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UBA’s ‘LEO’ Emerges Best Digital Banking Institution in Africa Nume Ekeghe Pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), has once again made an addition to its growing list of enviable laurels as it was named Africa’s best bank in the Digital category

at the prestigious Euromoney awards in London. This, according to a statement from the bank, further lends credence to its dominance in the digital banking space. The Euromoney awards ceremony, which took place in

London on Wednesday, covers more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards and the best banks, in over 100 countries around the world, recognising institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets in which they

operate. In selecting its recipients, Euro money’s principle was hinged both on quantitative and qualitative data to honor institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.

The statement revealed that at the awards ceremony, UBA beat other nominees to emerge the ‘Best institution in Digital Banking across Africa,’ which the bank described as an affirmation of its recent investment in cutting edge technology.

This, it further said, “gave birth to LEO, the chat banker that has disrupted banking across Africa.” According to UBA, in its bid to be an undisputed leading financial services institution Continued on page 8

NLNG Expects to Take FID on 8MTPA Train-7 by December 2018… Page 10 Friday 13 July, 2018 Vol 23. No 8485. Price: N250 TR


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Ekiti Poll Holds amidst Tension Ooni, British envoy warn against violence N E W S A N A LY S I S Nseobong Okon-Ekong in Lagos and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo The out-of-season governorship election in Ekiti State holds tomorrow amidst palpable tension as the leading parties, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) upped their stakes, accusing and counter accusing one another of desperate attempts to win the poll by all means possible. Continued on page 8

IN DEFENCE OF DEMOCRACY... L-R: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr. Yemi Akinwunmi; National Financial Secretary, Mr. Husseini Maibasira; National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; National Vice Chairman (North-west), Alhaji Ibrahim Kazaure; and National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, during the party’s protest march to the National Assembly over police’s disruption of PDP’s rally in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday…yesterday

Ekiti: Police Say Teargassing of Crowd, a Mistake, Assures it Won’t Happen Again Withdraw personnel from Government House PDP in protest march to N’Assembly, INEC Fayose has stabilised, says aide Iyobosa Uwugiaren, Deji Elumoye, Onyebuchi Ezigbo, James Emejo in Abuja and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti “I Apparently responding to growing condemnation of its forceful dispersal of supporters of Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP) that gathered in front of Government House, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State for an address by the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, the police yesterday said the action was a mistake that would not be allowed to happen again.

“I want to assure the good people of Ekiti State that such mistake will never repeat itself,” Habilal Joshak, a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), said on the state-owned Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation, Television Service in Ado-Ekiti.

A gathering crowd of PDP supporters awaiting the address of Fayose, prelude to a victory rally slated for the campaign headquarters of the PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Olusola Eleka, around Fajuyi area of the capital city, was dispersed by the police,

using teargas. The state governor had eventually shown up at the rally in neck brace, weeping, claiming that he had been teargassed and rough-handled by policemen who slapped and hit him with their guns. He said he had been to

the hospital for treatment and that in spite of that, was in pains, warning that if anything happened to him, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, would be held responsible. Continued on page 10

rAPC Sues APC, Asks Court to Annul Oshiomhole, Others’ Election… Page 12


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Bill to Create State Police Passes First Reading in Senate Tobi Soniyi The first reading of the Constitution Alteration Bill for the Establishment of State Police and other related matters was taken at the Senate plenary yesterday. A statement by Mr. Uche Anichukwu, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy President of the Senate, said the bill, sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, has all members of the committee as co-sponsors. It seeks to establish a federal police and state police, while also creating the National Police Service Commission, National Police Council, and State Police Service Commission for the states. The federal police, according to the bill, shall “be responsible for the maintenance of public security, preservation of public order and security of persons and property throughout the federation,” and “provide state policing for any state that is

unable to operate a state police until such a time that a state police is established by the House of Assembly of that state.” The bill proposes the appointment of the commissioner of police of a state by the governor on the advice of the National Police Service Commission and subject to confirmation of the House of Assembly, while the term of office of the commissioner of police shall be for a period of five years only or until he attains a retirement age prescribed by law, whichever is earlier. “The governor or such other commissioner of the government of the state as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the commissioner of police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the commissioner of police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with. “Provided that where the

commissioner of police feels that any order given under this subsection is unlawful or contradicts general policing standards or practice, he may request that the matter be referred to the State Police Service Commission for review and the decision of the State Police Service Commission shall be final,” it proposes. Also, whereas a commissioner of police of a state may be removed on the grounds of misconduct, serious breach of policing standards, conviction by a court of law or tribunal, indictment by a judicial body or tribunal for corruption, participation in political activities, among others, such removal must be approved by two-thirds majority of the state House of Assembly. It goes on to propose that an “Act of the National Assembly may prescribe a bi-annual certification review of the activities of state police by the National Police Service Commission to ensure they meet up with approved national standards and guidelines of

policing and their operations do not undermine national integrity, promote ethnic, tribal or sectional agenda or marginalise any segment of the society within the state.” Meanwhile, the National Police Service Commission shall comprise representatives of the National Human Rights Commission, Public Complaints Commission, Labour, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigeria Union of Journalists, and the Attorney-General of each state, in addition to six retired police officers not below the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police as well as a Chairman to be confirmed by the Senate. In the same vein, the State Police Service Commission shall comprise a representative of the federal government appointed by the National Police Service Commission, two members to be appointed by the National Human Rights Commission who must be indigenes of the respective states, a representative of the Public Complaints Commission, one representative of the Labour appointed by the

Chairman of the state chapter, a representative of the NBA, and a representative of the NUJ. Others are three retired police officers to be appointed by the governor from each senatorial district and the commission’s chairman whom must all be confirmed by the state House of Assembly. The bill further provides that the State Police Service Commission shall be responsible for, among others, recommending the appointment of a Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police, and Assistant Commissioner of Police to the National Police Service Commission in addition to appointment, discipline, and removal of members of the state police below the rank of the Assistant Commissioner of Police. The National Police Service Commission, on the other hand, shall be responsible for the appointment of persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Federal Police Service; exercising disciplinary control over members of the

federal police; recommending to the governor of a State the appointment of the Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioners of Police of state police; recommending to the governor the discipline and removal of the Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police, and Assistant Commissioner of Police of state police as well as supervising the activities of federal and state police and prescribing standards for all police forces in the country in training, criminal intelligence data bases, forensic laboratories, and render assistance to the state police in areas as may be requested by such state police. Ekweremadu, who presided at plenary, assured that the bill would receive utmost attention. "The Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution has fulfilled its mandate. I am sure that we will take the Second Reading as soon as possible and probably send it for public hearing through the committee so that we fast-track it as directed by the Senate," he said.

guarantee that the will of the people prevails at the end of the election. Ahead of tomorrow’s governorship election, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed a total of 30,000 police personnel to provide security before, during and after the exercise. Idris also moved the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, Assistant Inspector General of Police, four Commissioners of Police and eight Deputy Commissioners of Police to provide security for a hitch-free election. The police boss equally ordered the deployment of two patrol surveillance helicopters, five additional Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, 10 Armoured Personnel Vehicles and 250 police patrol vehicles in the state. The APC appointed the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to head the party’s 77-member National Campaign Council to ensure victory for the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. The PDP campaign committee is no

less formidable with Governor Udom Emmanuel at its head. In the old Ondo State (comprising of the present Ondo State and Ekiti State), which occasioned loss of several lives and destruction of property in 1983, the National Party of Nigeria’s candidate, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, was declared the winner of the election, contrary to the overwhelming expectations of the electorate. The electorate felt cheated and embarked on a violent protest. There was no peace until the Supreme Court of Nigeria made a declaration in favour of Chief Adekunle Ajasin of the Unity Party of Nigeria. If democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people, it must be demonstrated that the ultimate sovereignty lies with the people. The safety and security of the people must be paramount. Therefore, there must be zero tolerance for rigging, to violence, thuggery, killing, arson, ballot-box snatching and vandalism. Every vote must count. Ekiti is the litmus test

for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to demonstrate its preparedness for the 2019 general election. Participants in the electoral process must conduct themselves in an orderly manner and imbibe the spirit of peace and sportsmanship. As at today, Ekiti is enveloped by serious anxiety. Shootings have been recorded. The National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has warned parties to desist from airing hate speeches, particularly by the two major parties. Under the prevailing circumstance, the security agencies have to be alert to their duties to guarantee a free and fair atmosphere in which the Ekiti people can freely exercise their civic duty.

The Ooni specifically urged the youths of the state to refuse to be used as agents of electoral violence and criminality, saying they too had rights to occupy the public offices of leadership such as governorship or presidency in the nearest future. "What I heard happening in Ekiti State during this electioneering period does not make me happy as their father. Enough of crisis, we do not want any crisis in Yorubaland, where there is violence, progress and tranquillity will be deprived. But where there is peace, there is progress," Ooni stated. Speaking in the same vain, the visiting Arkwright who is also the United Kingdom's Chief Observer to Nigeria on the election, called for free, fair, credible and peaceful election tomorrow. The British High Commissioner appealed to all and sundry to remain calm and shun electoral violence, saying crisis could not add any value to the growth and development of the state.

EKITI POLL HOLDS AMIDST TENSION Leaders of thoughts, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and the British High-Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, have, however, called for restraints, warning against violence and calling on politicians to allow peace to reign. Across the 16 local government areas of the state, the 842,731 registered voters are expected to exercise their civic duty of choosing the Number One Citizen. And what should ordinarily be a perfunctory civil matter has generated so much tension, and its impact is felt in other parts of the country. The concern for Ekiti in the governorship election tomorrow may not be misplaced going by its history of violence at elections, which pre-dates the creation of the state on October 1, 1996. As far back as when it was part of the old Ondo State, what constitutes Ekiti today was always a flash point that went up in flames and orgy of violence during elections. There is no gainsaying that the ugly turn of events was engineered

by desperate participants in the electoral process, who prepare for elections as if they are combatants going to a war. The glaring reality on the Nigerian political scene shows that politicians do not prepare for the possibility of losing in the electoral contest. Every participant assumes he is a winner and would cry to high heavens, alleging he was rigged out, even when it is evident that he was ill-prepared. The resulting clash of opposing forces of the government in power versus the opposition portends a danger that should be averted before it erupts into full-scale crisis. Already, the tension in Ekiti reached fever-pitch midweek when Governor Ayodele Fayose was allegedly manhandled by the police. Well-meaning members of the public have since condemned the action of the police, though the police denied the allegation. It behoves on those that are directly involved in organising and conducting the election to ensure maintenance of law and order in order to secure a free, fair and transparent process to

Ooni, British Envoy Warn against Violence No wonder, therefore, Ooni Ogunwusi and British HighCommissioner, Arkwright, at a meeting in Ile-Ife, Osun State warned against violence and pleaded for peace.

UBA’S ‘LEO’ EMERGES BEST DIGITAL BANKING INSTITUTION IN AFRICA in Africa, in the area of innovation and technology, the bank has steadily included new and emerging trends to its range of solutions in-branches, across subsidiaries and on digital platforms. It said, “The emergence of LEO, has been a continuous directive to push the banking sector beyond financial services and to show that the bank truly comprehends the shift in operations and the movement of the global world with technology today. “The Euromoney award, which is a recognition of innovative products and services introduced by the bank in recent times and targeted towards meeting customer needs, comes on the heels of recent awards to UBA, including Finacle Client Innovation Awards and Best

Bank Awards won by five of its subsidiaries across Africa by The Bankers Magazine. UBA was also declared the best Bank in Africa in 2017.” Receiving the award, the Group Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, appreciated the organisers for the recognition, noting that UBA’s dedication to hard work and particular emphasis to offering quality services to customers were being acknowledged. According to Uzoka, the award affirms the bank’s strong management and unmatched commitment to service excellence. He said, “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting edge technology for

their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.” Uzoka added, “For us at UBA, the award is quite an accomplishment, considering Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and President Emmanuel Macron of France’s recent endorsements both of which centred on highlighting the distinguishing value of UBA’s leading digital opportunities. “Also, our recent launch of LEO in 15 African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent. This award reminds us as

an institution not to relent in our pursuit of excellence and to continue to lead the new digital age in Africa, within the financial services industry.” On his part, Euromoney Magazine’s Editor, Clive Horwood, explained that, “Despite fierce competition, one bank stood out in the last year for the inventiveness of its efforts in digital banking: United Bank for Africa. One of its signature launches in Nigeria was LEO, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook. “Recently, Mark Zuckerberg gave a nod to the service, during a talk at a recent developers’ conference – a sign of its recognition at the highest levels of digital technology. The bank also recently added retina and fingerprint recognition and

technology to reduce business travel greenhouse emissions. If it fulfills its ambitious plans to partner with fintech companies, UBA could continue to lead African banks in the area of digitisation. ” UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries, London, New York and Paris. Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels. “Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels and over a thousand touch points,” the statement added.


NGN NGN 0.53 6.80 2.15 40.50 0.01 0.21 0.14 3.24 0.01 0.34 NGN 9.00 81.00 0.03 0.30 0.08 0.81 NAHCO 0.29 3.71 HONEYWELL 0.13 1.91 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦ 1,500.00 Volume: 350.474 million shares Value: N4.6 billion Deals: 3,228 As at yesterday 12/07/18 See details on Page 43

% 8.4 5.6 5.0 4.5 3.0 % 10.0 9.0 8.9 7.2 6.3

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NLNG Expects to Take FID on 8MTPA Train-7 by December 2018 Appoints financial adviser, locks down off-takers for new volumes Chineme Okafor in London Barring any changes, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) yesterday said it would take the Final Investment Decision (FID) on its new eight million tonnes per annum (MTPA) LNG Train-7 plant by December this year. It also said the sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) for the new volumes had been locked down with off-takers since 2007, but that its terms would need to be concretised before the FID is achieved. The Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, told THISDAY on the sidelines of the company’s meetings with its shareholders and investors in London, that a financial adviser had equally been appointed by the company ahead of the expected FID. The NLNG on Wednesday had meetings to commemorate its repayment of $5.45 billion taken from its shareholders to build its six existing LNG trains, in addition to signing

dual Front End Engineering Design (FEED) contracts with two consortia for the Train-7. But in an interview with THISDAY, Attah, disclosed the company planned to take an FID on Train-7 by December, having signed its FEED. He also said the NLNG was banking on its $11 billion balance sheet and reported business credibility to woo investors for its Train-7 plant. “Let me establish that this is a very historical moment for us, rekindling what is Train-7. We have made efforts to do Train-7 since 2007, essentially, we’ve being at it for almost 10 years, but we believe that this is the moment. As one of my friends will say, the stars are lining up in favour of our company and this project,” said Attah. He stated, “Essentially we are giving it everything we have. We’ve got the best supports now, my shareholders have approved that we can go for it. We are ready and believe it is time for Train-7.” Attah also explained that

Attah he was not expecting the 2019 general election in Nigeria to derail the plans for Train-7. According to him, “My company has always been about ambition, even when there was nothing, we had no plant or location, the shareholders believed and invested what was $5.4 billion, which we paid off. “It is about belief, but I understand in terms of sequencing of projects, you do the front-end engineering design, then you have your EPC tenders on the table and take your Final Investment

Decision hoping that your EPC remains competitive. Our ambition remains to try and get FID in December but it will depend on when the field is completed practically.” Speaking about the financials and market for Train-7, he noted that the NLNG already has existing Gas Sales Agreements (GSAs) to service Train-7, as well as SPAs. He said, “I have Gas Sales Agreements (GSAs) in place because I am a brownfield and so it is not a critical factor in essence because I can improve on what I have and my gas suppliers are in agreement that we go for this, we are jointly working. “The gas supplier who will supply me gas upstream are investing as well. They are also needing to invest about $5 billion or so to develop the gas that I need for Train-7 while I invest another $6.5 billion to build the train itself.” He stated further, “The SPAs have also been signed before, so already I have existing SPAs for

Train-7. I’m 22MTPA today and going to 30MTPA, increasing capacity by 35 per cent or more. All of the new capacities have been contracted. “What is important is that the SPAs have been signed since 2007 and we’ve been rolling them. We need to renew them and in terms of the tenure it is a conversation that has to come.” Our expectation as the seller is that we are going to ask for 20-year tenure but we are not unmindful of the changing dynamics in the market, people want it shorter, the word there for us is flexibility and competitiveness. “What we are really pursuing is not so much the tenure but value, and so we are open to discuss at an appropriate time,” he added. When asked if he meant the NLNG would renegotiate the SPA terms - supplies, tenures and pricing, he said: “Absolutely, everything will be renegotiated. We have existing agreements with the current

off-takers, except for one that is no longer involved but that will easily be re-distributed amongst them depending on their interest, and so that for us is the next phase to begin to test that interests. And, at the point of FID, we now have to concretise on the actual terms. “Just about three weeks ago, we appointed a financial adviser and we will go to the market. We underpin a lot with our balance sheet. I have an $11 billion balance sheet, that is pretty healthy, but more importantly the result with the credibility of my company based on the loans that we paid out. For 20 years we never missed one payment, we are credible and liquid, and believe it should not be difficult.” He indicated that NLNG’s host communities were in support of the new project, adding, “We are partners with our community and they are part of this journey. They are excited that Train-7 is coming because they know what it means to them.”

EKITI: POLICE SAY TEARGASSING OF CROWD, A MISTAKE, ASSURES IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN Fayose’s claim attracted instant rebuke from the public, leading to a nationwide protest yesterday by the PDP, which leadership marched on the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja, as well as all state commands of the Nigeria Police Force. The police, however, stood down yesterday, lifting its siege to the Government House, AdoEkiti in an obvious remorse for its action a day earlier. Police chief, Joshak, told the state-owned television that contrary to widespread belief, he did not order his men and officers to use teargas on the crowd. He explained, “What I said was that those massing for the rally should be asked to leave because it is not good going by the mood of the state now to hold rally or street procession. I didn’t say they should use force. “This is an election, and electioneering is a civil matter anywhere across the globe. So, police as security agents can’t use force on the people. “But I want to assure the good people of Ekiti State that such mistake will never repeat itself.” The Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said Fayose had been discharged from the hospital and was stabilising. “The governor is now better and stabilising fast. He is out of the hospital and I believe he will get well soon,” he said.

PDP in Protest March to N’Assembly, INEC The PDP, which had on Wednesday asked its members to embark on protest marches

to the state commands of the police to deliver protest letter to the IG through the commands’ commissioners, carried out its plan yesterday, protesting nationwide against the Ekiti incidence. At the Federal Capital, Abuja the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, led all the National Working Committee (NWC) members and party supporters to march to the National Assembly and the headquarters of INEC. Secondus who handed over a petition to Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said the police brutalised Fayose and locked down the government house without any justifiable reason. Secondus said, "Under the APC-led administration, a governor was brutalised and pushed to the ground. We are here to alert Nigerians that the APC government is a threat to democracy. Not only in Nigeria, but throughout the world. Security agencies are not above the law.” The party members registered their presence with inscripted placards, "Enough of political tyranny; Nigeria is sliding into one party system; Buhari stop the killings,” among others. They called on the lawmakers to quickly intervene, through their oversight function on the executive arm of government, particularly on their excesses and assault on democracy. Addressing the crowd, Secondus emphasised that the party was reliably informed that INEC and a section of the security agencies had prepared to rig the election in Ekiti. He said, "That is why Ekiti today has been militarised and over policed with 30,000 policemen and women. The citizens of Ekiti are afraid, they are traumatised, they are harassed and they are

being guarded not to come out from their homes. They arrest members of our party and citizens of Ekiti.” The party’s former woman leader, also former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, said for the nation to achieve good governance, it must have true democracy. She said, "We have come today in a nation-wide protest to say that there is freedom in this country, freedom of association and speech." Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu, who received the protesters, said the peaceful protest was within the context of democracy, adding that democracy was about free speech and free expression. He said, "We will do everything possible to ensure that we will continue to work within the tenet of democracy. We have heard you. We are going to make contacts with all the institutions of democracy as it concerns the state. "We shall make contact with INEC, police and other security agencies to ensure that they are neutral. I want to assure you that as soon as possible so that in Ekiti, there is going to be free and fair election.” Meanwhile, the party, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, charged Ekiti people to protect their votes. The party asked the Ekiti people not to despair over the violence unleashed on them by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, but square up for their inevitable triumph over oppressive forces at the coming Saturday poll. The party said the harassment, arrests, threats and Wednesday’s manhandling of Fayose by the police amplified

the clarion call for the people of Ekiti State to march shoulder to shoulder with an unequalled vigour against the oppressors by voting en masse for the PDP on Saturday. "We know that the whole essence of heavy security presence in Ekiti State is to attempt to frighten the people and scare them away from participating in the election, but such cannot work in Ekiti where the people are famous for their boldness, fearlessness and resistance in the face of repression," the party said. Also speaking during the protest at INEC, Secondus said intelligence information available to the party showed clearly that some INEC officials and some security agents were in collusion to rig election in Ekiti State. He said, "We have been informed that what they did in Edo State, what they called result replacement is what they are planning to use to rig election in Ekiti State and we brought all these things to bear to INEC leadership that if they compromise and rig the election, the consequences of their actions they will bear because if you rig election, it is a recipe for crisis. "Don't forget that spot in Ekiti State, in those days when they rigged election you know what happened there, so we don't want to rig the election in Ekiti State.” An INEC National Commissioner, Mr. Adekunle Ogunmola, who received the petition from Secondus said the mandate of the commission was to conduct free, fair and credible elections. "I assure you that we are not going to do anything short of that," he said.

PDP Senate Caucus,

House Condemn Incidence The PDP caucus in the Senate and the House of Representatives joined the fray against the police action yesterday, condemning the incidence and calling for an investigation into why it occurred. Leader of the caucus, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who spoke with journalists after a close-door meeting of the caucus, condemned the reported slapping of a sitting governor by policemen. He wondered what had become of the governor's immunity as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution as amended. According to Akpabio who was in the company with 15 other colleagues, including Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) and Hassan Mohammed(Yobe South), the caucus wants the reported attack to be thoroughly investigated by the federal government by setting up a commission of inquiry to look into the matter. He said the perpetrators of the attack should not go unpunished. In its reaction, the House of Representatives passed a motion directing all its relevant committees to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incidence and report back in three weeks. The resolution of the green chamber followed a motion of urgent public importance which was sponsored by Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen (PDP, Kogi) and Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on the urgent need to intervene and save the country's democracy. Among other things, he noted with concern that only few days to the 2018 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State, some

men of the police and other security agencies completely barricaded and took over the Ekiti State Government House in Ado-Ekiti. He said Nigeria was a democratic state and that the complete takeover and barricade of the government house as well as violent assault on harmless civilians, including a serving governor of the state does not fall within the contemplation of the general duties of the police under Section 4 of the Police Act and indeed the tenets of true democracy and the rule of law. The lawmaker expressed worry that happenings in the state portend grave danger for all, particularly in view of the 2019 general election and the heightened insecurity in the country. He said the action of the police was clearly an illegality and constitutional breach which must not happen or continue in a constitutional democracy. Also reacting, a frontline PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki (SAN), condemned what he described as ‘’the brutal attacks’’ on Fayose and citizens of the state. In a statement by his campaign Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Sola Atere, he noted that the Ekiti incidence was another low point in the litany of breaches of the constitution and indeed, the rule of law, which had become the hallmark of the APC-led federal government. According to him, “Imagine a governor who has constitutional immunity and is also supposed to be the Chief Security Officer of his state being brutalised by security officers. His security detail are being withdrawn, while movement into his official residence is being restricted. What then is the hope of the ordinary Nigerian?”

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FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY


Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email, 08066066268

rAPC Sues APC, Asks Court to Annul Oshiomhole, Others’ Election Alex Enumah in Abuja The reformed All Progressives Congress (r-APC) yesterday asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to sack the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying it was not lawfully elected to lead the party. The rAPC’s suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/1734/18 was filed by Alhaji Buba Galadima, Mr. Kazeem Afegbua, Mr. Nicholas Asuzu and Alhaji Hadi Ametuo as plaintiffs. Sued as defendants alongside the NEC, are members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Chairmen of the 36 States Executive Council (SEC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC. The suit became public a day after the rAPC asked INEC to nullify Oshiomhole and others’ election on the grounds that it did not conform to the law and the constitution of the party. The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, had responded that rAPC’s request was frivolous and could not be granted as INEC could not annul an election it did not conduct. But in the suit filed on behalf of rAPC by its counsel, Mr. Tolu Babalaye, the plaintiffs are praying the court for a declaration that having regard to the constitution

of the APC, particularly Article 20 thereof, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the election conducted by the party at the Eagle Square on June 23, 2018 was invalid, null and void. They also want the court to declare that being no valid election at the national convention of APC, thereby leaving a vacuum, the reform-minded faction of the APC known as the rAPC be validly constituted as the plaintiffs, and that all its national offices and state executives be made to fill the vacuum and act in interim capacities as officers of the APC. They, therefore, prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st to 52nd defendants from parading themselves or claiming to be officers of APC or performing any discussion as officers of the party in any capacity whatsoever as their elections and swearing in as officers of APC is invalid, null and void. In addition, the Galadima-led group wants the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining APC from holding the Oshiomhole-led executive council and all the states executive council as either national officers, members of the NWC, zonal executives and state executives of the APC.

Again, FAAC Meeting Postponed States insist on permanent solution to NNPC issue Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) suffered another adjournment yesterday, the third since June 27, 2018 and the fifth since the beginning of the year, over controversies surrounding remittances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The allocations for the months of May and June were yet to be distributed among the three tiers of government following the rejection of the NNPC remittances. On June 27, when the stakeholders met in Abuja for the sharing of the May accruals into the Federation Account, the meeting ended in a stalemate as the representatives of the 36 states rejected the NNPC remittance. Two days ago, the FAAC meeting where the allocations for May and June were to be shared also ended in a deadlock. When the meeting reconvened yesterday, the state commissioners for finance insisted that a permanent solution must be explored to resolve the recurring issue around NNPC remittances to the Federation Account. Chairman, Forum of Commissioners of Finance, Mallam Yunusa Mahmoud, confirmed the postponement to journalists. “ The reason why FAAC meeting is cancelled again is because we want to strengthen the system to avoid a repeat of this issue in the future. It is not

about how much the NNPC has remitted now; it is about putting the necessary things in order to make sure we do not experience this. “ The president (Buhari) is very much interested in this issue and it is on his table now. Very soon, all that needs to be done would be done so that every money coming to the federation account will be channeled to the appropriate authority. Every money has to go to the federal government account”, he said. The states, he pointed out, had no personal grudge against the NNPC, adding that all they crave for was for the strengthening of remittance procedures. Mahmoud said: “ The moment the system is strengthened, definitely there will be no more problem. There will be no more saying bring more money, the money is shortened or this and that. “We know that people are facing difficulties, people are in pains, salaries have not been paid by federal government, salaries are owed in a lot of states but this is the sacrifice that all of us must do in order to resolve this under remittance of revenue by NNPC” “We are all partners in progress - the state’s, local government and the NNPC itself. At the end of the day, NNPC will also appreciate what we are doing, because if new process are put in place and being operated the way they are supposed to be, nobody will complain and even the NNPC will be off the pressure.

They also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining APC from harassing, intimidating, suspending or expelling any of or all the plaintiffs from the APC, or taking any steps whatsoever to terminate their membership, rights and entitlements in the APC. The plaintiffs also pray for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from recognising or accepting the defendants as either national officers, members of NWC, zonal executives or state executives of the APC. In addition, the plaintiffs are

praying the court to grant an order directing INEC to recognise the plaintiffs who are members of the reform-minded faction of APC as current interim NWC, zonal executives or state executives of the APC and accord them all rights and privileges appertaining to the respective office pending the holding of valid elections by the party. In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that the APC is harbouring intractable divisions and the party is awaiting a massive implosion and might collapse

finally unless steps are taken by reform-minded members to address the issues. They also claimed that the situation got out of hand at the congresses recently conducted by the APC at the ward, local government and state levels, culminating in the purported NWC of the party held on June 23, 2018. In addition, they claimed that APC has become factionalised and this is no longer a secret as the crisis tearing the party to pieces at the national and sub-national

levels are in the public domain. They added that the manner in which the national convention of the party was conducted has deepened the division within the party and exacerbated the leadership crisis from wards to the national level all over the country. They further added that most members of the party feel alienated and this has resulted in open and massive divisions, factionalisation, and disenchantment within the rank and file of the party. A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the matter.


L-R: President Muhammadu Buhari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Kaduna State Governor, Nasir elRufai; and FCT Minister, Muhammed Bello, during the inspection of the First Phase of the Abuja Light Rail Mass Transit Project in Abuja ...yesterday Godwin Omoigui

INEC Begins Distribution of Election Materials in Ekiti State Emma Okonji Ahead of tomorrow’s election in Ekiti State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, commenced distribution of sensitive election materials in all the 16 local government areas of the state. The election materials, it

was gathered, were earlier received by the electoral body at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. The materials were then loaded in vehicles for transportation to the 16 local government areas of the state. National Commissioners,

Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), media, security and party agents were in attendance during the distribution. According to INEC, all vehicles loaded with sensitive materials for the distribution were being tracked to monitor their movement. Fully armed policemen

who were at the distribution venue, cordoned off the area during the exercise. Spokesman of INEC in the state, Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin, said apart from using the police to secure the materials, the commission also tracked all the vehicles that conveyed the election materials so as to guard against possible hijack.

Abuja Airport’s New Terminal Begins Operation in October Chinedu Eze The federal government has said the new terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja would start operation in October this year. This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma who said the terminal would be put to use in order to decongest the old terminal, which is now overstretched as a result of the increase in passenger traffic. Dunoma who spoke after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the rail terminus that connects the airport to the Abuja light rail system, stated that by the end of August, work would be concluded at the new terminal and it would also be opened for service.

The FAAN boss said the major work to be done would be to connect the new terminal to the old one in order to have seamless passenger movement, adding that even though, the new terminal was designated for travellers on international destinations. “We are pressing the contractor to finish everything in August, so that by October we can start operation in the building. So, we are working together - both the contractor, FAAN and all those involved in the project, to ensure that we meet our target,” he said. He said the structures, which inhibited the use of the new terminal like the fire service building located very close to the facility, and the control tower, which is blocked by the terminal would be removed in the second phase of the work. According to Dunoma, the

terminal could be put in use while plans would be made to remove the structures. In order to have uninterrupted power and water supply to the new facility, the FAAN managing director said the minister of the federal capital territory had directed that the airport should be connected to the central electricity and water system, adding that government had already approved funds for independent power supply. “We have started the process of connecting the power system. The Minister of Federal Capital Territory had instructed that the airport should be connected to the city mains electric system and power system. Also government has approved money for the supply of independent power supply for the entire airport. So, when these are completed by October the terminal will

become functional. That is when we shall start using the terminal,” Dunoma said. He explained that out of the five new terminals being built at the airports in Kano, Abuja, Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt, the Abuja airport would kick off first, followed by that of Port Harcourt, which is at the same level of completion with the Abuja facility. “Abuja and Port Harcourt will start first. Their completion is at the same level but there is so much traffic in Abuja. It will ease traffic if we start Abuja first. So our intention is to start Abuja. Port Harcourt is gradually coming up,” he said. The Abuja new terminal is one of the four airport facilities being built by the Chinese with $500 million loan secured by the federal government, which paid $100 million counterpart fund for the projects.

FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY



Sokoto Killings: Use Helicopters to Fish Out Bandits, Senate Urges FG We must look inward to tackle banditry, says Yari Deji Elumoye in Abuja Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto The Senate has urged the federal government to deploy the helicopters of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to carry out aerial surveillance of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi States, with a view to identifying locations and hideouts of the bandits terrorising the states and deal with them. This is coming as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, has said the menace of banditry is an internal problem that requires collaborative efforts by the northern governors to tackle the ugly trend. The Senate’s decision was sequel to a motion jointly sponsored and moved at the plenary yesterday, by Senators Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto North), on the gruesome killing of 40 people in Sokoto State by bandits on Monday.

The Senate also advised the Inspector General of Police, (lGP) Ibrahim Idris to mandate the Commissioners of Police in the three states to set up a special squad to mop up the whole zone and get rid of the bandits. Similarly, the upper legislative chamber called for a synergy between the Department of State Services (DSS), the police and the armed forces in order to share intelligence and strategies to get rid of the criminals. Senator Aliero, while leading debate on the motion, noted with sadness, the gruesome and unprecedented killing of the 40 innocent and defenceless people by the bandits at Dogonyero in Candi District in Raba Local Government Area (LGA) of the state. He alleged that “these bandits are operating in Zamfara forest, where they carry out nefarious and barbaric killings of innocent people over a period of two years”. The former Kebbi State governor added that “they moved with

FG Reconstitutes Tax Appeal Tribunals Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The federal government has reconstituted the Tax Appeal Tribunals in the six geo-political zones as well as Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The reconstitution of the Tribunals was in accordance with Section 2(1) of the Fifth Schedule of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Establishment Act. A statement issued by Oluyinka Akintunde, the media aide to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the minister who announced the reconstitution of the tribunals, said they would adjudicate over disputes arising from the operation of the Federal Tax Laws and Regulations in the country. The minister said, “The reconstitution of the tax appeal tribunals is an essential part of

The Katsina State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Shitu Shitu yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari was not behind killings by herdsmen as claimed by some people in the country, describing the allegation as calculated attempt by ‘self-seeking’ politicians to blackmail the president ahead of the 2019 general elections. Shitu, who disclosed this in an interview with THISDAY, said such opinions were intended to instigate the citizenry against the president, adding that Nigeria is a secular state where no president could sponsor killings or enforce any religion on any person. He said, “It is a misinformation for anyone to say that President Muhammadu Buhari is behind herdsmen and farmers killings in the country. Buhari is the only president who works tirelessly

mention the injured ones still at the hospital and others rendered homeless”, the lawmaker said. Contributing , Senator Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto Central) warned that if urgent steps are not taken by the government, the killings might spread to other districts. He, therefore, called for the establishment of army depot in the area to forestall further reprisal. Senator Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto South), on his part, lamented that attacks and counter attacks have been going on in the state for about seven years and urged the federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the problem. In observing one minute silence for the repose of the souls of the departed, the Senate requested the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to send emergency relief to the affected communities. Meanwhile, Yari has said the menace of banditry was an internal problem that required the collaborative efforts by northern governors to tackle the ugly trend. The Zamfara State governor made the remark when he led other five northern governors

to pay a condolence visit to Governor Aminu Tambuwal at the Government House in Sokoto. He maintained that the bandits and perpetrators of these heinous acts live within the communities, saying governors must look inwards to curb the wanton killings. “We have to look inwards to find a solution to our problem. This problem is within us because the bandits creating this menace are within us. They cannot survive without drinking, eating and all the essential facilities needed for survival,” he said. “So, how are they getting them? This is a chain that we need to check. We are seriously concerned because Sokoto has been relatively peaceful ,despite being a neighbouring state to Zamfara. This is indeed worrisome and a serious concern to all of us. “Despite sabotage from within and outside, we know that as leaders, if we come together, we can achieve more in maintaining peace and harmony in our states,” he said. He posited that the primary responsibility of government is to

maintain peace and security, adding that such leaders must do more to combat banditry in their areas. Yari said they were in the state to commiserate with the bereaved families and people of the state over the loss of lives of the 39 persons in Tabani village in the state. He, therefore, prayed against future reoccurrence and God’s intervention in the affairs of the country. Responding, Tambuwal, said this was the first time the bandits unleashed mayhem on the villages. He described the attack as unfortunate, saying government was collaborating with security agencies to forestall future attack. “These marauders entered Tabanni village from Zamfara killing 39 people without taking anything there. We currently have about 10,000 people that left their villages for safety in four internally displaced persons camp. “We are in touch with the leadership of the security agencies in the country and in the next few days, more security personnel would be deployed to that axis,” he stated.

building tax payers trust and confidence in the fairness of the system. “The federal ministry of finance has undertaken a rigorous process to select competent persons on the basis of merit who will be expected to discharge their duties professionally.” She added that the ministry sought nominations from a number of professional bodies and stakeholders, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). The tax appeal commissioners, according to the minister, are expected to hold office for a term of three (3) years from the date of appointment.

