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Italy’s Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Stop Shell, Eni’s Nigerian Corruption Trial Trump renews attack on OPEC over high oil price Ejiofor Alike with agency report Italy’s Supreme Court threw out an appeal from Shell and four former Shell managers

to stop a trial on alleged corruption in Nigeria, which also sees Eni’s chief facing charges, legal sources said yesterday. The court’s decision

coincided with a complaint by US President Donald Trump on rising price of oil, blaming the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the hike.

The long-running graft case revolves around the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria’s Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245, and offshore oil field, from Malabu Oil and

Gas Limited for about $1.3 billion. The trial kicked off last month, with the next hearing set for June 20. Shell and Eni’s appeal was

aimed at reversing the trial to the preliminary hearing stage as a result of what it said were procedural errors, Continued on page 6

Saraki, Dogara’s Absence Stalls 2018 Budget Signing… Page 6 Thursday 14 June, 2018 Vol 23. No 8456. Price: N250

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Nigeria to Receive Another $500 Million Abacha Loot AGF: Buhari not bound to consult before conferring national honours Says process of amending National Holidays Act to accommodate June 12 has begun

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Federal Executive Council (FEC) rose from its weekly meeting in the State House Abuja yesterday with cheery news of the forthcoming repatriation of $500 million loot from United Kingdom, United States and France to Nigeria.

The money was part of the huge sums stolen by the former despotic leader, Gen. Sani Abacha. Making the disclosure while briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Continued on page 6

In Nigeria Inflation Declines Further to 11.61% as US Hikes Interest Rate Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja For the 16th month, inflation rate continued a downward trajectory, declining from 12.48 per cent in April to 11.61 per cent in May. This is just as the US Federal Reserve yesterday hiked its benchmark short-term interest

rate a quarter percentage point and indicated that two more increases are likely this year. The Fed pushed interest rate to a range of 1.75 per cent to two per cent and this may have negative effect on capital flows to Nigeria and Continued on page 6

AMCON Loses Bid to Take over Old Federal Secretariat… Page 55

STRATEGISING FOR NIGERIA…

L-R: Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja… yesterday

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Saraki, Dogara’s Absence Stalls 2018 Budget Signing Obinna Chima The signing of the 2018 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, which was expected to hold yesterday could not because of the absence of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who were out of the country, a presidency source has told THISDAY. THISDAY had reported on Monday that the money bill would be signed yesterday. But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told State House correspondents

after the Federal Executive Council meeting, that the bill would be signed next week. However, a THISDAY source said the presidential assent would be on Tuesday, while the budget analysis has now been fixed for Wednesday. Although there is no legal requirement for the leadership of the federal legislature to be present at the signing ceremony, the convention is that both leaders of the two arms of the National Assembly as well as Ministers of Finance and Budget and National Planning, as well as some other cabinet members witness the signing of the Appropriation Bill into law.

“The signing of the budget was postponed because the Senate President and Speaker are not in the country. We expect them to be back before next week Monday and by Tuesday the budget would be signed and by next week Wednesday we would have the budget analysis,� the source explained. Saying the THISDAY report was not necessarily wrong, the source explained that the decision to stop the presidential assent ceremony was taken late Monday night because both Saraki and Dogara that were expected back in the country could not make it.

While the Senate president is in Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj, the Speaker is in London for an executive leadership course at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The president had last November laid the 2018 Appropriation Bill before a joint session of the National Assembly. However, it was not until May 16 (six months after), that the federal legislature passed the bill. Afterward, it took them another 10 days to transmit it to the president. But the president also dithered in appending his signature. The THISDAY source had

explained the delay the in presidential assent, saying the president had a window to go through the fiscal document before signing, noting that the president has not yet exhausted the window. However, he disclosed that barring any last-minute change of plan, he was confident the president would assent to the budget Wednesday at the State House. If the president had assented to the 2018 Appropriation Bill Tuesday (June 12, 2018), it would have amounted to a repeat of the 2017 Budget, which was also signed by the then acting President (now

Vice President), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on June 12, 2017 after it was passed by the National Assembly on May 5, 2017. Buhari had laid a proposal for N8.6 trillion but the federal legislators had increased it to N9.1 trillion, an additional N508 billion, they explained was applied to critical sectors of the economy, including the reduction of the budget deficit, security, health and power, works and housing. The increment had triggered fears that the executive might decline assent, replaying the altercation over the 2017 budget.

"The council approved the payment of professional fees to lawyers engaged by the federal government relating to the MTN case instituted against the federal government in pursuance of penalty of over N1 trillion imposed by the government on MTN.

"MTN, as you will recall, instituted a case seeking to retrain the federal government from recovering the over N1 trillion imposed on it. The federal government engaged the services of lawyers to put up defence on its behalf. As a result, the case was

eventually settled by the parties amicably and arising from that settlement the lawyers were entitled to their fees. "The federal government has now sanctioned the payment of N500 million for the N330

N I G E R I A TO R E C E I V E A N OT H E R $ 5 0 0 M I L L I O N A B AC H A LO OT Malam Abubakar Malami, said the move was the fallout of negotiations between the federal government and the three countries. According to him, the expected sum is coming barely few months after the repatriation of $322 million

Abacha loot to Nigeria from Switzerland following an agreement signed by Nigeria and Switzerland. Malami who said the processes leading to the repatriation and the aftermath were reported to the council yesterday, also disclosed that

the council approved the payment of N500 million as legal fee to lawyers engaged in the litigation between the federal government and MTN over the N1 trillion fine imposed on the latter by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Continued on page 8

ITALY’S SUPREME COURT RE JECTS APPEAL TO STOP SHELL, ENI’S NIGERIAN CORRUPTION TRIAL but the court decided the appeal was inadmissible. The former Shell executives involved in the case had claimed a procedural error was made when the original ruling to send the case to court was taken and had applied to Italy’s Supreme Court to void it. The Supreme Court had fixed June 12 to deliver judgment on the appeal. Nine current and former executives or contractors, including Eni Chief Executive, Claudio Descalzi, have been accused by Italian prosecutors of paying bribes to secure the license to explore OPL 245, which holds an estimated nine billion barrels of oil but has never entered production. All the accused, including Shell and Eni deny wrongdoing. Reuters quoted a Shell spokeswoman as saying, “Based on our review of the Prosecutor

of Milan’s file and all of the information and facts available to us, we do not believe that there is a basis to convict Shell or any of its former employees.� The trial of top executives from oil majors Eni and Shell over alleged corruption in Nigeria, which kicked off last month with a brief procedural hearing, was re-adjourned till June 20. At the next hearing, the Milan court said it would assess requests from third parties, including a series of international non-profit organisations, to join the case. At last month’s hearing, a lawyer representing the Nigerian government, Domenico Cartoni Schittar, said he was stepping down from his role. In his comments in a signed document seen by Reuters, Cartoni Schittar said he had given up on a mandate, which

he said had become “awkward.� Global Witness, a campaign group that has conducted its own investigations, has described the case as one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the oil industry. Descalzi and former Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded are standing trial along with 11 other defendants and the two companies. In another development, President Trump yesterday said oil prices were too high and blamed OPEC, renewing his attack even as prices fell yesterday, amid expectation that the group may relax its output cuts later this month. Oil prices have risen by around 60 per cent over the last year after OPEC and some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, started withholding output in the international market in 2017, to reduce

excess supply. Some countries have already increased production, and analysts have said the outlook for the oil market for the rest of 2018 is uncertain, as OPEC members prepare to meet June 22-23 in Vienna to discuss output. Reuters reported that in the United States, rising petrol prices have threatened to blunt other economic headwinds. According to the report, prices nationwide have edged up toward $3 per gallon as the United States hits its peak summer travel season, still less than the $4 a gallon in 2008 during the 2007-2009 Great Recession. “Oil prices are too high; OPEC is at it again. Not good!� Trump wrote in a post on Twitter yesterday, after last raising the issue in April.

THISDAY had reported that Trump had in April accused OPEC of “keeping oil prices artificially very high.� In a tweet, Trump had said the cartel’s pricing cycle “will not be accepted� as there is no scarcity of oil supply to warrant such “high prices.� “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted,� Trump reportedly tweeted. But responding from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, had stated that the United States’ oil and gas industry was a beneficiary of the cartel’s efforts to restore stability in the oil market. Barkindo said OPEC members were friends of

the United States and had a vested interest in its growth and prosperity. OPEC had on November 27, 2015 decided to pump as much oil as it could to to the international market to defend its market share against US shale but the decision sent the price of oil to an all-time low of $27 per barrel in February 2016, as a result of excess inventory in the market. With the drop in oil price, OPEC and other major producers, including Russia started to withhold 1.8 million barrels per day output in 2017 to rein in oversupply that had depressed prices since 2014 when the price peaked at $115 per barrel. OPEC, together with Russia and a group of other producers, last November extended the output-cutting

deal to cover all of 2018.

IN NIGERIA INFLATION DECLINES FURTHER TO 11.61% AS US HIKES INTEREST RATE may compel the Central Bank of Nigeria to maintain its tight monetary policy stance. THISDAY had reported on Monday that Nigeria’s external reserves has maintained a sustained decline in the past three weeks as foreign portfolio investors (FPI) continued to weigh the possibility that the US Fed would raise interest rate at its meeting yesterday. Meanwhile, the latest inflation figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation stood at 11.61 per cent (year-onyear) in May 2018, saying, "This is 0.87 per cent points less than the rate recorded in April 2018 (13.34) per cent. " However, by this claim, the NBS inadvertently contradicted itself, having put the inflation rate for April at 12.48 per cent last month, contrary to its latest report alluding to April inflation rate as 13.34 per cent. But a closer look at the info graph contained in the report reflected the accurate rate for April. The statistical agency stated

that in the May figures, increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the headline index. COICOP is a classification and analysis of individual consumption expenditures incurred by households, non-profit institutions serving households and government according to their purpose. It includes categories such as clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity. On a month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased by 1.09 per cent in May 2018, up by 0.26 percentage points over the rate recorded in April 2018. The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending May 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 14.79 per cent, indicating a 0.41 percentage point decline from 15.20 per cent posted in April 2018. The composite food index rose by 13.45 per cent in May 2018. This rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of potatoes, yam and other

tubers, vegetables, fish, bread and cereals, fruits and meat. On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.33 per cent in May 2018, up by 0.42 percentage points from 0.91 per cent recorded in April. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending May 2018 over the previous 12-month average was 18.36 per cent, 0.53 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in April (18.89) per cent. The ''all items less farm produce'' or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 10.7 per cent in May 2018, down by 0.2 per cent from the rate recorded in April (10.9) per cent. On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.98 per cent in May 2018. This was up by 0.11 per cent when compared with 0.87 per cent recorded in April. The highest increases were recorded in prices of hairdressing saloons and personal grooming establishment, vehicle spare parts,

fuels and lubricants for transport equipment, books and stationery, domestic services and household services, pharmaceutical products, paramedical services, medical services and passenger transport by road. The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 11.83 per cent for the 12-month period ending May 2018; this is 0.19 per cent points lower than 12.02 per cent recorded in April. Also, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kebbi (14.65 per cent), Yobe (13.68 per cent) Jigawa (13.62 per cent), while Kwara (8.87 per cent), Kogi (9.07 per cent) and Delta (9.22 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year- on -year inflation. Month-on-month basis however, May 2018 all items inflation was highest in Adamawa (1.98 per cent), Kwara (1.79), and Kaduna (1.70 per cent), while Kogi (0.02 per cent), Lagos and Ogun (0.52 per cent) and Cross River (0.56 per cent) recorded slowest rise on a month- on-month all item basis in May 2018. In May 2018, food inflation on

a year-on-year basis was highest in Yobe (15.86 per cent), Kebbi (15.62 per cent) and Jigawa (15.56 per cent), while Kogi (8.54 per cent), Benue (9.93 per cent) and Akwa Ibom (11.13 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation. On month-on-month basis, however, May 2018 food inflation was highest in Taraba (2.80 per cent), Adamawa (2.38 per cent) and Enugu (2.36 per cent), while Kogi, Oyo and Ekiti all recorded food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate) in May 2018. The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark short-term interest rate a quarter percentage point Wednesday and indicated that two more increases are likely this year. The move pushes the funds rate target to 1.75 percent to 2 percent. The rate is closely tied to consumer debt, particularly credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other adjustable-rate instruments. In an unusually terse statement that ran just 320

words, the Federal Open Market Committee changed multiple phrases from its previous missives, pointing to a more optimistic view on economic growth and higher inflation expectations. Though the statement contained less than half the words of some of the committee's typical communiques, there was a lot to unpack in the language.

TOP GAINERS NGN NGN JAPAUL 0.02 0.36 UPDC 0.10 2.11 PRESTIGEASSUR 0.03 0.64 LEARNAFRICA 0.07 1.51 EQUITYASSUR 0.01 0.23 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN DIAMOND 0.08 1.52 AIICO INSURE 0.03 0.62 UNITYBANK 0.04 0.88 SKYEBANK 0.03 0.73 UNITEDCAP 0.13 3.16 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,495.00 Volume: 456.493 million shares Value: N 4.134 billion Deals: 3,517 As at 13/6/18 See details on Page 41

% 5.8 4.9 4.9 4.8 5.0 % 5.0 4.6 4.3 3.9 3.9


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Osoba: Abiola’s Children Were Deserted after His Death Canvasses establishing foundation for family members Gboyega Akinsanmi Former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has lamented the outright neglect the children and wives of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola suffered after he died. Even though the late philanthropist awarded scholarships to many students irrespective of tribes and religion as well as created professorial chairs in different tertiary institutions across the federation, Osoba said none of his associates bothered to assist his immediate family members after his death. He expressed disappointment at the manner Abiola’s children and wives were abandoned during a conversation with THISDAY yesterday, lamenting that it was unfortunate that nobody ever set up foundation for his children and wives. He said: “I talked with one of Abiola’s children sometime ago and felt so sad. I am sad because Nigerians just do symbolic remembrance. After annual celebration, we just go there and forget. Sadly enough, Osoba noted that Abiola’s family “has been abandoned. MKO Abiola awarded scholarships to so many people and created professorial chairs. But nobody has bothered to ask how Abiola children are coping with realities of their father’s death? “It is a sad thing for me on a personal note. I have virtually attended the weddings of many of his children. I have equally acted as a father in few cases. They are all shadows of the children of MKO Abiola that I used to know. I feel sad on that note.� With the annual celebration of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Osoba called for the establishment of a foundation in memory of the late philanthropist and should be structured as special intervention for all his immediate family members. According to him, we mark June 12 annually. Why is it that nobody has

Abiola thought of setting up a foundation for the immediate family members of Bashorun MKO Abiola. The man had many children but they have all been left to themselves! Osoba’s narrative corroborated an account one of Abiola’s wives and the Managing Director of National Concord, Dr. Doyin Abiola, shared at the unveiling of a 46-feet statue the Lagos State government erected in honour of the late philanthropist on Tuesday. According to her, “it is painful when the head of the family die. There is always problem. You will remember that our house is very big. My husband was an icon.� She said: “We never saw those who thronged our house then, collected money and lied to my husband not to relent. They charged him to forge ahead. We never saw them again. Immediately my husband died, they deserted us.� She, therefore, urged every married woman “to stay behind their husband and guide them so that they do not fail. Your presence in the home is not

because you are their wife but you are meant to protect and assist them in their endeavours. “I pray our homes will not be deserted. I urge you all not to despair. Very soon, all will be well. We must not allow the efforts of the struggle to die in vain. That is the only way we can ensure that Abiola did not die in vain,� she noted. Beyond establishing foundation in honour of MKO Abiola, Osoba spoke extensively on what the June 12, 1993 presidential election represented in the political history of Nigeria being the fairest, freest and most credible in the country. Even though there had not been such an electoral process before and after June 12, 1993, Osoba noted that there was an urgent need to institutionalise the values of the process, which he said, united Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion and belief. With the recent amendment to the Electoral Act, Osoba was optimistic that future elections “will be better organised. Let me say that people are focusing too much on the sequencing of elections and have forgotten about all the other amendments. He noted that the new amendment by the National Assembly introduced modern electronic system “to the conduct of elections in Nigeria. They have said officers conducting election must do accreditation before elections. “You must know how many people have come to register to vote and transmit the number of those accredited immediately by electronic system and failure is five year jail. “After the election you must transmit the result and failure is five year jail. Materials are now to be made open to all agents, inspections, certification and all that. The electoral act is wide in the reforms that have been introduced. The amendments are fundamental to a better voting system in Nigeria.�

N I G E R I A TO R E C E I V E A N OT H E R $ 5 0 0 M I L L I O N A B AC H A LO OT billion agreed upon for the alleged certain breaches in their operations. This amount is less than one percent of the fee instead of the internationally recognised fee which is pegged at five per cent. "Finally was a report on the global forum on assets recovery. You will recall that in December 2017, federal government participated in global forum on asset recovery in Washington DC and during that forum, Nigeria and Switzerland signed agreement that paved way for the repatriation of $322 million relating to looted assets and on the account of that the amount was eventually repatriated back to Nigeria. "What transpired was only reported back to the council today. The report today was not only about the signing of the agreement but the report of the eventual repatriation of the amount of money that was signed and agreed to be repatriated during the forum. "Nigeria has also engaged other countries including the UK, US, France and others in further negotiations relating to repatriation and I am happy to report that we are almost concluding the processes relating to the repatriation of additional $500 million," Malami said. Malami also responded to questions on the legality and legitimacy of the declaration of June 12 as a public holiday, as well as the conferment of posthumous awards on the late Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi as well as Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe. The president had on June 6, proclaimed June 12 as the new Democracy Day, replacing the hitherto May 29 Democracy in acknowledgement of

June 12, 1993 presidential election described as the freest and fairest in Nigeria's history and won by the late business magnate, Chief MKO Abiola but unjustly annulled by former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida. Consequently, the president conferred the highest honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Abiola on Tuesday. He also conferred the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of Nigeria (GCON) on Abiola's running mate, Kingibe, and Chief Gani Fawehinmi posthumously in recognition of his gallant fight for the actualisation of June 12 mandate. But the moves had been criticised by some Nigerians who argued that the president lacked the power to proclaim June 12 as public holiday without amending Public Holidays Act to pave way for the replacement of May 29 with June 12 as the new Democracy Day. The president was also criticised for unilaterally conferring the national honours on the recipients without consulting the National Council of State. But Malami in his defence, said the president was only duty bound to consult the Governing Board in relation to the conferment of the National Merit Award, insisting that there is no law compelling the president to make any consultation before conferring national honours on anyone. Malami also stated that it was not the first time that a posthumous national honours award was conferred on anyone, pointing out that former Head of State,

Gen. Murtala Muhammed, had once been posthumously honoured. However, he admitted that Public Holidays Act needed to be amended before June 12 Democracy Day can come into effect as a public holiday. Consequently, he said the process of amending the Act had already been put in place and the declaration would not be effective until the amendment is concluded. "National Merit Award Act and the Nigerian National Honours Act are two distinct and different applicable laws as far as National honours awards are concerned. You have the National Merit Award on the strength of which we have the law of the governing board come into effect and then as it relates to the National Honours Act, the board does not have any relevance in terms of processing of the honours. "Above all, we equally have in existence, a precedent as it relates to the award of posthumous honours. I can recall that a former Head of State, General Muhammed was equally honoured posthumously, among others. "As it relates to public holidays, there is truly a Public Holidays Act, but it is about the process of amendment. At any rate, the Act can be amended and the process of amendment has been put in place. "So, when the Act has been fully amended, the declaration of the President will come into effect. It is a declaration of intention, a declaration of desire and that will eventually be given effect with the act of amendment of the existing law," he said.

Two-Minute BrieďŹ ng NEWS APC’s Convention Committee

to Submit Report Today As part of the process leading to the national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the screening committee headed by Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, will today submit its reportt to the party leadership. Page 54

EDITORIAL Politics And nAtionAl security

Across the nation, there are several unprecedented security challenges straining the security and intelligence agencies. Page 15

POLITICS ‘We Can’t Politicise A Serious

Issue Like The Oa Robbery’ Hammed Shittu records highlights of a recent interaction with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State at Government House, Ilorin Page 18

FEATURES Anambra’s Growing Cultism

In just two weeks, a battle of supremacy between two cult groups claimed 16 persons. DavidChyddy Eleke reports that those killed were all young people, who at best can be described as the leaders of tomorrow Page 20

BUSINESS NCC May Set Up Regulatory

Framework for OTT Services The Nigerian Communica- tions Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, may likely set up a regulatory framework for the control of over-the-top (OTT) technology services. Page 23

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE Saving One Million Lives and

Push Towards UHC As Nigeria continues to push towards Universal Health Coverage, Martins Ifijeh examines the role of the federal government’s Saving One Million‌ ‌ Page 36

INTERNATIONAL Trump Lauds North Korea Deal Despite Scepticism DonaldTrump has declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, following his summit with Kim Jong-un, BBC reported. Page 53

SPORTS The Zero Hour is Here in

Russia The long wait for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is almost over. All the 32 teams for this greatest football showpiece on the globe are here. We are just hours away from the official kick off of the Mundial‌ Page 62


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Here Is To You And The Truly Special Legacy You Leave Us Everyday.

Happy 80th Birthday

Chief (Sir) Michael Ade-Ojo (OON, KJW)

Courtesy of:


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VOLUNTARY ASSETS AND INCOME DECLARATION SCHEME

I declare...my duty, my nation

THERE’S NO HIDING PLACE

INTRODUCING VOLUNTARY ASSETS AND INCOME DECLARATION SCHEME (VAIDS)

CERTIFICATE OF DECLARATION

CERTIFICATE OF DECLARATION

THE VAIDS CERTIFICATE OF DECLARATION WILL BE SIGNED BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF EACH TAX AUTHORITY AND ISSUED BY THAT TAX AUTHORITY TO TAXPAYERS UPON SUBMISSION OF THEIR DULY COMPLETED DECLARATION FORMS.

For details/enquiries: www.vaids.gov.ng or any tax office nearest to you @VAIDSNG

@VAIDSNG

STATE BOARDS OF INTERNAL REVENUE

@IDECLARENG

@VAIDS NIGERIA

JOINT TAX BOARD

@VAIDS NIGERIA


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COMMENT

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

CHabib ELEBRATING A MAN OF COURAGE Aruna pays tribute to Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State governor, at age 55

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rescient Nigerian observers who are watching what’s going on in Lagos State would rightly agree that hard work in the right direction delivers enduring fruits. Hard work doesn’t kill; it yields life that history acknowledges ultimately. That is the enviable story of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State as he marks his 55th birthday today. To Ambode, the ideal celebration would not be to organise an elaborate feast, to bring friends and well-wishers together for a mother of all feasts. Doing so is not in his character. If there would be a get-together at all it would be with the deprived, the vulnerable, children of the poor or the special class of the handicapped as he has done in nearly three years as the governor. Therefore, It’s only appropriate to seize the occasion of his middle age birthday to examine his relentless work schedule that has benefited the state and made it possible to refer to it as the investors’ destination, tourism hub and construction site. It is in addition Africa’s fifth largest economy. Demographers also say without disputation that Lagos is Nigeria’s most populated state, surpassing the figures for a couple of some African countries put together. In recent times it has begun to wear a new look with state of the art road network and city intersections and terminals that transport you to scenes in Europe and oil-rich Gulf states. Most of these have taken place only under the watch of Ambode, even if I must admit that government is a continuum. But every age would have to carve out its own distinct identity. History has a keen interest in taking note of this identity aspect in the unfolding of events. No administration can appropriate the honour due its successor or predecessor, the continuum theory notwithstanding! You have to carve out your own niche, as it were. This explains the reason some leaders, desirous of standing out of the crowd in the history books, would burn the midnight oil for brand-new ideas to tackle the seemingly intractable challenges of society. They don’t want to be classified as simply adorning the wall of the governor’s office with their portraits. They want to live in the hearts of the people through their performance. This is a governor, who at any time of the night, come to the office to scribble down new ideas that come to his head. He once told me and a cabinet member that even if he is asleep, his brain never sleeps. Ambode has pitched his tent with this history-making camp. It comes with a price: courage. According to Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States of America, “One man with courage makes a majority.’’ This U.S leader is credited with numerous courageous policies that toppled the established norms of his time. He was not afraid to take a decision as long as it was in the interest of the people. For instance, Ambode displayed rare courage and compassion by approving a hefty N11billion to be paid as backlog of arrears to retirees few weeks after coming to office. It was unprecedented. But more than that, it presented the appealing image of a governor who can’t be accused of caring only for those in service. The point has long been established that Ambode is a man who does not sleep, in a literal sense, until he has touched every citizen’s life. He packs a thousand and one activities into the 24-hour schedule he has at his disposal in a day. This was demonstrated early in the life of Ambode’s government in 2015, when he moved like a hurricane to prove that government business isn’t meant for the laid-back. Few weeks ago I was in the office of a prominent commissioner and we were talking about on-going projects spread across the state and the

THE POINT HAS LONG BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT AMBODE IS A MAN WHO DOES NOT SLEEP, IN A LITERAL SENSE, UNTIL HE HAS TOUCHED EVERY CITIZEN’S LIFE

amount of time and capital the governor is committing to making Lagos a smart city. The bottom line and the aggregation of opinion of those at the meeting was that of a governor who is restless, committed, determined and passionate to change the face of the state for good. Consider these staggering statistics: in his first year in office, the governor initiated and successfully completed more than 40 impactful projects, including injection of 434 new BRT buses for Ikorodu corridor, fortification of security in Lagos with a whopping N4.7billion equipment for the Police and subsequently up to N7billion, employment of 1300 teachers to revive primary education, setting up of N25billion Employment Trust Fund, massive road rehabilitation and reconstruction in inner Lagos, approval for development of N49billion medical park in Ikoyi, provision of 20 mobile care unit ambulances and 26 transport ambulances, building of flyover bridges for Ajah and Abule-Egba areas, rebranding of One Lagos Fiesta to boost tourism and entertainment, creating enabling environment for foreign direct investment, etc. Also in the first year, he planned for gigantic schemes that began to blossom into reality in his second year. For instance, he signed an MOU with Kebbi State on the development of commodity value chain (rice production). In his second year, Lake Rice became the talk of the town. Lake is the acronym for joint effort of Lagos and Kebbi to produce the grain. Another achievement of this toiling governor is his boundless vision to move the state from a pedestrian plane to the sophistication of a 21st megacity through the erection of structures of gothic and exotic expressions. Examples: Ojodu Berger Flyover Intersection, Tafawa Balewa Bus Terminus and the breath-sapping Ikeja Bus facility recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari. Shortly after, the governor declared open 21 roads and two bridges with a combined stretch of 27.4 kilometres in Alimosho-Agbado-OkeOdo area. Yet, other iconic construction going on across the state has turned Lagos into a huge construction site to make it look like the People’s Republic of China when it was being transformed into a world power by Mao Tse Tung between the 1950s and 1960s. But as much as Ambode appears rooted to work in the office and on the streets to inaugurate projects, he is also addicted to seeking compassionate affinity with the people he governs. He has been known to show up at road accident scenes to help rescue victims. Once when he read of a woman whose husband ran away from home because she gave birth to three sets of twins, Ambode directed prompt welfare support that brought back the fugitive man. The governor has received notable local and international recognition for outstanding governance and the service to the people. For a man who has demonstrated severally that experience can indeed be an asset in governance, the governor is always calm and dutiful when there is a major challenge in a state that is becoming increasingly complex to govern. For sure, Lagos under the pragmatic, humanist and visionary leadership of Governor Ambode can only get better. And as the governor rightly noted recently, “Where ever you come from, as far as you labour and add value to the productivity of our dynamic and vibrant state, our government shall work with you to make Lagos State a better, liveable and more prosperous home”. Happy birthday sir! Aruna is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ambode

JUNE 12: A COMPLICATED STORY President Buhari made the right call on June 12, argues Olusegun Adeniyi

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s much as I subscribe to the notion that given the timing, the action is very political, even opportunistic, I am also aware that Buhari is not the kind of man who would take this sort of action without conviction, no matter the political implications. So, I believe he took the decision because he feels it is the right thing to do and he deserves to be commended for it. Besides, the ‘Not too young to run’ generation in the Southwest who now constitute the electoral majority may admire the spirit of June 12 based on the stories they are told by their parents but if you follow them on Twitter, they are more concerned about issues that directly impact on their lives. So, nobody should overplay the vote issue to diminish the significance of what President Buhari has done just as I abhor any recourse to provincial triumphalism that can only be counterproductive in a diverse society like ours. In the 12th July edition of the Mohammed Haruna-led CITIZEN magazine (which was then the voice of the Northern elite), Mallam Adamu Adamu, the current Minister of Education and one of the finest writers in Nigeria, had reviewed the transition programme of General Babangida and the fiasco created by the annulment of the June 12 election and concluded: “We are today stuck at the crossroads with eight years wasted; small problems have become bigger problems, mist on the tracks has turned into a thick fog. From here moving back is impossible without terrible costs and moving forward extremely difficult.” President Buhari has found a way around that problem by going for justice rather than expediency

on what has for 25 years been a tricky situation. While conferring the posthumous award on Abiola on Tuesday, the president admitted: “We cannot rewind the past but we can at least assuage our feelings, recognise that a wrong has been committed and resolve to stand firm now and ease the future for the sanctity of free elections.” He then added, “this retrospective and posthumous recognition is only a symbolic token of redress and recompense for the grievous injury done to the peace and unity of our country.” That precisely is the point many of the commentators miss. June 12 goes beyond the person of Abiola and what he may have represented in the past. It is not even about what happened that day, as significant as the voting pattern (Muslim-Muslim ticket securing the votes of Christians) was. It is about what happened afterwards, when several Nigerians stood up to the military and paid heavy price for demanding that the votes they lawfully cast could not be so cynically taken away. Of course I am well aware that at that period, there were also those who bought into the divisive politics of the military and decided to accept the peace of the graveyard. Those who have always imputed ethnic motive to that principled stand taken by Yoruba people for the stubborn refusal to abandon June 12 forget that Chief Ernest Shonekan, like Abiola, is an Egba man yet he was rejected and so was Obasanjo in 1999. Therefore, the issue was never about having a Yoruba man in Aso Rock; it was/is about righting the wrong of June 12 in a manner that would take into cognizance the supreme sacrifice paid by Abiola and several people without which the military would never have returned to the barracks. That is why the symbolism

of upstaging May 29 for June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria should not be lost: It is an affirmation of the supremacy of the ballot over bullet! The damage inflicted on the psyche of Nigeria by the annulment of the June 12 election was enormous and to understand how divided the country had become just a few weeks after ordinary citizens had cast their votes for a united nation, I reproduce below an abridged version of a chapter in my book, ’POLITRICKS: National Assembly under Military Dictatorship’ which captures the debate that followed the annulment of the election in the Senate that had at times been inaugurated under a curious political arrangement. General Babangida had on 17th August 1993 addressed a joint session of the National Assembly to propose an interim government with the aim of conducting yet another presidential election, following a ‘tripartite agreement between the military and representatives of the two political parties, the defeated National Republican Convention (NRC) and the SDP whose leaders were trading away their victory without Abiola’s support. In a speech designed to incite the National Assembly members against June 12, Babangida said, “The present negotiated choice of an Interim National Government by the Nigerian political elites is once again an imaginative and peaceful solution to the inevitable dilemma of democratization” before he added that the pro-democracy agitators were “disrespectful of your mandate and seize on the attraction of populist rhetoric to unleash vicious attack on the political leadership. They are after you, not me. They do not want to operate through the two party system. Please, invite them to join your

parties; and work their way up from the grassroots as you did.” At that period, the Senate, presided by Dr Iyorchia Ayu, had such members as Hamman Bello Mohammed, Chuba Okadigbo, Uba Ahmed, Paul Ukpo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Sunday Bolorunduro Awoniyi, Rasheed Ladoja, Ahmadu Idah Ali, Benneth Birabi, Ebenezer Ikeyina, Kanti Bello, Wande Abimbola, Magaji Abdullahi, Kofo Buckor Akerele, Idris Kuta, Aniete Okon, Paul Wampana and several others while the House led by Agunwa Anaekwe had Tehemba Shija, Lazarus Unaogu, Nicholas Agbo, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Florence Ita Giwa and others. I am sure readers will find the debate that followed Babangida’s speech very instructive. All said, what President Buhari has done on June 12 is not only significant, it has shown very clearly that he has the capacity to rise above certain narrow and clannish interests to do the right things, including rallying the entire country for the healing and reconciliation that is very much needed across board, if we must attain peace and prosperity. It is therefore my hope that the president can apply the same disposition to deal with the economic/lifestyle problems that now endanger inter-group relations in the North Central with dire implications for sectarian divisiveness as well as the ‘five per cent versus 97 per cent’ mindset that has almost alienated the entire South-east from his administration. While these issues belong to another day and we will deal with them appropriately, President Buhari made the right call on June 12. But can he seize the moment or is it already too late in the day? Adeniyi is Chairman, THISDAY Editorial Board


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EDITORIAL POLITICS AND NATIONAL SECURITY The security agencies should confine themselves to safeguarding the people

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cross the nation, there are several unprecedented security challenges straining the security and intelligence agencies. From the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East to the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, particularly in the Middle Belt to kidnapping for ransom and general banditry, the security agencies have more than enough to chew. However, against this grim backdrop of terrorism, crimes and criminality, some of the security organisations prefer to play politics by their open partisanship and rabid support for individuals to the detriment of their constitutional duty of protecting the people. Perhaps nothing portrays this disturbing assault on the democratic process better than the open political campaigns for President Muhammadu Buhari by the ComptrollerSECURITY AGENCIES General of the ARE VITAL STATE Nigeria Customs INSTITUTIONS WHICH Service, Col Hameed Ali (rtd). OUGHT TO OWE Ali is the National ALLEGIANCE FIRST TO coordinator of the THE NATION AND NOT Buhari Support TO INDIVIDUALS OR Organisation (BSO), POLITICAL PARTIES an outfit committed to the re-election of President Buhari. Meanwhile the Nigeria Customs is a paramilitary organisation. But Ali has no qualms about his activities, including leading members of the BSO on solidarity visits to the president and more. He told some of his members recently, “We will be calling on you from now on and we will be working day and night. We must do so because we want to save our name at the end of the day and the name of the president for what he is doing. Our president is on course and all we need is to ensure that we support him.” However, those not amused by Ali are asking questions, many of them reasonable ones. To these we also ask: Even if the customs’ boss is brought in from outside to head the office, is it fit and proper for him to

Letters to the Editor

throw his hat into the political ring? Should the highest ranking officer in the Nigeria Customs Service display such brazen partisanship or what some have described as political tribalism? Will this assault on professionalism help in building the institution and instil discipline in the rank and file? Must he owe his loyalty first to the president before the nation? How can we build strong institutions that outlive individuals in this manner?

