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APC Intrigues Persist as Okorocha Urges Buhari to Caution Oshiomhole Imo speaker, 18 other lawmakers defect to Action Alliance Amby Uneze in Owerri The intrigues in the All Progressives Congress (APC) persisted yesterday with Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State calling on President

Muhammadu Buhari to rein in the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who he said had become a loose cannon, attacking everyone within his range. The Imo State governor

said the party’s national chairman’s verbal attacks on many prominent Nigerians in recent times were unguarded and could put the APC in bad light. Oshiomhole had on

Wednesday tongue lashed Okorocha and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, telling a group of women who visited him in Abuja that the party would win their states in spite of

the belligerence of the duo. The APC boss also lashed former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, saying God would punish him for supporting the presidential candidate of the Peoples

Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Okorocha in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said, Continued on page 10

Oil Price Drops to $58, OPEC Waits for Russia on Output Decision

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Atiku Promises to Kick-start Restructuring within Six Months Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja Speaking to a thrilled huge crowd at the party’s Southwest rally, held in Ibadan yesterday, the presidential

candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, promised to start the process of restructuring the country within six months of his

administration, if voted into power. Atiku told the crowd of party faithful and supporters, “In the next two months you will be required to make

history in this country. Since the return of democracy in 1999; the best prosperity we have enjoyed in this country was under the PDP. The best peace we have enjoyed in

this country was under the PDP; the best educational advancement all parts of this country enjoyed was under the PDP.’’ The presidential candidate

said the progressive trend was aborted in 2015 when, as he put it, the All Progressives Congress (APC) lied its way Continued on page 8

Army Reinvigorates Fight against Terror, Appoints New Commanders Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja In a renewed bid to regain lost grounds, the Nigerian Army yesterday effected a massive reorganisation of its operational commands just as troops of 117 Battalion, 28 Task Force Brigade, Operation Lafiya Dole engaged and pushed back suspected Boko Haram terrorists in a hideout, along Yachida, Korongelen, Bombula and Forfor axis of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State. Those affected by the new posting and appointments, according to the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, include some staff officers and commanders at various levels. Specifically, the newly promoted Major General OT Akinjobi, Head of the Operations Monitoring Team

at the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, has been appointed Commander, Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole while Major General MG Ali, Commander 9 Brigade has been appointed Commander of the newly created Nigerian Army Special Forces Command; Brigadier General BR Sinjen, Commander, Integrated Fire Support and Brigadier General FO Omoigui, have been moved from 2 Division Nigerian Army to Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations and appointed Director of Operations. Brigadier General TA Lagbaja is to take over as Commander 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army; Brigadier General OR Aiyenigba, Director Land Warfare at the Armed Forces Command Continued on page 8

Nigeria Remains World’s Third Most Terrorised Country, Says Report … Page 8

BETTER HEALTH CARE BECKONS… British Deputy High Commissioner, Ms. Laure Beaufils (left), and CEO of Reddington Hospital, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale, during the inauguration of Davidson Specialist Surgery & Critical Care Centre at the Reddington Hospital, Lagos… yesterday Abiodun Ajala


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Nigeria Remains World’s Third Most Terrorised Country, Says Report ICC investigates herdsmen, farmers clashes Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja and Tobi Soniyi in Lagos For the fourth year running, Nigeria has retained the third most terrorised country in the world, according to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index, blaming the spate of terrorism in Nigeria on the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists and thousands of deaths committed by the deadly terrorist group, Boko Haram. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has commenced investigation into deadly clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in North-central Nigeria to determine if war crimes have been committed. In the report released Wednesday night, Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, which also retained their first and second positions respectively. The deadly activities of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen were said to have caused the death of thousands of Nigerians, saying the state that were worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, and Taraba, among others. The report, however, noted that when compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths� in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with falls of 6,466; 5,950, and 912 deaths respectively.’’ According to the report, ‘’Boko Haram, once the world’s deadliest terror group, has experienced a significant decline since its peak in 2014. However, the group remains

the most active terrorist organisation in Nigeria and until 2017, was the deadliest terror group in sub-Saharan Africa. ‘’Nigeria’s counterterrorism response in combating Boko Haram has been interrupted by the emergence of other extremist groups, most notably the Fulani herder extremists. ‘’The Fulani herder extremists have attacked civilians and military forces in the country. However, the sizeable drop in deaths and terror incidents since 2014 indicate the success of Nigeria’s Civilian Join Task Force and international coalitions. ‘’Alongside its counterinsurgency plan, the Nigerian government also struggles with negotiations and reintegration efforts regarding its long-term strategy to deal with Boko Haram and its associates.� The recent deadly activities of Boko Haram and armed men led to the killing of over 100 troops in Metele, Borno State and dozens of policemen in Zamfara State.

ICC Investigates Herdsmen-Farmers Clashes In another development, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has commenced investigation into deadly clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in north central Nigeria to determine if war crimes have been committed. In its 2018 Report on Preliminary Examination

Activities released yesterday, the Office of the Prosecutor, ICC stated that between 2017 and 2018, new crimes were alleged in the context of the armed conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian Security Force (NSF) and with respect to communal violence in Nigeria’s North-central and North-east geographical zones. The report summarised the preliminary examination activities conducted by the Office between December 1, 2017 and November 30, 2018. In a report it released last year, the court found that both Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces had committed war crimes. The 2018 report is a continuation of the earlier investigation conducted by the ICC. The new report obtained by our correspondent states: "Furthermore, the Office received communications on attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herders and Christian settlers in the context of the violence in Nigeria’s North-central and North-east geographical zones. "This violence, which has been observed by the Office since 2016, is often referred to as a conflict between Fulani herders and Christian farmers, stemming from limited access to water, land and other resources. "The escalation of violence in late 2017 and 2018 is reportedly the result of the rise of ethnic militias and community vigilantes and the passage of grazing laws in some of the affected states that reportedly imposed restrictions on herders, among others.

Militias are also reported to have clashed with NSF deployed in the affected area to address the deteriorating security situation. "Some of the attacks on civilians were allegedly committed by criminal gangs involved in cattle-rustling that were subsequently blamed on Fulani herders. “The Office has reviewed these communications and continues to gather additional information to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crimes allegedly committed in this context fall under ICC jurisdiction." ICC also noted that Boko Haram continued to engage in conduct that fell within the potential cases identified by the Office in 2015, relating to the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes under the Rome Statute. This, it said, included "attacks against women and girls and attacks against education (including schools, teachers and schoolchildren). UNICEF estimates that in the last nine years, at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools have been destroyed in northeastern Nigeria. On February 19, 2018, 113 girls from the Government Girls’ Science Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, were allegedly abducted by Boko Haram. The group later released 107 of them, while five reportedly died during the abduction and one remains captive. Boko Haram also reportedly continued to intentionally target buildings dedicated to religion.

"For example, on November 21, 2017, an alleged Boko Haram suicide attack on a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, reportedly conducted by a young boy, caused the death of at least 50 persons." The report also said that there were further allegations on new crimes by Boko Haram, such as attacks against personnel involved in humanitarian assistance and taking protected persons as hostages. It stated that on March 1, 2018, Boko Haram members allegedly attacked the town of Rann, Borno State, killed, among other victims, three humanitarian workers and abducted three female health workers, two working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC�) and one for UNICEF. Reportedly, the ICRC health workers were then murdered in September and October 2018." ICC said it was also analysing information related to new allegations implicating the NSF. In particular, different sources reported on alleged sexual violence against women and girls in camps of internally displaced persons in the northeast Nigeria which are under the control of the NSF and the Civilian Joint Task Force. The crimes allegedly committed in this context fall under ICC jurisdiction. ICC noted that armed conflict in Nigeria continued during the reporting period. It stated that at least three factions of what is jointly referred to as Boko Haram currently operate in Nigeria

and the Lake Chad region bordering Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. These include the Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau, the Ansaru splinter group and the ISISsupported Islamic State West Africa province led by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi. It said: "Whereas the intensity of the hostilities between the NSF and the different Boko Haram factions was lower than in previous years, military operations against Boko Haram in the North-east of Nigeria continued under Operation Lafiya Dole. "Boko Haram also continued to engage the NSF and to launch further attacks against the civilian population. It is estimated that the armed conflict resulted in over 2,000 deaths during the reporting period, including combatants and civilians. "In addition, from January to June 2018, over 1,300 people were reportedly killed as a result of violence between herders and settlers in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Adamawa and Taraba States and about 300,000 persons were displaced." ICC also estimated that the armed conflict resulted in over 2,000 deaths during the reporting period, including combatants and civilians. It said that despite some co-operation by Nigeria, it observed that the country had not demonstrated a will to hold security forces to account because "the Nigerian authorities tend to deny any allegation against the security forces."

from the Army, "The gallant patrol team recovered one AK-47 rifle, a magazine, 21 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition, a 36 Hand Grenade, magazine pouch and a Motorcycle. "Unfortunately, two soldiers sustained injuries and have since been evacuated to 28 Task Force Brigade Field Ambulance for medical attention." President Muhammadu Buhari had at the wake of Boko Haram deadly

attacks on 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele, Borno State a couple of weeks ago, during which 23 soldiers and the commander were killed, demanded a containment plan from the service chiefs, ordering them to effect changes in their operational command. Earlier in the week, the president approved immediate procurement of essential military hardware required to defeat the insurgents even as he asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to relocate to the North-east and remain there until the security situation improves.

ARMY REINVIGORATES FIGHT AGAINST TERROR, APPOINTS NEW COMMANDERS and Staff College is to move to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff as Head of Operations Monitoring Team; while Brigadier General AU Kuliya is to take over as Director Land Warfare at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College. Similarly, new Brigade Commanders have been appointed for some of the Brigades at Operation Lafiya Dole. These include Brigadier General EF Oyinlola, 22 Brigade;

Brigadier General VU Okoro, 25 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General AB Mohammed, 26 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General AO Oyelade, 27 Task Force Brigade; Brigadier General MT Usman, 28 Task Force Brigade; and Brigadier General MG Kangye, 37 Brigade; while Brigadier General AS Ishaq has been appointed as Coordinator, Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya Dole. New commanders have

also been appointed for the various Army Headquarters Logistics Commands at the theatre. These include Brigadier General AG Ibrahim, Brigadier General PN Okeson and Brigadier General OA Aminu for Logistics Base I, II and III, respectively. Similarly, the posting has affected several commanding officers of the various units in Operation Lafiya Dole amongst others. The Chief of Army Staff also directed that all those

affected by the posting in the theatre, must remain committed and fully in charge until they are properly relieved in line with standard operating procedures and military professional ethics. Meanwhile, during the encounter, one of the Boko Haram terrorists was neutralized; two were arrested while several other terrorists fled with gunshot wounds. According to a statement

ATIKU PROMISES TO KICK-START RESTRUCTURING WITHIN SIX MONTHS to power, promising to secure the country, improve the economy and create jobs. Atiku said rather than keep these promises, the APC worsened the condition of Nigeria and its people. He said, “In 2015, some liars deceived you people; they came to deceive us and we believed in them; we gave them the opportunity. They said they were going to create jobs, instead of creating jobs we have lost about 12 million jobs since they came to power. “They said they were going to create prosperity, but since they came, we have gotten poorer to the extent that today we have surpassed any country in the world in terms of poverty; we are the headquarters of poverty in the world. Is that the kind of government you want to continue with? “My brothers and sisters

I stand before you today to promise you that we shall return your prosperity and the prosperity of this country. If you give me the opportunity again, I will assemble the best team so that we can return prosperity to our country.� The former vice-president said the South-west has been known for its educational strides before independence, and promised to continue to invest in education to make sure that the zone excels. On restructuring, Atiku promised, “Let me tell you one of the most important policies I have advocated for in this country is restructuring. Today I stand before you to pledge that within six months, we shall start the process of reconstructing this country.� Also speaking at the rally, the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Senate President,

Dr. Bukola Saraki, said that the only way for Nigerians to end this excruciating suffering is to vote out APC-led federal government. According to him, “The suffering is too much. The only way we can stop this suffering is to come out on the Election Day and vote Atiku.� The former governor of Ekiti State and the Southwest coordinator of PDP presidential campaign, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, urged the citizens to protect their votes during the election in 2019. He said, “The only product we are selling is Atiku. PDP and Atiku; that is the product, the product that will come forward and participate in the debate, because I can tell you authoritatively that Buhari will not come. “Therefore, we must stand together because this election

is won already. We are only to protect our votes and stand up for the PDP. It will happen and PDP will be announced again.� On his part, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, said that APC is afraid of Atiku because he is the only man who can rescue Nigeria from its current crisis. He said, “APC took over in 2015; what did they come with? They came with hunger, they came with insecurities, people are being killed every day in Nigeria; the president is not aware. If they kill people in Benue, he's not aware, if there's hunger in Oyo, he is not aware. He is not aware of anything. The economy collapsed he said he is not aware.� Similarly, a former National Secretary of PDP and member of the Party's Presidential Campaign Council, Prof.

