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Atiku Fights Back, Tours UK to Improve Image Set to declare presidential run in May

Abimbola Akosile Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has launched a major campaign to repair several years of damage done to his image by his erstwhile boss, ex-President Olusegun

Obasanjo, as he traversed the United Kingdom in the last one month, talking to international opinion moulders on his true essence. The international image improvement engagements are preparatory to his declaration for a presidential run in 2019

on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which THISDAY sources close to him said might not be later than the end of May. Since Atiku fell out with Obasanjo in 2003 in the heat of their PDP presidential primaries,

the latter has spared no effort in projecting his deputy as a corrupt public official, who, given the opportunity to be in command of the ship of state, would “steal the country blind.” So effective has the Obasanjo stigmatisation of

Atiku been that the corruption perception became the former vice president’s albatross in his three previous presidential contests. “Aware of the implication of tackling this matter head on this time around, we decided

Atiku should make deliberate efforts to disabuse the minds of the people, particularly, the international opinion moulders, whose views could affect his chances,” a close associate of Continued on page 8

Army Arrests Masterminds of Taraba Killings ... Page 10 Sunday 15 April, 2018 Vol 23. No 8396 TR


& RE A S O



98 of 113 Chibok Girls in Boko Haram Custody Dead, Says Salkida Presidency: we have no information on that Omololu Ogunmade, Paul Obi, Sumaina Kasim in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri As the nation commemorated the fourth anniversary of the

abduction, by Boko Haram, of 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno State, yesterday, the news came from Ahmad Salkida, a journalist known for his strong

Military: it’s not true

link to the terror group, that only 15 of the 113 girls still in the custody of the terrorists were alive. “I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 Chibok

Parents ask FG to bring back the girls

girls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months,” he was quoted to have said by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). There were, however, muffled

reactions from the government yesterday. While the Presidency said it had no information on Salkida’s claim, the Defence Headquarters dismissed it as the stereotype about the safety

of the girls. “I have no information on that,” Shehu Garba, a media aide to the president, told Cosntinued on page 8

In a Move to Placate Govs, National Assembly Revises Order of Elections Abandons veto-override of presidential assent, introduces fresh amendment bill Assembly election holds first, presidency last Bill passes first reading

Governorship/Houses of

Abimbola Akosile In a deft strategic move to isolate President Muhammadu Buhari over the reordering of the sequence of elections contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, already vetoed by the president, the National Assembly has proposed a new amendment bill that places the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections first on the order of elections. Entitled, “Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018,” which passed first reading on March 21, shortly before the federal legislators proceeded on their Easter break, the bill, which THISDAY sighted, retained word for word the vetoed bill but reviewed the troublesome section 25 of the principal act. The new section 25 provides that the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections shall hold first, National Assembly comes second, while the presidential election brings up the rear. The vetoed bill had provided for the National Assembly election to come Continued on page 8

FOR A BLISSFUL MARITAL LIFE ... L-R: Groom, Derin Phillips; President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; bride's father and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II; bride, Xerona Duke; and her mother, Onari; at the traditional wedding of Derin and Xerona in Calabar, Cross River State Abiodun Ajala ...yesterday


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 ͹ͽ˜ͺ͸͹΀˾T H I S DAY, T H E S U N DAY N E W S PA P E R


Finally, Azura Deploys 450MW in National Grid, Raises Nigeria’s Power Output Documents show how embattled NBET auditor tried to subvert power market Chineme Okafor in Abuja A month ahead of the planned official commissioning of its 450 megawatts (MW) capacity power generation plant located in Benin City, Edo State, Azura Power has announced the completion of its whole plant run, indicating that all of its three turbines with a collective output of 450MW have been deployed in Nigeria’s national grid. The $900 million power plant was originally supposed to be completed around December this year, but it achieved a construction timeline cutback record of about seven months, and was thus planned for commissioning in May. The coming on grid of its three units could, however, improve the total amount of electricity available to the national grid by 450MW. Currently, Nigeria distributes an average of 4000MW to electricity consumers across its length and breadth. Nevertheless, the development comes at a time a document

indicted a former head of internal audits at the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Mr. Sambo Abdullahi, of attempting to subvert payments to power generation companies (Gencos) in the country by illegally detaining its audit stamps since June 2017. The document was part of a letter sent to the Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, by NBET’s Managing Director, Dr. Marilyn Amobi, detailing the roles two of her embattled staff may have played in the on-going leadership tussle in the agency. Amobi’s letter to Oloyede was also in response to charges of religious and ethnic discrimination against them, levelled against her by the two staff following their redeployment, which they have allege dly opposed since June 2017. However, on Friday night, Azura disclosed through its official twitter handle, @ AzuraPower, that all its three

turbines had been synchronised to the grid with their generation outputs approaching 450MW. It stated: “Azura did its first whole plant run today i.e. all three turbines on grid at the same time. Picture shows control room as we approached 450MW base load. Huge milestone. Kudos to all in FGN that have kept the faith.” THISDAY then reached out to the Deputy Managing Director of Azura, Mr. Edu Okeke, on phone to confirm the development, and Okeke stated that 450MW of Azura’s power was now going to the grid. He said: “Yes, that’s correct. With the successful synchronisation of all three turbines to the grid, Azura and FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria) agencies have shown confidence that the early completion and evacuation of the plant will be met. “Great congratulations to all the workers that made it to happen.” On December 20, 2017, Azura’s first turbine was

synchronised to the national grid and subsequently began producing electricity for distribution across the country. After the synchronisation of the first turbine, the company announced that it would undertake a four-month period of intensive commissioning of the other turbines, starting from the end of January to the beginning of March 2018. It stated then that the commissioning process will conclude at the end of April 2018, when the plant would reach full commercial operations. Meanwhile, with regard to THISDAY’s investigation of the on-going internal leadership tussle at NBET, the documents obtained by it within the week in Abuja accused Sambo of illegally detaining the audit stamps assigned to NBET by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF). His actions were said to have caused the OAGF to immediately issue NBET other audit stamps to avoid a likely disruption in its monthly payments to Gencos for power sold to it.

One of the documents in Amobi’s letter to Oloyede detailed her explanation of the situation at NBET following the allegation by Sambo and Mr Waziri Bintube – NBET’s former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – that she was perpetrating injustice and religious victimisation with their redeployment to new positions. Already, two Muslim groups, Abuja Muslim Forum and Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, had petitioned Amobi on behalf of Sambo and Bintube in this regard. They also noted that the NSCIA was aware of their petition, hence, Amobi’s letter to Oloyede. In the letter, Sambo was said to have detained the OAGF’s two audit stamps and locked up NBET’s security safe since June 2017, when he left his new position in protest of his redeployment. He was also said to have rebuffed repeated appeals by the OAGF to return the stamps and keys to the safe, and caused NBET to procure another audit safe worth N362,

250. Sambo’s actions, it was learnt, could have equally disrupted NBET’s monthly payments to Gencos because the audit stamps validate that such payments had gone through due processes. It was said that no payments to the Gencos can pass through without the audit stamp, and that by withholding it, Sambo intended to stop all payments of Gencos’ invoices, hence, the OAGF’s swift issuance of other stamps to NBET. THISDAY made efforts to contact Sambo to get his reaction to the allegations against him, but he refused to take calls to his mobile phone. Several times, the paper placed calls to him but he continued to drop them. He subsequently sent a text message stating that he was in a meeting and could only take messages, to which the paper responded with its request and also asked to know when best to call him back for a response. Sambo never responded to the message, or called back. He also did not take subsequent calls from THISDAY for days.

in an interview with THISDAY, dismissed the Salkida claim, saying it was not the first time that the girls would be said to have been killed or married off. He said in spite similar claims in the past, the federal government had been able to negotiate the release of some of the girls. Agim said Salkida’s claim was aimed at discouraging the government from achieving its objective of getting the government back. According to him: "Those people have never said anything good about the Chibok girls right from the beginning. They said they have been married out, but we were able to get the federal government to get some released. "What they are saying now is to make people feel discouraged. I don't think what they are saying is true. Each time we release some girls, we profiled them to find out whether they are Chibok girls. "I feel that the girls are still alive, and we would get them back as soon as possible. I don't think anything has happened to them. They are only just saying that to discourage people." The director added that efforts to free all the Chibok girls remained on top gear, both at the military and federal government levels. He maintained that the federal government was still leading the charge to ensure that all the girls were freed Parents Ask FG to Bring Back their Children Meanwhile, the parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls have asked the federal government to bring their children back to them, whether they are now married to members of Boko Haram, their abductors, or not. The parents were reacting to Salkida’s claim that the only 15 girls still alive had been married off. The representative of the parents, Dr. Allen Manasseh, who is also a member of the Strategic Team of Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), told THISDAY yesterday that since no one asked for the blessings of the parents before the marriage of the girls, the marriage should be seen as null and void. Manasseh, who is also the Media and Communication Director of the Kibaku Area Development Association, a

Chibok nation socio-political organisation, said: “No one asked for the consent of any girl before abduction, as such they should bring them back, let them look their parents in face and say they want to go back to the terrorists.” He said the assertions of Salkida in the media report could not just be wished away, stressing, “Salkida has been helpful with credible information, the FG and its agents refused to listen to his advocacy and credible contact information. We can all see where this has taken us.” In her reaction, an avowed authority on Boko Haram, Aisha Wakil, said it was still early in the day to comment on Salkida’s claim. Wakil asked that she should be given time to crosscheck her sources within the group, to have a clearer picture of things. Speaking through her associate, Prince Lawal Shoyode, the Media Director of Complete Care and Aid Foundation, Wakil said: “We are crosschecking. Once we get confirmation, we will call you.” She added that government was doing everything to see all the girls in captivity of Boko Haram released, and appealed to the parents to be patient and believe in government and God. All efforts to get Borno State Government to comment on Salkida’s claim, however, proved abortive. Inquiries sent to the state Commissioner for Information, Dr. Mohammed Bulama’s mobile were not answered. Equally speaking on the Chibok girls, Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Later Rain Assembly, yesterday said the abduction of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls four years ago by the Boko Haram sect remained a dark chapter that struck the entire nation. He spoke at the fourth year remembrance/commemoration of the adoption of the Chibok girls, in Abuja. Bakare, in his speech, said: "It remains painful to reflect on that day, exactly four years ago, when the pages turned to a dark chapter in the history of our nation, as 276 precious daughters were carted away from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, where they sought an education."

98 OF 113 CHIBOK GIRLS IN BOKO HARAM CUSTODY DEAD, SAYS SALKIDA THISDAY on phone. But the Defence Headquarters’ spokesman, Brig. Gen. John Agim, said it was not true, contending that it was the familiar speculation about the safety of the girls. The disclosure dampened the hope of the girls’ parents and relations, who had expected their return following the federal government’s assurances that it was negotiating their release from the terrorists’ enclave. The 276 girls were abducted on April 14, 2014. While 163 had returned at various times in different circumstances, 113 remained in the custody of

Boko Haram. President Muhammadu Buhari had again on Friday assured the world from far away London that the federal government would not abandon the 113 girls, as it was negotiating frantically with the terrorists to secure their release. “We are concerned and aware that it is taking long to bring the rest of our daughters back home, but be assured that this administration is doing its very best to free the girls from their captors,” a Presidency statement quoted the president to have said. Saying most of the girls

died from cross fire between the terrorists and the Nigerian military, Salkida gave more depressing information about the remaining 15 girls, saying it was almost impossible for them to return home as they had been married off by the terrorists. He said: “What is the status of the remaining 15 girls as far as negotiations are concerned? My investigations also revealed that they are no longer under the control of Abubakar Shekau. According to sources, they are now ‘married’ and only their ‘husbands’ can decide their fates. “If they are divorced or

the men are killed, that is when Shekau’s decision takes precedence, and in this instance, since the girls have been indoctrinated, their leader has no right to negotiate for their release, no matter the ransom offered, reliable multiple sources said. “The way out for these girls is a military rescue or negotiate with individual captors to release their ‘wives’ in return for some kind of deal, but this will mean death to these fighters because the terror group now sees the girls as part of their own and must be protected.” But DHQ spokesman, Agim,

IN A MOVE TO PLACATE GOVS, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY REVISES ORDER OF ELECTIONS first, while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly as well as the presidential ones come second and last, respectively. But as the federal legislators came under harsh criticisms from the public, which accused them of selfishness, the president vetoed the bill on the grounds that the revision of the sequence of election would erode the discretionary powers the 1999 Constitution, as altered, grants the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the order of elections. The new bill, according to THISDAY National Assembly multiple sources, was a partial response to the complaint of state governors that the vetoed bill put them at a clear disadvantage and were prepared to frustrate the planed veto-override by the National

Assembly. Sensing the potency of the governors, THISDAY gathered, the National Assembly leadership entered into negotiations with the state chief executives, who were believed to have enormous influence on some of the federal legislators. According to the sources, the governors agreed to cooperate with federal legislators if they would adjust the sequence to make state elections come first while retaining the presidential poll at the rear. The federal legislature’s leadership was said to have thought this to be a reasonable compromise since the target of the reordering of the sequence was the presidency and not the governors. With this compromise, the move to veto-override the presidential veto became worthless since doing that

would retain the sequence that put the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections in the middle of the order. “Given our agreement to move the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections forward, it became necessary to introduce a new bill and subject it through the constitutional processes of law-making,” a source told THISDAY. Asked what the National Assembly would do if the president vetoes the fresh bill, he said: “With the cooperation of the governors, whose interest is now adequately taken care of, a veto-override this time would be smooth. “Don’t forget that the principal act did not favour the governors, it made their election come last. But the amendment bill has changed

that. In fact, the amendment bill makes them the greatest beneficiary and stakeholders now. It’s a major political masterstroke!” The principal act, Electoral Act 2015, which supersedes Electoral Act 2010, as altered, maintains INEC’s constitutional discretion to order the sequence of election. Using that discretion, the electoral body in 2015 collapsed the National Assembly and the presidential elections on the same day and placed it first on the order while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections came last. This was a review of the 2011 sequence, which placed the federal legislative election first, while the presidential as well as governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections came second and last, respectively.

ATIKU FIGHTS BACK, TOURS UK TO IMPROVE IMAGE Atiku told THISDAY last week. Although most of the engagements were passed off as business and academic meetings, in the form of lectures on economic issues of national importance to Nigeria, THISDAY sources said the main objective of the Atiku team was to divert attention away from his not too complimentary political reputation and project him as a man of great ideas, who has been wilfully misrepresented. Consequently, a series of foreign engagements have been lined up for him, including a major economic speech at London’s Royal Institute of

International Affairs (Chatham House) on April 25. According to a statement by his media office, the keynote speech, entitled “The Importance of Strengthening State Economic Management Systems,” will unveil innovative and tangible solutions that once implemented would help Nigerian states come out from their current economic challenges and help get Nigeria working again. It said during the trip to the UK, Atiku will also give another major keynote speech at the Invest Africa and British Council for Africa “Annual Debate”. He would speak alongside Dr Liam Fox, International Trade

Secretary, UK Government, on the subject of "Building new trade partnerships in Africa." The statement noted that the speaking engagements were a follow-up to Atiku’s meeting in June of 2017 with Liam Fox and Prime Minister Theresa May, where they discussed the UK’s plan to increase trade with Nigeria post Brexit. It added that during the trip the former vice president would also be the guest of honour at a lunch on Nigerian inward investment hosted by Lord Anthony St John (former UK Minister for Africa) and be a guest speaker at Round Table of key UK business leaders interested

in investing in Nigeria at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall. The three-day trip, according to his media office, will be capped off by giving the keynote speech to UK Diaspora in the City of London on the subject of "Maximising the benefit to our economy of all our talents, wherever they may be." Expected to return to Nigeria early next month, Atiku, according to his associates, would immediately conclude his consultations with the major stakeholders in the party and thereafter formally launch his bid for the PDP presidential ticket.

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018



Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email




lthough the announcement that he would seek re-election came, not directly from him but rather from third parties who gave ‘clamour by Nigerians’ as the reason for the decision, President Muhammadu Buhari’s entitlement to contest for a second term in office is well within his constitutional rights as a citizen. But the responsibility of enlightening the polity about the failings or successes of his first term is that of the national elite to which this editorial board belongs. On the other hand, the obligation of using their votes either to endorse Buhari’s performance with a second term or send him back to retirement in Daura ultimately belongs to the Nigerian electorate in our democratic context. To that extent, we are not in support of the privileged voices that have appealed to moral and sentimental suasions to discourage Buhari from exercising his rights under our constitution. In liberal democracy, the choice of running for office or not belongs to the individual political actor. Once that freedom of choice is exercised, it ought to be respected by all, regardless of how they feel about the incumbent. Quite often, politics tends to be amoral and defiant of common sense considerations. The most critical tool in the arsenal of a politician is stubborn optimism, the uncanny ability to see a doorway where the rest of us see a blank wall. There is everything to indicate that Buhari’s declaration is perhaps informed by this higher political instinct rather than the purely rational moralistic caution of his dissuaders.

That there is no direct correlation between performance in office and electoral victory perhaps explains the recent proliferation of controlled democracies such as in China, Rwanda and Russia. But the diversity of Nigeria and the delicate fault-lines make such proposition difficult under our national environment. However, what is at issue in the various restraining voices on the Buhari repeat candidacy is an appeal to common sense, especially against the background that the president had in the past promised to spend only one term in due deference to his age. But the choice which Buhari has now made in his declaration of intent to run is a private political one.


Theonlymeans whichdemocracy offersusallto advanceour contentionsis theballotbox.To thatextent,afree andfairprocessin the2019general electionsbecomes agravenational securityissue.Itisin factanemergency situation.Butthat iswhatBuhariowes Nigeria

Letters to the Editor



here is moreover a sense in which Buhari’s declaration is in fact a service to the development of our democracy. First, there are many people who believe his first term has been less than remarkable in any positive sense. Several Nigerians would readily declare it a national disaster. Our myriad national problems - insecurity, youth unemployment, economic desperation, corruption etc., have, for instance, worsened under him. That at least seems to be the general perception. Therefore, Buhari’s second term wager is in fact a way of testing whether an electoral outcome will ratify or invalidate this overwhelming public perception. Meanwhile, a re-election option offers an incumbent the opportunity to renew his social contract with the electorate with more convincing arguments, better commitment to the public good and evidence of genuine political penitence. If the incumbent wins re- election, the electorate is condemned to live with the consequences of its action. If, on the contrary, the bad leader is rejected at the polls, then the people will have punished the incumbent for the hubris of governing badly. President Buhari has demonstrated strong conviction in his own record of achievement as he sees it. He has presided over Nigeria in the last three years armed with a definition of leadership and a vision which only he and a few of his devotees understand. The challenge for all the opposing forces is to demonstrate to the president and his ruling party that the promise of a better Nigeria lies elsewhere. The only means which democracy offers us all to advance our contentions is the ballot box. To that extent, a free and fair process in the 2019 general elections becomes a grave national security issue. It is in fact an emergency situation. But that is what Buhari owes Nigeria.

TO OUR READERS Letters in response to specific publications in THISDAY should be brief (150-200 words) and straight to the point. Interested readers may send such letters along with their contact details to We also welcome comments and opinions on topical local, national and international issues provided they are well-written and should also not be longer than (950- 1000 words). They should be sent to along with the email address and phone numbers of the writer.

The APC Unorthodox Governance


candal in the words of Paul Glenn is a needless word or deed which does harm to those who hear or observe them; it is the word or deed that occasions sin in another; it is a bad example. Very instructive also is the fact that to the person scandalised, the scandal is passive while in the person doing or saying the scandalous thing, it is active. Ruminating about the recent political developments in Nigeria with reference to the ill-advised release of the alleged treasury looters identities, this administration comes as a fitting example of a ‘scandal’ as defined above while the nation seamlessly represents a scandalised lamb. Apart from the asymmetrical posturing of the list which excluded its associates that were hitherto members of the

opposition charged with the same offence, what is most frightening is that with this feat, the FG has amalgamated the executive and judiciary arms of government by assuming the positions of the investigator, the prosecutor, and the judge. What is more, no hope for the future? Against this backdrop, Nigerians now nurse a deep-seated fear that history has a way of repeating itself, with many wondering why everything about APC as a political acronym and its government, unorthodox. A state of affairs that compelled critical minds to question what is in that acronym APC that throws any nation they assume the mantle of leadership into confusion; not just in Nigeria but in Africa as a continent. If you are in doubt of the above claim, wait till you cast a glance at this documented account.

In 1985, the All Peoples Congress (APC) took over the mantle of leadership in Sierra Leone (pre- war days) with Joseph Momoh at the helm of affairs. Just immediately, the nation came to a halt; the civil servants salaries stopped, the road fell to pieces, the schools disintegrated, the National television stopped in 1987 when the transmitter was sold by the minister of information. And in 1989, a radio tower that relayed radio signals outside Free Town fell down, ending transmission outside the capital, with weapons pouring over the border as government disappeared. The economy finally collapsed and Sierra Leone kissed calamity. Looking at this account in relation to what is currently happening on our shores, it will necessitate the question as to whether Nigeria is headed for Sierra Leone.

Even if an answer is provided to the above, it will not at any significant level erase the common knowledge that this government lacks the solution to the hydra-headed socioeconomic challenge facing the nation; a feeling that has in turn corroded the goodwill the party enjoyed in 2015. Again, Nigerians are also shellshocked that such illegality of tagging some of her citizen’s looters without going through the conventional judicial process is coming from a government that promised the nation’s rejuvenation of the economy; and hypermodern society is in my view, a pragmatic demonstration of not the rule of law but the will of man. To the vast majority of Nigerians, this development is unbecoming and uncharacteristic of a responsible and responsive government as section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) clearly states that ‘every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be

presumed innocent until he is proved guilty’. If this is the position of the constitution, why is the FG resorting to self-help by coming out with such names that are not yet convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction? This and many other sordid reasons may have informed the former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo clarion call to President Buhari not to contest the 2019 election as he has performed below expectation. In line with the above, it could also be recalled that President Buhari according to reports had in March 2015, among other things, described Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as a courageous patriot and statesman who tells the truth to the power when he is convinced that leaders are going wrong. It is my prayer that PMB will heed this truth that is now coming from that same courageous patriot. ––Jerome-Mario Utomi,


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ËžPRIL 15, 2018


News Editor ĂŒĂ“Ă—ĂŒĂ™Ă–Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă? E-mail: Ă‹ĂŒĂ“Ă—ĂŒĂ™Ă–Ă‹Ë›Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă–Ă?̜ÞÒÓĂ?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ă™Ă—Ëœ͸΀͚͚͟͟Πͽ͝͸͞Ě™Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă–ĂŁĚš

Army Arrests Masterminds of Taraba Killings tMilitary kills seven Boko Haram insurgents in ambushes around Sambisa forest Paul Obi Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Michael Olugbode Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă“ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă‘Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“

The Nigerian Army yesterday said it has arrested the masterminds of the killings in Taraba State. Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Texas Chukwu said: “Troops on exercise Ayem Akaptuma on 12 April 2018 arrested two persons, Mr. Danasebe Gasama and Mr. Danjuma a.k.a. American in

connection with the killings and uprising in Takum and Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State. “The two suspects were arrested at Takum following intelligence that they were the coordinators of several attacks both on Fulani and the locals.� Chukwu explained that “preliminary investigation has further identified these two individuals as key players inthekillingsanduprisinginthe

two Local Government Areas of the State. “The general public is advised to always give useful and timely information to the security agency for prompt action,� he said. Meanwhile, Chukwu also denied an allegation against the Nigerian Army of perpetuating nepotism in its recruitment. He said: “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to news making the rounds in

the social media alleging the Nigerian Army discrimination anddenialofsomeethnicgroups the rights to be recruited into the Nigerian Army in the ongoing nationwiderecruitmentexercise. “The Nigerian Army wishes to state categorically that the allegation is not only untrue but unfoundedandunsubstantiated. Thisisthehandiworkofunscrupulous elements attempting to dragthegoodnameoftheArmy into the mud.

“For avoidance of doubt and to put the record straight, the Nigerian Army wishes to state that every eligible Nigerians are qualified to be recruited into the Nigerian Army providing such individual meet the set down standard meant for the recruitment; and that the Nigerian Army would ever remain apolitical in the discharge of its constitutional roles in aid of civil authority. “Furthermore, no state of the Federation including Adamawa State that would be exempted

as alleged by the mischief makers. All the candidates for the recruitment exercise from Demsa, Numan, Lamurde and Girei Local Government Areas are currently participating inthe ongoing recruitment exercise like any other candidates. “The Nigerian Army wishes to advise all well meaning citizens to disregard such an unfounded allegation which is an imagination of the writer.� Chukwu added that “the allegation that the Nigerian Army selected a particular ethnic group from the Southeastern part of the country is completely false and has no basis. It is important to note that the Nigerian Army does not support any religion or tribe. “The Army operates as an entity no matter your tribe or religion. Therefore, there is no iotaoftruthinthesaidallegation.

Osinbajo at ECOWAS Meeting in Togo

DAVID MARKS AT 70 L-R: Celebrant and former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark; former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.); and President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the 70th birthday dinner of Mark in Abuja‌yesterday

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40,000 Bid Anti-Apartheid Heroine, Winnie Mandela, Farewell Abimbola AkosileåÓÞÒĂ‹Ă‘Ă?Ă˜Ă?ĂŁ ĂœĂ?ĂšĂ™ĂœĂž

More than 40,000 South Africans from across the political spectrum gathered at the funeral ceremony of anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela in her beloved Soweto to wish her a final goodbye on Saturday. Madikizela-Mandela’sdeathon April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illnesswasmetbyanoutpouring ofemotionacrossthecountry,with therulingAfricanNationalCon-

gress(ANC)andoppositionparties holdingmemorialstoremember hercourageinthestruggletoend white-minority rule. Theofficialfuneralserviceforthe ex-wifeofthelateNelsonMandela took place on Saturday morning in Soweto - the Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived. President Cyril Ramaphosa said, just as South Africa grieved for Madikizela-Mandela, it was comforted by the profound

Macron: Why France, Allies Attacked Syria t Said red line was crossed Senator Iroegbu Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron has explained that the French, British and American attacks against Syria early morning of Saturday was in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the President Bashar Assad regime. Macron, in a statement made availableyesterdaybytheFrench Embassy in Abuja, said Assad crossed the red line with the use of chemical weapons. Partofthestatementread:“Dozensofmen,womenandchildren were massacred in Douma on Saturday, 7 April using chemical weapons,intotalviolationofinternationallawandUnitedNations Security Council resolutions.

“Thereisnodoubtastothefacts andtotheresponsibilityoftheSyrianregime.Theredlinedeclared by France in May 2017 has been crossed.� “Tonight,Ihavetherefore orderedtheFrencharmedforcesto intervene,aspartofaninternational operation conducted in coalition withtheUnitedStatesofAmerica andtheUnitedKingdomagainst theclandestinechemicalweapons arsenal of the Syrian regime. “Ourresponsehasbeenlimited to the Syrian regime’s facilities enablingtheproductionandemploymentofchemicalweapons.� TheFrenchPresidentsaidFrance and Western powers cannot tolerate the normalisation of the employmentofchemicalweapons, whichisanimmediatedangerto the Syrian people and to our collective security.

meaning of her life. “Indeath,shehasdemonstrated that our many differences along politicalpartyandraciallinesand the numerous disputes we may have are eclipsed by our shared desiretofollowherleadinbuilding ajust,equitableandcaringsociety,� he said. “Loudlyandwithoutapology, she spoke truth to power. It was thoseinpowerwho,insecureand fearful,visiteduponherthemost vindictiveandcallousretribution. Yet, through everything, she en-

dured. They could not break her. They could not silence her.� Theafternoonburialceremony atFourwaysMemorialParkCemetery,northofJohannesburg,ended anearlytwo-weekmourningperioddeclaredbythegovernment. Earlier, mourners sang and cheeredasMadikizela-Mandela’s bodywasbroughtintothe40,000seat Orlando stadium, filled to capacity for the funeral service. Many mourners were clad in the green and yellow colors of the ANC. Members of the leftist

Warri Gets $100 Million Fabrication Plant A Nigerian oil servicing firm, Lee Engineering and Construction Company, has established a $100 million fabrication plant in Warri, Delta State to meet the fabrication needs of multinational companies in the oil and gas sector. The newly completed oil and gas production plant, according to the chairman of the company, Chief Lemon Ikpea, is dedicated to produce high pressure vessels, heat exchangers, gas-heat exchangers, water bath heaters, glycol, skits, scrubbers, process modules,tanksandflaresystems aswellascarryoutmaintenanceon existingpressure/processvessels and its components. He said the vision of the new plantwastobuildanindigenous world-class manufacturing and fabricationworkshopthatwould servetheindustrialneedsofNige-

riaandAfrica,especiallyintheoil and gas, and power sector. Ikpea added that he was motivated to set up the fabrication company in order to contribute his quota to the oil and gas sector andalsototapintothelocalcontent drive of the federal government. Underthelocalcontentscheme, government encourages indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector to provide services to the big players in the sector and benefitfromitsfinancialresources. He told newsmen in Warri: “If you look around the oil and gas sector,mostproductionaredone outsidetheshoresofthiscountry andifwefoldourhandsandwait for government’s foreign friends and partners to transfer technologytothiscountry,Idon’tseethat happening,consideringthemarket situation.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)partyalsoattendedinlarge numbers. EFF leader Julius Malema, an admirerofMadikizela-Mandela whoechoesherfieryrhetoric,said she had always put the country “aboveherownpersonalsafety� in the fight against apartheid. “She lived in constant naked contact with danger, prepared to lose her life, even the lives of her ownchildren,whowereputinto dangerbyherpoliticalactivities,� Malemasaidtoloudcheersinthe

stadium. During Mandela’s 27-year incarceration for his fight against apartheid, Madikizela-Mandela campaignedforhisreleaseandfor therightsofblackSouthAfricans undergoingdetention,banishment andarrest.Alsopresentatthefuneralservicewereformerpresidents ThaboMbeki,KgalemaMotlanthe andJacobZuma,dignitariesfrom African countries and celebrities suchasBritishsupermodelNaomi Campbell and U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

79,878 Candidates Sit for NECO Exams t Lagos records highest number, Zamfara Lowest Kuni Tyessi Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË

In preparation for admission into the 104 Federal Government Colleges within the country, 79,878 candidates yesterday sat for the National Common Entrance Examination conducted by the National Examination Council, (NECO). Out of the total number, Lagos state has the highest number in terms of enrolment with over 25,000 candidates and distantly followed by the Federal Capital Territory and Rivers state with 7,699 and 4,810 respectively. The states with the lowest enrolment are Zamfara, Kebbi and Taraba with 28, 50 and 95 respectively. The Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of NECO, Prof.

