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Adeosun Explains Reinstatement of Trading on Oando Shares Shareholders kick, accuse minister of meddling in capital market, SEC’s affairs Chika Amanze-Nwachuku The Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and aggrieved shareholder groups yesterday were at daggers drawn

over the events in the last one week pertaining to the lifting, reinstatement and lifting again of the technical suspension placed on Oando’s shares traded on the Nigerian

Stock Exchange (NSE) and the minister’s subsequent removal of the acting director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Abdul Zubair over the fiasco and his

replacement with Ms. Mary Uduk at the weekend. While the shareholder groups have accused Adeosun of “unwholesome interference” in the nation’s

capital market and meddling in the operations of SEC, and demanded her immediate sack, the minister has denied the allegations, saying the shareholder groups were

speaking out of ignorance. According to Adeosun, she had to suspend Zubair at the weekend because she Continued on page 10

Konga, Yudala Announce Merger, To Rule E-Commerce, Organised Retail Sector… Page 48 Monday 16 April, 2018 Vol 23. No 8397. Price: N250

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Babangida: I’ll Support Anything Targeted at One Nigeria Laleye Dipo in Minna

AGAIN, ZENITH BANK DELIVERS TO SHAREHOLDERS... L-R: Deputy Managing Director Zenith Bank Plc, Adaora Umeoji; GMD/CEO, Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo; Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia; and Deputy Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, at the 27th Annual General Meeting of the bank held in Abuja… recently

Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has said he will support any project, organisation or body whose objective is to achieve one Nigeria. Babangida made the declaration in Minna yesterday when he received the new Continued on page 8

Buhari to Meet Trump April 30, Holds Talks With Theresa May Today Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on April 30 to discuss issues on the fight against terrorism and economic ties between Nigeria and the United States, the White House announced yesterday. “President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: promoting

economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region,” the White House said in a statement. Buhari, who travelled to the United Kingdom last week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, is also

billed to hold a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May today. The Nigerian president will then address Commonwealth leaders towards the end of the week. According to the White House, “The relationship of the United States with Nigeria is deep and strong, and Nigeria’s economic growth,

security, and leadership in Africa will advance our mutual prosperity.” Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is among the countries combatting Islamist extremism with help from the U.S. The nation is battling an array of security threats across its territory, from Boko Haram jihadists in the northeast to oil

militants in the south. The announcement of the visit comes one day after the fourth anniversary of the Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction, which saw Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. The Nigerian president’s White House visit also follows a scandal that erupted in January when Trump allegedly branded African nations

Wike Hosts IPI Team, Calls for Free Press ... Page 48

“shithole countries”. The reported remark triggered global outrage and forced the U.S. president to pen a letter reaffirming his commitment to the continent. Nigeria was among the countries included on Trump’s ex-secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s Africa tour last month -- though the former Texas oilman truncated the trip just before the US president brutally sacked him. Continued on page 10


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Buhari Meets Tinubu as APC Appoints 12 Governors for Convention C’ttee Party leader seeks non-involvement of NWC members in conduct of convention Aisha Buhari explains why she threatened not to support her husband’s re-election

Omololu Ogunmade and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja with agency report President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday met behind closed doors in London, ostensibly to discuss the congresses and national convention of the ruling party, but in a pre-emptive move the APC announced the membership of a 68-member convention committee to be chaired by Jigawa State governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. The president’s aide responsible for social media, Alhaji Bashir Ahmad, who released the statement and photograph on Buhari’s meeting with the APC leader through a Twitter post, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari receives national leader of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (Jagaban) today in London.” Although Ahmad did not provide details of the meeting between Buhari and Tinubu, a party source said yesterday that Tinubu might have met with the president to keep him abreast of developments in the party. He said it was most likely the APC leader would bring to Buhari’s attention the concerns expressed by party stakeholders last week of the attempt by some persons in the party to achieve tenure elongation by subterfuge, despite the fact that the issue had been laid to rest at the last meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party. The source said though Tinubu was not against the waiver granted by APC to its executives seeking re-election at the upcoming congresses and convention to remain in office before the elective contests, he was expected to impress it on Buhari on the need for a level playing field by ensuring that party officials seeking re-election do not participate in the conduct of the congresses and convention in any shape or form. The source also revealed

that Tinubu was also expected to discuss the unending killings in Taraba, Benue and Plateau States due to the clashes between farmers and armed herdsmen. Buhari had on April 9, during the NEC meeting of the APC, declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019. At the said meeting, the party had also agreed to reverse its decision in February to extend the tenure of its executives by one year, and directed that the processes for the conduct of congresses and a convention should commence. But it wasn’t a winner takes all for those opposed to the tenure elongation, as the NEC also granted a waiver that would enable the current party leadership of the APC to seek re-election while remaining at their various posts. Briefing the press after the meeting, Plateau State governor Simon Lalong, who had chaired the technical committee set up by the party to review the tenure elongation issue, had cited Article 31(111) of the APC constitution, which states: “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 if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the party.” The NEC also approved the recommendation of the Lalong-led committee, which advised that in the event that there is a problem and the congresses and convention become inconclusive, the party would ask the current leadership of the APC to remain in office, but in an acting capacity. However, the approvals given by the NEC of the party may not have gone down well with some of its stakeholders, who had informed THISDAY that the proposed congresses and national convention of the APC may be deliberately set up or frustrated to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor.

The sources warned that the approvals had a hidden motive – to sustain the one-year tenure elongation initially granted the APC national and state executives. Citing a memo by the national chairman of the party, Chief John OdigieOyegun, which encapsulated the report of the Lalong committee and was approved by the NEC at the meeting, the sources revealed that the national leadership of the party had anticipated certain circumstances that might make the decision to hold congresses and the national convention impossible to implement. A party source further informed THISDAY that the approved recommendation might be a trigger for disaster, especially if the proposed congresses and convention are not held or stage-managed. “I suspect a plot to frustrate and subvert the congresses and convention, especially since waivers have been given to the NWC (National Working Committee) to supervise the exercise and re-contest in the intra-party elections. “In such circumstances, those conducting and supervising the congresses and convention will either formulate rules to favour them as contestants or there may be no commitment to successful congresses and the convention. Which ever way, the exercise can be programmed to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor,” he explained. The concerns, notwithstanding, the NWC of the APC yesterday released the names of a 68-member national convention committee to be chaired by the Jigawa State governor. A statement last night by the APC National Organising Secretary Osita Izunaso said the deputy chairman of the convention committee will be Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu, while Senator Ben Uwajumogu will serve as the member/secretary of the committee. Other members include Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Aminu Bello Masari

(Katsina), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai (Kaduna), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Bindow Jibrilla (Adamawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo). Other members named by the party are former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Senator Ahmed Yerima, Senator Ahmed Ailero, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Senator George Akume, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir, Senator John Eno, Senator Andrew Uchedu, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Mr. Usani Uguru Usani. Others are Femi Gbajabiamila, Tony Nwoye, Senator Abdullahi Danbaba, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Senator Baba Kaka, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Kawu Labaran, Saed Fijabi, Barinada Mpigi, Abubakar Mariki, Lawal Garba, Emmanuel Udenge, Chief Chris B. Ibe, Chief Nsima Ekere, Alhaji Adamu Idris, Chief Ede Eze, Chief Preye Aganaba, Chief Derin Adebiyi, Mr. Sale Mamman and Israel Ajibola Famurewa. Women on the committee will be represented by Senator Binta Masi Garba, Senator Monsurat Olajumoke Sunmonu, Mrs Pauline Tallen, Senator Florence Ita Giwa, Hadiza Bala Usman, Rabi Ishaq, Maureen Tamuno and Mrs. Teresa Kadiri. Youths on the committee include Ismaeel Ahmed, Marvin Yobana, Elvis Asoro, Chief Paul Chukwuma, Suleiman Talba, Risola Abiola, Zahra Danejo Umar and Mac Obi. Persons with disability include Danjuma Attah, David James Lalu and Jaja Opago while APC coalition support groups will be represented by Lawal Munir and Peter Okoroafor on the national convention committee. The statement by Izinaso, however, was silent on the timetable for the convention and congresses. It was also gathered that the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Mr. Timi Frank

might be preparing to throw his hat into the ring for the national chairmanship post in the forthcoming national convention. Though the decision to seek the chairmanship post has not been made public, THISDAY learnt that the Bayelsa born politician has been meeting with some South-south APC leaders since Monday last week after the NEC meeting of the party. A competent source who pleaded anonymity said Frank may likely be the candidate of the ‘New PDP’ leaders who joined the APC before the 2015 general election but are today not particularly happy with the trajectory on the APC. It was also gathered that a forum of young stakeholders within the party has concluded plans to support the candidacy of Frank because “so many young people are disenfranchised under the current leadership”. The tenure of the current APC NWC comes to an end on June 30, 2018. Other likely contenders for the chairmanship post include the incumbent Odigie-Oyegun, who is eligible to seek another four years in office, the former governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ogbonnaya Onu, a former governor of Cross River State in the Third Republic, Clement Ebri and an ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Don Etiebet. Meanwhile, the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari on Saturday finally explained why she critiscised her husband in a BBC interview in 2016 and had threatened to withdraw her support for his re-election bid, saying she did so because of her “sense of justice”. Mrs. Buhari, who spoke at the Vanguard awards ceremony on Saturday night where she was conferred with an award, said it was not her intention to confront or disrespect the president. Mrs. Buhari drew worldwide attention when

the cultural and political unity and amity among all northerners. According to him “This Assembly is political but non-partisan. It is political in the sense that the door is opened to all northerners, irrespective of their ethnicity, differences in religious and political beliefs or sectional background.” Yakasai noted that although the idea to form the group came about just as the country was approaching general election,

its formation had nothing to do with the elections. “We are aiming at something far beyond this year’s electioneering,” he said. He disclosed further that the group would not be an affiliate of any political party, ethnic-based group or religious body. Some members of the NLSA on the entourage included the former Minister of the FCT Alhaji Bala Mohammed and former Niger State governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu.

BABANGIDA: I’LL SUPPORT ANYTHING TARGETED AT ONE NIGERIA leadership of the Northern Leaders and Stakeholders’ Assembly (NLSA), a northern socio-political advocacy, at his residence in Minna, the Niger State capital. The former military president said as a military officer who had fought for the unity of the country and one that had had the opportunity to govern the country, he would never be a party to any organisation or discussion aimed at the disintegration of the nation. “I will support any group

that comes out with a template that will ensure the unity and stability of Nigeria,” Babangida said emphatically, adding: “Politics is all about togetherness and the betterment of the country.” Babangida told the group led by Alhaji Tanko Yakasai to interact with politicians across the country, irrespective of party affiliations because “they (politicians) know what Nigerians need”. According to him,

anything within the context of one Nigeria was noble. “I will support and bless what you are doing but you should be fair in your dealings with Nigerians. “This move has answered my questions and put away my worries about the essence of one Nigeria. The Assembly will go a long way in cementing the unity of the north and indeed Nigeria.” Speaking earlier, the chairman of the NLSA said the group’s mission was aimed at promoting

she criticised the president in an October 2016 interview with the BBC, saying she feared his administration was veering from its mandate. She also expressed doubt that she would support him if he seeks re-election unless he implemented immediate changes in personnel and policies. Buhari responded at the time by telling her to save her opinion of his government and confine herself to the “kitchen or the other room”, sparking criticism and accusations of sexism against the president. But in her acceptance speech at the Vanguard Awards where she was conferred with the Personality of the Year Award, Mrs. Buhari said she would support his re-election bid. “One of the reasons adduced for honouring me was the interview I granted which some people saw as criticism to a government that I am part of,” she was quoted as saying in the statement circulated by her media aide Suleiman Haruna. “I need to state that my position was a result of my sense of justice and not confrontation or disrespect. I was brought up to stand by the truth and this is how I have always been. “As we are all aware, Nigerians elected this administration based on the trust and confidence they have in my husband. “I therefore feel that we are here to serve Nigeria to the best of our ability. Let me use this opportunity to state that I support my husband in this call to service and will continue to do so,” she said in her acceptance speech delivered by her daughter Halima.

TOP GAINERS WEMABANK CCNN SKYEBANK REGENCYALLIANCE UNITYBANK TOP LOSERS INTERBREW CONSOHALLMARK MAYBAKER

NGN NGN 0.08 0.92 1.70 20.20 0.06 0.80 0.02 0.26 0.06 1.11 NGN NGN 3.65 50.00 0.02 0.29 0.15 2.88 NEIMETH 0.04 0.78 STERLBANK 0.09 1.76 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦1,385.00 Volume: 167.646 million shares Value: N2.039 billion Deals: 3,453 As at Friday 13/04/18 See details on Page 33

% 9.5 9.1 8.1 7.6 5.7 % 6.8 6.4 4.9 4.8 4.8


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Saraki: Rescue of Chibok Girls, Leah Sharibu, A Must Damilola Oyedele

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called for concerted efforts by governments, security agencies, religious and community leaders, to rescue the remaining 112 Chibok girls and the Dapchi schoolgirl, Leah Sharibu, from Boko Haram captivity. Saraki in a statement yesterday by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu said even though four years had elapsed since the sad incident of the Chibok girls’ abduction, it must not dampen efforts being made to see the girls’ rescued and reunited with their families and loved ones. He noted with sadness the plight of the Chibok parents whose girls were not back and the anxiety they have had to endure all this while. He called on the parents to remain steadfast, saying government will never relent in efforts to see their daughters back home safely.

Saraki said: “As a parent, I feel the pains of these unfortunate young girls from Chibok and the latest one - Leah Sharibu - from Dapchi, their parents and the people and governments of Borno and Yobe States over these harrowing experiences. “However, all hope is not lost. We are all involved in this. Their return will give us joy while their continued stay in captivity will inflict us with the perpetual torment of failure. “This is no time for blame game or passing the buck. We must all gear up and work together to see these girls rescued within the shortest possible time. I believe that the last four years has given us ample time to reflect on the calamity, review our modus operandi - politically and militarily - and resolve to ensure that all Nigerians are adequately protected. “Let’s fine tune the strategies that have won us successes and discard those

that have failed us. The goal and focus must be clear – to rescue our girls and all those in forced captivity in any part of the country, and ultimately, to restore our pride as a sovereign entity. “This is the time for all stakeholders to retool and re-strategise to ensure that all these girls are not only rescued but do all in our power to put a closure to all cases of kidnapping and insurgency in this land,” he said. Saraki called on all Nigerians who can help to come to the aid of government and the security agencies on how to rescue the girls. He also urged the security agencies to keep people abreast of developments about the issue to avoid the speculations and pronouncements like the one by a Nigerian journalist Ahmad Salkida at the weekend insinuating that many of the girls may have died.

Saraki

ADEOSUN EXPLAINS REINSTATEMENT OF TRADING ON OANDO SHARES had pointedly asked him not to lift the technical suspension on the energy company’s shares the week before last until a committee comprising representatives from her ministry, SEC, the NSE and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), where Oando has a dual listing, had reviewed the report of the forensic audit submitted by the team of professionals appointed by SEC to investigate the company. She said in spite of her directive, SEC still went ahead to issue a memo to the NSE lifting the technical suspension the market regulator had placed on the shares of Oando since October last year. But in a joint statement in Lagos yesterday, the shareholder groups – Proactive Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (PROSAN), Trusted Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (TSAN) and the Oando Shareholders’ Solidarity Group (OSSG) – alleged that in the minister ’s desperation to shield Oando from probe, “Adeosun has inevitably caused untold harm both to the independence of SEC and the Nigerian capital market”. The statement was issued after SEC penultimate week said it had concluded its forensic audit of Oando without making public the outcome of the audit on the energy firm, following which the capital market regulator lifted, reinstated and again lifted the technical suspension placed on the company’s shares in a space of 24 hours last week, culminating in the removal of Zubair by the finance minister, and his replacement with Ms. Uduk. Oando has been under investigation by the SEC after two major shareholders of the company, in separate petitions submitted last year to the capital market regulator, accused Oando’s management of financial

mismanagement, violation of corporate governance tenets and running the company aground. Following its preliminary investigation of the petitions, SEC appointed a team of professionals to carry out a forensic audit of Oando. But before the forensic audit could proceed, Adeosun had suspended the substantive directorgeneral of SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo over his alleged award of contracts to firms tied to him and his wife and for approving and paying a severance package of N104 million to himself. The panel she set up to investigate him subsequently pronounced him guilty of the allegations and recommended his sack and further investigation and prosecution by the anti-corruption agencies. In his place, she appointed Zubair to act as the director-general of SEC, only for the latter to be ousted for “miscommunication” on lifting the technical suspension on Oando’s shares. In the statement signed by the National President of TSAN, Alhaji Mukhtar Ismail Mukhtar, the National Coordinator, PROSAN, Mr. Taiwo Oderinde, and the Coordinator, OSSG, the shareholders yesterday criticised the minister for what they described as her “unwholesome and unpatriotic” actions with regards to the probe of Oando and therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency relieve her of her position in order to prevent further damage to the Nigerian capital market. “We wish to bring the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, VicePresident Yemi Osinbajo and all Nigerians to the unwholesome, unpatriotic and strange actions of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun with regards

to the probe of Oando Plc. “You may recall that since early last year, Oando has been enmeshed in a series of crises bordering on abuse of corporate governance and alleged gross financial mismanagement. “The internal auditors of Oando Plc, Messrs Ernst & Young, in the company’s financial report last year expressed doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern because its liabilities exceeded its assets. “As concerned shareholders, we sent petitions to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and to the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions. “The committee mandated SEC to investigate these allegations, culminating in the setting up of a committee by SEC to carry out a preliminary investigation of the company’s affairs. “SEC’s preliminarily investigation, as disclosed by the commission in a letter dated October 17, 2017 and signed by its Head of Legal Unit, Braimoh Anastasia, unearthed several malpractices in the company. “These included insider trading, declaration of dividends from unrealised profits, release of false financial statements to the public, and the disposal of assets without the knowledge of the regulatory body in contravention of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, among several other infractions. “These weighty findings compelled the suspension of Oando shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to pave way for a more thorough investigation via a forensic audit ordered by SEC,” the shareholder groups recalled.

They alleged that the forensic audit has been stalled due to the unwholesome interference by the finance minister to the detriment of Oando shareholders and the entire Nigerian capital market. They also alleged that Gwarzo and Zubair were removed by Adeosun because they resisted her plan to shield the management of Oando from probe. “It must concern Mr. President, Mr. Vice President and all Nigerians that Mrs. Adeosun has now removed two SEC DGs from their positions all in a desperate attempt to shield Wale Tinubu and the present management of Oando from probe. “These men have been sacked from their positions because they refused to stop the probe of Oando. “Zubair was sacked because he initially resisted Adeosun’s attempt to forcefully remove the suspension placed on the shares of Oando to preserve investors’ funds. “Unfortunately, she had her way and the lifting of the suspension is part of a grand plan to sweep the weighty allegations against Oando under the carpet. “This is clearly a negation of the anticorruption stance of the present administration and a systematic destruction of the Nigerian capital market. “The show of shame exhibited last week where the Nigerian Stock Exchange was made to implement three different directives with regards to the suspension of Oando shares within 24 hours should worry the federal government and wellmeaning Nigerians. “It sent very bad and negative signals to investors all over the world. The attendant negative impact of Adeosun’s meddlesomeness to protect some entrenched interests will haunt the market for a long time to come.

“Consequently, we believe the sack of the minister by President Muhammadu Buhari is the only way to show that the federal government remains committed to the fight against corruption in all sectors of the economy,” the shareholders added. When contacted on the issue, Adeosun, in a phone interview from London yesterday, denied the allegations by the shareholder groups. She informed THISDAY that she was aware of the attempt to lift the technical suspension on Oando’s shares penultimate Friday but instructed Zubair not to do so until a committee comprising representatives from her ministry, SEC, NSE AND JSE had seen the report. She said Zubair complained at the time that the professional team led by the audit firm Deloitte had not released the report because they had not been paid their fees, following which she gave approval that the fees amounting to N60 million be paid from the Capital Market Development Fund and not by Oando as it was an interested party and the company under investigation. “However, much to my shock, while I was at the FEC (cabinet) meeting last week where our phones are not with us, an aide came to me to inform me that the technical suspension on Oando shares had been lifted. “On getting the information, I contacted Zubair, who blamed a deputy director for releasing the letter to the NSE despite my instruction that the technical suspension on

the shares should not be lifted. “That was what led to the lifting, reinstatement and then final lifting of the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando last Wednesday,” she revealed. When asked why she did not insist that trading on the shares should remain suspended when she discovered that SEC officials had flouted her instructions, Adeosun said the damage had already been done. “I am certain some officials of SEC had been induced and went behind my back while I was at the FEC meeting and incommunicado to lift that suspension, and when they heard I had been informed, they rushed again to reinstate it. “But because of the terrible signals this had already sent to local and international investors, it was decided that the technical suspension should be lifted on Oando’s shares. “What happened that day was that we had been outplayed because they went against my directive and waited for me to be at the FEC meeting, hence my decision to remove Zubair. “This, however, will not stop us from the reviewing the report of the forensic audit of Oando, following which the findings will be made public and actions taken against any party found wanting in the management of the company,” she said. Adeosun also revealed that the SEC deputy director who sent the initial letter on Wednesday to NSE lifting the technical suspension on Oando’s shares, had been sanctioned.

BUHARI TO MEET TRUMP APRIL 30, HOLDS TALKS WITH THERESA MAY TODAY Before returning to Washington, Tillerson had notably promised Nigeria support, ranging from

equipment to intelligence to helping secure the swift release of the kidnapped schoolgirls.


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COMMENT

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

NIGERIA’S MEDIOCRE LEADERSHIP FUNNEL Gboyega Atoyebi argues that not much has changed in the country’s political administration

A

s an avid student of history and a keen observer of the socio-political transmutations in my country since 1983, being my personal socio-political awakening, I have been intrigued by so much change yet everything remains the same and some people will daresay worse. I remember in Technicolor December 31, 1983, the outburst of joy and jubilation that greeted the news of the ouster of a democratically ‘selected’ government midwifed by a certain General Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ). The juntas’ action was justified by one Brigadier Sani Abacha with the opener “you are all witnesses to the great economic predicament and uncertainty which an Inept and Corrupt leadership has imposed on our nation in the last four yearsâ€?. Thus a group of ill-trained civil managers hijacked the country and plunged us into a worse 18 months period of excruciating socio-economic tumult signposted by a foreign exchange conundrum, unprecedented inflation, general scarcity and factory shutdowns. This general economic downturn combined with a physical and verbal assault on the citizens’ human dignity aka war against indiscipline resulted in buyer’s remorse and suddenly the Alhaji Shehu Shagari-led government was no more as distasteful. Enter August 1985 and yet another intervention justified in the coup speech opener thus: “The intervention of the military at the end of 1983 was welcomed by the nation with unprecedented enthusiasm. Nigerians were unified in accepting the intervention and looked forward hopefully to Progressive Changes for better. Almost two years later, it has become clear that the fulfilment of expectation is not forthcomingâ€?. This ushered in a new ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), another intervention by a small select ill-equipped gang determining the destiny of the majority. This intervention was an extended period of experimentation and certainly lots of motion but little progress from SAP to MAMSER, political transition to election annulment and finally from a Federal Military Government to an Interim National Government. Due to the brevity and impotence of the Interim National Government, I fast forward to November 1993, where I see nothing but a power grab with no raison d’être or vision for the nation thus leaving the country in an impasse with a self-acclaimed elected president in prison, a sitting president leading a pariah nation towards Armageddon, then suddenly another intervention (where from, I know not) and tea drinking and apple eating became suicide missions. Permit me to skip the bearded one and fast forward to 1976, apologies 1999 to re-introduce a born again general now democrat nay civilian, President Olusegun Obasanjo. In my mind, another

AS IT STANDS, WE MIGHT BE FACED WITH A 1983 REINCARNATE IN PMB OR 1999/2003 SUB-INCARNATE IN AA; EITHER WAY, AS IT WAS FOR ME IN 2015, IT MAY STILL BE IN 2019

intervention masterminded by yet a few to ensure continued dominance of the many. This was a civil rule rather than a democratic government. This period was very symptomatic of Nigeria with flashes of individual brilliance but yet a collective lackluster. Subsequently bitten by hubris, he sought to elongate his stay, but was battled by his vice, Atiku Abubakar (AA) not for love of country but personal glory and in retaliation bedevilled the nation with a retiring sick former governor of a provincial state and a reluctant lucky governor as his vice. From assumption of office in 2007 to his death in 2009, Nigerians were subjected to a pseudo-government of sorts in a captured presidency led by a very sick president and a weak vice. The president was either a prisoner or too sick to resign, neither could the weak vice act until the doctrine of necessity was activated by ‘well -meaning Nigerians’ as if the constitution did not suffice. Thus entered the shoeless but lucky one, President Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ) with a promise of Transformation. His tenure was however stigmatised and very likely characterised by ineptitude and or corruption just like Shagari’s 30 years earlier. And with the same gusto albeit without force or guns but a media blitzkrieg and an unusual congregation of a few strange fellows, an unprecedented one party to another party democratic transition was effected in 2015. This heralded the triumphant enthronement of, wait for it President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), not the son of General Muhammadu Buhari of 1983 fame, just a tuxedo- wearing born again general with the same promise of Change! As it was in 1983-1985, so it has been so far; the government says it’s the mess they met, the previous government (aka opposition) says they are being victimised and tried via media and the people as usual are groaning. This brings me to here and now, the eve of another intervention, the threshold of a transition and the same coterie of voices (fill in any acronym alias here) that have beguiled us these 40 years oscillating between their anointed surrogates are shopping for a replacement. And that’s when I had the nightmarish thought that if General Sani Abacha was alive or General Ibrahim Babangida was strong enough, either could have been packaged for us as an alternative. But as it stands, we might be faced with a 1983 reincarnate in PMB or 1999/2003 sub- incarnate in AA; either way, as it was for me in 2015, it may still be in 2019. Six and half dozen, same difference. Atoyebi, FCA, is a Financial Services Executive and an alumnus of Lagos Business School

CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE ECONOMY No amount of capital investment will transform Nigeria’s artisan economy into an industrialised one, argues Francis E. Ogbimi

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ll Nigerian governments have always yearned for foreign investments and various agencies monitor the quantity of foreign investments that flows into Nigeria each year. All Nigerian governments have always emphasised the erection of complex infrastructure. Nigeria and over 30 other African nations adopted the African Structural Adjustment Programmes(SAPs) introduced to the continent in the early 1980s by the World Bank and IMF, so that domestic and foreign investors and the private sector can invest huge amounts of capital in African economies and promote rapid growth in the continent. The International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria are products of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).Will capital investment facilitate the transformation of the Nigeria’s artisan economy into an industrialised one? This article is written to appeal to those in government/influencing economic policy to stop believing that inflow of FDIs into Nigeria and the erection of complex infrastructure promote capability-building growth and industrialisation (CBGI),and focus attention on things that promote true growth and increase a nation’s manufacturing capabilities – education, adequate training, acquisition of relevant capabilities and promoting industrialisation. This article is important for at least five reasons. First, all Nigerian national plans since 1960 including SAPs, NEEDS, Visions 2010 and 20:2020, have all been based on the assumption that mere capital investments promote CBGI. Second, Nigerians believe that technology transfer is central to Nigeria’s industrialisation. Third, Nigerians believe very strongly that mere foreign investments will enable Nigeria to realise maximum benefits from the Oil and Gas Industry (OGI). Fourth, most Nigerians believe that Nigeria can establish a reliable infrastructural network including a regular electricity supply system through mere capital investments. Fifth, Nigerians believe that the private sector is the engine of growth because it has a lot of capital to

invest. These beliefs have no historical and scientific bases. The Nigerian government and Shell Petroleum Development Company assessed 50 years of the Oil and Gas Industry (OGI) in 2006, after investing over $10 billion every year, and concluded that there was nothing to show for it. Nigerians know the state of the Nigerian economy and its infrastructure. Do Nigerians now have the knowledge, skills and competences for exploiting the OGI after FDIs have flowed into it for over 50 years? No! What is the benefit of the OGI to most Nigerians today? Is it very high prices of petroleum products and gas? Does our experience support the belief that mere capital investment promotes CBGI? No! Why are Nigerian leaders still campaign for capital investments especially FDIs? Perhaps, it is for them to get richer and richer while the nation dies. The World Bank (1998), in its World Development Report, observed that technological knowledge means know-how; those countries which possess less of it are caught in the poverty bracket. Poor countries, the bank continued, and indeed poor people are not able to compete in the global system not because they do not have capital, or other material resources, but because they have less knowledge. I agree with the bank that the difference between the agricultural-economies in Africa on the one hand and the technologically advanced economies in Europe, America and Asia on the other hand, is a matter of difference in the level of knowledge, skills and competences. The pertinent question here therefore is: What did Europeans and Asians do to possess the knowledge that is the basis of their highly competitive positions? Europeans and Asians, our curiosity-driven research revealed, had agricultural economies for thousands of years. During the period of almost 2000 years, the productivity of the people in Britain was characterised by primitive tools like hoe, axe and draught oxen. The productivity was very low and seemed unchanging. Adam Smith (1776), in his book, The Nature and Sources of Wealth

of Nations, had described England as a nation of shop-keepers, because virtually everyone sold one thing or the other but no one manufactured anything. The population of England was seven million in 1700, government revenue was ÂŁ7million a year, and London was then the only city in Great Britain to which all goods were shipped (Trevelyan, 1948). Britain however, achieved the first modern Industrial Revolution (IR) in the period of 1770-1850. By 1900, England had become industrialised and most people worked for weekly wages. Population had become 36 million, about 80 per cent of the population lived in towns - 20 per cent lived in rural areas- the reverse of the situation in 1700. Government revenue had risen to ÂŁ770 million by 1931. England was the most progressive nation in Europe before the industrial age. Other European nations achieved industrialisation after England did. Industrialisation took Asian nations more than 2000 years. This means that it took both the capitalistic nations of the West and the non-capitalistic nations of Asia 2000 years and longer to achieve industrialisation, suggesting that capital is not the primary factor in industrialisation. The research works of Charles Cobb (a mathematician) and Paul Douglas (economist) in 1928, Douglas (1948), Abramowitz (1956) and Solow (1957) showed that capital contributes very little to achieving industrialisation. Gerschenkron examined the Western industrialisation experience and concluded that capital investment was not a prerequisite to it. Curiosity-driven scientific research in Obafemi Awolowo University revealed that all persons are born as crying babies. The baby soon begins to babble (learns how to talk), acquires the competences to talk and talks. The baby who could not babble grows up to be a dumb adult. Talking or speaking is a skill. The child must also learn how to read and write, otherwise, it grows up to be an illiterate. One who wishes to be a good dancer must learn how to dance. No one or nation is born with the skills to produce. All knowledge, skills and competences are acquired through learning. A

nation which hopes to manufacture many products must develop the people to manufacture them. Wise nations therefore develop the people through learning – education, training and employment, achieve industrialisation and economic diversification, and build the relevant infrastructure. Investing on infrastructure is tantamount to investing in Depreciating Assets (DAs) because all capital assets depreciate in intrinsic value with usage and time. Educating and training citizens on the other hand, create Appreciating Assets (AAs), because the learning people appreciate in intrinsic values and acquire increasing competence for solving problems. Our scientific theory suggests that the five variables which determine the level of industrialisation are: one) N – the number of people involved in productive work or employment in a nation; two) M- the level of education/training of those involved in productive activities in the economy and of the people of the nation; three) L – the linkages among the knowledge, skills, competences and sectors of an economy; four) r – the learning rates or intensity in the economy and especially among the workforce; and five) n – the experience of the workforce and the learning history of the society. All the variables are related to the learning-man and learning-woman. Moreover, the higher are the values of the variables, the better is the economy. The private sector has the objective of making profit; it does not develop the relevant variables that determine the manufacturing strength of a nation – M, N, L, n and r. Hence, the private sector cannot be the engine of growth of an economy. Let Nigeria initiate a rapid industrialisation process by setting up the framework for training all graduates of educational institutions, especially the university graduate scientists and engineers, to acquire complementary practical skills in the economy outside educational campuses. The educated and trained graduates should be challenged to build and maintain the infrastructure Nigeria needs. Prof. Ogbimi wrote from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