Wale Oladipo, assured the presidential candidate of massive votes in the Southwest. Oladipo, in a statement yesterday said Atiku’s experience as a vice president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, coupled with his private sector experience would be an advantage in running an all-inclusive and liberal government after winning the 2019 election. He stated, "I commend the good work of members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of our party in their efforts to make the Party regain its lost glory and I will also want the body, the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other prominent leaders of the party to ensure a total reconciliation in the Zone and others in general in order for it to make a successful outing in all the 2019 general elections."


NGN NGN 0.14 1.59 0.02 0.23 0.08 0.93 0.09 1.15 0.15 1.97 NGN 0.02 0.20 0.02 0.27 0.02 0.27 UPDC 0.09 1.48 REGENCY 0.01 0.20 HPE Nestle Nig Plc â‚Ś1,480.00 Volume: 280.939million shares Value: N2.490 billion Deals: 3,030 As at yesterday 06/12/18 See details on Page 43

% 9.6 9.5 9.4 8.4 8.2 % 9.0 6.9 6.9 5.7 4.7






Oil Price Drops to $58, OPEC Waits for Russia on Output Decision Shell reviews Nigerian deals involving bribery accused ex-official

Ejiofor Alike in Lagos and Chineme Okafor in Vienna Crude oil price fell yesterday after the ministers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) opted to wait for the outcome of their today’s meeting with non-OPEC member countries led by the Russian Federation before announcing an oil production cut that is almost inevitable. This is coming as Royal Dutch Shell has concluded that a Nigerian oilfield sale, where it suspects its official took bribes, was not linked to a separate court case in which he and Shell face corruption charges over the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil and Gas deal involving the sale of Oil Prospecting Lease (245). OPEC ministers were in a closed-door meeting at their 175th General Conference in Vienna, Austria to determine the volume of crude oil they would stop from getting to the international market in a bid to balance supply and demand and stop the price slump. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, said earlier that OPEC needed Russia to come on board with any cuts. He said a final decision by OPEC and its allies was likely by Friday evening. As the oil market awaits the decision of the producers, the global Brent mark, crude futures were down $2.07 on the day to $59.49 per barrel, having hit a session low of $58.36, while U.S. futures fell $1.38 to $51.51 per barrel. Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, flew home from Vienna earlier for talks with President

Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu

Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg. Novak would return to the Austrian capital today for discussions among Saudi-led OPEC and the group’s allies. The price of crude has fallen almost a third since October but US President, Donald Trump, has demanded the OPEC make oil even cheaper by refraining from output cuts. “We hope to conclude something by the end of the day tomorrow ... We have to get the non-OPEC countries on board,� al-Falih told reporters before the OPEC meeting started. “If everybody is not willing to join and

contribute equally, we will wait until they are.� Falih said all options were on the table. Possible output cuts by OPEC and its allies ranged from 0.5-1.5 million bpd, and one million bpd was acceptable, he said. OPEC’s closed-door meeting concluded after four and a half hours without yielding concrete figures, several delegates said. According to the delegates, many countries including Iran, Libya and Venezuela were seeking exemptions from cuts. OPEC delegates have said the group and its

allies could cut by one million bpd if Russia contributed 150,000 bpd of that reduction. If Russia contributed around 250,000 bpd, the overall cut could exceed 1.3 million bpd. Novak said Russia would find it harder to cut oil output in winter than other producers because of the cold weather. Oil prices have crashed as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to offset lower exports from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer. Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years. The US is not part of any output-limiting initiative due to its anti-trust legislation and fragmented oil industry. Iranian exports have plummeted after the US imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran in November. But Washington gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year. “Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!� Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday he would support a cut as long as Iran did not need to reduce its own output. Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said Iraq as OPEC’s second-largest producer would support and join a cut. Possibly complicating any OPEC decision is the crisis around the killing of

journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many US politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell has concluded that a Nigerian oilfield sale where it suspects its official took bribes was not linked to a separate court case in which he and Shell face corruption charges over the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil and Gas deal involving the sale of Oil Prospecting Lease (245). Shell filed a criminal complaint in March against Peter Robinson, a former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, saying he took bribes in the $390 million sale of onshore Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 to a Nigerian firm. Reuters reported that Robinson is also one of several former Shell employees involved in a trial in Milan, in which Shell and Italy’s Eni are accused of corruption related to the $1.1 billion purchase of the giant OPL 245. Both the OML 42 and OPL 245 deals were signed in 2011. Shell, the largest foreign investor in Nigeria, said in a statement to Reuters that it had completed an internal review of the OML 42 sale process and other deals Robinson was involved in, and it concluded his only violation was related to OML 42. Shell, Eni and Robinson

deny any wrongdoing in the OPL 245 case. Robinson also denies any wrongdoing in the OML 42 sale. Regarding the OML 42 sale, Shell said: “We have found no evidence to suggest that this was anything other than an isolated breach by a former employee, operating deliberately outside of Shell systems or controls.� “We have also found no evidence of a connection between Robinson’s actions on OML 42 and OPL 245, and we have reconfirmed this to the Dutch Public Prosecutor,� Shell said. Shell filed its complaint against Robinson to the Dutch prosecutor. The Dutch prosecutor’s officer confirmed yesterday it had received further information from Shell but offered no additional comment, saying it was still evaluating all the information and determining next steps. Robinson’s lawyer Chiara Padovani said her client “denies any allegations of criminal misconduct in connection with OML 42.� She also said Robinson “agrees with Shell’s conclusion that the sale of OML 42 is unrelated to OPL 245.� A source told Reuters in March that documents related to the OML 42 case had been uncovered after investigators looking into OPL 245 raided a house in Perth, Australia owned by Robinson. Milan prosecutors allege bribes totalling about $1.1 billion were paid, including to middlemen, to win the OPL 245 deal for Shell and Eni. Shell has said it expects the case in Italy to last many months.

former APC lawmakers, who joined AA are Ikechukwu Amuka, Authur Egwim, Uju Onwudiwe, Uche Ejiogu, Ngozi Obiefule, Lugard Osuji, Lloyd Chukwuemeka and Victor Onyewuchi. Others are Chinedu Offor, Kennedy Ibe, Lawman Duruji, Max Odunze, Henry Ezediaro, and Obinna Egu. Speaking after the notice of defection had been read, one of the defectors, Amuka, a former member of APC, accused Oshiomhole, of “collaborating with some people to hijack APC in Imo State.� The Majority Leader, Osuji, who also joined AA, alleged that the APC national chairman “meted grave injustice� to them during the controversial APC primaries in the state. He said he felt ashamed that he was ever associated

with APC. Osuji, who still retains his position as the Majority Leader after his defection, said the lawmakers would team up with the AA governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Uche Nwosu, to win the governorship election and also ensure that Buhari wins re-election. Agbim, who joined AA from PDP, said he and two others left the main opposition party because of the “emergence of new PDP� in the state. He said currently, PDP in the state has “no leadership direction,� adding that this development forced them to join AA in order to ensure that Nwosu and Buhari win their elections. The speaker said, “What Oshiomhole did in Imo State was injustice and against the tenets of ideal democracy.�

Shell Reviews Nigerian Oil Deals Involving Ex-ofďŹ cial Accused of Bribery

APC INTRIGUES PERSIST AS OKOROCHA URGES BUHARI TO CAUTION OSHIOMHOLE “Since Muhammadu Buhari became President he has never used any foul language on any Nigerian, low or high, and that is the best way to go. “And Oshiomhole should borrow a leaf from the president. One of the reasons the PDP lost in 2015 was the abuses the handlers of the party then were heaping on the APC presidential candidate then, and the president today, Muhammadu Buhari. Oshiomhole should be advised not to tow the 2015 PDP line.� He said Obasanjo deserved everyone’s respect because of his status as a former president of the country. “And no matter the provocation or his political activities this time, Oshiomhole should have considered his status as the former president of the country in talking about him,

and should have exercised caution in addressing him,� he said, adding, “Saying that God would punish the former president was never advisable. This should not be the language of APC.� He referred to the most recent attack on him and some other governors of APC extraction by Oshiomhole, stating, “We won’t take the pain to begin to talk about all the abuses, but to humbly plead with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of the party, to call Oshiomhole to order. “The party’s national chairman has, in less than six months, enthroned the culture of rascality into the party and the development is not good for the Party. APC is not known for rascality and abuses. And the earlier he is called to order the better for the party.�

Okorocha said Oshiomhole should help the party and its candidates by making his points without abusing people, adding that the way Oshiomhole is talking has become nauseating to most Nigerians and the earlier he is called to order, the better. According to the governor, “He should be talking about the achievements of President Buhari and APC as a party instead of using the opportunities he would have used to do that, to be insulting people. “To say the least, few weeks to the elections, APC and its candidates do not need Oshiomhole’s abuses or insults but the reasons Nigerians should re-elect President Buhari and elect APC candidates.�

Imo Speaker, 18 Other Lawmakers Defect to Action

Alliance Meanwhile, 19 out of the 27 lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly yesterday joined the Action Alliance (AA), denouncing their memberships of APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively. The speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Acho Ihim, who read the notice of defection signed by the lawmakers during plenary yesterday evening, also announced that he had joined his colleagues in AA. Reading the defection notice, Ihim said the members elected on the platform of PDP have also joined AA. According to him, the defection notice was dated November 7. The former PDP lawmakers are Ken Agbim, Bruno Ukoha and Mike Iheanatu. Apart from the speaker, the






Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email, 08066066268

Nigeria Loses over $1bn Annually to Medical Tourism Segun James and Martins Ifijeh The Group Medical Director of the Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Olatunde Lalude, has stated that Nigeria loses over $1billion yearly to medical tourism, as a result of the country’s poor healthcare system. Lalude said this yesterday at

the inauguration of Nigeria’s first state-of-the-art integrated surgical and intensive care facility, the Davidson Specialist Surgery and Critical Care Centre at the Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island, Lagos, According to him, medical tourism is one of the biggest thriving industry due to the low confidence in the country’s healthcare system.

Osinbajo: Boko Haram Killed 20,000; Destroyed $9bn Infrastructure in 10 Years Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, has killed 20,000 persons and destroyed infrastructure worth $9 billion in 10 years. Osinbajo said this yesterday at the inauguration of an intervention initiative tagged ‘Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme’ by the African Development Bank in Abuja. The vice president said the war on insurgency had displaced more than two million Nigerians from their homes and communities. He said, “there is no doubt that the havoc that the Boko Haram insurgency has wreaked on the North-East Nigeria and the entire country is unprecedented in recent Nigeria’s history. “Over the last decade, more than 20,000 persons have been killed and $9bn infrastructure destroyed, including more than 400,000 houses and thousands of schools, hospitals and other public buildings. And more than two million Nigerians have been displaced from their homes and communities. “But the devastation is only a part of the narrative; it is definitely not the entire story. There are the countless stories of heroism and resilience, from the victims of the insurgency,

from the troops of the Nigerian Army and the Civilian Joint Task Force, all of who are out there fighting and sacrificing a great deal to keep us safe. “For me, these stories of resilience and hope and optimism deserve a lot more attention than they are currently getting.” Osinbajo noted that the rate of killings in the region had reduced from the peak witnessed in 2014 by 83 per cent. He said, “This year alone, the Nigerian Army’s Operation Last Hold has helped 35,000 people voluntarily return to their homes and communities and commence the task of rebuilding lives and livelihoods. “This is not to say there are still no challenges or that we are satisfied with where we are. Certainly not; indeed, if there were no challenges left, we would not be here today to launch the IBSIP. “In 2016, we unveiled the Buhari Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for the recovery and reconstruction of the region. The plan established the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative to coordinate all efforts by state and non-state actors, domestic and international, to comprehensively address the economic, social and humanitarian crises in the region.”

FG, Oil Marketers Sign Agreement on Unpaid Subsidy Claims Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja Top federal government officials and oil marketers met in Abuja yesterday and agreed on the settlement of outstanding claims, with an assurance that operations at all depots and petrol stations will continue until further notice. At the end of the meeting, the marketers expressed satisfaction with the arrangements being made by the government to settle their claims. The marketers had last Sunday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to pay them an outstanding N800 billion subsidy claims. A statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Finance and signed by the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance, Paul Ella Abechi, said yesterday’s agreement was contained in a statement jointly signed by officials of the federal government and representatives of the petroleum marketers in Abuja.

The meeting, which was held at the Federal Ministry of Finance was attended by senior government officials from the finance ministry, the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Budget Office of the Federation, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). Also in attendance on the part of the marketers were representatives from the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN). According to the statement, while expressing satisfaction over the arrangement being made by the government to settle their claims, the marketers assured the public of availability of petroleum products.

