Page 1

US Gives Claimants 90 Days to Challenge Repatriation of $625m Abacha Loot $1m traced to Alamieyeseigha ready for release Ministry disputes claim of rejection of FG lawyers by US DOJ Tobi Soniyi in Lagos The federal government has initiated talks with the family of the Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to

give up their claim to $145 million traced to the family of the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha in the United States, just as the U.S. has also given conditions for

releasing another $480 million also linked to Abacha but has been forfeited by U.S. courts to the country’s Department of Justice (DOJ). A top source at the Ministry

of Justice who confided in THISDAY on the negotiations between his ministry and the U.S. DOJ, said this was the outcome of the meeting between the Attorney General

of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, during President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-day official visit

to Washington D.C. early this month. The ministry source confirmed that the U.S. Continued on page 8

9mobile: Smile Faces Disqualification as Reserve Bidder… Page 48 Wednesday 16 May, 2018 Vol 23. No 8427. Price: N250

www.thisdaylive.com TR

UT H

& RE A S O

N

NNPC Selects Vitol, Trafigura, Sahara, Oando, 46 Others for Crude Term Contracts… Page 8 ADVERTISEMENT


2

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

3


4

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

5


6

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

7


8

WEDNESDAY, ͚͞˜ͺ͸͚΀ËžT H I S D AY

PAGE EIGHT

NNPC Selects Vitol, Trafigura, Sahara, Oando, 46 Others for Crude Term Contracts Ejiofor Alike The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued the 2018/2020 crude export contracts to 50 local and international oil traders, including Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore, THISDAY has learnt. THISDAY gathered that as part of the efforts to

encourage local participation in the lifting contracts, the corporation selected 20 Nigerian companies, unlike in the 2017/2018 contracts where 18 Nigerian companies made the list. Also, unlike the 2017/2018 contracts where all the contracts were for 32,000 barrels per day (bpd) except for Duke Oil Limited, the oil trading arm of NNPC

which got a term contract for 90,000bpd, the crude allocations for the 2018/2020 contracts are for 30,000bpd. According to the allocation paper seen by THISDAY, which was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager in charge of Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mr. Mele Kyari, each of the 50 companies would lift 950,000 barrels of crude oil in the

two-year duration of the contracts, which would run from July 2018 to June 2020. THISDAY gathered that apart from the three world’s largest oil traders, several local and international traders such as Total, Oando, Masters Energy, Sahara Group and NNPC’s Duke Oil also made the final list obtained by THISDAY. Other beneficiaries of the

two-year term contracts include MRS, Matrix Energy, Aipec, AMG, Arkleen, Augusta, Barbedos, BB Energy, Bono Energy, Calson, Cassiva, Cepsa, Cretus, Eterna Oil, Gladius Commodities, Hinstock, HPCL, Leighton, Levene, Litasco and Mocoh. Also included in the list is Emadeb, a fast-growing Nigerian oil trader, AA Rano,

North West, Ocean Bed (Sahara), Petraco, Petrogras, Propetrol, Prudent, Sacoil, SEER, Setana Energy, Setraco, Shoreline, Socar, Sonara, Ultimate Gas, Voyage, West African Gas, Zitts and Lords, ZR Energy (Trafigura) and Obat Oil & Gas. The contracts would run for two years, unlike previous contracts, which were valid for one year.

Buhari: I was Jailed for Three Years for Fighting Corruption Senator Iroegbu in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to sustain the anti-corruption war despite the scars he suffered in his first attempt at fighting corruption as military head of state between 1984 and 1985. Buhari made the promise yesterday while inaugurating the new head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja. The president, who recounted how he was jailed for three years after he was overthrown, said corruption successfully defeated him during his first attempt to rid the country of graft. He said he would not bow to any form of pressure in his second attempt to tame corruption in the country. “In my first attempt to fight corruption, corruption fought back successfully. I was detained for three years and only released after my mother died. In

spite of that, my objective of fighting corruption remains steadfast. “The war against corruption is not an easy one to fight, because it affects so many different branches of our lives, so much so that some people do not even consider breaking the people’s trust a crime anymore. “It has become the norm. That is why we must fight this attitude and encourage Nigerians to change their attitudes and perspectives,� he said. Buhari stressed that throughout his journey in national service and since 2015, he had made a very conscious decision to pursue a vigorous fight against corruption in public life. He, however, noted that the fight would not be successful without the support of the legislature and judiciary. The president expressed hope that the judiciary, which is a critical stakeholder and partner

in the war against corruption, would continue to collaborate with the executive to bring corrupt people to book. He also called on the legislature, which provides the legal framework for the anti-corruption war, to add more verve to the determination of government to rid the country of the brazen corruption witnessed in recent years by reviewing the archaic provisions in Nigerian laws and proactive passage of new legislations. “I call on the judiciary and the National Assembly to join hands in this national effort,� he appealed. The president said since 2015, his administration had made significant progress in the fight against corruption. He confirmed that the government under him has recovered and is still recovering trillions of naira that were stolen in the past few years by people without a conscience. “Everyone now knows that corrupt officials will be

held to account, no matter how long it takes. “We are pursuing recoveries everywhere and are making sure that anyone who has been found culpable is made to answer for his or her crime under the law.� Buhari said that the goal of his administration was to ensure the protection of public trust, noting that the anti-corruption war was at its centre. According to him, “They never intended, and we are not engaged in witch-hunts, but we are determined by the laws to call people to account.� Against this backdrop, the president appealed to Nigerians to support agencies like the EFCC, because fighting corruption is “everyone’s concern�. He also noted that quite a number of nations had signified interest in strengthening their laws and entering into agreements with Nigeria to repatriate not only stolen funds but to make culprits face due

process of the law. Buhari said his government was committed to working with foreign countries to stop the inflow of stolen funds from Nigeria into their jurisdictions and repatriating what was there already. He stressed that these assets, when repatriated, will be used in building infrastructure in Nigeria. Also speaking at the event, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, debunked the perception that “Nigerians are fantastically corrupt�, save for Buhari. Dogara, in his goodwill message, said that the president was not the only corrupt-free Nigerian, saying there are millions of hardworking and committed citizens equally passionate about the anti-corruption drive. “Mr. President is not alone in this, he is not the only corrupt-free Nigerian. There are millions of Nigerians who are not

corrupt,� he said. The Speaker, while commending the president and the EFCC on the new head office for the commission, called for further training of staff and improvement in their welfare so as to shield them from temptation. Earlier, the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said the building was both historic and a legacy for generations to come. Magu explained that in the fight against corruption, increasing economic crimes had made it inevitable for EFCC to expand its scope of operations. Magu further assured his audience that there will be no hiding place for corrupt officials, adding that the agency under his leadership had secured 486 convictions including that of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He said the commission has also recovered over N500 billion and promised to intensify the fight against corruption.

commission. According to him, “Contrary to some sponsored news reports, the federal government’s lawyers said to have been barred by the U.S. DOJ were even at the meeting between Malami and Sessions in Washington D.C. “I don’t know where these stories emanated from, but I can assure you that the federal government’s lawyers have not been stopped by the U.S. DOJ. Even the U.S. DOJ is using lawyers to represent it in both cases, so how can they bar the legal representatives of the Nigerian government?� He said during the meeting, discussions also shifted to another $1 million linked to the late governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha, which the U.S. government also agreed to repatriate. As a precondition for the release of the $1 million, the U.S. government has asked Nigeria to submit a proposal on how the funds will be utilised in Bayelsa State. The THISDAY source also stated that about $3 million recovered from the assets traced to a former governor

of Delta State, Chief James Ibori in the U.S. remained trapped because the former governor is contesting his conviction by a court in the United Kingdom.

US GIVES CLAIMANTS 90 DAYS TO CHALLENGE REPATRIATION OF $625M ABACHA LOOT government was willing to release the $145 million to Nigeria but for the suit instituted against the return of the money to the Nigerian government by the Bagudus. According to the source, if the Bagudu family is willing to allow the U.S. to enter a default judgment regarding the money, it would repatriate the $145 million and $480 million, making a total of $625 million to Nigeria by September. THISDAY learnt that the Bagudu family had filed a case in a U.S. court challenging the forfeiture of the $145 million and the decision to repatriate it to Nigeria. The said $145 million, investigations showed, was held in what the U.S. government described as the ‘Blue Trust’. To make the deal possible, the source said, Malami had assured his U.S. counterpart, Sessions, that he would talk to the lawyers representing the Bagudu family to give up their claim to the money. However, it is not clear, if the Bagudus will agree to relinquish their claim to the money. “As a matter of fact, the minister has assured

the U.S. authorities that he would persuade the Bagudus to drop their claim. He is very confident that the talk with the Bagudus will succeed,� the source said. The Kebbi governor was closely involved with the Abachas and was linked to some of the funds stolen from Nigeria during the reign of the late head of state. On the $480 million already with the DOJ, the source said that there were still third parties laying claim to the funds, but did not divulge their identities. Some lawyers who claimed they were entitled to some commission from the money had threatened to go to court to stop the repatriation. The source, however, said that the third parties also have 90 days to appeal the decision of the U.S. government to release the $480 million to Nigeria, failing which it will be repatriated by September. Between 1994 and 1998, the Abacha family reportedly stole more than $2 billion from Nigeria under the pretext that the money was meant for national security.

The source said the conditions given by the U.S. before the funds could be released to the federal government include the demand that Nigeria must identify specific projects that the Buhari-led administration will spend the money on when released to Nigeria. He said the U.S. also demanded that a framework for monitoring how the funds would be spent be put in place. The source further said that U.S. noted that even though there was a third party claim to the funds, both countries should jointly work on a memorandum of understanding detailing specific projects on which the funds would be utilised. “They also gave any third parties interested in making a claim on the funds to do so within 90 days or by September 2018 when the period to appeal will lapse. “As I speak to you, the federal government is working to identify specific projects that will benefit from the funds,� the source added. Investigations by THISDAY further revealed that when the U.S. asked the justice minister to

identify the projects that the Nigerian government would spend the funds on, Malami told them that he would have to consult with the president and the economic team for a decision on the project. The source could not confirm whether Nigeria has submitted a list of the projects to the U.S. as of press time. The source explained that the U.S. expected Nigeria to submit specific projects for which the funds would be applied before the end of this month to enable the U.S. take a decision on the projects next month. He said that the U.S. would have to vet the list and approve it before the funds can be repatriated to Nigeria. Investigations revealed that the U.S. was being guided by past experience when Nigeria could not account for how it managed funds repatriated to it. The source also disputed claims that the U.S. DOJ has blocked the federal government’s lawyers representing Nigeria in the claims challenging the forfeiture of the funds and their repatriation to Nigeria from earning their

TOP GAINERS NGN NGN SOVREINTRUST 0.01 0.21 CONTINENTAL 0.06 1.48 NPFMFB 0.07 1.85 WAPIC 0.02 0.53 MUTUALBENEFITS 0.01 0.30 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN VERITASKAP 0.04 0.38 DIAMONDBANK 0.17 1.64 SKYEBANK 0.05 0.85 JAPAUL 0.02 0.35 CUTIX 0.15 3.00 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,573.00 Volume: 203.359 million shares Value: N4.427 billion Deals: 4,090 As at yesterday 15/05/18 See details on Page 39

% 5.0 4.2 3.9 3.9 3.4 % 9.5 9.3 5.5 5.4 4.7


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

9


10

WEDNESDAY, ͚͞˜ͺ͸͚΀ËžT H I S D AY

STARTERS

N’Assembly Raises 2018 Budget by N500bn, May be Passed Tomorrow C’ttee on Senate invasion summons Omo-Agege, Ndume Delta senator makes U-Turn, stays away from plenary

Two-Minute BrieďŹ ng NEWS Chairmanship Race: Oshiomhole

SDAY MAY 16,

2018 ËžT H I

NEWS

S D AY

Chairmansh ip APC Lawma Race: Oshiomhole Reach kers es Out to Promises Email davidso

News Editor

n.iriekpen@thi

Reaches Out to APC Lawmakers Former Governor of Edo State and All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairmanship aspirant, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday met with members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives behind closed-doors... Page 11

11

Davidson Iriekpe

sdaylive.com,

to heal woun ds, strengthen Gbajabiamila: intra-party demo We’ve endorsed cracy Says James Emejo him new PDP not in Abuja correlation

0811181308

n

1

a threat

between effort Former Governor reward and All Progressive of Edo State and the partyas far as the activities of the responsibility of the party to you Congress (APC) interact with are concerned. National Chairmans the executive have a democratic He said: “I came organisation basically to meet on the platform of the elected there’s bound Adams Oshiomhole hip aspirant, with the leadership party at agreements to be contestation , internal contestation , yesterday met with members and members both national and state level of the APC and disagreeme s, working together, and I’m sure I’m thankful of and of we will resolve nts. in the House the APC Caucus Representat caucus of the House of course, the National Assembly “I think the to all of that so of Representa the privilege the Speaker for Houses of Assembly challenge and ive. I have shared that behind closed-door tives and the principal respectively.� leadership which I believe of party that is united,we can have a officers s for over two them my intention to contest with The former governor for the determined to I hours to solicit cohesive- the for the office of provide is to be am one its membershi said:�Of to we had spent quality time that p has a sense for the position. for their support APC the National Chairman of course, it’s no secret that able belonging, find and and to solicit for there are listen courage and good heart couple of issues and there should of a time very well I think it was their to In attendance spent. “As were the Speaker you know, our support. our party in right now affecting and and to pro-actively intervene strong correlation between be a “I’ve learnt a of the House, various states, to help people lot from them party and reward as effort I’ve democratic and Hon. who have we’ve and given far as the activities the chairmansh is exchanged views as the Deputy, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; office to how some to find common ground to issues the party are concerned. of the way my own assurances ip of these is not by appointme co-exist. many issues can be I can, and as well as the Yussuff Lasun, by election “I believe that These and nt, resolved it’s what we other issues all principal would do I’ve the and and members no doubt in my members officers caucus led by the House of the mind that once of APC have good intentions; Continuing, we discussed.� our party differently to ensure are automatic he said: “But we’ve our Femi Gbajabiam Leader, Hon. the convention delegates of ended the we stronger waxed stronger and own fair share ila, among other at especially as members. of is in a meeting and everybody chairman and which the national we march very happy other mood and Speaking to journalists will be elected. national officers Cont’d on page after the engagement, “So, Oshiomhole 51 said he their I came physically to solicit had come to solicit support and for their support and proffer lasting vision and thoughtsalso share my problems currently solutions to the issues on a variety of and how bedevilling the APC. those issues I hope to address as they Among other affect the running would ensure things, he said he betweenof our party, the relationship that there’s strong the party and members of the National Assembly as it affects

Again, 31 Killed in Nasarawa Communal Crisis Tor Tiv tasked on ending herdsme n attacks Suicide bomber kills five in Borno

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Ukumba in LaďŹ aEmmanuel

have made strong statements condemning the killings arson, rather, and in their full Over 31 Bassa glare, the burning of Bassa houses been reportedly persons have Toto in town, Ugya killed in the ongoing Bassa settlements and other major communal in broad day light. between the crisis Dogwo concluded Egbura and Bassa ethnic nationalitie by calling on s of Toto Local President Muhamma Government Area in Nasarawa quickly come to the du Buhari to aid of the Bassa State. people of Toto Local Governmen This came as Area who t suicide bomber a Boko Haram a result have been displaced as L-R: Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; a checkpoint yesterday attacked he taskedof the genocide, even as Udoma; and Head of Service Vice President in of the Federation Yemi Osinbajo; State, killing five troubled Borno Al-MakuraGovernor Umaru Tanko (ERGP) Focus Labs in , Winifred Ekanem Abuja....yesterday Minister to visit Toto immediately vigilante group. members of youth and Oyo-Ita, during of Budget and National invite the two the open day of Planning, Senator warring parties also got five The suicide attack to a the Economic dialogue. persons injured. Recovery and Udoma Udo The National Growth Plan Meanwhile, Secretary of Bassa Cultural Development President of Tiv and Association (TIDA) Union (BCDU), Development in Nasarawa State, Mr. Boniface James Emejo in Dogwo, disclosedGwatana Huleji Ifer, Abuja has tasked the death figure cost and benefit to journalists James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv, Prof. The yesterday during to urgently interact Speaker of the governmensharing among expected press conference a with stakeholder the of a twenty first t, petroleum in Lafia. s and authorities Representatives, Hon.House of exploration He reiterated century oil and gas towards communities attacks, killings that beyond the herdsmen ending the ongoing Dogara, yesterday hinted Yakubu petroleum host and recognises industry. Government industry reform which commenced and sacking of that since the remainin commu iti that th i d menac the B d 2 T

OPEN DAY FOR

FOCUS LABS

Dogara: PIB to be

EDITORIAL Beyond The Ban on Codeine

AY  ˜

The noise about the link between the illicit codeine trade and drug abuse in the northern part of Nigeria seems to be ebbing.The frenzy generated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report on the illegal use of the cough syrup and the almost dramatic response by relevant authorities was a welcome T development. Page 15

Passed Befo re July

Recess

ÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

EDITORIAL

15

BEYOND THE All the stakeho lders must do

T

BAN ON COD

EINE

more to

contain the problem he noise about of drug addictio illicit codeine the link between the n trade and drug the northern abuse in part be ebbing. The of Nigeria seems to reported that British Broadcasfrenzy generated by the and young an increasing number report on the ting Corporation (BBC) girls of illegal use of codeine being engage in drug/sub mothers syrup and the the stance abuse; almost dramaticcough said Mrs Bello.the most abused among response development. by relevant authorities this group,â€? was However, this Her assertion show off as may end up a welcome has been the as ďŹ gures, includin was corroborated another case with many issues in the by key women g wife of the country. Yet, Buhari who unresolved the essence must not be lamented that President, Mrs. Aisha of the revelation lost on us. It tion had now drug abuse is woke up to become their responsib time the relevant authoritie a serious health and addicissue renderin ilities. s Meanwhile, ous. Despite g its user unproductive and social there are several for answers the questions begging while women, nothingadvocacy actions of and dangerresolved. Some a number of issues these was done powerful is even more need to be of these question it take the projectio indicting that by the authorities. It women who the husband n of the BBC s include: Why did fore the Federal are the number s of these documentary states Ministry of one failed becitizens of to Health could the THE REAL WORK more seriously heed the warning or direct the take the matter . IS TO National Agency DESIGN A SUSTAIN for Food and ABLE AND HOLIST Drug owever, to limit IC Administration the whole ďŹ ght THAT TACKLE APPROACH abuse in the against drug and Control north to one RIGHT FROM S DRUG ABUSE (NAFDA single substance of codeine will THE SOURCE C), and would be done be the most disservice that National Drug codeine, there the whole struggle. Agency (NDLEA are many disingenu Beyond stances the northern ) to ban furtherLaw Enforcement ous ways and permits for youth, especially issuance subcodeine producti women have companies? the young devised to drug on to pharmacof What have founder, ‘House abuse. Accordin married eutical in response the authoriti of Recovery g to the to previous es been doing med, ’, Ms. top among Hadiza stories on the by the local media as well cobwebs, cocaine,the substance of abuse Aliko Mohamsame issue stakeholders? are: as warning s by several There is no heroine and marijuana, codeine, For the records, doubt that among others. THI abuse, especiall the challeng EDITOR  S DAY DEPUTY EDITORS  Forum (NGWF the Northern Governo     insurmountable.y in the north, is huge e of drug rs Wives MANAGING

Ëœ   the alarm over ) has for over a year but it is not Some signiďŹ ca DEPUTY MANAGINGDIRECTOR       now, raised achieved by  nt mileage DIRECTOR abuse by youngan alleged growing CHAIRMAN the reaction

  has been EDITORIAL rate of drug response of of women and BOARD     EDITOR NATION’S The wife of the governm Nigerians and the rapid CAPITAL   

the Niger State youths in the region. mentary. Neverth ent to   Abubakar governor, Dr eless, the real the BBC docuBello, a sustainable Amina work drug awarene had at one of the numerou drug abuse and holistic approach is to design s lamented that ss and advocacy sessions that tackles right from T H I S DAY the source. the temptati the problem last N E W S PA We must discard youths had on and cosmetic EDITOR-IN-C PERS LIM of drug abuse year HIEF/CHAIRM continued I treating the GROUP EXECUTIVE amongs approach of AN   T E D to exacerba rate, with Norther symptoms DIRECTORS

 always

   te at an alarmingt rather than Resorting to ˜     ˜   n states at DIVISIONAL for the highest the   ˜ DIRECTORS ˜ pharmaceuticalblame game or using disease. cases of drug the top of the table 

DEPUTY DIVISIONAL Ëœ  “Over the one abuse and  DIRECTOR years, the crack will companies as scapegoa or two addiction.     SNR. ASSOCIATE common with the problem had become 

not do. The ASSOCIATE ts to paper DIRECTOR DIRECTORS     Health, as women in CONTROLLE very well as monitorFederal Ministry of RS         ˜  the North,  ˜  as it had been  enforcem DIRECTOR, ing,    evaluatio ent agencies PRINTING PRODUCTION ˜  n and like NAFDA northern governo 

   TO SEND EMAIL:    C and NDLEA ďŹ rst name.surnam rs, leaders, stakeholders , e@thisdayliv e.com must join handsparents and other posed by drug abuse in our to tackle the menace country.

H

Letters to the Editor

Goje

Ndume

SHETTIMA’S INFRASTRUC DEVEL TUR

f

T H I S D AY

ËžWEDNESDAY,

MAY 16, 2018

Group Politic s Editor Tobi Soniyi Email tobi.so niyi@thisday live.com 0705478626 0 SMS ONLY

THE NE WSM

AKER As Okowa Co ntends with Detractors

Despite attem governance, pts to distract him, writes Chiemelie Delta Ezeobi State governor, Ifeanyi s the race for the 2019 elections Okowa rema draws near, political parties ins focused politicians have and again begun on potpourri of a mudslingin

A

g and unsubstantiated Those who are allegations. over elective seeking posts from already started those in officeto take have those in offices. campaigning by discreditin g While criticism such criticisms is good for democracy , basing on outright well for democracy lies does not bode . In the case of on the platformDelta State, a governorsh ip (APC), Dr. Cairo of the All Progressives aspirant Congress time, accused Ojuogboh, had for the umpteenth the Delta administra leadership of tion under the resources Ifeanyi Okowa of mismanag the of the state. ing Another weighty allegation is report that the recent media a Nigeria Limitedfirm- North China Constructi on Government, has nothing to do with the given Chinese the projects by the Delta awarded them State Ojuogboh had Government. Chinese governmenin an interview alleged that t has nothing ownership of to do with the the Company. This firm, North China Constructio allegation was tempt to politically perhaps, an n atwhich is currently join issues with the company engaged in of the New the constructio Central Secretariat n Government of Delta State in But contrary Asaba. to these claims, that the company it is a subsidiary was gathered Government of a Chinese approved North Group Co. Ltd; China Constructio an ‘AAA’ creditable n with high qualificatio n in building. enterprise Documents Commission cited at the Corporate (CAC) show Affairs Consulate of that the Office the People’s of the Lagos had on Republic of March China in General of Corporate12, 2013 written to the Affairs Commissio Director clearly that “North China n Co. Ltd is an Construction stating ‘AAA’ creditable Group high qualificatio n in building.� enterprise with The letter stated further Construction Group Co. Ltdthat North China corporation is a legal Chinese under taking construction, businesses related emphasizing to and Commercia that “the Economic of the People’s l Office of the Consulate General agreement on Republic of China confirms Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Nigeria namedits establishment of a companyour Okowa in Limited and North China Constructio n Nigeria North China has Co. Ltd has Construction got the approval Group mainno business with governmen Republic of reaction was of the People’s t of China, the China for its disbelief. pleaded anonymity investment including the Many have in name of the ) said it was company to Nigeria unresearched, accused him of making for somebody Furthermore, disappointing be set up.� false and defamatory baseless, becoming who has indicated analysts contended against the Group Co. Ltd the North China Constructi the next interest in statement governor, who that any friend on developme would Road, Diaxing has its home office at is making serious such spurious and governor of the state to of the state ntal strides in Guangsha make count advise the governor to Delta why all in an attempt unsubstantiated allegations company is a District, Beijing China. As do a current of the Chinese National it is, the of the governorship aspirant State, wondering want head to rubbish Okowa , which the civil servants and other Construction, his interview would ask readers to seek a re-election officials for secretariat will who may Decoration and Design, Engineering, to go to the determine wh Commissio special grad serve as offi in 2019 They cont General C Corpo t A (C d h

FEATURES War against Illicit Drugs

In the month of February this year, men of Edo Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) conducted one of its annuls: the public destruction of various narcotic drugs mainly cannabis, weighing 136,844kgs. Page 20

ERSIANS

numerical order); but, to prepare of this Mahdi the w th

MIDWEEKPOL ITICS

POLITICS As Okowa Contends with

Detractors As the race for the 2019 elections draws near, political parties and politicians have again begun a potpourri of mudslinging and unsubstantiated allegations. Page 18

Letters in response to speciďŹ c readers may TO OUR READERS send such letters publications in THISDAY opinions on topical along with their should be brief local, national 1000 words). (150-200 words) and internatiocontact details to opinion@ They should and straight be sent to opinion@nal issues provided thisdayliv to the point. Interested thisdaylive.com they are well-writt e.com. We also welcome en and should comments and along with the also not be longer email address than (950and phone numbers of the writer.

THE NAĂ?VE P

he brute Persians of time past their imprints and bloodlines have really left Iranians, and in the present as present-day in Bibli l i time j t lik

FEATURES

T H I S D AY

˞˜ ÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

Acting Featur es Editor Charle s Ajunwa Email charle s.ajunwa@this daylive.com

War against Illicit Drugs

Adibe Emen yonu writes on warehouses by the the National Drugarrest of a 64-year-old man linked to the discov n the month Law Enforcemen of February of Edo Command this year, men ery of 5,650kg t Agency of National Enforcement of cannabis at Agency (NDLEA) Drug Law one of its annuls: conducted two the

I

public destruction various narcotic of drugs mainly weighing cannabis, The exercise 136,844kgs. considering was considered a big achieveme the nt of kilogramm fact that every year, the always on thees of destroyed hard number drugs are increase. This is because most of the operatives of seizures made by when drug the command are usually couriers hauling or peddling are either arrested done the illicit commoditwhile Never has the y. anti-drug agency discovery in made a its personnel single swoop until recentlya major stumbled through intelligenc into a residential when building e report. According to the discoverie information available to THISDAY, s were made residential apartments in two separate where no one something like can imagine that could be the huge awareness hidden by members considering on the danger of the public the drug pose Even as the to society. they were not weeds were in the buildings, found in any stack away inside the ceiling of the rooms but of the public from prying and eyes Speaking on security operatives. the seizures, mander of the Edo State ComAgency, Buba National Drug Law Enforceme Wakawa, disclosed nt intelligence that but for gathering, his gone to the designated men would just anything suspicious building without have seeing and will just empty, accusing come false informatio the informant of givingback The arrested 64-year-old n. out grandfathe These are not r, Pa Daniel the only surprises. Idemudia in shock is that one of the warehouse The big s ďŹ lled with allegedly to a 64-year-old grandfath bags of cannabis be the er sativa While the major one behind the drug was cartel. merchants who be at large go are commodities out to buy, his job is to said to stock the without the in the ceiling of his apartment knowledge of anyone. According to found in two Wakawa, "All the exhibits warehouses. were was hidden The Egor warehouse inside the ceiling 64-year-old of a bungalow. grandfather, A Daniel Idemudia resides in the warehouse who has been "We were shocked to discover arrested. dried weeds 280 sacks of suspected to hidden inside be cannabis sativa all the ceiling discovery will of the building. their warehousserve as a warning to others This that drugs seized," es will be discovered and the commander The Edo Command stated. er of NDLEA confirmed that who on intelligence the seizures were made further based disclosed that report received by the command, house located the first warehouse is a residential behind the Egor Local Governme Tipper Garage, Egor, nt Area where the dried weeds 280 sacks of The second weighing 4,200kg were at Ugwella-G warehouse, he said was found. Pa Idemudia surrounded idi Village by large bags Local Governme in Ovia Southlocated of weeds suspected West nt Area where dried weeds to be Indian 245 sacks of weighing hemp During interrogatio 1,450kgs were recovered. n by newsmen, the suspect,

BUSINESS Currency-in-Circulation Drops to

N1.668 Trillion BUSINESSW ORLD The total value of currency- incirculation in the country reduced by N269 billion year-on-year to N1.668 trillion as of the end of March this year, down from the N1.937 trillion Currency -Ci rcu recorded in February 2018, the N1.668 Tri-in llion lation Drops to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed in its latest money and credit statistics for March. Page 23 T H I S D AY

˞˜ ÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

3.33 %

1-MONTH

3-MONTH

2.83% Ͳ˛ʹ;Ϲ 5.17%

INDEX LEVEL 1-DAY MONTH-TO-DATE

͹ʹ͎˛͡ʹϹ ͎̋˛Ͱ͡Ϲ 0.10%

YEAR TO DATE

MEDIA PARL EY

Damilola Oyedele and James Emejo in Abuja Six months after it was laid before a joint session of the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation yesterday laid the report of the 2018 budget at plenary, increasing the federal government’s expenditure for the year by almost N500 billion to N9.120 trillion. In the upper chamber, the document was laid by Senator Danjuma Goje, chairman of the committee, while his counterpart in the House, Hon. Mustapha Bala Madaki, laid that of the lower legislative chamber. The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, who presided over plenary in the House yesterday said the budget would probably be passed today, but in the event that the House is unable to conclude work on the Appropriation Bill today, it will be passed tomorrow. A breakdown of the new estimates showed that of the N9.12 trillion budget, the sum of N530.4 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, while the sum of N2.204 trillion was set aside for debt service, of which N190 billion is for the sinking fund for maturing loans Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure for the 2018 budget was put at N3.52 trillion while N2.87 trillion was estimated as contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure (exclusive of capital expenditure in statutory transfers). Also, the joint Committee of the Senate and House charged with investigating the

Omo-Agege April 18 invasion of the Senate chambers and theft of the mace, summoned Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta APC) and Senator Ali Ndume (Borno APC) over their alleged roles in the incident. Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who doubles as chairman of the committee, issued the summons at the committee’s sitting yesterday where he alleged that both men were found to be complicit in the invasion. While Omo-Agege was accused of facilitating access to unauthorised persons who assaulted security officials of the legislature and stole the mace, Ndume was accused of preventing officials of the Senate chamber from carting away the mace to safety, when mayhem broke out. They were summoned to appear before the committee today. Na’Allah read the letter of summons for Omo-Agege, saying: “Based on the testimony of the DPO (Divisional Police Officer), the SSS (State Security Services) and the sergeant at arms, you were alleged to have entered the National Assembly, accompanied by seven persons who allegedly took the mace of the Senate during plenary session on April 18, at about 11:30 a.m. “All those who testified stated that the said people were cleared into the chamber based on your confirmation that they were with you. “The committee, in pursuance of this, has deemed it necessary to formally invite you to respond to these allegations on Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m.� Na’allah also read the letter of

summons for Ndume: “Based on the testimony of the sergeant at arms before the committee, you were alleged to have prevented the mace keeper from taking away the mace to safety. “The committee has, therefore, deemed it necessary to invite you in order to respond to that allegation.� Meanwhile, Omo-Agege failed to show up at the Senate plenary yesterday after announcing that he would resume sitting, in line with a court judgment which quashed his suspension. Omo-Agege was absent from the session, which started at 10.52 a.m. and lasted till about 1 p.m. The embattled lawmaker on Monday had said he would attend plenary yesterday, adding that nobody had the right to obstruct his entry into the upper legislative chamber. Responding, the Senate in a statement Monday night said despite its appeal of the judgment, the embattled lawmaker would not be stopped from attending plenary. Omo-Agege was suspended by the Senate for 90 legislative days over his comments on the change in the order of elections in the Electoral Amendment Bill, when he had accused the Senate of deliberately targeting President Muhammadu Buhari. Ndume was also suspended by the Senate for 90 legislative days in March 2017. His suspension was, however, quashed by the Federal High Court, Abuja. The decision is also on appeal by the Senate.

ss

Email chika.amEditor Chika Amanze-Nwa anzenwachukw chuku 0803329415 u@thisdaylive.com 7, 0805716132 1

S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE

L-R: Minister of Services, Mrs. Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Permanent Secretary, the Minister Olubunmi Siyanbola and in Abuja ...recently Director of Special Federal Ministry Projects, Dr. Mohamme of Finance, d Dikwa, duringDr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Director, the Quarterly BrieďŹ ng of the Home Media by

Lasun

23

Group Busine

               Ͳ Ëœ REPO Í° ÍŽ ÍŻ Íś 2.83 % S & P INDEX CALL

MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT

EXCHANGE RATE N305.20/1US DOLLAR* ĚŠ   

Ͳ˛͹ͰϹ ͡˛ͳʹϹ

Quick Takes BudgIT Tasks

NNPC on Transp BudgIT has asked the Nigerian arency (NNPC) to be National Petroleum Corporation applauded themore transparent in its operations, even as it but disadvanta corporation on the plan to The Minister geous practice of gas aring.end the prevalent of 2015 initiated State for Petroleum, Dr. operational the process of publishing Ibe Kachikwu, had in reports of the monthly ďŹ nancial However, the oil giant. and reality improved transparenin the report released cy and eďŹƒciency, so far is an outcry for BudgIT also BudgIT stated. said monthly report it noticed that NNPC had “The plan of in 2018 falling short of opennessnot published the NNPC to reduce and accountabi better time than gas aring lity. host communiti this, as the menace is not would not come at a only ravaging lives in the annually and es but also costing the economy yet the economic over $2.5 billion should signiďŹ cantl implications “Gas aring also y improve Nigeria’s powerof ending this practice of the “working has signiďŹ cant impacts generating capacity. on the life poorâ€? and “have-nots these communiti â€? who struggle expectancy es. to live within

Wema to Reward

Custom

Wema Bank Plc ers customers to has said that it would be taking some Russia this June. Obinna Chima The promotion, of its that saved at which will reward a selected least ECONO MY number of customers The total value or ALAT Account N100,000 in their Wema previous month. of currencyin-circulation In the same coincides with over a period of 30 days Savings Accounts vein, the data the FIFA World previous with a trip to reduced by in the country to the gathered from “We are rewarding Russia, Cup season. the Money, month, just as Quasi year-on-year N269 billion as at N22.621 trillion it was central bank’s website and have saved our customers who operate showed assets which are highly liquid to N1.668 trillion the end of the previous that the amount of as of the end Savings Accounts other than cash, month. trip to Russia,â€? N100,000 or more for currency of March this outside banks at down from year, increased to be quickly converted that can Ifebogun said. the bank’s Head Retail and least 30 days, with a The central bank the N1.937 trillion , stood at N13.390 trillion recorded in data showed N1.668 trillion, up marginally that broad to customers “This promotion is our waySME Banking, Dotun February 2018, in March, up who have committed from N13.288 of saying Central Bank the is made money (M2), which from the N1.571 trillion encouraging trillion the previous of it was month. as at the end up of demand to saving. It is thank you non-custom revealed in its Nigeria (CBN) at commercia of February deposits also ers Savings a to way latest start 2018. of Account Furthermore, money and saving l banks and monies credit statistics Analysts at it put the total held in easily an account and or ALAT Account as new by opening a Wema FSDH Merchant for March. accessible accounts amount of banks’ customers who Bank save a minimum Currency- inalso be rewarded,â€? open circulation refers increased slightly year-on-ye the central bank reserves with that Limited had projected to the total Ifebogun added.of N100,000 for 30days banking sector at N4.357 trilcelebrated its ar lion as value of currency from N24.019 trillion will Wema credit to the of the end private sector (coins and the previdigital bank- 73rd anniversary and the Bank, which recently of March, paper currency) ous month, to N24.303 would rise compared ALAT – according ďŹ rst anniversar year. issued during this with committed to y of its to a statement a given period, at the end of the review trillion trillion recorded the N4.160 that The firm held the view encouraging minus the amount , has always been the month. the at past, it had supported Similarly, narrow savings. The that has been previous month.the end of would manufacturing sector bank stated removed from events and campaigns attract the highest which included money (M1), that in the culture. “Savings the economy In addition, demand this year, further credit the central all physical that drive savings by monies provide a safety helps people become bank. deposits, adding which are funds such as coins ďŹ nancially secure Also, the data held in an ac- uncertainties surroundithat the currency and and Marketing net in case of an emergency and ng the fuel subsidy Communic banking sector showed that deposits along with demand count from which deposited , â€? the Head of Brand ations at Wema Falola said. in credit to the “It marketing sectorthe petroleum vate sector reduced pri- by the and other assets held funds can be withdrawn for saving your gets even better when you Bank Plc, Funmilayo at central bank time without marginally year-on-year any advance any a contraction of may lead to Wema Savings money,â€? she added. New are being rewarded to N22.444 trillion on-year to N10.913 rose year- to the depository notice credit to that customers who at the end of of N100,000 account or ALAT account institution sector. March, compared the review month, trillion in increased open for at least 30 and save a minimuma It noted that to N9.244 as against the N10.731 all-expense days stand a the improvem trillion in March, trillion recorded paid trip to Russia. chance of winning ent compared the N9.160 to the an trillion recorded LSETF Showc the Continued In its bid to position ases BeneďŹ on page 24 ciaries Lagos State that enables businesses thrive, as a conducive environme State Employme nt nt Trust Fund 25 beneďŹ ciaries of the amongst the over 100 leading (LSETF) loan programm Lagos edition of the annual Simply vendors who attended e were Goddy Egene their vari the 2018 Nigeri F

SEC Woos Fict their Dividen itious Investors to Cla im ds

CITYSTRINGS Ray of Hope for the Visually

36

CITYSTRING S Ray of Hope for

T H I S D AY

˞˜ ÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x; ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ™ĂœË?Ă’ Ă‹ĂœĂ–Ă?Ă?Ă”Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂĄĂ‹ Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă–Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ–Ă?Ă? ˛ËÔĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂĄĂ‹ĚśĂžĂ’Ă“Ă? ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ù×

the Visually

Several milli disease. But ons of Nigerians are at the risk of beco Martins IďŹ jea free eye surgery initia h writes tive in Abiaming visually impaired t is true the eye State hopes to cataract the mind and is the window to the world, to change due with it, life the soul. It is also true that the narrative. can be better colours and appreciated

Impaired It is true the eye is the window to the world, the mind and the soul. It is also true that with it, life can be better appreciated in colours and shades. But what happens to those who cannot see with their eyes? Page 36

Impaired

I

shades. But in to those who what cannot see with happens How then can they see the their eyes? the beauty world and that That is the lies within it? globally who dilemma of 36 million people cannot tell darkness, bright between and dim lustre, light and what the faces or even see look like. All of their loved ones or other they people To be clear, apart see is nothing. from the 36 blind humans on earth, there million outrightly them with severe are 253 million while there are or moderate visual impairmenof at least 1.1 billion t, with near-vision people globally Unfortunately, impairment. 89 per cent live in low of those affected and Nigeria where middle-income countries like take a major about 55 per cent of chunk of the women prevalence. On specifics, while the prevalence one of the highest in Nigeria is globally, 1.6 million, Southwestern amounting to about has the lowest part of the chunk of the incidence rate, while country the major burden is found due to poor in the South-east facilities in interventions and few the region. eye care It is in tackling South-east, where this scourge, especially in the the prevalence country that is highest the Senator Theodoreformer governor of Abia in the senatorial districtsOrji, representing Abia State, Central at the National started the T.A. Assembly, A cross section the beginning Orji Free Eye Surgery Initiative of patients waiting at of a renowned of 2018. He engaged the to be examined by the doctor Specialist Eye hi-tech Ophthalmologist services at the T.A.Orji at Anya Free Eye Surgery to help peopleClinic, Umuahia, Dr. Anya Initiative taking with eye problems Kalu, place in Umuahia vision irrespectiv regain their religion or tribe. e of their political leaning, The initiative, targeting or mild cataract persons with severe in Abia State, region, and the South-east other The T.A. Orji helped in restoringplaces in the country, has eye sights to Free Eye beneficiaries Surgery Initiat already, especially at least 270 ordinarily would the poor, who ive, targeting person surgery costing not be able to afford a cataract One of such N65, 000. severe or mild s with Stella Elezue beneficiaries is 52 years cataract in from Abia, who old Mrs. Abia State, with cataract has been for that has taken the past nine years, a battling region, and the South-east condition the Universityher to several hospitals, in the countrother places including of Calabar and other federal Teaching Hospital, in restoring y, has helped “I was no longerhospitals within the region. eye seeing at sights to and this made at least 270 me stopped all with the eye, the market. beneďŹ ciaries I was getting going to farm and already, especi day,â€? but Elezue incapacitated by ally says the when she heard the free eye surgery poor, who of initiative in advantage Umuahia, she the of not be ableordinarily would been successfulit, noting that the surgery took to afford a ly has cataract surger “Now I have conducted on her. gone back to y costing now do all my business. N65, 000 the I can me from doing,things the blind eye prevented says the elated I was blind, now I can see,â€? woman. For 77

INTERNATIONAL Iran Upbeat on Nuclear Deal Hopes after EU Talks Iran’s foreign minister saidTuesday that efforts to save the nuclear deal after the abrupt US withdrawal were “on the right track� as he began talks with European powers in Brussels... Page 46

INTERNATIO NAL

WEDNESDAY

Iran Upbeat on

MAY 16, 2018

email:foreigndesk

ËžT H I S D AY

Nuclear Deal Head of Iran Hopes after Guards anno unces ‘end of EU Talks the sedition’

@thisdaylive.com

Iran’s foreign minister said Tuesday that efforts to reported. save after the abrupt the nuclear deal Mohammad Javad Zarif met three European signatories were “on the US withdrawal EU foreign policy right track� to the as he began talks with chief Federica 2015 landmark accord “I who are track believe we’re on the European powers Mogherini ahead right in place in Brussels, Agence of evening scrambling to preserve it. to move forward and we will France-Presse talks with his counterpar Tehran has warned in look at the ts from to Britain, France it is prepared to ensure that interests of order content of that,� enormous challenge resume “industrialand she said. all the JCPOA remaining of finding a “One thing is scale� uranium enrichmen participant absolutely sure way around US sanctions t “without particularly Iran, will be preserveds, is that the European punishing foreign businesses any restrictions� and guaranteed, trading with Iran, � he told reporters. determined to preserve Union is which have provide solid unless Europe can The global guarantees that deal’s official name this deal that is essential maintain the it The European reach. economic benefitscan Comprehensive Plan is the Joint the security to our security and Union insists the deal is working, gained from the of Action, or of the it JCPOA. Zarif’s meetings region.� pointing to repeated UN despite the Unitednuclear agreement international effortsplans to join denuclear Mogherini said inspections verifying States reimposing a whirlwind global in Brussels cap the Islamic “very productive it had been a trips tour, including republic’s compliance total ban on nuclearto implement a peninsula ising the Korean sanctions. to both Russia with its side � meeting but . Zarif gave an Agence France-Preweapons tests, of the bargain. upbeat assessment indicated it was the two other signatoryand China, the But Pyongyan EU leaders sse reported start of a long road. g has yet to after a “good and constructiv it as telling the nations, in a bid to bolster rejoin united front aim to show a e� support. disarmament United Nations Treaty, the Non-Proliferation meeting with Mogherini. “We are working on European diplomats body Tuesday. Iran deal when preserving the which it withdrew on measures that have sought “DPRK will they meet for in 2003. from we can start to the to play down expectation pre-summit desires and join international put Tuesday’s dinner in Sofia a It is also one efforts for a meeting, stressings of Wednesday, European on of eight countries ban on nuclear total with the President Council nuclear tests,� North Donald Tusk Korea’s ambassado including the test capacity, said. United in Geneva Han r to the UN China and Iran, whichStates, Tae-song said in an address so far have to on Disarmam the Conference ratify failed to either sign or the Korea’s officialent, using North Nuclear 1996 Comprehensive acronym. Test Ban His comment it from taking Treaty, blocking effect. recent whirlwind came amid a Han, who made of diplomacy and outreach by the long isolated to the treaties, no reference told the UN regime. assembly that his country aimed Dialogue brokered by Seoul has to make more “efforts to seen US-North achieve the developme nt of intra-Korea go from trading Korea relations relations, n personal insults defuse acute and threats military tensions and of war last year a summit between to the danger substantially remove of the war on Kim and US President the Korean peninsula.� in Singapore Donald Trump “It will make on June 12. sincere efforts... Kim last month establish a durable to that his country announced mechanism lasting peace � with its its own nuclear would halt to the south, he said, neighbour tests and intercontinental urging the internationa which was missile launches, its active l community to “extend widely hailed support in an important encouraging as step towards and promoting the current positive climate.� Germany -- the North Korea to Join Effort s for Total Nucle ar Weapons Test Ban North Korea

