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Don’t Delay Reforms over High Oil Prices, IMF Warns Nigeria Cuts Nigeria's growth projection to 1.9% Kunle Aderinokun and Obinna Chima in Bali, Indonesia The International Monetary

Fund (IMF) has warned Nigeria and other oil exporting nations in dire need of structural reforms not to be tempted to delay

the exercise due to the current higher oil prices. This is just as the IMF has predicted that inflation rate in Nigeria will rise to 13.5

per cent in 2019. The Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, IMF, Maurice Obstfeld, said these yesterday during the

unveiling of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO), at the ongoing annual meetings of the IMF-World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

The fund reiterated the need for Nigeria to enhance its non-oil revenue mobilisation. Continued on page 10

Budget Report: N1.8tn Spent on Debt Servicing in 2017 … Page 12 Wednesday 10 October, 2018 Vol 23. No 8575. Price: N250 TR


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Daura Regains Freedom after Two Months in Detention ... Page 12

Buhari Ties Balance of Paris Club Refund to Payment of Salaries Jonathan Eze President Muhammadu Buhari has finally resisted pressure from cash strapped state governors, who have

been agitating for the release of balance of Paris Club refund, and insisted that the payment would only be made to states that are not owing workers salaries.

The president, according to THISDAY presidency sources, is said to have given firm instructions to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance, not

to make any further payments to salary debtor states. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in September, 2018 approved the release of N689 billion balance

of the refund to states. But this was vehemently opposed by workers, under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), who appealed to the federal government to

deny salary debtor states the release unless they commit to instant payment of all salary arrears and other outstanding Continued on page 12

Obasanjo: Nigeria Needs President Who Understands Economy

Disagrees with Kukah on connotation of politics Segun James Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday insisted that Nigeria needed a president with a sound knowledge of the economy to make headway. This, he said, was what a former German Chancellor, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was one of his international friends, told him during a discussion about African countries. Obasanjo and the Catholic

Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, have also disagreed on what politics is actually about. The former president argued that there was no way a president with a poor knowledge of the economy could meet the needs of the citizens, adding that even Jesus Christ understood economics. Obasanjo spoke in Lagos at this year’s edition of Foursquare Continued on page 12

Delicate Truce as N’Assembly Resumes …

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CONSOLIDATING PARTNERSHIP... Chairman, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) Plc, owners of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Mr. Tony Elumelu, and President/CEO, Hilton Worldwide, Mr. Chris Nasseta, during the visit of the Hilton Worldwide executive to the Transcorp chairman at the Heirs Place in Ikoyi...weekend


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Delicate Truce as N’Assembly Resumes Receives president’s $2.786bn Eurobond request Dogara: INEC budget will be approved

Deji Elumoye, Sola Oyeyipo in Abuja Contrary to widespread expectation, there were no anxious moments yesterday at the National Assembly as members resumed from their long vacation. Following the acrimonious long adjournment of the federal legislature and the move by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove the presiding officers, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, there had been speculations that yesterday’s resumption would be tense and rancorous. But the plenary of both the Senate and the House of Representatives were calm as members emerged from separate executive sessions to unveil an agenda for peace, committing to cooperate to carry on with legislative business without further quarrels and scheming. In the Senate yesterday members were told of an executive communication from President Muhammadu Buhari, asking the National Assembly to issue $2.786 billion for partial financing of the 2018 budget's fiscal deficit. And in the House of Representatives, where the same communication was also received, the speaker committed to speedy passage of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But not long into plenary, both chambers adjourned again in honour of a House member, Hon. Funke Adedoyin, who died recently. Resumption is today. The senators had gone into an executive session that lasted for 20 minutes from 11.05 am to 11.25 am. THISDAY learnt from reliable sources that during the session the senators were frank in their discussions about recent developments in the Senate in particular and the National Assembly at large. They were said to have agreed to give peace a chance with

all members having fruitful discussions about the future of the Eighth Senate as it goes into its last stage. Other resolutions include that senators agreed to give peace a chance and avoid allowing the Red Chamber to degenerate into an arena of conflict over partisan and personal issues. The APC Senate Caucus leadership headed by Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, THISDAY further gathered, also extracted a promise from the Senate president that national interest would continue to take precedent over any other consideration in the activities of the Senate. The senators during the plenary were reported to have unanimously agreed not to allow external forces and influence to cause disaffection, disturbance or crisis within the legislature. After the session, Saraki read to them the executive communication from Buhari for the issuance of $2.78 10bn Eurobond to finance the 2018 federal budget's fiscal deficit. Buhari in the letter dated July 23 explained that he was requesting for the distinct and specific resolutions of the National Assembly for the $2.786 10bn Eurobond in line with Sections 21(1) and 27(1) of the Debt Management Office, DMO. The President in another letter presented the N693.026 billion 2018 Statutory Budget Proposal of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to the Senate for passage in line with the NDDC (Establishment) Act. The 2018 budget proposed by President Buhari for NDDC is far less than the N729.016 billion budget approved by the Senate for the commission in 2017. Buhari also requested for the confirmation of the appointment of Olanipekun Olukoyede by the Senate as the Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. In the letter dated September 10 and read at plenary by Saraki, Buhari said he was nominating

Olukoyede in compliance with the provision of Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act 2010. Other letters from President Buhari that were also read on the floor of the Senate by Saraki included Buhari's declining assent to 10 bills namely Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill 2018, Stamp Duties(Amendment) Bill 2018, Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018, Industrial Development ( Income Tax Relief)(Amendment) Bill 2018 and The Advanced Fee Fraud And Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill 2017. Others are National Institute Of Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill 2018, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill 2017, The Subsidiary Legislation ( Legislative Scrutiny) Bill 2018, Agricultural Seeds Council Bill 2018 and National Research and Innovation Council(Establishment) Bill 2017. The Senate President said the Senate will study all the Bills that President Buhari refused to assent to with a view to knowing all the issues involved, adding that "we have set up a technical committee to look into the reasons for the President's refusal of assent to them. " Saraki also formally announced the death of a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Funke Adedoyin, and requested for a minute silence in her honour. At this point, Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, raised a point of order stating that with the demise of the House of Representatives member and going by the tradition of the National Assembly the Senate should suspend any further debate and therefore moved a motion for adjournment to today. This was seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujinmi. The House of Representatives which also reconvened yesterday immediately adjourned till today in honour of one of their own,

Hon. Funke Adedoyin, who died on September 28, 2018. But listed on the order paper were three bills: one, a bill for an act to amend the National Tobacco Control Act (2015), to address the lacuna that may be easily exploited by tobacco industry in Nigeria and cure certain defects in the act, second, a bill for an act to establish the National Security Trust Fund to provide for the maintenance of a trust fund that will cater for the procurement of military security infrastructure and technology for security agencies in Nigeria and lastly, a bill for an act to amend Section 1 (3) of the Federal University of Technology Act, Cap. F23, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, by providing for the power of the university to establish Technology Park for the conduct of intervention and innovation in technology and for related matters. Dogara, however, assured Nigerians that members and the leadership of the lower chamber of the National Assembly were committed to ensuring the quick passage of the electoral act and the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Dogara, who spoke with journalists immediately after yesterday’s plenary, was adjourned till today at the National Assembly complex, said contrary to insinuation in some quarters; the lawmakers are committed to whatever will guarantee credible elections in Nigeria. He said, “We are servants of the people by our calling as representatives of the people of Nigeria and we don’t have the right to put our interest forward rather than the interest of the people, so we are here to serve the public good. And these issues are outstanding, we know. It was never going to be threat in any way as insinuated. We showed that we have in the budget, the provision for service wide vote, which is about N300bn and wherever the emergency was could have

been met from the service wide vote we have allocated in the budget.” The Speaker assured Nigerians that “As we are back now we will set ourselves to accomplish whatever is there in the interest of our people and even if it means within a day or two. We have done that in the area of Ease of Doing Business. There were times, even within a week that we concluded the first, second and third reading of a bill and passed it into law just because we felt there was need for us to expand the space for participation of citizens, job creation, wealth creation and in rebuilding our economy, especially in the wake of economic recession. “So, nothing is impossible and I can assure you that as soon as we have the report brought from the committee, hopefully within the week, in no time, we should be able to deal with these issues relating to the elections; whether it is electoral act, whether it is funding for INEC. We will ensure that the appropriate funding is approved for INEC and that the electoral act is passed in no time. Even if it involves doing it within a day.” However, there were indications that some of the lawmakers were still on war path as some are already demanding that Saraki and Dogara should honourably step down. Hon. Mohammed Monguno (Borno State-APC) said, “My advice is that the Senate President and the Speaker, House of Representatives should honourably resign since they have changed the party on which platform they were elected.” He added that being opposition lawmakers and minority in the National Assembly, “It is going to affect core legislative duties because the manifesto of the party they belong to is in conflict with the ruling party and it will affect the agenda of the ruling party.

And that may lead to sabotage.” Asked if the APC is considering moving to remove the leaders, Monguno said, “If we can muster the majority we are going to move to impeach them.” On his part, Hon. Sergius Ogun (Edo State-PDP), did not only say it is unnecessary to consider removing the National Assembly leadership, he emphasised that no party has the constitutional requirement to embark on the venture, “No party has the 210-majority needed to remove the House of Representatives leadership and that should be the last thing on anybody’s mind.” Meanwhile, the National Assembly resumed to a protest by legislative aides who lamented over nonpayment of the salaries and allowances and called on the leadership to urgently ensure their entitlements are paid. The aides who occupied the lobby of the legislative chamber carrying placards with various inscriptions and chanting antiNational Assembly leadership songs, said most of their basic entitlements have been denied them since the inception of the Eight Assembly. A leader of the protesters, Ofem Eko said, “Our protest is to call on the leadership of the National Assembly to make sure our money is paid on time. The last time we were paid salary was August 15 and yet we have bills to pay. We have not received Duty Tour Allowance for three years. Since we resumed we have not been trained. Many times, we call on management they will say they are working on it. If we go to the Clerk of the National Assembly he will refer us to the Senate President, if we go to the Senate President he will refer us to the Clerk.” The protesters said there are 3,000 of their members who are experiencing hardships over non-payment of money due to them by the National Assembly leadership.

DON’T DELAY REFORMS OVER HIGH OIL PRICES, IMF WARNS NIGERIA Oil prices has been on the upswing in the past few weeks as more evidence emerged that crude exports from Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, are declining in the run-up to the re-imposition of United States sanctions and as a hurricane moved across the Gulf of Mexico. Precisely, Brent crude closed at $84.17 a barrel yesterday. But Obstfeld, who briefed the media stressed that strengthening of fiscal positions was necessary to reduce debt vulnerabilities in Nigeria and other countries. He added: “Fuel exporters should guard against the temptation to let higher oil prices delay reforms. Despite their recent recovery, oil prices are projected to remain below the 2013 peak. Boosting nonoil revenues and continuing fiscal consolidation plans remain key goals for oil exporters. “The focus should be on growth-friendly

fiscal adjustment, with a shift in spending toward productive and social outlays accompanied by frontloaded domestic revenue mobilisation, through for example, broadening the tax base and strengthening revenue administration. “Moreover, enhancing financial resilience through proactive banking supervision, ensuring adequate provisioning for losses by banks, and improving resolution frameworks to keep expensive public bailouts at bay can help foster a financial system supportive of growth.” Furthermore, the IMF director noted that improving education standards would be essential to ensuring that the growing pool of workers have the necessary skills, adding that achieving robust growth would also require enhancing the macroeconomic resilience of low-income countries, including against climate change.

“Stronger buffers and sound macroeconomic policy frameworks, alongside policies and institutions that make it easier for labour and capital to move across economic sectors and geographic regions, are essential to that end. “To reduce adverse consequences from climate change, countries could also invest in specific adaptation strategies that reduce exposure and vulnerability to weather shocks, such as climate-smart infrastructure, the adoption of appropriate technologies and regulations, and putting in place well-targeted social safety nets that can promptly deliver support,” he added. According to the WEO, although inequality has declined since 2000, low-income countries continued to experience significant inequality. Meanwhile, inflation in Nigeria was estimated to fall to 12.4 percent in 2018, from 16.5 percent in 2017, has been estimated to rise

to 13.5% in 2019. “Inflation pressures in subSaharan Africa have broadly softened, with annual inflation projected to drop to 8.6 per cent in 2018 and 8.5 per cent in 2019, from 11 per cent in 2017. “In Nigeria and Angola, tighter monetary policy and moderation in food price increases contributed to tapering inflation. In Nigeria, inflation is projected to fall to 12.4 percent in 2018, from 16.5 percent in 2017, and to rise to 13.5 percent in 2019. In Angola, inflation is projected to fall to 20.5 percent in 2018 from 29.8 percent in 2017 and to decline further to 15.8 percent in 2019.” “In Angola, the region’s second largest oil exporter, real GDP is expected to shrink by 0.1 percent in 2018, following a 2.5 percent contraction in 2017, but is projected to increase by 3.1 percent in 2019, with the recovery driven by a more efficient foreign currency

allocation system.” IMF Cuts Nigeria's Growth Projection to 1.9% In a related development, the IMF has also cut Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projection this year to 1.9 per cent, down from 2.1 per cent it had estimated earlier. “Nigeria’s growth is estimated at 1.9 per cent this year and 2.3 next year. The continent could do much better once these economies are on a more solid footing, particularly South Africa and Nigeria because they are really large and affect a number of countries in their neighbourhood. “The aggregate growth rate for the continent is held down by the fact that the three largest economies are not performing up to their full potential,” the fund added. The World Bank had last week cut Nigeria’s growth projection in 2018 to 1.9 per cent.


NGN NGN % 0.02 0.22 10 0.05 0.64 6.7 1.55 30.00 5.4 0.40 8.00 5.2 0.01 0.21 5.00 NGN % 0.03 0.28 9.6 0.04 0.38 9.5 0.04 0.38 9.5 NNFM 0.60 5.90 9.2 LINKAGEASSURE 0.06 0.64 8.5 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦1,405.00 Volume: 349.526 million shares Value: N 1.463 billion Deals: 2,832 As at yesterday 08/10/18 See details on Page 31




Budget Report: N1.8tn Spent on Debt Servicing in 2017 Fiscal plan records N2.426.73tn funding shortfall MDAs utilised N1.439tn capital vote

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja Nigeria spent N1, 823.89 trillion in 2017 on debt servicing, indicating a shortfall of N17.45 billion (or 0.95 per cent) decline over the projected N1,841.35 trillion in the budget for the year. While N1, 455.53 trillion went into domestic debt service, N181.40 billion was spent to service external debt in 2017. The figures are contained in the fourth quarter and consolidated Budget Implementation Report (BIR) for the year 2017 obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation (BoF). According to the report, the amount used for domestic debt service indicates N32.47 billion differential (or 2.18 per cent) below the annual projection. An analysis of capital performance as at June 12, 2018 also showed that N1.563.15 trillion was released and cash-backed to the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs)) for their 2017 capital projects and programmes. However, only N1,439.97 trillion was utilised by the MDAs. A breakdown showed that N303.46 billion was released in the first batch or warrant, N365.35 billion in the second batch or warrant, N66.42

billion in the third batch, and N19.67 billion in the fourth batch. An additional release of N23.30 billion and N784.94 billion were made as Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIEs). According to the 2017 budget report, N2, 377 trillion, excluding other funding sources, was received to fund the budget. This comprises N1,125.05 trillion (or 47.33 per cent) oil revenue and N1.251.96 trillion (or 52.67 per cent) non-oil revenue. The aggregate revenue receipt for the period was N2,707.39 trillion (or 53.25 per cent) of the budget, lower than the annual projection but N622.95 billion (or 35.51 per cent) higher than the N1. 754.06 trillion reported in 2016. Total inflow for funding the 2017 Budget stood at N2, 657.67 trillion, indicating a shortfall of N2.426.73 trillion (or 47.73 per cent) below the annual estimate for the period. Similarly, actual expenditure in 2017 stood at N6,463.61 billion, indicating a N977.57 billion (or 13.14 per cent) below the annual projection. The 2017 expenditure was however N2,067.37 trillion (or 47.03 per cent) higher than the expenditure of N4,396.24 trillion recorded in 2016. A total of N2,765.33 billion

was spent as non-debt recurrent expenditure in 2017, implying a reduction of N225.59 billion (or 7.54 per cent) below the annual estimate of N2,990.92 trillion. It was however, above the non-debt recurrent expenditure of N2,411.63 trillion reported in 2016 by N353.70 billion (or 14.67 per cent). Statutory Transfers also amounted to a total sum of v434.41 billion in the review period. Revenue shortages therefore continued with gross oil revenue of N4,084.35 trillion trillion in 2017. This translated to a N1,250.10 trillion (or 23.43 per cent) shortfall below the annual budget, but was significantly above the N2,695.43 trillion generated in the corresponding period of 2016. Gross non-oil revenue of N2,791.58 trillion received in 2017 also signified a shortfall of N1,467.61 trillion (or 34.46 per cent) below the annual estimate of N4,259.19 trillion. A breakdown of the non-oil revenue items showed that all the non-oil revenue items fell below their expected annual projections. The net distributable revenue to the three tiers of government after cost deductions therefore stood at N4,944.08 trillion in 2017,

BUHARI TIES BALANCE OF PARIS CLUB REFUND TO PAYMENT OF SALARIES emoluments. State governors, however, continued to agitate for the release, saying it was needed to tie them over, particularly as they approach electioneering for the 2019 general elections. Buhari, according to THISDAY sources, met with the leadership of labour, represented by NLC President Ayuba Wabba, and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, and agreed with them that only states that were up to date would have the balance of their refund released to them. However, states that still have salary backlog could only get the fund if they sign iron clad guarantees that the release would be used to clear the arrears of salaries

and outstanding emoluments of workers. Earlier in September, the Federal Ministry of Finance had blacklisted salary debtors, state, insisting they could step forward for their balance if they cleared arrears of salary and commence the repayment of Budget Support Loans granted them in 2016. The other conditions it gave were, clearing amounts due to the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative as well as 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 federal government had

earlier released N766.54 billion in two tranches to the states. N522.74 was initially released in November 2016, followed by another N243 billion. Buhari had based the release on the condition that a minimum of 75 percent of the fund would be applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions by states that owed workers. The governors, however, did not keep to the agreement, forcing the president to publicly rebuke them, saying he was surprised how the governors slept soundly in spite of their failure to pay workers. Twice beaten Buhari has now insisted that the only condition for the release of the balance of Paris Club refund is a clean bill of health from labour.

representing a shortfall of N3,568.99 trillion (or 41.92 per cent). The report noted that the implementation of the budget in 2017 was critically affected by the poor revenue out turn as oil production and exports remained below the budget estimates while the performance of the economy, though improving, continued to impact negatively on nonoil revenue. The price of crude oil at the international market, the report stated, averaged US$61.39 in the fourth quarter of 2017 yielding an average of US$54.27 per barrel in 2017. The price of crude oil in 2017 also represented an increase of US$9.77 per barrel (or 21.96 per cent) above the US$44.5 per barrel oil price benchmark for the 2017 Budget. This, the budget report pointed out, could be attributed to the increase in demand of oil at the world market and the implementation of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreement to cut down crude oil production. Based on the report, domestic crude oil production however lagged at an average of 1.89mbpd in December 2017 and 1.95mbpd in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the preface to the consolidated Budget Implementation Report, the

Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed Director General, Budget Office of the Federation (BoF), Ben Akabueze had observed that the execution of the 2017 Budget in the fourth quarter of the year was very challenging on several fronts, basically due to the extension of the 2016 capital budget to May 5, 2017. "This meant that the implementation of the 2017 capital budget did

not commence until the tailend of the first half of the fiscal year. The execution of the 2017 budget was also adversely affected by the shortfalls in anticipated oil and non-oil revenues. "Nevertheless, the government continued to meet its non-discretional expenditures as and when due," he said

Daura Regains Freedom after Two Months in Detention Alex Enumah Two months after his arrest and detention, former DirectorGeneral, State Security Services (SSS), Mr. Lawan Daura, has been released from custody, THISDAY authoritative source said yesterday. Daura had been relieved of his post by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, then acting president, on August 7, 2018, following the siege to the National Assembly by armed agents of Department of State Security (DSS) in an alleged

plot to forcibly remove from office, the presiding officers of the Senate, its president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. He was thereafter taken into custody by the police, which on the basis of the directive of the acting president, instituted an investigation into the siege that the federal government said was unathourised. Although a couple of days after his arrest and detention the police sent an interim report to the acting president

and sought permission to detain him pending further investigations, no further reports had been reported. His sack occurred during President Muhammadu Buhari’s vacation in London, giving blood to speculations that he might be recalled upon the president’s return. The president, however, affirmed his deputy’s decision, retaining the appointment of the acting DG, Matthew Seiyefa, until a substantive helmsman was appointed last month.

way of playing politics in the same way that there is no Christian way of playing football. What Christians can do in both games is to play by the rules and use our convictions to model the behavior of others. The central question is whether we are Christians who are in politics or politicians who are Christians.” He insisted that the two are not the same. On religion and economy, Kukah noted, “As with politics, there are no simple prescriptions within Christianity, different faith and traditions will respond to these issues differently in their interpretations. Although many Christians have tried to find biblical direction for what

our role should be in economic life, I argue that there are no prescriptions that anyone can make beyond insisting that central to all of these is the need for the common good to be sought within that particular context. “Again, the Catholic Church, through its social teaching, is in the forefront of calling for economic justice, promoting and advocating always the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, insisting on the responsibility of all people, and especially those in power, to seek the promotion of human dignity and the common good as well as allow the participation of all people in the determination of civil affairs.”

OBASANJO: NIGERIA NEEDS PRESIDENT WHO UNDERSTANDS ECONOMY Gospel Church annual public lecture, which held at the church’s national headquarters in Yaba. Kukah was the guest speaker at the lecture with the theme, ‘The Trying Triangle of Economy, Faith and PoliticsLooking through the Eye of the Needle.’ Commenting on the lecture, the former president said even if Kukah was right in his description of politics as a game, politics must be the most serious game created by man. He said he agreed with Kukah that even Jesus Christ had a good knowledge of the economy. Obasanjo said he believed

that for Nigeria to get it right, the country must strike a balance among economy, faith and politics. He said, “There is no doubt at all that if we have to get it right the three (economy, faith and politics) must go together. “One of my international friends, the late Helmut Schmidt, who was a former Chancellor of Germany – he died at the age of 96 about three years ago, I was at the burial – and he said if we in Africa have to make it, all our political leaders must have good grounding in economy. “As a fact from Bishop Kukah, even Jesus Christ understood the economy

and if you have a leader who does not understand economics, then you cannot have a leader that will satisfy the need of the people, the physical and the material needs of the people. However, Kukah, who was the guest speaker, insisted that politics is a game and very deceptive, adding that clerics should be wary in participating actively in it. But Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion, contended that politics is a serious business that should not be left to politicians alone. According to Kukah, due to the sensitive nature of politics and the fact that most clerics lead people with different and

divergent political views, it would be wrong for them to be partisan. “Whereas for example, other Christian clergy can participate directly in partisan politics, the Code of Canon Law does not allow a Catholic priest or religious leader to participate in active politics. The law specifically states that clerics are forbidden to assume public offices, which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power,” he said. He said clerics can participate in political activism without being a politician, adding that late Pope John Paul II was one of such priests. According to Kukah, “In my view, there can be no Christian








Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email

ONE–POINT AGENDA: ELECTRICITY Victor C. Ariole argues the importance of energy to the economy


ccording to a source, before ever the current development going on in the Emirate, Saudi Arabia, specifically, was enabled, it started with a complete survey of the disorganised and outmoded electrical system so as to design a new one that met standards equivalent to the best in the world. When General Olusegun Obasanjo was a military head of state, they came begging for loan to start the process and today they must be mocking Nigeria. Nigeria, notwithstanding, has trained more engineers than any country in Africa can think of; and engineering is basically bringing myths and fictions to reality level, and such myths and fictions abound in Africa. Light beyond the sparkling nights of star, moon and sun, came to human beings by spark of stones. Then, deeper thought extended it to precious stones and establishing it as we see in the bulbs. I have also watched an insect that sparks fire as it flies and seen that the sparks are based on its feed. I have also seen a sparkling shrub that shrinks when human energy gets to it and they are all phenomena of African source; and after reading Professors Chinedu Nebo and Barth Nnaji, both former ministers of power and Dr. Aminu, former commissioner of energy, I still cannot pick exactly what they present as reasons for unavailability of electricity in Nigeria. Prof. Nebo sees incompetence as the root of all the problems, and that central grid is not fit for Nigeria. He has designed a turbine that can consume less fuel to produce greater kilowatts than has ever been known. Production of electricity seems not to be a problem to him if the right turbines are designed and fed rightly with whatever makes the turbines turn. With what nature provides, it is possible to feed turbines with whatever nature makes available beneath the earth, on the surface of the earth, or even above. Even in the United States, coal, gas, wind, waste products are all mixed into their grid. So, I still wonder why national grid or centralised grid that enables even breakers are not seen as valid for Nigeria. To Prof. Nnaji who was asked to resign from his ministerial post for showing interest in energy business in private capacity, Aba – Port Harcourt axis was his fiefdom and he had wanted to make it a model but he seemed to have been frustrated by government policy of “offload it to the National grid�. According to reports, so much loan has gone into it that many interests and shareholders of that project seem to have jettisoned it and, also, got it frustrated. In effect, much of the loan has been described “bad loan�. What one is still not picking right in the Nnaji project is that, there is room for sustainability in the Aba axis as most industrialists in Aba believe in his services. Lots of waste exist in Aba – Port Harcourt axis and it seems they have been put to use to generate electricity which is possible by mere noticing what the Kenyan farmers are doing with theirs; a type of manure-heap that emits the requisite gas for such electricity generation. We saw such type of heap in Epe-Junction, Isolo-Ejigbo, and other


places. It seems Prof. Nnaji is still in the business and needs to be encouraged to see if it could be approached in Nigeria’s way, first, before seeking international best practice, like MTN had done: out of three of them that started, in remaining constant in the face of all hardship in the Nigerian telecommunication business. Glo, we acknowledge as a Nigeria’s own Tim Horten or America’s Google; but still waiting for it to attain West Africa’s competitive standard. However, Dr. Aminu that works towards establishing an energy business that will remove all federal establishments from the national grid seems to be the person that is questioning the collective interest; as removing federally-owned grid is like abandonment, the way Federal Secretariat in Lagos had been abandoned; or even the great cash cow NITEL was allowed to go down the drain. I sincerely feel threatened by such postulation because national grids worldwide are restructured or reorganised or even re-wired to respond to greater capacity carrying models like Nebo said about his own turbine as well as Nnaji who talked about redefining the Aba – Port Harcourt segment of the grid for a possible break from the whole national grid. The nexus is quite noticeable in the quality of conduction behaviour of the grid and how the power is stepped down for end users. And, even recently USA factored in checks that could prevent hackers disrupting theirs. In effect, their grid has taken a fibre dimension. It is still within Nigeria’s political will power to decide on how to reform the national grid, either costing the rewiring system or producing substations that could be wonderful in the supply chain, as we know that transformers matter in all the supply claim. So, why not chart very well the supply cells and their carrying capacity and give Nigerians electricity based on the respect and discipline they bring to the energy supply business as against the current means of thinking they can outsmart the suppliers by doing illegal connection. Even as high tension as Nigerian grid is and as it covers the length and breadth of Nigeria, people do not fear tempering with it. Such a desperate situation that people do not care threading where the angels fear to go. I remember vividly as a growing boy in Yamoussoukro that even when light shines in all the streets, it was not available to the whole houses in Yamoussoukro. What I could imagine, as maturity came, was that the planners or suppliers, like Nigeria’s NEPA, charted the terrain very well and metered it adequately to known consumption patterns and were at work to meet demand and supply as people pay and request to be added into the planning system. It was then hydro-power generation and it was on their rivers like Bandama, Kossou, Sassandra, etc. Nigeria seems to be lacking in such discipline and you see people relate to NEPA or PHCN, as if they are also taking their own national cake. Ariole is Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Lagos