He noted that the confidence in Nigeria’s healthcare system is very low “because there are many serious shortcomings in the system, which is brought down by a plethora of problems; and as a consequence, confident in the system is extremely low among Nigerians.” “The health service has earned the ignominious distinction of ranking 187 out of 190 countries in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is a testament to the dire situation within the system. As a result of

these, medical tourism in Nigeria is a thriving industry, leading to a loss of at least $1 billion a year,” he added He further stated that this figure is a conservative estimate because the “figure is way, way above that.” Lalude said the healthcare system in the country is undergoing a seismic change with regards to health issues, which face Nigerians, adding that there has been increase in cases of cancer, diabetics and issues associated with aging. He said the capacity of the country to provide the facilities to handle these situation inaquate,

hence the decision of Reddington Hospital Group to provide the facilities in country. Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale, said the Davidson Specialist Surgery Centre, which theatres are equipped with sophisticated world-class technologies and manned by a team of well qualified and experienced surgeons and intensive care specialists who are trained in the United Kingdom where most of the equipment were procured.

Onabowale said the facility is the first of its kind in Nigeria that is a fully integrated combined specialist surgical and intensive care facility. Also speaking, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Laure Beaufils, lamented that despite the fact that Nigeria’s medical professionals are highly regarded, access to good medical care has been poor. She said there are challenges in the healthcare system as the country is ranked at the bottom of the league of the countries with poor healthcare system.


President Muhammadu Buhari (left), receiving Letter of Credence from the new Ambassador of France to Nigeria , Mr. Jerome Pasquier, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja …yesterday GODWIN OMOIGUI

Abdulsalami Urges Politicians to Refrain from Promoting Religious, Ethnic Sentiments John Shiklam in Kaduna A former Head of state, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd), has urged politicians to refrain from campaigns laced with religious and ethnic sentiments. Speaking yesterday at the launching of a book on the late former governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, who died in a helicopter crashed in Bayelsa State in December 2012, Abdulsalami, who is the chairman of the National Peace Commission (NPC), said politicians must not divide Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines because of their quest for power.

According to him, the unity and peace of the country was more important than the ambition of any politician who does not have the interest of the country at heart. He called on politicians to focus their campaigns on issues that will move the country forward. “Allow me to draw our attention to the 2019 general elections that is approaching. “May I urge all of us, especially the politicians to continue to jealously guard the peace of our dear country. “I urged us to refrain from political campaigns laced with religious or ethnic peculiarities;

rather concentrate on issue based campaigns,” he said. According to him, politicians and parties hold the key to creating an environment that could bring about the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. Speaking on the book titled, “Yakowa: A Dream Deferred,” written by Reuben Buhari, who served as spokesman of the late Yakowa, Abubakar said Yakowa laid the foundation and road map for solid minerals development in the country upon which all successes in the sector were recorded. “We are here to immortalise one of the great sons of Kaduna State. As a former head of

state who appointed Yakowa as the first minister of solid minerals, I testify that it was the late Yakowa that laid the foundation and the road map for solid minerals in the country upon which all success in that sector was recorded. “Late Yakowa and I have remained close confidant. “Since he left Abuja to serve at home, first, as the secretary to the state government, rising to be elected as deputy governor and then governor. “ I had followed his achievements and I must say that I am proud of his achievements,” Abubakar said.

Catholic Bishops Condemn Altercation Between Obi, Mbaka Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Ezigbo Bishops of the Catholic Church in Nigeria have deplored the altercation between Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, and Rev. Father. Ejike Mbaka, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu on the issue of the forthcoming 2019 presidential election. The Bishops said the Church

is already taking the appropriate measures on the incident. In a statement issued by the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Father Ralph Madu, yesterday, the Bishops condemned in its totality what they described as shameful embarassing scenario, contained in a video recording of the event at the Adoration Centre place of worship of Mbaka.

While maintaining that the incident did not have the support of the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Madu said the stand of the Catholic Church stated in its August 7, 2018 directives remains apolitical and does not support or subscribe to any political party. “Our concern is for a peaceful election process seen to be free, fair, credible and just and a democratic governance that guarantees peace,

justice, equity, development and religious freedom for the common good. “Mindful of the present charged political life of the country, with the ongoing campaigns of political parties gathering momentum, we deem it necessary to again remind all priests and faithfuls to keep the position of the church on the issue of non-partisan politics”, he said.




T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍľËœ 2018


Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email


There is much more to be done to contain human trafficking in Nigeria, writes Godwin Obaseki


et me start by setting the context for the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration as it affects us in Edo State, a subject I believe is very important. One, we know through evidence that Nigeria is a top source country for irregular migration and human trafficking and that Edo State contributes 60% to the estimate of people caught in this scourge. Two, to date, we have received and resettled about 4,244 migrant returnees from Edo State and are expecting thousands more. Three, we have accepted that human trafficking and Irregular migration is a problem in Edo State. However, our government will continue to demonstrate the political will to reduce this menace and eventually eliminate it from our state. We also know that we cannot do it on our own. We have to define our common interest and find a common ground as stakeholders to fight this problem that affects our people. This is why we have created platforms such as this, that allows us share and explore opportunities to make a clear difference in tackling these issues. This second roundtable which we decided to host in Benin City, was informed by, and is a follow up to, the first technical roundtable held on the 23rd of May 2018 in Abuja where we had over 130 participating stakeholders in attendance and was adduced by attendees to be very successful. The technical roundtable was organised with the aim to understanding the state’s effort and strategy for tackling irregular migration and human trafficking across our four thematic pillars. There were a number of outcomes from that roundtable which included an opportunity to network, collaborate with stakeholders working in similar areas as well as an opportunity to coordinate our efforts in order to avoid duplication and improve efficiency and better management of resources available to tackle the problem. Since the roundtable, a number of collaborations have begun. For instance, the Edo State Taskforce on Human Trafficking has had a number of partnerships with different stakeholders like the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) foundation. As a government, apart from funding the activities of the taskforce to support the returnees, we have also approved a site in the G.R.A. in Benin City that will be renovated through the intervention of the World Bank, which will now serve as the Migrant Returnees Shelter. We thank the European Union and the World Bank for their investment in this laudable project. We will be visiting the site to see the opportunities it offers. We have also seen some new collaborative activities in our objective to reduce irregular migration through skills development, entrepreneurship and employability training amongst our youth. We now have the Edo State Skills Development Agency to provide the supply of, and attract the demand for, highly skilled talent in Edo State. In the bid to make Edo the Silicon Valley of the South-South of Nigeria, Edo Innovates was setup in June 2018 to engage youth and entrepreneurs. We have had partners in the likes of DAI through MADE, Oxfam International, Google and


Microsoft. Over 70,000 people have benefited from skills development and job creation activities in the state including youth, farmers and people in at-risk communities. The data which we collected from screening returnees have led us to prioritise the development of at-risk communities as identified. We setup Ward Development Committees through which inhabitants participate in the determination and governance of projects in their localities. As it is evident, there have been a number of actionable outcomes derived from the four thematic pillars during the last roundtable meeting in Abuja. However, a major recurring recommendation was the need to establish a mechanism to coordinate the partnerships within the programme, especially given the diversity of stakeholders potentially involved in the programme. Although all these positive outcomes offer us green shoots of hope, there are still large gaps to be closed and huge resources needed to make the required impact towards achieving the common goal to make human trafficking and irregular migration history in Nigeria. It requires understanding the reality of the problem we are dealing with through data, properly estimating the resource requirements and ensuring efficiency in planning and resource utilization which can be best done by pulling together stakeholders with a common agenda together to foster a well-coordinated effort to effect the necessary change. Through the MMDP, a steering committee led by the Edo State Government, with the EU and the World Bank was set up to advise and guide on how to foster partnerships and coordinate our efforts. A number of outcomes have been born out of the meeting of this committee including the need to develop a coordination matrix that will serve as a framework for streamlining efforts within the migration and anti-trafficking space in Edo State. We cannot work together effectively without knowing who is doing what, where and how in Edo State. The launching of the MMDP Coordination Matrix is to enable us see the universe of activities and resources targeted at solving this problem. The visibility, which will be provided by the matrix, will hopefully not only unveil the gaps and areas of overlapping interventions in the efforts being made by all participants in Edo State, it will assist in better highlighting areas which more efforts and resources may be required. The presentation by VIIASUS, our technology partner, should give us an insight into what is going on within the migration and anti-trafficking space in Edo State. I believe that the invaluable contributions of our partners and critical stakeholders will once again lead us closer to achieving our vision to eradicate human trafficking and irregular migration. Achieving this will not only impact positively on Edo State but will augment the good work of the federal government and all the relevant transit and destination countries. Excerpts from a speech by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, at the second roundtable dialogue on Managing Migration Through Development Programme in Benin City


Akintola Benson Oke argues that the Lagos State Public Service will benefit from a healthy dose of innovativeness and strategic planning


he importance and indispensability of strategy, strategic planning, and strategic management has been proved and validated over the years and, in fact, over the centuries. Yet, some organisations are not always readily open to embracing a culture of strategic management. We wish to ensure that the Lagos State Public Service is not one of those organisations and further that, strategic planning and the propensity to innovate become ingrained into the innermost fabric of the service. It has been said that “public institutions represent a major investment for a country. Their existence is externally justified and primarily aimed at improving the lives of citizens. Much hype has been made on increasing the accountability in government and public institutions. To achieve their goals with transparency to its constituency, an institution must think and act strategically. This requires the use of strategic planning models and framework.�[1] In the same way, I posit that the map to a ‘better place’ for the Lagos State Public Service is a culture of strategic management coupled with an innovative spirit. What does the Lagos State Public Service stand to benefit from institutionalizing a culture of strategic management and innovation? In an article titled ‘Introduction to Strategic Management,’ Ryszard Barnat listed the benefits of strategic management for organisations such as the Lagos State Public Service as follows: one, it provides a way to anticipate future problems and opportunities; two, it provides officers with clear objectives and directions for the future of the organisation; three, it results in more effective and better performance compared to non-strategic management organisations; four, it increases officers’ satisfaction and motivation; five, it results in faster and better decision making; and it results on cost savings. Moreover, Ryszard also stresses that strategic

management offers the following process and personal benefits: it allows for identification, prioritisation, and exploitation of opportunities; it provides an objective view of management problems; it represents a framework for improved coordination and control of activities; it minimizes the effects of adverse conditions and changes; it allows major decisions to better support established objectives; it allows more effective allocation of time and resources to identified opportunities; it allows fewer resources and less time to be devoted to correcting erroneous or ad hoc decisions; it creates a framework for internal communication among personnel; it helps to integrate the behaviour of individuals into a total effort; it provides a basis for the clarification of individual responsibilities; it gives encouragement to forward thinking; it provides a cooperative, integrated, and enthusiastic approach to tackling problems and opportunities; it encourages a favourable attitude towards change and; it gives a degree of discipline and formality to the management of an organisation. I can readily think of a number of insightful epigrams that validate the need for strategic thinking and management in both organisational and private lives. It is already accepted wisdom that “In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.� Thus, the famous genius, Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.� Similarly, William A. Foster noted that, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.� Similarly, innovation and the readiness to innovate will stand the Lagos State Public Service in good stead. In Public Sector Innovation: From Ideas to Action, a publication by Ernst & Young, it was

noted that “Innovation is no longer just a buzzword. It is now seen as a potential solution to all problems and has become ubiquitous in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, the need to be innovative has an obvious driver: staying ahead of the competition and delivering products and services that will increase market share and drive shareholder value.� The publication then further noted that the “case for innovation in the public sector, however, is less well defined but has many similarities. As governments strive to balance priorities — including the effective allocation of resources and meeting public expectations — it is becoming increasingly clear that new approaches are needed. Governments will have to innovate and find ways to make difficult things easy in the areas of service delivery, process improvement, regulation and policy implementation. Thereafter, the publication addressed the challenges involved in defining what innovation means in particular circumstances. It noted that, “private sector organizations struggle to define what innovation means and to effectively implement an operating model to enable it. This can be caused by many reasons, but some include: Lack of a defined innovation strategy; no specific innovation process or framework; limited budget or leadership capacity and; the sheer size of an organization, with larger businesses tending to be bureaucratic and slow moving.� Now, in addition to all the challenges enumerated above, the publication notes that, “On top of this, the public sector must deal with public scrutiny, and the traditionally risk-averse approach of governments. So how can the public sector effectively innovate to serve citizens better and more efficiently? The first step is clearly understanding what is driving the need to innovate — whether it’s better allocating resources, keeping up with citizens’ expectations, working with the private sector to

ensure a competitive economy, or attracting the next generation of public sector leaders. Second, public sector organizations need to clearly understand what it is they’re trying to innovate — services, processes, regulatory models or policy design and implementation. And last but most important, public sector leaders need to clearly understand what operating model they intend to use to enable innovation given their specific needs, circumstances and talents. In innovation, as it has in some other areas, government can learn from the approaches.� With those insightful observations, you will agree with me that the Lagos State Public Service will benefit from a healthy dose of ingrained innovativeness. Next, I will like to briefly discuss strategies for inspiring innovation in public service organisations such as the Lagos State Public Service. I will be borrowing heavily from the ideas and opinions expressed by Nicholas D. Evans in his article titled, “Five Ways for Public Sector Leaders to Accelerate Innovation.� At the heart of it, I hope that it would be appreciated that these are different approaches that can help to further advance the way ideas of the Lagos State Public Service are sourced, shared, scoped and shepherded through the innovation process, so that the service can improve the yield of ideas moving through their pipelines. The first strategy for stimulating and sustaining innovativeness is the “Inside-Out Idea Flows� strategy. In the field of open innovation, defined by Chesbrough and Bogers as “a distributed innovation process based on purposively managed knowledge flows across organizational boundaries�, there are both inbound and outbound idea flows. Outside-in idea flows have been well popularized and have become a common approach to access crowdsourced or citizen-sourced ideas from outside the four walls of the organization. Dr. Benson Oke is Lagos Sate Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions



