Fitch Affirms Nigeria’s ‘B+’ Rating, Negative Outlook Obinna Chima Fitch Ratings has affirmed Nigeria’s long-term foreigncurrency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B+’ with a negative outlook. This is just as the country’s external reserves recorded a second consecutive day drop to $47.787 billion as of May 15 compared with N47.846
billion last Friday. External reserves figures seen on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website showed that this was the second time the accretion to the forex reserves currently at a five-year high was halted. Fitch, a global rating agency, explained in a statement yesterday that the ‘B+’ rating it assigned to the country
reflected Nigeria’s position as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, its net external creditor position and its well-developed domestic debt market, low levels of domestic revenue mobilisation and GDP per capita, and low ranking on governance and business environment indicators. It stated that the negative
outlook further reflected uncertainty about the sustainability of Nigeria’s economic growth momentum as the impact of earlier shocks ease and progress in addressing high-interest service ratios. However, Fitch predicted that Nigeria’s GDP growth would accelerate to 2.4 per cent in 2018, as the country
continues to climb out of the oil price shock recession that characterised 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. Nigeria’s growth rate turned positive in the second quarter of 2017, and the recovery of oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day (including condensates) by the fourth quarter of 2017, boosted oil revenue.
Greater FX availability also provided a lift to non-oil export sectors, particularly agriculture. “Fitch expects that these trends will continue, but notes that tight monetary conditions will continue to weigh on Nigeria’s growth outlook. Fitch forecasts 2019 Continued on page 10
Friday 18 May, 2018 Vol 23. No 8429. Price: N250
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Govs Seek to Take Over Fuel Subsidy Payments Move could end inefficiency, graft, shortfall in NNPC remittances to treasury NEC uncovers fraudulent non-remittance of N526bn, $21bn by govt agencies Recommends indicted agencies for prosecution Omololu Ogunmade and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The governors of the 36 states of the federation are canvassing a novel initiative that will see each state taking responsibility for subsidising petroleum products consumed within its territory. Arising from their discontent over the claim by the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it supplies a ridiculous 60 million litres of petrol daily to the domestic market, the governors are contending that instead of deducting the difference between the landing cost of petrol and the official pump price of the product Continued on page 8
NNPC, Nigeria’s Oil Behemoth Records N547bn Losses in Three Years
Oil hits $80/bl as Shell declares force majeure on Bonny Light exports Ejiofor Alike with agency reports It’s meant to be a cash cow, but the state oil company of Africa’s biggest producer is bleeding money. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Abuja-based behemoth that dominates Nigeria’s energy industry, has recorded losses for at least last three years,
culminating in a total loss of N546.63 billion, statements on its website show. The corporation’s unaudited financial operations reports showed that NNPC reported losses of N267.14 billion, N197.49 billion and N82 billion in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively, in contrast to its budgets that showed operating Continued on page 8
CONDOLING WITH THE ISYAKU RABIUS... Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Founder/Executive Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, during Saraki’s condolence visit to the Isyaku Rabiu family in Kano yesterday over the death of their patriarch, the late Khalifa Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu
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PAGE EIGHT GOVS SEEK TO TAKE OVER FUEL SUBSIDY PAYMENTS before remitting net crude oil receipts to the Federation Account, every state should be responsible for paying its own subsidy according to its consumption. The push by the governors to take over the responsibility of paying subsidy payments on fuel in their respective states could prove to be a major solution to the inefficiency and graft that has characterised fuel imports and consumption in the country for decades. Other than the crippling impact fuel subsidies have had on the treasury, the shortfall in remittances by NNPC to the Federation Accounts often leaves the three tiers of government sharing less revenue than actual oil receipts accruing to the coffers of the state-run oil firm. Should states assume control of subsidy payments to oil marketers, they would get more revenue from the Federation Account and would have to negotiate with residents to determine the price at which petrol should be sold in their territories, meaning that some states could pay more or less as petrol subsidy. Control by the states could also lead to efficiency in the importation of petroleum products and could see daily consumption dropping to about 30 million litres a day. However, governors unable to use the extra revenue at their disposal judiciously to ensure that there is no fuel scarcity in their states would have to contend with irate residents. Speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting of the Nigerian Governorsâ€™ Forum (NGF) Wednesday night, the chairman of the forum and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the state chief executives expressed reservations over the sudden rise in petrol consumption
and cash call expenditure, which now runs into trillions of naira. Elaborating on the proposed initiative, Yari said the move would actually help to reduce the volume of petrol imported and also the amount spent on subsidy. He said the proposal was to be tabled before yesterdayâ€™s National Economic Council (NEC) meeting for deliberation and approval. Yari, who described the NNPCâ€™s claim of importing 60 million litres of petrol daily as unbelievable, however, said the three tiers of government would need to apply caution in implementing the new initiative to avoid disruption in fuel supply. â€œWell, we donâ€™t want to play into the hands of these people so that there will be another fuel scarcity. You know the problem is also from Nigerians, they would blame us for causing the scarcity and they wonâ€™t know why there was a shortage. â€œBecause for us to commence the investigation on how much each state consumes, these people will instigate chaos that we would regret and Nigerians would look at it from that perspective and will start accusing the government of laxity and not being proactive. â€œSo it is not about the investigation, it is about trying to reposition things for the future,â€? he said. Yari said the forum agreed that the states should go and ascertain the volume of product that is needed in each of their territories. The governors, who met in Abuja ahead of the NEC meeting, also considered issues relating to revenue remittances to the Federation Account by revenue-generating agencies, as well as other
issues connected with the development and well-being of residents in the states. The discussion on the payment of the outstanding London and Paris Club refunds was however stepped down since the report was not ready. Similarly, the governors agreed to step down deliberation on the collection of stamp duties since there is a pending case at the Supreme Court. Other issues on the agenda included the review of the NEC agenda and implementation of health projects, updates on disease outbreaks and the expected roles of state government in epidemic response, and replication of the Edumarshal education project at the state level. Edumarshal is a comprehensive school management and administration software solution that enables authorities to track and enforce compulsory basic and secondary education for children of school age in their domains. Meanwhile, at the meeting of NEC yesterday in Abuja, the council adopted the audit report presented to it by KPMG, which revealed that revenue-generating agencies, notably the NNPC, failed to remit N526 billion and another $21 billion to the governmentâ€™s coffers. Briefing journalists at the end of the monthly NEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the State House, the governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwabo, said KPMG presented the concluding report of the technical audit of 16 revenue agencies which showed that the country was shortchanged by N526 billion and $21 billion that they failed to remit to the Federation Account. Dankwabo, who said the
audit report was the fallout of the assignment handled by a NEC ad-hoc committee that he chaired, added that the committee recommended the refund of the unremitted sums by the agencies to the Federation Account. He also said NEC adopted the recommendation of the committee that where criminal acts had been discovered in the agenciesâ€™ actions, they should be referred to the legal arm of NEC and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) for prosecution. He also said the council would ensure that the governance structures of the NNPC would be strengthened to avert a repeat of such â€œgross under-remittanceâ€? by the agency in future, pointing out that whereas the audit only covered the period 2010-2015, NEC yesterday resolved to extend the audit to June 2017. â€œCouncil adopted the presentation and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its ad-hoc committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appeared to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action. â€œCouncil resolved to pursue the strengthening of NNPC governance structures to prevent further recurrence of such gross under-remittance by the NNPC and other revenue generating agencies,â€? he said. Dankwabo listed the agencies audited to include NNPC, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Federal Internal Revenue Service
(FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and other maritime agencies. In his briefing, Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said the council commended the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari and the vice-president in ensuring the probe of federal government agencies, saying this would promote transparency and the anticorruption efforts of the administration. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said he briefed the council on the just concluded Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) focus labs which he said: â€œWere conducted successfully and the outcomes presented to the public last Tuesday, May 15, 2018.â€? According to him, the labs identified 164 projects to be spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country, adding that the outcome of the labs showed that over 500,000 jobs could be created by 2020. He also said more labs would be conducted in due course in other sectors of the economy and states had been encouraged to adopt the same model. Responding to questions on whether the council discussed the subsidy being paid on imported petroleum products, which was tabled by the governors on Wednesday at the NGF meeting, Yari said NEC would take an assertive decision on the subsidy regime next month. He insisted that the claim of 60 million litres daily fuel consumption by NNPC and the huge subsidy being paid on petrol by the corporation was unacceptable and must be redressed. â€œYes, the item was brought up for discussion but it
was referred back to the sub-committee which I chair. We are looking at the nitty gritty with the NNPC in terms of remittances. â€œDonâ€™t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was because oil prices were low. â€œIt was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make his profit. So, when the price started climbing, oil marketers started adjusting because they needed to have a template on cost recovery and how they were going to make up the difference between the landing cost and the pump price. â€œOur problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable. In working with the governors, so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt a position either for the governors to take responsibility for subsidy payments in their states based on consumption or we look at other ways. â€œFor instance, if you said we paid N800 billion subsidy in one month, you will ask, who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at infrastructure development and the capital budget of the federal government, it is about N1.1 trillion, so that means almost 70 per cent of what you are spending to develop the economy is going to fuel subsidy. â€œN800 billion is a huge amount that we must look at and determine who is benefiting from it? So, we are coming up with a strategy. We are going to meet in the month of May and June. â€œIn the next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of government at both levels on the volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and federal governments collaborate to check,â€? Yari said.
the first half of 2017 alone, according to numbers seen by Bloomberg. Brazilâ€™s Petrobras, Mexicoâ€™s Pemex and Norwayâ€™s Statoil all improved their results in 2017 and made operating profits. So did Angolaâ€™s Sonangol in 2016, when it last published data. Meanwhile, crude oil prices climbed above $80 per barrel yesterday for the first time since November 2014, on concerns that Iranian exports could fall because of renewed United States sanctions, which will reduce supply in an already tightening market. This is coming as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) yesterday suspended shipments of Nigerian Bonny Light crude to the international market after it declared force majeure. The crude oil market has continued to push higher as geopolitical concerns drove trading, with the global benchmark, Brent crude futures reaching an intraday high of $80.33 per barrel yesterday before receding to $80.16 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also hit their highest since November 2014, at $72.30 per barrel. U.S. President, Donald Trumpâ€™s decision this month to withdraw from an
international nuclear deal with Iran and revive sanctions that could limit crude exports from OPECâ€™s third-largest producer has boosted oil prices. Franceâ€™s Total had warned on Wednesday that it might
NNPC, NIGERIAâ€™S OIL BEHEMOTH RECORDS N547BN LOSSES IN THREE YEARS surpluses of N466.94 billion, N334.04 billion and N601.15 billion for the three years under review. NNPC will probably register another loss in 2018, according to Ecobank Transnational Inc., as its refineries and fuel-retailing arm fail to generate profit. The pain for NNPC, which produces oil and natural gas in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., comes even as national energy firms from Norway to Saudi Arabia thrive with crude prices recovering from their crash in 2014. It also lays bare President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s difficulty in fulfilling his election campaign pledge to modernise a company thatâ€™s been a byword for inefficiency and opacity since its creation in the 1970s. With oil accounting for more than half of government revenue and 90 per cent of export income, the company is a primary target of those seeking access to state funds and is vulnerable to political interference. Tensions erupted last year between Emmanuel Kachikwu, the chairman of NNPC, and Maikanti Baru, the managing director, over how more than $20 billion of
contracts were agreed. â€œThe very public power tussle shows the difficulties in reforming the organisation,â€? Malte Liewerscheidt, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, said in an email to Bloomberg from Abuja. Until a pending but longdelayed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) designed to overhaul the petroleum sector and split up parts of NNPC comes into effect, â€œpolitical considerations will continue to interfere with vital business needs,â€? he said. Nigeriaâ€™s state oil company has lost money three years running, hugely missing its targets The state oil company doesnâ€™t publish full audited financial results, though it releases limited numbers on its operating performance. These include earnings for core units, but exclude items such as taxes and dividends from a 49 per cent shareholding in Nigeria LNG Ltd., one of the worldâ€™s biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas. Those numbers show that NNPC made an N82 billion ($246 million) operating loss in 2017. That was an improvement from 2015 and 2016, but still far from the operating income it budgeted for at N601 billion.
In each of the past three years, NNPC forecast a profit and finished in the red. Higher oil prices have boosted exploration and production, the most profitable part of NNPC and which earned almost N183 billion ($600 million) in 2017. But its ill-maintained refineries, which operate at a fraction of their combined capacity of 445,000 barrels a day, lost about N30.5 billion ($100 million). Even bigger shortfalls came in the fuel-retailing business, which has to contend with the governmentâ€™s cap on petrol prices, and the corporate headquarters unit, which lost almost N122 billion ($400 million), more than any other part of the company. While NNPCâ€™s exploration and production business will probably improve this year, the refineries and retailing subsidiaries will continue to be a drag, especially if the government maintains the ceiling of N145 a litre for petrol, according to Ecobank. The bank predicts that NNPC will make an operating loss of as much as N80 billion in 2018. Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman for NNPC, said that while the refineries are struggling to make money, the companyâ€™s overall
performance will probably be better this year. He declined to say if NNPC was forecasting a return to profit. It made a loss of N1.6 billion in January, the latest month for which results have been released. The problems at NNPC offset the benefits to Nigeriaâ€™s struggling economy of Brent crudeâ€™s more than 50 per cent rise in the past year to almost $80 a barrel. Still, there have been improvements within the company and the countryâ€™s overall oil sector, according to Moodyâ€™s Investors Service. NNPCâ€™s reduction of debts owed to joint-venture partners may help increase Nigerian oil production to around 2.5 million barrels a day by 2020 from 2 million today, said Aurelien Mali, an analyst at Moodyâ€™s. â€œThe clearing of arrears is a huge step forward that will unleash extra investment from international oil companies,â€? Mali said in an interview in Lagos. â€œNNPC is key for the government. Itâ€™s going in the right direction.â€? It has some catching up to do. Its financial position contrasts with those of state oil firms in other major producers. Saudi Aramco is gushing cash, making a net income of $34 billion in
Continued on page 10
TOP GAINERS SOVEREITRUST CUSTODIAN OANDO UPDC JAIZBANK TOP LOSERS CCNN STERLBANK AFRIALLIANCE
NGN NGN 0.02 0.24 0.25 5.25 0.35 7.55 0.10 2.25 0.03 0.71 NGN NGN 1.45 26.10 0.08 1.55 0.01 0.20 NIGERINSURE 0.01 0.22 NEIMETH 0.03 0.69 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,600.00 Volume: 424.368 million shares Value: N7.567 billion Deals: 3,504 As at yesterday 17/05/18 See details on Page 43
% 9.0 5.0 4.8 4.6 4.4 % 4.9 4.7 4.7 4.3 4.1
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Bandits Kill 10 in Birnin Gwari Another three killed in Benue during Osinbajoâ€™s visit Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja, John Shiklam in Kaduna, Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and George Okoh in Makurdi The death toll continued to mount without let in parts of the country on Tuesday when 10 persons were brutally murdered in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, following an attack on five villages in the area. The attack on Birnin Gwari preceded yet another invasion on villages in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State by suspected herdsmen on Wednesday morning, leading to the deaths of three persons. The herdsmen attack on the Benue communities took place when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was on a two-day visit to the state to assess the damage caused by the farmers-herdsmen crisis. In the case of Birnin Gwari, the attack occurred on the same day the Chief of Army State, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai visited the area, which has recorded dozens of attacks in recent months. During his visit, Buratai had ordered troops to be deployed in Birnin Gwari and had given them an ultimatum to flush out the bandits within three weeks. The bandits were said to have invaded the communities again in Birnin Gwari on Tuesday at about 5:00 p.m. A vigilante group in the area, Birnin Gwari Vanguard for Security, said in a statement that the attack
lasted for over three hours. â€œThe armed bandits attacked the villages around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and it lasted for three and half hours. â€œThe villages are Mashigi, Dakwaro, Sabon Gida and another village adjacent to Dakwaro,â€? the statement said. The statement quoted a member of the vigilante group, Mallam Umar, as saying 10 dead bodies were recovered, while many were unaccounted for. The bandits were said to have burnt houses and foodstuff of the affected villages. According to the vigilante group, volunteers from the southern axis of Birnin-Gwari and security personnel were mobilised to ascertain the number of casualties. The group added that the affected villages were in need of aid after the raid. The group, while commending the federal government and security personnel for the steps taken to address the security challenges in the area, called for additional deployment of troops and special forces from the police to contain the attacks. Efforts to reach the spokesman of the Kaduna State police command Aliyu Mukhtar were unsuccessful as he did not respond to phone calls and a text message sent to him. Following the latest attack, Buratai said yesterday in Abuja that the Nigerian Army was prepared to partner other security agencies in the country to flush out
Buratai bandits operating in the Birnin Gwari axis along the Kaduna expressway. Answering questions from journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Buratai said an army battalion had been deployed in the area to address security concerns. â€œWe will continue to cooperate along with other security agencies that are charged with the responsibility of securing our country and the deployment of a unit there is quite strategic. It is in line with the Nigerian Army order of battle that was approved in 2016. â€œWe have to implement
further consolidate on our achievements so far but we hope the internally displaced persons will go back to their communities and pick up their lives again. â€œI think that is the aim of this our Operation Last Hold. It is a consolidation of the overall successes that we have achieved in the North-east,â€? Buratai said. In Benue, rampaging herdsmen on Wednesday morning attacked and killed three persons while several others were said to be missing in Logo Local Government Area. The attack took place when the vice-president was at the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Anyiin to sympathise with the people over the invasion of herdsmen in the area. A resident said the herdsmen stormed the affected communities which included Tse-Mue, Torkaa, Mgbakpa, Torjem and Ifer villages between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m., killing three persons whose names he gave as Bem Torjem, Apedzan Chia and Akpuku Koya, He said the herdsmen launched the deadly attack when the people were heading to their farms, adding that there was palpable fear as many people had fled the area. He said the death toll from the attack could be higher but this could only be ascertained when those who ran away had returned. Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, confirmed the latest killing during
a courtesy visit made by Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Suleiman Hassan Zarma. Ortom said the herdsmen attacked and killed some people in Logo. All attempts to get confirmation from the police command in Benue were unsuccessful, as the police spokesman could not be reached.
E & P, and the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) are the two major pipelines used by Shell and other producing companies operating in the eastern Niger Delta to pump crude oil to the Bonny export terminal in Rivers State. An official of Aiteo, who spoke off the record, told THISDAY yesterday that the company noticed a drop in pressure, prompting the shutdown.
â€œWe are suspecting sabotage but it is too early to conclude as investigation is still ongoing,â€? he added. In the western Niger Delta, the Trans-Forcados pipeline (TFP), operated by Heritage Oil, was shutdown after a leak was found on the facility on May 7. The TFP is the major trunk line in the Forcados Pipeline System with an export capacity of 400,000
barrels per day and the second largest network in the Niger Delta after the Bonny pipeline system in the eastern Niger Delta. International oil companies (IOCs) and Nigerian independents operating in the western Niger Delta lose 250,000 barrels per day to the closure of the TFP. Shell has not yet declared force majeure on exports of the Forcados crude grade.
new revenue measures and efforts to increase the tax base, but any increase comes from a very low baseâ€?. â€œAs a result, general government debt as a percentage of revenue will increase to 311 per cent in 2018, compared with the â€˜Bâ€™ median of 240 per cent. â€œThe ratio of Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) debt to FGN revenue is even higher, estimated at 623 per cent as of end-2017. â€œHowever, relative to GDP, general government debt will only be 20.5 per cent of GDP in 2018, well below the â€˜Bâ€™ median of 61.5 per cent,â€? it added. Fitch also forecast that in 2018 the general government fiscal deficit would contract slightly to 4.2 per cent of GDP, from an estimated 4.6 per cent in 2017. It stated that the governmentâ€™s attempts at
fiscal consolidation have been hampered by low levels of tax coverage and compliance, rigidities in Nigeriaâ€™s budgeting framework, and consistent delays in approving budgets. Fitchâ€™s forecasts were based on a conservative oil price assumption of USD57.5/b, so higher oil prices could reduce the deficit significantly, if the windfall is not directed towards spending. â€œThe banking sector has been aided by the easing of foreign-currency liquidity, but economic headwinds, combined with high loan concentration, have eroded asset quality and capital adequacy. â€œThe ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans increased to 15.1 per cent in third quarter of 2017, from five per cent in 2015, although pressures are likely to ease in 2018 and provisioning
coverage is fairly healthy. â€œCapital adequacy fell to approximately 10.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, from 18 per cent in 2015. â€œTight monetary conditions have weighed on credit provision and credit to the private sector contracted by 3.7 per cent in 2017. â€œNevertheless, the sector remains highly profitable and that is not expected to change. â€œThe general election scheduled for February 2019 could further weaken progress on the reform agenda and aggravate ongoing security challenges. â€œMost importantly, any flare-up of insurgent activity in the oil-producing Niger Delta would hit fiscal and external revenues. In 2016 and 2017, increased insurgent activities caused a fall in oil production to a low of 1.7mbpd,â€? Fitch noted.
all of them to achieve the strategic objective of the government. This is essentially why we have to put the battalion there and to work with other security agencies,â€? Buratai said. On the counter-terrorism operation in the North-east, the Army chief said the ongoing â€œOperation Last Holdâ€? by troops would strengthen military operations in the area and equally pave the way for the return of internally displaced persons to their various communities. â€œIt has gone very successfully. Itâ€™s progressing very well and be rest assured that Operation Last Hold will
Suicide Bombing Kills Four in Borno Meanwhile, residents of Borno State were woken up to another terrorist attack by Boko Haram yesterday when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb at Dikwa during early morning Muslim prayers. The attack targeted at Muslims on the first day of Ramadan, the Holy month set aside for fasting and prayer to God (Allah), led to the deaths of four persons while eight others sustained injuries. A post on the Facebook page of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), North East office by the agencyâ€™s information officer, AbdulKadir Ibrahim, said: â€œIncident of suicide bomb blast occurred at Dikwa town, Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State during early morning prayers. â€œFour persons were reported dead while eight others were injured. â€œSecurity has been beefed up. The area is now calm with extra vigilance enjoined by residents.â€?
NNPC, NIGERIAâ€™S OIL BEHEMOTH RECORDS N547BN LOSSES IN THREE YEARS abandon a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran if it could not secure a waiver from U.S. sanctions, casting further doubt on the European-led efforts to salvage the nuclear deal. Reuters reported that a rapid decline in Venezuelaâ€™s crude production has further roiled markets in recent months. Also global inventories of crude oil and refined
products dropped sharply in recent months owing to robust demand and OPEC-led production cuts. Oil stocks are expected to drop further as the peak summer driving season nears, offsetting increases in U.S. shale output, according to reports. In Nigeria also, shipments of Bonny Light crude were suspended yesterday, after an outage prompted Shell
to declare force majeure. The force majeure, which took immediate effect, followed the shutdown of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line. Though Shell did not disclose the volume of oil affected by the force majeure, exports of Bonny Light were expected to run at around 195,000 barrels per day in June. The Nembe Creek Trunkline, operated by Aiteo
FITCH AFFIRMS NIGERIAâ€™S â€˜B+â€™ RATING, NEGATIVE OUTLOOK growth to rise slightly to three per cent, compared with 4.8 per cent for the five years prior to 2016. â€œAt 11.6 per cent, the five-year average inflation is much higher than the â€˜Bâ€™ category median (4.9%),â€? it added. At its most recent meeting in April 2018, the central bank held its monetary policy rate at 14 per cent. But the rating agency pointed out that the need to support the naira and lingering inflation pressures means that the CBN would ease monetary policy â€œonly graduallyâ€?. The naira has fluctuated close to N360 per dollar on the Investors & Exporters (I&E) window since its introduction in April 2017. According to the statement, given that most FX activities are now handled on the I&E window, it implied a devaluation by 45 per cent
since the start of FX regime adjustments in June 2016. â€œTogether with higher oil prices and production, this has contributed to the convergence between the parallel market and the I&E rates. â€œHowever, the FX market remains segmented and the continued use of exchange controls inhibit greater foreign-currency liquidity and capital inflows. â€œIn Fitchâ€™s view, there is unlikely to be any further substantial change by the CBN to the existing FX rate regime before the 2019 elections. â€œIncreasing oil receipts and import compression have buoyed Nigeriaâ€™s trade surplus and brought the current account surplus to an estimated 2.2 per cent of GDP in 2017. â€œFitch expects that imports will begin to return to historical levels, especially
as government capital expenditure increases and the current account surplus will narrow in 2018,â€? it added. Nigeriaâ€™s external reserves position has increased to a four-year high due to stronger oil receipts and considerable hard-currency bond placements. As of end-April, gross international reserves were $47.5 billion, or eight months of current external payments (CXP), well above the â€˜Bâ€™ median of 3.9 months of CXP. Fitch, however, noted that $5 billion of the reserves has been pledged in forward positions. It noted that the federal governmentâ€™s inability to substantially increase domestic revenue mobilisation remained a key rating weakness. Non-oil revenue increased slightly in 2017 to 3.4 per cent of GDP â€œand will continue growing slowly as a result of
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FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
News Editor Davidson Iriekpen Email firstname.lastname@example.org, 08111813081
Health Workers Relax Strike in Lagos, Kano, Yobe Call for sack of health minister, walk out of negotiations
Paul Obi in Abuja The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) yesterday called on
health workers in Lagos, Kano and Yobe States to relax the ongoing indefinite strike in their domain following the cooperation of the
Don’t Link Me or Saraki to Criminal Suspects, Kwara Gov Tells IG Police move another eight youths to Abuja Hammed Shittu in Ilorin Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday cautioned Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris against linking him and Senate president, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, with the suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin, the state capital, and transferred by the Nigeria Police Force to Abuja. The IG and Saraki last Wednesday traded words over the recent order to move four out of 17 suspected cultists to Nigeria police force headquarters in Abuja for further investigations on the alleged activities of the cultists in the state. In a statement issued yesterday by the governor’s media aide, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, Ahmed said neither him nor the Senate president or any of their aides have links with the suspected cultists or their alleged activities. He also denied any knowledge of or intention to harm any individual as the political leadership in the state has never used violence as a political tool. The statement referred the public to the parade of the suspects by the state commissioner of police, Mr. Aminu Pai Saleh, on May 10, 2018, in Ilorin, during which he announced that the suspects were arrested for alleged murder and membership of cult groups but made no mention of any confessional statement linking their activities to any sponsors. Ahmed described the alleged killings as the outcome of clashes between rival cults in the state as most victims have been identified by security agencies as members of cult groups. The governor emphasised that the growing problem of cultism and cult-related criminalities formed the basis of his charge to the new Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Saleh, to focus on ending the menace on his resumption last month. According to him, the state government sees cultism as a serious security issue requiring urgent attention.” He said the government has accordingly amended the state cultism law to prescribe stiffer penalties for convicts and those who aid and abet them, besides providing operational support to all security agencies in the state in their fight against all forms of criminalities, including cultism. Ahmed warned that cultism is a serious security challenge which should neither be trivialised and turned into a political tool nor be
treated with levity. He urged well-meaning Nigerians to disregard any attempt to politicise the menace of cultism but focus instead on joining hands with the government and security agencies to bring the menace to an end in the interest of public safety while allowing the rule of law and justice to prevail in the matter. Meanwhile, some All Progressives Congress (APC) youths in Kwara South senatorial district of Kwara State yesterday raised the alarm over alleged intimidation of its members by the federal government as a result of the outcome of the just concluded ward congresses held in the state. Already, they claimed eight persons including the youths leader of the Irepodun Local Government Council, Hon. Samson Bada, the Speaker of the local government who is also Chairman, Councillors Forum in the state, Hon. Habeeb Abdulkadir, among others have been arrested, detained and moved to Nigeria police headquarters, Abuja for further investigations. Speaking at a press conference in Ilorin yesterday, the youths leader of the senatorial district, Mr. Tomiwa Kolawole, accused the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed of the brain behind the arrest of his members. He said the minister visited the Inspector General of Police in Abuja on Monday where he allegedly orchestrated the arrest of his members. Muhammed, according to him, was said to be angry over the dismal performance of his candidate in the last ward congress in the state where his candidate scored 36 votes while the Saraki’s candidate scored 453 votes during the Oro Ward 2 in Irepodun Local Government Council of the state. In his reaction yesterday, Muhammed denied the allegation. In a statement issued and made available to journalists in Ilorin, the minister said, “the arrest has nothing to do with the ward congress in his hometown of Oro. After all, suspected cultists were also recently arrested and paraded by the police in Ilorin.” He said the police, in the exercise of its constitutional responsibility, do not need to be goaded by anyone to carry out arrests where necessary. Concerning the outcome of the election in his Oro Ward 2, Muhammed stated that his observations on the conduct of the election has been made known to the appropriate party authorities in line with his strong belief in the rule of law.
governors from the above states. The move to relax the strike in Lagos, Kano and Yobe States was as a fallout of the positive responses from the state governments in addressing several demands made by JOHESU. Speaking with journalists last night, JOHESU Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah, explained: “It is paramount we seize this discourse to specially convey deep appreciation to state governments which have gone ahead to meet the various clamours and terms of settlement in agreements with government. This include Yobe and Lagos State which have now adjusted the CONHESS scale as demanded. “We specially commend the Lagos State Government for approving the consultancy cadre for pharmacists in its employment. Just like the Niger State Government did with pharmacists since 2012. “The JOHESU also expresses
gratitude to the Kano State Government for ensuring good welfare package for its healthcare workforce in addition to the intervention of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to ameliorate the on-going strike. We urge our members in Lagos, Yobe and Kano State to tactically relax the strike to accommodate emergency services in those states as a measure of goodwill. “JOHESU wishes to declare once again that the crux of our clamour has always been restoration of the relativity in the CONHESS and CONMESS scale which was deliberately distorted with active government collaboration in 2014. We remain steadfast that in alignment with democratic norms and the rule of law, this desire remains very legitimate.” They also took a swipe at the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, demanding that the federal government terminate his
appointment as a minister. They stated that “the Federal Ministry of Health as presently led by Prof. Isaac Adewole has constituted itself as a major hindrance to fruitful deliberation as he has never disguised his intention to symbolise the propaganda machine of the NMA through his posturing at all our meetings, which necessitated JOHESU to take a position that the negotiations were structured to fail ab-initio. “Prof. Adewole is on record to have insisted that the wage structure in the health sector must reckon with what was obtainable in the 1991 late Prof. Olukoye Ransome – Kuti’s dual salary system (MSS and HSS) which marked the beginning of persistent acrimony until it was corrected through the Harmonised Tertiary. “The duo of the Ministers of Labour and Health who are both members of the NMA have taken a position that parity must entail
a basic salary differential in the emolument of health professionals and their doctor colleagues. “On May 15, 2018, JOHESU came up with a comprehensive presentation to graphically showcase the realities of the various salary scales in the health sector from 1977 till date. “Even when the reality on ground shows that a fresh doctor presently enters the public service on CONMESS 3 which is the equivalent of GL 12 with a take home monthly package ofN313,000,00 per month, the closest in line who are health professionals enter public service on CONHESS 9 which is the equivalent of GL 10 with a package of N161,670.00 with a proposal to have an adjustment that takes him to a total emolument ofN190,000.00, the two ministers who are members of NMA have taken positions that these health professionals seek parity with doctors. In mathematical terms this is a significant 61 per cent differential.”
JOLLY GOOD FELLOW
L-R: Chairman, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Dan Agbor; former Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mr. Joe Dada; former Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Larry Ettah; Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Abdul Bello; Executive Director Corporate Services, Mrs. Omolara Elemide; and former Chairman, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, at the send-off party for Ettah and Dada organised by UACN in Lagos..recently
Kachikwu Seeks Speedy Approval of Oilfield Development Plans Ejiofor Alike
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has urged oil and gas industry operators to collaborate with the industry regulators to ensure speedy approvals of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to attract investments to the oil and gas sector. In his keynote address at a ‘Technical symposium on Field Development Plan (FDP) Approval Process’ organised in Lagos yesterday by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Lagos Section 61, the minister noted that FDP is one of the fundamental criteria in the development of upstream exploration and production projects in Nigeria. Kachikwu stated that it is important that the federal government acts quickly to evaluate and approve FDPs to ensure that the momentum of investors does not dip. He added that some of the main issues that have resulted in delay
of approvals are the inadequacy or incompleteness of plans that do not address all the project development issues. Hence, as part of our seven Big Wins, we initiated the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) as a solution. The purpose of the NGFCP is to eliminate wastage of gas, thereby stimulating economic growth, driving investments and providing jobs in the nation through the use of widely available innovative technologies. This initiative will provide an end-to-end solution that will positively impact the Nigerian economy. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will not approve any FDP, unless there is an end-to-end gas utilisation solution in place,’’ Kachikwu explained. He said the federal government deemed it tactful to initiate the NGFCP, which would provide multiple options eliminating bottlenecks associated with FDP’s approval.
He added that another issue is that when the field would extend into neighbouring concessions or license areas and then unitisation of the asset becomes necessary. “If we do not provide timely FDP approval, it will delayed production, revenue, profitability, economic development, job creations, growth and investments in the oil industry. Therefore timely FDP Approval is a win-win for both the government and the investors. In a sense, FDP is the roadmap for the development of any asset in the oil and gas sector. Therefore, to a large degree, it defines the success or otherwise of the field. This is the document the regulator of our oil and gas industry, DPR must approve before the commencement of activities in any oil field of our nation,’’ he added. The minister said in Nigeria, the enabling law that gives legal backing to FDP approval is the Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulation of 1969.
“These laws are made pursuant to the powers conferred on the Minister of Petroleum Resources under Section 9 of the petroleum Act (CAP 350) laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990. The regulations put in statutory form –both the regulatory and operational details governing field exploration, development and production. It also prescribes the various fees, rents and royalties that shall be payable when the field is put on production. Furthermore, the laws of Nigeria prevent license holders from installing facilities or producing oil and gas without the approval of the Minister of Petroleum Resources or its delegate, DPR,’’ Kachikwu added In his remark, Chairman, SPE Lagos Section 61, Mr Temitope Oshutuyi, noted that the topic is timely to address FDP challenges in the oil and gas sector. ``At the end of the session, we believed it would highlight steps to enable producing companies have their FDP approved on time,” he added.
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Danbazzau, Ekwunife, Zwingina, Elegbeleye, 69 Others Head APC State Congresses, Appeal Committees Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday inaugurated five-member State Congress Committees to conduct congresses in different states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday. Also, three-member committees were also inaugurated to look into appeals that might arise from the state congresses. Some state congress Chairmen are Pius Odubu (Adamawa); General Danjuma Danbazzau (Taraba); Prince Austin Eweka (Kano); Senator Domingo Obende (Niger); Senator Jonathan Zwingina (Abia); Senator. Olugbenga Obadara (Delta); Senator Uche Ekwunife (Lagos); Hon. Mathew Omegara (Ondo); Peter Obadan (Ogun); Abdullahi Gwarzo (Oyo) among others.
The appeal committees have Chris Akoma as chairman of Ebonyi State; Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (Rivers); Hon. Bashir Lado (Ogun); Alhaji SAbubakar Maikudi (Bauchi); Ambassador Jerry Ugog (Kano); Kogolo Peter (Imo). The APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso who inaugurated the committees on behalf of the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun charged them to conduct the congress in strict conformity with the official APC guidelines for state congresses. Izunaso said the State Congress Committees are expected to hold meetings with stakeholders in the respective states today before tomorrow’s nationwide congresses to elect state executive committee which include the traditional 17-member State Working
Committees. He urged the congress committees to ensure a free, fair, democratic and transparent process. He also warned against unilateral postponement of state congresses without approval by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC). Izunaso said: “Don’t deny anybody who has a payment teller a form. It is undemocratic... You don’t have the power to postpone the election. If you go to a state and you find out that it is impossible to conduct the election, you inform the NWC for approval. The national convention is closeby, we want to conclude these processes as quickly as possible.” For the appeal committees, Izunaso said every petition from individuals who contested elections must be entertained.
Glo Unveils ‘GO Russia’ Promo Telecommunications company, Globacom, has launched a new promo packaged exclusively for the enjoyment of millions of its subscribers across the country. Titled: ‘GO Russia’, the promo will offer 22 lucky winners that will be selected through raffle draws, the opportunity of travelling to Russia. The promo which will run between May 16 and July 8, 2018, is open to all the new and existing prepaid/postpaid customers on the Glo network nationwide.