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EDITORIAL TACKLING THE FOOD SECURITY PROBLEM The National Food Security Council must ensure it delivers on its mandate

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n recent years, Nigeria has consistently been featured on the negative side of the different global human development reports. These reports indicate that life expectancy in Nigeria has drastically reduced to 45; real income of most families has plunged; unemployment is scandalously high; Nigeria is topping the list of countries with malnourished children while the quality of health and education services in the country has deteriorated beyond belief. Today, Nigeria is ranked as the 20th hungriest country in the world. Beyond lamentation, the government should initiate concrete intensive agricultural activities capable of raising the abysmal level of food production in the country. We don’t even need outsiders to tell us that millions of Nigerians suffer from hunger. The pitiable sight of numerous professional beggars thronging our streets is enough to confirm that we are a country of hungry people. Besides, a recent report by the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) revealed that in Nigeria no fewer than six million children, representing about 37 per cent are stunted while the world’s average is 25 per cent. The figure THE GREATEST for Rwanda, another CHALLENGE FACING THE African country, is 20 BUHARI GOVERNMENT per cent. The cost of IS TO ENSURE ITS disregarding this issue PROGRAMME SUCCEEDS in human and ecoWHERE OTHERS HAVE nomic terms cannot be FAILED quantified, especially when child mortality in Nigeria has malnutrition as a major underlying factor. In a move to tackle the challenge, President Buhari recently inaugurated the National Food Security Council. The council, which comprises six governors drawn from six geographical locations of the country, and ministers and security agents, has among its key mandate to continuously assess existing food security policies, trade and national planning programmes “thereby guaranteeing that they achieve their full potential.” According to the president, the council, which he chairs, “shall also develop new programmes and projects that will protect and indeed, create more jobs in farming, fisheries,

Letters to the Editor

animal husbandry and forestry.” However, while the move is ordinarily commendable, we must also remind the authorities that successive governments in Nigeria have always initiated projects towards promoting agriculture but the projects failed to yield the maximum results due to corruption, structural weaknesses, mismanagement and undue politicisation.

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T H I S DAY EDITOR IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU DEPUTY EDITORS BOLAJI ADEBIYI, JOSEPH USHIGIALE MANAGING DIRECTOR ENIOLA BELLO DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR KAYODE KOMOLAFE CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD OLUSEGUN ADENIYI EDITOR NATION’S CAPITAL IYOBOSA UWUGIAREN

T H I S DAY N E W S PA P E R S L I M I T E D EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CHAIRMAN NDUKA OBAIGBENA GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS ENIOLA BELLO, KAYODE KOMOLAFE, ISRAEL IWEGBU, IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU, EMMANUEL EFENI DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS PETER IWEGBU, ANTHONY OGEDENGBE DEPUTY DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR OJOGUN VICTOR DANBOYI SNR. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR ERIC OJEH ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS PATRICK EIMIUHI, SAHEED ADEYEMO CONTROLLERS ABIMBOLA TAIWO, UCHENNA DIBIAGWU, NDUKA MOSERI DIRECTOR, PRINTING PRODUCTION CHUKS ONWUDINJO

or example, the second National Economic Plan (1970-74) of Yakubu Gowon made agriculture a priority, but unfortunately that effort failed the desired results. Between 1975 and 1979, General Olusegun Obasanjo also initiated a gargantuan agricultural scheme popularly called Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) but the scheme failed to tackle the country’s food crisis. In the Second Republic, President Shehu Shagari introduced the Green Revolution Programme with a view to increasing domestic food production. That programme as well as several others that came after also ended up as colossal failure. Therefore, the greatest challenge facing the Buhari government is to ensure its programme succeeds where others have failed. It is not enough to inaugurate the National Food Security Council; efforts must be made to ensure it delivers on its mandate. To ensure that this will not be another failed project, the government must diversify from oil and invest heavily in agriculture. Basic food production must not fall prey to power politics. The government, at all levels, as well as banks should develop schemes to provide credit facilities to farmers to invest in mechanised agriculture. Massive rural-urban drift decimating the rural farm workforce should be tackled by making the rural areas attractive for young rural job seekers. Fortunately, there are concerned citizens and civic groups helping to chart a pathway. Come Thursday in Abuja, the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, in collaboration with the European Union, will premiere a new documentary titled ‘Swallow: Food Security in Nigeria’s Changing Climate’ essentially to highlight the point that a country as richly-endowed as Nigeria should not be suffering from the scourge of food scarcity.

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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 opinion@thisdaylive.com. We also welcome comments and opinions on topical local, national and international issues provided they are well-written and should also not be longer than (9501000 words). They should be sent to opinion@thisdaylive.com along with the email address and phone numbers of the writer.

SOLAR PANELS AND THE GREEN INITIATIVES

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he imposition of 10% duty on import of solar panels and cells will have negative impact on domestic solar in Nigeria and will be detrimental to the Nigerian solar industry across the 36 states. The increase in import duty is causing serious injury to the domestic industry; 10% import duty increase will skyrocket the prices of solar products in Nigeria and discourages individuals from opting for solar energy. Regulatory policies should be put in place to checkmate this. A legislative consideration to licence entrepreneurs for cosharing/ solar power distribution to neighbouring areas should be enacted. Nigeria’s solar energy initiatives will face a setback as the government has proposed new import duty increase on solar panels in the budget for fiscal 2018-19. Many solar energy projects will fail because they lack proper planning and long-term government support on solar power in Nigeria. Lack of electricity extends the cycle of poverty. “Nigeria’s aspiration for industrialisation cannot be achieved or poverty reduced significantly without a reliable source of cheap energy,” said Patrick M. Kormawa, Nigeria regional director for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Imports of solar panel, the main component of a solar power system, will be subjected to 10 per cent customs duty, VAT and other taxes, totalling an additional cost in the next fiscal year, whereas the sector has been enjoying 5% duty. The move will escalate costs and affect solar energy ventures in Nigeria, which have already been planned and are being set up. The proposed imposition of 10% duty

on imports of solar panels will hurt green initiatives in Nigeria. The proposed increase in import duty will lead to spiralling of the prices of solar panels that cost more than half of what is spent on installing solar systems. The increase in cost will affect the government’s bid to buy electricity from private solar power plants connected to the national grid. If the duty comes into effect, we will face difficulty and contracts will be renegotiated. The price of solar-panel-based electricity will increase. Of several attempts made by the government to stabilise electricity in Nigeria, solar initiatives seem to have made much better headway. However, despite all of these attempts, there have been limitations. Most of these solar solutions can only power few appliances and are basically suited for use in rural areas. Entrepreneurs, who have been showing interest in installing solar panels on rooftops of their factories, will not go ahead with the plan due to the price hike. It is difficult to make solar irrigation projects viable even after the 10 per cent increase on import duty. Import duty would make the situation more unfavourable. It may be tough to attain the 10 per cent renewable energy generation goal by 2020 after imposition of the import duty. The government should support local manufactures in other ways such as tax exemption. The duty hike will hurt the local industry. The government should have a comprehensive policy to help the local industry thrive. Under the WTO framework, a member country can impose a safeguard duty if the increased quantity of imports is either an absolute increase, or an increase relative to domestic production,

which is causing severe damage or threat of serious injury to the domestic industry. “All over the world, the cost of solar panels is falling leading to increased adoption of renewable, but in Nigeria the cost of solar panel is increasing. Nigeria stands to lose out on the development because Nigeria currently does not have capacity to manufacture solar panels but does limited assembly in volumes that cannot meet market demand hence its recourse to importation while growing capacity locally. The tariff will increase acquisition cost of solar panels in Nigeria which are currently heavily deplored in rural areas where purchasing power is low, adding that the development could derail Nigeria’s plan to generate 30 per cent of electricity through renewables by 2030. Nigerian government should take action especially as electricity has continued to be elusive to most citizens. Those who cannot buy generating sets are bound to stay in darkness yet at the end of every month, huge bills are given to Nigerians. Solar power helps to slow/stop global warming. Global warming threatens the survival of human society, as well as the survival of countless species. Fortunately, decades (or even centuries) of research have led to efficient solar panel systems that create electricity without producing global warming pollution. Solar power is now one of the most important solutions to the global warming crisis. With this, the citizens are left with no options than to engage those who can install the different bulbs and begin to light up their environment. Inwalomhe Donald, Benin City


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

POLITICS

M O N D AY D I S C O U R S E

Now That Buhari Has Declared President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration that he would seek a renewal of his mandate in 2019 has thrown up new issues. Tobi Soniyi, Segun James and Shola Oyeyipo explore the implications of the declaration for the polity

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ew topics get politicians hot under their Agbada and Babariga as who becomes the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the event that President Muhammadu Buhari decides not to re-contest the position he now holds. But today, all that agitations have ended following the president’s declaration that he will be contesting again in 2019. The president made his plan known to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of his party last Monday. The president said he was responding to the clamour by Nigerians to re-contest in 2019 and added that he wanted to give NEC the honour of notifying it first.

No Surprise No one should really be surprised by the decision of the president. The signs have also been there. Before the president made his intention known, THISDAY had reported that the president has appointed the Minister of Aviation, Rotimi Amaechi as director of campaign. If the president is not running, why would he appoint a director of campaign? Some of his trusted lieutenants have also been travelling across the country to persuade people to support the president for a second term. Among other reasons, they claimed that the easiest way for the south to get power back is to support Buhari’s for a second term. They argued that whoever the opposition Peoples Democratic Party presents would seek a second term thereby denying the south the opportunity to produce the president in 2023. In recent time, the president’s body language has shown that he was interested in a second time. Before the declaration, the president was already making peace with some of his estranged allies. He even went as far as constituting the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu into a one-man reconciliation committee.

Does Integrity Still Matter? World over, politicians are known to be a bunch of liars and people who can not be trusted. When politicians want people’s votes, they make all sorts of promises. Many of them, they fail to keep. But Muhammadu Buhari promised to change that. So far, he has fallen short of that promise. For instance, the president promised that he would do only a singe term of four years. However, without even acknowledging the fact that he made this promise, the president announced his plans to seek another term. In an interview he granted Sunday Trust four years before his victory, Buhari said he would contest for only one term due to his old age. Also, 20 days after his swearing-in, Buhari made reference to the old age again, saying he would have loved being a president when he was at a younger age The president made the one-term announcement in an interview conducted by Theophilus Abbah of Sunday Trust newspaper where he stated that he won’t seek re-election. It was published on February 6, 2011. Excerpts from the interview read: Q:You have been quoted as saying if you don’t win the election in 2011 you wouldn’t go to court? A: Yes, I said that! Q: Even if you have evidence that you are rigged out? A: Having been in court for 50 months between 2003 and 2008, if I’m rigged out again, I will not go to court. I will leave the party to deal with the case. The CPC can, but I, as the presidential candidate, I’ve made up my mind never to go to court again on that issue.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Q: Is it because of the expenses involved? A: There is the expenses, but look at what happened in 2007. The decision of the case split the Supreme Court in the middle. But look at what they came up with. Q: Why did you say you will do just one term, if elected? A: I’m not getting younger. If I succeed and do one term, I will be 73 years old. Q: If you’re doing just one term, you may want to urgently do some things? What are they? A: There are two issues and I have said it in

Since his coming, Nigerians are not only groaning under economic hardship, but the anti corruption mantra which was one of the main policy thrusts with which he got elected in 2015 has not been faithfully implemented

one sentence. Security and power. This country has to be secured and managed. People in Nigeria must not go about fearing that they would be abducted. You must not be afraid to the point that you can’t drive from Kaduna to Kano any time of the day. If you are in Lagos, you should have jobs to the point that you can afford to have three shifts in a day. That is eight hours each. But people are now very scared wherever they are. People have built houses worth over a billion naira, but they are afraid to live in them. What is the use? So, security is number one. Number two is structure. We have to revive the electricity sector so that people will have access to power to carry out their businesses. Others include the roads, the railways, the shipping lines. We used to have all these things. In spite of what we earned in the last eleven years, the whole infrastructure has already collapsed. The president has just done what other Nigerians politicians will do. No qualms about that. But the president should be bold enough to admit that he is not fundamentally different from other politicians. He won in 2015 because people thought he was a different kind of politician. But in so many ways, he has proven not to be different. Not long ago, former president Dr Goodluck Jonathan made a similar promised. When he reneged, his explanation was baffling. He had said then: “You can make a political promise

and change your mind, so long as it is within the law.” President Buhari will find that justification helpful. He can adopt it. But, whether the president admits it or not, age is a factor. By the time of the election, the president would be getting close to 77. The president was being truthful when on 17 June 2015, he told Nigerians resident in South Africa, after taking part in the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg, that his performance would be limited by old age. He said: “I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do.” Closely related to his age is his state of health. He spent considerable numbers of days in hospital bed in the United Kingdom. He went on a six-day vacation in the UK on February 5, 2016. Four months after, on June 6, 2016, he went on another 10-day vacation to attend to ear infection. When he embarked on another medical vacation on May 7 2017, the president spent 104 days at the UK hospital. Even after his return, he worked from home. With the president’s state of health, the nation is billed for a bumpy political ride if he wins CONT’D ON PAGE 19


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POLITICS

MONDAY DISCOURSE N O W T H AT B U H A R I H A S D E C L A R E D

re-election. The fear is real that should Buhari win a re-election, Nigerians may again have to live with a president who would spend several months abroad for treatment. Buhari began his government with an impassioned plea for understanding by Nigerians in view of his age even as he made it clear that he was going to be his own man. (I belong to nobody, I belong to everybody.) Three years into his government, how good are his words? The president even refused to prosecute his friends who have been caught dipping their hands into the treasury. Words matter. Or as the president has found out, Nigerians are taking him up on his words, especially his promise to do only a term of four years. He rode on the promise that his sole agenda is to rein in the unbridled level of corruption in the country which had practically made the nation to be scorned among the comity of nation. He rode on this reputation as an anti corruption warrior who was overthrown by his colleagues because of his stance, but three years down the line, this reputation is fizzling away. Since the declaration, things are suddenly hotting up in the polity as the tempo of the race towards 2019 election has increased tremendously. In the last few days, there have alignment and realignment in the system. But what is the level of success recorded by the president in the last three years? Has the nation moved forward, both politically and economically? Has the president done enough to deserve a second term? These are some of the questions in the mind of the people as the president is not expected to have any opposition to his contesting from within his party. Rage can be cathartic and constructive, but the outrage among Nigerians about how the president has managed thorny issues is telling. For instance his handling of the Fulani herdsmen issue and the series of killings by militias is an indication that the president is fast losing the trust of Nigerians. To many Nigerians, especially in the political world, President Buhari has been an unmitigated disaster. They cried that the country has been stumbling and fumbling from one crisis to the other without any intellectual response to solving the problems. In fact, some of them insisted that the country has been a laughing stock in the comity of nations as the president doesn’t seem to understand simple and basic things about the country, the people, the economy and the polity. To such Nigerians he was just a disaster that has happened to the country. With a weak opposition and a very low political rating of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) among Nigerians, you would expect that Buhari will have little to fight about in the coming election, but unfortunately, the reverse is the case. Many Nigerian are determined to stop him from coming back. Since his coming, Nigerians are not only groaning under economic recession, but the anti corruption mantra which was one of the main policy thrusts with which he got elected in 2015 has not been faithfully implemented. Corruption is now on the rise in the government, and brazenly done openly too. According to Mr. Uche Obasi, “since his coming, the nation has been enmeshed in one avoidable crisis to another, both on the economy and politics. He is a huge disappointment because the expectations of the people were so high and urgent. They thought he was the expected messiah.” Like the APC, the PDP may in fact be fielding another septuagenarian. Worst still, the party may field an expired politician. From whichever perspective you look at it, things are not looking good for the country. Hope that the country will be liberated is fading fast. What this means is that the choice for Nigerians is little and feeble. Worse still for the country, there is a precarious similarity between the APC and the PDP. None of the party is likely to offer Nigerians a better choice. Whichever one of them wins the election, the people will be stranded on the same island without hope. As the 2019 election date approaches, Nigeria has entered the period of break or win in its political life. Furthermore, the political terrain will become much tensed; and tolerance will be tested to the very limit of endurance. But will Nigeria survive this period? Only time will tell.

Olusegun Obasanjo...leading the movement to stop Buhari

Implications of the Declaration Some of the rather unpopular governors, especially those from the north are likely to benefit from his declaration for the 2019 presidential election. A number of them will ride on his back to clinch a second term. For instance, the comeback bid of the Kano State Governor, Abdulhai Ganuje, will benefit in no small measure from a second term contest of President Buhari in the sense that it would not have been easy for him to win a second term with his protracted war against him predecessor and benefactor, Senator Musa Kwankwaso. But more importantly, when President Buhari opted to throw his hat in the ring by declaring for a second term, he has set the stage to slug it out with those who are antagonistic to his second term ambition, including some notable former leaders in the country. Former military presidents, General Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida, and former Nigerian defence minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, are considered as some of the prominent leaders Buhari would have to contend with to win a second term in office. In his letter to Buhari, Obasanjo had categorically advised him to jettison the idea of seeking a second term on the grounds of non-performance. Obasanjo is one enemy too many. Apart from Obasanjo and the other Generals, Buhari will have to contend with formidable opponents in each state. For instance, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki will wait for him in Kwara State. In Taraba, he will have a tough job persuading the voters there to support him. In Benue, the president has not helped the people to make them feel like he deserves their votes for the second term. The president can as well forget the south-east and the south-south. If the PDP plays its cards very well, the south-west can swing. Will his refusal to heed the clarion call to

The president will have to make some explanation during the campaign on why he is unable to create jobs for Nigerian youths

restructure the country come back to hunt him? While many well-meaning Nigerians from the southern part of the country are resolute that it is only by restructuring that Nigeria can attain meaningful development, President Buhari and his APC have not been favourably disposed to the idea and that will play a dominant role is deciding the next Nigerian leader. Although, his party made a u-turn and later constituted a committee on restructuring, the president has distanced himself from the report of the committee. Restructuring is going to be a campaign issue, the president would have to come up with a different narrative to persuade the people to support him even though he is against restructuring. Already elements from the Southwest, Southsouth and South-south appear to be on the same page in their resolve to only support a candidate committed to restructuring. Though gradually becoming a disciple of restructuring, Buhari will not get the support from pro restructuring voters where it becomes defining factor in the coming election. On the economic front, things are not looking good for the president. His developmental policies received a scathing criticism from one of the world richest men, Bill Gates. Despite the president’s best efforts, unemployment remains very high notwithstanding the claim by the federal government that it has created million of jobs in agriculture. The president will have to make some explanation during the campaign on why he is unable to create jobs for Nigerian youths. But the question on the lips of many Nigerians is if not Buhari, who? Though, PDP, as stated by its National Secretary, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri, expressed happiness that Buhari would experience downfall by deciding to contest for second term when he said: “The president’s decision is a welcome development as far as we are concerned in the PDP because that means Buhari will personally witness his defeat and that of his APC,” but the party does not really seem to have any reason to jubilate. Not only was the PDP worst hit by the APC tsunami in 2015, the crisis that rocked the party and revelations of massive corruption among PDP members have practically paralysed the party till recently. Even if the Buhari administration would

contend with challenges ahead of his second term ambition, the PDP does not appear to pose a major threat. There also does not appear to be a plan in place to stop the president despite the mounting opposition against him. The third force has not been able to galvanise the enthusiasm shown by the people into a political machine capable of stopping an incumbent. Odds against Buhari There is no gainsaying the fact that many factors stand between the president and his second term ambition. Some of such issues his opponents are already throwing up are; his old age - health condition, perceived support for killer herdsmen, state of the economy, widespread poverty, lopsided appointments, particularly among the service chiefs where 17 of the 19 positions were given to his kinsmen. It is therefore safe to say the 2019 election will the president’s scorecard on how he handled the wanton killings by herdsmen. This is particularly so because of the swelling perception that he is looking the other way while the killers continue to perpetrate heinous crimes against other Nigerians. Not many Nigerians, especially those who have been victims are happy with the leadership for not declaring killer herdsmen terrorists and ordering security agencies to clamp down on them. Even if President Buhari would win a second term, he has a lot of work to do to convince a significant proportion of the voting public that he is still the best choice for Nigeria at 76 years, because presently, the growing perspective is that the younger generation should be allowed to lead the country henceforth. Already, the likes of young and vibrant leadership trainer, Fela Durotoye, are warming up for the presidential race. Fela is relying on Nigerians, his youthfulness and antecedents to take over power from Buhari. He hopes to actualise his ambition on the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) platform. Anti-Buhari forces attributed the sicknesses the president experienced at the onset of his regime to the demands of the office of the president, which they say is too hard for a 75-old, the more reason some have said he should rather quit. The die is cast. But the odd still favours the president.


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

Bloodbath in Offa The residents of Offa in Kwara State were thrown into mourning recently following the gruesome killings of many people by armed bandits who attacked five banks in the town. Hammed Shittu writes

T

o the residents of Offa, the headquarters of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, precisely Thursday, April 5, 2018, would ever be remembered by the residents of the ancient town as the attacks by armed bandits on five banks in the town threw them into shock and mourning due to the gruesome killings of many innocent residents of the town and some policemen. The armed bandits carted away large sums of money. This ugly development, however, has thrown the residents into confusion as various houses and compounds in the town are now in a state of grief as a result of the attacks. After the invasion, an unofficial report said that over 50 persons were feared killed during the attacks while the state police command put the number of deaths at 17. Apart from this, about 10 persons have been reported to have sustained serious injuries and they are now receiving medical attention at both the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and General Hospital, Ilorin. This ugly development was even recorded 10 years ago in the ancient town of Offa when armed bandits invaded some banks and carted away large sums of money and killed innocent residents of the town. THISDAY investigations revealed that the bandits, who were said to be 15 in number operated for about an hour, entered the town around 4:45p.m. and operated till about 5:40 p.m. as they first reportedly blocked roads from both Ilorin and Osogbo ends. The hoodlums, who escaped with an unspecified amount of money carted from the commercial banks, also reportedly made their escape through Igosun area of the town. It was also gathered that the armed bandits first approached the Offa Divisional Police Station on entering the ancient town, killing policemen on duty among other people at the station, before raiding the commercial banks and killing people by shooting them on their heads. Among the policemen killed by the armed robbers that reportedly operated in commando style, was a man identified as Pelemo, who was to retire in a few months and a pregnant policewoman. An eyewitness said that corpses of six policemen were taken away in his presence, while efforts were being made to bring out others inside the police station. It was also gathered that the bandits, came in different vehicles as they stationed themselves at strategic areas of the town, as it was reported that they also snatched commercial motorcycles to operate and escape. Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, who confirmed the bank raid, said that victims included policemen and other individuals. He said that details on the bank robbery would be made public after a full investigation on the incident. Following this ugly development in the town, the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force have swung into action which has led to the arrest of 16 suspects in connection with the robbery incidents. The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Lawan Ado, in a chat with the reporters on the second day of the incident, confirmed the death of 17 persons in the Thursday’s bank robbery in the business district of Offa Town in Offa Local Government Area of the state. He said nine out of those killed in the robbery were policemen while others were civilians including a pregnant woman. The CP said the police were yet to determine the number of those who sustained a varying degree of injuries in the operation as they were receiving treatments at different hospitals. Briefing journalists in Ilorin, CP Ado said the police have also arrested some suspects in

The Oa branch of Zenith Bank attacked by the armed bandits...recently

It was also gathered that the armed bandits ďŹ rst approached the Offa Divisional Police Station on entering the ancient town, killing policemen on duty among other people at the station, before raiding the commercial banks and killing people by shooting them on their heads

The Oa branch of GTBank attacked by the armed bandits recently

connection with the incident. He said one of the suspects was arrested in Igosun Town in Oyun Local Government Area where robbers had abandoned the vehicles used in carrying out the operation. The CP said seven vehicles used in the operation by the armed robbers which were abandoned in Igosun have also been recovered by the police. He said five commercial banks namely First Bank, Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Eco Bank and Union Bank including Ibolo Community Bank, were attacked by the robbers. The state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who promised to settle the bills of the injured victims also announced a bounty of N5 million to anyone who offers useful information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the robbery attack. Ahmed urged the security agencies to deploy all in their arsenal to fish out those armed robbers that attacked banks in Offa in Offa Local Government Area of the state. The governor said that the fishing out of the perpetrators would secure the people of Offa from future occurrence. According to him, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died in the armed robbery attacks in the town today. "I am in constant touch with the security agencies in the state and have urged them to do all within their power to secure Offa and environs and bring the perpetrators to justice. "I have also directed the health services to rapidly deploy emergency services to treat those injured in the attacks. My heartfelt condolences to the people of Offa and the families of victims of today’s attack." Also in his reaction, the Speaker of the State

House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmad Ali has tasked the security agencies in the state to be alive to their responsibilities by providing adequate security to Kwarans. He recalled that in recent years, Offa has been the target of armed robbers, particularly the commercial institutions located in the town, a situation which he noted had subjected the people to live in palpable fear of attacks at any time. Therefore, the Speaker admonished the government to further collaborate with all the security agencies with a view to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges in Offa and the state at large. He pledged that the Assembly would not hesitate to provide the required legislative support to both the Executive and security agencies to make Kwara safer for all and sundry. He condoled with both the state government, Offa Local Government Area, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Muhammed Oloyede Gbadamosi, Okikiola Esuwoye II, over the loss of lives and property in the attack. However, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki who is from the state was the first national officer to pay a sympathy visit to the ancient town of Offa to express his condolence to the monarch of Offa, Oba Gbadamosi in his palace. Speaking with the journalists on the dastardly act in Offa, Saraki called for the general improvement in the security infrastructure in the country. He added that Nigeria’s security challenges are as a result of the country’s inadequate response to security. “All the issues had to do on how we will improve our security infrastructure. It is clear that we are not responding adequately to this. That is why we organised a security summit

sometime ago to address the issue and to work closely with the executive and see how we can find the solution to the security problems in the country. “We on the legislative arm are ready to come up with the real design to improve on the security challenges, whether it is the human resources, equipment, whether it has to do with funding and legislation. There is also the issue of the actual structure of the police. “This issue requires a very radical and seriousminded approach. Unless we address this we will continue to have this kind of scenario where a bunch of criminals will hold a town for two hours and carry out this mayhem. There is no society that will really allow this kind of thing to happen. “We condole with the families of both the civilians and the policemen that died during the incident. In a place like Offa that is very vibrant in commerce, we must address security challenge so that people can continue to carry out their normal activities. “The police must see this as an institutional issue. It is not personal. On our part as legislators, we are ready to do anything that will empower them," he stated. Also speaking, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Gbadamosi, harped on the need for the establishment of state police. The monarch said: “It will be better for the federal government to establish state police. With that, they will be closer to the people and to the state government. This is the fourth time that we will experience this kind of robbery attacks in the last 10 years. “One of the major problems of the police force is inadequate manpower. We discover that in Offa Local Government Area here the number of policemen is not up to 50." The monarch added, "Anytime we have something like this there will be no reinforcement anywhere. So what we need is manpower. The


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FEATURES

state government can afford to buy us Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), it can afford to build more police stations but if the manpower is not there it is not enough. “What the federal government needs to do is to employ as many graduates looking for jobs into the police force, Army, Air Force and the Navy. There are a lot of unemployed graduates that are ready to join these military and paramilitary forces. There is no security at all in the country. If you were here on that fateful day you will know what I am saying." Oba Gbadamosi stressed, “I don’t want to believe that it is a question of sophisticated weapons; it is the question of ‘we cannot go there because we are not enough’. What they have the military and the police have, but when they are more than the police in number, what can the police do? “We have always been involving local security, but you know these criminals when they come they always catch people unawares. There is risk attached to the use of local hunters because, by the time we get them involved because of a day like this, the police will arrest them and say they are carrying dane guns.� In his reaction, the senator representing Kwara South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, has commiserated with the victims of the attack. Ibrahim in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Mr. Biodun Adegolu described the incident as unfortunate and urged the people of Offa to take it as an act of God. He, therefore, called on the security agencies to be alive to their constitutional responsibilities so as to protect lives and property. Meanwhile, the federal government has sent its delegation to the state and Offa, in particular, to condole with the people of the state and Offa over the incident. The federal government delegation was led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed where he paid a condolence visit to the state governor, Alhaji Ahmed at Government House, Ilorin, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Gbadamosi, the state police command, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and General Hospital, Ilorin, where those that sustained serious injuries during the attack have been recuperating. Speaking with journalists after the visits, Mohammed said that, all the other people involved in the last Thursday’s armed robbery and killings in the commercial town of Offa, Kwara State would be arrested and brought to justice in order to serve as a deterrent to others. He said that the federal government would continue to improve on its security provisions that would ensure adequate safety for all and sundry. The minister was however quick to add that the state and the entire public must learn from ‘‘the mistakes’’ of the incident with a view to improving on security architecture of the entire country. The minister said, ‘‘What happened in Offa on Thursday shocked the entire nation and is our prayers that the souls of all the victims will rest in peace and also that those badly injured would be healed and recover very soon. ‘‘I want to take this opportunity to also let you know that the entire country is grieving and the entire country is sympathising with Kwara State and the entire people of Offa. ‘‘But there is also a silver light, despite the losses of the police, it is quite heartwarming to know that some of the suspects have been arrested. ‘‘I spoke yesterday with the IG and he assured me that all the people responsible for the dastardly act would be arrested and brought to justice. ‘‘I hope also that we are all going to learn from the mistakes both the larger public and everybody and we are going to factor this into

I am in constant touch with the security agencies in the state and have urged them to do all within their power to secure Offa and environs and bring the perpetrators to justice

Owode Police Station atatcked by the armed bandits

Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed...should come up with solid security architecture to protect lives and property in the state

IG Ibrahim Idris...should ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice

the larger security architecture in a manner that we will have a much more secured and safer state and country.� The minister, while in Offa, urged the residents to be more security conscious now more than ever before and report suspicious persons among them to the appropriate security office. Responding during the minister's visit to him, Governor Ahmed thanked the ‘‘presidency for its intervention so far.’’ He particularly expressed delight with the promise made by Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to deploy an armoured personnel carrier that will be stationed specifically in Offa to prevent future occurrence. He described the level of the crime perpetrated as ‘‘unexpected’’, a situation which he said was an indication that the country was in a ‘‘challenging situation.’’ The governor said government at this time must accept the fact that the nation was going through challenging times and redoubled efforts towards improving on her security architecture saying ‘‘this is not the time for blame game.’’ He advocated from effective community policing and improved synergy through effective communications particularly between the military and the police.