EDITORIAL Yet Another Tragedy On The Waterways The authorities should enforce safety standards on the waterways


ith the drowning of no fewer than 19 children in a boat mishap last Saturday in Lafiagi, Edu local government area of Kwara State, travelling through the Nigerian waterways has become a most dangerous risk. The boat was conveying the children across the River Niger for a traditional wedding ceremony when the tragedy occurred. But it was not an isolated incident. Hardly does any month pass without report of a boat accident and often with heavy casualty figures. In fact, this year alone, there have been over 20 such accidents which claimed hundreds of lives. So commonplace are accidents on the Nigerian waterways that just three weeks ago, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora escaped death when a floating log of wood hit the boat carrying him and his entourage while on inspection tour of the Lagos facilities of the agency. That incident underscores one of the major WE CANNOT CONTINUE causes of accidents on our waterways - colliTO WASTE THE LIVES sion with submerged OF OUR CITIZENS ON AVOIDABLE ACCIDENTS hard objects. According to MOST OF WHICH estimates from the HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF United Nations (UN), OVERCROWDING there are more than three million shipwrecks in the ocean floor worldwide and Nigeria is one of the countries where such wrecks are said to be lying under the water bed. Other causes of accidents include poor vessel maintenance, over-speeding, poor lighting during night voyages, overloading of boats, collision with another vessel as well as navigational and human errors. As we have stated repeatedly on this page, it is understandable that boat accidents are inevitable in

the creeks and coastlines, especially given the fact that the people living in those areas have no alternative means of transportation. It is equally a known fact that because of this absence of other reliable transportation system people tend to pile into whatever watercraft happens to be going towards their destinations. But we cannot continue to waste the lives of our citizens on avoidable accidents most of which happen as a result of overcrowding when very small wooden canoes carry passengers far beyond their capacity. Aside from overloading, another cause of these marine accidents is the fact that most of the boats are old and suffer from lack of proper maintenance.



erhaps more important is the obvious absence of enforcement of safety standards and despite repeatedly stating this fact, the authorities have refused to act. In fact, not much is known about the existence of any mandatory operational guidelines for ownership of ferries and boats and the minimum standards that must be met to be in the business of ferrying people through the waters. Furthermore, the fact that there are hardly life jackets on board is a sure guarantee that casualty is bound to be high. For years we have canvassed that operational standards be enforced nationally so that all ferry and canoe operators whether in the creeks of the Niger Delta or along the Lagos lagoons. There should also be regular inspection of these boats just like motor vehicles are inspected and deemed road worthy or marked “off the road” in order to detect dilapidated and rickety boats which constitute serious hazard to human lives. Provision of emergency services along the waterways is also worthy of consideration. The absence of such emergency agencies often contributes to the high casualty figures recorded when boat accidents occur, more so as the operators have little or no knowledge about the first aid steps to take when faced with emergency situation. Until all these and other safety measures are put in place the nation’s waterways will continue to be watery graveyards.


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ccess to food is a fundamental human right. However, in recent times, there has been a surge in the number and proportion of hungry people across the globe. According to recent estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, world hunger is on the rise. The number of undernourished people in the world increased in 2017, for the third consecutive year. It was reported that 821 million people (11 per cent of the world’s population) suffered chronic undernourishment. This translates to one in nine people on the planet. Most of these people are family and subsistence farmers living in poor rural areas of sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia. Concurrently, statistics in the same year show that various forms of malnutrition have also increased, with at least 1.5 billion people suffering from micronutrient deficiencies that undermine their health and lives. Whereas hunger is highly prevalent in areas ravaged by conflicts, droughts and extreme poverty, overweight and obesity is on the rise all around the world, and we are now witnessing the globalization of diet-related non-communicable diseases. For example, overweight and obesity rates are reported to be climbing faster in Africa than in any other region – eight out of the 20 countries in the world with the fastest rates of adult overweight and obesity are in Africa. Furthermore, childhood overweight affected 38 million children under five years of age in 2017. All of this has brought about a need to transform agriculture and food systems to deliver improved nutrition and sustainable and resilient rural communities. All stakeholders need to redouble their efforts in order to boost food sufficiency and improve

nutrition. It is not just about feeding people, it is also about providing people with the necessary nutrients for a healthy life. Current global food systems have increased the availability and accessibility of processed foods that are very high in energy dense calories, ultra-processed fat, sugar and salt, but low in essential micronutrients. This leads to “hidden hunger.” In view of the above, some steps to alleviating the problems of food sufficiency and undernourishment include: food systems must be transformed in ways that provide all people with healthy and nutritious food. There must be a collective effort towards providing healthy diets that include diversified nutrient-dense foods, including bio-fortified foods, fruits/vegetables, as well as animal-source foods. It also involves the creation of standards on fortification, proper labelling of foods, as well as the banning of some harmful ingredients. Also, having in mind that dietary behaviours during adolescence contribute to the establishment of lifelong eating patterns, food-related education programmes such as nutrition education, should be incorporated into the school curricula. Schools are ideal settings for nutrition education because they reach most youth, and nutrition fits into several subject areas including health, science, and consumer science/education. School-based nutrition education curricula should aim to improve students’ knowledge, skills and behaviour aligned with the dietary guidelines. Proper nutrition education can help young people to attain the knowledge and the skills that they need to make proper food choices and develop lifelong healthy eating patterns. Nutrition education programmes should not be limited to healthrelated aspects of food consumption. There is also a need to educate students, or more broadly consumers, about food systems-related

issues covering: production, processing, packaging, distribution, retailing, consumption, and wastage of food. A major reason for this emphasis on the different aspects of food systems is to promote informed food choices that aim to sustain and protect the environment. It is well-established that food production and consumption impact the environmental sustainability. For example, current agricultural practices are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, excess water use and land degradation. Consequently, the dietary patterns and food choices that are more supportive of environmental sustainability are recommended. It is also important that both private and public schools at all levels establish viable school farms. School farms are not just spaces for growing food items. They are complete learning zones, which largely succeed in taking learning to new heights. The knowledge obtained from practical sessions on the school farm helps not only to re-enforce what is taught in the classrooms. It also teaches pupils, and students alike, about eating healthy, about how food arrives our homes from the farms, etc. It also equips the pupils/students with first-hand knowledge of how to run agribusinesses. This is especially important in cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit in the students. Secondary school curricula, for example, needs to cover issues like: “where do foods come from?”, “how food is produced”, “what makes up a food product” and “which foods are manufactured”. Schoolleavers need to know about the way that food is distributed, imported and exported, as well as impacts on the local businesses and local farmers. They need to know the role of industry and jobs, and people that are involved and affected. Daniel Ighakpe, FESTAC Town, Lagos


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Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email: 08114495324 SMS ONLY

PERSPECTIVE DiasporanViewpoint of Peter Obi’s Emergence AsVice Presidential Candidate Ejike Onuogu


t has been said that the path to good governance is not always the preferred choice in a system that is woven to produce the same result time and time again. The history of Nigeria and indeed of Africa will be re-written when dark horses emerge and enter the arena and redefine the political landscape in which only a privileged few find their way to the corridors of power and over time hijack the process and mold it into their self-contraption and finally, a family dynasty with no checks and balances. Over time inertia weighs in and the system perpetuates itself in what becomes an unfortunate vicious cycle. However, with the emergence of Peter Obi as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora are assured of one thing: The fact that things will not be the same. It will not be business as usual. Since His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar chose Pater Obi as his running mate, many individuals especially in the South East have become sleep-deprived and are almost running amok for the simple reason that there was no adequate consultation within the party hierarchy especially the South East caucus prior to his decision on the choice of a running mate. Yet we seem to have forgotten that in a Presidential system of government, a party’s flag bearer has the constitutional authority to choose his running mate. It is true that no one expects him to pick a running mate by throwing dice or picking a lot out of a basket. If he carried out consultation , he does not have to announce this by wearing ash on his forehead or ringing a bell in the market square. The emergence of Peter Obi as the vice” presidential candidate of the PDP has sparked excitement amongst Nigerians living in the Diaspora. History will not judge us kindly if we forget quite easily why men fight and die for what they believe in. In fact it was Gowon who said that the Nigeria civil war was fought to keep Nigeria one. Yet there are crazy elements that believe that we should revisit those dark days of our national history. The protagonists of this idea believe that the emergence of a


sovereign Biafra nation is the panacea to all the problems facing the black man. There have been curbside talks about the Igbo people being victims of marginalization within the Nigerian enclave. This argument holds no water when one looks at the internal dynamics of the five South East states where the state of affairs have been presided by the Igbo man himself. With the exception of Anambra State , the argument of Igbo leadership per se is nothing short of fallacy. Prior to Peter Obi taking office as Governor of Anambra State , there were historical antecedents that support this reductio ad absurdum. In 1979, Jim Nwobodo was the Governor of Anambra State. At the same time the Late Dr. Alex Ekwueme was the vice president of Nigeria. Though both of Igbo extraction, the two belonged to different political parties. For four years they allowed personal interest play a dominant role in the affairs of the day. As a result, Anambra state was left fallow and deprived of the dividends of democracy. In the same period, the late Governor Sam Mbakwe of Imo State maintained a good working relationship with his NPN counterpart in the person of the late K.O. Mbadiwe, People

called him the weeping Governor, but during his tenure , Imo State was a model to behold. Between 1979 and 1983, Mr. D. C. Ugwu was the Minister of Health in the Shagari-led NPN Federal Government. He was from Obukpa, Nsukka. He embarked on building comprehensive health center across Nigeria. The prototype at Obukpa was a collection of dilapidated structures that mostly served as consulting rooms. The center was simply a skeleton. When Allison Madueke became Military Governor of Anambra State following the exit of the Shagari regime, Anambra state witnessed what most pundits would call a vacuum of leadership. Even his hometown Inyi, in Oji River LGA had the worst road you could think of in Nigeria. It was like climbing the Alps. Then came Governor Nnaemeka Akonobi whose excesses were summarized in a book by the late C.C. Onoh titled , “ Monumental Corruption in Anambra State.” Much in-fighting between the government and many interest groups called moneybags marked the four years of the Mbadinuju regime. This grandfather system in many ways prevented the government from having a focus. The House was able to introduce legislation establishing the Anambra Vigilante Services under the code name “Bakassi Boys.”. Governor Ngige who succeeded Mbadinuju was also caught in the web created by his godfathers and to a large extent his government was strangulated it was during his tenure that hoodlums abducted a sitting governor, and many state infrastructure destroyed by arsonists . Similar occurrences could be seen in Imo, Ebonyi and Abia State where the governors though of Igbo extraction , have not risen to the occasion to change the trajectory of state business for the benefit of the people. Throughout history, leaders have emerged and championed a cause that has taken a people to a new level of existence and relevance in world history. Many of these leaders are students of history. These are men who believe in themselves, in destiny and their ability to bring a particular vision to fruition . The limitation of man cannot always be a Freudian tragedy where the psychological growth of man is arrested at the level of the primordial instinctual drives of food and sex.

When Shaka Zulu took up arms and fought the British to a standstill, he was propelled by values far greater than his quest for personal vendetta against his father who repudiated his position as the heir apparent to the Zulu Kingdom. When in the fifties, the late Kwame Nkrumah had a dream of Pan Africanism, it was a vision rooted in altruism rather than personal aggrandizement. When Julius Nyerere of Tanzania left office in 1985, he had served Africa well. He was a proponent of Pan Africanism. He was also a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity .His views on leadership is summed up in these words: “Those who receive this privilege therefore, have a duty to repay the sacrifice which others have made.” They are like the man who has been given all the food available in a starving village in order that he might have strength to bring supplies back from a distant place.” When he left office ,his only assets were an old Land rover, 3000 Shillings and an old bungalow. He passed away in 1999 but before he died he was given the title “Mwalimu” which means “Teacher”. Tanzanians mourn his loss to this day. When Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, his resume included a period spanning 27 years spent behind bars. He did not draw blood, rather he chose the path of national reconciliation. Many South Africans saw this as cowardice; yet many others saw this as a manifestation of inner strength. I have used examples within the continent of Africa to show that positive change is not limited to the Western hemisphere alone. Positive change can occur when we elect leaders with the right temperament, the right vision and the zeal to step up to the play and stamp their footprints on the immortal sands of time. Nigeria at this point in history needs leaders who are de-tribalized; leaders who will not see Nigeria as a conglomerate of Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, Ijaw, Ibibio. Rather a Nigeria where tribes, languages are like petals of the same flower, and religion as a common conduit to glorify the Almighty God, who is the Author of all creation. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on

Essential Values in Leadership, Nation Building ‘Wale Oluwade


nation is not a geographical space, occupied by people with distinct race, culture, and attributes. A nation isn’t just about roads, rail, bridges and power. An ordinary village buffoon can do these things, though; successive Nigeria leaders seem unable to do so 58-years after independence. What then is a nation? A nation is an idea. It is the collective aspiration and beliefs of a group of people with a shared history and a common hope in the future.

