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NNPC: $800m Loss Forced Termination of Oil Pipeline Security Deal Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday stated the reasons for its decision to cancel and reaward the contract for security of 87-kilometre Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) to a new firm.

The corporation stated that so far in 2018, it has lost crude oil worth $800 million from the line despite the former security contract. In a statement signed by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja,

it explained that the decision to assign the TFP surveillance package to indigenous firm, Ocean Marine Solutions, was reached after consideration of the huge losses on the line. NNPC said it appraised the new company’s record of performance on the Bonny-Port

Harcourt and Warri-Escravos crude evacuation lines, and found it impressive, adding that its contract with it would entail Ocean Marine paying for any damage to any inch of pipeline under its watch. According to it, the new contract offered it and its Joint

Venture (JV) partners, host communities and the Nigerian Federation, immeasurable benefits. It said, faced with massive losses in projected revenue, stakeholders in the TFP which reportedly account for daily production throughput of over

250,000 barrels of crude oil were unanimous in the decision to seek better ways of ensuring reliability and availability of the line, hence, the termination of its previous security deal. Providing a context, NNPC Continued on page 10

FG Silent on Non-release of $1bn Fund for Military Hardware … Page 46 Wednesday 5 December, 2018 Vol 23. No 8631 . Price: N250 TR


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Buhari Reiterates Commitment to Release of Chibok Girls ... Page 46

Again, Tinubu Attacks Atiku, Says He’s Not Fit for Presidency APC leader, an incoherent politician, replies PDP campaign spokesman, Afegbua Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday dismissed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as unfit to be

entrusted with the presidency of the country, describing the main opposition party’s flag bearer as “a merry-go-round and carnival-like politician with no focus or mission.” Speaking in similar vein Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed confidence that Continued on page 46

INEC: We’ll Remain Firm on Zamfara APC

Rejects claims of presidential pressure to rescind decision Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said that it would remain firm on its decision not to accept candidates for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara State from the All

Progressives Congress (APC), rejecting speculations that it had come under intense pressure from the presidency to reverse itself. The electoral body, which said, it would refrain from Continued on page 10

Osinbajo, Shettima, El-Rufai, FOR BETTER ENVIRONMENT… Muhammadu Buhari (left) and President Andrzej Duda of Poland, during a bilateral meeting at the sideline of Others Meet over APC Crisis ... Page 10 President the 24th Session of the Conference on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland...yesterday


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Osinbajo, Shettima, El-Rufai, Others Meet over APC Crisis Okorocha’s in-law, Nwosu, picks AA gov ticket

Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja and Amby Uneze in Owerri Worried by the lingering crisis enveloping the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State yesterday led members of the national peace and reconciliation committee, set up by the party to the presidential Villa for reconciliation talks with aggrieved members in Southwest, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Yesterday’s meeting coincided with the final exit of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Chief Uche Nwosu, from the APC to Action Alliance (AA), which has given him its governorship ticket for the state. Nwosu’s move followed the trend in Ogun State, where Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s preferred candidate, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, abandoned the APC for Allied Peoples Movement (APM) to realise his governorship ambition. Related to these is Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama’s, position that 2019 election is not a matter of `life or death’ for President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the president would be happy to accept the verdict of the electorate. Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State; former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Professor Modupe Adelabu; Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside; and Mr. Sa’ida Bugaje who are members of the committee attended the meeting with Osinbajo. The meeting, which lasted more than one hour inside the meeting room of the

vice president, according to Shettima’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, was a consultative discussion with Osinbajo, who is the highest public office holder from the South-west. He said, “The meeting was part of on-going consultations and hearings from specific leaders and members of the APC from the South-west. The vice president gave an insightful overview of his understanding of the issues in each of the six states of Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo with thoughts of possible ways out.’’ He added that the committee members will be meeting other specific leaders in each of the states to get their positions so as to be equipped with the facts. ‘’The committee will on Wednesday, make public invitations to give sufficient notice for aggrieved members to appear during the committee’s sittings in Lagos, Ekiti and Oyo States to hear submissions from the six states that will be paired for each day’s sitting,� Gusau said.

Finally, Okorocha’s Sonin-law Picks AA’s Gov Ticket Meanwhile, the son-inlaw of Governor Okorocha, Nwosu, who dumped the APC, has formally picked the gubernatorial ticket of the AA in order to realise his governorship ambition. Speaking yesterday at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, shortly after his arrival from Abuja, Nwosu expressed confidence that he would emerge the next governor of Imo State on the platform of AA.

He disclosed that “injustice, impunity and lack of respect for party’s constitution� forced him out of APC. Nwosu, who held the AA’s flag, said the entire APC structure in the state, except those supporting the senatorial ambition of Okorocha, had defected to the AA. Nwosu, who described AA as a party with the ideal democratic manifesto, added that his ambition to succeed Okorocha was driven by the massive support he enjoys from the over 70 percent population of the state electorate. He said AA would cooperate with APC to reelect Buhari and to also elect Okorocha as senator, while he would be elected governor on the AA platform. Nwosu said, “We are going to work with APC to deliver Imo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. “We will deliver Governor Rochas Okorocha as senator because Action Alliance has no senatorial candidate in Orlu zone. “I have no problem with President Buhari. My headache is the National Chairman of APC. “It is a divine project and we are ready for the election. It is inter-party marriage between AA and APC in Imo State.� APC’s factional chairman in the state, Mr. Daniel Nwafor, also told THISDAY that Nwosu and others who dumped APC with him had pinched tent with AA. "I can tell you authoritatively that Uche Nwosu wrote to us resigning his membership from APC and I have sighted the letter," he said.

The National Secretary of AA, Mr. Vernimbe James, also told THISDAY that the party has given its governorship ticket to Nwosu. Before clinching the ticket of AA, Nwosu had approached the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) but the party refused to give him the ticket. The National Chairman of DPP, Mr. Garshon Benson, who confirmed the development, told THISDAY that Mercy Ibeh remains the governorship candidate of the party in Imo State. "Uche Nwosu is not our governorship candidate. We wanted to work with them, but eventually it didn't work out. There were few ethical issues that prevented the deal from being struck," he said. Although the DPP national chairman did not reveal the ethical issues that worked against the handing over of the party's ticket to Nwosu, THISDAY gathered that the party came under severe pressure from prominent leaders in Imo State not to have anything to do with the embattled APC governorship aspirant. The party was said to have withdrawn from talks with Okorocha and Nwosu to avoid incurring the wrath of the people, who are believed to have rejected the governor's move to impose a successor on them. Nwosu had lost out of APC gubernatorial primary after an Imo State High Court upheld the prayers of the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, and quashed the gubernatorial primary held on October 6, 2018, by

the Okorocha faction of the APC, in the state. Justice Kemakolam Ojiako, who presided over the court, granted all the prayers sought by Madumere, including the prayer that the October 1, 2018, APC primary election was credible, relevant and met the parameters for the exercise. Okorocha had alleged that what happened in APC primaries in many states presented interesting scenario as the party, which he said was known for justice, equity and fairness, had been dented by the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole. He said, “What happened in Imo was a clear case of injustice, where Uche Nwosu won the primary and was robbed of the ticket. This injustice must be addressed. “However, in spite of the fact that my aides are leaving the party, I am still a member of APC and will not leave the party. “I tried to persuade them not to leave, but they have made up their minds. I have done what I can to make them remain in the party, they disobeyed me. I don’t have any moral justification to stop them.�

National Headquarters of the APC, INEC, the national vice chairman of the party in the North-west and their agents could not take any further action. The plaintiffs had asked the court to direct APC and INEC to recognise the results of the primaries conducted by Zamfara APC from the October 3 to 7, 2018. Justice Mukhtar issued an order of interim injunction ordering the APC, the party’s North-west zonal chairman and INEC to “maintain the status quo as at the time the plaintiffs filed the suit on October 8, 2018,� which was not objected by their counsel. The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter till October 23 for hearing to enable the

defendants to file their responses to the motion on notice before the court. A public affairs analyst, Mr. Jamal Gusau, who suspected mounting pressure on INEC to change its position on Zamfara APC’s issue, had said, ‘’if Professor Yakubu-led INEC succumb to the presidential pressure and violate the court order, then he will successfully vindicate what the opposition ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said about him and the electoral umpire.’ ‘’Only four days ago, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, called on the INEC chairman to resign over his alleged inability to conduct free, fair and credible election. ‘’He also alleged that the

2019 Not Do-or-Die for Buhari Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyema, has stated that the 2019 election is not a matter of `life or death’ for Buhari because he will be happy to accept the verdict of the electorate. NAN, which quoted Onyeama as stating this in an interview, said that all the president wants to do is to

create a level playing field for all the political parties. The minister added, “He is fully committed to ensuring that the next election in 2019 is free, fair and transparent and that each vote should count. I think most importantly for him, it is not a matter of life or death. That is where he is coming from. He is very happy to accept whatever the outcome is and the will of the people. “He doesn’t want to interfere with the process; he wants INEC to be totally independent for them to do the right thing. He is ready to invest and provide all the resources for them to be totally independent.� Onyeama revealed that Buhari almost did not purchase the nomination form but for the intervention of well-wishers, assuring Nigerians that Buhari is going to practice what he preaches. He said, “He has been to Supreme Court to challenge election, he has been on the other side; he appreciates more than anyone else the importance of free, fair and transparent election. “He always said that the electronic process that has been introduced helping to take away the human element has been the game changer, something that he loves, so he believes in free and fair election.� Onyeama said that Buhari would show good example to West African and other countries by practicing what he preaches. He said that the president led the intervention of ECOWAS in the Gambia and sent special envoys to Mali, Guinea Bissau and Togo to ensure democratically elected government in those countries.

INEC: WE’LL REMAIN FIRM ON ZAMFARA APC a comprehensive comment on the matter because it had become subjudice, some of the party’s executives in the state having gone to court, said there were no indications from the presidency that it wanted the commission to take any list of candidates from the party. The INEC spoke through its national chairman’s Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, who told THISDAY last night that the decision of INEC was immutable and could only be reviewed by a court of law. “It will be subjudice to comment on this case since it is already before the courts. I am not aware of any pressure from any quarter on INEC to take any action contrary to the rule of law on the Zamfara issue,�

he told THISDAY. INEC had in a letter to the leadership of the APC notified the party that it was ineligible to field candidates for all elective positions in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections because the party failed to meet the October 7 deadline for conducting primaries to elect candidates for the elections. The commission had referred the party to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general elections released by the commission on January 9, 2018, and ruled that the APC had failed to comply with the provisions of Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), saying “the commission does not expect that your party will submit

names of any candidates from Zamfara State.� But some members of the Zamfara State executive of the party, however, instituted a case against the commission to challenge its decision at the State High Court in Gusau. The suit was filed by three executive members of the APC, Chairman of Gusau Local Government Area, Alhaji Babangida Abdullahi; his counterpart in Tsafe Local Government Area, Kabiru Chafe, and Sanusi Dan-Alhaji. On October 16, 2018, the High Court in Gusau, presided over by Justice Mukhtar Yusha’u, granted an interim order restraining all parties involved in Zamfara APC primaries crisis to stay action, ruling that the

NNPC: $800M LOSS FORCED TERMINATION OF OIL PIPELINE SECURITY DEAL said in the statement: “In 2018, we lost over 60 days of production due to incessant breaches on the TFP despite having a security contract in place. In terms of production numbers, this translates to over 11 million barrels of crude oil which on face value equates to over $800 million in lost revenue to all the stakeholders in the matrix which includes NNPC, its Joint Venture partners and the Nigerian Federation.� It noted that no responsible business entity or government would allow such level of loss to go on without taking swift actions to stop the losses. Based on this, NNPC said Ocean Marine Solution was

assigned to handle the TFP under a proof of concept arrangement which it said was yielding great results in the Bonny-Port Harcourt and Escravos-Warri crude evacuation lines. “Under this package, the surveillance company is obligated to protect the lines and bear the cost of repairs if and when there is any breach to the pipeline. “This arrangement is totally different from the old order where the contractor gets paid for surveillance duties and totally exempted from repair cost or any form of responsibility in the event of any line break or breach to the pipeline he is paid to watch,�

the statement added. It further explained that the cost of the new deal was insignificant when compared on the basis of value-for-money with the old arrangement. According to it, “In 2018, after we lost over 60 days of production, under the old contract, the NNPC and its stakeholders spent over $32 million on repairs, protection of the TFP and clean-up. This is a verifiable fact which makes the new deal not only better but far more rewarding to all stakeholders.� It also dismissed insinuations that the new contract would spell doom for youths of communities on the pipeline’s right-of-way currently

rendering sundry services to the old service provider, arguing that the issue of TFP security was purely a matter of criminality which the host communities along the pipeline corridor are totally against. NNPC said that long before now, it had evolved a host community participation model which naturally incorporates youths within the vicinity of its assets and areas of operations as veritable stakeholders and participants in the running of such facility. “We want to state for the umpteenth time that based on our community engagement model for asset protection, OMS is obligated to engage youths in the TFP right-of-way

in executing its mandate thus reports of imminent loss of jobs by host community youths are totally incorrect and mischievous,� it explained. The NNPC also noted that community participation model was already in practice on Escravos-Warri and Bonny-Port Harcourt lines and the host communities have absolutely no issues with it or the pipeline surveillance service provider. On allegation that the new contract did not go through due process as mandated by law, NNPC said the governmentapproved procurement processes and procedures in the award of highly sensitive national security contracts were followed to the letter.

INEC chairman lacked the will and capacity to deliver free and fair elections. ‘’I am worried that the INEC chairman will not give fresh air to the PDP’s allegations by acting according to the dictates of the law, not the whims and caprices of some Abuja power brokers.’’ INEC’s Oyekanmi, however, reassured Nigerians yesterday that the body would not answer to anyone else on the matter but the court and the laws that established it.


NGN NGN 0.18 2.00 0.07 0.78 0.15 2.15 0.50 8.00 0.01 0.25 NGN 0.06 0.56 0.02 0.20 0.20 2.30 MUTUALBENEFITS 0.02 0.23 REGENCY 0.01 0.20 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,485.10 Volume: 198.536 million shares Value: N2.115 billion Deals: 2,802 As at yesterday 04/12/18 See details on Page 31

% 9.8 9.8 7.5 6.6 4.1 % 9.6 9.0 8.0 8.0 4.7





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Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email

GOVERNMENT AS OBSTACLE TO PROGRESS Sonnie Ekwowusi contends that Nigerians are increasingly being frustrated


few days ago a lawyer friend came to me fuming. I had never seen him seized by such melancholic anger. What was the matter? He received an e-mail probably from one of the President Buhari campaign groups soliciting for his vote in the forth-coming Presidential election. I tried to calm him down, but he further exploded. “I can’t understand what is happening in this country. Do these people think that we are fools are what? Why should somebody living in Nigeria at this time send me an e-mail to vote for Buhari? How can I vote for Buhari? Am I mad?� As he kept shouting and advancing towards with a clenched fist I made sure I maintained a reasonable distance. Anyway the concern of my friend about the sloppiness and under-achievement in statism, democracy and government has in the past engaged the minds of philosophers, political scientists and thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Christopher Dawson, Alex De Tocqueville, Edmund Burke, T.S. Elliot, Fredric Bastiat, Bernard Shaw and others. Of the ancient philosophers Plato was particularly hostile to democracy because he felt that democracy could be abused to the detriment of the governed whose interests it is supposed to protect. It was to guard against the abuses of democracy that Plato wanted the experts, the enlightened or the guardians as he called them in the Republic to be in charge of politics. After studying the American democracy, Alex De Tocqueville concluded that an unchecked democracy was worse than the worst dictatorship or totalitarianism. Bernard Shaw said that democracy is a device that ensures that the people shall not be governed no better than they deserve. In his appraisal of the English form of government in Common Sense, Tom Paine writes that government is a necessary evil. He says that considering that the impulses of consciences are unclear and laws irresistibly flouted, the people have found it necessary to surrender themselves to some rulers for their protection and promotion of their welfare. This surrendering of self is done in the assumption that government is conscious of its proper roles in society and is out to promote the rights and welfare of citizens. But unfortunately most governments are not interested in promoting the welfare of the people. Most governments in Nigeria are obstacles to progress. Rather than promote the well-being and welfare of the governed they inflict hardship on them. For instance, for nearly one year now heavy-duty trailers and trucks have been allowed to park permanently on Eko Bridge and other Lagos bridges and highways. These trailers and trucks are now causing chain of intractable vehicular traffic jams in the whole of Lagos. The Lagos authorities are fully aware of the high risks associated with this. They are aware that the trucks are weighing down on the bridges and could cause the bridges to collapse one day. They know that the drivers of these trucks urinate and defecate atop these bridges. They know that the Lagos motorists and commuters are suffering untold hardship every day as a result of the vehicular traffic jams caused by these trailers that are permanently parked atop the Lagos bridges and highways. But sadly enough the Lagos authorities have refused to remove these rickety trailers from the bridges and highways. Three weeks ago I saw a mutilated


and decomposed body of a dead man lying across Eko Bridge, precisely near the place where the trailers and trucks are parked. As I watched motorists were taking turns to climb over the mutilated body as if it was the body of a dead rat. It is probably only in Nigeria that the authorities, who are supposed to be law enforcers, are themselves the law breakers. But the greatest obstacle to progress in Nigeria at the moment is the federal government managed by President Buhari. So I cannot blame my lawyer friend for losing his composure upon receiving the e-mail urging him to vote for Buhari next year. Almost four years down the line, it is pretty difficult to identify one concrete achievement of the Buhari government. President Buhari came to power on the mantra that he would fight corruption. Now the monumental corruption involving some notable APC chieftains is incredible. But Fashola has applied for extension of time. He says that Buhari government needs another four years to put its house in order. I thought the respectable Fashola should have known better. A Buhari government that cannot put its house in order in four years cannot do so if given another four years. A journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with one step. Almost four years gone, we are yet to see the first step, the first sparkle or the ‘First Level’ of the Buhari government. Now without seeing the ‘First Level’ how can we be assured of the ‘Next Level’? In any case, how can we get to the ‘Next Level’ when the Buhari government is a static government that does not make progress and does not encourage the citizens to make progress in their respective human endeavours? From the onset President Buhari did not know what he could do with political power. It was obvious that he was least prepared to assume the mantle of leadership. That was why it took him about six months to form his cabinet. Now after about four years, it is obvious that Buhari is still confused with what he could do with political power. But some would disagree with me. In doing so, they can point at some kilometres of roads allegedly fixed by Buhari and equate them with progress. We must avoid the mistake of equating road construction with progress because road construction is not synonymous with progress. In truly assessing the progress of a people, the questions to ask are: Do the people have access to electricity supply in order to be able to eke out a living for themselves? Do they have access to medical treatment when they are ill? Do they have access to drinkable water? The questions can be endless. Obviously, the answers to the questions are germane in determining the real progress of a people. Human development is the ultimate focus of all developments. If human development is jeopardised, as we are witnessing today under the Buhari, everything is jeopardised. As I stated here a couple of weeks ago, the suicide rate in Nigeria has increased in the last three and half years. Why? Because the Nigerian people are becoming more frustrated and hopeless day after day. Solution: A new President in 2019. Enough of Buhari. Enough of backwardness. Let us make progress. The only way we can begin to make progress is to vote for a new president next year.


The exit of the multinational from Nigeria’srail deal is the least of its problems, argues Ikechukwu Odoziaku


ess than two decades ago, GE was one of the choicest companies to invest into, in corporate America. Its net worth then was about $600billion, equivalent of the GDP of Belgium, equaling the market value of Facebook, and as well the combined market value of Boeing, the giant American aircraft manufacturer, 3M and Honeywell put together. All that is now history going by the litany of woes that has now become the lot of the corporation.

Due to series of events arising from its unbridled expansionist appetite and acquisitive drive, management failure and investor reaction, dictated by market trends, the once-sort after GE and its stocks, have fallen, nose-diving to an abysmally low market value of just $100billion. Even at that, no one can put a bet that the stock price would not fall further. GE’s disengagement from its rail concession agreement with Nigeria is just one of several failed deals it had struck with clients across the globe, including the power generation contract it signed with the Kaduna State government that never saw the light of day. The failure of the American conglomerate to see its rail contract through with the federal government, just goes to prove that the days of this erstwhile global player, in several sectors, spanning health, power, insurance, finance and aircraft engines, among others, are numbered. The 9/11 Al-Qaida terrorist attack in 2001 was the beginning of the dwindling in fortunes of GE, as the incident badly hurt its jet-engine and insurance businesses, but events in the last couple of years have been particularly brutal and punitive.

In just under two years (2017-2018), GE’s shares fell 80 per cent, 45 per cent of that was recorded in 2017 after cash-flow shortages and weak sales in its power unit. Following other incidences, the shares have further crashed another 35 per cent so far this year. The consequence of this development was that GE, a 100 -year-old company, lost its place in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in June, this year. In response, more investors dumped the stock. Not done, just three months ago, in midSeptember, the conglomerate took a sharp dive when new questions arose over its critical power segment business. Investors were taken aback and scared by GE’s acknowledgment that its flagship gas turbine was suffering from an “oxidation issue� that prompted a customer to temporarily shut down two U.S. power plants. Although the company said a solution has been found, the continuous slide in its fortune, even as late as three weeks ago, is a reflection of waning investor confidence in the once cherished GE. Added to this, is the frequency of CEO turnover. In just about two years, three chief executives have taken turns, another indication that there’s haemorrhage somewhere. Welch, Jeffrey Immelt, Flannery, and still counting. These have taken measures they deemed fit, including plans to narrow GE’s focus to only aviation, power generation and renewable energy, as well as looking to shrink the bulk of the remaining finance operations that took a massive hit in the 2008 financial crisis. Sadly, none of these rejuvenated the stock, leaving short-term investors waiting for the slightest chance to offload. GE has become the third-largest short among industrial conglomerates, coming behind

Toshiba and 3M in receding influence and reckoning. And still no respite. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), have turned their prying eyes on GE in an investigation, leaving stakeholders wondering what the outcome of these portend for the company. As admitted by GE, the US federal government is probing a $22 billion accounting write down of the slumping power division. The huge charge, analysts posit, reflects the deterioration of businesses GE acquired. GE said it is providing the Justice Department and the SEC with documents and other information requested, as they continue their work on these matters. Again, GE shares retreated to a nine-year low on the disclosure of the news of the federal government’s investigation, with analysts saying the development is going to be a cloud that overhangs the company until things get cleaned up. The SEC and Justice Department often work closely together when investigating potential financial crimes. If the SEC finds something “problematic,� it typically shares that with Justice Department investigators. In general, the DOJ becomes interested when it looks like there is some effort to conceal the true health of a company. If the Justice Department finds wrongdoing, prosecutors could consider a wide range of charges against former and current GE employees, including fraud, making false statements and conspiracy. The investigations have deepened GE’s legal troubles. The company faces at least three different inquiries from the SEC as well as two from the Department of Justice. This is what the new CEO, Larry Culp, the first outsider CEO in the company’s

126-year-history and successor to John Flannery will have to contend with. “It’s definitely unusual. I don’t know of companies that I cover that have that many investigations going on,â€? said Windau, a US Attorney. GE announced in January that the SEC was investigating its accounting tactics as well as a $6.2 billion insurance loss that caught shareholders off guard. In 2009, the SEC charged GE with accounting fraud, alleging the company used “overly aggressive accountingâ€? to make false and misleading statements to investors. GE paid $50 million to settle charges, but it neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. The Justice Department is also investigating WMC, a subprime mortgage business that GE shut down in 2007. Part of GE’s romance with the Nigerian government in the rail concession deal, was to create a new funding paradigm and act as an inducement for other private sector investors in the nation’s quest to revamp its decaying infrastructure across the various economic sectors. It was also aimed at creating hundreds of primary and secondary job opportunities for the transportation industry. But that was as far as hope could go. Right now, the hope of creating jobs in that sector with GEs collaboration is now a façade. GE can’t offer any bailout of itself in America, talk less of Nigeria. GE may have once been a thriving $600billion conglomerate, but the reality today is that the enterprise is a failed, or failing entity. Odoziaku wrote from Abuja



EDITORIAL Curbing The Scourge Of Cultism The security agencies should do more to fight cultism


hile Lagos has been the epicentre of most of the recent cultist upheavals on account of the notorious operations of ‘Badoo Boys’ in Ikorodu where they rape, maim and kill their victims for money rituals, this menace is not restricted to the nation’s commercial capital. It is a national problem for which many of our young men and women are involved. From north to south, east and west, the menace is now so common that many streets in the country are swarming with one cult group or another, although the challenge is more in the southern part. For instance, in Ekpoma, Edo State, some 11 students of the Ambrose Alli University, were killed recently in cult-related violence while the streets of Benin, the state capital are infested with cultists. This bestiality, which had its roots in one of the tertiary institutions several decades ago, has become a monster now threatening the entire landscape. That this incandescence in cult-related violence across the country NO SANE SOCIETY should be of SHOULD CONDONE concern to all critical THIS BARBARITY WHICH stakeholders in the CONSTITUTES A THREAT Nigerian project is no TO NATIONAL SECURITY longer in doubt even when many factors BESIDES PUTTING account for why DOWN THE FUTURE OF youths join these dare OUR YOUNG PEOPLE devil gangs. While some individuals subscribe to cultist groups in order to fight perceived injustice against their ranks, others do so in order to satisfy some base desires and needs. There are also individuals who join cult groups for ego. They want to make name and be regarded as powerful people among their peers. But particularly worrying is that cultism is a pervasive activity among students on our campuses, who join the groups in their bid to exercise

authority in addition to exacting revenge over rival groups. It is also obvious that there is a lot of dirty money to be made from such gangs. The main concern is that these young men and women unleash violence, anguish and pains on their victims, families and the larger society. For them, the association with a cult group, usually after an oath of initiation, is a ticket to prestige and greatness. They believe that they could influence decisions as well dictate the outcome of elections, both on their campuses and outside. We cannot continue to feign ignorance that many politicians use cultists as private armies to deal with their opponents and manipulate results during local and national elections. Therefore, this anti-social behaviour is thriving because these young men and women have patrons and enablers who engage their services for dubious gains.



o sane society should condone this barbarity that constitutes a threat to national security and besides putting down the future of our young people. So, we call on the government to deal ruthlessly with the problem of cultism, including taking appropriate measures against the sponsors. It should not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law in dealing with culprits who must be fished out. Proliferation of cult groups in our higher institutions of learning does not project an atmosphere that bodes well for transfer of knowledge and security of students. Government should ensure our schools are safe by curbing the activities of cultists. This can be curtailed through sensitisation and drumming to the students the evil nature of cultism through workshops, symposium and other forms of awareness campaigns. The authorities must put an end to cult activities which adversely result in destruction of property, killing and maiming of fellow students and even lecturers as well as disrupting the peace on our campuses. Our security agencies should rise to the occasion by stemming the activities of these criminal elements across the country.


Letters to the Editor

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



he name Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike aka Evans instantly rings a bell. He is however not renowned for a noble, heroic or righteous cause. His ‘celebrity’ status is not for everything good, but for his unrivalled abduction exploits. Before he was eventually nabbed last year, inside an imposing mansion at Magodo area of Lagos State, Evans was a ‘skillful’, deft and mercurial kidnapper who rightfully deserves an honourable mention in the infamous hall of Nigerian dare-devil criminals. For the records, he had reigned supreme as a fearless ringleader of a terror-inducing kidnapping syndicate, for almost a decade. Shouldn’t he, by now, be languishing in one of our horrifying dungeons, a year after he was caught? Not in Nigeria, were prosecution, like other fundamental national issues, takes forever before a final court verdict is given. In climes were things work, it is a matter of an inconsequential time for the likes of Evans to find themselves banished to prison for their senseless and reprehensible actions. In Nigeria, the question many have asked, and others are still asking is: when will ‘Master Kidnapper’, Evans, meet his comeuppance? The germane answer, possibly, will be provided by the bowel time. Meanwhile, why has kidnapping become a lucrative venture? Of course, unemployment takes the lead as the principal cause of abduction in return for a

colossal amount of money. We have become the world’s poverty capital, so says Theresa May, the British Minister in South Africa, prior to her diplomatic trip to Nigeria, in October. If her statement is anything to go by, then concluding that poverty has not only fuelled kidnapping in the ‘Giant of Africa’, but made the atrocious trade to boom, will not be fallacious. Then, illiteracy. How does one who is not well or even educated—at all—decipher that abduction for money is entirely callous and perhaps, satanic—both in the eyes of mankind and God Almighty? It is absolutely pointless shedding light on how corruption, greed and politics have heightened kidnapping, most especially in our contemporary Nigeria. The sheer psychological trauma and depression suffered by victims of forceful abduction is better imagined than experienced. And that is if the ruthless kidnappers didn’t snuff their (defenceless preys) lives out. Emphasis should be given to massive job-creation for the unemployed and sophisticated training of anti-kidnapping personnel to help combat the vice. It is imperative also that stringent punishments are meted to convicted abductors. It is one of the most potent ways of curbing the disturbing malady. Abdulrazaq Arafat, Dept of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano



t was on Saturday, December 1, 2018, that the first convocation ceremony took place at Jigawa State University, Kafin-Hausa. The convocation was a landmark in the history of the university. I extol Sule Lamido for establishing the Jigawa State University in order to afford state indigenes more access to higher education opportunities. Before the establishment of the state university, half or more of eligible candidates of Jigawa origin who sought admission into higher institutions in other universities failed to get it due to lack of opportunities. Hence the very warm welcome with which Jigawa citizens received the establishment of the state university, which was named after Sule Lamido. Dr. Lamido attended the convocation ceremony at the university premises and he received cheers, praises, appreciations and commendations on his arrival to the venue and on hearing the Vice-Chancellor applauding the effort of the founding father and praising him, students and supporters of Sule Lamido stood, chanting Sai Lamido, godiya muke (Lamido we are indeed, grateful.) I still want to use this opportunity to congratulate Professor Abdullahi Ribadu, the

outgoing Vice- Chancellor of the university and the incoming Vice- Chancellor, Professor Lawan Sani Taura. I wish the new VC Allah’s help, guidance and protection. May He give you the ability, patient and wisdom to discharge your work faithfully, diligently and and effectively. As for the outgoing VC, Professor Ribadu, I will congratulate you but I have to say we will miss you. We thank God Almighty for giving you the ability, wisdom, patient, courage, endurance, understanding and passion to pilot the affairs of this standard and modernised university which is one of the best universities in West Africa initiated and built by the former governor of the state. We will remain ever grateful to you for the contributions you offered to administer and move the varsity this far. Your vast experience, dedication and selfless service to the varsity, Nigerian society and humanity in general will never be in vain. Words cannot be enough to thank you, gifts cannot be enough to reward you, many things cannot be enough to appreciate you but only the Almighty God, Allah can reward you and make you sufficient. Adamu Muhd Usman, Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa State


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Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email 08114495324 SMS ONLY


Of Ambition and Party Loyalty Ojo Maduekwe writes that the refusal of Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha to defect along with their aides, is not borne out of party loyalty, but a desire to fulfill their 2019 senatorial ambition



he controversy that greeted the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) still lingers, and has taken an expected turn, with associates of two out of the three aggrieved governors of Zamfara, Ogun and Imo defecting to other political parties ahead of 2019. In Zamfara, there are insinuations that Governor Abdulaziz Yari and other members of the APC who had hoped to run for election on the party’s platform before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) barred them from doing so, on account of the APC failing to conduct primaries in the state, are waiting for “the right time” to defect. There have been reports that some of the aspirants and their supporters had “sealed pact with smaller political parties”, and were only waiting for the “right time” to announce their new platforms. Last week, the Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, informed State House correspondents of the defection of his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, several other aides and members of the State House of Assembly from the APC to the Democratic People’s Party (DPP). In Ogun state, associates of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, hoping that the national leadership of the APC might still attend to their grievances, waited few hours to the December 1 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the substitution of candidates before dumping the APC for the Allied People’s Movement (APM) party. Amongst those who decamped to the APM were Amosun’s preferred candidate for governor, Adekunle Akinlade, and four members of the state House of Assembly; taking with them thousands of their supporters. In both instances, and in furtherance of an ambition that eclipses loyalty to the party, the governors who would be contesting for the


senate in their respective states in the 2019 elections, stayed back in APC. Even when they claim to have remained to “work for” President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection, critics believe their stay to be purely selfish, and consider them delusional to think they can still deliver their states for Buhari, or defeat their party’s gubernatorial candidates. Justifying the defection by his aides, Okorocha blamed his misfortune on the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, but goes ahead to absolve Buhari. This, critics say, is because he is banking on soliciting for the president’s support

The opposition against Okorocha, even amongst those who had earlier joined him to defect from APGA to the APC, coupled with a determined party national chairman bent on winning the 2019 governorship election for the ruling party, is strong, such that critics doubt that Okorocha can repeat his 2015 feat. This prevailing sentiment is the same in Ogun state. It remains unclear how Amosun intends to match the force his party would deploy in the state

in winning his senatorial election. Governor Okorocha betrayed the above postulation when he said, “In spite of the fact that my aides are leaving the party, I am still a member of APC and will not leave the party… President Buhari is not behind the injustice done by the party in the state but Oshiomhole is solely responsible for all the injustice meted to my people in Imo State… For me, I am still a member of APC. Buhari still remains my candidate and I will support him.” The APC, through its national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, described the governor ’s aides defection as placing “individual interest above party and national interest.” Observers argue that this ‘selfish’ description fits Okorocha and Amosun whose remaining in the APC was because they’d gotten their senatorial ticket from the party. With his loyalty for the APC now divided, Okorocha has vowed to work for the victory of Nwosu; same thing with Amosun whose preferred candidate, Akinlade, would be flying the gubernatorial flag of the APM. This scenario is not new to the Imo governor. In 2011, Okorocha ran for governorship on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and won but two years after in 2013, he would dump APGA for the newly formed APC, winning his reelection in 2015 on the APC platform. In an interview this year the national chairman of APGA, Victor Oye, said that it was his party, not Okorocha, that won the 2011 election, and that the electorate voted for APGA, and not Okorocha; but with Okorocha going ahead to win his reelection using the APC, observers believe that he won both elections on the strength of his own popularity. There are other instances where a politician used a relatively unknown political party to win reelection, buttressing the argument that what won Okorocha his first election and

reelection was not the political party, but how popular and acceptable he was to the people of Imo state. But today’s scenario is different from 2015. The opposition against Okorocha, even amongst those who had earlier joined him to defect from APGA to the APC, coupled with a determined party national chairman bent on winning the 2019 governorship election for the ruling party, is strong, such that critics doubt that Okorocha can repeat his 2015 feat. This prevailing sentiment is the same in Ogun state. It remains unclear how Amosun intends to match the force his party would deploy in the state. An official of APC in Ogun state told THISDAY off the record in an earlier interview that the leadership of the state chapter of the party remains united and will not join the aggrieved governorship candidate and the 26 state House of Assembly candidates in defecting. According to the source, their defection to the APM will not diminish the fortune of the APC in the state in the upcoming 2019 general elections. The ruling party retains this optimism as well. Reacting to their leaving the APC, the national publicity secretary, Issa-Onilu, said “They won’t threaten our chances especially as many more people joining us have continued to see APC as a party standing on solid and higher ground for the generality of the people.” Judging by the aggressiveness with which the APC has used in executing recent elections, namely the 2018 Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections, and the Kwara and Bauchi bye elections, observers believe that Okorocha and Amosun do not stand a chance opposing the ruling party. They argue that at best the governors would win their senatorial elections in their respective states, but that their proteges, Nwosu and Akinlade, would lose their gubernatorial elections to APC candidates.