Buhari Not Behind Herdsmen Killings, Says APC Chairman Francis Sardauna in Katsina

motorcycles that carried up to three people numbering about 30 motorcycles in all - meaning that the armed men were up to 90”. “The bandits sent two people to the village to buy food for them and the villagers observed that the emissaries were armed and they were interrogated by the villagers and found to be bandits similar to the ones operating in Zamfara. The villagers apprehended and executed the two emissaries,” he said. Senator Aliero further informed that the bandits sent advance notice to the villagers that they were coming to retaliate the killing of their people. He added that the chairman of the local government area and the village head alerted the law enforcement agencies on this notice of the bandits. “Security was provided for a period of five days, after which they were withdrawn; immediately the security agencies were withdrawn, the bandits moved in and started killing indiscriminately using AK47 riffles. “The situation now is that most of the villagers have left their homes out of fear and many are still stranded in the bush - not to

to ensure that there is peace in Nigeria”. The APC chairman maintained the allegations were misinformation, reaffirming that his party was not perturbed because in an election year, people could fabricate stories to heat the polity. According to him, “Some misguided elements who are miscreants - some of them pose as herdsmen and they go and do cattle rustling, shoot the owners of cattle and take their cattle away”. He, however, reiterated that Buhari was not silent over the killings across the country by the suspected herdsmen but has condemned the killings. The state APC boss further stated that President Buhari had noted that some of the attackers were fighters who had access to arms and ammunitions.


R-L: Managing Director, Euromoney, Mr. John Orchard; General Manager, Energy Bank, Mr. Ebele Ogbue; Group Managing Director/ CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; and 1966 England World Cup winner, Sir Geoff Hurst; at the Euromoney Award for Excellence where UBA Group was conferred with Africa’s Best Digital Bank in London...recently

2019: Jerry Gana Declares for Presidency, Says he is Clean Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja Former Minister of information and Culture, Prof. Jerry Gana, has declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Making his intention known yesterday in Abuja, he stated that he is a ‘’clean and unblemished Nigerian’’ who had served in different capacities in government until 2006. According to him, “If since 2006, when I left government till date nothing incriminating was found against me and now that I have declared my intention to contest for the office of the President things

crops up, it is purely blackmail.” He stated that the insecurity situation in the country is unprecedented, saying the present federal government lacks the capacity to handle it. Gana added, “There is a crippling uncertainty everywhere; people are suffering, unprecedented and untold hardship as a result of arrested development. Insecurity that has rendered human life brutish, short and nasty is rampant across the zones, state, communities and villages. ‘’Asymmetric war on corruption is fuelling further ethical decadence; while anxiety, patriotism and poverty have collapsed into a creepy epidemic of self-doubt. In all of this, the current leadership of

the nation, at the highest level of government, seems unconcerned, incompetent or incapable of turning around the drift.” He also said that his desire to seek election to the highest office in the land was born out of his patriotic zeal and conviction that his pedigree, skills and experience can turn things around for Nigerians and Nigeria. He further stated, “My desire to seek to contest the election into the highest political office in our country is not motivated by a quest glorification nor aggrandizement; it is born out my patriotic zeal and conviction that my pedigree, experience, skills and academic endowment, I can provide the requisite leadership to

transform the fortunes of our people and change the trajectory of our country towards the attainment of our fullest potentials.” The National Deputy Chairman of SDP, Dr. Abdul Ahmed Ishaq, who received Prof. Gana’s expression of interest on behalf of the national Chairman Chief Olu False; said that he was glad receiving Prof. Gana as the first presidential aspirant in the party to make known his intention to contest for the office of President under the platform of the SDP. He said that it is with warmed heart felt that he received the interest form from Gana on behalf of the party’s national Chairman who would have been at the event but for the election in Ekiti.


T H I S D AY ˾ ˜  ͯͱ˜ͰͮͯͶ


Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email


Government could do more to contain the prevailing poverty in the land, writes Monday Philips Ekpe


can’t say for sure what sentiments I have for statistics. Maybe respect, disdain, awe or suspicion. I remember, though, that mathematics and I have never been the best of friends; so, anything that has too much to do with figures has the capacity to offer me some discomfiture. That’s my confession. Everyone should be able to identify his or her own limits - a form of strength itself, I hope. But since life is designed in such a way that one cannot always avoid unfamiliar and seemingly impossible things, it is better to be prepared to, at least, encounter them with some grace. This explains why I find it difficult to ignore the revelation made last month that Nigeria had overtaken India as host to the largest poorest population on the planet. The data are indeed sobering and scary. There are approximately 1.3 billion people in the Asian country as against Nigeria’s less than 200 million. By the end of May this year, the African country had within its borders 87 million financially and materially despondent people while India recorded 73 million. According to the Brookings Institution report, between six and seven persons descend into extreme poverty every minute in Nigeria. Not surprisingly, Africa accounts for two-thirds of people in this despicable bracket, and Nigeria accounts for the bulk of the pack, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sadly, if this sorry trend goes on unchallenged, by the time the next decade ends, nine out of every 10 totally poor people on earth will come from this continent. It is this nation’s share of the ignominious profile that should be disturbing to any patriot. Our population grows astronomically, faster than the economy. Between 1990 and 2013 alone, the populace increased by a whopping 80 per cent. It is projected that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world, after China and India. Even in the face of this worsening socio-economic status, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put the rise of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at only 0.8 per cent this year. With an economy that is ever dependent on oil and a budget running on deficit, funded in part via borrowing, the chances of coming out of this distress gets increasingly slimmer. However, since there is only one life to live, the class of unfortunate people must not continue on the present wretched path. The society would be doing itself a lot of good if concerted efforts take the place of nonchalance, selfishness and insensitivity. Let us now be guided by the words of great men of history. According to Mahatma Ghandi, “Poverty is the worst form of violence… There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Issues of the stomach have since the beginning of time been top priorities for humans. Existence is directly related to food. Without sustenance, nothing worthwhile can be achieved. For many Nigerians, three-square meals are simply out of reach, luxuries


they see only in their dreams. It is much easier for such people to convert their bellies to gods. And when someone spends too much time worrying about the quantity and quality of what goes into him, what other space is left to contemplate nobler, loftier matters? Perennial lack constantly brutalises his very soul. And actualising his full potential as a bona fide human being is pushed beyond his reach. Nelson Mandela has a word for privileged persons who do not pursue common good, who are only preoccupied with amassing wealth. Hear him: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” That throws up the need for communality in seeking ways to combat the onslaught of intense poverty. John F. Kennedy put it this way: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” The truth is one cannot genuinely feel safe in the midst of numerous poor, angry people. In this country, as the gap widens between the rich and the deprived, resentment towards the “happening” group increases. In this delicate situation, everyone should be concerned about everybody’s welfare. Life should not be about building castles on islands, far removed from the realities outside. Franklin Roosevelt captured this essence thus: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” The logic here is simple and should be received accordingly. I believe that the haves and haves-not are separated largely by what the Bible calls “time and chance.” When and how people utilise the opportunities that come their way often determine what they end up with. Besides, we will always need one another. Therefore, the task of eradicating this evil should not be too hard to embrace as a common project. Well-meaning individuals and organisations need to sacrifice their resources to de-populate the tribe of the dejected. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari should accept leadership in this regard. Luckily, it presides over one of the most endowed countries in the world. Arguing about the authenticity of the Brookings pronouncement will not help. It must take charge of this devastating pain and disgrace. The accuracy of the poverty digits may be queried but proofs of pauperism and ennui all across Nigeria today are too pronounced to be discountenanced. Just heed Kofi Annan’s counsel before it becomes late: “Let us recognise that extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security anywhere. Let us recall that poverty is a denial of human rights. For the first time in history, in this age of unprecedented wealth and technical prowess, we have the power to save humanity from this shameful scourge. Let us summon the will to do so.”

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Joseph Michael writes that Gov Udom Emmanuel has sustained the legacy of achievement in Akwa Ibom


he marks of a true leader, among others, include the ability to develop subordinates that could take up leadership positions - be it in industry, politics or management. This underscores the relevance of mentoring in every aspect of life. It is generally assumed that people that have the advantage of being guided, encouraged and supported by trusted and experienced mentors usually excel and perform better either in the workplace or any other endeavour. This is understandable. Apart from the knowledge and skills that mentees could learn from their mentors, mentoring often enhances professional socialization and provides personal support that ultimately brings the best out of the mentees, making them to excel beyond the ordinary. Give it to good leaders; they see beyond what others can see in people. They spot opportunities. They can easily recognize potential. They see the future that others can’t see and in many cases, they are right. They have a nose for identifying people with leadership qualities and as Mel Lawrenz puts it, they don’t only motivate people by their knowledge of the future, but by their anticipation of what is possible. Many have said it again and again that the bane of governance in Nigeria is poor leadership. It’s unfortunate that the crops of leadership produced by the nation’s late elder statesmen are fast disappearing. The few successful leaders of today have a huge task before them to sustain quality leadership. This is more so because there is no formal training centre for political leadership in the country for now. This is probably one of the reasons we have people contesting for positions they know nothing about and get elected into positions they don’t understand. We then find elected officers that spend the better part of their time wobbling and fumbling. The spate of bad governance that results from the

problem of lack of leadership and effective mentoring in Nigeria’s political space makes it imperative to acknowledge the foresight of leaders who could recognize leadership potential in their aides, nurture such and actually go a step further by publicly supporting them for leadership positions. That is one of the reasons why the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would be respected by many. He has proved beyond doubt that he is a good leader. A former governor of Lagos State, aside from having the vision of a better Lagos, the national Leader of the ruling All Progressives Party was able to identify people with leadership potential and supporting them for leadership roles. This has given the state a place of prominence in the comity of states in Nigeria and continued to rub off positively on the former governor. The same scenario is playing out in Akwa Ibom State where the former governor and presently the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, saw what others didn’t see in the current governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel. In spite of political bickering and opposition, the former governor did not only fish out Emmanuel, he identified him as a man fit for the job when he was about to leave the Government House in Uyo. He must have been interested in finding a man that would be able to push further his laudable goals and vision for a better Akwa Ibom; somebody that would not only keep to the vision but build on whatever his achievements were to take the oil rich state further in its journey to the Promised Land. Akpabio’s administration had left behind it projects like world class hospitals, hotels, well- equipped stadium , Ibom Power Plant, cinema viewing centres and a gas processing plant, to name just a few. Expectedly, Emmanuel has not disappointed his political mentor. An astute banker and former executive director at Zenith Bank before Akpabio appointed him as the Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government in 2013, the governor has continued from where his predecessor stopped. His focus

has been industrializing the state which hitherto was largely a civil service dominated economy. To him, commitment to industrialization is irrevocable. “Through industrialization, we shall rewrite the Akwa Ibom economic story,’’ he had said when he assumed office. He had started with a five-point agenda of wealth creation, job creation, poverty alleviation, political and economic inclusiveness as well as infrastructural consolidation and expansion shortly after assuming duty in 2015. Today, the state boasts of the largest syringe manufacturing factory in Africa. This is in less than three years of being in the saddle as the state governor. The state has a thriving pencil and toothpick factory; a starch manufacturing company; palm kernel oil plant; and fertilizer blending factory, among others. He is working on flour mills, coconut refinery, Ibom Deep Seaport and Ibom Industrial Park and Jetty. All of these are aside the priority given to the agricultural sector where the government is taking advantage of the abundant rich and natural resources of the state to boost food production. The farmers are not left out. He established a Special Cocoa Maintenance Scheme (SCMS) to train farmers and youths on pruning/ shading management, under- brushing, and tree care by fumigation, all in an effort to improve on farm yields. The governor has also given priority to infrastructural development. To his credit, over 1,700 kilometres of roads are being constructed in the state. Some of them have been completed. The administration has constructed 35 bridges and completed the state secretariat annex; the second airport runway has been constructed, the state’s main airport runway upgraded to category two while a new commercial building terminal at Ibom International Airport has been constructed. There are also ongoing constructions and renovation of the Governor’s Lodge in Lagos and Abuja; construction of high rise and investment buildings at the central business district of the Uyo Metropolis, among other laudable projects. Beyond all of these, the governor is also investing

in human capital, particularly in the youths through different vocational trainings. Many analysts are of the view that the governor has justified the confidence reposed in him by his former boss with his modest achievements. But somehow, this has not stopped rumours of real or perceived crack in the relationship of the governor and the senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. Rumour mills have continuously alleged that the governor has since lost the support of his former boss, though both the governor and the senator have kept on denying such a rift. Despite these denials, some political jobbers could swear that the former governor was working against the reelection of the governor. Akpabio must have been inundated with this rumour too and had cause to issue a strong rebuttal sometime ago on the matter. In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Anietie Ekong, the senator had lauded the performance of Emmanuel and even pledged the support of the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district to the governor’s re-election with the district’s over 500,000 votes. Indeed it is part of politics for politicians to cook stories that have no substance. This is the more reason why the senator needs to declare in unambiguous terms his unflinching support for Emmanuel at the campaign rally slated for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District next Monday. Doing that will achieve two things: It will again prove to the world that Akpabio himself, as a true leader, had foresight, and did not make a mistake in his choice of a successor. For every achievement of Emmanuel is a plus to the reputation of Akpabio himself. Secondly, publicly acknowledging the achievements of Udom in unmistakable terms at the rally will keep political jobbers out of work once and for all. With few months to governorship election, Akpabio needs to declare to the opposition in clear terms that there is no crack in the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State. Hence, the Ikot Ekpene rally should be a time to pat Emmanuel on the back for a job well done.


T H I S D AY FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018

EDITORIAL THE ABUJA LITERARY FESTIVAL There is need to place more emphasis on the development of the arts


n a nation where the creative arts are not fully appreciated, the recently concluded Literary and Arts Festival (ALitFest) is testimony to the exceptional young men and women of the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) who organised the three-day event. ALitFest brought together writers, book lovers, academics and civil society members to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ALS by Mr Victor Anoliefo. The festival thrilled, educated and entertained participants drawn from across Nigeria. Cultural and creative industries are globally recognised as contributors to economic growth and job creation, as well as important catalysts for social cohesion and nation-building. So it is a shame that Nigeria has largely ignored the sector. That is why the interventions of the ALS and Anoliefo are not only commendable but should be supported by both the public and private sectors in Nigeria. We need to place more emphasis on the development of the THE ALS WILL NEED arts and their ability TO COME UP WITH A to raise awareness PLAN THAT INCLUDES and stimulate peace IDENTIFYING FINANCIAL and development. BENEFACTORS The choice of AND PERHAPS THE the theme, ‘Nigeria to the World’ was INTERNATIONAL strategic in order DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY TO ENABLE to showcase the best of our art and IT TO GROW AND ATTAIN literature. Certainly ITS POTENTIAL the organisers achieved their set goals, with panel discussions from different facets of Nigerian arts, including theatre conversations, spoken word poetry as a career, adapting Nigerian literature to film, etc. Emerging young

Letters to the Editor

talents were also featured, as well as book readings from popular writers who shared their experiences and insights with audiences. For decades, Abuja has struggled to grow out of an identity primarily defined by political wheeler-dealers. With an explosion of culture and creativity, young city residents from all parts of the country have now found a home in the ALS whose overarching goal is to build and sustain a thriving literary space in the Federal Capital Territory and environs. Activities include open-mic poetry sessions, book readings, book discussions and literary workshops.



nstructively, ALitFest provided all the fun expected when art lovers gather. There were books to be bought, borrowed, read and swapped and artworks were exhibited by the ever resourceful ‘I can draw Africa’ team. Gastronomical delicacies and a festival bar added flavour and verve to a festival that brimmed with the promise to excite. Conversations led by notable bloggers and sessions on the participation of young people in Nigerian politics straddled the art divide, blurring the lines between art and craft. As fantastic as the festival was, it did not come without challenges. The biggest was funding. The Abuja Literary Society operates an open platform that does not demand registration fees from members. A point of pride to members, it has also limited its capacity. Going forward, the ALS will need to come up with a plan that includes identifying financial benefactors and perhaps the international development community to enable it to grow and attain its potential. The sheer doggedness of ALS volunteers and young people with drive, vision and tenacity under the leadership of Buchi Onyegbule, are an assurance that ALitFest has come to stay as an important event in the Abuja literary calendar.

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



n June 23, 12 young footballers aged between 11 and 16 and their 25-year-old coach ventured into the Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand after completing a session of football practice and became trapped when heavy rains flooded the cave. The boys and their coach who are all members of a local association football team were reported missing a few hours later and search operations began immediately. However, attempts to find them were hindered by rising water levels within the cave system and no contact was made with them for about 11 days. The rescue effort expanded into a massive operation amid concerted global interest. After great efforts that involved delicate manoeuvring through narrow cave passages and mucky waters, British divers discovered the missing footballers and their coach to be alive. They were found to be on an elevated rock about 3.2 kilometres from the cave mouth. As much as finding them was exciting news, rescuing them alive was always going to be a tough task. The options available were limited. One of which was to teach the boys and their coach basic dive techniques to enable their early rescue or wait for the floodwaters to subside at the end of the monsoon season. After days of pumping water from the cave system and a respite from rain, four of the boys were rescued on 8 July. Rescue teams hastened to get everyone out before the monsoon was predicted to resume on 11 July. By 10 July 2018, all of the boys and their coach had been rescued from

the cave. Over 1,000 people were involved in the rescue operation, including Thai Navy SEALs, volunteers and technical assistance teams from multiple countries. Such was the diversity of the rescue effort that many have termed it a United Nations coalition. The delicate nature of the operation made a rescue chief at one point dubbed it ‘Operation Mission Impossible’. Conditions were so dangerous that a retired Thai Navy SEAL, 38-year-old Saman Kunan died on July 5 while trying to lay out oxygen tanks underwater in a tunnel. No wonder wild jubilation erupted across the world upon news of a successful rescue operation. President Donald Trump of the United States described the operation as a “beautiful moment” in human history while German Chancellor, Angela Merkel described it as a “a wonderful message” to a hurting world. British Prime Minister, Theresa May, equally expressed her delight at the “amazing” success of the rescue effort. On their part, the SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort revealed on their Facebook page that: “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. But what is sure is that all the boys and their coach are now out of the cave”. Also, while congratulating the boys, their coach as well as the rescue team for the success of the operation, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) the body that governs the running of football all over the world, offers to convey the boys and their coach to Moscow to watch the

final game of the Russia 2018 World Cup. Presently, the 12 boys and their coach, who are said to be in stable medical condition, are quarantined in a local medical facility where they are being properly observed by medics. Now that the rescue operation is over, it is pertinent to draw a few lessons from this highly intriguing episode. The first and, perhaps, most vital deduction is what can be achieved in the world when mankind is united, irrespective of language, tribal, cultural and other such differences. Though the recue team that embarked on the deadly mission was multinational in composition, it had only one mission: to save the boys and their coach alive. To achieve this, their language and cultural barriers never really mattered. What mattered was their primary mission of rescuing the boys. Indeed, there was such a global agreement on the urgency of the rescue mission that American entrepreneur, Elon Musk, had to fly to Thailand with a mini submarine and an offer to help in any way he could. The lesson herein is that there is no global crisis that cannot be surmounted when the mankind is united to confront it. One message that we need to take home is the need to attach value to human lives. So much blood is being spilled in the land that it seems no longer a big deal to us as a people. The Thailand cave episode is a veritable template for us on the need to review our attitude to the sanctity of human life. Tayo Ogunbiyi, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja


T H I S D AY ˾    ͯͱ˜ͰͮͯͶ

T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018


roup Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email 08114495324 SMS ONLY



Inching Closer to the Mark Davidson Iriekpen writes that clamour for the establishment of state police is getting more verve


ndications that Nigeria is gradually inching closer to a constitutional endorsement for state police system emerged last week when the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, called for collaboration of the 36 state assemblies in the amendment of the 1999 Constitution to provide for state and community policing in the country. Led by its chairman and Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulmumin Kamba, the 36 speakers who were on a courtesy visit to leadership of the Senate, for passing the bill which granted financial autonomy to state legislatures, indicated that state and community policing have become imperative due to rising security challenges. He said: “You are all aware of the challenges we are currently facing in this country, particularly that of insecurity. There is no doubt that the security architecture of this country presently cannot meet the demands and challenges before it. One of the decisions we took today is to address the issue of state and community policing. In doing that, we gave our constitution amendment committee two weeks to bring to the floor a bill on state and community policing. The House of Representatives is also working along similar lines. “We will send it to the states assemblies to seek your support. We believe that no responsible country or society can continue to watch helplessly as our people are being killed. We must appeal to our people that we must live in peace and harmony and we must be able to resolve our issues peacefully. As speakers, I urge you to play your part,” he stated. The House of Representatives has pledged introduce a bill for an Act to alter the Nigerian Constitution and transfer the police from the Exclusive to Concurrent Legislative List and other matters related thereto. Their enthusiasm followed the spate and killings in the country and the call for state police as a solution to curbing the dastardly act. Even though the clamour is not new, analysts believe that for the country to properly address the security challenges, it needs to tackle the touchy issue of state police where the current centralised police structure in the country has continued to limit the capacity of states to effectively address security issues. Almost on a daily basis, the country is inundated with stories of kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killing, gang wars, and lately herdsmen killings. The news space is daily awash with gory tales of killing, maiming and arson. These occurrences have pushed the citizens further apart. Rather than see the killings as crimes that they are, they are given religious and ethnic colouration. Perplexed, the state governors recently lent their voices in support of the creation of state police. The Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, said at the end of a two-day security summit organised by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Review of Current Security Infrastructure, that “There is a need for state police; we can say it is the only answer.” So important has issue become that it received the blessing of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinabjo. He publicly endorsed the creation of state police, saying: “We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go. For a country our size, to meet the one policeman to 400 persons according to the UN prescribed ratio, we would require almost triple the number of our current police

Bukola Saraki

force. More funding for the military and security agencies is required. “The nature of our security challenges are complex. Securing Nigeria’s over 900sq/ km and its 180 million people requires far more men and materials than we have at the moment. It also requires a continual re-engineering of our security architecture and strategies. This has to be a dynamic process,” he said. While many have argued that Nigeria is not ripe for state police, because state governors will use it to haunt their political opponents, others have argued otherwise, urging those in opposition not to view the clamour from a narrow perspective. Another shade of opinion that the government in power is scared to allow state police because, as with all other past governments, they will not have total control of the police and therefore lose a major force of its power of coercion. Another argument by those against state police is that if created, the various state governors would abuse it the way the state electoral commissions were being bastardised where only their political parties win all or a majority in local government elections conducted by the state electoral commissions. They also wonder if the governor would be able to cope with all the logistics needed to make it properly functional such as payment of salaries, provision of uniforms, boots, guns, bullets, armoured vehicles, patrol vehicles and communication gadgets, among others. They stated that at a time that 34 out of the 36 states of the federation were struggling to pay salaries, additional responsibility such as state police would seriously eat into the state budgets. This point was immediately dismissed by a school of thought who felt that states that are not ready to establish their own police do not have to. They could wait until they were able or collaborate with some contiguous states. They may decide not to have at all, adding however, that states that saw the need should not be deterred.

Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris

An established argument points to the fact that the federal police as presently constituted was numerically inadequate, ill-equipped and ill-motivated to properly police and bring law and order to the country, which according to them, makes state police imperative. Whichever way, the consensus is that the policing system for almost 200 million Nigerians is inadequate. Despite the fears nursed about the abuse of state police many analysts are wondering: Does it not make sense for us to attempt to correct a wrong by emplacing with another? If politicians have mastered the art of manipulating the system for their own benefit, should we act contrary to the dictate of our constitution? Nigeria operates federal system of government. Is a centralised policing system in tandem with the spirit of federalism? The concern that politicians would abuse state police was malodorous. The consensus was that the system could not improve until it was allowed to run. One of the analysts told THISDAY that the way forward was to have state police and keep interrogating the system. Despite the benefits being touted for the establishment of state police, the pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), opposes its the creation. The ACF’s Secretary General, Anthony Sani, declared that the creation of state police would be a recipe for more crises insisting that governors would use it to torment perceived political enemies. The ACF, he said, was favourably disposed to better training, training, acquisition of better equipment and recruitment of more personnel to improve the lot of the existing Nigeria Police Force. He argued further that given the paucity of resources, it would not be good judgment to saddle states with additional responsibilities of state police. Sani said that these problems could not be solved through the multiplication of security agencies. No matter the opposition, the seriousness

the National Assembly attached to making state police a reality has received the endorsement of the former Vice President and frontline presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, who has commended the lawmakers for their decision to amend the constitution and formally provide for state police and community policing to deal with the current deteriorating state of insecurity characterised by persistent loss of lives of innocent Nigerians. He said they have by their action, demonstrated courage in seizing the initiative to intervene in the country’s security crisis. Recalling the massacre in Zamfara, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna States and the murder of seven policemen in Abuja while on active duty, the former vice president noted that decisive action was needed to address the current security challenges. According to him, the National Assembly has a responsibility to give legal teeth to the creation of state police and community policing in the country. “A peculiar crisis demands a decisive action. I am one hundred percent behind the National Assembly in their efforts to strengthen the hand of state governments in providing security to their citizens,” he said. The former vice president noted that leaving the citizens to their fate was not an option. He also added that once a democratic government seems overwhelmed or paralysed by security challenges, the initiative by the National Assembly should be welcomed by all Nigerians. He explained that security strategies should be periodically reviewed because the criminals involved are also studying the weaknesses and strengths of our security system. According to him, the state should always develop strategies that can neutralise them before they strike. He called on Nigerians to support the National Assembly and state house of assemblies in its bold decision to amend the constitution in order to create state police and community policing.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018


Why Fayemi Should Return As Governor Of Ekiti By Opeyemi Bamidele

This is a short message to the people of Ekiti State. To begin with, I want to express my utmost gratitude to all of you for your support and prayers since the unfortunate incident of Friday, June 1, 2018 when I suffered multiple gunshot injuries. The massive show of support by well-meaning Ekiti sons and daughters which cut across all social strata has left me so extremely humbled. From the heavy presence of Okada riders, youth and women leaders who jam-packed the premises of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital that Friday night with many of them pulling their shirts to donate blood while I was in surgery to the powerful presence of a delegation of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti and Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti by Saturday morning, followed by the personal visit of our revered Aare Afe Babalola, who was accompanied by his wife and principal functionaries of Afe Babalola University. On top of the visit, Aare Afe Babalola announced that whatever bill incurred with respect to my treatment should be sent to him. Of course, I cannot thank the management and staff of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, personally led by the CMD enough for their prompt intervention as well as brave display of professional diligence and depth. I also thank all the churches, mosques and other religious platforms and leaders all over Ekiti State who have been praying for me. The role of our political leaders in Ekiti, especially Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Dr. and Mrs Kayode Fayemi, Engr. Segun Oni and Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua in ensuring that I was stabilised enough and airlifted from Ado Ekiti to Lagos for intensive care can only be a matter for another day. In Lagos, the earliest callers at the intensive care centre included Governors Akeredolu, Tambuwal and Aregbesola of Ondo, Sokoto and Osun States respectively. Then came Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the company of Chief Bisi Akande, General Alani Akinrinade, Chief Pius Akinyelure, Mr. Sunday Dare and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora.

Kayode Fayemi

And by the following week, Asiwaju had concluded arrangements to move me to one of the best hospitals in the UK for further treatment, providing his private aircraft to fly my wife and I to London. Again, what can I say except to note this act of extreme kindness as a matter for another day as saying ‘thank you‘ would simply be an understatement. As I was settling down in London, I received a powerful delegation led by the Secretary to the Government of Ogun State, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, on behalf of His Excellency, Governor Ibikunle Amosun. This was followed by a phone call by His Excellency, Governor Bagudu

going through the pain of poverty, which stares both the young and the old in the face. There is the pain of unemployment among our teeming youth population, many of who are graduating from the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to end up as okada riders. There is the pain of insecurity and misplacement of priorities. There is the pain of the elite not being proud to introduce himself as an Ekiti man either home or abroad because people will ask where exactly did Ekiti people get it wrong? It is against this background that the Saturday 14TH July 2018 governorship elections will be holding. I, therefore, consider it is important for me to make a clarion call to Ekiti people not to see the election as being a competition majorly between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But, rather, to recognise the election as an invitation to choose between light and darkness; between commitments to global best practice standard and mere playing to the gallery; and between a collective rescue mission and a one man show. I say to you the good people of Ekiti State, once again, that our past was only a story told while our future can still be written in gold. As someone you love so much and who also loves you so passionately, I implore you to trust my sense of judgment and accept my sincere recommendation of Dr. Kayode Fayemi, candidate of the APC as the right man to get your votes on July 14, 2018. Many of you had your disagreement with him in the past. Just like I also disagreed with him and I know some of you disagreed with him even because of me. But come to think of it, most of the disagreements were not personal but were based on perception of policies and programmes of his administration at the time.

of Kebbi State. The show of love continues. However, blessed as I am and in spite of this show of love, I still feel the pain and trauma of multiple gunshot injuries, which can only be appreciated and accurately imagined by those who saw the extent of the wounds. So, it is a fact that as I write to Ekiti people at this moment right on my sick bed and with all manners of machines connected to my body, I am truly in pain. But I am more concerned that Ekiti today Alale Ekiti a gbe a o! In se re!! is a state in pain and I am more worried about the greater pain Ekiti people are going NOTE: Interested readers should continue in through. The pain of hunger. The pain of the online edition on want in the midst of plenty. Our people are

By Nseobong Okon-Ekong


DRAMATIC FLOURISH OF THE MASTERMIND Nseobong Okon-Ekong reminds admirers of Governor Ayodele Fayose that their hero’s feet are made of melting wax that cannot stand the heat of interrogation


do not envy the perception managers of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State. It is apparently a most tasking assignment to supervise the public outlook of a man who has the propensity to become unhinged at anytime, throwing up putrid complex mess that must be made to appear clean and smell as fresh as Morning Rose. Fayose has managed to write a script, he solely interprets as producer, director and actor; only condescending to hire a few dispensable hands, that understand they are a superfluous quantity. Give it to the Ekiti State Governor he has reduced the serious business of governance to soulless drama that he struggles to give thought and character. Nonetheless, there are almost equal numbers of the teeming populace who are concurrently captivated and nauseated by his bizarre pranks, which he executes with dramatic flourish. The Ekiti State Governor has ruthlessly mocked his opponents, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, who he routinely takes to the cleaners. In fact, Fayose enthroned

a regime of fear and sustained every thread of anxiety, beginning from the day he paid huge sums of monies for adverts on the front page of national dailies suggesting to Nigerians that Buhari might die in office if he was elected president. The advert contained pictures of Murtala Mohammed, Sani Abacha, and Umaru Yar’Adua – past Nigerian leaders who died in office – it was accompanied by excerpt from the Bible book of Deuteronomy 30 verse 19. Fayose’s ad read in part, “Nigerians be warned! Nigeria…I have set before thee Life and death. Therefore, choose life that both thee and thy seed may live.” It described Buhari as death and rival, former President Goodluck Jonathan as representing life. The advert asked its readers: “Will you allow history to repeat itself? Enough of state burials.” Then the ad incited ethnic controversy by stating, “Northern presidency should wait till 2019.” It was a brazen, unprecedented and most provocative death wish. Since then Fayose has become bolder in exhibiting brutal mannerisms, solely because the constitution guarantees him immunity from prosecution. On instinct, he never issues

Ayodele Fayose an apology to opponents who he seeks to destroy in diverse ways. Rather than seek greater improvement in Ekiti, he is driven by deep hatred, forcing him to focus on demolishing real or imagined enemies. The Fayose story is woven into an intricate pattern. He was once a governor. Then he was kicked out. He staged a successful and spectacular comeback that should ordinarily

make him humble. But he returned with self-confidence, strength and revenge. He returned to rule and reign. Not to govern. The face-off between the Nigeria Police and Fayose last Wednesday, in which the governor allegedly got the short end of the stick was instructive. The alleged treatment meted out to Fayose by the Police leaves a sore taste in the mouth and should be condemned by all right-thinking people who respect the rule of law. Under no circumstance should a serving governor or any law-abiding citizen be made to go through that kind of harrowing experience. However, we are tempted to ask Mr. Fayose, how do you like it now? You like to have power when you stand. You need to know that you can as well feel powerful when you are sitting down. You have to understand suffering for a while. There is a price for being the people’s hero. Study the lives of Moshood Abiola, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Gani Fawehinmi. You do not have to call the world to cry with you, like your howling compatriot, Senator Dino Melaye, who also has a knack for nimiety. You appear to have a narrow appreciation of who the protagonist

in this gruesome play is. Be reminded, you really are! We were hoping that you will not go the way of most bullies, by wetting your pant at the least threat, but that photo of you in neck brace, weeping profusely was disappointing. Being the peoples hero was never going to be easy. Perhaps, Fayose is actually crying about the prospects of the ill-wind that will blow his way when he leaves office and is stripped of immunity. Having been the source of frustration to many while you had time on your hands as the Supreme Ruler of Ekiti, the final moments of this episode should not undermine your much-vaunted heroism. Be brave till the curtain falls. Mr. Governor, go ahead and deepen the emotional toll in Ekiti. Now is the time to lead a band of thugs to slap more judges. Ride rough shod over the people. Their pain means nothing as long as you are going deaf from the din of your drunk chorus party. You should be acquainted with the African proverb that says, “The day the monkey is destined to die all trees get slippery.” Like the lizard that challenged a dog to a fight, you should have had a tree in mind.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018




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Quick Takes Firm Acquires Six Aircraft

Tropical Arctic Logistics (TAL) Limited said it has acquired six AW139 S92 helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft, Challenger business executive jet. The company said the helicopters would be deployed for off-shore services while the Challenger jet would be used for Generation Aviation services, which the company would commence in the next few years. The President of TAL, Emperor Chris Ibe disclosed this in Lagos, during the launch of the newly acquired AW139 helicopter with the registration number 5N-BVQ of the organisation. Ibe pointed out that the launch of the helicopter followed a six-year plan of the company built on strong safety standards, saying rules and regulations as spelt out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would be strictly adhered to. Ibe said the helicopters would service the oil and gas industry, executive spot charter, banking, medical emergency evacuation and allied services. He explained that the company was set to create jobs for technical personnel in the industry with the fulfillment of local content policy of the federal government, noting that its pilots and engineers were all Nigerians. “Today is a historic occasion and TAL is set to transform the landscape of the aviation sector in Nigeria as we commission the AW 139 Helicopter, one of our six aircraft.