The Building of Nations Nigeria is an idea and not yet a nation. Let me expatiate further on this thought. Firstly, nation-building is a destination rather than a bus-stop, meaning; it is a never ending journey. It is a continuous process of constant renewal, regeneration and rediscovery. The United States of America’s democratic experiment is about 241-years old, yet a popular refrain I hear oft-repeated by her leaders is that they are “…working at building a more perfect union.” So, building a nation is a never-ending assignment. Secondly, building nations include providing hard infrastructures; building roads, power, bridges, rail lines, air and seaports, schools, hospitals, etc. These are some of the things that help to unite and connect the people in a nation and classify it

among its peers. Thirdly, and perhaps, most critical, nationbuilding is the construction of a national identity, a forging of a set of values, norms and beliefs that define the people. It is a way of life, and this is intangible. It is the evolution of an overarching unifying culture. It is usually an unwritten code by which they interrelate among themselves, other nations and by which those who come are expected to conform. Lastly, the most significant tool of nation-building is the education of its masses. This involves a rigorous acculturation in its history, language, beliefs, norms, values, mores, place and role in the world. Without an enlightened citizenry, a society remains at the level of primordial cleavages. Nation-building is a conscious effort. It is a deliberate, purposeful and systematic assignment of forging common identity and unity. Following the unification of Italy (1860), a process led by the Northern elite which then ruled the country, Massimo d’Azeglio (one of the founders of united Italy) famously remarked: “Italy has been made; now it remains to make Italians.” Nigeria is an idea conceived in 1914, legitimized in 1960 but that’s it, nothing concrete has been done since then to actually make Nigerians from the over 250 ethnic-nationalities and languages. We now examine three intrinsic values leaders and followers must consistently

demonstrate to build the Nigeria we all desire.

The Value of Patriotism Only patriots build nations. Politicians and mercenaries cannot build nations. So what engenders patriotism in individuals and groups living in a nation? This is a germane issue in national development. Nations are built by people and the people must feel a strong sense of affinity, loyalty and fidelity to a single unifying vision that all has mutually subscribed to. This is one single unifying aspiration or goal that bind all together regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion or language. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Prov.29:18. “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it…” Hab.2:2. Great men and women have great visions of their destinies. Great corporations have a clearly defined vision of their role and place in business. Great nations have a clear and yet simple visions of their roles and purpose in the world. For America it is; “the land of the free and the bold.” The opening words of the American Declaration of Independence states; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness…” Simple but succinct. What is our grand and

unifying vision as Nigerians? You have different ethnic groups and bodies championing their respective group aspirations, but what is our collective Nigerian unifying vision that binds the different and disparate ethnicities and cultures together? What is our common aspiration that is far bigger and nobler than the individual and group aspirations?

The Value of Service Public service is a sacred responsibility. It is a call to nation-building. Public service is essentially service to an individual’s fatherland. Public service is integral and critical to nation-building. To serve one’s nation is to become the trustees of the collective values and visions of same and the executors of these values and aspirations. In this vein, an immigration officer will not compromise his obligation to secure the nation’s borders for pecuniary gains. A police officer will not shirk his duties of law enforcement for bribes. The teacher will not abdicate the raising of future leaders to crass materialism. Those who hold elective and appointive offices at all levels will not convert states resources to personal expense accounts to be embezzled and misappropriated. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on




Ensuring Development in Enugu Through Ugwuanyi’s Peace Initiatives Louis Amoke


t is undisputable that one of the greatest achievements of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration in Enugu State that must not be taken for granted is the enduring peace in the Coal City

State. Peace, which is synonymous with Enugu State since the inception of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration is a veritable component that abhors violence and propels rapid development of any society. It is on record that Enugu State, in the past three and half years, has continued to enjoy peace, which has engendered good governance, unprecedented socio-economic growth and security of lives and property - earning Enugu the enviable status of one of the most peaceful and secure states in the country. This culture of peace coupled with other sundry remarkable achievements in massive infrastructural development, especially in the rural areas, prompt payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions, security, qualitative and affordable healthcare delivery, sound education, empowerment, robust investment drive, employment generation and prudent management of scarce resources among others, have earned him, a wide-range of commendations from opinion leaders from all walks of life. It has also endeared him to the people of the state and beyond resulting in the overwhelming solidarity, support and endorsements for his re-election in 2019. A few days ago, the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, during the ministry’s 2018 Harvest and Thanksgiving Mass reiterated their unflinching support and endorsement of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s re-election for a second term in office. At the thanksgiving Mass, which was celebrated also for Gov. Ugwuanyi and other candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, to herald the commencement of campaigns for the 2019 general election as well as entrust the activities to the hands of God, the outspoken priest stressed that the ministry has “100 per cent support” for the governor. It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration, in keeping with its tradition of entrusting the affairs of the state to the hands of God, through the state PDP campaign organisation recently called on the people to join the party in observing one week of prayers and fasting, from December 1 to 7, “for peaceful, transparent and violence-free elections, which Enugu State is known for” as well as “issue-based, smooth and successful campaigns”. During the thanksgiving Mass, Fr. Mbaka expressed delight with Gov. Ugwuanyi for entrenching peace and good governance in Enugu State, stressing that his ministry’s support for his re-election “is unquestionable” because “he is a good man; a man of peace; a perfect genius; humble and ever patient”. According to him, “I have never seen this kind of unquestionable, magnetic, pragmatic and dynamic peace in Enugu State before, because of one Gburugburu. Gov. Ugwuanyi


has no enemy. He is a governor who has good relationship with the entire Nwodo family, Senator Fidel Okoro, Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Jim Nwobodo, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and other leaders. Gburugburu is the ‘Messi’ in the field. “Anybody who is contesting against him, where does he get his strength? Our support for the governor is indisputable. The Adoration ministry loves him because since the creation of Enugu State, we have not seen this type of peace. Enugu is an epitome of peace and security. So far, so good”. Recently, the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Alhaji Musiliu Smith, while in Enugu for the commission’s four-day Management Retreat, appraised the peaceful and secure atmosphere of the state, saying that “we are in Enugu largely because Enugu is one of the most peaceful states in the country.” Smith, a former Inspector-General of Police stressed that Gov. Ugwuanyi deserves credit for running the state in a progressive, peopleoriented and security-conscious manner. In the same vein, the UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Mr. Mohammed Malick Fall, had during a courtesy call on Gov. Ugwuanyi commended him for his peace initiatives and people-oriented approach to governance, which he said have made “Enugu State one of the most peaceful states in the country.” The new General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Emmanuel Boman Kabuk, while conveying the message of appreciation from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, equally applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the existing peace in the state, expressing delight that it has added value to the Division’s security operations in all the states within its command. It would also be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi during his first interaction with

journalists on assumption of office in 2015, clearly stated that his administration will work hard to ensure and maintain peace as a panacea for progress and rapid development of the state. The peace-loving governor pledged not to engage in any act that would undermine the relationship between his administration and the past ones vis-à-vis himself and past leaders of the state. According to him, “the era of new guard fighting the old guards in Enugu State is gone; my administration will not fight old guards to settle old scores. Where there is no peace, the people will not make meaningful progress.” Disclosing his readiness to run an inclusive government where all former governors and other leaders will be accommodated irrespective of political affiliation, Gov. Ugwuanyi stressed that “everybody is our friend and the era of politics of bitterness is over.” Three and half years after, it is worthy of note that respected leaders in Enugu State have given eloquent testimonies to the noble vision of the people’s governor to reposition the state on the path of peace and rapid development. Last year, the former Governor of old Anambra State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for uniting political leaders in the state irrespective of political divide, describing him as “a leader with conscience and fear of God.” Sen. Nwobodo, who gave the commendation at his country home in Amechi Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area, when he joined other stakeholders and revered traditional rulers in the area to receive Gov. Ugwuanyi at the palace of HRH Igwe Anthony Okorie, during the PDP campaign for the last Local Government elections, stressed that Gov. Ugwuanyi has “done

so well in office and united everyone.” Recently, his wife, Pat, who nicknamed Gov. Ugwuanyi as “Junior Jim”, for exhibiting outstanding leadership qualities similar to that of her husband when he was governor, lauded the governor for entrenching peace and security in the state, saying that “everybody now has rest of mind”. Mrs. Nwobodo added that she was proud to call Gov. Ugwuanyi “Junior Jim” and speak well about him because he has remembered and accorded past leaders of the state their due respect. At the state government’s reception for the Nigerian Ambassador to Republic of India with Concurrent Accreditation to Bangladesh and Nepal, Major General Chris Sunday Eze (retd), in respect of his appointment, the former President of the Senate and a chieftain of the APC, Senator Ken Nnamani, also praised Gov. Ugwuanyi for demonstrating political maturity by creating an ambience of peace and tranquility in the state where everybody is accorded his or her due respect irrespective of political leaning. Senator Nnamani equally commended the governor for providing good governance and quality leadership in the state, adding that the governor has through the reception for Amb. Eze (an APC chieftain) reaffirmed that he is “a governor for everybody.” He called on other states to emulate what is happening in Enugu State, noting that “our National Vice Chairman has alluded to the fact that we are enjoying peace in Enugu State, and we are enjoying somebody who has a large heart, not minding his political affiliation.” Adding his voice, the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu appreciated the governor’s bi-partisan disposition to governance, saying that the APC has not and will not take such a rare gesture for granted. In another incident, the South East National Vice Chairman of the APC, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, duringthe dedication of his son, Chukwubuikem, at Dunamis Int’l Gospel Centre, Enugu, joined the church’s minister, Pastor Timothy Benedict, in commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for his exemplary leadership style, which they said has brought peace and unity among politicians in the state irrespective of their political affiliations. They pointed out that the governor has created an enabling environment for rapid development and for politics to thrive in the state without bitterness. While the APC Chieftain described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a “true father to all politicians in the state irrespective of their political leanings”, through his inclusive leadership style and bi-partisan approach to governance, Pastor Benedict called on other states in the country to “come and learn the template on how to play politics.” Now that the campaigns have begun, there is a burning need for the peace in Enugu State, which is the guiding principle of the state government, to be maintained for the people to freely exercise their franchise and continue to enjoy more democratic dividends as the true heroes of democracy. Amoke writes from Enugu State

Akwa Ibom’s OverratedYoung Politicians and the Burden of Governance Wole Arisekola


ut understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive and disobedient to their parents, ungrateful and unholy.’ 2 Timothy 3:1-2. The Holy Bible is an encyclopedia of knowledge and true reference to our past, present and future. When you look at this verse, you will agree with that the ugly events that enveloped Akwa Ibom State in the last two weeks can be attributed to the youthful exuberance of the state helmsman and his lieutenants. That is

the catastrophic result of promoting an individual above his competence. When something goes wrong, you do not rush to blame others. Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity and integrity. When Governor Udom Emmanuel threw decorum to the gutters by referring to his former boss, now a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a man of no second address, one needs to ask him, how come the Senator has no second address after holding a commissionership position for six years and being governor for eight years? Interestingly, the man he described as a man of no

second address has been Senator for three and a half years now, a solicitor and advocate for 31 years. One begins to wonder if it is only a former staff of Zenith Bank that has second addresses in Nigeria. In Yorubaland, we believe that the boss may not always be right, but he is always the boss nonetheless . Have you ever seen Governor Ambode of Lagos State, abusing Asiwaju Bola Tinubu publicly as Emmanuel did to his former boss? Our orientation and training in Yoruba land will not allow us to descend that debasingly low. This clearly shows Emmanuel’s naivety, as well as his being unworthy of the executive office he presently occupies. You

can only see people’s true colours when they think you are no longer beneficial to their lives. Isn’t it pathetic how we waste so much time on certain people and in the end they prove that they weren’t even worth a second of it? It is amazing how people misbehave towards their mentors when they assume they have grown in importance. Power indeed intoxicates, and absolute power intoxicates absolutely. This is how a man can descend so low to bite the fingers that once fed him, and as they say, fire burns, and most disastrously too, and it will surely do same to Emmanuel at the fullness of time. Ultimately, Emmanuel is traveling on sinking ship.