Gaza Toll Rises Protests again to 60 as Fresh st Israel Gathe r

Turkey expels Israeli ambas sador over Gaza killings

Palestinian relatives

mourn during

the funeral of

eight-month-old Layila al-Ghando

ur Royal Wedding Markle’s Dad Plans Thrown as Doubts Swirl over

EPA

Prince Harry and Palestinians were wedding this Meghan Markle’s Thomas for fresh protestsgathering Tuesday Monday , while turmoil Tuesdayweekend was in attack Markle had suffered a heart along the Gaza border as they brought on by following confirm whether place Tuesday. others were taking her father buried their dead, the fallout he may not attend reports from allegedly day after Israeli Hundreds of staging paparazzi out of the wedding had pulled Markle in forces killed dozensa after a paparazzi this difficult situation.� there as the US Chapel in Windsorat St George’s in the funeral people took part family’s scandal, rocking the royal photos of himself. embassy opened Thomas Markle of Yazan Tubasi, meticulous planning Jerusalem on what Celebrity news Castle, but in told TMZ he 23, the big had agreed to website TMZ issued a brief statement was the conflict’s killed east of Gaza City. day, Agence France-Presfor said he had bloodiest day His father Ibrahim, in years, according decided against hinted all was not well. which photo shoot pose for a paparazzi reported. se travelling in a bid to rehabilitate Agence France-Press to his son from his “This had a boy aged 50, said e. Kensington Palace to accompany home in Mexico moment is a deeply personal his image, rather than for Tuesday marked one year a and three mo pleaded in his daught money but that h for M M stat th th d h

SPORTS FG SigniďŹ es Intention to Cede National Stadium to Lagos After one year of high politics that undermined its expression of interest in the National Stadium, Surulere, the Lagos State Government yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government had finally agreed to cede the facility. Page 54

WEDNESD

FG SigniďŹ es Int AYSPORTS ention to Cede Na Ambode approves tional Stadium to N3.6bn for Onik an stadium Oka Lagos ys viewing centr T H I S D AY

ËžWEDNESDAY,

MAY 16, 2018

Group Sports Editor Duro Email duro.ik hazuagbe@th Ikhazuagbe isdaylive.com 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY

Gboyega Akinsanm i civilisation as a people.� After one year In that undermine of high politics on response to an inquiry inspect the facility. And the plan of d its expression eventually they sports of interest in the National to take over Lagos State in 2017. inspected the facility agreedfacility and use it for Stadium, Surulere, the National an of Onikan period of time. “Later, there the Lagos Stadium,Tandoh disclosed Stadium in State Governm President Buhari were signs federal government But the Island. Lagos governor that will still disclosed that ent yesterday gave be the owner. had already and signals that the federal had approved He noted that verbal approval government the Federal Government Lagos State That is not what stadium the Onikan establishment of three was not to release the wants,� viewing “has been modelled centres for the to cede the had finally agreed visitfacility during his two-day hand over the facility ready to After explaining he noted. to an 2018 World cup facility. to Lagos federal to Lagos all-covered ultra-mod State. It was in Russia. Conseque as if the government’s that the internation He explainedin March. al stadium with ern He said the readiness governmentntly, the state re-present that Ambode government only federal to transfer the three locations the wanted to National Stadium Federation of concession ed the request functionaries said its top Lagos International selected for the viewing Lagos State agreement Football Associatio would State with sports would centres to take over of Lagos State. go to National Abuja next n (FIFA) “are Ajegunle, Alimosho development, boost certified turf the “The arrangem Stadium mentioned Mushin Local and multipurp the process week to finalise in a chairman the arena Governme and ose speech he delivered disclosed for entertainm required Lagos ent simply N3.6 the Nationalof handing over Presidenti ent concerts centres will be in place nt. The billion had already that with capacity State to fix the the Stadium for the duration al dinner to accommod in line with the directive approved for been 10,000 the ate serve as of world cup and will the reconstruct spectators.� of President government organised state Muhammadu ion venues for the president during Tandoh disclosed in those areas where people The ChairmanBuhari. the visit. can watch world After the the cup matches of Lagos State Sports Commissi governor free of charge.� reon (LSSC), presented the request, Mr. Kweku Tandoh said the president the disclosureTandoh made approval verbally yesterday at “to release the gave a ministeria facility to the he addressedl press briefing notingLagos State Government,� that the process Kaltho Press at the Bagauda handover Centre, Alausa. would commencof Ikeja. next week. e He addressed Just on Monday, the briefing Tandoh alongside press disclosed that Ambode Commissioner the directive that he should gave & Strategy, for Information “to Abuja next week proceed Bamigbetan; Mr. Kehinde some to deliver communication General of the Director necessary LSSC, Mr. and put in that is Babatunde Bank-Anth handover place Permanent Secretary, ony and Stadium of the National to Lagos Ministry this of Informatio time the federalState. I hope n & Strategy, Kofoworola Awobamis Mrs. will governmen e among of hand it over on the termst others. the Lagos State Government.� The state He Akinwunmi Governor, Mr. issuesgave insight into diverse Ambode that undermin had on March 1, 2017 inspected the state’s interest to take ed the National Stadium over the alongside sports facility, Tandoh the Minister that the noted of Sports Youth Developm & signified state government interest Solomon Dalung ent, Mr. over the National in taking state functionar and other completel Stadium ies. y. At the inspection He noted facility, the ministerof the sports governme that state nt lamented that the edifice signify interest “did not just to take over state. The level “is in a sorry National the of dilapidatio is very embarrass n The state Stadium completely. governor met never be equateding. It can Minister of Sports andwith the with our Youth L-R: Edo Development. State Governor, They agreed to of prizes Godwin Obaseki; at the 2018 Okpekpe Kenyan trio of Ronoh International 10km Road Race Timothy, Alex Kibet and Simon Chepat in Okpekpe, Edo State ...last during the presentat weekend ion Everton star Bolasie will forward Yannick against lead a 32-man Nigeria in DR Congo squad Port (Bournem The third edition dominated Harcourt. by overseas outh), Adeola Memoria of Rabiu a giant Other top Cedric Bakambu pros 28 World pros for a May Paul trophy l Schools (China) and prepare for a 2019 Scrabble Cup warm-up Jose Mpoku stars are Chancel Championships mouth-watering and other qualifier against AFCON Liege/Belgium), (Standard United).Mbemba (Newcastl will hold today The second prizes. Liberia. e Benik Afobe May 16th, The team 2018 at Lagos and will fly into COMM prizes DRC third Country Club will use this went to Daniel ONWE ALTH in Ikeja. match to Nigeria on a special chartered Lawal and Pese Alo flight on May GAME S FALLO Founder 25. The secondrespectively. UT the annualand sponsor of the edition of competiti competiti Mr. Bimbo on in 2017 on, saw Ten athletes Esom Kemakol this year’s Adeola, said emerging am went missingand a coach who midnight tops competition,edition of the duo during the 2018 on Tuesday of Angela while the Commonwealth which is memory of in at different Games in Sydney. and Ekhagbai Osaigbovo Gold Coast his late father, times on April will have over “Like anyone and April 10 second and Gerald were from Austr face deportation 9 Sydney 250 stude t else they’ thi d exp t d co li

e for Russia 2018

250 Pupils for Rabiu Adeola 2018 Pre-World Cup Friendly: Bolasie Scrabble Tour Memorial to Lead DR Cong ney o Missing African Athletes, Coach Face

against Eagles

Deportation from Australia


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

11

NEWS

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

Chairmanship Race: Oshiomhole Reaches Out to APC Lawmakers Promises to heal wounds, strengthen intra-party democracy Says new PDP not a threat Gbajabiamila: We’ve endorsed him James Emejo in Abuja Former Governor of Edo State and All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairmanship aspirant, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday met with members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives behind closed-doors for over two hours to solicit for their support for the position. In attendance were the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; the Deputy, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, as well as the principal officers led by the House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, among other members. Speaking to journalists after the engagement, Oshiomhole said he had come to solicit for their support and proffer lasting solutions to the problems currently bedevilling the APC. Among other things, he said he would ensure that there’s strong

correlation between effort and reward as far as the activities of the party are concerned. He said: “I came basically to meet with the leadership and members of the APC caucus of the House of Representative. I have shared with them my intention to contest for the office of the National Chairman of APC and to solicit for their support. “As you know, our party is democratic and the chairmanship office is not by appointment, it’s by election and members of the caucus are automatic delegates of the convention at which the national chairman and other national officers will be elected. “So, I came physically to solicit their support and also share my vision and thoughts on a variety of issues and how I hope to address those issues as they affect the running of our party, the relationship between the party and members of the National Assembly as it affects

the responsibility of the party to interact with the executive elected on the platform of the party at both national and state level and of course, the National Assembly and Houses of Assembly respectively.” The former governor said:”Of course, it’s no secret that there are couple of issues right now affecting our party in various states, we’ve exchanged views as to how some of these issues can be resolved and I’ve no doubt in my mind that once

you have a democratic organisation, there’s bound to be contestations, agreements and disagreements. “I think the challenge of leadership which I believe I am determined to provide is to be able to find courage and good heart to listen and to pro-actively intervene and to help people who have issues to find common ground to co-exist. “I believe that all the members of APC have good intentions; we’ve our own fair share of

internal contestation and I’m sure working together, we will resolve all of that so that we can have a party that is united, cohesive- the one its membership has a sense of belonging, and there should be a strong correlation between effort and reward as far as the activities of the party are concerned. These and many other issues we discussed.” Continuing, he said: “But we ended the meeting and everybody is in a very happy mood and

I’m thankful to the Speaker for the privilege and the principal officers for the quality time that we had spent and I think it was a time very well spent. “I’ve learnt a lot from them and I’ve given my own assurances the way I can, and what we would do differently to ensure our party waxed stronger and stronger especially as we march

Cont’d on page 51

Again, 31 Killed in Nasarawa Communal Crisis Tor Tiv tasked on ending herdsmen attacks Suicide bomber kills five in Borno Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia Over 31 Bassa persons have been reportedly killed in the ongoing communal crisis between the Egbura and Bassa ethnic nationalities of Toto Local Government Area in Nasarawa State. This came as a Boko Haram suicide bomber yesterday attacked a checkpoint in troubled Borno State, killing five members of youth vigilante group. The suicide attack also got five persons injured. The National Secretary of Bassa Cultural and Development Union (BCDU), Gwatana Huleji Dogwo, disclosed the death figure to journalists yesterday during a press conference in Lafia. He reiterated that beyond the attacks, killings and sacking of Bassa people and their villages, all roads leading to Toto, Ugya, Umaisha and Ayewawa were allegedly being blocked and manned by Egbura militias claiming to be vigilante groups. He said: The Egbura militias therefore stop and search vehicles as well as motorcycles thereby killing anyone identified to be of the Bassa extraction. “The most shocking component of this crisis is the fact that the traditional rulers as well as the political office holders from this local council have kept mum from the inception of this crisis to date, giving us the impression that they could be responsible for this genocide since they are all of the Ebura extraction.” The Bassa community leader then regretted that the royal fathers and political office holders of the council area were expected to

have made strong statements condemning the killings and arson, rather, in their full glare, the burning of Bassa houses in Toto town, Ugya and other major Bassa settlements in broad day light. Dogwo concluded by calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly come to the aid of the Bassa people of Toto Local Government Area who have been displaced as a result of the genocide, even as he tasked Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to visit Toto immediately and invite the two warring parties to a dialogue. Meanwhile, President of Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in Nasarawa State, Mr. Boniface Ifer, has tasked the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, to urgently interact with stakeholders and authorities towards ending the ongoing herdsmen menace on Tiv people in Nasarawa State. Ifer tasked the paramount ruler of Tiv nation in a statement made available to journalists in Lafia, adding that since the paramount ruler was aware of the ongoing crisis that was affecting the Tiv people of Nasarawa State, his intervention into it was utmost. The TIDA president therefore argued that the Tor Tiv’s intervention into the ongoing crisis became imperative as in 2001, when a similar crisis affected the Tiv people of Nasarawa State, the late Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula, visited Nasarawa State severally and consulted with the necessary stakeholders and authorities which yielded positive results. “As far as Tiv people of Nasarawa State are concerned, we are unaware of the existence of Mzough U Tiv (MUT) in the state. The so called MUT in Nasarawa

Cont’d on page 51

OPEN DAY FOR FOCUS LABS

L-R: Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; and Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, during the open day of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs in Abuja....yesterday

Dogara: PIB to be Passed Before July Recess James Emejo in Abuja The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, yesterday hinted that the remaining parts of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed by the lower chamber before it embarks on its annual recess around July. He said: “Before we break for our annual recess, we will be done with these bills.” Dogara added that the hitherto complex PIB had been unbundled into four components including the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which had since been passed by both chambers of the National Assembly and awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, the other three components of the PIB namely; a bill for an Act to establish a Fiscal Framework that encourages further investment in the petroleum industry while increasing accruable revenues to the Federal Government of Nigeria; a bill for an Act to provide for a framework relating to petroleum producing host communities’ participation,

cost and benefit sharing among the government, petroleum exploration communities and petroleum host communities and for related matters and the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, 2018 are at various stages of consultation and consideration. Declaring a public hearing on Petroleum Industry Reform Bills open, the Speaker said the PIB would enable Nigeria to operate at standards and levels of efficiency expected of a 21st century oil and gas industry. He said as it currently stands, even the government recognises that the industry can no longer meet its aspirations and those of key stakeholders. Dogara noted: “You are all aware that the oil and gas industry reform has been a critical issue before the House of Representatives since 2009 when the PIB was first transmitted to this House as an Executive Bill for legislative consideration. “The major reason for the reform, which remains even more valid today, is that the petroleum industry in Nigeria is not operating at standards and levels of efficiency

expected of a twenty first century oil and gas industry. Government recognises that the industry can no longer meet its aspirations and those of key stakeholders.” The speaker regretted that the sixth and seventh National Assemblies grappled with but failed to conclude legislative consideration of the PIB. Continuing, he said: “This, in my opinion, was as a result of insufficient consultations, weak ownership of the bill, absence of requisite political will as well as the extremely divergent and competing views of the government and other major stakeholders on the provisions of the bill. “However, at the National Assembly, the most important set back was that the PIB was difficult to handle by the relevant committees because it was a massive and complex document that was to repeal and re-enact almost all our petroleum laws into a holistic legislation. Because of its sheer size and complexity, the bill was difficult to consider by the legislative committees in both chambers. “The implications of the delay in concluding the oil and gas

industry reform which commenced since the year 2000 has been very colossal for our country running into several billions of dollars that would have accrued to Nigeria and our economy coupled with the loss of our erstwhile continental competitiveness.” He, however, assured Nigerians that despite the setbacks experienced in the past, the eighth National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, would ensure that the bill passes because completion of the oil and gas industry reform is one of its cardinal legislative objectives. Dogara added: “Today’s event is in keeping with our covenant with Nigerians to lay to rest this difficult but surmountable challenge that has been the bent of our oil and gas industry. To ensure a thorough and expedited conclusion of the reform, this House decided to split the reform bills into logical smaller bills. This way, the individual bills can be expeditiously considered and passed one after the other.” Chairman, House Committee on PIB, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said the passage of the bill would help petroleum industry flourish again when passed.


12

WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSEXTRA

Inflation Declines Further to 12.48%, Nears CBN Target Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja For the 15th consecutive month since January 2017, the inflation rate recorded a decline in April from 13.34 per cent in March 2018 to 12.48 per cent (year-on-year), even as food prices remained high. Last month’s drop in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inched closer to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) target of 12 per cent of less, signposting the commencement of monetary policy easing by the central bank possibly by the second half of 2018. According to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the CPI, which measures inflation stood at 12.48 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2018, indicating a 0.86 percentage points drop in the 13.34 per cent rate recorded in March 2018. Also, on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.83 per cent in April 2018, up by 0.01 percentage points from the rate recorded in March. Increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the headline Index. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.83 per cent in April 2018, down by 0.01 percentage points from the rate recorded in March 2018. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending April 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 15.20 per cent, showing a 0.40 percentage difference. The urban inflation rate eased by 12.89 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2018 from 13.75 per cent recorded in March, while the rural inflation rate also eased by 12.13 percent in April 2018 from 12.99

per cent in March. On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.85 per cent in April 2018, down by 0.01 from 0.86 per cent recorded in March, while the rural index also rose by 0.82 per cent in April 2018, recording no change from the figure obtained in March (0.82) per cent. The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 15.47 per cent in April 2018. This was less than 15.87 per cent reported in March, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in April 2018 was 14.95 per cent compared to 15.34 per cent recorded in March. The composite food Index rose by 14.80 per cent in April 2018. The rise in the index was caused by increases in the prices of potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, bread and cereals, oil and fats, vegetables and meat. On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.91 per cent in April 2018, up by 0.01 per cent points from 0.90 per cent recorded in March. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending April 2018 over the previous 12-month average was 18.89 percent, 0.4 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March (19.29) per cent. The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, bread and cereals, oil and fats, vegetables, coffee, tea and cocoa, meat, milk, cheese and eggs. The ‘’All Items less Farm Produce’’ or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce is 10.9 per cent in April 2018, down by 0.3 per cent points from the rate recorded

CCT Clears Justice Ngwuta of False Asset Declaration Charges The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has discharged a Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, of charges of nondeclaration of assets. The tribunal Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar, and member, William Atedze Agwadza, in their ruling, agreed with the argument of Justice Ngwuta that as a serving Justice of the Supreme Court, he could not be tried in any court or tribunal except after he had been subjected to the investigatory and disciplinary processes of the National Judicial Council (NJC). The CCT, in its decision, also relied on the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa., in which the appellate court held, in a December 2017 judgment, that by virtue of Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution, only the NJC was with the powers to deal try judicial officers for any misconduct while in office. The tribunal held that a judge could not be prosecuted by any court of tribunal until the NJC deals with the allegations against him/ he and takes a decision of either dismissing such a judicial officer or compulsorily retiring him or her. It consequently quashed the charges against Justice Ngwuta

and discharged him. The tribunal had earlier in the year accused the federal government of delaying the trial of Ngwuta when it pointed out that the prosecution had not been diligent in the handling of the case. According to the tribunal Chairman, Umar, all the adjournments that the case had suffered since when it was initiated last year had been caused by the prosecution. The federal government on March 21, 2017, charged Justice Ngwuta on eight counts. The prosecution accused him of contravening the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Tribunal Act by allegedly failing to declare some of his assets. He was also accused by the prosecution of possessing 28 plots of land, which he allegedly refused to declare to the CCB between June 2, 2011, and July 19, 2016. It was also alleged that Ngwuta, within the same period, engaged in the purchase and sale of rice, palm oil and other related products, while being a judge of the Supreme Court. The federal government also claimed the judge owns five cars, which he allegedly kept away from the CCB.

in March (11.2) per cent. On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.87 per cent in April 2018, this was up by 0.03 per cent when compared with 0.84 per cent recorded in March. The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 12.02 per cent for the 12-month period ending April 2018; this is 0.31 percent points lower than 12.33 percent recorded in March. The highest increases were recorded in prices of Fuel and lubricants for personal transport

equipment, vehicle spare parts, garments and clothing materials and other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment, paramedical services and pharmaceutical products Price All items inflation on a year-onyear basis was highest in Kebbi (15.94 per cent), Rivers (15.01 per cent) and Yobe (14.93 per cent), while Kwara (9.77 per cent), Delta (10.46 per cent) and Benue (11.19 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year-on-year inflation.

However, on a month–on-month basis, the April 2018 all items inflation was highest in Kebbi (1.73 per cent), Rivers (1.72 per cent) and Lagos (1.60 per cent), while Bauchi (0.01 per cent) recorded slowest rise and Kaduna and Kano recorded price deflation on a month-on-month all item basis in April 2018. Food Inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kebbi (17.92 per cent), Bayelsa (17.85 per cent) and Nasarawa (17.71 per cent), while Benue (10.95 per cent), Kogi (12.27

per cent) and Gombe (12.46 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation. On a month-on-month basis however, April 2018 food inflation was highest in Lagos (2.49 per cent), Ekiti and Kebbi (2.0 per cent) and Rivers (1.98 per cent), while Benue, Borno, Kaduna, Kano and Nasarawa all recorded food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate) in April 2018.

CONGRATULATIONS

President Muhammadu Buhari (left), accompanied by Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (first right), making a presentation to Jigawa ALGON Chairman, Aminu Sanni, during the inauguration of Jigawa State Social Intervention Programme in Dutse... yesterday STATE HOUSE

nPDP Meets to Decide Way Forward, May Quit APC Frank: Our ultimatum stands Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja As the ultimatum given by members of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) bloc in the All Progressives Congress (APC) expired yesterday, the group has started meeting to decide a way forward. THISDAY gathered that the group has scheduled a meeting this week to consider other options before them as APC begins count down to its national convention on June 2. A reliable source within the group said baring any last minute intervention by the APC leadership, the Kawu Baraje-led nPDP will most likely pull out from the ruling party before the next national convention. A prominent member of the group, Timi Frank, who spoke to journalists yesterday in Abuja said they cannot be intimidated or taken for granted. He said as at yesterday when the ultimatum given by the group expired, the leadership of the APC was yet to initiate talks with the aggrieved nPDP. Frank, who is the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, said: “Today makes it seven days from the day our group brought this letter to the party. But as it stands, we have not gotten

Buhari will win 2019 election without nPDP, says el-Rufai

any response yet from them. As we have said, whatever we must have said in that letter, it is not an empty threat. If they fail to ignore us, so be it. But at the appropriate time, we are going to respond to Nigerians based on what we’ve said. “It is not just a mere threat, it is not just a mere ultimatum but I will tell you clearly that we are meeting our leaders, we are going to come up with a clear positions to brief Nigerians on our next step if finally they don’t attend to us.” Frank condemned the move by the Senator Abdulahi Adamu and others who tried to discredit the demands of the group. He urged Nigerians not to take Senator Adamu and his group seriously as they were never genuine members of the nPDP bloc. The APC deputy spokesman also described as false the allegation made by Adamu that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was the one sponsoring Baraje. “I want to make it very clear that we have no faction in our group. I saw in some of the papers I read today that there is crack in the new PDP. “There is no crack as far as we are concerned. We only have one

group. We have only one leader and he remains Alhaji Kawu Baraje, and I can tell you that clearly without fear or favour, and I want to make it known to all of you that Baraje is not alone in that letter. “He has the mandate of over 95 percent of some of us who joined the new PDP into the APC that make new victories successful in 2015,” he said. On the claim of marginalisation, Frank said contrary to the insinuation by the Adamu-led group, members of nPDP never got any key appointment except that of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Women Affairs Minister, Hajia Alhassan. He said other positions held by the members were mostly elective and were obtained through a hard-fought battle. According to him, “People were elected in their various states, they were elected by their people to represent them in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. They never got there based on the fact that the new PDP should be able to benefit because they contributed in bringing the change and the government of today, therefore, let’s reward them with these positions. So, this is not true.

“It is very clear within our group today. The only two beneficiaries we can remember in our group are Ameachi, the Minister of Transportation, and Hajiya Alhassan, the Minister for Women Affairs. So, I want to make it very clear again that we are not going to be intimidated by any group or anybody. When asked if it would be wise to allow for the emergence of a new party leadership at the next convention before tabling their demands, Frank said it would late. He said: “There is a legitimate leadership of APC right now and it has powers and opportunity to address the grievances and resolve issues with our group.” Speaking on the next line of action by the group, Frank said the leaders would take further measures which would be made public if APC fails to respond to their demands. While recounting what led to the departure of the group from PDP in 2014 to join forces with the APC, Frank said the same situation is about to repeat itself because PDP did not heed the group caution until it was too late. Meanwhile, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has said President Muhammadu

Cont’d on page 48


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

13

NEWSEXTRA

House Probes Assault on Judiciary in Rivers Repeals explosives Act NLC warns against intimidation of judiciary PDP demands arrest of APC leaders Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Paul Obi and James Emejo in Abuja The House of Representatives yesterday passed a motion setting up an ad hoc committee to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the assault on the judiciary in Rivers State on May 11, to prevent future occurrence and report back within four weeks for further legislative actions. It condemned the attack in strong ters. This came as the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) warned against intimidation of the judiciary in the country. The House resolution followed a motion moved under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) and 12 other members on the assault on Rivers State judiciary by hoodlums aided by men of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS). She noted with concern that organised hoodlums, aided by 40 operatives of FSARS under the command of Akin Fakorede Command in the state had on the fateful day blocked all the entrances of the Rivers State High Court complex for hours, preventing judicial workers, judges, litigants and lawyers from gaining access into their offices and court rooms to

carry out their judicial duties and businesses. She said while the siege lasted, the hoodlums freely harassed innocent persons including lawyers, judges and other judiciary staff. The lawmaker pointed out that public properties were vandalised while equipment and furniture were stolen in the act, adding that private and government-owned vehicles parked within the vicinity of the high court premises and the court buildings were ransacked and destroyed. She noted that the incident was purportedly a fallout of the All Progressives Congress (APC) local government congress where an aggrieved faction had gone to court to seek redress, while the other faction, with the backing of the security men were cut out to prevent the court from sitting. Apiafi argued that Nigeria is a democratic nation and Section 6 (6) of the constitution as amended clearly vested adjudicator powers in the Judiciary. She further expressed worry that such brazen an sponsored invasion of an arm of government amounted to assault and contempt of the judiciary and a show of violence as well as an infringement of

Senate Passes CAMA Bill to Stimulate Business Growth The Senate yesterday passed the bill that reenacted the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which is said to be the biggest business reform bill in Nigeria in over 28 years. According to a statement from the Office of the Senate President, the bill heralds a new dawn for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development in Nigeria. Speaking on the passage of the Bill at plenary, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said the passage of CAMA was a significant milestone in the Senate’s legislative agenda. “With the passage of CAMA, which is by far the biggest and one of the most far-reaching legislation ever passed in any legislature in our country, we have now put in place a regulatory framework to promote the ease of doing business and reduce regulatory hurdles. “This is a pro-business law. This bill that we have just passed will show the audacity that we have to move Nigerian businesses into a new era of success and development,” Saraki said. The statement explained that the new bill, once it is signed into law, would help to make Nigeria’s business environment as competitive as its counterparts around the world. It added: “It will allow business owners to now register their businesses in a faster and more efficient way, using technology;

removes all the unnecessary regulatory provisions, such as the requirement for ‘annual general meetings’ and ‘company secretaries,’ and reduces the minimum share capital for all companies and start-ups in Nigeria, which will encourage more investments and create new jobs.” “CAMA will also creates the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) which is a new form of legal identity for businesses in Nigeria that is targeted at increasing foreign investment in the country, as well as guarantees that Nigerians will be able to register their businesses from anywhere in the country through the e-Registration system that the Senate’s amendment gives legal backing.” Speaking further on the bill, Saraki said: “We are truly now walking the talk. With the passage of CAMA, we are saying to the rest of the world that Nigeria is ready for business and the government of Nigeria is ready to support small scale industries to promote innovations, and encourage enterprise.” The senate president, however, said the passage of the bill would not have been achieved without the effort of all his colleagues. “I thank you for this great day in showing that truly the National Assembly is here in support of Nigerians to create an environment that enables them to be able to create business and seek opportunities,” he said.

the constitution. She accused security agencies, particularly the police of failing in its responsibility to protect democratic institutions. She added that the invasion of institutions of government was now becoming a norm which no doubt ridicules the

country’s democracy before the international community. Members who contributed to the debate said the unfortunate incidence was a disgrace to the country and called for its total condemnation. Hon. Henry Okon Archibong (PDP, Akwa-Ibom) said the

incident showed “the kind of leadership we have” adding that “the police should also invade the presidential village” so they could also taste the bitter pill. Hon. Nnnena Elendu-Ukeje (PDP, Abia) said the incident does not portray a democratic status on the country, adding

that the incident should be investigated. “We can’t continue like this,” she said. Hon. Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno) said the rule of law was being sidelined, adding that it was a clear case of the

Cont’d on page 52

Police Bar Kano Lawmakers from Assembly Complex Principal officers impeached Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano The Kano State House of Assembly yesterday removed two of its principal officers even as the police prevented the 24 legislators who stormed the entrance of the assembly complex from gaining access. The spokesman of the legislators and former Speaker of the assmbly, Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, announced the decision of the members while addressing journalists outside the assembly complex at Audu Bako Secretariat. However, the 24 aggrieved members of the state assembly, who stormed the complex, announced the immediate removal of two principal officers, the Chief Whip, Hon. Labaran Abdul Madari (Warawa constituency) and Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muhammad Bello Butu-Butu (Rimin Gado/Tofa constituency), to pave the way for the eventual impeachment of the Speaker, Yusuf Abdullahi Ata. However, the state assembly which is still under siege when the convoy of the members led by Rurum arrived at about 11.20a.m., swung into action in their attempt to gain access into the complex, but were barred from gaining access by stern-looking security operatives. The situation prompted Rurum who engaged the security agents in an argument over why they would be barred from performing their constitutional rights of sitting. An argument then ensued in which the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Yusuf, through a telephone conversation with the former Speaker, instructed the security men to allow the members to address journalists outside the assembly complex. The spokesperson of the aggrieved members, Rurum, said: “We are still gathering momentum in ensuring that we get the required members, and as such, there is ‘no retreat no surrender’. “We have removed the two principal officers-the chief whip and the deputy majority leader. We have gotten the required number of signatories (24) to that effect, as such, we have simple majority. “We have therefore replaced them with the following members of the assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Iliyasu Yaryasa (Tudun Wada constituency) as chief whip, while Hon. Ayuba Labaran Durum (Kabo constituency) as new deputy majority whip. “We also reaffirmed the appointment of Hon. Abdulaziz Garba Gafasa (Ajingi constituency) to continue as the majority leader and made Hon Kabiru Dashi to be the deputy majority leader.” According to the spokesperson, “As law-abiding citizens and the

representatives of the people of Kano State, we have gathered here to do what we deemed necessary-to remove the speaker of the House. You would recall that there was allegations leveled against me when I was a speaker which led to my honorable resignation to enable the assembly carryout it’s investigations. “That led to the emergence of Atta as the new speaker. And recently there have been calls for the impeachment of Atta as the speaker. We have gathered here today, but as you can see, the assembly complex is being barricaded by the police and men of the Civil Defence Corps. “To impeach the speaker, we

need 27 out of the 40 members of the assembly, so far so good, we have 24 members who have endorsed the impeachment of the speaker. That is below the number needed, but with that number, we can impeach other principal officers and we hereby announce the impeachment of the Hon. Labaran Abdul representing Warawa constituency as the chief whip of the assembly as well as Hon. Muhammad Bello Butu-butu, deputy majority leader and Hon. Iliyasu. “We have unanimously agreed that Yaryasa of Tudun Wada assume the seat of the chief whip while Ayuba Labaran from Kabo is to act as the new deputy

majority whip; while former Speaker, Hon. Abdulaziz Garba, to continue as the majority leader and Hon. Kabiru Dashi Kiru is now the deputy majority leader. “Although we are not in the assembly complex, we are within its premises. As law-abiding citizens, we won’t engage the security men. The speaker, Atta, came into the assembly last night and took away the Mace. But that wouldn’t stop us from carrying out our statutory duties as you can see, we have provided another Mace.” Ata, the embattled speaker, has been accused of incompetence, embezzlement and localising the proceedings of the assembly as well as not carrying other members along.


14

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

COMMENT

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

FIDDLING WHILE ROME BURNS

Sonnie Ekwowusi argues that the authorities must pay attention to the health of the people

A

t the time of writing, the health workers and health professionals in Nigeria under the aegis of Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) were yet to call off their nationwide strike. Since the midnight of April 17 JOHESU has been on strike. The strike has crippled health care services across the country. Many patients forcibly ejected from their respective hospitals due to the strike have died. Others who are lucky to be alive are in the throes of death. Instead of intervening to probably bring the strike to an end as many Nigerians are urging him to do President Muhammadu Buhari jetted out to London for medical tourism. The sad aspect is that most of the patients who had died or dying in the various Nigerian hospitals in recent times owing to JOHESU strike voted for President Buhari in 2015. But the president is very unconcerned about their health situation. The president belongs to nobody. He belongs to himself. The president is only concerned about his health condition not the health condition of the people who queued under the sun in 2015 to vote for him. A selfless president with humanitarian feelings would have shed tears or shelved his medical tourism in London in solidarity with the dead and dying patients in Nigeria due to JOHESU strike. But we have a selfish president who does not care hoot about the suffering of his people. During his presidential campaign, Buhari promised to end medical tourism if elected president. Now the same Buhari is number one chief medical tourist of the world. And this is the same president jostling to return to power in Nigeria in 2019. In the same vein, amid the crippling medical services and death of many patients owing to JOHESU strike, members of National Assembly are quibbling over petty things that ought not to be given priority over the preservation of human lives. On their part, the people are embroiled in petty political arguments forgetting that the health of the people is the ultimate focus of all economic, social, cultural and political developments. They have grown accustomed to the oddities in Nigeria. Nothing is repugnant to them anymore. In Bob Marley’s Exodus which was declared by the Time Magazine as the best album of the 20th Century, Marley asked a rather rhetorical question: “Are you satisfied (with the life you’re living)?� This question is relevant and calls for an answer in today’s Nigeria. Are we satisfied with the life we are living in Nigeria today? The answer, of course, is No. The answer to this question is very important because we are all members of the same humanity. Therefore, humanitarianism ought to be an attitude for individuals and a framework for policymakers. But unfortunately we have lost our humanity in Nigeria. The death of our fellow human beings no longer instils in us a certain distaste or revulsion about our own existence. Medicine is one of the oldest professions in the world. It is one profession that is essential for human existence. Access to health care services ought to be a constitutional right in Nigeria. But unfortunately Nigeria is defined by bad medicine. Medicine is not taken seriously in Nigeria. Last three weeks or so, my brother, Magnus

THE HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE IS THE FOCUS OF ALL ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

Onyibe, recounted with fresh tears how his 18-year old beloved daughter, a law graduate of Birmingham University, England for that matter, died on April 12 last year at one exotic hospital located in the highbrow area of Ikoyi, Lagos simply because the hospital lacked ventilator-a vital medical equipment for sustaining patient’s heartbeats. You may be aware that radiotherapy treatment machines used by consultant Oncologist to treat cancer patients are scarce in Nigeria. It can only be found in a hospital in Enugu, Lagos, Abuja and maybe in Ife. Last week I went to see a patient dying of cancer. He told me that the radiotherapy machine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idiaraba, Lagos, had broken down. Consequently he travelled all the way from Lagos to Enugu for treatment. On getting to the hospital in Enugu he was told to pay a lot of money before he could be treated. Unhesitatingly he paid the money but lamentably before it got to his turn the radiotherapy machine had broken down. The patient said the machine broke down because there were too many patients being treated with the same machine. Now the poor sick man is back to Lagos unsure of what do to. So, you can see that we are not serious in Nigeria. What is the cost of a radiotherapy that a country as richly endowed as Nigeria cannot afford to have it in every Nigerian community? Why can’t we find solution to a simple human problem? For example, for years, medical doctors in Nigeria and JOHESU have been engaged in headship tussle. And the casualties of this tussle are the poor patients in hospitals. As we speak, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is threatening to go on nationwide strike if the federal government accedes to the demands of JOHESU. The NMA is protesting against what it considers as the meddlesomeness of JOHESU in the central role which they (the doctors) ought to play in the healing of a patient. For example, the NMA is kicking against the bid of the nurses and other health professionals to be recognised as or to be appointed “honorary consultants� and “Chief Medical Directors� (CMD). It argues that pursuant to the law es18tablishing the medical profession in Nigeria, the office of the CMD a18nd the headship of the hospital is the exclusive preserve of medical doctors. In plain language, the medical doctors are asserting their superiority over the nurses and other health professionals in the healing of a patient. According to one medical doctor, “if patient care is the sole interest of everybody in the health sector, then the doctor takes the central stage in this service to patients and must carry the nurses along at every point in time, and together they look out for any other “health professional� that should be roped into patient care�. What the preceding has shown is that the worst place to be sick is in Nigeria. To be sick in Nigeria is to be closer to the grave unless you have the money to habitually fly to London for treatment as President Buhari habitually does. Therefore we must re-order our priorities. Health comes first. Our first anchor in our strategy to improve the well-being of Nigerians is to facilitate access to affordable health care services in hospitals and basic health centres across the country. Anything short of that is fiddling while Rome burns.

CODEINE BAN: IS TRAMADOL NEXT? There is need to arrest the abuse of over-the-counter drugs in the country, writes Kayode Ojewale

T

he misuse and abuse of, and overindulgence in drugs have become a common occurrence in all age groups but more prevalent in adolescents and adults. Some have become addicted to certain drugs unconsciously and some consciously. To abuse a drug simply means to use a drug for non-medical purposes. For example taking a drug only for the effect it produces is an outright abuse of such drug and it eventually leads to addiction with time. One however can become addicted unknowingly by administering such drug without resultant cure for the intended illness. The five categories of drugs with respect to addiction treatment and rehabilitation are narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and anabolic steroids. It is important to state and make some clarifications on certain substances (drugs) which can potentially cause disorder when misused or abused. Three types of Over-The-Counter (OTC) cough medicines exist- expectorants (Guaifenesin-active ingredient), suppressants (Dextromethorphan, camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil as ingredients), and a combination cough syrup products which contain both Guaifenesin and Dextromethorphan. However, Codeine (a narcotic pain-reliever and cough suppressant) is added to cough medicine preparation. Codeine is used as

antitussive (to relieve cough) and as analgesic (to relieve pain) and sometimes mixed with aspirin. But this codeine-containing cough syrup is usually abused and misused because of its high addictive and habitforming potential thereby inducing a state of psychosis - a severe mental disorder with physical damage to the brain, marked by a deranged personality and distorted view of reality. Teens take large doses of codeinecontaining cough syrup to make them go ‘high’ with symptoms including hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Excessive intake of codeine can cause organ failure and brain impairment. Dextromethorphan suppresses cough about half as effectively as codeine but with little addictive potential due to its low narcotic activity. Another drug that is alarmingly being abused is Tramadol- a synthetic analgesic opiate used for the relief of pain. Tramadol is said to be a narcotic analgesic because it works in the body to change how the body feels and responds to pain. No narcotic pain medication (e.g. tramadol) should be sold over-the-counter by pharmacists but it’s unfortunate that tramadol can readily and easily be purchased without a prescription in most pharmacies in Nigeria. A friend once said that some teens take high dose of tramadol to numb and deaden their appetite for food. Those teenagers, as reported,

when they take excess doses of tramadol, may not go hungry for the next 24 hours! Another close contact once said after taking a recommended dose of tramadol, he had no appetite for food all day. Misused or overdosed Tramadol, like any other narcotic may lead to reduced breathing, seizure (convulsion) and eventual death. This is therefore calling on the government through its appropriate authorities, ministries and enforcement agencies to take drastic actions by arresting this increasing ugly trend of some OTC and ‘Behind-thecounter’ drugs being abused in the country. As done in the case of codeine, when a BBC documentary aired on April 30, 2018 allegedly implicated an official of Emzor Pharmaceutical company selling a codeine cough syrup without prescription, the federal government acted swiftly with a ban on the production and importation of codeine on May 1, 2018. This directive by the government was subsequently followed by some investigations and inspections carried out by officials of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at the pharmaceutical firms which were implicated in the BBC documentary on the codeine abuse crisis. On May 7, 2018, NAFDAC shut down all the product lines of three companies- Peace Standard pharmaceutical Limited and Bioraj Pharmaceutical

Limited (both in Kwara State) and Emzor Pharmaceutical industries Limited (Lagos State). Embargo was placed on these three companies because they could not provide required documents for NAFDAC officials during an inspection of the facilities. On May 12, 2018, the shutdown order was lifted by NAFDAC on the affected three companies but fined with administrative fees for their respective violations. However, the ban by Federal Ministry of Health on the production and importation of codeine-containing cough syrup still stands. Recall that on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the Nigeria Customs Service at Tincan Island port said it intercepted and seized two containers laden with 225mg of Tramadol Hydrochloride valued at N124 million packaged as electrical materials- that’s the height of human desperation! Government agencies like National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Health (NIH), National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and of course the Federal Ministry of Health have to do more by putting mechanisms in place to regulate the production, distribution, sale and use of drugs nationwide. Ojewale, an Industrial Chemist, wrote from Idimu, Lagos


15

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

EDITORIAL BEYOND THE BAN ON CODEINE All the stakeholders must do more to contain the problem of drug addiction

T

he noise about the link between the illicit codeine trade and drug abuse in the northern part of Nigeria seems to be ebbing. The frenzy generated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report on the illegal use of the cough syrup and the almost dramatic response by relevant authorities was a welcome development. However, this may end up as another show off as has been the case with many unresolved issues in the country. Yet, the essence of the revelation must not be lost on us. It is time the relevant authorities woke up to their responsibilities. Meanwhile, there are several questions begging for answers while a number of issues need to be resolved. Some of these questions include: Why did it take the projection of the BBC documentary before the Federal Ministry of Health could direct the National Agency THE REAL WORK IS TO for Food and Drug DESIGN A SUSTAINABLE Administration AND HOLISTIC APPROACH and Control THAT TACKLES DRUG ABUSE (NAFDAC), and RIGHT FROM THE SOURCE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to ban further issuance of permits for codeine production to pharmaceutical companies? What have the authorities been doing in response to previous stories on the same issue by the local media as well as warnings by several stakeholders? For the records, the Northern Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) has for over a year now, raised the alarm over an alleged growing rate of drug abuse by young women and youths in the region. The wife of the Niger State governor, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello, had at one of the numerous drug awareness and advocacy sessions last year lamented that the problem of drug abuse amongst youths had continued to exacerbate at an alarming rate, with Northern states at the top of the table for the highest cases of drug abuse and addiction. “Over the years, the problem had become very common with women in the North, as it had been

Letters to the Editor

reported that an increasing number of mothers and young girls engage in drug/substance abuse; codeine being the most abused among this group,â€? said Mrs Bello. Her assertion was corroborated by key women ďŹ gures, including wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari who lamented that drug abuse and addiction had now become a serious health and social issue rendering its user unproductive and dangerous. Despite the advocacy actions of these powerful women, nothing was done by the authorities. It is even more indicting that the husbands of these women who are the number one citizens of the states failed to heed the warning or take the matter more seriously.