The governor stressed that effective collaborations among the security agencies would no doubt result in effective security for the people. In Offa, the Olofa of Offa Oba Gbadamosi expressed concern that with the latest attacks on banks in Offa, there are no banks operating in the entire Kwara South senatorial district. The monarch, therefore, urged the federal government to provide two armoured personnel carriers, one in Offa and the other in Ajase-Ipo headquarters of Kwara South to beef up adequate security in the area. He also urged stakeholders to ensure that all needed supports are given to the banks to return operations in Offa and the entire Kwara South senatorial district of the state because doing banking transactions in Ilorin from Offa and the affected areas would be most difficult. He also called for an increase in the police officers posted to Kwara and indeed Offa, saying that the armed bandits operated for over two hours unchecked a development he said was very unfortunate. He, however, commended the efforts of Governor Ahmed who had approved the construction of a bigger police station in Offa, while the only bigger one attacked in Owode area would now serve as an outpost station.

However, a visit by our correspondent to General Hospital, Ilorin, where some victims have been receiving medical attention showed that the victims have been attended to without any hindrance as the state government has paid all the medical bills of the affected victims. The Director-General, Kwara State Hospital Management Bureau, Dr. Bunmi Jetawo-Winter, told journalists in Ilorin that, Governor Ahmed paid the bills of the victims of the Offa bank robbery attacks. According to her, "Right now, they are just doing all the preliminary tests and 100 per cent of their bills are shouldered by the state government." She, however, explained that the schedule of surgeries for the victims has commenced. One of the families of the victims who spoke with our correspondent at General Hospital, Ilorin, Alhaji Orelope Orilonise thanked the state government for rising to their plight. He said he witnessed the attack in Offa in which his senior brother, Mr. Salawu Orilonise currently recuperating in the hospital was caught in a chaos and became a victim. The bullets, he explained, ripped through his brother's body but he miraculously escaped death on that fateful day in Offa. According to him, "When I saw him in his pool of blood I didn't know when I burst into tears because I thought he was dead but thank God he is alive though with injuries." He added that, this is the fourth time such robbery incidence will happen in Offa “which shows that we are not secured in Offa.� Orilonise stressed that "what baffled many people was that the robbery incident took place for almost two hours without security intervention." Also, Mr. Waidi Olorunlambe, a 48-year-old taxi driver of Abuba compound, Offa, who was also lucky to live to tell his story said that he escaped death by the whiskers during the Offa bank robbery attack. He said that he was discharging a passenger in front of First Bank, Offa at Sanni Aba area on the day of the incident when he became a victim of criminals. He said that the bullets went through his right thigh and came out from his groin around his genital region, damaging this part of his body. He, however, thanked God for being alive to tell his story Also, a visit by our correspondent to Offa on Tuesday showed that, despite the grief that accompanied the bank robbery attack in the town penultimate Thursday, small businesses were still going on in the town. Most of the shops and business centres around the town were opening for business while people were moving in apprehension. Sympathisers were still thronging to the palace of Olofa to express their condolences to the monarch and the people of the town. Meanwhile, police have dispatched two units of mobile police and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to the town. THISDAY checks revealed that the development would restore normalcy to the town as people are still living in fear and apprehension since the time the attack occurred in the town. The state Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Okasanmi, who confirmed the dispatching of the APC to Offa said that the command has also deployed two units of mobile police to the town. He, however, said that investigations were still ongoing to track the perpetrators of the robbery incident in the town. Most of the residents who spoke with our correspondent in Offa, expressed deep concern over the incident saying that this is the fourth time such kind of incident will happen in Offa. They said that the development has continued to affect the economic development of the town adding that, the investors that suppose to invest in the town have changed their mind towards putting up their businesses in the town.� The residents said that, “most of us are industrious but with this kind of incessant attacks on banks in Offa, it would seriously hinder us from coming home to invest our businesses.� They called on the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, to beef up security so as to restore peace in the town. The residents added that the mass killings by the armed bandits were worrisome noting that the government should be up and doing on this insecurity so as to move the nation forward.


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Group Business Editor Chika Amanze-Nwachuku

Email chika.amanzenwachukwu@thisdaylive.com 08033294157

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L-R: Managing Sales Director, Intelsat Africa, Hans Geldenhuys and Managing Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Lanre Kolade, at the signing of an agreement between both companies to deploy next generation Intelsat 35e Satellite to improve internet connectivity in Nigeria, during the Satellite 2018 Forum held in Washington D.C ...recently

Unclear Economic Policies, Others Worry Business Operators Obinna Chima Some business operators have identified insufficient power supply, unclear economic policies,high interest rate, and unfavourable economic climate as major constraints to the growth of businesses in Nigeria. The business operators also identified financial problems, insufficient demand and unfavourable political climate asother business constraints in a survey conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The central bank stated this in its monthly Business Expectations Survey Report for March 2018 that was posted on its website. “The surveyed firms identified insufficient power supply (70.7 points), high interest rate (61.0 points), unfavourable economic climate (53.8 points), unclear

ECONOMY economic laws (52.7 points), financial problems (50.5), insufficient demand (48.1 points), and unfavourable political climate (43.7 points) as the major factors constraining business activity in the current month,� it stated. Respondent firms however expressed optimism on the macro economy in March 2018 when compared with the level recorded in the preceding month. According to the report, respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order, business activity and internal liquidity positions (financial conditions) in the review month improved in relation to that of February 2018. Similarly, they anticipated that the naira would appreciate in the current and next months as well as that inflation rate would

fall in both months. The March 2018 Business Expectations Survey (BES), was carried out during the period March 12-22, 2018 with a sample size of 650 businesses nationwide. A response rate of 91.8 per cent was achieved, and the sample covered the services, industry, wholesale/retail trade and construction sectors. The respondent firms were made up of small, medium and large organisations covering both import- and export-oriented businesses. At 24.5 index points, respondents’ overall confidence index (CI) on the macro economy in March 2018 improved when compared with the level of 14.5 index points recorded in February 2018. “The businesses outlook for April 2018 indicated greater

confidence on the macro economy at 64.1 index points. “The optimism in the current month was driven by the opinion of respondents from services (13.9 points), industrial (7.5 points) construction (1.8 points) and wholesale/retail trade sectors (1.2), while the drivers of the optimism for next month were services (38.5 points), industrial (16.8 points), construction (4.9 points) and wholesale/retail trade (4.0 points) sectors. Furthermore, the positive outlook by type of business in March 2018 was driven by businesses that are both importand export-oriented (29.1 points), those that are neither import- nor export-oriented (25.9 points), businesses that are export-related (23.5 points), and those that are Continued on page 24

Stakeholders Task New SEC DG, Insist on Board for Commission Goddy Egene Capital market stakeholders have called on the new acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Uduk and executive commissioners to move fast and restore investor confidence in the market. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, last Friday, appointed Uduk as the new acting DG and redeployed Dr. Abdul Zubair, who had held that position since late November last year. The minister also appointed Reginald Karawusa as acting

CAPITAL MARKET Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement; Isiyaku Tilde, acting Executive Commissioner, Operations and Henry Roland Adekunle, acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services. Adeosun explained that Uduk’s appointment had become necessary to ensure effective regulation of the capital market. Reacting to the development, a shareholder and member of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Moses Igbrude said, though he never expected the changes, but

since the minister has said the appointments are to ensure effective regulation, Uduk and her team should do just that. “The truth is that confidence in the market has been very low since the suspension of Mounir Gwarzo. Zubair, who was acting before last Friday, did not done much, probably due to lack of a board. But now that the minister has also appointed three commissioners with Uduk as DG, they must work hard to restore investors’ confidence. But the minister should go a step further by prevailing on the federal government to constitute the board of SEC,� Igbrude said.

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Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă’Ă?Ă—Ă?Ě™ ĚšËœĂ‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă?ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă‘Ă˜Ă?ĂŽÞÙĂ“Ă—ĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă? ÞÙĂ‹Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂŽĂ‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ?ËœĂšĂ‹ĂœĂžĂ“Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă‹ĂœĂ–ĂŁÞÒÙĂ?Ă?ÙÚĂ?ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ? Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—ĂŁËœĂ’Ă‹Ă?ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ù××Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂŽË› Ă’Ă? Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽËœĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’ĂĄĂ‹Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ“Ă Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă?ĂŒĂŁÞÒĂ?ĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă•Ă? ÞÙĂ?Ă?ÞËĂ?Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?ĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂšĂœĂ™Ă?ÓÞËĂ?ĂžĂ?ĂœÞËâĂ“Ă˜Ă‹ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœËœĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă“ĂžĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ Ă‹Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă™Ă?Í°Í´ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂ“Ă?Ă?âÚĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽÞÙĂ’Ă“ĂžÍ´ÍŽĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă“Ă™Ă˜ĂŒĂŁÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă“ĂŽĂŽĂ–Ă? Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂ?Ă‹ĂœË›Ă–Ă–ÞÒĂ?ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžĂ—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă•Ă?ËœàÙÖĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂ“Ă–ĂŁĂ‹Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŽÞÙĂ?Ă?ÞËĂ?Ă“ĂŽĂ? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ“ĂŒĂ&#x;ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?ĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂšĂœĂ™Ă?ÓÞËĂ?ĂžĂ?ĂœÞËâĚ™ĚšĂ‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă‹Ă–Ă–ĂŁÞÙ Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă‘Ă“ĂŒĂ–Ă?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă”Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă—Ă?Ë› Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă‹Ă˜Ă•ÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă™ĂœËœĂœË›Ă™ĂŽĂĄĂ“Ă˜Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă–Ă?ËœĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă™Ă?Ă?ĂŽÞÒËÞĂ—Ă™Ă?Ăž Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ÞÒĂ?ĂĄĂ’Ă™Ă’Ă‹ĂŽĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂŽ Ă™Ă˜Ă Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“ĂšËœĂ Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ—Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă•Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă? ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁĂŒĂŁĂ˜ĂžĂœĂ?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“ĂšĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă˜Ă?ÞÓÞĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ?Ă?Ëœ Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ëœ Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă™Ă–Ëœ Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ‹Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă’ĂœĂ“Ă Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ“Ă?Ë›ĂšĂ™Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ù×ÚÖĂ?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ËœÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂšĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă? Ó×ÚÖĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂŽÞÙĂšĂœĂ‹Ă?ÞÓĂ?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ Ă™Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂĄĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂŒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ăœ ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă—Ă?˛ˍÒĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?ËŞĂŽĂ?ÞËÓÖĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœÓÙ×Ă?ĂžĂœĂ“Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă&#x;Ă—ĂŒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ě™ĚšĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂĄĂ‹ĂœĂŽĂ?ĂŽÞÙÞÒĂ?ĂŽĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžĂ—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŁĂŒĂ‹Ă˜Ă•Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“ĂœĂ— ÞÒËÞÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂœĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă?ÞÙ×Ă?ĂœĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽË› ËŤ ÞÓĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă&#x;Ă?ÚÓĂ?Ă“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂžĂ?Ù×Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÙÎËã˪Ă?Ă?Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?âÚĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂŽËœĂ“Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă’Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?ËœÞÙĂ?Ă“Ă‘Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁËœĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂŁĂ™Ă&#x;ÞÒ Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?×ÚÖÙã×Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞÓàĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ëœ Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă? Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă– Ă?ÙÒĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ĂŽĂœĂ“Ă Ă? Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—Ă“Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’ËœËŹĂ—Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă˘ĂšĂ–Ă‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?βÖĂ?Ă‹ĂœĂ–ĂŁËœÞÒÓĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă? Ă“Ă?ĂšĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;Ă?ĂŽĂ‘Ă?Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–ĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ—Ă‹ĂŽĂ?ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă?ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžËœĂĄĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂŽĂ‘Ă™Ă‹Ă–Ă™Ă˜Ă‘ĂĄĂ‹ĂŁĂ“Ă˜ Ă?Ă&#x;ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžËŞĂ?Ă›Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂžÞÙĂŽĂ“Ă Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă“Ă?ĂŁÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—ĂŁË›

Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă?ĂŽËœĂ‹Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŒĂ™Ă™Ă?ĂžĂ”Ă™ĂŒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ù×Ă?ËœĂœĂ?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă? Ă Ă&#x;Ă–Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ‹ĂŒĂ“Ă–Ă“ĂžĂŁËœĂ“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă Ă?Ă?Þ×Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă’Ă&#x;Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă?ËÚÓÞËÖĂ‹Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă–Ă–Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ăœ Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’Ë›Ă’Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă?ĂĄĂ’ĂŁÞÒÓĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă Ă?ĂŒĂŁÞÒĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă•Ă?ĂœĂ?ËŞÙ××ÓÞÞĂ?Ă? ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ&#x;Ă—ĂŒĂ?Ă&#x;Ú˛

According to him, given the experiences of the Uduk and the three commissioners, they have the capacity to address all issues affecting investor confidence and ensure more participation in the market. “Having opened this year on positive to maintain the growth recorded last year, the market has remained very bearish in the last two months and one of the major reasons is the lack of direction from the market regulator. But I am confident the situation will change for the better now,� he added. Continued on page 24

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T H I S D AY ˞˜ ÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

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BUSINESSWORLD UNCLEAR ECONOMIC POLICIES, OTHERS WORRY BUSINESS OPERATORS

import-oriented (17.7 points). Respondents from services, industrial, wholesale/retail trade and construction sectors expressed optimism on own operations in the current month with indices of 3.4, 2.2, 1.2 and 0.5, respectively when compared with 1.9, 2.5, -0.3 and -0.5 in February 2018, respectively. “Respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order, business activity and financial conditions (working capital) stood at 16.0, 13.3, and 7.6 index points respectively, indicating an improvement in relation to its outlook in February 2018 which was 2.2, 7.1, and 3.8 respectively. “The average capacity utilisation (CUI) index rose to 16.5 points in March 2018 from 8.3 in February 2018, which can be attributed to the positive outlook on business activity and financial conditions. “Respondents were however pessimistic on access to credit in the review month with an index of -12.2 points, which is a decline from the 7.2 point recorded in the preceding month,� it added. The survey showed that thepositive outlook in the volume of business activities (69.2 index points) and employment (27.9 index points) indicated a favourable outlook in the next month. STAKEHOLDERS TASK NEW SEC DG, INSIST ON BOARD FOR COMMISSION

A senior stockbroker, who spoke to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, said it is a big relief that the commission now has commissioners who will work with the DG to give direction in the market and ensure stronger regulation. What is now left is to make sure that SEC gets full board to further empower the executives of the commission for optimum regulation. The broker said the best forum to unveil her plans for the market is the forthcoming Capital Market Committee, where chief executives of broking firms and other self regulatory organisations (SRO) will be present. “But the ultimate catalyst the market needs now is a board for SEC. The federal government, should, without delay constitute a board for the commission�.

NEWS

‘Mobile Ecosystem in West Africa to Hit $50bn By 2022’ Emma Okonji Considering the strong growth in mobile subscription and mobile broadband across West African countries, Nigeria inclusive, a new GSMA study, which was released at the recently concluded Mobile 360 African Forum in Abidjan, CĂ´te d’Ivoire, has predicted that the mobile industry in West Africa will contribute more than $50 billion annually to the region’s economy by 2022. The new report, The Mobile Economy: West Africa 2018, calculates that the region’s mobile ecosystem contributed $37 billion in value last year, equivalent to 6.5 per cent of GDP, and will grow to $51 billion, which is about 7.7 per cent of GDP within five years. The economic contribution over this period will be spurred by strong subscriber growth and the move to mobile broadband networks and services. Analysing the study, the Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSMA, John Giusti, said: “The report demonstrates the vital role West Africa’s mobile ecosystem is playing in driving economic growth and empowering citizens across the region, as well as in delivering against many of the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, further work is required as more than half of West Africa’s citizens

are not yet connected to a mobile service, excluding them from the socio-economic benefits that mobile delivers.� At the end of 2017, there were 176 million unique mobile subscribers across the West Africa sub-region, which comprises the 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This is equivalent to a penetration rate of 47 per cent of the region’s population, up

from just 28 per cent at the start of the decade. Strong subscriber growth is forecast to continue over the coming years; 72 million additional mobile subscribers are expected to be added in West Africa by 2025, lifting subscriber penetration to 54 per cent, Giusti said. According to him, much of this growth is attributable to the demographic situation across the region, as large youth populations

are expected to take out mobile subscriptions as they reach adulthood. According to the report, more than 40 per cent of the population in many countries across sub-Saharan Africa are below the age of 16. Meanwhile, the transition to mobile broadband in West Africa is being driven by the expansion of 3G and 4G networks, lower data tariffs and the increasing affordability of

smartphones. 3G networks now cover two-thirds of the regional population and 4G adoption is also rising rapidly. As of March 2018, there were 29 live 4G LTE networks in nine countries across West Africa, six of which have launched in the last year. 3G and 4G together accounted for 36 per cent of West African mobile connections in 2017 and are forecast to rise to 94 per cent of the total by 2025.

ALL STARS LEAGUE INITIATIVE UNVEILED

L-R: MD/CEO of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie; MD/CEO Galaxy Backbone, Yusuf Kazaure; MD/CEO Digital Jewels, Adedoyin Odunfa; MD/ L - R: Group Retail Sales Manager, Investment One Financial Services, Ivy Ojigbede; Managing Director, Investment One Stockbrokers International Limited, Oluyori Ezekiel; and Communications Officer, Investment One Financial Services, Oluchi Amorha, after the launch of the company’s All Stars League initiative in Lagos... recently

‘Cloud Technology Will Enhance 30% Growth in Financial Businesses’ Emma Okonji A Financial Inclusion Company, Oradian has assured financial institutions of the possibility of growing their businesses by over 30 per cent and at the same time reduce financial fraud, with the deployment of a cloud-based toolset from Oradian. The Chief Executive Officer, Oradian, Mr. Antonio Separovic, said the highly sophisticated software designed by the company could help reduce unforeseen leakages through centralised audit trails. He added that as part of the process in reducing fraud, it is important to reduce high operational cost, which the

company’s software is designed to achieve with automated and efficient processes. Separovic explained that the company’s efficacy is as a result of its alignment with in-market Fintech partners that are available at anytime, constantly improving services of organisations. The event brought together leaders of financial institutions, regulatory groups, financial inclusion experts and fintech providers to form strategic partnerships that will boost financial inclusion in Nigeria and West Africa at large. The event connected the private sector, public sector and financial services regulator.

Head, LAPO Rural Development Initiative, Mrs. Florence Omofonmwam, said LAPO, through Oradian and its CBS Instafin, LAPO has been enabled to continuously open new branches, reach new clients and boost financial inclusion in Nigeria. She stated: “Oradian has helped us eradicate the cumbersome process of monitoring packs and client data management is now simpler and less stressful. With digitisation, my team has less administrative work to do and they can spend more time in the field out of the office, finding new clients.� Separovic highlighted several

tools for such digital transformation as Instafin, Messaging, Training & Implementation, Automatic Updates, and Maximum Security Data. Co-Founder and Program Director For Africa, Oradian, Mr. Onyeka Andedili said the Institution would offer time-based loans like weekly, monthly or yearly depending on choice, adding that the system is not customised but parameterised in a bid to ensure that every entity can configure their products to suit their clients. Separovic affirmed that their CBS Instafin enables financial institutions to eliminate manual, pen and paper processes and

move to digitised operations. By reducing the time spent on administration through digitisation, financial institutions have more time to focus on their core competency: delivering financial services to clients in their communities. He added that as part of the process to minimise inefficiencies, Instafin reduces high operational costs through automatic reporting that replaces time-consuming month end reporting processes. He said verification of data is done on the institution’s site, adding that the institution do all the due dilligence to ensure that the clients they are providing services to, are genuine.

Google Demystifies Search Engine App, Launches Google Go Emma Okonji

Group Business Editor

Chika Amanze-Nwachuku AgriBusiness/Industry Editor

Jonathan Eze

Comms/e-Business Editor

Emma Okonji

Capital Market Editor

Goddy Egene

Senior Correspondent

Raheem Akingbolu (Advertising) Correspondents

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

Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (AgriBusiness)

In a bid to make the use of search engine a lot easier, Google, in line with its mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, has launched a new version of Goggle search engine app that provides a lighter, faster way to search web for information. The new app called Google Go, provides a lighter, faster, way to search, with everything that the user needs, with just a tap away. Announcing the new app in Lagos recently, Country Manager, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor said the new app is another search engine app that supports social media and android devices with low

storage capacity and with low Read Access Memory (RAM). She said the app would help address peculiar challenges of most African customers. As more and more Africans come online every year, using mobile phones as their primary and sometimes only internet device, online isn’t somewhere they ‘go’ anymore, it’s where they live - connecting with the people, places and things that matter to them. Weak data connectivity, high data costs and low RAM or storage space often make it hard for people to get the most out of the internet - Google Go is built to handle these challenges, she said. Google Africa Chief Marketing Officer, Mzamo Masito, said: “Users come to us to experience the web and

access accurate information quickly. Unfortunately users can’t always decide on the type of device they have or the kind of connection they are on. “Google Go is designed from the ground up to address these issues and provide a seamless experience irrespective of what device or network the user is on.� With Google Go, everything you need is just a tap away. Easily search for information or see what’s trending in your country. Find an inspirational quote for a loved one with an image or GIF search, discover places nearby, and browse videos. Access all your favorite apps and websites and discover the top destinations in your country.

Taking up less than 5 MB, the app is quick to download without using much data, and it takes up minimal space on your phone. It uses the latest version of Google’s advanced compression algorithm, using up to 40 per cent less data to display search results. Search results are also cached on the device so you can quickly reaccess previous searches, even when you’re offline, without incurring further data costs. When there’s no internet access, Google Go retries failed search requests in the background and lets the customer know as soon as the results are ready. Web pages load quickly, even in data-saving mode or on 2G connections. According to Google, what this means for the user is a

lighter, faster way to search. It loads results instantly as you type and smart word suggestions help you search faster with minimal typing. The home page icons make it faster and easier for you to discover new content and find what you’re looking for with a single tap. Voice search has been improved to work better on slow connections. Add the search bar widget to your home screen for fast and easy access to what’s trending. Google Go is available today in 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa through the Google Play Store. It will come preinstalled on all Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, available in stores soon. It is available for devices running Android v4.3 and above.


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Equities Market Gains 0.21% on Bargain Hunting Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie

41.4 per cent to 205.3 million shares and N3.1 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were UBA (30.2 million shares), Zenith Bank (28.1 million shares) and GTBank (21.8 million shares). Ironically, while the main index fell, other four sectoral indicators appreciated. The NSE Insurance Index was the top performer, inching 0.5 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index followed, gaining 0.5 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index appreciated by 0.1 per cent, just as the NSE Banking Index closed 0.03 per cent higher. On the contrary, the NSE Consumer Goods Index, which was the lone decliner, fell by 0.03 per cent. The market closed the last day of the week with an appreciation with the index rising 0.29 per cent to close at 40,928.70. The appreciation recorded in the share prices of Dangote Cement, Oando, GTBank, Lafarge Africa, and Seplat propelled the growth for the day. Consequently, the market closed with a week-on-week gain of 0.21 per cent.

After commencing the second quarter with a decline the previous week, the nation’s equities market recorded a growth last week as investors embarked on bargain hunting. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) had two weeks ago declined by 1.6 per cent following sell offs in some bellwether stocks. However, the negative performance as reversed last week as bargain hunting in some of those bellwether stocks led to a positive close. Specifically, the NSE All-Share Index and market capitalisation appreciated by 0.21 to close the week at 40,928.70 and N14.784 trillion respectively. Similarly, all other indices finished higher with the exception NSE CG, NSE-Main Board, NSE 30, NSE Banking, NSE Insurance, NSE Consumer Goods and NSE Pension indices that depreciated by 1.04 per cent, 0.23 per cent, 0.44 per cent, 2.22 per cent , 0.76 per cent, 0.69 per cent and 0.33 per cent respectively while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat. The performance this week was majorly driven by gains in Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc. Commenting on performance, analysts at Cordros Capital said: “Still-strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals and declining fixed income yields continue to strengthen our medium-to-long term outlook for Nigerian risky assets, while relatively lower prices of value stocks buoy likelihood of bargain hunting in the short term.

Market Turnover

Daily Performance Maintaining the bearish trend from the previous week, the market had resumed last week with a decline as the index fell by 1.01 per cent at 40,429.18, while market capitalisation ended at N14.60 trillion. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, Transcorp, Lafarge Africa, and UAC of Nigeria Plc were mainly responsible for the decline. In line with market performance, activity level declined as volume and value traded trended lower, down 42.8 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holding Plc (29.6 million shares), Skye Bank Plc (23.1 million shares) and FCMB Group Plc (23.0 million shares) while Nigerian Breweries Plc (N2.6 billion), Zenith Bank (N606.9 million) and GTBank (N448.9 million) were the top traded by value. A look the sectoral performance showed that the NSE Insurance Index was the lone gainer, while three others dell. The NSE Insurance Index closed up 0.9 per cent higher while the NSE Oil & Gas Index closed flat. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index led laggards with 3.9 per cent, trailed by the NSE Banking Index and the NSE Consumer Goods Index trailed with 0.9 per cent apiece. The market rebounded on Tuesday as the index appreciated by 0.17 per cent to close at 40,499.04, while market capitalisation ended higher at N14.63 trillion. The rebound was bolstered by growth in the share prices of Dangote Cement, International Breweries, ETI, Lafarge Africa, and Nigerian Breweries Plc. But the main mover of the market was Dangote Cement Plc. Without the gain by the cement firm, the market would have close 0.25 per cent lower. Two sectoral indices appreciated, while three depreciated. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rode on the back of Dangote Cement to rise 2.8 per cent, while the NSE Consumer Goods Index gained 0.6 per cent on account of price appreciation in International Breweries Plc (+4.8 per cent), Dangote Cement Plc (+2.6 per cent) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (+0.2 per cent).

