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FG Targets N900bn from Offshore Tax Assets Holds emergency FEC meeting tomorrow over 2019 budget Ndubuisi Francis and Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has disclosed that the federal government is looking to grow the tax revenue base

in the coming years by N900 billion from offshore assets through the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme (VOARS). The minister revealed this

in Abuja at the third annual conference on financial fraud, electoral fraud and cross-border crime organised by Forensic Insight and the Nigeria Police Force.

Malami, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Financial Crimes, Mr. Abiodun Aikomo, said, “It is also expected that the VOARS

will earn significant revenue for the federal government of Nigeria estimated conservatively at 2.5 billion Swiss Francs (approximately over N900 billion), and yield a

CBN Intensifies Excess Liquidity Mop Up... Page 8

new expanded tax base from which FGN will earn future tax revenue.” Although he noted that the federal government was worried by the criticisms that trailed some of its antiContinued on page 8

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Oshiomhole: APC Will Win Ogun, Imo without Amosun, Okorocha... Page 8

Don’t Sell Your Future, Atiku Urges Nigerians Accuses APC of buying PVCs for N10 Gets 45 political parties’ endorsement Storms Ibadan today for South-west rally Iyobosa Uwugiaren, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) campaign trail moved to Ilorin, the capital of the North-central state of Kwara, yesterday with its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,

urging Nigerians not to sell their future by succumbing to alleged moves by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to buy their permanent voter cards (PVCs) for as little as N10. Chastising the APC for failing to fulfill its promises Continued on page 6

Sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill Now, Saraki Tells Buhari

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday joined scores of prominent Nigerians urging President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2018 alteration bill on Electoral Act 2010 that had been returned thrice by the

president. Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Ilorin urged the president to rise above petty politics and act without further

Continued on page 6

Agbaje: Lagos No Longer Industrial Hub of Nigeria... Page 6

DOOR TO DOOR... Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (left) with members of the Danjuma Jimiko family in their compound in Karu community, Abuja, during the vice president's visit to the community...recently


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Agbaje: Lagos No Longer Industrial Hub of Nigeria Says N7tn wasted in last 20 years Segun James The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has painted a gloomy picture of the socio-political economy of the state, saying that despite the fact that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is higher than the combined economy of both Ghana and Kenya, it is still one of the least developed of the mega cities in the world. Agbaje declared that contrary to what people think, Lagos, which has been the centre of the country’s banking, industry and commerce, has lost its position as the industrial hub of the country to other states of the federation with N7 trillion wasted in the state in the last 20 years. The PDP governorship candidate spoke yesterday on

the ‘Morning Show’ of Arise News, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspaper. He told the panel, “The truth is that Lagos is no longer the industrial hub of Nigeria. Lagos is bigger than 11 countries in Africa combined. But the truth is that Lagos is no longer the industrial hub of the country; we have lost that to neighbouring states. It is still the commercial hub, but it is not doing as well as it should. Yes, it is the fifth largest economy in Africa Lagos economy is bigger than Ghana and Kenya combined. Lagos economy is bigger than 11 African countries combined; but what I‘m saying is that we shouldn’t get carried away with small successes and think we are doing well. “Lagos is a mega city; for a mega city, it swings around

139 cities in the world in terms of liveability. It is one of the two mega cities in the world that doesn’t have a transport system; in terms of rail, in terms of multi-model integrated system. The state in the last 20 years has spent over N7trillion! You can imagine what that kind of figure is. “That is why we are asking Lagosians that what have you really got for N7trillion? Is education fantastic? Is health care fantastic? Is traffic good? Is there power? What is good about Lagos? Agbaje insisted that the last 20 years under the same set of people and government has not been good for the state and the people. According to him, “We are going to do many things differently. We need to do

something for the youth. The youth of today are not properly prepared for the challenges of the 21st century, so we have to get the education right. Education today is about innovation, having entrepreneurial skills, and we are not doing that! “When you look at the world today, everybody is talking about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and the Bill Gates and all that. These are people that succeeded not from university education but from their basic education. “Now we are not providing that kind of basic education for our own youths, so they are not prepared; the kind of education that pushes them into the creative industry in a way that they can hold their own. You talk about a healthy nation being a wealthy nation; but God forbid that any of us falls ill, but Lagos in the

21st century must have a health system that is sustainable. “There must be universal accessible and affordable health care. But 20 years after, N7trillion after, we still don’t have that.� He lamented that the residents spend their time in the traffic because of the poor transportation system. He disclosed that he had to patronise commercial motorbikes to the airport in order to meet up with his flight. “That shouldn’t be happening in a Lagos of the 21st century, a Lagos that has spent N7trillion. In the last 20 years,� the PDP candidate said. On high unemployment rate and the breakdown of social infrastructure in the state, Agbaje stressed that vested interests were responsible for the inability of the Lagos transport and refuse

disposal system to run effectively. “It is the same vested interest that is responsible for the noncompletion of the Lagos light rail system. In the PDP you fight for what you want, but in the APC, that option is not there. In APC there is got to be an anointing, but in the PDP you fight for what you want,� he said. On pre-election debate between him and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu; Agbaje said, “We are ready for the debate because it is going to be a referendum on their records in the last 20 years. Don’t come and give us promises any longer. “Lagos is one of the two mega cities in the whole world that doesn’t have a light rail in the whole world, and we have been at it for 12 years, yet it is not near completion.�

to prosecute the election across the about 120,000 polling units in the country, were the criteria used in picking Atiku.

common man in the country. “Your ambition is clear, legitimate and you need the protection of God for you to move round the nation for campaigns. Nigeria is so connected and we need to respect each other. I wish you all the best and Allah’s protections always,� the Emir advised. In his short address at the palace, the PDP presidential candidate disclosed that he has been close with the emir since his days when the emir was on the bench as a judge, while he was a public servant. He promised to maintain his age-long closeness with the Ilorin emirate and further chart way forward for the development of the state and nation at large if elected as president in 2019.

aspiration to rally with a new president to liberate their political and economic fortunes from the stranglehold of APC’s oppressive and exploitative oligarchy. “The PPCO notes that the South-west zone has already embraced its presidential candidate, Atiku, because of his proven capacity, transparency and all-inclusive stance, which the region requires to move forward and realise its full potential that have been retarded by the Muhammadu Buhari incompetent, oppressive, corrupt and divisive administration. “The South-west holds a leading position in many critical sectors and will no longer allow a modern day expansionist to continue to sequester and dominate the economy of the people, while making maximum enrichment for himself and a few acolytes at the detriment of majority of the citizenry. “This APC expansionist and his cronies have looted the resources of the South-west and made life miserable for the people through forceful territorial occupation, direct stealing of public funds, annexing of public property and income generating institutions; multiple taxation, which proceeds are directed to private purses, as well as harsh financial regulations, which have crippled many businesses, particularly in the South-west.’’ Describing the South-west people as very resourceful, industrious and creative group and can, therefore, not thrive under lackluster, visionless, inept and corrupt Buhari administration, the council cautioned the people not to get carried away by the stipends being given to traders by the APC barely few months to the general elections.

DON’T SELL YOUR FUTURE, ATIKU URGES NIGERIANS to Nigerians since 2015 at the North-central zonal rally of the PDP, Atiku advised Nigerians not to allow APC humiliate them by buying their PVCs. As Atiku spoke in Ilorin, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), the umbrella body of about 45 major opposition parties, boosted his chance in the presidential race when it announced the former vice president as the consensus candidate of the opposition in the February 2019 election. Atiku spoke to an excited huge crowd, saying it was time to return Nigeria to the PDP because the best years of the country were when the PDP governed the country. He said, “Today, we have listened to the failures of the APC government since 2015 till today. There is nothing they have not promised us; they promised us security, jobs and better economy, they failed. “In terms of corruption, Nigeria is worse off today than we were in 2014. In terms of economy, we are the poorest country in the world today. In terms of insecurity, we are the most insecure than at any other time in history. “This is what the APC is doing. They are buying PVCs. They will come to you and give you N10, N20, N50 to buy your PVC. They are buying your future.� Warning Nigerians against selling their PVCs, Atiku noted that APC would use it against them. Atiku told them, “Whatever they have promised, they failed. It is time for you people to return this country to PDP because the best years of this country were when the PDP was governing our country from 1999 to 2015.� Also speaking at the rally, the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, and Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, lamented that in 2015, security challenges in

the country was limited to the North-east, saying the security challenges have since escalated and spread to North-west and even North-central. He added that the current administration has not only failed in the fight against corruption, but has failed to tackle security and fight poverty and hunger. “We must find a president that can address the issue of security in this country; but more importantly, we must find a president that will address the economy because the hunger is serious today in Nigeria.� On his part, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said that the party is on a mission to rescue the country from the shackles of the ruling APC. He said that the party is moving forward to stop the sufferings of Nigerians, warning the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against rigging in the 2019 elections. Others, who spoke along the same line include, former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki; former governor of Niger State, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu; Senator Musa Ibrahim Kwankwaso, Senator Ahmadu Ali; Mr. Peter Obi and others.

CUPP Endorses Atiku Swelling Atiku’s chances in the presidential election, CUPP, the umbrella body of about 45 major opposition parties, few hours after a closed door deliberation at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja yesterday announced the former vice president as the consensus candidate of the opposition in the 2019 election. THISDAY’s findings show that over 41 political parties in attendance endorsed the decision, which enjoyed majority support. Former governor of Osun State and Convener of CUPP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who made

the disclosure while addressing a press conference held at Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, said the former vice president met the criteria used in the choice of a presidential candidate for the coalition. Oyinlola said the CUPP, an umbrella body of 45 registered political parties in the alliance arrived at the decision based on the candidate’s (Atiku) experience in administration, management of economy and politics. “After a painstaking assessment of what we have across the coalition parties and after processing the candidates’ suitability using these criteria, the steering committee hereby submits that a former vice president and candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the best and his party the most virile of all the options before us,’’ the former governor stated. Oyinlola, who was assisted by National Chairman of Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chief Peter Ameh, during the briefing said, “We, therefore, choose him as the CUPP candidate for the 2019 presidential election.� The convener, who charged members of the coalition to hit the ground running, reminded them that their main challengers are already in war mood, having launched what they called ‘’THE NEXT LEVEL.’’ He added, “We must prove to them that we are the masters in this enterprise and tell them that the Nigerian people would not follow them (the APC) to THE NEXT EVIL scheme they have designed for our country.’’ He said that the national acceptability of candidate and party, strength of the structure of candidate and party across the country, competitiveness of the candidate’s party vis-a-vis our major challenger, the APC, financial strength of candidate and party, access to financial resources, capacity and readiness

Secondus: Vote Atiku to Rescue Nigeria from Hunger At the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, as part of activities flagging-off the party’s zonal presidential campaign for North-central, Secondus urged Nigerians to vote for Atiku to rescue Nigeria from hunger. According to him, “The nation is currently suffering from hunger and insecurity. There is need for a competent and well experienced Nigerian to come on board to save us. As we are all aware that Nigeria is in distress and we are in dire need of a well-connected leader to rescue us. “There is no iota of truth in the claims that the crowd that you saw during our visit to Sokoto State was people hired from Niger Republic. They are our genuine supporters and that was a clear indication that people are tired of the current government. ‘’We are here to receive your blessings and permission to talk to our people and seek their votes for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Peter Obi.� Still in the Emir's Palace, Saraki, thanked the emir for honouring the team and urged him to support the party in prayers always. In his remarks, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, urged the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, to be an unbiased umpire in the 2019 general elections. He also advised the judiciary to act independently of all arms of government in order to discharge its roles as the last hope of the

South-West’s Votes Belong to Us, Says PDP Meanwhile, PDP has boasted that votes from the South-west region belong to it, saying the South-west presidential zonal rally scheduled for Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, today will enable it deepen consultation with leaders of the zone in the consensus to dislodge the ruling APC, in the 2019 general elections. The PDP Presidential Campaign Organization’s (PPCO) spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement yesterday, said the geo-political zone is too sophisticated and educationally exposed to allow “certificate forgers, incompetent leaders and fraudulent elements to brazenly continue to sit over their affairs, especially with arrogant show of disdain and official intimidation.� According to him, “The South-west presidential zonal rally is another major step in galvanising the people of the zone in their long-standing

SIGN ELECTORAL ACT AMENDMENT BILL NOW, SARAKI TELLS BUHARI delay in the best interest of the country and its democracy by signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018 into law. He noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly, who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law of the alteration bill as the one month period provided by the law for the president to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly is about to expire in the next few days. He added that many of the legislators, who contacted him, were particularly disturbed that certain individuals, who are said to be chairmen of political parties,

had approached the Federal High Court to stop the president from assenting to the bill. The Senate president noted that the jaded tactic employed in the 90s to scuttle the return to democracy when groups like the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) went to court to frustrate the announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 elections is now being adopted by some masked groups and individuals to stop the signing into law of the bill. He urged the president to dissociate himself from the ugly antics and sign the bill, which he said has comprehensively addressed issues that usually clog the process of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

Saraki said, “It is the prerogative of the president to either sign a bill into law or refuse it assent. He is free to exercise this prerogative the way he likes in this case. What I found surprising is a situation where some people now want to adopt a wrong tactic of abusing the court process to stall the matter. That will be unacceptable and I am sure our judiciary will rely on the lessons from the past and not allow itself to be used. “We do not want the president to allow the setting of a bad precedent in which somebody will go to court in future to stop the passage of an appropriation bill or any essential law, which will be important to the development

of the country. “My position remains that the president, his aides, the entire country and the international community are aware that all the concerns raised by the president on the past three occasions he withheld assent to the bill have been addressed by the legislature. We bent backwards on each occasion to accommodate the wishes of the president. We started work on this law since 2016 to prevent a situation where it would become part of the election controversies. “Every sincere commentator, observer and analyst knows that what we have done with that bill is to raise the level of transparency, credibility and acceptability of

our electoral process. We made sure that the law if assented to and honestly applied by INEC and all those concerned will give us an election that will be better than what we had in 2015. “The president should know that the survival of democracy, its development and the future of Nigeria are far more important than the ambition of any individual or party. I am using this opportunity to call on President Buhari to put a stop to this uncertainty in the political process by signing without delay the 2018 Electoral Act Amendment Bill so as to allow INEC and the concerned parties know how to prepare for a credible process.�

TOP GAINERS NGN NGN VERITASKAP 0.02 0.22 DIAMONDBANK 0.07 0.85 LINKAGEASSURE 0.05 0.61 WAPIC 0.03 0.40 LASACO 0.02 0.29 TOP LOSERS NGN CCNN 1.75 16.25 TRANSEXP 0.06 0.59 PRESTIGE 0.05 0.50 FIRSTALUMINIUM 0.03 0.30 MUTUALBENEFITS 0.02 0.21 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,485.00 Volume: 198.637 million shares Value: N2.309 billion Deals: 2,802 As at yesterday 05/12/18 See details on Page 41

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CBN Intensifies Excess Liquidity Mop Up Obinna Chima Following the closure of Nigeria’s Treasury Bills (NTBs) issue calendar for 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intensified its mop up of excess liquidity in the system through open market operations (OMO). OMO is one of the central bank’s liquidity management instruments, whereas treasury bills are government debt, basically to support the budget deficit. THISDAY’s findings showed that the central bank auctioned OMO bills totaling N147.11 billion on Monday and yesterday. A breakdown of this showed that while yesterday, the regulator auctioned N400 million of 92-day bills; N1.19 billion of 183-day bills and N90.89 billion of 351-day bills; it sold a total of

N54 billion bills on Monday. The breakdown of Monday’s issuance was N14.06 billion of 192-day bills and N40.56 billion of the 353-day instrument. According to the NTB calendar for the fourth quarter 2018 that was released earlier by the CBN, there would not be any treasury bills auction this month. The idea was not to roll over any maturing instrument this month, but to fully repay. “What the CBN has been doing since Monday is to increase the frequency of OMO so as to mop up the excess liquidity in the market,� an analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Kunle Ezun explained. But the Head of Research and Strategy at FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Mr. Ayodele Akinwunmi, pointed out that the limited investment outlets in

EmeďŹ ele the system might cause interbank rates to drop this month. He explained, “In fact, we expect that the yields on fixed income securities may likely drop marginally. The CBN had announced on behalf of the Debt Management Office that they are not going to auction treasury

bills this month. “They just received $2.9 billion from the sale of Eurobond and therefore, they are going to pay back the maturing obligation in December, so there is no need for them to borrow money in the domestic market this month. That was exactly what they did last year. “We also expect that this month when the US Federal Reserve meets, they are going to increase rate by additional 25 basis points. If that happens, yield over there may go up. “So, if a large part of the maturing securities in Nigeria is held by foreign investors, they may want to take their money out. “But our findings showed that the bulk of money that would be maturing is OMO, not treasury bills and most times it is the

Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) and banks that invest in OMO.� He advised fixed income investors to “buy bonds at the current level because they are very attractive. Secondly, buy the longest end of the treasury bills which is the 361-day bills. “Thirdly, there are lots of opportunities in the Eurobond market for investors who have dollars.� The Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, pointed out that maturing OMO bills worth N684.8 billion would hit the system this week. CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last week predicted that monetary policy stance would remain judicious, research-driven, adequate and supportive of the real economy subject to

underlying fundamentals. He pointed out that the current tight stance was expected to continue in the near-term, especially in view of rising inflation expectations and exchange market pressures. He explained, “Though we will act to appropriately adjust the policy rate in line with unfolding conditions and outlooks, the CBN will continue to ensure that the policy interest rate is delicately set to balance the objectives of price stability with output stabilisation. “With favourable oil price developments and continued efforts at driving indigenous production in high-impact real sector activities, especially agriculture and manufacturing, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to pick-up in the remaining two quarters of 2018.�

Oshiomhole: APC Will Win Ogun, Imo without Amosun, Okorocha Party’s reconciliation efforts heads for the rocks Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri All Progressives Congress’ (APC) efforts to reconcile members aggrieved over its recently conducted primary elections may have hit the rocks, THISDAY findings have shown even as the National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, called off the bluff of Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo States respectively yesterday, saying the party would win their states in spite of their belligerence. Oshiomhole had set up six reconciliation committees for the six geo-political zones with a mandate to reach out to aggrieved aspirants in the states and reconcile them with the party. However, with a few days to the end of their two-week assignment, the committees appear to have ran into troubled waters as most of the aggrieved APC members have refused to be appeased and are bent on working against the party using alternative platforms to actualise their ambitions. THISDAY gathered that the reconciliation efforts in the party’s four most troubled states - Imo, Ogun, Ondo and Zamfara - have hit a brick wall. Okorocha, Amosun, Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) are the most aggrieved governors elected on the platform of the party, whose spat with Oshiomhole contributed largely to the setting up of the reconciliation committees. But despite the peace efforts, the loyalists of Okorocha, Amosun and Akeredolu have since pitched tent with other parties rather than remain in APC, where their fate in the 2019 elections have been sealed with the closure of the substitution window.

While Okorocha’s sonin-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu, dumped the APC and picked the gubernatorial ticket of the Action Alliance (AA) in order to realise his governorship ambition, Amosun’s preferred candidate, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, and 26 state lawmakers defected to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) to pursue their aspirations. Also, following the unresolved internal crisis that is rocking the Ondo State chapter of the party, a senatorial aspirant of the party and Akeredolu’s close associate, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, has defected from the ruling party to the Action Alliance. Meanwhile, aggrieved party chieftains in Zamfara State have also continued with their multiple litigations, which denied the party the chances of fielding candidates in the 2019 elections, despite the threat by the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) to deal with members, who fail to withdraw their court cases. Apart from the refusal of APC members to withdraw existing cases from the courts, THISDAY gathered that some party members have also initiated fresh cases against the admonition of the party’s NWC. For instance, while the reconciliation committee led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State is busy searching for solutions to the crisis in the party in South-west, a gubernatorial aspirant in his state, Alhaji Idris Durkwa, dragged the party to court over alleged manipulation of the primary election. The plaintiff in the suit number: FHC/MG/CS/55/2018 instituted before a Federal High Court in Maiduguri prayed for the disqualification of the winner of the primary, Prof. Babagana Zulum.

After listening to the counsel, Justice Jude Dagat adjourned the case to January 17, 2019 for hearing. It was gathered that with the substitution window closed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the reconciliation committees were left with no carrot to woo party members who lost out in the primaries. Speaking to THISDAY on the reconciliation efforts, a chieftain of the APC and one of the aggrieved senatorial aspirants in Enugu State, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, rubbished the peace effort, describing it as deliberately ill-time and empty in what they have to offer. Okechukwu, who is the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), told THISDAY that the party waited until the substitution window had almost expired before constituting the reconciliation committees. When asked whether he and other aggrieved members have been reconciled, Okechukwu said, "The truth of the matter is that they do not have any card on the table; if the party has foreclosed the chances of substituting candidates, what else do we do? Okechukwu also said the reconciliation committee in his zone failed to proffer any remedy on the issue of getting the party to refund the monies spent on forms for those who have valid cases. When confronted with the resistance of the aggrieved party members to the reconciliation move, the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre IsaOnilu, told THISDAY that the party would not like to preempt the committees' work since the two weeks given to them was yet to expire.

"It will not be proper to jump the gun and begin to speak on the outcome of the reconciliation. We will wait till they submit their report by the end of the week," he said. The APC spokesman said that aside from the cases involving some of its governors, there were other issues that the reconciliation committee would address in the course of their assignment. However, while speaking on the party's reconciliation efforts, Oshiomhole said he was impressed by the outcome so far, adding that the peace committees headed by the governors have interfaced with many of the aggrieved members. "I believe it is working; governors have been helpful, they have been going round the country talking to people. Those who have what I call negotiable grievances, they are sorting them out. But if there are individuals who probably believe that it is either they get what they want or they will port, there is little we can do about that,� he said. Oshiomhole reacted to the defection of aggrieved members to other parties describing it as selfish. He said there is not much the party can do to satisfy those party men who want to have their way at all costs. "There is nothing we can do about it. As I said, Nigeria has to move to a level, where rules are what matter not the power of the person. If you are a big person or small the rules are not supposed to discriminate," he said. On the defection by aggrieved party stakeholders in Imo and Ogun States, Oshiomhole said, “The real headline today is that we will win in Ogun State, and we will deliver Hope Uzodimma in Imo State. Our popularity in Imo State today are increasing,

what we don't know and Nigerians always make this mistake that once you are a governor, you have electoral value. "Yes we have overwhelming majority of APC governors, who have electoral value and we also have some few electoral liabilities. I can tell you that in Imo State today we will win more votes. Politics is about numbers and I am looking at the average Imo voters because on that day, the governor will have one vote and his son-in-law will also have one vote, those market women, artisans, mechanics and farmers will also have their votes." Oshiomhole has declared emphatically that the party would win Ogun and Imo States without their respective governors - Amosun and Okorocha. He described the governors as poor students of their own history, who had forgotten they lost elections before winning on the platform of the APC. Oshiomhole spoke after receiving the APC women leaders from Edo State and Abuja, who paid him a solidarity visit in his private office in Aso Drive, Abuja. Oshiomhole said, “Those who think our political future is tied to them; they are poor students of their own political history. Some of these people who talk as if they are invincible, they have forgotten that they have run elections in the past and lost until they abandoned their parties and joined us. So if they return back, history will repeat itself. “Whether you are a big or small man, the rules are not supposed to discriminate. Our popularity in Imo and Ogun today is much higher. It is not that once you are a governor you have high electoral value. “Yes in APC, our governors have high electoral value but we also have a few who are electoral

out of it because with limitless access to such funds, the suspects are able to influence the process.� Despite the challenges, the AGF said the present administration was committed to the recovery of looted funds for the benefit of Nigerians. Already, he said government has recovered N13.8 billion from tax evaders under its Whistle blowing programme, and another N7.8 billion, US$378 million and £27,800 in recoveries from public officials. In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Forensic Insight, Mr. Awotunji Aworinde, said the three-day conference will among others, seek to

analyse and evaluate anticorruption measures of the Nigerian government, including the National Anti-Corruption Strategy document and their effectiveness in preventing corruption and corrupt practices.

liabilities.� He added that the actions of the two governors would not affect the fortunes of the party in the elections. He said, “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from Ogun State. The state is one of the most enlightened states in Nigeria. They have a huge history; they are not in a political kingdom headed by one person. “If they were looking for true reconciliation, they wouldn’t have done what they did (defection of aides). That is not how democracy works. Nigeria must grow beyond this syndrome ‘I’m the governor, I will decide.’ You have only one vote. With due respect, I was once a governor. Overall APC is much stronger now.�

Oshiomhole on a Mission to Destroy APC, Says Okorocha Meanwhile, reacting to the statement credited to Oshiomhole that himself and his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikule Amosun are political liabilities who only have one vote each, Okorocha described the APC national chairman as a political liability who is on a mission to destroy the ruling party. He added that the national chairman is a victim of his own actions. The Imo State governor who spoke through his Commissioner for Information, Patrick Nzeh, said that APC had lost no fewer than ten million supporters since the emergence of Oshiomhole as the national chairman. He contended that Uche Nwosu who is now the Action Alliance governorship candidate would defeat the APC governorship candidate in Imo State.

FG TARGETS N900BN FROM OFFSHORE TAX ASSETS corruption and asset recovery policies, he insisted that most of the backlash was driven by selfish motive. Speaking particularly on attacks that greeted the issuance of the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 on the Preservation of Assets Connected with Corruption, Malami said since its issuance in July 2018, the Order had been greeted by series of litigations challenging its constitutionality. President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, 2018, signed Executive Order No.6 directing relevant enforcement agencies to ensure that persons undergoing corruption trial

do not have access to their properties suspected to be proceeds of corruption. With the Order, such assets valued at N50 million and above (subject to investigation or litigation) are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful or statutory means including appropriate orders of court, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter. The minister lamented that the Executive Order 6 has come under serious criticisms even by ordinary Nigerians whose interest the policy seeks to protect, adding that contrary to assumption by critics, the

Executive Order No. 6 has the legal backing of the law. He explained that the Order became necessary to ensure fairness in prosecuting financial fraud cases, stressing: “There are several laws in Nigeria which permit the seizure and forfeiture of assets either temporarily or conclusively depending on the court ruling, unfortunately we observe that these laws have not been effectively implemented. “The implication is that fraud suspects with huge financial war chest and our level of development coupled with the way the court system works around here, you are almost certain that nothing will come

FG to Hold Special FEC Friday Meanwhile, a special Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting has been slated to hold tomorrow at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where the federal government will fine tune the 2019 budget. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and

Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told State House correspondents after yesterday’s FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that the special FEC meeting would look at the draft 2019 appropriation bill before transmitting it to the National Assembly for passage. According to him, "On Friday, by 10:30a.m. there is going to be a special session of the Federal Executive Council. The intention is to look at the budget, get the proposals approved by the FEC and then it would be transmitted to the National Assembly. That happens on Friday by 10a.m." Continued on page 50


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

Police Confirm Killing of 16 Personnel by Zamfara Bandits Alex Enumah in Abuja The Nigerian Police Force yesterday confirmed it lost 16 of its personnel when it raided the hideout of bandits in Zamfara State and killed several of them in the process. The police had refuted reports that 50 of its men were killed during the raid, insisting that only one was killed while another who sustained injury later died on Monday, bringing the figure to two. However in a statement issued yesterday by Zamfara State Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, the police disclosed that it lost 16 men while 20 others were rescued alive from bandits. “The search and rescue

operations embarked on by the Police Joint Intervention Force to rescue the missing Police personnel after the November 29, 2018, onslaught on the bandits in which 104 bandits were killed, 50 bandits hideouts in three camps destroyed and recovery of over 500 cattle and 79 sheep from their possession resulted in the successful rescue of 20 policemen alive, while 16 police personnel were found dead after the rescue operations carried out by the Police Joint Intervention Force. “Police Special Forces personnel, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Mobile Force, Federal SARS personnel with three surveillance patrol helicopters have commenced an on-going operation being

strengthened to rout-out the remaining bandits and other criminal elements in the caves and mountains in the identified hideouts in some locations in Zamfara State”, the statement said. The Inspector General of Police, in the statement

however, commiserated with the families of the deceased policemen and directed that a befitting burial be held for the gallant officers. He further directed an immediate processing and payments of the life assurance benefits and other

entitlements to their families. “The IG is saddened by the death of the gallant officers whom he describes as heroes of the Force; their demise is a great loss to Nigeria Police Force and our dear country, Nigeria. The supreme price they paid for the security and safety of

the country will not be in vain. “The Nigeria Police Force despite this unfortunate death of the 16 police personnel will not relent in ensuring that banditry, other violent crimes and criminalities are brought to a halt in Zamfara State”, he said.

CUPP Accuses Presidency of Plot to Disrupt 2019 Polls in 10 States Udora Orizu in Abuja The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has accused the presidency of planning to destabilise the 2019 elections in 10 states of the country. CUPP, the umbrella body of over 45 major opposition parties, has also adopted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as its consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential election. The coalition listed the states as Rivers, Delta,  Akwa Ibom, Abia, Edo, Imo, Anambra, Kwara, Plateau and Benue. The CUPP spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, spoke in Abuja yesterday at a press conference “on the road to 2019 elections, the unsigned Electoral Act Amendment Bill and the new plot to derail the elections by president Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).” The CUPP spokesperson stated that the group was in possession of credible intelligence to the effect that a grand plot to derail the 2019 general elections has been completed, adding that the implementation had commenced. He lamented that a government towing this path of dishonour is a government that won an open election where the people were allowed to cast their votes freely and their votes were allowed to count.

“The presidency believing that it will cross this stage of the plot not to sign the electoral amendment has also set in motion plots to fine tune the next stage which would be to militarise the elections and destabilise it in at least 10 target states.” He further said that if the amendment was not signed into law,  there are fears by Nigerians that the elections will end up the most violent in Nigeria’s history as victory will be for only those who shoot themselves through the ballot. The hands of the Supreme Court, he alleged, will be tied from nullifying the elections by the non-statutory backing of the card reader as has been held in some 2015 election cases.  He added that to this extent, the opposition resolved that if the president fails to sign the amended electoral bill, they shall be left with no option but to adopt and launch the opposition code 20. “As the only means of survival of democracy, the code is enshrined in section 20 of the administration of criminal justice act which allows citizens to perform policing duties of arrest. “The code is a neutralisation strategy which will check the mayhem and violence being plotted by President Buhari’s party. We shall not allow them thwart the will of the people.  It shall be a show of gallantry, patriotism and nationalism,” Ugochinyere said.

Fayose Involved in Accident on Third Mainland Bridge A former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, was involved in an accident on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State yesterday. The media aide of the former governor, Lere Olayinka, on his verified Twitter handle, confirmed the accident, but added that Fayose

was in a stable condition and receiving medical treatment. He tweeted, “Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was involved in auto accident on 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, a few minutes ago. He is in stable condition as I write while he is receiving medical attention.”

ON THE TRAIL...

L-R: Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Senate President Bukola Saraki; and PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, arrive Ilorin, Kwara State capital, for the party’s North-central zone rally… yesterday

Lagos Commissioner Resigns from Ambode’s Cabinet, Endorses Agbaje Gboyega Akinsanmi Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo, yesterday resigned from the State Executive Council, citing anomalies and irregularities that characterised the outcome of the governorship primaries. Oluwo, who contested governorship election with Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2007, also announced his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressing support for the PDP candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje in the forthcoming election. This was contained in two separate letters he addressed to the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and the Chairman of Lagos APC, Mr. Babatunde Balogun, yesterday, announcing his resignation from the State

Executive Council and his defection from the APC to the PDP. In the letters, Oluwo accused the leadership of the ruling party of being anti-democratic in the process through which former Commissioner of Establishment, Pensions and Training, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, emerged as the APC governorship candidate for the election scheduled to hold on March 2, 2019. Oluwo said the governorship primary had diminished the reputation of the APC in the state, alleging that a powerful group in the APC had been violating the principle of separation of powers and intimidating critical institutions of democracy in the state. Oluwo’s letter to the party chairman reads in part: “My decision to resign is not unconnected with the events of the last few weeks, which have created a heavy moral burden for me. I have found

it rather difficult to come to terms or rationalise the party’s conduct of the October 2018 primary elections, which were largely characterized by massive voter disenfranchisement, intimidation, violence, undue influence and non-compliance with all known principles of democracy. “In the particular case of the gubernatorial primary, which was conducted using the “open ballot” option in violation of the guidelines of the APC that specified the open-secret ballot option, it is clear to me that the core principles of merit, competence, justice and fairness have been sacrificed by the APC on the altar of political expediency. “The integrity-deficient nature of the primary has significantly diminished the hard-earned reputation of our State as a reference point for free and fair democratic practice. “I have struggled for weeks

to understand the rationale for the apparent desperation and brigandage brazenly displayed by the party apparatchik in the various elections. I had never thought such vicious attack could be unleashed on the progress that the state had made in its steady democratic journey. “The indifference of the APC to the continued use of an arm of government by a powerful group within the party, to intimidate critical institutions of democracy in the state, undermines the doctrine of separation of powers, creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and impairs government’s ability to implement policies and programmes that will benefit the majority of the people. “This is in conflict with my strongly held belief that group interest, no matter how powerful, must be subordinated to the interest of the majority,” Oluwo wrote.

OPEC Meets Today, Nigeria May Join Output Cuts As the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets today, there are strong indications that some delegates would want Nigeria and Libya to join the oil production cuts, which came into effect in January 1, 2017. Nigeria and Libya were exempted from the deal as a result of the militancy in the Niger Delta and unrest in Libya, which had already impacted production in both countries.