Globacom, in a statement issued in Lagos said “GO Russia promo is another golden opportunity to appreciate and reward our amazing subscribers who have stood solidly behind the brand over the years. Their patronage and support have been overwhelming and we have lined up the promo to appreciate them.” The company which added that 22 lucky winners would enjoy all expenses paid trip to Russia also enjoined Nigerians to make utmost
use of the opportunity provided by the promo to be part of the trip. Under the promo, a subscriber who uses N3, 000 on Voice calls or a minimum of N5,000 on Voice and Data will qualify for a draw. However, incremental usage of N500 over N3,000 for Voice or N5,000 for Voice and Data attracts an extra entry to the draw. The more the airtime used by subscribers, the higher the chances of winning. Winners will be contacted by Glo customer care
PRESS STATEMENT REDDINGTON HOSPITAL DOES NOT REJECT GUN SHOT VICTIMS dŚĞ ĂƩĞŶƟŽŶ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ŵĂŶĂŐĞŵĞŶƚ ŽĨ ZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶ ,ŽƐƉŝƚĂů 'ƌŽƵƉ ŚĂƐďĞĞŶĚƌĂǁŶƚŽƚǁŽƐĞƉĂƌĂƚĞƌĞƉŽƌƚƐŝŶdŚĞWƵŶĐŚŽĨDŽŶĚĂǇ DĂǇϭϰƟƚůĞĚ͞ZŽďďĞƌƐ>ŽŽƚKŐƵŶŽŵŵƵŶŝƚǇ͕<ŝůůŶŐŝŶĞĞƌĂŶĚdŚĞ WƵŶĐŚŽĨdŚƵƌƐĚĂǇDĂǇϭϳƟƚůĞĚ͞&ĂŵŝůǇŽĨ<ŝůůĞĚƌŝĐƐŽŶŶŐŝŶĞĞƌ ďůĂŵĞƐŚŽƐƉŝƚĂů͕ƐĞĞŬƐũƵƐƟĐĞ͘͟ dŚĞ ŵĂŶĂŐĞŵĞŶƚ ŽĨ ZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶ ,ŽƐƉŝƚĂů 'ƌŽƵƉ ŝƐ ƐĂĚĚĞŶĞĚ ďǇ ƚŚĞ ƵŶƟŵĞůǇ ĚĞŵŝƐĞ ŽĨ ƚŚŝƐ ƉƌŽŵŝƐŝŶŐ ǇŽƵŶŐ ĞŶŐŝŶĞĞƌ ĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ƌŽďďĞƌǇĂƩĂĐŬĂƚŚŝƐƌĞƐŝĚĞŶĐĞŝŶKŐƵŶƐƚĂƚĞĂŶĚǁŽƵůĚůŝŬĞƚŽƚĂŬĞ ƚŚŝƐŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƚǇƚŽƐĞŶĚŽƵƌŚĞĂƌƞĞůƚƐǇŵƉĂƚŚǇĂŶĚĐŽŶĚŽůĞŶĐĞƐ ƚŽƚŚĞǁŝĨĞĂŶĚĨĂŵŝůǇ͘ dŚĞŚŽƐƉŝƚĂůŝƐĮůůĞĚǁŝƚŚĐŽŶĐĞƌŶĂďŽƵƚƚŚĞƌĞƉŽƌƚĞĚƐĞƋƵĞŶĐĞŽĨ ĞǀĞŶƚƐĂƐĐŽŶƚĂŝŶĞĚŝŶƚŚĞWƵŶĐŚŶĞǁƐƉĂƉĞƌĂŶĚŚĂƐĐŽŶĚƵĐƚĞĚĂŶ ƵƌŐĞŶƚ ĞŶƋƵŝƌǇ ƚŽ ĂƐĐĞƌƚĂŝŶ ƚŚĞ ĞǆĂĐƚ ĐŝƌĐƵŵƐƚĂŶĐĞƐ ƐƵƌƌŽƵŶĚŝŶŐ ƚŚĞĐŽŶƚĂĐƚďĞƚǁĞĞŶƚŚĞĚĞĐĞĂƐĞĚ͕ŚŝƐĨĂŵŝůǇĂŶĚƚŚĞŚŽƐƉŝƚĂů͘ KƵƌ ŝŶǀĞƐƟŐĂƟŽŶ ƌĞǀĞĂůĞĚ ƚŚĂƚ ǁŚĞŶ ŚĞ ĂƌƌŝǀĞĚ Ăƚ ƚŚĞ ŚŽƐƉŝƚĂů ƚŚĞƐŝƚƵĂƟŽŶǁĂƐƋƵŝĐŬůǇĂƐƐĞƐƐĞĚďǇƚŚĞĚŽĐƚŽƌŽŶĚƵƚǇ͕ǁŝƚŚŚŝŵ ŝŶƚŚĞĐĂƌ͕ǁŚĞƌĞŝƚǁĂƐĚĞƚĞƌŵŝŶĞĚƚŚĂƚŚĞŚĂĚďĞĞŶƐŚŽƚŝŶƚŚĞ ĐŚĞƐƚĂŶĚǁĂƐƵŶƌĞƐƉŽŶƐŝǀĞ͘/ƚǁĂƐĚĞĐŝĚĞĚŝŵŵĞĚŝĂƚĞůǇƚŚĂƚǁĞ ǁŽƵůĚďĞƵŶĂďůĞƚŽĐĂƌĞĨŽƌŚŝŵĂƚƚŚĞZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶĨĂĐŝůŝƚǇŝŶ/ŬĞũĂ ŝŶ ǀŝĞǁ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ ŽďǀŝŽƵƐ ŶĞĞĚ ĨŽƌ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ƐƵƌŐŝĐĂů ƐĞƌǀŝĐĞƐ ƐƵĐŚ ĂƐĐĂƌĚŝŽƚŚŽƌĂĐŝĐƐƵƌŐĞƌǇĂŶĚŝŶƚĞŶƐŝǀĞͬĐƌŝƟĐĂůĐĂƌĞǁŚŝĐŚĂƌĞŶŽƚ ĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞĂƚƚŚĂƚďƌĂŶĐŚ͘The Ikeja branch does not have the facility ĂŶĚ ĞǆƉĞƌƟƐĞ ƚŽ ŚĂŶĚůĞ ƐƵĐŚ ĐĂƐĞƐ͕ ŚĞŶĐĞ ƚŚĞ ŝŵŵĞĚŝĂƚĞ ŶĞĞĚ to refer to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) nearby. dŚĞĚŽĐƚŽƌĚŝƌĞĐƚĞĚƚŚĞĚƌŝǀĞƌƚŽƚĂŬĞƚŚĞŵƚŽ>^hd,ǁŚŝĐŚŚĂƐ ďŽƚŚĂŶŝŶƚĞŶƐŝǀĞĐĂƌĞĂŶĚĂĐĂƌĚŝŽƚŚŽƌĂĐŝĐƵŶŝƚ͘ƌŝƟĐĂůůǇĂƚƚŚĂƚ ƟŵĞŽĨĚĂǇ;ĂŌĞƌϮDŝŶƚŚĞŵŽƌŶŝŶŐͿ>^hd,ŝƐĂƉƉƌŽǆŝŵĂƚĞůǇ ĮǀĞ ŵŝŶƵƚĞƐ ĂǁĂǇ ĨƌŽŵ ƚŚĞ ZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶ ŚŽƐƉŝƚĂů͘ /ƚ ǁŽƵůĚ ŚĂǀĞ ĞŶĚĂŶŐĞƌĞĚŚŝƐůŝĨĞĨƵƌƚŚĞƌŝĨĂŶĂƩĞŵƉƚŚĂĚďĞĞŶŵĂĚĞƚŽĚĞůĂǇ ƚŚŝŶŐƐďǇƚĂŬŝŶŐŚŝŵŝŶƚŽƚŚĞZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶŚŽƐƉŝƚĂůĨŽƌƐƚĂďŝůŝƐĂƟŽŶ͘ 'ŝǀĞŶƚŚĞŶĞĞĚĨŽƌƵƌŐĞŶƚƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚ͕ƚŚĞĚĞĐŝƐŝŽŶŵŝŐŚƚŚĂǀĞďĞĞŶ ĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚŝĨƚŚĞƌĞǁĂƐŶŽƐƵŝƚĂďůĞĂůƚĞƌŶĂƟǀĞƵŶŝƚĐůŽƐĞďǇ͘,ŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ ŝƚŝƐƵŶůŝŬĞůǇƚŚĂƚƚŚĞŽƵƚĐŽŵĞǁŽƵůĚŚĂǀĞďĞĞŶĂŶǇĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚ͘
SERVICING, CASE RENEWAL, COMPLETE OVERHAUL, APPRAISAL AND VALUATION
tŝƚŚƌĞŐĂƌĚƚŽƚŚĞŝƐƐƵĞŽĨƉŽůŝĐĞƌĞƉŽƌƚ͕ǁĞǁŽƵůĚůŝŬĞƚŽĐůĂƌŝĨǇ ƚŚĂƚƚŚŝƐŝƐŶŽƚĂĐƌŝƚĞƌŝŽŶĨŽƌĂĐĐĞƐƐŝŶŐƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚŝŶĂŶĞŵĞƌŐĞŶĐǇ ĂƚĂŶǇŽĨŽƵƌĨĂĐŝůŝƟĞƐĞƋƵŝƉƉĞĚƚŽŵĂŶĂŐĞŐƵŶƐŚŽƚŝŶũƵƌŝĞƐ͘tŚĞƌĞ ĂƉƉƌŽƉƌŝĂƚĞ͕ǁĞŽīĞƌŝŵŵĞĚŝĂƚĞĂŶĚƌĞƐƉŽŶƐŝǀĞĐĂƌĞƚŽĂŶǇŐƵŶƐŚŽƚ ǀŝĐƟŵǁŝƚŚŽƵƚĂŶǇŶĞĞĚĨŽƌĂŵŽŶĞƚĂƌǇĚĞƉŽƐŝƚŽƌŽƚŚĞƌĐŽŶĚŝƟŽŶƐ ƚŽďĞĨƵůĮůůĞĚďĞĨŽƌĞƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚ͘ƐĂŵĂƩĞƌŽĨĨĂĐƚ͕ĂƚŽƵƌsŝĐƚŽƌŝĂ /ƐůĂŶĚŵĂŝŶŽĸĐĞǁĞŚĂǀĞƚƌĞĂƚĞĚŵĂŶǇŐƵŶƐŚŽƚǀŝĐƟŵƐǁŝƚŚŽƵƚ ĚĞŵĂŶĚŝŶŐĨŽƌĂƉŽůŝĐĞƌĞƉŽƌƚŝŶƚŚĞƌĞĐĞŶƚƉĂƐƚ͕ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐWŽůŝĐĞ KĸĐĞƌƐ͘,ŽǁĞǀĞƌ͕ŽƵƌ/ŬĞũĂďƌĂŶĐŚŝƐŶŽƚĞƋƵŝƉƉĞĚƚŽŚĂŶĚůĞƚŚŝƐ type of incident. tĞ ǁŽƵůĚ ůŝŬĞ ƚŽ ĂƐƐƵƌĞ ƚŚĞ EŝŐĞƌŝĂŶ ƉƵďůŝĐ ƚŚĂƚ ƚŚĞ ZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶ ,ŽƐƉŝƚĂů 'ƌŽƵƉ ŝƐ ĨƵůůǇ ĐŽŵƉůŝĂŶƚ ǁŝƚŚ ƚŚĞ ƌĞŐƵůĂƟŽŶƐ ĂƐ ƌĞůĂƚĞĚ ƚŽ ƚƌĞĂƚŵĞŶƚ ŽĨ ŐƵŶƐŚŽƚ ǀŝĐƟŵƐ ĂŶĚ ƚĂŬĞ ǀĞƌǇ ƐĞƌŝŽƵƐůǇ ŽƵƌ ƌĞƐƉŽŶƐŝďŝůŝƟĞƐĂƐĂƉŝůůĂƌŽĨŚĞĂůƚŚĐĂƌĞƉƌŽǀŝƐŝŽŶŝŶŽƵƌĐŽŵŵƵŶŝƚǇ͘
DR OLUTUNDE LALUDE 'ƌŽƵƉDĞĚŝĐĂůŝƌĞĐƚŽƌΘŚŝĞĨŽĨ^ƵƌŐĞƌǇ͕ZĞĚĚŝŶŐƚŽŶ,ŽƐƉŝƚĂů'ƌŽƵƉ
T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍŻÍśËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś
Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email email@example.com
BEFORE MARRIAGE TURNS MORBID
Monday Philips Ekpe argues that people should not surrender their security to others
he story is sordid. Even though it is still legally within the realm of allegations, as the court is yet to pronounce its veracity, the graphic details of the horrible murder of Barrister Otike Odibi earlier this month in Lagos are heart-wrenching. His wife, Udeme Odibi, according to reports, killed her husband, tore open his bowel, severed his genitals from his groin and forced them into his palm. Thereafter, probably when the gravity of her actions dawned on her, she attempted to commit suicide. Their neighbours then promptly intervened to save her life and possibly enhance the chances of justice delivery. At the moment, the country and followers of this tragic, gory drama around the world are in shock, bewildered by yet another tale of a spouse snuffing life out of the partner. Apart from birth, there is no other existential phenomenon as certain as death. Yet, the kind of passage witnessed in the Odibi family is unique mainly for its paradox. The home is meant to be a safety zone for its members, a place of refuge from the stress outside. For couples to truly actualise their marital expectations, they should be open to each other in many ways. For them also, the pledge, â€œto have and to holdâ€?, is a requirement for emotional, social and intellectual bliss. That means a reasonable level of vulnerability becomes unavoidable. However, marriage, like the thought processes and actions of the persons in it, is not always straightforward. While shared or discovered information about bank statements, landed properties, contents of handsets and relationships draw some spouses closer, it can also tear others apart, sometimes fatally. No research is needed to prove that domestic murders and deliberate injuries are gender-blind, so, no war of the sexes makes sense. Itâ€™s humanity thatâ€™s on trial here. Why should two human beings who promise to protect and love each other become mortal foes? Does the degeneration happen gradually or suddenly? Again, no two marriages are the same. It therefore means that for whatever purpose, even when some basic facts cut across matrimonial unions, each case should be viewed and handled differently. This often poses some challenges to marriage counselors, many of whom are usually armed only with lectures on forgiveness. As widely acceptable and indispensible as this virtue, its recommendation for and application to especially by partners who might already be irretrievably wounded in their souls could be tricky. There are numerous examples of couples who pronounce pardon publicly but still strike like a cobra soon afterwards. No doubt, both spiritual and terrestrial spheres of life can be enhanced by understanding the kind of plea for forbearance made by Reverend John Adeyemo at Odibiâ€™s funeral. As he put it, â€œWe may be thinking of the circumstances that led to his death, but please leave everything to God. He
TIME HAS COME FOR INDIVIDUALS TO REEXAMINE THE ISSUE OF â€˜TILL DEATH DO US PART.â€™ MARRIAGE IS A NOBLE INSTITUTION BUT IN THE HIERARCHY OF LIVING, LIFE ITSELF TAKES PRIORITY
is the owner of every individual. He takes any soul that he pleases. I want everyone here to know that death is inevitable. We thank God that our brother died in Christ. Therefore, I want to believe that it is only God that can take a soul. When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, weâ€™ all sing and shout the victory... Otike-Odibiâ€™s family, I have just but one message: forgiveness! Our Lord Jesus taught us to forgive. He laid the heavy burden of forgiving others upon us with such a clause when he says, â€˜for if you do not forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father wonâ€™t forgive your sins.â€™â€? That admonition does not negate the lessons that should be learnt by the living. Odibi has left the scene in a gruesome manner. Going by most of the eulogies from his daughter, relatives, friends, colleagues and clients, he was an easy going man who could sacrifice anything to bring happiness to those around him, at his own personal discomfort many times. Unfortunately, his wife and suspected killer saw him otherwise. To her, he was a womaniser, someone who had no regard for his marital vow of chastity. Perhaps, the fate that befell the manâ€™s manhood was a product of his assailantâ€™s wild imagination about his perceived sexual recklessness. Now, he is gone. What made him stay put till he met his needless, bitter end? The very night he was slaughtered, he called his mother, sister and neighbour and informed them about the womanâ€™s threat and apparently did nothing to shield himself from harm. He seemed to put his trust in third parties who were clearly not in a position to grasp the weight of his present danger. Was he naĂŻve or unguarded like many others? I hope the late Odibi was not one of those people who over-estimate the opinions of others in taking critical, personal decisions. The earlier one realises the folly in always thinking of what people would say, the better. Human views are often characterised by selfishness, diversity, inconsistency, uninformed premises and sentimental conclusions. The way to go is to seek counsel, listen to and carefully consider advice but know that your security rests principally with you. Time has come for individuals to reexamine the issue of â€œtill death do us part.â€? Marriage is a noble institution but in the hierarchy of living, life itself takes priority. Divorce or separation should not be glamourised under any circumstance but the idea held by some people that the worst thing that can occur in matrimony is being rubbished regularly. While it is true that the Bible says that God hates it, there is nothing that indicates he prefers bloodshed. Nobody should consciously or carelessly walk into the grave for whatever reason.
HOS AND FOREIGN DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS The present administration is committed to changing the manner government business is conducted, writes Ofem Uket
he new civil service structure under the headship of Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita had sought effective partnership within and outside the country to tighten loose ends in the Federal Civil Service and the entire public service sector, as she had cautioned strictly permanent secretaries and heads of agencies to develop cordiality in relating with their political heads.
The overall intent is to achieve the blueprint of President Muhammadu Buhari administrationâ€™s 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan as major reform process of the public service in Nigeria, aimed at enthroning a new civil service regime. Structural defects in the past which had brought down the efficiency and productivity level in the public service have been undergoing complete overhaul with strategic inputs from major stakeholders, including research papers which are being translated into action. Some major players on the foreign scene in the struggle are the Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Before 1945 the colonial government undertook no serious comprehensive planning to reform the public service, as its earliest plan came between 1946-55 Ten-Year Plan of Development (with plan revisions in between 1951-55) and the 1955-60 plan (later extended to 1962), were framed by colonial administrators. As the authors of the First National
Development Plan, 1962-68 had a series of projects which had not been coordinated or related to any overall economic target.â€? After 1960, however, development planning had a broad scope, encompassing government policies to achieve national economic objectives, such as accelerated growth and higher levels of average material welfare. This planning affected the policies of such agencies as the central bank, state-owned enterprises, the Ministry of Education, marketing boards, state-level departments, and extension services. Nigerian plans included economic forecasts, policies toward the private sector, and a list of proposed public expenditures. Although Nigerian political leaders made decisions about general objectives and priorities for the first plan, foreign economists were the main authors of the actual document. Its authors favoured decentralised decision making by private units and high economic payoffs from directly productive investments as opposed to indirect returns from social overheads. They discouraged increased taxes on the wealthy out of fear of dampening private incentive, and advocated a conservative monetary and fiscal policy emphasising a relatively small plan, openness to foreign trade and investment, and reliance on overseas assistance. Foreign aid was set at one half of public sector investment. Nobel economist W. Arthur Lewis has suggested that the main weaknesses of the 1962-68 plan was incomplete feasibility studies and inadequate evaluation of projects, accompanied by meagre public participation, followed by excessive political intervention in economic decisions. Moreover, insufficient attention was paid to the small indigenous
sector, and the machinery for implementing developments in the public sector was unsatisfactory. The analogy of colonial reforms of the public service is to give insight to the relevance of the ongoing strategic reform process to reposition the Federal Civil Service, making it more effective, efficient, and productive and capacity building oriented in all departments. Talking about capacity building and trainings, the development partners on this initiative have commenced effective synergy with the Project Management Teams in the reform agenda. However, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, had robust engagements and consultation with multilateral and development agencies to aid the Project Management Teams (PMTs) towards implementing the 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implantation Plan (FCSSIP). She has maintained this position in all interfaces with stakeholders at all strata. The conversation is that the present administration is desirous and working so hard to change the methodology and the manner government business is conducted. Only a few days back, high level teams of development partners had engagements with the Head of Service in Abuja, to review the levels of collaboration, the impact so far and the way to go in providing a modest content of the reforms, looking at 2020 dateline, barely two years away. There are eight PMTs that were constituted after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) ratified the public service reform process strategy plan last year. The HOS said PMTs and development partners
are to set up discussions on the various plans towards the successful implementation of the eight priority initiatives of the strategy. An estimated 25,000 civil servants will be trained through revamped core modules and 200 future leaders cultivated through the Leadership Enhancement and Development Programme (LEAD-P), among others. Oyo-Ita expressed optimism that the present reform will be successful because of its features which include high impact prioritisation on initiatives; specificity with actionable and detailed implementation plan, clear governance to drive reforms, partnership for resources to support implementation and change management as well as communication plan. Apparently, there is a clear-cut stance on the reform process, contrary to previous attempts made so far beginning from the colonial administration, which in its various approaches could not make its desired impact in changing and improving on the national economic plan of government. It is therefore assuring to see the number of development partners participating in the reform process which is targeted at addressing every misadventure of the civil service in the past. The headship of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has taken dogged steps to unify the working relationship between the civil servants and politicians for the interest of a progressive and economically viable state Nigeria. Conferences and retreats were held in the past to rub minds with federal permanent secretaries on how to relate with political heads in their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
T H I S D AY FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
EDITORIAL WHERE IS LEAH SHARIBU? Government should do everything necessary to secure her freedom
ast Monday, May 14, Miss Leah Sharibu marked her 15th birthday in captivity. There were no family members and friends to show her love and to wish her happy birthday. Miss Sharibu was the only schoolgirl among the 110 students abducted from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19 that is still with the brutal terror group, Boko Haram. The rest, following what the federal government described as a series of “behind- the- scene- discussion” were returned March 21 to Dapchi, incidentally by the kidnappers themselves. Sharibu is being held back because of her faith: she is a Christian. But President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed then to ensure that “the lone girl was not abandoned.” It is unfortunate that almost two months after the president committed himself, Sharibu is still being held back by her captors. Quite naturally, Leah’s continued captivity has elicited great concern from Nigerians who are demanding for her immediate release. The parents of the teenager are NIGERIANS DESPERATELY understandably very NEED THE ASSURANCE worried. “President THAT THE FEDERAL Buhari seemed to GOVERNMENT HAS THE have forgotten about CAPACITY TO DEFEND OUR Leah,” said ReTERRITORY AND THAT THE becca Sharibu, Leah’s LIFE OF EVERY SINGLE mother last week. “He CITIZEN MATTERS promised us that Leah would be released but we wonder why it is taking such a long time to facilitate her release as was the case with the other 105 girls.” The BringBackOurGirls coalition at its usual sit-out last Monday also expressed utter disappointment over the continued detention of the schoolgirl. “Our movement is extremely saddened and distraught on this 83rd of her captivity, and the fact that the young teenager has had to mark her birthday in captivity with terrorists.” Besides, the group was exasperated that the parents of the young girl were abandoned by the government, just as the federal government had also
Letters to the Editor
not reached out to the families of the ﬁve schoolgirls that were unaccounted for. Indeed, the parents of the Dapchi released schoolgirls were not only outraged by the poor handling of Leah’s case, but that the government did not deem it expedient to condole with them over the death of ﬁve of their children, nor provided any form of psychological support to the girls who survived the one month trauma in the hands of the brutal insurgents.
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owever, perhaps more troubling is the mistrust and sectarian bent and interpretation being sown among the populace as a result of the continued detention of Miss Sharibu. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the national umbrella for all Christians, has tasked the federal government to live up to expectations by working for the immediate release of Leah. The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria was more point blank: it said that Sharibu’s detention was a demonstration of increased hostilities and high level persecution against the Christian religion in Nigeria and the world at large. Last week, the federal government said it was doing its best to see to the release of Leah and indeed all others held in captivity by members of the fanatical sect. “Negotiations with insurgents are quite tortuous and complicated at times but I can assure you we are not leaving her to her fate and those who should are daily busy working on her release,” said Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture. Nothing less is expected. As this newspaper has argued repeatedly on this page, we cannot afford to give up on Leah or indeed the 112 Chibokgirls that are still pining away in captivity. They and many others held behind the lines represent a blur on our collective humanity. Therefore, the authorities must deploy all the necessary resources to get Leah and others out of the forest and into freedom. Nigerians desperately need the assurance that the federal government has the capacity to defend our territory and that the life of every single citizen matters. Nothing would symbolise that more than the return of Leah and of course, the Chibok schoolgirls.
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WHY FIGHT DOCTORS OVER LEADERSHIP OF HEALTH?
“group” has decided to go on strike in the governmentowned hospitals over certain issues of which one of them is the fight for the leadership of the health team. Another is that its members want to earn what doctors earn. Strange things that have never happened anywhere in the world. They have padlocked consulting rooms, operating theatres, laboratories and anywhere any form of health service can be rendered to patients, and even attacking doctors physically who are rendering care to patients. To this amorphous group in an unholy “marriage” characterised by orgy, delusion, inferiority complex, inordinate ambition, unbridled indiscipline and warped logic anyone who works in the hospital can be the Chief Medical Director! Like I said in my article “Why begrudge the doctor,” published almost four years ago when this same issue reared its ugly head “The grudge against doctors strikes at the concept called public hospital. Only in a public hospital will there be argument about who is in charge, only in a public hospital do you have conflicts of roles or who should be paid more.” Now, hospital is a kind of business. Anyone who has the money can open a hospital. In Lagos State the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) will accredit such a hospital which meets the minimum requirements as long as the operating officer is a qualified medical doctor. The businessperson is then regarded as the proprietor. Anything but this is not allowed. So, while in a private hospital the businessperson is the proprietor, in a public hospital the government is the proprietor for it is the one that remunerates the
operating officer (Chief Medical Director). Any place called a hospital whether private or public not headed by a doctor won’t be allowed to operate. So, there is no room for non-doctors to become the chief executive in a hospital setting. Now, these regulatory bodies not only licence hospitals, they licence nursing homes, convalescent homes, laboratories, physiotherapy clinics, and for pharmacies it is the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). In all these places a doctor can’t come there and lead the place. To make it simple, a doctor can’t be the operating officer in a nursing home, or in a convalescent home, or in a laboratory, or in a pharmacy, or in a physiotherapy clinic. But a doctor can be the proprietor of any of them. Those agitating for non-doctor leadership in a public hospital should instead fight for publicly-owned nursing homes, publicly-owned convalescent homes, publicly- owned laboratories, publicly-owned pharmacies and so on. To be fair, many “good” nurses don’t agree with this “body”, they still honour the age-long “Hippocratic-Nightingalic” symbiosis. Healthcare is multidisciplinary, and involves everyone who contributes to the health of the patient. Yet, if there is no arrowhead it leads to anarchy. Imagine where the pilot (doctor) is in a tussle with the medical laboratory scientist or pharmacist (flight engineer) and the nurses (flight stewardesses) on who is in control of a plane in flight. Of course that plane will crash. And that has been the lot of our health sector. The same people who are fighting for leadership position with the doctor want their children who are science inclined to make medicine their first choice for university education. Some even go as far as saying “medicine or nothing.” Now they want to argue leadership with the
doctor through the backdoor. The best way for them is to get their Permanent Voter Cards, join a political party and be voted in as the president of the country. Doctors answer to the president. It must be stated here that a doctor-leadership is a sine qua non for quality healthcare everywhere and Nigeria is not an exception. Doctors have long years of training in medical school, learning subjects that people study as single degrees. Six years is even too short. That is why they still go further to postgraduate school for almost equal duration of training as in the undergraduate. Those allied disciplines which are mischievous think that by continually lengthening their own undergraduate training it will equate as doctors’. They might as well stare at a one-page tract for six years! Again, it’s imperative that doctors maintain authority for the care of the patient to ensure safety and overall care of the patient. Doctors must take responsibility in all hospital matters and maintain quality control for non-medical doctors in a hospital setting. According to a survey by the American Medical Association (AMA), patients also support physician-led team-based care. In a 2012 survey it found that patients overwhelmingly want a coordinated approach to healthcare, with a physician leading the healthcare team. “Physician leadership of the healthcare team does not mean that physicians must have all the right answers for every task the team needs to accomplish. Rather, it requires physicians to ask the right questions, invite participation, communicate clearly, promote a culture of respect, reward excellence and ensure accountability, among other important leadership skills.” Dr Cosmas Odoemena, medical practitioner, Lagos
T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍśËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś
Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications Rivers State
T H I S D AY ˾FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
Group Politics Editor Tobi Soniyi Email email@example.com 07054786260 SMS ONLY
Rumble in Accord Party Some members of the Accord Party want to know why the party’s chairman, Mohammed Lawal Nalado went to court to challenge the power of the National Assembly to re-order the election sequence, writes Shola Oyeyipo
n Nigeria, not even smaller political parties are insulated from internal crisis. It is no longer news that both the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party are plagued with internal wrangling. Surprisingly, small parties that are expected to be better run, are equally having their own fair share of crises. Therefore virtually all the political parties in the countries are faced with internal wrangling. That of Accord Party (AP) is particularly interesting. Somehow, the crisis rocking the APC appears to have crept into Accord Party. The South-west zone of the party has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Nalado to resign. He was alleged to have committed gross misconduct and and to have contravened the party’s constitution. Apart from the ultimatum, the southwest zone has also resolved to dissociate themselves from the court proceeding instituted by the national chairman of the party against the National Assembly challenging the power of the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to alter election sequence. These were part of the resolutions arrived at after the zonal meeting held in Ibadan , Oyo State capital. Although the Oyo State chapter was not on the same page with the zone on the resolution but other states, including Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, were fully in support of the move. The Osun State Chairman of the party, Chief Olusegun Fanibe, who spoke with newsmen on behalf of other states, said the chairman contravened the party’s law by engaging in acts that brought disrepute and public embarrassment to the party by unilaterally taking the National Assembly to court without any consultation or approval from the National Working Committee (NWC). He said: “Secondly, he engaged in antparty activities by collecting money from the (APC) to pay the rent of the national secretariat and he confirmed that himself because we knew we haven’t pay for the party secretariat for some time. “Also, the National Chairman of this party posted the poster of himself as an aspirant for a vacant senatorial seat in Kastina State without putting the party logo, giving the impression that he intends to contest the election as the candidate of another party. “We have been on this issue for three weeks. We invited him but for some reasons he has been avoiding us. He has been giving one excuse or the other. Even that is against the constitution of the party because as a chairman he is supposed to be in control but our chairman has been in disarray and that is why we resolved to this step, hopefully he will respond to this and do the needful. ”Our chairman is from Daura, very close to Mr President, and also, an in-law to the president, so I don’t think he would want to work against his kinsman. Every effort by stakeholders to move the party forward is being blocked and we think this is the time the South-west takes a step’’ Members of the party also threatened to quit the party if the chairman of failed to call an emergency meeting to review the allegations levelled against him with the view to setting up a committee and recommending sanctions according to the dictates of the party constitution. “The national chairman must resign. We
want him to resign within seven days or in the alternative, call for a National Working Committee meeting during which we shall set up a seven-man disciplinary committee to investigate the allegation and recommend appropriate sanctions in accordance to the constitution of the party,” he said. They also congratulated former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola on their choice of All Democratic Congress (ADC) as the political party platform to use for the coalition movement and they are also optimistic that Accord Party may in the nearest future, be able to form a common ground with ADC in the interest of the nation. He urged party members across the region to remain steadfast and committed to improving the quality of lives of Nigerians.
Withe each group sticking to its position, there is no end in sight yet to the party’s crisis. Not even small parties are immune from crisis. Unlike the ruling APC however, members of Accord Party have yet to start killing themselves
But in an indication that the crisis gradually brewing in the party is not about to end soon, another group of the party in the South-west zone last Tuesday, disagreed with the call for Nalado’s resignation and also rejected the purported vote-of-no-confidence passed on him on Sunday. The leader of the South West chairmen, Chief Muda Ogunsola, said in Ibadan on Tuesday while addressing newsmen on the matter that Nalado and other national executives did not deserve the treatment purportedly meted to them. He stated that: “All state chairmen of Accord Party across the six zones, including the South-west states, support of Nalado,” adding that “the few persons that called themselves South West leaders are unknown to us.” He stated that none of the state chairmen and leaders of the party in the South-west, including the zonal leader, Adebukola Ajaja, participated in the purported vote-of-noconfidence, except Olusegun Fanibe of Osun State and a few other persons. He said: ”All the allegations levelled against the national chairman were false and cannot hold water. Therefore, we warn such individuals to look elsewhere for actualisation of their personal ambitions because Accord Party is a well organised party and no individual can impose his or her personal interest on us.” To many of his supporters, contrary to the insinuation that he is covertly working for his kinsman, President Buhari, Nalado,
has repeatedly told anyone who cares to listen that the party will not adopt the presidential candidate of any political party in the 2019 general elections, so there should be no basis for the allegations. But in the 2015 presidential election, AP was one of the parties that adopted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Goodluck Jonathan to contest the election. However, as regards the 2019 election, Nalado has maintained that “Accord Party will not adopt the presidential candidate of any political party in the 2019 general elections. This is because with the influx of people coming to seek political position in our platform, we believe we have the capacity, strength and the spread to win the presidential election in 2019. “We are meeting to strategise on how to go about our party activities that will translate to positive and better options for Nigerians.” It is unclear whether the aggrieved South-west members of the party, who are already spoiling for showdown are swayed by Nalado’s recent disclosure and the firm support he is getting from the party chairmen. Because to them, he has already sold out to the ruling party and must simply go. Withe each group sticking to its position, there is no end in sight yet to the party’s crisis. Not even small parties are immune from crisis. Unlike the ruling APC however, members of Accord Party have yet to start killing themselves.
T H I S D AY ˾FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
Opuala-Charles Moves to Replace Murray-Brruce A former Commissioner for Finance in Bayelsa State, Silva Opuala-Charles has indicated his desire to contest for the Bayelsa East Senatorial District. Segun James takes a look at his credentials
hen he was appointed as Bayelsa State Commissioner of Finance and Budget in 2007 by Governor Timipre Sylva, Dr. Silva Opuala-Charles was faced with managing the economy of a state with abysmal internally generated revenue. A state that is 100 percent depended on federal government allocations and derivation fund, both of which are tied to oil production and unstable prices of oil at the international market. At the time, militancy in the Niger Delta was at its height and oil production from the oil fields of Bayelsa was at its lowest. While the economy of the country groaned under heavy strain, and most states in the country were unable to pay salary or embark on any developmental project; Bayelsa State, under the financial engineering of Silva Opuala-Charles, did not owe any worker in the state’s labour force. It was a no mean feat! This was at a time when the state’s fortune has taken a turn for the worse. It had moved from being the second highest oil producing state in the country to number four behind Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta states! The state fell from producing over 250,000 barrel of oil per day to less than 30,000. The state was in a dire straight. Everybody was restless and the militants were relentless in their attack on oil production facilities. It was a hard time for the country; it was the hardest time for Bayelsa State. Yet the state managed to survive. It could only have taken an extremely astute and gifted manager of men and resources to have achieved this feat. This was what Opuala achieved. Under his watch as the state’s Commissioner for Finance; and later Commissioner for Budget, Planning and Economic Management, he ensured that through commitment and team work, Bayelsa State was brought out of the financial woods at that critical time. In fact, this singular feat helped bring the state into the global arena as evidenced in several frameworks that enabled the state to partner with the European Union, the World Bank and UNICEF among others. Today, Opuala-Charles has indicated his resolve to go to the Senate to serve as the senator representing the good people of Bayelsa East Senatorial District under the All Progressives Congress (APC). With this, he plans to take over from Senator Ben Murray-Bruce of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who will serve out his one term next year under the rotational arrangement of the district. Under him as the Commissioner of Finance, he successfully initiated and concluded the Bayelsa State 50 Billion Bond Issuance. Besides, he developed the publication of Bayelsa Facts; a magazine that gave detailed information of the statistics in terms of development in the state. He started the publication of Pragmatism Magazine; another publication devoted to publishing issues related to economic management and helped achieve the rating of the state with Fitch Rating, an international rating body and system based in London. Since leaving government, Opuala- Charles, a PhD holder, has been in private business and is today, the Chairman of Alphastar Group, which engages in Paint Manufacturing, Real Estate, Consultancy, Oil & Gas and Business Education Promotion. Silva Opuala-Charles was born on the 13th of May, 1967 in Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He attended State School, Bassambiri, Nembe from 1975 – 1982 for his primary education, before proceeding to Nembe National Grammar School, Nembe from 1982 – 1986. All through his period of studies in the secondary school, Opuala-Charles was an outstanding student who maintained the overall position in his class. This no doubt
earned him the position of senior prefect of the school in his final year. He gained admission into the prestigious University of Port Harcourt in 1990, where he majored in Economics. He went back to the same university later and graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Monetary and Banking in 1999. He later capped it with a Doctor of Philosophy in 2005. At the university, Opuala-Charles emerged the overall second best graduating in the graduating year while also carting many university, departmental and faculty prizes. He was the best graduating student in his faculty and department where he won many
Under his watch as the state’s Commissioner for Finance, and later Commissioner for Budget, Planning and Economic Management, he ensured that through commitment and team work, Bayelsa State was brought out of the ﬁnancial woods
prestigious awards. Opuala-Charles also attended Trium Global EMBA program of the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, The HEC Management School, Paris and New York University (Stern School of Business), New York. Desirous of impacting knowledge that he had acquired from around the world and business in the next generation, Opuala-Charles is today a visiting scholar at the Claude Ake School Government (University of Port Harcourt) and a member of the University of Port Harcourt Business School Governing Council. He started out as a banker soon after leaving the university. A broadly skilled individual, he has over twenty eight years of multi industry experience spanning eighteen years in the banking industry, over five years in the public sector as Commissioner of Finance/Budget and currently over five years as Chairman of Alphastar group which is into manufacturing/ construction and consulting services. As regional manager, Port-Harcourt, for the First Inland Bank, he was responsible for the administration and efficient operation of the region, including operations, lending, product sales, customer service, security and safety issues in line with the bank’s objectives. He started his banking career as a teller with the United Bank for Africa Plc, from 1988 where he worked till 1993. From there he joined EMB Mortgage Finance and worked
as marketing manager before joining Fidelity Bank as a senior officer – Credit and Marketing, in April 1999. He left the bank in November 1999 and moved to First Inland Bank as Assistant Manager and Head Oil & Gas at the Port-Harcourt Branch and was later promoted to a branch manager and opened the Warri office in 2001.Due to his impressive performance he was moved back to Port Harcourt in 2003 and he became the regional manager in charges of south-south business. It was at the peak of his success in transforming the south-south moribund business of the bank that he was invited by the Bayelsa State government to help engineer the state’s finances and economy in 2007. Today, Opuala-Charles, who is married with children, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (FCEN), Fellow of the Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats (FCCipl), Fellow, Institute of Public Management of Nigeria (FIPMN), Fellow, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria (FSM), Fellow, Chartered Institute of Administration (FCIA) and Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Management (FNIM). He believes that those who have had the privilege and experience of working in both public and private sectors owe it a duty to mentor the next generation by impacting them with knowledge that would help shape the future.