Conversely, the NSE Banking Index shed 1.5 per cent as sell pressures in UBA (-6.8 per cent), Zenith Bank (-2.0 per cent) and GTBank (-1.2 per cent) dragged the index lower. The NSE Insurance Index fell 0.1 per cent, just as the NSE Oil & Gas Index declined 0.06 per cent. The market sustained the positive performance on Wednesday, rising by 0.86 per cent to close at 40,846.24. The

appreciation recorded in the share prices of Dangote Cement, International Breweries, Double 11 Plc, Lafarge Africa, and FBN Holdings were mainly responsible for the gain recorded in the index. Despite improved market performance, activity level remained mixed as volume traded grew 5.4 per cent to 367.2 million units while value traded fell 26.6 per cent to N5.3 billion. The three most actively traded stocks were Zenith Bank

(100.62 million shares), Skye Bank (43.02 million shares) and Access Bank (23.94 million shares). Losses in bellwether stocks ended the two-day positive run at the stock market on Thursday as the market ended with a marginally decline of 0.10 per cent to close at 40,813.69, while capitalisation shed N13.6 billion to be at N14.7 trillion. Activity level softened as volume and value traded fell 44.1 per cent and

Meanwhile, investors traded 1.415 billion shares worth N19.644 billion in 20,659 deals were traded last week compared with 1.765 billion shares valued at N26.562 billion that exchanged hands in 20,265 deals the previous week. The Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 1.136 billion shares valued at N12.336 billion traded in 12,240 deals, thus contributing 80.26 per cent and 62.80 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 103.975 million shares worth N5.723 billion in 3,369 deals. The third place was occupied by Oil and Gas Industry with a turnover of 51.007 million shares worth N436.610 million in 1,417 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely – Zenith Bank Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, and Skye Bank Plc accounted for 437.704 million shares worth N5.609 billion in 2,659 deals, contributing 30.93 per cent and 28.55 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Also traded during the week were a total of 616,587 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N9.185 million executed in 21 deals, compared with a total of 125,282 units valued at N2.835 million that was transacted the preceding week in 11 deals. A total of 2,500 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N2.367 million were traded last week in 10 deals, compared with a total of 4,457 units valued at N4.247 million transacted two weeks ago in 13 deals.

Price Gainers and Losers The price movement chart displaced 37 price gainers higher than the 19 of the previous week, and 38 losers compared to 53 equities of the previous week. Learn Africa Plc led the price gainers with 18.5 per cent, trailed by Double 11 plc with 17.6 per cent, while Oando Plc chalked up 15.1 per cent. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc appreciated by 13.4 per cent, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc garnered 13.4 per cent. Other top price gainers included: Skye Bank Plc (12.6 per cent); Sterling Bank Plc (11.3 per cent); Unity Bank Plc (9.9 per cent) and Unity Kapital Assurance Plc (8.2 per cent). Conversely, C & I Leasing Plc led the price losers with 18 per cent, trailed by Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc with 14.7 per cent. Unilever Nigeria plc and N.E.M Insurance Plc shed 13 per cent and 11 per cent in that order. Other top price losers are: United Bank for Africa Plc (10.5 per cent); May & Baker Nigeria Plc (10 per cent); Courteville Business Solutions Plc (8.7 per cent); UACN Property Development Plc (8.2 per cent); Transcorp Plc (7.8 per cent); Fidelity Bank Plc (6.5 per cent).


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A view of Lagos ďŹ nancial district

AKINWUNMI IBRAHIM

Market Awaits N116bn Maturing Treasury Bills Obinna Chima A total of N116.9billion treasury bills across the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day instruments will be maturing this week. However, only N58.4billion of this amount would be rolled over in line with the federal government’s debt restructuring strategy. The federal government’s debt strategy involves substituting expensive domestic short-term debt with cheaper long term foreign debt. Afrinvest Securities Limited which disclosed this in its latest weekly report, stated that in the treasury bills market, performance was largely flattish during the week, as average rate across benchmark tenors trended higher albeit marginally on three of five trading sessions save for Tuesday. The bearish start of the week, with average rate rising two basis points to 13.1 per cent was reversed on Tuesday following a four basis pointsdecline in average yield; but rose three basis points mid-week in the absence of a Primary Market Auction. Rates however, stayed flattish till the end of the week and closed at 17 basis points lower by weekend. Analysts at Afrinvest anticipated a largely bullish performance in the treasury bills market this week. Meanwhile, money market rates during the week responded largely to financial system liquidity dynamics which recently had remained high at above N500 billion following the strategic intermittent mop-ups by theCentral Bank of Nigeria (CBN). As with other weeks, investor appetite for open market operations (OMO) securities, especially the long-dated maturities, remained noticeable in the pattern of subscription. The open buy back (OBB) and overnight (OVN) rates trended lower week-on-week, reflecting improvement in system liquidity which opened at N501.4 billion on Monday as OBB and OVN rates fell to 3.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent, down 0.4 percentand 0.5 percent from the previous week’s close. According to the report, the momentum was sustained till midweek as rates fell to 2.7 per cent and three per cent respectively following a dearth of OMO auctions and consequential increase in system liquidity to N623.8billion. But on Thursday, system liquidity opened at a significantly higher level of N1.1 trillion, necessitating N500 billion OMO mop-up by the CBN across 112-day (offered: N100 billion, Subscription: N1.2 billion, Alloted: N1.2 billion, Marginal Rate: 12.2%) and 245-day (Offered: N400 bilion, Subscription: N963.9 billion, Alloted: N498.7

MARKET INDICATOR billion, Rate: 13.99%) maturities. Hence, OBB and OVN rates inched 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent higher to three per centand 3.8 per cent respectively. “As the impact of a moderating inflation continues to anchor yield expectation, we anticipate more subscriptions in longer tenored instruments as investors lock in higher rates ahead of yield moderation,� the report stated. Bond Market The local bond market was bullish last week as average yield declined week-on-weekconsequent on investors’ reaction to the monetary policy rate retention and a moderation in headline inflation, the report further stated. Accordingly, the average yield across tenors fell six basis points last Monday to close at 13.6 per cent due to buying interest across tenors, specifically in short and medium dated instruments. The downward trend in yieldwas said to have continued till mid-week as the average yield across tenors further moderated to 13.6 per cent (5basis points lower) lastTuesday and six basis points lower last Wednesday before settling at 13.5 per cent lastThursday. However, average yield closed the week at 13.5 per cent on Friday, recording a 23 basis points declined week-on-week. “Based on our near-term outlook, we expect the bullish performance to be sustained in the current moderating yield environment as investors retain interest in longer dated maturities,� it stated. Nonetheless, performance of Sub-Saharan Sovereign Eurobonds was largely bearish, halting the bullish sentiment in prior weeks, as 17 of 22 instruments witnessed an upward trend in yields week-on-week, while the Nigeria 2018, Ghana 2026, Ivory Coast 2028 & 2032 and South Africa2020 instruments declined weekon-week. The bearish sentiment waslinked to the weakening US dollar (measured by the Dollar index) which has lost 2.5 per cent year-to-date in value compared to major currencies of the World. “In view of our near term outlook, we expect the sub-Saharan Eurobonds market to rebound following the bearish performance this week as higher yields will likely sustain investor appetite for Sub-Saharan emerging and frontier Eurobonds,� it added.

Forex Market The improving global demand on the back of optimistic growth outlook, sustained OPEC production cut deal and Saudi Arabia’s vow to cut more oil output, propped global oil prices during the week as Brent Crude gained 7.5% W-o-W to close at US$72.28/b. This positive development continued to strengthen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) external reserves buffer - which during the week sustained the recent momentum of accretion, with the gross level reported at US$47.3 billion - and its capacity to uphold the level of FX intervention needed to support the local currency. Consequently, the CBN in line with trend, continued its weekly FX intervention sales, offering US$210 million via the wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS); in its commitment to sustain liquidity levels and maintain stability in FX rate across all segments of the market. As a result, the naira was stable during the week. The CBN’s spot rate opened the week at N305.60/US$1 and appreciated to N305.55/ US$1 on Monday but maintained this rate till the end of the week. At the parallel market, rates started the week at N362/US$1 but marginally weakened by N1 to close at N363/US$1. At the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) Window, the NAFEX opened the week flat at N360/US$1 and closed at the same rate by week-end. Activity level in I&E FX window improved following a 6.8 per cent increase in turnover to US$1.1 billion from US$1 billion traded in the preceding week. In the FMDQ OTC futures, total value of open contracts of the naira settled OTC FX futures rose by US$151.9 million to US$3.4 billion as compared with US$3.3 billion posted the preceding Friday, which denotes an increase of 4.8 per cent in market size. The April 2018 instrument will be maturing in the next two weeks and in line with previous actions by the CBN,analysts expect the instrument to be replaced by a new contract. “In line with the trend of weekly interventions by the CBN within the FX market, we expect rates to trade within similar levels across the FX market segments,� the report added. AGSMEIS Fund The Bankers’ Committee has begun the disbursement of the N26 billion fund accruing from the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS),

an initiative designed to improve access to affordable financing for medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs), particularly those operating in the informal sector of the economy. The Committee, at its 331st meeting of February 9, 2017, hadinitiated AGSMEIS with all deposit money banks, voluntarily agreeing to set aside and contribute five per cent of their profit after tax (PAT) annually to finance eligible projects under the Scheme. Speaking at the commencement of thedisbursements to the first set of beneficiaries of AGSMEIS fund in Abuja last week, the CBNGovernor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said: “As at today, the size of the Fund stands at about N26 billion and this is expected to exceed N60 billion by June 2018. I am therefore very delighted that we have come to this stage where we are ready to begin the disbursement of these funds to deserving beneficiaries. “These beneficiaries are youths who have been trained on various entrepreneurship, vocational and management skills across the country by Entrepreneurship Development Institutions and Centres, such as Fate Foundation, Lagos Business School, House of Tara and Thrive Agric. Upon completion of their vocational training, the specific implements needed to practice their vocations, are procured under the scheme. “The beneficiaries’ details including their Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN) are forwarded to the deposit money banks to confirm that they are their customers before accessing the fund.â€? Ination The rate of inflation recorded its sharpest decline of 0.99 percentage points in 11 months, dropping from 14.33 per cent in February 2018 to 13.34 per cent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed last week. According to the NBS, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, stood at 13.34 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018, but the Composite Food Index rose by 16.08 per cent (year-on-year) during the month under review, down from 17.59 per cent recorded in February. On a month-on-month basis, the food subindex increased by 0.90 percent in March 2018, up by 0.05 percentage points from 0.85 per cent in February. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending March 2018 over the previous 12-month average was 19.29 per cent, 0.23 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in February (19.52 per cent).


T H I S D AY ˾ MONDAY APRIL 16, 2018

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CIBN Reconstitutes Governing Council, Olowu Now President The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has elected new national officers to steer its affairs for the next two years. At the head of the newly constituted Governing Council as President/Chairman of Council, is Dr. Uche Olowu. Other officers elected to assist Olowu in the task of running the affairs of the Institute are, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, who emerged as the first vice-president; Mr. Kenneth Opara, second Vice-President and Prof. Pius Olanrewaju as National Treasurer. A statement from the institute disclosed that Olowu’s inauguration had been slated for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at an Investiture ceremony in Lagos. Before his election as President, Olowu was the institute’s first

Vice President and Chairman, Board of Fellows/Practice Licenses of the Institute. He is a seasoned professional banker and astute scholar with over 30 years cognate experience. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) in Management from Rivers State University of Science & Technology (RUST), Port Harcourt, where he traditionally capped it with a Doctorate of Philosophy degree (Ph.D) in management-Organisational Behaviour. He started his professional banking career in 1985 with United Bank for Africa Plc, where he rose to become the Manager, Corporate Banking (Energy South) in 1999. He joined Equitorial Trust Bank Ltd in 2000 as Senior Relationship

Manager before crossing over to Fountain Trust Bank in the same year as Senior Relationship Manager and was promoted to Assistant General Manager (South) in 2005, a position he held until he pitched his tent once again with UBA Plc in 2006 as Head, Upstream & Oil Services South. Again, in 2008, he left the service of UBA for Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and is currently a Deputy General Manager. Also, prior to Olugbemi’s election, he had served as a member of the Governing Council of the Institute (20162018) and a facilitator of several CIBN programmes including the 2016 & 2017 Annual Bankers’ Dinner where he anchored the occasion as Chairman of the planning committee.

A professional to the core, he holds a Masters degree in Corporate Governance and Ethics (M.Sc) from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, Masters in International Business Management (MBA) from Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos and B.Sc. Accounting from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. He is an Alumnus of many prestigious Business Schools across the globe such as Harvard Business School (AMP 179); Whaton Business School, USA; Stanford Business School, USA; Institute of Management Development, Switzerland; INSEAD (Institut EuropÊen d’Administration des Affaires) Singapore; Euro Money Capital Market Training and Lagos Business School amongst others. On his part, Opara who was

elected the second Vice President of the institute, had at various times been a member of one committee or group that sees to the welfare of the institute. He was the ChairmanFinance and General Purpose Committee and also the Chairman of CIBN Fidelity Bank Chapter during which the bank won several awards under his leadership and among which are: most supportive bank in 2014; best supportive bank by CIBN Lagos Branch 2014 and others. A second class upper graduate of the department of Finance and Banking and MBA in Finance & Banking, all from the University of Nigeria. Mr. Kenneth Opara is also an Associate of the Institute of Certified Pension of Nigeria as well as Chartered Institute of Credit Administration.

He is currently the General Manager & Head, Ikeja Region, Fidelity Bank Plc. Olanrewaju, the National Treasurer is a thorough bred professional and a seasoned academic. Olanrewaju belongs to many professional bodies among which are the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Institute of Capital Market Registrars, Institute of Management and administrative Technology and a member, Enterprise Risk Management Professionals. Other elected officers to occupy some elective positions of the Governing Council under the two years regime are four newly elected members: Mrs. Yvonne Isitchei, Mr. Abdulrahman Yinusa, Mr. Adewunmi Olusola Adeniyi, and Mrs. Mercy Toyin Ojo.

ACCA Honours Aliko Dangote The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) led by its chief executive, Helen Brand, has presented an award to the President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, in recognition of the latter’s continuing support as a key employer of ACCA members. Brand presented the award to Dangote during a courtesy visit to him. According to a statement, Dangote, during discussions acknowledged the relevance of ACCA members, stating that an ACCA member with an entrepreneurial mindset is more solution driven. The industrialist pointed out that his company does not have enough ACCA professionals, adding that the Dangote Group and the Nigerian economy was struggling to get talent in finance, especially with the rapid changes in business and technology. Dangote noted that the future was bright globally, saying he would continue to work towards wealth creation. He noted that the future in Africa is huge. He shared how the profitability of Dangote Group had doubled during recession due to the urgency for cost effectiveness that was created, saying his businesses were considering doing more business outside Africa from 2020, as the African environment tends to pose many barriers for businesses. According to him, developing capabilities was critical to the growth of businesses and the economy in Nigeria and the future is the SMEs.

Dangote said the progress of intra-Africa trade was getting better with the introduction of the ECOWAS passport. He however noted that there were still work to be done with Africans/ African countries having a general acceptance and support of each other to support the objective which is to aid cooperation and not competition. On her part, Brand acknowledging Dangote’s concerns shared results of the ACCA employer-led global research: “Social Mobility: Purpose and the Profession’ which revealed that social mobility was transforming the potential talent pool for professional accountants. She also highlighted the seven quotients developed from ACCA’s research titled ‘Professional Accountants: The Future’ and how the ACCA qualification ensures the sustainability of these skills through the recent changes in the qualification; further highlighting ACCA’s work around policy development through its professional insights. Dangote was quite pleased with this information, expressing concerns on the issue of skills gap and its effects on policy contribution. Also present at the meeting was a Partner & Head of Tax, West Africa, PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, who agreed that policy contribution was more practical with business owners and entrepreneurs. He added that the highest risk of doing business was inconsistency of government policies.

UNITY BANK LAUNCHES UNIFI PRODUCT

L-R: Executive Director, South, Temisan Tuedor, Executive Director, Business Development & Compliance, Usman Abdulqadir and Executive Director, Finance & Operations, Ebenezer Kolawole-all of Unity Bank Plc, during the launch of UniFi - a Youth Banking product at University of Lagos ... recently

Anchor Insurance Appoints Ebose As New MD The board of Anchor Insurance Company Limited, has announced the appointment of Augustine Ebose as its Managing Director. This follows the confirmation to this effect by the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). A statement by the firm’s Brand and Corporate Communications Manager, Jamiu Osoba, said the company’s board forwarded Ebose’s name to NAICOM as the nominee

for the position after the last board meeting and a thorough selection process anchored on the company’s succession plan. According to Osoba, before his appointment, Ebose was the company’s Executive Director overseeing the business and marketing chains of the company. The statement said Ebose, started his working career with Erikana Nigeria Limited between 2000 to 2001 as a Marketing Officer engaged in the sales of the company’s products. Thereafter, he moved to Alliance & General

Insurance Company Limited where he served in various capacities from 2001 to 2004 as an Executive and rose to the position of Branch Manager due to his productive contributions to the growth of the company with his responsibilities covering clientele servicing, special risk marketing with emphasis on oil & gas, corporate and product development and general administration of the branch. In 2004 he moved to Capital Express General Insurance Company Limited as a Manager

to develop the Public Sector, Oil & Gas segment by identifying and developing strategies to deepen the Company’s market share. He left the services of Capital Express in 2006 to start his business sojourn with Standard Alliance Insurance Company Plc from November 2006. Ebose, is a graduate of Delta State University, Abraka and University of Ado -Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti where he obtained B.Sc (Economics) and MBA (Business Administration) respectively.

Ericsson Wins Best NFV/SDN Solution Award at 5G MENA 2018 Ericsson has been recognised for its substantial achievements in the technology space with an award for the Best Network Virtualisation/Software-defined networking (NFV/SDN) Solution, presented at 5G MENA 2018. Ericsson’s innovations in NFV/SDN solutions earned it the “Best NFV/SDN Solu-

tion Award� in recognition of its efforts for introducing a pre-integrated, pre-tested, system-verified solution as abetter approach for telco cloud to reduce deployment cost and time to market while minimising risk. Now in its third year, the 5G MENA Awards Ceremony celebrates excellence in the

MENA region’s LTE and 5G community and offers an exceptional opportunity for the industry’s top players to meet, showcase their achievements, and be inspired by one another’s accomplishments. Awards were presented in seven different categories, recognising the latest and greatest of innovative, top-level solutions and companies making

an impact and representing the best in the region. Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Indranil Das, said: “It is an honor to accept the 5G MENA Best SDN/NFV award, as it is a testament to our dedication to building a powerful virtualized portfolio, designed for advanced digital

deployment and sustainable network adaptation supporting operators’ digital transformation journeys.� 5G MENA brings together telecom operators, solution providers, regulators, OTT players, and IoT specialists from across the region to define clear use cases, debate new business models, and drive the connected

revolution towards LTE-A, IoT, Smart Cities, and 5G. This year, the conference featured a new, more balanced focus on both the technical and commercial aspects of LTE and 5G Networks, incorporating issues such as early 5G trials and use cases, IoT networks and services, digital transformation, service innovation, and much more.


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Lufthansa, Brussels Support Nigerian Artists, Others in W/Africa Chinedu Eze Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines are supporting selected Nigerian artists and others from West Africa on art theme: ‘Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on its Way to Dak’Art’, a residency programme for young artists from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Germany on the move spanning several countries in West Africa. “Stretched Terrains’ is a great platform to show the strengths of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines in West Africa working closely together and supporting the development of young African talents�, Lufthansa General Manager Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, Robin Sohdi said. The airlines in a statement said that from April 11, 2018, starting from Lagos, the artist group began a six-week journey with a Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines branded, converted public transport bus, called the Molue Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art. The artists would cross through Benin, Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Mali, with a planned arrival in Dakar, Senegal at the beginning of May, right in time for the opening of the13th International Biennial Dak’Art� exhibition. The artists would be greeted at every stop by the Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and GoetheInstitut teams. “Furthermore, they will display

their artwork at each destination they stop at. Once they reach Senegal, the artists will stay for the Dak’Artâ€? exhibition, until May 07, when they will start their journey back to Lagos. On their way back, they will make stops again at all the previous Goethe-Institut locations they visited on the way to the exhibition, planning to arrive in Lagos on May 25,â€? the airlines said. During their journey, the artists would examine diverse public spaces as communication zones of social, economic and political interaction. The project, the airlines said, embraces the diversity of practices and perspectives of the participating artists, who will discuss and exchange their artistic interactions as they travel almost 10,000-kilometers on a road trip. The artwork, which will be created in Dakar and during the journey, will be presented and discussed along the way back to Nigeria at the Goethe-Institutes and cultural centers at Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Accra, LomĂŠ and Lagos. A Nigerian artist Emeka Udemba, who is living in Germany, is the curator of the project. The whole journey can be followed on the weblog, Stretched Terrains, and on social media with the hashtag #StretchedTerrains “Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on the Way to Dak’Artâ€? is a project by GoetheInstitute Nigeria, supported by Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines.



‘AMCON Will Put Arik in a Position to Repay Its Loans’ Chinedu Eze The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arik Air, Captain Roy Ilegbodu has said that the mission of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is to build up the company to the position that it would become financially stable to repair its loans. Ilegbodu said that since AMCON took over the management of the company, it has been recording improvements, from four to six operational aircraft when it took over on February 9, 2017 to about 15 currently and with at least 10-12 operational aircraft at any point in time. The CEO said that at the beginning, it was airlifting about 1400 passengers daily but currently, the airline records average of about 5000 passengers per day. Due to the yearnings of its teeming passengers, Ilegbodu

said the airline has resumed services to domestic and sun-regional destinations it suspended in 2017 and would also introduce new destinations in the coming weeks and months. Speaking at a training forum organised by the airline for its travel agents in Lagos, Ilegbodu said that many Nigerians want the airline to open the international routes but the airline cannot operate international destinations without proper planning. Ilegbodu, who made it clear that an airline should be well positioned before going on international routes said such possibility would be reviewed in future. “You should also go with the right aircraft in terms of fuel efficiency, seat capacity and things like that and then have fall back aircraft, such that when the operation aircraft is down on AOG (aircraft on ground),

there is a support aircraft that enables you to recover your service quickly�, he said. The CEO who was represented by the Chief Commercial Officer and Head Receivership Support of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Omokide Kamilu, also pointed out that if an airline does not have all those things well arranged and go to the international routes, the carrier will surely burn its fingers. According to him, deciding to operate long haul destinations is a decision for Arik Air to make and it would be carefully made. On the plans AMCON have for Arik, Ilegbodu stated: “We are very clear as AMCON as to what our role in Arik is. We’re primarily a debt recovery company. We were set up by the federal government to stabilise the banking industry primarily and by extension companies that have borrowed from the

banking industry.� “The aviation industry is very critical to Nigerian economy. Arik too is big, Aero is big, that’s why you see a lot of direct AMCON interest in those companies, otherwise we wouldn’t be. Our job is to recover our money and in doing this we also want the Nigerian people to get some benefit by stabilising this company�, Ilegbodu added. Stating that Arik Air is currently on about 15 aircraft while running between 10 and 12 aircraft, Ilegbodu said that Arik Air left Maiduguri route but has now reopened it and that the route is doing well. “We are planning to reopen Bauchi very soon under a partnership with the government. We plan to open other routes and opened some routes in the West Coast taking advantage of our increased capabilities�, he said.

Guinness, Wecyclers Sign MoU on Waste management Guinness Nigeria Plc, has partnered with Wecyclers, a for-profit social enterprise that promotes environmental sustainability and socioeconomic development to support Guinness’ waste management agenda. The partnership is expected to, among other things, help support the implementation of Guinness Nigeria’s 4R waste management strategy, covering reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling. It is also expected to address increasing local and global concerns around the environmental issues of waste disposal. Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, stated that the partnership with Wecyclers is in line with Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact across its operations and throughout its supply chain. He added that it is also in line with the Nigeria’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. “This partnership with Wecyclers is in line with our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint as well as join the global movement to advance sustainable development. Every year, at Guinness, we set ourselves stretched targets that will guide us as we work to reduce our impact on the environment. We also strive to increase our positive social impact by delivering transformational social investments in communities

where we operate,� Ndegwa said. Speaking at the MoU signing, Chief Executive Officer, Wecyclers, Mr. Olawale Adebiyi, stated that Wecyclers, aims to build a low-cost waste collection infrastructure while raising general awareness on the importance of recycling for environmental sustainability and social welfare. According to him, ‘’households are given a chance to generate value from their waste and provide a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry’’. Partnerships with well-meaning organizations such as Guinness Nigeria Plc are a critical part of driving that agenda forward’’. On her part, Corporate Relations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Viola Graham-Douglas, stated; “In the medium to long term, Guinness Nigeria has set targets as part of its2020 Sustainability & Responsibility commitments, comprising three key pillars: Leadership in Alcohol in Society, Building Thriving Communities and Reducing our Environmental Impact. Delivering on these goals is an integral part of our long term business strategy and our commitment to making a real difference in communities where Guinness Nigeria operates,� She further stated that to this end, the company has developed a sustainability strategy that would help it reduce the company’s environmental impact while increasing its positive social impact in the society and this partnership will help us achieve our objectives.

A BOOST FOR MOBILE ADVERTISING

L-R: Former Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Dr. Omobola Johnson; Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Enterprise Business Unit, Mrs. Lynda Saint-Nwafor; General Manager, Marketing, Enterprise Business Unit, MTN, Mrs. Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka and CEO Terragon Group, Elochukwu Umeh, at a stakeholder gathering for the enhanced version of MTN Mobile Advertising in Lagos... recently

Flour Milling Association Donates Machines to Wheat Farmers to Boost Production Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), comprising Dangote Flour Mills, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Honeywell Flour, Dufil, and Life Flour have donated 50 units of multi-crop thresher machine worth N70 million to Wheat Farmers in the country. Speaking at the presentation of the machines in Lagos, last week, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Flour Mills, Mr. Thabo Mabe, said that the equipment would deepen mechanised farming in wheat production, increase volume of wheat produced and reduce cost of wheat in the market. According to him, 70 per cent of wheat used by flour millers are imported despite huge potential in the country’s wheat sector, adding that the multi-crop

threshers would enhance yield, empower more farmers and save foreign exchange. “The important thing on our engagement is to try to assist Nigeria to start developing wheat farming in large quantity and to ensure sustainability in terms of wheat farming,� he said. Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, FMAN, Mr. John Coumantaros, who was represented by Group Managing Director, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo said that the presentation was a demonstration of the association’s commitment to continuously support wheat farmers and Federal Government’s agriculture promotion agenda. “There is no gainsaying that self-sufficiency in the production of wheat in Nigeria, will have

an unprecedented impact on the Nigerian economy through attainment of food security, poverty reduction and of course save much needed foreign exchange,� he said. He said FMAN signed an MoU with Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria in 2016 to purchase all available wheat grain produced by farmers in line with agreed quality parameters and prevailing market prices. “In 2017, FMAN fulfilled its promise by purchasing over 2,400 metric tons of wheat valued at N469 million and in 2018, even before the start of harvest, we have purchased over 1600 metric tons of wheat valued at N237 million. “FMAN established a N20 million Research and Development Grant to the Lake Chad

Research Institute to conduct research into enhanced wheat farming technology and modern agronomy practices aimed at improving wheat varities with good yield,� he said. Gbededo said that the association would continue to invest effort and resources on initiatives that would improve local supply chain, ensure access to quality wheat at decent price and ensure that bakers and confectioners were not burdened. A representative of Honeywell Flour Mills, Mr Rotimi Fadipe, said that the local production of wheat has increased to about one million metric tons. He noted that the association expects double yields with the equipment presented to the farmers, adding that the initiative would be sustained.


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BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

Fitch Warns about Debt Financing Risk in Nigeria, Others Obinna Chima Fitch Ratings has noted that sub-Saharan African (SSA) sovereign debt levels were stabilising following their recent sharp increase. But the global rating agency warned that the growing use of the international capital markets may increase refinancing risk as the amount of international debt coming due rises. Fitch, which stated this in its latest report on the continent obtained at the weekend, also pointed out that maturities appear manageable in the near term, but public financial management (PFM) in the region remains weak. This, it pointed out, means

capacity to manage refinancing risk is an important factor in our SSA sovereign credit assessments. SSA sovereigns are making greater use of international debt market financing. This continued in first quarter 2018 with issues from Kenya (USD$2 billion), Cote d’Ivoire (EUR1.7 billion) and Nigeria (USD$2.5 billion). Ghana’s parliament last month approved plans for a eurobond issue. “Tapping international capital markets can be an important financing option where liquidity in local funding markets is low. Long-dated international issuance can extend repayment schedules (Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire’s first quarter 2018 deals both featured 30-year tranches). Market access

that allows for opportunistic international debt issuance is therefore beneficial for SSA sovereigns. “However, the rise in debt since 2011, growing use of commercial funding, and in some cases currency depreciation have increased debt servicing costs in some countries. Seven of the 18 Fitch-rated SSA sovereigns had general government interest payments/revenues above 15per cent last year, the highest since at least 2000,� the agency explained. It pointed out that borrowing in foreign currency in international markets also exposes sovereigns to FX refinancing risk and a potentially higher debt service/GDP burden in the event of local currency depreciation.