Adopting the lean process culture in the civil service will reduce waste and enhance productivity, writes Akintola Benson-Oke


t has been said that, “since the onset of the Great Recession, doing more with less� has become a policy mantra. However, the mantra has not translated into actual implementable policies in most segments of the public service in Nigeria. Echoing this sentiment, Daniel Egbunu, in an online article published on March 12, 2017 noted that, the “impact of today’s rapidly changing economic and technological landscape has made government’s task of delivering public service more complex. More than ever before, governments all over the world have increasingly come under serious public scrutiny and fiscal pressure to deliver better outcomes to citizens, and to do so more efficiently. As is evident, Nigeria has not been spared from this in recent times. On the one hand, the dynamism presented by the impact of the interaction of economic, technological and other superintending elements in these scenarios have no doubt made governments’ public service delivery duties onerous. On the other hand, however, it has also opened up opportunities for the exploration of out-ofthe-box strategies that governments can adopt if found to better the lot of their citizens.� It is delightful to note, however, that the Lagos State Civil Service has come a long way and has led the way in reducing waste while increasing productivity. This is partly the result of the extensive investments in knowledge and skills by the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. For these investments, the Lagos State Civil Service remains grateful. The importance of eliminating waste cannot be overemphasised. Countless studies have shown that with good and sound processes relating to management of time and resources, one finds that meagre resources can be extended to produce outstanding results. In other words, organisations and individuals can achieve more with less. The ultimate objective of the training is to identify and codify the methods, means, and strategies for ensuring that the Lagos State Civil Service is positioned to do more with less. The ultimate objective is productivity. Furthermore,

it frees up resources, both human and capital, for investment in other competing fronts for the benefit of the good people of Lagos State. Explaining the rationale for such an objective as described above, an article by McKinsey & Company states: “Governments around the world want to deliver better education, better health care, better pensions, and better transportation services. They know that impatient electorate expects to see change, and fast. But the funds required to meet such expectations are enormous—particularly in the many developed economies where populations are aging and the public sector’s productivity hasn’t kept pace with that of the private sector. The need to get value for money from governments at all levels is therefore under the spotlight as never before. But cost-cutting programmes that seek savings of one to three percent a year will not be enough and in some cases, may even weaken the quality of service.�[1] The author of the article then stated that in order to “address the problem, public-sector leaders are looking with growing interest at ‘lean’ techniques long used in private industry. From the repair of military vehicles to the processing of income tax returns, from surgery to urban planning, lean is showing that it cannot only improve public services but also transform them for the better. Crucially for the public sector, a lean approach breaks with the prevailing view that there has to be a trade-off between the quality of public services and the cost of providing them.� I fully agree with the viewpoints expressed above. Indeed, it would be a great achievement if the Lagos State Civil Service is able to import the principles of lean operations from the private sector and apply them, mutatis mutandis, to the operations of the public sector. It has been rightly noted that the lean management and production techniques have their roots in the manufacturing sector. In this vein, the author earlier cited also stated that, “on a more pragmatic note, there are privatesector-inspired systems, strategies, know-how, processes and measures that can be learned

and applied in ways that are adaptive to the public sector environment. These models and principles are generic and adaptive to different scenarios that pursue an end of effective and efficient service delivery. This is a shift from the old style wherein one lone technocrat is plucked from the private sector and planted as head of a government project.� With respect to copying and domesticating systems, the car manufacturer, Toyota, has been singled out as demonstrating the profitability of the techniques over the years. This is why, according to the article cited, many “businesses have followed Toyota’s lead and undergone a lean transformation. A major European telecommunications company, for example, successfully applied lean techniques to a problem that was leading many of its customers to switch to competitors: the repair of faulty telephone lines. The company found that its call centre operators, diagnostics experts, and repair technicians operated as though they actually worked for rival employers. As a result, it took an average of 19 hours to repair a line. Using lean principles, the company realigned its organisation and invested in the development of team leaders. In the first few months of its pilot project, productivity increased by 40 per cent and recurring failures fell by 50 per cent. The programme was then rolled out across the company’s national network, where it achieved similar success. Likewise, a major European bank used lean techniques to reduce the processing time for mortgage applications to five days, from 35 days. Because fewer applicants dropped out of the process, the bank’s revenues grew by five per cent even as processing costs fell by 35 per cent.� The question, of course, is whether any of this is relevant to the public sector. As noted, it is not surprising that the concept and language of lean, rooted as they are in manufacturing, spark cynicism among many civil servants. Some feel that their priority should be matters of policy, not operations; others resent the notion that they are somehow part of a production line. Moreover, without the incentive of the profit motive, these government managers may believe they

have neither a reason nor the levers to pursue a lean approach. Yet practical experience suggests that they can. A study has shown that in a UK government office processing large volumes of standard documents, lean techniques achieved double-digit productivity gains in the number of documents processed per hour and improved customer service by slashing lead times to fewer than 12 days, from about 40 days, thus eliminating backlogs. The proportion of documents processed correctly the first time increased by roughly 30 per cent; lead times to process incoming mail decreased to two days, from 15 days; and the staff occasionally attains the nirvana of an unprecedented zero backlog. Also, in a UK Military Armoured-Vehicle Repair Shop, a lean transformation generated a 44 per cent increase in the availability of equipment, a 16 per cent reduction in turnaround times, and a more than 40 per cent increase in “right the first time� production. This achievement puts about 40 more vehicles into operation at any one time. Moreover, the repair shop progressed from constantly missing its vehicle delivery deadlines to never missing them. Now, I will be the first to acknowledge that, as has been well documented, persuading people to embark on the lean journey, where the last stop may be their own removal or reassignment, is not easy. To succeed, public-sector organisations must find a way to align their growth strategy—providing new and better services at limited cost—with a regard for the interests of their workers. Although lean programmes may cut the number of public-sector jobs, the goal is to make the remaining ones more rewarding. Incentives come from the prospect of more meaningful work, potentially with room for greater autonomy or a chance to develop new skills. Dr. Benson Oke is Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions



EDITORIAL MSMES AS KEY TO ECONOMIC GROWTH Government could do more to these enterprises to make them function optimally


pparently having come to terms with the fact that the task of growing the domestic economy rests principally with the people of Nigeria and not foreigners, VicePresident Yemi Osinbajo recently admitted that without a functional micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector, inclusive and sustainable economic growth would be nearly impossible. We have always advocated that serious attention be given to domestic businesses within the MSMEs cadre from which we believe the jobs to cater for Nigeria’s growing population would come from. A country with over 27 million SMEs as disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should not by any TAX BREAKS AS OFFERED means ignore or TO FOREIGN DOMINATED look down on the almost limitless FIRMS BY THE economic potenGOVERNMENT SHOULD tial these SMEs BE EXTENDED TO MSMES possess and which can be harvested TO AT LEAST PROVIDE to her beneďŹ ts. THEM SOME GROUNDS TO Indeed, researches STABILISE have shown that the MSME sector constitutes the spine of any country’s economy because as small industry operators, they weather and overcome stiff competition from foreign operators to grow and keep jobs for locals. Furthermore, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development of Nigeria (SMEDAN) had reported that MSMEs in the country currently represent 96 per cent of the businesses in the country and contribute 75 per cent of the national employment. Now that the government appears bought over by the inherent capacities of Nigeria’s MSMEs, we would want that it actually follows through its words with the necessary action. Recognising that the government had in the past established numerous programmes to support the MSMEs in the country but with very little to show for such efforts, the new measures should be practical and

Letters to the Editor






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tailored to the needs of the MSMEs. Fortunately, what they need to survive, progress and deliver to the economy are not hidden but known to everyone, even in government. It is clear that conventional banks are not cut out for long term lending needed by MSMEs in the country. It is equally known that these banks are mostly comfortable to lend to short term business ventures as against start-ups which would need longer gestation period to pay back, and that is where the new Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) should step in and be useful. The DBN, which was created and set up by the last administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to amongst other objectives, provide long term facility for MSMEs in the country to grow and expand, should be buoyed greatly by the Muhammadu Buhari administration chiey for the beneďŹ ts it would provide to the national economy through its support for MSMEs in the country. Considering that the DBN reportedly has the buy-in of the World Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB); and the Agence Française de Development (French Development Agency); as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB), it should by all means serve as a lifeline to Nigeria’s MSMEs sector. Its support to the MSMEs should be wholesale and strategic. Secondly, the federal government should step up and sustain its energising economy programme (EEP), another initiative which has got the support of the World Bank, and which aims to provide clean electricity supplies in mini grid forms to industrial clusters and big markets across the country. Managed by a reconstituted Rural ElectriďŹ cation Agency (REA), the EEP has already started with pilot schemes in Ariaria Market in Aba – a market renowned for its industrial and commercial ingenuity; Sura Shopping Complex and Somolu Printing Complex in Lagos; as well as the Sabon Gari Market in Kano. Additionally, we are also of the view that tax breaks as offered to foreign dominated ďŹ rms by the government should be extended to MSMEs to at least provide them some grounds to stabilise.

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 We also welcome comments and opinions on topical local, national and international issues provided they are well-written and should also not be longer than (9501000 words). They should be sent to along with the email address and phone numbers of the writer.


he controversy that shrouded the outcome of the just concluded Osun Governorship election amidst lack of confidence in the electoral commission may just be another reason behind the diminishing turnout in Nigeria’s election ahead of 2019 general elections. Since the 2015 general elections, statistics have shown that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may have steadily improved in deployment of materials and conduct of elections generally, this has not translated into increased voter turnout during elections. This is no doubt a worrying trend ahead of the 2019 general e Since WHO pioneered the deployment of various types of energy sources over the last four decades for the vaccine cold chain for its expanded programme on immunization, it has become very obvious that solar energy technology would play critical role in providing alternative power source to ensure good quality and safe vaccine storage in remote health centres. Increasingly, evidence has crystallised that “the introduction of solar power has the ability to significantly improve healthcare delivery to poor and rural communities�. For example, a study in Sarguja, a district in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh, finds that “on average, health facilities with solar treated

50% more out-patients each month, conducted 50% higher institutional deliveries, admitted a higher number of in-patients as well as provided round the clock services�. Thus, health facilities with solar power performed significantly better than those without; thereby establishing connection between access to reliable electricity by health facilities and better health outcome in rural communities. This is because, “regular and reliable provision of electricity to healthcare facilities is important for their effective operation. In many developing countries, over one-half of healthcare facilities have no electricity or lack reliable electricity.� It is a common knowledge that Nigeria’s power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure are not commensurate with the energy demands of the population (including reliable electricity for healthcare facilities). The question therefore remains: what is the proportion of health facilities with reliable 24-hour supply of electricity in Nigeria? What is the electricity need of community health facilities? What is the impact of lack of access to reliable electricity on our health outcome in Nigeria (particularly in rural areas)? This is necessary because, most of our healthcare facilities lack access to reliable electricity. Even the lowest health facility at the level of a post or dispensary requires being connected to

national grid and or other regular alternative power source. Health facilities depend on access to reliable electricity for functioning at night, operating diagnostic equipment, pumping water, vaccine storage, and managing hazardous waste materials, etc. According to renewable energy experts, solar systems have several advantages; they provide flexibility to design that can cater to the power load of a health centre, reliability of performance, critical loads such as vaccine refrigerators, and service to remote or hard to reach areas where access-related challenges are most acute. It is estimated that the solar potential of Nigeria ranges between 4.0kWh/m2/day to 6.5kWh/m2/day for average of five hours every day according to a report on Nigeria’s Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL 2050). In 2010, Nigeria was reported to have 0.015GW Stand Alone Solar (SAS) PV installation and no grid solar PV installation. The legislative framework provided under parts VIII and IX of the Nigeria’s Electric Power Sector Reform [EPSR] Act OF 2005 can be explored to create macro level fiscal space to accommodate PHCs particularly those located in remote places in our rural electrification programme. To this end, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency

(NPHCDA) can provide 2kWh off grid solar PV systems with battery backup to thousands of PHCs across the country. This would be in line with sustainable energy for all action agenda (SE4ALL-AA) established by inter-ministerial committee on renewable energy and energy efficiency (ICREE) which set the target of electrifying up to 90% of the community healthcare facilities by 2030 for Nigeria. As severally pointed out at many stakeholders’ levels, “accelerating deployment of renewable energy to health centres is a need of the hours�; moreover, “powering health systems through renewable energy such as solar could address energy (sustainable development goal seven) and health (sustainable development goal three) concerns simultaneously.� The availability of reliable and regular electricity to run 24 hours health services at the primary healthcare centres is critical if the goal of universal health coverage would be reached. According to WHO’s health indicators of sustainable energy, health offers a universal indicator of progress in attaining the UN Secretary General’s goals for sustainable energy for all. Tunde Salman, is the Convener of Good Governance Team, a Nigerian civil society advocacy and monitoring platform


T H I S D AY ˾ ͯͮ˜ͰͮͯͶ






Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email 08114495324 SMS ONLY


It’s Victory For Them All Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Lanre Alfred examine some of the personalities who played some key roles in the emergence of former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party






percent of the monetary entitlement to ‘ordinary ‘ delegates. One of the consideration for the choice of Abubakar was the understanding that he had (or could command) the war chest to match President Muhammadu Buhari. To be sure, Atiku started his campaign for the PDP presidential ticket, about two years when he dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he was not tip-toeing on his ambition. While some of the personalities like Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Tambuwal who would later give him a fight for the PDP presidential ticket prevaricated, Abubakar took the bold step of quitting the APC. Thereafter, he made himself an unrelenting critic

of the APC policies and actions, which conferred on him the position of the arrowhead of the opposition. A few of the co-contenders thought they taint Abubakar by harping on his frequent exit and return to the PDP, but the truth is that the former Vice President is one of those who founded the PDP. ounding member of the PDP and former and the majority understand the circumstances of his temporary leave from the party and we’re not willing to judge him on that score. Having failed to reach a consensus, Abubakar must have gone into the race believing his chances were as good as the likes of Kwankwaso, Saraki, Lamido and Tambuwal who were also routed as front-runner in the race for the PDP’s presidential ticket. For a chequered political career spanning over four decades, during which he first sought the presidential ticket of his party, the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in 1993, but was prevailed upon to step down for the flambouyant businessman, late Chief MKO Abiola; Atiku has shown class and experience by presenting the most exhaustive and extensive blueprint to transforming Nigeria. For many, the Abubakar bid for the presidential ticket was an emotional trip. A good number of supporters are standing with Abubakar because they think he has been victimised too many times. He is easily one of the most vilified Nigerian politicians. From being harassed by his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, who gleefully spread tales about his alleged hunt by the American government, among other politically devastating tales, Atiku has stayed above the fray, surmounting every obstacle in his way. Like a phoenix that takes a new life

from the ashes of its demise, Abubakar bounces back from adversities and adversaries with unmatched vigour . Instructively, he knows he hasn’t come this far on his own strength or skills; he has had the good fortune of having dependable and savvy lieutenants around him,. Credited for being nationalistic in outlook, Abubakar has some of Nigeria’s best brains in his corner and they cut across varying pedigree and profession, sex and ethnic groups.

hile former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar only acknowledged the party leadership, his co-contestants, delegates and former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on his emergence as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP,), there are a string of noteworthy individuals who have not only taken ownership of the victory, but are positioned to play key roles in the event Abubakar becomes President of Nigeria. The contest was a fitting test of Abubakar ’s sagacity. His triumph showed he had learnt the ropes and cemented important relationships across the country in a chequered political career spanning over 40 years. During this period, he participated in five primary elections. He acknowledged that “some of the outcomes were successful, when others were not so successful. While political pundits may have given a chance at the presidential primary, he performed by far above many expectation. Triumphing with over 800 votes over his closet rival and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal announced Abubakar ’s mastery of Nigerian politics in definite terms. Though are quick to point out that he was simply ‘highest paymaster ’, allegedly disbursing USD2,500 to each delegate, his supporters argue that Tambuwal got the support of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and others under his influence to gift delegates the same amount of USD2,500, bottom line, Abubakar ’s longstanding friendships from all parts of Nigeria and his personality paid off. Of course, the amounts disbursed to ‘super delegates’was more than 100

The contest was a fitting test of Abubakar’s sagacity. His triumph showed he had learnt the ropes and cemented important relationships across the country in a chequered political career spanning over 40 years

Otunba Gbenga Daniel

As the Director General of his Atiku Abubakar campaign, this former Governor of Ogun State may see Abubakar ’s victory as a personal triumph. Many thought it couldn’t be achieved, but OGD combined his brilliance with Abubakar ’s charisma to score a resounding goal. While contesting for the chairmanship position of the PDP last year, Daniel openly showed his loyalty to Atiku which did not go down too well with some power brokers. He lost the seat; then, Atiku appointed him Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation. OGD crisscrossed the length and breadth of Nigeria; embracing and corralling different socio-political interests; propagating the ideals and vision of his principal. Though he worked very hard, he could not deliver the South-west as a bloc. In fact, his home state was badly fragmented and came to the convention with the smallest contingent of 21 delegates.

Peter Obi

Time will tell of the former governor of Anambra State will evenually become Abubakar ’s running mate, since the odds favour an Igbo man. Such arrangememt is not strange






to Abubakar who had previously entered the presidential battle with Senator Ben Obi as his running mate. Peter Obi is believed to be one of the eggs heads in the intellectual engine room of Abubakar. There is a high expectation for an Atiku-Obi ticket.

Jennifer Atiku

Like the late MKO agboola, polygamy may prove to be a good thing in this case. Abubakar has a wife or concubines from the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. One of his wives, Jennifer, an Ignorant woman is known to have sacrificed a lot to protect her man. In the past, the former NTA newscaster had suffered persecution for being Abubakar ’s wife. But her steadfastness, education and beauty have added a good measure of shine on the Abubakar brand.

Uyi Giwa-Osagie

Atiku has this enviable distinction for head-hunting brilliant brains across the world. Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie is one of them. Uyi’s faith He is one loyalist whose strong resolve about Atiku is time-tested. Uyi has played pivotal roles in cementing a significant number of business deals across various business sectors.

Oyin Adeyemi

A very successful woman in her own right, Oyin Adeyemi, the Group Managing Director of StillEarth Group, believes Abubakar is the only one who can move Nigeria forward at this time. She pulls a lot of strings behind the scene for the Atiku campaign organisa-




tion. Oyin Adeyemi has often told the story of her rise to the pinnacle of her career in construction, building and engineering, and real estate, central to which is Atiku Abubakar. Oyin’s path crossed with Atiku’s when she had the opportunity to be a member of the policy and strategy team of his campaign years back.

To be sure, Atiku started his campaign for the PDP presidential ticket, about two years when he dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he was not tip-toeing on his ambition. While some of the personalities like Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Tambuwal who would later give him a fight for the PDP presidential ticket prevaricated



Akin Kekere-Ekun

Akin Kekere-Ekun, a Director of Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, is an expert in relationship and portfolio management, financial advisory and bank management with over 30 years contribution to national financial issues. An alumnus of the Oklahoma State University, Long Island University and Harvard Business School, Kekere-Ekun has a long standing relationship with Atiku, which has culminated in his appointment as Chairman of the American University of Nigeria in Adamawa State, an institution founded by Atiku.

Tunde Ayeni

Tunde Ayeni’s believe in Abubakar has come a long way. His admiration is largely on account of the business acumen that he credits the former Vice President with.

Peter Okocha

From being business buddies, Peter Okocha and Abubakar have extended their relationship into politics. Peter, Chairman at Woodgrant Limited, has had almost four decades of association with Atiku without regrets. Even when local politics of Okocha’s domain dictated otherwise, the Delta State born billionaire philanthropist has always been under the same umbrella with Atiku.

Segun Sowunmi

One of the most articulate public affairs analysts around, Segun Sowunmi

has been a very vocal crusader of the Turaki Adamawa aspiration; thus, his appointment as the official spokesperson of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation. However, the mileage that Abubakar gets in the media cannot be attributed to Sowunmi who hardly fraternises with the media. Rather it is Abubakar ’s enigma and eminence that recommends him and not taciturn nature.

Yomi Edu

Yomi Edu is a Lagos-born politician and astute businessman. He was a Minister of Special Duties under President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was one of those who were favoured in that administration because of Atiku. When the former Vice President fell out with Obasanjo, the likes of Education also lost out.

Mustafa Chike-Obi

Mustafa Chike-Obi is Executive Vice Chairman at Alpha African Advisory. He has over 25 years of investment banking experience working with reputable global investment banking and asset management firms. He provides overall leadership at Alpha African Advisory and has direct oversight over the capital raising division. Prior to joining Alpha African Advisory, he was the inaugural CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), a government-backed institution established to resolve the problem of non-performing loan assets of Nigerian banks after the 2008 global




Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email, 07010510430

Need for Continuous Dredging of Waterways in Nigeria Ojo Maduekwe writes on the need for continuous dredging of waterways to support flood control, water tourism and land reclamation, amongst several others

A typical dredger at work


lobally, the objectives of dredging are for flood control, support navigation, maritime construction, land reclamation, beach nourishment, offshore energy, the environment and mining. In fact, it's advantages are numerous but chief amongst that is how it boosts tourism by helping reclaim land lost to sea degradation. From La Campaigne Tropicana in Ikegun to Ilashe beachfront and Inagbe waterfront resorts in Lagos and so many others across the nation, awareness and investments are growing in the area of water tourism. It's sustainability however, can only be achieved if the shorelines are not constantly eroded by effects of climate change and other manmade factors. Dredging for beach reclamation can reduce the effects of shoreline erosion for wildlife and humans. Year in and out, hundreds of Nigerians flock to coastal towns. Unfortunately, water erosion keeps eating away at the shorelines until there isn’t enough beach sand to form attractive coastlines. That is where degradation comes into play as it goes a long way to enhance intra-city movement of tourists through the waterways. With degradation, the waterways will be better opened for investors to see the great opportunities on the waterways and in the general marine tourism economy.

Vital Role of Dredging The need for dredging Nigeria’s principal waterways for economic benefits has never been lost on government and has long been a part of the government’s development agenda, dating back to the 1960s development plans. In simple terms, dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of the sea, lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water bodies. It is a routine necessity in waterways around the world because sedimentation—the natural process of sand and silt washing downstream—gradually fills channels and harbors. Dredging often is focused on maintaining or increasing the

depth of navigation channels, anchorages, or berthing areas to ensure the safe passage of boats and ships. Vessels require a certain amount of water in order to float and not touch bottom. This water depth continues to increase over time as larger and larger ships are deployed and thus deeper dredging is required. Since massive ships carry the bulk of the goods imported into Nigeria, dredging plays a vital role in the nation's economy.

Figures Rivers, canals and creeks in excess of 10,000 kilometres make up what are collectively the waterways in Nigeria, out of which some 3,800 kilometers are navigable seasonally. This is aside the 850 kilometers of coastal waters of the Atlantic that runs through the southwest/south-south belt. Twenty eight of Nigeria’s 36 states are accessible through water. The Rivers Niger and Benue constitute the

Continuous dredging of the waterways has the potential for boosting water tourism because the waterways tend to be safer for passenger ferries when they have depth. So there is indeed an urgent need for government and the private sector to invest more in opening up the waterways across the country

major channels for inland navigation which include but not limited to the Cross River, Port Novo/Badagry-Lagos waterways, Lekki and Lagos Lagoons, Ogun-Ondo waterways, Benin River, Escravos Channel, Nun River, Imo River, Orashi River, Ethiope River, Ugwuta Lake, Lake Chad and the numerous creeks in the Niger Delta. Although the Niger and its largest tributary, the Benue are the two longest rivers respectively, the most used waterways, especially by larger powered boats and for commerce, are found in the Niger Delta and all along the coast from the Lagos Lagoon to Cross River.

SigniďŹ cant Milestone Although no action was taken on dredging for over four decades, government’s award in 2009 of a N36 billion dredging contract of the lower Niger River from Baro in Niger State to Warri, Delta State, marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s waterways management. With removal of silt covering a distance of 572 km, which was completed in late 2016, the Niger dredging set the pace for government to begin planning for dredging of the Benue and other important rivers in tow. As river silting is a natural phenomenon, maintenance and capital dredging of the type of the Niger is not an end in itself, but only a means to an end. This is because rivers require continuous maintenance dredging to remain navigable and productive. Secondly, continuous dredging of the waterways for navigability will cause goods to be transported to island settlements located deep away from the Atlantic in ever larger quantities, thereby stimulating trade and engendering inclusive growth and economic development of riverine settlements. With the current revolution in the oil and gas downstream sector, where lots of private modular refineries are being proposed for siting in the Niger Delta creeks, accessing the refineries by tanker vessels can only be effective with continuous dredging of the waterways.

Curtailing Flooding Besides navigation, other advantages accruing from continuous dredging of Nigeria’s waterways include curtailment of seasonal flooding which has so far ravaged 27 out of the 36 states of the country this year 2018 alone, leaving displacement of households, destruction and death of scores of citizens in its trail. With continuous dredging of the waterways, these seasonal heavy floodings will be minimised. Also, dredging helps to contain more waters in river channels which become useful for irrigation during the dry season. This is a great aid to farming. Furthermore, continuous maintenance dredging provides added tool for maritime security. Towards this end, the Nigerian Government recently awarded the Dredging of the Escravos Channel to Dredging International Services Nigeria Ltd (DISN), an experienced dredging company that has been a global provider of marine and waterway solutions since 1991. The company has successfully delivered turn-key port, marine, land reclamation and waterways dredging projects for various clients in Nigeria.

Boost for Tourism, Maritime TrafďŹ c This continuous dredging works will by all means aid the growth and development of cabotage trade vessels which Nigerians have been clamoring for to stimulate internal maritime traffic and generate needed employment for youths through thousands of seafarers’ employment and the creation of new commercial activities. Last but not least, continuous dredging of the waterways has the potential for boosting water tourism because the waterways tend to be safer for passenger ferries when they have depth. So there is indeed an urgent need for government and the private sector to invest more in opening up the waterways across the country, as this will definitely lead to the opening up of new opportunities for millions of citizens all over Nigeria.




