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FG Lists Conditions for Release of Outstanding Paris Club Refund Silent on alleged secret payment to Osun State

Ndubuisi Francis and Flourish Arinzechi in Abuja The federal government yesterday listed conditions for the release of the last tranche

of the Paris Club refund to states, putting the outstanding at US$2.689 billion. The government however kept mum on the allegation that it made a clandestine release

claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) payments for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

of N16.67 billion to Osun State ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state. Paris Club refund is a partial settlement of long-standing

In a statement issued by its Director (Information), Hassan Dodo, the Ministry of Finance said the final approval of US$2.689 billion of the Paris Club refund to the states is

subject to certain conditions. These include the states making the payment of salary and staff-related arrears a Continued on page 8

US Sanction on Iran Pushes Crude Oil Price to $78 … Page 8 Wednesday 12 September, 2018 Vol 23. No 8547. Price: N250

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Buhari: No More Corrupt-minded Persons in APC Receives nomination forms from shadowy group Adopted as presidential candidate by party Another group donates N56.8m to campaign Omololu Ogunmade, Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja

defied several appeals to him to reject the expression of interest and nomination forms purchased for him by the National Consolidation

Ambassadors Network (NCAN) and received the forms at a brief ceremony in the State House. Buhari, who said he was

not only grateful but also honoured to be presented with the forms by persons he described as patriotic Nigerians, pointed out

that members of the group contributed money to raise N45.5 million for the purchase of the forms. He also said members of

the group were not fewer than three million Nigerians, whom he said were spread across Continued on page 8

Ambode Fights Back, Moves to Neutralise Mandate Group, Rallies Abuja for Support Akiolu leads peacemakers to placate roaring Lion of Bourdillon Otedola considers race if gov is ousted Gboyega Akinsanmi The political intrigues shaping the governorship race in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State intensified yesterday as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode indicated that he would not go down without a fight, reaching out to the presidency in Abuja to intervene on his side as he battles the Mandate Group, the political machine of his godfather, Senator Bola Tinubu. Assured of the support of Tinubu, who is also the

party’s national leader, to run for a second term, Ambode had flown to Abuja on Monday morning to obtain the governorship nomination forms. But by the evening of the same day, the tide had changed with two of his political siblings, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, found to have also obtained the nomination forms by proxy. While Sanwo-Olu has the Continued on page 10

PDP Governors Meet Presidential Aspirants, ANTI-GRAFT WAR CONTINUES… President Muhammadu Buhari (left) and Chairman, Presidential Audit Committee on Recovered Assets, Mr. Femi Lijadu, during the Kick against Consensus Candidacy … Page 10 submission of the committee’s report to the president in Abuja…yesterday GODWIN OMOIGUI


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US Sanction on Iran Pushes Crude Oil Price to $78 Ejiofor Alike with agency reports Crude oil price yesterday rose to over $78 per barrel as United States sanctions squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply despite efforts by Washington to get other producers to increase output. While the global benchmark, Brent crude futures rose $1.13 to $78.50 a barrel, representing a 1.5 per cent gain, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $1.10, or 1.6 per cent, at $68.64 a barrel. Washington has told its allies to reduce imports of Iranian oil and several Asian buyers, including South Korea, Japan

and India appear to be falling in line. Trump had pulled the US out of an international accord under which Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump reintroduced sanctions and Washington later told countries they must stop buying Iran’s oil from November 4 or face financial consequences. The US Ambassador to Germany had also called on Berlin to block an Iranian bid to withdraw large sums of cash from bank accounts in Germany. The reduced imports of Iranian oil will reduce inventory in the global market and lead to a rise in prices, hence the

push by US for other producing countries to increase supply to the market. Reuters reported that the US government does not want to push up oil prices, which could depress economic activity or even trigger a slowdown in global growth. US Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, met Saudi’s Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, on Monday in Washington, as the President Donald Trump administration encourages big oil-producing countries to keep output high. Perry will meet with Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, on Thursday in Moscow. Russia, US and Saudi Arabia

are the world’s three biggest oil producers by far, meeting around a third of the world’s almost 100 million barrels per day (bpd) of daily crude consumption. Russian Energy Minister, Novak, said yesterday that Russia and a group of producers around the Middle East which dominate the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) might sign a new long-term cooperation deal at the beginning of December, the TASS news agency reported. Novak did not provide details. A group of OPEC and non-OPEC producers have been voluntarily withholding

supplies since January 2017 to tighten markets, but with crude prices up by more than 40 per cent since then and markets significantly tighter, there has been pressure on producers to raise output. US crude inventories were forecast to have fallen for a fourth consecutive week last week, according to analysts polled ahead of reports from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) yesterday and the US Department of Energy on Wednesday. Also supporting prices was an attack on the headquarters of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the

capital Tripoli on Monday. The NOC has continued to function relatively normally amid chaos in Libya. Oil production has been hit by attacks on oil facilities and blockades, though last year it partially recovered to around one million barrels per day. As Middle East markets tighten, Asian buyers are seeking alternative supplies, with South Korean and Japanese imports of US crude hitting a record in September. US oil producers are seeking new buyers for crude they used to sell to China before orders slowed because of the trade disputes between Washington and Beijing.

that had the forms. The submission of the forms closes today.

Speaking against the background of criticism by the PDP over the donation of N45 million by a group to purchase expression of interest and nomination forms for the president, Oshiomhole, mocked the PDP, saying they were jealous of the support being enjoyed by President Buhari across the country. He said: “our opponents who are jittery, when some faceless people contributed money for one of the aspirants of PDP. He looked at them and said I have enough to buy all of you, he cried a little bit just for the effect. “Not a word was spoken in the media about the morality or the legality or illegality of it. I thought the media will ask what is the morality of those who have nothing giving to the rich. Not nothing. "When our own president who does not have, some people deiced to raise money to buy his form, suddenly it became an issue that why should people buy nomination forms for aspirants. Oshiomhole spoke of how the party arrived at the cost of nomination form, saying it had to explain to the president that the cost of conducting transparent primaries across the country will be very high and hard to meet. "I told him that Sir, you have many admirers who will contribute the money," Oshiomhole said. He said in the case of President Buhari will need even more money to prosecute his election because of the party’s decision to hold direct primaries. "But I am glad it is the confidence Nigerians have on the leadership of our

President that different groups contributing money for his campaign," he said. While tackling the PDP, Oshiomhole accused the party of being involved in many scandals among which was the allegation that its administration once gave Nigerians poisonous rice. “One of the scandal that we have had to deal with when I was governor, was when I had the honour to preside over a meeting of the governors and the former Customs Controller General was lamenting to us how people they granted waiver to import rice exceeded the quota they were given and imported more rice into the country and he claimed that they defrauded the federal government about N22billion in waivers and in excess of what they brought in. “My quarrel with the PDP government, why today I celebrate the defeat of the PDP and I don’t hide it, those criminal act of poisonous rice being imported into Nigeria was done not through the back door. “We saw PDP ministers lamenting that the rice in our markets were expired products and I asked, who elected them to lament? They allowed this expired rice into the country, they proceed to grant them waivers, they exceed the waivers they are given," he said.

BUHARI: NO MORE CORRUPT-MINDED PERSONS IN APC various parts of the country. The president chronicled how his foray into politics began in 2002 up to the time of his election in 2015 and described members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who left the party, as the weakest of people whose selfish agenda did not align with the selfless vision of his administration. According to him, with the exit of such selfish persons, APC is now made up of strong and patriotic Nigerians, whom he said were willing to toe the path of building a secure, self-sufficient and corrupt-free Nigeria. "We now have a party of strong and patriotic individuals who are ready, willing and able to continue on this journey of building a strong, secure, self-sufficient, corrupt-free Nigeria," he said. The group had last Thursday bought the N45 million forms for the president, who is the sole presidential aspirant on the platform of APC. Speaking in the banquet hall venue of the presentation, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the group, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwanjuba, described the group as a network of young persons, drawn from various fields of endeavour. According to him, members of the group, whom he said were drawn from every ward of the existing 120,000 polling units across the country, made the contributions from the least of N68.00 and upward to enable them raise the money. Further stating that members come from every geo-political zone of the country, Nwanjuba, who said the president had been given triple A rating, added that they took the decision because

of outstanding leadership principles exhibited by Buhari, including what he described as his record performance in areas of security, economy, infrastructure delivery and financial prudence. He said the young citizens who made up the group had opted to purchase the form for the president to encourage him to continue in his service to the country and also consolidate on what he had done so far. He said, "These ambassadors whose network seeks to consolidate these gains and engrain this focus, then decided to contribute their intellect and little earnings towards ensuring that our president is encouraged to continue this service, being as it is now apparent the real beneficiaries of all the toil and tenacity of purpose that now radiates this leader. "In spite of the hue and cry from a vociferous few whose stranglehold on our commonwealth has become somewhat dislodged, it is on account of the resolve of these ambassadors that they proceeded to obtain the nomination form for the president from the All Progressives Congress to encourage Mr. President to seek re-election for another term to help consolidate the work he is doing." Nwanjuba said contrary to an agitation that purchasing the form for the president was a clear violation of Section 91(9) of the Electoral Act; no law was broken after all, arguing that if any law had been broken, the president would not have accepted the form.

APC Adopts Buhari as Presidential Candidate

Meanwhile, the National Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Maimala Buni, yesterday in Abuja, said the party had adopted Buhari as its candidate for 2019 presidential election. Answering questions from journalists at the State House, Buni, however, said any other member interested in the presidential race was free to pick the nomination form. He emphasised that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party had already endorsed the candidature of the president. According to him, “Once the National Executive Committee of the party passes a vote of confidence on the president, that president stands accepted because the NEC is the highest organ of the party and it met to take the decision, where every interest was represented. "So the NEC of APC has passed a vote of confidence on our president and that means every APC member has endorsed him." He also said the decision was not new, pointing out that it was the same standard that was obtainable in advanced democracies. "In advanced democracies, once the NEC of a party passes vote of confidence on the president, nobody contests against the president. The president has been accepted," he explained. Buni also said the president would be given the right of first refusal, adding that having accepted the nomination form, it means that he is the party's presidential candidate in next year's election. As at close of collection of nomination forms yesterday, Buhari was the only aspirants

Another Group Donates N56.8m to Buhari’s Campaign In a related development, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria yesterday presented a cheque of N56.8million to the National Chairman of the APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, as part of their contributions for the re-election bid of Buhari. The group's donation came just as Oshiomhole, who reacted to comments by the PDP and its presidential aspirants, said they were jittery ahead of the 2019 general elections. The rice farmers, who were led on the visit to APC national secretariat by the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, and its National President, Aminu Goronyo, said their contribution was in appreciation for the over N100 billion loan facilities the President Buhari-led administration had given to the farmers. Oshiomhole said Buhari had already won the presidential election with the support of 12.2million rice farmers across the country, who are registered voters. In a statement yesterday by the Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, said Bagudu commended the efforts made so far by the Buhari administration to encourage rice farming in Nigeria, adding that "the efforts had yielded fruit as the cost of a bag of rice today is N13,000." He also said that most of the farmers are today millionaires.

FG LISTS CONDITIONS FOR RELEASE OF OUTSTANDING PARIS CLUB REFUND priority. Others are: Commitment to the commencement of the repayment of Budget Support Loans granted in 2016, to be made by all states; *Clearing of amounts due to the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, *Commitment to clear matching grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) where some states have available funds which could be used to improve primary education and learning outcomes. The payment of the approved amount, the

statement stressed, is to be made in phased tranches to the states. According to the federal government, the issue of Paris Club loan over-deductions had been a long standing dispute between it and the state governments which dated back to the period between 1995 and 2002. "In response to the dispute, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the claims of overdeduction should be formally and individually reconciled by the Debt Management Office (DMO). This reconciliation commenced in November 2016.

"As an interim measure to alleviate the financial challenges of the states during the 2016 recession, the president had approved that 50 per cent of the amounts claimed by states be paid to enable the states clear salary and pension arrears. "This was released between December 1, 2016 and September 29, 2017. This refund was part of the government’s fiscal stimulus to ensure the financial health of Sub-National Governments," the statement noted. The DMO, it added, led the reconciliation process under the supervision of the

Federal Ministry of Finance, stressing that the final approval of US$2.689 billion is subject to some conditions. According to a media report over the weekend, some state governors across party lines are presently fretting over an alleged secret payment of N16.67 billion, said to be the last tranche of Paris Club refund to the Osun State government. The alleged secret payment to Osun State, they argue, was made to give the state government some advantage to prosecute the September 22 governorship election. Although the statement

released yesterday was an apparent response to enquiries by THISDAY and those of other media houses for the reaction of the ministry on the alleged secret refund to Osun State, the ministry was silent on the issue. In March 2018, the federal government claimed that it had paid a total of N1.9 trillion to the 36 states of the federation as support from the Paris Club refund. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made the disclosure in his address at the fourth session of the Ogun Investors’ Forum in Abeokuta.

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NGN NGN % 0.05 0.55 10.0 0.05 0.58 9.5 130.00 1,485.00 9.5 0.06 0.72 9.5 0.09 1.10 8.9 NGN % 1.60 14.40 10 0.40 3.60 9.5 0.03 0.30 9.4 SUNUASSURE 0.02 0.20 9.3 JAPAUL 0.02 0.22 6.0 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,485.00 Volume: 150.671 million shares Value: N1.596 billion Deals: 3,678 As at yesterday 11/09/18 See details on Page 39


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PDP Governors Meet Presidential Aspirants, Kick against Consensus Candidacy Pick Port Harcourt as convention venue Deji Elumoye, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors' Forum yesterday met with the party’s presidential aspirants, stating after the meeting that they would prefer a healthy primary contest to the attempt of the party leadership to produce a consensus presidential candidate. The governors had in a communiquÊ on Monday resolved to have an allinclusive meeting with all the party presidential aspirants, with the National Chairman, two national officers of the party, and the leaders of the party in both chambers of

the National Assembly in attendance. However, the governors agreed that the party’s national convention, where the presidential candidate would emerge, should be held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. A source privy to the meeting told THISDAY that the governors resolved that all the aspirants should go for primaries. The source revealed that Enugu, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States were suggested to host the convention, but Enugu and Akwa Ibom were discarded because of accommodation issues. The source added, “The governors disagreed with the

issue of consensus. They said that all the aspirants should go for the primaries to avoid unforeseen development. They want a contest among the aspirant so that the best can emerge. "The issue of where to hold the convention came up, Enugu, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States were suggested, but Rivers State was selected. Enugu and Akwa Ibom were discarded because there are no enough hotels to accommodate the people that will come for the convention. Rivers States has enough accommodation and that was why it was selected." The governors had met

with all the 13 presidential aspirants of the party in Abuja. The meeting was presided over by Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose. Although the details of the meeting held at the Asokoro, Abuja residence of Fayose was not made public, sources, however, told THISDAY that the governors discussed the presidential contest and opted for primary election instead of the consensus being advocated by the Board of Trustees of the party. The party has already fixed October 6, 2018 as the date for the presidential primary.

At the end of yesterday's parley between the 14 PDP governors and the aspirants, THISDAY learnt that appreciable progress was made on the issue of having a unity of purpose among the aspirants in the larger interest of the party. This, sources said, was evident from the way the aspirants exchanged banters among themselves when they came out of the meeting. The aspirants at the meeting include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; his predecessor, Senator David Mark; Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Tambuwal; Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim

Dankwambo; and former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido. Others are former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; former Special Duties Minister, Dr Taminu Turaki; Senator Datti BabaAhmed; former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; and former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang. The PDP Governors in attendance include Mr. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State; Mr. Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State; and Chief Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.

AMBODE FIGHTS BACK, MOVES TO NEUTRALISE MANDATE GROUP, RALLIES ABUJA FOR SUPPORT backing of the Mandate Group, the political machine that brought Ambode to power, Hamzat rides on the back of the Justice Group, which has the former governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as its leading light. The governor, who was said to have been perplexed by the development because he claimed he obtained the nomination forms after due consultation with the party’s national leader on Sunday, had his doubts, about the position of Tinubu, cleared when by yesterday afternoon, the chairmen of the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs) had appended their signatures to the nomination form of Sanwo-Olu. With Sanwo-Olu as the clear choice even without the voice of Tinubu being heard, Ambode began his survival battle yesterday, reaching out to the presidential villa for help. THISDAY’s multiple sources said although Ambode was not minded to look Tinubu in the face, he was being prodded by some of his loyalists and friends who believed that having done his best to take care of the political and economic interests of his godfather, he had not been treated fairly, and should consequently fight back. “Ambode says he is not a politician and did not ask to be a governor. He feels, therefore, that if he is no longer wanted by the powers that be, he should simply ease out in peace,� said a source close to him. “Bu there are some of us who feel that loyalty should beget loyalty, and that if Tinubu has become disloyal to Ambode, the governor should not go down without a fight, giving that he has goodwill not only among the people of Lagos State, but also with the seat of power in Abuja,� he added. The embattled governor appeared to be listening to

his close confidants who asked him to respond to the challenge to his return bid. His strategy, said a reliable source close to the unfolding power game, is a mixture of diplomacy and war. First he would seek to persuade Tinubu to change his mind and support him. If that fails, he would fight, believing that he has enormous capacity to do maximum damage to the political fortunes of the APC in the state. Consequently, THISDAY gathered that Ambode had contacted the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, to intervene, the earlier involvement of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo having failed. On the home front, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, is expected to lead a delegation of the Council of Traditional Rulers in the state to Tinubu’s Bourdillon residence today to plead the case of Ambode. It was gathered last night that Akiolu is expected to point out to Tinubu the dangers in allowing the rift to fester. The traditional ruler is believed to be worried that the widening of the crack between the governor and his godfather could do incalculable damage to the fortunes of the APC in the forthcoming governorship election in the state. Ambode is, however, said to have a battle plan should the efforts to persuade Tinubu fail. The battle line, according to competent sources, would be drawn today if Tinubu fails to sign Ambode’s nomination form. “The governor would be presenting his nomination form to Tinubu for endorsement tomorrow (today). If he refuses to sign, it would be a clear signal that he no longer supports Ambode. At that point, he would have to activate his battle plan,� a source said. The governor is said to have placed all his commissioners and political appointees on notice that should peace fail,

they would be required to rise to the occasion and mobilise their constituencies for delivery at the primary scheduled for later in the month. He is also said to have opened communications with Hamzat and his Justice Group, Hamzat too is said to be unhappy that Tinubu had dumped him for Sanwo-Olu. He is said to be ready to ally with Ambode in the event of a showdown with the man popularly called Lion of Bourdillon. Ambode is also hopeful of support from outside as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is said to be waiting in the wings to reap from the fall out of the impending fight in the APC.

Otedola Considers Race Meanwhile, billionaire businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, is said to be considering joining the governorship fray should his kinsman be denied a second term in the APC. Femi, a PDP stalwart, is also from the Epe Division homestead of Ambode. Both are said to be working on the modalities to ward off the offensive from Tinubu and his Mandate Group. There were indications yesterday, however, that Otedola had accepted an offer by the PDP to run in 2019. Although Otedola could not be reached for confirmation due to vacation abroad, but a reliable source close to him said he was seriously considering contesting the 2019 election if given the opportunity. Also, popular celebrity publisher, Dele Momodu, yesterday said PDP had offered Otedola the governorship ticket and that he had accepted it. He shared the news on his Twitter handle, @ DeleMomodu. He tweeted: “Breaking news: Lagos 2019 promises to be interesting. PDP offers

Femi Otedola governorship ticket. He’s accepted and personally confirmed to The Boss newspaper.â€? On his Instagram page, Otedola shared a video of himself enjoying a ride in a miniature vehicle. He captioned the video: “Never too old to catch some fun ‌â€?

How Policy Alteration Pitted Tinubu against Ambode Tinubu decided not to support the re-election bid of Lagos State Governor Ambode due to alteration of the state’s major policies the governor made after he assumed office, THISDAY has learnt. This came as some APC chieftains including former APC Deputy Chairman, Cardinal James Odumbaku and former Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Kaoli Olusanya, allegedly directed Ambode to return his nomination form or face impeachment at a meeting held at Watercress Hotel, Ikeja Monday night. At the meeting, THISDAY gathered, all Chairmen of 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Area (LCDAs) signed the governorship nomination form of Tinubu’s anointed candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. THISDAY obtained video clip, which showed some of the council chiefs signing Sanwo-Olu’s nomination under the supervision of some state party leaders led by Cardinal Odumbaku and encouraging the council chiefs to support Asiwaju’s anointed candidate. As shown in the video, Odumbaku said there was no other political group in Lagos State again than the Mandate Movement, noting that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation had been fused into the Mandate Movement. He said Sanwo-Olu "is

Asiwaju's annointed candidate for 2019. We gathered here on the instruction of our leader. We must honour by supporting his choice candidate for the 2019 governorship election in the state. The era of Ambode has gone. This is a new era. In 2019, Sanwo-Olu will be the one to occupy the State House." However, multiple sources revealed main reasons the APC national leader refused to endorse his political godson for re-election yesterday, ascribing it to Ambode’s decision to alter, modify and scrap some state’s policies initiated under the Tinubu administration between 1999 and 2007. One of the sources mentioned the affected policies to include Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), which the Ambode administration scrapped and modified to serve the residents more effectively. While KAI was replaced with the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), the source said LAWMA gave way for Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), which he said, designed for effective management of the state’s residential wastes. However, according to him, the CLI later created grievous waste management challenges in the state. Asiwaju see these legacies. When scrapped, Asiwaju believed Ambode just wanted to rubbish legacies. He was indeed displeased. Apart from KAI and LAWMA, another source cited the case of Lagos Bus Reform Initiative, which the Ambode administration invested over N30 billion Paris Club refunds the state received from the federal government between 2016 and 2017. Specifically, the source disclosed that Tinubu’s idea of public transportation “is

completely different from the Bus Reform Initiative, which Ambode introduced in 2017. Asiwaju believes public transportation should be driven by the private sector. “Ambode’s decision to invest such huge amount on the construction of bus terminals and procurement of about 6,000 air-conditioned high occupancy vehicles is at variance with Asiwaju’s position. Asiwaju never bought into this initiative.� Besides policy alteration, an entirely different source said Asiwaju was displeased with his godson because he set up a political group of his own called Akinwunmi Ambode Campaign Organisation (AAMCO) with networks across all LGAs and LCDAs. According to the source, all political groups in the state have been collapsed into Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation (BATCO). Asiwaju felt the creation of AAMCO was a violation of his directive. But the truth is Ambode created the group because he won the APC governorship ticket in December 2014. Ambode had expressed interest to run for a second term as governor of the state on the platform of the APC. The governor made the official declaration on Monday, September 10, in Alausa. Ambode recalled how he was called upon by Lagosians to come and serve the state four years ago and thanked them for their support. He said: “In the last three and a half years, I have fulfilled my promises to you to make Lagos work for all. With your support, we have made Lagos a better place and changed the face of our State. I did not do it alone; we did it together, because you believed. “Our state has remained steadily prosperous because of your positive outlook. I urge you to always stay positive in your personal and communal lives and continue to aspire to great things.


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NEWS

News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email Ejiofor.Alike@thisdaylive.com, 08066066268

Political Uncertainty Stalls Investment in Aviation Sector Chinedu Eze The heightened political tension in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections is negatively affecting foreign investments, aircraft leasing deals as well as other negotiated agreements in the aviation sector, THISDAY has learnt. THISDAY’s investigation revealed that potential foreign investors in the sector are unwilling to go ahead with deals they have already signed

because of concerns of over political risks. The Managing Director of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, confirmed this in an exclusive interview with THISDAY. According to Bankole, foreign business partners are presently apprehensive about Nigeria’s forthcoming elections, and are unwilling to negotiate and commit business agreements with their Nigerian partners. He also said those who had

Presidential Committee Recovers N769bn Stolen Assets

initially wanted to invest in Nigeria have withdrawn their investment because of concerns of political risks. “Investors are apprehensive about the current political transition going on and it is affecting investment and even business negotiations between us and the outside world. This is because they are not confident that things will be okay in the business environment. “What is happening now is giving investors concern and I am aware that some people are pulling their capital away;

we should not make political transition an issue. Foreigners are skeptical about our politics and we have read recently that a lot of money is being moved out of the country. There is a threat because our politics is looking unstable and this has made investing in Nigeria a big risk,” Bankole said. Also speaking on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, disclosed that investors who initially wanted to invest in Aero Contractors pulled out

after negotiations had reached 90 per cent conclusion. “It is true that investors are apprehensive about the coming election and that is what is affecting the sale of assets by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Three organisations had earlier indicated interest to invest in Aero, but they pulled out after negotiation had reached almost 90 per cent conclusion. They are worried about political uncertainty and continuity,” Sanusi said. On his part, the Chief

Operating Officer of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo, told THISDAY that it was difficult to secure credit facility from international financiers because they cite political uncertainty of the country. “We have been talking with investors, financiers and we have got good interest rate in accessing credit facility, but they always consider the political environment which they describe as unpredictable.

Cont’d on page 50

Buhari tasks N’Assembly to pass proceeds of crimes bill Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Presidential Committee on the Audit of Recovered Public Assets yesterday told President Muhammad Buhari in the State House that it had recovered N769 billion. Making the disclosure at a meeting with the president, the Chairman of the three-man committee, Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, said the committee was mandated to audit recovered government assets by government agencies. This is coming as President Buhari has called on the National Assembly to pass Proceeds of Crimes Bill, saying it will strengthen the administration’s asset recovery mission. According to Lijadu, the committee obtained access to records, including bank statements and other information from government agencies, banks and other organisations in relation to recovered cash and non-cash public assets. In his remarks, Buhari pointed out that asset recovery was an integral part of the war against corruption. He called on the National Assembly to pass Proceeds of Crimes Bill before, saying it will

strengthen the administration’s asset recovery mission. “Once the Bill is passed and assented, many of the challenges facing our asset recovery and management practice will be adequately taken care of as the bill addresses most of the challenges facing effective asset recovery and management in Nigeria. “I therefore encourage the National Assembly to take necessary steps to pass the bill,” he said. In his submission, AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, gave a mini breakdown of the recovered assets. He said: “The federal government recovered N13.8 billion from tax evaders in May 2018. “In May 2018, the government paid N439.2million to about 14 whistle blowers who gave specific information on tax evasion. “Again, N3.8 million, $378million 27,800 pounds were equally recovered from public officials. “In summary, the recovered funds by the three-man committee is N769 billion naira cash, recovered within the period under review.”

PDP Announces New Dates for Primaries Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday announced new dates for State House of Assembly, National Assembly and governorship primaries of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections. The main opposition party in the new time table revealed that the last day for the purchase of submission of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms that was supposed to end yesterday, September 11 has now been extended to September 18. The new dates according to a party source may not be unconnected with the huge patronage the party continues to receive for expression of interest on the various elective offices up for grabs in the 2019 elections. According to a notice signed by the National Organising Secretary of PDP, Col. Austin Akobondu (rtd) and made

available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, the party has fixed September 20 for screening the National Assembly, governorship and presidential aspirants. The party said on September 15, it would elect candidates will vie for seats in the States’ Houses of Assembly, while appeals arising from the exercise earlier fixed for September 17, will now hold on October 4, 2018. The party also said that Senatorial congresses and appeals will hold on September 28 and September 29, respectively, while governorship primaries will hold on September 26 with appeals slated for September 28. The notice added that the congresses into the National Assembly will hold on September 30 as against the earlier date of September 28. According to the party, the appeals on these congresses hold on October 2 in the new timetable.

STOCK TAKING...

L-R: Outgoing Council Secretary, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), Mrs. Ojinika Olaghere; outgoing Vice President, Mrs. Funmi Oyetunji; outgoing President, Prof. Chris Ogbeche; incoming President, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren and Financial Secretary, Mrs. Sola Oworu, PHOTO: KOLA OLASUPO during the 21st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association in Lagos...yesterday

Nine Die as Boat Capsizes in Niger Laleye Dipo in Minna Tragedy again struck in Niger State when a pregnant woman and her two-year-old son died in a boat mishap on the River Kaduna at Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of the state. Seven others also lost their lives in the accident reported to have taken place last Monday evening. The accident was the second within 24 hours after two fresh graduates of the Niger State College of Education died in

a similar manner last Sunday morning at Bina in the Lapai LGA of the state. Others who lost their lives in the accident were a mechanic, one John Moses and two of his apprentices, Khalifa Danladi, 14, and Ubale Usman, 16. They resided in Nangawu community in Bosso LGA and were going to repair a faulty vehicle when they met their untimely death. The deceased were said to have boarded the boat from Shata Sabo

in Shiroro LGA when it capsized midway into the journey at Soho in Bosso LGA, killing nine of the 11 passengers. The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said other passengers on the ill-fated boat were one Malam Muhammad Safir of Fulani extraction whose age could not be immediately ascertained; Malam Salihu Aliyu, and 72 year-old man simply

referred to as Makudi. Inga said two of the passengers including the boat’s driver whose identity could also not be ascertained, survived the accident, adding that the the driver was in critical condition. Inga said the cause of the accident could be overloading but added that “flood wave,” could have aggravated it. “The passengers were already on the water when flood wave hit the boat forcing it to capsize,” he said.

FG Seeks $6bn from China Exim Bank to Construct Ibadan-Kano Rail Line DMO: No cause for alarm over Chinese loans Ndubuisi Francis and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja The federal government has disclosed that it is currently negotiating a loan of about $6 billion with the China Exim Bank for the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project. This is coming as the Debt Management Office (DMO) has allayed fears over Nigeria’s continuing borrowing from China, assuring that the country’s public debt is being managed under statutory provisions and international best practice.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, gave the hint during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday. According to him, “We are currently in negotiations with the China Exim Bank to get about $6 billion to do (rail lines) from Ibadan to Kano.” Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has allayed fears over Nigeria’s continuing borrowing from China, assuring that the country’s public debt is being managed under statutory provisions and

international best practice. The agency assured the public that Nigeria’s public debt remains sustainable, and devoid of any risk of default because of the country’s sound debt management practices. In a statement, the DMO said it has observed various comments in recent times about borrowing by developing countries from China. The comments, it said, seem to have become heightened following the recent summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and claims of potential seizure

of national assets by Chinese lenders in some African countries although the claims have not been validated. “The DMO has therefore considered it necessary to inform Nigerians about the Government’s borrowing from China. Firstly, it should be noted that based on need, and subject to the receipt of requisite approvals, the government may raise capital from several domestic and external sources to finance capital projects, in order to promote economic growth and development, as well as, job creation.


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COMMENT

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

FR. BOB AT 50

Sonnie Ekwowusi pays tribute to Robert Yoest, a Catholic committed to his priestly duties

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n two and half weeks Nigeria will be marking her 58th independence anniversary. This undoubtedly affords us the opportunity of pausing and reminiscing on our nationhood. It is also a time to remember the great contributions of our heroes past and present. And I think it is also apposite on the occasion of our independence anniversary to applaud the pioneering work of the Christian missionaries and clerics who voluntarily left the comfort of their respective countries either before or after our independence to come to Nigeria to render countless selfless humanitarianism services to the poor, hungry, sick, abandoned, captives, socially-uprooted and elderly. Although many of these missionaries and clerics have either died or left Nigeria, some are still living in our midst today. The great work of these missionaries and clerics still shines forth in the various parts of the country. Their work is still the superstructures upon which abiding values and human flourishing are anchored. For example, who will not remember the sacrifices and uncommon dedication of Rev. Father Denis J. Slattery who came to Yoruba land in 1939? Apart from being the founder of all-conquering football school St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos, Father Slattery was the doyen of Nigerian sports. He was the first chairman of the Nigerian Football Association, (NFA). He was an efficient Nigerian referee. He was a renowned educationist. Who will fail to remember Rev. Townsend who started the first newspaper in Nigeria called Iwe Irohin in Yoruba language in 1859? Who will not remember Bishop Patrick Joseph Kelly, the first Catholic Bishop of Benin City who established some frontline secondary schools in Nigeria including the prestigious and most excellent Immaculate Conception College, (I.C.C) Benin City? Who will fail to remember Bishop Joseph Shanahan, the courageous Irish man who traversed Nigerian villages on foot, by bicycle and by canoe educating the natives and establishing a network of schools which later formed the foundation of secondary school education in Nigeria? I think it is proper and fitting as well to remember one clergyman who has touched the lives of many Nigerians. His name is Rev. Fr. Dr. Robert L.Yoest (fondly called Fr. Bob). Fr. Bob is an American. He is a Catholic priest. He is a priest of Opus Dei (Work of God), a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church founded by St. Josemaria Escriva on October 2, 1928. Fr. Bob came to Nigeria in July 1975. Recently Fr. Bob turned 50 as a Catholic priest. Although he is now 83 years old he places a high premium on the 50 years which he had spent as a priest in the service of God and his fellow men and women. Why? Because he is madly in love with his priestly vocation. Amid the multitude of Nigerians immersed in their own ignorance and anxiously questioning the purpose of life and the meaning of human

APART FROM CELEBRATING DAILY MASSES, FR. BOB IS PREOCCUPIED HEARING CONFESSIONS, ADMINISTERING THE SACRAMENTS AND GIVING SPIRITUAL DIRECTIONS TO THOSE IN NEED OF THEM OR HAS REQUESTED FOR THEM

existence, Fr. Bob had spent the last 43 years traversing Enugu, Ibadan, Lagos and Iroto village (a remote village in Ogun State) proclaiming to all the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fr. Bob’s tireless commitment to his priestly duty demonstrates the self-giving and fidelity of uncountable number of Catholic priests across the world. From the perspective of apostolic zeal, Jesus Christ’s doctrine on priestly celibacy “for the sake of the Kingdom of God� (Matthew 19:12) finds a direct echo in St. Paul’s teaching that “the unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please Lord� (1 Corinthians 7:32). This concern of St. Paul to serve God with unwavering heart finds similar expression in the life and the priestly ministry of Fr. Bob and many Catholic priests in different parts of the world. A priest (sacerdos in Latin) means ‘a giver of things’. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, a priest is a mediator between God and the people inasmuch as he bestows divine things on the people. Speaking to a huge gathering of priests in Philadelphia on October 4, 1979, St. John Paul 11 said, “A man becomes a priest of the New Testament through special calling from God...it should not surprise the world that God’s calling through the Church should continue offering us a celibate ministry of love and service according to our Lord Jesus Christ’s example. This calling from God touches the very depths of our being. And after centuries of experience the Church knows how appropriate it is that priests should respond in this specific way in their lives, to demonstrate the totality of the Yes they have said to our Lord� But priesthood has to be understood and considered in the light of the fact that God himself became a priest in his Sacred Humanity. Jesus Christ is perfect man and perfect God. Thus Jesus shared the joys and sorrows of the people around him. Jesus never stayed aloof from the people and events around Him. For example, Jesus catered for both the spiritual and material needs of the people who flocked around Him. He condemned injustices. He fed the hungry. Seeing the widow of Naim who had lost her only son, He felt sorry for her and consequently restored her son to life. Jesus wept for Lazarus his friend who had fallen ill and died. Similarly, as priests whose priesthood is modelled after the order of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ the High Priest, the Catholic priests try to reproduce the life of Jesus Christ in their respective priestly ministries. For example, Fr. Bob always wears his white cassock ready to offer priestly services to anyone who needs them. Apart from celebrating daily Masses, Fr Bob is mainly preoccupied hearing Confessions, administering the Sacraments and giving spiritual directions to those in need of them or has requested for them.