H T H I S DAY

EDITOR  DEPUTY EDITORS    ˜      MANAGING DIRECTOR     DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR    CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD   

EDITOR NATION’S CAPITAL  

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    GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS    ˜   ˜

  ˜ ˜ 

DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS  ˜  DEPUTY DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR   

SNR. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR     ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS      ˜  CONTROLLERS    ˜   ˜ 

DIRECTOR, PRINTING PRODUCTION      TO SEND EMAIL: ďŹ rst name.surname@thisdaylive.com

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

SHETTIMA’S INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT APPROACH

THE NAĂ?VE PERSIANS

T

he brute Persians of time past have really left their imprints and bloodlines as present-day Iranians, and in the present time just like in Biblical times, the collective logic of the Persians confounds us all. Now, the Ayatollahs over at Iran usually move their people to deep frenzies in the chants of “Death to America� whilst the “papal bulls� these ragheads issued from the “holy� city of Qom always make the vow to “Wipe Israel from the Face of the Earth.� Has it not occurred to the Iranians that America is the second largest nuclear power today and Israel is the sixth largest? Yet the Ayatollahs seek nuclear weapons; this quest would surely cause trepidation for America and Israel. Ironically, the quest to achieve a nuclear-weapon status was wittingly or unwittingly aided by an American president called Mohammed-Mubarack Hussein Obama; got the point, uh? No wonder President Donald Trump was critical of the deal that President Obama struck and he mentioned that that was the worst deal ever concocted for America and every American should be ashamed of it. What was Obama really up to? Was his dad, Obama Snr., a Shi’ite? The real dangers about the Iranians and all Shi’ites is that they are a bunch of anti-Semitic fatalists who are expecting a Mahdi (the 12th or 13th or something in that

owever, to limit the whole ďŹ ght against drug abuse in the north to one single substance of codeine will be the most disservice that would be done the whole struggle. Beyond codeine, there are many disingenuous ways and substances the northern youth, especially the young married women have devised to drug abuse. According to the founder, ‘House of Recovery’, Ms. Hadiza Aliko Mohammed, top among the substance of abuse are: codeine, cobwebs, cocaine, heroine and marijuana, among others. There is no doubt that the challenge of drug abuse, especially in the north, is huge but it is not insurmountable. Some signiďŹ cant mileage has been achieved by the reaction of Nigerians and the rapid response of the government to the BBC documentary. Nevertheless, the real work is to design a sustainable and holistic approach that tackles drug abuse right from the source. We must discard the temptation and cosmetic approach of always treating the symptoms rather than the disease. Resorting to blame game or using one or two pharmaceutical companies as scapegoats to paper the crack will not do. The Federal Ministry of Health, as well as monitoring, evaluation and enforcement agencies like NAFDAC and NDLEA, northern governors, leaders, parents and other stakeholders must join hands to tackle the menace posed by drug abuse in our country.

numerical order); but, to prepare the way for the coming of this Mahdi the Shi’ites must necessarily provoke a global cataclysmic crisis of an epic proportion and what better way to do that than to nuke the whole of the Middle East and America? No wonder America, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are all alarmed. The proof that Americans approved of President Trump tearing up the Iranian deal into shreds was the uptick in the value of the dollar and the healthy outlook of the stock market the day Trump pulled out of the deal. Barack Obama now has a habit of causing great consternation in the West because it was his close friendship with Prince Harry of the UK that means that this prince, sixth in line to the throne, would be marrying Meghan Markle who has mentioned that she is so proud of her black roots; imagine the potential discolouration to the bloodlines of the House of Windsor that Mr. Obama has wittingly approved. The rumour mill was even awash that Prince Harry would have gone for the Obamas’ oldest daughter, Sasha, but her obvious coffee-coloured skin and the outcry that would have greeted this union by the Trump camp discouraged this. Nonetheless, Obama still injected a dark hue into the bloodlines of the Windsors. Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State

I

n Borno State, both supporters and antagonists of the state government share a common view - they agree that Governor Kashim Shettima has performed and is doing excellently well in terms of critical infrastructure development. Borno State is presently witnessing massive mega schools construction, industrial constructions, roads rehabilitation, construction and expansions; provision of modest rural infrastructure, water supply and healthcare structures re-development. The kind of development projects that the state has been yearning for so long. Roads construction and rehabilitation in Borno are uniquely being executed. Gov. Kashim is using what development experts call ‘systematic-all-inclusive’ approach - a form of development approach that is designed to be connected to human capital development, productive job creation, siting projects where they are needed most, as well as using them as avenues for generation of more revenue for the government to support other sectors of the economy. The road network expansion and reconstruction in some hitherto isolated

communities like Bulumkutu, Bolori etc., are designed to create, encourage and improve positive synergy, enhance social cohesion and integration by giving citizens access to the same opportunities. For example, the road expansion and rehabilitation Bama road to Fauri axis and Lagos brigde is witnessing involves opening of communities which for many years had lacked good roads, and citizens had to go through hardship to and fro the route. These areas are now being connected with good roads in order to facilitate local trades and movement while also making accessibility to the areas easy for enhancement of security of lives and property. One exceptional thing most public commentators and the general public observe is neither political nor any other form of sentiment came to play in determining where projects are sited. Projects were sited based on pure development and public good. This is commendable, considering the high-wired politics that is associated with governing Borno State. Mohammed Muktar, Umarari,Bolori 2 Ward, Maiduguri


16

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

17


18

T H I S D AY ˾WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

MIDWEEKPOLITICS

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

THE NEWSMAKER

As Okowa Contends with Detractors Despite attempts to distract him, Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa remains focused on governance, writes Chiemelie Ezeobi

A

s the race for the 2019 elections draws near, political parties and politicians have again begun a potpourri of mudslinging and unsubstantiated allegations. Those who are seeking to take over elective posts from those in office have already started campaigning by discrediting those in offices. While criticism is good for democracy, basing such criticisms on outright lies does not bode well for democracy. In the case of Delta State, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, had for the umpteenth time, accused the Delta administration under the leadership of Ifeanyi Okowa of mismanaging the resources of the state. Another weighty allegation is the recent media report that a firm- North China Construction Nigeria Limited has nothing to do with the Chinese Government, given the projects awarded them by the Delta State Government. Ojuogboh had in an interview alleged that Chinese government has nothing to do with the ownership of the firm, North China Construction Company. This allegation was perhaps, an attempt to politically join issues with the company which is currently engaged in the construction of the New Central Secretariat of Delta State Government in Asaba. But contrary to these claims, it was gathered that the company is a subsidiary of a Chinese Government approved North China Construction Group Co. Ltd; an ‘AAA’ creditable enterprise with high qualification in building. Documents cited at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) show that the Office of the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos had on March 12, 2013 written to the Director General of Corporate Affairs Commission stating clearly that “North China Construction Group Co. Ltd is an ‘AAA’ creditable enterprise with high qualification in building.” The letter stated further that North China Construction Group Co. Ltd is a legal Chinese corporation under taking businesses related to construction, emphasizing that “the Economic and Commercial Office of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China confirms our agreement on its establishment of a company in Nigeria named North China Construction Nigeria Limited and North China Construction Group Co. Ltd has got the approval of the People’s Republic of China for its investment in Nigeria including the name of the company to be set up.” Furthermore, the North China Construction Group Co. Ltd has its home office at Guangsha Road, Diaxing District, Beijing China. As it is, the company is a Chinese National Design, Engineering, Construction, Decoration and General Contracting special grade enterprise with qualifications and experience. Its profile boasts of specialisation in such areas like road construction and design, design and construction of bridges, airports, sea ports, rail, power and other high end steel works including city design, sewage works, drainage and alternative energy. With its objective as ‘spreading the culture of science, engineering and innovation while adhering to the global best practices in Environmental, Social and Governance Standards (ESG)’, it also promotes the economic and socio-cultural ties between Nigeria and China in the spirit of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). It was gathered that based on the high profile status of the North China Construction Group Co. Ltd and its subsidiary; North China Construction Nigeria Limited, the Okowa’s administration engaged it as a major contractor in the construction of the New Central Secretariat in Asaba, the state capital. Thus, when the said interview by Ojuogboh was published, where he boldly remarked that the North China Construction Nigeria Limited

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

has no business with government of China, the main reaction was disbelief. Many have accused him of making baseless, unresearched, false and defamatory statement against the governor, who is making serious developmental strides in Delta State, wondering why the governorship aspirant would ask readers of his interview to go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to find out the owners of the company when he himself had not taken steps to cross-check what his facts. This is because the details at the CAC showed that North China Construction Nigeria Limited has a six-member Board of Directors made up of five Chinese and only one Nigerian. The Chinese nationals who are members of the board of directors are identified in the incorporation documents of the company at the Corporate Affairs Commission. A good number of interests in Asaba (who

While criticism is good for democracy, basing such criticisms on outright lies does not bode well for democracy

pleaded anonymity) said it was disappointing for somebody who has indicated interest in becoming the next governor of the state to make such spurious and unsubstantiated allegations, all in an attempt to rubbish Okowa who may want to seek a re-election in 2019. They contended that Nigerians should begin to demand a level of decorum and seriousness from people who aspire to exalted positions in the public sector, stressing that “it is too risky to leave our public offices to careless people who do not care about the reputation of others.” They described Okowa as a prudent and highly civilised governor who cannot involve the state government in any contractual obligation with a company whose foundation or identity is obscure. Ojuogboh’s allegation was therefore regarded as “tissues of lies and unbecoming of a man seeking an exalted office of a state chief executive.” Describing the whole Delta State in present time as one big construction yard due to many on-going projects initiated by the Okowa administration, the sources in Asaba said the New Central Secretariat was a well thought out project because it would eliminate the current huge cost being incurred by government on office accommodation for Ministries, Departments and Agencies that are scattered all over Asaba. They added that having almost all the government departments in one place will encourage innovation and knowledge sharing as well as reduce the time of commuting from one ministry to another and the concomitant waste of valuable man hours. Enthused by what is on ground already, the

analysts contended that any friend of the state would advise the governor to do a current head count of the civil servants and other officials for which the secretariat will serve as offices and determine whether there is need to add more floors because the foundation of the building is an engineering master piece never seen in Delta State before now. Also, the New Central Secretariat construction was being partly financed by North China Construction Group Co. Ltd and its subsidiary, North China Construction Nigeria Limited. The secretariat was planned to be a masterpiece and one of the best in Nigeria on completion. The governorship aspirant’s allegation was therefore considered, libelous and defamatory as against appreciating the good foundation Okowa has laid by partnering with a high end engineering group like the North China Construction on multiple projects over a long term in order to spread the company’s culture of science and technology among Delta State youths. “‘With such development in place , youths who are currently working with Chinese expatriates can in the next few years, either as individuals or in small groups own small construction firms that can really fix things unlike the current situation where there is dearth of good brick-layers, plumbers, mechanics, electricians and so on” they emphasized. Based on this new development, Okowa has been advised not to join issues with those whose stock in trade is mudslinging but to remain focused in his administration’s developmental initiative in line with his smart agenda.


19

T H I S D AY ˾WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

MIDWEEKPOLITICS

Why Workers Endorsed Ayade Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade’s consistency in the payment of workers’ salaries has endeared him to the workforce in the state, writes Bassey Inyang

D

uring this year’s May Day celebration at the U J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, the organised labour in Cross River State, comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), endorsed the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade for a second term in office. The May Day or Workers’ Day, is viewed as a day set aside annually for workers to remind their employers of the importance of improving their welfare. There was nothing special that was expected about this year’s celebration other than the usual match-pass with the governor or his representative taking the salute, and then the usual speech-making by labour leaders, the governor, and possibly light refreshments. Though these rituals were observed during this year’s celebration, however, a significant point of departure from tradition was the declaration of support for the second term aspiration of the state governor. The workers really did something outside the usual convention, by presenting a separate document containing their endorsement of Ayade ahead of the 2019 general elections. “In view of what you have done in Cross River state since your assumption of office on May 29,2015 in the area of socio-economic, political and man power development as attested by many, in view of your workers friendly posture. “We the workers of Cross River State having viewed critically the options open to us, and our future have agreed on this day to massively support your bid for second term in office. We therefore urged you to bid for the second term in office come 2019 general elections,“ John Ushie , the chairman of the state chapter of the NLC, declared on behalf of the NLC and the TUC. Obviously , the endorsement of the governor by the workers has raised the curiosity of many as to why they should embark on such a cause that may not be popular with those who think that the governor does not deserve a second time in office. Besides, many expect labour to be apolitical. Some people have even concluded that the workers in the state are sell-outs to the state governor, hence the endorsement. But, available information on the relationship between organised labour, and the government as represented by the governor, indicates that both parties have not always been having smooth relationship. For instance, under the current leadership of Ushie as state NLC chairman , and Clackson Otu as state TUC chairman, the organised labour, and the state government have literarily fought on some occasions , with the workers embarking on strike for a number of days. One of such frosty relationships occurred in June 2017 when the workers embarked on strike over some unsettled issues with the state government. Again, in December 2017, the NLC and the state government were at each other’s jugular over issues related to payment of gratuities from 2013, and the non-implementation of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU), reached by both parties in July of that year. The workers even issued Ayade a sevenday ultimatum to meet their demands that gratuities to retired workers be paid without further delay. Following such agitation from the workers, Ayade had caused gratuities for 2013 and 2014 to be paid to the retirees. So, can the organised labour in the state that barks and bites occasionally, when it becomes absolutely necessary, be justifiably accused of compromise for endorsing Ayade for a second term? Ushie had advanced reasons why Ayade, whom the workers in the state had hitherto christened “Most Labour Friendly Governor” and “Salary Master”, was given the nvaluable support to remain in office beyond May 2019. Ushie stated that their support for the

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade

governor derived from his friendly disposition to workers, and the verifiable evidence of Ayade’s efforts at industrialising the state. According to the NLC chairman, in less than three years, Ayade administration has embarked on many developmental projects across the state which, ordinarily, before now were seen as impossible to achieve. Ushie listed the projects to include the Calabar Garment Factory, the Calapharm, the Rice City, the Rice Processing Mill in Ogoja, the Independent Power Plant, the Deep Sea Port, Calabar Haulage City and the Banana Plantation in Odukpani, and the Cocoa Processing plant in Ikom. Ushie also listed the construction of the Canadian College in Obudu, and the inauguration of the Teachers Continuous Training City, and many other projects. “These projects and more, the joint body attests, are true testimonies of the governor’s desire to change the destiny of the state from a civil service economy to an industrialised one which is capable of generating jobs and revenues to run the State”, Ushie said. For the workers, in a country where so many states owe workers salaries for upwards of 18 and 24 months, Ayade has proved to be different in that aspect as his administration does not owe salaries of civil servants and his political appointees numbering over three thousand. Indeed before the workers converged on

For many workers in the state, the endorsement of Ayade for a second term by the organised labour is a decision taken in the right direction

the stadium for the celebration of the May Day, their May, 2018 salaries had been paid. Nothing perhaps could have endeared Ayade to the workers most, than regular payment of salaries to the civil servants. This explains why he was tagged “Salary Master” by the workers. “Ayade has demonstrated that he has the capacity to pay workers’ salaries without any hitch. And because workers in the state have come to the conclusion that the governor possess the capacity to implement the new minimum wage which workers all over the country had been agitating for, they should offer their full support to Ayade as he aspires toward securing a second term in 2019,” the NLC chairman said. A visibly elated Ayade, while addressing the workers amidst thunderous ovation from the thousands of cheering workers, said, “Anything I am doing first thing that come to my mind is salaries of workers. “Therefore, your choice of my adoption come 2019 is a step in the right direction. And I think that this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that the organised labour will gather like this to say Mr. Governor, we want you to continue in 2019….If there is anything you have asked that I have not done please pardon me. I am a willing horse that will never go beyond my limit and energy, my capacity. I sometimes doubt myself”. The governor who spoke about measures taken by his administration to develop the economy of the state, said: “We need to expand the horizon for young people. We need a lot of workers for the industries, and the only way to make people happy is when, as a government, you embark on industrialisation.” Away from the stadium, Ayade had visited the proposed state secretariat of the organised labour , the Labour House, a day before the May Day celebration. During the visit, he showered what can be termed “democracy dividends” on the workers, authorising the payment of 2014 gratuity to retired civil servants in the state,

and making a donation of N50 million for the completion of the Labour House. “We have already finalised, and I have just signed today an authorisation for them to commence the implementation of 2014 gratuity…. “At the time we discussed with the NLC/ TUC on the need to support them build a Labour House, the approval I gave was so insignificant for the accomplishment of what I am seeing here today. I thought I was the only magician who knows how to turn one naira to a million dollars. Today, I have seen some management experts that are equally very good. “Against that background, God has descended upon me with an inspiration to ensure that you complete this project and get it ready for commissioning as in the history of Cross River, we have never had a Labour House where members can come in unmolested. It is my pleasure to support you complete this edifice with additional N50 million. That figure will cover furniture, telecom and small clinic in case of any emergency,” Ayade said after inspecting the on-going construction of the Labour House. Ushie had described Ayade’s visit as very important to the organised labour, disclosing that for more than forty years, workers in the state had experimented with the idea of building a Labour House but to no avail. Ushie said it was quite significant that the workers’ dream of having a Labour House has materialized during Ayade’s administration. Ushie promised that the labour leaders would make judicious use of the money, and ensure that the governor commissions the project as part of the May 29 celebration in the state. After the visit the governor and the labour leaders proceeded to the Ayade Industrial Complex where the workers were conducted on a guided tour of some of the projets earlier mentioned by the NLC chairman. For many workers in the state, the endorsement of Ayade for a second by the organised labour is a decision taken in the right direction.


20

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

FEATURES

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

War against Illicit Drugs Adibe Emenyonu writes on the arrest of a 64-year-old man linked to the discovery of 5,650kg of cannabis at two warehouses by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency

I

n the month of February this year, men of Edo Command of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) conducted one of its annuls: the public destruction of various narcotic drugs mainly cannabis, weighing 136,844kgs. The exercise was considered a big achievement considering the fact that every year, the number of kilogrammes of destroyed hard drugs are always on the increase. This is because most of the seizures made by operatives of the command are usually done when drug couriers are either arrested while hauling or peddling the illicit commodity. Never has the anti-drug agency made a major discovery in a single swoop until recently when its personnel stumbled into a residential building through intelligence report. According to information available to THISDAY, the discoveries were made in two separate residential apartments where no one can imagine something like that could be hidden considering the huge awareness by members of the public on the danger the drug pose to society. Even as the weeds were in the buildings, they were not found in any of the rooms but stack away inside the ceiling from prying eyes of the public and security operatives. Speaking on the seizures, Edo State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Wakawa, disclosed that but for intelligence gathering, his men would just have gone to the designated building without seeing anything suspicious and will just come back empty, accusing the informant of giving out false information. These are not the only surprises. The big shock is that a 64-year-old grandfather was allegedly to be the one behind the drug cartel. While the major merchants who are said to be at large go out to buy, his job is to stock the commodities in the ceiling of his apartment without the knowledge of anyone. According to Wakawa, "All the exhibits were found in two warehouses. The Egor warehouse was hidden inside the ceiling of a bungalow. A 64-year-old grandfather, Daniel Idemudia who resides in the warehouse has been arrested. "We were shocked to discover 280 sacks of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa all hidden inside the ceiling of the building. This discovery will serve as a warning to others that their warehouses will be discovered and the drugs seized," commander stated. The Edo Commander of NDLEA who further confirmed that the seizures were made based on intelligence report received by the command, disclosed that the first warehouse is a residential house located behind the Tipper Garage, Egor, Egor Local Government Area where 280 sacks of the dried weeds weighing 4,200kg were found. The second warehouse, he said was located at Ugwella-Gidi Village in Ovia South West Local Government Area where 245 sacks of dried weeds weighing 1,450kgs were recovered. During interrogation by newsmen, the suspect,

All the exhibits were found in two warehouses. The Egor warehouse was hidden inside the ceiling of a bungalow. A 64-yearold grandfather, Daniel Idemudia who resides in the warehouse has been arrested. We were shocked to discover 280 sacks of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis sativa all hidden inside the ceiling of the building

The arrested 64-year-old grandfather, Pa Daniel Idemudia in one of the warehouses ďŹ lled with bags of cannabis sativa

Pa Idemudia surrounded by large bags of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp

Another warehouse where bags of hemp were discovered

Idemedia admitted knowledge of the exhibits found inside the ceiling of his house. He said, "A friend of mine kept the cannabis inside the ceiling of my house. The house was built by my son who resides in Europe. He

promised to handsomely reward me after selling them." Idemudia's confession notwithstanding, the NDLEA Commander in Edo has promised to arrest other members connected with the weeds warehouses.

He appealed to members of the public with useful information leading to the recovery of illicit drugs and arrest of traffickers to provide such information to the agency, adding that the suspect will soon be charged to court for prosecution.


21

T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018

BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT

A S

A T

REPO 2.83 3.33

A P R I L

Group Business Editor ChikaAmanze-Nwachuku Email: chika.amanzenwachukwu@thisdaylive.com 08033294157, 08057161321

4 ,

S & P INDEX

CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH

2.83 4.67 5.17

INDEX LEVEL 1-DAY MONTH-TO-DAY QUARTER-TO-DAY YEAR-TO-DAY

2 0 1 8 EXCHANGE RATE

360.96 -0.29% 0.10% 4.32% 9.56%

N305.20/1US DOLLAR AS AT LAST FRIDAY

Quick Takes ExxonMobil Invests N13bn in A’Ibom ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/ Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture, has announced plans to invest up to N13 billion ($43 million) in three community health, economic empowerment and education projects in Akwa Ibom State in the next 18 months. These investments amount to one of the largest community investments by any company in Nigeria. The three projects include a technical skills centre in Ikot Akata, a trauma centre at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and an engineering complex at the University of Uyo. “These investments will provide long-term health, education and economic benefits to many in our communities,” said chairman and managing director of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Paul McGrath. “We continue to work closely with the government of the Akwa Ibom State as part of our commitment to communities where we operate and helping to improve quality of life,” he added.

CSR-in-Action Hosts SITEI 2018

NIGERIA DREAM BEYOND OIL

L-R: MD, Bank of Industry, Mr. Kayode Pitan; Men’s Coordinator, RCCG Region 19, Pastor Amos Emovon; Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, PIC Region 19, Pastor Brown Oyitso and ED & Co-founder, Sahara Group, Mr. Tony Cole at the RMF Region 19 Men’s Conference on the Nigeria Dream Beyond Oil, held in Lagos …recently

DBN Gets CBN’s Approval, Partners W’Bank on Credit Guarantees FG, NSIA, AfDB EIB now Bank’s owners Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended its regulatory approval to the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to enable the development finance institution (DFI) put in place a risk-sharing module that would define its transactions with partner financial institutions. DBN’s Managing Director/ CEO, Mr. Anthony Okpanachi, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, weekend, said that the Bank’s management is already synergising with the World Bank for consultants to put the structures in place.

ECONOMY According to him, although the wholesale development bank is yet to implement its risk-sharing model, the CBN had already given the regulatory approval. It is also now confirmed that with the new equity shareholders—the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), which recently invested $50 million and $20 million respectively, the DBN is now owned by the Federal Government, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and EIB.

Okpanachi stated that AfDB and EIB had effectively funded the investment, adding that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved the basis of allotment of shares. “As we speak, effectively they have funded the investment in the Development Bank of Nigeria. So, they are now shareholders in the Development Bank of Nigeria. The $50 million from African Development and $20 million European Investment Bank are already in the system. Now, the Bank is owned by the Federal Government, NSIA, African Development Bank and

European Investment Bank.” Giving further insight into the risk-sharing module, Okpanachi disclosed that a risk-sharing arm would be established as a subsidiary of DBN, stressing that the Bank’s management is already working with the World Bank for consultants to put the structures in place. He said: “We have not started that, though we have gotten the regulatory approval to set it up. It’s going to be a subsidiary of the Development Bank of Nigeria and we have started working with the World Bank Continued on page 22

Absence of Policy Framework Threatens Extractive Industries Sector Ejiofor Alike The Chairman of Mining and Solid Minerals Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Alatise has raised the alarm that the absence of effective policy in Nigeria’s mining sector and the obsolete Mining Act of 1964, which governs explosives, are threatening operations in the extractive industries sector. Speaking to journalists in Lagos at the weekend, Alatise also said the absence of effective template for community engagement had the potential to fuel

ENERGY crisis as different communities make frivolous demands. He argued that states are discouraging legal miners as a result of lack of proper framework for mining. “Now, Lagos State government banned legal sand miners from operating. Why - because of environmental issues, which are very important. You can’t take away that. But if you have a situation where legal miners are being banned, what do you say to the illegal miners that are working but do not even

go to Abuja for documents? So, what am I trying to say? We want to get rid of the illegal miners but we are making it hard for the legal miners – basically opening the door for the proliferation of explosives because the moment you don’t have a proper framework for mining and illegal mining is thriving and you are making it hard for legal miners to go through the processes of going to Abuja, digging up documents, paying all sorts of crazy money to get their license only for the state government to stop you,” he explained.

Alatise acknowledged the need for states to generate revenues but added that there should be clear rules of engagement. “The states have their own agenda. Fair enough, we want the states to generate revenues but there has to be clear rules of engagement. A state cannot be an operator and also a regulator,” he added. In the international scene, Alatise added that the wars ravaging parts of Africa were partly caused by conflicts asContinued on page 22

Foremost sustainability consulting and advocacy outfit, CSR-in-Action Advocacy, in partnership with the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (FMPR), Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), and Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), have announced the 7th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference and Exhibition. Discussions at SITEI 2018 themed ‘Managing Conflict and Security in the Extractive Industries’ will revolve around creating awareness about the causes, impact and management of conflict in Nigeria’s extractive sector so as to maximise the potential inherent in the sector. Discussions are also meant to inspire the government to develop and implement strong legal and regulatory frameworks for conflict and security management in the oil and gas and mining sector. The two-day event, which will hold in Abuja on May 21 and 22, is structured to focus on various aspects of the extractive industries. Day One will focus on the Oil and Gas sector. Amongst several activities, there will be an open dialogue with Minister for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and panel sessions on re-assessing the 12-point agenda to end militancy in the Niger Delta, and panel discussions including one on ‘Pathways for natural resource management and conflict prevention – people, environment and infrastructure’.

Trump Cancels Plutonium Power Project The Trump administration plans to kill a project it says would have cost tens of billions of dollars to convert plutonium from Cold War-era nuclear bombs and burn it to generate electricity, according to a document it sent to Congress last week. The Department of Energy submitted a document on May 10 to Senate and House of Representative committees saying that the Mixed Oxide (MOX) project at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina would cost about $48 billion more than $7.6 billion already spent on it. The United States has never built a MOX plant. Instead of completing MOX, the administration, like the Obama administration before it, wants to blend the 34 tonnes of deadly plutonium - enough to make about 8,000 nuclear weapons - with an inert substance and bury it underground in a New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Burying the plutonium would cost about $19.9 billion, according to the document, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

“So, if they ask you what change means to tanker drivers, please tell them that it means the return of contractors to access roads to petroleum depots”

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola


22

images

Ogun State commissioner for commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (right)being presented with the outstanding leadership award by the president, Congress of Nigerian Youth, Ambassador Mumeen Ibraheem in Abeokuta...recently

T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

Photo Editor Abiodun Ajala Email abiodun.ajala@thisdaylive.com

L-R: Chief Client Officer, Tosin Runsewe; Chief Executive Officer, Kunle Ahmed; Chairman, Olusola Adeeyo and General Counsel/Company Secretary, Mrs Omowunmi Adewus all of AXA Mansard Group at the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Company in Lagos...recently

L-R: Managing Director, Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA), Roman Troedthandl; MyNaija winner, Mohini Ufeli; Canon Brand Influencer, TY Bello; MyNaija winner, Deji Oyebamiji; and Head of Emerging Markets Business Unit, Canon, Stefano Zenti; at the Canon talent driven workshops and coaching seminars in Ikeja, Lagos...recently. L- R; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr. Olatunji Ayanlaja, SAN ;Chair Holder, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, Mr. Folu Aderibigbe of Globacom, and Mrs Stella Olukotun at the 2nd Annual Oba SikIru Adetona Professorial Chair Lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University sponsored by Globacom in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State...recently

L-R; Digital Marketing Manager Executive, Indomie Noodles, Omotola Edien; Group Public Relations and Events Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Temitope Ashiwaju; Celebrity Chef, Miyonse Amosun; and his Manager, Solomon Adetokunbo, during the unveiling of Indomie Noodles Chef and signing of MOU with the company in Lagos.. recently  yomi akinyele

L-R INEC National Commissioner, Mrs May Agbamuche Mbu; Chairman INEC, Prof Mamood Yakubu and INEC National Commissioner, Dr Muhammed Lecky at the opening ceremony of the meeting of the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECS)in Abuja.. .recently

L-R; Chief Operating Officer, Health Partners HMO, Dr. Olumuyiwa Olusanya; Executive Secretary/CEO, National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf and Managing Director/CEO, Health Partners HMO, Dele Salami during the meeting with the newly inaugurated Council of the NHIS in Abuja...recently

R-L: Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Union Bank, Adekunle Sonola; Divisional Executive, Union Bank, Rosemary David-Etim and Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha during the Bank’s courtesy visit to the Government House, Owerri... recently.


23

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

BUSINESSWORLD

Group Business Editor Chika Amanze-Nwachuku

Email chika.amanzenwachukwu@thisdaylive.com 08033294157, 08057161321

               Ͳ Ëœ Í° ÍŽ ÍŻ Íś MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT

REPO 2.83 % 3.33 %

CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH

2.83% Ͳ˛ʹ;Ϲ 5.17%

S & P INDEX INDEX LEVEL 1-DAY MONTH-TO-DATE

͹ʹ͎˛͡ʹϹ ͎̋˛Ͱ͡Ϲ 0.10%

S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE YEAR TO DATE

Ͳ˛͹ͰϹ ͡˛ͳʹϹ

EXCHANGE RATE N305.20/1US DOLLAR* ĚŠ  

Quick Takes BudgIT Tasks NNPC on Transparency

MEDIA PARLEY

L-R: Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse; Director, Home Services, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola and Director of Special Projects, Dr. Mohammed Dikwa, during the Quarterly BrieďŹ ng of the Media by the Minister in Abuja ...recently

Currency-in-Circulation Drops to N1.668 Trillion Obinna Chima The total value of currencyin-circulation in the country reduced by N269 billion year-on-year to N1.668 trillion as of the end of March this year, down from the N1.937 trillion recorded in February 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed in its latest money and credit statistics for March. Currency- in- circulation refers to the total value of currency (coins and paper currency) issued during a given period, minus the amount that has been removed from the economy by the central bank. Also, the data showed that banking sector credit to the private sector reduced marginally year-on-year to N22.444 trillion at the end of March, compared

ECONOMY to the N22.621 trillion it was as at the end of the previous month. The central bank data showed that broad money (M2), which is made up of demand deposits at commercial banks and monies held in easily accessible accounts increased slightly year-on-year from N24.019 trillion the previous month, to N24.303 trillion at the end of the review month. Similarly, narrow money (M1), which included all physical monies such as coins and currency along with demand deposits and other assets held by the central bank rose yearon-year to N10.913 trillion in the review month, as against the N10.731 trillion recorded the

previous month. In the same vein, the data gathered from the central bank’s website showed that the amount of currency outside banks increased to N1.668 trillion, up marginally from the N1.571 trillion it was as at the end of February 2018. Furthermore, it put the total amount of banks’ reserves with the central bank at N4.357 trillion as of the end of March, compared with the N4.160 trillion recorded at the end of the previous month. In addition, demand deposits, which are funds held in an account from which deposited funds can be withdrawn at any time without any advance notice to the depository institution increased to N9.244 trillion in March, compared to the N9.160 trillion recorded the

previous month, just as Quasi Money, which are highly liquid assets other than cash, that can be quickly converted, stood at N13.390 trillion in March, up from N13.288 trillion the previous month. Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank Limited had projected that banking sector credit to the private sector would rise this year. The firm held the view that the manufacturing sector would attract the highest credit this year, further adding that the uncertainties surrounding the fuel subsidy in the petroleum marketing sector may lead to a contraction of credit to that sector. It noted that the improvement Continued on page 24

SEC Woos Fictitious Investors to Claim their Dividends Goddy Egene Following the refusal of investors that used fictitious names to buy shares during public offerings in boom days of stock market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering new strategies to ensure compliance by investors, findings by THISDAY have revealed. The 2006-2008 boom years of the capital market saw a jump in public offerings as many banks, insurance companies and other non-financial quoted and unquoted companies issued shares to raise funds through the stock market. Several investors resorted to the use of various means to push through multiple allocations so as to succeed with their applications. However, it has been discov-

CAPITAL MARKET ered that some of those investors have forgotten their names and details used to buy those shares, others have failed to come forward to claim the shares, a development that has contributed to the high level of unclaimed dividends in the market. It has been reported that about three-quarter of the outstanding unclaimed dividends (N80 billion) and millions of shares belong to such investors who used fictitious names. As part of the efforts to encourage the investors to come and claim their dividends and shares, SEC last year set up a committee after which it issued a deadline of September 1, 2017 for the regularisation of the multiple and fictitious

accounts. It was later extended to March 31, 2018 before another recent extension to September 30, 2018. But the managing director of a share registration firm, told THISDAY that many investors had been staying away from regularising their accounts because of the way SEC had handled the report of the Committee, which he said is perceived as criminalising the investors. According to market the operator, another Committee has been set to review that report of the first committee. “A committee has been set up to review it again, the way it is now, like you are criminalising those investors. And most people are not coming out because of the criminal tone of the pronouncement by SEC. If you say I apply with a different

name and I cannot claim my money, I will not want to come out. We know the way people applied for shares in those years of boom was an aberration but how do we address the issue now. The report of the Committee that was adopted before is trying to criminalise those who do not want come out but SEC is making it in a way that will make people to come forward. All you need to do is show evidence that you paid. If the records show that you paid for the shares, you get your dividends or shares,� the MD said. The acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk disclosed last month that the fictitious shareholders had been given up till September 30, 2018 to provide proof to claim and Continued on page 24

BudgIT has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to be more transparent in its operations, even as it applauded the corporation on the plan to end the prevalent but disadvantageous practice of gas aring. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had in 2015 initiated the process of publishing monthly ďŹ nancial and operational reports of the oil giant. However, the reality in the report released so far is an outcry for improved transparency and eďŹƒciency, BudgIT stated. BudgIT also said it noticed that NNPC had not published the monthly report in 2018 falling short of openness and accountability. “The plan of NNPC to reduce gas aring would not come at a better time than this, as the menace is not only ravaging lives in the host communities but also costing the economy over $2.5 billion annually and yet the economic implications of ending this practice should signiďŹ cantly improve Nigeria’s power generating capacity. “Gas aring also has signiďŹ cant impacts on the life expectancy of the “working poorâ€? and “have-notsâ€? who struggle to live within these communities.

Wema to Reward Customers

Wema Bank Plc has said that it would be taking some of its customers to Russia this June. The promotion, which will reward a selected number of customers that saved at least N100,000 in their Wema Savings Accounts or ALAT Account over a period of 30 days with a trip to Russia, coincides with the FIFA World Cup season. “We are rewarding our customers who operate Savings Accounts and have saved N100,000 or more for at least 30 days, with a trip to Russia,â€? the bank’s Head Retail and SME Banking, Dotun Ifebogun said. “This promotion is our way of saying thank you to customers who have committed to saving. It is also a way of encouraging non-customers to start saving by opening a Wema Savings Account or ALAT Account as new customers who open an account and save a minimum of N100,000 for 30days will also be rewarded,â€? Ifebogun added. Wema Bank, which recently celebrated its 73rd anniversary and the ďŹ rst anniversary of its digital bank- ALAT – according to a statement, has always been committed to encouraging savings. The bank stated that in the past, it had supported events and campaigns that drive savings culture. “Savings helps people become ďŹ nancially secure and provide a safety net in case of an emergency,â€? the Head of Brand and Marketing Communications at Wema Bank Plc, Funmilayo Falola said. “It gets even better when you are being rewarded for saving your money,â€? she added. New customers who open a Wema Savings account or ALAT account and save a minimum of N100,000 for at least 30 days stand a chance of winning an all-expense paid trip to Russia.

LSETF Showcases BeneďŹ ciaries

In its bid to position Lagos State as a conducive environment that enables businesses thrive, 25 beneďŹ ciaries of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) loan programme were amongst the over 100 leading vendors who attended the 2018 edition of the annual Simply Nigerian Fair (SNF) to showcase their various products and services. The fair, which was in its fourth edition took place in Lagos recently. The LSETF beneďŹ ciaries, who were selected based on their related expertise and play in the sectors being exhibited included entrepreneurs within the following niche: fresh produce; plants and ower; food and beverage; fashion and footwear; hair and body and home and lifestyle. The agency explained in a statement that its beneďŹ ciaries took advantage of the environment to engage and expose their products to the hundreds of visitors and other guests. Speaking on their opportunity to exhibit at the fair, Mr. Ayodeji Ijaware, who runs Dej Fashion Company, said his attendance at the fair made possible by the LSETF gave his business the needed positive push.

“We think it is a contradiction for social infrastructure to collapse, for the middleclass to remain emasculated and for profits of the financial system to be approaching N1 trillion�

CEO, GDL Limited,

Mr. Kola Ayeye


24

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

   CURRENCY-INCIRCULATION DROPS TO N1.668 TRILLION in the macroeconomic and business environment; improved consumers’ confidence; and the drop in the yields on the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) would be the main drivers of the expected credit growth. “Our findings show that the agriculture sector in Nigeria is faced with many problems. Thus, the sector is unable to attract the required credit. “Some of the problems are: inadequate storage facilities; poor transport network; inadequate research to develop improved seedlings; and weak integration between the sector and the manufacturing sector in providing manufacturing inputs.� The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele had assured Nigerians that the central bank would continue to explore measures that would see that interest rates are supportive of domestic production. According to him, the Bank would continue to fine tune measures to ensure and guarantee a stable exchange rate regime. Emefiele had pointed out that with on-going recovery in economic performance, he was optimistic that improved outcomes would be recorded in the central bank’s work towards taming inflation, bringing down interest rates and guaranteeing exchange rate stability. SEC WOOS FICTITIOUS INVESTORS TO CLAIM THEIR DIVIDENDS regularise their shareholdings. According to her, the extension was part of the highpoints of the meeting of the Capital Market Committee (CMC). Although she said that registrars had acknowledged that investors with fictitious accounts had started coming forward to claim their shares, there were challenges in the process, hence the CMC deliberated and recommended the appropriate technical committee to seek input and come up with recommendations to address the challenges. “Therefore, we encourage all affected investors to come forward and take advantage of the window before the new deadline,� Uduk said.

Group Business Editor

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

Ă™Ă˜Ă‹ĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă˜äĂ?



DPR Mulls New Guidelines for LPG Operations Ejiofor Alike

stressing “ you know better than us because you do it every day and we may be theoretical in ways we do things ,but we relate to all sectors of the industry ,and we know where the shoes are pinching , and those guidelines we are fashioning out.� According to him ,the guidelines would spell out what need to be in place before truck loads ,ensuring that they have the right shut out valves and correctly installed as well trucks being fit for purpose .He recalled the ugly

Capital Market Editor

ÙÎÎãĂ‘Ă?Ă˜Ă? Senior Correspondent

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

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

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

in any economy, his hope is to make descent profits and that can only happen if the workforce gives its best. The Controller who launched NIPCO safety pamphlet designed to guide users of LPG as domestic cooking fuel in a safe manner as a corporate social responsibility initiative enjoins all stakeholders to keep safe at all times .Earlier while declaring open the Safety Week events, NIPCO’s Managing Director, Mr. Sanjay Teotia said that good

Health Safety and Environment (HSE) performance was an integral part of efficiency in the downstream sector of the nation’s oil industry. He reiterated the commitment to sustain NIPCO’s safety culture, which has manifested in zero incidents and fatality in the entire 14 years of its operations, adding that the HSE policy of company is hinged on prevention of injury to employees, assets, and environment.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has stated that it would engage stakeholders in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) sector with a view to fashioning out new guidelines on life threatening practices that are being taken for granted by operators in the industry. In his presentation on safety in LPG operations at NIPCO’s Safety week held recently to mark the recent World Day for Safety & Health at Work, the Lagos Zonal Controller of DPR, Mr. Oluwole Akinyosoye lauded NIPCO for the high level of safety consciousness and excellent housekeeping being exhibited by the company. “We are today talking to NIPCO, we are going to engage other players in the industry as well; we have stated engaging NNPC as well ,to ensure we don’t just load the products ,but ensure that those trucks are fit for purpose. If you load trucks that is not fit for purpose ,and there is an explosion in your facility ,God forbids , on the way to the plants ,or at the plants ,it will be on record that the truck loaded from your company ,that is why we are looking at the LPG guidelines once again,â€? he said . Akinyosoye said the agency would soon issue directives to all operators on how to be L-R:Director,ChemicalFibre&EnvironmentalTechnologyofFederalInstituteofIndustrial Research(FIIRO),Dr.ChimaIgwe; DirectorGeneral/CEO,FIIRO, up to speed with regards to Prof. Gloria Elemo, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo and Deputy Director, NEPC, Mrs. Veronika loading and ancillary issues Orierie, during the visit of the agency to FIIRO in Lagos ‌ recently

GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE

Nigeria Recycles Only 13% of 110,000 Acid BatteriesYearly Chineme Okafor in Abuja Stakeholders in the renewable energy sector have raised the alarm that only about 13 per cent of the over 110,000 used lead-acid batteries (ULABs) that find their ways into Nigeria yearly are recycled. Speaking at a workshop on how to properly manage ULABs which are used for energy storage in the country, some of these stakeholders argued that even when the batteries are recycled, they are mostly done at informal shelters located within residential areas across the country The stakeholders comprising

the Clean Technology Hub, a pioneering hybrid hub for the research, development, demonstration and incubation of clean energy technologies in Africa; Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN); and the Heinrich Boell Foundation, attended the workshop organised in Abuja for renewable energy operators in Nigeria. It was reportedly attended by renewable energy companies, recycling companies, sustainable development-focused nongovernmental organizations and policymakers. The paper equally gathered that it was aimed at addressing the growing issue of poor

management of used lead-acid batteries which has harmful effects on the environment and public health. “Approximately 110,000 tonnes of ULABs are generated in Nigeria annually from the automotive and renewable energy sectors with only 13 per cent of this amount recycled, mostly in informal shelters located in residential areas which leads to high cases of lead pollution,� said a communique from the workshop. The communique quoted Ifeoma Malo, the Chief Executive Officer of Clean Technology Hub to have said that the imminent explosion of mini grid electricity

systems in Nigeria could result to an increase in the use of ULABs, thus, the urgency for a campaign for proper management of them. Malo said: “There is a minigrid revolution about to take off in Nigeria, such as the World Bank and the Rural Electrification Agency $350m project as well as other investments into the sector. This means that there will be more batteries. As such, it is imperative for the sector to create a battery management framework that will feed into government policy on used battery disposal, create investment opportunities and tackle a growing problem before it gets severe.�

Also, Mr. Terseer Ugboh of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of Nigeria (REDIN), which is a clean energy-focused NGO explained that the issue of ULAB management has been their focus for the past four years with several workshops and trainings on how to decide the best possible ways for its management in Nigeria. Ugboh, stated that though the current focus was on secondary batteries which are rechargeable like lead-acid batteries, REDIN would want to to extend the focus to primary batteries such as alkaline batteries, mercury batteries and zinc-carbon batteries.

Lagos Will Leverage Technology to Boost Security, Smart City Initiative, Says Commissioner Emma Okonji

Comms/e-Business Editor

Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă˜Ă”Ă“

incidence of January 15, 2018 when one of the bottling plants operator lost huge investments, the DPR Controller urged both the investors and customers alike to adhere strictly to safety rules to avert such incident in future . He also commendable NIPCO for the investment they have put in place in terms of infrastructure for commercial gas in Nigeria. Akinyosoye charged the staff to understand that whenever an investor is putting his money

The Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm has reiterated the state government’s commitment to leverage on technology to drive its smart city initiative, improve security and automate transportation system in the state. The Commissioner, who gave the reassurance during his ministerial press briefing to commemorate the third anniversary of the administration of Governor Akinwunmi

Ambode of Lagos State, said technology was more of a tool than a need itself and the state government would ride on it as a tool to drive development in the state, especially in the area of security, smart city initiative and transportation. In the areas of security, smart city initiative and transportation, he said the state would invest in high definition cameras and broadband connectivity, where the cameras would enhance the job of the Police and the Lagos State Transport Management “Authority (LASTMA) for the

purpose of monitoring. The cameras when installed will be able to monitor several activities both day and night. Artificial Intelligence will be deployed to allow us monitor traffic in the state. All of these will boost investors’ confidence to invest in Lagos state. Technology companies like IBM, Microsoft and GE are interested in investing in the state, and as a responsible government, we will create the enabling environment that will attract investors,� Fahm said.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a major instrument that is being used by government to enhance service delivery strategy and to bring about new innovations for the development of the economy. The state government is therefore willing and ready to use ICT in driving deployment in the state for the good of the citizens, Fahm added. Giving details of the smart city project, he explained that the main

objective of the smart city initiative was to connect human capital, social capital and ICT infrastructure in order to address public issues, achieve a sustainable development and increase the quality of life of the citizens. The first phase of the smart city project according to the Commissioner, would seek to address security, transportation and infrastructure, while the second phase would also continue to address security, transportation and connectivity in a sustainable manner.