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T H I S D AY Ëž Íľ, 2018




REPO 16.57 % 17.36 %


20% 18.50% 18.75%

Group Business Editor Obinna Chima Email 08024557078, 08152447875


350.57 % 0.25% 0.82%

3 0 , 2 0 1 8 S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE 0.99% YEAR TO DATE 6.46%


Quick Takes Ethiopia Overtakes Dubai as Africa’s Hub


L-R: Chairman, Nosak Group, Dr Toni Ogunbor; Assistant Chief Planning OďŹƒcer, Ministry of National Planning, Ms Kike Ogunbadejo; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Mr Folarin Alayanda and Group Chief Operating OďŹƒcer, Nosak Group, Mr Thomas Oloriegbe, during the visit of the federal government’s ERGP delegation to Nosak Group oďŹƒce and facility tour in Lagos‌ recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

Security Experts Lament Danger of Nigeria’s Porous Airports Chinedu Eze Aviation security experts have warned that urgent action must be taken to protect Nigerian airports from being infiltrated by terrorists. They insisted that currently, all such facilities in the country are porous and accessible to those who may want to inflict maximum damage to travellers and other airport users. Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport gave the warning and urged government to urgently provide funds to build perimeter and security fences at the airports, regretting that no airport in the

AVIATION country has comprehensive perimeter fences, which exposes them to incursions by unauthorised persons. He said that it was at the mercy of God that none of the nation’s airports have been attacked by terrorists or other dangerous persons because the security apparatus at the airports cannot prevent access by unscrupulous elements. “The major problem we have in our airports in terms of security is perimeter fencing. There is no airport in this country that has comprehensive perimeter fence. MMIA, Lagos

is fenced but that fence is open at Ejigbo, Shasha and Ajao Estate areas. “Anybody can have access to the airport through these places. The security operatives on duty at this airport are at the mercy of God because they cannot monitor every part of the airport. “We need standard fence. The airside of the airport is not adequately covered with Close Circuit Television (CCTV). The security personnel that monitor activities at the airport have only three patrolling vehicles for four terminals, which include the international, the domestic terminal, the General Aviation Terminal and the cargo terminal.

“These vehicles can only operate if the airport manager has money to fuel them; if not, they would not be used.� The former CSO said inadequate funding and planning had impeded airport security in Nigeria and disclosed that in some airports cows are chased away from the runway10 minutes before the landing of aircraft and 10 minutes before aircraft take off. “I don’t think that government does not have money to do this but is it priority. How much does it cost one to install a CCTV? Continued on page 22

Experts Urge Nigeria, Others to Harness Demographic Dividend Obinna Chima Professor Paul Collier, one of the world’s most influential development economists, has warned that Africa’s “easy decade� of accelerated economic growth is coming to an end, saying only an accelerated job creation and integration will ensure sustainable growth and development across the continent. Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, was delivering a keynote address at the African Economic Conference 2018, hosted by the African Development Bank in Kigali, Rwanda. He spoke on Monday, the first day of the conference at a high-level panel on “Drivers, Opportunities and Lessons

ECONOMY for Africa’s integration�, that comprised experts as well as high-level policymakers, who provided their reflections and perceptions on regional and continental integration. “Africa’s easy decade is over; but the last decade of African growth was not sustainable. Now Africa must focus on its big resource - its young people. No other continent has anything like such a huge influx of young labour. Productive jobs are the priority,� Collier said. “Young people can’t create priority jobs by themselves. Those jobs have to be created, so the prime task of policymakers in Africa over the next decade is to create productive jobs for young people at a rate that has never happened before.� Collier added that connectiv-

ity between African countries would unlock the potential of many countries, and this connectivity has to be in terms of both physical transport and political ideology. “Small countries are doomed to poverty unless they have open markets and free societies. And yet, the typical African country is small, with closed markets. That is a disastrous combination. So the African Continental Free Trade Area is a very important step forward,� he said. The African Development Bank has pledged full support to the Continental Free Trade Area as part of its High 5 strategy to Integrate Africa and has invested more than $20 million over the past five years to support the institutional and human capacities of the Continental Free Trade Area

Secretariat. At another high-level panellist, Professor Ademola Oyejide, the Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Ibadan and Chairman of the Centre for Trade and Development Initiatives, noted that regional integration must drive overall continental integration. “We should not destroy regional economic communities by protectionism and unnecessary barriers to trade. We as African leaders are not in the business of designing theoretical regional programmes: we expect real progress from the regional blocs,� he said. Professor Klaus Zimmermann, President of the Global Labor Organisation, on his part, said: “Africa is now on the right path and has to move in the Continued on page 22

Ethiopia has overtaken Dubai as a conduit for long-haul passengers to Africa,Travel consultancy ForwardKeys has said. Accordingtotheagency,therecordhighlightedthesuccessofthestate airline’s expansion drive and the reforms of its new Prime Minister. ForwardKeysarrivedattheconclusionafteranalysingdatafromtravel booking systems that recorded 17 million flight bookings a day. Itfoundoutthatthenumberoflong-haultransferstosub-SaharanAfrica via Addis Ababa jumped by 85 per cent from 2013 to 2017. Transfers via Dubai over the same period rose by 31 per cent. So far this year,AddisAbaba’sgrowthhasbeen18percent,comparedwiththreeper centforDubai.ForwardKeysalsoattributedtherecentjumpinbookings viaAddisAbabainparttoapositiveinternationalresponsetothebroad reforms introduced by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. It cited two changes in particular: a move to allow visitors to apply for visasonline,andAbiy’spledgetoopenEthiopia’slargelystate-controlled economy to foreign investment. Ahmed came to power in April and has upended politics in the Horn of Africa country of around 105 million people. Dubai has long been a major global air travel hub because it is the base of Gulf carrier, Emirates. Giventhelackofan“openskies�dealsmoothingflightsacrossAfrica,many passengerstravellingbetweenonepartofthecontinentandanother,or from Asia or Europe to Africa, must often transit through Dubai. AddisAbabaairporthadincreasedthenumberofinternationaltransfer passengers to sub-Saharan Africa for five years in a row.

Turkish Signs Deal with Havelsan

Turkish Airlines has signed a new agreement with Havelsan to produce thefirstdomesticsimulatortobeusedinpilottrainingforBoeing737NG. Theairlinesaidthiswasdoneincontinuationofitssupportforthefurther expansion ofTurkey’s domestic and national production concept. The agreement was signed between Chairman of the Board and the ExecutiveCommittee,TurkishAirlines,M.Ä°lkerAycÄą,andBoardChairman Havelsan,Prof.Dr.HacÄąAliMantarataspecialceremonyheldatTurkish Airlines Headquarters, Istanbul. According to the deal, Havelsan would producefull-flightsimulatorswithinternationalD-levelcertificationfor thenationalflagcarrierairline’Boeing737MAXandAirbusA320CEO/ NEO type aircrafts. TurkishAirlines,with14simulatorsinitsfleet,wouldreceiveinternational D-levelcertifiedfive‘FullFlightSimulators’astwoBoeing737MAXand threeAirbusA320CEO/NEO,andsix‘FlightTrainingDevices’fromHavelsa will go into operation in 2020 and 2021. “Thus,whilethenumberofFullFlightSimulatorsinTurkishAirlinesFlight Training Centre will reach 28 with the other simulators to be received in 2021, the first domestic production of Boeing 737MAX and Airbus A320CEO/NEO type simulators will also be included in this number. “Thisinitiativewillreduceforeigndependencyandremarkablyaccelerate theconceptofdomesticproduction.EuropeanAviationSafetyAgency (EASA) D-level certified Full Flight Simulators will also enable Turkish Airlines pilots to get their adaptation, evolution, and renewal trainings at low costs and in a realistic manner. “ThiswillbedeliveredtoTurkishAirlines’ever-expandingfleet,byTurkey’s prominentdefenceandaerospacecompany,Havelsan,whohascombined itssimulatordesign,production,integrationandmaintenanceexperience in the military field with civil aviation.â€?

Ryanair, Pilot Union Reach Agreement

RyanairandGermanpilotunionVC,havesignedacornerstoneagreement, with full collective agreements to be signed by March next year. Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), representing the airline’s Germany-based pilots, said it intends to sign four collective labour agreements with the lowcostcarrier,includingontermsandconditions,whichwillbedefined by the end of February. Thecornerstoneagreementalsoincludesatimelineforasocialplanand workscounciltobeestablishedbytheendofMarch.VCsaidnoindustrial actionwouldbetakenwhiletheprocessisongoing,atleastuntiltheend of March. AllGermany-basedpilotswillbesubjecttocontractsunderGermanlaw bytheendofFebruary,insteadofIrishlawasatpresent.TheCLAwillalso grant them the protection of German labour law. VC said the memorandum of understanding “includes a number of improvements to be defined in a CLA.� “Byagreeingtothesecornerstonesare-entryintoconstructivenegotiations has been enabled, after their failure last summer,� VC president Martin Locher said.

“The aviation market is under served in Nigeria in manpower development, aircraft maintenance, charter services and airline operations� CEO of Aero,

Ado Sanusi


T H I S D AY Ëž Íľ, 2018


“Without uninterrupted electric supply to the airport the security equipment cannot work; so there should be dedicated power supply. There should be no power outage at the airport because unscrupulous people can do maximum damage within few minutes of darkness,� the former CSO said. Also the former Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Richard Aisuebeogun, has stressed that terrorists prefer causing havoc at the airports because that is where they can easily be noticed, secure maximum publicity and frighten the world, so every action must be taken to ensure that the airports are secured. Aisuebeogun, pointed out that airports and aircraft continue to offer series of highly attractive targets to terrorists and insurgents for certain reasons. Some of these he listed to include high value of aircraft, “the concentration of people (often representing different nationalities), the automatic media coverage (breaking news/ headlines) generated by aviation related terrorism due to the drama, publicity and psychological effect associated with it and the uniqueness of airlines and airports as veritable instruments of national identity, which makes it targets for terrorist attacks.� EXPERTS URGE NIGERIA, OTHERS TO HARNESS DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND

direction of the AfCFTA. One of the most important playing cards in this game is the people of Africa.� A common message from other high-level panellists, such as Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation, was that governments must adopt policies to enable their countries to achieve economic diversification and reduce their dependence on primary commodities. The Continental Free Trade Area is expected to boost intra-African trade by up to $35 billion per year, creating a 52 per cent increase in trade by 2022; and a vital $10 billion decrease in imports to Africa.


US Report on Natural Gas Launched to Drive Investment in Africa Stories by Emma Okonji Africa50, in partnership with Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) has announced the US launch of the gas report on Investing in natural gas for Africans, with the theme: ‘Doing Good and Doing Well.’ It was launched during a ceremony held recently at the Atlantic Council Headquarters. In June 2018, Africa50 commissioned a report from EFI to analyse the opportunities and benefits of natural gas development in Africa. The study explored the scale of potential domestic demand by mid-century, and the technologies that can help increase this demand and the concomitant supply and infrastructure. Speaking at the ceremony, former US Secretary of Energy and EFI founder, Ernest Moniz, said: “Natural gas development in Africa is a major opportunity for addressing multiple needs: economic needs, health issues and indirectly women’s empowerment and environmental needs.â€? He added that Africa was the most dynamic continent in terms of growing middle class and developing economies and that the development of natural gas required an integrated approach with huge investments in urban and rural infrastructure. On his part, Africa50 CEO, Alain EbobissĂŠ said: “With

over 7.5 per cent of the world’s known gas reserves, Africa is sitting on another natural resource bonanza, which can power its industrialisation and sustainable growth. African countries

must develop domestic gas reserves and infrastructure and secure reliable imports via pipelines or Liquified Natural Gas to fully profit from this tremendous opportunity.

“We are actively looking for partners that will coinvest with us, including in innovative technologies, to help develop the continent’s natural gas industries.� The event concluded with

a panel discussion featuring Principal Secretary in Kenya’s State Department of Petroleum, Andrew Kamau; Alain EbobissÊ; and EFI Managing Principal, Melanie Kenderdine.