T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍŻÍś, 2018
BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT
REPO 7.17 % 8.08 %
CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH
5% 8.75 % 9.50%
A P R I L S & P INDEX INDEX LEVEL 1-DAY MONTH-TO-DATE
Group Business Editor Chika Amanze-Nwachuku Email firstname.lastname@example.org 08033294157, 08057161321
2 7 , 2 0 1 8 347.43 % 0.07% 1.41%
S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE YEAR TO DATE
5.45 % 5.45 %
EXCHANGE RATE N305.65/1US DOLLAR* ĚŠ
Quick Takes Fadugba to Speak at LAAC Seminar
L-R: Chairman, Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Pascal Dozie; wife of the Author, Ngozi Nneji; founder, ABC Transport Plc/Author of the book â€œWho Says You Canâ€™t?â€?, Frank Nneji and a former Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi, during the public presentation of â€œWho Says You Canâ€™t?â€? in Lagosâ€Śrecently
Nigeria Records Low Growth in Air Passenger Traffic Chinedu Eze Total passenger movement figures in 2016 and 2017 indicated that Nigeria recorded lower passenger traffic last year despite the fact that economic recession peaked in 2016 and started easing in 2017 as indices show that the economy witnessed a rebound with the reduction of exchange rate from N500 per dollar at the height of the recession to the current N360. Passenger traffic movement records from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) showed that the total passenger movement in 2017 was 13, 704, 215, while the figures in 2016 was 14, 361, 587; indicating a
AVIATION reduction by about 4.6 per cent. Domestic and international passenger traffic for major airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt showed that there was consistent reduction in passenger movement in 2017 when compared to 2016. Figures for the domestic passenger movement for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in 2017 was 3, 684, 052, while that of 2016 was 3, 748,833, showing a reduction by 1.7 per cent. International passenger movement for Lagos airport in 2017 was 2, 869,099, while that of 2016 was 2, 945, 914,
showing 2.6 per cent reduction. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja recorded in the same period domestic passenger moment of 2, 826, 113 in 2017 and 3, 344,164 in 2016 with reduction of 15. 5 per cent. Also, the international passenger traffic for the airport was 734, 509 in 2017 and 885, 926 in 2016 with reduction of 17.1 per cent. The figures also showed that in 2017, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano recorded domestic passenger movement of 253, 578 and 255, 568 in 2016 with reduction of 0.8 per cent, while international passenger movement in 2017 was 186, 795 and 202, 589 in 2016 with reduction of 7.8 per cent.
Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa recorded domestic passenger movement of 865,659 in 2017 and 974, 028 in 2016 with reduction of 11.1 per cent; while international passenger traffic was 81, 125 in 2017 and 91, 499 in 2016 with reduction of 11.3 per cent. Beyond comparison between 2017 and 2016, industry experts have observed that passenger growth figures in the last five years hovers between 13 to 16 million, thus defying projections that in 2030 passenger traffic would hit 31 million annually while that of Africa would hit 400 million. Continued on page 20
FG Urges Stakeholders to Device Strategies to Boost Maritime Security Eromosele Abiodun The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has called on stakeholders in the maritime sector to develop a strategy to deal with the challenges within the permissible scope of security agencies to improve on maritime security. The minister made the call in a presentation tagged, â€˜Armed Guards Aboard Merchant Vessels in Nigeria -Legal or Illegal,â€™ at the 3th Edition of Lagos International Maritime Week in Lagos. Malami, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes, Mr. Abiodun Aikomo said maritime security has become an important requirement for merchantsâ€™ vessels over the last decade due to the increasing threats from pirates across the world. He stressed that the issue of maritime security in the
MARITIME Nigerian territorial waters should be taken seriously. According to him, â€œHuman beings have the responsible for self-preservation of their life and limbs and by extension, private properties and investments. As to the legality and illegality of armed guards on merchant vessels in Nigeria, the debate should no longer be focused on whether armed guards should be employed. â€œRather, how they can effectively, legally and safely be engaged with emphasis on accreditation and accountability. In this regard, the United Kingdom and Norway have provided regulations on the use of private guards on-board.â€? He added: â€œThe International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has also announced its change of stance on armed guards. Even though Nigerian- flagged vessels cannot make use of
armed private guards as the law stands today. The reality is that there must be a dynamic strategy of dealing with security challenges facing merchant vessels in Nigerian waters.â€? He said that it could be necessary to amend the relevant laws in long term, adding that there was need for stakeholders to develop a strategy within the scope of power of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in collaboration with other sister agencies. In his speech, the ConsulGeneral of France, Mr. Laurent Polonceaux, said that Nigeria was surrounded by Frenchspeaking neighbours and also was the largest trading partner of France in West Africa. Polonceaux said that the business interest of both countries pervaded all segments of economy in the value chain ranging from oil and gas, food and nutrition, pharmaceuticals,
security, transportation, logistics and Africa food production. He further added: â€œThere are also 120 French companies registered in Nigeria, as commercial partnership, direct, acquisition and affiliates. It will take a little look of the list of countries by length of coastline to realise that Norway is number two after Canada, while France is number nine. â€œFrance supported the builtup and strengthening of the maritime security architecture decided by the heads of African states during the Yaounde Summit in June 2013. â€œMission Corymbe is a France Navy scheme initiated in 1990, prepositioned in West Africa, which helped to reinforce the capacity of the costal marines of the Gulf of Guinea in the field of maritime safety.â€? On her part, the Founder of Lagos International Maritime
Industry expert and the Chief Executive OďŹƒcer (CEO) of Aviation Services Limited, has conďŹ rmed participation at the forthcoming seminar of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC). Fadugba would present a paper on â€˜Partnerships as Key to Survival of Local Airlines.â€™ Apart from him, other resources persons are expected to present various papers to about 250 participants who operate within the industry and outside it. Fadugba who was also a former Secretary Gener `al, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in his conďŹ rmation e-mail to LAAC said that he was pleased to be part of the event, which he said would help to further shape the African aviation industry. He added: â€œI am willing to present a paper on the topic given to me by the league. I will physically be present on the date chosen for the seminar.â€? Fadugba, was Co-Chairman, African Airlines/MRO Africa Technical Committee on Line Maintenance Co-operation & Spares Pooling in Africa, Co-Chairman, African Airlines/MRO Africa Technical Committee on Aviation Standards & Regulations Harmonisation in Africa, Vice Chairman, Safety & Training Committee, African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), Advisor, Association of African Aviation Training Organisations (AATO), former Secretary General, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Lead Moderator, Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) oďŹƒcial launch discussion at African Union (AU) Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Media Agency Wins Awards
One of the countryâ€™s leading marketing communications agency, SO&U said it won big at the African Cristal festival award which held in Marrakech, Morocco, recently with its Motherâ€™s Day ad that went viral in March 2018 The campaign, which proďŹ led Nigerian mothers and their â€œsecret weapons,â€? recorded over two million shares across social media with zero promotion and was arguably one of the most successful brand campaign ever in Nigeria based on organic growth. Clearly, it also resonated with the international jury of professionals at the event as it won a Gold at the festival. According to a statement, SO&U was the only Nigerian agency to win in the African culture category with the Motherâ€™s Day advert with its unique story telling on the importance of mothers in the African society and how their improvised rods of discipline instilled order in the Nigerian home and shaped future leaders within the current society. â€œWith the award, SO&U continues to maintain its creative edge amongst industry players in Nigeria and Africa at large as a leading marketing communications agency with in-depth understanding of African culture and passion points in connecting emotions through creative thinking, which has been highlighted over the years with its consistency in creative outputs which has shaped narratives of storytelling within the country,â€? it added. The African Cristal Festival, is an annual event which stands as one of the biggest regional summits which features the best agencies and creative work from across the continent, promotes regional cultures and rewards the best advertising campaigns created and broadcast over the African continent, on any media.
Turkish Airlines Hosts MENA Summit
Turkish Airlines recently organised the second edition of the Black Sea MENA Tourism and Investment Summit in Ordu, Turkey. There were over 200 representatives from the MENA region who took part in this summit. The airline said the summit saw the attendance of businessmen, travel agencies, social media inďŹ‚uencers, and press representatives with an overall presence of over 200 attendees from more than 15 diďŹ€erent countries, adding that this yearâ€™s summit also saw the participation of the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey. This year, Turkish Airlines celebrated their most recent results of the ďŹ rst quarter and looked back at their accomplishments over the last year, giving thanks to their agencies, and partners in the MENA Region.
â€œIn Nigeria, the human capacity development in the aviation industry does not have continuity because there is no platform for trained personnel to gain experienceâ€? CEO, Aero Contractors
Captain Ado Sanusi Continued on page 20
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BUSINESSWORLD NIGERIA RECORDS LOW GROWTH IN AIR PASSENGER TRAFFIC The experts noted that so far Nigeria is not recording substantial increase in air passenger movement and despite the fact that the nationâ€™s economy is growing, there seemed to be no growth in capacity in air transport sector. The figures also indicate that in the next 12 years, Nigeria will increase its passenger traffic by about 18 million in order to meet the 31 million projections by 2030. Travel expert and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ikechi Uko reacting to the passenger growth figures, said that passenger movement is determined by the capacity of the economy, available airport infrastructure, seat supplies by airlines, noting that there have not been new airlines coming into the country, which means that the number of aircraft seats have remained about the same. FG URGES STAKEHOLDERS TO DEVICE STRATEGIES TO BOOST MARITIME SECURITY Week, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, said the theme of this year event was, â€œDeveloping Maritime Infrastructure in Africa.â€? Edodo-Emore said that development in the maritime industry in Africa should define the vision for the industry in the continent by seeking international cooperation to actualise the vision. According to her, it was the responsibility of the country to take advantage of the global shortage of skilled maritime manpower by developing our maritime education and training institutions to produce skilled manpower for continental and global markets. She said that introduction of youths to the maritime industry was key to the longterm development of maritime manpower in Africa. The Lagos Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, said concerning the development of all modes of transportation, the state government in 2008, established the Lagos State Water Authority (LASWA).
Group Business Editor
Ă’Ă“Ă•Ă‹Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă¤Ă?Ě‹ĂĄĂ‹Ă?Ă’Ă&#x;Ă•Ă&#x; AgriBusiness/Industry Editor
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Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă•Ă™Ă˜Ă”Ă“ Capital Market Editor
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Ă’Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă¤Ă?(Aviation) Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂ™Ă•Ă?(Labour) ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă?ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜(Maritime) Ă”Ă“Ă™Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ–Ă“Ă•Ă?(Energy) Ă‹Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă”Ă™(Nationâ€™s Capital) ĂŒĂ“Ă˜Ă˜Ă‹Ă’Ă“Ă—Ă‹(Money Mkt) Reporters
Dozie Tasks Entrepreneurs on Transformational Leadership Culture to Drive Economic Growth Ugo Aliogo and Esther Ehoche Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Paschal Dozie, has charged entrepreneurs to imbibe the culture of transformational leadership as a key strategy to grow businesses and promote excellence. Dozie, who made the call in Lagos on Wednesday at the launch of a book titled: â€˜Who Says You Canâ€™tâ€™ written by the Chairman of ABC Transport, Frank Nneji, noted that stated that entrepreneurs cannot not focus on applying the same principles and methods and yet expect great results. Dozie also stated businesses must create value to speed up growth and not just focus on old methods of doing things if they must remain competitive in the market, pointing out that businesses that pay prior attention to profit making without creating value is a poor business. â€œMost times, people are stocked doing the same thing. For instance, in the villages, if you find an individual doing business in one particular line of trade, before long others join the business; instead of thinking of how to add value to improve businesses and the society. People should be more concerned on how to structurally improve the economy, rather than doing what others are doingâ€?, he mentored. Speaking on the book, Dozie said that the author is an enterprise and an entrepreneur worthy of note; noting that writing of the book is value addition to
the economy. He added: â€œThe author has imbibed the culture of transactional and transformational leadership. Today, is not a day for speeches, but exposing the values you have written in your book. This book is value addition to the economy. I want to thank you Frank for this effort and your family for the role they have played. I will try to propagate the message in this book by buying two copies.â€? In his remarks, the keynote speaker, Prof. Pat Utomi, said Nneji has redefined the transport sub-sector and
provided a template on how to improve the performance of the sector, adding that he has an understanding of transactional and transformation behaviour in business. Utomi also stated the need to examine what Nneji has done to transform the sector through ABC Transport Company and take a cue from his strategies. â€œThere is a need to look at what he has done and see how we can explore lessons from his successful storiesâ€?, he said. Represented at the event by Nigeriaâ€™s First Certified Public Speaker, Ubong Essien, Utomi
charged entrepreneurs on the need to stand out in businesses by applying the principles of transformational leadership. He added: â€œFrom the start of this book, we will see a clear intention to inspire, challenge and motivate young entrepreneurs. This is a memoir that contains business experiences and lessons of Nneji who has seen it fit to share these experiences with us. This book contains important business stories. There are two types of entrepreneurs; the transactional entrepreneurs and the transformational entrepreneurs.
â€œMost of our lives and experiences today are focused more on the transactional entrepreneurs. He redefined the transport sector in Nigeria. He had a vision and he had a dream. He went for the uncommon by asking, â€˜Why canâ€™t we have aviation on land?â€™ He didnâ€™t need to copy anything; he just asked questions and challenged circumstances. For up and coming entrepreneurs, this should be their focus. As a transformation entrepreneur, it is about seeking to change the world that you are in not seeking to be a part of it.â€?
A WARM HANDSHAKE
Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh (Left) with the Minister of Information and Culture cum Chairman of the Stakeholders Engagement Committee (SEC) of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Alhaji Lai Mohammed at the formal inauguration of the Committee in Abuja...recently
PENGASSAN Hails Lawmakersâ€™ Decision on NLNGâ€™s Sale Ugo Aliogo The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has commended the House of Representativesâ€™ decision to caution the federal government to suspend the proposed sale of its shares in Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). Reacting to the call by the House of Representatives on the urgent need to stop the sale of the gas company, PENGAS-
SAN National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Fortune Obi, said in a statement that this is in tandem with oil workersâ€™ position on the need for the government to retain its sharesâ€™ ownership in the company. He also stated that the NLNG model has been the best option so far and should be replicated in other government failed ventures such as refineries and others. Obi, who reiterated the motion of House of Representa-
tives, stated that the NLNG is one of the most successful ventures that Nigeria has had, adding that the international community would perceive the Nigeria as a country that is inconsistent in policy and would not take its desire for foreign investments seriously. He noted that the losses that would accrue from the sales of the NLNG far outweighed its gains, as rather than selling the asset, there are other options the government may adopt to
resuscitate the economy. The PENGASSAN spokesperson said that about 18,000 jobs in the sector would be affected if the proposed plan is carried out, stating that government should explore other options to fund the economy rather than selling a viable company like NLNG which dividends was used to kick start and finance the economy when Nigeria was in recession. â€œNLNG has bailed out Nigeria when the country was
in recession as proceeds from its dividends were used to finance the economy. Those investors who were clamouring for the FG to sale her shares in NLNG should find another means of injecting their resources into the economy instead of buying a successful company. In the alternative, they should set up their own LNG project and help the country in utilising its large gas reserves as well as eradicating gas flaring in the country,â€? he said.
AfCFTA: North-east Stakeholders Want Zone Listed on Anchor Borrowersâ€™ Programme Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja The North-east stakeholders forum has supported the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) while also making a key demand on the federal government to extend the coverage of the CBN Anchor Borrowersâ€™ Programme to the geo-political zone. They also resolved at the AfCFTA sensitisation forum held in Maiduguri on Tuesday that the establishment of a continental free trade area was a necessary step in the 21st century global economy. Nigerian Office Trade Negotiations (NOTN) has
been consulting stakeholders nationwide on the benefits of the agreement to remove tariffs and promote intra- African trade and cooperation, since government declined to ratify the comprehensive pact in Kigali on March 21. National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Manufacturers Association Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Nigerian Trade Experts Forum (NTEF) and the National Economic Summit Group
(NESG) were some of the stakeholders represented at the event. The Market Associations of the Northeast geo-political zone, made the request for the CBN borrowersâ€™ scheme, demanding the government to fund the completion of the mapping of MSMEs in the zone, in addition to funds for micro-credit and trade finance and restore historic intra-African trade corridors linking the zone with Central Africa, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Bornu State Governor Kashim Shettima gave full and undivided support to AfCFTA, which he said was designed to expand
intra-African trade. He said cross border trade between the zone and the neighbouring countries had overtime led to economic growth, job creation and the overall prosperity of the zone. The forum reiterated the urgency, as identified in the presentations on the industrialisation programme and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG), where action is required, on an immediate and permanent basis to support Nigerian manufacturers and service providers. The presentation on trade, covered protocols, resulting from Stage 1 of the negotia-
tions for Trade in Goods and Services, including protocol on the rules and procedures on the settlement of disputes. The presentation also reviewed the built-in legal provisions in the agreement for appropriate safeguards for strategic areas of the Nigerian economy for reasons of industrial policy, national security, food security, job creation and, countervailing unfair and injurious economic activities against the Nigerian economy, including transshipment and dumping in the Nigerian market, smuggling and piracy, all of which undermined attempts at industrialising the Nigerian economy.
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â€˜Arikâ€™s Flight to Bauchi will Boost Tourism, Agricultureâ€™ Chinedu Eze In its quest to connect every part of Nigeria by air, Nigeriaâ€™s major airline, Arik Air has launched schedule flights to Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi, capital of Bauchi state. The governor of the state, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar said this would boost tourism, as his administration has started developing tourism sites and destinations in different parts of the state. With the flight operations to the north eastern city, Arik Air has provided the people of the state a faster alternative to connecting other parts of the country. It is hoped this would enhance the business, administrative and social activities of the residents of the state who had yearned for regular flight services to Bauchi.
An elated governor Abubakar commended the airline for commencing flights to the state and described Arik Air as an instrument to further facilitate tourism growth in the state. The Governor noted that there was no way tourism could be properly developed without having steady flights in the state, noting that tourism would become the mainstay of the stay, adding that with regular flight to Bauchi, Arik would help to boost the tourism industry. â€œOutrightly, the coming of Arik is a fantastic development in the right direction and we assure Arik that we will collaborate with Arik. I am very confident that within short period of time, the destination will become profitable. â€œOther areas that will
be enhanced include agriculture for very obvious reasons. We occupy one-fifth of the total land mass of Nigeria in Bauchi state with over 80 per cent of Bauchi state practices one form of agriculture or the other. We have too much cultivatable land that is lying fallow so for our enlightened self-interest in addition to all this we have a teeming population which we use to gainfully employ themâ€?, the governor said. Furthermore, he said that there is no mineral known that does not exist in one part of the state or the other, adding, that is why the state is trying to develop that aspect in a scientific manner. He also said the state has already commenced the building of an 18-hole golf course in the game reserve to bring it up it up at par with resorts all over the world.
AIR WATCH Manpower Devt in Aviation Sector
Travel Start,Virgin Unveil Royal Wedding Promo Africaâ€™s leading Online Travel Agency, Travelstart, has partnered with international airline, Virgin Atlantic Airways to release the â€˜The Royal Wedding Promoâ€™ which offers discounted flights from Lagos to London. The agency said this initiative was aimed at celebrating Nigerians love for weddings, using one of the most popular weddings of the season, the British Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. According to the company, the promo would run from May 7 to 21, 2018 and would offer customers opportunity to book cheap flights on Virgin Atlantic via travelstart. com.ng. The agency said the exclusive fare from Lagos to London and to any of Virgin Atlanticâ€™s US routes is available on all three cabins, Upper Class,
Premium Economy and Economy while travellers who purchase tickets during promo period would be able to travel from now until July 1, 2018 and after September 15, 2018. Country Manager of the online travel agency, Philip Akesson, added that the company was bent on fulfilling its promise to make travel affordable and convenient for its customers. â€œWe are proud to partner with Virgin Atlantic to fly Nigerians who love weddings, for the summer. The promo shows our laser focus in satisfying our customers as well as highlights our fun brand essence. We are confident that this partnership will strengthen the already existing relationship our company has with the airline, â€?he said. Also speaking on the deal, Country Manager of Virgin Atlantic, Samuel Lindfield
said, â€œAs a British carrier, we align on how to make our customers feel special. This is why weâ€™re always coming up with innovative ways to make them feel comfortable, provide value for money and create memories as they travel. Our three new ways to fly Economy showcases this as wellâ€œ. Addressing the lifestyle angle of the promo, Commercial Manager, Travelstart Nigeria, Bukky Akomolafe noted, â€œWe love weddings! We recognise that our customers also do even more now that it is a Royal Wedding. For us, it is about creating lifetime experiences that go beyond the act of flying. We provide our customers with an affordable means to get to their destination, regardless of their budget and/or lifestyle, so that they can focus on what is important to them during their tripâ€?
Nigeriaâ€™s Green Africa Airways Names Management Team Nigerian startup Green Africa Airways has appointed Caribbean Airlines VPoperations Jag Singh as COO and former JetBlue Airways VP-flight operations Bart Roberts as safety review board chairman. Lagos-based Green Africa Airways also said it has secured its air transport license and is working toward its air operator â€™s certificate. The airline initially plans to operate flights within Nigeria using leased midsized jets. Announcing the appointments, Green Africa Airways described Singh as â€œa senior industry leader with over 35 years of experience,â€? as
well as serving as Caribbean Airlines VP-operations, Singh has twice held the role of Caribbean Airlines acting CEO in 2013-14 and 2016-17. Roberts, who was named as Green Africa Airways safety review board chairman, also has more than 30 yearsâ€™ aviation experience, including management roles at New York-based JetBlue Airways, Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlinesâ€”as chief pilotâ€” and with the US Navy. Green Africa Airways is led by CEO and founder Babawande Afolabi, a former investment banker for Morgan Stanley who started work on the new
carrier in 2014. VivaColombia founder and former CEO William Shaw is on Green Africaâ€™s board and former American Airlines CCO Virasb Vahidi is working on the project as a senior executive advisor. ASKY Airlines Boeing 737 captain Folu Oladipo, who was previously technical pilot at Nigeriaâ€™s largest carrier Arik Air, is Green Africaâ€™s chief pilot. Former Aero Contractors chief pilot Anselem Okojie was originally named as Green Africaâ€™s director of flight operations, but he left in the beginning of May because of an unexpected change in his personal situation.
At different for a, industry stakeholders have expressed concerns about the unemployment of about 500 indigenous pilots, whereas Nigerian airlines employ expatriate pilots and pay them huge emoluments, including outrageous holiday allowances. Also, Nigerian airlines and other aviation organisations employ expatriate engineers, technical advisers, flight schedulers, cabin crew managers, commercial directors and even airline financial managers. THISDAY spoke to industry operatives, who explained that the reason why many indigenous pilots are unemployed and Nigerian airlines rely on expatriate hands is because the locals are not exposed to the requisite experience and expertise after training. The operatives said that the Nigerian system lack consistent platform for further training after the initial training from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, the International Aviation College, Ilorin and other aviation training schools in the country. This break in the chain of training that gave rise to lack of requisite experience among Nigerian pilots and engineers, industry experts said, is costing Nigeria huge resources in foreign exchange and has given boost to capital flight from the aviation industry. THISDAY also spoke to airline managers, who said they prefer engaging indigenous personnel to employing foreigners but the challenge they have is that there are not enough local pilots and engineers that have the needed experience. Airlines pay more than double what they would pay a Nigerian pilot to engage an expatriate. The airline in addition will pay for the foreign pilotâ€™s flight ticket business class anytime he travels, pay for his accommodation in Nigeria, pay for his security and also may receive only six months of his service in a year, as he would use the rest of the year for vacation overseas. Recently, many Nigerian carriers have become averse to engaging expatriate pilots and other technical personnel but they seem to have no immediate alternative; except they engage on a training programme to provide continuity for further training of Nigerian technical personnel at a huge cost and fear that after training the pilot may decide to move to another airline locally or overseas. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aero Contractors, who is also former Vice President and Chief Flight Officer of Arik Air, Captain Ado Sanusi also spoke on the dilemma of both the
young Nigerian pilots and engineers and the Nigerian airlines over manpower development and employment in the countryâ€™s aviation industry. He explained: â€œThe problem when you have expatriates is that they have the expertise; that is why you call them expatriates, so you are bringing in experts. You are not bringing in people fresh from school that have no experience; you are bringing people that are experienced; that have the expertise to come and fill the gaps for you. While the expert is there, it is expected that the locals would be getting experience and getting the expertise to take over. This is how the full system works and that is how it could be a sustainable way of developing human capacity. â€œBut when you have a break in this chain then it becomes a big problem. That is a situation whereby there is no continuity in the training chain. There wonâ€™t be anybody taking those who have freshly graduated to train them further and give them the needed experience.â€? He acknowledged that there are young pilots that have graduated from school and they donâ€™t still have a job and then Nigerian airlines still engage expatriates that are flying. â€œYes, we have expatriates that are flying in Nigeria but I can guarantee you that no operator will engage a pilot, fresh from school to come and fly. They always employ people that have experience and the expertise. So in Nigeria the human capacity development does not have continuity. When we do the basic training, we are supposed to feed that workforce into the industry, where there will now go in and start gathering experience and do what they are supposed to do until they gain experience.â€? Sanusi proffered solutions to this problem, suggesting that government should give Nigerian airlines incentives to provide continuity training for Nigerian pilots, engineers and other technical personnel in the aviation sector. â€œI have been advocating for government to give incentives to airlines. If an airline absorbs 10 Nigerian pilots and you can show that you have trained them, government should give the airline tax breaks; you give them tax holidays or you give them something that will encourage them to absorb the pilots. This will make the airlines go the extra mile to ensure they absorb the trained indigenous personnel. This is because it is quite expensive to absorb these pilots.â€?
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Usman: Local Refining, Solution to High Cost, Scarcity of Aviation Fuel The Director of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Muhtar Usman, spoke to Chinedu Eze on the high cost and scarcity of aviation fuel, saying the situation may linger until the product is produced locally. He also spoke on measures being taken by the authority to ensure safe flight operations. Excerpts: When you became the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the agency was facing ďŹ nancial challenges. Has the situation improved and if it has, what did you do to grow a robust ďŹ nancial system? Financially when we took over, precisely on October 21, 2014, we witnessed a situation whereby the staff and third party contractors were owed over a billion naira in claims and huge debt profile respectively. One, we sat down and discussed with the stakeholders and came up with a programme of schedule of payment. But most importantly, we had to look at the areas of leakages initially in order to stop or to reduce the leakages so that at least we would be able to save the funds that otherwise would have been lost. We targeted that the money saved would be used to take care of the claims. However, some of the claims were spurious. We verified them and those we were satisfied were genuine were paid and over time we stabilized. Since that time we have been meeting our financial obligations, which include salaries, contractors, as at when due. We also worked on how we would improve on the collection of earnings that are due to us. It has been very challenging working on how to collect what is due to us without interrupting the services. It is also very difficult regulating in an economy that was going through recession. But we had to strike a balance where possible, reduced the wastage and leakages, tried to improve sources of income. As you are aware, the civil aviation authority operates mainly on cost recovery. As you are also aware, NCAA is still being put as a revenue generating agency where we are expected to pay certain percentage of what comes in to the agency into the federation account. We have been working and government has quite understood. I believe we still have some small work to do in order to be able to overcome those issues. When you came in some of the workers were not happy about so many things, especially some overseas trainings that were stopped and there seemed to be a kind of clampdown on expenditure, was it that you jolted the status quo or they couldnâ€™t align with your own philosophy? Well, as I mentioned earlier, in trying to address the financial issues, we had to reduce those wastages and also try to optimise the application of those funds. We prioritised mandatory things first before doing others. For example, in the area of training, it is not that we have reduced training; far from it; we did more training now than before. The only difference is that some of those overseas trainings that were costing us huge amount of money were domesticated. We domesticated some of those courses. And it also gave us an opportunity to monitor the quality of those courses because the training and studies were being and are still being done in Nigeria. This saves huge resources because the money you are going to use to train, maybe, two people outside Nigeria; you may be able to train about 10 people with it locally. So, far from it that we have reduced the trainings; we have really increased the trainings. This is because one of our major capital projects is training. In NCAA we invest in human beings. We are a regulatory agency and so the quality of the manpower and the quantity must be up to international standards. This is because the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requires that we attract and retain qualified and experienced manpower in sufficient number and that is what we have been trying to do.
Some years ago a top ofďŹ cial in NCAA said that every attention was being given to the administrative personnel, that you are sending them on training much more than you send the technical personnel. According to him, the administrative area is a support staff and the crux of NCAA should be the technical staff, which was not being exposed to enough training.
As far as we are concerned all staff is entitled to be trained, because training is a tool to enable the human being to be able to carry out his duties efďŹ ciently. The type of training that you give the technical personnel is different from the training that you give the support personnel. So there is nothing like giving priority to support staff against the technical staff. They are all staff of the organisation and we have a duty to ensure that every staff is given the requisite training to be able to perform the function on which he is employed to do
What is the situation now? As far as we are concerned all staff is entitled to be trained, because training is a tool to enable the human being to be able to carry out his duties efficiently. The type of training that you give the technical personnel is different from the training that you give the support personnel. So there is nothing like giving priority to support staff against the technical staff. They are all staff of the organisation and we have a duty to ensure that every staff is given the requisite training to be able to perform the function on which he is employed to do. In the industry, the feeling is that aircraft inspectors have arbitrary powers, that they can do and undo; is there any check on their activities? Well, I believe the feeling is only a perception. The truth is that we are not doing anything outside the authority given to us by the regulation. However, we are all human beings, the inspectors are also human beings and the operators are partners in progress. If there are any issues the authority is open to discuss. If anybody has any observation or any issue that he believes that either he is being shortchanged he should bring it up. It is not final, and we are very much open to criticism even when they are not constructive criticisms, we will still take them as input; we will work on them. We are here to promote aviation business; of course, our areas of focus in addition to that, are safety, safety, safety and of course security. Recently airlines held a meeting and said that government agencies in the aviation industry seem to favour those airlines under Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in terms of supporting their operations, assisting them in importation
of spares and using them as preferred airlines for government ofďŹ cials. Is there any particular thing NCAA is providing for these two airlines under AMCON that seems to give them head start against the other airlines? This is also a perception and if there is anything like that I have not been approached or the authority has not been approached along that line. As far as I am concerned, all air operators are the same to us, we treat them the same way. But if there is anything like that the operators should be able to come up and if there are things that we need to explain we would explain. We are here for all operators, that is why people say we are the umpire, the referee. There is no bias whether it is government or not government when it comes to safety and security. It is the same regulation we are trying to enforce without using enforceable means. Whether it is government or not government, the standards and the recommended practices in line with our regulations must be maintained. And we intend to continue to enforce those regulations for the benefit of the aviation industry in Nigeria and indeed the whole world. Aero Contractors has received certiďŹ cation from Ghana, approving its maintenance facility to conduct C-check on Boeing B737 Classics registered in Ghana. What support is NCAA giving to Aero Maintenance as a regulatory body and what do you suggest Aero should also do to expand its maintenance capability? Well, it is very good news that Aero is consolidating in that area of maintenance and they are expanding to go beyond Nigeria. That CONTINUED ON PAGE 23
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USMAN: LOCAL REFINING, SOLUTION TO HIGH COST, SCARCITY OF AVIATION FUEL should go to general aviation and horn their skills there, noting that in Nigeria when they want to type rate they start eyeing Aero, Arik and so on. That what is done in other countries is that they should go to general aviation, train with private jets and other aircraft before moving to commercial airlines, saying this is why it is very difďŹ cult for them to get type rated and start ďŹ‚ying within a short time. Do you agree with this? And is there any role NCAA can play in this?
is what we have been looking for, a capable Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centre or centres in Nigeria that are able to handle the maintenance of aircraft that operate in the country. If we have such facilities they will help in reducing the foreign exchange expenditure. Aero Contractors has the potential to provide that service, especially now you are talking of attracting other countries to bring in foreign exchange by servicing their aircraft in Nigeria. In addition, you are talking of more employment; because the more work they have, the more they will be able to engage Nigerians. Even if we donâ€™t have enough in Nigeria it will attract foreigners to come so that when they get paid they will still have to spend part of the money in Nigeria. So it is part of what we have been looking for and we are willing to support any organisation that has met the required standards to achieve that. It is in our interest to support that and we will continue to support Aero and any other organisation that has met the standards. The Director General of Airport Council International (ACI) World, Angela Gittens in a recent interview with THISDAY, said that Nigeria does not need a national carrier because Nigeria has some dynamics, one it has a diaspora population, two it has high volume of passenger trafďŹ c, so it needs a dynamic airline environment that can promote competition. Gittens observed that national carriers tend to slow down the pace of progress in airline business because they tend to be pampered by government and they are never efďŹ cient. Sir, do you agree with her position? First of all, before I make a comment on that, the envisaged national carrier being planned by the federal government is not likely to be a government owned airline. As such it may not enjoy that pampering as you mentioned. But we are all aware that Ethiopian Airlines is owned by government and yet it is doing very well. Rwanda Air that started just yesterday is also government owned and is also doing well, so are some other airlines in the Middle East that are government owned. That is not to say that the private airlines should be killed, no. Everybody will have his chance and because there is a lot of competition it will augur well for the development of aviation. This is because even if you have a national carrier or by whatever name it is going to come, it is going to compete with others. The other airlines are still going to operate; whoever has the capacity to challenge the national carrier is more than welcome. The national carrier will not have everything reserved just like it was done sometimes back, reserving certain routes and so forth. Nigerian airlines said that they spend so much money on aviation fuel. What do you think should be the solution to efďŹ cient supply of aviation fuel in comparatively low prices? I will give my own suggestion. The availability and the pricing of the fuel commodity or aviation fuel are outside the purview of aviation itself. However, if we can produce it locally here in Nigeria, there is a good chance that we will have enough in terms of availability. There is also a good chance that price will be lower because even if you are saving on just the transportation alone to and from, that will lower it. In addition to getting more employment for Nigerians because when the refineries are doing that then they will employ more Nigerians. As I said, it is outside the purview of aviation but the best way to go about it is to have local production and it makes it easier for us to even monitor. Of course, what is within us as an authority is to monitor and ensure that the quality of fuel that gets onboard the aircraft is up to the standard; and also the quantity that goes onboard the aircraft is enough to take that flight from departure point to the destination point, in addition to other calculations, the alternate airport, the holding fuel (endurance) and so on. So the fuel requirements are being met. Airlines still say that this Customs duty waiver given to them by the federal government is not working because the Nigerian Customs still ďŹ nd a way to ask for fees and also they still delay spares when they arrive. I donâ€™t know whether you are aware of this? Honestly, I am not aware. I know that at the
First of all, let me say we have different classes of licenses. We used to have what is called student pilot license but now it is called student pilot permit. That allows the student to be able to take flight instructions that will lead to getting licenses. The next stage is private pilot license and as private pilot license holder that person is not to engage in anything commercial. You cannot be paid within the job and you cannot also charge for carriages and so on. So it is purely private pilot privileges. Now when you get to the next level; that is the commercial pilot license with our instrument rating in the multi-engine; that is the barest minimum they require to be engaged as a pilot. In this stage you can be paid, you can be compensated or hired and also you can do commercial operation. Now, that is just the basic. With that somebody can get into the industry, whatever one is able to get, whether it is private aircraft, because it is subject to availability of vacancy. And pilots require what we call type rating, so for each aircraft that you are going to fly in that particular type you must be rated. You must know about the technical and operational aspect of that aircraft and that is why you have to get the type rating to operate it. Usman
inception of this administration those issues that came up were addressed. And even where an airline had engine problem Customs quickly allowed them to deliver a replacement. It was even a foreign airline (Delta Air Lines) that had engine fire and they had to bring in another engine. There was intervention from the side of aviation to ensure that they didnâ€™t pay any duty on that equipment in line with the provisions of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed between Nigeria and United States. Nigeria was admitted into the Cape Town Convention in 2011, but the airlines say they are not beneďŹ ting from it. Has there been any time that NCAA intervened on the issue of leasing aircraft or interfacing with lessors on behalf of the airlines? NCAA is not supposed to guarantee a lease because it is supposed to be an unbiased empire. The aim of having the Cape Town Convention is to help, especially African airlines to be able to get leases easily and at affordable prices. Of course it came with certain conditions because the people who are going to lease will always need to have some kind of comfort that if there is any default they will be able to recover their mobile equipment, aircraft, engine or anything along that line. Before that Cape Town Convention leases were quite high and difficult to come by because of the difficulty experienced by those lessors in getting back their aeroplane whenever there were
The availability and the pricing of the fuel commodity or aviation fuel are outside the purview of aviation itself. However, if we can produce it locally here in Nigeria, there is a good chance that we will have enough in terms of availability. There is also a good chance that price will be lower because even if you are saving on just the transportation alone to and from, that will lower it
defaults from the airlines. Of course Nigeria has signed, we have ratified and we have even started implementing those provisions. The only problems with the implementation which we have been working to try and remove is where the people who have leased the aircraft will go to court and ask for an ex-parte motion or order to stop the aircraft from either being registered or taken out of Nigeria. And we have been working with the Judiciary through the Ministry of Justice to educate the Judiciary on the need to ensure that those provisions are maintained. As far as we are concerned our own is to ensure that the airlines adhere to the rules. We help to recover the aircraft where somebody has defaulted in line with the agreement signed and we have done it with one or two airlines. We are working very hard with the Judiciary to remove that bottleneck so that more airlines will be able to attract and get leases at affordable prices which will translate even into lower cost to the passenger. Generally, airlines seem to pay more insurance premium for aircraft to operate in Nigeria. Is there anything government is doing to make insurance underwritersâ€™ re-appraise this situation through Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and NCAA? Let me start by saying that the high cost of insurance is not as a result of Nigeria not being safe or secure. Our rating worldwide through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States is quite high, both in terms of the safety and in terms of security. To digress a bit, going back to that Cape Town Convention; when an airline goes to court to stop aircraft recovery by the lessor, the management of that airline should understand the implication of that. The airlines should understand the implication of using court to stop the lessor from taking back his aircraft when the airline has refused to keep to the agreement reached before the aircraft was made available to them. Using court processes to stop the recovery of aircraft by the lessor is hurting the country more and also it is hurting other potential leases. So the cost of insurance if it is high has nothing to do with safety or security, there may be other factors. Recently, the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) said a pilot after obtaining private pilot license (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
There is a general feeling that NCAA is always hiding a lot of things about private jets that operate in Nigeria. When you request from NCAA how many private jets are in the country the agency will not tell you. Who owns these private jets, NCAA will not tell you. Does it have anything to do with security? Because people always speculate on how many private jets we have, but NCAA has all the records? Well, it is a very interesting question and the answer is that people donâ€™t come and register the aircraft with their names. So if you ask me who owns what aircraft, I cannot tell you because aircraft are registered based on the application and mostly they come under a company. So only the company name we are able to give and I donâ€™t know who is hiding any record; all the records are there for anybody who wants to know how many aircraft are in Nigeria for private category or non-schedule service. They are there. The information is available for anyone; there is nothing to hide about it. But if you ask me the individuals behind them certainly I wonâ€™t be able to tell you because it is not anywhere on record who owns what; but of course the name of the company and the aircraft is registered. In some cases, after registration it is the company that is operating the aircraft that will make it available to individuals. On the number of aircraft, they are there, but the number is dynamic. They change. People sell; they buy, so whatever figures we give you will be correct as at that time. And sometimes maintenance will keep it out of the skies; somebody may own it but it is grounded. Why is it that most private jet owners in Nigeria prefer foreign pilots? That is what we have been trying to discourage. When an aircraft is registered in Nigeria it will need a Nigeria licensed pilot holder. He doesnâ€™t have to be a Nigeria for him to have licenses issued by the civil aviation authority. But when you have an aircraft that is registered outside Nigeria then the regulations guiding who flies that particular aircraft or who maintains that aircraft rest with the country where the aircraft is registered. And of course if the aircraft is going to be here, we also have to ensure that it is operating safely within our own system. But I donâ€™t know that private jet owners prefer expatriate pilots because I am not an operator, but we have been trying to discourage that and the NCAA and the Ministry of Interior are working to ensure that the jobs that are meant for Nigerians go to Nigerians. That is why we are working very hard to ensure that whatever belongs to us gets to us as Nigerians.