R-L: MD/CEO Sigma Pensions, Mr. Dave Uduanu; President, CFA Society, Nigeria, Mr.Banji Fehintola; Executive Director, IoD Nigeria, Dr. Nechi Ezeako; CFA Institute President, Mr. Paul Smith; CEO, Synergy Capital Partners, Mr. Akintoye Akindele; General Secretary, CFA Society, Nigeria, Mr. Chuka Maduabum, and CEO, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Akinsowon Dawodu, at the Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting Quality Conference 2018 in Lagos…recently

Why Nigerian Airlines Cannot Fly International Routes Chinedu Eze Aviation experts have identified reasons why it would be very difficult for Nigerian airlines to successfully operate international routes, which typically is a major foreign exchange earner and reduces capital flight by foreign airlines, put at $1.4 billion in 2017. Since the demise of the national carrier, Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), it has been very difficult for Nigerian registered airlines to successfully operate international destinations like London, New York, Washington, Paris, Johannesburg and others. Former Director in Medview

AVIATION Airline who was in charge of its international operations, Mr. Lukeman Animaseun, who spoke with THISDAY, said any airline that is not a national carrier would find it difficult to successfully operate international routes from Nigeria. For example, when Arik Air started operating AbujaLondon route the British airport management cancelled the old arrangements of reciprocity of frequencies in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA)

and insisted that the Nigerian airline should pay for landing slot, which was a huge amount of money. When the airline could not pay the money, the British Airport management stopped Arik from flying to London from Abuja. Reports indicated that government made efforts to fight for Arik but gave up midway. Animaseun told THISDAY that the British Airport management could not have done that to Nigeria’s national carrier because it knows that Nigeria would react immediately by stopping British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, UK airlines from

operating to Nigeria. “It will be difficult for a privately-owned airline to operate international routes because of these reasons; unless government is willing to fight for the airline, but if it a national carrier they know they cannot do all that because government will definitely fight back,” he said. Another major factor why a Nigerian airline may find it difficult to operate international routes is capability in terms of finance. “Does the airline have enough Continued on page 20

Report: Despite N299.6bn Revenue, Maritime Sector Operates Inefficiently Eromosele Abiodun Experts at Afrinvest Research Limited have called on the federal government to maximise the huge economic potential of the maritime sector, to diversify the nation’s economy. They argued that the Nigerian seaports have been underutilised and operated in a grossly inefficient manner despite its significant contribution to government’s revenue of N299.6 billion in 2017. The experts, who stated this in their report on the review of the Nigerian economy and financial market for the first half of 2018, pointed out that ocean going vessels decreased

MARITIME to 4,175 in 2017, from the 4,622 it was in 2016. This, the report stated indicated reduced preference for Nigerian seaports as a result of poor infrastructure, duplicity of charges, inefficient service deliveries, high waiting period and increased Terminal Handling Charges (THC). According to Afrinvest Research, “In addition, the Lagos port remains the most active due to its proximity to market and as a result, is often congested as the existing infrastructure for transportation of goods remains below par.

“We believe that improved operations and investment in these ports will boost competitiveness and flow of trade which will have positive spill-over effects on growth. “Relatedly, improving infrastructure in Nigeria would also boost the fiscal revenue base which further supports the goal of revenue diversification away from oil. “Other sectors that will benefit from increased spending on infrastructure include agriculture, manufacturing and trade, all of which also have a catalysing impact on the economy at large. “We recommend the adoption of more Public Private

Partnership structures by the government as a more efficient route to driving infrastructural development as well as strengthening fiscal diversification. “Furthermore, infrastructural development through effective utilisation of earmarked funds will further drive real sector growth and improve trade competitiveness.” The experts also stated that the widening infrastructural deficit had continued to hamper competitiveness and growth in the Nigerian economy. They added, “To tackle this challenge, the National Continued on page 20

FAAN to Procure Drug Detective Machines

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it has concluded plans to procure scanning machines that can do specific jobs such as detection of hard drugs, ammunitions and food. SERVICOM General Manager, FAAN, Mrs. Ebele Okoye, made this known at the second quarter meeting with stakeholders in Lagos, noting that the desire of the management was to ensure that service users get value for the services they pay for.

Delta Airlifted 17.7m Passengers in June

Delta Air Lines has announced that it airlifted about 17. 7 million passengers in June 2018. The airline said that it was the highest number of passengers it had airlifted in one month in the company’s history. The airline also noted that June 30, 2017, still holds the record for most customers flown on a single day at more than 646,000 and that the Friday before the 2018 July 4 holiday wasn’t far behind with just a thousand fewer customers flown. Still, June 2018 was a busy month, racking up six of the top 10 consolidated passenger days of all time — the remaining four days all happened in summer 2017 — proving yet again that it’s summer, not the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, that takes the cake for busiest days of the year. “We’ve made a commitment to our customers to be a reliability leader, delivering a safe, on-time product and the 80,000 employees of Delta are doing just that,” said Dave Holtz, Delta’s Senior Vice President — Operations and Customer Center. “We’re seeing customers fly Delta in record numbers this summer and it’s a resounding testament to the hard work and focus of our employees,” the airline said.

Passenger Demand Grows Further

The International AirTransport Association (IATA) reported another solid month for passenger demand in May, 2018 with growth of 6.1 percent compared to last year, a slight uptick from April. The global passenger traffic result for the month was up from April’s 6.0 percent, measured in revenue passenger km (RPK) terms, as Africa pulled capacity out of the market, with a 0.9 percent drop in ASKs, but that was the only region to contract in May. Airlines put on 5.9 per cent additional capacity in available seat kms (ASKs) in May, with load factor edging up 0.1 of a percentage point to 80.1 percent as a result. IATA Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, highlighted the solid demand growth, but introduced a note of caution as airline costs continue to increase.

“We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years for the national carrier. But we will begin with five aircraft on the day of lunch,”

Minister of State, Aviation,

Senator Hadi Sirika


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018


funds? This is because the charges are very high, and it is paid in foreign currency. Nigerian airlines sell their ticket in naira and they sell at relatively low prices in order to attract passengers but the services you pay for are paid in foreign currency. “Most often the Nigerian airline does not have the financial clout to sustain such routes,” Animaseun explained. Industry experts also noted that for a Nigerian airline to do well on international route and also in its operation, there is need for the airline to have corporate governance to “avert the arrogance that goes with, this is my airline and I decide what happens,” but decisions should be taken collectively. Animaseun, however noted that foreign airlines and their host countries can fight Nigerian airlines if government allows it, stressing that if the Nigerian government stands solidly behind Nigerian airlines, such policies enacted to put such airlines at a disadvantage when they operate to their destinations would be stopped.

REPORT: DESPITE N299.6BN REVENUE, MARITIME SECTOR OPERATES INEFFICIENTLY Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) which focuses on investing in transport, energy, ICT, social infrastructure, housing, security and agriculture - was drawn up in 2014. “However, implementation of this plan has remained sub-optimal given the amounts budgeted for such critical sectors since then. “According to the NIIMP, an estimated total of $3.0 trillion will be needed to revamp and maintain Nigeria’s infrastructure. “The poor state of infrastructure in Nigeria is further buttressed by the understanding that the optimal proportion of infrastructure stock to GDP is at about 70 per cent; current level in Nigeria is between 20 – 25 per cent. Furthermore, efforts and policies geared towards achieving this goal have been underwhelming as reflected in the deteriorating conditions of some of the key infrastructural dependent sectors of the economy.”

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)


NIMASA Engages CBN on Special Interest Rate for Maritime Asset Acquisition Eromosele Abiodun The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has disclosed that the agency is discussing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a special interest rate for maritime assets acquisition in Nigeria. Peterside, who made this known during the Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive forum in Calabar, Cross Rivers State recently, said NIMASA was committed to opening new frontiers for potential investors in the sector. He noted that other industries such as the textile and manufacturing industry are already enjoying same arrangement with the CBN and that it would be beneficial for maritime to also enjoy same opportunity in order to grow Nigeria’s economy. “We are committed to providing opportunities for investors through public and private partnership. This applies especially to investments in maritime infrastructure, shipping and ancillary services, offshore services, ship building repairs as well as marine and bunkering services. In this regard, we are engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a special interest rate for maritime infrastructure development and maritime assets acquisition in Nigeria this is aside looking at the early disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds,” he said. Speaking further, he said there are enormous potential that remain untapped in the country’s maritime sector. He noted that the ports

located in the Eastern flank of the country comprising Calabar, Port-Harcourt and Onne, are key to Nigeria’s economic development and that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the Ports function optimally. “For us to harness our maritime potential the ports in the Eastern flank must be fully utilised. The eastern zone is the most critical because out of the seven functional seaports in Nigeria three are domiciled in the eastern zone and it also harbours over 70 per cent of the 275 terminals that are in the country but unfortunately in terms of cargo reception there

is no corresponding relationship between the facilities available and the reception of cargoes because the eastern zone accounted for less than 20 per cent of the vessels that visited the Nigerian ports in 2016 and 2017,” he said. He added, “Available statistics shows that there is need for serious collaboration with stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the environment is made conducive enough for continuous growth that is premised on sustainable development devoid of threats such as piracy and other maritime crimes.”

Earlier in his address the chairman of the Governing Board of NIMASA, Major Gen Jonathan Garba (rtd) said that the eastern zonal area has a lot to offer the Nigerian economy in terms of shipping. He added that all stakeholders should support the agency as it strives to create an enabling environment for maritime to thrive in Nigeria. The Managing Director of Starz Marine, Greg Ogbeifun commended the Peterside led management on the sensitisation and awareness that the agency is creating to drive investors into the maritime sector. On

his part, a former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Captain Adamu Biu said that the government was not totally responsible for the previous stagnation of the maritime sector. He said that it was time for stakeholders to support NIMASA to bring the much needed development to the maritime sector. The Secretary General of the Abuja MoU, Mfon Usoro who was the lead speaker delivered a paper titled: “Harnessing Maritime Potential in an Untapped Environment: Opportunities, Threats and the Role of Government.”


L-R: Director-General, Nigerian- German Business Association (NGBA), Mr. Gbenga Adebija; Chairman, Nigerian Union of MineWorkers, Ogun State Council, Abiola Fasiu; Public Relations Officer,Tunde Soneye and Vice Chairman 2, Gbenga Dare,at the MediaConnect advocacy session organised by the NGBA in Lagos…recently

Expert Calls for Agro-industralised Nigerian Dangote Cement Bags SON Economy Quality Certification Nosa Alekhuogie A senior lawyer, Mr Paul Usoro has called on the government at all levels and individuals to embark on deliberate measures to migrate from dependency on crude oil production to full scale agricultural practice as a way out of economic depression. Presenting a paper titled,‘Migrating from Crude Oil Dependency to an Agro/ Industralised Economy as a way out of Depression,’ at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Calabar Branch Law Week recently, he stated that “an agro-industralised economy remains key to the attainment of a sustainable and well developed economy in Nigeria.” According to Usoro, the agro-industry offers huge potential for growth, with important sub-sectors comprising crop production and export, livestock, forestry and fishery. “The Nigerian economy has been one solely reliant on crude oil exports. This ultimately led the country falling into a recession caused by the crash of international oil prices and worsened by a drop in oil production quantities as

a result of vandalisation and destruction of the nation’s oil assets by militant groups. “The resultant effect of the recession heightened the need and caused the awakening of a consciousness to diversify the Nigerian economy. “This is further buttressed by the fact that Nigeria is ranked 125 out of 137 in the Global Competitiveness Index ranking 2017-2018,” Usoro said. In addition, he said, “the agricultural sector provides a viable economic alternative to the Government in order to reduce its dependency on crude oil earnings. “It is a sector with high growth prospects in terms of output that does not require the sort of capital injections required for crude oil exploration and production. Improvement on the sector will reduce rural-urban migration which ultimately reduces the population density and strain on amenities in urban areas.” Usoro further explained that, “the government needs to rehabilitate and revive all agricultural research institutes and schools of agriculture and reintroduce farm settlements

and river basin authorities to encourage massive production of agricultural produce. “This sector requires huge investments in improved machinery and technologies to make substantial impact. Most farmers are still making use of crude and unmechanised methods which yield low productivity.” He added: “The drive for achieving an agro-industrialised economy must be complemented with improvement of rural and other basic infrastructure which are critical to agricultural transformation and establishment of a seamless value chain like rural electrification, road and rail for transportation of agriculture produced and processed/ finished good, for export and domestic use alike”. In attaining an agroindustralised economy, he emphasised that government should establish and promote an export-oriented agricultural sector with improved quality of produce comparable with average global standards. He also urged the government to implement policies to attract more foreign direct investment in the sector.

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has certified Dangote Cement as having passed the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP). The government agency said the new certification places Dangote above its competitors in the among its peers in industry. The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, who made the disclosure, also said a new revised standard for cement production in Nigeria had been released. The SON DG who was represented by the agency’s Director of Standard Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu stated these during a partnership facility tour of the Dangote Cement Plant, Obajana, Kogi State by top officials of the organisation from the Northern parts of the country. He noted the new certification was an attestation to the Dangote Cement Plc’s quality products and its capacity to conduct in-process and in-house tests on its raw materials and finished products in conformity with relevant national standards. “Through our conformity

assessment activities, we have always visited your plants on routine quarterly factory inspections to ensure compliance of your products to relevant national standards. The outcome of these activities is the certification of your products to the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme,” a statement quoted him to have said. The SON boss further disclosed that the revised standard for cement NIS 444-1:2018 has been approved by the Standard Council of Nigeria and is ready for implementation. Aboloma commended Dangote Cement for its active participation especially in the area of standard development, saying the SON appreciated the company’s effort. In addition, Aboloma said SON would be ready to partner and collaborate with the company’s management. He promised that SON would continue to collaborate and provide the required support with Dangote Cement, other private sector operators and stakeholders to ensure availability of the relevant standards for both raw materials and finished products.


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FAAN to Revive Airfield Lighting Contract for MMIA Stories by Chinedu Eze The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma has said that the agency would revive the contract for the installation of airfield lighting at the domestic runway of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, known as Runway 18L. Dunoma said that the disagreement that led to the stoppage of work for the installation of the lighting system would be resolved. Runway 18L was rehabilitated and put in use in 2007 but the runway lighting, which was supposed to be installed during the reconstruction, was left to be installed separately

after the completion of work on the airfield and for 10 years airlines have been diverting flights to the international runway, known as Runway 18R after 6:00 pm. Domestic operators said fuel burnt in taxing aircraft from the international runway to the domestic terminals, which take approximately 10 to 15 minutes cost a projected N500 million annually. Dunoma, who was represented by Director of Airport Operations, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu at FAAN’s second quarter stakeholders’ meeting held in Lagos, disclosed that the project was stalled eight years ago. He noted that the abandonment of the project

caused embarrassment to government and made life difficult for domestic airlines. He said the federal government had decided to revisit the project and has directed FAAN to resume work for the installation of the lighting system, which would be completed in the next few months. He noted that the central taxi-way of the Lagos airport runway which was closed 10 years ago would be re-opened in three months. Dunoma said, “Small contractual issues delayed the project. This facility is very important for airlines and we are doing everything possible to make sure that facility is fixed to save airlines from wastage of fuel.”

Airbus to Showcase Innovative Products at Farnborough Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus SE has announced that it would present a broad portfolio of innovative products and services at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 that meet the aerospace industry’s requirements. In the flying and static displays, Airbus will showcase its modern and highly efficient range of commercial aircraft able to seat between 100 and more than 600 passengers. The static display will feature two A220-300s (a test aircraft and an airBaltic aircraft), which, along with the smaller A220-100, represent the newest members of the Airbus single-aisle family following the recent agreement to take a majority stake in the 100-150 seat aircraft programme.

An Airbus A321neo would also be put on display on the Wednesday of the show week, which begins next week. The company said Airbus’ latest wide-body models, the A330-900neo and A350-1000, would each participate in the Farnborough flying display for the first time. The A330neo, which features new wings and new generation engines, is due to go into service in 2018. “Meanwhile, the A3501000 offers the very latest in aerodynamics and advanced technologies to provide unrivalled efficiencies on long-haul routes. An A330-900neo of launch customer TAP Air Portugal and an A3501000 of launch operator

Qatar Airways will also be on the static display. At the larger end of the Airbus portfolio, a Hi Fly A380 will be on static display during the latter part of the week showing the flexibility of the double-decker aircraft,” Airbus said. Meanwhile, Airbus Defence and Space will demonstrate its broad product portfolio of military aircraft, space systems, secure communications and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). An A400M military transporter in special Royal Air Force colours will take part in both the flying and static displays. Equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, the A400M can perform strategic and tactical transport missions and also undertake air-toair refuelling.

Emirates to Operate Extra Flights for Hajj Season Emirates will be operating extra flights to Jeddah and Medina to help facilitate travel for pilgrims heading to and fro the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj. The airline said it would be operating 33 additional flights to Jeddah and Medina from August 6 to 31, in order to support the journey for pilgrims expected to travel to the Holy City of Mecca during Hajj this year. Emirates explained that these services would run parallel with its regularly scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina, noting that the additional flight services would be available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. This year, top in-bound destinations

Emirates would be expecting Hajj pilgrims to come from are Pakistan, Senegal, the United States, the UK, Australia, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran said, Adil Al Ghaith, “Hajj travel is an extraordinary journey for Muslims which leaves them with a lifetime of memorable experiences, and we expect over 25,000 pilgrims to travel with Emirates this year. “With the significant demand for air travel during this period, Emirates is deploying extra flights to ensure more seamless connections for the scores of pilgrims making their

way to the Holy City of Mecca. During their journey, we aim to provide our customers with the best experience that is aligned with the pillars of their faith, particularly during this significant period,” he added. On the ground in Dubai, Emirates has a dedicated airport team whose purpose is to seamlessly facilitate the passenger ground experience for Hajj. In addition, dedicated check-in and transfer counters would be set up for Hajj passengers transiting in Dubai. The airline added that in the air, several initiatives have been planned in keeping with the values and traditions that pilgrims uphold when travelling for Hajj.

AIR WATCH Females on Board

Air Peace celebrate all-female crew before take off from Lagos airport

The excitement among female passengers and the surprised satisfaction of the male travellers who boarded the Lagos-Abuja and Abuja-Owerri flights operated by Captain Simisola Ajibola and her all female crew last Thursday showed that the Captain and her co-pilot, Senior First Officer, Quincy Owen did not make just history, they made memorable history. While in the US and in other advanced parts of the world women have found their bearing in the aviation industry, in Nigeria and in Africa, the male dominated industry is still sceptical about women commanding flights and working as aeronautical engineers. This was what gave rise to the myth that women do not have the disposition to be pilots in this part of the world. But in April in the US, Captain Tammie Jo Shults, 56, an ex-Air Force pilot was able to deploy all her skills and courageously managed to land when one of the two engines on her Boeing 737-700 blew and broke apart at 32,000 feet, forcing her to implement a rapid descent toward Philadelphia International Airport. She was honoured variously for that feat. Captain Ajibola would be counted as one of those women who have defied the norm about how far women can go in the aviation industry as pilots and engineers. It was even in the 1980s that Nigeria recorded the first female pilot, Captain Chinyere Kalu who later became the Rector of the College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria. Nigeria had also recorded all-female flight service before when in 2009 Aero Contractors operated all-female flight with Dash 8, Bombardier Q300 aircraft and in 2011, Arik Air recorded another successful all-female flight with Bombardier CRJ 900. But what is remarkable about Air Peace flight is that it was the first time a highperformance aircraft was operated by all female team in Nigeria. The female crew took full charge of the airline’s four-sector flights on the LagosAbuja, Abuja-Owerri, Owerri-Abuja and Abuja-Lagos routes. But what passengers found amazing in the four-leg flight was the exceptional way she was landing her aircraft. Whenever she landed spontaneous claps would erupt. When it was announced at take off that the flight was being operated by female pilots, there was unease among some male passengers, which was promptly erased when the flight tore into the clouds and gained altitude to a cruising height. And before the flight went through tur-

bulence on the Lagos-Abuja leg, the pilot announced to the passengers to prepare for the turbulence and also intoned that the turbulence was due to weather and not that the pilot was a woman. By giving Captain Ajibola and crew this chance, Air Peace has also made history. The Chairman of the airline, Allen Onyema had noted that women occupy major position in the management of the airline. In fact, they constitute 85 per cent of the management team, including technical position such as head of engineering. Was he experimenting? Not likely. THISDAY gathered that Onyema had engaged women in his other businesses and found them to be very efficient. The former Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren once noted that women as pilots are more diligent and reliable because they don’t easily leave the country for greener pastures overseas. One major challenge of airline business is that pilots are always moving from one country to another driven by money and incentives, as their skills are highly sought after overseas. At a brief ceremony to welcome the crew on arrival in Abuja, Onyema said, “Air Peace is an airline run by women. We are very proud of giving women opportunities to excel because we believe that there is nothing that men can do that women cannot do. “We want to encourage our female children that they should aspire to be whatever they want to be by emulating what our female flight and cabin crew members have done today,’’ Onyema said. He commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its support for domestic airlines and hailed the President for the recent removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on transportation and waivers granted on importation of aircraft spares. On her part, Captain Ajibola said, “I have been flying for seven years. It has been an amazing one especially as I am in a society where women are not really recognised, but I am glad that most people are beginning to embrace having women as captains and they shouldn’t be worried about it. The flight was successful and people should have confidence in us.” Ajibola blazed the trail and as some of the female passengers noted on landing, what the pilot did has given them hope that their daughters could become anything they want to be, including commanding flights as captains.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018



Navigational Airspace




Despite the current efforts to improve navigational aids and safety in Nigeria’s airspace, flights are still disrupted by avoidable low visibility and pilots complain about poor communication at certain areas of the airspace, writes Chinedu Eze Recently Captain Constant Bihina Kono landed his aircraft, a Boeing B737 NG at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to mark the inaugural flight of the Cameroon national airline, Camair-Co to Nigeria. When Captain Kono was asked about his experience, he said it was good, besides the turbulence that was caused by unfavourable weather. Then, he added that entering into Nigeria’s airspace was like entering European airspace because it has radar, which aids navigation. He added that he had not flown in radar airspace for a long time. “We have not been flying into radar for a long time. Nigeria is so advanced when it comes to aviation that flying in the Nigeria airspace is like you are flying in Europe. “So, we are happy to be back to Nigeria and besides the weather, our flight was safe and flying to Nigeria to the happiness of our passengers is the best source of satisfaction for me,” Captain Kono said. What Kono’s statement meant was that all the time he has been flying around Africa, especially West and Central Africa he has not been flying into radar until his flight to Nigeria. Since the last eight years the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) has provided effective radar service to flights into Nigeria, which obviously has improved the airspace. Challenges But despite this improvement, there are still issues with navigational aids. Pilots who spoke to THISDAY said instrument landing system is still problematic in some airports; that either they are not functional, or they are obsolete and epileptic. Airlines however said the major problem they face every year is the harmattan haze, which disrupts their flight at the peak December/January season. The airlines said with airfield lighting at most of the airports and effective navigational aids in the airspace, Nigerian airlines could operate their aircraft for longer hours. Such long hours would generate more revenue and improve the health of their aircraft, which need to be operated for a certain number of hours per day. Funding The Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo said the federal government should regard funding of navigational aids as priority because of the critical role played by air transport as catalyst to the economy. He said the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) should be given the financial support its needs for critical infrastructure to improve navigation in the airspace. “We are looking at two things. One thing we keep saying is that we all have to understand the contribution aviation makes to the economy. “Aviation is not simply that people are flying up and down, no. If all the airlines in Nigeria shutdown for one day, we know that a percentage of the GDP will be lost because some work that was supposed to have been done will not be done. “Some goods supposed to have been moved from, maybe one point to another for production will not make it. People that would have gone somewhere to make money will not. After all, what is GDP? It is work. “So, aviation contributes a lot to the GDP of Nigeria,” Mbanuzuo said. He noted that every year harmattan comes, flights are cancelled, and “money is lost. Money is not lost by the airlines; money is lost by the economy, by the country. Money is lost by people not being able to go to places they wish to go, so why then haven’t we been able to put in place navigational aids, landing aids

that can allow us to fly in harmattan?” Tougher Weather Conditions Mbanuzuo said what is ironical about the problem of harmattan haze is that with the right equipment flights can go on during the haze and noted that under worse conditions in Europe and other parts of the world aircraft still fly. “People will fly around the world in worse conditions than harmattan, in zero, zero visibility conditions but in harmattan you will even see a little bit. “But we don’t put those things (equipment) in place, all our aeroplanes, even the aeroplane that Dana Air is currently saying we want to renew, can land itself with the right landing aid. “Put the correct landing aid on the ground and calibrate them and make sure they are working correctly and the airplanes will fly. Then change the minima (lowest accepted weather condition for flights) in the regulation because it is linked; the regulation currently says you do 1,200 meters visibility. Well with 400 meters visibility and a Category 2 instrument landing aid, the aircraft will land and take-off. “But now if I have 400 metres visibility, even in harmattan, I can see up there even with 400 metres and can even fly, but the regulation says I must have 1,200 meters visibility. “So once the landing aids are put in place and the regulator checks and established that they are working; then he will change the regulation to allow us to fly, then harmattan becomes a thing of the past,” the DANA COO said. Weather Minima However, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in conjunction with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in January this year lowered minimum visibility for take-off and landing of flights for 18 airports which have improved navigational aids, including Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and other equipment that enhance visibility during inclement weather. Before now, the average minimum visibility was 800 metres below which flights were not allowed to operate to the airports, but now flights can operate when visibility is about 150 meters,

depending on the available navigational aids. The implication of this is that flights that were hitherto stopped from operating to airports when the visibility were below 800 metres can now operate; so even at the height of harmattan haze last December, airlines would have operated with the minimum visibility. NCAA said the review was in compliance with the provision of Part 8 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs Part 8), and in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Doc.9365. “In this review, the Regulatory Authority took cognisance of improvements in visual and navigational aids within the affected airports. The reviewed Aerodrome Operating Minima would serve to enhance the operating capacity of the aerodromes. “This is due to the fact that it will avail the operators with improved minima for low visibility operations,” the regulatory authority said. According to the review, the landing minima specified for all the 18 airports were determined based on applicable criteria as defined in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations and these includes all relevant amendments, as well as available navigational facilities, including Instrument Landing System, Voice Omni directional Radio Range and Distance Measuring Equipment (ILS,VOR/DME, etc) or PBN Navigational Specification (RNAV/GNSS). “On the other hand, the reviewed operating minima provided for a performance-based take-off minima for the affected aerodromes in Nigeria is determined by available visual aids for take-off. “These are Runway Centre Lights, Touchdown Zone lights, Runway Edge Lights, Threshold Lights, Runway End Lights and Runway Surface Markings. The 18 aerodromes where the operating minima and take-off minima have been reviewed are Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Dutse, Eket and Enugu. Others are Gombe, Ilorin, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Owerri, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola and Zaria,” NCAA explained. Availability of Critical Equipment Industry observers had noted that some of the necessary equipment mentioned above might

not be available in some of these airports with lowered weather minima. They remarked that it is not only navigational aids that are lacking but also airfield lighting which is major hindrance in many airports. Airfield lighting is critical for airports, especially if the flight is operating after 6:00 pm. Airfield lighting installation is under the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Pilots who spoke to THISDAY agreed that with the lowering of the weather minima there would be less cancellation and delay of flights destined to the aforementioned airports. This means that in 2018 and afterwards fewer flights would be cancelled or delayed during the Yuletide; but if all the necessary navigational aids and airfield lighting are installed at these airports, there would be no flight cancellation or delay during the period, except during extremely inclement weather. However, the Managing Director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu said there has been a lot of improvement in the airspace since the last three years. He said that a lot of critical navigational equipment had been ordered, some have been installed and others have been imported to be installed. In addition, he said if funding is made available before December this year, Nigeria’s two busiest airports in Lagos and Abuja would have Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS), which would enable flights to operate at the height of harmattan. “The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given us approval for the procurement and installation of Cat 3 ILS at Abuja and Lagos airports. “We have already signed the deal with the contractor so we are waiting for funds. We are also working to install ILS at the Benin airport. This is a federal government project but we are collaborating with Edo state government. “We have already installed new ILS at the airports in Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri and also installed Voice Ominidirectional Radio Range (VOR) and ILS in Minna, Niger state. “In communication, we are looking at providing holistic solution and we have secured FEC approval to expand coverage to cover all over the nation’s airspace.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018



Advancing Economic Partnership through Maritime Silk Road The maritime Silk Road initiative promoted by China to develop international shipping connectivity across South East Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Indian Ocean will create new openings for Africa to enhance economic partnership, writes Eromosele Abiodun Recently, China’s government mapped out an ambitious plan, the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), to establish three “blue economic passages” that will connect Beijing with economic hubs around the world. The MSRI is the maritime dimension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which could include $1.4 trillion (N504 trillion) in new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure. According to the Chinese government, the MSRI is intended to increase global integration and boost growth. However, some analysts have questioned China’s motive. During the first half of 2017 alone, Chinese companies announced plans to buy or invest in nine overseas ports, five of which are in the Indian Ocean. Those critical of the MSRI typically argue that while some economic factors may be at play, these investments are driven primarily by strategic objectives. At the heart of this critique is a concern that China will use ports associated with the MSRI to service military assets deployed to the region in support of China’s growing security interests. These concerns stemmed from several port projects, including those in Gwadar, Pakistan; Hambantota, Sri Lanka; and Kyaukpyu, Myanma. The MSRI has its historical legacy that can be traced back to more than two millennia ago when the Chinese, Hindus, and Arabs exchanged goods through maritime sailing. During the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Quanzhou became the largest oriental port, on a par with Alexandria of Egypt. The MSR refers to the maritime section of historic silk road that connects China to Southeast Asia, Indonesian Archipelago, Indian subcontinent, Arabian Peninsula, Somalia and all the way to Egypt and finally Europe, which flourished between second-century BCE and 15th-century CE. The trade route encompassed numbers of seas and ocean including: South China Sea, Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The maritime route overlaps with historic Southeast Asian maritime trade, Spice trade, Indian Ocean trade and after 8th century—the Arabian naval trade network. The network also extends eastward to East China Sea and Yellow Sea to connect China with Korean Peninsula and Japanese archipelago. Experts believe the development of port cities constitutes an integral part of multiple international economic cooperation corridors, including the new Eurasian Continental Bridge, China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central AsiaWest Asia, and China-Indo China Peninsula corridors. On the other hand, the hinterland development and its transportation networks are also essential in supporting and sustaining major port cities and areas. Analysts said the belt and road initiative will help realise the free flow of land and maritime economic factors, promote cultural exchange and mix between coastal and inland regions, and facilitate the development of safe and efficient land-and-sea major transportation channels, bringing forth common prosperity for both the coastal and inland population. As countries navigate through the adjustment after the international financial crisis, experts stressed that they must seize the opportunities of rapidly growing global ocean economy and establish pivots and corridors for maritime economic cooperation. To achieve the goal, they stressed that countries intensify efforts to promote maritime transportation, resources development, environment protection, scientific research, tourism, archeology, and port economic zone development.

At an international symposium on MRI of the 21st century, tagged, “Building the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century with Open Mind and Bold Courage,“ recently, former Foreign Minister and Chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association Mr. Li Zhaoxing said the development of the MSR of the 21st Century, is very instrumental in promoting the development of the ocean economy and maritime cooperation among participating countries. Delivering Results “In less than a year and a half since the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road initiative, China together with its partners are already delivering fruitful results. China has made substantive progress in policy planning and mechanism building. Through series domestic and international conferences, different local regions, the academia, business community, cultural sector, and overseas Chinese communities have all been mobilised to contribute to the initiative. People have expressed high appreciations for the Silk Road Spirit and the proposal of Economic Cooperation Corridor among major economies. “Over 50 states and the EU, ASEAN, SCO, UN ESCAP and other international organisations have responded positively the initiative. China has signed the Belt and Road cooperation agreements with Kazakhstan and other states, achieving breakthroughs with partner countries on projects and programs ranging from transport infrastructure to industrial development, and to people-to-people exchange. “In addition, the Silk Road Fund has been successfully launched, and 26 states have signed up as charter members to establish the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),”he said. Compared with the silk road overland, he

said the MSR shares similarities but also has its unique characters. He added, “It has its own set of advantages, potentials, as well as difficulties and challenges. Going forward, I believe the success of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century would require effective efforts to coordinate our cooperation. “To make that happen, we must equip ourselves with an open mind as broad as that of an ocean and muster courage strong enough to brave winds and waves. “Like the vastness of the ocean comes from its accepting of thousands of rivers, to ensure constant progress under this initiative, China will continue, as we’ve always done, to earnestly heed the opinions and advice and fully consider the interests and concerns of all our partners. “We will remain committed to open regionalism, and will refrain from closed blocs and arrangements targeted at the third party. “We will seek to cooperate with other regional initiatives and mechanisms, and would welcome countries outside the region to actively participate in appropriate ways. In the future, the Belt and Road will foster large numbers of economic and people-to-people cooperation projects. “We look forward to the valuable contribution from international organisations, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and nongovernmental organisations.” New Opening for Africa While many African countries are still footdragging, Nigeria may have taken the lead in the drive to ensure that the African continent maximises the benefits that imbedded in the MSRI initiative The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, believes the MSRI promoted by China to develop international

shipping connectivity across South East Asia, Africa, Oceania, Indian ocean will create a new opening for Africa to advance its economic partnership for the benefit of the continent. He therefore charged African governments to protect economic their interest to ensure that the people of Africa benefits from the wealth of the continent. Peterside, who was speaking as the chairman of the 29th annual session of club of ports of the Crans Montana forum currently ongoing in Brussels, Belgium said that the maritime silk roads comes with a lot of benefits for the continent. He, however, charged African countries to be strategic in decision making in order to reap the rewards and avert some perceived risk inherent in the initiative. “Whereas China is pursuing new transportation linkages throughout the Eurasia region and Africa to boost trade and enhance her economic status; Africa must key in to develop her port infrastructure, maritime assets financing and create jobs for her people,” he said. Speaking further, the NIMASA boss listed potential threats such as likelihood of ports being taken over by the Chinese to the detriment of Africans noting that the maritime Silk Road initiative will create opening for African markets to be flooded with Chinese goods. Peterside also said that as a result of the China-driven initiative, Chinese policy may also affect port calls and hub decisions. He warned that the oil tanker and gas markets will be affected by the construction of new pipelines that will connect Africa to China which will engender Chinese political dominance in Africa if not carefully managed. The NIMASA boss further advocated the support of the China led maritime Silk Road initiative but charged Africa to do the needful to ensure her economic interests is fully protected.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018



INTELS Empowerment Scheme Graduates 77 Women Stories by Eromosele Abiodun Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics firm, INTELS Nigeria Limited has graduated 77 women from its Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS). WEPSS is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme of INTELS established in 2013 with the vision of empowering 5,000 community women over a 20-year period through training in fashion design and tailoring. To date, more than 700 women drawn from various communities in the Niger Delta region and other parts of the country have been empowered through the project. INTELS Director, Mr. Silvano Bellinato, who led other top management staff of the company to the graduation ceremony, commended the trainers and trainees for their commitment to the realisation of the vision of the scheme. Bellinato said INTELS made substantial investment in developing the women empowerment centre, which is equipped with modern specialised machines, cutting edge technology and staffed by well-trained personnel. He said: “To ensure that participants get the best of training, we built a

5000-square metres garment manufacturing facility at the Federal Lighter Terminal, Onne for the purpose of the WEPSS training. The training facility demonstrates our commitment of giving back to our host community and the larger Nigerian society.” The INTELS director said WEPSS is run by a team of highly skilled indigenous manpower. “We have so far produced over 50,000 garments within the WEPSS manufacturing infrastructure. These apparels include shirts, T-shirts, skirts, trousers, jackets, uniforms and coveralls. In line with our commitment to the upliftment of our communities’ socio-economic status and backed by its success over the years, WEPSS has evolved into an intensive tailoring training program for the women,” he said. The Project Head for WEPSS, Nancy Freeborn, described the just concluded training session as the most outstanding since the inception of the programme. She said: “Every year, INTELS absorbs a minimum of 200 trainees who undergo an intensive four and a half month training at the end of which they are able to make men’s short sleeve shirt and trouser, women’s blouse and skirt.