Showcasing Africa's Contemporary Art Sunday Ehigiator writes that ART X Lagos is West Africa's first international art fair, which was created to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and diaspora

L-R: Senior Brand Manager, Seven Up, Segun Ogunleye; Founder/Director, ART X Lagos, Tokini Peterside; and Group Head, Corporate Communications & External Aairs, Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi at a press briefing to announce ART X Lagos 2018 in Lagos


he desire to widen Nigeria's connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally, through its contribution to the increased visibility of African artists gave birth to Art X, Lagos, West Africa’s premier international art fair. Building on the success of previous editions, which hosted 15,000 visitors collectively, and continuing with its ambition to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary art from the African continent and the diaspora, the third edition of ART X Lagos, West Africa’s premier international art fair, will host 18 prestigious galleries from a variety of countries worldwide.

The Art Fair

It's often said that the third time is the charm and for Art X, that is exactly what they plan to showcase during its forthcoming third annual fair, scheduled to hold from Friday November 2, to Sunday November 4, 2018, at the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. According to the organisers, the fair will play host to some of Africa’s most sought-after established and emerging artists, as well as leading galleries such as: Art House – The Space (Nigeria), Addis Fine Art (Ethiopia), Circle Art Agency (Kenya), Stevenson Gallery (South Africa), Gallery 1957 (Ghana), Tafeta (United Kingdom), Tiwani Contemporary (United Kingdom), Nike Art Gallery (Nigeria), and Out of Africa Gallery (Spain), amongst others. The 18 exhibiting galleries have been chosen by a selection committee led by Advisory Board members, N’GonÊ Fall, the renowned Senegalese curator, art critic and cultural consultant, and Femi Lijadu, one of Nigeria’s most respected art

collectors and leading commercial lawyers.

Inclusion of East African Artists

As part of its pan-African identity, widening Nigeria’s connection to the contemporary African art world, ART X Lagos will also this year, welcome East African artists to the fair for the first time, featuring critically acclaimed artists such as Kenyans Paul Onditi and Cyrus Kabiru.


Speaking, Founder and Director, ART X Lagos, Tokini Peterside, said, “After the success of ART X Lagos 2017 we are delighted to return for a third edition. We are validated in our decision to develop this vital platform for the growth and increased visibility of African artists and galleries. This would have been impossible without the phenomenal

The desire to widen Nigeria's connection to the art scene across Africa and internationally, through its contribution to the increased visibility of African artists gave birth to Art X Lagos, West Africa’s premier international art fair

support of the galleries, sponsors and partners, who took a huge leap of faith and committed to support us from ground zero, for which we are most grateful. "In six weeks, we will open the doors to ART X Lagos 2018. We look forward to welcoming a vast and varied, local and international audience as we seek to reinforce Lagos’ position as an emergent cultural capital on our continent.� She added that the keynote artist for the fair this year is the internationally renowned artist, Yinka Shonibare MBE, who will be celebrated with a highly anticipated exhibition, exploring his career highlights. For this year ’s program, ART X Talks, curated by Missla Libsekal, features a series of exciting and engaging talks from key stakeholders in Africa’s art economy. ART X Talks will hold on Saturday 3rd November and Sunday 4th November, including a keynote talk with Yinka Shonibare MBE. Interactive projects, curated by A Whitespace Creative Agency, ART X Lagos 2018 will feature experiential platforms that explore ideas influenced by the exhilarating essence of Lagos. Olalekan Jeyifous and Wale Lawal have created a virtual reality installation, Mad Horse City, which explores a futuristic imagination of Lagos in the year 2115. Meanwhile ‘Lagos Drawings’ is an Interactive Installation, by Karo Akpokiere which combines digital technology, perceptible sounds and visual illustrations inspired by Lagos Textures. The ART X Prize with Access – for the 2018 edition, the prize evolved to bolster the efforts of emerging artists who have demonstrated a commitment to careers as professional visual artists. Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, who emerged as

the winner in June 2018, after a rigorous selection process, received a grant of N1 million and will have a solo presentation of her project, ‘Scraps from Mama’s Floor ’ at this year ’s fair. ART X Live, the live art and music performance, will also make a return this year, featuring some of Africa’s most talented rising artists, curated by Lanre Masha, with Odunsi the Engine as creative director. The show will see performances by Teni the Entertainer, Ghanaian musician Amaarae, and BOJ, accompanied by some of Lagos’ finest emerging visual and graphic artists. The theme this year invites guests to indulge in an electric exploration of Africa’s rich musical history with a celebration of our heroes past – the icons, legends and sounds that have shaped the continent’s contemporary musical landscape. ART X Lagos 2018 is made possible by the generous, committed support of its sponsors, which include thus far – Access Bank (Gold Sponsor); Ford Foundation (Diversity and Education Sponsor); Stanbic IBTC Pensions, H2Oh!, Anap Jets and Chapel Hill Denham (Bronze Sponsors); Lufthansa, Absolut, Budweiser, Leadway Assurance and Metro Capital (Category Sponsors). ART X Lagos was founded by Tokini Peterside and is also supported by an Advisory Board comprised of – Labi Ogunbiyi, Dudun Peterside, Evelyn Oputu, Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman, Femi Lijadu, Jess Castellote, Junaid Dikko, N’GonĂŠ Fall, Papa Omotayo and Reni Folawiyo. Launched in 2016, ART X Lagos aims to reinforce the visual arts as an important component of the creative industry in Nigeria and Africa, and to position Lagos as an emergent cultural capital on the continent.




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×

R-L: President Muhammadu Buhari meets BlackRhino Managing Director, Ms Mimi Alemayehou, Mananging Director/CEO, Mr Wale Tinubu and others at a sideline event the UNGA73 Session iin New York USA;..recently PHOTO: State House

L-R, member, House Representatives Abuja, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade; Wife of the former President, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo and President, Huaxin Art Troupe/Chairman, Chinese Industrial and Commercial Enterprises, Eric Ni, during the presentation of Award and celebration of the Mid Autumn festival and welcome the National Day of China-Africa forum, in Lagos‌..recently

L-R: Daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Aminu-Oshe;; Widow of Late Mr. Diran Oshe, Mrs. Filicia Oshe; daughters, ; Mrs. Temitope Banjoko-Oshe; Abimbola Oshe and Oluwatomisin Oshe, during the burial ceremony and thanksgiving service for the deceased in Lagos...recently

L-R: Founder, Gboza Gbosa Technology Limited, Mr .Ade Atobatele; Minister of Communications Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shiitu; Founder, Technology Times, Mr. Shina Badaru and Managing Director, Knowledge Resources, Mr Gerald Ilukwe, during the latter presentation of the inaugural issue of Komputer Village Magazine published by Technology Times to the Minister, at the Technology Conference (TAAC) 2018, in Lagos‌recently

L-R: Brand Manager, Life Continental Lager Beer, NB Plc, Chidi Egwu, Life Progress Booster Grant BeneďŹ ciary, Maduabuchi Ogun, a member of Customary Court, Enugu, Mr. Michael Ndubuisi at the presentation of cheque to the beneďŹ ciaries of Life Progress Booster 2018 in Asaba, Delta State.,,, recently

Executive Director Project Hope Chibuzo Okereke; Sectary to the Party Hon.Adamu Idi, Presidential Candidate of Reform Advancement Party (RAP) Dr. Israel Nonyrem; Acting Chairman Reform Advancement Party (RAP) Grace Ishaku,During the Elective National Covention in Abuja...recently

L-R: Presenter of Law Reprot, Mr. francis Chuka Agbu (SAN); Secretary General International Assciati0n of Deposit Insurane (IADI), Mr. David Waker: Managing Direct0r/CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Coperation (NDIC), Mr. Umarru Ibarahim; and Exective Directors Corporate Services NDIC, Hon. (Mrs) Lola Abiola-Edewor, at the 2018 IADI Africa Regional Committee Annual technical assistance workshop held in Victoria Island Lagos...recently






REPO 22.50 % 20.86 %


21% 21 % 21.63%


350.12% -0.03% 0.81%

Group Business Editor Obinna Chima Email 08024557078, 08091152219

5 , 2 0 1 8 S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE YEAR TO DATE

0.81% 6.26%


Quick Takes Renmoney Wins Award


L-R: Non-Executive Director, EAC Advisory Limited, Mr. Lucien Moolenaar; Non-Executive Director, Emerging Africa Capital Limited (EACL) Mr. Funmbi Akinluyi; Director, EACL Dr. Joe Mekiliuwa; Chairman, Emerging Africa Capital Group, Dr. (Mrs) Nike Akande; Chairman, EAC Advisory Limited, Mallam Mahmoud Bello; Group CEO, Emerging Africa Capital Group, Mrs. Toyin Sanni; Non-Executive Director, EACL, Mr. Abayomi Adeboye, and Director, EAC Trustees Ltd, Mr. Segun Sanni, after the inaugural board meeting of the group in Lagos...recently

Nigeria Requires Urgent Structural Reforms, Says Citibank Boss Obinna Chima The Citi Country Officer for Nigeria, Mr. Akin Dawodu has stressed the need for structural reforms in Nigeria. Dawodu said this during a panellist session on the theme: “Citi in Frontier and Emerging Markets,� at a Middle East and Africa Media and Community Summit organised by the bank in Dubai recently. According to the Citi Nigeria boss, structural reforms would be very critical in finding the right balance for the Nigeria “There is need for greater transparency in the oil and gas sector. Some work has been done

BANKING there and there is a lot work that needs to be done,� he said. Dawodu viewed how policymakers in the country responded to the shock that the country felt when crude oil price declined few years ago, from three dimensions. This he listed to include fiscal responsibility; trade balance and exchange rate response and structural reforms. “The oil price drop was a major shock for Nigeria because the government earns about 70 per cent of its revenue from oil and that meant that it was a big

blow on the budget. “The reality also is that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the lowest in the entire world, at about six per cent. That is about a quarter of what you find in the world, even in emerging countries. “So, it is extremely low and there is this constant contradiction that the Nigerian government is very active in economic activity, but in reality, the Nigerian government is quite small in terms of its share of GDP,� he said. Dawodu acknowledged efforts by the government to increase tax collections, despite the challenges of revenue col-

lection. “But what we have seen in the short-term is that while spending has quite increased, because of the oil price drop, revenue shrank and attempts at diversifying revenue has not paid off and so the deficit is larger. “So, the revenue challenge is the first part. The fiscal part meant more borrowings and debt to GDP, which now up to about 19 per cent, which is very low. “But because of the low revenue base of the government, debt service to revenue is much higher at about 60 per cent, which is not sustainable. Continued on page 24

Stakeholders in insurance industry have called on the government to support the growth and development of the sector through harmonisation and streamlining of various taxes paid by the operating firms. The call was made by the panelists and participants at the one-day seminar organised by Leadway Assurance in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Lagos to examine taxation matters within the insurance value chain Executive Director, General Insurance, Leadway Assurance, Adetola Adegbayi, who was one of the panelists argued that the insurance industry currently suffers from a complex tax structure that has always resulted in multiple

INSURANCE taxation without understanding the complexity of insurance placements. She cited the example of deducting withholding tax from “re-insurance commission� as a fundamental problem, arguing that the practice did not recognise the fact that such “commissions� are not earnings but “a reserve against reinsurance credit risk� for premium liabilities passed through the books of the insurer� “Brokers, agents, insurers and re-insurers pay different taxes, all of which principally come from the premium paid by one entity – the insured – due to the nature of the insurance value chain,� she explained. Adegbayi, therefore, cautioned that unless all stakehold-

ers come together “to collate the entire structure of the tax burden along the insurance value chain,� multiple taxation would continue to pose a threat to the well-being of the industry. Also Partner, West Africa Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, urged the government to support the insurance industry through a review of the specific tax regime that concerns the sector, adding that as the industry was saddled with bearing the nation’s risks, it should not also be burdened with taxes. According to him, Nigeria’s poor social infrastructure continues to create multiple incidence of socio-economic dislocations that impact heavily on the survival of the insurance sector. In his words: “the growing rate of crimes in the society

Quickteller Oers Customers Incentive

Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services (IFIS), trading as Quickteller Paypoint, has announced partnership with key billers in various sectors (betting, energy and electricity, cable) companies that will enable customers transacting on its platform to conduct ďŹ nancial transactions at no charge. Transactions that would enjoy this new beneďŹ t include: utility bill payments, betting, wallet funding and cable TV subscription. Before now, customers were required to pay a fee of N100 on each payment transaction. However, a statement from the organisation explained that, “Quickteller has now paired with some of the organisation’s biller partners to bear the transaction cost.â€? “As a result, customers can now make most of their transactions at no additional cost to them. While this takes o the burden of transaction fees from the customers, it has been carefully processed to safeguard Quickteller Paypoint agents, such that they are able to retain their customary commission and other incentives,â€? it added.The Divisional Chief Executive OďŹƒcer (DCEO) of Interswitch Financial Inclusion Service,Titilayo Shogaolu, said: “At Interswitch Financial Inclusion Service, we are not only committed to closing the ďŹ nancial exclusion gap, we are continuously working to provide convenient services that will enhance the adoption of digital payments and this latest incentive is just one of the many ways through which we are achieving this.â€? Quickteller Paypoint is a one-stop service that provides electronic payment solutions to the under-banked, through agents who earn exciting commissions and other incentives.

Hilton to Drive Tourism

Insurance Industry Stakeholders Seek Harmonisation of Taxes Ebere Nwoji

Renmoney, a Nigerian consumer lending company, has emerged the winner of the ‘Award for Excellence in MicroďŹ nance Banking.’ The award was presented at the 8th edition of the New Age Banking Summit which held in Lagos.Other winners of the evening were: GTBank, Diamond Bank, First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Union Bank and Wema Bank. Receiving the award, the Head of Commercial at Renmoney, Yetunde Faulkner said: “We’ve been working really hard to build more convenient lending solutions for Nigerians so this award will be a huge morale boost for our team.â€? Faulkner added: “We launched our online loan application process this year to provide loans in under 24 hours and we are looking forward to launching even better solutions in 2019.â€? For Anisha Ajimani of the UMS Conference, the organisers of the event, Renmoney was an obvious choice for the award because of the company’s focus on technology and customer experience. She added: “The New Age Banking Awards is aimed at honouring organisations that have consistently demonstrated exemplary performance.“Thiswillnotjustrecognisetheendeavoursofthemost successful ďŹ nancial organisations, but will also set a benchmark, inspiring other organizations to achieve their own goals.â€? The theme of the two-day event was ‘Staying Relevant in the Changing Financial Landscape of Nigeria.’It was attended by a wide array of industry experts comprising chief information oďŹƒcers of ďŹ nancial institutions in Nigeria, speaking on various developments and challenges in the digital banking and ďŹ ntech space.

increases claims settlement, just as bad roads often lead to accidents, which increase claims. In the same way, poor health care brings about high death rate, thereby pushing claims up.� While acknowledging the concerns raised by players in the industry, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) called for a yearly tax interactive session with the insurance industry to help address all tax related concerns beleaguering the insurance industry. The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, represented at the event by the Regional Coordinator FIRS, Mrs. Toluwalase Akpomedaye, noted that such sessions have helped foster understanding with other sectors of the economy. Continued on page 24

Hilton has announced an initial investment of $1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa. To do so, the company will focus on ďŹ ve key areas - Hilton’s Big Five: Youth opportunity, water stewardship,active-humantraďŹƒcking,localsourcingandprotecting wildlife. This announcement followed the recent launch of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half across the globe. Speaking at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, Chris Nassetta Hilton’s President and CEO said: “Hilton is committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact in every community where we operate. Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, with equally diverse challenges and opportunities -- and as we continue to grow in the region, we are focused on doing so in a way that promotes sustainable travel and tourism.

“Sustainable developments must not just meet the needs of today, but also seek to meet the needs of the future, as flexibility is important indicating that whatever codes that is adopted must allow the future to exercise an influence over it and when circumstances demand it must be flexible� Founder/Chairman, Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria (SCGN) ,

Mr. Christopher Kolade







   NIGERIA REQUIRES URGENT STRUCTURAL REFORMS, SAYS CITIBANK BOSS “So, the revenue has to come up. And there are attempts at diversifying the revenue source through better tax collection, whether in terms of income tax, personnel tax or Customs Duties,� he added. In terms of exchange rate, he noted that the country has in place a managed float exchange rate system. “People have argued that devaluation does not automatically bring about export competitiveness and that was a major argument as far the issue of devaluation in Nigeria. “The truth is that devaluation is a necessary and not sufficient condition for competitiveness. So, devaluation was necessary and it happened, but it is not sufficient to get the right balance in terms of competitiveness. “In Nigeria, we are obsessed about imports. We talk about importation a lot and that we are import-dependent. But I never believed that is true. Nigeria’s import to GDP is about 10 per cent and one of the lowest in the world. “But there is the perception in the country that Nigeria is import-dependent. The real balance has to be on exports. We have to find a way to diversify our export base away from oil and that is where we can find the right balance. INSURANCE INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS SEEK HARMONISATION OF TAXES He assured stakeholders that the FIRS was willing to work with the insurance industry to ensure growth and development, stressing that all the tax concerns expressed by operators in the industry were presently being looked int Mr. Fowler also charged operators in the industry to support the government by paying all necessary taxes, adding that the economy needed taxes to thrive. President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Shola Tinubu, also supported the call for an annual tax session in the industry, pledging to take the message to the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN).

NCC Moves against Unsolicited Messages, Warns VAS Providers Emma Okonji The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), last week, restated its position to sanitise the Value Added Service (VAS) segment of the telecoms sector, and insisted it would not hesitate to sanction erring VAS operators that were still involved in pushing out unsolicited messages to subscribers. NCC made its position known during the first Bi-Annual Nigeria Valued Added Services Stakeholder’s Forum, which held in Lagos, and organised by NCC. Some major consumers’ concerns in respect to VAS services include spam messages, fraudulent bank alerts, forceful subscriptions, among others, which NCC said negates the right of the telecoms consumers. Aside unsolicited messages, NCC also made it clear that it has not shifted grounds on embargo placed on ‘autorenewal’, which NCC said was forceful subscription, illegal and unacceptable. NCC however made it clear that while VAS providers were licensed by the Commission and allowed to operate and provide value added services, consumers are also empowered through the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) facility to choose whether to allow or block access to VAS services. The Director, Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement at NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen, while

addressing VAS operators at the forum, said the Commission would not rest on its oars in protecting the rights of the consumers, and would continue to find a balance between consumers’ needs and the enabling opportunities that VAS providers offer to consumers, while mitigating the nuisance constituted by VAS providers who fail to play by the rules. “VAS service has its advantages, as it encourages innovation, creativity and allows payment of utility bills.

It increases revenue for the government in taxes, which is used in providing amenities for the benefit of consumers. It has contributed in promoting financial inclusion policy of the government and facilitated the creation of wealth for many Nigerians, but we will not allow its gains to be used as avenue to inflict pains on subscribers,� Idehen said. He added that the negative impact would expose consumers to receiving unsolicited messages, fraudulent deductions of consumers’ credit for VAS

services not subscribed to, among others. In the area of auto-renewal, Idehen said consumers should be given the choice to choose whether they want to renew their subscription or not and warned that the Commission would not hesitate to take action against VAS providers who force auto-renewal on consumers. Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, Maska Ubale, said the VAS forum was one of the laudable initiatives embarked upon by the Commission to develop effective

collaboration with relevant stakeholders for sustainable telecoms development. Ubale who was represented by the Head, Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department at NCC, Bako Wakil, said as the ICT ecosystem was transforming daily, VAS content developers would have to collaborate with other stakeholders in the telecom Industry. The collaboration, Ubale added, would be needed to drive the proliferation of applications that would meet the needs of consumers.


L-R: President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders; Company Secretary, FBN Holdings Plc, Seye Kosoko; Chairman, Kano Zone Shareholders Association, Alhaji Sabiu Bako; Head, Investor Relations, FBN Holdings Plc, Tolu Oluwole; Chairman, Audit Committee, FBN Holdings Plc, Alhaji Isma’il Adamu, Analyst, Investor Relations, FBN Holdings Plc, Debola Olatubosun and Head, Internal Audit, FBN Holdings Plc, Bode Oguntoke at the company’s investors’ forum held in Kano recently

Lawmakers Urged to Legislate on SME Devt Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and Oba Babatunde Ajayi, have both called on the National Assembly to enact a law that will serve as a mechanism to drive the survival of micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This, according to them, will help fast-track the country’s growth. The duo spoke at the 2018 international conference of Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of

Nigeria (BRIPAN) in Lagos recently. Amosun, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, said the survival of businesses was tantamount to the development of any economy. According to him, the survival of businesses would ultimately boost employment generation and as well, generate revenues into the coffees of the governments. The governor noted that insolvency in businesses would impact negatively on socio-economic development

and lead to economic downturn. He, however, lauded the vision behind the incorporation of the BRIPAN. He urged the federal government to ensure the diversification of the nation’s economy from the over-reliance on crude oil as its major source of income. “The trend all over the world is to ensure the survival of micro, small and medium enterprises, alongside big businesses as a catalyst to industrialisation and ultimately a boost to employment generation and governments’ revenue.

“Nigeria, therefore, cannot be an exception, but must also ensure that its existing small and large businesses must not only survive but also flourish,� said the governor. Earlier in his opening remarks, Ajayi, who is also the President/Chairman of Council, BRIPAN, said there was need for restructuring within the context of ongoing development of insolvency law in the country. According to him, the era of businesses dying unnecessarily in Nigeria is over. The traditional ruler noted

that central to the ongoing discussions was the role of insolvency practitioners, lawyers, taxation experts and chartered accountants in driving effective business rescue within the ambits of the law. The monarch expressed optimism that the conference would avail Nigerians various business rescue mechanisms available to financially distressed companies as well as the legal and regulatory framework essential for a vibrant and modern business rescue regime.

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Emma Okonji Oracle has assured businesses and partners about how emerging technologies can influence their local and international businesses, drive growth and sustainability. Oracle gave the assurance at its Impact Technology Summit in Lagos, recently, that was aimed at driving awareness of emerging technologies and their impact on local business. The firm exposed businesses and partners to new and evolving technologies that would rapidly grow their business, and highlighted the consequences that organisations will face,

should they refuse to embrace new technologies and innovate. Country Manager, Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Sanni, said in today’s works, innovation is not only transforming businesses, but also transfixing the way individuals work, play and learn. According to him, Oracle Impact Technology Summit was designed to bring future technology to meet the needs of today’s businesses. “Business leaders must move beyond the vision they have for technology in their organisation that emerging technologies are scary, and start to explore the practical steps they can take to make innovation something they

do every day. “Most businesses, if not all, should be excited about these new technologies,� Sanni said. Oracle according to him, was using emerging technologies like Articial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) to drive its cloud service, which he said Oracle had taken to the next level by making its cloud service autonomous, which gives customers the ability to use emerging technologies for smarter business, self-driving business and self-secured business environment against potential attacks. Sales Director, Oracle Nigeria, Mr. Oludare Ogunlade, stressed

the importance of Oracle cloud in the area of agility it offers customers to respond fast to changing market trends. The summit gave insight of how blockchain technology was impacting the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) that piloted Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service to provide it with a trusted platform for the full automation of Customs Excise Trade business processes and procedures. Some of the latest technologies from Oracle that were discussed at the summit, which would help businesses innovate and grow rapidly, included the Oracle Adaptive Intelligent Apps that provide a suite of pre-built AI

and data-driven capabilities for the entire enterprise across customer experience, human capital management, enterprise resource planning and manufacturing. Others include the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud, which provides an easy-to-use, fully autonomous database that scales elastically, delivers fast query performance and requires no database administration. Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service that provides customers with a development platform to build their own networks, and to quickly integrate with existing solutions, was also discussed at the summit, among others.





Cornerstone Reaps Benefits of Cost Control Measures Ebere Nwoji Cornerstone Insurance Plc said it has started reaping the gains of a number of steps it took to reverse its loss performance in 2017, especially the institution of rigorous cost control measures. This, also included branch optimisation exercise targeted at improving efficiency and profitability of its operations. The company said evidence of this reflected in its unaudited account for half year 2018. Cornerstone Insurance Chairman, Segun Adebanji, who disclosed this while addressing shareholders at the 26th Annual General Meeting of the company held in Lagos, said for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, the company recorded a gross premium of N7.9 billion

almost the same figure achieved in the previous year. He said claims ratio for the year stood at 117 per cent as against 73 per cent for the previous year. He said the largest contributors to the claims figures were oil and gas and motor insurance revenue account, which recorded net claims ratios of 536 per cent and 104 per cent, respectively. He attributed this to adverse development on certain claims and reserve strengthening in general. “The strict cost management regime introduced by the board of directors and management during the year yielded some success as management expenses reduced by five per cent for the company despite inflation pressures,� he added. According to him, Corner-

stone Insurance also tightened it’s risk acceptance parameters as competitive pressures have driven premium rates to uneconomic levels. Speaking on the insurance sector recapitalisation, Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone Insurance, Mr. Ganiyu Musa said “some of the steps that will be taken by the company towards indication of the tier to operate in between now and October 1st,would require the board to come back to the shareholders to be fully involved as required by the law. He assured that the board is doing everything possible to ensure that the recent development doesn’t have a significant negative impact in the operations of the company while they await for additional directives from the regulator.

Firm Launches Online Games Emma Okonji Following the approval by the Lagos State Lotteries Board for Koborise App Technologies Limited to commence gaming activities in Nigeria, the firm has launched an online consumer sales promotion platform, called Ekojara. The Co-Founder/CEO of Ekojara, Mr. Hillary Nwaukor, who made this known to newsmen at a press briefing in Lagos, said the approval and launch were opportunities for the company to add value to millions of Nigerians in online gaming. According to him, “Ekojara is a unique platform that gives users the opportunity to win big value items and cash with minimum risk of 0.20 per cent of the published value, which is a predetermined amount of money that any user pays for each ticket they purchase. “For instance, if we publish

a cash game of N10,000, each user that want to bid to win the prize will be required to play with 0.20 per cent of N10,000 which is equal to N20 Naira per chance.� “After downloading app, the user is required to sign-up, then top-up their wallets with minimum of N500 naira before taking a chance to play the advertised games,� Nwaukor explained. He further said the company was positioned to outsource the application to Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) Companies in Nigeria and Online Brand Influencers – for general bonanza, giveaways and promotions driven by our innovative lottery application. “Our trademarks and unique gaming application is fully copyrighted and registered with the Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry, Commercial Law Department, and the Federal Ministry of

Industry, Trade and Investment, Abuja,� he said. Speaking also, Co-Founder of the company, Olayemi Agbe-Davies explained that the game categories range from household electronics, smartphones, recharge cards, data plan, automobiles and cash. “You may notice that we have real estate and automobile listed among the categories. Yes, we are a forward-thinking organisation and believe that very soon ‘players’ can win houses and automobiles as rewards,� Agbe-Davies. Speaking at the event, the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lotteries Board, Mr. Seun Anibaba, who was represented by the Head, Legal Department of the lottery board, Mrs. Adebanke Ogunode, confirmed that Koborise had been authorised to commence online game in Lagos State.