Charles Uwakwe, while responding to questions at the Government Day Secondary School, Wuse, Zone 3 in Abuja, revealed that the enrolment is based on state of residence and not state of origin as thought by many. He said the ministry will determine the number ofstudents to be admitted as it determines the carrying capacity and in addition, children with special needs have been adequately taken care off right from the period of documentation. He said “79,878 pupils are taking the exams, that’s the current figure and it is still on-going. Last night I got another 150 from one of the south- eastern states.

T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R Ëž ÍšÍ˝Ëœͺ͸͚΀


NEWS GaddaďŹ Comment: PDP Deplores APC, Presidency’s Arrogance over Failure to Stop Insurgency Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the Buhari Presidency for its arrogance and insulting response to Nigerians who criticized its failures in the handling of insurgency as well as the governance of nation. The party said it is shocking

that rather than being penitent and responsive to the views of the citizens, the Presidency has resorted to abusing majority of Nigerians, who had put their trust and confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari, but today, are expressing disappointment with the fact that his administration has failed abysmally.

In a statement issued on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said “the question Nigerians are asking is whether the President’s declaration in London, that marauders ravaging our people are deserters from Libya, is about semantics. “Nigerians hold the Buhari

Presidency directly to the handling of security challenges vis-a-vis his 2015 campaign promise to oust insurgency in our country. “Rather than offering explanations, the Buhari Presidency, in the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s usual arrogance and disdain, opted to insult Nigerians, including

federal legislators as well the institution of the National Assembly. “But Nigerians are still demanding for answers. If the Buhari administration knew, in the course of the last three years, that the nation has been invaded by forces from outside or even deserters from Libya, why has it continued to admonish Nigerians to learn to live with their neighbours? “If in the course of investigations, it (Buhari Presidency) discovered that the insurgents were from outside Nigeria, why is the government reportedly paying ransoms to them and even considering amnesty options? Is it part of governance to pay ransom to

invaders? These are the questions that Nigerians expect the Buhari Presidency to answer. “It is therefore a misplaced reaction for any member of the Buhari presidency to recourse to personal insults, diatribes and invectives against Nigerians, low or high, who had expressed his view or demanded some explanations in the government’s handling of the insurgency challenge. “The simplest expectation of Nigerians is for the Buhari Presidency to be alive to its responsibility by strategically responding to the pains, suffering and lethal starvation it has caused the entire citizenry in the last three years.�

NDCP Begins Membership Hunt

YOU ARE APPRECIATED L-R: Senator Bola Tinubu welcoming Wakilin Katsina, Alhaji Mohammad Kabir Murnai, who represented the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman, during the 10th Colloquium of Bola Tinubu in Lagos...recently


Ekiti 2018: Fayemi Declares, Says APC’ll Defeat PDP, Jail Fayose Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday formally declared for the governorship race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), boasting that the party will defeat Governor Ayodele Fayose in the July 14 poll and ensure that he goes to jail afterward.

Fayemi said the party will deploy everything within the constitution to ensure that whoever emerges in the May 5 APC primary triumphs over the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “They said the June 21, 2014 governorship poll was free, fair and credible, so that of July 14, 2018 too will be free, fair and transparent. They

will accuse us of so many things. They will accuse us of using federal might, but we will not care�, Fayemi said. The declaration, which locked down Ado Ekiti capital city, was attended by large crowd of party supporters and admirers, who were clad in vests bearing the portrait of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development. The traffic was chaotic

along Ado-Ikere-Akure road for several hours, with commuters spending over one hour to navigate a distance that would take less than two minutes on a normal day. Fayemi, who was the governor from October 16, 2010 to October 15, 2014, was defeated in the last election held on June 21, 2014 by Governor Fayose. The Minister was the

number 37th among aspirants that have declared interest in the coveted seat, out of which 21 have collected the nomination and expression of interest forms at the headquarters of the APC in Abuja. Addressing the State Working Committee (SWC), led by its State Deputy Chairman, Mrs. Kemi Olaleye, Fayemi said: “We will use lo-

cal, state and federal powers to take over Ekiti from a rapacious and government being run by brigands in Ekiti. “Those of us who traveled out of Ekiti were being insulted, assaulted and mocked on daily basis, asking why Ekiti they thought were well-read, refined and exposed could make a character like Governor Fayose as their governor.�

Tension in Taraba as Army Kidnappers Reject N5m Offer for Group to Hold Mega Rally for Withdraws Troops from Crisis Areas Otun Olubadan’s Abducted Twins Buhari in UK Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

Palpable fear and tension has gripped residents of Takum and Donga local government areas as the Commanding Officer of 93 Battalion, Ada Barracks, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari ordered the withdrawal of soldiers deployed to enforce peace in the areas. Chairman of Donga local government area, Nashuka Ipeyen who confirmed the withdrawal of the soldiers, said the withdrawal commenced 10.00 am on Saturday. Ipeyen further told Journalists that when he contacted the Commanding Officer to ascertain the cause of the withdrawal, he was told that the soldiers would not be redeployed until the state government writes an undertaking to guarantee the security of the soldiers. According to him “when

I complained to him over the withdrawal of soldiers because we received information that some villages were going to be attacked, he told me he can’t risk the lives of his soldiers. “He insisted that he was withdrawing the soldiers until the state government writes an undertaking that they will take responsibility if any of the soldiers is attacked or killed. “I don’t know why the state government would have to do that for the soldiers when the attackers are killing civilian on a daily basis. Just a while ago, a Tiv man was shot dead in a village at the outskirts of Donga town here�. Alternatively, Ipeyen disclosed that he has contacted the state Commissioner of Police whom he said has deployed three trucks of anti-riot policemen to the flash points to provide security for the people.

Ademola Babalola in Ibadan

The Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has pleaded with the kidnappers of his twin children to release them. He made the plea while speaking on Saturday in Ibadan, and appealed to the kidnappers to bear with him as he does not have the money being requested. The kidnappers, according to reports, initially demanded N100 million ransom and later reduced it to N40 million. Oba Balogun offered them N5 million, which they rejected. “The kidnappers should please bear with me and return my kids, I am ready to do anything that will make them happy. I don’t want to endanger the life of my kids and I am not out to fight them because there is no reason for that,� Balogun

said. Gunmen on Thursday, kidnapped the five-year-old twins of Balogun from his Akobo residence in Ibadan. The mother of the kids was said to have been hospitalised since she received the news of the kidnap with doctors battling to save her life. The Oyo Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu, said the Oyo State Police Command was doing everything possible to rescue the kidnapped children unhurt and arrest the culprits. The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, has consequently directed the command’s anti-kidnapping squad and other special outfits to organise a manhunt for the suspects and rescue the victims safely. “We assure the parents and the public that we will succeed in this task,� Ajisebutu said.

Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention and acceptance to re-contest election in 2019, a group under the aegis of Friends of Muhammadu Buhari (FMB), in Nigeria and the Diaspora, has concluded plans to hold a major mega rally in the United Kingdom in support of his declaration as the best candidate among the other aspirants. Speaking at the sideline after its meeting in Abuja on Saturday, the group’s Chairman Mr. Chamberlain Adiaso who was represented by its Secretary South East Zone Women Leader, Rev. Mrs. Sally Williams Chinedu, said the rally, which is slated for the first week of May will showcase President Buhari’s concrete achievements in the last three years to the world and Nigerians in

the Diaspora. On why the rally is coming at this time especially in the UK, Adiaso, who also led the same group to counter an opposition rally against the President when he was on admission in the UK said: ‘�We believe out of sheer patriotism that the time to showcase Buhari’s achievements is now because, some still believe that the president is not doing anything at all and they believe that his image must be damaged both nationally and internationally by organising rallies outside the country. “They did it last year when he was in admission in London, we countered it with ours which was a resounding success. It is this same group of persons that is organising this coming mega rally across the UK.’�

T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018




OPINION Creativity: Fighting The Dearth of ‘Achebes’ Idowu Omisore writes that Nigeria must seek practical ways of revving up creativity especially among the young ones


igeria is endowed with literary giants, some still living while some have passed on. Professor Wole Soyinka became the first black African to receive the Nobel Laureate Prize in Literature in 1986. But in 1958, late Professor Chinua Achebe had presented his first book “Things Fall Apart”, which has now been described as the most widely read book in modern African literature. Though departed from the land of the mortals, he is arguably one of the lustrous icons of creativity and innovation in the world. On Saturday, April 21, 2018, the World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID) will be officially celebrated for the first time globally. The aim is to encourage great thinking that can help each country achieve a sustainable future. Wealth of nations can be traced to creative and innovative products/services. As stated on the website of the United Nations, “The creative economy, which included audiovisual products, design, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts, is a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. Innovation is essential for harnessing economic potential of high-growth areas of the market for economic returns and poverty alleviation”. Chimamanda Adichie, author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, has done extremely well as great creative ambassador of this country with her literary works and strong global voice. But we need to encourage more young people to tell our stories in ways yet unknown whether in prose, drama, poetry, painting or movies. Too many stories (historical and contemporary) are still untold. It is said that an old man in Africa that dies is like a library set ablaze. Another issue of tremendous concern is the culture of reading that is fast disappearing from among the young ones. One must acknowledge that this present generation is facing a great deal of distractions when compared with Chinua Achebe generation. These distractions include the television, mobile phones, the social media and the internet. Not that these devices and platforms are bad in themselves but not many young people are self-controlled in the way they use them. Reading fosters creativity and innovation. Parents, teachers and guardians should continue to encourage young ones to read by rewarding their effort every step of the way. This writer still

remembers with delight how he read “Chike and The River”, written by Chinua Achebe, in the primary school. It’s better to catch them young. Let them see the beauty of reading and writing. The private sector needs to sponsor more competitions and conferences that can make reading and research exciting while instilling creativity and innovation among youths. NLNG’s Nigeria Prize for Literature and Fidelity Bank Creative Writing Workshop are creditable efforts worth mentioning. More libraries are needed. Reading is connected to thinking, writing, researching, public speaking and leading change. ‘Chinua Achebes’, as used in the context of this piece, are not just towering men of letters with global recognition. They are young people who are intellectually sound, creative and innovative enough to come up with solutions to problems prevalent in the society. This writer keeps wondering how Chinua Achebe was able to write a book like “Things Fall Apart” at the age of 28, being his first novel - a book that has been translated into several languages across the globe. What kind of education did he get back then? How did he cultivate such a rich imagination? His writing prowess at that age! In an opinion published in the international edition of The Guardian after his death, Nadine Gordimer gave this commentary: “Taking the Irish poet WB Yeats’ despairing statement of destruction – things fall apart – for its title, Chinua Achebe’s first novel was a presentiment of what was to come in Nigeria during the end of the colonial occupations and their aftermath. It is the founding creation of modern African imaginative literature, the opening act of exploration

Chimamanda Adichie, author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, has done extremely well as great creative ambassador of this country with her literary works and strong global voice. But we need to encourage more young people to tell our stories in ways yet unknown whether in prose, drama, poetry, painting or movies. Too many stories are still untold

into African consciousness using traditional modes of expression along with those appropriated from colonial culture, particularly the English language. That first work was also prescient – not only of Achebe’s creative powers to develop as a writer in subsequent works, but of the political upheavals, the embattled end of colonialism, the fight for freedom by which the lives of the people of Africa have been shaped….” The Lagos State Government deserves to be commended for encouraging the young man Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, who recently set a new Guinness World Record in longest reading marathon. Bayode’s potential came to the fore at the Read Aloud project co-sponsored by Lagos State Government, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Tagheuer, among others. He set the new record at exactly 3:30 on Saturday at the YouRead Library in Yaba, Lagos State, after reading for 120 hours non-stop over a period of five days to defeat former record holder, Nepali Deepak Sharma, who read for 113 hours and 15 minutes in 2008. Speaking about Bayode’s feat, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the new world record was remarkable in that he demonstrated endurance and intellectualism. According to him, this achievement would spur a lot of Nigerian youths, students, pupils and adults to be interested in reading. “I think Bayode is the ultimate dreamer who is sending a message to Lagosians, Nigerians and to Africans that they can do it and I think this will fit in perfectly well with the new concept that the Ministry of Education is coming up with known as Lagos Reads. He continued: “I believe of course Bayode will be one of the ambassadors for Lagos Reads which is to encourage people to read and there is a lot of joy, fulfillment and value in reading and I believe this will be the beginning of new things from Bayode himself and from our young men and women.” Our ailing education sector needs serious intervention. By now, our universities ought to have become research hubs churning out new ideas, inventions and solutions. The quality of education received now can hardly give us more ‘Chinua Achebes’: people that will produce creative solutions that will be celebrated globally. As nations celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day, Nigeria, the most populous black nation, must seek practical ways of revving up creativity especially among the young ones. Entrepreneurs, social or commercial, are creative spirits that should be given incentives to solve problems and make a difference.

Takeaways from Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Campaign


Kenya’s anti-graft war holds lessons for Nigeria, writes Tunde Salman

t is often said: without comparing, the mind would not know how to progress. Travels, since time immemorial, offer human being such platform for comparison. This underscores the motive of this contribution from a recent visit to Kenya. Sometimes in February, precisely between February 18 and 21, 2018, I was part of a five-member delegates from a Local Advisory Group (LAG) of Transparency International (TI)–Nigeria (a chapter-in-formation, being promoted for full-fledged accreditation by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre) had gone to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, to understudy good practices in running catalytic anti-corruption campaign in the east African context. The five visiting delegates from TI-Nigeria’s LAG were led by a member of CISLAC board of trustees, Mr Adesina Oke, who is also its Director of Legal and Mr. Lukman Adefolahan, the project coordinator. Other members of the delegation included Ms Soile Toluwalope, from Convention on Business Integrity, yours sincerely, Tunde Salman, the convener of Good Governance Team, and a representative of one of the anti-corruption agencies in the country. It indicates the extent by which civil society can foster people-to-people relations thereby expanding intra/inter-African cooperation. Like most other Africans, the Kenyans look at Nigerians as big brothers [or sisters]. It is no longer news that Nigeria and Kenya share a lot of negative commonalities. For example, whilst news of a money swallowing snake becomes the common refrain across the social media in Nigeria, the news media in Kenya was awash with the arraignment of a member of Parliament Alfred Keter and two others on charges of “allegations of forging Sh633 million worth of treasury bills”; how “suspected terrorist booked a hotel room overlooking Central Police Station, giving him a good view of a host of targets”. There is also clampdown on four private Local TV stations over live coverage of the so- called swearing in of opposition leader Ralia Odinga or the deportation of Canadian-Kenyan Miguna Miguna. In the civil society sector, the Kenyan NGOs communities are regulated by the dictates of the following laws: the NGOs Act, the Public Benefit Organisation Act under the purview of the Public Benefit Authority with stringent authorisation rules. Perhaps, this is why Nigerian NGOs communities are strongly averse to the obnoxious NGOs Bill in the National Assembly. Already, NGOs are registered nationally in Nigeria, by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) under part C as incorporated trustees or LTD/GTE. Other national agencies like the Ministry of Budget and National Planning Commission, the Special Control Unit on Money Laundering (SCUML), and to some extent Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

also have some of supervisory responsibilities on CSOs activities in Nigeria. In any case, the visit, conceived as part of a broader sharedlearning knowledge exchange programme to various TI Chapters in selected countries, afforded the delegation the opportunity to interface with key stakeholders in Kenyan’s anti-corruption fight from both supply and demand sides in Nairobi. The visit also enabled the delegates to evaluate the level of implementation of anti-corruption commitments which the Presidents of Nigeria and Kenya alongside other leaders pledged at the 2016 London Summit on anti-corruption as well as appraising the challenges the Kenyans face in their quest to build a society free of corruption. Aside extensive briefings from TI-Kenya, under the leadership of its Executive Director, Samuel Kimeu, the delegates interacted with two key supply side institutions in the fight against corruption in the republic of Kenya; namely: the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the State Law Office, a policy arm of the department of Justice (?) and held an interview session on a local FM Station (KWETU Radio). The most illuminating engagements for me with useful lessons learned for Nigeria’s anti-corruption fights were the numerous nuggets and take away from meetings with the EACC. Whilst Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies wouldn’t put a definite amount on total money so far recovered from our stolen wealth even when prompted by oversight authorities, their counterpart in Kenya has already published such information for public consumption. Take for instance in 2016/2017 fiscal year, the EACC’s annual report indicated a record of 17/18 convictions and Ksh. 7.8 billions (about US$80million) in asset recovery. According to the EACC management and local media reports, the EACC “completed 32 asset-tracing inquires in respect of Sh5billion (US$50million) public assets, made 23 applications for preservation of assets that had been illegally acquired…carried out 25 covert investigations resulting in averting loss of public funds at approximately Sh6.2 billion (US$62million)” in the year ended June 2017. Moreover, the EACC received and analysed 8,044 reports or complaints of which 3,735 fell within its mandates; the reminders were referred to other state agencies for specified action. In the same period, the commission received 574 reports on violations of Chapter Six of the new Constitution of Kenya (2010), out of which 111 were analysed and completed; analysed 143 files on corruption and economic crimes submitted to Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for action. Out of these files, the EACC

said it recommended 110 for prosecutions, seven for administrative action and 26 for closure. The commission finalised 25 cases in courts resulting in 18 convictions and seven acquittals and three withdrawn. In converse, 62 petitions challenging investigations and prosecution were filed against the commission. Notwithstanding this level of success, the EACC however acknowledged that investigating corruption cases could be very challenging as the commission remains the punch-bag of politically exposed persons (PEPs) which may explain the reason for high rate of turnover of its commissioners. Put simply, the frustration in fighting corruption in Kenya is real since the corrupt elements always frustrate investigations. The good thing is that progress is being made in spite of mounting challenges especially since the promulgation of the new constitution in 2010. Corruption is intertwined with politics and the more reason the new constitution provides clear framework to guarantee fair elections and trust in the credibility of the country’s electoral process. The constitution mandates EACC to develop code of ethics and vet politicians running for offices to undertake integrity test superintended by the commission before putting themselves up for leadership selection in the country. How the EACC run its integrity test is testimony to evolving political discipline and maturity of Kenyans political elite since the promulgation of its new constitution in 2010. One can imagine the kind of hullabaloos such intervention will generate if attempted here in Nigeria; ask Nuhu Ribadu! Conversely, this pioneering effort in successfully vetting aspirants and candidates in the last general elections in the country by EACC is another good practice for Nigeria. As a matter of fact, EACC disclosed that some political aspirants and candidates in the 2017 General Elections in the country did not pass the integrity test and were recommended to the country’s Electoral and Boundary Commission as mandated by the constitution. Thus, the 2010 Constitution of Republic of Kenya is creating strong opportunities for Kenyans to reinvent their society. Unfortunately, Nigerian politicians have turned constitutional amendment to money making process whereby each assembly since transition to civil rule in 1999 had been embarking on unending constitutional amendment exercises making our constitution one of the bulkiest constitutions in the world. –– Salman is Convener, Good Governance Team, Abuja (See concluding part on


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018



or a city that plays host to over 23 million inhabitants, admits hundreds on a daily basis and is growing so rapidly that it is going to be twice its population size in 15 years, it is no surprise how much waste Lagos generates. One research has estimated that the state generates at least 13, 000 tonnes of waste daily, almost three times higher than what Ghana generates daily. In spite of this, there is a race to become a proper megacity, like other cities of the world with which it has similar population, but less infrastructure. In doing this, proper waste disposal continues to be a challenge, because not only does it affect the allure and aesthetics of any place, but it also directly impacts on health, industry, social living standards and economic prosperity. Realising this, and in good faith, the government of Lagos, per Governor Akinwunmi Ambode embarked on a Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), beginning in 2016, with an aim to address waste management and protect the environment. This initiative also engendered a transition from the local PSP operators in the state to Dubaibased company, Visionscape Group, whose subsidiary, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, was brought in to save the day. The question now on the lips of Lagosians is whether the saviour does not itself need saving at this point. It is essential to analyse the performance thus far of this company vis-à-vis expectations fuelled by the announcement of the


CLI. While, the imprint of two green leaves, one light coloured and the other much darker, can be seen in most places across Lagos, on collection trucks, outfits and disposal bins, heralding Visionscape, the rate of return in terms of value provided to the state is not at par. Understandably, the previously existing waste management scheme in Lagos needed a face lift- there was a need to deploy new technology, have proper and efficient collection, transportation, disposal, treatment and resource recovery mechanisms. The idea of a new entity was surely not a bad idea. To my mind though, the company came on board without fully realising,

understanding and preparing for the weight of duty it would be fraught with by the state. Perhaps, it had not imagined that the waste capacity of Lagos was way over what it had seen or heard, or even been told by perhaps, obsolete data. Thus, in the early days of Visionscape in Lagos, and till now in certain areas, heaps of waste can be seen piling up for days and weeks, a testimony to the fact that anything less than daily collection of waste in Lagos would not work. I would also fault the transition from the local PSP operators to this company, the downside of which was borne by Lagosians as local PSP operators refused to collect in the interim and Visionscape

had not been mobilised to kick off. The long-drawn court battle and the government’s rush to move on with the new company could have been better handled. Admittedly, no transition of such magnitude, especially when making a direct replacement, can be free of the entire drama, yet it could have been better managed with a collaborative structure, which would eventually have phased out the local operators slowly, letting the foreign company handle operations alone. It is a smart step too, as the foreign company will not have to deal with so many teething challenges of understanding the new landscape. In this regard however, I am glad the Visionscape has taken on partnership with the local PSP operators. They should also work quickly to infuse scavengers into their chain of operations. The $50 million Medium Term Note by Visionscape, through their SPV, backed by the Lagos State Government’s Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO), is a welcome development to aid investment in waste management in Nigeria. While many have condemned the backing by the state government, since the ISPO is a charge on the State’s Environmental Trust Fund, I find it to be a fine way to strengthen investor confidence, and necessarily something other states must emulate. However, the cries of the people of Lagos regarding efficiency and effectiveness are valid. The turnkey solutions and efficient waste

Living In The Age of Internet Insecurity


ver wondered how a laboratory rat feels when everybody is starring at it – how he eats, plays and excretes. As a human being, just imagine a camera everywhere you go, including when you are in the toilet and when you’re having sex. Picture using your electronic device, i.e. laptop, phone and it automatically becomes a spying, listening and tracking device to know where you are at any time. This is the world we live in today. The computer age that we live in today is far ahead of what was envisaged years ago. We have moved from a period in human history characterised by the shift from traditional industry that the industrial revolution brought, to an economy based on information technology. Computers that we use today tracks people who use devices; it collects data from websites, collects information on people who visit websites, and knows which apps they download. What’s scarier is, when you buy a new device, it would already have information

on you, because of your inboxes and smartphone contacts – the business model of internet companies today puts the user as the product, they collect data and sell it. Facebook tracks users from device to device, collects data on websites people visit and apps they use, gathers material on people’s physical locations, collects phone call logs from Android smartphones, and pulls in some data about people who don’t have Facebook accounts at all - this is the world we live in today. Let’s not blame all these on Facebook alone, all other internet platforms do the same. It’s just that an example has to be made of a company so that government regulations will set in. I’m not a fan of regulating the internet, but the fact that big information technology companies have so much data on everyone, including those that have not yet been connected to the internet, otherwise called “shadow profiles” – this makes me cringe. It won’t be a surprise if the only reason why the internet is free is because the US National Security Agency

(NSA) or some other governmental or non-governmental organisation is using it as a major tool to collect telephone records of tens of millions of people around the world. In 2013, there were revelations in both the Washington Post and The Guardian that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms: AOL, Youtube, Skype, Apple, PalTalk, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, to track online communication in a surveillance programme known as Prism. However, nearly all of the companies involved denied knowledge of these acts without a court order or a search warrant. Conversely, these internet companies exonerate themselves by saying that the users opted in just by accepting the ‘terms and conditions’ of using the services they provide. But I am sure that if the users have the option to accept or decline every item they click on the service providers’ websites, the story will be different today. Instead, your total web history will be aggregated and sold to the highest bidder.

Amongst part of the efforts to curb exploitation from these internet companies, some countries around the world limit the level of internet and digital media freedom; they create obstacles to access by blocking specific applications that have control over your mobile and internet access, limiting content, filtering, blocking websites and violating user rights. This, however, is not a sustainable solution. What should you do? Retire to your village and cut off from reality. Ha-ha, I am just kidding. Just turn off the chat option on your Android device, delete any app that might leak your information, block your computer screen’s camera and only turn it on when you need it. Do not reveal personal information inadvertently online, and restrict downloads from untrusted sources. Otherwise, you hire a communications professional that will combine the latest techniques with deep industry expertise to keep you on track, based on your tailored unique needs. –– Michael Joseph,

management promised are yet to be deployed. Flowery news of the Medium Term Note, RFID indent systems, UHF transponders and GPRS sensors and all technology being deployed makes no meaning to the average Lagosian until the dirt pile in front of his house is not there the next morning, and the next, and the next. Till then, mere promises of better delivery cannot suffice. It is akin to paying through one’s nose to buy a player in the football market ahead of a Champion’s League season, and realising that player cannot perform during the league. Unfortunately for Visionscape, thelLeague is always on in Lagos. There are no offperiods, only normal periods that have at least 13,000 tonnes daily or peak periods that have a major excess of that amount. For this reason, it becomes even more essential to provide more disposal

bins with bigger capacities than the current ones, and in more areas. So, while, I must urge Lagosians to be patient with this new player trying to understand our field and mode of play, Visionscape has to also step up its game. In a recent release, they promised better services after the Easter break, yet just this morning there was a decaying pile at the Obalende axis. I will not though, in spite of all this, give up on the Cleaner Lagos Initiative as a failed one. I do not believe it is. A lot of advocacy work and awareness should be embarked on for Lagosians for re-orientation on waste disposal and environmental culture. This can be achieved by partnering with various environmental nonprofit organisations already operating in the state. Thus, a government/private sector/ non-profit sector partnership is encouraged. ––Caleb Adebayo, Lagos



hen the unprecedented came knocking on the doors of Nigerians, especially the people of Nasarawa State on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, it met a people ill-disposed to play host! The news was absolutely shocking. Personally, I was disoriented. I made desperate efforts to condition my mental state, trying in the process to convince myself that I had, perhaps fallen into a bad trance, possibly the kind of overwhelming incubus that persistently intruded in my sleep a few days earlier. It could not be true! Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, former Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, from 2007 to 2011 dead? It is really painful that this sterling stuff of a man should pass away now. Death, everyone knows is that eternal price everyone pays, a sort of universal debt hanging ominously like a sword of Damocles on humanity. When it strikes, it leaves a permanent scar on the psyche; it makes the heart to ponder. And in fact, in this harmattan of such grief, even time appears to come to a halt. Such indeed, was the predicament of the people of Nasarawa State a week after the demise of Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, one time deputy governor of the old Plateau State and the immediate past Governor of Nasarawa State. The passage of Alhaji Doma, who is popularly regarded as the founder of Nasarawa State considering his enormous contributions to the creation of the state, to the great beyond has indeed created a vacuum that will be too difficult to fill. Though, this piece is a tribute to the memory of the late icon, it is, however, necessary that we itemise some of his achievements when he held sway as the Executive Gov-

ernor of Nasarawa State from 2007 to 2011. In spite of several constraints, including paucity of funds, the PDP administration under his dynamic leadership left a spectacular legacy of achievements in the state. They include but are not limited to the-engineering of agricultural sector through ‘BadakoshiProgramme; construction of 500 housing units; establishment of drug revolving scheme; payment of encumbrances and loans for Karu International Market; conversion of vocational and relevant technical centres to full-fledged skills acquisition centres in Doma, Lafia, Nasarawa and Wamba.Others are the reconstruction and rehabilitation of State House of Assembly; recruitment of 1,600 teachers and promotion of 1,900 of them; and procurement of 20 numbers 500KVA transformers. Similarly, his administration posted other fundamental achievements in the following areas: construction/rehabilitation of several bridges/roads, including Goto-Bagana bridge; Doma-Akpata-Benue border road; Doma-Okpatta road; Toto-Umaisha; PandaKigwari-Karu; Keffi-KokonaAgwada-Udege;DomaAgyaragu-Kadarko-Giza-AgazaAgwatashi-Obi-Assakio; NasarawaMada Station to mention just a few. Judging from the foregoing, there is no denying the fact that Doma indeed paid his dues as far as the development of Nasarawa State is concerned and even showed remarkable courage in the face of several daunting challenges. Above all, as an outstanding politician and man of Peace, he related perfectly well with everybody irrespective of tribe, religion or political differences. That, indeed, is the stuff great men are made of. ––Rogers Ochela, Bwari, Abuja