Under the deal, which had been extended to cover the whole of 2018, OPEC and non-OPEC producers, led by Russia are cutting 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day, as part of the efforts to remove the excess inventory in the global market. Before the producers embarked on the cuts, excess crude in the market had led to drop in oil price to $27 per barrel in February 2016. Delegates attending the OPEC

meeting in Vienna told S&P Global Platts yesterday that they would demand that Nigeria and Libya should join the production cuts deal. “We are hopeful that they will come around this time and understand that everyone has to cut together,” an OPEC delegate reportedly said. The delegate added that both countries had made significant improvements to their production

since the current deal went into force in January 2017, and it was time for them to “contribute.” Production from Libya has surged by 520,000 bpd, or more than double, from the October 2016 baseline on which the 1.8 million bpd cuts were based, while Nigerian output has risen by 210,000 bpd, or 13 per cent, according to S&P Global Platts OPEC survey data, though both have had volatile swings.


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NEWS

Senate Approves N338.925bn Refund to Two States, Others

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate yesterday approved the payment of N338.925 billion as refund to two states, six contractors and 269 companies for projects executed for federal government as well as claims from Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme. The approved payment which will be in promissory note programme and bond issuance was sequel to the presentation of a 14-page report of Senate Ad-hoc committee ‘on promissory note programme and a bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on refund to states government; claims in export expansion grant, EEG, scheme and contractors liabilities’ by its Chairman, Senator Francis Alimikehena. The seven-man ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate at its sitting on May 9 in the report which was not endorsed by two committee members; Senators Mohammed Goje and Monsurat Sumonu, recommended that the total sum of N338.925 billion be refunded to Delta and Taraba States, five construction firms and outstanding claims of 269 verified companies in export expansion grant scheme. The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ikweremadu, who

presided over yesterday’s plenary, after listening to contributions of some Senators including Senator Shehu Sani in support of the recommendations gave the breakdown of the approved refunds to include N67.982 billion and N34.315 billion as refund to Delta and Taraba States respectively for projects executed on behalf of the federal government. The Senate also approved issuance of N43.586billion promissory note as contractor liabilities to five construction firms vis Setraco Nigeria Limited (N37.43bn); Bouygues Nigeria Limited (N4.636bn); Simidias and I International Company Limited (N346.191m); Hamdala Homes and Agency Limited (N210.6m); and Lejmej Nigeria Limited (N960m). N193.042 billion bond issuance was also approved by the upper legislative chamber to clear the outstanding claims of 269 verified companies under the EEG scheme. The benefitting companies and their amount include  B&B Leather (N1.1bn); Chi Limited (N1.3bn); Cadbury Nigeria Plc (N1.5bn); AIS Trades and Industries Limited (N1.8bn; United Fisheries Limited (N100,000); Vista International Limited (N2,000); Sonnex Packaging Limited ( N92,000) and MINL Limited (N5.03bn). The Senate also passed six

bills for the establishment of six federal tertiary institutions across the country. The institutions which bills were read for the third time before being passed include four polytechnics, one college of education and one university of technology. The polytechnics are to be located in Mpu, Enugu State; Kwale in Delta State, Kaltungo in Gombe State and Adikpo

in Benue State. The university known as City University of Technology is to be situated at Auchi in Edo while the College of Education is to be sited in Omuo-Ekiti in Ekiti State. The bills were passed following the consideration of the reports of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, presented by its Chairman, Senator Jibrin Barau.

While making the presentation, Barau said the country was short of the number of tertiary institutions it needed to meet its educational goals and aspirations. He said, “In fact we have not attained 20 per cent of our requirements, so these institutions need to be established. “We are talking about getting our country developed

and industrialised, goals that cannot be realised without having federal polytechnics and universities to train our youths to have the necessary manpower to drive the process.” After presentation of the reports, the Senators dissolved into a Committee of the whole and considered the bills clause by clause before they were read for the third time and passed.

FORMAL ENDORSEMENT...

L-R: All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu; King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal; ASUU Strike: Ngige and APC deputy governorship candidate, Dr. Kadir Obafemi Hamzat, during the visit of king marshal and his formal endorsement of SanwoOlu and his deputy, at BOS Media Center in Lagos....yesterday Faults Falana’s Position Court Orders Samsung to Remove Barricade in Lagos Free Zone on ‘No Work, No Pay’ Bars LADOL from ejecting shipbuilding giant from facility

FG schedules talks for Monday Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has rejected the call by a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, on the federal government to rescind its decision to enforce the ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule in the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). He said the ministry has formally taking negotiations with ASUU and has scheduled meeting for Monday. In a statement issued yesterday night in Abuja by the Director of Press in the Ministry, Samuel Olowokere, the minister said his attention has been drawn to media publications in which Falana, described as illegal, the enforcement of Sec. 43.1 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 on the ‘No- Work, No- Pay’ Act and asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately withdraw what he termed an “illegal order”. “For a start, the minister is in disbelief as to whether the learned lawyer was correctly quoted. However, reading through the news item, especially his direct reference to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) wherein he urged the lecturers to disobey

that aspect of the law, insisting also that ASUU complied with 31(6) of the Trade dispute Act 2005 as amended in declaring its strike, the Ministry is constrained to make the following corrections to avoid further misinformation of the general public,” it said. The minister added that Nigeria is a member of the International Labour Organisation( ILO ) a United Nations specialised agency dealing with labour issues and whose aim is to promote the right at work for employees and employers, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on workrelated issues. Ngige said it is important to state that Nigeria has also ratified and domesticated about eight core conventions of the ILO out of which two are most related in the instant dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria. “These are the rights to freedom of association and organisation as well as the right to Collective Bargaining. “Based on these conventions, the ILO recognises the rights of the workers to strike. However, it also recognises the reciprocal rights of employers to withdraw wages during strike. This is the anchor for No Work, No Pay,” he said.

Akinwale Akintunde A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere has given a sevenday ultimatum to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to remove the barricade and the electric fence it erected around the facility of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL). The court has however, restrained Global Resources Management Limited and LADOL from ejecting Samsung Heavy Industries (SHIN) Nigeria Limited and

its subsidiary, SHI-MCI FZE, from the LADOL free zone in Lagos. Justice Abdulfattah Molawale Lawal gave this order yesterday, while ruling on the application brought by LADOL against Samsung. In the ruling, the court however directed LADOL to continue to supply electricity and water to Samsung and not to evict it pending the delivery of the judgment on the substantive suit on January 25, 2019. To protect the fabrication

and integration yard whose ownership is a subject of litigation between LADOL and SHIN, the shipbuilding giant had blocked three entrance gates to the yard, using several dozens  of 1m thick, 32-tonne blocks – piled three feet high, while the remaining access gate was blocked with a crane.  According to LADOL, the perimeter fence around the yard now displays signage saying: “Danger/1100v/High voltage/Gas Area/Explosion Hazard/Keep off.”

LADOL told the court that port users interpreted the signage to indicate that Samsung has actually electrified the fence. Samsung and LADOL had gone into partnership as main contractor and local content partner, respectively for the procurement, construction and commissioning of the $3.3 billion Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) for the Egina deep water oil field, operated by Total, on behalf of itself and partners.

Appointment of IG Doesn’t RequireYour Approval, Police Tell Senate Deji Elumoye in Abuja The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), yesterday expressed reservation over moves by the Senate to subject the appointment and removal of Inspector General of Police (IGP) to confirmation of the upper legislative chamber. This is coming just as the Oba of Lagos,  Rilwan Akiolu, canvassed for the reduction in the jumbo salaries of Senators and other lawmakers for money to be raised for adequate funding of the police. The Force represented by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, at a public hearing in Senate Committee Room 231, also kicked against move to reduce serving Deputy Inspectors General of Police ( DIGs) from

seven to one as proposed in an amendment bill for enactment of the Police Act , 2018 sponsored by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah  (Kebbi South).  Idris, who  presented police positions  on the draft bill, which has 85 sections and other relevant stakeholders during a public hearing session organised by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs however aligned with proposal for five year tenure for Inspector General of Police ( IGP) In his submission, the IGP said: “ The proposed bill will help in reforming the Police and  reposition it in its key role in administration of justice, “there are a few observations  by the Police Force. The confirmation and removal of IGP by the Senate

should be expunged from the bill. “Appointment of the IGP as recommended by the Police Service Commission (PSC) and nominated by the President without Senate confirmation is desirable to Police to avoid politicisation of the whole process”. On proposal for one DIG as against existing seven DIGs, Idris said it would be counterproductive as unbearable pressures administratively and operationally would be put on IG and the only DIG. “Presently I have seven DIGs working with me at the Force headquarters. Reducing them to just only one DIG will be retrogressive considering the enormity of administrative and operational responsibilities

attached to the office of the IG.” On his part, the Chairman, PSC, Mr. Musiliu Smith, a retired IG, said the commission agreed totally with majority of the recommendations made in the bill, stressing that, if passed into law and effectively implemented, will improve the police service. He, however,  noted that the Police Affairs Committee could recommend adequate accommodation of officers and men of the Nigeria Police within police vicinity for efficient service delivery. According to him, more policemen should be accommodated in barracks nationwide while more living quarters should be provided for officers.


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Total, Samsung Heavy Industries Resolve Dispute over 200,000bpd Egina Deepwater Project NNPC: Nigeria has 10bbls of untapped deepwater oil reserves Eromosele Abiodun in Lagos and Chineme Okafor in Abuja At last, the dispute between Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHIN) over the multibillion dollar 200,000 barrels per day-capacity Egina Deepwater oilfield project has been resolved out-of-court. This is coming as the  Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said Nigeria has untapped deepwater oil reserves of 10 billion barrels (bbls), adding that the country

has the highest untapped deepwater oil reserves in the world. Total and SHI had been flexing   their muscles in a legal battle over the contract for the building of the $3.3 billion Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) unit constructed for the $16 billion Egina Deepwater oilfield being developed by the global oil giant. THISDAY learnt of the resolution of the dispute through a letter signed by Total’s Executive General Manager, Egina Project, Jean-

2018 LAIF Master Class: How African Brands Can Compete Globally Sharon Emi Advertising and brands experts in Africa have been advised to move beyond offering creative services by adopting strategic brand planning and being more innovative with their solutions in order to compete with global brands. This was the common   view     expressed by speakers at the 2018 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) Master class, organised by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN). The session, which held yesterday  in Lagos, had as theme: “Africa Brands Revolution: Why Global Brands Dominate Africa.” The speakers emphasised the need for advertising agencies and brands experts to appreciate the huge potential of the market, improve the level of collaboration and own the narrative of the stories told through advertising campaigns in order to build brand visibility. In his opening remarks, AAAN President, Ikechi Odigbo,   said the continent’s advertising agencies needed  to move beyond gaining the largest market share. He stated that Africans are endowed with creative people, but noted that creativity must be redefined for the industry to be acknowledged on the world stage.   “If we look at the developing     market and the big nations, we would see that there are three pillars for driving growth organically. Infrastructure is one, education is another and innovation is the third. “We may not have enough input to make in the area of infrastructure and education, but we have a lot to contribute when it comes to innovation and I sincerely believe that as a community of strategic thinkers and creatives, the advertising sector is positioned to play a vital part in shifting the trajectory of the African story. “We can start by redefining our role as not just being advertising practitioners but creative business solutions providers; as not only existing to creative campaigns but to drive problem-solving innovations,” he said.

Michel Guy, and addressed to the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS), an arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), informing the agency of the settlement. “Given that parties have resolved the dispute after reaching a final settlement agreement as in our letter ref. EGN-00-AEMG-BNPCLET-000827, dated August 28, 2018; the order becomes ineffectual since there is no longer a dispute for which arbitration is required,” Guy said in the letter. He further said: “We refer to our letter ref. EGN-00-AEMGBNPC-LET-000826, dated August 20, 2018 wherein we informed you that the Federal High Court (the Court) adjourned the legal action instituted by Samsung

Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) with regards to the Egina FPSO contract to 29 August, 2018 for ruling. “On the said date, the matter came up at the Court for judgment. Although, SHIN filed an application to discontinue the matter, the Court declined considering the application and proceeded to deliver its judgment. The Court gave judgment in favour of TUPNI and dismissed all but one of SHIN’s reliefs (the relief requesting for an order directing the parties from undermining the powers of the Arbitration Tribunal). Guy explained that the Court amended the said order to the effect that SHIN must issue its Request for Arbitration (RFA) within five working days, and that if the RFA had not been

submitted to the International Chamber of Commerce after the stated period, in accordance with the contract, that order shall be automatically vacated. However, Total, through the letter, requested “NAPIMS’s intervention once again, with the management of LADOL/ GRMFZC to avert any impact to the Egina Project and by extension, the overall oil production of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. Meanwhile, the NNPC has said Nigeria has untapped deep-water oil reserves of 10 billion barrels (bbls), which is the highest untapped deepwater oil reserves in the world. NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this while delivering an address at a panel session entitled, ‘spotlight on Africa’ at

the 10th World Energy Capital Assembly in London, United Kingdom. A statement from the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, quoted Baru as making this claim. This revelation also coincided with his claims that some of the staff of the corporation that were recently fired were unfit to continue to work at the corporation.   “Globally Nigeria has the highest untapped deep water resource of about 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent, in addition to other vast opportunities in the oil and gas value chain,” he said. He was represented at the event by the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy of the NNPC, Mr. Bala Wunti.


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COMMENT

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

ETHIOPIA AND BRAZIL ATTRACT PAN-AFRICAN DIPLOMACY The African Union should give some attention to peoples of African descent in Brazil, writes Okello Oculi

‘

’Build bridges, break down walls’’, Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister urges his countrymen. A major wall rose up in the 19th Century when Ethiopia conducted her own colonial expansion and imposed rule by Amhara Coptic Christians over Eritreans, Tigrays, Somalis, Oromia and other ethnic groups. That domination cracked in 1974 when a military coup overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie. The military regime (the Derg) promised autonomy for nonAmhara but instead consolidated it; inheriting a scotched-earth war against Eritrea. Mengistu Haile Mariam’s military dictatorship fell to a coalition of secessionist guns of disillusioned nationalities. Ahmed Abiy had joined the Ethiopian army and joined Oromo struggle for freedom. The Tigray group around Meles Zenawe led a coalition that used violence to contain Amhara politicians using democratic slogans to win back Empirial domination. Meanwhile, the thousands of Oromia youths who had migrated to Saudi Arabia in search of jobs, returned with a desire to grab political power for their single largest population. As Ethiopia started constructing the ‘’Renaissance Dam’’ across the Blue Nile, Egypt began to see Oromia protesters as useful allies. Faced with a movement animated by a highly educated and visionary leadership, the ruling coalition opted for handing power to Abiy, an Ethiopian military officer of a mixed OromoAmhara parentage. Ethiopia, however, holds memories of brutal governance. In 1971-73 drought killed 100,000 peasants while Emperor Haile Selassie was accused of spending over ÂŁ35 million for celebrations of his 80th birthday. He ordered for official silence over the famine until Canadian and BBC television pictures shocked the ‘’civilized world’’ he was anxious to impress with his pomp. Shame provoked his overthrow and death in 1974. The military regime also reacted to the drought and famine of 1984-1985 with brutality. They denied relief food to ethnic communities who were fighting against them. They forced over 600,000 people from Tigray and Eritrea to fertile areas in Oromo communities in the south who feared a plot to take over their land. A progressive policy of building ‘’villages’’ around water pumps, clinics and schools was resisted by those who saw it as a trick for recruiting youths for an army tied down in fighting in Tigray, Eritrea and Ogaden regions. They fled from a severely eroded agricultural economy in which about six million peasants were depending on food relief from outside Ethiopia. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and land-hungry Gulf states of Kuwait and Qatar are jostling for influence in Ethiopia. American and European Union capital is hungry for gold, oil and zinc in Eritrea. Iran supports the Moslem Brotherhood. Prime Minister Abiy finds himself sitting on top of a rumbling political volcano. His radical policy of appointing a cabinet with 50 per cent

ETHIOPIA SHOULD NOT BE ANOTHER NAME FOR A LAND WHERE THE BLOOD OF CITIZENS IRRIGATES HER AGRICULTURE

female ministers; a woman as ceremonial President, and a woman Chief Justice will irritate Moslem and Coptic Christian fundamentalists alike, but lessen ethnic rivalries. Amhara groups in the Diaspora were often children of rich land-owning officials in Haile Selassie’s aristocracy. It is unlikely that they settled in America and imbibed values of racial and ethnic justice. They supported violent opposition to Meles Zenawe’s regime despite the tremendous economic development he brought to Ethiopia. It is almost certain that American support for their victory in future elections will carry the price of reversing China’s vast economic investments in railways, road transport, and industries, including textiles. Abiy’s anti-corruption campaign has been criticised by Tigray coalition partners as a case of cleansing their people from top security posts. The former Chief of Intelligence, a ‘multi-billionaire revolutionary’, is in hiding and would almost certainly be a strategic asset in plans by Tigray competitors for power. All in all, Mr Abiy needs massive injections of insights from member states of the African Union for him to succeed in building on the glorious achievements of Meles Zenawi- a regime he served in as builder of its IT communications system. Ethiopia should not be another name for a land where the blood of citizens irrigates her agriculture. The African Union also needs to lend urgent attention to peoples of African descent in the Americas, especially Brazil. In 2013, President Dilma Rousseff started a policy of importing Cuba’s medical doctors and nurses. As Professor Ko of Yale University has noted: ‘’ Brazil produces a lot of medical doctors but they attend the wealthier sections of society rather than the poor’’. This pattern of unequal access to medical care is found in Britain, North America and economies where doctors need to earn rich fees from patients to enable them repay loans they took to study lucrative but expensive disciplines like surgery. Since 2013, a total of 38,000 Cuban doctors have served in Brazil and treated over 63 million patients. Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro, however, hates policies which benefit Afro-Brazilians, women, homosexuals. He abhors the fact that Cuban doctors are willing to serve in slum areas, in deep forests of the Amazon region, and dusty areas of Brazil’s north-east. He is repulsed by reports by Carlos Lula, the Health Secretary for Maranhao that if the 417 Cuban doctors currently serving there are withdrawn ‘’they would be hard to replace’’. The National Lobby of Mayors has stated that 29 million Brazilians ‘’could be left without basic health care’’. The majority of them would be Afro-Brazilians. They deserve diplomatic and material support by the African Union.

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

Shuaib I. Shuaib urges all to support the government in trying times

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n sponsoring a motion to go on recess, Senator Bala Na’Allah was speaking as a family member and a lawmaker feeling the pain of losing a relative in military uniform to the Boko Haram insurgency. Along with the country, it is the families of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in defence of the motherland that suffer the pain most. With the adjournment, on November 22, 2018, the Senate could not have been more expressive in honoring the country and the dozens of army officers who were killed while defending the sovereignty of the nation and all of its peoples. Lawmakers not only offered condolences but mandated a committee to visit the families of the slain soldiers and the Chief of Army Staff. It is the duty of our representatives in the National Assembly to demand for accountability and hold someone responsible for the death of every man in uniform. In that respect, they are right to demand for answers from anyone and everyone including the army leadership and the presidency. But not everyone has been that responsible in the call for accountability. Since those very noble and commendable gestures from the senators, attempts to hold someone accountable have taken a frightening dimension. There is no denying the fact that we are in the middle of a political contest and President Muhammadu Buhari who is also seeking to retain his seat in the upcoming election will be used for target practice. He is after all, the Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces. That the attack in Metele is a major setback in the war against terrorism is undeniable. It calls into question all the work and military strategies of the last three years. Just as apparent is that the border between Nigeria and Chad is the only

one with security leakages, while all others are relatively secured. The first of the steps taken by the government was re-assessing the effectiveness of the Multinational Joint Task Force, and the immediate dispatch of the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali to Chad. This was followed by an increase in the targeting of terrorist hideouts by the Nigerian Air Force. There was also the army conference in Maiduguri and then the conference of heads of state in the Lake Chad region. But the attack has also had political repercussions. Naturally, the ultimate goal of the opposition is to make voters lose faith in the president. Still, words have meanings and come with consequences. And reading into every word uttered by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in response to this tragedy, the words appear to be aimed at inflicting as much political damage on the president and the military hierarchy. The statement by the party can be broken down and analysed for their long term impact on the psyche of the rank and file of men in uniform and the country at large. It is understandable and even reasonable for the PDP to raise concerns about the wisdom and why the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Baratai and other service chiefs should attend a political event. But seeking to make political capital out of a military tragedy goes beyond the realm of responsible politics. Political contest aside, it is an age-old practice, at least in established democracies for politicians, opposition leaders, friends and foes alike to rally round their head of government in times of war and in trying times. Everyone and especially the armed forces must have faith in the government and their commanders. In many countries, war or unrelenting civil unrest had been and remains the only basis for the formation of a unity government. There is probably no better example of this than

the coalition government in the United Kingdom led by Sir Winston Churchill throughout the Second World War. Of course, Nigeria is not at war with any country. Rather, it is facing a terrorist insurgency but still has men on the battlefront. After the tragedy that struck the157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno State, the opposition departed from that practice. It really was the Atiku Abubakar campaign organization that released the statement pointing out that the service chiefs were attending a political event where the president was launching his reelection policy document. More than anything, this line of attack is not only aimed at discrediting the service chiefs but to undermine their authority in the institutions they represent. It serves as a potent reminder to every soldier at the battlefront, their families and the Nigerian public that while they were out risking their lives, their commanders and commander –inchief were playing for political power. That wasn’t the most damaging of the statement from the main opposition. They asked that friends wishing to shower Atiku with gifts to mark his birthday should instead give them to the families of the slain soldiers. The fact is that taking care of these families is the responsibility of the army and the government. By offering aid to the families, there was intentional or unintentional undermining of morale within the rank and file and more significantly, sowing the seeds of discord between the army and their commander- in- chief. The push to publicize the casualty figure and the names of the slain soldiers is call for accountability. In this period of politics and the high stakes contest for the presidency, not every demand for accountability serves the best interest of the country, especially if these demands will impact the security

of the country. It is just as important for citizens not to lose faith in security agencies. Seeking to undermine confidence in the army is also a mercenary group, Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection International. The South African mercenaries adding their criticism to that of the opposition, attacked the government and dismissed the ability of the Nigerian Army as an institution to protect the country. This time, the criticism goes to the heart of Nigeria’s sovereignty with the army as its protecting force. This is the same group that was brought in by the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP government in the weeks leading to the 2015 general election. The shame here is that this mercenary group was ever allowed to operate in Nigeria at the expense of building and equipping our own military. The decision to move the Chief of Army Staff annual conference from Benin City in Edo State to Maiduguri was more a response to the attempts by the opposition party to tear at the fibres that bind societies and nation states together rather than the actual killings in Metele. Holding the annual conference in Maiduguri serves two purposes. This is the army and Buhari’s way of re-asserting their commitment to troops, to the military as an institution and reassure the country that confidence and morale within the army is a top priority. Moving the conference was a confidence building measure to ensure that the trust between troops at the war front and the political leadership is not broken. That wasn’t the only impact. The government was also sending out a clear and unambiguous message that the northeast has not been overrun by terrorists or that Boko Haram has regained any territory. And in the end, images from the Maiduguri conference carried a far stronger message than words from the political opposition.


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EDITORIAL President Buhari And Unsigned Bills President Buhari should sign the electoral amendment bill in the nation’s interest

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enultimate Thursday, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnogen was an unusual guest at the Senate. He had been invited to appear before a technical committee set up by the upper legislative chamber on some of the bills that were refused assent by President Muhammadu Buhari. At the session, chairman of the committee, Senator David Umoru confronted Justice Onnogen with the information that President Buhari said it was his (CJN) advice that was relied upon in declining assent to Constitution (4th Alteration) Act which seeks to strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice. While he was goaded by the Senators on the issue, the CJN refused a response to the question in the presence of the media. But in the subsequent closed-door session with the committee, the CJN was said to have explained what really transpired between his office and the executive over some of the rejected bills. Besides, we also learnt that some of the bills were enacted in haste and lacking in rigour. In rejecting some of the bills, the president made his position very clear on THE PRESIDENCY some of them. On the SHOULD LOOK AT “Corporate ManTHE INTEREST OF THE slaughter Bill, 2018” for instance, the president LARGER SOCIETY VISsaid several of the A-VIS THE GENERAL clauses conflict with ELECTION WHICH IS provisions of the 1999 BARELY THREE MONTHS Constitution while the AWAY BY ASSENTING TO contentious issue in THE ELECTORAL BILL “Agricultural Credit Scheme Bill, 2018” is over the astronomical increase in the fund created in the scheme from N100 million to N50 billion. The president also frowned at the duplication of functions that would arise from creating a special agency for the “National Child Protection Bill, 2018”. But there are other rejected bills which were contained in a letter from President Buhari and read on the floor

Letters to the Editor

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by Senate President Bukola Saraki, upon resumption of plenary after the annual vacation on 8th October. They include the National Research and Innovation Council (Est) Bill, 2017; National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Est) Bill, 2018; Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill 2018; National Agricultural Seeds Council 2018; Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2018; Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Est) Bill 2018 and Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill 2018. Others are Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill 2017; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill 2017and Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which for a record three times was denied assent by President Buhari.

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

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

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

AGENDA FOR NEXT LAGOS GOV ON LEKKI

hortage of affordable housing has been a teething administrative twinge of successive administrations in Lagos State. Giving the riverine taxonomy of Lagos landscape, availability of land for development is in much more restricted supply compared with most states of the federation. As the defacto commercial capital of Nigeria, Lagos population which is estimated at well above 20 million is becoming a socio-economic burden on infrastructural delivery. Notwithstanding the above narrative, Lagos seems to have missed a strategic and a huge housing opportunity in Lekki phase two. Lekki Phase two with a land area of 514.53 hectares was designed and mapped out in 1996 to provide 3,095 residential plots, 64 commercial plots, 47 mixed development plots, 26 institutional plots and 17 recreational plots. This huge estate however is largely in a state of disuse with more than 80 per cent of the landmass wearing the antiquated look of a thick forest. The partially inhabited part of it remains isolated with security challenge as a major disincentive to neighbourhood ventures. The estate

nstructively, the National Assembly had since reworked the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill with all the contentious sections identified by President Buhari now expunged and transmitted back to him for assent since early November. In a matter of days, it will be clear if the president will assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill or will, for the fourth time this year, refuse assent. Should he withhold his assent, Nigerians will like to know why, against the background of insinuations that he and his party may be uncomfortable with certain provisions concerning the use of card readers. We, however, want to advise that the Presidency should look at the interest of the larger society vis-a-vis the general election which is barely three months away and do the needful by assenting to the electoral bill. Once this is done, the coast will be clear for the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and fair poll in February, 2019. For the other rejected bills, we want to implore the technical committee set up by the Senate to review and ensure that all the reasons adduced by President Buhari for rejecting them are addressed once and for all. Once this is done and the report of the committee is approved by the National Assembly, the onus will now be on the president who cannot continue to withhold assent to important legislations.

is already powered with electricity and almost all the roads are paved but land owners are not developing as expected owing to the exposure of the estate to insecurity. Gov Akinwunmi Ambode has a rare opportunity to change this narrative and convert this estate to a liveable real estate. Lagos State government should commission LSDPC to fence the estate and manage all access both ingress and egress. Owners of plots should be made to pay service charge for maintenance of infrastructure most of which have largely failed due to negligence. This singular act would not only turn this sprawling estate into developer’s delight, it would encourage plot owners to develop for habitation. One other disincentive to development in this estate is the governor’s withholding assent to hundreds of certificate of occupancy without which building approval can be processed. Lagos is losing huge revenue accruable from various inhabitancy value chain in land use charge, development charge, building approval, consent fees and other sundry statutory revenues. If Governor Ambode takes a step in this direction it would go a long way to ease the convoluted housing deficit in Lagos State. Bukola Ajisola. bukymany@yahoo.com

MUHAMMAD: A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS

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he philosophy of life requires deeper understanding especially on the need to situate the saying that men and women of charismatic character have come and gone, but their antecedents remain a watershed in our political history.

It is a fact that the Nigerian electorate hardly elects people with pedigree to govern them. For the most part, they tend to elect people with questionable character. It is in the light of the foregoing that it has become expedient to redress this dreadful situation as the 2019 election beckons. And no other time is better to look for a credible leader as Hon Hassan Musa Muhammed to represent the people of Bwari/Amac Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. Indeed, the people of the constituency could well begin to jubilate ahead as the man that will alleviate their suffering in the area of infrastructure has finally come. Having received the people’s mandate to represent them in Bwari/Amac Federal Constituency, Hon Muhammed is determined to make his mark as he gets set to tackle what poverty and unemployment. The popular politician who is referred to in the constituency as voice of the voiceless and advocate of the masses, has not

hidden the fact on what he sets to achieve. Aside helping many indigent secondary students to ease the burden of WAEC examination fee, he has also helped to procure power transformer that has eased the challenge of electricity supply in the constituency. He gave free rides to indigent students to and from schools, in addition to donating note books while helping to provide employment to youth in the local government and at the state level. He bought school uniform for students in both public primary and secondary schools, built boreholes for people in the constituency, educated the youth on the need to shun violence and embrace peaceful co-existence in their various wards. He also empowered the youth to earn decent living for themselves and families. He was instrumental to some of the newly re-designed and constructed roads and drainages in the constituency even as he provided books to the library and helped set up the vigilante group to protect lives and property in the constituency. As a man who has passed through thin and thick to achieve unprecedented success in his endeavours, Hon Muhammed says he is ready to defeat the opposition in a landslide victory in 2019. We wish him good luck. Anjorin Adeolu Joseph, Abuja


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THISDAYt THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

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T H I S D AY ˾THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

POLITICS

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

PERSONALITY INTERVIEW

‘You Don’t Put Prado Jeeps in the Budget and Expect Your Economy to Grow’ Eze Onyekpere, lawyer and Executive Director of Centre for Social Justice tells Udora Orizu, his concerns about the Nigerian economy and why INEC may have difficulties organising a credible election Do you have confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct credible polls? We have to look at evidence. The last two elections INEC conducted in Osun and Ekiti have been highly disputed. And if we are to go with that trajectory particularly with the last results in Osun state, one may express some doubts about the ability of the election management body to conduct credible polls in 2019. I don’t think what happened in Osun is credible enough. We are also a little bit worried with the late approval of the budget for INEC. We are not so sure enough resources have been released to INEC to do its job because there’s going to be procurements that are not off the shelve. They have to be commissioned. Nobody is sure if the resources available will enable them organise fully credible elections. There is also the issue of legal regulation for the elections. This election is in February. If the law that will enable INEC to conduct elections is not even made, the full details are not even out in the public domain, it means that INEC has not started preparing towards election with the enabling laws that will help it to organise credible polls. Beyond what the officials of INEC will do, these are circumstances which may make it difficult for INEC to achieve the kind of heights in of credibility, transparency and fairness that is expected of an election management body that has been organising elections in the past years and also meet the expectations of Nigerians. There could possibly be issues on the side of capacity and their performance and there’s also issues about the environment under which they are working, the laws which are not certain as at today, the money which has not been released or made available to them unless someone has released money without telling Nigerians or in the sense that he has released money for them to work without allowing the National Assembly to do appropriation. The nation’s reserves have been declining in the last few months. Many people have called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop defending the Naira with our reserves, and allow market forces prevail. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also advised Nigeria to be careful on the use of its foreign reserves in view of the volatile nature of oil prices. What is your position on this? The issue of monetary policy especially issues of the value of a currency, the Naira, are issues that are not easily understood by majority of Nigerians. My fundamental position is that the value of a currency is both an economic and a political decision. I will not outrightly say let market forces determine or whatever those proverbial market forces are because we have seen a situation where the Naira went up to 500 to one Dollar. If that’s the interpretation of market forces, then that’s not my idea

people can begin to believe more in the government. It’s just the usual auto pilot mediocre performance, there’s nothing to be excited about. We have been talking about this for years. They refuse to listen. There is othing to tell them again that we have not told them before. People who don’t understand the system, simply are occupying positions. Let them continue occupying. If Nigerians want them to continue occupying and mess up the system, then, goodluck.