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Ensuring Minimum Standards for Shipping Agents Eromosele Abiodun writes that the introduction of disbursement accounts by the Nigerian Shippers Council will have a multiplier effect on the maritime industry and the economy as a whole The functions of the Nigerian Shippersâ€™ Council (NSC) as port economic regulator include: the provision of guidelines on tariff setting in order to guide against arbitrariness; monitor and enforce standards of service delivery to ensure availability, accessibility, affordability, stability, predictability and adequacy of services. Others are: to encourage competition and guard against the abuse of monopoly and dominant market positions; perform mediatory role among stakeholders; establish accessible and modern dispute resolution mechanism; regulate market entry and exit; promote efficiency in the provision of port services. It also has the mandate to minimise high cost of doing business and prevent its inflationary effect on the Nigerian economy; encourage private sector investment in the port sector; monitor and ensure compliance by all parties with the provisions of the Port Concession Agreements. In line with its mandate, the shippers council has over the years made effort to ensure that stakeholders in the maritime sector are not taking advantage of by shipping companies in terms of paying the appropriate price for services. In continuation of its crusade against sharp practices in the maritime sector by shipping companies, the NSC last week announced that it was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to compel all shipping agencies to open disbursement accounts (DAs) from where they will carry out operational costs for their multinational principals overseas. The apex bank and the NSC said this was in line with Article 4 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) minimum standards for shipping agents all over the world. The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello explained during a meeting between the CBN representative and shipping industry stakeholders in Lagos that maintenance of DAs as provided by â€˜UNCTAD Minimum Standards for Shipping Agentsâ€™ stops the agent from going to the local market to source foreign exchange to settle charges incurred by the vessel locally. This is just as some agents have disclosed that Nigeria loses $4billion (N1.44 trillion) annually for not introducing the disbursement account for all shipping agents. Such amount, the agents stressed, could bring about a lot of multiplier effect in the industry and the national economy.
Disbursement Account The DA process is the sending of port call and port cost data between an agency system in order to correctly assign port costs to the correct port call, vessel and voyage and import this data into the data base. However, integration between systems is required. Explaining how the process works, a customs agent, Ogungbemi James, said: â€œAll active and inactive vessels of the operator are handled through the process. Users are assigned with specified vessels to simplify the task. Vessels are shared between two different operator companies using vessel sharing in the application. DA sharing feature allows other ship owner/ manager to access a particular DA. He described DA as an estimated cost for carrying out all port activities. â€œStandard formats are provided for the agent to submit the proforma. Agents can raise additional payment request (APR) for added expenses even after proforma approval. Disbursements are all expenses that the agents made for the vessel in a port. Think of port duties, loading and unloading costs, tugs, provisions, etc. In ocean marine insurance policies, the term disbursements relates to all expenses of the shipping company before the start of a journey, such as the costs
for bunkers, provisions, inventory, outgoing port duties, among others,â€? he explained.
Charges to be Covered Bello, who was represented at the meeting by the Director, Legal Services of the Council, Mr Samuel Vongtao, identified such charges to be covered by the DAs as those collected by the NPA; Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA); ship chandelling costs and other local shipping costs. Bello said such charges were usually in foreign exchange since â€œit is assumed that the principal must have wired the funds to the disbursement of account of the agent in foreign exchange.â€? He added that it was for the agents to make such payments in currency that was transferred to the disbursement account rather than going to the interbank market to source for foreign exchange. He said that it was wrong that in Nigeria the practice was completely different, adding that, â€œshipping agents apply to transfer all incomes to their principal while at the same time applying to CBN for foreign exchange at interbank market to service local costs.â€? The CBN Deputy Director, Foreign Exchange Management, Trade & Exchange Department, Mr. A.S. Jibrin said the idea of the meeting with the stakeholders was to ensure that the DA enjoys the support of those in the shipping industry. Jibrin explained that what the CBN set out to do was to listen to the stakeholders on the DA, adding that the apex bank was interested in policies that will grow the shipping industry and the national economy. He said decision on the policy could not have been taken without hearing from those in the industry. Jibrin said he was happy about the consensus opinion expressed at the meeting that the DA should be introduced.
A former Director, Shipping Services of NSC, Mrs. Dabney Shall-Holma said the DA when introduced will go a long way in improving the contributions of the shipping sector to the countryâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP). Shall-Holma while noting that the shipping sector was nearly absent or too low in terms of GDP contribution, said it was not good that shipping operators were not contributing enough to the economy.
Stakeholdersâ€™ Views During the meeting, stakeholders were dismayed that DA was yet to be introduced in the country considering the time that the idea came up. Participants said the CBN and the NSC should move as fast as possible to ensure that the policy takes effect in Nigeria. Among those who spoke in favour of having the DA in place were founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam; President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Iju Tony Nwabunike; a member of the Nigerian Economic Group, Dr. Ikenna Nwosu; President of Nigerian Ship Chandlers Association, Dr. Martins Enebeli and former President of NAGAFF, Dr. Eugene Nweke, among others. The stakeholders maintained that it was wrong that the shipping agents were sourcing foreign exchange locally to settle NPA, NIMASA and other dues when they ought to have been sent such money from their foreign principals overseas. Aniebonam said it was even sad that while this was the case, Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) was collecting illegal fees from customs agents as a condition for allowing customs agents have access into their premises for clearance of goods in their terminals. He said PTML had been boasting of registering 10,000 customs agents who allegedly paid N8000 each for access cards to be allowed into their PTML terminals.
It was gathered that the NSC had last year given its position on the disbursement account to the CBN during the review of the new Forex Manual. The CBN had April this year informed the NSC of its acceptance of its position on DA. The meeting of Tuesday with stakeholders, it was gathered, was to confirm that the councilâ€™s position on the matter â€œhas the buy-in of all stakeholdersâ€? so as â€œto mitigate the impact of the provision on businesses and attendant likely outcry of operators.â€? Council officials said the latest move by the CBN appears to be the best chance to introduce the DA in line with global best practice in the operations of shipping agencies in Nigeria. The meeting involving stakeholders and the CBN, according to the council was imperative, â€œto avert any possible outcry of non-inclusiveness, from the industry, when the practice is eventually enshrined in the CBNâ€™s Forex Manual.â€? It is expected that the council will hold similar meeting with stakeholders in Port Harcourt to cover shipping agents in that area.
UNCTAD Standards for Shipping The objectives of Article 1 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) minimum standards for shipping agents all over the world include: to uphold a high standard of business ethics and professional conduct among shipping agents, to promote a high level of professional education and experience, essential to provide efficient services. Others are: to encourage operation of financially sound and stable shipping agents, to contribute to combating maritime fraud by ensuring improved services by better qualified shipping agents, to provide guidelines for national authorities/professional associations in establishing and maintaining a sound shipping agency system.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
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CAMA Bill as Catalyst for Improved Business Environment Chuks Okocha writes that the introduction of new provisions in the Company and Allied Matters Act by the 8th Senate would greatly improve the business climate in Nigeria The reform towards the ease of doing business in Nigeria was further strengthened on Tuesday with the passage of the repeal and reenactment of the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) by the 8th Senate. Hitherto Nigeria was ranked 145th out of 190 economies in the 2018 World Bank Doing Business (WBDB) Ranking Index. One of the indicators the WBDB team measures is the relative ease or difficulty in establishing and running a business in Nigeria. In this regard, Nigeria is ranked on the Starting a Business indicator as 130 out of 190 economies and for the first time was also recognised as one of the top ten (10) most improved economies in the world. However, as one of the largest economies in the world, Nigeria needs to greatly improve on the rankings. The WBDB Index offers a useful and measurable assessment of economies around the world; and also serves as a resource for private sector and other stakeholders interested in investing in Nigeria. The Companies and Allied Matters Decree No. 1 of 1990 was promulgated to repeal the Companies Act of 1968. Since its promulgation into law, the CAMA, Cap. C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (the Act) is now over twenty (20) years with minimal amendments during the period. It became apparent that the entire Nigerian corporate landscape was heavily hamstrung by several provisions in the Act which have been described as impeding modern business practices in the light of national and global reforms; particularly as legislations which set up most of peer regulators have since been amended on different occasions. It has therefore been determined that the provisions of the Act are not in tandem with global trends and that same requires extensive amendments to make the Act more contemporary and relevant. The repealed and reenacted CAMA bill is one of the most critical pieces of legislation which impacts the Nigerian business climate and the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). It also directly affects the influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria because of its relevance to ease of doing business and ease of investing in Nigeria. The 8th Session of the National Assembly recognises the deficiencies in the business environment and places strong emphasis on increasing Nigeriaâ€™s competitiveness. The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) was created as a platform for the legislature and the private sector to engage, deliberate and act to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework within which businesses operate promotes enterprise, growth and the right conditions for investment and employment. Nigeriaâ€™s system of Company Law and Corporate Governance is a critical part of this legal framework. It sets out the legal basis by which companies are formed, operated and managed. It provides the corporate vehicle that enables individuals to collaborate in business and as well as the legal structure through which companies are financed. It also sets the rules for company boards and shareholders and for the exercise of decisions on business growth and investment. It is the means by which individuals are held to account for the exercise of corporate power. It is for the foregoing reasons that an effective legal framework of company law is a key building block of a modern and business friendly economy. Highlights of the new CAMA Bill: Single Member Companies By this Bill, provisions which make it possible for a single person to form a private company is being introduced for the first time in Nigeria. This provision is consistent with what is obtainable in several other progressive economies such as the United Kingdom, India and Singapore.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki
Limited Liability Partnerships From a careful review of the provisions of the Bill, a new form of legal entity known as Limited Liability Partnerships was formed. The essential feature of a Limited Liability Partnership is that it combines the organisational flexibility and tax status of a partnership with limited liability for its members. Financial Assistance Companies will now be permitted to provide financial assistance to their shareholders under the new Bill. The current position is that a company and its subsidiaries are prohibited from giving gifts, loans, indemnities, credit or other assistance, for the purpose of aiding a person to purchase the companyâ€™s shares, where such financial assistance would result in a reduction in the net assets of the company or result in the company having no assets. The proposed Bill reflects a market friendly advancement from the current position. It also improves companiesâ€™ chances of attracting much needed investment, since there are now provisions in the Bill which enable shareholders/potential shareholders have access to funds which in turn enable them invest in such companies. Reduction in Share Capital In order to ease the process of doing business, amendments have been proposed in the Bill to the process by which a company can reduce its share capital, by enabling private companies to reduce share capital of such companies if a special resolution to that effect is passed, without the added burden of applying to court for a confirmation of the reduction. Resolving Insolvency The Bill introduces a company rescue and insolvency legal regime which is not focused on a companyâ€™s demise, but on rescuing companies from insolvency through inclusion of an insolvency framework. An effective insolvency regime in Nigeria have a dual aim: to save viable businesses, and to ensure that non-viable businesses can quickly exit the market, allowing deployment of assets to more productive firms. It will see to the following benefits: lower costs of credit; increased access and availability of credit; improved creditor recovery; strengthened job preservation through reorganisation and business rescue; promotion of entrepreneurship; and other benefits for small businesses. This in turn improves and increases overall economic stability in the country. The insolvency provisions will border on: (i) Administration - which serves as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allow such entities to carry on running their businesses. One of the main advantages of this model is that the administrator is appointed
to act in the interest of the company and not, as in the case of receivership, in the interest of the person that appointed him; (ii) Netting Provisions â€“ which are geared towards addressing provisions contained in the insolvency provisions in the Bill; and (iii) Corporate Voluntary Arrangements â€“ which is a procedure which allows a company to settle debts by paying only a proportion of the amount that it owes to creditors and also allows a company to come to some other arrangement with its creditors over the payment of its debts. Company Secretary The Bill is seeking to further ease the regulatory burden of companies by making provisions which limit the requirements to appoint a Company Secretary to public companies, thereby making it optional for small companies and companies with one shareholder. Annual General Meeting Pursuant to the provisions of the Bill, small companies would no longer be mandatorily required to convene and hold Annual General Meetings. Minority Shareholder Rights The Bill is geared towards enhancing minority shareholder rights. It proposes to regulate related-party transactions and shareholders access to judicial redress. It also protects the shareholders rights in corporate governance as a proxy for Nigeriaâ€™s overall corporate governance standards and ease of access to financing from capital markets. Shareholders to bring actions both in respect of a company and any of its subsidiary companies and other companies related to the parent company. Beneficial Ownership The Bill has provisions which mandates the disclosure of beneficial interests in a companyâ€™s shares and prescribes punitive measures for failing to disclose such interests. In this regard, where a person holds interests on behalf of another in a nominal capacity in a company, both parties (the owner and the nominal holder) are required to disclose the beneficial interests to the company in question. Exemption from Audit The Bill has provisions which exempt small companies from appointing auditors. Specifically, the Bill exempts a company from appointing auditors: (i) if it has not carried on business since its incorporation; or in a particular financial year; and (ii) where the companyâ€™s turnover is not more than N10m and its balance sheet total is not more than
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL As earlier indicated in this document, the introduction of new provisions in the Act would greatly improve ease of doing business and generally enhance the business climate in Nigeria. Some of the economic benefits to be realized by Nigeria if the proposed amendments are passed into law include the following: (a) Ensure more business-friendly regulation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: It has been determined from a collaborative survey by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) that the Act is currently designed to regulate mostly larger type companies and that the provisions of the Act impose unnecessary costs on smaller type companies. According to the said survey, there are over 37 million MSMEs in Nigeria which contribute almost 50% of the Gross Domestic Product in nominal terms and account for 84.02% of all Nigerian jobs. By making the provisions of the Act friendlier to MSMEs, the amendments to the Act have the potential to increase activities of MSMEs, thereby growing the Nigerian economy in the process. (b) Fewer reporting obligations for small companies: Another impact of the Act is to reduce the financial reporting obligations of small companies. Such companies, as stated above will be exempt from the yearly audit process. This invariably means that cost is reduced and more money can be ploughed back into the business for expansion. For the Nigerian economy, this translates to more jobs and a more stable economy. (c) Reduction in Time and Cost for Setting up a Company: The proposed amendments to the Act make it more attractive for small businesses operating within the informal sector, which contribute about 64% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the economy. These companies will be able to formalize their businesses by registering sat the Corporate Affairs Commission. This has the potential of widening the tax base of the country thereby increasing revenue earned from taxation of corporate entities, and thereby diversifying the economy. (d) Promotion of Financial Stability: The introduction of model netting provisions in the Bill as a means of mitigating credit risks associated with over the counter derivatives promotes financial stability and investor confidence in the Nigerian Financial Sector. The proposed provisions also minimize risks associated with the performance of certain large financial institutions, thereby making the financial positions of Nigerian financial institutions more secure. (e) Increasing Investor Confidence in the Nigerian Financial Sector as well as all sectors of the economy: Investor confidence in the Nigerian financial sector and indeed, all sectors of the economy is expected to significantly improve, due to a competitive and businessfriendly environment where companies are regulated in line with global best practice. Speaking on the passage of the Bill at plenary, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, stated that the passage of CAMA was a significant milestone in the 8th Senateâ€™s Legislative Agenda. â€œWith 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. â€œThis 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,â€? Saraki said. - Okocha is Special Assistant to the Senate President
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‘WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY’
‘Why I’m Passionate about Human Psychology’ Baba Tunde George Ojo Olubiyo is the Chief Executive/Founder, Sri Word of Inspirational and Transformational Entertainment. As a man of many parts, Olubiyo is passionate about helping young Nigerians realise their God-given potential, in order to be able to use their talents to better their personal lives as well as contribute positively to the betterment of the nation. He spoke on these and more in this interview with Mary Ekah its personal development aspect is such a very important part of human life. If you look at the world today, people are always looking outside for solution. You see people travelling outside their countries to look for solutions to their problems but the solution to everything is inside of you. Everything comes from inside. So my kind of psychology is rare, my kind of coaching is rare and my kind of experience is rare. In this part of the world we are no longer practical, we are becoming more theoretical and life is beyond just talks, it has to do with result. If I haven’t demonstrated by result, I don’t have any right to talk about anything. Psychology for me is wonderful and it was just two years ago that I decided to go get a degree at the University of Ibadan in Psychology otherwise; I have already had the background.
Tell us about career as a motivational speaker? I don’t really see myself as a motivational speaker because calling myself a motivational speaker is like belittling myself. One may say it’s ego but no, it is really who I am. I am first a transformational coach, a transformational speaker and then an inspirational speaker. My perception is different from that of a motivational speaker. A motivational speaker wants to motivate you but beyond the motivational speaker is the inspirational speaker. An inspirational speaker wants to inspire you while a transformational speaker wants to transform you. And what we need today in this country is not just change but transformation. Transformation means that nothing of the past exist anymore; you become a new creation. Inspirational speakers inspire you and make you drop your old habits. Even mere seeing their lifestyles inspires you – you are left with no choice but to long to be like them. These are people you come across and you just want to check yourself whether you are doing the right thing. A transformational speaker wants to stay with you and make sure you change but a motivational speaker on the other hand does not have that time, he wants to just motivate you and go. So far, what platforms have you exhibited your talent as a transformational speaker? I have done countless of radio programmes. I am known in major radio stations in Ibadan, I have done some programmes with the national television, NTA Ibadan. I have done programmes in almost all the major radio stations in Nigeria including Abuja. I have travelled to other African countries where I held programmes. Over the years, I have sponsored and organised transformational programmes in majority of the radio and TV stations in Nigeria. I have also used my social media platforms to campaign against child abuse, rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, relationship and marriage, the importance of mental and emotional health in working environment, relationship, marriage and the need for re-modernising our education system in Nigeria. I have been to many schools to talk to students. I really think we have two problems in Nigeria and if we can fix those areas, the future will be bright but if we do not fix those areas, I guarantee you every other effort we are making will only end in disaster. One of these problems has to do with parenting – How we are raising our children. Number two is the educational system. The educational system right now is broke. The standard of education in Nigeria is nothing to write home about and the level of employment is poor because nobody wants to invest in something without some level of guarantee. The educational system does not give you money-back guarantee. What is the guarantee of a Nigerian graduate who have studied in school after five years that he/she would be successful. That is why I advise people that while you are going to school, make sure you are learning a skill and then use your educational qualification as a boost because when people see that you are educated, they respect you a lot. The educational system is not bringing out the best in the students and that is why a lot of graduate are unemployable. We really need to work on the educational system in Nigeria if we actually need a brighter future. But then it is very difficult for the school to handle a child that has been raised by negligent parents. Those are the children who become nuisance in the society. Parents should understand that they are images for their children, children don’t learn by instructions, they learn by imitations. I was raised by my mother and she had to go through several challenges to make sure she took care of me to grow up to become the person I am today. So being someone who has experienced all kinds of severe challenges and trauma, I understand what it is for a child to
Would it be right to say that your practical involvement with people sharpened your psychological prowess? One of my spiritual mentors was actually a psychologist and that also helped me lay the foundation. I also have the same story as the average Nigerian boy who comes from a broken home, so when I add up all these negative experiences, that are not good for mental health, all of those things actually motivated me to become a psychologist.
experience such and that is why I advocate for mental health. How really was your childhood, which apparently has got so much inﬂuence on you today? My childhood is something you can relate to. One, my dad was a young man whose dad probably wasn’t there for him. Probably my dad’s grandfather wasn’t there for his dad too. So the jinx continued that way, so when my own dad had me, he wasn’t able to relate like a father. So when I was growing up, I was always thinking he was a wicked man and so we became like enemies but when I grew up I started to understand his predicaments. That is why you really need to take time and look at someone’s background before you go into a relationship because if they were raised as victims, they become victims too. Apart from being a transformational coach, what else do you do? I am a businessman. I buy and sell. I run an e-commerce website and we sell a whole lot of things. You can say I am a good orator. I enjoy talking and I know how to convince people, so I decided to use that talent in business. I discovered that there were so many people who have wonderful products but they don’t have good communication skills and so they don’t know how to convince people and I decide to bridge that gap. So I started a social media platform with a website where we sell all kinds of goods and I have made a good amount of money from it. You are apparently a man of many parts, where really lies your interest? I have so many things I am interested in – business, politics, religion, psychology, philosophy but I really love psychology because psychology is very close to what I identify myself as. First and foremost, I want to know what makes people do and why they do them. And if you understand psychology, you can operate in any level. All these started when I was a very little boy. I wanted to know more about the human beings; what causes human beings to take the decisions they take; why some people are poor while others are rich; what makes some countries better than other countries, is it just resources or is about intelligence. I wanted to know all these things which led me to studying these things early in life. Fortunate enough, I grew up with people
who are spiritually and philosophically inclined; people who were intellectually matured and experienced. That exposed me a lot to all kinds of knowledge, information, insight and understanding about things that my peers and contemporaries don’t even have information about. I really love Psychology because it is a scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of animals and human beings. So a psychologist wants to assess measure, evaluate, control and predict. So I really see psychology as my main interest and psychology has given me that understanding to be able to work with everybody at any place. That means you studied Psychology at school. Didn’t you? Yes, I did professional Psychology, which is holistic because usually the Psychology we do at school; don’t usually give us enough information about the human mind. Psychology define the mind as an entity of its own but it does not really give you so much detail but holistic Psychology goes behold that. Holistic Psychology has to do with body, mind and soul. So studying Psychology at school gave me a different perspective of Psychology and because I had already had psychological background, people who are mentors and who are even PhD doctorates in various courses do not even understand the way I do. If a psychologist is talking to me now, I could know where he is stuck. I could know where his knowledge ends and from there I can carry on. So studying Psychology at the University of Ibadan wasn’t really a big deal because I had already had a holistic background and that is why I am different from all other psychologists. I don’t just use cognitive therapy but I use meditation, affirmation and my SDP, which means Self-development Programme, to help people come out of depression. I don’t just treat your depression or coach you, I transform you and also increase your awareness about yourself. Now the only reason why we have problems in this world is because most of us don’t know who we are and what we are capable of doing. Our biggest problem is ignorance because if everybody knows who they are, what they are capable of doing and what they can achieve, we won’t have any problem. This ignorance has been translated in so many terminologies. So for me, Psychology is a big deal and it is something I will probably study all my life because there is no boundary, there is no limit when it comes to knowledge and then,
You said you started thinking outside box at a very tender age. Exactly at what age was that? I started wondering about the human existence from the age of 13. One incident happened where a close pal of mine died and that was the first time in my life, I heard that someone was dead and I was like, how come? Do people really die? And I went on and on to ask so many questions. Again, I come from a very spiritual background and we practise the Eastern philosophy. My parents practise Hinduism and because of this, they laid foundation for me to know early enough the human makeup. So I had already known who I am. I know I am a spiritual being having physical experiences. I had already known my identity right from when I was a very little boy because of the kind of environment I grew. And the only way I could relate to the outside world was because I was somehow connected to psychology, otherwise if I speak where other people don’t understand these things, they would lose their minds. So for me to be able to relate with people around me, I had to study some form of psychology so that my social life would not be continuously affected. At what point were you able to reconcile your belief with the various beliefs that other people around you had without it affecting your social life? My belief actually affected my social life at first but I just realised one day that I was doing the right thing. We have all been raised in a certain way and we all are working according to what we have been told. We have all been programmed right from when we were babies to think and see things in a particular way. At a particular point, I asked myself if I really knew what I was doing. Those who understand and know what they are doing that decide how much money people pay to them. They write their own tickets in life. What is your vision for Nigeria, Africa and the world? I only have one goal and that is the goal I want to be remembered for and I think I am already achieving it. My one goal is to awaken people and make people think about themselves positively so that they can be convinced in themselves and be aware of the presence of God within them. When you become aware of the God in your life, there is nothing you cannot achieve.
‘My Novel Meant to Shake Tables’ Olukorede Yishau, an Associate Editor with The Nation newspaper, has just released a novel titled ‘In the Name of Our Father’. In this interview journalists in Lagos, Yishau, who was NMMA Columnist of the Year (2015), NMMA Entertainment Reporter of the Year (2015), NMMA Capital Market Reporter of the Year (2013) and NMMA Aviation Industry Reporter of the Year (2003), sheds light on this novel, which many have described as awesome. Peter Uzoho was there Can you describe the writing process of In The Name of our Father. I wrote this novel some 16 years ago. At that time I was a young reporter with The Source magazine published by Comfort Obi and edited by Maik Nwosu, author of ‘A Gecko's Farewell’, ‘Alpha Song’ and ‘Invisible Chapters’. I think the principal script took me less than two months of almost every day writing to complete. I was 24 at the time and less distracted. I wrote in long hand and still have the raw scripts. But in the 16 years before it was published, so many people read through. The first person if I can remember was my colleague in The Source, Edward Dibiana, who made useful suggestions and commended it. But somehow I was not still comfortable. After leaving The Source for Tell following my winning NMMA Aviation Reporter of the Year and being a runner-up in the Banking and Finance category in 2003, I got Mr. Kayode Adelekan, a type-setter in TELL to type it out for me. After typing it out, I just left it and did nothing to it. After joining The Nation, I got colleagues and friends, such as Seun Akioye, Ayodeji Olaosun and our Deputy Sunday Editor Olayinka Oyegbile to go through. They all felt it was fantastic and some also made suggestions, which I incorporated. I initially wrote it as chapters one to 20 or thereabouts. I later changed and used heading to reflect what a particular chapter is all about. I also rewrote the introduction. I felt the first one was not strong enough. I needed something to attract attention and from reactions so far I think I got it. I finally gave it to a celebrated and decorated book editor, poet and novelist, Toni Kan, to edit for me. It stayed with him for months and when I eventually got it back, I was pleased with the outcome and I am grateful to him till date. Chinua Achebe wrote in his ‘The Novelist as a Teacher’, that stories are not innocent. The question is why did you write In The Name of our Father? I agree absolutely with Chinua Achebe that stories are not innocent. My debut In The Name of our Father is certainly not innocent. It is meant to shake tables. I am a Christian, not by birth but by conviction. I wrote the book to examine the relationship between the pulpit and power. It was also written as a way of preserving our recent past with the military. So many people are messing up Christianity and mixing it with fetish tendencies and our people are still falling for it. Even people in power fall for this. They are blinded by ambition and they seek solutions anywhere, including in the hands of fake pastors like Pastor T.C. Jeremiah. They don’t bother checking the background of the people they are seeking miracles from. They want these smart fools to give what they do not have. The desperation of people like General Sani Idoti is good business for the Prophet T.C. Jeremiahs of this world. The novel seems to take on some big wigs in the society. Given that you're a journalist, and the fact that novels are expected to pay some ﬁdelity to truth, how much of In The Name of our Father should be taken as truth or revelation? It is a skillful blend of facts and fiction in such a way that you get confused about the meeting point between the two. I really cannot say what percentage of the book is a revelation, but what I do know is that under the last military administration, there were so many revelations that were difficult to cross-check. I made use of such information in this book. Some of the people who have read it felt I should have included that it was completely a work of fiction. But I really don't see any need
for that. Professor Kole Omotosho even used real names in ‘Just Before Dawn’. The prison experiences, for instance, were created from interviews from detainees. I only just added some salt and pepper for it to be sweet. I am sure ex-NBA President Olisa Agbakoba can relate with the story of Uche Koba, one of the characters in the book. I won’t reveal others but I am sure people can easily relate with it. My colleague and author of ‘I Served’, Joe Agbro Jr, screamed in the newsroom after reading it to a point. ‘This is faction,’ he screamed. He came to shake me after reading the last line. Hon. Wale Oshun, who was a detainee of the Abacha regime, said the book made him reflect on the evil of that regime. He described the book as fantastic. On social media, it is constantly asserted that religion is the bane of Nigeria; that if Nigeria had spent more of her energy on education, infrastructure, etc., instead of pedalling religion, we might have been better. What is your opinion about this? I certainly believe if we concentrate more of our energy on education and infrastructure, we will go farther than we are. There is absolutely no doubt that religion is important but we have left what God expects us to do to Him to resolve for us. We are like a people preparing for an exam and refuse to read, yet expect to come out in flying colours because we have prayed. Like the Bible admonishes, we must give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Too much valuable time is wasted urging God to do what He has given
us the ability to do. What is your opinion of African literature? Does it exist? How would you deﬁne it? For me, literature is literature. But for categorisation, we can permit terms such as British literature, European literature, African literature and so on. Our writings are defined by our experiences, so if I am African, you will feel Africa in my writing, but it does not make it inferior to American literature. We can just define African literature as one written by an African, especially on African themes. What is your take on the Nigerian publishing landscape. The publishing landscape in Nigeria is coming back alive; thanks to the small presses. The big presses are only interested in textbooks because they want to recoup their investment. The small presses are also interested in recouping their investment but they are giving room for new voices to be heard as far as novel writing, poetry and so on are concerned. I believe better days are ahead. Who are your literary inﬂuences? My literary influences are legion. From classics by Theodore Dostoevsky, who I was introduced to by Chim Newton, the author of ‘Under the Cherry Tree’ and other books, to the writings of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, John Grisham, Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Kan and many more, I have read them all. And I am sure they have all influenced me one way or the other.
What are you currently working on? A new book etc. I am currently working on another novel tentatively titled ‘Dairies from the Underground’. Like my debut, it is also political in nature. Justus Omoeko, the journalist in In the Name of Our Father, features in it briefly too. But it is about three political figures who found themselves in jail. It is about 40 per cent complete and I hope to get it published next year. Any personal comments, last words, anecdotes about writing? ‘In the Name of our Father’ was not the first script I wrote. I started trying out my hand on writing a novel back in secondary school at the Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Isaga-Orile near Abeokuta. I also wrote another in my days at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. But, the first one I felt good about was supervised and edited by Chim Newton, who titled it ‘Perilous Fears’. His publishing firm, KEB Publishers, was supposed to publish it in 2001 or thereabouts, but some financial constraints stopped it. It remains unpublished till today. It is a smaller book and I am not really keen on publishing it again. I want the public to take the message of ‘In the Name of Our Father’ to heart and let us change our-do-or-die attitude to religion. We must play our part and let God play His. We should not leave everything to Him. For me, writing is like a woman, very jealous. It is also like a baby, thus time-consuming. So, every writer must be grateful to their loved ones for sharing them with the jealous being called creative writing.
I’ll Create 7 Million Jobs for Nigerian Youths, Says Johnson Edosomwan Mary Ekah Founder, Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP) and presidential aspirant for the 2019 election, Dr. Johnson Edosomwan, has said that he would create over seven million jobs for Nigerian youths each year if elected as the president of Nigeria come 2019. Speaking during an exclusive interview with THISDAY in Lagos recently, the Edo State-born businessman and philanthropist, said these jobs would be created in multidimensional facets, adding that there would be job creation in manufacturing, healthcare, education, infrastructure, roads and so forth. “We would create at least seven million jobs per year. And also we want to create multidimensional industry, we want to move away from just relying on oil as the only source we use for our revenue, we want to manufacture. We want to start manufacturing our own cars and motorcycles here in Nigeria. We have Nigerians that have the power and training to do that. The reason why we don’t have industries here is because investors are running away due to lack of electricity. We want to create solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectricity and even nuclear energy, if we can,” he noted.
Edosomwan who claimed that the problems that Nigeria is facing at the moment, are problems, he has solved all through his life, noted, “I have done that in large corporations, organisations and countries and in the course of these I have solved all sorts of problems and I can do the same if I am elected the president of Nigeria.” “I am a pioneer in the whole issue of leadership and so I know how to lead and manage people. But I also know how to follow; I know how to build teams and how to work with diverse
group of people. We are a very diverse country with people from different tribes and religions and I have the ability to bring these various groups of people together to work for the nation,” he added. Edosomwan who said he would be working with a six point agenda, that would afford opportunities for more jobs in the country, noted that the lack of electricity has been the major drawback in the economic growth of the nation. “The reason we don’t have industries here is because investors are running away due to lack of electricity. We want to create solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectricity and even nuclear energy, if we can. All of these options are in the open onto the table.” “Right now in every facet of Nigeria, you only have 15 per cent productivity, 85 per cent of the productivity is wasted because they lack electricity to do their work. And then we don’t even have a good telephone system, so how can you really create a good economy? The roads are not good, so we want high speed rail. I was going from Ikeja to the airport and it took us two and half hours sweating, a journey that would have take about five minutes. So those are the issues that we want to deal with. The average Nigerians are suffering and we want to turn their suffering to success,” he noted.