Group Urges Nigerians to Demand Good Governance Udora Orizu The Advocacy for Good Governance group has called on Nigerians to demand for good governance from their leaders and people in government. The leader of the group, Saheed Adelanwa said this during a press briefing in Abuja, charging Nigerians not to keep quiet and to reject all forms of bad governance. According to him, “We come not as political parties in government but as partners for the work of good governance, and a better Nigeria. We come with no religion or tribe but with national plans to educate all Nigerians on how the need and urgency to participate in our electoral processes works, and also to highlight the work of good governance.” “The long term goals is to infuse our democracy with

the ideals of liberty, rule of law and equality. Our motto is love, sacrifice and forgiveness as we believe that a nation of people that can embrace the selfless values of sacrifice, love themselves as fellow citizens and forgive easily, this is surely a nation that prospers.” Adelanwa further said the group’s intentions are just and ideas are such that propel Nigerians into action so as to increase participation in our democracy. “The more participation gathered the more the enlargement in the political spheres which of course spurs accountability in governance. We have a collective responsibility to build on this as a legacy for future generation of Nigerians. There is no better legacy than that of good governance, growth and national development,” he said.

Mimiko Wasn’t Compelled to Quit Presiential Race, Says Nwuanyanwu Udora Orizu The National Chairman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu, has refuted insinuations that the former presidential candidate of the party Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and now the Senatorial candidate for Ondo central district, was forced to drop out of the presidential race. Nwanyanwu told THISDAY that though Mimiko had been inundated with calls on his presidential ambition by concerned citizens, he was not compelled to jettison his aspiration. He noted, “Politics is about people and structure. This contest is between two people. I’m not saying the others are not good. Oby

Ezekwesili is good. Donald Duke is good. Moughalu is fantastic, but their time has not come. Let us not deceive ourselves. We will check our tally after the presidential election. Mimiko’s withdrawal was of his free will, after due consultation with stakeholders and the party.” The ZLP National Chairman also rejected the notion that party faithful may have become disillusioned after Mimiko’s withdrawal from the presidential race. He held a different opinion. “Our decision was to work towards 2023. We were just two months old when the election timeline for primaries was released. As soon as people saw the leadership of the party, they started

coming. Within two months, the party performed beyond expectations. We were the last to be registered, now we are in first 10. We are already a member in the House of Representatives even before the election. The target of the leadership of this party is to make it to the first three in one year. It was not in our contemplation at all to go far. We just wanted to pick few states to avoid de-registration. Over 70 political parties will go after the election, those who failed to at least make state house of assembly. Our members never expected a presidential candidate, but when Mimiko came, we could not deny him. That was how he became the presidential candidate

of the party, after a convention. We have about 79 presidential candidates, some of them jokes, others jokes taken too far, nothing serious, some just want to be on the ballot maybe to put on their CV, ‘Aso Rock attempted’. Members and non-politicians applauded Mimiko’s. Everyone agreed it was the wisest thing.” Going further, Nwanyanwu explained that the presidential contest has been narrowed to two candidates, but the party had not taken a decision on who to support. He reasoned that, “The south has conceded presidency to the north. The north has given us two Fulanis, This contest is among Fulanis and that’s why I expect it to be very peaceful.

APC, PDP, ANRP Debate Security Issues Udora Orizu Ahead of the 2019 general election, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) have presented plans to combat security challenges in the country if they triumph at the polls. Representatives of the political parties narrated their strategies at a debate tagged the Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS), with the theme on security, organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu during the debate noted that the biggest security challenge in Nigeria was the issue of number versus the population. According to him, “The basic issue of security specifically the police is the issue of number versus the population of this country. It’s about the kind of training and salaries they earn, just recently the government increased the salaries of the police. We can only do better. You have to face the fact that we have a government that manages resources better, the ongoing recruitment is going to be continuous.” “You can’t tackle security without being properly equipped, your armed forces must be properly equipped. We are able to procure the necessary equipment that we need because of the credibility of this government. There is no country in the world where we don’t have issues that touch on security. This government is responsive. If the past government had looked for ways of tackling this issue, we will not be where we are today. They didn’t have such policies and the implementation was not good enough.” He added that policemen have been treated so badly over the years, under paid, badly equipped and that it will be unfair to castigate the police when we know the kind of corruption perpetrated by the past government that crippled

every agency, just the police. Representative of the PDP, Mr. Osita Chidoka, stated the biggest security challenge facing Nigeria was the absence of identity of persons and property. He said, “The fact that people can go about in Nigeria and do anything without consequences is what is fueling criminality in Nigeria. The fact that there are no names of Boko Haram people arrested or kidnappers arrested, the security agencies are not able to put up a name and show us the history of the individual. That history must follow every Nigerian for us to be able to have a secured nation. We must go back to the fundamentals of security, which is that there are consequences for bad behavior.” He lamented that the prison system in Nigeria was archaic, adding that people who commit an offense roam free without proper judgment. “What is happening today is that people commit offense, go to court, prison, come out and alter their names and still roam the society as people who have never committed any offense. Whenever you see us invest money in security in terms of police and we don’t invest money in court to quicken the access to justice, what you find is cases going to courts and no judgment coming.” The Presidential Candidate of ANRP, Tope Fasua in his speech said Nigeria’s biggest security challenge was the growing inequality and poverty. In his words, “the Nigerian society is broken, the economy is broken, and this is not as a result of the recent governance only but the perennial issue over several decades. Everything rises and falls on security. A lot of security problems we have in Nigeria, rise and fall on intelligence. We should not look at security only in terms of terrorism, there’s also insecurity locally and internally by way of things like kidnapping, arm robberies and all sorts of crimes going on in our society.”


L-R: Deputy Governor, Enugu State, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, DG, National Gallery of Art (NGA), Abdullahi Muku and Member, Governing Board, NGA/Rep. Board Chairman, Mrs. Virginia Chineye Okegbe at the opening of 2nd NGA International Art Fair titled, ‘Eastern Convocation of Contemporary Expressions’ recently

Non-indigenes Rally Support for Okowa Sylvester Idowu Non-indigenes of Delta State resident in Warri have embarked on a series of activities to support the re-relection bid of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. A teeming crowd of nonindigenes comprising peoples from Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Edo and other South-south states defied a heavy down pour to show their support for Okowa, who they described as highly detribalised and one who has made their stay in the state peaceful. Chairman of leaders of the ethnic groups under the

platform of “Team Favour Izuokumor for Okowa/ Otuaro 2019”, Elder Sunday Owolabi said they resolved to throw their weight behind the re-election of the governor because of he has allowed everyone opportunities irrespective of where they come from. “The spread of opportunities to all and sundry has made us see ourselves as Deltans and stakeholders. Members of our ethnic groups have been engaged and appointed by his government. What more can we ask for?” he asked. He also noted that

tremendous progress have been made in all sectors by the administration in spite of daunting economic challenges from falling oil price and immense inherited debt. The leaders of Igbo, Edo and Hausa, Chief Anthony Ndajiuba, Tony Azeta and Alhaji Bako Balarabe, unanimously showered praises on Okowa for creating a peaceful environment for their businesses to thrive. Leader of Team Okowa/ Otuaro 2019, Chief Favour Izuokumor commended the various ethnic groups for their continuous support for

the present administration in the state. “This unity of purpose is unique and significant; it is a pointer that we, Nigerians, hold the key to Nigeria’s development and its future. You have shown the spirit of peace, unity and tolerance. It is against this background that I want to commend the leaders of the various ethnic groups, who have taken the bull by the horn. It is good to see that you have shunned political and other sentiments to queue behind a man who represents a genuine cause. This is how politics should be, “ he said.

Youth Group Honour Okowa, Imam Abubakar, Ikpeazu Udora Orizu The Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), a non-governmental organisation in celebration of its fifth anniversary has conferred honorary awards and scholarship to some prominent Nigerians and students. The award recipients according to the NGO, were shortlisted due to their roles in nation building, advancement of democracy and good governance in the country.

The Chairman and Convener of the organisation, Mr. Moses Siasia, noted that youths have a say in the future of the country. According to him, “In the past five years we have made a lot of achievements, because we want to safeguard our future as young people. We have created 780 employments for young people in different sectors, in the marine r, oil and gas sector and also in the power sector.” “We are the only youth organisation in Nigeria that has given out grants to young people, with

our flagship programme called the ‘Yes Grant’. We gave grants to about 35 young professionals across Nigeria, supported by Heritage Bank. We selected agriculture, ICT and creative industry because we believe these are the sectors we believe to reengineer growth in our society.” Further highlighting their achievements, Siasia said the organisation has awarded scholarships to young people both home and abroad. “Today NYPF has produced

18 House of Representatives candidates from different political parties and 72 state house of assembly aspirants from different political parties.” Some of the awards recipients included, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa, Okezie Ikpeazu of Delta and Abia States, Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, the Imam of Nghar village, Hashish district in Barkin Ladi, Plateau state, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina of African Development Bank Group and Senator Daisy Danjuma, amongst others.


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Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email, 08152252325

Counting the Gains of Infrastructural Devt in Osun Yinka Kolawole writes on how the Osun State Government under the previous administration executed infrastructural developments across the state, and particularly reached out to the Osogbo people


round 1886, in the Kingdom of Buganda in present day central Uganda, 45 young Christian men defied a ruthless king and refused to renounce their faith. Their fate was unspeakably gruesome: they were burnt alive, beheaded, castrated and dismembered. Of the 45 martyrs, 22 were Catholic, while 23 were Anglican. Perhaps one of the reasons the immediate last Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has remained in the good books of Osun people is the massive infrastructural development that the state has witnessed since the governor assumed mantle of leadership in November, 2010. At the twilight of his handing over as governor to the incumbent, Aregbesola commissioned four projects as part of the activities marking his exist in government and handing over to his successor, Governor Gboyega Oyetola. The commissioned projects were: upgraded Technical College, Oba Sir Adesoji Aderemi East Bypass, Obafemi Awolowo Motorway and Fakunle/ Unity High School, all in Osogbo. Prominent among the projects is the Awolowo Motorway which is the dualisation of 40km Osogbo--Ikirun--Ila odo, Kwara State Boundary. The road construction projects created over 5,000 direct jobs in the state and 12,000 indirect jobs for welders, plumbers and bricklayers, as well as food vendors. Though quite a number of projects are being undertaken by Osun State Government, but clearly, the flagship project of the massive investment in upgrading of infrastructural amenities in the state in recent months, especially in Osogbo, the state capital, is the dualisation of the 45 kilometer OsogboIkirun-Kwara State Boundary road. Since the state government signed a N17.8 billion contract agreement with SAMMYA Construction Company Limited for the dualisation of the 45kilometer road, the project segmented into three of Osogbo-Dagbolu (International market) to Alamisi Market in Ikirun (9.52 kilometers); Osogbo (Oldgarage) to Ikirun junction road (20.5 kilometers) and Ikirun-Ila Odo- Kwara State Boundary road (16.55 kilometers), the state government has been receiving a lot of commendations from both the people living in the state and road users using the ever busy Osogbo-IIorin road. In line with the assurance given by the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Late Engineer Oladepo Amuda, that the project would be completed within 24 months, with the explanation that the project was not the usual direct contract award, but a contractor-financing transaction which came out of the confidence of the contractor in the previous administration and that the money for the contract would be repaid across 36 months after the completion of the project,

The newly constructed Obafemi Awolowo dual carriage way in Osogbo


The contractor, SAMMYA Construction Company Limited has not only demonstrated its capabilities in executing the project technical wise, but it has also displayed a rather solid financial war chest that only few construction companies can boast of, thereby clearing any doubt about the success of the project. It should be noted that a development financial institution, The Infrastructure Bank Plc (TIB) which is the Transaction Advisor, Fund Arranger and Financier of the project is also working in conjunction with the construction company and other stakeholders to fund the project. The Chairman, SAMMYA Construction Company Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, at the inception of the project, had not only promised to meet up with the 24 months deadline for the project with the assurance that a lot of hands are being employed to ensure the deadline was not missed, but also revealed that the company had signed a local content undertaking, such that the labour and materials would be sourced locally up to 60 per cent, stressing that the actual target was 90 per cent to provide jobs for the people of the state. He noted that the promises made had been fulfilled, just as he thanked the outgone governor for the job done, adding that he was happy to be the contractor, as well as development partner in the project. Adigun added that for executing the project, the administration of Aregbesola has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to fully implementing its aggressive road development plan for the state, which, he said, would facilitate the rapid development of the state. The MD/CEO of The Infrastructure Bank, Mr. AbdulRazaq Oyinloye, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Infrastructure financing in Nigeria has received a significant boost with the innovative financing brought to bear to ensure that the Osogbo-Ilaodo road project is well-funded and completed on-schedule.

L-R: Former Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs.Titi Laoye-Tomori; former Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Osun Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola; daughter of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs. Omotola Oyediran; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and grandson of Chief Awolowo, Mr. Olumide Oyediran, during the commissioning of the newly constructed Obafemi Awolowo dual carriage way in Osogbo...recently "The project is a clear statement of intent by the bank to continue to be at the forefront of attracting urgently-needed capital into Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s infrastructure space".


Several months down the line since work commenced on the multi-billion naira project however, opinions of people of the state about the performance of the contractor on the job has been nearly the same, with people praising the technical knowhow that has never been seen in the state before now being employed by SAMMYA in executing the project. In her remarks after the commissioning, the daughter of the late sage Awolowo', Rev. Mrs Omotola Oyediran said: We are celebrating an enduring legacy, a legacy that has been through storms, insult and many other challenges. "Aregbesola has done what Awolowo aimed to do. The dream of Awolowo was to ensure every Nigerian is literate. All what Aregbesola have been doing is in fulfilment of Awolowo's dream. Aregbesola's behavior is similar to that of Awolowo. He has transformed Osun in spite of the financial and political challenges. I thank God for Aregbesola's success." Speaking, Prince Aderonmu Aderemi, the son of Oba Aderemi, said Aregbesola is a great man, adding that his projects are unforgettable because they are developmental, adding that, "Aregbesola is the first Nigerian politician to bring back history and

honour Nigerian past leaders like Oba Aderemi and Awolowo. Aregbesola has laid wonderful foundation for the progress of the state". Commenting on the project vis-a-viz the quality of technology being employed by SAMMYA, a trader at Igbona Market in Osogbo, Madam Sinatu Layoonu, said the contractor SAMMYA has proven it is capable of handling the job with the deployment of brand new machineries for road construction, adding that the workers handling the project have also demonstrated sense of dedication to the admiration of people of the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many of these machines that SAMMYA workers are using for the construction are new to many of us in Osogbo. They are not only new, but are also very appropriate, at least to some of us, who have never seen such huge construction machines, for the quality of work people of the state are expecting them to deliver. We in deed very grateful to the governor for given such a project to a serious company like SAMMYAâ&#x20AC;?, she said. Similarly, a shop owner at Ayeitoro area of the state capital, Chuks Ezemokuai, noted that despite the rain, the uncompromising spirit of SAMMYA has ensured work progress steadily on the project. He added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;when the company initially commenced on the project and the contractor, SAMMYA Construction started work on the road, I, like many others doubted the capability of the construction firm because we were not familiar with that name, but it was not long before we were all proved wrong

and SAMMYA won our hearts with the quality of machinesmand the expertise of its men constructing the road. Indeed, we are pleased with SAMMYA."

Boost for Indigenes

Speaking on how activities of the contractor handling Osogbo-Ila Odo Kwara Boundary road, SAMMYA, has aided businesses of petty traders especially those that have their shops close to the construction site, Mrs. Beatrice Olawoore opined that many of petty traders have immensely benefitted from the on going project because the construction workers have been patronising them. She added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;many of us petty traders have benefitted from the presence of SAMMYAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men on this road because they buy a lot from us ranging from snacks to drinks and stuffs like that, they have aided our business very well. I believe this is part of the gains of this on going construction work, at least if the construction is not going on here, these men will not be around here and our sales would have remained what it wasâ&#x20AC;?. Similarly, answering questions on how the construction work has improved youth empowerment, one of the drivers recruited by SAMMYAn from the state, Yunus Adegboyega from Oba Ile, a town in Olorunda local government area of Osun state, explained: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got a hint that SAMMYA was employing drivers and I approached its office. That was how I got the job. "The salary is very attractive and there was


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A dredger

Increasing Shipping Activities to the Delta Ports Victor Akhidenor


orts donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just thrive. Their productivity is a function of a combination of factors including but not limited to harbour and waterway approaches, port and terminal design, construction, operation and management, and ship traffic attraction. In rating the performance of a port, given that aforesaid factors are in place, the key indices will then look at the sizes of ships that patronize the port and their level of sophistication; the turnaround time of the ships whilst at berths; the volume of cargo handled and the speed of handling; the dwell time of cargo at the port terminals; the safety of cargo, and cargo theft prevention. Each of these KPIs is an enabler of the activities that make a port to thrive. Since a port is a service sector almost entirely dependent on the demand and supply of world trade, every modern port in this age of globalization and privatization strives to measure up with or beat the competition by having its own captive cargo and retaining its customers for as long as possible. A port authority and its operators are therefore required to understand the reasons and mechanisms of trade, and how their own ports can benefit or lose from changes in world seaborne trade, and the variations in the patterns of maritime and intermodal

transportation. In this context, the strategic siting of the Delta Ports of Warri, Sapele, Burutu and Koko is most revealing. This group of ports provide about the shortest routes for cargo round trips to catchment states of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Ondo, and Benue, when compared with other operational ports in Nigeria. At the present time that the government of the day is working assiduously at growing Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s non-oil exports, the proximity of the Delta Ports to the catchment states can serve as an aid to freight logistics and distribution planning. The east-west roadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arterial connection through primary and secondary lateral roads to the named states can engender quick turn-around time for trucks to and fro the ports. To increase shipping activities to the Delta Ports calls for no rocket science. All other things being equal, convention has shown that a â&#x20AC;&#x153;safe portâ&#x20AC;? is the necessary if not sufficient condition which ships hold paramount before venturing into any port, regardless of the level of sophistication of the portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terra firma of infrastructure, superstructure and equipment for handling cargoes. Safe port in charter parties refers to the waterway approaches to a port harbour that is free of obstruction, installed with the requisite navigational aids, and flushed with water sufficient enough to keep vessels afloat at berth. The major waterway approach to the Delta

Ports â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Escravos Channel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; having become silted for nearly two decades, has inadvertently made every one of the Delta Ports become â&#x20AC;&#x153;unsafeâ&#x20AC;? for large deep-sea ocean-going vessels, leaving the ports patronage to lighter offshore supply vessels, coastal tankers, fishing trawlers and passenger boats that ply the Tropical West Africa (TWA) maritime routes: a case of gross underutilization of otherwise productive national economic assets. This sad turn of events has no doubt decimated the fortunes of the Delta Ports over the years. It is thence cheering news for maritime industry watchers and stakeholders to learn that life is being breathed back to the Delta Ports via dredging of the Escravos channel and rehabilitation of its breakwater. The company that has been saddled with the responsibility of accomplishing the dredging part is Dredging International Services Nigeria Ltd (DISN), a firm renown globally for its technical expertise as a provider of marine and waterway solutions. DISN for many years has been carrying out similar and much more complex port and harbour projects all over the world . Once the Escravos Channel is dredged, a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;safe portâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; status for all the Delta Ports can be guaranteed to the extent that the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;NAABSA Clauseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in charter parties drawn for vessel voyages to the ports will no longer be contentious. NAABSA is abbreviation for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not always afloat but safely

agroundâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a clause that is incorporated into the contract for hiring of a ship (charter party) in order to accept calling at ports where extreme tidal variations affect water depths and make it inevitable for the vesselâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keel to rest at the bottom of the river and touching mud without damage to the keel during loading/discharging operation. For a ship owner to take the risk of his vessel plying a port with such feature, he must have reassurance through his port agent, the charterer, the pilots or the port authority that the port and its channel approaches are not just being constantly dredged and maintained but cleared of wrecks and other debilitating obstructions to his ship. It is clearly a foregone conclusion that once ship traffic of different vessel and cargo types to the Delta Ports increases, shipping activities will skyrocket. Considering that ports are an important node in the global logistics and supply chain. Ports integrate and optimize different functions and processes for the purpose of overall cost reduction and customer satisfaction. In this connection, the Delta Ports with their strategic location will become logistics and distribution centres that optimize the movement of goods and services within the entire transport and logistics chain of their catchment region-states and provide an opportunity to add immense value to the local economies of this regions.

COUNTING THE GAINS OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVT IN OSUN training for all the workers. Besides empowering us financially, SAMMYA is also exposing us to skills in our various areas that are very new to many of us. The number of youths from Osun state that have been employed into various departments and sections of the company since the work began on the road is well over 500â&#x20AC;?.

Corroborating views of

Adegboyega on empowerment, but on a general note, a construction materials supplier based in Osogbo, Francis Fadoyin commended SAMMYA for sourcing construction materials from with in the state. Fadoyin said business of many construction materials dealers have improved greatly since SAMMYA commenced work in the state capital. â&#x20AC;&#x153;True to the promise of the chairman of the company, when the contract was awarded that, construction materials for the project would be sourced locally; the workers are actually sourcing materials from people dealing in the materials in the state. We can only hope this will be sustained and other contractors working on projects within the state will emulate SAMMYA and buy materials from people dealing in them from the stateâ&#x20AC;?.

Counting the Gains

While counting the gains of Osun massive investment in infrastructural development vis-a-viz the construction of Osogbo-Ila Odo-Kwara Boundary road, a labour leader in the state, Comrade Kazeem Oladepo challenged administrators in the country to borrow a leaf, not only from the model adopted to finance the project, but also the sheer dedication to duties which he said the contractor has shown in making sure that the work is done to specifications. Speaking further, the employee of state Ministry of Health, added that the construction of the road has demonstrated the readiness of government to place the Osun in the league of developed states and the choice of SAMMYA, a pointer to the resolve of Aregbesolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration to permanently etch his name in the minds of people in the state as a governor that lift the state to enviable heights in terms of infrastructural development. A traditional ruler, Oba Rauf Adedeji, the Akinrun of Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun local government area of Osun state, one of the towns through which the road transverses, commended both state government and SAMMYA Construction Limited for making the project a good reference point for the

development-driven administrators in the country. For the monarch, the dream to transform the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s infrastructural amenities as conceived by the then governor was actually being given a life by the contractor handling the project, charging all those involved in the project to ensure that the same vigor with which they commenced the work with is retained throughout the duration of the project. In his own reaction, the founder of Sword of Spirit Ministry, Eweta, Pastor Israel Wemimo said the major gain the state is recording through the ongoing Osogbo-Kwara Boundary project is in the area of empowerment. He declared that those youths in Ikirun and adjoining communities, who could not be absorbed by the contracting firm handling the work at the moment, eagerly awaits when the contractor will shift full attention to the part of the project that traverses the community. Similar to the view expressed by this clergy man is the one held by Chief Tadese Esuleke of Oloba Compound, Osogbo, who was of the opinion that, besides giving the state a facelift, employment opportunities created through the project and the perceived readiness of the contractor, who he said was not planning to use and dump those

employed, but in addition, empower them by given them training in specific vocations, is simply the continuation of youth empowerment efforts of the previous government. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many youths in the state, who could not get opportunity in OYES are beginning to turn their attention to SAMMYA, the contractor working on Osogbo-Kwara Boundary road. Honestly, this work is assisting in mopping our streets of these hitherto idle young men. You can call it an indirect way by government and its partner the contractor to empower young ones." Speaking on behalf of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; movement in the state, a former Osun State Chairman of the Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of National Association Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Bosede Safety said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are saying youth empowerment is one of the gains recorded by the state through the project of Osogbo-Kwara Boundary road but beyond that fact, I think the preservation of lives and properties of the people that will use that road. The rate of accident on that road before this construction work is relatively high. Lives and properties have been lost and that will have to stop now with the expansion and reconstruction work going on."


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Quick Takes Edo Agro Fair Begins December 10


L-R: Chairman, Superflux lnternational Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi; Executive Director, SystemSpecs Limited, Deremi Atanda; Executive Chairman, Phillips Consulting Limited, Mr. Foluso Phillips; Executive Director, FATE Foundation, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi and Chairman, Mr. Fola Adeola, at the 2018 Fate Foundation celebration held in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently AbiodunAjala

Govt, Corporate Bodies Raise N4.9trn from Capital Market in Two Years Goddy Egene The federal government and corporate organisations raised about N4.978 trillion from the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital market in 2016 and 2017, according to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The market proved to be a veritable source of finance in the two years providing those funding through bonds and equities. However, the federal government accounted for the largest amount of N2.859 trillion or 57 per cent, which were raised via bonds issuances. Corporate bodies accounted for the balance that was sourced via equities and bond issuances. A further breakdown of the

ENERGY figures showed that a total of N1.991 trillion was raised in 2016, which rose to N2.987 trillion in 2017. Meanwhile, analysts at FSDH Research have said that mutual fund investment can create wealth for investors, saying such funds pooled together can be used to finance critical infrastructure and expand business operations. A mutual fund is a pool of funds brought together by a professional fund manager from several investors to invest in selected underlying securities According to FSDH, money that is pooled together through mutual funds can be channelled

to address critical infrastructure either directly or indirectly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This would promote the competitiveness of the economy, enabling businesses to expand operations and employ more people, and would assist government at all levels in generating more tax revenue,â&#x20AC;? it said. However, FSDH Research warned that mutual funds need more support than is currently available to enable potential investors to fulfil their wealth creation and developmental roles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition to liquidity, mutual funds offer a range of benefits to investors including portfolio diversification and lower transaction costs. The existence of a Trustee and Custodian to a mutual fund ensures the safety of investments,

as the Trustee ensures that the fund is managed in line with approved investment guidelines, and the Custodian holds the fund assets,â&#x20AC;? they said. The analysts said that mutual fund assets in Nigeria have grown significantly in the last five years, saying that this is an indication of the growing interest in this class of investment. FSDH Research noted that there is significant room for growth in mutual fund assets as we estimate the ratio of mutual funds to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 0.51 per cent. But FSDH Research said its findings showed that government, regulators and the operators Continued on page 24

CBN Pledge to Increase Credit Guarantee to Farmers Nume Ekeghe The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed plan to increase its credit guarantee to small scale farmers through its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF). The Chairman ACGEF, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, said this at the strategic retreat by stakeholders in Lagos. Siyanbola, said the scheme which offers credit guarantee for risks by giving loans to small farmers, presently at N100,000, is too low, saying that part of the discussions at the retreat was also to review upward the intervention. She said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is crucial need for us to do all that it takes to take care of does who actually constitutes to the growth of the agricultural sector towards its huge contribution to economic

AGRIC development towards this nation which are the peasant farmers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is the need for us to enable them to access the finance so that they could do more to ensure food stability in the country.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Fund has been in existence for 40 years and continues to gain attention as evidenced by the increasing on-going debate over its relevance due to the declining traction among banks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More importantly, there have been attempts to review the main contextual issues in the operability of the fund in the 21st century, but these attempts have been delayed by the non-constitution of the board until 2018, since its dissolution in 2007 by the federal government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For instance, the maximum

loan amount guaranteed under the Fund for the different categories of farmers, that is, individual, corporate bodies and cooperative societies, respectively, has lost value due to the rising costs of goods and services coupled with the dynamics of the macroeconomic situation of the economy.â&#x20AC;? She further added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Permit me to say that there is no gainsaying the fact that despite these challenges, the Fund has helped in some ways in tackling the scourge of financial access among agro-preneurs in Nigeria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These challenges, however, suggests that a lot more work needs to be done to reposition the Fund in the right pedestal for agricultural development.â&#x20AC;? Furthermore, she said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The focus of the present government is to reposition the country to diversify it from its reliability

from its mono product that is oil to non-oil, and you have seen the impact of that till date. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Meanwhile, agriculture is supposed to be a lunch pad towards achieving that. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This retreat would afford us the opportunity to share ideas and for us to listen to well-chosen consultants and then share ideas to recommend the way forward. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can tell you, the maximum amount that is due to a farmer now is very low to make any meaningful impact on the farmers and their activities which is about N100,000.â&#x20AC;? The CBN in its economic report for October 2018 released recently, showed that agricultural activities continued to receive boost due to moderate rainfall recorded in various states. Harvest of of yam, maize, rice, Continued on page 24

The Edo State Government has said that its Food and Agro Fair will hold in Benin City, the state capital, from December 10th to 20th.The government said the fair would ensure that farmers sell food items directlytoconsumersataďŹ&#x20AC;ordablepricesduringtheYuletideseason. CommissionerforWealthCreation,CooperativesandEmployment, Hon. Emmanuel Usoh, who disclosed this during a press brieďŹ ng in Benin City, noted that the maiden edition of the fair is a marketplace, where food and agricultural produce will sell for lower prices during theseason. Hesaid:â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wearetargetingover100localandinternational foodandagriculturalexhibitorsespeciallyfarmerswhowillsellatthe fair. We are looking at a 50kg bag of rice selling for N15,000 during the fair as against the N19,500 current market price in the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There will be abattoir points where cattle would be slaughtered and sold at aďŹ&#x20AC;ordable prices.â&#x20AC;? He said the fair would also provide opportunity for rural farmers to exchange ideas with investors, processors and ready-buyers in agribusiness sub-sector, noting, â&#x20AC;&#x153;for us to create wealth in the local economy, we need to link farmers to market information, funding opportunities and improved value additiontechniques.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thefairwillcommencewithanagromarketing training for about 1,000 farmers and we are optimistic that the event would boost agricultural production in the state in particular and Nigeria in general,â&#x20AC;? Usoh added.

11Plc Relaunches Aviation Fuel Business

11Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria plc) has announced the recommencement of the sale and marketing of its aviation jet fuel (ATK) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and General Aviation Terminal (GAT â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Domestic), in collaboration with Air BP. The oil majorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aviation business which had been inactive for the past ďŹ ve years is being revitalised in the wake of the construction of a new 20 million litre aviation jet fuel (ATK) tank, laying of new ATK pipelines linking the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facility at Apapa with the Apapa JettyinLagos. Speakingonthedevelopment,theManagingDirector, 11Plc, Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are delighted with the relaunch and our collaboration with Air BP. Air BP is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are leveraging their innovative technical support and risk managementexpertisetoprovidebest-in-classaviationfuelservices to airline customers.â&#x20AC;? According to Oyebanji, 11Plc, under its new management, has continued to take huge strides in the Nigerian oil and gas downstream sector in keeping with its strategic investment drivegearedtowardrepositioningformaximumoutputandimproving the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and earning potentials.

Facebook to Celebrate Innovation

In line with its commitment to growing Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technology startup ecosystem and its passion for developing diverse, young talent, FacebookisreturningastheheadlinesponsorofTechCrunchStartup BattleďŹ eld Africa 2018. The event, taking place in Lagos, Nigeria â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will search for Sub-Saharan Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best innovators, makers and technicalentrepreneurs.TechCrunchStartupBattleďŹ eldAfricasees start-upscompeteacrossthreecategories:socialgood;productivity andutility;andgamingandentertainment.ItproďŹ lesthefoundersand entrepreneurs leading Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next wave of technology innovation andhighlightsnewideas,businessesandapplicationswithdisruptive potential.OnDecember11,TechCrunchStartupBattleďŹ eldsupported by Facebook, would bring together the strongest start-ups from acrossSub-SaharanAfrica,wheretheywouldpitchtoaliveaudience of 500 people ranging from VCs, investors, government oďŹ&#x192;cials and developers. Facebook representatives from Africa and beyond would be on the ground to celebrate, where they will be connecting, listening and learning from various communities as well as taking part in an exciting series of workshops, networking sessions and talks between 6th and 11th December. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Following the great success of the inauguralTechnCrunch Startup BattleďŹ eld event in 2017, we are delighted to return as the headline sponsor for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event,â&#x20AC;? says Emeka AďŹ gbo, Facebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head of Developer Programs.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am going to have a moratorium on foreign borrowing. This is because it is unnecessary, it is a lazy manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; economics. In Nigeria, we have 200 million people with a big economy, so if you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t generate income internally, it means you are not doing something rightâ&#x20AC;?

Presidential Candidate, YPP,

Prof. Kingsley Moghalu

â&#x20AC;&#x153;G t e


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   GOVT, CORPORATE BODIES RAISE N4.9TRN FROM CAPITAL MARKET IN TWO YEARS in investment management need to give the mutual fund additional support. â&#x20AC;&#x153; Government could offer tax incentives to investors who are committed to a regular investment plan in mutual funds. It should also create an enabling environment that will lead to job creation in the country in order to increase savings and investable funds. Regulators could promote innovative legislation to increase investment in mutual funds and expand investment channels to increase returns on the funds invested. The Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN) should continue to create public awareness on the benefits of mutual funds in order to generate interest from the investing public,â&#x20AC;? it said. CBN PLEDGE TO INCREASE CREDIT GUARANTEE TO FARMERS cassava, potatoes, groundnut and legumes were dominant across the country during the month, the report stated. In the livestock sub-sector, farmers continued with breeding of birds to take advantage of the end of the year sales. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) guaranteed a total of N442.22 million to 3,055 farmers in the review period. The amount represented a decline of 19.2 per cent and 18.3 per cent, below the respective levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2017. Sub-sectoral analysis showed that food crops got the largest share of N205.8 million (46.5%) guaranteed to 1,410 beneficiaries, followed by the livestock sub-sector, N74.8 million (16.9%), guaranteed to 324 beneficiaries. Also, the sum of N70.1 million was disbursed to mixed cropping (15.9%), guaranteed to 913 beneficiaries; while fisheries, cash crops and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Othersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; got N43.0 million (9.7%), N39.8 million (9%) and N 8.7 million (1.97%) guaranteed to 116, 248 and 44 beneficiaries, respectively.