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

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

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

END SARS CAMPAIGN AND POLICE GANG

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he ‘End SARS Campaign’ is a shot in the air. The campaign is a combustion of citizens’ frustration without galvanised action. It is a right cause with a hollow purpose. Police brutality and criminality predate SARS. I remember, in the days of ‘Operation Sweep’ in Lagos, there were surplus reports of police criminality – extra-judicial killings, harassment and extortion. Really, the problem is the individuals peopling the police, and not the “unit”. The Nigeria police is still trapped in the Stalinist era of darkness. It is an entity of state terror. And an umbilical cord of inhumanity connects the top hierarchy of the police to the lees of the agency. As a matter of fact, the police force, as it is today, is primed to be anti-people, but pro-government because of a lack of institutional and legal reform. This is why the police only excel in regime protection. Ending SARS while the same vermin remain in the system will only recycle evil. If the unit is shut down now, in a few months, we will be back to where we are. By the way, have you seen an honest policeman? I did a little research on why the SARS unit of the police is brazen in criminality, and I found out that it stemmed from its mandate. SARS has been given

nfortunately, Ali has good company. Indeed, so many top officers of the security agencies that ought to be neutral and professional in their services to the nation are taking sides and are into more or less political advocacy. Indeed, many institutions of the state are being deliberately bastardised. From the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who wears Buhari’s lapel to everywhere he goes to the DSS which could withdraw security personnel from top officers of the National Assembly obviously for political reasons to top officials of the Ministry of Defence whose utterances are weird and constantly coloured with ethnic bias and politics to a zealous Inspector-General of Police who acts with impunity, including dishonouring invitations from the parliament, we again ask: Is what they are doing right? Security agencies are vital state institutions which ought to owe allegiance first to the nation and not to individuals or political parties. “We have all agreed to protect this institution but the political participation by the agencies must be called to order”, said Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki recently in apparent repudiation of these untoward acts. If the current politicisation of institutions is allowed to prevail, are we really serious about all the talk on building great institutions? We therefore charge the security and intelligence agencies to direct their full attention to safeguarding the people by ensuring that crimes – of any sort- are nipped in the bud. And there are plenty to engage their attention. With deadly attacks being experienced daily, they must confine themselves to arresting the widespread violence across the nation.

“extra-terrestrial” powers; chief of which is to use all means to check violent crime – but in checking armed criminality innocent citizens are often the victims. I think, it is perhaps, the most powerful unit in the police. A police acquaintance told me that most of his colleagues lobby vigorously to have themselves deployed in the unit. Why? Because it is a general and potent belief in the police that once you are deployed there, “you are made”. This accents the commonplace perception of the Nigeria police as the Sodom of corruption. I plead with fellow citizens, who have faced the terror of SARS, while they are on EndSARS, should campaign for an immediate and sweeping reform of the police. Nothing will change if the Nigeria police is not reformed radically. And this reform must include a hierarchal purge of the agency. If 13 deputy inspectorsgeneral of police could be compulsorily retired for Ibrahim Idris to become inspector-general of police, I see no reason why the purge of both the top hierarchy and the rank and file of the police will not be possible. We must seize this moment to cause a revolution in the police. We have, for too long, “stood aside and looked” while they harassed, humiliated, intimidated, violated and extorted us. Fredrick Nwabufo, fredricknwabufo@yahoo.com

YEARNING FOR SUPER EAGLES OF 94

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ow Nigeria can get back the football squad she had of 1994 through 1996 is part of my worries about the Super Eagles. From the onset, I must confess that I have nearly lost interest in the Nigerian football team. I have not been able to figure out what could be responsible for the decline of the Super Eagles. If not for patriotism and the inborn love for the “Pele’s toy”, I would have stopped watching football matches. To get relief, I sometimes prefer to watch matches of foreign clubs than our local tournaments. Yet, though not a fan of any, I belong to every serious club but never a diehard for any. That was me when Nigerian clubs and tournaments were interesting. Can our past football history return? Sometimes, I feel that the politics surrounding the choice of players is responsible; politics in different ways. Either because in the course of choosing the players, the harmful idea of federal character is placed on board or the consideration of godfathersim/who-knows-who comes to play. Or corruption is responsible in the sense, as alleged, that players have to pay immediately

to be selected or sign pacts to forfeit parts of their match allowances. It is bad and whatever is responsible for this, I think the federal government has the responsibility to sanitise the system in the glass house. I have never wept for Nigerian football like that of France 98 when Nigeria lost woefully on June 8 to Denmark by 4-1 in the round 16. This followed the loss to Paraguay 3-1 on June 24 at the stage matches. Nigeria had earlier defeated Spain 3-2 on June 13, defeated Bulgaria 1-0 on June 19. Hopes were very high for Nigeria to defeat Denmark. I prayed for the Eagles after the first and second goals hit Peter Rufai’s net in the third and 13th minutes. I still prayed that Nigeria could make it in the second half as usual until hopes were dashed by the third and fourth goals in the 60th and 76th minutes by Ebbe Sand and Thomas Helveg respectively. I took to memory every bit of the happenings in 98 Super Eagles’ outing. And since that year, Nigeria has been unable to build a strong team. Any hope for Nigeria in Russia 2018 with Croatia on June 16, Iceland on June 22 and Argentina on June 26 at the group D stage? Muhammad Ajah, Abuja


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POLITICS

Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email nseobong.okonekong@thisdaylive.com 08033482120 SMS ONLY

PERSONALITY INTERVIEW

‘We Can’t Politicise A Serious Issue Like The Offa Robbery’ Hammed Shittu records highlights of a recent interaction with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State at Government House, Ilorin What are the major economic development highlights of your administration in the last seven years? Firstly, we want to give sincere gratitude to God Almighty, for making it possible for us to take the state through these last seven years peacefully under the current economic situation. We came in with a strong desire to meet aspirations of Kwarans. We have modestly met our campaign promises. During the campaigns, we clearly spelt our plans from the angle of continuity on programmes that were on ground and also adding new ones. The slogan then was ‘Legacy Continues’ through which we hit the ground running by taking programmes we met on ground to completion, jump starting new ones and taking them to completion. One of the key areas we emphasised was economic development. We noticed that our people were largely in a civil service driven environment and we felt that the only way to change things was to create a small and medium enterprise agency. That agency was designed at inception to begin to change the purchasing power of our people, increasing their capacity to drive the economy and, most importantly, to create wealth. We created a Small and Medium Enterprise Agency with a seed money of about N250 million. We had since increased this on a cumulative basis to about N3.2 billion. Under this agency, we have been able to empower over 2,000 cooperative groups and we have also been able to support over 60,000 small and medium enterprise agencies who hitherto were not getting access to funding. But with the articulated SME agency, we’ve been able to create entrepreneurship for them and this has set them on a wealth growing path. Of course, we’ve allowed associations, groups to benefit from the Small and Medium Enterprises. We set up the Artisans Congress which is made up of over 53 associations. They’ve all benefitted under this Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme, including our transporters under the NURTW. We have the Motorcycle Riders Association, Okada Riders Association and Keke Napep Riders Association who have all benefitted in one form or another through our Small and Medium Enterprise Scheme. We also put buses on the road to help movement of people from different locations, especially some of our students who have had challenges getting to school on time. Under this scheme also, we regulated the use of auto cycles in transportation because we wanted to be sure that they are not involved in criminality. So, we streamlined their movement in the state and got them properly compartmentalized to specific locations with proper identity and profiled them under the scheme. One major achievement of this administration is the reform in the collection and administration of our Internally Generated Revenue. Relying on funds from the federal government was not sustainable and the only way we could change the way things were done in the state was to come up with a new revenue generating outfit to ensure that funds are captured and expended accordingly. For this reason, we repealed the law setting up the Board of Internal Revenue. We got a new law setting up the Kwara State Internal Revenue Services that changed the people and technology to drive the process. That alone ensured the increase of our revenue from N7 billion to N17 billion. The implication is that it created latitude for a lot of things. We were able to raise funds to ensure that parastatals run properly and ensure that tertiary institutions are captured. Most importantly, funds were

At the budget formulating process, the legislative arm is carried along. This allows understanding of where the funding and what amount is available. We usually outline our medium term expenditure clearly. The sources of revenues are also well articulated and framed out in such a way that it is clear and seen by all. This gives the passage of budget an easy flow because, if you are part and parcel of a development programme, it makes it easier for you to believe in it and own it Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed

available for capital development. The other wonderful side of it is that funds that were accessed under the internal revenue were used to set up the Kwara Infrastructure Fund (IFK), to drive infrastructure development. These funds have gone into driving capital projects especially in water, roads, energy, schools and health sectors. The IFK, which is the Kwara Infrastructure Fund started with an initial seed money of about N5 billion and has grown to over N11.6 billion. This fund has been deployed to critical areas that affect our people. We have been able to deploy about N3.5 billion to capital projects in Kwara Central, about N3.2 billion to projects in Kwara South and about N2.9 billion to projects in Kwara North. This is apart from projects we inherited and ensured their completion. We also initiated new projects. Some of these projects have been completed, while others are on-going. Part of the programmes under the infrastructure fund is the Split Diamond Under Pass constructed in Asa-Dam Road in Geri Alimi which, by God’s grace, will be taken to completion in the next six months. We witnessed the flag off of the Kwara State University in the three campuses across the three senatorial districts. We have the School of Governance in Kwara Central, School of Environment in Kwara South and the School of Agriculture in Kwara North. We also witnessed the dualization of the UITH/Sango Road, which is expected to be taken to completion within next few months.

The benefit of that is immensurable, especially as it relates to movement of humans and vehicles. It also ensures free movement of patients under emergency service. This will not only improve the aesthetics of the area but increase access to better health care. In the area of human capital development, which includes health and education, we have been able to renovate close to 600 classrooms, inclusive of the School of Special Needs. We reduced the amount payable by students of Kwara State University, by 30 percent to reduce the burden on the parents in terms of payment of school fees. We have also established the School of Engineering at KWASU. Part of the reasons why we setup the university was to drive technology. We want to ensure that we have a conducive environment for the study of engineering, therefore, we established an ultra-modern Engineering Faculty, to keep students abreast of modern engineering techniques. Another area which is very critical to Human Capital Development is vocational training. You’ll agree with me that in as much as we are creating an environment to teach and make our youths learn and develop themselves, there are gaps that exist in terms of what the market needs. Our administration reasoned that these gaps can only be filled with vocational training programmes. In other words, we have an institution that trains people. The Ajase Ipo International Vocational Training and Entrepreneur College which operates in

conjunction with City & Guilds, London trains artisans on international best practices so that they can export their acquired skills to any part of the world. In the 70s and 80s, one of the biggest earners of foreign exchange for India was remittances largely from people that they exported to other parts of the world to deliver services. This is why we set up the International Vocational Training and Entrepreneur College, Ajase Ipo. Their training is subsidized by the state government while some are sponsored by various stakeholders. The most important part of it is that the World Bank is currently funding 75 students under this programme for entrepreneurship under the Human Capital Development programmes to ensure that drugs are available in our health institutions through a well-structured drug revolving scheme. Under our health-for-all-programme, we remodeled five general hospitals in Ilorin, Offa, Share, Omu Aran and, Kaiama. These are critical areas that are supposed to serve as secondary health care facilities. In addition, we also re-modeled 50 primary health care institutions which are largely to serve the rural environment. We’ve also improved on accessibility to healthcare services through the expansion of our community health insurance scheme which hitherto covered one local government to a comprehensive state wide health insurance scheme. The law to drive the health insurance scheme has already been passed. This will, no doubt, make healthcare services available to an average person in the rural environment with as low as N1,000 or N2,000 all year round.


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T H I S D AY • THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

POLITICS

‘Youths Will Dominate Politics in 2019’ An aspirant for the Anambra State House of Assembly, (Idemili North Constituency) on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Mike Chukwuma has said that the 2019 general election will prove a deciding factor on the readiness of Nigerian youths to take over governance of the country. He fielded questions from Onyebuchi Ezigbo What is your interest in running for the Ndemili North constituency seat in the State House of Assembly? My inspiration is beyond human understanding. It is a constituency where I was born and had all my education. I have particular knowledge of the area. At seven years, I found myself in places of leadership. There are some peculiarities about Ndemili North. It is one of the largest local government areas. I discovered a town like Obosi that is up to a local government is still having one ward. The constituency projects in my area are not very encouraging with what I have seen on the ground. I am aware that there are works in the constituency projects being handled by honorable members at various levels; federal and state, but I am concentrating on the state level. Simple things that could take development far are being neglected, ignored or not even remembered at all. This is one thing that has inspired me. For instance I am thinking of a law or a bill that will inculcate public/private partnership with the government in terms of internally generated revenue. An individual can build a market or something like that then a sharing formula with government will be determined. With that, a lot of our people will come into that constituency. The largest market in Africa is in Onitsha, Anambra State. The building materials segment of that market is in my constituency, but the standard is still poor. These are the things that inspire me. What are your other areas of interest if you make it to the House of Assembly? We have a problem with maintenance in Nigeria. I remember the first man who represented my zone in the state House of Assembly, Eze Chinwenye. He facilitated the sinking of bore holes in almost all the 12 wards in of the constituency, today none of those bore holes are functioning. I would try to push for a law that will ensure maintenance of these constituency projects. It is only a law that will enforce this. All constitutional hindrances against participation of young people in the politics have been removed through a recent law signed by the president. How will this impact on the country? This is an area of interest especially to me as a young man in my 30s. Before now, who would have thought that a youth can make a wonderful impact. We thank God for the government at the centre. It is coming rather late. But we are glad that it finally came. The President of France is in his early 40s, but when you come to Nigeria right from when I was young I have always heard that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. With this recent law, you will see a lot of changes in Nigeria. Come to my party, APGA in Anambra, (where) I am contesting for the House of Assembly, I haven’t seen anybody that is above 40 years in this race. It is not just enough to make a law, are the youths prepared for leadership? Why not! The law wasn’t in place before I started running. People didn’t just make up their mind because of the law. It is just that they never had the opportunity. You will see a total revolution in terms of development because we are the youths, we know the social media, we know the keywords, we know how to pull down a leader that isn’t doing very well but when you talk about a very aged man who doesn’t know about the internet whatever you are writing about him is nonsense. The youths are ready to take over the development of this country. What is your view on APGA in 2019? I must have to say a very big thank you for the people that started this party. APGA is a young party. By all standards, we are the third biggest party in Nigeria. The issue of being in

Mike Chukwuma

one state before now isn’t totally correct. As you can remember the current governor of

Our people are beginning to come out of the euphoria, things are really changing. I have no godfather and I don’t intend to have one. I am running my election on my own with the little I have and good individuals who look at my antecedent and feel that this young man can do something wonderful. God is good to me. I am not seeking any sponsor. In Anambra, godfatherism is dead

Imo state won under the platform of APGA before he defected to APC. APGA also won the election in Abia state; I can authoritatively say that. APGA is growing bigger than we can imagine under the leadership of Dr. Victor Ikechukwu Oye. His leadership is taking the party to another level. We also thank Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State. He is doing exceptionally well. APGA won in Gwagwalada local government council of the FCT, providing the chairman and five councilors. In the last election in Kaduna, APGA won seven seats. APGA recently received another big fish into the party Senator Stella Oduah who defected to the party. What you are about to see in 2019 will amaze you. APGA is going to emerge the second party in Nigeria. What is your assessment of Gov. Willie Obiano? We call him Akpocha Global. Formally Anambra state was asleep. From the leadership of Chris Ngige that was when things started changing. When Peter Obi came under the platform of APGA he did marvelously well and then handed the baton to Willie Obiano. Obiano has done very well. This man has remained the only governor in Nigeria that didn’t borrow money to pay salaries; almost all the states have done that. Anambra state under his regime started to export a lot of things. Agriculture received a boost. Education is on the rise under Willie Obiano. He just came back on a one month retreat on economic study from the United States with his team so you are about to see more. Unlike most governors who become slow in their second term, he is even doing more. People wonder where he is getting money for all these projects from.It is transparency, it is Willie Obiano, it is APGA in power and we hope that APGA will go round other parts of Nigeria. Though governed by an APGA governor,

Anambra is seen as a PDP state, owing to the number of elected PDP legislators. Do you think APGA stands a chance in Anambra in 2019? Unless you haven’t been following the recent events, in the last governorship election in November, 2017 Peter Obi led the PDP in a futile attempt to take over Anambra state but what happened? You all saw it; total lose! Even APC came second and PDP came third. Today their house is in more disarray compared to 2017 election so I wonder how they will perform the magic. APGA is in control in Anambra state. APGA has a strong foothold in the south-east of Nigeria. Contesting an election in Nigeria is usually for people with deep pockets. Do you want to trade this lane, some people use to have godfathers, do you have any godfather? It is a journey of relationship. I was born in that constituency, schooled in that constituency and still live in that constituency till date. My one-on-one relationship with the people is of great value. I don’t care about money bags because one thing I discovered recently especially in my party is that things are changing for good. It is no more the days you give people money and they will vote for you. These days there is hunger; they will collect the money and vote the candidate of their choice. It played out in this election during Willie Obiano’s second term. The other parties were sharing as much as N5,000 but APGA people didn’t collect it. Those that wanted to collect did, but they were not swayed. Our people are beginning to come out of the euphoria, things are really changing. I have no godfather and I don’t intend to have one. I am running my election on my own with the little I have and good individuals who look at my antecedent and feel that this young man can do something wonderful. God is good to me. I am not seeking any sponsor. In Anambra, godfatherism is dead.


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THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018 • T H I S D AY

FEATURES

Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email chiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com

Anambra’s Growing Cultism In just two weeks, a battle of supremacy between two cult groups claimed 16 persons. DavidChyddy Eleke reports that those killed were all young people, who at best can be described as the leaders of tomorrow

A cross section of 35 arrested cultists paraded by the police

F

rom Awka to Onitsha, Nkpor and Obosi, all in Anambra State, cultism has become a way of life for young people. This has further fueled illicit drug consumption, and the use of other substances to attain some

In Awka, the state capital, the battle for superiority between the Vikings Confraternity and the Black Axe is yet to abate. Our correspondent who traced the beginning of the battle learnt that it all began after a traditional festival of Awka kingdom, known as Egwu Imo Awka Festival, which took place in the month of May. Within just two weeks of the battle, 16 persons, from both sides have been felled

Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar

level of highness that permits them indulge in untoward behaviours. In Awka, the state capital, the battle for superiority between the Vikings Confraternity and the Black Axe is yet to abate. Our correspondent who traced the beginning of the battle learnt that it all began after a traditional festival of Awka kingdom, known as Egwu Imo Awka Festival, which took place in the month of May. Within just two weeks of the battle, 16 persons, from both sides have been felled. At UNIZIK junction, a popular location in the capital city, a young boy of 20, named

Chinedu (not real name) had just arrived the ever busy junction, where his Aunty sold food, and not long after, a group of five boys were said to have accosted him. As they discussed, one may mistake them to be his friends, but unknown to passersby, Chinedu had been held hostage. They walked him down the road to a less busy spot, before one of the boys drew a gun and felled him instantly, leaving him in the pool of his blood, while they fled. It was under such condition that both groups worked, identifying and killing members of the opposite cult for two weeks.

A source, who pleaded to remain anonymous told THISDAY that what seemed good was that even though the boys were killing each other, they never tampered with anyone who was not a member of the rival cult. "They have to identify the person sufficiently, and be sure he was a member of the opposing cult, before they struck. "They usually moved in groups once night fell, seeking out the members of the opposite group. What is even more amazing was that these were young people who were still living with their parents, so what they benefited from being members of the cult is what I do not know," the source lamented. In Obosi, another community in the state, which has also become synonymous with drugs and gun battles, the police and men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have had real task keeping up with the culprits, as both security agencies have also confessed to the troubles it undergoes keeping drug peddlers in check, and also tackling cult related activities. Recently, Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar paraded 35 cultists who were arrested in different locations in the state especially in Awka and Obosi communities. The commissioner raised alarm over the increase in cult related activities in the state. He called on parents to perform their function by taming their children as the command may commence charging them to court for murder. Some of the suspected cultists paraded by the commissioner include; Chukwudi Machie; 34, Chukwudi Igwebueze; 32, Onyeka Igbanugo; 28, Ifeanyi Anazoba; 32 and Chukwuemeka


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• T H I S D AY THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

FEATURES Nwokoye; 32 among others. Machie in an interview with journalists gave a shocking hint, when he confessed that most of the commercial motorcyclists and tricycle operators in the capital city were all members of one cult group or the other. He said, "Over 92 per cent of young people in Awka and environ are members of one secret cult or the other. We recruit them young." The suspects who were described by the commissioner as hardened and dangerous all aged between 20 and 35 years old. The Commissioner explained that the suspects were arrested in various locations, while items recovered from them also varied. One of the groups had items such as one AK 47 riffle, one bareta English pistol, two locally made double barrel pistol, one single barrel short gun, 15 rounds of 7.62 live ammunition, three cartridges and a red Toyota Matrix car snatched from its owner at Benin city, Edo State, all recovered from them. Another group of cultists who were also arrested and paraded a day after consisted of four persons, and were described by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed as very notorious and have also been in their wanted list. Mohammed said, "In continuation of the ongoing 'operations stem the tide of cultism in the state', the Command has on the 6/5/2018 at about 1700hrs arrested four additional suspects including the most wanted cultists in Okija, one Chidebere Idogulu alias "sinner man" of Aro Cult group and Azubuike Idogulu alias "dead man" of Baga cult group. The operations are still ongoing while investigations are in progress after which suspects would be charged to court for prosecution." Umar reiterated that his command would not fold its arm and watch while cultists wreaked havoc on the city, threatening to arrest and charge suspects with murder if parents and guardians failed to play their role of leading their wards aright. The development THISDAY gathered has become a serious headache of the state government, as the activities of cultists were almost putting a dent on the achievement of the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, which chief among them was security. A resident of Awka capital territory, and a lawyer, Barr Gerald Eke said if the killing continued, Obiano may find it difficult boasting about his achievement in security. He said, "People are killed here and there, and the government is boasting about its prowess in security, what that means is that cult related activities and killing of members of rival cult were not part of security challenges." In Enugu Ukwu however, the leaders of the community have acknowledged the havoc cultism, illicit drug and prostitution was causing on their youths, but instead of applying force, it decided that persuasion was a better way to make the youths change from their old ways. There was jubilation in the community during an awareness campaign organised by the Enugwu Ukwu Community Development Union, headed the President General of the community, Hon Bonny Ozo Nkwuaku as five persons described as very notorious criminals, who are said to be on the wanted list of Anambra State Police Command submitted themselves to police authorities.

They usually moved in groups once night fell, seeking out the members of the opposite group. What is even more amazing was that these were young people who were still living with their parents, so what they beneďŹ ted from being members of the cult is what I do not know

Five suspected criminals from Enugwu Ukwu community who turned themselves in, and gave up crime during a sensitisation campaign against drugs, crime and prostitution, posing with the DPO Enugwu Ukwu Police Division, Dan Uke and his deputy

The cultists paraded by the police and some weapons recovered from them

The suspected criminals were led to renounce their criminal ways by their leaders; Mr. Emmanuel Okafor, and Mr. Nnadozie Nnenwa both aged 26, and popularly known in the area as Ten Kobo and Uta respectively. The kingpins, who residents of the community said had been thorns in their flesh led their gang members out during the programme which featured lectures on the dangerous effects of illicit drug consumption, cultism, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and prostitution. Okafor and Nnenwa who spoke on behalf of their gang members during the renunciation begged the community for forgiveness, pledging not to return to their old ways. They solicited with well-meaning people in the community to help them start something meaningful, saying that part of the reason they indulged in crime was joblessness. The DPO of Enugwu Ukwu Police Division, Mr. Dan Uke who was at the event confessed that the suspects have been terrorising the area for a long time, and have also given his men cause for concern. He said, "When the PG brought Ten Kobo to my office early this morning, I was surprised that he accepted to come, because we have been looking for him. When I saw the look of remorse on his face, I told him I will not arrest him for

accepting to come by himself, but I asked him to write an undertaking that he would not engage in crime again." The traditional ruler of the community who was represented by the traditional prime minister, Chief Clement Nwafor also expressed happiness at the programme and the renunciation of crime by the suspected criminals, urging youths to engage in meaningful ventures as a way to take their minds off crime. The programme featured an awareness campaign, which saw youths of the community walking through major roads and sensitising all of the need to stay off vices. The President General while reporting to the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ralph Ekpeh earlier during a courtesy call shortly before the commencement of the programme said his leadership believed that only negotiation, dialogue and sound advice, rather than arrest and imprisonment can keep youths of the community off vices. Nkwuaku said he and members of his executive thought out the programme and specifically sought out notorious criminals in the community whom they preached to, on the importance of living drug and crime free life.

He said, "I am particularly happy that this is happening under my watch as president general. We walked around the community and sensitised the people of the need to shun cultism, robbery, drug, prostitution and others. These suspected armed robbers who have been on police wanted list also received amnesty today as they have vowed they will not engage in crime again and if they fail, we will now bring to bear the full weight of the law." Nkwuaku said his executive had met and dialogued with prominent personalities in the community on the possible ways of rehabilitating the repented criminals. Mr. Oddy Akubuike, Chairman Enugwu Ukwu Youth Forum while corroborating Nkwuaku said, "We have mapped out ways of absorbing the youths that have renounced crime. "We have bought WAEC forms for the ones that want to go to school, barbing equipments, and others which we will use to empower them. We have spoken with various prominent persons in the community and we are going to integrate them into the society through skills acquisition and empowerment." He urged other communities to consider solving the insecurity problem in their domain by using soft approaches as it has done.


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IMAGES

L-R; Executive Director, National Schools Fair, Mr. Stephen Ike,Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary, Education District, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Olufunmilayo Onadipe, National President, Association of Private Schools Proprietors, Mr. Wasiu Adumaluyi and Head, Enterprise Products and Innovations, Globacom, Mr. Tega Agofure at the National Schools Fair held at the Federal Palace Hotel,Lagos recently

L-R: Team Lead, Total Rewards, Olaposi Oyebadejo; Human Resources Business Partner, Kaosara Abdulkareem; Human Resources Director, Kunbi Adeoti; Human Resources Officer, Olamide Fanimokun and Head, Corporate Services, Olubunmi Adeleye all of Leadway Assurance during an award given to the MD/CEO, Leadway Assurance, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale at the 2018 HR People Magazine Award in Lagos.... recently

L-R; Chairman, Tellco Europe Nigeria, Prof. Wale Omole;Consul General of Switzerland, Mr. Yves Nicolet; Chief Executive Officer, Tellco Europe Nigeria, Mr. Olawale Akinwunmi; and Managing Director/COO, Dr. Victor Fodeke, at the Tellco Europe Nigeria media briefing on 2018 celebration of the world environment day in Lagos... recently PHOTO; ETOP UKUTT

T H I S D AY • THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

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

L-R: General Secretary, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Mr. Shedrack Egbule; Vice President, Mr. Boniface Aniah; President, Mr. Ahmed Ojikutu; Founder, Technology Times Media Limited, Mr. Shina Badaru and Head, Business Unit, Technology Times, Mrs. Temitope Osinoiki, during a courtesy visit by Technology Times management to the leadership of CAPDAN on the upcoming Launching of Komputer Village Magazine, in Computer Village, Ikeja Lagos…recently

Founder , Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM) and Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, kitting up little Mariam Shobowale, a pupil of Cherubim and Seraphim Primary School, Ogolonto Ikorodu, during the flag off ceremony of project 2018 bright step for 10,000 primary one pupils of Lagos State, at the School premises, in Ikorodu…recently KOLA OLASUPO

Manager ,LPG Operations ,NIPCO Plc ,Kamal Badmus [right] presenting cooking gas accessories to teachers and pupils of Maidic Schools ,Alagbado ,as part of efforts to grow LPG utilization on the occasion of World Environment Day celebrations in Lagos...recently

L-R, Programme Manager, Power Sector Recovery Programme, Kenny Anuwe; Publisher Businessday Newspaper, Frank Aigbogun; President/Founder Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Mrs Sola Salako-Ajulo; MD/CEO Transmission Company of Nigeria, Usman Mohammed; Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Olawale Oluwo and Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Kola Adesina during Sahara Power Round Table in Lagos...recently


T H I S D AY • THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

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BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT

A S

A T

REPO 4.83 5.33

J U N E

Group Business Editor Obinna Chima Email: obinna.chima@thisdaylive.com 08024557078, 08091152219

8 ,

2 0 1 8

S & P INDEX

CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH

4.13 8.25 8.50

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

EXCHANGE RATE 357.18 - 0.20% -0.23% 3.23% 8.41%

N305.95/1US DOLLAR AS AT LAST FRIDAY

Quick Takes NBC Wins Award

Non-Alcoholic beverage giant, the Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (NBC), emerged the ‘best environmental friendly company’ at the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency Award organised as part of activities to mark the 2018 World Environmental Day recently in Lagos. Receiving the award on behalf of the company, Ms. Ifeoma Okoye who represented the Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director, Mrs. Sade Morgan described the recognition as a welcome development adding that it is a big motivation for the company to invest more in keeping the environment safe and sustainable. Morgan who attributed the honour to the contribution of staff and management, stated that NBC was fully committed to contributing its quota through various partnerships to prevent environmental pollution. Speaking on the 2018 theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”, Okoye noted that it became increasingly imperative for companies both local and multinationals to collaborate by devising innovative ideas that can help combat the challenges associated with waste particularly plastic bottles. “We have great minds of students and professors who can help develop innovative ways and methods to improve the existing procedures attainable now.

DigitalSENSE Gets Commendation

RMB NIGERIA 5TH ANNIVERSARY

R-L: CEO, Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMBN)/Regional Head, West Africa, Michael Larbie; Head, Leveraged Finance, RMBN, Chidi Iwuchukwu; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; and Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian Vice President on Trade & Investment, Jumoke Oduwole, during a musical performance as part of RMBN 5th anniversary celebration in Lagos...recently

NCC May Set Up Regulatory Framework for OTT Services Emma Okonji The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, may likely set up a regulatory framework for the control of over-the-top (OTT) technology services. This will however be made possible if the NCC eventually validates the findings of a study carried out by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) on the benefits and challenges of OTT services in Nigeria. The CTO report, which was presented recently to the Nigerian ICT industry, will be

ICT published on June 19, 2018, and it will present key issues and recommendations on OTT services. The CTO report was sequel to a stakeholders’ consultation session that was organised by the NCC on May 30. It was expected to provide the industry with an opportunity to discuss and validate the findings. The Secretary-General of CTO, Mr. Shola Taylor, underlined the need for regulatory responses to OTT services that are tailored to the context of each Commonwealth country.