438 Youths Begin Entrepreneurship Programme Sylvester Idowu in Warri No fewer than 438 youths of Itsekiri extraction, drawn from the over 20 communities of Chevron Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) under the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, (IRDC) are to begin full scale entrepreneurship after successfully undergoing intensive training. The youths were trained in hair dressing, hotel and catering services, information communication technology, tailoring and fashion design, tinsmith and installation, welding and fabrication, electrical as well as interlocking stone and kerb and received sewing machines among others. The Chairman of IRDC, Austine Oniyesan, at the graduation ceremony and presentation of starter packs to the trainees recently, described the event as first

of its kind in the history of IRDC. Stressing the need for the graduands to continually learn and improve themselves, Oniyesan noted that the current leadership of IRDC would focus its attention on massive job creation in Itsekiri communities under the Chevron GMoU, through mega projects that will be sustainable. The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, Mr. Esimaje Brikinnin, who was represented by Area Manager, (PGPA) Field Operations, Sam Daibo, expressed delight that Itsekiri RDC was back, vibrant, united and ready to add value to people’s lives in its member communities. He noted that the success of the capacity building/ training programme “reinforces CNL’s belief that the process, that is community-

driven, can stimulate quicker community development, than processes and systems designed without effective participation of community members.� He reiterated that the skills’ acquisition programme, which produced the 438 fresh Itsekiri entrepreneurs, was in line with Target 8 of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, which states that nations should promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as full and productive employment and decent work for all. The PGPA boss, who stressed that the NNPC/ Chevron Joint Venture had spent more than N20.6 billion on about 600 programmes through the GMoU since 2005, enjoined everyone to support Itsekiri RDC to enable it focus on its core duty which is community development.


The Bastardization of Marketing In my session this morning, a sales and marketing group of over thirty people, I asked if anyone was interested in a career in sales or if they liked sales and marketing. Though many of them are not in sales, only one person said she would be interested in the activity or profession. Many of them seemed scared and those already in sales felt overwhelmed. In my view, this fear and dread is because many of them do not really understand how to sell or what the whole marketing space is all about. When the organization developed a policy that everybody should attend a sales and marketing training, I saw a lot of merit in this direction because, everybody must market and sell and in fact are always selling whether they realize it or not. This is a forward thinking organization and is in the process of ensuring its whole organization is a sales machine from entry to senior levels. In Nigeria today, organizations are not teaching employees the rudiments of marketing. People are employed and given targets and told to go out and sell, without understanding the organization’s strategy nor the simple difference between sales and marketing, which is very basic nor the art of selling. When you do not understand the difference between sales and marketing a basic knowledge how can you sell effectively? Sales and marketing is a skill we will use in all aspects of our lives. As indicated above, whether you are consciously selling or not, you should realize that you are always selling. Whether you are pitching to a customer in the marketplace, internal customers or your board, you are selling to them. Many people are not aware of this and they end of selling themselves or their products short. We all need to understand that we are our organization’s brand ambassadors and sometimes we are an extension of the product or the product is an extension of us, especially those of us who provide intangible services. We need to understand that selling is a

In Nigeria today, organizations are not teaching employees the rudiments of marketing. People are employed and given targets and told to go out and sell, without understanding the organization’s strategy nor the simple difference between sales and marketing, which is very basic nor the art of selling

process. Many of us, think the first thing that should be done, is to get the product and take it to the market without any research being done. We usually do not understand the features and the benefits of the product and what problem your service or product will sell. Many times, when you do not properly understand your product nor your customer because the basic requirement of upfront research is not done, you are dead on arrival. In addition, many of us, also do not understand that the process can sometimes be long or short depending on the size of the prize. This is why you must always have a large pipeline and ensure that your selling is not based on transactional processes but based on enduring relationships. We must ensure that we find ways of constantly selling to a customer we sold to yesterday not developing new ones every day. The only way you can ensure that your sales interactions are not transactional is to sell to the needs of your customers not just because your buyer is buying from you because he or she feels sorry for you, which is the situation of many people in the profession in Nigeria today. They end up not having enduring or consistent results. Selling is a skill set, with a methodology for ensuring success. The best way to ensure that you achieve success and can sell any product across sectors and organizations is to use the sales methodology to achieve your mandate. These include the principles in sales cycle, presentation, cross selling, upselling, skills, relationship building, networking, negotiation, understanding features and benefits, etc. Many of us are thrown into the market to sell but have no clue about what the above principles mean. Furthermore, know your customer or potential customer. Get to know who you are meeting with, their role, what motivates them, how to approach them and what their needs are. Do what you can to learn in advance what they’re doing and what they might be looking for. That way you can come up with a strategy that makes sense. There are ways to do that and adjust your plan on the fly, but that comes with experience. In Nigeria, we need to start imparting our employees with the right skills to help ensure they succeed. Many organizations do not think getting the right people or giving them access to the required knowledge to succeed is important. Marketing will continue being bastardized, if professionals who actually read sales and marketing are not employed or employees with university degrees or higher knowledge of marketing are not employed. If those without formal knowledge are employed, we need to ensure that the right skills are imparted in our employees otherwise, they will continue not being equipped to deliver value. Let’s work on making sure we do not continue the bastardization of marketing in Nigeria. Get the right people on board or train them well. The profession is an interesting one and selling and marketing skills are essential for all employees for the benefit of the organization and the individual.

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






Capital Market as Economic Growth Driver Goddy Egene writes on the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) that held last week, urging the government to use the capital to grow the economy

NSE trading oor

Capital market provides medium and longterm funding. Although governments and corporate have raised significant capital from the Nigerian market, the potential have not been fully maximised. This was why leading policy makers, economic experts, analysts and financiers said the government should use the market to growth the nation’s economy. The stakeholders spoke at the 22nd annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Lagos. The conference had as theme: “Nigerian Economy and the Capital Market: Exploring the Next Frontier for Growth.� Some of the topics discussed included : “Impact of Economic Recovery and Growth Path (ERGP) on the Nigerian Economy ?; “Nigeria Post-2019 : An Agenda for Policy Makers� and “Evolution of the Nigeria Capital Market Structure;� Exploring the Next Frontier for Growth;� “Regulator’s Role in Building the Capital Market Architecture;� “Sustainable Policy Making and the Digital Economy� and “ How Enabling Policies can contribute to a Robust Capital Market.� Speakers at the forum agreed that government needed to correct some anomalies in national economic policies and declared that the capital market must be used as the main driver of economic agenda. The noted that government should provide enabling environment to deepen domestic capital formation as well as incentives to encourage companies and Nigerians to participate in the domestic stock market. The Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale said there is a symbiotic relationship between economic growth and capital market development. According to him, the government should provide incentives for broader participation in the stock market and deploy its policies to support the development of local institutional investors. He said a more efficient capital market would have positive effects on corporate performance and the overall economy through reduced costs of operations, domestic access to infrastructure

financing, positive effect on aggregate supply, broad-based growth and improved liquidity. Kale said while the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is a prudent policy response for economic recovery and misalignments in the long run, there is need to ensure coherence, continuity, commitment and consistency in government policies and implementation to ensure long-term sustainable growth and development. On his part, Chairman, Lafarge Africa Plc and Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, said that Nigeria has several opportunities to use the markets to achieve all of its key objectives and lift its economy to sustained growth. He noted that capital markets, in the right hands, can be the ‘strategic weapon’ for sustainable growth as the capital markets can finance Nigeria’s infrastructure, housing, create jobs and alleviate poverty. According to him, all of Nigeria’s challenges, which represent significant opportunities, have capital markets solutions as the market can be used to finance and invest in developing physical and social infrastructure, housing and real estate. “Infrastructure will ignite Nigeria’s agriculture and mining, transforming them into big export earners. Infrastructure attracts investments and it is these investments that create jobs. Infrastructure lifts living standards – education, health and these activities will in turn deepen capital markets and improve governance and increase transparency. Ultimately, all of Nigeria and its key stakeholders win,� Balogun said. He outlined that government should make policies that ensure that all government-owned companies issue bonds for financing and all government-assisted funding and intervention should be issued in bond or investment notes that can be listed on the stock market. Balogun added that government should make a policy that ensures that any company receiving government concessions or subsidies must issue its initial public offering not later than three years. He urged government to privatise all major government-owned assets and list such emergent

companies on the stock market. In his contribution, Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Patrick Ezeagu, said that government should use the capital market to drive its infrastructural development. “The provision of infrastructure is key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector. There should be Public Private Partnership (PPP) in this key infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that will drive investment and production,� Ezeagu said. He urged the government to pay attention to policies that will transform the economy faster noting that allowing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a key government agency that regulates the capital market, to be without substantive director general and board does not indicate seriousness about the capital market. Also speaking, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. John Chukwu, said there is need for government to be less involved in the financing of key infrastructure and allow the private sector to mobilise capital for these key infrastructure that will drive production and generate employment. “Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people. There is still abject poverty in the country as parents cannot afford to send their children to school and have quality education. In fact, there is lack of manpower in the education sector and government should find a way of boosting the sector,� Chukwu said. Senior Special Adviser on Industry to President Muhammadu Buhari, who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, said government is trying its best in addressing some of the economic problems facing the country. “The Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP has helped in taking Nigeria out of recession in the short term. It has also helped in bring down inflation and growing the economy though marginally. It is helping in providing jobs through the provision of infrastructure, and

alleviating poverty among others,� Oduwole said. President of CIS, Mr. Adedapo Adekoje, said despite the successes of the institute in its primary responsibility of training and certifying practitioners in the capital market, the Institute has always made it a cardinal responsibility to bring its rich intellectual resources to bear and serve as a strong advocacy platform to guide policy makers at all levels of government and the organised private sector. He said stockbrokers have a common agenda to ensure the development of a strong and robust economy, especially from the perspective of the financial services sector. The Chairperson of the Conference Planning Committee, Mrs. Lilian Olubi explained that this year’s conference was designed to address developmental issues that would move the market to the next level. Olubi noted that regulatory approach to capital market architecture would formed a vital part of discussion at the conference, saying a digital economy has been a key driver of growth in major developments markets across the world. “ Digitisation of activities and transactions has helped to boost market depth, investor participation and seamless operations. In Nigeria, Fintechs are fast becoming a tool for pooling retail savings, executing similar technology to pool retail investments would help boost investor participation,� she said. According to her, regardless of the outcome, it is apparent that the focus would be on improving the Nigerian economy, thus we deem it fit to also channel discussions what the focus should be after 2019 elections.�Olubi said. The First Vice President, CIS Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe said the annual conference has remained a major platform where capital market regulators, top-level government functionaries and members of the organised private sectors discus issues that affect the economy and the way forward. The Registrar and Chief Executive of CIS, Mr. Adedeji Ajadi explained that quite a lot of recent government’s policies had emanated from the previous conferences and the trend shall be sustained.





Ibrahim: Economic Crisis Looms, FG, States, Companies May Collapse Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Fleet/Energy Group, Jimoh Ibrahim says economic crisis looms in the country due to an imminent world economic recession, expected before the end of this year. Ibrahim, who is a PH.D student at the Cambridge University, discusses how to avert the impending crisis and other issues with Onyebuchi Ezigbo You have been quiet politically, what is happening? I just completed two Master degree programmes - Master of Science in Major Programme Management (large project) of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) which took me off the radar. Two degrees of two major universities (Oxford and Cambridge) at the same time took about three years of my time, which is why I haven’t been around. When I had small holiday, remember I came and did small politics, which was for a short period of the holiday time. I didn’t have enough time outside the time accepted by the two universities. It looks as if am back now, but not really, as the University of Cambridge has accepted me for the Business Doctorate programme, I will be off the radar for another three to four years. You may not see me often but you will see some of my activities in the international sphere like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings coming up in Jakarta, Indonesia in October, and the IDFA meeting on infrastructural funding in Africa. I shall be combining these with my academic commitments. We just heard that Nigeria is down with $22 billion debt proďŹ le. What impact will it have on the nation’s economy? One of the things I usually tell my colleagues in any ‘strategy class’ is that strategy is about finding favour in chaotic situation. This provides you with opportunities of doing alignment and strategic engagements. $22 billion debt is small in normal situations, considering the size of the economy. It will be apparently suggested that we are good managers of asset because gross domestic product (GDP) to debit ratio is 20 per cent but it will be a sad news, if GDP to current account is deficit or where GDP to reserve is not impressive. So also where GDP to revenue is not positive or if unemployment is increasing or inflation is on the increase or if there are challenges in the fiscal Federalism. In such critical situation, what you will hear people say is ‘restructuring.’ Why didn’t you restructure when poverty rate was almost at equal proportion in the ‘70s across the federating units? This is the question I often ask on a normally day. Lenders, except China, will normally consider positive or likely positive GDP to revenue or reserves before lending. There is nothing wrong in borrowing if the money is to fund deficit infrastructure but certainly not to fund recurrent expenditure. If you service your existing debt with about 35 per cent of the total budget and your recurrent is another 70 per cent of your budget, your deficit is five per cent and there is no provision for capital project. IMF may not be your friend and locking out to China may not be an option. The synopsis of what my Doctoral thesis is addressing is the huge abandoned projects in Nigeria, given that over 62 per cent of the total projects from 1970 are abandoned. There are over 11,000 projects abandoned, out of which five of them are equal to the country’s total debt, such that when completed, we can say technically that we do have zero per cent debt to GDP ratio. Let me name them straight away; Ajaokuta $5 billion, Hadija Dam project $3.5 billion and Okopia power plant $1.8 billion, two airports projects $2 billion and SUREP project $3 billion or thereabout. The real point for Nigerian is what do you do with your abandoned projects? Are


you going to borrow money to commence another abandoned project? Or is it the case that we are borrowing to complete those project abandoned or are we borrowing to close the poverty gap in the North East or are they no longer part of us because of high poverty ratio? Strategic alignment is key to whatever we intend to do. Completing abandoned project may be a starting point of saying bye-bye to unemployment and inflation. It is also a right way to grow reserve and one way to increase GDP to revenue with good foreign direct investment (FDI). I am concerned about the rate Nigeria is depending on China. China is almost everywhere in Nigeria like they are doing in other African countries. In terms of China, there is nothing wrong in borrowing from China and perhaps, there is no were to even borrow from apart from China. What we are saying is that we should be telling the Chinese that we are borrowing to complete viable abandoned projects and not much of a new project. So, when the last administration went there to borrow $5 billion to do the airport projects and told the Chinese that

we want to do 10 airports, we ended up doing two that were also abandoned and the $5 billion is gone. So, what story are you bringing around again? China is coming to us for choice projects; petroleum projects, refinery projects, rails, electricity and so on which is the money making machine of the economy. If you are a lender like China, will you be lending to fund schools or military equipment? What we are saying is that you can go anywhere to borrow money but let the money be used to complete some of the viable abandoned projects as opposed to new projects, unless it is compelling. Do you think the Nigerian government has any business starting a national carrier at this time? For Nigeria to develop, we must learn very well how to run away from businesses that are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the private sector and projects that are money burner for the public income. Yes, certainly during the industrial revolution, state ownership of public asset was a policy that triggered development, but don’t forget

that it was the source of the great debt of the ‘80s which made institutions like IMF to be popular with the responsibility of helping to adjust developing countries’ balance sheets clustered with convergence of debts. Never again will anyone be thinking of that now. In Dubai for instance, the government doesn’t manage the Emirates Airline. They only have shares in the Emirates; it is managed by the private sector. A lot of things in Dubai are being managed by the private sector. So, when you say you are going to have something as terrible as the risk of national airline, you are just deceiving yourself. How will government handle issues such as cost overruns and schedule delays which will result in benefit shortfalls which the stakeholders will be unhappy with? Government should continue to provide enabling environment for businesses and I think the current Vice President office is putting a lot of efforts in this regard. They should completely remove their hands from business, develop more private people and teach entrepreneurship Continued on page 30





IBRAHIM: ECONOMIC CRISIS LOOMS, FG, STATES, COMPANIES MAY COLLAPSE in schools. Don’t come to say I want to run the airport or airline. Where in the world do you see any serious government running airports? Did you see the British government running the airport in London? It is even Israelis that run their security concerns at the airport. There is really no need to have institutions like the Ministry of Aviation. With NCAA and the Airport authorities, a Ministry of Aviation is uncalled for and most of the ministries we have are not necessary. If there are consistent and contingent demands of our constitution, the constitution should be amended. In Hungary, during the 2008 recession, one minister was overseeing four ministries in other to reduce cost of running government, because cost is a big challenge; states are not generating revenue, government must continue to be in existence, so you talk about cost. Let me give you one warning if that may help you. There is going to be another world economic recession, which is coming up soon before the end of the year. Like the one in 2008, more collapse of government and companies, more institutional challenges and where is it coming from? Deficit import from the United States, the US is in crisis. An average person in US owes 15 years debt on the credit card he is carrying. The situation is worse than Nigeria’s. The growth rate in the US is between 0 - 3 per cent so Trump is saying we have four per cent this quarter but what about the end of the year. Nigeria’s growth rate today is about 2 per cent. The problem with companies operating in Nigeria is simple; they will have to grow below the country’s growth rate. So if your company is growing above the country’s growth rate, we have to investigate what you are doing, whether it is legal or not. So, if you have a hotel, if you look at the total assets, you will probably not be able to grow it more because the country’s growth rate is 2%, except if you will be growing above your country’s growth rate. Again two per cent growth rate is insignificant in your balance sheet. Actually, it can be said to be no growth, all contingent on your environment. Ibrahim

The managers of the economy determine the success of an administration. How would you rate the current managers of Nigeria’s economy? Let me follow it up with the sudden resignation of the ďŹ nance minister, will that have a positive or negative impact on the economy? Well, I shouldn’t make comment because I have conformation bias! But, I think most of the appointments are contingent on political considerations. Ordinarily, this should be unacceptable. So, we have political allocations for important economic and social appointments. Some of the ministers in the present administration are very qualified; majority we don’t know their credentials. But some are extremely qualified and they can hold such positions but my argument is that; the doctrine of reasonableness to national interest and capacity for the job should determine appointments at that level if we are to succeed again on the assumption that we reorganise our system and process of public service. What do you think is the capacity, the skill level of the assembly members and the ministers that we ofoad from the states to the cabinet when the government is formed? National Assembly membership is a function of legitimacy even if capacity is poor in terms of skills. In a majority government, single majority plurality will be difficult to fight. Again, products offloaded by governors to the centre for appointments are generally weak because of political interest. This is where the president must play a good role concerning his government and not the governor’s government, at least at the federal level. Even within the good intention of collaborative responsibilities, we must compel the governors to play above personal interest. I saw the Vice President on television and I pity his good efforts. What was he saying? He was saying the South Western states don’t make money, they can’t collect tax; fantastic but the point is whose fault? The governors are not thinking about what direction things should

go, they want Federal Government to think for them and sometimes when the Federal allocation is not coming on time, governors will abuse the Federal Government. In 21st century, such behavior praxis is far above ignorance. What is your take on the 2019 elections? Are we going to see good elections? Democracy can’t be compromised, this is the fortunate news because anything that is done democratically is acceptable and this is the global standard. The world will not accept undemocratic behaviour and Nigeria can’t be an exception. In political science, we study actors’ and institutions’ behaviours, leading to political outcomes. A good election

If we are prepared for it or not, global recession is in the making and it is something that will break out anytime from now and you have to get ready. We have economic recession coming and it is good that we are predicting it now before it happens. This recession will have a very interesting phase; the phase of massive failure of government and companies

is a function of excellent behaviour of actors and institutions. If the two are well behaved, the 2019 elections will be fine, but if actors influence institutions beyond acceptable level of influence, then go to the warning of Thomas Hobbies. In the Nigerian context, I do hope it will be peaceful. You once had a faceoff with the electoral umpire. Looking at that body now, do you think that it has the capacity to offer Nigeria a free and fair election? Yes, INEC can perform once the political actors don’t influence it, if INEC is left to do its job without any interference. The electoral system we have in Nigeria is capable and sufficient to deliver democracy, but we are confronted with actors and institutions working to interfere. Our political preference should be more on capable electoral systems, creating value stick converged with moral legitimacy. You once contested for the party ticket in Ondo State. In the nearest future, would Nigerians see you seeking another position? Not immediately because of my educational commitments. I am very busy. Like I said earlier, I am in the University of Cambridge and I still have the next few years to finish. When I finish, I will find out what I will do next, may be to return to business and assist my colleagues and turn the business around. It could be political because there is interest but not sure of time because I still want to run another doctoral programme on religion in Oxford after this current one. I need to know more about God before I meet him. The last time I went to Ondo for two reason; firstly to stop Mimiko from producing a successor which I achieved and if I can clear him out then I can present myself for such position. Unfortunately, there was no sufficient time for the second mission for me to present myself in the way I would have wanted to present myself.

You said something about world economic recession. In your own understanding, is Nigeria prepared for it? If we are prepared for it or not, global recession is in the making and it is something that will break out anytime from now and you have to get ready. We have economic recession coming and it is good that we are predicting it now before it happens. This recession will have a very interesting phase; the phase of massive failure of government and companies. The last recession in 2008, companies like A&G insurance, Ford Motors and Lehman Brother went down. This time around, it is going to be both government and companies that will collapse. So, the recession is coming, it is unavoidable. America’s balance sheet is having a deficit of about a trillion(dollars) in import and China is growing heavily, investing (neo colonisation) in Africa, at least for Africa’s support of China’s desire to provide leadership for the world. How do expect Nigeria, as a country, to prepare? Well, preparation in Nigeria depends on the system. We have been having corruption fights but we have to take the fight to the ministries. We need to root it from our system and EFCC need more attention and priority consideration in financial matters and skill development, because the trajectory source of corruption in Nigeria is rooted in public service. EFCC is doing a very good job but maybe they will have to divide themselves into two modules; public module and systemic private module, such that no matter how small, corruption is corruption. EFCC will investigate and invite you the way they invite the big guys. When you clean up corruption at the upper level and the system is still rooted in corruption, then you might have to come back to fight the system and before you finish that, the upper level which is already cleaned, you might have to return again depending on how much you succeed in your systemic fight.




Bajaj Electricals, MACE to Increase Investment in Nigeria Azeez Abdulrauf Bajaj Electricals and its main distributor in Nigeria, MACE Nigeria Limited, have announced plan to expand the investment of the Indian manufacturing company in Nigeria by increasing the volume of its investment. At a meeting held recently in Lagos, with some of its major dealers, the company indicated that Nigeria was strategic to its business because of the country’s potentials and promising profile to grow the world economy, hence the for the Bajaj brand to make its presence felt strongly in the market.According to the Executive Vice President and Head, Export Division, Bajaj Electricals, Beena Koshy, the firm would continue to deliver quality products to consumers all over the country. She said: “Nigeria is a very important market for us and that is why we are working tirelessly to come up with products to serve the various needs of its people. “Going by the size and strategic nature of the Nigerian market, we knew we had to come make our presence felt “In taking our business to the

FG Urged to Restructure Information, Communications Ministry Raheem Akingbolu

next level, we have identified our relationship with dealers and distributors as very important to driving our expansion and increased investment in the country over the coming months. “Basically, we are into the business of appliances, fans and lighting. We have ensured that the products we are bringing are powerful and fit the Nigerian environment and weather. We want to give consumers value for their money.� The Head, Marketing and Sales, MACE Nigeria Limited, the main distributor of Bajaj Electrical products in the country, Sesho Saurav, said the firm would continue to ensure that consumers enjoyed quality items at affordable prices. “We are confident that our products will compete well in the market. Our target is not just to bring quality products into Nigeria, but also ensure that they are affordable for consumers,� he stated He pointed out that the company started with Bajaj two years ago in the area of product appliances because the two organisations shared the same dream, and both believed in provision of quality products to consumers.

Marketing Communications expert and Managing Director, Prima Garnet Africa, Mr Lolu Akinwunmi, has advised the federal government to urgently reorganise the Nigerian Ministry of Information in order to ensure maximum value and effective public information management. Akinwunmi, who spoke at the launch of a book, SKIN for SKIN: The Prima Garnet Story, in Lagos recently, said the nature and structure of the current Information Ministry is more of a colonial relic and cannot cater to the robust, interactive communications needs of a developing country in the 21st century. The advertising guru, who at one time, headed the federal government’s rebranding project said there was no good reason the Information Ministry would be different from the Ministry of Communications and insisted

the two should be merged into a single Ministry to be known as Ministry of Public Communications. Such an arrangement, he said would enable a strategic approach to positively manage the perception of government and its leaders while at the same time ensuring a stronger engagement between the government and the people by exploring technology and all other interfaces needed to effectively communicate with the people and engage the international community. “We do not need a Ministry of Information that is separate from the Ministry of Communications because the two are so intertwined there is no need to separate them in this modern time. “There is urgent need for the redesign and refocus of the Information Ministry to enable it properly serve as the communications engine of the country, instead of just being the mouthpiece of the federal

government,� Akinwunmi stated. The book launch, which coincided with the 60th birthday of the former Chairman of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), also witnessed the launch of the Lolu Akinwunmi Family Foundation (LAFF), a platform, he said has been created to enable him and members of his family to give back to society. Also speaking at the event, Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was the Special Guest of Honour, commended Akinwunmi’s contributions to the growth and development of Advertising and Marketing Communications in the country, saying his virtues of honesty have become critical, especially in the Nigeria of today. Osinbajo, who noted that living to certain standards of uprightness had become difficult in Nigeria, also advised leaders and professionals to help in sustaining the conversations that

will ensure Nigeria is lifted to its deserved place as a leader in Africa and the world “A lot of us have chosen to live by certain ideals. But how do we sustain our ideals when those ideals are facing the marketplace that runs against those ideals? “We wake up everyday with the intention to do our best. But such are almost impossible without dependence on Jesus for daily inspiration,� the Vice President stated. He called on Mr Akinwunmi and all Nigerians to continue to pray and work towards the growth of the country, believing that such was the only way the country will be placed on the path of sustainable growth. “We cannot get tired of working for the growth of the country. We cannot also say because yesterday’s efforts were fruitless, we’d stop working today. There’s no success until we breathe our last,� Prof Osinbajo concluded.