25

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

  



Settle Rift with Ansbury, Shareholders Tell Oando A group of shareholders have called on the management of Oando Plc to settle its lingering dispute with its foreign investor, Ansbury Investments Incorporated. Ansbury had in September 2017, petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged corporate governance abuse by the management of Oando Plc. Ansbury, which is a majority shareholder in Ocean and Oil Development (BVI), holds 99 per cent of OODP Nigeria and 56 per cent equity stake in Oando Plc, an entity with dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The petition led to the suspension of Oando shares on both the NSE and the JSE. SEC also ordered a forensic audit of the oil firm. The suspension was lifted last month. But the group of shareholders, who identified themselves Concerned Oando Shareholders, on Monday, urged the management of the company to open talks with Ansbury Investments with a view to resolving the

lingering dispute. A spokesman of the group, Atobatele Musibau, said “the prolonged media war, protests and unnecessary bickering between the management of Oando and Ansbury is not serving the best interest of shareholders and that of the company.� Musibau added: “These days, Oando is always in the news for the wrong reasons. The negative exposure the company has experienced for almost one year running has a telling effect not just on the shares, but the entire fortune of the company. “The earlier this matter is resolved the better for the company and its shareholders. Whether the management of Oando likes it or not, this unending war of attrition has impacted and will continue to impact the company negatively. “The best option open to both parties therefore is dialogue and I believe both sides are matured enough to seat together and resolve areas of conflict and ambiguity in the interest of the company and its shareholders.� The Concerned Oando Shareholders’ spokesman said

the recovery in oil prices is a sign that the company’s fortunes can improve “under the right atmosphere�. He further added: “If the company continues with this undue muscle flexing and grandstanding, it runs the risk of being constantly distracted. It should therefore resolve this matter with Ansbury, which I believe is also a reasonable and responsible company and will be interested in a resolution of the matter. “One must state that Oando has not recorded any meaningful capital gains, nor has it paid dividend to investors in more than four years. We are therefore the grass that suffers as these two elephants slug it out. “We therefore call on the management of Oando not to miss out on the golden opportunity provided by the turnaround of the oil industry to improve on the fortunes of shareholders. “We want to see better returns, capital appreciation of our shares and payment of dividends in the not too distant future. This can only happen, however, if the management resolves all pending rifts to enable it concentrate on running the company.�

Fiscal Justice Key in Managing Extractive Industries’ Crisis, Says SITEI Convener Ejiofor Alike Co-founder and convener of the Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI), Bekeme Masade has stated that only fiscal justice could resolve the protracted crisis associated with the mining of extractive industries in Nigeria. Speaking to journalists in Lagos at the weekend, Masade argued that financial justice entails that all revenues accruing to the extractive industries should be collected and transparently managed for the benefit of all the stakeholders. According to her, fiscal justice for all means that the revenues from the extractive industries should be equitably, transparently and accountably managed for progressive development. Masade noted that SITEI seeks to ensure sustainability in

extractive industries, adding that series of conflicts in the Niger Delta had resulted in the decline in Nigeria’s crude oil production and health challenges in the oil-producing region. To resolve the crisis, Masade stressed the need for continuous engagement with critical stakeholders to ensure financial justice. She said the resources from the extractive industries should be managed in such a way that all critical stakeholders – host communities, companies, government, tax authorities and other businesses should be able to know who owns what, adding that opaque management of resources had fueled crisis and capital flight. The Chief Executive Officer of CSR-in-Action, who spoke ahead of the 7th Sustainability in

the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference and Exhibition slated to hold later this month in Abuja, recalled that SITEI was established in Lagos in October 2012 in conjunction with the Deputy High Commission of Canada. She stressed that this year’s event is geared towards identifying tactics that would bring about long-lasting solution to conflict in Nigeria’s extractive sector to avert further downward spiral of the sector and Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). She added that discussions at SITEI 2018 themed ‘Managing Conflict and Security in the Extractive Industries,’ will revolve around creating awareness about the causes, impact and management of conflict in Nigeria’s extractive sector so as to maximise the potential inherent in the sector.

NEMSA Tasks Workers on Testing of Meters,Transformers, Other Equipment Ejiofor Alike The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has tasked its workers on the proper testing of meters, transformers and other electrical equipment to ensure the safety of the power distribution networks. Speaking at the commencement of a recent seven-day training programme for 87 engineers and technical officers of NEMSA to enhance their capacity to carry out meter testing and inspection of other electrical equipment, the Managing Director of the agency, Mr. Peter Ewesor said the specialised technical capacity building would focus on technical standards, installations and meter/instrument. “If we have all tools and equipment with which we are to deliver our mandate, if the

human capital is not on top of the game, definitely we can’t deliver anything. So we want to arm them to be in touch with current technology. It is for them to know that they are working in an enforcement agency and their role is to ensure that the network, the equipment used, and the power systems put in place are in regular fitness to deliver power in a safe and reliable manner and to ensure safety of lives and property. It is also to make sure that any new project being built is inspected,� Ewesor told journalists at the commencement of the training at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria in Lagos. Ewesor restated that NEMSA is in charge of the certification of all electrical installations that are used in the nation’s power sector. “How do you carry out an

effective and efficient test if you don’t have the capacity, knowledge and technical knowhow? So we have designed this specialised technical capacity training for them and we are bringing experts from developed economies in other parts of the world to share experiences with them and then put them through in certain areas where they have challenges. Since we started NEMSA, they have been carrying out their functions and there were some cases they had to refer to us at the headquarters to deliberate on. People talk about challenges with their meters. We are called to come and check the meters and when you are checking those meters, you don’t just check the meters in isolation. You check the meters vis-à -vis the electrical installations,� Ewesor added.

ELEVATING TO THE NEXT LEVEL Marie-Therese Phido

Practicing “Wantedness�: Five KeyWays A few days ago on my way out, one of my clients called me sounding very worried and concerned. She was in the process of reviewing her business and sought to know how she could revamp the business and make her customers want her and not her competitors, because she operates in a highly competitive environment like we all do. She was also in the New Year mode, when we all chart our paths, vision and goals for the year. I listened to her patiently and allowed her to air her concerns about what her challenges were. After the conversation, I came to a conclusion on what I thought was wrong with her business, because I also patronize her services. In the same week, another client, asked me, “how do I get clients to sign new contracts because I am always having to attract new customers to my business? Why do my customers not stay? What am I doing wrong? How long should it take to convert? How do I relate with my customers?� The questions I was being asked by both clients were similar. They both understood that they had problems, but could not readily identify what the problems were. It was clear to me that they had both not grasped the concept of “Client for Life�. But, were transactional with their clients and were focusing more on new customer acquisition for revenue growth. They both paid more attention to new customers and neglected the needs of old customers. This I could attest to, because I was a recipient of poor service from my first client when I became a regular customer. The Harris Interactive research “showed that not only is it six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, but that 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, and yet organizations on the whole are slow to wake up to the bottom line benefits of attracting customers for life, and even slower to allocating the resources necessary to do so.� Why will our customers stay with us for life? How do we retain them for life? Have we really asked what they want and how we can serve them? What they “want� is the crucial question. How do organizations, in this era where they are being judged and evaluated on the need to provide transparency and trust in their brands show that they want YOU as their customer who is now in the driver’s seat and demanding to know HOW? It is clear that my clients who were calling me to express their concerns about their growth had not pondered on nor answered the questions above. Many businesses need to start answering the question, “Why will my customers want me.� According to Wunderman, who came up with the new concept of “Wantedness�, not the dictionary definition, but defined in terms of brands showing that they truly care for their customers. Wunderman said that “to succeed in today’s environment, brands must adopt a new approach to consumer engagement, which is defined as “the degree to which a brand proves their commitment to earning a customer’s business across every touch point throughout the entire path of purchase.� Not sure I have come across any brand in Nigeria that truly cares about me and I am sure I am not the only one in this category. I agree that organizations have a bottom-line and are set up to make profit but, they will continue to give their customers and me a reason to switch easily because many have not shown that they really care. Wunderman went on to say that “traditionally marketers have primarily focused on

developing consumer loyalty to their brands, but data now shows that brands need to demonstrate their commitment to serving the consumer and exceeding expectations every day.� Keeping this promise is made worse by the access customers have to the best of everything via their mobiles, which make the entitlement syndrome worse because “when you have that much choice you expect more from everyone.� To start with in practicing Wantedness, we have to unlearn how we have traditionally approached planning and targeting and focus on real people, who they are and how they feel. We have to make them feel desired and special and do so irrespective of whether we are dealing with standalone customers or organizations. How do we practice “Wantedness�: r 4UBSU PSHBOJ[JOH BSPVOE ZPVS DVTUPNFST in context of their needs and how they live their lives. Customers crave convenience and experience. Ask yourself, “how am doing this?� r.BLFBMMJOUFSBDUJPOTGSJDUJPOGSFFBOEFBTZ for them to buy your goods and services. We need to think it from the consumer’s perspective not from our view point. r$IBOHFPVSPSJFOUBUJPOGSPNTFFLJOHMPZBM customers to becoming loyal brands. I am sure this point may be difficult for many of us to wrap around our heads. A ringing question, will be, “how do I become a loyal brand?� r.BLFTFSWJDFUPDVTUPNFSTQBSBNPVOU*U is not about wringing loyalty from consumers through promises or promotions. Commit to being in service to consumers in everything you do – every day and at every point in the relationship. r#FBUSBJMCMB[FSJOFYQFSJNFOUJOHOFXJEFBT and innovation. Don’t let your customers become bored. Continuous renewal is what you should strive to constantly achieve. To my two clients and in summary, your customers want you to know them, deliver for them and continue to win them over and over again. Practicing these actions and all the points indicated above, will bring “Wantedness� into your business.

Holler! Today we are giving a Holler! to Grandios Paps. Grandios Paps has taken pap making to the next level. I know some of you may see this as mundane, but many of us who grew up with pap and akara and moin moin will understand what I am talking about. In fact some of us either had to learn to make it in order to ensure it was hygienic or looked for local women we considered hygienic to supply us. But now, the pap is displayed on the shelves of most hypermarkets. Another great beneficiary are our families abroad who can now have pap at will. My parents who live in the UK worry me every time to buy packs for them. The packaging and branding is good and attractive. Though, I am not sure they have done enough marketing to bring their products to the attention of consumers. Let’s give a Holler! to Grandios Pap for taking our lowly pap to the next level and putting it at par with other food items in its category. Holler!

.– Marie-Therese Phido is Sales & Market Strategist and Business Coach Email: mphido@elevato.com.ng tweeter handle @osat2012 TeL: 08090158156 (text only)


26

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

  

 

Abe: Govt. Should Use the Capital Market to Finance Infrastructure Mr. Oluwaseyi Abe is an investment banker, the outgoing president of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and chief executive of Magnartis Finance and Investments Limited. He spoke to journalists on developments in the capital market and the state of economy. Goddy Egene presents the excerpts: You have just concluded your tenure as the President of the Chartered Institute and of Stockbrokers (CIS), what are the high points of your achievements. What are the challenges and what would you have done differently. What are your pieces of advice for successor? We have been able to refocus and reposition the institute greatly. We have returned the Institute into profitability though there is room for improvement. We got our Council’s approval to confirm honourary fellowship for four eminent Nigerians for the first time in the history of the institute. Some retired Army generals are now part of us as stockbrokers under the honourary fellowship provision. At 25, the institute acquired a befitting secretariat at highbrow Ikoyi area of Lagos. This is in spite of our challenging operating environment. We have also commenced the Specialised Professional Certification (SPC) to lessen our rigorous barrier for entry into stockbroking profession. This is in line with global best practices to encourage specialisation. We have increased awareness through ‘‘Operation Catch them Young’ by partnering tertiary institutions. We have recorded significant improvements in members’ participation in the institute’s functions, an indication of renewed confidence. We have re-launched the Nigerian Stockbroker magazine . We have held successful national workshops that received federal government’s nod. With all humility, I can say we have done well. Our successes are also predicated on the support from all stakeholders. It is a collective effort and I have no doubt that my successor will keep the flag flying. Where do you see stockbroking in Nigeria in the medium-to-long –term. Relatedly, how will the enlarged scope of CISI Bill impact the capital market? CIS has built an enviable profile as a force to be reckoned with. Quite a lot of people are showing interest in our affairs. Going forward, we are now on a better pedestal to play our advocacy roles in the economy. The CISI Bill will unite all players and professionals in the entire financial market by putting everyone under the same monitoring radar. This will enhance cooperation and sanity in the market. In the light of recent high-proďŹ le infractions in the market, what regulatory and enforcement frameworks have been put in place by the Institute as a Self a Regulatory Organisation (SRO) to checkmate abuses and ensure professional integrity? We have our disciplinary processes that ensure proper handling of erring members through fair hearing. These complement what is obtainable on the different platforms across the capital market space. All of us have zero tolerance for infractions because we are obligated to ensure investor confidence. How can we encourage foreign investors? We need to encourage foreign investors through legislations that will enhance confidence in our environment. For instance, our laws on sanctity of contracts must be enforced. We need improved security network and workable fiscal and monetary policies in order to provide the much-needed enabling environment for local and foreign investors at individual and corporate level. What’s your assessment of the outlook for the economy? The outlook is very bright. All the indices are there for everyone to see. In fact, they are favorable to Nigeria. But there are downside risks, things that must be put in place to unlock the potential of our economy and the things

projects. It had been done in the past and such opportunities always abound in the capital market. The market has potential to provide funds for long term projects. We cannot shy away from the fact that we are just recovering from recession. Economic growth and development are often moderated by recession. Although recession also has its positive impact as it challenges everyone to wear thinking caps on how to get out of it in a better form. Recession encourages creativity. I am sure we will start to see a lot in this segment, given the fact that we are out of recession . Our economy is improving generally and this is a pathfinder for companies to seek opportunities for growth. We have not totally overcome the recent challenges that were brought about by recession. We therefore need to thread logically and cautiously. Usually, transition years have their own effects on the economy. We must focus on recent gains and achievements and protect same and gun for more despite the inevitable challenges of globalisation. We must place premium on the stability of our political system as this is the compass that charts direction for other forms of growth and development. The journey begins with individual’s willingness to build a nation through selfless service at all levels.

Abe

which invariably left undone may hamper our economic growth and development. There is compelling need to depoliticise policy making and implementation. By implication, we must downplay the act of reading political meanings to everything. We must put professionalism above personal interest. Skill and competencies of every professional must be accorded priority without prejudice to the issue of integrity. These are necessary variables that can drive economic growth and development. When we get the basics right, it permeates all levels of decision making.

What three major pieces were of advice can you offer President Muhammadu Buhari ? I am not a politician. As a technocrat, we have our medium for advising the government officials at all levels. President Muhammad Buhari should weigh the cost-benefit analysis of re-contesting rather than be persuaded by all sorts of people that are clamouring for his re-election for their selfish interest. He should endeavour to live his footprint on the sand of history. There are lots to still address in the areas of economy and security.

How do you see the regulatory structure at the capital market, especially with the recent happenings at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)? In my personal opinion, government should reduce too much involvement in the affairs of our capital market regulators for enhanced independence of these institutions. This will enable our regulators to play larger roles expected of them in the entire capital market space.

Our Savings Ratio in Nigeria is one of the lowest globally. What can we do to encourage savings and investments? There should be more enlightenment on savings and we professionals should be encouraged to create more financial products. Government should improve on its financial inclusion activities across all strata of the economy to boost savings. This will have a multiplier effects on our activities in the financial market. There is no gainsaying that there can be no investment without saving. Government should encourage savings culture through attractive fiscal and monetary policies.

What can be done to encourage companies to list on the stock market? We must accord priority to investor education with emphasis on the benefits of listing companies on the stock market. Investors must be educated on liquidity generation and risk return trade-off. Also, there is a need to review listing fees across all platforms to make our stock market attractive and competitive. We must continually create healthy competition among our listed companies through innovative criteria such as corporate governance and shareholder value among others. These will ginger the listed companies in the valley of indecision to brace up for outstanding performance. When the existing quoted companies are operating online optimally and meeting the expectation of their shareholders at least at the minimum, they will serve as beacons of hope to potential companies who shall take advantage of the benefits of listing to seek quotation on the stock market.

With many rules and codes, is there any fear of over regulation in Nigeria’s capital market? Rules and regulators are meant to guide human conduct. We need those rules as the market continues to evolve. We cannot operate optimally in the global space without strengthening our regulations. These rules are designed to protect investor and uphold market integrity in the final analysis What is your opinion on the recent uproar on debt level and financing? It is the sure way to go. We must appreciate that the federal government has been able to bring down considerably the cost of local borrowings. This is good for the economy. We expect the government to take advantage of the capital market to finance infrastructure

What strategy is being put in place by the market operators to woo back investors into the market? It is a multi-faceted approach. First, the investors must be educated that our market has recovered and that current price swings are normal. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) must fashion out a policy that encourages the licensing of more stockbroking firms to operate in the remote states and towns. Corporate governance at all levels must be significantly enhanced. Government also has a role to play in providing liquidity to stabilise the market. Finally, efforts should be stepped up to revitalise the primary market and promote new listings of local and foreign firms. At 25, what is the institute’s major request from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari? Some of the issues we would want the administration to give priority attention to include: Finance of major infrastructure projects, through the capital market, thereby moving from a largely bank-based to a capital market based financing model. Government must support capacity building initiatives by funding appropriate professional groups such as CIS to carry out the task. It must precede a buffer stabilisation funding arrangement for the capital market. This can be done through AMCON, for instance. Government should put in place policies aimed at channeling more savings and investment in the capital market. For instance, government should encourage pension funds, through PENCOM, to invest more in the stock market, provide appropriate incentives and legislation for companies to list, especially those in the major sectors of the economy. In formulating economic policies, the potential impact on the capital market should be a key consideration. Any advice to the investing public? The public should be assured that the Nigerian capital market has fully recovered and is on the path of surpassing our previous high points. Domestic investors should therefore take advantage of emerging opportunities. However, investors need quality advice from qualified professional. The investing public should work with reputable stockbrokers. For the teeming young Nigerians who wish to become finance and investment professional, the time to take action is now. CIS certifications will open doors of opportunity to you, as they are some of the most attractive in the country, especially now that activities in the capital market are booming once more.


27

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

  

  

Catching Up with the Millennials The millennials are more digitally savvy. Accordingly, for any financial institution to effectively bank this segment of the market, they must consider how well they design and deliver products and services in this competitive environment, writes Obinna Chima

Digital innovation in financial services is placing a premium on efficiency and opening up competition that will continue to drive disruption across banking business segments globally. According to analysts, banks that consistently assert digital leadership would thrive and prosper, while laggard banks that lack the vision or resources to develop competitive digital strategies would be disrupted. In fact, analysts at Moody’s Investors Service pointed out that banks of the future would cater to high and rapidly evolving customer expectations by harnessing key enabling technologies, leveraging increasingly mature and dependable digital distribution channels, and applying these tools across multiple businesses and product segments. This becomes very important for any financial institution that wants to meet the banking appetite of the millennials. Millennials are the largest generation in world history. They now represent a mainstream banking demographic with ever-increasing financial power. Having grown up in an App society, their expectations are changing the game for almost every industry on the planet and banking is no exception. According to Global Banking Consumer Survey and Report by Oracle Financial Services titled: “The Millennial Migration: How Banks Can Remain Relevant in their Decision-making Ecosystem,� in the United States alone, the millennials command over $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending, which shows how important this segment of the market is for any financial institution that wants to retain its market share. This is even more important for banks in Nigeria with a population of 198 million out of which 60 per cent are of its workforce are at the age of 30. This clearly presents quite interesting opportunities for digital banking in the country. The report categorised millennials as four sub-sets: Young millennials aged 18-21; Middle Millennials, aged 22-25; Mature Millennials, aged 26-30; and Grey Millennials, aged between 31 and 45 years old.

Millennials’ Needs The Oracle report showed that mostmillennials maintain a transactional relationship with their banks, regarding them as primarily a safe place to store money. This it stated was most prevalent amongst the young millennials as 91 per cent of them did not view banks as a lifestyle-enabling institution “Millennials also trust their banks on matters regarding personal finances if such advice were provided. “These observations reflect the potential for banks to evolve into a bigger player in millennials’

lives. They can capitalise on the high level of trust that millennials currently have in them for providing personal financial advice, and design customised products and services that would enable millennials to make their decisions easily and seamlessly without leaving their digital ecosystem,� it noted. Furthermore, the report pointed out that with banks maintaining a high level of trust in holding funds and managing personal finances, this trust could be built upon through the design of products and services that integrate seamlessly with millennials’ lives In particular, it stated that the maturemillennials are more likely to use mobile wallet and mobile money, while youngmillennials prefer peer-to-peer payment platforms and alternative payment providers. “Together, young and mature millennials being increasingly open to non-traditional modes of payment and maintaining substantial buying power represents a large financial opportunity for banks to offer and monetise new payment products and services for these groups. “Globally, 68 per cent of millennials chose mobile or desktop as their most frequent channel of interaction with their banks. “Corresponding with millennials’ high dependence on mobile are their equally high expectations for their digital experiences. “With most of their interactions going digital, the future of digital banking belongs to banks who develop banking applications with amobile-first mindset,� it added.

Corresponding with millennials’ high dependence on mobile are their equally high expectations for their digital experiences. With most of their interactions going digital, the future of digital banking belongs to banks who develop banking applications with a mobile-ďŹ rst mindset

Strategy for Nigerian Banks With banks’ aggressive drive towards financial inclusion, experts have stressed the need for the financial institutions to develop strategies that would ensure they capture this segment of the population that are unbanked. To the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, for any financial institution to provide financial services for this class of people, “you need to understand their buyer needs; you must understand their customer’s preferences; you must understand what is important to them. “More importantly, a lot of youths actually live on the social media. So if we’re going to engage them, you have to understand what they actually need.� To the Senior Fellow, Information Systems at the Lagos Business School, Dr. Yinka David West, the millennials are a customer segment that grew up as digital natives. Therefore, in order to sufficiently deploy the appropriate digital financial services, banks need to understand their behavioural dynamics using diverse design thinking or human-centered design (HCD) approaches, she said. “The development of banking products will need to be highly customised and engaging such that it addresses the customer segment. “So, banks must understand the profiles and behavioral dynamics of this segment of the market in order to meet their banking needs,� she added. Also, the Chief Information Officer, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Lanre Bamisebi, noted that catching up with the millennials require banks to deploy services using platform that are not restrictive to mobile devices, such that the greater populace of the countrywould easily have access to theirservices. Also, he urged banks to create platforms that would allow customers carry out transactions without creating bank accounts. Bamisebi also said financial institutions should also consider the following if they were not yet in their services: Set up direct debits for transfers, bulk payment and other services; update and cancel existing mandates automatically. In addition, he suggested that bank desirous of banking the millennials must retrieve historical transaction details by date or number of records to be used as mini- statements. “Get lists of ATM machines for any bank. Search for ATMs within a geographic location; get attributes of specific ATMs Get a list of card products, features, and variants; block and unblock cards for different channels. “Find available billers, billing services and categories, retrieve rich details of specific biller

transaction; design single and bulk transfers from one bank account to another; amongst others.� Also, the promoter of the Open Banking initiative in Nigeria, Mr. Adedeji Olowe said: “These days millennials have talked to themselves and they all agreed that banking should be different from what it used. “They just believe banking should be like everything they are used to. Why do I have to go a bank? Why can’t I open an account on my phone? Today, to open an account with some banks, they still want you to go to the banking hall, which is not what this segment of the market wants.� Similarly, Moody’s analyst, Fadi Abdel Massih stressed that customers will gravitate to providers that best meet their demands for convenience, personalisation and affordability, with privacy and data security a growing competitive differentiator. According to Massih, amid the shifts in technology and consumer demand, competition will stiffen among banks, big technology companies and small fintechs. “In the face of these threats, successful incumbent banks will be those that, either on their own or in collaboration with others, pursue aggressive digital transformation to become more efficient and responsive to evolving customer demands. “Disintermediation of the customer relationship would be a threat to this business model if it ends up reducing banks’ pricing power by transforming them into providers of a ‘backoffice’ balance sheet for customer-facing apps/ businesses.� He further said digitisation would offer efficiency enhancement opportunities for incumbent banks through the optimisation of branch networks, data collection, analysis and reporting process but not without high initial investment. On his part, a marketing communication expert, Mr. Nduneche Ezurike, urged banks to put their millennial employees in very strategic roles. “They should be put in position(s) to interface with their peers. The process of engaging millennials should be more of collaborating to co-create. So, the banks must segment them as a strategic segment of the market,� he added. The foregoing clearly revealed that the millennials expect a better ability to multi-task, to save time and money. They want mobile products and experiences that enable them to do things by just few clicks. Therefore, banks can need to examine where and how millennials are making their financial decisions. By looking at data, such as spending patterns, and launching surveying effort to identify the most relevant moments in a customer’s life, banks gain valuable insight on where to focus their new product development efforts.


28

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

   Law Union and Rock Insurance Grows Profit by 68% Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, one of the General Business Underwriting companies in Nigeria at its 49th annual general meeting held in Lagos recently, announced 66.8 percent growth in its profit. The Company’s Chairman, Mr. Remi Babalola, said this was made possible despite the fragility of the economy in 2017. He said in spite of the odds, the company was able to break through all hurdles to pay dividend to its shareholders. He said during the period under review, Law Union & Rock Insurance, grew its profit by 66.8%. According to him, in its overall performance during the period, the company recorded good performance with 8% growth in its top line over the figure from the previous year. “A significant contribution to the profit came from the Company’s investment income. The Gross Premium Written stood at N4.252billion compared to N3.936billion recorded in 2016. The Profit before tax of N1.099billion was achieved compared to N659million recorded in 2016 which indicates a steady performance improvement of our Company. Total assets grew by 16.9% to N10.031billion from N8.58billion posted in 2016 financial year with a 28.6% growth in Shareholders’ Funds from N5.03billion to N6.47bilion. “The company also recorded a giant feat in its general reserves with retained earnings of N704m

from accumulated loss of N24m recorded in 2016. In recognition of this performance, the Company declared a cash dividend of 4Kobo per share for the financial year�. Babalola stated. He assured shareholders that the company is stronger, better, bigger and more than ever before; with one of the highest ratings in Claim Paying Ability (CPA) in the industry. The Chairman also presented the new Executive Director, Technical/Operations,Mr Olasupo Sogelola and Mr. Kunle Aluko (nonexecutive director)to the shareholders. Both appointments have been approved by the regulator, the National Insurance Commission(NAICOM.). Also speaking, Managing Director of the company, Mr. Jide Orimolade said the company, will not relent in delivery of the best service to the customers. According to him, the loyalty of the customers were very instrumental to the consistent growth of the company’s topline in the past few years which has enable the company to eliminate its accumulated loss and be able to cross to a positive retained earnings in 2017. The shareholders present at the event were in happy mood as three retiring directors -Mr. Remi Babalola (Board of Directors Chairman), Mr. Obinna Onunkwo and Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo were re-elected for another three Universal Insurance Appoints Paulinus Offorzor ED-Technical Operations.

Universal Insurance Appoints New ED Technical Universal Insurance Plc, has announced the appointment of Mr. Paulinus Offorzor as the Executive Director, Technical Operations of the company. This has been confirmed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). The appointment came on the backdrop of the NAICOM’s directive that insurers should have an executive director in charge of technical operations by which the board of the company, had forwarded his name to NAICOM as the nominee for the position. Prior to his new appointment as the Executive Director, Offorzor was the Deputy General Manager, DGM, (Technical & Enterprise Risk Management) of the Company. Speaking on the appointment, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Insurance, Ben Ujoatuonu, said Offorzor ’s appointment and has been confirmed by the NAICOM. Offorzo is a graduate of insurance from The

Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. He holds a Bachelor ’s Degree in Economics (B.Sc. (Hons) from Imo State University, Owerri and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) majoring in Insurance and Risk Management from Esut Business School. He is also an associate member of several professional bodies including Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (ACII), The Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria (CPIN) and Chartered Institute of Administration (CIA) He started his insurance career with Intercontinental Assurance Co Ltd in 1995 and has worked in several other companies within the insurance industry before joining Universal Insurance Plc as the Head (Technical & Enterprise Risk Management. Paulinus was the General Manager / Chief Executive Officer Generation Insurance Brokers Limited before his appointment in Universal Insurance. He is married with children.



Operators Highlight Challenges, Potential to Pension Sector Growth Stories by Ebere Nwoji Pension Fund Administrators, (PFAs) the managers and administrators of accumulated funds from the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have said that in their efforts to ensure smooth running of the scheme to guarantee happy and stress free retirement for Nigerian workers, they are confronted by many challenges . The managers, however said despite these challenges, the scheme has a lot of potential, which if well harnessed, would build huge investible funds for the economy and make retirement a happy period for Nigerians. The Chairman, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), the umbrella body of PFAs in Nigeria, Mrs. Ronke

Adedeji, who stated this at a recent media retreat organised by the National Pension Commission(PenCom) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, highlighted some of the challenges as poor knowledge of the scheme by the general public, lack of information and wrong perception of the scheme, confusion among members of the public between the old and new scheme, lack of public awareness on their rights and the scheme requirements and low adoption of self-help platforms by the public . Others are the fact that despite huge investments in technology by industry players, a high percentage of clients remain comfortable with the old, manual way of doing things as well as failure to communicate changes in customer data to

PFAs leading to difficulties in locating some clients. According to the PenOp Chairman, there are also challenges of failure to adopt the scheme by many employers and employees as well as lack of contributors’ attention to the scheme until their day of retirement. She also cited the challenge of lack of funding for the scheme due to non- remittances. Furthermore, she pointed to high cost challenge, noting that achieving the elements of heightened service delivery comes at a significant investment to industry players. While also identifying changes in customer data not communicated to PFAs, which lead to difficulties in locating the clients as a major chal-

lenge, Adedeji, who is also the Managing Director Leadway Pensure, highlighted other prospects in pension sector saying with good public enlightenment through better information dissemination by the media, efforts by operators and the regulator to deepen knowledge on pension matters will increasingly improve service delivery and yield better result. She further said that good pension system like the CPS, will provide multiple -fund platform for the people,explaining that offering clients the flexibility to determine the level of risk their accounts will be subjected to will further individualise the service being rendered between contributor and PFA.

FACTS AND FIGURES

L-R:ExecutiveDirector, Business Development and Strategy, Mrs KemiOluwasina;ManagingDirector,Mr.UmarSandaMairami;IndependentDirector, Mrs.MosunBelo-Olosuga,and Executive Director Business Development and Investment Mr. Kabila Ahmed Tijani all of Premium Pensions Ltd, at the annual general meeting of the company held in Abuja ... recently

Goldlink Insurance Shareholders Back Rights Issue In its bid to inject life into the operations of the company, the interim board of Godlink Insurance Plc, has secured the nod of its shareholders to recapitalise the company to enable it operate in full capacity and compete effectively in the insurance market. This was granted at the 20th annual general meeting of the company held in Lagos recently. At the meeting, shareholders permitted the board under special business to among other things carry out actions such as: Issuing up to 4,600,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each from the company’s share capital by way of rights issue in such proportion, at such time, for such consideration and upon such terms and conditions as the directors may deem fit subject to obtaining approval of relevant regulatory authorities; that the directors be authorised to raise additional capital by way of private/ special placement

through the issuance of 2,000,000,000 irredeemable, convertible preference shares of 50 kobo each on such terms and conditions that shall be determined by the directors subject to obtaining the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. The company’s interim board Chairman, Mohammed Bintube, who thanked shareholders for their patience and long waiting to see the survival of the company, assured that challenges confronting the company were already coming to an end. He however urged the shareholders to ensure they take up their rights when the rights offer starts. The latest resolution by both the board and investors in the company was taken, six years, after the sack of the company’s former board and the regulator’s appointment of interim new board and management. The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) , had following anomalies and

misstatements discovered in audited financial statements of Gold Link Insurance for the year ended December 31, 2011, sacked the board and management replacing them with interim board and management who have been mandated to bring the operations of the company back to life Since then, the new board, has been struggling to-reposition the company but has not fully achieved the desired objective. Acting Managing Director of the company, Funke Moore, said with the proposed lifeline, the management is optimistic that there will be light at the end of the tunnel in the company. “It is the hope of the board and management that the recapitalisation plan, which has received the approval of NAICOM, will be acceptable by the shareholders, this will enable us recover the lost confidence by our customers and also help us get new clients to enable

the company bounce back to its former position as a leading insurance company in Nigeria,� she said According to Moore, despite the current position of the company in the market, it still writes premiums in excess of N1billion and is meeting its obligations She noted that the goodwill of the company, the brand equity and the kind of people (employees) the firm still retains, are its huge assets. According to her, the company, will be raising about N3.3 billion through rights issue as well as preference shares to put back the company in its rightful place in the industry. Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, interim board chairman, Mohammed Bintube, thanked shareholders for their patience and long waiting to see the survival of the company and assured that challenges confronting the company were already coming to an end.


29

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍˇËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

  



A Call for Flexible Tax Regime Comfort Yakubu recommends a flexible tax regime that will encourage investment, productivity and savings, and in turn will increase national income Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) was introduced by the current administration as an initiative designed to encourage voluntary disclosure of previously undisclosed assets and income for payment of all outstanding taxes. It has been implemented by the FIRS in collaboration with all the 36 State Internal Revenue Services. The campaign commenced at the Headquarters of Ministry of Finance in Abuja with top officials of the ministry, as well as the Federal Inland Revenue Service visiting markets and other popular places to sensitise people of the need for voluntary tax compliance. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun while speaking on the campaign earlier, said through data collected, the Federal Government has detected many people whose lifestyle do not justify the tax they pay, or who do not pay any at all. She assured such people will not be prosecuted or made to pay their tax arrears if they file the proper returns and regularize their tax payment before the VAIDS deadline which has now been moved from March 31st to June 30. For those with assets abroad, the minister said the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), to which Nigeria is a signatory will deliver data on such with or without a formal request. In the words of Madaki Ameh a legal Practitioner, “the basic justification of the state in collection of taxes remains the need to raise funds to provide amenities for the common good. Where those amenities are either lacking completely, or where they exist, are largely provided by the citizens themselves without any input from government, then the moral or legal right of the State to impose such taxes becomes suspect. He further explained that in caring societies, the government provides a sense of belonging to all its citizens, irrespective of whether they are strong or weak. Those who are strong and able to work are consciously encouraged to engage in gainful ventures, which create wealth. Others who are not so lucky, either due to ill health or other causes, are recognised as such by the society and provided for in a caring manner.� “In Nigeria however, the reverse is the case. The few people in government consume most of the national wealth through a bogus government bureaucracy, which adds next to no value to the lives of the people. Government recently admitted that 85% of the national budget is spent on recurrent expenditure, leaving only 15% for all other expenditure that touches the lives of the people. Meanwhile, less than 1%

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

of the total population of the country works for government, and another very few are engaged in any form of meaningful employment. The irresponsible way the national wealth is frittered away without any form of accountability to the people, makes public office very attractive in Nigeria. Government officials do not have to do anything for the people. If a Governor constructs a road, people hail him as having tried! They fail to realise that provision of such common amenities, is the reason for the existence of government in the first place’’. Ameh explained that ‘’the National Social

Heritage Bank, Group Promote Trade Heritage Bank Plc said it recently hosted the May 2018 edition of the banking technique and practice meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICC) The meeting which took place in Lagos, according to a statement from the bank, attracted representatives of the ICC Nigeria as well as the experts on the trade desks of different banks operating in Nigeria as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Chief Risk Officer for Heritage Bank, Mr. Dimitiri Dike, noted that the current dynamics in the trade and commerce nationally and internationally deserves urgent attention. He stated that policy summersault and the need for reviews of operation systems had posed a lot of challenges that the visiting team needed to look into and proffer appropriate solutions. Dike charged the trade experts

to review the new global order of international trade that now encourages an open account method of transaction in the global trade. On his part, the Chairman, ICC Nigeria Banking Commission, Raymond Ihyembe, warned that steps must be taken to tackle the possible effects of the policy. This, he said, became imperative in view of the fact that Nigeria’s economy depends solely on crude oil. According to him, any massive drop in the price of crude oil in the global market usually affects the aggregate economy greatly. Ihyembe, therefore said in such instances trade and commerce, which is supposed to be the safety net for the nation is again facing turbulence as a result of policy change. Corroborating the chairman’s views, the Vice Chairman, ICC Nigeria, Banking Commission, Mrs. Omolara Akanji advised

banks in Nigeria to always attend the global ICC events where policies are formulated. She expressed concerns that Nigerian banks were not at the ICC Banking Commission meeting held in Miami, USA in April 2018, where modalities of the new policy were discussed. According to her, their presence at such occasions would have helped to re-shape their orientation about the kind of reviews and adjustments their current structures require. Meanwhile, the bankers present were of the opinion that they were aware of the new policy, but their common fear was the gap between the central bank and the Nigeria Customs Service. They said banks relate with the documentation presented by exporters and importers, while Customs relates with the goods involved. With this, they said, banks are incapacitated to some extent.

Insurance Trust Fund is another drain pipe where workers in the organised sector are compelled to make contributions, without any hope of being able to reap any benefits from it whenever they lose their jobs, or become unable to earn an income, for any reason, as is the case in other societies where the idea was borrowed from. In an uncaring society such as ours in Nigeria, one wonders what the purpose of taxation is. The money realised from taxes are not put to any use that people can see, and those who are unable to provide for themselves are completely

neglected and left to die or make out a living by inconveniencing others. The needy are all over the place on the streets, begging for money to eat, with no hope of any provision from the social welfare departments, as is the case in other saner societies’’. Speaking on the taxation policy of this current Administration, Mr. Ebenezer Landue an Economist explained that, taxation is a compulsory levy paid by citizen and imposed by a public authority. Tax is an important fiscal policy measure used by the public authority to bring about price stability, stimulate economy, redistribute income and reduce inequality. As good as taxation is, it must be flexible, convenient, simple, certain, elastic, economical, productive and balanced. A tax system should encourage savings, production and investment. It should help to maintain full employment, stabilise prices, maintain equilibrium balance of payment and economic development. The imposition of a certain levy or tax on a group of people like VAIDS should be for a certain purpose, a certain time frame to raise income for either the payment of government debt, certain unforeseen expenditure like war, disaster etc. The effect of a certain levy/tax changes the relationship between disposable income and national income, the effect is negative on the marginal propensity to consume of the people. When disposable income declines, national income also declines. VAIDS most likely will be a counter-productive move from the public authority that will discourage savings, investment and hard work. In Nigeria, government make money majorly from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system and company income tax. If an investor/Payee after being taxed decides to use his profit after taxation to acquire a property (building) or a civil servant after saving his disposable income decides to buy a house, is it equitable for VAIDS to place a levy on their hard work? It means these people are paying triple taxes which is direct deduction from profit (income), VAT from purchase and VAIDS all government levy targeted on the productive population. He advised that Government should have a good tax system, potent and effective able to minimise tax evasion, a wider coverage of tax payers, a simple, economic and flexible tax system geared to encourage investment, production and saving which will in turn increase national income. -Yakubu, an intern with PRNigeria writes from Abuja and can be reached on e-mail greatwoye@gmail.com

Ebola: FAAN Pledges Safety of Nigeria Travellers Chinedu Eze The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has reassured air travellers and other airport users that it would do everything possible to ensure that Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) does enter Nigeria through the airports. In line with that, the agency has activated its processes and in collaboration with Port Health Services will ensure thorough screening of in-bound passengers, even as the federal government mulls over restraining flights from certain destinations if the disease spreads to other countries. Currently there is no direct commercial flight from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Nigeria, but government may also review private char-

ter and other flight services that might emanate from the affected country. In assuring air travellers, FAAN remarked that since the first recorded case of the virus in Nigeria, through an American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, it has not relaxed its surveillance at the airports to forestall any re-occurrence. The General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Authority, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu said that all the equipment and personnel used in combating the virus in 2014 are still very much at the airports. “We have always had thermal scanners in our airports that monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures. We still have hand sanitiser in our restrooms too. When passengers walk

pass the scanners, it registers their temperature. If yours is high, you are pulled aside for observation.� The Authority noted that all relevant agencies, including the Port Health Services have been mobilised and are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and airport users at all time. In 2014 Nigeria effectively fought Ebola and prevented it from spreading in the country by quarantining and checkmating those that contracted the disease. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sentitised the world with the Nigerian action model for prevention and treatment of Ebola virus, as Nigeria’s anti-Ebola procedure was adopted all over the world.


T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

30

  

 

Etu: Neighbouring Countries Now Depend on Nigeria for Fertilizer Chairman of the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, Thomas Etu, spoke with journalists on how Nigeria is benefitting from the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. Jonathan Eze presents the excerpts: How did the presidential fertiliser initiative start? Presidential Fertiliser Initiative started with a call from the presidency put through to the President of Fertiliser Producers Association which is my good self. And that call came through the Chief of Staff, Malam Aba Kyari that they want to see me. The President made it clear that he was worried that the price of fertilizer was still at N9,000 per bag. And he mandated us to see how we can design something that would make the prices more affordable and also available for the Nigerian farmers, FEPSAN then designed a programme, a template. That template led to the forming of the Presidential Committee, which is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, headed by the Governor of Jigawa State and coordinated by the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari. This Committee comprises of the Chief of Staff himself, the Governor of Jigawa, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, the Governor of Central bank of Nigeria, the President of Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Agriculture, that was how we designed this programme. This programme was designed to engage with the input suppliers of the raw material we needed in the fertilizer blending process. Basically, 63 per cent of these raw materials are available in Nigeria. These raw materials include; Urea which is Nitrogen, produced in Port Harcourt; and we have the Limestone, which forms the Calcium input in fertilizers that is produced by the West Africa Fertilizer Company in Okpela in Edo State. These form just about 63 per cent of the raw materials needed. For imported raw material, we have 21 per cent Phosphate from Morocco, 16 per cent Potassium from Belarus. This is how we designed what we import. You may not know but we have Potash in Nigeria but it is not available in commercial quantity. By sourcing 63 per cent of raw materials found in the country for inputs, we have saved the country, $200 million in foreign exchange. What we have done is make sure that we adopt a cost-saving model, as against the previous regime of subsidy. This programme therefore has also saved the Nigerian Government, N60 billion in subsidy. Our programme is so tight that there is no type of subsidy in it, which is why we called it a cost-saving model. This was how this initiative was born. Because we were importing the main active ingredients from Morocco, President Muhammadu Buhari himself initiated a trip to this country to negotiate with the Morocoan King on how we could get phosphate on a government-to-government basis. This yielded a good deal for the country in pricing. It was left for the committee to negotiate the potash with the government of Belarus. It was therefore the discounts we got from these deals and added to the value we got from sourcing 63 per cent of other raw materials locally that we then transferred to the farmers. And that was how we were able to reduce the price to N5,500 per bag. This is so because we book the Agro dealers at N5,000 and allow them to sell to the end-users at N5,500, leaving them with a margin of just N500 for each bag sold. How was it easy to come up with the template? It is funny. I say it is funny because when I got the first phone call from, Malam Kyari, I thought it was one of those calls from people with strange and bogus proposals. I did not know him before then and therefore dropped the call on him when he began to mention what Mr President wanted us to do. I was also a bit rude too, I must confess. But he repeated the call after five minutes and I also hung up on him. But I had to activate my TrueCaller when the calls would not stop and that was when I knew that the person

Etu

trying to reach me was the Chief of Staff to the President because an hour later, he called again and his name appeared. I then picked the call and apologised to him and we laughed it off because he understood. It was then he fixed an appointment. I am sure they called us because our group, FEPSAN, is the biggest player in that aspect of the Nigerian agriculture industry and I am sure that was why the government thought it could work if they partnered with us. How were you able to rally the entire industry to buy into the initiative, given that you are supposed to be in competition against one another? I cannot tell you it was easy. There were a lot of challenges. But I must commend President Buhari for displaying the right political will needed to drive this process. The challenges

Foreign exchange that is scarce, we are spending it on building other people’s economy. Anybody that is committed to this country will know that unemployment is raging like ďŹ re. Some of these factories you see, some of them have been out of operation for 15 to 20 years. So we saw it as an opportunity to help get the country back on track

of bringing competitors together were there, especially given that the margins are not high. But we had to make people understand that we needed to get this done for the benefit of Nigerians. We are Nigerians and we need to create jobs for Nigerians. We have 32 blending plants in Nigeria that were moribund. Out of this, only five blending plants and at 10 per cent capacity because excessive emphases were laid on importation, which also meant, by its very implication, that we were exporting our jobs even when we cannot provide jobs here in Nigeria. Foreign exchange that is scarce, we are spending it on building other people’s economy. Anybody that is committed to this country will know that unemployment is raging like fire. Some of these factories you see, some of them have been out of operation for 15 to 20 years. So we saw it as an opportunity to help get the country back on track. We were lucky that we have a president that has the interest and political will to make a difference and he was ready to make this initiative to work. And we had no option but to key in to this willingness. It was tough. I practically had to meet each and every one of them one after the other and make them understand that this is not politics but about building our country and each one of us had a role to play. Today, Nigerians can testify, farmers can testify that it has been a great initiative. I give you an example; the revolution that happened in rice production, the revolution that happened in maize production. Let me even go back to what happened in fertilizer production. What will interest you is that in 2017, because of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, Nigerians consumption stood at 1,570,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer. This was the first time in the history of this country from independence. And this happened without the government providing any form of subsidy. I am convinced that within the next two years, the country will be self-sufficient in NPK that we may have to start exporting. Currently, our neighbouring countries are relying on Nigeria for their NPK needs. Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin and Togo are currently buying from us. Within one year, hundreds of thousands of

direct and indirect jobs that were created by this Presidential Fertilizer Initiative is over 150,000 jobs. When you look at food production, in 2016, we had a shortfall of rice and maize production. Our consumption was 7.5 million tonnes a year but we were able to produce only 7 million tonnes, meaning we have to import the shortfall of over 500,000 metric tonnes. But when we look at the numbers for 2017, we produced 9.8 million tonnes of rice and maize which is more than what we need to consume. Nigeria is the food basket of West Africa Look at the rice farms springing up from just about everywhere. I must commend the Central Bank of Nigeria for keying into the drive of the government by injecting money into the various layers of the value chains in the agricultural sector. I can tell you that by 2020, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production and this is down to the commitment of this government. Today in Nigeria, we are talking about 12 million rice farmers; organised rice farmers. And the maize farmers are organising themselves. We have the cassava farmers; the soya beans farmers, the ginger farmers. This is essentially because farming has become a business and people are beginning to understand that is it a business. What is critical to the farmers are the inputs. Before now, the farmer buys a bag of 50kg fertilizer at between N9,000 and N13,000. Today, he gets it at N5,500. This means that his production will change upwards, his inputs will increase. Before all the initiatives of this government, farmers were producing just above 2,000 metric tonnes. Today, they are getting 7,000 metric tonnes. This is because of the interventions of this administration. Last year, for the first time in the history of this country, fertilizer was delivered early and affordable, even for dry season farming. This year is the same thing. What has been the role of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority in the successes recorded so far? The role of the NSIA is very interesting. The agency came in as a bridge. While the Central Bank provides the funds for this initiative, the NSIA coordinates the relationship between members of FEPSAN and the CBN. What we do is that the NSIA takes the fund from the CBN, import the raw material themselves, sell the raw material to the blending plants and when we blend, we sell the finished fertilizer to them and from there, it gets to the agro dealers who then sell to farmers. This brings in a lot of prudence in managing the resources that has been made available. It is a sort of partnership that reduces the pains and negative aspects of competition and provides a level playing field for all the blending plants. And that is also why it has been possible for the farmers to get fertilizers at such unprecedented affordable prices because although we produce and store, when we sell, we sell to farmers on behalf of NSIA. Who do you think are the biggest beneďŹ ciaries of this scheme? I would say it is our country Nigeria; the Nigerian farmer. Let us look at this again: the Initiative has created a lot of jobs in the market, moribund fertilizer blending plants have started operations. And when we talk about the gains here, we talk about all the players along the value chain. There are various levels of support it provides for the economy. We have the agro dealers who earn margins from breaking our bulk and selling to farmers; we have the people that make the bags that the fertilizers are stored in; we talk about those who make the threads for sewing these bags; we are talking about transportation. Last year we deployed 33,300 trucks to move products around nationwide and it was so well coordinated we recorded no single incident of diversions or accidents.