“Following the widespread use of OTTs and ICTs, and the emergence of data security issues, some of which are not limited by physical jurisdictions and cross-national borders, it is vital that Nigeria establishes legislation on data protection and privacy which ensures the protection of personal data in Nigeria,” Taylor said. Participants at the event discussed the findings of the study, underlining specific issues and recommendations which are relevant to the Nigerian context. The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management at NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare said:

“It has now become vital for Nigeria to come up with regulatory approaches that not only address the peculiarities of the Nigerian ‘OTT’ context but also ensure positive outcomes for consumers, traditional service providers, OTTs, and the federal government. The CTO’s OTT report is an excellent start to doing just that.” The OTT services are rendered by social network providers who ride on the infrastructure of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) like MTN, Globacom, Airtel, among other GSM operators, Continued on page 24

The IPv6 Council Nigeria and the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) have commended the management of DigitalSENSE Africa Media, for the consistency in providing internet stakeholders in Nigeria a platform to align with the global ecosystem. They described DigitalSENSE Africa as ‘fore-bearers’ of good news on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D). Speaking at the 9th edition of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) and Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable, as part of the Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) series in Lagos recently, the Chairman of IPv6 Council Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Rudman and NIG President, Mr. Destiny Amana applauded DigitalSENSE Africa Media for ensuring Nigerian Internet stakeholders are readily represented and kept abreast of issues on IG4D in the country. Amana said DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) series has been an expose for a lot of Nigerian Internet stakeholders, especially the students, youth and women as well as community-based organisation (CBO).

Furniture Firm Organises Exhibition

To celebrate the contributions of its personnel and customers to the growth and sustainability of its operations, an indigenous furniture company, IO Furniture recently held the 2018 edition of its annual Labour Day Exhibition. The event which held in Lagos, was also an opportunity to showcase the products and offerings of the firm, at discounted costs. Speaking about the event, the company’s managing director, Mrs. Muni Shonibare, revealed that it was put together to celebrate the men and women who through their efforts ensure the organization is functional and sustainable, and also to promote the local industry. “This is about making people appreciate or be mindful of ethical work. It is an attempt to ensure that we recognize and celebrate the importance of the workforce, the client, the management and brains that go into ensuring that everything works well.

Spectranet Announces Data Bonanza

Consumers’ Trust Required to Reduce Power Sector Debt, Says Expert Raheem Akingbolu The total unpaid liability of N1.1 trillion in the power sector, which was said to be rising by N30 billion monthly, will reduce and ameliorate if there is trust between power suppliers and the end users, the President, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Sola Salako, has said. Salako also called on discos to intensify consumer education to bridge the communication gap between them and the customers. In an interview with THISDAY, Salako, who expressed shock over the recent declaration that the country’s power sector risked collapsing under

ENERGY a heavy debt burden, blamed stakeholders in the power sector for not embarking on enough enlightenment campaign to galvanise their customers. “They need the consumers to partner with them to make the entire system work. Consumers need adequate education because there is gap in level of awareness. I am shocked at the declaration that some credible customers are paying for some other customers that are by-passing meters. “The problem is that when consumers don’t know the reason why they should be paying for power which they

didn’t consume, they won’t cooperate with the discos. They (the consumers) may be unconcerned if the Discos are telling them how much they are losing because they are not interested because they feel they are being over charged. “But if they explain to them that this is what happened. We give you crazy bill because people are by-passing meters and are not-paying; they will help the discos fish them out. Most importantly, we have to bridge that deficit of trust as soon as we can. After this, we can work as partners because we don’t want the sector to collapse,” she said. Earlier, in his opening remark

at at roundtable organised by Sahara Energy Energy, the Group Managing Director of Sahara Power Group Limited, Kola Adesina, had called for alignment between policymakers and operators, adding that a cost reflective tariff is inevitable. He said: “The discourse around electricity is usually emotional and emotive. There is a misalignment of visions and policies in the sector. I wonder why the cost of a commodity should be higher than the price of the commodity. “There is no economic magic to guarantee efficiency in such a state of affairs. There is need Continued on page 24

Spectranet has announced data bonanza for its customers to watch and support the Super Eagles at the World Cup football tournament holding in Russia. The firm said the move was to garner support for Nigeria’s national team with a nationwide consumer promotion, called Connect & Win Big World Cup Bonanza. The promotion is part of Spectranet’s endeavour to participate in the happy moments of its customers, new and existing, and multiply their joy by offering incredible price deals on data renewals and device purchases ..

“Across the world, lottery business is large and lucrative, but in Nigeria the market is relatively young with narrow vision centered around sport betting”

CEO, Gbam Lotto, Tawa Bolarin


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T H I S D AY •THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

BUSINESSWORLD

NEWS

NCC MAY SET UP REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR OTT SERVICES

Nigeria Will Attain 30% Broadband Penetration By 2018, NCC Insists

to offer free voice and instant massaging services such as: WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, Facebook, Viber, Imo, at no cost to the subscribers. The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, had raised concern that social network operators do not invest in infrastructure, but ride on the infrastructure of MNOs to provide free services to customers at the detriment of MNOs who have invested so much to build their infrastructure and are still investing in the maintenance of such telecoms infrastructure. He said the new development was causing MNOs to lose revenue strings hitherto coming from their voice and data services, because subscribers now prefer to patronise the social network operators who provide the services at no cost to the subscriber.

As part of efforts of the federal government to provide affordable broadband infrastructure and services in Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has expressed the desire of the commission to ensure that the country attains 30 per cent broadband penetration before the end of 2018. Danbatta, who disclosed in Lagos during the 10th anniversary lecture and awards of Business Journal with the theme: “Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Exploring the Strategic Alliance,” stated that as at March, the country’s broadband penetration was estimated at 22 per cent, adding that most of the access was through wireless broadband. He also noted that as part of the initiative to achieve the National Broadband Plan (NBP) target for broadband penetration, the commission had licenced and auctioned frequency spectrum to some new and existing licensees. Some of the firms include Bitflux Communication Limited (Bitflux), MTN Communications Limited, Intercellular Nigeria Limited among others. Danbatta explained that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have deployed about 52,000 kilometres of fiber optic cables as at April 2018. Danbatta who was represented at the event by the Assistant Director, Technical Standards, NCC, Edoyemi Ogo, stated that there are about 33,000 2G, 29,000 3G and 4000 LTE

CONSUMERS’ TRUST REQUIRED TO REDUCE POWER SECTOR DEBT, SAYS EXPERT to be paid to the sector a cost reflective tariffs. There is the need for systemic evaluation of every policy churned out.” Speaking further, Adesina also disclosed that it is impossible to meter all customers in Nigeria. Like Salako, he also emphasised the need for trust among stakeholders. “When I hear argument about metering, I wonder. I wondered because we argued about what should come last to come first. Estimated billing is a universal phenomenon; it is not a Nigerian thing. “Everyone should not assume that it is only in Nigeria that you don’t have meters. It is definitely and certainly impossible for the universe as we have it today to be metered. “That’s the reality. Interestingly, what I have put forward as to why we are where we are, is the lack of trust. There’s nothing else but trust. These infrastructures do not do anything but to calibrate usage,”

Ugo Aliogo

sites deployed as at April 2018. He added that five international submarine cable and landing station services operators have landed cables in the country. The NCC boss noted that to ensure the continuous rollout of requisite infrastructure, 12 metropolitan fibre cable network companies and 12 national long distance operators had also been licenced. Danbatta further said there was need to expedite the rollout of the fibre optic infrastructure across the country,

adding that the commission had examined the open access model as the model for optic fiber transmission network deployment to bridge the current gap and deliver fast and reliable broadband services to households and businesses. According to him, “To drive the process for the delivery of fast and reliable broadband services across the country, the commission established a Broadband Implementation and Monitoring Committee (BIMC). “This committee is charged to drive the broadband

infrastructure licencing and deployment using the open access model. “Furthermore, the commission, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), is implementing the following access and connectivity programmes for the underserved and un-served areas across the country which include: BTRAIN-Backbone Transmission Infrastructure of over 3,250km of fiber across six geo-political zones-Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) :155 BTS sites.

“On completion, the BTS will provide voice and data services populations in 930 communities. Other initiatives include tertiary institutions knowledge centres at 73 school locations; information resource centres at 73 library locations, e-accessibility project at 14 locations across the geo-political zones, e-health project, at 13 General Hospitals across the six geo-political zones, school knowledge centres at 1,324 schools in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” Danbatta said.

CHANGE OF BATON

L-R: Outgoing President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. James Emadoye; incoming President, Yele Okeremi and Chairman, Committee on Education and Capacity Building, ISPON, Peter Ogedengbe, during the official handing over of the leadership of ISPON to Okeremi in Lagos...recently

Osinbajo Reopens Talks with State Governors on Right of Way Emma Okonji Following discussions between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the state governors about the issue on Right of Way (RoW) that is yet to yield any meaningful result, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has decided to revisit the issue in order to put a lasting solution to it. Osinbajo, it was gathered, recently met with the state governors to discuss the challenges about the delay in state government’s approval on RoW. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danabatta, who made the disclosure during the visit of the Association of Telecoms

Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to NCC in Abuja recently, said the discussion between Osinbajo and the state governors was successful. He said the key area of contention had been addressed and that telecoms operators would soon embark on massive rollout of metropolitan fibre optic broadband cables within cities, to boost broadband penetration. Before now, most state governments had denied telecoms operators the approval on RoW that will enable them dig up the earth to lay broadband cables. The refusal to approve RoW in some states and the delay in approval in some other states, had made telecoms operators to suspend work on network

rollout and expansion, which impacted negatively on telecoms growth. The bone of contention was that aside the federal government’s regulation of the telecoms sector, through the NCC, the state governments said they also have the right to regulate telecoms activities in their various states, thus imposing levies on operators before approval is given to them on RoW. The telecoms operators saw the state regulation as duplication of government roles, and an avenue of extortion, since they are compelled to pay the same levy to state governments after paying such levy to the federal government, amounting

to payment of multiple levies in a country where the revenue of operators is depleting fast by the day, owing to several variables. Danbatta who briefed the ATCON executive members, led by their president, Mr. Olusola Teniola, on the outcome of the meeting between Osinbajo and the state governors, said the state governors agreed to approve RoW for telecoms operators, without further delay and that four telecoms operators who were licensed as Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) by the NCC to provide broadband infrastructure in different regions of the country, have been granted state approval to lay fibre optic cables

for broadband rollout. “It appears there is a solution in sight on RoW as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had a meeting with Nigeria Governors Forum and he used the opportunity to make a presentation to them in respect of Right of Way and the governors appeared to buy into the initiative of laying fibre, which will cover up to 18000 km in Nigeria and the initiative will be solely driven by the Vice President and with this initiative, solutions shall be proffered to the challenges caused by Right of Ways and the 30 per cent broadband penetration set target will soon be met and surpassed,” Danbatta told Teniola and his visiting team.

Lagos State, ATC to BoostYouth Empowerment with DigitalVillages Emma Okonji Group Business Editor

Obinna Chima

Capital Market Editor

Goddy Egene

AgriBusiness/Industry Editor

Jonathan Eze

Comms/e-Business Editor

Emma Okonji

Senior Correspondent

Raheem Akingbolu (Advertising) Correspondents

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

Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (Cap Mkt)

ATC Nigeria, in collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and Jobberman, is deploying digital villages across Lagos that will serve as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills acquisition centre, designed for youth empowerment. According to ATC Nigeria, access to the internet is widely seen as a human right in the eyes of millions of people around the world. The internet has evolved to a point where people see internet access as vital for them to exercise their

rights to freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights such as education. The company however decried the limited internet access available to Nigeria, especially its youths that are multitasking and are in need of internet assess for innovation in the digital era. It said in spite of the many benefits of the internet, its reach in Nigeria and Africa remains limited. “Cost, scalability, power outages and educational barriers are only some of the challenges facing the mass roll out of internet in Africa. Although Nigeria is ranked as Africa’s highest internet user,

it’s youths still find it difficult to have ubiquitous and cheap internet access.” Citing the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) figure on the number of internet users, which is put at 98.3 million as at November 2017, ATC Nigeria said approximately 50 per cent Nigerians do not have access to Internet, when compared with the 98 million Nigerian population. Those that have access to the internet, pay heavily to have internet access, which invariably slows their rate of innovation, ATC said, adding that it was the reason why it decided to deploy digital villages across

the country, beginning with Lagos, in partnership with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Jobberman, to enable Nigerian youths have access to skills development centre that is equipped with internet access. To address the challenge, ATC Nigeria is leveraging its communications infrastructure in an innovative way by creating what the company refers to as “Digital Villages,” near its communications tower sites. Digital Villages are retrofitted steel shipping containers equipped with work stations to accommodate twelve computers and equipment such

as scanners, photocopiers and projectors. Digital Villages utilise the uninterrupted power supply and broadband link from ATC Nigeria’s tower sites to provide host communities with free education and training in ICT and entrepreneurship. They also support the ongoing efforts of the federal and various state governments to provide youth development and empowerment schemes for indigent youth and young graduates, and enable communities to access government e-services, helping improve the efficiency of vital government programmes.


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Brown: Nigeria Needs Data on Satellite TV Viewing to Deepen Market Vice President, Sales and Market Development for Africa at SES, Mr. Clint Brown, spoke with Emma Okonji on the company’s survey report on television homes in Nigeria, which grew from three million in 2015 to over 11 million in 2017. Excerpts: terms of knowing the mass market and how to project advertisements to the right audience. So it will enable companies and advertisers understand their market audience and deal with them directly. Different advertisers, be it product, branding, health, sports, education, make use of available data to understand their target audience. So what our data is telling everyone is that on our satellite, advertisers and companies have the opportunity of knowing their market audience and focus on them.

Can you tell us more about SES as a global satellite company? SES is a major global satellite operator. There are about four major satellite operators that are dominating the global satellite market and SES is the single biggest satellite operator among the four successful satellite operators in the world. We currently have 60 satellites, with over 90 per cent coverage of the entire globe and we have multiple platforms, providing high speed, high capacity with low latency. We are also competing very much with TV fibre cable operators because of the low latency that our satellite offers. SES recently released its research data on television household viewing across Nigeria. What prompted the research and what exactly do you want to achieve with the data obtained? The reason for our market survey is to basically understand how the market is growing and what data is available in the market for consumers and advertisers. The data obtained from the survey will help our customers have better knowledge of the market and with such information at their disposal, they can meet with the advertisers to inform them of their customer base that view through the satellite and this will help them channel their advertising contents in the most efficient way by taking them to the platform that records the highest volume of views. Advertising can be done in a number of different ways. It can be done by sponsoring a channel, providing airtime in-between programmes or by sponsoring a particular programme. We made presentation of our research data to our Nigerian customers recently and the essence of the presentation was to share information, which we collected from the market place, back to the market place. We did a market survey on the number of television households in Nigeria and how the number of households receiving television contents, and we also went deeper into demographics to know the channels through which they receive the television contents. What were the basic findings of your survey report about the television viewing audience via satellite in Nigeria? The data from our survey report shows that SES, a global satellite service provider, has significantly increased its technical reach in Nigeria to over 11 million TV homes in 2017, up from three million in 2015. The growth figure was obtained from the recent Satellite Monitor research, a market study commissioned by SES that provides insights on the broadcasting industry and on SES’s reach in the country. The Satellite Monitor results revealed that SES now reaches over 11 million TV homes, of which 3.5 million are directly served by its satellite fleet - a two-fold increase compared to 2015. This means SES now directly serves 37 per cent of satellite TV homes in Nigeria. Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) homes fed indirectly by SES also contributed to the increased reach. What could be the key driver for the growth SES in Nigeria? The prime orbital position at 28.2 degrees East was a key driver for the growth of SES’s direct reach, with three million TV homes directly served via this orbital slot, up from 1.3 million in 2015. This video position hosts SES’s premium free-to-air TV platform for Nigeria, giving broadcasters access to the highest technical reach in West Africa. The growth of SES’s reach was also driven by direct satellite broadcasting and feeding DTT head-ends via five degrees East. According to the survey, there are 35 million TV homes in Nigeria, of which close to

So what is the differentiating factor between Satellite television, Cable television and Internet Protocol television (IPTV)? IPTV is basically television with the internet and it is traditionally streaming as a linear television. And today there are many linear TV options available but I do not know the level of availability in the Nigerian market. Satellite can also deliver that if the consumer is using satellite broadband or satellite as an extension service on mobile and that is one of the things we do on our network. It also comes in the form of Direct to Home (DTH) and Direct to Terrestrial Transmission (DTT). The cable television is simply fibre to the home through the fibre transmission cable. But some cable operators will like to deliver content over satellite and this tells you that there are lots of different ways of transmitting contents but the most efficient way is what we are talking about.

Brown 10 million are served by satellite, and the rest are served by terrestrial networks. The penetration of digital TV has expanded to 25 million homes receiving digital TV signals, which represents 35 per cent growth compared to 2015. SES has been committed to driving the growth of digital TV in Nigeria for many years, and local partners in the country appreciate the Satellite Monitor study as a token of our commitment. We are particularly excited by our growing technical reach at 28.2 degrees East, which broadcasters and content programmers will be able to leverage to increase their audience via our Nigerian TV platform.

satellite is the way to go, considering speed and wider coverage areas. Despite the opportunity of speed that satellite brings, it comes with its own challenges when it comes to weather condition. What is your view about the effect of bad weather on satellite distribution of content? Technology has improved the efficiency of satellite, especially in the area weather condition. Satellite used to have weather challenges in the past but technology has improved all of that. Satellite has become more robust and efficient, even with heavy weather condition.

Based on your survey findings and data collection, what would you says about the growth of the Nigerian market in the area of digital content? In the course of the survey, we gathered data which illustrates that the market place in Nigeria is growing and growing very fast. What is clear about the Nigerian market is that default for delivery of digital services is satellite and this is not taking over fibre to a great extent, but satellite remains the medium for delivering television content directly to the home. So satellite is the foundation for the delivery of digital services, even though some people tend to dismiss satellite as old technology. In the current and next generation, we see satellite leading in content delivery and distribution.

The use of satellite in Nigeria and African countries is on the increase. What do you think is responsible for this growth? The growth of satellite in Nigeria and other African countries is as a result of the recognition of the efficiency of satellite by people. It is clear that people are beginning to understand that satellite delivers effectively and more people are beginning to realise this. Again, our satellite delivers strong digital content for viewers. Take an example of about 10 million to 11 million households, with an average of four people per household, it means that more than 40 million people are receiving the digital contents. So, if there is an information for dissemination, be it education, health, commercial, or advertising, satellite remains that fastest way to reach the majority of people within the fastest possible time.

Considering the growth of satellite in content delivery, compared to fibre, do you see satellite displacing fibre anytime soon? I am not saying that satellite television will displace fibre television because fibre is still relevant in content delivery to the home, but what we are saying is that with satellite, people have better opportunities to leapfrog quickly in the area of rollout. Fibre will still be used to deliver contents to the home but this takes a lot of time to do so, compare with satellite that is quicker and faster in rollout of digital contents. So,

Having released your survey report on satellite usage in Nigeria and Africa, do you intend to partner any agency to further advertise the data from your survey report? What we plan to do is to share the data with advertising companies. We have the data and the data explains the type of contents that television households are watching, and the channels through which they watch the television contents. So the data will help advertisers understand the different programmes that people watch, the interest of consumers and this will help them in their advertisement in

So in all these content distribution channels you just enumerated, which of them is the most cost effective? The cost effectiveness does not really matter to some people because they consider the efficiency, which has to do with speed of delivery. For satellite, the speed of rollout and content delivery is very fast and efficient more than any other channel. With satellite, we can rollout to 10,000 customers in a matter of weeks and such speed of rollout cannot be achieved with other channels like the cable, which is about fibre to the home that has right of way challenges in terms of getting government approval to dig up the ground for cable laying. Again, there is the possibility and danger of digging up the cables during road construction or even through deliberate act by social miscreants, which will lead to cable cut and disconnection of flow of contents to the end users. The challenges of laying the fibre is also there because the period of time it will take the cable operator to rollout to 10,000 customers, is the same period of time it will take satellite operator to rollout to 50, 000 customers. MX1 is part of the SES family and you are working closely with MX1 to deliver satellite television content. How will you describe the business relationship between the two companies? MX1 is a division within SES, which is the satellite company. So MX1 is the content aggregator and distribution value chain of SES. So what MX1 does is to take the content and shape it in the best delivery mode that the consumer wants. A lot of things go into shaping, which has to do with transcoding, provision of data and dubbing in other to provide hot and breaking news that will be very attractive to consumers. What kind of contents do you expect your customers to develop that will drive and sustain satellite viewing in Nigeria? We expect them to do more on content development and have varieties of contents that are of high quality. They should be able to make their digital contents attractive. So by the time they bring such contents to our satellite platform, we will give them the coverage and mileage they deserve.


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Minister Challenges Telcos, Corporate Organisations on CSR Stories by Emma Okonji The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has challenged telecommunications companies (Telcos) other corporate organizations and including wealthy individuals to support humanitarian causes through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives as a way of helping to reduce the rate of poverty in the country. The Minister, who spoke at the premiere of Airtel Touching Lives season 4 in Lagos recently, applauded Airtel’s

commitment and consistency in reaching the downtrodden and empowering them. He urged other corporate organisations to follow in the footsteps of the telco in extending a helping hand to those in need. “I think that the companies doing business in Nigeria who have been benefiting from the enabling environment in Nigeria and the individuals and businessmen who have been benefiting must certainly come to the rescue and multiply what Airtel has been doing,” he said. He stated

that government needed the support of the private sector, NGOs, philanthropists and other well-meaning organisations to eradicate hunger and poverty in the country by touching the lives less privilege people in the society. The Minister also called on the National Assembly to inspire and encourage businesses in Nigeria to embark on CSR initiatives. “On the part of government, I think particularly, the National Assembly, which is saddled with making laws for us, should also feel challenged by what we

have seen Airtel do by trying to initiate laws, which would inspire or encourage corporate social responsibility to be a major issue in the running of businesses of Nigeria,” he said. “I am sure that Airtel might have spent fortunes to do what they have done, it is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to prosper the management of Airtel Nigeria and to help prosper Airtel itself. I want to challenge all of us to make resolutions to touch lives in the same vein that Airtel has been doing” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said Airtel would not relent in its effort to restore hope and help the less privileged in the society in line with its vision of creating empowerment opportunities and making life better for Nigerians. “I want to thank everyone and to encourage Nigerians that there is no limit to how kind anyone can be. My parting message is don’t spend your time asking why there are poor people in the world; it’s a waste of time.

“The right question is what can we do to change it? We are always going to have poor and unfortunate people amongst us. What next is what you can do to affect their circumstances and I am encouraging you to do something,” he said. Since Airtel launched the Touching Lives initiative three years ago, it has achieved remarkable successes having restored hope of despaired individuals and families, saved many from the throes of death and empowered many underprivileged Nigerians.

Glo Adds 400,000 New Subscribers in One Month Globacom’s subscriber figure moved up by over 400,000 in April, according to latest telecom industry report released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator. According to the report published on the website of NCC, Globacom’s subscriber figure rose from 39,042,979 in March to 39,523,811 in April, showing an increase of 480,832 customers. The new statistics reconfirms Globacom as the second largest telecommunications operator in the country with 25 per cent share of the market. The network’s subscriber base has since January this year continued its upward trajectory, rising from 38,169,780 at the end of December, 2017, to 38,228,018 in January. It moved from 38,423,184 in February, 39,042,979 in March and 39,523,811 in April. This indicates that Glo has so far added 1.36 million more subscribers to its network this year. A look at how the national operator fared in the last one

year showed that it grew its subscriber base by 2.25 million, as the customer base rose from 37,270,100 in April, 2017, to 39,523,811 in April, 2018. Globacom’s increasing subscriber base is said to be a result of the several attractive and user-friendly packages which offer a lot of appeal to prepaid and postpaid phone users, thus making its services the most accessible and most affordable. Also, from the figures released by NCC, connected telephone lines in the country reduced marginally from 242.6 million in March to 242.53 million in April. These include GSM, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Fixed Wired/ Wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). However, GSM lines remained dominant with 238.1 million connections in March and 238.03 million in April. However, active telephone lines in the country rose from 148.6 million in March to 160.1 million lines at the end of April.

Tecno Mobile has launched the second version of the Tecno Spark series called Spark 2 with Google Android Go. Speaking at the product launch, the Marketing Manager, Tecno Mobile, Abel Huo, said the mobile device manufacturer was motivated to launch the Spark 2, following the huge success recorded and the increased demand from customers, since the launch of the Tecno Spark series. He said the Spark 2 was another great smartphone designed for productivity and style, adding that it is not just another camera phone, but one that any smartphone lover with the desire to have an all-in-one tool, should have. Huo said: “The Tecno Spark 2 flaunts a 6-inch full HD screen display perfect for viewing photos, watching videos and gaming. The 6-inch display is squeezed into a small shell of 5.7mm making the device comfortable to hold. On the camera department, the SPARK 2 offers a brighter camera than its predecessors. The device takes excellent photos even in low light conditions with its 8MP Front + 13MP Rear Bright Camera. “The F/2.0 wide aperture enables more light to pass

through the camera lens, thereby making selfie pictures clear even in low light conditions. The Spark 2 also comes with an improvement in the storage capacity with two variants of ROM and RAM.” Huo explained that the spark 2 is powered by Google’s Android Go, adding that it is optimised to offer consumers lots of benefits including a smooth and fast experience for devices with 1GB of RAM or even less, and provide new and reimagined Google apps for including Google Go, YouTube Go, and the Google Assistant for Android with enhanced data efficiency. “In the same vein, 9MOBILE will be extending amazing offers to consumets who purchase the tecno spark 2. These consumers will get 2GB instant bonus, plus 100 per cent bonus on all purchased data plans for the first 6-months after purchase,” he said. He revealed that they would also get another 50 per cent bonus on all data plans purchased for the subsequent six-months, and that the lucky winners would have access to an extra 500MB data for daily video streaming for 14 additional days, upon every 1GB data plan purchased.

PARTNERSHIP

L-R: Director, Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, Ayo Otaigbe; Head, Human Resource Recruitment/ CSR & Sustainability, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chris Nnakwe; Chairperson, Coalition of Sickle cell NGOs, Toyin Adesola; and Product Manager, e-Banking, Fidelity Bank, Daniel Azike, during a media briefing on sickle cell sensitisation in Lagos…recently

Nigeria Takes SMEs, Innovators, Doogee Launches New Sets of Tecno Spark 2 Launched in Lagos Others to ITU Telecom Forum Smartphone Devices In Nigeria Conscious of the reality that Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) entrepreneurs and start-ups are critical drivers for economic growth, Nigeria will this year emphasise their participation in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World, which holds in Durban, South Africa from September 10-13. Apart from SMEs, innovators and their innovations are also slated to have a good showing at this year’s event. Nigeria had a successful outing in ITU Telecom World 2017 in Busan, South Korea, when five of the country’s SMEs/ Innovators made the final ITU Global listing for SMEs/ Innovators awards. Three of them made the honours’ list. As part of the plan for this year’s ITU Telecom World, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) published notices in the media recently, inviting information and communications technology (ICT) practitioners and SMEs operating as eEnvironment, Technology Hubs, Innovation Incubators, e-Education, e-Health, eCommerce, e-Finance, Youth Empowerment and Employment, to enlist for participation at ITU Telecom World 2018. ITU Telecom World 2018

theme is “Innovation for Smarter Digital Development.” The LOC said for SMEs/Innovators to be selected, “their tech-enabled solution must be creative, innovative, and globally relevant. Such products/services must provide demonstrable impact or radical improvement in service delivery or processes to a specific area such as agriculture, education, health, governance, security,” among others. Innovations must be unique, scalable and patented with a model to showcase. ITU Telecom World 2018 is an election year and Nigeria is vying for two positions: ITU Administrative Council and Director in charge of Bureau for Telecommunications Development (BDT) for which Mr. Williams Ijeh is a candidate. In April this year, Chief Regulator and Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, launched Nigeria’s campaign for the two positions, when he hosted a dinner for high profile ITU personalities including Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao, officials of the global regulatory agencies, ministers, regulators and global dignitaries in Geneva, Switzerland.

Doogee Mobile Technology Nigeria Limited has introduced its new ultra-modern and cost effective smartphone devices into the Nigerian telecommunications industry. The devices include Mix, BL, S, X and V series. Announcing the debut of the smartphone devices, the Director, Business Development/Technical, Doogee Nigeria, Gbenga Ayodele, said the technology driving the mobile devices, which has been successfully tested in Europe, North and South America, Middle East, Asia, Africa and others, strikes a balance between work and play, enabling people to achieve more than what they thought possible on a smartphone. “Life moves faster than ever now, technology is fleeting, so, Doogee smartphones are created to help users get things done easily, fast as possible wherever, whenever. Doogee Mix series are budget Full-Display smartphones consists of Mix2 (full display, 5.99” bezel-less 18.9 aspect ratio where metal and glass are fussed uniquely for a stunning display of 1300 wide angle camera for a group selfie with 16MP + 13MP dual cameras. 6GB RAM + 128GB

ROM, powered by 4060mAh polymer Li-on battery,” Ayodele said. “Doogee Mix3 comes with 3600 rotatory camera while mix4 embed snapdragon processor for the first time which indicates gaining some traction in Western, Asia and Africa market mostly Nigeria where snapdragon processors are well cherished. Despite the state of the art features embed in Mix series they are produced at budget price range. Other smartphones in the Mix series includes Mix, Mix Lite and Mix2 while Mix3 and Mix4 soon to be released to the market globally,” Ayodele added. Speaking further, he explained that, as Nigerians grapple with epileptic power supply, Doogee BL series are specifically designed to put smiles on the faces of Nigerian smartphone users with 12000mAh battery life. Android 7.0, the biggest battery smartphone in the world lead the pack with incredible battery capacity, with 1000 hours of standby, 90 hours of calling, recording 45.2 hours, music playing 50 hours, video playing 25 hours, gaming 23.5 hours and internet surfing 33.2 hours.