NNPC Donates Solar Solution to Imo Handicap Centre Amby Uneze in Owerri The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Total Upstream Limited has donated solar solutions to a handicap centre in Imo State, even as the company restated its commitment to contributing to the promotion of good environmental practices through the deployment of renewal energy in the country. The Managing Director/ Executive of Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Mr. Terraz stated this at the inauguration of solar solution donated to the Don Guanella Centre for mentally and physically challenged children, managed and operated by the Congregation of Servants of Charity, Nnebukwu, in Oguta local government area of Imo state. Terraz said NNPC Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPN) and its partners - SAPETRO, CNOOC and PETROBRAS - were contributing to the realisation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) numbers three and seven, which accord to him lays strong emphasis on good health and well being as well as provision of cleaner, affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. He said: “In Total we are committed to a better energy and one of our cardinal CSR objectives is to promote environmental responsibility including access to clean and renewable energy, support the reduction of emissions, combat climate change and protect natural resources and bio-diversity.� Terraz, disclosed that each of five buildings in the centre

was provided with solar power and run independently, adding that with the completion of the project, the institution would now depend less on diesel generators for its electrical needs, thereby reducing environmental pollution as well as operational cost which would leave more funds available to meet the other needs of the residents. The Group General Manager NAPIMS, Roland Ewubare who spoke through the Manager (Public Affairs Dept), Alhaji Jia’ Afaru Aliyu, stated that the Don Gaunella centre is the first beneficiary of the project with the completion and donation of the 45,582kw/H of electricity through the use of solar PV panels, inverters and batteries. He added that the solar solution project would promote the use of solar energy in the provision of electricity to power household and teaching equipment. The Superior of the centre, Rev. Fr. Jude Anamelechi, in his address earlier, disclosed that the centre which belongs to the Congregation of the Servants of Charity – a Catholic religious congregation founded by Saint Luigi Gaunella – an Italian Priest is a non profit organization which caters for, educates and rehabilitates person with special needs. Governor Rochas Okorocha who inaugurated the facility through the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Alma Eluwa reiterated the determination of the state government to improve the welfare of the less privileged in society.


LL-R: Director General, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. Richard Borokini; Executive Director, Operations, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc (CHI), Mary Adeyanju; Managing Director/CEO, CHI/ President, CIIN, Mr. Eddie Efekoha; First Prize winner of CHI annual Essay competition, Olumedeji Damilola of Lagos State Polytechnic; Director General, Nigeria Insurers Association, Yetunde Ilori and Executive Director, Finance, System/ Investment, CHI, Mr. Babatunde Daramola, at the CHI essay competition award ceremony in Lagos‌recently

South Africa Airways Targets Cost-reduction Initiatives Chinedu Eze South African Airways (SAA) has said it is on track with its turnaround strategy, indicating that it is getting results as expected. The airline management said its recently published financial results showed that the company was ahead of its plan in its trading performance. “We have always maintained that it will take us until 2021 to break even. This means that our costs will remain higher than our revenue until we reach the breakeven point. “We continue to implement initiatives to drive costs down and improve revenue as part of the turnaround strategy. The quarter one results, reflect the Board and management’s commitment to turn the airline around despite the challenges,� the management said. The company explained that it currently has access to financial facilities to support its working capital requirements. The board and the shareholder

are working around the clock to find a lasting financial solution to the company’s capital requirements, it stated. The airline management said SAA has continued to honour its obligations to all its travelling customers, suppliers and other creditors and will not file for bankruptcy. It added that the airline’s operations remained solid with its on-time performance ranking well amongst its peers. It noted that its first quarter results showed improvement in its trading performance with some of the routes delivering positive gross profit margins for the first time in more than a decade, which it stated was a proof that initiatives implemented were beginning to yield results. The airline said it has made some headway in the implementation of its turnaround plan to transform SAA into a commercially viable entity, which must have the ability to sustain itself financially and remain competitive operationally.

“At a recently held board strategy session on 11 – 12 September 2018, the executive management presented to the board a comprehensive strategy update reflecting on the present-day strategy execution achievements and challenges as well as the road map and options for the outlook of the business. “No decisions have been taken to dispose of any SAA entities or assets at this stage. Options were merely presented to the board for consideration. “The full and meaningful implementation of the turnaround plan, which for the first time has been fully costed, will depend on the realisation of certain enablers. “These include meeting the funding requirements of R21.7 billion over a three-year implementation cycle, aggressively containing costs through smart procurement and optimal organisation design, SAA Technical (SAAT) transformation to bring more efficiencies as well as revenue optimisation and

network rationalisation,� the management said. It noted that since the implementation of one of the key initiatives on revenue optimisation and network rationalisation, SAA has seen encouraging positive financial performance for the first quarter of this financial year, adding that these results are borne out of network changes and capacity redistribution SAA implemented earlier this year in its route network. “The shareholder is aware of the funding requirements and the matter is currently under consideration. “There are ongoing engagements with the lenders who in 2017 agreed to grant SAA conditional extension on its maturing loans, which are now due in March 2019. In April 2018 the lenders extended a R5 billion bridge facility to SAA. “We remain focused on implementing the turnaround plan and we are seeing positive results,� the South African national airline also said.



EDUCATION World Teachers’ Day: Motivating Teachers for Improved Output As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Teachers’ Day with the theme ‘The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher’, some teachers say these rights may not be attained unless the profession is accorded the desired recognition and teachers well remunerated. Uchechukwu Nnaike, Funmi Ogundare and Kuni Tyessi report


ctober 5 every year is always a memorable day for teachers in the country as it affords them the opportunity to celebrate among themselves and be reminded how important they are because they belong to a noble profession. The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) usually organises an event to mark the day across all states where teachers gather to celebrate and bring issues affecting them to the attention of the government. This year’s celebration was not different from other years, but it would have been if the federal government had implemented the new minimum wage as proposed by labour unions in the country. In Lagos State, the teachers gathered at NUT Pavilion, Alausa all gaily dressed in matching outfits from one local government area to the other, the high point of the event was the march past and the presentation of gifts to each local government area according to the time of arrival. Commenting on the new minimum wage issue, the Chairman, Lagos State wing of NUT, Comrade Adedoyin Adesina said the government is not being fair, adding that it is only in this part of the world that government will reach an agreement and will renege. “In 2011 it was agreed that every four years the salaries shall be reviewed but we noticed that till date nothing has been done. They said we are out of recession, if we are out of recession, there is need to improve the standard of living. Labour creates wealth; you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. “When you look at the exchange rate, as at 2011 it was about N160 to a dollar, now it is about N360, it is more than double, so definitely depreciation has come in, the purchasing power is very low, so there is need for the government also to honour the agreement. The government of Nigeria is like when you are dialoguing with a deaf, the only language they understand is strike, if you don’t go on strike they will not listen; if you don’t disrupt the economy, they won’t listen. We are not there yet but I believe there will be a time that we will get there.� Adesina stressed that poor remuneration leads to low productivity; however he said teachers in the state go for professional development, but the level of that professional development is a problem. “Teachers also undergo self-development, on-the-job training. When you go to primary schools these days, we have many doctoral and master’s degree holders there and that was not what they had when they were employed, they got it on the job.� The NUT Chairman called on the state government to address the shortage of qualified teachers, saying that the recent recruitment of 2,200 teachers cannot cope with the deficit on ground. “Teachers are the most crucial in the educational structure, it is never the infrastructure. We will therefore recommend that another advert be put up for recruitment of more qualified teachers for both sectors- primary and secondary.� He also appealed for increased running cost; reinstatement of morale-boosting allowances; professionalisation of teachers; and conversion of non-teaching staff to teaching staff. The acting Secretary, Gbenga Ayetoba, who commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for ensuring regular payment of teachers’ salaries and infrastructure development in schools however said “that we are having it good in Lagos does not mean we are actually getting a living wage, what we are asking for is a living wage for teachers and the entire workers of Nigeria. You cannot get the best out of teachers when they are not well remunerated and motivated. NUT is in full support of the agitation for a living wage in Nigeria. “I also want to commend the governor for the training and retraining of teachers. Teachers in Lagos State are not sleeping; in our primary school system today you hardly see NCE so on daily basis, teachers are developing themselves. In spite of the fact that we are not getting a living wage, personal development is a must and I want to thank the teachers in Lagos, they don’t toy with their personal development, but there is still room for improvement.� On how poor remuneration is affecting teachers, Ayetoba said: “We all know and understand the economic reality in the country now, the politicians are having it good, but it is the same market that the politicians and civil servants and teachers go to; to the extent that if you buy a product today

A cross section of teachers of The Foreshore School, Ikoyi, Lagos, during the World Teachers’ Day celebration...recently by the time you go back there the following day, the price would have skyrocketed, but the wages remain the same. It is a pathetic situation, it is eating deep into the lives of teachers and civil servants and the common man.� At the event in Abuja, the federal government promised to make teaching lucrative and attractive to encourage more people into the profession President Muhammadu Buhari who made this known regretted that the profession in Nigeria has been regarded as a dumping ground and has been patronised by people that believe that teaching is a part-time job that allows for other profit making businesses which is considered more lucrative. He said this will no longer be the case as the federal government is still committed to the profession and frantic efforts are being made to improve teacher education for skills acquisition through teachers’ continuous professional development. Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, lamented the increasing number of out-of-school children, saying that at least 250,000 additional teachers are needed to achieve the recommended teacher: pupil ratio of 1:30. “There is no gainsaying that the teaching profession has been and is still faced with various challenges. These include low wages, low self-esteem in the society, lack of professional in service training, low professional status, higher teacher/pupil ratio, ineffective machinery to enforce the code of conduct in the teaching profession, unqualified teachers, lack of standards and poor work environment. The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, revealed that from 2015 to date, about 36,088 teachers have graduated as holders of Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and Advanced Diploma in Education (ADE) including other continuing professional development programmes for teachers. He said so far, the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has registered over two million teachers at all levels in all the 36 states and has been working with the NUT to collate all bio-data of Nigerian teachers through their network in all the 744 local government areas of the country with over 26,350 teachers as certified and licensed for the past two years. The NUT National President, Dr. Nadir Idris called on the federal government to close the gap in retirement between teachers in tertiary institutions and those of the basic and secondary schools from 60 to 65 years and the service period from 35 to 40. “Teachers of primary and secondary schools in the country over the years demanded for their retirement age to be reviewed from 60-65 years

and service period from 35-40 years. This has been granted to teachers in the colleges of education, polytechnics and universities and equity demands that it should be given to teachers at the basic and senior secondary schools in Nigeria. “We call on the federal government to approve the payment of 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhancement allowance to teachers in the unity schools and other federal government schools. These teachers should also be allowed to exercise their trade union rights by belonging to the industrial unions of their choice.� In her remarks, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, lauded the steadfastness and dedication of teachers in the state, in public and private schools and acknowledged their invaluable contributions to the overall development of the next generation of leaders. She reiterated the state government’s commitment to their welfare in the areas of training and re-training, prompt payment of salaries and conducive environment for teaching and learning in schools through infrastructure renewal, while assuring them that teachers’ wellbeing will continue to be the government’s priority. “The effectiveness of our teachers can be judged or measured by the performance of our students in internal and external examinations, national and international competitions in which the students have performed creditably well. Though there is always room for improvement which I urge the teachers to take very seriously and stay committed because they remain the mirror with which students view themselves.� On the on-going recruitment of additional 2,200 teachers into the school system, she said only qualified and competent teachers will be recruited as the exercise is to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Adebule called on teachers to renew their commitment to hard work, place premium on service delivery and inculcate right morals in the young ones. The Administrator of The Foreshore School, Ikoyi, Miss Oyin Egbeyemi told THISDAY that teachers need to be genuinely passionate and committed to their jobs, saying that these would always make them stand out. “Teachers who have stood out to me exhibit these. They always go the extra mile in delivering their tasks. They do not take their work as just a job, they carry things out like it is actually a calling. To be honest, recognition could mean many different things.� She said when her school commemorated the World Teachers’ Day, the children were asked who their favourite teachers were and their responses were interesting. “One of the children said ‘I love my teacher

because she allowed us to play in classes, another said ‘my teacher is very good with discipline, that’s why I like her’. Sometimes it is the manner with which they teach and how they really connect with their students. For some it is a natural gift, for some it is a skill they develop as a result of their passion or even their career development. Asked how teachers should be more motivated so that the profession can attract quality people, she said, “Back in the very early days of my grandmother’s (50s to 60s) career, teaching was one of the noblest professions, especially for women. She and my grandfather were teachers for their entire careers, and were very proud of what they did (and still do). Times were different then and conventional careers of today (banking, engineering and consulting) were not as popular as they are now. “However, I believe that the economic environment then was also more enabling: The cost of living was far lower, our economy was more diversified and foreign exchange rates favoured us. Our entire system as a country and the structure of the educational system in Nigeria were more efficient then, so much so that it was more noble for people of my parents’ generation to school here than abroad. In fact, Indians, Ghanaians and people from many other countries came to Nigeria to teach and learn. Many people from that time would probably agree that it was a noble or prestigious profession and sector then. “These days however, the quality of the teaching profession seems to have been diminished both in its perception of nobility and the compensation it attracts (in relation to the cost of living these days). A colleague of mine who works in the finance sector made the comment, ‘why move from a career in engineering to one in education? To me, this was indicative of the shallow mind set of the current generation. This perception somehow extends to the system in the country such that even the welfare packages of teachers and other people in education do not match the volume of the important work that they do. “For instance, the federal and state budget allocations to education are so low in comparison to our peers in countries such as Ghana and Rwanda. So, I think we need to change our mind sets and reconsider the importance of education in any country. If we took this a little more seriously (across various tiers of the economy; individuals, government, private and public sectors), the profession would automatically become as noble as it should be and would therefore attract quality people. On how the glory of the school system will be restored for nation building, Egbeyemi emphasised on the importance of quality education, adding that it is one of the sectors that could restore growth in the country.




Expert Tasks Varsities on Future-ready Curriculum Uchechukwu Nnaike Educational institutions in the country have been advised to upgrade their curricula so as to equip their graduates for new jobs and opportunities that would be created in future as a result of the advancement in technology and the ever-changing world. The Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank, Mrs. Folake AniMumuney, said this in Lagos recently while delivering the keynote address titled ‘The World Now, the World Tomorrow- in a Technology Space’, at the reunion of Babcock University alumni. According to her, “our institutions need to focus on the curriculum; is the curriculum

future-ready or are we teaching notions of the past? Also alumni associations need to concern themselves with how they partner with institutions because they are in a better position to say how relevant what they learnt at the school is in today’s job market. They must partner institutions to make the change where necessary.� Ani-Mumuney, who doubles as the Chairman, Board of Directors, FBN Insurance Brokers, stressed that there has been paradigm shift in all sectors and there is need for Nigerians to catch up with the pace of change and take advantage of technology in tackling issues in the areas of population growth and data, as well in solving problems affecting humanity. “As they collect our data for

maybe telephone, who is helping us regulate that data? If tomorrow you are faced with a situation where there is corrupt data and some algorithm somewhere speaks out that you did something you know you did not do, if the regulation has not protected you, better understand how you can protect yourself by making sure that you also have data that can prove that you were elsewhere. There are ways that we can also help ourselves only if we are aware of issues; if we are not aware of issues we cannot even begin to think of solutions. “Schools should start with those global themes affecting humanity as a whole like population expansion; all the sectors are impacted by technology, so you

they should look at how to you teach students to be thinkers. That for me is the fundamental change that our institutions need to consider because if students are thinkers, then they can think and prepare for the world ahead,� said. In his remarks, the ViceChancellor, Babcock University, Ogun State, Prof. Ademola Tayo, described the institution’s alumni as vibrant “because young people are now riding on the back of technology to link themselves up and because of that we are able to pull out so many of them from different parts of the country and beyond so that there will be an avenue for them to network, to give feedback to the university on how we will be able to fashion or review our curriculum to meet

the emerging challenges of the world.� On the impact of the alumni on the institution, he said it is excellent because the alumni have helped the university to see the need to adjust its curriculum to meet the emerging challenges of the world today and many of them are pulling up their resources to help indigent students and many other people that cannot afford the fees. “What one can learn from the lecture is that if we are not able to key into the changes in the world today, one will be left behind and that is why one needs to watch the trend and position oneself to be able to latch on to what is coming in the future,� Tayo said. He advised the alumni to rally

their resources so that they can link up and be part of the movement that will revolutionalise the world. Also speaking, the Chairman, Alumni Committee, Dr. Adesoji Tayo stressed the need for alumni to share their successes with their alma mater without expecting anything in return. He said most of the known universities in the world are nurtured and maintained through the endowments by alumni. He urged the alumni to consider the concept of giving to the university, as it would help them to muster the courage to step up and do something profound for their alma mater. “Your alumni provide a platform for us all to hold hands and change things for the upcoming Babcockites.�

Onu Donates Science Kits to CKC, Tasks Youths on Academic Excellence Ugo Aliogo The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has donated science kits to students of Christ the King College (CKC), Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, in recognition of their outstanding performance at the 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). He also tasked youths on the need to imbibe the spirit of hard work and excellence in their academic pursuits. Onu, who spoke at the 2018 Hallmarks of Labour (HL) 22nd anniversary and role model awards in Lagos, commended students, while urging them to emulate the example of excellence displayed by the students. He said through the feat, the students have demonstrated the

virtues of hard work, resilience and excellence, which the country is known for. In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, commended the leadership of HL for sustaining the award since inception and honouring Nigerians who have made remarkable progress in nation building. Some of the individuals honoured included Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi (HLF Role Model Award), Prof. Joy Ogwu (HLF-Emeka Anyaoku Life-time Achievement Award), Chief Onikepo Akande (HLF Role Model Award), Prof. Shehu Galadanci (HLF-Umaru Shehu Life-Time Achievement award), CKC, Ijebu Ode (HLF Young Achievers Award), Justice Isa Ayo-Salami (HLF Life-time Achievement Award), among others.

NUC Plans to Boost ICT Usage in Varsities Kuni Tyessi in Abuja The National Universities Commission (NUC) has embarked on a process that would ensure that universities embrace the use of Information Technology Communication (ICT) for seamless academic and non-academic operations. The Director in charge of Directorate Research, Innovation and Information Technology, Dr. Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, made this known in Abuja, during a meeting between the NUC board on ICT development and the directors of ICT from all Nigerian universities. According to him, the issues confronting the system, including missing results and delay in collection of transcripts are due to the analogue method of operations in universities. Yusuf stressed that the board is committed to resolving the challenges confronting the use of appropriate ICT tools in the universities system by ensuring that the right polices, adequate resources and capacity building are put in place by government to drive the process. “The board has shown serious interest in ensuring that we leverage on ICT to the extent that we can actually optimise the use of these technologies to drive teaching, learning and research in Nigerian universities, so that our graduates will not just be ICT savvy, but will

be graduates who have a mind-set that explains innovation as a driver of development at individual and national levels. “This is why the committee of the board is here to discuss with the universities to find out what their issues are, what their perceptions are about ICT and most Importantly, the status of ICT in Nigerian universities in terms of infrastructure, in terms of capacity to use what is available and whatever gaps there are so that we as the regulatory agency advising government on how to intervene, so that government will be able to drive policies that will strengthen the leveraging of ICT in the Nigerian universities system. “By the time we finish this process, it will be a thing of the past for any university to be unable to resolve some of these issues. Actually it is an embarrassment in 2018 that students are looking for transcripts. Transcripts should be available at any point in time in an organised university system,� he said. The Chairman, NUC ICT Development Committee, Mr. Johnson Osinugo, noted that ideally, no university should graduate students that are computer illiterates. He maintained that the committee is working in a framework to correct the anomaly, saying, “all Nigerian graduates or students regardless of department admitted into, will pass through an ICT training phase.�

L-R: The Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; a member of the Enactus National Champion team from Ahmadu Bello University, Usman Waziri; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-rufai; other members of the team, Aisha Adams, Farouk Salisu Garba and Deborah Yusuf, at an interactive session on the ‘Hope Rising Project’, held at the Kaduna ICT Hub... recently

Varsity Don Bags International Award on Business Management A Professor of Economics, Peter Siyan has been conferred with the World Championship in Business Management (infrastructure development). Siyan, who currently teaches Economics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the University of Abuja, emerged winner after his research article topped the 5,445 nominations from 65 countries that were screened for the award. The don, who has several outstanding international contributions to his credit, was selected based on the international meritorious competition and his enlightening scientific domain. He is among the world’s 500 most influential experts in business management and fellow, Directorate of Business Management, (IASR) and he is playing a vital role in the advancement of scientific knowledge in Business Management (Infrastructure Development) for which he was so recognised by the International Agency for Standards and Ratings (IASR) The organisers of the award in a statement said the award is always given to brilliant scientists and academicians impacting the world in their areas of specialization. They said Siyan, who is also a fellow at the Directorate of Business Management of IASR, has played

a vital role in the advancement of scientific knowledge in Business Management (Infrastructure Development) to merit the award. Fondly referred to as Father of modern Infrastructure Development (Business Management), he is quoted to be an international asset for Nigeria and now positioned to endorse scientific meetings and conferences on business management. He is also in a position to give expert advice on keynote speeches on business management, industrial collaborations and the execution of programmes related to Business Management. His SpecialAssistant on Media and Strategy, Dr. Malachy Ugbaka, in a statement said business management is now an ideal choice for anybody who wants a fast-tracked career or learns more about the realities of starting or managing a business. Speaking on the benefit of his award to the business community and academic institutions, Siyan said, “for instance, universities under my tutelage reconstruct their syllabus by adding applications of scientific contribution to nation building including receiving proper supervision that would help institutions and universities have more allocation of public funds and research grants.�

Covenant Breaks into World Varsities Ranking Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State has become the highest ranked Nigerian institution in the prestigious world universities ranking of the Times Higher Education (THE). The Times Higher Education is the body behind the world’s most influential university ranking and with almost five decades of experience as a source of analysis and insight on higher education. Its data and benchmarking tools are used by many of the world’s most prestigious universities to help them achieve their strategic goals. According to the latest ranking released recently by THE in its office in Singapore, Covenant has been ranked within the 601-800 bracket. By this development, the university, established 15 years ago, has become the first Nigerian and also, arguably the first African institution to record such a milestone in a rather short time of existence. The feat came six years into the process of actualising the institution’s divine vision of becoming one of the top 10 universities in the world by the 2022, otherwise

known as vision 10:2022. The current administration of the institution, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aderemi Atayero, had in its bid to rev up the drive towards the fulfilment of the vision, introduced the ‘ReCITe Agenda’, which would entail a researchintensive approach. The university believes that the ReCITe agenda would be accomplished through the instrumentality of ‘globalisation’, which means benchmarking with established (indisputable) world-class universities, while introducing innovations to address local contextual needs. So far, the agenda has been a phenomenal success with Covenant now boasting of 40 per cent of top 20 authors in Nigeria and the university only recently set a new record of over 600 publications so far in the year. The university had since inception lived up to the aspirations of its founder through unique curricula and quality teaching, cutting edge research, life-changing innovations and impactful community development programmes.




30,000 Learners Enrol in A’Ibom Adult Education Centres Okon Bassey in Uyo Akwa Ibom State has established over 888 adult education centres in the 31 local government councils of the state with more than 30,000 learners enrolled. The establishment of the

learning centres across the state was government’s efforts at ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG) aimed at eradicating mediocrity and illiteracy by 2030 is achieved, The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Victor

Flutterwave, Greensprings Educational Service Offer Internship to Students As part of efforts to constantly redefine education in Africa, Greensprings School has partnered a leading fintech firm in Nigeria, Flutterwave to provide internship opportunities for interested students. Greensprings, a technologydriven school is aware of how the rising impact of technology on daily life has created an increased demand for technology-related jobs such as software developer, computer security analyst, data scientist, software engineering, and digital marketing. While it seems like most schools are still caught up in the past, parents are seeking ways to ensure that their children are well-prepared for the technology jobs of the future. Only recently, Greensprings became the first Thinking School in Nigeria, which means teachers will now adopt a growth mind-set approach towards delivering education to their students. According to the school’s Director of Education, Ms. Helen Brocklesby, “the partner-

ship gives our year 11 students an opportunity to get hands-on experience with latest technology applications for duration of four weeks. It is meant to equip our soon-to-be graduates with the requisite skills for the global job market.� Expressing satisfaction with the success of the internship’s maiden edition, the Managing Director of Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji said: “Working with students from Greensprings during the four weeks has been a wonderful experience. We will like to appreciate the students’ proactive effort and interest in learning about our services and technology at large.� Flutterwave is a payment API that makes it easy for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. The service allows consumers to pay for items in their local exchange. Flutterwave takes care of integrating banks and payment-service providers into its platform so businesses don’t have to take on the expense and burden.

College Wins NCOY Award Ugo Aliogo Caro Favored College (Inventive Explorers), Lagos, has won the National Company of the Year (NCOY) award for its ground-breaking invention in mobile rechargeable traffic light for road wardens. The NCOY competition is Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) flagship event and the culminating point for the implementation of the JA company programme and accompanying regional competitions across the country. It occurs in early October and brings together outstanding student business teams across the country to compete for the opportunity to represent Nigeria at the JA Africa company of the year competition. Other winners were Government Girls’ College, Abaji, Abuja, (Brain Max) and Sharon Rose College (Sharon Glory Ventures) who came second and third position respectively. Speaking at the competition in Lagos recently, which had nine student companies participate, the Chairman, JAN, Mr. Niyi Yusuf said the goal of the NCOY is to create a signature showcase for JAN and the students benefit from the impact of the JA company programme which is a school-based entrepreneurship education curriculum for senior secondary school students. He also explained that the annual celebration of success allows young people to demonstrate their business acumen and spirit of entrepreneurship in a competitive environment, which would engage business, education and policy leaders, as well as the media. Yusuf said they begin the selection process by looking for volunteers who live in a

particular environment that would be willing to devote their time and energy for the students and who are passionate about developing young entrepreneurs He explained that the next stage is to look for a school that would give them invitation, adding that they understand the benefit which comes from developing entrepreneurs. “So once we have a willing volunteer and a school, then the next thing is sparking the ideas that are already in the students. The students have those wonderful ideas and they are looking for someone to help them unravel what is inside them. This is happening in different regions across the nation. Like I said we are in four out of six regions. We are in 28 states and we hope to cover the 36 states with this initiative. The students that presented today gave ideas to solve local problems that we see as very important. “The second factor is the ability to sell, share, create a company and sell a product. In 2017, the CEO of one of the private equity firm Verod Capital decided to invest in the students’ company that came second. This shows us how little things can grow. We are hopeful that given the finalists that we have here who come from the different sectors, some of them will be motivated to want to invest in this ideas and take it forward.� In her remarks, the Global Head, Marketing and Communications, First Bank Limited, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said the bank believes in the future of the youths and identifies with their innate talent, skills, and values that they possess which is key to building and securing not just their future, but that of the country.

Inoka stated this during the south-south zonal meeting of Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS) held in Uyo recently. The meeting was attended by representatives of all the six states in the zone. According to him, “the adult education programme in Akwa Ibom State is progressing in a very interesting rate due to the activities of our educationfriendly Governor, Udom Emmanuel.� However, he said more still have to be done to sustain the status quo, aside from different intervention

programmes that have made the adult literacy programme attractive in the state. Inoka commended the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) for its various interventions in the area of payment of facilitators and establishment of befitting centres in the state. He also thanked other literacy support organisations like Nigerian Girl Guides, Rotary Club of Uyo, Shelter Afrique and FOSMACIN for the donation of books and learning materials. He said the state still needs support especially in

the areas of vocational and skills acquisition equipment from donor agencies like UNIDO, UNESCO, UNDP, NOGLASS and assistance in the payment of facilitators. The state Chairman of NOGALSS, Mr. Michael Okon observed that the free and compulsory education policy of the state is a boost to the adult and non-formal education sector. He said the conducive environment was as a result of the cordial relationship between the association and other educational support agencies in the state as they operate at their pace without fear of competition.