INTERNATIONAL National Security versus Diplomatic Immunity: The Case of UN Office in Maiduguri, Nigeria


aiduguri is the capital of Borno State in the North-eastern part of Nigeria. It is a region of Boko Haram terror and counter-terror battle by the Nigeria Army. Maiduguri is not only currently playing host to the 7th Division of Nigeria Army, but also to its ‘Operation Lafiya Dole,’ put in place mainly to deal with boko haramism. And true, Maiduguri is nationally and internationally a major source of security problems. In late October 2013, the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army killed 74 Boko Haram terrorists after a raid of camps in Galangi and Lawanti villages on the outskirts of Maiduguri. Since then, it has always been a reign of Boko Haram terror to date. Apart from boko haramism, which gives Maiduguri its international attention, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State also explain the rationales for the internal special focus. For instance, Vanguard (August 12, 2017), in its Saturday news, made it known that 350 IDPs have refused to return to liberated communities. As wondered by Lt-Gen. Buratai, ‘the IDPs are still in camps, despite the liberation of over a dozen communities in Borno State. The most important thing for the military is to ensure that all displaced persons return to their towns and villages. But I wonder why the IDPs are still living in camps of Maiduguri metropolis.’ On Thursday, 10th August, the trending news was that Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram, was hiding in a compound called ‘Red Roof.’ It was even the United Nations (UN) Department that first reportedly released the information. According to the UN, ‘information about Shekau’s presence in the Red Roof was already being spread yesterday (Thursday, 10 August, 2017) on the social media... At about 2 am early this morning, Nigerian Army troops in trucks are conducting (a) search on UN Red Roof Humanitarian Camp and forced their way into the property.’ Thus, the so-called Red Roof is the UN building. The rumour of Abubakar Shekau hiding under the Red Roof cannot but therefore need special attention and further interrogation. What does he want there? Is there any possible validity to the trending rumour? If indeed, Abubakar Shekau was hiding there, could it be that one major power was aiding and abetting Boko Haram in Nigeria but using the UN framework indiscreetly in such a way as to make boko haramism recidivist? Most importantly, which international law can limit the authority of Nigeria and prevent her from first ensuring her self-preservation and security? Which country of the world will accept to respect international law to its own detriment? Perhaps more fundamentally, the obligation for Nigeria and the UN to fight terrorism necessarily require a mutual understanding in the fight against the use of terror, and therefore, there should not have been any need for the humanitarian coordinator to raise any eyebrow. The common challenge to address is the rumour on the presence of a dangerous jihadist terrorist in the UN Red Roof. Was Abubakar Shekau really there? If he was not there, how do we explain the origins of the rumour? On Friday, 11th August, 2017 media reports had it that the United Nations (UN) and the Nigeria Army clashed over an alleged invasion of a UN building in Maiduguri, Borno State. There were two main operational words that invited much attention in the various reportages on the saga: clash and invasion. Was there really a clash? Was there an invasion of the diplomatic premises of the UN? What was the nature of the clash if there was one: clash of ideas or physical clash? What also is the nature of the alleged invasion by the Nigeria Army? These questions are necessary at this juncture as Nigeria’s international responsibility is directly being raised. Put differently, it has been suggested that Nigerian troops had violated diplomatic conventions and should be called to order. Most unfortunate! The intervention of the Nigeria Army, on the contrary, was prompt and far from being a violation. The intervention was patriotic and consistent with the international obligation to protect the diplomatic community, as well as prevent it from being assaulted and violated by the boko haramists, especially after its most unfortunate terrorist attack on UN Office in Abuja. Without doubt, there has been a misperception of the critical issues involved: rivalries between Nigeria’s quest for national security and the UN functionaries’ right to diplomatic immunity and non-violation. At the level of national security, the Govern-


Bola A. Akinterinwa Telephone : 0807-688-2846



ment of Nigeria is obligated by international conventions and the 1999 Constitution as amended to ensure protection and security of all peoples residing in the country. Article 4 (0) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union states that all Member States should have ‘respect for the sanctity of human life, condemnation and rejection of impunity and political assassination, acts of terrorism and subversive activities.’ Article 4 (f) of the same Act also requires Nigeria to ‘promote peace, security, and stability on the continent.’ The main challenge of these provisions is the silence of the two provisions on the modalities of how to promote peace and security, as well as ensure stability in Africa. In the same vein, Nigeria’s constitution, in its Section 11 on public order and public security, provides that ‘the National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order, and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential services.’ More importantly, Section 14(b) provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’ The implication of these two sections is that, apart from obligations arising from international agreements to which the Government has voluntarily given its consent on behalf of the people of Nigeria, there is also the obligation arising from the country’s Constitution. And most importantly, as shown above, the raison d’être of political governance is national security. If the Government of Nigeria signs any international agreement, the ultimate objective, cannot but include security and welfare of the people of Nigeria. Another issue in this regard is that a national constitution can come into conflict with an international agreement, in which situation there has to be a priority choice-making. There is the Monist School of thought in international relations which takes international law as superior to municipal law, and therefore implements international agreements automatically without

It has been suggested that Nigerian troops had violated diplomatic conventions and should be called to order. Most unfortunate! The intervention of the Nigeria Army, on the contrary, was prompt and far from being a violation.The intervention was patriotic and consistent with the international obligation to protect the diplomatic community, as well as prevent it from being assaulted and violated by the boko haramists, especially after its most unfortunate terrorist attack on UN Office in Abuja

having to first ratify or domesticate the agreement. Nigeria does not belong to this school. Nigeria belongs to the Dualist School which puts international law and municipal law at the same level of importance and status, and therefore, will need to first ratify an agreement, as well as domesticate it before such an international agreement can be enforced. As noted in Section 12 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended, ‘no treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly. The relevant international diplomatic conventions have been ratified and domesticated. Consequently, there can be no disputing the fact that the Government of Nigeria has the onerous responsibility to ensure national security, not only as required by the 1999 Constitution but also as demanded by international law. As provided in Article 22 (1) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ‘the premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the Head of the Mission.’ What is noteworthy about this provision is that, deductively, there can be situations warranting the agents of the host government to seek entry into a diplomatic mission. However, in such a situation, the prior permission of the Head of Mission would be required. This is the rationale for the use of the words, ‘may not enter...’ in the Article. The Article did not say ‘shall not enter.’ Article 22(2) states further that ‘the receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.’ In this regard, while Article 22(1) underscores inviolability of a diplomatic mission and subjects any intrusion to the consent of the Head of Mission, Article 22(2) compels a receiving State to take necessary or appropriate steps to protect diplomatic premises. The issue again here is to determine what constitutes an appropriate step. If the Nigeria Army says it has intelligence report according to which the most wanted leader of the Boko Haram terrorist organisation is hiding in a diplomatic premise, does it make any sense to seek authorisation before entering the premises? There is no disputing the fact that, in classical and contemporary international relations, an embassy, because of its extra-territorial character, has always been used for various unacceptable political and criminal activities: issuance of identity cards and travel documents to opposition elements in the receiving State; safe-haven for political opponents, hiding arms and ammunitions, etc. Additionally, if the agents of the receiving State ‘may enter’ a diplomatic premise, but subject to the consent of the Head of Mission, what happens if there was really a terrorist in the premises and the Head of Mission does not give the required consent for possible intervention? And perhaps most importantly, Article 22(3) says ‘the premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.’ The implication of this provision is multidimensional in scope. In this regard, it is not simply the chancery that constitutes an embassy. The residence, the means of transportation and communications are also part of a diplomatic mission, and are therefore inviolable. For instance, a law enforcement agent cannot attach or violate a diplomatic vehicle for whatever purpose. However, this provision remains, at best, meaningless if a property, a mission or means of transportation does not have a diplomatic identification. In other words, an embassy normally carries the name and national flag of the country at the main entrance of the mission. The vehicles of an embassy also have special matriculation numbers: CMD (Chef de Mission Diplomatique, meaning Head of Diplomatic Mission; Corps Diplomatique meaning Diplomatic Corps, Corps Consulaire (Consular Corps), etc. This point should be clearly noted because the whole misunderstanding between the UN Office in Maiduguri and men of the Nigeria Army arises from the non-identification of the office. At the level of Nigeria, the Operation Lafiya Dole of the Nigeria Army in Maiduguri is mainly designed to contain the terrorism imposed on the people of Nigeria by Boko Haram. The Nigeria Army has a special mandate to neutralise all threats of Boko Haram in Maiduguri and its environs. As explained by the spokesperson of the 7 Division, the Army ‘has forced the Boko Haram terrorists to change tactics and resort to the employment of suicide bombers to target military locations and the population. This necessitated the need to intensify cordon and search in the Maiduguri metropolis and environment.’ It also became ‘expedient to take pre-emptive action by combing the general area through a cordon and search operation.’ What is also particularly useful to note here is that, of the more than 30 houses searched, there was the ‘property, which was said to be occupied by the UN staff members, although the property did not carry a UN designation.’ (See concluding part on


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


Editor Vincent Obia 08054681757 Email vincent. obia


The Bankers’ Committee began the disbursementoftheN26billionaccruing fromtheAgribusinessSmallandMedium EnterprisesInvestmentScheme(AGSMEIS),aninitiativedesignedtoimprove accesstoaffordablefinancingformedium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs), particularlythoseoperatingintheinformal sectoroftheeconomy.Thecommittee,at its331stmeetingofFebruary9,2017, had initiated AGSMEIS with all deposit moneybanks,voluntarilyagreeingtoset asideandcontributefivepercentoftheir profitaftertax(PAT)annuallytofinance eligibleprojectsundertheScheme.


President of the Senate Bukola Saraki insisted on the Friday deadline given to standingcommitteestorepresenttheir reports on the 2018 budget proposed bythe federal government’s Ministries, DepartmentsandAgencies.Sarakisaid thedeadlinewouldnotbeextended,notingthattheSenatewouldnotbeheldto ransombythe20sub-committeesthat had yet to present their reports to the Committee on Appropriations. “My meeting with the chairman of the CommitteeonAppropriationsasofyesterday (Wednesday) showed that a number of committees have not submitted their reports,”hesaid,adding,“


Trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange

Turnover in FIC Markets Hits N15.7 Trillion Bamidele Famoofo Transaction turnover in the Fixed Income and Currency (FIC) markets for March amounted to N15.66 trillion, a 24.68 per cent (N3.10 trillion) increase from the value recorded in February and a 16.26 per cent (N2.19 trillion) increase Year on Year. A breakdown of the contributions of the various segments of the markets to turnover in the review period shows that investors invested more money in the Foreign Exchange market than the others. The FX market accounted for 39.06 per cent of total turnover in the March, followed by Treasury Bills (T-bills) with 35.69 per cent. Repurchase Agreement/Buy-Backs contributed 16.75 per cent of total turnover, while FGN Bonds was responsible for 7.37 per cent of turnover. The value of transactions in the foreign exchange market settled at N6.12 trillion (about $18.67 billion) in March, representing an increase of 44.59 per cent or $5.76 billion when compared with the value recorded in February ($12.92 billion). According to the OTC Monthly report released on Friday, liquidity flows through the I&E FX Window increased in March, as the total volumes traded for the month settled at $6.06 billion, representing a 55.38 per cent ($2.16 billion) decrease from the previous month. “So far, the total volumes traded at the Window Year-to-Date stands

at $15.21 billion. Exchange rates for the Naira traded relatively flat, as the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) FX Window appreciated slightly to close the reporting month at $/ N360.20 from $/N360.41 as at February 28, 2018, whilst also trading at a discount to the Parallel Market which appreciated slightly to close the month at $/N362.00 from of $/ N363.00 as at February 28, 2018,” the report from FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange noted. Member-Client trades was the biggest contributor to turnover growth in the FX Market in the month, standing at $10.98 billion, an increase of 47.50 per cent ($3.54 billion) from the previous month and an 84.12 per cent ($5.02 billion) increase YoY ($5.96 billion). This was followed by Member-CBN trades which recorded $5.70 billion in March ($4.11 billion in February), representing an increase of 38.48 per cent ($1.58 billion) and a 277.17 per cent ($4.19 billion) increase YoY ($1.51 billion) as the effect of the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) continued to boost activity in the FX Market. Inter-Member trades recorded $2 billion in March, an increase of 47.15 per cent ($0.64 billion) relative to the trades recorded in February ($1.36 billion), and a 237.28 per cent ($1.40 billion) increase YoY ($0.59 billion). Turnover in the Fixed Income market for the month under review settled at N6.74 trillion, a 7.50 per cent increase (N0.47 trillion) MoM.

The spread between 10-year and 3-month benchmark yields closed negative at -1.22bps for March 2018 (-1.17bps in February), indicating an inverted yield curve Money Market (Repos/Buy-Backs and Unsecured Placements/Takings). Meanwhile, activities in the secured Money Market (i.e. Repos/Buy-Backs) settled at N2.62 trillion in March, which was 29.19 per cent (N0.59 trillion) higher than the value recorded in February (N2.03 trillion). Year on Year, turnover on Repos/Buy-Backs recorded a 5.42 per cent (N0.13 trillion) increase from the value recorded in March 2017 (N2.49 trillion). Unsecured Placements/Takings closed the month at a turnover of N135.92 billion, a 44.98 per cent The FX increase (N42.17 billion) from the market accounted figure recorded in February (N93.75 for 39.06 per billion) and a 15.19 per cent increase cent of total (N17.92 billion) on YoY basis (N118 turnover in billion as at March 2017). the March, followed by Average O/N8 NIBOR9 for the Treasury Bills period under review stood at 15.97 (T-bills) with 35.69 per cent per cent (19.91 per cent in February), due to improved inter-bank liquidity Market Surveillance. previous month, respectively. T-bills The number of executed trades within the six to 12 month maturity captured on the E-Bond Trading bucket became the most actively System in March amounted to traded, accounting for a turnover 14,055 as against 16,325 recorded of N2.93 trillion in March, while in February, while executed T-bills short and medium-term yields on trades decreased by 18.78 per cent the sovereign yield curve decreased (2,639) to 11, 413 in March (14,052 by an average of 33 basis points (bps) in February). FGN bonds increased and 11bps, respectively, as long-term by 16.23 per cent (369), to 2,642 in yields gained an average of 0.13bps. March (2,273 in February).

Transactions in the T-bills market accounted for 82.94 per cent of the overall Fixed Income Market, a decrease from the 89 per cent recorded in February. Outstanding T-bills at the end of the month stood at N13.21 trillion (N12.56 trillion in February), an increase of 5.18 per cent (N0.65 trillion). FGN bonds outstanding value also increased marginally to close at N7.82 trillion, from N7.74 trillion in February. Trading intensity in the Fixed Income market for the month under review settled at 0.42 and 0.15 for T-bills and FGN bonds, respectively, from 0.44 and 0.09 recorded the

TheNigerianStockExchangeannounced thatitwillmigrateAccessBankPlc,Lafarge AfricaPlc,SeplatPetroleumDevelopment CompanyPlc,andUnitedBankforAfrica PlctoitsPremiumBoardonMonday,April 16. NSE said onThursday that the four companies applied and met its listing requirements for the board, a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. The Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet theExchange’smoststringentcorporate governanceandlistingstandards


The Nigeria-Malaysia Business Council collaborated with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council and the Malaysia Department ofTrade to set up a special tradecorridorthatwillenableMalaysian businesses and Nigerian farmers and exporters to collaborate with a view to adding quality to goods exported from NigeriatoMalaysia.AccordingtoNEPC, specialfocuswillbeoncrops,suchascocoa, palmproduce,andrubber,aswellassolid mineralsthataremostlyexportedintheir rawformstoMalaysiaandothermarkets.


Dangote Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and other key stakeholders in the flour millingindustrydonated50unitsofAMAR multi-cropthresherstowheatfarmersin thecountryaspartoftheircommitment tothedriveforself-sufficiencyinwheat production.GeneralManagingDirector, Dangote Flour Mill Plc.,Thabo Mabe, at thepresentationofthemulti-cropthresherstothewheatfarmersassociationof Nigeria,urgedthebeneficiariestoprioritise breedingqualitytosuitthespecification forconfectionarypurposes,likebreador spaghetti.


About N224.30 billion of the pension funds,representingabout2.89percent of pension assets, were invested in the realestatesectoroftheeconomy,accordingtotheNationalPensionCommission (PenCom). PenCom said the decision followed pressures from stakeholders urgingtheregulatornottoallowpension fundstobelyingidleinthevaultbuttoallow PensionFundAdministrators(PFAs)to investthegrowingpensionassetsinthe housingindustry,particularlyinrealestate, inadditiontoinvestingitininfrastructure.


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


On the Path to Sustainable Economic Growth Experts say there is urgent need for comprehensive and coherent policies to address vulnerabilities in the Nigerian economy, report Ndubuisi Francis, Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe but our manufacturing and agriculture sectors still have a long way to go if we must attain self-sufficiency in those sectors. “We must not be quick to discard the restrictive measures which aided our recovery simply because the metrics have improved. “At the CBN, we will continue to fine-tune our policies and strategies based on our understanding of evolving developments and supported by in-house technical analysis and simulations. We will remain proactive in ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians is optimised at any point in time.” Emefiele pointed out that at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the CBN had “signalled that we will sustain the tight policies that have helped rein-in inflationary pressures”. This, according to him, was the reason members of the committee decided to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent. “We will also continue the transparency that has attracted inflows of FX into the country while keeping FX supply to the market adequate,” he said.

Lake Rice... products of a rice production initiative by the governments of Lagos and Kebbi states


espite Nigeria’s exit from the economic recession it went into about two years ago, the country still faces a major challenge about how to engender inclusive and sustainable growth. The country’s exit from recession was driven mainly by an increase in crude oil prices as well its production capacity. Nigeria’s foreign exchange (FX) reserves have risen to $47.3 billion as of April 5. The last time the country recorded FX reserves at this level was in July 2013. Accretion of the country’s reserves in recent months have been driven by its successful Eurobond offerings, coupled with higher oil production and prices ‘Resource Curse’ But recent disclosure by the National Population Commission that the country’s population currently stands at 198 million, with a large number of its citizens living below the poverty line, calls for concern. With crude oil production capacity of about 2.5 million barrels per day, Nigeria ranks as Africa’s largest producer of oil and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world. The country is also the largest economy in Africa. However, regardless of its abundant resources, the country continues to face a myriad of problems. Nigeria has also found it difficult to convert its unique advantages into economic and social benefits for majority of its citizens. In fact, Nigeria has been described as a prime example of resource curse, a situation where wealth from natural resources leads to poor economic growth and development and an increased likelihood of civil and ethnic tension. Even though almost 90 per cent of Nigeria’s earnings are tied to oil, a recent report by the World Poverty Clock revealed that Nigeria had overtaken India as the poverty capital of the world. That is, the country has the greatest number of persons who live in extreme poverty, which is to say those that live on less than the equivalent

$1.90 (N600) per day. According to the African Development Bank, 152 million Nigerians, in an overall population of about 190 million, meet the criteria of absolute poverty. In addition, youth unemployment in the country is close to 80 per cent, which has resulted in increased levels of ethnic and religious unrest in the country. Poor Infrastructure More worrisome is the fact that power supply, which is a major growth enabler, has remained insufficient and continues to make efficient business operations in the country extremely difficult, thereby stifling economic growth. Although power generation capacity from the grid has peaked at about 7,000 megawatts (MW), distribution capacity is still around 5,000MW. The federal government currently estimates national energy demand at 22,230 MW. Just like the power sector, the situation in other sectors, such as education, health, and sports, is not different. These challenges have over the years prevented the country from achieving inclusive growth and experts have stressed that Nigeria can only achieve prosperity when government fashions out appropriate policies to address them. This was the main focus of experts at the just concluded 25th seminar for financial journalists, organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Vigilance According to CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, there is need for policy makers to be more vigilant to ensure the country does not slip again into a recession. Represented by the new Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Adamu, Emefiele was optimistic that inflationary pressures would continue to ease, and might return to very low double digit or high single digit levels during the year. He stressed the need for the intensification of the strong policy coordination, collaboration and cooperation that flourished during the very difficult

times. According to him, to sustain economic recovery and ensure inclusive growth, there is need for robust policy coordination between the key aspects of the economic policymaking space. “This would include fiscal, monetary, exchange, and trade policies, which must be targeted at protecting farmers to boost agricultural output, support local companies and enhance manufacturing and industrial capacities, with a view to diversifying the economy away from oil and fossil fuels,” Emefiele stated. “Those of us who have been entrusted with leadership and policymaking responsibilities must neither become complacent nor over-confident. We must strive to improve and sustain the same policies that have gotten us this far.” Emefiele reiterated that the CBN had been able to ensure exchange rate stability from over N525 to a dollar in February 2017, to about N360 to the dollar. Foreign exchange supply has also improved since the establishment of the Investors’ and Exporters’ Window, with autonomous inflows of over $20 billion through this window alone from April 2017 to date, he said. According to the CBN governor, “As sentiments improve on the macro economy and supported by proactive monetary, trade, industrial and fiscal policies, we expect a continued uptick in GDP growth with a positive spill over to improved employment rate. “As policies to strengthen the agriculture and industrial sectors become more emergent, growth in these sectors will rise, further bolstering overall economy. As we entrench and sustain the transparency in the FX market, as FX reserves accretion continues, and market confidence and improved sentiments remain, we expect that the exchange rate will not only be stable but would begin to appreciate against major currencies. “The adverse competitiveness outcome, which such appreciation may entail, would be adequately mitigated by proactive policies to ensure that our balance of payments position is not undermined. “For one, our import bill may have fallen

Sustainable Growth Director, Monetary Policy Department, CBN, Mr. Moses Tule, said the apex bank had undertaken several development finance initiatives as part of its drive towards ensuring sustainable growth. Tule said a key project here was the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), which financed rice production. He explained that rice importation was one of the key foreign exchange drainers that the CBN identified. “So, we financed the domestic production of rice in order to lower the cost of importing rice, create employment for domestic agents locally and to reduce the price you and I purchase in the market,” Tule, who was represented by a Principal Economist in the Monetary Policy Department, CBN, Dr. Godfrey Uzowanne, said. He stressed the need for the government to embrace a savings culture. “We need, as a matter of fact, to save today, so that we can always have something to fall back on to reverse that downward trend to avoid revert back to recession.” Tule said there was need for the federal government to ensure that it fully implemented the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to drive sustainable growth. “Monetary policy is an important tool of macroeconomic management. It, however, has some limitations because it depends on fiscal policies, business confidence, and public expectation to manifest as expected,” he explained. On his part, Acting Director, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, stressed the importance of Public Private Partnership (PPP) to drive sustainable growth in any economy. Izuwah, who was represented by Director, Planning and Research Department at the ICRC, Dr. Chiedu Ndubisi, said, “PPPs are not the only solution to addressing infrastructure in Nigeria, but they become relevant because the government does not have money. “If you compare Nigeria’s budget and the portion of it that is related to infrastructure and our infrastructure needs, it only comes to about two per cent. So, what it means we have to look at the growth of PPPs.” He noted that despite its potential and endowments, the Nigerian economy had not been able to climb out of its dependence on oil. According to Izuwah, “We have been trying but we still haven’t gotten there. The poor infrastructure has restricted the economy and also reduced our competitiveness. “PPPs have a lot of advantages. If you get the private sector to bring out its money, it would ensure that it finishes its projects in good time to earn money. That characteristic of PPP makes it ideal for infrastructure development, especially, in developing countries.

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018



Rising Interest in Nigeria’s off-grid Solar Market Chineme Okafor writes on the increasing acceptance of solar photovoltaic as a dependable electricity source in Nigeria


olar power may become the most preferred alternative electricity source to Nigerians, judging by recent developments. Despite the economic barriers to its growth, Nigeria’s solar power market has moved with great impression on electricity consumers who are fast embracing it to overcome the poor supply from the national electricity grid. Poor Supply Nigeria, with a population of about 180 million people, has been unable to provide power to more than 80 million of its people. Even those connected to the national grid are mostly undersupplied, necessitating their recourse to alternative means, which include expensive fossil fuel generating sets. Manufacturers in the country said in February that their peak electricity demand had gone up to 14,882 megawatts (MW). But the national grid is only able to generate and supply about 4500MW at the most. Even at that, the manufacturers do not get a good amount the meagre 4500MW from the grid, so they rely on self-generated electricity to power their operations. Beyond the manufacturers, power from the grid is also never enough to satisfy the demands of domestic electricity consumers. Electricity consumers now have a choice of pivoting to solar power, which is sourced from the sun and converted directly through photovoltaic (PV) or indirectly using concentrated solar power, or even a combination of both. To underscore Nigeria’s losses to the abysmal power supply, a 2017 study on the nexus between energy access and poverty alleviation, done by Patrick Osakwe of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stated that Nigeria’s desire for industrialisation depended heavily on the extent its government could effectively deal with the energy challenge. Osakwe had stated, “There are at least three principal channels through which the poor access, unstable supply, and the high cost of electricity in Nigeria has had a deleterious impact on industrialisation. This includes: low manufacturing capacity utilisation rates, low competitiveness of manufacturing firms, and lack of firm growth, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “One of the main effects of lack of access to stable and affordable power supply in Nigeria is its impact on the ability for firms to operate at full capacity. It also results in underinvestment in the sector, thereby, limiting the ability of domestic firms to expand capacity when need arises in the future. Low rate of capacity utilisation has been a major feature of manufacturing in Nigeria despite the high demand for manufactured goods in the country.” He noted that a World Bank survey in 2016 indicated that 71 per cent of Nigerian firms used generators, and that generator fuel alone accounted for about 23 per cent of the total costs of intermediate inputs used in manufacturing between 2010 and 2012. Solar to the Rescue Driven by basic economic assumptions that increased demand would always be a coefficient in increased supply of goods and services, business people and operators in solar power technology have taken advantage of Nigeria’s low access to power to step up their commitments to solar energy. THISDAY observed that Nigeria’s solar power market had within the last two years gained significant traction. It is a burgeoning market that could electrify millions of homes in the country. At the moment, the financial value of the country’s off-grid power market, which is driven by solar, is about $9.2 billion, according to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). Operators and investors are beginning to change the initial negative stories associated with solar power in Nigeria with sagacious investments and reliable projects. Investors Two indigenous operators – Asteven Group and Blue Camel Energy Limited – recently set up two multimillion dollars training, research and development facilities in Ogun and Kaduna states. First to launch its facility in February was Asteven Group, which said its Ogun State-based renewable energy academy would train Nigerians to become vendors, developers, installers, technicians and service providers in renewable energy technologies. Asteven’s academy came in as Nigeria’s first renewable energy academy, and its chairman, Dr. Sunny Akpoyibo, explained it would help expand Nigeria’s renewable energy footprints even into the West African region. Following Asteven was Blue Camel, which launched its Kaduna training facility and solar components assembly plant in April. At the launch of the facility, which cost about $1 million to build under eight months, Blue Camel’s managing director, Mr. Yusuf Suleiman, noted that up to 3, 000 young people would gain direct and indirect jobs immediately after the facility’s take-off. Yusuf also explained that the next phase of the facility would include the construction of a battery recycling and electric car assembly plants to make it a comprehensive facility. Operators have continued to grow the share of solar in the

Technicians installing solar panels on the roof of a house

Nigerian electricity market. In February, All On, an independent impact investing company that was seeded with funding from oil giant Shell, disclosed it reached financial closure with three renewable energy firms to quicken access to affordable and viable energy sources in Nigeria. All On stated it would provide equity and debt funding to Port Harcourt-based Green Village Electricity (GVE), which is reputed as Nigeria’s leading mini-grid player. It said it would also provide equity investment in Lumos Global BV, in the form of a debt facility to facilitate a quick rollout of its Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the country. The firm also provided a convertible debt facility to another indigenous clean energy service provider, ColdHubs, to enable it expand its solar-powered marketplace cold storage business to new markets in the country. These, All On noted, would improve the offerings of solar to Nigerian power consumers. GVE has initiated and executed solar power mini grid projects in states like Plateau, Niger, Gombe, and Akwa Ibom. Other indigenous operators, such as Lagos-based Anergy and Rensource, as well as Kaduna-based Sosai Energy, have continued to increase their market footprints with defining solar power projects and products for commercial and domestic consumers. Partnering with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Rensource Energy recently initiated and built a solar power mini grid to supply solar-based electricity to over 10,000 shops in the popular and expansive Sabon Gari Market in Kano State. Review Based on existing offerings, billionaire business magnate, investor and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, in December 2017, gave a bullish review about Nigeria’s off-grid power sector, which is driven by solar. Branson’s rare business review came shortly after the REA held an international seminar to highlight the market potentials in Nigeria’s mini grid power market. The summit was organised in partnership with the World Bank. Branson in his review highlighted the huge opportunities that global investors could take advantage of in Nigeria’s renewed efforts to connect over 80 million of its citizens currently without any form of electricity. He wrote on his personal blog that Nigeria’s mini grid electricity sector could yield profits in excess of about $9.2 billion to investors. Describing the development as encouraging, Branson who did not state if he would be making any investments in the sector, suggested to investors in mini grid power systems to head to Nigeria in 2018 if they were interested in taking from the $9.2 billion potential profit it offered. “Energy access in Africa is close to my heart,” Branson stated. “Bringing clean, renewable power to people instead of building coal-fired power stations is absolutely essential if we are going to tackle climate change.” He explained, “Developing off-grid alternatives to complement the grid could create a $9.2B/year market opportunity for mini-grids and solar home systems that will save $4.4B/year for Nigerian homes and businesses. And there is large potential for scaling – installing 10,000 mini-grids of 100kw each can occur for 10 years and only meet 30 per cent of anticipated demand. “The combination of large revenue opportunity (USD $9.2 billion per year), a supportive government, and a dynamic entrepreneurial environment unite to make Nigeria the ideal location. If you are an

impact investor that wants to make a difference in energy access next year, I’d suggest a trip to Nigeria.” Branson explained that even though investors have viewed the market for mini-grids as being too risky, making gaining access to project financing rare, and market rate debt expensive, he was, “really thrilled to hear that the Rocky Mountain Institute may have cracked the problem with their partners, the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency and the World Bank.” According to him, the organisations released an independent investment brief that advertises Nigeria as the nation which can now unlock the nascent mini-grid market in Africa in 2018. Branson added, “Nigeria is the biggest and most attractive off-grid opportunity in Africa. It has the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa (GDP of $405 billion), a population of 180 million people, and flourishing growth (15 per cent a year since 2000). “A significant amount of the economy is already powered largely by small-scale generators (10–15 GW) and almost 50 per cent of the population have limited or no access to the grid. As a result, Nigerians and their businesses spend almost $14 billion annually on inefficient, polluting and noisy generation that is expensive, and suffers from poor quality.” Arbitrary Duty Even with the huge business potentials of the market, as well as its rising footprints, operators recently raised the alarm over a government trade policy that could derail the progress of the solar market. Speaking in Lagos recently, REAN disclosed that an arbitrary customs duty levied on imported solar power components by the Nigerian Customs Services would likely thwart the growth path the market had taken. REAN president, Mr. Segun Adaju, said at the Lagos briefing that the Customs had indiscriminately decided to use a classification code, 85013300 which is actually meant for Direct Current (DC) generators with movable parts that are imported into the country, to place very high import levies on imported solar components. Adaju explained that instead of the normal 85414000 classification code used for solar panels and which attracts zero duty, the Customs chose to use the other, thus placing import levies as much as 10 per cent on solar components. He noted that indigenous solar power operators and firms had been unable to clear their goods from the ports, saying the development would heavily affect the final cost of solar power procurements by consumers in the country. Adaju said, “This new import duty on solar panels may lead to hike in cost, derailing FG’s renewable energy plans. Consequently, discharge of goods from the ports has been slowed down immensely and demurrage charges have risen for our members since the start of the year. “The imposition of arbitrary port charges will accelerate value destruction in this industry and will cause prices to rise to uncompetitive levels. All over the world, the cost of solar panels is falling, hence increased adoption of renewables. “This new tariff will increase acquisition cost of solar panels in Nigeria, which are currently heavily deployed in rural areas where purchasing power is low. Even though under the CET code 8541.4010.00 - a classification for import duty tariff – import duty on solar panels should be 0%.”