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ADVERTISING

Turning Trains to Moving Billboards With the gradual revamp of the rail transportation system in Nigeria, advertisers are beginning to see the platform as another viable way to reach their target audience. Raheem Akingbolu reports Though with humble beginning traced to 1928, when UAC established what is today known as Lintas, to provide marketing services to the activities of the colonial masters, Advertising in Nigeria has since evolved and given birth to various platforms. In the early years, the only viable platform was the outdoor, followed by print and television commercials. Few years ago, bus branding crept in and got instant acceptability. With the revolution of the digital media, the out-of-home sub sector blossomed with many agencies introducing digital platforms and LCD, which has today become a major innovative platform for brands that want to remain relevant. However, between 2011 and 2015, the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan began to invest in rail system as a solution to perennial transportation challenges facing the country. On assumption of office of President Muhammadu Buhari, he started from where his predecessor ended it and completed the first phase of the project. Today, Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan have been opened up for services, while the rail systems within Lagos metropolis and Lagos –Abuja-Kano routes have been rejuvenated. Opportunities for Nigeria advertisers With this development, Nigerian out-of-home advertising community has woken up to the need to key into the new regime and create a credible alternative to brand owners and businesses. At the moment, a Digital & Transit Media company – TranXeon, based in Lagos is in the forefront of the new advertising revolution. The agency is not only exploring the opportunities in Train Branding Advertising Services, it is also making a clarion call to business owners to embrace the platform. In an interview with THISDAY, the Chief Operations Officer at TranXeon, Ayo Egunjobi called on advertisers to take a cue from what is obtainable in India, Britain and other advanced countries where Metro Train Advertising Service has become a platform to beat. Among other services, he said his company offers exterior branding services, mobile vans advertisement services, metro Train Advertising service and much more. ‘’Train station advertising opportunities exist across many stations across the world. Due to the incredibly high dwell time, rail advertising delivers high engagement, and high impact advertising to a more receptive a captive commuter audience. From complete station domination, through to the rail platform

Exterior advertising formats help brands break through the bustling platform crowds. For instance, as train is the most important transport in india & the world, in India there are 16 zones in all over India and various divisions, train cater for all kind of people, advertising on train is the best in way, client will cover urban rural and other state as well

Tranxeon Train Simulation advertising, train internals and train externals, whether is it static or digital billboard advertising rail offers excellent advertising Return on Investment,’’ he said. Speaking further, he explained that complete Train Wraps are a brand new offering that will soon be introduced by the company as it allows advertisers to connect with a huge audience of work, school and recreational commuters. ‘’Exterior advertising formats help brands break through the bustling platform crowds. For instance, as train is the most important transport in india & the world, in India there are 16 zones in all over India and various divisions, train cater for all kind of people, advertising on train is the best in way, client will cover urban rural and other state as well. ‘’In Nigeria, we position our company to be instrumental in offering Railway Advertising that are high communicating and engulfs a large audience. We provide creative ideas and concepts, which communicates different sections of people in the society,’’ The offering According to Egunjobi, the company has begun Train and Coach domination on the Nigeria Railway Corporation Lines on Lagos and Abuja route. He said: “In Lagos, Train moves from Ijoko-Itoki-AgbadoIju-Agege-Ikeja-ShogunleOshodi-MushinYaba-Ebute Metta-Iddo-Apapa. Within the Hours that the train functions not less than 300,000 commuters view the adverts as the trains route is just beside the Oshodi Abeokuta Express and some parts of Ikorodu Road. Speaking on eye on Advert, he pointed out that rail lines in Lagos is used by 22,000 commuters daily; and intend to park the train

at either Oshodi or Ikeja Stations at least once a week, adding that Oshodi boasts of 1million commuters passing through daily while Ikeja Boasts of not less than 500,000 commuters daily. Point of Sale Activation He also stated that where the trains are parked on at the Stations, there is the opportunity to do a product activation, engagement, familiarisation and interaction with commuters. In his expert opinion, such a campaign can be backed with a free BP Checkup which can cover by the print and audio visual press to give more credence to the Neimeth brand. In addition to the domination of the train, he explained that product jingles will be played through the journey on the trains thereby endearing the commuters to the brands. Egunjobi also stated that the external display area carrying the adverts is 55m2 (22m X 2.5m) on each side; which brings it to a total of 110m2. ‘’The size of the display area by all means can be compared to that of a standard 120m2 Unipole. The bold nature of the full branding will not go unnoticed and this in its self is a lot of value for the brand. It will interest Nigerians to learn that commuters, who are avoiding the Abuja-Kaduna road, have now opted for the trains due to the increased insecurity (Kidnapping & Robbery) along the road. As I speak, Ministers, Senators, and the general public now prefer to use the trains. There are now 2 Trains (with a total of 11 Coaches) that make 4 trips each, daily from Abuja-Kaduna. Eye on Advert Meanwhile, the advertising practitioner has claimed that on daily basis, not less than 7,744

commuters use the rails and a total of about 50,000 commuters use the lines weekly. He further disclosed that as the train traverses through Abuja, some parts of Niger State and Kaduna, it is estimated that not less than another 100, 00 onlookers view the trains daily. ‘’It is also worthy of note that the number of commuters using the trains have tripled between November 2017 and February 2018. This is one of the fastest growing transport mediums in the country today. Point of Sale Engagement Another opportunity he identified was that the intercity trip takes approximately 2.5hrs and as such the seating arrangement is similar to that of an air plane. During the trip, he added that commuters have the opportunity to be well educated and engaged about the brands they will want to expose to and immediate feedback can be collated to improve on the brands where necessary. ‘’On these trains, in addition to the walls and partitioning being branded, the seat covers are also to be branded thereby increasing brands’ exposure. In addition to the domination of the train, product jingles will be played through the journey on the trains endearing the commuters to the brands. The external display area carrying the adverts is 55m2 (22m X 2.5m) on each side; which brings it to a total of 110m2. The size of the display area by all means can be compared to that of a standard 120m2 Unipole. The bold nature of the full branding will not go unnoticed and this in its self is a lot of Value for the brand,’’ he added. With this development, Egunjobi believes that Nigerian business community will find the platform endearing and enable them to further position their businesses.


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Transforming Kwara through Shared Prosperity Hammed Shittu writes about the efforts of the current administration under Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to ensure better development in Kwara state through continuity in legacy projects for economic and shared prosperity The present administration of governor Abdulfatah Ahmed assumed office on May 29, 2011 after successful completion of second term in office of former governor of the state and now senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki under the platform of “legacy continues”. Upon assumption of office, the administration put in place strategies on ground as encapsulated in the legacy agenda of the administration to ensure the completion of all the inherited projects of the former administration of former governor Saraki. It also began fashioning out new projects that would go a long way in bringing government closer to the grassroots and also accelerating the socio-economic and political agenda of the Kwarans. Legacy Continued Governor Ahmed was the brain behind the Saraki administration in the articulation of all its economic policies, having served as commissioner for Finance for almost six and half years and later commissioner for Economic Development and Planning. These executive positions helped to prepare him for the herculean task of leading the state into economic and shared prosperity as coined by his administration. During his first tenure in office, Ahmed ensured the completion of all the inherited projects of the former administration in the areas of roads, education, health and other social infrastructure spread around the nooks and cranny of the state of Harmony. Completed Roads During the period, the completion of all legacy roads within the state took place. Among such roads were Ibrahim Sulu Gambari road, Afon- Eiyenkorin, Ola-Olu- Offa garage, Offa township, Afon road, Chikanda- Kosubosu and Ero omo- Kilanko- Offa garage. All these affected roads covered over 234km roads in the state. Also, after completion of these affected roads, Ahmed’s government embarked on operation no- pothole within the state capital and this led to the rehabilitation of all the bad roads that were damaged by rainfall to be repaired during the year under review. Positive Projects The administration also created an employment generation platform called Kwara state bridge empowerment scheme popularly known as KWABES. Under this, many unemployed graduates in the state were made to do a one-year scheme and after the scheme, some of them were absorbed into the state public service. Around 4,000 unemployed graduates in the state were thus given full employment during the period. While this was on, the administration embarked on rehabilitation of five existing General Hospitals

Lighting up Kwara to ensure development in Ilorin, Share, Offa, Kaima and Omuaran with state-of-art facilities, thus ensuring that health care delivery reaches the doorsteps of the people of the state, with lesser infant mortality among the children of the state. The administration also embarked on the construction of new roads across the three senatorial district of the state. In the education sector, Ahmed constructed modern day school buildings while teachers’ welfare received major attention. It also lived up to expectation in the area of ensuring the protection of lives and property through purchase of security vehicles to the state police command while transport owners like National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN) also received the administration’s support by making available buses at low interest rate to them. Women and youths empowerment were not left out as they were given soft loans to start businesses and this has reduced social vices among the people of the state. Core Priorities Ahmed’s works in the first term in office between 2011 and 2015 were mainly on the completion of all uncompleted projects left behind by former governor Saraki. However, new ones were also embarked upon in the determination to ensure that the dividends of democracy get to the rural populace across

the 16 local government councils of the state. However, upon resumption in office for second term in office on May 29, 2015, the administration set the ball rolling with the commitment to add more values towards the socio economic growth of the state. It also put in place a well-articulated internally generated revenue outfit to harness revenue base for the overall growth of the state and this has largely solved the problems of dwindling federal allocations coming to the state. The gesture helped the state to establish a new improved revenue generating agent called Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) and the establishment of the agency has improved the revenue base of the state, which has led to the revenue collection of over N17 billion since its inception in the state. Infrastructure Fund Following this development, a new platform of making use of the revenue generation was designed with the theme Kwara Infrastructure Development Fund (IF- K). IF-K is a contributory scheme designed to pool funds for high value infrastructure projects. Under the IF-K scheme, all ongoing and new developmental projects above N300 million will be funded to completion. Among the objectives of creating IF-K is to ensure that project contractors are paid on time to deliver completed projects, thereby erasing the era of abandoned projects.

IF-K is being financed through an initial N5 billion seed fund, and a N500 million monthly contribution from the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The Development Fund is being managed by a reputable investment company, “Investment One”, as a way of insulating the funds from political control and also to ensure accountability. Under IF-K, contractors are paid by the State government on a quarterly basis. The implication is that contractors do not have to be mobilised before they commence projects since they are guaranteed payment at different milestones of the project; thereby giving no room for abandoned projects. Since its establishment, the government has released over N7 billion to contractors handling various road projects across the State. The ongoing construction of Geri-Alimi split diamond Underpass is among the projects being funded under the IF-K. Others are construction of KWASU campuses in Ekiti and Ilesha-Baruba, KWASU Post-Graduate School in Ilorin, dualisation of UITH - Sango road, new State Secretariat renovation of Indoor sport hall of the Kwara State stadium, Light Up Kwara Project (LUK), commercial hub centre along Fate road, Ilorin, Ilorin water reticulation project, provision of drugs to hospitals and clinics. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com

RANDOM THOTS Enemies Within Tuesday, June 12, 2018 will remain a significant day in the history of Nigeria for various reasons. It was not just about the apologies from PMB to the MKO family and Nigerians and vice versa, and it went beyond the eminent personalities who gathered at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, to witness a momentous occasion. Beyond meeting the yearning of longsuffering Nigerians on the recognition of June 12 as the new Democracy Day in

Nigeria, the new hero PMB also listened to messages from the Media to the Legislature and Civil Society, and from those who were in the trenches back then in 1993. This reporter, who watched the programme live on television, noted the figures of unsung heroes reeled out at the event. From the 96 citizens who perished during June 12 protests on the streets of Lagos way back on July 6, 1993; to the 594-member House

of Representatives back then; to the names on the lists brandished by both the former labour leader and civil society representative. Ironically, as June 12 finally gained its due recognition, the freedom from poverty which was the mantra back then in 1993 has not yet materialised, neither is that hope 93 reflected in the lives of millions of Nigerians. Poverty is still endemic and the economy is harsher than back in 1993.

The prayer is that PMB would listen to the useful tips of those who advised him from the podium that day. As stated, the people are not his enemies, but those who surround and prevent him from seeing the bitter reality Nigerians face daily. These are the real enemies of Nigeria’s development and progress, and President must be wary of them if he truly wants to continue in power...simple truth -Abimbola Akosile


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Youths are today’s leaders

Can Youths Truly Revamp Nigeria? The passage of the Not-too young to run Bill into law by PMB was hailed as a laudable decision, where the ages for contesting for political offices were lowered to allow more youths into public office. However, some analysts believe youths are also part of the rot in the system and may even become worse leaders. To you, can youths truly revamp this country’s development and governance process? If yes, how? Abimbola Akosile * Youths can truly revamp Nigeria only if we pay more attention to moral values. Moral values for students are missing in our educational curriculum. High crime rate amongst our youths is a reflection of poor moral values. Any society with strong moral values, its youths, tend to do better. - Mr. Austine Nwanya, Solid Mineral consultant, Abuja * The need for young, energetic and visionary youth participation in Nigeria’s politics is long overdue. No doubt, so many youths have lost their psyche and could be worse than the current and previous leadership as a result of learning well from the old. But there are still so many others at home and in the Diaspora capable of turning our bad fortune into uncommon greatness which is what we need and deserve as a nation. We are tired of sleeping, crawling and backsliding. - Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State * Nigeria is almost like a country where impunity is at the highest. If there is a perceived working mechanism which includes rule of law and stringent punishment for breaches of policies and constitutional rights, anyone can govern. The youths can revamp the economy if capable and innovative hands are placed there. If not, it will still be same recycling of unproductive processes. - Mr. Onwuegbuchi Osondu Smith, Gwagwalada, Abuja * Age is not really a factor in providing good governance. Contrary to popular opinion, we have had young people in leadership positions across all levels in Nigeria, particularly during the military. How old were the average governors under the military rule. We’ve had a 31 yearold head of state before. If young Nigerians, jump queues, bypass electricity metres, cheat in exams, give and take bribes and support and participate in tribalism, nepotism and parochialism, then how would a crop of young people in governance be different from the old order? There is no distinction, the places of responsibility and leadership that the young people have been given opportunities to hold, particularly in public service are not different from the norm. The old order have bequeathed to the new generation a lust for materialism

THE FEEDBACK Yes, they can:

11

No, they cannot:

0

Others:

2

Radical tip:

Evict Oldies!

Total no of respondents:

13

Male:

11

Female:

2

Highest location:

Abuja (5)

that cannot produce any meaningful change. Changing mindsets on an individual level can bring positive results; however, the system will require a larger number of changed mindsets in order to produce results. - Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State * Leadership is not just about being youthful but the real you. Yes, we truly need to embrace genuine and selfless youth leadership efforts. It is time we tapped and used their vast, wasting but huge potentials to better Nigeria’s lot. The rule of law and truth must prevail. - Miss Apeji Patience, Badagry, Lagos State * The future of our country lies with the youths. They have the capacity to revamp our economy if entrusted into leadership positions. There are lots of vibrant and morally-sound youth; what is needed is a re-orientation among them. The youths should be encouraged to shun money politics and focus on young guys with great ideas. The bane of our problems in Nigeria is the older politicians whose source of wealth is the state treasury. Hero-worshipping of older politicians should be shunned. - Mr. JohnKen Ogwuegbu, Owerri, Imo State * The youths can revamp our country’s development and governance process if they choose to. Youth goes with energy, creativity and innovation etc. They have all it takes to help build a great nation. They are the vanguard for progressive change and constitutes about

60 per cent of the population. They are the great leaders of today and tomorrow. All they need to do is stop being deceived, used and dumped and be part of nation building as in other climes. As a fact, our youths can jump start Nigeria’s development and governance process in no time with sincerity of purpose, patriotic zeal and nationalistic spirit. God bless the youths; God bless Nigeria. - Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja * Yes, if supported by honest, God-fearing, trustworthy citizens, with an enabling environment created. After all, Nigeria once had a Head of State, when he was less than thirty years of age. He was supported by officers older than himself. Today, he is ranked ‘one of the best Head of States’ in the history of this nation, who shunned tribal, sectional, ethnic, religious, or corruption sentiments. - Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State * I believe Nigerian youths can revamp this country if opportunities are given to them, because there are resources to make Nigeria great again. - Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State * Although acts of juvenile delinquencies and youthful exuberances exhibited by some Nigerian youths have raised doubt on preparedness of youths to take over the mantle of leadership, the fact is that majority of them are hard-working, competent and digitally minded to take Nigeria to the next level. Those gerontocrats who have retarded Nigeria’s progress since independence must step aside to see the magic of governance from the youths. - Mr. Paul Jideofor, Dept of Languages, FCT COE, Zuba, Abuja * Surely, youths can revamp Nigeria and her development process. All they need to do is make sure they contest vigorously for public office in 2019, do away from the bad examples they learnt from the old politicians, and apply their fresh brains and ideas to make this country a better place for all. - Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State * Our youths can truly revamp Nigeria for they are intelligent, tolerant, full of energy, hard-working, and love without discrimination.

They have respect for elders and are ready to share while accumulation is not in their agenda. Youths could have revolted against this country before now, and the passage of the Not too young to run Law by PMB is a laudable decision. But to succeed, the old selfish leaders must step aside. Youths must rise up and take their possessions. - Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna * For statistical purposes, the UN defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Nigerian youths can revamp her development and governance process, because they are energetic, intelligent, hard-working, with their socio-economic, demographic and geographical spread. They can make good laws and policies, provide social services, and strengthen young participation in providing the basic needs of the country, among others. - Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

Next Week: Will Financial Autonomy Boost LGs? The President (PMB) recently signed into law a bill granting financial autonomy to State Judiciaries and State Houses of Assembly, a move which was widely hailed. However, some analysts also want financial autonomy granted to Local Governments, to bring development to the people at the grassroots level. To you, should the local councils be granted financial autonomy to ensure good governance? Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (June 14 & Monday, June 18) to abimbolayi@yahoo. com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, June 21


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Alternative route for motorcyclists; disobeying traffic regulations

ETOP UKUTT

UN Agency Seeks End to Child Labour, Says Millions of Young Lives ‘at Risk’ Obaseki decries widespread practice, warns of sanctions

Abimbola Akosile The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryder has called for urgent global action to end common dangers associated with child labour, as the agency marked its World Day against Child Labour. In a message on June 12, he said, “Many child labourers suffer lifelong physical and psychological consequences. Their very lives can be at risk. These children are toiling in mines and fields, factories and homes, exposed to pesticides and other toxic substances, carrying heavy loads or working long hours.” About 73 million children are involved in doing hazardous work – almost half of the 152 million children aged 5 to 17 across the world, who are still forced into child labour, the agency noted in a release issued. The World Day, which was first marked under the auspices of the ILO in 2002, draws attention to the global extent of child labour and the efforts needed to eliminate it.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015, include a renewed global commitment to ending child labour. Although the overall number of children in hazardous work has decreased in recent years, progress has been limited to older children. Between 2012 and 2016, according to ILO, the number of children aged 5 to 11, doing dangerous work in contravention international treaties, increased. “This is unacceptable”, Ryder said. Nearly three out of every four children made to work, are in the agriculture sector, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). After years of steady decline, child labour on farms and in the fields has started to rise again, driven in part by an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters. This worrisome trend, not only threatens the wellbeing of millions of children, but also undermines efforts to end global hunger and poverty, FAO warned. “Children who work long hours are likely to continue to swell the ranks of the hungry and poor”, said FAO Deputy Director-General

Daniel Gustafson. “As their families depend on their work, this deprives the children of the opportunity to go to school, which in turn prevents them from getting decent jobs and income in the future”. ILO’s conventions on child labour, namely the Minimum Age Convention of 1973 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention of 1999, require governments to establish a national list of hazardous work, prohibited for children. These treaties have been ratified by 171 and 181 ILO member States respectively, reflecting a near global commitment to end child labour in all its forms. In a related development, the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the use of children as labourers by employers of labour and warned that his administration would not accept any form of exploitation of children in the state. Obaseki gave the warning on the occasion of the World Day against Child Labour, marked by the United Nations each year. While acknowledging the influx of companies

into the state, with the state government’s reinvigorated efforts at creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor maintained that his administration would not condone obnoxious labour practices such as the recruitment of children to work. “We are committed to equipping our children with quality education for a prosperous future. We have robust laws and policies that guarantee the rights of children in the state and will activate these laws and policies in the event that children are being exploited or abused anywhere in the state,” he said. The governor urged Edo people and residents to report any case of exploitation of children to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution as the state government has sensitised the enforcement agencies to treat such cases with dispatch. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com

Delta to Launch Comprehensive Health Programme ALP Holds Seminar on Agric Financing in All Schools Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano To ensure that no child is left out in the ‘Health for all Deltans’ policy of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration, Delta State Government is set to launch the Comprehensive School Health Programme in all schools across the State to cater for the healthcare needs of school children. Disclosing this during a recent advocacy visit to the State ministry of Education, Basic and Secondary, to inform the commissioner of the programme, Chairman, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr. Isioma Okobah revealed that the programme was aimed at ensuring total health wellbeing of the child.

Okobah, speaking on the objective of the Delta State Comprehensive School Health Programme (DSCHP), tagged ‘No Child Left Behind’ said the programme was aimed at prompting the health wellbeing of the child through the provision of adequate health education on common health issues, proper hygiene, nutrition, healthy lifestyle and disease preventions. The chairman said the programme would help to ensure that at the point of entering school, every child would be made to undergo certain clinical examination so as to quickly address any health issue the child may be having, adding that early detection of health issues was the most reliable way to address the problem.

Continuing, she disclosed that every child would be made to present his or her immunisation card to ensure the child is fully protected from childhood killer diseases, adding that when a child is discovered to have failed in completing the routine immunisation requirement, the child would be made to undergo those vaccinations he or she may have failed to take. While saying that the programme provides promotional, preventive and curative health services to school children, Okobah revealed that DSCHP would also collaborate with the school children feeding programme to ensure the provision of adequate nutritional meal for the children in order to address malnutrition among children.

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

As part of its efforts to The 2018 edition of Akindelano Legal Practitioners (ALP) Seminar holds in Lagos on June 21, with focus on agricultural financing, commercialisation and research. The Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu will attend the event’s networking lunch and deliver the keynote address on issues such as industrialisation and financing the agro sector. He will use as a case study the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which has impacted on national rice production, particularly in Kebbi State, where output has already helped cut down on importation of processed rice by more than 80 per cent.

The collaboration to convene the seminar is between Akindelano Legal Practitioners and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The seminar, according to a release will roll out speakers and expert panelists to discuss the challenges and strategies for a successful transition to modern agriculture. Other speakers include the Managing Director of Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Aliyu Abdulhameed; Deputy Director General of IITA, Dr. Kenton Dashiell; Vice President Olam Nigeria, Ade Adefeko, while the special guests include the Executive Secretary Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Segun Awolowo and commissioners of agriculture from the six South-west states and Kebbi State.

The seminar will draw from last year’s discussion with emphasis on self- sufficiency, commercialisation of research facilities, the use of new technology, value chain challenges, crowd funding, investment opportunities and tapping into the business acumen of young entrepreneurs. The predominant view from the 2017 seminar was that the private sector must partner government and rise to the challenge of aligning Nigeria with the modern age agricultural practices. The ALP Seminar Series was conceived and created in 2012 by Akindelano Legal Practitioners as an interactive business forum to evoke discourse on practical, commercial and legal issues facing executives and decision-makers engaged in business in Nigeria.


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“Our present democratic experience may still be far from ideal but we are absolutely convinced that it is the right way to go for us to realise the optimum potential and prosperity of the federating states and the nation. As a state and people, our stand on a restructuring process that will lead to fiscal federalism, devolution of power is very clear” - GOVEROR AKINWUNMI AMBODE SPEAKING IN LAGOS RECENTLY

WaterAid: Better Toilets Crucial to Keeping Girls in School Vera Golde

ExxonMobil Boosts A’Ibom Community with N13bn Investments, Economic Benefits Okon Bassey in Uyo Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC/ MPN) joint venture is almost a household name in Akwa Ibom State. An affiliate of ExxonMobil Corporation, it often sees itself as a good corporate citizen and has affirmed that its presence in Akwa Ibom State is for a long haul; to showcase the company’s commitment to “working closely with the government in helping to improve quality of life.” Since it began operations more than three decades ago and with its base in Akwa Ibom State, the oil company has contributed to the economy of the state and that of the federal government through its numerous programmes and projects. In many ways, it has made investments in education, health, skill development and in forging a mutually beneficial relationship with the host communities. Apart from the oil company’s commitment to provide long term health, educational and economic benefits to its host communities, it recently performed the ground-breaking ceremony of three major community assistance projects in Akwa Ibom estimated to be worth N13 billion. The ceremony took place in Ikot Akata, Mkpat Enin local government area of the state. Before this event, ExxonMobil subsidiaries have ‘powered the economy of their neighbouring communities’ and that of the country with investments supporting economic growth. For instance, they have contributed more than N130 billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) since 2001 and more than N230 million ground rent to Akwa Ibom State. It is also a major contributor to the state’s economy with over N230 billion annually from the 13 per cent derivation principle for oil producing states. The oil company has also sustained payment of subvention to health workers in the riverine Ibeno communities of the state for more than two decades and has been providing subvention to the maternal birth injury hospital in Itu, Akwa Ibom State for the same period; a

R-L: Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel; MD/Chairman ExxonMobil, Paul McGrath; General Manager, Gas Division, NAPIMS /NNPC, Hillary Akpan; and Vice Chairman, ExxonMobil, Udom Inoyo, at the ground-breaking ceremony for ExxonMobil’s N13bn community assistance projects at Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom… recently development that helped many to have access to healthcare for the treatment of an ailment that the society stigmatises such patients. “ExxonMobil is our backbone; the oil company gives us certain amount of money every month to support us,’’ says Ngozi Ndubuau, the matron of the hospital which treats ViscoVaginal Fistula (VVF) cases. For the ground-breaking event, another example of the company’s contribution to the state and its people, the projects include a technical skills acquisition facility at the Community Technical College, Mkpat Enin local government area, a trauma centre at the University of Uyo teaching hospital, and an engineering faculty complex at the University of Uyo. Estimated to be completed over the next 18 months, it is believed that the investment is one of the largest community investment expenditure by any company in the country. Significantly, while the trauma centre would take care of the health needs of the people, the engineering faculty would when completed provide a conductive learning environment for students, while the skills acquisition centre will serve as the hub for the training of youths in various vocations.

Because of the volume of the investment and coming at a time when it seems difficult for oil companies to commitment to developing their host communities, the ceremony turned out to be a meeting point for top government officials and key players in Nigeria’s oil industry. For instance, the Chairman/Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Paul McGrath, and vice chairman of the oil company, Udom Inoyo, led the delegation to the ground-breaking ceremony. Also, the Akwa Ibom State government was fully represented with Governor Udom Emmanuel, alongside the deputy governor, Moses Ekpo, and the secretary to the state government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, commissioners as well as royal fathers and the academia. Speaking at the ceremony, McGrath noted with satisfaction the cordial relationship existing between the oil company and the state government restating the joint venture’s commitment to long-term operations and mutually beneficial relationship with the state. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com

WaterAid has called on governments around the world to prioritise better toilets and washing facilities in schools, and to provide accurate information around menstruation, to ensure girls’ rights to education and equality. As the Menstrual Hygiene Day was marked recently, the international organisation observed that one in three girls face inadequate toilets, and many others face social and cultural limits when on their periods around the world. The call comes as nations prepare for a July 2018 review of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6, to deliver water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere by 2030, which is expected to show that progress on sanitation is far behind. According to a release issued by WaterAid Nigeria’s Communications & Media Manager, Oluseyi Abdulmalik,” more than a billion women and girls around the world must manage their periods without a safe, private place to go to the toilet, risking infection as well as being subject to ostracism and shame because of the stigma that still surrounds menstruation. “Globally, about half of women and girls, around a quarter of the world’s population, are of reproductive age; most of them will menstruate every month. Menstruation is an important issue yet it is shrouded in silence because of deeply rooted taboos and negative social norms. “Cultural beliefs and myths about menstruation are perpetuated by society and often portray women and girls as inferior to men and boys. This reinforces gender inequalities, often constitutes discrimination and has a negative impact on the fulfilment of the universal human rights to dignity, health and education of women and girls”, it added. In many countries, women and girls are not allowed to cook, go to the farm or are even banished from the family home to an outdoor shed during each menstrual cycle. WaterAid’s study on menstrual hygiene management in selected states in Nigeria, revealed deeply rooted attitudes and myths surrounding menstruation including the belief that a menstruating woman or girl is cursed and possessed by evil spirits and brings bad luck. Such beliefs result in restrictions being placed on girls and women during their menstruation – including exclusion from attending religious services and even holding their infants in some of the communities. To make matters works, these women and girls lack access to safe water or private toilets at home, in schools and in public places. The effects are devastating. Nearly half of schools in low- and middleincome countries like Nigeria do not have basic toilets – meaning girls who are menstruating risk embarrassment and shame during this time, and may decide not to attend school. UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 adolescent girls in Africa miss school during their menstruation and eventually drop out. An article in the medical journal PLOS Medicine, co-authored by WaterAid, highlights a lack of guidance, facilities and materials for girls to manage their periods at school, affecting their health, their education and their self-esteem. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com


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T H I S D AY THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email chiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com

Saving One Million Lives and Push Towards UHC As Nigeria continues to push towards Universal Health Coverage, Martins Ifijeh examines the role of the federal government’s Saving One Million Lives in achieving the goal

Kana

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t is no longer news Nigeria is one of the worst places on earth to give birth due to the poor maternal and child health indices in the country, but many a time, those who are affected do not have a say in which country they should get pregnant from, or where their innocent children should be born. They do not have a say in what will be the outcome of their pregnancies. Whether they will give birth safely or lose their lives or that of their babies is an exclusive preserve of the country they live in. This lack of choice also plays out among other citizens, especially the poor, who are unable to afford or access basic healthcare like treatment for malaria, vaccination, management of the human immune virus, accessibility of family planning commodities, among others; hence leading to high mortality rate and the embarrassing life expectancy ratio for both males and females in the country. But since the inauguration of the Nigerian Government’s Saving One Million Lives Performance for Results (SOML-PforR) initiative, and the granting of $1.5 million to each of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) less than a year ago, has the narrative changed? Can this programme propel Nigeria into achieving the single most prioritised health advocacy of the 21st century globally, which is Universal Health Coverage? Will Nigeria achieve healthcare for all by 2030? Will this and many more investments put into the country’s healthcare amount to business as usual; leaving the poor Nigerians to die from preventable illnesses? Is this programme already saving millions of lives, or is there another messiah (initiative) to be expected. It is in answering these pertinent questions that THISDAY reached the National Programme Manager, SOML-PforR, Dr. Ibrahim Kana, who believed the programme was designed to provide a paradigm shift for the country, with a plan to stop payment for inputs, as been previously done, and then start paying only for clearly defined and objectively measurable results or across the country. He said the initiative is geared towards

Will SOML improve health coverage in Nigeria?

driving the country into UHC for all, adding that the initiative has provided an opportunity for each state to achieve UHC. “With SOML-PforR’s focus on improving primary healthcare, and on increasing insurance coverage especially for the most vulnerable in the society, states can now ensure that their people have access to quality health (including prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation), while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose their people to financial hardship. If each state is able to do this for themselves, Nigeria as a whole will achieve UHC. “We believe this is an approach to structuring the flow of resources to pay for results. It is the federal government’s flagship intervention to improve maternal and child health by changing federal-state relationship to becoming a results-based partnership. This programme relies on extant polices and systems, and is designed for the federal government to influence the states through: collection of robust data on service delivery at community and health facility level and feeding it back to states; rewarding and recognising states for better performance; and provision of technical assistance.” Kana said SOML-PforR was predicated on quantitative indicator, which is the sum of increase in vaccination coverage, contraceptive prevalence rate, vitamin A coverage, skilled birth attendance, insecticide treated nets usage by children under five, and the testing of pregnant women for HIV, adding that the other area is the improvement in quality of care. He said the SOML-PforR means that the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country will be functional, as citizens will get quality healthcare as at when due, noting that hospital staff will by this programme get adequate training and motivation. “This also means children will no longer suffer or die from vaccine preventable diseases. There will be less episodes of malaria, while mothers will be able to determine how many children they want to have, space them, and prevent them from dying from simple complications.

But how effective has the programme been since its commencement? Kana said SOMLPforR publishes results on all selected key health indicators, as they are already seeing state governments becoming more accountable to their people. “No single past programme has been as effective in forcing decision makers to collect, analyse and review data and use evidence to inform/guide their decisions and actions as SOML-PforR has done in the short time since it commenced operation. There has been a marked improvement in transparency by government at all levels due to the SOML-PforR’s requirement that due process and financial regulations/systems are strictly adhered to. “SOML-PforR measures progress in each state through these robust surveys: National Nutrition and Health Survey as well as the National Health Facility Survey. Each state competes with itself and both zonal and national champions are rewarded in order to create competition between the states and zones. The result of these surveys are then published on national dallies as well as on the SOMLPforR website.” He said following an analysis of state’s results from the 2016 MICS compared against the 2015 National Nutrition and Health Survey, 12 states in the country have performed high, noting that the star states have qualified for the federal government’s earned performance rewards. He said on a general note, all states were making progress on different aspects of the programme to varying degrees. How has the states utilised the $1.5 million granted to them? Kana explained that states were participating actively, while the Nigeria Governor’s Forum was in full support, adding that several international partners have also keyed into the programme as a novel way of financing healthcare in the most transparent manner For incentives to states who judiciously spend the grant, he said states have been given flexibility in what they spend the funds on as

long as due process is followed, as this was done to avoid interfering with their ability to deliver the expected results. “Judicious use of the funds is expected to result in improved health outcomes that can be measured. States will receive direct financial incentives for such improvements. “On accountability, what we do is that each state and the FCT has opened an SOML-PforR Operational Naira account at the CBN, which is part of the TSA, but the funds within are ring-fenced, and can only be accessed directly by the SMOH; Access to the fund is only possible via the REMITA platform; all disbursements are made directly to beneficiaries; all transactions are conducted via electronic transfers only; approving officers are not signatories, and the state governor forwards the names; all expenditure must be from approved expenditure plans (approved at Federal level by HMH, approved at State level by HCH and FMOH). “Regular auditing is also conducted for compliance with financial regulations to ensure fund utilisation in line with approved work-plans; we also make sure all programme expenditure is tracked and a summary report produced by the state programme management unit; and the Auditor General of the Federation reserves the right to audit the programme financial statements in any of the states.” He also added that other measures put in place include audits by state auditor generals, reporting of published and consolidated budget execution report for all income and expenditure on PHCs, and a signed agreement between the World Bank and the federal government for anti-graft agencies (EFCC, ICPC, etc.) to cross check and verify all expenditures under SOML-PforR. He said among other things the programme has actively helped to support partnership between the federal and state governments by encouraging joint planning and shared accountability for results. With the world tilting towards universal health coverage for better healthcare globally, time will tell if this programme will push Nigeria into achieving this goal by year 2030.