“The various nongovernmental organisations in the state that engage in various literacy programmes for adult, drop out of school youths, women and vocational training have directly been impacted with donation of educational materials, tables and chairs. “I deeply appreciate the management of the Agency for Adult and Non-formal Education that has given Akwa Ibom NOGALSS an office space with secretary. It has been great working with these educationists. We pledge to do more for the total eradication of illiteracy by 2030,� Okon said.

L-R: The Vice-President, Lagos Chapter of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Mr. Tunde Bejide; Senior Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Idowu Adesokan; President, Lagos Chapter of NAPPS, Alhaji Wasiu Adumadeyin; and Teen Segment Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Abimbola Gold-Oladipupo, during a courtesy visit of NAPPS at MTN Headquarters in Lagos‌ recently

Community to Award Enugu QualiďŹ es for Scholarship to Indigent Cowbellpedia Semi-ďŹ nal, Raises Stake for South-east Students Enugu State has joined the list of states that have produced semi-finalists for the ongoing Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz show, sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited. For reaching that stage, Ngozi Nworu, a student of Bishop Otubelu Juniorate, Enugu raised the expectation of the south-east region to compete for the ultimate prize with the south-west and southsouth regions, which have multiple representatives in the semi-finals. Ngozi was joined in the semifinal stage by Damilare Adepoju of Scholars Universal Secondary School, Ota, Ogun State, both of whom participated in the same group of the second round. The other candidates that have now ended their journey in the competition are Emeka Onwe of Comprehensive School of Management and Technology Staff Secondary School, Abakaliki, Ebony State; Dongnaan Bala of St. Augustine College, New Karu, Abuja; Nnagozie Tochukwu of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State;

and Swanta Stephen of The Incubators Secondary Academy, Kaduna State. Ngozi attributed her success to her calculation skills and speed, adding that “there is a lot of benefit of being able to tackle a problem without resorting to a calculator and that was what helped me in the 60 seconds of fame segment.� In the senior category, Ruth Imarhiagbe of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt and Oreofe Daniel of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State progressed to the semi-finals. Despite their spirited efforts in the first and second rounds, four of their colleagues could not surmount the hurdles. They are Aliyu Tukur Usman of Darul Arqam Islamic Institute, Yola, Adamawa State; Sanyaolu Daniel of Taidob College Abeokuta, Ogun State; Onyedikachi Kanu of Dority International Secondary School, Aba, Abia State; and Victory Oboh of Lords and Kings Academy, Warri, Delta State. Speaking to journalists, Imarhiagbe said mathematics is fun and that she would be delighted to wear the crown at the finals.

Ugo Aliogo As part of efforts to support the growth of education in ErhurunUneme, Community, Akoko Edo State, the Lagos Branch, Erhurun-Uneme Community will be giving out scholarship to indigent Students of ErhurunUneme on December 1. Addressing journalists during the branch’s end of year party in Lagos, the Chairman, Mr. Peter Bankole, said the goal of the association is to develop the community and look into the welfare of members in the state. He said the effort is an initiative they have been doing for years, adding that it has been fruitful and the people are committed to the goal. Bankole said they reach out to members in the community and outside Lagos, adding that the branch has carried out several development efforts in the past. “There was a development project which we carried out in the past which was the exercise book project. The books were produced here in Lagos and we sent to our primary and secondary schools in the village. We produced 4,000 copies that were shared among the students. It has been our annual project and we have been doing it for years.� In his remarks, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Lucky Okhagbuzo, said due

to the harsh economic condition, there is need to empower members who are in need and have children still schooling, especially in Lagos with scholarship support. “The end of year project is to raise funds to support members who are in Lagos and have children that are still schooling. The scholarship programme is work in progress. This is a new innovation and because of our understanding that there is hardship in the country. When I say work in progress, we are in fund drive. Through this initiative, we want to look at the children who are really in need. This is the reason for the meeting. We will invite the candidates chosen on that day, having finalised the necessary arrangements. “It is a yearly effort. We need to empower them; we cannot close our eyes and say they don’t need help. We want to make sure that our children are not only in school, but provided with the resources they need to succeed. We are raising funds as individual members. “It is a situation of taking from privileged members to give less privileged members to make sure they get support. We also have provision for children who want to learn vocational jobs. The focus is the families that are in dire need so we are going to provide them with that opportunity to make their children to be useful.�




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—Ëœ͖͕͔͑͑͒͑͒͑͑͘

Promoting Yoruba Culture Through Olojo Festival Yinka Kolawole writes that the Olojo Festival, which is an annual celebration in Ile-Ife in Osun State, was a clarion call for all to promote the Yoruba cultural heritage


n the face of declining cultural values, with more people leaning towards civilisation and borrowed foreign celebrations, greater efforts are being made by cultural enthusiasts to counter that narrative. These days, it is commonplace to see Nigerians trying to adopt foreign cultures and neglect their local traditions, which more often than not are deemed to be diabolical. As part of the measures to counter that narrative, the Olojo Festival, an annual cultural celebration, commemorating the creation of the first dusk and dawn, was held in the ancient city of Ile Ife. The underlying message of the festival was for Nigerians to preserve and protect their cultural heritage at all costs. Harmonisation of Yoruba Festivals Organised by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the week-long festival was heralded by a press conference. At the conference, Ogunwusi called on the people of the Yoruba nation in Nigeria and in the diaspora to harmonise efforts towards promoting all cultural festivals and traditions of the race. The monarch who spoke in his palace in Ile Ife was flanked by palace chiefs, priests and sponsors of the celebration- Bet9ja, MTN, Goldberg and Seamans Aromatic Schnapps. He decried the continuous description of adherents of traditional religion as idol worshippers. Urging people of the race to rise to the challenge and protect their cultural beliefs, Ogunwusi said the entire Yoruba race should jointly embrace the traditions of their forebears, repackage and export it. According to him, "failure to admire our culture would surely destroy the labour our past heroes. We are not idol worshippers, but we are using the celebration of the festival to acknowledge and give due honour to all our deities that have contributed immensely to human existence. Olojo Festival symbolises celebrating the first day of creation and the beginning of existence in Ile-Ife, being the cradle of human race. "The word "Olojo" implies reference to Olodumare, the creator and the owner of the day and that is why Olojo festival is being celebrated in Ife kingdom, the cradle of Yoruba's. Christian and Muslims do celebrate and remember Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in due times, same thing should be applicable to the traditional religion adherents." Giving historical background of the Olojo Festival, Ooni said the owner of the whole universe (Olodumare) would be appreciated during that period of celebration of Olojo. He therefore said: "All forces of nature such as rain, sun and water among others will interact for the betterment of the day and humanity. We all believe and worship one God in diverse ways. Olojo Festival is a day that God specially answers prayer not for Ife indigenes alone, but for all and sundry." Chief Ayo Olumoko, the Olojo festival consultant, said this year's celebrations, which began with 'Gbajure Festival' on September 17,

The Ooni acknowledging cheers from the crowd


Some of the traditional rites carried out at the festival

saw the Ooni wear 'Are Crown' on the last day of the month while performing the symbolic trip to 'Oke Mogun'. He had earlier charged

Failure to admire our culture would surely destroy the labour our past heroes. We are not idol worshippers, but we are using the celebration of the festival to acknowledge and give due honour to all our deities that have contributed immensely to human existence. Olojo Festival symbolises celebrating the ďŹ rst day of creation and the beginning of existence in Ile-Ife, being the cradle of human racee

all participants and indigenes of Ife to be law abiding during the celebrations and ensure that tourists coming for the festival enjoy their stay in the town. Symbolic Visit to Oke Mogun Shrine One of the highlights of the festival was the presence of wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Funsho Amosun, and other foreign tourists, who accompanied the Ooni on the symbolic trip to the Oke Mogun shrine. Adorning the mystic 'Are' crown, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, accompanied by Amosun, top officials of Osun state government, palace chiefs, priests and several thousands of participants, walked to Oke Mogun, where the monarch completed the rites of the festival. Grand Finale The grand finale of the celebration that began with ‘Gbajure’, the proclamation across town that the

festival will hold, and thereafter, seclusion by Ooni for seven days started last two Sundays. Receiving various groups that had come around from all parts of the world to pay him homage at the palace court, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi used the period to pray for peace in Nigeria and Osun. At the grand finale of this year's edition of Olojo festival, the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said the preservation of the tribe's cultural heritage remains an important condition to ensure that the identity of the race is well preserved for the coming generation. Represented by Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Taiwo Oluga, the governor congratulated indigenes of Ile Ife for being at the vanguard of preservation of Yoruba culture. He promised to continue to support cultural activities as part of efforts to foster unity and promote harmonious relationship among people of different religious beliefs.







Police Arrest 84 for Attempting to Disrupt Party Primaries Stories by Rebecca Ejifoma The Lagos State Police Command has arrested over 84 suspected hoodlums who attempted to disrupt the recently concluded primary elections conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). The hoodlums who were arrested from different parts of the metropolis, were said to have been wielding various dangerous weapons, with which they attempted to cause mayhem at the respective elections wards. The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who confirmed the arrest said a good number of the thugs were arrested from Ajegunle, Ijora Badia, Oyingbo, Oshodi,

Ikorodu and Epe areas. He said: "I want to use this opportunity to thank Lagosians for conducting themselves peacefully during and after the recently concluded APC primaries, which by all security indices was hugely successful. "However, there were pockets of skirmishes in some parts of the state owing to the activities of thugs, who were however contained as soon as it began. In all, the command arrested a total of 84 thugs from various parts of the state." Edgal who said that all those arrested would soon be charged to court added that in the same vein, armed hoodlums last Friday went about Ijora-Badia town damaging cars and looting shops along Gaskya

Street/Ijora Oloye. He said operatives of the command led by CSP Indyar Apev, rose to the occasion and arrested 16 of them at the scene. He gave the names of the 16 arrested suspects as Adisa Mohammed, Idowu Alibi, Michael Ogede, Akeem Rilwan, Ayinde Alimi, Muyiwa Usman, Muftau Akeem, Kaseem Ajiboye, Qudus Tajudeen; Damire Adeoye and Oluwasegun Fauwat, Bashiru Tosin, Ahmed Ibrahim, Kaseem Olatunji, Abdullahi Kudus and Ismail Oluwayin. He said items recovered from the hoodlums includes cutlasses, large quantity of weeds suspected to be Indian-Hemps and alcoholic drinks popularly known as schuchies.



PHONE NOS OF LAGOS CP, AREA COMMANDERS 1. CP Imohimi Edgal, Commissioner of Police Lagos State 08033040870 2. DCP Ayuba Elkanah Nabuni Deputy Commissiner of Police Administration 08033422152, 3. DCP Muhammed Ali Ari, Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations 08073666669 4.ACP Mohammed Danladi, Area Commander A, Lagos Island 08034668470 5. ACP Sani Sabo, Area Commander B Apapa 08038452224 6. ACP Godwin Eze, Area Commander C Surulere 08023407772. 7. ACP Akinbayo Olasoji, Area Commander D Mushin 08037140083 8. ACP Yusuf Ajape, Area Commander E Festac 08037073372 9. ACP Ibrahim Zungura, Area Commander F, Ikeja 08052058001 10. ACP Arumse J.D, Area Commander G Ogba 08033464144

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi

11. ACP Miller Dantawaye, Area Commander H, Ogudu 08036695572

Man Poses as EFCC OďŹƒcial to Swindle Coy

12. ACP Felix Oben, Area Commander J Elemoro 08033320682

A suspected fraudster, Paschal Ugwu, who operates under the guise of being an official of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been arrested by the police in Lagos. The suspect was said to have in the past succefully swindled both local and foreign based businessmen. According to the police, he was arrested after he collected the sum of N805,000 from the managing director of WireMy-Cake company, located at Ijegun area of Isheri-Oshun, over an alleged case of fraud involving the latter's company. Ugwu was said to have connived with one Sodiq Ibrahim, a dismissed staff of the cake

company to plan the operation. Confirming the arrest, the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said Ugwu was an impostor who poses as a staff of the EFCC and by so doing, had been defrauding unsuspecting members of the public. He said that the suspect met his waterloo on October 5, 2018 at Ijegun, Isheri-Oshun, Lagos, having defrauded Wire-MyCake company. According to Edgal, the suspect, two months before his arrest, while pretending to be an EFCC officer, had accused the company's CEO of defrauding GTB. The suspect was said to have further accused him that it

was the proceeds of the fraud that he used in setting up his present company. Edgal said: "The suspect did not only intimidate the company's CEO, he followed it with accusations, and that at the end of the day, he obtained the sum of N805,000 from the victim. "Investigation was launched into the case by operatives of the command attached to Area ‘F’ Ikeja. This led to the arrest of one Sodiq Ibrahim ‘m’, a dismissed staff of WireMy’s-Cake Company who had connived with the suspect to defraud his former employer." At the end of investigation, he said the two suspects would be duly charged to court.

EFCC Arrests Man over Online Scam The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan Zonal Office, has arrested one Benjamin Oke Omoniyi from Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State, for internet fraud. The 33-year-old Omoniyi was arrested sequel to an intelligence report received on August 27, 2018, alleging that he is into internet fraud and has also defrauded a number of foreigners of

their money through fraudulent schemes. The report however stated that Omoniyi used the proceeds of his fraud to buy two cars, and also bought a unisex salon known as Signatures Unisex Salon located at No. 238, Ilawe Road, opposite Baptist School, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. At the point of arrest, operatives of the commission

recovered an Acura TL, 2010 with registration number BDG 969FH and a Lexus ES 300, 2002 with registration number EPE 829FJ, two laptops, two phones, forged documents and several counterfeit cheques of various foreign banks. Omoniyi who admitted to the allegations levelled against him, will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

13. ACP Hope Okafor, Area Commander K Morogbo 08026279242 14. ACP Ishola Olarenwaju, Area Commander L Ilashe, 0810321160 15 ACP Agbaminoja Toyin, Area Commander M Idimu 08081776484 16. ACP Mohammed Ahmadu, Area Commander N Ijede 08055554664 17. ACP Abdulsalam Gazali Alade, Area Commander P Alagbado 08033539984 18. CSP Chike Oti, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), 07065246927 SOURCE: LAGOS STATE POLICE COMMAND

TINTED PERMIT REGISTRATION Process of Obtaining a Permit 1. Fill the application form on the right to obtain an application ID. 2. Complete the application process by logining in with email provided and the application ID shown below. 3. Complete the Bio-Data form when logged-in and provide the details of the vehicle you want to obtain a tinted permit for. 4. Take the print-out to any police command to capture you biometrics and collection of your tinted permit certificate. 5. For more information, contact us: Email: NOTE: TINTED PERMIT IS ISSUED TO MOTOR VEHICLE(S) WITH FACTORY-FITTED TINTED GLASS ONLY SOURCE: POLICE FORCE HEADQUARTERS


T H I S D AY ËžOCTOBER 10, 2018


IMF: 26m Women May Lose Jobs to Technology Obinna Chima,Ă“Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă“Ëœ

Ă˜ĂŽĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă‹ The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that at least 26 million female jobs in 30 countries were at the risk of being displaced by technology. The fund stated this in a report titled: “Gender, Technology and the Future Work,â€? that was unveiled on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia. Speaking during a panelists’ session with the theme: “Empowering Women in the Workplace,â€? the Managing Director, IMF, Christine Lagarde, said globally, 11 per cent of women were at risk of losing their jobs due to advances in computer technology, while only four per

cent of the male population faces same risk. According to her, less educated and older female workers, aged 40 and above, as well as those in low-skill clerical, service, and sales positions were disproportionately exposed to automation. “Extrapolating our results, we find that around 180 million female jobs are at high risk of being displaced globally. “Therefore policies are needed to endow women with required skills, close gender gaps in leadership positions and bridge digital gender divide that could confer greater flexibility in work, benefiting women,� she said. Also, the Indonesian Minister of Finance, Mrs Mulyani Indrawati, urged women to be role models at their places of work. “As women, we must

strive to do extraordinarily well in other to set example for the younger generation. “We also need to ensure girls have the right role models and mentors so they can really be the ones leading the way.� On her part, the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mrs Vera Songwe, said increased access to the internet would bridge skill gap among women. “250 million fewer women than men in 2017 had access to the internet. In Africa, 27 million fewer women access reliable and affordable internet which will help close the current digital divide.� She said also higher female labour force participation could boost economic growth of a country.

Fidelity Bank Unveils New Savings Campaign Nume Ekeghe Fidelity Bank Plc has unveiled a new account opening initiative. The bank also launched a new savings promotion campaign aimed at rewarding new and existing customers of the bank. The new account opening initiative enables members of the public to open online savings accounts through a Quick Response (QR) code which can be scanned from any of the promotional materials such as roll up banners, fliers, posters and newspaper adverts. This is expected to significantly ease the process of enrolment of new accounts and deepen the penetration of the new savings promo tagged: ‘Get Alert in Millions Season 3 (GAIM). The GAIM Season 3 is also expected to run for nine months till June 2019. Under the promo, the bank, within this period would give

out over N120 million in cash and consolation prizes, including weekly airtime rewards. The bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services and Products, Mrs. Chijioke Ugochukwu, disclosed these during the launch of the initiative in Lagos. Ugochukwu said: “This new savings promo is the eight in 11 years. As with the previous ones, we are motivated to continue to empower our customers by rewarding them with cash and gift items, whilst at the same time promoting the savings culture, in line with the financial inclusion drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).� Speaking shortly before formally inaugurating the campaign, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, thanked customers of the bank for their loyalty, saying the bank was motivated to continue to incentivise them

for their patronage. He said it was imperative to acknowledge the contributions of customers to the growing fortunes of the bank. “Last week, we joined other institutions across the world to observe the 2018 Customer Service Week and I want to use this opportunity to again thank all our customers. “Our impressive half year results attest to your support and with your continued patronage, we are on course to delivering on our financial targets for the year,� he said. Okonkwo said Fidelity Bank would continue to leverage technology, in line with its digital retail strategy, to better serve customers, through innovative products, services and solutions. He reeled our some of the products to include the newly upgraded Fidelity Online Banking, *770# Instant Banking and Flashkey.

Transcorp Hilton Abuja Wins Awards Transcorp Hilton Abuja has disclosed that it recently won awards at simultaneous gala ceremonies held in two continents. For the third consecutive year, the hotel said it was presented with Signum Virtutis, the seal of excellence, as the winner of the award for Seven Stars Business Hotel-Africa and the Best Luxury Hotel at the Gala Ceremony of the 2018 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards hosted in Greece. Remarkably, the MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels Plc, owners of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Valentine Ozigbo, was also honoured with the Seven Stars Pantheon of Hospitality award, an industry first designed to award the outstanding achievements and careers of the individuals behind the most successful properties around the world.

“On the same night, for the 4th year in a row, Africa’s leading hospitality destination emerged winner of World Travel Awards in five categories, including Africa’s Leading Business Hotel at the 2018 Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony which took place at Durban International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa. “The hotel also went home with prizes for Nigeria’s Leading Hotel, Nigeria’s Leading Business Hotel, Nigeria’s Leading MICE Hotel and Nigeria’s Leading Hotel Suite. “We’re honoured to be recognised for our commitments to excellence in hospitality,� Ozigbo was quoted to have said in a statement. He added: “The industry awards are a testament that our transformation initiatives are appreciated by the travelling

public. “They also come in recognition of Transcorp Hilton Abuja’s leadership in redefining hospitality not only in Nigeria but also globally. These awards are dedicated to our team members who work tirelessly, to our guests for choosing us always and to our late hotel manager, Ahmed Abdelghafar who died in Egypt after a brief illness.� Commenting on the awards, the General Manager, Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Etienne Gailliez said, “It is a great honour to receive World Travel Awards and Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards at the same time. “Every day our over 1000 Team Members work hard to create exceptional experiences for our guests; the awards are a fitting reward for the hard work and dedication of our Team Members.’’

Skynet Unveils Promo Kayode Fasua As part of efforts to reward its customers, SkyNet Worldwide Express, has rolled out sales promotion. The promo will last till December 31, 2018. According to a statement by its Chief Executive Officer in Nigeria, Mr. Tayo Ogundare, the promotion is to give back to its very loyal customers who had stood by the company since its

commencement of operations in Nigeria in 2013. “Various categories of customers will receive different benefits in form of discounts which will give them good savings on their logistics costs. “Apart from the old and loyal customers, new customers that sign on to their services will get mouth-watering discounts and other benefits,� Ogundare disclosed.

Its Nigerian CEO added that “SkyNet Worldwide Express network stretches across all continents, providing the global business community with fast, reliable and secure express delivery services to almost every country and territory worldwide. “Its Global Network of offices provides you global reach, competitive transit time, online tracking and proof of delivery.

L-R: Executive Director, Shared Services and Products, Fidelity Bank Plc. Chijioke Ugochukwu; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Nnamdi Okonkwo; Assistant Director, National Lotteries Regulatory Commission, Joy Okuna and Representative of the Consumer Protection Council, Onifade Abiodun, at the launch of a new savings promotions campaign by the bank in Lagos‌recently



MARCH 2018 Broad Money (M2)


-- Narrow Money (M1)


---- Currency Outside Banks


---- Demand Deposits


-- Quasi Money


Net Foreign Assets (NFA)


Net Domestic Assets(NDA)


-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)


---- Credit to Government (Net)


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


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


---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)


--Other Assets Net


Reserve Money (Base Money)


--Currency in Circulation


--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

Inter-Bank Call Rate


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


Treasury Bill Rate


Savings Deposit Rate


1 Month Deposit Rate


3 Months Deposit Rate


6 Months Deposit Rate


12 Months Deposit Rate


Prime Lending rate


Maximum Lending Rate




The price of OPEC basket of ďŹ fteen crudes stood at $81.88 a barrel on Monday, compared with $83.24 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), ZaďŹ ro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela) SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


T H I S D AY ËžOCTOBER 10, 2018


Eterna Plc to Boost Working Capital with N10bn Commercial Paper Funds Goddy Egene Eterna Plc, an integrated energy company that manufactures, markets and distributes lubricants, supplies chemicals, trades in crude oil among other services, is to issue N10 billion 270-day commercial paper (CP). In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, Eterna Plc said the funds raised would be used for working capital and general

corporate purposes. CPs, which are unsecured promissory notes with a fixed maturity of about nine months are issued by companies to raise money to meet short term finance obligations. The notes are backed by the promise of the issuers to repay based on certain agreed terms. They present a cost-effective and stable means of sourcing scarce capital as against to bank loans and provide investors avenue to



diversify their portfolios and given their short-term nature, they permitting high relative return on investment, and allow investors to remain relatively liquid. Many companies have resorted to issuance of CPs to raise funds in recent times. An investment banker and Co-founder of Cardinal Stone Partners Limited, Mr. Mohammed Garuba told THISDAY in an interview that CPs had increased largely because the banks have





refused to drop interest rate. According to him, depositors are seeing very low interest rates. CP in any market is a rate higher than deposits rates, but lower than bank interest rates. So, the CP market is getting very viable now because depositors instead of going to banks to deposit their monies are going to the companies to invest in CPs. So, the more CPs we get, the possibility of banks coming to do their roles of intermediation,�



he said. He said CP market is the way to go, stressing, “even the banks are doing CPs. If I have some bad loans, one way to manage it is to take CPs and use it to reduce it. Every normal company is going to continue to do CPs until banks go back to their intermediation role. People are taking their deposits from banks and investing in CPs at slightly higher rates as opposed to doing fixed deposits with the banks.�


Meanwhile, trading at the stock market turned bearish yesterday as the NSE All-Share Index fell by 0.08 per cent to close at 32,417.70, while market capitalised closed lower at N11.85 trillion. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of companies such as Unilever, Access Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Flour Mills of Nigeria, and International Breweries were mainly responsible for the decline recorded in the index.

0 9 / 1 0 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS




     Ëž  WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10 2018



! %" ! $

Sell Pressures Reverse Bullish PerformanceÍ™ ASI down


82)&1*27&0*5+351&2(**75.(6+35! %" ! 2)*:

Losses in Consumer Goods counters UNILEVER (6.7%), !.(/*5

INTBREW (6.2%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES(2.2%)  dragged the All Share Index (ASI) by 8bps to 32,417.70 points while YTD loss worsened to 15.2%. Thus, market Ä?ĂƉĹ?ƚĂůĹ?njĂĆ&#x;ŽŜ ĨĞůů EĎľÍ˜ĎľÄ?Ĺś ƚŽ EĎ­Ď­Í˜Ď´ĆšĹśÍ˜ ,Ĺ˝Ç ÄžÇ€ÄžĆŒÍ• Ä‚Ä?Ć&#x;Ç€Ĺ?ƚLJ





ÍžEĎ­ĎąĎąÍ˜Ď°ĹľÍżÍ˜   Bearish Sector Performance

^ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒ Ć‰ÄžĆŒÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹľÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž Ç Ä‚Ć? Ä‚ĹŻĆ?Ĺ˝ Ä?ÄžÄ‚ĆŒĹ?Ć?Ĺš Ä‚Ć? ĎŻ ŽĨ Ďą Ć?ÄžÄ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒĆ? ĆľĹśÄšÄžĆŒ Ĺ˝ĆľĆŒ Ä?Ĺ˝Ç€ÄžĆŒÄ‚Ĺ?Äž Ä?ĹŻĹ˝Ć?ĞĚ Ĺ?Ĺś ƚŚĞ ĆŒÄžÄšÍ˜ dŚĞ ŽŜĆ?ĆľĹľÄžĆŒ Goods index ledlaggards as sell pressures in UNILEVER (6.7%), INTBREW (6.2%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES

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(2.2%) closed the index lower by 1.4%. The Insurance




and Oil & Gas indices closed down 0.5% and 0.4% as a








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recorded yesterdayÄ&#x201A;Ć? ĎŽĎŹ Ć?Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ä?ĹŹĆ? Ä&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161; Ä&#x201A;Ĺ?Ä&#x201A;Ĺ?ĹśĆ?Ć&#x161; ĎŽĎ­ Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä?ĹŻĹ?ĹśÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Í&#x2DC; dĹ&#x161;Ä&#x17E; Ä?Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ć&#x161; Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ĨŽĆ&#x152;ĹľĹ?ĹśĹ? Ć?Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ä?ĹŹĆ? ĨŽĆ&#x152; Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ä&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ç&#x2021; Ç Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E; CONERSTONE(+10.0%), CADBURY (+6.7%) and CAP (+6.7%) while FIRSTALU (ĎľÍ&#x2DC;ϹКͿÍ&#x2022;RTBRISCOE (ĎľÍ&#x2DC;ϹКͿ Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161; NNFM (ĎľÍ&#x2DC;ώКͿ ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161; ĹŻĹ˝Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Í&#x2DC; tÄ&#x17E; Ä&#x17E;Ç&#x2020;Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ä?Ć&#x161; Ä&#x201A; Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä?ŽƾŜÄ&#x161; tomorrow, as weĆ?Ä&#x201A;Ç Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ĺ?Ĺ?ĹśĹ?ÄŽÄ?Ä&#x201A;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ä?ĆľÇ&#x2021;interest in banking stocks today, which we expect to be sustained










































































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the index 0.6% higher while the Industrial Goods index



gainers as buyinginterest in GUARANTY (+1.2%) pulled


OANDO (ĎŽÍ&#x2DC;ϾКͿÍ&#x2DC; KĹś Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E; Ĺ&#x2021;Ĺ?Ć&#x2030;Ć?Ĺ?Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2022; Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E; Ä&#x201A;ŜŏĹ?ĹśĹ? Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ç&#x2020; ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;


Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?ƾůĆ&#x161;ŽĨlosses in NEM (3.5%), LINKASSURE (8.6%), and

.9.2)*2 &52.2,6 )%.*0) %.*0)

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T H I S D AY ËžË&#x153;͚͸Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚͜


Sovereign Trust Insurance Increases Profit After Tax by 569 % Ebere Nwoji

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, said it made a profit after tax (PAT) of N157million representing 569 percent increase on N23 million PAT it made in 2016. Similarly, profit before tax (PBT) showed high level of improvement from N44 million in 2016 to N202 million in 2017 review year. This represents 351 percent increase. Gross premium written of the

company grew from N6.3 billion to N8.5 billion representing 33 percent increase. Net claims expenses incurred by the company during the period under review showed improvement from N1.44 billion in 2016 to N1.3 billion in 2017. Declaring these results at the 23rd annual general meeting of the company held in Lagos, Chairman, Oluseun Ajayi, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc said the positive performance

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 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sharesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on the

was achieved by the company in the midst of various challenges that characterised the industry during the year. He said the company has built its operations on the drive to continue to uphold comprehensive growth strategy . He said within the period, the return on capital employed recorded a positive performance of 1.87 percent as against 0.47 per cent achieved in the corresponding year of 2016.