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


Collaborating for Financial Inclusion Commercial banks in the country and the Central Bank of Nigeria recently launched an initiative to promote financial access with the attraction of 60 million unbanked citizens into the financial system in three years. Bamidele Famoofo, who covered the event, reports

Customers in a queue inside a banking hall waiting to be served


hief Executive Officers of key commercial banks in Nigeria gathered at the Ijewere Hall of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) last Tuesday with one agenda on their minds – how to deepen financial inclusion in the country. They planned to increase the number of participants in the financial industry by 60 million over the next three years by creating a Shared Agent Network Programme (SANEP) that will take banking to every nook and cranny of Nigeria. In pursuit of that goal, the bank chiefs hope to enrol 40 million additional Nigerians for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) by 2020. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, in his welcome address at the occasion, said, “It is believed that access to a bank account is a first step towards broader financial inclusion since it allows storing money, sending money, and receiving payments.” Wigwe, who is also the chairman of the Body of Bank CEOs, added, “A transaction account can also serve as a gateway to other financial services, which is why ensuring that people worldwide can have access to a transaction account is the focus of the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative.” The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), main driver of the 2020 financial inclusion agenda, aims at achieving 80 per cent financial inclusion in Nigeria by that date. The Nigerian Body of Bank CEOs says the launch of the Shared Agent Network is a way of working together with the apex bank to achieve its 80 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020. A statement issued by the body said, “The Nigerian Body of Banks CEOs recognises that access to financial services is an enabler to

economic and social development. To this end, Nigerian banks remain fully committed to driving digital access to, and use of formal financial services by excluded, underserved and low income Nigerians, i.e. financial inclusion.” Services The primary responsibility of the Shared Agent Network created by the CBN, Nigerian banks, licensed mobile money operators, and super agents, is to accelerate financial inclusion in the country through a Shared Agent Network Programme. The programme will introduce new micro loans, savings, insurance and pension products for the benefit of unbanked, financially excluded and low income Nigerians. Strategy SANEP entails the roll-out of 500,000 financial agent outlets by the CBN, as super agents and mobile money operators are expected to work towards deepening financial inclusion, specifically by deploying agent banking facilities in underserved and financially excluded locations across Nigeria. According to the bank chiefs, each agent outlet will provide basic financial services, such as account opening, BVN enrolment, cash deposit, cash withdrawal, funds transfer, and bills payment. Sources close to the arrangement disclosed that operators were expected to roll out, beginning from the northern Nigeria geo-political zones, and migrate southwards. The approved CBN-Bankers Committees’ roll-out ratio shows that the North will account for the bulk of the outlets. For instance, North-east and North-west would get 30 per cent each, while North-central gets 20 per cent of the rollout points. Meanwhile, South-south and South-east will get 7.5 per cent apiece,

while South-west attracts only five per cent of the shared network. Agent Network The Nigerian Body of Bank CEOs disclosed that they were committed to the aggressive roll-out through SANEP’s 600,000 agents in three years, beginning with 250,000 in 2018. The figure is planned to rise to 500,000 in 2019 and it will eventually hit the 600,000 mark in 2020. Besides rolling out the outlets, it is part of the plans of the banks to upgrade all Point of Sale (POS) terminals in Nigeria to about 130,000 points, to make services, such as funds transfer, bill payments, and cash in/ cash out, easier for Nigerians. CBN/NIBSS “The success of the programme will depend largely on the role of both the CBN and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS),” the bank CEOs disclosed. The CBN is to play the critical role of channelling government’s intervention in similar payments through the shared agent network and reviewing guidelines for achieving a commercially viable pricing model for the agent networks. The apex bank will also obtain special concessions from the state governments for common signage and collaterals to drive awareness, provide flexible regulatory framework for BVN enrolment, and standardise KYC for account opening across all institutions. It is also the responsibility of the central bank to consider the reinstatement of the cashless policy to drive activity to the agent locations. On its part, NIBSS will be required to swiftly perform the functions of clearing house for data, develop the format for reporting, and provide unified API’s for services. Other responsibilities of the NIBSS under the shared network agent

programme are to facilitate remote enrolment and capture for BVN, settlement for interbank transactions, and procurement and maintenance of centralised infrastructure. Benefits The benefits of SANEP cut across every sphere of the nation’s economy. According to the bank chiefs, it will create 500,000 new jobs for Nigerians in 2018 alone. For an average Nigerian, reduced transaction costs, convenience, job opportunities and increased adoption of digital financial services are up for grabs. SANEP will provide the platform to handle government’s social disbursements and initiatives as well as create financial inclusion and empowerment, positive social impact, and development for the people. To the Nigerian financial sector, SANEP is expected to increase adoption of digital payments, agility and flexibility, lower operational costs. Financial experts believe it will reduce the barrier of lending to individual and small businesses. “It will lead to the integration of the formal and informal economy, social impact and development,” one financial expert added. Meanwhile, the gains of SANEP are not limited to individuals and the financial sector in Nigeria. According to experts, the benefits will extend to both the CBN and government. For instance, it is expected that SANEP will help both the CBN and government achieve their financial inclusion and social economic development goals, enhance integration of the formal economy and inclusive growth and development in Nigeria. It will boost the ability to drive digital payments, improve tax collection, reduce crime, and facilitate social disbursements, while also reducing cash dependency and improving data gathering in the country.


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


Towards Improved NigeriaSouth Africa Relations A delegation of Nigerian businessmen under the aegis of Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce was in South Africa recently on a mission to help stimulate trade between the two biggest economies in Africa. Demola Ojo reports


enultimate week, members of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) departed Nigeria on a week-long trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town. The Lagos-based chamber was inaugurated 18 years ago to encourage trade between both countries and this particular visit was just one of many over the years. However, there was added significance considering it was the first trade mission by the chamber since the leadership change in South Africa with a new President Cyril Ramaphosa – himself a renowned businessman and former Chairman of MTN – at the helm of affairs. The trade delegation led by chamber chairman, Foluso Phillps, who is also Chairman, Phillips Consulting, included seasoned entrepreneurs like Victor Osibodu, Chairman/CEO Vigeo Ltd; Bode Adediji, who has served as President of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors; Ebun Sonaiya, whose background is in medical services but now has diversified interests; and representatives of corporates across different industries in Nigeria, from real estate to banking, engineering to law. There was also representation from different ministries in Ogun State led by Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Funmi Ajayi, as well as the Director of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Adeshina Emmanuel. Members of the delegation were first hosted by the Guateng Growth and Development Authority (GGDA) at the Guateng Investment Centre in Johannesburg, a meeting that also had in attendance numerous South African businesspeople and entrepreneurs, and representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). According to executives of the GGDA present, the meeting, which included multiple presentations and an interactive session, was hosted to help facilitate trade within Africa and to improve the global footprint of Africa, with Nigeria and South Africa playing leading roles. The general consensus, however, was, before these two economic giants could bear the torch for the African continent, they would need to address some burning issues. Trade Deficit First, the issue of trade imbalance between Nigeria and South Africa, which, somewhat surprisingly, is heavily skewed in favour of Nigeria to a ratio of 80-20 approximately. This is because of the volume (and value) of Nigeria’s crude oil exports to South Africa, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of exports to South Africa. On the other hand, imports from South Africa to Nigeria are a lot more diversified, with manufactured goods and retail services accounting for the bulk of trade. It was suggested that there needed to be a broader trade base between both countries and, in particular, that Nigeria should diversify the products and services it exports to South Africa, with the acknowledgment that platforms like the NSACC help ignite this quest for diversification of the value chain of trade between both countries. A particular industry of interest is the solid minerals sector in which South Africa has years of experience due to trade in gold and diamond, but which is relatively in its infancy in Nigeria. The South Africans in the room wanted more clarity on the state of the solid mineral industry in Nigeria which was described as opaque, and bemoaned the lack of South African input, especially considering inroads being made by China, which is a few thousand kilometres further away. Still on imbalance in trade, it was suggested that Nigeria should buy more from South Africa so that the numbers are more equitable. However, Mr Philips cautioned that the emphasis should be less on balancing the numbers and more on value addition to the products and services being exchanged between both countries.

Chairman Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Foluso Philips

The chairman of the NSACC elaborated further during another business-to-business meeting between delegations from both countries, this time in Cape Town. It was hosted by WESGRO, the official agency responsible for tourism, trade and investment for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Phillps stated, “Without a doubt, South Africa’s infrastructure, level of technology, technical competence, manufacturing and so on, are way above Nigeria’s. Certainly, Nigeria is blessed with a lot of resources – oil, mining opportunities, etc. “It isn’t always just about trade. You can start off with trade but eventually you should be looking to establish a presence in Nigeria. “The problem with trade is that it’s affected by fluctuating exchange rates,” he said. “It’s a good way to start, to help you establish a brand, but once that is done, you should look to the long term and think of how to begin to manufacture. “The most successful South African companies in Nigeria are those who add value in Nigeria. Part of your long time view should be how to ensure that what you do in Nigeria involves increasing the local value creation and engaging the people so that there seems to be equity and fairness. It’s less about investing in Nigeria and more about partnering.” Phillips expatiated further on the concept of partnership over investment. “The people that are here are at the SME level, which is the level I feel, will drive the continent. The big boys will always get on. The Dangotes, the breweries, the MTNs. They will always get on. But the people that offer the employment, that offer the connectivity, they’re the SMEs and the people we see here. “So when you invite them and say, come and invest in Nigeria, they too don’t have that bulk of money to invest. But what they can do is create value through a partnership. “Somebody came and asked, ‘where are the big

businessmen?’ But a seriously big businessman has no need for a chamber. He’ll move on. He’ll call the banks, the big connections and his transaction is done. But there are many people out there that we have met over the past couple of days who have products to sell and services to render,” he revealed. Speaking further on the trade imbalance between both countries and how to diversify Nigeria’s exports to South Africa, he countered, “We always fail to appreciate the value of Nigerians working in South Africa itself,” he said. “If I’m working as a doctor, an accountant, a lawyer, a banker, a lecturer, of which we have a huge number of them, and for every one dollar, I remit 40 cents, that’s revenue that is not calculated; diaspora remittances, which itself is a sale. “Nigeria is exporting its skills and capabilities to South Africa and being paid a net income for it. And the reason why it’s happening is not because of any bullying by Nigeria, it’s because there’s a need for that level of competence and capability. “Secondly, we tend to concentrate too much on products. How about the service? Our music? Our culture? Our fashion? There are so many things that we don’t look at. In any situation, play to your strengths. These are our strengths as a nation.” Visa Conundrum More than anything else, the most important barrier to trade according to participants at both Johannesburg and Cape Town business sessions, was the difficulty in getting visas to visit each other. The consensus was that the two governments were to blame and should look into easing visa restrictions, with many participants recounting bad experiences of passports being held for weeks. This reporter got a visa to South Africa within a week, which was the good news. The not-so-good news? It was a three-month

multiple visa but each stay limited to seven days. This, after multiple visits to South Africa and a series of articles on Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, among others. But this pales into insignificance compared to one of the senior members of the chamber, who even owns property in South Africa but was given the exact same visa treatment. Participants from both countries agreed that government was the single biggest hindrance to trade. Things may be looking up though. According to Nigeria’s Consul General to South Africa, Godwin Adama, South Africans who need visas to visit Nigeria can get them within 48 hours. Adama who attended sessions in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, said, “About three months ago, we rolled out our biometric visa capturing processes in Johannesburg because it is more efficient, information is better documented and it helps in security. We are one of the few countries today that do biometric capturing for visa processing. “It has enabled us deliver visa faster to South Africans and other foreigners here who want to visit Nigeria. We capture and issue visas within 48 hours except there are local objections.” He explained steps taken to ensure seamless travel and trade between both countries. “We go about meeting would-be visitors and potential investors in strategic gatherings across the country to intimate them that the visa processing is improved now. Some do not know because they use agents, and these agents are business people who make it difficult to the would-be visitors just to make them pay more. “With the system on ground, travellers need no longer use agents because they must visit the consulate to have their biometrics captured or no visa. It is longer business as usual,” he asserted. He added that the recent recession in South Africa had affected trade and the number of visa applications from South Africans but that things have improved now and visa applications have increased alongside the South African economy bouncing back. Adama also urged caution in the implementation of visa reciprocity, a policy the Nigerian government is guided by. “It is the issue that we are discussing now at a bilateral level. But Abuja has been very corporative in recent times. Diplomacy is based on reciprocity and we have tried to emphasis it through methods that they will understand, but the truth is that we need more South Africans to visit Nigeria because most of them visiting Nigeria are going for business which cannot be said for every Nigerian coming here. That is why the issue of reciprocity should be treated with some degree of discretion.” He threw some light on why Nigerians find it difficult to get South African visas. “Some Nigerians occupy good positions here in South Africa. If you remove Nigerian doctors in the South African medical field, the system may not stand well because there are many Nigerians working across several medical professions here. “In the academia, there are many Nigerian professors in South African universities, and other professionals. “But there are some Nigerians who have unskilled labour that create some challenges here and these are people that get involved in illicit things.” He urged Nigerians living in South Africa to be law abiding and follow local practices. “Staying in a community, there is need for you to stay peacefully and relate effectively with the community in such a way that tension will be reduced. We have paid so many consular visits to see how we can douse tensions and encourage our people to engage in businesses that will not create issues. see concluding part on


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


Edited by Demola Ojo Email

Tour Operators Attempt to Bring Jos Back Demola Ojo


ast week, the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) held its annual general meeting and elections in Jos, Plateau State. The choice of venue was a bold move; last year’s AGM was in Lagos, the year before in Calabar. Both cities are unarguably the leading lights when it comes to tourism in Nigeria. Jos, on the other hand, can be described as a “has-been”. Gone are the days when it was Nigeria’s number one destination due in large part to a temperate climate and natural wonders in the form of unique rock formations, numerous waterfalls and more. This, added to the discovery of vast tin deposits in the vicinity - which was extensively mined in colonial times till the 1960s - was responsible for an influx of migrants from within and outside Nigeria. Indigenous ethnic groups like the Berom, Tiv, Jukun and scores more were complemented by an influx of other Nigerian ethnic nationalities - and Europeans - to form a cultural mix that ensured Jos’ status as one of Nigeria’s most cosmopolitan cities. Unfortunately, the narrative changed at the turn of the century when communal clashes put a dent on its reputation, somewhat making a mockery of Plateau State’s claim to being “The Home of Peace and Tourism”. Suddenly, Jos which used to welcome tourists in droves became a no-go area, even after peace returned. The desire to change the perception of Jos not being safe was one of the reasons why the Plateau State government partnered with NATOP to host the AGM in Jos. Before the AGM, a team led by Plateau State’s commissioner for tourism, culture and hospitality, Mrs. Tamwakat Wali, took the tour operators and media personnel on a tour of the plateau and to the Assop Waterfalls, one of many that the state boasts of. Participants got to see firsthand the reasons why Jos became an important commercial and tourist centre. A drive through the upper and lower plateaus exposed the team to different temperatures within minutes while seeing the highest railway point in Nigeria, the iconic Riyom Rock and many more rock formations, crater lakes and giant cactus hedges. The altitude of the Jos Plateau (at about 4,200 feet above sea level), means it’s the source of many rivers which in turn feed rivers Niger and Benue among others while its steep, irregular southern slopes birth many waterfalls. The altitude is also responsible for average monthly temperatures from 21–25 °C which could drop as low as 11 °C at night from mid-November to late January, with hail falling during the rainy season and in snow in rare cases. Peace, then Tourism The very act of hosting the NATOP AGM in Jos sends a message about how serious the state government is taking tourism. During the AGM held at Hilltop Hotel, a seminar aptly themed ‘Security Challenges and Promotion of Tourism in Nigeria’ touched on the ways a destination can combat security challenges and ensure peace for tourists. Speaking at the event, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, said the state’s ministry of tourism and its agencies has in the past two years made concerted efforts in ensuring that activities are created to keep Plateau State in the tourism calendar of events in the country. “The Plateau State carnival, road show and music fiesta are experiencing and receiving national recognition and I can assure you it will soon rival the Calabar Carnival and Carniriv.” He also said mountain climbing and other high altitude sports are gaining relevance with the state providing a peaceful and conducive environment for tourists by tackling the menace of insecurity. According to Lalong, “Insecurity everywhere in the world affects the tourism and travel sector; should we not address our local and national security challenges, we can as well bid farewell to the income generating potentials of the tourism sector. “Plateau State has also has not relented in

Iyom Rock is one of the major tourist attractions in Plateau State her pursuit of the agenda of peace, security and good governance. No responsible government can afford to let the economic potentials of the tourism and travel industry remain fallow, and this underscores the new focus of our government.” Lalong reiterated the impact of tourism on the global economy and promised it’s a sector he plans to give attention to. “In November 2017, I had the opportunity of leading a delegation from the state to the World Travel Market in Excel London and it provided me the opportunity of seeing the potential of the Travel Market to connect attendees and network of tour practitioners, key industry buyers and influencers for the purpose of tourism destination

marketing. “I am envisaging that we can localise this experience using the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators to create a convergence for the demand and supply chain in the tourism and travels sector,” he said. During the AGM, Mrs Wali revealed that tourism is the reason the state has embarked on a massive construction of roads, adding that institutional and organisational frameworks have been put in place to encourage public and private partnership in the tourism sector. New NATOP In the midst of the AGM, NATOP elected new

members with Abuja-based Hajia Bilkisu Abdul of BBOG Travels emerging National President to replace Nkeweurem Onung while Lagos-based Ime Udo was elected the Vice President. A new Board of Trustees was also constituted at the AGM. Members include Kabiru Malan, Mrs Fatima Garbati, Jemi Alade, Chairman Carnival Calabar Commission, Gabe Onah, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Ikechi Uko and Onung. In partnership with the Plateau State government, the above names (and their fellow tour operators) will be tasked with the responsibility of making Jos attractive again, and bringing back the tourists that will help fuel the state’s economy.

Mahama Set for Lagos Tourism Summit


ormer Ghanaian President John Mahama will tomorrow deliver a keynote address at the Lagos State Tourism Summit set for Eko Hotel and Suites tomorrow, where stakeholders will make contributions toward the state tourism master plan. The summit is themed “Destination Lagos: Towards a Sustainable Tourism-driven Economy’’. State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, said the master plan would be unveiled in May in an effort to transform the cultural and artistic landscape of the state. According to him, the summit will feature

paper presentations on tourism and engage practitioners, scholars, entertainers and media professionals. “This strategic intervention did not happen by accident; it has been a deliberate plan. It will encourage practitioners and stakeholders with institutional support and sustain the hope of investors in the sector,’’ he said. The Chief Host will be the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode while the organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market and the MICE event, Abuja Jabamah, Ikechi Uko as one of the guest speakers will be making a presentation on “M.I.C.E, Creative Content As Tourism Sector Panacea”.


Atlanta Retains Top Spot as World’s Busiest Airport


tlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson remains the world’s busiest for passenger traffic, according to new preliminary figures from Airports Council International. The US hub welcomed just under 104 million passengers in 2017, down 0.3 per cent on the previous year. The top three busiest airports are unchanged from 2016, with Beijing in second place and Dubai in third, while Tokyo Haneda displaced Los Angeles International from the fourth sport. India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport

in New Delhi jumped from 22nd to 16th place in the rankings, with traffic up 14.1 per cent, while Guangzhou airport was the only other facility in the top 20 to record growth of over 10 per cent (10.1). Overall traffic growth across the top 20 airports was 5.2 per cent. In terms of international passenger traffic, Dubai stretched its lead over London Heathrow, welcoming close to 88 million customers (up 5.6 per cent), compared to Heathrow’s 73 million (up 3 per cent). Here the top ten were all unchanged from the previous year, with Hong Kong in third

place, followed by Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris CDG, Singapore, Seoul Incheon, Frankfurt, Bangkok and Taipei. Commenting on the figures Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World said: “The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world’s airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term. “The world’s airports continue to be a vital link in the economic multiplier effect that aviation provides and the role it plays as an enabler for global commerce is growing”.

T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018

23 © 2018 Citigroup Inc. Citi and Citi with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.

EVERY BIG DREAM STARTS WITH A SMALL INVESTMENT. Everybody aspires to do more with their lives. Whether that means running your own business or getting the career you always dreamed of. This is why we are excited to play our part in Nigeria’s Financial Literacy Day, helping thousands of students get the monetary know-how they will need to turn their dreams into future realities.


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018





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T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ ͹ͽ˜ͺ͸͹΀


Lafarge Africa Explains Payment of N13 Billion Dividend Goddy Egene The Chief  Financial  Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Bruno Bayet has said the N13 billion dividend proposed by the  board of directors would be paid from the 2012/2013 pioneer profit reserve. The building materials manufacturing firm has recommended the N13 billion dividend despite recording a loss N34.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017. Speaking on the dividend

payment, which will be approved by the shareholders of the company at the next annual general meeting (AGM), Bayet explained that it would be paid from the pioneer profit reserve. The company had said a   detailed review of key projects in Nigeria such as the Road in Calabar and of mothballed assets in South Africa led to an impairment of N19.1 billion. “The combination of these impairments and the net loss

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

in South Africa of N187b billion led to a group net loss of N34.6 billion compared to a profit of N16.8 billion N in 2016,” the company said. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lafarge Africa Plc, Michel Puchercos had said    that the company’s industrial operations in 2017 were stable with plants operating at high reliability levels.   He also noted that the energy optimisation plan for the company has been

floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is an investment vehicle that allows both small and large investors to part-own real estate ventures (eg. Offices, Houses, Hospitals) in proportion to their investments. The assets are divided into shares that are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. GUIDE TO DATA: Date: All fund prices are quoted in Naira as at 12-Apr-2018, unless otherwise stated.

successful with increased use of alternative fuel and coal to offset gas shortages in operations in the West while plant operations in the eastern and northern part of the country relied mainly on gas and coal. He said these logistic, commercial and operational initiatives helped to sustain market share in the year under review. According to him, the expected recovery in the macroeconomic environment in Nigeria is likely to have a

positive impact in the overall cement market in Nigeria. “Our Business turnaround actions will be consolidated further in 2018 through energy optimisation as well as commercial and logistic improvement. In 2018 we shall implement a continuous improvement programme that will see us building on EBITDA margins above the 35 per cent benchmark,” he added. Puchercos disclosed that the capital expenditure

expectation for Nigeria will be mainly devoted to energy and production optimisation. “For South Africa the economy is expected to grow by  three per cent in 2018. The turnaround plan of the South African operations is focused on cost containment, commercial transformation and industrial stabilsation. The overall goal is to create value for shareholders through an attractive growth profile and good margins,” he said.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 188.24 189.22 5.97% Nigeria International Debt Fund 244.09 245.10 5.54% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.86 0.87 4.06% ACAP Income Funds 0.65 0.65 8.20% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.65% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; 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 Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 157.22 158.32 3.64% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 14.26% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, 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 12.33 12.65 11.22% Women's Investment Fund 103.54 106.19 2.89% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.45% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 14.48% Coronation Balanced Fund 1.13 1.15 7.47% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.10 1.13 6.37% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,205.61 1,206.84 5.03% FBN Heritage Fund 148.29 149.59 6.37% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.11% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $114.87 $115.35 1.71% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $114.87 $115.34 1.80% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 179.45 182.20 11.49% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.38 1.41 5.94% Legacy Debt Fund 2.99 2.99 3.83% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A Coral Income Fund N/A N/A N/A GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.03% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 14.35% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.15 2.18 2.21% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.53% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 119.13 119.55 3.61%

LOTUS CAPITAL LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.17 1.20 2.56% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,043.55 1,043.55 1.00% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Meristem Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.31 1.34 10.42% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.55 11.60 4.57% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 14.02% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 140.44 142.97 9.07% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.55 1.55 4.30% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,343.11 2,363.63 4.49% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 181.84 181.84 3.05% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.06 1.08 5.94% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 231.21 231.29 4.99% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 190.82 192.92 6.54% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.95% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,044.57 10,181.79 3.88% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.08 1.08 2.21% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.33 1.34 -0.37% United Capital Bond Fund 1.62 1.62 3.55% United Capital Equity Fund 1.00 1.02 9.04% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.41% United Capital Eurobond Fund 105.16 105.16 2.19% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.12 1.13 3.34% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Zenith Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A Zenith Income Fund N/A N/A N/A Zenith Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A


Yield / T-Rtn

10.00 134.56

-11.35% 1.59%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

12.46 157.06 115.98

12.56 160.43 118.15

2.78% 9.97% 6.16%

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

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.98 9.65 18.76 21.40 155.89

5.02 9.73 18.86 21.60 157.89

5.06% 0.84% 5.61% 8.73% 4.89%

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

T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018


T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018


T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018


Bankers’ Committee Celebrates Financial Literacy Day As part of activities to celebrate the Global Money Week (GMW), the Banker’s Committee celebrated Financial Literacy Day on Thursday, March 15th 2018 by partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Junior Achievement Nigeria to educate students on cultivating a culture on savings. The program focuses on increasing the awareness of the importance of savings as a path to financial empowerment.

Abubakar Kaita, representative of Access Bank Plc CEO, some staff and some students of Rimi College

Citibank employee with students of Government Girls’ Secondary School Gendun Albasa and Government Girls’ Secondary School, Shekara

Ecobank staff at Edgerley Memorial Secondary School, Calabar, Cross River State

Sunday Omoniwa, Head, Port-Harcourt Office, FBNQuest Merchant Bank and Rita Osion, Junior Achievement Nigeria co-ordinator at Osa Denis High School, Asaba, Delta State

Mr.Okey Oghelle, FCMB Zonal Head at Winners International Academy

Magnus Nnoka, Coronation Merchant Bank Risk Officer at Princeton College, Lagos

The Divisional Head, Brand and Communications, Fidelity Bank Plc, Charles Aigbe, JAN official at the Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo, Lokoja, Kogi State.

Chizoma Okoli, Executive Director Business Development, Diamond Bank with ECWA church representative and principals of Government Secondary School

Regional Head, Retail Banking North, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Shehu Aliyu and other senior representatives at Mohammed Nya Primary/Secondary School Jalingo, Taraba State.

Mrs Hamda Ambah, FSDH Managing Director at St Louis College, Jos

Managing Director/CEO, Providus Bank, Mr. Walter Akpani at OlaOluwa Muslim Grammar, Ado-Ekiti

CEO Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman at Owerri Girls Secondary School

Modinat Williams, Zonal Manger; Wole Akinleye, Exceutive Director; and Ademola Adebise, Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc at OAU International School

CEO, Rand Merchant Bank, Micheal Larbie, and staff at St Patrick College Emene, Enugu

Mr Aaron Mosugu, Chief Information Officer, SunTust at Olomu Senior Secondary School

Zenith Bank Plc Zonal Head, Mrs. Nkiru R. Okolo, staff of Zenith Bank Plc, at Rosary College Nise, Awka, Anambra State

Stella Idakwoji, and other GTBank facilitators at Government Science Secondary School 1 & 2, Gombe

Obiora Okoye, Heritage Bank CEO representative at Makurdi International Schools, Markurdi

UBA’s Balarabe Ringim – Strategic Business Group Head North 4 (Middle) and Regional Head South-South Group Skye Bank Plc, Raphael Abiaziem, at Kenneth Ugwuanyi – Head Digital Banking Sales –North (4th from Right) with select Students of General Murtala Mohammed College – Yola, Adamawa State Rayfield International School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Regional Head, Port-Harcourt Region, Henrietta Iweze and other senior representatives from Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria at Holy Rosary Secondary School, Port Harcourt

Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Dr. Demola Sogunle at Ibadan Grammar School, Oyo State.

Group Head, Strategy and Corporate Planning, Unity Bank Plc, Titilayo Abraham, at Royal Leads Academy

Divisional Head Keystone Bank, Chabri John at Jibrin Aminu Model Secondary School

Mr. Chinedu Ikwudinma. CEO Nova Merchant Bank at Ogunmodede Senior College, Epe, Lagos.

The MD/CEO of Union Bank Plc, Emeka Emuwa and other senior representatives at African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta




On the 15th anniversary of Elizabeth R, a leading events management company founded when she was in her 20s, former beauty queen and philanthropist, Ibidunni Ighodalo tells Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha that she is as surprised as everybody else at the giant strides recorded by the company


aving studied Applied Chemistry, he was supposed to work in the Nigerian arm of a global household cleaning product and consumer chemicals company where he served the mandatory one-year youth service. But an older brother thought otherwise and offered him a life-changing opportunity in a completely unrelated field. It is 11 years on and Nurudeen Lawal is forever grateful to the man who influenced the change in his career path. He also congratulates himself for the courage to chart a new course. The year was 2007 when he joined the Elizabeth R, one of Nigeria’s leading events management companies as Project Officer. Today, he is the General Manager, junior in service year only to his benefactor, Mr. Oseni and Mr. Bayo who joined the company before him. Oseni worked devotedly with Mrs.

