowering women in STEM
fields drives economic growth, equality and innovation. Speaking on her experience as a participant, Ngozi Aduloju, 40-year-old mother of four said “For me, the Games Development class has not only impacted my life but has set a lot of things in motion for my future and that of my generation. I have a 13-year-old son who picked up interest in my classes; we became a team; studying and watching online tutorials together. I now have an understanding of what it takes to make a game and have become more appreciative of what it takes to conceptualise a game that can actually keep me interested.
Rotary Restores Sight to 1500 Patients in Lagos Mary Ekah Rotary Club of Lagos Palm Grove Estate, Nigeria, (Rotary District 9110) recently collaborated with various organisations such as Indo Eye Care Foundation; Rotary International, Rotary Club of Charlotte Hill, USA (Rotary Dist.7620), Rotary Club of Bangalore Sadashivanagar, India (Rotary Dist.3190), the Indian community in Nigeria and the Ministry of Health, Lagos State to restore back sights to over 1500 patients including an eight-month-old baby during its Mission for Vision 2017-18 carried out at the General Hospital, Lagos. The Mission for Vision 2017-18 is planned to conduct 1400 free cataract operations for those suffering from preventable blindness and lack the financial recourses to finance the surgery. Till the 2nd of March, the mission had completed 1100 surgeries. The list includes disabled persons, senior citizens as well as well over 25 children, including eight months old baby boy, Brainard, who was among the patients that were successfully operated under different categories of free eye surgery sponsored by the various organisations collaborating in the project. In its 10th year, the programme is spear headed by the Rotary Club of Lagos Palm Grove Estate Lagos. In an effort to broad base
L-R: President, Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, Atul Kshetry: APC Chieftain, Omoba Olumuyiwa Sosanya: eight-month old baby Brainard, one of the eye surgery beneﬁciaries with the mother, Mrs. Helen Popoola; Senator Gbenga Ashafa: and Rotary District Governor, Dr. Wale Ogunbadejo during the exercise SUNDAY ADIGUN
the programme and make it more inclusive, the club invited all Rotary Clubs in Rotary district 9110 to conduct eye screening camps, during which 22 clubs responded and shortlisted about 2300 persons that required cataract surgery and after conducting all necessary pre-surgery examinations, the team of surgeons shortlisted the patients to be operated upon. This pre-surgery examination was conducted at the specialty eye hospital being built by the Indo Eye Care Foundation along International Airport Road, Lagos. While the surgeries are
being conducted at the Lagos State General Hospital, Marina, Lagos. The Rotary Club of Lagos Palm Grove Estate is one of Nigeria’s premier institutions dedicated to serving humanity. Beside the Mission for Vision, the club also does various other activities. Partnering with the Hindu Mandir Foundation and the Indian Community, the clubs supports artificial limb centre that provides free artificial limbs to the financially challenged and the physically handicapped.
First African Children’s TV Channel, Mango TV, for Launch Mary Ekah A new TV station, Mango TV, which focuses on children friendly content from an African narrative point of view will be launched soon. Owned by Mango Media, Mango TV will be the first dedicated Children’s Television Channel on the African continent with its programming aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 16. The new TV station will see the emergence of a carefully created African Children’s TV Channel that will not only entertain African children, but also educate the African child using examples, characters and stories that they can relate to. This according to its management is necessary due to the vital need that the African Child is exposed to ‘Afro-Centric’ programmes, which entertain and educate,
First African Children’s TV Channel, Mango TV
the result of which will manifest in a more informed, educated, open-minded, confident and empowered adult. Hence, Mango TV content will be made primarily in Nigeria, thus employing young presenters and actors, while creating much needed work for professionals within the various disciplines of the Nigerian Creative Industries while it also invest in Nigerian and African Culture.
Mango Television and Production Company Limited is a special purpose vehicle founded by highly experienced business, media management, production and marketing experts. The company directors are Francis Ogboro, Biola Alabi, Ali Safieddine, Hadi Safieddine and Carl Raccah. The administrative arm of the company will launch out of Nigeria from a management and content creation standpoint, which will be known as Mango Media, while the channel will be known as Mango TV. Its programming is broad and includes stories, quiz shows, African tales, cooking shows, Agony Aunt Discussions, culture and science documentaries, music and much more with a mission is to educate, entertain and empower African children while promoting African culture, religious tolerance, gender equality and geographical acceptance.
A Night With Aisha Buhari The Nigerian champion of education, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, wife of the President, will be hosted by Blaugrana International Group and National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) today at a high octane night event, where UNICEF will also present to her a special commendation award for her strong commitment to Aisha Buhari. advance children’s rights in Nigeria. Also, there will be fund raising for quality education and for the betterment of women and the children from poor background in the society. The event which will take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, is expected to be graced by those in the corporate and political spheres. In a pre-event media chat in Lagos, Chairman, Blaugrana Group International, Mr. Leslie Oghomienor, reiterated that eminent Nigerians expected at the event include the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as Special Guest of Honour; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as the Royal Father of the Day; and Her Excellency, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the Senate President, as the Chairperson to mention but a few.
Pepsodent Kicks off World Oral Health Day celebration In demonstration of its social mission to promote oral hygiene among Nigerians, Unilever Nigeria Plc., the makers of the leading toothpaste brand, Pepsodent, kicked off the celebration of the 2018 World Oral Health Day (WOHD) with a press conference held last Friday in Lagos. In partnership with the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Unilever officially announced its plans to address oral health issues, especially tooth decay, which is the most widespread disease in the world, and affects both children and adults. Speaking on the activities for the year themed ‘Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health’, the marketing director, Unilever Ghana Nigeria, Bunmi Adeniba said, “This year, we will be focusing on creating awareness on tooth decay, currently the most widespread, chronic disease in the world, that affects 3 out of 5 children, and almost all adults.” “From inception till date, Pepsodent has reached a total of 3.5 million children with its Brush Day and Night Schools Programme. In 2018, we intend to directly reach 1.5 million school children with our products and educational materials. This year we’ll also be enlisting Nigerian youths as oral health advocates, who will take the message of good oral health to their communities. Our vision and commitment is to improve the oral health of 10 million Nigerian children by 2020 through the Pepsodent Brush Day and Night Schools Programme,” she noted.
More Women Call for Transparency at Workplace As part of its activities to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD), marked on Thursday, 8 March 2018, PwC surveyed over 3,600 professional women (aged 28-40) to find out about their career development experiences and aspirations. The survey, which included respondents from employers across 27 industry sectors and from over 60 countries worldwide, revealed that even though women are confident, ambitious and ready for what’s next, many of them don’t trust what their employers are telling them about career development and promotion; or what helps or hurts their career. The report revealed further that although CEOs recognise the importance of being transparent about their diversity and inclusion programmes to build trust, the message isn’t universal and strong enough. 58 per cent of women identified greater transparency as the critical step employers can take while about 45 per cent of women believe an employee's diversity status (gender, ethnicity, age, and sexual preference) can be a barrier to career progression in their organisation. To improve career development opportunities, therefore, more women identified greater transparency (58 per cent) as the critical step employers can take, which means offering staff a clear understanding of the expectations on both sides of the employment equation, including information about career progression and success, and open conversations with employees on where they stand and what is expected of them to advance.
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Orji: FG Should Take over Abia State Polytechnic, College of Education in Arochukwu Theodore Orji, a former Abia State governor, is the Senator representing Abia Central at the Senate. In this interview with Solomon Elusoji, he discusses his time at the hallowed chambers and his love for empowerment
What is the difference between being a Senator and being a governor? These are two different scenarios and templates. When you are a governor, you are in charge, at the apex. You give directives and the buck stops at your table. You take decisions that affect all the people in your state. But in the Senate, it is not like that. The Senate is structured in a way that encourages rank: the older you are in the Senate, the more prominent you are and the more respect you garner. Also as governor, you are in charge of state resources; you know its resources and its demands, but in the Senate you cannot do that except you are in a committee that you can influence. But in such a short time, you already wield considerable influence in the Senate. You are, for example, deputy chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. How did you achieve this? It’s all God’s doing and hard work. In the Senate, influence also comes with passing bills and raising motions, motions and bills that are people-oriented. The best of my bills that I am happy with, which is currently awaiting the President’s assent, is Food Security Bill. There is nobody who doesn’t eat. Even animals eat. So, I feel that the way to touch the lives of everybody, not just my constituents, is by passing people-oriented bills, not controversial bills. The last one I raised relates to the lack of security at the rail stations. I called on the federal government to deploy security officials and personnel to the railway stations. Can you shed some light on your last two bills which call on the federal government to take over some tertiary institutions in Abia? What generated it was a report presented by one of my colleagues in the Senate. There, it was said that the federal government made it as a directive that each state of the federation must have a federal university, polytechnic and college of education. And we don’t have that in Abia. So when that bill came and people were contributing, I said that we don’t even want new ones, just take over the ones we have so that the governor can have a breathing space. As a governor, I experienced the fact that the state cannot conveniently fund the college of education and polytechnic, and Abia State University, with our lean resources. So
if the federal government comes to take over these institutions, the governor will have a breathing space. After thinking it through, I decided to raise it as a bill which will send it on its way to become a law. So what I did was to raise the bill of the College of Education in Arochukwu. The structure is there. Then I raised the bill for the federal government to take over the Abia State Polytechnic. If not, it might reach a stage where it will be difficult for the state government to carry the burden. You are involved in several empowerment programmes. A prominent one is the education scholarship scheme which has run for more than three years now. Why has it been so successful? The secret is that I have maintained the tempo and people are seeing the impact. It is such that if 10,000 people apply for the scholarship this year, next year you will see 20,000 people applying. So the tempo has risen. I have awakened the consciousness of our people to the importance of education and they are happy about it. So with this scholarship, some of them have hope, that that is what will pilot them in the next academic session. And you also need to take into consideration the system through which we disburse the scholarship. We have a committee designed specifically for this purpose and after they are done with the selections, which are done in collaboration with community heads, they bring it to me to give the final verdict and I do that. They explain to me, one after the other, how they arrived at the names. Once I am satisfied, I endorse it. And then we have a straight-forward system where everyone receives their cheque and go cash it at the bank. Are you planning on exporting this model? Of course. Anyone who wants to take this template is free to come and copy. In fact, the last one we did, the governor was here and he so admired it and saw the transparency and said that he will take it and apply it to the state scholarship scheme. That’s a clear example that we are doing good. Is there a continuous engagement with the scholarship recipients?
Yes, we do have lectures. We also have empowerment programmes, where they are involved. They are willing to be involved in any programme that we organise because they trust our process. Since your tenure as governor, Abia State has regularly come first in national examinations. What did you do to achieve this? Apart from the fact that we have intelligent people in Abia, there was a need to fortify the structure to maintain it. If you don’t feed them and encourage them, the standard will fall. So we did that; right from primary to secondary school, we have free education. Then at the tertiary level, we try to pay for Law and Medical students. And we charge them that what they owe us is to come first in their exams; that’s the happiness we derive. It will encourage me. So Abia State’s excellence in National Examinations like WAEC is as a result of the foundation that I laid as governor. I had a lot of trophies that those boys and girls in the secondary school and university won when they go for competitions outside. They came home with laurels and I encouraged them. How do we encourage this trend across the country? First, we have to make it known. I remember when I was governor and started youth empowerment programmes, when I will buy cars and give to people for free; it impacted on a lot of people after it was publicised. One of my friends, a governor, left his state and came to Abia to collect the template and I gave it to him. The same thing is happening with this scholarship scheme. One of my friends has come to me and confessed he liked it and wants to start his own, if even on a smaller scale. I encouraged him. So the thing is spreading gradually. You place premium value on education. What is the philosophical drive? There is a saying that says, ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. There is another that says ‘the ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr’. And another says ‘if we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with children’s education’. I can also not forget this one that says ‘education is the
best preparation for the journey to old age’ said by Aristotle. Also this one, according to Alexander the Great: ‘I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well’. It is based on these superior arguments and postulations that I have resolved to contribute, in my little way, to the advance the cause of education. There is no doubt that education is the bedrock of all human endeavours. Take for instance what the GSM has offered to the world. Not too long ago, letter writing was a great art, the radio was a wonder and the TV, when it came to Nigeria the first time with Chief Awo’s WNBC in Western Nigeria, was a modern day miracle. Beyond gadgetry, our health and aviation world have been greatly enhanced through education, some highly infectious and incurable diseases of the past are now curable, look at laser in medicine, using radar for surgery without wasting a drop of blood. All these are possible through science and technology through education. I will urge all my friends and every family to invest in education. During your campaign, you promised the people of Abia Central effective representation. How far have you gone with this? I have done that very effectively. Within this period that I came home, I gave to each of the six local government I represent 100 bags of rice, because I know that most of them will not be able to have funds to buy. Right now, my wife is running a medical outreach where we have assembled a lot of medical specialists, attending to people, giving them free medicine and glasses and conducting eye surgery all for free. These are some of the things that we are doing to help our people so that they can live longer. The essence of governance is to impact on the people, to help them. And this is what I have been doing since I came home in December. What is the feeling you derive from continually empowering people? It is good to do good, and you derive joy in this type of thing. When you use your position to enhance the capacity of others who are less-privileged; when you use your position to make those who are under you happy, you also feel very happy, and that is how I feel. When my constituents rejoice, I rejoice, when they cry, I cry.
Lagos Lawmakers Visit Finland Peace Obi The Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Mrs. Paula Risikko recently hosted a delegation from Lagos State House Assembly, at the Parliament of Finland in Helsinki. The delegation which was led by the Speaker, Lagos State House Assembly Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa was on a week-long study visit to Finland to learn about the Finnish education system. Explaining how the Finnish education works, the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament told the delegation that she was actually a teacher before her political career.
According to her, “well-educated teachers are the basis of a good quality education system.” She noted that contacts between the two countries in recent times had become more frequent, especially at Ministerial level, and that she hoped that the same would happen between Parliaments as well. The leader of the Nigerian delegation hinted that the visit was part of the Lagos State Government’s efforts at improving its education system, adding that they wanted to learn from the successes of Finland in creating one of the best education systems in the world.
Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Mrs. Paula Risikko recently hosted a delegation from Lagos State House Assembly, at the Parliament of Finland in Helsinki.
Software Company Led by Leading African Tech Entrepreneur to Host Website Development Masterclass Solomon Elusoji A leading software company in Lagos, iBez, is set to hold a maiden Website Development Masterclass. iBez specialises in building web and mobile software solutions and is led by leading African tech Entrepreneur, Ms. Ommo Clark. According to Clark, the essence of the Masterclass is to bridge the gap that exists among ICT practitioners and users of ICT tools and Software Technologies. “iBez has rolled out a series of Digital Skills/ Software Development Training Workshops as part of our commitment to bridge this skills gap and ensure that Nigerians are fully equipped and empowered with the relevant skills and tools to fully participate and become leaders in the digital age,” he said. Clark is a UK-trained software engineer with work experience at Lehman Brothers. She is the founder of several startups, including
Handy Jacks and Let’s Share. According to a press release from the company, the Masterclass is aimed at anyone interested in pursuing a career in website development and those already practicing as Web Developers but who want to boost and improve their skills and knowledge with hands-on international standard training, thereby bridging the skills gap associated with developing quality worldclass websites Emphasising the importance of websites in this digital era, Clark said: “A corporate website, online portal or ecommerce website is your virtual office, storefront or online salesperson. It is the first interaction a potential customer might have with your company. It also enables you sell your goods or services to a wider audience without physical interaction irrespective of distance or location, thus, one of the most important things you can do for your business is to own one.” She added. “It is not only important for
businesses and companies to have excellent websites that adequately represent their brands and function properly, it is also important that we have people that can produce international standard websites for these companies. Thus, the need to train website developers on the tool, techniques and best practices of developing quality websites cannot be over-emphasised.” The training will cover programming languages such as CSS, HTML, PHP and more, including hands-on training on various content management systems such as WordPress. Clark speaking to university students about software development
Bestman Games Launches a Different Kind of Monopoly Solomon Elusoji A leading African games company based in Lagos, Bestman Games, has launched a new edition of Hasbro’s iconic Monopoly Board game it has called the ‘City of Lagos’ Monopoly Electronic Banking game. The game is the modern spin on the classic Monopoly game; and this edition reflects changes in how the real world uses money: transactions are conducted with Monopoly’s new banking card system instead of cash. “As we inch closer towards a cashless economy,” a statement from the company said, “this educational board game shares the same philosophy: buy, trade, and win the electronic way. It exudes the same high-quality aesthetics and fun game play that will ensure that it is well received by generations of families.” At the launch, which was held in Lagos, Founder and CEO of Bestman Games and one of Nigeria’s best-known entrepreneurs, Nimi Akinkugbe gave a passionate address recounting Bestman Games creative and entrepreneurial journey, and the bold steps the company is undertaking to establish Financial Literacy Clubs in schools providing children and students with life skills that will steer them to financial security. CEO, Financial Derivatives Ltd, Mr. Bismark Rewane, who was also present at the launch, gave an excellent presentation on ‘Cashless Lagos: Making the Blind Spots Visible’, taking
L-R: Representative of the LSSC Executive Chairman, Mrs. Aregbesola Abina, Group Head of Corporate Banking at Zenith Bank, Mr. Akin Ogunranti, Mrs. Adwoa Edun, Founder and CEO of Bestman Games, Nimi Akinkugbe, Managing Consultant at the Daisy Management Centre, Mrs. Ibiai Ani, Chairman at Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, and Chairman, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr. Wale Edun, at the launch of ‘City of Lagos’ Monopoly electronic banking game
the audience on a journey from barter exchanges, through coins, bank notes, cheques, debit and cards, telephone and online banking, and cryptocurrencies. All over the world, the trend has been for governments and financial institutions
to pursue policies to reduce the volume of cash in the system. In some developed countries one can do almost entirely without the use of hard cash and electronic means of payments far outstrip cash transactions in much of the
industrialized world today. Other Nigerian business leaders, regulators, financial industry experts, and CEOs of partnering institutions at the launch include: Mrs. Abiola Aregbesola who represented the Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission; Dr. Kweku Tandoh, Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission; Arinola Kola-Daisi of LIRS; Seun Anibaba Lagos State Lottery; Polly Alakija, Chairman of Lagos State Council For Arts and Culture; Akin Ogunranti, GM/Group Head, Zenith Bank Plc; Bola Adesola, CEO Standard Chartered Bank; Mr. & Mrs. Kayode Akinkugbe; CEO FBN Merchant Bank; Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Chairman UBA Plc; Mr. and Mrs. Olawale Edun, Chapel-Hill Denham; Udo Okonjo, CEO of Fine and Country; Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti Variant Advisory; Laolu Mudasiru,Vetiva; Chukwuka Monye, Ciuci Consulting; Ayo Akinmade, Executive Chairman of Regus; BEZ Idakula; Sola Adepetun, Acas Law; Inyang Sami-Orungbe, Averti Consulting; Mazi Ukonu, Recycle Points; Bunmi Lawson, Managing Director/CEO Inclusive IQ; Chief Tokunbo Omisore, CEO Top Services Limited; Yetunde Williams, CEO Lagos Mums, Ifeoma Chukwukelo, Nestoil Group to mention but a few. “The City Of Lagos: Electronic Banking Edition of Monopoly” has been on sale in leading stores since March 1. Orders can also be made at www.bestmangames.com.