Onyekpere of how market forces should work. I think that what we need to do is to have less fixation on the value of the currency but greater fixation when increasing the capacity of the Nigerian economy to produce goods and services both for local consumption and tradable goods and services that can be traded outside our shores to earn foreign currency. We have to understand the need to harmonize trade policy, your foreign exchange policy, industrial policy, service delivery policy and policy on technology. By the time we focus on that then the currency will find its proper value. I don’t understand why we should be importing hundreds of thousands cars every year when there are local companies that can start producing. The government can empower them to produce the equivalent of a people’s car, the Volkswagen that civil servants can use. You don’t put all these Prado jeeps in the budget and expect your economy to grow. I don’t want to get fixated on that area, I will rather get fixated on something that can lead to the need for less foreign currency and your currency will definitely shore up. Let nobody deceive you, the world is trading with American Dollar. It’s the currency of the world but there’s no world central bank that mints and controls its value. It’s controlled by the American treasury and American government. All these are international politics. Our economists and politicians should sit down to understand the whole interrelatedness between the economy, politics and how you manage yourself. We need a knowledge-based economy, economic managers that have knowledge of

both the economy, economic management challenges and the issues and resolutions as well as the international politics that go along in making your economy credible. Nobody takes us serious because we are busy behaving like a people who are senseless, the leadership is rudderless because there is no direction. We should focus on the right things.

policy and liberalization of education r)FIBTUSFNFOEPVTFYQFSJFODFJOUIF area of public expenditure management reforms involving fiscal and legal issues and economic governance r)F IBT BMTP XPSLFE PO FDPOPNJD and social rights including the rights to education, health, housing and social

security r)FIBTMFEEFCBUFTPOUIFDPOTUJUVtion reform process on the minimum core obligation(s) of the state in economic and social rights and fiscal challenges in a federal system r&[F IBT BMTP XPSLFE JO FDPOPNJD policy and legal issues for poverty

What’s your reaction on the just approved MTEF/FSP by the Federal Executive Council? It’s the continuation of the norm, the same directionless. It’s not going to lead us anywhere. We are going to borrow more money. We are not going to start producing stuff. We are continuing more of the same. That’s why I said you can’t separate economy and politics. Who is going to ensure that herdsmen don’t continue destroying crops of the farmers and when they complain people will be killed? To the extent that you don’t have these kind of resolutions, the agriculture will not grow. All the value chain discussions we have had where has it taken us? Who’s ensuring that the foods that are wasting in the axis of Benue and Plateau are converted into fruit juice or preserving them? Yet we are importing all those kind of fruit juice and stuff. There’s nothing to be excited about. There are no ground breaking postulations in fiscal policy,. We are not having anybody talk about increasing VAT or expanding the tax base properly without the political noise all around it. We are not having the big picture of increased transparency and accountability so that

We’re in the last quarter of the year, and the implementation of the capital component of the 2018 Budget is yet to commence. The Federal Government has reportedly stated that it cannot finance the budget unless it sells some assets. What is your take on all these? That shows you part of the rudderlessness. You want to sell assets as a basis, why have you not sold those assets since to implement the capital budget? You just got approval to go and raise Euro bonds which will not happen until next year. And early next year will be time for campaign so you may not even get it early next year and this is the government that says they are serious. There’s nothing more to say than we are simply into a sinking ship. If Nigerians want the ship will sink and all of us will collapse. At the end of the day, you cannot be talking of a 2018 budget at the end of 2018 you are going to borrow money to start implementing it. Both the executive and the legislature are joking. They are not taking Nigerians seriously, the day they want to get serious they will know what to do. The President refused to sign a constitutional amendment that would have mandated the budget to be ready before December 31 of every year. What I’m saying is that we are in the midst of crisis and you do not play politics with the economy. The economy needs hard headed decisions. You are doing fuel subsidy without legislative approval, you are borrowing a lot of money and Nigerians are not seeing the results. Nigerians are hungry and angry, there’s no security in the land. What I expect is that the government of the day should have had a real debate on the way forward in the economy and not for anybody to pretend he’s a technocrat when he knows next to nothing. Because there’s no evidence of any major performance. Nigerians up till now don’t have the job reports for the year 2018, have we been told what we doing in terms of employment recently, because if the figures are out they will be scandalous. Government is losing jobs and is not creating new ones. He doesn’t want a debate on anything, there’s nothing to discuss because these guys don’t get it. If you don’t have the knowledge you can’t give what you don’t have. There’s so much lack of knowledge around and this government is running the economy as if to say ignorance is a virtue and that’s not the way things should be done.

IN THE MIRROR: r&[F 0OZFLQFSF JT B MBXZFS XJUI specialization in development law including electricity reforms, fiscal governance, human rights and constitutional reforms r$BMMFE UP UIF #BS JO   IF IBT worked on electric power sector reforms, privatization, gender and trade

reduction in the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy and the Local Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy. r)FJTUIFBVUIPSPGPWFSQVCMJDBtions and over 300 and media articles


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T H I S D AY ˾THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

POLITICS

‘Audu”s Political Family is Intact in Kogi’ Muhammed Audu, son of the late Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu tells Yekini Jimoh on the third anniversary of his father’s demise how his followers plan to continue his legacy that the common man does not walk to the stream to get water anymore, local farmers do not bend on the farm the whole day without proper farming instruments. Today, we are still praying for it and I understand but I also want you to understand that the days ahead, the weeks ahead in Kogi State, are not going to be easy because change is only brought about by sincerity and purpose.

How has it been after the death of your father? I thank the people for keeping fate with my late father. This is the thirrd year and everytime we come for remembrance it looks as if he died yesterday. We are still in big shock but we are consoled that everybody is united in the their feeling towards him. After his death when i saw the challenges before me, I knew there was another level of success which he was striving towards achieving. It has been very tough and very difficult. He was a very successful man and I can assure you that to step into his shoes is not a small challenge because he had different aspects of his life that he excelled in tremendously. How would you describe your late father? He was a very successful politician, administrator, successful father, a very successful community man. He was a statesman as well. Nationally people adored him. In the state people miss him. In the family having come to the realisation that he had gone finally and that is because of the way he affected the daily lives of everybody. Now a lot of people look up to me to fill up those responsibilities. I can tell you I will try my best but it is not a day’s job, it is not an easy task. I used to think that all that thing he was dancing with was a big thing. I have realised that he was carrying a lot of load beyond what anyone can just think of. What was even more outstanding about it was that he succeeded and excelled very well. For his people and his followers in Kogi State I am sure there is light at the end of the

Audu tunnel, they will see better days and grace at the end of the day. How do you intend to manage his political dynasty? Audu’s political family is still very intact in the state and soon Audu’s political family will come together fused into a massive political movement for the the sake of delivering the people from the squalor that they are facing presently. During 2014 campaign, my late father promised to provide good roads, hospitals, education and other social amenities but unfortunately he was not alive to consolidate on his promises after winning the election. My late father was going to make sure

What advise do you have for your supporters? I want to use this medium to appeal to you people of Kogi State that we are are not unaware of the predicaments and that we are also not unaware of the opportunities. We will in future call all Audu political family and reroute them into a massive political movement for the the sake of delivering you people from the squalor that you suffer right now. We have seen that when we were campaigning in 2014 we said we were going to give you roads, hospitals. Late Audu said all these by himself. He said he was going to open more schools, more opportunities. You must have a purpose. Do not come here and just eulogise my late father and go away. Practice what he preached, do as he said. Every single person is a potential governor of the state, senator, house representative member. Let us think that we have equal opportunities. The Audu political family we stand for will correct these odds I assure you. We understand the problems and we will rectify them. Last year, we took the gathering to Abuja, this was deliberate because his friends at the national level sent me a message that it is not

fair for us to celebrate Adoja only in Kogi State his home that Adoja was a national icon and so the event must also be brought to Abuja that is why we decided that we would hold it one year in Abuja and the next year in Kogi, so that the people at the national level will not forget Adoja and his people will not forget him too. Can you lead us into your political projection for 2019? I think it is too early for anyone to make any political pronouncement on 2019 especially as it relates to Kogi State. Right now we have been able to ascertain candidates for various political parties for the positions of the National Assembly and for the State House of Assembly. The executive position of Kogi State is not yet up for grabs we are all focusing on what is ahead of us right now to see that we deliver in our best interest. I can assure you that the biggest political group in Kogi State without question is the Audu political family and it is still alive. We have simmered down so that we don’t look like opposition within opposition in one party we have decided to work with the government to ensure good governance so that our people can get roads, hospitals, good education and things like that. Now that it is time to play politics people will begin to discuss their interests. So for sure the Audu political family is the biggest political organisation. If you look in PDP they are there, if you look in APC, ADC, SDP they are there but at the right time we will call everybody together for the sake of the state.

‘PDP’s Song of Federal Might is Misapplied in Akwa Ibom’ Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, Chairman Cross River Basin Development Authority and former Spokesman House of Representatives defends the actions of the five expelled lawmakers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly How should one view the continuing crisis in the Akwa ibom state House of Assembly? As a former parliamentarian, I am a member of legislature for life and whoever loves democracy should like the legislature because the different between dictatorship and democracy is the presence of the legislature. Section 4 Sub 1 of the Nigeria Constitution states that the legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall rest in the National Assembly, the senate and the House of Representative and at the level of the sub national, the legislative powers of the states lies in the states houses of assembly. To that extent without the states house of assembly, we will be living under anarchy. The rule of law is very important when you talk of dividends of democracy people talk of roads, boreholes, buying of cars and tricycles for them but I disagree, dividends of democracy is the attendant rule of law and its consequences like the right to liberty, free speech, free association, those basic guarantees are the dividends of democracy because it’s only in democracy that you have the environment of human rights, civil liberty and individual rights and obligations that is the major dividends of democracy. Any man who stands against democracy stands against the flow of the existence of humanity. To that extent it has to be condemned. Recently there was an act of breach of democracy in the State House of Assembly and it is a serious cause for concern. This delinquency arose from the poor perception of the constitutional provisions of the separation of powers. In separation of powers, the executive, the legislature and off course the judiciary have well spelt our rules, responsibilities and functions and the same law have made provision that under the rule of law no man should be unjustly treated. Our constitution underpins that the Nigeria federation should be governed by democracy and social justice. Democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people not the abetment of the tyranny of few which is what we see in Akwa Ibom today. Here we have tyrants who have diminished the constitutional provisions which they swore to protect and defend. The rule of law as envisioned by

Eyiboh principles of democracy is one practised within the ambit of the law and it can’t be same when fair hearing have been breached. Last year one Hon. Asuquo Archibong representing Urue Offong/ Oruko State constituency defected from APC to PDP and he is still there in the State House of Assembly and the provisions of the constitution as canvassed by the Speaker of the Assembly on the matter was wrong. That provision has sub sections which he refused to mention. Defection must be at the instance of crisis in the party at the national level but there was none in APC when Hon. Archibong defected to PDP. Today in an event of a merger which is an outcome of a process, PDP went into memorandum of understanding with other political parties which called themselves CUPP. That MOU is a process which will lead to a merger so if a member of PDP feels that his party has compromised its principles and those that attracted him to the party then he is obliged to defect to a party of his choice. In this case those gentlemen decided to defect in principle. They defected because PDP is in the process of merging with other parties with a name called CUPP which we all know. The speaker therefore has no moral standing or constitutional backing to now rely on section 109 of the constitution as the basis for the delinquent act.

It must also be noted that the actions took place when lawyers of the plaintiff and defendant are all arguing a motion for a stay of execution in the court, meaning that he was aware of the pendency of the motion for a stay of execution which he was served and shouldn’t have feigned ignorance of it. His actions are unbecoming of the position of the speaker or an institution like the legislature in a democracy as reformed as ours. The decision may have be taken for personal aggrandizement or to please the pay masters. In Akwa Ibom State it is difficult to know the difference between the executive and the legislature. What happened to the autonomy as recognized by the 1999 constitution as amended from being implemented here? If not so, can we say there is separation of powers here?. The federal high court gave a judgment and the expelled lawmaker Hon. Idongesit Ituen has a right to appeal. The basis of that right is what Governor Udom Emmanuel exercised when court of Appeal removed him as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2016 but APC as a responsible party obliged him the opportunity to go to the Apex Court to exhaust his constitutional right which he went. For Senator Bassey Albert, the federal high court removed him from the senate but the man Bassey Etim which was declared winner was not sworn into office because of constitutitutional provisions and application of the rule of law. Both Governor Emmanuel and Senator Albert went through the process of Appeal to the Apex court and got their victories. So why are they in a hurry in this particular case. The hurry simply is that by the spirit and conscience of men, APC has the majority of men in the State Assembly. They only want to intimidate and stampede those who want to defect to where democracy is flourishing because the APC content and programme remains the best till date. The action was to forestall further defection to APC by these gentlemen with good conscience. They came with their usual siege mentality. The speaker knows as a lawyer that his actions in the law was ultra vires. It was also good to note that if the action of last Monday was precipited by the ignorance of law, then the one that followed was a well rehearsed drama

which one expected exists in the theater of the absurd. The truth is that the statutory responsibility of security of the state rests with the police, the civil defense and other security agencies who are statutorily empowered to provide such services. All the governor needed to do was to call the state security council meeting so that they will have a brain storming session based on intelligence. The state governor should never act by the prompt of his instincts or allow his motive to over flow to cause him to take laws into his hands which he did recently. Outside being a chieftain of APC, what I am telling you is completely outside the cubicle of political partisanship. We must commit ourselves to protect our constitution, and our people and allow our democracy to remain the government of the people by the people and for the people and not the general abetment of the tyranny of the few which is why the state is boiling and there are general poor perception about the state now. You are aware we have two factions in the State Assembly just like we have three truths, the one by the person who alleges, the one by the person who is defending and the truth by itself and the truth by itself in this circumstance is the constitution. The PDP led House of Assembly went all out to strangulate the constitution because if what is good for the goose was to be good for the gander, I don’t think we will be in this situation today, if the speaker has shown respect for the rule of law, obedience to the court processes and the judiciary as an arm of government, we won’t have been where we are today. Again it is noteworthy to state that out of the five members who defected, the judgment is for one person Hon. Idongesit Ituen so why will the speaker apply the judgment of an individual to others. That is to say that if the father is sentenced to death, the children and their mother will all have to die by hanging? Where can that be done except in the jungle. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdaylive.com


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Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email chiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com, Tel: 08152252325

Effective Way of Powering Nigerian Markets 700 electricity generating sets at the multipurpose Sura Shopping Complex on the busy Simpson Street in Lagos have gone silent, and may be looking for new homes simply because a new scheme seeking to supply clean, cheap and reliable off grid electricity to major markets across Nigeria has taken off there, writes Chineme Okafor

"M

ost times we use diesel to power our generators and the cost is usually much. We buy 30 litres at N6, 990 twice in a week, but now, when we buy the 30 litres, we use it for about three weeks,� Tolulope Omolade, a master baker who operates from Block A2-6 Suite 79 at the popular Sura Shopping Complex told THISDAY shortly before Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, commissioned an independent power system at the multipurpose business complex. For Omolade, sourcing electricity from the 1.5 megawatts (MW) independent mini grid power supply system provided by private operator - Solad Power Holdings, from the Island Power Plant (IPP) in Marina through a dedicated underground distribution network infrastructure for Sura Shopping Complex, means that she will now spend less on electricity bills to run her baking business at the complex. It also means, according to her, more money from profit retention considering that she now spends less on electricity bills. “We bake bread and other confectionaries, and we use our generator to power our mixer (perhaps because the mixer consumes a lot of electricity), but we use the electricity from the IPP more now and the power is stable and cheap, and we now spend less on diesel,� Omolade, added to reinforce how useful power from the IPP has been to her. Not far from Omolade, within the same complex but at a different block was Angela Ogunfu, a business development officer for a meat shearing medium scale enterprise - Zumo Meats, whose thoughts about the Sura IPP was not entirely different from that of Omolade, except perhaps for the fact that her workers no longer have to spend their weekends taking turns to run generating sets to keep meat in their storage facilities frozen. “Before now, it had been expensive to keep the electricity here on because even on weekends, we still have to keep the power on to be sure our products don’t go bad. We burn petrol worth about N15, 000 in a week just to preserve the meat we have in stock and this isn’t easy. It takes from our profit when we deduct that much from our earnings,� said Ogunfu, in her interaction with THISDAY. Ogunfu, noted that, “the coming of the IPP has been good. Even when it goes off, it is just for about five minutes. The tariff is good for us, it is not comparable with what we spend on petrol. We are into meat shearing; we slaughter meat in our abattoir and bring them here for storage and distribution to customers, and we use electricity in good volumes to store the meat and keep them fresh.� As direct beneficiaries of the Sura IPP which was developed and deployed by Solad as part of the Energising Economies Initiative (EEI) of the federal government, Omolade and Ogunfu, in their respective conversations with THISDAY suggested that the idea of taking apart and providing stable electricity to economic clusters and markets in Nigeria could after all be a thoughtful economic policy from the government. Their views as shared with THISDAY suggested that generating sets – many of them laying extensively across available open corners in Sura, which are used by operators at the complex have suddenly become dormant and silent at least for the first 70 days as the complex has enjoyed uninterrupted electricity from the IPP. And, in confirming this, chair of Sura Shop Owners Association, Mrs. Bunmi Ajayi, who also runs a fashion design outfit at the complex,

The noises no longer hum from the generators at Sura

Sura's idle generators may now need new owners

stated, “our generators now need new owners, we are ready to sell our generators (to new

Before now, it had been expensive to keep the electricity here on because even on weekends, we still have to keep the power on to be sure our products don’t go bad. We burn petrol worth about N15, 000 in a week just to preserve the meat we have in stock and this isn’t easy... Now, our generators need new owners as we are ready to sell them

owners).� “All our generators are now collecting dust due to lack of use, and for all of us, issues of generator fuelling, maintenance and replacement of parts are no longer our issue and the era of generators’ noise have gone forever in Sura,� added Ajayi, who explained that between January of this year she had 35 employees, but had to recruit additional 15 within the last 70 days that Sura had used electricity from the IPP because demands for her services had increased. The Sura IPP Initiated by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in partnership with Solad Power Holdings, the Sura IPP is reportedly part of the EEI of the federal government, which sought to support the rapid deployment of off-grid electricity solutions to medium scale and mini enterprises within economic clusters such as markets; shopping complexes; and agricultural or industrial clusters in Nigeria through private sector power systems developers. The EEI which is being implemented by the REA in phases has been planned to create

over 2,500 jobs from businesses that would be revived by stable electricity supply to them at competitive rates. According to the REA, over 200,000 MSMEs have been planned to benefit from the EEI, while over 80,000 shops will receive clean, safe and reliable electricity by the end of 2018. The EEI is also expected to reduce carbon emissions worth 25,000 metric tonnes annually from the use of clean power supplies by the beneficiary economic clusters. The REA equally explained that it has kicked off three projects in the pilot phase of the EEI, and would electrify 50,000 shops in Sabon Gari Market of Kano State; Ariaria Market in Abia State; and then Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos State. It added that the EEI has another 13 markets in its first phase to execute, adding that the projects in this regards were now at various stages of development and construction across the country leveraging solar home solutions and gas-to-power. But for that of Sura, it noted that the over 11 different businesses at the complex which ranges from printing and branding to financial


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The reason why we are going to the markets is because we believe that small businesses hold the future, they are the future of the Nigerian economy and we must support the small and medium enterprises for 70 days since the project kicked-off. Ogunbiyi, informed that the number of generators that have been decommissioned thus reducing harmful greenhouse emissions and noise pollution at Sura were 700, in addition to shop rentals at the complex increasing by 15 per cent due to an improved business environment. “The Sura business experience has been completely transformed into a safe, clean, cost effective and business-friendly environment. This is the sort of progress the FGN is committed to scaling through the Energising Economies Initiative. We are collaborating with qualified private sector developers to roll out off-grid electrification projects across the country - Sura is just the beginning of our success story,� said Ogunbiyi, about the project.

The vice president and Fashola takes a stroll around Sura's shops

Operational Framework To confirm the operational and specifically pricing framework for the system, THISDAY asked Omotunde Hassan, who is a project developer at Solad, what the situation was, and he explained the power supplied to shop owners in Sura was stable for 24 hours. Hassan, equally disclosed that a tariff of N50 per kilowatt hour has been agreed for and used to supply electricity to the complex, adding that payment has been designed to be seamless. “It is essentially 1.5MW operating from the Island Power where we have taken bulk power supply. Every shop owner has an individual meter to track their usage. Power to the shop owners is 24 hour every day and our return is over 20 years while shop owners are charged N50 per kilowatt hour,� said Hassan. He further stated: “Island Power Plant has excess power and we are able to off take from them to Sura. If the market does expand, we can increase the capacity. So far, we’ve had only 12 hours of outage in the last two months and that was during the test-run of the systems. “Payment is prepaid and there are no issues because it is transparent and seamless to recharge meters. The shop owners have control over the power they use.� Osinbajo launching the Sura IPP

Sura's idle generators reportedly collecting dusts

services; equipment maintenance; catering; and tailoring services, would now benefit from the electricity Solad has bulk purchased from the excess capacity of the Island Independent

Power Plant, to operate their businesses instead of relying on fossil fuel generating sets that are expensive to run and equally dangerous to their health and environment.

Giving detail of the system and its workings, the Managing Director of REA, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, stated that the complex has 1,047 shops which have been metered and energised

Commitment to Small Businesses Indeed, stable electricity has been proven to be an important factor in the productive activities of any economy including agriculture; commerce; manufacturing; industry; and services, and the lack of it therefore contributes to poverty and economic decline. Economists such as the Nigerian Association of Energy Economists (NAEE) have frequently drawn a nexus between energy poverty and economic regression. The lack of it there of in Nigeria has largely contributed to the low level of economic activities in the country as well as her high unemployment rate. Thus, during his inauguration of the IPP, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the EEI was basically set up to help businesses in Nigeria grow and create jobs and wealth for the country’s citizens. Osinbajo, explained that many other markets across the country were slated to benefit from the EEI, adding that in the coming years, Nigeria will experience massive economic growth on the back of the initiative. “This is a very special federal government project and one of the reasons why this project is particularly important is because it tells us what can be done. It tells us what is possible, and so much is possible. There are several other markets that we are going to. “The reason why we are going to the markets is because we believe that small businesses hold the future, they are the future of the Nigerian economy and we must support the small and medium enterprises,� Osinbajo, explained.


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IMAGES

L-R; Manager, Otta Branch (Ogun state) of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mrs. Adekemi Sannitops; Zonal Head, Ikeja 2, Mrs. Adejumoke Arije; the Onisango of Sango town in Ogun state, Oba Olatunji Oluwagbohun; one of the winners of a power generating set at the grand ďŹ nale draw of the FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 5 in Lagos region, Mr. Shakiru Adamaro; Regional Retail Head, Lagos & South-west, FCMB, Funmilola Paseda and Manager, Idimu branch of the Bank, Mr. Wale Abioye, during the promo draw ceremony at Otta in Ogun state...recently

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

L-R; South West Regional Sales Manager, NEXGEN Energy, Inioluwa Adekunle; Winner of 2018 NEXGEN Costumers’ Trip to Dubai, Mrs. Ademola Bello; Country Director, NEXGEN Energy, Mrs. Ezeine Ibe; Guests of Honour/former Oyo state Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Mrs. Mobolaji Adeniyi and her husband, Dr. Adedapo Adeniyi during the presentation of prize to the winner at the 2018 NEXGEN Costumers Day in Ibadan...recently

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L-R: Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Art and Culture, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson; ACE Musician, Mr. Peter Okoye (A.K.A P-Square), Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; his Counterpart in the Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan and Head Media and Brand PR, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Wasiu Abiola, during a media brieďŹ ng on the 2018 One Lagos Fiesta, by the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, at Lagos Press Center, Alausa; lkeja......recently KOLA OLASUPO

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Quick Takes Firm Launches RoboticsTraining

Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ“ĂŽÞÙĂ?Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ‹ĂŽĂ Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă‹Ă?Ă’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ–Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ ĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ™ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;ĂœĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ?àÙÖĂ&#x;ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ËœÙÎËĂ?Ù×Ă&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁĂ™ĂœĂ‘Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ‹Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ě‹ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂœĂ™ĂŒĂ™ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă— Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂŁĂ?Ă?ÒÙÙÖĂ?Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă? Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ë› Ă’Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙÙÕÚÖËĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?Ë› ÞÑËàĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă™ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂŁÞÙÙÚĂ?Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ Ă—Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ÞÙÞÒĂ?Ă Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?ĂĄĂ‹ĂŁĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă˜Ă™Ă–Ă™Ă‘ĂŁĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂšĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ–ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽ ÞÒĂ?ײÒĂ?ĂŁĂĄĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă›Ă&#x;ÓÚÚĂ?ĂŽåÓÞÒĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?Ă•Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă?ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŒĂ?Ă’Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚĂ?ĂŽĂ‹Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ’ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă‘Ă’ÞÒĂ?Ă Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă? Ă–Ă?Ă Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ë› Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă?ÒÙÙÖĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂŽĂĄĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹Ă˜Ă?ÙÖ Ă“Ă‘Ă’Ă?Ă’Ă™Ă™Ă–Ëœ Ă•Ă?ÔË˞ĂŽĂ‘Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă–ĂŽÙÖÖĂ?Ă‘Ă?Ëœ Ă?Ă•Ă•Ă“ËžĂœĂ&#x;Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă“Ă–Ă–Ă?ÙÖÖĂ?Ă‘Ă? Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ëœ Ă•Ă™ĂœĂ™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ëž Ă‹Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă?Ă–ĂŽĂ?ÒÙÙÖĂ?ËœĂ‹ĂœĂŁĂ–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ ÙÖãĂ’Ă“Ă–ĂŽÙÖÖĂ?Ă‘Ă?Ëœ ÕÙãӲÒĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă˜ËÞÞĂ?Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?ËœĂ‹Ă‘Ă?ĂŽÍŻÍ°ÞÙÍŻÍłËœĂĄĂ?ĂœĂ? Ă‘Ă“Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă‹Ă?Ă“ĂœĂ?ĂžĚ‹Ă’Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ™ĂšĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă“ĂžĂŁÞÙĂ“Ă—Ă—Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă–Ă Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ù×ÚÖĂ?âÓÞÓĂ?Ă? ÞÒËÞĂ?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽÞÒĂ? Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă?ÞÙĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ě™ Ă™ĚšĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÒÙåÞÒÓĂ?ĂĄĂ“Ă–Ă–Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžÞÒĂ?Ă“ĂœĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ă? Ă“Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă&#x;ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ë›Ă?ĂšĂ‹ĂœĂžĂ™Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă?ËœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂĄĂ?ĂœĂ?ÞËĂ&#x;Ă‘Ă’ĂžÒÙåÞÙ ĂŒĂ&#x;Ă“Ă–ĂŽËœĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ™Ă–Ă Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă•Ă“Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă?ĂœĂ™ĂŒĂ™ĂžĂ?ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂŒĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?ĂŽ ÞÙĂšĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă—Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă“Ă˜ÞÙÎËã˪Ă?ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ–ĂŽË›Ă’Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ?Ă—Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ?ĂŽÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă‹Ă–Ă˜Ă‹ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă˜Ă™Ă–Ă™Ă‘ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă?Ă Ă?ĂœĂŁĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă?ËœĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă—Ă—Ă‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă?Ă‹Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÙ ĂžĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă?ĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă–Ă“Ă Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™ĂšĂ?ĂœĂžĂŁË›

Tech in Govt Summit Holds

SIGNING CEREMONY

L-R: Managing Director, FBNQuest Trustees, Mr. Adekunle Awojobi; Lead Partner, Desarrollar Group, Mr. Ikemefuna Mordi and Managing Director/CE, UTL Trust Management Services, Mrs Olufunke Aiyepola, at the official All Parties Signing Ceremony between Desarrollar Group, and its partners in Lagos‌recently

Report Predicts Growth for Nigeria, Others in 2019 Emma Okonji A recent report by the African Development Bank (AfDB) has predicted growth in 2019 for African economies. According to the report, growth was expected to reach 4.1 per cent, up from the initial 3.8 per cent growth in 2017. The report stated that the economic growth and sustainable development has largely been contributed by small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). In Kenya for instance, SMEs contribute approximately 40 per cent to the GDP and employ over half of the country’s workforce. Yet, becoming a profitable SME in the continent is never a smooth sail for many. There’s

ECONOMY the presence of stringent government regulations in several countries, though the flexibility of doing business in others is a force to be reckoned with. In Nigeria, GSMA research showed that the mobile market in Nigeria makes an important contribution to the economy. The mobile industry contributed $21 billion to GDP in 2017, representing 5.5 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. In addition, the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy resulted in the creation of nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs, the report said. The World Bank had recognised Kenya as having implemented the most reforms

in the region between June 2016 and June 2017. These included the reduction of the number of procedures required to register a business, as well as utilising a single window system to reduce the time for import documentary compliance. Then there’s the implementation of iTax, an online platform that allows Kenyans to easily register their businesses, fill and pay corporate income tax among others. The report, however said access to credit remained one of the biggest hindrances for SMEs in Africa to thrive. The major banks are mainly huddled in big cities, making it difficult for a predominant section of businesses in the rural areas to access formal financial services. Besides, there exists

rigorous risk assessment requirements by financial institutions that tend to limit the number of businesses that can access credit. These requirements included but are not limited to collateral, which often proves cumbersome to acquire even when trying to access short term credit or simply, is non-existent. According to the Chief Operating Officer of JumiaPay, Juan Seco, “Non-collateral loans are on the other hand quite expensive for most SMEs in Africa, with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that can go as high as 300 per cent in Kenya and 240 per cent in Nigeria.� The Central Bank of Nigeria record showed that about 69 per Continued on page 24

WHO Innoculates 894,744 IDPs in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe Kayode Fasua The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sensationally revealed how it saved thousands of Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East from various killer diseases this year. The WHO in its latest bulletin, recalled that on Day 5 of its Oral Cholera Vaccination exercise (OCV) across war-torn communities of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states and especially at the IDPs camps, 894,744 persons had been vaccinated, out of the targeted 930, 602 people. The WHO quoted an enthused beneficiary, Munakur Mahammed, as saying, “In

DEVELOPMENT addition to insecurity and despair, we are faced with shortages of food, we are homeless and worst still, cholera killed my husband last year in Muna IDPs camp, but thank God you came to our rescue early this year. My children and I have received the vaccine and we are protected now.� Munakur lives with her four children as IDPs in Dusuman ward, having been displaced from Muna IDPs camp, where her late husband was killed by cholera in 2017. An outbreak of cholera has been confirmed in Dusuman

IDPs camp; hence, Dusuman is among the nine wards implementing the OCV. She is one of nearly one million beneficiaries targeted with OCV across nine high risk wards in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Jere, Kala/Balge and Ngala Local Government Areas of Borno state in the recent campaign, the UN observed. The WHO added that it was providing technical and financial support to prevent and control disease outbreaks in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. “The health system has been significantly disrupted, resulting in the rise of preventable

disease outbreaks of different magnitudes,� Dr Clement Peter Lasuba, WHO Nigeria Officer-in-Charge said. He noted, “Whether it is cholera, meningitis, Lassa fever or any other disease outbreak, WHO is committed to improving access to the urgently needed basic healthcare services to the affected populations in the northeast region, in collaboration with government and other health sector partners.� Since the declaration of the Grade 3 emergency in north-east Nigeria, in August 2016, WHO has been filling a critical gap in Continued on page 24

ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă“Ă˜ÑÙà Ă?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžËœĂ?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂœĂ“Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă–ËœĂ?ÞËÞĂ?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ–Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă– ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ËœĂ&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœÞÒĂ?Ă‹Ă&#x;Ă?ÚÓĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă˜Ă™Ă–Ă™Ă‘ĂŁĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă Ă“Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ě™ ̚˞Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ăž ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă‘ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;ÚÙĂ?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ù×ÚĂ&#x;ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă“Ă?ÞãĚ™ĚšËœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ–ĂŁ Ă’Ă™Ă–ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“ĂžĂ?Í°ÍŽÍŻÍśĂ?Ă&#x;Ă—Ă—Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;Ô˲ Ă’Ă?Ă?Ă Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂžĂ™Ă—Ă™ĂœĂœĂ™ĂĄË› Ă’Ă?Ă‘ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;ÚÒËĂ?ÚÙĂ?Ă“ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă–Ă?Ă‹Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?ĂœĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă?Ă‹Ă–ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă’Ă˜Ă™Ă–Ă™Ă‘ĂŁĂ?Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?ĂœÞÙÞÒĂ? Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă—Ă“Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?ÙàĂ?ĂœĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ‘ĂœĂ™ĂĄĂžĂ’Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă™Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ&#x;Ă’Ă‹Ă—Ă—Ă‹ĂŽĂ&#x; ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžË›  Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžËœĂœË›ËÚÒËĂ?Ă–Ă—Ă™Ă?Ă™Ă–Ă‹ËœĂ?Ă‹Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă“Ă Ă“Ă–Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă? Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă‹Ă˜ĂžĂ?ËœĂ‹Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă–Ă–Ă‹Ă? ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă?ĂŽÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–Ă?ĂœĂ&#x;Ă—Ă“Ă˜ĂĄĂ’Ă“Ă?Ă’ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă– Ó×ÚÖĂ?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?ÚÙÖÓĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă?ĂžĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ‹Ă™Ă?ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă˜ Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ë?ĂĄĂ’Ă?ÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ“ĂžĂ?ĂĄĂ“ĂžĂ’Ă“Ă˜ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžËžÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžÞÙĂŒĂ&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă? Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽÞÙĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă?ÓÞÓäĂ?Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœÙÞÒĂ?ĂœĂĄĂ“Ă?Ă?Ë› ËŞĂ Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă“Ă?ÞÙĂšĂœĂ™Ă—Ă™ĂžĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ě‹ Ă“Ă?Ă—ËœĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă Ă?Ă?Ă˜Ă Ă“ĂœĂ™Ă˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă™Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂœĂŽĂ?Ă Ă?ÖÙÚ×Ă?Ă˜Ăž Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜ËžĂšĂœĂ™ĂžĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă—ĂŒĂ?ĂœËŞĂ?Ă“Ă˜ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă™Ă˜ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă™Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ăœ ĂšĂœĂ‹Ă?ÞÓĂ?Ă?ËœåÓÞÒĂ‹Ă—Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜ÞÙĂ?Ă˜Ă‹ĂŒĂ–Ă?ÞÒĂ?ÑÙàĂ?ĂœĂ˜Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžÞÙĂŽĂœĂ“Ă Ă?ÞÒĂ? Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă?Ă?Ă’Ă˜Ă™Ă–Ă™Ă‘ĂŁĚ™ ĚšĂ?Ă™Ă—ĂšĂ™Ă˜Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ™Ă? ÚÙÖÓĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂšĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă™Ă˜Ă‹Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă?ËŠ ËŞĂšĂœĂ‹Ă?ÞÓĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă˜ Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă Ă“Ă–ËšĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ë›

Signal Alliance Partners Cisco

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Facebook, CcHub Launch Online Programme

Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂŒĂ™Ă™Ă•Ă’Ă‹Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă–Ă–Ă‹ĂŒĂ™ĂœĂ‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜åÓÞÒÙ̋Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜ Ă&#x;ĂŒĚ™Ă? Ă&#x;ĂŒĚš Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă“Ă™ĂœĂ?Ă’Ă“Ă?Ă Ă?Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹ÞÙĂ–Ă‹Ă&#x;Ă˜Ă?Ă’Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?ÞãĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă? Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ&#x;ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă˜Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹ĂœĂŁĂ?Ă?ÒÙÙÖĂ?Ă‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂžĂœĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă?Ă–Ă&#x;ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă“Ă˜ Ă‹Ă‘Ă™Ă?ËœĂŒĂ&#x;Ă”Ă‹Ëœ Ă‹Ă˜Ă™Ëœ ĂŒĂ‹ĂŽĂ‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽ Ă‹ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă‹Ë› ÍŻÍ°Ě‹ĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă•ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂ•Ă?Ă’Ă™ĂšËœÞÒĂ?ĂšĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă?Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ?Ă?Ă“Ă‘Ă˜Ă?ĂŽÞÙĂ“Ă˜ĂžĂœĂ™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?Ă’Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ă?Ă˜Ă‘Ă? ĂžĂ?Ă?Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ?ĂŒĂ?ÞåĂ?Ă?Ă˜ÞÒĂ?Ă‹Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă™Ă?ͯͲ̋ͯ;Ă“Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ÞÒĂ?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ‹Ă—Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă–Ă?Ă™Ă? Ă™Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?ÞãĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽÎÓÑÓÞËÖĂ–Ă“ĂžĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă?ã˛ÒĂ?Ă™Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă‘ĂœĂ‹Ă—Ă—Ă?Ă?ÙàĂ?ĂœĂ?ÞÙÚÓĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;Ă?Ă’ Ă‹Ă?Ă‹Ă˜Ă‹Ă‘Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă˜Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜Ă?Ă?ËœĂ™Ă?Ă“Ă‹Ă–Ă?ĂŽĂ“Ă‹Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ’Ă‹ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ËœĂ&#x;ĂŒĂ–Ă“Ă?Ă“Ě‹Ă“ Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂžĂŁËœĂ&#x;Ă“Ă–ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ Ă?ËÖÞÒãĂ?Ă–Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă?Ă’Ă“ĂšĂ?Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?ËœĂ˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă?Ă?ĂĄĂ™ĂœĂŽ Ă?Ă?Ă&#x;ĂœĂ“ĂžĂŁĂ‹Ă˜ĂŽĂœĂ“Ă Ă‹Ă?ĂŁĂ?ĂžĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?ËœĂ‹Ă?ĂĄĂ?Ă–Ă–Ă‹Ă? ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ“Ă?ĂŁĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă“Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ—Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă™Ă˜Ă˜Ă–Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ë›

“Nigeria has abundant supply of natural resources, including large reserves of oil and gas, but it has one of the lowest net electricity generation per capita rates in the world� Business Development Manager, KSTAR,

Mr. Prasanna Sridhar


24

T H I S D AY Ëž Í´ËœÍ°ÍŽÍŻÍś

   REPORT PREDICTS GROWTH FOR NIGERIA, OTHERS IN 2019 cent of SMEs who wanted to apply for loans but failed, due to fear of application rejection related to collateral requirements and other associated conditions attached to the loan approval processes such as bad scores, Seco said. According to her, notably, the entry of financial technology (fintech) into the banking market in Africa was gradually improving the process of accessing credit for SMEs. Jumia is one of the companies revolutionising the sector with its Jumia lending service, an initiative that provides working capital financing for short-term borrowers. These are vendors selling on the online e-commerce platform for at least six months, seeking to expand and grow their online business. WHO INNOCULATES 894,744 IDPS IN BORNO, ADAMAWA, YOBE health services, through its innovative interventions, including mobile health strategy, integrated community case-management, through community resource persons, special intervention teams and Reaching Every Child (REC) strategy in the three affected states. “WHO had remained a partner to count on since the beginning of the insurgency in Borno state,� said the Director for Disease Control at the Borno state Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA), Babagana Abiso. He observed that “WHO supported Borno state to establish a robust disease surveillance system which is critical for timely detection, reporting and early response to outbreaks.� Furthermore, Dr Collins Owili, the Emergency Manager, WHO Health Emergencies Programmes in the North-East, stated that WHO’s presence at State, LGAs and community levels was one of its greatest strengths, to promptly detect and respond to disease outbreaks. According to him, “Aside from technical facilitation for the release of vaccine for the ongoing oral cholera vaccination campaign in Borno State, WHO had trained and engaged more than 150 volunteers who conducted active house-to-house search for cholera cases and delivered timely lifesaving messages on how to prevent it in the households.�

Group Business Editor

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ÙÎÎãĂ‘Ă?Ă˜Ă? AgriBusiness/Industry Editor

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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: ‘Infrastructural Development: A Key to Economic Growth and Development in Nigeria’, 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: “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. “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.�

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 government’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: “By this, I specifically refer to power,

roads, rail, ports and telecommunication (especially broadband technologies). “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. “Today, the total value of Nigeria’s infrastructural stock – 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.� He said the massive underinvestment in infrastructural development had been the result or bane to achieving the nation’s vision of becoming a top 20 economy by the year 2020.