L-R: Chief Technical and Information Officer, ntel, Mr. Oluwatosin Bamidele; Director, Human Capital and Administration, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Maryam Bayi; Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; Chairman Association of Licensed Telecoms Operator of Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo and Head, sub-Saharan Africa Global System of Mobile Association, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, during an industry workshop in Abuja...recently

Firms Harp on Data Privacy, Security for Businesses Lendable, the first debt platform designed specifically for African non-bank lenders in partnership with FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, has urged Nigerian business community to take data privacy and data security serious. The two organisations stated this while hosting an event on data privacy and data security in Lagos recently. The workshop was organised to educate alternative lenders, lawyers and experts in the

financial industry on best practices for implementing policy and practice lending business. It was also meant to share understanding of the responsible lending and regulatory reasons consumer protection is important, as well as the potential risks and global regulatory trends related to data privacy and security. CEO and co-founder of Lendable, Daniel Goldfarb, said: ‘If we can make sure that our lending partners are being

responsible about how they find customers, how they lend and how they communicate with their customers, we will ultimately have less credit risk and better partners. At Lendable, we are passionate about making African consumer and SME credit a competitive asset class. We build technology and financial products to bring finance to borrowers that deserve it. We are flexible and help financial institution grow.’ Academic Director and

Senior Fellow, Information Systems, Lagos Business School, Yinka David-West, while highlighting the importance of data protection, noted that, “In a country like Nigeria that is seeking to use data and technology, we have to educate early-stage companies on the right guidelines and practices for responsible management. It is important that we secure our data in the most appropriate way to ensure that consumers’ data is protected from the point

of collection through usage in order to prevent unwanted access.� Lendable is a technologyenabled deal platform which invests in lending companies across East and West Africa. Lendable’s technology assesses alternative lender customer collections and payment histories, using payment patterns and secondary data to predict future payments and to automatically price and monitor financing facilities.

Facebook Holds Exhibition against Fake News Nosa Alekhuogie

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As part of its continued commitment to tackling false news, fake accounts and hate speech, as well as improving the transparency of advertising on its platform, Facebook, recently held an election Integrity Exhibition for media, civil society partners and other stakeholders in Nigeria. According to Facebook, the exhibition, which held in Lagos, was focused on how to deal with bad actors, tackle fake accounts, improve the transparency of advertising and pages, and reduce the distribution of false news in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. Taking the media through the tour, Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Tom Miller, explained that the company would continue to take the integrity

of elections seriously, and would continue to explore multiple measures and partnerships to ensure that the integrity of the Nigerian Elections is protected. He said: “The teams across the company are committed to ensuring Facebook remains a safe platform for all. Our goal is to continue launching measures to ensure the integrity and safety of the Nigerian Elections, so that we can continue to drive positive social and economic impact across sub-Saharan Africa, drive innovation by supporting Africa’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem and also train communities and the next generation of leaders to better understand and utilise the power of digital tools for civic engagement.� Also speaking about Facebook’s commitment to fighting the spread of false news and hate speech on the platform, Public Policy Lead for Anglophone West Africa,

Akua Gyekye, explained that Facebook’s mission was to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together. “Our mission in Nigeria is not different, we understand the importance of being local in a global world and want to have a positive long-term impact. “In addition, we want to support people who want to be more civically engaged and connect with issues they care about, not just on election day, but every day. “We do this through a variety of activities, such as partnering civil society organisations focused on increasing voter education, building tailored civic engagement tools, which are relevant for Nigeria, and by raising digital literacy by sharing tips on how to spot false news with our community.� Gyekye said Facebook’s policy would remain impar-

tial, adding that the platform allows all political ideas to be expressed as long as they are within Facebook’s Community Standards. Stressing the need for people to be vigilant, especially during the elections as well as to report any content that they feel might be in contravention of Facebook’s Community Standards, she added: “We encourage our community to flag content to us that they don’t think should be on the platform whether it’s a picture, a written post, or a video and reporting it is completely anonymous and confidential. “This allows our community operations team to review the content and remove anything that’s violating our community standards.� Firm Highlights Cybersecurity Trends in Organisations Participants at a forum organised by ESET, a cyberprotection firm, which held in

Lagos recently, have highlighted cybersecurity trends among organisations in Nigeria. The event provided a common platform for the business owners, decision makers and end-users to interact with security experts and senior management from ESET to discuss the security landscape in their organisations and the country as a whole. According to the Country Manager of ESET, Mr. Olufemi Ake, “ESET focused on the cyber security trends in Nigeria enterprise businesses as the security market is undergoing rapid developments with the threat landscape evolving with more and more targeted and persistent attacks, which conventional countermeasures are failing to prevent. “They are failing due to the lack of security awareness among employees, missing proper security policies and lack of basic hygiene.�


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Air Peace Passes Safety Audit for International Operations Stories by Chinedu Eze Air Peace has scaled a major regulatory hurdle in its plan to commence international flight services, by successfully performing the partial emergency evacuation on designated aircraft. The airline passed ditching demonstrations on Boeing B777, the aircraft the indigenous operator would use for its international flights. Spokesman for the airline, Chris Iwarah, explained in a statement that the audit was on emergency aircraft evacuation, which refers to an exercise aimed at evacuating those in an aircraft when an emergency occurs on the ground, in water or mid-flight. “The ditching demonstration, however, simulates a planned water landing and evaluates the airline’s ability to handle such

emergency. “An emergency evacuation demonstration is mostly required when an airline proposes operating a specific aircraft type and model entering into its service for the first time,� he said. Iwarah, said once the signal is given, the aircraft’s emergency evacuation equipment and 50 per cent of the required emergency exits and slides must be ready for use in a maximum of 15 seconds. “Although simulated, evacuation drills are a risky operation for crew and other participants - often leading to injury of varying degrees,� he said. Air Peace recently acquired four Boeing 777 for its long-haul operations to destinations including Dubai, Sharjah, London, Houston, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.

The airline made history as the first Nigerian carrier to acquire and register the Boeing 777 in the country. Being the first time the Boeing 777 was entering its service, Air Peace was mandated by aviation regulations to demonstrate its capacity to handle emergency evacuation and ditching under the close supervision of officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). With the evacuation exercise off the way, Air Peace said it was now set for the next stage of regulatory requirements for the induction of its B777 aircraft into service and commencement of its international flights. The airline confirmed that it would soon operate demonstration flights with its B777 aircraft to Port Harcourt, Kano, Freetown, Dakar, Johannesburg and Sharjah.

FAAN Training School Goes International The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is set to commission the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) Training Centre, which has been designated as Global Training Centre of Airports Council International (ACI). The General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu in an interview with journalists in Lagos, said the facility, which is situated at the Lagos Airport, would be inaugurated today. According to her, the commissioning and designation of the facility as ICAO/ACI Global Training Centre would further enhance training of technical personnel for the industry. Yakubu, explained that before the facility was approved, inspectors from ICAO had visited the facility regularly and discovered some open items, which she said were closed by FAAN’s management before the final approval was given by ICAO.

She said that the facility was designated as an ICAO/ACI training facility in Mauritius in 2017 during the ACI meeting in that country. She expressed hope that with the approval of the facility, it would be easier and cheaper for technical personnel on the continent to be trained on aviation skills and knowledge, adding that ICAO’s approved instructors would be engaged for training of personnel. Yakubu, further commended the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, who also doubles as the President of ACI-Africa, for upgrading the facilities to its present status. She said: “Sometime last year, during the ACI meeting in Mauritius, FAAN training school was designated as an ICAO training centre. By this Friday, ICAO will be coming to Nigeria for the commissioning of the facility. “One of the advantages of

the training centre is that it will make it easier for member countries to train their personnel in Nigeria and it is also cheaper for them to come to Nigeria to be trained, rather than going to United Kingdom, United States and other countries around the world. “Another advantage is that there will be more opportunity for those in the region to get trained. You know when cost is not really a factor; more people will be factored in for training. There is also accessibility for trainees and the weather conditions are favourable in Nigeria, while the learning facilities are fantastic and new. “For ICAO to designate us as a training centre, you will know that everything that we needed to put in place have been put in place. The training facilities are up to date. The instructors will be coming from all over the world and they are ICAO trained instructors.�

Bristow Donates Two Classroom Blocks to Immigration Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, a leading aviation player in the service of Nigeria’s oil and gas has donated two multi-million naira blocks of classrooms and two solar-powered boreholes to the Nigeria Immigration Training School, Kano. The initiative was parts of Bristow’s corporate social responsibility. The company also revealed that it would soon unveil similar projects at the NIS training school in Ahoda, River State, in due course, with a view to guaranteeing good learning environment for the nation’s Immigration Officers whom it said deserves a very conducive training environment. Disclosing this recently, during the official commissioning, Managing Director of Bristow Helicopters Nigeria, Captain Oladapo Oyeleke, said the projects were strategically conceived to enhance quality of training for

efficient service delivery by the Nigeria Immigration Service whom he observed are key to the nation’s development efforts. Specifically, Oyeleke said Bristow’s intention for embanking on the projects was in line with the organisation’s belief and commitment to professionalism through sustained capacity development. Besides, he said it was the vision of Bristow Helicopters Nigeria to replicate global standard centres across Nigeria Immigration Training Schools as parts of our corporate social responsibility. According to him, the face of Nigeria Immigration is so conspicuous. They are the last face on your way out of the country and the first face on your way into the country on arrival. “So, it is important that Immigration staff acquires quality training equal to global standard

in a conducive environment. For us at Bristow Helicopters, we consider the donation of the classrooms has a way of enhancing our goals that is training intellectuals and bringing out the best in our Immigration Officers. “We are extending the core value across the training schools of Nigeria Immigration as part of our community relations projects� Oyeleke explained. Responding on behalf of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Comptroller General of the Service, Mr. Muhammed Babandede, commended Bristow Helicopters’ supports while appealing to other corporate organisations to emulate the good gesture. The Comptroller-General revealed that the service under his leadership has enhanced both human and capital development for efficient service delivery and results achievements.

As S’Africa Airways Celebrates 20 Years Operation in Nigeria

L-R: Regional Manager, West and Central Africa, South African Airways, Ohis Ehimiaghe; Group Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Vuyani Jarana and Regional General Manager, Africa, Middle-East & Indian Ocean Islands, Aaron Munetsi, at a press conference commemorating the 20 years anniversary of the airline in Nigeria, that took place in Lagos...recently

Chinedu Eze Regional major carrier, South Africa Airways (SAA) has celebrated 20 years of successful operations in Nigeria without any major incident and airlifting over three million passengers during the period. The celebration came amid anxiety about the future of the South Africa’s national carrier, which started operation to Lagos in 1998 with two times flights a week from Johannesburg. The Managing Director of the airline, Vuyani Jarana, in a press conference in Lagos to mark its 20thanniversary, said while the airline had very good plan to become profitable, it had failed to fully implement the plan to actualise this objective. But this time, with the crop of professionals in the airline’s new management, it is now focused on implementing those strategies that would make the airline profitable within the next three years. Jarana, however, expressed understanding with sceptics who doubt the future of the airline, noting that since past promises to return to profitability failed, it would be difficult to convince those sceptics until they see the airline making profit. The company’s operations commenced on 4th December 1998 as SAA launched its first flight into Nigeria soon after the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the two countries was signed. Jarana, said the airline has since brought several aircraft on the route, from the initial Airbus 300 series, which had to make a technical stop en-route in Luanda to the Boeing 767 and the B747-400 and to the Airbus A340–600, which was then replaced by the current state of the art Airbus A330-300 aircraft. As stated earlier, the trade agreement contained in the BASA stipulated two times weekly flight operations. This was later increased to four times weekly and subsequently to daily flight between Lagos and Johannesburg. Jarana, also said there are plans to improve the ease of obtaining South Africa visa in Nigeria as the country wants to boost business and tourism with Nigeria, noting that the South African embassy would be encouraged to offer Nigerians multiple visa entries to encourage Nigerians qualified to secure visas to visit the country many times. He noted that African countries are not doing enough business among each other, regretting that the large volume of trade are always between African countries and other nations of the world and not within the continent. Yet, there are huge business potential African nations can do among themselves, he noted.

“There is less intra-African trade but there are a lot of opportunities for Africans to do business together, especially in the area of agriculture,� Jarana said. He said SAA is in Nigeria for the long haul, noting that the country has huge passenger movement which which has continued to grow. But he pointed out that doing business in Nigeria is not a tea party, therefore one would be prepared to meet the needs of Nigerian passengers. Also SAA general manager, commercial, Pumla Luhabe lauded the successful flight operations the airline has recorded in the last 20 years. “The Nigeria operations rank amongst SAA’s most profitable and we want to continue to support this important destination by continuously improving the overall customer experience and exploring new opportunities. This will enable us to retain our market position as the carrier of choice amongst the Nigerian travelling community. “Our understanding of our customer profiles who travel in both business and economy class cabins, is one of the reasons we decided to deploy the A330-300 aircraft which responds well to the needs of this market,� Luhabe said “With its thriving economy, Nigeria is Africa’s economic powerhouse; Lagos is a high-energy city famous for its vibrant lifestyle, set against the backdrop of the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, and their world renowned music industry bolstered by heavyweights such as the late legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti to the modern day Davido, DBanj, and Psquare to mention a few. Nigeria offers numerous commercial opportunities and a cultural experience like no other. “Nigeria is among the top destinations to which we fly, and over the past 20 years SAA has transported over three million passengers into the region and we will continue to listen to our customers to ensure we are providing them with the best possible service for continued loyalty. Reinforcing our legacy of exceptional service, SAA was recently voted Best Airline Staff in Africa at the World Aviation Awards,� Luhabe added. In honour of this milestone, SAA rolled out a campaign that saw brand activation on social media, radio and print publications from September 2018 in the Nigeria region. Some of the activities included Voyager / Corporate dinner, a Travel trade award function, SAA movie night for the travel trade and to the children of the Arrow of God Orphanage (an orphanage supported by SAA over the past eight years), all leading to a celebration to be hosted in Lagos this December.