Lipton Yellow Label Gives Widows Reason To Smile Campaign for the Lipton’s ‘Reason To Smile’, an initiative by Unilever Plc’s leading tea brand aimed at supporting 1,000 Nigerian widows with necessary care packs and seed fund to start a business, has just kicked off. Expected to be executed in states across Nigeria, the Lipton ‘Reasons to Smile’ campaign is also giving all concerned Nigerians the opportunity to get involved with one Lipton pack at a time, give widows a reason to smile and lighten their burden. In many Nigerian communities where a lot of women are housewives, fully dependent on their husbands, it becomes a great challenge when such families lose their breadwinner and find it difficult to cater for themselves and their children. These women need to be given a helping hand – a lifeline to create a better future for themselves and their communities in general. Suffice it to say that becoming a widow in Nigeria is often followed by a fall into extreme poverty – a situation usually aggravated by widespread practice of property grabbing and sometimes, physical abuse. Consequently, they are subjected to food insecurity due to poverty or unemployment, failure to find basic and school necessities for their children, lack of shelter, difficulty in accessing working capital for small-scale businesses, and victimisation by harmful cultural practices. In many traditional settings, the death of a husband can put women at the risk of social segregation and the loss of the security and social status their partners would have provided. They are immediately banished to the fringe of society and suffer different forms of stigma and discrimination. The challenges that widows in our communities and cities experience daily affects everyone. They are our mothers, sisters, friends, neighbours and more. They remain one
Lipton gives widows reason to smile
of the most marginalised persons, a depressing reality that has dealt a blow to compassion and decorum in our society. The least we can do is to care for them and also provide them with opportunities for solutions – which is the objective of the Lipton brand. For any nation or society interested in fostering progressive development, it is important that citizens create a social climate conducive for collective achievement. Apart from the need to adopt a friendly culture that dignifies victims and recognises their pain, widows need support systems that provide opportunities to reintegrate into society after the loss of their spouses. If we are going to achieve this, everyone needs
to understand that widows are extremely disadvantaged. Widows need be celebrated and encouraged. They are an integral part of our society and deserve as much respect and dignity as anyone else. As women and mothers, they are active members of the Nigerian society who contribute to national development. We cannot allow them to be victimised and subjected to untold hardships just because they lost a loved one, Lipton is saying we have the power to lighten their burden and put smiles on their faces hence the ‘Reason To Smile’ campaign. For updates on Lipton ‘Reasons to Smile’ campaign, follow @LiptonNg on Twitter and LiptonNigeria on Facebook and Instagram.
Cleric Tasks Govt on Need for Moral Instruction in Schools The Senior Pastor of Praise Arena, Pastor Jummy Adetoyese-Olagunju has appealed to state governments across the country to reintroduce moral instruction as a main subject in the educational mainstream curriculum and set up programmes that would help in celebrating honesty, faithfulness and patriotism among youths within their states. Olagunju made this known at the 2018 couple’s dinner organised by the church recently in Lagos. The programme tagged 'Stronger Bond, Greater Joy', brought together hundreds of families and Christians faithful which featured song renditions, teachings, counselling, and prophetic declaration on homes. According to him, “we would only be building learned monsters that are not humane, honest and patriotic if moral instruction is not reintroduced back into the Nigerian educational curriculum.” He noted that there are more educated people in position of authority across the country but recent statistics show that Nigeria is still high up in the global
L-R: Pastor Jummy Adetoyese-Olagunju, his wife, Pastor Funmi Adetoyese-Olagunju, the Proprietors of Tenderfeet International School, Greenville Estate, Badore, Lekki; Deacon Diran Fapohunda and his wife and his wife
corruption index. He opined that corruption in leadership position is worrisome, and is because the needed moral values that are needed to have been instilled in them when they were ordinarily citizens are missing thus, they cannot give what they do not have.
Olagunju continued, “we need to reintroduce moral instruction as main subject that will teach leadership, selfless service, patriotism, respect for rule of law, and compulsory community service which would prepare today's children to become selfless leaders who will serve the Nation with love of the people in mind.”
First Excel Convention Holds in Nigeria May 24
From Thursday May 24 to Saturday May 26 in Lagos, the maiden edition of the Excel Convention will hold at the Charis Event Centre, Ikeja. The convention which is the very first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa as a whole is being organised by an Evangelist from Kentucky, United States of America, Dr. Glenn Arekion, who is a constant visitor to Nigeria for 25 years now. “I am looking forward to May 2018 when we will host our very first Excel Convention in the great Nigerian, city of Lagos. This is a dream becoming a reality. In 2017, I made my 105th trip in Nigeria and as you know I love going to this great nation and I have been going to Nigeria for 25 years. I know that I am called to Nigeria. I consider myself to be a missionary to Nigeria,” Arekion noted during a pressing briefing in Lagos to announce the forthcoming event. Tagged, ‘Imparting the Supernatural in You’, the evangelist who said, “I am super excited about this year’s 1st Annual Convention in Lagos, Nigeria,” revealed that renowned preacher and author, Dr. Roberts Liardon, who is a reservoir of information on the keys to the supernatural in the lives of the great preachers of the past, will grace the occasion as special guest. Stressing in the significance of the theme for the convention, Glenn said, “I believe in the Supernatural and I have stated over and over again that, powerlessness is the blight of the modern church. Today we have eloquence and information but no power to bring about change in people’s lives,” he said. On his choice to hold the ‘Excel Convention’ in Lagos, he said: “I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ from America, I have been here in Nigeria over 100 times preaching. But this is my first Excel convention in Nigeria that will be held in Lagos. Lagos is one of my favourite places in the world, I find the people very warm and receptive and on fire for God, to me Lagos is a perfect place.”
QuickHelp, Device for Swift Service Delivery Berths Ayodeji Ake QuickHelp device is Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled to provide services that make it unique which means it can provide you every information you need in an interactive way, it’s the first chat board to enable speech recognition, Chief Executive Officer, QuickHelp Nigeria, Mr. Tosin Odubela has said. Briefing the journalists in Lagos, Odubela said QuickHelp device will ease the stress of searching the internet for information by providing in details data needed in swift mode and other personal request like; business tips, traffic information, airtime purchase and other relevant features. “We thought of introducing something different from what is on ground and we generate ideas from the word ‘Quick’ and we developed QuickHelp which enables an instant feedback. QuickHelp is on web, facebook, twitter and android. Those are the platform we are on for now but we are currently working on improvement strategies to serve Nigeria and whole of Africa better. It covers every geographical area in Nigeria even though we can’t boast we have all the data yet. Right now we are not charging for our device because we launching out” Odubela said. On security measure to prevent fraud activities on the device, Odubela said, “On QuickHelp, we have a very strong term of service to secure our clients and patronage. We are aware that some people may want to use QuickHelp as a contact of fraud activities which is why we have had a solid login to help on investigation should in case of any activity of such,” he said
‘Entrepreneurs Should Think Positively to be Successful’ Seun Tayo-Balogun, the Chief Executive Officer of Brief Essentials, an online lingerie store, is an entrepreneur, a start-up and business consultant focusing on e-commerce, who provides strategic and tactical advice to business owners. In this interview with Mary Ekah, she reveals her plans to revolutionise lingerie and underwear retailing in Nigeria's online market place of Media and Communication.
Why an e-commerce store for only lingerie and undergarments? My foray into the technology space began over 20 years ago. So I can say I grew up understanding technology as an enabler. On the other hand, as a lingerie and underwear lover, I noticed that Nigeria's budding online marketplace was missing a one-stop shop for lingerie and underwear with loads of options (brands, colours, styles and sizes). Brief Essentials was that digital solution that will enable Nigerians to purchase underwear in their underwear at prices they will love. S we started small; from a little space in our apartment.
Does being educated and experienced help your business in anyway? Oh definitely yes. One of the challenges of many small businesses is remaining a business and growing the business. We've been around for seven years. April is our anniversary month. My experiences working in a structured environment and in the areas of business strategy, economic analysis, versatility with a whole lot of computer applications, branding, design and web development have contributed to the success of this business. Can you tell us about lingerie trends? Women generally love great bras and panties and then shapewear. These items will remain every woman's favorite. The lingerie as outerwear trend continues to gain popularity amongst ladies in Nigeria and a lot more women are now beginning to appreciate what we have been preaching, "you don't have to sacrifice function for comfort". More women are switching to very comfortable bras (as a matter of fact, a well fitting undergarment will most likely be comfortable) opting for wireless bras - this has given popularity to the Bralette. The Bralette is the sister to the underwire bra. It is flimsy, has none to minimal padding without an underwire. In addition, several other styles are stealing the spotlight as well. They include longline bras, harness, strappy details and lace racerback. Bustiers and Bodysuits are also gaining popularity - from backless to strappy to lace. This is the item for everyone. Velvet has also made its way back and it is not limited to mainstream fashion. The season's favourite lingerie styles are now made with velvet - from bodysuits and bustiers to bralette sets and chemises. Velvet is definitely a luxe option for lingerie and everything else.
What were the attractions? At some point after my second child, we needed to get lingerie; bras, panties and shapewear, to help me get back in shape and help increase my overall confidence level. My husband and I realised that an online store was missing, and the brick and mortar stores had limited options and high prices. I knew that I was not alone - many women like me were in need of a one-stop destination for high quality shapewear, bras that fit, panties, swimwear and much more, at prices that won't break the bank. And how different are your products from others? At Brief Essentials, you can find the most wanted brands, fashion forward styles, a diverse range of sizes and colours of lingerie, specifically made with quality in mind and won't cost the earth to buy. In what ways does being an entrepreneur affect your home front? Is it easy combining both? Nothing comes easy, but the key is learning to live a balanced life and achieve success. Are your products exclusively for the rich? Not at all. You will be amazed at the plethora of options, the quality and their prices. We have items from as low N1,000. Why did you choose online marketing and sales? It has a wider reach, convenience, cheaper
to set up and cheaper to manage with a day job. I was working in a paid employment at the time we started Brief Essentials. What are the prospects of an online business at this time? There are so many prospects for online businesses in Nigeria. With increased internet penetration, the depth of social media usage, the continuous innovation by the owners of
Yves Rocher Opens Store at Palms Mall, Lekki It was an exciting grand opening of the new Yves Rocher Boutique at Palm’s Mall Lekki. There was music, drinks and canapes to refresh guests while shopping with loads of gifts being won every hour. As a brand based on the philosophy of Botanical Beauty, Yves Rocher offers a range of skincare and fragrances composed of natural and botanical ingredients for both men and women. Since its foray into the Nigerian market two years ago first at Jabi lake mall Abuja and later at Novare Mall Lekki, Yves Rocher has gained wide acceptance because of its efficacy. Little wonder Yves Rocher is present in over 90 countries and enjoyed by millions globally. As the world shifts to healthier lifestyle ranging from food and fitness, there is also increased demand for botanical cosmetics
Yves Rocher Store at Palms Mall, Lekki
that are less harsh. The Yves Rocher range of products include: face care; body care; bath and shower; fragrances; hair care and make up. All the active ingredients Yves Rocher develops are extracted from plants; they are GMO, paraben, silicon and mineral oil free. Yves Rocher has over 250 botanical sources globally for its products while the plants are grown and harvested in the best condition. Committed to safeguarding the botanical world and biodiversity, the Yves Rocher foundation has planted over 50 million trees globally with an objective to plant 100 million trees by 2020. Experience botanical beauty such as Serum Vegetal, Sebo Vegetal, Pure System, White Botanical, Hydra vegetal and many other favourites for the men’s care, body care, fragrances and cosmetics are also available.
digital and social platforms to ease how these networks are used, social selling and electronic commerce will continue to deliver value to those who are prepared What is your educational background? I studied Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Ibadan and Economic Management and Policy from the University of Strathclyde. I am an alumni of the School
What would be your advice to shoppers generally? When buying underwear, please note that the fit is more important than the fashion. If you wouldn't manage a shoe that's not your size, why manage an undergarment that does not fit? If you are that woman who insists on the right support, you should visit www.briefessentials.com and our office at 8B Dipo Awolesi Street Magodo GRA phase 2.
Experts Charge Private Sector on Investment in Youths In an attempt to overturn the economic situation of the country, experts have charged members of the private sector to invest in Nigerian youths so as to help turn around the economy. The experts who double as high-level stakeholders spread across National Population Commission, UN agencies led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), HACEY Health Initiative, GBC Health, Population Council and ONE Campaign recently, held the first ever Private Sector Conference which bothers on how private sector can invest in young people to harnessing the demographic dividends in Nigeria. According to the Director of Research and Development, Hacey Health Initiative, Paul Ojajuni, empowerment and education of young people is vital to the promotion of accelerated economic growth, urging the concerned parties to tap into the resources of the youths of Nigeria so as to develop the economy. He said that the Nigerian population is really young, so, “we consider that an untapped resource and then we believe that if investment is made in that population, there will be returns on investment which will lead to accelerated economic growth. “The concept of demographic dividend is having a very young, healthy and productive young population that can actually contribute to the society,” he added. Furthermore, Ojajuni urged the Nigerian youths to value opportunities and advised them to hold the bull by its horns so as to tap into the opportunities that are available
and will arise as a result of this initiative. “The youths need to be proactive regarding things that they need to do, secondly, they need to be able to create opportunities rather wait for the government to create opportunities for them,” Ojajuni added. “The population of Nigeria is increasing rapidly and we need to control the size at which the population is increasing and improve our life expectancy. The government cannot do it alone; the development partners cannot do it alone,” Sylvia Adebajo, country director, Population Council said at Nigeria’s first private sector Conference on Demographic Dividend in Nigeria held in Lagos. “We need to engage the private sector to contribute to the development of our human capital to achieve demographic dividend,” Adebajo said. “The shape of the population of any nation determines its level of development and demographic dividend is not automatic, it has to be planned for,” Osaretin Adonri, assistant representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representing Diene Kieta, country representative, said. “We must create the population structure that we want and that structure must be the one that has more of our population working than the percentage that is dependent. “To be able to increase the population that is working and reduce the dependent population we must start from planning the population and that is where family planning is very important,” Adonri said.
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Ikoyi Prison Wears a New Face .Improves Inmates' Sanitary Condition Peter Uzoho Ikoyi Prison is witnessing an unprecedented turnaround almost on a daily basis since the deployment of the Deputy Controller of Prison, DCP Tolu Ogunsakin, to the prison, on February 14, 2018, as its Officer-In-Charge. The giant strides recorded in the prison is driven by strict adherence to the directive from the Controller General of Prisons, CGP Ja’afaru Ahmed, who charged officers upon deployment, to develop plans to ensure rapid improvement of their place of assignment. Within few months of being in charge, Ogunsakin has seen to the renovation of the walls of the prison, installation of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) camera around the prison, and offering of intensive skills acquisition training to the prison’s inmates. Last weekend, a block of seven rooms toilet facility built in partnership with the Prisons Ministry, an outreach arm of the House on the Rock Church, was inaugurated to improve the sanitary condition of the inmates at the prison. During the inauguration of the facility, a novelty football match was played in which the Ikoyi Prison FC made up of the inmates,
Superintendent of Prison, Ikoyi Prison, Blessing Nsikan; (1st Left); Deputy Controller of Prison and Oﬃcer-inCharge of Ikoyi Prison, DCP Tolu Ogunsakin (spotted on yellow dress); and members of the House on the Rock Church, during the inauguration and handover of the toilet facility to the Ikoyi Prison...recently
traded tackles with the House on the Rock FC, aimed at contributing to the physical well-being of the inmates, and giving them a sense of belonging in the society. Speaking at the event, Ogunsakin said the grace of God coupled with great assistance from the Controller General of Prisons and the Lagos State Controller of Prison, were behind the successes recorded at the Ikoyi Prison.
“The issue is that when God is giving you the grace, all things come in a miraculous way. And kudos to the Controller General who mandated that all hands should be on deck; that as an officer-in-charge, you should make sure that things move where you are heading. Also the religious bodies, individuals and NGOs are trying,” Ogunsakin said. “And kudos again to the House on the Rock
for donating this toilet facility to add to the one we have and to improve the condition of the inmates here. Apart from this, the church has been contributing to the physical and spiritual welfare of the inmates in this prison,” he noted. Ogunsakin also admonished the inmates to have faith in God, stressing that, with that, their freedom would come one day. Also speaking, Director, Prison Ministry, House on the Rock Church, Pastor Joe Uleatol, said the project showed the desire of the church to improve the lives of the inmates, bearing in mind the challenges of being behind bars. “So things like this, we believe, will go a long way in relieving the inconveniences and all that. We’ve done other few things like talent hunts, where we discover talents in here; we’ve done football matches where they played with us. And then, we have a medical team that comes here for administration of in-house medicals to take care of the inmates here, and also, our legal team that have taken care of several minor cases successfully which has led to the discharge of some inmates,” Uleatol said. He encouraged the inmates not to lose hope, assuring them that God’s plan for them has not changed.
STEM METS Partners Airbus to Train Future Female Engineers Yinka Olatunbosun The girls at Methodist Girls’ High School were kept busy recently with a project that is designed to help them develop their skill set for future. Organised mostly in trios, these students in each group had a common goal- to assemble and fly a mini plane. It was called the official launch of the Airbus Little Engineer workshop, a project which has trained more than 1,000 school students in Nigeria. The project is a part of Airbus Foundation’s youth development programme which took off in 2017. It was discovered that the Nigerian school curriculum is yet to include subjects that can empower young students to build up exciting careers in science and technology in line with the global standards. These subjects include robotics and space exploration. Therefore, to encourage students to understand and embrace technology, the Airbus Foundation thus partners The Little Engineer and STEM METS Resources in training 30 students at Methodist Girls’ High School. The students were aged between 13 and 15 years. They were taught to identity the various parts of an aircraft while given the opportunity to build an A380 scale model from scratch. The four-hour workshop was running simultaneously with talk sessions on why this project is essential for the Nigerian child. The founder, STEM METS Resources, Jadesola Adedeji extolled the values of
L-R: Mrs. Abimbola Ali, Vice Principal Academics Methodist Girls High School, Jadesola Adedeji, Founder STEM METS Resources and Programme Coordinator Airbus A380 Workshop Nigeria, Oluwamumiyo Makindipe, participating student, Airbus A380 Little Engineer workshop and Rana El Chemaitelly, Founder and CEO, The Little Engineer Programme, at the launch of Airbus Foundation A380 Little Engineer Workshop in Lagos
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education during the panelists’ session. “We want nothing more than for children in Nigeria to have access to innovative and alternative means of learning using and also creating an environment where STEM education will be embraced and enhanced in our society,’’ she said. She also urged the federal government to review the current school curriculum in the
2019: APGA on Rescue Mission in Abia, Strategises to Upstage PDP Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has embarked on “a rescue mission in Abia”, saying that it is now well prepared to push out the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Abia Government House. Already, the party which made a very strong impact in the 2015 governorship and House of Assembly polls in Abia has continued to be upbeat as it strategises to upstage the PDP come 2019. To make good its intention, a meeting was held at the party secretariat along Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia, to fine tune strategies. It was attended by members of the state working committee (SWC), local government chairmen of the party and representatives of the contact group from the national leadership. Speaking with journalists after the meeting the Political Adviser to Anambra governor, Chief Ifeatu Obi Okoye, said that APGA was now better organised and better equipped to take what belongs to us in Abia.” He said that APGA which controls Anambra State has demonstrated its capacity and capability for good governance hence it was desirous of replicating its performance in Abia through its rescue mission. “If we can do it in Anambra we can do it here in Abia,” he said, adding that the people of God’s own state were yearning for the party that would
Alex Otti, APGA Leader in Abia
come and transform the state. Okoye, who was the immediate past national publicity secretary of APGA, noted that the party has continued to wax strong in Abia and had actually won the governorship poll in 2015 but was denied its victory. However he insisted that come 2019 general election APGA would not only repeat its 2015 performance in Abia but would go the extra mile of actually taking over Government House Umuahia by winNing and defending its votes. On the apparent division in the Abia chapter of APGA, Okoye said that there was no faction in the party, pointing out that virtually every person was at the meeting held at the party secretariat hence “it is a good sign that this party is united”.
light of current interventions to enhance the knowledge economy. The Executive Director, Airbus Foundation, in her statement said that “investments in education and training are essential in building an educated and skilled workforce.’’ This clearly explains why Airbus is supporting a country’s effort in creating sustainable education. Nosazena Amiengheme one of the trainers
from STEM METS resources at the workshop described the initiative as one that exposes the child to the basics of aeronautic engineering. “Airbus has the dream of creating different types of aircraft that will make life easier. Most children make career choices in medicine or arts or law, forgetting that we have aeronautic engineering. It is Airbus’s desire to have these children learn more about it. “We also enlighten the school to initiate a follow-up programme to encourage these students who are hands-on. They will develop problem solving skills, critical thinking and learn collaboration. They are also taught that the airplane is not built in one country. The different parts are built in different countries and assembled in one place, usually France. We let them know that they cannot always work alone as individuals. We also organize field trips, camps and after-school activities and clubs to enhance their skills,’’ she said. It is also interesting to see the project launched in an all-female school. In the trainer’s experience with the workshops, girls are faster at learning the skills than their male counterparts. “There was a group that we had in Ikeja. The girls didn’t just write a program, they named it and we didn’t teach them that. That was quite brilliant. They even gave the plane a horn. We have seen that we need to encourage our girls, not just to be full-time housewives,’’ she added.
A Plus for Efoziem, Security Boss Chiemelie Ezeobi It was a plus for one of the foremost private security practitioners, the Managing Director of Strict Guards Security, Dr. Bone Chinye Efoziem, with his recent bagging of a Masters Degree in Security and Intelligence Studies from the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG). For the retired army officer, being one the first set of graduands for that course in UNILAG, was a plus for him and the security sector as a whole. The foremost security boss graduated alongside his 14 other classmates from the School of Postgraduates Studies, at the school's 50th convocation ceremony. While calling for synergy between private security practitioners and the military, he noted that it was only with such synergy that the nation's security challenges facing the nation can be ameliorated. He said, "The importance of synergy between security agencies and private practitioners can never be understated. Anything done in isolation never works. There are benefits in working together. "Already, this course alone gives room for networking. In my class, we had serving customs and police officers. "Our security industry is very much untapped and it seems like this is a call to rescue Nigeria from its security challenges because they are training professionals in security management. "The course we did was tailored towards grooming people that will better manage the security of the Nigerian nation.
"Already, it has domiciled my knowledge of the Nigerian security challenges to what is currently in our environment and ways to curbing the security menace troubling our nation. "Our people are yet to understand that security, primarily, should be proactive and I have known better through this course that making proactive security arrangements is much better. "Starting from my local area, I will begin to give professional advice and reach out to those in authority to proffer solutions. "I will organise programs and symposiums that will encourage people to be more concerned with their environment as relates to security and safety." Also speaking, Garuba Kakudi, an Assistant Controller of Customs, who also spoke on the advantages of the course to his knowledge of security, said he will channel what he learnt to his field. He said, "With my security training background, this training helped me build my capacity in security knowledge and enhance our operational systems."On how to channel the security training he learnt in tackling our porous borders he said, "We have over 700 borders to be manned and the government is trying its best but the vast landscape of our terrains make it difficult. "However, putting facilities in place to checkmate smugglers is key because when you block one porous border did smugglers, they find another route. "Thus, we need more faculties and equipment like scanners and sniffer dogs in place. Already, some of our scanners are obsolete.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
Demystifying the Pay-TV Market Mary Ekah The Pay-TV market was hitherto exclusive for the rich until in 2010 when a Chinese firm - StarTimes Group, indicated its interest to explore the Nigeria market and break the jinx. With its arrival in the market, the brand didn’t only bring entertainment to viewers at affordable price; it also put competitions on their toes and gave rival brands a run for their money. Like a magic wand, the decision of the management of the company to target low income earners, changed the story. The strategy has not only helped the brand to hold the largest subscriber base in Nigeria, but it has forced a major operator of the pay-TV in Nigeria to review its operation and unveil a new platform to enable it compete the mass market with StarTimes. This major operator hitherto became the only dominant player in the pay TV market while it became a luxury brand that could not be afforded by many Nigerians until StarTimes hit the market. And today, StarTimes probably, still maintains the lead of the low income earners segment of the market. At the launch of the StarTimes brand in 2010, the Chairman of the company, Mr. Pang Xin Xing, didn’t mince words on his mission in the country. “With StarTimes, pay TV is no longer a luxury in Nigeria,” Xing had announced to a crop of journalists who spoke to him on the mission of the brand in the market. At its official launch in Abuja early 2010, the management of the technology company, which also pioneered pay television industry in China, promised Nigerians greater access to pay television services at an unbelievably affordable price. Truly, StarTimes Television Network Limited, then, provided its customers with over 35 cable television channels for just N1,000 monthly subscription. Unlike other cable television services already operating in the country, StarTimes uses Digital Video Broadcast on Terrestrial (DVB-T), a technology, which does not require a dish. It then came with just a decoder, which was sold for N9,000. The technology has now been upgraded to DVB T2. This technology, which requires no dish, couple with minimal effect on the pocket, made many subscribers to see StarTimes as an alternative. The pay TV didn’t just stopped at providing entertainment at affordable price to Nigerians but went further. Consequently, in line with its Corporate Social
L-R: Director of Culture and Tradition in the Chinese Ministry of Culture, Mr. Chen Huanan; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Vice President, Startimes, Ms. Guo Zigi during a courtesy visit to the minister in Abuja recently
Responsibilities and fulfilment of its promise to ensure its products and service is accessible across locals and national frontiers, StarTimes in collaboration with the Chinese Government kicked off with the launch of a pilot satellite TV project held in Hulumi Village in the suburbs of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, on Thursday August 10, 2017 The project is a fruit of one of the resolutions of the 2015 Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in which the Chinese Government pledged to provide satellite TV to 10,000 African villages. In Hulumi, the Chinese firm presented the community with sets of direct-to-home decoders for 20 households each, together with free installation of two sets of digital TV projector with solar panels as well as voluntary renovation works at the local primary school and donations of educational and recreational materials to the pupils.
Every evening, locals who had no television or lacked electricity supply gathered at the village square to watch their favorite channels on a large projection screen provided by StarTimes. As a pioneer digital terrestrial TV provider in Nigeria, StarTimes has been able to disseminate digital terrestrial television in at least 80 cities across the West African countries in seven years. With its simple-to-install decoders coupled with its affordable tariffs, StarTimes, in partnership with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), has brought digital TV within the reach of many Nigerians since 2010. The satellite TV provides the opportunity for locals to watch digital TV programmes of both local and international contents The Vice President of StarTimes, Ms. Guo Zi Qi while speaking at the satellite pilot in Hulumi Village said the aim was to translate the situation that only the top class could enjoy and have access to digital TV. She revealed that
StarTimes presently runs its operations in more than 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with almost 10 million subscribers. Zi Qi explained that in Nigeria, StarTimes and NTA started a joint venture seven years ago, stressing that StarTimes has been insisting to leverage local strategies to operate, which has not only helped to boost television industry in Nigeria but also created employment opportunities. In 2011, StarTimes hosted the First African Digital TV Development Seminar. The seminar, which has since been held for seven years, is an important platform for African countries to discuss how to realise the digital migration in Africa. At the last edition held in May 2017, over 400 delegates from 46 African and Asian countries were present at the seminar, including more than 30 ministers of Information and Communication from African countries, like Nigeria, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Zambia, DRC Congo and Ethiopia.
Masari Felicitates With Muslims on Ramadan Katsina State governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, has felicitated with Muslims on the commencement of Ramadan, urging for more commitment to the cause of the nation. The governor, in statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, called on Muslims in the country to make good use of the Holy month of Ramadan to pray for the nation and its leadership. He said as a period of devotion, there was no better time to dedicate to Nigeria's cause than now, in view of the insecurity challenges threatening its corporate existence. "As a period of intense devotion and introspection, it behoves on us to use religion for the advancement, not the dismemberment of our nation by imbibing the lessons which the month of Ramadan seeks to teach us, especially showing love to one another regardless of religious inclination, assisting the less-privileged and placing our collective interest over and above individual considerations. We must remember
Solid waste management Lagos State – the landﬁll infrastructure challenge
that a nation is only as good as its leadership, which means we cannot wish evil for our leaders and expect prosperity for the nation”, he said. Masari reiterated that the APC administration at federal and state levels was committed to providing the credible leadership that would see Nigeria out of its two most daunting challenges.
EduSkill Fair Set For June This year’s edition of EduSkills Fair by International Educational Management Networks, IEMN, is scheduled to take hold on Saturday June 2, 2018 at the National Education and Research Development Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. The programme, a platform to showcase vocation in education, has in its past editions emphasised the importance of skills acquisition as a vital part of education. The 2018 edition is themed ‘Scaling and Realigning Education for global Competitiveness’. According to Dr. OnyekaJaivbo-Ojigbo, founder and President of IEMN, “This year, we want to create more awareness on the importance of skills and vocation in the growth of an economy. Therefore, we are bringing more skills and
Yves Rocher Store at Palms Mall, Lekki
vocations. We are bringing people from agro allied industry, because there have been much innovations in the way things are done in that sector, especially with packaging.” The one-day fair expectedly will be attended by people from all walks of life and especially from the education sector, including leading professors from institutions nationwide as well as government functionaries in the education sector. “It is going to be an all-day event starting with seminar followed by exhibitions, sales and networking event,” said Jaivbo-Ojigbo. IEMN is a network of teachers, parents, school owners and educationists working together for the betterment of the Nigerian education sector.
Lagos State Waste Management: Landﬁll Infrastructure Challenge For decades, Lagos State faced major environmental challenges, and a large per cent of this attributed to waste generation and inadequate collection, transportation and disposal processes. To date, the state’s waste management system could not manage the volume generated by 17 million residents. This has resulted in a series of environmental crisis such as flooding, the spread of disease, the Olusosun fire outbreak and more. These challenges are a result of improper waste management. In December 2017, the Olusosun dumpsite was closed. Reports revealed that the closure was due to the budding difficulties associated with the continued dumping of waste at the site, ranging from insufficient road access for waste collection trucks, to improper disposal of waste at the site. This proved it had become a major cause for concern; however, the lack of an accessible sanitary landfill, to cater to the poor standards of PSP operational vehicles resulted in the continued use of the dumpsite, which led to the March 2018 fire. Looking at the overall economic objective of the state, waste management was viewed as a resource. Effective waste management doesn’t only foster economic development, by way of investment and the growth of SMEs, but also
provides other opportunities such as municipal well-being, development, employment opportunities, and recycling revenue for state residents. One of the issues the new waste management system is addressing is the proper disposal of waste. While the old waste management system was focused on waste collection – a linear approach – it did not look deeply into the disposal and treatment of collected waste. The reform is focused on moving from the old method of dumping, to an innovative model of waste disposal, from the construction of an engineered landfill, a constructed pit in which layers of solid waste are filled, compacted and covered for final disposal; to the retrofitting and development of the state’s transfer loading stations (TLS). Visionscape Sanitation Solutions has been assigned the task of constructing, monitoring and operating global-standard infrastructure to support the efficient management of waste. A core part of its project is the Epe landfill. The landfill originally operated as a dumpsite and was home to over two hundred wasteminers. Visionscape is currently undergoing the development and construction of the 88-hectare site.