CURRENCY SWAP AND ECONOMIC GROWTH Our salvation does not lie in currency swap but in the development of our capacities for growth, argues Osagie Jacobs

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prominent issue currently engaging the intellect of economic analysts is the proposed currency swap between the Nigerian Naira and Chinese Yen. In my university social media forum it has provoked intense debate. Currency swap is intended to mitigate the restrictions on trade caused by the non availability of trading currency and foreign exchange fluctuation. It was to overcome these restrictions that Nigeria opted for counter trade in the past. Counter trade is simply the exchange of goods and services between countries. It achieves the same purpose as the currency swap. With this bilateral currency swap, a country can exchange its currency for a certain volume of foreign currency. Naira will be provided for Chinese business men and this will be complemented by the supply of Yen to Nigerian businessmen. It will overcome most restrictions to trade and enhance its volume. Since sourcing for the naira will no more be a problem, the Chinese will now be encouraged to increase their trading and investment activities in the Nigerian economy. I have reservations about the currency swap policy but some of my friends are so excited by it. They loathed my idea that cheap but inferior Chinese products should not be allowed to flood the Nigerian market. Their faith lies in the fact that Chinese products are available and affordable. They have been enjoying their cheap rechargeable lamps and torch lights. The ladies among them have ionic bonding with Chinese products. But when I suggested to them to replace their wedding rings with Chinese rings they all declined. They knew it would break and the marriage would collapse. An unwavering belief that the currency swap will benefit our economy is simplistic. China has all the characteristics to dominate the trade leaving Nigeria a poor player. Economics is a very dynamic

discipline. It is upgraded daily with fresh insights. Most economic analysts are living in the past because they have stopped reading and updating themselves with current research findings. They cling to outworn theories with diminished value. Up to the time I graduated in Economics from the university, the New Trade Theory had not been widely acclaimed. It was propounded by Paul Krugman, the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize for economic sciences. Prior to his work, trade on comparative advantage was emphasized. That is, countries with different characteristics like the ones with high agricultural productivity trading agricultural products for industrial products from countries with high industrial productivity. But recently, a higher share of trade occurred between countries with similar characteristics. This runs against the grain of the theory of comparative advantage earlier propounded by David Ricardo. The assumptions underlining this theory are that consumers prefer a diverse range of brands and that production favours economic of scale. The sermon of this theory is that trading Nigeria’s primary products for Chinese industrial products may not guarantee a significant value addition in terms of consumer satisfaction. The investment temper is restless, it will move from place to place to identify areas with the highest returns. This is the core of the arbitrage process propounded by Franco Modigliani, the 1985 Nobel Prize winner for economic sciences. The restrictions inherent in the currency swap will hinder the fluidity of choice in the international market especially for a developing country like Nigeria. It is feared that the currency swap engagement may not be with utmost good faith. It is highly probable that all material disclosures required for the efficiency of the market may not be disclosed. This leads us to the realm of information economics

introduced into economic analysis by the joint 2001 Nobel Prize winners for economic sciences, Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof and Michael Spence. They identified the role of asymmetrical information in transactions between parties. A fundamental principle in classical economics is that the free market operates best without government intervention. It is this principle their theory on asymmetrical information challenged. They affirmed that a free market cannot be achieved when there is asymmetrical information between trading partners. For example, a vendor of fairly used cars and insurance policies are more informed about their products than the buyers. In this instance, the markets for such products cannot be said to be a free market. Clearly, the party with better information will exploit it for advantage. It is, therefore, necessary that due diligence should be undertaken on the products of trade between Nigeria and China. Issues like the quality of materials, life span, conditions for recalls, warranties and certifications should be agreed upon previous to trading. The Chinese have demonstrated a remarkable capacity in textiles manufacturing, production of pharmaceutical products, railways and agriculture, but there is no denying the fact that over 60 per cent of Chinese products in the Nigerian market are substandard. This is not the same for products from the United States, Europe and Japan. In a factory having European machines in Calabar where I live, some electric motors and gears have not failed for 39 years. In my factory, no German made fluorescent lamp has failed for the past 13 years. Chinese products won’t go as far. The Chinese collude with unscrupulous Nigerian businessmen to bring in substandard products including pharmaceuticals from China. In China, such a sharp practice carries the death penalty. This is an indication of our rating by the Chinese – dummies. It is very rare, if not impossible, that any factory in the United States or

a European country would undermine the quality of its products whatever the financial inducement. Our factories are dying and they are unfortunately being replaced by those of the Chinese and Indians. You will see this in Lagos, Otta, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano. It is indeed sad that the Chinese and Indians pay the poorest salaries in Nigeria. It is demeaning that the Asians now control domestic commodity trading in Nigeria. They were able to hedge out Nigerian produce buyers. They buy produce like Cocoa, Coffee, Groundnut, Cotton, Sorghum, Gum Arabic, Rubber, Palm Produce, etc. It was easy for them to do that because they possess large capital. It is, therefore, mindboggling that the federal government is surreptitiously working towards the complete dominance of our economy by the Chinese. We have courted the Chinese with the song, “Take my life and let it be, consecrate myself to thee�. Our salvation does not lie in currency swap but in the development of our capacities for growth and development. Growth is driven by skills and innovation. It is imperative to put in place critical infrastructure to facilitate development. I call attention to the rudimentary state of our technical knowledge which is incapable to drive growth. In recent years, technical education has received scant attention from the government. Also, the infrastructure to develop technical skills is not there. Most of our technical schools are dead and the few living are on life-support. Our trade centres which were turning out craftsmen and technologists with two right hands in Lagos, Oyo, Sapele, Owo, Ilorin, Idah, Bida, Bukuru –Jos, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna are no more. In the year 2016 China built 450 technical schools. r+BDPCT+1 '$" XSPUFGSPN$BMBCBS


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EDITORIAL THE ALARM ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING Nigeria could do more to stem the menace of human trafficking

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ritish Prime Minister Theresa May was recently in Nigeria as part of a three-nation African tour. While in the country, she spoke forcefully about human trafďŹ cking and modern slavery for which Nigeria has become notorious. Almost on a daily basis, there are reports of hundreds of young Nigerian girls being trafďŹ cked to Europe and Asia for sexual exploitation. The victims are often enticed by promises of greener pastures abroad only to be forced into acts of prostitution and slavery upon arriving at their destinations. The sheer magnitude and sophistication of this human merchandising indicate that for any meaningful breakthrough to be achieved in the efforts to arrest it, collaborative attempts must be made by governments, non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies and even inuential individuals. Critical stakeholders can no longer continue to watch from the sidelines while unscrupulous people CRITICAL classify fellow human STAKEHOLDERS CAN beings as commodities NO LONGER CONTINUE and beneďŹ t from their ignorance, desperation TO WATCH FROM THE and, sometimes, greed. SIDELINES WHILE In the last one year, UNSCRUPULOUS Nigeria has spent PEOPLE CLASSIFY huge sums of naira FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS to evacuate hundreds AS COMMODITIES of Nigerians most of whom were trafficked to AND BENEFIT FROM Libya enroute Europe THEIR IGNORANCE, with promises of better DESPERATION AND, life. Several of them SOMETIMES, GREED lost their lives while those who survived went through anguish and trauma before the federal government came to their rescue. Aside international trafďŹ cking and migration, several young Nigerians are also being trafďŹ cked within the country by money mongers who recruit them from poverty -stricken homes in rural areas with promises of improved living standard in the city where they are usually offered as house boys or maids, with traffickers taking the lion shares of their

Letters to the Editor

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

PARIS CLUB REFUND AND 2019 ELECTION

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tate governors across party lines are happy over an alleged payment, said to be the last tranche of Paris Club refund payment to Osun State government. They are happy because they will get their tranche at a crucial time of 2019 elections in their states. Some of the governors I spoke to were busy strategizing how they will legally utilize the money few days to 2019 elections in their states. In the history of Paris Club refund, it has been established norm of turn by turn. The first tranche was paid in batches after verification to selected states. There is nothing wrong if Osun State is selected first this time before other states because it used to be last when payment on Paris Club refund is made. The governors are happy that the payment has resumed and they will get this tranche few days to elections in their states. Some state governors confirmed to me that they have secretly set up committees on how best to utilize the money when

monthly earnings. Against this background, we share the position of the US Department of State that Nigeria has indeed failed to take decisive steps aimed at curbing the menace of human trafficking in Nigeria. Victims of human trafficking and illegal migration often go through physical and psychological trauma as they must always be at the beck and call of organised patrons from the traffickers without objection no matter their level of grief. Those trafficked abroad neither have peace of mind nor desirable happiness, yet they often live under the threat and fear of deportation with little or no savings of their own. Like the obnoxious trans-Atlantic slave trade, this present plague is characterised by intricately connected networks around the globe. Of course, with quantum advancement in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the contemporary practitioners of the criminal transactions have faster and more efficient tools to work with. That means they can move their “waresâ€? more discreetly. This poses a great challenge to the efforts to eradicate the dehumanising commerce. t the root of human trafďŹ cking in Nigeria is endemic poverty. Poverty has been a veritable tool in the hands of trafďŹ ckers in luring their victims with promises of improved living either in some cities within the country or abroad. By the time trafďŹ cked people realise that the promises of a better life were not genuine, it would have been too late. Several of those recently evacuated from Libya narrated how frustration forced them into the journey. We therefore challenge the government at all levels to address the prevalent poverty ravaging the land and offer meaningful hope of livelihood to frustrated young Nigerian men and women who are often victims of trafficking. We also task the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to embark on massive enlightenment campaigns against trafficking particularly in rural areas of the country where this scourge has become prevalent. Parents must be involved in this exercise. Above all, the security agencies must remain vigilant at the borders, airports and seaports. With its abundant resources, Nigeria must not be made to stay on this list of shame much longer.

they receive the last tranche. The report in the Sun Newspaper of 8th September 2018 was a figment of imagination of the reporter. The reporter did not name any governor he spoke to nor confirm how it got the amount of money refunded to Osun State in the 21st century global world. The reporter is a member of opposition party that is promoting the interest of his party and confused how to cause division among the state governors in Nigeria across political divide. The governors are happy that Osun State got their tranche first and they are curiously waiting and planning for their tranche. The state government was in December 2017 paid along other states by the federal government the third tranche of the refund. Paris Club refund is a partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) payments for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

Three tranches that had been released earlier to all the states, with the last released alongside the December 2017 federal allocations to enable most of the states owing months of staff salaries offset the backlog. At least six state governors from both the ruling APC and opposition PDP who spoke to me on the latest payment expressed joy over the payment made to Osun. They argued that the refund was made to empower the state government. Governors are happy that fresh reprieve, as President Muhammadu Buhari approved payment of another Paris Club refunds to the states, to enable them meet their states obligations. President Buhari had earlier approved the release of billions as first tranche of payment to states, in 2016, in respect of what was said to be debt service deductions in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the federal and state government from 1995 to 2002. r*OXBMPNIF%POBME 0TPHCP

VOTING FOR APC IN MINNA

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ow, how do you explain the queue for a loan privilege of N20,000 over here in Minna, the capital of Niger State under the one critical condition that on the loan application form one must fill out a space that indicates the code of one’s personal voter’s card? Basically, no voter’s card, no loan. This touted “poverty alleviation loan� by some shadow agency of the government is no “loan� at all but a trap to get voters to divulge sensitive information for a fee of N20,000, and this ploy is working so well that the

liaison points for these cash handouts are being over-swamped by eager folks wanting to, in reality, sell their votes. Everyone over here in Minna is in agreement that the All Progressives Congress political party has devised a most ingenious way to beat all its competitors combined in the general elections of 2019. There must be something to this desperation to hold onto power when the country is not working and when it is operating in “lifeless� mode. r4VOEBZ"EPMF+POBI  %FQBSUNFOU PG 1IZTJDT  'FEFSBM 6OJWFSTJUZ PG 5FDIOPMPHZ  .JOOB  /JHFS 4UBUF


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MIDWEEKPOLITICS

Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email nseobong.okonekong@thisdaylive.com 08114495324 SMS ONLY

THE NEWSMAKER

A Jonah to Save Northern Minorities Former Governor of Plateau state and Senator representing Plateau North in the NationalAssembly, Jonah David Jang recently threw his hat into the ring to contest for Presidency in the 2019 General election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this piece, Seriki Adinoyi examines his chances

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he northern Nigeria minorities are arguably the most marginalised and neglected in Nigeria today; they are only identified as northerners when the power of their number is needed by the core north for its gains. As soon as the value of their population is derived, they are immediately relegated to the background, jettisoned and soon abandoned to their fate. They are quickly forgotten in the scheme of things especially in terms of political gains. This has been the harrowing experience of the various tribes that make-up this group called the northern minority tribes, which are concentrated in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, and are predominantly Christians. In spite of the minorities’ repeated agitation for recognition, they have most of the times been pushed to the back seat by the majority tribes, who believe they are born to rule others. It is instructive to note that though these minorities largely populate the states of Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna, and Taraba, they also control reasonable population in the other states of the North such as Kebbi, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, where they have often been treated as second class citizens when it matters. They are omly considered useful for numerical/population gains by the Northern Majorities. Whenever power is zoned to the north, the majority tribes, particularly from the North-west quickly grab it, leaving the others in despair. The Middle Belt had advocated for rotation of powers among the tribes to give a sense of belonging to the minority tribes, but all to no avail. All the civilian Presidents ever produced from the North; Shehu Shagari, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and now Mohammadu Buhari are from a majority tribe from the North-west. They have refused to see why the voice of these minorities, who control a massive population in this cosmopolitan region should be heard. Angered that their civility is being taken for granted and their agitation constantly dismissed, they have decided to make a point by bringing out one of them. After several consultations, they have collectively given the mantle to Jonah David Jang, who they has proven himself and has been certified to command an unalloyed integrity, and has performed credibly well in the high offices he had held in the past, both as military and civilian Governor in defunct Gongola, old Benue, Plateau states, and now as Senator where he has constantly defended the cause of the minority groups in the North. Hailing from Plateau in the North-central, Jang has become eminently qualified to run for the position since the presidency has been zoned to the north where the North central is also a part. His performances in Gongola and Benue states and indeed, Plateau state have left indelible marks in the three states. In Gongola and Benue, the bridges and other infrastructure today still stand across the states, and citizens still sing the praises of Jang. In Plateau, his home state, Jang did not only

Jang

open up the state with various infrastructure including roads, his enduring agricultural programmes still benefit the people of the state, along with other enduring legacies in health, education and other sectors. Beyond the state and the region, as a young man Jang has joined collective fight to enthrone and entrench democracy in Nigeria. Having campaigned and worked for the M.K.O. Abiola’s presidency in the election that was eventually scuttled, Jang was one of those that formed NADECO to challenge the government on why the election was annulled. He challenged General Abacha and was one of those who opposed to the idea of his changing from a military Head of State to a civilian President without going through the normal process of politics. Jang was one of the few that dared to advise Gen Abacha to retire and hand over power to an elected civilian government, the reason he was locked up together with the likes of Air Commodore Dan Suleiman and Chief Segun Osoba, and were charged to a federal high court in Lagos for felony. When they could not bring any charges against them, they were discharged. He became a founding member of the famous ‘G18’ and later ‘G34’, then, a founding member

of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and also became one of the members of its Board of Trustees. In the National Assembly, where he currently serves as a Senator, Jang has constantly agitated for fairness to all Nigerians and all regions, a development that has pitched him against many. The collaborations he has received from the South-south and South-east is awesome. His recent consultation in Ondo state, where he met with people of the South-west showed a growing support from the Yoruba region. Perhaps the incumbent government at the federal level is beginning to see that Jang is capable of upsetting the usual permutation of votes in the north by garnering the support of minorities from across all the states in the region, and also seeing his overwhelming influence in the other regions, especially the South-west and South-south, and indeed other regions. The curious and untenable slam of corruption allegation against him by the same EFCC, who had one-time given recognition to the same Jang as the most transparent Governor, who had prudently managed the lean resources of the state at his disposal to touch on the lives of Plateau people by his developmental projects in

the state, leaves political observers wondering if the EFCC was not just being used to achieve government’s mischievous aim. The recent refusal and failure by the crime fighters to present witnesses against Jang in the court on the claim of fear of security in Jos at a time citizens were moving freely on the streets, shows that the government had not cross-checked it notes before hurrying to slam the allegations, and is not having sleepless nights to decide where to attach the monies it claimed were stolen in order not to make a mockery of itself before the court. But the indefatigable Jang has decided to move on by going ahead to do what many of the minorities would not dare. He has said that all he needed from them was their support which he is already getting, adding that victory belongs only to God. At his declaration at the party secretariat in Jos, Jang had said that the time has come for the Middle Belt region to rule Nigeria. Submitting his letter of intention to the state Chairman of the party, Chief Damishi Sango in the presence of a mammoth crowd, Jang observed that, “Our party, the PDP, has zoned the Presidency to the North for the purpose of the 2019 elections. The Middle Belt is at the centre of the north, it is the glue of the north, the bridge of Nigeria, the guarantor of national unity and oneness, and has sustained the north over time. Sadly, however, this zone has yet to produce an elected President under our Constitution. “I have followed developments in this nation from its pre-colonial political life and the struggle of the founders of our democracy, to independence, and the giant strides made, as well as challenges that followed. “The dreams of the founders of Nigeria were gigantic, the hopes were huge, but all of them were achievable. While we have come a long way, and we have made huge gains in different sectors, we have also suffered many distressing challenges in our nationhood. These distresses need not delay me here.” Jang, who said he decided to join the race to restore Nigeria, added that the country urgently needs to bring back the founding dream, hope, aspirations and perceptions of greatness of Nigeria. Identifying restricting as a major issue he intends to address as a President, Jang said, “Restructuring and reorganizing Nigeria to the comfort of all Nigerians is a task I will face with commitment. If we have operated a system for 58 years and Nigerians are asking for a review of the structures, there is no need to delay it further. Representatives of his supporters from all the geopolitical zones across the country, who were given time to speak for the zones, declared their unalloyed support for his ambition, after which the Muslims and Christians offered prayers for him to succeed. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com

OFF THE CUFF • “If I am to step down, why would I be aspiring in the first place? I am here to run for the presidency and become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Who do you want me to step down for? My party cannot ask me to step down because they sold that form to me.” Jang vowing not to step down for any other presidential aspirant • “I believe the present administration has

not been able to utilize the armed forces of Nigeria that are known to be the best in black Africa and they have proved themselves all over the world, when they were sent for international assignments.” Jang promising to end Boko Haram menace if elected President of Nigeria • “For me being in prison is a great lesson in humility,” Jang said. “When I was at the EFCC office in Abuja, I slept on the floor,

but here in the prison I have the privilege of sleeping in the same bed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo slept in at the Jos Prison.” Jang speaking on his travails at Kuje Prison • “The Senate is not for good for young people, only the House of Representatives is good enough.” Jang insisting that only people with pedigree and political experience not for young people

without political experience should become senators • “Doesn’t that sound funny that Jonah Jang, a Berom man from Plateau State, is organising herdsmen to come and kill Beroms, or which killings are they talking about? Jang denying reports making the rounds that he had a hand in the killings that claimed the lives of over 200 persons in some villages of the state.


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POLITICS

Consider ADP Assures Group Plans Religious Conference Ahead 2019 Elections Aspirants of Fairness. Martins, who was flanked about them from the pulpit

Femi Ogbonnikan

The Action Democratic Party (ADP), Ogun State chapter, has pledged to ensure a level-playing ground and also accord equal opportunities to all aspirants seeking elective offices on its platform at the party primaries. State Chairman of the party, Chief Wale Egunleti, at the inauguration of local government and ward executive members of Abeokuta South Local Government Area where about 3,000 party members thronged the occasion held at Ake, Abeokuta described ADP as a credible alternative that would rescue the people of Ogun State from bad governance. Egunleti, a former Commissioner in the state, emphasised that the party would comply strictly with ‘direct primaries’, as the mode of selecting

Segun James

candidates. “In the ADP, the wish of the people will always prevail. We are democratic in principle and in action, and to that extent, we will provide equal-level playing field to all aspirants, in accordance with the constitution of our party. The provision for ‘direct primaries’ in Article 43.1.5 states, ‘In order to enhance internal democracy, transparency, cost effectiveness, the party shall adopt direct primary using open secret ballot for all its internal elections’. Democracy is a game of number. Our aspirants will test their popularity and whoever emerges winner will bear the flag of our party. As the credible alternative, we want the people of this state to clearly see the difference between us and others,” he said .

A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Legacy Initiative International (LII), has concluded plans to hold a religious leaders’ conference in December to deliberate on issues relating to religion and ethnicity ahead of the 2019 general elections. As part of this move, a Christian religious leaders meeting will hold in Lagos, while a similar summit for Muslim leaders will hold in Kano. A joint convention of both bodies is slated for Abuja in December. The leader and grand patron of the LII, Dr. Kenny Martins told journalists in Lagos that the initiative will prevent anarchy as the nation moves towards

the general elections, adding that religion has been identified as a solution for peace in the country. According to Martins, “we want the Christians and the Muslims brothers to sit faceto-face and discuss the issues. The common thread tying both the Christian and the Muslim communities together is good governance. We want them to discuss this frankly between themselves.” He also said that religious leaders should play a more dynamic role in the selection of political office holders, saying that the spiritual factor was necessary to aid the Nigerian voters enthrone good governance by electing only persons that have been duly vetted into political offices.

by other patrons of the group including Bishop Bayo Babalola, Bishop Oscar Ossai, Prince Chudi Chukwuani and the group’s national secretary, Chief Johnny Ucheagha at the media parley, also explained the roles played by the group in stabilising the country’s democracy. He, however, lamented that despite the abundance of churches and mosques in the country, the God-factor had been totally removed from governance. “Let the Christian and Muslim leaders sit together formulate a template for solution and play the power game together, interrogate the candidates and when you have found them worthy you preach

and from the mosques. “We are canvassing now for PVCs and people are getting aware, the Adeboyes, the Oyedepos are doing so, but when they have gotten these PVCs, what do they do with it? It is inappropriate for Christians not to bring their first eleven in moral quotient to governance, same with Muslims. Let the first eleven from the religious leaders take over the government so that our country can move forward,” Martins said. Also at the event, Prince Chukwuani, former national chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), noted that “We have to set a different narrative to save Nigeria. We do not want to introduce perpetual conflict in Nigeria.”

Imo UPP Holds Congress, Repositions for Guber Election Nseobong Okon-Ekong As part of its strategy to capture power in 2019 at all levels and reposition for the titanic electoral battle ahead in Imo State, the United Progressive Party, (UPP) has conducted its state congress at the party secretariat in Owerri. Members elected a new state executive with Hon. Innocent Njoku emerging as Chairman. Mr. Benjamin Ehirim was elected the secretary. No fewer than 13 other officers were elected to fill various positions in the State Working Committee that will lead the party to the 2019 polls in Imo State. The exercise was peaceful and devoid of rancour as party chieftains and members expressed their determination to energise the party and take over the reins of governance in the State.

Addressing the members, Njoku said the UPP has what it takes to contend with other political parties elective positions in 2019. “UPP will deliver and we need to work as a team to ensure victory. The peaceful congress is a manifestation of our determination to succeed compared to what we saw when some political parties held their own congresses In his remarks, the UPP 2015 Imo governorship candidate and fiery critic, Prof. Protus Nathan Uzoma said with the successful conduct of the congress, the UPP has become the party to beat in the state in 2019. “Without unity and love, one cannot achieve anything in life. Both of them are interwoven and we need to inculcate such values if we must succeed,” Uzoma said amidst thunderous cheers from party members.

Falae Harps on Need for SDP Government in Osun Says Omisore Remains the Best Candidate Yinka Kolawole Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae has said that the clamour for restructuring of Nigeria can only be realized under a Social Democratic Party (SDP) led government Also Speaking on the candidature of Senator Iyiola Omisore for governor of Osun State, Falae said, the SDP candidate was the best candidate in the race adding that with Omisore, in government, Osun will get out of pains occasioned by bad governance. Falae who is the National Chairman of SDP stated this in Osogbo at a mega rally to showcase the plan of the party to the people of Osun State. The former SGF said, the restructuring of Nigeria was overdue adding that until something was done in that

direction, peace and development could not be guaranteed in Nigeria. Omisore who addressed the mammoth crowd shortly after he was presented to the electorate, said information at his party’s disposal revealed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had perfected plans to rig the September 22 governorship election. While saying that his party will resist any attempt to rig the election, he charged the electorate to ensure that their votes count by monitoring the electoral process until the correct result is announced. The SDP candidate gave assurance that the backlog of worker’s salaries being owed by the sitting government will be paid with dispatch, he said he would overhaul the education, health and agricultural sectors among others.

FINDING A NEW PATHWAY

Mr Innocent Njoku, Chairman UPP Imo State addressing members

ADC gives 118 lawmakers ADP Chieftain automatic tickets Strengthen Party Tounveilpresidentialcandidatesoon

Nseobong Okon-Ekong The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has given 118 serving lawmakers at the federal and state levels automatic tickets ahead of the 2019 general elections. The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, announced the party’s decision at its 61st National Executive Committee meeting, in Abuja. He said the lawmakers, who recently defected to the party from the ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties, were rewarded for coming out boldly to identify with the ADC at a crucial time in the history of the country’s democracy. Out of the total number of legislators, 95 are serving state House of Assembly members, 18 are members of the House of Representatives; and five are Senators. Nwosu said, “We need to honour and appreciate them because they abandoned the ruling and bigger parties for a party that is just gathering momentum. The develop-

ment can be attributed to the fact that the lawmakers and Nigerians at large have agreed that an end must come to anarchy, insecurity, lack of focus and terrorism in Nigeria. And the best platform, right now, is ADC. They are from Adamawa, Ondo, Osun, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun and Oyo states, among others.” On the party’s preparedness for the 2019 elections, the ADC chairman disclosed that the primaries for aspirants contesting for the House of Assembly elections would hold on September 29, while governorship primaries would hold on October 2. For the National Assembly, primaries would hold on October 4 and presidential, October 6. “Aspirants have been coming to take forms for the presidential primaries. We will unveil our aspirants very soon,” he said. The chairman added that ADC had launched a campaign against vote buying and electoral corruption under the name: Coalition for Electoral Integrity.

Yinka Kolawole A chieftain of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Osun State, Mr. Dotun Babayemi has vowed that to deploy the utmost zeal to ensure the party’s victory in the September 22 poll. Babayemi spoke with THISDAY in Osogbo at the ceremony to welcome over former leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who recently left the party for the ADP. He urged all members of ADP to embark on aggressive membership drive, stressing the need for all stakeholders to ensure that Osun State was rescued from people that plan to annex it to another state. According to him, “We will pursue our resolve to make Alhaji Moshood Adeoti the next governor of Osun state with the seriousness it deserves. I have no doubt, Adeoti will win,” Babayemi concluded Also speaking while receiving three members of Osun state House Assembly, elected on the platform of the APC, who defected to ADP, former APC Deputy State Chairman,

Vows

to

Alhaji Isha Adesiji, said many of them dumped APC to ensure Osun was not further mortgaged. Prof. Adeolu Durotoye, the running mate to ADP governorship candidate, while receiving the defected lawmakers, namely; Hon. Debo Akanbi, representing Ede North State Constituency, Hon. Tajudeen Famuyide representing Ilesha West State Constituency and Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim, representing Iwo State Constituency in the Osun House of Assembly, claimed APC had been hijacked by people on foisting an unpopular candidates on the majority. While addressing the crowd of ADP supporters at the event, Durotoye, said to the party represents hope and better days for Osun people. He maintained that the programmes of the ADP have been carefully fashioned out to meet the needs of all categories of people living in the state and called for maximum support from all and sundry to win Osun State for the party in the forthcoming election.


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Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email chiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com, Phone no: 07010510430

Global Campaign for Leah Sharibu Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that the fresh and intensified campaign for the release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi school girl, who is still in captivity 209 days later, is gaining traction globally

Some of the campaigners at the Nigeria High Commission in London, calling for Leah Sharibu's release

T

oday, makes it exactly 209 days since Leah Sharibu, one of the 110 abducted school girls, was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorist group from Government Girls' Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, located in Bulabulin, Yunusari Local Government area of Yobe State. The town lies northwest of Chibok, where over 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014. Although 104 of the victims were later released, five died in captivity, save for Sharibu, who is still being held. Reason? She refused to renounce her faith and she paid the price dearly with her freedom. The Abduction That fateful day, the school girls had gone about their daily activities unhampered until the terrorists struck. In one fell swoop, more than 100 schoolgirls were abducted in one of the most brazen attacks ever carried out by Boko Haram, after the Chibok saga. Given the huge outcry that followed, the federal government was compelled to negotiate for their release after the ransom demands had been met. Alas, out of the 110 schoolgirls abducted, 104 of the was initially released except Sharibu and five other girls who died. Prior to their release, the girls had spent four weeks in captivity. On why Sharibu was kept back, the other returned school girls said she refused to convert to Islam. The abduction initially resulted to a blame game between the military and the governor of the state, Ibrahim Gaidam. The governor had blamed soldiers for having allegedly withdrawn a military checkpoint from Dapchi just hours before the abduction. According to the governor, the withdrawal of soldiers was done without informing either the local police or the state government in advance. Although the army initially remained silent regarding this accusation, it was however forced to respond afterwards. In their response, the army claimed that it had withdrawn its forces from the town due to the absence of evidence of any Boko Haram activity in the general vicinity,

The Nigerian government should negotiate her release since the insurgent group had released an audio to show that she is alive. President Muhammadu Buhari, do everything within your power to secure her release

The campaign gains momentum as even nursing mothers and children join up

and that at the time, it had formally handed over Dapchi's security to the police prior to its withdrawal. Meanwhile, once the news of their abduction was made public, the Federal Government deployed components of the Nigerian Airforce and other security agencies to search for the missing schoolgirls. The next month, following negotiations by the government, majority of the abducted girls were put into trucks and dropped off in the middle of the town in nine vehicles. Ransom Claims Although Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, had stated that the release of the girls was unconditional, a recent report by United Nations (UN) put paid to that claim. According to the UN report, on March 21, Boko Haram had returned 106 of the girls, with the federal government insisting that it paid no ransom for their safe return. But in the 22nd

report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team submitted pursuant to resolution 2368 (2017) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities,� which was submitted to the UN Security Council, the world body said a large ransom was paid. While it frowned on the payment of ransoms to terrorists, adding that it fuels terrorism, the report said, “In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment.� But again, countering claims of ransom, the FG, while dismissing claims that it had abandoned the remaining survivor, however, admitted that efforts to secure her release has been tortuous and complicated. A Plea for Release Although there has been a silent campaign ongoing for her release, it was again brought to the fore with the release of a recent audio

kelechi Anyikude

attributed to her. In the audio which was obtained by The Cable, Sharibu made a passionate appeal to the government to rescue her from the clutches of her captors. While pleading for an urgent intervention by President Muhammadu Buhari, to facilitate her rescue, Sharibu in a 35-second audio said: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation. “I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, my father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion. I am calling on the government, particularly, the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation." Although there were certain insinuations that the audio might have been doctored, her parents had confirmed that it was their daughter's


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Leah Sharibu, 209 days in captivity

British PM, Brake also joined in the campaign

There cannot be a clearer example of someone whose human rights are being ignored than that of Leah who is being detained just because she has maintained her Christian faith

voice. According to reports, merely hearing her voice had given her parents gave hope and also strengthened their belief that she would come back home soon. An Initial Lone Campaign Recently, Sharibu's release has been the focal point of some advocacy groups not just in Nigeria but overseas. One of the chief campaigners for her release is surprisingly the Church World Service (CWS), an advocacy group in the UK. On what spurred the campaign, the organisation had tweeted that "Leah’s parents fear that the world’s attention has moved on to other crises, and their daughter has been forgotten. Let’s show them we haven’t given up on Leah. #FreeLeah." According to the advocacy group, the recent campaign would last 200 hours as that day marked 200 days since Sharibu, who turned 15 in captivity, was taken. At the declaration of the advocacy for Sharibu's release, the organisers said members of the advocacy group would take turns to sit at a school desk placed in front of the High Commission's office with Sharibu’s portrait. CSW on its Twitter handle, @CSW_UK shared a photo of Sharibu and wrote; “Today marks 200 days since Nigerian schoolgirl #LeahSharibu was abducted by Boko Haram. We are standing outside the Nigerian Embassy for 200 hours to pressure the Nigerian government to negotiate Leah’s release, as they did for the rest of her classmates. #FreeLeah #DapchiGirls.� In a petition written by the group and addressed to Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade of the Nigerian High Commission in London, CSW said:"I was appalled to learn of the abduction of 110 schoolgirls from the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State on 19 February 2018. I understand that, in March, 104 of the girls were released following the conclusion of an agreement with the Nigerian government that saw armed forces withdraw from the town, temporarily allowing Boko Haram unhindered access. "I am aware that one of the girls, Leah Sharibu

Former missionary to Nigeria, Graham Weeks

Brake made the call as he participated in the 200-hour #Freeleah campaign held outside the Nigerian High Commission in London. Brake wrote on his Twitter handle @Thomasbrake: “Outside the Nigerian High Commission launching the #freeleah campaign. Leah, who is still held captive by Boko Haram, because she refused to recant her Christian faith, has been held for 198 days.� In an interview afterwards with CNN, Brake said: "There cannot be a clearer example of someone whose human rights are being ignored than that of Leah who is being detained just because she has maintained her Christian faith." Also lending his voice to the clamour, Graham Weeks, who left Nigeria 36-years-ago, having worked as a missionary in the North, was also at the Nigeria High Commission to take part in the 200-hour vigil campaign for her release. Garbed as a Nigerian, he kept watch at the high commission with a placard calling for her release. In a surprising move however, former SpokesMore Voices Slowly but surely, the message began to man to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno spread but it only gained traction when British Omokri, also led a protest to the Nigeria High member of parliament joined the protest outside Commission in London, to demand the release the Nigerian Embassy in London. According to of Sharibu. Omokri had also called Sharibu's the Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, he staged mum, Rebecca on the phone in front of the the sit-in outside the embassy to put pressure camera and encouraged her to stand firm. He said: “The Nigerian government should on the Federal Government to secure Sharibu's negotiate her release since the insurgent group release. (the sole Christian in the group) is still being held prisoner by Boko Haram. As well as confirming that five of their fellow abductees were dead and had been buried in the bush, returnees said that Leah Sharibu had been “held back on religious grounds� due to her refusal to convert in exchange for her freedom. "May I respectfully remind you of your government’s obligations to uphold the tenets and principles of the Nigerian constitution ensuring that every citizen has a right to “be protected irrespective of his/her gender, culture and religious belief�. I urge you to use your good offices to prioritise Leah’s safe return to her family. In addition may I also urge you to put into place an effective strategy to protect educational establishments in vulnerable communities and to ensure that every girl is free to pursue an education without fear. With thanks in anticipation of your support in this matter. "

had released an audio to show that she is alive. President Muhammadu Buhari, do everything within your power to secure her release. Don’t try to use that to score political points and then keep her and then maybe release her when it’s time for the elections. Let her go now,� Omokri said. He condemned the terrorist group for the continuous detention of Leah, stating that the act was anti-Islam and anti-Quran. “What you are doing is wrong. Release Leah Sharibu,� he said. He affirmed Leah’s mother appreciation thanked Nigerians for their support and begged the Nigerian government to ensure her daughter’s release. A Father's Plea As expected, the continued delay of the release of the girl is one bitter pill to swallow for her parents. Her father, Nathan, had in an interview with CNN, said he has been humbled by the international campaign for his daughter’s release According to him, many Christian organisations have contacted the family noting that they are holding prayers for the student’s safe return. “I am very happy the way Christians around the world have been standing by Leah. This man has not met my daughter or her family before, and he is calling for her release. We are so grateful,� he said.