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T H I S D AY THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

NEWS

‘Sanitation Situation Deteriorating in Nigeria’ Martins Ifijeh Data from the Multiple Clusters Indicator Survey (MICS) and JMP have shown that access to basic sanitation has steadily reduced in Nigeria between year 2000 and 2015, while open defecation has worsened between 2010 and 2015. Stating this during a two day media dialogue on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Anambra State earlier in the week, a Research Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mainga Moono Banda said so far, about 130 million Nigerians use unimproved sanitation facilities, adding that more than half of that figure live in rural areas. They said with the steady decline, Nigeria may not meet the 2030 target of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water sanitation and hygiene, except something drastic is put in place. “Of the 180 million Nigerians in the country, about 75.8 per cent of the citizens who live in rural areas practice open defecation, making the country the third highest nation with open defecation globally. This directly results to the death of about 45,000 people every year in the country. “Target six in the SDG is

specific on WASH. It says by 2030, all countries should achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. Also, by 2030, nations should achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, and end open defecation,” Banda said, noting that special attention should be placed on women, girls, and those in vulnerable situations. While emphasising that Nigeria is doing well in areas of water supply, she said the major concern should be on addressing sanitation as millions of homes in rural areas in the country still lack latrine, TP taps, basic hand washing tools, among others. “Poor WASH can cause myriads of problems, including death. A mother who just delivered can infect her baby by mere carrying the baby if her hands are not properly washed. With proper hygiene, the woman can help prevent the baby from sepsis or deaths by about 15 per cent. “Poor WASH can affect school attendance because a child who is infected with bouts of diarrhea can end up becoming undernourished, and on the long run may lead to stunting, poor attendance in school. It can also lead to poor learning in school.”

She also explained that with good sanitation women and girls gain their dignity, adding that girls lose self esteem and avoid school because of difficulty in managing their menstrual cycle.

She therefore noted that UNICEF will continue to pay special attention to WASH and health facilities in its focus areas. Meanwhile, the Programme Manager, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Ministry

of Public Utilities and Water Resources, Anambra State, Ezekwo Victor said the state government was committed to WASH, adding that Governor Willie Obiano has rehabilitated 116 non functional boreholes

across the state. “We have also completed 33 water supply schemes, the compilation of phase 11 rehabilitation works for non functional boreholes, among others.”

Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II (m), and management staff of WASCO Ajinomoto, during a courtesy visit on the Ooni in Oshogbo, recently

150,000 Nigerian Private Sector Calls for Atiku Must Tread Coalition: are Born With Sickle Partnership with Government With Caution, Medical Children Cel Disease Yearly on Health Practitioner Warns as a public health issue. Family Doctors (WONCA) Martins Ifijeh Rebecca Ejifoma

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

An Abuja-based medical practitioner, Dr. Biodun Ogungbo has called on former Vice-President and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar to tread with caution over the sealed partnership with SaudiGerman Hospital, Dubai, to establish a world class medical facility in Abuja. Ogungbo who stated this in a statement made available to THISDAY, said the move will not be in the best interest of Nigerians as the facility will become a referral centre. And conduit exploitation which will further promote medical tourism to Dubai for expensive medical treatment. While commending the initiative of the former VicePresident, which is expected to build a 100-bedded hospital, Ogungbo further disclosed that such partnerships based on antecedents will not be interested in building local capacity or transfer knowledge and enhance local healthcare delivery but will bypass weak regulations and control systems using political clout for financial inducements. He said: “Opening up the Nigerian healthcare space and healthcare practitioners to unsafe competition will do nothing to reverse medical tourism. Instead, it will accelerate it, making life even more difficult for Nigerian doctors and Nigerians as a whole. “SGH is not interested in building local capacity otherwise they will act as foreign technical partners to Nigerian hospitals, to transfer knowledge and enhance local

healthcare delivery. Partnering with a politician shows disdain for our doctors and local healthcare practitioners. It will allow SGH to bypass our weak regulations and control systems using political clout and financial inducements. It will not help the Nigerian you wish to serve. “Instead, it will help SGH make Nigeria great to pillage Nigeria! Governments all over the world put their communities first. They ensure protection of local content and curtail unbridled capitalism by foreigners. They put systems and regulations in place to protect the local economy. It is only in Nigeria that politicians and government do not ensure local businesses and practitioners are not disadvantaged by unfair competition. “This deal the SGH is seeking is the classic funnelling technique that has been used in the past by other cowboys. It has been used against the UAE by London hospitals through technical jargon like ’joint venture’,” he said. Furthermore, he lamented that “The Aso Rock Clinic or State House Medical Centre is another hospital that has not demonstrated fitness for purpose. “We have the money and have spent loads on these and similar hospitals all over the country. To really improve things, we need to improve local treatment for trust and confidence in healthcare practice in Nigeria. We need to partner with hospitals and organisations that will train local healthcare practitioners work in Nigeria,” he added.

As Philip Morris International At least 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria every year, while about 40 million Nigerians are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene, the Coalition of Sickle Cell Nongovernmental Organisations in Nigeria has said. They noted that Nigeria has the biggest burden of the scourge globally, hence the need for increased advocacy on its prevention, treatment and management. Stating this at a news conference in Lagos recently to mark the 2018 World Sickle Cell Day, the Chairman of the Coalition, Mrs. Toyin Adesola, said the high prevalence rate of the disorder is one reason government at all levels must invest in addressing it. The coalition comprises 13 NGOs including Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, Genotype Foundation, Noah’s Ark Foundation, Tony May Foundation, among others. Adesola said: “We are proposing that there should be more advocacy and awareness concerning SCD and the issues surrounding it, especially in the rural areas. We want our leaders to invest more in reaching out and creating more awareness about the condition. “The high number of carriers of the gene in Nigeria (about 40 million) could amount to five African countries. So it is something we must give utmost concern to,” she said. She explained that a long time, sickle cell has not been given much attention, adding that it should be categorised

Adesola said the challenges being faced by people living with SCD include stigma and mismanagement due to poverty, adding that people with SCD need proper care and management, both mentally and physically, to survive the condition. “We need improved management processes including establishment of more sickle cell centres, and education of more doctors and nurses across the country. Also, all federal and state government-owned hospitals should be properly equipped to be able to manage people living with sickle cell disease,” she said. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited form of anemia - a condition in which there is not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. Also speaking, the Director, Sickle Cell Foundation, Mrs. Ayo Otaigbe, said the disease was not a death sentence, as persons living with it can lead normal lives if condition is adequately managed. She urged well-meaning Nigerians to support the foundations by donating towards the betterment of affected persons. She said: “Funding is one major challenge facing the management of SCD in Nigeria. Our main goal is for them to live crisis-free lives as much as possible, and be useful to the society and themselves. We are also advocating that the government should give subsidised treatment for people who cannot afford to pay their medical bills,” she added.

In line with World Family Doctors’ Day 2018, the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) has called on governments at all levels to partner the private sector to achieve universal health coverage for all in the country. The association made this call on World Family Doctors’ Day held in Lagos recently, with the theme, ‘Family doctors’ leading the way to better health’. This association said that the call for partnership was necessary since a deliberate investment and growth of the private sector through policy shifts and system restructuring could reverse the trend of medical tourism, which has crippled her economy and ridiculed her in the world community. The Chairman of the Association Lagos, Dr. Tunji Akintade, said: “When the government is doing a budget they should consider the private sector, it is very critical, no private sector is given any rebate in terms of procurement of equipment.” According to him, Nigeria must budget more for health. “At least, 17 per cent of the annual budget is expected in health but we get less than five per cent. The amount of funds we expend on generating power for our facility is killing. More than 60 per cent of profit is gone.” In his goodwill message, the AGPMPN President, Dr. Iyke Odo, told newsmen that World Organisation of

as an organisation, oversees the activities of family doctors across the globe. He added: “WONCA has worked tremendously hard to continuously maintain human capacity development and life saving programme at international, regional and rural levels.” Odo, who was represented by the chairman, decried the country’s challenge to meet and sustain the milestone standards WONCA is advocating across the world. “I use the atmosphere provided by this year’s anniversary to commend our governments at all levels for the much they have done in articulating a health system for Nigeria. He expressed that a lot needed to be done still. “Our healthcare institutions are still very weak, liable and unsustained. And we are not proud of the performance of our health sector.” He recommended: “We must deliberately invest in and grow our private sector in health by policy shifts and system restructuring that is investment-friendly, and that reverses the medical tourism destination which has not only helped to cripple our economy but has brought us to the seat of ridicule in the world community.” According to him, this is the only insurance for Nigerians to have affordable and accessible quality healthcare. Hence, their team of doctors went to Adegbite Market at Surulere where several men and women were screened for high blood pressure.


T H I S D AY THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

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HEALTH

Providing Quality Healthcare for Rural Women While people in urban centres worry over lack of choice amenities, in the rural community of Akwu Ukwu in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, the renovation of a community health centre, which is the only existing one in the community by a faith-based organisation has sparked off jubilation among women, reports David-Chyddy Eleke

A

kwu Ukwu Primary Health Centre (PHC) is not different from that of the 189 communities of Anambra State. Situated along the OnitshaOwerri federal highway, the centre just months ago had been dilapidated. The roofs were leaky, the patients’ beds were squeaky and the mattresses worn out. The Chief Nursing Officer, of the PHC, Mrs. Chukwurah Eucharia, said the centre was so bad that it lost all its clients to public and private hospitals in neighbouring communities as indigenes preferred to travel long journeys to centres belonging to other communities than coming there. She said the condition of the members of the community was made worse because the primary health centre was the only hospital in the community. She said: “Before January, this hospital was in a bad state. We had leaky roof, broken fence and bad floor. Our toilet was also very bad and we had less facilities and equipment to take care of our patients. I felt so bad myself because I was a chief nursing officer in a hospital that could not do anything for the people of the host community who depended on us. Our women and children suffered the most during child birth especially as they have to be taken out of the community, sometimes at odd hours.” She said members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came and took a look at the hospital, with a view to noting what was needed to give it a face lift and to provide it with modern facilities. “They came to us and we listed our problems to them, we didn’t take them seriously, but soon they came back and started work, and it was a surprise to us, because we never applied for it. Since they did this job, we have been experiencing influx of patients here. Gone are the days when our people travelled to neighbouring communities to access healthcare. Just this month, we have witnessed the highest turnover of deliveries,

and most of the facilities now make our work easy,” Chukwurah said. THISDAY noted that besides rebuilding and roofing the hospital, LDS , which is described as the charity arm of the Church of Latter Day Saints also tiled the entire floor of the hospital, provided modern hospital beds, mattresses, pillows and other facilities. It also provided drugs and partnered the community to ensure provision of water through the sinking of a borehole project, and reticulation of the water to ensure supply at every point, all around the hospital. Chief Linus Aniemeka, a community leader who lives in Lagos expressed his delight about the renovation of the hospital. He told THISDAY that the Akwu Ukwu Town Union in Lagos have had a huge burden of renovating the centre, and had been making arrangement towards it before help came through the church. He said the happiness the town union felt from the renovation by the church was the reason it quickly accepted to sink the borehole as part of its contribution. He said: “This place is now a big hospital to us. We are going to tell the Lagos branch what we have seen today. We will not fear about where our people will go to have children any longer while we are in far away Lagos. The place is now neat and clean and people have started coming again,” he said. The renovation and handing over of Akwu Ukwu Primary Health Centre, which took place recently however evoked jubilation and dancing from women of the community who claimed that they have been at the receiving end of the poor facility at the centre. Women from the community who gathered to witness the handing over of the facility to the community expressed their happiness over the gesture. One of the women who gave her name as Grace said she had her four grown up children in the centre, but regretted that in the past few years, the centre was left to collapse to the extent that women and children who had health needs had to travel to neighbouring communities

Officials of the church handing over drugs to management of the hospital

Modern hospital bed donated to the centre

to bear children. “We are happy that Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint came to our aid again. As for me, I have stopped bearing children, but I may have other health needs that require me to come here. My daughter will also use the centre, and our mothers would stop going to other communities at odd hours to bear children. That is the reason for the jubilation you see here today.” Chidi Ibeakuzie, the area welfare specialist of the Church who was on ground to hand the renovated hospital over to the leaders of Akwu Ukwu community said the charity arm of the church was moved to come to the aid of mostly

women and children of the community who have to travel to neighbouring communities to access healthcare. He said the church has renovated several health centres in the three senatorial zones of the state, cutting across most communities in the state. “The LDS Charities is the charity arm of our church, and we have people from all over the world donating funds to take care of people in rural communities, and our job is to go about putting smiles on the faces of these people. In the case of this centre, this structure you see today was totally dilapidated, the roof was leaky, they had no good beds for patients and they lacked

drugs too and other facilities.” Ibeakuzie said his organisation has done projects in Ebenebe in Awka North Local Government, Nkpor in Idemili North, Nri in Anaocha, and several other rural areas in Anambra and beyond. He refused to put a price tag to how much it cost the organisation to fix the hospital, saying that what is paramount to them was that the people were happy over the gesture and ready to make good use of the place. He stated that healthcare was a cardinal need of mankind, but regretted that people who live in rural areas have long been denied this, leaving them at the mercy of quacks and alternative medicine. He

said his discovery showed that there were no hospitals in the surrounding, so people who had healthcare needs, needed to be mobile or be buoyant enough to hire cars to neighbouring communities. In the absence of that he noted that people had to go to chemist shop attendants who they regarded as medical doctors, and accepted whatever medication they got from them. With the handing over of the hospital to the community, Ibeakuzie expressed happiness that members of the community can now access quality healthcare, without having to travel out of their communities. He urged them to put the hospital and all equipment donated, to proper use.

Lagos, SOS Villages Partner on Child Care Ugo Aliogo The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has expressed the desire of the state to partner SOS Children’s Villages, Nigeria in the area of alternative child care. Muri-Okunola, who disclosed this recently in Lagos at the capacity building and stakeholders’ engagement with the theme: ‘No child should grow up alone’, said government and organisations must continue in their efforts to define and identify systems of informal care and recognise

its importance in embracing vulnerable children. He said the primary importance of alternative care for children was to keep them in when traumatised and return to the care of their family when they are stabilised or search for another permanent solution. He explained that every child regardless of gender, socio-economic status, ability and ethnic background has the right to live in a supportive, protective and caring environment that promotes his or her full potential. “Lagos State as a responsive government establishes various units and department to care for this category of

children. We have government homes and approved private orphanages; they are not meant to institutionalise the children but to serve as a transit home to stabilise whatever traumatic experience the children might have gone through before they are either released to their biological parents, guardians, and relatives or adopted/ fostered to willing and qualified homes,” Muri-Okunola noted. “We urge stakeholders to work together and understand the impact of institutions on children, taking into consideration measures to prevent the institutionalising of children and to commit to transformation of

family-based system of welfare and protection. “We must be actively imaged and be a part of the development of child protection systems and the decision making process that directly affects them,” he said. In his remarks, the National Director, SOS Children’s Villages Nigeria, Eghosa Erhumwunse, said the programme was aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders on alternative care guidelines for children, and understanding the importance of caring for children regarding the United Nation Convention on the Child Rights, as well as the laws

and acts that have been domesticated across the states in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular. He also stated that the partnership with Lagos State Government was to ensure that they build capacity of stakeholders who provide care for children and see how best they can run with this guideline. He explained that the focus is to try understand the meaning of the two main principles; the principles of necessity and suitability, noting that what they do is to provide a family environment for children, which he said has been key part of their efforts done over the years.


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T H I S D AY THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

HEALTH NEWS

Health Practitioner Harps on Menstrual Hygiene Management Urges FG to provide facilities for girls in schools Senator Iroegbu in Abuja The Founder of Public Health Aid Awareness and Education Organisation, Mrs. Uche Okonmah, has called on both the state and federal governments to provide public schools with adequate toilet and potable water so that girls will practice good menstrual hygiene management. Okonmah made the disclosure at occasion of the Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration in Abuja. The founder of the group while on a sensitisation and awareness campaign on menstrual hygiene to the students of the Junior Secondary School, Galadimawa, charged the students to maintain high level of hygiene during their menstrual cycle. According to her, it is very essential for each school to have its own water and sanitation facilities, as this is an important component for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. She said: “In the school, we found out that water is very scarce, and some students have to buy sachet water during school hours. We want the government to take the necessary step of making water available for all students. “When the girl-child has access to clean water and basic sanitation, it will take a great weight off her shoulder, as she will be comfortable and able to assimilate at a very high speed.” Speaking further, she charged the students to learn how to make use of the sanitary pad, so as to prevent unnecessary staining of the uniform and feeling of discomfort during

school hours. Okonmah said that girls should learn how to dispose sanitary pad effectively, by wrapping it, or covering it appropriately before disposing it off. According to her, it is very essential to be very neat while having the menstrual cycle,so as to reduce the risk of infection. While reacting to the notion that ladies should not work during menstruation, she called on the boys and men folk to give the female gender the right environment to be at their best. She continued: “I will like to state categorically that menstruation is not a disease, and it’s not limitation. It is a normal biological process that happens monthly. “Menstruation is not an abomination, it is not a stigma. We are calling on the men and boys to give the female folk the necessary support to operate during the period, as the body may likely react in some rash manner.” Also speaking, the president of Precious Sister’s One Love Group, Mrs. Victory Okonmah, said the girl-child should be given the right environment to perform optimally, socially and in every phase of life. She further called on other groups and non-governmental organisations to engage in such laudable task as a large number of girls need enlightenment on menstrual hygiene management. “We spoke to some of the students who said they only use one sanitary pad throughout the whole day, which is not right, as they will be soaked most time. “Even among the students,

Ajinomoto Targets South-west as Ooni of Ife Pledges Support Martins Ifijeh West African Seasoning Company Limited, an affiliate of the AJINOMOTO Group; a Global food giant and makers of Aji-no-moto Umami Seasoning, is making efforts to improve nutrition in Nigeria by expanding its business operations in food products in the South-west geo-political zone. The Japanese company which aims to be a top-ten global food company by 2020, said the expansion would enable it provide the most delicious and wholesome foods to the people in the area. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Niki Junichi disclosed this in Oshogbo recently when the management of the company paid a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, as part of the management’s ongoing effort to reposition Aji-no-moto® in the country. Junichi noted that the company is committed to creating more value for the society, adding that Ajinomoto has been in existence for over 100 years. According to him, Ajino-moto® Umami seasoning has been safely used as food

ingredient since 1909. “We are providing highquality, safe, and reliable products to our customers. We want them to eat well and live well. Our expansion no doubt, will have a positive impact on the lives of the people. Our plans for increased investment will also bring about employment opportunities in the country. “At present our products are sold in over 130 countries and regions, and we have plans to both expand to new markets and further broaden our product lineups”, he said. In his response, Oba Ogunwusi commended the management of West African Seasoning Company Limited, for the company’s laudable contributions to Nigeria’s economy over the years. The Ooni pledged his support for the relaunch of Ajinomoto seasoning product in the South-west, while urging the management to key into the various rich cultural festivals in Yoruba land to reach its target audience. “We will give you the necessary support that you need. You have started well by coming to the kingdom of Ife where everybody in the southern part of the country came from.

there are some, who cannot afford to buy sanitary pad,” she added. nShe called on corporate organisations, and well to do

Nigerians to donate sanitary pad to schools, and support indigent students whom the parents cannot afford school

fees. “We hope to engage in more of this corporate social responsibility, because being a women’s group, we know the

importance of menstruation, and we want the students to feel comfortable during school hours.

FOR IMPROVED MATERNAL HEALTH

L-R: Founder, Postpartum Support Network Africa, Onyedikachi Ekwerike; Supervisory Consultant/Quality Lead, The Retreat Healthcare, Dr Femi Olugbile; Business Development Manager, The Retreat Healthcare, Tunde Adegbola; and Consultant Psychiatrist, The Retreat Healthcare, Dr Olabanji Adesoji, at the World Maternal Mental Health Day in Lagos recently

US Boosts Health Service in Lagos, Donates States-of-the-Art Laboratory Labake Fashogbon The United States Government through Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in partnership with the Nigerian military has supported health facility in Lagos State with a genomics and molecular diagnostic research laboratory. The project, which was delivered by the Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG)/ African Center of Excellent for Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID), was commissioned by Ikorodu General Hospital in Lagos and sited at the Redeemer’s University in Ede,Osun State to enhance health education and research, as well as strengthen health services in Lagos State. Commissioning the project, the Chief Medical Director, Ikorodu General Hospital, Dr. Olufunmilayo Bankole noted that it was the first time the military is partnering with Civilian Agency to establish a Laboratory of this caliber that would allow for tests within three hours for rapid detection of a wide range of pathogens such as malaria parasite, Lassa fever virus, Ebola virus, Dengue and Monkey pox to mention a few. “Provision of a coordinated system to respond to these diseases is long overdue as the facility for their diagnosis is very limited and not easily accessible. The activities of the research laboratory would make it possible to detect the emergence of the new infectious diseases. Prompt diagnosis and clinical management leads to better prognosis, hence establishment of this research

laboratory is a giant stride in the history of medical practice in Ikorodu General Hospital, Lagos State and other West African Countries. “We are highly appreciative of this gesture which will promote the growth of medical services in Lagos State and Nigeria.” Joint West Africa Research Group (JWARG) made large contributions to the ancillary research laboratory including installation and validation of state of the art diagnostic equipment and genomics sequencing capability. The Consul General U.S Consulate, Mr John Bray, reiterated the commitment of US Government to health services in Nigeria. According to him,the USA Government commits $One Billion annually to Nigeria health sector. He added “The US believes in the health of Nigeria. Bilaterally corporation between the agencies of US for International Development and U.S President’s Emergency plan for Aids Relief and Malaria Initiative have strong partnership with the Nigeria military. Secondly, the project is not just a partnership only between US and Nigeria but it is a regional relationship to Liberia and Ghana. Nigeria is the regional hub for WRAIR, JWARG activities. Joint West Africa Research Group laboratory training is primarily based at the 661 Nigerian Air Force Hospital in Lagos. This is a Civilians, military, and Lagos State relationship which is a welcome development. It a collaboration between the Nigerian military, Walter Reed Army Institute Research, Lagos State Government, U.S Govern-

ment and the Academic world. This Excellent project is sited

in Lagos State because Lagos is the center of Excellent.”

LifeSaversNG Trains Youths on First Aid Says 9 in 10 Nigerians lack emergency care knowledge Martins Ifijeh No fewer than 25 youths have been trained on basic first aid First skills by the LifeSavers Initiative for First Aid Education in Nigeria (LifeSaversNG) in Benin city, recently. Founder of the NGO, Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren, who is a fifth year medical student in the University of Benin, said the world would be a safer place if everyone has basic first aid skills. At the training tagged #Pulse4Beats 1.0, Uwoghiren said, the organisation received a total of 174 applications for the training slot and had a tough time selecting the 27 most motivated applicants. “Our plan is to create a world where everyone has basic first aid skills, and we want to positively impact communities by equipping them with first aid equipment. “Prompt pre-hospital care is necessary to improve outcome of road traffic accident victims, however this service is suboptimal in Nigeria and some developing countries because of lack of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Training of lay responders is however a means of filling this gap in settings with inadequate EMS.

He said statistics have shown that nine in 10 Nigerians lack basic first aid skill, while in the United States, it is three in 10. “This dearth of first aid knowledge has led to an increase in death rate during emergencies, and a poor ranking of Nigeria’s Heath sector (187 out of 190 countries).” He appreciated the University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) Professor Pius Iribhogbe, a professor of Trauma Surgery for his support during the planning of the programme. A paramedic staff at the Accident and Emergency Department of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Micah Iduitua, took participants through Basic Life Support Skills (BLS) including airway opening manoeuvres, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mouth to mask ventilation, bad valve mask ventilation, choking relief and haemorrhage control He said: “First aid should also cover areas around snake bites, drug overdose, syncope, recovery position, maintaining C spine, among others.” After the trainings, the participants were engaged in practical classes.


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BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

‘FRC New Corporate Governance Code to Increase Nigeria’s Competitiveness’ Nume Ekeghe The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has released a new draft of its code of corporate governance which it said it expected to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness. The new code, which has 28 principals of corporate governance and 230 practices on how companies should implement the principles, was announced yesterday at a media briefing in Lagos. Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary/ CEO FRC, Mr. Daniel Asapokhai said: “I think this is something that is here to enhance national competitiveness. It would represent a national standard of good corporate behaviour.

“It would provide a flexible framework and it has 230 recommended practices of what it means to effectively govern an institution. It also provides a framework for other sector regulators to contribute. “So, we have a national code into which the other codes that currently exists to different sectors of the economy can align.� He also declared the FRC’s plan to embark on a public hearing and awareness in all geopolitical zones of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory to elicit comments and reactions from key stakeholders, which will be taken into consideration in finalising the code. He added: “It is our belief that

this code will promote ease of doing business, attract local and foreign investments and enhance the integrity of the Nigerian market by entrenching a culture of disclosure, transparency and accountability. “In addition, this code will raise public awareness for essential corporate values, ethical practices and stakeholders’ confidence.� Asapokhai further emphasised that the practices recommended in the code are flexible and scalable and can be applied by all organisations regardless of their size. He advised the companies that are governed by the code to take advantage of the flexibility provided by the code.

FG’s ‘MarketMoni’ Loans Attract 350,000 Beneficiaries The Federal Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) ‘MarketMoni scheme has successfully reached over 350,000 micro enterprises in all 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital City. This, according to a statement, was revealed during a Micro Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) clinic organised by the Executive Director of Bank of Industry (BoI), Mrs. Toyin Adeniji. GEEP MarketMoni is a federal ggovernment’s Social Intervention Programme (SIP) that provides interest-free loans of N10,000 to N100,000 to microenterprises, the segments of society with the greatest difficulty accessing credit. The scheme, which is executed by BoI, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and

Investment, directly impacts traders, market women, artisans, and farmers nationwide. To assess the impact of the scheme, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with a section of 12,000 beneficiaries from Kano State during the state’s edition of MSME Clinic recently. The Special Assistant to the Vice President on MSME, Tola Johnson, said: “The best thing that has happened to micro businesses in Nigeria is the GEEP MarketMoni programme. It dealt with their collateral challenge because all they need is their data, a bank account and Bank Verification Number (BVN).� Johnson added that out of the 37million small businesses in Nigeria, 36.9 million are microenterprises. “This informed the federal ggovernment’s attention to this space. Micro enterprises

are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and 80 per cent of the workforce,� he added. Also, Adeniji, revealed that under the GEEP MarketMoni scheme, the BoI had given out more than 350, 000 microcredit loans across the country. “GEEP MarketMoni has given people who otherwise have no access to finance, money to finance their businesses. These micro enterprises are expanding their businesses, making more profit and employing more people�. “Most of our beneficiaries are women, some of whom are widows and single mothers. We are improving the quality of their lives, their children’s lives, their health and even education. We are seeing very quantifiable impacts. No government has ever done this,� she added.

L-R: Director General, Nigeria-German Business Association, Mr. Gbenga Adebija; Head, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria(DGIC) Dr. Marc Lucassen; Head, Business Development, DGICelegation, Debra Egemba, and Project Coordinator, Dual VocationalTraining Partnership, Nigeria, Stephen Awoyele, at the 7th German- Nigerian Business Forum Press Conference held in Lagos‌ yesterday

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA)

MARCH 2018 Broad Money (M2)

24,303,049.86

-- Narrow Money (M1)

10,912,604.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,668,378.21

---- Demand Deposits

9,244,225.90

-- Quasi Money

13,390,445.76

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

15,619,134.18

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

8,683,915.68

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

26,267,136.53

---- Credit to Government (Net)

3,823,345.45

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

5,433,209.43

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

-1,609,863.98

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

22,443,791.08

NIRSAL Becomes Institutional Member of RIMAN

--Other Assets Net

-17,583,220.85

Reserve Money (Base Money)

6,746,646.49

Nume Ekeghe

--Currency in Circulation

1,668,378.21

--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) at the recently concluded 18th annual iinternational conference and training by the Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), formally became an institutional member of the association. The Managing Director/CEO of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdul Hameed, who was one of the guest speakers at the conference, proposed for an annual risk management roundtable

on agricultural financing and more collaboration with RIMAN to development of a robust risk management framework for Agribusiness Financing. In his response, the RIMAN Board of Trustee Chairman, Ms. Folakemi Fatogbe, said the association already had a quarterly risk roundtable in place both in Lagos and Abuja. But, she pointed out that the association would be willing to enlarge the scope to a joint annual conference by both RIMAN/NIRSAL. She also added that committee

of chief risk officers of banks, through RIMAN, would work in collaboration with NIRSAL to develop a robust risk management framework for agricultural financing. She further added: “We believe this collaboration with NIRSAL will provide a suitable platform for synergy, knowledge sharing, capacity building and improvement of best practice risk management in the agric sector and beyond thereby providing food security among other benefits to the development of agribusiness’ in Nigeria.�

IFAD Promotes Climate ‘Smart’ Investments Agriculture is stepping up in the fight against climate change with help from the private sector as a new report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has shown that investing in climate-resilient agriculture can attract sizeable contributions from the private sector. The Business Advantage – Mobilising Private Sector Led Climate Actions in Agriculture, a study of IFAD investments through its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), showed that for every dollar of ASAP invest-

ment, between US$0.77–2.85 was leveraged in private-sector investments - helping countries reach climate finance commitments scheduled under the Paris climate agreement. “IFAD works with the private sector on adaptation investments that are both financially profitable and socially and environmentally sound,� said IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo. “Many of these adaptation investments were deemed high risk by the private sector, but ASAP operates as a de-risking or insurance instrument to encourage business to invest

in them.� Previously, in Bhutan the private sector was wary of investing in small scale dairy farms due to product quality concerns. With IFAD investment leading the way, however, local farmers improved the quality of their milk and then partnered with a local dairy company to create an assured market. In the first year, the investment ($77,429) was close to 2.5 times the amount invested by IFAD. The company’s supply of milk was greatly improved while farmers reported their income from dairy sales increased by 54 to 170 per cent.

˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

Inter-Bank Call Rate

15.16

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

11.84

Savings Deposit Rate

4.07

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.82

3 Months Deposit Rate

9.72

6 Months Deposit Rate

10.93

12 Months Deposit Rate

10.21

Prime Lending rate

17.35

Maximum Lending Rate

31.55

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OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT TUESDAY JUNE 12, 2018

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $74.11 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $73.96 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), ZaďŹ ro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela) SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


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MARKET NEWS

Rand Merchant Bank Eyes Increased Activities in Nigerian Capital Market Goddy Egene The Managing Director of Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Nigeria, Mr. Michael Labie yesterday said the company would increase its activities in the Nigerian capital. Speaking at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to sound the closing gong in commemoration of the bank’s fifth anniversary in Nigeria, Labie said RMB currently trade in the

market through its stockbroking arm. “You may be aware that we have RMB Stockbrokers playing in the market. We do trade in the market. But beyond that, we want to help companies that want to list. We are part of the issuing houses for the planned MTN issue and a few others that are in the pipeline. We are collaborating to come out with different products that will trade in the market,�

P R I C E S MAIN BOARD

F O R DEALS

Labie said. The RMB boss, who commended the efforts of the NSE to deepen the market, said the Exchange was working on several derivatives that would attract more investments to the bourse. “The exchange is busy working on several derivatives products. I think when those products come, they will help to broaden the products that offered in the market and

S E C U R I T I E S

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N )

increase the volume that get traded. Also, the Premium Board that is emphasising good corporate governance will further enhance confidence in the market which will attract both foreign and domestic investments,� he added. Reviewing the five years of operating in Nigeria, Labie said it had been an interesting journey. “Like any developing economy, it got is challenges but you have to appreciate

T R A D E D MAIN BOARD

A S

the challenges and navigate your way through. We have navigated some of the challenges and have been able to work with our clients to help them to do and along the way progress in our own business. So in the last five years, I think the journey has been progressive,� he said. Looking ahead, Labie said the bank would do more for its clients and conclude some of the deals that it has in the pipeline.

O F

“So, you can think of us as one of the leading capital market players that have brought issuers to the market and that has also structured fixed income deals. We want to be seen as a trusted merchant bank in the Nigerian market. We want our clients to come to us as an institution that they can trust to help them think through the challenging issues that they have been grappling with,� he said.