GSMA Supports NCC’s Spectrum Trading Policy Emma Okonji The GSMA, a global telecommunications body has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over its position on spectrum trading and sharing policies. The GSMA said the initiative will allow for a telecoms environment that would ensure efficient use of scarce spectrum resources. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, had penultimate week in Lagos, assured Nigerians of the Commission’s plan to release new guidelines on spectrum trading and sharing policies. According to him, the new guidelines would allow operators that have spectrum licence that are not put into use, to either trade or share such licence with other operators who need same but do not have it. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The body disclosed that it had a long-standing engagement with the NCC with respect to the need to develop guidelines to facilitate the transfer, leasing and

sharing of spectrum. The engagement, according to GSMA included liaison with its members, participation and presentations at local workshops on the subject, as well as written submissions to the leadership of the NCC. “We are happy that NCC has published the new regulatory guidelines that now facilitate the trading and sharing of spectrum in Nigeria. The GSMA was actively involved in the development of the work that culminated in these guidelines,” GSMA said in a statement. The statement noted that the policy is a great revolution in the Nigerian regulatory environment and a great achievement for the spectrum, policy and regulatory team in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The new spectrum trading guidelines adopted the GSMA recommendations, specifically in allowing not only spectrum trading and leasing, but also spectrum sharing. The GSMA also recommended the adoption of a one per cent administrative fee as opposed to the 10 per cent and then five per cent, which the NCC initially intended. Based on GSMA recommendations, the NCC also came up with ways to ensure the technical and financial capabilities of the buying/leasing party in its consideration for spectrum trading applications.

They are also taught how to use specialized machines and work safely with them. “This is the first session for 2018; it lasted for four and half months. So far, this is the most outstanding set

we have had at WEPSS. They have been amazing. The best graduating woman, Ogbuenyi Evelyn Okwudili was awarded with start-up kits which include an industrial sewing machine, steam iron,

chair, scissors, seam ripper, box of tailors, chalk and a measuring tape. Expressing her gratitude to INTELS Nigeria Limited, she said: “I was so surprised my name was called up.

We were about five trainees who were going for that spot. I am excited and grateful to INTELS and my trainers. I plan to advance my training and then start off sewing on my own.”


L-R: Group Chief Operating Officer, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Arvind Pathak; GMD, Engr. Joseph Makoju and Director of Standard Development, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, during a facility visit by SON to Dangote Cement plant, Obajana, Kogi state...recently

NCS, FOU Records N8.6bn Seizures in Six Months The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos has announced seizures amounting to N8.6 billion between January and June this year. In a statement, the command said it realised the sum of N405.2million from importers who tried to cut corners through wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment. The command in the statement said it arrested 107 suspects in connection with the 596 different seizures. “Among the seizures were “34,652 foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 58 trailers); 167 units of exotic vehicles (Toyota Prado/Lexus; bullet proof), Toyota C-HR , Toyota Camry LE, Toyota Prado(s), Toyota Hilux, Ford F150, Pajero Jeeps, Mercedes Benz ranging from 2015-2018 models respectively); 8,987 cartons frozen poultry products, 4,586 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 3,463 cartons of different pharmaceutical/ medicaments, 370 parcels/98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,350kg, and various general merchandise, ”he said. The Command pointed as remarkable the seizure of 460 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 12, 264 kg and 218 elephant tusks, making it the highest seizure of such endangered species in the history of Federal Operations Unit Zone A. “This seizure among others brought a lot of accolades

to us from the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) and his management team. To crown it all was the visit by the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman accompanied by the United Nations Charter on CITES delegates led by Mr. Juan Carlos who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva, to inspect the seized items and make necessary recommendation to its headquarters. The minister commended the FOU A for that great seizure. The UN delegates also promised their support to provide necessary trainings towards combating such illicit trade on endangered species, so that such harmless animals don’t go into extinction. The seized pangolin and elephant tusk alone is valued at N2,739,191,400.00, with two Chinese national as suspects, “it stated. The Comptroller, Mr. Mohammed Uba said the command in order to ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders, had re-strategised its operational modalities and beamed searchlight at the creek, water side, and at various locations in the Southwest zone which led to the numerous seizures. Uba vowed that the command will continue to make sure smugglers within its areas of jurisdiction continue to count their losses until they repent from sabotaging the economy.

He commended the officer and men of Command who put their lives on the line to make the seizures, particularly in the seizure of over 58 trailers load of rice being smuggled through the creek. The comptroller thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) and the management team, adding that this feat couldn’t have been possible without their

logistics support. He further thanked the Army and other sister agencies that were always on ground to give the necessary operational support. Uba charged his officers to remain diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities, adding that the Command will make sure all revenue linkages are blocked through anti-smuggling measures.

NCS Seme Command Rakes in N2.8bn in Six Months The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Area Command has announced that it collected the sum of N2.861 billion as revenue in the first six months of 2018. The command in a statement said it also made a total of 620 seizures with duty paid value (DPV) of N432.930 million during the period under review. Commenting on the revenue generated, the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Aliyu disclosed that the revenue realised is a product of sustained compliance by stakeholders and commitment of the customs officers in the discharge of their duties. He restated that this laudable feat was achieved despite the daunting challenge of low importation through the border. The controller reaffirms his stand in fighting smuggling to a standstill as the antismuggling unit is deploying

a lot of strategies to meet up with the dynamics of smuggling antics that is adopted by the economic saboteurs on daily basis either through approved or illegal routes. In a related development, the CAC while sensitising a group of student leaders on a visit to his command, used the occasion to re-inform the general public that passengers on arrival at the border are not to leave the Customs control area without clearance by Customs officials. He pleaded with all commuters through the ever busy Lagos-Abidjan corridor to cooperate with the assigned duty officers at the baggage hall. The Area Controller assures the public that the command remained undaunted and cannot be deterred in performing her statutory responsibility no matter the challenge.


T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018



As InfraCredit Joins League of Harvard Business School Cases Obiora Tabansi Onyeaso Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company (InfraCredit) has joined an elite circle of African companies by having a case study about its mission and operations published by the Harvard Business School. It would now form part of the curriculum at the renowned business school. The case which is titled, ‘Infrastructure in Nigeria: Unlocking Pension Fund Investments,’ was co-authored by John D. Macomber, a senior lecturer in finance, and Pippa Tubman Armerding, director at Africa Research Office. Both are senior faculty at HBS. Each year, HBS publishes about 350 cases. Only a tiny fraction is devoted to organisations outside North America, Europe and Asia. Often characterised as the defining pedagogical experience of an HBS education, the case method has been described as ‘a profound educational innovation that presents the greatest challenges confronting leading companies, non-profits, and government organisations and places the student in the role of the decision-maker.’ On an average, HBS sells 10 million cases per year. Its dominance in the field is evidenced by the fact that 80 per cent of the case studies used by business schools around the world are written by its faculty. Macomber and Armerding identify the scale of financing required to close the infrastructure finance gap in Nigeria, as well as the challenges facing developers of projects with long-term profitability recovery. It is estimated that Nigeria would need to spend up to $3 trillion over the next 30 years to shore up its gaping infrastructure deficit. In the short-term, the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan projects that Nigeria would need to make infrastructure investments of over $127 billion in the next five years. The case investigates two central issues that would determine InfraCredit’s capacity to meet its ambitious goals: the funding options available to the company to support its growth, and the obstacles that must be overcome if the appetite of the country’s pension funds for infrastructure debt securities is to grow. Established last year, InfraCredit was conceived as a quasi-private credit enhancement provider by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in collaboration with GuarantCo, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group. Essentially, its mission is to catalyze longterm local currency debt capital formation for investment in infrastructure projects by providing guarantees of timely payment for holders of debt securities issued by eligible infrastructure entities. At its launch, Managing Director and CEO of NSIA, Uche Orji, spelled out its mandate, “InfraCredit will enhance Nigeria’s capacity to attract and unlock pools of capital from pensions and insurance for infrastructure investment in key sectors of the economy.” The vision was that by providing credit guarantees to developers/operators of eligible infrastructure assets, it could reduce


their cost of local currency debt capital, and significantly extend the tenor of their debt, thereby quickening the country’s infrastructure deficit catch-up rate. InfraCredit enjoys an AAA credit rating from Agusto & Co and GCR, a first for a domestic local currency guarantor in SubSaharan Africa. This constitutes its key credit strength, which it deploys in lending its balance sheet by guaranteeing transactions.

Under its mandate, eligible projects will broadly fall under any of ten activities: agricultural, energy, gas distribution, ICT/Telecoms, infrastructure, inputs to infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation, waste management, and water distribution & treatment. From a low base of 25 per cent of GDP today, InfraCredit’s goal is to pump up the country’s infrastructure stock to 70 per cent

in line with international benchmarks within 30 years. The first transaction successfully completed by InfraCredit within its first year of operations was for Viathan Funding, a special purpose vehicle of Viathan Engineering, a provider of captive and embedded power solutions based in Lagos. Viathan needed funds to expand its generation capacity, build a compressed natural gas plant, and pay off short-term expensive loans. At the time, bank loan rates went as high as the mid-twenties. InfraCredit guaranteed Viathan Funding’s N10 billion issue, which paid a coupon of 16 per cent over a ten-year period. Until then, a tenor that long for a corporate infrastructure entity was unheard of. This transaction exposed the main benefit that InfraCredit brings to mobilising private capital for infrastructure debt issuers; InfraCredit enhanced Viathan’s credit from a BBB- credit rating by Agusto & Co. and Global Credit Rating (GCR) to an ‘AAA’ rating, and crowded in sixteen institutional investors including twelve pension fund administrators. To finance infrastructure development, the local debt capital markets needs to be relatively developed. In today’s environment, accelerating the development of domestic capital markets in emerging markets, particularly for local currency debt, is more crucial than ever as global financial reforms have transformed banks’ willingness and ability to lend, and recent events have highlighted the potential repercussions of borrowing significantly in foreign currencies, at least for businesses that are not export-focused. In its corporate presentation, the company hinted at the size of its ambition. It plans to grow its aggregate guarantee portfolio of corporate infrastructure bonds from the current N10 billion up to N510 billion by 2021. A quantum leap of that proportion implies the assumption that with the successful operations of InfraCredit, new local bonds issuance will undergo a faster annual growth rate in the future than has historically been the case. Data from FMDQ indicates that from 2013 to date, corporate bond issuances, which today stand at N327 billion, have grown by a sluggish c.23% compounded annual growth rate which is significantly low given the huge deficit in funding required to plug the infrastructure gap. In his comments on the HBS case, the CEO of InfraCredit, Chinua Azubike said, “We are very honoured that Harvard Business School has chosen InfraCredit as a model for its MBA students. “It is a great privilege that in such a short space of time since we began commercial operations, our mission and activities have been judged worthy of attention by the world’s leading business school. “We are committed to fulfilling our mission and its long-term sustainable impact. In the end, we hope that the case will attract more global capital inflows into Nigeria’s infrastructure investment, which is profoundly needed.”

Sudan, African Risk Capacity Sign MoU to Tackle Natural Disasters The Government of Republic of the Sudan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to work together towards helping the country better prepare to efficiently deal with extreme weather events and natural disasters. The MoU was signed during the ARC ‘Lessons Learned Workshop’ for the countries of East and Southern African (ESA) region which held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamad, represented by Dr. Hashim Hussein, the Secretary-General of the Sudanese National Council for Civil Defence (NCCD), restated the faith of the government in the ARC as a mechanism to provide sustainable solutions against the impact of natural disasters in the country. According to a statement, the Government of Sudan formalised the partnership with the agency shortly after

an ARC workshop in June. He reiterated the power the African continent can unleash when there is unity of purpose, as exemplified in the ARC initiative to combat natural disaster risks. “The adverse impact of droughts and floods in Sudan threatens livelihoods,” Hussein said. “Unless measures to prepare for natural disaster risk through are quickly taken, the country’s ongoing efforts to combat poverty,

reduce food insecurity, and sustainably manage natural resources cannot be adequately achieved. This is our hope and objective in signing the MoU to work with the African Risk Capacity.” The Director-General of the African Risk Capacity, Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, stated that the collaboration was yet another milestone in the resolve of Africans to taking charge of their own destiny. “The commitment of the African Risk Capacity to protect

the livelihoods of vulnerable people in Africa against the impact of natural disasters can best be realised when other member states join Sudan in signing the Memorandum of Understanding with ARC for structured national technical capacity building. The disaster risks confronting Africa affects all of the continent, and therefore, can best be combatted when we all work together.” The Government of Sudan began engaging with the African Risk Capacity in

September 2017 to explore ways to diversify existing disaster risk management strategies through a sovereign insurance mechanism. Through the MoU, the Government of Sudan will work with the African Risk Capacity to strengthen the national disaster risk management and financing systems in Sudan and create a pathway to effectively and sustainably finance disaster responses, namely to climate disasters like drought and flood.



T H I S D AY • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018



Imbibing a Culture of Saving, Investing Simpa Adaba In theory, we were taught that getting richer is simple; to have more, you would simply need to spend less. But in reality, it goes far beyond that. A large number of people are not equipped with the basic financial education which teaches us about the importance of saving and how it can lead to financial freedom. It is very likely that the lack of financial inclusion and literacy is synonymous to the underwhelming number of banked persons. According to a report by the United Nations, more than half of the world’s working adults are excluded from financial services. This is most acute among low-income populations in emerging and developing economies, where approximately 80 per cent of poor people are excluded. But our focus would remain on two things: savings and investments. It’s no secret that the prevailing consumer culture i.e. the media and advertising sector, supported by peer pressure, has an enormous influence o¬n how people, particularly young people – spend money. This is where advocacy and financial education play a significant role in changing the norm. Financial literacy plays a crucial role in breaking the cycle of economic poverty. It empowers young people with practical skills that prepare them for the future. A lot of financial service providers are already keying into this trend by coming up with ways that encourage a healthier investing culture among youth. The reality is a need, particularly young people need to understand the purpose of money as a medium of exchange, a form of financial security etc and deliberately plan towards effectively using it. To illustrate, if you want to buy a car that costs N1million yet you earn N150,000 every


month, this may seem like an impossible task. But if you invested N50,000 each month in a financial product giving you on average, anything above 15 per cent returns, in less than two years you would be able to afford this car. You would be able to achieve this without having to drastically change your lifestyle. This idea of having your money work for you is known as making passive income and is something we all should strive to do more of. Furthermore, we need to encourage young people to budget their expenditure such that they are spending less than they earn. This would help navigate them towards the path of financial stability and taking control of their financial affairs.

Solutions to Financial Freedom For young people who want to secure their financial future and live a life of financial freedom now, and in the future, a habit of planned and deliberate spending through saving and investing is critical and strongly recommended. One of the common misconceptions is that you need large sums of money to begin investing or that only rich people invest. This is far from the truth. Starting a savings plan early, into a defined investment portfolio can lead to financial empowerment and freedom. In our environment, the common practice will be to place one’s savings in a savings account. Well, this can give you some returns on your capital. However, there are other relatively safe higher yielding options which could be considered.

At Standard Chartered Bank, we adopt a disciplined approach to savings and investments. For example, our Retail Savings Plan (RSP) encourages you to continually set aside a fixed amount of money into a diversified pool of investments which consists of stocks, bonds, commodities and treasury products. Historically, it has been shown that an investment portfolio consisting of stocks and bonds would provide a higher return over an extended period of time than bank deposits. This is a better way to make your money work for you, while you get closer towards achieving your financial goals. Regular investing is one of the best strategies for long term investing. When you invest at a gradual pace, you are less likely to commit large amounts of money in a single investment at the wrong time. More so, it allows you to contribute what you can afford, making it a flexible, yet effective way to build your portfolio. The benefits of regular investing could really add up over the course of a lifetime, especially with the effect of compounding. With all these in mind, we know that when we start saving and investing early, we will become affluent enough to be financially free at a faster rate. In conclusion, empowering young people to imbibe the savings culture requires that they must be taught financial literacy. The next step is to encourage them to follow a disciplined investment approach. With the right strategies and resources, they will be able to contribute greatly to the country’s economic growth not just through entrepreneurial and professional activities but also through their investments in the financial market. Adaba is the Head, Wealth Management, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited

FCMB Urges Better Collaboration among Stakeholders on International Trade The Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Adam Nuru has advised banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria to brace up to the challenges of international trade and commerce by collaborating more with other stakeholders in order to tap into the opportunities in the sector. This, according to him, will boost their performance and overall contribution to the development of the country. He stated this while declaring

open, the bi-monthly general meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Nigerian Banking Commission held in Lagos and hosted by FCMB. The ICC is the world’s business organisation, a representative body which authoritatively speaks on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world. The body founded in Paris, France in 1919, groups hundreds of thousands of member organisations, including banks

and associations in over 120 countries. Business experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the business stance on broad issues of trade and investment policies as well as on a wide range of policy subjects of interest to organisations worldwide. Nuru, who was represented by the Executive Director of Finance of the bank, Mrs. Yemisi Edun, pointed out at the meeting that maintaining a sound culture of compliance, due process and capacity

building among experts on the trade desks of Banks, should be accorded priority. “Due process, digitalisation and capacity building would go a long way to break the myth of the perception that international trade is a sacred area of operation alone by Banks. Banks must also collaborate more with government and other stakeholders to explore better ways to maximise the new and emerging opportunities in the sector,” Nuru stated. He added that, “to ensure the

business of international trade and commerce is conducted in a responsible and transparent manner, ICC Nigeria should continue to ensure we operate under full and complete compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, and best practices.” The FCMB boss also commended ICC Nigeria for its commitment towards building a transparent, strong and viable banking industry and international trade platform, especially its efforts at reviewing the new

order of trade that encourages adoption of emerging global best trade settlement practices. In his address at the meeting, the Chairman ICC Banking Commission in Nigeria, Dr Raymond Ihyembe, advised Banks to upscale their operations with regards to international trade and commerce so as to mainstream businesses in Nigeria into the global community and to promote the creation of wealth and prosperity through international trade and investment.

Zero-oil Plan an Export Revolution, Says Awolowo Saraki Inaugurates Multi-billion Dollar Indorama Ambode commended the fedThe Chief Executive Officer, in Lagos. Also at the event, Governor eral government for establishing Fertiliser Plant Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, has described the zero-oil plan as an export revolution that involves every state playing a significant role. According to him, major oil producing countries are planning their economies beyond oil export and Nigeria must not be left behind. “In line with the growth recovery plan, our effort is to drive an export revolution where every state in Nigeria has a role to play in moving our foreign earning from $5b to $30b because Nigeria has a comparative advantage of agricultural products,” he said. The zero oil plan aims at earning at least $30 billion from non-oil sources in the near to medium term as against the current earnings of about $5 billion, he explained. The NEPC boss made the declaration recently during the 2nd National Committee on Export Promotion Meeting

Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, declared his support for Nigeria to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). “Nigeria is one of the two countries left to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; typical of us, we were going round the country sensitising and to know whether we should join. We should have joined since yesterday. We should show leadership. The whole of Africa is waiting for Nigeria to show leadership. “If we have the largest GDP and have overtaken SouthAfrica, what are we waiting for? The fact is that if we want to begin to export, we must be the champion of Africa. We must be the Germany of Africa. If we do not drive the economy of Africa, it would not drive itself. Africa must sell to Africa first, that should be the cornerstone of our export policy,” he added.

the zero-oil policy, saying it will boost the nation’s balance of trade. The governor called for subsidy on other commodities to reduce cost of food for Nigerians, adding that it was possible since rice subsidy has been successful. He said beyond commodity export itemised in the zero-oil policy, Nigeria should evolve mechanism to export Afrobeat, arts and fashion, adding that they are in high demands in the global market. According to him, the country should put in place infrastructure and institutional frameworks to drive its zero oil policy to success that will translate to wealth for the country. Also speaking, the Secretary, National Economic Council (NEC), said no economy can survive with just one commodity and that NEC took the initiative to drive economic diversification through the zero-oil plan.

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt Senate President, Bukola Saraki recently laid the foundation for the construction of the Fertiliser Train 2 of Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited. This was as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike declared that the $3.2 billion for the development of Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited confirmed that the state is an investors’ destination. Performing the inauguration, Saraki said with $3.2 billion invested in Rivers State by the firm, it showed that Rivers is receptive to investors. He said: “I am congratulating the people of Rivers State for creating the right environment for this investment. I like the example that Rivers people are setting

for others to follow”. The Senate President noted that the successful production of urea in Rivers State, which is used mostly by northern farmers underscores the need for national unity. “Urea Fertiliser products are used by farmers, especially in northern part of the country. That tells us that we must unite. We must support ourselves irrespective of party affiliation . “Without peace, there will be no urea. For all of us in Nigeria, let’s work in the interest of our country “, he said. He noted that Nigeria cannot diversify the economy without developing the agricultural sector. In his address, Wike, said Indorama had performed creditably through quality investments in the state. He said the state government would sustain the

creation of a peaceful environment for the protection of Indorama’s investment. “We are beneficiaries of the dividends of Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Petrochemicals Limited. We are happy with the management of the company “, he added. The governor wondered why anyone would say that Rivers State is not safe for investments, when the Foreign Direct Investment by Indorama had hit $3.2billion. “I am happy that within my time as Rivers State Governor, we commissioned the first train and the flag off of the second train for the Fertiliser Plant. “If an investment of $3.2billion can be in Rivers State , how can anyone say that Rivers State is not safe. The Nigeria you are hearing is Rivers State, “the Rivers Governor said.


WEEKEND Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi... Email 07010510430








‘I Never Thought Playing Drums Will Take Me This Far’ Ray Jehovy is a familiar face on the cover of drum magazines across the world. Call him an encyclopaedia of drumming knowledge, and you won't be wrong. Jehovy is blessed with a deep understanding of the drum set’s socio-cultural role in the development of Western music. He rose to fame as the drummer of choice from the late 80’s as a session drummer, musician and, later, a renowned bandleader and composer. Jehovy discusses his extensive achievements with Adedayo Adejobi and says he never thought playing drums could bring him so much fame and success How did you get bitten by the "drum bug"? I got bitten by the drum bug in the church about 38years ago. Why drums? Why did you choose an instrument that takes five times longer to pack up than a guitar and amplifier? Well, I found it most exciting because it involves the four limbs and there are so many parts to play with. Who were some of your earliest influences? Phil Collins, Steve Gadd, and Buddy Rich. When did you start writing and producing? Way back in the 90s. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? For me, I just wanted to play the drums not for any special reason. Which made me develop originality and I found my sound and style. How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own drumming style? I will describe my own development as an artist as a gift from God, leading me through thick and thin to developing my own drumming style. You are a very melodic drummer. Do you think that stems from your training and the fact that you can read music and are a classically trained percussionist? Yes, gone are the days where drummers use to be just time and rhythm keepers. I found it necessary to have a formal music training to sharpen myself and enhance my vocabulary on the drums. The drum separation and solo patterns have really become quite iconic. It's very rare that an audience makes a connection to the drummer. How do you feel any time you play that and look at the audience and see people air drumming along? I really do not see the audience when I perform; rather they see me, so I do what is required to ensure a wonderful performance, which makes me capture the heart of my audience. Is that the ultimate compliment for a drummer? For others, maybe, for me, no. Seeing my audience go away happy is my ultimate compliment. How strictly do you separate improvising and composing? Hmm!! That's a clever one. Improvisation simply means charting your own cause from the original. While composition means using different elements to create. They are building blocks, so I separate them when the need arises. Listening to pot-pourri music from the 60s, 70s, 80s and into the 90s, it wasn't unusual to have a time signature change or tempo change within a song. But now we seem to get just a straight 4/4 in songs. Why do you think this happened? Is it a lack of musical proficiency with the people coming up behind you or are the label executives not wanting their musicians to take risks? In those days we used to have automobile companies build cars with steel/ iron body, but nowadays the bodies are so fragile that with one child- like punch the car goes to a panel beaters shop. Will you judge them to be inefficient? No. Development called for that change. So it is with music. People like listening to more steady music these days. You do a lot of session work with upand-coming artists. When you're given a song and asked to do a basic drum part, do you ever make suggestions when it comes to the arrangement?


Of course, I make suggestions. No man knows it all. The list of people that you've played with is extensive. Who haven't you played with that is on your drummer's bucket list? There is nothing in my drum bucket list because I don't have any. I don't esteem one above the other. The best are still coming. Music is relative. One man's meat is another man's poison. Can you conjure up a typical day in your life at the height of your success? The height of my success can't be narrowed down to any physical reward from human. It is to see my students become greater than I and carrying the flag to the next level. Can you give me an idea of what the greatest surprises were, and maybe the saddest moments for you? My greatest surprise is, I never thought that playing the drums will take me this far. I just wanted to play drums and nothing more. Papa Ray, you’ve been travelling a lot lately. How would you describe the tour experience? Amazing. That I could share my thoughts with people internationally and they see something undeniable come out of Nigeria and Africa that they labelled as third world in the League of Nations, is something to be grateful for.

My family and my fish farm. Of all the countries you’ve travelled to, which are some of the countries you enjoyed the most? France and Sweden How would you summarise the impact the internet has had on your career? The internet is the world at your disposal. I could reach out to anyone. Everything I want I get from the internet. Hypothetically, if someone recorded a performance of yours and posted it to YouTube, would you find that undesirable? Yes, without my permission.

You’ll soon be on tour again, what's your favourite part about playing gigs? My favourite part about playing gigs is the opportunity to experience me express myself to people again. How does your wife manage your long absence as travel abroad on tours? That is why it is advisable to marry the woman who loves your calling. She will support your moves. If you had to shadow somebody for a day, who would it be? The guy who is much better than I am.

If you are between two states of mind – let’s say depressed and happy – is it easier to be creative? As a composer and song writer, these elements are triggers to help you when the energy that they produce is used positively.

What style/genre of music do you enjoy playing to, and why? Jazz, for a wider vocabulary, Pop for business, Afro Cuban/Latin, for rhythm cultivation.

How do you feel on stage and backstage? Ready to give birth when I am backstage. Business when I am on stage.

What in your opinion is the best arranged recorded album with good drums arrangement? It's difficult to point to one, but Michael Jackson off the wall album is one of them.

What’s your favourite album and artist of all time? Mary Mackie and the Genesis. Outside of music, what keeps you busy?

What was the first song you heard this morning? 'You are GOD from beginning to the end' by Nathaniel Bassey.



Uwaifo’s Conversations in Electric Utility Engineering Launch for August 2 With his latest book, Solomon Omorodion Uwaifo, one of Nigeria’s renowned authors and professionals, has given us an exposition on the power sector, and Nigeria and the world have been handed an incisive and well-informed insight into the endemic and debilitating power sector that the country has been grappling with over the years. Titled 'Conversations in Electric Utility Engineering', Uwaifo, who is an NLNG joint winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, has over the years written about the power sector offering the public his vast knowledge of the workings of the industry from his years as a former top-ranked employee of the defunct Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN). This time, he has told Nigeria what to do to change the industry and make it better. This latest book to be presented to the public at a formal launch slated to hold at MUSON Centre, Onikan on August 2, is Uwaifo’s seminal work, which speaks of his passion and commitment to ensure that Nigeria’s power sector works, and serves as a fulcrum for the industrialisation of the country, as it Uwaifo has been done elsewhere. This fact has been given credence by a in the forward to the book as follows — “This book tells us something different from former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as he x-ray’s Uwaifo’s focal thrust what we read daily in our newspapers. It

converses with us and points out the wrongs the industry's operators have done and are doing, and what they might do to correct

them.‘‘It also sensitises our minds, and wants us to appreciate the essence of the industry and the impetus that it can bring to the modernisation of our economy. It seems to me that we may not have fully understood the essence of the industry in the past as Uwaifo has explained, and I would advise therefore that we listen, and act in the interest of our dear country. Uwaifo says that the industry can do much more for the country than just supplying the electric light that she needs, adding that "It can incentivise us to ask for more through industrialisation, in the way that it did in the United States of America.’’ The public launch would be chaired by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Professor James Momoh while other expected special guests include Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode and the Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing as well as the father of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), Babatunde Raji Fashola. It should be a great day for stakeholders of the sector, professionals and the academia to weigh in on the power sector and the way forward for the sector.

WIMBIZ Tasks Government on Innovative Investment in People Sunday Ehigiator Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ), has called on government and private sector to deliberately increase their investments in people; especially those at the grassroots level, in the area of agriculture and education to achieve national development. Speaking during the 2018 CEO/Policy Maker Interactive Series, tagged Innovative Investment in People -The Multiplier Effect as organized by WIMBIZ, the Chairperson, WIMBIZ Executive Council, Mrs. Olubunmi Aboderin-Talabi, stated that, “though we are a gender-specific organisation, today’s event and topic are gender neutral. Today’s theme is spurred by the Bill Gates speech given when he visited Nigeria earlier this year. "The crux of his message was that “Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive. If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, then they will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity. If you don’t, however, then it is very important to recognise that there will be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow”. During the panel discussion as moderated by Mrs. Catherine Bickersteth, the panelist through their wealth of experiences discussed innovative ways to bring about positive change and drive the multiplier effect of investments made on human capital in Nigeria. Ogun State Commissioner for Agriculture Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo, while speaking during the interactive panel session affirmed that “govern-

WIMBIZ panelist

ment is determined to transform agriculture into a competitive industry that creates jobs and sustains its food security campaign” According to her, “the Federal Government had taken necessary steps to expand the sector to ensure food security. They include efforts to strengthen policies and the capacity to raise yields, promote market access among farmers, and improve management of the country’s rapidly expanding agriculture industry”.

“In Ogun State, agriculture is receiving attention, the sector has shown that it can provide employment, eradicate poverty and lead to economic diversification and industrialisation of the state”, she noted. In curbing unemployment, she said youths were being equipped with necessary skills that would help them in gaining employment, especially in agriculture, as she reaffirmed that investing in agriculture by all sectors would lead to huge returns for young people, and improvement on

our economy. Complete involvement of the private sector in the health, education, commerce and industry sector were amongst the topical issues as raised against the backdrop of an excerpt by Bill Gate during his recent visit to Nigeria, where he addressed Nigerian Leaders at the National Economic Council, Abuja; by saying “Nigeria has unmatched economic potential, but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices made by Nigerian leaders.

SON Commends Rite Food for High Standard Ayodeji Ake Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Osita Aboloma, has commended Rite Foods Limited for its high standard in production of food and beverages. He said this during the presentation of the International Standard Organisation (ISO) 9001:2015 certification to the company. Rite Food Limited, l makers of Bigi soft drinks, Bigi Premium Drinking Water, Bigi and Rite Sausages, got presented with ISO certification by DG, SON recently at the company’s Ososa factory, Ogun state, after 10 years of its establishment. The DG said, "It is heartwarming to recognise

today the steps your organisation is taking in Laboratory Services, SON, Mrs, Mojisola Kehinde, improving the food and beverage industry by stressed the importance of ISO as a quality manputting in high quality management system to agement system approach that provided robust, demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction, globally recognised and acceptable solutions to as well as adherence to statutory and regulatory address the challenges associated with consistently meeting requirements and addressing future needs requirements in Nigeria. "This milestone achievement in pursuit of and expectation of customers in an increasingly production of quality products is worthy of dynamic food and beverage production environemulation by all in the food and beverage ment and maintaining quality at the same time. Expressing delight over the milestone achieveindustry in Nigeria." He also called on manufacturers and owners ment, Managing Director, Rite Foods Limited, Mr. of industries to emulate the rigorous efforts Seleem Adegunwa, noted that the certification was displayed by Rite foods limited in getting the not only a consolidation of the company’s logo, ‘Truly world class, proudly Nigerian’ but was ISO certification. Aboloma who was represented by Director, also a call to continuously achieve extraordinary

things with ordinary people. "The process of achieving the certificate was not just for the sole purpose of getting issuance but is as a result of the culture the company has chosen to imbibe in its everyday operations of the organisation, an inherited culture from her parent company, Ess-Ay Holdings led by Dr. Adebola Adegunwa, a visionary chairman who has helped pave the path towards achieving excellence. “We believe at Rite Foods that ordinary people are capable of achieving extraordinary things; ISO Quality Management Standards has enabled us plan for future growth and aim at satisfying customer expectations."

Siemens Pledges Support for Students with Innovative Ideas Peter Uzoho Siemens Nigeria Limited, as the main sponsor of the 2018 Prof. Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC), has assured Nigerian students of the organisation’s readiness to support of the realisation of their innovative ideas capable of solving the country’s technological problems. Vice President, Power and Gas, Siemens Nigeria, Mr. Nasir Giwa, stated this recently at the PAADC event organised by the students

of engineering, University of Lagos, in memory of late Prof. Ayodele Awojobi, held at the University campus, Akoka. The competition brings students of engineering from different universities across the country that come with their great innovative technological projects to contest for prizes. Giwa, who was a member of the panel of discussion at the programme, said the organisation chose to support the competition to encourage technological innovation and creativity

amongst the students, stressing that it aligned with the company’s slogan: ‘ingenuity for life’. He said: “In the case of Siemens, we have a lot of openings for you. If you have an idea and you want realize it, feel free to come to us, we’ll help you drive that idea. The problem is no longer funding but courage. We want to assure you that we are your partners.” However, he pointed out that Nigeria can solve her many technological problems if the needed political will was applied, noting that

Egypt was able to address her electricity challenges because the government was actively involved and created enabling environment for industries and innovators to come up with their ideas. Chairman, Planning Committee, PAADC 2018, Abdulhameed Obileye, explained that the essence of the competition was to spark ingenuity and drive innovation amongst Nigerian youth so that Nigerians can solve their problems in their ways.