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IMAGES

MD/CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr. Kayode Pitan (right) and Mr. Gao Ning of Export-Import Bank of China after both banks signed the MoU for a $500m credit line to support the establishment of modular reďŹ neries and Flare Gas Recovery Programme in Nigeria held in China...recently

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, during the Governor’s OďŹƒcial declaration for second term at the old Task Force oďŹƒce in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos...recently

L-R; Committee Member, 24 Hours Power of Praise, Trinity House, Mr. Afolabi Oke; Chairman, Mr. Deji Popoola; Senior Pastor, Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo; and the Church Music Director, Mr. Tosin Alao at a press conference to announce the 24 Hours Power of Praise by Trinity House Church, in Lagos...recently SUNDAY ADIGUNu

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Photo Editor ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜ÔËÖË Email Ă‹ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜Ë›Ă‹Ă”Ă‹Ă–Ă‹ĚśĂžĂ’Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ù×

His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, in a handshake with one of the leaders of APC who decamped to PDP, during the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mega Rally to welcome over 5,000 APC Decampees, at the Ox-Bow Lake, Yenagoa...recently James Agori

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and All Peoples Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola (AKA Ileri Oluwa); and other State Executive Members, during the party governoship campaign rally at Ijebu-Ijesa and Iperindo...recently

L-R: Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu; National Commissioners INEC, Malam Mohammed Haruna and Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, during a consultative meeting with the leaders of Political Parties on the readiness of the forth coming 2019 and Osun election in Abuja...recently : Julius Atoi

Founder of FCMB Group, Otunba (Dr.) Olasubomi Balogun (4th from left) anked by some of the top Executives of the ďŹ nancial institution during the naming of the University of Ibadan Conference Centre after Otunba Balogun by the University in Ibadan, Oyo State..recently


T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, 12, SEPTEMBER, 2018

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BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S MONEY MARKET OBB OVERNIGHT

A S

A T

A U G U S T

REPO 2.83 3.42

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

3 1 ,

S & P INDEX

CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH

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

2 0 1 8 EXCHANGE RATE

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N306.20/1US DOLLAR AS AT LAST FRIDAY

Quick Takes FICAN Holds Annual Conference

The 2018 annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) will hold in Lagos on 15th and 16th of September, 2018 The conference, with the theme: “Banks, Fintech and Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Journey,” has the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor as the keynote speaker. There will also be representatives from the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). The guest speaker will be Dr. Yinka David-West, who is a Digital Financial Inclusion Specialist at the Lagos Business School. The event will also feature a panellist session with some bank chief executives, Financial Technology (FinTech) operators, as well as regulators discussing the sub-theme: “Financial Inclusion: the Journey So Far.” In a statement, FICAN said fintech companies and financial innovation are changing the competitive landscape of financial intermediation. “Every commercial bank today knows what services to upgrade; because customers are already carrying out such transactions with fintech start-ups. “In the same manner, financial inclusion has continued to assume increasing recognition across the globe among policy makers, researchers and development-oriented agencies,” it stated. Continuing, it said the conference would be a step forward to finding the nexus, and its implications for meeting the financial inclusion target.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSBILITY

L-R: MD/CEO, Jobaz Engeering Limited, Engr. John Richard Azubuike; Executive Director, Sterling Bank, Mr Emmanuel Emefiele; Special Adviser to Rivers State Governor on Beautification of Parks and Gardens, Mrs Daisy West; Rivers State Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya and MD/CEO Express Concerns Limited, Chief Daniel Okeke, during the unveiling of the Recycled Arts in Port Harcourt, Rivers State…recently

Analysts Identify Fundamentals Goddy Egene Amidst the ravaging bears that has pushed the equities market to a 15-month low on Monday, analysts at Afrinvest West Africa have unveiled some stocks that have upside potential to fetch investors significant capital growth. The stocks are in the banking, consumer goods and industrial goods sectors. In the banking sector, for instance, the said United Bank for Africa Plc was identified to have upside potential of 56 per cent and Zenith Bank Plc

CAPITAL MARKET 52 per cent. GTBank Plc has 27 per cent growth potential, while Access Bank Plc has 11.3 per cent. In consumer goods sector, the analysts said UAC of Nigeria Plc has upside potential of 122 per cent; Nigerian Breweries Plc has the potential to gain 60 per cent; PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc 48.5 per cent and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc 29.9 per cent. In the industrial goods sector, Lafarge Africa Plc can rise by 158 per cent and Dangote

Stocks

with

Cement Plc 28.5 per cent. According to them, while risk factors remain on the horizon, they are optimistic of an impending bullish streak in the market as equities near trough points. “We advise investors to be on standby as we perceive the turning point imminent whilst echoing our long term focus on fundamentally sound stocks with attractive entry prices and prospects of, at least, double digit upside potential,” they stressed. Analysts at Meristem Securities Limited had last week said

Strong

rather than panic, investors should take advantage of the bear market, noting that the bearish days would be over soon. “With stock prices bottoming out, light gleams at the end of the tunnel. The low prices in the market provide investment opportunities for players in the market, but of course, with a focus on the fundamentally justified stocks,” they said. The analysts explained that the 2019 elections have Continued on page 24

Survey: Convenience Now Basic Requirement in Banking Obinna Chima A banking industry survey has stressed that convenience is now a basic requirement from financial services providers, especially as digital adoption continues to grow, and newer technologies emerge. In its findings, app-based mobile banking and USSD lead the way with adoption rising from 48 per cent and 41 per cent last year, to 55 per cent and 59 per cent respectively this year. KPMG Nigeria stated this in its 2018 Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS), part of which was posted on its Twitter

ECONOMY handle. According to the report, the evolution of the Nigerian banking industry was happening faster than many expected. It pointed out that growing customer expectations – often set by their best experiences from other industries, new technologies and the regulatory environment had opened the door to competition from within and outside the financial services sector and undoubtedly created a constant pressure for banks to catch up. “In this year’s survey, we saw a dip in customer

satisfaction index in the retail segment even amongst some of the leading banks that have historically performed well. “An increased focus on value ccustomers’ express value as more than just the price paid for a service and indeed define value for money as a fair trade-off between fees and perceived quality derived from the product or service. “This year’s survey reveals that customers are increasingly focused on value from their banking relationships which is not unexpected given the economic landscape. “Double-digit inflation and rising consumer goods prices mean that customers

are broadly more conscious of their finances. “While 80 per cent of retail customers ranked value for money as extremely important to them, only 25 per cent were very satisfied with this measure compared to 24 per cent in 2017.” According to the survey, younger customers and those with higher incomes expressed value in terms of extended propositions beyond basic transactional services. “However, banks that are unable to cross the threshold of integrity and reliability will find it difficult to convince Continued on page 24

Reinsurance Journalists’ Awards Open

Pan-African reinsurance firm, Continental Reinsurance Plc has announced the opening of its fourth edition of the Pan African Re/ Insurance Journalism Awards. Continental Re, said the 2019 awards are open to all business journalists from Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa and that submissions would be received from September 4th and November 30th 2018. The company, therefore urged Interested participants to submit their entries as per instructions on the awards web page-before the submission deadline. Continentale Re Group Managing Director, Dr Femi Oyetunji, said this year’s awards would give opportunity to both traditional and online journalists to participate and compete with their print counterparts who have been recording the highest number of entries over the past three editions. He listed the award categories in the 2019 edition as Pan- African Re/Insurance Journalist of the Year,Best Re/Insurance Print Article,Best Re/Insurance Broadcast (TV/Radio) Article and Best Re/Insurance Online Article. “The new category (online) will accommodate articles and blogs written exclusively for internet audiences. These categories were recommended by the 2018 judging panel,” he added. The Continental Re boss said an independent panel of judges would assess the entries and select winners of the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards 2019 who will be announced during the Continental Re’s annual CEO Summit to be held in April 2019 in Mauritius

Sierra Leone Suspends Oil Exploration

Sierra Leone has suspended its fourth licencing round for hydrocarbon exploration, the head of its Petroleum Directorate told Reuters on Monday, citing poor timing of the round’s initial launch. The round to licence five deep-water offshore blocks was officially launched at the end of January, but it was extended in June until September 27. Ahead of this deadline, the initiative has been suspended for up to another six months of consultation, the directorate said. “It’s about timing, and the initial announcement was not the timeliest,” the directorate’s executive director, Timothy Kabba, told Reuters, explaining the decision.

We help SMEs build capacity, give them access to markets and also educate and help prepare them for qualification to borrow. MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo


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BUSINESSWORLD

NEWS

MARKET ANALYSTS IDENTIFY STOCKS WITH STRONG FUNDAMENTALS

NERC Puts Power Sector Q1 Shortfall at N112 Billion

posed a major concern for most investors which has caused them to withdraw their funds from the market, thus making profit volume opportunities after the election become more visible. “We believe that after the elections in February 2019, calm will be restored in the market. It is only fair that you don’t get caught sleeping so why not you buy now, ahead of 2019?,” they said. In buying stocks now, the analysts advised investors to consider the fundamentally justified stocks, stressing that “the market always remembers these stocks and given their very attractive prices now, your patience will be rewarded.” They added that investors should also consider companies which are important to the growth of the economy. “Consumption is a given and the government will always carry out infrastructural projects and works. Consumer staples and the elephant in the industrial goods sector lead the way here,” they said.

Chineme Okafor in Abuja

SURVEY: CONVENIENCE NOW BASIC REQUIREMENT IN BANKING customers to buy into other value-added services. “For SMEs, access to finance remains a critical challenge with seven-in-10 SMEs saying they are not satisfied with their banks in this area,” the report stated. It pointed out that while digital was no longer a luxury, “we find that it is not an all-or-none proposition.” Only about two per cent of customers said they use digital channels exclusively, compared to at least 65 per cent who use a mix of physical and digital channels. “These customers switch between channels, depending on their needs and preferences at any point in time and what is available on a particular channel. “These trends emphasise the need for banks to take a universal view of the customer journey and account for touch points that customers experience across both digital and physical channels.

Group Business Editor

Obinna Chima

Capital Market Editor

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has put the total financial shortfall recorded by Nigeria’s electricity market within the first quarter of 2018 at N112 billion. The NERC said in its first quarter (Q1) 2018 operational report of the sector, that out of the total sum of N163.1 billion invoice for energy the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) issued to the electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the market, as well as for service charged by the Market Operations (MO) department of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), only N51.2 billion representing 31.4 per cent of the invoice was settled by Discos. It explained that this created a huge shortfall of N112 billion in the market within the period. There are however other financial shortfalls that had built up in the past. The quarterly report was obtained from the NERC website. The commission also disclosed it was planning a review of the retail tariff used by the Discos to sell electricity to consumers, as well as, taking a look at how they spent the capital budgets approved for them by it so far. “The commission has initiated a process for thorough technical assessment of Discos’ utilisation of capital expenditure allowances for relevance and cost efficiency. “The commission is also planning a tariff reset that adequately provides for revenue requirement necessary for TCN and Discos’ optimal performance. “Similarly, to resolve the issue related to gas supply shortage, the government has started the implementation of gas payment assurance facility for power generation to enable Gencos fulfil their payment obligations to gas suppliers,” said the commission in the

report. On the commercial performance of the industry, the NERC noted that financial illiquidity had remained the most significant challenge affecting the industry’s sustainability. It explained that: “This serious liquidity challenge is partly attributed to non-cost-reflective tariffs, and high technical and commercial losses aggravated by consumers’ apathy to payment arising from estimated billing and poor quality of supply in most load centres. “Out of the N171.1 billion billed to customers in the first quarter of 2018, only N106.6 billion was recovered, representing 62.3 per cent collection efficiency. “Therefore, out of every N10 worth of electricity sold during the quarter under

review, N3.8 is uncollected,” it added. According to it: “The liquidity challenge in NESI was further reflected in the Discos’ remittances relative to NBET’s and MO’s invoices. In the first quarter of 2018, whereas Discos were issued a total invoice of N163.1 billion for energy received from NBET and for the service charge by MOs, only N51.2 billion (31.4 per cent) was settled by Discos, creating a huge shortfall of N112.0 billion.” NERC stated that in the period under review, the total invoice issued to international customers to Nigeria’s power market, and which included Benin and Niger Republics, as well as a special customer, was N12.2 billion.

It however said no payment was received from these customers, and that the Nigerian government has continued to engage governments of the neighbouring countries to ensure payments for the electricity purchased. In the quarter under review, NERC stated that total collapse of the electricity grid worsened and increased from one recorded in the last quarter of 2017 to six in Q1-2018. “Five of the system collapse incidents occurred in January 2018 while one occurred in February 2018. The system collapse was attributed to lack of generation by Egbin, Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants, among others, due to gas constraints which

resulted from the breakdown in the Escravos gas pipeline. “This incident confirms the concern that the commission expressed in the previous reports, on how sudden operational disruption in some plants could affect grid stability given the share of the industry output contributed by those plants,” it noted. It equally said that the system collapse incidents were partly attributable to lack of adequate ancillary services which the System Operator could have used to offset the impact on the grid of the plants that suddenly shut down their operation, adding that it has started work with the TCN to procure adequate ancillary capacity that could forestall frequent system collapse.

SUPPORTING CREATIVE INDUSTRY

L-R: Divisional Head, Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank, Fela Ibidapo; Regional Director for West Africa at M-Net, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu; Miss Nigeria 2017, Mildred Ehiguese and MD of Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, during the 2018 edition of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) sponsored by Heritage Bank in Lagos…recently

August Inflation Predicted to Remain Unchanged Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank Limited have predicted that inflation rate (year-on-year) will remain unchanged at 11.14 per cent in August 2018, same rate recorded the previous month. Although the Lagos-based firm stated that it observed moderation in prices of some food items in August, the contraction in the agriculture sector may place pressure on food prices in coming months. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will release

the inflation rate for August this Friday. The Food Price Index (FPI) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published in August 2018, had noted that food prices in the international market increased marginally in August from the July levels. The prices of sugar, edible oil and dairy dropped in August compared with July while the prices of cereal and meat increased. The depreciation of currencies in Brazil and India against the

dollar resulted in the decrease in sugar prices. However, tight export in wheat and maize forced prices up, the report stated. “FSDH Research’s analysis indicates that the value of the naira depreciated at both the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) and the parallel market at end-August 2018. “At the NAFEX and parallel markets, the value of the naira depreciated by 0.40 per cent and 0.08 per cent to close at

$/N362.65 and $/N306.15 respectively at the end of August. “The marginal increase in the international prices of food coupled with the depreciation in the value of the naira placed an upward pressure on prices of some consumer goods in August. “The prices of food items that FSDH Research monitored in August 2018 moved in varying directions. The movement in the prices of food items during the month led to a 1.10 per cent increase in our Food and

Non-Alcoholic Index. This Index increased year-on-year by 12.76 per cent, up from 251.66 points recorded in August 2017.” The firm also observed an increase in the prices of Transport and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels divisions between July and August 2018. Therefore, FSDH estimated an increase in the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI) in August, which it stated would produce an inflation rate of 11.14 per cent, same as the figure recorded in July.

He became Head of Marketing Strategy & Planning and Head “CMI, Media Innovation & Digital” at various times. In September 2014, Oriakhi moved to Amsterdam to take up the role of Regional Marketing Manager Heineken within the AMEE region. He was responsible for driving equity and volume growth of the Heineken portfolio throughout the region. He also worked in close collaboration with the other regional marketers in driv-

ing capability development programmes within the region, in line with global commerce tools and frameworks. As at July 2015, Oriakhi was appointed to his former role of Business Development Manager Heineken Global Commerce (AMEE), directly supporting 24 countries and 54 export markets to develop the Heineken portfolio according to the Global Strategy and in line with the Brand Stage Model principles. He has since resumed early this month.

NBL Appoints Oriakhi New Marketing Director

Goddy Egene

AgriBusiness/Industry Editor

Emmanuel Otaru

Comms/e-Business Editor

Nigerian Breweries Plc has announced the appointment of Mr. Emmanuel Oriakhi as its new marketing director. Oriakhi, who until his new appointment was the Business Development Manager, Heineken Global Commerce, Amsterdam replaced Mr. Franco Maria Maggi, who has been seconded by the brewer on expatriation to Heineken office in Amsterdam. A statement by the com-

Jonathan Eze 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) Ebere Nworji (Insurance) Reporters

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

pany revealed that Oriakhi who will now be part of the NBL management team and, “will integrate and oversee the marketing and trade marketing functions in Nigerian Breweries.” As part of his new brief, Emmanuel will be responsible for formulating marketing/ trade marketing strategies, energizing the team to strengthen the company’s brands in Nigeria as well as expand the portfolio with relevant innovations.

Oriakhi joined Heineken in 2003 as a Commercial Management Trainee, where he has held increasingly senior roles within the Commercial Function of Nigerian Breweries. He started out working in Retail Availability projects and Trade Census, then moved on to managing and relaunching the then biggest No Alcohol Malt brand in Africa, Maltina; managing the Gulder brand, “then second biggest beer brand in Nigeria”; and managing the Heineken brand.


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BUSINESSWORLD

EQUITIES WATCH

Guinness Reaps Benefits of Rights Issue The results of Guinness Nigeria for the year ended June 30, 2018, showed the benefits of N40 billion equity capital injected through a rights issue last year, writes Goddy Egene

F

or some years, the ability of Guinness Nigeria Plc to deliver improved bottom-line was affected by high cost of servicing its borrowings from banks. While the company kept on expanding and introducing new products to remain competitive, it funded its operations mostly relying on debts at a very high cost. By the half year ended December 31, 2016, Guinness Nigeria’s net debt to equity ratio had hit 103.9 per cent, which was a sign that the brewing firm was highly leveraged. And market analysts stressed that the way out for Guinness Nigeria was to inject equity and reduce the level of debts. The company heeded this advice and approached existing shareholders to inject N39.9 billion into the company last year. The full year results of the company released last week showed the benefits of the rights issue. Full year financial performance Guinness Nigeria Plc has reported a growth of 249 per cent in profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended June 30, 2018. The audited results showed revenue of N125.9 billion, up by 14 per cent from N125.92 billion in 2017. Net financing expenses fell 54 per cent to N3.443 billion, from N7.527 billion following the rights issue of last year. Profit before tax stood at N9.943 billion, up from N2.662 billion, while PAT soared by 249 per cent from N1.923 billion to N6.718 billion in 2018. Based on the improved performance, the board has recommended a dividend of 184 kobo per share, compared with 64 kobo paid the previous year. Commenting on the results, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Baker Magunda, said: “Over the year ending 30 June 2018, despite continued challenges in the operating environment, Guinness Nigeria delivered a strong performance. Revenue increased by 14 per cent as both beer and mainstream spirits’ net sales grew double-digit. In beer, Guinness, our largest brand, saw strong growth as it benefitted from increased marketing activations around football. Mainstream spirits also delivered double-digit growth driven by innovation launches and new formats.” “During the year, gross margin was down four per cent to 34 per cent largely driven by inflationary pressure on our raw material costs. However, this was more than offset by reduced distribution and administration costs and resulted in operating margin improving 130bps. Marketing spend increased 18 per cent, ahead of revenue growth, as we continue to invest behind our brands.” “Improved operating performance combined with lower finance charges have helped us deliver an overall PAT increase of 249 per cent during year. The execution of our strategy is working as we delivered both top line growth and margin expansion while also increasing investment behind our brands. Looking forward, we will continue to focus on the three strategic pillars of productivity, expansion of our portfolio, as well as the execution of the commercial footprint initiatives to drive the business forward. Whilst we remain optimistic about the execution of our strategy, we note that the operating and competitive environment is likely to continue to be challenging in the 2019 financial year.” Magunda explained that the execution of the company’s strategy is working as it delivered both top line growth and margin expansion while also increasing investment behind its brands. “Looking forward, we will continue to focus on the three strategic pillars of productivity, expansion of our portfolio, as well as the execution of the commercial footprint initiatives to drive the business forward. Whilst we remain optimistic about the execution of our strategy, we note that the operating and competitive environment is likely to continue to be challenging in the 2019 financial year,” he added. In his comment, Chairman of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Babatunde Savage said Guinness Nigeria has confidence in the Nigerian economy and

would remain a major player in the country by continually investing, developing capacity and growing a portfolio that most suit the consumers’ needs for celebration and relaxation. He said: “Our aim is to continue to add value to Nigeria not only through continued investments in local manufacturing and backward integration, but also through various Sustainable Development projects, enabling job opportunities and economic inclusion.” “As a board, it is heartening to see the impact of the rights issue coming through in the profitability of the company. The Board is confident that we are making the right investments in the company to ensure our long term competitiveness, and continues to support the management in its efforts to build a business that aims to consistently deliver growth for all stakeholders.” Impact of the Rights Issue Guinness had said the utilisation of the rights issue proceeds leading to significant reduction of the Diageo loan and other borrowings, has resulted into a 32 per cent reduction in the net finance charges and improved our debt to equity ratio from 82 per cent to two per cent. During the offer, the then MD of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Peter Ndegwa had said it would deleverage the company’s balance sheet and

Looking forward, we will continue to focus on the three strategic pillars of productivity, expansion of our portfolio, as well as the execution of the commercial footprint initiatives to drive the business forward

reduce finance costs. He noted that the company obtained a loan from Diageo in 2016 to manage foreign exchange related obligations, saying that between 2015 and 2016 obtained loan facilities from various financial institutions to fund working capital requirements and business expansion operations. Ndegwa said: “This rights issue will allow the company to deliver on its strategic objectives and give all our shareholders a unique opportunity to increase their shareholding in the company. Our expectation is that funds raised will help mitigate the impact of increasing finance costs, optimize our balance sheet and improve the company’s financial flexibility.” Similarly, the Chairman of Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Savage, has told shareholders why they should exercise their rights fully. “The company’s unique competitive advantage in terms of total beverage alcohol portfolio, consistent strong support from Diageo, world class local production assets, scalable beer operating model and strong corporate governance standards within its board and management, sets it apart as an excellent investment opportunity,” Savage said. According to him, the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, foreign exchange scarcity and volatility, higher interest rates, a decline in real gross domestic product(GDP), weak financial markets and increase in cost of imported raw materials impacted on the company’s performance, over recent years. “We have embarked on a number of restructuring initiatives in order to return the company to profitability. For example we have increased sourcing of our raw materials locally, deepened our partnerships with local distributors, reduced prices to grow volumes and gain market share, enhanced operational efficiencies and broadened our product portfolio to meet consumer preferences amongst others. We believe the capital injection rights issue will help the company to deliver on our strategic objectives and give all shareholders a unique opportunity to increase their shareholding,” he stated. Analysts’ Assessment Assessing the results, analysts at Cordos Capital Limited said the company was helped by performance in the earlier quarters, masking a very disappointing fourth quarter. According to the analysts, the operating environment is expected to remain challenging, and competition intense in the near term.

“Management shares this view, but is confident that its strategies are yielding the desired result. We still expect earnings per share (EPS) to grow in 2019E, but have revised estimate lower,” they said. They cut their target price(TP) but maintained their sell rating of the stock of Guinness, saying the stock has lost 15 per cent since they last updated in April with SELL rating. “We cut our TP lower to N70.91 per share (previously N73.75 per share) and maintain SELL on 16.6 per cent downside, including our estimated dividend yield of three per cent. While noting that equities have broadly been bearish YtD, we attribute part of Guinness’ share price decline to investor reaction to the unimpressive H2-18 earnings (-31 per cent PAT vs. H1-17). On our revised estimates, the stock is trading at forward (2018E) P/E and EV/ EBITDA multiples of 21.3x and 8.0x, a discount to its five-year historical averages of 33.1x and 9.3x respectively,” the analysts said. According to Cordros Capital, the management said that about 70 per cent of the revenue growth in 2018 was on volume, driven by accessible beer and malt, as well as mainstream spirits. “We forecast 10 per cent revenue growth in 2019E, and expect volume will gain support from the stronger commercial and route to market (RTM) activities we have observed with Guinness, including portfolio expansion/extension and the reversal of earlier price increases,” they said. However, the analysts said they are conservative on margins, leaving their gross margin estimate for 2019E at 34 per cent , unchanged vs. 2018FY. “In our view, both the cost environment and competitor price actions offer no positive outlook for gross margin in the near term. And we see little-to-no impact on margin from volume mix, as we expect assessible brands will continue to drive most of Guinness’ volume performance. On competition and margin effect, it is instructive to note that even the market leader has resolved to taking the full hit of the excise tariff hike,” they said. Also, compared to previous estimate, the analysts cut EBIT margin lower by 90 bps to 9.5 per cent. “We raise estimate for opex-to-revenue ratio to 25 per cent (previously 24 per cent), reflecting the negative surprise in Q4-18 –which impacted earnings the most during the period and expected higher spend on commercial activities and RTM in support of our volume outlook,” he said.


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ANALYSIS

Deepening Financial Inclusion Obinna Chima examines efforts by stakeholders in the payment system to accelerate financial inclusion in the country Financial inclusion is on the rise globally and has been accelerated by mobile phones and the internet, a recent World Bank report has shown. According to the report, gains have been uneven across countries. The new report on the use of financial services also found that men remain more likely than women to have a bank account. Globally, 69 per cent of adults -3.8 billion people - now have an account at a bank or mobile money provider, a crucial step in escaping poverty. This was up from 62 per cent in 2014 and 51 percent in 2011. Between 2014 and 2017, 515 million adults obtained bank accounts, while 1.2 billion have done so since 2011, according to the Global Findex database. While in some economies account ownership has surged, progress has been slower elsewhere, often held back by large disparities between men and women and between the rich and poor, it revealed. The gap between men and women in developing economies remains unchanged at 9 per cent since 2011. In the past few years, we have seen great strides around the world in connecting people to formal financial services, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim had explained. He added: Financial inclusion allows people to save for family needs, borrow to support a business, or build a cushion against an emergency. Having access to financial services is a critical step towards reducing both poverty and inequality, and new data on mobile phone ownership and internet access show unprecedented opportunities to use technology to achieve universal financial inclusion. There have also been a significant increase in the use of mobile phones and the internet to conduct financial transactions. Between 2014 and 2017, this has contributed to a rise in the share of account owners sending or receiving payments digitally from 67 per cent to 76 per cent globally, and in the developing world from 57 percent to 70 per cent. Digital technology could take advantage of existing cash transactions to bring people into the financial system. That is why in Nigeria, the central bank and other stakeholders in the payment system have continued to implement measures aimed at ensuring the inclusion of additional 7.6 million Nigerians in the financial system in 2018. In line with this, industry stakeholders which include the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), commercial banks and other operators in the payment system, developed an initiative to aggressively roll-out 500,000 agent networks to offer basic financial services across the country. To achieve this target, the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) was created. SANEF is a project powered by the CBN, banks, NIBSS, licenced mobile money operators and shared agents with the primary objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria. The initiative involves on-boarding 40 million low income and unserved Nigerians into the financial system, increasing financial access points from the current 50,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and deepening access to mobile and digital financial products and services such as savings accounts, micro loans, insurance, pensions by Nigerians. The project seeks to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria through an integrated ecosystem with strong regulatory oversight, consumer protection and interoperable payment systems with limited concentration risk. It intends to create a platform for Nigerian owned financial services companies to grow, whilst empowering and creating jobs for Nigerians. SANEF’s Findings The north-eastern and south-east regions have the least access to banking, a report on financial access touch-points released by SANEF showed. With five per cent financial access touch-points for the north-east and seven per cent for the

south-east, both regions remain disadvantaged in access to financial services. South-west leads on financial access touchpoints with 54 per cent; south-south with 12 per cent; north-central 11 per cent and north-west 10 per cent. It said Nigeria has 5,600 bank branches, 17,600 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs); 15,000 point of sale (PoS) terminals and 51,754 agents as at December last year. A member of Technical Committee of SANEF, Bolaji Lawal, said the SANEF initiative involves on-boarding 40 million low income and un-served Nigerians into the financial system, increasing financial access points from the current 50,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and deepening access to mobile and digital financial products and services such as savings accounts, microloans, insurance, pensions by Nigerians. He explained that the project seeks to deepen

The initiative involves on-boarding 40 million low income and unserved Nigerians into the financial system, increasing financial access points from the current 50,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and deepening access to mobile and digital financial products and services such as savings accounts, micro loans, insurance, pensions by Nigerians

financial inclusion through an integrated ecosystem with strong regulatory oversight, consumer protection and interoperable payment systems with limited concentration risk. “It will create a platform for Nigerian owned financial services companies to grow, whilst empowering and creating jobs for Nigerians,” he said. He said the project was expected to reduce transaction costs, bring about convenience, create job opportunities, and increased adoption of financial services. The platform is also expected to handle government’s social disbursements initiatives. It will also lead to reduced cash dependency, better tax collections and reduction in crime rates. Progress Report In line with this initiative, the promoters are currently working on modalities to take the Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment to the head offices of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country. This is expected to capture the large number of the unbanked population and encourage bring them into the financial system. Also, over 70,000 new financial access points have been created in the country since SANEF was created in March this year. Lawal, pointed out that at 33 million BVN enrolment presently, the group plan to achieve 70 million registration by 2020. Furthermore, he said 10,000 remote BVN devices ordered by NIBSS are currently being deployed to banks, mobile money operators and the super agents. “We are committed to enrol 40 million new unique BVNs between now and year 2020: 10 million in 2018, 15 million in 2019 and 15 million in 2020. NIBSS will pay agents N100 for every unique BVN enrolled,” he said. Lawal also said nine operators currently party to project have been empowered with N4.5 billion. In addition, he also revealed that three mobile money operators: Paga, Cellulant, eTranzact, had been engaged, while six super agents: Interswitch, Capricorn, Innovectives, Inlaks, Unified Payments and Xpress Payment, are part of the project. He said a savings account product with an array of features (insurance, pension, micro credit) would be created to be a pull factor to attract the financially excluded into the system “We are liaising with regulators (CBN, NAICOM) to secure approval and launch product by October 1, 2018. Other products planned include: micro retail loans; micro retail savings; retail insurance and micro pensions,”

he added. “So, wherever you see the SANEF sign, you can perform basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, funds transfers and bills payments,” he said. Also, under SANEF, a savings account initiative that is bundled with an array of features -insurance, pension, micro credit – is being designed to create a pull factor to attract the financially excluded into the system. Presently, stakeholders are liaising with regulators that include the CBN and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), to secure approval and launch of the product by October 1. Other products under this plan include micro retail loans, micro retail savings, retail insurance and micro pensions. In addition, there is also an ongoing financial literacy and customer education campaign. Phase one of the campaign covers general awareness through print and electronic media and also involves customer engagement, town hall meetings and influencer endorsement. There is also radio campaigns on 33 network stations ongoing, while phase two of the project would be to launch and promote the government savings account, remote BVN as eKYC. “BVN roll-out is aggressive and immediate. NIBSS is already partnering with agent managers appointed by banks, other financial institutions, mobile money, mobile money operators, super agents and other licenced Nigerian companies for remote BVN enrolments. “NIBSS will ensure training of agent managers/agents to ensure proper hand-holding as may be required for the BVN enrolment process. “NIBSS is ready to provide the BVN enrolment devices for the agents. Remote capture devices will be made available to agents across Nigeria particularly rural areas with priority for north-east, north-central and north-west. “NIBSS will pay N100 to agents for every unique BVN enrolled. NIBSS has a strong commitment to enrol 40 million unique BVN’s between now and the year 2020; 10 million in 2018; 15 million in 2019 and 15 million in 2020,” the SANEF report stated. These initiatives, according to Lawal, are expected to reduce transaction costs, convenience, create job opportunities and increased adoption of digital financial services across the country. It is also expected to enhance the integration of the formal and informal economy, stimulate inclusive growth, improve tax collections, reduce crime and make social disbursements more efficient.


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BUSINESSWORLD

INSURANCE

Stanbic IBTC Insurance Brokers to Offer Annuity to Retirees, Others Stories by Ebere Nworji Stanbic IBTC Insurance Brokers Limited, a member of the Stanbic IBTC Group, has announced the addition of annuity products to its

insurance offerings, The company said this move was aimed at giving retirees a variety of retirement income solutions to choose from. Speaking during a media interactive session in Lagos, the

chief executive, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Brokers, Anselem Igbo, said the organisation was delighted to add annuity to its product offerings and offer Nigerians, particularly retirees, a product that brings

value, flexibility, and security, among other benefits. The offering, he added, was in line with Stanbic IBTC Group’s determination, as one of the leading end-to-end financial services provider,

CHI Launches Travel Insurance Policy Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc has launched a travel insurance plan tagged: CHI Plc Travel Insurance. The company has also introduced additional digital premium payment channels in an attempt to ease the transaction process with its customers. Announcing these innovations at a press briefing organised by the company in Lagos, CHI Executive Director, Mary Adeyanju, said they were introduced to ease transaction process and serve the company’s numerous customers better. She said the Chi Travel Insurance Plan, was designed to address the needs of the company’s numerous clients and members of the public who, during trips outside the country, encounter several unforeseen losses of property and huge expenses in health bills. “It is our desire therefore that our clients travel with their mind at rest by obtaining the CHI Travel Insurance plan,” said Adeyanju.

According to her, features of the plan include expenses incurred due to trip cancellation is payable under the cover provided the plan also makes provision for compensation in respect of expenses incurred for delayed departure. The policy also covers medical expenses and hospitalisation during the trip while abroad. In the event of loss of luggage, the travel plan covers cost of replacement up to the pre-agreed amount covered by the policy. She also said policy holder can upgrade cover to include injury that may be sustained whilst engaging in winter sporting activities during the trip. She further said the CHI travel insurance covers the Schengen and other European countries, Asian, African countries and America. According to her, the company has entered into technical partnership for the sake of the cover having sealed International Underwriting partnership with MAPFRE

Asistencia of Spain. She further said the policy which has since been approved by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), will provide the required cover for travellers who go abroad for tourism, business trips or educational pursuit. On the duration for the cover, Adeyanju, said cover is available for short trip and up to a period of twelve months, renewable thereafter, Adding that special plans are in place under the plan to cater for the needs of Pilgrims during trips to the holy lands (Pilgrimage Protection), and Students special Travel Plan. She said its pricing is at a competitive rate beginning from N3,800 based on duration of trip and destination of the prospective policy holder. For the CHI digital payment channel, Adeyanju said with the introduction of the additional premium payment channels by the company, its clients who effected payment of their renewal premiums with

written cheques and direct bank deposits/transfers are now taking advantage of the channels. She said the digital channels include Quickteller, Paydirect, partnership with GTbank Internet banking and the payment enabled company website – chiplc.com. According to her, the company’s clients, in utilising these channels now have fast and convenient access to the payment portals thereby saving valuable time in the process. “For Quickteller, simply search for Consolidated Hallmark Insurance and follow the steps to pay the renewal premium. “Payment of premium for the insurance policies underwritten by the company can also be made through Paydirect by simply visiting the branch of any commercial bank in the country and requesting to make Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Premium through PayDircet.

to avail its customers and Nigerians quality and bespoke financial services solutions that cater for their every needs. Some of the benefits of annuity, according to the insurance broker, include

the creation of a guaranteed lifetime income stream, protection of assets in annuity from market volatility, growth of income, and the opportunity

AIICO Launches Online Customer Self-Service Portal AIICO Insurance Plc said it has launched a self-service portal and also revamped its multiple payment channels for its customers. The company, said the initiative was aimed at enhancing its clients’ experience and facilitating deeper engagement. The Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, said the company was committed to listening to clients and deploying cuttingedge technology solutions to improve overall service delivery. “We are constantly pushing the boundaries to create unique customer experience and seamless service. The self-service portal will enable customers’ access up-to-date information about their policies at their convenience, anywhere, anytime every day. “With a visually appealing interface, this hands-on and interactive self-service platform provides customers the ease

of policy status checks, payments for policy renewal and account management options conveniently. “With the portal, customers can also set up recurring payments for automated renewals of their policies,” he said. The Chief Information Officer, Mr. Olusanjo Shodimu, explained that the objective was to engage with customers on a more personal level which ultimately leads to a memorable experience with the company. He said to achieve this, AIICO recently went into a partnership with leading payment platforms such as Flutterwave and Interswitch. Premium remittance and other forms of payments which can be effected via the revamped multiple payment channels comprising Point of Sales Terminals (POS), PayDirect (across various bank branches in Nigeria), QuickTeller website and the e-business portal on AIICO’s website.