FG Highlights Benefits of N10.7bn Green Bond The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, has said the issuance of the N10.69 billion Green Bond by the Federal Government of Nigeria has clear linkages between the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). NDCs reflect Nigeria’s commitment to the Conference of the Parties (COPs) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in reducing the impact of climate change. The minister stated this at the 10th Africa Carbon Forum (ACF) in Nairobi Kenyarecently, where he participated in the high level segment that discussed progress of individual nation’s efforts to

meet commitments in the Paris agreement. The ACF is part of activities organised for the Africa Climate Week (ACW) between April 9-14, 2018. Jibril participated in two sessions, one organised by UNFCCC for participating ministers to discuss progress on the NDCs and the second session organised by the World Bank where participants discussed climate finance and the steps to its application in achieving Article 2 of the Paris agreement in redirecting finance flows toward low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient interventions. Sharing the ministry’s experience in the issuance of the first sovereign green bond

in Africa, Jubril said: �The issuance of the N10.69 billion green bond has demonstrated clear linkages between the NDCs and Nigeria’s ERGP). This is enabling us build partnerships across government, private sector and the development partners to ensure we make progress towards the achievement of the objectives of Article 2 & 6 of the Paris Agreement.� The theme of this year’s ACW, according to a statement was: “Climate Action for Sustainable Development: Driving Change in Africa.� The Minister was accompanied to the event by Senior Technical Assistant, Mallam Murtala Idrisou, Adviser on Climate Finance, Mr. Obi Ugochuku.

Buhari

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS Broad Money (M2)

21,851,454.31

-- Narrow Money (M1)

9,890,813.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,523,239.91

---- Demand Deposits

8,367,573.19

-- Quasi Money

11,960,641.22

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

9,732,990.89

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

12,118,463.42

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

Coronation Merchant Bank Posts Decline in Profits in 2017 Coronation Merchant Bank Limited recorded N4.7 billion in profit after tax for the year ended December 2017, lower than the N5.1 billion recorded in the 2016 financial year.. A statement by the bank showed that the bank posted growth in gross earnings by 66 per cent to N25.5 billion in the year under review. Interest income grew year-on-year by 67 per cent while its non-interest income improved by 57 per cent. Also, its cost-to-income ratio increased marginally by 90 basis points to 46.1 per cent, compared with the 45.2 per cent recorded as of December 2016. The bank’s total assets increased by 28 per cent to N136.7 billion, from N106.6 billion in 2016, while shareholder’s funds increased to N29.5 billion from N25.9 billion. However, the bank ended the 2017 financial year with profit before tax of N5.1 billion, slightly lower than the N5.3 billion recorded in 2016, while profit

after tax also declined to N4.7 billion from the N5.1 billion recorded in the 2016. Group Managing Director/ CEO of Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Mr. Abu Jimoh described the rise in total assets and shareholder’s funds as a valid testament to the resilience of the Group’s operations and its adaptability to current market realities and challenges. Jimoh disclosed that part of the strategic focus of the firm for 2018 was to aggressively increase its market share of corporates and institutional customers. Jimoh, who said this in statement at the investment bank’s 2017 annual general meeting that took place in Lagos at the weekend, also said the firm intends to focus on creating a world-class digital delivery platform to drive innovation in financial market. In addition, he said Coronation Merchant Bank will focus on its capital market group to

increase the contribution of the subsidiaries to the group. “I strongly believe that the growth and expansion of our subsidiaries will enable us harness the myriad of opportunities in the retail segment and further enhance the contribution of the capital market to the overall group performance,� he said. “We will continue to maintain a disciplined and prudent approach in asset creation in line with our overall risk management framework and evidenced in our growth in loan book of 42 per cent which increased from N22.7 billion to N32.3 billion with zero non-performing loans (NPLs). “While general economic conditions and the regulatory environment remain tight, we believe that our new business and lending strategies, embedded risk management culture and continuous cost savings will enable us stand firm throughout this period,� he added.

FCAM Legacy Bond Fund’s IPO Records Oversubscription The Legacy USD Bond Fund, a mutual fund managed by First City Asset Management Limited (FCAM),recorded an impressive 244.44 percent subscription in its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The result of the IPO, which has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), implies that the fund

attracted US$6.111 million, which represented an oversubscription of 144.44 percent above the US$2.5 million offered to prospective unitholders during the offer period. A statement explained that this was an indication of the high level of investor confidence in the fund and FCAM. The Legacy USD Bond Fund

is an open-ended investment vehicle registered with the SEC and managed by FCAM. It gives investors the opportunity to invest in US Dollar denominated fixed income securities on a continuous basis. It also provides flexibility with respect to the timing of investments in, and redemptions from the Fund.

(MILLION NAIRA)

AUGUST 2017

26,821,446.81

---- Credit to Government (Net)

4,824,226.22

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

7,834,536.74

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

--3,010,310.52

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

21,997,220.59

--Other Assets Net

--14,702,983.39

Reserve Money (Base Money)

5,486,804.65

--Currency in Circulation

1,868,735.07

--Banks Reserves

3,268,266.17 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

August 2017

Inter-Bank Call Rate

22.63

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

13.35

Savings Deposit Rate

4.08

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.86

3 Months Deposit Rate

10.14

6 Months Deposit Rate

11.51

12 Months Deposit Rate

11.40

Prime Lending rate

17.69

Maximum Lending Rate

31.20

ËžĂ™Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂŁÙÖÓĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ě‹ͯ͹Ϲ

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS ATTUESDAY APRIL 10, 2018

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $68.73 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $68.29 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. \The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), ZaďŹ ro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


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MARKET NEWS

Fidson Healthcare Grows ProďŹ t After Tax by 235% to N1.1 Billion Goddy Egene Indigenous pharmaceutical firm, Fidson Healthcare Plc has reported a 235 per cent growth in profit after tax (PAT) to N1.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2017, from N317 million in 2016. Details of the audited financial results showed that Fidson reported a revenue of N14.056 billion, up growth 84 per cent from N7.655 billion

in 2016. Similarly, cost of sales increased by 91 per cent from N3.6 billion in 2016 to N6.9 billion in 2017. There was an increase of a 53 per cent in total overhead (administrative and selling and distribution expenses) from N3.1 billion in 2016 to N4.7 billion in 2017, which is due to an increase in the marketing and distribution expenses. Finance cost also increased by 45 per cent from

P R I C E S MAIN BOARD

F O R

DEALS

N690 million to N1 billion in 2017. According to the company, the increase in finance cost is mainly due to increased working capital to drive growth and a hike in interest rates from financial institutions. Despite the rise in total cost, the company recorded a 127 increase in operating profit which grew from N1.1 billion in 2016 to N2.5 billion in 2017. Profit before tax (PBT), rose

S E C U R I T I E S

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N )

by 256 per cent from N443 million in 2016 to N1.57 billion in 2017, while PAT grew from N317 million to N1.1 billion. This growth led the company to close the year with an earnings per share 71 kobo, up from 21 kobo in 2016. Following this impressive result, the company would be proposing dividend per share of 20 kobo which is 300 per cent higher than the five kobo paid the previous year. According to the company,

T R A D E D MAIN BOARD

A S

the significant competitive advantage of its World Health Organisation(WHO) certifiable plant is already evident after one full calendar year in operation. “Products from the new facility as well as volume increase from existing products were largely responsible for this remarkable growth. The plant increased the company’s factory-based revenue by over 200 per cent in 2017, primarily

O F

due to an increase in production volumes and the introduction of new product lines. A portion of its new products are medicines that cater to low income earners, with the quality consumers have come to expect from Fidson,� it said. Fidson said it is highly focused on extensive brand building as part of its long-term strategy and aims to expand its Intravenous fluid lines in order to meet demands.

1 1 / 0 4 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N)


     ˾  MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2018

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Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report:

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

Ticker

Current Price

Previous Current Price Weighting Change

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 1,685.17

0.61% 2.4%

Price Change YTD

Price Change Index to Date

ROE

ROA

P/E

P/BV

9.2%

68.5%

23.1%

7.9%

7.9x

1.0x

Divinden Earnings Yield d Yield

4.7%

12.0%

1

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

44.05

21.2%

8.1%

8.6%

30.6%

5.2%

7.3x

2.1x

6.1%

13.7%

2

Zenith Bank PLC

26.10

0.4%

12.1%

1.8%

0.7%

23.3%

3.4%

4.6x

1.0x

10.3%

21.7%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

130.00

0.0%

8.0%

-3.6%

-3.7%

19.2%

8.8%

31.3x

5.8x

3.2%

3.2%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

1,385.00

0.0%

6.6%

-11.0%

-11.0%

89.0%

21.3%

32.6x

24.5x

3.1%

3.1%

5

Dangote Cement PLC

260.00

0.8%

6.4%

13.0%

13.0%

26.3%

12.4%

22.4x

5.8x

4.0%

4.5%

0.4%

6

FBN Holdings Plc

12.25

7.0%

39.2%

39.4%

2.6%

0.3%

19.9x

0.7x

1.6%

5.0%

7

Access Bank PLC

11.45

1.3%

4.5%

9.6%

8.0%

13.0%

1.6%

5.3x

0.6x

5.7%

19.0%

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

10.65

-1.8%

4.2%

3.4%

2.3%

16.1%

2.0%

4.8x

0.7x

8.0%

20.9%

9

Ecobank Transnational Inc

18.40

0.0%

3.3%

8.2%

13.1%

10.3%

0.8%

6.9x

0.7x

3.3%

14.4%

10

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

698.30

5.0%

3.1%

11.5%

11.5%

19.4%

11.1%

4.0x

0.7x

-2.0%

24.7%

11

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

49.00

3.1%

18.1%

19.8%

28.7%

3.4%

11.3x

2.9x

1.0%

8.9%

12

Unilever Nigeria PLC

52.00

0.0%

3.0%

26.8%

29.3%

17.2%

7.8%

29.7x

4.0x

1.0%

3.4%

13

Guinness Nigeria PLC

103.00

0.0%

2.3%

9.6%

9.6%

14.6%

5.6%

19.3x

2.7x

0.6%

5.2%

14

Lafarge Africa PLC

44.50

1.1%

1.5%

-0.9%

-0.9%

-32.7%

-6.5%

1.6x

3.4%

-11.4%

15

Fidelity Bank PLC

2.43

0.0%

1.1%

-1.2%

-5.8%

8.0%

1.1%

0.4x

5.8%

47.2%

16

Oando PLC

6.90

4.5%

1.4%

15.2%

15.2%

40.7%

4.2%

3.1x

0.7x

17

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

22.25

0.7%

1.2%

11.3%

9.3%

43.2%

19.8%

8.7x

3.3x

11.2%

11.5%

18

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

76.00

4.1%

1.1%

12.3%

12.3%

44.1%

32.7%

7.9x

3.0x

3.9%

12.6%

19

International Brew eries PLC

50.00

-6.8%

0.7%

-8.3%

-9.1%

24.6%

7.4%

52.4x

11.9x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

37.00

0.0%

0.8%

27.6%

27.6%

13.1%

3.0%

7.7x

0.9x

2.5%

12.9%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

7.1%

2.1x

32.1%

1.9%

1.64

0.0%

0.6%

12.3%

10.8%

8.3%

1.8%

14.0x

1.1x

1.2%

0.0%

0.5%

0.0%

0.0%

2.2%

0.8%

22.9x

0.6x

3.8%

0.6%

30.0%

24.2%

2.5%

0.3%

7.9x

0.2x

1.7%

1.7%

31.0%

6.5%

9.9x

2.8x

7.3%

10.1%

50.0%

5.1%

0.8%

4.9x

0.2x

4.2%

20.4%

4.0%

10.1%

2.2%

4.7%

22

UAC of Nigeria PLC

16.90

23

Diamond Bank PLC

1.95

4.8%

24

Total Nigeria PLC

233.80

0.0%

0.5%

25

FCMB Group Plc

2.37

3.5%

0.7%

26

11 PLC

200.00

0.0%

0.5%

2.8%

2.8%

30.8%

11.0%

9.9x

2.6x

1.4%

0.4%

-13.9%

-10.8%

19.6%

1.8%

18.9x

3.3x

10.7%

5.0%

21.3x

2.2x

4.4% 12.7%

27

Forte Oil PLC

37.45



28

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

22.50

-2.2%

0.4%

9.2%

6.4%

ŽŵĞƐƟĐ ƋƵŝƚLJ DĂƌŬĞƚ͗ĂƌŐĂŝŶ ,ƵŶƟŶŐ ƚŽ ƌŝǀĞ DĂƌŬĞƚ WĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ

29

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

14.50

0.0%

0.3%

-7.5%

-7.1%

2.6%

1.1%

57.1x

2.3x

1.1%

1.8%

30

Presco PLC

72.00

0.0%

0.4%

5.1%

5.1%

42.9%

25.9%

3.5x

1.3x

2.1%

28.2%

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

21.50

0.5%

0.3%

16.2%

11.9%

54.6%

19.5%

10.7x

4.9x

7.0%

9.4%

32

UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr

10.00

0.0%

0.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.8x

7.2%

33

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC

6.25

-3.8%

0.2%

-19.9%

-16.8%

5.6%

1.2%

8.0x

0.4x

34

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

23.50

-2.7%

0.2%

-16.1%

-16.1%

17.3%

1.8%

6.5x

1.0x

 WĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ůŽĐĂů ďŽƵƌƐĞ ǁĂƐ ŵŝdžĞĚ ƚŚŝƐ ǁĞĞŬ ǁŝƚŚ ƚŚĞ ďĞŶĐŚŵĂƌŬ ŝŶĚĞdž ĐůŽƐŝŶŐ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ŽŶ ϯ ŽĨ ϱ ƚƌĂĚŝŶŐ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶƐ͘ ŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚůLJ͕ ƚŚĞ ůů ^ŚĂƌĞ /ŶĚĞdž ƌŽƐĞ Ϭ͘Ϯй tͲŽͲt ƚŽ ƐĞƩůĞ Ăƚ ϰϬ͕ϵϮϴ͘ϳϬ ƉŽŝŶƚƐ ǁŚŝůĞ zd ƌĞƚƵƌŶ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚ ƚŽ ϳ͘Ϭй͘ Ɛ Ă ƌĞƐƵůƚ͕ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐŐĂŝŶĞĚEϯϬ͘ϳďŶĂƐŵĂƌŬĞƚĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝnjĂƟŽŶĞdžƉĂŶĚĞĚƚŽEϭϰ͘ϴƚŶ͘ WĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ƚŚŝƐ ǁĞĞŬ ǁĂƐ ŵĂũŽƌůLJ ĚƌŝǀĞŶ ďLJ ŐĂŝŶƐ ŝŶ E'D ;нϮ͘ϬйͿ͕E/'Z/EZtZ/^;нϬ͘ϴйͿĂŶĚ^W>d;нϱ͘ϬйͿ͘,ŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ ĂĐƟǀŝƚLJ ůĞǀĞů ǁĂŶĞĚ tͲŽͲt ĂƐ ĂǀĞƌĂŐĞ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ĂŶĚ ǀĂůƵĞ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƌĞĚƵĐĞĚďLJϯϱ͘ϴйĂŶĚϰϬ͘ϴйƚŽϮϴϯ͘ϭŵƵŶŝƚƐĂŶĚEϯ͘ϵďŶƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͘ dŚĞŵŽƐƚƚƌĂĚĞĚƐƚŽĐŬƐďLJǀŽůƵŵĞǁĞƌĞE/d,;ϭϵϱ͘ϮŵͿ͕^KsZE/E^ ;ϭϬϲ͘ϱŵͿĂŶĚ^<z;ϭϬϰ͘ϵŵͿǁŚŝůĞƚŚĞƚŽƉƚƌĂĚĞĚďLJǀĂůƵĞǁĞƌĞE/d, ;Eϱ͘ϭďŶͿ͕ E/'Z/E ZtZ/^ ;EϮ͘ϳďŶͿ ĂŶĚ 'hZEdz ;EϮ͘ϲďŶͿ͘  ƚƚŚĞƐƚĂƌƚŽĨƚŚĞǁĞĞŬ͕ƚŚĞ^/ĨĞůůϭ͘Ϭй͕ĞdžƚĞŶĚŝŶŐƚŚĞďĞĂƌŝƐŚƚƌĞŶĚ ĨƌŽŵƚŚĞƉƌĞǀŝŽƵƐǁĞĞŬ͘,ŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ŽŶdƵĞƐĚĂLJĂŶĚtĞĚŶĞƐĚĂLJ͕ƚŚĞ^/ ŐĂŝŶĞĚ ϭϳďƉƐ ĂŶĚ ϵϬďƉƐ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͕ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ďĂƌŐĂŝŶ ŚƵŶƟŶŐ ŝŶ E'D͕/EdZZtĂŶĚ&E,͘EŽŶĞƚŚĞůĞƐƐ͕ƉƌŽĮƚƚĂŬŝŶŐĂĐƟǀŝƟĞƐ ƌĞƐƵŵĞĚ ŽŶ dŚƵƌƐĚĂLJ ǁŝƚŚ ƚŚĞ ^/ ƐůŝĚŝŶŐ ϭϬďƉƐ ďƵƚ ƚŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ǁĂƐ ƌŽƵŶĚĞĚŽīŽŶĂƉŽƐŝƟǀĞŶŽƚĞǁŝƚŚƚŚĞďĞŶĐŚŵĂƌŬŝŶĚĞdžŐĂŝŶŝŶŐϮϴďƉƐ ŽŶ&ƌŝĚĂLJ͘  ^ĞĐƚŽƌ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ tͲŽͲt ǁĂƐ ůĂƌŐĞůLJ ďĞĂƌŝƐŚ ĂƐ ŽŶůLJ Ϯ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ϱ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐǁĞƚƌĂĐŬĐůŽƐĞĚŝŶƚŚĞŐƌĞĞŶ͘dŚĞKŝůΘ'ĂƐŝŶĚĞdžůĞĚƚŚĞŐĂŝŶĞƌƐ ĐŚĂƌƚ͕ƵƉϯ͘ϴйďƵŽLJĞĚďLJďƵLJŝŶƚĞƌĞƐƚŝŶ^W>d;нϱ͘ϬйͿ͘dŚĞ/ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞdž ĨŽůůŽǁĞĚ͕ ƌŝƐŝŶŐ ϭ͘ϯй ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶƐ ŝŶ E'D ;нϮ͘ϬйͿĂŶĚtWK;нϬ͘ϳйͿ͘KŶƚŚĞŇŝƉƐŝĚĞ͕ƚŚĞĂŶŬŝŶŐĂŶĚ/ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐǁĞƌĞ ƉƵůůĞĚĚŽǁŶ Ϯ͘Ϯй ĂŶĚ Ϭ͘ϴй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ůŽƐƐĞƐŝŶ h ;ͲϭϬ͘ϱйͿ͕ E/d, ;Ͳϰ͘ϰйͿ͕ //K ;Ͳϰ͘ϰйͿ ĂŶĚ ED ;Ͳϭϭ͘ϭйͿ͘ ^ŝŵŝůĂƌůLJ͕ ƚŚĞ ŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞdžůŽƐƚ Ϭ͘ϳй ĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ƐĞůůŽīƐ ŝŶ hE/>sZ;Ͳϭϯ͘ϬйͿ͘

 /ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ;ŵĞĂƐƵƌĞĚ ďLJ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬĚĞĐůŝŶĞ ƌĂƟŽͿ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ƚŽ ϭ͘Ϭdž ĨƌŽŵ Ϭ͘ϰdž ƉŽƐƚĞĚ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ƉƌĞǀŝŽƵƐ ǁĞĞŬ ĂƐ ϯϲ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚĂŐĂŝŶƐƚϯϳƐƚŽĐŬƐƚŚĂƚĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ͘dŚĞƚŽƉƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐƐƚŽĐŬƐŝŶ ƚŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ǁĞƌĞ >ZE&Z/ ;нϭϴ͘ϲйͿ͕ DK/> ;нϭϳ͘ϲйͿ ĂŶĚ KEK ;нϭϱ͘ϮйͿǁŚŝůĞ/>^/E;Ͳϭϴ͘ϬйͿ͕,DZ</E^;Ͳϭϰ͘ϳйͿĂŶĚhE/>sZ;Ͳ ϭϯ͘ϬйͿǁĞƌĞƚŚĞǁŽƌƐƚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĞƌƐ͘ĞƐƉŝƚĞƐƵďƐŝƐƟŶŐǁĞĂŬƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ͕ ǁĞ ŵĂŝŶƚĂŝŶ ŽƵƌ ŶĞĂƌ ƚĞƌŵ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ŽƵƚůŽŽŬ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ͘ ,ĞŶĐĞ͕ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ĐŽŵŝŶŐ ǁĞĞŬ͕ ǁĞ ĞdžƉĞĐƚ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ƚŽ ďĞ ĚƌŝǀĞŶ ďLJ ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞĚďĂƌŐĂŝŶŚƵŶƟŶŐĂƐĂůƌĞĂĚLJǁŝƚŶĞƐƐĞĚƚŚŝƐǁĞĞŬ͘

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12.5% 4.3%

15.4%

1.76

-4.9%

0.4%

63.0%

55.8%

6.1%

0.6%

9.3x

0.5x

13.10

-0.4%

0.3%

7.8%

7.8%

61.6%

15.8%

4.2x

1.8x

1.5%

23.6%

0.3%

38.8%

38.8%

61.2%

23.6%

6.2x

2.2x

25.0%

16.1%

0.2%

14.0%

8.5%

66.2%

30.2%

18.1x

12.1x

5.3%

5.5%

0.1%

40.2%

40.2%

18.4%

11.9%

10.1x

1.7x

1.5%

9.9%

0.1%

3.3%

3.3%

4.7%

2.8%

21.2x

1.0x

1.8%

4.7%

35

Sterling Bank PLC

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

30.00

0.0%

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

38.75

0.0%

39

Beta Glass PLC

71.95

0.0%

40

Transcorp Hotels Plc

7.45

0.0%

T o p 10 G a ine r s T ic k er

5.3%

10.8%

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

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

Vo lum e

P ric e C hg %

0.92

9.5%

SOVR EN IN S

15.5

5.0%

20.20

9.2%

Z EN IT H B A N K

14.3

0.4%

SKYEB A N K

0.80

8.1%

LA SA C O

10.8

2.7%

R EGA LIN S

0.28

7.7%

FCM B

10.2

3.5%

UN IT YB N K

1.11

5.7%

UB A

9.4

-1.8%

0.21

5.0%

ST ER LN B A N K

8.8

-4.9%

0.21

5.0%

A C C ESS

8.5

1.3%

698.30

5.0%

FB NH

8.2

0.4%

WEM A B A N K CCNN

C OUR T VILLE SOVR EN IN S SEP LA T

T ic k er

C UST OD IA N

4.91

4.9%

LEA R N A F R C A

6.5

-0.9%

D IA M ON D B N K

1.95

4.8%

C UST OD IA N

5.0

4.9%

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

T o p 10 L o s e r s T ic k er

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

Value

P ric e C hg %

IN T B R EW

50.00

-6.8%

T ic k er NB

415.5

0.0%

H M A R KIN S

0.29

-6.5%

Z EN IT H B A N K

371.4

0.4%

M A YB A KER

2.88

-5.0%

GUA R A N T Y

161.9

2.4%

N EIM ET H

0.78

-4.9%

D A N GC EM

135.7

0.8%

ST ER LN B A N K

1.76

-4.9%

UB A

99.7

-1.8%

LIN KA SSUR E

0.80

-4.8%

FB NH

99.0

0.4%

C A VER T ON

2.65

-4.7%

A C C ESS

96.2

1.3%

T R A N SEXP R

0.86

-4.4%

CCNN

94.7

9.2%

M A N SA R D

2.41

-4.4%

ST A N B IC

52.3

-2.0%

N EM

2.40

-4.0%

OKOM UOIL

50.3

4.1%

ÝŘɚsǣǼŎsŘǼNJsǣsNjOÌ

DNjŸĨsNj¶s ɴŸ_sĠÞrEŸʿsEŸ˔¯NjÞŘɚsǣǼʳOŸŎ

NJŸEsNjǼŷŎŸǼȖŘ_sʿNjŸŎŸǼȖŘ_s˔¯NjÞŘɚsǣǼʳOŸŎ

DŸĶĠÞ®ĠsŘɴŸʿE¯ĠsŘɴŸ˔¯NjÞŘɚsǣǼʳOŸŎ

ŷŎŸǼŸĶEÞŎEŸĶʿŸEÞŎEŸĶ˔¯NjÞŘɚsǣǼʳOŸŎ


35

     ˾  MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2018

MARKET NEWS

Flour Mills of Nigeria Assures Stakeholders of Better Value Goddy Egene The Group Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, has said that the company’s focus remains on growing and building long-term value for stakeholders. Gbededo stated this while commenting on the success the company recorded with its recent Rights Issue where it raised N39.9 billion. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc had in January

made a Rights Issue of 1,476,142,418 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N27.00 per share on the basis of nine new shares for every 16 shares to shareholders. The issue, which is the first and only share issuance under Flour Mills’ N40 billion rights issue programme, was well received by the company’s broad retail and institutional shareholder base, with a subscription level of 111 per cent. Commenting on the

A Mutual fund (Unit Trust) is an investment vehicle managed by a SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registered Fund Manager. Investors with similar objectives buy units of the Fund so that the Fund Manager can buy securities that willl generate their desired return. An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a type of fund which owns the assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, gold bars, foreign currency, etc.) and divides ownership of those assets into shares. Investors can buy these ‘shares’ on the

success of the issue, Gbededo said the strong appetite exhibited by shareholders was a vote of confidence in the company. “The Rights Issue is aimed at strengthening our balance sheet and positioning the Company for sustainable growth. We value the strong level of support shown by our shareholders and our focus remains on growing and building long-term value for all stakeholders,” he said. He explained that Flour

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 12Apr-2018, unless otherwise stated.

Mills of Nigeria will use the proceeds from the rights issue to settle part of its outstanding overdraft and short term debt obligations. “The significant investor demand demonstrates the strength of the Flour Mills’ brand, thriving shareholder goodwill and robust access to the equity capital market,” the MD said. The company recently released its results for the nine months ended December 31, 2017 with

impressively performance. Group revenue was N427.5 billion in 2017, up by 10 per cent from N389.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016. Profit before tax (PBT) rose 89 per cent from N10.3 billion in 2016 to N19.50 billion in 2017, while profit after tax (PAT) rose by 80 per cent from N7.39 billion to N13.27 billion. Earnings per share improved from 250 kobo to 456 kobo. Commenting on the results, Gbededo said: “We are delighted to

report another quarter of solid performance, despite harsh operational environments, which have been compounded further by traffic congestions in Apapa. Our food business has continued to show impressive results, in line with our strategy to lead the market in all major categories. We shall continue to drive efficiency and grow our footprints in the Agro-allied segments also in achieving our core focus of feeding the nation, everyday.”

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 188.24 189.22 5.97% Nigeria International Debt Fund 244.09 245.10 5.54% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.86 0.87 4.06% ACAP Income Funds 0.65 0.65 8.20% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.65% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 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 investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; 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 investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 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 assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.45% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 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 invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; 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 fcamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.38 1.41 5.94% Legacy Debt Fund 2.99 2.99 3.83% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A Coral Income Fund N/A N/A N/A GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 14.03% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 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 fincon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.17 1.20 2.56% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,043.55 1,043.55 1.00% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Meristem Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.31 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 info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 140.44 142.97 9.07% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.55 1.55 4.30% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,343.11 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 unitedcapitalplcgroup.com Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.33 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 info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 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

REITS NAV Per Share

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

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

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


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CITYSTRINGS

Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ë?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;ĂĄĂ&#x2039; Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă?Ë&#x203A;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;ĂĄĂ&#x2039;ĚśĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x2013;Ă&#x201C;Ă Ă?Ë&#x203A;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;

Equipping Tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Leaders The private banking unit of Fidelity Bank recently organised a five-day kids coding boot camp in Lagos to equip Nigerian children with the necessary knowledge, skills and capabilities to compete favourably with their counterparts in other nations. Sunday Ehigiator writes

M

aster Okemesimi Aigbe gazes at his computer screen, cautiously plotting his next move. As part of a class task to re-create a simulation of a road racing competition, the 10-year-old spent the better part of the hour trying to animate F1 drivers swerving back and forth across highway lanes. The young lad seems rather perplexed as a series of computer commands are proving too complicated than he had expected. But, with a little tweak here and a slight adjustment there, Aigbe finds himself edging closers to his dream. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to build a website and games from the programme,â&#x20AC;? muttered Aigbe, an enthusiastic participant at a 5-day Kids Coding Boot Camp organised by the Private Banking Division of Fidelity Bank in Lagos. Finally, he inputs some codes and hits the enter button. He smiles in utmost satisfaction as he watches his Porsche Carrera GT zoom past obstacles on the simulated race course. Aigbeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exploits are some of the many examples that demonstrate how the process of learning to code can deepen creativity in children. The late John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK), 35th President of the United States (U.S.) who faced a number of foreign crises, especially in Cuba and Berlin, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.â&#x20AC;? Fidelity Bank recognises the importance of education and remains highly committed to equipping Nigerian children with the necessary knowledge, skills and capabilities to ensure that when that future does arrive they are capable of taking advantage of available opportunities to drive socio-economic development. It is well established that children who learn coding and programming logic are better problem solvers, have stronger analytical reasoning skills, and become more involved, inquisitive learners who are driven to construct knowledge. Moreover, it is also a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) discipline, one that teaches kids how the internet works, how systems they rely on function. More importantly, computer coding is also a skill fundamental to a global economy driven by technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today, you cannot be a citizen of the world without being computer savvy,â&#x20AC;? stated the Bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, during the opening ceremony of the kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camp. He reasoned that it is important to equip our children â&#x20AC;&#x153;with the right tools to compete favourably with their counterpart in other nations and lead Nigeria to the future.â&#x20AC;? As part of its mentorship programme, Fidelityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Private Banking Division organised the coding camp to provide participants with

a foundation upon which to build their careers as programmers and tech entrepreneurs. It was a great time of learning, creativity and fun as wards of their clients gathered at the Private Banking Office in Ikoyi, Lagos, to learn how to write code, create apps, and make games whilst also developing competitive skills to assist them in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rapidly changing environment. The camp which held in two streams for a period of two weeks admitted kids from between the ages of 10-17 years. The first stream, which started on April 3, had about 20 students from select primary and secondary schools in Lagos. During the first dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s session, Henry Okonkwo of Truparse, a Lagos-based digital creative agency that facilitated the code camp, introduced the children to the basics of creating games. He later showed them how to build games using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. The programme was designed specifically to prepare children for software development, software optimisation and solution design; thus enabling kids with little or no coding experience to understand coding concepts and immediately apply these skills and knowledge to their academic and daily interactions. Currently, software is at the heart of the global knowledge economy as the increasing adoption of Information Communication Technology (ICT) enabled tools and technologies further enhance its value. Softwareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growing influence is adding more than $1.14 trillion a year to the U.S. economy, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. The software industry directly contributed $564.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, representing an 18.7 per cent increase over 2014. When looking at its full impact, the software industry is responsible for $1.14 trillion of total U.S. value-added GDP in 2016 ($564.4 billion in direct value-added + $575.5 billion in indirect and induced effects) - a 6.4 per cent increase in just the last two years. It is evident that the software industry is a catalyst for economic growth. Interest-

As part of its mentorship programme, Fidelityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Private Banking Division organised the coding camp to provide participants with a foundation upon which to build their careers as programmers and tech entrepreneurs

MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, ďŹ&#x201A;anked by the kids and staďŹ&#x20AC; of Fidelity private banking unit during the

Okonkwo...investing in tomorrow's leaders

ingly, the software presents Nigeria with an opportunity to take high up position in the global ICT value chain. However, the industry has witnessed some major challenges.