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Padman Africa Takes Mandela's Centenary Celebration to Kirikiri Female Prisons Padman Africa, a social enterprise that has taken up the onus of giving menstrual talks to young school girls and also providing them with sanitary pads, will on July 24, take the celebration of Nelson Mandela Day on World Merit Day, to Kirikiri Female Prisons in Lagos. To honour the centennial of Madiba’s birth, the lecture theme worldwide will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”. Also billed for the event is a fireside chat with Chiemelie Ezeobi, THISDAY Group Features Editor, who will be inducted into the Elite Humanitarian Hall of Fame. The fireside chat would be moderated by a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow from Cameroon, Loretta Ntui. Ezeobi is expected to speak on the lecture theme and work with Padman Africa to donate 100 Menstrual Hygiene Bags to female prison inmates to help curb period poverty. According the Padman Africa, the Menstrual Hygiene Bags (Padman Africa Period Purse), which is to be shared by Ezeobi would be named after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, the New MD for Arise News Channel, on behalf of SIMA Studios and the World Merit Team to mark World Merit Day. On her selection for the centennial celebration in Lagos by Padman Africa, the founder, Mr. Chaste Inegbedion, said, "Ezeobi is no doubt a thorn on the flesh of some of Nigeria’s elite when it comes to reporting issues around crimes and working with relevant authorities in charge of combating violent extremism.


"To us, the 2018 recipient of the Prestigious United States International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP), is an example of what one person can do to make a difference. It was no surprise when she was recently announced by Thisday Newspapers as the Group Features Editor after her active service as the crime and defence correspondent." On the lecture he said, "The 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, is to be delivered by former US President Barack Obama in Johannesburg on 17 July. "The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is

one of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s flagship programmes to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela. "Every year since 2003, global leaders have used the lecture to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world, focusing on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality." While the lecture will take place on July 17, 2018, a day before Nelson Mandela International Day at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, the Lagos event will be held at the Kirikiri Female Prisons on the World Merit Day on July 24. Speaking about the involvement of Padman Africa, Inegbedion said “it is imperative that as the world celebrates the Nelson Mandela International Day – the overarching objective which is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and in doing so build a global movement for good. "It is on this premise that we are collaborating with public spirited partners to put some west African nations on the map during this symbolic week with the Theme '67 Minutes for Girls, For the Next 100 Years' and also to help foster a renewed commitment in the South Africa-West African economic relationship.” According to Inegbedion, there would be a reading session by Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, who read for 122 hours non-stop for the Guinness World Record in the Longest Marathon Reading Aloud on one of Madiba’s Favourite books, Dare Not Linger, co-written by Nelson Mandela and South African writer Mandla Langa.

Old Students Give Back to Alma Mater Peace Obi The Old Students Association of Stadium High School, Surulere, 1993 set was at its alma mater recently, to once again contribute its quota towards achieving improved teaching and learning experiences in the school. The 1993 set old students, who are constantly in touch with the school had made contributions such as donation of books for the school's library, provision of human anatomy for the study of biology, set of chairs and tables, among others, said they believe that the burden of providing quality education cannot be left to the government alone. In a presentation ceremony of 20 computer sets to the Stadium Junior and Senior High Schools Principals, the President of the association, Mr. Fayombo Olalekan said that the gesture was to spur the students to be focused in their studies as well as to enable them enjoy 21st century learning experience, using necessary ICT equipment. According to Olalekan, with the influence of technology on virtually every human activity,

students cannot afford to lag behind in the use of ICT in their studies and must be given the needed support and access to it. He encouraged the students to spend quality time on the systems, adding that the computers were loaded with educational apps and programmes like Brainfriend for both senior and junior secondary schools, JAMB, e-books and educational videos. He said one of the old students had volunteered to help the school with a one-week hands-on training. "We are here to inspire you to study hard and tow the good path of life because years to come, you will equally stand here to say that a set inspired you and that is why you are giving back. I wouldn't know where you will be tomorrow, but if you become the president of Nigeria, remember your school, the teachers and the old students that impacted your lives, he admonished. Founder of the group, Mr. Christian George, disclosed that the group embarks on the project to give back to the very root where their journey of their life took off.

He noted that it was also intended to motivate the bigger umbrella of the school's old students association to do something for their Alma mater. "There is a bigger body of this association called Stadium High School Old Students Association and we are all members. "The idea is for us to carry out this initiative as a small group from the main umbrella body so that other sets and even the bigger body can borrow a leaf from us. We intend being a source of motivation for other groups. " The Principal of the senior secondary section of the school, Mrs. Comfort Oloyede appreciated the group for their continuous assistance to the school, adding that they have been a source of great inspiration to the students. "Their presence has impacted these students very positively. The school has always done well academically within the district, in the state and even in external examinations, but the presence of this set of old students association and support have further boosted the students' commitment to their studies”, Oloyede said.

Nigerian Fathers Urged to Imbibe Good Qualities Ayodeji Ake The Founder, Good Fathers Foundation, Nnaedu Umeohia, has stressed on the need for Nigerian men to imbibe good qualities as fathers to enable them bring up children that would make the nation proud. He said this during a two-day event organised by the foundation in Abuja. Umeohia also seized the opportunity to call on the National Assembly to reconsider the paternity Bill which was initially thrown out, for men to be able to offer support to their wives during pregnancy leading to child birth. The bill for the Act to make provisions for optional paternity leave for all married male employees in private and public service failed to scale through second reading in the House of Representatives, two months ago. The bill, sponsored by Edward Pwajok (PlateauAPC), failed to scale through as it was roundly defeated with a unanimous voice vote. Members, who balked at the idea of granting paternal leave to male workers, said that the Nigerian cultural and economic environment was not ripe for such privilege yet. The foundation however disagrees on this. On the first day of the event, the group had its annual awareness activity whereby members visited major malls in Abuja to stage a flash mob. They encouraged fathers in the society to take

L-R: Bryt Nzenwa, Nnaedu Umeohia, Rex Idaminabo and Chukwuebuka Anyaduba

up fatherly role and become responsible citizens. The second day, they hosted the annual Good Fathers Ball, held at Top View Hotel Abuja, which had in attendance, stakeholders and celebrities including Aso Villa Chaplain, Pastor Seyi Malomo; Personal Assistant to the DIG, Barrister Nwaiwu Linus; Executive Director, Top View Hotel & Emab Plaza, Mrs. Uchenna Umeohia; Senior Pastor Throne

Room, Tunde Benjamin Olaniyi and other public figures. The spokesperson of the foundation, Chukwuebuka Anyaduba highlighted some of the achievements of the foundation since inception which includes; the awareness on Prostrate Cancer, the walk for fathers, the Made Men Project, mentorship and capacity building.


MTN Denounces NLC’s Fierce Protest Mary Nnah MTN has denounced the Nigeria Labour Congress' (NLC) fierce picketing of the global telecommunication company’s offices nationwide last Monday. NLC had in a fierce protest picketed the telecoms company over what it described as 'unfriendly labour practice'. Describing such actions as 'needless destruction of property', the company' accused NLC of destroying its properties and injuring some of its workers who were attacked during the violent protest. The picketing was recorded in Abia, Kano, Kogi, Bayelsa, Oyo and Bauchi, among other states. The company’s Corporate Relations Executive, Tobechukwu Okigbo, said in a statement that the violent protest was needless and saddening as the company does not prevent MTN’s employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit. “As always our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, some of whom were attacked by supposed NLC operatives and have sustained injuries. "We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit but owe our employees the obligation to ensure they are not compelled to join associations. "MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution but all workers have rights that should be protected. "We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also to ensure that our company is a great place to work. "We will continue to champion our peoples’ rights, whether they are part of a union or not and work hard to minimise disruptions in service to our customers.”

GOtv Unveils Exciting Programme Line-Up For July Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service provider, GOtv Nigeria, has unveiled its line-up of exciting programmes for July. All through the month, subscribers will enjoy some exciting new and returning series, sports, including the about to be concluded 2018 FIFA World Cup, lifestyle and kiddies’ programmes. With four teams remaining in the tournament, customers have the opportunity to watch who will be crowned world champions, as GOtv airs the quarter-final, semi-final and final matches live on SuperSport Select 1 (channel 31) and SuperSport Select 4 (channel 34). Lovers of Telemundo (channel 14) are in for a treat, as the hit telenovela, Lord of the Skies, returns on July 23, at 10pm for a second season. The drama also continues every weekday on Blood and Wine at 4pm, The Boss at 8pm and Woman of Steel 3 at 9pm. On Zee World (channel 25), the new series, My Golden Home, will premiere Friday, July 13 at 6pm. The story is based on a sweet, family-orientated and loving young lady called Abha, one of the daughters of a well-known and respected man, Thakur Uday Pratap Singh. Through the tests and challenges of life, Abha always ensures that everything she does reflects positively on not only her, but also the reputation of her family. Returning this month on Nat Geo Wild (channel 51) with more teeth than ever is SharkFest. Nat Geo Wild’s supersized sixth annual SharkFest premieres Monday, 16 July 2018.



‘We’ve Revolutionised Sale of Bulky Beddings’ Mr. Omofolarin Omolayole, Chief Executive Officer of Bed in a Box, a brainchild of contemporary furniture company, Tekno Nigeria Limited, in this interview with Nume Ekeghe, speaks on the innovative concept of an adjustable and easy to install bedroom furniture, the first of its kind in Nigeria, and how he plans to use e-commerce to roll out the products


As an entrepreneur, what sets your company apart from others?

Bed in a Box was established as a subsidiary of Tekno Contemporary Furniture Limited. Tekno was incorporated in 1998 and is well known as one of the pioneers in the retail of modern and contemporary furniture in Nigeria. Bed In A Box is our new online portal that is designed to revolutionise the way bulky items such as beds and mattresses are bought and sold in Nigeria and all products offered on our website are designed to be e-commerce friendly. The idea is to enable our customers purchase high quality goods, and compactly packaged goods which when ordered, will be delivered to their doorstep anywhere in the country with a five year warranty. How has the journey been so far? We have been at it for about a year now, we have a partner company in turkey and our ultimate aim is to increase our production in Nigeria in a year. Are there plans to include other easy to install furniture? For now, no, because as the name connotes, it is more or less centred on bedroom products. If we are going to expand to any other product we would stick to the bedroom theme maybe including bed sheets, blankets and others that have to do with the bedroom. So for now, we are not going to go into the conventional furniture products like dining tables and dining chairs. Bed in a box is going to centre on bedroom products that are compactly packaged just like ones we are introducing now that can be shipped easily to our customers.

Photo: Nume Ekeghe

It is mentioned on your site that your matrasses are orthopaedic, what are its advantages? Most people think that when you say orthopaedic they expect the mattress to be hard. However, that is not the case. What it actually means is that it has to support your joints in such a way that when you get up from bed you are not feeling any pains. If you have pains in your back, knees or wherever, it should be able to support you adequately. So what makes this mattress different from other mattresses is that normal ones found in the market now are usually spring mattresses. And the way they are manufactured is that they usually have the normal springs that are tied to a metal frame that makes up the mattress and then you would have a thin layer of foam on it. However, the way our mattresses are manufactured is that each spring is covered in its individual pocket of fabric. So each spring works independently to respond to your weight, shape, movement and sleeping position, by providing support and an even distribution of weight. Because of this, a pocket spring mattress prevents ‘roll together ’ which means the mattress won’t dip towards the heavier person, or bounce if one person moves. And also, it lasts longer than regular mattresses. The life span of regular mattresses is about three or four years but ours is five years but it can actually last for up to eight years and we are also giving a five year warranty. What other products do you offer? We have an adjustable bed frame which features a unique design that enables the length of the bed to be increased or reduced by simply

changing sections of the side frame to your needed size. For example, a (6ft x 6ft bed) can be extended into a (6ft x 7ft) or vice versa .This eliminates the need to buy a new bed when moving into a bigger or smaller room. Furthermore, the entire bed ships in one carton with the frame, legs and wooden slats stored in the compartment at the back of the headboard for easy transportation. Also, we have what is called a crushed memory foam pillow which is a dual-layer pillow that delivers a restful sleep night after night. With two different loft supports it fits sleepers of all shapes, sizes and positions, this revolutionary pillow will feel like it was custom made just for you. Our deluxe shredded memory foam pillow gives you the benefits of memory foam with a feel more superior to a traditional pillow. The shredded memory foam fill makes the pillow breathable and easy to fluff, while the 250 thread count cotton cover is easy to remove and wash as needed. Who is your target market? People are now getting used to shopping online. So our target is everyone and most especially young professionals. A lot of people don’t have time to go from showroom to showroom so first and foremost, in order for the products to be appealing to them, it has to be of good quality and it has to be well packaged. A conventional mattress could take acquire about five people to carry up a stairs so in order to address that issue, we had to come up with something that is well packaged, light and of good quality that can be easily shipped to our customers.

Compared to others, how competitive are your prices? With regards to our mattresses, the most expensive line of leading mattress manufacturers in Nigeria now go for about N120,000 to N125,000 while our most expensive is N140,000. But in terms of the quality, I think ours is of a better quality and we offer a better warranty to the product. Also, with the convenience of the free delivery in Lagos, you don’t have to come to our showroom to make purchases. In terms of logistics , how do you intend to deliver your products? We are working with three delivery partners namely DHL, UPS and we are presently speaking to a logistics company in Lekki called GIG. And we deliver within 48 hours in Lagos and outside Lagos would take us about five to six days. During the tour around your showroom you mentioned that this was an experience centre. Are there more around Lagos? Why we have an experience centre is that when you come on our website and you like the products but you also want to see the actual products before you make your purchases. So what we have done is that we narrowed down to partner with about four different furniture companies where our goods are going to be displayed. So instead of coming to our office in Anthony you can go to any of those places to view the actual products before you make your purchases. So if you live in Ikeja for example you easily come here to look at the products before purchasing and so we can answers customers questions on our products.

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AMAA 2018 to Hold in Kigali, Rawanda Mary Nnah In line with its pan-African and Africa integration agenda, the government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Convention Bureau and Rwanda Tourism Bureau has accepted to host the 2018 edition of the African Movie Academy Awards in Kigali in September. According to a statement issued in Lagos by the organisers, the event will hold at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre on Saturday 22nd, 2018. The 2018 nominees for the awards will be unveiled on July 21 at a media and industry event. German filmmaker and Berlin Film Festival curator, Dorothy Wenner has also been announced as the President of the AMAA Jury for 2018. The award, which has been in existence since 2005 held the nominations gala event in Kigali in 2017 as part of the activities to


expand the frontiers of unity and integration in Africa. AMAA, according to the founder, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, remains the biggest and

most credible jury-based reward system for filmmakers and professionals in the motion picture industry from Africa and Africans in Diaspora. She said, "It remains a fact that AMAA is the longest running Pan-African awards in the whole of Africa. Similar awards in film, music and virtual arts have come and gone. "Since 2005 we have worked to keep and protect the integrity of the awards. This is why we can partner with Rwanda, a country where excellence and professionalism drive business and governance. "The interesting thing about AMAA this year is that visitors especially Africans will not struggle to have visa as all visas will be processed on arrival. "We want to thank President Paul Kagame and other African leaders that are making people's movement within our continent very easy while we call on other African countries to have visa on arrival policy if we can’t remove visa completely.

"Our people will prosper and there will be shared prosperity when we can travel and do business and even for holidays easily within Africa." Lagos State Government of Nigeria hosted the 2017 edition of the awards at the Eko Hotel Convention Centre, Victoria Island while Bayelsa State, the oil rich state from the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria hosted the awards for straight 10 years. Global and pan-African brands such as the United Bank for Africa, Airtel, Ecobank, Sterling Bank, Skye Bank, First Bank, FCMB, Globacom, MRS Oil among others have sponsored the awards in the past. AMAA recently hosted a social media training workshop in Kigali for young people as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project sponsored by Osigwe Anyiam - Osigwe Foundation, Ecobank and Rwanda Convention Bureau, which had tech resource persons drawn from Nigeria and Rwanda.

Hillix Entertainment Kicks off, Gets Kings Music Onboard Mary Nnah A talent management company, Hillix Entertainment, recently kick-started operations as it brought on board its first artist, Ojo Victor Oluwagbengro, popularly known as Kings Music. The head A&R, Hillix Entertainment. Mr Opeyemi Adebola-Walters said the idea behind the newly launched company is to help talented young people create the opportunities that they have been looking for by giving them access to the particular audience that will

appreciate what they have in them. Adebola-Walters who expressed the view that if young people are able to make a genuine living for themselves, the whole economy will be better, added, that is why we are launching Hillix Entertainment and we are starting with the talent management arm of our organisation. He said, "Subsequently, we would be launching the record label and also the music and video production angles. He however said that the company does not intend to rush things, adding, “We have

studied our strength in years past and we have discovered that the best way we can start is to launch forth is to launch the talent arm first and that is what we have done here today. " Sharing with journalists the values, vision and mission of the company and what it is poised to do as a talent management company with the people that would be coming on board as individuals, he said, “Hillix Communication is an entertainment firm consisting of various divisions including management, record label, recording studio and a video studio.

"Our vision is to be one of the world’s leading entertainment service providers. What makes us distinct and stand out from the crowd is the vision that we have. "We want to marry innovation with dexterity, accuracy and excellence wih provision of our entertainment services as we also create entertainment platforms for talents. "As a talent management company, what it wants to do is to facilitate the goals, dreams and the aspirations of every sound talent –song writer, artist or producer that we have on board."

Auditions for the Next Titan Season Five Begin July Ending Peter Uzoho It is another season of intense clash of business ideas and entrepreneurial skills as arrangements have been concluded to commence the fifth season of the Next Titan, Nigeria’s biggest entrepreneurial reality television show. By July ending, audition of thousands of budding entrepreneurs with viable business ideas, who have already registered for this edition in contest for the cash prize of N5million, will kickstart at four auditions centres in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos. The show sponsored every year by, Heritage Bank in conjunction with Ford Motors, SIFAX Group, and other corporate organisations will see business-minded university and polytechnic graduates pitch their business ideas at the auditions, where 50 with brightest business ideas will be selected to report to the programme's boot camp. However, this number will in the course of the programme be trimmed down to usher the top 16 into the Next Titan house, where they will be engaged in carrying out weekly business tasks and challenges around the city of Lagos for 10 weeks by top corporate executives and captains of industry.

L-R: Next Titan season four contestant, Tolu Akinola; Head, Brand and Marketing, Hygeia HMO, Ahmed Adeyanju; Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank Plc, Fela Ibidapo; Executive Producer, Next Titan, Mide Kunle-Akinlaja; Manager, Corporate Affairs, SIFAX Group, Akande Olumuwiya; and Manager, Corporate Affair, Air Peace, Chris Iwarah Chris Iwarah, at the event

Speaking in Lagos at a press conference, Executive Producer, Next Titan and Managing Director, Bravopoints International, Mr Mide Kunle-Akinlaja, said season five would be more exciting with the usual

exciting pre-show activities such as the Top 50 Boot Camp, Premiere Show/Gala Evening, among others. “The show will bring the reality of pains and gains of entrepreneurial journey into the

living rooms of millions of Nigerians, and viewers will be given opportunity to vote for which they believe has the composite of a successful entrepreneur,” he noted. He explained that, like the four previous seasons, the top 16 contenders would on weekly basis, be drilled on various business tasks including sales, marketing, promotions, charities, advertising pitches and others, adding that they would also experience the importance of philanthropy and community service by initiating such campaigns on the show. Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Fela Ibidapo, said the bank decided to buy into the idea of the show and to support it because it fits into the bank’s vision of helping young Nigerian entrepreneurs to grow. “We’ll continue to do it as long as it meets our own objective and the role we have started to play in the entrepreneurial space, particularly as regards to our new discoveries and new businesses,” Ibidapo said. Also speaking, Manager, Corporate Affairs, SIFAX Group, Mr. Akande Olumuyiwa, stressed that the major objective of the programme which seeks to cultivate and fertilise the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerian youth aligned well with the business philosophy of the company.

Tony Okoroji’s Oriaku Set to Hit Airwaves Mary Nnah Music icon, Tony Okoroji’s new recording, ‘Oriaku’ (New School) is finally set for national and international release on radio, TV and across several digital media platforms. For some time, a big buzz has been on at TOPS, a 360 Degrees Entertainment Company run by Okoroji, as finishing touches on the recording, video shoot and presentation of the new release of Oriaku were being completed. According to TOPS, they are authoritatively announcing that everything is set and the fans of the unique sound of

the music maestro should be ready to be titillated by what is in every way, a special sound. The sweet song ‘Oriaku’ with the thumping bass guitar line was a key song in Tony Okoroji’s iconic album, “Juliana”, which used to hit up the dance floor across the country. According to Okoroji, the former President of PMAN, who is currently Chairman of the Board of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), “We have re-oxygenated Oriaku. It has a new groove. "You need to listen to this beautiful song to appreciate what I am talking about. This is not a re-mix but a com-

pletely brand-new recording with new orchestration. "Working with TOPS All Stars, my young team of very talented creative artistes, we have kept the essential elements of the great song and brought in a fresh new feel to give what we call ‘Oriaku New School’ a new groove. " I believe that lovers of good music, young and old, will rock to this new sound. The video is also very-very electrifying”. The video shoot of Oriaku had the photography directed by the prince of video animation, Ademola Tajudeen popularly called ‘Awoko’.

According to him, “we have spared nothing in creating a music video that will stand the test of time wherever in the world it is seen. "There are lots of colour, exceedingly beautiful women and a lot of dance, both traditional and contemporary. If you know Chief Tony Okoroji, then you know that I have worked with a man who does not accept mediocrity. He only goes for the very best." The release of ‘Oriaku New School’ follows the release by TOPS in 2017 of Tony Okoroji’s ‘Happy Music’ which has become a major caller ring back tone favorite across many platforms.



‘Aba Can Generate Enough Money To Develop Abia State’ Before he became the Principal Secretary to the governor of Abia State, Engr. Emma Nwabuko had headed various ministries in the past administration. He bares his mind on his present job and other issues concerning the state in this interview with Emmanuel Ugwu. Excerpts example. The governor has marketed Aba and you have to do the marketing yourself. If you say you are not here nobody will recognise you are here. The governor himself dresses in made in Aba attire wherever he goes. It is the same thing; you don’t have to tell us. We must not only do the talk we must also do the work so that anyone who sees us here will know that we’re from Aba the home of SMEs. That is what we want to tell Nigerians and the world that Aba is a centre for quality goods. Nigerians no longer have to carry heavy suitcases when they go abroad for holidays. No; those days are gone, we now have to concentrate on our own. With our population we are ready to keep people afloat; everybody will not go for white collar jobs what you do is to encourage people to consume what we produce.

You’ve held different positions across two administrations. Is your present office as principal secretary to the governor as challenging as the previous ones? Any position you hold in government, understand that you are there to deliver services to the state government and to the people of the state. So, no matter the level you are doing it, the sole aim is to deliver services and that has been what we’ve been doing in these past years. The bottom line is service to the people and we’ve been doing that. Yes, some positions might be challenging in the sense that the volume of work and volume of responsibility will increase. In the past years, I was a commissioner in charge of some ministries – ministries of works and transport as at then. It was very challenging because when you have a government that has as its cardinal point delivering infrastructure to the people, then you must be on your toes to make sure that those things are carried out. From there I was made commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs which is another bigger assignment because you are dealing with the whole state as matter of fact. The commissioner for local government deals with all the local governments in the state. That one was also a bigger assignment. And from there to this position as principal secretary to the governor. This one is like the engine room – I would say that it is like the clearing house of whatever the governor wants – whether directive, instructive, the complaints of people; we are just like the vehicle that carries those things to the governor. So, how tasking is your present position? In this position you do not have a time of your own; you cannot say this is my working hours. Of course you can be called at any time. The governor is a young energetic man, very dynamic, so you hardly sleep when others are sleeping. You can be called up at any time, and what irks a boss is when a worker cannot be reached at any time either because your phone is switched off or something. So even if you switched off all other lines you must keep open your dedicated line where you can always interact with your boss. The job is tough but exciting and we’re flowing with the modalities, trying to provide dividends of democracy to the people and since we are on the same page we are very grateful that any time we are called upon we will answer. Is there any continuum between the immediate past government and the present one in terms of completing inherited projects? Of course governance is a continuum. I can tell you there hasn’t been any programme or project started by the last administration that was abandoned or cancelled by the present government. Look at the area of providing infrastructure to the people, this government is still continuing with that programme. And when you think about the projects that have been there you also think about the values to the people you are providing them for. What obtained yesterday might not be what obtains today. Today the local governments are independent enough so what you get at the centre is hardly enough to take care of your needs and all that. So you have to go back and think of what to do because governance is dynamic. You can’t just say because that project was started you stick by it instead of sitting down and rearrange your priorities. And when you arrange your priorities now, it’s not as if you have abandoned those projects; it is those projects that will give value to the people that you face when you get the money. For instance if you check the international conference centre (ICC) it was started by the last administration and it is still there. And if you look at the housing projects, the JAC building, ASUBEB building- they are all there. Even the roads that were awarded during the


last administration this government is also handling it. So governance is a continuum; there is none of the projects that have been absolutely abandoned. What is happening is that you now prioritise, looking at the precarious state of the state when it comes to generating internally generated revenue. If you are building a road now it must be able to open up all the fronts for getting internally generated revenue. It is then that more money would come to the government and you can use it for more projects. Is the principle of power shift on which Dr Okezie Ikpeazu rode to power still relevant as 2019 election year approaches? That decision facilitated by the former governor of state(Senator T.A. Orji) to shift power to Abia South was a laudable one. Last month the people of Ohangwa organised for him grand civic reception and gave him chieftaincy title. Politics is about equity, it’s about fairness. Politics is making sure that you do not marginalise people because they don’t have anybody to speak for them. The Abia charter of equity recognised that and that was why as we now have three senatorial zones. What happens to one senatorial zone should also happen to the other senatorial zones. Power started from the north and shifted to central so you don’t have to argue that power must shift to south so that every where will be quiet. The Igbo adage says that emee nwa ka emere ibe ya obi adi ya nma. I tell you when you now talk about the benefits of power shift a lot of things have been done in Aba. I can tell you that Aba has capacity to give us all the money we need in this state. Rivers state is generating more than N4 billion every month, why are we not generating our own? It is because of dilapidated infrastructure that Aba has. Aba is noted for businessmen and industrialists and what they need is good roads, electricity and you give them enabling environment then the money would come in IGR. What the governor is doing is a matter of strategy. He is there strategising and when he says let us develop this place it will give us money and when you bring in that money every other part will be developed.

Can Aba really generate enough money to fund the overall development of Abia state? If we are able to rearrange the revenue in Ariaria we will be able to realise more than N2 billion monthly. And today Ariaria is attracting the attention of everybody not only in Nigeria but outside our shores because of made in Aba products. See what people are doing there, for instance, what I’m wearing from head to toes are made in Aba. I no longer have to go for foreign made cloths. Quality products are coming out from Aba including foot wears. It is because of the importance of Aba that electricity is now supplied to some parts of Aba constantly more than 100 per cent. For more than three moths now, there has been constant supply of electricity just to boost the economy. Developing the infrastructure at Aba is strategic - giving the people what they want. Before he (Governor Ikpeazu) started, he held a town hall meeting where he asked the people what they wanted and the businessmen and industrialists in Aba told him they don’t want money but an enabling environment – good roads, electricity and security. They said if given these, they already know how to market theirselves. It is because of the potentials of Aba that the vice-president has come here five times because it is important to the federal government. The potential of Aba is not only for Abia, but the whole of Nigeria. So the governor concentrates more in Aba. But it is not as if he is neglecting other parts of Abia, strategically what he is doing is to realise the five pillars of his government’s developmental framework. When you talk about commerce and industry all those things are in Aba. There is no road that the governor is building in Aba that does not lead to a market, industry or where you are going to have ease of doing business. As it is now in vogue for government officials to dress in made in Aba attires, was there a directive from Governor Ikpeazu to that effect? No, it’s not. This is a time when you have to live by example. If you’re saying that made in Aba products are good for everyone and good for export, you have to show a living

You have been involved in the campaign for people to obtain their PVCs, are you getting positive results? We have been working hand in hand with INEC to make sure that we sensitise our people. That is what INEC wants because there is this apathy of people not coming for registration to obtain their PVCs. This is a good opportunity but we have always been known for fire brigade approach. The day that voter registration exercise is ending you will now see thousands upon thousands of people trooping out to say I have not registered and I want to do it. The opportunity is there now but in this part of the country every morning people go out for one business or the other. They take it as priority and nobody is thinking about their civic responsibilities and they are not taking voter registration as one of our civic responsibilities. Good enough INEC in Abia state has set a target of registering up to two million voters in the state. And in getting two million voters you have to really sensitise the people. So the essence of my jingle is to really sensitise the people. We thank God that when they presented this matter to their office INEC now agreed that they have to move these machines from their office to different wards and different polling units at least to bring the registration exercise closer to the people. That was a very good one and I have received a very good recommendation from INEC people that we have really helped them to sensitise people. That has also helped in beefing up our voting strength as at today and I think that the two million voter target can be reallised by the time the continuous voter registration would end. In 2015 Ikpeazu was practically delivered by the then government. Looking ahead to 20119 can he repeat that feat using his own structure? You have to look at the acceptability of the governor everywhere he goes. The governor is one that does not talk too much. He wants his work to bear witness. You need to go around and see the quality of the projects that are being executed. Those are the cardinal points; those are the things that the governor really wants to speak for him. The governor has always come out to say that although he may not be coming out to campaign everywhere rather let his projects campaign for him. If people are coming to vie for the big office they should paste their posters on the projects they have executed and not the projects that the governor executed. This is the third anniversary of his administration and this anniversary most of the roads he has executed you can see they have lasted more than two rainy seasons. That is because of the quality. Sometime in the past Omni road used to be impassable but you can’t even think of that now. Nobody now remembers that that place used to be impassable. So the governor, as far as I’m concerned, enjoys a lot of patronage from the whole people of Abia. He’s a young man who gives back; he does not believe in distributing money to people rather he wants to encourage people. He teaches you how to fish instead of giving you fish always.



‘I Abandoned Law for Catering’ Ope Tejuoso, a legal practitioner-turned-chef, is making her cooking career more exciting and intense with the recent opening of her very first restaurant, Opindos. Tejuoso, who is the only daughter of former Lagos State Governor, late Air Commodore Gholahan Mudasiru, in this interview with Mary Nnah, talks about her passion for catering and why she abandoned her career in law for the food and confectionery industry challenge in Nigeria because there are no proper associations so that if someone comes in and calls himself a painter, there is nowhere to check to verify if he is genuine or not. So that has been the main challenge, so we had to do some things twice and sometimes thrice just to get the standard we needed.

How did your journey into the food business start?

I went to the University of Lagos and later the Law School and I graduated about 22 years ago. My journey into catering began at the university. Actually, it was borne out of one of the strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). This prompted my friends and I to look for something else to do. We started going for cooking and computer classes and some others, basically to keep us busy. Back at school after the strike, I still took up cooking jobs. That was how my first company, Opindos Limited, was born. Opindos later gave birth to the Muse Academy. By the time I finished from the University of Lagos, the Law School had been moved to Abuja. I had just gotten married and already had a little baby. So, after weighing the options, instead of going to Abuja, I just went to Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. I felt cooking would be better for me if I had to concentrate on motherhood. I am a certified chef but I came back to become a baker because baking is something I really wanted to do. I really wanted to go into baking school but I couldn’t find one at that time. It wasn’t like now that you go online and Google tells you. Then you had to check yellow pages and ask people and the only information I had was something on TV which was a cooking school in London. So, I ended up in a cooking school and still came back and continued with the baking. I did my brother ’s wedding cake because my mum insisted I had to. From that event, I got three jobs and the rest, as they say, is history. That was how I abandoned a career in Law for the food industry. I worked in Eko Hotels for a while as a chef and left to start doing my own thing, which is predominantly baking. Opindos Limited will be 20 years this October and I felt it was time to move out into the streets and do something slightly different but still in the same Tejuoso line of business. up one morning and say you want to What is the story behind Opindos Res- open a restaurant because you know how to cook. It is something that you taurant? This is our first restaurant. We have plan. So this has been a long time in been operating primarily as a bakery. the making and everything has come And we do outdoor catering for food, together now. That is why we are opening dessert and we run talk shops in quite a at this point. number of schools. That was who we were till now when we opened the restaurant Now that the dream eatery has come to to offer another type of service in the reality, what are you offering to the public? culinary industry. This one has been We are offering, first of all, the tastiest a long time coming. People have been food you would ever eat anywhere in asking me time and time again when I Lagos. Then we are health conscious was going to open a restaurant because and I know a lot of people are these everybody that knows me, knows me days and we have considered that very with food and so finally two years ago, carefully in the kind of menu we do I started looking for space to do this. here. So when you see our menu and That is how the Opindos Restaurant the way it is made out, you would know came to be. that a lot of thought have gone into putting the menu together. You have been into the food business almost 20 years now, why did it take you so long to start a restaurant?

The restaurant business is a different ball game. It is more capital intensive and the human resource aspect as well is a little bit more technical because now you are in the forefront, everything you are doing is live. There is no room for error. It is not like when somebody ordered for a cake and you have enough time to bake it. I don’t rush into things, so I had to plan it carefully. I did all the checks with the recipes, taking into consideration what will appeal to people. So you have to do a lot of research. It is not just something you just wake

It is huge. I am just scratching the surface and starting small because it’s a new baby and we don’t want to be overwhelmed. I will do my test run. I have ticked all the boxes and once we have everything right, we would go into to next phase - opening up branches, but I need to get this one right first. Are you still going to focus on the bakery aspect of Opindos? Absolutely, I have my fingers in many pies and they are all food related. I have a tailoring outfit because I can make clothes but we do more of uniforms, chef jackets, aprons and easy-to-wear suits and jackets for cooks. I have a cooking school called the Muse Academy; that one is still running; I have the bakery, the talk shops and now the Opindos restaurant. How do you intend to combine all these various businesses? That is the same question I ask myself every morning. The Muse Academy is on autopilot, meaning I have had the same staff since it started. They are still there and pretty know what to do even when I am not around. But I will structure some of the classes because I love teaching and that was what brought about running a school in the first place.

does not mean you shouldn’t find food to eat outside. Or because they are serving healthy food, it should be tasteless. You should enjoy your food at all times. So that is what Opindos restaurant is bringing – you would eat healthy but tasty food any time you stop by. I am very conscious of the quality of what goes into what I cook. I watch the oil, sugar and make sure everything is fresh. If you are eating a lot of fresh foods, your body absorbs better and you don’t add weight.

What differentiates Opindos from others?

Would these special considerations in the menu affect the price of meals? Not really. We are competitive. We know what is going on out there and we are matching what is being offered. So if you want good food and you are ready to pay for it, we are definitely very affordable.