Invitation for Applications

Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships Programme Identifying and supporting African leaders of the future

The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships offer the opportunity to work in the executive offices of either the African Development Bank (Abidjan), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (Addis Ababa) or the International Trade Centre (Geneva) with an annual stipend of $100,000. The Executive Management office of each organisation will host an Ibrahim Leadership Fellow for a 12-month period. The Fellowships are open to young professionals, mid-career and new executives up to the age of 40 or 45 for women with children. The Fellows will be nationals of an African country with 7-10 years of relevant work experience and a Master’s Degree. The application process opens on 13 August 2018 and closes on 15 October 2018. For more information about the Fellowship programme, eligibility and application process please visit: mo.ibrahim.foundation/fellowships


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T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY,12 SEPTEMBER, 2018

BUSINESSWORLD

INSURANCE

Insurance Recapitalisation Ripples The decision by the insurance sector regulator to revise backward the deadline for the recapitalisation exercise in insurance industry is causing ripples in the industry, writes Ebere Nwoji Since the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) announced its decision to revise backward the deadline for the recapitalisation exercise in the insurance industry from the initial January 1 , 2019, it had fixed, to October 1, 2018, insurance industry operators and stakeholders have not been at ease. Indeed, there have been palpable fears on the possibility of the development seeing to the end of many operating firms and attendant job losses. Findings showed that some employees of insurance firms are already plotting their exit from the sector as it appears they would be unable to beat the deadline. In fact, it was gathered that some management staff of some medium and small scale insurance firms have made up their minds to accept lower positions in mega insurance firms that will be ready to accept them just as clients of such firms are beginning to negotiate with alternative bigger firms for renewal of their policy contracts since it has become obvious that it is only the mega firms that may survive the situation and remain in business. Indeed, the modest way of expressing the situation on ground in the insurance sector today is that things have fallen apart and operators are no longer at ease. But in what looks like last resort in the situation, the operators have resolved to face confront NAICOM. While some chief executive officers said they would seek legal action to make NAICOM retrace its steps on the latest decision which in their view would put the industry into serious chaos, the workers under the aegis of Association of Senior Staff of banks, Insurance and financial institutions(ASSBIFI) have written a letter to the commission, imploring it to consider the negative implication of its decision on the recapitalisation exercise. The association in the letter, titled: ‘An open letter to NAICOM on recapitalisation of insurance companies in Nigeria, the tier-based minimum solvency capital, a call for review of period of implementation in order to save insurance companies and our jobs,’ stated: “Our attention has been drawn to the recently introduced “Tier Based solvency capital by NAICOM to insurance industry which requires that the existing 57 insurance firms in the country be categorised as tier 1,2 or 3companies respectively with a take-off date of October1, 2018, a time frame which is poised to do more harm than good to the economy as it is bound to result to job loss with the attendant increase in unemployment - a major campaign point for the government that promised the creation of three million jobs”. ASSBIFI added: “Our association believes that as stake holders in the economy, since the main purpose of the restructuring is to secure better opportunity for Nigerian citizens, such a decision by NAICOM should have taken us into consideration although the Commissioner for Insurance posited that the new tier-based recapitalisation was unanimously agreed upon at the insurers committee retreat in February in Abeokuta. “We beg to differ. Our employers have disclosed to us that their understanding and expectation is that the restructuring will be risk based and not tier based and that they will be given enough time line which neither will be the initial January 1st,2019 nor the newly

Emefiele

announced October 1, 2018.We strongly appeal for more time of December 2019.” The workers added that the socio economic effects of imposing the tier based capital without more time for adequate planning would be rift and catastrophic . They insisted that the idea that the decision was a complimentary measure to the ongoing implementation of the risk based supervision programme was not tenable because the resultant effect on its operational impact in form of higher regulatory cost, change in the risk appetite and internal capital trigger points, change in level playing field, review of investment strategy, culture and processes, matching adjustments, liquidity premium treatment and capital injection by investors who are mindful of year 2019 as an election year would be rift and catastrophic. They, therefore called on NAICOM to extend the implementation date, have consultation with

They, therefore called on NAICOM to extend the implementation date, have consultation with stakeholders with a view to fashioning out the most acceptable way to go about the plan without loss of jobs

stakeholders with a view to fashioning out the most acceptable way to go about the plan without loss of jobs. Not left out in the protest against the new deadline are the insurance sector shareholders, who stated that while they were not opposed to the recapitalisation of insurance firms, they are of the view that the new deadline, which gives insurance firms barely one month to comply is not realistic. Similarly, an analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited have warned that, although the recapitalisation of the insurance industry is long overdue considering the deterioration in the capital of underwriters since the last recapitalisation exercise was carried out in February 2007, it is practically impossible for underwriters to meet up with the latest deadline in view of the duration involved in raising capital amidst the current negative sentiment from investors’ in the equities market. “Furthermore, we believe the recapitalisation exercise, if not well managed, could potentially affect investors confidence and sentiment in the insurance sector, leading to a knee-jerk sell off on insurance stocks. Furthermore, given the fragile recovery of the economy, there is need to avert the negative consequences associated with the potential collapse of insurance companies who are unable to recapitalise. They insisted that there is the need for NAICOM to liaise with insurance companies to ensure a smooth, hitch-free recapitalisation exercise that will reposition the industry for better growth. “ The Chairman, Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, recently highlighted the dangers of the tier-based capital and regulator’s action saying it could be counter-productive, anti- growth and disruptive. Ogunbiyi said the exercise might usher in era of delisting of insurance stocks from the Nigerian stock market. He also said the tier-based

recapitalisation could lead to hostile take-overs of insurance firms for peanuts especially by foreign investors with short term gains as focus. “This development, in my opinion could be counter-productive, anti-growth and disruptive. The immediate implementation of the tier-based rating could to crisis of confidence for the entire insurance industry where only about seven of the 59 companies qualify under the new standard,” he stated. “As an industry, we need to urgently adopt a value innovation strategy to enable us provide relevant affordable products for our teeming population. “My advice is that as a priority, we must align insurance services to the unique lifestyles of our citizenry in all income groups,” he added. From every indication, all stakeholders are united in their call on the NAICOM, which is the to shift the deadline for the recapitalisation from October 1, 2018 to a longer period to enable operators put their houses in order. Another important fact is that NAICOM, in the face of the risk-based solvency capital should put up a legislation or guideline that will protect the interest of companies that will go into tier2 and 3 , and make the insuring public have confidence and regard on them to give them businesses. This has become necessary because the major fear of operators is that with the scaling of insurance firms into three tiers, hardly will any member of the insuring public want to give his business to any company in tier three. Therefore, some analysts have called on NAICOM to listen to the yearning of the industry operators and stakeholders and return to the drawing board on the tier based recapitalisation excise and be able to come up with a comprehensive plan on how to implement the programme without injury to any of the parties.

Group to Discuss Developments in Insurance Market Developments in the Nigerian and global insurance markets will form the main thrust of discussions at the 2018 edition of the annual Insurance Professional forum organised by the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, (CIIN). This year’s edition of the forum has the theme: “The Insurance Industry: Beyond Limits.” The event is scheduled for

Wednesday, September 19th to Saturday, September 22nd,2018. A release by the organising committee, of CIIN, stated that the theme aptly captured the prevalent issues in the Nigerian and global insurance Industry. The committee said at this year’s forum, seasoned professionals would be doing justice to topics which include ‘Market Development and Expectations from Insurance Stakeholders:

The Insurance Industry Vision, Barriers and Innovation for Resurgence; Insurance Industry code of ethics – A review and The Role of Ethics in Professional Development. The committee also said special focus would be given to work life balance and workforce mental health in an event which offers immense opportunities for robust deliberations on the issues

pertinent to the growth and development of the Insurance Industry, the profession and practice. According to the committee, some of the speakers confirmed for the forum include the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Muhammad Kari; Managing Director FBN Insurance LTD, Mr Valentine Ojumah; Former Managing Director, Old Mutual General Insurance Co Limited,

Mrs Rachel Voke Emenike, Managing Director, Custodian and Allied Insurance PLC, Mr Oluwole Oshin, Managing Director, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale; Ven.Olusola Ladipo-Ajayi and Mr. Jeremy Mullen of the Chartered Insurance Institute, United Kingdom. According to the organisers, the CIIN President, Mr Eddie Efekoha, has enjoined insurance

professionals to see the forum as a unique opportunity for continuous professional education and personal growth. Efekoha urged all professionals to attend the forum. The organisers further said social side attractions at the forum will include a tour of the Olumo Rock and the famous Adire market in addition to the Professional Insurance Ladies Association celebration.


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BUSINESSWORLD

ANALYSIS

Banks, Capital Importation and Economic Devt Goddy Egene writes on how banks facilitate capital importation to support the growth of the Nigerian economy While Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, was in Nigeria recently, she expressed her country’s desire to enhance economic ties with Nigeria through increased investment inflow and job creation. “We want to see increased trade between Nigeria and UK, increased investment, bringing jobs here in Nigeria, and jobs in the UK. This will be good for both countries,” May stated. Her pledge expectedly elicited excitement from the federal government and Nigerians in general, especially for a country that very much craves foreign direct investment (FDI) to stir economic growth. Beside strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK), there are other strategic indicators that underline the imperative of sustaining economic union between both nations. According to data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the UK maintained its top spot as source of capital investment in Nigeria in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018. In its Capital Importation Q2 2018 Report, which it obtained from statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NBS stated that during the period under review, Britain accounted for an impressive $1.772 billion of the total capital inflow to Nigeria, representing 32 percent of the inflow. However, the figure was a 21 per cent decline from the first quarter of the year. Nonetheless, since 2010, the UK has been responsible for the highest amount of capital importation into Nigeria, except for just two quarters in 2015. In the second position came the world’s biggest economy, the United States (US), which recorded $1.224 billion total capital importation into Nigeria during the period under review though it was a decline of 2.9 percent from the amount recorded in the first quarter. Other major investment contributors during the period were the United Arab Emirates ($535.98 million), South Africa ($396.40 million), Belgium ($368.82 million) and Switzerland ($297.32 million) Another major indicator in the report was the role of banks in facilitating capital importation into Nigeria during the quarter. It showed that Stanbic IBTC Bank, the banking arm of the Stanbic IBTC Group, facilitated the highest share of capital flow, accounting for 54.9 per cent of the total foreign capital inflow, slightly up from the 48.5 per cent share recorded in the previous quarter. This was followed by Standard Chartered Bank, CitiBank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, which accounted for 14.82 per cent, 13.11 per cent, 3.61 per cent and 3.52 per cent of the total capital importation respectively. Together, the six banks accounted for nearly 90 per cent of capital importation in Q2 2018. In terms of figures, Stanbic IBTC facilitated $3.027 billion in capital importation during the quarter, followed by Standard Chartered Bank with $817.231 million and Citibank Nigeria with $722.761 million, while the rest accounted for the balance, though seven banks made no input. Overall, the total value of capital importation into Nigeria in Q2 of 2018 stood at $ 5.513 billion. This was, however, a decrease of 12.53 per cent compared to Q1 2018, but a 207.62 per cent increase compared to the second quarter of 2017, according to NBS. The decline recorded in Q2, the agency added, was as a result of a decline in Portfolio and Other Investments, which declined by 9.76 per cent and 24.07 per cent respectively. The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 74.7 per cent ($4.119 billion) of total capital importation, followed by Other Investment, which accounted for 20.5 per cent ($1.132 billion) of total capital, and then foreign direct investment (FDI), which accounted for 4.7 per cent ($261.4 million) of total capital imported in the second quarter. In its approach, the NBS categorises capital importation into three main investment types, namely FDI, Portfolio Investment and Other Investments, each having various sub-categories. It noted that since 2017 Q2, Portfolio Investment has been expanding faster than the other two categories.

“Although the absolute value of Portfolio Investment declined in Q2 on a quarterly basis, falling from $4,565.09 million in Q1, 2018 to $4,119.46 million in Q2, 2018, it remained the largest component of the total Capital Importation in the quarter under review, followed by Other Investments, and then FDI,” NBS stated. By sector, NBS indicated, capital could be imported either in the form of shares or directly imported into different economic sectors of the economy. Capital importation as shares, which is closely related to equity investment (FDI and Portfolio Investment) dominated Q2 of 2018, reaching $4.091 billion, or 74.21 per cent of the total capital importation in the quarter. The contribution of share investment increased marginally by 0.03

Portfolio Investment remained the most significant component of total capital inflow into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2018, although it contracted by 9.76 percent over the previous quarter. The total value of Portfolio Investment in Q2 recorded was $4,119.46 million, which was a 434.64 per cent growth compared to Q2, 2017 ($770.51 million)

per cent in Q2 of 2018. “Portfolio Investment remained the most significant component of total capital inflow into Nigeria in the second quarter of 2018, although it contracted by 9.76 percent over the previous quarter. The total value of Portfolio Investment in Q2 recorded was $4,119.46 million, which was a 434.64 per cent growth compared to Q2, 2017 ($770.51 million). “The 9.76 per cent Q-on-Q decrease was due to a fall in the largest sub-component-- Money Market Instruments. Capital Importation in the form of money market instrument stood at $2.670 billion in Q2, which was a 24.29 per cent decrease over the previous quarter. Investments in both equity and bonds (under Portfolio Investments) reported steady quarter-on-quarter growth, with 49.43 per cent and 19.13 per cent respectively. “It is worth noting that investments in bonds under this capital importation type has been steadily increasing since Q2, 2017, and in Q2 2018, it accounted for 9.71 per cent of total portfolio investment,” the report said. For Stanbic IBTC, its performance is in line with what has become traditional, though the performances of Access Bank and Zenith Bank denote the growing role of core local banks in capital importation. Nonetheless, the performances of Stanbic IBTC, Citibank Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank, all with substantial foreign equity holding, underlines the imperative of having banks with the global network and resources to support Nigeria’s developmental aspirations. However, Stanbic IBTC Bank, accounting for over 50 per cent of capital importation in 2018 Q2, stands out as the only African institution among the trio, being a member of the 155-year-old Standard Bank Group, the largest African financial institution by assets and earnings. It is firmly rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the continent. The performance of Stanbic IBTC, Citibank Nigeria and Standard Chartered Bank, besides highlighting the global network they bring to bear on their operations in Nigeria, also demonstrates the pivotal role of banks in facilitating capital importation, which is instrumental in providing the funding and foreign exchange needed to drive economic growth and development. About 18 months ago, the Nigerian economy almost collapsed as foreign exchange scarcity, triggered by plummeting global oil prices and ambiguous policies, brought most businesses and companies to their knees. Capital flight and divestment from the country heightened as investors went to safer destinations. CBN subsequently launched a raft of exchange rate policies until it settled for a flexible regime

governed by the interplay of market forces. With this, some measure of stability was restored to the system and helped to bolster investor confidence in the economy. Analysts said that Nigeria’s fundamental developmental dilemma is that of infrastructure. From power, which is barely existent, to transportation, which is still cumbersome, from mineral refining, which is still at the primary stage, to agricultural expansion, the tale is the same: underdevelopment and underfunding. This situation, they said, invariably requires the solid intervention of players, both local and international, with the experience, expertise, reach and clout to help nurture economic ties necessary to put the Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth. According to them, Stanbic IBTC, for instance, provides such a critical link. Its parent company, Standard Bank, is owned 20 per cent by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, an alliance that yields a strategic partnership with a global reach, immense resources and expertise to help reinvigorate the Nigeria’s economy. ICBC, in the context of China’s growing global economic clout, more so in forging ties with Africa, is striving to proactively make inroads into developing countries with its vast untapped potential. To ICBC, Africa offers huge opportunities and limitless partnerships ready for harnessing. As the Standard Bank Group is development-focused, its combination with ICBC, which is also very focused on trade and infrastructure financing, creates a strategic synergy with enormous capacity to facilitate investment flows and access between Nigeria and the rest of the world. Besides helping to stabilise the Nigerian currency, it is hoped that in the medium to long term, Stanbic IBTC, which itself has a distinguished pedigree in infrastructure financing, ICBC and Standard Bank will collaborate much further with Nigeria towards a new regime of rapid and massive infrastructure development. The partnership of the trio in implementing Nigeria’s currency swap with China, which came into effect in July 2018, signposts the potential of the partnership and now needs further deepening in order to create a steady momentum for FDI inflow into the country. For Stanbic IBTC, capital importation flows naturally from its focus on supporting Nigeria’s developmental aspirations through strategic interventions in crucial sectors of the economy that would enable the country take its rightful place as a favourite investment destination in Africa. Hopefully the next quarterly capital importation report would showcase higher inflows into Nigeria.


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T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY 12, SEPTEMBER, 2018

BUSINESSWORLD

INDUSTRY

Improving Cocoa Production Jonathan Eze writes on the need to incentivise cocoa farmers in the country, in order to support the federal government’s quest to diversify its revenue base The Central Bank Governor (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, recently identified agriculture financing as the way forward for the economy. He explained that as part of its developmental role, the CBN has in collaboration with the federal government, represented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMAR), established the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) for promoting commercial agricultural enterprises in Nigeria, which is a sub–component of the federal government’s Commercial Agriculture Development Programme (CADP). The fund, he added, will complement other special initiatives of the central bank in providing concessionary funding for agriculture, such as the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) which is mostly for small scale farmers, Interest Draw-back scheme, Agricultural Credit Support Scheme and other similar developmental initiatives. According to Emefiele, “there was no need to allocate scarce forex to rice importers when vast amounts of paddy rice of comparable quality produced by poor hard-working local farmers across the rice belts of Nigeria are wasted, and farmers are falling deeper into poverty at a time the government exports their jobs and income to rice producing in overseas countries. “Few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil but, today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tonnes while Indonesia and Malaysia combine to export over 90 per cent of global demand. “Under these circumstances, I believe it is appropriate, and in fact, expected, that the CBN contributes to protecting the jobs and incomes of local farmers, using some of the same principles Western economies use to justify the protection of their farmers through huge subsidies,” he said. Noting that agriculture remained the largest employer of labour, the CBN chief said the sector contributes about 24.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the light of the CBN boss acknowledgement for adequate agric financing, the cocoa sector which has been blighted with many challenges in recent time needs urgent attention in order to thrive. Cocoa was a major agricultural export crop and a top foreign exchange earner in the 1950s and 60s. Prior to the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in the 1970s, Nigeria was the world’s second largest producer of cocoa. Average cocoa production declined from 420,000 tonnes in the ‘60s to 170,000 tonnes in 1999. Production climbed to 389,272 tonnes between 2000 and 2010, but fell back to 192,000 tonnes in 2015 and 2016. After dropping to fourth place, Nigeria is now the sixth largest producer. Cocoa is a household cash crop and key agriculture produce in Nigeria. It is used for local consumption and is also exported which generates foreign exchange for the country. According to statistics, Nigeria produced 367,000 tonnes of Cocoa in 2017.The export data from 2017 shows that Nigeria exported 161,285.72 metric tonnes of agricultural produce. Cocoa export accounted for 33,294 out of this figure. Given these figures, Nigeria is yet to tap into the potential of the cocoa industry in the continent when compared to Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana. This makes Nigeria the third producer of cocoa beans on the continent and fourth behind Indonesia in the world. However, the federal government has expressed desire to focus on moving up the ranks as the producer of the cash crop over the next five years. The challenges facing the cocoa sector are so enormous. These are challenges that have impeded the success of the cocoa export at the international market. Cocoa producers have not been able to meet the target set by the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), due to its challenges. Nigeria has been struggling to meet its target and as a result, the country losses $1 billion per year. The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh has attributed this to negligence on

cocoa

the part of government over the past 30 years. According to the minister, actual record of production and export are difficult to trace as they are not kept. But according to Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), the challenges its members are facing are far more than record keeping. The challenges include unfavourable weather conditions, lack of support from the government, and use of fake chemicals by farmers. There are no palliatives or incentives for the exports of cocoa in the country. In Osun State, farmers were able to produce 30 per cent of the projected cash crop in 2017, with no support from the state government. This was due to unfavourable weather, fake chemicals and lack of funds and financial support from the government. Farmers in the state lack funds and most times are unable to pay their labourers. These challenges facing the farmers have affected productivity and as a result, led to a decrease in cocoa production. Beyond local acceptance, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has advised cocoa farmers on the need to properly ferment their cocoa beans to achieve better production and

Nigeria is yet to tap into the potential of the cocoa industry in the continent when compared to Cote d’ Ivoire and Ghana. This makes Nigeria the third producer of cocoa beans on the continent and fourth behind Indonesia in the world

gain acceptance in the world market. The Executive Director of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, gave the charge at the opening of a one-day workshop for cocoa farmers in Ekiti, with the theme ‘Improving the quality of cocoa production for global competitiveness’. The workshop organised by NEPC Akure zone was for the training of farmers on different methods of cocoa fermentation with the use of fermentation boxes. Awolowo, who was represented by the Head, Trade Information Unit, NEPC Lagos, Mrs. Fransisca Odega, said the federal government was desirous to improve the production and export base of economy by increasing production, processing, packaging and marketing of non-oil export commodities. He said, “Let me assure you that the federal government is committed to restoring the agricultural and industrial sector especially the cocoa subsector to its prime position before the discovery of crude oil. “I therefore wish to use this occasion to call on all farmers and stakeholders to support and key into government policy of promotion of non-oil export as an alternative source of revenue. “If all hands are on deck, the policy will not only boost our country’s economic growth and development but will serve as a road map towards genuine industrialisation and integration of our economy with other developed economies of the world.” The Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Ministry of Commerce, Kayode Abe, said the state government had disbursed N1.5 billion to business owners and farmers in conjunction with the central bank, out of the N2 billion approved for the small and medium scale enterprises in the state. The Trade Promotion Advisor, Mr. Oluwole Monehin, advised farmers to ferment their cocoa beans for a minimum of five days to achieve better production. “Many of them are in a hurry to ferment their cocoa; this reduces the quality of production. The minimum fermentation days range between five and seven days. “It has been observed that addressing numerous challenges besetting smallholders in this subsector is germane to achieving expected results,” he added. Climate change is another factor militating against the cocoa sector. Farmers along River Benue since last week are counting their losses after a flood incident that submerged hundreds of farmlands and destroyed crops across nine

local areas in Adamawa State. The flood caused havoc in several communities in Yola South, Yola North, Girei, Fufore, Numan, Demsa, Lamorde, Guyuk and Shelleng, among others, as houses were completely submerged in some cases for several days. Jibrilla Marafa, the village head of Njoboliyo in Yola South Local Area, who spoke to journalists, said more than 100 hectares of farmlands in the village were washed way, saying the incident dashed the hope of the hardworking farmers in his domain. The traditional leader called on the authorities at all levels of government to assist the affected farmers to ameliorate their suffering and avert food crisis in the area. Thompson Bemi, a farmer and fisher man in Njoboliyo, lamented that since the incident, he had been jobless as all his investment in rice production was washed away while the fishing tools he used to complement his income were also lost. Maaruf Boranji, a rice farmer in Boranji in Yola South, said he had expected a harvest of 50 bags of rice from his farm before the flood destroyed the crops, adding that the farm was developed with all the money he saved over the years. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Waziri Ahmadu , said the state had contacted the federal government with a view to getting some assistance for the affected farmers in the nine local areas hit by the flood. He added that the state held and extended executive council meeting that included special advisers and assistants to Governor Muhammadu Jibrilla as well as permanent secretaries in order to have wider views on the best way to handle the disaster. “The flood washed away crops that are planted in low land areas like rice, and in some cases maize. At the level of government, we at the Ministry of Agriculture have appealed to the federal government and they promised to assist. We are concerned because farmers could not harvest what they planted,” he said. Despite the challenges, it is important, however, to recognise that the rate of economic growth can be accelerated if revenue earning agricultural commodities are given adequate attention. The urgent need for diversification of the economy requires unwavering action. An investment in the cocoa industry should be part of this strategy as Nigeria was once a powerhouse in cocoa production and has the land and favourable climate to sustain it.


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EDUCATION Varsities Must be Repositioned to Solve Nigeria’s Problems, Says OAUVC

TheViceChancellor,ObafemiAwolowoUniversity,Ile-Ife,OsunState, ProfessorEyitopeOgunbodede in this interview with Funmi Ogundare, explained why universities in the country must be repositioned, contribute meaningfully to governance and solve some of the challenges confronting it, saying the move will oblige government to assist them in Nigerian universities is that the resources are there, we cannot harness the resources, except with their dependence on government. So when government gives you the money, the capacity to utilise it, is not even there . We can do with more funding. In OAU, we have our funding to be doubled by the federal government, but it doesn’t mean that with able leadership, doubling your funding will translate to progress . Even with the funding coming into the universities , what is their contribution to development, governance and the general problems of the country on employment, herdsmen attack and terrorism? It is virtually nil . So we need to reposition the universities. When they are positioned in such a way that they can contribute effectively to development in the country, the government will be obliged to make more contributions. Even individuals will come to the university to seek for solutions for their problem. But when the universities have not been able to solve their own problems internally , how then will they be able to solve external problems? That is what we are facing and that is why we are trying to reposition the university in such a way that we can blaze the trail and let people know that these things are possible and the universities can be useful , effective and efficient and we can also solve our own problems internally without necessary asking those who are looking up to us for leadership and governance, to help us.

You graduated from OAU, how has it been transiting from being a student to becoming VC? I was a student on this campus , had my Masters on Dental surgery, then I joined the university as a medical training fellow and became a professor in 2000. I was Dean of the faculty of Dentistry and also Provost of the health sciences from 2007 to 2009 and also served as a member of the council of OAU between 2007 and 2009. There is a little deference between a student and a professor in a university because you are reading all the time. As the students are reading, you must also read ahead of them . In terms of your day-to- day routine, its almost the same, but you are giving some powers and authority as a staff which you will not be able to exercise as a student. You must know that some of these positions are very transient. Your status as a senior lecturer or professor is permanent. The university system is almost transient, you are dean or director, but as VC, I also realised that it is a transient position . It is a five- year term and already I have just completed one year and I am just starting the second one. One year on, how has it been managing your authority as VC? It has been quite interesting because each day has it own experience. What you see on day-to-day basis, is not something you expect most of the time. You find that on daily basis, there are changes. They are not things that you read in a text book , neither are they things that you have to find a source for you to be able to solve the problems. Its a gamut of experience to be able to attend to some of those issues. In terms of administration, I have gone through that, but in terms of management of human beings and the unions, you never can say you have all that is required, because each situation will dictate the way you approach it. So over the last one year, I am happy that I have been able to lay a very solid foundation for the university. I came in at a time when the university was having quite a lot challenges. But for now, we have been able to let people know what we have come to do and the way we ought to approach it . People are beginning to understand the strategies for development in the university. We have now being able to engender an atmosphere of peace and progress, we have also been able to harness the resources that have been lying waste over the years. With the African Centre of Excellence (ACE) project, how has OAU being to promote regional specialisation among participating universities and strengthening their capacities to deliver high quality training and applied research? As far as the project is concerned, we are able to recruit postgraduate students from all West African countries, and for the first time, we are able to boost our international students enrollment. It is compulsory that we train people from French- speaking countries in English, so we have been able to work with our department of English to strengthen them in the use of the language in their first three months of been here. Already, we are opening up the West African environment to ICT. Aside just bringing them to OAU, we also travel to their different countries to train them. We have exchange programmes with universities in Senegal , Ivory Coast and Ghana. Many of the universities come to OAU and our students are free to also go there, but the ones that have been so productive is their coming to audit our masters and PhD courses. There are over 50 of them here. So far, we are the

Ogunbodede only university in Nigeria now that can boast of some specialised areas of ICT like cyber security, information technology and we have also developed some programmes in software engineering. There is no other university in Nigeria that can boast of such. There are 15 programmes approved by the NUC for masters amd PhD only for OAU. Would you say these programmes have helped to boost student’s competiveness globally? I wouldn’t say globally because most of the student we have on the programme now are from West African countries, so OAU has already positioned itself as the regional hub for postgraduate training in the area of ICT. What projects has your institution embarked on to position the students globally? Part of the project is the development of an incubation centre which means when you have an idea, the project will assist and nurture you to bring that idea to the level of marketability . What is happening now is that we are producing directors who have already registered their companies to develop software, patent it amd work with the industries to put it in the market . Already we have the Intellectual Property Transfer Office (IPTTO) to patent their products. We also have a project that help people develop and refine ideas. They give you the space to work on it technologically . Once you are able to refine the idea, they help you to register it , and give you an incubation center where you will now grow your business. Once you are able to stabilise your business, you leave the centre so that others can come in.

With all the projects, where is OAU on the webometric ranking and what moves are you making towards moving up the ladder? We have 106 programmes at OAU, so when you talk about a programme in ICT, its just one of them. Ranking can be in terms of programme or course, or university as a whole. But when it comes to ranking in ICT, OAU is number one in Nigeria. It is the only university that can talk of a centre of excellence in software engineering, even in Africa. So when you talk of ranking in Nigeria, presently, we are ranked number three. It depends on the attention you give to your website, the number of PhD students you have produced and how you input them on your website. What we have discovered is that most of the things we are doing are not really on our website and that is why we are number three, but we are working on it to ensure that everything comes on our website. Funding seems to be a challenge in public institutions, how can they overcome these challenges? I tend to disagree that funding is a challenge, I think a greater challenge in our public institutions is leadership. Take OAU for instance, we have over 100,000 alumni making waves all over the world who are actually ready to contribute to the development of the university. But what are we doing? Are we actually extending our requests to them? In terms of funding, we need leadership and vision , you need to be able to convince the resources out there to support your university that you are capable and able to utilise what they give you. But what I see

Recently, OAU had problems accrediting some of its programmes with NUC, how were you able to sort it out? Twice in a year, the NUC go round all Nigerian universities to accredit courses and once you are accredited, its for five years, if it is full accreditation, its for two years, it could also be an interim accreditation. So what happens is that the NUC came to the institution in December last year and accredited about 37 courses, so from our 106 programmes that we have, we had 101 with full accreditation. These five programmes had interim accreditation, that means they are not up to full accreditation, but they are deemed to be okay for you to go ahead. But then, because they were already on interim, before the last accreditation, it is interpreted as denied . In terms of the standards of those programmes, they are not worse than what is going on in other Nigerian universities. But then, they are not qualified for full accreditation because they got interim. There are some universities that do not have 50 per cent of their programmes accredited. If you go to some first generation universities, most of them have courses that are not accredited. Here in OAU, for instance, we have done our beat. In Dentistry, we have more than N83 million released through the TETfund to augment the dental programme in the university. So we are sure that by November or December when the NUC come back for accreditation , all the issues raised will have been sorted out . For the law programme, it has to with the number of students in the class and lecturers that we have. What is your Benchmark for Minimum Academic Standard? When you talk about standard, it is a comparative thing. As far as OAU is concerned, our standard is to be the best in Africa. We may not be able to attain the best in the world for now , but in the next two or three years, we can become the best and that is the standard we are aiming for.


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EDUCATION

TVET: Stakeholders Canvass Assessment of Technical Institutions Funmi Ogundare Worried by the low interest of Nigerian youths in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) and particularly the absence of a well modeled system that should offer opportunities for producing a cadre of skilled youths to perform technical responsibilities in government, industry and general services, stakeholders in the field have called on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) to ensure a total assessment of all technical institutions in the country. They said the assessment will ascertain the quality of training, adherence to standards, resources allocation, students enrollment and industry support as a source of informed opinion for intervention by TETfund on critical needs. They made this known at the

inaugural Alumni lecture series of Yaba College of Technology held recently with the theme: ‘Technical Education and National Development: Current and Future Trend’. The Guest Lecturer and former Executive Secretary, Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Chief Olawumi Gasper , noted that the demand for skilled workers is already acute and will become ever more intense as the industrial and services sectors become the dominant provider of employment. He applauded the major steps taken by the present administration in the education sector to adopt the National Skills(Vocational) Qualification Framework(NSQF) established for the recognition of skills and competences of workers

with an incorruptible validated assessment, backed up with a global certification system, acceptable to all stakeholders in the industry . He also called on the leadership of the National Assembly to strengthen legislative initiative to reform TVET. Giving an insightful background to the current trends in the TVET sub-sector, Gasper who is also the former Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic said, “There is need to fashion out innovative ways to reposition TVET to meet the country’s goals for national development with a view to solving our huge unemployment challenges. “ One of which is to consider only graduates, irrespective of course studied, passionate about skills and competences development for capacity building in

technical skills development at our technical institutions.� He called on heads of technical institutions and other TVET stakeholders to change the wrong public perception of TVET, redesign the institutions and programmes working in partnership with the Industry/private sector. The Rector of the College, Mr. Femi Omokungbe, said the alumni are very important stakeholders of the college while calling for a technological renaissance and embracing of technical education as a key to economic growth. The Chairman of the occasion and Chief Executive Officer Archi Konsult Limited, Mr. Babatunde Ojo, called for the conversion of the college to a university status saying

that the move will underscore the need to change the narrative on societal discrimination in the sector and the adoption of local content development in the construction sector. In his remarks, the Chairman Governing Council of the college, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, stressed the need for alumni to throw their weight on less priviledged students by way of endowment funds as it is done in some universities abroad. “Such funds can be used to support research. The alumni association should therefore serve as a beacon of hope to students, “he said. The forum also called on government at national and state levels to evolve a developmental strategy, accord high priority to technical education in its educa-

tion reform agenda. This, they said, should be based on widespread consultations with industry stakeholders, developmental partners and training providers for an urgent institutional reform in the TVET sub-sector by utilising the potential of TVET to equip the youths with skills for national development and reverse the trend of unemployment. The distinguished alumni awards were given to some recipients for their professionalism, community service, national service achievements and contribution to the growth of Yaba College of Technology. They include; Pastor Femi Martins, Bunmi Lawson, Mr. Babatunde Desmond Ojo and Mr. John Ighodalo Idiale.