Celebrating Int’l World Book Day with Clever Clogs’ Collection Yinka Olatunbosun The effort at developing a good reading culture in children may be the best gift any parent can give a child on the forthcoming Children’s Day celebration. This is one of the highlights at the commemoration of the International World Book Day at a Lagos restaurant by Clever Clogs, a publishing company founded by Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi. This celebration was marked with the launch of three Nigerian-themed children’s picture books by Clever Clogs, namely Tobi Visits the Conservatory, Kob the Antelope, and Diary of A Toddler all published in 2017. In line with the publishing company’s vision to shape children’s
literature industry in Nigeria, these fictional works had been produced with very colourful and attractive illustrations, executed with high production quality. At the launch, the author, Talabi explained what makes this new collection unique and desirable. “Many of the readily available and best promoted children’s books are from a different continent. These books tell their own stories, interpret the world through their own eyes and promote their own values. I write my books to tell our own stories, develop our own narrative and give our children wholesome protagonists who look like them and or live in their kind of environment. I want these books to be bedtime
story favorites for children across the country.’’ The author has a strong root in publishing starting off at a family newspaper business. She has served on the board of Punch Nigeria Limited since 1994 and worked in an executive capacity for eight years as the Executive Director, Business Development and New Projects. Last year, she worked assiduously with talented artists to produce these children’s picture books. While Tobi Visits the Conservatory is the first in the series, the story in it is centred on a family’s budget sensitive visit to a Lagos tourist spot. Underneath the story for children is a potent lesson for parents to look inwards and tap into the tourism potentials of Lagos state to give their children an affordable holiday treat.
The second book in the series, Kob the Antelope is an expose of sorts for children to be aware of the potential dangers of being lured by a stranger and ignoring good parental advice. It’s a story of a young antelope, Kob who wanders away from home and was trapped by a devious hyena. Set in a West African Savanna, the story is recommended for children between ages 6 and 8. This book is indeed an asset to parents who are very concerned about the rising trend of child abuse and molestation. Finally, the third book in the collection, Diary of a Toddler, designed for children between ages 2 and 4 is a good piece that prepares a child for daily routines, good manners, personal hygiene and other wholesome activities for toddlers.
Ekpe Efik Society's Festering Crisis In the last one year, it has not been at ease at the Ekpe Efik Society because of the lingering crisis that has engulfed it. Ugo Aliogo reports
There has been a festering crisis in the ranks of the Ekpe Efik Society in Calabar, Cross River State. Ekpe can be described as the ancient traditional order and government that regulated the affairs of the people in the geographical area you have the Efiks, Quas and Efuts in pre-colonial era, now majorly found in present day Cross River State. The crux of the matter in the Ekpe Efik society crisis has been alleged recalcitrant attitude of a few members of the society who belong to one of the Efe Ekpe (Ekpe lodge), namely Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan. They reportedly undertook some actions and rites that were adjudged abominable and were accordingly fined and placed on sanctions. Their alleged misdeeds started when on November 26th, 2016, a full member of the Etubom’s traditional council and an obong ekpe of Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan (name withheld) died suddenly and in the aftermath of the burial wherein, full traditional rites were accorded the deceased before his interment, the now embattled Ekpe Efik society members of Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan, thought otherwise, questioning the full traditional rites accorded the deceased etubom, (again name withheld). In their opposition, they did not state nor disclose the alleged offence of the deceased. Rather one of them announced during one of the series of meetings held after the burial, saying that two Ekpe title holders, (names also withheld), have been stripped of their title. The decision was adjudged as unilateral and the two victims followed historical antecedent as was recorded in similar incidents in 1922 and 1953 and even in 2016. They appealed their case to Efe Ekpe Otu Mesembe – Efe Adiabo. Bearing in mind the gravity of the allegations contained in the appeal, Efe Adiabo wrote to Efe Iboku Utan informing them of the case and also wrote inviting all other Efe Ekpe from Efik, Qua and Efut to participate in the hearing which was held on January 14th, 2017. Seventeen Ekpe lodges and over 50 Mbong Ekpe (Ekpe Lords) from Efik, Qua and Efut showed up in the meeting. The Appellants also showed up but the Respondents from efe ekpe Iboku Utan did not show up but rather sent a letter stating that they were autonomous and no group had the right to sit in judgment over them among others. The Ekpe lords considered Iboku Utans letter to be an affront since they (Iboku Utan)
had fully participated in a similar tribunal at the same venue, less than a year before. They decided to write another invitation to Iboku Utan and postponed the hearing to January 28th, 2017. On the said date, Iboku Utan did not show up again or offer any excuse so the Ekpe Lords from different lodges sat together, deliberated on the content of the appeal before them and came to the following conclusions: That no Iyamba (head of Efe Ekpe) has the right to sit alone and strip fellow Ekpe lords of their titles, without first accusing them properly and giving them an opportunity to defend themselves. Noting that the Iyamba is the first among equals and not a principality unto himself. That no Iyamba has the right to deny a deceased member Passover rites, most especially where such a member has neither been formally accused of any infraction nor judged on the table and sanctioned while he was alive. That Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan is not the private property of Eyamba family or the Offiong Okoho line nor any individual. Rather that every efe ekpe is the property of a village or collection of family lines. That an efe ekpe Iboku Utan should not be made a cemetery. No other Efe in Efik, Qua or Efut carries out such a practice and when you juxtapose alleged secret burials inside Efe Iboku Utan with reported cases of incense and candle burning, and other paraphernalia of occult practice, than what is going on there is no longer Ekpe as Efik, Qua and Efut know it. That the current practice of ensuring that only Eyamba family hold and perform all important roles and rituals in Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan is wrong and condemnable. For all the wrongdoings and most importantly for being insulting and refusing to appear before all other ekpe lodges, efe ekpe Iboku Utan was fined three cows (one each for Efik, Qua and Efut) as well as other items, and they were given one month within which to pay the Ekpe fine. The efe ekpe Iboku Utan was also placed under combined, universal ekpe sanction, meaning that all other ekpe lodges and initiates shall not invite, visit, sit, play or interact with Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan or its outcast Mbong Ekpe, in any ekpe related matter until they comply with the sanctions and correct their ways. In defiant response to counter the decision taken on them, the outcast ekpe lords of efe ekpe Iboku Utan now issued their own fine
against the other ekpe lodges demanding for seven cows and seven goats and some money among other items while giving seven days for the payment of the fine. They followed up this action by defiantly announcing on the radio that they had stripped more of their ekpe lords (names withheld) of their titles. They did many other things in defiance and independently initiated many young men and gave titles to several new lords to make up for the members removed. They are also accused of promoting a current spin and an attempt to give a narrative to drag in the Obong of Calabar who, though a member of the Ekpe society, his office and Palace matters, are treated differently from Ekpe matters that are handled only in the respective Ekpe lodge or lodges. They did this by using one of the paraphernalia used for coronation of the Obong in a manner that reportedly upset a large cross section of Efiks who claimed it was a sacrilege and traditional death-wish against the Obong. In affirmation of the severity of the issue at hand, the Ekpe lords from various lodges met again in June 2017 and released an Ekpe masquerade which has not been seen in public for the last 100 years, along with a solemn 200-man procession to counter what Efe Iboku Utan had done and also make a traditional public announcement to ekpe members, dissociating the rest of Ekpe Efik from Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan, till further notice. The procession took place in Calabar and Creektown, the first ancestral settlement of the Efiks. Subsequently, Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan members have variously accused the other Ekpe lodges and Obong’s Palace, both verbally and on social media of “pouring of Mbiam” – a form of spiritual attack against them and conspiring to steal or kill Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan’s Ekpe. In July 2017, they wrote a petition to the police against the heads of some of the Ekpe lodges, who are members of Obong’s Palace, accusing them of conspiring to break into their shrine and causing them “spiritual attacks”. The other 17 lodges, on the other hand, have dismissed the accusations as childish and clear proof that the young men currently in charge at Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan are novices They also lament that all this is happening because the Iyamba of the Efe ekpe Iboku Utan who could have called them to order is over 94 years old, and is said to be frail and hardly seen in public. So far in the past one year, the Obong’s
Palace corroborated the decision of other 17 Ekpe lodges by announcing that all Efik Royal Families shall no longer invite some individuals from Efe Iboku Utan to take part in certain activities of the Palace until they show remorse and pay the various fines imposed on them. Within the period Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan has not been invited to any Ekpe gathering or function in Efik, Qua or Efut land by any of the other 17 lodges that took the decision to sanction them. Within the period also, individual Ekpe lord from Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan are not allowed to sit with other Ekpe lords in any Ekpe gathering. None of the Ekpe lords, newly given titles by efe ekpe Iboku Utan are recognised by Ekpe Efik, Efut and Qua and they cannot sit in any Ekpe gathering apart from those organised by Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan or they risk being seriously embarrassed. Also of note is the fact that Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan were not invited to the famous Nyoro Ekpe ceremony (where they had won a prize in 2016) which takes place annually in Botanical Garden, Calabar and attracts large numbers of ekpe lodges and skilled ekpe practitioners from other states and countries. However, going forward over the debacle, the Police was brought in as stated earlier and after their investigation, they noted their limitation in interference on traditional matters but admonished one party to respect tradition while advising both parties to be law abiding and keep the peace. Several well-meaning people and sociocultural organisations in Calabar have also tried to intervene in the crisis by appealing for forgiveness, show of remorse and perhaps a lowering of the fine imposed on Iboku Utan as a way forward. Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan, however, appears to be insisting that every ekpe lodge is autonomous and therefore no gathering of ekpe lodges has the right to sanction them or impose any fine on them. They have even threatened to go to court over the issue. On the other hand, the 17 lodges say Ekpe has regulated itself for over 600 years and the corrective sanctions and fine remain in place until Efe Ekpe Iboku Utan takes the proper traditional steps to realign themselves with Ekpe Efik or they shall remain on their own with no interaction with other ekpe lodges until further notice. One year after the crisis ensued, it seems the way forward is still very cloudy and the crisis still festering!
Rekindling Values with The Last Flight Yinka Olatunbosun The book, The Last Flight: A personal journey to rediscovering values, written by Dapo Akande is a motivational book that hinges on the author’s personal encounters and worldview. Filled with anecdotes and a wide range of quotes, it has been described by some reviewers as compelling work, emanating from a non-judgmental writer. Having spent 20 years in the UK, Akande returned to his home country to engage in a private business. He became more involved in character education advocacy which is really the focus in his book, The Last Flight. To start with, our contemporary society presents us with unique challenges of educating the younger generation on the benefits of values. In a corruption-filled society, the emphasis shifts from the pursuit of values to materialistic drive. But the author is one of the handful of Nigerians who is keenly interested in promoting the enduring values of manners, integrity, neighbourly love and discipline. This idea of his has metamorphosed
into the establishment of a non-governmental organisation named MINDS reform initiative. As suggested by the name of the NGO, the human mind is the seat of wisdom and decision-making or otherwise, depending largely on how the mind is trained. While many still rely on parents and guardians to take the responsibility of mind-building into their hands, it is instructive to learn that remarkable benefits come from reading exciting inspirational pieces such as The Last Flight which captures the author’s real-life experiences as well as insights drawn from great writers in history. People wonder if values such as those aforementioned are still practicable. The reality is that it is becoming harder by the day to practice neighbourly love, when all your neighbour desires is extreme privacy. Also, finding people with good manners is rare as many show good manners only when they are expecting some favour in return. A man ascends to a higher position at his office and no longer thinks it is necessary to greet his subordinates whenever he enters
the office. That’s a sign of poor manners. The author painted many scenarios wherein the values have played some pivotal roles. According to the author, neighbourly love encourages team spirit, while manners include good sportsmanship. Today, most people carry on with a huge sense of competition at work, at wheels, on the road and in general life. To cap this attitude, many cannot handle defeat. In The Last Flight, the author points out writers who have been outspoken on the strength of human character. It is generally believed that character is what will outlive us, not material wealth. He made copious references to back up his claim citing the example of the bible character, Paul while juxtaposing it with those of the Greek philosopher, Plato. Sometimes, the references seemed like interferences to the smooth flow of the author’s personal narratives. Perhaps, the author’s thought could have been better articulated without it looking like a compendium of quotes, still, The Last Flight is by no means short of the needed truths that only brave people care to talk about.
The Last Flight
Law Firm Commends Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business Reforms Solomon Elusoji A leading business services law firm in Nigeria, Prince Joel and Associates, has described the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ease of Business reforms as an indication of how favourable the Nigerian economy has become for business operations. The Law Firm expressed this opinion in a press statement released through its Business Consultant, George Onuma, in connection to a discourse event organised by the Association of Africans in Scotland in collaboration with the law firm. The discourse event was themed ‘Real Estate Investments and Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria: Challenges and Realties’ and it was held at Crammond Kirk Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland, last Saturday. Speaking at the event, Managing Partner at Prince Joel and Associates, Prince WilliamsJoel, applauded the prompt decision by the Nigerian Government to re-evaluate the ease of doing business policies. “Nigeria recorded progress in eight out of 10 topics appraised in Ease of Doing Business Index,” he said. “Accordingly, Nigeria is amongst the 10 most improved countries for the 2018 ranking. The most notable increases were made in the ease of company registration, getting credit, enforcing contracts and dealing with real estate and construction permits topics.” Williams-Joel also noted that the rising prominence of credit bureaus and the increased sophistication of the identity authentication system – SIM Card Registration, Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number (NIN) – contributed to Nigeria’s jump in this index. This reduced the risk associated with lending, boosting credit availability. Also contributing to this improvement, he said, was
L- R: Adesoji Yusuf, Protocol/Financial Secretary, Association of Africans in Scotland AAS; Nosa Odoko, PRO, AAS; Andrew Vhibi, Treasurer, AAS; Collins Ikhide, President,AAS; Prince O. Williams-Joel, Managing Partner, Prince Joel & Associates; Erhun Odoko, Welfare Secretary, AAS; Abayomi Odubanjo, Vice President, AAS; Daniel Evar-Moraro, Secretary, AAS; Ohis Ikhide, Assistant Secretary/GLC, AAS
the effective implementation of the goals laid out in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP). The move from traditional means of registering a company (with papers) has been replaced with online processes. New companies can confirm name availability, get all the information needed, and download and submit registration forms – all online.
Other notable changes are: introduction of the visa-on-arrival option, airport infrastructure development and the removal of baggage check post in the checking-in process just to mention but a few. The Ease of Doing Business is an index developed by the World Bank, that scores and ranks countries based on how easy it is to set
up and operate a business there. The focal point of the evaluation by the global apex bank is premised on the policies government put in place to guarantee business start-ups, a seamless process in getting permits, or licenses depending on the sector of investment. power, loan, land permit, payment of multiple taxes, bureaucratic bottle necks, among others.
Lagos to Pioneer End Slavery Now Campaign for Africa Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja Lagos has been selected as the pioneer African city to spur the End Slavery Now campaign that began in Germany last month. The art project is to forge a common front against the evil of slavery. The photography piece will be splashed on billboards in many locations across the city. Exponent of the campaign, German artist, Barbara von Enger, informed THISDAY that Lagos will be awash with the posters starting in May. The artwork will also appear on billboards in Hong Kong, China; and Basel, Switzerland. Von Enger said the campaign was influenced by the unfortunate episode in Libya, where many Black African migrants, passing through the North African country, were captured and openly auctioned as slaves. Libya is a transit route for economic migrants from West Africa, who embark on the perilous journey to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. "The situation in Libya is sad. It is quite
dreadful that in this age, slavery is still roaring on the African continent. We can't stand and look. This is why I made this piece, to bring a voice to the voiceless and raise the African flag. Slavery is very psychological and its damages can cause blindness of culture. We can no longer be obedient in the face of slavery," von Enger said. The End Slavery Now artwork was created this year and has already graced billboards across Germany. It was displayed at the Karlsruhe Art Fair and was featured last month in German's leading Art magazine, MONOPOL. This month, the art billboards will be hoisted at the Art Basel Hong Kong, while later in June, it will be unveiled at the Art Basel, Switzerland. She said the self-funded project was already getting global exposure as the message had been seen and heard, while giving a positive face to culture. Von Enger specialises in painting, sculpture, drawing and installation art.