Nigerian Software industry is innovative, virile and versatile but support from the government at all levels is still very low. Indians have grown their homemade software


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CITYSTRINGS

Kids Coding Boot Camp in Lagos...recently

A cross section of participants during the Kids Coding Boot Camp in Lagos

Kids working on their laptops

and are exporting them to the whole world while Nigeria still depends on imported ICT solutions. As a reputable financial institution com-

place last year was designed to provide the right coaching for the younger generation, the workshop was intended to prepare them for future endeavours. Children between the ages of nine to 15 years, were also trained on other soft skills such as communication and collaboration to prepare them for future endeavours. Mrs. Janet Adetu, the workshop facilitator noted that the workshop will not only provide children with requisite social skills to manage difficult situations but also boost their self-confidence. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to build their self-confidence and make sure that our children are prepared

We want to build their self-conďŹ dence and make sure that our children are prepared to take up leadership opportunities in the near future

mitted to growing the Nigerian economy, Fidelity Bank strongly believes that young Nigerians need to solve problems in their immediate environment with modern technology currently characterised by the Personal Computer (PC). With laudable initiatives such as the Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coding Camp, the Bank is fully persuaded that Nigeria can build an army of software developers that can transform the fortunes of this nation. The coding camp is a follow up to an Etiquette Workshop for children still as part of mentorship programme of the Private Banking Division. The event which took

to take up leadership opportunities in the near future.â&#x20AC;? Adetu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of JSK Etiquette, a leading etiquette and protocol company said the essence of the workshop was to teach these children soft skills to enable them to thrive in this difficult times. Interactive teaching techniques that include demonstrations, role plays and questions and answers sessions were used to enhance the learning process during the training session; thus dispelling passivity, stimulating response and animated discussions during the training session.


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INTERNATIONAL

email:foreigndesk@thisdaylive.com

Syria Air Strikes: Trump Defends Claiming ‘Mission Accomplished’ Chemical probe to begin in Syria after Western strikes US President Donald Trump has defended his use of the term “mission accomplished”, accusing the “fake news media” of seizing on the term to demean the strikes, carried out in response to an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack. His response came on the heels of the criticism that trails US, UK and French strikes on targets in Syria, BBC reported on Sunday. Ex-President George W Bush was widely ridiculed after appearing in front of a banner with the term in the Iraq war. Russia and Syria insist no chemical attack took place on 7 April. They have said the attack in Douma, in the Eastern Ghouta area near the capital, Damascus, was staged. Meanwhile, international inspectors began work Sunday at

the site near Damascus of an alleged chemical attack that prompted the unprecedented wave of strikes, AFP reported. US, French and British missiles destroyed sites suspected of hosting chemical weapons development and storage facilities, but the buildings were mostly empty and the Western trio swiftly reverted to its diplomatic efforts. Washington trumpeted the “perfectly executed” strike, the biggest international attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime during Syria’s seven-year war, but both Damascus and Syria’s opposition rubbished its impact. Assad on Sunday denounced a “campaign of deceit and lies at the (United Nations) Security Council” after a push by Moscow

to condemn the strikes fell far short. Syria and its Russian ally are “waging a single battle -- not only against terrorism, but also to protect international law based on the respect of the sovereignty of states and the will of their people”, Assad’s office quoted him saying during a meeting with Russian politicians. The inspectors, consisting of chemical experts from the

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, arrived in Damascus hours after the strikes. They have been tasked with investigating the site of an April 7 attack in the town of Douma, just east of the capital Damascus, which Western powers said involved chlorine and sarin and killed dozens.

“The fact-finding team arrived in Damascus on Saturday and is due to go to Douma on Sunday,” Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ayman Soussan told AFP. But the Western powers, who had earlier signalled that they hadno further plans for further missile strikes on Syria, have vowed to assess their option should Damascus use chemical

weapons again, Reuters reported UK foreign minister as saying on Sunday. This was as debate raged over the legality and effectiveness of the raid. In Damascus, Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad met inspectors from the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW for about three hours in the presence of Russian officers and a senior Syrian security official.

Russia Spied on Skripal and Daughter for At Least FiveYears – UK Russia’s intelligence agencies spied on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for at least five years before they were attacked with a nerve agent in March, Reuters reported the national security adviser to Britain’s prime minister as saying. Mark Sedwill said in a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday that email accounts of Yulia had been targeted in 2013 by cyber specialists from Russia’s GRU military intelligence service. Yulia Skripal has, meanwhile, been discharged from a hospital in the English city of Salisbury on Monday, where, she said, she was treated “with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness” while her father remains at the hospital.

She was taken to a location which has not been made public. Skripal said she was not yet strong enough to give a media interview and she said a cousin who had spoken to Russian media did not speak for her or for her father. Meanwhile, the lethal poison that struck down Skripal and her father have been confirmed to be a highly pure Novichok nerve agent, Reuters reported the global chemical weapons watchdog as confirming on Thursday, backing UK’s findings. Testing by four laboratories affiliated with the global chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Britain’s findings and showed that the toxic chemical was “of high purity”.

Mali Militants Attack Bases Disguised as UN Peacekeepers A rocket and car bomb attack on French and UN soldiers in Mali has left one person dead and many others injured, BBC reported on Sunday. Militants disguised as UN peacekeepers - in distinctive blue helmets and driving a vehicle marked with the UN logo - struck two bases near the airport in Timbuktu. The UN mission confirmed one of its peacekeepers had been killed. More than a dozen others, including many French soldiers, were wounded, according to the government. In a statement, the security ministry said the attack involved dozens of rockets fired by militants “wearing blue helmets”. Two vehicles were also packed with explosives. One of the vehicles exploded, the ministry said, while the other,

bearing the UN symbol, was stopped. The ministry said that while five people were seriously injured, the fighting had ended and the situation was under control. Attacks against UN peacekeepers and government forces are common in Mali, a former French colony which also has a French military presence. But one foreign security source told the AFP news agency the scale of the most recent assault was “unprecedented” in Timbuktu. “We’ve never seen an attack like this,” a separate official from the Timbuktu governorate said. The UN mission has been deployed in Mali since a 2013 Tuareg separatist uprising. It has more than 11,000 troops and 1,741 police, and is considered one of the UN’s most dangerous missions. Before Saturday’s rocket and car bomb attack, 162 UN personnel had been killed in the five years since the mission began. Seven peacekeepers have been killed this year.

POLICY DIALOGUE SESSION Site of the Western powers strike on Syria

THE DAILY BEAST

Israel Destroys ‘Longest and Deepest’ Gaza Tunnel The Israeli military has disabled a major tunnel dug by militants which reached into Israel from the Gaza Strip, BBC reported officials as saying. Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it was the longest and deepest tunnel of its kind Israel had discovered. A military spokesman said it had been dug since the 2014 Gaza war, when Israel destroyed more than 30 tunnels which it said were meant for

attacks. Israel is using sophisticated measures to thwart tunnels dug by militants. Military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said the tunnel had been dug by Hamas and began in the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. He said it penetrated several metres into Israel in the direction of Nahal Oz, but did not yet have an exit. The tunnel stretched “several

kilometres” into Gaza and connected with other tunnels from which attacks could be launched, he said. Israel disabled the tunnel over the weekend, according to the military. “We filled the tunnel with material that renders it useless for a very long period of time,” Col Conricus said. It was the fifth Gaza tunnel to be destroyed by the Israeli military in recent months, Col

Conricus said. Some of the tunnels have been built by Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad and others by Hamas, the Islamist group which controls Gaza. Since last year, Israel has been using special equipment to detect the presence of tunnels, and is building a hi-tech barrier above and below ground along its border with Gaza to prevent new tunnels being dug.

Massive March in Barcelona against Jailing of Separatist Leaders Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Barcelona on Sunday to protest the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders facing trial on “rebellion” charges, according to AFP. Many chanted “Freedom for the political prisoners” as they marched along the Parallel Avenue, one of the city’s main streets, many waving the redand-yellow Catalan flag.

The protest comes six months after the first incarcerations of top Catalan separatist leaders for misuse of public funds, sedition and rebellion -- which carries a prison sentence of 30 years and implies that a “violent uprising” took place -- over their separatist push. “Since they could not decapitate separatism, they are trying to do it through

the courts,” Roser Urgelles, a 59-year-old teacher, told AFP at the protest. “They need to demonstrate that there was violence to execute the sentences that they want, so they invent it,” she said, adding: “But we will continue to protest peacefully.” Like thousands of others at the march, she wore a yellow ribbon to show solidarity

with the jailed leaders, whom Catalan separatists consider to be “political prisoners”. Spain’s justice minister, Rafael Catala, has called the use of yellow ribbons “insulting”, arguing that Spain has no political prisoners but “politicians in prison”. The Guardia Urbana, a Catalan municipal police force, said 315,000 people turned out.


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NEWS

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

Five Killed in Taraba Hours After Withdrawal of Soldiers IDP crisis hits state as LG bosses groan over rise in refugees

Wole Ayodele in Jalingo Less than 24 hours after soldiers drafted to maintain peace in

some parts of Taraba State were withdrawn, five persons have been killed by unknown gunmen at Sabon Gida in Donga Local

Wike Hosts IPI Team, Calls for Free Press Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has given the Nigerian media a wake-up call that they should live up to their responsibility of being the mouthpiece of the poor. He also said without a free press, Nigeria and its people would be denied the fruits of democracy. The governor, who spoke at the weekend in Port Harcourt while hosting a delegation of the Media and Publicity Committee of the IPI 2018 Congress, said he was happy the IPI Congress would hold in Nigeria at a period the nation was trying to have another transition. The IPI Congress delegation was in the state as part of its advocacy visit to critical stakeholders to mobilise support for the successful hosting of the congress, scheduled for Abuja in June. “We are happy this is happening while we are trying to have another transition. Press freedom can only happen when we have democracy and rule of law. “We are happy the press

will let Nigerians and the world know the way the federal government is fighting corruption by targeting the opposition. “The press should wake up. It should be the spokesman for the poor. The press must speak out and defend the poor and the vulnerable,” the governor said. Wike expressed regrets that the federal government by its conduct, has portrayed Nigeria as not being ready to have enduring democracy. He also accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of insincerity in conducting free and fair polls in 2019. The governor said his administration was aware of plans by the federal government, in connivance with INEC to undermine the wishes of voters in the state during the next general election. He, however, vowed that his administration would do everything within the law to frustrate plots to rig the polls in the state in 2019.

Government Area of the state. The Chairman of the local government area, Nashuka Ipeyen, who confirmed the killings to journalists, said four persons were killed at Sabon Gida hours after the soldiers withdrew, while an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) was slaughtered at Tunari village. Besides, three other IDPs who had gone to their abandoned homes to pack their valuables and food items are reportedly missing. The chairman however told journalists that it took the gallantry of the anti-riot policemen drafted to maintain peace in the area after the withdrawal of the soldiers to prevent the attackers from razing down the entire Sabon Gida village.

Ipeyen however, appealed to the people of the local government to avoid going into the hinterlands until the security situation in the area improves and normalcy returns. In another development, the Chairman of Takum Local Government Area, Shiban Tikari, has described Saturday’s declaration by the military authorities that they have arrested the mastermind of the killings in Takum and Ussa as laughable and diversionary. The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, had in a statement last Saturday, announced the arrest of Danjuma America and Danasabe Gasama whom he alleged to have masterminded the killings in the two local government areas. Tikari charged the military

authorities to rise up to the challenge of discharging their constitutional responsibility diligently and patriotically particularly at this critical period in the nation’s history. He challenged the armed forces to address the main issues of collusion with armed bandits to kill innocent people and complicity in the killings going on in several parts of the state rather than diverting peoples’ attention. “We have been crying on top of our voices that the army operatives of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma were out to for something. How come they have not toldl Nigerians about the arrest of the mastermind of the attack in Jandeikyula in Wukari Local Government where over 25 people were killed.

“They have not arrested the attackers killing our people in the villages since the killings in Takum and Ussa. These two boys they have arrested are indigenes of this area. Would they turn and be burning their houses and killing their own people? “We have told them the routes the attackers are using to come and attack us, but rather than go into these areas and arrest the armed Fulani militia attacking us, they have been busy harassing our people in the town. “As we speak, the Commanding Officer of the 93 Battalion Takum, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Gambari, has withdrawn all soldiers at various check points in Takum Local Government Area. So that’s the type of army

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SEC Considers 10-year Capital Market Plan at Expanded C’ttee Meeting Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday said it would hold deeper discussions on the implementation of the 10-year capital market master plan as well as other initiatives for Nigeria’s capital market with stakeholders at its forthcoming Capital Market Committee (CMC). A statement from the SEC in Abuja explained that the CMC meeting scheduled to hold in Lagos would be expanded to accommodate a diverse group of relevant stakeholders in Nigeria’s capital market. According to it, the 10-year master plan for the Nigerian capital market is expected to refocus the market and help double its size over time as well as grow the economy. It noted that since it unveiled the masterplan in November 2014, it has vigorously implemented some initiatives in it with the aim of attracting more investors to the market. “The SEC is set to host the first CMC meeting for 2018. The meeting is scheduled to hold at the Federal Palace Hotel and top on the agenda would be the capital market master plan implementation and other capital market initiatives,” said the statement. SEC equally explained that some of the initiatives in the masterplan which it has implemented include direct cash settlement;

dematerialisation; and e-dividend registration, which it added have promoted transparency; protect and enhance investors’ confidence in the capital market. “The SEC therefore enjoins all shareholders to take advantage of the initiatives introduced in the capital market aimed primarily at strengthening the market and accelerating economic development. “This is in consonance with the present administration’s economic strategy focused on deepening the capital market as a vehicle for encouraging a private sector-led economy with enhanced productivity,” it explained. On the stakeholders expected at the CEC meeting, SEC stated: “Those who have been invited to attend the expanded session are CEOs of all registered capital market firms, i.e. broker dealer capital market solicitors; custodians; fund managers; issuing houses; rating agencies; registrars; reporting accountants; trustees; and consultants. “Others are Chief Executive Officers of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD); the Financial Markets Dealers Quotations (FMDQ); Africa Exchange Holdings (AFEX); Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX); Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS); Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS); as well as representatives of relevant financial services’ agencies; among others.”

RUBBING MINDS

President Muhammadu Buhari (left), receiving in audience the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in London.....yesterday

Konga,Yudala Announce Merger, to Rule E-Commerce, Organised Retail Sector Konga, Nigeria’s largest online mall, and Yudala, Africa’s pioneer composite e-commerce company, have officially announced a merger of their operations which will see them effectively become the biggest organised retail and e-commerce/ marketplace outfit on the African continent. The business merger, which will take effect from May 1, 2018, will see both companies operate under the KONGA brand name. The strategic decision will see both companies leverage on the combined strengths of both platforms, and is expected to further broaden the scope of organised retail and e-commerce in Nigeria and deliver more value to customers and merchants. “Combining forces to power the new Konga will enable us effectively achieve our goals of platform expansion and accelerated growth, as we embark on an ambitious journey to redefine the retail ecosystem with the industry’s most advanced technology,” disclosed Konga Chairman, Olusiji Ijogun.

He said: “Effective from May 1, Yudala, will now operate under the name KONGA, with dual CEOs in the persons of Nick Imudia who will be in charge of online among others while Prince Nnamdi Ekeh will be responsible for offline. This merger will further strengthen our position in the Nigerian retail market as we creatively position Konga as the first profitable e-commerce company in Africa. “The efficiency of Konga’s cutting-edge online platform, access to thousands of merchants and Yudala’s expansive network of fully stocked offline stores is poised to give our customers the best shopping experience imaginable. We will be working closely with all our combined clients, customers, merchants and employees to make the integration process as seamless as possible and thereafter make public our road map to sustain our leadership on the continent,” Ijogun said. One of the exciting benefits of this merger is the possibility it offers prospective shoppers to

order online, pay and pick-up the product(s) at the nearest Konga offline store. There are also increasing business opportunities for merchants nationwide. “We are very excited about the operational merger between Yudala and Konga into the new Konga.” “A merger of this magnitude has never been experienced in Africa. We will be leveraging on Konga’s strong technology backbone and online experience as well as Yudala’s offline experience, network of retail stores and operational efficiency. In the near future, we plan to have a Konga store in every local government area in Nigeria. While this is ambitious, we believe that every Nigerian deserves the right to have access to the full range of genuine products offered by Konga,” Prince Ekeh declared. Plans are also underway to showcase the full power of the merger with expanded access to thousands of products in Konga online and offline stores for all categories of shoppers. According to Imudia, “We believe this operational merger

between Konga and Yudala will bring immense opportunities for consumers in the e-commerce space. We urge all shoppers, consumers, merchants and clients to stay tuned as we unveil the massive ambitious contents we have to offer.” Widely applauded by industry watchers as a masterstroke, the merger will broaden the range of products and solutions on offer within the Konga/Yudala stable, while giving the customers and merchants more options and access to an expanded variety of guaranteed quality offerings and payment methods. The Konga Business platform will now include two distinct but fully integrated aspects including Konga Online, the e-commerce/ marketplace platform and Konga Retail, the offline arm of the business. Both will be supported by Konga Pay, a Central Bamk of Nigeria (CBN)-licensed mobile money platform and Konga Express, a world-class logistics company with advanced delivery capabilities for internal and external customers.


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Looters’ List: FG Will Not Be Intimidated, Says Lai Mohammed Jonathan’s aide releases real looters’ list govt should have released

Tobi Soniyi and Chinedu Eze in Lagos Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja The federal government has assured Nigerians that no amount of pressure, including the antics of hack writers and threats of litigation would prevent it from releasing more names of the alleged looters of the public treasury. This came as former Special Assistant to the former President Goodluck Jonathan on Social Media, Reno Omokiri, yesterday released what he called ‘The real looters’ list,’ which the federal government should have released if it were sincere about fighting corruption. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed that since the release of the first two lists of the alleged looters, there have been overt and covert attempts to intimidate and blackmail the federal government into discontinuing the release of more looters’ names. ‘’Hack writers have inundated the social and traditional media with articles casting aspersion on the lists, while some newspapers have even resorted to writing editorials against the federal government over the release of the lists. Most of the write-ups have accused the government of politicising the antigraft war by releasing the lists. We strongly disagree with them. ‘’We do not have the power to try or convict anyone. That is the exclusive preserve of the courts. But we have the power to let Nigerians know those who turned the public treasury into their personal piggy banks, on the basis of very concrete evidence, and that is what we are doing,’’ he said. Mohammed said the government

has always known that corruption would fight back, fast and furious, and that it was not surprised at the hiring of hack writers to attack the very idea of naming and shaming the looters, or the hysterical threats of litigation. ‘’All the fuss about politicising the anti-corruption fight is aimed at preventing the government from releasing more looters’ names and at the same time muddling the waters. But 1,000 negative write-ups or editorials will not deter us from releasing the third and subsequent lists. For those who have chosen to give succour to looters, we wish them the best of luck with their new pastime,’’ he said. The minister said the pressure being mounted on the government over its decision to expose looters was not unexpected. He said: ‘’We know where the pressure is coming from. However, the die is cast. We will not stop until we have released the names of all those who have looted our commonwealth. Those who have not looted our treasury have nothing to be afraid of. He challenged anyone who felt that he or she had been wrongly accused to seek redress in court, rather than engaging in exhibitionist sophistry. Mohammed also reminded Nigerians that it was the PDP that dared to challenge the federal government into releasing the list of PDP looters, hence the argument that the list only contained the names of PDP members fell short without proper contextualisation. ‘’We are not underestimating the desperation of the looters, but we wish to assure Nigerians who are justifiably outraged at the mindless plundering of the nation’s wealth also of our determination not to back down. Nigerians must know those who have wrecked the

20 Communities Fleeing for Fear of Bandits Attack in Zamfara, Says Emir Mohammed Aminu in Gusau No fewer than 20 communities in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State have been deserted to avoid being attacked by bandits. The Emir of Anka and Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammad Attahiru Ahmed, made this known while briefing journalists in Anka Local Government Area of the state at the weekend. According to him, many communities in Anka Local Government Area are now in fear following incessant attacks by bandits in the area. The monarch, who spoke through the Waziri of Anka Emirate, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa, lamented that the bandits had attacked Kuru-kuru and Jarkuka villages last Wednesday and killed 26 innocent people with threat of more attacks. He maintained that the precarious security situation had scared even the neighbouring villages to flee en masse into Anka town to take refuge. “As you are aware, the residents of communities who live close to the bush have fled their villages

because they are more prone to attacks by the bandits. “These bandits usually announce the schedule for their attacks before visiting any of the targeted villages in their list, this is why Anka Local Government Area headquarters has become overpopulated now,” he lamented. The emir expressed dismay that the security agencies had failed to protect the people but only provide security for the burial of those killed. The monarch expressed dissatisfaction with the efforts of the federal government towards tackling banditry in the area. He announced that the Emirate has declared a threeday mourning within which they would observe fasting to seek God’s intervention on the matter. In his remarks, the Chairman of Anka Local Government Area, Alhaji Mustapha Gado, decried the migration of villagers to the local government area headquarters on a daily basis for fear of possible attacks by bandits. He added that the local government economy is being threatened by overpopulation.

country and mortgaged the future of their children,” Mohammed added. However, former Special Assistant to the former President Jonathan on Social Media, Omokiri, has released what he called ‘The real looters’ list,’ which the federal government should have released if it were sincere about fighting corruption. Many in the list are political office holders in the current federal government, some state governors and some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which he put the total amount looted at $30 billion. Some names in the list included President Muhammadu Buhari aides, a governor in the South-east zone, a governor in the South-west, a governor in the North-central and others. Omokiri argued that he has strong evidence of looting against them, including documentary evidence or eyewitness testimony, which promoted him to add them

in the list. He said his list was not exhaustive, noting that there are many other “looters” that make future lists. Others mentioned in the list included a Manging Director of one of the country’s oil corporation, ministers and the Executive Secretary of national health scheme. “There are many others, including a South-south exgovernor who is close to President Buhari, whose security vote was incredibly substantial, but unless I have hard documentary evidence or eyewitness testimony, I have avoided listing such persons. “Nigerians and the international community may find the list below to be a more credible list and I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate (ICPC) to interrogate and prosecute those contained therein, especially as I have produced details and named names, dates and amounts involved

which stand at over $30 billion,” he said. Omokiri alleged that the current administration played politics with fuel subsidy and after prolonged denial, it admitted that it had spent N1.4 trillion on fuel subsidy. “On several occasions during the 2015 election campaign, then candidate, Buhari, said he did not know what fuel subsidy was and accused the Jonathan administration of scamming Nigerians through the scheme. Again, on December 28, 2015, President Buhari said he was ending fuel subsidy. On May 12, 2016, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said subsidy had been removed. The price of petrol was increased on that basis to 145. Then on December 15, 2016, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said there was no more fuel subsidy in Nigeria. “In the 2016 and 2017 budgets, the National Assembly made no provision for appropriations for fuel subsidy. On December 22, 2017, the Group Managing Director of

the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, said President Buhari had authorised him to make fuel subsidy payments which he tried to hide by using the ingenious term ‘under recovery’. On April 6, 2018, Kachikwu revealed that 1.4 trillion was being spent annually on fuel subsidy payments by the Buhari administration,” Omokiri said. He also alleged that the administration has been spending money out of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) “If all funds belonging to the federation are remitted into the Federation Account, if all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) are bound by the TSA, how is it possible for President Buhari to unconstitutionally instruct the GMD of the NNPC to use funds which were not appropriated by the National Assembly to pay for a scheme that was scrapped? This amount is more

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PRESIDENTIAL HONOUR

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (left), congratulating Senator Binta Garba at her 50th birthday thanksgiving service at the International Praise Church, with her women associates in Yola, Adamawa State...yesterday

Buhari: Wicked People Plundered Our Resources, Kept Nigerians Poor Omololu Ogunmade in London President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in London told some Nigerians living in the United Kingdom under the aegis of Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation how ‘wicked elements’ during previous administrations plundered the country’s resources and impoverished the people. The president, however, told the group led by its leader, Charles Efe Sylvester, that his government would uphold the confidence of its members. According to Mr. Femi Adesina, the president’s media adviser, Buhari said Nigeria was blessed with tremendous human and natural resources, lamenting that “failure of some of the leadership we had in the past led to our not being able to capitalise on resources to improve the lot of the people.” Further bemoaning how such

“wicked” people “kept Nigerians poor,” the president noted that the current administration met the country without savings and the economy badly vandalised, adding that notwithstanding,”we have not done too badly.” According to him, the damage done to the Nigerian economy in the years of plunder was massive, emphasising that the government was doing its best to recover some of the loot. He was, however, swift to add that it was impossible to identify and recover all the loot. “If they had used 50 per cent of the money we made when oil prices went as high as $143 per barrel, and stabilised at $100 with production at 2.1 million barrels per day for many years, Nigerians would have minded their businesses. “You could almost grow food on our roads, as they were abandoned. The stealing was so much, and they

were so inept that they could not even cover the stealing properly. I wonder how all those things could have happened to our country,” Adesina quoted the president. He said the president commended members of the group for choosing to identify with the country when they have the option of staying here and be comfortable. “I am happy that people like you are here, on your own, defending the country. You have shown courage and sacrifice. I assure you that your confidence in us won’t be abused, we will do our best to justify it,” he assured them. Adesina said the group’s coordinator, Sylvester, in his submission, stated that the group was happy with the achievements of the Buhari administration so far, admitting that it came at a difficult time. “You met a difficult situation, but you have overcome most of them. We are happy with the

agriculture revolution, the ease of doing business, the anticorruption war, the employment of youths through the N-Power programme, and the blockage of leakages in the public sector through the Treasury Single Account (TSA). “We are proud of the speed at which you recovered the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. It shows you as a worthy general. We are happy that you have declared for 2019. Majority of Nigerians are happy, but agents of corruption and darkness are unhappy. “The same God, who healed you when you were ill, will grant you victory in the 2019 elections. You are a General who does not fear combat, either with Generals or non-Generals. We declare our love and support for you. You are fixing the faulty foundations of our country and second term is when you will build the enduring structure,” Sylvester said.


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PDP Tasks Buhari on Failing Economy Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which commences today, to open up on the economic difficulties facing the country and to seek assistance of world leaders. The party said President Buhari should resist the temptation of seeking to impress world leaders with false performance indices, but should present the real situation, particularly the pitiable state of the economy, escalated insecurity, human rights abuses, daily bloodletting, persecution of opposition and erosion of democratic values in the last three years. In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, the party also said the president should not forget to inform CHOGM that back home, there is a national indignation and general vote of no confidence against his administration for its abysmal performance and failure to fulfill the littlest in the long list of bogus promises they made during the 2015 presidential campaign. “President Buhari should inform other world leaders that due to the harsh economic policies and gross incompetence of his administration, our once robust

economy, internationally rated as one of the fasted growing in the world and one of the best investment destinations, collapsed in his hands and went into a recession; that infrastructures are collapsing and that all sectors of public and private lives are now in shambles. “He should not forget to tell the world that not only has he failed in his false promise to increase the value of naira from N1 to $1, his government has wrecked our currency from N160-N170 it met it in 2015 to a devastating N350-N400, with attendant horrible pressure on the economy. “Mr. President should not forget to inform CHOGM that under his administration, more than 16 million Nigerians became unemployed, 18 million more became underemployed while another 27.44 million refused to work in 2016 for various reasons not unrelated to frustration in the polity. “Our dear president, who is already seeking re-election, should not forget to tell the world that due to his harsh policies, the middle class has been wiped off, families are in distress; hunger, poverty and strange diseases are now ravaging our people to the extent that Nigerians, once considered the happiest people on earth, are now resorting to slavery and suicide as options,” he said.