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 0510-2018, unless otherwise stated.

Investment income of the company, according to Ajayi, rose from N286million in 2016 to N406 million in 2017, while total assets rose from N9.5 billion to N10.8 billion showjng 13.7 percent increase Commenting on the result and raising shareholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hopes on better returns on their investments in the subsequent years, Ajayi said :â&#x20AC;?With this result, the resilience of our brand has once again been brought to

the fore with proven capability to substantially increase our level of profitability. This performance could not have been achieved without the efforts of the unified Sovereign Trust team and our commitment to structured business strategies aimed at aggressive revenue generation and cost curtailment in the course of the year,â&#x20AC;? he said On the future of the company, Ajayi said in preparing Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc for the

challenges of the future, and in response to the ever revolving dynamics of the market place, the company has embarked on a five-year strategic journey. According to him, the strategic blue print was conducted by KPMG, one of the leading consulting firms in the country. He said part of the objective of the strategy will be to position the company as one of the top five insurance companies in the country by the year 2022.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Afrinvest Plutus Fund N/A N/A N/A Nigeria International Debt Fund N/A N/A N/A ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.83 0.84 0.62% ACAP Income Funds 0.62 0.62 3.08% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.19% AIICO Balance Fund 2.18 2.20 -5.05% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 133.50 134.43 -12.00% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.88% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.70% Paramount Equity Fund 11.65 11.95 5.08% Women's Investment Fund 102.29 104.91 1.65% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.64% CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 11.75% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 12.29% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,200.34 1,201.12 10.85% FBN Heritage Fund 139.76 140.68 0.66% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.89% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $114.68 $115.0 4.02% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $114.47 $114.73 3.94% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 150.22 152.34 -5.60% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.21 1.23 -6.29% Legacy Debt Fund 3.17 3.17 9.65% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.01 1.01 1.41% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 2,992.26 3,021.84 0.22% Coral Income Fund 2,720.93 2,720.93 11.15% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.55% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 104.83 105.32 4.41% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.00% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.14 2.16 1.43%

Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 14.23% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 122.40 122.66 6.37% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD ďŹ Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.18 1.20 2.87% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,094.75 1,094.75 10.80% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 11.52 11.63 -11.18% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.82% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.33 1.35 11.24% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 11.91 11.95 7.80% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 12.09% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 128.01 128.55 -1.26% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.66 1.66 11.52% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,253.56 2,268.04 2.60% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 186.77 186.77 7.27% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.94 0.95 -6.44% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 242.74 242.78 12.49% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 161.28 163.07 -9.95% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.52% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 8,512.99 8,616.51 -10.49% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.09 1.09 5.86% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.16 1.17 -2.06% United Capital Bond Fund 1.55 1.55 8.88% United Capital Equity Fund 0.69 0.70 -8.60% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.80% United Capital Eurobond Fund 105.28 105.28 5.22% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.07 1.08 2.97% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 11.34 11.51 -6.49% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.20 12.32 -5.44% Zenith Income Fund 20.38 20.38 10.49% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 10.72%


Yield / T-Rtn

9.00 138.45 51.55

-20.11% 4.52% 1.42%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

10.48 121.33 92.35

10.58 123.90 94.08

-11.51% -15.06% -15.47%

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

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

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


Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.08 7.53 15.15 15.13 143.80

4.12 7.61 15.25 15.33 145.80

-13.81% -21.27% -13.23% -22.95% 6.84%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn




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 managerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website and FMANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at Fund prices are supplied by the operator of the relevant fund and are published for information purposes only.


T H I S D AY ˾ ͯͮË&#x153;ͰͮͯͶ




Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email, 08066066268

INEC Deadline Forecloses Fresh Primaries for APC Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja Despite constituting an appeal panel to look into the petitions generated from its just-concluded primary elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not be able to hold fresh primaries due to the expiration of the time frame set for it by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), THISDAY has learnt. According to the timetable for party primaries approved by the commission, all party primaries were expected to end midnight last Sunday. However, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena who spoke in an interview with THISDAY, said

that the party was awaiting the report of the appeal committee to enable it decide on the next line of action. He said that complaints and protests were normal in party politics and that the party would use internal mechanism to resolve grievances that may arise . “Whether Mr. A or Mr. B won, there will always be complaints and that does not invalidate the process; the appeal panel is going to consider the merit of every petition. The party will set up a committee that will reconcile all the aggrieved aspirants so that our people will unite for the election,” he said. On what the party’s leadership plans to do with petitions and

spate of protests that have trailed the primaries, Nabena said the party is waiting for the report of the appeal committee. “You see that is why it is called democracy; you cannot satisfy both sides at the same time. There must always be a winner if you like it or not. Even though the winner is from the left or right, the right would complain or the left would complain. “So, the party is going to set

up a committee to talk to all the aggrieved parties because there is no loser at the end of the day so that people can come together and work for victory of the party”. On the controversy associated with the conduct of Zamfara State governorship primary, he said the primary election committee has just arrived Abuja and would brief the National Working Committee (NWC) on their report.

“The reports have not reached us. When we see the reports, we would look at it. That is why there is an appeal committee, which is there to resolve their problems. “We are waiting for the report of the committee so when they come up with their report we will take a look at the report and treat appropriately,” he added. Nabena stated that the party has finished action on all the state governorship primaries

except the one for Zamfara State. He explained that the remaining issues were the National Assembly and state assemblies’ reports which were still coming in. He assured that once they were through with it, the party would compile all the lists and forward to INEC. Kogi, Edo, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Anambra states are not due for elections in 2019.

Nigeria Ranks Lowest in Reducing Inequality Index Obinna Chima For the second year running, Nigeria at 157th position has maintained “the unenviable distinction of being at the bottom” of the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2018, this was released by Oxfam International, a global body focused on poverty alleviation. A total of 157 countries were ranked on the index and Nigeria was placed at the last position. In fact, Uzbekistan (156) as well as war-torn countries such as Haiti (155), Chad (154), Sierra Leone (153) and Bhutan (152) performed better than Nigeria on the index. Oxfam, in the index released yesterday, expressed dismay that Nigeria’s social spending on health, education and social

protection has remained “shamefully low, which is reflected in very poor social outcomes for its citizens.” It noted that “one in 10 children in Nigeria does not reach their 50th birthday while 25 and more than 10 million children do not go to school. Sixty per cent of these are girls. “The CRI Index shows that in the past years, Nigeria has seen an increase in the number of labour rights violations. The minimum wage has not increased since 2011. Social spending has stagnated. “The CRI Index also shows that there is still significant potential for Nigeria to raise and collect more tax, so it scores very badly on this aspect too. “There have however been very recent improvements in this area in 2018, which will show up in next year’s CRI.”

Again, MTN Group’s Shares Slide as Officials Meet with CBN Emma Okonji with agency report Shares in MTN Group, Africa’s biggest telecoms company, have dropped more than four per cent over the uncertainty about the outcome of yesterday’s meeting between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), officials of CBN, and the four banks involved in the alleged MTN’s illegal repatriation of $8.134 funds from Nigeria. According to report, the shares further dropped yesterday by 2.21 per cent at 84.10 rand over uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting. The MTN Group shares had on Monday rose by 2.55 per cent, following the announcement on Sunday by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, of the plans by the apex bank to reduce the $8.134 billion fines. But the shares, it was gathered, plunged again, as a result of the uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting which held yesterday in Abuja. The CBN met with the representatives of the telecommunications company MTN and banks, to discuss the dispute over the repatriation of $8.134 billion, two sources with

direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The dispute is over the transfer of $8.134 billion of funds which the CBN said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign-exchange regulations. Nigeria, which accounts for a third of the South African company’s annual core profit, is MTN’s biggest market. Sources who preferred to remain anonymous, said executives from MTN and the four lenders involved in the case - Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Citibank and Diamond Bank - held talks with the CBN. MTN declined to comment and on the meeting and the Central Bank’s spokesman did not respond to a text mesage and phone calls requesting for the outcome of the meeting. The stock has lost around 20 per cent since the demand by Nigeria’s central bank on August 29. The apex bank said the funds had been illegally moved abroad because the company’s bankers had failed to verify if MTN had met all the foreign exchange regulations.


L-R: Chief Abraham Akanle; Guest Speaker and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Mathew Kukah; Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; General Overseer, The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Reverend Felix Meduoye, and his wife, Reverend Olabisi Meduoye, during Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria 2018 Annual Public Lecture held at the Church’s Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos... Photo: Etop Ukutt yesterday

17 Feared Dead as Two Communities Clash in Kogi Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja No fewer than 17 persons were feared dead in a renewed communal clash between Ebira Mozum and Bassa –Komospeaking people of Kogi State. THISDAY gathered that suspected mercenaries hired from Agatu, Tiv and Buzu tribes from the neighbouring states by one of the aggrieved communities and stationed in Ketechi village, five kilometres south east of Mozum, were believed to have launched the first attack in the early morning hours of yesterday. A source privy to the crisis told THISDAY that since the destruction of Biroko, an Ebira village few months ago, the

Mozum Youths Vanguards decided to keep vigil on their community, running shift in expectation of any attack on the town. It was gathered that the movement of the mercenaries to the town was halted abruptly as they ran into the ambush of the Mozum youths vanguards and suffered heavy casualties. The rampaging mercenaries were said to have later beat a retreat to their base in Ketechi, as their attack was effectively repelled. THISDAY gathered that the angry Mozum youths vanguards chased the retreating attackers to their base at Ketechi and in the ensuing battle, the entire town was burnt down, with many

people killed in the process. Another eye-witness account also disclosed to our correspondent that he counted about 17 dead bodies in the areas, saying that the casualty figure could be higher, especially as the Ketechi town was razed down when the second reinforcement against Mozum failed. However, the undaunted sponsors of the tribal war allegedly hired youths from Echukwu, Odenyi, Obubili and other adjourning villages in their attempt to reinforce the remnants of the mercenaries. According to the source, the second attempt by the reinforced team to attack Mozum via Odugbo-Obaje, one kilometer away from Mozum, was also

met with stiff resistance as the said Mozum youths vanguards inflicted heavy casualties on the invading team. According to an eye-witness, many of the youths that took part in the attacks were said to be missing in action. A community leader from Ugboloko town, few kilometers to Mozum, who refused to disclose his name, told THISDAY that one Prince Shaibu Abubakar from Mozum was killed by the aggrieved group in what look like a reprisal attack. Also confirming the incident, a member representing Bassa constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Sunday Shigaba, said killings were still going on in the community.

Buhari: I Won’t Neglect Any Part of Nigeria Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said no part of Nigeria would be ignored under his watch. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari gave the assurance when he received a delegation of Ugep Kingdom in Cross River State, led by His Royal Highness, Obol Ofem Ubana, Obol Lopon of Ugep, a retired army officer. He said the president was

responding to a request by the royal father for federal government’s intervention in the yearnings for resolutions of inter-ethnic conflicts affecting several communities in the kingdom. He listed the communities to include: Nko, Nyima, Oyadama, Edibe, Usumtong, Adadama and Ekureku. According to him, in his response, Buhari told the delegation: ‘‘I assure you that under my watch, no part of Nigeria will be ignored. ‘’I am very pleased that you

[the traditional ruler] have shared some professional background as a former military officer. ‘’My experience of being in the military afforded me the opportunity to work with all Nigerians and this is a lifetime experience.’’ He said earlier in his remarks, the traditional ruler thanked the President for appointing Yakuur sons into exalted positions in government, including Chief of Naval Staff, Minister of Niger Delta and Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution.

He pledged the support of his community to the president’s ‘’quest to rescue Nigeria.’’ On restiveness in the region, the Obol Lopon said: ‘‘We are increasingly losing our youths to inter-tribal wars which if nothing is done will leave our communities without youths in the near future. ‘’As Obolo Lopon of Ugep, I am ready to partner with relevant government agencies saddled with the responsibility and management of communal conflict resolutions.’’




Buhari Urges Muslim Leaders to Educate Followers against Acts of Terrorism Omololu Ogunmade President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja, urged religious leaders in the country to assist government to overcome forces of destruction by enlightening their followers to guard against religious

extremism and terrorism. The president, according to presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, made the appeal while receiving the leadership of Qadiriyya Islamic Movement in Africa in the State House. According to the statement,

the president noted that Muslim leaders had a duty to promote the principles and tenets of Islam as a religion of peace and justice. The statement also said the president observed that those who indoctrinate children and plant explosives on them to harm innocent people do not

belong to any religion but are “terrorists who should be identified and fought until they give up their evil ways.’’ Furthermore, the statement said the president who commended the Qadiriyya movement for promoting education, interfaith dialogue and good moral conduct in the

society, expressed support for the proposed Islamic Centre in Abuja by the movement. It added that earlier in his remarks, the leader of the Qadiriyya in Africa, Sheikh Qaribullah Kabara, congratulated the president on his emergence as his party’s candidate for the 2019

presidential election. It also said Kabara commended the president on the achievements of his administration since 2015, listing such achievements to include: diversification of the economy, increased power supply and food sufficiency.

Ekiti APC Rejects Fayose APC my foot! Fayose vows Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Paul Omotoso, has told Governor Ayodele Fayose to drop the idea of dumping the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to join the party, saying the governor is not wanted by party members. But Fayose, has said that he won’t leave the PDP for the All Progressives Congress, advising the ruling party to bury the notion. Fayose had on Monday threatened that he could dump the PDP, if his rights were being abridged by those who belonged to the camp of Vice President Atiku Abubakar and 2019 Presidential candidate of the party. The State APC chairman said the chairmen of all wards in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, where Fayose hailed from and those in 13 wards where the governor lives and runs his business have told the governor to forget his plans to dump PDP to join APC until he clears himself of several criminal cases hanging on his neck. Fayose gave a hint of his plans few days ago when he expressed displeasure at the just-concluded governorship primaries of PDP, threatening to dump the party for another party. But the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Ade Ajayi, has advised the outgoing governor to conclude his court cases

bordering on alleged sundry crimes before contemplating to join APC. He said: “We want to prove to the world that APC will not provide sanctuary for criminal suspects, political prostitutes and lepers. We will never admit such character to this party and we advise Fayose to play his politics of destruction somewhere else. “Fayose’s criminal prosecution on 2005 poultry project fraud resumes on November 4, 2018. Fayose cannot turn Ekiti APC to a haven and sanctuary for criminal suspects and we advise him to forget any plan to smear Ekiti APC with criminal records.” Omotoso told Fayose that APC “is a political party bounded by common ideals of integrity, openness, discipline and commitment to common goal of progressive governance, which Fayose does not possess or believe as can be seen from his style of politics and governance”. But in his reaction, Fayose, has said that he won’t leave the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress, advising the ruling party to bury the notion. “APC my foot! I will never have anything to do with APC. “For the party’s leaders to be saying that Fayose is coming to APC amounts to unnecessary dissipation of energy. “I will never, ever, go to APC and will never ever have anything to do with the party,” he vowed.

Legislative Aides Protest over Unpaid Allowances Aides to the members of the National Assembly yesterday stormed the National Assembly premises demanding to be paid their allowances and salaries that accumulated since the inception of the 8th assembly. The National Assembly that resumed plenary yesterday after suspending their activities for about 10 weeks, saw few lawmakers in attendance. However, the aides were seen chanting songs and holding placards with inscriptions, “we are aides, not slaves.” Speaking with journalists, Nyakari-Abasi Etuk, who led the protesters, opined that they have not been paid Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) among others, since the inception of the 8th assembly. His words, “Some of us they are owing us up to one point something million and these are funds we use to go on errands and other miscellaneous things. “The last leadership of the national

assembly paid us up to date. We are not talking about training, the issue of training is also there, we are supposed to have four trainings in a year. “Ever since we started we have not had training. The training that we had was sponsored by the National Assembly Service Commission. All we are asking for is our entitlements. “This is our plight, this is our concern. We are telling everybody – today is the resumption date – most of the aides, some have died, some don’t have money to send their children to school. “The leadership, as a matter of urgency, we are calling on the leadership to ensure that our allowances, to ensure we collect our duty tour allowances. “Every year, allocations and budget are given to the national assembly which captures the legislative aides. So all we are saying, all we are asking for is for them to pay us. We are over 3,000 legislative aides.”


L-R: Sales Manager, AFP, Uchenna Uzoewulu; Interim General Manager, AFP, Oliver Cohen; Head, Media Relations Office, Julius Berger Nigeria, Moses Duku; AFP Guest and Swiss Investor/CEO, Blackpace, Philip Andrew; and General Manager, AFP, Markus Reif at the AFP exhibition stand during the Made By Design exhibition in Lagos...recently

NNRC: Petrol Subsidy May Deny Nigeria Benefits of High Oil Prices Chineme Okafor in Abuja Nigeria may not benefit from rising oil prices due to petrol subsidies, the Nigerian Natural Resource Charter (NNRC), a United Kingdom funded organisation, has disclosed. The NNRC is part of the Natural Resource Charter-a global initiative designed

to help governments and societies effectively harness the opportunities created by natural resources. The Charter provides 12 precepts to inform and improve natural resource management. In Nigeria, the NNRC assesses petroleum sector governance using the Charter as well as designs interventions targeted at addressing the lapses in petroleum

sector governance identified. The Charter equally helps to ensure that the opportunities provided by new discoveries and commodity booms will never again be missed. But in a message which the NNRC issued through its twitter handle @NigeriaNRC yesterday, it explained that while oil prices continue to rise to new levels,

Nigeria will unlikely benefit from it because it has also continued to maintain subsidy on petrol consumption. The message which THISDAY obtained in Abuja said: “As oil producers appear to welcome the spike in price of Brent crude to nearly $90 per barrel, the highest since 2014, Nigeria may not benefit from this largesse.”

Immigration Arrests Eight Ghanaian Human Traffickers at MMIA Chinedu Eze Officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday arrested eight Ghanaian ladies at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos for alleged human trafficking. An official of the security agency who disclosed this

to THISDAY, said that the apprehended Ghanaians had attempted to pass through Lagos Airport to Kuwait where they could cross to Europe for prostitution before they were intercepted. The ladies were booked on Egypt Air out of Lagos to Cairo, from where they had hoped to transit to Kuwait before

departing to Europe. He said Immigration officials suspected the ladies immediately they approached the counters for processes and queried them on their mission out of the continent through Nigeria, especially when they were in possession of Ghanaian international passports. The official said that on questioning, the ladies who

were between the ages of 20 to 25, confessed that they had wanted to use Nigeria as a transit point to Europe. The official also said the ladies confessed that they had entered Nigeria by road through Togo and Benin Republic, pointing out that their sponsors had advised them to use Nigeria as a transit point to Europe.

House Committee to Probe Takeover of Skye Bank Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Market and Institutions will probe the recent takeover of Skye Bank Plc by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Making this known yesterday, the Chairman, Hon.Tony Nwulu, whose committee had summoned no fewer than 100 companies for probe in suspected unwholesome

practices, assured Nigerians that the House would look into the takeover of Skye Bank Plc in the ongoing probe of insurance companies and banks in Nigeria. Nwulu, in a chat with journalists, said: “We were on recess when the bank was taken over but now that we are back, we will look into the matter.” Though the committee had planned to continue the probe

of insurance companies and banks on resumption from recess yesterday, it was adjourned due to the untimely death of a member, Hon. Funke Adedoyin. The probe is now slated for Wednesday next week. According to him, “We had to reschedule the probe because we are mourning a member, but all those that we invited must show up by next Wednesday. As you

are aware, we have been on this matter for some time now and we intend to reach the bottom. There is too much corporate mis-governance in the sector. “There have been several public outcries by shareholders over corporate mis-governance by most public companies, where allegations of fraudulent activities by management of these firms have been suspected.




Afenifere Meets Obasanjo, Promises to Make Its Position on 2019 Elections Known Kicks against Tinubu’s proposal on herdsmen

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja and Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday promised to make its official position known on its most preferred presidential candidate among the arrays of contenders that have been picked by their respective political parties ahead the 2019 general election. Afenifere has also disagreed with a former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu over his call for the conversion of unused land to grazing reserves. The group spoke through its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, shortly after it held an almost twohour closed-door meeting with former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital. Emerging from the closedoor meeting with Afenifere chieftains, which include Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Femi Okurounmu, and Prof. Banji Akintoye, among others, Odumakin stated that they had come to reciprocate Obasanjo’s recent visit to a nonagenarian, Pa Adebanjo, and to discuss the way forward for Nigeria. According to him, while reiterating the group’s position, he said without the issue of restructuring Nigeria might not move forward, adding that it (group) would soon declare its support for a presidential candidate whose programme will be geared in favour of restructuring. “Few months ago, President Obasanjo came to Lagos to visit Baba Ayo Adebanjo with a crop of Yoruba leaders.

“Today, we are here to “Unoccupied, isolated land that the herdsmen terror being in modern time and contrary have been settled. We stand pay him a return visit and to can quickly be turned into witnessed across the country to the consensus of all peace on the position of the 2014 appreciate him for the visit. And grazing areas in the affected is a fallout of water scarcity -loving Nigerians that what we National Conference that that we are trying to further the in the affected states “. and that the country should need to solve the herdsmen the country should embrace friendship so that there would But in a swift reaction, “convert unused land to grazing siege on farmers is to have ranching as a way out of the be harmony in Yorubaland. herdsmen crisis. ranches.” Afenifere, in a statement reserves. “This will further allow our by Odumakin said the “Let those who are in “We admonish him that “Since most of the states people to know that leaders APC chieftain’s proposal is in the country are being he is free to play his politics position to take decision know across the divides are coming unacceptable. affected, it is sad that Tinubu the way it suits him but this clearly: Tinubu can give together to discuss and arrive According to him, “The is adumbrating the Miyetti Allah he should thread softly in his residence in Bourdillon for at a position. attention of Afenifere has been position to convert the entire playing games with the lives cattle colony but our people “2019 election race is going drawn to the statement credited country into one huge cattle of our people by making will not accept their land being to be very exciting. Like the to former Lagos Governor, colony. We totally reject this outlandish propositions on converted into cattle grazing man of God said, ‘it’s going to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu position as it is very backward issues on which positions routes,” Afenifere warned. be an Eagle Versus an Eagle’. “But the most important thing for us is the restructuring of Nigeria. Clearly, you should always know Afenifere will always stand with candidates that stand for Nigeria to be restructured. This is because without restructuring, we are going nowhere. “You have heard someone saying the 2014 report has been kept in the archives, and another person saying Nigeria can be restructured and how to do it clearly. “So, the choice is clear. There are no ‘if’ and ‘but’, but we know where to go. “We are going to make a pronouncement very soon. But the pendulum is swinging, but we will know where it will swing to,” Odumakin declared. In a related development, Afenifere has disagreed with former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu over his call for the conversion of unused land to grazing reserves. Addressing a National L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari, and Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC). Adams Oshiomhole, Summit jointly promoted discussing with excitement the new Buhari campaign wristband and leaflets during APC presidential primaries held in Abuja...recently by The Nation Newspapers and Television Continental (TVC), where experts proffered solutions to the incessant herders/farmers clashes across the country yesterday, Tinubu had suggested that


Farmers-Herders’ Crisis: Conference Demands Federal Peace, Conflict Resolution Commission

Gunmen Abduct Oil Workers, Two Others in Bayelsa Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa Suspected gunmen have reportedly abducted four persons along the waterways of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State. It was learnt that the abductees were two employees attached to the Health Safety and Environmental Management Department of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), one of the major multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region. Kidnapped along the oil workers were two other persons who were on a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to Azuzuama where they were stopped and forcibly taken away from the coastal enclave. A JIV is a process undertaken to identify the causes of an oil spill, its impact and value of damaged property in Nigeria, usually done after an oil spill has occurred. Though the spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Maj. Ibrahim Abdullahi, said he was not

aware of the abduction, a source who preferred to remain anonymous, said the abducted persons included an employee of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). “There is no information like that at my disposal. However, I will check further and let you know if there’s anything like that,” Abdullahi said. However, the source said the victims were taken to an unknown destination, and that the kidnappers had also contacted the oil company to negotiate their release. According to him, Agip has already sent a letter in that regard to the Director, Petroleum and Pollution Department in the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment. Efforts to get a response from the oil company and the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment were not immediately fruitful. But it was learnt that troops had already been deployed in the area in search of the abducted workers.