Edufun Tecnik Partners BrickHall School on World Technovation Challenge Tayo Olaleye in Abuja Edufun Technik, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education(STEM) centre, recently, partnered with Brickhall school Abuja, to encourage students to be innovative in the area of Science and Technology . Speaking at a programme organised to celebrate the winning team, who won the gold medal at the just concluded World Technovation challenge in Silicon Valley, held in Abuja, the Founder of Edufun Technik, Mrs. Uchena OnwuanaegbuUgwu said its priority is to ensure that students are knowledgeable in Robotics and Coding, adding that the centre, had trained the team from Anambra State who won the competition. She said her organisation will train more people in the area of technology, adding, “ schools should not wait for government to change their destinies in education , but they must step up and change it themselves and leave government to catch up with the good works.�

The founder said the five girls who won the competition in San Francisco, were picked from schools in remote areas with no previous knowledge of the internet, adding that the sky will be the limit for students who are already ICT compliant. The Director of Brickhall School, Senator Joy Emodi stressed the need for government to design a curriculum that would be centered on technology and also establish properly funded educational research centers to enhance the country’s education sector. She expressed delight about the success of the girls who excelled at such international competition, defeating countries like China, United States of America, Isreal, and other countries of the world saying it is about Technovation. The Secretary for Education, FCT, Senator Isa Minna, assured of possible partnership with Edufun Technik and also expressed delight about how the winning team were received, celebrated and encouraged back home.

Edo IntensiďŹ es Promotion of Local Languages with In-service Teachers Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City As part of efforts to promote and preserve the identity and heritage of the Edo people, the state government has deployed 253 teachers to teach Edo languages in schools across the state. The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Emmanuel Agbale, who disclosed this in Benin City, during the closing ceremony of the first summer school on Edo language for children organised by the Benin Cultural Heritage Centre, assured the president and

members of the centre of the ministry’s commitment in ensuring knowledge of local languages by Edo children. He said the centre’s willingness to partner with the state in ensuring the continuity of the languages is laudable and expressed appreciation for the feat achieved in the provision of free language lessons for the children. He affirmed that as part of steps taken to actualise the objective, the government has trained 253 in-service teachers and posted them to schools across the state.

L-R: Chief Medical Director , Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Professor Franklin Ani, Provost of College of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Iheanyichukwu Okoro, Guest Speaker, Dr. Folakemi Olomojobi, President/Vice Chancellor, Professor Ademola Tayo, Registrar of MDCN, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, Dean of Benjamin Carson School of Medical Sciences, Professor Barnabas Mandong and Director, Clinical Services, BUTH, Dr. John Sotunsa at Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH) induction ceremony held in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State... recently

Plateau State Proceeds to Cowbellpedia Semi-ďŹ nals Candidates from Plateau State have progressed to the semi-finals of the ongoing Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics television quiz show, sponsored by Promasidor Nigeria Limited. In the preliminary junior category, group G contest, Master Jonathan Okonkwo from Baptist High School, Naraguta, Jos, Plateau State proceeded to the semi-finals alongside Favour Okarike of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers. The four contestants, who could not move further in the competition were Mukhtar

Bashir Bugaje of MariamohAjiri Memorial International School, Katsina State; Zeenat Abdullahi of Nigerian Tulip International Girls College, Kano State; Jessie Emeshili of Regina Pacis College, Abuja; and Jeremiah Ugwuodo of Calvary Arrows College, Gboko, Benue State. Okonkwo, 14, attributed his performance to consistent practice in Mathematics, while expressing hope of being the 2018 champion. “This is the 20th anniversary which is a landmark. It will be so fantastic to be the champion of this landmark edition. This is my promise to my family and

my school. So help me God.� On his part, Okarike, who had a perfect score in the qualifying examination held in February, said Mathematics requires endurance and determination to deal with.� In the senior category, Jessica Austine of Federal Government Girls College Owerri, Imo State and Emmanuel Igban of the Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State, qualified for the semi-finals, while four other counterparts took their exit. They include; Daniel Aliu Lionel of The NYSC School Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State; Tochukwu Egwuchika of Shalom Academy Nsukka, Enugu State;

Tunmise Idowu of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State; and Ofodu Praise Chukwuemeka of Petoa City. College, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Jessica, a second timer in the competition, scored 95 per cent in the qualifying examination. According to her, mathematics is fun, adding that she is excited to participate in the competition. “If I win, I will be happy, but if I don’t, life continues. For me, Mathematics is fun that is why I am in the competition again.� “For Emmanuel, Mathematics is easy to pass if students change their mentality and focus more on the positive side of the subject.

Firm Boost Science Subjects with New Software Kuni Tyessi in Abuja In an effort aimed at enhancing the teaching of core science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a software known as Asspps- Isbors software and technology has been developed. The software which is technologydriven with a focus on secondary school science teachers, has the ability to checkmate educational challenges and create an opportunity for science teachers to earn more money. The Founder and Chief Promoter,

Mr. Patrick Ochuba who revealed this during a presentation of the software, at the Federal Ministry of Education headquarters in Abuja, said technology has not only made things easier but is the most potent part of democracy in Nigeria. He said with the new software, there will be increased motivation to the teaching workforce and millions of new jobs will be created to tackle the rising issue of unemployment, as well as the quantitative and qualita-

tive appraisal of teachers and students.. According to him, “Government cannot solve the complex educational challenges alone without valuable and creative inputs from the private sector. From the private sector perspectives and within the mandates of the ministerial strategic plan, the economic recovery growth plan and other ministries, departments and agencies, we built on innovative software solution and business model.

“This, seamlessly and consistently would ingest multiple of billions of private sector funds, year-in-year-out to national education development by providing sustainable digital solutions to real challenges facing science school teachers and students in Nigeria, while meeting the commercial, branding and other needs of both local and multinational brands and business interests purposefully integrated into the platform.�


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Varsity Don Solves Puzzle on Dissertation, Thesis Kuni Tyessi in Abuja The myriad of questions that has continued to erupt from postgraduate students about the differences, and similarities about thesis and dissertations has been laid to rest by the pioneer President of the Nigeria Pragmatic Association, and a professor of Discourse Analysis and Pragmatic, University of Ibadan, Professor Akin Odebunmi. Odebunmi said either thesis or dissertation are products of

research which are expected to be defended and can be used interchangeably based on the decision and choice of an institution. He made this known, at the first post graduate research workshop on ‘Current Research Trends in Language and Literature’, organised by the department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi. He said sometimes the use of the terms is continental as some settle for thesis at the masters level and dissertation at the doctoral level, adding

that it is the reverse for some, but either will apply for the academic discipline as they both have different features. According to him, “It depends on what your institution adopts. In UI, we have different names for these degrees. Our students at the first degree level, write long essays. They don’t write project. At the masters degree level, they write project. So we call what they write MA project. At the M Phil level which is a terminal degree,

we write a dissertation. At the PhD level, they write the thesis. This is done just to settle the problem of what dissertation and thesis are. “Sometimes in some institutions, even the ones abroad, a PhD student writes a dissertation and not a thesis. So it depends on which one is adopted. In Ife, where I had my own PhD, a thesis is written by an MA student. Usually when it has to be defended, it is called a thesis. When it doesn’t have to be defended, they call it a project.”

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A cross-section of learning and development officers undergoing training at one of the training centers in Benin City, Edo State.... recently

Edo Govt Trains Learning Officers to Promote Basic Education Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), has said that the ongoing training for learning and development Officers, who are championing the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, will guarantee a result-driven basic education sub-sector in the state. The Chairman of SUBEB, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, who made this known, during a chat with journalists in Benin City, said the state government intends to revolutionise the basic education sub-sector and make it the envy of all, noting that continuous

capacity building for improved productivity in the classroom remains a cardinal arm of the Edo-BEST programme. Oviawe, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Basic Education, said that the ongoing training is in phases and only dedicated hands will progress to the next stage. “Some of the teachers have advanced to the next stage of the exercise. Others will go back to the classroom to teach and continue to master their craft. “The selection criteria included assessment scores, oral interview and unbeknownst to all of them, they were under observation in the last two

weeks. Some were sleeping in class, while some others were busy chatting online. The pass mark for learning and development officers was set at 75 per cent. We are really gunning for the best of the best to become trainers of teachers,” she said. She noted that “the experience from the exercise remains a treasure trove of insights and new revelations, as people who are used to the shortcuts of cronyism, nepotism, tribalism have now been jolted to pay mind to their tasks.” The chairman added that the exercise also revealed that “some teachers are hard of hearing, some cannot see well

and we have told them to get their eyes tested and outfitted with glasses.” According to her, “there were some complaints from some of the participants which we are looking at solving. As we turn over the system and introduce merit as the foremost yardstick for decision making, it is our hope that the teachers will soon cotton on to the mindset of meritocracy. “At this stage of the training, teachers have to be able to use the tablet effectively to teach. And at the end of the training, those still struggling will not be given a teacher’s tab. They will need to go for more training.”

Lagos Teachers Recruitment: 65,818 Jostle for Teaching Positions A total of 65,818 applications have been received for the 2, 200 teaching positions opened to the public by the Lagos State Government. The job portal was closed by midnight of September 6. A breakdown of the applications showed that 44,725 people will compete for the 1,200 jobs in the public secondary schools

category while 21,093 applied to teach in the public primary sector. It will be recalled that the job portal (http://jobs. lagosstate.gov.ng) was opened to applicants by midnight of August, 31. Receiving the report, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye said the

large number of applications was mostly influenced by the prompt payment of salaries and the welfare package of the Lagos State government for teachers and other employees in the state. She said the next step is the electronic sorting of the applications to ensure that the applicants meet the set criteria and the shortlisted eligible

candidates would be invited for written examination. Adekanye reiterated the commitment of the government to fairness and transparency in the recruitment exercise aimed at injecting fresh and qualified teachers into the public primary and secondary schools in the state, to further advance teaching and learning.

˾ ÜÓÑÒÞÏØßÚãÙßÜÍÖËÝÝáÓÞÒËÝ×ËÖÖÚËÞÍÒ̋áÙÜÕÙÐÓÑÏÜÓËØ ÐËÌÜÓͲÞËÓÖÙÜáÙßÖÎÑÜËÍÓÙßÝÖãÑÓàÏãÙßÚÓÏÍÏÝÙÐÙÜßØ̋ØÏÏÎÏÎ ÍÖÙÞÒ˛ ˾ ÜËÌØÏÝÝËØÎÜÙßÞÓØÏ̎ÒÏÜÏÝÒÙßÖÎØÙÞÌÏÜÙÙ×ÐÙÜʮËÞ˜ ßØÓØÝÚÓÜÓØј˩áÓÝÒã̋áËÝÒã˪ÞÏÍÒØÓÛßÏÝÙÐÞÏËÍÒÓØÑÙØÞÒÏÙØÏÒËØÎ˞ ËÌÙÜÓØј×ÏÎÓÙÍÜϘßØÓ×ËÑÓØËÞÓàÏËØÎÝÞËÖÏÞÏËÍÒÏÜÙØÞÒÏÙÞÒÏܲ Ùß×ßÝÞÌÏË×ËÝÞÏÜÙÐãÙßÜÞÏËÍÒÓØÑÝßÌÔÏÍÞËØÎÑÜËÍÓÙßÝÏØÙßÑÒ ÞÙÎÏ×ßÜÏÙØËÞÙÚÓÍãÙßÎÙØ˪ÞÕØÙáÜËÞÒÏÜÞÒËØÐËÌÜÓÍËÞÏÖÓÏÝˠÙß ÍËØ˪ÞËʥÙÜÎÞÙÌÏÜÏÑßÖËÜˠ ØÔÏÍÞÐÜÏÝÒËØÎØÏáËÍÞÓÙØÝËØÎÓÎÏËÝÓØÞÙ ãÙßÜÖÏÝÝÙØÝËØÎÚßÞËØÏÖÏ×ÏØÞÙÐÝßÜÚÜÓÝÏÓØÞÙáÒÏØËØÎÒÙáãÙß ÌÜÓØÑÞÒÏ×ÓØ˛ ˾ÙßÜ ÖËØÑßËÑÏ ̎ ÜÏ ãÙß ʮßÏØÞ˜ ÏâÚÜÏÝÝÓàϘ ÍÙ×ÚÜÏÒÏØÝÓÌÖϘ ÓØÞÏÖÖÓÑÓÌÖÏËØÎÙÜßØÎÏÜÝÞËØÎËÌÖÏˣÒÏÜÏÓÝØÙÞÒÓØÑáÙÜÝÏÞÒËØË ÞÏËÍÒÏÜáÒÙÝÚÏËÕÝÓØÞÒÏáÜÙØÑÞÏØÝÏÝËØÎÓÝ×ËÕÓØÑØÙËÍÞÓàÏ ÏʥÙÜÞÞÙÌÜßÝÒÒÓ×˹ÒÏÜÝÏÖÐßÚˠØÑÖÓÝÒÍßÞÝËÍÜÙÝÝËÖÖÝÍÓÏØÍÏËØÎËÜÞ ÝßÌÔÏÍÞݲÏÐÜËÓØÐÜÙ×ÝÒÙßÞÓØјßÝÓØÑËÌßÝÓàÏáÙÜÎÝËØÎÏâÚÜÏÝÝÓÙØ ÝÙØÞÒÏÝÞßÎÏØÞÝáÒÏØÞÒÏãÑÙáÜÙØјÝÚÏËÕÓØÑËÌßÝÓàÏÖãÙÐÞÒÏÓÜ ÚËÜÏØÞÝËØÎÑÏØÏÜËÖÖãÚÜÙÔÏÍÞÓØÑËØÓ×ËÑÏÙÐËØÙÑÜÏˠÚÙÖÙÑÓÝÏÞÙ ËÝÞßÎÏØÞáÒÏØãÙßÒËàÏÌÏÏØáÜÙØјÝËãÞÒËØÕãÙßÞÙÞÒÏ×áÒÏØ ÞÒÏãÒËàÏÒÏÖÚÏÎÙÜÎÙØÏËÑÙÙÎÞÒÓØÑËØÎØÏÑÙÞÓËÞÏáÓÞÒÞÒÏ×áÒÏØ ËÚÚÜÙÚÜÓËÞÏ˛ÙÙÎÞÏËÍÒÏÜÝÎÙØ˪ÞËÖáËãÝÑÓàÏÙÜÎÏÜÝ˞ÞÒÏãÍÙ×Ï ÞÙËØßØÎÏÜÝÞËØÎÓØÑÙØÓÝÝßÏÝáÓÞÒÞÒÏÓÜÝÞßÎÏØÞËØÎÓØÝÙÎÙÓØј ÞÏËÍÒÞÒÏ×ÒÙáÞÙÜÏÝÚÏÍÞÙÞÒÏÜÚÏÙÚÖÏ˪ÝÚÏÜÝÚÏÍÞÓàÏݲÏÐÙÜÏãÙß ÝÏØÎÒÙ×ÏãÙßÜÝÞßÎÏØÞ˪ÝÜÏÚÙÜÞÝÙÜÝÍÒÙÙÖ̋ÒÙ×ÏÍÙ××ßØÓÍËÞÓÙؘ ÞËÕÏËÐÏá×Ù×ÏØÞÝÞÙÜÏËÎÞÒÜÙßÑÒáÒËÞãÙßÒËàÏÔßÝÞáÜÓʵÏØ˛ ÝÍÒÙÙÖÜÏÚÙÜÞÓÝØÙÞáÒÏÜÏãÙßßØÖÏËÝÒãÙßÜàÏØÎÏʵËÙØËÝÞßÎÏØÞ ÙÜÞÒÏÓÜÚËÜÏØÞÝˠØÎÏËàÙßÜÞÙáÜÓÞÏÓØÏâÍÏÖÖÏØÞ˜ÚÜÙÐÏÝÝÓÙØËÖËØÎ ØÙØ̋ÚËÞÜÙØÓäÓØÑÖËØÑßËÑÏ˛ËÓØÞËÓØãÙßÜÎÓÑØÓÞãËØÎÑÙÙÎØË×Ï˛ ˾ÖÏÏÚÓØÑÙØÎßÞã̎ÖÏÏÚÓØÑÓØÍÖËÝÝÌÏÐÙÜÏãÙßÜÝÞßÎÏØÞÝÙÜÎÜÙÚÚÓØÑ ãÙßÜÒÏËÎÙØÞÒÏÞËÌÖÏÐÙÜËÛßÓÍÕÝØÙÙäÏÝÒÙßÖÎØÙÞÌÏÚÜËÍÞÓÍÏÎÌã ãÙ߲ ÞÚÜÙÔÏÍÞÝËØÓ×ËÑÏÙÐÖËäÓØÏÝÝËØÎÓÎÖÏØÏÝݲÙßÜÝÞßÎÏØÞÝËÜÏ áËÞÍÒÓØÑËØÎÞÒÏãËÜÏàÏÜãÓ×ÚÜÏÝÝÓÙØËÌÖÏˠ ÐãÙßÐÏÏÖÓÖÖ˜ÑÙÞÙÞÒÏ ÝÓÍÕÌËãÙÜÞÙËØãÚÜÙàÓÝÓÙØãÙßÝÍÒÙÙÖ×ËãÒËàÏËØÎÜÏÐßÏÖÞÒÏÜÏ˛ ÖÏËÝÏÍÒÏÍÕãÙßÜÝÍÒÙÙÖ˪ÝÚÙÖÓÍãÙØÞÒÓݲ ˾ÏÖÖÓØÑ˹ÞÜËÎÓØÑÙØÎßÞã̎ÒÓÝÓÝËÌÝÙÖßÞÏÖãáÜÙØÑËØÎÝÒÙßÖÎØÙÞÌÏ ÚÜËÍÞÓÍÏÎáÓÞÒÓØãÙßÜÎËÓÖãÍÙØÞÜËÍÞÒÙßÜݲ ÞÓÝÞÜßÏÞÒËÞÞÒÏÞÓ×ÏÝËÜÏ ÒËÜÎËØÎáÏËÖÖÐÏÏÖÞÒÏÚÓØÍÒ˛ÜÑËØÓÝÏãÙßÜÞÓ×ÏÞÙʨÞÓØáÒËÞãÙß ÎÙÙßÞÝÓÎÏãÙßÜÍÙØÞÜËÍÞÞÓ×Ï˛ ÙááÙßÖÎãÙßÐÏÏÖÓÐËØÏ×ÚÖÙãÏÏ ÙÐãÙßÜÝáËÝÍËÜÜãÓØÑÙßÞÒÓÝÙáØÌßÝÓØÏÝÝÓØãÙßÜÚËãÓØÑÞÓ×Ïˣ ˾ÝÓØÑãÙßÜ×ÙÌÓÖÏÚÒÙØÏÓÜÜÏÝÚÙØÝÓÌÖã̎ÒÏÍÕãÙßÜÝÍÒÙÙÖ˪ÝÚÙÖÓÍã ÙØÞÒÓÝÌßÞËÝËÑÏØÏÜËÖÞÒß×ÌÙÐÜßÖϘãÙßÝÒÙßÖÎÕÏÏÚãÙßÚÒÙØÏÝ ÙʥÙÜÓÞÝÜÓØÑÞÙØÏÝÙØÝÓÖÏØÞËØÎÜÏÞßÜØÍËÖÖÝËÞ×ÙÜÏËÍÍÏÚÞËÌÖÏ ÞÓ×ÏÎßÜÓØÑãÙßÜÎËÓÖãÍÙØÞÜËÍÞÒÙßÜݘÐÙÜÏâË×ÚÖÏÎßÜÓØÑãÙßÜÌÜÏËÕ˛ ˾ÙßÜÑÜÙÙ×ÓØÑ̎ÑÙÙÎÌËÞÒ˜ÙÜËÖÍËÜϘÝÙ×ÏÎÏÙÎÙÜËØÞ˜ÒËÓÜËØÎ ØËÓÖÍËÜÏÍÙØÞÜÓÌßÞÏÞÙÞÒÏÏØÞÓÜÏÓ×ËÑÏÙÐËÞÏËÍÒÏܲØÚÜÙÐÏÝÝÓÙØËÖ ÎÜÏÝÝÓØјÓ×ÚÜËÍÞÓÍËÖÎÜÏÝÝÓØјßØÐËÝÒÓÙØËÌÖÏÎÜÏÝÝÓØÑÝËÜÏËÖÖÝßÌÔÏÍÞÓàÏÎÏÝÍÜÓÚÞÓÙØÙÐÝÙ×ÏÙØÏ˪ÝÑÜÙÙ×ÓØÑ˛ÝËÜÙÖÏ×ÙÎÏÖ˜Ó×ÐÙÜ ÝÞãÖÓÝÒ×ÙÎÏÝÞã˛ÙßÜÝÞßÎÏØÞÝÝÒÙßÖÎáËØÞÞÙÌÏÖÓÕÏãÙßˠ Omoru writes from the UK


T H I S D AY ˾ WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

www.ceibs.edu/africa

35

EXECUTIVE EDUCATION

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND LEADERSHIP FOR AFRICA (WELA) PROGRAMME October 26, 2018 - June 20, 2019 | Lagos. Accra. Shanghai. Johannesburg. Casablanca Break the Gender Stereotypes in Business The Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA) is a practical, hands-on programme that examines the issues, challenges and opportunities women face in creating, managing and leading companies in Africa. The programme is specially designed for women entrepreneurs and is focused on enabling them to identify business opportunities as well as maintain viable and sustainable enterprises. CEIBS creates a supportive and participatory learning environment for the exchange of best practices and experiences, strategy development and skills building, working within the context of women’s economic development issues and priorities. PROGRAMME FEATURES · · · · · · ·

5-module programme held 3 days every 2 months 1st 4 modules in Accra/Lagos/Johannesburg/Casablanca One-on-one entrepreneurial mentoring / coaching 5th module at CEIBS Shanghai Campus A trip to Yiwu International Trade City Company visits in China Graduation Ceremony in Shanghai

PROGRAMME BENEFITS · Acquire expertise in new business development ideas · Acquire strategies for sustainable business development and growth · Exposure to partnerships and other business opportunities in China and Ghana · Admission into the prestigious CEIBS alumni body with over 20,000 members occupying top executive positions in internationally acclaimed companies globally · Access to all the benefits of the alumni membership · A unique and supportive learning environment (same gender class) for uninhibited experience sharing and learning · Opportunity to develop networks with women entrepreneurs from other African countries and China to support access to markets

RESERVE YOUR PLACE Contact Thelma +234 814 719 5558 / othelma@ceibs.edu Chigo +234 806 8050094 / cchigozirim@ceibs.edu

Lagos

Accra

Shanghai

Casablanca

Become one of Africa’s most successful women entrepreneurs. Join the CEIBS WELA now!!!

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www.ceibs.edu/wela-programmes


36

W E D N E S DAY ˞ͯͰ,Ͱ͎ͯ͜

CITYSTRINGS

Some of the participants at the empowerment summer camp

ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;ĂšĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ™ĂœË?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă?äĂ?Ă™ĂŒĂ“ Ă—Ă‹Ă“Ă–Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă–Ă“Ă?Ë›Ă?äĂ?Ă™ĂŒĂ“ĚśĂžĂ’Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ă™Ă—Ëœ Ă’Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă˜Ă™Ë?͖͕͔͑͑͒͑͒͑͑͘

Mrs. Akeredolu with some of the participants

Empowering the Girl-child for the Future James Sowole in Akure writes that the annual summer Bootcamp organised by BEMORE Empowered Foundation provides an avenue to empower the girl-child for the future

T

he yearly eight weeks long vacation for secondary schools in Nigeria is a period that most teenage students look forward to, as it is a time when they can experience some level of freedom from the usual 8am to 4pm school schedule. During this period, the level of monitoring over the activities of these students is always limited to whatever their parents can do. Thus, several summer coaching classes are organised by various centres, because limited monitoring of these teenagers during the holiday period often results in engagement in vices and activities that are inimical to their progress. While many girls may become victims of rape and unwanted pregnancies, boys may be exposed to vices like thuggery and drug addiction. Summer Boot Camp to the Rescue It was to prevent students from becoming victims of the above vices that the wife of the Ondo State governor, Mrs. Betty AnyanwuAkeredolu, through her non-governmental organisation, BEMORE Empowered Foundation, organised a training camp for 400 girls selected from across the secondary schools in the Sunshine State to attend the summer boot camp. For the 400 school girls, the gains of the camping period would remain evergreen in their memories. The girls, who were camped at the Elizade University, Ilara Mokin students’ hostels, participated in the second edition of the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp for Girls Naija. They were trained within the facilities of Ondo State Public Service Training Institute (PSTI), also at Ilaramokin, Ifedore Local Government Area. The camp is the brainchild of BEMORE Empowered Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation founded by Mrs Akeredolu, who is also the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN). Empowerment Skills For the period of the camping, the participants were trained in different life changing and empowerment skills, including solar power panels making techniques, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills, graphic and fine arts, and making of household needs and toiletries. Apart from the empowerment skill training, the girls were also tutored in personal care and development lifestyles and physical participants. One unique aspect of the project was the distribution of laptops to the participants and their link up with mentors that will be monitoring their activities, to build on the foundation established during the camping period. According an official of Betty Akeredolu

Foundation, Mr. Austin Otabor, each of the participants would be attached to a mentor, who would monitor their activities for three years. Next Generation The closing ceremony of the programme was held at the auditorium of the Federal University of Technology, Akure Akure (FUTA). It was at the closing ceremony attended by several stakeholders including traditional rulers, the academia, entrepreneurs and parents that some of the girls displayed some of the skills acquired during the period of camping. Speaking at the closing ceremony, Akeredolu, who presented the laptop computers and other prizes to participants, expressed hope that the girls will contribute effectively to the actualisation of a better Nigeria. She said, “The Bootcamp has succeeded in building the next generation of complete leaders who are technologically proficient, health aware and highly skilled as entrepreneurs.� Noting that the young girls are all set to defy and leapfrog all obstacles in ensuring that the Nigeria flag stands tall in G20 summits, she added, “I must warn you that there will be challenging times, but you should know that this camp has equipped you with all that you need to overcome them all. You are the twinkle little stars we hope will navigate our voyage, you are indeed the hope of many generations that has lost hope. To rise up to the task ahead, you must put all you have learnt here to practice, mentor many more girl-children and build a formidable network of change agents.� While thanking all those who supported the initiative and made it a success, Akeredolu particularly acknowledged OSOPADEC, the BAAF team, Ashdam, Seedev and Shoprite, among others for being the giants upon whose shoulders the girls

The Bootcamp has succeeded in building the next generation of complete leaders who are technologically proďŹ cient, health aware and highly skilled as entrepreneurs

are standing to see further in order to create lasting development for Nigeria and the world at large. An Example for Ekiti The chairman of the occasion and wife of the governor-elect for Ekiti State, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, in her remarks, lauded Akeredolu for coming up with the initiative, adding that Ekiti State Government would take a cue from the initiative to the benefit of its own people. While also congratulating the girls for been among the privileged few who had the opportunity of being exposed to technology at an early age, Fayemi charged them to make the best use of the privilege and become great future leaders. Leeway for Automatic Admission In his goodwill message, the Special Guest of Honour and Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape, who was represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development, Professor Philip Oguntade, likened the activities of Akeredolu in mentoring the girls to the Biblical sower. He said with the foundation, Akeredolu had sowed infertile land that would germinate and bear good fruits, adding that she was a pathfinder, who is determined to make ways for the new generation. To this end, he said FUTA was willing to develop what was already deposited in the ladies. He further extended FUTA’s hand of fellowship by offering admission to the girls for their degree and post graduate programmes. He also promised that the institution is willing to partner the office of the wife of the governor in her future programmes. Future of Technology In her remarks, Mrs. Toyin Adegbenro, the wife of the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, commended Akeredolu for the initiative. She added that the impact of the programme would be noticed more by the time the seeds being planted started to produce fruits. “In 10 years’ time, I see entrepreneurs. I see girls that will change the future of Nigeria technologically,� she added. Adegbenro expressed the hope that by the time the girls get back to their schools and share the knowledge gained with their friends, Ondo State would in the nearest future become a technology hub and thereby become an envy of other states. While urging individuals and corporate organisations to support efforts of the organisers to ensure that more girls participate in future programme, Adegbenro said the camp had succeeded in bringing out potentials in the girls.

Royal Declaration Speaking at the occasion, the Royal Father of the day and the Olubaka of Oka Akoko, Oba Adebori Adeleye, described the programme as a bold step towards a nation building. The royal father stated, “It is a known fact that when a girl child is given an adequate education or training towards self-reliance, it is a right step towards building a strong and progressive nation. The event of the Summer Bootcamp is certainly a sure way to realising the Ondo State project, which is to make the state first in Nigeria. “The timing of this programme is laudable, as it comes at a time when the youths of this country, who are the leaders of tomorrow are becoming extremely restless and speedily heading to a very dangerous tragedy. “A good number of our youths now embrace with hard drugs and deadly drinks that they take to boost their energy or make them to be extremely bold, daring such that make then to be fearless. These drugs prod them to commit crimes wantonly and also to end up destroying themselves.� The monarch expressed delight at the theme of the training, which is on Solar Technology and ICT, describing them as two key areas for development. He said that recent researches were pointing to the direction of energy from solar sources. The monarch said, “I see this Summer Bootcamp as discreetly exposing our girls to a billion dollar industry which in the nearest future will be the order of the day.� Oba Adeleye said the ICT aspect of the training was very apt considering the fact that it is taken over many aspects of productive activities. He said it is a known fact that Computer Based Test (CBT) has taken over from the former paper to pencil examination, being used before the new system. “I say congratulations to you girls for being privileged to be part of rare opportunity. You must be ready to take risks in life and learn new things. You need not rely on stereotypes, if you must make a breakthrough�, the monarch said Testimonial Speaking on behalf of the 2018 BEMORE Bootcamp beneficiaries, 14-year-old JSS3 student of Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi Akoko, Busola Asoota, said the experience gathered would for ever remain in his memory. “We learnt about solar power technology, ICT, handcraft, dancing and interacted freely with one another. Our Mummy told us that discrimination is not ours. She told us to stand tall and that we are not inferior to any sex and should be bold to achieve our goals in life. We say a big thank you to our Mummy, our mentors and sponsors of this programme,� she said.


37

W E D N E S DAY ˞ͯͰ,Ͱ͎ͯ͜

CRIME&SECURITY

I am a Pick Pocket, but I Don’t Have Guns- Suspect Confesses Stories by Rebecca Ejifoma The suspected leader of a one-chance robbery gang, John Okafor, 21, who admitted to the part he plays whilst robbing his victims, especially on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, however said he doesn’t deal with guns. Speaking to THISDAY he said: “Yes, I can’t lie. I am a pick pocket. I stand on the road and snatch people’s phones. I have been into it for four months now.� The suspect, who was arrested alongside other members of his gang told THISDAY that although he could not explain why he was involved in robbery, the police lied against him. He said: “The matter that is annoying me now is why the police would lie that I use guns? Where is the gun? You see all these things they put infront of me, it’s not mine. “I promised to tell you the truth

r-FHJUJNBUFTFMMFSTPGDIFNJDBMTTVDIBTGFSUJMJTFS BNNPOJVN products, acid, etc should be wary of persons they sell such products to. All suspicious orders should be immediately reported to the security agencies. r"MXBZTDIFDLZPVSTVSSPVOEJOHTGPSTVTQJDJPVT VOFYQMBJOFE and dangerous object, and immediately inform the police where any such object is found. r/FWFSBDDFQUUPUBLFQPTTFTTJPOPGPSXBUDIPWFSBOZCBH or object kept by unknown person or persons. Source: Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Department The suspect

and I will. Even when the owner of the phone I snatched came here, she told them how I collected the phone but she didn’t say I used any weapon. “Even when I was arrested, the police did not discover any weapon on me. I have been into this for four months now and I

used to operate at the Orile area of Lagos. I know what I was doing was bad, but now I want to change.� Confirming the arrests, the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said the case would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

Lagos CP, Imohimi Edgal

to the police at the nearest station for proper investigation. He said: “Lagos State will not tolerate any set of people burning humans. This is a civilized state and country. However, the

state command will do all it can to unravel and prosecute those behind the acts.� On the death of the sergeant he said the command will charge all those involved to court.

LASEMA Receives Award of Recognition The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has been identified and recognised as the most improved Emergency Response Agency in Nigeria, for its effective response to emergency interventions. According to the LASEMA spokesperson, Kehinde Adebayo, the agency was decorated with the award at the 2018 Nigerian Risk Awards and Summit held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Speaking at the event organised by Conrad Clark Nig. Ltd, the founder, Mr. Joachim Adenusi, acknowledged the contribution of LASEMA to the entrenchment of public safety as well as reducing disaster risk in the state. He further noted that the objective of this year’s summit and award was to create the perfect vehicle for Nigerian professionals both in the private and public sectors to discuss practical approaches to addressing key challenges of governances, nation building, security, political risk, offer possible solutions and to present awards

SECURITY TIPS (PART 3) r#FWJHJMBOUBUQVCMJDQMBDFTBTPCKFDUTTVDIBTCPNCTDBOCF kept by unscrupulous persons in unattended bags, packages, containers, cars, etc. r%POPUBMMPXVOLOPXOQFSTPOTUPESPQPSBCBOEPOCBHT  boxes, fruit barrows or trolleys, articles of trade, cartons or any wrapped or sealed containers around your premises.

Lagos CP Warns against Jungle Justice, Vows to Prosecute Culprits The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, has warned Lagosians to desist from taking laws into their hands by carrying out jungle justice on anyone. Edgal, who made this known at the command headquarters after an angry mob lynched a police sergeant, Esiabor Collins, to death at Ifako-Ijaiye, added that anyone found involved in such, would be duly prosecuted henceforth. Esiabor’s death saga was barely over when another irate mob lynched and set ablaze a suspected ritualist at the Cele Nizer, Ijaniki area of Lagos on August 27, for masquerading as a mad man to sell human parts. Reacting to these recent incidents, Edgal stressed that suspects should be handed over

CRIME SITUATION REPORTS

Adesina Tiamiyu clutching his award

to individuals and organisations , who have contributed to effective management of risk in the state. The General Manager LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, in company of his management staff, received the award on behalf of the agency from the duo of Summit Chairman,

Dr. Christopher Kolade (CON) and the special guest speaker, Mrs Funmi Olonisakin. In accepting the award, he dedicated it to all emergency responders in the state, who go above and beyond to make sure Lagosians are safe.

HOTLINES FOR COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE IN LAGOS 1) 08067945297 2) 08063025274 3) 08063164759 4) 08113615350 5) 08113683077 6) 08081426895 7) 08126404930 8) 08089781657 9) 08096283148 10) 08096283173 Source: Lagos State Police Command.


38

T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

Sekibo Urges Banks to Support SMEs Nume Ekeghe The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo yesterday urged commercial banks to intervene in building a formidable economy driven by SMEs, saying there are lots of opportunities in that segment of the market. According to a statement, Sekibo stated this on the sidelines of the on-going 11th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme, MSMEs: ‘The Game Changer for Economic Growth and Development.’ According to Sekibo, Heri-

tage Bank remains poised to collaborate with operators of MSMEs to grow them into generational conglomerates. He stated that it was the desire of the bank for Nigerian businesses to be listed on the stock exchange and eventually become global brands and household names. Sekibo, noted that surviving in the face of all odds as a business in Nigeria with the present economic situation would not be an easy feat, adding that tenacity remains key characteristic of a sustainable business. He said: “We believe that businesses like yours are the backbone of the economy because you create jobs and play a huge role in moving

our country out of this present recession. I encourage you to rise up to this challenge facing every Nigerian entrepreneur and make our economy vibrant again.” Also, he said Heritage Bank would support operators in the MSMEs sector to broker new deals and partnerships, adding that a contact today could lead to a business opportunity tomorrow. He said the bank would create a platform to propel a network of fast growing businesses and urged them to seize the opportunity, network with others as well as engage the bank’s SME consultants in their bid to build and develop sustainable businesses.