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Fashola: Four Turbines at Kaduna Power Plant Ready Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said four out of the eight turbines installed at the site of the 215 megawatts (MW) Kaduna power plant have been completed and ready to begin producing electricity to the national grid. Fashola, also said progress had been made at the plant since he last visited it about a year ago, noting that every megawatts of power that can be gotten from the plant would be added to the national grid. The minister stated this during his recent inspection of progress of work at the plant located in Kudenda area of Kaduna State. Fashola said about the progress of work at the plant: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have also tested four of the turbines, preparatory for commissioning, so there are essentially four turbines that are ready to go. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, every megawatt we can deliver from this project, considering that each of the turbines is 25 megawatts, is additional power. Clearly this will boost our incremental power objective and we are on our way. It will just take those man hours and those challenges to get to our destination,â&#x20AC;? he added. Similarly, the Project Manager at Rockson Engineering which was contracted to build the plant, Mr. Sunny Okwedi, stated that four out of the eight turbines in the plant had been completed and ready to be powered, but that the four completed turbines would not be switched on until the Power Control Motor (PCM) was installed with the switch yard commissioned.

According to Okwedi: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have done the cabling works, the pipe connection, the fuel tank with the switch yard and its control building almost completed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The PCM is already on site and from the discussion with our receiver managers, we are going to start the process of installation by next week.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, the power ministry, in statement also stated that the federal government has signed a grant aid project with Japan for emergency rehabilitation and reinforcement of the

Lagos electricity transmission substation. It explained the grant was worth $21.088 million and the project would strengthen the power infrastructure and supply of Lagos as a commercial hub and industrial centre in Nigeria. According to the ministry, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo, signed the agreement recently in Abuja for the federal government, while Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, signed for the Japanese government.

It said, Udoma, explained that attaining some level of power sufficiency was one of the goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government. He reportedly stated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;As you know, the ERGP sets out our four-year plan for the transformation of our country, the ERGP aims to restore growth, invest in people and build a globally competitive economy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But not just to restore growth, but a growth that is diversified, inclusive and sustainable.â&#x20AC;? Udoma, further said:

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Amongst its execution priorities is the attainment of energy self-sufficiency in power and petroleum products.â&#x20AC;? He said in 2016, Nigeria signed an Exchange of Note (E/N) for emergency improvement of electricity supply in Abuja with the government of Japan, adding that the project has been completed and ow contributing to improving power supply in Abuja. Udoma, equally noted that Japan had played a role in the design of a master plan study on national power system development in Nigeria.


L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo and Founder/Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, during Awolowoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visit to Ovia in his office in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently

PensionersTask FG, PTAD on Deductions on Pension Benefits Ebere Nwoji A group of pensioners under the aegis of the Association of Retired Federal Senior Public Officers of Nigeria (ARFESPON), has urged both the federal government and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate(PTAD) to make specific statement on the outstanding 20.4 per cent deductions from their pension entitlement made by the Goodluck Jonathanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration since 2010. ARFESPON, though expressed

its appreciation to PTAD for the recent six months areas it paid its members, however said both PTAD and federal government have decided to sweep the outstanding 20.4 percent arrears of deductions from their entitlements for eight years under the carpet without any comment despite several calls by the various pensionersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; groups. President of Lagos Chapter of ARFESPON, Mr Olufemi Odewabi, while addressing the media in Lagos, said it was painful to the pensioners that government decided not to yield

to their demand for payment of the outstanding arrears. He said for almost eight years, his members and other pensionersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; groups had been calling on government to direct attention to this but that neither government nor its agency for retirees under the Defined Benefit Scheme deemed it fit to say something in that regard. Odewabi urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Sharon Ikeazor of PTAD, to comment on the matter. Explaining how the eight-year arrears came about, Odewabi

said it was incurred by government when government effected a 53.4 increase in workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; salaries and pensionersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; benefits. He said a committee was set up by the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan to look into the 53.4 per cent increase in pension entitlements, but the committee made some illegal deductions from pensionersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; benefits. According to him, the committee recommended deductions such as pensioners benefits tax, contributory pension, housing and NHIS, all totalling 20.4 per

cent and also recommended that only 33 per cent of the increase effected by government should be paid to pensioners. Describing the development as wrong and illogical, the ARFESPON Chairman said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a rape on the right of the pensioners, viewing this deduction from possible two dimensions, it is obvious that the conclusion of the committee that reviewed the approved 53.4 per cent increase for pensioners acted in nullity and was even not logical in arriving at such conclusions.â&#x20AC;?

Sekibo Calls for Innovation to Maximise Agric Potential The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has called for innovation in the agricultural sector in order to maximise the sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Sekibo, made this call while speaking to a group of investors. According to him, innovation is necessary to tackle challenges to productivity in the agricultural sector. Speaking on the challenges and potential of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agricultural sector, he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Statistically, we are about 198 million people

as nation though we believe we are about 210 million, with GDP growth 1.5 per cent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before recession, we were doing about six per cent and we are at 11.28 percent inflation, but still hoping it comes down. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Agriculture is 22.86 percent, Industry 23.18percent and services at 53.97 per cent. Essentially, we will say our economy is driven by services. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria has a very large market, plenty labour force, plenty of waterways because almost every part of Nigeria has waterways and enough land to feed ourselves and nearly half the world because

we truly have a land fertile for agriculture and we have only utilised 40 per cent of which we waste about 70 per cent of the lands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For rice, Nigeria should be producing about 6.3 metric tonnes and one begin to wonder why we are poor as a nation if we have such opportunities. Instead we are doing about 2.3 metric tonnes and you can see the gap of about four million metric tonnes that we could have produced but we are importing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That is a negative for our economy. A lot of other gaps in the Agricultural sector shows

that indeed we have a lot of room for investments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You will realise that every state of this federation and every geo-political zones has a lot to offer, the north-west, north-east is a hub for agriculture only if we do the right thing and maximise the opportunities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The south, we can spoon the world only if we maximise the opportunities that abound in the zone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So why are we not making progress as a nation especially in the areas of Agriculture? They are due to some few challenges which include our import sup-

plies, production, processing and basically trade which are components of agriculture. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The vulnerability shocks we have out there can be dealt with if we put in place innovations platform, strategies and the likely outcomes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are essentially what we need to do. If we can achieve some of these innovations in agriculture, we will turn our country around. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to look at the issue of climate change; we need to look at why we have been unable to create inventions and innovations that make our work in the agricultural space.â&#x20AC;?


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Firm Wins Awards, Foresees Bright Prospects Raheem Akingbolu MOLFIX, the flagship brand of Hayat Kimya, which was launched into the Nigerian market in 2015 has made some remarkable appearances in the last years with valued driven awards. One of the successes was the recently held Advertisers Association of Nigeria Marketing Excellence Awards in Lagos, where the brand led the pack with priceless Brand of the Year and second position with its first ever corporate social responsibility â&#x20AC;&#x153;Happy Mums, Happy Families,â&#x20AC;? CSR campaign. Speaking on some of the milestones recorded in three years, the Marketing Manager, Hayat Kimya Nig, Mrs. Roseline Abaraonye, said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Amidst the highly cluttered and competitive environment, MOLFIX defied all odds and played against the already established brands in the category. The brand kept growing steadily year on year until it took

over the Nigerian diaper market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Within these three years, MOLFIX has won multiple awards based on quality, innovation and executionâ&#x20AC;?. According to Abaraonye, who spoke on the brand CSR initiative and the importance of the award, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hayat Kimya as a global organisation is a firm believer in giving back to the society. Hence, in Nigeria, we identified the fact that unemployment is a key issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition to the fact that a lot of women have become the bread winners of their families, the brand thought it wise to empower our mums and enable them earn a living through the brand. As a result, the brand launched the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Happy Mums, Happy Families,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; CSR campaign. With our first ever award entry on CSR, MOLFIX came 2nd place amidst all the established brands that have been doing this for many years. This has refueled our energy to do

more knowing that we have taken the right step in the right direction,â&#x20AC;? she said. On the ADVAN awards, the Hayat Marketing Manager stated that ADVAN awards is unarguable one of the most credible awards used to celebrate the Marketing professionals for their hard work through the year under review. Based on this, Abaraonye said â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will say what we did right was putting the square pegs in square holes basically. We got real insights about our consumers and we ensured we met the needs and bridged the identified gaps. This way MOLFIX delivered satisfaction to its consumers while living out the brand promise of keeping our Mums and babies happy today and happy tomorrow. The team challenged convention with well thought out strategies and tactics. Overall, the success was borne out of focus, diligence and hard work.â&#x20AC;?

African Alliance Insurance Unveils Website Stories by Ebere Nwoji The African Alliance Insurance has launched a new interactive website that personalises life insurance products. The website has features that enable ease of transaction and personalisation of life insurance products. The website is hosted on its former web link and boasts of a feature that allows visitors to the page to instantly calculate their premium and adjust the value to suit their goals. Among other notable features is a portal for customers to view their life insurance policies on a single page, an instant con-

nection to pay for premiums in seconds and a simple question and answer feature that advises customers of the right premium to suit the current stage of their lives. Speaking on the initiative, the CEO, African Alliance Plc, Mrs. Funmi Omo said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is one of the ways African Alliance is committed to protecting the lives of every Nigerian as our purpose outlines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe everyone deserves the best quality of life and this begins with the choice they make in everything they do, especially in the choice of the life insurance policy they decide to take. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As more people embrace

technology, we are also upgrading all processes to deliver an omni channel delightful customer experience to our customersâ&#x20AC;?. She said following rigorous strategy sessions, the company has begun to roll out new initiatives ahead of its 2019 plan to strengthen its position as one focused on advancement and delivering exceptional value to all stakeholders. According to her, recently, the company announced the relocation of its headquarters from its former Marina location to Ikoyi. She added that the move was predicated on the need to guarantee easy access to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headquarters.

Leadway Assurance Wins Award Leadway Assurance has announced that it recently won the Insurance Company of the Year 2018, at the BusinessDay Banking and Financial Institutions Awards held in Lagos. The event holds annually, to celebrate achievements of those who drive growth, development and financial Inclusion in Nigeria. Receiving the award on behalf of Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Divisional Director, Life Sales, Oluwafemi Adebayo, said the honour was an acknowledgement of Leadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iconic position as a path-finder as well as an innovation driver in the insurance segment of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial sector. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since 1970 when Leadway came on the scene as an indigenous insurance service provider, there has been a dramatic expansion of local service providers. Leadway has continued to evolve

and be dynamic in order to remain in the forefront as Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest and an insurer of repute,â&#x20AC;? he added. Adebayo thanked the organisers and pledged that Leadway Assurance would continue to work hard as a value driven operator in the Nigerian Insurance sector. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The acknowledgement given by this award as well as the impeccable reputation enjoyed by Leadway as a trustworthy and value-adding partner to our customers have come through our consistent devotion to operational improvements to promote and maintain competitive advantage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will continue to work hard toward maintaining this business approachâ&#x20AC;?, he submitted. The Executive Director, Financial Services & Systems, Leadway Assurance, Tunde Hassan-Odukale, described

the award as a testament to Leadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position as Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most dynamic insurance brand. He said the company would continue to invest in best in class skills, tools and processes with the objective of delivering sustainable benefits to all stakeholders through the provision of innovative and comprehensive insurance solutions. This, he added, would aim to deepen Leadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position as a market trendsetter in retail insurance in the country â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are committed to building the biggest retail insurance company in Nigeria by developing alternative channels and delivering innovative products to the customer, thus making insurance products accessible across all market segments and distribution channels,â&#x20AC;? Hassan-Odukale declared.


Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Lose Your Focus by Looking Back I was recently offered an opportunity that was fantastic. This opportunity was truly tempting. Being a fairly new entrepreneur, all entrepreneurs know how constantly looking for business can be consuming and obsessive because you know that whatever you get is what will sustain you. There is no salary that will come like clockwork every 30 days. Luckily business has not been bad, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been grueling mentally, so, when this opportunity came it was very tempting because I wanted to relax a bit and just earn a salary. I did not want to concern myself with how the money came about, which would be somebody elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problem, just pay me for work done. This desire was strong, until I consulted, though I also already had niggling doubts which prompted the consultation. The overwhelming feedback was how can you start your entrepreneurial journey when you seem to be gaining traction. Why will you decide to leave to start a job, which is the same kind of job you just left? But, I thought I could handle it, is it not what I did for many years, what is the biggy? So, I decided that to transition into the job, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see, start from a consulting perspective and do it as a project under my company. It was clear to me from the very first day, it was no longer for me. It was a struggle and my whole system rejected it. It was going back! It was not who I wanted to be or where I wanted to be now in my life. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get me wrong, tomorrow if the right opportunity comes along I will take it. But, it has to be an opportunity that is in line with where I want to go to or who I want to be. Oprah Winfrey said, and which resonates loudly, that â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is no paycheck that can equal the contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to beâ&#x20AC;?. My team and I had a discussion on this and we ended up agreeing that while, we all have to sustain our lifestyles and survive, which is the lowest rung of Maslowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hierarchy of Needs, we should strive to understand what our gift and passion is, so that we can turn this gift and passion into money. To buttress the point above, Oprah Winfrey said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as unique as a fingerprint â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service and working hard. The question is, what can you do or like doing, without being paid? That is where you should start from. My team and I also used various successful people as examples. One example we talked about was Dangote. While Dangote has been phenomenally successful, we can see there is a thread through almost all of his ventures, which is retail. He builds huge manufacturing factories, at the end of the investment cycle, his objective is to distribute and retail his goods to customers, which is also how he started his business many years ago.Another example is Bill Gates, technology was his passion and he stayed with it and used it to get to where we all know Bill Gates to be today â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the richest man in the world. Again Oprah said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment own itâ&#x20AC;?. This quote again resonated. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It is even harder starting in a recessed economy like I did, but if we believe it is our moment, we can own it. Learning from an athlete turned entrepre-

neur, Lewis Howes, who said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;everything in life is possible if you keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.â&#x20AC;? He went on to say with additions from me: You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play it safe. Instead, keep pushing yourself I have decided that I cannot play it safe or forget what I have purposed to achieve because it is difficult. Nothing good comes easy and we must keep thriving and pushing ourselves hard to achieve our objectives. Be an entrepreneur with an athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus You have to focus on your goal, cut out distractions, and lean into the pain. Being able to do that makes a big difference in business. However, ability to focus is not enough. It is also important to know how to direct your focus. Howes says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What you focus on determines your reality. For instance, if you are focused on generating income, you will naturally find ways to create more income. But if you focus on something else you will achieve that thing that is not what you set out to achieve.â&#x20AC;? Believe in greatness Often people become so daunted or depressed that they give up on pursuing their dreams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to remember that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the journey from having a dream to finally attaining it where you see the most personal growth, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how you become truly great,â&#x20AC;? Howes says. He also notes that you have to embrace the messiness in order to discover the possibilities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every person has greatness inside them, a purpose in life, and a unique set of talents to contribute.â&#x20AC;? Get clarity Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to get caught up in competing ideas or get so wrapped up in life that you forget to look beyond yourself. You have to be able to have clarity on what you truly want. Without knowing the end goal, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know where you are going. That confusion explains why so many entrepreneurial dreams, estimates range from 40 percent to 90 percent -- do not succeed. This may take a while, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential to get clear on what your vision is. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the bigger purpose of why you are pushing yourself so hard, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll burn out or get off course. Start from a place of authenticity Be true to who you are and ensure that you focus on what is authentically you in service and product otherwise you will burnout and lack longevity. Let your dreams lead the way Pursue your dreams and aspirations. While the realities of life can be daunting and we have to eat, not pursuing your dreams will leave you with regrets and the painful knowledge that you did not achieve your full potential. Although, what I also sometimes see, is that many of us do not even have dreams. Please have a dream, decide who you want to be and where you are going to and what your destination will look like. Start to dream and nurture more dreams to elevate you to greater heights.

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


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GTBank Wins Bank of the Year Award Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has won the award for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bank of the Year Nigeria,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; for the second year in a row. The bank won the award at The Bankerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bank of the Year Awards. GTBank Sierra Leone Limited, a subsidiary of GTBank was also recognised as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bank of the Year Sierra Leoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at the event, which held in London. The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times, is one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading monthly journals of records for the banking Industry, with over 90 years expertise in publishing developments in the banking industry in Africa and on the global scale. The Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bank of the Year Awards celebrates leading financial institutions within the global banking sector who are setting new industry standards and driving innovation in financial services and customer experience. Receiving the award on behalf of the bank, the Managing Director/CEO, GTBank, Segun Agbaje said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are honoured to be recognised as the 2018 Bank of the Year in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These awards serve as further motivation for us as we continue to go beyond

traditional banking services by creating innovative digital services that are less about us as bank and more about our customers and how we empower them with everything that they need to better their lives.â&#x20AC;? He further stated that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our vision has always been to create an oasis in the financial services industry that leads, not only in earnings and returns on equity, but also in maintaining world class corporate governance standards and pushing the bounds in service delivery and customer experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These awards reflect our sustained commitment towards this vision, which we will continue to pursue, driven by our passion for excellence and guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline and integrity.â&#x20AC;? GTBank is widely regarded by industry watchers as a trailblaser due to its many innovations in digital and financial services. Recently, the bank launched Habari, Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest platform for music, shopping and lifestyle content and the first mobile platform created by a financial institution in the country that focuses on enabling peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs and lifestyle rather than providing regular banking products.

PenCom Reiterates Plan to Establish Micro Pension Scheme Okon Bassey in Uyo The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has restated that the micro pension scheme to cater for Nigerians in the informal sector will commence in the first quarter of 2019. Speaking in Uyo, during the National Pension Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forum for Compliance officers, the Acting Director General of the Commission, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the scheme was aimed at widening the coverage area of the contributory pension scheme. Dahir-Umar, who was represented by the Head, Surveillance Department of the PenCom, Mr. Datti Mohammed Yola, said everything about the scheme has been finalised awaiting implementation by the operators. She said the forum would address the issue of identity theft which is a threat in the industry, so as to guard against

it, adding that participants at the forum were drawn from the 31 licenced pension operators, 21 pension fund administrators, 6 CPFAs and 4 PFCs. In an effort to promote a stable and sustainable pension industry, she said the commission has adopted zero tolerance for non-compliance. According to her, consultative supervision has also been adopted in the review of existing guidelines and in the issuing of new ones to encourage sound corporate governance, and protect pension assets in the industry. Dahir-Umar, further said the commission has aligned its supervisory framework with that of the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee to supervise the activities of pension operators. She maintained that the compliance officers have the responsibility to monitor and report cases of non-compliance

with regards to the implementation of the guidelines for the micro pension scheme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The commission recently released the framework and guidelines for the implementation of the micro pension scheme, which is targeted at increased participation of employees in the informal sector, multi-fund structure and revised guideline for fund accounting as well as revised circular for branch opening and service centre by PFAs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The micro pension scheme has already taken off, everything has been finalised by the issuance of the guidelines, so it is now left to the operators to go back and implement it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The micro pension scheme is aimed at widening the coverage of the contributory pension scheme and ensure that those in the informal sector are also covered by the contributory pension scheme like tailors,

hair dressers, barbers and petty traders so that at the end of their useful life, they would have something to fall back on as pension. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This forum will therefore focus on reviewing compliance and ethical culture, institutionalization of Know Your Customer (KYC) processes in the industry, matters of identity theft in data capturing; emerging risks and its mitigating factors as well as other general industry operational issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is my expectation that this forum will further enhance the capacity of each Compliance Officer towards the effective discharge of functions,â&#x20AC;? she posited. The acting DG assured participants at the forum that the Commission would continue with its consultative philosophy, transparency and good corporate governance in the implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme in the country.â&#x20AC;?

FCMB Rewards 2,576 Customers in Promo A total of 2,576 customers of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have won millions and various gifts at the end of the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reward scheme tagged: â&#x20AC;&#x153;FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 5.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The promo, designed to reward and empower customers, ran from March to October this year, with four regional and zonal draws, including the grand finale that took place recently. Of the 2,576 winners, 16 customers won cash ranging from N1 million to N2 million, while the remaining 2,560 were rewarded with LED television, generating sets, decoders, tablets and smart phones. At the grand finale draws held on November 28, four customers won N2 million each, just as 640 others received gift items. The promo which targeted all existing savings account customers of FCMB with monthly account balance ranging from N10,000 to N50,000, was designed to give extra value and empowerment to customers of the bank, while encouraging financial inclusion and savings culture. Idi Awawu emerged the star prize winner of N2 million at the Abuja & north regional draw, while Simeon Olanrewaju got the same amount at the Lagos Regional Draws held in Otta, Ogun state. In the same vein, Obioma Uzonwunne was the lucky winner of N2 million at the

south-east and south-south regional draws in Asaba, Delta state and Ajani Mayowa won the same amount at the south-west. The winners expressed gratitude to FCMB for creating opportunities to reward and empower customers through the promo. In his comment, a Director of the Consumer Protection Council, Mr. Dauda Waja, hailed the bank for conducting the exercise with integrity and transparency. He said FCMB followed due process from the beginning of the promo in March, till the emergence of the various winners. Speaking on the promo, the Executive Director, Retail Banking of FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, said with the grand finale draws held nationwide, the bank has fulfilled the promise it made to customers to reward those who participated and qualified for the promo and participated in the four draws organised during the exercise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are encouraged by the huge excitement and participation the millionaire promo has continued to receive. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beyond the various prizes won by winners, the fact the promo has provided us with an opportunity to encourage an enduring savings culture, financial inclusion and the empowerment of our customers is very exciting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We therefore urge members of the public who do not cur


L-R: Chairman, Executive Committee, Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA), Dr. Shaibu Musa; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman; and NIBUCAA Co-chair, Mr. Nicolas Terraz, during the NIBUCAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AIDS sensitisation walk to commemorate 2018 World AIDS Day in Lagos...recently YOMIAKINYELE

Lafarge Commits N168m to Community Projects in Ogun Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta As part of efforts to give to back to the communities where it operates, Lafarge Africa, manufacturer of cement located in Ewekoro, Ogun State, said it has spent about N168 million on various community projects, cutting across education, healthcare delivery service, economic empowerment, agricultural produce and elderly care support programmes. Besides, the multinational cement firm gave the sum of N100,000 bursary award each to 187 undergraduate students in various tertiary institutions spread across the country; empowered 114 adults with funds and trade equipment;103 farmers with farm tools and high yielding seeds and seedlings and also gave funds, foodstuffs, drugs, sanitary kits, among others, to 155 elders, all drawn from about 15 communities within Ewekoro local government area. Speaking at the 2018 Lafarge Community Day held in Ewekoro, Lafarge Africa Country,

Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, declared that the socio-economic interventions provided for one of its host communities in Ogun stateEwekoro-were made as part of effort to support the sustained growth and development of its host communities, with a view to ensuring mutually benefitted relationship between the firm and the communities it operates. Puchercos, noted that Lafarge Africa is in Nigeria to help ensure socio-economic growth and development through human capital development, physical well-being, economic empowerment, technical and vocational training, education, as well as agricultural production. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the Ewekoro Community in Ogun State, projects launched at the Community Day, include a block of five classrooms to the Local Government Nursery and Primary School, Jagunna, Itori and a renovated block of four classrooms, head teacher and assistant head teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offices with toilets for both teachers and pupils at First Africa Mission

School, Lapeleke. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For health and well-being, projects launched include Laboratory equipment at the Health Centre built by Lafarge Africa for Egbado Ajegunle, construction of 14 bedded health centres located at three communities in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun state and installation of a substation and electrification of Oke Oko Egbado community. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also in a bid to improve the quality of produce from our farmlands and create more opportunities for our people to live better, agricultural support was provided to farmers while several members of the Ewekoro community also benefitted from economic empowerment programmes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To reiterate Lafarge Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to education, over 200 students of higher institutions from the Ewekoro community are beneficiaries of bursary awards.â&#x20AC;? While expressing appreciation to the Ogun state government and traditional rulers in the communities for exemplary leadership they have continued to display, Puchercos added,

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lafarge Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to the development of our local communities is unwavering. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As an organisation, we recognise our host communities as our partners, building progressively together for the future, while ensuring that we leave positive footprints that will impact the society. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We thank all our stakeholders for supporting our goal of creating sustainable, peaceful communities. We especially thank the leaders and people in our host communities for creating an enabling environment for us to operateâ&#x20AC;?. Also, in his speech, the Baale of one of the host communities, Joshua Oniyitan (Ilufemiloye I), expressed appreciation to Lafarge Africa, describing the projects as a timely intervention. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sincerely appreciate the commitment of the management of Lafarge Africa for making sure these projects were completed as they have raised the standard of our children, mothers, our pregnant women, the elderly and the community at large to the next levelâ&#x20AC;?, he said.

owned Alakija, oducer xfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s midun


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SON Harps on Collaboration to End Building Collapse Jonathan Eze Effective collaboration among regulators, professional associations, consumer advocates, the mass media and other interested parties and stakeholders in the building and construction sector is the solution to incessant collapse of buildings and structures in Nigeria. This was the highlight of a paper presented by the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma, at the 2018 Builders Congress organised by the Council of Registered

Builders of Nigeria (CORBON). Titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Standardising Materials, Products and Processes,â&#x20AC;? the paper enumerated the availability of national standards for virtually all materials in the built sector and urged professionals to adhere to them strictly, in the interest of the nation and its people. Represented by the Head of Construction Management, SON, Paul Oke, the Director General, disclosed that SON was in the process of retooling the National Standardisation and Quality Assurance Committee for the Building and Construction

Industry in conjunction with relevant stakeholders to address issues relating to standards development, review, adoption, implementation and enforcement. He enumerated efforts of SON in tackling the circulation of sub-standard products through the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for locally manufactured and imported products respectively. Aboloma reminded the gathering that the SON Act of 2015 has

empowered the organisation to seize sub-standard products and prosecute culprits who engage in production or sale of such products inclusive of building materials. Delivering a keynote address at the occasion, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, urged professionals in the building and construction industry to the take optimum advantage of the Presidential Executive Order 5 on planning and execution of projects to expose and prosecute quacks in the system.

Falana offered his legal team to the CORBON in collaboration with other stakeholders to come up with an all-encompassing legislation to regulate practice in the built environment. The Chairman of CORBON, Professor Kabir Bala, stated that the recurring menace of building and structural collapse in Nigeria necessitated the theme of the congress â&#x20AC;&#x153;Standardisation and Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development in Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Construction Industryâ&#x20AC;?.

The CORBON awards of excellence in recognition of contributions to the building profession and 2018 Builders Congress was conferred on notable personalities including, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; his Minister of State, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma; Aboloma and Falana. Others included Prof. Olumide Olasanya of Julius Berger Nig. Plc, Prof. Danladi Matawal, Director General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute.

PSC Solar Launches New Products Ugo Aliogo As part of efforts to increase its market share in Nigeria, the PSC Solar UK has opened a new office in Lakowe, IbejuLekki, just as the firm launched new set of inventers and solar batteries. Speaking at the product exhibition and sales, the Sales Engineer, PSC Solar UK, Mr. Alex Ntogo, said some of the new products included 12V/230AH Exide Deep Cycle batteries, 24V/275W Mano Solar Panels, Xantra VV Advanced 192V-240V/100A PWM Solar Charge Controller and others. He also stated that the products are affordable. However, he pointed out that if a customer decides to pay two times for a product, the individual has to discuss the management. He noted that paying twice for a product depends on if a customer had been patronising the company for a long time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the new products are 12V/230AH Exide Deep Cycle batteries, 24V/275W Mano Solar Panels, Xantra VV Advanced 192V-240V/100A PWM Solar Charge Controller and others. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The prices of the products are affordable, however if a customer decides to pay two times for a product, he has to talk to the management. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, paying two times for a product depends on if you have been patronising the company for a long time. If you have been our customer for a long time,

we do a deal with you. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Penetrating the market has not been easy, and it has been rough. Though we faced competition, because our products were expensive, but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t compromise on our quality and standards. All our products come from Germany. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our inventa and batteries are different from the regular inventa and batteries in the Nigeria market. To the best of my knowledge our customers have not complained about our batteries. In PSC, they have high quality battery in the solar business in Nigeria,â&#x20AC;? he noted. Ntogo, explained that they carried out the installation works for customers if they L-R: Vice President, Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN), George Okoroma; President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering request for, adding that if they in Nigeria (COREN), Kashim Abdul Ali; President, ACEN, Charles Yele Akindayomi, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Jimi carry out installation works for Hotonu at the 40th annual conference of ACEN in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently a particular client, the client gets full warranty. He added that if the individual carry self-installation, such person would get limited warranty, â&#x20AC;&#x153;this is why it is always advisable for you to call us to do the installation The founder of the FCMB to give back, especially to those philanthropy in Nigeria and he had a lot of influences which for you.â&#x20AC;? beyond, particularly in education, shaped his attitude to life generGroup, Otunba Olasubomi institutions that shaped us. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the reasons, Balogun, has described educaâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Education can never be healthcare, children and women ally and to his community. He why we have not been able to tion as one of the critical drivers entirely funded by government welfare, religion and culture to said he became very concerned boost energy supply in the of development of any society. or private feesâ&#x20AC;? He said many mention a few, he revealed that a about his environment and the country is of the presence of He said this at the University of the greatest institutions in the lot of the charitable undertakings plight of people and institutions fake products, which people of Ibadanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 70th Anniversary world had endowments running associated with him, had been that had been close to him. patronise, and install them, in Life Achievement and Honours into hundreds of millions of dol- deeply influenced by the higher Besides the Chairman of six months. Awards Night held recently in lars, saying it is with such funds education he was privileged First City Monument Bank â&#x20AC;&#x153;The product fails. For us to Oyo State. Limitedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board Chairman, that they have been able to fund attend. to go through. fully tap into sustainable energy, The banking icon posited Otunba Olutola Senbore, some The event was part of the research and build tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s we need to sensitise the public programmes lined up to mark leaders, innovators and change that education has the capac- of the distinguished Nigerians about the benefits of sustainable the 70th anniversary of the agents. Chairing the occasion and ity to stimulate a high sense of who received awards from the energy and the opportunities university. In his lecture, Balogun represented at the event by the philanthropy in any individual institution at this event were: that lies inside it.â&#x20AC;? President/Vice-Chancellor of Babcalled on well-meaning Nigerians Group Chief Executive of FCMB who has benefitted from it. He opined: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would also add cock University, Prof. Ademola and organisations to support Group Plc, Mr Ladi Balogun, the development of education the founder of FCMB in a paper that supporting education is one Tayo; a former Vice-Chancellor, in Nigeria with their resources. titled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Higher Education and of the most effective means one Obafemi Awolowo University, He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is incumbent on Philanthropy,â&#x20AC;? sought the nexus can contribute to the betterment Prof. Adeniyi Osuntogun and those of us that have been blessed between higher education and of society and upliftment of the the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank less privileged.â&#x20AC;? with education, particularly philanthropy. Balogun, said as he grew up, of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan. Well known for his deep yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s championship featured higher education, to continue 20 more players than the 140 that participated last year. He also said that the company was sponsoring different youth empowerment programmes in the country. beneficiaries of the Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partnership was the first of its high-quality, dynamic education Udora Orizu in Abuja The President, Badminton Young Entrepreneurship Scholar- kind in Africa. According to that prepares them for the global Federation of Nigeria, Mr The Nexford University (NXU) ship Scheme at A.Y.Eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria faces a major workplace. A.Y.E members would Francis Orbih, thanked Mutual in Washington, D.C and Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s convention held in Lagos recently. unemployment challenge, small sharpen their entrepreneurial skills Benefits for keeping to the Young Entrepreneurs (AYE), a Francis, who will be one of to medium enterprises can play through project-based simulations, promise made during the network with more than 12 mil- NXUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first BBA learners said: a major role in addressing this. interactive, AI learning, and local maiden edition last year that lion members, have announced a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just as we are dedicated to Organizations such as A.Y.E are African business case studies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In January 2019, the university the championship would be new partnership that will equip developing the next generation a catalyst to advancing the local will offer the following degrees an annual event. Nigerians with skills needed of outstanding African entre- entrepreneurship ecosystem. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope through bringing and certificates: Associate of ApAlso speaking, the Executive to grow and sustain successful preneurs, Nexford is creating Director, Operations, Mutual start-ups. The partnership, which a next-generation learning quality, affordable education to plied Science (AAS) in Business, Benefits Assurance, Biyi Mobo- has been described as pioneering, experience that will positively Nigeria we will also play a role BBA, MBA, nine undergraduate laji, said embarking on the would offer 11 full scholarships impact millions of lives around in improving living standards and three graduate certificates in corporate social responsibility for learners to study MBA and the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope our pio- and creating jobs. With a strong the field of business: registrations showed that the company was Bachelor of Business Administra- neering partnership will shape knowledge economy, Africa can have commenced. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will also offer a range of not only interested in making tion (BBA) degrees as part of the the economies and political leapfrog its way into the future.â&#x20AC;? He stated that Nexford enables specialisations to match highprofit from its businesses, universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founding cohort of landscapes of membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home greater social and economic growth employment areas such as but also ready to impact on learners, NexFirst. countries.â&#x20AC;? its environment and area of Also speaking, the CEO NXU, mobility across the world by Data Science, Sustainable Energy, The President of A.Y.E, Summy operations. Smart Francis, announced the Fadl Al Tarzi, stressed that the providing learners with access to and Artificial intelligence.â&#x20AC;?