She studied art at Oxford University and then Goethe Institution in Germany. After graduating, she worked at the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin and several other art institutions in Europe. von Enger's media for creative expressions vary from cement, zinc, leather, resin, paper, wood, textile, glass, aluminium or a combination of each, which she uses to create statement pieces. Her heritage is German, Jamaican and Ethiopian. She has lived in eight countries, among which are Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. She said decision on Lagos was out of emotional attachment to Nigeria, as she had once lived at Ibadan and even crafted an artwork "Ibadan". "I lived in Ibadan, a rustic city with its ascending hills and warlike in history, for several years. I see Africa under one umbrella. Though different languages within a language and different tribes upon tribes, Africa must be united in order to stand strong. Togetherpeoples and countries."
End Slavery Now
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T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
Akinwumi Isola: Farewell, Curator of Yoruba Beauty
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T H I S D AY Ëž Ëœ ÍˇËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś
Rescuing the Maritime Sector Eromosele Abiodun writes that the Nigerian Maritime Industry Forecast 2018â€“2019, released by NIMASA, shows that the agencyâ€˜s drive to improve operating conditions and position the countryâ€˜s maritime sector for greater efficiency is on course With a vast and extensive natural maritime endowment base comprising a coastline of over 800kms, an exclusive economic zone of over 200 nautical miles, the Nigerian maritime sector has the potential to accelerate Nigeriaâ€™s economic development beyond its crude oil revenue earnings. Nigeria is also blessed with a vast inland waterways resource estimated at nearly 3,000kms, and comprising over 50 rivers, big and small, that can support a vibrant intra-regional trade. The countryâ€™s location on the coastline corridors of the Gulf of Guinea and the Bight of Benin, with eight of her 36 states having littoral status, coupled with a vast and growing population and market that confer ability to generate huge indigenous tonnage and capacity. To this end, experts believe the maritime industry can become a veritable engine of growth of national economic development and its transformation agenda. Industry stakeholders believe the nationâ€™s maritime sector is a sector that, more than most, can be a notable contributor to efforts at poverty reduction, creation of wealth, promotion of skills acquisition and encouragement of entrepreneurship. They believe that the sector, if seriously harnessed and exploited, can contribute very significantly to the growth of the nationâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP) and eliminate the nationâ€™s unsustainable over-reliance on petroleum as Nigeriaâ€™s major revenue earner. Many industry watchers are, however, baffled that despite these intimidating factsheets, there is still a major disconnect. With its population, market and economy, Nigeria, since independence, has remained unchallenged as the biggest importer and exporter in the sub-region. Her cargo throughput, inclusive of oil and gas, far outstrips those of other seaports in the sub-region put together. However, is it baffling that the ports in smaller neighbouring countries pose such a serious challenge to the emergence of Nigerian seaports as the leading ports in the sub-region, a preferred choice of destination for cargoes bound for the sub-region. The question that comes to mind then is how the Nigerian maritime industry can be made a stronger catalyst of growth of the nationâ€™s economy. Some suggest that lack of planning and inconsistent economic policies have set the industry back, a problem the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) seek to solve with its maritime industry forecast launched recently. The Way Out The forecast tagged: â€œEmerging Opportunities and Challenges,â€? seek to open the eyes of investors to the opportunities in the sector and possible collaborative ways to harness opportunities to maximise gains. The forecast examined how economic, sectoral and regulatory developments in both the international and domestic scenes affect the maritime industry in Nigeria. It also highlighted the need to further explore the blue economy in driving growth and development for our country. In summary, it shared from a holistic perspective, the opportunities and areas of advantage that will be of immense benefit to stakeholders and industry players, both locally and internationally in the year 2018 and 2019, as well as the foreseeable challenges in the industry, along with its possible mitigating factors. The forecast results, according to NIMASA, employed scenario analyses in anticipating the performance of economic parameters such as GDP, total trade, foreign exchange reserves, oil price and oil production. Moreover, the forecast, in line with expectations, set baseline figures within the parameters defined by the Federal Governmentâ€˜s economic programme â€“the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Beyond the baseline, optimistic and pessimistic scenarios were proposed to offer insights into how the two years covered by the forecasts â€“
2018â€“2019 â€“ would unfold in the maritime sector. As part of its determination to move the sector forward, beginning from 2018, the NIMASA will continue to produce an annual document offering a forward-looking, medium-term analysis of the Nigerian maritime industry, which will present insights on: the surrounding context of the sectorâ€˜s operations; key issues â€“ inherent and emerging â€“ within and pertaining to the sector; and a medium-term outlook on the sector reflecting surrounding contexts and the internal industry dynamics affecting this. Discharge of Statutory Mandate According to NIMASA, the effort feeds into its commitment to the effective discharge of the agencyâ€˜s statutory mandate, enshrined in the establishment legislation, the NIMASA Act, 2007. â€œIt will be recalled that in being mindful of the maritime sectorâ€˜s critical role in facilitating Nigeriaâ€˜s international trade activities, as well as harnessing the countryâ€˜s marine resources and economy to drive accelerated growth and development, the federal government began actively implementing the maritime sector reforms in 2006. The need for reform was also in recognition of the centrality of maritime operations to the conditions and costs of doing business in Nigeria, including the sectorâ€˜s potential contribution to the pool of non-oil revenues for government. â€œAlso as part of efforts to transform the sector, the Nigerian government sought to revamp the maritime regulatory architecture. Consequent upon this, in August 2006, the National Maritime Authority was merged with the Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council to form the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Hence, the agency is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime organisation in the country. We are saddled with the responsibility of regulating the sector, with powers derived from the aforementioned NIMASA establishment Act, as well as ancillary legislation such as the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007 and the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003. Guided by enabling legislation, NIMASA administers maritime safety, seafarers standards and security, maritime labour, shipping regulation, promotion of commercial shipping and cabotage activities, and pollution prevention and control in the marine environment. The agency also implements domesticated conventions, including those of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO),â€? said the Director
General ofNIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside. He added: â€œIn discharging these responsibilities, NIMASA has begun undertaking regular engagement with stakeholders geared towards obtaining feedback mechanisms for improved communication, interaction and effectiveness in order to identify the current characteristics of the industry, alongside the key trends that would affect the maritime sector; and to provide an outlook for the Nigerian economy, and also the maritime sector. Undertaking these obligations constitute the inspiration behind Nigeriaâ€™s Maritime Industry Forecast 2018â€“2020. â€œAnd, we are confident that the insights, data, parameter forecast estimates and analysis provided in this document would enable maritime industry stakeholders to anticipate future scenarios, on the basis of which they can strategise to advance both their commercial interests and the overarching interests of developing Nigeriaâ€˜s maritime sector, while positioning it to play an immense role in accelerating national economic growth and development.â€? Enhancing Revenue Dakuku had in his opening comments said as part of the measures to enhance its revenue drive, the NIMASA will focus its attention on the $8 billion (N2.88 trillion) maritime component of the Oil and Gas sector in 2018. He disclosed that five bills amongst others, affecting the maritime industry will enter into force in 2018, one of which is a bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Marine Development Bank Bill. The other bills currently undergoing legislative processes at the National Assembly are: the AntiPiracy Bill, Inland Fisheries Act (Amendment) Bill 2017, the Dee[ Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Carbotage Act (Amendment) Bill 2017. He said the Nigerian maritime industry is projected to grow by 2.5 â€“ 5 per cent within the period of 2018-2019 adding that there will be a projected increase in demand for maritime services in Nigeria during the period. He added that Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08 per cent in 2018 and 4.41 per cent in 2019. He projected that oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23 per cent in 2018 and increase by 1.7 per cent in 2019. â€œThe non-oil tanker fleet size is projected to increase by 8.15 per cent in 2018 and 8.72 per cent in 2019 while the oil rig count is projected
to increase by 27.67 per cent in 2018 and 0 per cent in 2019, â€œhe said. He added that two broad dynamics would drive the outlook on the Nigerian maritime industry in 2018 revealing that the first pertains to international developments as they relate to growth in global output and trade. The second, he added, is the domestic economic conditions, which speak to economic growth and the associated growth in trade, availability of and access to foreign exchange, as well as the evolving factors in domestic maritime regulation. â€œAs a regulator, we are driven by values and commitment, as these are the only way that investors can be attracted to harness the great potentials in our maritime sector. On our part, we will continue to work out incentives and maritime sector specific interventions to attract investments, â€?he said. Speaking further, he expressed delight at the maritime forecast release which coincided with the release of the countryâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP) figures by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirming Nigeriaâ€™s exit from recession. He noted that it is a positive indicator that Nigeriaâ€™s economy is rebound for growth in 2018 and beyond. He said the forecast reviewed developments in the industry in 2017; shows expected International and Local Developments in Policy and Regulatory Environment for the Maritime Sector in 2018 and 2019 and also takes a look at Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for the Maritime Industry; all with the sole aim of realizing a robust and business friendly maritime domain that will also create avenues for economic prosperity. The NIMASA bos also maintained that despite the fact that the oil sector remains one of the pillars of the Nigerian economy and a catalyst for measuring the nationâ€™s growth, the success of it is still largely dependent on the maritime sector which continues to play a strategic role in the economy of the country. He also pointed out that some other factors that have contributed to the gradual growth being recorded in the sector are the receding crime in the Niger Delta Region, the Deep Blue Economy scale up of our maritime security architecture and continuous collaboration, which is addressing the immediate challenge in this areas aimed at suppressing the emerging threats on our waters. In a goodwill message at the event, the Secretary General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and former DG of NIMASA, Mrs. Mfon Usoro commended the forecast as a great interaction with the industry players to move the sector forward. Furthermore, she also observed that the increased presence of NIMASA activities in the maritime sector of the West and Central Africa sub-region is an indication that the present leadership of the Agency is on course. Sector Outlook Succeeding this inaugural edition of Nigeriaâ€™s Maritime Industry Forecast 2018â€“2019, Dakuku said the follow-up 2019 issue, to be released by the end of 2018, would focus on activity parameters as they pertain to the maritime sector. â€œAgainst the backdrop of an elaborate value chain and economic ecosystem of the maritime sector, this maiden edition focuses on activities driven by commerce and the oil sector. Subsequent editions will continue to build on this focus,â€?he added. â€œTwo broad sets of dynamics would drive the outlook on the Nigerian maritime industry over the 2018â€“2020 period: First are international developments, particularly as they pertain to the following: general global economic conditions, proxied by global output and trade growth; developments in the global oil market; iii. International maritime regulatory conditions. â€œSecond are domestic economic conditions involving: economic activity, which speaks to domestic economic growth and associated growth in trade; availability of and access to foreign exchange, which will be proxied by the level of Nigeriaâ€˜s foreign exchange reserves,â€? he said.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ Í·ËœÍ°Í®Í¯Í¶
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
T H I S D AY Ëž , MARCH 9, 2018
Six Banks Accounted for 57% Total Industry Deposits as at June Obinna Chima Six of the largest banks in the country accounted for 57.05 per cent of the total deposits in the industry as at June 2017, compared with the 53.70 per cent recorded at the end of December 2016. Also, the six banks also accounted for 60.11 per cent of total industry assets, as against the 53.68 per cent recorded at end-December 2016. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this in its Financial Stability Report as at the end of June 2017, posted on its website yesterday. This, according to the report, highlighted the oligopolistic market structure of the banking industry, with few banks controlling more than 50 per cent of the industry deposits and assets. Furthermore, it stated that the low concentration ratios in the industry showed a trend towards more competition across the banks. â€œThe market share of the largest bank with respect to deposits and assets stood at 12.93 and 14.79 per cent,
respectively, while that of the second largest bank stood at 12.88 and 11.72 per cent. â€œTwenty-three other banks had market shares ranging from 0.02 to 9.01 per cent in deposits and 0.08 to 9.96 per cent in assets. â€œThe increased competition in the banking industry was supported by the HerfindahlHirschman Index (HHI)5 for the industry, which stood at 737.66 and 783.65 for deposits and assets, respectively, at end-June 2017 compared with 773.21 and 774.50 for deposits and assets at end-December 2016,â€? the report stated. It also showed that as at the end of June 2017, banking industry stress test which covered 20 commercial and four merchant banks was conducted to evaluate the resilience of the banks to credit, liquidity, interest rate and contagion risks (shocks). According to the report, the average baseline capital adequacy ratios (CARs) for the banking industry, large, medium and small banks at end-June 2017 stood at 11.51, 13.13, -6.71 and 13.54 per cent,
respectively. These represented a decline of 3.27, 2.34 and 19.46 percentage points for the industry, large and medium banks, respectively from the position at end-December 2016. However, the small banks group grew by 10.40 percentage points from 3.14 to 13.54 per cent. â€œThe decline in CARs was attributable to the challenges in the oil and gas sector coupled with the slow recovery in the domestic economy which resulted to a rise in NPLs and capital deterioration. â€œThe pre-shock Return of Assets (ROA) of the banking industry, large, medium and small banks were 0.25, 0.26, 0.22 and 0.18 per cent, respectively, while the Return on Equity (ROE) of the banking industry, large, medium and small banks were 3.84, 3.53, -5.06 and 1.04 per cent in June 2017. The credit concentration stress test showed that the banking industry and the three other categories exhibited high levels of credit concentration as their respective CARs fell below 10 per cent regulatory threshold.
MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS
Sterling Bank Empowers Female Entrepreneurs In a bid to empower women operating in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sectors of the Nigerian economy, Sterling Bank Plc has organised a capacity building to equip them with competencies required to run better businesses. The programme was powered by â€˜One-Womanâ€™, the bankâ€™s robust and exclusive value proposition for women. Commenting on the capacity building programme, the Head of Retail Sales, Sterling Bank Plc, Cosmas Uwaezuoke, was quoted in a statement to have said: â€œThe bank is committed to equipping female entrepreneurs with business skills and financial management competencies required to run better businesses. We are doing this because research shows that women own 41 percent of businesses in Nigeria. However, just about two percent of women entrepreneurs have access to
finance, that is bank loans. To change this trend, we are teaching female entrepreneurs to enhance profitability through effective cash flow and working capital management.â€? According to Uwaezuoke, a research conducted by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) had indicated that women constitute about 47.5 per cent of Nigeriaâ€™s population. However, just 30 per cent of women have bank accounts even though it is estimated that there are more women doing businesses than men in the country. â€œResearch shows that women want convenient banking services, safety of funds, access to finance and capacity development as well as savings opportunities for their children.â€? Uwaezuoke observed that it was against this background that Sterling Bank, one of the top five SME friendly banks in the country,
created the â€˜One Womanâ€™ proposition to meet these important financial services needs of Nigerian women. Explaining the â€˜One Womanâ€™ value proposition, Chief Marketing Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Henry Bassey said: It is a bouquet of value-added offerings which meets the financial, business and personal needs of Nigerian women, irrespective of their social status. The â€˜One Womanâ€™ value proposition also provides very strong platforms for women to support other women. Bassey disclosed that benefits of the â€˜One Woman value proposition range from Sterling Maternal Medical Finance (SMMF) for women with medical conditions such as fibroid, customised debit cards that provide cardholders access to discounts for spas, makeover services and furniture/household items at select outlets.
UPMFB Grants N300m Loans to Farmers The Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank, Enugu (UPMFB) has disclosed that in the past three years, it has disbursed about N300 million to over 1000 micro, small and medium scale farmers in Enugu State, as credit facilities to encourage them to enhance their farm produce, make profit and uplift their living conditions. A statement from the bank quoted the Head of Credit Desk at the bank, Mr. Charles Udeani, to have said the initiative in the area of agriculture was a demonstration of the bankâ€™s commitment to encouragement and promotion of agriculture in the country, given the primary place of agriculture in the sustenance of human life. The UPMFB Credit manager explained that having seen the federal governmentâ€™s Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Anchor Borrowersâ€™ Programme (ABP) as a veritable instrument for massive job creation with lots of chain values, the UPMFB queued into the two agricultural progammes as a vehicle to achieving her poverty eradication purpose because the programmes are in line with the bankâ€™s anti poverty mission through micro financing, which is part of the economic evangelisation teachings of the Church. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) provides insurance guarantee cover (up to 75% of any outstanding balance upon default) in respect of loans granted to the agricultural sector by banks and also has a farmer-friendly scheme called â€œInterest Drawback Programâ€? (IDP) of up to 40% interest refund upon liquidation of the facility, with the target beneficiaries of the fund as individual farmers, cooperative
societies, and corporate bodies, while the Anchor Borrowersâ€™ Programme (ABP) which has its cardinal object as provision of farm inputs in kind and cash (for farm labour) to small holder farmers to boost production of commodities, stabilise inputsâ€™ supply to agro processors and address the countryâ€™s negative balance of payments on food, and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities. â€œThe efforts of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank towards the promotion of agriculture earned her a big recognition from the CBN, as she won the 2016 edition of the best bank award of CBN among banks participating in the ACGSF in the southeast zone,â€? the statement added.