PROFESSIONALS’ WEEK

R-L: Chairman, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, (APBN), Lagos State, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola; Chairman of the occasion/ former Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Lateef Hussain; Vice Chairman, APBN, Lagos Chapter, Mrs. Lynda Onefel and Guest Speaker/Group Managing Director, CMC Connect, Mr. Yomi Badejo, at the third Lagos Professionals’ Week Annual Public Lecture held in Lagos‌recently

‘Digital Enterprise Will Boost Future Development in Nigeria’ Emma Okonji The Chief Executive Officer of Dedalus Global, an investment advisory focused on emerging technology in emerging markets, Mr. Leland Rice, has said Nigeria’s future will be built on digital enterprises and not on oil. Rice, who is also the Founder of Africa Fintech Summit, said this in an opening remark at the maiden edition of the Africa Fintech Summit held in Lagos recently. The summit, which came up on the heels of its earlier edition

in Washington, D.C. last April, discussed critical issues around emerging technologies, payment innovation and regulation, blockchain, investment, lending, and financial inclusion in Africa. According to Rice, “The overall level of investor capital, political will, and collaboration around technology in general reflect a growing awareness that Nigeria’s future will be built not on oil and industry but on digital enterprise.� He said Nigeria, with all its challenges, offers some of the greatest opportunities adding that its young people, endowed

with entrepreneurism and accustomed to finding ways around barriers, possess a bias towards innovation. That combination, in concert with demographic-driven demand, according to him, positions Nigeria as an important spot to watch on the global Fintech map. “If you are into demographics you know that Nigeria is Africa’s largest market and that a whopping one-third of its 186 million people, which are between the age bracket of 15 and 35 years old, are tech savvy that are pure hustle and

entrepreneurial in nature, and full of energy. “There’s no doubt that Nigeria’s infrastructure and policy gaps hinder Fintech growth, but in many ways, they also fuel the innovation fire,� he said. The summit, which was attended by more than 50 speakers and 500 finance professionals, tech enthusiasts, investors, and regulators, also featured a roundtable for the Global Start-up Virtual Conference 2019, which will air in February 2019. It also featured an open banking roundtable on the development of API standards

and a regulation roundtable on the industry responses to the draft guidelines for licensing and regulating payment service banks. Outcomes from these roundtables would be published in the coming weeks, Rice said. In a bid to recognise excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship, the summit also hosted awards ceremony, where winners emerged in different categories, such as Innovation, Excellence in Blockchain, Excellence in Payments, Excellence in Lending and Financing, Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (AI), among others.

Robust Digital Ecosystem Predicted for 2019 Emma Okonji As organisations prepare to wind down businesses in 2018, Dell Technologies has forecasted a data-driven digital ecosystem in 2019, with new possibilities that will further drive artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). According to the forecast, organisations would realise the next era of Human-Machine Partnerships, where they would be immersed in smart living, intelligent work, and a frictionless economy.

Although Dell Technologies made some bold predictions last year, with some coming to fruition a bit faster than others, the technology company insisted that there was still much to do in advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. It noted that autonomous systems were continuing to take shape as organisations build the digital backbone to support them. “Virtual assistants continue to be pervasive in consumer technology – smart home technologies, ‘things’ and connected

cars – learning your preferences and proactively serving up content and information based on previous interactions. “We’ll see this machine intelligence merge with augmented and virtual reality in the home to create truly immersive experiences. “Immersive intelligence will also follow us to work. Our PCs and devices we use every day will continue to learn from our habits and proactively boot up with the right apps and services at the right time. “Advances in natural language

processing and voice technologies will create a more productive dialogue with machines, while automation and robotics will create faster, more fluid collaboration with technology to get more done,� Dell Technologies said in a statement. The forecast quoted the CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell, as saying that with augmented and virtual reality applications creating on- and off-site immersive experiences, people will have access to the data they need to do work whenever, wherever

they are in 2019. “Organisations have been stockpiling big data for years. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020, the data volume will reach 44 trillion gigabytes, or 44 Zettabytes. That’s a lot of data. Soon they’ll finally put it to work as digital transformation takes shape. “As they derive more value from that data – with insights driving new innovations and more efficient business processes – more investments will be born out of the technology sector.�


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Nigeria’s State of Readiness for 5G Rollout The readiness of Nigeria to join the league of nations in 5G rollout by 2020 will enhance speed in technology growth across the country, writes Emma Okonji Last week, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, raised the hopes of many Nigerians, when it announced the state of readiness of Nigeria to roll out 5G services across the country by 2020. 5G, which is the fifth generation technology network, is the advanced form of technology of 2G, 3G and 4G, which Nigeria currently operates. Most advanced countries of the world have adopted 5G network, while majority are considering its adoption in the next few years, because of its high connectivity speed that will drive new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoTs). Although robust infrastructure, regulation and spectrum management are key factors for a successful 5G rollout, NCC has assured Nigerians that those factors would be addressed, since trial testing of the 5G rollout plan has commenced in the country beginning with the Eko Atlantic project.

Nigeria’s 5G rollout plan The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who announced the 5G rollout plan in Abuja, during a collaborative meeting with GSMA for 5G rollout in Nigeria, said the country would begin 5G rollout in 2020, with the 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz spectrum bands, which are the available spectrum bands at the moment. According to Danbatta, 5G networks remained the next generation network of connectivity in the telecommunications industry, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before. He therefore encouraged mobile network operators to be more innovative to take advantage of the opportunities that 5G will bring to Nigeria. He challenged the operators to develop smarter ways of utilising available resources in order to maximise the gains of 5G technology. “It is pertinent that the issue of telecommunications development must be taken with all seriousness to foster innovation and growth in the industry. Statistics had shown that for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, there is a corresponding 1.3 per cent increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation. In another research carried out by GSMA in 2017, telecommunications contributed about $3.6 trillion to the global GDP, which is about 4.6 per cent of global GDP. This is estimated to reach $4 trillion by 2025. In Nigeria, telecommunication has already contributed 10.43 per cent to the GDP in the second quarter of 2018,� Danbatta said.

BeneďŹ ts of 5G It is projected that 5G rollout would increase speed of Internet connectivity, and that the commencement of the trial testing of 5G rollout with the Eko Atlantic project, will further drive broadband data and internet connectivity that will allow humans to interact with connected devices to check their health status, and remotely control home appliances without physical contact. Head, sub-Saharan Africa for GSMA, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, said although Nigeria still operates 2G and 4G networks, they will gradually give way for 5G as the demand for 5G increases among the millennials who are the digital natives.

Impediments to 5G rollout Danbatta, who identified lack of infrastructure, spectrum and regulation as impediments to 5G rollout, said NCC was already working to address the issues, ahead of the 2020 rollout date. According to Danbatta, the factors that affect growth and innovation in the telecoms industry are government policies, regulation, and performance of the network. “To promote innovation and growth in the telecoms industry, we must develop strategic policies, provide essential infrastructure, enhance competitive market, robust regulatory frameworks, focused compliance monitoring and enforcement mechanism, reform spectrum access mechanisms, improve capacity development, increase universal access, increase liberalisation and competition initiatives

in network development and facilitate the exchange of ideas, views and experiences among members through appropriate avenues for regular participation in relevant conferences, fora and workshops,� Danbatta said. “The mobile network operators must develop a culture that encourages and rewards innovation, identity and design novel business models and enrich their insights from other regions and industries. It is important that they integrate their technological and business infrastructure to create next-generation networks and operations that will provide the flexibility required for growth and innovation,� Danbatta added. According to him, “The first transformation is the redesign of today’s core network business as a ‘consumer trust network’ that maximises its resilience, while simultaneously supporting its ability to offer bespoke and carrier-grade services. The second transformation in the creation of specialised growth engines that leverage the restructured core business to deliver tailored network services such as network/ as-a-service, to meet emerging public, private enterprise, consumer and wholesale customer needs.�

It is pertinent that the issue of telecommunications development must be taken with all seriousness to foster innovation and growth in the industry. Statistics had shown that for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, there is a corresponding 1.3 per cent increase in the Gross Domestic Product of a nation

GSMA’s Position on 5G GSMA used the occasion of the collaborative meeting with NCC in Abuja, to launch its latest report, which focuses on ‘Spotlight on Nigeria: Delivering a Digital Future’ for 5G rollout. According to the report, modernising regulation and policy reform would be crucial to boosting Nigeria’s digital economy and accelerating internet access for millions through increased mobile broadband penetration. GSMA research shows that the mobile market in Nigeria makes an important contribution to the economy. “The mobile industry contributed $21 billion to GDP in 2017, representing 5.5 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. In addition, the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy resulted in the creation of nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs,� the report said. Addressing the issue of spectrum to drive 5G rollout in Nigeria, GSMA identified support for and release of harmonised spectrum and a modernised licensing framework as fundamental building blocks for Nigeria’s digital future. The harmonisation of 1427-1518 MHz and 3.3–3.6 GHz makes them critically important bands for mobile operators seeking to offer new mobile services to consumers and businesses. Making these bands available for assignment to mobile operators will be a core component in reinforcing Nigeria’s position as Africa’s leading mobile market, according to GSMA report. Speaking on connectivity, Goodluck said: “Mobile connectivity has already improved the welfare of millions of Nigerians, opening the doors to new digital possibilities and powering the country’s economic development.� He added that for Nigeria to take full advantage of the next phase of its digital transformation, through 5G rollout, it’s vital that collaboration between industry and government enables the right policy environment for millions more to benefit from ultra-fast mobile broadband.� According to Goodluck, “If policies don’t keep pace with the needs of society and technological innovation, there is a risk that citizens will be left behind and productivity and competitiveness will suffer.� However, the report concluded that there is still broad scope for Nigeria to increase its mobile penetration. Although more Nigerians are getting access to mobile broadband, the country lags regional peers in 4G adoption.

Helping to accelerate adoption would enable more advanced services and create bigger societal impacts. The GSMA report pointed out that with increased spectrum harmonisation and licensing reform, the country’s mobile penetration is forecast to rise to 55 per cent of the population by 2025, with 70 per cent having 3G connectivity and 17 per cent having access to 4G networks. Currently, only 44 per cent of mobile subscribers in Nigeria are using 3G technology and 4 per cent are using 4G technology, compared to over 18 per cent 4G penetration in South Africa and 16 per cent in Angola.

Global 5G projection Meanwhile, Ericsson, a global technology solution provider, with operations in Nigeria, has released its latest edition of the Ericsson’s Mobility Report, which projected that 5G would reach more than 40 per cent global population coverage with 1.5 billion subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2024. According to the report, this would make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale. The Ericsson Mobility Report projected that cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections would surpass four billion in the next six years. This is just as global mobile data traffic grew 79 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2018. Key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements. The report said North America and North East Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake. In North America, 5G subscriptions are forecast to account for 55 per cent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024. In North East Asia, the corresponding forecast figure is more than 43 per cent, the report said. In Western Europe, 5G is forecast to account for 30 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region by the end of 2024. Analysing the report, Head of West Africa at Ericsson Middle East and African operations, Nora Wahby, said of the 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections forecast for 2024, North East Asia is expected to account for 2.7 billion, a figure reflecting both the ambition and size of the cellular IoT market in the region. With Nigeria’s readiness for 5G rollout by 2020, coupled with the benefits of 5G and its global projection, Nigerians would be excited to experience 5G rollout in the nest two years.


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Amana: FG, NCC Collaboration Will Address Multiple Taxation The President, Nigeria Internet Group and Chief Executive Officer, IceCool Contracts Limited, Mr. Destiny Amana, in this interview speaks on the need for tax reduction for internet service providers. Nosa Alekhuogie presents the excerpts: Tell us about Nigeria Internet Group (NIG)? NIG is a body that was founded in 1995, it was created when the former Head of State, Sani Abacha wanted to block the internet because he saw it as a tool that could be used against him. At that time, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was a smaller body created as a steering committee. From there, the internet group started to look into how to help with the positive image of Nigeria on the internet. At the time, you couldn’t even browse certain websites, because as soon as your Internet Protocol (IP) address came up, you would be black listed straight away because of the high rate of Internet fraud. So the NIG started doing a lot of advocacy to promote Nigeria in the positive light on the internet. As soon as .NG came unto our radar, NIG wanted to have control of its domain name. At this time the current Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, became the President of NIG and was the first entrepreneurial president we had. He made it his task to bring .NG to Nigeria. Everything that was required from Nigeria, Zenith Bank provided it. At that time, it also helped to sell the Zenith Bank brand as the bank of the internet. As a body since inception, we have done quite a lot of things. We have helped to increase awareness about the internet in Nigeria, we have been part of the ISPs being able to get their licenses from NCC. We have made a lot of positive and impactful contributions to virtually all government policies and administrations that relates to the internet. We have provided a little bit of knowledge to the government on e-learning, e-government, e-health, and we also have the internet for jobs initiative. If you bring an idea to the NIG that uses the internet to run 100 per cent and you can prove that it would give jobs to Nigerians, we can raise a grant of a million naira to give to you. We have about seven to eight companies that started then, and they are going on right now. I became the president in January 2018, so far I have used the first year to consolidate and wake up awareness about the NIG. Prior to my presidency, in the last 4-6 years, you haven’t really heard much about the NIG. So the first year has to do with consolidating, rebranding and rebuilding, as well as moving the NIG in a direction we want it to move. The internet is such a wonderful tool. I want to see all web designers, developers, bloggers collaborating. We need to have some sort of forum as a way of meeting on a regular basis and sharing information. It is a way of giving back. For some time now, internet in Nigeria has been readily available, what is responsible for that? The great thing about Nigeria is that when we wake up to anything, with over 180 million plus, that thing has to be prepared to carry load. When GSM came to Nigeria, we were just one of the countries that they were going to pass through, but it became an explosion. The telecommunication companies make so much money from us because we consume so much especially when we wake up to things. In the western world, most of the topology of the cities are well planned, they have already laid cabling, and fibre all over the place. Internet along fibre is the fastest internet you can have. In Nigeria, we entered the telecoms race quite late and so we use radio, and radio used to be very expensive. But technology has become better in such a way that we now have 4G LTE, which allows the same radio designs to have more capacity to carry more data to carry more customers to connect to them. That way many of the ISPs can provide much faster internet than VSAT was in those days at a fraction of the cost. That’s why the internet has become so much better and of course, with the ISPs providing the internet, the telecommunication companies couldn’t let that go pass them. They already had their towers all over the place, all they have to do is add the radios unto the

which includes telcos. Why is it difďŹ cult for them to improve their services which includes both voice and data? First of all, the fact that you can even make a compliant means that they are doing something about it, they want to know where there are problems. When people wake up to something new, everybody goes and uses it. The networks are still trying to reach the requirements of Nigeria. Four to five years ago, our population was 180 million, in another four to five years, they will be telling us it’s almost 200 million. So you can imagine what it would take them to be able to keep up. It would be very hard to try to keep up unless technology changes and technology is changing. Where are we now, we have gone into 4G, but 5G is coming out and it is so much faster, so much more capacity. Handling 5G is just about getting the technology into the country, we would handle it. We handled 4G and 3G. It is difficult for telecommunications because of the population they have to cater to and the cost of keeping their hardware working. It isn’t easy.

Amana

towers and the same customers that are on the GSM would be able to use the internet as well. Of course there are still companies that have decided to go the fibre route, but it’s cash intensive because they have to drill up the holes and lay the fibre afresh. Unfortunately in Nigeria, we have multiple taxation, and all manners of settlement of people to get things done. So the cost of getting the infrastructure out is very high and the cost of maintaining it to make sure people wouldn’t tamper with them is also very high. Those cost are eventually passed back the value chain to the consumers. One of the greatest challenges of internet for customers is cost. Considering the low purchasing power of Nigerians what can the government do to make internet cheaper? The government is already working handin-hand with NCC to try to reduce multiple taxation for ISPs that want to lay fibre. Because fibre is the cheapest, once the fibre is laid, the capacity of the fibre can’t be used up. If you put a radio on a roof top, it can only service an amount of people in the facility. If more people move in they can’t connect to the radio because of the risk capacity of the radio. But with fibre it is different, if you have a fibre come into this facility, it can carry every single house and still have space. It would carry voice, data, video, TV channels. So what government is trying to do is to reduce the number taxes that ISPs are paying. The government has given many international companies licences to land submarine cables. We have MainOne, we have SAT 3, GLO 1 and all these undersea cables are bringing internet into Nigeria. So the main issue has always been the last mile. The last mile is described as the people who buy from the satellite cable providers and distribute to the users. These people who are called the last mile are the ISPs that we know, they are the ones that charge a certain amount for internet access. Despite the availability of internet, there is still low internet penetration, what role is the NIG playing in reversing this trend? For low internet penetration especially in the rural areas, double taxation is still an issue. Internet penetration in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja is getting better, and this is because these are the hubs ready to pay for internet. When you start going out of these areas, what happens is

that if these ISPs want to be profitable, you must be able to get a cheap alternative for wholesale before they can now retail it to anybody else. For example, laying a cable from Lagos to Ogun state, you would go through many local governments which would impose various charges, the state government would charge and then you would need a federal government license to do anything. So its taxation all through. NCC and the NIG through an organisation called Internet Consumer Advocacy Forum (ICAF) is helping out to address the issue of multiple taxes. It is an organisation that has representatives of all the organisations that are key stakeholders of internet in Nigeria and they advised NCC on certain things. There are bodies that are doing things to help the internet in Nigeria. It doesn’t happen overnight but I am happy to say that within the last nine months with my tenure as president, we are making a difference in NIG. Remember that NIG is an advocacy organisation, so we advocate. What we are trying to do first of all, is create awareness first. NIG has been virtually lifeless till I became president. We are still struggling; we need to get funding but we are doing what we can. The first year is to gain momentum as an organisation that has clout. The way we are going to do that is by increasing our membership, finding people who have similar mind set. Once we have that, by the end of the first quarter of next year, and the beginning of the second quarter, you would see us moving to the next phase of my tenure which is to exercise advocacy rights. Increasing internet penetration, getting different associations of Nigeria society of engineers to try to induce laws into the government that force road building companies to implement ducts in the roads when it is being built. If you build a road and you don’t build it for future expansion of roads, internet or filing fibre, the road is destroyed when they come to lay the fibre but if you build a road with ducts going through, the fibre people can easily them because the ducts are there already. If we advocate and advise the government, and also advocate and advise the businesses that are going to do these things, when they do their designs, it will all benefit Nigerians and Nigerian organisations. Over the years, Nigerians have been complaining about internet service providers,

Your organisation was founded in 1995, what are your major achievements so far since inception? We have the internet for jobs initiative, we have hosted international workshops on internet connectivity in Nigeria namely ‘A way forward’, promoting internet awareness and strategies for effective internet penetration and use in Nigeria since 2001. As a result of previous efforts by the group, NIG received a presidential directive to work with the Ministry of Communication to remove all the constraints and obstacles to internet service provision and development in Nigeria which we are actively doing. We have organised a lot of training courses, seminars, conferences, workshops and exhibitions, since 1995 till date. Through the awareness campaigns of NIG, the government was motivated to grant fifty internet provision licenses to organisations including the NIG. What is your opinion on threat posed by ďŹ ntechs to conventional banking systems? Right now Fintechs in Nigeria are growing in leaps and bounds and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is trying its best to keep up. It’s doing a good job so far and that is because there are people there who have insights and realises that it needs to hire young people as well. In the old days, CBN was full of lot more elderly people, now there are quite a few young technology friendly people working with CBN. One of the things that a lot of Fintech companies are using to leapfrog Nigeria into this tech revolution is Block Chain tech. I was at a Blockchain conference recently and I was really surprised to see the amount of companies that are starting off using this technology to do things like virtual loans, (companies that give loans with no collateral). Block chain tech also leads to crypto currency, which is something that the CBN frowns at because it decentralised money but there are some African countries using block chain technology to stabilise their economy. We need to find a way to buy into what they are doing because we cannot force the value of the Naira and have two parallel markets running otherwise we would be in deep trouble. We need to increase our output to decrease the exchange rate and if there is a way of doing that with technology, I’m all for it as well. Because Nigeria has a bad reputation for fraud, our banks have had to work 4-5 times harder than the western banks to prove that they are as equally safe to bank with as their counterparts abroad. It would surprise you to know that the applications that we use and take for granted here in Nigeria, most of the applications abroad cannot do the same thing. I think there is a situation where the fintechs and the banking systems will harmonise, the banking system will realise that it needs financial technology revolution to leapfrog into the next phase.


THISDAYt THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

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Union Bank TVC: Speaking the Nigerian Language Raheem Akingbolu reviews a new Union Bank’s television commercial, pointing out its merits and message of resilience to Nigerians In setting, cast and story line, the new Union Bank television commercial (TVC), titled ‘Enabling Success’ didn’t only speak the Nigeria language, it resonates with the banking public by playing on relevant socio-economic issues to make a wake-up call. Perhaps to demonstrate its patriotism and commitment to the target audience, the bank didn’t go to abroad to show skyscrapers and wonder roads in Dubai, London or New York. With its constant showcasing of Nigerian streets and touching on basic socio-economic issues, viewers are instantly connected to the message the commercial. Though the TVC speaks the truth about Nigeria’s socio-economic realities, its language is persuasive and encouraging, a technique that helps its message to be easily understood by the target audience. Aside looking inward for content and setting, the TVC also varies from what is obtainable in the market through its patriotism and corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach. It breaks a conventional approach of few seconds advertising content by playing the role of an interventional role of a wise man to dissect the nation’s socio-political imbroglio. Through, “Enabling Success� Union Bank asks critical questions and challenges the status quo, by mirroring the society in a dramatic approach to task both the leaders and followers. Its opening message which is borrowed from Nigeria’s former National Anthem, ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee,’ is followed with ‘Those that divide our people are getting better at their game’ which is considered a wake-up call to both leaders and the followers.

Synopsis It opens with monologue and a man jugging past various images and places that remind Nigerians of their environment. Among other things, the unseen character, who runs the commentary, reminds Nigerians of their leaders through the images of politicians in the posters, with promises and strong appeal for votes. There is also a palace that reminds Nigerians of royalty and a woman, who prepares her three children for school. Then a young man, who is getting ready to resume his commercial activities for the day is seeing washing his commercial motorcycle outside his apartment. Through the voice-over in the monologue, “our daily struggles to make ends meet united us�, Nigerians are reminded of the need to live together in unity, despite their diversities. ‘Enabling Success’ touches on how corruption has affected every phase of the Nigerian system, but still preaches national unity. To tell Nigerians that corruption does not reside in big offices alone or among the politicians, the voice-over quickly touch on the unfaithfulness of artisans by using a man who is stranded in a deserted environment because his car broke down, as reference point. As the man look up and down in a dejected mood, viewers are reminded of greed and dishonesty on the part of mechanics. In a sharp but deliberate attempt to further show its commitment to local content, the social commentary switches to Pidgin English and points out the ills on Nigerian campuses. Here, the rot on the campuses are unearthed as one is reminded of how lecturers oppress students in this era of sex for marks and handouts for higher grades. Another area that points to the fact that Nigeria problem doesn’t have tribal mark or age is where the video reflects on activities of commercial bus drivers as relates to their naughty approach to passengers and frequent failure of artisans in satisfying their customers. As if speaking for the artisans and other start-ups, the TVC frowns at their inability to secure loan facilities from banks. It moves on to condemn the unfriendly approaches of tax collectors from different levels of government who normally waylay Nigerians for collection and issuance of permits. Though there is silence on the part of the voice-over at the blackout scene, as there is no mention of power failure or its cause,

the message is passed through a young photographer, who looks frustrated as he struggles with his rickety generator to light up his studio. To end the video, which is about three minutes, the bank cleverly key into the message with words of encouragement; ‘this bank understands what it means to push through challenges and yet believe.� With this, Union Bank identifies with Nigerians and tells them how to solve their challenges.

Relevance More than before, Union Bank has demonstrated through ‘Enabling Success’ that it sets to meet the socio-economic needs of all Nigerians, regardless of their status. By telling the Nigerian story, the bank seems to be showing the way to the future. In recent time, advertisers and creative agencies have insisted that the best way to go was for brand owners and their creative agencies to go back to drawing board and begin to think local. Critical stakeholders in the marketing communications industry, especially creative agencies, brand owners and players in the out-of-home, have been urged to begin adopting story-telling style, peculiar to Africa to build

Aside looking inward for content and setting, the TVC also varies from what is obtainable in the market through its patriotism and corporate social responsibility approach

their brands. Speaking at this year’s edition of the Marketing Excellence Award, on the need for marketing campaigns to resonate with target consumers, the President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, had linked consumer engagement with language, culture style of campaign presentation. While calling on Nigerian companies to be patriotic in their campaigns, she had said the association’s decision to weave the thematic thrusts of this year’s event around storytelling was informed by the need to further highlight a topic that has become one of the strongest marketing trends in marketing, in recent times. She had described storytelling as a strategic tool that enables marketers engage their consumers in a fragmented media world where consumers are looking for different experiences and delivery. Also, the Vice President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) who is also the Chairman, Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF), Mr. Steve Babaeko, had empasised the need for advertising agencies to begin telling the African stories through their creative works. “It is very important and I think we have come to that stage of our lives when we should tell our own story as Africans. I’m happy that some brands are already taking up the challenge. I recently read it somewhere that the telecom companies seem to be showing the way forward when it comes to telling authentic Nigerian stories. “In a few of their ads, it is easy for you to conclude that this is us; this is Nigeria or Africa. These are different from the ads that are though Nigerian but look and sound foreign,� he had explained. Meanwhile, for their incessant practice of shooting television commercials and other advertising campaigns in foreign countries, Nigerian banks, telecommunications companies and other multinationals have been accused of frustrating efforts by stakeholders in the advertising industry to promote local content. Last year, the Minister for Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed, had announced that government was going to ban the production of Nigerian movies, music videos and television commercials outside the country. In separate interviews, experts, who spoke to THISDAY, have argued that highest percentage of what was accruing to ad spending in Nigeria go to foreign hands. They carpeted

companies and creative agencies that still go to South Africa, United Kingdom, US and other countries to produce advertising material that can be handled locally. A former President of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (IPAN), Femi Odugbemi, expressed concern over the way creative agencies and their clients ignore local talents and move ahead to produce TVC in abroad. He pointed out that Nigeria has craft and technical requirement needed to produce TVC locally. “The problem of shooting TVC abroad is killing Nigeria economy because our creative agencies and their clients, mostly multinationals go to abroad for the production of what can be offered locally and pay in foreign currencies to foreign vendors. My question is this, ‘Why do we think it make sense to build the economy of another country through their creative industry and leave our own? Again, how many of these brands being overseen by foreign Marketing Director have become global brands?� While calling on those promoting this trend to reverse, Odugbemi, pointed out that if Nigeria Music, Nollywood can go global, then advertising produced locally can also get global acceptability. He also faulted the idea of incorporating foreign contents that are not connected with the local market into campaigns that will be run in Nigeria. “It is absurd when we infuse a foreign music that has no local relevance into a TVC that is meant for Nigeria. If you find yourself in a foreign land, you should be able to understand the culture of the people the moment you watch their ad but unfortunately that cannot be said of Nigeria as our banks, telco brands and other multinationals still go to abroad to import content,� he said. Also speaking on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer of HS Group, Taye Ige, opined that Nigeria loses millions in naira and other currencies daily to production, technical crew, hospitality and other logistics when commercials are shot abroad. “Perhaps we are not proud of what we have but I’m confident that there are equipments and adequate technology support locally to produce commercials that are meant for our market. By going abroad, we are losing a lot in the area of logistics and other production requirements. Since Nigerians pay for the consumption of these products, they must be allowed and encouraged to participate in their production,� Ige said.


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RedeďŹ ning Business in the Nigerian Livestock Market As Nigeria’s business landscape continues to expand, there appears to be growing opportunity for start-ups with innovative ideas, writes Raheem Akingbolu Hitherto, it was a tedious and grinding encounter when one has to buy a goat, ram and most especially a cow, to host a function. Typically, as recounted by Mr. Abel Collins, who shared the last ugly experience he had when he went to purchase a cow for his late father ’s funeral ceremony, you don’t buy a cow by going to only one market; you go to several livestock markets and check multiple cows against their prices before reaching a decision. Also, the task of buying a cow may require one to set aside virtually the whole day, leaving other activities on hold while coping with the shenanigans of middlemen whose services would add up to the overall price of the desired livestock, anyway. Hear Collins’ account: “What we wanted was a big cow,â€? he said. “We wanted a sizeable cow that can be sufficient for the ceremony we were planning. But we know that cows are expensive in Lagos. So we had to go outside Lagos to buy the cow. We bought the cow in Ogun state.â€? Collins explained that, just to beat the annoying Lagos traffic and get to the market early enough before the place became crowded with customers and the best cows are bought, he and his younger brother had to leave the house as early as 5am. “When we got to the market, there were many middlemen who assailed us, pulling us left and right to take us round to the various cattle traders scattered all over the market,â€? Abel Collins continued. “It was all very confusing and annoying for me. They were speaking Hausa, arguing as they dragged us from one trader to the next until we finally got what we were looking for. All the while, we had to be conscious because we had cash on us. Someone could pick our pockets, you know. In the end, we had to pay the middlemen, we also paid policemen on our way back, and the traffic was insane all day.â€? Needless to say, the exercise took the rest of the day, and the brothers got back home with their cow around 5pm, very exhausted. But the experience of the Collins brothers is not an isolated one. It is very common. In fact, the account shared above would pale in comparison to encounters that some people may have had on the same trail.