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

31


32

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

EDUCATION Celebrating UNILAG’s Best Graduating Students The University of Lagos recently produced three overall best graduating students with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.97 out of a possible 5.0 at its 2016/2017 convocation ceremonies. They attributed their success to hard work, perseverance and self-discipline. Funmi Ogundare reports It was celebration all the way recently at the University of Lagos (UNILAG’s) 2016/2017 convocation ceremonies, as the names of the three best graduating students that made a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.97 were called out to the admiration of parents and guests. They are Mr. Emmanuel Oludare Babawale of the Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry; Jude Jeffery Matthew of the same faculty; and Bosun Abass Roy-Layinde of the Faculty of Engineering. The trio, who were the cynosure of all eyes, got a thunderous applause and cheers as they mounted the podium to receive their prizes worth over N800,000, including the alumni association prize of N150,000 to the overall best graduating first degree student. They were among the 245 first class graduands the institution produced. A breakdown of the total number of graduating students showed that out of 12,638, 6, 816 representing 53.9 per cent bagged first degrees or diplomas, while 5,822 representing 46.1 per cent bagged postgraduate degrees. A total of 1,892 graduands finished in the second class upper division; 2,959 second class lower division; 1,227 made a third class; and 93 got pass; while 400 have degrees or diplomas that were not classified. Explaining how he was able to achieve the feat, Babawale, 24 said, “I think I switched from hard work to smart work. When you know the rules that govern a particular discipline, you hinge them on hard work, perseverance and self-discipline. With that, you will get to the top of that discipline.� He also recalled some of the challenges he faced when he was about to sit for his final examination in 400 level. “I was more in the hospital than in the classroom, I had abdominal abscess and I had to undergo a minor surgery in my final year. However, I had to look above the setbacks and be myself. To make up, I was reading in the hospital and I had to free myself from the shackles of physical instability which made my success expedient. I was in hospital for four weeks and after that I was going for check-ups every day. I was admitted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for the first three weeks and after that I was taken to the health centre on campus.� Babawale, who attributed his success to God, his parents and lecturers, said he aspires to be an academic “because I really like the camaderie among the academics.� He advised other students saying, “if they actually have a thousand tips for success, you must be self-disciplined. The problem is that we know how to be successful but we really do not know how to put the effective knowledge into action. So if they are self-disciplined, Even if they fail they will still attach self-discipline to their perseverance and definitively, they will get to the top.� On his part, Matthew, 21, who attributed his success to his beautician mother, said he believes that as humans, people should keep on moving forward and always strive for more. “When I was a child, I had always believed in this saying, ‘good better best, I shall never rest, until I achieve the best’. Even if you achieve the best, there should be something more. I have always read some books and that was what prepared me for what I have become so far.� Asked what he did differently that made him stand out, he said, “I had a mentor in school, Mr. Adebola Williams, who always says we should always believe in ourselves, know ourselves and our limit so that we overcome it and use it to our advantage. I am not one who could read for hours, at most three or four hours and I take a break.� On his social life on campus, he said, “I won’t actually say I am an introvert, I enjoy socialising with people when I can and being in a gathering of friends. It is something that is really special to me. I also love staying alone reading novels and playing games with friends.�

The Alumni President, University of Lagos, Dr. Sunny Kuku (middle), with two of the overall best graduating students, Mr. Jeery Jude Matthew and Emmanuel Babawale, during the institution’s 2016/2017 convocation ceremonies‌ recently According to him, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and become a genetic engineer. For 21-year-old Roy-Layinde, from the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, who also bagged several awards in acknowledgement of his feat, “I had a whole lot of distractions on campus, but I kept my stand. Sincerely it wasn’t by my power, it was all grace but I was disciplined, focused and determined. The journey was very rough but it all came out great eventually.â€? He said though he planned on finishing with a first class, he never held the goal desperately. “I wasn’t competing with anybody, I didn’t want to be first in class; if I solve a problem I share the solutions, if people don’t understand I teach them. I didn’t hold it too tight because I believe your grades are like eggs, you are actually preventing them from falling but if you hold desperately tight, you will break them yourselves.â€? When asked what motivated him to attain the overall CGPA, he said: “Well, I actually knew what I was gunning for. In my third year, my CGPA was way good and the expectation from people was just too much, I didn’t want to let myself down and a whole lot of people believed in me. I put in extra efforts, avoided so many things like parties and the likes, placed my priorities right and did some unusual things.â€? Roy-Layinde didn’t let his first class dreams hinder his social life. He partied at his free time and is in a healthy relationship. “I attended parties, balled with friends but all these happened when I had the time for it. Engineering takes a whole lot of your time; so, studying engineering would reduce your social game but if you are social, you are social. I have a very beautiful girlfriend. We started dating in my fourth year. She is studying Law. I was able to balance my relationship with my academics. He said he hates reading in the night, but prefers to spend most of his reading hours in the library and advised younger scholars not to get moved by the lies of the social media and fine yahoo boys with Mercedes. “Those things don’t last. Face your studies and work super hard. My philosophy about God is ‘He multiplies not adds’ if you have zero, he multiples with 5. So, without your personal work, you will still end up with God’s favour, even though he has helped you. So, your biggest fan is yourself, don’t look down on anybody no matter what and if you don’t understand anything, don’t be proud always ask.â€? The three-day convocation ceremonies, which kicked-off with the investiture of the new ViceChancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe,

also witnessed the award of the overall best researcher to Dr. Bolanle Mutiat Ibrahim, whose thesis was titled ‘Phytochemical Investigation and Antiproliferative Activity of the Leaves of Markhamia Tomentosa (Benth.) K. Schum. Ex Engl (Bignoniacceae).’ Ibrahim specialises in Phamacognosy, the study of medicinal drugs derived from plants or other natural sources. She said the study is aimed at addressing the issue of cancer care in the country and boosting traditional medicine practice. “I worked on medicinal plants that are used by traditional medicine practitioners to treat cancer. I screened some of these medicinal plants and I was able to identify the most active one,� she said while identifying the uniqueness to her ability to establish that the plant is not toxic to consumption over a period of time. “I was able to isolate some of the chemical constituents from the plant and identify which of the constituent was responsible for the anticancer activity of the plant,� Ibrahim, who is a lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy, said. She appealed to the state and federal governments to generously invest in that field for the benefit of the economy. As part of its culture of celebrating academics that have rendered meritorious services to the academic community and the country, the institution also conferred Emeritus Professorship on Professor Mabel Modupe Ogunlesi, formerly of the Department of Chemistry and the former Deputy Vice -Chancellor (Academics and Research) from 2007 to 2012. Apart from her, four other professors were also honoured with distinguished professorship. They were Professors Herbert Coker of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Ayodeji Olukoju of the Department of History and Strategic Studies; Takao Osipitan of the Department of Public Law; and Onatolu Odukoya of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology/Biology. In his remarks, Ogundipe expressed his desire to chart a new course for the institution, adding that it will witness a new direction driven by passion for excellence. He highlighted his six-dimensional ‘UNILAG agenda 2017 to 2022’, saying, “we shall focus our energies on uncompromising academic standards and excellent research output, networking globally, strategising locally and consolidating nationally, improving university finances by innovative fund-raising activities, infrastructural development and entrepreneurship orientation, leadership that is transformational, transparent and transactional, accountability in academic, administration, finance and all university polices and greater than the best. He expressed the institution’s commitment

to repositioning research and scholarship as part of its new agenda, adding that it is also poised to develop its students by honing their skills through entrepreneurship training that will be introduced as part of the curriculum. “Our efforts are geared towards enriching our students’ learning experience and building future leaders that are able to improve the socioeconomic space of the country. We are keen to paying adequate attention to their development. Ogundipe congratulated the graduating students on the completion of their studies, saying, “I would like to remind you that this elevation puts on you the responsibility to be great ambassadors. You now have on your hands the unending task of promoting the good image of this institution.� To the honourees, he said: “Your track records of diligence, excellence and service to our dear university and the entire nation in your respective areas of expertise cannot be rewarded enough.� The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin congratulated the graduands for their clarity of mind and for choosing UNILAG as their first choice. In his remarks titled ‘Attitude not Necessarily Aptitude’, he said: “Attitude is your determination to succeed. Despite your challenges, don’t ever feel handicapped if you have attitude. Leave here today believing that you will go higher; you must be determined and equipped. Do not allow those that are likely to pull you down to be in your circle of friends. Remain focused to the capacity of an aspiring genius.� President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the visitor to the institution, said universities in the country have a role to play in driving the economy, adding that human capital development is essential in achieving that. Buhari, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, stressed the need for institutions to take advantage of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) by meeting up with the research mandate. “Some universities are still unable to access this fund because they have not been able to meet the requirements,� he said, while calling on federal universities especially, to send quarterly reports of how they have been able to ensure the judicious management of such funds to the government through the NUC.� Buhari congratulated the graduands, saying that education is a key sector in the development of the economy and expressed his administration’s readiness to ensure that the national curriculum meets international demands.


33

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

EDUCATION

Foundation Invests $20m for Infrastructure, Donates CBT Centre to PSIN Kuni Tyessi in Abuja The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed about $20 million to infrastructure development in Nigeria and has provided an 80-seat Computer Based Test (CBT) centre to promote e-governance through ICT The Head of the Federal Civil Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who disclosed this during the inauguration of the centre at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN),said the contribution

of the foundation is expected to develop modules for various training programmes of public officers in the areas of leadership development, ICT, entrepreneurship development and public-private partnership. The centre, expected to hold about 200 candidates at once, which was donated by the African Capacity Building Foundation, under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Africa Capacity Building Grant, will also be involved in monitoring

and evaluation, as well as capacity building of staff in identified need areas. According to Oyo-Ita: “The foundation, which has made a huge investment of about $20 million so far in Nigeria, is expected to sponsor the development of the first strategic plan of the institute and is also funding the development of process and procedures of the institute; monitoring

and evaluation, as well as capacity building of staff in identified need areas. �This is one of the projects ACBF is funding in the institute. The new 80-seat CBT centre will among other things, shorten the time frame used in conducting computer based tests. With this facility, about 200 candidates can now sit for CBT at once in the institute. This will lead

to more transparency and enhanced integrity of our examination process. “Building the capacity of the PSIN will help in the actualisation of the strategic plan of the office of the Head of Service of the Federation being one of the capacity building arms. “Repositioning PSIN is tantamount to building capacity of public servants being one of the premier ca-

pacity building institutions in Nigeria the institute has tagged the relationship with ACBF as ‘the partnership that works’,� she added. In his remaks, the Chief Executive Officer of PSIN, Dr. Abdul-Ganiyu Obatoyinbo said ACBF has made several efforts and is still helping the institute to achieve the mandate bestowed on it by building capacity.

TVE: Edo to Recruit 204 Teachers To further strengthen its Technical and Vocational Education sub-sector, the Edo State Government will in the coming weeks recruit not less than 204 teachers. The recruitment is being conducted through the Edo Jobs platform and will serve to fortify technical schools in the state with young, qualified teachers in the various subjects and technical areas. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Skills Development and Jobs, Mrs. Ukinebo Dare said the state Ministry of Education is recruiting the teachers through the Edo Jobs platform to ensure integrity, synergy and transparency in the recruitment process. She said applicants will have to register on the platform to be considered for the roles, as Edo Jobs will be responsible for interviewing and shortlisting candidates and referring them to the ministry. “Companies in Edo State recruit through our portal as we have a pool of job seekers who we train and prepare for the workplace. At the moment,

the state government has about 204 vacancies for vocational and general studies teachers and other non-teaching staff in schools. Applicants can access the vacancies on the Edo Jobs site.� The state government needs graduates to teach Electrical Installation and Maintenance Work, Motor Vehicle Mechanic Work, Business Studies, Block Laying/Concreting (building), Engineering Drawing, Welding and Fabrication, Hotel and Catering, Carpentry and Joinery, Mechanical Engineering Craft Practice and Radio and Television Repairs Work, among others. The vacancies in the general studies category include those for English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Civic Education, Home Economics, Economics, Commerce, Computer Science, Refrigeration and Air-condition. Non-teaching staff required include laboratory attendants (physics, chemistry, biology); workshop demonstrators, typists and clerical assistants, among others.

Vega, Orange Academy Hold Workshop on Design Thinking Africa’s first Practical School of Integrated Brand Experience, Orange Academy, in collaboration with Vega School of Brand Leadership, South Africa has concluded plans to hold a practical workshop on ‘Design Thinking for Innovation’ in Lagos. The two-day practical workshop, which is the second in a series, will hold on May 22 and 23, 2018. Participants at the international certificate training workshop will get the opportunity to acquire skills to solve complex issues and offer desirable solutions to some of the many challenges encountered daily at the place of work. In his remarks, a board member and facilitator at the Orange Academy, Tunde Owoeye-Phoster, stated that “the academy’s collaboration with VEGA school is an ongoing effort that is aimed at re-engineering employees’

school of thought and their attitude to work. The feedback from participants of last year workshop is an attestation that this workshop is indeed addressing a need in the human capital market.� To facilitate some of the sessions at the workshop will be the Managing Director, 141 Worldwide Ltd, Lampe Omoyele; a brand strategist and educator, Michele VenterDavies; and Collin Morris, otherwise known as the ‘Pitch Doctor’ across Africa. In her reaction, Michele Venter-Davies of VEGA School stated that: “All businesses depend on creative thinking to solve problems and challenges in innovative ways. The 2018 VEGA-Orange Workshop will explore the principles and practice of design thinking as it is gaining impetus and also relevant to any business in a highly competitive marketplace.�

L-R:The HeadTeacher, St. Jude’s Nursery and Primary School, Oyingbo, Lagos, Mrs. Alaba Akingbogun; Partner, Audit Service, KPMG Professional Services, Mrs. Temitope Onitiri; Director, SUBEB, Lagos State, Mrs. Bunmi Oteju; KPMG Global Head of Citizenship, Lord Michael Hastings; and Senior Partner, KPMG in Nigeria/Chairman, KPMG Africa, Mr. Kunle Elebute, at the Nigeria launch of KPMG Family For Literacy (KFFL) programme at the school‌ recently etop ukutt

Lawmaker Tasks Wealthy Nigerians on Quality Education Hammed Shittu in Ilorin The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Zakari Mohammed has charged wellto-do Nigerians to complement the government’s efforts at improving the quality and standard of education in the country. Mohammed, who represents Kaima/Baruten Federal Constituency of Kwara State, gave the charge at Kaima Town during the distribution of education materials to pupils, as well as other empowerment materials to the people of his constituency. He said education remains the only way to add value to the youths who are future leaders

of the country. Some of the empowerment materials distributed at the event were transformers, block moulding machines, grinding machines, motorcycles, tricycles, sewing machines, sprayers and herbicides According to him, “the development of education should not be left alone in the hands of the government�, adding that there is no amount committed to the development of education that is too small, as it will be a legacy for the youths in the nearest future. Mohammed added that a new law is underway from the national assembly that will ensure that the future of those who hold tomorrow for

the nation is secured. This he said would assist the youths to be more committed to the unity and oneness of the country instead of engaging in any act that may hinder the peace and development of the country. “We want to make sure that we nurture, protect and encourage the next generation of leaders so as to help them contribute their quota towards the social well-being of the populace. “The national assembly will also push for policies that are important to the youths so as to expand opportunity for them as this will help them to be part of the Nigerian project.� Mohammed, who appealed to youths to shun all actions that

can be a threat to peace, said the move would help the government to embark on meaningful developmental projects that would add value to the socio-economic development of the society. “Nothing can be achieved in an atmosphere of chaos and violence and all youths should be law abiding and shun all forms of actions that will not move the nation forward.� He said though his primary assignment is to make laws, supporting people with this kind of empowerment would also improve their wellbeing in the society. He promised that the national assembly would not relent in its efforts at making more laws that would move the country forward.

School Sensitises Parents, Community on Health Issues Lawal Kehinde The Lagooz School recently held its annual health talk and seminar, aimed at bringing health solutions and advice to people in the community and its environs. Speaking at the programme, the Director, Chief Yomi Otubela said the programme was organised to enlighten parents and other members of the community about their health and expose them to what it takes to live right. He said the management

concentrated on hypertension and how it can be managed, as well as the end cause of a persistent hypertension, adding that the school will also be looking at issues that concern diabetes and enlightening people on what the disease is all about, how it can be controlled and managed. “The school will also be giving free medical check-up on blood pressure, eye and ear test, Body Mass Index (BMI) and sugar level. All these five tests are going to be totally free and the results will be released immediately, so we

are doing this so that parents will not over stress themselves, they will not look for wealth and accommodation and forget about their own lives. “We have seen where people die prematurely, we have recorded some sudden deaths in this country, we have recorded people not knowing the importance of doing regular medical check, we have seen people also having the mind-set; the wrong belief that if you go for test and know that you have a certain health issue, that might even aggravate it, then you end

up losing your life.� “We have only done this from the school management purse and the major encouragement is the large support, turn out of the students and parents.� He said the programme will hold once in a term with lectures and free medical tests. The Principal, Mrs. Ebunoluwa Otubela said the programme was organised to sensitise not just the parents, but people, well-wishers and friends of the school about how they can live a healthy lifestyle, take some measures to live long.


34

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

 

Lagos Holds Stakeholders’ Meeting on Unified Academic Calendar Funmi Ogundare The Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance recently held its annual stakeholders’ meeting on the Lagos State Unified School Academic Calendar for the 2018/2019 academic session. The meeting, held at the conference room of the agency in Ikeja, was to prepare the academic calendar for educational institutions below the tertiary level in the state. Speaking at the meeting, the Director General, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo thanked Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the Deputy Governor, Oluranti Adebule for the support and

continuous improvement in the quality and standard of education. She commended the stakeholders represented at the meeting for their relentless co-operation and adherence to the 2017/2018 academic calendar, while appealing to them to ensure total compliance to the 2018/2019 calendar. In a communiquĂŠ issued at the end of the meeting that had in attendance representatives of the state government MDAs, Universal Basic Education Commission, Abuja, NECO, SUBEB, ANCOPPS, NUT, Lagos education districts, school proprietors, school associations and invited stakeholders, schools

in the state are to return and commence academic activities, observe official holidays and school vacation concurrently at the end of term. Soyombo said the importance of involving stakeholders in the process is for unification purpose and uniformity of events in the calendar for public and private schools in the state. She advised the participants to “take ownership and cascade the calendar down for regularisation and standardisation of school activities.� She said the 2018/2019 calendar also includes the World Girl Child Day and the World Physically Challenged Day.

In her remarks, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Oluremi Olatunde disclosed that private primary and secondary schools’ compliance level with the unified academic calendar has improved especially for open day, mid-term break, examination periods, end of term (closure), holidays and resumption day. She said the development has improved coverage of schemes of work. Stakeholders at the meeting commended the state government for the initiative, stating that it has put an end to lack of uniformity in the academic calendar in public and private schools.

L-R: Mrs. Ifeoma Amana; Mr. Nkemchor MacDonald Anyali; Jamal Bature; Mrs. Kande Ageni-Yusuf andTamaramieye Ayamasowei of the Shepherd School, Abuja during the World Press Freedom Day celebration‌ recently

The Shepherd School Celebrates World Press Freedom Day Paul Obi in Abuja The Shepherd School, Abuja has urged its pupils to pay more attention to issues of press freedom and journalism in order to understand the essence of freedom and the power of information and communication. This was made known during the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day at the school premises

at Galadimawa. Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Mrs. Kande Ageni-Yusuf said, “with intention to make the school a citadel of learning, we want to educate the children in all aspects of the world and by celebrating the World Press Freedom Day, we want to educate them on the importance of the press in the society.�

She explained that the school has adopted the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day as part of its curriculum to inform the pupils about the duty of the press and journalists in a democracy. Also, the Headmaster, Mr. Nkemchor Anyali said by educating the children on the role of the press and the essence of the World Press Freedom Day, the

school intends to equip them with better information on the place of journalism in nation building A teacher in the school, Mrs. Ifeoma Amana harped on the importance of teaching the children about the workings of journalism and a free press. Two pupils of the school, Jamal Bature and Tamaramieye Ayamasowei also made presentations on the press and journalism.

LPSS Pupils Donate to Motherless Babies’ Home Pupils of the Lagos Preparatory and Secondary School (LPSS) recently visited the Lions Village Motherless Babies Home, Lekki to donate gift items purchased through the funds they raised by selling items handmade by them. During their Home Economics and Business Studies lessons, the students are taught how to make a variety of items ranging from bags, jewellery, pillows and book covers, cookies and cupcakes. They spent several weeks producing over 300 items (206 items using African Print material and 130 food items). The parents, teachers, other students and visitors supported

them by buying items which were sold at the school premises. The profit from the sales was used to purchase various food items that were donated to the children’s home. In his remarks, the Headmaster, Mr Nicholas Barrett said, “our children are taught to appreciate their privilege in attending an elite school but more importantly, it is their duty to make our society a better place. Raising well-rounded citizens is at the core of what we do. This is why in addition to the core academics, we expose our students to much more.� He emphasised the role music, arts, languages and

sports in the development of the students, adding that the school encourages its students to excel in co-curricular areas too as success in those areas helps in building rounded children. Though the school has an outstanding academic standing with a 92 per cent overall pass rate in Maths and English Language, higher than the 73 per cent average pass rate of COBIS schools, he said “the school demonstrates its commitment to promoting these by encouraging its children to participate in both local and international exams and competitions in these areas. These expose them to live

outside of their usual circles and build better future leaders. “In music, LPSS celebrates its outstanding results in the recent Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) theory examinations. Sixty per cent of the entrants achieved a score of 90 per cent or higher and another 20 per cent scored above 80 per cent in the exams. Within the school, all children are given opportunities to showcase their musical abilities during the music recitals for their year group and they all take part in the inter-house song festival and singing competition within the school.�

ONG to Promote Education in Nigeria, Donates Science Equipment to Imo Schools Amby Uneze in Owerri Oil and Natural Gas Ltd (ONG), a wholly owned Nigerian company has restated its commitment to ensuring that Nigerians acquire the necessary education and skills for better life. The Chairman, Chief Reggie Uduhiri made this known during a brief but colourful ceremony marking the donation and handover of books and teaching aids to five secondary schools in Imo State. Uduhiri, who said the gesture was in partnership with the Star Ultra Deep Petroleum Ltd (a Chevron company), added that the measure became necessary to assist the state government and the Federal Ministry of Education to improve the standard of education. “The donation we are making today reflects our resolute and firm belief that education and skills acquisition are pivotal to the sustainable development of our country,� he said, adding that similar donations have already been made to Ebonyi and Ogun States. He said the company and other stakeholders in OML 140 have also sponsored economic development programmes in Anambra, Niger, Oyo and Rivers States aimed at building the necessary capacity of young Nigerians and making them self-reliant. This intervention, he said has led to employment creation, poverty reduction and livelihood improvement, as well as development of rural-based cottage industries and local economy. Governor Rochas Okorocha, who received and unveiled the equipment, described education

as a veritable, solid, formidable foundation for the growth of the child. According to him, it was in recognition of the crucial role of education in the development of the child that he established his Rochas Foundation College 20 years ago to enable the children of the poor to acquire western education. This he said has continued to yield necessary results with a number of bright but indigent students currently occupying strategic positions in the society such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, surveyors, among other professions. He explained that it was as a result of this that he introduced compulsory free education in the state from primary school to tertiary level but which was unfortunately dismissed by enemies of progress as a ruse and a gimmick. The governor therefore commended the donor for the gesture while urging the students to make judicious use of the equipment. In her remarks, the Commissioner for Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Getrude Oduka commended the governor for wiping the tears of poor parents and making it possible for their children to acquire education through his free education programme. She also commended him for the comprehensive renovation and remodelling of schools in the state, noting that education still remains a fundamental right of every child. The commissioner thanked the company for complementing the efforts of the state government in promoting qualitative education in the state and enjoined the management to sustain the zeal.

2,000 Kwara Students Participate in Arabic Mock Exam Hammed Shittu in Ilorin A total of 2,000 students in Kwara State have participated in the conduct of mock examinations for Arabic schools in the state. The examination was conducted in preparation for the 2018 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination of the National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS). It was gathered that about 75 Arabic schools were involved in the exercise, which held in seven centres, Ilorin, Lafiagi, Tsaragi, Jebba, Osi and Oke-Ode and Kaiama. THISDAY learnt that the examination was organised by the state Arabic Education Board under the supervision of the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development. Speaking with journalists shortly after the examination in Ilorin, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Alhaja Marian Garba said the state government is committed to the development of Arabic Language education in the state. Garba, who expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the examinations, noted that the exercise was to formally

recognise and regularise Arabic Language education in the state. “The examination is an all-inclusive arrangement where all registered Arabic and Islamic schools would be carried along in the scheme of things. “We have a lot of professors in this field and many others have crossed to other professions. This is just an encouragement so that as soon as you finish this examination make sure you endeavour to further because this studies is not only good for nation building but also useful for humanity.� She expressed the commitment of the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed-led government in providing quality education for all Kwarans even as she commended the students for their compliance with the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the examination. In his remark, the visiting supervisor, Justice Idris Haroon (rtd) appealed to government at all levels to prioritise the provision of improved educational platform to boost the desired development of the nation.


35

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

 

Reinstate Mgt Courses at FUNAAB,VC Appeals to FG Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Felix Salako has appealed to the Federal Ministry of Education to rescind its earlier directive scrapping management courses at the institution. Addressing a press conference to mark the 30th anniversary of the university recently, he said since the directive that embargoed admitting undergraduates into the College of Management Sciences took effect, the institution has lost two sessions in admitting new students into 100 and 200 levels,

while only 300 and 400 level students are still in classes. He expressed hope that relevant stakeholders like the federal ministry of education and National Universities Commission (NUC) would soon shift their early stance and consider rescinding the directive scrapping the management courses. “We are already talking to the relevant stakeholders over this issue. We have been talking to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and the chairman of NUC to have a rethink over the scrapping of the college. We are trying our best to make it stand. We

have got assurances from the minister of agriculture, who has promised to wade in and he has been doing that on our behalf. “It would have been better if we had not started the college in the first place. How many lecturers who had earlier left their previous employments and joined the college would now show more commitment in teaching? Your worry is our own worry too. As a last resort we may consider referral, but we are optimistic it would not get to that level.� Salako recalled that the minister of education had two years ago directed the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to delete all

such management courses on its portal of admissions into the federal universities of agriculture and warned specialised universities in the country that have been running programmes that were “antithetical to their mandates� to stop such with immediate effect. He said rather, the minister directed that such universities should stick to their core mandates for which they were set up “and desist from running programmes that have no bearing to their names and foundation�, while describing as unfortunate a situation whereby universities of agriculture offer programmes in Law and management courses such as Banking and Finance,

Business Administration, Insurance, Marketing, among others, insisting that it was an aberration for some institutions to change the nomenclature of some of their courses to read for instance, Banking Engineering and Accounting Technology. Meanwhile, the VC stated that accreditation teams from the NUC and other professional bodies like the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) had visited the institution in the last quarter of 2017 for academic programmes following which courses such as Agricultural Engineering; Electrical Electronic Engineering; Civil Engineering; Mechanical Engi-

neering; Mechatronics (resource verification); Biochemistry; Microbiology; and Home Science and Management. He noted that the institution has 10,000 hectares of land and sought for interventions from well-meaning Nigerians for endowments in the areas of building hostels and putting in place necessary infrastructure for the students to make the structures habitable. Salako called on the governments at both the federal and state levels to help in fixing the deplorable road stretching between the university campus and Abeokuta/Ibadan road to ease the traffic hardship often encountered by students and staff.

Pro-Chancellor Commends FG for Boosting Education in North-east Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi The federal government has been commended for its effort in ensuring a boost in the education sector by restoring relative peace in the north-eastern part of the country. The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Ambassador Nimota Akanbi stated this during the combined 23rd, 24th and 25th convocation ceremony of the institution recently. She urged stakeholders in the country not to relent in ensuring that education reaches the doorsteps of every Nigerian child from basic to tertiary level, saying that no society can progress if its education sector retrogresses. “We are living in times of great changes and a lot of socio-economic and political turmoil. We have in the recent past experienced a period when the education sector was challenged, especially in this part of the country, but with God on our side, this period is fast becoming history. “It is a cardinal responsibility upon parents, government and

every stakeholder to guard the godly principle of making education a universal right. As appointees of the federal government, our major task is to ensure that we promote the policies of government and think alike in the pursuit of our goals and aspirations. We are ready to ensure that any policy of the federal government will be given the attendance it deserves.� Akanbi advised the graduands to use the training they acquired during their period of study at the institution, saying “you have every reason to feel elated because you have joined the privileged class of the educated therefore whatever you decide to make of your future is in your hands.� In his remarks, the ViceChancellor, Professor Saminu Ibrahim said the university produced a total of 8,496 graduands, comprising 480 diploma, 5,637 first degree, 1,518 PGD, 770 masters and 90 PhD. He said out of the total first degree graduands, 118 obtained first class, 1,618 obtained second class upper, 2,609 made second class lower, 1,231 finished in third class, while 61 made pass.

IVTEC Matriculates 123 Pioneer Students in Kwara Hammed Shittu in Ilorin The International Vocational Training and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC), Ajase-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Council of Kwara State has matriculated 123 pioneer students as part of the state government’s efforts to empower youths with skills. The college was established by Governor Abulfatah Ahmed to reduce youth unemployment and social vices among the unemployed youths in the state. It was inaugurated by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo last year. Since then, the management of the college has been working hard to ensure that activities kick off so as to enhance the provision of technical know-how for youths in the state.

The matriculating students cut across all the 16 local government councils of the state with the aim of training them on how to acquire skills for their future development. Speaking at the event recently, the Rector, Mr Ade Somide said the students would be exposed to various skills in about 35 courses being offered by the college. He said the tuition fees have been subsidised by the state government to give them the opportunity to pursue their courses in the college. He added that the students would spend only three months at the college and after that they may come back to pursue further diploma courses that are available to them in order to boost their talents.

L-R:The Vice-Chancellor of theTechnical University, Ibadan, Professor Ayobami Salami; an administrative officer of the university, Mr. Dipo Fagbamila; and the Chief Consultant, Haven Lift Global Consult, Mr. Ayo Ogunruku, during the presentation of a certificate to Fagbamila at the workshop for the institution’s administrative officers and drivers‌ recently

Tech-U Builds Capacity of Admin Officers, Drivers To boost their resourcefulness and competence, The Technical University, Ibadan recently held a two-day capacity building workshop for its administrative officers and drivers. While the administrative officers were taken through the fundamentals of speech, memo, minute and report writing, the drivers went through training sessions that would enhance their service delivery. In his remarks, the ViceChancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami reminded the officers that “an institution is as strong as its staff.� He also stressed the need for dedication to duty on the part of the administrators, while describing administrative officers as the fulcrum of the effective

machinery that management has envisioned for the university. “Being the custodians of regulations, they are expected to be familiar with the laws and statutes of the university. You are the ones that people after you will look up to. Effective discharge of your duties and improvement are therefore necessary.� Salami told the drivers that the workshop was organised because the university knows the essence of their work, adding that the management expects to see a difference in the quality of service delivery after the workshop. Speaking on the need for the workshop, the Chief Consultant of the Haven Lift Global Consult, Mr. Ayo

Ogunruku explained that “once a person is unable to do what he is employed to do, he is not worthy of being there.� He said the workshop was organised to address the challenges in the work of university administrators. “There is need to ensure that facilitators of the university objectives must be trained.� he said adding that the objectives are “teaching, research and community service.� Ogunruku emphasised that for a young university like Tech-U, once the right foundation is laid, the generation coming will get it right, but once the foundation is inaccurate, a culture different from the university culture will be created. He added that the participants will be able to

demonstrate better communication skills and prevent errors in written expressions in English Language. In his paper, ‘Minutes, Minuting, Letter/Memo Writing, Speech Writing, Reports – The Administrator’s Trade Mark’, Ogunruku said university administrators engage in planning, organising, directing, staffing, coordinating and budgeting and without these, the system will not run well. He also warned administrators against struggling to be seen. “You must be anonymous as an administrator. Don’t struggle to be seen. Your work will announce you. Students may remember their lecturers but the university records will remember you.�

Rotary Club Awards Scholarship to 25 Indigent Students Ugo Aliogo and Kehinde Lawal In a bid to support indigent students, Rotary Club District 9110, Nigeria, through its District Educational and Welfare Endowment Fund (DEWEF), has awarded scholarship of N100,000 each to 25 indigent undergraduates from Lagos and Ogun States. The scholarship will run throughout their undergraduate programme.

Speaking at the award ceremony in Lagos recently, the Chairman of the Endowment Fund, Mr. Adeniji Raji said the number of annual scholarships has increased from four in 2009 to 18 in 2017, adding that investment in people’s lives yields the greatest interest. He said the scholarship is meant for brilliant but indigent students, undergoing undergraduate programmes within Lagos and Ogun States, adding that

only those in 200 and 300 levels in any of the federal and state universities are eligible. “Students in colleges of education and polytechnics are qualified to apply for sponsorship which would cover their courses of study, ranging from three to five years.� He said in 2018, the number of scholarship recipients has reached 25, adding that in subsequent years, the club is planning to extend its focus to post-secondary

school vocational trainees in collaboration with the states ministries of education. Raji said it has continued to sustain the scholarship since the first set was awarded in 2009, adding that 10 students that benefitted from the scholarship have graduated, with some of them finishing in first class and 13 existing students that won the award in past years had their offer renewed.


36

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

CITYSTRINGS

Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ™ĂœË?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ–Ă?Ă?Ă”Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂĄĂ‹ Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă–Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ–Ă?Ă?˛ËÔĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂĄĂ‹ĚśĂžĂ’Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ù×

Ray of Hope for the Visually Impaired Several millions of Nigerians are at the risk of becoming visually impaired due to cataract disease. But a free eye surgery initiative in Abia State hopes to change the narrative. Martins IďŹ jeh writes

I

t is true the eye is the window to the world, the mind and the soul. It is also true that with it, life can be better appreciated in colours and shades. But what happens to those who cannot see with their eyes? How then can they see the world and the beauty that lies within it? That is the dilemma of 36 million people globally who cannot tell between light and darkness, bright and dim lustre, or even see what the faces of their loved ones or other people look like. All they see is nothing. To be clear, apart from the 36 million outrightly blind humans on earth, there are 253 million of them with severe or moderate visual impairment, while there are at least 1.1 billion people globally with near-vision impairment. Unfortunately, 89 per cent of those affected live in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria where about 55 per cent of women take a major chunk of the prevalence. On specifics, while the prevalence in Nigeria is one of the highest globally, amounting to about 1.6 million, Southwestern part of the country has the lowest incidence rate, while the major chunk of the burden is found in the South-east due to poor interventions and few eye care facilities in the region. It is in tackling this scourge, especially in the South-east, where the prevalence is highest in the country that the former governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji, representing Abia Central senatorial districts at the National Assembly, started the T.A. Orji Free Eye Surgery Initiative at the beginning of 2018. He engaged the services of a renowned hi-tech Ophthalmologist at Anya Specialist Eye Clinic, Umuahia, Dr. Anya Kalu, to help people with eye problems regain their vision irrespective of their political leaning, religion or tribe. The initiative, targeting persons with severe or mild cataract in Abia State, the South-east region, and other places in the country, has helped in restoring eye sights to at least 270 beneficiaries already, especially the poor, who ordinarily would not be able to afford a cataract surgery costing N65, 000. One of such beneficiaries is 52 years old Mrs. Stella Elezue from Abia, who has been battling with cataract for the past nine years, a condition that has taken her to several hospitals, including the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, and other federal hospitals within the region. “I was no longer seeing at all with the eye, and this made me stopped going to farm and the market. I was getting incapacitated by the day,� but Elezue says when she heard of the free eye surgery initiative in Umuahia, she took advantage of it, noting that the surgery has been successfully conducted on her. “Now I have gone back to my business. I can now do all the things the blind eye prevented me from doing, I was blind, now I can see,� says the elated woman. For 77 years old Mrs. Chimkwe Uche, her joy knew no bound. It was a moment of mixed feelings as she reminisced the three years she went through intense pains and sleepless nights because of the troubles associated with the otherwise preventable disease. For her, she will never forget the day her eye sight was restored, courtesy of an in initiative she described as God’s divine orchestration at the time she was almost going completely blind. “Before now, I used to call my children in far away Lagos to complain that I was going blind. Honestly, I thought I may end up leaving this world someday a blind woman. But my hope has been restored. The devil has been put to shame. When I leave here, I am going to send new pictures to my children so that they can see that their mother is now healthy with good eyes,� she says. According to her, Senator Orji, fondly called Ochendo for his philanthropist gestures, has come to wipe her shame away, adding that she was just one among several thousands of women who pray for him every day for the

A cross section of patients waiting to be examined by the doctor at the T.A.Orji Free Eye Surgery Initiative taking place in Umuahia

The T.A. Orji Free Eye Surgery Initiative, targeting persons with severe or mild cataract in Abia State, the South-east region, and other places in the country, has helped in restoring eye sights to at least 270 beneďŹ ciaries already, especially the poor, who ordinarily would not be able to afford a cataract surgery costing N65, 000

Orji...helping the visually impaired regain their vision

good he is doing for his people. Seventy-three years old Mr. Friday Onwubuiko, is also one of the 270 persons who have benefitted from the initiative since January 6, 2018 when it started. His surgery was conducted last week. Onwubuiko, who is currently on a few months rest pending when he recovers fully, told THISDAY that he has been suffering cataract for more than five years, and that his situation began to worsen in 2017. “I am very happy it didn’t get to an irreversible point. Since yesterday when the cataract was removed from my eyes, there is a big difference. I can see clearly now, but doctor said the little pain still noticed will go down with time,� he added. He described the gesture from Senator Orji as a practical package that has had direct beneficial effect on people of Abia and environs. “Those who know Ochendo can testify he is a

very thorough person. You can see he didn’t just set this up anyhow, as most politicians would normally do. He went to fetch a very good doctor as well to lead the surgical team. Dr. Anya is very meticulous. Initially I was scared, but I can’t feel any pain in the eye. It doesn’t even seem like a surgery was done there safe for the difference in vision. Ochendo will live long for his people,� he added. The initiative did not only target the poor and non-educated in the society, it was spread out to all shades of people, including middle class Nigerians, whether from Abia, Imo or other states. One of such persons is Dr. Sam Ohaeri, who currently works with the Ministry of Health in Abia State. His cataract was already at an advanced stage. He could have gone blind anytime soon. But as a medical doctor himself, there was

no better way to prevent the blindness which was starring at his face, than to key into the free eye initiative offered by Senator Orji. “The doctor then told me after diagnosis, that my case was unique because the lens needed for me cannot be found in the country. He placed a call to Ochendo, who approved that my lens be imported into the country. Within days, the lens was delivered to me. Though it came at an extra cost, I was very happy to bear the extra amount.� Ohaeri was the former project manager and executive secretary of the Abia State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ASACA). He said he could not outrightly say whether the cataract he had was induced by external factors or genetic. He however advised that sugary substances could play a role on the issue; hence Nigerians should minimise their sugar intakes. Another doctor, who benefitted from the gesture is 65 years old Dr. Sunny Ibeleme from Umuahia North. He said: “My surgery was successful, and I can see well than I used to. It is like magic. All thanks to our senator who has continued to find ways to better the lives of Abians. Ibeleme, who has a doctorate degree in medical laboratory science and microbiology,


37

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

CITYSTRINGS

said Senator Orji remains the most performing senator in the country, adding that he was not surprised he is touching lives. “While as a governor, he has always had the flair to help people. He is a big brother to us all,� he said. The gesture was also extended to traditional rulers. His Royal Majesty, Eze Sir Donatus Aguiyi, who did not only encourage his subjects to take advantage of the free eye surgery to tackle their visual impairment, he came on his own to get treated. Aguiyi, who has been billed for cataract surgery said this was just one among the several gestures the senator has brought to Abia State since he was elected a senator. “Any initiative that promotes the health of our people is what Ochendo sticks out for. He is my son and I am very proud of him and his philanthropic activities to Abians. This initiative will help a lot of people, especially poor Nigerians. Out of the senators currently in the National Assembly, I can confidently say Ochendo is the only one with a functional constituency office. “God knows why he was a chief of staff, governor, and now a senator. He is using his influence to connect the people. His vision is that no poor person in Igbo land should go blind. We encourage others to take advantage of this and come for treatment. Ochendo is here to help humanity.� He also poured encomium on the senator’s son, Hon. Chinedum Orji, the Leader of Abia State House of Assembly, whom he said was already following in his father’s footstep. “Ikuku is with the State House of Assembly, and he has established himself in Umuahia metropolis as a philanthropist passionate about health, education and economic empowerment.� When THISDAY reached Senator Orji to understand his vision behind the initiative, he said his desire to address visual impairment in the country was prompted out of the personal experience he had when he was in detention in 2007 for three months, prior to his election as governor of Abia State. He said at the time, he was placed in a dungeon by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an offence he knew nothing about, adding that it was only by the grace of God he didn’t end up a blind person after the experience. “From that moment, I came to understand that the eyes are the most important sensory organs of the body. Without it, the beauty or ugliness of the world cannot be seen. It is a very disastrous experience to go blind. “That got me thinking about those who may have been in that same situation and not privileged enough to tackle it. I also realised that when I was governor, half of the people I was seeing were using glasses. And then it got to me that eye problem is a major issue for everybody.� Ochendo Global, as he is fondly called by some of his admirers, then decided to help out in tackling the scourge. He therefore singled out cataract, which experts say constitutes the major cause of blindness in Nigeria. “Immediately I realised the major issue was cataract, I told Dr. Anya we needed to go to work.� Among the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians Ochendo has personally assisted is Dr. Anya, who he supported in getting an all important training in Bangladesh to be a specialist in laser eye surgery. When Dr. Anya came back from Bangladesh after successfully completing his training, it was time for Ochendo to tap into his knowledge to help visually impaired Nigerians, especially poor people who ordinarily would not be able to afford cataract surgery. “Then we decided to use his clinic as the centre for the eye surgery initiative, because we know there are people who potentially can go blind because they do not have what it takes to treat themselves. Anya has performed several surgeries. I knew he is a competent hand.� To further lay credence to how he has been described by beneficiaries as someone with a large heart, Ochendo told THISDAY that the initiative was not only limited to his constituency or Abians, but that his burning desire was to see the prevalence of visual impairment drastically reducing in the country. “Any Nigerian with eye issue can access it. As of now, I don’t have facility to carry it from one state to the other, but we have domiciled it in Abia State capital which is accessible to anybody, anywhere in the country.�

One of the female patients after a successful eye surgery being examined by Dr. Anya

One of the male patients after a successful eye surgery being examined by Dr. Anya

He said the project will go on as far as God gives him the resources, which he described as being heavily capital intensive. “It is like running a hospital for people with sickness of the eyes. When they come to you, you access them, treat them, buy consumables and everything and you don’t gain anything. The doctor has some staff that have to be paid. The doctor is a lecturer who has to be paid as well,� he said. The senator said when he realised that Easterners have more burden of the disease in the country, due to many factors, including dearth of eye clinics and personnel, he decided to look at sustainability plan of the project, hence the need to include in the initiative training for doctors. “After their training, they can now spread out and do eye treatments in other hospitals. Some can start helping Dr. Anya. If Anya is supposed

Immediately I realised the major issue was cataract, I told Dr. Anya we needed to go to work‌Any Nigerian with eye issue can access it. As of now, I don’t have facility to carry it from one state to the other, but we have domiciled it in Abia State capital which is accessible to anybody, anywhere in the country

to do five surgeries in a day, you will realise that those trained can assist in increasing the number of surgeries daily to say 20. We want to be able to help as many Nigerians with visual impairment as much as we can,� he added. Ochendo called on other privileged Nigerians to partner with eye clinics in their regions so that collectively, the growing issue can be tackled. The chief surgeon for the initiative, Dr. Anya, whose name coincidentally in Ibo language means ‘eye’ is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgeon, said the initiative was timely in the South-east because the region lacks facilities and other resources for eye care interventions. “South-west has a barrage of eye hospitals. In the South-east, we are not lucky to have many of these eye centres. “It was during Ochendo’s time that he built the first ever Eye Centre in Abia State, which was well equipped to provide international standard service. Also, there are more eye specialists in the West and North than we have in the East,� he said. He said the Senator T.A. Orji Free Eye Surgery Initiative is divided into three phases, adding that they were currently in the second phase. “The first phase started on January 6th this year with 160 persons benefiting from the surgeries. It was our pilot study, so we used it to gauge the feasibility of the programme. Fortunately, the pilot study was successful. Beneficiaries paid a little percentage of the amount, while His Excellency took care of the rest. “That is what prompted phase two, which we are currently doing now. Everything in this phase is totally free; from registration, surgeries, drugs, and all. All the patients need do is to come to our facility and get examined. If the problem requires surgery, we do it and give drugs that will last two weeks or so. By that second week, the patient must have fully recovered. Each surgery, if it were to be done outside will

cost about N65, 000. So you can imagine, so far we have done almost 300. That is outside the facilities and equipment being used. “The turnout of this phase two is so big that theatre has been booked till June, yet the awareness is still not loud. “A blind person is an economic challenge to his or her family and the country at large. Blindness is a burden to anybody. And you can imagine that about 0.7 per cent of Nigerians are burdens to themselves, their families, their communities and the society at large because they are blind. About 46 per cent of these blind Nigerians got it through cataract. So this intervention is one unique way to prevent blindness. “The third phase, which will start soon, will help address manpower deficiency in this area. His Excellency asked one question. He said assuming we have all done our part, what happens tomorrow, who takes over from us? So he made it clear, that the kind of training I received in Bangladesh must be replicated here. That is why we have acquired another flat beside us, which is our surgical centre. We are expecting some instruments, including live surgical videos in theatre, so that we can record the surgeries, play them back for patients and those doing their trainings.� He said just the way the surgeries are not restricted to visually impaired persons in Abia, the training will not only be restricted to medical personnel in Abia. “That is why senator is called Ochendo Global. He is a father to all. He always tells us blindness has no constituency. That is why he is not restricting this gesture to Abians alone,� he added. With this initiative, many Nigerians, who ordinarily would have lost their abilities to see the world and the beauty that lies within it, may just have been freed from the blur that covers the window to the world, mind and soul, which is the eye.