AUGUST 2017 Broad Money (M2)
-- Narrow Money (M1)
---- Currency Outside Banks
---- Demand Deposits
-- Quasi Money
Net Foreign Assets (NFA)
Net Domestic Assets(NDA)
-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)
---- Credit to Government (Net)
---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)
--Other Assets Net
Reserve Money (Base Money)
--Currency in Circulation
MANAGED FUNDS Month Inter-Bank Call Rate
AUGUST 2017 22.63
Minimum Rediscount Rate (MRR) Monetary Policy Rate (MPR)
Treasury Bill Rate
Savings Deposit Rate
1 Month Deposit Rate
3 Months Deposit Rate
6 Months Deposit Rate
12 Months Deposit Rate
Prime Lending rate
Maximum Lending Rate
OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, WED, MARCH 7, 2018 The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $62.68 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $63.24 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 ˾ , MARCH 9, 2018
Vitafoam Shareholders Call for Equity Capital Injection to Boost Earnings Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie
from existing shareholders with the prudent management of the N2.1 billion loan from the Bank of Industry(BoI), will reduce finance cost and boost the bottom-line of the company. Olatokunbo commended the company’s foresight in diversification into pre-fabricated buildings and leather products that could be exported to earn foreign exchange and enhance its revenue.
The board of directors of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc has been advised to inject equity capital into the company via a rights issue. A shareholder of the company, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, gave the advice at the annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos yesterday. According him, such funds
Commenting on the rights issue, Group Managing Director of Vitfaom Nigeria Plc, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi said the advice would be looked into and the most professional decision would be taken on it at the appropriate time. Adeniyi reviewed the unfavorable operating environment and its impacts on the manufacturing sector. He said:”On the forex issue,
unfavorable monetary policy of the federal Government led to high interest rates, devaluation of the Naira and hyper inflation which all combined to increase our production costs. With the economic recession experienced during the greater part of last financial year under review, management was mindful of price increases but as a good corporate citizen, the company could not completely pass the
PRICES FOR SECURITIES TRADED AS OF
costs to consumers through products’ prices increases.” In his address to the shareholders, Chairman of the company, Dr. Bamidele Makanjuola said it had completed its expansion project and has begun to consolidate for optimal performance as reflected in the current status of some subsidiaries. “Vitapur Nigeria Limited has become a source of hope and
inspiration. It has posted profit for the second year running. Our moulded foam products, Vitavisco Nigeria Limited has continued to operate profitably. It is growing slowly but steadily. Vitafoam Nigeria Limited has maintained its profit-making streak, although this was attenuated during the year by the adverse economic conditions in the country,” said Makanjuola.
A S AT 0 8 / 0 3 / 2 0 1 8
Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR PREMIUM BOARD SECURITIES FINANCIAL SERVICES
S/N 1 BANKING S/N 2 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIAL GOODS S/N 3 BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRIAL GOODS PREMIUM BOARD TOTALS Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES AGRICULTURE S/N 4 5 6 CROP PRODUCTION S/N 7 FISHING/HUNTING/ TRAPPING S/N 8 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES AGRICULTURE CONGLOMERATES S/N 9 10 11 12 13 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES CONGLOMERATES CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE S/N 14 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION S/N 15 16 INFRASTRUCTURE/ HEAVY CONSTRUCTION S/N 17 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT S/N 18 19 20 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE CONSUMER GOODS S/N 21 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS S/N 22 23 24 25 26 BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS S/N
BANKING ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC
MARKET CAP(Nm) 981,140.43
OTHER FINANCIAL MARKET CAP(Nm) INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC 403,822.04
BUILDING MATERIALS MARKET CAP(Nm) DANGOTE CEMENT 4,684,435.49 PLC
27 BEVERAGES--NONALCOHOLIC S/N
31 32 33 34 35 FOOD PRODUCTS S/N
CROP PRODUCTION MARKET CAP(Nm) FTN COCOA PROCES770.00 SORS PLC OKOMU OIL PALM 68,681.52 PLC. PRESCO PLC 78,000.00 FISHING/HUNTING/ TRAPPING ELLAH LAKES PLC. LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC.
MARKET CAP(Nm) 511.20 MARKET CAP(Nm) 3,240.00
DIVERSIFIED INDUSMARKET CAP(Nm) TRIES A.G. LEVENTIS NIGE1,614.85 RIA PLC. JOHN HOLT PLC. 186.79 S C O A NIG. PLC. 2,111.93 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF 80,889.50 NIGERIA PLC U A C N PLC. 49,126.11
36 37 FOOD PRODUCTS-DIVERSIFIED S/N 38 39 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES S/N 40 41 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS CONSUMER GOODS FINANCIAL SERVICES S/N 42 43
47 48 49 50 51
BUILDING CONSTRUCMARKET CAP(Nm) TION ARBICO PLC. 711.32 INFRASTRUCTURE/ HEAVY CONSTRUC- MARKET CAP(Nm) TION JULIUS BERGER NIG. 32,802.00 PLC. ROADS NIG PLC. 165.00 REAL ESTATE DEVELMARKET CAP(Nm) OPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. 7,795.19 LIMITED REAL ESTATE INVESTMARKET CAP(Nm) MENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND 2,000.00 PLC UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT 11,300.89 TRUST (REIT) UPDC REAL ESTATE 26,682.70 INVESTMENT TRUST
52 53 BANKING
54 55 56 57
63 64 65 66 67
AUTOMOBILES/AUTO MARKET CAP(Nm) PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER 1,718.16 PLC BEVERAGES--BREWMARKET CAP(Nm) ERS/DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. 21,922.59 GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. 242.22 PLC. GUINNESS NIG PLC 214,657.52 INTERNATIONAL 489,964.13 BREWERIES PLC. NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 1,039,597.27 BEVERAGES--NONMARKET CAP(Nm) ALCOHOLIC
72 73 74 75 76
7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC.
FOOD PRODUCTS MARKET CAP(Nm) DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC UNION DICON SALT PLC.
FOOD PRODUCTSMARKET CAP(Nm) -DIVERSIFIED CADBURY NIGERIA 29,299.95 PLC. NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,093,865.63 HOUSEHOLD DUMARKET CAP(Nm) RABLES NIGERIAN ENAMEL1,680.31 WARE PLC. VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 2,970.75 PERSONAL/HOUSEMARKET CAP(Nm) HOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA 91,320.97 PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 342,402.32
BANKING MARKET CAP(Nm) ACCESS BANK PLC. 380,402.83 DIAMOND BANK PLC 52,805.69 ECOBANK TRANSNA363,321.11 TIONAL INCORPORATED FIDELITY BANK PLC 88,083.38 GUARANTY TRUST 1,427,412.19 BANK PLC. JAIZ BANK PLC 29,464.25 SKYE BANK PLC 13,047.48 STERLING BANK PLC. 54,125.99 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 214,037.53 UNITED BANK FOR 437,752.59 AFRICA PLC UNITY BANK PLC 21,508.38 WEMA BANK PLC. 36,645.74 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND MARKET CAP(Nm) SERVICES AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY 6,998.90 PLC AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 4,920.45 AXAMANSARD INSUR28,875.00 ANCE PLC CONSOLIDATED HALL2,310.00 MARK INSURANCE PLC CONTINENTAL REINSUR18,152.30 ANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSUR6,039.10 ANCE COMPANY PLC. EQUITY ASSURANCE 5,180.00 PLC. GOLDLINK INSURANCE 2,411.47 PLC GREAT NIGERIAN INSUR1,913.74 ANCE PLC GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. 2,578.80 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE 642.04 COMPANY PLC LASACO ASSURANCE 2,709.67 PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK 3,222.25 INS. PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE 6,800.00 PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS AS3,840.00 SURANCE PLC. N.E.M INSURANCE CO 12,673.21 (NIG) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. 3,405.37 PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE 2,759.15 CO. PLC. REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY 2,667.50 PLC SOVEREIGN TRUST 3,002.70 INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE 5,680.85 INSURANCE PLC. STANDARD TRUST 4,670.54 ASSURANCE PLC UNIC DIVERSIFIED 516.46 HOLDINGS PLC.
PRICE 13.15 2.28
%CHANGE -2.23 3.64
TRADES 126 144
VOLUME 3,486,496 24,914,804
1.00 0.94 1.88 7.35
-0.99 -4.08 -4.57 4.26
14 55 33 83
530,000 3,260,966 101,908,250 2,507,638
38 49 1,367
1,196,417 2,447,340 228,121,359
˜ ˜ͺͶ˾T H I S D AY
Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report: dŚĞdŚŝƐĚĂǇĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚϰϬ/ŶĚĞǆ'ĂŝŶƐϭ͘ϭй
Friday, March 9, 2018
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX
dŚĞ dŚŝƐĚĂǇ ĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ /ŶĚĞǆ ŐĂŝŶĞĚ ϭ͘ϭй ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ ƚŽ ƐĞƩůĞ Ăƚ ϭ͕ϳϴϭ͘ϭϵ ƉŽŝŶƚƐ͘ dŚŝƐ ďƵůůŝƐŚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ǁĂƐ ůĂƌŐĞůǇ ĚƌŝǀĞŶ ďǇ ƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ ŝŶ 'hZEdz ;нϮ͘ϵйͿ͕ E/'Z/E ZtZ/^ ;нϬ͘ϳйͿĂŶĚ&E, ;нϰ͘ϵйͿǁŚŝĐŚĐƵŵƵůĂƟǀĞůǇĂĐĐŽƵŶƚĨŽƌϯϲ͘Ϭй ŽĨƚŚĞŝŶĚĞǆ͘zĞĂƌƚŽĚĂƚĞ͕ƚŚĞŝŶĚĞǆŚĂƐƌĞƚƵƌŶĞĚϭϱ͘ϱй͘
Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index
ƋƵŝƟĞƐDĂƌŬĞƚƚƵƌŶƐWŽƐŝƟǀĞ͙E^^/ƵƉϯϯďƉƐ dŚĞEŝŐĞƌŝĂŶĞƋƵŝƟĞƐŵĂƌŬĞƚ ƌĞǀĞƌƐĞĚƚŚĞŶĞŐĂƟǀĞƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ĨƌŽŵ ƚŚĞ ƉƌĞǀŝŽƵƐ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ĂƐ ƚŚĞ ůů ^ŚĂƌĞ /ŶĚĞǆ ;^/Ϳ ĐůŽƐĞĚ ϯϯďƉƐ ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ƚŽ ƐĞƩůĞ Ăƚ ϰϯ͕ϬϵϮ͘ϲϯ ƉŽŝŶƚƐ ǁŚŝůĞ zd ƌĞƚƵƌŶ ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞĚ ƚŽ ϭϮ͘ϳй͘ ĐĐŽƌĚŝŶŐůǇ͕ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ŐĂŝŶĞĚ EϱϬ͘ϮďŶ ĂƐ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝǌĂƟŽŶ ƌŽƐĞ ƚŽ Eϭϱ͘ϰƚŶ͘ dŚĞ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ƚŽĚĂǇ ĐĂŶ ďĞ ĂƩƌŝďƵƚĞĚ ƚŽ ƵƉƟĐŬƐ ŝŶ 'hZEdz ;нϮ͘ϵйͿ͕ hE/>sZ ;нϳ͘ϱйͿ ĂŶĚ ^dE/ ;нϱ͘ϬйͿ ǁŚŝĐŚ ŽīƐĞƚ ůŽƐƐĞƐ ŝŶ E'D ;Ͳϭ͘ϭйͿ͘ ,ŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ ĂĐƟǀŝƚǇ ůĞǀĞů ǁĞĂŬĞŶĞĚ ĂƐ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ĂŶĚǀĂůƵĞƚƌĂĚĞĚĨĞůůϭ͘ϲйĂŶĚϯϳ͘ϮйƚŽϮϲϲ͘ϬŵƵŶŝƚƐĂŶĚEϯ͘ϮďŶ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ͘ dŚĞ ƚŽƉ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ďǇ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ǁĞƌĞ WK/> ;ϯϬϴ͘ϴŵͿ͕ :Wh> K/> ;Ϯϰ͘ϬŵͿ ĂŶĚ Dh>d/sZ^ ;ϭϳ͘ϱŵͿ ǁŚŝůĞ E/d, ;EϱϬϲ͘ϮŵͿ͕ 'hZEdz ;Eϰϵϵ͘ϮŵͿ ĂŶĚ E'D ;Eϰϴϱ͘ϴŵͿǁĞƌĞƚŚĞƚŽƉƚƌĂĚĞƐďǇǀĂůƵĞ͘ DŝǆĞĚ^ĞĐƚŽƌWĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ WĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞĂĐƌŽƐƐƐĞĐƚŽƌƐǁĂƐŵŝǆĞĚĂƐϮŽĨϱŝŶĚŝĐĞƐĐůŽƐĞĚŝŶ ƚŚĞ ŐƌĞĞŶ ǁŚŝůĞ ϯ ƚƌĞŶĚĞĚ ƐŽƵƚŚǁĂƌĚƐ͘ dŚĞ ŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞǆ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŵŽƐƚ͕ ŝŶĐŚŝŶŐ Ϭ͘ϵй ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ŐĂŝŶƐ ŝŶ hE/>sZ ;нϳ͘ϱйͿ ĂŶĚ E/'Z/E ZtZ/^ ;нϬ͘ϳйͿ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ ĂŶŬŝŶŐ ŝŶĚĞǆ ;нϬ͘ϳйͿ ǁĂƐ ďƵŽǇĞĚ ďǇ ƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ ŝŶ 'hZEdz ;нϮ͘ϵйͿ ĂŶĚ ^^ ;нϬ͘ϴйͿ͘ KŶ ƚŚĞ ŇŝƉƐŝĚĞ͕ ƚŚĞ /ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞ ŝŶĚĞǆ ůĞĚ ůĂŐŐĂƌĚƐ͕ ĚŽǁŶ Ϭ͘ϵй ĂƐ ƉƌŽĮƚ ƚĂŬŝŶŐ ŝŶ DE^Z ;Ͳϰ͘ϰйͿ ĂŶĚ ED ;Ͳϯ͘ϲйͿ ǁĞŝŐŚĞĚ ŽŶ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ͘ ^ŝŵŝůĂƌůǇ͕ůŽƐƐĞƐŝŶE'D ;Ͳϭ͘ϭйͿƉƵůůĞĚƚŚĞ/ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞǆ Ϭ͘ϱй ůŽǁĞƌ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ Kŝů Θ 'ĂƐ ŝŶĚĞǆ ƐŚĞĚ ϯďƉƐ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ůŽƐƐĞƐŝŶ&KZd;ͲϬ͘ϮйͿ͘
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40
Previous Current Price Weighting Change
Price Change YTD
Price Change Index to Date
Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield
Guaranty Trust Bank PLC
Zenith Bank PLC
Nigerian Brew eries PLC
Nestle Nigeria PLC
Dangote Cement PLC
FBN Holdings Plc
Access Bank PLC
United Bank for Africa PLC
Ecobank Transnational Inc
SEPLAT Petroleum Development C
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC
Guinness Nigeria PLC
Lafarge Africa PLC
Fidelity Bank PLC
Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC
Okomu Oil Palm PLC
Unilever Nigeria PLC
International Brew eries PLC
Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC
Transnational Corp of Nigeria
UAC of Nigeria PLC
Diamond Bank PLC
/ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ^ĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ĂƐ ŵĞĂƐƵƌĞĚ ďǇ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ďƌĞĂĚƚŚ ;ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞ ƌĂƟŽͿ ƌĞŵĂŝŶĞĚ ŇĂƚ Ăƚ ϭ͘ϭǆ ĐŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚ ŽŶ ϯϬ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐŝŶŐ ĂŐĂŝŶƐƚ Ϯϴ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌƐ͘ dŚĞ ƚŽƉ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ǁĞƌĞ :Wh>K/>;нϵ͘ϵйͿ͕tW/;нϴ͘ϲйͿĂŶĚhE/>sZ;нϳ͘ϱйͿǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞǁŽƌƐƚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐǁĞƌĞ/>^/E' ;Ͳϵ͘ϯйͿ͕Z'>/E^ ;Ͳϳ͘ϱйͿ ĂŶĚ:/E<;Ͳϱ͘ϬйͿ͘tĞĞǆƉĞĐƚƚŚŝƐƉŽƐŝƟǀĞƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞƚŽďĞ ƐƵƐƚĂŝŶĞĚ Ɵůů ƚŚĞ ĞŶĚ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ĂƐ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ĐŽŶƟŶƵĞ ƚŽ ƐĞĞŬ ďĂƌŐĂŝŶŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƟĞƐŝŶƚŚĞŵĂƌŬĞƚ͘
Total Nigeria PLC
FCMB Group Plc
ŽŵƉĂŶǇŝŶ&ŽĐƵƐ͗E^KEůůŝĞĚ/ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĞƐWůĐ;E^KEͿ E^KE ůůŝĞĚ /ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĞƐ W> ;ĨŽƌŵĞƌůǇ ŬŶŽǁŶ ĂƐ EĂƟŽŶĂů ^Ăůƚ ŽŵƉĂŶǇ ŽĨ EŝŐĞƌŝĂ W>Ϳ ŝƐ Ă ŵĞŵďĞƌ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ĂŶŐŽƚĞ 'ƌŽƵƉ ŽĨ ĐŽŵƉĂŶŝĞƐ ĂŶĚ ŝƐ ƚŚĞ ůĞĂĚŝŶŐ ƐĂůƚ ŵĂŶƵĨĂĐƚƵƌĞƌ ŝŶ EŝŐĞƌŝĂ ĐŽŶƚƌŽůůŝŶŐ Đ͘ ϲϬ͘Ϭй ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ͘ /ŶĐŽƌƉŽƌĂƚĞĚ ŝŶ ϭϵϳϯ͕ ƚŚĞ ĐŽŵƉĂŶǇ ŚĂƐ ƐŝŶĐĞ ĞǀŽůǀĞĚ ǁŝƚŚ ĂĚĚŝƟŽŶĂů ďƵƐŝŶĞƐƐ ůŝŶĞƐ ƚŽ ŝŶĐůƵĚĞ sĞŐĞƚĂďůĞ Kŝů͕ dŽŵĂƚŽ WĂƐƚĞ ĂŶĚ ^ĞĂƐŽŶŝŶŐ ǁŝƚŚ ƉƌŽĚƵĐƟŽŶ ĨĂĐŝůŝƟĞƐ ŝŶ >ĂŐŽƐ ^ƚĂƚĞ ;ƉĂƉĂ ĂŶĚ KƌĞŐƵŶͿ͕ KŐƵŶ ^ƚĂƚĞ ;KƚĂͿ͕ ZŝǀĞƌƐ ^ƚĂƚĞ ;WŽƌƚ ,ĂƌĐŽƵƌƚͿ͘ E^KE ĐƵƌƌĞŶƚůǇ ŚĂƐ ƉƌŽĚƵĐƟŽŶĐĂƉĂĐŝƚǇŽĨĂďŽƵƚϲϬϬ͕ϬϬϬŵĞƚƌŝĐƚŽŶƐͬĂŶŶƵŵ͘
/Ŷ ŝƚƐ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳ ƌĞƐƵůƚ͕ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ǁĂƐ ůĂƌŐĞůǇ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ĂƐ ŐƌŽƐƐ ƌĞǀĞŶƵĞ;ƐĂůĞƐĂŶĚĨƌĞŝŐŚƚŝŶĐŽŵĞͿŐƌĞǁϲϭ͘ϵйzͲŽͲzƚŽEϮϬ͘ϳďŶ ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϳ ;ƵƉ ĨƌŽŵ EϭϮ͘ϴďŶ ŝŶ ϵD͗ϮϬϭϲͿ͘ ŽƐƚ ŽĨ ƐĂůĞƐ ŝŶ ƚƵƌŶ ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞĚϱϰ͘ϭйzͲŽͲz;ĨƌŽŵEϴ͘ϱďŶƚŽEϭϯ͘ϭďŶͿǁŚŝůĞŽƉĞƌĂƟŶŐ ĞǆƉĞŶƐĞƐ ĞǆƉĂŶĚĞĚ ϭϯ͘ϯй zͲŽͲz ;ĨƌŽŵ Eϭ͘ϱďŶ ƚŽ Eϭ͘ϳďŶͿ͘ KŶ Ă ƐŝŵŝůĂƌ ŶŽƚĞ͕ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŵĞŶƚ ŝŶĐŽŵĞ ŝŶĐůƵƐŝǀĞ ŽĨ ďĂŶŬ ĂŶĚ ĮǆĞĚ ĚĞƉŽƐŝƚƐ ƐƵƌŐĞĚ ϱϰϲ͘ϳй zͲŽͲz ;ĨƌŽŵ EϮϭ͘ϴŵ ƚŽ Eϭϰϭ͘ϬŵͿ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ ĐŽŵƉĂŶǇǁĂƐĂďůĞƚŽƌĞĐŽƌĚĂϲϭ͘ϮйĚƌŽƉŝŶĮŶĂŶĐĞĐŽƐƚƐ;ĨƌŽŵ Eϭϴϱ͘ϳŵƚŽ EϳϮ͘ϭŵͿ͘ ŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚůǇ͕WdĂŶĚ WdĨŽƌƚŚĞƉĞƌŝŽĚ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚ ƐŝŐŶŝĮĐĂŶƚůǇ ďǇ ϭϮϵ͘ϵй ĂƉŝĞĐĞ ƚŽ ĐůŽƐĞ Ăƚ Eϲ͘ϬďŶ ĂŶĚ Eϰ͘ϭďŶƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ͘
'ŝǀĞŶ ƚŚĞ ĐŽŵƉĂŶǇ͛Ɛ ĚƌŝǀĞ ŝŶ ŵĂŬŝŶŐ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŵĞŶƚƐ ĂĐƌŽƐƐ ŵĂũŽƌ ůŝŶĞƐ ŽĨ ŽƉĞƌĂƟŽŶƐ ĂŶĚ ďƌĂŶĚ ďƵŝůĚŝŶŐ ƚŽ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞ ŽǀĞƌĂůů ĞĸĐŝĞŶĐǇ ĂŶĚ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ƐŚĂƌĞ͕ ŽƵƌ ŽƵƚůŽŽŬ ĨŽƌ E^KE ƌĞŵĂŝŶƐ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ͘
Afrinvest Securities Limited (RC 603 315) (A Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange)
Forte Oil PLC
PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC
Cadbury Nigeria PLC
NASCON Allied Industries PLC
UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr
Union Bank of Nigeria PLC
Julius Berger Nigeria PLC
Sterling Bank PLC
Dangote Flour Mills Plc
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger
Chemical and Allied Products P
Beta Glass PLC
Transcorp Hotels Plc
T o p 10 G a in e r s T ic k er
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T o p 10 T r a d e s b y V a l u e