Livestock247.com

However, in this age of advance information technology, it makes no business sense to remain trapped in the past; doing things the old fashioned way when, at the touch of a button on our phones or computers, we can access the world. It goes without saying therefore, that there are better ways of carrying out regular business transactions and effecting payments with ease. This is the overall driving motivation that inspired the birth of Livestock247. com, a company with its focus on bringing finesse to the way transaction is carried out in the livestock industry. The goal is to redefine the business dimension and rules obtainable in the livestock market. With the coming onboard of Livestock247.com, Nigerians can now heave a sigh of relief, as buying and making payment for livestock – cows, goats, sheep – just got easier. The online platform has continued to gather momentum, gaining popular acceptance and patronage since its

take-off. Now, you can remain in your home, view several livestock markets and traders on your phone or computer, place your order and wait for the specific cow, goat or ram to be brought to you wherever you are. This novel business initiative thus provides a viable interface for stakeholders in the livestock industry – Buyers, Sellers, Ranch Owners, Livestock merchants and traders, Veterinary professionals, Haulage and logistics companies, and Financial Services Providers – to come together under one umbrella. Objectives and Opportunities

However, in this age of advance information technology, it makes no business sense to remain trapped in the past; doing things the old fashioned way when, at the touch of a button on our phones or computers, we can access the world. It goes without saying therefore, that there are better ways of carrying out regular business transactions and effecting payments with ease

While hosting a team of reporters in the aftermath of the official take-off of the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ibrahim Maigari, expressed confidence in the prospect of the outfit as well as his passion and vision to see a transformed livestock market in Nigeria. He opined that the unique service rendered by Livestock247.com would create more jobs for Nigerians, open up the economic landscape and drive commerce in the long run. According to him, the brand “will create jobs; it will make our people stay in one place instead of moving up and down with cattle. It will encourage elites in the urban areas to set up ranches because you know that there is a consumer somewhere that requires X number of cows or sheep or goats that will be purchased from you. It will encourage export and it will bring in big brands that will come and set up structures in the country because they can now buy livestock products.� When news of the new online platform made the news, many people were quite ecstatic about it. Though an interesting concept, a number of internet users expressed their views that it’s a welcome development. One his part, Abel Collins whose experience is captured above, said that if Livestock247 had been around three years ago, it would most definitely have spared him the troubled. Another important objective of the platform is provision of fit-forslaughter livestock. Maigari reiterated that the company through her unique platform is actually promoting healthy living by making sure that the spread of zoonotic diseases, that is, animalto-human diseases, are mitigated to the barest minimum. He noted that, according to statistics, 75% of human diseases actually have

animal origin. “Such diseases like flu, influenza, Ebola, Tuberculosis, Monkey pox, etc, all have animal origin. At Livestock247.com, one of our core objectives is to mitigate the spread of animal-to-human disease transmission,� the CEO reiterated. He added that animals purchased on Livestock247.com platform are not only fit-for-slaughter; they are also traceable from point A to point B. With this unique feature, customers who place order online can track their livestock en route till it gets to their house. “That means that you know its source, you know the route where it is coming from and when it gets to you, you can even trace,� Mr. Maigari said. “You can track whatever you buy on livestock247.com; that is our own pact with the buyer.

Partnership

To achieve this technological feat, according to Ibrahim Maigari, his company had to partner a major telecom firm in the country, which invented for the first time in this country, what is known as animal identification and management solution. This is a simple process of identifying, monitoring, managing and authenticating the ownership of livestock or animals. One critical advantage that the Animal ID system will have on the economy of Nigeria specifically, aside from driving commerce, is helping to reduce the incidence of violence and communal clashes occasioned by cattle rustling. Throughout the history of Nigeria, but more rampant in recent years, the livelihood of hundreds of rural farmers and herders in the Middle Belt and several other parts of the country has been negatively impacted by violence caused by incessant farmers/herders clashes.


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RenewedVigour to Sustain Gains of Forex Restriction Obinna Chima writes on recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the stability in the foreign exchange market, especially since the restriction placed on 41 items, is sustained Nearly three years after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) listed a total of 41 items as not valid for foreign exchange (forex) through the official window, some local businesses have been taking advantage of the opportunity created by the policy. In fact, the initiative has seen a lot of retailers and hypermarkets in the country that hitherto, used to import most of the items they sell, now having more Made-in-Nigeria goods on their shelves. For instance, the Chief Executive Officer of Blaid Farms Limited, a mechanised farm that is situated on 48-hectares of land in Abuja, Mrs. Ochuko Momoh, in a recent interview with THISDAY, stressed that the agriculture sector has the ability to transform the fortunes of the Nigerian economy. According to Momoh, the demand from her produce has increased significantly in the past two years. “I am getting demand for eggs and other farm produce from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, but I can’t meet the demand. There is a lot of potential, not only for the local market, but for import as well. But there is need for appropriate government policies. “All the crops we are cultivating are all-year production. Also, the eggs, the vegetable, lettuce, as well as our fish, are all-year round production. We don’t stop production due to seasonal effects and we harvest almost every day. So, all the crop we are doing, we have the green house and so the weather condition doesn’t affect it. “We harvest our lettuce every 21 days and we have eight cycles in a year for the production of lettuce. This is an integrated farm and if one crop doesn’t do well, others will cover your cost of production. But we try to make sure all of them generate the expected income.� Blaid Farms which is currently faced with the challenge of meeting the huge demand from various hypermarkets in the country, is also looking up the government and financial institutions to expand its operations. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, validated Momoh’s statement on the huge demand her farm gets, when he disclosed that during his recent visit to an unnamed popular supermarket in Lagos, there was a big contrast between his visit to the shop five years ago, and his visit last month. “What was apparent was the huge increase in the number of made in Nigerian processed goods that were being sold in this store; from locally produced rice to well packaged ready to use tomato stew, dried fruits and also cassava chips. “As I walked round the shop I could see the huge potential of Nigerian entrepreneurs, as they developed products which could compete with their peers in other climes. I could also imagine the number of people who are being employed by these entrepreneurs to support production of these goods. “For us to grow as a nation, we must continue to encourage these businesses as they do more than just provide goods, they help to sustain the vitality of the communities in which they live and work,� Emefiele explained. This clearly was one of the reasons why Emefiele, last week, stated that the Bank would be collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to expose banks, importers or organisations that collude with corrupt individuals to flout its policy on the restriction of foreign exchange (forex) to 41 items. He also warned speculators in the forex market that they would lose their shirt, saying the central bank has enough

is expected to continue with vigour until the underlying imbalances within the Nigerian economy have been fully resolved. “If we continue to support the growth of small holder farmers, as well as help to revive palm oil refineries, rice mills, cassava and tomato processing factories, you can only imagine the amount of wealth and jobs that will be created in the country. “These could include new set of small holders farmers that will be engaged in productive activities; new logistics companies that will transport raw materials to factories, and finished goods to the market; new storage centres that will be built to store locally produced goods; additional growth for our banks and financial institutions as they will be able to provide financial services to support these new businesses; and finally, the millions of Nigerians that will be employed in factories to support processing of goods. “If we turn a blind eye to the opportunities that are being created as a result of our policy on 41 items, we will be spelling doom for our nation. We can no longer afford to depend solely on imports given the size of our population, and the need to create jobs for our people.� Importers of the restricted items were asked to source their forex requirements from autonomous sources. Emefiele pointed out that given the remarkable success that had been achieved in stimulating domestic production of goods such as rice, cassava and maize, as a result of the restrictions placed on access to forex for the 41 items, the central bank intends to vigorously ensure that the policy remains in place.

EmeďŹ ele

war chest to sustain the stability in the forex market. According to him, the central bank would continue to take measures to ensure stability in the forex market. He said additional efforts would be made to block any attempts by unscrupulous parties (both individuals and corporates) that intend to find other avenues of accessing forex, in order to import these items into Nigeria. “The CBN’s Economic intelligence and Banking Supervision Departments will work very closely with the EFCC to expose and sanction any bank, company and or its directors or forex operator who colludes with unscrupulous individuals/ companies to undermine the policy on 41 items. “Such sanctions will include, but not limited to prohibiting all the banks in Nigeria from maintaining any bank

For us to grow as a nation, we must continue to encourage these businesses as they do more than just provide goods, they help to sustain the vitality of the communities in which they live and work

accounts for any such institutions or persons in Nigeria. “If you are caught as an individual or a company, we are saying that, that bank, that company and the individuals, that the central bank would prohibit all the Nigerian banks at same time, from maintaining any bank account for you,� he had warned. He disclosed this in a keynote address he delivered at the 53rd Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) held in Lagos last week. The CBN had in July 2015, restricted 41 items, including vegetable oil, poultry products, toothpicks, cosmetics, plastic and rubber products, among others, from accessing foreign exchange from the interbank foreign exchange market.

Import Bill Dropping According to Emefiele, various initiatives aimed at encouraging domestic production, have resulted in Nigeria’s monthly import bill falling significantly from $665.4 million in January 2015, to $160.4 million as at October 2018, representing a drop by 75.9 per cent and an implied savings of over US$21 billion on food imports alone over that period. He pointed out that many entrepreneurs are now taking advantage of policies aimed at ramping local production to venture into the domestic production of the restricted items with remarkable successes and great positive impact on employment. “The dramatic decline in our import bill and the increase in domestic production of these items attest to the efficacy of this policy. “Most evident were the 97.3 percent cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6 percent in fish, 81.3 percent in milk, 63.7 per cent in sugar, and 60.5 percent in wheat. “We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far. Accordingly, this policy

Boost in Domestic Production A research analyst at Anchoria Asset Management Limited, Mr. Adedeji Adewole, noted the increased domestic production in the country, since the restriction of access to forex placed on the 41 items. “Apart from rice production, there has been increase in domestic production of goods such as maize and cassava. The restriction placed on the 41 items has no doubt impacted positively on the economy. So, for the agricultural sector, it was a good thing,� he said in telephone. He, however, noted the recent increase in forex demand on the parallel market, anticipating that the new measure introduced by the central bank which takes off today would help calm the pressure in the market. To the President, Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, the policy on the 41 items helped in eliminating spurious demand and illegitimate forex transactions in the market. Gwadabe has said the strategic partnership between the central bank and his association also helped to keep the naira stable at both the official and parallel markets, despite recent pressure observed in the market. “This feat will no doubt strengthen the effectiveness of the technical compliance of the Anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws and help Nigeria’s assessment into the Financial Action Task Force coming up next year,� he stated. He expressed gratitude for the observed increase in surveillance by the security agencies on illicit financial flow and controls at the nations boarders, but also noted that the secondary forex market currently enjoys huge confidence, making it difficult for forex speculators and illegal forex dealers to manipulate activities.


THISDAYt THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

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DEVELOPMENT

Improving Employability Skills Employability skills required for graduates and unemployed youths to upscale and compete in the marketplace, writes Ugo Aliogo As the unemployment in Nigeria continues to rise, universities, polytechnics and colleges of education have also continued to churn out graduates with little or no hope of securing jobs, owing to low employability skills. Employability skill is essential, beside technical knowledge which a graduate or unemployed individuals need, in order to compete for employment and sustain job in the market. According to the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, the labour market in Nigeria is characterised by a significant mismatch between skills demanded by employers and those possessed by these young prospective workers, which has led to an increase in youth unemployment rates. The study also noted that graduates of tertiary institutions remain unemployed for up to five years after graduation, partly because they lack market-relevant skills, and also because job creation has not kept up with the increase in the young adult population. It explained that in most developing nations, especially Nigeria, there is a significant increase in youth unemployment rate over the past decade, with an average rate of 21.73 per cent between 2014 and 2017. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had put the number of unemployed youths at six million or 33.1 per cent as of 2017; almost double the number in 2012 and representing the largest unemployed age group in Nigeria. At the 2018 Career and Jobs Fair, organised by Gr8Jobsng, tagged: ‘Project Employ,’ the issue of employability skills was brought to the fore, with a focus on proffering solutions as to what graduates and unemployed youths should do to have market-relevant skills. Speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Gr8Jobsng, Omomene Odike, said though government was making efforts to address unemployment challenges in the country. However, Odike said this was not enough because the statistics is not encouraging. She also stated that as a private company, they are taking proactive steps to bring the employment and employability issue on the front burner in the society, adding that the event also provided a platform for not only teaching the job seekers the skills that are required to get a job, but also taking a step further to interview them for actual jobs. Odike, further explained that they were hoping to get over a 1,000 job placements, noting that they have live jobs on their platform. She added that the platform which was launched two years ago, has helped to address the issues of employment and placement and bring it to the front-burner for employers and job seekers. She explained that the platform serviced the job seeker, the employer and the training institute and noted that the platform was online and it only implied that it is accessible 24 hours, to send information. The Gr8Jobsng MD added that the platform also brings up life jobs which are actual jobs that are filled in, daily. She said they had embarked on initiatives such as career fair, job fair, incubation programmes, and developed the Learning Management System (LMS) which is attached to the platform; “and of course, the LMS system has the employability skills training.� “So even if you didn’t attend today’s training, you can go online, go through those courses; they are about 40 of

Marina

them, you can take five to six courses, depending on how fast you are; you can take more courses. “Then you find out that you can actually learn employability skills online for little or nothing and we are hoping that people will take the advantage because we are hoping to put all our courses online and make it available. “So if you are in Kano and outside the country, you can go through the course online. The platform is accessible, and available. “The issue with unemployment in Nigeria starts from governance, especially those at the leadership. If our economy is driven, it means that there are opportunities, more industries and more businesses, investors will be around to set up businesses here far more than we have. “You may think that we have enough companies here, but we have nothing compared to the fact that we are a developing economy. In tackling unemployment, it starts from corporate governance. “There are jobs, because the skills’ level of our school curriculum is really

The issue with unemployment in Nigeria starts from governance, especially those at the leadership. If our economy is driven, it means that there are opportunities, more industries and more businesses, investors will be around to set up businesses here far more than we have

bad. “In our academic institutions, we are still working with an archaic school curriculum, which is 20 years old. In the last 20 years, technology has transformed the way we do things, the jobs that were available 10 to 20 years are no longer available now.� Continuing, she said: “A lot of things are going digital and our schools are teaching these students with old curriculum, therefore apart from the fact that they don’t have the employability skills, they don’t have the technical skills, required for these jobs. We need to bridge the gap in corporate governance, which means that they have to step up. “The academic institutions and the National Universities Commission (NUC) need to step up their game. They need to put in place a new curriculum and input into it new information that meets with the demands of the marketplace. Also, the society has a part to play in addressing the unemployment challenges. “The mind-set of young graduates has to be change, many of them believe that when they graduate from School, everyone owns them a job and they don’t have to struggle to make themselves better. “Some of them also think that once they come out of school, they should be given a job that they earn N1 million. “You have to start from somewhere and that mind-set has to be corrected from school and that is where employability skills and programmes can be incorporated into the school curriculum. “For almost three years that we have launched this programme, we have been to a least eight different Universities, from University of Lagos to Federal University of Technology Owerri, (FUTO), University of Port Harcourt and others. We have been doing a lot of employability skills training, but the truth is that the approach is not sustainable because it is a cost for us to go to those locations. “Another factor is that the School themselves cannot independently take some decisions themselves because the NUC takes those decisions. “Therefore until the NUC changes the curriculum and introduces most of those employability training skills to the University, things may not move

forward.� In her remarks, the Vice-President, Business Development, Sigma Pensions, Mabel George, noted that the concept of unemployment and pensions are intertwined, considering the recently released guideline by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on micro-pensions. She stated that the guideline provided the opportunity for people who are not in the organised private sector contribute to the pension scheme. George stated that the micro-pension scheme would begin from January, 2019, saying all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that it happens seamless. She added: “The micro-pension is going to start from January, 2019. All the necessary measures we have to put in place in order to ensure that it happens seamless are all going on. “Everybody who is employable and who is an entrepreneur can now put aside monies, then save for their pensions such that people who are doing this, 20 to 30 years down the line, they will find out that they have saved so much money for, then they are retire and have a stipend or salary that will pay them for the rest of their lives. “There are so many things that are not working in Nigeria, but if we say want to sit back and wait for the stars to align, we will not do anything. “The key is to start no matter how small you start. I have met several people in the Yaba Hub, they are small businesses. So if you want to do any sort of business, you can go to those creation hubs. “They are so many hubs that are incubating. They teach you what to do and you come with a business idea. Those are the people who give you the platform for getting loans, businesses, opportunities and investors. “The issue is that some of our people just sit down and don’t take that step. But if we are attentive and see what is going on, we will begin to take that step. We have a lot of incubator hubs on the mainland and on the Island. “People need to go to these places. We also have enablers such as the Bank of Industry (BOI) and other banks that are doing SME-enabled products, people should go and get these loans. They can access it.�


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Sustaining Crusade against Suicide Kayode Fasua reports of a recently launched campaign against suicide in Polokwane, South Africa, highlighting efforts aimed at discouraging wrenched people from taking their lives A three-day campaign against suicide among peoples of Africa was recently launched in South Africa, amid emotive narratives of how precious lives were lost under circumstances that could be salvaged. Floated under the aegis of Africa Project Against Suicide (APAS), the conference took place in South Africa. Relating the event in a statement made available to THISDAY, APAS educator, a Kenyan native and educator at Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya, Mrs. Tabitha Ogango. She said participants were drawn from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The campaign against suicide, meant to be a year-long activity, had been slated for 10 African countries, of which Nigeria is among. Rationalising the philosophy behind the concept, Ogango stated, “Suicide is the act or an instance of taking one’s life voluntarily and intentionally, and the presentations and discussions were extremely informative and thoughtprovoking. She stressed that: “The global statistics and those from different countries and sectors shared painted picture of a looming epidemic that needs quick and systematic intervention. “Suicide rates are highest in Asia and Eastern Europe. In much of the world, suicide is stigmatised and condemned for religious or cultural reasons. “In some countries, suicidal behaviour is a criminal offence punishable by law. Suicide is, therefore, often a secretive act surrounded by taboo, and may be unrecognised, misclassified or deliberately hidden in official records of death.� She cited statistics from Africa showing a rising occurrence and hence, the need to begin to actively engage with the war against suicide. Meanwhile, the conference opened with very moving accounts by several participants who had attempted suicide in the past. This, thus set the tone for the rest of the conference, as participants analysed the current situation, discussed the root causes of suicide and finally, proffered solutions, in terms of curbing the crime. From personal accounts on the occasion, it seemed clear that issues that pushed people into committing suicide had their foundations in family matters, school situations and people’s inability to deal with the stress of life presented in various settings, among others. When all was said and done, Ogango contended that the root cause of suicide was stress - stress that an individual cannot cope with, which then pushes them to see solace in various solutions that eventually destroy them. Some of the outstanding issues capable of influencing suicide, that came out strongly at the conference, included but are not limited to: strained family relationship; dysfunctional families; the education system that puts so much pressure on learners, rarely affirming them and labelling so many of them as failures; poverty and very tough economic situations that lead to despair, and mental health issues ranging from diagnosis to treatment and management Others, the participants identified were: Politics and the socio-economic strains in communities; genetics and some people’s predisposition to choosing suicide as a way out of trouble; poor nutrition and health habits that lead to poor brain and physical development; drug use and abuse and wrong diagnosis and sometimes prescription, and poor self-esteem caused by failure in varied areas. The discussants said from all indications, suicide was preventable. Ogango added: “We in Africa, the speakers need to retrace our steps in

so far as our family set is concerned and the social support the traditional family gave, enabling people to feel a deep sense of belonging and therefore, the level of despair is manageable, even when tough challenges prevail. “We also need to revisit how we are educating our children and begin to include the recreational and creative subjects so that they have an outlet for the tensions of growing up, and a clear recognition and appreciation for those that are gifted in sports and the creative domains. “All learners need to be engaged in these areas that build their capacity to withstand strain, and give them an opportunity to freely express themselves, as opposed to bottling up their emotions.� The discussion on Music Therapy was an eye opener, according to Ogango, who is a professor at the Daystar University, Nairobi. She highlighted music as solution to some pains and calming of those with mental health issues. “On drugs and suicide, it was clear that we need to be deliberate about

In some countries, suicidal behaviour is a criminal offence punishable by law. Suicide is, therefore, often a secretive act surrounded by taboo, and may be unrecognised, misclassiďŹ ed or deliberately hidden in ofďŹ cial records of death

managing access and dependence on these. It was noted that it is very easy for people to access certain drugs and this is a major contributor to their misuse and dependence. “Our mental health diagnosis, treatment and management as a whole is an area that must be addressed.� She added that it was noted that a very high percentage of suicide cases had their root in some mental health disorder. “The issue of our nutrition choices was discussed in detail and it was noted that the excessive use of sugar, trans fats, gluten, omega 3, among others, have a very negative effect on the brain and its functions, reducing its capacity to cope with stress. “It was also interesting to note that the lack of vitamins and minerals in our diets go a long way in affecting how the body and brain work, predisposing them to quick breakdown in times of stress.� The APAS, according to its organisers, also observed that there was the need for careful education from the religious point, as to queer agitations from would be suicide committers. The APAS stated that it focused, at the conference, on serving and on making others create a spirit of gratitude and contentment, giving one a great of sense of worth, and making the option of suicide a non-entity. The conference also resolved to work in every sector to keep Africa alive, with the Motto, “Stay Alive.� Songs, it stated, have been composed that will be used to carry this message across. “One is an Anthem by Daniel Madalanga, the East Africa Regional Coordinator (of APAS) and the other is a more contemporary style pieced together by Honey Olawale, the International Director of APAS. “As we move on, it is clear that we need to keep talking about suicide, be alert and reach out to any around us that may be in distress; and we also need to redefine success, so that we deflate the pressure the modern definition of success places on people. “It is clear that this is the right time to focus on prevention of suicide before the matter gets out of hand,� the APAS prodded.

Meanwhile, following the take-off of the campaign against suicide in South Africa, other African countries slated for the year-long activities, apart from Nigeria, include Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Mauritius. Olawale, the African coordinator of APAS had previously said: “Owing to economic challenges and other social vices within the continent of Africa, the rate of suicide had risen very sharply between year 2016 and 2017; and the statistics of this deadly scourge has even reached an alarming rate now, hence the need to use training conferences and music as tools of discouragement to suicide.� He had also listed causes of suicide to include loneliness, psychiatric illness such as depression and bipolar disorder, economic recession, domestic conflicts, low self-esteem, unbearable emotion and physical pain, substance abuse, and significant losses in a person’s life. On the mission of the anti-suicide crusaders, Olawale had disclosed: “This project is meant to spread songs of hope across Africa and turn the heart of the downcast and depressed people from suicide, and also, depict the great destiny that is ahead of this continent.� He had stressed, however, that the aims and objectives of the concerting groups were to unite the African people, show the beauty of the continent’s rich cultures, let the people know what they will miss here on earth if they take their lives, and sing songs of encouragement and tell the stories of the people who have endured and stayed alive and are successful. According to him, the two-pronged, expected result of the year-long events, are: reduction in the level of suicide, and unification of the African people. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently conducted a study and ranked suicides per 100,000 cases with Nigeria having 15 percent per 100,000. By that token, Nigeria has placed fifth in the inglorious column of countries with jaw-dropping cases of suicide. The list was topped by South Korea with 24,000,000 cases; followed by Russia with 18,000,000; India, 16,000,000 and Japan coming fourth with 15,400,000 suicide instances.


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US Calls for Action to End Violence against Women Ugo Aliogo The US Consul General, John Bray, has urged Nigerians to take a firm stand against impunity, stigma and the culture of silence which fuel violence against women and girls in the country. Bray, who disclosed this recently at a public lecture organised by the rights group Women Arise and the United Nations Information Center, to mark the commencement of 16

days of Activism Against GenderBased Violence, noted that curbing escalating violence against women and girls would require candid testimony by survivors and open discussion of the societal factors that perpetuate gender-based violence. “Women and girls in Nigeria must join their sisters across the world in raising their voices to say that we must break the culture of silence by bringing these stories to light. It is only by such exposure that we can rapidly

bring the violence against women and girls to an end,� Bray said. The US envoy also made a case for joint action by different stakeholders to forestall violence against women while taking legal action against offenders. Bray added: “We must work together as stakeholders, in order to be proactive and curb the violence against women and girls Where we fail to prevent such violence, it also important to make those who

engage in violence and abuse know that there will be no impunity for their crimes, that society is outraged by such behaviour and they will be identified, they will be denounced, prosecuted, and punished.� Other speakers at the event were the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Adebule and founder of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and the National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Center, Dr. Oluseyi Shoremekun.

‘Skilled Workforce Key to Quality Service Delivery’

Foundation Organises Empowerment Seminar

Ugo Aliogo

Sunday Ehigiator

The General Manager, Safety and Environment, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, (SPDC) Chidube NneneAnochie, has stated that highly skilled workforce remains strategic to ensuring quality service delivery in any organisation. Nnene-Anochie, who disclosed this recently at the Annual AOS Orwell Safety Day event in Port Harcourt, River State, noted that organisations require competent and up skilled staff to deliver service quality which guarantee safety facilities and business continuity. “You need competent and up skilled staff to deliver service quality which guarantee safety facilities and business continuity. Most times when we talk of training and up skilling staff, our minds run to training budgets and cost.� He explained that in Shell, they have adopted the 70/20/10 principle for staff development, which pays more attention in assigned task, hands on delivery and quality supervision. He added that smart organisations have always realised that a highly skilled, safe and motivated workforce is critical to remain competitive and deliver quality service. Nnene-Anochie, who was represented by Chris Onwudinjo, further stated: “Quality service delivery underpinned by safety is at the heart of the oil industry activities and can be a key differentiator for you. “For the organisation, it directly impacts the bottom-line; it gives you a leg in the door when your clients can go to bed knowing that you will deliver safely.

“It also shows that you care for your biggest asset, your people. A healthy and safe workforce will deliver more at their jobs and when they deliver, the client is happy which leads to more work and provides more income for the workers – a self-fulfilling prophecy of safety “Real service quality will not only be based on completing a work pack but for example, how we are leveraging on digitalisation pathways such as machine learning and robotics to provide safety solutions that eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of incidents at site. “Also on how we use the data we get from working at the coal face to provide insights to our clients on moving them and us to goal zero. “I would like to challenge you today to look for more firsts in the future. A future where everyone, both in the clients’ operations and in your offices, go home safe every day and it starts with you. “A safe and quality service delivery where everyone goes home safe to their family should be and remain your “First�.� In his address, the Group Managing Director, AOS Orwell, Femi Omotayo, noted that to ensure physical wellbeing of the organisation’s workforce, they have developed events that brings the spouse and children of staff to interact with the workplace. “We are also taking our HSE culture to our respective homes because safety must be everywhere.� Omotayo further noted that they have developed an AOSO specific assist and assure application guidance card.

The Rose of Sharon Foundation has organised a youth empowerment seminar aimed at promoting financial independence and educational opportunity for youths. This was done through the Rose of Sharon Foundation Youth Empowerment Programme (ROSF-YEP). In her welcome address, the Founder, Rose of Sharon Foundation, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, said YEP is the foundation’s career development and capacity building programme for youths. “YEP is the Foundation’s career development and capacity building programme for youths associated with the Rose of Sharon Foundation. But following our desire to see youths succeed YEP has been expanded in this year ’s edition to include youths from all across the country,� she stated. She stated also that the core objective of the foundation was to motivate and empower youths to rise above the obvious socio-economic limitations and excel in their desired careers of interest. She further stated that the foundation believes firmly in building human capacity among youths, adding that they are poised to assist them harness their untapped gifts, skills and talent. Alakija, who explained that with an exploding global and local youth population of over 20 and 60 percent respectively,

it was imperative that they continue to strive to support the future leaders. Addressing participants on the need to tap opportunities and wealth embedded in the agricultural sector, Yussuf Billamin, said the sector is one of the less capital intensive businesses every start-up can easily engage in. With regards to the importance and effect of digital technologies in entrepreneurship, Jude Oguta asserted that: “If you can make a million effect without deploying technology in your skills-sets/ services, then be sure that by introducing technology, you would make more than double of the effect you made without it.� Nollywood Actress, Chioma Chukwuka, admonished participants on the need to imbibe passion and determination to succeed, adding that both factors are necessary to bring about growth, despite the skills of the individual, “only passion and determination to succeed can bring about growth, no matter the talent you have, or skills you have acquired.� YEP participants would be taken through a oneweek hands-on training; in partnership with Alakija’s skills acquisition centre in Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), with focus on farming, website designing, entertainment and fashion, and in skills acquisition such as turning rubbish into wealth.

ISSUES IN THE NEWS What are the Effects of Vote Buying on Nigeria’s Democratic Process? The obvious outcome of vote buying is that it is gradually becoming the bane of democracy in Nigeria. For a democratic nation, the electorates are slowly losing their voting power by exchanging it for money and other material things. And by so doing, there is a big distortion and hindrance to the idea of a free and fair election that ensures that the electorates elect the leaders they deem fit to rule them. Since parties have begun buying their ways into victories, people are beginning to find their voting power useless and are instead trading it for material things. Not only are they seeing it as a means to gain money or other things of monetary value, some are referring to it as a means to also eat in the national cake that politicians are enjoying. The rampant spread of vote buying is acting as a catalyst for the destruction and death of democracy in the country and also acting as a hindrance to the possibilities of good governance in the country. Political parties that can’t provide capable candidates that can govern the country but can afford to buy votes are now using this means as a way to buy their candidates into power. The obvious outcome is that there is the highest possibility those position falls into the wrong hands. As a result of vote buying, the electoral process has become very expensive. Candidates now think that without money and their ability to pay their way into people’s hearts one way or the other, they wouldn’t win elections. As a result of this, candidates that are likely to succeed at governing the country give up on the thought before they even try. For candidates that can afford the monetary implications of contesting for a political position, they get into power and see it as a means to get the money they lost during the electoral process and in the process, they forget to do what they have been elected into power to do. For a country whose citizens have been chanting “we want change�, vote buying has been acting as a veil that is blocking their eyes from reality. They are only seeing a means of gaining money and being blinded to the outcome of the choice they make regarding who they elect into power. How do expect change to occur when you’ve traded in your power to bring in change for money? How can change happen if money has made you give power to the wrong person? Akintayo, Ilorin, Kwara State. It depends. If vote buying falls in the hands of the preferred candidate, the one whom we think and know will do well in terms of growth and development of the economy. But in a perfect and developed country, where things are good, vote buying is not really necessary. Our structure here won’t and will never allow the right person to seat on the seat of governance. So to let it go slide at first I think we should, and then apparently we do it free and fair. There is need to avoid sentiment, religion and culture. Valentine Onukwe, Lagos Never, vote buying prevents the best many times from getting to lead a people. Democracy should naturally come with some freedom and when inducements come in, the entire process has been defeated. I reckon that the major pre-condition for selfless government is that elections must be conducted without inducements. If politicians pay through their noses to get to power, it’s logical to recoup their money and rape more to meet our needs in coming elections. It becomes somewhat a mutual hostility. Sunday Abire, Akure, Ondo State. Voting buying with destroy the consciousness of people. It will make a mess of our democracy. Chinyere Okoroafor, Lagos. Vote buying has kept us in these ancient days we are living compared to other developed countries. We have all resources to develop our country, yet we sell our future for financial aid. In as much as vote buying exists, Nigeria will never be able to compete with other countries of the world, because only incompetent leaders offer to buy vote. Godwin Ebidame, Akure, Ondo State. Can Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in rice production? send your opinion on this subject to aliogougochukwu@gmail.com or sms to 07030083086.


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Espinosa: Climate Change Requires Global Solutions Patricia Espinosa was appointed the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2016, a year after the adoption of the Paris Agreement to intensify actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. Prior to that, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. In this interview she speaks on efforts to address challenges posed by climate change. Excerpts: all responsible for emitting greenhouse gases, so we all have a role – whether in our work, or in our personal lives – in taking concrete actions to reduce emissions.