Fayemi: Those I Made as Ekiti Governor Betrayed Me After Losing Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday regretted that many of those he made while superintending over the state later betrayed him after losing re-election bid in June 21, 2014. Fayemi said though he had forgiven the ‘betrayers,’ whom he said allegedly sponsored campaigns of calumny against his person after being appointed into juicy positions in his government. The governorship aspirant disclosed this in Ode Ekiti headquarters of Gbonyin Local Government Area yesterday when an All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain Mr. Makinde Araoye, gave social security package to some elders across Ekiti South senatorial district. The philanthropist, Araoye, who said over 2,500 elders have benefited from the programme across six local governments, described the policy as a reenactment of Fayemi’s Social Security Scheme, where 25,000 people above 65 were paid N5,000 per month. Materials distributed included: rice, cash and other palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the hard-biting economic situation on the beneficiaries. Fayemi, while addressing party members said: “After losing, many of them started spreading rumour against me that I didn’t allow them to operate freely in my government. “There was no one that held office in my government that I teleguided. I allowed them to be free and enjoyed their positions contrary to what they said. “I have forgiven those that betrayed me just like I apologise

to whoever I must have offended as a governor, because I am a human being and I can’t claim to be infallible,” he said. The APC chieftain, Araoye, stated that he started the programme as part of the ways to reduce poverty in Ekiti and make the people live a normal life. The Fayemi’s close ally said the poor performance of the present government is an eye opener to Ekiti electorate and the need to vote wisely in the coming governorship election. He stated that he would continue to initiate programmes that will impact positively on the wellbeing of the poor masses whether he seek elective positions or not. Araoye added that he was not doing the empowerment for political reasons, describing the gesture as part of the ways he could contribute to the well-being of the people. “I am not doing this for politics, but I always get disturbed when I see our people wallowing in poverty. The present government has abandoned the people. He has stopped all the policies initiated by past governments that touched directly on the lives of the poor. “I started this programme nine years ago and I have promised to continue to do as long as I live. It is not good for you to do good to people only when you want to contest election. “What we are doing are God’s works. Whatever you do for humanity, you shall be greatly blessed for it, so I appeal to our rich people to invest in human capital for Ekiti to become a place of pride,” Araoye advised.

PDP said the president Buhari should not shy away from informing the world that his administration has failed in guaranteeing the safety of lives and property. “That under his watch, our dear countryhas become one of the most insecure countries to live in; bloodletting, violent attacks and

sectoral crisis have become the order of the day; insurgents and marauders are having field day pillaging innocent citizens while our land has practically transformed into a large funeral palour. “Furthermore, President Buhari must tell the world that he has woefully failed in his much touted fight against corruption; that his

administration is merely engaged in personal vendetta, direct persecution and media trial of opposition members, while known corrupt persons in the All Progressives Congress (APC) continue to enjoy official cover of his presidency. “He should not forget to confess that his administration has done nothing about the presidency cabal

involved in the alleged stealing of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars) in NNPC and billions of naira National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and InternallyDisplacedPersons(IDPs) interventionfunds,”PDPThepartyurged the president not to allow his handlers to misleadhimtocolourhis presentation at CHOGM as such would detract from his integrity as a leader.

RE-DEFINING E-COMMERCE AND ORGANISED RETAIL

Konga Chairman, Olusiji Ijogun (middle) posing with dual Chief Executive Officers, Nick Imudia (left) and Prince Nnamdi Ekeh during the official announcement of the operational merger between Konga and Yudala to now operate under the Konga brand in Lagos ...yesterday.

Six Killed, Over 50 Houses Razed over Cashew Farm Clash in Kogi Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja No fewer than six persons have been confirmed killed while over 50 houses were razed at Aloko-Oguma in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State following a communal clash that engulfed the community over cashew farm. According to an eyewitness account, crisis erupted last Friday following a dispute between the Bassa Kwomus and the Igalas over the harvest of a disputed cashew nuts farm. It was reliably gathered yesterday

that the Igala people claimed that the Bassa Kwomus in the ensuing fracas killed one of their members and buried him secretly without a trace of the grave. The situation was said to have angered the Igala people who were said to have allegedly mobilised, and in a reprisal, killed five Bassa Kwomus and razed over 50 houses. Assets worth millions of naira belonging to the Bassa Kwomus were burnt in the fracas. However, THISDAY gathered that there has been long time tribal rivalry between the Bassa

Kwomus and the Igala people in the community. The cashew harvest fracas was an opportunity for both tribes to unleash their anger on each other. As at yesterday, according to a source, the entire Igala community was deserted because of palpable fears of reprisal by the Bassa Kwomus while the Bassa Kwomus whose houses were raised are currently rendered homeless. Cashew nuts farming is currently a big business in Kogi State particularly in the eastern part of the state where a lots of

cashew trees are planted. Already, officers of Nigeria Army and riot policemen have been drafted to the troubled communities to avoid further clashes. Meanwhile, the Administrator of Bassa Local Government Area, Hon. Samuel Alumka, and the House of Assembly member representing the area, Hon. Sunday Shigaba, have visited the community. During the visit, they both appealed to the warring factions to sheath their swords and live in peace.

Ohanaeze Crisis Deepens as Group Plans Fresh Election, Shortlists Three for President-General Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu The crisis rocking the apex Igbor socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, deepened further at the weekend as its youth wing vowed to sack the President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, for allegedly meddling with activities of the youths and women wings. Accordingly, the group has shortlisted three persons including Prince Richard Ozobu, Chief OAU Onyema, a former Deputy President-General and Prof Eche Ugwu for where Nwodo’s replacement will be chosen by Wednesday this week. The group also dismissed as false and “gross misinformation” the alleged disbanment of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing by the organisation’s Imeobi (Elders Council) in 2016. In a statement made available to

journalists yesterday and signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President, OYW, Okwu Nnabuike, Secretary General, Ohanaeze Youth Wing and Achuonye Obinna Vice President, Ohanaeze Youth Wing, the the group said its leadership remained intact. In a swift reaction however, the duo of Ozobu and Onyema denied knowledge of any meeting where they were shortlisted. While Onyema said he was aware of the disagreements between the youth wing and parent body, Ozobu on his part said he had been away from the country and as such was yet to be briefed. But, the statement by the youth group noted that the choice of the three Igbo leaders was the outcome of an interactive meeting of some Igbo leaders of thought, in Enugu under the banner of Save Ohanaeze Ndigbo. “The Igbo leaders at the

meeting unanimously agreed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been grossly misrepresented and turned into a political party and without equivocation accepted that it is imperative to re-strategise and reposition Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for the return of Igbo cultural nationalism championed by the likes of Pa. Nnamdi Azikiwes, M. I. Okparas, Eze Akanu Ibiams, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwus, and the likes of distinguished Ohanaeze Ndigbo leaders Justice Ozobus, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechis, Dr. Dozie Ikedifes, Chief Ralph Obiohas. “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu parley, also bemoaned the present Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership saying that it was because of its political ineptitudes that the Igbo are currently missing in the political leadership and radar of Nigerian politics and thereby, agreed to not only sanitize but constitute a National Steering

Committee, Ohanaeze Ndigbo to be constituted before the end of the week,” the statement noted. The release further noted that selection of a new leader for the organisation would take place at the Government House, Owerri, Imo State on Wednesday and therefore urged the President General, Nwodo to honourably resign “for easy change of guards.” The stakeholders meeting also reportedly passed a confidence vote on the leaderships of the youth and women wings. When contacted, the President General, Nwodo who spoke through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Atamah, dismissed the purported plans to sack him as the “biggest joke of the year.” He noted that the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo remains intact and would not be distracted by statements from a group that had long been disbanded.


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S’Court Dismisses Interlocutory Appeal against Abebe Davidson Iriekpen The Supreme Court has dismissed the interlocutory appeal filed by a Norwegian oil firm, Statoil Nigeria Limited, seeking to adduce fresh evidence in a contract dispute determined in favour of an indigenous company, Inducon Nigeria Limited and its Chairman, Dr. John Abebe, by a Federal High Court in Lagos. In dismissing the appeal, the court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in Lagos which refused to allow Statoil to present further documents on appeal after final judgment was delivered by the lower court. The lower court had confirmed that Inducon and Abebe are entitled to 1.5 per cent net profit interest in any and all oil and gas interests

granted to Statoil in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. In a unanimous decision, the panel of justices at the apex court described the interlocutory appeal as frivolous and an abuse of court process. They held that the fresh evidence which Statoil sought to present were available to it during the proceedings at the trial court but did not exercise due diligence to produce them. The court consequently, awarded cost of N500,000 each to the two respondents for wasting their time and that of the court with a frivolous application. THISDAY gathered that with interlocutory appeal out of the way, the apex court can now concentrate on the substantive appeal which has been fixed for October 22.

Medview Spends N22bn on Aviation Fuel in FiveYears Lays off 52 workers Kenya Airways sacks 22 Nigerian workers Chinedu Eze Nigeria’s major domestic carrier, Medview Airline, has said due to high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria, it spent about N22 billion on the product in the last five years. The airline also said in order to streamline its operations, it has to lay off 52 staff from both technical and administrative areas of it operation. The Managing Director of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, in a press conference at the weekend said the high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria was depleting airlines’ little profit, adding that the airlines were at the receiving end of all the bureaucracies the commodity go through before being sold to operators. Bankole noted that the prices of the product goes up any time it becomes scarce and due to the hiccups in the supply of aviation fuel to different parts of the country there is no uniform price adding that fuel marketers sell at arbitrary prices as the product is deregulated. “We now buy a litre of aviation fuel at N220 in Lagos but up in the North in places like Maiduguri, it is about N260, that is the unfortunate situation we have found ourselves,” he said. He said the perennial shortage of aviation fuel, the gridlock faced in moving the product has become a big clog in the wheel of domestic airlines as they find it difficult to operate smoothly like their counterparts in other parts of the world. Bankole also said the price of the product is critical to an airline and also considering the fact that fuel consumption amounts to about 30 per cent of the cost of operation for an airline, there is need to quickly find more reliable ways to ensure the supply and distribution of the product. Bankole also confirmed that the airline has laid off about 52 workers due to the company’s plan to reconsolidate and streamline its operations, remarking that the rationalisation exercise is continuous. Also, contrary to the reports that the airline leased all its aircraft fleet,

the Medview Managing Director said the airline owns the four aircraft currently in its fleet, adding that two of them have been taken out for maintenance. “Since we started operations in 2012, we have airlifted 2.8 million passengers, we are very committed to our work, we are safety conscious, there had been no serious incident or accident, we are still operating to our Francophone West African countries. “We currently have four airplanes and Medview owns all because the best way to survive is to own your assets, the aircraft were bought with our money, we were attracted to First Bank by our prudence and with our cash flow, we purchased these aircraft through the bank, we have the bill of sale, in 2015, we bought the B737-500 (5N-BQM) and again, we bought another one christened Abeke n and that is currently being reconfigured from 221 to 242 capacity. Meanwhile, the Kenya Airways at the weekend laid off 22 out of 26 of its Nigerian personnel representing 86.4 per cent of the affected workers. A source close to the airline disclosed that the staff were issued the disengagement letters at the airline’s office in Lagos in the presence of stern looking police officers who were engaged by the airline to scare away the affected staff and prevent possible breakdown of law and order. Only four of its Nigerian workers were retained by the management of the airline after the purging exercise and these include Country Manager, Mr. Afeez Balogun, the Station Manager, and two other staff. Report indicated that the sacked workers were only given four weeks wages by the management. It was also gathered that the abrupt sack of the Nigerian workers happened when the airline was still negotiating the new condition of service with the industry unions. The source said the carrier’s management took the decision without taking into consideration the Nigeria labour laws which kicks against unilateral decision by employers when disengaging workers.

The last time the case came up last January in Abuja, the court had asked the Norwegian oil firm, to respect the decisions of the lower courts which ordered it not to move monies out of the country pending the final determination of the substantive suit. Justice Tanko Mohammed who led four other justices of the court, ordered parties in the suit to put all the applications they had filed in the suit in abeyance pending appeal. He said the best option was to hear the substantive appeal which would resolve the case. Justice Mohammed directed parties in the suit to try and maintain the status quo anti-bella till when the judgment is delivered on the substantive appeal. “The appeal will be held on October 22, 2018. Meanwhile, all applications from both sides are put in abeyance until appeal. “Parties should try and maintain the status quo anti-bella. This is the best option for now,” the jurist said. The substantive suit started when the indigenous company, Inducon and its promoter, Abebe had filed an action against Statoil at the Federal High Court in Lagos, contending that in April 1990, he was informed by British Petroleum (BP) that it was interested in pursuing opportunities in the Nigerian oil industry together with its partner, Statoil of Stavanger, Norway with whom it had entered

into an alliance. According to him, the alliance, as it was represented to him, would present the first ever opportunity for Statoil, then an indigenous Norwegian company, to operate outside its home base, Norway and to venture into West Africa, among others. In his statement of claim, Inducon argued that at all material times, it was the representation of the alliance to him that BP and Statoil would be equal partners on a 50:50 basis in the alliance and that although the alliance would not be set up as a separate legal personality, the two companies would operate as one. Abebe and Inducon, who were the first to venture into deep oil blocks in Nigeria when they brought BP and Statoil into the country, added that he was also instrumental to ensuring that the production sharing contracts for the blocks were signed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and all these were achieved due to his extensive contacts in government and the oil and gas sector. They, acontended that Statoil was granted those blocks because of the policy of indigenous participation and transfer of technology in the oil industry and that since Statoil entered Nigeria as a result of that policy, it denied that the policy exists and has failed to live up to its undertaking to encourage

the promotion of indigenous participation in the Nigerian oil industry. Even the witnesses from the Department of Petroleum Resources and others, corroborated Abebe’s statement of claim. But in its defence, Statoil described Abebe’s claims as unfounded, adding he and his company were retained by Statoil in Nigeria throughout most of 1990s and that the contract had long been terminated. It stated that the role of Abebe was to offer advice and assistance in connection with its business in Nigeria and that for a period, he had a seat on the board of Statoil’s Nigerian subsidiary until the alliance it had with BP was dissolved in 1999. Statoil wondered if there was actually an oral agreement as claimed by Abebe, why did he not use his position as the vice-chairman of the oil firm from 1991 to 1997 to regularise it, stating that from the plaintiffs’ own evidence, there was no conceivable evidence to show that there was an agreement between them. In the judgment of the Federal High Court, it affirmed Abebe’s submissions and ordered the oil firm to pay Abebe and his company, 1.5per cent net profit interest accruable to it from the three oil blocks allocated to them for bringing the firm to Nigeria to explore oil resources.The court also held that there was indeed an

agreement between him, BP and Statoil contrary to the claim of the oil firm, which must be honoured. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Statoil headed to the Court of Appeal which later dismissed its appeal and upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court. However, while the appeal was pending, a new twist was added to the case when Abebe and his company, hinging their applications on an interlocutory orders of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal which restrained Statoil from repatriating to any foreign account, its monies, revenues and earnings derived from the sale of crude oil, accused the Norwegian company of transferring over $4billion of its income from Nigeria against the orders of the courts. In an affidavit and application filed at the at Supreme Court through his lawyer, Uche Nwokedi (SAN), the businessman asked that the orders of the two lower courts be enforced and that Statoil be made to return the $4billion to Nigeria. They also urged the court to restrain the Norwegian oil firm from further repatriating all revenues accruing to it from the Agbami oil field and all other interests in Nigeria to any foreign account through any commercial bank in the country pending the hearing and determination of the substantive appeal.

SENSITISATION VISIT

Chairman, International Press Institute (IPI) Congress 2018 Media and Publicity Committee, Dr. Tonnie Iredia (left), with Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, when a delegation of the committee visited the state to sensitise stakeholders on the forthcoming congress, slated for Abuja in June, in Port Harcourt...weekend.

Six Killed in Fresh Ogun OPC, Cult Clash Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta Fresh violence yesterday broke out in the sleepy town of Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State, as six persons were hacked to death following the death of a young man. The latest violence, it was gathered, was as a result of the murder of a young man by a cult group. Barely a week ago, there was a bloody clash between members of a cult group and men of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC)

in Ijebu-Igbo in which no fewer than six persons, including a police inspector were killed. The latest incident was said to have occurred after a hot argument that ensued during a football match at LA Primary School, Oke-Agbo, in Ijebu-Igbo. It was gathered that the victim, whose identity was yet to be ascertained, was given a hot pursuit before he was hacked to death. The assailants, suspected to be members of Eiye Confraternity, were said to have fled the scene after hitting their target. “The incident happened this

(Sunday) evening when some youths were playing football on the primary school field. It was during the match that a score of them engaged in a serious argument and before anyone knew what was happening, the whole place was on rampage. “We had to run for our dear lives. It was later that we got information that one person was killed. The victim suffered deep machete cuts inflicted on him. No one had expected a such killing would occur again, bearing in mind that policemen

and other security operatives had been deployed in the town about a week ago,” said a source. When contacted, the state police command Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the killings but said normalcy had been restored in the town. But he, however, said the police command had deployed additional teams to the town in a bid to apprehend the perpetrators of the fresh violence and curb further loss of lives. Oyeyemi stated that no suspect had been arrested in connection with the incident.


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Dangote: Why I Proposed Private Sector’s Contribution of One Percent to Healthcare Service Delivery Jonathan Eze Africa’s foremost entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, has given an insight into why he is advocating that the private sector operators in the country should commit one per cent of their profit annually to funding health care services. Dangote had suggested to members of an expanded National Economic Council meeting recently on the need to have a trust fund to revitalise the country’s sorry public health sector similar to the education trust fund operated at the federal level and security trust fund run

in some states. He expressed the conviction that such trust fund would go a long way to help the health sector and improve the people’s wellbeing in the face of multiple challenges confronting the country with limited resources available to government. His advice came on the day the Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates picked holes in the economic policy of the federal government, when he said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being bandied by the government does not address the needs of Nigerians.

IBB: I Have Faith in SDP Laleye Dipo in Minna Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), at the weekend said he has faith in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) because of the calibre of its leadership. Babangida made the declaration in Minna, Niger State capital when he received the Chief Olu Falae-led party at his uphill residence. According to him, “If I hadn’t been too old, I would have loved to join the youth vanguard of your party. I have faith in the political party for what it is and what it stands for. “This party is real because most of the names are names that I have known and I have worked with for the sake of this country. So the party is smart to have convinced all these gentlemen to join them. “That is why I did not hesitate to give direction to those who came to me to seek advice on which direction to go.” Babangida expressed confidence that the SDP would bring the desired hope for Nigeria, stating that “I know it can be done. I have never said this to any political party before, but I can tell you that the party has people who have contributed a lot to this country; people whose contributions to Nigeria are legendary, and what you have put ahead of you is what this country needs “I remember when Jerry Gana was the Chairman of MAMSER, one of the primary things he did was to educate the ordinary person. The level of awareness then was not as high as it is now, so you should

take advantage of the digital age now and pass a lot of information to the young men and women of this country because they form over 65 per cent of the population, and if you succeed in doing that, the better for this country.” The former military president then called on “the younger generation, including the Nigerian women, to rally behind SDP because it is populated by men of integrity, men who when they work, they work well, when they speak, they speak well.” Babangida also advised the leadership of the party to as a matter of necessity, make its manifestos public to Nigerians so that they could be held accountable to it. “You must tell Nigerians what you intend to do for them because this is very important. The people must know what to expect if we vote SDP, and by then, it becomes politics of issues not politics of insult and name calling,” he said. Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Olu Falae, had told Babangida that the leadership of the SDP were in his house as part of the nationwide consultations to brief him on their activities and to equally solicit for his support and wise counseling. Falae said he also decided to come to Minna with the entire leadership of the party “as a mark of respect” because “Babangida brought me into political limelight 32 years ago when he appointed me Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG), and since then, he has remained in the political arena of the country.

Kalu to Deliver Diaspora Day Lecture in China Business mogul and politician, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu, will on April 27 deliver Diaspora’s day lecture on the ‘Role of the Diaspora in National development and Bilateral Relationship’ at the Nigerian Embassy, Beijing, China The speaker is expected to exchange his ideas with Nigerians on the role of Diaspora Nigerians in the development of Nigeria and the strengthening of bilateral relations with China, with emphasis on the need to build and project the image of Nigeria. The former governor who doubles as the special guest of honour and keynote speaker, would also x-ray and identify how to explore China without hurting

the relations between both country. The event which is organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation(NIDO) and hosted by the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Ambassador Baba Ahmad Jidda will also have in attendance other prominent guests such as Senior Special Adviser to the president on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Chairman House Committee on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Rita Orji. The event which is expected to kick off at 11a.m., will attract top Nigerian government officials and their Chinese counterparts, the diplomatic community, Nigerians in China, will also provide a platform for networking and building of new relationships.

Gates said the ERGP was just a mere document which identifies the need to invest in people but which has failed to reflect so in its implementation adding that though Nigeria has economic potential, it has to be maximised through investment in people as the greatest resource. The Microsoft Founder stated emphatically that Nigeria was a dangerous country to give birth as it is the fourth worst country in maternity mortality rate in the world, only better than Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad. He therefore urged the government to invest in healthcare, education and human capital because Nigeria’s fiscal system is built on low equilibrium, which in turn produces low level of service. Dangote, while speaking with journalists in Lagos at the weekend on the proposal for one per cent

profit for health care trust fund said for Nigeria to invest in her people, the same people must have good health and it is glaring that government does not have enough resources to execute all health care infrastructure, hence the need for private sector to come in. The President of Dangote Group explained that such fund could be administered by government and private sector together for maximum impact just as it is being done in the educational sector. While expressing his readiness to offer necessary assistance to government on how to come about the trust fund, he enjoined private sector operators to be ready to join hands with government “to achieve the overall objective of improving our public health sector and turn around our human capital availability.” Dangote had through his Foundation, the Dangote

Foundation committed billions of Naira on critical intervention in the health sector by building hospitals and equipping teaching hospitals. His Foundation is currently building the biggest maternity wards in Aminu Kano specialist hospital and state of the arts Surgical Operating Theatre and Diagnostic Centre (SDC), at a cost N7 billion, which will soon be completed. The 900-bed capacity maternity at the hospital, reputed for highest number of in-patients in subSaharan Africa, has been lacking facilities that may detract from the new SDC being built by the Foundation, hence the decision to carry out the construction and renovation of the auxiliary facilities. The Foundation is currently building a N7 billion Surgical and Diagnostic Centre at the hospital and the foundation, whose

chairman is from the state, said it was committed to its timely completion. Already the foundation has handed over to the hospital management a renovated maternity ward, two ultra-modern maternity laboratories, upgraded water supply system Eclampsia ward, theatre and improved sanitary environment befitting of a specialist hospital. Dangote explained that the provision of the health care facilities was in line with the focus of the foundation to contribute to improved health care service delivery in Nigeria as well as nutrition on the African continent. He stated that his foundation has mandate to intervene in the critical areas such as health, education and human development which was why the foundation has also embarked on some poverty alleviation programmes targeted at women at the grassroots.

HOW CAN YOU HELP US IN KENYA

Kenyan President, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta (right), and Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony O Elumelu, when Elumelu had discussions with the president on financing infrastructure development and entrepreneurship in Kenya at the State House, in Nairobi.....weekend

Ensure Fairness, Justice in Appointments, Wike Charges FCC Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has charged the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to live up to its mandate by ensuring fairness, justice and equity in appointments and distribution of infrastructural facilities across the country. The governor gave the charge while declaring open a workshop on sensitisation on socio-economic and infrastructural facilities and strategic partnership with critical stakeholders on change agenda in the South-south geo-political zone, held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, decried the nonrepresentation of the state in the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and emphasised that cries of marginalisation by various groups

in the country should be addressed to ensure justice. While noting that the state had been short-changed in the distribution of federal projects, Wike particularly decried the deplorable condition of the East West road, especially the section leading to the Onne industrial hub. The governor enjoined the commission to address the imbalance in federal appointments and distribution of projects across the country. Also speaking, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was represented by a Director in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Yinka Aguda, said the federal government was embarking on the provision of critical infrastructure in all geo-political zones in the country. Mustapha said the government was vigorously pursuing the

setting up of modular refineries in the Niger Delta region to create employment and tackle the issue of scarcity of petroleum product, while the amnesty programme for repentant militants was being sustained as well as the general development of the Niger Delta area. He assured the people that the federal government would continue to support the FCC to realise its core mandate. In his opening speech, the Acting Chairman of FCC, Dr. Shettima Bukar Abbaz, said the commission was designing programmes that would enable it overcome identified challenges especially data collection, to enhance even distribution of projects and programmes throughout the country. He also said the commission was working out measures to remedy identified areas where some states

have been short changed in federal appointments and the provision of projects. Bukar Abba urged state governments to ensure even distribution of projects in their respective states. In his vote of thanks, the Chief Executive Officer of Fortera Nigeria Limited, Mr. Charles Ovie-Obi, the consulting partners to the FCC, commended Wike for providing support and the enabling environment for the successful hosting of the workshop. Ovie-Obi also thanked the chairman of FCC for finding the organisation, a worthy partner. The event had in attendance representatives of state governors in the Niger Delta region, Heads of federal parastatals and traditional rulers including the first military administrator of Rivers State, King Alfred Diette-Spiff.


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Monetising Elections Exposing Nigerians to Corruption, Says Ex-NBA Boss Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has disclosed that the rampant cash for votes in the country’s electoral process has accounted for the slow pace of development in Nigeria. Olanipekun called for concerted efforts to stop distribution of money on the day of elections, saying failure to do so might affect the country negatively. The former NBA boss said it is wrong for some Nigerians to ask President Muhammadu Buhari not to run in the February, 2019 presidential election. He contended that running for the presidency is the constitutional right of Buhari and other Nigerians interested in that position and any other elective office. Olanipekun spoke with reporters on yesterday shortly after the foundation laying ceremony of the new St. Peter’s

Anglican Church building, Ikere-Ekiti of which he is the sole sponsor. He said: “Then there cannot be poverty alleviation because when you get there, you are not going to respect voters, you are not going to respect their children. “You will want to recoup what you have spent because you see it as an investment, your family sees it as an investment and they want you to recoup it. “By the time you buy them, you will forget them and those who want to surrender their conscience for pittance, let them remember that they are doing it at the risk of their children, their own selves and their future generation.” Olanipekun noted that Buhari should not be accorded a superior right over other candidates adding that all of them must be given equal rights to canvass for votes in line with the Constitution and Electoral Act. The legal luminary also expressed worry over politicians’ penchant for vote buying at

elections saying the practice has aggravated poverty in the land. He said the politicians should use such money to create jobs for the unemployed Nigerians. Olanipekun advised Nigerians to ask questions from those seeking public office while candidates running should unfold their manifestos and programmes to voters. He said: “In this season of election and electioneering, my

plea is that anybody who wants to contest, let him or her contest and let us listen to them. “Everybody has a right to contest as long as he or she meets the requirements of the law. I have the right to vote for the candidate of my choice. Let us listen to those who want to occupy elective offices: state Houses of Assembly, National Assembly, governorship and presidency. I am not one of those

who will say no; this man should not contest, why? “If you want me to mention name, I am one of those who will say President Buhari should not contest, no. “Frankly speaking, he has a right but in contesting, others should be able to say ‘I am better than him’ and he should prove that he is better than them and Nigerians should make their choice. “But we should not disallow

others from expressing their own views. Contesting elections is one’s constitutional right. Did Obasanjo not contest (for second term)? Did Jonathan not contest (for second term)? “Why should his (Buhari’s) be different? Others also have a right to contest and if he (Buhari) is contesting on the platform of his political party, he does not have superior right over other candidates.

ECWA Expresses Worry over Spate of Killings, Kidnappings across Nigeria

Decries security agents’ helplessness Seriki Adinoyi in Jos Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) has expressed worries over the continuous spate of killings and kidnappings across the country, declaring three-day fasting and prayers for the peace of Nigeria. The President of ECWA, Rev Jeremiah Gado, made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of the 65th General Church Council (GCC) meeting held in Jos the Plateau State capital. He said: “The council notes with dismay the continuous spate of kidnappings in the country and the apparent helplessness of the Nigerian security agencies to rescue the victims resulting in huge sums of money being paid as Ransom to the kidnappers, which has further exacerbated the poor financial conditions of the victims and their family members. “ECWA therefore calls on the federal government and all security outfits to make urgent and definite steps to tackle these heinous crime; this is the responsibility of the federal government to its citizens as guaranteed under the 1999 constitution. We therefore call upon the federal government to take responsibility of paying the ransom or reimburse families for ransom paid for the release of kidnapped victims for failing to protect the citizens . “We are also alarmed at the wave of political assassinations, killing for ritual purposes and the frequent mass murder of harmless, innocent and defenseless citizens very often our children; the very symbol of life and vigour are the victims and agents of this wastage of human life in recognition of its divine mandate. We also remind all of the sacredness and inviolability of human life and urge everyone to respect

the sanctity of human life and end the flow of innocent blood in the land. “We are advocating also for a stronger collaboration between the government, security agencies and the entire population for a more efficient protection of human lives and property. “The council views with serious concern the unabated violence herdsmen across the country especially in the Middle Belt states of Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, and other states including Kaduna, Adamawa, Enugu, Zamfara, and Delta as they continue to wantonly destroy lives, farms and property of innocent members of host communities. ECWA therefore calls on the federal government to apprehend the perpetrators and cause them to face the wrath of the law, and to compensate the victims in the interest of justice, as failure to do so would jeopardise the federal government efforts in boosting food production and security in Nigeria.” He added that “ECWA rejects the popular narrative that the violence being perpetrated by the herdsmen is an herdsmen/ farmers clash, but sees it rather as an expansionist mission meant to takeover people’s ancestral land, or else, how can one explain the attacks on several innocent non-farming communities by the herdsmen? The council also noted that the call by eminent Nigerians for citizens to rise and defend themselves was as a result of the federal government failure to take up its responsible in protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.” Gado also said that ECWA has declared a three-day fasting and prayers for the release of Leah Sharibu and for improved security, economic situation in the country from April 27 to April 29 2018.