1 2 / 0 6 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N)


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Nigeria Daily Stock Market Report:

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

d,/^z &Z/Es^d Ď°ĎŹ KEd/Eh dK KhdWZ&KZDE^^/ΘE^ĎŻĎŹ/Ey dŚĞdĹšĹ?Ć?ĂLJÄ¨ĆŒĹ?ŜǀĞĆ?ƚϰϏĹ?ŜĚĞdžÇ Ä‚Ć?Ä?ĆŒÄžÄ‚ĆšÄžÄšÄ‚Ç‡ÄžÄ‚ĆŒÄ‚Ĺ?Ž͞:ƾŜĞ ϹƚŚ ώϏϭϳͿ Ä?ŽŜĆ?Ĺ?Ć?Ć&#x;ĹśĹ? ŽĨ Ď°ĎŹ Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?Ĺš Ä?ƾƚ Ä‚Ä?ĆŒĹ˝Ć?Ć? ƚŚĞ Ç€Ä‚ĆŒĹ?ŽƾĆ? Ć?ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? ŽŜ ƚŚĞ EĹ?Ĺ?ÄžĆŒĹ?Ä‚Ĺś ^ƚŽÄ?ĹŹ džÄ?ŚĂŜĹ?Ğ͘ dŚĞĆ?Äž Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? Ç ÄžĆŒÄž Ć?ĞůĞÄ?ƚĞĚ Ä?Ä‚Ć?ĞĚ ŽŜ ƚŚĞĹ?ĆŒ ĹŻĹ?Ć‹ĆľĹ?ÄšĹ?ƚLJ͕ ĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄ‚Ä?Ĺ?ĹŻĹ?ƚLJ ͞ŇŽĂƚͿ ĂŜĚ Ć?Ĺ?njĞ ÍžĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš Ä?ĂƉĹ?ƚĂůĹ?njĂĆ&#x;Ĺ˝ĹśÍżÍ˜ ŽůůĞÄ?Ć&#x;ǀĞůLJ͕ ƚŚĞĆ?Äž Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? Ä‚Ä?Ä?ŽƾŜƚ Ä¨Ĺ˝ĆŒ ĎľĎ°Í˜ĎŹĐš ŽĨ ƚŽƚĂů ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš Ä?ĂƉĹ?ƚĂůĹ?njĂĆ&#x;ŽŜ ĂŜĚ Ä‚Ć‰Ć‰ĆŒĹ˝Ç†Ĺ?žĂƚĞůLJĎ°ĎŽÍ˜ĎŹĐšŽĨĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄ‚Ä?ĹŻÄžĹ‡Ĺ˝Ä‚ĆšÍ˜ Ć?Ä‚ĆštĞĚŜĞĆ?ĚĂLJ͕ϭϯƚŚŽĨ:ƾŜĞĎŽĎŹĎ­Ď´Í•ƚŚĞÄ¨ĆŒĹ?ŜǀĞĆ?ƚϰϏĹ?ŜĚĞdž ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ˝ĆŒÄšÄžÄš Ä‚ ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć? ŽĨ Í˛ĎŹÍ˜Ď˛Đš ƚŽ Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Äž ĹŻĹ˝Ç ÄžĆŒ Ä‚Ćš Ď­Í•Ď˛ĎŽĎ´Í˜ĎąĎą ƉŽĹ?ŜƚĆ? Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄž Ĺ?ĆšĆ? zd ĆŒÄžĆšĆľĆŒĹś ĆŒĹ˝Ć?Äž ƚŽ ĎąÍ˜Ď˛ĐšÍ˜ dŚĞ zd ĆŒÄžĆšĆľĆŒĹś ŽĨ ƚŚĞ dĹšĹ?Ć?ĂLJÄ¨ĆŒĹ?ŜǀĞĆ?ƚϰϏĆ?ĆľĆŒĆ‰Ä‚Ć?Ć?ÄžĆ?ƚŚĞzdĆŒÄžĆšĆľĆŒĹśŽĨƚŚĞE^ͲĹŻĹŻ ^ĹšÄ‚ĆŒÄž /ŜĚĞdž Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?Ĺš Ĺ?Ć? ĎŽÍ˜Ď­Đš ĂŜĚ ƚŚĂƚ ŽĨ ƚŚĞ E^ ĎŻĎŹÍ• Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?Ĺš Ĺ?Ć? Ď­Í˜ĎŽĐšÍ˜ zÄžĆ?ĆšÄžĆŒÄšÄ‚Ç‡Í›Ć?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć?Ĺ?ĹśƚŚĞdĹšĹ?Ć?ĚĂLJÄ¨ĆŒĹ?ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĎ°ĎŹÇ Ä‚Ć?ĚƾĞƚŽĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć? Ĺ?ĹśE/d, ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜ĎłĐšÍżÍ•E/'Z/E ZtZ/^ ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜Ď´ĐšÍżĂŜĚ&E, ÍžÍ˛ĎŽÍ˜ĎłĐšÍżÇ ĹšĹ?Ä?ĹšÄ?ƾžƾůĂĆ&#x;ǀĞůLJÄ‚Ä?Ä?ŽƾŜƚĆ?Ä¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĎŽĎ˛Í˜Ď˛ĐšŽĨƚŚĞĹ?ĹśÄšÄžÇ†Í˜ WĆŒĹ˝ÄŽĆš dÄ‚ĹŹĹ?ĹśĹ? Ĺ?Ĺś >Ä‚ĆŒĹ?Äž ĂƉ ^ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? ,Ä‚ĹŻĆšĆ? ώͲĂLJ WĹ˝Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x;ǀĞ dĆŒÄžĹśÄšÍ™E^^/ÄšĹ˝Ç ĹśĎŹÍ˜ĎŻĐš dŚĞEĹ?Ĺ?ÄžĆŒĹ?Ä‚ĹśĹ˝ĆľĆŒĆ?ÄžŚĂůƚĞĚÄ‚ώͲĚĂLJĹ?Ä‚Ĺ?ĹśĹ?ĹśĹ?ĆšĆŒÄžĹśÄšLJĞĆ?ĆšÄžĆŒÄšÄ‚Ç‡ Ä‚Ć? ƚŚĞ E^ ĹŻĹŻ ^ĹšÄ‚ĆŒÄž /ŜĚĞdž Íž^/Íż Ç Ä‚Ć? ÄšĆŒÄ‚Ĺ?Ĺ?ĞĚ ĎŹÍ˜ĎŻĐš Ć?Ĺ˝ĆľĆšĹšÇ Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ?ƚŽĎŻĎľÍ•ĎŹĎŻĎ­Í˜ĎłĎŽƉŽĹ?ŜƚĆ?Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄžzdĆŒÄžĆšĆľĆŒĹśĆŒÄžÄšĆľÄ?ĞĚƚŽ ĎŽÍ˜Ď­ĐšÍ˜WĆŒĹ˝ÄŽĆšƚĂŏĹ?ĹśĹ?Ĺ?ĹśE/'Z/EZtZ/^ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜Ď´ĐšÍżÍ•E/d, ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜ĎłĐšÍż ĂŜĚ &E, ÍžÍ˛ĎŽÍ˜ĎłĐšÍż ƉƾůůĞĚ ƚŚĞ Ĺ?ŜĚĞdž ĹŻĹ˝Ç ÄžĆŒÍ˜ ŽŜĆ?ĞƋƾĞŜƚůLJ͕ Ĺ?ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ćš EĎŻĎŽÍ˜ĎłÄ?Ĺś Ä‚Ć? ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš Ä?ĂƉĹ?ƚĂůĹ?njĂĆ&#x;ŽŜ ĨĞůů ƚŽ EĎ­Ď°Í˜ĎŽĆšĹśÍ˜ Ä?Ć&#x;Ç€Ĺ?ƚLJ ůĞǀĞů Ç Ä‚Ć? ĹľĹ?džĞĚ Ä‚Ć? ǀŽůƾžĞĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄžÄšĹ?ĹľĆ‰ĆŒĹ˝Ç€ÄžÄšĎŻĎŻÍ˜ĎłĐšƚŽĎ°ĎąĎ˛Í˜ĎąĹľƾŜĹ?ĆšĆ?Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄžǀĂůƾĞ ĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄžÄšĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ŜĞĚĎŽĎŹÍ˜Ď°ĐšƚŽEĎ°Í˜Ď­Ä?ĹśÍ˜dŚĞžŽĆ?ĆšĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄžÄšĆ?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ?Ä?LJ ǀŽůƾžĞ Ç ÄžĆŒÄž h ÍžĎľĎŹÍ˜Ď˛ĹľÍżÍ• hW ÍžĎłĎ´Í˜ĎłĹľÍż ĂŜĚ &Z/WZh ÍžĎłĎŽÍ˜Ď­ĹľÍż Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄž h ÍžEĎľĎľĎ´Í˜ĎŽĹľÍżÍ• 'hZEdz ÍžEĎŻĎŽĎľÍ˜ĎąĹľÍż ĂŜĚ &Z/WZhÍžEĎŻĎ­ĎŽÍ˜Ď˛ĹľÍżÇ ÄžĆŒÄžƚŚĞƚŽƉĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄžÄšĆ?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ?Ä?LJÇ€Ä‚ĹŻĆľÄžÍ˜ ÄžÄ‚ĆŒĹ?Ć?Ĺš^ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒWÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž WÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž Ä‚Ä?ĆŒĹ˝Ć?Ć? Ć?ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? Ç Ä‚Ć? ĹľĹ?džĞĚ Ä‚Ć? ĎŻ ŽĨ Ďą Ĺ?ŜĚĹ?Ä?ÄžĆ? ĆľĹśÄšÄžĆŒ Ĺ˝ĆľĆŒ Ä?Ĺ˝Ç€ÄžĆŒÄ‚Ĺ?Äž ĆšĆŒÄžĹśÄšÄžÄš Ć?Ĺ˝ĆľĆšĹšÇ Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ?͘ dŚĞ ŽŜĆ?ĆľĹľÄžĆŒ 'ŽŽĚĆ? Ĺ?ŜĚĞdž ůĞĚ ĹŻÄ‚Ĺ?Ĺ?Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ?Í• ÄšĹ˝Ç Ĺś ĎŹÍ˜Ď˛ĐšÍ• Ä‚Ć? Ĺ?ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? ƚŽŽŏ Ć‰ĆŒĹ˝ÄŽĆš Ĺ?Ĺś E/'Z/E ZtZ/^ ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜Ď´ĐšÍżÍ• E'^h'Z ͞Ͳ ĎŽÍ˜Ď˛ĐšÍż ĂŜĚ E'&>KhZ ÍžÍ˛ĎŹÍ˜ĎľĐšÍżÍ˜ >Ĺ?ĹŹÄžÇ Ĺ?Ć?Ğ͕ ƚŚĞ ĂŜŏĹ?ĹśĹ? ĂŜĚ /ĹśĆ?ĆľĆŒÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž Ĺ?ŜĚĹ?Ä?ÄžĆ? Ć?ŚĞĚ ĎŹÍ˜ĎąĐš ĂŜĚ ĎŹÍ˜Ď°Đš ĆŒÄžĆ?ƉĞÄ?Ć&#x;ǀĞůLJ ĚƾĞ ƚŽ ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć?ÄžĆ? Ĺ?Ĺś E/d, ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜ĎłĐšÍżÍ• h ÍžÍ˛Ď­Í˜Ď°ĐšÍżÍ• /DKE ÍžÍ˛ĎąÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍżÍ• ED ÍžÍ˛ĎŻÍ˜Ď­ĐšÍżÍ• //K ÍžÍ˛Ď°Í˜Ď˛ĐšÍż ĂŜĚ tW/ ÍžÍ˛ĎŽÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍżÍ˜ KĹś ƚŚĞ ŇĹ?ƉĆ?Ĺ?ĚĞ͕ƚŚĞ/ŜĚƾĆ?ĆšĆŒĹ?Ä‚ĹŻ'ŽŽĚĆ?ĂŜĚKĹ?ĹŻΘ'Ä‚Ć?Ĺ?ŜĚĹ?Ä?ÄžĆ?Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?ĞĚĹ?Ĺś ƚŚĞĹ?ĆŒÄžÄžĹśÍ•ƾƉĎŹÍ˜ĎŽĐšĂŜĚĎ­Ä?Ɖ͕Ä¨Ĺ˝ĹŻĹŻĹ˝Ç Ĺ?ĹśĹ?Ć‰ĆŒĹ?Ä?ÄžÄ‚Ć‰Ć‰ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ?Ä‚Ć&#x;ŽŜĹ?Ĺś EEÍžĐ˝ĎŻÍ˜Ď´ĐšÍżĂŜĚdZEÍžĐ˝ĎŹÍ˜ĎąĐšÍżĆŒÄžĆ?ƉĞÄ?Ć&#x;Ç€ÄžĹŻÇ‡Í˜ /ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒ^ĞŜĆ&#x;žĞŜƚtĞĂŏĞŜĆ? /ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒ Ć?ĞŜĆ&#x;žĞŜƚ Ä‚Ć? žĞĂĆ?ĆľĆŒÄžÄš Ä?LJ ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš Ä?ĆŒÄžÄ‚ÄšĆšĹš ͞ĂĚǀĂŜÄ?Ğ͏ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ŜĞ ĆŒÄ‚Ć&#x;ŽͿ Ç ÄžÄ‚ĹŹÄžĹśÄžÄš ƚŽ ĎŹÍ˜ĎľÇ† Ä¨ĆŒĹ˝Ĺľ Ď­Í˜ĎŻÇ† Ĺ?Ĺś ƚŚĞ Ć‰ĆŒÄžÇ€Ĺ?ŽƾĆ? Ć?ÄžĆ?Ć?Ĺ?ŽŜ Ä‚Ć? ĎŽĎŹ Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? ĂĚǀĂŜÄ?ĞĚ ĆŒÄžĹŻÄ‚Ć&#x;ǀĞ ƚŽ ĎŽĎŽ ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ĹśÄžĆŒĆ?͘ zÄžĆ?ĆšÄžĆŒÄšÄ‚Ç‡Í›Ć? ƚŽƉ Ć‰ÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľÄžĆŒĆ? Ç ÄžĆŒÄž :Wh>K/> ÍžĐ˝ĎąÍ˜ĎľĐšÍżÍ• hͲWZKW ÍžĐ˝ĎąÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍż ĂŜĚ WZ^d/' ÍžĐ˝Ď°Í˜ĎľĐšÍż Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄž /DKE ÍžÍ˛ĎąÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍżÍ• //K ÍžÍ˛Ď°Í˜Ď˛ĐšÍż ĂŜĚ hE/dz ÍžÍ˛Ď°Í˜ĎŻĐšÍż ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ŜĞĚ ƚŚĞ žŽĆ?ĆšÍ˜ Ć? ƚŚĞ Ĺ?Ä‚Ĺ?ĹśĹ?ĹśĹ? Ć?ĆšĆŒÄžÄ‚ĹŹ Ç Ä‚Ć? ŚĂůƚĞĚ Ĺ?Ĺś LJĞĆ?ĆšÄžĆŒÄšÄ‚Ç‡Í›Ć? ĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšĹ?ĹśĹ? Ć?ÄžĆ?Ć?Ĺ?ŽŜ͕ Ç Äž ĞdžƉĞÄ?Ćš ƚŽ Ć?ĞĞ Ĺ?ĹśÄ?ĆŒÄžÄ‚Ć?ĞĚ Ć‰ĆŒĹ˝ÄŽĆšƚĂŏĹ?ĹśĹ?ƚŽĚĂLJÄ‚Ć?Ĺ?ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ?Ä¨ĆŒÄžÄžƾƉÄ?Ä‚Ć?ĹšÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒƚŚĞŚŽůĹ?ĚĂLJ Ć?ĞĂĆ?Ĺ˝ĹśÍ˜ EÄžÇ€ÄžĆŒĆšĹšÄžĹŻÄžĆ?Ć?Í• Ç Äž Ä?ĞůĹ?ĞǀĞ ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš ĆŒÄžĆšĆľĆŒĹś Ä¨Ĺ˝ĆŒ ƚŚĞ Ç ÄžÄžĹŹÇ Ĺ?ĹŻĹŻÄ?ÄžƉŽĆ?Ĺ?Ć&#x;ǀĞĹ?Ĺ?ǀĞŜƚŚĞĹ?Ä‚Ĺ?ĹśĆ?ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ˝ĆŒÄšÄžÄšÄžÄ‚ĆŒĹŻĹ?ÄžĆŒĹ?ĹśƚŚĞ Ç ÄžÄžĹŹÍ˜

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

Ticker

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40

Current Price

Previous Current Price Weighting Change

Price Change YTD

Price Change Index to Date

ROE

ROA

P/E

P/BV

5.6%

62.9%

19.4%

7.0%

7.8x

0.9x

5.1%

10.5%

1.8%

2.3%

32.6%

5.2%

6.7x

2.3x

6.5%

14.8% 22.3%

Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield

1,628.55

-0.62%

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

41.50

0.0%

20.7%

2

Zenith Bank PLC

26.75

-1.7%

12.9%

4.3%

3.2%

26.3%

3.6%

4.5x

1.1x

10.1%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

115.00

-1.8%

7.3%

-14.8%

-14.8%

17.4%

8.3%

28.8x

4.9x

3.6%

3.5%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

1,495.00

0.0%

7.3%

-3.9%

-3.9%

73.3%

18.9%

34.9x

22.2x

2.8%

2.9%

5

Dangote Cement PLC

239.00

0.0%

6.1%

3.9%

3.9%

22.7%

12.0%

20.7x

4.8x

4.4%

4.8%

6

FBN Holdings Plc

10.90

-2.7%

6.5%

23.9%

24.0%

6.7%

0.8%

7.8x

0.6x

2.3%

12.7%

7

Access Bank PLC

10.65

0.0%

4.3%

1.9%

0.5%

12.7%

1.5%

5.2x

0.7x

6.1%

19.1%

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

10.95

-1.4%

4.4%

6.3%

5.2%

15.9%

1.9%

4.8x

0.8x

7.8%

20.7%

9

Ecobank Transnational Inc

20.00

0.0%

3.7%

17.6%

22.9%

12.9%

1.0%

6.6x

0.9x

10

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

769.00

0.0%

3.6%

22.8%

22.8%

22.3%

13.2%

3.9x

0.8x

2.4%

25.3%

11

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

48.50

-0.2%

3.2%

16.9%

18.6%

30.8%

4.1%

9.2x

2.5x

1.0%

10.9%

12

Unilever Nigeria PLC

55.00

0.0%

3.2%

34.1%

36.8%

19.2%

8.0%

29.4x

4.0x

0.9%

3.4%

13

Guinness Nigeria PLC

97.00

0.0%

2.3%

3.2%

3.2%

15.4%

6.1%

18.5x

2.5x

0.7%

5.4%

14

Lafarge Africa PLC

39.00

0.0%

1.4%

-13.1%

-13.1%

-36.8%

-7.7%

2.2x

3.8%

-15.8%

15

Fidelity Bank PLC

2.31

0.4%

1.1%

-6.1%

-10.5%

10.4%

1.4%

1.8x

0.4x

4.8%

55.1%

16

Oando PLC

6.85

-0.7%

1.4%

14.4%

14.4%

10.3%

1.5%

8.5x

0.5x

17

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

19.00

-2.6%

1.0%

-5.0%

-6.7%

45.0%

20.0%

5.7x

2.1x

13.2%

17.7%

18

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

82.00

0.0%

1.3%

21.1%

21.1%

39.7%

29.4%

8.2x

2.8x

3.7%

12.2%

19

International Brew eries PLC

41.75

0.0%

0.6%

-23.4%

-24.1%

24.6%

7.4%

43.7x

9.9x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

32.65

1.1%

0.7%

12.6%

12.6%

13.1%

3.0%

6.8x

0.8x

2.8%

14.7%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

11.0%

1

15.1%

11.8%

2.3%

1.48

1.4%

0.6%

1.4%

0.0%

11.2%

2.5%

9.1x

0.9x

1.4%

0.0%

0.5%

-13.0%

-13.0%

1.5%

0.6%

23.9x

0.6x

4.4%

0.5%

1.3%

-3.2%

-5.8%

-0.7%

-15.9%

-15.9%

25.0%

5.3%

9.3x

2.2x

8.6%

10.7%

46.8%

5.8%

0.9%

4.4x

0.3x

4.3%

22.6%

4.4%

15.2%

22

UAC of Nigeria PLC

14.70

23

Diamond Bank PLC

1.52

-5.0%

24

Total Nigeria PLC

193.30

0.0%

0.4%

25

FCMB Group Plc

2.32

0.9%

0.7%

26

11 PLC

183.00

0.0%

0.4%

-6.0%

-6.0%

38.8%

15.7%

6.6x

2.2x

27

Forte Oil PLC

37.00

0.0%

0.4%

-14.9%

-11.9%

17.6%

1.6%

20.0x

3.1x

0.0%

0.2x

4.2% -48.1%

5.0%

28

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

20.75

0.4%

0.7%

-1.9%

10.7%

5.0%

19.7x

2.0x

2.4%

29

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

13.00

0.0%

0.3%

-17.0%

-16.7%

2.0%

0.8%

60.7x

2.1x

1.2%

1.6%

30

Presco PLC

73.70

0.0%

0.4%

7.6%

7.6%

35.8%

24.8%

3.1x

0.9x

2.7%

32.7%

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

23.00

-0.4%

0.4%

24.3%

19.7%

52.3%

19.7%

10.9x

4.8x

6.5%

9.2%

32

UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr

10.00

0.0%

0.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.8x

7.2%

33

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC

6.20

1.6%

0.3%

-20.5%

-17.4%

5.3%

1.1%

8.9x

0.6x

34

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

27.50

0.0%

0.3%

-1.8%

-1.8%

17.3%

1.8%

7.6x

1.2x

3.6%

13.1%

35

Sterling Bank PLC

1.41

2.2%

0.3%

30.6%

24.8%

10.7%

1.0%

4.2x

0.4x

1.4%

23.7%

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

10.60

-0.9%

0.2%

-12.8%

-12.8%

1.4x

1.9%

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

19.20

0.0%

0.2%

-11.2%

-11.2%

4.4%

2.8%

30.3x

1.3x

39.1%

3.3%

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

36.80

0.0%

0.2%

8.2%

3.1%

66.2%

30.2%

17.2x

11.5x

5.9%

5.8%

39

Beta Glass PLC

87.35

0.0%

0.2%

70.2%

70.2%

18.4%

11.9%

12.3x

2.1x

1.3%

8.1%

40

Transcorp Hotels Plc

7.45

0.0%

0.1%

3.3%

3.3%

5.3%

2.9%

19.5x

1.0x

1.8%

5.1%

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

11.2%

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

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

J A P A ULOIL

0.36

5.9%

UB A

90.6

-1.4%

UA C -P R OP

2.11

5.0%

UC A P

78.7

-4.0%

0.64

4.9%

A F R IP R UD

72.1

-1.2%

1.51

4.9%

A C C ESS

26.3

0.0%

P R EST IGE LEA R N A F R C A

T ic k er

Vo lum e

P ric e C hg %

EQUIT YA SUR

0.23

4.5%

A F R IN SUR E

23.3

0.0%

SOVR EN IN S

0.27

3.8%

FB NH

22.0

-2.7% 5.9%

CCNN

5.1%

27.50

3.8%

J A P A ULOIL

21.4

J A IZ B A N K

0.68

3.0%

UB N

14.4

1.6%

WEM A B A N K

0.74

2.8%

ST ER LN B A N K

13.3

2.2%

NP FM CRFB K

1.76

2.3%

9.1

0.4%

F ID ELIT YB K

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

T o p 10 L o s e r s P ric e

P ric e C hg %

T ic k er

Value

P ric e C hg %

D IA M ON D B N K

1.52

-5.0%

UB A

998.2

-1.4%

A IIC O

0.62

-4.6%

GUA R A N T Y

329.5

0.0%

UN IT YB N K

0.88

-4.3%

A F R IP R UD

312.6

-1.2%

T ic k er

UC A P

3.16

-4.0%

A C C ESS

282.3

0.0%

SKYEB A N K

0.73

-3.9%

D A N GC EM

275.3

0.0%

A GLEVEN T

0.49

-3.9%

UC A P

258.3

-4.0%

N EM

2.54

-3.1%

FB NH

240.4

-2.7%

M B EN EF IT

0.33

-2.9%

N EST LE

232.3

0.0%

FB NH

10.90

-2.7%

Z EN IT H B A N K

204.7

-1.7%

D A N GSUGA R

19.00

-2.6%

N A SC ON

168.3

-0.4%

Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | aebo@afrinvest.com

Robert Omotunde | romotunde@afrinvest.com

Bolaji Fajenyo | bfajenyo@afrinvest.com

Eronmosele Aziba | eaziba@afrinvest.com


43

     ˾  THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018

MARKET NEWS

Coronation Research: CBN May Raise Interest Rate to Attract Foreign Investors Goddy Egene Coronation Research, a part of Coronation Merchant Bank Group, has said there are strong indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will raise interest rate in fourth quarter(Q4) of 2018 to retain foreign portfolio investors in the country. Speaking on interest rate outlook for 2018, the research firm, noted that conditions for emerging market currencies have

deteriorated in the last two months. According to the company, while the crisis in the Argentinian Peso is an extreme example, few emerging markets can take their exchange rate for granted and in some cases market interest rates have risen. It explained that countries such as Kenya and Egypt, that offer one-year risk-free local currency yields in excess of 5.00 percentage points (pp) above inflation, have had the best experience

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

of preserving their foreign exchange rates over the year. “Nigeria offers a one-year risk-free rate of 0.72 pp over its inflation rate. In as much as the CBN wishes to keep interest rates down, we believe that it will have to raise market interest rates by Q4 2018. The CBN is aware of the risk of outflows of foreign investment in naira money market instruments and the threat of pre-election spending that will most likely feed through to

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

inflation in H2 2018. For these two reasons we think that the CBN will raise its open market operation (OMO) rates to achieve an annual yield of 14.00 per cent-15.00 per cent by Q4 2018, from 13.20 per cent per annum recently. However, we doubt that it will make an overt signal by raising its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) above 14.00 per cent pa this year,” the company said. According to Head of Research, Guy

Czartoryski, a significant part of Nigeria’s Nairadenominated risk-free securities are held by foreign investors and logic suggests that CBN must increase interest rates dramatically to keep the investors. “However, we believe the CBN will keep interest rate rises to the minimum, while allowing a degree of foreign exchange reserve deterioration if foreign investors either sell or do not renew their Naira fixed

income positions ahead of elections in February 2019. We think that the CBN would tolerate a degree of parallel exchange rate deterioration, if this results,” Czartoryski said. The company said Nigeria will have to offer a higher interest rates more than what the market currently offers to attract international investors looking for a return, and lock in domestic funds that might otherwise go to the foreign exchange market.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 187.53 189.09 5.75% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.28 246.88 6.36% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.84 0.85 2.03% ACAP Income Funds 0.64 0.64 6.55% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.20% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 19.86 20.46 8.68% ARM Discovery Fund 417.76 430.35 7.38% ARM Ethical Fund 29.38 30.27 7.54% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 13.26% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA Mansard Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Paramount Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Women's Investment Fund N/A N/A N/A CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.18% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.92% Coronation Balanced Fund 1.14 1.16 8.58% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.12 1.15 8.24% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,163.73 1,164.42 7.66% FBN Heritage Fund 149.13 150.42 6.97% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.41% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $112.60 $112.95 2.16% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $112.46 $112.81 2.18% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 177.68 180.40 10.46% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD fcamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.37 1.40 5.24% Legacy Debt Fund 3.06 3.06 5.91% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,185.65 3,217.62 6.69% Coral Income Fund 2,630.71 2,630.71 7.50% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.23% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 103.29 104.31 3.33% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.95% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.22 2.24 5.22% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.56% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 120.62 121.00 4.88%

LOTUS CAPITAL LTD fincon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.19 1.21 3.81% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,073.48 1,073.48 6.45% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 13.91 14.02 5.69% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.58% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.35 1.37 12.99% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.74 11.81 6.41% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.72% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 127.57 129.79 -0.95% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.59 1.59 6.99% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,394.62 2,414.33 6.75% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 186.02 186.02 5.42% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.07 1.08 6.44% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 236.89 236.95 7.57% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 185.75 187.76 3.70% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.43% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 10,086.09 10,224.11 4.31% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.10 1.10 3.33% 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 1.31 1.32 -1.80% United Capital Bond Fund 1.65 1.65 5.42% United Capital Equity Fund 0.95 0.97 3.99% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.51% United Capital Eurobond Fund 106.27 106.27 3.28% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.14 1.15 5.16% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 13.24 13.44 5.38% Zenith Ethical Fund 13.85 14.01 4.93% Zenith Income Fund 20.32 20.32 7.36% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.39%

REITS NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 136.00 103.70 51.30

1.01% 2.67%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

12.45 154.74 114.95

12.55 157.97 117.05

2.70% 8.32% 5.20%

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

0.92%

EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS Fund Name Lotus Halal Equity Exchange Traded Fund SIAML Pension ETF 40 Stanbic IBTC ETF 30 Fund

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

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

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

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

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

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


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NATIONAL PENSION COMMISSION MULTIFUND STRUCTURE OF RETIREMENT SAVINGS FUNDS The RSA Multi-Fund Structure comprises of four Funds, which differ from one another based on the overall exposure of the Fund to variable income instruments such as quoted ordinary shares, mutual funds, private equity funds and infrastructure funds. It is an improvement on the current two-fund structure comprising the RSA ‘Active’ and ‘Retiree’ Funds. It also provides contributors with options on how their pension contributions are managed by licensed Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs). With the Multi-ˆ—† –”—…–—”‡ǡ –Š‡”‡ ™‹ŽŽ „‡ ‹’”‘˜‡† ‡ˆϐ‹…‹‡…› ‹ —† ƒƒ‰‡‡–Ǣ „‡––‡” ƒ–…Š‹‰ ‘ˆ ’‡•‹‘ ƒ••‡–• ƒ† liabilities, potentially resulting in enhanced RSA balances for Contributors at retirement.

 

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PRE-RETIREES (AGES 50 YEARS AND ABOVE) Up to 20% (maximum) of this Fund may be exposed to variable investment instruments (strictly, quoted equities and mutual funds). A Contributor in Fund III shall not be allowed to choose Fund I, but may make a formal application to his/her PFA to be assigned to Fund II.

FOR RETIREES Up to 10% (maximum) of this Fund may be invested in variable investment instruments (strictly, quoted equities and mutual funds). Strictly for retirees. Contributors are advised to contact their Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) for further information.

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T H I S D AY ˾ THURSDAY JUNE 14, 2018

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THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018ËžT H I S D AY

INTERNATIONAL

email:foreigndesk@thisdaylive.com

Trump Lauds North Korea Deal Despite Scepticism Says Pyongyang no longer a nuclear threat Donald Trump has declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, following his summit with Kim Jong-un, BBC reported. The two leaders met on Tuesday, signing a brief declaration on denuclearisation and reducing tensions. After arriving back in the US, the president also tweeted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;everybody can now feel much saferâ&#x20AC;?. However, the credibility of that claim is in doubt. Many observers say the agreement does little to reduce North Koreaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stockpile of weapons. Under the deal, the North retains its nuclear warheads, the missiles to launch them and has not agreed to any

speciďŹ c process to get rid of them. The declaration signed at the end of the summit said the two countries would co-operate towards â&#x20AC;&#x153;new relationsâ&#x20AC;?, while the US would provide â&#x20AC;&#x153;security guaranteesâ&#x20AC;? to North Korea. Pyongyang in return â&#x20AC;&#x153;commits to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsulaâ&#x20AC;?. At a news conference after the meeting, Mr Trump said he would lift sanctions against North Korea once â&#x20AC;&#x153;nukes are no longer a factorâ&#x20AC;?. He also announced an unexpected end to US-South Korea military drills. The move - long demanded

by Pyongyang - has been seen as a major concession to North Korea and appeared to take US allies in the region by surprise. Most Western observers have said the deal includes no new commitments from North Korea nor details on how denuclearisation could be achieved or veriďŹ ed. At his news conference, President Trump said it was difďŹ cult to ensure anything but that he trusted his instinct that Mr Kim would abide by his word. Critics also expressed disappointment that Pyongyangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long record of human rights abuses was not addressed.

All Eyes on OPEC as Trump Gripes over Prices Just nine days before a big OPEC meeting, US President Donald Trump joined the oil-market fray Tuesday, blaming the group for high prices, according to Agence France-Press. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!â&#x20AC;? the US president said on Twitter. Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grousing follows reports suggesting the oil exporters group was already planning to open the spigots, an outcome the International Energy Agency hinted at in its monthly report released earlier Wednesday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Statements by several parties suggest that action in terms of higher supply could be on the way,â&#x20AC;? said the IEA, which represents the US and

other oil-consuming nations. The IEA suggested the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna would need to boost output because of a political crisis in Venezuela that has pinched petroleum output and Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to exit the Iran nuclear pact, which is expected to result in lower production from the Middle Eastern country. Under one scenario weighed by the IEA, output from Venezuela and Iran by the end of 2019 could be 1.5 million barrels per day lower than it is today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To make up for the losses, we estimate that Middle East OPEC countries could increase production in fairly short order by about 1.1 mb/d and there could be more

output from Russia on top of the increase already built into our 2019 non-OPEC supply numbers,â&#x20AC;?the IEA said. OPEC flows were already higher in May, led by Saudi Arabia, the IEA said, adding that the oil kingpin was still in compliance with the Vienna deal caps. Citingâ&#x20AC;&#x153;people briefed on the discussions,â&#x20AC;? Bloomberg on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia had floated several oil output hike plans to fellow cartel members. On the sidelines of the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will meet to discuss o i l p o l i cy, B l o o m b e rg added.