Ibidunni Ighodalo, CEO of the company from inception in 2003; so it was easy for her to depend on his recommendation of Lawal. “Looking at the prospect I saw at Elizabeth R and the promise that it will make me know more people and move from one location to another unlike working for a company that you will just be repeating the same thing over and over, I decided to take the job,” Lawal said to the reporters at the company’s cosy headquarters on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi-Lagos. He was fiddling with a pen and smiling at two other colleagues who were being interviewed as well. “What kept me in Elizabeth R is the vision and the creativity of our boss. She doesn’t repeat the same thing. She imagines a lot and brings her imagination to life. That makes me want to be with her at all time,” Lawal said while explaining his sustained interest in events management. “From the way she trained me, I developed a passion

Continued on Pg. 55



APRIL 15, 2018 ˾T H I S DAY, T H E S U N DAY N E W S PA P E R


Damilola Akinloye

Ibidunni Ighodalo with husband, Ituah

for the industry in my first year.” Wasiu Ibrahim Alado, a driver who was employed in 2008 claimed to have learnt other skills at Elizabeth R. “I learnt decoration and how to buy and sell decorative items.” We were on the top floor in a growing arm of the company which focuses on bridal items like tiara, rings and gowns. This part of the Elizabeth R enterprise called Avant Garde inspires Alado. “I have learnt how to sell wedding gowns. If I have the money, I know where to start from. I have learnt a lot from Elizabeth R and I would like to put the knowledge to work.” Already, there is a growing number of former employees of Elizabeth R who have set up shop and are doing very well. According to Ighodalo, they remain very close. She told the reporters, “It is as if they are still with us. The field is very big and there is enough jobs for everybody. There are jobs that we cannot take. I am happy to recommend them for it. They come to me for guidance.” There has never been a time when Ighodalo worried over the possibility of her former employees upstaging her. She attends trainings abroad to keep abreast of current trends in events management and decoration. The future she anticipates is not hers alone. She carries her staff along. At one of the interview sessions, she excused herself to give specific instructions to two staff going to Dubai to buy flowers and other gift items. One of them was travelling out of the country for the first time. Her momentary excitement seemed to be dampened by the challenge of not having a travel document like an international passport. Ighodalo understood her unspoken anxiety and addressed it. “Don’t worry, there is enough time to apply for a passport.” That instance, her enthusiasm returned on a more visible scale. “Thank you, Ma,” she said, genuflecting. Elizabeth R is a company built on mutual respect and love. This configuration of reverence permeates all levels of relationship within the company-whether between staff and management or between the team and clients. Named after her father who she describes as her ‘first love’, the company is chaired by her husband, Ituah Ighodalo, an accountant and clergy. Intentionally, clients, be they individuals, corporate bodies, MDAs or state governments are effectively given an experience of a lifetime. Her intention is to deliver a bespoke event all the time. In the past, the Elizabeth R signature was on the Redeemed Christian Church of God programmes. One of its most admired work in the public space is the year end decoration of Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, which is made possible by Zenith Bank. The beneficiaries of these beautiful decorations, whether indoor or outdoor, have no idea of the amount of work required to deliver that ‘wow’ standard. “Two emotions come to mind,” said Damilola Akinloye,

Nurudeen Lawal

Ighodalo’s PA and Head of Human Resources of the company. “It is challenging and it is fun. There is a fun part of working with her and then it can be challenging. She is someone who is a perfectionist. It can be challenging when you are to get a task done and you can’t find a way out but you know your boss doesn’t take no for an answer so you just have to find a way to get things done. She is very energetic. We can be having events, and at 12 midnight or 1 O’clock in the night, we are still on site. By 3 O’clock she will say let’s rest and by 5 O’clock in the morning, we are up again. That can be very challenging and intense but it can be fun.” Even if it does not appear defined sometimes, Akinloye understands her role. She told the reporters, “I work as her PA. I also double as a HR manager. That’s a much defined role. I may fill in for her when she is not available. It’s a bit defined if you ask me but can also be undefined. I was familiar with Elizabeth R and what they do. I had seen some of their events. I wasn’t too familiar with the production and how things are done. You just see their finished work live or in pictures. That was really the extent I knew about Elizabeth R before I started working here in 2015.” So far, Akinloye is happy that her understanding of her boss is growing. For instance, she knows that Ighodalo knows how to bottle her emotions; particularly, when she is angry. “All hell is not let loose immediately. My boss is the kind of person that you can’t really tell immediately when she is upset or angry with you because she tries not to flare up and waits till things are a bit calm. You might know that you messed up a bit. She won’t say anything. She may just bring it up even if you are in a joking mood with her. At times she may flare up. I have seen her do that a few times, but it is very rare. But like I said when you personally know you’ve made a mistake, she may not say anything. There are times she just brings it up at a later date.” Ighodalo’s fame as an events manager is legendary. A former beauty queen, she deploys an amazing precision and attention to detail that results in the complete transformation of any space into a spectacular setting. Over the years, the company has positioned itself to provide total events management services-from start to finish; including logistics, decoration, media coverage, entertainment and catering. As a testimony to her astuteness, there is The Dorchester, a 3000 capacity event hall in Oniru area of Lagos. A pacesetter with a penchant for excellence, the Elizabeth R headquarters has become one of the most beautiful landmarks on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi. It is impossible to pass by and not give it a long stare. The exterior which is done in marble accentuates the design and architecture. On the ground floor is the recently opened gift shop which

made an impressive showing during the last Valentine season. Because it offered rare and very attractive pieces, it sold out to the surprise of Ighodalo. The First Floor houses the different departments in the company, a conference room and the office of the CEO. As many do not go beyond the welcome-andgreeting area, the eye-pleasing, soft-furnishing there combines with the artistic presentation of a bowing mannequin to convey a strong message of warmth and willingness to serve. The top floor is dedicated to the bridal store called Avant Garde, which stocks some of the most exquisite designs for a most memorable wedding. Ighodalo hinted at the possibility of an official opening of the building which is taking a new lease of life. “That is why we moved it to the present location in its 15thanniversary. I was in my 20s when we started this company. I knew what I wanted, but I could not guess we would come this far and make such an impact in the industry and in the lives of many people. I am very happy to see the number of people who used to work here but have since moved on to do their own thing. That, undoubtedly, is our greatest achievement in 15 years. Add the fact that we still keep a warm relationship with all of them. We are like a family. We plan on being here for a long time. It would be nice to have an official opening, but it has to be well done and at a time all my valued guests and clients can attend. That is the challenge. Again, we are very busy.” Certain things remain the same in the events management equation. This is particularly so for Elizabeth R. Ighodalo likes to think that if its logo and other marks of identity are completely removed from a decorated space, many will still guess correctly whose job it is. Akinloye told her interviewers that she has learnt a couple of profound things working with her boss: “Acceptance of people is number one. I’m a very impatient person. I can be very hurried when I meet people. I can give a funny impression. But with her, she can give people a billion chances and then you begin to see that people can actually become what it is she has seen in them. I’m like ‘wow, I would have dismissed this person’. I will say patience and acceptance of people and realizing that everybody has different strengths and you can’t expect people to be like you or think like you. That’s one of the greatest things I have learnt. And her generosity. I have been a beneficiary of her generosity. Even before I started working with her. We attend the same church. She might just see you and say, ‘I have this for you, take this’. She is extremely generous to a fault. Sometimes I’m like ‘Ma, why do you keep giving me or people, take care of yourself. You will need something and you are denying yourself to help other people.’” If her bias for working well with Akinloye may tie in with worshipping in the same

church, we turned to Alado, her driver of over 10 years who is a Moslem. Elizabeth R’s general manager, Lawal is of the Islamic faith, as well. The testimony was no less heart-warming. “She has not forced me to church. When we are at an event, she will want us to say both Christian and Moslem prayers because we have both Christians and Muslims among us. In fact, when we are fasting, she will call the Muslims among us and give us food and money. I’ve learnt a lot in this company. Whether you are a driver or a cleaner, she doesn’t care. She wants everyone around to learn from her own experience. She used to be angry with me a lot. I know when she is angry and when she is happy with me. When I have offend her, I don’t wait for her to tell me before I apologize and she easily forgives me.” According to Akinloye, Elizabeth R which currently has another office and a warehouse in Apapa employs 18 persons on full-time. Its temporary staff can swell up to 50 depending on the size of the job at hand. Lawal said Ighodalo’s willingness to delegate and openness to suggestions enhances a conducive work environment. “She gives room for your own concept. She then comes around and corrects whatever is not well done. She gives you that freedom. She is very open to suggestions. I’ve had cases at an event when we finished our decoration, she will call you aside to ask your perception of what we have done. After asking you, she will call another person and ask his or her opinion. Whatever correction you have proffered, she will do it the way you suggested and if it’s okay, we all accept it that way. She doesn’t leave you at work. She stays with you all through the night. What surprises a lot of us is that until she announces herself as the boss, you won’t know. She sweeps, does virtually everything that you can’t even imagine. She acts as a member of the team, not the head of the team.” Lawal does not imagine any other job that could have given him the opportunity to travel to all the states in Nigeria. He didn’t really like the question on whether he feels bad about other colleagues who met him on the job have since moved on. However, he had a brilliant response. “We all have different destinies. I can’t say because someone has left, I should also leave. The other person may believe he has learnt enough to stand on his own. I don’t want to start an events company. I have other plans. The event industry is not all about decoration. There are several aspects to it. There is the logistics aspect and proposal development. I have picked interest in those.” Over the last 15 years, Ighodalo has dominated the events management and decoration business in Nigeria. Her entry into that space changed the headlines. For instance, everyone is still talking about the 15 amazing days of great discounts and wonderful giveaways she instituted to push the boat out at that landmark.




with Ě&#x201C;  ͎ͯͯ͜ͲͲ͡ͳ͹ͰͲË&#x153;

Universal Music Nigeria Partners Runway Jazz


niversal Music Nigeria recently announced its partnership with Runway Jazz, an annual jazz festival that fuses fashion and music. The partnership is the first of its kind for the company which opened its Nigerian office late last year. Present at the signing was Sipho Dlamini, the Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and SubSaharan Africa (English-speaking) who shared the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment in promoting the music culture in Nigeria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Universal Music is the number one entertainment company in the world and as such in the continent, we pride ourselves for upholding the same title. In Nigeria as we do in other countries

that we operate, we have a record label where we sign local talents, then we also do live events. And on the live events, we conceptualise, produce and partner with companies like Runway Jazz to produce music concert, conferences, festivals and music related experiences. So for us it is a huge honour to be working with Runway Jazz festival on this two-day event, the conference and the jazz festival itself. We are very excited to be given the opportunity to partner with a prestigious jazz event. This will be the flagship event in Africa and we are very happy to be given the opportunity.â&#x20AC;? The Runway Jazz was conceived two years ago by Afolabi Oke and is also in partnership with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organisation (UNESCO) with a mandate to promote global peace, unity and dialogue. Previous editions of the event have attracted the cream of the society and paraded international acclaimed jazz artistes like Najee. Speaking at the signing of the new deal, Afolabi Oke revealed that the Lagos state government has been very supportive in promoting Jazz in Nigeria. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event which will take place on April 29, at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos will be headlined by international Grammy award nominee Gerald Albright. There will also be performances by Tiwa Savage, Sweet Sound, Beyond Vocal, Heavy Wind and Society for Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN).

Gerald Albright

Aba Fans Celebrate Easter with Real Deal Experience Aba was host to another edition of Legend Extra Stout Real Deal Experience on Easter Day. Expectedly, fans were thrilled as some of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entertainers including Niagga Raw, Ruff Coin, Tipsy Kelvano and more performed hits after hits much to the delight of the audience. Mr Raw headlined the show with thrilling performances of some of his fan favourite songs including - â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obodoâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oyolimaâ&#x20AC;?, while former BBNaija housemate Ifu Ennada who co-hosted the show rocked the staged as she promised, by keeping the crowd alive and well entertained. Legend Extra Stout also provided a sensory room, whereby consumers were able to learn more about the real stout. In its usual tradition of celebrating legends, Legend extra stout celebrated chairman of Chemlap Nigeria Limited - Elder Dr. Emmanuel Adaelu (MFR) a courageous man who worked tirelessly from a humble beginning to become a Legend. Speaking on this recognition, Elder Dr. Emmanuel Adaelu (MFR) said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Honesty leads to credibility, and only a credible man can be regarded as a Legend, this is one of the quality I admire in a manâ&#x20AC;? In recognizing his legendary feats, the Legend Extra Stout torch was presented to him by public affairs manager (South) NBPlc., Uzodinna Odenigbo The Real Deal Experience has held in cities including Lagos, Ibadan, Onitsha, Umuahia, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Abakaliki, and Owerri, has featured some of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest entertainers including MI, Timaya, 9ice, Kcee, Oritsefemi and Small Doctor among others. ZEE PLANS BIG FOR NIGERIA AUDIENCE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vanessa Obioha

Since its entrance into the Nigerian market in 1996, the biggest Indian Entertainment company, Zee has been able to entertain itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s viewers with the best of South-Asian entertainment. However, the company took a notch higher when it redirected its mission to create unique Bollywood content for Nigeria and other African countries. The birth of Zee World available on only DStv and GOtv, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Bollywood English dubbed channel in Africa, triggered a new wave of fame for the entertainment company. With contemporary movies and series, Zee World has grown to become a staple in most Nigerian homes. Its growing fan base led to the birth of other channels such as Zee Bollymovies, a first of its kind English Bollywood Movies channel; Zee Bollynova, a dedicated Bollywood telenovela channel only available on Kwese TV; and Zee Cinema International, a Bollywood movie channel in Hindi and English subtitles available only on Startimes. Currently, Zee offers 12 channels across Africa with a reach spanning over 173 countries and access to more than 1.3 billion viewers globally. This has only been made possible by the effective team headed by Harish Goyal. Goyal who comes with two decades experience is committed in promoting and pushing the brand to the rest of the continent. Goyal however attributed the success of Zee in Nigeria to the cultural resonance between Indian and Nigeria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigerians love music and drama, which are very strong features in our content. Even the daily hustle in the cities like Lagos is similar to that of India. Our foods are spicy so also are

Ifu Ennada

yours. There is a lot of similarity between the two countries.â&#x20AC;? He further debunked the general perception that Bollywood is depriving Nigerians from enjoying local content. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The way I see it, we are complementing each other not competing. We have a Zee studio now so in the future we are looking at collaborations with Nollywood.â&#x20AC;? Some of the programmes to look up to in the upcoming months on the different Zee channels include the return of popular series such as Twist of Fate season 2, King of Hearts season 2, as well as new series- Bride with Benefits, Begusarai, Amma and Iron Lady. A number of blockbuster movies will also premiere on Zee BollyMovies later this year, including the 2017 crime thriller, MOM, starring the Bollywood legend Sridevi, who sets out to avenge her step-daughter after the justice system failed to convict her attackers. With the help of a shady detective, she takes the law into her own hands. Other movies on the channel will feature A-list actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan and many more. On Zee BollyNova which offers a wide range of entertainment with food shows by celebrity chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Ripu Raman Handa, viewers can catch up on reality shows such as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Look love what you made me doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, for the romance lovers and Fear Files, for those who enjoy a good scare, not to forget much-loved series like Saloni, Destiny and The Vow coming in May 2018. Viewers can go on an exciting and adventurous ride on Zee Cinema with the channel robust film collection which boasts over 4200 movie titles with leading Bollywood superstars likeAamir Khan, Shah

Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, DeepikaPadukone and many other A-listers featured. UNWANA SETS LAGOS ABLAZE WITH MUSIC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Funke Olaode

Welcome to the world of Unwana Ukeme, a gospel singer-songwriter and speaker from Akwa Ibom State. His music career started at the Chosen Generation Chapel. He also served as music director and praise worship leader with Rev Ethel Odungide of His Fireplace Ministries. He would later launch his music ministry in 2005 and it was called The Worship Ablaze. This platform has been kept alive in the past three years, with amazing results leading to change in lives, destiny restoration, fresh passion and numerous testimonies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started taking music as a career at the age of 18. I went into it in 2004 while serving under the CEO of His Fireplace Concert Music Ministry where I served for four years. My music ministry was initially named Worship Ablaze with it we hosted concerts for three years in 2005, 2006, 2007.â&#x20AC;? In 2007, he relocated from Uyo to Lagos and joined the music ministry of the Realm of Glory International Church under the leadership of Pastor Sam & Rev. Grace Aiyedogbon. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the music director of Realm of Glory, Ipaja branch. Speaking further on his foray in the vineyard, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was sent to go and do music serving under Pastor Toni Akintara, a passionate and energetic woman of God. It has been a fulfilling moment for me as I am doing it full time and currently getting set to release singles before launching out fully. My church is a church that prepares you

Gerald Albright

to make sure that you are well grounded before you are launched out,â&#x20AC;? he said. As Ukeme and his team are getting set to set Lagos ablaze through his concert slated for evening of Sunday, April 22 at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Corner Stone Parish, My Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House, Okota, Lagos, Ukeme reiterated his commitment to draw more souls to Christ just as people should look out for unusual touch from God, music in another dimension like never seen before. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are putting things together to make the outing successful. This is my first outing since I came to Lagos 10 years ago. We trust for an unusual experience.â&#x20AC;? According to him some of guest artistes expected at the explosive concert are Tim Godfrey, Yemi Levite, Rev. Ethel Odungide, Pastor Aity Dennis, Minister Naomi Classik, Raptureman, Minister Joshua Bassey, Minister Sam, and Pastor Stephen Elbuba, Worshippers and De Awesome crew.


T H I S DAY, T H E S U N DAY N E W S PA P E R ˾ ͯͳ,ͰͮͯͶ


AFW Backstage: The Dream, the Rush, the Runway Vanessa Obioha went behind the scenes of the most beautiful runway in Africa, Arise Fashion Week which held during the Easter weekend in Lagos, and captured the flurry of activities that took place before the runway shows


tepping into the backstage of a big fashion show can be very dizzying for a first-timer. Models everywhere, walking, sitting, standing, posing for the camera, or indulging journalists in a quick interview; stylists running around, snapping a thing or two here and there, checking that the models are well preened for the runway, designers making last minutes fittings, dragging suitcases and hangers, often times faced with the task of choosing the right models to wear them. The scenery is chaotic, similar to the newspaper newsroom madness. But like critics call it, it is an organised chaos, a unique mix of beauty and hustle. The recently held Arise Fashion Week was no different. The backstage-one of the halls on the third floor of the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos-was frenzied as models run around, stylists calling for their attention while makeup artistes debated on what looks will work best on the runway. In all this pandemonium, photographers clicked on their lens tirelessly, capturing all the behind-the-scenes moment before the shows began. The flurry of activities was a show itself. At the centre of the room are lined up dressing tables for the hair stylists. Here, Destiny, the owner of DVReloaded salon worked tirelessly with his eight- man team. His core mission is to conceptualise different hairstyles for the runway for both the male and female models. It is not his first time on the Arise Fashion Week. The last time he was there, he was an apprentice. For the fifth edition, he came with his own apprentices. They have been there since the first day of the fashion show which kicked off with a meet and greet session with the headline act Naomi Campbell. “Yesterday, i came in by 7am and didn’t live till 1 am. I have been here since 9am because today is the first runway show,” he told this reporter as he took a little respite from work. Very fair in complexion with an uncombed afro hairstyle, Destiny’s face showed signs of stress. Small circles were beginning to appear under his eyes. Even while resting, his eyes did not leave the models whose hairs were getting a fix. On one side were the barbers, shaving and spiking up hairs depending on the style given. On the other side were the hair stylists, weaving, rolling, smoothening hair. Hairs were just everywhere. “There are some shows that the female models will have to wear wigs. But the Good Hair brand which supplied the wigs only have centre parting and doesn’t give room for much creativity. What we are doing is to make a simple style that can be transformed to more than five styles.” We weren’t done talking when his attention was needed again. He excused himself. Some of the models milled around his workers, begging to have their hair fixed but there were just too few of them to attend to the over 100 models. At one corner of the hall were the makeup artistes from House of Tara. Like the hair stylists, they have to work around the clock to achieving the required runway looks. Often times, designers come around too to have their faA conspicuous person backstage was Elohor Aisien who is the owner of the Beth Modelling Agency. Like a very caring mother, she was always looking out for her models, asking if they had eaten, rehearsed, had their fittings or any other need they came up with. In her very calm demeanour she attended to all their needs though there were few times where she flared up at them. She was also deeply involved on what goes on in the runway as well.

Models backstage at the ARISE Fashion Week 2018

Photos: Akinwunmi Ibrahim

Plus size models taking selfies

The dressing room had similar rush but not as intense as the makeup room. Over here, the models tried on the dresses for the runway while the designers made the necessary adjustment. The rush is however intensive as the runway show kicks off. The models had little time to change their dress, make-up, grab a bite or two before the next show starts. Interestingly, the whole action was centred on the models who were a very fascinating mix. Scouted from both local and international modelling agencies, they came in different shapes and sizes. There were the tall, whiteskinned international female models from the London-based modelling agency, Storm who hardly mingled with others; the Beth Models, MyBooker Model Management and the dynamic plus size models specially selected for Latasha Ngwube’s About That Curvy Life collection. Of course, there are also independent models and the super models Naomi Campbell who headlined the show and Internationalbased Nigerian model. For these models, the dreams are different. There are the young and bright-eyed models who came for the international exposure. For instance, 19 year-old Jeffery Lever who was inspired to pursue a modelling career by his older sister. Over six feet tall and very skinny,

Jeffery’s dream is to travel to Paris and Milan for bigger fashion shows. The Arise Fashion Week is the biggest platform so far for him and arguably is his launch pad to international stardom. “I have been to other fashion shows but not as big as the Arise Fashion Week. So when the opportunity came, I knew I had to be here. It is the biggest show of great repute and I believe from here, I can eventually walk on the runways of Paris and Milan. It’s great being here. There are new and old faces. I’m very happy.” For the first day, he walked for Kimono Kollection on the runway. With few fashion shows in Nigeria, surviving on modeling jobs alone, particularly fashion shows can be very challenging. This is why 23 year-old Oluwadami Noah is sampling his fashion designing skills. About six feet three inches tall with very toned build, he drew the attraction of many with his metallic embellished jean jacket. If this was a deliberate ploy, it worked for him. Few people stopped to pay compliments to his jacket. Noah expectedly seized the opportunity to tell them that there were a lot more from where the design came from. His sketchbook he said is in his hotel room but unfortunately, his roommate is with the key and was nowhere to be found. Currently signed to no agency, Noah hoped to attract an international agency that will sign him up. He

counted himself lucky to have been asked by the Storm modeling agent to send his pictures. “This is why I love fashion shows with international acclaim like this. They offer you exposure and it is a good networking ground.” Apart from that, the pay was very good and came in very handy for the model who has been having few pecuniary challenges recently. Living with his aged mother in Agege part of Lagos, Noah nearly missed the model casting of Arise Fashion Week if not for a caring friend who notified him on the eve of the audition. It was a chance not to be missed. “I lost my phone so I couldn’t go online. When my friend called me that night and told me about Arise Fashion Week casting coming up the next day, there was no time to think about the late notification. I just had to improvise one way or the other. Look at me here.” The young model walked for Mai Atafo, Kimono Kollection and a few other designers. Quite a few of the models were not new on the Arise Fashion Show. They were privileged to be back on the runway. 28 year-old Adedamola Fashola was one of such models. He had been on major runway shows in Nigeria and had literally seen it all. He was particularly excited that AFW is back because it means more jobs for them. In his spare time, he works with an event planning company. He also belongs to a dance group and like Noah is trying his hands on designing. On this particular meeting, he donned a grey t-shirt creatively ripped on the breast and bottom sides under a black jacket. Unlike the younger ones, Fashola and a few of his friends kept to themselves. They hardly pranced about and were always on the top of their games. Ordinarily, the plus size models looked odd in the mix. Did they care? To an extent, yes! Take for instance, Ifunanya, an advert model. She was aware of the eyes that trailed her big hips each time she walked pass. Nevertheless she was happy to be presented such an opportunity to show that her size can also look nice on the runway. Ignoring the curious stares, she and her other plus size models took selfies. They were absolutely having the time of their life. (See concluding part on


                       Ëž APRIL 15, 2018


with LEKAN FATODU 08060140882

â&#x20AC;ŚHappenings Around the Diaspora

Tragic! Nigerian Youngsters Top List of London Killings Victims Lekan Fatodu


tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sober and disturbing moment for most Londoners particularly parents living in the city of London with the violent epidemic rampaging the city. As at the last count, 50 people, mostly young ones, have fallen victims of mindless killings in London, a gripping situation which has sent both the Prime Minister â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office and the office of the mayor of London into panic mode and also necessitated emergency meetings for desirable solutions. Meanwhile, another terribly distressing side to this ugly development is the fact that top on the list of the victims of these vicious killings are British-Nigerian youngsters who are mostly boys. The news of the killing of Abraham Badru, 26, whose father is one of those representing Lagos State in the lower chamber of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s federal legislature, was widely reported in the UK and was sufficiently covered across Nigerian media.

Abraham Sadly, apart from Badru, there are Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo, 18; Taofeek Lamidi, 20; Rotimi Oshibanjo, 26; Fola

Odubiyi, 18; Niyi Shode, 24; and Isreal Ogunshola, 18; listed amongst young people of Nigerian descent whose lives

have been cut short by knife-wielding and gun-toting gangs and criminals terrorizing the streets of London. Unsurprisingly, this alarming violence spreading across the city has compelled the Metropolitan Police of London to raise concern and activate a Section 60 order which allows them to stop and search members of the public without suspicion in an effort to get to grips with the ceaseless violence. Similarly, parents have also been called upon to keep closer eyes on the company their children keep, their whereabouts and to report suspicious behaviours in order to save lives and to keep the society safer. In the same measure, members of the public are advised not to hesitate to make the emergency call whenever any potentially dangerous exchanges are observed or identified in the public before they get out of hands. It is hoped that the increased action will bring peace and sanity to the city; and also help to preserve lives of many young people to be useful for the future of Britain and Nigeria.

Ex-diaspora, Taofik Adegbite, others Set for Commonwealth Business Forum


iaspora-returnee, a champion of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Local Content and CEO Marine Platforms, Taofik Adegbite, is one of the business leaders drawn from across the Commonwealth nations who will be part of deliberations and provide profound perspectives on the future of business within the Commonwealth community in the forthcoming Commonwealth Business Forum in London. According to information from the Commonwealth Business Council, â&#x20AC;&#x153;for the first time since 1997, the UK will host Commonwealth leaders for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting; representing the interests of over 2.6 billion people. Throughout the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), 5,000 top leaders from business, politics, academia and culture will come together to showcase the Commonwealthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vibrant and diverse

TaoďŹ k network. This is a truly unique and historic opportunity to promote and celebrate the very best of the Commonwealth to a global audience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Commonwealth Business Forum is

an integral part of the CHOGM and brings together businesses critical to trade and investment leadership with Government to debate the issues facing their countries in 2018 and beyond.â&#x20AC;? Indeed, the presence of proven Nigerian business leaders like Taofik will in many ways add value to the discussions at the forum and help to accentuate the Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts in enabling a new breed of intellectually-strong, corporate governance-focused and ethically-driven entrepreneurs to strengthen its economy and inspire more business champions in the country and across the Commonwealth. Taofik, after saying good bye to the UK, his former abode, some years ago, arrived home to join hands with his two friends, Biodun Odunsi and Baji Nyam, and founded Marine Platforms which has now become a leader in the Nigerian oil services sector. Presently, Marine Platforms boast of multi-million-dollar assets including two

multi-purpose field and ROV support vessels which are symbolically branded African Inspiration and African Vision; a workforce of over 120; impressive global oil clientele and an astounding annual turn-over through which the company makes significant contribution in tax payments to the Nigerian government. Theirs is a fascinating story fitting for the atmosphere of the Commonwealth Business Forum as it effectively underscores the gains of local content and the result of credible international partnerships. Already, major stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry like Chevron, Shell and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring and Board (NCDMB), have consistently made reference to Taofik and his company, as an example of the can-do-spirit of most Nigerians. This forum certainly presents a veritable platform to showcase Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise to the world.

US-based Nigerian journalist, Bukola Oriola, Re-appointed US Council Member


here is a common saying that if the system is working well, there is no need to change it. And this notable line has just played out in the news of the reappointment of recognisable US-based Nigerian journalist, Bukola Oriola, as a member of the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking by President Donald Trump. The celebrated female rights advocate first got appointed into the council by President Barack Obama in 2015. So she had previously served for two years on the council and acquitted herself creditably before the latest renewal of her mandate on the influential council. Oriola, former Education reporter with the defunct National Interest and New Age

Newspapers was appointed along with seven others for a two-year term according to a White House statement from the office of the Press Secretary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited about the re-appointment which is an opportunity to continue the advocacy against human trafficking,â&#x20AC;? Oriola said. The Minnesota-based journalist is a survivor of labor trafficking whose gripping travails with the perpetrator of the ill has continued to draw emotions and fuelled her passion to fight to emphasise its danger to humanity and society as a whole. She is therefore committed to helping others by sharing her story, and offering practical solutions to service providers, clinics, community members, and law

enforcement agencies on how to help victims of human trafficking. Oriola studied Mass Communication at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and was a recipient of the Cadbury National Award for Education Reporters in 2005. She is also a fellow of the International Institute for Journalism, Germany. She is the founder of The Enitan Story, a nonprofit organization with a mission to advocate for victims and empowers survivors of human trafficking and domestic abuse. The astute development enthusiast is also an author and has some captivating books to her credit. Amongst her literary efforts are â&#x20AC;&#x153;Imprisoned: The Travails of a Trafficked Victimâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Living Label: An Inspirational Memoir and Guideâ&#x20AC;?.



High Life

ͳ͡      ͎͎͜;ʹ͜͜ͳ;ͳͰ

...Amazing lifestyles of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich and famous

A Solemn 61st Birthday for Aliko Dangote


lthough he has every reason to shake his garment like the branches of the teak in spring and let his joy glow like the fireflies that light up the fields and quiet meadows, but the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, celebrated his 61st birthday quietly last Tuesday. Typical of his selfeffacing nature, when clocked 61, he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t roll out the drums in typical Nigerian big man fashion. His daughters, Halima and Fatima, joined other employees of his company to celebrate him at his office. After all, the high-octane wedding he staged for his beloved daughter, Fatima, and her husband, Jamil Abubakar, is still a talk of the town. Even for his landmark 60thbirthday last year, the society did not quake in celebration of a high-achieving big man. But for miracle-working bankers, Herbert Wigwe, the MD of Access Bank, and his friend and brother, Aig Imoukhuede, who pulled all stops to host Dangote on his 60th birthday. One thing you can never take away from Herbert and Aig is

the fact that they appreciate their friends and stay by them. There is no gainsaying that Herbert and Aig believe so much in Dangote. They call him their mentor and they never shy from speaking glowingly about the Dangote Group boss. Herbert and Aig threw Dangote the party a day after the latterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bosom friend, Femi Otedola, hosted him at his mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos. It was a great party too and an undeniable testament to the celebrantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth as a true man of the people. However, the seasons pass but Aliko remains grand, like the nurturing guardian whose tenderness and warmth blesses the land. In 61 years, he has blossomed into a man of affluence and integrity. Sixty-one years may be a tiny fraction of time, yet he looms large across generations into eternity. The story of his exquisite manhood resonates with a pleasant peal. To his staff, family, friends, beneficiaries and other loved ones, his smiles have been their anchor, his shoulders their rampart of comfort. He lives to improve the lot of others, the underprivileged in particular.