FERTILITY WITH DR. KEMI AILOJE
Tel + 2348033083580, Email:Info@lifelinkfertility.com, Website: lifelinkfertility.com
WHAT MEN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEIR FERTILITY (PART 1) Kemi Ailoje The socio-cultural setting has before now focused on the female fertility, in the past infertility investigation began and ended with the evaluation of the female alone. It was not uncommon for a man to divorce not one, but several wives under the mistaken and chauvinistic belief that women alone were responsible for the inability to bear children. Needless to say such men did not realise that as far as reproduction was concerned the popular slogan â€œit takes two to tangleâ€? is highly applicable. In view of this fact it is advised that couples trying for babies should visit the physician together, subject themselves to thorough investigation as prescribed by the specialist and take to appropriate prescribed management in order to shorten and facilitate their journey to successful parenthood. This week we are going to be looking at this very important topic: What Men Need To Know About Their Fertility. Male infertility can be defined as the inability of a male to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. It accounts for 40-50 per cent of infertility. It is usually caused by problems that affect either the sperm production which is related to both the sperm count and sperm quality or the sperm transport. Through medical testing, the doctor may be able to find the cause of the problem. Statistics however has shown that about two thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes. How common is male infertility? Male Infertility is a wide spread problem. In about 1 in 5 infertile couples, the problem lies solely with the male partner. It is also estimated that 1 in 20 men have some kind of infertility problem with low number of sperm in their ejaculate, however
only about 1 in 100 men have no sperm in their ejaculate. What are the common causes of male infertility? The root cause of a manâ€™s infertility may not be easy to establish for up to 50 per cent of men diagnosed with male factor infertility. The specific causes remain unknown generally. Male infertility problems are often unclear, most of the treatment option remains the same whatever the underlying causes maybe. Some of the most common causes include: Medical causes r7BSJDPDFMFUIJTNFBOTUIBUUIFWFJOTUIBUTIPVME drain the testicles are swollen. It is the most common
cause of reversible infertility in men. r$ISPNPTPNBMEFGFDUT*OIFSJUFEEJTPSEFSTTVDI as klinefelter in which the man is born with XXY chromosome instead of XY. r)PSNPOFEJTPSEFST r5SBVNB*OKVSZUPUIFUFTUFTHSPJOBSFB r1SFWJPVT TVSHFSJFT TVDI BT IFSOJB SFQBJS PS vasectomy r1SFWJPVTJOGFDUJPOFTQFDJBMMZ4FYVBM5SBOTNJUUFE Diseases (STDs), urinary tract infection or a severe mumps infection after puberty r$FSUBJONFEJDBUJPOTFTQFDJBMMZJGBCVTFEPWFS time can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility r)JTUPSZPGVOEFTDFOEFEUFTUJT r1SJPSWBTFDUPNZPSNBKPSBCEPNJOBMQFMWJD surgery r5BLJOH DFSUBJO NFEJDBUJPO PS VOEFSHPJOH medical treatment such as surgery or radiation used for cancer treatment r#PSOXJUIBGFSUJMJUZEJTPSEFSPSIBWJOHBĂ STU degree relative with a fertility disorder r)BWJOHNFEJDBMDPOEJUJPOT JODMVEJOHUVNPST and chronic illnesses, such as sickle cell disease etc. Environmental causes Overexposure to certain environmental elements such as heat, toxins and chemical can reduce sperm production and function r*OEVTUSJBM DIFNJDBMT &YUFOEFE FYQPTVSF UP benzene, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvent, painting materials and lead. r)FBWZNFUBMTFYQPTVSF r3BEJBUJPOTPSYSBZT r0WFSIFBUJOHUIFUFTUJDMFTTVDIBTTJUUJOHGPS long periods, wearing tight clothing and working on a laptop computer for long stretches of time,
long distance travels, prolonged sauna and steam baths may increase the temperature of your scrotum r)FBMUIZMJGFTUZMFBOEPUIFSDBVTFT r*MMJDJUESVHVTF.PTUESVHTUBLFOUPTUJNVMBUF muscle strength and growth can cause the testicle to shrink. Use of cocaine and marijuana may temporarily reduce the number and quality of sperm r"MDPIPMJOUBLF%SJOLJOHFYDFTTJWFBMDPIPMDBO lower testosterone level, cause erectile dysfunction and decrease sperm production r5PCBDDP TNPLJOH .FO XIP TNPLF UFOE UP have lower sperm count than those who donâ€™t including the passive smoker (those who inhale the smoke from smokers) r&NPUJPOBMTUSFTT5IJTJOUFSGFSFTXJUIDFSUBJO hormones needed in sperm production. r0WFSXFJHIU0CFTJUZ$BOJNQBJSGFSUJMJUZEJSFDUMZ by impacting sperm themselves and indirectly by causing hormonal changes that reduce male fertility. r$FSUBJO PDDVQBUJPOT 4VDI BT XFMEJOH MPOH distant truck drivers may increase the risk for male infertility. What are the symptoms of male infertility? In most cases there are no obvious signs of male infertility. However poorerection (erectile dysfunction) and ejaculation may sometimes be associated with male infertility. The quantity and appearance of the ejaculated semen generally appears normal to the naked eyes but medical test are needed to be done to find out if the man is infertile. The under listed signs may indicate male infertility: vChanges in sexual desire vTesticular pain or swelling vSmall firm testicles vProblem maintaining erection vIssues with ejaculation
NIGERIA GETTING BACK ON TRACK WITH RAIL REVOLUTION Israel Ibeleme Just days before President Buhari met with President Trump at the White House, history was made in Washington, DC, with the signing of a landmark infrastructure agreement between the Nigerian Government and a consortium of multinational firms led by the American digital industrial giant, General Electric (GE). The implementation of that agreement, worth US$45 million in the first phase, will ensure that within the next 12 months, passenger travel by rail from Lagos to Kano will be faster and safer, while for the first time in over a decade, contracted and scheduled freight rail services can once again be offered. This milestone project is the outcome of President Buhariâ€™s single-minded determination to develop, upgrade and modernise Nigeriaâ€™s transport infrastructure, as well as the relentless push by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to fully deliver on the Presidentâ€™s vision. Since Mr. Amaechi took office in November 2015, as Minister of Transportation, there has been a renaissance in Nigeriaâ€™s rail industry, in line with the Presidentâ€™s oft-stated vision. This planned revamp of the Narrow-Gauge Rail Network by the international consortium comprising General Electric, Transnet of South Africa, Sino Hydro of China and APM Terminals (part of the Danish Maersk Group) â€“ after two years of meticulous planning, negotiating and contracting, offers strong proof of the seriousness with which the Buhari Administration is taking its railway modernisation ambitions. Nigeriaâ€™s Narrow-Gauge Rail System was conceived in the 1890s and built between 1898 and 1926, with a total length of 3,500 kilometres. It consists of two primary lines â€“ Lagos to Nguru and Port Harcourt to Maiduguri â€“ with spur lines to Eleme, Baro, Kaura Namoda and other places. These critical economic assets have since become decrepit, having suffered significant decline due to lack of investments in infrastructure maintenance. A few years ago, a previous
President Buhari in one of the coaches when he commissioned the Abuja-Kaduna train services
administration commenced a rehabilitation programme, which saw the Lagos-Kano line come back to life. But that rehabilitation was not accompanied by corollary improvements in operations and engineering management capacity, thus failing to fully exploit the massive freight and passenger potential of the narrowgauge network. The Buhari administration, as part of its infrastructure development vision, has now finally taken the long overdue bold steps to modernise the rail network. On August 18, 2017, the Federal Executive Council, following a competitive procurement process, approved the concession of the Narrow-Gauge Rail System to the GE-led Consortium. The Government is advised by a multidisciplinary consortium led by the Africa Finance Corporation. The initiation of that concession agreement is what has now finally taken effect following the signing in Washington, DC yesterday, ahead of President Buhariâ€™s bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday. Sources within the GE Consortium have disclosed that the first set of 3 locomotives and sixty wagons (out of 10 locomotives and 200 wagons) are ready to be shipped to Nigeria. The benefits of this intervention are immense: increased economic productivity, job creation,
private sector investment, human capacity development and much-needed world class expertise. Worldwide, rail infrastructure has been proven to reduce costs and wastage of goods; increase economic trade between farmers/ miners and industry and between traders and consumers; and grow business competitiveness and increase operational efficiency. The Narrow-Gauge Concession with the GE-led Consortium is only one of many projects conceived in the sector. In July 2016, President Buhari commissioned the Abuja (Idu) to Kaduna (Rigasa) Standard-Gauge Rail Line, which runs two round trips daily between the two cities, creating an alternative for the over 20,000 motorists who ply the route. Also, that month, Minister Amaechi signed a renegotiated agreement with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation that revised the cost â€“ originally negotiated by his predecessors â€“ of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Railway Project downwards by 800 million dollars. Again, in March 2017, Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo flagged-off construction of the 156-kilometre Lagos-Ibadan Standard-Gauge Line, following the payment of the federal governmentâ€™s 15 per cent counterpart funds about two hundred million dollars to the Chinese Export Import Bank. The project is expected to be completed within three years and it forms the second phase of the Lagos to Kano Standard Gauge Line, after the Abuja-Kaduna Line. This Standard Gauge project is different from the existing Narrow-Gauge line being concessioned to the GE Consortium. Furthermore, in December 2017, the Federal Executive Council approved the acquisition of nine locomotives, one hundred and twentyeight Passenger Coaches, and one hundred and ninety wagons to support Standard Gauge rail operations. The Abuja Monorail project will be commissioned during the second quarter of 2018. The first phase of the 45-kilometre rail project has 12 rail stations and connects the Nnamdi Azikiwe
International Airport to Abujaâ€™s Central Business District. In his 2018 New Year Speech, President Buhari announced that negotiations were advanced for the construction of the Frontier Rail Line from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic emanating from Kano through to Kazaure, Katsina, Jibia and finally to Maradi. Also noteworthy is the development of the Coastal Rail Line from Lagos to Calabar via Lagos-Ore-Benin City-Sapele-Warri-Yenagoa with sidings to Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo, Calabar and branch line from Benin-City, Obudu, Onitsha including Onitsha rail bridge. These developments are significant, as they will position Nigeria as a major transhipment hub for millions of tons of goods being imported from and exported to land-locked countries including Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. For centuries, rail networks have formed the foundation for industrialisation, productivity and economic efficiency for many developed nations. For instance, rail infrastructure stock in the United States of America increased 16-fold from 14,000 kilometres in 1850 to over 220,000 kilometres today. The United Statesâ€™ rail network has annual revenues of about $60 billion, provides 221,000 jobs and delivers 5 million tons of freight and transports approximately 85,000 passengers every day. One third of all exports from the United States is facilitated by rail transport. In the 2017 Budget and the 2018 Budget Proposal, the federal government provisioned more than 300 billion naira for railway projects, mainly as 15 per cent counterpart funds to unlock additional concessionary funding from the Chinese Export Import Bank. This is an unprecedented commitment, which, combined with the GE-led Consortiumâ€™s drive to modernising Nigeriaâ€™s rail infrastructure, will add immense value to Nigeriaâ€™s long term economic growth and productivity. Ibeleme writes from Abuja
Thisday Group News Editor,Mr. Davidson Iriekpen(4th left) being supported from left by , Mrs. Uche Ezikeoha; Mr. Alike Ejiofor; Abiodun Eromosele; Mr. Obinna Chima; Mr. Femi Solaja; Mrs. Nume Ekeghe; and Mrs. Uche Onaike as he cuts the cake to celebrate his birthday anniversary at THISDAY Newsroom in Apapa...recently sunday adigun
L-R; The Registrar, Baptist College of Theology, Lagos, Rev. Ajibade Adeniran; Rector, Dr. Emmanuel Oyeyomi; and Bursar, Mr. Yinka Oyekola, at the media brieﬁng on 21st anniversary of the college in Lagos...recently etop ukutt Mr. Abdulkareem Alabi and his wife fateemah, during their Wedding ceremony at Apata Ibadan, Oyo State...recently
L-R ; District 9110 Governor, Rotary International, Rotn Dr. Adewale Ogunbadejo, Vice President, Rotary Club of Lagos Island, Rotn Dr. Sunit Debroy and the Club President, Rotn Sanjeev Tandon during the presentation of an award to Debroy at the closing ceremony of a weeklong Free Eye Cataract Surgical Operations sponsored by the Club in conjunction with the Beeta Ashram Ltd, Indian Women Association of Nigeria, Tolaram Group and Kewalram Chanrai Group Ltd in Lagos...recently
L-R ; The Lay President, Diocese of Lagos Mainland’s wife, Lady Sarah Onabadejo; Rector, Methodist Church Theological Institute, Very Revd Sunday Onadipe, Circuit Steward Agbowa Sagamu Circuit, Barr. Adeolu Odugbemi, Host Bishop, Rt. Revd Dr. Isaac Olawuyi; Lay President, Otunba Bola Onabadejo KJW and the Host Bishop’s wife, Sister. Funmilayo Olawuyi at the 2018 Synod, Diocese of Lagos Mainland, hosted by the Igbobi / Somolu Circuit, Lagos...recently.
L-R: Head Customer Care, Ikeja Electric (IE), Adebola Ajibade; Business Manager, Akowonjo Business Unit, I E, Olanrewaju Yusuf; Chief Commercial Oﬃcer both of Ikeja Electric, Mrs. Folake Soetan; and Assistant Manager, Consumer Aﬀairs, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Forum, Ikeja Lagos, Mrs. Lola Olanihun, during the Quaterly Customers Forum in Ogba, Lagos... recently. kolawole alli
L-R: National President, Society of Saint Vincent De Paul (SSVP), Lagos Metropolitan Council, Bro. Emmanuel Kim; Spiritual Director, Lagos Central Council, Rev Father John Okoro;Lagos Metro President, Bro. Chuks Opara Wilson; National Secretary, Bro. Victor Eze; and Public Relation Oﬃcer, Sis. Violet Ezeh, at the thanksgiving mass in honour of Bro Emmanuel Kim as SSVP National president and inauguration of the new Lagos metro board in Lagos... recently
Ireukpen Stands Still for Abebe All roads today lead to Ireukpen, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State for the funeral of one of Nigeria’s greatest boardroom gurus, Dr. Christopher Abebe. Davidson Iriekpen writes The sleepy town of Iruekpen in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State will come alive this weekend during the funeral of one of Nigeria’s greatest boardroom gurus, Dr. Christopher Ebhodaghe Abebe. Pa Abebe who died on March 22 at the age of 99 after a brief illness, was the father-in-law to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was the father of late First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo and the first indigenous Chairman and Managing Director of United Africa Company (UAC). According to the burial arrangements released by the family, the funeral mass, interment and reception would take place today, May 18, the traditional village reception will take place on Saturday, May 19 at Late Abebe’s country home in Iruekpen, while the outing service takes place on Sunday, May 20. Last Friday in Lagos, a night of tributes was held at the St. Gregory’s College in honour of the late Udionwere (community leader) of Iruekpen. The occasion was organised by UAC, Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Breweries Plc, Vitafoam and Nigerian Institute of Management. The event attracted who’s who in the society, including captains of industry, boardroom gurus, professionals in various fields, retired and many others still serving, who poured encomiums on the great man who joined UAC on December 1, 1935 without shoes but rose through the ranks to become the chairman and managing director 45 years after. The incumbent Managing Director of the company, Abdul Bello, simply described Abebe as one of Nigeria’s gifts to the world who was incorruptible and of high integrity. “The story of Abebe’s life of hard work, humility, integrity, rising from lowly position of unpaid apprentice to the enviable position of Chairman and Managing Director inspires and will inspire generations of employees.” From the Nigerian Breweries where he was once chairman from 1980 to I989, it was scintillating words from the incumbent Chairman, Chief Kola Jamodu, who described the late nonagenarian as a great manager made great contributions to the successes of the company in a difficult phase of the Nigerian economy. Jamodu said Abebe ensured that the business continuity of Nigerian Breweries Plc in the face of challenges in the foreign exchange regime to ease the liquidity problem it posed for Nigerian Breweries. “His leadership as Chairman of the company at the time contributed hugely to the survival of the company during the tough era of import licensing that put a lot of pressure on the ease of acquiring raw materials and spare parts overseas. In his time as chairman, Nigerian Breweries was part of the representation from the manufacturing sector to government which led to several business-friendly economic policies, some of which still exist today. “In our specific industry, Abebe’s time as chairman saw the beginning of the use of local raw materials as substitutes for barley as a response to government’s policy on the use of local raw materials for companies in the country. His tenure as chairman also saw an expansion in the company’s existing brewery footprints with the commissioning of Ibadan Brewery n 1982 following the Lagos, Aba and Kaduna Breweries. Significantly, the land where our flagship Ama Brewery currently sits was also acquired during Abebe’s time as Chairman of our Board. “His example of hard work, patriotism, leadership and positive societal impact strongly reinforced our company’s philosophy of Winning with Nigeria, which still drives our operations till today.” Vitafoam too paid glowing tribute to Abebe, saying the story of its transition to a truly Nigerian entity cannot be succinctly told without the mention of his name. The company said Abebe was appointed its Director on December 19, 1978 on advice from London and was instantly elected chairman by his colleagues in an exemplary demonstration of trust in his excellent and admirable leadership skill set thus etching his name in gold in the company’s
history book as the first Nigerian Chairman. “This is not surprising given his antecedent as a thoroughbred Unilever man and his previous record of accomplishment at UAC (a member of the Unilever family). His ascendancy occurred at a time when Vitafoam was in dire need of a new leadership in its quest for greater heights. He was indeed a trailblazer! Prior to his emergence, the post of Chairman and Managing Director was held by an expatriate whose overbearing influence on the Nigerian Executives of the company created frictions that almost rocked the system to its foundation. A consummate administrator with astounding people-management skills, Abebe succeeded in mending broken fences within the system
His example of hard work, patriotism, leadership and positive societal impact strongly reinforced our company’s philosophy of Winning with Nigeria, which still drives our operations till today
and entrenching a tradition of peace, progress and stability. His debt handling of the fracture in the system set the foundation for the widely acclaimed and time-tested culture of seamless board and management succession that has become a hallmark of the Vitafoam system through the ages. The maturity and adroitness he exhibited in the handling of board affairs and overall governance of the company after the exit of the British ensured that Vitafoam flourished and became even more vibrant under a full Nigerian management. This is a remarkable accomplishment considering that most organisations hardly survive the exit of their expatriate leaders. He was indeed a bridge builder!” Individuals who eulogised the late boardroom guru was the former Head of the Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who despite his frail condition, came to honour the his late boss. Recall that Shonekan succeeded Abebe as Managing Director of UAC. The former Head of State described Abebe as a man of integrity who laid a solid foundation upon which the company flourished. He added that the late Abebe believed so much on developing human capacity which saw them taking the company to greater heights when he retired. Also, former Managing Director of the Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Felix Ohiwerei, in his own tribute, said he does not think there was any great man in this part of the world like Abebe, adding he taught them how to be honest and humble. Ohiwerei who worked closely with Abebe, said he proved to everybody that hard
work pays, noting that little wonder he rose from the lowest rank to the peak of his career. “I don’t think there is any great man in our part of the world like Abebe. He was an epitome of humility. He was humble, humane and very understanding. He was blessed. Throughout the vicissitude of life, he demonstrated that in everything, hold on to Jesus. He went through challenges in life. In all of these, he held on to God. Only few men will survive the challenges he went through and still remain sane. He was one of the few. He showed us that hard work pays. He showed us to live and be honest. He rose from the lowest rank to the peak of his career.” Pa Abebe was born on July 18, 1919. He shared the same birthday with former South African President, Nelson Mandela, who is older by a year. Abebe did not have the benefit of blue chip education that is available to younger generations of today. But that did not deter him from achieving the goals he set for himself which saw him rise from a position of relative obscurity to high flying attainments in top level corporate management and public administration. On December 1, 1935, he was appointed as an unpaid apprentice in UAC, from where he rose through the ranks to becoming the Chairman and Managing Director from 1975 to 1980. He believed in the company he served so well and was deservedly encouraged by the expatriates of his days who saw in him attributes that, if nurtured, were capable of achieving the expectations of the British investors who believed that a time will come when they must hand over to local talents that will carry on with the building of a local business enterprise with international connections. That aspiration was realised when Abebe assumed the mantle of leadership of the company, the first Nigerian to do so. The story of Abebe in the UAC which we know today simply as UAC Plc, is a study in hard work, diligence, exemplary courage and proof that with determination as well as assiduous application of will power, it is possible for one to pull oneself up by the bootstrap to the commanding heights of power and affluence. It was not only in UAC that Abebe performed excellently. He was at various times the Pro-chancellor and chairman of council of three Nigerian universities: the University of Benin, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Calabar. It is on record that it was based on his advice that UNN was taken over by the federal government after the institution was massively destroyed as a result of the civil war. He also served as Director in various companies including ICON Merchant Bank, Wiggins Teape, First Interstate Merchant Bank. For two years, he was Vice-President and five years President of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) (1963-1970). For nine years, he served as President of Nigeria Institute of Management. As if they were not enough, he was co-founder and former Chairman COMET Merchant Bank Limited which later transformed into First Atlantic Bank Plc and later became part of FINBANK Plc. at consolidation. He was also former Chairman, Security Assurance Company Plc, Director West African Portland Cement Company Plc, served on the Constitution Review Committee 1987 to 1988. The late nonagenarian was a member, National Universities Commission, President, Nigerian Chapter of African Association of Public Administration and Management, member of Bendel Development and Economic Recovery Council, among many other positions. Abebe was a committed and devoted Catholic, a quality that was acknowledged by the Catholic Pontiff who conferred on him the highly sought after Papal Knighthood of the Order St. Gregory the Great, one of the highest honours in the Vatican City’s Honours Roll. Before this recognition by the Pope, he had been a member of the prestigious Order of the Knights of St. Mulumba. He rose from the rank of an initiate through the various Degrees to become a Fourth Degree Knight and was elected the Supreme Knight of the Order of St. Mulumba, the highest position in the Order.
Politics, Governance and Human Development Peter Obi From its essentials, politics is about attaining and using power in public life to be able to influence decisions that affect society. In principle, that should be a worthy cause, but what we have experienced with most of our politicians in Africa and other third world countries is the crude politics of mediocrity, greed, insensitivity, hate, nepotism, and confusion. They base their campaigns on problems that are on ground, but when they get into office, they start complaining about those same problems they pledged to tackle and on which platform they were voted into office. What did they expect to meet? Indeed, we seem to have missed the road on how to use politics to better the lives of the people. Leadership is the most crucial factor in development – be it for a small family unit, business enterprise, institution or geo-political entity like Nigeria or its constituent states. Leadership is not just an insignia for display, but all about performance – producing results and fulfilling a mission in the interest of the led. It is the responsibility of the leadership to harness our abundant human and material resources for the common good. Across the world, good governance is acknowledged as the basis for meaningful and sustainable development. Due to failure of real politics in Nigeria, the country has been inflicted with a battered economy, corruption, mismanagement, infrastructural decay, mass impoverishment, and worse of all, a palpable citizen apathy and mistrust of government. Good governance is about the people whose well-being is the primary responsibility of government. Good governance is common sense; not rocket science. It is part of this mis-governance that led the country into recession – our inability to save for the rainy day. Some reports say that inflation in Nigeria is coming down, but that is not entirely correct because there is a strong link between inflation and demand. The current situation in our dear country is that majority of our people do not have money to purchase their basic needs. When people stay away from acquiring their basic necessities, they do not have “effective demand”. Responding to that situation, those with the stocks may be compelled to reduce their prices in order to stay in business. That also does not reflect effective demand. Using this scenario to claim that inflation is coming down is totally debatable. Similarly, the public could be told that a country indebted to the tune of about 20 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not under any financial threat. This may appear so if the money so borrowed is being effectively utilised for production or the real sector. Alas, if the borrowed funds are for consumption – like payment of salaries, overseas vacations and chartered flights -- the country is not only under financial threats, but in serious crisis. Flowing from this, how do we explain the situation where a country’s total external debt of US$32 billion was cancelled in 2008, but 10 years later becomes freshly indebted to the tune of US$70 billion? It is mind-boggling, to say the least. The matter is further worsened by the fact that there is no tangible project to show where the funds so borrowed were invested or utilised. Such is the alarming trend that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned Nigeria to watch it or end up in the path that Greece plunged unto a few years ago. Largely due to gross infrastructural deficit, Nigeria has missed out being part of an association of major emerging economies. Formed in 2006 with the acronym ‘BRIC’ – comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China -- the group was joined by South Africa in 2010 to make it ‘BRICS’. The acronym was coined by the then Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill with the prediction that they would grow faster than the developed countries and play an increasingly important role in the world. Looking at the performance of those five countries, that prediction is being proved correct. It is also sad to note that Nigeria – by virtue of its large economy and huge consumption market – was the preferred potential African country to join the association. While we present potentials, South Africa boasts of such infrastructure as power, roads, railways and the like in good enough shape to be accepted.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun
Essentially, the Treaty among BRICS – signed in 2014 – facilitates their co-operation for socio-economic development, mutual financial assistance, project support and international trade. Indeed, those with the knowledge of real international business should be able to estimate what Nigeria lost by missing such an opportunity. Meanwhile, some eight years after its ‘Brother’ African country became a member, that esteemed status and tremendous benefits still elude Nigeria. One common thing about this countries is the progress they are making on all indicators of human development index. The Human Development Index (HDI) refers to the quality of life enjoyed by citizens of any country in focus; and one of its measures is Per Capita Income. In a recent assessment by a UN agency, Nigeria was rated a lowly 152 out of 185 nations covered. Similarly, on an official invitation to Nigeria, the global philanthropist, Bill Gates noted that the Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) did not accord human capital development a decent place. He succinctly advised the nation’s political leadership to rise to the responsibility of promoting the welfare of the people, especially the grossly-neglected teeming youth population. But, rather than respond positively to the realities before us, we engage in unproductive retorts and distractions that do not add value to the economy or the citizenry. One of the surest ways of rediscovering ourselves as a country is by telling the truth, acknowledging that we have not done very well, especially when juxtapose with other countries. Every Nigerian – literarily-speaking – must be held responsible for the cumulative failures of our leadership over the years. The
‘rascality in governance’ is not only the fault of the leadership, but to a great extent that of the followership. While conveniently refusing to hold their leaders accountable, Nigerians tend to celebrate mediocrity and impunity in governance. The leader is a reflection of the led. Our leaders are thrown up through poorly distillation process. The Chinese method of rating their leaders is simple – show us what you have done in the past before we entrust you with a bigger responsibility. If a man has not created anything, he cannot manage anything. We have to see those who want to lead us today and ask them questions on their pedigree and performance. We should no longer allow people to come from nowhere to assume leadership; else we will go back to the same mess. Capacity in governance is not a function of age; and neither is integrity or even educational qualifications. One of the leading states in the USA is California; recently adjudged the fifth biggest economy in the world. The Governor, Jerry Brown will be 81 years old this May. He has the capacity and is doing very well. On the contrary, we have seen young leaders in Nigeria widely regarded as a calamitous failures. Youths constitute a large proportion of our population and their future is in jeopardy. They have to take back their country, especially through active participation to elect good leaders. However, it is not just about “youths” taking over, but increasingly participating in choosing their leaders and the governance process. We have to instil responsibility in governance. Why should a leader owing workers and
pensioners spend millions of Naira decorating streets for Christmas when people are hungry and nobody is questioning the rationale behind that? How can people charter flights to social events with public funds when regular tickets will take them there conveniently, and yet the people that own the funds keep quiet? What of people who owned practically nothing when they got into public office, transform into owners of palatial mansions and expensive cars, and a ‘Man of God’ goes to pray for him that his source of income will multiply when he knows the person has stolen public money? And worse still, the people will be chorusing ‘Amen’ to such prayers instead of informing the Police to arrest thief. We have no other country apart from Nigeria. You must rise up to the desired change. The society we abuse today will take revenge on us tomorrow. There is no way we can lift our Human Development Index from its current low level of 152 out of 185 nations to any appreciable level if we continue to celebrate those that misappropriate public funds without asking them appropriate questions and holding them to account on good governance. Given purposeful and committed leadership, the basic needs of majority of Nigerians – as elsewhere – are attainable. These needs include: peace, progress, security of life and property, decent healthcare and social services, affordable housing, equity and justice and operational infrastructure. They should be the raison d’être of governance. Excerpts of a Presentation by the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi to an International Conference held at the Claretian Institute of Philosophy (CIP), Maryland-Nekede, Owerri
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
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Spreading the Dividends of Democracy The member representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, recently staged what has been generally described as the mother of all empowerment initiatives, Bassey Inyang writes
Empowerment items donated by Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe
ne common trend associated with seekers of elective positions in the nationâ€™s polity is their penchant to make all manner of promises during their campaigns to the electorate in order to win their sympathy and get their votes during elections. However, it is a general belief that after getting the mandate of the people most of the politicians never keep to the promises they made to the electorate while campaigning. Cases abound where constituents have complained that their elected representatives have never visited their constituencies since they were elected into the National Assembly. So, for constituents who have had the experience of their representatives not returning home, even frequently as expected, their conclusion is that they have no representation or representative, in reality, except in name. However, some of the elected federal lawmakers still maintain close relationship with their constituents; render to them the necessary extra-legislative services. The representative of Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, seems to belong to the latter category of elected politicians. Within his constituency, Jarigbe is reputed to be one of the lawmakers from the state that makes out time, periodically, to visit those he is representing at the grassroots, to consult with them, and supply them with some droplets of what is generally referred to as â€œeconomic empowerment.â€? On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Ogoja, the headquarters of the federal constituency, Jarigbe was with his people, and there, he staged his latest round of economic
He introduced some special socio-economic enhancement schemes to his constituents, among them; bursary for indigent students in post-primary and tertiary institutions, free computer training programme, entrepreneurial training for youths, and microďŹ nance facilities for farmers and traders, vocational training for youths and widows, free medical outreach to aged and the less-privileged, and Christmas outreach
empowerment programme to improve on the economic well-being of those he represents at the National Assembly. The empowerment programme staged
at the Ogoja Local Government Council ground was the seventh in the series of such activities promoted by Jarigbe. The latest event brought the number of
beneficiaries from his benevolent representation to over 700 since he became a federal lawmaker in 2015. According to Jarigbe, the empowerment programme was in fulfilling the promise he made to his people while campaigning, and seeking their support, ahead of the election to the lower chamber of the National Assembly in 2015. Almost immediately after he was inaugurated with his colleagues as a member
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People waiting to collect their empowerment items
of the House of Representatives, Jarigbe gave indication that he was serious about giving his people the much needed economic support so, they can fend for themselves, and in the process improve the general economic environment of the constituency. Consequently, he introduced some special socio-economic enhancement schemes to his constituents, among them; bursary for indigent students in post-primary and tertiary institutions, free computer training programme, entrepreneurial training for youths, and micro-finance facilities for farmers and traders, vocational training for youths and widows, free medical outreach to aged and the less-privileged, and Christmas outreach. For instance no fewer than 50 youths, male and female; have benefited from skills acquisition programmes sponsored by the lawmaker. At the end of the training, the young men and women would be provided with finical backups ranging from N2.5 million to N5 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) backed agricultural training programme. Added to the 50 youths are at least 200 youths and women, especially widows who have been provided with sewing and grinding machines, generators and driers by the lawmaker, since they had already acquired the necessary skills in various areas. As a means of facilitating the easy movement of people, goods and services from the rural communities, Jarigbe has provided over 70 motor bikes, and seven cars toward officers, youth leaders, and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Through his recommendation, Jarigbe has also facilitated the employment of hundreds of people from the federal constituency into Police, Federal Road Safety, Army, Civil Defence Corps, and the Federal Civil Service. So far, over 700 people have benefited from the Jarigbeâ€™s empowerment programme valued at N100 million since 2015. However, the latest empowerment progarmme held on the material Wednesday has been described as â€œmother of all empowermentâ€? because of the number of cars, cash and other life-enhancing items he generously gave to members of the business community, farmers, market women, traders, youths , and some politicians in the constituency. In all, four cars, 31 brand new motorcycles, 36 sewing machines, 25 grinding machines, and 10 electricity generating sets were distributed free to the beneficiaries. At the event which also doubled as town hall meeting, thousands of people from the constituency conferred and witnessed
A woman with her sewing machine
I humbly presented myself for election before my people, and they voted massively for me. Therefore, I came here to give back what they gave me in 2015 because I am only holding the power on their behalf. What I have done here today cannot be compared to what they have done for me, but this is just the beginning, the best of me is yet to come
how Jarigbe also splashed N10 million cash on some of the beneficiaries of his empowerment programme. Presenting his welcome address at the occasion, Jarigbe, said: â€œI humbly presented myself for election before my people, and they voted massively for me. Therefore, I came here to give back what they gave me in 2015 because I am only holding the power on their behalf. What I have done here today cannot be compared to what they have done for me, but this is just the beginning, the best of me is yet to come. â€œI am massively grateful to my people, and God willing, the next exercise will be better than this one. I thank them all for the opportunity to represent them and pray that God will meet them all at their respective points of needs.â€? Jarigbe enjoined the beneficiaries from his empowerment programme to make judicious use of what they have gotten
judicially, and invest wisely so they can grow and teach others how to also fish. Some dignitaries, among them top government officials also graced the event and spoke glowingly about Jarigbeâ€™s empowerment programme, and described him as â€œThe Man of the People.â€? Governor Ben Ayadeâ€™s Chief of Staff, Mr. Martins Orim, who spoke at the event, said the lawmaker has set standards as to what empowerment should constitute. â€œJarigbeâ€™s empowerment programme has raised the bar, especially for a first-timer in the House of Representatives. I can tell you that the governor is happy, and impressed that the people who voted him into the parliament are actually the direct beneficiaries. â€œFrom what is happening, any elected representative that does not perform well will be voted out. This office is held in trust for the people and our elected officials need to report to the people as the office is not a personal thing,â€? Orim said. The state deputy chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Patrick Ebam, said from what he saw, Jarigbe has demonstrated serious love for his people. â€œThe lawmaker has attracted 89 projects and empowered hundreds of people, he has given quality representation by coming back to identify with the voters, and enjoined others to borrow a leaf from him. â€œThis is a total display of sincerity and accountability to his people. He has shown that he not only represents his people, but that he is also close to them, and this people as you can see, believe in him,â€? Ebam said. Some of the beneficiaries commented on the empowerment programme, and thanked Jarigbe for being a source of joy to them and putting smiles on their faces. One of the beneficiaries who gave his name as, Mr. Otem Stephen from Ijiraya ward in Yala Local Government Area, said: â€œI least expected this from our representative. Besides, nobody has given this type of quality motorcycle as an empowerment, and thank God I got one.â€? A lady, 45 years old, Mrs. Cordelier Amana, a beneficiary from Amana-Urban ward in Ogoja Local Government Area, said: â€œI thank God for what our honourable member has done for me, and my family. He has given me sewing machine, and I will give it to my daughter who just finished learning sewing work.â€? Jarigbe has promised that more of such empowerment was still in the offing as more people will benefit in future, saying â€œwhat you have seen is just the beginning. Expect more.â€?
T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, MAY18, 2018
W’Bank: Economic Mobility Stalls in Nigeria, Others in Last 30 Years Obinna Chima Generations of poor people in developing countries are trapped in a cycle of poverty determined by their circumstance at birth and unable to ascend the economic ladder due to inequality of opportunity, a recent report by the World Bank Group has stated. The report titled: “Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations Around the World,” noted that mobility had stalled in the last 30 years. According to the World Bank, a close examination of six large developing countries – Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria – revealed that economic mobility rose in all of them from the 1940s to the 1980s, albeit to varying degrees. However, it pointed out that since the 1960s, progress had slowed in four of these countries “and completely stalled in China and Nigeria.” “The global trends in gender convergence are seen in Brazil, China, Egypt, and Indonesia, where the mobility gaps between girls and boys are close to zero. No such convergence has taken place in India or Nigeria, where the gender gaps
are almost as large today as they were a half century ago,” it added. The report tracked economic mobility between parents and their children through the prism of education, a critical asset that influences an individual’s lifetime earnings. It looked at people born between 1940 and 1980, and foud that 46 out of 50 countries with the lowest rates of mobility from the bottom to the top are in the developing world. Gender gaps, however were closing with girls in high-income countries now out-performing boys in tertiary education and catching up in the developing world. It noted that in the not too distant future, the share of girls with more education than their parents would exceed the equivalent share for boys globally. The ability to move up the economic ladder, irrespective of the socioeconomic background of one’s parents, contributes to reducing poverty and inequality, and may help boost economic growth by giving everyone a chance to use their talents, the report noted. People living in more mobile societies are more optimistic
about their children’s future, which is likely to lead to a more aspirational and cohesive society. “All parents want their children to have better lives than their own, yet the aspirations of too many people –especially poor people – are thwarted by unequal opportunities,” the World Bank Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva said. “We need to invest in children from a very early age so that they are well-nourished and well-educated; ensure that local communities are a safe place for children to grow, learn, and thrive; and level the economic playing field by creating good jobs and improving access to finance.” The report drew on a newly developed Global Database of Intergenerational Mobility with unprecedented coverage of 148 countries, home to 96 per cent of the world’s population. It painted a uniquely detailed picture of socio-economic mobility and inequality of opportunity around the world. It also sheds light on the patterns and drivers of income mobility and their relationship with educational mobility by examining available data from 75 countries.
NFIU Parleys ABCON against Anti-money Laundering,Terrorist Financing The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) yesterday concluded a three-day joint training/ sensitisation programme on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. According to a statement, the programme, attended by head offices/zonal secretariats staff of ABCON and key personalities from the NFIU was held in Lagos. Speaking at the end of the training, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the anti-money laundering training was intended to familiarise Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators with the process of money laundering — the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash — and the laws that make it a crime. The training, he said, was to create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorist financing in
a period of electioneering; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations, 2013. Gwadabe explained that the NFIU is the arm of the global financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and that the joint training was part of the efforts of the federal government in combating money laundering, and financing of terrorist activities within the country. Furthermore, he pointed out that the training was in line with BDCs commitment to meeting their obligations towards the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations. He said the core role of the FIU was that it serves as the country’s central agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information
regarding money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the training was an opportunity to get more acquainted with the role of NFIU and have a better understanding on how to file their transaction reports to regulatory agencies. He said the training would enable BDCs to understand how to raise the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to know when to submit such reports. According to him, both the NFIU and BDCs used the training opportunity to discuss Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) penalties on money laundering and terrorist financing adding that an updated code of conducts for BDCs operators in Nigeria will be unveiled later. Gwadabe said that money laundering and terrorist financing pose not only a threat, but are enormous threats, enormous challenges to the economy, security, and social life in Nigeria, the region and globally.
Ecobank Wins Award Ecobank said it won the ‘Best Digital Strategy Award’ at the Retail Banker International awards ceremony held in London recently. The bank explained that its digital strategy leverages digitalisation for scale and ubiquity and is the key plank in its ambition to be the top consumer financial services franchise in Africa and to achieve its target of serving 100 million customers. A statement explained that the Ecobank Mobile App, which has already been downloaded by over five million people, is a unified banking app serving
33 African countries, enabling 24/7 banking services and transactions in 18 different currencies and in four major languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Commenting on the award, the CEO of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi said: “This award is a real vote of confidence for the hard work of everyone at Ecobank and the massive strides that we have made in meeting the changing ways that consumers are demanding to engage with their bank. I’m delighted that Ecobank has achieved this recognition and rest assured that it will
strengthen our determination to be the bank of choice for Africa by further developing our products and services to meet our customers’ needs.” “Ecobank’s digital strategy leverages innovative technology to give Africans the convenience of 24/7 banking wherever and whenever they want. As a pan-African bank we’re absolutely committed to meeting the rapidly changing demands for convenience and functionality that Africans need and demand. It’s part of our ethos and it is also a major step towards eradicating financial exclusion from the continent.”
MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS
(MILLION NAIRA) 2018
Broad Money (M2)
-- Narrow Money (M1)
---- Currency Outside Banks
---- Demand Deposits
-- Quasi Money
Net Foreign Assets (NFA)
Net Domestic Assets(NDA)
-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)
---- Credit to Government (Net)
---- Memo: Credit to Govt. (Net) less FMA
---- Memo: Fed. and Mirror Accounts (FMA)
---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)
--Other Assets Net
Reserve Money (Base Money)
--Currency in Circulation
4,357,551.58 • Source - CBN
MANAGED FUNDS Month
Inter-Bank Call Rate
Minimum Rediscount Rate (MRR) Monetary Policy Rate (MPR)
Treasury Bill Rate
Savings Deposit Rate
1 Month Deposit Rate
3 Months Deposit Rate
6 Months Deposit Rate
12 Months Deposit Rate
Prime Lending rate
Maximum Lending Rate
31.55 • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%
OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, MON, MAY 14, 2018 The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $75.18 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $75.47 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), 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
T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, MAY18, 2018
Mutual Benefits Assurance Returns to Profitability, to Pay N160m Dividend Goddy Egene and Nosa Alekhuogie
N1.346 billion it recorded. The company was plunged into a loss position in 2016 due to a foreign loan denominated in dollar, which was affected by the depreciation of the naira that year. However, the firm has bounced back to profitability in 2017 with a profit of N1.023 billion. Details of the audited results showed that Mutual Benefits Assurance
Shareholders of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc will receive a total dividend of N160 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 as the company has returned to profitability. The insurance firm did not pay any dividend for 2016 year because of the loss
Plc recorded gross premium written of N14.038 billion, an increase of 16 per cent from N12.144 billion in 2016. Gross premium income rose by 11 per cent from N11.983 billion to N13.353 billion, while net premium income stood at N11.467 billion, indicating a growth of 12 per cent above the N10.271 billion posted in the 2016. The company ended the
year with a profit after tax of N1.023 billion, compared with a loss of N1.346 billion in 2016. Pleased with the results, the board of directors has recommended a dividend of N160 million for the shareholders to approve at the company’s annual general meeting in July. The dividend translates to two kobo per share. The Chairman of the company, Akin Ogunbiyi
PRICES FOR SECURITIES TRADED AS OF
had recently given indication that the shareholders would smile as the company would return to profitability. According to him, the previous year was very tough for operators, but despite this, the company was able to return to profitability. ‘’Twenty years after, the company still stands, despite recapitalisation and tough operating environment. Last year
was tough for everybody, but as tough as it was, we are able to return to profitability,’’ he said. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) depreciated by 0.83 per cent to close at 40,651.41 yesterday as bears returned to the market. The market capitalisation depreciated by 0.83 per cent to close at N14.73 trillion.
A S AT 0 7 / 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
MARKET CAP(Nm) 315,314.89
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) 398,437.75
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
BUILDING MATERIALS DANGOTE CEMENT PLC LAFARGE AFRICA PLC.
EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD
BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS S/N 31
865 234,686,415 MARKET CAP(Nm)
34 35 36 37
38 FOOD PRODUCTS
54 69 69
1,861,098 2,558,795 2,558,795
39 40 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED
42 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES
9 5,604 943 237,250,814
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) 2,580.00
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.
21 103 103
170,579 6,992,450 6,992,450
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
MARKET CAP(Nm) 38,280.00 165.00
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST
MARKET CAP(Nm) 2,000.00
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.