The IPCC report says that it is not impossible to limit climate change to 1.5C? Do you think we can realistically achieve that? Politically, what needs to happen? History shows that when the human race decides to pursue a challenging goal, we can achieve great things. From ridding the world of smallpox to prohibiting slavery and other ancient abuses through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we have proven that by joining together we can create a better world. Today, I believe we can succeed in limiting climate change to 1.5°C – but only if we once again work in solidarity with a powerful unity of purpose. Humans have evolved to respond to immediate threats and opportunities. We find it more difficult to address problems that play out over years and decades. We must overcome this natural short-sightedness and commit to urgent climate action. The Paris Agreement confirms the political commitment to climate action, and the UN system provides a platform for international collaboration. What we need now is for more leaders and more citizens to recognize climate action as a global priority and to start working together more urgently. There was a great surge of enthusiasm for action among industries, governments and even regular people after Paris. Do you think that enthusiasm has been sustained and how can their involvement be ramped up? There is no quick fix for climate change. Effective climate action will require a long-term, full-time commitment by virtually everyone. Every climate policy, every new technology, every personal action that contributes to reducing emissions and building resilience should be recognized and applauded. There will be other surges of excitement, as in 2015 when the Paris Agreement was adopted, but most importantly we need to rely on consistent, steady action. We can sustain enthusiasm by sharing success stories, closely monitoring and publicizing emissions levels and climate trends, and keeping the climate conversation alive on a daily basis. Climate change is, in many respects, the quintessential multilateral issue. What needs to happen to strengthen multilaterism to tackle climate change? Climate change is a global phenomenon that requires global solutions. Fortunately, we already have platforms for multilateral action such as the United Nations and forums such as the

Espinosa

G20. Meanwhile, thanks to the media and to rapid communications, people are increasingly aware of what is happening in other parts of the world. They see how migration, trade and technology are making us more interdependent than ever before. Although we do see a backlash against global integration in some parts of the world today, I am convinced that the sense of international solidarity will only grow in the years to come. An increasing awareness that we have a shared destiny on this fragile planet will help to strengthen inclusive multilateral action in the years to come. How do we get people and governments to move beyond commitments to concrete

actions? Governments need to translate the multilateral goals of the Paris Agreement into specific policies. These policies must to reflect national circumstances and priorities. They need to create what we call an “enabling environment� that motivates and rewards companies, communities and individuals to take concrete actions. Through the Paris Agreement we will monitor national and global emissions trends to determine which national policies seem to be working and which need to be reviewed. So in sum we must build on the broad political commitment set out in Paris to craft national policies that encourage and recognize concrete measures by the full range of actors. We are

Can you give some examples of success stories that can inspire other countries? There are many success stories in all regions and all sectors that demonstrate the enormous potential of climate action. To start with, a growing number of cities and regions have adopted targets to achieve zero net emissions between 2020 and 2050. These targets are often developed in collaboration. Just one example: Nineteen city leaders from the C40 coalition signed the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration to ensure that all new buildings operate with a neutral carbon footprint by 2030. The rise of inclusive multilateralism, where not only national governments but local and regional governments as well as a diverse array of associations and organizations work closely together, is a powerful force for climate action. Collaboration is also taking place among actors in particular economic sectors. Earlier this year, the global transport sector, which is responsible for some 14 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, created the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance. The Alliance recognizes that lowering transport emissions will also help to reduce urban pollution and improve public health. Transport companies and managers are creating innovative solutions, including new materials and designs, the increased use of renewable energy, improved public transport systems, and more efficient management of road, air and other transport networks. Building collaboration within a sector is a great way to raise ambition and to share success stories and best practices. We also see a growing list of individual corporations adopting emissions targets. Many have signed up to a Science Based Target to ensure that they are in line with the 1.5-2°C temperature limit enshrined under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To date, over 700 leading businesses around the world have made strategic climate commitments through the We Mean Business coalition’s Take Action campaign. There are so many more inspiring examples from a wide range of actors. Their efforts, more than anything else, is what gives me hope that we can achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and minimize global climate change and its risks. Their stories should inspire all of us to contribute more energetically to climate action.

Spar Opens 14th Store in Nigeria Raheem Akingbolu One of the leading hypermarket chain stores in the country, Spar Nigeria, has announced the opening of its 14th store; the largest of its outlets in Opebi, Lagos. The opening of the store which coincided with the Black Friday sales, saw the hypermarket offering its customers a discount of 70 per cent in every purchase made. The store has an array of products that caters to the needs of Nigerian consumers such as Food and Grocery, Butchery and Bakery, Wine and Spirit, Fresh Farm Foods, Frozen Foods, Laptops, Mobile phones, electronics products and other household items. Managing Director, Spar Nigeria, Opebi Store, Mr. Haresh Keswani, affirmed that the Opebi store is the largest and 14th outlet in Nigeria, noting that there are nine stores in Lagos with Abuja and Port Harcourt having two each and one outlet in Enugu and Calabar respectively.

Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Artee Group, Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, said that the Opebi store remains the largest hypermarket store in Nigeria and it is strategically located in Opebi to respond to the yawning of the residents of that area. “We are opening the largest hypermarket here in Opebi because of the cravings of our ever growing customers especially from this community. The uniqueness of Opebi is that we have all our products here, electronics, food and grocery, wines, perfumes, frozen products just to mention a few. We have free parking space for our customers, most of our products are made in Nigeria, about 65 per cent. “We also have other imported goods and products for non-Nigerians to enjoy. We have ensured that all our food and grocery products are approved by the regulatory authorities in Nigeria and our prices are affordable. Right now we have an unbeatable

promo going on due to Black Friday Sales that we are currently offering our dear customers with 50 per cent, 70 per cent off some of our products, this will last for 8 days and we encourage our customers to take advantage of this window.� The new outlet was commissioned by the Oba of Lagos, His Highness Oba Rilwan Akiolu in the presence of other well-meaning dignitaries such as, the chairman of Artee Group, Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, Mr. Haresh Keswani, Managing Director of SPAR Nigeria, Mr. Prakesh Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, SPAR Nigeria, Chief Adegunwa Adebola, the owner of Adebola House, Alhaji ‘Kunle Hamzat, former Head of Corporate Services, SPAR Nigeria, Mr. Gbolahan Toriola, Lagos State Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer amongst many others. Speaking at the launch of the new outlet, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu said that with the opening of the new store,

SPAR Nigeria has demonstrated that she is committed to the economic growth of Nigeria and making consumers’ goods and services available to the ever increasing residents of Lagos State and across Nigeria. Akiolu said: “SPAR is promoting made in Nigerian goods and products which is strategic to economic development of any country such as ours. They are helping to promote our local contents thereby helping the government in her economic development policy and through that, SPAR helps the government to solve many problems especially the problem of high unemployment in Nigeria. “SPAR Nigeria remains one of the leading hypermarket stores in Nigeria and with this new outlet in Opebi, the residents of this area will now enjoy varieties of affordable consumer goods and products that SPAR offers to the general public. I will want to thank the company for opening this store here in this strategic location.�


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HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

ÜÙßÚÏËÞßÜÏÝÎÓÞÙÜ˝ÒÓÏ×ÏÖÓÏäÏÙÌÓ ×ËÓÖchiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com, Tel: 08152252325

Dealing with HIV As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day recently, Martins Ifijeh chronicles the lives of Nigerians who are living with the HIV/AIDS virus

M

rs. Morenike (not real name) waited three long years after marriage before she could feel the joy of being pregnant. The Idea of having her own baby overwhelmed her that she couldn’t wait for three months before registering for antenatal. Few weeks into the pregnancy, she joyfully went to the family clinic to register for antenatal. She didn’t want anything to happen to her or her unborn child. But after all initial tests required of a pregnant woman during registration for ANC were done; the doctor broke the news to her that she was Human Immuno Virus (HIV) positive. He referred her to one of the general hospitals in Lagos for further confirmation. Typical with human nature, Morenike didn’t believe the report. Together with her husband, they went to the general hospital where the earlier result was corroborated. “I was devastated. My joy turned into sadness. I was already imagining myself becoming a carcass one day with an emaciated body, who soon will leave this earth. But during the heart-to-heart session at the hospital, we were counseled. We were told that gone were the days when people die from HIV AIDS because of lack of drugs. I was told we can lead normal lives if we are placed on anti retroviral drugs (ARD), and if we adhere to taking our drugs as at when due.” Morenike was also told that if she commences medication immediately without missing it daily, her unborn child would not be positive to it. “It was a reassuring hope, but it took me several months before I came to terms with the fact that I am now living with HIV,” she said. Morenike’s eight-months-old baby girl was eventually born without contracting the virus. She and her husband are on daily dose of ARD and are living healthy lives. When 32-year-old Tobi (not real name) was in her teenage years, all she wanted for her future was a comfortable life so she could lift her parents out of poverty. She had thought she would end up having a good job, marry the man of her dreams, have three beautiful children, and become like the society women she sees on television. At 16, she was already working towards that dream. She had passed her secondary school final examinations and soon gained admission into the Lagos State University to read Public Administration. In 2008, a year after she finished her youth service, she married one of her seniors back in school. Every script she had written in her head as a young girl were coming to pass one after the other But in August 2010, life served her lemons. Her husband was diagnosed of HIV after bouts of ill health. She couldn’t believe her once handsome heartthrob was becoming a shadow of his former self. He became thin, lost his job due to sickness, and she could see productive years disappear from him. All he was doing was struggling to live. “We were treating him for tuberculosis, and soon kidney issues followed. Doctors told us the virus had moved to an advanced stage, that if he had presented on time, ARD would have been able to keep him for several more decades in a healthy state.” she said. Tobi’s husband died in February 2012, leaving her to grapple with the virus which he had passed on to her. “Not in my wildest dream would I have thought I will have a family member who is HIV positive, not to mention having it myself. I used to think the illness only happens to people in faraway lands. “Between 2010 and 2014, my life was in shambles. I saw my world crumble like a pack of cards. All the dreams I wanted to fulfill with my husband turned into mirage. The only thing left for me is my parents. I only started picking myself up few years ago,” she explained. Despite Tobi not able to make lemonades from the lemons life served her, she was able to learn some lessons. She knew if they had had HIV test before the marriage, they both

HIV can be effectively managed

would have been aware of their status, which means the husband would have been on ARD to keep him healthy. She learnt HIV is only a death sentence to those who are either unaware of their status, refuse to be placed on drugs, or those who were diagnosed at a very late stage, the kind that could be regarded as Acquired Immune Disease Syndrome (AIDS). Tobi is currently on ARD and she is living healthy despite having the virus. Tobi, who has refused to get married since her husband’s death fears rejection, hence the decision not to give in to any man who asks for her hand in marriage, “I believe once I tell them my status, they will not only run away, but will stigmatise me. So I run from advances from me. The only one who was persistent, and insisted that he must marry me eventually disappeared the day I told him I was HIV positive,” she added. It was not so different with Oscar. He was not aware that HIV does not have favoritism. He thought he was too cool to ever contract the virus. At 20, his bodycount was already 18. Among the 18 girls he slept with at the time, he agreed to forcefully sleeping with three. To him and his friends, the more girls you sleep with, the more respect you get among your peers. It was an achievement he looked forward to every day. There were times Oscar and his friends passed on girls to each other. An attitude they believed cemented their friendship as boys. Despite the loose lifestyle, Oscar never believed in sex with condoms. He said condoms make sex boring. “The few times I tried using condom I didn’t enjoy it, so I stopped. I never believed I will ever contract HIV.” But like the biblical saying that whatsoever a man sows he reaps, Oscar soon reaped the fruit of his promiscuity and risky lifestyle. He is 27 years and currently living with HIV.

We are closer to ending the AIDs epidemic. Having HIV diagnosis today implies something very different from what we had 20 years ago. Research has delivered improved medicines, technologies and approaches to service delivery and holds even greater promise for what will be obtained in the future

“I first noticed I was not immune to the virus, when on December 1st 2015 I bumped into a free HIV testing campaign in Computer Village, Ikeja. After the test, I was told my test showed positive to the virus. I was advised to do a further test in any lab of my choice. The results came out the same.” Though Oscar broke down for several months, he is now back on his feet after undergoing several bouts of counseling. He is currently on ARD. He says his greatest challenge right now is stigmatisation, as he has lost an otherwise lucrative job because medical screening, a prerequisite for getting the job, was done after he had passed all processes required to get the job. “If not for this virus, I would have been working at the airport today, supplying Jet A1 to airlines. But I lost it. I am praying government and stakeholders find a cure for this disease one day,” he said. “How much tragedy can a woman endure in her life time. How much?,” These were the first words of Ada when she decided to open up to THISDAY about her status as a person living with HIV. Her trouble started in 2007 when she and her husband discovered they were infected with HIV. It was a barrage of blame game between them on who may have possibly infected the other. He would beat her up at every opportunity. Throw her things out of the house. In some instances he would attempt to strangulate her to death because he believed she infected him. But Ada said she was very sure her late husband was the one who brought the virus home because she married him a virgin. Soon, her husband got ill, and his family placed all the blame on her, until he finally died in 2010, leaving her to suffer the stigma and shame due to the incessant quarrel on who must have infected the other. “Both my family and his rejected me and my three children. Our landlord threw us out of our house. We started living from hand to mouth, begging everyone we met for food,” she said tearfully. It wasn’t long after, Ada lost her first daughter to the illness. She thought of relocating from Lagos to her village in Ebonyi State, but everyone in her village already knew she and her children were HIV positive, hence she shoved off the idea. Ada, who said she eventually broke down in front of her Revered Father, as there was nowhere else to go, was then taken by him to a nongovernmental organisation for support. “They gave me counseling, took care of my children and ensured that we were all placed on ARD. As at today, I and my children are living our lives one day at a time. Though I feel the pain of what my life has turned out, my children have become a source of joy to me everyday,” she said. Statistics Tobi, Oscar and Ada are not the only ones

who have experienced the pain of living with the virus in Nigeria; statistics show that over three million Nigerians are currently living with the disease that leaves sorrow, tears and blood on its path. A virologist, Dr. Ogbejiele Wilson, said while ARD can help in managing the disease and ensure other Nigerians do not get infected, majority of the three million Nigerians positive to the disease were either not aware they have it, or are not on the drugs. Transmission He said the virus could be transmitted through bodily fluids that include: blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluid, and breast milk. He emphasised that the most common methods of infection was through unprotected sex. Others, he said include sharing needles, syringes, among others. “HIV does NOT spread through skin-to-skin contact, hugging, shaking hands, or kissing, air or water, eating or drinking items, saliva, tears, or sweat (unless mixed with blood from an infected person), sharing a toilet, towels, or bedding, mosquitoes or other insects,” he added. He said it does not show symptoms at first, especially for most people, adding that noticeable symptoms include fever, swollen lymph glands and general aches and pains. “The clinical latent infection, or chronic stage of HIV can last from a few years to a few decades. During this time the virus is still reproducing, but at lower levels.” Prevention On prevention, he said there was presently no vaccine against it. “Abstaining from sex to a great extent eliminates the risk, but you can lower your risk considerably by taking a few precautions.” Precautions The precautions, according to him include regular screening to know status, “Get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you have one, get treated, because having an STD increases the risk of HIV. “Learn the correct way to use condoms, and use them every time you have sex, except with a partner who are not engaging in sexual intercourse with any other person except you (vice versa). Married couples should stick to their partners. “Have only one sexual partner who only has sex with you. If you have HIV, lower the risk of transmitting it to your sexual partner by taking your medicines as directed,” he added. Political Will Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while speaking at the 2018 World AIDS Day commemoration in Abuja last week said by 2030 the health challenge will be a thing of the past. He said to achieve this, the federal government will provide sustained CONTINUED ON PAGE 38


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NEWS

St. Racheal Pharma to Conduct Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance in Nigeria Following the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria, leading antibiotic manufacturers and marketers, St Racheal’s Pharma has stated that it would be conducting Surveillance of Antibiotic Resistance (SOAR) in Nigeria. Stating this at a media briefing to mark the 2018 World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the Chief Executive Officer, St Racheal’s Pharma, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun, said the study, which will be conducted in 2019, will provide doctors with current antibiotic sensitivity pattern, as well as guide them towards rational prescription of the drugs. He said: “This will promote better treatment outcome for

patients and peace of mind for doctors and pharmacists, and will on the long run help in curbing antibiotic resistance in the country. “The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines the right to health as the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. This fundamental human right could be breached if we do not preserve the potency of the antibiotics we have today.” He listed some causes of treatment failure in Nigeria to include wrong diagnosis and misapplication of antibiotics by quacks, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation by patients, under-dose of antibiotics by patients with correct diagnosis,

counterfeit antibiotics by unscrupulous pharmaceutical manufacturers, among others. “To tackle the menace of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria, we advised members of the public to always consult their doctors and take prescriptions to pharmacists. Nigerians should stop selfmedication and ensure they take the full dose of their antibiotics when prescribed by doctors.” He advised doctors and pharmacists to always source their antibiotics from

top quality pharmaceutical manufacturers while also calling on the industry to invest more towards the discovery of new antibiotics. In a keynote presentation, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Microbiologist at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Dr. Bamidele Mutiu described antibiotics as the cornerstone of modern medicine which has been saving lives since the discovery of Penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, in 1928.

Mutiu expressed concern that some bacteria have become resistant to virtually all available antibiotics over the years, adding that yet, no new antibiotic has been developed in the last 30 years. “We are running out of effective antibiotics that we need to fight infections,” he added. Speaking on the topic titled “Antibiotic Resistance in Nigeria: A Call to Action,” Mutiu cited different studies showing different levels of resistance to popular antibiotics.

“In Lagos, for instance, a study showed that some germs (bacteria) such as the Pseudomonias aeruginosa strains have become resistant to all available antibiotics in Nigeria at a very high level ranging from 45 per cent to 100 per cent. “The result of such resistance is that physicians have to develop some ingenious ways to get their patients, who need such antibiotics, treated because more people are dying due to antibiotic resistance,” he added.

11Year-Old Esther Needs N9M to Treat Cerebral Palsy 11 years old Esther Oluwanifemi Oladapo is seriously in need of N9 million to treat a severe form of cerebral palsy which has incapacitated her since she was seven months old. The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oladapo, who have spent all their fortune on her treatment, are calling on public spirited individuals and organisations to help their daughter so she can undergo stem cell treatment and lead a normal life. Narrating their ordeal to THISDAY, her father said Esther was born healthy without complications, but that seven months after, she was diagnosed with Lumbar meningitis, recurrent seizures and cerebral palsy, which is currently eating her up. He said: “She is yet to stand, walk, talk, and she falls into strong agonizing seizures, so pathetic and painful, if not on her drugs.

“Recently, all her buttocks and back were peeled off, that resulted into painful sores, due to long sitting over the years. However, she overcome that with medical attention and healed up. Esther was born perfect, an eye of attraction to all consultants, doctors and nurses then. “Therefore, we kindly need the help of everyone for Esther to attain good health through stem cell treatment at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama at the cost of N9 million.” He said with a deadline of less than two months, which the hospital gave them to accept the offer and bring her down for treatment, they urgently need the help so their beautiful daughter can live healthy. For assistance, the Oladapos can be reached on +2348060070600. Account details are: Esther Oluwanifemi OLADAPO, 0163465525, GTB

Ailing Journalist, Osuji Seeks Urgent Financial Help A crime journalist with the Source Magazine, Chibuike Osuji, whose health is rapidly l deteriorating and is being admitted at the Funto Private Hospital Ijesha, Lagos has appealed to Nigerians, philanthropists and NGOs for financial assistance to save his life. Osuji who has spent millions of naira through borrowing and support from friends and family members since he was admitted in the hospital cannot walk on his own except with clutches or aided by someone. What started as a mere malaria and typhoid fever when he was diagnosed in the hospital showed a case of ulcer which was dripping blood inside his system leading to darkening of his feaces, more so his blood level had dropped to twelve per cent. He was thereafter treated and it stopped so to speak and was discharged when his blood level also rose to over 30 percent, but about three weeks later he

returned back to the hospital after he fell down and hit his head on the floor. He sustained an injury leading to loss of blood and was rushed back to the hospital. Doctors said his blood level has dropped to fourteen per cent and from there another round of treatment started, which forced the hospital to conduct a comprehensive test on him. Meanwhile, Osuji who has exhausted his money and all avenues to raise funds, was yet to leave the hospital due to outstanding treatment payment. It was on this predicament that members of the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), his immediate constituency stepped in to support but their effort is not enough to cater for his medical needs. Please send your donations to his account number: 6237381300 (Fidelity Bank). He can be reached on 08035569661.

UNITED AGAINST HIV

R-L: Wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, receiving an award from the National President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Dr. Joyce Barber, while MEAN National Coordinator on Outreaches, Dr. Imeh Okon looks on during a sensitisation walk against HIV/ AIDS in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary ofWorld AIDS Day, held in Abeokuta recently

Pay Attention to Issues Affecting Women, Girls, Effa Tells Govt Martins Ifijeh The Country Director, Rise Up Nigeria, Mrs Theresa Effa has called on government at all levels to pay attention to health, development and gender issues affecting women and girls in the country. She said Nigeria has beautiful policies that touch on improving the lives of women and girls, but that implementation has been the major challenge. Stating this at a workshop where representatives of various Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were trained in Lagos recently, she said putting out

policies mean that the government recognises the problem and intends to address the problem but that it was saddening there are still a lot of gender and other issues to contend with in the country. Effa explained that, “Rise Up was focused on advancing health, development and gender amongst women and girls and we work most especially with civil society leaders to strengthen their leadership and advocacy skills in order for them to undertake advocacy efforts that would improve their lives in Nigeria.” She observed that in April, the organisation initiated the gender

equity initiative with a leadership and advocacy workshop for seven days strictly for 20 selected leaders. On the impact of the programme, she explained that, “the trained leaders have been groomed to ask strategic questions from Nigerian leaders on what they will do in terms of advancing social justice for women and girls. “Rise Up has trained more than 200 people in Nigeria, but for this particular gender equity project that we initiated in April this year, we have trained 40 people. “After this second training

and especially because it is an election year, we want to see how this group of civil society leaders will engage our new leaders and see how far their engagement would be impactful and also bring the necessary results we want to see”. She explained that the trained leaders were selected from organisations committed to women/girls and wellbeing rights and that the training was to strengthen their leadership skills, build their advocacy capacity and develop a holistic understanding of the issues affecting women and girls in Nigeria.

NNPC, Chevron to Deworm 45,000 Children in Delta Sylvester IdowuÓØËÜÜÓ The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Chevron Nigeria’s Limited (CNL) Joint Venture, in collaboration with the Delta State Government and GlaxoSmithKline, have flagged off its mass de-worming exercise in Delta State with the campaign targeting over 45,000 under-12 years old in the state. Stating this at the flag off of the exercise in Warri, Wife of Delta State Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, said the

proactive social responsibility to de-worm over 45,000 children in Warri South and North Local Government Areas of the state was commendable. She said the programme compliments the comprehensive health programme of the Okowa-led administration in the state. Okowa, who was represented by Wife of the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Mrs Tobore Oborevwori, commended Chevron for the exercise, appealing to the company to extend the exercise to other

23 local government areas in the state. The General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, said more than 1.5 billion people, or 24 per cent of the world’s population, were infected with soil-transmitted helminth (parasitic worms) and worm infection worldwide. Brikinn, who was represented by the Area Manager, Field Operations, PGPA, CNL, Mr Sam Daibo, said NNPC/ Chevron JV decided to focus on

deworming because the effect of worm infestation, especially on children of school age, have assumed an alarming dimension that it requires concerted effort by all stakeholders to fight the ailment. “In this programme we will give safe and effective medicine produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Limited., to the target children to remove infecting worms while we will also educate the children on how to avoid re-infection through personal hygiene,” Brikinn said.


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T H I S D AY ˾ , DECEMBER 6, 2018

INTERVIEW

Adigwe: Pharma Sector Can Address Economic Issues in Nigeria

Dr. Peter Obi Adigwe is the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development. In this exclusive interview with Martins Ifijeh he said the Pharma sector has the potential to boost the economy by creating jobs, improve human capital development and increase revenue generation. He also spoke on other sundry issues. Excerpts What prospect does the pharmaceutical sector have for the healthcare and economic development of Nigeria? The Pharmaceutical sector has great potential for both diverse and interrelated sectors. As you are aware, we came up with the medicines’ security concept which says that unless a people exert sufficient control over how their medicines and healthcare commodities are produced, sustainable access to relevant, affordable, high quality products cannot be guaranteed in that setting. In line with this concept, our work is therefore positioned to expedite improved access to healthcare in the nation. Another critical area where we are focusing our efforts on is ensuring that our research and development initiatives are embedded in governments overarching socioeconomic objectives. As such we are re-engineering our projects to drive key government policies such as job creation, human capital development and revenue generation. The framework we are developing will therefore ensure that the Pharma Sector will not only improve access to health in Nigeria, it will increase other socioeconomic indices, such as employment generation, knowledge transfer, capacity building, attraction of foreign direct investment, and backward integration in ancillary industries. Is there evidence to support argument for prioritisation of the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria? A number of things are happening in Africa which supports my argument for prioritisation of the sector. The continental pharma market is estimated to hit $50 billion per annum in a couple of years. Also, there is an ongoing paradigm shift, meaning that the policy architecture is gradually changing to favor local content development, both in terms of natural resources and human capital. Together, these two factors mean that great opportunities exist for entities with local presence. These, alongside other variables such as our considerable disease burden and high fertility rates, make the African pharma market one that cannot be ignored. It is therefore important to explore what this scenario portends for the country. Nigeria currently has over 120 manufacturers and 500 importers of pharmaceuticals and related products, who represent a significant proportion of all pharmaceutical companies in Africa. Nigerian pharma companies have also attained the highest standards in products as well as in processes. For instance, four out of 10 companies who have World Health Organisation GMP certification in sub-Saharan Africa are Nigerian companies. Additionally, Nigeria currently has one of the highest populations of professionals with technical capacity in various fields of pharmaceutical development. It is therefore clear that Nigeria is suitable positioned to emerge as the Pharma sector hub for Africa, and that means the potential to capture a significant proportion of the $50 billion a year market, which will in turn catalyse widespread development even in interrelated sectors. Up until

Nigeria currently has over 120 manufacturers and 500 importers of pharmaceuticals and related products, who represent a significant proportion of all pharmaceutical companies in Africa. Nigerian pharma companies have also attained the highest standards in products as well as in processes

Adigwe

now however, Nigeria has not been harnessing these resources that can position it to capture the continental market. With the framework we are propagating, our preliminary analysis indicates that the Nigerian pharma sector will, in addition to exponentially improving access to medicines, significantly contribute to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as provide employment for over one million Nigerians. What are the challenges affecting prioritisation of the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria? Previously, challenges affecting prioritisation of the pharma sector used to be political will, but the current administration has demonstrated through various policies and executive orders that the development of natural resources and local content remains the highest priority. Now what we need to address include getting various actors to understand the benefits of prioritising the sector and getting stakeholders with outlier interests to align with the national position. Doing this in a timely manner is however of utmost importance as Nigeria’s current vantage position is fast being eroded. Ghana recently passed the Executive Instrument Number 181 ultimately aimed at achieving the same goals, Ethiopia too has just launched a Pharmaceutical Sector Development Plan expected to replicate the success of Ethiopian Airlines’ success story in Aviation. It is important to note that the framework and strategy we are propagating has been successfully used in other settings. There is international evidence that similar approaches have been used in aggressively developing other pharma sectors, for instance in India, Thailand and Bangladesh. Also, Ethiopia and Rwanda have successfully used the same strategy to respectively develop their aviation and ICT sectors. What sort of socioeconomic benefits can

be associated with the development of the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector? It is on record that the production of pharmaceuticals is associated with some of the highest value addition chains, in terms of backward integration and ancillary sector development. Empirical evidence exists that suggests that for every job created in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, between five to 10 corresponding jobs are created in the wider economy. This makes the pharma sector a powerful tool for stimulating employment generation. With prioritisation of the sector, the emergent framework would support mergers, acquisitions and partnerships that leverage on the current considerable infrastructure that exists in the sector. The opportunities thus created would generate sizeable interests from new investors as well as other global players in the industry, and consequently attract foreign direct investment to the economy. The framework and consequent recognition of Nigeria as the pharma manufacturing hub can even become a basis for anchoring emergent development initiatives for other sectors. With respect to backward integration, the prioritisation would further potentiate innovation and research initiatives already being spearheaded by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD. For instance, activities on excipients like pharmaceutical grade starch, cellulose and alcohol, which can all be sourced locally from various natural resources, such as cassava and grains. The framework being developed will therefore enable a seamless nexus for these other local industries that provide such input to the Pharmaceutical Industry. Additionally, activities at the institute aimed at training local people to harness Nigeria’s abundant rich Natural Biodiversity, will be accelerated by the prioritisation of the sector. With the framework in place, targeted activities for the local production

of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from petrochemicals, as well as natural sources, can commence in earnest. The synergistic contribution of these various aspects of the framework will lead to a systematic expansion of the National economy. Expectedly, this will further boost employment generation, knowledge and technology transfer, revenue generation, export of Nigerian products and many other related socioeconomic indices. What is the role of NIPRD in formulating development strategy for the pharma sector in Nigeria? NIPRD is the only one of its kind in the region, and it is statutorily charged with the responsibility for research and development of drugs, vaccines, phytomedicines, commodities, and diagnostics aimed at improving sustainable access to safe, affordable and high quality healthcare. NIPRD also undertakes activities relating to capacity building, policymaking, data collation, drug distribution and the development of contextual partnerships that can expedite access to healthcare. To accelerate development in the sector, our reengineering strategy has commenced with the aggregation of the relevant data sets as well as exploration of the appropriate engagement models that can support the most efficient and effective transition in our setting. We have also begun working on the identification and classification of relevant stakeholders, as it is of critical importance to partner with parties that have similar goals and objectives, particularly with respect to increasing access to healthcare, as well as ensuring that the reforms are sustainable. Engagement within government as well as with external actors have now commenced as a prelude to the next phase. In our view that the pharmaceutical sector is suitably positioned for exponential growth which will no doubt translate to increased access to medicines for Nigerians, as well as stimulate development in various sectors within the country. The prioritisation and consequent reengineering of the sector is no doubt the most efficient and effective strategy for achieving this.

DEALING WITH HIV CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 political will at the highest level and increase funding for HIV response across all states of the federation. He said like other countries, the ambitious goal of ending AIDS epidemic by 2030 was achievable in Nigeria, adding that among the series of events to meet the target was the commencement of the National AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) in all 36 states of the federation which was flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari in June this year. “The survey aims at providing a reliable baseline against which we can monitor our

performance as a country. I understand that the survey has made remarkable progress, and the results will be available by March 2019. “We are closer to ending the AIDs epidemic. Having HIV diagnosis today implies something very different from what we had 20 years ago. Research has delivered improved medicines, technologies and approaches to service delivery and holds even greater promise for what will be obtained in the future. “Today, with more access to treatment and care, people living with HIV can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.”

Gap in Diagnosis The Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Dr. Sani Aliyu, who spoke on the 2018 World AIDS Day theme: ‘Know Your Status,’ said the focus of this year’s commemoration was apt given that the gap in HIV diagnosis was a major stumbling block for the country’s HIV programme towards achieving the 90-90-90 targets.. The DG said: “I acknowledge especially the funding and technical support of the United States Government and the Global

Fund. Beyond the HIV burden, the NAIIS survey presently ongoing will provide reliable data on HIV incidence, viral suppression among people living with HIV who are on treatment, and the prevalence of hepatitis B and C. “The results of this survey will improve our understanding of the Nigerian HIV epidemic and provide more accurate and reliable data for planning and decision making.” He also advised persons already living with the virus to ensure they take their drugs regularly as prescribed so they can lead healthy lives.


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T H I S D AY ˾ , DECEMBER 6, 2018

HEALTH

Addressing Limb Losses in Nigeria Sunday Ehigiator writes that with the “Together for a Limb” initiative, Stanbic IBTC has given a new lease of life to 20 persons who were hitherto limbless, just as it continues to create awareness for people living with limb loss and its attendant effects

T

The key to the sustainability of any business is believed to hinge on the collaborative corporate social investments, while business survival is predicated on the level of support and goodwill it enjoys from its stakeholders; particularly its host community. This ethos is one Stanbic IBTC understands and lives by. Since 2015, Stanbic IBTC Holdings has taken up the gauntlet to create awareness for people living with limb loss and its attendant effects. Through its flagship corporate social investment (CSI) initiative, ‘Together 4 A Limb,’ the signature corporate social investment initiative of the Stanbic IBTC Group, which was formally launched on December 2, 2015, was preceded by a charity walk on November 14 that year, flagged off by Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, wife of the Lagos State Governor, who commended Stanbic IBTC for its laudable corporate social investment projects, particularly in the area of education. The adoption of the “Together 4 A Limb” as its flagship CSI initiative stemmed from the fact that it addressed the financial institution’s three cardinal CSI objectives; which are, health, education and economic empowerment. Since the 2015 launch, the firm has helped to change the course of the lives of little Aliyu and other 19 young Nigerians who have suffered limb losses. Unarguably, by addressing the children’s healthcare and educational needs, Stanbic IBTC has greatly reduced the financial burden on the parents, which will help empower them economically. With less worries on the health and education needs of their children, parents are able to conserve the family income and deploy such for other useful needs. Of greater importance is the yearly charity walk by Stanbic IBTC to help raise awareness about the need to support the vulnerable in the society; the indigents, youths and, particularly limbless children, who are often stigmatised and treated as if they are less human than the full limbed children. Charity Walk This year was no different. In furtherance of its commitment to value creation via social, economic and environmental initiatives, well-meaning Nigerians, alongside a contingent of staffers, thronged the streets of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt recently, to commemorate this year’s charity walk and to celebrate the 20 beneficiaries of the initiative fitted so far. This year’s walk took place simultaneously across three cities; Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and specifically focused on generating awareness for people living with limb loss, as well as celebrating the 20 beneficiaries, who have been fitted with prosthesis since the initiative was launched in 2015. The 2018 walk, unlike the previous ones that covered three kilometres, stretched for eight kilometres. The extended distance is significant. It is apparent that the financial institution is desirous of deepening the awareness drive to further raise public

Cross section of participants during the walk

consciousness. The eight-kilometre charity walk took longer to navigate, took in more neighbourhood/people, and generated more publicity. The eight-kilometres walk kicked off at 8am at all locations, with adequate protection provided by security forces and traffic wardens. It had participants buzzing all through the walk with music and inspirational messages, with focus on three key areas of human life; health, education, and economic empowerment. In his address, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Yinka Sanni, said the cardinal objective of the walk is to raise awareness about the importance of supporting the vulnerable in society, especially indigent and underserved children. It is also expected to connect with other Nigerians who share the passion for impactful social causes. He said: “We understand how challenging it must be for the parents and guardians of these children, especially considering the high cost of acquiring these prostheses (artificial limbs). Our ultimate objective is to help these children to lead very productive and fulfilling lives. “We are passionate about this initiative, which helps Stanbic IBTC to contribute meaningfully to the society. The education trust will provide for the education of the beneficiaries for as far as they are willing and able to go and will enable them realise their God-given potential.” In a chat with the media, Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr Demola Sogunle, said the initiative is a key plan in the group’s corporate social investment drive, which focuses on education, health and economic empowerment. He said the charity walk is an integral part of the initiative as it helps to draw attention to the plight of children with limb losses. He said the prostheses and education trusts Stanbic IBTC is providing for the

children will not only help integrate them into society by boosting their self-esteem but will also help them make something out of their lives. While adding that some of these children if their potentials are properly harnessed may go on to become presidents, governors, great leaders he said: “therefore we see the ripple effect and the impact this intervention will have on these children beyond just enabling them lead more productive and rewarding lives”. Some of the dignitaries that came out for this year’s walk included Consultant Orthopedic and Trauma Surgeon, National Orthopedic Hospital Igbobi Lagos, Dr. Olatunji Idowu; Chief Executive, Standard Bank, Africa Regions, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Non-Executive Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Prof Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), Ms. Ngozi Edozien and Mrs. Ifeoma Esiri; Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC; Sanni, Sogunle and other senior members of the organisation’s management team. Life-line for Beneficiaries One of the beneficiaries was Aliyu. His mother who was effusive with praises at what she saw as a positive contribution to her son’s life said: “I say thank you to Stanbic IBTC. If not for them, how would I have been able to afford prosthesis? He (Aliyu) would probably have started having back pains and we would be running from one hospital to the other. If more organisations can come out like Stanbic IBTC, lives of children and parents would be better. So, I truly appreciate Stanbic IBTC. They are doing a wonderful thing.” Indeed, by focusing on the provision of prostheses, Stanbic IBTC had touched on a profound area of need and is able to address its three CSI pillars in one fell swoop. The commitment to provide artificial limbs for beneficiaries until they are 18 years effectively takes care of their all-round

healthcare needs. Such commitment help to give the beneficiary children access to quality medical facilities they otherwise would not have been able to afford. As researched, the average lifespan of prosthesis is three years and to fit the artificial limbs, a comprehensive health check is often required. What this means is that the children are exposed to regular medical checks and the state of their health becomes paramount. Stanbic IBTC equally opened a N1.5 million education trust fund for each of the children fitted with prostheses, thus exposing them to quality education. Statistics of Limbless Nigerians While accurate figure is not available, estimates put the population of limbless individuals in the country at roughly 20 million Nigerians, of mostly children and young adults. According to the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, “there are no standard figures as to how many amputees or orthotics users there are in Nigeria.” What this means is that the figure could be less or more than the estimated 20 million. In any case, the growing population of amputees, driven by the insurgence in the North and a culture of reckless driving, is enough cause to worry and require massive focus. For instance, little Aliyu was an unfortunate victim of a careless tricycle driver. Stanbic IBTC Holdings is a full service financial services group with a focus on three main business pillars; Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC Holdings belongs, is the largest African bank by assets and market capitalisation. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 20 countries on the African continent.