Education, Critical Driver of Economic Development, Says Balogun

Mutual BeneďŹ ts Restates Commitment to Youth Devt Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has expressed its commitment to youth empowerment through sports, with its continued sponsorship of the national badminton championship, now in its second edition. The chairman of the company, Akin Ogunbiyi, said at the final of the competition in Lagos, that through the programme, Mutual Benefits gives back to the society by nurturing the game of badminton. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youth empowerment through the development of sports has been a key focus of Mutual Benefits CSR activities. Our commitment is driven by the need to provide an avenue through which gifted youths can develop their talents, receive mentorship and ultimately do the nation proud at international competitions.â&#x20AC;? Ogunbiyi, said that this

AYE Partners NXU to Empower African Entrepreneurs


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Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ibom Restates SMSEsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Development Okon Bassey in Uyo Akwa Ibom State government has called on its citizens, especially the youths, to look inward and exploit opportunities that abound in micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. The government expressed its commitment to creating an enabling environment for MSMEs to grow in the state which in turn would equally contribute to the development of the state and nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. The Chairman, Akwa Ibom

State Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Committee, Mr. Gabriel Ukpeh, said this at a two-day MSMEs seminar organised by the Technical Committee, FDI in partnership with Polaris Bank and Bank of Industry (BOI) held in Uyo, the state capital. Ukpe, said the workshop/ empowerment programme was aimed at expanding credit, ensure new products development and support new businesses for domestic items such as shoes, bags, caps, and household product etc. Extolling young entrepreneurs in the state, the chairman of the

FDI committee urged them to take advantage of the opportunity and develop their business plans, saying nothing is too small to start up with. He assured that by the end of December 2018, funds would be made available for those who take the programme serious as well as meeting with the primary requirements. Ukpe, praised the organisers, Polaris bank, and other facilitators including representatives of NAFDAC, Mr. Ogedengbe Collins, CBN, among others who put their wealth of knowledge and ideas to

make the programme a success. The Polaris Bank representative, Mr. Seyi Adelakun, had said that the theme of the seminar â&#x20AC;&#x153;tackling the challenges of SME Growth in Akwa Ibom State,â&#x20AC;? was apt and timely as information is key in addressing the problems faced by SMEs in the state and country. Also speaking, the Director Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Jackie Obot, stressed that the corporative plays an essential role in assisting and promoting micro, small and medium enterprises by making

registration easier and affordable for the business starters. According to her, registration for a business product and a business name has taken a new dimension and reduced to N5,000 for young entrepreneurs. Also, the representative of NIRSAL, Mrs. Helen Agula, said the institution serves as a tool for supporting lending, provide credits risk guarantee to ease ways of doing business. She urged those who are into agro businesses to begin to put structures into their businesses to ensure viability and value chain.

At the forum, business clusters had opportunities to share their challenges which were mostly lack of access to loans and multiple taxation. To address the challenge of access to finance, the business men and women were charged to ensure that their businesses are registered to enable them get access to loans from financial institutions. Other facilitators from BOI and cooperative societies harped on the need for starters, growing and even established businesses to show commitment in order to remain relevant.

Firm to Create Distribution Centres to revolutionise the way people Nume Ekeghe Pedini Nigeria Limited, the premier luxury kitchen brand in Nigeria and the major distributor for the Bosch/ Gaggenau appliance brand, is in the process of constructing one of the largest kitchen distribution and appliance servicing, repairs and training centres in Africa. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Enejoh, disclosed this recently. According to him, Pedini was poised to become the largest kitchen solutions provider in the sub-region by 2028. The project is set to begin in 2019 and would be completed by 2021. Enejoh, also spoke about the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new entry level kitchens, 7 Vurn, which was introduced in 2017, for the low to middle entry market to meet the gap in the kitchen industry. He informed newsmen that the Vurn kitchen has already begun

think of kitchens. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our company, Pedini Nigeria is poised to become the largest kitchen solutions provider in the sub region by 2028. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With Vurn, you get an incredible value kitchen with solid cabinetry of Italian origin and also Blum hinges from Germany with superior handles from Italy as well,â&#x20AC;? he added. He also stated that Pedini was in the process of signing an agreement with Frankie, a Germany firm, which a foremost kitchen sink and tap provider, to ensure its products have all the quality it needs. Speaking further, Enejoh said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Customer service is also one area where we have dominated the market and the competition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We strive to achieve a maximum of 24/48 hoursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; repair or replacement warranty, irrespective of your location in Nigeria, â&#x20AC;&#x153; he added.

Group Holds Forum on Achieving SDGsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Targets Segun James As part of effort to create a platform for organisations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before 2030, the Social Sector Networking (SSN) recently organised a workshop for young adult professionals and entrepreneurs in Lagos. The purpose of the event was to encourage people from the social sector to meet, connect, share and learn and explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration. The social sector networking event which was organised by the Young Adult Professionals and Entrepreneurs and Philanthropy Circuit, was also to explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration. The event was anchored by the Executive Director of The Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation, Ms. Funke Shonekan and the founder of Philanthropy Circuit, Mrs Katja Schiller-Nwator. Some organisations present at the event were Wave Academies, Ovie Brume Foundation, Cece Yara Foundation, Child Life Line, WISCAR, Enough is Enough, WARIF, Teach Nigeria and Synergos Nigeria. Among the challenges shared, participants spoke about the need for funding. They spoke on the need for organisations to bridge the gap between communities in need of funding and donor organisations. One of the participants also spoke about the importance of

educating people about different kinds of abuse. They pointed out that for fear of being stigmatised, victims of sexual and domestic abuse or violence, choose not to talk about their experiences. Many do not know who to talk to in order to get help, the participants stated. It was advised that organisations that are into advocacy should expand their reach so that more people in need of their services would be aware of their presence and how to contact them. Mrs Olayemi Aileru of Child Life Line, revealed that one boy who had been taken off the streets recently completed his university degree program and was employed by Andela. She also stated that they had succeeded in reuniting some of the streets children with their families. Ms. Detutu Ajibodu of WARIF Centre, said her group had trained 1000 traditional birth attendants (midwives). She explained that the organisation had embarked on this training because it was observed that women who suffer domestic and sexual abuse confide in traditional birth attendants. The birth attendants in turn report such cases to WARIF for investigation and intervention. Bisi Ajayi-Kayode of Cece Yara was glad to tell her group that their foundation was selected for the final stage of the Google Impact Challenge.


L-R:Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Hubmart Stores, Uju Odua; special guest, Mr. Isaac Gerald; Assistant Head, Enforcement, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Niyi Adeleke; prize winner, Mr. Michael Opara;Vice President, Hubmart Stores, Mr. Cheng Fuller and MD/ CEO, Mr. Murat Bektaslar, at the second raffle promo draw of the ongoing Hubmart Awoof promo in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently SUNDAYADIGUN

Sigma Pensions Boss Seeks Increased Awareness on RSA James Emejo in Abuja The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Sigma Pensions Limited, Mr. Dave Uduanu, has called for increased awareness on the benefits of having a retirement savings account (RSA), stressing that â&#x20AC;&#x153;it does not make financial sense for anybodyâ&#x20AC;? not to have one. He also encouraged his customers to lead a healthy lifestyle by keeping fit enough to enjoy their retirement. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is only a healthy person that can enjoy life after retirement.â&#x20AC;? Speaking in Abuja at the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s maiden edition of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Walk to Liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; meant to prepare customers

for a healthy retirement, he said Sigma Pensions was also focused on wooing customers from the informal sector of the economy. Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the event, he said one of the biggest challenges in the pension industry had been the drop in enrolment in RSA. According to him: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The pension industry has done well and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now N8.4 trillion but I think the key challenge is that the enrolment level has dropped. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, we need to encourage more Nigerians to get retirement savings accounts because it does not make financial sense for anybody not to have a retirement savings account. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People should remember that

one day they will retire. So, now we are going into the informal sector to bring people into the formal sector and that should lead to a quantum leap in the number of retirement savings account.â&#x20AC;? Nevertheless, he said the six - kilometre walk, which would be increased to 10 kilometres at the next edition would give the company opportunity to connect with its customers and solve whatever problems they may be having concerning their accounts. Specifically, the MD said the programme would offer an â&#x20AC;&#x153;opportunity for Sigma to connect with its customers in Abuja in an informal setting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While we want to listen to

some of the issues, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really not about the business today. We want to connect with you, meet you, know you so that when we see on the road, we can greet you.â&#x20AC;? He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, the whole idea is to keep people fit enough; healthy enough to enjoy their retirement because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only a healthy person that can enjoy life after retirement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a way of giving back to our customers; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of our corporate social responsibility but I think the benefit is that it helps us bond with our customers; we are able to mingle with them at an informal environment and hopefully, we will create a better bond and a stronger brand for the company.â&#x20AC;?

Sterling Bank Supports Madeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;in-Nigeria Initiative Nume Ekeghe In a bid to support the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, Sterling Bank Plc has announced a partnership with Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier automobile manufacturer, Peugot Automobile Nigeria. With this, the auto firm is to deliver 50 made-to-order vehicles for official use across the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s locations nationwide. Sterling Bank said it teamed up with the Kaduna-based car maker to customise the vehicles based on its understanding of the Nigerian terrain as well as required mode of usage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Following our strategic drive as a bank to focus on impacting the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, we had to evaluate every aspect of our business transactions to ensure we were

doing same to support the growth of the economy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By acquiring our company pool cars from a local manufacturer, we ensured that not only will the funds circulate within Nigeria, the impact of the partnership will equally boost our local manufacturing sector to provide jobs and improve the skills of people participating in that sector,â&#x20AC;? the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chief Operating Officer, Raheem Owodeyi, was quoted to have said in in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We see this partnership as a game changer and one that will influence the perception people have about locally manufactured vehicles as the procured vehicles will be deployed in all our branches nationwide,â&#x20AC;? the Head, General Internal Services at Sterling Bank, Adebomi Adewale explained.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is also the first time a bank in Nigeria will look beyond the short term gains of patronising affordable foreign based manufacturers to the impact of its dealings on the wider economy,â&#x20AC;? he argued. In addition, the bank also signed a fleet maintenance agreement with Peugot Automobile Nigeria which would see the car maker carry out routine maintenance on the vehicles, to ensure utilisation of the fleet to optimum capacity over a threeyear period. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the Sterling Bank team approached us, they were specific on the kind of vehicles they wanted and the impact they wanted to make in the society, which made it easy for us to design vehicles with the right kind of efficiencies and an understanding of the locations

in which the cars will be used,â&#x20AC;? the Managing Director at Peugot Nigeria, Ibrahim Boyi said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are certain this is beyond a one-off procurement deal but a partnership that will set the standards on how company cars should be used and maintained,â&#x20AC;? Boyi added. Earlier in the year, Sterling Bank had announced a commitment to adopt renewable and cleaner sources of energy with a commitment to reducing diesel powered energy generation across its branches by 50 per cent at the end of 2020. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bank believes that the addition of low emission vehicles to its fleet will go a long way in reducing its carbon footprint by year end 2020. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While partnering with a local manufacturer will improve the economy, the fleet maintenance agreement will also ensure skills


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Okwuosa: Nigeria Needs $3trn Infrastructure Investment in 20 Years Peter Uzoho The Chairman of Oilserv Group, Dr. Emeka Okwuosa, has stated that Nigeria needs to commit over $3 trillion in its infrastructure over the next 20 years for positive impact in various sectors of the economy. Okwuosa was quoted to have said this while delivering a paper titled: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Infrastructural Development: A Key to Economic Growth and Development in Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, at the 48th convocation of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. A statement signed by the

media consultant of Oilserve, Dr Ngozi Anyaegbunam, quoted the chairman to have said the investment would also help to optimise the collective contribution from operators in various sectors. According to him, the World Bank ranks Nigeria lowly as viable destinations for Doing Business, pointing to the poor state of its infrastructure. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) report ranks Nigeria, out of 137 countries, as follows: roads quality: 127th, airport quality: 125th, electricity supply: 132nd, education system:

120th, Maths & Science: 118th, innovation: 112th. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How do we respond to these negative and retrogressive occurrences? Nigeria needs to invest over USD3trillion in infrastructure over the next 20 years. Where can we source for this funding? It is evident that government alone cannot provide these resources.â&#x20AC;? The Oilserv boss said the federal government must without delay, leverage the private sector capital in a variety of ways such as creating special purpose vehicles for financing creations and drive.

He urged the government to also develop Public Private Partnerships (PPP), and investment funds with a variety of guaranty plans and arrangements, noting that that governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key role could be to create and sustain an enabling environment by deploying instruments like the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority with its arm. He advised the Sovereign Wealth Fund should act as a catalyst for the provision of funding needed for development, adding that the government and the private sector must, as

a matter of urgency respond to these deficiencies in the economy by accelerating infrastructure development. He further said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;By this, I specifically refer to power, roads, rail, ports and telecommunication (especially broadband technologies). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also equally important and in alignment, is the development and implementation of the legal and regulatory frameworks and environment and all other related processes that will enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today, the total value of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s infrastructural stock â&#x20AC;&#x201C; road,

rail, power, airports, waterways, telecoms, and seaports, represent only 35 per cent of Gross Domestic Products (GDP). In consideration and comparison to other peer emerging markets countries whose average is 70 per cent of GDP, Nigeria is way below expectation for an appreciable development for economic growth and prosperity.â&#x20AC;? He said the massive underinvestment in infrastructural development had been the result or bane to achieving the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision of becoming a top 20 economy by the year 2020.

Trophy Lager Rewards Consumers Trophy Lager, from the stable of International Breweries Plc, has organised a three-day beer carnival to celebrate the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi IIIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 80th birthday in Oyo with pomp, music, fun and mouth-watering prizes. The event, which provided an unforgettable, exciting and culturally appealing experience for consumers, also saw the brand reward winners in its ongoing national consumer promo, tagged â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Honourable Millionaires Promo,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; which was instituted to celebrate Trophy Lagerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 40 years of facilitating goodwill and celebration for Nigerians. A statement explained that consumers had a great time as they were thrilled to comedy, drama and musical performances from top artistes Speaking on the rationale for the initiative, Consumer Connections Manager, IB Plc, Jumoke Okikiolu, noted that the celebrations are two-fold. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On one hand, our decision to celebrate with Kabiyesi is very much aligned with our brand values as he is a personage who stands tall in the promotion of Yoruba socio-cultural values of honour, integrity and quality service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Also, this fiesta has afforded

us the opportunity to celebrate and reward our highly esteemed honourable men and women, who have stood with the Trophy brand for 40 years, for their support and loyalty, in a unique and fun way,â&#x20AC;? Okikiolu said. Funso Elubeku, the Marketing Manager, Trophy Lager, IB Plc said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the heart of our National promotion is the need to provide a memorable experience for our loyal fans. We are empowering 40 Honourables to win N1 million for the duration of the promotion with other consolation prizes such as free instant airtime worth N80m and N40, 000 cash prize weekly for 40 consumers as well.â&#x20AC;? Currently, 16 people have emerged as millionaires and about 250 people have won N40, 000 each till date. Remarkably, Trophy Lager, popularly referred to as the pride of the South-west is deeply rooted in the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s socio-cultural values, and loved by consumers because of its distinctive taste and quality, has remained a market leader in its category. It is worthy to note that the promotion is not limited to South West alone as winners have emerged from other regions of the country.

Group to Honour Women with Disabilities The first global award recognising the achievements of women with disabilities aims to break through stereotypes to show their skills as leaders and problem solvers, its founder said on Monday. A filmmaker, a political campaigner and a public health expert were named the first winners of the Her Ability awards, which were announced to coincide with World Disability Day. Its founder, Ethiopian campaigner Yetnebersh Nigussie, was quoted by Reuters to have said she wanted to put a spotlight on disabled womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s achievements to combat the idea that they are passive victims. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really wanted to change that image and cherish their abilities and their victories,â&#x20AC;? Nigussie, who lost her sight at age five, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In order to change things, people need to really see our abilities and our problem-solving skills that we have developed through life by overcoming attitudinal as well as physical

and policy barriers everywhere.â&#x20AC;? More than a billion people about 15 per cent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population - have some form of disability, according to the World Health Organisation. Women with disabilities have been recognised as doubly vulnerable by experts, who say they face additional barriers. The first winners of the awards, which were set up by Nigussie and the global disability organisation Light for the World, all came from the developing world. They included Toyin Janet Aderemi, the first Nigerian wheelchair-user to study and practise pharmacy, who was recognised for her work on disability-inclusive health and as a lobbyist for disability rights. She lost the ability to walk due to a childhood bout of polio and had to be carried on her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back until she got her first wheelchair at age 15. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Winning this award showcases what is possible and how society starts to benefit when you are able to educate a girl child with a disability,â&#x20AC;? said Aderemi.


L-R: Chief Investment Officer, Sigma Pensions, Mr. Pobina Yinkare; Executive Director Operations, Mr. Afolabi Folayan; MD/CEO, Mr. Dave Uduanu; Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Michael Orekaya and Head Internal Control, Emmanuel Eje, during Sigma Pensionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Walk-to-Liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; held in Abujaâ&#x20AC;Śrecently

NIPCO Intensifies Plan for Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Deforestation Peter Uzoho NIPCO Plc has heightened plots to weaken deforestation rocking parts of Nigeria with multi-million dollar investments. The Managing Director of NIPCO, Mr. Sanjay Teotia, disclosed this in Abuja, at the 8th Annual International Conference and Exhibition organised by the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;this is being done through NIPCOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge investments in cooking gas sub-sector.â&#x20AC;? Teotia said the feat has not only created lots of awareness on the benefits of gas as domestic cooking fuel, but has also served as drawback to deforestation in the country. While throwing the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weight behind the

federal governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agenda to grow the LPG sub-sector, he promised continuous and deliberate efforts in supporting governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genuine desire to make LPG domestic cooking fuel of choice among the populace. Teotia said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We diversified in the gas realm in 2009 with the inauguration of a state-of-the-art LPG plant in Lagos with a total storage capacity of 4,800MT spread across three spheres and a threepoint loading gantry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As at the time of its inauguration, it was the biggest LPG storage in the country thus creating veritable avenue to store gas and distribute effectively with the scores of LPG trucks commissioned by the company.â&#x20AC;? According to him, in 2017, the company improved on its

storage capacity and other LPG infrastructures in a bid to meet growing LPG stakeholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interest. He stated that NIPCO inaugurated the biggest LPG single sphere in Africa with a capacity of 5,600MT and increased the loading arms in the gantry to five in a bid to ease loading of trucks for onward distribution of the product to all the nooks and crannies of the country. Teotia added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today, NIPCO controls a major share of the LPG market with its massive storage facilities and other infrastructures put in place to aid access to the product by the populace. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The peerless service being provided by the company has made it depot of choice by many bottling plants and others in the business of LPG.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The improved storage facility and product reception at the terminal has been a major boost in the effective turnaround of LPG vessels berthing at the Apapa jetty.â&#x20AC;? However, the Managing Director, Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, who paid a visit to the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LPG plant, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never in my wildest imagination believe that this kind of facility exist in Apapa here. I can see also very huge investment that NIPCO has put in to upscale the amount of LPG that they can receive into the country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me that is the real game changer and we are committed to continue to support NIPCO and indeed Nigeria to bring about the positive change in terms of energy availability for Nigeria.â&#x20AC;?

Total E&P Cooperative Society Organises Entrepreneurship Programme Oluchi Chibuzor As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), Total E&P Multipurpose Cooperative Society in partnership with Junior Achievers Nigeria has organised and entrepreneurial programs for primary and secondary schools in Lagos and Port-Harcourt respectively. The programme was designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. According to a statement signed by Head of Legal Compliance and Communications, Total E&P Nigeria, Staff Multipurpose Co-operative Society, Henry Hector-Amiwero, the company

through the cooperative was committed to implementing a growing number of community outreach initiatives, with a focus on entrepreneurship. The statement revealed that with the partnership, both organisations are committed to developing and implementing programs to help students become entrepreneurial thinkers and ready in other to develop thriving ideas that culminate into business ventures. It also stated that that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;entrepreneurial program introduces secondary school students to the essential elements of entrepreneurship, business plan and then challenges them to start

ventures while still in high school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Students learn about advertising, competitive advantages, financing, marketing, and product development that makes them self-starters and innovators.â&#x20AC;? According to Hector-Amiwero, who noted that employees of Total E&P Nigeria Staff Cooperative Society had been trained by staff of JAN Nigeria on the entrepreneurial modules, said the training enabled them to transfer necessary skills to the various schools selected for the initiative. According to him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the entrepreneurial journey with students of Ekate Grammar School Lagos and Holy Rosary College, Port -Harcourt

kicked off in September and was concluded on the 22nd of October. â&#x20AC;&#x153;During our visits to classrooms, volunteers and role models, through a variety of experiential activities with the students, to help them better understand the relationship between what they learn in school and their successful participation in a global economy, were exposed to realities of 21st century with entrepreneurship as the driving force.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Junior Achiever Nigeria, Simi Nwogwugwu, expressed gratitude to the staff of Total E&P Cooperative society limited for working with them to raise future meticulous business leaders.


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Majolagbe: How Businesses Benefit from Freelancing The Head, Corporate Communications, TERAWORK, a freelance website where individuals or businesses can search and hire talented freelancers, Olutola Majolagbe spoke to Judith Obaze on the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations, the economy and others. Excerpts: and our system ensures that they get paid for every job they successfully deliver. All these give everyone who has marketable skills an opportunity to earn a living.

What is Terawork into and how long have you been in business? TERAWORK is into the business of connecting service providers or freelancers through our online market place with the people that need their services. TERAWORK is a freelance website where individuals or businesses can search and hire talented freelancers or sell freelance services including art and creative design, web design and digital marketing, social media marketing, technology and software programming, writing, business consulting, accounting, legal, virtual assistant, multimedia, fashion& lifestyle etc. TERAWORK freelance website was open to the public in December 2017. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like 12 months ago. Why did you decide to create this website? TERAWORK website was created essentially to solve two major problems that lots of people face. First, for individuals or groups of people with marketable skills who are willing to earn a living by taking freelance jobs, TERAWORK website was created so they can register freely, showcase and sell their services globally. TERAWORK ensures that they always receive payment for their works as long as they deliver quality jobs. Freelancing is an alternative to full-time employment, and this in a way tackles unemployment problem. Secondly, for individuals or businesses who face difficulties in getting the right, competent professionals to help them get their jobs done at the right time, and at the quality they want; for people who often feel vulnerable and live in fear of not getting values for their money when they try to engage someone for their jobs, TERAWORK is created so that they can conveniently search and hire top-quality freelancers to help them get their jobs done, without ever paying for poor quality jobs. Also, entrepreneurs and SMEs with lean budgets can search our website and hire freelancers for one-time, temporary or short-term roles, rather than committing themselves to employing regular staff that will eventually become redundant when the roles is no longer required. How has the response been so far and are more Nigerians searching for services online? We are gradually gaining traction as the number of people visiting and engaging freelancers on our website is gradually increasing. But we still have lots to do in terms of awareness, because there are so many people out there that will greatly benefit from hiring our freelancers or offering freelance services but are yet to come across us. What has been the challenges faced in the industry so far? One of the banes of online platforms is users fear when it comes to safety of their personal and card details, people feeling reluctant to enter their card details on some online sites, fearing that someone else apart from the website they visit might steal their details, gain unauthorise access to their bank accounts and steal from them etc. At TERAWORK we take security, safety and confidentiality of our usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; data paramount. We follow best practices in our website designs and change management, we build useful features and create options where possible to ensure that our users have nothing to worry about when they use our website to sell or buy freelance works. For example, our website uses secure http protocol with SSL certificate which encrypt our usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; data with the strongest available security and carries warranty worth hundreds of thousands of US Dollars to further protect their purchases. In addition, apart from making payment with local or international cards, our users can also make payment when ordering freelance jobs with Internet banking transfer or with our GiftCard. Another challenge is that while a lot of people practice freelancing in a way, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t consciously describe the act as freelancing and somehow, we all found the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;freelancingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; not as popular as we actually practice it. For example, what we call â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;side hustleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is actually a part-time freelancing.

How competitive are the charges by the freelancers and does the company charge a fee to be on the platform? Let me answer the second question first. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge freelancers to be on our platform. Freelancerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s registration is completely free. Equally, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge clients to register and use our platform. Their registration is also free. Now back to the first question. One of the values we give our freelancers is that we actively market the platform, their brands and their services, and that already takes some cost off them in a way. This enables our freelancers to be able to offer their services at a lesser cost, thereby extending the same values to clients that patronize them.

Majolagbe With continuous awareness this will change. Do you feel that our technology in Nigeria is improving as fast as other parts of the world? The use of technology in our processes is improving no doubt, but definitely not at the same pace with the western world countries. In the recent time If you observe you will see techie companies springing up more rapidly than ever, and existing companies are trying to be more efficient by introducing new technologies in one form or another in their processes. Nigerians are embracing technology because the values it brings are obvious; things get done faster, smarter and more efficiently, great conveniences for users, etc. This is one of the things that spurs us to create TERAWORK where we try to use technology to efficiently and effectively connect people with common interest, which is freelancing. What is freelancing, and do you think the Nigerian market is ready for freelancing? Freelancing simply means working on contract basis for variety of companies or individuals, rather that working as employee for a single company. So, a freelancer is a self-employed person who works or offers services to one or multiple clients â&#x20AC;&#x201C; individuals or companies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at a time. Also, like I describe earlier, there are people that are not full-time freelancers, who still keep a regular 9-to-5 jobs but are doing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;side hustlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in their free times. Freelancers have the liberty to set the time they want to work, and they get paid what they worth. With a platform like our website â&#x20AC;&#x201C; freelancing can be a great business model that let you get started with virtually no overheads â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need a website, we will give you one and showcase you to the world free of charge; you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need advertising, we will do that for you; you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to worry about whether your clients pay or not, as long as you deliver top quality work we will make sure you get paid etc. The word freelancing goes with a concept of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;gig economyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a situation or environment in which companies that have temporary positions contract independent workers or freelancers on short-term engagements â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for hours, days, weeks or a few months. So, anyone with marketable skills and does short-term jobs is freelancing. Nigeria is ready, Nigeria is already practicing freelancing, and side hustling if I may add. For example, we have a growing number of people today in Nigeria offering taxi service via service marketplace platforms like Uber and many individuals and companies are patronizing them. Also, more companies and people are looking to outsource some of their services like graphic designs, web and UI/UX designs, writing, software coding, SEO/SEM and social media accounts management, call centres, hardware support, events management etc. to freelancing. How fast is the Nigerian market moving at par with other foreign countries? As I mention earlier, we are not doing badly as

a country in terms of embracing new technology to solve some of the challenges we face, however, we are not moving as fast as most western countries. Take for example, approximately 55 million Americans, representing about 35 percent of their workforce, were freelancing as at 2016. One of the reasons freelancing gets popular there is because they use technology to drive and run it. There are many freelance websites in the US that connect companies and individuals with freelancers. They are bringing great values to both the freelancers, the companies and individual people that hire them. This gap is what TERAWORK is filling in Nigeria and Africa at large. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;TERAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in our name means trillion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; meaning through our website, trillions of freelance jobs will exchange hands between our freelancers and people that patronize them. Are there other competitors doing this already and what makes TERAWORK better? Yes, there are local and international competitors. However, what makes us better is that at TERAWORK, freelancer and clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; signups are free, secure and intuitive. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge our freelancers before they are listed for potential clients to see. Likewise, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge our clients before they interact with our freelancers. Unlike some of our competitors who only provide list of freelancers to potential clients, our website in addition provides features that enable freelancers and clients effectively manage their projects, communicate and securely share project files, handle payments efficiently etc. Also, we have dedicated customer support system and great documentation for timely resolution of problems, we have blog posts, helpful tips, news and usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; testimonials on our blog site. Also, we are conscious of the fact that people should like and trust our brand and we are trying our best to see that these happen. How have you been able to attract both freelancers and those seeking their services? First and foremost, signup is completely free for both freelancers and those seeking their services. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t charge any fee for freelancers and clients to interact, discuss their projects, negotiate price or specify and consent to quality level and requirements for their projects to be considered successful when the freelancers eventually deliver the projects. In addition, our clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; privacies are highly respected. No freelancer, in a bid to advertise their services, is allowed to send unsolicited messages to our clients. You know, that can be annoying most of the times. Our website has all the cool features and tools to give our clients great user experience. Also, everyone that signs up as a freelancer on our website practically gets their own branded ecommerce site with access to manage contents on their pages from the backend free of charge. Every freelancer receives their own branded e-commerce website hosted on with friendly, easy to remember URLs. All the tools they need to manage their projects are built into the system, made available to them,

What are the quality measures put in place to ensure 100 percent customer satisfaction? When clients order jobs from our freelancers, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t release payment to the freelancers until the freelancers deliver the jobs to the specifications they agreed with their clients, the clients confirm to us that they are happy with the quality of the job delivered by their freelancers, and the clients authorise us to release payment to their freelancers. With this arrangement, clients will never pay for poor work on our website; they will have 100 per cent refund of their payment once their freelancers fail to deliver their work at the quality they agreed before the work commences. In addition, we give opportunities to and encourage our clients to rate and write reviews about the freelancers that worked for them. Those reviews are published on our freelancersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pages so that everyone can see. Are there security measures put in place to protect both the freelancers and the potential buyers? Like I mentioned earlier, At TERAWORK we take security, safety and confidentiality of our users very paramount. We follow best practices when it comes to security. Our website uses secure http protocol with SSL certificate, i.e. https. This encrypt our usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; data with the strongest available security. It also carries warranty worth some hundreds of thousands of US Dollars to further protect their purchases as I mentioned earlier. Also, our website doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t store any of our usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; card details. Our payment gateway companies do, and they have all the relevant expertise, processes and certifications like PCIDSS etc, in place which the likes of companies like MasterCard and Visa etc. require and are comfortable with. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s further protections for our users. In addition, our users, both freelancers and clients have their own secure backend access to their accounts which only them alone have access to and as long as they keep their password secure no one else will have access to their private data. What are your future plans in remaining relevant by being more creative and innovative? Being creative and innovative is a journey and not a destination for us. Everyone in our team knows this and we are all committed to continuous improvement of our website and processes. The economy is currently going through a difďŹ cult patch, even after recession, do you think this stands as a threat or opportunity for the business? Most economies in the world are going or have gone through a difficult patch at one time or another, however, every challenge come with opportunity. Gig economy which makes freelancing popular is one of the way societies respond torealities of difficult moments. Freelancing helps entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals get things done faster and at a cheaper cost, while at the same time it also helps freelancers, vendors or service providers themselves get their businesses started with the lowest possible cost, thanks to all freelance website initiatives including TERAWORK.




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EDUCATION â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Govtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Poor Accountability, Creating Class among Students Breed Faulty Systemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; In this interview with Funmi Ogundare, the Vice-Chancellor of Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo, Delta State, Professor Timothy Olagbemiro decried the lack of proper accountability and monitoring of funds released for projects by government, and explained why private universities in the country should not create a class among children of the rich and poor, as such move will be a disservice to the system. Excerpts: practice to me is not necessary as it discourages the less privilege student with genuine desire to learn when he is constantly exposed to oppression and treated as a second class. The practice could thrive for the off campus system, but not within. So long as everybody is on campus, they should ensure that everybody learns at the same level and nobody will feel disadvantaged. Academic environment is meant to impart knowledge, creating a class within the system is very bad; a proud heart cannot learn anything. It brings enmity and hatred. The cafeteria is there for everyone to buy what they want within the same ambience. My conviction is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;let us bring them up togetherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

In terms of development, what level has Edwin Clark University (ECU) attained? In terms of development, ECU has not done badly and to the glory of God, the university is growing qualitatively and quantitatively. In addition to the take-off facilities, staff and students, we have been able to add functional laboratories such as the Language, Accounting, Business Studies, Economics and Mass Communication laboratories in the Faculty of Humanities, Social and Management Sciences. The university has also enhanced its science laboratories to include the Central Research Laboratories and the Equipment Maintenance Centre, all equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. As a full residency university, we have also added new hostels to the existing ones while some are still under construction. In terms of programmes, at take-off, the university had only 14, but today we now have 20 with Mass Communication, Sociology, History and International Studies, Biochemistry, as well as the Faculty of Agriculture, and that of Law. The university has also been blessed with quality human resources as our staff and student strength continues to grow steadily and from the goodwill of the Bayelsa State government, additional lecture and office complex is being constructed on campus while some other buildings are at various stages of construction. In the last three years, how would you describe the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research partnership with the industrial world? In line with the motto of the university, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Knowledge and Developmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, we are committed to the advancement of knowledge through research collaborations. We have just completed all structures that support our goals in this respect. The university has already submitted proposals to relevant agencies while a cross-section of senior academics are also collaborating with some oil industries in Delta and Rivers States in the areas of environment remediation and clean water technologies, community resilience and development, energy, carbon capture and storage. Are there plans for exchange programmes with foreign institutions? Right now we have linkages with Coventry University, UK and the University of Chicago, USA. Through these linkages our students could decide to take part of their courses at any of these institutions and this will count towards their graduation; they could proceed for their postgraduate studies and at the same time decide to widen their horizon through some other interactive activities that form part of the collaboration. Our staff members too could benefit from staff exchange opportunities inherent in these linkages. Currently, one of our staff is in Germany on scholarship which will ultimately lead to collaboration with the German University and on return, he will no doubt impact others too. Nigerian universities are said to be under resourced. In view of the recent resource evaluation visit by the NUC, do you share in this view? No university will tell you it is sufficient whether in Europe or Africa as they are constantly being renewed on a daily basis as more staff, programmes and students come in, so also there will be challenges for increased space and other facilities. Similarly, as a way of resource improvement, it is the duty of universities to motivate the teaching staff through sourcing for research grants which in turn will aid carrying out researches relevant to our contemporary dispensation. Apart from the above, assistance of this nature will encourage publication of articles and learned journals to aid scholarship and provision of appropriate enabling environment for knowledge advancement.