Traders Commend FG’sTrader-Moni Scheme Sunday Okobi Traders in the popular Watt Market in Calabar, Cross River State on Tuesday commended the federal government for introducing the N10, 000 collateral-free loans under the Trader-Moni scheme. The elated traders lauded the scheme when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo unveiled the programme in Cross River State, where several traders were given N10, 000 loan each to be paid back in six months, and to get more when they pay back on time. The vice-president supervised the disbursement of the N10, 000 collateral-free loan to traders which was made available by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund in collaboration

with the Bank of Industry (BoI). An elated trader, Atim Ededem said: “I’m very happy to have registered, and this is one of the most visible signs of government that we have seen. I like the initiative but some of the people who are not traders in Watt Market are also registering. “So, I think in future, government should go through our market unions and possibly double the money. On the whole, this is a very welcome development.” Another trader, Joy Unasi, said: “I think it is a very good development and will go a long way in ameliorating our plight. It is better than collecting money from conventional sources where the interest will make it discouraging.

“So, I really commend government for this. However, we would appreciate it if they double the money from N10, 000 to N20, 000 in future.” Another beneficiary, Godwin Ikpot, said: “At first, I thought it is one of these fraudulent schemes and did not believe it until when the vice-president came to our market. This is the first time in my life that I have seen the vice president, and any doubt I had about the trader-moni scheme has been dashed. “In fact as I speak to you, I registered after the vice president left so this is a very good development and I think for some businesses like mine, the government should increase the money for us because we would be able to pay back.”

ACCA Honours Members The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) recently held its first member advocacy awards in Nigeria. The Head of ACCA Nigeria, Tom Isibor, explained that the event which was launched globally in 2017, was designed to recognise members for exceptionally promoting the brand in various segments within Nigeria. It explained that the national award which took place in Lagos, preceded its Africa regional heat where one of the six Global Advocates of the year emerges. Furthermore, the ACCA stated that the next Global Advocate of the Year Ceremony had been scheduled for 2019 in the United Kingdom.

“Nigeria’s flag will be flown internationally this year by Oluseyi Ahmed Oshibolu as he emerged overall ‘Advocate of the Year’ following a 2-part process of nominations by ACCA members across Nigeria,” a statement from the professional body explained. It revealed that the EY Associate Director also clinched awards for being the best advocate in both student and employer environments as well as the most inspiring ACCA story in Lagos and the western Nigeria region. Other winners at the event included Dr. Zauro Nurudeen, who emerged as the Best Advocate in Student & Employer Environment as well as most Inspiring

ACCA Story for Northern Nigeria; Ms. Sowunmi Esther Oluyemisi, Best Advocate in Student Environment, SouthSouth & Eastern Nigeria; Mr. Olawale Johnson Olaogun, Best Advocate in Employer Environment, South-South & Eastern Nigeria and Ms. Ani Chioma, Most Inspiring ACCA Story, South-South & Eastern Nigeria According to Business Development Manager, Key Accounts, Nigeria, Evelyn Isioye, “it is our hope that through this event, other ACCA members and members of the future in Nigeria are inspired to keep advocating for all that ACCA stands for, especially the development of the accountancy profession.”

EY Sensitises Stakeholders on New Transfer Pricing Regulations Hamid Ayodeji Ernst & Young Nigeria (EY) is taking up the challenge to sensitise industry stakeholders, clients and non-clients on the new transfer pricing regulations and the key changes brought about by the policy. The move was on the back of the recently released income tax (Transfer Pricing) regulations, 2018 by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The new regulations were the first to be made to the Transfer Pricing regulations since its

introduction in August 2012. The new Regulations replaced the Income Tax (Transfer Pricing) Regulations, 2012 (old Regulations) and shall apply to financial years beginning after 12 March 2018. Speaking on the primary objective, EY Head of Tax Services, Akinbiyi Abudu, noted that the knowledge sharing session is aimed at addressing all the enquiries pertaining to the 2018 Transfer Pricing regulations and the implications for taxpayers. The session would hold in

Lagos next Wednesday. According to Abudu, the introduction of the new regulations represents a significant step taken by the FIRS towards ensuring increased compliance and implementation of the arm’s length principle in a manner consistent with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development TP Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations and the United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, both updated in 2017.

R-L: MD/CEO, Bank of Industry, Mr. Kayode Pitan and Mr. Gao Ning of The Export-Import Bank of China, after both institutions signed an MoU for a $500 million credit line to support the establishment of modular refineries and Flare Gas Recovery Programme in Nigeria, during a meeting held in China… recently

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA) 2018

Month

MARCH

Broad Money (M2)

24,303,049.86

-- Narrow Money (M1)

10,912,604.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,668,378.21

---- Demand Deposits

9,244,225.90

-- Quasi Money

13,390,445.76

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

15,619,134.18

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

8,683,915.68

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

26,267,136.53

---- Credit to Government (Net)

3,823,345.45

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

5,433,209.43

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

-1,609,863.98

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

22,443,791.08

--Other Assets Net

-17,583,220.85

Reserve Money (Base Money)

6,746,646.49

--Currency in Circulation

1,668,378.21

--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 • Source - CBN

MANAGED FUNDS Month Inter-Bank Call Rate

MARCH 15.16

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

11.84

Savings Deposit Rate

4.07

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.82

3 Months Deposit Rate

9.72

6 Months Deposit Rate

10.93

12 Months Deposit Rate

10.21

Prime Lending rate

17.35

Maximum Lending Rate

31.55 • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT, MON, 10, SEPTEMBER , 2018 The price of OPEC basket of fifteen crudes stood at $75.20 a barrel on Monday, compared with $74.17 the previous Friday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


39

T H I S D AY •WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

MARKET NEWS

Stock Market Dips Further on Continuing Profit Taking in Bellwethers Goddy Egene The stock market fell further yesterday following losses by bellwether counters. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) that hit a-15 month low on Monday, went down further by another 0.48 per cent to close lower at 33,449.17,

while market capitalisation shed N59.3 billion to close at N12.2 trillion. However, the decline in the index resulted majorly from losses suffered by bellwether tickers such as Zenith Bank, GTBank, UBA, and Nigerian Breweries Plc among others. Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said:

“Profit taking activities on some heavyweight counters dictated market direction today, maintaining its downward trend. Although consumer goods heavyweight, Nestle Nigeria Plc gained significantly today, selling pressure still prevailed. We maintain our stance of a negative close to the market at the end of the trading week.” Dangote Sugar Refinery

Plc led the price losers and NAHCO Plc with 10 apiece. Universal Insurance Plc and Sunu Assurance Plc trailed with 9.0 per cent each. Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc went down by 8.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively. Other top price losers included: Niger Insurance

Plc (7.6 per cent); Cornerstone Insurance Plc (7.4 per cent); UAC of Nigeria Plc (7.2 per cent); United Capital Plc (7.1 per cent); Standard Insurance Plc (6.9 per cent); GTBank (5.8 per cent) and Skye Bank Plc (5.0 per cent). In all, 30 stocks shed value, while only 14 stocks appreciated. Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc led the gainers

P R I C E S F O R S E C U R I T I E S T R A D E D A S AT

with 10 per cent, followed by Nestle Nigeria Plc with 9.5 per cent. Regency Alliance Insurance Plc chalked up 9.5 per cent, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc garnered 9.0 per cent. Learn Africa Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, WAPIC Insurance Plc went up by 8.9 per cent, 7.0 per cent and 5.1 per cent in that order.

05/09/2018

Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR PREMIUM BOARD SECURITIES FINANCIAL SERVICES

S/N 1 2 3 BANKING S/N 4 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIAL GOODS S/N 5 6 BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRIAL GOODS OIL AND GAS S/N 7 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION OIL AND GAS PREMIUM BOARD TOTALS Price List (Equities) PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES AGRICULTURE S/N 8 9 10 CROP PRODUCTION S/N 11 FISHING/HUNTING/TRAPPING S/N 12 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES AGRICULTURE CONGLOMERATES S/N 13 14 15 16 17 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES CONGLOMERATES CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE S/N 18 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION S/N 19 20 INFRASTRUCTURE/HEAVY CONSTRUCTION S/N 21 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT S/N 22 23 24 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE CONSUMER GOODS S/N 25 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS S/N 26 27 28 29

BANKING ACCESS BANK PLC. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC

MARKET CAP(Nm) 266,137.34

TRADES

VOLUME

30 BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS S/N

9.20

-1.60

122

2,817,513

273,595.37

8.00

-0.62

218

22,483,737

673,454.79

21.45

-2.05

200

2,379,421

31

540

27,680,671

32

TRADES

VOLUME

33

186

5,847,203

34

186

5,847,203

726

33,527,874

TRADES

VOLUME

21 32 53 53

91,077 286,657 377,734 377,734

TRADES

VOLUME

39

60

431,977

40 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED

60

431,977

60 839

431,977 34,337,585

MARKET CAP(Nm) 323,057.64

MARKET CAP(Nm) DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 3,800,033.15 LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. 199,922.52

BUILDING MATERIALS

EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD

PRICE %CHANGE

MARKET CAP(Nm) 354,832.07

PRICE %CHANGE 9.00

-1.64

35 36

PRICE %CHANGE 223.00 23.05

-3.04 -1.91

PRICE %CHANGE 603.00

-7.23

37 38 FOOD PRODUCTS S/N

S/N 41 42 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES S/N

MARKET CAP(Nm) 440.00

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

MARKET CAP(Nm) 511.20

LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC.

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

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARBICO PLC. INFRASTRUCTURE/ HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. ROADS NIG PLC. REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST

43 PRICE %CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

0.20

-

2

6,110

76,217.41

79.90

-

24

87,984

60,050.00

60.05

-

8 34

2,588 96,682

TRADES

MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,890.00

MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,058.92

PRICE %CHANGE 4.26

-

PRICE %CHANGE 0.63

-

PRICE %CHANGE

44 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS CONSUMER GOODS FINANCIAL SERVICES

73,100 169,782

TRADES

VOLUME 100 1,877 0

51,216.47

1.26

4.13

100

9,917,715

55

32,270.52

11.20

-

42 145 145

319,133 10,238,825 10,238,825

56

TRADES

VOLUME

59

0 0

0 0

60

TRADES

VOLUME

61

12

22,215

-

165.00

6.60

-

MARKET CAP(Nm) 4,079.48

S/N

57 58

25.00

PRICE %CHANGE 1.57

-

62 63

0

0

12

22,215

64

TRADES

VOLUME

65

1

1,890

66

1

1,890

67

TRADES

VOLUME

MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,900.00

95.00

-

4

1,050

11,300.89

45.20

-

0

0

70

24,014.43

9.00

-

0

0

71 72

AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC

MARKET CAP(Nm) 954.53

BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. GUINNESS NIG PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm) 14,093.09

PRICE %CHANGE

4

1,050 25,155

TRADES

VOLUME

74

-

1 1

20,000 20,000

75

PRICE %CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

76 77

73 0.20

1.80

-

4

20,293

242.22

0.89

-

0

0

197,134.45

90.00

-

36

119,388

283,663.44

68 69

17 PRICE %CHANGE

33.00

3.13

-3.64

74

378,230

1.59

-

16

146,747

1,340.10

0.36

-

0

0

1,158.30

6.50

-

0

0

52,988.77

20.00

-

18

159,510

3,676.41

13.45

-

MARKET CAP(Nm) 1,680.31 3,377.28

MARKET PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS CAP(Nm) P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA 52,211.77 PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA 287,250.27 PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm) 29,182.09

73,100

2 0

33,000.00

21.20

12,609.01

VOLUME

1

PRICE %CHANGE

86,928.05

7

-

MARKET CAP(Nm)

559,612

TRADES

-

-

249,781

39

46

7

15

1,532,579

78 79

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

VOLUME

-

0 0

41

TRADES

15.10

0 0

49 50 51 52 53 54 BANKING

725,981 2,398,241

181,200.00

DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK TRANSNA358,733.73 TIONAL INCORPORATED FIDELITY BANK PLC 49,836.65 GUARANTY TRUST 1,078,652.72 BANK PLC. JAIZ BANK PLC 15,616.05 SKYE BANK PLC 7,217.76 STERLING BANK PLC. 41,746.11 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 170,356.40 UNITY BANK PLC 8,650.11 WEMA BANK PLC. 24,301.91

48

PRICE %CHANGE

81 136

43

45 47

0.54

-

FOOD PRODUCTSMARKET -DIVERSIFIED CAP(Nm) CADBURY NIGERIA 18,875.93 PLC. NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,188,984.38 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. VITAFOAM NIG PLC.

93.50

7.95

VOLUME

0.58 3.25

4.79

MARKET CAP(Nm) 39,750.00

BANKING

0.40

PRICE %CHANGE

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

747,710.34

S/N

225.71 2,111.93

MARKET CAP(Nm) 711.32

NIGERIAN BREW. PLC.

MARKET CAP(Nm) 4,117.00

PRICE %CHANGE

1

5

191

1,493,885

TRADES

VOLUME

10.05

-

23

70,065

1,500.00

-

26 49

5,187 75,252

PRICE %CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

22.10

-

1

42,800

3.24

-

6 7

14,665 57,465

PRICE %CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

13.15

-2.59

29

151,663

50.00

-

26

253,325

PRICE %CHANGE

55

404,988

439

4,449,831

TRADES

VOLUME

1.26

0.80

33

1,912,484

19.55

-2.25

32

764,617

1.72

1.18

83

9,484,791

36.65

-1.08

148

7,284,621

0.53 0.52 1.45 5.85 0.74 0.63

8.16 -5.45 5.84 5.00

76 112 61 37 15 29 626

13,332,165 18,503,956 6,625,076 251,087 345,662 881,762 59,386,221

PRICE %CHANGE

TRADES

VOLUME

0.20

-

0

0

6,237.18

0.90

-9.09

132

15,234,108

24,150.00

2.30

-

4

850

2,660.00

0.38

8.57

7

629,580

15,559.12

1.50

-

4

417,533

3,682.38

0.25

4.17

6

112,886

2,411.47

0.53

-

0

0

1,913.74

0.50

-

0

0

1,964.80

0.32

-

1

358

487.95

0.38

-

0

0

2,270.26

0.31

3.23

17

1,164,865

2,835.58

0.66

-9.59

5

696,000

5,440.00

0.68

-

2

20,050

2,160.00

0.27

-10.00

40

5,846,200

17,425.66

3.30

-0.30

58

5,132,136

3,095.79

0.40

-9.09

19

1,173,000

1,832.36

0.48

-

0

0

1,533.81

0.23

4.55

10

670,001

1,918.39

0.23

-8.00

12

3,139,824

4,518.86

0.35

-

2

550

4,483.72

0.48

-

0

0

2,800.00

0.20

-

2

36,072

516.46

0.20

-

0

0

5,280.00

0.33

-8.33

1

1,000,000

3,882.67

0.28

3.70

2

158,300


ËœÍšÍşËœͺ͸͚͜ËžT H I S D AY

40

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 THISDAY Afrinvest 40 Declines by 1.7%

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

Yesterday, Tuesday 11th September, the Thisday Afrinvest 40 index shed 1.7% to 1,331.19 points while YTD loss stood at –

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

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Ć?ĆľĆ?ƚĂĹ?ŜĞĚĆ‰ĆŒĹ?Ä?ÄžÄšÄžĆ‰ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ?Ä‚Ć&#x;ŽŜĹ?ĹśGUARANTY (-5.8%), ZENITH (2.9%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-Ď°Í˜ĎľĐšÍż Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?ĹšÄ?ƾžƾůĂĆ&#x;ǀĞůLJ Ä‚Ä?Ä?ŽƾŜƚÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĎŻĎ´Í˜ĎŻĐšŽĨƚŚĞĹ?ĹśÄšÄžÇ†Í˜

>Ĺ˝Ć?Ć?ÄžĆ? džƚĞŜĚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ &Ĺ?ĹŒĹš ŽŜĆ?ÄžÄ?ĆľĆ&#x;ǀĞ ^ÄžĆ?Ć?Ĺ?ŽŜ͙ ASI down 48bps Today, sell-ŽčĆ?Ĺ?ĹśGUARANTY (-5.7%), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.9%) and DANGSUGAR (-10.0%) neutralized late bargain

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40

ZENITH (N236.0m).

Banking Index Leads Bearish Sector Performance WÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž Ä‚Ä?ĆŒĹ˝Ć?Ć? Ć?ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? ĆľĹśÄšÄžĆŒ Ĺ˝ĆľĆŒ Ä?Ĺ˝Ç€ÄžĆŒÄ‚Ĺ?Äž Ç Ä‚Ć? ĹŻÄ‚ĆŒĹ?ĞůLJ

-13.7%

33.1%

19.7%

6.6%

5.9x

0.8x

6.3%

19.8%

-20.2%

-19.9%

35.8%

5.4%

5.0x

2.0x

8.1%

20.1%

2

Zenith Bank PLC

19.90

-2.9%

11.7%

-22.4%

-23.3%

25.6%

3.6%

3.4x

0.9x

13.4%

29.5%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

88.00

-4.9%

6.8%

-34.8%

-34.8%

15.9%

25.3x

4.1x

4.5%

4.0%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

1,485.00

9.6%

8.9%

-4.6%

-4.6%

92.0%

23.0%

30.5x

26.4x

3.1%

3.3%

5

Dangote Cement PLC

223.00

0.0%

7.0%

-3.0%

-3.0%

21.7%

9.9%

22.8x

5.3x

4.7%

4.4%

6

FBN Holdings Plc

8.80

-2.8%

6.4%

0.0%

0.1%

7.4%

0.9%

5.8x

0.5x

2.8%

17.3%

5.8%), ZENITH (-2.9%) and UBA (-4.5%) dragged the index by

Access Bank PLC

9.00

1.1%

4.5%

-13.9%

-15.1%

13.3%

1.6%

4.1x

0.6x

7.9%

24.2%

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

7.45

-4.5%

3.7%

-27.7%

-28.4%

16.2%

1.9%

3.3x

0.6x

10.9%

30.1%

19.50

0.0%

4.4%

14.7%

19.9%

12.2%

1.0%

6.3x

0.8x

603.00

0.0%

3.4%

-3.7%

-3.7%

25.0%

14.6%

2.8x

0.6x

3.0%

36.0%

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

45.00

0.0%

3.7%

8.4%

10.0%

35.4%

4.9%

7.0x

2.2x

2.4%

14.3%

12

Unilever Nigeria PLC

46.80

0.0%

3.4%

14.1%

16.4%

20.4%

8.7%

25.9x

3.4x

1.1%

3.9%

13

Guinness Nigeria PLC

88.00

0.0%

2.5%

-6.4%

-6.4%

10.3%

4.5%

26.2x

2.2x

2.1%

3.8%

Lafarge Africa PLC

23.00

0.0%

1.0%

-48.8%

-48.8%

-54.0%

-10.1%

1.4x

6.8%

-39.1%

Ecobank Transnational Inc

6.6%

15

Fidelity Bank PLC

1.67

-1.8%

1.0%

-32.1%

-35.3%

10.4%

1.4%

1.3x

0.3x

16

Oando PLC

5.05

-3.8%

1.3%

-15.7%

-15.7%

10.3%

1.5%

4.4x

0.3x

4.7%), KZEZ^dKE(-7.4%), FORTE (-5.0%) and ETERNA (ĎŻÍ˜ĎŽĐšÍż Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄž Ć?ĆľĆ?ƚĂĹ?ŜĞĚ Ć‰ĆŒĹ˝ÄŽĆš ƚĂŏĹ?ĹśĹ? Ĺ?Ĺś hd/y dragged the

14.40

-10.0%

1.0%

-28.0%

-29.3%

41.5%

18.1%

4.9x

1.7x

8.7%

20.5%

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

79.90

0.0%

1.5%

18.0%

18.0%

35.8%

26.6%

8.6x

2.8x

4.0%

11.6%

19

International Brew eries PLC

32.00

0.0%

0.5%

-41.3%

-41.8%

24.6%

7.4%

33.5x

7.6x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

21.50

-2.3%

0.6%

-25.9%

-25.9%

9.8%

2.9%

5.3x

0.6x

4.8%

18.9% 16.5%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

1.18

-0.8%

0.5%

-19.2%

-20.3%

12.9%

2.8%

6.1x

0.7x

1.7%

UAC of Nigeria PLC

10.20

-7.3%

0.4%

-39.6%

-39.6%

1.4%

0.6%

18.2x

0.4x

6.4%

23

Diamond Bank PLC

1.35

1.5%

0.5%

-10.0%

-14.0%

-7.2%

-0.9%

-17.5%

-17.5%

33.1%

6.9%

7.1x

2.2x

9.1%

8.9%

6.7%

1.0%

2.8x

0.2x

5.8%

35.3%

-7.5%

40.2%

16.0%

6.2x

2.2x

4.6%

16.2%

24

Total Nigeria PLC

25

FCMB Group Plc

26

11 PLC

27 28 29

0.0%

0.5%

-2.8%

0.6%

180.00

0.0%

0.5%

Forte Oil PLC

18.10

-5.0%

0.2%

-58.4%

-56.9%

29.7%

3.0%

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

13.50

0.0%

0.3%

-34.5%

-36.2%

10.7%

5.0%

12.8x

1.3x

1.1%

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

10.05

0.0%

0.3%

-35.9%

-35.6%

5.9%

2.2%

29.8x

1.7x

1.6%

3.4%

Presco PLC

60.05

0.0%

0.4%

-12.3%

-12.3%

3.3%

39.7%

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

20.00

0.0%

0.4%

8.1%

4.1%

5.4x

7.9%

10.5%

32

UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr

9.00

0.0%

0.3%

-10.0%

-10.0%

0.8x

7.8%

33

Ä‚Ć? Ď­Ď° Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? ĂĚǀĂŜÄ?ĞĚ Ä‚Ĺ?Ä‚Ĺ?ĹśĆ?Ćš ĎŽĎľ Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? ƚŚĂƚ ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ĹśÄžÄšÍ˜ dŚĞ Ä?ÄžĆ?Ćš Ć‰ÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľĹ?ĹśĹ? Ć?ƚŽÄ?ĹŹĆ? Ç ÄžĆŒÄž LAWUNION (+10.0%), NESTLE (+9.6%) and REGALINS (+9.5%) while DANGSUGAR (-10.0%), E,K (-10.0%) and UNIVINSURE (-9.1%) were the worst performers. TodayÍ›s session saw higher sell pressures on major bellwethers although investors bidded to buy the dip ĆšĹ˝Ç Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ? ƚŚĞ Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Äž ŽĨ ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš ĆšĹ˝ÄšÄ‚Ç‡Í˜ EŽŜĞƚŚĞůĞĆ?Ć?Í• Ä?ÄžÄ‚ĆŒĹ?Ć?Ĺš Ć?ĞŜĆ&#x;žĞŜƚĆ? ĆŒÄžĹľÄ‚Ĺ?ĹśÍ˜ Ĺ?Ä‚Ĺ?ĹśĆ?Ćš ƚŚĹ?Ć? Ä?Ä‚Ä?ĹŹÄšĆŒĹ˝Ć‰Í• Ç Äž žĂĹ?ŜƚĂĹ?Ĺś

a near-ĆšÄžĆŒĹľŜĞĹ?Ä‚Ć&#x;ǀĞŽƾƚůŽŽŏÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒƚŚĞĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš

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

-7.5%

1.4x

2.5x 62.4%

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC

5.30

0.0%

0.3%

-32.1%

-29.4%

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

25.00

0.0%

0.3%

-10.7%

-10.7%

17.3%

20.6%

9.5x

8.4x

0.5x

1.8%

6.9x

1.1x

3.8x

35

Sterling Bank PLC

1.45

0.0%

0.4%

34.3%

28.3%

11.0%

1.1%

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

8.40

7.0%

0.2%

-30.9%

-30.9%

0.0%

0.0%

14.1%

-14.5% 7.8%

11.9% 4.3%

14.4% 26.5%

0.4x

1.4%

1.1x

2.4%

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

14.30

0.0%

0.2%

-33.8%

-33.8%

6.5%

3.6%

20.6x

2.0x

52.4%

4.9%

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

28.35

0.0%

0.2%

-16.6%

-20.6%

66.2%

30.2%

13.2x

8.9x

7.1%

7.5%

Beta Glass PLC

78.00

0.0%

0.2%

52.0%

52.0%

17.7%

11.5%

9.5x

1.6x

1.4%

10.6%

6.75

0.0%

0.1%

-6.4%

-6.4%

6.0%

3.3%

15.4x

0.9x

1.8%

6.5%

39

Transcorp Hotels Plc

T o p 10 T ra de s by V o lum e

T o p 10 G a ine rs

Ć‰ĆŒĹ?Ä?Äž ÄšÄžĆ‰ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ?Ä‚Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ? Ĺ?Ĺś NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-4.9%) and

ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ŜĞĆŒÄ‚Ć&#x;ŽͿÇ ÄžÄ‚ĹŹÄžĹśÄžÄšƚŽĎŹÍ˜ĎąÇ†Ä¨ĆŒĹ˝ĹľĎŹÍ˜Ď˛Ç† ĆŒÄžÄ?Ĺ˝ĆŒÄšÄžÄšLJĞĆ?ĆšÄžĆŒÄšÄ‚Ç‡

5.5% -64.1%

1.72

LA WUN ION

/ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ?ĞŜĆ&#x;žĞŜƚÄ‚Ć?žĞĂĆ?ĆľĆŒÄžÄšÄ?LJĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆšÄ?ĆŒÄžÄ‚ÄšĆšĹš͞ĂĚǀĂŜÄ?Ğ͏

0.1x

189.70

T ic k er

/ŜǀĞĆ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒ^ĞŜĆ&#x;žĞŜƚtĞĂŏĞŜĆ?&ĆľĆŒĆšĹšÄžĆŒ

3.0%

22

on NESTLE (+10.0%) and DANGFLOUR ÍžĐ˝ĎłÍ˜ĎłĐšÍż Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?Ĺš ŽčĆ?Ğƚ

DANGSUGAR (-10.0%).

76.2% 22.5%

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

/ŜĚƾĆ?ĆšĆŒĹ?Ä‚ĹŻ'ŽŽĚĆ?Ĺ?ŜĚĞdžĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹ?Ĺ?ŜĂůůLJÄ?LJĎ­Ä?Ć‰Í˜KĹśƚŚĞŇĹ?ƉĆ?Ĺ?ĚĞ͕ƚŚĞ 40 ŽŜĆ?ĆľĹľÄžĆŒ'ŽŽĚĆ?/ŜĚĞdžĆŒÄ‚ĹŻĹŻĹ?ĞĚÄ?LJĎ­Í˜Ď˛ĐšÄ¨Ĺ˝ĹŻĹŻĹ˝Ç Ĺ?ĹśĹ?Ä?ƾLJĹ?ĹśĆšÄžĆŒÄžĆ?Ćš

15.8%

18

ĎŻÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍ˜^Ĺ?ĹľĹ?ĹŻÄ‚ĆŒĹŻÇ‡Í•ƚŚĞ/ĹśĆ?ĆľĆŒÄ‚ĹśÄ?ÄžĂŜĚKĹ?ĹŻΘ'Ä‚Ć?Ĺ?ŜĚĹ?Ä?ÄžĆ?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?ĆšĎŹÍ˜ĎľĐš 34 ĂŜĚĎŹÍ˜Ď´ĐšĆŒÄžĆ?ƉĞÄ?Ć&#x;ǀĞůLJŽŜƚŚĞÄ?Ä‚Ä?ĹŹŽĨĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć?ÄžĆ?Ĺ?ĹśKEd/E^hZ(-

12.4%

7

Ä?ÄžÄ‚ĆŒĹ?Ć?Ĺš Ä‚Ć? Ď° ŽĨ Ďą Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?ĞĚ Ć?Ĺ˝ĆľĆšĹšÇ Ä‚ĆŒÄšĆ?͘ dŚĞ ĂŜŏĹ?ĹśĹ? Ĺ?ŜĚĞdž 30 ĚĞÄ?ĹŻĹ?ŜĞĚ ƚŚĞ žŽĆ?Ćš Ä‚Ć? Ä?ŽŜĆ&#x;ŜƾŽƾĆ? Ć?ĞůůŽčĆ? Ĺ?Ĺś GUARANTY (-

Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield

-5.8%

Ć?ĆšĆŒÄžĹśĹ?ƚŚĞŜĞĚÄ‚Ć?ǀŽůƾžĞĂŜĚǀĂůƾĞĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšÄžÄšĂĚǀĂŜÄ?ĞĚĎľÍ˜ĎąĐšĂŜĚ 17

by value were GUARANTY (N562.8m), NESTLE (N250.7m) and

P/BV

-1.65%

Ĺ?ĹśÄ?ĆŒÄžÄ‚Ć?ĞĚ ƚŽ -Ď­ĎŽÍ˜ĎąĐš Ç ĹšĹ?ĹŻÄž EĎąĎľÍ˜ĎŻÄ?Ĺś Ç Ä‚Ć? Ç Ĺ?ƉĞĚ Žč ĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹÄžĆš 14

(15.6m units) and DIAMOND (13.8m units) while top traded

P/E

32.50

ĎŹÍ˜ĎąĐš ĹŻĹ˝Ç ÄžĆŒ Ä¨Ĺ˝ĆŒ ƚŚĞ ÄŽĹŒĹš Ä?ŽŜĆ?ÄžÄ?ĆľĆ&#x;ǀĞ ĆšĆŒÄ‚ÄšĹ?ĹśĹ? Ć?ÄžĆ?Ć?Ĺ?Ĺ˝ĹśÍ˜ dŚĞ ĹŻĹŻ 11

traded by volume were GUARANTY (17.5m units), UBA

ROA

1,331.19

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

Ď­ĎłÍ˜ĎłĐš ƚŽ Ď­ĎąĎŹÍ˜ĎłĹľ ƾŜĹ?ĆšĆ? ĂŜĚ EĎ­Í˜Ď˛Ä?Ĺś ĆŒÄžĆ?ƉĞÄ?Ć&#x;Ç€ÄžĹŻÇ‡Í˜ dŚĞ ƚŽƉ

ROE

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

9

Ä?ĂƉĹ?ƚĂůĹ?njĂĆ&#x;ŽŜ Ç ĹšĹ?Ä?Ĺš ĨĞůů ƚŽ EĎ­ĎŽÍ˜ĎŽĆšĹśÍ˜ Ä?Ć&#x;Ç€Ĺ?ƚLJ ůĞǀĞů ĹšĹ˝Ç ÄžÇ€ÄžĆŒ

Price Price Previous Current Change Change Price Weightin YTD Index to Change g Date

1

ŚƾŜĆ&#x;ĹśĹ? Ĺ?Ĺś NESTLE ÍžĐ˝Ď­ĎŹÍ˜ĎŹĐšÍż ƚŽ ÄšĆŒÄ‚Ĺ? ƚŚĞ Ä?ĞŜÄ?ĹšĹľÄ‚ĆŒĹŹ Ĺ?ŜĚĞdž 10 ^ĹšÄ‚ĆŒÄž /ŜĚĞdž Íž^/Íż Ć?ĞƊůĞĚ Ä‚Ćš ĎŻĎŻÍ•Ď°Ď°ĎľÍ˜Ď­Ďł ƉŽĹ?ŜƚĆ?Í• zd ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ć?