Reddington Gets Re-accreditation as International Provider of Quality Healthcare Reddington Hospital has been re-accredited by the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) for a further three years until 2021, having recently been assessed and certified as consistent in meeting rigorous international quality standards in its healthcare practices. The hospital was initially accredited in July 2012, becoming the first independent hospital in Nigeria to achieve the award and in 2015, became the first healthcare facility in the country to be re-accredited at the first

attempt. COHSASA is an international accreditation organisation certified by the global regulating accreditation body, International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) to audit healthcare institutions against approved internationally accepted standards, and to certify them when they meet the requirements. COHSASA is the only healthcare accreditation organisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The award means that Reddington Hospital continues to be compliant with global best

practices in the quality of care and patient safety. Commenting on this achievement the Group Medical Director and Chief of Surgery at Reddington Hospitals, Dr. Olutunde Lalude, said: “It has been a challenging and rewarding experience for all of us at Reddington Hospital to maintain quality standards and deliver service improvements while expanding the scope of services we offer “I want to recognise the entire Reddington team who have committed to the

improvements which have culminated in the re-accreditation by COHSASA. “The award is a result of the collective determination to raise standards of healthcare delivery and access in Nigeria to a level comparable with the best in the world.” According to Lalude, over 2,000 criteria were assessed during a week by a team of healthcare professionals from abroad. The team, he said scrutinised and assessed clinical and non-clinical areas such as

Infection Control, Pharmaceutical Services, Diagnostic Imaging Services, Medical Science Laboratory, Dietetic services and many others. The hospital’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Matthews was also elated with the award. He said: “This award is a culmination of listening to our customers and acting upon their feedback to improve services while continuing to invest in the best equipment and expertise. Being committed to service

and quality improvements is a step toward significantly reducing medical tourism in this country.” The Reddington Hospital is a multi-specialist Tertiary Hospital established in 2006 which provides care in a wide range of areas including Advanced Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Neurology, Gastroenterology as well as offering services in General Surgery, Orthopaedics, ENT, Paediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and among others.


40

T H U R S DAY ËžDECEMBER 6, 2018

BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

Survey Reveals Sustained Confidence in Economy Nume Ekeghe The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monthly Business Expectation Survey for November 2018, has revealed that businesses are more optimistic about macroeconomic growth. The report, posted on the central bank’s website also revealed that firms anticipated that the naira would appreciate. It stated: “At 25.9 index points, respondents’ overall confidence index (CI) on the macro economy in November 2018 was more optimistic when compared to its level of 23.2 index points recorded in October 2018. “The outlook for December 2018 showed greater confidence on the macro economy at 65.6 index points. “The optimism on the macro economy in the current month was driven by the opinion of respondents from services (14.9 points), industrial (7.8 points), wholesale/retail trade (2.6 points)

and construction (0.5 points) sectors, whereas the drivers of the optimism for next month were services (37.0 points), industrial (19.2 points), wholesale/retail trade (6.6 points) and construction (2.8points) sectors.� Also, in terms of financial conditions and access to credit, the report stated: “Respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order and business activity in November 2018 remained positive as the index stood at 22.1 and 21.7 points, respectively when compared to 17.4 and 18.8 points, respectively recorded in the previous month. “Similarly, respondents’ outlook on financial conditions (working capital) and average capacity utilisation remained positive with indices of 19.9 and 23.8 index points, respectively Respondents were optimistic on access to credit in the review month with an index of 0.3 points.� The surveyed firms identified

insufficient power supply (64.7 points), high interest rate (57.9 points), unfavourable economic climate (55.1 points), financial problems (51.2 points), unclear economic laws (51.0 points), unfavourable political climate (48.6 points), access to credit (41.3 points) and insufficient demand (41.2 points) as the major factors constraining business activities. Majority of the respondent firms expected the naira to appreciate in the current as confidence indices stood at 19.4 and 33.2 points, respectively. “Expectations on respondent firms expect inflation rate to rise in both the current and next months, with confidence indices of 7.0 and 3.4 points for the current and next months, respectively. “Similarly, respondent firms expect borrowing rates to rise in both current month and next month as the confidence indices stood at 5.8 and 2.2 points, respectively.�

L-R: Past Deputy President, Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Thomas Awagu; Past Deputy President, Yemi Adefulu; Chairman of the Occasion, Dr. Oba Otudeko; President, NBCC, Akin Olawore; Deputy President, Kayode Falowo and Past President, Michael Olawale Cole, at the NBCC’s 41st presidential dinner and awards in Lagos‌recently

MARKET INDICATORS

Wigwe: Fintechs WillTransform Financial Services The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, yesterday said financial technology (fintech) companies will change the face of financial services as the next big thing in Africa. The Access Bank boss said this during the third National Fintech Conference and Africa Fintech Festival 2018 Edition that took place in Lagos yesterday. Wigwe, who was represented by the Executive Director, Business Banking Division, Access Bank, Mr. Victor Etokwu, said fintech would become a major growth driver in the continent. Wigwe said: “Fintechs have become the next big thing in

Africa, and in a few years, could change the face of financial services as we know it. “While banks and other financial service providers may feel threatened, the presence of fintech would most likely improve traditional financial service, rather than phase it out. “This means the financial service sector has a chance to grow alongside Fintechs, through Co-creation, Collaboration and Co-opetition.� He added: “Fintech companies need to transition from just being buzzwords to solving real world problems. “They must start to focus on problems plaguing our continent such as poverty, financial exclu-

sion, lack of intra-Africa transfers and payment systems. “We must begin to free ourselves from the legacies of a financial and payment system still rooted in colonial foundations. “Fintechs have a huge role to play in poverty eradication not only by giving the financially excluded access to affordable payments and credit, but also by facilitating new business models. “We all need to work together to reap the benefits of fintech and to ensure that the Fintech revolution benefits everyone and not just a few. At Access Bank, we have taken a strong stand on this subject.�

FCMB Receives ISO 22301 Certification First City Monument Bank (FCMB), has bagged the TCIC International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 22301:2012 certification. This was in recognition of the bank’s attainment and compliance with the requirements of business continuity management system. The certification followed a comprehensive audit and evaluation exercise conducted by TCIC Global Certification Limited, a Canada-based independent Management System Audit/Assessment and training providers, founded in 2003. A statement explained that the FCMB Business Continu-

ity Management System was in support of critical services, products and processes. Commenting on the certification, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru, described the feat as another milestone in the commitment of the bank to attain excellence in all aspects of its operation and service delivery. The bank chief said: “We are excited to attain the TCIC ISO 22301 certification. It is proof that the successful overhaul and streamlining of our services, products and processes to meet global standards are yielding the desired results and recognition.’’ He added: “We will continue

to improve in all aspects of our business in order to match the needs of our esteemed customers, as a response to market demands and also in recognition of rapidly changing global standards.� FCMB was in May this year awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certificate for quality management system by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). The ISO 9001:2015 is the most widely used quality management system globally. It provides a framework that ensures organisations can consistently meet customers’ expectations and other applicable requirements.

Unity Bank Partners Jigawa on ‘Trader Moni’ The federal government has formally commenced its social welfare initiatives christened ‘Trader Moni’ in partnership with Jigawa State government and Unity Bank Plc, with the initial sum of N300 million. With a total of N1.5 billion earmarked for the initiative, the scheme is meant to accelerate an on- lending through Unity Bank to about 35,000 Jigawa petty traders Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was in Jigawa

for the launch of the scheme presented the cheque through the Chairman, Jigawa State Chamber of Commerce Mines and Agriculture (JICCIMA), Alhaji Shehu Muhammad Sunusi. According to the Regional Manager, Unity Bank Plc, in Jigawa State, Mustapha Baba, the bank was in good stead to facilitate the on-lending scheme to the benefit of Jigawa petty traders, not only as it has continued to

identify with the genuine aspirations of the government and people of state, but also to support the bank’s pursuit of financial inclusion which has dominated its business objective for some time. Baba explained that arrangements have been made for the bank to begin direct disbursements to selected beneficiaries/small businesses in the state as intervention fund on behalf of the State Government/JICCIMA.

MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA)

MARCH 2018 Broad Money (M2)

24,303,049.86

-- Narrow Money (M1)

10,912,604.10

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,668,378.21

---- Demand Deposits

9,244,225.90

-- Quasi Money

13,390,445.76

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

15,619,134.18

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

8,683,915.68

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

26,267,136.53

---- Credit to Government (Net)

3,823,345.45

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

5,433,209.43

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

-1,609,863.98

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

22,443,791.08

--Other Assets Net

-17,583,220.85

Reserve Money (Base Money)

6,746,646.49

--Currency in Circulation

1,668,378.21

--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

Inter-Bank Call Rate

15.16

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

11.84

Savings Deposit Rate

4.07

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.82

3 Months Deposit Rate

9.72

6 Months Deposit Rate

10.93

12 Months Deposit Rate

10.21

Prime Lending rate

17.35

Maximum Lending Rate

31.55

ËžĂ™Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂŁÙÖÓĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ě‹ͯ͹Ϲ

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT TUESDAY, 4 DECEMBER 2018

The price of OPEC basket of ďŹ fteen crudes stood at $61.09 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $60.57 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Oriente (Ecuador), ZaďŹ ro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


41

T H U R S DAY ˾DECEMBER 6, 2018

MARKET NEWS

Bargain Hunting in Bellwethers Sustains Market Recovery Goddy Egene Gains recorded by Dangote Cement Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, FBN Holdings, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, helped to sustain the positive performance in equities market yesterday. The market had rebounded on Tuesday when the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated 0.68 per cent due to bargain hunting in banking stocks.

The positive trend continued yesterday following high demand for shares of highly capitalised stocks. Consequently, the NSE ASI rose further by 0.47 per cent to close at 31,151.68, while market capitalisation added N52.7 billion to close higher at N11.4 trillion. There were 19 price gainers compared with 18 price losers. The bulls were led by Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc with 10 per cent to close at N0.22 per share. Diamond Bank Plc followed with

P R I C E S MAIN BOARD

F O R DEALS

8.9 per cent to close at N0.85 per share. Diamond Bank shares have recovered significantly since Monday after shedding 31 per cent last week. The financial institution recently got a new licence to operate as a national bank compared with its former international banking licence. According to the bank, re-licencing as a national bank, “supports Diamond’s objective of streamlining its

S E C U R I T I E S

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N )

operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and economy as a whole.” The bank’s chief executive, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said: “The move to a national banking license marks a continuation of our strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant fundamental trends, including a large underbanked population and Africa’s biggest economy.”

T R A D E D MAIN BOARD

A S

Meanwhile, Linkage Assurance Plc closed as the third highest price gainer with 8.9 per cent, just as WAPIC Insurance Plc and LASACO Assurance Plc garnered 8.1 per cent and 7.4 per cent in that order. Conversely, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 9.7 per cent, trailed by Transnational Express Plc with 9.2 per cent. Prestige Assurance Plc and First Aluminium Nigeria Plc depreciated by

O F

9.0 per cent apiece, while Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc went down by 8.7 per cent. University Press Plc and C & I Leasing Plc lost 6.9 per cent and 5.8 per cent in that order. The volume and value of trading improved marginally as investors exchanged 198.6 million shares worth N2.3 billion in 2,845 deals, up from 198.535 million shares valued at N2.115 billion traded in 2,802 deals the previous day.

0 4 / 1 2 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N)


     ˾  THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2018

42

Thursday, December 6, 2018

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX

ThisDay Afrinvest Sheds 34bps zĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͕ƚŚĞdŚŝƐĂLJĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚƐŚĞĚϯϰďƉƐƚŽƐĞƩůĞĂƚϭ͕ϯϭϬ͘ϭϰ

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index

ƉŽŝŶƚƐ ĂƐ ƐĞůů ƉƌĞƐƐƵƌĞƐ ŝŶ GUARANTY TRUSTBANK (-ϭ͘ϴйͿ͕ ZENITH (-Ϭ͘ϲйͿ͕ ĂŶĚ ACCESS (-Ϭ͘ϳйͿ ĚƌĂŐŐĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞdž͘ dŚĞƐĞ

Ticker

ƐƚŽĐŬƐĐƵŵƵůĂƟǀĞůLJĂĐĐŽƵŶƚĨŽƌϰϬ͘ϬйŽĨƚŚĞŝŶĚĞdž͘

Current Price

THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 1,310.14

Previous Current Price Weighting Change

Price Change YTD

Price Change Index to Date

ROE

ROA

P/E

P/BV

-0.34%

Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield

-15.1%

31.0%

20.8%

7.4%

6.0x

0.7x

6.7%

1

Guaranty Trust Bank PLC

35.30

-1.8%

21.9%

-13.4%

-12.9%

34.1%

5.6%

5.3x

2.0x

7.6%

12.2% 19.0%

ĂƌŐĂŝŶ ,ƵŶƟŶŐ ŝŶ E'D ƌŝǀĞƐ >ŽĐĂů ŽƵƌƐĞ ,ŝŐŚĞƌ͙ASI

2

Zenith Bank PLC

23.85

-0.6%

14.3%

-7.0%

-8.0%

23.7%

3.4%

4.1x

1.0x

11.5%

24.4%

Up 0.5%

3

Nigerian Brew eries PLC

-40.7%

-40.8%

13.8%

6.4%

26.8x

3.8x

4.7%

3.7%

80.00

0.0%

6.3%

1,485.00

0.0%

9.1%

-4.6%

-4.6%

85.8%

26.3%

26.8x

20.9x

3.2%

3.7%

190.00

2.7%

6.1%

-17.4%

-17.4%

20.1%

9.8%

19.8x

4.2x

5.7%

5.1%

4

Nestle Nigeria PLC

ĂƌŐĂŝŶ ŚƵŶƟŶŐ ŝŶ E'D ƚŽǁĂƌĚƐ ĮŶĂů ƐĞĐŽŶĚƐ ŽĨ ƚƌĂĚŝŶŐ

5

Dangote Cement PLC

ĚƌŽǀĞ ƚŚĞ ůŽĐĂů ďŽƵƌƐĞ ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ŝŶ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ͘ WƌŝĐĞ

6

FBN Holdings Plc

7.70

1.3%

5.7%

-12.5%

-12.4%

6.6%

0.8%

5.5x

0.4x

3.3%

18.1%

7

Access Bank PLC

7.50

-0.7%

3.8%

-28.2%

-29.2%

14.1%

1.7%

3.1x

0.5x

8.7%

32.1%

11.0%

ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ ŝŶ E'D ;нϮ͘ϳйͿ ĂŶĚ STANBIC ;нϮ͘ϬйͿ ĚƌŽǀĞ

8

United Bank for Africa PLC

7.75

-3.1%

3.9%

-24.8%

-25.6%

15.4%

1.8%

3.5x

0.6x

ƚŚĞůů^ŚĂƌĞ/ŶĚĞdž;͞^/͟ͿŚŝŐŚĞƌďLJϬ͘ϱйƚŽƐĞƩůĞĂƚϯϭ͕ϭϱϭ͘ϲϴ

9

Ecobank Transnational Inc

16.00

0.0%

3.6%

-5.9%

-1.7%

12.1%

1.0%

5.0x

0.6x

ƉŽŝŶƚƐ ǁŚŝůĞ zd ůŽƐƐ ŵŽĚĞƌĂƚĞĚ ƚŽ -ϭϴ͘ϱй͘ /ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ ǁĞĂůƚŚ

10

SEPLAT Petroleum Development C

598.90

-2.5%

3.5%

-2.0%

-4.4%

25.9%

15.3%

2.6x

0.6x

3.0%

38.2%

11

Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC

47.50

2.0%

3.9%

14.5%

16.1%

35.7%

4.6%

7.0x

2.2x

2.1%

14.2%

ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞĚ ĂƐ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝƐĂƟŽŶ ƌŽƐĞ EϱϮ͘ϳďŶ ƚŽ ĐůŽƐĞ Ăƚ

28.5% 19.9%

12

Unilever Nigeria PLC

39.50

0.0%

2.9%

-3.7%

-1.8%

24.7%

11.5%

18.4x

2.7x

1.3%

5.4%

Eϭϭ͘ϰƚŶ͘ ĐƟǀŝƚLJ ůĞǀĞů ĂůƐŽ ƐƚƌĞŶŐƚŚĞŶĞĚ ĂƐ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ĂŶĚ ǀĂůƵĞ

13

Guinness Nigeria PLC

74.00

0.0%

2.1%

-21.3%

-21.3%

8.8%

5.0%

19.9x

1.8x

2.5%

5.0%

ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ŝŶĐŚĞĚ ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ďLJ Ϭ͘ϭй ĂŶĚ ϵ͘Ϯй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ ƚŽ ĐůŽƐĞ Ăƚ

14

Lafarge Africa PLC

12.50

-2.3%

0.5%

-72.2%

-72.2%

-53.7%

-7.9%

0.8x

12.0%

-51.9%

15

Fidelity Bank PLC

1.95

0.0%

1.2%

-20.7%

-24.4%

11.3%

1.5%

2.5x

0.3x

5.6%

16

Oando PLC

4.95

5.3%

1.3%

-17.4%

-17.4%

10.9%

1.7%

4.1x

0.3x

ϭϵϴ͘ϲŵƵŶŝƚƐĂŶĚEϮ͘ϯďŶƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͘dŚĞƚŽƉƚƌĂĚĞĚƐƚŽĐŬƐďLJ ǀŽůƵŵĞŝŶLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛ƐƐĞƐƐŝŽŶǁĞƌĞFBNH ;ϵϬ͘ϰŵƵŶŝƚƐͿ͕ACCESS ;ϭϳ͘ϵŵ ƵŶŝƚƐͿ ĂŶĚ /DKEE< ;ϭϱ͘ϭŵ ƵŶŝƚƐͿ ǁŚŝůĞ ƚŚĞ ƚŽƉ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ďLJ ǀĂůƵĞ ǁĞƌĞ FBNH ;Eϲϴϵ͘ϴŵͿ͕ STANBIC ;Eϯϯϰ͘ϭŵͿ͕ĂŶĚE^d>;Eϯϭϲ͘ϬŵͿ͘

ĞĂƌŝƐŚ^ĞĐƚŽƌWĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ /ŶLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛ƐƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ͕ƐĞĐƚŽƌƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞƚƵƌŶĞĚďĞĂƌŝƐŚĂƐϯŽĨ ƚŚĞ ϱ ďƌŽĂĚ ƐĞĐƚŽƌƐ ƵŶĚĞƌ ŽƵƌ ĐŽǀĞƌĂŐĞ ĐůŽƐĞĚ ŝŶ ƚŚĞ ƌĞĚ͘ dŚĞ /ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞdž ǁĂƐ ƚŚĞ ďĞƐƚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐ ƐĞĐƚŽƌ ŝŶ yesterday͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ĂƐ ďĂƌŐĂŝŶ ŚƵŶƟŶŐ ŝŶ E'D ;нϮ͘ϳйͿ

39.3% 24.3%

17

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC

13.10

0.0%

0.9%

-34.5%

-35.7%

32.6%

16.4%

5.2x

1.5x

13.3%

19.1%

18

Okomu Oil Palm PLC

75.50

0.0%

1.4%

11.5%

11.5%

39.3%

29.7%

7.2x

2.5x

4.0%

13.9%

19

International Brew eries PLC

29.45

-4.2%

0.5%

-46.0%

-46.4%

24.6%

7.4%

30.8x

7.0x

20

Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC

21.00

4.2%

0.5%

-27.6%

-27.6%

7.6%

2.3%

7.2x

0.6x

4.8%

13.9% 18.1%

3.2%

21

Transnational Corp of Nigeria

1.16

3.6%

0.5%

-20.5%

-21.6%

13.6%

3.0%

5.5x

0.7x

1.7%

22

UAC of Nigeria PLC

9.50

-5.0%

0.4%

-43.8%

-43.8%

0.4%

0.2%

74.7x

0.4x

6.8%

23

Diamond Bank PLC

0.85

9.0%

0.3%

-43.3%

-45.9%

-5.8%

-0.7%

198.00

0.0%

0.5%

-13.9%

-13.9%

34.6%

7.5%

1.50

-3.8%

0.6%

-5.1%

8.4%

1.2%

2.0x

0.2x

6.7%

50.9%

174.80

0.0%

0.5%

-10.2%

-10.2%

38.0%

16.8%

5.8x

1.9x

4.6%

17.1%

84.6%

8.3%

7.4x

1.4x

24

Total Nigeria PLC

0.1x 6.9x

1.3% -82.5%

2.2x

8.6%

14.5%

25

FCMB Group Plc

26

11 PLC

27

Forte Oil PLC

18.00

0.0%

0.2%

-58.6%

-57.1%

28

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC

10.90

5.8%

0.2%

-47.1%

-48.5%

29

Cadbury Nigeria PLC

9.45

0.0%

0.3%

-39.7%

-39.4%

4.7%

1.9%

33.0x

1.5x

1.7%

3.0%

30

Presco PLC

62.15

0.0%

0.4%

-9.3%

-9.3%

37.0%

24.8%

2.5x

0.8x

3.3%

40.7%

47.0%

17.5%

9.4x

4.2x

8.3%

10.7%

0.7x

6.8%

13.6%

1.0x

1.4%

ĚƌŽǀĞ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞdž ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ďLJ Ϭ͘ϴй͘ dŚĞ /ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞ ŝŶĚĞdž ƚƌĂŝůĞĚ

31

NASCON Allied Industries PLC

18.00

0.0%

0.4%

-2.7%

-6.3%

ŐĂŝŶŝŶŐ Ϭ͘ϲй ĂƐ ƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ ŝŶ tW/ ;нϴ͘ϭйͿ ĂŶĚ

32

UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr

8.10

0.0%

0.3%

-19.0%

-19.0%

33

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC

5.30

1.0%

0.3%

-32.1%

-29.4%

5.3%

1.0%

9.6x

0.5x

34

Julius Berger Nigeria PLC

21.00

0.0%

0.3%

-25.0%

-25.0%

17.3%

1.8%

5.8x

0.9x

4.8%

17.2%

4.5x

0.5x

1.2%

22.4%

0.8x

3.2%

>/E<^^hZ ;нϴ͘ϵйͿ ƉƌŽƉĞůůĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞdž ŶŽƌƚŚǁĂƌĚƐ͘ dŚĞ

10.4%

35

Sterling Bank PLC

1.70

0.0%

0.5%

57.4%

50.4%

10.6%

1.1%

36

Dangote Flour Mills Plc

6.30

1.6%

0.2%

-48.1%

-48.1%

0.0%

0.0%

37

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger

14.50

0.0%

0.2%

-32.9%

-32.9%

12.1%

7.2%

11.6x

2.0x

53.2%

38

Chemical and Allied Products P

31.50

0.0%

0.2%

-7.4%

-11.8%

66.2%

30.2%

14.7x

9.8x

6.5%

6.8%

ůŽǁĞƌ ďLJ ϭ͘Ϭй ĂŶĚ Ϭ͘ϲй ƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůLJ͘ ŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚĞdž

39

Beta Glass PLC

68.30

0.0%

0.2%

33.1%

33.1%

17.7%

11.5%

8.3x

1.4x

1.7%

12.0%

ĐŽŵƉůĞƚĞĚ ƚŚĞ ďĞĂƌƐ ŝŶ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ĂƐ ƐĞůů ƉƌĞƐƐƵƌĞƐ ŝŶ

40

Transcorp Hotels Plc

6.10

0.0%

0.1%

-15.4%

-15.4%

6.9%

3.8%

11.9x

0.8x

2.0%

8.4%

ůĂŐŐĂƌĚƐŝŶLJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛ƐƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ǁĞƌĞůĞĚďLJƚŚĞĂŶŬŝŶŐĂŶĚKŝů Θ 'ĂƐ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ ĂƐ ƐĞůů-ŽīƐ ŝŶ GUARANTY (-ϭ͘ϴйͿ͕ UBA (-ϯ͘ϭйͿ͕ and ^W>d (-Ϯ͘ϱйͿ ǁĞŝŐŚĞĚ ŽŶ ďŽƚŚ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ ĂƐ ƚŚĞLJ ĐůŽƐĞĚ

INTBREW (-ϰ͘ϮйͿ ĂŶĚ UACN (-ϱ͘ϬйͿ ƉƵůůĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞdž ůŽǁĞƌ ďLJ

ϭϴďƉƐ͘

/ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ^ĞŶƟŵĞŶƚtĞĂŬĞŶƐ

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

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

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

VER IT A SKA P

0.22

10.0%

D IA M ON D B N K

0.85

9.0%

LIN KA SSUR E

0.61

8.9%

D IA M ON D B N K

15.1

9.0%

WA P IC

0.40

8.1%

FCM B

12.0

-3.8%

T ic k er

Vo lum e

FB NH

90.4

P ric e C hg % 1.3%

A C C ESS

17.9

-0.7%

/ŶǀĞƐƚŽƌ ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ĂƐ ŵĞĂƐƵƌĞĚ ďLJ ŵĂƌŬĞƚ ďƌĞĂĚƚŚ ;ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞͬ

LA SA C O

0.29

7.4%

GUA R A N T Y

7.6

-1.8%

ĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌĂƟŽͿǁĞĂŬĞŶĞĚƚŽϭ͘ϭdžĨƌŽŵϭ͘ϴdžƌĞĐŽƌĚĞĚŝŶdƵĞƐĚĂLJ͛s

PZ

10.90

5.8%

ST A N B IC

7.0

2.0%

WEM A B A N K

0.55

5.8%

F ID ELIT YB K

5.2

0.0%

OA N D O

4.95

5.3%

LA SA C O

3.4

7.4%

ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ĂƐ ϭϵ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ĂŐĂŝŶƐƚ ϭϴ ĚĞĐůŝŶĞƌƐ͘ dŚĞ ďĞƐƚ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵŝŶŐ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ŝŶ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ǁĞƌĞ sZ/d^<W ;нϭϬ͘ϬйͿ͕ /DKEE< ;нϵ͘ϬйͿ͕ ĂŶĚ >/E<^^hZ ;нϴ͘ϵйͿ

R EGA LIN S

0.21

5.0%

UC A P

3.2

0.7%

M A YB A KER

2.40

4.3%

H ON YF LOUR

2.9

-3.6%

T o p 10 L o s e r s

ǁŚŝůĞ CCNN (-ϵ͘ϳйͿ͕ dZE^yWZ (-ϵ͘ϮйͿ ĂŶĚ WZ^d/' (-ϵ͘ϭйͿ

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

T ic k er

P ric e

P ric e C hg %

CCNN

16.25

-9.7%

ĞdžƚĞŶĚĞĚŝƚƐďƵůůŝƐŚƌƵŶŝŶƚŽƚŚĞƐĞĐŽŶĚĐŽŶƐĞĐƵƟǀĞĚĂLJůĂƌŐĞůLJ

T R A N SEXP R

0.59

-9.2%

ĚƵĞƚŽďĂƌŐĂŝŶŚƵŶƟŶŐŝŶE'DǁŚŝůĞǁĞĂŬĞŶŝŶŐŝŶǀĞƐƚŽƌƐ

P R EST IGE

0.50

-9.1%

N EST LE

316.0

0.0%

F IR ST A LUM

0.30

-9.1%

D A N GC EM

270.8

2.7%

ůĞĚ ƚŚĞ ůĂŐŐĂƌĚƐ ŝŶ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ͘ dŚĞ ůŽĐĂů ďŽƵƌƐĞ

ƐĞŶƟŵĞŶƚ ŝŶ LJĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ ƐŚŽǁƐ ďƵLJŝŶŐ ŵŽŵĞŶƚƵŵ ŝƐ ƚĂƉĞƌŝŶŐ͕ ƚŚƵƐ ǁĞ ĂŶƟĐŝƉĂƚĞ Ă ŶĞŐĂƟǀĞ ƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞ ŝŶ

ƐƵďƐĞƋƵĞŶƚƐĞƐƐŝŽŶƐ͘

(A Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange)

Value

FB NH

689.8

P ric e C hg % 1.3%

ST A N B IC

334.1

2.0%

0.21

-8.7%

GUA R A N T Y

268.1

-1.8%

UP L

2.00

-7.0%

A C C ESS

134.6

-0.7%

C ILEA SIN G

1.94

-5.8%

NB

52.3

0.0%

UA C N

9.50

-5.0%

Z EN IT H B A N K

41.0

-0.6%

29.45

-4.2%

FCM B

18.5

-3.8%

1.50

-3.8%

CCNN

15.9

-9.7%

FCM B

Afrinvest Securities Limited (RC 603 315)

T ic k er

M B EN EF IT

IN T B R EW

8.6%

Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo | aebo@afrinvest.com

Robert Omotunde |

Bolaji Fajenyo | bfajenyo@afrinvest.com

Jolomi Odonghanro | jodonghanro@afrinvest.com

romotunde@afrinvest.com


T H I S D AY Ëž Ë&#x153;ÍžË&#x153;ͺ͸͚͜

43

MARKET NEWS

NSE Eyes Listing of More Exchange Traded Products Goddy Egene The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema yesterday said more Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) would be listed soon. ETP are a type of security that is derivatively priced and trades intra-day on an exchange. They are priced so the value is derived from other investment instruments, such as a commodity, a currency, a share price or an interest rate. ETPs are one of the most

significant financial innovations in recent decades and have shaped the financial markets. Since the introduction of ETPs in 1993, they have gained widespread acceptance in most developed markets. However, the Nigerian market recorded the first ETP, which is the ABSAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Newgold Exchange Traded Fund(ETF) in 2011. Speaking at the annual ETPs Conference tagged: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Exchange Traded Products: Evolving investment themes, Accessing New Markets and Enhancing

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

Portfolio Alpha,â&#x20AC;? in Lagos yesterday, Onyema disclosed that this year, in collaboration with issuers, they have focused on diversifying the ETPs space by supporting new product development and thus expect the launch of new ETPs in the short term. According to him, currently, there are nine ETPs listed on the NSE; two thematic ETFs providing access to pensioncompliant and Shariah-compliant stocks; two broad equity market ETFs tracking the NSE 30 Index;

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 0412-2018, unless otherwise stated.

three sector based ETFs, one commodity ETF, and one bond ETF tracking exposure to benchmark FGN Sovereign Bonds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The introduction of ETPs is one of the exchangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategy to enhance diversification as well as broaden the options available in the capital market to support the efficient implementation of investment strategies across diverse asset classes and instruments,â&#x20AC;? he said. Onyema said the conference provided insights

on emerging themes as well as foster understanding of ETPs as convenient vehicles and investment management tools for accessing other markets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Discussions sought to: identify solutions to challenges in the domestic market, as well as consider the potential for cross border listing of securities in Africa; expand the dialogue regarding the integration of African Financial Markets via the issuance of ETP vehicles and Depository receipts; provide the investment advisory and

broker-dealer community with an understanding of their roles in distribution and capital mobilization, as well as provide direction to ETP issuers to support product development efforts in the medium term,â&#x20AC;? he said. The NSE CEO encouraged ETPs issuers and intermediaries to expand their footprint by broadening distribution channels, introducing other asset classes/ strategies, entering new markets, leveraging technology and data analytics to understand the market and demand.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 160.46 162.80 -9.23% Afrinvest Plutus Fund 100.00 100.00 11.00% Nigeria International Debt Fund 274.33 275.91 18.69% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.83 0.84 1.32% ACAP Income Funds 0.63 0.63 6.89% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.45% AIICO Balanced Fund 2.21 2.23 -3.72% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 130.09 131.00 -14.24% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.32% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.01% Paramount Equity Fund 11.50 11.80 3.74% Women's Investment Fund 101.18 103.77 0.54% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 N/A N/A Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 N/A N/A CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.36% Coronation Balanced Fund 0.85 0.86 Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.16 1.16 10.31% EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED mutualfundng@ecobank.com Web: www.ecobank.com Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 11.66% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 11.32% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,170.17 1,170.92 11.53% FBN Heritage Fund 141.04 142.23 1.12% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.68% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $112.30 $112.71 3.16% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $112.01 $112.42 3.01% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 147.21 149.29 -7.36% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD fcamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcamltd.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.21 1.24 -5.94% Legacy Debt Fund 3.22 3.22 11.33% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.02 1.02 2.40% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 2,937.66 2,966.20 -1.61% Coral Income Fund 2,738.03 2,738.03 11.84% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.18% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 106.22 106.57 5.58% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.10%

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 ncon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.19 1.22 4.26% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,090.01 1,090.01 12.85% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 11.12 11.22 -14.05% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.18% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.33 1.36 11.89% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.12 12.18 9.77% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.73% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 127.32 127.74 -1.84% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.69 1.69 13.82% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,309.83 2,324.81 5.10% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 188.63 188.63 8.32% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.95 0.96 -5.45% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 245.40 245.44 13.70% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 159.63 161.47 -10.86% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.87% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 8,479.42 8,582.54 -10.83% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.10 1.10 6.84% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD unitedcapitalplcgroup.com Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 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 info@zenith-funds.com Web: www.zenith-funds.com; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 11.18 11.33 -8.25% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.15 12.26 -5.96% Zenith Income Fund 20.61 20.61 11.63% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.29%

REITS

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

10.27 116.17 88.45

10.37 118.63 90.11

-13.21% -18.67% -19.04%

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

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

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

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.09 7.25 14.58 12.23 140.77

4.13 7.33 14.68 12.43 142.77

-13.57% -24.16% -16.45% -37.66% 4.82%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

107.13

17.03%

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 www.fman.com.ng. Fund prices are supplied by the operator of the relevant fund and are published for information purposes only.