Olagbemiro What is your view about academic corruption in higher institutions in the country? All industrial settings have human components with their strengths and weaknesses. In all settings, we have the good, the bad and the ugly; academic institutions are no exemption. Every organisation has its own set of rules and regulations guiding its operation and for which its members are expected to comply as appropriate. Since staff are of different dispositions, we have the conformist and the non-conformist, therefore, you see some staff members misbehave because they feel they know better, they allow themselves to be tempted by ordinary material things. As an academic staff, you should be disciplined and contented. Besides, a university should be seen as a centre of discipline irrespective of status, either as a leader, teacher or a student, you must be disciplined. When people do not allow themselves to be disciplined, they fall into temptation, because they have a wrong sense of judgment to discern what is wrong from what is right. For instance, if someone plagiarizes and knows in his heart that the publication he is laying claim to is not his work. Why should such a person claim what belongs to another person? It is totally wrong; you cannot claim what you did not work for or copy something without giving credit to the author. As a lecturer that is being paid monthly salary but refuses to go to classes or teach, you have your children overseas or elsewhere but those under your nose, you refuse to lecture them, that is a wrong sense of judgment. Some staff do not have the fear of God, otherwise they would have stayed away from these ills. That is where some private universities come in. In ECU for instance, students must be given adequate attention and care. We have rules guiding staff and students. When you come to a private university like ours, you must discipline yourself and maintain the rules and regulations. In what ways can quality be interpreted at the tertiary level? Quality entails doing things right. In other words, quality output should manifest in all the assignments being handled in our tertiary institutions in terms of teaching (test and computation), administration and organisation. From what I have observed in most Nigerian universities, some

academic staff do not believe it is their duty to monitor students or be responsible for them whether in private, state or federal. Lecturers are responsible for the behaviour of their students. For us in private universities, to overcome that, we employ courtesy officers who are basically used to monitor studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; movement, attitude and behaviour on campus, including their dress code to ensure that they are compliant with the rules and regulations. Care for students is one of the key components of the duties of the staff in any tertiary institution. The moment the element of care is neglected, that is no doubt an invitation to chaos and a distortion of the peaceful coexistence that should pervade the campus. It is very important for students to have the right atmosphere to study to enhance learning. How has the university contributed to the development of the immediate community? Part of our duty here is to ensure that we serve the community where we are located. Though Kiagbodo is a small town, God has blessed her with a university and from history, any university town is bound to develop over time. As an institution, we interact with the community from time to time. Many of our junior staff are from Kiagbodo. Our staff members also live and transact their commercial activities in the community, just as members of the community have business outlets on campus rendering one form of service or the other. Members of the community actively participate in our remarkable programmes such as the Christmas Cantata; distinguish lecture series and other functions. These are some of the ways in which we foster town and gown relationship. By way of extension, the university has special provisions for the less privilege, the homeless in the community and they are also beneficiaries of our periodic evangelism programme. What is your view about institutions that create class among children of the rich and poor? I do not support this. When I was at Bowen University, the idea was suggested to me that we should allow students to have special hostel dedicated to the children of the rich, but I refused. I believe that in certain areas, all students should be made to pass through equal treatment. This

The government keeps establishing more universities without taking care of the existing ones, where did we get it wrong? I do not see any problem in establishing more universities at all levels because the existing universities do not have the capacity to absorb the teeming population of admission seekers. For instance, out of the 1,840,225 candidates that applied for admission in 2017, only 556,000 representing 26 per cent of the candidates were admitted into universities. What I see as not proper is the lack of accountability of funds government releases for projects, there is no transparency and proper monitoring of what is going on. It is the duty of government to monitor funds it released for projects from the commencement to final handover. Our universities are not adequately staffed. Establishing a university is a capital intensive project which may not yield any profit in the long run because ordinarily, it should be a cause and not a business venture. We keep on having ASUU strikes because the existing universities are not properly funded. In private universities within our limited resources, we make great exploits: For instance, when you go to Bowen University where I was the vice-chancellor for 10 years, the chapel, library and student hostels were my handwork. I like to build, equip and see students happy. That is the source of joy and why I enjoy my job as a vice-chancellor. At the end of your tenure in ECU as vice-chancellor, what do you want to be remembered for, and what is your view about issues in sustainability? One issue that is constant is change and the fact that man by nature is transient; times and trends do not remain forever. Hence, it has always been my zeal to act well my part in any given circumstance, for there the honour lies. The legacy I will like to leave behind is the value I have been able to add to students and staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives in all ramifications, within and outside the university system. This is because by the special grace of God, I have been fortunate to have the best of training both at home and abroad; and at the same time have been exposed to various forms of assignments as early as two years into my career in academics since 1972, having served virtually in various administrative and academic positions within the university system in Nigeria and outside Nigeria, and most importantly serving as vice-chancellor for a period close to 15 years now. That is why I am striving at all times to give back to the society through my stewardship. That is why I am highly committed to building physical and human resources of tomorrow. I would want to be referred to as a builder, who through the help of God who gave me the opportunity to serve, has been blessed to add value to mankind in whichever environment he finds himself as a man who dedicates his life to adding significant value to others for true transformation. On issues in sustainability, it is my duty to show and lead the way. Succeeding administration is expected to continue in the good works and structures on ground and should constantly strive to improve on them.


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Agbami Partners: Developing Youthsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Abilities in STEM Considering the need for youths to contribute towards the technological advancement of the country, the Agbami Partners, in collaboration with the Sustainability Centre, Lagos Business School recently held the Agbami STEM Symposium with the theme â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Teaching STEM in the 21st Centuryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Uchechukwu Nnaike reports The goals and developmental agenda of countries, including Nigeria are all tied to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) however the rate at which the goals are met varies from country to country based on the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investment in STEM education. The Nigerian government has been accused in various fora of not taking this important aspect of development seriously, as seen with the poorly equipped laboratories in secondary schools and tertiary institutions; as such the private sector has come in to salvage the situation in whatever capacity possible. One of such interventions is the Agbami STEM Symposium, which started in 2016 as an annual event to boost STEM education in the country. Speaking at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s symposium and exhibition with the theme â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Teaching STEM in the 21st Century: Current Trends, International Best Practices and Cross-Sector Actionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, the Director, Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, Mr. Richard Kennedy stressed that to succeed in this new information-based and technology-driven global society, Nigerian youths need to develop their capacities in STEM to levels far exceeding what was considered acceptable in the past. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics are undeniably some of the key subjects to study now because of the need for Nigeria to evolve the scientific and technological innovations needed to face the challenges of globalisation and build an evolving knowledge-based economy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More importantly, STEM education is directly linked to global competitiveness and future economic prosperity of our country,â&#x20AC;? he said. Kennedy added that the Agbami parties began investing in education in 2008 and have been playing significant roles in advancing STEM education. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have invested over N8.4 billion on the Agbami Medical and Engineering Scholarships (AMEPS), a merit-based programme, which targets capacity building for students of medical and engineering courses across the nation and this scheme has recorded an impressive total of 456 first class graduates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since inception, over 16,000 students from all states of Nigeria have benefitted from the AMEPS. The Agbami parties have also spent over N2.5 billion on education infrastructure

support since 2008. We have built, furnished and equipped 34 science laboratories and nine hybrid libraries across the country, which in addition to the benefits to the students, have also empowered several local community contractors during their construction.â&#x20AC;? In her remarks, the Academic Director, Lagos Business School, Mrs. Olayinka David-West, who explained why LBS is interested in STEM said most of the challenges in Africa and Nigeria are challenges that need local indigenous innovations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How do we create these innovations if our secondary schools are not developing the resources and the tools to help solve our problems, whether in terms of how we clean up our plastics, how we reuse things and we have seen different solutions and creativity come out of it so that is what we are aiming for in LBS.â&#x20AC;?

On the importance of STEM to students and teachers, she said Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics are foundational subjects to research and development, especially biological, natural and metaphysical research in general, adding that even the little things we do every day are all about chemical compositions. David-West there stressed the need to equip youths through STEM education to solve some of the problems confronting the society. Delivering the keynote address titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Role of Quality Education in Addressing the Sustainable Development Challenges in Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the CEO, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, Mr. Bankole Oloruntoba, emphasised the need for qualified teachers that would seek creative ways of teaching and making learning fun for students; as well as building studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; curiosity.

Sitting L-R: The Associate Dean, International University of Dundee, Professor Peter McEleavy; Emir of Bakura, Alhaji Bello Muhammad Sani; Professor in Global Energy Law and Sustainability (CEPMLP), University of Dundee, Raphael Heffron; Marketing and Communications Manager, University of Dundee, Mhari MacDonald and the alumni of the University of Nasarawa at a meeting held in the University of Nasarawa... recently

Afolabi, Tech-U Chancellor Old Girls Decry Parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Attitude to Discipline Endows Scholarship The Chairman of AMNI International Petroleum Development Company Limited, Chief Tunde Afolabi, who is the Chancellor of the First Technical University, Ibadan, has endowed a scholarship scheme to support brilliant but indigent students that cannot afford university education. Awarded through the Josephus Foundation, the scholarship is strictly meritbased and covers tuition, accommodation and other fees of beneficiaries who are newly admitted undergraduate and direct entry students of Tech-U, beginning from the 2018/2019 academic session till the end of their studies. Speaking during the presentation of letter of awards to beneficiaries, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami thanked the chancellor for his thoughtfulness and generosity. He said the university is committed to its vision of world-class institution fully grounded in entrepreneurial practices, unique innovation, sustainability science and international best practices for radical societal transformation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The essence of TechU is to raise the bar in tertiary education. This

As such, he called on school managers to take the training and welfare of teachers seriously so that they can perform better. He also encouraged students to be curious, go online and learn new things and explore their environment. He said there is need for Africans to embrace indigenous technology, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;African technology is not just about black magic, but we had things that worked for us over the years, but no one documented them. So if we can retrace ourselves back and see how we can look at the things we were doing in the past and make the best out of our technology and make thing happen for ourselves.â&#x20AC;? The event also featured STEM exhibition by secondary schools, as well as the presentation of prizes to winners of the quiz competition.

university was established to address the skills gap in the country and not to mass-produce unskilled certificate-wielding graduates, as it is in the country today. Here, our students are carefully baked to be outstanding entrepreneurs and innovators.â&#x20AC;? In addition to the Josephus Scholarship and the local government areas-backed scholarships available for top-flights students at the STEM-based institution, Salami noted that the management is commitment to providing more support schemes to enable students have a best-in-class, globally competitive education. Salami, a Professor of Space Application, encouraged the students to justify their selection by demonstrating excellent moral and academic performance during their course of study. Pioneer recipients of the scholarship were selected from diverse applicants through a keenly competitive aptitude test. The scholarship will be awarded annually to newly admitted (UTME, JUPEB and direct entry) students and could be held subject to satisfactory performance, for the duration of a beneficiaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programme of study.

Funmi Ogundare The President New Era Girls Secondary School Old Girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Association (NEGSSOGA), Dr. Iyabo Runsewe-Abiodun has bemoaned a situation where parents reprimand teachers for punishing their children for indiscipline. Runsewe-Abiodun, who made this known recently at the inauguration of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s project to commemorate its 70th anniversary, said the association observed that parents come to school to fight teachers over punishment, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is unacceptable. We cannot train anybody here without a level of discipline, so we have spoken to the parents and we will continue to speak to them to corporate with the teachers and the old girls association.â&#x20AC;? She also expressed displeasure with the practice of turning the school hall into a dancing hall for competition among the students during school hours on week days, saying that it is unacceptable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not saying they should not dance, Ms. Yeni Kuti who is also an old girl is a professional dancer, she is trained for something. We are not saying all of them should be doctors, engineers or lawyers, but they should be able to make an informed choice about it.â&#x20AC;? Commenting on the projects, Runsewe-Abiodun, who is a

Professor of Paediatrics, said when her administration came on board earlier this year, it had to conduct a needs assessment of the school through interactions with teachers, parents and students so as to address the challenges confronting it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know what it was and what it is now, but it is always better to know what they need. There was significant moral decadence and the attitude to work was not optimal. We came up with three thematic areas: improving the academic standard of the school; improving the moral standard; and the visibility because interestingly some people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that the school still exists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were areas where we felt government could be helped and decided that we will partner the government, parents teachers and students. Part of that was to ensure that when students come to school, they want to feel like coming back. So we felt that the environment must be attractive and we decided to pave the compound at a cost of N4.6 million which we have started; beautify the school and trained them not to walk on the lawn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In terms of academic standard, we hope to put up an alumni building which will have a room for guidance and counselling. We intend to recruit a retired officer that will come like twice in a week to engage the students.â&#x20AC;?

Olashore School Addresses Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Issues in Anniversary Play Oluchi Chibuzor Olashore International School, Osun State recently staged a play titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Etiti: All Eyes on Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, written by Chief Jimi Solanke as part of its silver jubilee celebration to address the contemporary issue of leadership. Staged in Osun, Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja recently, the play highlighted the inconsiderate leadership and self- centeredness of the elders of the community and the youthsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; protest of neglect and unemployment. The play preached good leadership from elders and those in possession of power. They are compelled to find out the problems of the people and provide solution to them because leadership is a business of facing problems and tackling them. It also x-rayed the reasons youths should embrace their culture of dressing, language, respect and values as opposed to adopting foreign cultures. Youths were also advised to harness their youthful energies to create jobs for themselves in order to enhance their future and stay clear from laziness. The play elucidated that both elders and youths in any community have a part to play to make that community work. The Principal, Mr. Derek Smith said the school decided

to stage the play because it is committed to developing Nigerian leaders for the 21st century by delivering quality all-round education that will offer students the opportunity to excel in academics, sports and performing arts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our commitment to academic excellence is demonstrated by children producing excellent results in external examinations. However, academic excellence is only one part of an Olashore education. Developing leaders for the 21st century is a key part of our mission statement and so we will also celebrate students who have excelled in activities that develop 21st century skills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These include debating, public-speaking and the ability to perform in high-pressure situations such as quizzes. In order to ensure that Olashore graduates are prepared for the 21st century, we have identified a number of core skills that students must develop during their time in secondary school. These include creativity, imagination, collaboration and communication. The performing arts provide an excellent platform to develop these skills.â&#x20AC;? The Chairman, Board of Governors, Prince Abimbola Olashore said the school believes in all-round education and drama fits into the key pillars.


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Foundation Trains 20 Youths on Commercial Helicopter Operations Udora Orizu in Abuja The Centre for Gender Equality, Education and Empowerment (CGEEE) has started the training of over 20 young Nigerians to become internationally certified commercial helicopter operators. The training of the youths from various states was spearheaded by the founder of the CGEEE, Timipre Wolo, under the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF) Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, Special Training and Educational Scheme, in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Speaking during a fund raising dinner for beneficiaries of CGEEE

Scholarship Initiative (CSI) in Abuja, Wolo said she initiated a pioneer job creation partnership with the private sector for an 18-month internship that culminated in the employment of 15 of the young budding pilots into positions hitherto held by expatriates, adding that they are all currently flying with some of the biggest IOCs in Nigeria. The beneficiaries include Tosin Ajibola from Kwara State; the first female helicopter pilot from Katsina State, Ruqayat Suleiman; and three other young women from Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa States. According the organisation, CSI was launched to target young

girls from rural communities, orphanages and internally displaced persons in IDPs camps to provide scholarships which cover tuition, books and welfare, including medicals, transportation, feeding, clothing and other incidentals. She said the rationale behind providing a comprehensive scholarship programme is to ensure that the girls remain in school, having become victims of circumstances they had no control over, adding that it is sad to note that these young girls who should ordinarily be in school are assigned the responsibilities of fending for themselves.

“As the federal government has directed that all IDPs return to the villages, the truth is most of them have nothing to go back to; so our concern at the CGEEE are the girls most of whom are being married off, molested, raped and in many cases end up with unwanted pregnancies. “CGEEE as part of its plan to expand the scope for women empowerment, also organised a mentorship initiative named Queen Arise, tagged ‘Discover, Believe, Take Charge’ to join hands with partners in creating opportunities and enabling environment for women to start, grow and thrive their businesses,” Wolo said.

The founder/CEO, Arise Women Foundation, Dr. Siju Iluyomade (right) and her team distributing free school bags to children at Kobi Village, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to encourage their mothers to send them to school under the Arise Goes to School Initiative (AGSI), in Abuja… recently

MBHS Principal Tasks Govt on Adequate Funding of Education Ogechukwu Obi The need for the federal government to adequately fund the country’s education sector so as to improve literacy among citizens has been reiterated. The Principal, Methodist Boys’ High School (MBHS), Lagos, Very Rev. Paul Olukunga, while speaking at an event to mark the 2018 International Literacy Day (ILD) in Lagos recently, condemned the FG’s allocation of less than 26 per cent of the national budget as recommended by UNESCO to education.

Speaking on this year’s theme, ‘Literacy and Skills Development’, Olukunga lamented that the under-funding of Nigerian education is felt in the area of poor quality of infrastructure, quality of teaching and learning processes, among others. “Now, the universities are on strike because they are not properly funded. Even the polytechnics and colleges of education are not left out of this challenge. There are incessant strikes because of poor funding of education. Even on the internet, you see students sitting on the floor while some study under

trees.” Stressing that adequate funding of education will reduce illiteracy level and change the people’s attitude for better, Olukunga added that it will also ensure that teachers are well remunerated, as well as see teaching and learning take place in a conducive atmosphere. Commending the PTA’s commitment by partnering the management for better delivery of quality education, the principal said ILD was meant to create awareness among secondary school students in Lagos and other parts of the country on

the need to embrace formal education, adding that education and literacy are important in every society. He said the school used the occasion to brainstorm on how students can excel in their studies. “We invite other schools to brainstorm on how to encourage other students to form good reading culture and to appreciate the importance of education in the society.” The Head of Department, Arts/Languages, Felix Umoh said illiteracy and poverty constitute a mutually reinforcing vicious poverty.

Baptist Academy Old Students ‘85-90 Sets Reunite Funmi Ogundare It was celebration all the way, weekend, as Baptist Academy Old Students’ Association (BAOSA) 85 to 90’ sets converged on the school hall in Lagos to mark its 2018 annual reunion. In their 40s and 50s, the men turned out with their family members gaily dressed in their white ‘agbada’ with matching caps to reconnect with their old classmates and friends who they have not seen in a long while.

Apart from discussing the projects the sets would execute at the school, the programme was also designed to celebrate their old principals and teachers who had impacted their lives, as well as some current students who have been punctual in school and played leadership roles with integrity. The Chairman of the association, Mr. Adedeji Popoola said: “We have decided to appreciate the grace of God upon our lives for making us to be alive. We understand that the journey

of life has been treacherous, it is only those that are alive that can praise God. What we have come to do is to celebrate ourselves and friendship and also celebrate a lot of people that impacted our lives. “We have known a lot of great people in our lives, but what I realize is that some of the best people we ever knew were the kids we grew up with and went through school with. In some fashion, we all helped shaped and influenced one another.”

He expressed hope that celebrating their old teachers and principals will be a regular activity, adding that the sets have decided to take up projects which include improving the infrastructure of the school’s pavilion, toilets and the hall. Popoola added that the sets plan to assist indigent students that are brilliant over the course of the year through scholarships, as well as inaugurate a welfare scheme for members of the association who are financially challenged.




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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Schools should Organise Mentorship Programmes to Aid Studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Devtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mrs. Loretta Onyia, the Principal Consultant, Lindell Global Resources, is the Consultant and Communication Manager of Central Emirates International Academy, Abuja. In this interview with Ugo Aliogo, she highlighted the importance of extra-curricular activities to studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; overall success Why did the school decide to organise the forthcoming boot camps and what does it hope to achieve? The schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision is to carry along every Nigerian child and sharpen them to greatness irrespective of their background, religion and social status. It strongly believes that mentorship programmes should be organised by schools to help the development of children. So when the school approached me that it wanted to organise an event and will love to have notable sports legends and artists to perform, I told the proprietress how expensive it will be to bring Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ex-football internationals such as Austin Okocha popularly known as Jay Jay Okocha and Tijani Babanginda, and one time winner of Big Brother Africa, but she insisted that she wanted the children to interact with them. The Nigerian child needs to know that it is possible to be like their role models, for that reason they must meet these individuals. That is how it all started. The school is going to run a three-day boot camp in Abuja and it can comfortably take about 1,000 children from nine to 22 years. There will be enough accommodation and feeding. We are inviting children with talents in singing, acting, sports and others for those three days. Let them come and kick the ball with Okocha and others. We have billboards in the six geopolitical zones for the event because we want the Nigerian child to excel and we feel the best way for these children to excel is to meet masters in a particular field. My relationship with the school makes me feel the passion they have for the education of every Nigerian child and the fact that there is still hopes for the development of education in Nigeria. This is a school that has the type of equipment that will amaze you. This is the first school that started training children on drone usage. It has a big drone centre open for children who are passionate about technology and ICT. Experts in ICT will come in to train them during the boot camp, even teach the children about coding. When was the school established? Central Emirates International Academy was established five years ago. The schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first set of WAEC students gathered last year with 100 per cent pass. In one of my interaction with the proprietress, she told me that there are so many dysfunctional children in the country that need help and the school has the capacity to take children as young as three years old. We have full boarding facilities even on holidays with matrons attending to children 24 hours. What have been the challenges in the past ďŹ ve years? The first challenge the school had to contend with was teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; quality. Our youths are extremely brilliant and intelligence, but when you want to balance the certification with the teaching practical, there is disconnect. That is why the school opened a full Montessori training centre to train teachers. The teachers are permanently on training every Saturday.

The school has good water treatment plant for safe drinking water and a bakery. These students are fed six times a day. When I look at the school and see things that have been done, I always thank God that in Nigeria we still have a school where students are given all-around education. Is the camp going to be an annual event? It is planned to become an annual event; we are going to be bringing different celebrities from different professions. Apart from the three celebrities invited, we have others line-up for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event. We have fantastic artists that are recognised internationally that will be with the children for painting and drawing exhibitions. We have people that will teach them different kinds of dance. It is going to be three days of fun and children will be fed at the camp. What will it cost a parent to register his/ her child? Multiple entry is N20,000 and single entry is N25,000. Parents can come with their children. There is accommodation for everyone and if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to stay you can come and go home after each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event.

Onyia We invite experts, and consultants in different fields to train the teachers. That has been the challenge but the school out- shadowed it and today we have quality teachers. We have been able to make History and Government compulsory for secondary school students. History is compulsory for the students whether they are in science or art class. In America for instance, from your first year you are compelled to study History. When a school owner takes such risks, it makes me respect the organization, their credibility and what they are doing for the Nigerian child because it is all about the child at the end of the day. Why are we sending our children to Europe and America because we want excellent and quality education for them? We have started A-Level class since January, 2018. We started our A-level and Foundation so that the students can start their second year programmes in any part of the world even in Nigeria. What more can you ask for. How affordable is the school fees? It is extremely affordable and we have an on-going scholarship programme; the last set of students who took WAEC, 65 per cent of them were on scholarship. We went round Abuja and neighbourhood, Anagada, a satellite town in Abuja to register children whose parents could not afford quality education. We advised them to give us their A students for us to train and prepare them for WAEC. We offer scholarships and our fees are extremely cheap and affordable for the middle class and low income earners. Why do you feel the proprietress has the passion in ensuring that every Nigerian

child has quality education? The proprietor said to me that whenever she travels to Europe and America, she observes how American children do things. She said imagine a child of 12 coding, playing musical instruments in an amazing manner, a child of eight years being patriotic about his/her nation, writing history that is unbelievable. She said our children can do it but the only reason our children cannot do it is because they cannot afford the school fees that worth millions of naira which makes her uncomfortable. A nation that children are not fully educated and they do not have the opportunity to receive an all-round education. What will happen to such nation? She resolved that she would want to be remembered for giving the Nigerian child an all-round education; giving the Nigerian child global education that will make the child stand out in any part of the world with confidence to excel. How does the school get funds considering the number of students on scholarship, is it getting any government support? We have not gotten any government support or sponsorship from private organisations, but Hassan always tells me to leave a legacy that transforms a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. She is happy that she has been able to leave a legacy that is going to outlive her. We have a centre where children can learn coding, science and engineering. We have a Montessori centre for our teachers, and ICT centre with almost 600 laptops. We have a fully stocked library. Apart from Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratory, we also have laboratory for every subjectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s practical. We have almost 18 laboratories and enough space. We have two big stadium of international standard.

What is your advice to parents and guardians? The world is a global village; it is getting smaller every day and one cannot hide. Parents should give their children an all-round education. An all-round education means that the child should not get stuck with only academic works. The child should have an opportunity to learn everything positive from sports, art and culture. Every child has a talent, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s discover their talents before they turn 15. Take your child to a school with all activities and not all about academics. Are you satisďŹ ed with the standard of education in the country? The standard of some government schools is unsatisfactory. I feel that not much attention is being paid by government to meet the educational needs of the present generation. The structure of the system is that if you cannot afford quality education, you go to public schools. It is all criminal. We need to remodel our students before they go out into the world of work. I recruit and I know what we go through during the recruitment. We have to re-train 95 per cent of them. What will you advice government to do? Manpower training is key; once a teacher is trained, he should have passion for he is doing and understand the future of the children they are teaching, and then there will be a total turnaround of mind-set and orientation. That is why at Central Emirates International Academy, we are regularly training our teachers every week. Teaching is a passionate job you must love it and be excited about it. We cannot have fantastic buildings, equipped laboratories; buy books for our libraries without the right manpower.

Babcock Varsity Matriculates 2,998 Students No fewer than 2,998 students comprising undergraduates and postgraduates filed out recently to take the oath of allegiance at the 20th matriculation ceremony of Babcock University, IlishanRemo, Ogun State. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ademola Tayo said since its inception in 1999, the institution has become a pace-setter in university education in the country, earning a reputation as a global brand. According to him, since 2015 till date,

it has consistently won the Global Brand Award (education category) at the World Branding Forum at Kensington Palace, London. He welcomed the students to the institution, saying that their oath of allegiance marked the beginning of their journey of success in life, to become outstanding leaders of thought, professionals and distinguished professors in their chosen fields. Tayo said he was seeing before him leaders with a

difference that will turn the nation around for success, adding that the institution will give them the needed support to achieve this goal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Therefore, refuse to join others in the larger society who will always prefer to cut corners,â&#x20AC;? he said, while admonishing parents to collaborate with the university to make the best out of their children both academically and spiritually. The VC said Babcock University was founded on the golden principle of

leadership through Christian education with the vision to transform lives, including absolute regard for excellence in teaching, research and service delivery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are thankful to God for making us to be who we are, to achieve what we have so far achieved. We are equally thankful to our parents for your support and contributions,â&#x20AC;? he said. In the recently released Nigerian Bar result of the Nigerian Law School, he said the institution produced four

first class students with 100 per cent pass, thus emerging one of the best universities in Nigeria running law programme having emerged the best in the Law School examinations in 2015, 2016 and third best in 2017. According to him, the Cardiovascular Centre of Babcock University Teaching Hospital has offered opportunities to hundreds of Nigerians whose lives could have been cut short due to heart-related problems and has so far performed

successful heart surgeries on over hundred patients referred to the centre within and outside the country. He assured parents of the matriculants that the institution is determined to change the ill fortune of the education sector in Nigeria, adding that it is one of the reasons why products of the institution are occupying positions of prominence in the country and winning awards in internationally recognised institutions abroad.


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Call for Efficient Waste Disposal Mechanism in Osun Waste disposal operators in Osun State have called on Governor Isiaka Oyetola to ameliorate the indiscriminate disposal of waste in the state, Yinka Kolawole writes


rising from an emergency meeting over the indiscriminate disposal of waste littering major towns and cities across the state, Waste Disposal Operators, who are grouped by government as Private Sector Partnership (PSP) in Osun State have urged Governor Isiaka Oyetola and the good people of the state to hold the General Manager of the Osun State Waste Management Agency (OWMA), Mr. Ganiyu Oyeladun, accountable for the abysmal state of the environment. The emergency meeting was convened to deliberate on urgent issues of concern including the recent statement credited to the GM in a press interview, where he blamed the PSP for the growing heaps of refuse in nook and crannies of towns and cities across the state. Refuting his claims, they said Oyeladun's outburst was diversionary and far from the truth. Absolving their group of any blame, the operators said Oyeladun, who doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on environment and sanitation should be honourable enough to accept responsibility for his actions and inaction in office instead of passing the buck and giving the dog a bad name, all in a bid to allegedly curry favour and to perpetuate himself in office.

Complaints The waste disposal operators explained that â&#x20AC;&#x153;the truth of the matter is: there are not enough waste disposal trucks across the state including Osogbo, the state capital as almost all the ones purportedly imported by government from China and authorised for use, have broken down one after the other, some for a period of two to three years, while the very few ones are epileptic in their operation, contrary to claims by the duo of former Special Adviser on Environment and Sanitation, Bola Ilori and Oyeladun that all the imported waste disposal trucks are functioning well. "The present situation is as a result of the deteriorating condition of the open lorries with which the PSP members improvise to dispose waste in order to keep their job. This we hope to overcome soon. Osun State is in dire need of quality garbage trucks that are not too difficult to maintain. "Also, the environmental policy of the state needs to be reviewed to make the Osun State Waste Management Agency purely a regulatory body rather than co-participant in the business of evacuation of disposal of waste to reduce government spending. There is also an urgent need for the establishment of dump sites in cities where non-existed, Osogbo is badly in need of one or two dump sites to cater for OtaEfun-Kelebe axis as well as Iludun-Ilesa garage axis to ensure effective service delivery and to complement the only dump site at Onibu-eja on Iwo road catering for the entire Osogbo and its environs. "Also, the sanitation situation cannot also be divorced from Mr. Oyeladunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s I-know-it-all mentality and his insensitivity to persistent complaints by the PSP on the substandard waste disposal trucks, the lack of spare parts for the trucks as well as failure on the part of the suppliers of the 61-no trucks, Hanfirqul Nig Ltd, to fulfil their promise to construct a standard workshop for regular maintenance of the trucks. Two of our members have already gotten High Court judgement in their favour on issues of administrative recklessness while similar cases are pending in court. "Another contributing factor to the growing indiscriminating dumping of refuse is the lack of resources and political will by OWMA to continue the aggressive sensitisation of the public on the need to embrace hygiene and to ensure enforcement of law on environmental sanitation to discourage bad habit." The waste disposal operators further deplored the rivalry between OWMA and the (PSP) citing the preference being given to OWMA drivers over PSP members who are often made to wait for hours before taking their turn to offload waste at the only central dump site. They also accused OWMA of short-changing PSP members by operating and collecting refuse

One of the indrisciminate dumpsites

Another dumpsite bills in cluster areas originally meant for them and subjecting waste disposal operators to arbitrary levies, sometimes for the maintenance of dump sites which, they believe, was budgeted for by

There is also an urgent need for the establishment of dump sites in cities where nonexisted, Osogbo is badly in need of one or two dump sites to cater for Ota-Efun-Kelebe axis as well as Iludun-Ilesa garage axis to ensure effective service delivery and to complement the only dump site at Onibueja on Iwo road, catering for the entire Osogbo and its environs

Governor Isiaka Oyetola government in desperate attempt to frustrate them out of business The GM was also accused of threatening waste disposal operators to establish their individual dump site, independent of government or be sacked for alleged act of sabotaging.

Demands Asides the above listed complaints, the PSP operators demanded that the GM should explain the love-hate relationship between him and the special team on enforcement of sanitation laws led by Mr. Biodun Fatunsin, to the extent that the team is no longer as effective as it used to be in years past." The waste disposal operators also challenged Oyeladun to tell the public the condition of about 10 of the imported garbage trucks earmarked by OWMA for use as backup in times of need like this. They also urged him to also tell the public why another 10 trucks are allowed to rot away in a government facility since the last five to six years without minding the economic implications. Similarly, they said the public would like to know what has become of the heavy duty trash compactor lorries inherited from the defunct Oyinlola administration and why was the minor mechanical problems not fixed to increase the fleet.

Appeal to Waste Operators The chairman of the association of waste

disposal operators in the state, Mr. Wale Olayemi, who presided over the meeting, expressed confidence that the PSP has come to stay despite antagonism by government officials and has appealed to members of the group to source for funds to procure durable trucks for their operations. Olayemi also sympathised with residents of Onibu-eja and it environs for the inconveniences they suffer on account of playing host to the dump site and urged government to expedite action on the relocation of the dump site to a more suitable location Addressing the meeting, a member of the group, Alhaji Salman Akano said environmental sanitation and beautification should be private-sector driven to enable government to save money for other projects and to cut cost. He counseled the state to borrow from best practices in some states and elsewhere to use environmental sanitation to create wealth and to provide employment. While giving kudos to the former governor for the PSP empowerment program, the first time in the history of the state, urged government like Oliver Twist, to help to increase the capacity of the group for optimum performance. Also congratulating Alhaji Isiaka Oyetola on his recent elevation as governor of the state, they wished him a successful tenure, just as they assured him of their cooperation and support in piloting the affairs of the state.


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AirForce Logistics Command Holds Regimental Dinner In compliance with the directives of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Logistics Command on Friday, November 30, held it's end of the year regimental dinner night. Traditionally, regimental dinners are held to increase regimentation and foster comradeship among senior and junior officers. The event which took place at the Nigerian Air Force Office's Mess (NAFOM), Ikeja, Lagos, witnessed encouraging numbers of NAF personnel, officers from other sisters services and head of some

governmental organisations. In his remarks, the guest of honour, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mike Iloenyosi (Rtd), stated that regimental dinner is a formal dinner that affords military officers both seniors and juniors to interact among themselves, remind themselves of the traditions in the military and at same time exchange ideas. He added that it's an event that promotes the spirit of oneness and comradeship among officers. While speaking, the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Remigus

&LFI BMTPCVUUSFTTFEUIBUUIF regimental dinner is a military traditions and that is why the CAS on assumption of office came up with a vision and his vision has key drivers and one of it is regimentation. "That is why event like these are being organised in order to achieve his vision" he said. "DDPSEJOH UP &LFI  UIF chief of air staff directed that commands and formations within NAF should commence quarterly regimental dinner night so as to reinstall the spirit of oneness and comradship among officers needed for professionalism in the military.