Ëž     Ë&#x153; Ë&#x153;  Nothing lasts forever; as the seasons turn, so does human life wither to age and disease, everything vanishes like morning dew. Every April brings back sad memories for the former Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu, who lost his wife, Funke, to cancer in April 2017. Sadly, if the Julius Bergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chairman, Sunmonu, had his way then, as he is wont to in business, he would have bullishly negotiated with death to name its cost and spare the life of his beloved wife. Death snatched Sunmonuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife after stalking her for some time in the detestable garb of cancer. In one sense, though, Funke is not gone. She is continually and fondly remembered as a daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend who radiated great bliss, laughter and splendour wherever she graced with her unforgettable presence. Indeed, the true

measure of a person is not how long he or she lives, but what was achieved while on earth. Funke was endowed with the noblest persona epitomizing kindness, selflessness, genuine humaneness and an extraordinary ability to put a smile on peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faces, even at the most improbable time. How many times shall she be remembered? In how many different ways? With just a glance, a smile or a gesture that spoke so much more than words, she revealed to her loved ones, the depth of her compassion and her humanity. She was the peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s princess, and that is how she will stay, in their hearts and in their memories. She was a woman of grace, gorgeousness, and allure and her beauty no doubt radiated from within, to form a glorious halo about her persona throughout her short but impressive stay on earth. Interestingly, he has become the hottest and most eligible widower in Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high society as hordes of women are engaged in a frantic jostle to win his love and attention. Most of them are professing their noble intent to offer him â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;emotional supportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and take his mind off the loss of his late wife. So desperate are these women that they now engage in a battle of wits to outsmart one another and take over his home. While some are direct in their approach by dangling the marriage card before him, others tactfully offer themselves as readily available caregivers to his wonderful children.

Aliko Dangote

would soon bail out of it. And he always does. Until last year, when he was suspended from the House and his cheerleaders and acolytes thought he would soon talk himself out of the mess. But they had another think coming. Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks, reinforcing that grandiloquence or grandstanding can only take one far. He was on suspension for many months. By the time he was called back to the House recently, Jibrin had cowered and been cowed to childlike penitence. Though he has not been seen in public since then, his minders and sources in his camp said he has become unusually reserved and less verbose. Jibrin who was suspended since September 28, 2016 for a period of 181 days was recalled to the House following an announcement by Speaker Yakubu Dogara that the lawmaker had apologized to the House. A former chairman of the appropriation committee, Jibrin was suspended due


Mutiu Sunmonu

Those who know Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, have come to accept his loquacity and braggadocio as a culture, his preferred way of life. They canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t begrudge him. Even when he routinely runs into trouble, he boasts how he

Abdulmumin Jibrin

to the budget padding allegations he raised against some leaders of the House, including Dogara, his deputy, Yussuf Lasun; Chief Whip, Ado Doguwa; and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor. He also accused all members of the House of collecting unjustifiable amounts as monthly running costs. Jibrin was later subjected to an internal investigation of the House, and the Ethics and Privileges Committee that investigated the matter recommended him for the suspension. Jibrin is peeved that some of his colleagues, especially members of the standing committees of the House that provided data for the budget have failed to rise in his defence even though they are aware of his innocence.

EMIR OF IWO RUSE...AND THE JOKE IS ON OBA ABDUL-RASHEED AKANBI When the python gets caught in the knot of its deadly curl, it becomes food for the hyena and a joke to the millipede. The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, is not a python but he is currently caught in the wave of his own storm. Colourful and controversial, the Oluwo has become (in) famous for his predilection to get into spats with whoever got in his way or attempted to. If he is not displaying his gaudy lifestyle on social media, including new material acquisitions, he is posting childlike videos like an excitable kid just experiencing a smart phone. In a fit of power-drunkenness, the Oluwo, cracked an expensive joke, when he said he would love to be addressed as an Emir by the Muslim community. The monarch of the largely Moslem town in Osun State, who always hopped from one controversy to the other in recent time, immediately came under stringent attacks especially that such allusion was deemed disrespectful to the Yoruba




Toyin Saraki Remembers late Brother, Gbegi Ojora, with Emotion-laden Words ËžĂ&#x201C;ĘľĂ?Ă&#x153;Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2014;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2013;ĂŁĂ&#x2018;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x;ĂŁĂ?Ă?Ă Ă?Ă&#x2DC; ĂŁĂ?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ę°Ă?Ă&#x153;


even years after his sad demise, Gbegi Ojoraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family and friends remember and appreciate the kernel and towering humaneness of a man whose life story resonates like a fairy tale, long after his exit from the mortal world. The flowers blow coolly with the wind to assert his place above the earth although he lies six-feet underground, where sand granules mingle with bones and rotted flesh of the interred. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the seventh year since corporate titan, Adegboyega Ishola Ojora, departed mother earth and his family, friends and business associates are still grieving his untimely death. Until his sad departure, Gbegi lived to see the dawn and sunset glow richly amid lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pressing concerns. He lived to give and feel love generously and without inhibitions. Gbegi, as he was fondly called, died at the First Consultant Hospital, Ikoyi Road, Obalende, Lagos. He was aged 50 years. It would be recalled that thousands of dignitaries comprising friends, family, politicians and business associates trooped to his culture and tradition. He later came out to say he was misunderstood and denied ever saying that. You couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have forgotten so soon how he stripped Chief Abiola Ogundokun of all chieftaincy titles, ranging from Islamic and social to traditional titles conferred on him by the Iwo Traditional Council. The Iwo monarch accused Ogundokun of disrespecting him as well as making utterances and actions he described as anti-Iwo. However, the 82-year-old Ogundokun, forged in the political warfare of the 70s through the 80s to the Sani Abacha days, has described the Oluwo as incompetent to strip him of any title. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have been maintaining and using my money to keep him. A few months ago, he told the whole world that Ogundokun is the best Iwo man. He said if he had two Ogundokuns in Iwo, he did not need anybody again. He is doing this because I advised him against criminality, to stop collecting money

Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi

funeral to mourn his sad exit from life. This no doubt attested to the worth of the man for whom every male and female acquaintance holds a blazing torch, even in death. On the eve of his untimely death, Ojora performed his civic duty by casting his vote during the general elections that ushered in the Eighth National Assembly of the country. The following day, he attended the morning Mass at the Catholic Church of Assumption, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos, and later, the christening ceremony of a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s child. But death struck him a fatal blow as soon as he retired home. Ojora allegedly complained of a slight health disturbance and drove himself to First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos. He slumped and gave up the ghost while the clinicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physicians examined him. Doctorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diagnosis confirmed the cause of his death as heart attack. Toyin, the deceasedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s younger sister and wife of Senate President Bukola Saraki, was reportedly at the hospital for her routine medical check-up at the time of his death. Last Monday, Toyin shared lovely photos of Gbegi on her IG page while paying tribute to him: from people he does not intend to confer chieftaincy titles on.â&#x20AC;? To underscore that the King might just be on an exuberant spree, religious leaders across the three local government areas that make up the ancient town, as well as the five royal families, in a meeting held at the Iwo Central mosque, faulted the decision of the monarch and unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the high chief. They maintained that Ogundokun has not done anything that contravenes neither Islamic doctrine nor traditional norm, which necessitated the action of the king.


Ëž           Many a man has been a wonder to the world, whose wife and valet have seen nothing in him that was even remarkable. Few men are indeed, admired by their wives and vice versa. This is because they fail to temper affluence with lovable character. But some do very well on all counts; they are great at acquiring fortune and the love of their loved ones. More importantly, they never shy from publicising their love and the objects of their affection. Of this privileged divide, a few men of affluence choose to be remarkably different. These men are international businessmen and they are loved and courted by several underlings and business associates. Everybody wants to be associated with them. Their names open doors anywhere in the country. But strangely, they keep their wives away from the public glare. How they manage to do it is shocking. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to hear about the wives of the set of men with their intimidating wealth and all that. Do you know the wives of Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Cosmas Maduka, Nuel Ojei, Tope Sonubi, Tonye Cole, Sam Iwuajoku, Benny Peters, Wale Tinubu, Kashim Bukar, ABC Orjiakor, Akanimo Udofia, Jimoh Ibrahim, and so many others.

Gbegi Ojora

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Gbegi God be with you till we meet again. By His counselâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guide uphold you.


A beast in civilization never smells like a beast in the wild. But when the beast resides in a man, it becomes difficult for even the most adept forensics specialist to sense it, let alone an innocent, lovable bride. Hence the sad cases of wife battery among Kanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s titled elite. In the wake of incessant reports of Islamic title holdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; physical abuse of their wives, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, has warned all Islamic title holders in Kano to desist from beating their wives if they want to retain their title. Sanusi said this at the recent mass wedding of 1,520 couples. He called on all Imams, district heads, village heads and ward heads to pay heed to the warning thus: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You should all come back to your senses and stop these barbaric acts because we will not allow this to

HRH Muhammadu Sanusi

With His sheep securely fold you. God be with you till we meet again Amen.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; continue in Kano. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have warned all district heads, village heads, ward heads and imams to also desist from the bad habit of beating their wives and whoever among them is reported to me to have beaten up his wife, would out rightly lose his title.â&#x20AC;? Sanusi vowed not to back down on the proposal to make laws against poor men seeking to marry more than one wife. The monarch also said the law would not stop Muslim men from marrying up to four wives, but will ensure that the man treats his wives and children according to the tenets of Islam

OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS WONDER ON WHEELS! ROLLS ROYCE GHOSTS, PORSCHES, FERRARIS, AVENTADORS... EFCC STILL ABANDONS SEIZED LUXURY CARS TO RUST AND ROT At first glance, the Rolls Royce Phantoms, Porsches, Ferraris, among other luxury cars cluttering the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) car dump in Abuja, look like used cars put up for sale. But the expensive automobiles are not for sale. Rather they are part of the luxury items and property seized from persons of interest in the EFCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anti-corruption campaign. We can reveal that the vehicles were confiscated from oil magnates, bank chiefs and other individuals currently undergoing investigation by the EFCC for various types of alleged embezzlement and financial fraud. Many of the cars were allegedly surrendered to the anti-graft agency by their owners in their frantic bid to give up property and account for money looted from state coffers often with the connivance of shady public officers. As President Muhammadu Buhariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anti-corruption campaign intensifies, the EFCC is set to add more bulletproof vehicles and expensive, custom built automobiles to the fleet of cars confiscated from subjects of its

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ ͯͳ˜ͰͮͯͶ



Tragedy! Fahrenheit Boss, Anselm Tabansi, Loses Son in Car Accident


he sad, surreal story of Jesse Tabansi’s death moves his family and friends to tears as you read. But Anslem Tabansi, his father and founder of Fahrenheit Hotel, draws solace from the fact that he Jesse was older than the days he lived and the breaths he drew. The deceased effortlessly combined the wisdom of old age with exuberance of youth thus manifesting as an inspiring bridge between, young and old, past and present. While alive, the past throbbed through him in a mighty rhythm and the future pounded the drums of eternity to which he swayed as the tides and seasons swayed. Pity he had to depart the world so soon. He was in his mid-20s. He died in a car accident in Lekki, Lagos, last Tuesday. He was gangling, gregarious and had a good head on his shoulders; every parent’s pride and hope for grey days.

In fact, he was already being groomed by his father to take over his business conglomerate. Were an outpouring of attributes, eulogies and tears potent enough to rouse a dead man, Jesse would have reconsidered spending a few more days before plunging into his eternal sleep. But as family and friends converged at his parents’ house yesterday for a condolence visit, albeit sadly, the young and fun-loving dude would never resurrect for a brief parting repartee. If Anselm and his wife, Wendy, indeed, had one chance to make a wish, they would probably seek an immediate reversal of the death of their son into a dream, or better still, just mere nightmare. Watching her bemoan her fate, you could feel and touch her grief and like someone who has signed out on laughter, the sounds and melody of tumbrels and harps for her have stopped making any meaning for now.

investigation. Owners of the seized cars are in the anti-graft agency’s dragnet for alleged money laundering, bribery, advance fee fraud and various other forms of corruption. As you read, the vehicles are caking with dust, cobwebs, bird droppings, and rodent infestation. This is no doubt ironic given the luxurious nests of the vehicles in their former owners’ massive mansions. Many of the culprits acquired the vehicles for prestige, to boost their social profiles. Others acquired it to tie down capital and many more simply bought it for want of better things to do with money. Some of the owners of the seized vehicles have been visiting the spot where the vehicles are parked to stare wistfully at the machines that erstwhile distinguished them as men of class and stature. Today, those expensive toys they acquired on a whim or out of desperation to be acknowledged as the rich upper class, are rotting away in EFCC custody.

COLOSSAL WASTE …AS WEEDS AND ANIMALS TAKE OVER TURAI YAR’ADUA’S N10 BILLION CANCER CENTRE It was hardly surprising when some years ago, when the First Lady then,

Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, brought all the movers and shakers of the Nigerian economy under one roof and sold to them her idea to build a world class health centre, International Cancer Centre, where research and treatment of cancer and other related diseases would be conducted for societal benefit. By the time the sensitization and fundraising event was over, about N10 billion was realized. Alhaji Aminu Dantata handsomely donated N1.2 billion (the highest donation), while his nephew, Aliko Dangote donated N1 billion on behalf of the Dangote Foundation. Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the Governor of Niger State who led the Governors’ Forum contributed N720 million towards the project and 15 members of the National Assembly also donated N7.5 million. Turai’s fund-raiser ceremony was indeed a monumental success. However, few years down the lane, Nigeria is yet to benefit from the highly celebrated scheme. There is no indication that the money realized from the fundraiser has been put to good use in the interest of the fatherland and cancer victims across the country. However, according to an online report, “Despite securing a partnership agreement with a key organ of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, about eight years ago, and raising billions of naira in cash and materials from public and private donors, the International Cancer Centre Abuja, ICCA, a pet project of a former Nigerian First Lady, Turai Yar’Adua, is in a state of abandonment overtaken by weeds. At the sprawling centre built on 7.3 hectares of choice land donated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, rotting equipment, including about 200 donated mini-buses, scream a sad story of unfathomable waste at passers-by”


He transited from renown to obscurity like a cornstalk losing its greenness in the sudden blaze of a wildfire in

Jesse Tanbasi

harmattan. And by the time he was cut to size, former senior special assistant on domestic affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa had been reduced to a socio-economic midget of sort. He has virtually disappeared from the social scene he once bestrode like a haughty knight from a recrudescent age. And that is because he has being disgraced. Prior to his fall, Dudafa was a man about town, who registered his presence at every social function and high-octane party. He was unarguably well invested in socio-political connection and networks that opened doors to lucrative breaks in high places. But rather than keep a low profile, he chose to live large and recklessly, to the consternation of his colleagues in the political. Things however, turned awry for him when he was fingered in a controversial case of concealment and retention of proceeds of crime to the tune of over N1.67 billion. It is, however, sad to note that in Dudafa’s moment of terror, his friends and associates in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have deserted him. Nobody has come out to speak in defence of Dudafa. Only his wife and children seem to be experiencing grief over the sad fate of Patience Jonathan’s godson. These are indeed the worst of times for the Dudafas.

listen to the performance. However, Abimbola Fashola, former First lady of Lagos State, is remarkably different from such characters. Since she left office with her husband, Babatunde Fashola, at the expiration of the latter’s second term as Lagos governor, Abimbola has been very quiet. A very nice and decent woman, she maintained a life of pleasant decorum and sociability while in office and even outside the corridors of power. Beneficiaries of her friendliness testify that when she was the first lady, she honored all invitations to events and high-octane parties. It was also delightful to see her attend such events as a comedian’s night out - where she interacted amiably with both affluent and middling segments of the Lagos citizenry. Abimbola Fashola was never a loud and extravagant woman during her time as the coastal city’s First Lady neither is she now that she has retired to the life of an ordinary citizen. Since she left the government house, however, fans of the former First Lady have been wondering what she has been up to. She is hardly seen in the social and political arenas and she has never been one to lust feverishly for the spotlight. Where is Abimbola Fashola?

WHERE IS ABIMBOLA FASHOLA? Many a man or woman who had won and tasted power or had it imposed upon him or her, with much understatement, find it extremely difficult to adjust to life without power. Stripped of the accoutrements and delightful frills of office, they wander about donning masks of moral fibre and nurturing behind their masks, an appalling and impregnable conceit of themselves. They find it even more cumbersome to relate with ordinary folk they had known before they came by power. Ultimately, they choose to live lives of quiet displeasure if they no longer have access to the corridors of power. Caught amid ordinariness, if they do not blow their own trumpets, it is because they feel you are not fit to

Abimbola Fashola


T H I S D AY ˾  ͯͳË&#x153;ͰͮͯͶ










JIMI SOLANKE: A MAN OF AUTHENTIC ARTISTRY Master storyteller, performing artist and teacher, Jimi Solanke's life story runs from gigs to grace, says Yinka Olatunbosun


ot many people knew of his involvement with a pioneering art movement, Mbari Club in Ibadan where he spent part of his childhood. That experience would later play a major influence in his life as an artist. Inside the museum of the Old Colonial Prison, now Freedom Park, Lagos, Jimi Solanke told his own story with his characteristic expressive face and carefully modulated stage voice. Born on July 4, 1942 in Lagos, Olujimi Adeboye Solanke is a true legend whose years of storytelling on Nigerian television had never been about himself. Perhaps, one of the most decorated performing artists of all time in Nigeria, Solanke is also famed for the series such as “Storyland’’, one of the folk storytelling traditions he promoted during his career on the screen. His parents had roots in a serene town called Ipara in Remo North, Ogun State. It was the era when it was unconceivable that anyone would make a career out of music; for musicians were generally seen as social misfits. But as a young student, he began writing songs. “I have been writing songs that were recorded by big bands," he began. "‘Oro mare ara dun gbo…/won pe yen lo nile gogoro’ and ‘Ore titan/ Ore otito osi mo’ and Roy Chicago recorded it. I wrote those songs then in secondary school in Ijebu province, not far from Ikenne. I was already leading a music band in school then. When I finished secondary school, I moved to Ibadan. Where I was staying was close to the area where there were nightclubs and many bands. I was singing with them until I finally performed with Chris Ajilo." After secondary school, he began working as a print engineer at Caxton Press but he never liked the job. Instead, he would wind up at a night club and stayed till dawn. Resuming his normal duties as an engineer the morning after was a constant wrestle with hangovers. Asides that inconvenience, he didn’t like the feel of grease in his hands. He’d rather run his fingers along the keyboard or

Solanke in performance any other instrument that he could find. This didn’t go well with his uncle who was a representative of the Western Region in London. “My uncle gave me the opportunity to be myself when he said to me, ‘if you know you will not go to work, leave my house’. I left his house and went to where I could stay with some band men and I became so free. That was how I got into the Mbari Club of Ibadan and I was acting with Wole Soyinka, Yemi Lijadu, Demas Nwoko and the likes. They inspired me to poetry reading, prose and drama. In 1963, the School of drama was started at the University of Ibadan. We all applied and I was admitted to the first school of drama in Africa. After graduating, they wanted us to stay. I was there for another three years with the acting


Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, Chairman Advisory Board of The Nigeria Prize for Literature; hands over 89 entries to the Chairman, Panel of Judges, Professor Matthew Umukoro; on wednesday in Lagos for 2018 edition of the prize as Godson Dienye, Acting Manager, Community Relations at Nigeria LNG; and other judges, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Udengwu and Professor Mohammed Inuwa Umar-Buratai, watch

company." He was there till 1969 when he went to Ife. Fired up with the acting, dancing and singing skills learnt at the University of Ibadan, where he obtained a diploma certificate, he became an assistant director to three directors including the late Professor Ola Rotimi (Drama) and Akin Euba (Music). “I worked at Ori Olokun Theatre in Ile Ife," he continued. "We performed at various locations until we went to Benin to perform Ola Rotimi’s Ovonramwen Nogbaisi and the Governor said ‘you can’t take our Oba back’. I played the lead role in the play and Ogbemudia said, ‘This is our Oba, you will stay. So, I stayed as a senior cultural officer at the Mid-West Art Council setting up the dance, drama and music section." While in the United States, he created a drama group called The Africa Review where members wore African clothings and performed in Afro-American schools. In Los Angeles, his story telling grew and he became designated in the media as “master storyteller’’. On returning to Nigeria, he started working on content for television and created "Family Scene" on Lagos Television (LTV). Later, he got an invitation from the NTA to participate in children’s programme workshop at the NTA Film School in Jos. That led to the creation of the epic "Storyland", which ran for about seven years. “I also recorded another series of Family Reflections for Galaxy Television. After that, I designed the one for AIT called African Stories," he added. Folklores are rich in moral values and Solanke had helped in grooming a generation of children who were absorbing stories of tortoise, drawing on the moral lessons for character formation. The show also allowed artists to illustrate the characters in every story to leave a lingering mental picture. Looking at the popular music scene in Nigeria, from the lyrical and graphical perspectives, it has fast become morally

debasing. As a conscientious songwriter, Solanke expressed his thoughts on the current trend, without mincing word after his recent collaboration with a folk singer, Poskii in the song “Ife Baba Agba" was recently launched in Lagos. “That is why I allowed that music collaboration because the material was decent," he explained. "You would hear some songs today that are so disturbing and you will ask ‘What is this?’ They have taken it across board, musicians are struggling against a big torrent. If they don’t find someone to save them, it is horrible. There is no songwriting anymore. They just take on phrase and repeat it for the next ten minutes and they claim to have written songs. Songs don’t come from any magical source. You can talk about issues happening or something that has happened to you or an experience that you will want to share. For instance, “Ololufe/ Mafimi sile/ Oro ija kekere yen o/ je ka te te pari ija yi/ ki awa ko le gbadun oro ife’’ (meaning Dear Lover/ Don’t leave me/ Let us settle our little misunderstanding / so we can enjoy our love life’’ is a meaningful love song. There must be a reason whey you are writing a song. You don’t just enter the studio and make noise like a bus conductor." He grimaced at the thought. Modern music critics have been challenged at music workshops and talk sessions to write or broadcast critical reviews that will raise the bar for quality music artistry. The decline in constructive criticism of Nigerian music may have accounted for the falling standards. Solanke thinks corruption in the media too plays a part. “Nowadays, media unleash rubbish on the populace. Are they themselves drunk or something? Don’t they listen to it before they air it? There are somethings that should not be broadcast; NTBBB. You must know that law. Part of the blame should be on the media practitioners,’’ he argued. Some may also argue for the artists that for commercial success in Nigerian music, you need some ingredients of graphical lyrics and lots of semi-nude women in the accompanying music videos. Solanke thinks that an artist only needs to be well-grounded and consistent to make it. In his early days as a musician, he and his contemporaries depended on old lorries to transport their musical instrument from one place to another. Stipends were given to performers and many couldn’t live on that. He didn’t stop. Now, Solanke, who played lead roles in movies such as Sango and Kongi’s Harvest has a retirement home and is currently building a huge centre for his hometown in Ipara. Called the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts Enhancement, the building which sits atop a 10-hectare land was conceived on the need to have a skill-oriented school for performing arts where an artist can be well-developed. He thinks the acting industry is filled with many who still needs to be trained. At the moment, good looks and physical assets are more likely to land an actor a role than his talent. “That is why I don’t act anymore because the majority of the people who act today just paint their faces and go to location as an actor. You must be dedicated to the character you are playing. Actors today speak from their chest and their nasal compartment. I cannot act with such people. When I make live plays enlivened in Ipara, that is when you will see me on stage. Majority don’t give words its normal weight and colour. They don’t know how to put words into use. I am saying it because I am an actorteacher." Nicknamed "Baba Agba" after his 1986 hit song, Solanke is one of the few artists of his period who earns good money from live concerts. He remains an indefatigable, centrestage artist.



ʜ ˺˺   


titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Behind the Seenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It reads: "This seemingly innocuous work of art tells a story. It tells ne attention-grabbing work my story. It does not tell of doctorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; appointment, is laid against the wall at the it does not tell of chemotherapies, or apartments or the shame associated with my baldness". Terra Kulture Art Gallery. The note continues with details attempting to It shows two hands: one convey the degree of physical pain associated receiving pills and the with cancer. It can only be imagined that merely other giving pills. It is quite putting a canvas before a depressed patient in metaphorical for life itself pain can be a grave mistake. If you are wonderis about give and take. But the message running through the entire body of ing how this painting project was executed, here it is. A2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, Kunle works at this gallery is larger than that. With the theme, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Arts in Medicine: Uplifting Spirits,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; this Adewale is the project lead for Arts in Medicine. He and his team were able to foster a working on-going exhibition is not for profit, in fact, not for sale. All the works will be donated to the state- relationship with patients of depression some of whom had been rape survivors or sickle owned hospitals where most of these painters are on admission. The show was declared open cell anaemia sufferers through of regime of consistent visits to the hospitals. It began with by the US Consul General, General John Bray. story-telling and story sharing, cultivated trust It is arguably the first of its kind in Nigeria. It earned from shared experiences. is an initiative that seeks to incorporate the arts â&#x20AC;&#x153;If they are not calm they will not be able to into healthcare delivery that is supported by bring out their best," he explained. "They must the US Consulate General in Lagos through the be able to reach a particular state of mind to bring funding provided through a public diplomacy out the level of brightness that you can see on this grant. Some of the paintings had been executed space. There has not been much research in the by patients from different hospitals in Lagos. From cancer to mental health patients, the drive use of visual art in medicine in Nigeria. That is why I ventured into this particular area. So, we to make art serve its therapeutic function was have launched the Arts in Medicine Fellowship the real reason for setting out on a project for a which involves bring artists, medical students, collective of individuals whose physical and mental state may have caused depression. No doubt, there is fulfilment in discovering something that can cheer up a person who is low in spirits. The visual arts proved to be just that tool for mind rejuvenation. Interestingly too, some of the pieces of photography were donated by a foundation in Italy for the exhibition and later preservation. While some of the paintings were jointly executed, some were done by individual patients who had participated in a series of training to help them articulate their thoughts where words and logic had failed. Anote signed Diah is capable of driving a conversation to a halt, with its emotional tone just beside the series of work


US Consul General General John Bray at the exhibition social workers to create collaborative project The collection includes stringed installation and works that can be donated to hospitals. This executed by some of the artists in residency. Most summer, eight of our fellows will be going to the of the works done by patients were untitled University of Florida to study of arts in medicine. and anonymous since they were jointly created. It is a course on its own. There is a college of Art Predominantly, the choice of colours for the paintin Medicine at the University of Florida. These ings were bright, conveying that message of hope fellows will be going on scholarship too." and optimism.

The Inverted Pyramid; Adapted from a novel by Emeka Dike

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Ă&#x;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x201D;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17E; Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?ĂĄĂ&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2014;Ë&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;ĂĄĂ&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x152;ĂŁ Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;âĂ?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x152;ĂŁ Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ë&#x203A;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018; Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;ĂŁĂ&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x152;ĂŁË&#x203A; Ă&#x;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă? 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igerian politics is a paradox of sorts. While it has been explained in its different dimensions using a myriad of theories both the orthodox and the so-called radical, it can safely be said to have defied all known theories. Many governments, legislators and other elected office holders are failing, yet they are being returned in droves, save for a few exceptions. Equally somehow, there seems to be a decreasing capacity for subsequent governments to effectively handle affairs of state, yet such inept leaders keep making it to seats of government. In the same token, nine to ten-figure state and national budgets still disappear without trace, it seems, yet the war on corruption has hardly found any prisoners. Further, there seems to be no questions asked even in the damning pillaging of the commonwealth as well as the debasing of the collective esteem of the citizenry. The Politics of Last Resort explains that the rather wanton disregard for the sanctity of the collective wealth of Nigeria is a sort of “war” on the Nigerian state. In fact, the author defines “war” as the politics of last resort and delineates the phenomenon of war in Nigeria in different ramifications. The first is the untold plundering of the commonwealth in what the author sees as a conspiracy of sorts between those entrusted with leadership and the led. The latter, suggests the author, are guilty by way of not holding the thieving leaders accountable for their actions. The second rung of “war” is the unhealthy rivalry of uncommon acrimonious proportions among the different ethnic groups in Nigeria who by colonial design, dominate or are found in the different geo-political zones that make up Nigeria. The third is the outright shooting conflicts that have manifested in terms

of intergroup skirmishes tagged ethnic, religious or inter-community conflicts. Written in the best of journalistic prose, the 310-page book is divided into five sections of 12 chapters. The author introduces the reader to the entity Nigeria in terms of its precolonial culture landscape. Essentially, he is exposed in no small measure to what was an otherwise seamless trajectory of civilisations among the different ethnic groups and tribes that were to eventually federate into the Republic of Nigeria. These civilisations progressed until colonialism intervened from 1900. Very importantly, the author holds colonialism responsible for the myriad of distortions in the creation and cultivation of the entity Nigeria. The book also suggests that the emergent political and civic populations were complicit due to the way both classes responded to the event of colonialism. Then, there are the key constructs of discourse as indicated in the title’s rider. These are “conflicts” and “rent seeking”. A grasp of these helps

the African into submitting to the “messianic role” of colonialism. This was also professed by the “colonial ideology of legitimation”. These colonial ideologies were challenged by the African anti-colonial ideology of legitimation that ultimately professed equality with the colonial officials, and gave nationalist Nigerians the logical grounds to challenge colonialism. What is outstanding about the book is that it gives a novel insight into the dynamics of the basic philosophies by which the Nigerian state emerged and was cultivated over time. The identification of the three conspiratorial ideologies and the manner of discourse of their dialectical dynamics is novel. It opens the reader’s eyes more clearly to the monumental damage of colonialism and the need for a deliberate redress of such damage. These make The Politics of Last Resort a must read for all students and practitioners of politics in Nigeria. However it is unclear from the book how the regions to which it recommends power will be organised in other to contain the damage of mistrust, even among ethnic groups within these regions. But then the rider to the title: “a foundational account on conflicts and rent seeking in Nigeria” clearly shows that the work is exploratory and descriptive rather that prescriptive. It thus opens up a good gap for further research towards a more concise and detailed prescription of the way forward for Nigeria. ––Ike-Okoh, Publisher of The Government & Business Journal, was the pioneer editor, BusinessDay on Sunday. the viewer to understand three conspiratorial ideologies that played out dialectically in the making of Nigeria. These, states the book, include the Ideology of the Dual Mandate; the Ideology of Divide and Conquer and the Ideology of Legitimation. The first two were exclusively propagated by the colonial masters to both justify their enterprise, as well as demean


Verses About Life

Yinka Olatunbosun


fter playing along the Nigerian theatre corridors some years ago with the performance of his first play, “The Siege’’ in 2014, the keen eyes of veteran journalist, Sam Omatseye had rested on another artistic expression in form of a new poetic collection titled, “Tribe and Prejudice". Prior to this piece, Omatseye had published four volumes of poetry namely Mandela’s Bones and Other poems, Dear Baby Ramatu, Lion Wind and other poems as well as Scented Offal. This relentless social commentator needs no die to cast on the future of Nigeria as his years of experience rooted in culture and informed by global news amount to something. The 30-poem collection serves as a door scope into the myriads of issues he had observed in our socio-cultural lives. Some of these include corruption, tyranny, migration and more. For the most parts, the underlying message in each poem is subtle. Let’s consider “Songbird". The poet seems to lament the faded days of well-articulated opposition to government. The opposition does not necessarily foment trouble in the polity but are usually the mouthpiece of the oppressed and societal watchdogs. A very daunting tale is told in the narrative poem titled, “The Immigrant". The

protagonist is developed through his relocation from the village to the city and finally arriving at a foreign land where he yearns to have his dreams fulfilled. He returns to his homeland as an unfulfilled man. Trialing cautiously around the controversial statue of Chief Obafemi Awolowo is another poetic piece titled, “The Statue". It is the poet’s response to the heated debate around the newly commissioned ‘Awo’ statue which had been a subject of critical assessment in the past year. The poet acknowledged how the debates had inadvertently revived the spirit of the elder statesman. Finally, the theme poem “Tribe and Prejudice’’, amongst other things, is a commentary on the “bastardised” use of English language, the language of the coloniser and its effect on our use of indigenous languages. The poem also calls to question the impact of ethnic sentiments in deciding who really qualifies to lead the nation. He condemned the brazen theft of innocence occasioned by the kidnap of schoolgirls who were writing certificate examinations in the North east and forced into sex slavery. The poet’s tone of outrage mirrors those expressed all over the world in solidarity protests against the agonising revelation of a nation’s helplessness in the face of terrorism. Other signposts of history that were referenced by the poet in the collection include “Susanne Wenger”, “Asaba Massacre” and “Obama in Kenya”.