The first thing is quality. We are not sub-changing on the quality of the ingredients we are using; we are not going to say because we want to make profits we would start cutting corners. Secondly, the way we laid out our menu is different from every other menu you would see out there. I do diet planning for people and I know the challenges they have when they go out to eat. Often, they call me to say, I am at a restaurant and there is nothing in the menu for me to eat. We know a lot of people are being health conscious but just because you want to be healthy

What has been the challenge of putting up a place like this? The usual challenges that we have in Nigeria and that includes artisans not taking their trades serious. You give them deadlines for delivery and yet they don’t meet up and one month after, you are still calling them. Or some artisans that will come and paint, then you come in asking so when are you going to be painting and he tells you that he is done. And you are like, have you painted this? You know things like that – finishing and quality is a big

What is the inspiration behind Muse Academy? It came about because there were two separate types of needs. I had a friend who had a daughter who used to come to us about seven or eight years ago and we trained her every Saturday. At that point in time, it registered that it would be nice to have a place where people could come in for classes rather than coming to the house. Sometimes, I am not there and my staff may not be able to attend to her needs as well. That was one. And there was a situation where two mums came with their daughters; they were grown up and just couldn’t cook. So we filled that gap. We get them every day like, some over the age of 18 years. It is a far cry from when we were young. I am the only girl and everyone in my house can cook. I am not even the best cook in my house. Our first son, who is a doctor, can whip up the best Italian dishes you can think of. Funny enough, we all learnt from my grandma. She is not a Nigerian; she is from the republic of Benin. She was a fantastic cook. I started cooking from age six and my grandma taught me how to cook. She would mix most of it and tell me to carry it to the cooker. I was also influenced by the fact that I am the only girl and we had a lot of parties when I was young. I actually started making money from Queens College and later UNILAG. At Queens College, I was a day student and you know that boarders don’t have access to food. They gave me money and I cooked for them. I remember making a birthday cake for a classmate with N40. I just bought cake mix and followed the packet instruction, and that was it!"




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RECURRENT PREGNANCY LOSS(PART 1) with only pains which subside after complete bed rest. Complete miscarriage has several signs, incapacitating abdominal pain with bleeding from the womb and the portions of the developing baby. When this occurs three or more consecutive or non-consecutive times an extensive laboratory series of testing is mandatory.

For couples who have been trying for a baby, the death of a child though not yet born can be very devastating. While this loss may seem invisible or unreal to others, to the woman who is affectedit may be too hard to bear as some of the cases come with intense physical pain, bleeding, coupled with the very traumatic side of emotional roller coaster that comes with recurringpregnancy loss.


What Does Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Mean? Recurrent pregnancy loss refers to three or more consecutive pregnancy loss or miscarriages. Miscarriages are early pregnancy losses, usually occurring in the first trimester or the first 90 days of the pregnancy. How Often Does Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) Occur? According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) between 2-5% of couples are affected by recurrent miscarriage/loss, with one in ten pregnancies ending in miscarriage. 15-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage even before the pregnancy test. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) May Be Early or Late Recurrent Pregnancy loss can be either early or late. Early pregnancy loss occurs during the first ninety days, or first three months of pregnancy and is considered a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. At that time, the weight of the baby is approximately five hundred grams, unable to support independent life. Several conditions can cause early Pregnancy loss ranging from hormone imbalance, embryo deformity, immune reactions to the growing baby among others. Late pregnancy loss can happen in the next six months of the pregnancy between 20 to 36weeks. If this happens weeks it is called preterm birth. These babies may have also died within the womb with delivery of a stillborn. A missed abortion

Anatomical /Iatrogenic Causes: The structure of the uterus (womb) has an effect on the ability to carry a child to term e.g. polyps, fibroids in the cavity of the womb, a weak cervix (mouth of the womb) often referred to as incompetent cervix ,even adhesions, within the womb from previous surgical interventions can be the cause of a recurrent pregnancy loss. Transvaginal Ultrasound scans can identify the exact nature. Some of the conditions can be corrected while others are permanent, but the fertility specialist/gynaecologistcan best guide you to the best option available for conception. can occur in late recurrent pregnancy loss. These cases can become true surgical emergencies with blood coagulation and irregularities which if not handled quickly and accurately may result in the death of the mother to be. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) May Be Spontaneous or Incomplete Recurrent abortions can either be spontaneous (occurring by itself) and threatened or incomplete

Endocrine Disorders: Adult onset diabetes, polycystic ovarian synESPNF 1$04 IZQPUIZSPJEJTNPSIZQFSUIZSPJEJTN (decrease or increased activity of the thyroid gland) and ovarian hormones imbalances (luteal phase defect) are some endocrine causes of recurrent miscarriages. Diabetes (elevated blood sugar) is a frequent cause of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss that can be

present before or after the start of the pregnancy. It is the cause of 20-25% of miscarriages that happen even before the pregnancy test. If diabetes develops after the pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes, which should disappear/resolve after the delivery of the baby. As it occurs in 2-3% of all pregnancies it must be considered as a possibility and checked for at each antenatal visit. Use of a glucometer, with a finger prick is the blood test done. If the blood sugar is much raised the developing baby can suffer from overproduction of the growth hormone with resulting large overweight baby at birth. If the diabetes was present before the pregnancy and the medications were oral, a switch to injections of insulin is recommended. A special diabetic diet with nutritionist consultation and a program of exercise for close monitoring of the blood sugar level is part of the best treatment plan. Thyroid gland abnormalities can cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (decrease or increased activity of the thyroid gland) and either can be the cause of recurrent Pregnancy loss. It is important to have a thorough blood laboratory workup to identify a potential cause. Thrombotic Causes: Thrombophilia is another common cause of early recurrent pregnancy loss. This blood clotting disorder can be either an inherited or acquired condition. The risk of blood clots forming inside of the blood vessels is increased in obesity, those with family history and pregnancy. Fortunately, this is one of the frequent causes of pregnancy losses that can be treated. Identification of a blood protein, homocysteine, if found can be treated. Laboratory testing of the complete blood count with further tests of various blood antibodies and blood proteins can give good treatment plan. Initial treatment with anticoagulants starts and dietary supplements with folic acid have been successful in most of these cases‌‌ TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK


When Lady Apostle Helen Ukpabio Stormed Abuja Obong Akpaekong

Whereas there are many deliverance ministers in the country and, indeed, parts of the world, a good number of them lack the needed insight to the spiritual problem and if it is demonic problem, the kind of demon they want people delivered from. They hardly know the name or nature of the demon. Neither do they understand the operational realm or the dimensions of activities of the demons that they want to cast out of people. This makes what should be their best deliverance outings, either a haphazard job or a complete mockery of the high calibre spiritual exercise. It is not so with Lady Apostle Helen Ukpabio, the founder of Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, with headquarters in Calabar. A sufficiently experienced Bible teacher and a unique vessel for deliverance, Ukpabio knows these spirits by their names, nature and realms of operation and is known to possess the know-how of bringing to subjection such spirits as Leviathan, Belial and even Lucifer, the chief agent of Satan, who is believed to be the supervisor of other spirits and agents of Satan. Ukpabio knows her onions. "It is our calling, task and mandate to deliver the possessed, oppressed, troubled, afflicted, obsessed and captives." The above, boldly printed


on the 2018 calendar of her church, vividly explains the degree of her restlessness when it comes to delivering people from dimensions of spiritual, environmental and human related problems. It was the turn of residents of Abuja, Nigeria's Capital Territory, FCT, in the five days of June 19 to 24, when Ukpabio, taking a cue from the work of Jesus, taught the people of Karu area the word of God, cast demons out of many and delivered

children, youth, men and women from the shackles of a variety of satanic attack. During those five days in Karu, marine spirits came under heavy attack and defeat. It was simply amazing watching the lady apostle issue instructions to demons that were manifesting in people. "Walk back the way you came". "Crawl as your nature is" and to a shouting and noise-making demon-possessed, "Remain silent henceforth." The demons would instantly obey - begin to crawl on the ground, move away jumping or responding in any other manner according to instruction. Also, people in the occults were let off their bondage of fear and insecurity. Witches were set free. Long-standing victims of marine spirits were delivered. People who were not making progress in life as a result of ancestral or evil family altars, were not left out. It was all celebration for families and individuals that attended the near week-long Karu encounter. Since the beginning of the year, Ukpabio has travelled to many parts of the country teaching people the word of God, ministering salvation, reviving the faith in believers and conducting deliverance. Before arriving the FCT, she had carried out similar deliverance for people in Lagos and Calabar with many testifying of how God set them or their own free from demonic attacks

that they claimed were responsible for poor health, financial bondage, backwardness in life and failure in many of their endeavours including career and family. 0MVDIJ0GGPS BNFNCFSPGUIF,BSV branch of Liberty Gospel Church, expressing her joy over the series of deliverance procedures that Ukpabio carried out in the area said: "Thank you so much for a day like this and for Lady Apostle Helen Ukpabio. Thank you for my family's deliverance. Lord it shall be permanent in Jesus Name". A deliverance minister of international acclaim, emboldened by the special gift of discernment of spirits, the trial and error method of deliverance that decorades many such exercises in churches does not apply in Ukpabio's case. It must be added that her deliverance programmes are preceded by a teaching session that basically prepares the mind and creates the needed atmosphere for the miracle. 0WFS UIF ZFBST  6LQBCJP IBT indeed been instrumental to the expression of positive change in the destinies of men, women and children across the climes through her target deliverance packages. It is this masterly approach to the conduct of deliverance from demonic powers and forms of satanic influences that has made her a much sought after minister in Nigeria and elsewhere around the world.



The Couple Mr and Mrs Eric Anchile (middle) flanked with Rev Frs. Marc Nkulu, Osbert Egbe, Julius Temuhi, Godwin Odom and Bonaventure, during their wedding ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Apapa, Lagos recently L:-R; Former Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido; Former Minsiter of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih; Former President of Nigeria,Olusegun Obsanjo; and Former Governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi, at the 70th birthday celebration of Iyom Anenih at the Women Development Centre, Abuja recently

L-R: Coordinator, Yaba Deanary Family and Human life unit (YDFHLU), Lagos Archdiocese, Dr.Micheal Adelabu;Guest Speaker, Dr (Mrs) Franca Attah; and Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Emeiwo Biakolo ,at the 1st edition of family conference of YDFHLU in Lagos recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

L-R: Ayangburen of Ikorodu, HRM Oba Kabir Shotobi; Chief Executive Officer, Modion Communications, Odion Aleobua and Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, HRM Oba AbdulSemiu Orimadegun Kasali, during the presentation of the Outstanding PR Personality of The Year award at the Marketing Edge brands / advertising excellence awards in, Lagos recently

L-R: Out-going President, Rotary Club of Lagos, District 9110 Nigeria, Soboma Ajumogobia; Guest Speaker, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi;new President, Ehi Braimah; his wife, Kemi and Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Udeme Ufot, during the installation ceremony and induction of the 2018-2019 Board/Fund raising dinner in Lagos recently. PHOTO: KOLAWOLE ALLI

L-R: Marketing Director, SPAR Nigeria, John Goldsmith; receiving the award of the Outstanding Retail Brand of The Year from Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr Olajide Idris; and Marketing Manager, SPAR Nigeria, Emmanuel Isangediok, at the Marketing Edge brand and advertising excellence awards in Lagos recently.

Group Managing Director/CEO, Milcmakin Group Ltd, Mr. Olayato Aribo and Wife Mojisola, during their 30th Wedding Anniversary Celebration, in Akure, Ondo State recently.

A cross section of the graduating students of SpringHall British Schools, during thier graduation ceremony in Maitama, Abuja...recently



Another Feather in Toyin Ashiru’s Cap It was another achievement to be proud of for Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tricontinental Group, Professor Toyin Ashiru, recently, when the professor of engineering was inducted as a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineers. Mary Nnah writes The occasion was in three dimensions; first was the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2018 annual lecture, life achievement awards, and then induction of new fellows. The tripartite event held recently at the University of Lagos, Akoka. The event witnessed the installation of Engr. Fola Lasisi as the 10th President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering as well as the launch of the academy’s journal, Innovative Solutions in Nigeria. The guest speaker was the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, who spoke on the topic, “Current Developments in Nigeria’s Water Resources Section.” The JF Ade Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos, venue of the event, was filled to the brim by families, friends, colleagues and even students of the University of Lagos, who turned out in large numbers to witness the grand occasion. The inductees were fully decked in their academia robes eagerly waiting to be inducted while others were waiting to get various awards for their various contributions to the Academy and the nation at large. Among those whose acknowledgment was in the offing was a distinguished professor of engineering and Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Tricontinental Group, Professor Toyin Ashiru. Ashiru was to be inducted as a fellow of NAE, the apex of the engineering profession in Nigeria. The immediate past President of NAE, Engr. (Mrs.) Joanna Olu Maduka, who handed over leadership to the newly elected president, Prof. Fola Lasisi, in her speech, admonished members of the Academy to use the occasion to remind themselves that they had a responsibility to ensure the advancement of Engineering education and practice throughout the Engineering family. This, she said was achievable through continuous learning, advocacy and strategic collaboration with relevant professional associations and industry. In his acceptance speech, Ashiru, who also spoke on behalf of his fellow inductees, expressed gratitude for the privilege of being made fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. “We accept with full sense of awareness, responsibilities and expectations that come with this high honour that has been bestowed on us today. We feel highly privileged to become members of the apex body of the engineering profession in this country and indeed most countries of the world,” he noted. He said the occasion was to be used as a day of reflection on the past, a celebration of milestones and refocusing for a greater future. “Our responsibility as new members of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering will be to forge ahead in playing the role that is expected of us which is to fulfil the noble objectives of the Academy.” Ashiru stressed, “On a personal level, I feel more like a graduating valedictorian who is faced and charged with the responsibilities of taking up life tasks that are fit for a fresh engineer. "However, with the requirement for election, most Fellows of the Academy are already in the retirement lounge. Thus, the roles we can play, may not be limited to tightening nuts and bolts and carrying out engineering wonders, but will expectedly be extended to advocacy and mentorship.” “We will do all in our power to fulfil the aspirations of the founding Fellows to use the unique knowledge and experiences of the eminent members to provide advisory services to government and the business community. “These will cover issues where technology plays a key role in successful implementation of socio-economic initiatives to meet

Immediate past President of NAE, Engr. (Mrs.) Joanna Olu Maduka congratulating Prof. Ashiru soon after he was inducted as a fellow of NAE

the needs of our country, Nigeria, and the global community." Ashisu also spoke on the major challenges faced by the engineering sector in Nigeria, identifying them as lack of appropriate education, training and vocation for engineers. “In short, the missing bridge between the town and gown is enormous. This closely connects to another major bridge that we need to build. Our national development is greatly hampered because the Engineers in our nation are not developed with mind sets of authentic entrepreneur engineering,” he stated. According to him, Nigeria needs to find a way, means and method to forge ahead in playing the role that the academy expects from members adding, “We will now roll our sleeves to perfect and influence the way engineering is practiced in Nigeria." Having been bestowed with a great honour of being inducted into the academy, Ashiru pledged not to make the rare opportunity elitist but enlightening. “In this vein, on my part, I will take an immediate lead by regularly publishing enlightening and empowering articles on print and social media towards encouraging young engineers into forming entrepreneur teams to establish business ventures. I will enumerate them with examples of viable and practicable projects that will add chain values using our abundant natural gas. There are loads of successful case studies to emulate from Asia and Far East countries,” he noted. In the same way, as other countries in the world, the distinguished engineer promised to work with his senior Fellows on the platform of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering to give important and cogent advises to the Government on engineering related matters that will enhance national development. The focus, Ashiru said, should be on SMEs where consumer goods which are being imported can be made at low cost while stakeholders continue to encourage young engineers towards taking up those

projects that will keep the economy afloat and strong. He strongly believed that if interested parties keep recognising the need, igniting the passion, noticing attempts, organising effort, and celebrating progress, the natural result will be the creation of lots of valuable technologically base enterprises that will not only change the course of the nation’s economy but make Nigeria a competitive global player. While thanking the Academy for the great honour of inducting them into the distinguished association, Ashiru promised that the newly inducted members will not let the Academy down, rather, will uphold its integrity and good name. He assured the Academy that the “Class of 2018” will actively participate in the programmes and meetings of the body and we will use their resources and time for the elevation of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. Ashiru, a distinguished Materials and Metallurgical Engineer with a career of more than 35 years that spans through Nigeria, UK, USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Far East, and Asia, has utilised his diverse experiences in the academia, consulting, finance/investment entrepreneurship, and project management to provide technical advisory services for the enhancement of productivity in major oil and gas industries worldwide. A graduate of the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK where he obtained B.Sc in Materials Science and Engineering, he concluded his Ph.D at the University of Birmingham, UK in Industrial Metallurgy in 1983. He began his career as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the Universities of Lagos and Ibadan respectively before serving as Nigerian Senior Research Fellow at the International Tin Research Institute in the UK. Ashiru before his advent into the oil and gas industries in 1998 was a professor/senior research fellow at the King Fahd University

of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. He is the inventor of the first known instrument for in situ detection of steel cracking in sour petroleum production operations. This sophisticated microprobe device is now fully commercialized and used worldwide in the oil industries. He holds patents in the USA, UK, Brazil, Japan, and of the World Intellectual Property Organisation for several other inventions. Over the years, he has carried out many projects to solve corrosion and materials degradation problems in petrochemical, chemical processing, fertilizer, and steel manufacturing industries. He is a world recognised consultant on matters concerning oil and gas plant development, integrity enhancement and failure analysis. Of importance was his stint as a Technical Advisor to the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), where he developed several innovative solutions for petrochemical, chemical processing and fertilizer plants. He is responsible for the introduction of Sponge-Jet, an environment-friendly low-dust blasting technology to Nigerian industries. Ashiru has received many merit awards and citations worldwide in recognition of his work, including an acknowledgment in the USA as a “Professional with Extraordinary Ability” and listings in Who is Who in the World and the Dictionary of International Biography; the highly esteemed Corrosion Odyssey 2001 Award in England; Distinguished Alumni Award University of Sussex, UK in 2009; Very Imperial Plater Award, DALIC, Vitré, France in 2010; Honouree of the African Engineering Education (AEEA). A Non-Executive Director of FCMB Group Plc, Chairman of CSL Stockbrokers Limited and Africoat Limited and others, Ashiru is currently the Group Managing Director/CEO of Tricontinental Group, a first-rate Nigerian conglomerate with interests in Oil & Gas services, industrial technologies, industrial academy, properties and investments, energy and power.



'Adeosun's Alleged Certificate Forgery Blown out of Proportion' OlufemiAduwo, the president of Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity, is also National Coordinator of the Rights Monitoring Group (RMG). In this interview with Jonathan Eze, he speaks on his job as a representative to the United Nations, the need to empower women politically, as well as INEC's preparedness for the forthcoming elections. He also dismissed the furore generated by the alleged certificate forgery of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. Excerpts: rule strategy in the loosely knit PPA. Zik’s NPP and Aminu Kano’s People’s Redemption Party (PRP) reeled under the divisions, with factions emerging and some merging with NPN, the rest is history, with massive rigging and lack of cohesion in the alliance, NPN won. The quest for political takeover through merger or alliance in Nigeria had never worked, that doesn’t mean because it failed in the past it cannot succeed in 2019 only on one ground that personal interest and politics of 'my ownisation' is jettisoned. APC will not fold her hands. Many of those who witnessed the alliance MOU meeting days ago are politicians of bread and butter, monkeys who are ready to accept banana from the hunter. The situation requires serious work and dedication; many of the parties could have dissolved and formed a new party.

You just returned from a United Nations assignment. What was the trip all about? My NGO, Centre for Convention on Democratic integrity Ltd/Gte, (CCDI), a not-for-profit organisation has a Consultative Status of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN). The status allows the centre to send five representatives each to United Nations Office in New York, Geneva and Vienna yearly and by virtue of my position as the president, I am a Designate Permanent Representative of CCDI to UN. This affords us the privilege to participate in many conferences, meetings or draw the attention of any UN organ to issues and more importantly to carry out assignment for the UN or her agencies. The visit gave me opportunity to interact with some Security Council (SC) members and submitted a paper on the ongoing crisis at the SC. The first half of 2018 has seen the council already in a parlous state after years of ugly diplomacy over the civil war in Syria, the crisis in Yemen and Gaza. The position paper I presented was published by a United States based newspaper and THISDAY. I also met with the Deputy Secretary General, Her Excellency, Ms Amina Mohammed, and presented to her an invitation letter as a special guest at Infrastructures Financing in Africa Conference slated for Dubai in August this year. You have always advocated active women participation in the political process. Do you think the forthcoming general election would offer the womenfolk more opportunities to make a difference politically? I doubt it, unless there is deliberate policy by political parties to give certain percentage of political office to women. How many of the women have the resources? In the past, majority of women that are political appointees or elected were either wives of retired generals or chieftains of the parties, unfortunately, the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ruling party is not helping matters, the same thing is applicable to the youths, instead of not too young to rule, the youths could have as well lobbied the National Assembly to make it compulsory for certain percentage of political office to be set aside for the youth by the political parties. How many youths between 24-30 years have N3billion to contest for governorship election? Anyway N10billion is not enough to win governorship election in Nigeria. Mrs. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili and many others are capable women that can manage the affairs of this country. Still talking about women in politics, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, is under investigation over alleged forged NYSC certificate. What does this portend for her? Let me start by letting you know my involvement in anti -corruption crusade during the tenure of Ibrahim Larmode as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). l singlehandedly uncovered what could be termed monumental fraud and reported to the EFCC not for any percentage as being paid to whistle-blowers now. l am a returnee to the World Bank/IMF Boards of Governors Meetings of Civil Society Forum since 2012. My organisa-


tions; RMG and CCDI, had organised sessions during the World Bank meeting in Washington DC on corruption and transparency to let you know that l don’t condone corruption in any form. The issue of certificate forgery is being blown out of proportion and some people want to build cathedral out of it. From what l have read, the minister has no reason to forge the certificate. Her school certificates are not in doubt and also that she schooled and worked in United Kingdom is not in doubt. She graduated like many Nigerians. The same certificate was used especially during her confirmation and screening exercise at Ogun State House of Assembly and Senate, when she was appointed commissioner and minister respectively. The current controversy arose from the fact that the director general that signed the purported exemption certificate issued to her had since resigned from NYSC many months before the date stated on the certificate, hence it is alleged that it must have been forged. The NYSC in a press statement confirmed that she applied for an exemption. My investigation revealed that there are hundreds of such exemptions and non -exemption certificates signed by the same director general, around the same date the minister ’s own was issued. l have sighted many documents of such by some government agencies especially NYSC and CBN, pre-print of documents, certificates and currency with authorised signatories . Such documents will continue to be issued and in circulation as long as the stock last, let NYSC deny that. The truth is some people believe the infrastructural fund should not be under her control and also

the manner she raised issue concerning the withheld billions by the NNPC did not go down with some people within APC. That is the simple truth. Ahead of the 2019 election, there are merger talks among political parties. How successful do you think this can be and what are your predictions? This is not the first or second time alliances will be announced. In the First Republic, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) led by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, had political dominance and influence in the Northern Region and principally dominated the government at the centre. To wrestle power from NPC, there was a merger not coalition called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) . The merger comprised the late Chief Awolowo’s Action Congress (AG), Chief Azikwe’s National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC), late Chief Tarka’s United Middle Belt Congress and late Mallam Aminu Kano’s Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU). The NPC did not relax to watch the display of the merger; it formed the Nigeria National Alliance (NNA) with late Akintola’s Nigerian Democratic Party (NDP) of the Western Region. In the Second Republic, there were six dominant and registered political parties segregated along ethnic lines. There were serious allegations of massive corruption, unemployment and incompetence levelled against the Shagari government as is being levelled against President Muhamamdu Buhari’s government today. Alliance was formed-the Progressive Parties Alliance (PPA). Shagari’s National Party of Nigeria (NPN) launched a divide–and-

Many believe the Ekiti and Osun elections would serve as litmus test for INEC’s preparedness. As a stakeholder, what are your expectations? Probably the seriousness of the PDP and alliance force could be tested in Ekiti State election by narrowing the contestants to APC and PDP candidates, since some contestants may not get 20 votes. Now, Ekiti election is crucial in many respects to the PDP, APC and 2019 general elections especially the Presidential poll. ln 2015, Ekiti State was the only state Buhari lost in the South-west. To win the Presidential poll in Nigeria, two political zones were the determinant factors, North-west and South-west, the outcome of Ekiti State governorship election will affect Osun State governorship election in geometric proportion. For free and fair election to be achieved in Ekiti State is purely the duty of political parties, INEC as an umpire for example, cannot stop vote buying. The vote buying started long ago, as an election observer since 2003; l witnessed such ugly incident in many states across the country. In some cases, it was done unnoticed but in many states in the northern part, the child voters collected their pay immediately after thumb printing. You would remember during APC Presidential primary election in Lagos before 2015 general election, over 8000 delegates who participated allegedly made $5,000 each from the candidates and in the last Ondo State governorship election, where l served as an observer, APC and PDP were given between N7000 and N4000 respectively. I am from the State; l saw it and took pictures with some of the collectors. The policemen at polling units cannot do anything to stop such incident. Such action in many cases snowball to fracas, destruction and commotion after counting, where a candidate believed he would have won, didn't. To stop such incidents, more awareness and vigorous enlightenment campaign by all the stakeholders is the solution. It can only be reduced because it happens in many West Africa countries, in a situation where poverty and illiteracy level are higher, such aberration would manifest. If the security agencies can be above board, definitely the election would be peaceful. I still want to appeal to Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to withdraw some police officers. Governor Fayose mentioned that they are working with Dr. Kayode Fayemi. In the same manner, the DG of the Department of State Services (DSS) should do the same, l hope the governor is correct.

T H I S D AY ˾ FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018



T H I S D AY ˾    ͯͱ˜ͰͮͯͶ

T H I S D AY ˾ FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018


T H I S D AY Ëž ËœJULY 13, 2018



CBN Chief Calls for Speedy Passage of Factoring Bill Ndubuisi FrancisĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Joseph Okwu Nnanna, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Factoring Bill currently before the parliament. Nnanna spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing 25th anniversary and annual general meetings of the African ExportImport Bank (Afreximbank), in Abuja, yesterday. The CBN chief, who chaired

a session on the Nigerian Factoring Roundtable hosted by the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (Neximbank), stated that the passage of the bill would unlock the immense potential inherent in factoring. Factoring is a financial transaction; a kind of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (invoices) to a third party, called a factor at a discount. Nnanna noted that the benefits of factoring to medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) were enormous, noting

that the CBN had pushed to put in place a collateral registry, which has the potential of offering cheaper source of finance than money deposit banks, if the process is operated the way it is supposed to operate. In his address, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Jones Onyeriri, noted that Nigeria lags behind in the implementation of factoring, stating that its introduction into the financial system would compliment conventional banking.

‘AMCON’s Huge Obligation of N4.8tr Must Be Recovered’ The Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, has said that Nigeria can be made great again, if the legislature as a matter of urgency empowers the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to go after recalcitrant obligors. This, he said is the only way AMCON can meet its mandate of achieving the tough mandate for which it was set up in 2010. The move, he argued, would place before Nigerians those who are holding the nation’s economy to ransom since they account for 80 per cent of AMCON’s N4.8trillion obligation. The senator, who spoke yesterday at the opening of a two-day retreat in Lagos where they convened to discuss the AMCON Act Amendment Bill, hinted that the upper chamber,

as part of its oversight function, had decided that AMCON must be given all the support it requires to perform as expected by all Nigerians. He, however, urged the management of AMCON to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation to propose that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces issues an Executive Order on seizure of assets of persons who are indebted to AMCON. Ibrahim said the legislature supports the proposed plan by AMCON to publish the list of 350 obligors that accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the total huge debt of AMCON. Earlier in his presentation,

the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru disclosed that AMCON’s total debt obligation of N4.8 trillion represents more than 55 per cent of the 2018 national budget. Given the current demands on the federal government therefore, Kuru said he was convinced that it is doubtful that the government can afford to expense AMCON’s debt in the short term. It was for that reason, AMCON, after seven years of negotiating with the obligors with no commensurate recovery result, has decided to change its strategy, which now pays strict attention to enforcements as a way of compelling especially the recalcitrant obligors to come and pay up their debts.

Ecobank Partners Total Nigeria on Agency Banking Nume Ekeghe Ecobank Nigeria has announced its partnership with Total Nigeria Limited to offer agency banking services at Total filling stations across Nigeria. In a statement, the pan-African bank said it has commenced the operation in 100 stations that were carefully selected to ensure members of the public carry out their financial transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and account opening at outlets known as Ecobank Xpress Points. In addition, transfers to Ecobank and other banks, bill payments, airtime top up with ease in the selected locations.

Announcing the partnership in Lagos, Executive Director, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs. Carol Oyedeji, said the deployment of Ecobank Xpress Points via Total Nigeria locations was an extension of the bank’s distribution and financial inclusion strategy to take banking service to the doorstep of every Nigerian and African. She said: “To deliver our strategy of reaching 100 million customers by 2020, we have created innovative platforms, products and services, which are already serving a much larger customer base.� She further stated: “These agent locations will support

some of the innovative services we have introduced to the market such as Xpress Cash which allows customers to withdraw cash at ATMs without their cards, transfers within and across 33 countries via the Ecobank Mobile App and our proprietary money transfer service, Rapid Transfer, among others�. Also, the General Manager Sales and Marketing, Total Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Adesua Adewole, said: “At Total, the team develops our network of service stations everywhere in Nigeria daily, to bring Total closer to its 200,000 daily customers.�

Firm to Launch Crowdfunding Platform Bennett Oghifo Quickraiz, the largest crowdfunding platform is set to be launched with the best technology and security architecture. Quickraiz is owned by Ativo Limited, a technology company established by Electronic Pay Plus Limited to deliver sustainable innovative intervention that creates economic development. The solution will be unveiled in an event in Lagos today. Quickraiz said it is committed to lead the market by setting a new standard. Quickraiz is a crowdfunding platform created to establish

a marketplace where genuine causes meet benevolence of individual and corporate bodies both in Nigeria and in diaspora. Donations on this platform ranges from emergency/ disaster support, medical funding, political fundraising, alumni association contribution, religious institutions fundraising, charity, education, weddings, to group gifting, sport funding, and literally everything that involves fundraising. In the light of this, Quickraiz has partnered with technology giant, Interswitch and array of financial institution to provide a seamless experience on the platform.

In a chat with the MD/ CEO, Mr. Bayo Adeokun, he noted that the communal culture in Africa and Nigeria in particular cuts across tribes and religion lines but remain informal and limited. “We are set to transform this culture into a digital environment where benevolence reach are extensive and all encompassing.� In the same vein, the Head of Sales and Marketing, Remi Jibodu, opined that the platform came when the market was ripe, owing to the geometrical increase in mobile and Internet penetration in Nigeria which stands at 81per cent and 54 per cen respectively.

L-R: Secretary General, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr Mohammed Barkindo; Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, listening to presentation by the Group Chief Executive Officer, Amazon Energy, Yinka Oluwatimehin, during an exhibition at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja‌recently



MARCH 2018 Broad Money (M2)


-- Narrow Money (M1)


---- Currency Outside Banks


---- Demand Deposits


-- Quasi Money


Net Foreign Assets (NFA)


Net Domestic Assets(NDA)


-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)


---- Credit to Government (Net)


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


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


---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)


--Other Assets Net


Reserve Money (Base Money)


--Currency in Circulation


--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

Inter-Bank Call Rate


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


Treasury Bill Rate


Savings Deposit Rate


1 Month Deposit Rate


3 Months Deposit Rate


6 Months Deposit Rate


12 Months Deposit Rate


Prime Lending rate


Maximum Lending Rate




The price of OPEC basket of ďŹ fteen crudes stood at $74.40 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $76.34 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), Djeno (Congo), 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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Equities Market Extends Bearish Trading on Continuing Negative Sentimentsa Goddy Egene Negative investor sentiments persisted at the stock market yesterday, extending the bear run for the third consecutive day. As a result, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) AllShare Index (ASI) fell 0.07 per cent to close at 37,226.44 as 30 stocks depreciated in value, while 15 stocks added value. Sell pressure in the banking sector was part of drivers of

the bearish trading yesterday as 10 banking stocks fell. Access Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc were among the banking counters that closed in the red. However, the overall price loser’s chart was led by Beta Glass Plc with 10 per cent to close at N9.00, trailed by Tantalizers Plc that shed 9.1



per cent to be at N0.30 per share. MCNichols Plc, NAHCO Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc went down by 8.9 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. On the positive side, Custodian Investment Plc led the price gainers, garnering 8.4 per cent, followed by International Breweries Plc with 5.6 per cent. Multiverse Mining & Exploration Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc and Japaul Oil &





Maritime Services Plc chalked up 5.0 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 3.0 per cent in that order. With just a day to end of the week, market analysts said in the absence of any significant market information, they expect a negative close to the market this week. Meanwhile, activity level was mixed yesterday with volume traded decreasing by 7.8 per cent to 263.0



million sharers units while value traded increased by 10.0 per cent to N4.1 billion. Access Bank Plc (42.9 million shares), Zenith Bank (40.8 million shares) and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (33.8 million shares) were the most traded stocks by volume while Zenith Bank (N1.0 billion), International Breweries Plc (N0.8 billion) and Unilever Nigeria Plc (N0.7 billion) were the most


traded stocks by value. In terms of sectoral performance, three sectors depreciated led by the NSE Banking Index with 1.4 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index fell by 1.1 per cent and the NSE Oil & Gas Index shed 0.6 per cent. On the other hand, the NSE Industrial Goods Index led the advancers with 0.5 per cent, followed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index with 0.1 per cent.

1 2 / 0 7 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS





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C & I Leasing Raises Stake in Marine Services Subsidiary to 100% Goddy Egene C & I Leasing Plc, a leasing and business service conglomerate has concluded the buyout of 27.5 per cent minority stake in C & I Petrotech Marine Limited (CPML), a joint venture with six vessels presently deployed to long term contract with a leading oil firm. In a filing to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, the company said the parties engaged an independent adviser to value the shares of the CMPL

before the consummating the buyout. “As a result of the transaction CMPL is now fully owned subsidiary of C & I Leasing Plc,” the company said in the filing signed by the Company Secretary, Mbanugo Udenze. The company had explained that the N7 billion bond recently raised by would be largely invested in business expansion and restructuring of its debts over a period of five years among other initiatives which will guarantee increased profit margins

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

and returns for shareholders. Commenting on the development, the Managing Director of C & I Leasing Plc, Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi said the firm’s its journey into marine sector as a service provider for the oil and gas sector actually started through CPML joint venture in 2010 and has over the years culminated in the ownership of over 20 vessels consisting of crew boats, pilot boats, patrol boats, and platform support vessels for providing services such as line and hose handling, berthing and escort services,

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 11Jul-2018, unless otherwise stated.

mooring support, firefighting, pollution control, security and floating and self-elevating platforms. “This is clearly reiterate our commitment to growing our marine services business and gaining leadership in the field. It is hoped that this buyout will further the company’s drive to restructuring and repositioning our marine business for enhanced profitability,” he added. The company has been recording improved financial results in recent times, which the MD had

attributed to the strength in the diversity of its business. He said: “Our three business lines namely, marine, fleet management and outsourcing are gaining strength in their different markets with each contributing positively to the overall performance of the business. This is not without the difficulties faced in the operating environment with rising financing and operating costs coupled with continuous pressure on turnover. We remain focused on sustaining

delivery of superior customer service and continued diversification of earnings, to take advantage of growth opportunities in the markets and business segments we operate in.” He added that the company is also exploring additional avenues to provide exceptional support services to our numerous clients in meeting their diverse business needs, whilst maintaining the high quality of our product offerings, declaring “we remain optimistic about our growth prospects.”