T o p 10 L o s e r s
Yϯ ƐƚĂŶĚĂůŽŶĞ ŝŶĚŝĐĂƚĞĚ Ă ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ǁŝƚŚ ŐƌŽƐƐ ƌĞǀĞŶƵĞŐƌŽǁŝŶŐϮϳ͘ϲйYͲŽͲY;ĨƌŽŵEϲ͘ϯďŶŝŶYϮ͗ϮϬϭϳƚŽEϳ͘ϵďŶ ͲͿ͘ >ŝŬĞǁŝƐĞ͕ ĐŽƐƚ ŽĨ ƐĂůĞƐ ĂŶĚ ŽƉĞƌĂƟŶŐ ĞǆƉĞŶƐĞƐ ƌŽƐĞ ϴ͘ϱй ĂŶĚ ϰ͘ϵй YͲŽͲY ƚŽ ƐƚĂŶĚ Ăƚ Eϰ͘ϰďŶ ĂŶĚ EϬ͘ϲŵ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ ǁŚŝůĞ KƉĞƌĂƟŶŐŝŶĐŽŵĞĨŽƌƚŚĞƉĞƌŝŽĚĞǆƉĂŶĚĞĚϴϭ͘ϮйƚŽEϯ͘ϬďŶ͘ƐĂ ƌĞƐƵůƚ͕WdĂŶĚWdŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚϴϬ͘ϲйĂƉŝĞĐĞƚŽEϯ͘ϭďŶĂŶĚEϮ͘ϭďŶ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ͘
P ric e
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M A YB A KER
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C A VER T ON P R ESC O
Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Omotunde | email@example.com
Bolaji Fajenyo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Omotola Abimbola | email@example.com
˾ FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018
FMAN Elects New Executive Members to Runs its Affairs The Fund Managers Association of Nigeria,(FMAN) recently elected new executive members to run its affairs. The President is Ononuju Irukwu (Managing Director, Chapel Hill Denham; Vice President is Shuaib Audu,(Executive Director, Investment & Technology, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited). Others are: Treasurer, Tope Omojokun( Managing Director, Investment One Funds Management Limited); Executive Secretary, Henrietta 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
Bankole-Olusina(Director, ARM Investment Managers Limited); Head, Technical and Enlightenment Committee, Ifeoluwa Dixon(Head, Fixed Income Portfolio Management, FBN Quest Asset Management Limited); Head, Ethics, Rules and Regulations Committee, Emeka Okolo, (Head, Coronation Asset Management) and Ex-Officio, Ore Sofekun, (Managing Director, Investment One Vencap Limited). FMAN is an independent, nonfloor 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 7-Mar-2018, unless otherwise stated.
governmental, non-political and non-profit making established in August, 2009 to promote the operations of fund managers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria (SEC), provide for self-regulation and supervision of SEC registered fund managers and ensure the observance of global best practices relating to the operations of such fund managers. The aim of the Association is
to address all the issues affecting the industry’s development and represent its members at national and international levels in ongoing discussion about the future regulatory framework for the industry. The association’s focus is on education, regulation, policy development and international best practices for the benefit of its members, institutional investors, Policy makers and other stake holders.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 194.45 195.02 9.33% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.60 246.18 5.97% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD email@example.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 0.86 0.87 5.10% ACAP Income Funds 0.63 0.63 4.21% AIICO CAPITAL LTD firstname.lastname@example.org 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 15.85% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD email@example.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 N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 167.19 168.36 10.22% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 15.43% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.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 14.95% Paramount Equity Fund 13.04 13.37 5.47% Women's Investment Fund 102.15 104.76 1.51% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT email@example.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 15.32% Coronation Balanced Fund 1.11 1.13 5.69% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.09 1.12 5.48% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN Heritage Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional N/A N/A N/A FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail N/A N/A N/A FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.41 1.44 8.04% Legacy Debt Fund 2.95 2.95 2.46% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org 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 3,177.16 3,218.91 6.57% Coral Income Fund 2,534.96 2,534.96 3.62% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED email@example.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 14.16% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org 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 15.20% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.20 2.23 4.44% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 17.93% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 117.58 117.93 2.23%
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 1.17 1.19 1.39% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,055.95 1,055.95 2.41% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 16.87 17.04 19.75% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 14.21% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org 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 9.01% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.37 11.46 3.13% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 13.14% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED email@example.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 N/A N/A N/A SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.53 1.53 2.92% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.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 2,401.93 2,421.47 7.07% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 178.47 178.47 1.14% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.12 1.13 11.39% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 228.06 228.16 3.57% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 194.87 197.11 8.82% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.92% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,596.13 10,742.29 9.59% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.08 1.08 1.89% 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 1.34 1.36 0.80% United Capital Bond Fund 1.60 1.60 2.35% United Capital Equity Fund 1.01 1.03 9.93% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.87% United Capital Eurobond Fund 104.05 104.05 1.11% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.13 1.13 3.45% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 13.42 13.62 7.35% Zenith Ethical Fund 14.07 14.24 6.72% Zenith Income Fund 19.56 19.56 3.40% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.40%
REITS NAV Per Share
Yield / T-Rtn
Yield / T-Rtn
12.72 165.32 122.44
12.82 168.88 124.73
4.93% 15.76% 12.07%
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
email@example.com Bid Price
Yield / T-Rtn
5.67 9.80 19.67 23.14 153.98
5.71 9.88 19.77 23.34 155.78
19.46% 2.43% 10.72% 17.55% 3.55%
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.
Ëœ Î ËœÍşÍ¸ÍšÎ€ËžT H I S D AY
WORLD OF ISLAM
Edited by: MJO Mustapha Email firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Get Closer to God â€“1 Mansoor Alam/IslamiCity
hat does â€œgetting closer to Godâ€? mean? Obviously, it does not mean getting closer to God physically, as that would be contrary to the Quranic concept of God - God is not situated in a particular place in space. God says, â€œI am closer to you than your jugular veinâ€? (50:16); and again, â€œWherever you are, I am thereâ€? (2:115; 7:7). Getting closer to God therefore means: Emulating in our own characters, as far as possible, the attributes of the perfect Self, which is God. The more we emulate these attributes the closer we get to God. But, emulation of these attributes must occur within society, not alone. Concepts of God that teach personal salvation through individual meditation or prayer are non-Quranic. Quranic salvation can only be possible by restructuring the present political and economic systems so that they reflect the universal and permanent attributes of God given in the Quran. For example, since God is universally merciful, forgiving, fair and just, so should be the social order operating on behalf of God. Just as God provides sustenance and nourishment to all, so should the economic system established on His behalf. Just as God guarantees universal human rights and freedoms, so should the political system established in His name. Those who establish such a system and direct their daily affairs by it, will gradually start reflecting the attributes of God in their own characters, i.e. they will take on the â€œcolorâ€? of the attributes of Allah in their own characters. They will boldly proclaim, â€œWe take our color from Allah, and who is better than Allah at coloringâ€? (2:138). This is what â€œsibgha-tullahâ€? or â€œthe color of Allahâ€? means in this famous Quranic verse. Under such a system therefore, peopleâ€” individually, as well as, collectivelyâ€”will start getting closer to the one true God since they will have the same objective standard of Asmaaul â€˜Husnaa, the most balanced attributes of God, as their common goal: (7:180) â€“ AND GODâ€™S [alone] are the attributes of perfection [Asad]. This is bound to lead to universal brotherhood and unity of humankind, the ultimate objective of the Quran (2:213). In this system, individuals colored with the color of Allahâ€™s attributes work and struggle together in a synergistic fashion, helping each other, being driven only by the conviction of this one common goal â€“ closeness to God. This common goal requires that we understand clearly some other facets of our relationship to God as well. The main characteristics of the â€œselfâ€? are: uniqueness, independence and freedom. When I say, â€œâ€˜Iâ€™ am free,â€? it really implies that my â€œselfâ€? is unique, it is free and not dependent on any other â€œselfâ€?, and it has the freedom of choice and action. God, being the perfect â€œSelfâ€?, is completely unique (Allahu Aâ€˜had); He is absolutely free and is not dependent (Allahus Samad); He begetteth not, nor was begotten; and there is none like unto Him (112:1-4). Therefore, in this life, human beings must strive to move closer to God by developing these latent characteristics of the â€œselfâ€?. To facilitate this development, the â€œselfâ€? needs some limitations, which must be self-imposed rather than externally imposed. In fact, external imposition destroys the â€œselfâ€?. God says in the Quran that although He has absolute power and control over His creation, He too has put some limitations on Himself, for example, to be merciful and to help the believers: Say (O Prophet): â€œTo whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth?â€? Say: â€œTo Allah.â€? He has prescribed Mercy for Himself (6:12). It is Our duty to help the believers (6:54; 7:156). According to the Quran, this participation between God and believers occurs through a contract. In Islam, Believers must enter into a contract with Allah by selling their lives and property to Him in return for Jannah (9:111). Therefore, in this way, they become helpers of Allah for carrying out His mission in this world (61:14), while Allah makes it His duty to help them. Since Jannah encompasses both this world as well as the Hereafter, believers pray and must strive for a good life on earth as well as in the Hereafter (2:201). Another example of Allahâ€™s self-imposed limitations in spite of unlimited power is that
Allah does not force anyone to accept His message. He has given complete freedom of choice to human beings to accept or reject it (18:29). He could make every human being a believer but He does not (32:13; 10:99). The God of the Quran is not a dictator There is no doubt that God has complete control over His creation (5:120; 9:116; 23:88). He can do anything (2:117; 6:73; 14:27; 19:35; 36:82). No one can question Him (21:23). But does He use His powers arbitrarily like a dictator or a king? Or does He follow some standard or pattern? There is a set pattern according to which God produces results. The result of our actions is produced according to the law related to Godâ€™s permanent attribute for that particular action as set forth in the Quran. In the Quranic concept of God, people do not have to individually please him but have to follow His laws, which have been clearly outlined in His book, The Quran. The God of the Quran does not bend towards anyone. He has permanent and objective attributes and is the fountainhead of unchangeable laws called KALIMAT-I-ALLAH (6:34; 6:115; 10:64; 18:27), SUNNAT-I-ALLAH (17:77; 33:62; 35:43; 48:23), and KHALQ-I-ALLAH (30:30) by the Quran. Therefore, the result of our actions depends on whether or not the action was performed according to His law. If the result is different from expected, then one has to change oneâ€™s actions. One should not keep on doing the same thing while trying to please God by prayers and sacrifices to persuade God to change His laws. One has to align oneself with His laws, not vice versa. Khalifa â€˜Umar (R) once said that his aim was to stop the peopleâ€™s prayers from reaching God. This intrigued the people. He explained that people normally pray to God when they are facing some problems. His duty as Khalifa was to solve their problems so they would not have to pray to God for their solution. If they needed to pray to God, then that would, in effect, be a complaint against him to God. Interestingly, this means that the system, implemented according to the Quran, is supposed to fulfil Godâ€™s promises to human beings. God does not directly help human beings. He helps them through his servants (Prophets and true believers) who implement His plans in the human world by using the Quran as the Constitution of God on earth. This brings us to another important aspect of the concept of God, i.e. Godâ€™s laws are not only unchangeable but they are universal. Universality of Godâ€™s Law In the physical world, we readily accept the universality of Godâ€™s laws. For example, an experiment to liberate hydrogen and oxygen from water will produce the same result under the same conditions no matter where that experiment is conducted. We owe our health and welfare, and even our life to the universality of these laws. The same applies to another set of Godâ€™s laws now safely preserved in the Quran. It does not matter if we believe in them or not. These laws have their own objective existence and they work inexorably in the human world just as the laws of nature work in the physical world. The God of the Quran is the Nourisher and Cherisher of all the worlds (Rabbil â€˜Alameen) and the Nourisher and Cherisher of all humankind (Rabbin-Naas). He is the Sovereign (Malikin-Naas) and God of all humankind (Ilaahin-Naas). Therefore, in this concept of God, there is no place for discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, language, economic opportunities, political power, or social status. The Quranic God is equidistant from every human being. Only those people who synchronize their wills with the will of God get their â€œcolorâ€? from Him. In turn, those who get colored by God reflect universal God-like attributes and become members of one family. In this way, there is no contradiction in their inner and outer lives. With this concept of God, there is no push and pull, no effort through prayers and rituals to bend God in anyoneâ€™s favor. This leads to yet another aspect of Godâ€™s objective laws pertaining to humans: whether or not one believes in this concept of God, every human action produces a reaction based on Godâ€™s law of requital. to be continued
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
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T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
If Russia Role in Nerve Attack Proved, Britain Will Respond -PM May Britain will respond appropriately if evidence shows Moscow sponsored a nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in southern England, Reuters reported Prime Minister Theresa May as saying on Thursday, in the highest-level warning of action to date. Former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in hospital since they were found unconscious on Sunday on a bench outside a shopping centre in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury. British media and some politicians have speculated that the Russian state could be behind the attack - suggestions dismissed by Moscow as knee-jerk, antiRussian propaganda.