38

T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MAY16, 2018

BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

FG’s Focus Labs Identify $22.5bn Investment Areas Nationwide Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The federal government disclosed Tuesday that the Focus Labs of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identified 164 projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country with a total potential investment of US$22.5 billion. The investments, it stated, are capable of creating 513,981 jobs by 2020, pointing out that of the of US$22.5 billionpotential investment, US$10.9 billion worth of private investments are categorised as ‘most ready’ to go. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who spoke in Abuja at the ‘Open Day’ for ERGP Focus Labs, said that

“specifically, disaggregating with respect to each of the work-stream, US$4.73 billion worth of investment have been identified in the agriculture and transport labs, with a potential to create 129,00 jobs,” while US$9.25 billion investments with a potential of 378,000 new jobs were identified in the manufacturing and processing labs. According to him, US$8.7 billion worth of investments will come from the power and gas sector with the potential of creating up to 7,000 jobs. Udoma explained that the 164 identified investment projects in the labs will extend beyond 2020, adding that by projection, the cumulative investment value of the identified projects could

rise to up to US$39.12 billion by 2025 and about 716,079 jobs created. The minister, who revealed the quick-wins achieved during the labs with early successes across all work-streams, listed some of them as the networking between Senga Farms and Autodex Ltd, land allocation to the Nigerian Shippers Council by the Sokoto State government as well as the facilitation of access to foreign funding worth $500 million to a company known as ‘Our Collective’ by the Ministry of Transportation With regard to the projects identified in the labs, Udoma stated that the government had assisted the promoters to develop detailed implementation plans for each of the projects

…Mulls Amendment of Procurement Act to Support Small Businesses Udoma

Obinna Chima The federal government yesterday disclosed plan to amend some section of the Procurement Act in order to support operators of small businesses in the country. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo revealed this in a keynote address at a Policy Dialogue titled: “Tackling the Poor Maintenance Culture in Nigeria,” that took place in Lagos yesterday. The event was organised by Klinserve Solutions Limited. The Vice President, who was represented by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, pointed out that presently the requirements

are too much for operators of small businesses to comply with. He said: “What we are trying to do to open up opportunities for small businesses is to amend the procurement law. Currently, the conditions are too cumbersome for small businesses. “So, my advice is that if you are campaigning for any legislature, one of the things you should be asking them to do for you is to amend that law, not to waive the conditions, but to make it easy for small business to be able to meet some of those condition,” he said. Fashola, who was also invited as a special guest of honour at the event, stressed the need to build what he termed a

maintenance economy. According to the minister, maintenance is a very lucrative business in countries across the world. He noted that the development of skills acquisition centres by successive governments in past 20 years was to develop manpower to handle the maintenance of critical infrastructure in the country. Fashola urged governments at all levels to always ensure that public utilities and institution are always maintained. “My argument simply is that the problem is not the absence of a maintenance culture, but the absence of a maintenance economy and we need to start doing something about that now.

Again, CBN Urges Nigerians to Treat Naira with Respect Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again admonished Nigerians to treat the naira with utmost respect, noting that the national currency symbolises ‘our national pride.’ The central bank also reminded Nigerians that Section 21 of the CBN Act 2007, which stipulates that the abuse of the naira through squeezing, staining, writing on, spraying and illegal sales, among others as punishable offences, is still in force. CBN’s Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Adamu, who made the appeal, said the naira is “a symbol of the nation’s identity and pride,” and deserved to be handled with respect. Adamu spoke in Abuja at CBN’s 2018 International Museum Day celebrations.

He said: “The naira as a symbol of our national pride should not be sprayed or stepped on, should not be squeezed, defaced or stained. The naira should not be sold or counterfeited.” On why the exhibition of Nigeria’s past and present currencies in the bank’s museum was desirable, Adamu pointed out that “the exhibition explores the naira in terms of its life cycle from conception to the end of its life otherwise known as the birth to death of bank notes.” Adamu added that the exhibition was an opportunity for Nigerians to know how the notes came about from conception to the final resting place or the end products “which are recycled products,” adding that “all these activities are contained in the exhibition.” He argued that it was impossible to understand the role of

museums without taking into account all the connections to culture, their inherent arts, their communities and their environment. “Thanks to technology, Nigerian museums can now reach beyond their core audience and find new publics through hyper connectivity,” he said, adding that hyper-connectivity “is a term coined in 2001 to describe the multiple means of communication such as we have today like face to face contact, instant messaging, telephone, etc.” He further added that in the hyper-connected world of today, museums have joined the trend. According to him, the CBN houses a Currency Museum, which explains the evolution of money in Nigeria, from the pre-colonial era to the contemporary times.

FX Market Gets Fresh $210m Intervention

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA) 2018

Month

MARCH

Broad Money (M2)

24,303,049.86

-- Narrow Money (M1)

10,912,604.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,668,378.21

---- Demand Deposits

9,244,225.90

-- Quasi Money

13,390,445.76

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

15,619,134.18

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

8,683,915.68

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

26,267,136.53

---- Credit to Government (Net)

3,823,345.45

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

5,433,209.43

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

-1,609,863.98

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

22,443,791.08

--Other Assets Net

-17,583,220.85

Reserve Money (Base Money)

6,746,646.49

--Currency in Circulation

1,668,378.21

--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 • Source - CBN

MANAGED FUNDS Month

MARCH

Inter-Bank Call Rate

15.16

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

11.84

Savings Deposit Rate

4.07

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.82

3 Months Deposit Rate

9.72

6 Months Deposit Rate

10.93

12 Months Deposit Rate

10.21

Prime Lending rate

17.35

Maximum Lending Rate

31.55 • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected the sum of $210 million into the interbank foreign exchange (FX) market to boost liquidity in the system. The figures released by the Bank in Abuja indicated that it allocated the sum of $100 million to dealers in the wholesale sector, just as the Small and Medium Enterprises

(SMEs) segment and invisibles each received the sum of $55 million. Validating the releases, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, at the Bank, Isaac Okorafor, said that the continued interventions in the interbank FX market was mainly to ensure sustained liquidity and stability in the market.

According to him, the interventions by the CBN had impacted the market positively and guaranteed a stable exchange rate for the naira, which has since stabilised the FX market. He reiterated that the bank’s intervention moves had also seen to a reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, MON, MAY 14, 2018 The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $74.22 a barrel on Monday, compared with $74.42 the previous Friday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (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


39

T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MAY16, 2018

MARKET NEWS

FBN Holdings Pledges to Recover Loans, Shareholders Approve N8.9bn Dividend Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie

Despite reducing its impairment provisioning from N226 billion in 2016 to N150.4 billion in 2017, some of the shareholders, who spoke at the annual general meeting (AGM) in Lagos yesterday, believed the impairment charges are still on the high side. They therefore urged the board and management to ensure the loans are recover

The Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. Urum Kalu Eke yesterday said that the company would intensify efforts to recover all non-performing loans (NPL), which have affected the performance of the firm in the past years.

to boost the company’s performance. Responding, Eke assured shareholders that necessary strategies were being adopted to recover the loans. According to him, loan recovery has been a core focus of the leadership team of the bank, pointing out that there is a special committee set up to address it, just as an asset

management unit had been created for the purpose. “Even though we have not recorded a full resolution of our NPL, we have made significant progress in dealing with a number of these names and more fundamentally, ensured a strong asset quality from recent credits. As a result NPL for the period declined from 24.4

PRICES FOR SECURITIES TRADED AS OF

percent in 2016 to 22.8 percent in 2017,” he said. According to him, top line continues to grow despite the industry-wide slowdown in loan growth as a result of the recession which halted business activities across industries. “The Group recorded gross earnings of N595.4 billion representing a growth of 2.3

per cent over the prior year of N581.8 billion despite a drop in loans and advances from N2.083 trillion in 2016 to N2.001 trillion in 2017. This earnings growth underlines the inherent strength and resilience of FBN Holdings Group and reinforces our promise to the market to maximize the assets portfolio of the group revenue,” he said.

A S AT 0 3 / 0 5 / 2 0 1 8

Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR PREMIUM BOARD SECURITIES FINANCIAL SERVICES S/N 1 2 3

BANKING ACCESS BANK PLC. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC

11.30

-0.44

149

57,037,932

S/N

401,843.20

11.75

0.43

198

79,908,140

31

868,113.05

27.65

0.18

298

17,657,438

32

645 154,603,510

33

PRICE

%CHANGE

BANKING S/N 4 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIAL GOODS S/N 5 6 BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRIAL GOODS OIL AND GAS S/N 7 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION OIL AND GAS PREMIUM BOARD TOTALS Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES AGRICULTURE S/N 8 9 10 CROP PRODUCTION S/N 11 FISHING/HUNTING/TRAPPING S/N 12 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES AGRICULTURE CONGLOMERATES S/N 13 14 15 16 17 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES CONGLOMERATES CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE S/N 18 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION S/N 19 20 INFRASTRUCTURE/HEAVY CONSTRUCTION S/N 21

OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC

MARKET CAP(Nm) 448,691.16

22 23 24 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE CONSUMER GOODS S/N 25 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS S/N 26 27 28 29 30

VOLUME

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

12.50

1.63

390

12,363,379

390

12,363,379

DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE AFRICA PLC.

EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

4,178,332.42

245.20

-1.09

364,283.99

42.00

-

VOLUME

34 35 36 37

VOLUME

38 FOOD PRODUCTS

82

544,037

S/N

41 123 123

1,189,572 1,733,609 1,733,609

TRADES

39 40 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

450,160.09

765.00

-

40

87,734

41

87,734

42 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES

40

40 87,734 1,198 168,788,232

S/N

S/N 43

CROP PRODUCTION

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

440.00

0.20

-

0

0

74,929.63

78.55

1.35

52

1,413,866

70,500.00

70.50

0.71

8 60

1,342,375 2,756,241

FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. PRESCO PLC FISHING/HUNTING/ TRAPPING ELLAH LAKES PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm) 511.20

LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm) 2,400.00

DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. JOHN HOLT PLC. S C O A NIG. PLC. TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC U A C N PLC.

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARBICO PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

4.26

-

0 0

0 0

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

0.80

-

27

676,342

PRICE

%CHANGE

27

676,342

87

3,432,583

TRADES

VOLUME

1,456.01

0.55

-

4

100,543

206.25 2,111.93

0.53 3.25

-3.64 -

2 0

120,000 0

69,508.06

1.71

1.79

88

5,715,386

51,863.34

18.00

4.96

55 149 149

415,512 6,351,441 6,351,441

MARKET CAP(Nm) 711.32

44 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS CONSUMER GOODS FINANCIAL SERVICES

46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 BANKING S/N 55 56 57 58 59 60

TRADES

VOLUME

4.79

-

0 0

0 0

63

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

64

28.05 6.60

-

23 0

57,072 0

65

23

57,072

66

62

MARKET CAP(Nm) 37,026.00 165.00

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

67

6,392.05

2.46

-

9

310,330

68

9

310,330

TRADES

VOLUME

AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC BEVERAGES--BREWERS/ DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. GUINNESS NIG PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. NIGERIAN BREW. PLC.

%CHANGE

100.00

-

0

0

11,300.89

45.20

-

1

100

69 70 71 72

26,682.70

MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,574.98 MARKET CAP(Nm) 18,947.38

10.00

-

0

0

1

100

33

367,502

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

0.33

-

1 1

2,389 2,389

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

2.42

-

4

14,200

242.22

0.89

-

0

0

225,609.43

103.00

-

42

360,805

408,303.44

47.50

-8.30

36

7,305,284

1,017,205.94

127.20

-1.40

141

1,255,847

73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES

8,936,136

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

57,250.00

11.45

-4.98

295

7,655,636

228,000.00

19.00

-5.00

98

5,242,864

145,563.48

35.50

2.90

139

4,636,892

21,252.93

2.68

-1.83

36

1,055,653

1,489.00

0.40

-

0

0

1,220.67

6.85

-

0

0

54,313.49

20.50

1.23

33

325,174

3,676.41

13.45

-

0 601

0 18,916,219

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

24,698.36

13.15

-

51

241,489

1,260,402.71

1,590.10

1.28

32

235,152

83

476,641 VOLUME

HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. VITAFOAM NIG PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

1,680.31

22.10

-

0

0

3,439.82

3.30

1.85

13 13

576,413 576,413

PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

89,335.73

22.50

-

25

136,762

301,612.78

52.50

-4.37

31

253,412

56

390,174

977

29,297,972

BANKING

%CHANGE

PRICE

FOOD PRODUCTS-DIVERSIFIED CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. NESTLE NIGERIA PLC.

DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED FIDELITY BANK PLC GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. JAIZ BANK PLC SKYE BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC. UNION BANK NIG.PLC. UNITY BANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC.

PRICE

MARKET CAP(Nm) 2,000.00

FOOD PRODUCTS DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC UNION DICON SALT PLC.

S/N

INFRASTRUCTURE/ HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. ROADS NIG PLC.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST

223

45

61

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT S/N

TRADES

1,035 166,966,889 BUILDING MATERIALS

BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS

MARKET CAP(Nm) 326,886.08

INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC AIICO INSURANCE PLC. AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC. EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC GREAT NIGERIAN INSURANCE PLC GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE COMPANY PLC LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. REGENCY ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC. STANDARD TRUST ASSURANCE PLC UNIC DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS PLC. UNIVERSAL INSURANCE COMPANY PLC VERITAS KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC WAPIC INSURANCE PLC

MARKET CAP(Nm) 48,173.61

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

2.08

0.97

80

3,251,634

381,670.67

20.80

3.48

47

321,291

72,726.74

2.51

-1.57

133

4,396,447

1,330,289.30

45.20

0.56

194

4,177,189

22,098.19 11,659.45 47,792.09 195,109.04 13,442.74 35,102.76

0.75 0.84 1.66 6.70 1.15 0.91

7.14 -1.18 1.84 3.08 9.52 -1.09

35 74 45 34 22 38 702

4,378,568 10,686,635 1,677,480 574,331 1,520,663 3,974,648 34,958,886

MARKET CAP(Nm)

PRICE

%CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

4,528.70

0.22

-

0

0

4,920.45

0.71

-4.05

37

3,605,011

24,675.00

2.35

-

4

25,959

2,240.00

0.32

-3.03

9

191,500

16,492.66

1.59

4.61

11

218,724

5,155.33

0.35

-

1

1,000

4,060.00

0.29

-

1

10

2,411.47

0.53

-

0

0

1,913.74

0.50

-

0

0

2,456.00

0.40

-

0

0

590.68

0.46

-

0

0

2,709.67

0.37

2.70

21

2,013,081

3,351.14

0.78

-

2

18,100

6,800.00

0.85

-

1

500

2,000.00

0.25

4.17

15

563,800

14,785.41

2.80

1.79

39

2,658,930

2,244.45

0.29

-

4

13,355

1,794.18

0.47

-4.08

4

250,274

1,800.56

0.27

-

2

1,500

1,834.98

0.22

4.55

19

10,477,900

5,422.63

0.42

-

0

0

4,483.72

0.48

-

2

13,100

516.46

0.20

-

1

500

8,000.00

0.50

-

0

0

4,298.67

0.31

3.33

2

201,000

6,825.20

0.51

-3.77

44

2,219,909

219

22,474,153


     ˾  WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

40

Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report:

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 CONTINUE TO OUTPERFORM NSE ASI & NSE 30 INDEX The ThisDay Afrinvest 40 index was created 11 months ago ;:ƵŶĞϱƚŚϮϬϭϳͿĐŽŶƐŝƐƟŶŐŽĨϰϬƐƚŽĐŬƐǁŚŝĐŚĐƵƚĂĐƌŽƐƐƚŚĞ ǀĂƌŝŽƵƐ ƐĞĐƚŽƌƐ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ EŝŐĞƌŝĂŶ ^ƚŽĐŬ džĐŚĂŶŐĞ͘ dŚĞƐĞ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ǁĞƌĞ ƐĞůĞĐƚĞĚ ďĂƐĞĚ ŽŶ ƚŚĞŝƌ ůŝƋƵŝĚŝƚLJ͕ ƚƌĂĚĂďŝůŝƚLJ ;ŇŽĂƚͿ ĂŶĚ ƐŝnjĞ ;ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝnjĂƟŽŶͿ͘ ŽůůĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͕ ƚŚĞƐĞ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚ ĨŽƌ ϵϰ͘Ϭй ŽĨ ƚŽƚĂů ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝnjĂƟŽŶ ĂŶĚ ĂƉƉƌŽdžŝŵĂƚĞůLJϰϮ͘ϬйŽĨƚƌĂĚĂďůĞŇŽĂƚ͘

Ɛ Ăƚ dƵĞƐĚĂLJ ϭϱƚŚ DĂLJ ϮϬϭϴ͕ ƚŚĞ ĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ ϰϬ ŝŶĚĞdž ůŽƐƚ ϳϵďƉƐƚŽĐůŽƐĞůŽǁĞƌĂƚϭ͕ϳϬϬ͘ϵϵƉŽŝŶƚƐǁŚŝůĞŝƚƐzdƌĞƚƵƌŶ ĐŽŶƚƌĂĐƚĞĚ ƚŽ ϭϬ͘ϯй͘ dŚĞ zd ƌĞƚƵƌŶ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ dŚŝƐĂLJ ĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ ϰϬ ƐƵƌƉĂƐƐĞƐ ƚŚĞ zd ƌĞƚƵƌŶ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ E^-ůů ^ŚĂƌĞ /ŶĚĞdžĂŶĚƚŚĞE^ϯϬ͕ǁŚŝĐŚĂƌĞĐƵƌƌĞŶƚůLJĂƚϲ͘ϮйĂŶĚϱ͘ϴй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͘

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

Ticker

Current Price

Price Change Index to Date

ROE

ROA

P/E

P/BV

10.3%

70.1%

19.6%

7.1%

7.8x

1.0x

4.7%

10.6%

Previous Price Current Price Change Weighting Change YTD

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 1,700.99

-0.79% -0.7%

Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield

1

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

44.00

21.0%

8.0%

8.5%

32.6%

5.2%

7.1x

2.5x

6.1%

14.0%

2

Zenith Bank PLC

27.60

-4.0%

12.7%

7.6%

6.4%

26.3%

3.6%

4.6x

1.2x

9.8%

21.7%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

124.80

2.3%

7.6%

-7.5%

-7.6%

17.4%

8.3%

31.3x

5.3x

3.3%

3.2%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

1,573.00

2.8%

7.4%

1.1%

1.1%

73.3%

18.9%

36.7x

23.3x

2.7%

2.7%

5

Dangote Cement PLC

243.50

0.0%

6.0%

5.9%

5.9%

22.7%

12.0%

21.0x

4.9x

4.3%

4.8%

-4.2%

12.1%

6

FBN Holdings Plc

11.50

6.5%

30.7%

30.8%

6.7%

0.8%

8.3x

0.6x

2.2%

7

Access Bank PLC

11.20

0.0%

4.4%

7.2%

5.7%

12.7%

1.5%

5.5x

0.7x

5.8%

18.1%

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

11.60

-0.9%

4.5%

12.6%

11.4%

15.9%

1.9%

5.1x

0.8x

7.3%

19.5%

9

Ecobank Transnational Inc

10

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

21.00

1.4%

3.7%

23.5%

29.1%

-14.6%

-1.3%

7.0x

0.8x

2.9%

14.4%

750.00

0.0%

3.4%

19.8%

19.8%

22.3%

13.2%

3.8x

0.8x

2.5%

26.0%

0.0%

11

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

49.00

3.1%

18.1%

19.8%

28.9%

3.8%

9.3x

2.7x

1.0%

10.8%

12

Unilever Nigeria PLC

49.90

0.0%

2.8%

21.7%

24.1%

19.2%

8.0%

26.7x

3.6x

1.0%

3.7%

13

Guinness Nigeria PLC

104.00

0.0%

2.3%

10.6%

10.6%

15.4%

6.1%

19.8x

2.7x

0.6%

5.1%

14

Lafarge Africa PLC

41.10

0.0%

1.4%

-8.4%

-8.4%

-36.8%

-7.7%

2.3x

3.7%

-15.0%

Bearish Run Sustained as Banking Stocks Drag Market Performance͙NSE ASI down 15bps

15

Fidelity Bank PLC

2.30

-4.2%

1.1%

-6.5%

-10.9%

10.4%

1.4%

1.8x

0.4x

4.8%

55.3%

16

Oando PLC

7.40

-4.5%

1.5%

23.5%

23.5%

10.3%

1.5%

9.2x

0.5x

17

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

18.55

0.0%

1.0%

-7.3%

-8.9%

45.0%

20.0%

5.5x

2.1x

13.5%

18.1%

dŚĞ ďĞĂƌŝƐŚ ƌƵŶ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ůŽĐĂů ďŽƵƌƐĞ ǁĂƐ ƐƵƐƚĂŝŶĞĚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƐĞĐŽŶĚ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ĂƐ ƐĞůů ƉƌĞƐƐƵƌĞƐ ŝŶ ĂŶŬŝŶŐ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ- ZENITH (-ϰ͘ϬйͿ͕FBNH (-ϰ͘ϮйͿ͕GUARANTY (-Ϭ͘ϳйͿĚƌĂŐŐĞĚ ƚŚĞ E^ ůů ^ŚĂƌĞ /ŶĚĞdž ;^/Ϳ ůŽǁĞƌ ďLJ ϭϱďƉƐ ƚŽ ĐůŽƐĞĂƚϰϬ͕ϲϭϱ͘ϰϮ ƉŽŝŶƚƐǁŚŝůĞzdƌĞƚƵƌŶĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚƚŽ ϲ͘Ϯй͘ ŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚůLJ͕ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ůŽƐƚ EϮϮ͘ϱďŶ ĂƐ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝnjĂƟŽŶ ĨĞůů ƚŽ Eϭϰ͘ϳƚŶ͘ ĐƟǀŝƚLJ ůĞǀĞů͕ ŚŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ was ŵŝdžĞĚ ĂƐ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ŽĨ ƐŚĂƌĞƐ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ĐŽŶƚƌĂĐƚĞĚ ďLJ ϳ͘Ϭй ƚŽ ϮϬϯ͘ϰŵƵŶŝƚƐǁŚŝůĞǀĂůƵĞŽĨƐŚĂƌĞƐƚƌĂĚĞĚƌŽƐĞďLJϵϴ͘ϱйƚŽ Eϰ͘ϰďŶ͘ zĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƚŽƉ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ďLJ ǀŽůƵŵĞ were GUARANTY ;ϯϳ͘ϮŵͿ͕ UBA ;ϯϭ͘ϱŵͿ and FIDELITY ;ϭϰ͘ϱŵͿ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ ƚŽƉ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ďLJ ǀĂůƵĞ were GUARANTY ;Eϭ͘ϲďŶͿ͕ NIGERIAN BREWERIES ;Eϳϯϱ͘ϮŵͿ and NESTLE ;EϱϭϬ͘ϳŵͿ͘

18

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

82.50

0.0%

1.2%

21.9%

21.9%

39.7%

29.4%

8.2x

2.8x

3.7%

12.1%

19

International Brew eries PLC

51.80

0.0%

0.7%

-5.0%

-5.8%

24.6%

7.4%

54.2x

12.3x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

34.70

-0.4%

0.7%

19.7%

19.7%

13.1%

3.0%

7.2x

0.8x

2.6%

13.8%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

9.9%

zĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ dŚŝƐĚĂLJ ĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ ϰϬ ǁĂƐ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ drags in GUARANTY (-Ϭ͘ϳйͿ͕ ZENITH (-ϰ͘ϬйͿ ĂŶĚ FBNH (ϰ͘ϮйͿǁŚŝĐŚĐƵŵƵůĂƟǀĞůLJĂĐĐŽƵŶƚƐĨŽƌϰϬ͘ϮйŽĨƚŚĞŝŶĚĞdž͘

Banking Sector Emerges Lone Loser ŽŶƚƌĂƌLJƚŽŵĂƌŬĞƚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ͕ƚŚĞƌĞǁĂƐĂůĂƌŐĞůLJďƵůůŝƐŚ ƐĞĐƚŽƌ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ĂƐ ϯ ŽĨ ϱ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ ƵŶĚĞƌ ŽƵƌ ĐŽǀĞƌĂŐĞ ĐůŽƐĞĚ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ŐƌĞĞŶ͘ dŚĞ ĂŶŬŝŶŐ ŝŶĚĞdž ǁĂƐ ƚŚĞ ůŽŶĞ ůŽƐĞƌ͕ ƐŚĞĚĚŝŶŐ ϭ͘ϯй ĂƐ ƐĞůůŽīƐ ŝŶ ZENITH (-ϰ͘ϬйͿ͕ GUARANTY (Ϭ͘ϳйͿ ĂŶĚ DIAMOND (-ϵ͘ϰйͿ ĚƌĂŐŐĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞdž͘ KŶ ƚŚĞ ŽƚŚĞƌŚĂŶĚ͕ƚŚĞŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ'ŽŽĚƐŝŶĚĞdžůĞĚŐĂŝŶĞƌƐ͕ƵƉϭ͘ϰй ĂƐ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ƚŽŽŬ ĂĚǀĂŶƚĂŐĞ ŽĨ ďĂƌŐĂŝŶ ŚƵŶƟŶŐ ŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƟĞƐ ŝŶ NESTLE ;нϮ͘ϴйͿ ĂŶĚ NIGERIAN BREWERIES ;нϮ͘ϯйͿ͘ ^ŝŵŝůĂƌůLJ͕ ƚŚĞ /ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞ ĂŶĚ /ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů 'ŽŽĚƐŝŶĚŝĐĞƐĨŽůůŽǁĞĚ͕ĐůŽƐŝŶŐƵƉϵϱďƉƐĂŶĚϴďƉƐ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ ĂƐ ďƵLJ interest in CONTINSU ;нϰ͘ϮйͿ ĂŶĚ WAPIC ;нϯ͘ϵйͿĂŶĚCAP ;нϮ͘ϴйͿďƵŽLJĞĚƚŚĞŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ͘ dŚĞKŝů Θ'ĂƐŝŶĚĞdžĐůŽƐĞĚŇĂƚ͘

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

3.1%

0.6%

13.0%

11.5%

11.2%

2.5%

10.1x

1.0x

1.2%

0.0%

0.5%

-5.0%

-5.0%

1.5%

0.6%

26.1x

0.7x

4.1%

4.5%

-5.8%

-0.7%

-3.5%

25.0%

5.3%

10.7x

2.5x

7.7%

9.3%

64.6%

5.1%

0.8%

4.9x

0.3x

3.8%

20.2%

4.3%

14.8%

4.7%

22

UAC of Nigeria PLC

23

Diamond Bank PLC

1.64

-9.4%

0.5%

9.3%

24

Total Nigeria PLC

221.80

0.0%

0.5%

-3.5%

25

FCMB Group Plc

2.60

-1.1%

0.8%

26

11 PLC

0.2x

3.8% -44.6%

188.00

0.0%

0.4%

-3.4%

-3.4%

30.8%

11.0%

6.7x

2.5x

0.0%

0.4%

-8.1%

-4.9%

17.6%

1.6%

21.6x

3.4x

10.7%

5.0%

21.3x

2.2x

2.3%

27

Forte Oil PLC

39.95

28

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

22.45

0.0%

0.4%

9.0%

6.1%

29

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

13.00

-0.8%

0.3%

-17.0%

-16.7%

2.0%

0.8%

60.7x

2.1x

1.2%

1.6%

30

Presco PLC

75.60

0.0%

0.4%

10.4%

10.4%

39.7%

28.0%

3.1x

1.0x

2.7%

31.9%

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

20.50

0.0%

0.3%

10.8%

6.7%

54.6%

19.5%

9.7x

4.7x

7.3%

10.3%

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

6.75

0.0%

0.3%

-13.5%

-10.1%

5.3%

1.1%

9.7x

0.7x

34

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

29.00

0.0%

0.3%

3.6%

3.6%

17.3%

1.8%

8.0x

1.3x

3.4%

12.4%

35

Sterling Bank PLC

1.63

0.0%

0.4%

50.9%

44.2%

9.0%

0.9%

4.9x

0.5x

1.2%

20.5%

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

11.25

-2.2%

0.2%

-7.4%

-7.4%

61.6%

15.8%

3.6x

1.6x

1.8%

27.5%

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

23.50

0.0%

0.2%

8.7%

8.7%

4.4%

2.8%

37.1x

1.6x

31.9%

2.7%

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

40.00

2.8%

0.2%

17.6%

12.0%

66.2%

30.2%

18.7x

12.5x

5.1%

5.4%

39

Beta Glass PLC

83.20

0.0%

0.2%

62.2%

62.2%

18.4%

11.9%

11.7x

2.0x

1.3%

8.5%

40

Transcorp Hotels Plc

7.45

0.0%

0.1%

3.3%

3.3%

5.3%

2.9%

19.5x

1.0x

1.8%

5.1%

T o p 10 G a in e r s T ic k er

4.6%

10.3%

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 %

SOVR EN IN S

0.21

5.0%

GUA R A N T Y

37.2

-0.7%

C ON T IN SUR E

1.48

4.2%

UB A

31.5

-0.9%

NP FM CRFB K

1.85

3.9%

F ID ELIT YB K

14.5

-4.2%

WA P IC

0.53

3.9%

Z EN IT H B A N K

11.7

-4.0%

M B EN EF IT

0.30

3.4%

OA N D O

11.1

-4.5%

T R A N SC OR P

1.65

3.1%

FCM B

9.8

-1.1%

40.00

2.8%

FB NH

8.1

-4.2%

1573.00

2.8%

SOVR EN IN S

6.8

5.0%

0.40

2.6%

A C C ESS

6.6

0.0%

124.80

2.3%

LA SA C O

6.5

2.6%

CA P

LA SA C O NB

Investor ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ĂƐ ŵĞĂƐƵƌĞĚ ďLJ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ďƌĞĂĚƚŚ ;ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌĂƟŽͿǁĞĂŬĞŶĞĚĨƵƌƚŚĞƌƚŽϬ͘ϱdžĨƌŽŵϬ͘ϳdž ƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ ĂƐ ϭϮ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ĂŐĂŝŶƐƚ Ϯϲ ƚŚĂƚ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ͘ SOVERNINS ;нϱ͘ϬйͿ͕ CONTINSURE ;нϰ͘ϮйͿ͕ ĂŶĚ NPFMCRFB ;нϯ͘ϵйͿ ůĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŐĂŝŶĞƌƐ ĐŚĂƌƚ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ ǁŚŝůĞ VERISTASKAP (-ϵ͘ϱйͿ͕ DIAMOND (-ϵ͘ϰйͿ ĂŶĚ SKYE (-ϱ͘ϲйͿ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŵŽƐƚ͘ EŽƚǁŝƚŚƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ďĞĂƌŝƐŚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ͕ ǁĞ ĞdžƉĞĐƚ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ƚŽ ĐŽŶƟŶƵĞ ƚŽ ƐĞĞŬ ďĂƌŐĂŝŶ ŚƵŶƟŶŐ ŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƟĞƐ ĂĐƌŽƐƐ ďĞůůǁĞƚŚĞƌ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ as ŽďƐĞƌǀĞĚŝŶLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛s trading session

1.8%

1.65 16.05

N EST LE

/ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ^ĞŶƟŵĞŶƚtĞĂŬĞŶƐ&ƵƌƚŚĞƌ

10.9%

T ic k er

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 P ric e

P ric e C hg %

T ic k er

Value

P ric e C hg %

VER IT A SKA P

0.38

-9.5%

GUA R A N T Y

1643.1

-0.7%

D IA M ON D B N K

1.64

-9.4%

NB

735.2

2.3%

SKYEB A N K

0.85

-5.6%

N EST LE

510.7

2.8%

J A P A ULOIL

0.35

-5.4%

UB A

361.1

-0.9%

UN IT YB N K

1.00

-4.8%

Z EN IT H B A N K

330.5

-4.0%

C UT IX

3.00

-4.8%

F LOUR M ILL

173.2

-0.4%

A F R IN SUR E

0.21

-4.5%

ST A N B IC

105.8

0.0%

OA N D O

7.40

-4.5%

FB NH

94.9

-4.2%

T ic k er

C ILEA SIN G

1.48

-4.5%

OA N D O

84.7

-4.5%

LIN KA SSUR E

0.91

-4.2%

A C C ESS

73.7

0.0%

Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | aebo@afrinvest.com

Robert Omotunde | romotunde@afrinvest.com

Bolaji Fajenyo | bfajenyo@afrinvest.com

Omotola Abimbola | oabimbola@afrinvest.com


41

     ˾  WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

MARKET NEWS

Uduk Restates SEC’s Commitment to Protect Retail Investors The acting Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms Mary Uduk has pledged the determination of the commission in advancing the initiatives aimed at protecting investors, ensuring fair, efficient and transparent capital market and mitigating systemic risk. Uduk stated this at the recently concluded 43rd Annual Conference of International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in Bundapest, Hungary.

The SEC boss made the pledge just as IOSCO has resolved to focus on key issues affecting regulators worldwide and proffer ways of tackling the challenges. She emphasised the commitment of the current management of the SEC to protect retail investors and ensure that they enjoy the benefits of investing in the capital market. “Members of the new management team have worked in the commission for many years with experiences in

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

different department of the commission and aspects of the capital market. We have always been part of the commission’s efforts at improving investors’ confidence and implementing the Capital Market Master Plan,” she said. Uduk explained that the master plan will continue to be the SEC’s working document, noting that it has many initiatives that will promote investors’ confidence such as e-Dividend registration,

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 14May-2018, unless otherwise stated.

Direct Cash Settlement, Dematerialisation, Complaint Management Framework, Financial Literacy and Investors’ Protection Fund. Meanwhile, the Chairman IOSCO Board Mr. Ashley Alder, during the conference maintained the commitment of the organisation to boost investor confidence in all its jurisdictions by ensuring that investors are protected in its regulations. According to Alder, the job of securities regulators is to work with the industry to recognise the present realities

and address the problem of risk in order to ensure that the investor is well protected. He said: “The role of the securities regulator is becoming increasingly vital, particularly post the 2008 global financial crisis. Our mission is that regardless of technological change, regardless of policy shift, our job is to maintain confidence so the financial system continues to deliver value to the public.” In his remarks, Secretary General of IOSCO, Paul Andrews disclosed that the

organisation was committed to investor protection, fair and efficient markets as well as systemic risk reduction adding that IOSCO must be at the forefront of issues that affect capital market operators. “Right now, we are focused on issues around Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), market volatility, cyber threats among others. We need to forge greater co-operation among Regulators and that includes assisting Emerging Markets to be able to provide proper regulations,” he said.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 193.44 194.73 8.99% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.49 246.80 6.39% 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 0.84 0.86 2.74% ACAP Income Funds 0.66 0.66 8.94% 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 13.45% 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 20.36 20.98 11.44% ARM Discovery Fund 425.80 438.64 9.44% ARM Ethical Fund 30.21 29.33 7.34% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.67% 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 158.75 159.86 4.65% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.46% 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 12.30% Paramount Equity Fund 12.10 12.41 9.13% Women's Investment Fund 103.48 106.14 2.84% 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 13.48% 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 13.34% Coronation Balanced Fund 1.14 1.17 8.78% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.11 1.14 7.57% 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 1,150.73 1,151.43 0.23% FBN Heritage Fund 151.06 152.39 8.36% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.56% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $112.80 $113.34 -0.10% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $112.94 $113.48 0.12% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 183.26 186.04 13.72% 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 1.43 1.45 9.09% Legacy Debt Fund 3.03 3.03 4.96% 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 N/A N/A N/A Nigeria Entertainment Fund N/A N/A N/A 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 N/A N/A N/A Vantage Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) N/A N/A N/A

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 1.19 1.21 3.73% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,065.65 1,065.65 5.71% 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 N/A N/A N/A PACAM Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A PACAM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A 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 130.00 132.47 1.01% 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 1.57 1.57 5.84% 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 2,417.25 2,437.95 7.78% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 184.13 184.13 4.35% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.09 1.11 8.91% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 234.28 234.34 6.38% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 187.56 189.54 4.69% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.23% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,403.20 10,543.70 7.58% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.09 1.09 2.80% 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 1.35 1.36 1.01% United Capital Bond Fund 1.65 1.65 5.12% United Capital Equity Fund 0.98 1.00 7.37% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.79% United Capital Eurobond Fund 105.80 105.80 2.82% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.14 1.15 4.93% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 13.51 13.71 7.72% Zenith Ethical Fund 14.06 14.23 6.64% Zenith Income Fund 20.10 20.10 6.24% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.21%

REITS NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

10.00 135.24 51.22

-11.35% 2.10% 0.77%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

12.64 160.52 119.25

12.74 163.89 121.43

4.26% 12.37% 9.13%

Fund Name FSDH UPDC Real Estate Investment Fund SFS Skye Shelter Fund Union Homes REIT

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

N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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.


42

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

43


44

T H I S D AY ˾ ͯʹ˜ͰͮͯͶ


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018

45


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

46

INTERNATIONAL

email:foreigndesk@thisdaylive.com

Iran Upbeat on Nuclear Deal Hopes after EU Talks Head of Iran Guards announces ‘end of the sedition’ Iran’s foreign minister said Tuesday that efforts to save the nuclear deal after the abrupt US withdrawal were “on the right track” as he began talks with European powers in Brussels, Agence France-Presse

reported. Mohammad Javad Zarif met EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini ahead of evening talks with his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany -- the

North Korea to Join Efforts for Total Nuclear Weapons Test Ban North Korea plans to join international efforts to implement a total ban on nuclear weapons tests, Agence France-Presse reported it as telling the United Nations disarmament body Tuesday. “DPRK will join international desires and efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests,” North Korea’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament, using North Korea’s official acronym. His comment came amid a recent whirlwind of diplomacy and outreach by the long isolated regime. Dialogue brokered by Seoul has seen US-North Korea relations go from trading personal insults and threats of war last year to a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12. Kim last month announced that his country would halt its own nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, which was widely hailed as an important step towards

denuclearising the Korean peninsula. But Pyongyang has yet to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it withdrew from in 2003. It is also one of eight countries with nuclear test capacity, including the United States, China and Iran, which have so far failed to either sign or ratify the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, blocking it from taking effect. Han, who made no reference to the treaties, told the UN assembly that his country aimed to make more “efforts to achieve the development of intra-Korean relations, defuse acute military tensions and substantially remove the danger of the war on the Korean peninsula.” “It will make sincere efforts... to establish a durable lasting peace mechanism” with its neighbour to the south, he said, urging the international community to “extend its active support in encouraging and promoting the current positive climate.”

Gaza Toll Rises to 60 as Fresh Protests against Israel Gather Turkey expels Israeli ambassador over Gaza killings Palestinians were gathering Tuesday for fresh protests along the Gaza border as they buried their dead, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US embassy opened in Jerusalem on what was the conflict’s bloodiest day in years, according to Agence France-Presse. Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba or “catastrophe”, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation. It came a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Many see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its indivisible capital. Most of the 60 Gazans killed Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said. The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said. At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war. Some funerals were held on

Monday, while others were taking place Tuesday. Hundreds of people took part in the funeral of Yazan Tubasi, 23, killed east of Gaza City. His father Ibrahim, 50, said his son had a boy aged one year and three months. Israel’s military said it was preparing for further confrontations on Tuesday ,but Palestinian groups indicated they intended to rein in the protests. Meanwhile, Turkey ordered Israel’s ambassador to leave the country on Tuesday after Israeli forces’ killing of 60 Palestinians, Reuters reported. Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s response to the Gaza protests and of the U.S. Embassy move, recalling its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington and calling for an emergency meeting of Islamic nations on Friday. President Tayyip Erdogan described Monday’s bloodshed, the deadliest for Palestinians since the 2014 Gaza conflict, as genocide and called Israel a terrorist state. The government declared three days of mourning. “The Israeli ambassador was told that our envoy to Israel was called back for consultations, and was informed that it would be appropriate for him to go back to his country for some time,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry source said.

three European signatories to the 2015 landmark accord who are scrambling to preserve it. Tehran has warned it is prepared to resume “industrial-scale” uranium enrichment “without any restrictions” unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain the economic benefits it gained from the nuclear agreement despite the United States reimposing sanctions. Zarif gave an upbeat assessment after a “good and constructive” meeting with Mogherini.