Yemen Forces Launch Assault on Rebel-held Port City Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive Wednesday to retake the rebel-held port city of Hodeida, a key aid hub, sparking calls from the international community for restraint, according to Agence France-Presse. Pro-government troops began the assault despite mounting international fears about the humanitarian fallout, pressing toward Hodeida airport south of the city after receiving a â&#x20AC;&#x153;green lightâ&#x20AC;? from the coalition.

By Wednesday night, the offensive remained on the outskirts of the rebel-held airport. The Red Sea port, controlled by the Iran-backed Huthi rebels who hail from northern Yemen, serves as the entry point for 70 percent of the impoverished countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imports as it teeters on the brink of famine. Britain requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the offensive, and the top UN body is expected to hold talks on Thursday.

The request came after the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin GrifďŹ ths, said he was still holding negotiations on keeping the key port open to aid deliveries.â&#x20AC;?We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hodeida that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties,â&#x20AC;? he said. The European Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foreign policy chief warned of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;devastatingâ&#x20AC;? impact the assault would have.

Italy, France Tensions Spiral over Rejected Migrant Ship Italy postponed highlevel talks with France on Wednesday after Paris branded Rome irresponsible for refusing to take in a migrant rescue ship, Agence France Presse reported. Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new economy minister postponed a meeting with his French counterpart in Paris as their

countries traded barbs over the treatment of more than 600 migrants rescued off the Libyan coast at the weekend. The migrants were stranded on the Aquarius vessel until Spain said the ship could land at its port of Valencia. It is expected to arrive there later this week. French President

Emmanuel Macron accused Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new populist government of â&#x20AC;&#x153;cynicism and irresponsibilityâ&#x20AC;? for closing its ports to the 629 migrants. Rome called his comments â&#x20AC;&#x153;unacceptableâ&#x20AC;? and summoned Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambassador on Wednesday.

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THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018ËžT H I S D AY

54

NEWS

Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x161;Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ejiofor Alike Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2013;Ejiofor.Alike@thisdaylive.com, 08066066268

APCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Convention Committee to Submit Report Today Party warns Okorocha against attack on leadership Accuses his agents of forging memo

GRAND ENDORSEMENTâ&#x20AC;Ś

L-R: Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong; former Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande; national chairmanship aspirant, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole; National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu; Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura; Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello; and Director- General of Adams Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation, Hon Farouk Aliyu, during a visit to Oshiomholeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campaign office in Abujaâ&#x20AC;Śyesterday Onyebuchi Ezigbo Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2039; As part of the process leading to the national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the screening committee headed by Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, will today submit its

report to the party leadership. This is coming as the party has threatened to deal decisively with the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, if he fails to stop his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;libelousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attacks on the party leadership. THISDAY gathered from

sources at Katsina State Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lodge, venue of the screening exercise that though the committee worked late last Tuesday in order to conclude its assignment, both the chairman and other members had to meet yesterday to fine-tune their report.

Bandits Kill 10 in Zamfara Fresh Attack Suspected herdsmen kill four in Nasarawa Emmanuel UkumbaĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC; Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2039; The Zamfara State Police Command has confirmed the death of 10 people following the attack in Dutsen-Wake and Oho Village in Birnin-Magaji Local Government Area of Zamfara State. A family of four Tiv farmers has also reportedly been killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in their farm at Antsa village of Kwarra district in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The Police Public Relations Officer in Zamfara tate, Muhammad Shehu, who made the confirmation to journalists in Gusau yesterday, said the bandits attacked the two villages on Tuesday around 10p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We received distress call yesterday that the bandits attacked the area around 10p.m. We quickly responded by mobilising policemen to the area, led by Area Commander Kaura-Namoda Police Area Command and Divisional Police Officer of Birnin-Magaji Division. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When they arrived the area the bandits had already fled to Rugu forest bordering Zamfara

with Katsina State. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They discovered 10 dead bodies killed by the bandits, seven in Dutsen-Wake and three in Oho village,â&#x20AC;? he said. He said the state police command had already mobilised security personneltomaintainpeaceinthearea. According to him, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kenneth Ebrimson,was collaborating with the Katsina State Police Command to track the perpetrators of the attack. He urged communities in the state to always cooperate and give information on security to police and other security agencies. A family of four Tiv farmers has reportedly been killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in their farm at Antsa village of Kwarra district in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The Antsa family killings occurred simultaneously with last Tuesdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attack carried out by the same suspected herdsmen on Tiv farmers at Gada-Biu village in Obi Local Government Area of the state when they (farmers) were on the farm.

The herdsmen killed one Aondovihi Tuur; while another, Virlumun Atsaga, was reportedly missing, just as over 20 others were inflicted with various degrees of injuries. The twin attacks came after a cease-fire agreement was brokered between the Tiv farmers and the Fulani herdsmen in Nasarawa State, recently. Speaking to THISDAY yesterday over the Antsa killings, an eyewitness, Dennis Utsa, said the killings occurred on Tuesday at about 10a.m. as the family of four was butchered by the herdsmen. Denen gave the names of the slain Tiv family to include the father of the family, Utindi Kyor; his son Shie-Aondo; his sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife, Dedzugwen; and his grandson, Boyi. Speaking to journalists on the resumed killings of Tiv farmers in Nasarawa State by the suspected Fulani herdsmen, the Chairman of Mzough U Tiv in the state, Thomas Gar, said the family of four were killed on their way to farm.

Although the source gave no details on whether all the aspirants scaled through the committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s screening or not, it confirmed that the panel had scheduled to meet APCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, today to submit its report. Masari had earlier on Monday  told journalists that a total of 179 aspirants will be screened by the panel. Meanwhile, the party has threatened to deal decisively with the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, if he fails to stop his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;libelousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attacks on the party leadership. The party also faulted an advertorial recently placed by the governor implying that the party was duly served with court order to stop the congress in Imo State, describing it as false and misleading. In statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, the party accused Okorocha of continuously making libelous attacks on the party and its leaders. It said there was an attempt to deceive members of the public on the true state of things regarding the congress in Imo State by forging a memo purportedly signed by the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Legal Adviser, Mr. Muiz Banire, adding that the party had launched an investigation into the matter. The party stated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We therefore, once again, urge Okorocha to tread the path of caution and reconciliation, and to work with the duly elected party executives

in the state for the good of the party. We shall however not tolerate his constant assault on the party either directly or through proxies.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Okorocha had objected to the manner in which APC congresses in his state were carried. In protest, he met with President Muhammadu Buhari and later Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, demanding the cancelation of the entire exercise. Trouble in the state chapter of APC started when stakeholders of the party in state disagreed with the governor over his desire to award the governorship ticket for the 2019 election to his son in-law. As a result, those opposed to the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agenda teamed up and formed a group known as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Imo Restoration Movementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. During the congress in the state and the ensuing struggle for supremacy between the two sides, the governor was said to have been outsmarted by the group loyal to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso. One of the grounds of the governor in his protest was that the materials for the congress were hijacked by an opposing group who allegedly connived with the congress committee to organise elections that excluded his own supporters. Okorocha accused the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC led by Chief John Odigie Oyegun of instigating crisis in Imo State to get back at him over his opposition to tenure elongation for the NWC.

However, the party had dismissed his allegation, blaming his loss at congress to loss of confidence in him by party stakeholders. In a statement issued yesterday, the party said in recent weeks, Okorocha had been making libelous attacks on the party and its leaders. The statement read: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hardly a day passes by without Okorocha verbally assaulting our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other party leaders over the recently concluded congresses in Imo State. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In an advertorial published in the Daily Trust Newspaper of June 11, 2018, and titled in part: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Let The Truth Speak For Itselfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, which was signed by a known associate of Okorocha, Hon. Ireagwu Obioma, who styles himself as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;acting Secretary, Imo APCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a number of false claims were made against the party.â&#x20AC;? According to APC, the import of the allegations was that the party was aware of a court order preventing it from conducting the Imo State congress following receipt of a copy of the so-called court injunction which directed it to maintain status quo. Stating that nothing can be further from the truth, the party said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even the published documents in the advertorial do not support this position, and in fact, gave a lie to the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of events that the party was duly served and prevented from going ahead with the congress in Imo State.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;


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AMCON Loses Bid to Take over Old Federal Secretariat Court awards N3bn damages against FG

Davidson Iriekpen The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday lost its bid to takeover the land known as the Federal Secretariat Complex, Ikoyi, Lagos, as a Federal High Court in Lagos dismissed its debt recovery suit it filed against businessman, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN). Justice Ibrahim Buba, in his judgment, also awarded the sum of N3 billion damages against the federal government and AMCON in favour of Babalakin for publishing his name in THISDAY Newspaper of February 5, 2016, as a First Bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s debtor. AMCON had dragged Babalakin and one of his companies, Resort International Limited to court in November 2012, seeking an order for the repayment of the sum of N20.5 billion comprising principal sum and accrued interest as at October 2011 on various loan facilities allegedly granted to the businessman and personally guaranteed by his company.

It is also sought an order granting it the power of sale or disposal of a parcel of land known as Alma Beach property, and the parcel of land known as the Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase 1 & 2, Ikoyi in partial or final liquidation of the debt. AMCON also wanted the court to grant it the power of sale or disposal of all the fuel hydrant tanks situated at the Domestic Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, owned by the Ist defendant and given as security for the debt, or in the alternative, an order of the court appointing AMCON as receivers over the business and assets of Resort International Limited and Wale Babalakin for the purpose of managing same to fully realise the alleged judgment debt. But in a counter-claim, Babalakin and his company contended that they are not indebted to AMCON but that a N4 billion facility offer to the company is an equity contribution which was wrongly classified as a loan from First Bank Plc.

They also claimed that it was not a loan that they are obligated to repay with interest and same cannot be acquired by AMCON. They therefore asked the court to set aside the purported loan for being inconsistent with the provisions of the AMCON Act (2010) as amended and the CBN guideline for the operations of AMCON and to declare same as illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. The counter-claimants further contended that the publication of their names and that of their directors by the AMCON in the list of delinquent debtors in relation to loan facilities purportedly acquired by the 1st Defendant which are the subjects of pending suits between the counter-claimants and the defendants is unconstitutional, illegal, an infringement of the rights of the counter-claimants

and an affront to the judicial powers of the court and the administration of justice system. In his judgment, Justice Buba agreed with the arguments of the counter-claimants and dismissed the claims of the federal government and AMCON. The court ordered the claimants (FG and AMCON) to published a full and complete retraction and apology to the counter-claimants (Babalakin and his company) in three national dailies and to forward to them a written undertaking that it will cease from publishing similar allegations Justice Buba also ordered the federal government to comply with the terms of the arbitral award rendered on December 3, 2015 which awarded N55 billion to the counter-claimants. The judge also held that the counter-claimants is not

indebted to AMCON in the sum of N21 billion or any sum whatsoever arising from the facility purportedly acquired from Zenith Bank Plc, and First Bank of Nigeria Plc. The court further declared that the Loan Purchase and Limited Servicing Agreement entered into between Babalakin and First Bank of Nigeria Plc on April 6, 2011, for the purported acquisition of the Loan Rights of First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the sum of N18,843,081,673. is inconsistent with the provisions of the AMCON Act 2010 (as amended) and the CBN Guidelines for the Operations of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria issued on November 15, 2010, and therefore illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. The court therefore set aside the Loan Purchase and Limited Servicing Agreement for being

illegal, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. Justice Buba also ordered AMCON to immediately discharge and release to Babalakin all collaterals, guarantees and assets held by it and / or any of the banks in connection with the facility and ensure the return of the original title documents in respect of such collaterals to the counter-claimant. The collaterals ordered to be returned by the court included: leasehold interest in the Federal Secretariat Complex Phase I and II Ikoyi, Lagos, for a term of 99 years, domiciliation of proceeds from the sale of luxury apartments from the Federal Secretariat Complex Phase I and II Ikoyi, Lagos and fixed charge over Fuel Hydrant Tanks situate at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Desist from Thuggery, Sultan Advises Youths Mohammed AminuĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ad Abubakar III, yesterday urged Nigerian youths to refrain from political thuggery. The monarch made the plea at the closing of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preaching session at the Haliru Jummat Mosque, Kofar Kware area of Sokoto metropolis. He advised them to desist from being used by selfish politicians to cause breach of peace in the polity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youths should be vigilant and not allow themselves to be used by unscrupulous politicians to achieve their selfish interest,â&#x20AC;? he said. According to him, they should rather take advantage of the

skill acquisition programmes introduced by governments at all levels to become self reliant. The monarch admonished Islamic preachers in the country to always speak the truth to political leaders without any fear in order to move the country forward. He said this would no doubt assist them greatly in steering the affairs of the country. The Sultan to this end, enjoined Muslims to remain committed towards the development of Islam He also admonished them to put into practice what they have learnt during the Ramadan fast. He, therefore, called on wealthy individuals to always endeavour to assist the needy persons so as to ensure peace and understanding in the society.

IG Approves NHRCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Request for Audit of Police Detention Cells Menionyewie GloryĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2039; The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, has approved the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to carry out an independent audit of detention cells in all police commands and formations in Nigeria. Â According to the approval, the audit would also include all detention cells of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The Head, Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) of the ACP Abayomi Shogunle, made the disclosure in a statement yesterday in Abuja. He said the audit would enable the human rights commission to oversee the human rights situation of detainees as well as undertake

general audit of the state of police detention facilities (cells) in the country.  He explained that â&#x20AC;&#x153;this exercise is part of the NHRC 2018 audit of police detention centres in Nigeria.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;  The NHRC had urged the federal government to review the pre-trial detention system, alleging excessive use and abuse of the practice in Nigeria. The commission was established by the NHRC ACT, 1995 as amended to deal with all matters relating to promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in Nigeria. The PCRRU was established by the police authorities in 2015 with a mandate to receive and resolve cases of professional misconduct brought against officers.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

L-R: Senator Lanre Tejuosho;Chairman, Forte Oil Plc, Mr.Femi Otedola; son of celebrant and Chairman, Sky Mit Motors, Mr.Tayo Ayeni, and CEO, Folawiyo Energy, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, during the dinner party in honour of Mrs. Mojisola Ayeniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 85th birthday held in Lagos.. recently Ë&#x203A;

Ekiti Assembly Suspends Member for Alleged Violent Conduct Victor OgunjeĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C; For allegedly conducting himself in a violent manner at plenary, among other acts of misconduct, Hon. Sunday Akinniyi , who represents Ikere constituency II in Ekiti State has been suspended by the state House of Assembly. The lawmaker, who is the oldest lawmaker, was recently impeached as Chief Whip of the House. The suspension was sequel to the submission of the report of an Ad-hoc disciplinary committee of the House, headed by Hon. Fajemilehin Ayodele. Allegations leveled against the lawmaker included: violent conduct against other members, absenteeism, sleeping on duty, gross abuse of office, anti-party activities, and engaging in activities capable of bringing

down the dignity of the House. Though, Akinniyi was said to have been impeached based on the foregoing allegations, but it was gathered that his suspension was due to his fraternity with former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye. Fayose was said to have felt betrayed by Akinniyiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support for Adeyeye at the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary against his preferred candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola. Other lawmakers alleged to have supported Adeyeye, like the former Deputy Speaker, Segun Adewumi, have been removed from their positions as principal officers. The duo of Adewumi and Akinniyi were rumoured to have had the intention of formally defecting to the All Progressives Congress(APC) yesterday, but later postponed

the action for undisclosed reasons. In his report submitted to the assembly, Fajemilehin disclosed that all efforts geared towards getting the lawmaker to defend himself proved abortive as he refused to honour the invitation of the committee. Members present at plenary aligned with the report of the committee and called for appropriate disciplinary measure against the lawmaker. Honourables Temitope Fasanmi, Akinleye Ekundayo, Afolabi Akanni and the Deputy speaker, Hon Animasaun Adesina condemned the lawmakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitude and described his recent actions as highly unbecoming of an honourable member. The Chairman of the House committee on Information, Hon. Omotoso Samuel,

described as â&#x20AC;&#x153;unfortunate the actions of the lawmaker but said that anything that would bring the House to disrepute should be rejected by all. The Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Kola Oluwawole said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;from the submissions of members and the Committee , it has been established that Hon Akinniyi Sunday had been threatening the symbol of authority in the Assembly through his actionsâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The actions of Hon. Akinniyi was unfortunate and it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be toleratedâ&#x20AC;?, he added. The Leader of Business, Hon. Akinyele Olatunji moved the motion for the indefinite suspension of the lawmaker and was unanimously approved by members present at plenary.


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Court Orders Ex-Air Force Chief, Amosu to Forfeit N2.2bn to FG Davidson Iriekpen The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of N2.2billion recovered from former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun made the order based on an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The judge ruled: “An interim order is made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria

Jonathan Greets Abdulsalami at 76 Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has felicitated with former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), on his 76th birthday, describing him as a great patriot and man of peace. In a his goodwill message, Jonathan noted that the retired general is endowed with great wisdom, the proof of which was made manifest in 1998 to 1999 when he midwifed the shortest, but most successful transition of power from the military to democratically elected civilians.   A statement issued by Jonathan’s spokesman, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, quoted the former president as saying that Nigeria owes Abubakar a debt of gratitude.  Jonathan also noted that it is fitting that Abubakar’s birthday falls close to the Eid-el-Fitr.   He said: “May you be blessed because just as the

Muslim Ummah celebrates the end of Ramadan, Nigeria celebrates you for ending military rule. “On this very special anniversary, I join you, your family, well-wishers and millions of other Nigerians to give thanks to Almighty God for a life of great achievements and inspiring service to humanity. “Your exemplary patriotism and deep commitment to the development and unity of our country is evident in your enduring legacies, having served Nigeria as a brave soldier and Head of State; who heeded the call to national duty at a time of distress and helped navigate our dear country to the democracy which it now enjoys. “I wish you good health and more productive years so that our great country will continue to benefit from your wisdom and wealth of experience.”

the total sum of N2,244,500,000 found and recovered by the commission from the first respondent (Amosu) which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.” The judge also granted an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of N190,828,978.15 recovered from a former Nigeria Air Force Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo. Justice Olatoregun also ordered temporary forfeiture of N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Amosu. EFCC said the sum “is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.” The judge directed EFCC

to publish the interim order in The Nation and Punch newspapers for the respondents or anyone interested to show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the federal government. Justice Olatoregun made the order on June 7 after the ex-parte application was moved by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo. The judge adjourned until June 29. The defendants were accused of using the companies to convert and conceal the money. Amosu and Adigun were said to have, between July 17 and September 16, 2014,  allegedly removed huge over N663.4million from the Nigerian Air Force accounts

to purchase properties at 5052 Tenterden Grove, London (NW4 1TH) and at  93B Shirehall Park, LondonNW4 2QU, United Kingdom. They were accused of buying  40A, Bourdillon, Ikoyi, with N900million, and a property at Sinari Daranijo in Victoria Island with N1.5billion. EFCC said they also bought a property named as Cappadol Mall at Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Wuse II Abuja, for N750million, as well as a property worth over N1.7billion at Agobogba Street, Parkview, Ikoyi Lagos, using the airforce’s money. Other properties they allegedly bought using air force’s funds include one at Salt Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja;

one at Agadez Street off Aminu Kano Crescent, Abuja; 61A, Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja; and one at one, River Street, Wuse II Abuja using alleged stolen funds. Between last  March 6 and April 30, the accused allegedly used N428,139,539.00 removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to renovate and purchase medical equipment for Solomon HealthCare Ltd situate at 24th Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja Lagos. EFCC said the accused persons converted and concealed the sums, which they “reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: stealing.” They all pleaded not guilty. 

Police Promote 3,665 Senior Officers Two CPs to AIGs, 16 DCPs to CP Senator IroegbuÓØÌßÔË The Police Service Commission (PSC) has approved the promotion of 3,665 senior police officers, including 16 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) elevated to the rank of Commissioners of Police (CP) and two CPs to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG). The Head of Press and Public Relations, PSC, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, in a statement yesterday said the promotion was one of the high points of the commission’s 28 Plenary Meeting, which ended in Abuja on June 8, 2018. Ani said the plenary meeting was the last official function of the PSC Board Chairman, Mr. Mike Okiro, whose tenure came to an end on June 11, 2018. He said: “Two Commissioners of Police, Igbodo O. David, CP Legal, Force Headquarters, and Olalekan Abdulfatai, CP, Works also of Force Headquarters, were promoted as substantive Assistant Inspectors  General of Police (AIG). “16 Deputy Commissioners of Police were also promoted to Commissioners of Police. They include DCP Wakili Maye and DCP Kurawa Abdullahi Sarki.    The commission also approved the promotion of 13 Assistant Commissioners of Police to Deputy Commissioners; 60 Chief Superintendents of Police to Assistant Commissioners and 631 Superintendents of Police to Chief Superintendents.” He also listed those promoted to ACP to include: Msheliza Simi

Masomene; Samuel Osman Onoja of Police College, Oji River, Enugu State; Lateef Adio Ahmed and Umar Kabir among others. Promoted CSPs included Adekunle Char Ige, Bassey Essang, Liman Salisu Sulaiman and Emmanuel Adam. Ani also stated that the commission approved the promotion of 820 Deputy Superintendents of Police to substantive Superintendents, including Ola Rosanla, Yusuf Abdulmumini and John Alesagba. Others, whose promotions were approved by the commission, were 1,922 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) promoted to Deputy Superintendents. They included ASP Chijioke Ogbodo, Divisional Police Officer, Umumba in Enugu State; Arukwe Edward and Ozochi Amaechi Marcel, Area Crime Officer, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. He also said 201 Inspectors were promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). The spokesman said the commission also approved confirmation of appointments of 42 officers of different ranks, approved acting appointment for another 73 and converted 1,060 specialists to General Duty. He said the promotions have been forwarded to the Inspector General of Police (IG) for implementation in a letter signed by Mr. Musa Isitifanus, Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the commission.

COURTESY VISIT

L-R: Former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Ms. Ebele Okeke; Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita; President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr. Adekunle Mokuolu; Permanent Secretary (Welfare), Mrs. Didi Walson Jack, and Permanent Secretary (Policies), Mr. Ndubuisi Osuji, during a recent visit of NSE to HOCSF in Abuja ...recently

Mimiko Resigns from PDP, Returns to LP LP rejects former governor’s return bid James Sowole ÓØÕßÜÏËØÎ Paul Obi ÓØÌßÔË After much speculation, the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a plan to return to Labour Party (LP). The decision of Mimiko was expressed in a letter he addressed to the PDP chairman in Ondo West Local Government Area. The letter put paid to the months of speculation on whether Mimiko would dump PDP and return to LP. Mimiko, a two term governor of Ondo State, was elected on the platform of the LP in 2007 but was not sworn in until February 2009 when the Court of Appeal in Benin-city declared him the winner of the 2007 election.

The former governor left the LP on October 2014 in preparatory to the 2014 general election. In the resignation letter, Mimiko said he was resigning due to personal reason. “I hereby with utmost humility inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the PDP with effect from June 13, 2018, for some well thought-out personal reasons. “It was an honour working with many prominent Nigerians with whom I shared the PDP platform for the entire period I was there as a member. “Accept please, the assurance of my very high regards,” Mimiko said. The formal return of Mimiko to LP would take place today at Ward 7, Ondo West Local Government

Area, Ondo Town while he would address some of his supporters at the Ondo Civic Centre. However, following a new development, the LP yesterday said it would reject any attempt by Mimiko to return to the party. Speaking with journalists at Labour House in Abuja, the National Chairman of the party, Mike Omotosho, explained that given the former governor’s political antecedents, there would be no room to accommodate him in the party. According to him, “It has come to our knowledge the moves by the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Mimiko, to return to the Labour Party. Nigerian workers wish to put a disclaimer to this ill-fated adventure.

“The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) is fully aware of plans by Mimiko to destabilise the current gains made by workers to reclaim and reposition the party. It is very obvious that the sole purpose of Mimiko’s re-approach to the LP is to use the workers’ party to launder his sagging political image.” Omotosho stressed that Mimiko abandoned the LP for PDP a few days to LP’s October 2015 National Convention, saying such a “treachery and betrayal of a party that gave the former governor succour in the darkest hour of his political career, especially as manifest in his two-term victory on the ticket of the party, is to say the least, cheap and callous.’’


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EFCC: Nyame, Dariye, Vindicate Us on Alleged Selectivity Plateau grieves over former governor Iyobosa UwugiarenÓØÌßÔË ËØÎSeriki AdinoyiÓØ ÙÝ The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said the conviction of two prominent members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, in quick succession by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, had put to bed the charge by critics that the commission was lukewarm in prosecuting chieftains of the ruling party for corruption. This is coming as more reactions have continued to pour in from the people of Plateau State who are grief-stricken over last Tuesday’s judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that sentenced Dariye to 14 years imprisonment, describing the decision of the court as too fierce. Nyame and Dariye, both former two-term Governors of Taraba and Plateau States respectively, were recently convicted and sentenced to many years in prison on corruption charges.  According to EFCC, “Nyame was imprisoned for criminal misappropriation, diversion of public funds, and breach of public trust; while Dariye was

sentenced for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds in the course of Nyame’s trial, the prosecution called 14 witnesses and presented documentary evidence, which among other things revealed that the N250 million was shared and never utilised for the purpose for which it was approved. “A total of N180 million was diverted to the bank account of Salman Global Ventures Limited, which provided no services for the state. On his part, Dariye diverted about N1.16 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state to his personal use, including transferring monies to Ebenezer Retnan Ventures (an unregistered company managed by him) and Pinnacle Communications Limited.’’ In a statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of the agency, Wilson Uwujiaren, the commission added that in proving its case against Dariye, EFCC called 10 witnesses, including Peter Clark, a detective constable with the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police in London, who investigated Dariye in the UK for money laundering offence, adding that both trials had been ongoing

for 11 years and towards the end of the proceedings, the two convicts changed their political camps, moving from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling APC. It further stated: “Dariye, who won election to the Senate on the platform of the PDP, decamped to the APC at a critical phase of his trial, when the prosecution had called all its vital witnesses and conviction appeared imminent. “Not surprisingly, this fueled speculation that the gambit was a calculated move to stave off imminent conviction. But rather than slow proceedings, his trial accelerated, forcing the defence to close its case, thus setting the stage for the judgment of June 12.’’ Former Governor of Abia

State, Orji Uzor Kalu, is still being prosecuted in court by the EFCC despite crossing over to the APC. Indeed, the commission has closed its case in that matter after calling several witnesses. But rather than open his defence, Kalu elected to file a “no case submission,’’ the anti-graft agency added. “It will be foolhardy for any politically exposed person under prosecution to think that mere change of political affiliation will guarantee immunity from prosecution.’’ EFCC said in the case of Dariye, one of the witnesses, Peter Clark, a former detective of the Metropolitan Police, came several times to give evidence only for proceedings to be frustrated with forced adjournments by Dariye’s

lawyers, saying his passage from the UK to Nigeria and back was at the expense of Nigeria tax payers. Meanwhile, more reactions have continued to pour in from the people of Plateau State over last Tuesday’s judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja that sentenced Dariye, to 14 years imprisonment.   Reacting to the sentence, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Jos-based legal practitioner, Mr. Garba Pwul, described the sentence as a great loss to the people of Plateau Central senatorial district and the entire state.  Jailing Dariye, according to Pwul, means Plateau central has lost its seat in the National Assembly, and the entire state being incarcerated and cut off

from the federal and political representation at the National Assembly. Also speaking, an elder statesman and politician in the state, Chief John Mankilik, described the sentence of Dariye as “very unfortunate and sad.” Mankilik appealed to the federal government to temper justice with mercy even though the judgment has been passed already, considering the contributions the former governor has made politically in the country. Former Chairman of Mangu Local Government Area, Mr. Caleb Mutfwang, also said: “I felt very sad when I got the news of Dariye sentence. “It’s a sad thing for Plateau State; it’s ending so badly for a man of great promise.”

15 Years After, Dickson Decries Pace of Work on $22bn Brass LNG Project Calls on Buhari to expedite action Emmanuel Addeh ÓØÏØËÑÙË Fifteen years after the inauguration of the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Project, Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has decried the slow pace of work on the $22 bn facility. Dickson called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the bottlenecks militating against the commencement of the project for which the House of Representatives also set up a probe panel last week. The lawmakers had resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to probe the implementation of the multi-billion dollars project alleged to have been poorly managed. According to findings, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the project was originally set up with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) owning 49 per cent while other affiliates, including Conoco Phillips, ENI and Chevron, also held some stakes. But the governor who spoke during a stakeholders meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Yenagoa, said the call had become imperative in view of what he described as the unacceptable lack of federal projects in the state. The Bayelsa Governor noted that the take-off and eventual utilisation of the two projects, which also includes a refinery, would not only give the Ijaw

people a sense of belonging but also expand the revenue base of the country. He decried the ‘backwardness’ of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in terms of development and urged the Federal Government as well as multinational corporations to partner the state government in tackling the widening infrastructural deficit in the area. He added: “As I speak with you, work is ongoing on the Sagbama-Ekeremor Road and we are sure of driving to Ekeremor Town by December this year. In the next few weeks, I will invite you and we all drive to Aguobiri in Southern Ijaw. Also, clearing of the Yenagoa-Ayama, Ogbia road will start in the next two weeks. “All these are capital intensive projects and that is why we are calling on the federal government and other development partners to come to our aid. In one of my meetings with the President, I told him to bring back the Brass LNG and the Refinery Projects and also convene a stakeholders meeting to talk about the Nembe-Brass Road.” The meeting also had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), former military administrator of Ebonyi and Delta States, Chief Walter Feghabo-Amain and State PDP Chairman, Mr. Moses Cleopas.

MARITIME IN FOCUS

R-L: Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Gambo Ahmed; Chairman Ports Consultative Council, Kunle Folarin, and Director, Maritime Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril, during the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) meeting in Lagos... recently

Dangote Emerges Most Admired African Brand Jonathan Eze Dangote Group has emerged the most admired African brand on the continent by consumers ahead of the telecommunication giant, MTN, according to the South Africanbased Brand Leadership Movement in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The Dangote brand which is also the leading brand in Nigeria came atop in the fresh ranking of 100 best brands in Africa with the theme: ‘Brand Africa:100’, the sixth edition announced was in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Brand Africa 100 “was established in 2010 in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were

beginning to challenge global brands in Africa or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications. “The aim of Brand Africa is to identify, acknowledge and promote Africans and global brands that are catalysts for Africa’s growth, reputation and value.” Describing the brand, Dangote, The Brand Africa revealed that the “Nigerian industrial brand (Dangote) is the number one African brand on the continent (African origin) while the South African telecommunications brand (MTN) is the number one African brand irrespective of continent of origin. “The United States sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall brand in Africa

spontaneously recalled by consumers.” The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries representing all African economic regions collectively account for 75 per cent of the population and the 74 per cent of the GDP of Africa. Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was not surprised at the ranking because the company has continuously deepened and delivered on its core values. The focus of the company, according to him, is to be a world-class enterprise that is

passionate about the quality of life of the people and giving high returns to stakeholders. He said: “And this philosophy is driven by values, which include customer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. In any of our subsidiaries, the focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the basic needs of the populace. Through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa, the group is focused on building local manufacturing capacity to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people.”