“We will do what is appropriate, we will do what is right, if it is proved to be the case that this is state-sponsored,” May told ITV News, when asked whether Britain could expel the Russian ambassador over the attack. “But let’s give the police the time and space to actually conduct their investigation,” she added, in her first comments on the attack since police said on Wednesday a nerve agent was used. “Of course if action needs to be taken then the government will do that. We’ll do that properly, at the right time, and on the basis of the best evidence,” she said. Scientific tests by government experts have
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identified the specific substance used, which will help identify the source, but authorities have refused to disclose the details. Both victims remain unconscious, in a critical but stable condition, while a British police officer who was also harmed by the substance is now able to talk to people although he remains in a serious condition, interior minister Amber Rudd said. “The use of a nerve agent on UK soil is a brazen and reckless act. This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way,” Rudd told parliament in a statement. “But if we are to be rigorous in this investigation, we must avoid speculation and allow the police to carry on their investigation.” Despite her call, several lawmakers pointed the finger at Russia during their questions to Rudd, with some calling for investigations to be re-opened into the deaths of Russian exiles in Britain in recent years. Rudd rebuffed them, urging people to keep a cool head and saying the focus should remain on the Salisbury incident.
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FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Despite House Opposition, Fayemi Insists Ajaokuta Concession to Go Ahead Says he won’t honour legislature’s invitation again Technical audit of plant ready in six weeks Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Sumaina Kasim in Abuja The face-off between the House of Representatives and the Ministry of Steel and Mines Development over the on-going process for the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company may have taken a confrontational dimension as the Minister Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said he and other officials of the Ministry would find it very difficult to appear before the House as requested by the lawmakers. Also, contrary to the House opposition to the federal government’s plan to concession the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, as recently expressed by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the minister, added that the process would fully commence after the technical audit of the company, which he disclosed would be ready in the next six weeks. Fayemi stated these in an emergency press conference he addressed in Abuja yesterday in company of senior officials of the ministry, including the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu. Revealing that over $8 billion has been wasted in the concession process by the previous governments, he said the seeming opposition by the House of Representatives was after thought, as the National Assembly approved N2.096 billion for the concessioning in the 2017 Appropriation Act. He said both the ministry and the National Assembly had been on the same page regarding the need to concession the steel complex, adding that the ministry had been canvassing the concessioning option in all its meetings and sectoral debates with the lawmakers. “Government had taken a decision not to spend an additional
one dollar on Ajaokuta, since over $8 billion had been sunk into the project since 1982. Instead, government felt it would be better to give the complex to an operator with proven technical record and financial ability to run it more profitably,” Fayemi added. The minister noted that the inability to run the steel plant more profitably, necessitated the appropriation of over N2billion for the concessioning in the 2017 Appropriation Act by the lawmakers. According to him, “We are just commencing what was passed by the National Assembly; that is why we are surprised how we have been subjected to massive attack over the matter in the last one week.” FayemisaidtheMarch1,2018,sectoral debate which himself and the Minister of State, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, could not attend, and for which they duly notified the law makers, was the first andonlytimetheywouldbesoabsentat such debates, having attended previous invitations, which focused majorly on Ajaokuta and the steel sector. The minister stated that most of the allegations made against him, the minister of state and the ministry officials were not only unfounded but malicious. He said while the House members reserved the right to discuss and take decision on national issues, he took serious exemption to a member of the House going outside the hallowed chambers to make spurious allegations on another public servant. The minister revealed also that the technical audit, which would determine the actual cost of fixing Ajaokuta Steel Complex, was still on going, and would be ready in six weeks. Specifically, Fayemi said contrary to insinuations, the Russian Government had never
Secondus: Buhari’s Government Most Corrupt in Nigeria’s History Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday described the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as the “most corrupt’’ in the history of the country, challenging women to aspire to all political offices in the country, including the presidency Secondus who stated this in Abuja at a forum organised by the PDP Women to mark the International Women Day, 2018, charged them to rise up and help in rescuing Nigeria, while asking them to emulate late Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Madam Margaret Ekpo. He said things are now so bad in the country that chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have started speaking out against the swelling rot in their party. The PDP national chairman commended Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) for his bold statement on the floor of the Senate recently, saying: “Is it not clear the man is tired of corruption within APC?’’ He continued: “In the Senate yesterday, one of the APC leaders,
Melaye, spoke out because you must speak the truth. “In 16 years, PDP borrowed N6 trillion; but in less than three years, APC government has borrowed N16 trillion. So who is corrupt? Did they see the money? Where is infrastructure, where is water, where is electricity where is food, where is security? “So, this government is even more corrupt than any government in Nigeria. We have ministers who are corrupt in this government, including top government officials. They are swimming in corruption, yet they are harassing innocent people. “Nigerians should congratulate Melaye for speaking out; they cannot kill him. They cannot kill us. If they attempt to kill us, God will protect us. So, Dino, we congratulate you for speaking out, for speaking the truth.” He further challenged the women to not only speak out but be prepared to challenge the status quo, adding that time is ripe for women presidency in Nigeria. According, the PDP chairman, “I can see a country with women participating at the highest level. I can see the picture when one day, whether we like it or not, since we have failed as men, a woman president will emerge in this country.
approached the ministry nor the federal government to signify interest in running the complex. He, however, confirmed that some companies in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Nigeria had expressed interest in taking over the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, but that the ministry’s stand is that they should wait till an open and competitive bid for the steel complex would be opened. This, he said, would happen after certain things have been put in place including a technical audit. Fayemi said the idea that the Ajaokuta Steel complex was 98 per cent completed can best be determined by the outcome of the technical audit, saying without it, anybody insisting on the 98 per
cent completion is just involve in mere sloganeering. “Ajaokuta steel plant is an inherited challenge and late President Yar’ Adua, revoked the steel concessioning without due process,” Fayemi said. The minister added: “The fact that we are public officials does not mean we don’t have blood flowing in our vein; it does not mean we don’t have members of our families who express concerns over these unwarranted attacks. There is no longer any basis to honour invitation by people who have made up their minds on what to do; enough of these attacks.’’ Denying any financial impropriety by the ministry, as alleged by the lawmakers, Fayemi
added that no institution or group of people could blackmail his ministry to do the wrong thing over the concession, saying Ajaokuta Steel company would be given to people who will participate in an open bidding, which will be transparent and open to qualified people. Speaker Dogara stated recently that anyone who tries to re-introduce concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel, as a way forward would definitely had a problem with the House. The speaker also stated that the lower chamber would seek avenues to raise about $500 million to complete the project. The Steel Plant has been the subject of a long scrimmage between the federal government and the Global Steel holdings which
won a concession bid midwifed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. In 20111, the Senate Probe, accused Obasanjo of singlehandedly approving the concession of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex to Global Infrastructure Limited against due process. Global Steel had been accused of cannibalising the plant and the agreement, which led to the cancellation of the deal by the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua-led government. Global Steel took the government to court, but the matter was then resolved by arbitration, which ruled that the federal government could not do anything about the plant until the expiration date of the agreement.
WELCOME TO PLATEAU STATE
R-L: Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong; President Muhammadu Buhari; Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura; Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong; and Gbong Gwom Jos and Chairman Plateau State Council of Chiefs, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, when the president arrived Jos on an official visit....yesterday
Passenger Raises the Alarm over Fire Incident on Accra Bound Arik Flight Dana Air welcomes audit, reassures guests of safety Chinedu Eze An Accra bound Arik Air Flight W3304 from Lagos Tuesday day night was alleged to have caught fire 35 minutes after take off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The 55 minutes flight was operated by a Bombardier Q400 (Dash 8) aircraft and took off at about 7:20p.m. Nigerian time. A passenger who narrated his experience on the flight, said the fire was noticed when an acrid smell of burning plastic wafted through the cabin of the aircraft, accompanied by huge smoke, which the passenger who declined to disclose his identity, said could not be traced by the frantic cabin crew. The passenger who provided details of the incident, described it as a horrible experience which could have been fatal. According to the passenger, “Thirty-five minutes into the 55-minute flight, I started smelling something like a burning stuff. Shortly after, the guy sitting next to
me asked if I could smell something burning and that confirmed my worst fears. “Before you could say Jack Robinson, smoke had filled the cabin. The air hostesses were busy scampering around opening the cabins and the lavatories to check if they could trace the source of the smoke without success. “While that continued, the oxygen masks that are always advertised during the safety demo prior to take-off could not be released, instead we were handed tissue paper to cover our noses to minimise and filter any possible carbon monoxide inhalation. “About five minutes after, precisely with 15 minutes of flight time remaining, the pilot came on the public address system to inform us that they have smoke coming into the cabin but they did not know the source of the smoke and that they have declared an emergency.” The passenger said he was relieved when the flight successfully landed by 8.15p.m. (7.15 p.m. Accra time) into the waiting arms of
several fire service trucks at the Kotoko International Airport, Accra. “We were evacuated into a waiting bus with instructions to leave everything behind in the cabin. Sadly. there was no Arik official to address us, nor was there any manner of first aid given to the passengers to manage stress and possible elevated blood pressure. “After a while our cabin luggage were brought to us and we had to leave from there to go through the Ghanaian immigration to our individual destinations,” he added. Since the incident occurred neither the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA.) nor the management of the airline has issued any statement on the incident. Reacting to the incident, the communications manager of the airline, Banji Ola, said in a statement: “Arik Air Flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra on March 6, 2018 declared an emergency in line with standard operating procedures when an unknown source of smoke was detected in the cabin 81 miles from Accra.
“The captain of the flight briefed the passengers accordingly, assuring them that the aircraft was under control and safe for landing in Accra. “The aircraft, a Dash 8 Q400, landed safely in Accra without further incident and all passengers disembarked normally. “The aircraft is currently parked in Accra and our team of engineers are conducting a comprehensive inspection on the aircraft to ascertain the cause of the smoke, after which the aircraft will be flown without passengers to a maintenance facility for rectification and testing. “The relevant aviation authorities in Ghana and Nigeria have been briefed appropriately on the incident.” Meanwhile, Nigeria’s domestic carrier, Dana Air, yesterday reacted to the directive given by the federal government that its operations should be audited, adding that it was ready for the exercise. “We therefore welcome the recent audit ordered by the federal government and we are willing to work with the team and the
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FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Leave Our Daughters Alone, Buhari’s Wife Warns Boko Haram Our Correspondents As Nigerian women join their couneterparts across the world to celebate the International Women’s Day, the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, yesterday in Abuja, warned Boko Haram insurgents and others who abduct and perpetrate various harmful practices against women and innocent girls to halt the unwholesome acts. In a statement, her media assistant, Suleiman Haruna, said Mrs. Buhari spoke at an event marking the 2018 International Women’s Day at the National Centre for Women Development. According to the statement, Mrs. Buhari said the day should be marked with reflections in view of the sad incident of the earlier abduction of Chibok girls in 2014, some of which are still in captivity, and the recent kidnap of 110 girls in Dapchi, Yobe State, saying she shared in their mother’s sorrows. “As a mother, I share the sorrow and agony of the parents at this time, it is my sincere hope that efforts by government will soon lead to their release,” she was quoted. According to the statement, Mrs. Buhari re-christened the theme of the event as “Leave our daughters alone,” describing it as a strong call for the end of abductions and charged the media to lead the campaign by spreading the message. She also called on wives of the state governors to propagate the campaign in their various states, stating that the message must be spread in every part of Nigeria and be on everyone’s lips. “Leave our daughters alone, leave our daughters alone, leave our daughters alone” she was further quoted. The statement also said the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, while speaking earlier, congratulated women as they marked the special day, saying it was sad that Nigerian women were witnessing the worst of times because of many negative things that were happening. Haruna also said Mrs. Osinbajo however, noted that they were also witnessing the best of times in many respects because there are many good stories happening around women.
Senate Summons Buratai, IG over Dapchi Abductions The Senate yesterday summoned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, and the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, over the abduction of 110 secondary school girls in Dapchi, Yobe State. Both men are expected to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence and Police Affairs, where they would brief lawmakers on the actual situation of the kidnap and their strategies for rescue of the victims. The resolution followed a motion by Senator Binta Masi Garba and nine others which was sponsored in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2018. The motion was read by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti PDP), who noted that Nigerian women have made marks in all spheres of national life, despite the challenges they are faced with.
House Will Push for Women’s Progress, Dogara Promises
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday assured Nigerian women of the commitment of the House of Representatives in ensuring that goals targeted at women’s empowerment and inclusion are actualised. In a statement issued to commemorate the 2018 International Women’s Day, he said the House is in tune with this year’s theme, “Press for Progress” as it has steadily been involved in activities and ventures that will promote upliftment of women in Nigeria” He added that his leadership is aware and working to gradually eliminate challenges that have impeded gender parity in Nigeria, including lack of access to education, poverty and repressive cultural norms and called on stakeholders to join the legislature to bring an end to gender-based discrimination in the country. Also, the House at plenary passed a motion urging the federal government to rescue the missing Dapchi school girls and the remaining Chibok girls and provide security for all school children and women in the country.
Obaseki Harps on Inclusive Policies Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has called for inclusive policies and stronger collaboration on programmes that would create spaces for women to be properly represented in politics and business. The governor said much as there are efforts to expand the frontier for women to participate in economic, politics and social institutions in society in urban and peri-urban centres, there is even a more urgent need to focus on those in rural areas who need inclusive policies, financial support and social structures to facilitate their contributions to development. According to him, it is imperative to press for progress across different markers of development, especially for women, and ensure spaces are created for them to achieve their potential. Meanwhile, the governor’s wife, Betsy presented cheque of N50,000 to 2,000 female entrepreneurs who are into small and medium scale enterprises in the state.
Kogi Governor’s Wife Calls on Women to Be Agents of Peace The wife of Kogi State Governor, Mrs. Rashida Bello, has called on women to be agents of peace in the society. She made the call yesterday at the women conference and sensitisation on ‘Peaceful Living and Harmonious Coexistence’ in the state with a theme: ‘Women as Catalyst for Peace and Development’ in Lokoja.
Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu (fourth left), Ondo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Princess Omowunmi Olatunji (fourth right), and others at the Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) one day workshop to mark International Women’s Day 2018, held at Babafunke Ajasin Auditorium, Ministry of Women Affairs, Akure. Rashida who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade A Arike, said women must rise up and take a stand on promoting peace in the state, noting that with the current crises in some neighbouring states in the North-central, women in the state should be sensitise on the essence of peaceful coexistence. She stated that women as mothers are key to peaceful coexistence of every society, and called on them to be alive to their responsibilities in the quest for harmonious coexistence.
Akeredolu Rallies Stakeholders against Discrimination The need to continue to work towards effecting change in the social and cultural aspects of inheritance while exploring legislation and policies that will protect female inheritance in Nigeria was one of the issues that took the front burners at the inaugural one-day workshop put together by the Office of the Wife of the Governor and Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) to mark International Women’s Day Celebration at Babafunke Ajasin Hall, Akure, Ondo State. Addressing the gathering, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, affirmed that for too long, social and customs in Nigeria have constrained women from enjoying liberations accorded to them in terms of inheritance. She explained the pertinence for women to understand their rights regarding inheritance which is the first step towards exercising and benefiting from their rights.
Ambode Calls for Removal of Barriers Impeding Women’s Progress
The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has called for the removal of barriers impeding the progress of women in the country. Speaking at the Women’s Day celebration held at the Police College, Ikeja, yesterday Mrs. Ambode said women must be ready to challenge stereotypes and should rise up to question old established practices that were not women-friendly. Bolanle said: “We must remove barriers that stand in the way of the progress of women. When we stand together, we can achieve anything and any obstacle can be pulled down. We must nominate and support women for emerging opportunities, whenever they arise. Supporting one another is a duty we owe and must carry out every time for women to move on.”
Cultural Practices Impede Women’s Progress in Nigeria, Says Abubakar Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has asserted that cultural and traditional practices in some societies impede women’s progress in the country. The governor represented by his deputy, Nuhu Gidado, made this assertion yesterday at the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day organised by the wife of the governor, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar held at state Government House banquet hall. He lamented that women in Nigeria are relegated to the background and are scarcely given the opportunity to prove their worth. “Due to some cultural inhibitions, many conventions, treaties and protocols were adopted to address such negative tendencies and to put gender issues on the front burner,” he said
Organisations With Diverse Management, Makes Better Decisions, Says Emeﬁele
In an attempt to encourage women, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, yesterday disclosed that evidence has shown that organisations with diverse management make better decisions. To this end, the country’s apex bank has embarked on a massive training, mentoring and coaching of women as part of effort to bridge the gender gap in the country. The governor disclosed this while marking the International Women’s Day titled: ‘Press for Progress,’ at CBN Headquarters in Abuja. According to him, “Women discovered that there is an overwhelming masculinity of the financial service industry, despite growing evidence that organisations with diverse management make better decisions.” The CBN boss further revealed that the Bankers Committee increased their representation on boards level to 30 per cent, and on Senior Management Level to 40 per cent in 2014.