69 70 71 72
MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,479.53 MARKET CAP(Nm) 16,128.76
73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES
HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. VITAFOAM NIG PLC.
PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC.
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.
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.
INFRASTRUCTURE/ HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. ROADS NIG PLC.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT S/N
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) 34,277.38
20,919.62 10,410.23 44,625.15 186,372.82 10,987.98 32,016.81
0.71 0.75 1.55 6.40 0.94 0.83
4.41 -2.60 -4.91 -4.08 2.47
20 96 154 40 31 22 757
1,313,664 10,254,200 14,809,240 407,246 943,249 1,791,523 68,319,931
˾ FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report:
d,/^z &Z/Es^d ϰϬ KEd/Eh dK KhdWZ&KZDE^^/ΘE^ϯϬ/Ey dŚĞdŚŝƐĂǇĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚϰϬŝŶĚĞǆǁĂƐĐƌĞĂƚĞĚϭϭŵŽŶƚŚƐĂŐŽ ;: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 dŚƵƌƐĚĂǇ ϭϳƚŚ DĂǇ ϮϬϭϴ͕ ƚŚĞ ĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ ϰϬ ŝŶĚĞǆ ůŽƐƚ ϳϰďƉƐƚŽĐůŽƐĞůŽǁĞƌĂƚϭ͕ϲϵϯ͘ϳϱƉŽŝŶƚƐǁŚŝůĞŝƚƐzdƌĞƚƵƌŶ ĞǆƉĂŶĚĞĚƚŽϵ͘ϴй͘dŚĞzdƌĞƚƵƌŶŽĨƚŚĞdŚŝƐĂǇĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚ ϰϬƐƵƌƉĂƐƐĞƐƚŚĞzdƌĞƚƵƌŶŽĨƚŚĞE^Ͳůů^ŚĂƌĞ/ŶĚĞǆĂŶĚ ƚŚĞ E^ ϯϬ͕ ǁŚŝĐŚ ĂƌĞ ĐƵƌƌĞŶƚůǇ Ăƚ ϲ͘ϯй ĂŶĚ ϱ͘ϲй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ͘ zĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ͛ƐĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶŝŶƚŚĞdŚŝƐĚĂǇĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚϰϬǁĂƐĚƵĞ ƚŽŐĂŝŶƐŝŶE/'Z/EZtZ/^;Ͳϯ͘ϰйͿ͕E'D;ͲϬ͘ϴйͿ ĂŶĚ&E, ;ͲϮ͘ϮйͿǁŚŝĐŚĐƵŵƵůĂƟǀĞůǇĂĐĐŽƵŶƚƐĨŽƌϮϬ͘ϬйŽĨ ƚŚĞŝŶĚĞǆ͘ ƋƵŝƟĞƐ DĂƌŬĞƚ dĞŶĚƐ ^ŽƵƚŚǁĂƌĚƐ &ŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ĞĂĚ Ăƚ ŽƵŶĐĞ͙E^^/ĚŽǁŶϴϯďƉƐ dŚĞŐĂŝŶƐƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚŝŶƚŚĞďĞŶĐŚŵĂƌŬŝŶĚĞǆǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇĐĂŶďĞ ǀŝĞǁĞĚĂƐĂΗĞĂĚĂƚŽƵŶĐĞΗĂƐƐƵƐƚĂŝŶĞĚƉƌŽĮƚƚĂŬŝŶŐŝŶ ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ͛ƐƚƌĂĚŝŶŐƐĞƐƐŝŽŶĚƌĂŐŐĞĚƚŚĞE^ůů^ŚĂƌĞ/ŶĚĞǆ ;^/ͿůŽǁĞƌďǇϴϯďƉƐƚŽƐĞƩůĞĂƚϰϬ͕ϲϱϭ͘ϰϭƉŽŝŶƚƐǁŚŝůĞzd ƌĞƚƵƌŶ ŵŽĚĞƌĂƚĞĚ ƚŽ ϲ͘ϯй͘ Ɛ Ă ƌĞƐƵůƚ͕ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ůŽƐƚ EϭϮϯ͘ϳďŶ ĂƐ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝǌĂƟŽŶ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ ƚŽ ϭϰ͘ϳƚŶ͘ ĐƟǀŝƚǇůĞǀĞůƐƚƌĞŶŐƚŚĞŶĞĚĂƐǀŽůƵŵĞĂŶĚǀĂůƵĞƚƌĂĚĞĚƌŽƐĞ ϲϯ͘ϱй ĂŶĚ ϳϯ͘ϰй ƚŽ ϰϮϰ͘ϰŵ ƵŶŝƚƐ ĂŶĚ Eϳ͘ϲďŶ ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ͘ E/d, ;ϭϳϬ͘ϲŵͿ͕^^ ;ϰϰ͘ϮŵͿĂŶĚ&D ;Ϯϱ͘ϵŵͿǁĞƌĞ ƚŚĞƚŽƉƚƌĂĚĞĚƐƚŽĐŬƐďǇǀŽůƵŵĞǁŚŝůĞƚŚĞƚŽƉƚƌĂĚĞĚƐƚŽĐŬƐ ďǇ ǀĂůƵĞ ǁĞƌĞ E/d, ;Eϰ͘ϳďŶͿ͕ E^d> ;EϴϬϲ͘ϳŵͿ ĂŶĚ ^^;Eϰϴϲ͘ϯŵͿ͘ >ĂƌŐĞůǇĞĂƌŝƐŚ^ĞĐƚŽƌWĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ WĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ĂĐƌŽƐƐ ƐĞĐƚŽƌƐ ǁĂƐ ůĂƌŐĞůǇ ďĞĂƌŝƐŚ ĂƐ ϰ ŽĨ ϱ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐĐůŽƐĞĚŝŶƚŚĞƌĞĚ͘dŚĞKŝůΘ'ĂƐŝŶĚĞǆĐůŽƐĞĚƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ͕ ƵƉ ϭďƉ͕ ĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ŐĂŝŶƐ ŝŶ &KZd ;нϬ͘ϭйͿ ǁŚŝĐŚ ŽīƐĞƚ ƐĞůůŽīƐ ŝŶ ^W>d ;ͲϮ͘ϬйͿ͘ KŶ ƚŚĞ ŇŝƉ ƐŝĚĞ͕ ƚŚĞ /ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞǆ͕ ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ͛Ɛ ůĂƌŐĞƐƚ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌ͕ ůŽƐƚ ϭ͘ϲй ŽŶ ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚŽĨƉƌŽĮƚƚĂŬŝŶŐŝŶE'D;ͲϬ͘ϴйͿĂŶĚtWK;Ͳ Ϯ͘ϰйͿ͘ /Ŷ ƚŚĞ ƐĂŵĞ ǀĞŝŶ͕ ƚŚĞ ŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ 'ŽŽĚƐ ĂŶĚ ĂŶŬŝŶŐ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ ĨŽůůŽǁĞĚ͕ ƐŚĞĚĚŝŶŐ ϭ͘ϭй ĂŶĚ Ϭ͘ϰй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇ ŽŶ ƚŚĞďĂĐŬŽĨƐĞůůƉƌĞƐƐƵƌĞƐŝŶE/'Z/EZtZ/^ ;Ͳϯ͘ϱйͿ͕ h ;Ͳϯ͘ϭйͿ ĂŶĚ ^^ ;ͲϬ͘ϵйͿ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ /ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞ ŝŶĚĞǆ ĨĞůů ϰďƉƐ ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ĞǆŝƟŶŐ Yh/dz^hZ ;Ͳϯ͘ϳйͿ ĂŶĚ ED;ͲϬ͘ϴйͿ͘ hŶĐŚĂŶŐĞĚ/ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ^ĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ /ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ĂƐ ŵĞĂƐƵƌĞĚ ďǇ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ďƌĞĂĚƚŚ ;ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌĂƟŽͿŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚƚŽϬ͘ϳǆĨƌŽŵϬ͘ϱǆƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚ ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ ĂƐ ϭϴ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ǁŚŝůĞ Ϯϳ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞĚ͘ dŚĞ ƚŽƉ ŐĂŝŶĞƌƐ ĨŽƌ ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ ǁĞƌĞ ^KsZE/E^ ;нϵ͘ϭйͿ͕ h^dK/E ;нϱ͘ϬйͿ ĂŶĚ KEK ;нϰ͘ϵйͿ ǁŚŝůĞ EE ;Ͳ ϱ͘ϯйͿ͕ ^dZ>/E' ;Ͳϰ͘ϵйͿ ĂŶĚ &Z/E^hZ ;Ͳϰ͘ϴйͿ ůĞĚ ůĂŐŐĂƌĚƐ͘ /Ŷ ƐƉŝƚĞ ŽĨ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ƉƌŽĮƚ ƚĂŬŝŶŐ ǇĞƐƚĞƌĚĂǇ͕ ǁĞ ĞǆƉĞĐƚ ƚŽ ƐĞĞ ŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ƚĂŬĞ ƉŽƐŝƟŽŶ ŝŶ ƐŽŵĞ ƌĞůĂƟǀĞůǇ ƵŶĚĞƌǀĂůƵĞĚ ŵŝĚ ĂŶĚ ƐŵĂůů ĐĂƉ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ŝŶ ƚŽŵŽƌƌŽǁƚƌĂĚŝŶŐ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ͘
Afrinvest Securities Limited (RC 603 315) (A Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange)
Friday, May 18, 2018
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index
Price Change Index to Date
Previous Price Current Price Change Weighting Change YTD
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 1,693.75
Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield
Guaranty Trust Bank PLC
Zenith Bank PLC
Nigerian Brew eries PLC
Nestle Nigeria PLC
Dangote Cement PLC
FBN Holdings Plc
Access Bank PLC
United Bank for Africa PLC
Ecobank Transnational Inc
SEPLAT Petroleum Development C
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Unilever Nigeria PLC
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Fidelity Bank PLC
Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC
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Transnational Corp of Nigeria
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FCMB Group Plc
Forte Oil PLC
PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC
Cadbury Nigeria PLC
NASCON Allied Industries PLC
UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr
Union Bank of Nigeria PLC
Julius Berger Nigeria PLC
Sterling Bank PLC
Dangote Flour Mills Plc
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger
Chemical and Allied Products P
Beta Glass PLC
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T o p 10 G a ine r s T ic k er
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F ID ELIT YB K
M B EN EF IT
ST ER LN B A N K
F IR ST A LUM
WEM A B A N K
D IA M ON D B N K
GUA R A N T Y
H ON YF LOUR
SKYEB A N K
T o p 10 T r a d e s b y V a l u e
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T ic k er
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F LOUR M ILL
EQUIT YA SUR
Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Omotunde | email@example.com
Bolaji Fajenyo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Omotola Abimbola | email@example.com
˾ FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
Growth of 20% in Shareholders’ Funds Excites Sterling Bank Investors Goddy Egene Shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc yesterday expressed delight at the growth of 20.2 per cent in the shareholders’ funds of the bank from N85.7 billion in 2016 to N102.9 billion in 2017. They also commended the dividend of two kobo paid for the year. Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank, one of the shareholders and President, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association(NSSA), Mr. Mathew Akinlade hailed
the board and executive management of Sterling Bank for its orderly leadership transition, digitisation, improved shareholders’ value, increased customer deposit and a strong performance in a challenging financial year. According to Mr. Akinlade, the bank’s performance is very encouraging, which makes it easy for shareholders to unanimously support the mid and long-term management strategies put in place by the board and management.
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
He therefore advised the bank to deliver on strategy to make it a bank of the future and market leader in the areas of health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation. Sterling Bank reported a profit after tax of N8.5 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 as against N5.2 billion in 2016, representing an increase of 65 per cent in profitability. In his address, Chairman, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Asue Ighodalo told shareholders that the bank will continue
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 16May-2018, unless otherwise stated.
to navigate its growth by innovative means. “As a business, we will continue to innovate with focus on key growth sectors of the Nigerian economy that will enrich lives and grow the bottom-line. We will also continue to leverage on our areas of strength to drive sustainable growth and deliver superior returns to our esteemed shareholders,” he said. The chairman expressed appreciation to the board, management, shareholders and
Mr. Yemi Adeola, who retired in April as MD/CEOanaging Director of the bank for the hard work, commitment and support. Mr. Ighodalo attributed the bank’s improved performance to shared purpose across board by all stakeholders. Also speaking at the AGM, Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman, explained that the bank’s 2017 financial year performance highlights its underlying institutional strength despite delicate operating conditions.
“We will continue to execute the plans to drive efficiency across the business under the three pillars of agility, digitization and specialization in the new financial year. These pillars will propel us toward sustainable growth by enhancing our ability to innovate; solidify our retail funding base; strengthen our enterprise-wide risk management framework and drive excellent service delivery across all channels to enhance customer experience,” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 193.24 194.54 8.88% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.58 246.90 6.43% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD email@example.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.83 0.84 0.53% ACAP Income Funds 0.66 0.66 9.00% AIICO CAPITAL LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.40% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD email@example.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 20.31 20.93 11.18% ARM Discovery Fund 424.37 437.16 9.07% ARM Ethical Fund 29.35 30.24 7.42% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.71% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 159.82 160.94 5.36% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.31% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.30% Paramount Equity Fund 12.12 12.43 9.31% Women's Investment Fund 103.74 106.40 3.09% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.48% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT email@example.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.31% Coronation Balanced Fund 1.14 1.17 8.82% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.12 1.15 7.71% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,152.28 1,152.98 0.35% FBN Heritage Fund 151.81 153.14 8.90% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.54% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional 113.03 113.49 0.07% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail 112.87 113.33 0.03% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 182.57 185.33 13.31% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.41 1.43 7.69% Legacy Debt Fund 3.03 3.03 5.03% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,190.35 3,223.33 6.86% Coral Income Fund 2,604.95 2,604.95 6.45% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED email@example.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.54% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 103.03 103.89 3.00% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.52% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.22 2.24 5.23% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.65% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 120.70 121.11 4.96%
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 4.04% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,065.76 1,065.76 5.73% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 14.35 14.48 8.86% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 13.66% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.33 1.36 11.89% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.67 11.73 5.74% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 13.39% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED email@example.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 130.00 132.47 1.01% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.57 1.57 5.84% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,417.88 2,438.45 7.81% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 184.31 184.31 4.45% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.09 1.10 8.42% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 234.48 234.54 6.47% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 187.33 189.31 4.56% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.20% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,406.49 10,546.98 7.61% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.09 1.09 2.84% 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 13.47 13.68 7.24% Zenith Ethical Fund 13.03 14.20 6.29% Zenith Income Fund 20.12 20.12 6.35% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.06%
REITS NAV Per Share
Yield / T-Rtn
10.00 135.24 51.22
-11.35% 2.10% 0.77%
Yield / T-Rtn
12.90 160.16 120.03
13.00 163.52 122.22
6.39% 12.12% 9.84%
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
email@example.com Bid Price
Yield / T-Rtn
5.15 9.85 19.00 20.90 146.15
5.19 9.93 19.10 21.10 148.15
8.51% 2.92% 8.36% 6.21% 6.74%
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.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ Í¯Í¶ËœÍ°Í®Í¯Í¶
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
WORLD OF ISLAM INTERNATIONAL Edited by: MJO Mustapha Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Korea Says It Won’t Hold Being Shaped by Ramadan North Talks with ‘Incompetent’ South Khalid Mahmood/IslamiCity
t this time when we experience occasions, of much sorrow and some contentment, we sense the promise in the advent of Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness. In the climate of this month of light, we feel both spring and autumn at the same time in our inner worlds, seasons of lovely expectations and longing. With their profound, spiritual breezes, every sound and breath of air in Ramadan announces in a most exalted and exhilarating style all the pleasures we would like to taste in life and the hopes of good we deeply cherish. Coming like successive rays of light, the smiling days of Ramadan envelop us with the expectations, hopes and joys they carry from the worlds beyond, and present to us samples from Paradise. When Ramadan begins, our inner life, its thoughts and feelings, is renewed and strengthened. Breezes of mercy, coming in different wavelengths, unite with our hopes and expectations, and penetrate our hearts. In the enchanting days and illumined nights of Ramadan, we feel as if all the obstacles blocking our way to God are removed and the hills on that way are leveled. Like rain pouring on the earth, Ramadan comes with streams of meanings and emotions that water dried and thirsty hearts, making the inner worlds of people propitious for new meanings and conceptions. By means of the light of the days, hours and minutes of this blessed month, hearts attain such spiritual depth and become so purified that they never desire to leave its climate of peace. As Ramadan approaches, we live the delight of anticipation and preparation for it. The food and drink that come into our kitchens in the days before it comes, put us in mind of it with a thrill of expectation. And then it comes at last, laden with mercy and forgiveness. As soon as it honors us, each of us finds himself in a spiral of light rising toward the heavens and advances toward the Unknown Existent One in a new spiritual mood in the night-time and in another, different spiritual mood in daytime. We open our eyes to each of its days with a different solemnity and self-possession and reach every evening in an enchanting, delightful serenity. The pleasant nights of Ramadan receive warmest welcome from all souls. Eyes look more deeply in them and people feel deeper love for each other. Everyone desires to do good to everyone and passions and ill-feeling are subjugated to a certain extent. In Ramadan everyone feels so much more attached to God and is so careful in his relations with others that it is impossible not to see this. Believing souls taste the contentment of belief more deeply and experience the blessing of the good morals prescribed by Islam and the spiritual ease of doing good to others. Moreover, they try to expand, to share, this contentment, blessing and ease with others. Since these souls at rest are convinced that one day will come when this life will end in an eternal happiness and whatever they suffer and sacrifice here for God’s sake will be returned with very great reward, they struggle against their animal appetites in a mood of doing an act of worship. The meals they take at sunset to break the fast give them the pleasure of worship and are followed by early night prayer with the addition of the supererogatory service of worship particular to Ramadan. The meals they take before dawn to start fasting are united with supererogatory night prayer (tahajjud) and become a dimension of their nearness to God. Streets are filled with the people going to and returning from mosques, in which declarations of ‘God is the Greatest’ resound as in the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. You would think that the streets are each a mosque and each mosque is Ka’bba. The people shaped by Ramadan in this way, though mortal in nature, gain a sort of eternity and each of their acts done in the consciousness of deliberate worship becomes a ceremony pertaining to the Hereafter. Nights are experienced more deeply and in consideration of the afterlife, and days are spent as portions of time dominated by resolution and strong will-power. Those fasting for God’s sake feel a thrill of joy, and spend every and each day in the excitement of a new re-union. They reach every morning in an indescribable feeling as if they were called to a new testing. You can discern on their faces a
sign of humility mixed with solemnity, a feeling of nothingness before God together with serenity and seriousness and melancholy combined with a feeling of security. Their every act reflects spiritual peace and exhilaration coming from adherence to God’s will and confidence in Him, and sincerity and kindness acquired by being cleansed in the cascades of the Qur’an. As if created from light and consisting in only their shadows, they are very careful to give no one any harm or trouble. Respect and courtesy are so much a part of their nature that, even after a day of thirst and hunger and resisting their carnal desires, they remain gentle and pure-hearted. They display a mood shaped by fear and reverence, discipline and contentment, solemnity and politeness. They are respectful and reverent toward the Almighty and well-mannered and sincere toward one another. Their faces and eyes reflect different degrees and dimensions of depth of spiritual realms and are radiant with the lights of the unseen world. Though each individual may have been shaped by a different climate and different ideas - all of them, including the intelligent and pure-hearted, those used to a disciplined, careful life and those a bit untidy and careless, the nervous and the calm, those very sensitive to problems of the age and those a little unfeeling, the rich and the poor, the happy and sorrowful, the healthy and the ill, the white and black - share almost the same feelings in Ramadan. They reach the night and morning together, listen to the call to prayers and perform the prayers together, take the meals before dawn and break their fasts together. They feel together one of the two instances of rejoicing promised for those who fast [The Prophet said: There are two instances of rejoicing for one who fasts: one when he breaks his fast, the other when he will receive the reward of fasting in the Hereafter.] All Muslims, whatever their nationality or country of origin or temperament or social status or physical state, come together and breathe the same ‘air’ in the climate of Ramadan. In it, their souls are shaped in a way particular to that climate, and they share a sort of deeply-felt happiness which can be experienced only by spirit beings. Ramadan has a fascinating effect on Muslims that leaves its positive imprints on even the souls of the poorest and most oppressed people. Ramadan envelops us with many beauties: the pleasure in the supererogatory prayers performed after the prescribed night service; consciousness of the blessings of Ramadan; the light that pours on us both from the heaven and from the lights that decorate the mosques; the nearness of the Creative Power and Its message of compassion and forgiveness whispered in our hearts. As if planned and commanded in order to kindle such feelings and thoughts in us, each element of the public rites in Ramadan causes the ‘strings’ of our hearts to resonate: the calls made from minarets and the blessings called on the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and the pronouncements of Divine Unity, Grandeur and Glory which resound in our ears, all prepare our souls for worship. They awake us to spiritual and celestial truths and enable even the crudest soul to perform its duties of worship in the way those duties are meant to be performed. The voices rising from minarets meet with the voices of the inhabitants of the heavens and resound throughout the heavens and the earth. They penetrate our souls and take us through a climate of purest meanings and poetry, a realm of sweet imagination. In this pleasant atmosphere, we feel as if it is Ramadan which pours from the heavens, which is discerned on the faces of people and scents the air and is written in the lights of the mosques. Enchanted by this calm and peaceful atmosphere, we achieve a sort of infinitude and feel as if comprehending the whole of existence. Ramadan captivates particularly those open to eternity to such an extent that they experience nothing else than it. I remember well that during my childhood when there was as yet no electricity in cities, people walked to mosques with kerosene lamps in the darkness of night. We imagined that Ramadan was walking around in the alleys in the lights of those lamps. Under the influence of poetry, meaning and deep spirituality which Ramadan poured into our souls, we desired that it should never come to an end. Nevertheless, despite our heartfelt desire, it flew away and the festive day followed it with all its pomp.
Unless Differences Settled North Korea’s chief negotiator called the South Korean government “ignorant and incompetent” on Thursday, denounced US-South Korean air combat drills and threatened to halt all talks with the South unless its demands are met, according to Reuters. The comments by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country, were the latest in a string of inflammatory statements marking a drastic change in tone after months of easing tension with plans for denuclearisation and a summit scheduled with the United States.
Ri criticized the South for participating in the drills, as well as for allowing “human scum” to speak at its National Assembly, Reuters reported the North’s KCNA news agency as saying in a statement. “Unless the serious situation which led to the suspension of the north-south high-level talks is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again with the present regime of south Korea,” the statement said. It did not elaborate. KCNA, in its English-language service, deliberately uses lower-case “north” and “south” to show that it only recognises one undivided
Korea. North Korea on Wednesday said it might not attend the June 12 summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore if the United States continued to demand it unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal, which it has developed in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions to counter perceived U.S. hostility. A South Korean presidential Blue House official said the South intends to more actively perform “the role of a mediator” between the United States and North Korea, but that goal has been cast into doubt by Ri’s comments.
Royal Wedding: Meghan Sad over Dad’s Wedding Absence Meghan Markle says her father will not attend her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, according to BBC. In a statement, she said she had “always cared” for her father and hoped he could be given the space he needed to focus on his health. In recent days, doubts had been raised over whether Thomas Markle would be at the wedding to walk his daughter down the aisle.
On Wednesday, it was reported that he had to undergo heart surgery. Mr Markle had been due to meet the prince for the first time this week, as well as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The couple can expect a sunny and breezy day, with temperatures reaching up to a balmy 21C in the late afternoon. Mr Markle, who is understood
to be in Mexico, was caught up in controversy after allegedly staging photographs with the paparazzi. He later told US celebrity news website TMZ he would not attend the wedding amid the controversy; then that he would; and then that he could not, due to a planned heart procedure. Ms Markle’s estranged half-sister, Samantha, said he had faced “unbelievable stress”.
Arab League Chief Calls for International Probe into Israel’s ‘Crimes’ Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday called for an international probe into alleged “crimes” committed by Israeli forces against Palestinians during deadly violence along the Gaza border this week, according to Agence france-Presse. “We call for a credible international investigation into the crimes committed by the occupation,” Abul Gheit said at the opening session of an extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the violence. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting for seven
weeks to be able to return to their historic homes they fled in 1948 and which later became part of Israel. Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians on Monday when tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered near the border, while smaller numbers approached the fence and sought to break through. The violence happened on the same day that the United States opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem. Another two Palestinians were killed on Tuesday. “We are facing a state of blatant aggression against international law and legitimacy which was
embodied by the US embassy’s transfer in the occupying state to Jerusalem,” said Abul Gheit. Israel has come under mounting international pressure over the deadly violence. Its forces have killed 116 Palestinians since a campaign of protests on the Gaza-Israel border was launched on March 30. “Our meeting today comes at a time of utmost importance as the US has moved its embassy to Jerusalem,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in the opening session of the meeting called by his country.
Whitney Houston Sexually Abused as Child, Says Cannes Documentary An explosive new documentary about the tragic life of Whitney Houston claims the superstar was sexually abused as a child by her cousin, soul singer Dee Dee Warwick, Agence France-Presse reported. . The bombshell revelation in “Whitney”, made with the cooperation of the singer’s family, comes late in the film by Oscarwinning Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, which premiered Thursday at the Cannes film festival. Houston’s assistant, Mary Jones, who Whitney called “Aunt Mary” -- and who discovered her face down in a Beverly Hills bath the night she died -- said the singer told her she was molested. Her half-brother Gary GarlandHouston corroborated the account and said he was also sexually assaulted by the younger sister
of soul legend Dionne Warwick. The abuse allegation may help to shine a light on the singer’s troubled love life and descent into drug addiction, which contributed to her early death at 48 in 2012. The film presents her longrumoured bisexuality as fact but argues she found it impossible to maintain a relationship with female partner Robyn Crawford due to her enduring trauma and the pressures of maintaining her public image. Houston’s destructive relationship with the rapper Bobby Brown is also tackled in the film, by the maker of “One Day in September” about the deadly hostage-taking of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Brown, who was married to Houston for 14 years, tells Macdonald that drug abuse had
“nothing to do” with Houston’s death, although the coroner said it was a contributing factor.
CHANGE OF NAME
I formerly known and addressed as SULEIMAN AYODELE MOHAMMED IKHARO, now wish to be called and addressed as ALOIYE AYODELE IKHARO. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Olusegun Adeniyi: Only Joint Opposition Coalition Can Defeat Buhari, Not Fragmented Parties Ademola Babalola in Ibadan The Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspaper, Olusegun Adeniyi, yesterday received accolades from a cross section of the academia, public analysts, media and students as varsity professors reviewed his book ‘Against the Run of Play’ at a special book reading of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP). Adeniyi who was also Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the guest of the ISGPP where varsity dons and other
stakeholders at the session dissected the book and commended the renowned journalist for providing insights into many untold stories in the corridor of powers. Speaking at the occasion, Adeniyi argued that the 2019 presidential race was presently in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari in view of the lack of cohesion and formidable opposition to produce a likely challenger to the incumbent as witnessed in 2012, three years to the 2015 race. Warning that the opposition political parties risk biting their fingers at the end of the forthcoming
Benue Killings: Fulani Group Protest FG’s N10bn Gesture to Farmers Seriki Adinoyi in Jos Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) has protested the gesture of the federal government towards rebuilding of destroyed settlements of farmers in Benue State as announced by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his visit to the state, warning that “it could send wrong signal that herdsmen have already been accused, tried and sentenced by the federal government and are being collectively singled out and punished.” In a statement, signed by the group’s National Chairman, Alhaji Sale Bayari, the Fulani said: “What we do know is that hundreds of thousands of our members’ cows were confiscated, rustled, killed and vandalised by tribal militants and livestock guards established by the grazing reserve law. “Reports at our disposal show that these cattle belonged to the innocent Fulani herders who have nothing to live on, and are likely to resort to all desperate means in other to survive, having lost irretrievably, their only means of survival.” Bayari observed: “Society is at
great risk when government only addresses a problem selectively and one-sidedly, thereby giving the impression that it is a father to only one family. The other neglected family may be hurt and decide to be uncooperative. In the unfortunate situation, like the one we have in Benue State, the government must be fair and just to all, so that there must be no victor and no vanquish so that equity brings back love, peace and tranquility.” GAFDAN urged the federal government to include the herdsmen in its programme of humanitarian assistance, adding that “the mere fact that the herdsmen are not in Benue State internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps do not mean that they have not lost their homes and their only mono-trade means of livelihood, which is cattle rearing in the conflict.” Bayari admonished government and all wellmeaning Nigerians to treat the Benue conflict, and indeed other conflicts across the country with fairness. “It is our position that the plight of the herdsmen that lost 2,500 herds of cattle be looked into, with a view to assisting them as well,” he added.
Official Results of Kaduna LG Polls Show APC Won 14 Councils, PDP Four John Shiklam in Kaduna The Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIEC) yesterday officially announced the results of the local government elections held last Saturday, following the controversy and tension they have generated. The Chairman of KADSIEC, Binta Saratu Dikko, who announced the results at the commission’s headquarters in Kaduna, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC ) won the chairmanship elections in 14 councils while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won in four councils. Results in two local governments namely, Chikun and Kaduna South, were inconclusive. She also announced that fresh elections in three other councils of Jaba, Kaura and Kajuru would
hold on June 2, 2018. According to her the APC won in Giwa, Igabi, Ikara Kaduna North, Kagarko, Kubau and Birnin Gwari. Other councils won by the APC included Kudan, Lere, Makarfi, Sabon Gari, Sanga, Soba and Zaria. Dikko said the four councils won by the PDP are Jama’a, Kachia, Kauru and Zangon Kataf. Kaduna has 23 local governments areas. She added that those who emerged winners would be issued certificates of return on Sunday. She said the official announcement was necessary following controversy surrounding the previous results. The PDP had alleged that some of the returning officers were abducted and the process was manipulated.
election, Adeniyi said the scenario was more favourable to Buhari because till date, there was yet to emerge a consensus figure to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) a run for their money and popularity. He identified fragmented opposition as the most important factor that makes incumbent candidates win elections all over the world, just as he recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost in the 2015 election because the opposition parties came together to form a strong force against him and his party. Adeniyi said such development is rare in other countries of the world but is required to defeat any incumbent. According to him, “I don’t expect anything different in the 2019 elections. I expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will perform better than it did in 2015. I also expect that whoever wants to be president, either the incumbent or challenger, should challenge the process and at the end of
the day, we’ll see what happens. “The challenge for the opposition is that they have to get their acts together. I keep saying that by the end of 2012 for instance, we already knew who was going to challenge Jonathan in 2015. You can’t say the same thing today. And you need a cohesive opposition to defeat an incumbent. Right now, if you are asked who would be the next candidate, you can tout many names but you are not sure. And for me, there are only two political parties right now; there may be others in the future, but now, it’s either APC or PDP. All these Red Card, Third Force, and all those things... are helping the incumbent because the incumbent has the support base. It is the opposition that is being divided along all these lines.” When asked if the massive campaign for Nigerians to get their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) can help the opposition in the election, Adeniyi said: “Yes, it can play a part, but what
I think basically is that Buhari’s biggest challenger today, is “go and get your PVC. That is not a candidate. Yes, the people will get their PVC but who are they voting for? It’s also important. I like the awareness, I like the consciousness, people are really ready to go out and vote, but it also matters who they are voting for and the platform and what those people are bringing to the table. I know that in 2015, there are people who voted, not for Buhari but just against Jonathan. We may end up with the same situation.” Earlier, the book reviewer, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, and other co-reviewers and participants commended Adeniyi for the thorough research he did on the book as well as the insights he offers readers on what went on in the corridors of power around the last election. Welcoming participants earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman, ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, appreciated book lovers and readers whose passion and commitment he said had given ISGPP Book Readers
Club its uniqueness. He said Adeniyi’s contributions to the literature on Nigerian politics and governance have come to assume unique seminal character. Olaopa said: “That the masterly manner that his insightful bestselling titles, ‘100 Last Days of Abacha’, ‘Power, Politics and Death’ and now ‘Against the Run of Play’, has done deep scrutiny of the intricacies of power play and behind the scenes high politics in the Nigerian corridors of power made them classic in the manner that recommends them as veritable references to serious-minded students of politics and society as well as historians. “Indeed, the seminal relevance of ‘Against the Run of Play’ is palpable and made us to carefully select the high calibre reviewers participating in today’s discourse. “That the need for a better governed Nigeria propelled by evidence-based policy making is administered by much more capable and knowledgeable professional managers remains the driving force behind ISGPP work and interventions.”
AGENTS OF REFORMS
L-R: Executive Vice-Chairman, Ibadan School Government Public Policy (ISGPP), Dr. Tunji Olaopa; Author of the book and Chairman, Editorial Board, THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi; Lead Reviewer, Prof. Ayo Olukotunl; and Chairman Governing Board, ISGPP,, Prof. Akin Mobogunje, at the ISGPP, book reading in Ibadan....yesterday Felix Ademola
Senator Akpan to Remain in EFCC Detention Until Arraignment Lawmaker arrested over N303m vehicles received as ‘gifts’ Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East, Senator Bassey Akpan, would remain in detention until his arraignment in court. Akpan who was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly receiving vehicles worth over N303 million from oil mogul Babajide Omokore, is standing trial for fraud. The Head of Media and Public Relations, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a chat with THISDAY yesterday, confirmed that the lawmaker is still being detained for further interrogation. Even though Uwujaren did not provide further update on whether
Akpan would be charged to court or released on bail. But a source within the commission said that the senator would remain in EFCC custody until it secures a judge to handle his trial. While in detention, the lawmaker was to explain why he received such number of the vehicles worth hundreds of millions of naira from a crime suspect. “The commission is yet to perfect the arraignment, there is no judge yet. So he will have to be detained and interrogated until his trial starts. He can only be released if there is any development beyond the available information,” the source said. Akpan who is the current Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas (Upstream), is the first person to be taken into custody in the new
EFCC Headquarters shortly after it was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on same day of his arrest (Tuesday). The senator who was a commissioner for finance under the Godswill Akpabio administration, was said to have evaded arrest for several months. According to EFCC report, Akpan, was to explain whether the vehicles were kickbacks for giving contracts worth billions of naira to Omokore as a the then Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee. Omokore’s companies; Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy, were said to have received contracts from the committee headed by Akpan, which was to ensure that the government projects were completed using direct labour to
save some money for the state. The report revealed vehicles allegedly received by Akpan from the oil magnate to include: Range Rover luxury cars, campaign buses, and trucks allegedly were bought with the proceeds of fraud. “Senator Bassey Akpan received a BMW X5 BP worth N50m; an Infinity QX56BP worth N45m; a Range Rover worth N40m; three Toyota Hiace buses worth N27m; two Toyota Hiace high-roof buses worth N16m, six Toyota Hilux D cabin vehicles worth N42m as well as other vehicles worth N83m. “He received the vehicles from Omokore while heading a committee which was giving contracts to the same Omokore. “He has been invited on several occasions but he has refused to show up,” the report read.
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
IBB, Saraki, Dogara, Others Seek Divine Intervention to Rescue Nigeria from Problems Our Correspondents As Muslims in the country observe the Holy month of Ramadan, former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and his deputy, Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff, have said only divine intervention can rescue Nigeria from its myriad of problems. The leaders made remarks in their messages to Muslims as they begin this year’s 30-day fasting and prayer. Babangida called for fervent prayers during the period for God to take control of the problems facing the country. According to him, “We are no doubt faced with various challenges at personal and national levels, but we are always strong and believing in divine intervention to always take us through the right path with prayers to find solutions to our challenges.” He therefore enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves very well during the holy month in order to “maximise the spiritual and physical benefits inherent in the fasting period,” and for “us to surmount our challenges at all levels and premises of life.” The former military leader reminded Nigerians of the transient nature of life, saying several people who took part in last year’s Ramadan fasting were no longer “with us today,” necessitating the need for all that are alive today to give glory to God. On his part, Saraki felicitated with Muslim faithful in the country for another opportunity afforded by the commencement of the Ramadan, saying it is aimed at strengthening their devotion to the Almighty Allah. Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, also urged the entire Muslim Ummah to use the period to pray for continuous unity and peaceful coexistence in the country. He noted: “The commencement of fasting has yet provided us with rare and unique opportunity to fervently pray over the security situation of the country and call on Allah to help us restore sanity and love among our country men and women. “Nigerians, Muslims in particular, should make use of this opportunity to pray for the end of insecurity and other violent crimes threatening our existence both as a people and nation.” The senate president said Ramadan is a unique and special period for Muslims around the world to renew their faith in the Almighty Allah, deepen their worship and practicalise the injunctions of the Holy Quran in their daily lives. “May Almighty Allah be praised for another unique opportunity to fast and pray in obedience to the dictates of the Holy Quran, which is to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam, through family and congregational prayers, sharing of Iftar meals and being generous to the less fortunate around us. “Apart from being a time to assist the weak, vulnerable and less fortunate among us, let us utilise this period to pray for continuous peace and unity in the country because with Allah’s help all our individual and national challenges are surmountable,” he said. He urged all Muslims to strictly observe the injunctions of the Holy Quran as they pertain to their conduct and personal disposition during the holy month in order to benefit maximally from the fasting exercise. Similarly, Dogara urged Muslims faithful to use the period of Ramadan to pray for peace, unity, security, socio-economic development and political stability of the country. The Speaker also enjoined them to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, self-discipline, tolerance, righteousness and sympathy for the less privileged in the society which the Ramadan fast teaches and promotes. Describing Ramadan as a period for spiritual rejuvenation and enrichment, Dogara urged Nigerians to devote themselves in the worship of the Almighty and imbibe the lessons of love and peaceful co-existence with one another. The statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Public Affairs), Mr. Turaki Hassan, said: “In the spirit of Ramadan, I want to enjoin Muslims in Nigeria to maximise the spiritual and physical benefits associated with the holy month as well as assimilate the Ramadan’s ethical principles of sharing, caring, love, tolerance and piety.” “The Ramadan fast is a very significant act of worship, being one of the five pillars of Islam, as such, I urge Muslim faithful to use the one month period in devotion and supplication in order to achieve the blessings inherent in the holy month and to pray God to restore peace, unity and stability across the country.” In the same vein, Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff also appealed to Muslims to use the period of fasting to reflect and eschew violence. He said Ramadan is a period to “rethink and do what is right before Almighty Allah and be your brothers’ keeper, unite together as one and coexist.” In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wole Oladimeji, Lasun added:” We fast for spiritual rebirth and cleansing, therefore, it is an opportunity to change those attitude that are not acceptable before Almighty Allah and turn a new leaf and also reflect in our daily activities.” He said government is currently “doing everything to ensure
L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Abdul Latee; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; Chief Imam, Al-Husma Central Mosque, Ejigbo, Alhaji Zul-Nurain Alfa Nla, during the Ramadan Tafsir at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja...Wednesday that the nation regain it’s lost glory- and therefore, this process needs efforts and support of every Nigerian; all hands must be on deck in achieving a strong, united, indivisible and virile nation.”