Current Price

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

0.55

10.0%

1485.00

9.6%

R EGA LIN S

0.23

9.5%

N EIM ET H

0.72

Vo lum e

P ric e C hg %

GUA R A N T Y

17.5

-5.8%

UB A

15.6

-4.5%

D IA M ON D B N K

13.8

1.5%

9.1%

A C C ESS

11.9

1.1%

1.10

8.9%

Z EN IT H B A N K

11.7

-2.9%

D A N GF LOUR

8.40

7.0%

F ID ELIT YB K

8.1

-1.8%

WA P IC

0.41

5.1%

FB NH

7.3

-2.8%

WEM A B A N K

0.57

3.6%

ST ER LN B A N K

6.1

0.0%

UN ION D A C

0.30

3.4%

T R A N SC OR P

6.0

-0.8%

A IIC O

0.90

3.4%

J A P A ULOIL

4.9

-8.3%

T ic k er

Value

P ric e C hg %

GUA R A N T Y

562.8

-5.8%

N EST LE

250.7

9.6%

Z EN IT H B A N K

236.0

-2.9%

UB A

117.4

-4.5%

A C C ESS

103.3

1.1%

FB NH

64.9

-2.8%

N EST LE

LEA R N A F R C A

T o p 10 Lo s e rs T ic k er

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

NA HCO

3.60

-10.0%

D A N GSUGA R

14.40

-10.0%

UN IVIN SUR E

0.30

-9.1%

J A P A ULOIL

0.22

-8.3%

H M A R KIN S

0.35

-7.9%

N IGER IN S

0.36

-7.7%

T ic k er

T o p 10 T ra de s by V a lue

C OR N ER ST

0.25

-7.4%

NB

29.1

-4.9%

UA C N

10.20

-7.3%

D A N GC EM

27.8

0.0%

UC A P

2.74

-7.1%

D IA M ON D B N K

18.6

1.5%

ST D IN SUR E

0.27

-6.9%

ST A N B IC

13.9

0.0%

Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | aebo@afrinvest.com

Robert Omotunde | romotunde@afrinvest.com

Bolaji Fajenyo | bfajenyo@afrinvest.com

Eronmosele Aziba | eaziba@afrinvest.com


41

T H I S D AY ËžËœÍšÍşËœͺ͸͚͜

MARKET NEWS

E-Tranzact International Reclassified to Low Priced Stock Goddy Egene

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has reclassified E-Tranzact International Plc from a medium priced stock (MPS) to a low priced stock (LPS) further to Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of The Exchange, 2015. LPS are securities that have traded below N5 per share in four out of the last six months period. According to the NSE, ETranzact dropped below the N5 mark on 15 February 2018

and traded below N5 up till close of business on 31 August 2018. “Thus ETranzact has traded below N5 over the last 6 months and therefore will be reclassified from Medium Priced Stock to low priced stock effective September 12, 2018,� the exchange said in a statement. For upward or downward movements in price to occur on any LPS that is priced at below N5 and listed on the NSE, stockbrokers are required

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

to trade a minimum volume of 100,000 units of shares or above. The management of E-Tranzact in May effected changes which led to the exit of Mr.Valentine Obi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other top executives. The changes came following fraud carried out by some merchants on the company’s platform. Although the company said the former CEO was not directly involved in the fraud, himself and other some management

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 1009-2018, unless otherwise stated.

staff had to resign because the fraud was committed under their watch. Mr. Niyi Toluwalope was then appointed as acting CEO of the company. According to the company, a particular merchant who had access to e-Tranzact payment platform, was involved in the fraud and was able to move customers’ money to different accounts, without the money reflecting in the bank’s payment system. Apart from Obi, other other

executive positions affected by the management changes were: Executive Directors -Mr. Sullivan Akala and Mr. Ike Eze; Chief Technology Officer - Mr. Richard Omoniyi and Head of Operations - Mr. Kehinde Segun. “eTranzact is aware of recent reports about these management changes and wishes to announce that the changes are strictly eTranzact Board’s decision, and would like to advise all its stakeholders that it is working closely with the

regulators, and all other relevant stakeholders to resolve any issue related to or arising from the management changes. In addition, we want to categorically state that there was no fraud in eTranzact International Plc, however, a merchant used the company’s interface with a bank to perpetrate fraud. The eTranzact executives resigned honorably because they have the responsibility for governance in the company,� the company had explained.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 162.59 163.22 -8.52% Nigeria International Debt Fund 265.10 265.80 14.58% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.82 0.83 0.11% ACAP Income Funds 0.63 0.63 5.11% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.30% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA Mansard Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.59% Paramount Equity Fund 11.68 11.98 5.34% Women's Investment Fund 101.78 104.39 1.14% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.19% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 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 EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED mutualfundng@ecobank.com Web: www.ecobank.com Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 10.85% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 11.81% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,184.91 1,185.67 9.51% FBN Heritage Fund 139.75 140.69 -1.25% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.89% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $114.22 $114.60 3.62% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $113.85 $114.23 3.39% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 156.60 158.83 -1.86% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD fcamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.23 1.25 -4.90% Legacy Debt Fund 3.14 3.14 8.75% Legacy USD Bond Fund N/A N/A N/A FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,016.21 3,045.60 1.02% Coral Income Fund 2,701.63 2,701.63 10.37% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.01% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 102.84 104.50 3.21% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.75% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.11 2.13 0.17% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 14.19%

Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 121.49 121.76 5.58% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD ďŹ ncon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.19 1.21 3.56% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,081.29 1,081.29 9.54% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 11.61 11.71 -10.56% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.60% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.31 1.33 10.26% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.82 11.87 7.02% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 12.00% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund N/A N/A N/A SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.64 1.64 10.46% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,266.10 2,281.49 3.17% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 184.21 184.21 5.81% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.95 0.96 -5.45% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 241.02 241.06 11.71% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 165.85 167.73 -7.39% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.60% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 8,595.97 8,698.87 -9.64% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.09 1.09 5.37% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD unitedcapitalplcgroup.com Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.17 1.17 -1.59% United Capital Bond Fund 1.54 1.54 7.66% United Capital Equity Fund 0.72 0.73 -5.07% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.54% United Capital Eurobond Fund 104.92 104.92 4.88% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.07 1.07 2.64% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 11.28 11.46 -8.58% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.38 12.51 -5.54% Zenith Income Fund 20.21 20.21 6.81% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.45%

REITS NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

11.41 138.09 51.52

1.01% 4.25% 1.36%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

11.14 123.36 94.35

11.24 125.98 96.13

-6.05% -13.63% -13.63%

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

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

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

SPECIALIST FUNDS*

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.02 7.64 15.52 16.27 141.66

4.06 7.72 15.62 16.47 143.66

-15.22% -20.04% -11.19% -17.22% 5.41%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

105.44

17.63%

FOR HNI & PROFESSIONAL INVESTORS ONLY

Fund Name Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund

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


  

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WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

FOREIGN/DIPLOMATIC AFFAIRS

Global Hunger Increasing, UN Warns The number of people suffering from hunger has increased during the past three years, after years of decline, a UN report suggests. According to the analysis, 821 million people globally were undernourished in 2017 - about

one person in every nine. And nearly 151 million under-fives - 22% of the global total - have their growth stunted by poor nutrition. The authors say extreme climate events are partly to blame for the rise and call for

urgent global action. The report, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, also says difficulties accessing nutritious food is contributing to the growing problem of obesity in the world, with one in eight adults

- more than 672 million - being classified as obese. The authors note the frequency of extreme climate events - floods, heat, storms and droughts - has doubled since the early 1990s. And they say: “The report

US Marks 9/11 Anniversary at Pennsylvania Memorial US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania yesterday visited a memorial in Pennsylvania to mark the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago. Trump delivered a speech commemorating the airplane passengers who are thought to have charged the cockpit to stop the attackers. Ceremonies are also being held at New York City’s 9/11 Memorial plaza on the World Trade Center site. It was deadliest foreign attack ever on US soil, killing 2,996 people. “America’s future is not written by our enemies. America’s future is written by our heroes,” Mr Trump said in Shanksville on Tuesday. “As long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, brave patriots will rise up in America’s hours of need and they, too, will fight back.” The president spoke at the newly inaugurated Tower of Voices memorial, a 93ft (28m) tall structure with 40 wind chimes. On 11 September 2001, hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Another plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is believed hijackers were planning to aim that aircraft

at the US Congress or White House in Washington DC before it went down, killing all 40 people aboard. Cockpit voice recordings of the hijackers and mobile phone calls from those aboard to loved ones indicate passengers tried to fight their way into the cockpit to regain control before the plotters nosedived the plane. Trump praised the passengers’ “incredible valour” and said their revolt was “the moment America fought back.” “A band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation’s enemies and joined the immortal rank of American heroes,” he said. He is the third sitting president to attend the crash site, 70 miles (110km) southeast of Pittsburgh. Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, was among those who noted this is the first year that Americans born after the attacks will be old enough to enlist in the US military. During remarks at the Pentagon, Vice-President Mike Pence told audience members they “must learn the lessons of 9/11 and remain ever vigilant”. The ceremony in New York was attended by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and

Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as his predecessors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani. Relatives of victims read out the names of the dead, and moments of silence were observed at 08:46 and 09:03 to mark the times when passenger jets struck the two skyscrapers. In the years since the attacks, cancer cases in lower Manhattan - especially among first responders who dug through the toxic rubble - have increased.

The 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund has paid out $4bn (£3.1bn ) to fund medical expenses for survivors of the terror attacks. Nearly 10,000 of them have had some form of cancer, according to the World Trade Center Health Program. Tens of thousands of people inhaled fumes in the days after the attack, and the number of patients coming forward with tumours has increased in recent years, according to the fund.

sends a clear message that climate variability and exposure to more complex, frequent and intense climate extremes are threatening to erode and even reverse the gains made in ending hunger and malnutrition.” Climate extremes have a direct impact on crop yields and food availability but can also reduce: the number of fit and healthy people available to grow and harvest crops the time and money people have to find nutritious and safe food And hunger is significantly worse in countries where agricultural systems are sensitive to variations in rainfall and temperature and where many people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The authors say: “Climate variability and extremes - in addition to conflict and violence in this part of the world - are a key driver

behind the recent rises in global hunger and one of the leading causes of severe food crises.” And they call for coordinated global and local action so countries become more resilient to climate-related disasters. Commenting on the report, Robin Willoughby, from Oxfam, said: “It is shocking that after a prolonged decline, this is the third consecutive year of rising hunger. “The inescapable fact is that climate change is now leaving people around the world without enough to eat. “Hunger is significantly worse in countries hit by severe droughts and flooding. A hotter world is proving to be a hungrier world. “The people behind these stark statistics need urgent help. Our political leaders must redouble efforts to cut the use of fossil fuels and commit funds to help poor countries adapt to climate crises.”

Migrant Crisis: Scores Drown off Libyan Coast More than 100 migrants died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coastline earlier this month, an aid agency says. Two rubber boats set off on 1 September but one of the vessels deflated and sank, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says. The 276 survivors were eventually taken to the Libyan port city of Khoms, around 100 km (62 miles) to the south-east of the capital Tripoli. MSF says the group is now being held in “arbitrary detention”. The survivors, including pregnant women, children and infants, have been treated by MSF for pneumonia or burns from leaked fuel. It appears to be the largest migrant death toll in the Mediterranean in several months. In early June, 112 people reportedly drowned after a boat sank off the Tunisian coast. Later the same month, the UNHCR said that 220 people had died in three separate incidents over the

course of two days. Over 1,500 migrants have died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Many more have been rescued, although Italy, a primary destination for migrants travelling from Libya, has recently started to refuse entry to migrant ships. The numbers of those crossing the Mediterranean has fallen from the peak of over one million in 2015, but the journey is becoming deadlier: while fewer deaths have been reported, more people are dying as a proportion of those who reach Europe. Although these numbers do not include the increasing numbers who are now being returned to Libya, the rise can be explained by the shift from the shorter sea route between Turkey and Greece in 2014-15 to the much longer and more dangerous route between Italy and Libya.

White House staff held a moment of silence for victims of the 911 attacks...yesterday

Russia Launches Biggest War Games Since Cold War Russia has launched its biggest military exercise since the Cold War, involving about 300,000 service personnel, in eastern Siberia. China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in “Vostok-2018”, with many Chinese armoured vehicles and aircraft. Mongolia is also sending some units. The last Russian exercise of similar scale was in 1981, during the Cold War, but Vostok-2018 involves more troops. The week-long manoeuvres come at a time of heightened Nato-Russia tensions. As the exercises began, Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a forum in the eastern city of Vladivostok and told him “we have a trusting relationship in

the sphere of politics, security and defence”. Relations between Russia and Nato - a 29-member defence alliance dominated by the US - have worsened since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the drills were justified given “aggressive and unfriendly” attitudes towards Russia. Yesterday and today will see planning and preparation while actual operations will start tomorrow and last five days, the head of the Russian general staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, was quoted as saying. The Russian defence ministry says 36,000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and armoured infantry vehicles will take part in Vostok-2018, from 11 to 17 September, along

with more than 1,000 aircraft. Vostok is Russian for east. The exercise will be spread across five army training grounds, four airbases and areas in the Sea of Japan, Bering Straits and Sea of Okhotsk. Up to 80 naval vessels will take part, from two Russian fleets. The drills will not be near the disputed Kuril islands north of Japan, Russia says. The ministry’s TV channel Zvezda says three brigades of Russian paratroops will play a key role, during drills at the Tsugol military range, near Russia’s borders with China and Mongolia. A key aim is to practise the rapid deployment of thousands of troops, as well as aircraft and vehicles, from western Russia to eastern regions, across thousands of

miles, TV Zvezda reports. That involves in-flight refuelling of fighter jets. The scale of Vostok-2018 is equivalent to the forces deployed in one of the big World War Two battles. A smaller-scale RussiaBelarus exercise was held last year. President Vladimir Putin has made military modernisation, including new nuclear missiles, a priority. Russia’s armed forces are reckoned to have about one million personnel in total. A Russian senator and reserve colonel, Frants Klintsevich, said “it suited the West that our units and headquarters lacked combat skills and co-ordination, but times have changed; now we have a different attitude to combat readiness”.


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Open Sky Africa will Benefit Nigerian Airlines, Says IATA Nigerian pilots are not disciplined, experts allege Chinedu Eze The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has stated that Nigerian airlines would benefit hugely from the free movement of the region’s carriers from one country to another, popularly referred to as ‘open sky’. This is coming as aviation experts have identified lack of discipline among pilots, degraded runway, poor radar coverage and inadequate number of air traffic controllers as threats to safety in Nigeria’s airspace. IATA yesterday urged Nigerian airlines to take advantage of the treaty, Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) to expand their operations across the continent. Vice President, IATA, for Africa, Mr. Adefunke Adeyemi, gave the advice while speaking at the just-concluded Akwaaba Travel and Tourism Fair in Lagos. Adeyemi noted that SAATM was inaugurated by Heads of States of the African Union (AU) in January to deepen bilateral relations among countries and foster cooperation among the airlines. According to her, Nigerian carriers have right to fly into about 40 African countries and can establish hubs in these countries through negotiations and mutually beneficial air service agreements. Adeyemi noted that no Nigerian carrier was flying to Chad and Niger Republic despite the presence of a viable trade on the routes. She said it was unfortunate that the airlines were not taking advantage of the SAATM the way Ethiopian Airlines had done so far including its entering into

technical partnership with Asky, based in Lome, Togo. Adeyemi said African airlines should form alliances among themselves to improve their operations as well as profits, adding that some of them already belonged to international platforms like Star Alliance. She added that the airlines should also strive to secure the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate which would enable them play on the global stage. Adeyemi however decried the high cost of air fares in Africa which she attributed to excessive aviation charges by African governments and also the notion that air travel was exclusively for the rich. “It is 45 per cent more expensive to fly across Africa than any other region in the world. That is why we are trying to let African governments know that is not an elitist means of transportation,” she said. In a related development, aviation experts have identified lack of discipline among pilots, degraded runway, poor radar coverage and inadequate number of air traffic controllers as threats to safety in Nigeria’s airspace. Speaking yesterday at Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in Lagos, the experts acknowledged significant improvement in the airspace but added that obsolete infrastructure, especially the runways in Enugu and Benin airports and the taxi way at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos needed urgent improvement to avert accidents. NAMA Director of Electronics and Engineering Services, Farouk

Umar, explained that the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON) which enables controllers to see image of aircraft in the radar scope for easy separation has broken down due to lack of spares. This, Umar said, hampers separation of aircraft in the airspace, thus forcing air traffic controllers to resort to the manual system, known as procedural, which is less accurate and causes delays, to separate aircraft flying in the nation’s airspace.

Say Benin, Enugu airports death traps

Umar said all efforts to source spare parts for the replacement of some of the bad equipment from the manufacturer had proved abortive and disclosed that that the situation had been like that since 2014. In his speech, a senior pilot with Arik Air, Captain Chris Najomo, called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to urgently rehabilitate the runways of the Benin and Enugu airports and described them as death traps, adding that

work should also be done on the taxiway to the domestic runway of Lagos airport. Najomo also said the 80 per cent of Nigerian pilots are not disciplined and called Chief Pilots to caution pilots under their command to inculcate discipline and adopt better ways to talk on the radio when communicating with air traffic controllers in order not to confuse the controllers. “The airspace is getting safer and has continued to improve but the Chief Pilots should caution

their pilots because there is a lot of indiscipline among pilots. The way they talk on radio to air traffic controllers can cause confusion because everyone talks without allowing the controller to understand what each person is saying. “I also want to say that the Benin and Enugu airport runways are death traps and that they need to open the taxiway at the Lagos airport which has been closed for some time now,” Najomo added.

HOURS OF PRAISE...

L-R: Committee Member, 24 Hours Power of Praise, Trinity House, Mr. Afolabi Oke; Chairman, Mr. Deji Popoola; Senior Pastor, Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo; and the Church Music Director, Mr. Tosin Alao at a press conference to announce the 24 Hours Power of Praise by Trinity House Church, yesterday in Lagos… PHOTO: SUNDAY ADIGUN

Buhari to Address 73rd UN General Assembly Sept 25 US Links Nigeria’s Poor Social Services to The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said President Muhammadu Buhari, will lead Nigeria’s delegation to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, which begins September 18. The 73rd UNGA will begin on September 18 at the UN Headquarters, New York, while the General Debate will hold from September 25 to October 1. Onyeama, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a news conference on the 73rd UNGA, said Buhari would use the opportunity to assert Nigeria’s position on global issues. “It is an opportunity for him to assert Nigeria’s position globally and to put forward our ideas and our vision going forward as a global community. “The president will address the 73rd Session of the High-Level General Debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 25. “He will deliver Nigeria’s National Statement on the first day of the general debate of the General Assembly high-level events,” he said. President Buhari has been placed as the number 20 on the list of the speakers out of the 193 world leaders that would address the Assembly.

He would deliver the address to the Assembly on the first day between 8p.m. and 9p.m. (between 1a.m. and 2a.m. local time). Onyeama said the theme for this year’s UNGA is: “Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable development.” According to him, as usual the President will be leading Nigeria delegation with the numbers of ministers and heads of agencies and permanent secretary to the event. “Of course, this is the global meeting of heads of state in the world. “It is extremely important and it is a rare opportunity for Nigeria as a country to engage with the other countries of the world,” he said. Onyeama said the 73rd UNGA will avail Nigeria and other member states of the UN the opportunity to engage, interface and share best practices toward reaching common understanding and consensus on key issues of global significance. According to him, President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with the UN Secretary-General, some African and other world leaders, as well as few strategic partners during this period.

Inefficient Energy Sector

Chineme Okafor in Abuja The United States yesterday linked Nigeria’s poor social service delivery system to its continued practice of state-sponsored subsidy for petroleum products in the country and failure to allow its electricity market operate on market-based principles. According to the US, the decision of the country to continue to transfer public funds to keep petrol pump price at lower levels, as well as electricity rates below cost-recovery levels, meant that less funds are available

to fund education, health care and other social sector services. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Mission Director, Stephen Haykin, who represented the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, at a public function in Abuja yesterday, stated that apart from the inefficient energy sector of the country, low tax revenues were also responsible for poor government investments in the social sector. Haykin, spoke at the 10th Anniversary Colloquium of the Financial Nigeria Magazine in

Abuja, alongside a former health minister and currently an adjunct professor of global health at Duke University, Muhammad Pate, who disclosed that about 40 per cent of under-five children in Nigeria were currently experiencing stunted growth. “One proximate cause of poor health, education and nutrition standards is low public expenditures. This in turn is related to very low public revenues due in fact to low tax rates and weak systems for tax collections. “Low social spending is also as a result of transfers

from government to petroleum and power sectors because fuel and electricity tariffs are below cost recovery levels,” Haykin said in his remarks at the colloquium. He noted that conflict across the country could also be responsible for Nigeria’s poor social development, adding that, “fiscal, trade and other micro-economic policies tend to act as breaks on private sector initiatives on economic growth. Weak governance due to inadequate capacities or lacks of checks and balances also slows social and economic development.”

FG Orders Deportation of 36 Indians, Two Koreans The federal government has approved the immediate deportation of 36 Indians and two Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nationals. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mohammed Umar, disclosed this in a statement. Umar said the Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), signed the deportation order in his office in Abuja yesterday. He said it was pursuant to

section 45(2, 3 and 4) of the Nigeria Immigration Act 2015. In a statement, Umar said the Indian nationals gained entry into the country with fake visas and counterfeit immigration stamps, while the Korean nationals failed to regularise their stay upon the expiration of their contract with Zamfara State government. Dambazau gave the names of the affected nationals as: An Chun Sik and Mr Jon Su Gyong of the Democratic People’s

Republic of Korea. “The 36 Indian nationals as: Mr Sajji, Mrs Sajji Arvini, Mr Sunil Babujumma, Mrs Meemi, Mr Papachi, Mr Deva, Mr Rajani, Mrs Kiran Shivachadra, Mr Shivachadra and Mr Shakthi,” the statement read. “Others are : Mr Prabhukumar, Mr Rajan, Mr Shree Kumar, Mr Jagandeesh, Mrs Mamathaja, Mrs Sheela, Mr Prasad, Mr Pappa and Ms Nirveni “Also named are: Mr Shambhu Kumar, Mrs Reshma,

Mr Ravi Kumar, Mr Iraji, Mrs Jinotha, Mr Kishore, Mr Nageena, Mrs Sheelavathi and Mr. Nentaraju/Santhosh Kumar. “Others the India nationals as Mrs Sumati, Mr Krishna Lokesh, Mr Santhil, Mr Vasantha, Mr Seebu, Mr Vishwanath, Mr Vishwanth Ramya and Mr Rajeshwari.” The minister said all foreign nationals should operate within the provisions of the law as the nation would not compromise its immigration laws.


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FG Inaugurates Committee on Herdsmen Killings Bring killer-herdsmen to book, Dickson tells FG Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja The federal government yesterday inaugurated a technical committee on the crisis between pastoralists and farmers to proffer solutions to the unending killings across the country. This is coming as the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has condemned the inaction of the federal government to bring to justice the identified killer- herdsmen in the country The Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Dan Ali (rtd), who inaugurated the panel in Abuja, said “the crisis has assumed a

very disturbing proportion where innocent lives as well as property are being lost almost on a daily basis”. He said, “the ministry of defence under my leadership is very disturbed; hence we deemed it necessary to convene a committee to dispassionately investigate the crisis and give us some fundamental issues surrounding the crisis in order to advise the leadership of our dear countrys on the appropriate steps to take to bring the senseless killings to an end”. Giving the terms of reference, he said “the members of the committee are to determine the remote and immediate causes of

Buhari’s Refusal to Sign Electoral Act Plot to Rig 2019 General Elections, Says Wike Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has alleged that the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act is part of the plot to rig the 2019 elections. In an interview at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike stated that the the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government has planned to write results against the wishes of Nigerians. “Why has the President not signed the electoral Act? What is his fear? What do you mean by mistakes? Oh, my God, what is a mistake? Errors you didn’t see within one month? Errors for the first time; the second time; the third time? Does it not tell Nigerians these people are not prepared for election? “All they are prepared is to write the results and let heaven fall. Most of them who have left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC told me that, ‘My Brother, look I can confidently tell you that these people are not prepared for the election. All they want to do is

write the results, let heaven fall’.” “In my State? It won’t happen. I know they will kill a lot of people. I can tell you, they will kill a lot of us. No problem, if that is the sacrifice we will make,” he said. The governor explained that intelligence at the disposal of the Rivers State Government indicate that the indicted SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Stephen Hasso, featured prominently in the rigging plot of the APC-federal government in the state. He said, “they are planning for Rivers State as I speak. Let me tell you. They are promoting my Commissioner of Police to Assistant Inspector General of Police; they are promoting the Deputy Commissioner of Police who was just made a Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operation) to be Acting Commissioner of Police and the SARS man who took Rivers State Government to Court, who has perpetrated rigging of election even by INEC report, they are going to make him the man in charge of operations just for the purpose of 2019 elections.”

the crisis, determine the triggers as they occur across the country”. “The committee is also to determine the extent of foreign involvement if any, as well as determine the extent of any economic, political and ethnic linkages to the crisis. Reacting to the charge that several committees were set up for the same purpose, the minister said, “It is true that there are so many reports and submissions about these attacks and killings. What we are doing with this committee is to get these various submissions articulated. “It will enable us come up with a durable document and to be able to advise the leadership of our nation on the appropriate steps to take to bring the senseless killings to an end”.

While noting that membership of the committee was still open to people with useful contributions, the minister said the committe would go a long way to achieve its purpose. “Your selection is based on our belief in your integrity, capacity, and experience of the issues at stake”, he said. Chairman of the Committee, Brigadier General Umar Ibrahim, who is also the Coordinator of Peace Support Operations at the ministry of defence, in his response said the assignment which has a three-week duration would be completed, with work starting immediately. Meawhile, Governor, Dickson, has condemned the inaction of the federal government to bring to justice identified the killer-herdsmen in the country. Dickson who spoke with

reporters yesterday after paying a solidarity visit to elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja over the recent invasion of his residence by policemen, said known killer herdsmen that wreak havoc in some parts of the country were yet to be prosecuted by the federal government. He alleged that the suspects were being shielded from prosecution by the federal government. “The criminals are known. Those who are herdsmen and are killing people are known . They are being protected and not prosecuted as the case should be. “Those who hide under politics to commit these crimes are known and protected and not harassed by the authorities.” Dickson added that while criminally-minded people were

being protected by the federal government, indigenes of Bayelsa State were being harassed on daily basis by security operatives. According to him, “homes of our people in Bayelsa are being invaded over frivolous and unsubstantiated allegations of stockpiling arms and hard currency “In some instances, foundation of houses was dug and at the end of the day nothing incriminating was found in those houses because the security agencies never bothered to ascertain the veracity of the allegations.” While condemning the police invasion of Clark’s residence, the governor emphasised that “there was no reason under the sun for the police to associate a 92-year- old with gun running.”

LADOL, OPEN OUR YARD...

Nigerian workers of Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) Limited, protesting at Masha Place Ademola Street Ikoyi, Lagos, after being denied access to the company’s fabrication and integration facility at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL) free zone…recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

2019: Lamido Attacks Al-Makura Confirms Nine Dead, 36 Injured in Lafia Gas Explosion Atiku, Says He’s Not His Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia after visiting the site of the gas Trauma Centre, also died died,” the governor explained. explosion and commiserating bringing a total number to In order to forestall future occurrence of the menace, AlGovernor Umaru Tanko Al- with victims of the inferno eight. Match in Politics “And just about reaching Makura said government has Makura of Nasarawa State at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist A former Governor of Jigawa State and presidential hopeful under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sule Lamido, yesterday carpeted former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, for asking him (Lamido) to step down for him ahead of the presidential primaries. The former vice president had made the call in the PDP secretariat in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital during his visit to the state as part of his tour to rally for support for his aspiration. Atiku while referring to Lamido as his younger brother, related the incident with what happened in 1993 election under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Katsina State when Umaru Musa Yar’Adua stepped down for his elder brother, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. But reacting to Atiku’s statement, Lamido who spoke through his media aide, Adamu Usman, said: “While it is true he is older than me age wise, I’m senior to him politically because I was in the House of Representatives in 1979

when he was an employee of Nigerian Customs Services. And if age is the criterion for standing election, then he should drop out for Buhari. “Despite all odds, Lamido has been patient, loyal, committed and consistent. Even if Lamido did not show interest to contest, PDP should have called Lamido to be the flag bearer and if there is anyone the other aspirants should step down for, it should be Sule Lamido because he has the good and political will, experience and capacity to confront the ruling party, the APC. “If Lamido is to step down, why would he aspire in the first place? Sule Lamido is out to run for the president come 2019 God willing,” Adamu stated. Lamido’s outburst is a pointer to the friction currently playing out between the presidential aspirants and the Board of Trustees of the party over their opposing stand on the issue of consensus candidacy.

yesterday confirmed that only nine persons had died and 36 hospitalised due to various degrees of injuries sustained during the gas explosion that rocked Natson Petroleum Nigeria Limited in Lafia, the state capital on Monday. The governor gave the confirmation in Lafia shortly

Hospital (DASH), Lafia. According to him, “I got the report of the gas explosion yesterday (Monday) and had to rush back to Lafia the same day to see by myself what has happened and before I came, six people had died. “This morning, two out of those taken to the National

this place (site of the gas explosion), I was told the ninth patient died. That is a child that had surgery to be removed from the mother’s womb because the woman was severely burnt and was pregnant and the doctors battled to remove the child, but unfortunately the child

instituted location approval for such volatile business outfits within the vicinity of townships in the state. “Therefore, the location approval of these volatile businesses will be reviewed, especially petroleum and gas who most comply with this,” he added.

We will Still Invest in Nigeria, Says MTN Group’s CEO Emma Okonji in Durban, South Africa The Group Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Mr. Rob Shuter, yesterday at the ongoing ITU Telecom World 2018 conference in Durban, South Africa, restated MTN’s commitment to continue to invest in Nigeria despite the financial challenges that the telecoms company is facing with Nigerian regulators. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), had directed MTN Nigeria to refund

a total of $10.134 billion for funds repatriated out of Nigeria between 2007 and 2015, and unpaid tax arrears for the same period. Shuter, who was reacting to questions raised by some invitees at the Nigerian Investment Forum, who were mostly South Africans, assured the South Africans, that the current challenges faced by MTN in Nigeria would not liquidate the telecoms company, adding that the company was already making arrangements to resolve the challenges

amicably. Shuter said MTN would not be deterred by the directives, but would continue to do business in Nigeria. According to him, “MTN has been in Nigeria since 2001. Nigeria has been a home to MTN since 2001 and MTN is proud of Nigeria, and would continue to do business in the country.” Responding to questions raised at the Forum as to what the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator,

is doing about the issues, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said NCC had meditated in previous issues faced by MTN Nigeria and would also mediate in the current issue concerning the $10.134 billion funds repatriation and unpaid tax arrears. “What MTN is passing through could have ripple effects on the sector, and we must intervene to ensure that the issue is amicably resolved early enough,” Danbatta said.


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Osinbajo: MSMEs Key to Economic Growth Condemns illicit financial flows Alex Enumah and James Emejo in Abuja The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said it was no longer possible to achieve a robust growth trajectory as well as realise the much desired inclusive growth without proper attention to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector of the economy. He said the sector not only contribute significantly to the economy but also serve as an impetus for economic diversification. Osinbajo has also reiterated the call on world leaders to treat crimes bordering on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) the same way they attended to drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism in order to uproot the malaise impeding development in Nigeria and Africa.

This is coming as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has challenged the banking industry to complement the apex bank’s various initiatives aimed at increasing lending to the real sector, especially the MSMEs in the country. Speaking at the opening of the 11th Annual Banking and Finance, Conference with the themed: “MSMEs: The Game Changer for Economic, Growth and Development”, the vice president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, added that the federal government is currently working round the clock to put the country in its rightful place in the world economy. He said this would be achieved through the provision

2019: Saraki Names Okupe Head of His Media Campaign Council To meet S’West party leaders Deji Elumoye in Abuja Senate President and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki, has named Dr. Doyin Okupe as chairman of the Media Council for his campaign organisation. Okupe, a medical doctor and Ogun State-born politician, had at several times served as the National Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the aborted Third Republic; Director of Communications of the presidential campaigns of two former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, and later served as Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to both presidents. Okupe, according to the Director-General of Saraki for President Campaign Organisation, will work with other top professionals in the team to effectively communicate

the campaign messages of Saraki to Nigerians and the international community. Saraki had penultimate Thursday in Abuja made public his intention to run for president after due consultations with critical political stakeholders, including three former Presidents-Ibrahim Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. Since his declaration, Saraki had also met with PDP governors, leaders and delegates in the South-east, South-south, and North Central regions while his advance delegation led by two senators had also consulted with party leaders in Northeast and Northwest. Sources told THISDAY that Saraki would this week move to the six South-west states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti to meet with the party leaders and delegates, and canvass for their support ahead of the October 6 presidential primaries of the PDP.

Emefiele tasks banks on improved lending to real

of key physical infrastructure, technology and innovation as well as conducive atmosphere for small businesses to thrive. Osinbajo said: ”I want to assure the international and local business communities that this administration will continue to provide a more secure business environment and commit more to these ideals in the interest of economic development in Nigeria. “We shall continue to provide physical infrastructure and make every part of the country attractive to investors.” He said though achieving the desired friendly business environment is still work in progress, all hands must be on deck to develop it and bring it to the desired level. In his speech, Emefiele challenged the banking industry to complement the apex bank’s various initiatives aimed at increasing lending to the real sector, especially the MSMEs in the country. He argued that the CBN has done so much in de-risking the SMEs sub-sector as well as providing funds for on-lending to small businesses, adding that

it’s now the turn of banks to complement the apex bank’s efforts by improving lending to the MSMEs which is considered as critical to economic growth diversification agenda of the current administration. Speaking at the CIBN conference, organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Deputy Governor, (Economic Policies), Dr. Joseph Nnanna, said: “It is now left for us the financial intermediaries of the economy to support and complement these efforts.” He said the over 27 million SMEs across the country could not be ignored if the economy must be diversified. The CBN governor said MSMEs continued to face harsh business environment and restricted access to infrastructure as well as apathy on the part of financial intermediaries to lend to the sub-sector. Nevertheless, he noted that the CBN had designed initiatives to reduce the financing gaps to small businesses and increase access to low cost financing

and entrepreneurial capacity. On his part, the CIBN President, Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, said MSMEs should be the game changer given their potential and expected contribution in an emerging or developing economy. In another development, Osinbajo has reiterated the call on world leaders to treat crimes bordering on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) the same way they attended to drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism in order to uproot the malaise impeding development in Nigeria and Africa. Osinbajo, in addition, urged that proper sanctions be meted out to countries that have not been cooperating in the fight against IFF, pointing out that the huge amount stolen annually from Africa could have prevented austerity, provided necessary infrastructure for development, quality education for the citizenry among other social benefits. He made the call yesterday in Abuja while declaring open a two-day International Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing

Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development. The conference which is the second to be organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) in conjunction with the African Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, among others, is aimed at proffering ways of improving sanctions and enforcement mechanism for perpetrators of illicit financial flows and other acts of corruption. While recalling the international collaboration that saw the repatriation of Nigeria’s $321m from Switzerland, Osinbajo, however, remarked that Africa’s efforts at stemming IFF depends largely on their capacity to prevent and repatriate illicit financial flows. “This administration has prioritised asset recovery and the government has been able to recover some stolen assets from within and outside Nigeria, with the priority to invest the resources for policies that will ensure sustainable development,” he said.

BOOK FESTIVAL...

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank Plc, Abubakar Suleiman; Managing Director, Daria Media, Kadaria Ahmed, and Kaduna State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Muhammad Yahaya Sani, during the closing ceremony of Kaduna Book and Art Festival (KABAFEST) in Kaduna powered by Sterling Bank...yesterday

LADOL Restates Commitment POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY STALLS INVESTMENT IN AVIATION SECTOR to Create Jobs The Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) has pledged to focus on working with the government and the private companies in Nigeria to create more jobs after the successful handling of the integration work on the multidollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The company said in a statement that it was also working toward the creation of an enabling environment for policies that will ensure that Nigerians, who worked on the integration of the Egina FPSO at its yard at the Lagos Free Trade Zone, remain employed and that thousands more are employed in future projects. The Managing Director of the company, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, revealed this following the successful completion and

departure of the fully integrated Egina FPSO from the LADOL yard in Lagos. According to him, “Boasting a purpose-built, state-of-the-art logistics and engineering base, LADOL was selected by Total and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the local content partner for Samsung Heavy Industries for the Egina FPSO project. “Under the arrangement, LADOL was to make available its facilities for the integration of the topsides of the FPSO after its fabrication by Samsung at its yard in Geoje, South Korea. And with the completion of the fabrication work, the vessel sailed away from that country in October last year, arriving the LADOL yard at the Lagos Free Trade Zone, owned by LADOL, amid splendour on January 24, 2018.”

“They would say, if they give you long term credit facility it may not work because the political environment is unpredictable. This affects our business. Anytime we are closer to a deal, they express fear over unpredictable environment. “These are long-term thing but the environment in this country is unpredictable. “Once after election there comes an in-fighting about the budget and all the attendant policking. This affects the thinking of the international financiers. “We at Dana Air have negotiated for aircraft and things work out well because they believe in us; we have goodwill but policy summersault, unstable political environment make financiers and lessors see Nigeria as high

risk place to do business,” Mbanuzuo said. He also said Nigerian airlines pay higher premium, up to 75 per cent on aircraft leasing because of political uncertainty, which according to him, is why many Nigerian airlines buy aircraft outrightly and because they cannot afford modern aircraft, they buy older equipment. “For example, if a lessor agrees to even lease aircraft to you, you will pay about 75 per cent higher than airline that leased same aircraft type in the United States. They may charge US airline $120,000 a month but you will be charged $200,000 a month. “You pay more for what they call Nigeria risks. So, they put a higher premium on us. We leased B737 and it is going to cost us about

$200, 000 a month. If I were in the US I would probably pay $120,000; $110,000. “They know that in the US their assets are protected. Nigerian airlines buy aircraft out rightly and because they cannot afford modern aircraft, they go for classics, while others are going for Boeing 737 MAX,” he said. Investment and aviation lawyer, Emeka Nwigwe, in his contribution on the matter, pointed out that aircraft leasing companies (lessors) are unwilling to lease aircraft to Nigerian airlines because they are not sure of the safety of their equipment and are also anxious about Nigeria’s economy. “In terms of investment in the aviation sector, people are skeptical about investing in the sector. The market is on the

downgrade and this will not change till towards the end of next year after election and this also depends on government policy. Foreign investors are shunning the Nigerian market because of obvious fears. “Monies coming into Nigeria are still institutional funds, like pension funds from the West and the fear is that if they invest money in Nigeria if there is crisis after the election, the money is gone. These institutions are not charity organisations; they want profits for their investment. “The country is losing money. Nobody is bringing money from outside. What are available are contracts and that is what the Chinese are doing, and they get bonds, which are like cash. In terms of investment people are sceptical,” Nwigwe explained.


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Police Recover N11.1m Bribe in Two Years Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo The Nigeria Police Force Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit yesterday said the unit has recovered N11.1million as bribes from police officers. The head of the Unit, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abayomi Sogunle, stated this in Osogbo, Osun State, during a sensitisation programme on unprofessional police officers in the force. The ACP also opined that all the money recovered had been given back to the owners. According to him, as a result

of unprofessional conduct of officers, police authorities had dismissed over 10 police officers within the last two years. He said he is in the state to carried out sensitisation exercise by meeting with various publics on the need to report any unprofessional conduct of any police officers before, during and after the governorship election. The officer stressed that police authorities would not tolerate with any unprofessional conduct of any officers in order to protect

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA

the good image of the force nationwide. Sogunle stressed that any complaint would be treated with the fear of God as to restore the dignity and sanity of the force. He also reminded men and the officers of the Nigeria Police Force to do away with any criminal activities, saying the authorities will not tolerate any criminal acts. The ACP equally assured Nigerians that efforts would be made to ensure that the state governorship election is free, fair and credible.