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 184.92 184.96 3.86% Nigeria International Debt Fund 245.12 245.17 5.97% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.83 0.84 0.59% ACAP Income Funds 0.65 0.65 7.19% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.90% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 148.36 149.41 -2.19% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.30% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.57% Paramount Equity Fund 11.86 12.17 6.99% Women's Investment Fund 104.32 107.04 3.69% NAV Per Share Fund Name Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund 108.56 CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.64% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,166.31 1,167.02 7.89% FBN Heritage Fund 146.55 147.78 5.06% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.17% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional 112.55 113.04 2.11% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail 112.35 112.85 2.04% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 171.13 173.59 6.64% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.38 1.39 5.24% Legacy Debt Fund 3.08 3.08 6.85% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,117.67 3,149.85 4.43% Coral Income Fund 2,653.70 2,653.70 8.43% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.62% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 102.99 104.28 3.17% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.27% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.17 2.19 2.83%

Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 14.20% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 120.69 121.04 4.93% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.19 1.21 3.81% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,083.94 1,083.94 7.44% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 13.27 13.39 1.23% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.35% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.35 1.38 13.38% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.84 11.90 7.27% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.84% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 133.48 135.88 3.66% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.60 1.60 8.09% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,366.94 2,386.65 5.53% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 186.74 186.74 5.83% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 1.03 1.05 2.97% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 240.56 240.61 9.23% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 180.41 182.43 0.73% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.24% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 9,673.37 9,804.63 0.04% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.10 1.10 3.88% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.32 1.33 -1.56% United Capital Bond Fund 1.67 1.67 6.75% United Capital Equity Fund 0.94 0.96 2.68% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.14 1.00 11.50% United Capital Eurobond Fund 106.87 106.87 3.86% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.14 1.14 4.54% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 12.94 13.15 3.45% Zenith Ethical Fund 13.60 13.75 3.42% Zenith Income Fund 20.52 20.52 8.41% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.20%


Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 136.57 51.39

1.01% 3.10% 1.10%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

11.97 146.94 109.22

12.07 149.86 111.19

-1.25% 2.81% -0.06%

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

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

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

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.69 8.82 17.41 18.46 144.48

4.73 8.90 17.51 18.66 146.48

-1.13% -7.80% -0.55% -6.11% 5.62%

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


FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY


Editor: VINCENT OBIA 0805 468 1757

In Brief Donald Trump in London Amid Protests

US President Donald Trump arrived in the UK on Thursday for a four-day visit amid a flurry of political turmoil and planned protests against him. Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania, landed at London’s Stanstead airport after attending a controversial NATO summit in Brussels, Al Jazeera reported. Their trip will include meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May, who has described the US as Britain’s strongest ally, and is determined to secure a trade deal after the country acts on Brexit and leaves the European Union in March 2019. Shortly before heading to the UK, Trump criticised May’s Brexit plan by saying he was not sure the British people are getting what they voted for.

UK Calls for Economic Ties in Brexit White Paper

Trump at a press conference in Brussels following the NATO summit on Thursday. Photo credit: AP

Trump’s Unilateralism Blowing up American Power

By electing foreign policy options that diminish multilateral institutions and take no regard of the views of even allies, Trump is destroying America’s global influence, writes Vincent Obia


head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Wednesday and Thursday, United States President Donald Trump literally went to war with the 69-year-old intergovernmental military alliance. Trump unleashed a torrent of tweets voicing discontent with NATO for being an excessive burden and a drag on the US economy. He also took Germany on for not contributing enough to NATO and hobnobbing with an enemy that should be alienated and battled. “The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more. Germany is at 1%, the U.S. is at 4%, and NATO benefits,” Trump tweeted on Monday. He added, “We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia…So we are supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re playing billions dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate…Germany is totally controlled by Russia.” Trump has been a harsh critic of NATO since his campaign for office in 2016. After taking over from Barack Obama, Trump declared his country’s commitment to the defence of NATO allies but maintained complaints about the disproportionate financial burden on Washington. US claims to fund about 70 per cent (Trumps says “probably 90 per cent) of the expenditure of the alliance of 29 North American and European countries formed on April 4, 1949 in the thick of the Cold War under America’s supervision. But experts say US shoulders about 22 per cent of NATO’s spending. Nonetheless, the US president’s current protests are widely seen as part of his policy weakening or pulling back from multilateral institutions that America helped to form. He made his US-centric stance clear at his inauguration on January 20, 2017, when he declared, “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Following widespread criticism, Trump amended his “America first” declaration, telling global finance leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos on

January 26 this year, “America first…does not mean America alone.” But US has seemed sworn to brush everyone aside, even allies, and go it alone since the coming of Trump. In December last year, the country decided to end its participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration (GCM), claiming it can undermine its “sovereign right,” according to a statement by the State Department. Then State Secretary Rex Tillerson said in the statement the United States could not “support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.” So when the world meets at the UN-organised Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakesh, Morocco, December 10-11, the US will be absent. Just before then, in October 2017, the United States pulled out of the Paris-based landmark UN cultural organisation, UNESCO. Last month, the United States announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council, accusing it of “chronic bias” against Israel. The exit came a month after the top human rights body voted to send international investigators to probe the killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli snipers in Gaza. The decision to pull out of the UN Human Rights Council was announced on June 19 by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” Haley said alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called the move by the Trump administration “disappointing, if not really surprising”. He added, “Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.” Before launching its latest trade war on China, which the Chinese called the “largest trade war in economic history”, the European Union and other traditional allies in North America and Asia, the Trump administration had since last year engaged in a blocking tactic to prevent new appointments to the World Trade Organisation’s appellate body. This has affected the ability of the WTO to resolve trade disputes, its primary responsibility. The sevenmember WTO appellate body was reduced to four

last December, and there are fears it may become totally incapacitated by next year if the US continues its present attitude. Trump is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between Mexico, US, and Canada, and he has pulled the U.S. out of the TransPacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact known. International economist and former economic adviser to the president of the EU, Philippe Legrain, told Al Jazeera recently, “What is quite striking is that the United States is declining. It is threatened by the rise of China and other emerging powers.” Legrain said with the rise other powers within the institutions, Trump was trying to undermine the international system it created in order to preserve its status and power. “The rising power, which is China, actually would be keen on most of the systems that exist and the declining hegemony, which is the United States, wants to blow it up.” Legrain stated, “The reality is actually he is blowing up American prosperity and blowing up American power.” Trump’s isolationism is already nudging Africa towards China. China is making huge infrastructural investments in Africa tailored towards linking the African economies to Beijing. As part of its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, the Chinese are building roads, ports, dams, railways and other infrastructure across Africa. They include a metro system in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a vital railway connecting landlocked Ethiopia’s 100 million people to Djibouti’s Red Sea port, where the Chinese plan to open their first military base outside China. In Kenya, China has financed the biggest postcolonial infrastructure project in the country – a nearly $4 billion railway linking Nairobi with the country’s main Indian Ocean port in Mombasa. China is also building a major train network in Nigeria. It is getting closer to Russia, and intensifying attempts to integrate the Asian economies. In Europe, many US allies are beginning to assert themselves, their decision to stay on the Iran nuclear deal after America’s withdrawal and impose retaliatory trade sanctions on the US being very clear indications. Trump is isolating America in ways many fear could hurt the country irretrievably. “And even if Trump is rejected in 2020 by US voters, he would have done so much damage that it will be very hard for future US presidents in different circumstances to rebuild what he has demolished,” Legrain said.

The British government on Thursday published its highly anticipated Brexit white paper, which lays out its plan for a split with the European Union. The 104page document calls for close economic ties with the EU through a new free trade area as well as a “common rulebook” for goods. If accepted by the EU, the proposal would “end free movement, taking back control of the UK’s borders”. At the same time, the document says the UK would allow citizens to travel freely and without a visa for tourism and temporary business matters and support businesses “to move their talented people”.

EU, US Hold 8th Energy Council Meeting The eighth EU-U.S. Energy Council met on Thursday in Brussels, in the first meeting of the energy council under the administration of President Donald Trump. The council, established in 2009, allowed for a substantial exchange of views, in an open and constructive atmosphere, on the opportunities for transatlantic energy cooperation, according to a joint statement by the US and EU. The statement said, “The meeting discussed the modernisation, development and resilience of energy infrastructure, including the importance to critical infrastructure protection through cybersecurity; clean energy innovation and other technology cooperation; and engagement with industry.”

China Opens Embassy in Burkina Faso China opened an embassy in Burkina Faso on Thursday, two months after the landlocked West African country cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The move to sever relations with Taiwan in May followed Chinese pressure on African countries to break with what it regards as a wayward province — all of which have now done so except the kingdom of Swaziland. “The government (of China) attaches great importance to this relationship and intends to be a privileged partner for the development of Burkina Faso,” visiting Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said at a ceremony to mark the opening.

22 African Businesswomen Visit US Twenty-two women entrepreneurs from 13 African countries will arrive in the United States this week to connect with their American counterparts and accelerate the growth of their businesses. The businesswomen in this year’sAfrican Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) holding from July 27 join a network that has created thousands of jobs and over 20 women’s business associations in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative promotes business growth and increases trade both regionally and with U.S. markets through theAfrican Growth and OpportunityAct (AGOA). This year’s cohort represents Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

T H I S D AY ˾ FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018



FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY


Buhari Flags off Abuja Light Rail FEC approves $1.3bn for project phase two PDP flays Buhari, APC for claiming rail project .

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, inaugurated the Lot 1A and Lot 3 of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, with a promise of the federal government’s support

for the negotiations towards the completion of the second phase of the rail system. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved for construction by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the phase

Truck Drivers Suspend Strike NPA blames operators for crisis Eromosele Abiodun Terminal operators at the Nigeria’s seaports are battling massive congestion after about seven days of industrial action embarked upon by truck drivers, which was suspended yesterday, THISDAY’s findings revealed. Also, the operators have raised the alarm over the inability of vessels to berth at the ports due to the congestion and the increased turnaround time of vessels to 30 days. The truck drivers had embarked on strike last Friday, over the failure of the truck call-up system introduced to ease traffic congestion at the Lagos seaports - Tin Can and Apapa ports. THISDAY gathered that the shipping companies have been unable to give clearing agents rotation number because of the congestion at the seaside, which will also increase cargo dwell time at the port A manager in one of the leading terminals in container terminal said Ships have started to queue up at the seaside. He said, “The seaside is congested now and we may not be able to service the seaside until the containers are moved from the ports,” he said. Sources told THISDAY that the strike was called off after the

Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) brokered peace between the drivers, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). In a meeting held at the board room of the council yesterday, the executive secretary of the council urged the truck drivers to return to the port. According to him, “We have persuaded truckers to go back to work. We just came out of a meeting between the truck drivers, NPA and the Nigerian Navy. The truckers complaint has been on holding bay and it is something we need to sit-down and discuss. Bello also disclosed that shipping companies want to charge for containers going to holding bay but they have stopped it. “Even though, the shipping companies want to charge for expenses incurred on containers going to the holding bay buyer have stopped that, “he said. Meanwhile, the NPA has put the blame of the collapse of the call up system on terminal operators and shipping Companies operating as the Tin-Can and Apapa ports. The authority in a statement made available by the Assistant General Manager, Strategic and Corporate Communication, Isah Suwaid, said it consulted with the operators before embarking on the call up system.

two of the rail project to cover a distance of 32.54km from Nnamdi Azikwe Expressway at Garki Area l, via the transportation Centre, to Gwagwa and from Bazango Station to Kubwa at the cost of $1.3 billion to be funded by China Exim Bank. This is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for attempting to claim credit for the Abuja Light Rail Project, which was conceptualised and initiated by the PDP-led administration. The 1435-milimetre standard gauge project, touted the first of its kind in West Africa, covers the total length of 45.3 kilometres. The president inaugurated the project constructed at the revised fee of $824 metres at the Abuja Metro Station. Accompanied by some members of his cabinet and the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, the president later embarked on a guided tour of the Idu Control and Operation Centre and the International Airport Train Terminal. Buhari described transportation as the live wire of any city, stressing that he was optimistic that a modern rail service would boost the FCT economy and greatly enhance its social life. He urged the FCT administration, especially, the management of the rail services, to ensure efficient operations, good customer service and maintenance culture in the

operations punctuality of the rail. “Today, what we have in the FCT is another evidence that we are a government that delivers on its promises. I have observed keenly other milestones that this administration has achieved, especially in the areas of education, public utilities and infrastructure development,” Buhari said. FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, said the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System was made up of six Lots and would be linked with the National Rail Network when eventually completed. He announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved for construction by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) the construction of phase II of the rail project to cover a distance of 32.54km from Nnamdi Azikwe Expressway at Garki Area l, via the transportation Centre, to Gwagwa and from Bazango Station to Kubwa at the cost of $1.3 billion to be funded by China Exim Bank. Bello also disclosed that the FCTA had concluded an infrastructure soft loan agreement with Exim Bank of China for the supply of the remaining coaches, including their maintenance for three years at a cost of $194,008,602.43. The bank would fund the project to the tune of $157,001,049.89 (85 per cent), while the FCTA would bring in a counterpart fund of US$37,007,552.54 (15 per cent).

The Abuja rail is divided into six Lots and with total length of 290 kilometres. The commissioned Lots 1A and 3 comprises of 12 stations, including Abuja Metro Station, Stadium Station, Kukwaba I (National Park Station), Kukwaba ll (Ring Road Station), Wupa Station, Idu Station, Bassaniiwa Station, Airport Station, Gwagwa Station, Deidei Station, Kagini Station and Gbazango Station. It has 15 flyover bridges, 13 railway bridges, 50 culverts and nine pedestrian overpass. The light rail is projected to convey 5,000 passengers per day while the protect consultants, Messrs Transurb Technical Ltd has granted the project Safety Certificate for commercial operations. Meanwhile, the PDP has slammed President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for attempting to claim credit for the Abuja Light Rail Project, which was conceptualised and initiated by the PDP-led administration. The party said President Buhari’s show-boating and rush to inaugurate the rail project, without giving credit to the PDP, even when his administration contributed nothing to the project, underscored his desperation to claim achievements made by others, in a frantic bid to cover ‘’incompetence and the failure’’ of his administration. In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola

Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party said it was crystal clear that President Buhari could not comprehend the design, scope and utility projection of the rail project, resulting in “his hollow speech at the photo-op inauguration ceremony”. The party added that, “it is not unfortunate that, after three years in office, President Buhari cannot boast of any development project conceptualised and executed by his administration in any part of the country, resulting in his numerous face-saving stunts, including inaugurating projects executed by others, amongst them, a bus stop in Lagos State and a borehole in Jigawa State. “The PDP usually watch with amusement whenever President Buhari and the APC seek to claim credit for our achievements in various sectors. However, while we understand their predicament of having nothing in their scorecard ahead of the 2019 general elections, we state that poaching the achievements of others cannot help them in anyway,” he explained. PDP said it was even more pathetic that not only that the Buhari-led administration lacked the capacity to articulate and run any precise economic policy or project, it was also so inept that it could not leverage on those handed over to it by the PDP, resulting in the helpless situation the country had found itself

Nigeria Loses $600m to Sugar Importation Yearly Jonathan Eze The Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr. Latif Busari, has said that the federal government is deeply concerned by the amount of foreign exchange that Nigeria loses to sugar importation which ranges from $450- $600 million annually. He however, restated the Council’s determination to deploy available resources to ensure that Nigeria progressively reduces its level of sugar importation and attains self-sufficiency in sugar production which is one of the core mandates of the NSDC. He said though this amount pales into insignificance when compared with the foreign exchange lost to the importation of items like refined petroleum products, wheat and other consumables annually, it is still worrisome to government. In a statement sent to THISDAY yesterday, he said one of such bold steps taken to achieve this objective was the design and implementation of a policy roadmap for the entire sugar industry titled the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) which is currently in its fifth year of implementation.

He added that government is committed to building a viable sugar industry that would be of benefit to all interested parties. This he said would be achieved through a faithful implementation of the NSMP that is designed to make Nigeria achieve self-sufficiency in its sugar requirements and drastically reduce sugar importation, thereby also reducing the drain on our foreign exchange. Speaking on efforts to create an enabling and business friendly environment to ensure private sector participation in the sugar sector, Busari said government is constantly engaging investors to offer both technical and administrative supports that would propel them to success. “For instance, we saw the need to intervene in the case of Sunti Golden Sugar Estate when it suffered severe losses owing to flooding for three years consecutively. We stood by them and offered technical and administrative assistance to ensure that flood protection dykes will be constructed to mitigate a re-occurrence. I am glad to tell you that the said multi-billion sugar project is on and running as we speak”.


L-R: Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede; Executive Governor, Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson; and Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, after a meeting with the vice chancellor in Ile-Ife… yesterday

THISDAY Aviation Correspondent Wins Award Peter Uzoho The Aviation Correspondent at THISDAY Newspapers Limited, Mr. Chinedu Eze, has emerged the ‘Best Aviation Print Reporter of the Year’, at the 2018 award ceremony organised by the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN). The award ceremony took place in Lagos, yesterday. The organisers explained that the award was in recognition of Eze’s contribution to the aviation industry through quality and professional coverage of the industry’s activities. Also speaking at the event, the

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO Aviance), Mr. Idris Yakubu, called on the federal government to develop policies to save the country’s aviation industry from collapse. Yakubu, spoke on the theme, ‘Promoting the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product through Safety Consciousness in the Aviation Industry.’ Represented at the event by NAHCO’s Head, Commercial, Mr. Kelechi Amechi, Yakubu described the Nigerian aviation industry as “an abysmal failure” and unacceptable, charging the

government to invest heavily in the sector. He argued that of the 3.5 per cent jobs created by the industry globally, Nigeria’s aviation industry can only create 0.2 per cent, stressing that the sector’s infrastructural condition was far below what obtained else where in the world. He added: “I cannot understand why we cannot have a standard airport as we have it in other parts of the world. “There is need for government to look at the aviation sector of our economy critically and come up with

a deliberate plan to develop and grow the industry. “There is need to invest in human resources in the industry; there is need to invest heavily in aviation in Nigeria. What we have currently as airports is not befitting.” In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, represented by the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr. Akin Olatiru, commended the association for continuously leading the industry stakeholders and professionals in discussing safety issues which he said was key to the growth and advancement of the aviation industry.

FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY



Oshiomhole Orders Labour, Aviation Ministers to Inaugurate Boards or Face Disciplinary Actions Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The National Chairman of

the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has directed the Minister of Labour and

Ambode Bags Political Brand Personality Awards Emmanuel Otaru The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has been honoured with the ‘Political Brand Personality of the Year Award,’ by MARKETING EDGE magazine, in view of what the organisers of the award described as the governor’s enviable massive infrastructural development of the state. The award which was conferred on the state governor at the 2018 MARKETING EDGE yearly National Marketing Summit & Brands & Advertising Awards of Excellence, held at Balmoral Hall, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, was received on his behalf by his Tourism, Culture and Arts Commissioner, Mr. Steve Ayorinde. In the citation, Ambode in the last three years, was said to have turned the state literally into a construction yard, with massive infrastructural development projects, dotting the landscape of the entire state. In the citation, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of MARKETING EDGE, Mr. John Ajayi, while announcing the state government as winner of the prestigious award, said the advisory board of the awards was unanimous in selecting the governor for the award because of his sterling performance in office. “Selecting Governor Ambode for the award was the least tasking exercise by the Advisory Board of the Awards, as Ambode’s track records of performance towers above his peers.” He stated further that Governor

Ambode has in the last three years turned the state into a “Smart City,” adding that these and many other land mark projects are visible all over the state. Similarly, a leading experiential marketing agency in Nigeria, Oracle Experience Limited was equally recognized for its outstanding performance in the experiential marketing category. The agency won two awards, including the Leadership Award in Experiential Marketing in Nigeria and the Brand Personality of the Year award, which went to the agency’s founder and CEO, Felix King Eiremiokhae. In his reaction to the award, Mr. Eiremiokhae expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the awards and the convener, Mr. John Ajayi. He stressed that the awards further affirmed that the work of his agency and the stories it had been telling till date are compelling stories that touches the consumers. “We are quite humble by the award, considering the category which is the leadership awards. This means that the stories we have been telling all these while are stories that are inspiring other people as well as giving a direction of how the industry has been for the last couple of years. I am really grateful for these awards and we at Oracle Experience highly appreciate them.” He added that the awards would further spur the agency’s drive and enthusiasm to do more in ensuring that it remains above at all times in the industry.

LASUVC, Lagos, Ondo AGs, 28 Others Elevated to Rank of Senior Advocate Alex Enumah in Abuja The Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof. Olarenwaju Adigun Fagbohun; the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mosediq Adeniji Kazeem, his Ondo State counterpart, Adekola Adeyeye Olawoye and 28 others were yesterday named as Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC). Others are Prof. Mohammed Mustapha Akanbi of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Isah Hayatu Chiroma, Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, Prof. Oforinze Dike Amucheazi and Prof. Oluyemisi Adefunke Bamgbose, the only female among them. Also on the list announced by Secretary of the committee and Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha are Oba Maduabuchi, Essien Essien Udom, Metong Robert Urombo, George Chiedu Igbokwe and Olubowale Taiwo. The list also has Oluwole Osamudiame Iyamu, Stephen Ojomeko Adehi, Olusegun Akintayo Akinbiyi, Emmanuel Ozoemenam Achukwu, Kenneth Chukwuemeka Ahia, Louis Maduforo Alozie,

Adeyinla Patrick Olumide-Fusika, Johnson Olalekan Ojo, Wole Seun Agunbiade, Olayode Olumide Delano and Tanimu Mohammed Inuwa. The rest are, Sonny Oluchukwu Wogu, Adewale Eyitemi Atake, Ikhide Ehighelua, Edmund Chinonye Obiagwu, Cosmas Ikechwkwu Enweluzo, Ishiaka Dikko Mudi and Olabode Olutoyin Olanipekun, son of legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN. Announcing the new SANs yesterday in Abuja, the LPPC Secretary told journalists that a total of 106 lawyers with 83 under advocacy and 23 under academic applied for the new rank. Mrs. Mustapha disclosed that at the end of the 135 plenary session of the LPPC, 31 were found worthy of been conferred with the privilege rank. She further hinted that the prestigious rank was conferred on the beneficiaries as a mark of excellence having distinguished themselves in their career. Meanwhile, the new SANs are to be inuguarated on September 24 during the 2018/2019 new legal year of the Supreme Court.

Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to inaugurate all the boards under their ministries within one week or face the wrath of the ruling party. In a letter addressed to the ministers, dated July 11, 2018, the APC chairman frowned that the ministers have failed to reconstitute the boards, which according to him contravened

the position of the National Executive Council (NEC) and the presidential directives to all ministers, describing it as a great disrespect to the party. Part of the letter, which was obtained from Oshiomhole’s media aide, Simon Ebegbulem, reads: “this is to inform you that the attention of the National Working Committee has been drawn to your refusal

to inaugurate members of the re-constituted boards under the supervision of your ministry. “This contravenes the position of the NEC, national caucus and the presidential directives to all ministers to inaugurate boards of parastatals under their ministries. We find this attitude as disrespect to the President and disservice to our great party. The party will

henceforth no longer tolerate any appointee of government at all level who continue to willfully disregard lawful instructions from either the government or the party. “In the light of the forging, you are hereby directed to inaugurate all the boards under your ministry within one week; failure of which the party will take appropriate disciplinary measures against you” the letter said.


L-R: Deputy Managing Director, NLNG Limited, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu; Member, NLNG Board of Directors, Mrs. Cordelia Agboti; Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru; Shell Representative, Mr. Ron Cochrane; Chairman, NLNG Board of Directors, Dr. Osobonye Longjohn; Total representative, Mr. Oghenegwueke Ajaifia; ENI representative ; Mr. Giorgio Vicini, and, MD, NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, after the successful repayment of $5.45 billion shareholder’s loans by NLNG in London...yesterday

Finance Minister Forged NYSC Exception Certificate, Olorunyomi Insists Hammed Shittu in Ilorin Publisher of the Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, has said that his medium would meet the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun in court if she chooses to go to court on the story that she allegedly forged her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exception certificate. He insisted that the investigation the news medium conducted evidently showed that the exemption certificate Adeosun parades was forged. Olorunyomi stated this while

responding to a question from a member of the audience after he delivered a lecture entitled: ‘Independent Journalism at the Interface of the Digital Transition’ at the University of Ilorin yesterday. He delivered lecture at the ninth annual lecture organised by the Department of Mass Communication of the university in memory of Mr Doyin Mahmoud, the pioneer Head of the Department who died in 2009. Mahmoud, a respected media executive, was a former Managing Director of the Independent

Newspaper Limited, the publisher of Daily Independent. Olorunyomi said Premium Times carried out a thorough investigation before publishing the story, adding that the organisation would encourage Adeosun to go to court because that would be the best way she could prove the story if she believes it is not true. “Adeosun forged her exception certificate. The story is real. We did a water-tight investigation that took us three months before we came out with the story. We encourage her to go to court if she will like

to prove us wrong,” he state. Responding to another question on the anti-corruption war, the veteran journalist advised the government to strengthen all the agencies responsible for the campaign against corruption and encourage all stakeholders to be part of the campaign to make it more successful. Olorunyomi, while delivering his lecture, pointed out importance of independent media to democracy, saying, “you really can’t have a healthy democracy without independent media.”

IPOB Tackles MACBAN over Comments on S’East Gov’s Rejection of Ranching Nigerian farmers reject FG’s ranching plan Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has decried what it described as the effrontery of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN), South-east chapter, in interfering in the recent decision of the South-east Governors’ Forum not to donate land for cattle ranching. This is coming as the All Farmers Association of Nigeria ( AFAN) has rejected the plan by the federal government to spend $1 billion to create cattle ranches nationwide. IPOB, speaking through its Media and publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, said the statement issued by MACBAN,

expressing surprise over the recent decision of the governors racked of over confidence and a subtle threat to attack. The group said the reaction by MACBAN over a decision of the leaders of the zone was utter contempt and a way of speaking the minds of the northern caliphate, which the group has come to represent since the coming of the present administration. It said the decision of the governors, which it described as once docile was a commendable one, considering that they were previously attached to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government. Part of IPOB’s press statement reads, “The arrogant tone of their(MACBAN’s) statement and implied threat contained therein, against the Igbo lives and businesses

in the north, points clearly to an impending hostile response from them, which IPOB is both duty and honour bound not to ignore. “We must make it abundantly clear that any attack against the Igbo and their businesses in the north, will be met with commensurate response in the South. Threats and large scale invasions of territories in the Middle Belt may have had the effect of subduing indigenous Tiv resistance to the Fulani hegemonic juggernaut in the Middle Belt. IPOB further threatened that any attack on Igbo people and easterners living in the north, would mark the beginning of what it called ‘the apocalyptic end of Nigeria’. “The sensible decision of hitherto docile South-east governors to avoid wholesale breakdown of law and

order in their region, through the banning of herdsmen activities, should be applauded by Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Sokoto Caliphate and all advocates of peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, and not derided through the mouthpiece of Fulani terrorists the MACBAN.” IPOB said that given that 70per cent of Nigeria’s land mass is in the north, it would be better for the cattle ranches and colonies to be allocated land in the north, instead of coming to the already tiny and landlocked South-east for land. The group called on all the Southeast and South-south governors not to lose guard as such subtle threat by MACBAN should not be taken for granted.


FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY


Picketing: MTN Counts Losses as Offices Remain Under Lock NCC briefs security agencies on implications Emma Okonji MTN Nigeria has suffered huge losses as a result of the nationwide picketing of its offices by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) leading to a complete shutdown of its head office in Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos and its regional offices nationwide. THISDAY’s investigation revealed that the offices were under lock since Monday, forcing the staff of the telecoms company to render only skeletal services from their homes. Although the continuous lock of its offices is causing the telecoms company huge financial losses, which is also affecting all MTN partners that manage MTN Connect Stores across the country, the

company however, said yesterday, that it was still calculating its losses. The company added that what was paramount to it was to ensure that its services to its over 60 million subscribers were up and running. Corporate Relations Executive at MTN, Mr. Tobechukwu Okigbo, told THISDAY that the company was more concerned about the impact of the continued closure of its offices nationwide on the economy, rather than counting the financial losses. “We are still looking at the financial losses, but what is more important to us right now is ensuring that all services are up,and running. It is not always about money lost by MTN, it is about impact on our subscribers

and the economy also,” Okigbo said. Worried about the ugly situation where MTN staff is compelled to work virtually from home, and the implication it will have on the telecoms network, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has briefed the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on the implications such continued closure of MTN offices would cause on the network. NCC has also briefed the security agencies on the developments, particularly the

implications of the attempt to shut down the Ojota switch station. A collapse of the telecommunications grid is likely, if these attacks on MTN and other telecom facilities are not abated, the commission had said in a statement. NCC had also stressed that the telecoms infrastructure remained classified as critical national infrastructure under the Cyber Security Act domiciled with the ONSA. According to the statement, the NCC under the leadership of its Executive Vice Chairman,

Prof. Garba Umar Danbatta, has opened talks with other critical stakeholders through the office of the executive commissioner, stakeholders’ management, Mr. Sunday Dare, on the issue. According to the statement, the regulator is working behind the scene to protect telecoms infrastructure and minimise telecoms service distruptions, in order not to compromise national security, quality of service and protection of over 160 million subscribers across networks. Meanwhile, the Association of Telecoms Operators of Nigeria

(ATCON) has warned on the implications of vandalised facilities during the picketing of MTN offices on Monday this week by NLC. According to the statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Ajibola Olude, “the association sees the nationwide disruptions of its member’s operations as unnecessary action and an attempt to frustrate and sabotage the efforts of our member to provide a seamless communication services to all Nigerians. We are even worried that the picketers became so violent and tempered with telecoms facilities during demonstration.”

FG Spending $321m Abacha’s Loot to Fund Election, Says Ekiti Deputy Gov Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti As Ekiti electorate go to the poll tomorrow to elect another governor that will succeed Governor Ayodele Fayose, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has accused the federal government of moving part of the $321m recovered from the late Abacha family to fund the All Progressives Congress (APC). Olusola, who is the incumbent deputy governor, said about $50m of the recovered loot was moved from Abuja in a chartered flight through Akure Airport to Ekiti in two bullion vans to support the APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. The Director, Media and Publicity of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation, Lere Olayinka, raised this alarm in Ado Ekiti yesterday. He said: “We called you here to intimate the public through your various media organisations of the movement of huge cash by the federal government to Ekiti State for the Saturday election. “Last week Saturday, two bullion vehicles were moved to the Akure

Airport to evacuate cash brought from Abuja by a chattered flight. “The flight landed when it was raining and all staff of the airport were barred from going near the aircraft while the cash was evacuated into the two bullion vehicles. “After offloading the huge cash, the bullion van first moved to the Ondo State Government House in Akure from where they left for Isan Ekiti, the hometown of the APC governorship candidate” Olusola claimed that preliminary findings indicated that N2.5bn cash was transferred by the Kebbi State Government to an account in UBA, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. It was withdrawn immediately and moved with a private jet to Akure. “Also, apart from the N2.5 billion, another $50m (about N18bn) was taking from the $321m recovered from the late Abacha family. “Our question is, how can a government that claimed to be fighting corruption release billions of naira from the public coffers for the governorship election of a single state? Where is their fight against corruption?”

Buhari Urged to Sign Disability Bill President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to sign the Disability Bill into law in view of its importance to physically-challenged persons. According to a non-governmental organisation, Juremi Foundation, assenting to the bill would guarantee the rights and rehabilitation of over 25 million physically-challenged Nigerians. The Head, Public Relations at the Foundation, Aisha Abubakar, stated this at a press conference in Abuja. She said the foundation had scheduled July 21, 2018 for its disability awareness walk in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The event, she said, would take off from Eagle Square to Unity Fountain, adding that it is not only meant to draw attention to the bill but also to create awareness and sensitise the general public about the importance of creating equal opportunities for physicallychallenged persons in the society. Abubakar said the walk tagged Juremi - Ability in Disability (J-AID

Walk) is expected to attract over 5,000 individuals. She said: “As a foundation, we are in support of the Disability Bill. And that is the reason why we are trying to create more awareness. Because this bill is very important. There are discriminations taking place against people with disabilities. Some in their working place, they hardly cope becuase they are not disability friendly. Even in banks there are lots of places where people with disabilities have difficulties assessing such institutions. “And that is what Juremi Foundation is all about. And we are already parterning with people who are in the forefront of this bill to see that Mr President signs this bill into law. We have to give people equal opportunity because they are also human beings. They are never lesser human beings.” L-R: Hope Ihejietor; Abudllazeez Isiaka; Aisha Chibok Amen; Umar Magaji at the official launch of Juremi Foundation in Abuja.... recently


L-R: Sales Director, BCX Nigeria, Olatayo Ladipo-Ajai; Assistant Director, Office of the Clerk, National Assembly, Salihu Abdulwahab; Director General, National Population Commission, Dr. Ghaji Ismaila Bello; Managing Director, BCX Nigeria, Ayo Adegboye and Head Security, Galaxy Backbone, Max Uneanya, during the BCX Nigeria Seminar with the theme: Rethink Data Security, which held in Abuja.. yesterday

CourtVoids Suspension of Edo Lawmaker Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City An Edo State High Court yesterday, declared the three months’ suspension slammed on Godwin Adenomo by the state House of Assembly as unconstitutional, illegal and of no effect whatsoever. Adenomo, representing Ovia South West state constituency of Edo State, was suspended on May 16, 2018, for demanding payment of N220 million as his outstanding benefits and salaries. He was suspended for the first three months for failing to appear before the House’s ad hoc committee to prove his claims.

Speaker of the House, Hon Kabiru Adjoto said Adenomo did not follow proper channel in line with the House rules to make his demands, which he described as political and a deliberate attempt to malign and bring the name of the House to disrepute. Based on these allegations, Adenomo through his counsel, Kingsley Obamogie , approached the court, demanding that his suspension was not only unconstitutional, but political and should be set aside. Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Obamogie, Justice VO Oviawe held that Adjoto lacked the powers to suspend Adenomo

for three months. Justice Oviawe who declared that suspending the lawmaker without any hearing was unconstitutional, invalid, null and void, set aside the purported suspension of Adenomo. The court held that Adenomo was entitled to exercise his constitutional rights and discharge his duties as the representative of his constituency without any inhibition or constraint whatsoever from the defendants. Justice Oviawe also declared that he should not be subjected to any form of marginalization, whatsoever, by the speaker, their servants, agents and/or privies. The judge granted an order of

perpetual injunction restraining Adjoto, their servants, agents and/ or privies from interfering with the rights of Adenomo as the elected member of the Edo State House of Assembly, representing Ovia South–West constituency, without due regard to the process of law. He further granted an order of injunction restraining the defendants from further marginalising Adenomo in breach of his right as elected member of the assembly. The court also held that the request of Adenomo to the ad hoc committee for adjourning of its sitting to May 21, 2018 was reasonable which the ad-hoc committee ought to have acceded to.