44

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THISDAYt THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

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THISDAYt THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018

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48

THURSDAY DECEMBER 6, 2018 ˾T H I S D AY

INTERNATIONAL

British PM to Face Lawmakers After Brexit Defeat British Prime Minister Theresa May returns to the House of Commons on Wednesday after a series of stunning defeats by MPs that threaten her government and could

change the course of Brexit. May will take questions from MPs the day after they found her ministers in contempt over the legal advice on her EU withdrawal agreement,

UN Says International Inquiry Needed into Saudi Journalist’s Murder United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has said an international investigation is needed to determine who is responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in October. Bachelet was responding to a question at a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday. Senior U.S. senators had on Tuesday said they were more certain than ever that

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the killing. They said this after receiving a CIA briefing on the matter. Asked at the news conference about the need for an international inquiry, Bachlet replied: “I do believe it is really needed in terms of ensuring what really happened and who are the people responsible for that awful killing.”

and gave themselves a bigger say if as expected the deal is rejected on December 11. The Northern Irish party, on which the prime minister relies for support in parliament, sided with the main opposition Labour party on the contempt vote, raising serious questions about her ability to govern. Meanwhile, 25 of her own Conservative MPs voted with Labour to give the Commons the ability to decide what happens next if it votes down the Brexit deal. “The day May lost control,” read the front page headline of

the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph newspaper. In a dramatic hour on Tuesday evening, the government lost three key votes that exposed just how little support it has in the Commons, as MPs assert their power ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU in March. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) joined opposition MPs in two votes that found ministers in contempt of parliament for failing to publish in full the legal advice on the Brexit deal. Commons leader Andrea

Leadsom said the decision was “incredibly disappointing”, as it broke centuries of convention of keeping such advice secret, but said the document would be published on Wednesday. MPs also voted to approve an amendment tabled by Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve, which allows parliament to determine what happens if the deal falls. If May loses the vote next week, the government has 21 days to return to MPs to say what happens next. Grieve’s amendment, which passed by 321 votes to 299,

could allow MPs to amend that statement, raising the possibility they could demand a re-negotiation, a second referendum or even stay in the EU. “Brexit on the brink,” headlined the Daily Mail. May opened the first of five days of debate on the Brexit deal on Monday evening, with a personal plea for MPs not to sabotage the result of months of tough negotiations with the EU. “This argument has gone on long enough. It is corrosive to our politics and life depends on compromise,” she said.

Russia will Make Banned Missiles If US Exits Arms Treaty, Says Putin Russia will develop missiles now banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty if the United States exits the arms control pact and starts making such weapons, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. The U.S. delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of the 1987 nuclear arms control treaty. The U.S also said it would be forced to start a six-month process of withdrawal if nothing changes. Putin, who stated this in

televised comments, accused the U.S.of blaming Russia for violations as a pretext for Washington to exit the pact. Putin noted that many countries produce missiles banned under the INF treaty, but that Moscow and Washington had undertaken to limit themselves with the accord signed in 1987. “Now it seems our American partners believe that the situation has changed so much that the United States must also have such a weapon. ‘What’s our response? It’s simple: in that case we will also do this,” he said.

Macron’s Office Refuses to Comment on Trump’s Mocking Tweets French President Emmanuel Macron’s office on Wednesday refused to comment on U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets mocking Macron over his fuel tax U-turn, state-run France Info radio said. Asked to comment, the Elysee said it had nothing to say about the tweets. “No comment, a source from the president’s office was quoted as saying,’’ the radio report said. Late on Tuesday, Trump tweeted “I am glad that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago. “The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters,’’ he added. Trump’s tweet came after Macron, who had pledged to “Make our planet great again,” backed down on his plans to increase fuel taxes, which he said was necessary to promote the energy transition and protect the environment. Macron’s first retreat on

a major policy move since taking power in 2017 came after protests across French cities, mainly in Paris, turned particularly violent over the weekend, with the Arc de Triomphe vandalised and avenues off the capital’s Champs Elysees damaged. In a recent television interview, the French president stressed that “I do not do policy or diplomacy via tweets’’. His comment came in response to Trump’s series of tweets in November, in which he mocked Macron over his “very low’’ approval rating, and criticised his recipe for Europe’s defence cooperation and global trade. “I will not have a debate with the president of the United States through tweets,’’ he said, adding that Trump is doing this for American politics. Macron has made clear his differences with Trump notably on climate change, nuclear deals and nationalism. He, at the same time, has developed a strong relationship with the U.S. president at a time when many European leaders appear to be keeping a distance.

L-R: US President, Donald Trump; First Lady, Melania Trump; former President Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, former US President Bill Clinton and wife, Hillary; and former President Jimmy Carter and wife, Rosalynn, during the funeral service for former President George H. W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington DC...yesterday AFP

Dignitaries, US Leaders Gather at Bush’s Funeral Service United States’ 41st president, who died last Friday at age 94, laid in state for two days in the Capitol rotunda, as President Donald Trump exchanged his usual aggressive posture for one of respect and solemnity. “Looking forward to being with the Bush family,” he tweeted early Wednesday before Bush’s remains were transported from the Capitol to Washington National Cathedral. “This is not a funeral, this is a day of celebration for a great man who has led a

long and distinguished life. He will be missed!” Tens of thousands of Americans quietly filed into the Capitol to pay their respects to a man who steered the nation through turbulent times including the end of the Cold War — and in a style dramatically different from the bombast and combativeness championed by the current commander-in-chief. In a show of respect, Pennsylvania Avenue was lined with well-wishers as a cortege proceeded toward the cathedral in the first

presidential funeral since Gerald Ford died in late 2006. The country’s five living presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bush’s son George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump — were attending the service at Washington National Cathedral, the Neo-Gothic spiritual center point of the US capital. George W. Bush and wife Laura stood stoically outside the US Capitol as an honor guard carried his father’s flag-draped casket to the hearse. Dignitaries in the cathedral included Britain’s Prince

Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, former Polish president Lech Walesa, former vice presidents Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Joe Biden and former secretaries of state James Baker, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. International tributes have poured in for Bush, whose political locus was foreign policy and America’s place in the world. A telegram from the Vatican relayed Pope Francis’s “heartfelt condolences” to the Bush family.

Uganda Vaccinates Health Workers against Ebola Uganda has vaccinated thousands of health workers against Ebola to counter the spread of the deadly virus from its neighbour Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministers of both countries said Wednesday. A growing outbreak of Ebola in the Beni region of eastern DR Congo, just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Ugandan border, has claimed some 268 lives among a total of 453 cases, according to figures released Tuesday from the DRC health ministry. Uganda, which last month announced the plan to roll out the vaccinations for

frontline health workers over fears the virus could spread, said on Wednesday that it had already given the precautionary treatment to 3,000 people “because we are worried”. “We have not waited for the first case to arrive. The vaccination is continuing,” said Ugandan Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, at a joint briefing with her Congolese counterpart Oly Ilunga in Goma. Thousands of people cross the 15 border points between the two countries, particularly on midweek market days, she added. Giving an update on DR Congo’s own vaccine drive,

Ilunga said authorities had given the treatment to some 38,000 people. “If there were no vaccines, half of those would have developed the illness, we would be at tens of thousands of victims and of deaths,” he estimated. Eastern DR Congo is ravaged by decades of inter-ethnic bloodshed and militia violence, hampering the response to the Ebola outbreak, which is testing a large UN peacekeeping mission deployed in the country. DR Congo last month kicked off campaigning for a crucial December 23 election to choose a

successor to President Joseph Kabila, who has constitutionally remained in power as caretaker leader even though his second and final elected term ended nearly two years ago. Ilunga said each polling station in the affected areas would have an area for disinfection and to check temperatures. “During the entire epidemic we have not shut down social life. The markets are open, the schools are open, the churches have not closed,” he said. “We think that the organisation of the elections are not an additional risk.”


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Buhari Returns After Four Days in Poland Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after

attending the United Nations Climate Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland. President Buhari, who left

N’Assembly Directs IG to Evacuate Heavy Duty Vehicles on Lagos Bridges Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The House of Representatives has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and other security agencies to remove heavy duty vehicles from bridges in Lagos State to save them from collapsing. The directive followed the adoption of a motion by Hon Enitan Badru (Lagos, APC) under matters of urgent national importance during Wednesday plenary titled: “Need to urgently save Eko Bridge, long bridge in Fadeyi,  Ojuelegba and National Stadium from imminent collapse due to parking by tankers,  trailers and other articulated vehicles in Lagos State.

Wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has dissociated herself from an alleged fraudster impersonating Amina Bello, wife of the Kogi State Governor apprehended by Department of State Security (DSS). Mrs. Buhari, in a statement signed by the Director of

Information to Wife of the President, Suleiman Haruna, said she has no relationship with the person in question. “She wishes to state categorically that Mariyatu is not her sister and the socalled Amina Mohammed is not and was never her associate and is therefore not in a position to transact any business in her name or that of her office,” the statement said.

Magu: We will Comply with Court Order on Diezani Alex Enumah in Abuja The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has assured that the commission will do all within its powers to comply with a court decision, which ordered the agency to produce former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, within 72 hours before the court to face corruption allegations. Magu said the agency was willing and ready to carry out the order of the court even at a lesser time duration as directed by the court. He however, lamented that the situation is beyond the security agencies as the former minister is currently

outside the country and under the custody of another security agency. Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the EFCC, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS) and all other security agencies to apprehend the former minister within 72 hours. Reacting to the order of the court yesterday during a media parley with journalists in Abuja, Magu said the commission has already commenced moves to bring Diezani back to the country to face trial on alleged corrupt activities when she was minister of the Federal Republic.

EFCC Charges NBA President with N1.4bn Fraud The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a N1.4billion fraud charge against the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), at the Federal High Court in Lagos. Justice Muslim Hassan fixed December 10, 2018 for the EFCC to arraign Usoro.

Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), would hold from December 2-4, 2018 in the Polish city of Katowice. The Summit, held at the International Conference Centre (MCK) and the adjacent Spodek Arena in Katowice, was convened under the presidency

of Poland. Participants finalised the rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the ParisAgreement Work Programme (PAWP) – the rule book for implementation. President Buhari delivered a statement that highlighted Nigeria’s commitment to

addressing climate change by implementing the goals set out in its National Determined Contributions. He also stated Nigeria’s readiness to work with international partners to reverse the negative effects of climate change in Africa and the world over.

The lawmakers said the IGP should compel articulated vehicles drivers to use parks established for them and that whoever flouts the order should be brought to book. They also charged the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to carry out comprehensive inspection and evaluation of the bridges to ascertain their viability and potency. In his motion, Badru had underscored that the Eko Bridge is one of the busiest bridges in Nigeria  with more than  a million vehicles plying it daily and that it links Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island; the commercial nerve centre of the country.

Aisha Buhari Denies Relationship with Alleged Fraudster Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

Abuja on Saturday for Poland to attend the 24th session of the Climate Change Conference known as (COP24), had been on his way back. Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said in a statement on Friday that COP24, under the UN

The anti-graft agency, in a charge marked FHC/418c/18, alleged that Usoro, from Akwa Ibom State, converted and laundered the money in connivance with the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel. But when contacted last night, Usoro said he had not been served any charge.

COURTESY VISIT…

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Fola Adeyemi; Special Adviser on Arts and Culture, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson; Culture Secretary,Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mrs. Nilcemar Nogueira; and Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr.Steve Ayorinde; and Director Samba Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mrs. Desiree Dos Reis Santos, during a courtesy visit to the ministry by the delegation of the Nigeria Brazil Culture and Business Initiative (NBCBI), in Lagos…recently

House Urges Buhari to Forward New Minimum Wage for Consideration Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja Federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the proposed new minimum wage to the National Assembly for consideration. The members made the call yesterday after they adopted a motion by Hon. Sani Zoro (Jigawa, APC) urging the them to intervene in the

crisis between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which resulted in the lingering strike by university lecturers. According to Zoro, President Buhari should transmit the tripartite agreement on national minimum wage to the National Assembly to prevent industrial actions by the organised labour, which

he said if not averted, is capable of crippling Nigeria’s socio-economic and political activities. He said: “The federal government should henceforth and in good faith implement its agreement with ASUU to prevent incessant strikes by the university lecturers.” He also requested that a joint Senate and House of Representatives ad hoc committee be constituted to

investigate the remote and immediate causes of Tuesday’s picketing of the National Assembly by Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) and make appropriate recommendations to the two legislative chambers for appropriate action. When Zoro’s motion was put to voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, there was no dissenting voice.

Unilorin Alumni Association Holds Dinner The alumni association of the University of Ilorin, FCT Capitol Assembly, has announced that its 2018 reunion dinner will take place this weekend, at the BMT Gardens, Wuse II, Abuja. Announcing the event at a pre-event conference in Abuja, the FCT Chapter Chairman of the association and a Permanent Secretary at the Office of the

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, said unlike previous years, this year’s event will have only one awardee. He revealed that literary icon and sole winner of the 2018 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), Humanities Category, Professor Olu Obafemi, will be specially

recognised and honoured at the epoch-making event.  According to him, guests from within and outside the University of Ilorin community are also expected at the occasion. He identified some of the guests to include, distinguished alumnus and former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, National President of the

alumni association; Dr. Rhoda Oduwaiye, Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC),Mr.Tunde Irukera, as well as renowned actor Tunji Bamisigbin, among others. “The yearly event serves as homecoming for every alumni of the University of Ilorin in the FCT and its environs,” Adekunle said.

FG TARGETS N900BN FROM OFFSHORE TAX ASSETS Also at the briefing were the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN); and the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung. Fashola, who told journalists that his ministry has put in place comprehensive arrangement to ensure ease of movement during the ember months, said the FEC approved a variation of N1.6bn to facilitate the completion of the Osegudu- Oweto Road. According to him, “We had only one memorandum and it was just a cost review memorandum really, to approve cost variations on Osegudu- Oweto Road. That

road, as you might know, links the Loko-Oweto Road, which is now substantially completed. The Usegudu-Oweto Road links the road to that bridge on the Benue side that helps connect Nasarawa from the Loko side to Benue.” He said the initial cost of the bridge was about N7.9billion and that with the variation of N1.6billion, it took it to N9.5bilion. On the level of preparedness for the end of the year, he said, “FERMA is doing its level best. They are part of our end of year team. For us in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, end of year means so many things; it means heavy commuter activities, it means heavy cargo, also, in the

ministry of my colleague, Transport and Aviation, passenger movement, goods, so, it is a pressure cooker time. Many people trying to share limited resources.” On his part, Amaechi said arrangement were on the ground to ensure that cargoes are no longer transported in trucks and heavy duty vehicles along the LagosIbadan Expressway as a way to preserve it when completed. “We believe that by next year, we will begin to encourage those who transport by trucks between Lagos and Ibadan to use the rail. We believe that before the end of June, we will start running. But, we may not be able to carry enough cargo; we will be able to do that

by June or July,” Amaechi said. He also said the FEC approved contract for the building of a freight office in Jibia, a border town between Katsina State and Niger Republic. He said, “We awarded the national freight office in Jibia for the sum of N551,810,060 million and the contract is to last to 36 weeks. You know that the national freight office is usually located at border post, so, the border-post between Katsina and Niger Republic is where it is located.” Dalung said preparations are in top gear for the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival scheduled to commence on December 6 in Abuja.


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

Lobi, Rangers Through to Next Round of CAF Competitions Duro Ikhazuagbe Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two teams in continental campaigns, Lobi Stars of Makurdi and Enugu Rangers progressed to the next round of both the CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup yesterday with relative ease. In the CAF Champions League preliminary round second leg game, reigning Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Lobi Stars defeated UMS de Loum of Cameroon 2-0 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu to cancel out the 1-0 defeat from the first leg a fortnight ago. Lobi is to face Gor Mahia of Kenya in the first round of the championship proper. It was a similar sweet song for the Flying Antelopes and their fans far away in Ethiopia as the reigning AITEO Cup champions crushed Defence Force S.C 3-1 in the second leg, preliminary round of CAF Confederation Cup. Rangers had earlier defeated the Ethiopian army team 2-0 in the first leg at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. Dibaba Wendimu steeled his nerve to send Rangers shot stopper, Nana Bonsu the wrong way from the penalty spot on the third minute of play after a hand ball incidence was spotted by the referee.

The host continued to pressure the backline of visitors in search of more goals as their vociferous fans cheered them on but the duo of Akpos Adubi and Semiu Liadi held out on the day. As the match wore on, Rangers gradually settled into the game and pushed back the host but were unlucky not to have leveled up before the 36th minute when Bright Silas slammed home an inviting cross from Isaac Loute. On 40 minutes, Godwin Aguda dusted himself after he was upended in the box to slot home from the spot for Rangers second goal of the day. Ajani Ibrahim came close to extending the lead with only a few seconds to end the first half but Beyene Yidnekachew did enough to push it out to safety. On resumption of the second half, the host started the way they did the first with Fikadu Gadissa, Firew Ayele and Dawit Asfaw pulling the strings in the middle of the pack but could not do much in the third half of the pitch as Ugonna Uzochukwu and Chiamaka Madu had the defence line well screened. Super-sub, Kelvin Itoya was thrown into the fray with only twenty minutes left on the clock and his combination with Ajani Ibrahim and Bright Silas came to a devastating effect as his cheeky shot inside the opponentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital

AWCON Victory: Sponsors, State Govs Want to Host Super Falcons President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has hinted that a good number of the federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partners and sponsors, as well as some state governors have signified their intentions to host the Super Falcons who won the African Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nations Cup a record ninth time last Saturday. Falcons defeated Banyana Banyana 4-2 in penalty shoot out after regular and added time ended goalless. But yesterday, the NFF chief who also doubles as CAFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first vice president insisted that the honour of hosting the African champions first belongs to President Muhammadu Buhari whose support for the NFF kept the present leadership of the federation in office. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Already our sponsors are lining up to host and honour you (Falcons) for your achievement, as well as some state governors who have indicated their interest in hosting you, but all that will be after the President hosts you,â&#x20AC;? the NFF president revealed yesterday. Pinnick, who on Saturday, minutes after the triumph dedicated the trophy to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We

canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t thank our father, President Buhari enough for his immense support to Nigerian Football. The President is really happy for what you have done which has never been done by any women national team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Germany and America have dominated their respective confederation championships, winning eight titles each, but no country has ever won nine times. That is why the President wants to meet you as soon as possible,â&#x20AC;? stressed Pinnick. While apparently yielding to requests of Nigerians that the team be beefed up before Super Falcons head to France for the World Cup next year, the NFF president promised that the federation will support the programme of Super Falconsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Coach Thomas Dennerby to ensure that the team is well prepared for the 2019 World Cup in France. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are already working with the coach who has submitted his plans for the World Cup to us. Also, I am talking to some European federation presidents and the President of European Union Football Association UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, to secure friendly matches for the team in preparation for the World Cupâ&#x20AC;?.

area sailed unhindered into the net for Rangersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; third goal of the day in the 79th minute. Rangers Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote said at the post match conference: â&#x20AC;&#x153;First of all,

we thank God for the victory against a good side that loves to keep the ball but failed to do the needful when it mattered. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Experience gave us the edge knowing that we came here with

a two goals lead and conceding very early gave us cause for some concern but we gradually came into the match and got the result we needed.â&#x20AC;? With this result, the seven-time

Nigerian league champions have qualified for the first round of the competition and await the winner between Algerian and Liberian champions in less than two weeks.

Dibaba Wendimu of Defence Force of Ethiopia (2nd right), is challenged by Enugu Rangers trio of Chiamaka Madu, Semiu Liadi and Akpos Adubi, during their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round second leg clash in Ethiopia. Rangers won 5-1 aggregate to progress to next roundâ&#x20AC;Śyesterday

Disquiet in Team Edo Camp as National Sports Festival Begins As the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival is scheduled to begin today in Abuja, all appears not to be well within the camp of Edo State. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contingent left Benin City for Abuja yesterday with disquiet within the camp as athletes and officials complain of shoddy treatment in the run up to the Festival. Just like the discordant tunes playing out from the various camps of several states contingents, poor funding and ill-preparation appear to be the sing-song of most teams heading to the festival postponed for six years since Cross River State could not raise the needed funds to host it. Insiders in the Team Edo camp revealed that funding has been the major issue as coaches had to personally fund the training and preparation of their athletes following

non-release of funds by the state government. One of the coaches spoken with complained bitterly of how he had to use his meagre resources to feed and take care of athletes under his watch. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is totally unacceptable for this to be happening. How can a state that says it wants to win the festival act this way? How can they completely abandon athletes and officials like this? Were it not for the commitment of some of us, we would not even be in a state to compete at the festival,â&#x20AC;? the angry coach who did not want his name in print told reporters yesterday before departing for Abuja with his athletes. One of the top athletes confirmed the position of his coach, stressing that it was very sad that despite their readiness to win laurels for the state, athletes had been treated shabbily by the state.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are sad the way we are being treated by the government. We have been left without food and medication. Were it not for our coaches who have been fending for us, using their own money, things would have been worse,â&#x20AC;? the athlete told THISDAY. He said the sorry state of preparation is surprising to him and his colleagues particularly as they know the seriousness Governor Godwin Obaseki attaches to the Games especially as he has signaled the intention of the Edo State Government to host the next edition of the festival in 2020. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Something is wrong somewhere. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand what is happening. Our Governor is not only interested in us doing well at this festival; he is also interested in hosting the next edition of festival. So, why would he allow us

to be so badly treated?â&#x20AC;? the athlete wondered.Despite the poor treatment meted to them, the athletes and officials are still upbeat about their chances at the games. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not going to let the way they have treated us deter us from our determination to win laurels for the state. Our coaches have prepared us the best way they can given the circumstances. We are appealing to our governor to come to our rescue. We know he is a good man and means well. Let him rescue us from this difficult situation,â&#x20AC;? a female athlete said. The newly appointed Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission (ESSC), Godwin Dudu-Orumen could not be reached for his reaction on the sad situation painted by the coach and athletes.

Over 200 Golfers for CBN Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cup Over 200 golfers drawn from across the country are expected to compete at the 2018 edition of the annual Central Bank of Nigeria Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Golf Cup scheduled to tee-off on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at the IBB Golf and Country Club, Abuja. Being the 12th in the series, the one-day championship sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with the IBB Golf Club,

shall be competed for in a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Stroke Play-Shot Gunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; format where all the competitors will tee-off at the same time from different points on the golf course. The golfers are expected to compete in eight categories. These include; the Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Category 1 (Handicap 0-14), Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Category 11(Handicap 15-28) and Gross (Men). The ladies will do battles in category 1 (Handicap 0-20) and Category11 ( Handicap 21-30).

Other categories are CBN Staff Category, CBN Retired Staff Category, CBN Guests Category and the Veterans Category for men and women. With the overall winner expected to smile home with the best Net prize, there are also other prizes to be won. Among them is the Nearest to Pin award for ladies, men and CBN women including CBN staff and the Longest Drive award for ladies and men as

well as the CBN staffers. The annual CBN Governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Golf Cup competition is not only aimed at creating a relaxed and recreation atmosphere for distinguished personalities in government, the organised private sector and members of the diplomatic corps, it also serves as a platform for promoting competitiveness and inspiring partnership and networking among golfers across the country.


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MISSILE Bola Tinubu to Atiku Abubakar

“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. He should also realise that such a feeble house will collapse as soon as the wind of truth blows it” – APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu attacking PDP presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

OLUSEGUNADENIYI THE VERDICT

olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com

A Tale from Three Cities

“Oro buruku toun terin” hat Yoruba adage which, according to my sister, Molara Wood, means that the best way to temper a very serious matter is with laughter, was at play on Tuesday when the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, received in his palace a delegation led by the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Katil Karlsen. The diplomats from EU countries as well as officials of the World Bank and other development partners were in Benin for the second roundtable dialogue on Managing Migration Through Development Programmes (MMDP) organised by the Edo State government. I was also there as one of the participants at the conference where I moderated the session on ‘Beyond legality: Exploring sustainable ways to eradicate human trafficking in Edo State’. The Oba, who said the sexual exploitation scourge for which Edo is notorious and the battle being fought in the United States and Europe against drug trafficking is similar except for the fact that in the Edo case, the traffickers deal in human beings. “To treat human beings as commodity is totally unacceptable” said the Oba, who nonetheless argued that not all the girls are tricked into the business. “We know that some of them have not been tricked. Some of them have been encouraged by their parents to go out and make money for them.” According to the Benin monarch, fighting the problem involves dealing with several issues, including our porous borders. “Our border is so porous that people just walk across, do their dirty businesses and go back. We therefore want to appeal to the federal government to tighten our borders, so that even when these traffickers want to do carry out their nefarious activities, it will be difficult for them.” However, after a very moving disquisition on the evil of human trafficking and how the sexual exploitation associated with it debases Edo women, including sharing his varied experiences as Nigerian ambassador first in Sweden and later in Italy, the Oba paused, chuckled and said to his European guests: “You know, it takes two to tango because where there is no demand, there is no supply. We also have information that Europeans are always demanding for our women. Having served in Rome, I know they love our women although I don’t know what they have found…” The palace erupted: “Oba ghato ‘kpere, Ise!” From what transpires almost on a daily basis in Nigeria, our capacity to laugh at our problems is perhaps what keeps many of our citizens sane in a society where it sometimes appears as if there is no bottom to the decline. Almost two weeks after a building collapsed in Port Harcourt, some individuals are still trapped in the rubbles. Last weekend, no fewer than 19 children were drowned in Lafiagi, Kwara State, in a familiar story of death on our waterways that has claimed hundreds

T

Oba Ewuare II this year alone. And as the campaigns for the 2019 general election kick off, a cleric who commands huge following is practically touting for money on the pulpit in exchange for political endorsement. Meanwhile, amid all that ail us as a nation, supporters of both President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar would rather trade banalities on how one cannot go to America while the other is a cloned ‘Jubril from Sudan’. Sadly, the reality of the Nigerian situation, brought to me by varied experiences in the past one week spent in Kaduna, Abuja and Benin, reveals that we have a serious crisis on our hands. Let me start with Abuja. Last Saturday, we had the 2018 edition of Tabitha Tent, an annual programme of our church, The Everlasting Arms Parish (TEAP) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God which brings together the less privileged of our society to receive food items, clothes and other personal care items. But despite making provision for about 2,500 persons and putting in place what we felt was adequate security, we were overwhelmed by a desperate crowd that forced the gate open and created a stampede that led to some slight injuries and could have resulted in fatalities but for divine intervention. In putting the issue in perspective last Sunday, Pastor Eva Azodoh said the desperation we saw in the people who came for Tabitha Tent this year should teach us how privileged many of us are. By 9pm last Friday, thousands had already gathered within the vicinity of our church for a programme scheduled for the next day. Many of them slept on bare floor with their children, all in expectation of scoops of rice and a small bottle of groundnut oil that would fetch each of them no more than N3,000. It is this same desperation that pushes many of our compatriots in Edo State to risk everything on the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea.

That essentially is what you get when you create a society where poverty is being increasingly reinforced for a great majority of the people, because of the way we manage our affairs. Yet, the challenge of our country today is not only that population is increasing at a period of dwindling resources but also that even the limited resources are being cornered by a negligible few. Nothing illustrates that more vividly than the figures from the 2018 third quarter report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics on Borrowers from Deposit Money Bank for the past three years (2015, 2016 and 2017). In 2015, of the 3,026,578 bank borrowers, only 2,048 individuals took N9.365 trillion from the available N13.354 trillion. Meanwhile, 2,860,397 other Nigerians could only make do with loans worth N252.30 billion. The implication is that whereas less than one percent of bank borrowers in our country took over 70 percent of the facilities, which they most often don’t pay back (since AMCON is there to bail them out), about 95 percent of the remaining bank customers could only secure facilities of less than 2 percent! And we all know there are severe consequences when they default on such loans. In 2016, when 2,332,503 bank customers were involved, the story was worse. While 2,247 fat cats took a whopping N13.127 of the available N16.291 trillions, 2,332,503 unfortunates were offered a miserly N226.51 billion. In 2017, of the available N15.953 trillion for these bank customers, a mere 3,891 of them took facilities of 13.192 trillions while 2,209792 others were left with a paltry N122.37 billion. The summation from the foregoing is that we have created two classes of Nigerians: the extremely rich who represent less than one percent of the population and are ever indulged and the extremely poor who should be within the region of about 70 percent and are at the mercy of the authorities in both the private and public sectors. No society can advance when you create such dichotomies not moderated either by law or social conscience. This then brings me to Kaduna where I spent last Thursday; first to attend the Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship Board meeting and later, the dinner preceding the second Speaker series titled ‘The Good Society’. The conversation at the dinner moderated by Mr Dele Olojede centred around the theme, ‘How did we get here and where are we heading?’ One of the board members, Ms Kadaria Ahmed set the tone when she spoke to the security situation and the growing ungoverned spaces across the country. She said the Nigerian state has to regain its legitimacy because what we have today is a broken system. Talking about ungoverned spaces, the Chairman of Zamfara Council of Chiefs and Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, on Tuesday called on the government to grant them permission to carry guns to fight bandits tormenting their domains. “The only power these bandits have over

us is that they carry AK 47 rifles while we have nothing except perhaps sometimes when we carry sticks in self-defence and one cannot use that against guns. Apart from the traditional rulers, many of the political office holders and our senior civil servants are traditional title holders and l am confident that if we join hands and with little training, we can be ready to face and defeat the bandits,” he said. When a reputable traditional ruler advocates such a desperate measure, you know we have a serious matter on our hands and that was the nature of our discussion last Thursday evening in Kaduna. As to be expected in such sessions about Nigeria, the interventions were more of lamentations. But just as we were about to end the dinner, our chairman, Mr Keem Belo-Osagie said he would speak briefly on the place of hope in human development and why we cannot give up on Nigeria. He followed up by sharing ‘five certainties’ that a political science professor at Oxford University told his class at the beginning of their first semester in 1973. Five things the professor was certain would never happen in their lifetimes: A woman would not be the Prime Minister of Britain; an African American would not be president of the United States of America; there would not be racial inclusion (an end to apartheid) in South Africa; East and West Germany would not unite and there would not be an end to communism in Russia. Turning to the Fellows, Belo-Osagie said: ‘Now go and think of five things you don’t believe will happen in Nigeria and let’s have a conversation about them tomorrow.’ The import of Belo-Osagie’s intervention is that as gloomy as the situation may seem, Nigeria is not a lost cause and I share his optimism. At the dinner organised by the Edo State government on Tuesday evening, Governor Obaseki asked me to propose a toast to the European diplomats. I prefaced my assignment with a joke once shared by former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings about a Nigerian at the immigration point in London who was told his visa had expired. According to Rawlings, the Nigerian replied the British immigration official: “Bloody what! Who gave visa to Mango Park and all your great grand fathers who came to my country?” While that threw the audience into laughter, Governor Obaseki, in his vote of thanks, said he was painfully touched by a remark made earlier in the day by one of the participants who said many of our youths are desperate to leave our shores because Nigeria has become a mortuary. “That affected me deeply because many of us grew up in a Nigeria that worked. Sadly, we are now in a new phase which also means we have a responsibility to restore what has been lost”, said Obaseki. The responsibility for that restoration rests on the people in power today and those who seek to displace them come February 2019. But do they really care?

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THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER 2018  
THURSDAY 6TH DECEMBER 2018  
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