SECURITY TIPS (PART 32) ...Security arrangement for campaign and rallies towards 2019 election includes (ii) r"MM1PMJUJDBM1BSUJFTBSFIFSFCZBEWJTFEUPBCJEFCZUIF&MFDUPSBM"DU  BTBNFOEFE BOE*/&$(VJEFMJOFT BOEQMBZUIFHBNFBDDPSEing to the rules. They are to prevail on their flag bearers, members, supporters and fans not to engage in any act or conduct that can incite violence or disturbance of public peace anywhere in the country during the campaigns and beyond. r5IFDPNNJTTJPOFSTPGQPMJDFJOUIFDPNNBOETBOE;POBM"TTJTUBOU *OTQFDUPST(FOFSBMPG1PMJDFUISPVHIPVUUIFDPVOUSZBSFVOEFSTUSJDU JOTUSVDUJPOTPGUIF*OTQFDUPS(FOFSBMPG1PMJDFOPUUPUPMFSBUFBOZ form of political thuggery, intimidation, demonstration of violent conducts and over dramatization of political fans that can precipitate political clashes and jeopardize prevailing peace in their commands from any political party or politicians. r$PNNJTTJPOFSTPG1PMJDFBSFUPFGGFDUBSSFTUBOEJNNFEJBUFMZQSPTecute any party member or supporters in possession of firearms or dangerous weapons during political campaigns and rallies in their respective states. SOURCE: Police Force Heaquarters, ABUJA

EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR IMO STATE POLICE COMMAND B 1PMJDF$POUSPM3PPN/PTPS C $PNNJTTJPOFSPG1PMJDF D %FQVUZ$PNNJTTJPOFSPG1PMJDF "ENJO  E %FQVUZ$PNNJTTJPOFSPG1PMJDF 4$**% F %FQVUZ$PNNJTTJPOFSPG1PMJDF 0QT  G "SFB$PNNBOEFS0XFSSJ H "SFB$PNNBOEFS0SMV I "SFB$PNNBOEFS0LJHXF J 1PMJDF1VCMJD3FMBUJPOT0Gà DFS *NP4UBUF SOURCE: Imo State Police Command The guest of honour, Air Vice Marshal Mike Iloenyosi (Rtd) and Air Oï¬&#x192;cer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Remigus Ekeh (middle) ï¬&#x201A;anked by other oï¬&#x192;cers at the regimental dinner


AVM Mike Iloenyosi (Rtd), receiving a gift from AVM Remigus Ekeh

KNOW YOUR POLICE OFFICERS (2) The Lagos State Police has released an update on police stations in the state that have Family Support Units (FSUs)/Gender Unit/Juvenile Welfare Centre (JWC) and phone numbers to reach them on. 1.Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island 09062887864 2. Isokoko 09062887856 3. Ilupeju 09062887848 4. Festac 09062887841 5. Alakuko 09062887861 6. Badagry 09062887852 7. Ajah 09062887849 8. Ikorodu (Igbogbo) 09062887858 9. Ketu 09062887866 10. Ikotun 09062887870 (FOEFS%FTL 1PMJDF$PNNBOE  (3" *LFKB%JWJTJPOBM1PMJDF4UBUJPO 09062887863 13. JWC Alakara 09062887859 SOURCE: Lagos State Police Command

Some oï¬&#x192;cers at the regimental dinner





South Africa Exits Recession Ugo Aliogo ĂĄĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?ĂŁ Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x17E; Farms and factories dragged South Africa out of its first recession in almost a decade, data showed on Tuesday, as the economy grew by more than expected in the third quarter. The positive data was a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has pledged to re-start growth after a decade of stagnation under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy expanded 2.2 per cent in the third quarter from the second, snapping out of recession after a revised 0.4 percent contraction in the previous quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed. The rand added to early gains, advancing to a session-best

13.5600 per dollar at 0935 GMT from an open at 13.6150. The economic expansion will also ease fears of credit downgrades deeper into non-investment territory following warnings by agencies about the economy. All of the top three ratings firms have cited weak growth as a major threat. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted a 1.6 percent expansion. Manufacturing expanded 7.5 percent, agriculture grew 6.5 percent. Mining contracted 8.8 percent, however. Last month, the central bank cut its 2018 growth forecast to 0.6 percent, a touch lower than Treasuryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 0.7 percent forecast in the October budget. Analysts said they expected the recovery to continue into 2019, but that recent electricity

outages by ailing power utility Eskom posed a threat. Eskom implemented a sixth day of controlled power cuts on Tuesday, putting more strain on the economy and raising fears of the blackouts a decade ago that reduced GDP by about 1 percent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In all, the data confirms our view that the South African economy is recovering,â&#x20AC;? said chief Africa economist at Standard Charted Razia Khan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Renewed load shedding is a source of downside risk.â&#x20AC;? An analyst at NKC African Economics Elize Kruger said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The result was in line with our forecast of 2 percent quarter-onquarter, which is good news and also means the 0.7 percent growth forecast for full-year is still on track.â&#x20AC;?

L-R: Chief Investment Officer, Sigma Pensions, Mr. Pobina Yinkare; Executive Director Operations, Mr. Afolabi Folayan; MD/CEO, Mr. Dave Uduanu; Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Michael Orekaya and Head Internal Control, Emmanuel Eje, during Sigma Pensionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Walk-to-Liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; held in Abujaâ&#x20AC;Śrecently

Applications for 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme Opens Jan 1 The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) will begin accepting applications for the fifth cycle of its entrepreneurship programme from January 1, 2019. 1,000 selected applicants are expected to join the current 4,470 beneficiaries of the programme. Since 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the only African-funded entrepreneurial catalyst of its kind â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has empowered 4,470 African entrepreneurs, with seed capital of $5,000 each; 12 weeks of accelerated online business training; access to experienced mentors; and membership of Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem. Beneficiaries of the programme have been profiled in global media, including the Forbes (Africa) 30 Under 30 list. They have attracted the attention of investors, as well as have been recipients of awards, including the Google Impact Challenge

and the Chivasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Ventureâ&#x20AC;? Award for Social Entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurship programme has facilitated exchanges between African entrepreneurs and local and global public sector leaders, investors and development partners, raising their business profiles, scaling their opportunities, showcasing their innovation and identifying ways to further strengthen the business environment in Africa. In June 2018, the Foundation convened a forum with President Emmanuel Macron of France and young African entrepreneurs. In October 2018, the Foundation was proud to have President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya address the gathering of young African entrepreneurs at the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum. The Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investment, impact and commitment to advancing entrepreneurship is predicated on the belief that

Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entrepreneurs hold the key to unlocking the potential of the continent and facilitating the transformation of Africa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this objective, the Tony Elumelu Foundation launched the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, its US$100 million flagship programme to identify over a period of 10 years, 10,000 African start-ups and entrepreneurs, with ideas that have the potential to transform the African continent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Its goal is to invest in businesses that together can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa,â&#x20AC;? a statement explained. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries, who run businesses based in Africa that are less than three years old. Business ideas that are yet to launch are also encouraged.

Akinwuntan Calls for Collaboration to Enhance Digitisation in Africa Nume Ekeghe The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, has called for more collaboration between governments, private sector businesses and fintechs to collaborate more to evolve a digitalised continent. He made this call yesterday, at the Africa Fintech Festival in Lagos, where representatives of African fintechs experts and representatives from various African countries gathered to deliberate on how to drive to transform, enable and facilitate continental technology drive. Akinwuntan said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Africa

is a vast continent with great potential to be realised. We have over 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of $1.5 trillion and an economy where over 95 per cent of transactions are conducted in cash, which offers a tremendous opportunity that we can harness via digitisation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Furthermore, there are over 444 million unique mobile phone subscribers and consumers spend upwards of $1.4 trillion annually. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These ubiquitous mobile devices are the obvious tool to unleashing the power of digital across our continent and with the rising penetration of

mobile broadband there are more possibilities ahead.â&#x20AC;? He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The opportunities in Africa, the real challenge is to have a change of mind-set and the will is to actually exceed our expectations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So when people talk about infrastructure challenges, we should be remembering the ubiquity of the mobile phone and the ability now to reach every household with services in various segment be it identification, security, economic advancement, health, sports and more, we have the power to connect everyone, we have that in Africa today.â&#x20AC;?

CBN Opens December Sale with $210m In its first intervention in the foreign exchange market for December, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected the sum of $210 million in the inter-bank foreign exchange market. Authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises

(SMEs) and the invisibles segments were allocated the sum of $55million each. The CBN Director in charge of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures and restated the Bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resolve to meet genuine customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; request in the various segments of the market especially in the preceding period of the yuletide and in the New Year.

The Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while delivering the annual lecture of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos, on Friday, had warned speculators not to bet against the naira. Despite the uptick in the exchange rate last week, Emefiele said the Bank had enough reserve to defend the naira.



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 ËžĂ&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă?Ě&#x2039;

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 $60.64 a barrel on Monday, compared with $58.33 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




Stock Market Pares Losses as Investors Swoop on Banking Stocks Goddy Egene The equities market rebounded yesterday after opening the week on the bearish note on Monday due to bargain hunting in banking stocks. The market, which shed 0.24 per cent the previous day, pared losses yesterday for the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index to appreciate by 0.68 per cent to close at 31,007.25. Similarly, the market capitalisa-

tion appreciated by 0.68 per cent to close at N11.32 trillion. Bargain hunting in banking stocks propelled the rebound as investors swooped of UBA, GTBank, FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Zenith Bank plc among others. In all, 24 stocks appreciated, while 14 depreciated. AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Diamond Bank Plc the price gainers with 9.8 per cent apiece trailed by University Press Plc



with 7.5 per cent. United Bank for Africa Plc added 6.6 per cent, just as Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc went up by 4.1 per cent. GTBank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc chalked up 3.7 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. Conversely, Linkage Assurance Plc led the price losers with 9.6 per cent, followed by Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc with 9.0 per cent. May & Baker Nigeria Plc and Mutual Benefits





Assurance Plc shed 8.0 per cent each. Other to price losers were: Regency Alliance Insurance Plc (4.7 per cent); Lafarge Africa Plc (4.4 per cent). The cement manufacturing firm, yesterday announced plans to raise N89.2 billion from the market through a rights issue. LASACO Assurance Plc and ABC Transport Plc were also among the price losers, shedding 3.5 per cent apiece.



Meanwhile, activity level fell as volume and value traded declined by 20.5 per cent and 22.2 per cent respectively to close at 198.5 million shares and N2.1 billion respectively as against 249.73 million shares and N2.115 billon the previous day. The top traded stocks by volume in yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s session were FBN Holdings Plc (63.9 million units), Access Bank Plc (23.2 million units) and ETI (16.5 million units) while the


top traded stocks by value were FBN Holdings (N479.3 million ), GTBank Plc (N407.3 million), and ETI (N263.6 million). In terms of sectoral performance was mixed as two sectors tracked closed in the green, two in the red while one closed flat. Due to the buying interest in banking stocks, the NSE Banking Index got the highest appreciation of 2.6 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index went up by 0.7 per cent.

0 4 / 1 2 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS





THISDAYt8&%/&4%":%&$&.#&3Ď ċĉĊđ

T H I S D AY ËžË&#x153;Í˝Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚͜



Lafarge Africa Shops for N89bn from Existing Shareholders Goddy Egene Lafarge Africa Plc yesterday announced plans to raise N89.21 billion from existing shareholders through a rights issue. In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Lafarge Africa said the final decision to raise the additional funds was taken at the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s board meeting held on Monday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Following the resolution of our shareholders passed

at the extra- ordinary general meeting(EGM) held on the 25thSeptember 2018, the board of directors has approved the terms of the Rights Issue. Lafarge Africa Plc will raise N89.21billion by way of a rights issue at N12.00 per share, by issuing six new shares for every seven shares held by shareholders at the qualification date, which will be announced,â&#x20AC;? the company said. The board of the company last September got shareholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

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

nod to raise additional capital. And in order to create shares to accommodate future issuances, the directors equally asked for the authorised share capital of the company be increased from N5 billion to N10 billion by the creation of 10 billion, additional ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, ranking pari passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares of the company and that the new shares thus. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Lafarge Africa Plc,

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 0312-2018, unless otherwise stated.

Mr. Bruno Bayet, had said the company has a refinancing plan that is aimed at preparing it for future development in Nigeria, improving the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leverage as well as strengthen its profitability. Hence, the proposed N89.21 billion right issue subject to all corporate and regulatory approvals. Speaking at the EGM, Chairman of Lafarge Africa, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The additional capital to be raised

will further help to deleverage the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s balance sheet and provide head room for the expansion of our business.â&#x20AC;? According to him, the board of directors is mindful of the support of all our shareholders through the difficult but necessary journey to transform the company into a more agile and correctly financed business ready to benefit from the potential opportunities in Nigerian building materials (market).

He also assured shareholders that restructuring of the capital structure of the company largely completed through the past year would help to significantly reduce the cost of financing and currency translation risk. Balogun added that the company is implementing a new route-to-market initiative aimed at supporting the anticipated growth in demand as the country gradually recovers from recession and as foreign exchange rates stabilise.

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 158.83 160.16 -10.43% Afrinvest Plutus Fund 100.00 100.00 11.00% Nigeria International Debt Fund 274.26 275.83 18.66% 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 1.06% ACAP Income Funds 0.63 0.63 6.87% 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 12.45% AIICO Balanced Fund 2.21 2.23 -3.81% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 16.39 16.88 -10.29% ARM Discovery Fund 353.61 364.27 -9.11% ARM Ethical Fund 28.20 29.05 3.22% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.68% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 130.09 131.00 -14.24% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.28% 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 13.46% Paramount Equity Fund 11.47 11.77 3.47% Women's Investment Fund 101.06 103.66 0.43% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.24% Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 94.33 94.46 Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 97.67 98.03 CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.37% Coronation Balanced Fund 0.84 0.85 Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.16 1.16 10.27% EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A N/A N/A N/A EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B N/A N/A N/A FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,169.56 1,170.32 11.47% FBN Heritage Fund 140.01 141.19 0.38% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.61% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $112.22 $112.61 3.09% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $111.93 $112.32 2.94% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 145.94 148.00 -8.11% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.20 1.22 -6.99% Legacy Debt Fund 3.22 3.22 11.30% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.02 1.02 2.39% 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 2,935.21 2,963.69 -1.69% Coral Income Fund 2,737.19 2,737.19 11.81% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Nigeria Entertainment Fund N/A N/A N/A 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 100.00 100.00 12.05%

Vantage Balanced Fund 2.14 2.16 1.48% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.46% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 123.51 123.69 7.30% 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 1.19 1.22 4.26% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,089.22 1,089.22 12.78% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 11.13 11.22 -14.01% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.25% 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 11.61% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.11 12.17 9.68% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.73% 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 127.32 127.74 -1.84% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.69 1.69 13.82% 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 2,302.03 2,316.88 4.76% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 188.27 188.27 8.12% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.95 0.96 -5.45% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 245.35 245.39 13.68% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 159.74 161.54 -10.81% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.86% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 8,443.14 8,545.61 -11.21% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.10 1.10 6.82% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Bond Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Eurobond Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Wealth for Women Fund N/A N/A N/A ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 11.11 11.26 -8.25% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.15 12.25 -5.97% Zenith Income Fund 20.59 20.59 11.60% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.29%


NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

9.00 139.49 51.55

-20.11% 5.31% 1.42%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

10.29 115.47 87.84

10.39 117.91 89.49

-13.09% -19.16% -19.59%

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 Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

3.99 7.26 14.48 12.34 140.91

4.03 7.34 14.58 12.54 142.91

-15.77% -24.07% -17.01% -37.07% 4.91%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn



SPECIALIST FUNDS 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.


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Security, Human Trafficking and Int’l Law: The Conflict between National Interest and Inhumanity


he Nigerian Society of International Law (NSIL) held its 41st Annual Conference on “Security, Human Trafficking and International Law” on Thursday, 22nd and Friday 23rd November, 2018 at the Great Benin Prestige Hotel, Benin City, Edo State. Mr. Godwin Noghaghase Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, who by virtue of this position, is one of the Patrons of the NSIL, played host to the conference. He was represented at the conference by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Professor (Mrs) Yinka Omorogbe, who also was the First Vice President and newly elected President of the Society. The conference was structured into three main parts: Taslim Elias Moot Court Competition, working sessions, and Annual General Assembly. The moot court competition took place on the sidelines of the working sessions and was specially organised in honour of the late Professor Michael Ayodele Ajomo, former president of the NSIL. True, the moot competition was quite interesting for many reasons: First, it is a moot. The actors are not real. Secondly, four universities participated in the concluding stage of the competition and they all showed very scholarly competence. The contesting institutions are University of Uyo, whose team was led by their lecturer, Essang Edemunoh Asuquo, A.E. Nkereuwem Akpabio and Aniekan Emmanuel Udo-Okon, who led the arguments; Afe Babalola University, led by Hillary Okweguali, the lecturer, and James Favour Nkiru and Ukomadu Chijioke, the debaters; University of Ilorin, led by Dr. Azubike Onuora-Oguno, the lecturer, Opeoluwa Sanni and Haroon Ibrahim, the debaters; and Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, led by Emmanuel Aigbe, lecturer, Omonhe Jennifer Osedebamen and Fasika Ayomikun Samuel, the debaters). It is assumed that there is a dispute between the Republic of Belia and Republic of Akeria and the moot court was required to look into the misunderstanding. The court was presided over by Honourable Justice Oluwakayode-Ola Ogunjobi, Justice of the High Court, Lagos Judiciary. Dr. Debo Olagunju and Dr. Asikia Karibi-Whyte were other two members of the moot court. The issues for determination by the court were: whether Akeria is in violation of the international law on the basis of the rule of pacta sunt servanda; whether the agreement of 1975 concerning migrant workers is not binding on Akeria; whether the Boundria Declaration of 1975 is binding on Akeria; whether Akeria is in breach of the Constitutive Act of the African Union; whether Akeria is in breach of customary international law of uti possidetis juris; and whether the measures taken by the Government of Belia, its agents and/or representatives on the Islands of Isakab are not in violation of international law. For purposes of objectivity, the four contestants were not identified by the names of their universities. They were simply identified as Team 1 (Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma), Team 2 (University of Afe Babalola, Ado Ekiti), Team 3 (University of Uyo), and Team 4 (University of Ilorin). There were two preliminary debates and the four teams were divided into two groups for purposes of convenience. In the two preliminaries, Team 3 obtained 912 points, followed by Team 4 with 818 points, Team 2 with 754 points and Team 1 with 697 points. In terms of memorials, Team 4 led with 154 points, followed by Team 3 with 152 points, Team 2 with 139 points, and Team 1, with 132 points. In overall total points, Team 1 was the 4th best (Ekpoma) with 829 points. Team 2 (ABUAD) was 3rd best with 893 points. Team 4 (Ilorin) was second best. Team 3 (Uyo) was the best of the best and the winner, with 1,064 points. Regarding the working sessions, the theme of discussion was structured into four sub-themes: security implications of international migration; investigation and prosecution of international crimes; human trafficking and armed conflict; and human rights implication of human trafficking. What is obvious as a challenge to be addressed in the four sub-themes are international migration, international crimes, and human trafficking. Explained differently, how do we relate the problems of international migration, international crimes and human trafficking to international law, and particularly to human rights? This question reminds one of the slaughtering of a Saudi Arabian journalist, Kashoggi in the diplomatic premises of Saudi Arabia in Turkey, more specifically, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The killing of any journalist is abnormality and most unacceptable. If a journalist dies by accident, or killed during the exercise of his or her duty, God is there to forgive. However, if a journalist holds an opinion, favourable or not to Government, and he is not only killed, but killed very brutally, questions must be raised on the essence and extent of relevance of the so-called press freedom, democratic ethos, freedom of speech and the right to hold an opinion. This is because the mere holding of an opinion can be antagonising and can warrant brutality of reaction. This is not only the case with Kashoggi but also with international migrants, especially the illegal ones, and with the victims of human trafficking. The NSIL focused much attention on the protection of human rights within the context of human trafficking, armed conflicts, international migration and in the processes of investigation and prosecution of crimes. Without doubt, the issues generated much debate and interest. In this regard, the first day witnessed discussions on the first two sub-themes: security implications of international migration and investigation and prosecution of international crimes. In the two working sessions of the first day, issues of inhumanity, especially within the framework of human trafficking, were raised. In recognition of the menace that human trafficking constitutes, Professor Yinka Omorogbe has it that Governor Godwin Obaseki established on August 15, 2017 the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT), which is also chaired by Professor Omorogbe. The ETAHT adopted a four-pronged operational


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Obaseki methodology: welcoming of returnees, intensive advocacy programmes, vigorous investigation and prosecution, and studying and tackling the cultural and psychological-embedded root causes. Amongst the objectives of the ETAHT are the need to actively combat this scourge, pass a state law against trafficking in humans, adopt measures to aid understanding of the nature and causes of the menace. And true enough, the ETAHT has welcomed more than 4000 returnees from Libya, passed the Edo State Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Law, held several Town Hall meetings to create awareness about the ills of irregular migration and what is to be trafficked, and engaged in data collection from both the traffickers and the persons trafficked. One important observation made by Professor Yinka Omorogbe was the report of the IOM that, in the first half of 2018, 2,225 irregular migrants arrived in Italy. The three top countries of origin of the migrants were Tunisia, Eritrea, and Nigeria.’ The IOM report also has it that there were more than 10,000 deportations of stranded migrants from Libya since the beginning of the second half of 2017 with so many casualties, and that 60% of this figure are from Edo State. This revelation cannot but partly explain the interest and commitment of the Edo State government in seeking an enduring solution to the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration. In the keynote address given by Honourable Justice Esohe Frances Ikponmwen, FCJEI, FICMI, the Chief Judge of Edo State, ‘human trafficking is generally understood to refer to the process through which individuals are placed or maintained in an exploitative situation for economic gain. Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights that mainly affects women and children. It is a threat to both national security and human security. It also undermines sustainable development and the rule of law. Along with drug trafficking and arms dealing, human trafficking has been described as one of the most profitable crimes in the world.’ The issue of brutality can be appreciated by noting that human trafficking is said to be one of the most profitable crimes in the world. The appreciation will still be better if it is also borne in mind that trafficked persons or victims of brutality are all entitled to enjoyment of human rights whenever they are outside their country. But how do we explain the enjoyment of human rights in the context of human trafficking? There are many types of human trafficking: sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, trafficking in human organs, forced labour or involuntary servitude, debt bondage which is about forcing an individual to work in order to settle a debt. In this regard, Dr. Ademola A. Taiwo of the Babcock University, did not only reveal in his paper that 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% are children and 21% are men, that 72% of the people exploited in the sex industry are women, that 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37% are women, and that 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders, but also that Nigeria is a major root of human trafficking.

As he noted, ‘the States that produce victims of the scourge are Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ebonyi, Kano, Ogun, Oyo, and Lagos.’ What is perhaps more problematic about the foregoing is the observation of the Edo State Chief Judge. She has noted that ‘many states have introduced laws criminalising human trafficking but prosecutions are rare. Even when offenders are convicted, it is unusual for victims to be compensated. Where victims are compensated, extremely low sums are awarded that are not proportionate to the magnitude of the harm suffered.’ She also added that ‘anti-trafficking laws are problematic to enforce because victims of trafficking are hesitant to identify traffickers for fear of repercussion. Since trafficking is a crime that transcends borders and therefore jurisdictions applying international law to a person who resides in another state is a costly and complex endeavour.’ A second problem addressed during the working sessions is the question of investigation and prosecution of international crimes. Dr. Ernest O. Ugbeje of the Open University of Nigeria, identified the challenges as including difficulties in mutual legal assistance, especially in the area of evidence gathering (details of foreign bank account statements of relevant witnesses, etc; Lack of Diligent Prosecution, especially in terms of poor drafting of charges and preferring of many charges; political influence and interference; lack of independence; immunity and lack of political will. Dr. Kenneth Uzor Eze, Head of the Academy Advancement Unit of the Nigeria Police Academy, also raised the dimension of cybercrime and noted that a person can only commit a crime in the country where he is physically present, meaning that jurisdiction in investigating can only also take place in that same place of physical presence. However, a cybercrime is a unique crime in that it may be committed in country A while being physically present in one’s home, country C. Perhaps more disturbingly, the brutality with which illegal migrants are faced were discussed as raised in Professor Bola A. Akinterinwa’s paper. The trafficking in human organs was also raised by Dr. Pedi Obani and Dr. Hadiza O. Okunrobo in their papers. The Global Commission on International migration (GCIM) has it that there are about 200 million migrants the world over, 60% of whom reside in the developed world while the other 40% live in the developing countries. In this regard, the GCIM also has it that one of every ten people living in the developed world is a migrant. If this is admittedly so, it should therefore be borne in mind that migrants are human beings who have their mania of living before migrating to another country, who have to adapt to another cultural way of living on arriving at their new host state, and who following arrival, can infringe on local laws on the basis of psychology of human differences or even contribute to societal development in their host countries. From the foregoing therefore, international migration cannot but be a critical issue in international law and relations, impinging on inter-personal relationships and on global peace and security in many ways. The importance of international migration can be gleaned from the perspective that it is one of the major issues that also explains in part the controversial Brexit policy in the United Kingdom as at today. In the same vein, one major headache with which the incumbent President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, is also faced is international migration. And perhaps more notably, the cardinal objective of migration is not only security but also means of security. It is an antiterrorism measure. Most unfortunately, however, the environment of migration is globally insecure. Its operational modalities are also insecurity-engendered, hence the growing anti-migration sentiments in many countries of the world. Explicated differently, it is not the act of migration that is the problem but the mania of going about it before, during, and after migration. This necessarily raises the challenge of management, implications for national unity and security, as well as the need to discuss migration and integration in the context of an environment of renewed and increasing nationalism that is increasingly very hostile to migration, and particularly to illegal migration. This should be of a major concern to African leaders, especially the ECOWAS leaders because of insecurity in West Africa, and also because, of the 200 million migrants in the world, not less than 7 million of them reside in West Africa. Besides, one third of the people of West Africa not only live outside their district or village but also 42% of the total of international migrants residing in Africa are located in West Africa alone. The problem here is not the act of migration but the mistreatment to which migrants, especially the illegal ones, are subjected. In spite of this, migration still constitutes a desideratum in contemporary international relations, and therefore, no country, and particularly Africa’s former colonial masters, can totally close its doors to migration. Since it is admitted that the colonial masters seriously undermined and underdeveloped Africa, the under-development of the African environment cannot but push Africans to seek greener pastures in Europe. If Europe wants to contain the inflow of African and non-African migrants, the European Union must redefine its policy of ‘Solidarity and the Management of Migration Flows,’ to reckon with the geo-political and the current situational realities in Africa as a whole. In light of the foregoing, any objective of management of migration, especially ECOWAS integration in an era of national and regional security, ought to first reckon with the causal factors of migration and with the dynamics of national and regional insecurity. In this regard, the reckoning should be done at three different, but complementary, levels: reasons for migration; the act or form of migration, with emphasis on its manifestations; and the challenges of settlement or establishment in the receiving community or state. (See concluding part on


WEDNESDAY, Í˝Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚Î&#x20AC;ËžT H I S D AY


FG Silent on Non-release of $1bn Fund for Military Hardware Ndubuisi Francis and James Emejo in Abuja Relevant ministries and agencies of government are keeping mum on whether or not the $1 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Economic Council (NEC) has been withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to procure military hardware for the fight against insurgency in the North-east and other security challenges across the country. The Nigerian Army disclosed last Sunday that it was yet to secure the release of the money amid heightened threats of Boko Haram insurgency in recent times, leading to the

killing of several soldiers after their bases came under attacks. The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appeared to have taken Nigerians for granted by their refusal to shed light on the reasons behind the continued delay in the release of the funds. While a source in the office of the AGF, who spoke on condition of anonymity said the issue was strictly between the AGF and the president, the CBN considered the issue as too sensitive to delve into. CBN sources maintained that financial transactions involving the apex bank and its partners are often held in trust and will

usually not be divulged to the public - even if it's in possession of such information. The source said the CBN owed it a duty to its business partners to preserve information, which is given on trust, adding that even the CBN governor would not unilaterally disclose details of financial deals especially as it relates to security. Efforts to get officials of the Ministry of Finance to speak on the status of the fund also did not yield dividend. The Media Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Abechi, told THISDAY that himself and the Director (Information), Mr. Hassan Dodo, had received several

inquiries from over 11 media houses on the subject-matter, adding that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had travelled and could not be reached for information on the subject matter. Abechi stated that both of them were making efforts to source for the required information and make it available to journalists as soon as possible. However, as at the time of going to press, no information was available. The Nigerian Army had last Sunday said it was yet to get the $1 billion approved to fight insurgency and other security challenges in the country. Their reaction followed the

outrage that greeted the recent attacks on a military battalion in Metele, Borno State, where scores of troops were killed. President Muhammadu Buhari had last December directed that the sum of $1 billion should be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the fight against insurgency. This was followed by separate approvals by the National Economic Council (NEC) as well as the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Until the Metele attacks, the general belief was that military authorities had deployed the money into procuring the needed equipment to combat insurgency in the

North-east as well as other security challenges across the country. But the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, on Sunday told a bewildered nation that the defence ministry had been working towards receiving the money from the government. Following that disclosure, relevant ministries and agencies of government are not in a hurry to explain whether the money has been released on not. However, as at January 2018, the balance in the ECA stood at $2.32 billion, but it came down to $1,918,509,918.86 as at July 16, 2018, and rose to over $2.09 billion as at October 16.

Buhari Reiterates Commitment to Release of Chibok Girls Pays tributes to holocaust victims

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed the pledge that his government will not rest until the remaining Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists since April 2014 are safely reunited with their families. The president was also at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, in Owicim, Poland where he paid tribute to Holocaust victims. According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president renewed the commitment on Chibok girls in Katowice, Poland at a bilateral meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24). The president had spent the whole day at the International Conference Centre, Katowice, where he delivered his national address at the opening of the 12-day meeting of COP24, met

with several world leaders and visited the impressive Nigerian pavilion at the climate summit. During his meeting with the Swiss president, the Nigerian leader thanked the Swiss Confederation for its efforts and important role as intermediaries to secure the release of some Chibok girls and assured him that the issue of the remaining kidnapped girls and other abducted persons will remain a ''key priority'' for the Nigerian government. Buhari and his Swiss counterpart discussed joint strategies to ensure the safe return of the girls, building on the past successes of securing the release of some of the Chibok girls and other abducted persons in the North-eastern part of Nigeria. The president also welcomed the Swiss president's commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria and to ensure the safe release of the

abducted schoolgirls. ''We will continue to make the safe release of the remaining Chibok girls a priority and will welcome any kind of support from any quarters to make this happen,'' the president said. In separate bilateral meetings with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, Buhari commended the country for a successful outing at the opening of the COP24 meeting in Katowice. The president told his Polish counterpart that Nigeria was facing serious climate change challenges, particularly the receding Lake Chad, which is a source of livelihood to some 40 million people living in the region. ''Nigeria is totally committed to global efforts to mitigate and adapt to effects of climate change,'' the president told the Polish leader, whose country is the president of COP24. Meanwhile, the presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bilateral meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Alexander

Van der Bellen, focused on the challenges of Lake Chad and what was required to recharge it. Noting that the Lake faced the two challenges of technology and financing, the president told the Austrian leader that enormous financial resources and technology were required to transfer water to Lake Chad from the Congo Basin. Van der Bellen, who indicated his countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest to cooperate with Nigeria on recharging the Lake Chad, talked about climate change challenges in Austria, including drought, glaciers melting, among others. Buhari also met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and both leaders followed up on their past discussions, during their last meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, in July, which centred on trade, investments and partnerships in agriculture. The president welcomed the proposal by the Dutch prime minister to visit Abuja soon

and promised that the Nigerian government will continue to provide conducive business environment for existing and prospective Dutch investors. On the sidelines of COP24, Buhari also met with the Prime Minister of Estonia, JĂźri Ratas. The prime minister of the Northern European country sought Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support on its bid for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for 2020-2021. The two leaders also discussed bilateral cooperation and climate change mitigation.

Buhari Pays Tributes to Victims of Holocaust Still in Poland, President Buhari was at the AuschwitzBirkenau Memorial and Museum, in Owicim, where he paid tribute to Holocaust victims. Shehu, who made this known in a separate statement, said after an hour and 10 minutes guided tour of the Museum, devoted to the memory of the

victims who died at both camps during World War II, President Buhari penned a hand-written tribute in the visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book, quoting Shakespeareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Julius Caesarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.â&#x20AC;? He said the president also laid a wreath at Block 11 of the museum, known as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Death block.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Here, according to an epitaph in the Block: ''Male and female prisoners from all parts of the camp complex were held in this buildingâ&#x20AC;Śfollowing brutal interrogations, they were in most cases sentenced to death by shooting.'' He said later and shortly before leaving the museum, which includes the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, President Buhari, fielding questions from State House Correspondents traveling with him, described those fanning embers of discord in Nigeria as ''illiterates and ignorant.''