Abia, Imo Indigenes Drum Support for Ugwuanyi’s Re-election Indigenes of Abia and Imo States resident in Enugu State under the auspices of “Abia/Imo People’s Forum” have unanimously endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for a second term in office for entrenching peace and good governance in the state. The non-indigenes led by the forum’s chairman and patron, Joseph Ajujungwa and Bishop Godwin Madu of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), also declared their support for the laudable and people-oriented programmes of the governor aimed at improving

the living standard of residents of the state. The group added that Ugwuanyi “is friendly and disposed to all manner of people resident in Enugu State” and has enhanced the security of the state. Speaking during “a mega endorsement rally” for the governor in Enugu, the forum’s chairman, Ajujungwa, stated that the event was organised specifically in support of the governor’s re-election in 2019. He added that the rally was peculiar because it was the first time in the history of the state that

in-laws of a sitting governor would gather to support and endorse him for a second term in office. “We must thank the governor so much for the tight security arrangement that exists here in Enugu State. No wonder, Enugu State is regarded as one of the most peaceful states in the federation. Enugu State is where residents and visitors alike can comfortably go to sleep at night with their two eyes closed. “Only recently, the governor embarked upon a financial empowerment programme aimed at helping traders in the state. No

doubt, a good number of helpless traders have already benefitted from this kind gesture. You are indeed a progressive and performing governor”, they said. They assured the governor that their population in the state is very large and “we are all armed with our permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) to vote for him”. According to them, “With this assurance,we,yourdependablein-laws are today, requesting Your Excellency to boldly come out and pick your nomination form as the sole PDP governorship candidate, come 2019”.


FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY


Buhari Rejects Four National Assembly Bills President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected four bills passed by the National Assembly. Buhari communicated this via a letter he sent to the House of Representatives which was read during plenary yesterday. The bills include the Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2018; Agricultural Credit Scheme (amendment) bill, 2018; National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency Bill as well as Courts and tribunal standard scales of fines and financial penalties bill Why did the president reject the bills?

In the letter read by Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House, Buhari said he rejected the corporate manslaughter bill because its provisions were inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution. He also said he withheld his assent to the agricultural credit scheme (amendment) bill on the ground of increase of the credit therein which was initially tagged at N100 million. The president, according to TheCable, added that the National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency bill is a

duplication of duties of existing agencies such as National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

fostering hitch free operations and promotion of orderliness in the area to allow a conducive investment/work environment at all times through the construction to completion of the Power Plant Project and during operation of the Power Plant Project. The agreement covers critical areas such as Community Employment Opportunities, Procurement and Supply Contracts, and Socio-Economic Development Projects. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Black Rhino Group, Mr. Brian Herlihy, commended the state government for its support to assure that the project comes on stream and commence construction before the end of 2018. He stated that the company was investing $1.1 billion in the

James Emejo in Abuja Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar met the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of

QIPP project, adding that over 12,000 people from Akwa Ibom would be employed during the construction of the project. Brian hinted that aside invest $1.1billion, ExxonMobil is also going to invest another $500 million for gas. In his address, Governor Udom Emmanuel applauded QIPPL for its commitment in investing $1.1billion in the power plant and an additional $500million for gas, adding that the signing of the MOU is one of the solutions that will solve the countries gas challenges. He assured the company of his governments support and commitment to the realization of the goal; “I am always glad to be associated with something that will drive employment, provide the bases for industrialization and I think the QIPP is just one of them”.

ROSATOM Proposes Water as Effective Offgrid Solution for Nigeria Inspired by the need to address Nigeria’s perennial electricity shortfall, ROSATOM, Russia’s state owned nuclear energy corporation, is proposing off-grid technologies such as mini hydro power stations as an effective solution to ensure access to electricity for Nigeria’s increasing population. This, the corporation said is underscored by the fact that minor water streams are practically omnipresent in Nigeria. ROSATOM on behalf of the Russian Government recently signed an agreement with Nigeria for the development of a nuclear power plant and research centre in Nigeria. Justifying the rationale for effective off-grid solutions to address Nigeria’s energy shortfall, the corporation noted that Nigeria is the biggest and most attractive off-grid opportunity in Africa, as it is the largest economy in subSaharan Africa with a GDP of $405 billion, 180 million people, and a flourishing economy with Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15 per cent since 2000.” “A significant amount of the economy is powered largely by small-scale generators (10–15 GW) and almost 50 per cent of the population have limited or no access to the grid. As a result, Nigerians and their businesses spend almost $14 billion (5 trillion) annually on inefficient generation that is expensive ($0.40/kWh or 140/kWh or more) of poor quality, noisy, and polluting sources - from electricity generators.” Proffering a way out, the

corporation said: “Getting off-grid solutions to scale and commercial viability in Nigeria will unlock an enormous market opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa.” The statement further added that mini hydro power station technology is quick and simple to build, maintain and gives ecologically clean and cheap electricity. Recently, one of ROSATOM’s subsidiaries showcased an innovative portable mini hydro power station in a container format for electricity generation in remote areas. Throwing more light on this unique innovation, ROSATOM Central and Southern Africa regional vice-president, Dmitry Shornikov, said it comprises a design capacity of up to 2 MW - with a single facility capable of providing electricity to between 250 and 400 houses for roughly 30 years. The system, he further noted can be run by an operator or work in a fully automated mode. “A mini station is able to meet electricity requirements from retail and corporate consumers in those areas where central supplies are not available or where transmission lines are difficult to build or where the landscape (e.g., mountains) presents an obstacle to installing powerful electricity lines. “Mini stations are an excellent solution for insular states and a good alternative to inefficient and ecologically unfriendly diesel generators,” he pointed out. He added that mini hydro stations could also be of value to

contradicts existing laws in place. The lower legislative chamber recently reintroduced

11 bills Buhari withheld assent to, for the purpose of overriding his veto power on them.

Atiku Meets House PDP Members, Seeks Support for Presidential Ambition

Qua Iboe Plant Signs Agreement With Akwa Ibom Communities Qua Iboe Power Plant Limited (QIPPL), the promoter of the Qua Iboe Power Plant, has signed a community partnership agreement (CPA) with communities in Akwa Ibom State. The execution of the agreement was a strategic move by QIPPL to proactively establish a positive relationship with neighbouring communities in Akwa Ibom State and collaborate with them to identify and develop sustainable programs for accelerated socioeconomic development in the communities. The project communities comprise Ibeno (where the power plant is located), Eket, Esit-Eket, Mkpat-Enin, Onna and Ikot Abasi Local Government Areas, whose representatives were part of the ceremony aimed at

For the courts and tribunal standard scales of fines bill and financial penalties bill, the president said the bill

the industrial sector such as mining, lumbering and oil production firms which could be located in remote areas isolated from the power grid.


I formerly known as KDK:ZKͳ OSUJI ELIZABETH YETUNDE, now wish to be known and addressed as OMOJARO ELIZABETH YETUNDE. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note. I, formerly known and addressed as AKINTOLU MOSHOOD ABIODUN, now wish to be known and addressed as AKINTOLU AKINBAYO ABIODUN. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS IBEAWUCHI KELECHI CALLISTA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS IWUOHA KELECHI CALLISTA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note. I, formerly known and addressed as ADETAYO RUTH ADEGBITE, now wish to be known and addressed as ADETAYO RUTH OGUNBODE. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note. I, formerly known and addressed as MISS RUKAYYA HARUNA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS RUKAYYA HARUNA HUSSAINI. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

Representatives on Wednesday night, where he delivered a letter to them, seeking their support to actualise his 2019 presidential ambition,THISDAY has learnt. THISDAY gathered that the meeting was held behind closed doors at the National Assembly. The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema was said to have presided over the meeting, which had 87 members of the caucus in attendance. Also at the meeting were some members of the reformed All Progressives Congress (r-APC), THISDAY gathered. Atiku, in the letter, which was made available to THISDAY by a source privy to the meeting, solicited the support of the lawmakers,

saying the PDP must return to power to get Nigeria working again. The letter reads in part: “After thorough consultations with my families, major stakeholders, including party stalwarts, traditional and religious leaders, various youths and women groups, the civil society and the private sector; I , Atiku Abubakar, wish to inform you about my aspiration for the exalted office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria under the flagship of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) “As stipulated by the party’s constitution and guidelines for nomination, it is mandatory that we go through the process of presidential party primary election. It is in line with this that I wish to humbly

solicit your votes during this all important process,” said the letter. “I am have no doubt that with your support, I will emerge victorious amongst other candidates at the forthcoming presidential primary election. Together, we can liberate, repair and refocus our country Nigeria. Together, we can put Nigeria back inbred right pedestal. Together, we can get Nigeria working again,” the letter added. Responding on behalf of the caucus, Onyema was said have commended the former vice president for consulting with them, describing it as an indicative of his recognition of the members of the National Assembly as an important group.


T H I S D AY ˾    ͯͱ˜ͰͮͯͶ

T H I S D AY ˾ FRIDAY JULY 13, 2018


 ˜  ͹ͻ˜ͺ͸͹΀˾T H I S D AY



Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY



‘Croatia Ready for Les Bleus in W’Cup Final’ Cabinet wear jerseys after semi final win

Ecstatic Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is confident tiredness will not be an issue for his side when they face France in the World Cup final despite once again coming through extra time to beat England on Wednesday. Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in the semifinal clash in Moscow, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the winner in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier’s free-kick opener. Dalic’s side were clearly exhausted, but they managed to fight on to the end of two hours of gripping football to take the country of just over four million people into the

final for the first time. However, the biggest concern looking ahead to Sunday’s game is bound to be fatigue, with Croatia having also required extra time and penalties to come through ties against Denmark and hosts Russia in the past two weeks. France will have had 24 hours longer to prepare for the game after edging out Belgium 1-0 in 90 minutes in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. “This is fantastic. Two players played with half a leg, but it didn’t show. In extra-time nobody wanted to be substituted. This shows character and is what

makes me proud. Nobody gave up,” said Dalic, whose team have played the equivalent of one match more than the French. “We prepared to get to the final and we want to play it. Going to extra-time might be a problem along with the fact France have had an extra day to recover but there will be no excuses,” he added. “We have to play as if this were the first game in this tournament.” No team has ever made it to the World Cup final after going to extra-time in all three prior knockout rounds – England twice won in extra-time in 1990

before losing on penalties to West Germany in the semifinals. Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russia via a playoff win against Greece. He described France as a “top-drawer team with fantastic players”, but his own side have earned their place in the final, their victory over England coming after they earlier destroyed Lionel Messi and Argentina with a 3-0 win in the group stage. Luka Modric has been inspirational throughout their run, yet there were numerous outstanding performances at the Luzhniki Stadium as Croatia recovered from a shaky opening half hour. Among the best was Marcelo Brozovic, the Inter Milan midfielder brought into the line-up to provide extra steel in front of the defence. “We were the better team in all aspects of the game,” said Dalic.“We played better than we did against Argentina. I told the players before the game there was no pressure – we have reached the semifinals,

enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did.” Croatia now have the chance to take revenge on France after losing 2-1 in Paris when the sides met in the semifinals back in 1998 – Dalic travelled to that World Cup as a fan. With such a modest population, they are the smallest country to get to a World Cup final since Uruguay back in 1950, and in the modern game it is a staggering achievement. “For Croatian football and Croatia as a country this is history being written,” said the 51-year-old Dalic. “We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don’t have a proper stadium to play that game. But we have our hearts, our pride and our players and that is what is really important to us.” He will just be hoping that all of them are fit enough for one last effort against a fearsome French side. Meanwhile, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and his ministers held a session yesterday dressed in red-and-

white football jerseys to mark their country’s win over England that sets up a World Cup final against France. Plenkovic, who returned from Moscow where he attended the semi-final, congratulated the squad on a “fascinating success for Croatian sports and football”. The victory of captain Luka Modric’s side is “Croatia’s biggest promotion,” said the prime minister. It shows “the strength of a country which is not big, but has a big heart ... and these boys who went a step further than the brilliant 1998 with (Miroslav) Ciro Blazevic,” he added. Plenkovic was referring to Blazevic, the legendary coach with whom Croatia finished third at the World Cup in France twenty years ago. Croatia’s success in the tournament seems to have boosted interest in the country, proud of its more than 1,000 islands and islets. The national tourist board said its online page views grew by 250 percent compared to the same period last year.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic with other members of the cabinet during the executive meeting yesterday

Blatter Salutes Finalists The immediate past president of FIFA, Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter has congratulated France and Croatia for reaching the World Cup final. In his verified twitter handle according to www., the former president who is serving a worldwide ban on football activities wrote: “Congratulations

to World Cup Finalists: France one of the favorites, Croatia the biggest surprise in the history. Special Congrats to President Suker, World Champions with Yugoslavian Youth team 1987 in Chile”.The message appears an indirect way of celebrating the ouster of England, the country that orchestrated his fall from power.

FIFA Investigates England Chants during Croatia Defeat Chants of a “possible discriminatory” nature by England fans during their World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia, are being investigated by FIFA. The precise details of the allegations are unknown at this stage. “We can confirm that a report has been filed in relation to chants of a possible discriminatory nature by English fans,”

said FIFA “Subsequently, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against The Football Association.” England were beaten 2-1 in Moscow Areach a first World Cup final since 1966. They will end their tournament with a third/fourth place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg tomorrow.

On Wednesday the FA was fined 70,000 Swiss francs (£50,000) after Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Raheem Sterling wore “unauthorised” socks after ignoring a FIFA warning to stop. The players wore branded ankle support socks over official Nike socks, “breaching media and marketing regulations and the FIFA equipment regulations”.


T H I S D AY ˾FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018


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


France Out to Correct Euro 2016 Failure, Says Pogba France are determined not to make the same mistakes they did two years ago in losing the Euro 2016 final when they take on Croatia for the biggest prize in football, midfielder Paul Pogba said yesterday. France face the Croats in the World Cup final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, but they are rejecting the favourites tag which cost them dearly two years ago, he said. The French beat Germany in the Euro 2016 semifinal setting up an encounter in Paris against then-underdogs Portugal, who stunned them 1-0 in extra time to win the continental title. “We are conscious of the situation, we do not want to make the same mistakes like two years ago. We want to work for it, to give everything we have to take this Cup home,” Pogba told reporters. “I think at the Euro we thought it was already a done deal, the mentality was not the same as now. I cannot lie that when we beat Germany we thought that was the final. I know the taste of losing a final. I don’t want it to happen again. “Against Portugal we thought we had won it before the start of the game. That will not happen again.” France have been improving throughout

the tournament and have beat Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium in the knockout rounds without needing extra time or penalties. Croatia needed spot kicks to advance against Denmark in the last 16 and against Russia in the quarterfinals. They then came from a goal down against England on Wednesday to win 2-1 in extra time. That is not a sign of a struggling team, according to Pogba, but one that has a lot of talent. “The Croats had a very difficult match and they were behind. But they are mentally very strong. There are two teams in the final, a Cup and there are 90 minutes more. “For us, we are not the favourites. We stay as we are from the start of the tournament. We have no doubts, we play together, that’s our strength. We are chasing something and will do everything

to succeed.” France, world champions in 1998 after beating Croatia in the semis, are in their third World Cup final. It is unknown territory for Croatia however. “For sure the Croats, they want the star (for winning the title), they have had a good run. They want to win. But I have no star either although there is one on my shirt. I want mine.” Pogba said while Croatia midfielder Luka Modric was their driving force, the French plan would not be limited to stopping the Real Madrid playmaker. “The Croats are not just Modric. They have (Mario) Mandzukic, (Ivan) Rakitic and (Ivan) Perisic,” Pogba said. “Even their defenders are outstanding players. I don’t think there is a plan just for Modric. The plan is to win the match.”

Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower will be shut on Sunday as part of security measures being taken for a big-screen broadcast of the World Cup final at the adjacent Champ de Mars park, the tower’s management said last night. Tens of thousands of people are expected to watch the game between France and Croatia in the shadow of one of the country’s most visited sites. “For security reasons, the Paris police have requested the Eiffel Tower’s closure,” management company SETE said, adding that people who had pre-booked tickets would be reimbursed. During the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal more than 90 000 people packed into the Champs de Mars fan zone. The Eiffel Tower will also be closed on Saturday for the Bastille Day national holiday. An estimated 12 000 security force members will be deployed to secure the festivities, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech disclosed. Fans flooded into the streets of Paris and other cities on Tuesday night after France beat out Belgium to reach the World Cup final. In the event of a win in the final the country is expected to erupt in an outpouring of national pride, like that which followed France’s first World Cup win on home soil 20 years ago.

Fiat Workers Strike over Ronaldo’s Contract by Juventus Workers at a Fiat Chrysler plant in Italy are to strike after its main investor decided to pay €112m (£99.2m) to sign footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus. Both the football club and the carmaker are controlled by the Agnelli family through their holding company. For the USB union, the decision means Fiat is missing out on investment. It said the firm needed to guarantee the future of thousands of people, “rather than enriching only one”. The union added that it was “unacceptable” that while Fiat Chrysler workers were making “huge economic sacrifices”, millions of euros were being spent on the purchase of a player. The four-year deal to woo Ronaldo from Real Madrid was announced on Tuesday amid concern that Juventus might have overpaid for the 33-year-old forward. However, football finance expert Rob Wilson, of Sheffield Hallam University, said Juventus should earn more than enough money from Ronaldo to cover the transfer fee and his wages. He added: “The marketing leverage that Juventus will be able to create will be

Omon-Julius Onabu ÓØ Asaba Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has revealed plans by his administration to establish a special department the would ensure that facilities in the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba are regularly maintained. Okowa, who stated this during a visit to assess the extent of reconstruction work at the stadium, said he has thought through possible challenges of maintenance and would put measures in place to forestall such challenges. The Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba, which is undergoing massive reconstruction and expansion, will host events at the 21st Senior African Athletics Championship next month. The governor told newsmen that the stadium will not be left to suffer the effect of poor maintenance culture at the conclusion of the African Athletics competition. The chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr Solomon Ogba, conducted the governor and his entourage round the different parts of the stadium, including the laying of the nine-lane tartan tracks which has reached about 80% completion. Okowa, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the Delta State

House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr Festus Ovie Agas and members of the state executive council, expressed satisfaction with the quality and pace of work at the stadium. On his frequent visits to projects’ sites, the governor said that though he has confidence in his aides he does not believe in sitting down in his office and dishing out instructions for situation reports on various ongoing projects, adding that his frequent visits also helps to put the contractors and workers on their toes. He assured that his government will continue to execute projects that are of good quality and meet the service expectation of the people, noting that the quality of the Keshi Stadium will make it attractive for local, national and international events in future. Meanwhile, Asaba was set yesterday (Thursday) to witness a ceremony to generate funds toward the African athletics events with a fundraising dinner at the Grand Hotel, Asaba, a statement by the State Director of Information, Mr Paul Osahor, said yesterday. At least fifty countries across the continent are expected to storm Delta State to participate in the athletics championship scheduled from 1st-5th of August.

Nigerian Bobsled Pilot, Adigun Recognised as First African Winter and Summer Olympian Juan Cuadrado proudly display Ronaldo’s jersey after joining Juventus during the week

significant. Added to that the likelihood that he will strengthen the team, it seems plausible that they will be more successful domestically and qualify routinely for the Champions League. That means more sponsors, more TV money and more prize money.” Meanwhile,Juan Cuadrado has welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus by handing his new team-mate the No 7 shirt he wore last season.

His CR7 branding has become iconic, and Juve chiefs were spared an awkward situation when Cuadrado opted to voluntarily hand over the shirt number. Juan Cuadrado revealed via Instagram that he had handed his No 7 shirt to Cristiano Ronaldo.On Instagram, Cuadrado said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive blessings.’ Ronaldo, 33, has almost exclusively worn the No 7 shirt for both Manchester United

and Real Madrid, wearing No 9 for the Spanish giants in 2009/10 when club legend Raul occupied his preferred number. A similar thing happened at Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, when Argentine Javier Pastore gifted world-record signing Neymar his No 10 shirt. Cuadrado, 30, joined Juventus on loan from Chelsea in 2016 and was issued with No 16 before switching to No 7 when his transfer was made permanent last summer.

Serena to Face Kerber in Wimbledon Final Serena Williams will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for an eighth Wimbledon singles title after both won their semi-finals in straight sets. The American former world number one overpowered Germany’s Julia Gorges 6-2 6-4, while Kerber beat Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3. Tomorrow’s final will be a re-match of the 2016 showpiece, which Williams won. Williams will be seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title and her first since

Okowa Assures on Maintenance of Keshi Stadium

giving birth in September. Williams was in control from the outset against 13th seed Gorges, who was making her Grand Slam semi-final debut. It was the first time at these championships that the American had faced a player ranked in the top 50 and she stepped up with a powerful display that also showed better movement around the court than in previous rounds. She broke in the sixth game of the first set when Gorges went wide and then took the set on the German’s serve when her

opponent sent a forehand wide. The second set followed a similar pattern, with the only brief wobble coming in the ninth game when Williams was broken. But she struck back immediately and looked to the sky when an attempted lob from Gorges flew out to give her the victory. Gorges, who had spent more than 10 hours on court before this match, the longest of any of the semi-finalists by around two and a half hours, was put out of her misery on Centre

Court in just 70 minutes. “It’s crazy. I don’t even know how to feel because I literally didn’t think I’d do this well in my fourth tournament back,” said Williams. “I don’t have anything to lose and I feel I can play so free. That’s what I’m doing. “This is not inevitable for me, I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it to be honest. I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final.

Nigerian bobsled pilot, Seun Adigun continues to break new boundaries and set standards after leading three other team members to represent the African country at the recently held Winter, Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. Adigun who also recently bagged a doctorate degree in Chiropractic has now been officially recognized as the first African, both in the male or female categories to compete in both the winter and summer Olympics. Ayako Ito of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in a message noted that The Olympic Study Centre has confirmed that Seun Adigun is the first ever African athlete to compete in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. It would be noted the African star athlete and bobsled driver is among the only two athletes to be so recognized at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The second being of Pita Taufatofua of Tonga, a taekwondoist turned skier. Adigun and Taufatofua now join a list of elite Summer and Winter Olympians catalogued by online reference site, Wikipedia. Adigun who represented Nigeria in Athletics at the Summer Olympics and Nigeria in Bobsleigh in 2018 at the Winter Olympics expressed her delight at being bestowed with such a prestigious accolade. With a strong support system of her management team, Lagos-

based pan-African agency, Temple Management Company, she restates her commitment to African excellence. She said, “This is a real-life example of what it means to represent African excellence and a true testament to the fact that impossible is nothing. This milestone is truly a blessing”. Discussing her preparations for the 2012 Summer Games, Adigun remarked, “My preparations during athletics was driven by the desire to prove to myself that I was capable of competing with the best in the world in the women’s 100 meter hurdles. I wanted to look back on my career as a hurdler and know that despite any limitations or health obstacles, I genuinely gave all that I had to achieving the highest level of competition”. Adigun further disclosed how she prepared for the winter Games, “The preparations for the winter Games was different in the sense that my passion was driven by my self-less intentions to create positive representation for Nigerians and Africans, globally. That passion was accompanied by several thoughts of fear and anxiety, but it was overcome by God’s grace and the support of everyone who played a part in the journey, no matter how big or small”. Adigun added that she dedicated myself to creating a legacy that would inspire generations, eternally, and whatever accolades came along the way would be celebrated as blessings.

Friday, July 13, 2018



& RE A S O


Price: N250

MISSILE Oshiomhole to PDP

“If you harness the energy of one million snails and transform it into one snail to run, it cannot catch up with an Antelope. So, when we were told 50 political parties had merged to confront us towards 2019, I was excited because first, that is a clear admission that as things stand today, neither the one we defeated before, the PDP, nor the new one that claim they have formed has what it takes” – National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, dismissing the MoU signed by the PDP and 39 political parties to confront the APC in 2019.


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Soyinka on a Suspicious Path F

ellow Nigerians, our Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka is at it again, treading a familiar path. Only that this time, he is not openly endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari but is helping him on the road to 2019 by undermining and distracting from the common and altruistic objective to get Buhari out of power in 2019. It is imperative that we call him out now to either save him from himself, or save Nigeria from him. He does this cleverly by regularly taking umbrage at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for his past “sins”. He started this crusade against Obasanjo just when he saw that the former president had become the most potent and formidable opponent to Buhari’s 2019 ambition. Recall that Soyinka, Obasanjo and others helped to install and guarantee “change” in 2015. It is perplexing that at a time like this - when we are dealing with the “sins” of the present that pose an existential threat to our country; when all hands must be on deck to exorcise this “change” that has gone awry from our national psyche for the good of all, Soyinka, our wordsmith who should know better, focuses on Obasanjo’s past. What is the new provocation this time if not to counter him for Buhari’s benefit? This is not the fiery legend we once knew, and for some of us who still treasure the Soyinka of old, we should all help retain whatever memories of his past interventions that shaped our admiration of him. We should hold on to them and tell our children what they missed. Maybe, it will mitigate that powerful feeling of disappointment against his pro-Buhari rhetoric. In Soyinka’s own words, “Records are not kept simply to assist the weakness of memory, but to operate as guides to the future.” A mere three-anda-half years ago, the leaders of the All Progressives Congress led by Bola Tinubu visited Obasanjo at his Ota hilltop mansion and lobbied him for endorsement of their “change” agenda. And he did. They then appointed him the “navigator” of change. Soyinka only made a feeble denunciation of the move but did not produce a documentary, or write a book to expose Obasanjo’s hypocrisy or “sins”. Soon afterwards, he and Obasanjo sailed together on the same boat of change. They both endorsed Buhari for president. His personal animosity for the former president whom he (Soyinka) had declared would continue in the hereafter didn’t get in the way much then. Why? Because they shared a common objective to get the last government out of power. So it was perfectly okay then for the sworn enemies to put their enmity aside and worked separately, or together to achieve a common purpose. Let me remind Soyinka that when Obasanjo made the sensational false claim that 1,000 politicians had been placed on a watch list and the last administration had a hit squad of killer snipers, the then opposition latched onto it to advance its propaganda. Obasanjo was not one of the greatest hypocritical leaders this nation had ever produced at the time! As Obasanjo made those wild claims, Soyinka on his part, held world press conferences to either attack the then first lady, Patience Jonathan, or the government. I don’t know if there was some kind of coordination. I doubt there was. But the coincidence of purpose was instructive. Let no one pretend here that those attacks did not chip away something from the last government. But now that Obasanjo has fallen out with the fake agents of change, and is working hard to defeat Buhari’s lying APC government, our Nobel laureate has suddenly realised that the man is a hypocrite. Can anyone beat that? This is exactly

Soyinka the moment when you tell your teacher, “Teacher, please don’t teach me nonsense.” There is a saying in the land of my fathers that when you spit into the wind, it comes back and lands on your nose. There is nothing new about Obasanjo that Soyinka has told us that we don’t know already. None of the “sins” he mentioned approximate to this appalling tragedy we have on our hands. To choose this time to attack Obasanjo for galvanising the opposition against Buhari is tantamount to endorsing the status quo in another guise. Who told our laureate that those long, big-worded essays or arguments against Obasanjo’s course, which in any way, have been rehearsed again and again, would whittle down support for Obasanjo’s goal to get Buhari out in 2019? Despite being a difficult person, Obasanjo has somehow claimed the high ground by showing contrition over his role in foisting this calamitous change on Nigerians, while Soyinka is at best equivocating, and at worst undermining the collective efforts. He was one of those who threw their heavyweight behind a nepotistic, clannish, provincial and clueless, ethnic irredentist to become president. We have seen the near-irreversible damage Buhari has done to those things that hold this fragile nation together. We have seen the senseless carnage unleashed on communities by the Fulani herdsmen from hell. And the indifference of this government to it knows no bounds. Human life is now worth far less than that of a cow. What used to be was that when a person died, or a child was born, or a couple was getting married, etc, a cow was slaughtered to mark the burial rites or event as the case maybe. Under Buhari, when a cow is stolen or killed, human beings are killed and houses razed to the ground as revenge. These disturbing ironies are the more urgent emergencies staring us in the face. Our laureate would do well to focus on documenting these killings by Fulani herdsmen and compile statements by top officials of this government that buoyed the herdsmen on an unending killing spree. He should document the complicity of the security forces and all enablers of the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity for a date in the future at The Hague. This is the least he can do as a form of atonement for helping to foist this tragedy on us. This would no doubt help in the healing process to come after this grave national injury. Another option for Soyinka is to either join the burgeoning coalition or form his own group to get rid of this disaster as a way of atonement, instead of engaging in diversionary sabre rattling about how hypocritical Obasanjo is. Anyway, I have some pertinent questions for him: is Bola Ahmed

Tinubu not a hypocrite? Is Yemi Osinbajo not a hypocrite? What of Rotimi Amaechi, Babatunde Fashola, and Adams Oshiomhole? Who is more hypocritical than Buhari? It smacks of “nauseating hypocrisy” for Soyinka himself to regularly attack Obasanjo and remain silent when his “political associates” have committed worse atrocities. Recall that sometime ago when the economy was in free fall, our Nobel laureate visited Buhari at the Presidential Villa. When he emerged from the discussion with the president, he promised to speak on the state of the nation in two weeks. Well, two weeks came and passed, Soyinka failed to address anything of significance. Instead, he told journalists who had gathered to hear him deliver his verdict that he had “changed” his mind. For many who were already suspicious of his position on this government, that added to the growing evidence of how our ex-fiery activist had lost his ability to speak truth to power. Now, if I may ask, does Soyinka really know the implications of another four years of Buhari? Farmers in the middle belt, the food basket of the nation, can’t go to their farms anymore because of the herdsmen attacks. They are hungry, marooned in IDP camps. And I ask again: did Soyinka not read what the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said? According to Adesina, it is better to give up ancestral land for ranching than to be killed? In other words, Nigerians are being forced to give up their lands with a gun to their heads. With this plague in the land fostered by the herdsmen, why is Soyinka focusing on Obasanjo? If anything, Nigerians are more likely to forgive a man like Obasanjo who having realised his mistake is taking all necessary and legitimate steps to right that mistake than listen to a man who having realised his mistake, at least in his heart of hearts, is stubbornly refusing to own up to it, and is even distracting from a collective effort to correct it. Now to the crux of the matter: Soyinka’s main grouse with Obasanjo is that he is the wrong person to lead a recovery. While many including myself share that sentiment somewhat, I hasten to add without equivocation that Soyinka himself is the wrong person to say this. He is conflicted and afflicted by the same disqualifying measure that made Obasanjo less worthy. I am struggling to find the moral basis for Soyinka’s stance because I think he is utterly supine in the face of the moral vandalism and the egregious dereliction of duty and outright abdication of responsibility to protect lives that have sadly become the hallmark of the Buhari presidency. I am not persuaded that his recent interventions carried the force of character and conviction that had shaped his life’s works and earned him the stature and acclaim he enjoyed over the years. There was a certain weakness and a condoning texture to them. You see, if Soyinka is not working for Buhari, who then is the beneficiary of his new campaign against Obasanjo? The timing and frequency of his attacks are quite significant. They are a clever diversionary tactic to weaken efforts to get Buhari out in 2019. The calculation seems to be if you weaken and discredit Obasanjo, you would have removed the most potent voice of the opposition against Buhari. It is doubtful if Obasanjo was still supporting Buhari whether Soyinka would have launched his campaign against the former president. Truth be told, our laureate has descended to the mundane. He recently called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate a petition purportedly written by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu against Obasanjo. Even the most ardent of Soyinka’s supporters would find this not just funny, but totally ludicrous. Kalu,

a diehard Obasanjo hater, has been facing trial on fraud charges for over 12 years. His trial is a result of his investigation for fraud/corruption which dates back to the Obasanjo presidency. This has adversely affected his business interests. Since he decamped to the ruling APC (he would join any party in power to save his neck) and has been campaigning for Buhari, key EFCC witnesses against him have been disappearing in an effort to frustrate the conclusion of his trial. Cunning Kalu has been playing the game very well by always singing Buhari’s praises since he knows very well that his continuous freedom from jail depends on such antics. This was the same man whose petition against Obasanjo Soyinka is urging EFCC to act on. The “interest convergence” is clear to the discerning: Buhari for 2019. It is obvious that Soyinka is working discreetly with his “political associates” some of who have mind-boggling corruption cases/allegations hanging over their heads. It is instructive that he has never condemned them or called on the EFCC to investigate them for their financial escapades. Surprisingly, even the corruption allegations that have plagued this government, involving jaw-dropping amounts that could “hammer someone into the ground”, have not attracted the attention of Soyinka. Clearly, where his “political associates” are, there his heart is. Soyinka may do well to write a petition to EFCC to investigate Baru’s claim that the national daily consumption of petrol spiked to 60-65 million litres from 30-35 litres between last and this year. If he doesn’t see corruption and fraud there, many Nigerians see it. Our laureate should ask EFCC why Babachir Lawal has not been prosecuted. And also what has become of Abdulrasheed Maina’s probe and others. There is some kind of perplexing irony about the Soyinka-Buhari relationship. Let me refresh your memory. If I recall correctly, when Soyinka endorsed Buhari in 2015, he did say he had inquired and got the assurance of Pastor Tunde Bakare that Buhari had actually changed. For those who don’t remember, Bakare was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election. What am I getting at here? Well, Pastor Bakare has since bolted, having seen that Buhari’s actions have since contradicted the assurances he once gave Soyinka. More interestingly, Bakare, a vociferous Obasanjo critic, in a bid to save Nigeria, has put his differences with Obasanjo aside and was at the meeting Obasanjo held with some Yoruba elders to strategise and form a united front against Buhari in 2019. But Soyinka, pandering to the interests of his friends, has stayed put. Recently, I was at a loss for words that Soyinka was present at an event where Buhari honoured that cunning betrayer called Babagana Kingibe along with the late MKO Abiola as heroes of democracy. Also, a few weeks ago, Soyinka idolised Buhari as a born-again democrat for respecting press freedom. The cold irony here is that the same man holds a medal of infamy for violating the rule of law and disrespecting court orders not favourable to his government. Unfortunately, Soyinka so eager to burnish the image of this government chose the convenient one. It is amazing that despite Buhari’s unarguable failure, Soyinka still backs him and his counterfeit change. Instead of hiding behind targeted attacks on Obasanjo, he should come out and take a stand like he did in 2015 when between “the meek” and the “extremely dangerous”, he embraced the latter. This time, discreetly treading the same path as his “political associates”, it looks like he has chosen the kiss of death.

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FRIDAY 153H JULY 2018  
FRIDAY 153H JULY 2018