“I believe we’re on the right track to move forward in order to ensure that interests of all the JCPOA remaining participants, particularly Iran, will be preserved and guaranteed,” he told reporters. The deal’s official name is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Mogherini said it had been a “very productive” meeting but indicated it was the start of a long road. “We are working on the measures that we can start to put

in place and we will look at the content of that,” she said. “One thing is absolutely sure is that the European Union is determined to preserve this deal that is essential to our security and the security of the region.” Zarif’s meetings in Brussels cap a whirlwind global tour, including trips to both Russia and China, the two other signatory nations, in a bid to bolster support. European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday’s meeting, stressing the

enormous challenge of finding a way around US sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach. The European Union insists the deal is working, pointing to repeated UN inspections verifying the Islamic republic’s compliance with its side of the bargain. EU leaders aim to show a united front on preserving the Iran deal when they meet for a pre-summit dinner in Sofia on Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk said.

Palestinian relatives mourn during the funeral of eight-month-old Layila al-Ghandour

EPA

Royal Wedding Plans Thrown as Doubts Swirl over Markle’s Dad Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding this weekend was in turmoil Tuesday following reports her father may not attend after a paparazzi scandal, rocking the royal family’s meticulous planning for the big day, Agence France-Presse reported. Kensington Palace pleaded in a statement for “understanding and respect” during a “difficult situation” as US media reported

Thomas Markle had suffered a heart attack brought on by the fallout from allegedly staging paparazzi photos of himself. Celebrity news website TMZ said he had decided against travelling from his home in Mexico to accompany his daughter down the aisle on Saturday due to his health -- and to spare her further embarrassment. Kensington Palace did not

confirm whether he had pulled out of the wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, but issued a brief statement which hinted all was not well. “This is a deeply personal moment for Ms Markle in the days before her wedding,” it said. “She and Prince Harry ask again for understanding and respect to be extended to Mr

Markle in this difficult situation.” Thomas Markle told TMZ he had agreed to pose for a paparazzi photo shoot in a bid to rehabilitate his image, rather than for money, but that he now regretted the move. The pictures -- in which he was being measured for a suit and admiring a photo of the future royal couple on his computer -- sold for $100,000 (83,000 euros), according to British tabloid the Daily Mirror.

Shi’ite Cleric’s Election Win Puts Iran to the test in Iraq Already pressured by the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran faces a major test in managing Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a formidable opponent who beat Tehran’s longtime allies to achieve a shock victory in Iraq’s parliamentary election, Reuters reported. But If Tehran overplays its

hand by squeezing Sadr out of a coalition government dominated by its allies, it risks losing influence by provoking conflict between Iranian-backed Shi’ites and those loyal to Sadr. Populist Sadr all but won Iraq’s parliamentary election by tapping into growing public resentment

directed at Iran and what some voters say is a corrupt political elite that has failed to help the poor. But Iran is unlikely to relinquish influence in Iraq, its most important ally in the Middle East, and will push for a coalition that will preserve its interests. “Iran will do everything in its

power to remain strong in Iraq and to apply pressure,” said independent Iraqi analyst Wathiq al-Hashimi. “It’s a very critical situation.” Before the election, Iran publicly stated it would not allow Sadr’s bloc – an unlikely alliance of Shi’tes, communists and other secular groups – to govern.

UK Could Have Wrongly Deported Up to 63 Caribbean Migrants – Minister British authorities could have wrongly deported up to 63 immigrants from the Caribbean, Reuters reported the new interior minister as saying on Tuesday in the latest revelation on the Windrush scandal that cost his predecessor her job.

The British government is under intense pressure to come clean on the mistreatment of descendants of people from the so-called Windrush generation, who were invited to settle in Britain after World War Two to plug labor shortages.

Although fully entitled to live and work in Britain, an unknown number of Windrush descendants have been wrongly identified as illegal immigrants and denied basic rights such as healthcare. Some have been detained and may have been wrongly deported.

Sajid Javid, who took over as home secretary, or interior minister, on April 30 after Amber Rudd was forced to resign over her handling of the Windrush scandal, appeared on Tuesday in front of a committee of lawmakers investigating the scandal.


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

47

NEWSEXTRA

FG to Settle Inherited Contractors’ Debts, Ex-Nigeria Airways’ Workers Clears workers’ promotion arrears with N34.2bn Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The federal government said yesterday that it would settle the inherited debts and contractual

obligations to local contractors between 2006 and 2015. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this while appearing before the

Nigeria Denies Attending Event Relocating US Embassy to Jerusalem Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The presidency said yesterday that Nigeria did not attend the relocation of the United States Embassy from Tel-A-Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. According to a presidential source, who said contrary to a report by Al Jazeera that Nigeria was present at the relocation event, the federal government had written a letter to Al Jazeera, demanding a retraction of its story that listed Nigeria as one of the countries represented at the event. He said on the basis of Al Jazeera report, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had queried the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel to explain the rationale for his presence at the event. “Based on that report, the minister queried the ambassador to explain why he attended the event. The ambassador has since

replied that he was not at the event. “It was on the strength of the ambassador’s response that the federal government wrote to Al Jazeera to retract its story,” he said. The US had last Monday implemented President Donald Trump’s declaration in December 2017 which recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move long sought by Israel. Trump had addressed the ceremony which took place amid road closures and heavy police presence in anticipation of Palestinian protests and deadly demonstrations in Gaza calling for the refugees’ right to return to the homes they were forcibly expelled from 70 years ago via a recorded video message. “Today, we follow through on this recognition and open our embassy in the historic and sacred land of Jerusalem, and we’re opening it many, many years ahead of schedule,” Trump said.

Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate on “Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance”. The committee is chaired by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena. She explained that the debts owed to various classes of contractors, including the terminal benefits of ex-Nigerian Airways workers, would be paid through promissory notes and bonds issuance. The minister stated that the unpaid federal government obligations constituted a drag on economic activity across many sectors, adding that the present administration was determined to address the problem. A statement by the minister’s spokesman, Mr. Oluyinka

Akintunde, said she listed the unpaid obligations to include obligations to pensioners and salary and promotion arrears to civil servants; obligations to contractors and suppliers who in turn, owe banks increasing the quantum of non-performing loans, and unpaid electricity bills by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Others are exporters owed funds under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and unpaid refunds due to State Governments in respect of projects undertaken on behalf of the federal government. “The federal government is working towards settling these inherited debts. The small and medium scale enterprises are the lifeline of our nation.

The federal government will be stimulating the economy by paying these legacy debts,” Adeosun said. The federal government, according to her, has approved the issuance of promissory notes and bonds to settle its contractual obligations subject to the approval of the National Assembly. On the ex-Nigeria Airways workers, the minister explained that their terminal benefits were reconciled and agreed at N45 billion following verification. She debunked claims by the ex-workers that there was a presidential approval for the payment of terminal benefits of N45 billion to the workers. “There has been a misconception in the media that

the President had approved the payment of N45 billion terminal benefits to the workers. “There is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment of N45 billion to the ex-workers,” she said. Earlier, the representative of the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Idris Ahmed, who was represented by. Mohammed Usman, had told members of the Senate’s Ad-Hoc Committee that the government paid N34.2 billion to clear the promotion arrears to workers in the MDAs. Usman, who is the Director of Funds in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, added that the payment process was still ongoing.

FG Warns Health Workers against Strike, Harassment of Doctors JOHESU: Minister misleading Nigerians Paul Obi in Abuja The federal government yesterday warned health workers across the country under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to desist from taking laws into their hands or face deep consequences. The warning came following reports of tussle between health workers and medical doctors in public health facilities. In a statement signed by Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Health, Oshundun Olajide, the government said: “The attention of the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has been drawn to a press briefing addressed by the President of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Ugochukwu Chinaka, in which members of JOHESU are accused of harassing and molesting members of NARD and other medical officers at their respective duty posts. “The minister was also informed that, JOHESU members were accused of locking- up government health facilities to prevent access to those who are not on strike. “In view of the above, the minister of health stated that: in as much as members of JOHESU have the right to embark on strike, they do not have the constitutional right to harass other health workers including members of JOHESU who choosed to work and JOHESU members do not have right to lock-up government facilities.” He added: “The federal government would not accept nor condone any act of irresponsibility and disobedience to constituted

authorities, adding that all locked health facilities should be opened immediately to enable the facilities provide required services while negotiation continues. “The minister further re-iterates that all heads of medical institutions should as a matter of urgency provide adequate security for the working members of staff and any person found disturbing the peace in any health facility should be made to face the law.” But speaking to THISDAY, JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah, denied that health workers were harrassing medical doctors on duty across health facilities. He informed THISDAY that “my members cannot do that, they are only trying to monitor the strike. Doctors are not part of our union, so we cannot stop them from doing their work. They are only trying to cover up their weaknesses. “Now, we are on strike, the strike has been effective, and they have now seen that the relevance of other health workers is coming up. We have the right to strike, we have the right to protest.” Josiah further accused the minister, of lying against the health workers by insisting that JOHESU members were asking for equal pay with medical doctors. He explained that there were no plans to call off the nationwide strike, adding that, “it is implementation that we asked for and rather than the minister sitting down to do what he ought to do, he is going on air misleading the people.”

OUR MAN OF THE YEAR

Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (middle), receiving the Ondo State FIBAN Man of the Year Award from the National President of FIBAN, Desmond Nwachukwu (left), while the Chairman of the state chapter, Adeniyi Adebayo (right), watches.

Osinbajo: FG to Spend N10bn in Rebuilding States Affected by Herdsmen-Farmers’ Crisis George Okoh in Makurdi The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, yesterday disclosed that the federal government had approved the immediate release of N10 billion for the rebuilding and rehabilitation of communities ravaged by Fulani herdsmenfarmers’ crises in Benue and other states. He also disclosed that the federal government was concerned about the plight of the victims of the crises who are displaced all over the country. Osinbajo made the statements when he paid a scheduled visit to the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abagana and Daudu in Makurdi and Guma Local Government Area respectively. He said he was in the state to represent the president who is worried about the situation in the state. “There are things that have

been identified; first, is security and we want to ensure that the places that have been destroyed are secured. The second thing is to ensure that the displaced persons go back home and their homes are rebuild and the third is for the farmers to return back to their farms and also assist those who are not farmers to also be assisted to start a new lives.” He assured the people that the funds would be release on time to alleviate the suffering they are passing through. “l have come to tell you that the government of Nigeria has the capacity to protect you and cater for you and we are deploying more security apparatus to protect you. Earlier, while briefing the vice president, the Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Emmanuel Shior, said the Abengana IDP camp was opened at the first week of February with a total population of 34,936 IDPs from

from Benue and Nasarawa State. According to Shior, there are 12,041 people in the Abagana camp. He said the total number of people in the eight camps in the state stands at 175,017. Adding that the governor of the state has been aiding the camps with food and other item. The camp Chairman, Mr. Philip Osaser, appealed to the vice president to assist the displaced people to go back home as the conditions in the camp was not the best for the people. One of the victim at the IDP camp, Angela Audu, appealed to the vice president to make haste to provide security for the people so that they can go back to school and their parents go back to their farming. In his remark, Governor Samuel Ortom appreciated the vice president and Mr. President for their concerns. He said he consulted with

the president and it was through the consultations that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) came to the aid of the state and also set up a committee that had gone round the affected areas to put together the final record. He also disclosed that the president has made available additional security to be deployed to the state. “Whether they are mercenaries from Libya, Boko Haram and herdsmen, more security should be added so as to flush the mercenaries out of the state so that the people can go home. The people want to go back home. “So far, 69 children have been delivered in the camp. You are not just an ordinary VP, you are a pastor, a man who gives hope to the hopeless.” He insisted that ranching remains the best solution to herdsmen crisis in the state and across Nigeria.


48

WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSEXTRA

9mobile: Smile Faces Disqualification as Reserve Bidder Emma Okonji Smile Communications Nigeria Limited’s failure to disclose that

it’s Nigerian shareholders have ongoing and challenging debt to a consortium of banks is threatening it’s position as the reserve bidder

Dangote Lists Economic Benefits of National Identity Card Jonathan Eze President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has called on Nigerians to get enrolled in the ongoing registration for National Identity cards being carried out by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The business mogul made the call just as the NIMC disclosed that it has enrolled till date 30 million Nigerians and that efforts are on to capture the entire population within the next three years. Dangote spoke when the management of the commission visited him in his office in Lagos and presented him with his Identity slip as well as a draft report of the Strategic Roadmap for Developing Digital Identification in Nigeria. He explained that the national identity management policy of the federal government is pivotal to the economic growth strategy being implemented by the government, saying key government services would be delivered efficiently and effectively when government knows the categories of Nigerians in need of such services. According to him, critical government programmes relating to social safety net, education, financial inclusion, insurance cover as well as credible elections depend heavily on proper identification. Dangote told the NIMC management to copy from the India with a larger population and which had also successfully carried out digital identification of all its citizens and that with collaboration with partners and adequate awareness campaign, the commissioncansuccessfullyaccomplish the task of enrolling all Nigerians within the shortest possible time. The businessman commended the commission management for its foresight in tapping into the Indian NPDP

strategy and seeking collaborative efforts to carry out its assignment Speaking earlier, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mr. Aliyu Aziz said the commission is adopting an ecosystem just as india to liberalise the enrolment process by licensing state and local governments, business organizations, bodies and agencies to enroll the citizens while the commission only regulate their activities. He stated that after the enrolment, the NIMC would then pay the organisations on performance based taking into consideration the number of citizens enrolled successfully. The commission, he added, was in the final stage of the system. Aziz explained that the system is programmed to start in July and when followed through the entire population could be captured within the next three years while noting that the national identity card would be a multi-purpose one that could be used to access a lot of services that the people depend on daily. He said: “We are trying to do eco system as adopted in India the simplify the process of capturing the citizens. NIMC will license state, local governments, business organisations and agencies who will do the registration and the NIMC will only regulate their activities. “At the end of their exercise, the NIMC will pay them on performance basis, we are in the final stage of approval. We intend to start in July and when implemented, we plan to conclude the registration of all Nigerians within three years. “The card is a multi-purpose one as it will help in the allocation of many resources. Since we started, we have been harmonizing the people’s data with the Bank Verification Number (BVN). The card we are issuing would be second to none in quality because of the multi-purpose nature”, Aziz stated.

MEETS TO DECIDE WAY FORWARD, MAY QUIT APC

had been winning elections in Kwara, Adamawa, Kano and Sokoto States where most of the nPDP members come from. “What are we talking about? Who are these new PDP people that are threatening? This is Kwara, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Rivers but I don’t think Amaechi is part of them. So let’s take these four states, go back to 2003 and check,” he said. “Buhari then under ANPP won in all these four states. Go back to 2007, Buhari won in these four states. Even when Shekarau was running as a presidential candidate in 2011, Buhari defeated him in Kano. And, I have no doubt in my mind that even if the people threatening to leave, it will have absolutely no impact on the presidential election, the president will win Sokoto, Kwara and Adamawa easily.

“Kano is already in the bag, I mean if you saw the crowd that welcomed the president without the former governor Kwankwaso, Kano has always been the president’s base. To me that is not the issue, the issue is that they have written, they have expressed grievances, some of the grievances are legitimate and should be looked into. “But to threaten to leave the party is neither here nor there. If they are honest with themselves they know that President Buhari will win those states with or without them. But if you have a grievance, we are a party and politics is a game of addition not subtraction, so we don’t want to loose anyone. “So, I think those the letters were addressed to ought to study it and look into what is reasonably possible to accommodate them because politics as I said is a game of addition.”

for the sale of 9mobile. The telco data company has been accused of not only presenting false information in the bidding round but that is now attempting to derail the ongoing sale of the telecoms company by Barclays Africa having lost its attempt to become the preferred bidder. Unsatisfied with the ongoing bid process, Smile Communications had on May 9, 2018, written the Board of Directors of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, representing the 13 local banks, the lenders of the $1.2 billion loan to Etisalat, now known as 9mobile,”raising issues after the fact as it desperately seeks to derail the ongoing bid process for the sale of 9mobile to Teleology”, said a source conversant with the transactions. Smile has alleged that Teleology, the preferred bidder for the sale of 9mobile does not have the financial capacity to buy 9mobile, and that it has all it takes to reposition 9mobile and

make it attractive and competitive again, within 90 days, if given the opportunity to acquire 9mobile. Smile Communications assured that the company would inject fresh millions of dollars from foreign financing outside Nigeria into 9mobile to pay off its indebtedness to the banks and any other group the company is indebted to, and we will still have enough to invest in 9mobile and make it competitive. Despite its promises and threats, it was discovered that Smile Communication Nigerian partners and shareholders are indebted to banks to the tune of $125 million - a material fact they ought to have disclosed at the beginning. According to reliable sources, Smile Communications got the loan through a consortium of banks including, Afrexim Bank, and in turn routed the loan through a domestic bank, Diamond Bank resulting in the lenders huge non performing loans. The banks are saying

that if shareholders of Smile Communications have the money to buy 9mobile, it should have long paid the banks the money it is owing, “asking why they would replace a bad loan with another bad loan”. Disturbed about the letter written by Smile Communications to the Board of Directors of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, the telecoms lawyer, Olaniwun Ajayi wrote Smile Communications on May 14, 2018, warning it to desist from presenting false information about 9mobile sale. Part of the letter read:...”We would like to refer you to the process letter for phase 111 of the transaction, particularly the second paragraph is Appendix B therefore, which stipulates that the company, the lenders and Barclays Africa reserve the right at the sole discretion and without liability to change, suspend or terminate the procedures set out in the process letter at

any time and in any respect, to reject any and all proposals and to terminate negotiations and discussions at any time and for any reason, without being obliged to give prior notice or reasons therefore, with any or all potential purchasers and to negotiate with any party in a manner and to a timetable other than that outlined in the process letter.... As you understand, by your continued participation in the process, Smile confirmed its acceptance of the foregoing terms, amongst others, agreeing to be bound thereby, in the circumstance, the basis for the complaints and threats of legal action in your letter is unclear, as are your intentions in this regard. Please note that the Company and lenders hereby reserve their rights to pursue all remedies available under all applicable laws,” the lawyer said and advised Smile Communication not to contact the company or the lenders any further on this matter any more.

AT A POLICY DIALOGUE

L-R: Group Managing Director, International Facilities Services Ltd (IFS), Dr. Tunde Ayeye; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh; Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); and Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, at the policy dialogue on effective maintenance as a tool for national development in Lagos ....yesterday Etop Ukutt

Birnin-Gwari Community Petitions Amnesty International over Killings Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The stakeholders in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State under the aegis of BirninGwari Vanguards for Security and Good Governance have petitioned the Amnesty International(AI) over recent cases of killings, kidnappings and cattle rustlings. In a 19-page petition made available yesterday through PRNigeria in Abuja, the stakeholders regretted that the Kaduna State government has abandoned them to their fate hence the recent killings and kidnappings and called on the international human rights body to wade into the crisis before the community is decimated. The community noted that several entreaties were made to the state government including the latest security alert sent through the Special Adviser on Media and

Publicity to the Governor, Mr. Sam Aruwan, on March 17, 2018. Part of the statement read: “With the killings of renowned grand commander of bandits/ kidnappers, Buhari Tsoho (a. K. a Buharin Daji) at Nabango, a territory under Birnin-Gwari Local Government just 16 kilometres to Dansadau in Zamfara State, there is tension in our local government area. Information from reliable sources indicates that the renegades of Buharin Daji are coming massively on revenge mission. “Already, suspicious movement of people armed with sophisticated weapons are glaringly witnessed around Goron Dutse, Kuiga, Maganda, Unguwar Nachibi communities. At the moment, kidnappers are having field day along BirninGwari-Funtua road on a daily

basis. Some villages terrorised by armed bandits such as Kirazo and Layin Mai Gwari had relocated to Birnin-Gwari town. “The soldiers that massively conducted operation Karamin Goro in Birnin-Gwari had been withdrawn and the detachable soldier in Birnin-Gwari only stay inside the town. “We are under intense fear of this armed group and need proactive government protection” The petitioners also noted that government’s inaction with regards to several warning signals and reliable information resulted into bandit attacks on Maganda District, killing nine vigilantes/ volunteers on the 20th of March 2018. It further added that the bandits after successful prosecution of the Maganda attacks proceeded to Doka District in the night and killed

eleven soldiers and wounded four others. The petitioners therefore called on the government to ensure adequate security in the area. “We the defenceless people of Birnin-Gwari are calling on governor Nasir El-Rufa’i as the chief security officer of the state, federal government and security agencies to ensure adequate deployment of security to stop the carnage and further destruction of lives, villages and towns. “Equally, the siege on our roads has not only crippled our economy but has rendered many families homeless with no means of lively hood. We equally solicit the support of individuals, governments and international agencies to come to our rescue from the bondage of cattle rustlers turns into highly sophisticated criminals,” they demanded.


49

WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSEXTRA

Hold Yourself Responsible for Your Failure, Jonathan Tells Aregbesola Ex-president’s aide calls for Magu’s sack Obinna Chima Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has denied any interference in the failure of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to properly govern Osun State. The spokesman of the former president, Ikechukwu Eze, in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, said the governor should take full responsibility of the failure of his administration, considering the fact that the state, like the other states in federation, is a semi-autonomy entity fully in charge of its finance and management. Aregbesola had recently attributed the failure of his administration to the underperformance in office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government of then president, Jonathan, between 2010 to 2015. But the former president in his reaction, said: “I see this as the governor’s attempt to rewrite history by disingenuously seeking an accomplice for his dreadful failure in office. This should be prevented from entering public records, as he wished. “Ordinarily, it is considered a courageous act in governance to admit utter failure, as the governor attempted doing. Unfortunately, in this instance, Aregbesola’s confession bordered on treachery, since he was neither sincere nor commonsensical. Rather than be the hero he sought to be, Aregbosola

ended up as an anti-hero whose admittance of failure became mired in cowardice and deception, once he ventured lamely to seek an accomplice or a fall guy in the past PDP administration. His attempt to pass the buck failed woefully, as the public has seen it for what it is: a spineless act of dishonesty and contrived rectitude wearing a mask of false alibi and specious altruism.” Jonathan noted that Osun, as a state is a semi-autonomous subnational entity that controls own revenues, so it cannot reasonably yoke its fortunes or misfortunes with that of the federal government. “Aregbesola should ask himself why his performance is far below the standards set by his counterparts in such states as Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Enugu. Like Aregbesola’s Osun, they are neither oil-producing nor high revenue earning states,” Jonathan said. The former president remarked that it would have been more honourable, and perhaps worthy of exculpation, if the governor had been man enough to take absolute responsibility for his monumental failure, without the futile effort to clutch at straws. Meanwhile, a former Special Assistant on New Media to former President Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” replace the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC), Ibrahim Magu. Omokri’s call for Magu’s removal was because the EFCC boss appeared on Channels Television, with a lapel pin “promoting the re-election of President Buhari,” while granting an interview on ‘Sunrise Daily,’ the TV breakfast show. According to Omokri, the incidence was completely against the ethics and principles of the Nigerian civil service. He explained in a statement that: “Not since the dark days of General Sani Abacha have Nigerians seen this type of disturbing behaviour. “The action of Magu went against the ethics and principles of the Nigerian civil service as well as the service rules for military and police personnel.” According to the former presidential aide, Nigerian civil servants are mandated by law to be politically neutral so that all civil servants can render unbiased and loyal service to any government that comes to power legitimately,

irrespective of the political party that produced such a government. Furthermore, he pointed out that in a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly regarding the International Code of Conduct for Public Officials, for which Nigeria was a signatory and bound by, the UN stated in the 11th principle that: “the political or other activity of public officials outside the scope of their office shall, in accordance with laws and administrative policies, not be such as to impair public confidence in the impartial performance of their functions and duties.” Continuing, Omokri said: “That being the case, how can President Buhari, who swore on the Quran to abide by the Constitution of Nigeria which produced our civil service, stand idly by while his political appointee brazenly and with impunity goes against domestic and international law as well as the principles of natural justice? “The EFCC is meant to be a

neutral enforcer of Nigeria’s laws on economic and Financial Crimes, but when the head of the body brazenly shows his partiality, how can those laws be applied impartially? How can an open sympathizer of the All Progressives Congress be expected to conduct a fair and balance war on corruption? “Recently, the Buhari-led administration released a so- called ‘looters’ list’ that exclusively contained names of prominent opposition members. Not one APC member was included on that list despite glaring cases of corruption against them.” “On March 24, 2018, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) said the security services “are not neutral”. “The next day, the Buhari administration attacked him in a most disrespectful manner. But with Magu’s action of wearing President Buhari’s re-election lapel pin, has

Danjuma not been vindicated? “Do Nigerians and the international community now believe me when I say that the EFCC under Buhari is nothing more than the armed wing of the APC? It is the Gestapo of the presidency. “It is for this same reason why the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria because the EFCC under Magu had been using financial intelligence received from the group to blackmail opposition elements. “Egmont said it suspend Nigeria “following repeated failures on the part of the FIU, (Nigeria) to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information.” “No wonder Nigeria has made its worse retrogression in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, moving 12 places backward from where the Jonathan administration left us, from 136, to 148. Nigeria is now more corrupt today under Buhari than it was under the previous Jonathan administration.”

Ebola: NCAA DemandsVigilance from Airlines Chinedu Eze The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed Nigerian airlines, especially those operating international and regional destinations to be vigilant in the screening of passengers before they are allowed to board flights to the country. This is aimed at preventing travellers who have Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from coming to Nigeria. NCAA gave the directive in a circular with reference number: NCAA/DG/AMS/Vol.1/196, dated May 11, 2018 and dispatched to all operating airlines. In the circular, the regulatory authority informed the domestic operators of the outbreak of EVD in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 8, 2018. NCAA noted, however, that the outbreak of EVD in DR Congo is yet to be declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC). But the agency, the Federal Ministry of Health and all other relevant agencies have taken concerted steps to ensure the virus does not enter into Nigeria “Pilots-in-Command of aircraft are to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease onboard their flight in line with Nig.CARs 18.8.22.4. In case of any suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are to fill the General

Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms in line with Nig.CARs 18.8.17.4 and 18.8.22.5 respectively. Completed General Declaration and Public Health Passenger Locator forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome,” NCAA instructed. The authority also directed that airlines are to ensure they have onboard valid and appropriate number of first aid kits, universal precaution kits and emergency medical kits in line with Nig. CARs 7.9.1.12. The agency also directed that airlines are to refresh the knowledge of their crew members in the handling and communicating with ATC of any suspected case of communicable disease on board. “Airlines are to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country. Airlines are to report to the Authority in writing of any suspected case of communicable disease in flight, NCAA said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, and made available to THISDAY. NCAA said it would continue to collaborate with all relevant agencies to ensure that the Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan (PHECP) developed for the guidance of aviation stakeholders are adhered to. This will prevent the importation of any communicable disease into the country through our air borders (airports).

MINISTERIAL BRIEFING

L-R: Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony; Chairman, LSSC, Mr. Kweku Tandoh; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Kofoworola Awobamise, during a media conference by the sports commission, as part of the ongoing ministerial press briefing to commemorate the third year of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration in Ikeja....yesterday

Military Launches Operation Last Hold in Final Push against Boko Haram Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The Nigerian military has made a final push for Boko Haram terrorists as it launched Operation Last Hold to uproot the group from their known enclaves in and around the Lake Chad Basin. After the group was uprooted from the Sambisa Forest about a year and a half ago, they regrouped and turn many of the islands in the Lake Chad region and part of Northern Borno State into their new stronghold. From there, they launched many attacks in some parts of the Northeast and they were believed to have held abducted kidnapped women and girls, among them the 105 abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai,

yesterday said the military was now ready to uproot the terrorists from the area and allow for quick return of Nigerians to return to their homes. Many of those who fled the area at the heights of Boko Haram expansionist agenda are displaced both within Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The COAS, who was represented by Major General Abba Dikko at the launched of the new operation against Boko Haram in Maiduguri, said it was aimed at uprooting the terrorists from the extreme northern part of the state. Dikko, who is the Commander of the new operation, said it is aimed at reinforcing the ongoing operations in the theatre command of Operation Lafiya Dole in the troubled Northeast to clear the areas, provide an enabling environment

for the returning of displaced persons, allow for farming, fishing and security of lives and property as well as return of normal life to the people. He said despite the complex and adaptive nature of the Boko Haram insurgency, which has resulted in the dissident group still sometimes engaged in abductions, attacks on soft targets, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks and suicide bombings, “the Nigerian army is undeterred by the mutating posture of the Boko Haram.” The COAS added that the Nigerian army was determined to consolidate on its recent gains in the ongoing push, especially in the extreme Northern part of the state. He added that this is part of this year’s Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL).

Buratai said the operation was designed to deploy personnel and equipment to showcase the combat efficiency of the army and thereafter conduct operations to totally destroy Boko Haram locations in the Lake Chad basin general area. He added that the operation was also expected to last for four months and would entail deployment of additional maneuver brigades and other critical assets in the state which will facilitate the clearance of the Lake Chad waterways of sea weeds and other obstacles obstructing the movement of boats and people across the water channels. The army general further called on the public to remained vigilant and be security conscious as suspected terrorists may be fleeing from military operations in the Northeast in search of safe haven amidst communities.


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

50

NEWSEXTRA

NNPC Report: Nigeria Produced More Oil in 2017 from PSC Leases NPDC’s contribution to output put at 4.9%

Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has indicated that more oil was produced by Nigeria in 2017 from the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) it has with international oil companies (IOCs) in the country. According to the latest monthly operations and financial reports of the NNPC for the month of January 2018 which was released in Abuja and obtained by THISDAY yesterday, the total oil production of the country in one year, between January and December 2017 was 690,011,529 million barrels (mb), out of which PSC contributed 305,811,278mb and represented about 44.31 per cent. Following closely, the report stated was production from Joint Venture (JV) arrangements at 212,850,712mb, which represented 30.84 per cent; Alternative Finance (AF) contributed 92,652,391mb which was 13.42 per cent; while production from NNPC’s upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) for the period was 34,302,513mb which represented 4.97 per cent. The NNPC report also indicated that outputs from independents for the period was 44,394,635mb which represented 6.43 per cent. NNPC explained that while crude oil production in the country was reported a month in arrears and still subject to

further reconciliation with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the IOCs, the country however produced an average of 1,890,443 million barrels per day (mbd) of oil. Also for the period under consideration, NNPC said a total of 3,054.33 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas was produced. It said it represented an average daily production of 7,709.89 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas. It added that the percentage of gas production from JVs), PSCs and NPDC were about 69.42 per cent, 22.58 per cent and 8 per cent respectively. To fund the JV operations for the year, the report stated: “Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period January 2017 to January 2018 stood at $4.02 billion. Out of which the sum of $2.97 billion was transferred to JV cash call as first line charge and the balance of $1.05 billion was paid into Federation Account.” Shedding more lights on the activities of its subsidiary, the NPDC, the report explained: “NPDC’s crude production was based on NPDC’s wholly owned assets and percentage holding in JV assets. “The NPDC January to December 2017 cumulative production from all fields amounted to 34,302,513 barrels of crude oil which translated to an average daily production of 93,979 barrels per day.

Shiite Leader, Sheikh Zakzaky Arraigned for Murder in Kaduna John Shiklam in Kaduna The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, were yesterday arraigned before the Kaduna State High Court sitting in Kaduna. The Kaduna State Government had filed a fresh eight-count charge against the duo and two others for, among others things, allegedly abetting culpable homicide in the killing of one Corporal Dankaduna said to be in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff and for unlawful assembly. Dankaduna was killed in December 2015 when the Shiite members clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State. El-Zakzaky and his wife were brought from Abuja, where they are being detained. They were said to have been brought to Kaduna in the wee hours of the morning for the case at about 8:30a.m. The Shiite had refused being served with the charges some weeks earlier. When the case was mentioned, the Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Bayero Dari, announcing appearance for the prosecution. The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, asked where those standing trial were and he was told that they were within the court premises and the judge asked that they be brought in.

El-Zakzaky who was wearing a neck collar and holding a walking stick for support, was led to the courtroom alongside his wife by operatives of the DSS. Maxwell Kyon announced appearance for the defence on behalf of Femi Falana (SAN). Bayero asked for more time to enable the prosecution serve the other two persons standing trial with the Sheikh. Kyon made an oral application for bail and an unfettered access to their clients. However, the court asked that the bail application be brought formally. The court granted the defence’s request of unhindered access to El-Zakzaky, saying an adequate notice must be provided for at least three days. The application of the prosecution to allow the Shiite leader and his wife to continue being in the custody of the DSS was granted by the court. The case was adjourned to June 21, 2018 and the Sheikh and his wife were put in two separate SUVs and driven to Abuja. There was very tight security around the court complex as heavily armed security personnel blocked all the entrances. Journalists and other sympathisers were prevented by security agents from accessing the court complex.

“Comparing PTD NPDC performance to national production, the company’s production share amounted to 4.97 per cent. NPDC production continued to improve as a result of success recorded in repairs of vandalised pipeline in the Niger Delta and resumption of crude

oil lifting activities at Forcados Terminal. NPDC is projected to ramp-up production level to 250,000bpd in the near future.” Continuing, the report added that: “PTD production from NPDC wholly operated assets amounted to 10,009,301 barrels or 29.18 per cent of the

total NPDC production, with Okono Okpoho (OML 119) alone producing 77.87 per cent of the NPDC wholly owned operated assets or 22.72 per cent of the total NPDC production. “Also on the NPDC operated JV assets, in which NPDC owns 55 per cent controlling

interest, crude oil production amounted to 17,235,899 barrel or 50.25 per cent of the NPDC total production. On the non-operated assets, production level stood at 7,057,313 barrels or 20.57 per cent of the company’s production.”

G.O. IN TOWN

General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch A Adeboye (left), and Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, at an inter-denominational service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to honour the late National Secretary of CAN Dr. Musa Asake in Jos ...weekend

NDPHC’s Board Meets This Week, Reviews Firm’s Operations NIPP privatisation, others could be up for discussion Chineme Okafor in Abuja Barring any unpredicted developments, the board members of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the parent firm of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs), will for the first time in about three years, meet this week in Abuja to review the operational status of the firm, THISDAY has learnt. It gathered at the May 2018 edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting which held on Monday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, that the board members which include representatives of the federal and state governments of the federation would meet on Thursday, where they are expected to take decisions that would move the operations of the NDPHC forward. To this end, the Managing Director of the NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, and other top management of the company had in the last few weeks embarked on nationwide solidarity and familiarisation visits to representative state governors on the board. Though not confirmed, the board of the company had never met since the government of President Muhammadu Buhari took over from former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Ugbo and his management

team have reportedly gone to see the Governors of Anambra State, Mr. Willy Obiano who sits on the board for the South-east; Adamawa State, Mr. Bindo Jibrilla who represents the North East; and Kebbi State, Mr. Abubakar Bagudu who stands in for the North West, ahead of the meeting. They would however continue the familiarisation visits to Plateau, Edo and Lagos State governors, Mr. Simon Lalong, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in the weeks after the board meeting. At the meeting in Adamawa where the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Martins Babale, stood in for Jibrilla, Ugbo explained that about 25 electricity distribution projects have been executed by the NDPHC to restore and distribution capacity in the north east which has had the Boko Haram terrorist destroy most of the region’s power systems. He noted that such projects include 15 1X7.5MVA 33/11kV injection substations and a 1X2.5MVA 33/11kV injection substation, all completed under NDPHC’s normal project schedule, as well as nine distribution intervention projects done in Maiduguri – Borno; Gujba, Gulani and Nguru – Yobe;

Jabbi, Konar, Girei, Gashua, Dumne, Dirma and Tinde Laro Song – Adamawa; and Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro – Bauchi. These distribution intervention projects, he stated, included construction of 33kV lines and transformers in villages and towns within these states, as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction of power lines and infrastructure in Maiduguri. THISDAY further gathered that at the scheduled board meeting, governors and board members of the company may canvass for the existing challenges of the NIPPs to be given expedited attention. For instance, the planned privatisation of 10 power generation plants of the firm had been on hold for more than four years now on account of issues which include inadequate gas supplies to them and foreign exchange differentials amongst others. The NDPHC had following the privatisation stalemate, reportedly continued to manage the plants albeit at high costs. It also does not get paid enough for the power it generates from the plants, and allegedly does not claim capacity payments from the electricity market. Ugbo had in 2017 interview granted to THISDAY, explained that the plants sell power to the grid at N18 per kilowatts hour

as against the N25 that other generation companies sell to the grid. He also noted then that three of the plants – 634 megawatts (MW) Calabar plant, 1,076MW Alaoji combined cycle plant, and 506MW Geregu plant were ready to proceed with their privatisation but that the firm would need the approval of its board to go ahead with that. Though THISDAY could not confirm from him if this would be up for discussion at this week’s board meeting, it however gathered that it could be as well as a push by the governors to have NDPHC step up its distribution intervention projects across the country. The financial challenges of the company, it was further learnt would also be up for discussion at the meeting. Additionally, Ugbo noted that the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country were still refusing to take over some of the distribution facilities the NDPHC had built in their networks. It is expected that the meeting will address this. He disclosed that so far, Nasarawa, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, and Kaduna States were amongst the states that have benefited from the first phase of its solar power projects which was planned to deploy 20,000 solar home systems mostly to homes in northern Nigeria.


WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

51

NEWSEXTRA

N22.8bn Alleged Fraud: Amosu Demands Badeh’s Statement to EFCC A former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), who is being tried for an alleged fraud of N22.8bn, has urged the court to direct

the prosecution to supply him with the statement obtained from his predecessor, Air Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd). Amosu’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji

CHAIRMANSHIP RACE: OSHIOMHOLE REACHES OUT TO APC LAWMAKERS towards the 2019 general election and beyond.” On the ultimatum issued by the new PDP to the party tto address their issues, Oshiomole said:”I don’t think it’s a big issue; some people have expressed discontent over one thing or the other. “I think from my background, when people write to you to say we have issues, we want you to address this issue, it means the issues are negotiable- They are ready to discuss, they have an open mind. “If they’re not ready to discuss, there’ll be no point issuing anybody any so-called ultimatum; so you only write to someone to say I have grievances, these are the grievances and I’m giving you this amount of time to look into those grievances; for me, that implies a commitment to dialogue and the least requirement you need to service intra-party democracy is the capacity to dialogue rather than monologue. “So, to me, believe that to that extent, I expect that they have an open mind and the party leadership has an open mind, the president has an open mind and those issues will be discussed and resolved.” However, in what could suggest that the chairmanship candidate may have impressed his audience with his assurances, Gbajabiamila also said the caucus had endorsed

Oshiomole for the position. The Leader said: “He came, he discussed with us and we’ve been behind closed doors for over two hours now- so when people sit down together for two hours, you know a lot has been accomplished. “He come with a rich pedigree in administration and governance which we all know and he’s laid some of his programmes on the table for us; very serious heartto-heart discussions and we are all on the same page and like he said, he came to solicit support and the result of that soliciting is that we as the APC caucus in the House of Representatives believe in him...and we more or less have endorsed him for the position of chairman of the party.” Earlier, Oshiomhole said with proactive leadership, the party will ensure problem are resolved in a win-win manner if elected. “We all can have something,” he added. He said he would try to persuade the aggrieved members to remain, stressing that “We can together strengthen our party and make it less shy of contestation.” He promised to adopt a policy of inclusion rather than exclusion, adding that “It’s my hope that we’ll all see a new APC capable of delivery of public good.” “We must be capable of overcoming bitterness,” he declared.

Ayorinde (SAN), insisted yesterday during proceedings before the Federal High Court in Lagos that he would not go on without being supplied with the statement made by Badeh to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He urged the judge to direct the EFCC to supply him with same and to adjourn the matter to enable him to use Badeh’s statement in the defence of Amosu. The EFCC charged Amosu with an alleged fraud of N22.8bn. He is being tried alongside Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga. They were accused of using eight companies to embezzle N22.8bn from NAF’s coffers. But they pleaded not guilty. At the yesterday’s proceedings, an operative of the EFCC, Tosin Owobo, who appeared as the second

prosecution witness, said during cross-examination by Ayorinde that the funds allegedly diverted by the defendants were meant for NAF’s operations, including Operation Lafiya Dole in the insurgency-troubled North-east. Owobo told the court that in the course of investigation, his team interviewed and took statements from a number of NAF officers, including Badeh, who all confirmed that the funds were for operations. “We interviewed other officers like Sergeant Agbogiji Murphy, Air Commodore Yishau, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, Wing Commander Ifuegbu, Umar Mohammed, among other NAF officials.” Ayorinde then asked the witness if Badeh’s statement was obtained, to which the witness replied in the affirmative, adding that the statement was in the EFCC’s office. “Is Badeh’s statement before

this court?” Ayorinde asked. “Alex Badeh is not a part of this charge; so, we didn’t file Badeh’s statement,” the witness said. Looking through NAF’s statement of account, Ayorinde pointed out a February 25, 2014 transaction of N5.1million and asked Owobo if Badeh was questioned as regards the transaction. Owobo said Badeh was questioned on the transactions in the statement of account and gave answers as to the transactions that fell within his time as the Chief of Air Staff. “Did you interview Badeh about the N5m transaction of February 25, 2014? If you did, what did he tell you?” Ayorinde asked the witness. Owobo explained again that Badeh was questioned as regards transactions that took place under his watch. Moving on, Ayorinde asked if the EFCC also obtained

a statement from Umar Mohammed, to which Owobo answered in the positive. “Where is the statement?” he asked. “It is in our office,” Owobo said. At this point, Ayorinde told the judge he would no longer be able to continue until the statements were made available to him. He told the judge that he had earlier written to the EFCC asking to be supplied with all relevant documents to defend his client. “We do not want to be seen as causing any delay but at the same time we have to do our job very well,” he said, while urging Justice Mohammed Idris to direct the EFCC to produce the documents. The judge, in a short ruling, directed the prosecution to make all relevant documents available to the defence and adjourned till May 30, 2018 for continuation of trial.

AGAIN, 31 KILLED IN NASARAWA COMMUNAL CRISIS State is a faceless organisation which is being sponsored to destabilise the Tiv people of Nasarawa State in particular, and the state in general,” he said. The TIDA president was however surprised over the recent condemnation of prominent Tiv sons in Nasarawa State by the paramount ruler of Tiv nation in their roles in the current crisis without seeking audience with them. He therefore appealed to Ayatse to completely disassociate himself from the faceless organisation which is out to cause confusion and incite the Tor Tiv against TIDA and Nasarawa State government who were at their best to ensure everlasting peace in the state. “The office of His Royal Majesty, the Tor Tiv, is so prestigious to be linked to vices that can separate the people more than uniting the people,” Ifer maintained. Meanwhile, in Borno State, in a statement, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North-east Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Abdulkadir Ibrahim, said: “Five members of Civilian JTF were killed in suicide bomb blast in Madarari, outskirts of Konduga town in Konduga Local Government Area, Borno State at a checkpoint before entering Konduga.” He added: “Five people were

injured in the incident which occurred when the suicide bomber detonated the concealed IED as he was being searched at checkpoint.” This attack will go down as one of the worst on the Civilian JTF, who have recorded many successes against the insurgents in Borno State. The Civilian JTF are known to be eagle eyed and have kept both the Boko Haram militants and their suicide bombers at bay. Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the police in Borno State, Edet Okon, in a statement, said: “Today, May 15, 2018, at about 1330hrs in Mandarari village in Konduga Local Government Area, a male suicide bomber detonated an IED strapped to his body, close to an Airtel mast. The resulting explosion killed the bomber and unfortunately, four civillian JTF operatives. Five other persons were injured.” He said: “The state police command immediately deployed men of the EOD unit and other combat teams to sanitise the scene and restore normalcy. The corpses and the injured have been evacuated to the hospital.” He said the commissioner of police urged members of the public to always remain vigilant and report suspicious persons and activities to the police or other security agencies.