Stakeholders at a conference yesterday demanded the setting up of a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission to address the prevalent farmers-herders’ crisis in the country. They also urged the government to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe. The stakeholders, however, said the proposal for grazing reserves should be embraced, beginning with consenting states. The recommendations of the stakeholders are contained in a communiqué after a two-day conference organised by The Nation Newspapers and TV Continental (TVC) News in Abuja. The session was attended by

representatives of farmers’ groups, cattle breeders and herders, frontline traditional rulers, state governments, security agencies, members of the diplomatic community as well as notable leaders of thought. The communiqué, which was read by Dr. Kayode Samuel, said: “Two of Nigeria’s leading mass media organisations, The Nation Newspapers and TV Continental (TVC) News jointly convened a two-day national summit on conflict resolution at the Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja on October 8 and 9, 2018. “The Summit was conceived as an open forum to promote frank exchange of ideas on burning issues of national and international

concern, with particular regard to the herdsmen-farmers’ clashes across the country centred on a view to seeking workable and enduring solutions. “Government should set up a Federal Peace and Conflict Resolution Commission. “There is need to strengthen security arrangements to make both farmers and herders feel safe as well as isolate the criminal elements. “There is need also to resuscitate and massively fund the various river basin authorities especially in the North to enable growth of grass for animal grazing and to minimise nomadic mobility across the country. “Conflict mediation and peace

building mechanisms must be put in place and avenues for constant dialogue between farmers and herders should be promoted. “There is need to embrace ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ that sustains both crop farming and animal breeding which could provide a way out of the present crisis. “The proposal for grazing reserves should be embraced, beginning with consenting states while the old bonds that encouraged cooperation need to be built upon. “A comprehensive approach to addressing the environmental factors that drive herders southwards must be explored,” the stakeholders said.

Court Restrains Aviation Unions from Disrupting MMA2 Operations Jonathan Eze A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an order restraining the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) from disrupting the operations of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2). The court yesterday granted the order restraining the three

unions from carrying out their threats of disrupting the activities of the terminal in the suit filed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of MMA2. The unions had given notice that they would disrupt operations at MMA2 from yesterday over the disengagement of some workers of BASL who they said were disengaged for their alleged attempt to join them, but who the company said had attained retirement age or were found not to be diligent

in their duties. But a statement issued by BASL yesterday said: “We will like to bring it to the attention of the public that the Federal High Court in Lagos in suit number FHC/L/ CS/16412/18 has granted an order restraining the unions from carrying out their threats of disrupting the activities of the terminal. “Pursuit to this order, members of the unions found in the premises of MMA2 would be liable to trespass. We reserve our right under

the law of Nigeria to deal with such person as a trespasser.” BASL also assured customers and passengers of MMA2 that they will continue having seamless access to the facility. The statement said: “BASL is fully aware of the plan by some unions in the aviation sector to disrupt the operations of MMA2 over our decision to disengage some employees. Disengaging the ex-employees had nothing to do with unionism, as we were not aware of this.”




Court Commits Shell MD, Others to Three Months’ Imprisonment We have appealed the judgment, says oil giant Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt A Port Harcourt High Court yesterday sentenced the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, and two others to three months’ imprisonment with hard labour for disobeying court order. But reacting to the court judgment, the SPDC’s spokesman, Bamidele Odugbesan, said the oil giant did not accept the judgment and had appealed it. “We do not accept that SPDC has disobeyed any lawful order of court and have accordingly appealed this judgement. “SPDC has utmost respect for the courts and the laws of Nigeria. As stated above, the landlord families settled with SPDC in 2014 and collected all rents due on the land up to

2019 as publicly declared by the landlord families in the Guardian edition of Sunday, August 24, 2014 on page 14. “SPDC takes seriously the personal liberty of its officers and also the threat to continuing operations at the Bonny Oil Terminal, a critical national asset in which the Federal Government holds 55 per cent interest. For this reason, SPDC has taken all lawful steps to protect its officials and ensure uninterrupted operations at the terminal in the interest of the nation,” Odugbesan explained. Those sentenced alongside the SPDC managing director are Shell’s Secretary and Head of legal, Nike Oyinlola, and the Deputy Country Head of Legal/Managing Counsel Global litigation sub-Sahara Africa, Keibi Atemie. Delivering judgment in

suit No: PHC/1929/218, the presiding judge, Justice George Omereji, convicted the Shell officials for disobeying an order of court made by Justice Margaret Opara of the Rivers State High Court, in 2008. In the 2008 judgment, Opara had asked Shell to forfeit the land where the Bonny crude oil terminal is located. The land said to belong to the Jumbo Major House of Bonny and the Brown House of Finima, both in Bonny, Rivers State. The aforementioned families who are Shell’s landlord in Bonny had gone to court in suit no: PHC/1956/2007, over the tenancy and compensation for the land in which the then military Government of Rivers State had spuriously issued a certificate of occupancy to Shell. Opara ordered that Shell should forfeit the Bonny terminal

420 Militants, Cultists Embrace A’Ibom Amnesty Programme Okon Bassey in Uyo More than 420 militants, kidnappers and cultists in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State have responded to the Amnesty Programme extended to them by the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel. The former armed men formally surrendered their weapons to the amnesty committee made up of heads of various security agencies in the state. The amnesty programme was the latest strategy adopted by Emmanuel to bring to an end over three years of wanton killings and destruction of property in the area by the suspected cultists.

The activities of the men who engaged in kidnapping, robbery and piracy have reportedly claimed more than 200 lives with property worth hundreds of millions of naira destroyed in communities of the two neigbouring councils. The State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo who addressed the former warlords yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, said the state government was happy over their decision to renounce cultism and related ant-isocial behaviour in the state. He said the state government has signed an undertaking on their behalf to protect them from harassment by security agencies while also disclosing plans by the government to organise a rehabilitation programme that

would reform their lives. “Government is proud that most of you have said you want to live a meaningful life. I am glad that some of you say you want to work in the security agencies and want to rise to the level of even a police commissioner. Government is happy with you and will give all of you start up skills and education to enable you realise your dreams in life.” The State Government reassured them their crisis ridden and deserted communities would begin to experience a new lease of life as work would restart on projects abandoned by contractors in those communities due to insecurity.

FG Links Suspected Volcanic Eruption to Leakage of Current on High Tension Wire Kasim Sumaina in Abuja The federal government yesterday revealed that the erupted hot molten material suspected to be volcanic magma around Katampe, Abuja on October 3, was not volcanic, but a high leakage of current that melted a 33 Kilo-volt-ampere (KVA) high tension power line. The government, through the Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Alex Nwegbu, adduced that what occurred at the community was as a result of an “In-Situ Vitrification of foundation

materials used in supporting the 33 Kilo-volt-ampere (KVA) high transmission line. Nwegbu, who stated this during a press briefing in Abuja, said the currents generated so much temperature to the range of between 1000 and 2000 degree centigrade, which was high enough to melt the material upon which the electric pole was seated. The DG explained that preliminary measurements, readings and inspection by the technical team of the NGSA indicated a very limited localised event with no foreseeable harm to the public.

According to him, “The result of our investigation shows clearly that it was not a volcanic activity. The high tension leaked currents through the rods used in the construction of the electric pole and it generated so much temperature to the range of between 1600 and 2000 degree centigrade which was high enough to melt the material upon which the pole was founded.” Nwegbu added that the combustion at the surface was caused by the oxygen in the air, which thereafter cooled rapidly to form a monolithic and chemically inert vitreous slag.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Partners GIZ to Empower Young Entrepreneurs The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading entrepreneurship philanthropy, is partnering with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German Government’s Agency for International Cooperation. Under the terms of the partnership, GIZ will support the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

to empower 210 young African entrepreneurs, focusing specifically on female entrepreneurs and tech-enabled businesses. The Entrepreneurship Programme of TEF was launched in 2015, having supported more than 4,000 entrepreneurs with seed capital pan-African wide. The announcement is coming ahead of the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs – The

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum – which will hold on October 25, 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. The Forum will celebrate the 2018 cohort of the Foundation’s beneficiaries. The joint partnership will equip more African entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build strong and sustainable businesses, while providing them with access to seed funding.

for breach of terms of its tenancy by going behind the landlords to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Government of Rivers State for the land. Dissatisfied by the lower court’s order to forfeit the Bonny terminal land, Shell proceeded to the Court of Appeal, but lost the case for lack of merit. Shell later appealed to the Supreme Court and lost the case also. In his judgment yesterday, Omereji first dismissed a motion of notice by counsel to Shell and

its three officials seeking to set aside the order of the court made on July 25, 2018 that granted leave to the landlords to serve substituted means of notice of consequence of disobedience of court order in the suit upon the contemnor. He declared, after hearing the submissions of counsel to the Bonny landlords: Lucius Nwosu (SAN) and Emmanuel Asido, and counsel to the Shell, Thompson J Okpoko (SAN), that the committal of Okunbor,

Olafimihan and Atemie was for refusal to obey the order of Justice Opara to forfeit the Bonny terminal to the landlords. The judge directed the Nigerian Police Force and other law enforcement to effect immediate arrest of the aforementioned Shell officials who were absent in court and send them to prison. He declared that the sentence was necessitated by the need to ensure that the rule of law is maintained in the country.

Baba Sala Was a Prolific Artiste, Says Saraki Deji Elumoye in Abuja Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has described the late ace comedian, Moses Olaiya a.k.a. Baba Sala, as a prolific artiste who contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s movie industry in particular and arts and culture in general, during his lifetime. Saraki in a statement by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said: “Baba Sala was a legend who through dint of hard work, tenacity and creative inventiveness, pioneered comedy and made theatre and television sitcoms

and skits a culture embraced by the masses”. He noted that the comedian’s regular dose of hilarity and wisecracks enlivened households across the country in unquantifiable ways as “he was pivotal to making comedy a major art form in Nigeria, and we are seeing his impact in the comic superstars we have today”. “Baba Sala brought laughter into people’s lives. He was a true hero who embodied the quintessential Nigerian spirit of growing from obscurity to stardom. He lived an impactful life and helped to discover

and groom talents - some of whom are today leading lights in the Nigerian music and film industries. “I join millions of fans to mourn the passage of this comic genius whose movies served as a forerunner to Nollywood. He was a prolific artist and left his footprints on the sands of time. He shall be missed,” he stated. Saraki called on the federal government to immortalise the late Baba Sala by naming a befitting national monument after him as a mark of honour and encouragement to both present and future artistes in the country.

͚͸Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚Î&#x20AC;ËžT H I S D AY



Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY

Eaglesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Camp Come Alive in Uyo as 22 Players BeginTraining AFCON 2019 QUALIFIER

Ighalo, Bryan Idowu to join team today

Duro Ikhazuagbe Super Eagles camp in Uyo became a beehive of activities yesterday following the arrival of 19 more invited players for the AFCON 2019 qualifying clash with Libya on Saturday. After an initial sluggish start that witnessed just three players as early birds on Monday when the camp officially opened for business, the arrival of the bulk of the Super Eagles from Europe ensured that training started as planned yesterday evening. Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Franco-German Coach, Gernot Rohr and his assistants who are plotting to pluck Libyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mediterranean Knights from the top of Group E drilled the team to ascertain the fitness level of each of the invited players.. Only China-based striker Odion Ighalo and Bryan Idowu from Lokomotiv Moscow are the last set of Eagles to join up with the team today for Rohr to have full complement of his squad for the battle with Libya. Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, as well as defenders William Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Leon Balogun, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins,

Super Eagles have arrived Uyo ahead of Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AFCON 2019 qualiďŹ er against Libya

Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem and Kenneth Omeruo are among those at the Ibom Meridien Hotels and Resort. There are also midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Kalu, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu and Oghenekaro Etebo, and forwards Isaac Success, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Kelechi Iheanacho. The Mediterranean Knghts

top Group E with four points (from their defeat of Seychelles and draw with Libya), while South Africa (winner over Nigeria before they drew with Libya) are second and Eagles, who lost to South Africa and defeated Seychelles, lie third. According to the Communications Director of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, the Libyan Football Federation confirmed

on Monday that a 54-man delegation comprising players, technical crew, backroom staff and LFF officials will fly into Ibom International Airport, Uyo aboard a chartered aircraft on Thursday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Match officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the referee assessor from Mali and the security officer from South Africa, will

arrive in Nigeria on Thursday and then fly to Uyo on Friday morning,â&#x20AC;? concludes the NFF spokesman. PLAYERS IN CAMP GOALKEEPERS: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, DEFENDERS: William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, Leon Balogun, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins, Abdullahi

Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem and Kenneth Omeruo MIDFIELDERS: Wilfred Ndidi, Samuel Kalu, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu and Oghenekaro Etebo FORWARDS: Isaac Success, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Kelechi Iheanacho.

â&#x20AC;ŚAKS Gov Approves Reduction ofTicket Prices by Half Okon Bassey in Uyo Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has approved the reduction of ticket prices for football fans wishing to watch live the 2019 AFCON qualifier between Nigeria and Libya in Uyo on Saturday. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Mr Paul Bassey, who dropped the hint

yesterday in an interaction with sports journalists in the state said the sports loving governor has directed that the gate fees for competition be slashed by 50 per cent. With this development fans will now have to pay as low as N500.00 to watch the crucial game from the popular stands as against N1,000 earlier fixed while those wishing to see the

AITEO Cup Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;final Matches Rock Lagos, Kano, Owerri The semi final matches of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AITEO Cup competition for men and women will hold today with the exception of the clash between champions Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens in the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event. In the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event, Kano Pillars, who overpowered CAF Confederation Cup semi finalists Enyimba FC in the quarter-finals, will light up the Agege Stadium in Lagos with in-form Katsina United. At the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, five-time champions Rangers International will lock horns with Nasarawa United, who got the better of El-Kanemi Warriors in the last eight. The mouth-watering encounter between Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens set for the Nnamdi Azikiwe

Stadium, Enugu has been put on hold as the NFF Disciplinary Committee meets today over a protest filed by Sunshine Queens of Akure, questioning the eligibility of two Rivers Angelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; players. The champions had beaten Sunshine Queens 2-0 in the quarter finals. That game has now been scheduled for Friday, 12th October. Meanwhile, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi confirmed on Tuesday that the grand finale of the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competition will hold at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa on Tuesday, 23rd October, while the grand finale of the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competition will be played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, capital of Delta State on Wednesday, 24th October.

AITEO CUP 2018 Semi-ďŹ nal (Men) Kano Pillars Vs Katsina Utd - Lagos Rangers Vs Nasarawa Utd - Kano Semi-ďŹ nal Matches (Women) Ibom Angels Vs Edo Queens â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Owerri Rivers Angels Vs Bayelsa â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Enugu (Friday, 12/10)

game from the VIP stands would now pay a token of N1,000 as against the initial N2,000.00 price tag. According to Bassey the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gesture is aimed at encouraging many fans to watch the match live at the Nest of Champions and to cheer the Super Eagles to victory. Bassey said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Football fans around the world usually pay

huge amounts of money as gate fees to watch international games of this standard, but here in Akwa Ibom, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel has graciously subsidized the ticket price to N500 for the popular stands tickets and N1, 000 for the VIP ticket holders. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Governor Emmanuel is a passionate sports lover and he has demonstrated it in the huge

investments he has made in sports development in the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His gesture of subsidizing the prices of tickets for the match is to ensure that more fans turn up to watch the game live while supporting the senior national team to victory on Saturday,â&#x20AC;? observed the veteran sports journalist who also doubles as Chairman of the state owned

Akwa United FC. Libya is top of the group with four points, same as South Africa but with superior goal difference. The Super Eagles are third on the log with three points from two games and they need to win on Saturday to have any realm chance of making it to AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Go Beyond Round 2,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Masevex Warns Godson Ahead of their national light heavyweight title clash on Sunday, fast rising Adewale â&#x20AC;&#x153;Masevexâ&#x20AC;? Masebinu has warned his opponent, Kabiru â&#x20AC;&#x153;KB Godsonâ&#x20AC;? Towolawi, that he will not last beyond the second of their 10-round contest. The bout is the second between the pair, with Godson winning the first by knockout. They clash again at GOtv Boxing Night 16 scheduled to hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Recalling his first encounter with Godson, Masevex said he was affected by a gash he suffered above his eye, a situation he said curtailed him and

GOTV BOXING NIGHT 16 handed victory to KB Godson on a platter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was because of the injury I suffered. He is no match for me and I will prove that on Sunday by ensuring he lasts just two rounds. There will not be a repeat of the last time. I am sure of that. The title is mine. No shaking,â&#x20AC;? he said in a television interview. Their bout is one of the nine slated for the event, which include two eye-catching and traditionally fierce Nigeria/ Ghana duels. One of these will see Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rilwan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Real Oneâ&#x20AC;? Oladosu face

Benjamin Lamptey of Ghana for the West African Boxing Union (WABU) title. The other pits incumbent African Boxing Union champion, Oto â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joe Boyâ&#x20AC;? Joseph of Nigeria up against Anama Dotse. The big-name clashes also include the Waidi â&#x20AC;&#x153;Skoroâ&#x20AC;? Usman/ Chibuzor â&#x20AC;&#x153;T Boyâ&#x20AC;? Obi rematch. Another major highlight of the event will be the professional debuts of eight graduates of the last two editions of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search. The alumni in action include Opeyemi â&#x20AC;&#x153;Senseâ&#x20AC;? Elijah, best

boxer at GOtv Boxing NextGen 4, who will take on Sheriff â&#x20AC;&#x153;Osheâ&#x20AC;? Ogunbanjo in a super bantamweight duel; Taiwo â&#x20AC;&#x153;Esepoâ&#x20AC;? Agbaje, who will fight Tope â&#x20AC;&#x153;TP Rockâ&#x20AC;? Musa in a lightweight clash; Azeez â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who Say Soâ&#x20AC;? Tijani, who fights Waheed â&#x20AC;&#x153;Showmaxâ&#x20AC;? Shogbanmu; and Isaac â&#x20AC;&#x153;I Starâ&#x20AC;? Chukwudi, who takes onAdeyemi â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spiritâ&#x20AC;? Adekanla in a welterweight clash. The event will be beamed live on SuperSport in 47 African countries. The best boxer at the event will go home with a cash prize of N1.5 million alongside the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.

Libya Head Coach QuitsThree Days to Clash with Eagles Barely three days to the AFCON 2019 qualifier between Nigeria and Libya, Adel Amrouche has resigned from his position as the head coach of the Libyan national team. Libyan daily,, announced yesterday that Amrouche has quit his job

after going six months without his salary paid, Amrouche was appointed Omar Al-Maryamiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successor in May. The newspaper also revealed that Al-Maryami will lead the Mediterranean Knights out against Nigeria in Uyo on Saturday.

Al-Maryami has already taken charge of the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s training in Tunisia following the sudden exit of Amrouche. Libya occupy the top spot in Group E of the AFCON qualifiers with four points from two games following their 5-1 win over Seychelles in June last year and goalless

draw recorded away to South Africa. South Africa are second with the same number of points but with an inferior goal difference while Nigeria are third with three points from two games. Seychelles are fourth in the standings with no point.

Wednesday October 10, 2018



& RE A S O


Price: N250

MISSILE Atiku to APC “Not only did Mrs. Buhari condemn the All Progressives Congress, APC’s primaries, she described them as ‘unfair’ and lacking in integrity. Who can know President Buhari better than his wife?” –Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, berating the APC and their presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, in a counter attack.


0805 500 1974

Forward to Politics of Ideas I n response to the advocacy for the politics of issues in this column, a respected technocrat who pays close attention to the political landscape made a very valid critique. This should be readily admitted on a self-critical note. His position could be summarised as follows: it is not enough to accuse politicians on the field of not focussing on issues; the media should take up the task of interrogating the practical men seeking power on policies and programmes. According to the gentleman, the politicians should be challenged on the basis of ideas so that the public could make informed choices. Nigeria aspires to be a developed liberal democracy. In the advanced liberal democratic countries politicians are often defined by their political traditions. They could be easily located on the ideological spectrum. They are associated with definite ideas – big government or the supreme reign of the market; taxes or tax cuts; huge investment in the social sector or allowing the logic of market to sort out things for the poor, environment etc. It is, of course, easier to abuse and insult a politician than to engage him or her on the basis of ideas or query the lack of ideas in solving practical problems. Emptiness of ideas is not only a trait of some politicians; it is also a disease of the public sphere. After all, away from the state free discussions are expected to take place at the societal arena. The German thinker of the Frankfurt School, Jurgen Habermas, calls this arena “the public sphere.” The arena is meant to influence political action significantly. The public sphere should, therefore, nudge politicians towards politics of ideas and not just massage their ego even when their comprehension of policy is doubtful. Here, our politicians are often indulged in just insulting or spewing hate about their opponents; they are hardly interrogated on their understanding of the Nigerian political economy which they seek power to manage. Questions are seldom asked if by orientation and practice a politician has compassion for the poor? It should be quickly added that putting the matter this way is far from being uncharitable to the politicians. This is because some of them do not seem to realise that part of their qualifications for the job (albeit not so stated in the Electoral Act) is to be policy-literate. You may probably say that this is not within the remit of Professor Mahmood Yakubu’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nevertheless, the point should be made that electoral politics should be more than the stories of the huge egos and legitimate ambitions of politicians hitting the headlines. Politicians are reported on their political smartness and dexterity for “winning” elections. Political analysis is typically binary- north or south; Christian or Muslim. Deftness in geo-political calculation is the beginning of wisdom. The policy agendas of the candidates for elections hardly hit the headlines. Interestingly, the foreign media and think tanks and other self-appointed authorities on Nigeria parrot this highly superficial appreciation of the nation’s complex problem. Candidates are presented as the Messiah by their supporters and portrayed as Lucifer by their opponents. Yet, the truth remains that there is neither a saint nor a demon among those legitimately seeking power in this country.

INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu They are simply human beings with strengths and weaknesses like the rest of the society. Ahead of 2019, the combative publicists and sympathisers of the two main parties - the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - should be admonished as they go about their business to avoid a repeat of what happened in the vicious days of 2015. Thank goodness, the nominations of President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as flag bearers of APC and PDP respectively may temper the divisive tone of the campaigns. If you want Atiku to be president you cannot be spreading hate speech against the north, the Fulani and Islam. This formidable opponent of Buhari is a northerner, a Fulani and a Muslim just like Buhari himself. So you would have to sell or oppose Buhari and Atiku on the basis of policy, record of service and, of course, character. All these are matters of ideas and not hate speech. Ethnic jingoists and religious propagandists may not have much job to do in the scenario that may emerge in the next few months. And that would be immensely healthy for democratic development Beside Buhari and Atiku there are notably some men and women that if studiously challenged to toe the path of politics of ideas could actually redefine politics in this country. For the sake of political development in this land, the significance of this phenomenon should not be ignored. Take a sample. How can any serious public sphere ignore the candidacies of Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Oby Ekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Olusegun Mimiko of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Party (ADP), Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Party (ACP) and other audacious Nigerians, who on the platforms of their respective parties, have commendably resolved to go beyond lamentation in pondering the Nigerian condition? The candidates of the smaller parties should be upfront about their ideas so as to enrich debates as they seek power. In any case, the only weapon available to them is the potency of their ideas A new political culture should be developed in which politics would be more than periodic

mobilisation of people to vote. There is a worthwhile campaign to make the votes count. This campaign should be expanded to include making the voters know exactly why they are voting for the candidates of their choice. For once, politics should transcend the north-south and Christian-Muslim calculus. The duty to bring this about is not that of the politicians alone. It is also squarely that of the media, public intellectuals, technocrats, civil society activists and others who yearn for a more qualitative political culture. It is more helpful for these social forces, which are equipped with the skills to understand issues, to do this than for them to be purveyors of hate speech and libels in this electoral season. The media should be self-critical. There is the imperative of giving more space and airtime to those shedding light on issues also and not just the gladiators who merely generate heat. For clarity, the influence of ideas could hardly be avoided in matters of policy and politics. In fact, President Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly said only yesterday that the president Nigeria needs now is one who “understands economics.” Obasanjo should know what he is talking about in this respect. He is, of course, not a professional economist himself; but his policies while in power were definitely influenced by some economic thoughts. For now, it should be left for future economic historians to assess the success or otherwise of those policies. Meanwhile, it is indubitable that where serious economic thinking is unavailable, the huge deficit in governance that would be created as a result would be so obvious that experts and non-experts alike would see it. For as the influential British economist of the 20th Century, Maynard Keynes, put it: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, little else rules the world. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” In many ways, Keynes’ position speaks to the Nigerian situation. As the nation gears up to the 2019 elections, some think tanks have branded Nigeria as the “poverty capital of the world.” Anti-poverty strategies informed by credible data and clear thinking should, therefore, be competing on the national horizon. In fact, the 2019 politics ought to be antipoverty politics. Strategists of candidates and their parties should be promoting what concrete policies to adopt to put more children into schools for quality education, promote universal healthcare, institutionalise social housing, revamp infrastructure and ease the movement of the people by boosting mass transit. This time round, it should be obvious to those seeking power that to solve the crisis in the education and health sectors, for instance, you would need more than the neo-liberal shibboleths of privatisation and liberalisation and the other poisonous recipes of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The important thing is that the electoral season should be an opportunity for rigorous debates of the options available to improve the Nigerian condition.

Sadly, nothing in the public sphere suggests that the current politics could be described as anti-poverty. Defenders of some candidates claim they have agendas. Pray, why are the anti-poverty specifics to fund education, healthcare, housing, food security, water supply, sanitation, energy etc. of these agendas (beyond phrase mongering) not popularised? Virtually other issues of Nigerian politics have poverty as the substructure. Physical security cannot be ultimately ensured without the institution of social security. Vertical restructuring of the federation will not guarantee stability in the long run without tackling the horizontal social inequality plaguing the land. Of course, the convinced restructuring commentariat would hardly agree that restructuring alone would not resolve the Poverty Question, which is at the base of the National Question. President Muhammadu Buhari failed to take opportunity of his October 1 broadcast to provoke debates on the alternative anti-poverty strategies. Similarly, Buhari’s political opponents are not coming up with critical and informed discussions on the social investments and other anti-poverty programme of the administration. Alternatives should be well articulated. The President said on another occasion that he wondered how state governors could sleep well conscious of the fact that they owe arrears of workers’ salaries. The distributive justice in matters of incomes is central to any worthwhile anti-poverty strategy in the Nigerian circumstance. So the President’s instinctive and compassionate statement should have been properly framed for robust discussions. To start with, as Buhari spoke governors of some states controlled by APC and PDP alike owed workers’ salaries. It is scandalous that recently, a national strike was called on minimum wage and the political parties and their plethora of aspirants and candidates never saw any topic of debate in the proletarian protest. In the same vein, the voices of political parties were hardly heard on the havoc wreaked recently by floods in parts of the countries. The deep environment policy issues thrown up by the disasters should also be of interest to politicians. . As political publicists and other actors in the public sphere begin to do what they know how best to do in the electoral season, it would not be a surprise if the advocacy for the politics of ideas is glibly dismissed as utopian. To some publicists what matters between now and February 2019 is how to get their preferred candidates elected as president, governors or senators whether or not issues are discussed. For them, depicting the ideas that could nourish policies and programmes should be matters that may be brought up, perhaps, months after the elections. Even in the frenzy of campaigns, political parties and their candidates should be reminded that politics of ideas is a necessary utopia if Nigeria is to be politically developed. As the Uruguayan journalist and writer, Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015), aptly put it: “Utopia lies at the horizon. When I draw nearer by two steps, it retreats two steps. If I proceed ten steps forward, it swiftly slips ten steps ahead. No matter how far I go, I can never reach it. What, then, is the purpose of utopia? It is to cause us to advance.”

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