AGAIN, TINUBU ATTACKS ATIKU, SAYS HE'S NOT FIT FOR PRESIDENCY the APC would win the forthcoming presidential election, saying Atiku would be no match for President Muhammadu Buhari. But in a swift reaction, the PDP presidential campaign said Tinubuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement could only come from an incoherent politician, who suffers from limited knowledge of politics and its dynamics. One of the campaignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spokespersons, Prince Kasim Afegbua, told THISDAY yesterday that Tinubuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s put down of Atiku betrayed the APCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mortal fear of the PDP candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity to lead the charge against, what he called, â&#x20AC;&#x153;APCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three and a half years of incompetence that has led to debilitating hunger in the land.â&#x20AC;? Delivering a keynote address at the meeting of National Consultative Forum by the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups held yesterday in Abuja, Tinubu said the PDP standard bearer, had changed parties so many times and collected so many membership cards that he had become unstable and confused. The National Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole,

who was listed as guest of honour at the event, however, did not show up. According to Tinubu, "Atiku could build a house of the party membership cards he has accumulated. But one thing he should remember is that a man who builds a house of cards ought not to cast stones at a man who is building a house with a firm and true foundation. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;He should also realise that such a feeble house will collapse as soon as the wind of truth blows it." Tinubu also attacked Atiku's campaign pledge to ensure 14 million new jobs yearly, and crashing of fuel pump price, describing them as lies that have no basis for actualisation. The APC leader berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo for suddenly doing a somersault to endorse Atiku's presidential bid after vowing never to support him, saying the move by the former president to mend fences with his former deputy was not a sincere one. He dismissed the PDP's call for the resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission

(INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, describing it as blackmail. Tinubu also spoke on the role being played by Senate President Bukola Saraki in the opposition party, describing him as a sell-out, who used APC's mandate to negotiate with the opposition. He used the occasion to highlight some of the achievements recorded by the APC-led administration and promised to provide the support group with campaign tips. On insecurity, Tinubu said that the administration had largely succeeded in beating back the Boko Haram terror group though there had been some skirmishes of attacks that needed to be dealt with. The former Lagos State governor said the APC was working to convert the tragedy of herdsmen-farmers clashes into an economic gain through construction of ranches and irrigation of farmlands. Tinubu said Buhari was committed to building the necessary foundation for a prosperous nation and diversified economy that would

provide employment and fair opportunity for all. Osinbajo: Buhari Will Win Because of His Integrity Also speaking at the event, Osinbajo said there was a gang up by discredited elite against Buhari, adding that despite all attacks and evil wishes, Buhari is alive and well and will emerge victorious at the 2019 general elections. "We will return President Buhari as president of the country for a second term," he said. Earlier, the chairman of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, Senator Abu Ibrahim, said the meeting was intended to rally all the leadership of the support groups preparatory for commencement of campaigns. The Chairman of the event, Senator George Akume, said there is a lot the APC will showcase to Nigerians as the campaign progresses, saying the APC-led administration has delivered on both security and in lifting people out of poverty. APC Leader, an Incoherent Politician, Replies Afegbua However, responding to

Tinubuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment last night, one of the spokesmen for the PDP presidential campaign council, Prince Kasim Afegbua, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not surprised that Senator Tinubu has suddenly found his cracked voice to run commentary against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For those who parade limited knowledge of history with faint memory, it is our duty to remind them, where they are coming from. When Alhaji Atiku was in APC, Senator Tinubu worshipped him like a semi-god. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was always at his beck and calls. Simply because he moved to PDP, he's suddenly turning history upside down like a typical revisionist. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His mouth-watering commendations about Atiku when the latter was in APC are well documented in history, except he wants Nigerians to conclude that he was under a mental spell or brain wave when he was uttering those commendations and positive testimonials, else we can't take his present comment serious.â&#x20AC;? He added that Tinubu lacked the moral authority to accuse anyone of inconsistency, saying he has been a political traveller

since 1999 in his â&#x20AC;&#x153;inordinate ambition to assume control of politics.â&#x20AC;? Afegbua said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has migrated from AD to AC to ACN and now APC. How can such an individual derive the morality to pick the specks in another's eyes, when his own history is laden with crass inconsistencies? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that APC has fully realised its manifest failures and foibles, crippled governance and leadership, with ridiculous incompetence and incapacity to deliver on its electoral promises, the likes of Tinubu will deliberately want to distract attention from the critical issues plaguing us today as a country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A government that has been dithering on all critical sectors, with monumental failures cannot suddenly hoodwink the masses by making Atiku Abubakar the subject matter of its political discourse.â&#x20AC;? He said Tinubu's story was an open sore that was irredeemably contrived in several incongruities, hypocrisies, inconsistencies, and double standards, adding that he cannot wake up overnight to wear a moral badge.




Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email, 08066066268

Buhari Kicks as Communal Clash Claims Eight Lives in Cross River Death toll rises to eight in Yobe Boko Haram attack Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja and Bassey Inyang in Calabar President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over reports of violence in four communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross

River State, which resulted in the loss of eight lives, injuries and displacement of villagers. This development is coming as the number of soldiers killed in a Boko Haram attack on a military base in Yobe State has risen to eight, security sources

Court Gives EFCC, DSS, Police 72 Hours to Produce Diezani Alex Enumah in Abuja Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, yesterday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS) and all other security agencies to apprehend and arrest a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke within 72 hours. The order was sequel to a motion ex parte made before the court by counsel to the EFCC, Msuur Denga, praying for an order of the court, to issue a warrant of arrest against Diezani, to enable the commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria. A statement from the commission said the antigraft agency commenced investigation of the former minister along with a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, Jide Omokore, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, by Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), accusing the duo of money laundering and official corruption. The statement said investigations into the petition revealed that Diezani as

supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was found to have engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, which she entered into on behalf of the federal government. The former minister and Omokore, are also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos. They are to be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on a fivecount charge for the offences, which are contrary to Sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000. The commission in the statement recalled that it filed application for warrant of arrest, condition precedent for Deziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trail at the last adjournment. The prosecution told the court that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing. The court today, granted the ex parte motion, and ordered the security agencies to provide Madueke within 72 hours, for her to face the charge preferred against her.

said yesterday. No fewer than eight people were said to have lost their lives following ongoing communal war between Abanwan community and their neigbours in Orugbam, Biase LGA of the state. The areas, which are under Erei clan, have common borders with Unwana, Ekoli communities in old Afikpo in Ebonyi State. THISDAY gathered that the death toll increased from the initial three on Monday to eight yesterday as fighting between both communities continued. Sources said fleeing residents from both communities, lamented that aside from the dead, houses and properties have been destroyed in one of the communities. A source from Abanwan who pleaded anonymity, told THISDAY that he personally counted five dead bodies who were beheaded when crisis escalated between both communities yesterday. However, he said no life has been lost in their village, adding however, that three people were injured on Monday when the Orugbam people attempted to

overrun Abanwan. The source confirmed that a detachment of anti-riot policemen have been deployed to restore calm in the warring communities. “I personally counted five dead bodies that were beheaded today,” the source who spoke from Abanwan told THISDAY on phone. The source said as of yesterday evening youths in the community were keeping vigil to ward off any possible attack from Orugbam. However, a source from Orugbam was quoted as lamenting that houses have been burnt in their community. “As I speak with you, the Abanwan people are burning our village. We are on the run and only God knows when all these will stop,” the source who pleaded anonymity, said. The state police command, while reacting to the clashes, said no live was lost, but admitted that four persons were injured, while several houses were burnt. A statement signed by the police public relations officer for the command, DSP Irene Ugbo, said “that this information is not just fake, misleading,

but a compendium of lies , mischievous and a calculated attempt to perpetually put the people of this extraction in total fear, confusion, and restlessness. “That the command wishes to state that it was only four people that were injured and some houses burned down. “The command, therefore, enjoin members of the public to go about their lawful businesses as collective effort is ongoing by the state government, police, and other stakeholders to restore lasting peace to this prolonged crises between this two sister communities.” The statement urged members of the public to be mindful of the information they give out to the media so as to avoid the dissemination of fake and unconfirmed news. THISDAY gathered that the conflict between both communities which has lasted for decades stemmed from the struggle over the ownership of a palm estate that lies between them. Meanwhile, President Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, called

for calm and restoration of peace in the affected communities. The president urged the people of the areas to allow law and order to prevail. According to President Buhari, “Our communities must be ready to live together in peace since no development can take place in an atmosphere of recurring violence.” President Buhari, who commended the state government for the steps taken so far towards bringing peace to the areas, also lauded the State Police Command for speedily mobilising its personnel to the affected communities to contain t He urged all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure that lasting peace returned to the affected areas. In a related development, the number of soldiers killed in a Boko Haram attack on a military base in Yobe State has risen to eight, security sources said yesterday. Gunmen from Boko Haram faction the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the base last Saturday in Buni Gari village, 60 kilometres from Damaturu, the state capital. Cont’d on pg 52

$8.1bn Fine: MTN Explores Outof-court Settlement with CBN Davidson Iriekpen Indications have emerged that MTN is exploring the possibility of an out-of-court settlement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the $8.1 billion fine slammed on the telecoms firm last August. MTN had filed a suit to challenge a directive by the CBN directing it to return the $8.1 billion, which the apex bank said was illegally repatriated. When the case was called yesterday, MTN’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said his client had decided to pursue an out-of-court settlement with the CBN. Olanipekun said his client had approached CBN for an amicable settlement and this was confirmed by Seyi Sowemimo, CBN’s lead counsel, who told the court that the negotiations were already in an advanced stage. Olanipekun said, “May it please your lordship, the matter today, is slated for hearing of pending applications, but we

owe the court a duty to inform it that parties are engaged. “Counsel have conferred, and in view of this, we are asking for a short date for report,” On his part CBN counsel, Sowemimo, said, “We have advanced stages towards settlement, and it remains to cross the Ts and dot the Is; it is just for report of settlement.” MTN had filed the suit, seeking an injunction to restrain the CBN and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federal (AGF) from taking further actions to reclaim the alleged debts. The firm asked the court to hold that the CBN lacked the power to determine its civil obligations or penal liabilities. It urged the court to declare that the CBN acted outside its statutory powers when it wrote a letter to it on August 18, demanding a refund of $8.1 billion. It asked the court to hold that the demand was illegal, oppressive, abusive, unauthorised and unconstitutional.


L-R: Chairman National Committee of Buhari Support Groups (NCBSG), Sen. Abu Ibrahim; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and APC’s governorship candidate for Enugu State, Senator Ayogu Eze, at the inauguration of NCBSG in Abuja…yesterday

South-east Governors Did Not Shun Sokoto Rally, Says PDP Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has dismissed reports by a section of the media that the governors elected on the platform of the party from the South-east were absent at the party’s rally in Sokoto State, because they are not in support of the aspiration of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement issued yesterday

said the Sokoto rally was for the North-west geo-political zone and would be replicated in the remaining five geopolitical zones of the country. He added that such insinuation smacks of ignorance and mischief on the part of those peddling it. He explained that the so-called shunning of the Sokoto rally by PDP governors of South-east extraction was only a figment of the imagination of those peddling the wicked rumour. Ologbodiyan said there was no sense in the insinuation since, going by the campaign time-table,

the presidential candidate would visit all the zones, where all the governors elected on the platform of the party from those zones will be present. He stated, “Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s next port of call will be Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Wednesday (today) where the party will hold the North Central presidential zonal rally which will have in attendance state governors, leaders, members and supporters of the party in the zone. “This is the same arrangement that we have for all the geo-

political zones of the country.” Ologbondiyan wondered why certain elements have decided to peddle falsehood about the PDP and its standard flagbearer, just to score cheap political points. He stressed that such negative reports about the PDP and Atiku were being sponsored by those who have become jittery at the rising profile of its presidential candidate. “But we are undaunted because Nigerians are very discerning. In the fullness of time, the lies and those behind them will be exposed,” he said.




CAN: Attitude of Politicians Critical to Peaceful Elections in 2019 President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Olasupo Ayokunle, has said the attitude of Nigerian politicians is critical to successful and peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election. Ayokunle stated this in an interview with the News

Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a one-day ‘End of the Year Encounter with God Convention’. The convention was organised by the 1st Baptist Church in Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State. Ayokunle said if the politicians, especially the

House Member Alleges Plot to Sack Osinbajo

leaders, want peace to prevail, it would prevail. He noted that the masses do not take up arms against each other without the politicians using them for their selfish interest. “Therefore, we are appealing to them to put the interest of the country above their personal interest so that we can continue to live in peace,” he said. The CAN president noted that protests were averted in

2015 elections because votes by the electorate counted and its outcome widely accepted. Ayokunle said the then Nigerian president wholeheartedly accepted defeat by coming out to congratulate the then president-elect. According to him, “We don’t want a situation where law enforcement agencies would be intimidating electorate, election observers or other participants. “We want a system where

the election umpire, the INEC, will allow votes to count. They should not allow any manipulation in any form that will make desperate politicians to have their way,” he said. On CAN activities, Ayokunle said the association required total overhauling to pave way for only genuine Christians to lead the association. He said: “We want the association to be led by only genuine Christians not the people who will raise false

acquisitions and cause trouble. “Not people who cannot stay within the fold and resolve their differences but to create a negative public opinion against the leadership in the media just to settle their scores.” He assured members that the association would work with the religious bodies to ensure that people coming to work with CAN at the national level would be people of great character.

It’s not true, says spokesman Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja A lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ehiozuma Johnson Agbonayinma, has alleged ongoing plot by some elements in the Nigerian political framework to remove Vice President Yemi Osinbajo from office. But in a swift reaction, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, said the information given by the lawmaker is untrue. Addressing journalists at th media centre of the House of Representatives yesterday, Agbonayinma called for caution over what he described as a campaign to smear the office of the vice president by those he tagged “disgruntled politicians and some media houses,” said some undisclosed persons are collecting signatures to allegedly sack the number two citizen on the grounds of alleged infraction in the spending of National Emergency Management (NEMA) funds. According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker representing Egor/Ikpoba–Okia federal constituency of Edo State, “It has become necessary for me to add my voice to the call of many Nigerians on the purported campaigns of calumny by some political gladiators and media houses (fake news) against the office and person of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on spurious allegations of corrupt practices levied against him. “Aware that signatures are being collated for the removal of the vice president,

the reason is because of the outcome of the NEMA investigation. “For the records, the issues raised in the probe on NEMA had to do with misappropriation of funds by the director- general and the day to day running of the agency vis-à-vis financial spending, procurement processes among others.” “I am appealing to them to sheath their swords. I enjoin them to continue to do only those things that will promote peace, unity, happiness and prosperity of Nigeria. “I urge us not to heat the polity as elections draw nearer. We must shun tendencies and actions that divide us, our campaigns and actions must be driven by issues and policies and not by prebendal politics,” stressing that “We are more united as a people with love and service to humanity than tribe and planting seed of discord,” the Edo lawmaker said. No Plan to Sack Osinbajo In an official reaction to the purported plot to sack the vice president, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon Abdulrazak Namdas said the information given by the lawmaker is untrue. According to Namdas, “As I speak to you now, there is nothing before the House relating to the removal of the Vice President. There is nothing like that. I am the spokesperson of the House and I can tell you that authoritatively, nothing like that.” THISDAY also gathered that Agbonayinma had been summoned by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, to explain the source of the information he gave the media.

Obasanjo Loses Mother In-law The Abebe family has announced the passing away of their matriarch, Mrs. Theresa Omosebhoa Abebe. She was aged 89. A statement by her first son, Dr. John Abebe, said Mrs. Abebe was the wife of the late former Chairman and Managing Director of the United Africa Company (UAC), Mr. Christopher Abebe, who died recently at the ripe age of 99. Mrs. Abebe was the mother of the late former First Lady, Mrs Stella Obasanjo. She is survived by Dr. John Abebe and Ms. Rita Abebe, many grand and great grand children. The statement added that

burial arrangements would be announced by the family.

Mrs. Abebe


L-R: President, The Lorna M. Johnson Global Institute, Lorna Johnson; Director of Corporate Affairs, Johannesburg Stock Exchange(JSE), Zeona Jacobs; Chairman, Coronation Capital, Aigboje-Aig Imoukhuede; Managing Director, EFG Hermes, Sara Maja; and incoming President/CEO, Transcorp Plc, Valentine Ozigbo, during the panel discussion at the 2018 ASEA Conference held in Lagos… recently

N’Assembly Workers Prevent Lawmakers from Sitting over Unpaid Wages Deji Elumoye and Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, (PASAN), made good its threat to picket the National Assembly over workers’ unpaid wages and outstanding promotion. PASAN had at the weekend threatened to picket the National Assembly from yesterday to Thursday (tomorrow) if the management fails to accede to its demands, including the payment of outstanding workers’ salaries and promotions. The workers in their hundreds who converged at the foyer of the National Assembly as early

as 8 a.m, barricaded the entrances to the two chambers, thereby preventing Senators and House members from carrying out their legislative duties. Senators and House of Representatives members, including the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who arrived for plenary, were booed by the angry staff who insisted that there wouldn’t be sitting in the National Assembly until the payment of their Consolidated Salary Structure (CONLESS). The protesting workers who chanted several anti-Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), Mohammed Sani-Omolori

songs, displayed placards with inscriptions such as: “Executive, fund National Assembly now”, “Omolori must go”, “Our Mumu Don Do”, “CONLESS has been approved since 2010”, “promotion is our right”, say no to consultancy,” “No Welfare Incentives for staff since 18 years now,” “We need alert”, “Release our promotion letters now,” “Omolori is a contractor,” “No salary no sitting”, “Contract inflation is a crime,” and many others. Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in the company of House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, in the course of the picketing at about 1.55 p.m addressed the workers

and sought their cooperation in resolving the issues at stake. Saraki who told the aggrieved workers to give the National Assembly leadership up till Friday to find a lasting solution to their demands, was however halted with shouts of “No Alert No Sitting, No Alert No Sitting” which was chorused by the workers. Later, Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan and his House counterpart, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, told reporters that the leadership of the National Assembly decided to intervene “in the matter between the workers and Assembly management so that matters will not get out of hand”.

Catholic Church Disowns Mbaka, May Discipline Him The Catholic Church has distanced itself from the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, over his perceived reckless political statements against the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his running-mate, Peter Obi few days ago. In a widely circulated video, Mbaka was seen telling the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, during the annual harvest and bazaar celebration of the church recently, that neither

the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, nor President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, would win the 2019 presidential election. Addressing Obi in Igbo, Mbaka said, “(Former) governor, listen, so that we won’t be deceiving God. As you are standing in the presence of these children of God, tell God what you will do for Him… It means you don’t want to do anything for God. “Let me believe in fear, but this is a political statement. God hates stinginess. What I am saying is not for your pleasure. I am

saying what will save your life; otherwise, you and Atiku will fail. The way you and Atiku are moving will end in shame.” But reacting to the comment yesterday, the Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, said the Catholic Church is not in support of Mbaka’s reckless remarks, saying it was wrong for him to make political statements from the pulpit. “The diocese is not in support of any priest making political statements. The church is supposed to be apolitical and

the Bishops’ conference has said that repeatedly. We are not supposed to make any political statements from the pulpit within the context of Mass, that is, church service. “So, it would be wrong to stand at the pulpit to make any political statements. There is a document issued by the Bishops’ conference to that effect. So, he just spoke on his own, not representing the diocese”, the Rev. Fr stated. He added that the Church might be forced to take disciplinary action against Mbaka if necessary.




Osinbajo Commences Door-to-door Campaign for Buhari’s Re-election Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has started a door-to-door campaign to canvass support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in the 2019 election. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said in a statement yesterday that in an unusual approach to campaigns, Osinbajo adopted a door-to-door strategy in two Abuja suburbs of Karu and Nyanya. Osinbajo, in his campaign strategy aimed at garnering support for the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC), is highlighting the virtues of the Nigerian leader that qualify him for re-election.

He told Nigerians that the president deserves a second term “Because of his honesty, zero tolerance for corruption and Nigeria’s future is secured,” with him. According to Osinbajo, President Buhari’s honesty, integrity and performance in the past three years in office as evidenced in the ability of the administration to do more even when the country is earning less, set him apart from all other contenders for the exalted office. The vice president was said to have visited two homes - Alhaji S.K Ahmed’s family in Nyanya and the Jimiko compound in Karu. According to the statement, as soon as Osinbajo’s Coaster bus arrived in the communities , the people thronged out en-masse in both places, chanting praises

of the president and singing party songs. After meeting both families, Osinbajo addressed the mammoth crowd and spent time interacting with the excited people who came out in their

numbers, often fascinated to see him unannounced in their neigbourhoods. According to the vice president “For the honest, decent and hardworking Nigerians, the president has devoted his life

to ensuring that their lives are made better even when it is sometimes not easy to do so. “All of us are going higher. I want you to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is going to do even better. We

have to create more jobs for all these young people. We have to give our market women credit so that they can do more business; our young people money so that they can do more business.”

Two Powerful People Frustrating Buhari’s Efforts, Says Aisha Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, yesterday alleged that two powerful personalities have constituted themselves as a cog in the wheel of speedy development of the country. The president’s wife who spoke at a conference organised by Project 4+4 in Abuja, however, did not mention the names of the powerful persons. She explained that the government had achieved a lot but could have achieved more but for two people in government who will never allow things to move fast. The President’s wife said that she was disappointed in men who rather than fight these two men will go to them at night begging for favour. Accoding to persecondnews. com, the president’s wife who urged Nigerian women to rise and fight, said: ”I have realised that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, Special Adviser, political, to

the President, and Dr. Hajo Sani, and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Osinbajo, are not comfortable with my saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech but we must say the truth.” She added that the powerful duo were retrogressive elements preventing the government from moving forward. She appealed to women to ensure victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC)led administration in 2019. According to the Director of Information to Wife of the President, Mr. Suleiman Haruna, the First Lady observed that during the last election, women participated fully in the voting process and ensured that APC was elected, saying that is why the government of President Muhammadu Buhari came up with social investment programmes targeted at them and their children in order to reduce the level of poverty among them.

I’ll Convert Varsities’ Budgetary Funding to Annual Grants, Says Ezekwesili The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has proffered solution to the frequent shut down of tertiary institutions over poor financing of education in the country. One of the ways she suggested was to convert the budgetary allocations to universities to grants. While expressing displeasure with the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Universities Union (ASUU), the ACPN presidential candidate assured Nigerians in a statement yesterday, that there would be adequate funding for the educational sector if she emerged. Ezekwesili explained that there was a need to reposition Nigeria’s universities to make them rank among their contemporaries in the world.

She said, “one of the signature programmes of our administration would be TwentyToeRanking. This initiative will focus on the transformation of 20 Nigerian universities and to raise them up to the league of world-class institutions within a seven-year period. “The other signature programme is Grant Autonomy to Federal Universities, which is a core policy change that can facilitate #TwentyTo-eRanking. It implies that our government will grant full autonomy to public universities. “Our administration will end the current centralised control of universities by the federal government (or state governments over their ownfunded universities), which over the decades stifled their growth and performance,” she added.


Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Segun Awolowo (left); and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, during Awolowo’s visit to Ovia’s office in Lagos…yesterday

Adeboye: Why I Ran Away from Village for 13 Years The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, yesterday revealed how he ran away from his village into exile for 13 years. Preaching about the power of the light of God over the darkness of evil forces on the first day of the Church’s 2018 Holy Ghost Congress at the Redemption Camp, the Pastor disclosed that in the early 1960s, he ran away from Ifewara, then a village in Osun State, where he was born and raised because his father’s enemies threatened to kill him – an only son. He said after 13 years in exile, during which he gave his life to Jesus Christ and was filled with the light that overpowers the forces of darkness, he went back to Ifewara, and nothing happened to him. According to a testimony he had shared before, “There was a misunderstanding between my father and other members

of the family over the issue of which party to belong to and the people in the family threatened to kill me. “When my father came home to tell us what transpired at the meeting, I ran away from home for 13 years till I met the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank God for Jesus,” he said. In the earlier testimony, he had also spoken how he had sought superior charms to counter the forces in his village. He had said, “while in exile, it occurred to me that if the village people claimed they had charms to kill me, there could be superior charms elsewhere. Somebody took me to a village, somewhere not too far from Akure, Ondo State. They took me to the head herbalist there and I told him I wanted to be fortified so that nobody would be able to harm me. “No problem, I will fortify you!” the herbalist told him. “He (herbalist) listed the

requirements and told me the total cost. That was not a problem because I had the money to pay. He performed all kinds of rituals and kept on insisting I come back and get more. Then one day, the juju man looked at me and asked, “What is the name of that your town where they say you shouldn’t go back to?” “I told him”. “Ah!” he shouted. “You are from that place?” I said, “Yes sir.” He said, “If they ask you not to come, don’t go.” “What are you talking about?” I asked. “Let me tell you the truth. My father was the chief herbalist in this village, his grandfather was the chief herbalist before him and he inherited everything from them. “When my father was taught everything he knew, he sent me to your village to get more powers. “Whenever I was visiting

your village, before I got to the outskirts, I would go into the bush to bury everything and then when I am going back, I would go back into the bush to pick it up. Any power you take into that village will turn to water as soon as you enter.” ”I was surprised to hear all that because I thought I had been fortified. If you put your trust in the devil, not only will you die but you will die miserably.” “For a long time, I kept running from home until I met Jesus. When I did, my flight from home stopped. Praise God that the forces of darkness that hitherto put me to flight now take to their heels when they see me because I now carry the Lord inside of me.” The General Overseer said being a Christian with a new name makes one the light of world; the salt of the earth; a shining beauty of God’s Glory, the door nobody can shut, and the hope of glory

59 Pro-Buhari Groups Switch Support to Atiku Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja Fifty-nine pro-President Muhammadu Buhari groups working for his re-election made a U-turn yesterday and endorsed his main rival, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the groups said they decided to back the PDP presidential candidate because Buhari administration has failed to deliver on its several promises in the last three and a half years. The National Coordinator of the Grassroots Mobilisers for Buhari (GMB), Yusuf Ardo, who spoke

on behalf of the groups, accused Buhari of failing to appoint youths in his government, saying the groups have over five million members who visited all areas of the country for Buhari in 2015. According to him, “We toured the country and campaigned for the emergence of the current All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government. This forum coordinated all support groups for APC and championed grassroots mobilisations of Nigerians. “Sequel to the foregoing, we are sad that the government we put in place has failed and continued to fail our people, and we cannot continue to reinforce failures. How can we have a

federal cabinet without a single youth? A government that does not take the youths into account is a dying government. The future belongs to us-the young people.” Ardo said today, the country is faced with legions of challenges, adding that the economy which was the fastest-growing in Africa before Buhari took over in 2015, has gone comatose under the present government that has shown unpreparedness and completely cluelessness. He added: “Unemployment has risen to an alarming level, and instead of creating three million jobs per year as promised during 2015 campaigns, millions of jobs are being lost quarterly, with many

companies folding up daily.” Ardo said he believed that under Atiku, the economy would be revived unlike the “misfortune” of Buhari. ‘’We strongly believe that Atiku will ensure diversification of the economy through agriculture, adequate supply of power and massive industrialisation, thereby creating employment for our teaming youths. ‘’Our predicament and future of the youths in Nigeria is highly threatened, and that is why we have resolved one hundred percent to support Atiku in 2019 for our large interest in this country,” he further explained.




Nigeria Gets $200m Loan from AfDB, China for Rural Electrification Chineme Okafor in Abuja Nigeria’s efforts to increase electricity supply to semi-urban and rural communities received a boost yesterday with a $200 million loan from the African

Development Bank (AfDB) and China via the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), managed by the AfDB on behalf of China. According to a statement by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the $200 million financial

package was approved on Monday by the board of directors of the AfDB. The facility comprises a $150 million sovereign loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the Nigeria

Buhari Earmarks $700m to Improve Governance at State Levels Seeks auditors’ cooperation to fight corruption James Emejo and Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday disclosed that the federal government would release $700 million to states to assist in improving governance and public finance management. Speaking at the annual conference of AuditorsGeneral of Nigeria with the theme: ‘Nigeria’s Drive Towards the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Strategic Roles of Auditors-General’, he said the decision became necessary in order to deepen the fight against corruption as well as enthrone transparency and accountability in the public sector. According to the president, “At the state level, several measures had been introduced to achieve certain minimum improvements in governance and public financial management. These, according to him, include the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability program (SFTAS), in which $700 million will be made available as grants to states. He said: “Similarly, $50 million in technical assistance will be made available to key agencies with the states to

FG Directs Chief of Air Staff to Join Buratai in Northeast The federal government has directed the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to join the Chief of Army Staff in the North-east to coordinate the Nigerian Air Force operations. Col. Tukur Gusau, the Public Relations Officer to the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said in a statement that the decision was taken yesterday at a meeting of the Air Council presided over by the minister. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the federal government on Monday had directed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai, to remain in North-east until security situation in the region improves. Gusau said the air chief was also directed to reorganise air operations in support of operations Lafiya Dole in the North-east and Sharanda Daji in Zamfara State. “The Air Council also approved promotion of well deserved senior Air Force officers to their next higher ranks,” he said.

build capacity. At the inception of this administration, three cardinal goals were set-security, fight against corruption and revamping of the economy. Three and a half years down the line, I am pleased to report that tremendous achievements have been recorded in all three areas. “I must state however, that the desired level in the fight

against corruption is yet to be attained.” Represented by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Buhari said his administration had introduced several reform initiatives in the financial management sector to help stem the tide of corruption and waste.

Electrification Project (NEP), as well as $50 million from a $2 billion AGTF facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB. The statement added that the financing will support rural electrification efforts in Nigeria by facilitating private sector development and rollout of off-grid solutions, as well as the installation of dedicated power systems for federal universities. The AGFT, it added, would

co-finance the project. The joint financing from the AfDB and AGTF, it noted, will support Nigeria’s efforts to address critical energy access deficit in the country, and catalyse achievement of universal energy access by 2030 as reportedly targeted. Explaining the concept of the NEP, the statement said it will be implemented by the REA, adding that it presented Nigeria an innovative approach to addressing its huge energy deficit

by channeling private sector investments into commercially viable mini-grid and off-grid electricity solutions. Quoting AfDB’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, the statement added that he endorsed the board’s approval of the NEP, which he said, underscored the importance of projects that leverage private sector investment into energy access solutions.

Osun Governor Appoints The Nation Editor, Adesina, as CPS Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has appointed Adeniyi Adesina as his Chief Press Secretary (CPS). In his capacity, he will oversee the governor’s media activities. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the

appointment takes immediate effect. Until he was appointed, Adesina was The Nation Deputy Editor in charge of news. He holds a Master degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Adesina did his media

training in the United Kingdom and Denmark. With 28 years’ experience, Adesina has worked with Prime People (1990 to 1992); National Concord (1993 to1999); Punch (2000 to 2006), News Star as Editor (2007 to 2009) from where he joined The Nation in 2010.




Nigerian Navy Promotes 87 Senior Officers JTF arrests 38 pipeline vandals, cultists Chiemelie Ezeobi in Lagos and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja The Nigerian Navy Board has approved the promotion of 87 senior officers to the ranks of Rear Admiral, Commodore, Captain and Commander. This is coming as the Joint Task Force (JTF) under Operation AWATSE in Lagos, yesterday said over 38 suspected pipeline vandals and cultists were arrested in two months. The taskforce also recovered 120, 000 litres of petrol during the period under review . Among the newly promoted senior officers are 10 Rear Admirals, 25 Commodores, 24 Captains and 28 Commanders. The ten Admirals promoted include Commodores DM Dogonyaro, Commandant Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology, Kachia; TA Imam, Director of Policy Naval Headquarters; RO Mohammed, Director of Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve, Naval Headquarters; IB Yusuf, Director of Personnel Release, Naval Headquarters; WO Kayoda, Director Navigation/ Positioning and Timing, Defence Space Administration; OE Eyo, Commander NNS BEECROFT; SO Agada, Directing Staff NDC; EE Aneke Commodore Naval Drafting; MM Bashir, Directing Staff NDC and AO Ayobanjo

Deputy Commandant, Naval War College Nigeria. Those promoted to rank of Commodore are Captains T Sani, MN Madugu, OO Fadeyi, AA Gaya, S Dahun, OA Oludude, SD Atakpa, A Baba-Inna, PE Effah, AA Mustapha CD Okehie, I Okpala, OBF Oladipo , OO Soyemi, EA Zipele. Others are AK Ezenma, C Onyemaobi, SA Yahaya, SH Abdullahi, KM Bushi, SA Ejaro, G Obaje, AE Bello, ID Nurudeen and IA Ahmed. A statement issued by the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Ayo Olugbode, said the newly promoted senior officers will be decorated at a later date. Meanwhile, the Military Pensions Board yesterday raised alarm over the circulation of fraudulent messages by dubious individuals who pose as representatives of the board in order to defraud unsuspecting pensioners. The board said in a statement in Abuja that such impostors were only out to defraud unsuspecting pensioners. Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force (JTF) under Operation AWATSE in Lagos, yesterday said over 38 suspected pipeline vandals and cultists were arrested in two months. The taskforce also recovered 120, 000 litres of petrol during

the period under review . The Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, made this disclosure at the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy in Apapa, Lagos. He said the suspected pipeline vandals and suspected cultists had been handed over to the appropriate security agencies for further investigation and prosecution. He said: “Operation AWATSE is a joint task forces under the control of defence headquarters participating in operation 777, an operation being conducted and operated simultaneously nationwide by the defence headquarters. He however, noted that the military was doing everything possible to also intensify its operation on other targeted area where pipeline vanderlism on NNPC pipelines were located. He added: “Since the commencement of operation 777, operation AWATSE activities were intensified through extensive patrols to ensure that troops dominate the joint operation area. “Currently operation AWATSE troops have dominated Festac, Ijedodo, ijagemo, Ishawo, Majidun and Arepo, while regular patrols are being conducted in areas left uncovered due to shortage of manpower.


The family of Mrs. Victoria Ime Nkanang is appealing to the general public to assist in providing any information that may lead to locating her whereabouts following her disappearance on Wednesday, 25th July, 2018. Mrs. Nkanang, who works as a secretary in the Asset Management Department of the Lagos Office of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), closed from work on Wednesday 25th July, 2018. She was last seen on board the Blue Sea 20-capacity passenger boat that capsized en route to Ikorodu from Lagos Island at about 5:55pm that same evening. She was not identified among the rescued passengers of the capsized boat, neither was she among the dead that were deposited at the morgue at Ikorodu General Hospital. Mrs. Victoria Ime Nkanang is 58 years old and is described as 5 Feet 7 Inches tall, heavy set and dark in complexion. The family is reaching out to the members of the public with any information about Mrs. Victoria Ime Nkanang to please contact:



Director Human Resources Department NDIC

on 094601230

or call 07065160777 | 08033064176




Ekiti Lawyers to Boycott Courts for Seven Days over Killing of Colleague Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti Lawyers in Ekiti State yesterday issued a one-week notice to boycott the courts over the murder of one of their own, Mr. Adeola Adebayo by kidnappers Adebayo who was also the Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikole Branch, was killed by abductors after kidnapping and collecting ransom from him. The lawyers conveyed the notice of boycott of the courts in a letter dated December 3, 2018 and signed by Secretary of the Joint Committee of Ekiti Bar, Mr. Temidayo Akeredolu. The lawyers addressed the letter to the Chief Registrar, Ekiti State Judiciary, and made its copies available to

the Chief Judge, all Judges, all Magistrates and all Customary Court Presidents. The letter entitled: “Re: Kidnap and Eventual Killing of Adeola Adebayo, Notice of Boycott of all Courts in Ekiti State,” explained that the action of the lawyers was “on the authorisation and approval of the Joint Committee of Ekiti Bar.” The lawyers noted that a street protest was organised on Monday, December 3, “to request for immediate arrest and prosecution of the bloodthirsty harbingers of death that kidnapped and killed Adeola Adebayo.” They had marched to the governor’s office, the Ekiti State Police Command headquarters

and the office of the Department of State Services (DSS) and had delivered a letter to the various authorities with a demand for the arrest and prosecution of the bandits.

They said the boycott was in furtherance to the street protest, saying “all lawyers unanimously at a congress which took place after the protest, resolved to stay away/boycott all courts

for one week starting from December 4, 2018.” “This is to further drive home our request as stated above and to also demand that government should take

responsibility for the security of lives and property.” Adebayo was kidnapped in November 17 and his decomposing body found on December 1.