Women Lauded for Role in Creation of FCT The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has paid glowing tributes to women for their role towards the realisation of the Nigeria’s dream for a new capital. The minister made this declaration yesterday, while delivering his goodwill message to women of the FCT on the occasion of the International Women’s Day celebration. The FCT minister while acknowledging the pivotal role that women have played in the realisation of the Abuja project, noted that Abuja could not have been what it is today without the contributions of women, which he noted span all aspects including engineering, law, administration and social services among others. He said: “Indeed, long before the idea of a FCT was conceived, it was a woman named Dr. Ladi Kwali that took Abuja to global reckoning. The hard work, industry and skill of the Abuja woman in pottery, mat-making, agriculture and indeed the family are all too well known.”
Emmanuel Goes Tough on Rapists, Cultists
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has read riot act against any person who engages in the act of rape, violence against women and cultism in the state. The governor who made his remark at this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration, tagged: ‘Press for Progress’, at the Ibom Hall Ground, Uyo, the state capital, said: “As women are pressing for progress, we are putting up a serious fight against rape.” Emmanuel, who encouraged any victim of rape to feel free to report it to the appropriate authority, assured that the identity of such victim would be protected. According to him “We are going to work seriously to make sure we put an end to rape. Please don’t fail to report it to us, we will not expose the identity of victims”, adding, “We need to bring those people who are culprits to book. “We must not continue to put our women through those pains. Even if it is an attempted rape, let us know. Nobody will threaten you and if anybody threatens you, report such a person to us,” he stated.
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Alpha Beta Denies Collecting Land Use Charge for Lagos Admits doing business with the state govt Gboyega Akinsanmi Alpha Beta Consulting LLP yesterday denied involvement in the collection and administration
of the Land Use Charge for Lagos State contrary to reports that linked the firm with the enforcement of the state’s newly reviewed Land Use Law, 2018.
DHQ Tackles Senate, Ekweremadu over Comment on Military Take Over Paul Obi in Abuja The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday confronted the Senate and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, over the comment credited to him that military coup d’ etat is still possible in the country. According to the Director of Defence Information, Brig Gen John Agim, such comments do not in any way represent the aspirations of the military in a democratic setting in today’s Nigeria. He argued that the statement linked to Ekweremadu at its best, portrayed the Nigerian military in a bad light and as an undemocratic institution before the eyes of the Nigerian public. Agim said: “The Defence Headquarters wish to respond to a comment by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu on March 7, 2018, regarding the Nigerian military, while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Ahmed Ogembe, representing Kogi Central. “In his comments among others, the deputy senate president stated: “The problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over, let us not joke with our democracy that is the issue.” He added that the “statement may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse, it is however derogatory to the army used in the expression and by extension to the armed forces of Nigeria. “The statement in the true sense has the capacity to denigrate the Nigerian military in every ramification including its loyalty to the president, commander in-chief of the armed forces and the confidence of the public to defend Nigeria’s democracy. “In the light of this, the Defence Headquarters wish to state clearly that, the Nigerian military has come of age and is in tune with best international military practices of complete and total subordination to democratic governance. “In this regard, it is worthy to remind the public about some key measures among others that guaranteed the present sustainable status of politically unambitious members of the armed forces: “Shortly, after the transition from a military to a democratically elected government in 1999, officers of the armed forces of Nigeria, who were quasi-political, were honourably eased out of service. “This was done to avoid indoctrination of other officers in the military in order to enable the democratic government commence a re-professionalisation process of the armed forces. “The process commenced in collaboration with international organisations such as the United States armed forces and the British military.
“By 2009, from the basic military training institutions through units and formation reorientation programmes to top management workshops and seminars for the military, it became clear that the armed forces of Nigeria has been re-professionalised to be totally subordinate to political leadership and democracy in the country.” Agim stated that “in addition, the Nigerian military began to take the lead at ensuring that the West African sub-region is stable democratically through military diplomacy and physical actions where it is highly desirable and supported by ECOWAS. “The case of the Gambia last year is still fresh in our memories, where democracy was enforced by an ECOWAS military coalition led by the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under the focused and abled leadership of Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General AG Olonisakin. “Furthermore, the present crop of personnel in the armed forces of Nigeria right from the service chiefs to the men; are made up of the balance of re-professionalised officers and fresh intakes from 1999, who do not nurse political ambitions. “They are fully committed to their oaths of allegiance to serve their fatherland Nigeria, with total submission to our democratic government. “Defence Headquarters hereby assures the international community, Nigeria’s democratic institutions and the public, of its unalloyed loyalty to the President, Commander in Chief, provision of all necessary support for the sustenance of our democracy and carrying out our constitutional roles. “Therefore, the apprehension by the Deputy President of the Senate should be totally disregarded,” Agim stated. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday warned that negative information dissemination has the potential of affecting the nation’s national security. NAF Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya, gave the warning at a one-day training workshop for journalists in Abuja. According to Yahaya, “information management in today’s world is critical to national development and the way it is processed could affect national security positively or negatively. “Under the current leadership of the NAF of Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and present DOPRI Director, Air Vice Marshal OAlatokunbo Adesanya, has left no stone unturned in the quest to enlighten the internal and external publics about NAF activities.” Speaking, Adesanya stressed the imperative of media in national development, arguing that, as military work hard to ensure security, the media must also align with the military in partnership for security purposes.
Alpha Beta, a breed of management, information systems and technology consulting firm, however, admitted that it “does business with the state as we do with other individuals and organisations that require our services.” The Deputy Managing Director of the tax consulting giant, Mr. Bode Oluyemi, in a three-paragraph statement he personally issued yesterday, debunking all reports that linked the firm with the collection of land use charge in the state. Different stakeholders had protested the insertion of Alpha Beta under the Rules Governing the Distribution of the newly reviewed Lagos
State Land Use Charge Law, 2018. Under the section, the law states: “Alpha Beta or any other designated person (s) or corporate body, who has the responsibility of monitoring the incoming revenues of the state through the collecting banks shall provide a report to the Accountant-General of the state.” In a reaction on Wednesday, the state House of Assembly admitted that it inserted Alpha Beta in the land use charge law, 2018 in error, noting that the process of the new legislation “is not complete until the state government properly gazettes it.” However, in a statement
he signed yesterday, Oluyemi clarified that Alpha Beta “is not involved in the collection and administration of the Land Use Charge of Lagos State. “Although we do business with the state as we do with other individuals and organisations that require our services, Land Use Charge collection and/or administration is not part of our brief. “We make bold to state, therefore, that the stories making the rounds that link us to it is not true and do not represent our correct relationship with the government,” he said. He observed that the state government recently announced an increase in the Land Use
Charge, acknowledging that it “has equally engaged the public on the intent and details of the law in response to the public reactions to it.” But in a text message, the Chairman of House Committee on Information, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, agreed that Alpha Beta was inserted in error. The lawmaker noting that the process of promulgating the new law “is not complete until gazetting when the official copy will be available and the law properly cited.” Braimoh, therefore, promised that the correct position “will be reflected before the law is gazette. The process of gazetting itself is being expedited in view of these issues.”
Dogara: N’Assembly Won’t Write Buhari over Withdrawal of Assent on Bills House finally passes NFIU Bill James Emejo in Abuja The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday hinted on the reluctance of the National Assembly to write President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his decision to withdraw presidential assent to the bills recently passed by the National Assembly. His position however, put paid to expectations that the parliament could still persuade the president to change his mind and sign some of the bills he earlier rejected, particularly the Peace Corps of Nigeria Establishment Bill, whose rejection raised eyebrows. The Speaker had while reacting to a point of order raised by Hon. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) on the seeming lack of communication on the bills sent to the president for his assent, exonerated President Buhari of any blame. He said to the best of his knowledge, the president had adhered to the provisions of Section 54 of the Constitution by often communicating to the parliament on bills he chose not to give assent as well as his reasons for his decisions. Also, Dogara said the National Assembly would not ask the president to reconsider his decision on legislation he had refused to sign into law. Rather, he said the parliament has an option provided for by the constitution to override the president’s veto on the bills. He added that the parliament cannot force the president to reconsider his withdrawal of assent to the bills passed by the former, stressing that the constitution does not provide for such writing. However, the lower chamber yesterday reconsidered the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Establishment Bill and passed it after addressing the inherent errors which the Speaker had highlighted on
Wednesday. The passage of the harmonised bill, which was earlier passed by the Senate, pave the way for its transmission to Buhari for his assent. Shortly before the House dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration,
Dogara said contrary to speculations in some quarters, there was no plan to frustrate the passage of the legislation in the green chamber by the initial delays. He said the seeming tardiness on the part of the House was to address errors detected in the version of report submitted to
the lower chamber. He noted that insinuations that the House had deliberately delayed the passage “does not hold water,” adding that the harmonised bill would soon be forwarded to the president for his assent.
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
N’Assembly: Harmonised PIGB Will Be Ready for Buhari’s Assent March End Kachikwu harps on independent regulator, allays fears of mass sack Chineme Okafor in Abuja The National Assembly yesterday disclosed that the harmonised Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which is one of the offshoot bills of the omnibus Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be ready for President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to law by the end of March or latest after the upcoming Easter celebration. This is just as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has emphasised the need to have a strong and independent regulator emerge
from the enactment of the PIGB. Kachikwu equally promised that the government would not sack workers in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), two of the agencies that would be annulled by the creation of the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) in the PIGB. According to the National Assembly, its joint committee handling the harmonisation process would soon conclude their job, adding that but for the work it was still doing to get the 2018 budget passed into law
British Govt to Build Prison Wing in Kirikiri Britain will build a new 112-bed wing at Kirikiri Prison in Lagos so that it can transfer Nigerian prisoners there, Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, announced in London yesterday. In a written statement to parliament, Johnson said tenders had been placed and a supplier identified to conduct the building work at Kirikiri. He did not name the supplier. The project would be funded from Britain’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, which has an annual budget of more than 1 billion pounds and aims to commission projects that can help prevent conflicts and stabilise countries or regions. The new 112-bed wing, which will cost 700,000 pounds ($973,000) and be compliant with United Nations standards, will make it easier for Britain to comply with a prisoner transfer agreement it signed with Nigeria in 2014. Under that deal, according to AFP, eligible prisoners serving criminal sentences in Nigeria and Britain can be returned to complete their
sentences in their respective countries. The British government did not indicate how many prisoners might be moved or when the project is likely to be completed. Nigerian prisons — many of them built by British colonisers, more than 100 years ago — are severely overcrowded, leading to the spread of diseases. The Nigerian government has said it is developing a strategy to tackle the issue. Britain’s own prison system has been showing signs of severe strain in recent years, with overcrowding, rising suicide rates and a growing problem with drug trafficking and other crimes within jails that were sometimes built in the Victorian era. Kirikiri is not one of the oldest prisons in Nigeria but it does date back to colonial times. Last month, the government said the prison in the southern city of Port Harcourt, which was originally designed to hold 800 prisoners, currently has nearly 5,000 inmates. It said 3,700 of them had been awaiting trial for more than five years.
soon, it would have completed its harmonisation of the PIGB and presented to Buhari to assent to. Speaking at a workshop organised by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) on the PIGB in Abuja, the Consultant to the National Assembly Committees on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Dr. Francis Adigwe, disclosed this and that the work left to be done in the harmonisation exercise was not so much. Adigwe, noted that the National Assembly was desirous of getting the PIGB to the president for assent as soon as possible, as well as, passing the other three offshoot bills of the PIB which deal with the fiscal, administration and host communities. “It is not going to be a very difficult thing to do, but the National Assembly is saddled with the 2018 budget which takes precedence, but the harmonisation is likely to happen within March and the bill is likely going to the president by the month end or latest by Easter.
“The PIGB needs a lot of carefulness to be harmonised. I am confident that this month, the harmonisation would happen,” said Adigwe, in his remarks at the workshop. He further stated on the commitment of the legislators to the PIGB and fears they may abandon it to face the 2019 elections: “There will be no attempt to sacrifice this bill on the altar of politics. I have not seen a National Assembly that is so eager to have this bill become law and we have legislators that are working so hard to ensure this works out well. The commitment, willingness, and excitement is there and there is so much self-sacrifice on the part of the National Assembly to get this concluded.” Also in his remarks, Kachikwu, who was represented by his Senior Technical Adviser, Upstream and Gas, Mr. Gbite Adeniji, at the workshop, noted that the cardinal goal of the PIGB was to create a governance framework that would allow the country’s oil
industry thrive, and as such, the government must ensure the emergence of an independent regulator for the industry. He said: “What we are trying to build now is a more muscular regulator. That is very good and could be very dangerous. It is dangerous if you do not have competent people running it. “We cannot sacrifice the future of the country on the altar of incompetence. This is where we have to be watchful, so that the hiring process into that entity must be done in a manner that it gives clarity to all that things are been done in national interest.” The minister explained that “We are taking the entire petroleum industry into an entity that is statutorily independent, from political interference. The way the minister can interfere is through policy directions. The policy directives must emanate from published policies. That is to say, this is the policy of the country and it must be a consistent policy. “You cannot direct that entity outside published policies.
Which means you cannot be rogue-regulated. Therefore, it is got to be run by people who have professional depth. That is the fundamental assumption behind the design of this regulation and everyone must understand this issue. If we get that right, then we are going somewhere as a country, because then you then have the basis for the implementation of all the other legislations that are coming behind. If we do not get this issue correct, it means we have lost these last 19 years and the future is now uncertain.” Similarly, the President of Nigerian Association of Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof. Wumi Iledare, stated in his remarks that a presidential assent to the PIGB would go a long way in reviving Nigeria’s oil industry which he noted had remained comatose. The Project Coordinator of NNRC, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, and National Coordinator of MITEI, Mr. Collins Olayinka, stated respectively that the workshop was initiated to push for a quick conclusion on the PIGB.
PASSENGER RAISES THE ALARM OVER FIRE INCIDENT ON ACCRA BOUND ARIK FLIGHT federal government to demonstrate our commitment not just to flying but to flying safe,” the airline said. In a statement signed by its head of communications, Kingsley Ezenwa, Dana Air commended the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) for releasing preliminary report on the incident when its flight overshot the runway and skidded into the bush at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa on February 23, 2018. It said the report has confirmed its earlier statement that Air Traffic Control directed the pilot in command of the flight to land on the runway over flooded by heavy downpour. The airline said: “Excerpts of the reports confirmed that the Air Traffic Control, an arm of the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency that is saddled with the responsibility of issuing instructions that the pilots are required to obey, had cleared the pilot in command to land. “It is pertinent to note that the pilot of that flight is a happily married man and a proud father of three beautiful children. He has over 30 years experience in the aviation industry and is one of the very best in his profession, meticulous in his duties, and headhunted from another domestic airline where he also served as the head of safety and
quality standards,” the statement said. The airline remarked that considering the safety measures that it has put in place and its huge investment in training and retraining of its crew and pilots, “we decided not to join issues, but to rather wait on the report of the AIB, the authentic body responsible for such investigations.” It disclosed that in 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its foreign partners, the Flight Safety Group, carried out an audit on its operations and in 2016, as a result of its commitment to global safetystandards,“weappliedtobecome a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), went through their audit and subsequently became a member in 2016. “Our route and fleet expansion program is still very much on course and we remain dedicated to our recent interline and aircraft partnership with Asky airline, another formidable airline in Africa,” it also said. It commended the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, “whohasprovenhimselfasa technocrat, and our esteemed guests for keeping faith with us while the incident was under investigation and we wish to reassure our guests of our commitment towards providing safe, reliable and affordable air transport.”
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
R-L: Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Muazu Abdulkadir; and Acting Director, Human Resources, Zubairu Abdullahi, during a press briefing on his feud with the House of Representatives on Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Abuja….yesterday
FG to Launch ERGP Focus Labs Ndubuisi Francis and Udora Orizu in Abuja The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has said President Muhammadu Buhari will at the banquet hall of the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, officially launch the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). focus labs which is one of the initiatives undertaken to ensure the full and effective implementation of the plan. The minister who spoke at the press briefing in Abuja yesterday, stated that over the last seven weeks, members of the ERGP implementation team have been working to map and understand the projects that exist across six core sectors of the economy and the stakeholders that are involved. According to him, “We cannot continue to do things the same
way and expect different results. Accordingly, we are embarking on many initiatives to fast track the changes we are determined to achieve. One of these initiatives is the Malaysian style focus labs which we are conducting initially in three key areas which are reflective of the five execution priorities of the ERGP. The labs will be conducted in agriculture and transportation, power and gas, and manufacturing and processing. The labs will be conducted by the relevant ministers responsible for those sectors i.e the Ministers of Trade and Investments, Mines and steel, Power, Works and Housing, Agriculture, Transportation and the Minister of State Petroleum Resources. “The ERGP was launched by the president in April 2017. The plan, as you all know, is our comprehensive medium-term plan and it runs from 2017 to 2020. The ERGP is a product of an extensive consultative process
with the stakeholders across the country including the National Assembly, the state governments, our development partners, academia, top economists and development experts and most importantly private sector. It sets out government. “We have set up an ERGP implementation Team (ERGP/ IT) in this ministry which is responsible for organising and facilitating the labs. They will be supported by Malaysian consultants, PEMANDU, who will share with us their experience in conducting a similar very successful process in Malaysia. In labs we will be able to among other things identify projects which will drive catalytic growth that will contribute in increasing private investments and create new jobs for Nigeria (Entry points projects), develop clear implementation plans for each EPP with identified budget,
key individuals responsible for those activities and accountable lead ministers along with key performance indicators, breakdown silos to harness private-public partnerships, align stakeholders to execute the plans and build trust and credibility between the public and private sectors. “The focus labs structure has never been used before in Nigeria so I would like to give some explanation of how it will work. Basically what will happen is that we will invite potential and existing investors both foreign and Nigerian, who may be interested in investing in any of the three areas we are focusing on to attend the closed-door sessions. The focus labs will involve stakeholdersfromthepublic and private sectors working together in a single environment to think out practical and workable solutions for delivering the kind of results Nigeria needs.”