POETRY PLATFORM TheCowDebatesthe Herdsman Obari Gomba Renametherepublicifyoumust. CallittheFederalRepublicofCows. Butdonotsmearourgrasseswithblood. Humanbloodmakesusdizzy. Forgetyourpoint,ourdearHeadCow. Foryoursakewekillpeoplewellwell. Wekillmanwekillwomanwekillpikin. Comeseecomeseecomesee. Grassesareallweaskfor.Mustwe Walkthestretchoftheearthforgrasses? Trysomeranchesforachange.Mustyou Dragusthroughfarmlands? Forgetyourpoint,ourdearHeadCow. Foryoursakewekillpeoplewellwell. Wekillmanwekillwomanwekillpikin. Comeseecomeseecomesee. Ourgrassesareinthenationalbudget. GetussomewarmgrassesfromBrazil. BuildagildeddininghallfortheCowsofNaija Butleavehumanbloodoutofthemenu. Forgetyourpoint,ourdearHeadCow. Foryoursakewekillpeoplewellwell. Wekillmanwekillwomanwekillpikin. Comeseecomeseecomesee. Renametherepublicifyoumust. CallittheFederalRepublicofCows. Putallcowsintotheparliamentormakeus HeadsofStatebycommonsense. Forgetyourpoint,ourdearHeadCow. Foryoursakewekillpeoplewellwell. Wekillmanwekillwomanwekillpikin. Comeseecomeseecomesee. ––Dr Gomba, an Honorary Fellow inWriting of the University of Iowa, teaches Literature and CreativeWriting at the University of Port Harcourt.


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018


Editor Olawale Olaleye Email, SMS: 08116759819


On His Mark! After a tiring period of orchestrated silence, President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, said he would seek re-election in 2019, and immediately, his decision has begun to alter existing equation, writes Shola Oyeyipo


resident Muhammadu Buhari’s political trajectory offers an interesting read anytime. His life, both public and private, is built around myth, the very reason the theory of his ‘mysterious body language’ worked some magic at the very start of his administration in 2015 before it started to vanish and reach for anti-climax. Although many reasons can account for this, one thing is certain: the talk about his integrity has since been muddled up in some of the high-wire intrigues, deliberate impunity, conspiracy of silence and of course, nepotism that have since typified his presidency. Three times, Buhari had made attempts at the presidency and at those times, failed. In 2003, he ran against former President Olusegun Obasanjo and neither the courts nor the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could reconcile the vote difference. In 2007, it was against the late President Umar MusaYar’Adua and he alleged monumental fraud because he did not win. Again, in 2011, it was the turn of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who polled a comfortable win in spite of his supposed cult following. For each of those times, he did not believe he lost. Indeed, he held the view that he was robbed of his victory and therefore, contested each of the results up to the Supreme Court. It was no wonder that in 2015, he expressed shock that Jonathan could give in easily, a reaction analysts are yet to fully comprehend. But before arriving at that juncture, he had said after the 2011 election that he gave up on Nigeria. Not only that, he wept. Around the same period in 2011, he had said he only wanted to rule the country for just a term of four years because that was enough to set the country on the right path. But that dream packed up when Jonathan dusted him silly in 2011. However, typical of politicians or people who desperately seek power, he forgot all those things he had said at the close of the 2011 elections, including his resolve not to seek re-election when the journey to 2015 began. His fancied integrity was not up for debate at the time and luckily, the government in power had literally lost it with the people.Thus, he saw an opportunity, which eventually yielded. He made it in 2015. But soon after his government took off and his mystique had begun to vanish, he was quick to remind the people that at 73, there was a limit to what he could do. That is a no-brainer and of course, condonable. What it then meant was that he would quit in 2019 and leave the stage for much younger people, who not just have the physical strength to lead the nation but also the intellectual credentials to tame the challenges of the country in the 21st century. On the contrary, Buhari still thinks he is in the best position to lead the country to the Eldorado. With an ill-health that is public knowledge, non-cohesive governance structure and gradually imploding party system, the tenor of the race as well as its permutations will begin to change. Hitherto a reluctant candidate, the fact that he has openly declared his intention to seek re-election, albeit

Buhari without regards to party politics, the battle within the opposition party will also gear up fast whilst the intra-All Progressives Congress (APC) intrigues will scale up significantly. And of course, the options before the public will be sufficient for an informed decision. If there were plans to close the space and limit the options as it is typical of the political class every election year, this may not be so because the nation is already divided and heavily so along their perceptions as well as assessment of the current government, much as the people too have not forgotten so soon the sins of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 16 years it held sway. However, the people have an ample opportunity to

review their life under the PDP and what has become of it under the Buhari-led change regime in making their choice in 2019.That aside, the rivalry witnessed in the last three years on the social media amongst the supporters of the different political parties is now open for a conscious translation into reality as the nation counts down to 2019. Without any scintilla of doubt, Buhari is already on his mark, determined to take his chances again in 2019, regardless of what the public opinion is. On the other hand, it is not certain yet, who will join him on the mark from any of the other parties. But at least, the race to 2019 is beginning to assume shape, thanks to the president’s declaration of intention.


The Offa Robbery


IGP Ibrahim Idris

he recent robbery in Offa, Kwara State, involving about six major banks and a lot of casualties is another damning verdict on the security situation in the country. Its architecture appears hopeless and helplessly feeble. As if that was not enough, there was yet another round of killings at a pub in Plateau State and a border between Benue and Nasarawa States. These indeed, are both interesting and challenging times! Although the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, on Saturday, said seven suspects had been arrested in connection with

the robbery, which involved the Union Bank, Ecobank, Guarantee Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Banks and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank, government must do more to set examples and forestall a reoccurrence. Just like the government indulged in propaganda over the Boko Haram sect, claiming technical victory where none literally existed, it cannot continue to pad a palpably porous security set-up across the states of the federation. There is therefore the need for effective collaboration and make the mindless killing in Offa the game changer by stepping up the security of the nation.

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018



Former Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo; PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus; and another former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; at a recent meeting

Ahead 2019, PDP Rises from the Ringside Peoples Democratic Party’s recent public apology wasn’t an happenstance but part of the party’s strategy for the renewal of its spirit, writes Onyebuchi Ezigbo


any Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders, who thronged the Congress Hall of the prestigious Transcorp Hilton could not but hold their breath. They could not hide their surprises and consternation when the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, dropped the bombshell. Secondus told them that the new PDP leadership had decided to toe a path of honour and humility by accepting its shortcomings and making a commitment to chart a new course for the development and progress of the country. “PDP made many mistakes and we accept that there may have been impunity and imposition in the past. This is human but the ability to admit making mistakes is one of the best ways to make amends and progress,” he told party members, adding: “Let me use this opportunity to apologise to Nigerians for our past mistakes. This is the best way forward and we want to set a precedent that if one makes mistakes, it is wise to apologise and move forward on a new note. We do not want to behave like the APC, who would rather tell lies.” Secondus did not stop at just apologising to the people; he made yet another daring move by unfolding an agenda to rescue the country from what he described as the current tormenting economic and social situation. Under a new campaign slogan, ‘Rescue Nigeria,’ the PDP said it would act as a rallying point of the effort to rescue the country from inept leadership. Welcoming participants to the occasion, Secondus said the reason for the discourse was to undertake a review of the state of the nation, some kind of physical surgery. According to him, Nigeria may not be at war in the conventional sense of it or is just gaining independence but the economy of

the country has become terrible in the three years of APC rule that warrants serious intention and resetting of agenda for nation-building. He said the country has also become so divided than at any time in the nation’s history, noting that recent events in the country have shown that propaganda which the APC came to power with is not enough to deliver the kind of governance needed to make progress in the lives of the people. “The hardship currently faced by Nigerians is unprecedented. Across the length and breadth of this nation, citizens are faced with abject poverty with no clear path of alleviation,” he said. Going forward, he was of the view that “the party does not and will not condone corruption in any manner. We wholesomely condemn it in its entirety”. The PDP chairman carpeted the APC, saying its administration of the country had failed on all scores it came into office with. He said the war against corruption was selective and was achieving nothing, contending that Nigeria is now more unsafe than ever with herdsmen and kidnappers rampaging the entire country. “Every day, our media is awash with the staggering number of wanton killings raising questions about the value of human life in Nigeria. It is an endless stream of bloodletting directly or indirectly fuelled by incompetent leadership,” he lamented, adding: “Only recently, the federal government tried to arm twist state governors to take from the common purse, the sum of $1billion dollars about N365b for the tackling of Boko Haram they claimed they defeated two years ago.” Quite expectedly, PDP’s move to woo the electorate again elicited instant responses from the ruling party and the APC-led administration with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, admonishing the PDP to go the whole hog with its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the

public treasury under its watch in the 16 years it was in power. Mohammed, who immediately reacted to the apology, also challenged the party to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude. “The PDP presided over the unprecedented looting of the public treasury, perhaps the worst of its kind in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. Therefore, the best evidence of penitence for such a party is not just to own up and apologise, but to also return the looted funds. Anything short of that is mere deceit,” he said in a statement. The APC said whilst it acknowledged the apologies by the PDP for the damage the party brought on the country’s democratic fabric during its 16-year rule, it needed to confess to its sins and fully atone for them. “Despite this belated grovelling apology, PDP will need to come clean, confess their sins and fully atone for them, before restitution is considered,” said Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the APC National Publicity Secretary. But as reactions came in hard and fast to its show of contrition, the PDP also moved quickly to justify its apology to Nigerians, saying there was the need to chart a pathway to national healing, renewal of hope and re-mobilisation of the citizenry for the task of rescuing the nation from the pains inflicted on them by the APC. “It is deeply saddening that our people are suffering because the nation allowed the APC, a movement that has neither structure nor plan, to scheme itself into governance, devastate the country, wreck our once robust economy and plunge our citizens into a situation of hunger, starvation and daily bloodletting,” the PDP said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan. The party said its apology had to do more with the fact that it made certain mistakes that allowed an anti-people movement to take over governance in the country. It said: “Our situation under the APC has become so pathetic that the

world is now contemplating how to help us. Under the APC misrule, the average lifespan of Nigerians has become abysmally low, purchasing power is eroded, the middle class has been wiped out, security is almost nonexistent, all the economic gains of the PDP years have been destroyed, and our nation is now placed on auto-pilot. “It is painful to note that under the nightmarish rule of APC, Nigerians have become so frustrated that they now consider suicide missions and slavery as options. Our apology is to ask Nigerians, once again, to put their trust in the rebranded PDP, particularly as our party is the only platform that is committed to the national agenda of peace, unity, justice and prosperous nation.” This exchange of jabs was believed to have led to the decision by the federal government to go public with names of alleged public treasury looters, mostly people who are still undergoing investigation and prosecution, thus attracting criticism to the government for raising issues that were basically subjudice. Incidentally, only politicians from the opposing camp made the list sent out by the APC-led government. PDP could not resist the temptation to join the fray as it also went public with allegations of graft against top officials of the APC-led administration. This was why Ologbondiyan said Mohammed misfired in his outburst when he demanded that the PDP should return alleged looted funds, adding the only party known to have used looted funds has always been the APC. “Nigerians are aware that prior to the 2015 election, President Buhari had informed that he was insolvent. He, however, took Nigerians by surprise, as he enjoyed one of the most expensive presidential campaigns in the history of our nation, while turning a blind eye to reports of massive looting of funds from APC-controlled states,” the PDP said, asking Mohammed to direct his demand to the presidency and the APC.


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018



My Record Will Stand for Me After months of speculations about his political future, John Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, has finally cleared the air, telling his constituents and followers the Ekiti State branch of All Progressives Congress that he would like to return to the job he lost more than three years ago. In this interview with Shola Oyeyipo, the governorship aspirant, whose declaration of intention to run is already changing the political equation in his state, talks about his aspiration and expectations. Excerpts:


ou had hinted at a possible governorship run at a recent meeting in Ekiti, graced by a huge crowd. Now, what was the significance of the time and place of that pronouncement? First, let me say that I’d never really said I would not run. I have always said there is unfinished business in Ekiti and we would cross that bridge when we get there. I have been consistent in my message as far as the gubernatorial project in the state is concerned. You may then ask, if you knew you were going to run, why did you wait this long to throw your hat in the ring? Two things, whatever I come into, I give it a lot of thoughts and planning and I am not just an independent variable. I am an accountable, not just the consistent in Ekiti. I am a minister in the federal cabinet; I have been a former governor; I have a range of people to consult before coming to the conclusion on whether I would run or not. That was why I wasn’t definitive either way but I always advised my people to be patient. Wait, at the appropriate time, I will convey my decision to you.

The second reason, apart from my own consultations, relates to electoral guidelines. I am a stickler for due process. I work for someone, who is absolutely committed to due process, President Muhammadu Buhari, and it would be really irresponsible on my part to do things that would put him in a bad light. The election management body came out a few days ago with the notification as to when campaigns for Ekiti elections could start and I felt it was the appropriate time to, having consulted and having secured the nod from critical stakeholders that I believe I needed to consult to get their go ahead about the project. What was left for me was to make sure that I do it in accordance with due process and then use the opportunity of my Easter visit home to host the regular quarterly engagement that I hold with our party stakeholders. And I have done this. This is not new. I started this in December 2014. I left office in October 2014, but I recognised the importance of keeping the party together. So, I started a meeting of the executives at the ward level right to the state level. We hold this meeting quarterly. We held the last one in December 27, 2017.

Beyond hinting at a possible governorship run, one thing that was very instructive at that gathering was the mammoth crowd. How did that come about? I had already mentioned that this was a regular gathering of all party executives. We have 26 party executives in Ekiti in every ward. So, if you multiply 26 by 177 wards you get roughly 5000 people. You then have local government executives, you have our LCDA executives, you have the senatorial executives and then the state executives. Those are officials of the party. Then you have the leaders of the party. So, what you had in that place you’re talking about is the structure of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State and because it is a regular gathering, everybody is always prepared. They knew I would call the meeting. What we use the meeting for prior to this period was just to review the state of the party in our state, in the nation; issues that we believe we need to take on board: ‘INEC is doing registration, what is our mobilisation process going to be? This is happening by the state

government, what is our reaction to it? How do we keep our party relevant in the minds of the people, how do we ensure that ward meetings are going on regularly and so on. These are the kinds of issues that come up in this meeting. As to the crowd, it was the party’s presence. We didn’t have any external people. Are you supposed to be doing this while still in office as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development? I think part of the problem is that people don’t read and they are not conversant with the law. I take the pain to follow due process in what I do. There are grounds in the Nigerian constitution translated into the Electoral Act on qualification and disqualification for running for the office of the governor. In section 182 of the Nigeria constitution, it is very specifically stated – any public officer, who intends to run for an elective office must vacate that office at least 30 days before the election, not before the primaries. This is the constitutional provision; this is not Kayode Fayemi

Continued on Pg. 70



SUNDAY INTERVIEW t ‘KAYODE FAYEMI: MY RECORD WILL STAND FOR ME’ tContinued from Pg. 69 opportunity of those, who want to serve and I believe many of the people who have expressed interest want to serve, but I don’t want you to jump to any serious conclusion about who is running and who is not running. Let us wait to see who picks up the nomination form out of all those who have expressed interests. It is only at that point that we can come to this conversation that you are putting forward. Do you think there is anyone around who can actually ruffle your feathers in the race? Well, I am not going to go into that business of ruffling feather. It’s a market place. People should market themselves as much as they can about what they have on offer for Ekiti people. The only advantage and disadvantage by the way that I have is that I am tested and in the course of that there are people who would say we know him. I don’t need any recognition parade again in Ekiti. Some of the people running are not known. They don’t even know the delegates. There is no ward I can get into in Ekiti that I will not tell you what I did in that ward – the schools that I built, the hospitals that I renovated, the town hall that I fixed, the number of people that were on social security in that village, I can tell you because that was my work and it is an advantage. There is no running away from it. But you also have people who would say “you did not give me a job and for that I am not going to support you.” You are going to have that because all politics are personal and also local.

saying this – any public officer. The framers of the Nigerian Constitution then went ahead to define that there is a distinction between a public officer and an elected political officer. That is the Constitution of Nigeria. If you go to the APC constitution, it also states unequivocally that only people who are holding party position – and I believe again, the framers are looking at it from the perspective that you cannot be judge and jury in an election in which you are a part. People holding party positions must vacate the office at least 30 days before primaries, although the same constitution makes a consideration for a waiver of that, which you must apply for. So whether you are quoting the party constitution or you are quoting the Nigerian constitution, which supersedes everything, I am not bound to leave cabinet, because I am running for an elective office and there is precedence. When the president is running or re-running does he vacate his office? These matters have also been settled in law. There is a case, Adeyeye versus Dada that the Court of Appeal ruled on. To the best of my knowledge, no Supreme Court judgment has changed that subsisting position. But that is the law. There is also what I consider the morality of the situation, which is why I am going to resign anyway. I have outstanding leave, so, I am on leave. When that leave ends, it will be preparatory to my exit. So, I don’t even see an issue here. But people choose to hide behind one finger even in matters already settled in law. Clearly, the governorship election is not going to be a walk-over for anybody. Is it? No, no, it shouldn’t be. What can you hint as the likely challenges ahead of you in particular? The challenges ahead of me – clearly as a governor, who served the state for years – everybody is impor-

I’d never really said I would not run. I have always said there is unfinished business in Ekiti and we would cross that bridge when we get there

tant. I could not have been governor without offending people. That means I am an ineffective governor. There are people, who for reasons best known to them just don’t like Fayemi. You also have to contend with that. That is a reality of politics. And such people may for one reason or the other want to pitch tent with other side, equally competent hands that have the capacity to govern. But the reality of the election we are going into is that it is not just an ordinary election. It is an election that precedes the fortunes of our party at the national level. So, what that then means is that you require someone, who is able to muster all of the elements that will be crucial to the election, political, material, you name it. So, for me, I want to be judged by the delegates on the basis of my capacity to ensure that APC retrieves Ekiti for the good of Ekiti people but also for the good of my party, because we need that positive victory after the Ondo election. That will bring all the states in the South-west into the APC kitty by the time we do that. Is it going to be a tea party? Not at all! It is not going to be a tea party but I am going to run on my record. Is it your record as governor or as minister or both? You have to judge me on my record as governor and as minister, but for most Ekiti people, what is crucial to them is what I did when I was governor. Others may judge me tangentially from what they read in the newspapers and I am in a sector that is not fully understood anyway. So, I don’t think that is something that will be of concern to Ekiti people. What will be of concern to them will be when this man was our governor here, he did this, he did that, he did not do this, he did not do that and on the basis of that, comparing him with what they witnessed after he left office. Its either the devil we know in this primary is better than the angels we have not seen or let’s give the unknown angel an opportunity than the tried and tested hands that have been there. It could go either way but that choice belongs to the delegates. They own the party. I commenced full blown listening tours in all the local governments on April 9. That is really what we should expect people to do look at it what we have to offer. There are a lot of you in the APC, who are seeking to fly its flag. A lot of people are actually thinking why is it not possible for the aspirants to come together and work as one to confront your common opponent? I believe we will do that anyway but people should be given an opportunity to showcase their interests. If we say we are a democracy we must not limit the

You alluded to being tested and trusted, is that all it takes to want to come back? Oh no, what it takes to want to come back is not just being trusted and tested. Frankly, if I were to be a selfish politician, who does not care a hoot about my people, being at the federal centre is most attractive. I have the confidence of my boss, I do my job to the best of my ability, I am confident I am adding value at the federal centre and it’s a space that I can play comfortably in. But is that what politics is about? Politics is about making a difference in the lives of my people, particularly my community. My community is Ekiti. Nigeria is important to me but first and foremost I am an Ekiti man. And there were things I did in Ekiti that have been destroyed by this succeeding government and it needs someone to occupy the governorship seat, who is able to hit the ground running not scouting around for “how am I going to do it, because the enormity of the challenge whoever is going to become governor in Ekiti is going to confront is better imagined and if you do not have the experience, the expertise, the knowledge, the network and the capacity to really fundamentally hit the ground running, you are going to be a non-starter. Is it correct to assume that you might be going into this election with a cloak of burden? Recently, the state government set up a commission to try you and it came up with an indictment and indeed the government had issued a white paper and that is pending. It’s a legitimate right of any succeeding government to review the activities of its predecessors in office. There is nothing wrong with that but a lot is wrong with if you are doing that in a premeditated manner to arrive at a preconceived answer. It’s very clear, even to the blind that Mr. Fayose is mortally afraid of one and only one person in that state. Anyone who knows him knows that he is just not given to clarity of thought and action. For him, governance is about drama, market dance and political chicanery. There is only one person he wants to stop from getting to Government House, any other person he doesn’t mind. I am not even sure to his so-called baby governor that he wants to make. As long as Fayemi doesn’t get to this seat, it’s okay. You have to ask yourselves. What is he afraid of? And coming down to the white paper, it’s in court. We are challenging it. We have matter pending both in the state High Court, the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal. But let us leave that aside. Again, what does the law say? Is a white paper by a panel of enquiry sufficient to debar anyone from running for public office? I am afraid, no. The matter is also settled in Atiku vs the federal government at the Supreme Court. The court made this very clear. It used to be that you could use a white paper, prior to 2007 and a number of people were caught in that. If you remember the Okadigbo, Gbenga Aluko saga in the Senate; they were caught in that. But after the Supreme Court judgment the National Assembly actually altered the constitution. Look for the alteration section of the Nigerian Constitution and you will find this. Only a court of a record can ban anyone from public office. The entertainment that took place in Ekiti, to the best of my knowledge, and did not take place in the court of law and that is why it is not even worth the paper it’s written on. The only reason I have gone to court to challenge the legality of their action is because my name is the only thing that I brought into polities.




I cherish my integrity, so, if you are going to associate me with anything that is untoward, I owe it a duty to challenge it. And that is why having ever bothered, not that it can debar me or does anything, but I want it trashed out. Anyone who needs to know what I did in office, I left almost a thousand page handover note. So, if he has had the presence of mind and gone through my handover note, the record is clear, the record is very clear! And there is nothing that I did in office that was done outside due process. So, I don’t even have any reason to dignify that. I can see that both Fayose and his agents even in my own party, they are making a mountain out of a mole hill. But you then have to ask yourself, if you say this man is not important, this man is not popular; this man is not wanted by Ekiti people, why don’t you let him stew in his own juice? Still, why are you all out to stop him from even running? You are quick to say the governor is afraid of you hence he is doing all he is doing to stop you. But are you not worried that he can pull a lot of incumbency weight to actually unsettle you further? Well, isn’t that what he has tried to do with his white paper? As I said to my people, the party executives, I have a red card for him. Let him wield incumbency, we will wield our non-incumbent weight and we will see who is going to be on the street after October 16 in Ekiti, walking free. He is running helter-skelter now, going everywhere begging, even going to certain officials and influential people in government begging that he wanted to be the campaign manager or President Buhari in the South-west.

kids in schools to pay 2000-3000. This is a lot of money in a poor economy in which parents are not receiving salaries regularly. Local government workers, state civil servants are owed averagely six months. You have to ask yourself how people are surviving in this poverty-stricken situation. So, for me, that is the first level of attack – the Ekiti poverty index and you cannot do it without social investment. All of the social investment programmes that we had here have today been destroyed. There is no social security support for the elderly, there is no free healthcare again in Ekiti, there is no recruitment into key empowerment programmes like the Peace Corps that I introduced; the traffic management authority, the nurses are leaders that we recruited. There has been no recruitment since I left and there has also been no wage increase. When I was governor in Ekiti, I increased the salaries of workers three times in four years. Not one naira has been added to their salaries. I introduced the rural teachers’ allowance. I introduced core subject allowance. So, if you’re teaching Sciences; Mathematics, English and Integrated Science, you get an additional incentive because we need those subjects so critically in our schools. You get 20% of your salary. If we now post you outside of Ado-Ekiti or Ikere, to some rural communities, you get an additional 20% on your salary, and we have series of capacity building programmes that we were running for teachers and civil servants. Civil servants were receiving trainings. It was even sending many of them abroad – many of them to royal Institutes of public administration in UK, some of them to Kenya, some of them to Ghana. All of these things I am saying to you they do not even happen! In

Really? Quote me. He knows that I know what I’m saying; that they should leave him to be Buhari’s campaign manager in the South-west. He has allies even inside the APC that he is working with and they will all be disgraced and shamed. If you make it back, what specific areas of development are you looking at? For me, anything that is not people-centred is not going to receive my priority. Look, Ekiti has been plunged into the pangs of poverty. We will take Ekiti out of it. Just recently, BudgIT released the state of the states’ assessment that they did, which had the health indices of the states. As at the end of 2014, Ekiti ranked lowest rate in HIV prevalence, one of the lowest in infant mortality and maternal mortality, one of the lowest in out of school children. Today, it has the fastest rate of out of school children and what is the difference made? We made sure that education was free and qualitative when I was in office. Now, they are asking

I am running on my record but that record, naturally, will also include the record of my party at the centre. But what is our record at the centre? That we have brought back Nigeria from the brink of collapse

any case, how can they happen in a state where they don’t hold executive council meeting? There is no state council that meets in Ekiti. I should know I was governor there. I still have people there. So, that template just has to be deepened in order to get our people out of this debt of hopelessness and heartlessness. For him, his strategy is simple, reduce them to nothing so you automatically reduce their sense of self-worth, you can keep throwing N100 and N200 at them and cup of rice to keep shouting that you exist – you are the one and only. This is in Ekiti that produced the first graduate in 1867. So, what are we talking about? There is the belief that the APC has its internal challenges and it could rub off on your election in the state. Are you worried? Am I worried about what? I mean the state of your party ahead of your election? State of our party in Ekiti? Yes…generally Our party in Ekiti is united. I believe every committed APC party member in Ekiti wants us back in Government House and I believe they will do everything to get us back into the Government House. Are there differences of opinions on how we would get back? Of course!! In any human setting, you are bound to have differences of opinions and we are not immunised to that. We have people in our party who felt that APC should not put back a former governor in office. There are those who have those views, but would that be enough reason for them to jump out of our party simply because their preferred choice did not win? I don’t think so. I have seen this. In 2006, when I won the primary, some gubernatorial competitors of mine, left the party, but they were shocked that the bulk of their supporters stayed in the party. They didn’t leave with them because for them, they are progressives. Yes, their preferred choice did not have sufficient grounds for them to move away from their party. And they didn’t. We don’t want to be complacent. We want to ensure that everybody comes together as far as this race is concerned but I have already said I am running on my record but that record, naturally, will also include the record of my party at the centre. But what is our record at the centre? That we have brought back Nigeria from the brink of collapse; people can only imagine what would have happened to this country if the PDP had remained in power. The vice president, God bless his soul, gave a very graphic analysis at the Tinubu colloquium. People don’t do the math. When you do the math, you will appreciate what we have done in this country in the last three and a half year.

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018



APC Sets off Alarm Bells with Proposed Waiver Trying to solve a succession crisis in the ruling party, Buhari weighs in with a powerful suggestion for waivers but ends up creating constitutional issues. Vincent Obia writes


t was a seemingly patriotic proposal. President Muhammadu Buhari was intervening to break a logjam in the succession debate in his All Progressives Congress, following the imminent expiration of the current executive committee’s tenure. Buhari suggested waivers for the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other members of the National Working Committee, to enable them seek another term without necessarily resigning their posts. The president said it was meant to suture divisions in the party. But the waivers have raised constitutional questions. The NWC members were elected on June 13, 2014 for a four-year tenure. But towards the June 13, 2018 deadline for the emergence of a new leadership, the party faced a leadership crisis, stoked by attempts to elongate the NWC’s term. In apparent attempt to solve the problem, Buhari proposed the granting of waivers to the Odigie-Oyegun team.

Caution Buhari told the APC National Executive Committee meeting on Monday in Abuja, “With the present state of the party and based on the report submitted by the technical committee, it is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.” The president was commenting on the report of the technical committee headed by Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, which was set up to address the tenure elongation issue. The report reaffirmed Buhari’s earlier position at the fifth NEC meeting on March 27 that the committee’s February 27 decision to extend the NWC’s tenure by a year was unconstitutional. However, sounding a note of caution about the likely result of the strict application of the APC constitution, Buhari stated last Monday, “Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate, and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits. “Upon my review of the report, my position is to ensure that the party toes the path of unity, legality and cohesion and not that of division. “Therefore, I am stressing that we should strengthen our internal democracy by organising the party’s congresses and convention where election of National Executive Committee members would be held. This will automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of court compelling the party to hold its congresses. “I also believe that the current executives should be free to vie for elective positions in the party if they so wish as permitted by our party constitution. “However, considering the provision of Article 31(1) (iii) of the APC constitution which requires any serving officer desirous of seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before election, I am not sure of the practicality of present serving officers’ ability to meet this condition. “Accordingly, the party may consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels so that they are not disenfranchised from participating in the elections should they wish to do so, provided this does not violate our rules. “Necessary waivers should also be extended to executives at the ward level, whose tenures may have elapsed and, indeed, to anyone knocking at our doors from other political parties… “In this circumstance, the party should officially issue a statement on the above waivers so that our house may be full. We all must not be ignorant of the times, and the journey that is ahead of us.” Accordingly, Lalong announced the waivers, an effective soft-landing for the Odigie-Oyegun NWC, after the less than an hour gathering, described as the shortest ever NEC meeting by APC. In arriving at the decision, the governor said, “We looked at the issue extensively and did wider consultations and arrived at a point where we considered not only the legal point, but also the political options available. “That is why we came to the point that, if we are going to conduct that election within the time available, then the concern shown by other members on the issue of disenfranchisement

It appears Buhari had just opposed tenure extension for OdigieOyegun to placate certain key elements in the party, while proceeding with his resolve to hand the national chairman another term

Buhari (left) and Odigie-Oyegun...much good-natured banters ahead of 2019

and allowing others to contest was very genuine. We also considered the opinion of the president and we arrived at the point that it is constitutionally valid to conduct congresses.”