Extend Love, Selﬂess Service Beyond Ramadan, Ambode Urges Muslims
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday evening urged Muslims to extend love to others and imbibe the act of selfless service to humanity during and after Ramadan, saying such would go a long way in making the world better. Speaking at a Ramadan Tafsir held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja organised by the state government to mark the official commencement of the Muslim fasting month, Ambode said those having in excess must show gratitude by helping others and also exhibit total submission to God’s commandments. “To all my Muslim brothers and sisters, I just want to use this opportunity to greet all of you that as we commence the Ramadan month and with all the lectures we have heard, we are doing this to be in tune with Allah and to be in sync with the kind of supplication that we want to give and we know 30 days out of 365 days are not enough to really show our total submission to Allah. “What I just want to say is that the important thing in all these 30 days that we are going to have the Ramadan is to show love to ourselves and also show love to our neighbours. “You need to love yourself first before you can even show love to another person. So, when we have in excess, we must show the attitude of gratitude to be able to give to others because somebody else has over provided for us,” the governor said. “Beyond Ramadan, we must also show the attitude of giving at all times; that is the philosophy of our government; that is the practice we have been doing in the last three years; we must touch the poor and we must touch our people.,” Ambode said. In his lecture on importance of Ramadan, National Missioner, Ansar-uddeen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdul- Rahman Ahmad, said almighty Allah, through the month, was calling on Muslims to learn the spirit of piety and service relationship with Him. On his part, Founder of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, commended Governor Ambode for religious harmony and massive infrastructural renewal drive across the State. Speaking glowingly about the governor, Akintola said: “We are hosted here today by a man of integrity; a man of honour; a man whose humanity has been attested to; a man who is not a Muslim but he is always there for Muslims. Also, Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Sulaiman Oluwatoyin AbouNollah, commended Ambode for always being on the field to monitor progress of work on the infrastructural projects across the state, saying the development had resulted in placing the state on sound pedestal for growth
Al-Makura Cautions Religious Leaders against Controversial Preaching
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has cautioned religious leaders in the state against attacking other people and engaging in controversial issues that were capable of causing disunity in the society. He appealed to the religious leaders to preach love, unity and message of reconciliation. The governor stated this yesterday in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musa Elayo,
and issued to journalists in Lafia. He then urged Muslim faithful to use the period of Ramadan to offer supplication to Allah for the progress, peace and unity of the state and Nigeria. According to Al-Makura, “the Holy month of Ramadan brings goodwill to mankind by refreshing stronger ties with Allah.” He however said that Tafsir during the Ramadan period should be focused on proffering solutions to endemic societal problems and prayers for the nation’s leaders, as well as preaching love to one another, including those of other faith as an expression of the life and virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammadu (S.A.W). The governor also called on the Muslim faithfuls to be steadfast with all sense of decorum and modesty by avoiding extravagance and ostentation living during the Holy month of Ramadan. Al-Makura concluded by calling on all and sundry to continue to support the effort of the present administration to improve the living condition of the people.
Niger Government Prays for Restoration of Peace
Niger State Government has urged all Nigerians to use the occasion of the month of Ramadan of to pray for the restoration of peace all over the country. The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa, in a statement, said the period of the Ramadan should be used to pray for the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election. “I want to enjoin all to fervently pray for Nigeria to have everlasting peace, enduring security and a good economic stand. If we continue to pray, everything about this country will be okay again,” he said. He charged members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to in the spirit of sportsmanship come together so as to work together to build a stronger party for the 2019 general election. Vatsa warned that continued violence would not help the party, therefore, “we should all support President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to succeed by embracing peace.”
Osun Assembly Congratulates Muslims
Osun State of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Hon. Najeem Salam, has congratulated Muslim faithful in the state as they look out for the moon to commence the holy month of Ramadan. In a statement issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the House said witnessing the month of Ramadan which is renowned for core worship is a great blessing made possible by Allah. The parliament urged Muslims to use the month of Ramadan to renew their commitments to the virtues of love and peace taught by the Prophet Muhammad, and also work towards achieving them. Osun assembly urged Muslims across the state to pray for smooth conduct of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state as it noted that Ramadan period is one for spiritual virtues, perseverance, temperance, introspection, and retrospection with the Almighty Allah. While wishing the Muslim faithful blessed Ramadan, the House urged them to remember the less privileged in the society and be guided by love and respect towards others. Muslims globally are expected to commence the annual Ramadan fasting on the last day of the Islamic month of Shaaban.
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
APC Stakeholders Express Worry Over Security in Imo Okorocha, Ararume, Uzodimma, Izunaso slug it out
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have raised the alarm over what they described as deteriorating security situation in Imo State. The party members asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the party
to urgently declare a state of emergency in the state, even as they accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of making hate speeches fuelling the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitations in South-east. In a protest letter to the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday in Abuja, the stakeholders also asked the
NDLEA Seizes Four Tonnes of Tramadol at Lagos Airport Chinedu Eze The fight against drugs addiction in Nigeria may be a hard task to accomplish as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday announced the seizure of four tonnes of imported Tramadol tablets at the shed of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The agency said what was telling about the drugs was that each dosage is 250 milligramme, 150 milligrammes above the dosage recommended for medical purposes, as it also announced that the drugs it confiscated from the Lagos airport in 2017 was worth over N1 billion by their street value. NDLEACommand, MMIA, Mr. Ahmadu Garba, told journalists in Lagos that the agency was unable to trace the importer of the illicit drugs, but noted that no clearing agent showed up to clear the drugs, which was imported into the country in two batches from Indian late April, 2018. Garba explained that the seized consignments were imported into the country through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) airline, Etihad Cargo, adding that it knew about the drugs through intelligence report from its foreign partners who notified it of the impending arrival of the illicit drugs. He said the approved milligrams for Tramadol by the federal government was 50m and 100m, but stressed that the seized consignment was 250m, which indicated that the importer intentionally imported the high milligrams for wrong purpose. According to Garba, the first batch of the two consignments arrived in Nigeria on April 23, 2018, while the second consignment arrived on April 25 at the airport. “The seizure was recovered from SAHCOL Import shed at MMIA on May 17, 2018 ,by NDLEA based on intelligence from our foreign counterparts,” he said. He explained that its officials had laid siege at the shed of the ground handling company since the first batch of the consignments arrived the country and waited for the importer or the clearing agent to come forward for clearance, but no one came to claim them. He said: “We collected the consignments from SAHCOL shed today (yesterday) signment even before it arrived in the country through our foreign intelligence. Since then, we have been monitoring it and waited for either the importer or any clearing agent to come forward for clearance, but no one came. ‘The approved dosage for Tramador is between 50m and 100m, but what thee importer
brought into the country was 250m, which is above the approved milligrams by the government. The total waybills were five.
party to immediately get rid of the state governor, Okorocha, if the APC must be repositioned to take over the eastern region in 2019. Those who signed the letter on behalf of Imo State APC stakeholders included Senators Ben Uwajimogu, Hope Uzodimma, Ifeanyi Araraume, Osita Izunaso, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Hon. Mike Ohia and Hon. Austin Chukwukere. The group said: “As our party chairman, kindly bring to the notice of our dear president that should the governor in his megalomania... procure further violence in his child like tantrums, a state of emergency in Imo State would be a natural
consequence. No other state did the president visit five times to appeal to its people and yet we wobbled. Our party must rid itself of this incorrigible worm, he is indeed a cankerworm. “This attempt to drag the state into further violence in the face of a non existent state assembly only points to the complete breakdown of an already non-existent governance for which the state of emergency envisaged in the Section 305 of the Constitution is to be declared.” The party leaders commended the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party “for standing firm to the rules and guidelines
of our party and upholding our duly conducted and video recorded congresses across our state, in spite of the unruly and unlawful conduct/misconduct of our state governor, who happens to be one of our party members.” The letter was copied President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairman and Deputy Chairman (South) of the party, National Assembly, all state governors, the National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police, DG, Department of State Services as well as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for necessary action
It also read: “You may thus be alarmed that with the near bankruptcy of our state, reeling in this wanton misgovernance, is yet the subject of the threat contained in the governor’s letter to you stating that he is aware of the burning of the secretariat of our party. Whilst threatening further mayhem. he also has forwarded to you his videos of those he caught with result sheets (which the party did not report missing). The governor, having arrested those people (who are contractors of Government House, Owerri), and having called the police and the media himself, proceeded to conduct the investigation himself.”
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Dogara Kicks against Alleged Diversion of N320bn Natural Resources Fund James Emejo in Abuja The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has expressed displeasure over allegations of misapplication of over N320 billion Natural Resources Fund (NRF). The N350 billion Fund floated to boost sources of non oil revenue was said to have been abused by its handlers who utilise it to advance loans to the federal government, states, MDAs and private firms for matters unrelated to natural resources. Speaking at an investigative hearing of the House Ad hoc Committee on the utilisation of N350 billion NRF, the Speaker said: “Available records show that over N320 billion of the NRF was utilised as loans to the Federal Government of Nigeria, states, MDAs and some cases; private firms most times for matters unrelated to natural resources. “This practice is unacceptable
and must be corrected, I charge this ad-hoc committee to use all available legislative powers to recover the funds that are utilised illegally.” He said: “In addition, the committee in line with the resolution of the House should come up with recommendations to safeguard further misappropriation of NGF and also recommend an appropriate legal framework.” He said though there is a weak legislative frame work on the administration of the NRF, the Executive Order which is the bed rock of the NGF composed by Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission for the establishment of NGF centered on the diversification of the economy by developing sources of revenue other than oil and gas. He pointed out that the account, hitherto known as the Development of Natural Resources Account, was set up through an
executive order in 2002 to develop alternative mineral resources to lessen the nation’s dependence on petroleum. He said: “The then-President Obasanjo issued an executive order to make the revenue sharing formula conform with the Supreme Court ruling of 2002. “It was dedicated to the development of natural resources to promote economic diversification, enhance employment and income generation, and improve the socio-economic living conditions of Nigerians for sustainable national development.” Dogara said the essence of the ad-hoc committee was to ensure the utilisation of the Fund is strictly in accordance with the declared objective. He added that the lower chamber would not condone diversion or abuse in whatever guise of the NRF to areas that are outside its core mandate.
Lagos Spends N1bn on Lake Rice Subsidy in ThreeYears Says 711,736 families now take farming as occupation in state The Lagos State Government yesterday said it had subsidised LAKE Rice to the tune of N1.049billion from December 2016 till date, as part of efforts aimed at sustaining food sufficiency and food security in the state. Speaking at the ongoing annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, said the LAKE Rice, which is being sold at a highly subsidised rate of N12,000 per bag of 50kg, has helped crashed the skyrocketing price of rice in the country. “The state government has subsidised LAKE Rice under this review period with N1,049,140,395.00. This is targeted towards ensuring food sustainability and food security in the state and as an end result, making Lake Rice
a national brand,” he said. Suarau explained that the subsidy include cost of transportation, bagging and difference in cost price of the rice from other brands, adding that a total of 150 marketers and other ancillary service providers have been empowered through the sale of LAKE Rice. The commissioner, while restating the commitment of the Ambode -led administration to boost the production of rice, disclosed that the state government has completed an agreement to acquire and establish a 32 tonnes per hour rice mill with AG (“Bühler”), a leading rice-mill producer in the world, stressing that the establishment of the rice mill is targeted at enhancing food security and creating employment in the state. “It is estimated that the partnership would facilitate the creation of 274,000 jobs across the agriculture value chain, and will
Katsina Commences Recruitment of 5,000 Teachers Francis Sardauna in Katsina The Katsina State Government has commenced the recruitment of 5,000 primary school teachers into the state civil service under its S-Power programme. The exercise, which is under the chairmanship of the Secretary to Katsina State Government, Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, is being conducted by 12 centres established across the 34 local government areas of the state. Addressing the applicants yesterday at Dutsin-Ma, Faskari, Musawa, Malumfashi, Funtua and Safana screening centres, Inuwa said all the applicants would be treated equally irrespective of tribal, religion and political affiliations.
“The S-Power programme was introduced by Governor Aminu Bello Masari-led administration to recruit 5,000 qualified primary school teachers across the state. “S-Power programme would only recruit on merit. The screening exercise which begins today at various centres in the state would last for three days”, he said. The S-power committee chairman, however warned that any applicant recruited under the programme would be grossly monitored to ensure he or she do the work before they get paid. “For those who might not be absorbed at the end of the exercise, I urge you to be patient because government is planning for another package that would take care of you”, Inuwa added.
also bring about the cultivation of 32,000 hectares of farm land to produce rice paddy, equating to an estimated 130million Kg of processed rice per year which is an equivalent of 2.6milion 50kg bags of rice”, he said. The commissioner said the establishment of the state-ofthe-art rice mill will serve as a platform for Lagos to partner with other South-west states aside the existing collaboration with Kebbi State. This, he said, was in consonance with the region’s resolve towards achieving economic integration, ensure that adequate rice is supplied to the 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill and make provision for empowerment programmes for farmers across all the value chains of agriculture. Suarau said the present administration has since inception embarked on agricultural policies and programmes aimed at enhancing food security in the stated noted that state government has made a lot of deliberate efforts to enhance agriculture with the introduction of programmes in vegetable farming, poultry, cassava farming and various forms of agro- processing programmes to the youths. He said the commitment of the state government towards the attainment of food security depended largely on cooperation of every resident of the state, stressing that food security and hygienic environment occupies the front burner of the present administration’s plans to facilitate job and wealth creation as well as reduce poverty in the state. He said during the period under review, a village listing survey was carried out in three agricultural zones of the state with results revealing that about 711,736 families now take farming as occupation in the state.
FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY
Court Adjourns Alleged False Information Suit against Melaye Indefinitely Alex Enumah in Abuja Citing medical conditions, Justice Olasunbo Goodluck of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja yesterday adjourned indefinitely the trial of Senator Dino Melaye over an alleged false report. Melaye is facing a twocount charge of giving false information to the Nigeria Police Force, as well as falsely accusing the Chief of Staff to the Kogi State governor, Edward Onoja David, of trying to assassinate him. Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district at the National Assembly, was hospitalised following injuries he sustained when he reportedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle conveying him to Kogi State last April. At the resumed trial, Justice Goodluck asked the defence lawyer, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), to provide an explanation for Melaye’s absence in court. Responding, Tarfa provided a medical report from the National Hospital, Abuja indicating that Melaye was in a critical condition and is currently under intensive care. Reacting to the medical report, counsel for the prosecution, Shuaibu Labaran, questioned the admissibility of the said medical report. According to Labaran, the medical report admitted before the court was sourced from a piece of evidence tendered at the Kogi State High Court, in
the case of illegal distribution of arms, brought against Melaye. Labaran argued that the medical report signed by a doctor identified as Olaomi O.O. from the National Hospital was not obtained directly from lawyers in the matter before the FCT High Court. He asked the court to hold that the failure of the defence to certify the photocopied medical report rendered the report officially defective. “It is our further submission that exhibit b and c are duplicate copies of the supposed medical report emanating from the National Hospital, which the defense placed heavy reliance to convince this court as to the justification behind the absence of the defendant in this case. “Assuming the document emanated from the National Hospital Abuja, it has become a public document which requires certification. “Our objection is that it has no bearing with the document of this court,” he submitted. Labaran alleged that the information contained in the medical report were largely subject of speculations by the deponent to the said medical report. Responding to a statement made by the judge that the same medical report had indicated that the defendant was currently been held at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Labaran, pledged to suspend his objection once he sees the paragraph where the word:
Sokoto Police Move to Rescue Abducted Syrian National Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto Sokoto State Police Command yesterday said it had intensified efforts to rescue Syrian national who was abducted by unknown gunmen at Lambar Mazuru village in Bodinga local government area of the state. Addressing journalists at the police headquarters in Sokoto, the Police Public Relations Officer, Cordelia Nwawe, said all efforts were being made to rescue the abducted foreigner. She said the command had already deployed federal special anti robbery squad and the tactical team to bring him back to safety. The PPRO dispelled insinuations making rounds that the abducted foreigner had been killed by the gunmen. “The abducted Syrian national is not dead contrary to rumours making rounds in the state. Our men have swung into action and are making real efforts to rescue him,” she said. She however, declined
to make any comment on whether the gunmen had demanded for ransom. According to her, the three slain policemen were not official escorts of the abducted foreigner. Nwawe disclosed that the three policemen that were killed by the gunmen had been buried in accordance with Islamic rites Wednesday night. She called on the residents of the state to be vigilant and provide the police with useful information to enable it nip crime in the bud. “As you are aware, there is no crime-free society in the world. Sokoto is one of the safest terrains in the North and we are determined to keep it safe. “That is why we are calling on the people to be alert and help us nip crime in the bud,” she added. Unknown gunmen had on wednesday killed three policemen and kidnapped one Abdul Nasir, an engineer and a Syrian national working with Triacta Construction Company in Sokoto State.
ICU was mentioned. “Alright read the last paragraph,” said the judge. After reading through the said paragraph however: Labaran noted that: “I have seen the ICU.”
He, however, denied pledging to suspend his objection, as earlier stated. His action triggered laughter in the court. Delivery the ruling, the court, held that based
on the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) the medical report is admissible and could be considered by the court. Justice Goodluck therefore adjourned the matter
indefinitely. “This court is of the view that it can adjourn this matter sine-die until the medical conditions of the defendant is reported to have improved,” the court ruled.
T H I S D AY ˾FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
FRIDAYSPORTS Eagles Can Make History with Victories over Croatia, Argentina, Says Mikel
Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email email@example.com 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY
Femi Solaja with agency reports Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, has declared that Nigeria can go past tough World Cup first round foes Argentina and Croatia on their way to making history in Russia next month. Just like the qualifying campaign, Nigeria is pitched in a tough-looking Group D at the tournament proper. “I believe we can beat Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, if we really want it,” Mikel said on a special World Cup documentary.
“We want to make history, to do well,” stressed the Tianjin Teda midfielder. Since making her debut at USA ’94, Nigeria has consistently failed to go past the Round of 16 achieved in that maiden outing in the five appearances made at the Mundial so far. Eagles thrice reached the knockout rounds in 1994, 1998, 2014. The former Chelsea enforcer expressed confidence about the young Super Eagles. “We have a very young team who want to go past the other teams in the group,”
said the calming influence in the Nigeria midfield. “Nobody wants to let the team down.” Similarly, Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi has said he hopes the Super Eagles win their first two World Cup Group D matches against Croatia and Iceland before a final group against Argentina.
“It would be great to win our first two games before we face Argentina in our final group game,” Ndidi also said in the special World Cup documentary. Eagles have lost on all four times they faced Argentina at the World Cup. The top two teams in the group will qualify
automatically to the Round of 16. Coach Gernot Rohr said just as the Eagles came through a tough qualifying group, they will fight to reach the knockout rounds of the World Cup. “We believed in our team and won a difficult qualifying group,” he said. “We hope for a fantastic
World Cup, we will like to have good results. “We have young players, the youngest qualifiers for the World Cup, and they will like to fight, they like to win.” The three-time African champions open their campaign in Russia on Saturday, June 16against Croatia at Kaliningrad.
Atletico Revs up Preparation for Clash with Eagles Newly crowned Europa Cup champions, Atletico de Madrid, has shifted focus to the planned friendly against Nigeria’s Home-based Eagles on May 22nd at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo. MultiChoice, the provider of digital terrestrial television platform, DSTv and GOtv, is responsible for bringing the Spanish outfit to Nigeria for the special visit and to play in the maiden edition of the GOtv MAX Cup. The partnership between the Nigerian Professional Football League and LaLiga has also played a major role in organising the match. LaLiga President, Javier Tebas responded by saying “Once again, LaLiga’s total commitment to fans around the world is evident. This is a historic announcement and we’re very happy to share it with our Nigerian fans. Atletico, one of LaLiga’s most important clubs, will be in Nigeria and will give the local fans out
there the opportunity to enjoy the stars close up. Africa, and Nigeria are very important to LaLiga and are also great fans of Spanish football, which we’re very proud of.” LaLiga ambassador, Mutiu Adepoju said: “Multichoice, SuperSport, and GOtv have done well for Nigeria and indeed Nigerian football by bringing Atletico de Madrid here. It shows they are keen on putting Nigeria on the global football map, and they are also providing an opportunity for our players to be noticed by big European clubs.” “The Atletico that will come to play the Eagles will be the first team. They will get ready for the trip to Nigeria immediately after Wednesday night’s Europa League final clash with Marseille. Apart from anybody who may be injured or those who are World Cup bound with their countries, you can expect to see the full team with the technical staff led by Diego Simeone” he added.
Opeifa Handball Tourney Ends Today Activities making the Season 4 of the annual Opeifa Lagos State Secondary Schools Handball Championship holding at the Rowe Park Sports Centre Yaba will be rounded-off today when all the eight finals in both the boys and girls categories will be on the card. This afternoon, Lagos City College Yaba and Zumratu Islamic Senior High School will look horns in the senior boys final while Wesley Girls Senior Secondary School will take on CMS Senior Grammar School in the senior final. Today’s grand finale will begin at 9am with the junior finals at the open court. To get to today’s final, Lagos City College defeated Ikosi Senior High School 13 – 6 while Zumratu Islamic outscored Jagumolu Senior Girls Grammer School 3 -1. In the junior category, United Christian Junior Secondary School will face Eletu Ejigbo Junior High School in the Girls final while Herbert Macaulay
Junior High School will tackle Jibowu Junior High School. In the Boys final, United Christian Junior School beat Herbert Macaulay 3 – 1 while Eletu Ejigbo out classed ST. Luke’s Junior Grammar School 6 – 4 in the semi-final even as Jagumolu High School beat Mobolaji Bank Anthony Junior High School 14 – 13. Interestingly, new champions are to emerge this year as the defending champions in both the senior boys and girls categories have since crashed out of the race to pave way for new champions Secretary General of the Lagos Sate Handball Association, Fatimoh Ojikutu and the former chairperson of the Lagos Sate Handball Association Adeola Opeifa, both applauded the development which they attributed to the equal opportunity given to all the schools to use the Rowe Park Sports Centre facilities for their training.
L-R Director-General of National Council of Arts and Culture, Segun Runsewe and President General, Nigerian Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Raufu Ladipo, at an NCAC event mobilising 3 million supporters for Russian 2018 in Abuja... recently
NIKE Receives Three Million Orders for Eagles’ Jerseys Explores new contract with NFF American sportwear giant, NIKE, yesterday disclosed that it had received over three million orders for the new jerseys designed for the Senior National Team of Nigeria, Super Eagles, for the 21st FIFA World Cup finals opening in Russia in exactly four weeks. At a meeting with chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation at its Europe headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the sportswear behemoth also used the opportunity to announce that the much-anticipated release of the jerseys into the global market would happen on Tuesday, 29th May, at unit cost of $85. President of the Nigeria Football Federatiob, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick attended the
meeting in company with NFF 2nd Vice President/ LMC Chairman, Mallam Shehu Dikko, who is also Chairman of the NFF Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee. NIKE’s Vice President/General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Matthus Visch was in company with Sales Director, Mr. Wouter van Olm. Both organisations used the opportunity to appraise their running partnership agreement, signed in London three years ago, and while both expressed satisfaction with the contract performance, the imperative of penning a new, improved contract was high on the agenda. “The meeting was at the instance of NIKE. The company’s representatives at
the meeting expressed delight with the performances of the various National Teams since they came on board and we both agreed that it was time for a much bigger contract. That would be actualized very soon. “The new Super Eagles’ jerseys will be released into the global market, including several NIKE shops across Nigeria, on 29th May 2018, just before the Eagles fly out to London for the friendly match against England. The cost would be $85 for one,” Dikko told thenff.com. In the three years of NIKE’s initial sponsorship agreement with the NFF, the U17 National Team (Golden Eaglets) have won a fifth FIFA U17 World Cup; the U23 National Team (Olympic Eagles) have won
bronze at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament; the Senior Women National Team (Super Falcons) have won an eighth Women Africa Cup of Nations; the Super Eagles B have achieved a record runner-up position at the African Nations Championship and; the Super Eagles have qualified for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup (Nigeria’s sixth appearance) from a so-called ‘Group of Death’ in the African series. “In our discussions, we explored a lot of possibilities going forward. We talked about the forthcoming FIFA World Cup finals in Russia and the preparation of the U20 girls (Falconets) for this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France, among other issues,” Dikko added.
No Movement for Eagles in May FIFA Ranking Nigeria’s World Cup-bound Super Eagles maintained their 47th position of last month in the May FIFA Ranking released by the game’s governing body in Zurich yesterday. The three-time African champions also maintained their sixth spot in the continental grading. Eagles’ 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group E qualifying
opponents also keep their previous positions as South Africa, Libya and Seychelles stay 72nd, 100th and 194th in the world respectively. And the Democratic Republic of Congo who will face the Eagles on an international friendly on May 28, remains number 38 in the world. Similarly, Nigeria’s Russia 2018 Group D opponents,
Croatia, Iceland and Argentina all maintained their previous rankings. Argentina remains number five in the world, Croatia in number 18 and World Cup debutants Iceland on number 22. Most of the top 50 remained unchanged with Germany, Brazil and Belgium the leading trio from last month with Portugal in the fourth
spot and Argentina fifth. In sixth place is Switzerland, France seventh, Spain eighth, Chile ninth and Poland 10th to complete the Top Ten of world football. In short, the first 47 positions remain totally unchanged from April’s ranking. The next FIFA ranking will be published on June 7, 2018.
T H I S D AY Ë¾ FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
& RE A S O
MISSILE Jimoh to Saraki
“Nobody, no matter how highly placed would be allowed to interfere or obstruct police investigation to pervert the course of justice” – Police Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh insisting that Senate President Bukola Saraki is bent on perverting the course of justice in the ongoing police investigations in Kwara State.
SHAKAMOMODU THIS REPUBLIC
0811 266 1654
Fakorede: The Albatross Around Police’s Neck
saw an advertorial published in several newspapers by the Rivers State government but I initially paid little attention to the contents. On a closer look, I realised some of the contents were excerpted from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Administrative Inquiry into the December 10, 2016 Rivers State rerun election which indicted security agencies in the violence and controversies that trailed the exercise. In what looks like a Nollywood script, many security operatives were partisan and wilfully obstructed the electoral process. In indicting the security agencies, the five-man panel, led by Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, stated: “One of the low points of the Rivers rerun elections of December 10, 2016 was the flagrant intervention of security operatives in the process. This was widely identified by staff of the commission and independent observers alike as one of the major factors that led to the failure of the process in some local government areas. “There were too many security agencies involved in the process outside the framework of the Interagency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). It was not clear whether many of them were acting as part of their various organisations or as groups and individuals serving political interests. “Most importantly, many of them showed profound political partisanship. Ironically then, security operatives, who were expected to protect the process, turned on it. There were reported cases of wilful obstruction of the process by security operatives, including snatching of materials and intimidating voters. In other cases, they refused to accompany and protect men and materials for the elections. “But the most mind-boggling were cases of hostage-taking, hijack of materials and physical attacks on INEC officials perpetrated by security operatives. Of singular note was a certain policeman named Akin Fakorede, who ostensibly is a commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Rivers State. Mr. Fakorede first tried to lure INEC staff to travel with him from Port Harcourt to Emohua LGA under the pretext of enabling them to collate results. But for the intervention of national commissioners, we suspect that he would have put our staff in harm’s way. “When he failed in his initial bid, he stalked the INEC official to the collation centre in Port Harcourt and physically assaulted Dr. C Odekpe and Mrs Mary Tunkayo. In fact, Dr. Odekpe ended up with a gash on his head and both spent days at the Air Force hospital in Port Harcourt.” Fellow Nigerians, what you have just read are excerpts from the INEC report indicting security agencies. But of particular concern is the role played by Mr Akin Fakorede whose name was specifically mentioned in the report. According to the Rivers State government, the same Fakorede was “promoted to the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and transferred to Yobe State as an Area Commander of Nguri on March 29, 2018. On April 4, 2018, he was returned to Rivers State as the Commander of F-SARS.” Guys, watch the trend: Fakorede was promoted, transferred to Yobe and retransferred back to Rivers within a period of six days despite his weighty indictment by the INEC which accused him of violence and assault on its officials. Come to think of it, what made the police authorities
to flip-flop so dramatically within such a short period of time? Doesn’t it mean he performed “excellently” to the expectations of the powers that be and they needed him in Rivers for future political assignments? Doesn’t it mean he was rewarded for deploying violence, beating up officials of the INEC and manipulating the results of an election in favour of candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC)? I am convinced something is fishy here. Yet no one is speaking out? I had waited to see if Fakorede’s conduct as documented by the INEC, which amounts to crimes against officials of the state on sensitive official assignment will outrage the human rights community/pro-democracy activists. But not a single whimper has come out from them. I have not heard human rights activist and senior lawyer Femi Falana condemn the police authorities for failure to dismiss Fakorode from the force, instead of which, he was rewarded with a promotion. And to rub salt in the wound, after he was initially redeployed to Yobe, he was brought back to Rivers where he had helped to perpetrate impunity, violence and electoral malpractices. I have not heard our great Nobel laureate and wordsmith condemn Fakorede for his conduct, which was totally unbecoming to a senior officer of the law. Why has he not deployed his “big grammar” and prodigious profile to draw attention to the danger Fakorede poses to democracy in Rivers and also to call on the police authorities to dismiss him from the force and proceed to put him on trial? Why has he not called out the Police Service Commission (PSC) for rewarding the same officer who not only assaulted two senior INEC officers but was also indicted by the INEC for perpetuating electoral malpractices? Fakorede, according to INEC, left a gash on the head of Dr. Odekpe and also physically assaulted Mrs Mary Tunkayo; both officials had to be treated in a military hospital. Can Soyinka claim not be aware of the INEC report? There seems to be a conspiracy of silence on the part of our so-called pro-democracy activists, more so on the part of our revered Nobel laureate, Soyinka, and the once-upon-a-time fiery Lagos lawyer, Falana. In his heyday, he sported a comrade goatee and stood against all forms of anti-democratic tendencies, thereby endearing himself to the Nigerian public. He strapped his convictions to his chest and walked through
fire in his fight for a free society. What has happened to him? None of these two has commented on the INEC indictment of Fakorede, let alone his subsequent promotion and redeployment back to Rivers after his initial deployment to Yobe State that lasted just a few days. None of them has commented on the brazen use of the police by a cabinet member of the Buhari government to harass and intimidate everyone in the state. None of them has uttered a word to condemn the violence and the outright shooting war between Rotimi Amaechi’s supporters and the supporters of Senator Magnus Abe which culminated in the attack on the court that was hearing a motion for an injunction filed by Abe to stop the local government congress from holding. In that attack, the police were accused of helping Amaechi’s supporters to subvert both the democratic and judicial processes. In time past, such a blatant attack on the court would have attracted hysterical reactions from Soyinka, Falana and civil society groups like the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), the Campaign for Democracy (CD), etc. Not so surprisingly, they have all kept mute. Even the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has not issued any statement to condemn the barbaric attack on the court. Suddenly, it too, has lost its voice. Why are these two frontline critics, Soyinka and Falana and other vociferous custodians of public good not talking? Or is their intervention only necessary when it is convenient to the objectives of the APC? It now appears that when it does not advance that objective, they are likely to turn a blind eye to all forms of impunities. Why did I say this? It’s because we are haunted by their hypocrisies. When they united to condemn the impunities of the last administration, I wished to believe then that it was genuine and that something good and great had come to our country. But it has turned out to mean they succeeded in contaminating our polity with hypocrisy on a grand scale. It was all a biased partisan rage in pretence of upholding democratic values and the rule of law because the party they supported was at the receiving end of the rough edges. Now that they have a boastful individual whom they threw everything in the field, including their reputations to defend – in the driver’s seat of impunity at the federal level disturbing the peace in Rivers, the meaning of impunity has changed. What was intolerable just a few years ago is being silently greeted with gleeful approval! Is this the change they talked about? This “change” has been a witches’ brew of impunity and poverty of logic, so strong that it has made many to lose their senses. What a crushing disappointment! I have heard some people justify the current massive impunity with such lousy talk like; “the last government also did this and did that, so why can’t the APC do it too”. Each time I hear this nonsense, I am always baffled. I once asked an APC supporter to tell me why we voted out the last government. What I got was a long rambling, answer. To me, Nigerians voted for the APC because they promised “change”, and not to break history’s “worst” records. Interestingly, despite the attack on the court, the judge still sat and granted an interlocutory injunction stopping the congress. The Amaechi faction pointedly stated it would not obey the ruling. True to its boast, it disobeyed the court and went ahead to hold the local government
congress. Even this still did not rile Falana and co. Amaechi’s assault on the judiciary didn’t just start today. When he was the governor, courts were shut down for well over a year. He is the only one to have done so in the history of our constitutional democracy. Since he got away with that, he has revved up his attacks to the next level. Unfortunately, the court he and his supporters now desecrate made him the governor even when he did not contest the election. The assault on constitutional democracy in Rivers State has obviously taken a multifaceted turn: from the several election reruns to achieve and foist a pre-determined outcome of giving Amaechi’s APC a firm footing in a state where his electoral fortunes had earlier taken a beating - to the most recent attack on the court to frustrate an APC faction from getting possible legal relief. The security forces instead of staying neutral and keeping the peace in an intraparty election - escalated the crisis by brazenly siding with Amaechi’s faction. By now who does not know that he was one of the principal financiers of Buhari’s election? For that, he now controls the full arsenal of the coercive forces of the state to harass and intimidate everybody in Rivers. He is the one who must be obeyed. God only knows how far he would go in an interparty election. Unfortunately, Soyinka can’t find his voice to condemn the man he praised to the skies in 2015 as “the arrowhead of that charge that led to the change”. That change certainly does not include the attributes of democracy - the centerpiece of which is the exercise of free choice by free people. You see, in their misguided and hasty efforts to make heroes of undeserving people, they conveniently waived some key characteristics that heroes may possess. Now flash back to three and a half years ago when Joseph Mbu was the commissioner of police in Rivers State and Amaechi was the governor. Amaechi you will recall had a running battle with Police Commissioner Mbu. The duo of Soyinka and Falana had a running commentary on the “misbehaviour” of Mbu. They accused him of undermining the duly elected governor of the state in his attempt to please Abuja. The media was awash with statement after statement by Soyinka, Falana or such other activist groups and interested voices about cop Mbu “gone rouge”.They fingered the then First Lady, Patience Jonathan as the mastermind of the crisis in Rivers State. Soyinka stated then that the First Lady was “getting away with murder”. That may have been true. But the cold irony is that Amaechi is today getting away with murder, the laureate and others can’t find their voices anymore. ‘Mbu Must Go’ was a cardinal objective of Soyinka , Falana and the civil society groups – the satellite brigade of the APC. Every passing day, pressure grew to sack him. The APC wasted no time doing just that immediately it assumed power. Behold the human rights community and the media celebrated with fanfare. Why the double standard now when Akin Fakorede has exhibited worst tendencies of impunity and abuse of power by interfering with election and beating up INEC officials on legitimate assignment? Why two moralities? This is precisely where my despair with these people lies. Make no mistake here, punish anyone who breaks the law. If what Mbu did was objectionable, why should Fakorede’s be acceptable?
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