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You Lack Powers to Investigate, Indict Anyone, Court Tells N’Assembly Alex EnumahÓØÌßÔË A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared that the National Assembly lacks the powers to carry out criminal investigation with the intent of indicting or absolving anyone from the allegations he or she is being investigated. Justice Gabriel Kolawole made the declaration last Tuesday, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Festus Keyamo challenging the powers of the lawmakers to investigate him and recommend for his investigation by the police over criminal allegations made against the then Speaker of the House of Representatives. Delivering judgment in the suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/163/2009), the court declared as null and void, the practice of the National Assembly (in this case the House of Representatives), investigating criminal allegations against individuals and producing

reports/resolutions indicting or absolving those individuals or directing law enforcement agents or the executive as to what should be done. Justice Kolawole agreed with the plaintiff that by virtue of Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, or any other extant legislation, the National Assembly is not constitutionally or legally empowered to investigate criminal allegations and absolve or indict any individual of those allegations. In addition, the court held, “that the House of Representative’s Resolution dated March 3, 2009 to the effect that certain annexures attached to Festus Keyamo’s letter dated October 19, 2008 and addressed to Hon. Dimeji Bankole (who was then the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria), are faulty and baseless, to the extent that it absolves certain of its principal officers and management from criminal allegations made against them, and accuses Keyamo

of unwholesome conduct, is null, void and of no effect. “That by virtue of Section 88 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended and any other extant law, the National Assembly is not constitutionally or legally empowered to make recommendations or pass any resolution concerning the conduct of any person, including Keyamo who is not charged or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for: Executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly and; Disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly. Also declared as null and void is the resolution of the House of Representatives dated March 3, 2009 especially as it concerns the conduct of Keyamo. Consequently, the court said the Nigerian Police and the Department of State

Services (DSS) are restrained from compulsorily giving effect to the Resolution of the House of Representatives dated March 3, 2009 as it concerns Keyamo. Keyamo had in the suit prayed the court to determine whether by the provision of section 88 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the National Assembly has the powers to investigate criminal allegations, absolve or indict any individual persons of such allegations, and also compel or mandate any security agency to investigate the plaintiff or any other person. The House of Representatives had on March 3, 2009, during Plenary resolved, “That the committee having found that Keyamo’s letter is faulty and baseless in its allegations, urge the House to prevail on the inspector-general of police and/or other relevant security agencies to investigate how the annexures/documents

attached to Keyamo’s letter were obtained.” The House of Representatives then went ahead and “absolved” the then Speaker (Mr. Dimeji Bankole) of the criminal allegations leveled against him in the said publication for which Keyamo sought explanations. Keyamo believed that the Resolution of the House of Representatives exceeded its powers as prescribed by the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws. He also believed that the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services were likely to act on the said Resolution under the mistaken belief that the House of Representatives had the constitutional powers to ‘prevail on’ them or mandate them to investigate any allegation. Following a publication on September 22, 2008, by a National Magazine, Newswatch, titled “Dirty

Car deal”, which alleged that there were fraudulent dealings by the leadership and management of the House of Representatives in the purchase of 380 units of 407 Peugeot cars for its members from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited, the plaintiff wrote a letter dated October 19, 2008 addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives demanding for an open response to the said allegations. The then Speaker, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, instead of replying the said letter, referred the letter to House Committee on Ethics and Privileges which he himself constituted. After its investigation the lawmakers “absolved” the then Speaker (Mr. Dimeji Bankole) of the criminal allegations leveled against him in the said publication for which Keyamo sought explanations, prompting him to approach the court for determination of the powers of the legislators in the said matter.

Group Urges Buhari to Support Affirmative Action for Women Tobi Soniyi ÓØ ËÑÙÝ A non-governmental organisation, Alliance for Africa, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to comply with the 35 per cent affirmative action for women.   The group also expressed concern over  poor representation of women in Nigerian political leadership, urging the government to take a cue from other African countries in addressing the issue.   Speaking at a workshop on the full implementation of 35 per cent affirmative action in public governance in Enugu, Executive Director of Alliance for Africa, Ms Iheoma Obibi, also urged the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency, pass the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB) presently before it, which supports equal participation and representation of women and men in decision-making processes.  Obibi called on the federal government to prevail on the political parties to bridge the gender gap by mainstreaming gender in their internal party policies.   She also called on the government to promote gender equality in the political sphere and in decision-making processes at local and national levels. The executive director also urged the government to demonstrate a clear road map of implementing and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the one on gender equality.   She said the organisation was bothered that as the 2019 general election approaches, the

present political dispensation had the lowest representation of women in public office. According to her, “Nigeria as a member of the United Nations, signed and ratified various relevant international instruments, treaties and conventions without reservation. She also stated that these instruments have always emphasised that member nations put in place all the necessary mechanisms needed to eliminate gender discriminations, ensure equality and human dignity to all, men and women.  “In Nigeria, no woman has ever become a president or a vice president. The only first female governor in Nigeria, Dame Virgy Etiaba, only functioned in Anambra State as governor for six months.’’   She cited some African countries where their governments had deployed the various instruments to shore up women participation in politics, saying it was no longer an issue in some of them.   “The Alliance for Africa recognizes the support and contributions of key stakeholders who are insisting on affirmative action toward equal representation of women and men public life which is necessary for an effective/ functional democracy and the advancement of women’s rights a central issue to achieve political, economic and social justice.   “We hereby call on the Nigerian government to emulate other African countries that have successfully addressed the under representation of women in political leadership immediately,’’ Obibi added.

CONDOLENCE VISIT

L-R: Former Acting General Secretary of PDP, Senator Ben Ndi Obi; former Minister of Information and Culture, Hon Emeka Chikelu; and Lagos lawyer, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, during a condolence visit to the Chikelus, after the burial of late Mrs. Ifeatu Irene Chikelu at Ichida, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State...recently

Cholera Outbreak: Five Die, 30 Hospitalised in Kogi Yekini Jimoh ÓØ ÙÕÙÔË Five persons have been killed, while 30 others were hospitalised at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, Kogi State, following an outbreak of cholera in Lokoja, the state capital. When contacted, the Sole Administrator of one of the local government areas in the state, Hon. Lawal Shiru, said he could not confirm the casualty figure. He, however, told journalists yesterday that the case of a child was reported to him. According to him, the child was vomiting and

defecating excessively and “when such things happen, people naturally say that it is cholera.” He noted that when he called the mother of the child, he was told that the child was diagnosed of diarrhea. The chairman added that he just learnt that some cases were reported at Kabawa and Hangwan Masara. He disclosed that he was on his way to the places to confirm the veracity of the report. But to check the epidemic from spreading to other places, the sole administrator said he had

ordered the health officers at the local government to go round and fumigate the areas and also chlorinate their wells. However, a medical doctor at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja told journalists that at least five people died as a result of the disease. He said the signs and symptoms, which included vomiting, diarrhea, leg cramps, shock, and renal failure should be taken care of so that it would not lead to death. “There is only one death and when we asked about the nature of the disease, they said it was severe vomiting and stooling. But since there

is no postmortem test, we cannot really know whether it was cholera that caused the death,” he said. “What we are doing as a first step is to put every machinery in motion to control the spread and I have directed the Medical Director of the local government area to do all he can with his officers to ensure that the disease is brought under control,” he added. Effort to speak with the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, on the situation proved abortive as his phone was switched off.


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Federal High Court Sacks Kogi East Senator Alex Enumah ÓØÌßÔË Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has sacked the Senator representing Kogi East senatorial district, Senator Attai Aidoko, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),in the National Assembly. Justice Kolawole, who ordered the sack while delivering judgement in a pre-election suit, also ordered the Clerk of the National Assembly to immediately swear in Air Marshall Isaac Alfa (rtd.) also of the PDP to take the seat of Aidoko. The court held that Aidoko was not properly nominated by the PDP for the March 2015 National Assembly elections, and consequently nullified his election. Justice Kolawole, therefore, ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Aidoko in 2015 for not being the lawful candidate of the PDP. In addition, the court ordered the clerk of the National Assembly to withdraw all privileges being accorded Aidoko, adding that the National Assembly should with immediate effect. withdraw the recognition being accorded Aidoko as a senator. The court also ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Alfa, being the winner of the

December 7, 2014, PDP primaries for the National Assembly election. Justice Kolawole, who condemned the way and manner in which the PDP subverted the result of its primaries, held that rogue documents were used by the PDP to submit Aidoko’s name to INEC. He added that the documents presented by the defendants were of no probate value for any court of law to rely on, holding that the purported nomination of Aidoko by PDP to INEC was an exercise in futility to rob the plaintiff the fruit of his election in the primary. He said from the totality of the evidence placed before the court, it was clear that Sheidu Idoma was the Returning Officer for the senatorial election and not Umar Sanusi, adding that this was corroborated by key witnesses in their statements made on oath. The judge also said the fact that the sacked senator refused to call his agent at the primary election, Mallam Farouk Adejo, left a credibility gap on the side of Aidoko. Earlier, Justice Kolawole had dismissed the preliminary objection by Aidoko challenging jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

He described the preliminary objection as an abuse of court process employed by Aidoko to delay the trial. The judge held that the challenge of the court’s jurisdiction was an abuse of court process because it had earlier been resolved at both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court against the senator. Consequently, the court awarded a cost of N750,000 against Aidoko and the PDP respectively. In the document tendered in court, the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isaac Alfa, scored 129 votes to beat Aidoko who pulled 101 votes, and another senatorial aspirant, Halima Alfa, who scored 80 votes to emerged winner of the primary election held on December 7, 2014. However, PDP, while submitting the list of candidates for the senatorial election to INEC, substituted Alfa with Aidoko’s name. This prompted the plaintiff to institute legal action in 2014 to challenge the legality of the candidacy of Aidoko, but the legal action along the line went to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, from where it was remitted to the Federal High Court for a fresh and accelerated hearing.

Igbanke Grammar School Old Students Decry Rot in Alma-mater, Seek Obaseki’s Help Igbanke Grammar School Old Students Association (IGSOSA), has urged the Edo State Government to declare a state of emergency on the school and help rebuild it. The Chairman, Steering Committee of the association, Mr. Jacob Erhabor, in a statement, said the call became imperative to allow the Godwin Obaseki administration take necessary steps to remedy the neglect that the school has been subjected to by successive governments in the state for decades. Erhabor, who expressed confidence in the capacity of the current administration in Edo State to reinvent the school, also charged the old students of the school to be prepared to contribute their

Igbanke Grammar School quota to augment government’s anticipated intervention. He said: “We the old students must of necessity step out of our comfort zones and engage the organs of government creatively and strategically with a view to turning things around and make the school become relevant in the scheme of things once again. “Already, a high-powered

PUBLIC NOTICE “Systempoint Consultants is fully ƌĞƐƉŽŶƐŝďůĞĨŽƌƚŚĞŵŝƐͲƌĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĂƟŽŶ of the interview published in Thisday Newspaper on the 13th of June 2018, ŽŶƉĂŐĞϮϳƟƚůĞĚ͗ ͞ůŝͲĂƌĂŚ͗EŝŐĞƌŝĂ Needs to Rely Less on Oil Revenue”. We deeply regret and apologize to ůŝͲĂƌĂŚ ĂŶĚ EEW ĨŽƌ ƉŽƐƟŶŐ ƚŚŝƐ ĞƌƌŽŶĞŽƵƐĂƌƟĐůĞ͟

Signed: EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

delegation consisting of heads of some sub-committees of the association have paid a visit to the school to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation on ground with a view to getting the members up to speed with the realities and the daunting task of restoring a school which between the late 1960s and 1990s was clearly the most sought-after grammar school in what is now known as Edo State.” gbanke Grammar School, Igbanke which was opened in 1968, graduated its first set in 1972, and members recall how it was one of the best equipped schools in the old Midwest and defunct Bendel State which made Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, to establish an “experimental research station” of its Physics Department in the school. “How come now that it is not any better than a glorified primary school?,” members of the association keep asking on their various social media platforms. Another member of the association who spoke on condition of anonymity, said as a very responsible and law-abiding community of the state, “we the alumni of Igbanke Grammar School, Igbanke under the umbrella of IGSOSA are calling on the state government to give us the much needed sense of belonging by revamping this School to an acceptable standard without much ado”.


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

WORLD CUP 2018â&#x20AC;Ś

JUNE 14 TO JULY 15

The Zero Hour is As host Russia battles Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Arabia in opening game in Moscow

The long wait for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is almost over. All the 32 teams for this greatest football showpiece on the globe are here. We are just hours away from the official kick off of the Mundial when host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow this evening. All years of toil to get the

facilities ready to host the world have culminated in the great spectacle, the football-loving world is about to witness. No other thing matters to aficionados of football now if it is not related to the Beautiful Game. Russian roulette? Perhaps, a real stunt it might turn out for the hosts. Since 2008 when

they launched their bid to host this edition, their football was on the rise. They reached the semis stage of the 2008 European Championship before bowing out. Not anymore. They are the least ranked of all the 32 teams here and may be no hoppers. But before the real gladiators take to the centre to

Messi Expresses Fears for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Toughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Super Eagles Femi Solaja  with agency reports Five-time world footballer of the year and Argentine football legend, Lionel Messi, has expressed the difficulty the South American side will encounter when the Super Eagles face off against the Latin American nation in the last Group D match at the World Cup finals in Russia which gets underway from today. Both teams now, perennial opponent at previous group stage of the competition except at France â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;98 and on all occasions Argentina always triumph but will meet Messi again in the last group match that will determine the journey of the two teams into the knockout phase of the competition. In an interview with UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Daily Express  yesterday, the FC Barcelona forward said:  â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know so much about Nigeria but the African teams are normally compact, tough and strong. So it will be no walkover,â&#x20AC;? he observed. His comment was corroborated earlier in the week by former club mate, Javier Mascherano who said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria is quite well known to us, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always met in the last World Cups. They are tough, not just because of their physical power, but because their disorganisation has the effect of disorganising you as a rival and that is when teams like ours suffer

the most,â&#x20AC;? he pointed out last Sunday in an interview. Messi, scorer of two goals against Nigeria in 3-2 win at the last edition in Brazil was missing in action the last November, when Super Eagles proved bookmakers wrong with an emphatic 4-2 win over the two-time World Champions in an international friendly match in Russia. The shocker of last year in Russia has elevated the next encounter as one of the most important matches in the group stage of the tournament in Russia. Aside his comments about the Nigerian team, Messi also  revealed, his thoughts on Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chances and his future with the Albeceleste: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our challenge is to be champions,â&#x20AC;? said

the Barcelona superstar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be easy but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m certain that Argentina has a squad capable of being a champion in Russia. If the players all believe the same then we can be contenders.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true that the qualifying phase was complicated for us because we took too long to do it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But the important thing is that we are here in this World Cup and that we give everything to achieve as much as we can. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If Argentina goes out there and plays as we know we can then it will be very difficult to beat us. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have experienced World Cups before and we know that every rival will come out to try and beat us and play the game as if it is a final. That always makes it more complicated. But we are used to it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will be important to start strongly. Iceland did well in their last tournament so the first match will not be comfortable. But these are the ones to win if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want the next matches to be even more complicated.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Croatia is a good team with players in the big European leagues and that makes them dangerous,â&#x20AC;? said Messi. Argentina opens their account at the Mundial  on Saturday afternoon against Iceland before Nigeria takes on Croatia hours later.

Russia regal the world with familiar skills, Russia have the chance to show off with the Saudi team that is the second lowest ranked team here.

The game may not present the best of football expected at this summer show, it will no doubt serenade fans at the Luzhniki

arena as these two minnows battle for the first three points of the 2018 World  Cup. The hosts have been hampered

Croatia Will Qualify Ahead of Nigeria, Argentina in Group D, Says Mandzukic Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic believes the team has the quality to scale through the group stage hurdle at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Zlatko Dalicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men are in Group D with Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been talking about our chances for a long time, and we all know that we have a good team with good individuals. We have our goals, and we have what it takes to take first position in the group,â&#x20AC;? the Juventus forward told Croatiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official website. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We all have the intention to do something big, but we are not the only team that wants to achieve something, so that desire needs to be shown on the field. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We qualified for the World Cup when it was hardest, and now we have a common goal, we are all focused on the first game, and the main thing now is to prepare for the game.â&#x20AC;? The Vatreni will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their first game on Saturday at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Mandzukic

Ronaldo Tips Brazil to End 16 Years Wait in Russia Former Brazil striker Ronaldo believes it is time for his country to live up to the expectations and end their 16-year wait for a World Cup in Russia. Titeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brazilian squad head into the tournament as one of the favourites, and will meet Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think for me the

favourite is, of course, Brazil, not just because I am Brazilian but because Brazil are playing very well,â&#x20AC;? Ronaldo, who was the top scorer when Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002, told reporters in Moscow. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spain are playing very well, and Germany are always strong. But

the World Cup is such a difficult tournament, and we also have Argentina, who are always strong, France with a very young team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hope Brazil can win. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long time since 2002, and I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time.â&#x20AC;? Five-time champions Brazil will open their campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.

Enyimba Stadium Turf Wears Russia Face The dream of Enyimba fans to see their darling team return home is to be realised when the CAF Confederation Cup group stage matches resume in July. The contractor handling the re-grassing of the turf, Ebi Egbe, gave a pat on the

back to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Egbe whose outfit is right now working round the clock at the stadium to get the job completed said he is delivering a turf with a Russian face. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What people would

see when we are done is a geo-tech pitch that would have a Russian face. This is World Cup season and what we are installing in Aba is a turf that can host any big game. Enyimba pitch is the second largest in the world. It is big in dimension like

what Barca has at Camp Nou,â&#x20AC;? Egbe emphasised. The highly knowledgeable stadium facility expert said he has delayed his trip to Russia to get the Enyimba Stadium job completed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My installers are coming in from Italy and I m

staying back to oversee things here before hitting Russia. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m making all the needed sacrifice as a way of appreciating Gov Ikpeazu who is doing everything possible to deliver a world class arena to his people,â&#x20AC;? Egbe said.

It would be noted that Monimichelle, Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frontline stadium construction outfit constructed the Samson Siasia Stadium turf as well as that of Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi and the Katsina Stadium.


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W O R L D C U P 2 0 1 8 … JUNE 14 TO JULY 15

WORLD CUP 2018…

Here in Russia!

Saudi Arabia by injuries, with forward Alexander Kokorin and defenders Georgy Dzhikiya and Viktor Vasin missing the tournament due to

knee problems. “We’re realists,” said striker Artyom Dzyuba. “We’re not favourites to win the World Cup,

but we want to get out of the group and we’re playing at home. We want to prove to everyone, and most of all to ourselves, that

we can play football, so that the country can be proud of us.” “We’re a football country, not just an ice hockey or basketball or volleyball country, but a football one too. And we’ll put every effort into getting out of the group, to start with, and we’ll only start fantasising after that.” After the opening day match, the real first game that will put fans on the edges of their seats is the battle between Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and 2010 champions Spain on Friday. Of course, one of Africa’s five representatives Egypt, will file out against Uruguay while another team from the continent, Morocco takes on Iran. Nigeria’s quest to progress to the knock out phase will be determined by the outcome of her opening game against star-studded Croatia on Saturday. However, before the matches, the Russians have put up a 30-minute opening ceremony, which will feature Robbie Williams, Aida Garifullina and Brazil’s football legend, Ronaldo.

Spain Sacks Lopetegui Two Days Before Clash With Portugal Appoints Hierro as caretaker manager Spain has sacked Head Coach Julen Lopetegui after he was named the new Real Madrid boss, two days before its opening World Cup match with Portugal. Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui would succeed Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu on a three-year deal. The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed the 51-yearold because the negotiation occurred “without any information to the RFEF”. Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro will take charge for the World Cup. The former Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers defender is in his second spell as sporting director, having returned to the role in November 2017, six years after leaving the position. RFEF President, Luis Rubiales, who was told of Lopetegui’s new role with Real Madrid five minutes

before it was announced, said he had found himself in “a very difficult situation”. “I know there’s going to be criticism whatever I do,” he added. “I’m sure this will, in time, make us stronger. I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. He seems a top trainer and that makes it harder to make the decision. “You can’t do things this way, two or three days before the World Cup. We have

been compelled to make this decision.” Lopetegui became Spain manager in 2016 following Vicente del Bosque’s retirement, and remained unbeaten through his reign. Spain won 14 of 20 games with Lopetegui in charge, drawing the remaining six. According to reports in Spain, Rubiales was incensed when he discovered Lopetegui had agreed a deal with Madrid. He left a FIFA Congress

Again, Morocco Loses World Cup Host Bid For the fifth time, the Kingdom of Morocco has lost in the bid to host the World Cup. At the FIFA Congress in Moscow yesterday, the joint bid of United States, Canada and Mexico prevailed over that of Morocco. The North American bid received 134 of the 203 votes, while Morocco polled 65 in the ballot held on the eve of

the 2018 World Cup. For the African country, it is a record loss as no other country has had as many failed bid having always placed second to the eventual winners such as US for the 1994 edition, France for 1998, Germany for 2006 edition and South Africa in 2010. For Mexico, a member of the winning triple bid, it will

be a record third time that the World Cup will hold in their territory having hosted in 1970 and 1986. In a post Congress press conference, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino explained that the majority of the matches of the 2026 World Cup will be played in the US while just few matches will be allocated to Mexico and Canada.

Mystic Pig Tips Eagles for Semis In a case reminiscent of the psychic octopus named Paul, which made accurate predictions in the 2010 World Cup, Another magical animal, a pig named Mystic Marcus, has predicted that Nigeria’s Super Eagles , alongside Belgium, Uruguay and Argentina, will progress to the Semi-finals of the

2018 FIFA World Cup starting today in Russia. At the World Cup in South Africa eight years ago, Octopus Paul similarly made predictions of matches till the final game won by Spain. According to U.K’s Daily Mail, Mystic Marcus has a 100 per cent track record of predicting

sports results. It’s owner, Juliette Stevens, confirmed this to Daily Mail yesterday. And the eight-year-old prophet even predicted Brexit and that Donald Trump would win the US presidential election. Mystic Marcus expects Belgium, Argentina, Nigeria and Uruguay to make it through.

meeting in Moscow early in order to return to Spain’s base in Krasnodar. It has been claimed senior players - including captain Sergio Ramos - fought for Lopetegui to remain in charge for the duration of the World Cup. Spain begins her World Cup campaign against Portugal on Friday.

G R O U P S TA G E F I X T U R E S 14 June 2018 Russia v Saudi Arabia 4pm 15 June 2018 Egypt v Uruguay 1pm Morocco v Iran 4pm Portugal v Spain 7pm Sat June 16 France v Australia 11am Argentina v Iceland 2pm Peru v Denmark 5pm Croatia v Nigeria 8pm Sun June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia 1pm Germany v Mexico 4pm Brazil v Switzerland 7pm Mon June 18 Sweden v South Korea 1pm Belgium v Panama 4pm Tunisia v England 7pm Tues June 19 Colombia v Japan 1pm Poland v Senegal 4pm Russia v Egypt 7pm Wed June 20 Portugal v Morocco 1pm Uruguay v Saudi Arabia 4pm Iran v Spain 7pm Thu June 21 Denmark v Australia 1pm France v Peru 4pm Argentina v Croatia 7pm

Fri June 22: Brazil v Costa Rica 1pm Nigeria v Iceland 4pm Serbia v Switzerland 7pm Sat June 23 Belgium v Tunisia 1pm South Korea v Mexico 4pm Germany v Sweden 7pm Sun June 24 England v Panama 1pm Japan v Senegal 4pm Poland v Colombia 7pm Mon June 25 Uruguay v Russia 3pm Saudi Arabia v Egypt 3pm Spain v Morocco 7pm Iran v Portugal 7pm Tues June 26 Denmark v France 3pm Australia v Peru 3pm Nigeria v Argentina 7pm Iceland v Croatia 7pm Wed June 27 S’Korea v Germany 3pm Mexico v Sweden 3pm Serbia v Brazil 7pm Switzerland v CostaRica 7pm Thu June 28 Japan v Poland 3pm Senegal v Colombia 3pm England v Belgium 7pm Panama v Tunisia 7pm

THE GROUPS Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

OFF TO RUSSIA…

Agbede Temidayo Bayodele from Ekiti State, Adeoye Adefisoye Simon from Oyo State and Olugbokiki Mukail Omolola from Ogun State. Others are Orewa Edwin Ehi from Port Harcourt, Aghaegbunem Marvel Chukwufumnaya from Abuja, Oladunjoye Joseph Babatunde from Ogun State and Kome Sunny Ikpeba from Delta State during the send forth ceremony for winners of Glo GO RUSSIA promo winners in Lagos… yesterday

Glo’s GO Russia Promo Winners Depart for Russia The first batch of seven winners out of a total of 22 that will emerge in the ‘GO Russia’ promo, the on-going customer appreciation offer recently unveiled by National Telecommunications Company, Globacom, have left the country for Russia. The winners were accompanied by a Globacom official on the trip to Russia where they will visit different tourist attractions, historical sites and monuments. The lucky subscribers were sent off formally at the Mike Adenuga Towers’ headquarters of Globacom on Wednesday where the company congratulated them for emerging

winners of the promo and urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria when they get to Russia. Globacom restated the company’s commitment towards empowering its subscribers and giving them access to the best value and pricing at all times. The winners on the trip include Agbede Temidayo Bayodele from Ekiti state, Adeoye Adefisoye Simon from Oyo State and Olugbokiki Mukail Omolola from Ogun State. Others are Orewa Edwin Ehi from Port Harcourt, Aghaegbunem Marvel Chukwufumnaya from Abuja, Oladunjoye Joseph Babatunde from Ogun State and Kome Sunny Ikpeba

from Delta State. The company stated that “more winners will be unveiled from the next set of draws to be conducted soon in the GO RUSSIA promo which was unveiled to reward our amazing subscribers who have stood solidly behind the brand over the years” Speaking at the event, one of the winners, 45-year-old Kome Sunny Ikpeba from Delta State said, ”I have never won anything before, so when I got a call from Globacom to say that I qualified for a ticket, I was very happy. This is really good”. He thanked Globacom for giving him the opportunity to visit Russia.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

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MISSILE APC Leadership to Rochas Okorocha â&#x20AC;&#x153;The sensible thing to do when you ďŹ nd yourself in a ditch is to stop digging. We therefore, once again urge Governor Okorocha to tread the path of caution and reconciliation and work with the duly elected party executives in the state. We shall not tolerate his constant assault on the party, either directly or through proxiesâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;statement by the APC, warning the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, against what it termed the continuous libellous attacks on the party and its leaders.

OLUSEGUNADENIYI THE VERDICT

olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com

June 12: A Complicated Story A

day after I joined THISDAY from Concord Press in February 1999 as deputy editor of The Sunday newspaper, I was directed to proceed to Kaduna to cover the presidential primaries of the All Peoples Party (APP) then chaired by the late Senator Mahmud Waziri. As I recall, some of the aspirants jostling for the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ticket were Chief Arthur Nzeribe, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the late Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, Dr Ogbonaya Onu and Chief Harry Akande who added razzmatazz to the occasion by flying into the city in his private aircraft which was parked at the airport and said to be loaded to the brim with bundles of new naira notes! However, for three days in Kaduna, we were treated to a most bizarre political drama. From Hamdallah Hotel to Airforce Club to the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, the party leadership took us (journalists, party delegates and aspirants) on a merry-go-round as to when the convention would hold and where. At a point, a frustrated Saraki accused Waziri of attempting to rig the process and in turn, the APP chairman called a press conference where he displayed the copy of a cheque for N30 million with which he said Saraki tried to bribe him. At the end of all the shenanigans, we witnessed no primaries but that is no problem for Nigerian politicians. The name of Onu was announced as having secured the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presidential ticket. 24 hours later, the same APP leadership announced in Abuja the name of Chief Olu Falaeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;who had earlier been picked as the Alliance for Democracy (AD) presidential candidate by a conclave of 21 Yoruba elders who sat in Ibadan after administering an oath of secrecyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;as their joint presidential flag-bearer for the election. Meanwhile, when the local government elections were held two months earlier on 5th December 1998, the electoral guidelines had clearly stipulated that for any party to be registered, it must score at least a minimum of five percent of the total number of votes in no fewer than 24 states. Yet, despite the fact that the AD did not meet this particular threshold, it was registered as one of the three parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), essentially to secure the buy-in of the South-west in the political transition programme to which many Nigerians were very suspicious. It was against this background that Onu ceded the APP presidential candidacy to Falae and it became very clear that some forces, especially within the military establishment, were pulling strings along a predetermined direction. That became even more evident when a certain General Olusegun Obasanjo, who ordinarily should not have been allowed to contest the primaries if there was strict adherence to the provisions of his partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s constitution, became the candidate of the majority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guidelines had specifically stated that anybody who failed to secure his ward for the party would be disqualified from contesting. Not only did Obasanjo lose his ward, he lost the polling booth where he voted in all the elections. And for the first time in the history of our country, the two candidates for a presidential election were from the same ethnic group (Yoruba) and both were Christians. Nobody needed to be told that the 1999 presidential election was contrived to appease

Kola Abiola (right), first son of MKO Abiola receiving his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s posthumous GCFR honour from President Buhari on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 the Yoruba people for the injustice done to the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 12th June 1993 presidential election. But the trouble with the arrangement was that, with all the cards stacked in favour of Obasanjo, majority of the political elite in the Southwest saw the 1999 election as a deliberate act of provocation, especially where June 12 and the memory of Abiola were concerned. And it proved to be so because if there was anything Obasanjo never wanted to hear throughout his period in office, it was Abiola and June 12. For him and his enablers from the north who helped him to power, both Abiola and June 12 should be consigned to the dustbin of history. What the foregoing says clearly is that there have been some cynical attempts in the past to deal with the June 12 challenge by those who misread history and its varied lessons, even though some find convenient excuses in the contradictions in the social, political and business life of Abiola (and there were many). Then came President Muhammadu Buhari, the last person you would imagine could honour Abiola or remember June 12, given what transpired after that election in the north aside from the fact that he had made

some uncomplimentary remarks about Abiola in the past. But, in a way, it is also providential because Buhari is perhaps the only northern leader with sufficient clout for such a decision without any serious political backlash within his traditional support base. The question is: Why did he do it? Before I go further, let me say very quickly that drawing up a list of those to honour for June 12 is a delicate business since it is now very sexy to be associated with the date. In the past, it was not so. On Tuesday, Falae said those Buhari invited to Aso Rock were more his party members than heroes of democracy or June 12. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where is Alani Akinrinade whose house was burnt? Where is Dr. Amos Akingba? Where is Chief Ayo Adebanjo? My house was the headquarters where NADECO meetings were held; Abiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s speech was written in my house. What are they talking about? I was in detention for 20 months, Akinrinade was in exile. They are only recognising as heroes of June 12, those who participated in the struggle and are members of their party.â&#x20AC;? Falae has a point. Why, for instance, was Olisa Agbakoba not invited to Aso Rock on Tuesday? On the day the late General Sani Abacha, then

what President Buhari has done on June 12 is not only signiďŹ cant, it has shown very clearly that he has the capacity to rise above certain narrow and clannish interests to do the right things, including rallying the entire country for the healing and reconciliation that is very much needed across board, if we must attain peace and prosperity

as Chief of Army Staff but based in Lagos, ordered troops to mow down hundreds of citizens protesting the annulment of June 12 on the streets of Lagos, Agbakoba was the poster boy for the resistance with an iconic photograph of his bloodied face (after he was brutalized by the military) taken by the AP published in several newspapers across the world. How can we forget Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, one of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most respected officers with a glittering career, who resigned his commission because of June 12, a decision that could jolly well have cost him his life under a different circumstance? And then we have the patrons of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). Chief Cornelius Adebayo and the late Chief Anthony Enahoro were arrested and detained for years before their release after which they fled to exile to join others. What about Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Ms Gloria Kilanko, Chom Bagu, Chima Ubani, Festus Iyayi and several others who risked their lives confronting the military over June 12? Even within the armed forces, there were heroes. Both Admiral Alison Madueke, then Chief of Naval Staff and General Mohammed Chris Ali, Chief of Army Staff, were removed by Abacha following a tense Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) meeting where they broached the issue of Abiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued detention. Chief Ajibola Ogunsola revived PUNCH newspaper after the death of the late Chief Olu Aboderin yet on June 12, he put everything on the line. In fact, on the day Abacha was proscribing Concord and PUNCH to render many of us redundant for several months, his anger was directed at the latter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Concord I can understand since it is owned by Abiola so it is human that his boys would be attacking me but PUNCH; what is their own?â&#x20AC;? asked Abacha that day. While there will be a day to remember those who fought for our democracy, including some upwardly mobile men and women then in their thirties and forties who acted as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Concerned Professionalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (Atedo Peterside, Pat Utomi, Oby Ezekwesili et al), let us deal with the speculations as to why Buhari honoured Abiola and make June 12 Democracy Day. r1MFBTFTFFDPODMVTJPOPOQBHF

Waziri Adio @ 50

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;E

verybody needs a friend like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. That is something I often tell Mr. Waziri Onibiyo Adio, the current Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI). That is because true friendship, the kind that comforts and inspires, is one of lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest gifts. It is, according to a writer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a safe place where we can share with another human being just about anything and know that our thoughts and challenges, our pain, joy, and deepest realisations will be received and respected.â&#x20AC;? I owe so much to Waziri, who clocked 50 only yesterday but far wiser than his age. He is a friend in a million. Happy birthday, my brother!

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THURSDAY 14TH JUNE 2018  
THURSDAY 14TH JUNE 2018  
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