POLICY DIALOGUE SESSION

L-R: Group Head, Strategy and Innovation, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Shina Atilola; Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; and Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the THISDAY HealthCare policy dialogue, in Abuja....weekend

WIKE HOSTS IPI TEAM, CALLS FOR FREE PRESS Wike pledged his administration’s support to make the Abuja IPI Congress a success. He urged the IPI Congress delegation to intensify its national advocacy visit to create more awareness for the Abuja congress. Earlier, leader of the delegation

and former Director General, NTA, Dr. Tonnie Iredia, had told the governor that the visit was to create awareness for the congress and to ask the governor to sponsor journalists from the state to attend the Abuja epochal event. According to him, Nigeria’s hosting of the congress will afford

journalists from around the world to see Nigeria beyond the stereotype negative narrative they have been exposed to by the dominant global media. “We hope that after this event, the foreign media will shift focus from the negative reportage of events in the country,” he said. The IPI Congress delegation

also visited the NTA Zonal Network Centre in Port Harcourt during which it solicited support for publicity for the event. The Zonal General Manager, Mr. Adebayo Bamidele, said his organisation was ready to partner IPI and other stakeholders to ensure the success of the Abuja congress.

FIVE KILLED IN TARABA HOURS AFTER WITHDRAWAL OF SOLDIERS we have in Takum now,” he lamented. He, however, disclosed that he has tabled his complaints against the action of the military before the Investigative Panel put in place to probe the alleged collusion of the military with armed bandits across the country. Meanwhile, an imminent crisis is brewing in the local government areas of Taraba State that have continuously come under attack by suspected militiam as the rising number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is posing serious challenges to the council chairmen. Residents of Takum, Donga, Ussa and Wukari Local Government Areas particularly those in rural communities have continued to flee their homes to designated camps in the local government headquarters over fears of further attacks or loss of their homes to the attacks. As at yesterday, THISDAY gathered that the number of IDPs in the three local government councils had risen above 13,000 and the numbers have continued

to rise on a daily basis. Similarly, Shiban Tikari and Karma Hassan Rimansikwe, Chairmen of Takum and Ussa Local Government Areas told THISDAY in separate interview, said that there were over 8,000 IDPs in the two local government areas. The Chairman of Donga Local Government, Nashuka Ipeyen, told THISDAY that the council has over 4,000 IDPs and there are possibilities that the number would increase in the days ahead. Ipeyen, who conducted journalists round the IDP camps scattered across the local government headquarter disclosed that the attacks, which started a week ago in Muzi Utile had spread to other villages including Tormom, Shaakaa, Ovoh, Igo and Burukunu. The chairman stressed that the influx of IDPs into the headquarter has created humanitarian crisis in the council despite the state government’s prompt intervention in providing relief materials through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

“The IDP situation we have is getting out of control. At the last count, they were over 4,000 and more are still coming due to continuous attacks. As I am talking to you, more villages are being burnt down by herdsmen and people are being killed.” Ipeyen further told journalists that over 20 people had been killed across the local government in the past one week while thousands have been rendered homeless in their own land. Ipeyen however called on the people of the area to defend themselves against their killers using traditional methods including sticks and stones or anything permissible under the law. A Supervisory Councillor in the council, Samaila Ulaha, told journalists that the herdsmen accused some of the villages they attacked in the local government of leaking information about their (herdsmen) movement to Takum and Ussa Local Government Areas However, the IDPs in the various camps are living in very harsh and dehumanising

conditions as there is acute shortage of basic amenities such as water, food, clothing and medicals. One of the displaced persons at Songs Central Primary School, 42 year old Mrs. Terhemba Nyijimi, lamented that though government provided food for them the food could not go round the population as more and more people kept coming to the camps as a result of persistent attacks. The mother of 10 further lamented that it has been extremely difficult feeding his children in the camp and expressed her willingness to return back home. “I can’t continue staying here for long, feeding 10 children and other relations in the camp is not easy. “Some of them will be resuming school soon and I don’t know how I am going to raise money for their school fees. Again the rains are here and as farmers we need to go back to farm to cultivate what we can eat and also take care of our families.”


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Osinbajo Sues for Unity of Churches in Nigeria Daji Sani in Yola Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Christians to pray for Christians leaders occupying higher position in authorities, adding that no leader recorded in the Bible was able to succeed on his own without the unity and prayers of the church. The vice president disclosed this at the 50th birthday celebration of Senator Binta Masi Garba popularly known as the Queen of the Red Carpet held at the weekend at the International Praise Church (IPC) Yola, Adamawa State, noting that the united prayer of the churches in the country will do more exploit in the progress and development of Nigeria. He further explained that the country is making progress, but needs the prayers of the church to achieve more development and better things in the future. Osinbajo said having Christians in higher authorities was not enough but the church needed to be united to stand with them like the times of David, Joseph, Daniel and many others mentioned in the Bible who wouldn’t have any milestones without the prayers and unity of the church. However, the vice president

described the celebrant as a woman with many virtues worthy of emulation as he congratulate and pray for her to see many years in the future. Prominent among those who graced the occasion were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Minister of Transportation, Chibuke Amaechi; members of the National Assembly, Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Martins Babale; representatives of state chapter of thew Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), bishops and pastors. However, Senator Garba had last Saturday donated a brand new Volkswagen car, N500,000 and food stuff to the state government orphanage home and daycare as gift to commemorate her 50th birthday celebration. Garba, representing Adamawa Northern senatorial zone in the Senate, said the donation is to support the health needs of the orphans, whose parental care and love were dashed by unfortunate circumstances. She added that her office has concluded plans to provide similar supports to 500 internally displaced children expected to be repatriated from Cameroon soon.

Police, CBN Nab Six in Ogun for Hawking Naira Notes Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have apprehended six women for hawking naira notes at three different parts of Ogun State at the weekend. In a sting operation, it was gathered that trouble started when the police and CBN officials on Friday evening jointly stormed Ijebu Ode, in Ijebu Ode Local Government, Sagamu and Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, where they arrested six persons hawking naira notes at motor parks to commuters. Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, who confirmed the arrests, said six persons-Toyin Alegbe, Kehinde Akinbode, Shoneye Latifat, Kehinde Olanrewaju and Iyanuoluwa Shokunbi-were apprehended during the joint operation. Oyeyemi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (DSP), disclosed that the joint operation

was in line with the provisions of section 21(1) of the CBN Act 2007 which makes hawking, selling and abuse of naira notes a punishable offence. According to the police spokesman, various denominations of naira notes, totalling N1,560,000 was recovered from the suspects who were caught publicly exhibiting their illegal trade. He, however, said the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in-charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Mr. Aminu Alhassan, to commence a full scale investigation into the activities of the arrested suspects with a view to bringing them to book. Oyeyemi noted that the CP has equally warned members of the public to desist from any act capable of soiling, abusing or mutilating the naira notes which are one of the symbols of the country’s national identity. He added that the CP has, therefore, expressed the command’s readiness to work with all relevant government agencies to get rid of crimes and criminalities in the state.

LOOTERS’ LIST: FG WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED, SAYS LAI MOHAMMED than twice what was spent by the Jonathan administration on fuel subsidy annually, yet under that government, fuel sold for 87 per liter which is half the price it is being sold for today at 145 per liter,” Omokiri said. Omokiri also said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is currently headed by Ibrahim Magu, a man whose confirmation as Chairman of the EFCC was denied down by the Senate after a negative report on him by the Department of State Security. “Under his tenure, Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression

in the Transparency International annual Corruption Perception Index, moving 12 places backward from 136 to 148. “Also, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, which is the officially recognized global body that fosters cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, has suspended Nigeria because Mr. Magu’s EFCC has, in their opinion, continued to leak financial information passed on to them to the media. This information they leak is overwhelmingly information related to opponents of the Buhari administration,” he added.

“My doors are open to provide any form of assistance to people especially orphans and the vulnerable in the society. “There is something uniquely endowed by God in these children, so one day, the story would tell itself,” the senator noted. The lawmaker stressed that she cherished to support motherless homes, noting that her doors are

open for consultations in order to improve the plight of the orphans and vulnerable in the society. Receiving the items, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women Affairs, Maisaratu Bello, thanked the lawmaker for identifying with plight of the orphans in the state. Bello urged politicians, governments and good-spirited

individuals to emulate the Garba by keying into philanthropy and humanitarian supports to better the lots of the needy in the society. The Matron of the orphanagehome, Fatima Abubakar, disclosed that the orphanage is receiving not less than five to 10 motherless children either abandoned in cemeteries or

drainages in the state Meanwhile, the lawmaker at the thanksgiving prayers in her honour in Mubi, distributed empowerment equipment to 1,000 widows in her district. She further urged the widows to make good use of the items in order to provide means of livelihood to their children.

LIFE TIME ACHIEVER

Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu (right) presenting Vanguard Newspapers Life Time Achievement Award to the former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Professor Grace Alele-Williams, in Lagos.... weekend

Mahama, Obi, Dangote, Other Experts to Address Global Leaders at 2018 Commonwealth Business Forum Former President of Ghana, John Mahama, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, African Richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and several other experts will address global leaders at the 2018 Commonwealth Business Forum holding from April 16 to 18 in London. The forum will take place in conjunction with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The theme of this year’s forum, the 11th in the series, would be: ‘Delivering a Prosperous Commonwealth for All.’ The programme of events signed

by Lord Marland of Odstock shows that Obi, currently one of the most-sought-after speakers in Africa, will speak on ‘What Can We Do to Encourage SMEs to Trade and Invest Confidently across The Commonwealth?’ The former governor is expected “to contribute (his) experience and leadership in this area” during the session to be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on April 17. “The forum,” according to the organisers, “is a truly global event, bringing together Heads of Government, ministers, and senior business leaders from around the

world. It will provide a valuable opportunity for high level dialogue on trade and investment between business and government leaders from across the Commonwealth and beyond. “Organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, working with the UK Government and in partnership with the City of London, it will be a unique gathering of global leaders. The event will be held across three iconic London venues: the Guildhall, Mansion House and the QEII Conference Centre.” The organisers described the

forum as “an opportunity to identify areas in which the Commonwealth can help its member countries to access modern financial services, harness technology and innovation, attract inward investment, and to improve sustainable business practices, particularly through public-private sector collaboration.” The event holds less than a month after the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development (March 21-23) at the World Conference Centre, Bonn, Germany, at which Peter Obi was invited as “an expert speaker” to speak on African Leaders and SDG.

Chidoka: There’s Urgent Need to Heal Nigeria Now David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka Former Minister of Aviation and erstwhile Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Chief Osita Chidoka, has said there is an urgent need to heal Nigeria of the many troubles plaguing her. Chidoka said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stands a better chance to heal her than the current government of the All Progressives Congress. The former minister spoke at his country home, Obosi, Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State at the weekend when a delegation of PDP leaders visited him to woo him to the party. Chidoka told the delegation which was led by Senator Babayo Gamawa, Deputy National Chairman of the party that Nigeria under the All Progressives Congress (APC) has become so divided that there is less hope in the ability of

the party to lead the country aright. He said there was need to restructure the party, and that the leaders of the country must not wait until a particular group becomes a pain in the neck to treat their grievances. “There is urgent need to heal the land. We cannot resolve Nigeria’s structural issues at once, but we can do so through a continuous process “There is need to look back at Nigeria and adjust it structurally. We do not have to wait for the Indigenous Peeople of Biafra (IPOB) to start protesting before we address them, we do not need to wait until Boko Haram becomes a menace. We need to restructure now. “Nigeria is a great country, we are a unique people, and we have energies that are fancied. “What we need more is to restructure the county and make people utilise their energies. The former minister, while replying to calls for his return to the PDP, said the matters that led to his exit

from the party was glaring, but expressed happiness that the current leadership was addressing them. He informed the party that the leadership of United Progressives Party was aware of the visit of the PDP delegation to him, and that he would reach back to them to intimate them of the visit. “When I heard the PDP was sending a delegation to see me, I thought it was just a small one, but you sent a high calibre delegation. “I have the soul and spirit of PDP and I am one of the beneficiaries of PDP, and I am happy that the party is getting it right again.” Senator Babayo Gamawa said the delegation was at the country home of Chidoka because it was convinced that he remained a PDP member in body, blood and spirit. Babayo said Chidoka had contributed immensely to build PDP, and has no better place to play politics or contribute to nation building than to return to PDP. He said, “We are bringing you

in to join the rescue mission. You are a very strong, very patriotic and very influential politician, and we need you to join us in the mission to rebuild PDP.” Babayo said the party was aware of some of the reason for the exit of Chidoka, but said the party had been rebranded and was poised for exploits in the 2019 general election. He added that PDP had realised its mistakes and would do better if it takes power in 2019. Chief Austin Umahi, national vice chairman South- east who led all the members of the zonal executive to Obosi said, “We brought Babayo here because of the importance of your return. A person of your calibre does not need to be told to return to a party you helped to build. “We apologise for the rancour we have been having in the party, and we know the reason for your leaving ab initio, you are not a hidden face in the South -east, but we need people like you among us to get things right.”


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T H I S D AY ˾MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2018

MONDAYSPORTS Team Nigeria Finishes Eighth as Australia Wins 2018 C’wealth Games

Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email duro.ikhazuagbe@thisdaylive.com 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY

Femi Solaja

At the end of 2018 Commonwealth Games yesterday in Gold Coast , Australia, Team Nigeria won nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals to finish ninth on the overall medals table. The feat though achieved through personal efforts of most Team Nigeria athletes, was a spot below the eighth placement at the Glasgow Games four years ago when we won 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals. Aruna Quadri won Team Nigeria’s last medal at the 2018 Games edition after clinching silver in the men’s table tennis singles event, losing to Ning Gao of Singapore on Sunday morning. South Africa emerged Africa’s best team as they finished in the sixth position with 13 gold, 11 silver, 13 bronze medals.

Kenya were 14th with four gold, seven silver, six bronze, Uganda 15th with three gold, one silver, two bronze, Botswana occupied the 16th position on three gold, one silver, one bronze and Namibia with two gold ended in the 19th position. Cameroon who had one silver and two bronze finished in the 32nd position, Mauritius were in joint-34th position with one silver while Ghana and Seychelles who only won one bronze, were joint-39th in the medal table. Hosts Australia, were the overall winners at this year’s games after amassing 80 gold, 59 silver, 59 bronze to bring their medals total to 198. England who were champions at the 2014 edition, came second with 45 gold, 45 silver, 46 bronze, India clinched third spot with 26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze. Canada came fourth with

15 gold, 40 silver, 27 bronze and New Zealand finished fifth after securing 15 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals. Meanwhile the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, commended the team for not just doing the nation proud but better the performance at the last edition in Glasgow. “ I thank you very much for making us proud. We have

done a comparative analysis and looked at the size of our contingent when we went to Glasgow. How many sports we competed in and how much money was voted? These are the factors which will confirm whether we have done better here or not. From the average knowledge of what I have, we have done better here than what we did

in Glasgow.” The Minister also announced that arrangements to host those available back in Nigeria has been put in place. “This will enable us to interface, interact, cross pollinate ideas and enjoy ourselves. I don’t want us to assess our success with medals. We should assess

our success by participation and the way we conducted ourselves during the Games. It is also time to begin to invest in our athletes if we want to do well in sports,” he remarked. The next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, will be hosted in Birmingham, England, from July 27 to August 7.

FINAL MEDAL TABLE Countries Gold Australia 80 England 45 India 26 Canada 15 New Zealand 15 South Africa 13 Wales 10 Scotland 9 Nigeria 9 Cyprus 8

Silver 59 45 20 40 16 11 12 13 9 1

Bronze 59 46 20 27 15 13 14 22 6 5

Total 198 136 66 82 46 37 36 44 24 14

Tobi Amusan struck gold in the women’s 100m hurdles, clocking 12.68 seconds for Nigeria at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia

Man City Wins EPL as Man Nigeria Beats The Gambia to Record Second ICC T20 Tourney Victory national cricket team‘s in 3 overs. wickets in 20 overs. and the victory against The Utd Loses to West Brom Nigeria quest to win the ICC World Vice Captain Ademola Debutant Daniel Gim Gambia, qualification is in Manchester City won the Premier League title as Manchester United’s shock 1-0 home defeat by West Brom confirmed their rivals as champions. Second-place United are now 16 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side with only five games left to play. It is Man City’s third title in seven seasons and a fifth top-flight crown - their first under the Spaniard in his second campaign in charge. They have dominated the title race, scoring 93 goals and losing just twice. The Premier League title is the 24th trophy of the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss’ managerial career. The 47-year-old has previously won league titles in Spain and Germany, as well as two Champions Leagues with Barca. Since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took ownership of the club in 2008, Man City have won seven trophies, adding an FA Cup, two League Cups and an FA Community Shield to their league titles. Man City set a Premier League record of 18 consecutive wins on their way to the title, and have beaten every other side in the division this season at least once. They were on course to

go the whole league season unbeaten before losing 4-3 to Liverpool at Anfield in January. Their match at Everton saw them retain 82.13% possession, the highest recorded in the Premier League, and they broke passing records, completing over 900 against Chelsea. They have only failed to score in a league match once this season and lead the stats in terms of possession, touches, passes, shots and goals. City were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday after their quarter-final defeat by Liverpool, and were beaten by League One side Wigan in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February. However, Guardiola’s side did win the Carabao Cup by beating Arsenal at Wembley. Man City could have made history and sealed the earliest Premier League title by beating United on 7 April at Etihad Stadium, but let slip a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2. That defeat came in between two losses to Liverpool in the Champions League, which led to Guardiola claiming the side could still miss out on the title. However, their 3-1 victory at Tottenham on Saturday put them on the brink of the title, and West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez’s header confirmed their status as champions on Sunday.

T20 Africa Qualifier “A” continued with a convincing 55 runs victory over The Gambia yesterday at the Tafawa Balewa Cricket Oval in Lagos. Captain Chimezie Onwuzulike’s decision to bat first after winning the toss paid off as they posted 176 runs for loss of 5 wickets in 20 overs with Basiru Jaye the best bowler for the fielding side with 2 wickets, 16 runs

Onikoyi, top scored with 74 runs not out off 39 balls with 9 fours and 2 sixes, Chimezie Onwuzulike added 34 runs, Isaac Okpe put in 21 runs not out with lovely 3 sixes and Opening batsman Sulaimon Runsewe dropped 18 runs. The Nigerian bowlers in the Second Innings ensured the mountain too high for Captain Mbye Dumbuya’s team to climb as they were reduced to 121 runs for 7

claimed 2 wickets for 16 runs in 3 overs while the quartet of Isaac Danladi, Shola Anyia, Seye Olympio and Isaac Okpe all having a wicket each. Pa Assan Faye led the batting onslaught for his side with 29 runs off 16 balls, Mohammed Manga 24 runs and Andrew Jarju contributed 15 runs. With this victory Nigeria has won two matches; the opening victory against Sierra-Leone

sight and all is now pointing towards the big clash against bitter rivals Ghana Cricket National Team on Tuesday at the same venue. In the second match on Sunday, Ghana also eased past Sierra Leone, to set up feverish clash with Nigeria team on Tuesday. The International Cricket Council World T20 Africa Qualifier “A” will round off on Saturday April 22, 2018.

Fawaz Wins Scholarship at Greensprings /Kanu Football Camp Abbey Fawaz, 11, a student of Jubilee Model School, Surulere; Lagos was named winner of the scholarship prize of the 7th Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp at the weekend. Fawaz who was selected based on his skills, conduct and discipline during the fourday camping was extremely astonished and overwhelmed with mixed emotions when his name was announced by Dolapo Fatoki, the Deputy Head of Greensprings School. The training exercise which was handled by a team of coaches from English Premier League’s West Bromwich Albion Football Club and Dutch Football Association, supported by coaches from the Lagos State Football Association, is part of Greensprings School’s

strategy to equip children with the necessary skills required to become outstanding professional footballers. The educational scholarship will afford Fawaz the opportunity to receive quality and well-rounded education at Greensprings School. According to Oluranti Bankole, the Head of Admissions, Greensprings School, the annual football camp helps to mould future leaders in sports and education. “We got a new scholar from this year’s camp and he is a new addition to our family of outstanding football scholars. We hope that through this platform, they receive quality education which is fundamental to the development of their soccer skills and all round

potential.” “The platform Greensprings presents, will expose them to so many opportunities and competitions both locally and internationally which will further help them develop into confident individuals and worthy role models. What we found out with the scholars is that, having the right educational foundation and an enabling environment will help them maximize their potentials, as it provides them a rare opportunity to add value sporting world in general. Fawaz joined eight other previous recipients of the scholarship award, some of which have gone on to represent Nigeria at the various youth levels. Also speaking about the

scholars, Bankole mentioned that they are like one big family who always looked out for one another, they have made good use of the opportunities the scholarship presents and not take it for granted. In the words of Dotun Coker, Chairman Technical Committee of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), “Greensprings has continued to add value to lives of Nigerian youths with the yearly scholarship. “ On behalf of the chairman of LSFA and Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Oluseyi Akinwunmi, we commend the management of Greensprings School for impacting positively on our grassroots players and transforming their lives.”.


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MISSILE Afenifere to FG â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is Malamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s protest against the Boko Haram trial by the International Criminal Court (ICC) a continuation of the pronouncement that anyone who touches Boko Haram touches the North and by extension now Nigeria?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Afenifereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, berating FG for its opposition to ICC investigating and trying cases of crimes against humanity by Boko Haram.

CHIDIAMUTA GUEST COLUMNIST

T

The Looters Curse

he Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, needs a new tailor badly. The garb of a minister of the federal republic ought to fit better than the rough tunic of a casual party entertainer that the man seems so fond of. More seriously, I presume that Mr. Mohammed is paid to speak for the government and people of Nigeria irrespective of our party affiliations. His core assignments ought to include making Nigeria look good or at least better at home and abroad. While he reserves the right to love his party more than his nation, he has no business exploiting his elevated ministerial podium to deepen our national image deficits. Yet, by initiating the publication of what he deems an exclusive national looters directory, Mr. Mohammed has worsened our global perception crisis and may end up portraying himself more as a pathetic partisan rather than the voice of a respectable nation. Lest we forget, we are variously maligned around the world as easily the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most corrupt nation. President Buhari pushed this narrative very hard by exporting it wherever he went in his first two years in office. He was obviously marketing his anti corruption fixation abroad ever before it took hold at home. Lai Mohammed has just reinforced this campaign, backing it with dodgy figures, crooked statistics and very embarrassing high school arguments. We are in a world where Nigeria is ready quarry for juicy corruption stories. Quite recently, a number of influential books have emerged on the international scene based on this unusual distinction: The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis, Thieves of State by Sarah Chayes and This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organised Crime by Stephen Ellis are the most noteworthy instances. Add to that Transparency Internationalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abysmal corruption perception ranking of Nigeria in 2017 as 148th out of 180 nations worldwide. Yet a government that went all over the world advertising the corruption of its citizens and begging other nations to help return Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loot in their banks was the first to complain about Transparency International! Even the worst of governments manages to defend their nations from negative perceptions held by others even in the worst of times and circumstances. Rare is the government that waves the flag of national infamy to the world just to score a domestic political point. The Buhari government has just scored a lethal own goal by initiating this politics of brandishing treasury looters lists. Let me quickly enter an important caveat. My reservations on this politics of looters lists are non-partisan. I am yet to join any of the power hungry collectives. I am by no means a supporter of the kind of mindless treasury looting that has continued to happen here over time. Looters of our commonwealth ought to be treated as

Mohammed

common criminals whether they are in the APC, the PDP or the shadowy private sector. As a matter of fact, where the rule of law prevails, it is the outcome of credible judicial processes that ought to name and shame culprits in a serious anti corruption engagement. Where courts or tribunals of competent jurisdiction rule anyone or group of persons guilty of looting the public treasury, no credible government would need to advance its political frontiers by issuing a list of its wealthy opponents as treasury looters. In the count down to the 2019 general elections, people were hoping that the ruling APC and its rival opposition gang, the PDP, would go into the election season with clear, even if conflicting, policy road maps. We are still expecting issue- based discourse and civil campaigns. But no

In the count down to the 2019 general elections, people were hoping that the ruling APC and its rival opposition gang, the PDP, would go into the election season with clear, even if conďŹ&#x201A;icting, policy road maps

chance. Instead what we have seen so far in the last few weeks is a nauseating relapse into a pathetic blame game. In the back and forth tossing of blames between the two major parties over the prodigality of their leaders, the nation and its multiple afflictions seem lost. More depressingly, a certain motor park grade hurling of insults across all known divides is beginning to rage. Not to talk of the liberal exchange of undisguised abuses by leading political actors on both sides. Yet there is no divide on issues since both parties are devoid of any hints of ideological anchoring. On its part, the ruling party remains frozen in its fixation with Jonathanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s obvious foibles as if our national history came to a halt with Mr. Jonathan. It seems intent on blaming the opposition PDP for its own tragic failure to either rule or govern. The tragically over rated Mr. Buhari who has been president for 3 years, has neither ruled, governed nor reigned. To the utter consternation of most Nigerians, the PDP foolishly rendered a tepid apology for ruling badly especially under Jonathan. In response, Mr. Lai Mohammed, who confuses his role as government spokesman with that of a party thug proceeded to release an embarrassing list of alleged treasury looters derived apparently from EFCC charge sheets and ongoing court proceedings. Not wanting to be beaten in this cheap diversionary antic, the PDP also published a scandal sheet of alleged looters from the ruling party, which, if truth be told, is the other side of the Nigerian political mafia family. The public has greeted this pageant of infamy with the scorn it deserves. People feel insulted, short changed and generally embarrassed by the adolescent displays of supposed leaders. An obscene parade of rival gangs of treasury looters, real or imagined, cannot assuage the angry yearnings of a nation in desperate need of visionary and transformative leadership. In reality, there is no distinction between the looters of the PDP and those of the APC. They share a common political DNA. There is no ideological distinction between both parties either. Their leadership selection process is one and the same. What distinguished them is perhaps he location from which they are shouting insults at each other. One is dug in at Aso villa, the other is screaming from the street corners. As a matter of fact, their members are mostly one and the same. More than 35% of the membership of the APC were card-carrying members of the PDP. By the logic of Mr. Lai Mohammed, by simply changing party symbols from the tattered umbrella to a scattered and uneven broom bunch, these people were cleansed and cannot feature in his phantom list of looters. By this fraudulent logic, all it requires to make Nigeria free of official corruption is for all politicians and public office holders to decamp to the APC. That way there will be no need for a list of looters!

Beyond political bad manners on both sides, however, there is a failure of political and public communication in this open parade of infamy. First, as political diversion, the publications impress no one and cannot sway voters either way. As a communication event, the crude exchange of gutter grade abuse by both sides degrades our political discourse. There is no new information in this overhyped exchange of palm wine joint â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;exclusivesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. If this is in the service of some anti corruption fad, it falls flat on its face. Fighting corruption as an exclusive malaise of the politically exposed misses the whole point. Corruption in Nigeria is too serious an ingrained sociological and psychological problem to be trifled with as political cosmetics. As we trek into the election season, what Nigerians expect from the parties is a serious engagement on the national problems that will not go away. On national security, we no longer need grandstanding and imaginary victories. We need to understand and debate the scope of a scourge that is nearly engulfing the entire nation. We need to hear the perspectives of the parties on whether we need combat soldiers to protect and secure a democracy or a better trained and equipped police force. On the economy, we need serious perspectives on why our people are getting poorer while our leaders insist we have never had it so good. Fancy graphs, power point presentations and expensive foreign consultants cannot assuage the hunger of the many who are unsure of the next meal. On education, we need to hear the parties proffer solutions on how best to get our kids to compete with the best in important disciplines. Our healthcare needs better attention and more resources if we must wrestle most of our people from the fangs of common diseases that less endowed nations have since eradicated. We need to be better informed by the parties on the best strategies to fight corruption first as a primary social epidemic before it becomes a tertiary disease that afflicts mostly those in government and their business friends. There is quite a possibility that the APC government does have a credible report card of demonstrable achievements to show for the last three years. Let us know what it is. It is also conceivable that the ruling party has learnt some lessons on the job and now has a basket of issues and corrective policy plans on which to build its case for the next election. We the people deserve to know. In the same vein, the PDP should have a rich institutional memory of policies, projects and achievements as well as future plans. It needs to show that it has spent the period out of power in penitent reflection on national issues. As a people, we need to use the next general election to rescue our people from the recurrent cycle of the looters curse. t%S $IJEJ "NVUB JT B NFNCFS PG UIF &EJUPSJBM #PBSE PG5IJTEBZ

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Monday 16th April 2018  
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