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday urged the people not to leave a man with quality education who is well tested to vote for â&#x20AC;&#x153;a dullard as governor.â&#x20AC;? He said his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) is â&#x20AC;&#x153;ordained to deliver the state from under development.â&#x20AC;? The governor spoke during a rally in Ikire to mobilise support for APC candidate Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola. Ikire is the hometown of the APC running mate Benedict Alabi. It is the headquarters of Irewole local government. Oyetola thanked the hoge

crowd for their patience and promised to provide quality leadership if elected in the September 22 election. Aregbesola said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oyetola attended good schools from elementary to the university. He has proved himself to be a role model to the youths. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is hardworking, experienced and competent. He is a candidate to trust. You must not allow someone that students cannot be proud of, who the students cannot aspire to be like educationally to rule the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Academically and professionally, Oyetola has made his mark. So, Osun cannot afford to have a dullard or a desperado

TENDER NOTICE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA ON BEHALF OF DMO OFFERS NIGERIAN TREASURY BILLS Notice is hereby given by the Central Bank of Nigeria on behalf of DMO that the Federal Government of Nigeria Treasury Bills of 91, 182 and 364-day tenors amounting to N5,395,696,000 N8,385,196,000 and N168,361,351,000, respectively would be issued by Dutch auction on Thursday, September 20, 2018. All Money Market Dealers should submit bids through the CBN S4 WEB INTERFACE between 9.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Allow a Dullard as Governor, Aregbesola Tells Osun People Ugo Aliogo

www.cbn.gov.ng

as governor.â&#x20AC;? The governor added that the people should not allow â&#x20AC;&#x153;desperate political partiesâ&#x20AC;? to reverse the tempo of development of the state. He also commended the people for waiting patiently for the APC campaign train to arrive the council area for the rally, saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;People like you can only be found in the APC. You were not induced by money to attend or wait for this rally.â&#x20AC;? He described Oyetola as the candidate to beat, saying those who defected from the party would have themselves to blame after poll â&#x20AC;&#x153;because we are ordained for the job and we are going to win the election by the grace of God.â&#x20AC;?

Each bid must be in multiple of N1, 000 subject to a minimum of N50, 001, 000. Authorized Money Market Dealers are allowed to submit multiple bids. A bid may be for authorized Money Market Dealers own account, Non â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Money Market Dealers or interested members of the public. The result of the auction would be announced by 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. The Bank reserves the right to reject any bid Allotment letters would be issued for successful bids on Thursday, September 20, 2018, while payment for the successful bids should be made to your account with Central Bank of Nigeria not later than 11.00 a.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2018. 7KH%DQNUHVHUYHVWKHULJKWWRYDU\WKHDPRXQWRQRŕľľHULQOLQHZLWKPDUNHW UHDOLWLHVSUHYDLOLQJDVDWWKHSHULRGRIDXFWLRQRIWKH1LJHULDQ7UHDVXU\%LOOV *29(510(176(&85,7,(62)),&( &(175$/%$1.2)1,*(5,$ $%8-$

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WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

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Visionscape Files Statement of Defence, Counterclaim to Suit Filed by Ex-employees Peter Uzoho Visionscape, an environmental management company, said it has filed a statement of defence and counterclaim to a suit it claimed was filed by aggrieved ex-employees of the company, saying it has denied all allegations of unlawful termination of employment without payment of their entitlements by the claimants. In a statement issued by its

legal representative, Azuka Offiah, and made available to THISDAY, Visionscape prayed the court to dismiss the said suit, which it described as “entirely unmeritorious, vexatious and frivolous without any basis or foundation whatsoever.” Offiah also noted that Visionscape had in addition, filed a counter claim for defamation, arguing that the said ex-employees had in the course of their protest

and public interviews, made various defamatory statements calculated to disparage the counterclaimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society. According to him, these defamatory statements made by the defendants to counterclaim are to their knowledge untrue, derogatory and totally unnecessary. He explained that the said ex-employees were hired for a fixed term of one

year only, to supervise the street sweepers within their areas of designation. He said: “However, sometime in March 2018, the scope of Visionscape’s business activities was reviewed. As such, street sweeping operations were removed from scope of work of Visionscape and same was transferred to the Lagos State Government. Consequently, the positions of the ex-employees became redundant.

“Their contracts were terminated in accordance with their contracts of employment. They were fully remunerated as contained in their respective contracts of employment and were given all their entitlements. No outstanding emoluments are due to them. “At no time were they assaulted in any manner whatsoever by any Visionscape staff, nor were their human rights violated. We take

defamation very seriously and we have filed an order directing these individuals to pay damages for the vexatious and malicious statements aired on national and international television stations”. Offiah added: “Furthermore, our order instructs these individuals to cease and desist from making further slanderous and false allegations through the media and in any other manner howsoever against Visionscape.”

Group: Kachikwu Won’t Respond to Ugwuanyi Constitutes Committee on Expansion of Enugu Airport Extortionist, Faceless Organisation Martins Ifijeh A new socio-political movement, Conscience of the Niger (TCN), has said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, would not respond to an extortionist, and faceless group, which delights in taking undue advantage of the free world to unleash venom on respectable people, who had laboured hard to build their names. Responding to a recent report by a group, Patriots of Anti-Corruption League (PAL), leader of TCN, Mitai Okeroghene, said each time agents of destabilisation attempted to run down Kachikwu, they ended

up exposing their sinister plots, which was because they were unable to extort the minister the way they had been doing to several other undiscerning minds. PAL had in a recent report alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, were covering up corruption allegation against Kachukwu. It said this in a petition filed through its Director of Investigation, Mr. Kingsley Arthur and its Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Dedekuma Orumbo. But TCN dismissed the allegations, saying the story had been running for many years in an apparent attempt to smear

the image and person of the minister. The group noted that because they have consistently failed, especially as the minister had refused to give them attention, knowing where they were coming from, they resorted to dusting up the same old untrue story, looking for new angles that could attract their undiscerning readers. “The EFCC under Magu is known to be effective and efficient and had continued to function without the aid of extortionist groups like this. Therefore, they are not the one to lecture the agency on how to function and deliver on its assignment.

Hamid Adedeji The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in keeping with its concerted efforts to encourage speedy intervention on the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, by the federal government, yesterday announced its plan to constitute a stakeholders’ committee that would look into and resolve all issues around the expansion of the airport. The committee members, according to a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, will comprise officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Federal Airports Authority of

Nigeria, and the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority. The State Ministries of Lands & Infrastructure, Commerce & Industry, and the management of the ENPOWER Free Trade Zone will join the committee, the statement added. The state government, which noted the importance of the International Airport to the people of the South East geo-political zone, reiterated its commitment to continue to support “every effort required to be made in order to get it functioning at optimum capacity and efficiency”. The statement explained that the stakeholders would have to unravel what appeared to be a disagreement among federal

authorities operating in Enugu State regarding ownership of vast hectares of land that the state government has so far approved around the airport for their use. It said: “If at the end of the meeting, it is established that any of the parties still needed more land, especially for the airport project, the Enugu State government will promptly attend to this need. “At the moment, it is important to emphasise that Enugu State has donated vast tracts of land for the airport expansion project and is also working to relocate further identified encumbrances such as a local market, in order to encourage the federal authorities to speedily complete the project”.


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

AITEO Cup: Rangers Survive Stubborn Tornadoes Feeder Team Five-time FA Cup champions, Rangers International F.C of Enugu had to endure a stout defending from a very resolute and stubborn Niger Tornadoes Feeders team in a round of 64 tie decided yesterday inside the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan. Rangers progressed to the Round of 32 after surviving the Niger State team 5-4 in penalty shootouts. Regulation time ended goalless. Super Eaglesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fringe shot stopper, Femi Thomas and former winger of the senior national team, Felix Ogbuke were the heroes in the shootout as Thomas stopped the first two kicks by the Minna boys only for the coal city land lords to throw away the advantage as the kicks crept into sudden death. Ogbuke steeled his nerves

to dispatch effortlessly what became the last kick of the encounter after Pius David sent his kick skyward for the Minna side but goalkeeper Nasiru Hassan could do nothing to stop Ogbukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; kick from nestling in the net. Coach Olugbenga Ogunboteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wards took the battle, as expected, to the amatour side in the opening moments of the game and would have gone ahead on three occasions through, Isaac Loute, Ajani Ibrahim and Ugochukwu Ugwuoke on 5, 15 and 25 minutes of play but poor finishing and splendid display from Nasiru Hassan denied them. On the stroke of half time, Hassan was alive to tip over the bar a goal bound shot from Ugwuoke who met an inch perfect pass from Ajani to riffle home from the edge

of the box. The second half went as the first as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Flying Antelopesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pushed more men forward with the introduction of former Eagles midfield maestro, Ugonna Uzochukwu to help in the push but the boys from Minna were

unyielding and even when they were found wanting on 78 and 85 minutes, Rangers players miss the opportunities inexplicably. Coach Ogunbote said after the encounter, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The anxiety to score made us go this torrid time we saw

today. However, we thank God for the win as we march on in the competition. We shall continue to take each match as they come until we get our target of been crowned champions. We created chances that would have won the match for us

in regulation time but like I said, anxiousness in front of goal did us in.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, Draw for Round of 32 matches will be conducted in Abuja today. The Round of 32 matches hold on Sunday, 16th September

U-17 AFCON QualiďŹ er: Eaglets Seek Revenge Against Niger The Golden Eaglets will hope to avenge their elimination from the 2017 Under-17 AFCON when they face hosts Niger in the semifinal of the zonal 2019 Under-17 AFCON qualifier tonight. The grudge match will kick off by 7.30 pm this evening at the Seyni Kountche Stadium in Niamey. Niger shocked the more illustrious Eaglets to qualify for the 2017 Under-17 AFCON in Rwanda. Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Assistant Coach Nduka Ugbade said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were beaten by Niger two years ago

but we will not allow that to happen again. We are going to do battle against them again no matter the situation.â&#x20AC;? Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s match is one between the solid defence of Niger, who have yet to concede a goal thus far, and the rampant Eaglets attack, who have netted seven goals. The first semi-final will be between Group A winners Ghana against Cote dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ivoire, who fought back from a 5-1 loss to Nigeria to beat Burkina Faso 3-0. The game will kick off 4.30pm at the same venue.

Okey Odita of Rangers (left) is challenged by Abubakar Mohammed of Niger Tornadoes Feeders during their AITEO Cup Round of 64 clash in Ibadanâ&#x20AC;Śyesterday

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

National Sports Festival Logo, Eagles Retire President Weahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jersey with 2-1 Defeat of Lone Star Mascot Unveiled Duro Ikhazuagbe Defeats to Libya home flicked the brilliant pass to draw.

r37 sports listed for Abuja 2018

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and its marketing partners have unveiled the permanent logo and mascot of the 19th National Sports Festival to be hosted in Abuja between December 6 and 16. The Abuja 2018 games logo is represented by the iconic city of Abuja gate, which serves as access to all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnicity and creed. The unveiling was conducted yesterday when the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, presented Greenfield Assets as the games official marketers. The Federal Executive Council had ordered the games to be moved to Abuja to avoid further collateral damage to it after the original hosts, Cross River State, repeatedly postponed it due to financial constraints. Sport Ministry and Greenfield Assets sealed a partnership agreement to form the National Sports Festival Marketing and Management Company. The agreement will concede to Greenfield Assets

the rights to deliver five editions of the games for 10 years. According to Dalung, 10,000 athletes and officials will participate in the games while the number of sports to feature has been increased from 25 to 37. The games touch of unity fashioned after the Olympic Touch will be flagged off by President Muhammad Buhari at the Presidential Villa on October 1 and will move round the 36 states of the federation before returning to Abuja on December 6. Zonal eliminations for team sports will take place simultaneously in all the six geo- political zones from October 8-13. FCT Minister Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, said that the FCT Administration had adjusted the school calendar to accommodate the games. Bello, who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary Raphael Chinyekaa Ohaa, assured that Abuja would stage a games that will remain the reference edition in the history of the National Sports Festival.

Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Super Eagles last night defeated Liberia 2-1 in an international friendly packaged to retire the Number 14 Lone Star jersey of President George Opong Weah. Galatasaray SK of Turkey forward, Henry Onyekuru, scored the curtain raiser for Nigeria on his return to Eagles after missing the World Cup in Russia to injury as early as the 11th minute of the game played before a packed crowd at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia. Stand in Captain, John Ogu,

Onyekuru for that goal. Simeon Nwankwo who plys his trade with Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crotone FC netted the second goal in the 33rd minute as he gained from a superb corner kick played by Oghenekaro Etebo. Liberia however pulled back one of the goals in the 89th minute through a penalty converted by Palsama. Before that consolatory goal, Nwankwo had the chance to make it 3-0 but blew it. All effort to get the equaliser failed as Eagles ensured that President Weahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jersey retirement did not end in a

Gernot Rohrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men were originally scheduled to play Saudi Arabia but the match was cancelled because of concerns about logistics. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was reported to have accepted the invitation from the Liberian leader who is Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only World and European Footballer of the Year to date. Eagles went into last nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game against Liberia three days after beating Seychelles 3-0 in their last 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier which put them back on track in Group E.

and away next month will effectively put Nigeria on the way to qualifying for the 2019 AFCON. Eagles have been absent from the last two editions of the AFCON in 2015 and 2017. All six other players on the bench were fielded in the game against Liberia. NIGERIA XI VS LIBERIA: Ikechukwu Ezenwa; Semi Ajayi, Chidozie Awaziem, John Ogu (c), Jamilu Collins; Ndidi Wilfred, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Nwakali; Henry Onyekuru, Simeon Nwankwo, Joel Obi.

GOtv Boxing NextGen Search Reviving Nigerian Boxing, Says WABU President President of the West African Boxing Union (WABU), Mr. Remi Aboderin, has stated that the talent hunt programme, GOtv Boxing NextGen Search, is reviving the sport in Nigeria. According to Aboderin, who is also the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), the revival is coming through the discovery of young and talented boxers, who are then nurtured and provided opportunities to fight at different editions of GOtv Boxing Night. Boxers discovered through the programme, he added, also have their professional licences paid for by the sponsors and benefit

from a health check equally paid for by GOtv. â&#x20AC;&#x153;GOtv Boxing NextGen Search has helped unearth some of the best boxers Nigeria currently has. The first three editions produced good boxers, some of whom are now national and sub-regional champions within such a short time. What they are doing is to further help in the development. We cannot but give kudos to the GOtv management for their interest in the development of professional boxingâ&#x20AC;?, he said. The WABU President said the NBB of C, of which he is the scribe, will continue to

support the programme, as it is convinced that Nigerian boxing will be made great again through GOtv Boxing NextGen Search. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The truth is Nigeria professional boxing has never had it so good. GOtv Next Gen Search and the GOtv management have done very well for professional boxing in Nigeria. The first one brought out a crop of good boxers and they are still doing very well in the Nigerian professional boxing sphereâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since it started, it has actually improved the quality of our boxers. We are hoping for more improvement but so far so good,

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just a pass mark for them, they have done excellently. We at the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control appreciate this gesture and we are 100 percent in support of it every time and anytime.â&#x20AC;? GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 4 will hold at the Dunkin Pepper Gym inside the MKO International Stadium Complex, Abeokuta between September 13 and 15. The programme, organised by Flykite Productions, will see boxers aged between 18 and 25years take part in sparring sessions and assessed by the best boxing coaches.


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TALKING

TURF

WITH TAYO BALOGUN eyitayobalogunsnr123@gmail.com Mobile: 08033030639

Amaju Pinnickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NFF Messi (left) is going to be on parade live in the USA game

La Liga, Barca, Girona Ask Spanish FA for Permission to Play in USA Barcelona, Girona and La Liga have asked the Spanish Football Federation for permission for the two Catalan clubs to relocate a match to the USA. The game, Gironaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; match, would be held at Miamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hard Rock Stadium on 26 January at 19:45 GMT. A compensation package for Girona season ticket holders has been agreed. RFEF, the US Soccer Federation,

UEFA and CONCACAF need to give permission for the game to go ahead. The President of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, has previously spoken out against the US game. The Spanish playersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; union (AFE) has also opposed the match and following a meeting with La Liga on Monday, it said the players would have the â&#x20AC;&#x153;final sayâ&#x20AC;?. La Liga, Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top flight, has

agreed to play one game a season in the US as part of a 15-year deal with media company Relevent. Girona is in Catalonia, about 60 miles north east of Barcelona. The club says the match represents a chance for expansion and growth, both for the club and the region. La Liga is planning to subsidise travel and accommodation for fans affected by the relocated match. For Girona season ticket

holders, there will be 1,500 free flights to Miami, with a choice of staying overnight for the weekend, or coming straight back after the match. For those who do not want to travel, there will be 5,000 free tickets to the away game against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on 23 September and 20% off their season ticket. Fans who cannot do either would get a 40% discount on their season ticket.

Kwara Utdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Akinmoladun Looks to Welding Business after Football Life Andrew Randa It is always fascinating listening to players tell you how they fought hard to get to where they are in their careers. The hard work, sacrifices and the revelations make for a good listen. Always. One player whose emergence makes an interesting read is Sunday Akinmoladun, the giant centre-back for Ilorin-based Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Kwara United. An old-fashioned centre-back, Akinmoladun is built like a tank. An intimidating proper physical specimen but a gentle giant on the pitch. He first became a player of interest in an NPFL game a year ago when Niger Tornadoes took on Plateau United in 2017. He lined up alongside James Iko in the heart of the Tornadoes defence and put up a virtuoso performance that caught the eye of many as the Minna side ran out 1-0 winners. Not that it was the first time he was posting a man of the match performance. Akinmoladunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rise to the top makes for a very compelling story. He grew up in Kaduna where he started playing grassroots

football as a school boy. This is where it gets interesting. A typical African kid playing football is always faced with two challenges. The twin challenge of learning the basics of playing football and that of meeting the school curriculum. But Akinmoladun had three. His parents insisted he had to go to school and also learn a trade while he wanted to play football. He had to find a way to juggle all three. Welding was his choice of vocation. He fell in love with welding and had to enroll as an apprentice at a welding shop in Kaduna. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My life was hard, very hard but it has toughened me to be who I am today,â&#x20AC;? Akinmoladun told npfl.ng. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to play football and then I fell in love with welding and there was the added pressure from my parents to go to school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t easy at all, I had to make a lot of sacrifices,â&#x20AC;? he added. Sacrifices meant he had to go to school in the morning, then down to the welding shop before ending the day in the football fields of Kaduna to hone his football skills. That didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit down with his boss at the welding shop and his parents werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure he was

on the right part too. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be honest I loved doing all of those things and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t blame any of them for feeling the way they did,â&#x20AC;? the former Kaduna United defender rationalised.. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had to go to school, finish that and then go to the welding workshop. I had to sneak out sometimes to go play football which usually incurs the wrath of my boss. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The thing is that I loved doing all of that. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to leave one for the other at that stage even though I knew football was always my first love. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Welding involves a lot of creativity and strength. We had to lift heavy metal and iron bars sometimes. Maybe that contributed to my muscles and strength,â&#x20AC;? he added with a chuckle. Akinmoladunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skills caught the eyes and was soon off to Kaduna United before being recommended to Niger Tornadoes by a friend. Abubakar Bala, who was Tornadoes coach then was impressed and before long, he became an integral part of the team and soon, was one of the leaders in a short time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The move came out of nowhere, to be honest. I got a call from a friend who told me Tornadoes wanted me because

one of their centre backs had left the club,â&#x20AC;? Akinmoladun revealed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I packed my bags and headed to Ekiti where the team (Tornadoes) was on pre-season training. It happened in a flash and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad I did. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coach Bala has been like a father to me and he has encouraged me to be a better player. Playing for him has improved my game tremendously. It was no surprise that Akinmoladun joined Bala at Kwara United when the coach moved to the Ilorin side after parting ways with Niger Tornadoes just before the start of the 2018/19 NPFL season. The defender felt it will be good to continue his football education in Ilorin with Bala, a move he says he is enjoying. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ilorin has been good so far, I enjoy working with coach Bala and I felt going to Ilorin will be good for my career and I have no regrets going there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fans have been good and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m enjoying my game there,â&#x20AC;? he added. Football isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the only thing Akinmoladun enjoys doing. The defender was back at his former welding workshop during the World Cup break to continue perfecting his skills for a vocation.

UEFA Set to Introduce a Third Club Competition Europe is set to introduce a third club competition from the 2021-22 season, the head of the association representing Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest clubs announced on Tuesday. Before Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to copy the model of UEFA, it was running three continental competitions from 1992 to 2004 before it merged the CAF Cup with the then African Cup Winnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Cup competition to form the CAF Confederation Cup, the continentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of Europa League of UEFA.

According to reports from Reuters, European Club Association (ECA) Chairman Andrea Agnelli told his members at a meeting in Split, Croatia that the new event would bring the â&#x20AC;&#x153;overall number of clubsâ&#x20AC;? involved in UEFA club competition to 96, the ECA said on Twitter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pending approval of the UEFA executive committee, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;green lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; has been given to introduce a third competition, bringing the overall number of clubs to 96, as of the 2021-22 season,â&#x20AC;? Agnelli said.

Agnelli is also president of Juventus and sits on the UEFA executive committee, occupying one of two seats allocated to club representatives. UEFA was not immediately available for comment. Europe currently has two club competitions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Champions League, which features 32 teams in the group stage, and the second-tier Europa League, which has 48. Europe used to have a third competition for winners of domestic cup competitions, known

as the Cup Winnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Cup, but it was abolished in 1999. Domestic cup winners now enter the Europa League. The ECA has previously called for more clubs to be involved in European competitions and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;greater certainty of matchesâ&#x20AC;? for participating clubs. Agnelli also repeated his call from last year for a drastic overhaul of the international match calendar, which is drawn up by global soccer body FIFA and allocates dates for national team games.

If everything goes as planned there would be an election for a new Board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the 20th of September this year. I cannot claim to know those who are contesting for the position of the President of the body nor those aspiring to get on the new executive committee. I really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much to go on except what someone who, properly speaking, should know told me. What is certain is that some gentlemen want to push Amaju aside. According to some documents in circulation, Amaju Pinnick has failed very miserably as NFF President. His board is accused of being ineffectual. One of the documents supplied by a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Good Samaritan â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; (at least thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what he calls himself), attributed our recent failures in age group competitions to the incompetence of the Pinnick-led board of the NFF. The body, according to the document, is also guilty of sacking Stephen Keshi and replacing him with an incompetent Sunday Oliseh. The sins of the NFF president include causing the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 AFCON competitions... I am one of those who believe that Amaju Pinnick has done enough to deserve another term in office. Not because he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make mistakes but I know that he has, as it is, grown on the job. For instance, while he came into office as a strong believer in home-grown coaches, he is concluding his first term knowing that perhaps such idea should tarry awhile. And even when you consider his four-year tenure as a whole, he has recorded more successes than

failures. The NFF under his leadership has become more solvent. So much so they could prosecute our match with Seychelles without assistance from the Sport Ministry. Under Pinnick â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s watch the influence of our country within CAF and FIFA has grown substantially. My intention with this piece is not to defend the NFF President. I guess he could do that adequately. Newspaper stand discussions reveal that he has powerful enemies and that he has enough armoury to wage a successful war of self defence. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like both parties knowing what is at stake would be careful not to go to full-scale katakata as they know that destruction of both is mutually assured should anyone step out of line. My interest is our football and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development. I have not had any discussions nor met with Amaju Pinnick in his four years as NFF president except once when he called from London to complain about an article I wrote criticising his policy. That was during his first month in office. He sounded imperial. Like he owned the press. I told him off. And that has been my only contact with him as NFF president. I do not have any personal relationship with any member of the NFF board except for Seyi Akinwunmi who I sometimes see at football events in Lagos. I respect him and Shehu Dikko who I know will one day lead the NFF. So this is not an endorsement of Pinnick nor his board. If he is voted out democratically all well and good but I know his team has done a fairly good job running our football. They are better placed to lead us to the next level.

SERENA WILLIAMS UNRAVELINGâ&#x20AC;Ś Let me start by saying that am not and have never been a fan of Serena Williams. But this contribution is not a celebration of her misfortune. It is to put a lie on the claim that she was a victim of sexism and racism. The facts on ground do not support that claim. Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted to doing sideline coaching. That was an offence. She smashed her racket, another misdeed. Then mother of all crimes she called Carlos Ramos a cheat and a thief. If you

do that with the EPL you probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play football for a long while. She was therefore justifiably docked a point and a game. Maria Sharapova (a woman) has been similarly punished. So also Grigor Dimitrov, Nalbandian (non blacks) have been punished. Fact is Serena Williams wanted so much to win but Naomi Osaka had other plans. But make no mistake about it, Serena Williams, is undoubtedly, the best female tennis player of all time. Nothing more to add.


Wednesday September 12, 2018

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MISSILE Akume to Ortom

“Ortom said he has PhD from the Commonwealth University of Berlin, but there is nothing like Commonwealth University. At least, I’m a graduate of the University of Ibadan, where I bagged my first and second degrees. I am also a fellow of the Institute of Management and I have honourary PhD from the University of Jos.” -Former Governor of Benue State, George Akume, alleging that Governor Samuel Ortom was parading a fake doctoral degree

ALEXOTTI OUTSIDE THE BOX

alex.otti@thisdaylive.com

Merchants of Faith in the Age of Hunger

T

oday, this column is devoted to an interrogation of issues raised in “Saved for His Praise”, a new book by the journalist and publisher, Prince Emeka Obasi which was presented to the public in Lagos a few days ago. In the book, Obasi weighs in heavily on exposing the reader to a series of incongruities relating to ‘the permissive culture of religious hypocrisy and the monster of fake prophecies which it has spawned;’ and he remarks that the challenge is quietly and steadily swamping our national space. He has several tales to support his view. One is of a young man who beat his 80-year old mother to death in Calabar. There is another of a retiring headmaster being burnt alive in his own house by his kinsmen in Okigwe. And for good measure, we can also add this equally confounding one about a pastor who reportedly butchered his girlfriend and then used her body parts to lay the foundation for his church building in Abeokuta! The meeting point for all three narratives is that they had to do with a ‘spiritual interpretation’ of why the dramatis persona in the texts were prospering or not prospering. We will return to this point subsequently. Indeed as copiously recounted by the author himself, he has lately fallen victim to this same horde of fake merchants of faith who crept up close to his own family and beguiled his relatives with the astounding declaration that the author was the reason other members of the family were not prospering! When this ‘great discovery’ was relayed by the author’s sister to him, he asked for clarifications and it was then that other details emerged to the effect that the same fake merchants of faith had also gone on to add that about the only way they (the relatives) would be freed to prosper would be for the source of their retardation to be taken off the scene. In the midst of this ‘outrageous revelation,’ Obasi is overtaken by a mystery ailment that even at the time of writing has yet to be fully defined. He juxtaposes the fact that this illness came about at the same time that the fake prophecies were already in the air and that all efforts to find suitable diagnosis and treatment in Lagos, Abuja and the United Kingdom had not yielded positive results. Indeed, at a point in time the specialists in the UK had literally given up, and it was at this point that he was to intensify his dependence on the efficacy of intercessory prayers to the almighty God for his healing. In the course of this, prayers were said for him by a vast network of Christians and clergy. Without any equivocation, the author credits the fact of his being alive today to the strength of the intercessions that were made to reverse presumably evil pronouncements and actions that may have been foisted on him and as typified most notably by the mystery ailment under reference. Pushed to the wall in this manner then, Obasi also spends a lot of time in the book, explaining to very minute details literally every step that he had taken through the years to advance his career and life in such a way as to put the lie to the fake prophetic revelations by the said merchants of faith. In the course of doing this, he touches on issues relating to his astounding educational career, his foray into entrepreneurship, sibling rivalry and envy, the post-war state of the defunct Eastern region as well as the accompanying crisis of poverty and vision that the poor regard for education and its liberating potentialities has engendered.

Obasi

On a good day, matters of faith are indeed controversial. And this is more so in a nation like Nigeria, where issues of religion and faith have historically been the cause of many a misunderstanding. But then there is a sense in which the subject being discussed here, namely that of ‘false spiritual readings’ would conveniently be located as ‘having crossed the threshold.’ We are talking of situations that have involved near-death scenarios, the unlawful taking of lives and the destruction of properties. Surely, such matters can no longer be left and reviewed as regular affairs because they are not. Something definitely is wrong. It is therefore to Obasi’s credit in “Saved for His Praise” that he has taken on the tough task of not just pointing out these distortions that have seemingly come to live with us, but that he has also gone on to quite rigorously locate them as the warped and manipulative antics of merchants of faith; opportunistic purveyors of the word of God, false prophets, who for a varying range of reasons, now carry on so shamelessly, ‘saying what God did not say’ and in the process, creating crisis and imbalance in families, communities and the broader national space. Interestingly, other religions are not spared from the prophecy business. Some of them engage in outright guesswork and it applies mostly to situations where answers are either yes or no. Statistically, the chances of occurrence of each outcome is 50%. If for instance you are contesting an election, it is either you win or you lose. Predicting that you will win is an easier and a better prophecy. If at the end, you do not win, it is your fault. They will find what you should have done but failed to do to blame it on. If you win, credit goes to the “man of God”. I have heard of situations where some high ranking leaders and politicians would take no decisions without consulting their prophets, spiritual leaders, Mallams, marabouts or native doctors. As if the electorate voted such spiritual leaders with the politicians. Indeed, were these to be mere fictional tales spun and woven by a creative writer in the course of his artistic labours, they would have been applauded as perhaps the product of a rich and fecund imagination bordering on genius. Alas however, these are sadly not contrived, but real stories that involve real people in our communities and nation. Qualifying most aptly as tales that would easily fit into the epic ‘Stranger than fiction’ mould, they are reports of incidents that have been laid bare already in our public

space. And they speak to the nagging concern that indeed, an epidemic of sorts may already have unwittingly crept in on us even as it behoves all men and women of goodwill to rise up to the task and join in taking steps to arrest this scourge before it grows further teeth. Alarmingly, it is to be noted that these weird and grotesque occurrences are being justified ‘in God’s name.’ But we must strongly repudiate them as monumental fallacy that should be quickly discountenanced as this, most clearly is not the self-same Church that the Lord Jesus Christ had said that he would build himself. They are rather destructive and opportunistic distortions that are concocted in hell and indeed have nothing to do with the basic tenets of the Christian faith that I have come to know through the years and embraced. Also included at the other end of the same spectrum of flagrant distortions that require frontal repudiation is the recourse to illogicality and nonsensical insinuations to explain why some people are not doing well in the material sense in this world that we live in. The time-tested faith-work balance that John Calvin and the other promoters of the Protestant Ethic had underscored very many years ago, and which is at the heart of the success of western civilisation has not been fully assimilated by the purveyors of this aberrant logic. When the Bible says ‘faith without works’ is dead, it means it as plainly as it is stated. No equivocation. To succeed in life would require more than outlandish and real faith-distorting pronouncements being made over you. The God we serve is a God of balance and even as he does miracles, he equally enjoins the cultivation of a solid work ethic. Today’s fake prophet conveniently feeds those that will not heed this basic truth with obtuse and distorted comfort-prophecies to look elsewhere for their lack of success. ‘Somebody is using your luck’, indeed! Pushing the plate one step further, the writer takes his exposition one notch higher by penning open letters to some notable ‘fathers of the faith’, who he stridently implores to weigh in on the subject in order that corrections can be made. Indeed, the letters to the church leaders, which had earlier been circulated ahead of the presentation event, do indeed strike a fundamental chord. While acknowledging the great advances that have come to the nation through the agency of Pentecostal Christianity, which the author correctly locates are in a sense equally connected to the great work done by church leaders, the author however goes ahead to register the fact that the malaise presently being introduced into the fabric of society by the purveyors of fake and destructive prophecies, who are in a sense also associated with the Pentecostal explosion, gives Pentecostalism a very bad name. This is because, no thanks to these inglorious antics, a quite pervasive state of crisis and strain was already emerging and resulting in broken homes, broken marriages, broken relationships and businesses. The polity is also being affected as in some instances, the same ignoble merchants of faith go about hawking their wares to politicians of different descriptions and contexts, and thereby encouraging them to extra lengths to ensure that their so-called ‘prophecies’ did indeed come to pass, like we noted earlier. The social reality appreciation of the problem which both the author and former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, explored in the foreword to the book and the core text itself is most germane. At the launch event proper, Mimiko returned to the same subject, tracing

the connection between the types of miracles being sought by people to our mode of social organisation and levels of deprivation. Some examples here would include miracles of getting visas, miracles of childbirth and miracles of securing university admission, which would not rank as such in societies with more advanced social and governance systems. In those societies, they would come as normal provisions of sound social organisation and expected by-products of stable economies, structured policies, robust political competition, a commitment to enlightenment and forays in medical science and dynamic development. However, in our self-deflating environment where we insist on practicing the most prebendal of political regimes, these and more are still not normal and therefore have to be conjured from ‘the land of spirits.’ Equally of note is the fact that a number of these false prophetic centres even send early signals of the propensities they harbour right from their naming to the promotional materials that they pass on to members of the public. What for example do you expect from ministries that are named ‘Mountain of Swallowing Problems Prayer Ministry’ or ‘Iron Must Obey Ministry’ or ‘Fire for Fire Prayer Network’ or ‘Run for your life International Chapel?’ Or what great Christian teaching would you get from ministries that advertise their events in such formats: ‘Who tied the goat?’ ‘Give me a spouse or I die?’‘My spouse has gone mad again!’‘Who is monitoring my life: Leave me and let me drive my car!’Na my matter go kill you!’ There is even more: ‘O God, na like this we go dey?’ ‘Kill them before they kill you!’ ‘How to identify a witch: Operation point and kill.’ ‘I don taya for this nonsense.’ ‘War against delay: This beautiful sister must marry.’ ‘I will not leave Lagos empty handed.’ ‘Tied down in the village but needed in the city.’ ‘Uncle, Wetin I do you?’ Overall then, we agree with the author’s thesis that the core challenge is traceable to a crisis of permissive ignorance. Marx may have indeed gone the other extreme when he wrote that ‘religion is the opium of the masses.’ However, in their uncritical gulping of suspect prophetic pronouncements without as much as double-checking to see whether they are in consonance with the word and will of God even as expressed in the Bible, some of our ‘parishioners’ do unwittingly make Marx out to be a “prophet” of some sort. Emeka Obasi’s emotional rendition of his near death experience is like a wakeup call to a society, either in slumber or in denial or infact, both. It brings to the fore the harsh realities of the unspoken social milieu our society is trapped in, the world of pastors, prophets, prophetesses and sundry preachers. These have increasingly become real time merchants of prophecies, divinations and visions. Steadily, surreptitiously and relentlessly, they have invaded the social fabric and are wreaking havoc. “Saved for His Praise” is a mirror reflecting the tragic descent of a society into the torrid world of fraudulent faith hustlers and their desperate and hapless clientele and highly recommended reading for everyone. For Obasi to lay bare his personal life in such minute details publicly, is a real act of courage. In the end, if the book succeeds in catalysing action for the society at large to rise against this monster, his efforts would well have been worth it.

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WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 2018  
WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 2018  
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