T H I S D AY ˾FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018
Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email email@example.com
E U R O PA
Respite for Wenger as Arsenal Puts Milan to Sword
Arsenal shoved aside their recent problems as a polished 2-0 performance at fallen giants AC Milan gave them the upper hand in their Europa League last-16 tie. The Gunners arrived at the San Siro at arguably the lowest point of Manager Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign, yet responded to a run of four straight defeats with a confident and controlled display against their Italian hosts. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first goal for the club put the Premier League side ahead, cutting in from the left to fire in with the aid of a deflection off Milan skipper Leonardo Bonucci. Wenger spoke before the game about his team showing fight without compromising their attacking principles - and
they delivered in a dominant first-half performance. Aaron Ramsey deservedly doubled their lead before halftime, collecting Mesut Ozil’s piercing pass through the centre of Milan’s defence to round keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and tap in. Milan tried to up the tempo after the break, wasting a clear early chance to pull one back when Giacomo Bonaventura spooned over the bar. But Arsenal were largely unruffled from then on, limiting the home side to half chances with a solid defensive effort. The two away goals now make the Gunners firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals after next Thursday’s second leg at Emirates Stadium.
RESULTS AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal Atletico 3-0 Lokomotiv Dortmund1-2 Salzbur RB CSKA 0-1 Lyon Lazio 2-2 D’ Kiev Marseille 3-1 Bilbao Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Sporting 2-0 Plze
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey (right) rounding up AC Milan’s Goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, before scoring the Gunners’ second goal of their 2-0 defeat of the Italian club at San Siro… last night
U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
Falconets Draw Germany, China, Haiti Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja Nigeria’s Under-20 girls, Falconets have been drawn in the same pool as perennial foes Germany, China and Haiti in Group D of the 9th FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup taking place in France
between August 5th and Augus 24th 2018. At the Draw Ceremony held inside the Opera House, Rennes on Thursday, Africa’s other flag-bearers Ghana were thrown into the same Group A as hosts France, New Zealand
and The Netherlands. Group B is headed by Korea DPR and also has England, Mexico and Brazil, while USA, Japan, Paraguay and Spain will battle it out in Group C. Two-time runners –up Falconets begin their campaign with a huge
test, against Germany at the Stade de Marville in Saint-Malo on Monday, 6th August. Germany edged Nigeria to lift the trophy the two times Nigeria got to the championship final – in 2010 in Germany and 2014 in Canada. Chris Danjuma’s maidens will
WORLD CUP 2018
NBC, Coca-Cola Charges Super Eagles to Go forVictory in Russia The Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Mr. George Polymenakos has charged the Super Eagles to go for glory in the upcoming FIFA Mundial in Russia this summer. He expressed this optimism while speaking at the press conference that heralded the arrival of the original FIFA World Cup Trophy in Nigeria for the third time courtesy of Coca-Cola and its bottling partners, Nigerian Bottling Company Limited. While felicitating with the entire Nigerian football family, which is already buzzing with excitement and happiness, he expressed the company’s delight to have this unique opportunity to connect with the consumers through their passion point and make them happy with the World Cup Trophy Tour experience. “We at NBC and Coca-Cola would always be committed to bringing happiness and refreshment to Nigerians, this partly informs why we are aligned with FIFA on this World Cup Trophy Tour that would see the trophy touch 91 cities and 51 countries, spreading happiness
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika (left) with National Security Adviser to the President, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd) during the FIFA World Cup tour to the Presidential Villa in Abuja midweek godwin omoigui and psyching up the people to get ready for what is unarguably the greatest sporting fiesta coming up this year in Russia,” he said.
Speaking at the VVIP Viewing Experience of the FIFA World Cup Trophy, the Minister for Youth and Sports,
Solomon Dalung, expressed the hope that with the presence of the FIFA World Cup Trophy which is currently on tour in Nigeria, the Super Eagles would be motivated to do well in Russia 2018 World Cup Finals. Also expressing his delight that Nigeria is one of the few special countries where the trophy would be seen in two different cities. “I commend the efforts of the management of Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and Coca-Cola for this memorable moment, they have always been a good partner for the development of sports in Nigeria. I task other corporate bodies to emulate what they have done today and even do better,” he said. Some of the ex-football stars who were part of the tour include; Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, and former French International, Christian Karembeu. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour would berth in Lagos today and will be on parade at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday.
2 0 1 8 B OA L AW Y E R S L E AG U E
Falana & Falana in Flying Start to the New Season The 16th edition of the annual Bankole Olumide Aluko (BOA) Lawyers Football Tournament kicked off at the weekend at AstroTurf 2000 in Ikoyi, Lagos with defending champions Falana and Falana opening the new season with 2-0 defeat of Templars, Kazeem Lemoh got the opener in the 8th minute with Tayo Fasheshi doubling the goals eighth minutes later to give the defending champions first three points and a perfect start to the
new season. The law firm of Banwo & Ighodalo snatched a 3-2 victory against hard fighting Punuka while Babalakin fell 0-2 to ADVOCAAT. In other results of the opening weekend, former champions, Lagos State Ministry of Justice (LSMJ) defeated Wiseview/ Grey Chapel 2-1 while Aluko & Oyebode succumb to a 1-2 defeat to Rickey Tarfa. AELEX and Jackson Etti & Edu shared honours in their goalless
draw. SOOB/NCCM defeated Pinhero 2-0. ACAS/UBO defeated Bloomfield/DOA 2-0. Surprisingly, LSMJ’s Ola Temitope and Adikema Chizhim of Jackson Etti & Edu emerged the first two players to go earn red cards of the new season. Both players are to miss subsequent games of their respective teams. The Bankole Olumide Aluko Football Tournament (BOA), or Lawyers’ League is held in memory of the late notable lawyer,
Mr. Bankole Olumide Aluko, a founding partner in the law firm of Aluko & Oyebode (“A & O”). He passed on 16 years ago and ever since, his colleagues and associates have celebrated his life and time. He was reputed as a fine gentleman and obsessively passionate about his football. Aluko & Oyebode, a law firm he partly founded instituted the tournament in his memory as a platform to promote team spirit and camaraderie amongst legal professionals in Nigeria.
then be up against Haiti three days later at the same venue, before moving to Dinan-Léhon, where they play China at the Stade du Clos Gastel on Monday, 13th August. Ghana will go up against hosts France in the tournament’s opening match in Vannes on Sunday, 5thAugust. Concarneau is the other city that will host matches during the championship. Nigeria’s Group D opponents Haiti will be taking part in their first –ever FIFA women’s tournament, and FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura said: “I’d like to send my regards and warmly congratulate Haiti, who just qualified for their first-ever FIFA women’s tournament, on their remarkable road to France. Well done, girls, for taking this huge step.
“It’s so encouraging to see these young girls pointing the way forward through playing football. For FIFA, increasing the participation of women in football is an imperative. The development of women’s football is at the top of our list of priorities in our strategy ‘FIFA 2.0: The Vision for Future’.” France will also host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals. THE DRAW GROUP A GROUP B France Korea DPR Ghana England New Zealand Mexico The Netherlands Brazil GROUP C USA Japan Paraguay Spain
GROUP D Haiti China Nigeria Germany
Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp Offers Scholarships to Kids This year’s Greensprings/ Kanu Football Camp (GKFC) promises to be an exciting one, as the organisers of the annual football fiesta are once again offering scholarships to outstanding participants. This year’s football camp is to hold from April 8 to 13 at the Lekki campus of Greensprings School. Participants are expected to be handled by top international coaches from The Netherlands and England. They are to be supported by the Lagos State Football Association. According to a statement issued by the Head of Corporate Strategy, Greensprings School Lagos, Uche Ogbu, after the four-day rigorous training, awards are going to be issued to participants based on their conduct during the camp, with the ultimate prize being the educational scholarship to the Most Promising Player(s). This year’s award will join the growing list of eight awardees that have benefited from the annual scheme with some of them making it to the Under-15 National Team of Nigeria. This annual football camp
was established in 2012 to enable children between the ages of 5 and 17 years learn football skills from Nigerian and international coaches alike. “GKFC 2018 promises to be more exciting as our partnership with Nwankwo Kanu has led to a working relationship with STARS Football Academy - a United Kingdom based football academy, renowned for recruiting young players and aiding their progression into top English football league clubs. Team Scouts from STARS Football Academy will be on ground for this year’s camp to spot players that are eligible for trials and possible absorption into their academy,” Ogbu said. There will also be female coaches on ground to groom female stars that will step into the shoes of the likes of Asisat Oshoala, the current African Woman Footballer of the Year. For the 2018 edition, the football camp will feature other exciting activities such as movie night, inspirational presentations, swimming, penalty kick contests and a host of other team games.
Friday, March 9, 2018
& RE A S O
MISSILE MACBAN to Irigwe Community “It is unfortunate that while efforts are being made to restore peace and order, the silent killings of Fulani herdsmen by Irigwe militia continue unabated.” – Chairman, Miyetti Allah’s Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria accusing the Irigwe Community militia in Plateau State of compromising the peace accord reached with stakeholders by its continues killing of herdsmen.
AKINOSUNTOKUN DIALOGUE WITH NIGERIA
Jonathan Wasn’t That Bad Afterall “We now have the least competent, the most isolated, most divisive and arrogant leader in the history of Nigeria. And in a country that is so complex and not so cohesive, this is clearly a disaster, which is where we are heading” –Junaid Mohammed he optics and the substance issuing forth from the Presidency of General Mohammadu Buhari get increasingly worse. If Nigeria were not the collateral damage, all those who warned against his election should be entitled to chest thumping vindication at the subsisting near total demystification and unraveling of the Buhari mystique. As the rapporteur of the reelection campaign of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, I was occupationally required to acquaint myself with the political make up (in all its ramifications) of our main opponent, the flag bearer of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, namely Mohammadu Buhari. The insight I gathered from this preoccupation was as follows-his entry into partisan politics was uniquely actuated by personal animus and simultaneously reinforced by Hausa-Fulani irredentist outrage. Before he went into prison, on the trumped up charge of plotting a coup against the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha, Obasanjo’s core political constituency in the North was the ‘Kaduna Mafia’-of which Buhari was an armor bearer-recall the singsong of the Buhari military junta being the offshoot of the Murtala-Obasanjo military government. On his return to the pinnacle of political power in 1999 and for justifiable reasons, the incoming President undertook a wholesale review of inherited projects from the Abacha dictatorship and quickly dispensed with those that did not meet up with his fancy. The ill-starred flagship legacy project of Abacha was the Petroleum Tax Fund, PTF, personified by its executive chairman, Mohammadu Buhari. As it is characteristic of unaccountable dictatorship, the activities and book keeping of the PTF were discretionary and opaque. And whatever public good it might have served, it was always going to fail the smell test of standard public accountability and scrutiny. In light of their prior mentor-protégé relationship, the PTF was an awkward subject matter for both Obasanjo and Buhari. It was human for the former to feel somewhat betrayed by a friend who saw nothing wrong in working closely with his tormentor who had falsely roped him into a phantom coup plot and consigned him to the death row in Yola prison. The outcome of the financial scrutiny of the PTF was predictably incriminating-to the embarrassment and humiliation of Buhari who may or may not have foreknowledge of the wrongdoing that was uncovered. Beyond the disbandment of the agency, the fact that Obasanjo took no further steps to impose sanctions did little to assuage the bitterness of his erstwhile protégé at being
exposed to ridicule. From this encounter emanated the evolution of Buhari into the embodiment of the Northern irredentist outrage at the autonomous level playing course, Obasanjo had charted for his Presidency. As it is often deliberately misappropriated, any equitable and egalitarian initiative of the Nigerian federal government is liable to be politicized as anti-North. And so (for instance) was the decision to retire all military officers who had hitherto served in political offices and positions- who were regarded as ‘political soldiers’ and thereby prone to coup plotting. In quick order, this was the why and how the instrument of a power play by a beleaguered Zamfara state governor was transmogrified and contrived into a regional wide Moslem North casus belli against a convenient target-who happens to be a Christian from Southern Nigeria-talking of the Sharia crisis. The following polarizing and subversive catch phrases are the representative pronouncements of the ensuing malice-with Buhari as the chief missioner. “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country.” - Buhari (News24, August 27, 2001) “Muslims should only vote those who will defend their faith. We are more than the Christians if you add our Muslim brothers in the West.”- Buhari (Liberty Radio Kaduna, 2003) “Why should Christians be concerned when Muslim cut off their limbs? After all, the limbs that are being cut off are Muslim ones and not Christian. So why should Christians bother about it?? – Buhari (Liberty Radio, Kaduna 2003 Hausa Service, 2015) “I can die for the cause of Islam if necessary. We are prepared to fight another civil war. We cannot be blackmailed into killing Sharia.” – Muhammadu Buhari (Freedom House, 2000)
And so when President Obasanjo inquired of me after the 2015 Presidential election my reasons for actively championing the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan, I had no hesitation in reminding him of his instrumentality to my partisan standpoint-by giving me the assignment to know and understand (beyond the average ken) the political wherewithal of our opponent in the 2003 election. And whatever opinion I held of Buhari in 2003, he consistently reinforced over the subsequent years-and that is his unrivalled penchant for hypocrisy, divisiveness and malicious parochialism. My central argument against his candidacy in the 2015 Presidential election was that any Nigerian politician who rose to prominence through the politics of division and parochial insularity should never be rewarded with the Nigerian Presidency. On this score, he has even managed to surpass my projection and done abundantly more than we can think or imagine. According to Abba Mahmoud ‘The verdict out there in the public is that this government, as constituted now with its skewed appointments, is the most provincial, most sectional and most primordial. Even the immediate two predecessors of President Buhari, as unexposed to national limelight as they were, tried to have national outlook. Late President Umaru Yar-Adua’s ADC was from Edo state, his Principal Secretary who acted as Chief of Staff when the Office of Chief of Staff was abolished, was from Delta state, his Defence Minister was also from the South, among others, and all his security chiefs were Christians. His successor, President Goodluck Jonathan’s NSA was from Sokoto, Defence Minister from Zamfara, his ADC was from Benue, his Chief Detail was Muslim from Bauchi, while his Principal Private Secretary was a Fulani from Adamawa’. Of all the viral satirical deprecations of this government none is more telling and apt than the ‘take us back to where you met us in 2015’ one liner. If there was ever any doubt in my mind regarding the validity of this refrain, it was completely erased by the report of the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index, which scored Nigeria worse under the Buhari stewardship. More than any other liability, this was, afterall, the adjudged singular bane of the Jonathan government which constituted the warrant and prescription for a Nigerian leader of Buhari’s (false) reputation. But here is the most authoritative corruption watchdog in the World telling Nigeria that it has willfully sold itself a dummy; that we have inflicted on ourselves a cure worse than the disease, that in the juxtaposition of Jonathan and Buhari, appearances have proven quite deceptive. Said Junaid Mohammed,’ Now, among the people in the cabal, but very powerful and not known is someone called Tunde, originally called Sabiu Yusuf. He is the son of Mamman Daura’s immediate younger
sister. He is, today, P.A to the President, even though he has never worked for one day in his life. But a P.A job is normally the work of a full-blown director or a permanent secretary. That boy only got married last year and as I speak to you now, he is one of the billionaires in Nigeria today. Nobody of his age has the kind of money that boy has’? Pastor Tunde Bakare has provided another perspective to the degenerate situation “For 16 years of PDP they borrowed N6 trillion, for three years of APC, they borrowed N11 trillion. And they are not going to pay the debt. You and I, and our children, and our children’s children will pay the debt” And if there is anything worse than the TI rating, it is the mind boggling rebuttal that has emanated from the ranks of the paper tiger functionaries of the government. Not surprisingly and acting his credibility bereft position as the anti-corruption polemicist of the Buhari government, it was the audacious and indignant Professor Itse Sagay who called the logic of the TI rating into question with a most illogical counterpoint. According to Sagay, “Transparency International is making a major error. It is confused between the actual level of corruption and the level of revelation of acts of corruption. Corruption was worse than now….but because of the activities of the anti-corruption agencies, particularly the EFCC, virtually no day passes without one act of corruption or the other being revealed. To someone who is just relying on statistics of what is revealed, it’d seem that corruption is increasing. In fact, it is decreasing, because those that are revealed involve prosecution of suspects or forfeiture of assets. Corruption is being dealt with. So, that’s the error there.” In order to fully appreciate the folly of the illogic being espoused by Sagay, we only need to take a look at the corollary- that the less transparently active the fight against corruption, the greater the likelihood the TI will adjudge the country better on its corruption watch list. Second is the absurd inference that the TI is blissfully unaware that the corruption that is frequently and loudly touted by the Buhari government is almost exclusively attributed to the previous government. How then can the agency blame this government for the misdeed of the previous government that is being exposed? Is the TI this daft and simplistic? To crown it all and as if nemesis is relentlessly at work, Buhari would spectacularly and specifically fail on the delivery of another governance priority on which he was projected to play the hero to Jonathan’s villain. Is there a better way to, once again, dramatize the Buhari messianic illusion than the repetition of the signal failure of the Jonathan regime? What makes the abduction of the Dapchi girls quite irksome is the apparent failure of the government to learn from the lapse of the previous tragedy to forestall a recurrence.
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Published on Mar 10, 2018