UNVEILING CINEMA

L-R: Cultural Officer, French Embassy, Mr. Johann; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Fola Adeyemi; Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Desmond Elliot; and Member, Board of Council for Arts and Culture, Kunle Afolayan, at the unveiling of Cinema in Lagos in Cannes, France...recently

Igbo in the North Applaud Efforts to Tackle Ethnic Crises The Association of Eze Igbo in the 19 northern states and Abuja has commended individuals and government officials who had been working tirelessly to prevent a resurgence of any major ethnic crisis in the country especially between Igbo and their northern counterparts. The umbrella body of Eze Igbo in the North, which gave the commendation at the end of its two-day meeting held in Abuja, expressed satisfactory with the roles played by concerned Nigerians which led to amicable resolution of the October 1, 2017 quit notice issued to Ndigbo living in the region by the some northern youths. According to the communiqué issued by the Chairman, Dr. Pampas M.I.N. Nwahiwe, Eze

Igbo Minna, Niger State, and General Secretary, Professor Jerome Obilom, Eze Igbo, Jos, Plateau State, respectively, the association also affirmed the suspension of Eze Igbo, Abuja, Ibe Nwosu. The association also said it had resolved to mobilise and encourage Ndigbo in the North to endeavour to register and obtain their permanent voter ’s cards to enable them vote in 2019 general election. The association in the communiqué, “Reaffirmed its commitment towards sustaining and strengthening the peace and unity existing between the Igbos and their host communities in the North. “Commended the efforts of

those who worked relentlessly and contributed in one way or the other to avert the crisis that would have resulted from the quit notice given Igbos in the North. “Endorsed and reaffirmed the suspension of Ibe Nwosu, Eze Igbo Abuja, from its membership for his fragrant display of arrogance, disrespect to constituted authority, actions which the association considered unbecoming of a traditional ruler and detrimental to the interest, wellbeing and unity of Ndigbo, not only in Abuja but the entire Northern Nigeria. “In his place, Ezeudo Uche Egenti, who is the Ezeudo of the Airport District Abuja and President of Ndi Ezeudos in 19 northern states and Abuja, was mandated to oversee the activities of

the association concerning Ndigbo in FCT. “Considered reports presented by Ezes from various states on the state of affairs concerning the welfare, security and unity of Ndigbo in 19 northern states and Abuja. “Appealed to the federal government to find lasting solution to incessant conflict between farmers and herdsmen, which has resulted in the loss of many lives and disruption of economic activities in various parts of the country, especially the North-central zone.” The association “Commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his untiring effort in tacking the menace of corruption in the country, especially the recovery of looted funds from within and outside the country.”


52

WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSEXTRA

In Abia, Police Classify Praying as Terrorist Act Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia Abia State Police Command has classified praying as terrorist act and has even charged nine adherents of Judaism faith for praying at the deserted home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, at Afaraukwu, Umuahia. The Jews were said to have gone to the palace of Eze Israel Kanu, last Sunday to pray and clean the abode of the royal father which was stormed by soldiers on September 14, 2017, during which many casualties were recorded among IPOB members. But the police truncated the prayer session and religious rites of cleansing the palace as they swooped on the worshippers and arrested over 20 persons including women and children. After releasing the women and children, the police decided to charge nine men with terrorism offences and sought to prosecute them under the Abia State law on terrorism. Instead of taking the ‘suspects’ straight to a high court, the police prosecutor arraigned them before a magistrate court which lacked jurisdiction to try such cases. The one count charge reads: “That you ... and others now at large, on or about the 13th of May, 2018, at Afaraukwu, Umuahia in Umuahia North Magistrate district in the course of carrying out your terrorist act, and with intent to frighten ASP Justus Ogar of the Nigerian Police, Abia command and his team, and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 12 (a) of the Abia State prohibition of terrorism , kidnapping , hostage taking, use of offensive weapons or explosives and other threatening behaviour law 2009”.

The said law has no provision for classifying praying as a terrorism act but the Abia Police has other ideas even when no amendment has been effected to include religious worship as an act of terrorism. One of the counsel to the ‘accused terrorists,’ Mr. Godwin Chionye, told the presiding magistrate, U.O. Egwu, that the terrorism charge was outlandish as the action of the accused did not in any way amount to terrorism. Chionye, who said he hails from Afaraukwu explained that contrary to the police claims, the accused persons were only at Kanu’s house for religious purpose and not to commit terrorism. He said: “Your Worship, I am incidentally from the Afaraukwu where the accused came to pray at the house of His Royal Highness, Eze Israel Kanu, which is very close to my house. The worshippers were not disturbing anybody but only praying. “Why will you call them terrorists? If they were destroying anything the villagers would have complained. It is a mark of wickedness for the police to arrest and put them in detention just because they are Jewish worshippers. They were wearing their white garments and praying, and you can be sure that no person wears white garment to commit terrorism.” The second counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, corroborated Chionye’s assertion. He said if the accused persons had indeed gathered at the palace of Eze Kanu with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, they would not have come with children. “It is highly doubtful anywhere in the world that criminals will

EFCC Moves Jang to Jos Ahead of Arraignment Today Seriki Adinoyi in Jos The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has moved former Plateau State Governor, Senator Jonah David Jang, to Jos ahead of today’s arraignment before Justice Daniel Longji of the Jos High Court 5. THISDAY gathered that Jang is presently at the Police Headquarters, where he would be until he would be taken to court today. Jang has been charged with fraud by the EFCC. His arraignment earlier scheduled last Monday, was adjourned to today following expert application by the EFCC who said it could not present the accused for logistic reason. Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it has uncovered a mischievous plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to attack the agent of the EFCC on its way to the court on Wednesday and blame it on PDP. In a statement signed the Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. John Akans, the party said: “It has come to the attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that two notable commissioners in the current administration have hatched plans to mobilise thugs to attack the EFFC and the teeming supporters of our party today when the commission is expected to present Jang for arraignment at the courts. “This we discovered is intended to frame our unsuspecting supporters

for the planned attack by creating an atmosphere of chaos for a clash which their paid brigade of thugs would initiate. “Consequently, we want to hereby use this medium to call on our supporters and members to be orderly, peaceful, and law-abiding when they turn up in mass to witness proceedings at the courts like they did on May 14, 2018. “We also wish to charge them to overcome the temptation to react when provoked by those already mobilised to taunt and attack them. “To this end therefore, we wish to call on the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Operation Safe Haven, and all other collaborating law enforcement agencies to secure and protect our supporters from the impending threat. “As we look forward to reuniting with our leader and elder statesman who is fondly called the Architect of Modern Plateau for his transformational work which remains an enduring legacy in the history of Plateau State, we do that with a measure of confidence in the knowledge that morning will come no matter the length of night.” But the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yakubu Dati, has dismissed the allegation saying, “We are in Kanam Local Government Area where Lalong is flagging-off sales of fertilizer for the 2018 cropping season, and therefore too busy to respond to clowns.”

go to commit terrorism in the company of their children,” he argued. The legal practitioner said when he got wind of the arrest on Sunday; he had raced down to the police station where the children of the accused were released to him on trust. “The children were released to me by the police and I accommodated them in a hotel till this morning. Some of them are even sick and needed medical attention. They have been at the place of worship since Friday and not violent. Even one of the accused is about 75 years and unlikely to jump bail.

“When the children were released to me yesterday, they were very hungry and I gave them mango to eat. Police should be called to order because the accused have nothing to associate them as IPOB members. They were only there as Jewish adherents to pray. They were there in their numbers including their children and some women to pray and not for terrorism,” he said. Ejimakor drew the attention of the Magistrate that some of the children aged between four and 10 released to him by the police were also in the court. They were asked to file out for identification, and the children aged between

four and 10, numbering about eight looked frail and worn out. Despite the submissions of the defence counsels that the accused have the constitutional right to be granted bail, the police prosecutor argued that the magistrate court lacked jurisdiction over the case. He therefore asked that the accused should be detained pending the time the state Director of Public Prosecution ( DPP) would charge the matter to High Court. Apparently angered by the argument of the police prosecutor, the presiding magistrate asked him why he had to bring the matter

to magistrate court knowing that it lacked jurisdiction over it. Nonetheless, the magistrate remanded the accused in prison custody and adjourned the matter to May 30. Speaking with journalists, Chionye insisted that the accused were not terrorists and regretted that the security agents instead of going for real terrorists have decided to go about harassing innocent worshipers. He lashed out at the police saying, “Herdsmen with AK47 are roaming about in our backyard and no security agent is touching them. Is this one Nigeria? This is unacceptable”.

PROJECT INSPECTION

L-R: Yobe State Commissioner for Housing Bukar Dauda; Commissioner for Works; Lawan Shettima Ali; Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam; and Damaturu International Cargo Airport Project Director, Aminu Abubakar Suleiman, looking at project drawings during the governor’s inspection of the airport project, in Damaturu.... yesterday.

HOUSE PROBES ASSAULT ON JUDICIARY IN RIVERS judiciary being harassed in Rivers. He said:”If allowed to continue this way, we will be heading towards chaos and anarchy. “This is a threat to our hard earned democracy and should be condemned.” Also, a bill for an Act to Repeal the Explosives Act, 2004 and Re-enact the Explosives Bill, 2018 to make Comprehensive Provisions for the use and control of explosives in Nigeria and for related matters, 2018 was read for the third time and passed in the House yesterday. Meanwhile, the NLC has warned against intimidation of the judiciary in the country. NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said: “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress condemn the attacks by hoodlums and their sponsors on the Court in Port Harcourt. “These attacks represent the primitive instincts of the hoodlums and the desperation of their promoters. “But beyond this, an attack on the court, any court for that matter, constitutes a violation of the sanctity of the judiciary and an invitation to anarchy.” He explained: “In light of the fact that the court is the last hope of the common man, no explanation is good enough for this level of primitive violence. “In our view, our democracy

can only make meaning as well as stand the test of time with strong institutions. “Accordingly, we should eschew undermining them as that will only render them prostrate and amenable to manipulation. “However, judges owe themselves and the system the duty of living above board. Anything to the contrary, erodes the confidence of the citizenry in the courts and makes attractive the quest for alternative route to justice, which often times could be savage! “Finally, we urge the police to fish out and prosecute these culprits, no matter how highly placed. We say ‘No to intimidation of the courts’ Wabba submitted. However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the police to immediately arrest and prosecute leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State allegedly linked with the violent attack and invasion of a High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, last Friday. The party said Nigerians were alarmed when armed thugs allegedly sponsored by some ‘desperate leaders of the dysfunctional and violent-prone APC’ attacked the court, shot

their way through, assaulted judicial officers and disrupted proceedings in a bid to stop the court from giving a ruling against them. A statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbodion, said: “It is instructive to note that the attack came on a day the court set aside to make pronouncement on a suit related to APC’s ward congresses for which some APC leaders in a faction allegedly aligned with the presidency, including a serving minister, unleashed hoodlums on the court. “We are particularly alarmed that since the attack, no arrest has been made, while the federal government has not taken any concrete steps to bring the perpetrators of this treasonable act to book. “The failure of the APC-led federal government to act validates allegations that the attack was coordinated as part of the design to intimidate and emasculate the judiciary and ultimately erode its ability to boldly dispense justice on election matters ahead of the 2019 general election, having realised the electoral failure that awaits the APC.” PDP said it was also aware of secret interferences, threats, harassments and coercion of

judicial officers since the sting operation on judges, to do APC’s bidding in cases related to PDP members as well as the 2019 elections. “Furthermore, we note that this assault on the judiciary is coming on the heels of the invasion of the National Assembly by hoodlums sponsored by the agents of the APC, who brazenly stormed the Senate chambers, disrupted proceedings, threatened our lawmakers and carted away the mace, after which none of them has been brought to book. “We therefore invite Nigerians to rise up and resist this drift towards fascism. Our citizens worked hard for the democracy we have in our country today and we cannot fold our hands and allow the APC destroy it with their lust for power. “Finally, while we urge the judiciary to do all to protect itself against the onslaught of the APC, we want the APC to come to terms with the fact that no amount of intimidation, violent attacks, harassment and smear campaign can stop Nigerians in their determination to rally on the platform of the repositioned PDP to end this misrule and return our country to that path of peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity in 2019,” it said.


53

WEDNESDAY MAY 16, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSEXTRA

FG Signs $6.68bn Contract with CCECC for IbadanKaduna Part of Lagos-Kano Rail Line Kasim Sumaina in Abuja The federal government yesterday signed a contract agreement of $6.68billion on the Ibadan-Kaduna Railway segment of the Lagos-Kano Railway Line with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, in a statement by the ministry in Abuja, noted that the contract agreement is for the implementation of addendum number four Ibadan- Kaduna segment of the Lagos- Kano rail line at

the cost of $6.68 billion According to the statement, “This one is Ibadan- Kaduna rail line which is part of the Lagos-Kano rail line” he said. The minister added that the completion time of the contract should between 2 to 3 years depending on the availability of funds. “The ministry should be able to provide its counterpart funding between this year and next year budget provision. “The Ibadan- Kaduna Standard Gauge line will pass through Osogbo-Ilorin-Minna to Kaduna, with a single track branch line from Osogbo to

Ado-Ekiti. “This contract is in fulfilment of federal government’s plan to complete the Lagos- Kano rail modernization Project which was started in 2006 and broken into segments for

implementation in 2008. “The segmentation phase commenced in Abuja- Kaduna Rail Line in 2011 which was completed and commissioned into commercial operation by President Muhammadu Buhari

in 2016. “The federal government in March 2017 commenced implementation of the second leg of the Lagos-Kano line which is the Lagos-Ibadan rail line that is currently on-going and

is planned to be completed by the end of 2018. “Signing of this IbadanKaduna segment contract agreement today concludes all outstanding segment of Lagos – Kano rail line.

Again, Herdsmen Kill One in Kogi Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja Barely 48 hours after some suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded two Tivs settlement, in Mopamuro and Ijumu Local Government councils killing ten persons, a forestry operator has been killed by Herdsmen in Apaa Agbede in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Council of the state. The forestry operator popularly known as Andrew was killed at about 4pm yesterday by the herdsmen. Information reaching THISDAY from the village confirmed that the forestry operator met his untimely death while carrying out his wood felling in Apaa Agbede community. According to a source, fear of reprisal attack has made residents of Apaa Agbede community to flee the town, with many of them moving toward Kabba, the local government headquarters. The source added that the attack on Andrew may not be

unconnected with an argument over destruction of farmland, an action by the herdsmen he frowned against. The Administrator of Kabba/ Bunu Local Government Council, Mr. Moses Olorunleke, who also confirmed the incident said only one person was killed. However, all efforts to speak with the spokesman of Kogi State Police Command, Mr. William Ayah, proved abortive as his phone line was off but the Divisional Police Office in Kabba says it has not yet been briefed on the matter. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Council, Hon Taofiq Isah, yesterday said only one person was killed during an attack of two Tiv communities in Ijumu and Mopamuro Local Government Councils last Monday. The Chairman said a bucket of honey belonging to the Fulani man was stolen which led to the invasion of the two communities.

Melaye Assassination Attempt: Court Strikes out Case for Want of Diligent Prosecution Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja yesterday struck out the assassination attempt instituted by Senator Dino Melaiye against the Administrator of Ijumu Local Government Area, Alhaji Taofiq Isa, and four others for want of diligent prosecution. Precisely a year ago, Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, had approached the court alleging an assassination attempt on his life by Isa and four others: Ade Obege, Abdullahi Isah, Michael Bamidel and Ahmed Ajayi. However, ruling on the matter, the trial judge, Justice Fola Ajayi, noted with regrets that the prosecution counsel could not open its case despite four adjournments to enable them put their house in order. He therefore struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution and gave a consequential order that the prosecution could start their case afresh when ever they are ready.

Speaking on behalf of the defence councils, Zakari Abbas, commended the trial judge for the landmark judgment. He said the judge, having listened to all parties, came to the conclusion that the prosecution has not diligently pursued their case. “Hence the charge brought against the defendants have been struck out. As it stands, there is no criminal charges against the defendants. “However, the judge gave a consequential order that whenever they are ready with their witnesses, they could approach the court to start their case afresh. Reacting to the ruling, Isa expressed joy and described the ruling as an act of God, saying that the judiciary still remains the hope of the common man. He said he has forgiven those who had accused him wrongly and called on all Okun sons and daughters to come together in the interest of the development of the area.

NSE EVENT

L-R: Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Houston Branch, Mr. Fisoye Delano; Executive Member, NSE, Houston Branch, Mrs. Ngowari Diminas; NSE President, Mr. Adekunle Mokuolu; and NSE Deputy President, Mr. Babagana Mohammed, during an event at the Texas Southern University (TSU), Houston, Texas, United States of America...recently

Emmanuel Explains Why A’Ibom Ignored FG’s Bailout Okon Bassey in Uyo Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State yesterday explained why his state was not among those that negotiated for the bail-out funds from the federal government. He explained that the state government did not collect the bail-out funds because he did not want to mortgage the future of the Akwa Ibom people especially the youths. The governor gave the clarifications while fielding questions from journalists while inaugurating more than 50 internal roads as part of activities to mark the forth coming democracy day celebrations in the state.

Emmanuel boasted that his administration would continue to deliver even in the midst of challenges, as he tasked civil servants and pensioners in the state who are qualified for pension and who have not been paid to come forward with proof. He said he would continue to plan and implement strategies aimed at building a strong economy for the state hence his reason for a strong industrialisation drive. “We have a blueprint for the development of the state and aggregating efforts towards that, and so we should have no excuse not to deliver even in the midst of challenges and constraints. We should be able to do the much we can,” he said.

Emmanuel said the state is blessed with much natural resources, adding that it would amount to injustice to the people if the resources are not utilised. In addition to other industrial efforts, he said machineries have been put in place to process and package food related products with some of the products to serve as sources of material for further production by manufacturing firms that would still spring up in the state. He said arrangements had been concluded for the building of a modern cocoa plant that would compete with others in the international market, adding that his emphasis on coconut production and processing

remained a plant with over 300 uses with a live span of about 90 years. With direct and indirect employment opportunities resulting from the multiple chains of activities in the coconut business, the governor assured his state that over 160,000 employment opportunities would be created for indigenes and residents. He maintained that his focus on internal and rural roads was to address the socio economic challenges of people at the grassroots, adding: “I want people at the grassroots to also feel the impact of my administration, and though these roads are short, their summation will make much impact in the lives of the people.”

Lagos Woos Film Makers, Unveils Magazine in Cannes, France The Lagos State Government has encouraged filmmakers and producers across the world to take advantage of the massive infrastructure and enabling environment provided by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration to shoot their films in the state. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, said this last weekend during the unveiling of the magazine: ‘Cinema in Lagos’ by the state government at the ongoing Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France. Describing the state as a land of opportunities, the Permanent

Secretary emphasised that Lagos is the place to be for all filmmakers and producers across the world. He, therefore, called on global investors to take advantage of the liberal policies and programmes of this administration towards the creative arts and entertainment industry to heavily invest in this sector in view of its vision to make Lagos become the most preferred tourism destination in Africa. Adeyemi further added that Ambode has a great passion for the creative arts and entertainment industry which he envisioned will become the next global money spinner across the world.

While stating the abundant flora and fauna in the state, the permanent secretary said that it was gratifying to note that Lagos is blessed with natural beaches and scenery that will further improve on the film quality and production in the creative industry. He therefore implored filmmakers to come to Lagos and shoot their films. According to him, “We warmly invite you to Lagos to shoot your films. Lagos is inviting you to come over, we are indeed ready for you.” In his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee in Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Desmond Elliot,

stated that Lagos State was not just in Cannes to sell and market itself as a venue for shooting films but to tell the world that the state has a government that is a lover of the arts and entertainment industry. According to him, “If you have not been to Lagos, you have not tasted Africa.” In addition, filmmaker and board member of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Mr. Kunle Afolayan, invited filmmakers across the world to come to Lagos and do business as the state government is committed to the growth of the film industry.


54

T H I S D AY ˾WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018

WEDNESDAYSPORTS

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

FG Signifies Intention to Cede National Stadium to Lagos Ambode approves N3.6bn for Onikan stadium Okays viewing centre for Russia 2018 Gboyega Akinsanmi After one year of high politics that undermined its expression of interest in the National Stadium, Surulere, the Lagos State Government yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government had finally agreed to cede the facility. Consequently, the state government said its top functionaries would go to Abuja next week to finalise the process of handing over the National Stadium in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Mr. Kweku Tandoh made the disclosure yesterday at a ministerial press briefing he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa. Ikeja. He addressed the press briefing alongside the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; the Director General of LSSC, Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Mrs. Kofoworola Awobamise among others. The state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had on March 1, 2017 inspected the National Stadium alongside the Minister of Sports & Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung and other state functionaries. At the inspection of the sports facility, the minister lamented that the edifice “is in a sorry state. The level of dilapidation is very embarrassing. It can never be equated with our

civilisation as a people.” In response to an inquiry on the plan of Lagos State to take over the National Stadium,Tandoh disclosed that President Buhari had already gave verbal approval to release the facility during his two-day visit to Lagos in March. He explained that Ambode re-presented the request of Lagos State to take over the National Stadium mentioned in a speech he delivered the Presidential dinner the state government organised for the president during the visit. After the governor represented the request, Tandoh said the president verbally gave approval “to release the facility to the Lagos State Government,” noting that the process of handover would commence next week. Just on Monday, Tandoh disclosed that Ambode gave directive that he should proceed “to Abuja next week to deliver some communication that is necessary and put in place handover of the National Stadium to Lagos State. I hope this time the federal government will hand it over on the terms of the Lagos State Government.” He gave insight into diverse issues that undermined the state’s interest to take over the sports facility, Tandoh noted that the state government signified interest in taking over the National Stadium completely. He noted that state government “did not just signify interest to take over the National Stadium completely. The state governor met with the Minister of Sports and Youth Development. They agreed to

inspect the facility. And they eventually inspected the facility in 2017. “Later, there were signs and signals that the federal government was not ready to hand over the facility to Lagos State. It was as if the federal government only wanted concession agreement with Lagos State. “The arrangement simply required Lagos State to fix the

sports facility and use it for an agreed period of time. But the federal government will still be the owner. That is not what Lagos State wants,” he noted. After explaining that the federal government’s readiness to transfer the National Stadium to Lagos State would boost sports development, the chairman disclosed that N3.6 billion had already been approved for the reconstruction

of Onikan Stadium in Lagos Island. He noted that the Onikan stadium “has been modelled to an all-covered ultra-modern international stadium with the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) certified turf and multipurpose arena for entertainment concerts with capacity to accommodate 10,000 spectators.” Tandoh disclosed the

governor had approved establishment of three viewing centres for the 2018 World cup in Russia. He said the three locations selected for the viewing centres “are Ajegunle, Alimosho and Mushin Local Government. The centres will be in place for the duration of world cup and will serve as venues where people in those areas can watch world cup matches free of charge.”

L-R: Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Kenyan trio of Ronoh Timothy, Alex Kibet and Simon Chepat during the presentation of prizes at the 2018 Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe, Edo State ...last weekend

250 Pupils for 2018 Pre-World Cup Friendly: Bolasie to Lead DR Congo against Eagles star forward Yannick against Nigeria in Port (Bournemouth), Cedric prepare for a 2019 AFCON Rabiu Adeola Memorial Everton Bolasie will lead a 32-man Harcourt. Bakambu (China) and qualifier against Liberia. DR Congo squad dominated Other top pros stars are Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle The team will fly into by overseas pros for a May Paul Jose Mpoku (Standard United). Nigeria on a special chartered Scrabble Tourney 28 World Cup warm-up Liege/Belgium), Benik Afobe DRC will use this match to flight on May 25. The third edition of Rabiu Adeola Memorial Schools Scrabble Championships will hold today May 16th, 2018 at Lagos Country Club in Ikeja. Founder and sponsor of the annual competition, Mr. Bimbo Adeola, said this year’s edition of the competition, which is memory of his late father, will have over 250 students competing for prizes and more hidden talents in the sport will be brought to the fore. The overall champion is to smile home with a trophy, medal, certificate and gift items while the first and second runners up will also win medals, certificates and gift items. All the participating kids will also go home with certificates and juicy gift items. The maiden edition in 2016 was won by Okiki Fowobaje, as he emerged overall winner of the contest among 45 kids from 11 schools from different parts of Lagos. Fowobaje was too good for the rest of the children as he smiled home with

a giant trophy and other mouth-watering prizes. The second and third prizes went to Daniel Lawal and Pese Alo respectively. The second edition of the competition in 2017 saw Esom Kemakolam emerging tops while the duo of Angela Osaigbovo and Ekhagbai Gerald were second and third. Adeola disclosed further that this year’s edition will have competing students from Chrisland Schools, Grange School, Green Springs, Redeemers International Schools, Corona Schools, Christ College, Carol Schools, Supreme Educational Centre, Dansol School, Mind Builders Schools, Vivian Fowler Memorial, Mayflower Schools, Ikenne, Coastland School, Hallmark School, Ifako International School, Berkley Science Magnet School, St. Gregory’s College and a host of other schools. Adeola, who is an ace sports broadcaster and managing director of 27 July Limited, said the number of participants attests to the growing influence of the competition.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES FALLOUT

Missing African Athletes, Coach Face Deportation from Australia Ten athletes and a coach who went missing during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast face deportation from Australia. The group includes eight athletes from Cameroon, two from Uganda and a Rwandan Para-powerlifting coach. “If they breach the conditions, they’re subject to enforcement action,” said Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Their visas expired at

midnight on Tuesday in Sydney. “Like anyone else, they’re expected to operate within the law, and enforcement action will take place to identify those people and to deport them if they don’t self-declare,” added Dutton. The eight Cameroon athletes - three weightlifters and five boxers - comprised a third of their 24-athlete delegation. Cameroon team officials confirmed they were last seen

at different times on April 9 and April 10. Team officials named the missing athletes as weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Petit Minkoumba, and boxers Christian Ndzie Tsoye, Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang. Local media reports in Australia suggest members of the group have contacted a refugee advice centre in

Sydney. “Some have been to us for advice,” Ben Lumsdaine, a solicitor at the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. Australia’s immigration authorities often grant temporary ‘bridging’ visas that allow in-country residency applicants to remain while their cases are assessed. In 2012, seven Cameroonian athletes disappeared while in London for the Olympics.

Agbakoba Wins 2018 BOA Lawyers’ League to End Falana’s Dominance John Uttute was the hero of Olisa Agbakoba Legal’s triumph against Falana & Falana in the final of the 2018 BOA Lawyers’ Football Tournament at AstroTurf 2000 in Ikoyi Lagos last Sunday. Omoke Kelvin fired Falana into early lead in the 10th minute of the explosive grand finale of the tournament. That goal was a signal that Falana & Falana was aiming to win the

trophy for the third consecutive year. But two minutes later Uttute equalized for Agbakoba while Babatunde Ogabi made it two goals in the 14th minute to give his team the hope of finally ending the dominance of Falana in the tournament. Uttute took the game beyond Falana’s reach with the third goal to seal victory for OAL for the first time since winning

the 2015 edition. The victory was a sweet one for OAL as they finally wiped away the sad memories of losing two cup finals to Falana back-to-back. Players and officials of the OAL celebrated the victory. In the third place match, Banwo & Ighodalo defeated Rickey Tarfa by the same 3-1 scoreline. King Olatunde and Koye

Kekere-Ekun scored Banwo & Ighodalo’s two goals while an own-goal by Oscar Boninya accounted for the winner’s goals. Rickey Tarfa’s consolation goal was scored by Nonso Nweke. The Tournament is held in memory of the late lawyer, Bankole Olumide Aluko, a founding partner in the law firm of Aluko & Oyebode, who passed on 16 years ago.


55

WEDNESËœÍŻÍ´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍśËžT H I S D AY

WEDNESDAYSPORTS E U R O PA C U P F I N A L ‌ E U R O PA C U P F I N A L ‌ E U R O PA C U P F I N A L ‌

Atletico Aims to Erase Painful Memories with Win against Marseille After painful defeats in recent continental finals, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid is determined to justify its status as favourite in tonight’s Europa League showpiece against Marseille in Lyon. Kick off time is 7.45pm. Atletico lost in extra time to Real Madrid in the Champions League final of 2014, having been seconds away from victory in 90 minutes, and then lost on penalties to their city rivals in the final of the same competition two years later. An exit from this season’s Champions League in the group stage came as a big

surprise for a formidable side spearheaded by Antoine Griezmann in attack, but they have put that behind them to close on glory in Europe’s less prestigious competition. Atletico is looking to win the Europa League for the third time in nine seasons, after triumphing in 2010 and again in 2012, shortly after ‘Cholo’ Simeone was appointed coach. “We can’t wait for the final to come around,� full-back Juanfran told Radio Marca as Atletico target a first trophy since 2014, when it won La Liga. “With ‘Cholo’ lots of

things have changed at Atletico. Everything we have experienced in these last few years we will remember forever. I hope we can get another little medal.� It would be a first, and possibly last major medal as an Atletico player for Griezmann, who was raised not far from Lyon but has spent his whole career in Spain. The 27-year-old forward joined Atletico from Real

Sociedad on the back of its title success in 2014, but could soon be on his way to Barcelona. Griezmann and Diego Costa will lead Simeone’s attack as Atletico return to Lyon, where it lost 3-0 to Dynamo Kiev in the final of the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup in 1986. Atletico have had plenty of heartbreak in European finals down the years, as have Marseille. The French club have

previously appeared in four, losing three, the exception being their victory over AC Milan in the inaugural Champions League final in 1993. Rudi Garcia’s team were not expected to make it this far, having started their European campaign in the qualifying rounds last July. But after rousing wins over RB Leipzig in the last eight and Salzburg in the semifinals,

OM and their passionate fans are now dreaming of glory on home soil. “Those who won the Champions League in 1993 are still heroes because nobody else has done it since,� Dimitri Payet told Uefa.com. “We know how tough it is. Of course, that’s an added source of motivation, and if we do win the final, our names will be written into the club’s history books forever.�

New Coach for Neymar at PSG When Neymar returns to his Ligue1 clubside, Paris St-Germain, it will be under a new boss. The club has appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new manager. He comes as a replacement to Unai Emery, who led PSG to the domestic treble in France this season but did not have an extension of his two-year contract despite leading the club to a domestic treble. Tuchel, the new man on the saddle had been out of work since leaving Bundesliga side, Borussia Dortmund a year ago. His appointment is for two years in the first instance. The 44-year-old spent two years in charge at Dortmund after succeeding Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in 2015. “It is with great joy, pride and ambition that I join this great world football club that

is Paris St-Germain,� said Tuchel. “I look forward to working with all these great players, all of whom are among the best on the planet. With my staff, we will do everything to help the team push their limits to the highest international level.�

EUROPA FINAL Marseille Vs Atletico

CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Etoile du Sahel Vs Zesco Utd

CAF CONFED CUP CARA Vs Enyimba Djoliba AC Vs Williamsville Gor Mahia Vs USM Alger Young Africans Vs Rayon Al Hilal Vs Al Masry AS Vita Vs ASEC Mimosas Aduana Vs Raja

NPFL El Kanemi Vs Akwa Utd Plateau Utd Vs Lobi

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa (right) and Lucas Hernandez in last training session in Lyon, France‌yesterday

Helping Nigeria’s Players’ Union Thrive Duro Ikhazuagbe Followers of the domestic football in Nigeria must have felt some relief when the combatant members of the factional players’ union came together under the umbrella of National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) led by Dahiru Sadi as President and Austin Popo as Secretary. It saw the absorption of the likes of ex internationals like Clement Temile, Larry Kubeinje and others into different strata of leadership in the unified body. A lot of credit must go to the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), led by Amaju Pinnick, which continued from where the last board, led by Aminu Maigari, stopped in resolving the divisions within the ranks of the union members. On another level, the League Management Company (LMC), the superintendent body of the league where majority of the active members of the union are drawn from, keyed into the NFF intervention to support various activities that aimed to solidify the new found unity and also position the union to the role of a true players’ representatives. However, certain activities of a few members of the union have of late given rise to the need to examine some features of trade unionism as enshrined in the country’s laws and also compare notes with activities

of similar unions globally. The understanding derived from this will no doubt help the union and their members to properly channel their energies to attain beneficial conditions for both players and their employers-clubs. To paraphrase the Trade Unions Act, Cap 432, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 20 a trade union is any combination of worker or employer, whether temporary or permanent, the purpose of which is to regulate the terms and conditions of employment of workers. Unions are not necessarily set up to antagonize employers but to support employers to provide the best possible working conditions for their members. We won’t go into the history of modern day trade union activism which could be traced to Solidarity, the Polish workers union led by Lech Walesa, who will eventually rise to become President of Poland. Some scholars have narrowed the membership of Trade Unions to state services but the Trade Union Amendment Act, 2005 by the National Assembly was very clear on membership of unions and, in sub-section 4, states that, “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act, membership of a trade union by employees shall be voluntary and no employee shall be forced to join any trade union or be victimized for refusing to join or remain a member�. The above background has

been set to properly situate on-going agitation by NANPF on myriad issues, including the foisting of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on the LMC for all players of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Union is in a hurry to run without, as it were, first crawling, as it has yet to establish that it has the mandate of the players and clubs of NPFL and Foreign-based Nigerian players to represent them. Also, how would signing such an agreement benefit players based outside the country and those who are no longer actively playing in the NPFL? To assist NANPF comply with the sub-section 4 of the Trade Union Act, the body should as a matter of urgency provide a membership form to all players in the NPFL and those abroad that they can reach for completion and creation of a data base of members. Remember that the quoted section states that membership is voluntary and it is very possible not every player will be disposed to joining, as membership will also attract dues. Prior to this, NANPF should through their state chapters embark on enlightenment campaigns to educate the NPFL players on the imperatives or benefits of joining the union and the requisite modalities. They should take advantage of national team matches to reach out to some of the

foreign-based players to share the same message and eventually provide identification cards with registration number to those who subscribe. The present posturing of forced representation flies in the face of the law and a constructive approach to the NFF and LMC can facilitate this process. It is after this has been established that NANPF can approach the respective clubs (employers) of the players and not the LMC for deductions from the wages of every member to be paid into the union account. This is in compliance with Section 16a & b of the Trade Unions. Act viz, “Upon the registration and recognition of any trade union specified in the Third Schedule to this Act, an employer shall(a) Make deduction from the wages of the every worker who is a member of any of the trade unions for the purpose of paying contributions to the trade union so registered; and (b) Remit such deductions to the registered office of the trade union within a reasonable period or such period as may be prescribed from time to time by the Registrar We are in a country governed by laws and it will not be right for any group to knowingly or ignorantly side-step the laid down laws. The cause of NANPF will be greatly helped if it focuses more on due process than on anticipated benefits. The union has had a chequered history that has at some point

threw up factions. It endured such in-fighting that was not helped by the repudiation of their international affiliation by the global Professional Football Players Association (FIFPRO). The issue of CBA is one that the union needs also to approach from a knowledgebased agitation that will yield the expected result. Again, the Trade Unions act is clear on the process of collective bargaining. Subsection 24 (1) of the act states “for the purposes of collective bargaining all registered Unions in the employment of an employer shall constitute an electoral college to elect members who will represent them in negotiations with the employer�. It is also important that NANPF should sign a CBA with a body that can enforce such agreement. The LMC is not the employer of players and does not pay their salaries but NANPF has provided in their draft CBA for LMC to remit to the union, the dues to be deducted from NPFL players’ salaries. The CBA can only be rightly signed with individual clubs or association of club owners for it to be enforceable while the LMC and NFF can only play the role of supervisor. As has been argued elsewhere, the Trade Union Congress to which NANPF belongs cannot go to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) to sign a CBA for their members that will be binding on all telecommunication network

operators Again, the draft CBA contains a requirement for the LMC to allocate 10 percent of its total earnings to NANPF as royalty, another idea that is neither supported by existing realities nor any precedence anywhere in the world. The NPFL revenue share of the 20 clubs from sponsorship cannot deliver even 10 percent of the running cost of the clubs that bears the brunt of the wages of the players and coaches. It will be in the interest of NANPF leadership and the players if they work with the LMC to create an enabling platform to generate more revenue for the league such that the clubs’ share will be enough to improve the welfare of their players and in turn ensure regular contributions to the union purse by the subscribing members. The present circumstance is that the activities of NANPF is shrouded and thus breeds suspicion in the minds of the players they seek to represent. There must be real effort to sell the vision of NANPF to the young and active segment of their target membership and they should also recruit the highly visible and successful ex-players who the young ones identify as role models to sell their package. The cartel-like mode of operation should be transformed to an all embracing and all-inclusive approach. The labour of our players will not pass unrewarded.


Wednesday May 16, 2018

TR

UT H

& RE A SO

N

Price: N250

MISSILE

Adamu to NPDP “If we in the NPDP did not view that as marginalisation, then we do not have the moral justiďŹ cation to accuse the president if he appoints his ministers without seeking for our nomineesâ€? – Former Nasarawa state governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu dissociating himself and his group from the NPDP letter to the ruling party accusing it of marginalizing and mistreating its members who helped the party to victory.

CHIDIAMUTA Democracy and the Wisdom of Crowds GUEST COLUMNIST

T

he outcomes of most democratic elections these days carry a common imprint. They are best judged by the wisdom of crowds which translates simply as crowd idiocy. The crowd that gathers at election campaigns especially in rough unschooled places like Nigeria is actually a mob. Mobs are by nature irrational and mindless, even foolish. They will carry their idol shoulder high in triumph or boo and even stone him when ‘hail Caesar turns to nail Caesar’. Crafty and amoral politicians hedge their stake on this irrationality of mobs rather than the reasoned cold computations of we sit-at-home elite. We analyze, theorize, postulate and even pontificate only to disappear on Election Day, cocooned in the impotence of creature comforts that reduce us into grumbling victims of bad governance by reckless politicians. It is precisely on the basis of the perceived enthusiasm of rented crowds in places like Kano and Bauchi that an electoral liability like President Buhari would derive the confidence to put himself up for re-election. But those who are wont to rise above the wisdom of the crowd have questioned the rationality and sincerity of Buhari’s declaration for a second term. Some of them, like Obasanjo, insist that the man’s embarrassing incompetence is a national security risk. Others, like Babangida, have raised the moral and common sense objection that a man in his late seventies has no business seeking a second term in a nation bursting with the energy of youth. But why not? The constitution entitles President Buhari to a two-term limit. On the face of it, therefore, Buhari is legally and politically right. The best way to test your popularity and achievement in a presidential democracy is to get your party stamp to return to the electorate to validate your performance claims or revalidate your mandate. That is not exactly a crime against any known law. It does not matter what private opinion individuals hold or indeed how well meaning and glorified the names of the counselors and dissenters may sound. For an incumbent, then, the decision to run again or run away is purely a matter of private choice. That choice, once exercised, needs of necessity to be respected as the right of the individual in a free society. Neither age nor the perception of others should deprive people of the right to choose legitimate things they want to do. However, citizens in a republic reserve the right to express an opinion concerning the private choices that leaders make because they bear the brunt. So, moral valuations of the individual choices that leaders make remain in the domain of public opinion and discourse. Nor should dissenters be branded as evil on face value. All that can be expected is that any responsible leader ought to have the self-esteem to know when their performance in office calls for dignified exit rather than stubborn

Buhari

continuation. But Nigerian leaders and public officials tend to suffer from a deficit of both shame and self esteem. Having fully privatized the ruling APC into an instrument of potential personal autocracy, the least concession Mr. Buhari can extract for his troubles is perhaps a mere second term as president. But beyond the contingencies of the imminent elections, what Mr. Buhari has perhaps staked is a historic wager that could serve the development of democracy in Nigeria. Buhari, the compulsive autocrat, has found accommodation under ‘democracy’ and would like to test its assumptions to devious limits. And the assumptions are obvious. First, it ought to be that when a party or leader fails to deliver on the measurable aspects of their campaign promises, the electorate should vote them out of power. Therefore, those who insist that the APC and Mr. Buhari have failed to deliver on ‘change’ have an opportunity to use the 2019 general election to throw the man and his wobbly party out. On the contrary, Buhari devotees and their converts who see no alternative to the ailing Daura general now have an opportunity to prolong his suzerainty beyond 2019. Beyond keeping the gravy train on track, there is perhaps the hope that another four years would see to the full emergence of whatever constitutes the essential Buhari imprint on the Nigerian landscape. Either way, the classical assumptions of democracy would seem to be on trial in Buhari’s second term gambit. The question for now remains a simple one: Would the Nigerian electorate allow a president of doubtful competence to have a second four-year term? Ordinarily, an election should be an instrument in the hands of the people to reward or punish political leaders on the basis of either their suitability for office or their performance on the job.

Underneath this assumption are several others: a credible electoral process, voters who know what they are voting for and contestants who have confidence in the outcomes of the process. On all these assumptions, Nigerians know what we know! Globally, however, democracy seems to be on trial and in mortal danger in recent times. The rise and increasing appeal of populism means that increasingly it is the wisdom of crowds and the irrationality of mobs that are determining electoral outcomes. Even in climes where the electorate is educated and informed, recent trends have put a dismal pall on the credibility of democracy itself. Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections in the US against the rational projections of elites like this writer. In the UK, a confident David Cameron lost the Brexit referendum to the ramshackle club of populist politicians; rabble rousers like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. These gentlemen had no idea what the agenda would be the day after the referendum hence they plunged the United Kingdom into the worst economic uncertainty since the Great Depression. More recently, Jeremy Corbyn, the cranky Labour leader, has just been re-elected leader of the party in spite of his anti Semitic and other serial bumblings. Nigeria is not insulated from the increasing appeal of the exploitation of populism taking place around the world. Most of our people are illiterate, politically uneducated, dirt poor and disenchanted with the leadership of the politically correct elite. With some modifications, these are the Nigerian equivalents of America’s rust belt factory and agricultural workers, a rustic coalition of xenophobes and redneck racists that gave Mr. Trump the Electoral College mandate to preside over the free world. These people vote for candidates whose sound bites address their condition. They are to be found in nearly every country where the aggressive competition of global capitalism has driven the silent majority to the fringes where they now constitute the critical majority. A demographic majority is all that democracy needs to erect leaders. The historic irony then is that while liberal democracy seeks to end or at least mitigate inequality, populist autocracy feeds on inequality to harvest the populist crowd to win elections. Populist politicians have seen the existence of this huge army of hopelessness and poverty as a new gold mine. These politicians feed the crowd with images of lost nationalism (‘America First�), Xenophobia (Jacob Zuma’s South Africa), isolationism and a roll back on the gains of globalization. To thrive, populists seek to limit the bounds of free expression by embattling the media (Donald Trump and ‘Fake News�, Tayeb Erdogan in Turkey, Al Sissi in Egypt etc.). This is the spread of illiberal democracy and the breeding ground of autocratic populism as we find in Russia and Ethiopia.

Make no mistake about it; Mr. Buhari understands the appeal of populism in Nigeria. He has repeatedly defined his base among the unschooled and unwashed army of vagrant humanity, the crowds who throng his rallies and imperial visits in those parts of the country that he calls home. To a great extent, Mr. Buhari has branded every politician other than those he needs to remain in power as thieves and unpatriotic adventurers. He insists that the entire leadership of the main opposition PDP is a bunch of thieving gangsters and in the process carefully insulating his friends and cohorts some of whom are acknowledged glorified pickpockets. The popular crowd likes such simplistic rhetoric. They have been made to believe that once Buhari consolidates in power to cage the thieves, their lives will be a swim in a sea of honey and milk funded with oil money. Here then is my shocker for my readers and the public. It is part of the illogic of democratic consensus in an impoverished country that Mr. Buhari, powered by the unwisdom of crowds, could actually win a second term in office. The finer points of good governance that the elite worry about hardly resonate to crowd wisdom. What will perplex most people is that although the crowd bears the greater brunt of bad governance and incompetence under a government such as the present one in Nigeria, their collective political ‘behavior’ at the polls does not reflect their private deprivations. What may matter to the crowd has been well captured by the irreverent outgoing governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose in his familiar thesis on ‘Stomach Infrastructure’, the odd instant loaf of bread with a bottle of Coca Cola, the immediate N500 or the mouth watering prospect of a good pot of soup once in four years! To the crowd mind, it will not matter that Mr. Buhari has seen to a massive erosion of the value of the national currency. It is irrelevant that this administration has literally supervised an industrial scale massacre of fellow citizens by roving herdsmen and sundry ‘unidentified gunmen�. The wisdom of the crowd cannot see the hand of bad governance in the migration of millions of Nigerians into poverty in the last three years or the neglect and unemployment of millions of youth. They just do not get it. Here then is the unintended irony of the political dividend of crowd wisdom: politicians who need the foolishness of crowds to win elections may not be in a hurry to embark on massive education or real poverty eradication. The persistence of inequality is the political gold mine of politicians who depend on the votes of unthinking crowds to capture and retain power. t%S$IJEJ"NVUB $IBJSNBOPG8JMTPO  8FJ[NBOO "TTPDJBUFT  -BHPT  JT B .FNCFSPG5)*4%":&EJUPSJBM#PBSE

Printed and Published in Lagos by THISDAY Newspapers Limited. Lagos: 35 Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos. Abuja: Plot 1, Sector Centre B, Jabi Business District, Solomon Lar Way, Jabi North East, Abuja . All Correspondence to POBox 54749, Ikoyi, Lagos. EMAIL: editor@thisdaylive.com, info@thisdaylive.com. TELEPHONE Lagos: 0802 2924721-2, 08022924485. Abuja: Tel: 08155555292, 08155555929 24/7 ADVERTISING HOT LINES: 0811 181 3086, 0811 181 3087, 0811 181 3088, 0811 181 3089, 0811 181 3090. ENQUIRIES & BOOKING: adsbooking@thisdaylive.com

Wednesday 16th May 2018  
Wednesday 16th May 2018  
Advertisement