Controversy But the waivers do not sit well with the APC constitution. The party’s constitution states in Article 31(1), “Any party office holder interested in contesting for an elective office (whether party office or office in a general election) shall resign and leave office 30 days prior to the date of nomination or party primary for the office he or she is seeking to contest.” It, however, provides for waiver in Article 31(2), “Subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee may in special circumstances grant a waiver to a person not otherwise qualified under Article 31(1) of this constitution if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the party.” But the constitution says, “A person may be granted a waiver only on condition that: “He or she has not been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction for any criminal offence. “He or she has applied for waiver in writing to the National Working Committee of the party through his/her appropriate Ward, Local Government Area/Area Council, State, Federal Capital Territory and Zonal Committee. “He or she has signed an undertaking to uphold and implement the manifesto of the party in the event of winning the election.” With an elective convention expected to hold before June 13, when the tenure of the current NWC will expire, it is hard to see how the NWC members cannot meet the constitutional requirement of resignation 30 days in advance of election when there is over 60 days to the terminal date of the Odigie-Oyegun tenure. APC has yet to fix a date for its convention, but many party sources have confirmed that it would be in June. And there appear to be enough room for the party to fulfil the 21-day notice to the Independent National Electoral Commission legal requirement before the elective convention and congresses. Besides, the APC constitution says to be granted waiver, a member must apply to the NWC, through his ward, local government, and state chapters of the party. Last Monday’s waiver for Odigie-Oyegun and others, which effectively exempts them from prior resignation, obviously circumvented this constitutional procedure.

Undue Advantage Even though APC decides to hasten up things to keep the 30 days resignation time, any election before June 13 would favour Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the NWC with the best conditions for victory. They will have ample room for preparation while new entrants walk a tightrope, which would invariably lead to compromises to the further advantage of the

incumbents. It appears Buhari had just opposed tenure extension for Odigie-Oyegun to placate certain key elements in the party, while proceeding with his resolve to hand the national chairman another term.

Political Crisis Many believe there is no effective opposition to Buhari’s candidacy in APC ahead of 2019. Yet, the suspicion at the forefront of every mind is that the president, who formally announced his second term bid last Monday, is sidestepping the APC constitution to reinforce his own political ambition. This is a dangerous temptation for a party suffering an image problem and struggling with a lot of internal dissensions. It is obvious that the waiver gamble is not in the best interest of the party. The waiver sets off palpable alarm bells. It will certainly not appease the National Leader of APC, Bola Tinubu. The former Lagos State governor had influenced the emergence of OdigieOyegun as national chairman, but both men later fell out. Recent public spats between them appear to express the depth of the quarrel and the seeming irreconcilability. When on March 27 Buhari rejected tenure elongation for Odigie-Oyegun at the fifth NEC meeting, Tinubu hailed the position in a statement titled, “The president has spoken,” which he personally signed. Tinubu stated, “President Buhari’s action saves the party from a serious legal turmoil. If the elongations were deemed illegal, then all subsequent party actions, including the nomination of all of our candidates for elective offices, might also be of questionable legality. “Such a predicament would constitute an unnecessary and a mortal blow to the party and its role in promoting progressive governance in Nigeria.” He added, “Today is a good day for those who cherish democracy and legality. His action will also strengthen the party by allowing party members, including present incumbents, to seek to contribute to the party by vying for executive offices as they see fit.” The waiver may seem like a deliberate attempt to spite Tinubu. The former governor has a sizeable following in APC, especially in the South-west. The zone has the second largest number of registered voters, after the North-west, and its votes are crucial in any party or national election. Buhari has laboured long and hard to project himself as a man of integrity, who is tough on indiscipline and corruption. The former military Head of State has also tried to project himself as a democrat who abides by the rule of law. But the current waiver controversy seems to cast a slur on that image. And indications are that fewer and fewer Nigerians may be inclined to see the president and his party as respecters of constitutional rules.





T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018



he 2nd THISDAY Healthcare Policy Dialogue with the theme: The Journey to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, was held Thursday, April 12, 2018 in Abuja. Here are faces of some of the world class dignitaries and experts at the event. Photographs by Godwin Omoigui and Julius Atoi

Chairman, THISDAY Newspaper/ARISE TV and facilitator of the event Mr. Nduka Obaigbena

Minister of State, Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Mrs. Zuoera Youssoufou of Dangote Foundation; Minister of State, Budget and Nationl Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Chairman, Senate Committee of Health, Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso

L-R: DG, WHO, Dr. Tedros Gheb Reyesus; and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

L –R: Paulin Basinga, Stephen Haykin, Rachid Benmassoud, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi and Malikin

L–R: Mrs. Toyin Saraki and Governor Emmanuel Okowa of Delta State

L –R: Director, Pan America Health Orgasisation, Dr. Carissa Etienne; and Regional Director, Europe Office, WHO, Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab

L-R: Tony Isama and Modele Sara-Yusuf

L-R: Rachid Benmassoud and Minister of State Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire


T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ APRIL 15, 2018


L-R: Dr Ben Nkechika and Dr Olumide Okunola

L-R: Beatrice Eluaka and Mike Egbo

L-R: Dr. Omale Amedu and Dr. Uzodinma Adirieji

L-R: Dr. Eme Moma-Efretuwo and Chris Lewis of DFID

L-R: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan and Dr. Peter Salama of World Health Organisation (WHO)

L-R: Hilary Ibegbulem; Israel Iwegbu and Hon Pascal Adigwe

L-R: Dr. Ejike Oji and Dr . Francis Waaphi

R-L: Kingsley Ndo and Jennifer Deat

L-R: Chairman, Emzo Pharmacuetical, Mrs. Stella Chinyelu Okoli; and Ifueko Omogui

R–L: Kori Habib, Fatima Maman–Daura and Olawunmi Laolu-Akandi


T H I S D AY ˾  ͯͳË&#x153;ͰͮͯͶ

T H I S D AY ˾ SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018



T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾ ͹ͽ˜ͺ͸͹΀

NEWSXTRA Nigeria Needs Political Will to Tackle Immunisable Diseases, Says WHO DG Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has called for stronger “political wills” by all tiers of the Nigerian government to ward off threats from diseases that could be immunised. He said it was unfortunate

that diseases that can be immunised continue to claim lives in the country. The WHO DG was in Maiduguri recently to assess the progress of intervention of the United Nations agency and put a plan in place to arrest any health challenges that the proposed relocation of internally displaced persons to their homes might bring.

Ghebreyesus, who paid a visit on Borno State Governor, the Shehu of Borno and one of the IDPs camps within Maiduguri, said it was sad that immunisation rate in Borno state stood at 48 per cent, and below the global minimum standards of immunising children against six child-killer diseases. The WHO DG told the Borno

State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa who received him on behalf of Governor Kashim Shettima that with the pledge of political will from Borno State Government, the UN health agency will boost routine immunisations in the Boko Haram insurgency liberated communities across the state. He said: “The political wills

of all tiers of Government, will definitely overcome the challenges of immunisations and inaccessibility to liberated communities in the Northeast region. “It will also facilitate and fast track the boosting of immunising children below the age of five in camps host communities and homes of returning Internally Displaced Persons

(IDPs) at Bama, Damasak, Mafa, Damboa, Gambouru / Ngala and Dikwa. “We will boost immunisations in this region, provided that there is the political will to address most of the health issues and challenges in the insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe,” he added and assured that WHO will ‘raise and expand’ routine immunisations. Speaking at the Emergency Health Centre, Dr. Ghebreyesus said the Borno State Ministry of Health should use the same data on containing outbreaks of diseases and block all transmission points to save people’s lives. He said the recent containment of cholera outbreaks in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno with 700 cases was commendable, as only three deaths were recorded. He said: “We will support you and being proud of you on containing cholera in this state.

In Brief Falana Flays Banks,Churches

ADIEU MAMA L-R: Pastor Sunday and Mrs. Comfort Gbolagun; eldest son, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa; his wife, Fehintola; and Mr. Olamide Akinterinwa, during the funeral service of their mother Iyaloja General of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Mrs. Grace Akinterinwa-Buleye; at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Ile-Oluji, Ondo State...weekend

PHOTO: Yomi Akinyele

Renowned human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has hit hard on the private sector and churches as being nests of corruption, more than government institutions. Falana made the remark at the 2018 edition of the Vanguard Economic Discourse, themed: “Economy in Recession: Pitfalls, Trajectories and Resetting” The event held at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Bayelsa Govt to Sue FG over $1bn ECA Fund Deductions Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa The Bayelsa State Government may in the coming weeks drag the federal government before the courts, if its request that the 13 per cent derivation fund due oil-producing states from the $1 billion Excess Crude Account (ECA) fund is not deducted and sent to the benefiting states before withdrawal of the money. The government said it had exhausted other avenues for an

amicable settlement, including a visit to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who heads the National Economic Council (NEC) and officially following it up with a letter thereafter, noting that withdrawing the $1 billion without deducting and paying the 13 per cent derivation to the oil- producing states would amount to ‘armtwisting’ them to make double contributions to the security funds. A statement signed by the State

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, on Saturday said Governor Seriake Dickson was insisting that the 13 per cent derivation component of the money should be removed and disbursed to the various oil-producing states in the Federation as earlier demanded. Dickson had explained that the wholesome withdrawal of the funds, inclusive of the 13 per cent derivation would mean that the oil producing states

would be making double contributions because they would be contributing their allocations like all other states and then the 13 per cent derivation constitutionally provided for, to address security and other pressing needs in the states. He also demanded that the 13 per cent derivation component of the funds be deducted and deployed in the oil-producing states to address the peculiar security challenges in the region.

The governor had pointed out that while Bayelsa was not opposed to the withdrawal of the funds to enhance national security, “the utilisation of the funds involving the armed forces, intelligence services and police must cover every part of the country.” According to yesterday’s statement: “The Bayelsa State Government will approach the court to enforce deduction of the 13 per cent derivation component from the $1 billion

ECA funds which the Federal Government claims it plans to withdraw to tackle insecurity. “We have held meetings with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on this issue. We even backed it up with a formal letter to the President through the Vice President which was taken to Abuja by the Deputy Governor and delivered by hand to the Vice President to underscore the importance we attach to the issue in question.

Firm Petitions N’Assembly, Alleges Violation OGIRS Deploys Electronic Device for Nagode Foundation Partners FSD of PPA in $44m Warri Port Contract on Entrepreneurship Training 5% Consumption Tax Collection DamilolaOyedeleinAbuja

A firm, Dredging Atlantic Limited/Westminster Dredging and Marine (DAW), has accused the Bureau of Public Procurement, Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Ports Authority of violating the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007, in the award of the contract for remedial Works at Escravos Channel. The contract includes replacement of navigational aids and minor dredging at the Delta Port, in Warri, and is worth about $44 million. The firm claimed that while it was the winner of the bid, the contract was awarded to Dredging International Services Limited (DISL), one of lowest ranking bidders, during the opening of the bid, in a process manipulated by the three govern-

ment bodies. According to a copy of the petition signed by the company’s legal adviser, Mr. Liborous Oshoma, the BPP ignored an official complaint made by DAW, and hurriedly concluded the administrative review of the bid process. It also accused the NPA of manipulating the publicly announced tender figures of DISL for the contract bid.“How come the lowest bidder as publicly announced (DAW) had “errors” and or additional figures (increase) of N11,709,932.84 ($38,393.23) to arrive at $44,918,741.22 as against $44,880,348.21, while the highest bidder (DISL) had “errors” and or subtracted figures (a reduction) of $136,456.95 (N41,619,369.75) to arrive at $44,861,596.81, as against $44,998,053.73, from their announced figures,” it read.

Femi OgbonnikaninAbeokuta To enhance the collection of its five per cent consumption tax, Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) has pledged to deploy technology to effectively enforce compliance in its operations. Addressing journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital recently, the Chairman of the service, Mr. Adekunle Adeosun, disclosed that an era whereby the burden of passing the five per cent consumption tax on the final consumers are over, just as the operators of hotels, bars, even centres, restaurants and others operating within the state would henceforth be electronically monitored to pay on every food and drink consumed. According to him, “we have

consumption tax of 5 per cent in Ogun state which is chargeable on hotels, restaurants, bars and event centres for food and drinks that the public consume on their premises. It is not payable by the establishments, but it is paid by the consumers. So, if you go to these places to have drinks, they are supposed to pay 5 per cent consumption tax on it now. The law was passed in 2012 and we started the implementation in 2016. So, the next process for us now is to have electronic monitoring of those sales for those establishments. “It will also help those establishments because the sales for those establishments, the people that work there, also under-report them.

UgoAliogo and Lawal Kehinde Nagode Foundation in collaboration with Field of Skills and Dreams (FSD) has empowered youths in its entrepreneurship training programme in fashion designing, hotel and catering management, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and web designing, hair styling, cake baking, catering, and electrical installation. Speaking at the induction ceremony in Lagos recently which featured the presentation of startup equipment to the inductees, the Managing Director Nagode Industries, Sandeep Kapoor, stated that the public and private sector have failed in tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians

despite having a strong work force. He also stated that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are strong creators of employment opportunities; therefore government should actively support the SME sector, while commending the FSD for organising the event. He said as part of the foundation’s plan to support the training programme, they decided to support the FSD surmount the huge financial challenges they may be facing in training the entrepreneurs. In her remarks, the Founder of FSD, Mrs. Omowale Ogunrinde, said the academy began in 2003 as an idea to support teenagers in her local church, adding that she felt a longing to take the initiative to the larger society by engaging the youths.

T H I S D AY, T H E S U N D AY N E W S PA P E R ˾APRIL 15, 2018


SUNDAYSPORTS Salah Becomes First African to Score 30 Premier League Goals

Edited by Demola Ojo Email


ohamed Salah yesterday scored his 40th goal of the season as Liverpool produced a scintillating performance to overcome Bournemouth and top off the perfect week as they cemented their place in the top-four of the Premier League. With the goal, he becomes the firstAfrican player to reach 30 Premier League goals in a single season. Didier Drogba was the previous highest African scorer with 29 goals in 2009-10. Salah’s goal means he’s now the first player to 30 league goals in Europe’s big 5 leagues this season and marks the 40th in all competitions in a remarkable campaign that still has a minimum of six and possibly seven games to run. He also becomes only the seventh player in history to score 30 goals in a 38-game Premier League season. Sadio Mane got the Reds off the mark after only five minutes with his 17th goal of the season, to ensure Jurgen Klopp’s side had something to show for a blistering first-half display. After beating Manchester City to clinch their place in the semi-final of the Champions League where they will meet Roma, Klopp insisted his side wouldn’t be distracted domestically, and there was little doubt Liverpool were motivated for the tie as they carved Eddie Howe’s side open time and time again. The German named a strong starting line-up, making just one change from the side on Tuesday night, but a combination of profligate finishing and stout defending meant it looked like Liverpool may have to endure a tense finish to the game. However, Salah produced a moment of magic in the 69th-minute when he headed a TrentAlexanderArnold cross past Asmir Begovic to put the result beyond doubt and further furnish an already incredibly impressive first season at Liverpool. The third member of the Reds’ irrepressible front three, Roberto Firmino, added a third in the

Salah is having a sensational season after scoring his 40th goal yesterday

last minute to put further gloss on an already polished performance. Liverpool are now only a point behind second-placed Manchester United and move 10 points clear ahead of Chelsea in fifth, while

Bournemouth remain 11th. Few expected Salah to make an appearance let alone start the match after the club’s adventure in Europe during the week, but the Egyptian – quite remarkably – showed little sign of fatigue

and even completed the 90 minutes. Only three players – Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez - have managed 31 goals in a single Premier League season, but with four games remaining Salah is bound to smash that record.

City Trio, Salah, Kane, De Gea PSG Aim for French Title against Monaco Nominated for Player of the Year Paris St Germain are determined to exact revenge on champions Monaco by winning back the Ligue 1 title when the two teams meet at the Parc des Princes today. Victory for runaway leaders PSG against the team who beat them to the championship by eight points last season would clinch the crown with five games to spare. “It will be a small payback after last year, when Monaco won the championship,” left-back Layvin Kurzawa said on the PSG website. “This match allows us to win it this season, at home, against them. This can be a very nice moment for us, it’s up to us to respond.” January signing Lassana Diarra added: “It’s a mini final, even if it’s in the league. We will try to win to be crowned champions as quickly as possible. Against Monaco, it would be even better.” PSG, whose 14-match winning domestic run was ended by a 1-1 draw at St Etienne last time out, are still without Neymar, although the Brazil striker is expected to return before the end of the season after as he recovers from the fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle he suffered in February. Former Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, who played a key role in denying PSG the title last season before his summer switch to the capital, is set to be denied the chance to face his former club by illness. PSG coach Unai Emery, whose future beyond the end of the campaign is open to question given his side’s Champions League failure, challenged his players to continue rewriting the club’s history. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said at a press conference. “We want to win and play well. “Monaco are in good form, they haven’t lost in 15 league matches. They have been very consistent, especially in recent months. “We will try to win the league on Sunday. St Etienne won the league 10 times, Marseille nine times and Monaco eight times. Paris St Germain have won six and want to win this season to keep catching up and become the most successful team in history. It’s an important trophy for us, to keep moving forward.

ManchesterCity’sKevinDeBruyne,LeroySaneand David Silva lead a six-strong cast that also includes the prolific Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane for the 2017-18 Professional Footballers’Association Player of the Year award. Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is the other nominee. Despite blowing the chance to seal the Premier League title in a thrilling 3-2 derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend, City still boasted a 13-point lead at the top of the table heading into this weekend’s games. DeBruyneisexpectedtobeCity’sleadingcandidate, having contributed a league-high 15 assists and seven goals from midfield as Pep Guardiola’s side

have marched towards the title. However, the Belgian may be beaten to the award by Salah’s free-scoring form. The Egyptian has scored 40 times in all competitions, including in each leg as Liverpool dumped City out of the Champions League quarterfinals 5-1 on aggregate. He also leads the way in the race for the Premier League golden boot with 30 goals to Kane’s 25. SaneandKanearealsoontheshortlistfortheYoung Player of theYear award alongside City goalkeeper EdersonandforwardRaheemSterling,Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and left-back Ryan Sessegnon, who has starred in Fulham’s push for promotion from the Championship.

La Liga: Barcelona Set Mbappe has a chance of winning the French League with PSG after winning with Monaco last season

New Unbeaten Record

“We want to win every competition we play in. The championship is very important for us. This is our principle competition.All the players know this. The club wants to keep progressing, to keep improving, to become the best in the world, so every competition is important.” Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho insists his team are not fussed by the significance of the match, particularly for their opponents. “We do not think about PSG, we will play to gain points, to keep our advantage over opponents,” the Portugal international, whose side went into the weekend seven points clear of Lyon in third, said on the club website. “We have lost the last two games against (PSG), but this is a new opportunity to give our best. We will do everything to win the match there. We never think of drawing when we take to the field.

Barcelona set a new La Liga record as a narrow win over Valencia extended their unbeaten league run to 39 matches. The leaders, fresh from a shock Champions League exit to Roma, led when Philippe Coutinho played in Luis Suarez to beat Neto at his near post. They looked comfortable when Samuel Umtiti headed in Coutinho’s corner. But the visitors gave them a late scare when Dani Parejo’s penalty squirmed underneath Marc-Andre ter Stegen after Ousmane Dembele fouled Andreas Pereira. Ter Stegen was at the centre of the game’s other dramatic moment - when he gifted the ball to Valencia’s Carlos Soler but then brilliantly saved Rodrigo’s shot onto the crossbar. Barca, who are now six results from the first unbeaten 38-game La Liga season, only need

seven more points to seal the Spanish title. They face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final next weekend as they seek a domestic double. The previous unbeaten La Liga record was Real Sociedad’s 38 across 1978-79 and 1979-80.

RESULTS & FIXTURES Southampton Burnley Crystal Palace Huddersfield Swansea Liverpool Tottenham Newcastle Man United

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Chelsea Leicester Brighton Watford Everton Bournemouth Man City Arsenal 1:30pm West Brom 4pm

Sunday April 15, 2018



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Taraba Women to Nigerian Army â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those killing us are in the bush. We want the army to go and disarm them to enable us go back to the farm because the rain is here.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mrs Esther Yakubu speaking on behalf of Taraba women who were protesting army brutality of innocent citizens instead of apprehending killer herdsmen


                       !##### "      

0805 500 1956

Little Things That Matter â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let all things be done decently and in order.â&#x20AC;? - 1Corinthians 14:40


ver attended any event populated by top government officials, party big wigs, the CEOs of blue chip companies, their royal majesties and highnesses, the ex-this and ex-that, the contenders and pretenders to wealth and riches, in short Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political, business and royal elite accompanied by their sidekicks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wives, concubines and everybody in-between? Did you notice the chaos, the absence of decorum, the indecency, the noise, and the child-like indiscipline? For years we have agonized over Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s failure to take off, development wise; the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inability to meet its potentials despite it being abundantly blessed with human and natural resources. For the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s present and past predicament, we have, like President Muhammadu Buhari, looked for someone or something to blame. But we seem to have forgotten those little things that matter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; personal discipline, self-respect, decency, humility, and sense of order. These are defining characteristics that are mostly absent in the social lives of our political and business elite. Any wonder why the country has been so continually messed up? How can a group of politicians most of who have little or no self-esteem, no social grace, and whose personal conduct so belittles their high offices possibly birth and superintend over an orderly society? To understand the point Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m making, permit me, dear reader, to show you the typical conduct of the cream of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elite at the post-wedding dinner Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote organised in honour of his daughter Fatima and her husband Jamil Abubakar. Without a doubt, the organization was superb. Whoever was the event planner did an excellent job in the hall dĂŠcor, logistics, security, sitting arrangements, and general comfort of about 2,500 guests. Simple yet classy, the dinner, which held at the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos was a reflection of the personality of the chief host and brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, Dangote. For an event so well organized, the only minus was the indiscipline of a cross section of the guests â&#x20AC;&#x201C; members of the ruling class. To be fair, the organisers did have an understanding of the vain nature of Nigerian men of power and influence. They therefore took the pains to lay down some ground rules in an advisory attached to the Invite. One, to minimize traffic congestion at Eko Hotel, guests were advised to park their vehicles at nearby Eko Atlantic where shuttle buses were available to move guests to and fro the event venue. Indeed a bus lane was specially carved out for ease of movement of the guests. Two, guests were advised to go through a security check at the Eko Atlantic car park where the Invite was exchanged for an arm band, and a tag indicating a table number was issued for ease of sitting at the event venue. Three, politicians and public officials were requested to leave their security aides at Eko Atlantic since there were solid security arrangements from the car park to the event venue. Four, top public officials were enjoined not to allow their aides follow them to the event venue. Five, guests were advised to take their seats at 7.30pm. As it were, every item on the advisory was obeyed in the breach, the culprits basically those on the top end of power, wealth and influence. It was either they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read the advisory, or they felt its contents were beneath their status and office. State governors (not a few) were driven to the event venue in their convoys of several vehicles that were parked indiscriminately, blocking

Osinbajo the right of way, creating a traffic congestion foretold, and making movement difficult for the shuttle buses, the hotel occupants and some other clients. Some state governors and not a few top politicians expectedly arrived late; they separately walked into the event venue with their individual crowd consisting of a battery of security aides in addition to other assistants, official and unofficial. It says a lot about our leaders sense of propriety that long before the arrival of the latecomers, the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, immediate past president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and several foreign dignitaries were quietly seated. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as special guest of honour did not arrive until about 9.00pm and the event could not officially take off until his arrival. There is something fundamentally wrong in the structure of our governmental administration that turns an otherwise decent man into an object we have always decried. The widespread practice of public officials, particularly politicians, not keeping to time and thereby disrupting the take off of an event is especially galling. It is disrespectful of the event organisers and the guests. When a programme that shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ordinarily take more than two hours is made to last four or five hours because of the late arrival of some government top shot invited to kick-start the event, the impression unwittingly created is that the guests have nothing productive to do with their time. Long before Osinbajo arrived, Laz Ekwueme, an 82-year old musicologist, scholar, teacher, composer and culture icon stood on the stage for hours singing with, and conducting his, National Chorale orchestra. For the kind of elite guests in that hall, there was the expectation that Ekwueme and his orchestra would be performing to a captive audience. However, they might as well have been playing in an empty hall. Few people bothered to watch the performance. Fewer still cared to applaud in appreciation. Majority of the guests, the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice political and business elite, were milling around like market men and women, moving round the hall, talking at the top of their voices, completely unaware of the orchestra on stage, and not allowing the music, a fusion of African choral works with classical rhythm, soothe the minds of the few guests enjoying the performance. In some other civilized society, the meet and greet and networking session is done during the cocktails. Not so for the Nigerian elite. Though there had been cocktails in a different

hall between 5.30 and 7.00pm, people were still milling around the main hall hugging, pecking and backslapping when, as a matter of decorum, they were expected to have taken their seats. That was the situation when the vice president arrived and the comperes were trying to get the guests seated for the programme to start. Compere IK, for almost all of 30 minutes, as politely as he could in the circumstance, pleaded and wooed and harried and cajoled the guests to take their seats for the event to start, that the vice president was in the house. IK could as well have been talking to himself. There was no indication anybody was listening to him. Then he resorted to subtle blackmail, that Gates and other foreign guests were watching and asking if that was how we conduct our affairs in Nigeria. Whether that line was real or the compereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creative invention, it cut little or no ice. It was akin to asking a class of four-year olds to be orderly. It was only when IK began calling out names, notable names, in some kind of naming and shaming, that some sort of orderliness became noticeable. Thereafter, IK pleaded with the herd of mobile policemen and state security service personnel, standing behind their principals (governors, senators, ministers, party leaders, security chiefs, etc.) and blocking the view of other guests, to find somewhere to sit. Not surprising, those being addressed stood there deaf and dumb. At this point, Compere Ali Baba, having apparently lost his cool, impatiently took over from IK and addressed the security men in a not so friendly tone. It was difficult to say whether Ali Babaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach elicited the desired effect. The situation, however, reflected poorly on their principals,

as the organisers, having envisaged this, urged guests in the advisory the contents of which I had listed at the beginning of this piece, not to come into the Banquet Hall with their security aides. But then, how do you recognize Nigerian men of power and means without some security aides, in uniform or black suit, standing behind their seats more for status symbol than any issue of personal safety! A foreigner in that gathering could not but leave with the impression that Nigerians are a noisy and unruly lot, a people lacking in selfrespect and personal discipline, and who do not appreciate beauty and order. We should be worried when those who pass off this impression of the Nigerian are the cream of our political elite, men and women who initiate laws, who formulate and implement policies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good orderâ&#x20AC;?, writes Edmund Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is the foundation of all good thingsâ&#x20AC;?. Can a class of political elite who revel in chaos possibly enact laws and formulate policies for the good order of the country? Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that be a miracle of giving what they do not have? Is it any wonder this cartel of political elite cannot envision Nigeria in 10, or 30, or 50 years and put structures in place to make such vision a reality? Any wonder why nobody seems to be thinking of tackling the education and health of the burgeoning youth population in the short and long term? Any wonder why a state governor would advertise in a newspaper the list of public workers whose salaries were paid and celebrate that as an achievement, or a legislator commission a pit latrine as constituency project? How could this rabble of a political elite envision and birth a nation worthy of respect?

For David Mark It was sometime in June 2008. One year as senate president, some friends had put together the selection of his speeches in a book and arranged a public presentation as an anniversary present. As a friend of the house, I was asked to review the book at an event the late President Umar Musa Yarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Adua was the special guest of honour. Having received a copy of the book a little close to D-Day, I found out it was very poorly edited and badly produced, and therefore unbefitting of David Mark as a man of class, nor worthy of his office as senate president. I was caught between playing the hypocritical friend by dressing the book up for what it was not, or being true to myself. I opted for the latter and by the time I was through with the review, nobody bothered to pick up a copy. Although Mark found the review unpleasant, he accepted it gracefully. Outside of his response to my review at the book presentation, he never had any reason to refer to the issue again. It is a mark of his maturity and large heartedness that the incident never affected our friendship. Some politicians who could not rise above pettiness would have taken the review as enemy action. Throughout his eight years as senate president, Mark didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow the pressure and perquisites of office deny him the pleasure of laughing at himself. In an article on this page, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those the Kidnappers Needâ&#x20AC;? (July 19, 2010), Mark was one of five top government officials I suggested the kidnappers should go after in order to make easy billions in ransom payment. I wrote then that a N5 billion ransom on his head wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be too difficult for his colleagues in the National Assembly and some state governors to pay for his freedom. He, however, called to laugh at my suggestion, that as senate president he thought his valuation would have been much higher.

At very difficult periods during the Jonathan administration, Mark led the National Assembly with maturity, playing a delicate balancing game in supporting the executive arm while ensuring the independence of the legislature. And he did that quietly without making noise. In his years in public office as military governor, minister and senator, Mark has lived with his own quota of controversy, the most easily remembered the statement attributed to him in the 1980s that â&#x20AC;&#x153;telephone is not for the poorâ&#x20AC;?. There is also the often-bandied story that he was one of the military officers who opposed the swearing in of the late Chief MKO Abiola in the series of events leading to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. As he joins the septuagenarian club and becomes an elder statesman, the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history would be better served with Mark capturing his military and political sojourn in a memoir, and putting in perspective the veracity or otherwise of the controversies associated with him. Meanwhile, I wish Senator Mark a very enjoyable 70th birthday and many more years in the service of the nation.

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Sunday 15th April 2018  
Sunday 15th April 2018