Osinbajo Blames Jonathan for Population Explosion Mercy Applos in Abuja Again, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan for the country’s current challenges, saying his government failed to plan for its future in spite of the fortunes it raked from crude oil sales and other revenue sources under his administration. The vice president stated this yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 5th National Family Planning Conference currently on-going in Abuja. Osinbajo who admitted that the current population growth of 3.2 per cent posed risks for the nation by 2030, explained that apart from the economic policies of the past government, which were skewed at making lives comfortable to a minority of the nation’s population, the administration did not make adequate family planning commodities available to those who needed them. According to him, “in the absence of basic social safety nets, and pro-poor policymaking, tens of millions of our people were left stranded, observing the statistics of economic growth from a distance, completely untouched by it. ‘’The sad reality is that for most of our history as a country, periods of economic growth have somehow managed to leave out the majority of our population.

“Between 2011 and 2015 when Nigeria enjoyed some of the highest revenues in history, and overtook South Africa to become the largest economy in Africa, there was no commensurate impact in poverty alleviation and improvement of wellbeing. “If Nigeria’s prevailing annual population growth rate 3.2 percent persists, we will have an additional 68 million people by 2030, and will be the third most populous country in the world by 2050.” Speaking on the theme of the conference: Investment, Innovation and Inclusiveness, Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said, “this is how I see the three “I’s”: Investment, innovation and inclusiveness are three very critical keys for unlocking the very beneficial contributions of family planning to Nigeria’s ambition of reaping all of its potential demographic dividend. “This demographic dividend is of course the catch-all term for the benefits and potential realizable from attaining the optimal age structure in a population. ‘’In the case of Nigeria, this optimal age structure would mean a combination of declining fertility and a simultaneous rise in the working age population. Our main challenge, evidently, is with our current fertility rates”, he added.

Maritime Stakeholders Inaugurate Task Force on Apapa Gridlock Sharon Emi In a bid to reduce traffic gridlock on Apapa axis, the Maritime Shipping Oil and Gas Freight Forwarders Association, has deployed a task force to monitor and help commuters on the road. The task force is expected to monitor loading numbers, manager’s facilitators with their facilitators’ papers which were established on June 13 2018 in Lagos. It is expected to facilitate the free flow of traffic, in-order to fasten the delivery of cargos, discharged empty containers in the port, which will also be effective to the Oil and Gas sector, making it possible for the ordered products to arrive at the discharging point as at

when scheduled. In a statement sent to THISDAY, the National President of the Association, Mr. Harrison Benjamin Ifon, said the task force came as a lifeline to ease the stress on the road and also an answer to the complaint laid by marketers, managers and investors who have been said to be complaining bitterly about the last arrival of the ordered goods/products, stating that most drivers spend up to a week on the road without getting to their destinations, which also cost them losses in the labour market. The operation of the task force will commence on December 5, 2018, the task force will comprise of 85 organisations, which have been notified since December 15, 2016 and on September 24, 2018.


L-R: Head of Communications, Redeemed Christian Church (RCCG) City of David, His Love Foundation, Olusegun Agboola; Pastor, RCCG, City of David/Member, Advisory Council, Trevor Akindele; and Special Assistant to the General Overseer of RCCG on CSR/Pastor, Regional 20, RCCG, Idowu Iluyomade, at a press conference on the church’s plan to feed 50 million people in 197 countries in December 2018, held in Lagos…recently

Give Yourselves Credible Elections, US Envoy Tells Nigerians United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, yesterday called on Nigerians to give themselves credible elections in 2019 by avoiding acrimony and standing against electoral malpractices. Symington made the call at the Peace and Security Network (PSN) Quarterly Roundtable with the theme, ‘Towards 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Securitisation of the Electoral

Process and the Prevention of Violence’. He said because there would be no election anywhere in the world in February, 2019, the attention of the entire globe would be on Nigeria and its citizens to provide credible polls. According to him, only one thing will make the difference in 2019 and that is the ties that bind the people of Nigeria. This, Symington explained,

were ties of friendship, “of trust not of hate, but of love, not of desperation but of purpose; the ties growing ever stronger’’. He said that during the life of a nation, there were moments such ties would be tested around elections, adding that it was now for the security forces and the government to resolve to work together. “I stand for an idea of network, which is a network

of Nigerians that will make elections succeed. It has to be a net, it has to be people and organisations linked to each other with strong bonds and purpose. “Then, that net has actually got to work in every sphere and corner; it has to have people that are citizens woven together that represent government, electoral commissions, security services, federal, state, local officials.

Again, FG, ASUU Meeting Inconclusive The meeting between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday ended without any conclusion. ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, while speaking with journalists at the end of the closed door

meeting in Abuja, noted that negotiations were still ongoing. He said both parties were yet to reach a concrete decision. “For now, we have started to discuss. We are yet to reach any concrete decision. Once we have more information, we will make ourselves available

to the press. “The union will reconvene very soon to continue negotiations,” he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the meeting, held at the instance of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu,

was to find lasting solution to the ongoing strike by the university lecturers. ASUU had, on November 4, embarked on an indefinite strike over poor funding of Nigerian universities and nonimplementation of previous agreements by government.

Buhari Not Validly Nominated, Says Okupe A frontline politician, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) do not have a candidate for 2019 presidential election. He made this declaration yesterday in an interview in Lagos. Okupe also decried the refusal of President Buhari to sign the Electoral Act that has since been passed by the National Assembly. He said APC would not win the 2019 election without

rigging. Okupe said the only way APC could ensure they win at all cost would be the refusal of President Buhari to win sign the electoral act which was intended to sanitise the electoral process. “APC is only using their house boy who heads the INEC and his junior staff. Actions and activities of INEC are being dictated directly from the villa. If that is not the case, by now

if INEC Chairman was a truly independent person, he ought to have conveyed message to APC and the villa that they do not have a candidate for 2019 presidential election,” he said. The former presidential spokesman further said, “As of today, the nomination of President Buhari is not valid. To be nominated for an election, there are some conditions that must be met as provided by the

constitution and the electoral act. “Number one, you must be a Nigerian. Now, there are issues that were even confirmed by the president himself in Poland that there is doubt about his nationality whether he is a Nigerian or a Sudanese”. Okupe also added that evidence must be provided that any candidate had been educated to secondary school level.

BUHARI KICKS AS COMMUNAL CLASH CLAIMS EIGHT LIVES IN CROSS RIVER Two soldiers and six insurgents were initially said to have been killed in the attack. But sources on Tuesday said eight soldiers were killed. “The death toll is now eight. Six more bodies of soldiers were later recovered and moved to

Damaturu,” a military officer, who did not want to be named, told AFP. A civilian militia fighting jihadists in the area confirmed the recovery of six more bodies of soldiers. “All the eight dead soldiers

are now in the morgue at the Specialist Hospital in Damaturu,” said a spokesperson for the militia, who asked not to be identified for fear of sanction. Military authorities were not immediately available to comment on the new toll.

The insurgents destroyed an armoured vehicle and stole a truck during the attack. Sources said air support and reinforcements from a military base in the nearby town of Buni Yadi helped push out the militants from the base.




Í˝Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚Î&#x20AC;ËžT H I S D AY


Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY

Enyimba, FC IfeanyiUba Amongst 416 Clubs around the World to Share Russia 2018 Largesse Duro Ikhazuagbe Two of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NPFL clubs, Enyimba FC of Aba and FC IfeanyiUba are among the 416 football teams around the world to share the $206 million Club Benefit Programme after the successful staging of FIFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2018 World Cup in Russia last summer. FIFA yesterday confirmed the payments that will see a share of the revenues from Russia 2018 allocated to the clubs whose players contributed to the success of the World Cup. Super Eagles Number Two goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, left FC IfeanyiUba at the expiration of his contract with the Nnewi club to join Enyimba before heading to Russia as the only home-based player in the Nigerian squad. Although Ezenwa was in charge of all Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s qualifying matches after dependable Carl Ikeme who stood between the sticks in the first game with Zambia in Ndola was diagnosed with Leukeamia, Francis Uzoho was the preferred choice of Coach Gernot Rohr for the Number

1 jersey. Despite his role as unused goalkeeper before Nigeria crashed out in the group stage, Ezenwa fetched FC IfeanyiUba and Enyimba $118,860 (about N43million) respectively. In the breakdown of the pay out to all the 416 clubs that contributed players to the Mundial in Russia, $237,720 (about N87million) was allocated to the NFF for onward transmission to the two clubs with rights to Ezenwa. Other members of the Super Eagles earned the FIFA Club Benefit pay out for their foreign clubs while third choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, who was the only player from the South African league at Russia 2018 fetched Chippa United $237,720. Of the $6,320,805 that was allotted to teams from Africa, Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top club, Al Ahly earned the highest pay out of $1,744,695 (about N645million). Unsurprisingly, the top ten clubs who had the most players in the squads at the World Cup and who will in turn receive the biggest share

NIS Set for First Convocation Ceremony after 25 Years Femi Solaja The National Institute for Sports (NIS), a leading sports training institution in the country is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary and the maiden convocation ceremony scheduled to hold on January 17th, 2019. The Director General of the Institution, Dr. Kingdom Chukwudi Eke, disclosed at a media session yesterday. He said the elaborate Programme will accommodate all the12 sets that had graduated from the institution since its establishment in 1992 when it was fully upgraded to a fullfledged parastatal. He said over 1,500 students that have graduated from the institution will be part of the ceremony although most of them have been using their certificates over the years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The anniversary is a unique one and we have sent invitations out to all the former students

who had completed their respective programme from this institution to celebrate together with the present crop of graduates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be a first class institute transforming Nigeria and sustaining it as a world leader in sports was the vision of the institution must be protected at all time and this explains why the 25 anniversary must be well celebrated,â&#x20AC;? he affirmed. Some of the plans of the Institute include; anniversary lecture/gala and dinner, NIS awards of sporting excellence, convocation/lecture and investiture of honorary fellows of the institute as well as recognition awards for sports journalism. The Director General further explained that the institute had over the years remained committed to delivering on its statutory mandate as it has produced over 15,000 manpower in sports who have continued to place Nigeria on the global sports map, winning laurels.

Onazi Lifts Lobi with N1m Cash Incentive CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Super Eagles midfield star Ogenyi Onazi has donated N1million gift to lift Lobi Stars ahead of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CAF Champions League preliminary round second leg match against UMS de Loum of Cameroon in Makurdi. The relatively unknown Cameroonians stunned Lobi Stars 1-0 in Yaounde a week ago. Onazi told SCORENigeria: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am pleased to motivate the boys who are the pride of Benue State to win the game on

Wednesday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is my state team and I need to do more as they progress in the tournament.â&#x20AC;? Last week, Onazi also presented cash gifts to both Kano Pillars and the Nigeria U20s, the Flying Eagles, in Abuja. Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, Enugu Rangers will play away to Defence Force SC of Ethiopia. The Flying Antelopes won the first leg 2-0 in Enugu last week.

of the benefits are all European powerhouses: Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF, Tottenham Hotspur FC, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC, Club AtlĂŠtico de Madrid, Juventus FC, and AS Monaco. English clubs earned the

highest pay out of $37,406,940 while Spanish clubs were next to earn $22,572,080. German clubs were third earning $18,920,672. Teams in France that won Russia 2018 earned $15,303,225. However, substantial amounts will also go to clubs from Asia and the Americas as well as to

other leagues in Europe. The total pay out to the 416 clubs from 63 member associations of FIFA, represents a significant increase of almost 200 per cent compared to the previous edition. FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said the redistribution

L-R: Convener of the Lagos All Sail Championship, Mr Maleek Shehu; Safety Consultant, Ladi Ani Mumuney; and President of the Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation, Admiral FBI Porbeni (rtd) at the press brieďŹ ng to herald the competition yesterday in Lagos

of the World Cup benefit is to ensure that football community that contributed to the success of the Mundial got rewarded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of football, generating passion and emotion from every player and every fan in every corner of the world. It is FIFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responsibility to redistribute the revenues of this unique competition among the entire football community, and clubs, obviously, deserve to share in this success as they were key contributors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very pleased to see that teams from so many different regions will benefit from this programme, which will help to develop football even further around the globe,â&#x20AC;? Infantino noted. The Club Benefits Programme is part of a broader collaboration agreement between FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA), which was first launched ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and further extended in 2015 to cover both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.

Odegbami, Others Want Govt to Celebrate Falcons, Ensure Early Preparation for World Cup Former Captain of the Green Eagles, Segun Odegbami, has joined the call for the Federal Government to organise a befitting reception for the senior women national team, Super Falcons, who at the weekend defeated South Africa to retain the African Women Nations Cup trophy. The Super Falcons defeated Banyana Banyana in a penalty shootout after the final match had ended goalless in regular and added time in Accra, Ghana. However, while South Africa, which won silver and fourth-placed Mali were given rousing reception by their various countries, the Super Falcons have not been given any formal reception, save their meeting with

Presidency officials on arrival from Ghana. Calling for a befitting reward for the girls, Odegbami said celebrating the team would show that Nigeria cares for its heroines, adding that it would also serve as an incentive for younger ones to take to sports. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We should learn how to promote women generally. Those incentives are the things that drive young ones to take to sports. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Government should reward the girls to attract more ladies to sports because all over the world sport is big business and can provide employment for a large population of Nigerian youths. And so, celebrating the girls should be used as the

incentive to attract the young ones to the sector.â&#x20AC;? Former Editor of Sporting Sun, Kunle Solaja, who is also reputed as the Nigerian journalist that has covered the most World Cup competitions, said celebrating the girls will send a message to younger ones that it pays to serve Nigeria excellently. Solaja believes that in â&#x20AC;&#x153;every situation, our sports people should be celebrated. Even if they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win, celebrating them would serve as the incentive to do better next time, as well as attract others to sports.â&#x20AC;? He added, however, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am aware that the Chief of Staff to President Buhari received them on arrival and told them that two Nigerians donated

N50 million to the team. But I am of the opinion that any team that represents Nigeria in international competition, even in defeat, should be celebrated to encourage them to do better.â&#x20AC;? While also calling for the team to be reward, Sabinus Ikewuaku, a lawyer, who runs a sports management agency, said the Federal Government and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should start planning for the team to start preparations for the World Cup. He believes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria should aim to go beyond being champions of Africa because after 10 wins in the continent we should target the global trophy this time.

Lagos All Sail Championship NFF, NOC Back FCV to Begin Dec 13 Football Academy Camp Convener of the Lagos All Sail Championship, Maleek Shehu, has disclosed that the desire to add more value to Lagos natural endowment is the reason he is starting a water racing competition that he hopes will change the face of water sports in Nigeria. Speaking while announcing the championship that would involve competition amongst various individuals and groups between December 13 and 15, 2018, Shehu stressed that Lagos was endowed with rich water heritage and it must be put to proper usage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The need to put the rich water heritage of Lagos to better uses prompted our desire to stage a water racing championship that will hold from December 13 to 15, 2018.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The competition will see various teams competing in various categories - the King of The Sea, Queen of The Sea and Prince of The Sea in boat racing as well as Jeskying. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Winners will be presented sumptuous cash prizes, trophies and medals,â&#x20AC;? he said. Also present and lending a big hand of support to the project was Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (rtd), President of the Nigeria Rowing, Canoeing and Sailing Federation who also doubles as the Lagos All Sailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grand Patron. In his address, he said,â&#x20AC;? the event will not only offer an opportunity to open up the waters to sports activity, fun and leisure, it also will create an awareness about the unexplored possibilities of water sports in Nigeria,â&#x20AC;? he added.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, (NOC), have given their backings to the FCV International Football Academy Camp scheduled to hold April next year at the Lekki British International School in Lagos. At the media launch of the football camp at the school yesterday, the First Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwumi, said the federation was delighted with such developmental programmes, promising the organisers the backing of the Glass House. Akinwumi, who doubles as the chairman of the Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), however charged some of the kids for the camp present at yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event to focus more on their education, so as to have

something to fall back on after their football career. Speaking in the same vein, Secretary General of the NOC, Tunde Popoola, said the Olympic movement was concerned about youth and how they manage their lives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;NOC will not stand by and see you children been led astray. Education is very key if you must go into sports,â&#x20AC;? Popoola noted. Meanwhile, the management of the Lekki British International School is optimistic that the partnership with FCV would go a long way in helping to chart the career of the kids. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are looking forward to a good partnership with FCV International Football Academy,â&#x20AC;? said Vice Principal, Pastoral, Olawale Akadiri.


Í˝Ë&#x153;ͺ͸͚Î&#x20AC;ËžT H I S D AY


Abuja 2018: Win a Gold, Get N1m, Okowa Promises Team Delta

Ikoyi Club, Seven-Up to Host Secondary School Tennis Competition

Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

As part of its commitment to promote tennis development in Nigeria, the tennis section of the prestigious Ikoyi Club is set to host the maiden edition of secondary school tennis competition in partnership with Seven-Up Bottling Company in Lagos. The championship, which will be open to boys and girls in both the senior and junior categories is to involve secondary schools students between the ages of 10 and 15years. It is scheduled to run from December 10 to 15th, 2018 at the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s courts in Ikoyi. Interested schools are expected to register their players and officials on the organiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website. Speaking at a press briefing, Chairman, Tennis Section, Ikoyi Club, Mr. Abimbola Okubena, disclosed that the idea behind the championship was borne out of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive to encourage tennis as a healthy sport among teenagers in Nigeria. He added that it will influence positive attitude and drive clear understanding of how the game is played. It is also to inspire young boys and girls to aspire to play the game as professionals and earn good money like the Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and the Williams Sisters.

Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has promised Team Delta N1million for every gold the team wins at the National Sports Festival scheduled to kick off on Thursday, December 6, 2018 in Abuja. Okowa made the promise on Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba while addressing the state contingent shortly before their departure for the Federal Capital City. The governor also joined Team Delta in a prayer session before the team set out for festival tagged â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Abuja 2018â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Addressing the contingent Okowa said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;You have worked very hard in the last three weeks, it is time to harvest the medals. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;You are Team Delta! Remember that there is no team that will be like Team Delta; and, I believe your coaches have been doing very well. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;For every gold, you will get one million naira. So, if you are not prepared for gold, work harder to get gold. For every Silver medallist N500, 000 while every Bronze medallist will receive N250, 000. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are the defending

Team Delta athletes and oďŹ&#x192;cials at the send-forth ceremony in Asaba yesterday

champion and the hands of God will bring back this trophy, because you are going to Abuja in the name of God and as you go forth, the Lord will not disappoint you. You must first believe in Him and I expect you, knowing that you are the defending champion, to return victorious. Be prayerful and confident.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Earlier, Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission, Mr

Tonobok Okowa, while presenting the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports ambassadors to the governor, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The National Sports Festival which has not been hosted for a long time will take place in Abuja from December 6th, we invited you (the governor) to talk to us as we depart for the championship. The trophy you are seeing here is what we are going to contest for. We are the defending champion and, by the grace of God, we

will bring it back. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;We are prepared; the team has been in camp for the past three weeks. We have world champions among us, and we are going to Abuja 2018 not only as champions but to come back as champions.â&#x20AC;? Chaplain of Government House Chapel, Venerable Charles Osemenem, in a brief sermon urged the team to rely on God and give Him the glory always.

FCTA Mobilises 1,500 Policemen for National Sports Festival Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja In order to ensure a hitch-free hosting of the 19thNational Sports Festival that holds in Abuja this month, the FCT Administration has disclosed that it would deploy 1,500 security personnel to protect athletes, officials and spectators at the games. The Permanent Secretary FCTA and Chairman LOC, FCT 2018, Christian Ohaa, announced yesterday that the administration would leave no stones unturned to guarantee the success of the festivals. Ohaa was briefing the media of the state of readiness of FCTA to successfully host the festivals scheduled for between December 6 and 16. He said over 10,000 competitors and officials from 36 states of the federation including the FCT, would feature in 40 different sports at the Games. Ohaa disclosed that the security personnel, including undercover agents, were mobilised on Monday to control

L-R: Registrar, National Institute for Sport (NIS), Musibau Adeneye; Director/CEO,NIS, Dr. Eke Kingdom Chukwudi and Bursar, Rueben Ichado at the press brieďŹ ng on the forthcoming 25th anniversary and convocation ceremony of the Institute in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Ś yesterday

crime in the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital city during the festival. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The issue of crime has been discussed at the highest level and we are not going to take chances with the security participants and spectators. Police officers will be deployed to the venues and strategic places. They will be engaged three days before and three days after the Games. This approach is in line with international best practices,â&#x20AC;?

Ohaa disclosed. He similarly revealed that the games transport committee had mapped out special routes for athletes and officers and had acquired 75 different vehicles to be used for the events. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are hosting and arrangements are in top gear. Apart from security, we are providing accommodation and transportation to ensure successful hosting of the

games that will harness the talents of our youths. We have closed the schools to pave way for success of the games. The FCT will also send 470 athletes to participate in 27 sports. They are in different camp preparing and we have made funds available for their participation,â&#x20AC;? Ohaa said. Meanwhile, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has disclosed that the FCT Administration will use the festival to put Abuja on the global map of sports tourism in order to attract investment and economic development. He made this disclosure during the press briefing on Tuesday. He said the FCTA is committed to developing a sporting brand like other major cities of the world, adding that the current investment in infrastructure, rail transportation and public utilities are geared towards making the city attractive for these purposes.

Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Others to Perform at GOtv Boxing Night 17 The 17th edition of GOtv Boxing Night (GOtv Boxing Night 17) will feature musical performances by four big acts, the organisers have revealed. The artistes scheduled to perform at the event, which holds on 28 December at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, are Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Teni Da Entertainer and Daddy Showkey. According to Jenkins Alumona, the Managing Director of Flykite Promotions, organisers of the event, the top acts have been signed on to provide ad-

ditional entertainment at the show, which will host the World Boxing Federation Intercontinental super featherweight title bout between Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seun â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Machineâ&#x20AC;? Wahab and Tanzaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Issa â&#x20AC;&#x153;Peche Boyâ&#x20AC;? Nampepeche in addition to seven other bouts. Alumona explained that the show, tagged â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boxing Jams Musicâ&#x20AC;?, was conceived as a well-rounded entertainment package for fans during festive season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that boxing and music are both forms of entertainment and bring joy to people. Our

aim is to provide fans with best in sport and music, the reason we have signed on four of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest artistes for GOtv Boxing Night 17. It is a family-oriented event. We want parents to come with their children and have fun,â&#x20AC;? explained Alumona. In addition to the WBF title fight, GOtv Boxing Night 17 will feature another international bout, a middleweight challenge duel between US-based Nigerian Oluwafemi â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Eagleâ&#x20AC;? Oyeleye and Meshack â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smart Boyâ&#x20AC;? Mwankemwa of Tanzania. Also

in action on the night are big names on the domestic boxing scene. They include Oto â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joe Boyâ&#x20AC;? Joseph, African Boxing Union lightweight champion; Rilwan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Real Oneâ&#x20AC;? Oladosu, national lightweight champion; Olaide â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fijabornâ&#x20AC;? Fijabi, Nurudeen â&#x20AC;&#x153;Princeâ&#x20AC;? Fatai and Ridwan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Scorpionâ&#x20AC;? Oyekola. The event will be beamed live on SuperSport in 47 African countries and would also see the best boxer of the night go home with a cash prize of N1.5 million alongside the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.

Okubena said that there will be follow up after the competition on students that are interested in playing the game with various sessions with professional players that will tutor the younger players. In his comment Seven-Up Bottling Company Senior Brands Manager, Mr. Segun Ogunleye, stated that, SBC was keen at growing the greener feature of the country especially for youth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tennis competition offers that opportunity to showcase the idea. The competition will not only enhance development but further show the abundant talents in Nigeria,â&#x20AC;? he noted. Seven-Up bottling company will be on ground to refresh players, officials and spectators at the six-day tournament which winners will go home with medals, cash prices, gift vouchers and certificates. A maximum of 20 students are expected from the 15 selected secondary schools in Lagos State while 20 professional coaches are expected to participate at the maiden edition. Four gold medalist will walk away with gift worth N50,000 each while the four silver and eight bronze medalists will each be rewarded with gift worth N35,000 and N15,000 respectively.

Ekiti Athletes Protest Alleged Embezzlement of N7m Sports Fund Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti The Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti was yesterday erupted inprotest, as Ekiti State athletes to the 2018 National Sports Festivalshowed open disapproval over alleged embezzlement of N7 millionapproved by the state government for the fiesta The sports fiesta will kick off in the Federal Capital Territory,Abuja tomorrow. The protesters pointedly accused the management of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sports Council of pocketing five million Naira made available by the state government and declared a paltry two million Naira as the only approved fund for the team to travel to Abuja for the festival. An athlete, who craved anonymity told journalists that the negotiations on the funds to be released between state government and the Sports Council have been on for some times now. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It started from N32 million to N19 million and they eventually agreedon N7 million but they are now telling us that only N2 million was approved by the state government for us to go for the NSF in Abuja. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been preparing for the sports festival which starts on Thursday December 6, in Abuja since about three months ago. The athletes have been

engaging in open camping all the while with most of us coming from across the 16 local government areas of the state,â&#x20AC;? the athlete further revealed. However, the General Manager of Ekiti State Sports Council, Deji Samo, accused the protesting athletes as being sponsored for personal interests. Samo dismissed the athletesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; allegations, saying: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have sent our file to the governor. We are expecting his response. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is when we get approval for fund that we will know how many of the athletes will go for the festival. We will like to go to the competitionwith our medal hopefuls. He however admitted that lack of funds necessitated the open camp the athletes were put through during the preparation for the NSF. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because of funds, we had to put the athletes through open camp. They have been preparing. All I know is that we are going to the games in Abuja and we will make the state proudâ&#x20AC;?. About 150 athletes were earlier scheduled to represent the state at sports festival but lack of proper funding could mean less than 30 athletes may end up representing the state in Abuja. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been to the Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office last week Friday and theyassured us that funds will be made available for our participation.

Balogun Scores 2nd Fastest Goal as Sub Leon Balogun opened his goal scoring account in England last night as he netted just 25 seconds after coming on as a substitute for Brighton in their 3-1 win over

Crystal Palace. Balogunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is the second quickest goal by a sub in the Premier League this season after Daniel Sturridge vs West Ham (24 secs).

Wednesday December 5, 2018



& RE A S O


Price: N250


“Every day, I will campaign for President Buhari, we will do everything possible to ensure Buhari wins massively in Ogun State, but they should not miss it. I will not support anyone they are bringing.” -Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, saying he would work against the governorship candidate of the APC, Dapo Abiodun, in the 2019 governorship poll.

FEMIFALANA Executive Order 5 And the Economy GUEST COLUMNIST


he National Emergency Management Agency and the Rivers state government were busy last week evacuating not fewer than a hundred people who were trapped in the rumbles of a collapsed 7-storey building in Port Harcourt. While our sympathies go to the trapped victims of the collapsed building we should call on the government and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria to take urgent steps to ensure that those who bear responsibility for the disaster are seriously sanctioned. Such a prosecution will serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements that are busy erecting buildings in defiance of the provisions of the relevant laws and regulations. Unlike the legal profession, which ensures that fake lawyers are arrested and prosecuted from time to time, the building profession has not taken any bold step to rid its rank of quacks that have hijacked the building industry. Even many foreign professionals who are not registered builders are handling building projects for governments in many parts of the country. It is, therefore, hoped that the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria will take advantage of the provisions of the Builders Registration Act Cap B13 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Presidential Executive Order No 5 of 2018 to take control of the building industry.

Objectives of Presidential Order No 5 of 2018 In recognition of the fact that entrenching science, technology and innovation in everyday life is key to achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy, the federal government has committed itself to the promotion of domestic and foreign investments, creation of employment and the circulation of national economy. Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Presidential Executive Order Number 5 (For Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology) of 2018 on Monday, February 6, 2018 with a view to improving local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components. Executive Order 5 is a demonstration of the Federal government’s efforts to promote the application of science, technology and innovation within Nigeria. Although it is a step towards achieving the nation’s developmental goal of improving all sectors of the economy it is hoped that it will be faithfully and efficiently implemented by the federal government and all stakeholders. Being a subsidiary legislation it is stated in Paragraph 17 of Executive Order 5 that it shall be read in conjunction with extant laws, regulations and guidelines governing public procurement, process implementation and professional practice in Nigeria, as well as those that may be issued pursuant to the Order. Strategically, the main objectives of the Executive Order 5 are the harnessing of domestic talent and the development of indigenous capacity in science and engineering for the promotion of technological innovation needed to drive national competitiveness, productivity and economic activities which will invariably enhance the achievement of the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy. Beyond recognising

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola the need to promote made –in- Nigeria goods and services the Order lays the foundation for the promotion of local expertise in the manufacturing value chain. Indeed, for any nation to grow and reach its full potential it must make judicious use of its human and material resources. In exercise of the powers conferred on him by the constitution and the Executive Order 5, the President has directed all relevant public officers and agencies of the federal government to comply with the instrument by carrying certain specific duties. The duties which have been well summarised by the law firm of Banwo and Ighodalo include the following provisions:  r"MM QSPDVSJOH BVUIPSJUJFT TIBMM HJWF preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007;  r8IFSF FYQFSUJTF JT MBDLJOH  QSPDVSJOH entities shall give preference to foreign companies and firms with demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous capacity development, prior to the award of such contracts; r.%"TTIBMMFOHBHFJOEJHFOPVTQSPGFTTJPOBMT in the planning, design and execution of national security projects and consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria;  r/JHFSJBO DPNQBOJFT PS àSNT EVMZ registered in accordance with the laws of Nigeria, with current practising licence shall lead in any consultancy services involving Joint Venture (JV) relationships and agreements, relating to Law, Engineering, ICT, Architecture, Procurement, Quantity Surveying, and etc. and r.%"TTIBMMFOTVSFUIBUCFGPSFUIFBXBSE of any contract, Nigerian counterpart staff are engaged from the conception stage to the end of the project and shall also adopt local technology that meet set standards to replace foreign ones; It is further provided that companies or firms duly registered in Nigeria, with a valid practicing licence shall be led in any consultancy services involving Joint Venture (JV) relationships and agreements, relating to Law, Engineering, ICT, Architectural Procurement, Quantity Surveying, and so on; MDAs shall ensure that all professionals practicing in Nigeria are duly registered with

the appropriate regulatory bodies in Nigeria and shall ensure they collaborate with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, that all foreign professional certificates are valid and registered with the relevant professional bodies before being considered for any contract award or employment in Nigeria. From the foregoing, it is indisputable that Executive Order 5 is designed to promote science, innovation and technology acquisition and the participation of local companies in government procurement activities. Hence, it recognises the role of technology and innovation in achieving growth, development and key economic projections of the federal government, which is most welcome. To ensure that the objectives of the executive order are achieved the federal government has set up a Presidential Monitoring and Evaluation Council headed by the President and comprising the Vice President, Ministers and Chairman of the Governor’s Forum. The Council is saddled with the responsibility to monitor the implementation of the Order. Even though the President is required by the Order to direct all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of all projects in line with the provisions of the Executive Order it has not stopped professional bodies from ensuring that only qualified persons are registered to practice any trade or profession in the country. However, since we are operating a federal system of government it should be realised that there are certain provisions of the Executive Order 5, which are not binding on state governments. Therefore, state governors are advised to enact similar legislations with respect to the design, award of contracts and execution of projects in all the states of the federation. It is pertinent to recall that the former military regime promulgated the indigenisation decrees, which transferred the management of the economy to Nigerians. Unfortunately, the law and regulations made thereto were repealed in 1986 to give way to the full control and management of the economy by imperialism when the Structural Adjustment Programme was imposed on the nation by the Ibrahim Babangida regime. It was an era, which marked the commencement of the sale of the nation’s major public enterprises to foreign and local capitalists and rent seekers. But for public resistance the interests of the Nigerian people in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) would have been sold by the Buhari administration. However, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has threatened to sell the commanding heights of the economy including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to some unnamed interest groups. It is common knowledge that the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF) was established by the federal government to provide scholarships for Nigerians to acquire requisite knowledge in petroleum related courses. But after several decades of the existence of the PTDF foreign nationals largely dominate the oil and gas industry. It is also on account of lack of competence and economic power that many Nigerian stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have

not been able to take advantage of the Local Content Act 2010 which has provided for local content in all projects executed in the oil and gas sector. It is my submission that unless the Nigerian people are prepared to defend the objectives of the Executive Order, the neo-colonial peripheral capitalist system operated by the government of Nigeria cannot muster the political will to compel all procuring authorities to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts and execution of projects in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007. In contrast, for instance, the government of Rwanda has rejected the request of the Trump administration to jettison the development of its local textile industry and continue to import second hand dresses worth $2 billion per annum from the United States of America. With respect to Nigeria, the officials of the federal government have continued to adorn themselves in dresses made from imported textile materials notwithstanding the directive of Executive Order No 5 that ‘Made- in- Nigeria’ products be promoted. However, the ministry of interior is to ensure that all expatriate quota for projects, contracts and programmes are granted in line with the provisions of the Immigration Act and other relevant laws. No doubt, the prohibition of the ministry of interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria would create some job opportunities for Nigerians. But unless many unemployed and unemployable young people are trained and equipped it might be difficult to prevent procuring entities and employers of labour from giving preference to foreign firms and nationals with requisite skills and competence. For example, as local artisans are not well trained many people prefer to procure the services of artisans from neighbouring countries. Conclusion While Executive Order 5 may be said to have laid the foundation for the gradual take-off of the envisioned standardisation and innovative technologies which engender capacity utilisation and development, the government has not made adequate provision for the development of science and technology. Apart from encouraging the teaching of science and technology in all schools the federal, state and local governments should promote and support research with substantial funding on a regular basis. In view of the growing culture of official impunity in the country the executive order ought to be amended to provide sanctions for public officers who may contrive its provisions. In order to ensure the overall development of the country with respect to the planning and execution of projects and promotion of Nigerian content in science and technology it is high time that all the state governments adopted the Public Procurement Act together with Executive Order No 5 of 2018. In the alternative, the President should liaise with the leadership of the National Assembly with a view to having the executive order passed into law. I am confident that the National Assembly will not hesitate to pass the bill having regards to the huge benefits, which the nation stands to derive from the legislation.

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