Yuletide and Challenge of Inadequate Aircraft Chinedu Eze writes that airlines may not be able to meet travel demand of a lot of passengers this Christmas season as almost all domestic flights had been fully booked as of November Flight cancellations and delays would still characterise air travel this yuletide season as it happens every year. This is because the federal government has not been able to install Category 2 and Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) at most of the airports in the country to enhance visibility when the Harmattan dust would cover the airspace during the period. But in addition to this yearly challenge, many travellers who would want to travel from their work station to their loved ones in other parts of the country may not be able to do so by air because there is inadequate aircraft to meet the demand of the passengers. The consequence is outrageous air fares; such that even as of November, the fare for Lagos to Port Harcourt was as high as N50, 000, as explained by a passenger who bought ticket from one of the airlines to travel to the oil city last weekend. Industry observers said fares might rise to as high as N70, 000 for one-hour flight during the Yuletide season, despite the inevitable delays and possible flight cancellations caused by inclement weather.

Harmattan Every year, dust encrusted air from the Sahara Desert spread down to Nigeria around November to February and impairs flight operations. The Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, explained to THISDAY, in an interview that one thing with harmattan is that it affects visibility. He said that the air carries dusts and reduces the visibility minima, especially during the day. “We have deployed sensors to monitor visibility. Pilots should continue to listen to the advice we are giving them. We use to give them weather report alert every one hour but now we are going to give them the report alert every 30 minutes. “Early morning and evening are the best time to fly because human activities are not at their peak during such period. During the afternoon human activities are high but in the morning and in the evening the dust in the atmosphere has settled,� he said. This means that at the height of the harmattan most afternoon flights would be cancelled. It was a similar thing that happened last year when flights only took off in the mornings and evenings of December 20 and 21, 2017.

Solving the Problem Travel expert and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ikechi Uko recently wondered why the problem of harmattan continued to linger and disrupt flights at the end of every year when there is a solution to it. He said flights operate in other parts of the world where there are worse weather conditions. With superior ILS and airfield lighting at the nation’s airport runways, flights can land in the full blossom of harmattan. Earlier in the year, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had expressed optimism that major airports in the country would be fitted with Category 3 ILS, but THISDAY investigation has confirmed that this was not actualised as planned. Informed source said while the project was approved by the federal government, the money was not made available in time for the project to be completed. However, industry stakeholders decried the fact that it was long overdue for such safety critical equipment to be installed in all the nation’s airports. The Managing Director of NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, recently told THISDAY that Category 3 ILS would significantly improve visibility and enhance flights to land and take off during harmattan. “It will improve visibility during the harmattan. An ILS approach provides guidance to an airplane in three dimensions, it provides a lateral, which determines whether you are on straight line or not and in the vertical. So if the airplane is coming in on an ILS, it is guided onto the

Medview Airline

centre of the runway in such a manner that it can land comfortably when the field is in sight, depending on the category of ILS,� he said.

Inadequate Number of Aircraft As at last week of November, Nigerian airlines had about 18 aircraft that were airworthy and operational. That number was too small for over 180 million people, industry stakeholders posited. The high demand for flights in contrast to fewer aircraft available has given rise to high fares, reduction of flights or cancelation of flights to some destinations and delays at the airports, as aircraft designated according to schedules struggle to meet with the timeline. So many factors have been adduced to this challenge. One is the long time it takes airlines to take their aircraft overseas for checks, two is the inability of the airlines to buy new airplanes that demands less heavy maintenance and the failure of Nigeria to have major aircraft maintenance facility. Ikechi, described the development as protracted, saying it happens during the high seasons, especially during the yuletide. “Having fewer aircraft that cannot meet the demand of travellers is the most important issue right now. Why is the Nigerian passenger not being served well? “What has happened to the capacity of domestic airlines to serve passengers? Why is Christmas every year a nightmare with weather and fuel challenge and this year we have reduced capacity? “Something is amiss and borders on emergency. The demand is obviously far more than the supply now. Nigerians need answers. The delays and increased cost will jeopardise the Christmas holiday if not looked into,� he said.

Maintenance A seasoned pilot and aeronautical engineers who also operates in the aviation industry told THISDAY that the problem of low capacity would continue to be an issue in Nigeria because Nigerian airlines operate aged aircraft which demand heavy maintenance that cost so much money. “Most of the aircraft acquired by Nigerian airlines have about 1000 flight hours left in

their engines from 10,000 hours. That is why an aircraft that is sold $75 million when it is new can be given out at about $3 million. So by the time it is due for heavy checks like C and D checks you may have to cough out $10 to 20 million to do it. “So you find out that it would be better for you to leave the airplane and go for another one for $3 to $4 million. With $500,000 you can change the whole interior and make it look new but what matters is the airframe. Is it corroded? That will require so much money to work on,� the source said. According to him, this problem would continue in Nigeria because few people have the resources to buy new airplanes and fewer people would like to invest in airline business “because when you do they will start fighting you through government policies. Government has made the operational environment very harsh.� “We don’t even have any hope in the national carrier despite the current agitation for it because the way Nigeria is; it cannot run a successful national carrier; even if it is private sector driven. We are not good at doing business that is not our own and nepotism is part of our culture so the little stake government will take to make it a national carrier will eventually be abused. So the clamour for national carrier sounds good but it cannot work in real life in Nigeria,� the source also said.

Aircraft Depletion Industry stakeholder and President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Gbenga Olowo, observed recently there has been continuous depletion of the fleet of Nigerian airlines. He recalled that in 2010, Nigerian airlines had 54 commercial operating aircraft but by 2013 the fleet had reduced to 39 and currently about 20, noting that with declining fleet size, route expansion would be limited and robust schedule very difficult and down time for maintenance would impact negatively on schedule. Former Director of Engineering, Medview Airline, Lukeman Animaseun, also said it was high time the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), stepped in to solve the protracted problem of inadequate aircraft, noting that the airlines would take their aircraft to maintenance facilities overseas but would not have money to

bring them back because of the huge maintenance cost. Animaseun, said air travellers would suffer so much during the Christmas holidays because the number of available aircraft cannot meet the demand of travellers. “NCAA needs to do something about this and put a law down that will compel airlines to have more aircraft. I know that airlines like Dana Air, Medview Airline sent out their aircraft for maintenance. Will they be able to return them before the high Christmas season? Many of the airlines do not have enough money to bring these aircraft back. Air Peace has many aircraft; how many of those aircraft are operating. “Many of these airlines will have aircraft in their fleet but once they go on C-check they will be grounded because they will not have the funds to bring them back. So NCAA should make them add more aircraft in their fleet. This year passengers travelling on Christmas holiday will suffer. They are going to pay more; so NCAA should call for a meeting,� Anumaseun said. Anumaseun who was an engineer with the former Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) wondered why Nigerian airlines acquire aircraft with engines that have just limited cycles that can only last about two years. “These aircraft they bring have engines that have only 3000 cycles so you cannot operate them more than three years. The federal government has removed customs duty and VAT which is highly commendable. I will suggest that stakeholders should hold a meeting on this,� Anumaseun said. However, Air Peace has announced that it would provide enough aircraft to meet the needs of passengers during the yuletide. Its spokesman, Chris Iwarah, said the airline would provide additional five aircraft to ensure that travellers are airlifted to their destinations. “In the last few weeks, we have been inundated with demands for flights by members of the flying public who wish to travel but could not secure seats as almost all our flights on major domestic routes are fully booked. “We are genuinely concerned about the plight of the travelling public and sincerely empathise with them. So we will make more aircraft available for Nigerians to travel to their destinations during the holiday,� Iwarah said.

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Africa’s Quest for Blue Economy Eromosele Abiodun writes on African governments’ move to develop the blue economy, saying enormous untapped potential for making economies in the continent strong and self-reliant lies on the concept Recently, the African Development Bank (AfDB) released a report, which revealed that a significant decline in Africa’s poverty will require the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at an overall average of seven per cent. In order to achieve this goal, experts believe it is of paramount importance that Africa’s international trade continues and strengthens its current development. To do this, analysts contended that Africa must make effective use of its oceans and seas. Oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustainable development. They cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface and contain 97 per cent of the planet’s water. Oceans contribute to poverty eradication by creating sustainable livelihoods and decent work. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. In addition, oceans are crucial for global food security and human health. They are also the primary regulator of the global climate, an important sink for greenhouse gases and they provide us with water and the oxygen we breathe. Finally, oceans host huge reservoirs of biodiversity. In order for oceans, seas and marine resources to successfully contribute to human well-being, ecosystem integrity, with properly functioning biogeochemical and physical processes, is required. This does not require unperturbed systems, but systems that have not suffered serious or irreversible harm. Ecosystem integrity allows for the provision of so-called supporting ecosystem services which, in turn, are the bases of important regulating, provisioning and cultural ecosystem services that are of crucial importance for humans. Whereas the benefits provided by oceans, seas and marine resources are important to all people, the poor, indigenous peoples, and vulnerable groups with a high dependency on natural resources and ecosystem services may have their well-being especially tied to these benefits. The link between oceans, seas and marine resources and human well-being is not one-sided. While an increase in human well-being is frequently generated at the cost of ecosystem integrity, it can also potentially reduce the negative anthropocentric impacts on the marine environment, for example due to a more sustainable use of resources, changes in production and consumption patterns and improved management and control of human activities. In order for this to happen, good governance and an enabling environment are however required. Meanwhile, Africa now seem ready to do what is necessary to take advantage of its vats ocean resource to create a sustainable blue economy for the wellbeing of its peoples.

Leaders’ Promise Last week, African leaders assured stakeholders of the development of the blue economy as a veritable strategy for advancing African economies and lifting the people out of poverty. The leaders made the pledge at the first global conference on sustainable blue economy in Nairobi Kenya. Speaking at the conference, the Chairman of the African Union (AU), President Paul Kigame of Rwanda, said the union was committed to the growth of the blue economy in the continent. Kigame said member-states had shown commitment towards sustainable use of the ocean and AU would continue to formulate policies that would engender the development of Africa’s ocean economy. On her part, the Prime Minister of Namibia, Saara Kuugongelwa said the Namibian government was committed to developing an integrated blue economy policy geared towards protecting the marine environment of the Southern African country. Kuugongelwa said Namibia had a special fisheries observers’ institution, which puts the country among the leaders in sustainable fisheries management. She disclosed that in the next 12 months, Namibia would be investing a minimum of $5 million towards marine research, on purpose to advance economic inclusivity. In his remarks, President of Seychelles Danny

and make Nigeria’s maritime domain safe for economic activities. Amaechi said the federal government was investing heavily in the development of new infrastructure, such as deep sea ports and intermodal transport, to drive growth in the maritime sector. “All of these actions underscore the importance our government has placed on the Blue Economy Concept,� he said. He assured stakeholders that Nigeria was fully committed to Africa’s drive to harness the vast potentials of its maritime domain, saying the country “will continue to cooperate with sister countries and developmental bodies to advance the prosperity of the African continent.� In his words: “We pledge our commitment to the overarching issues of addressing poverty, corruption, trade barriers, and all those issues that have hindered growth. More particularly, Nigeria as a country will prioritise the integration of Blue Economy into our circular economic restoration and growth plan; we will leave no stone unturned to create limitless opportunities for our people and lift them out of poverty. This is our resolve as the most viable option we have for sustainable development is commitment to the Blue Economy.� Amaechi hoped that the conference would build on previous efforts by African heads of government to develop comprehensive and coherent strategies that address the blue economy, such as the African Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050 (AIMS 2050); African Maritime Transport Charter; 2016 African Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development (Lome Charter); and “Agenda 2063�, which Nigeria has signed on to.

Africa’s Maritime Potential

Faure, who was appointed to serve as the AU Champion of Blue Economy, said in his own capacity he would get more women to serve on the blue economy regime. This, he said, would ensure that the campaign for the blue economy remained all-inclusive. He also said his country would work on establishing a pan African shipping line. Also in attendance was the newly re-elected Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, the Canadian Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and several other notable world maritime stakeholders. The inaugural sustainable blue economy conference has over 15,000 participants from around the world. They are gathered to discuss how to build a blue economy that harnesses the potentials of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of people, particularly those in developing countries.

FG Seeks Partnership Also, at the conference, the Federal Government of Nigeria expressed its readiness to cooperate with sister countries and development bodies to advance Africa’s prosperity through the safe and sustainable use of the continent’s vast sea and ocean resources. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known in his speech at the first sustainable blue economy conference. Amaechi, who conveyed Nigeria’s statement of commitment to the blue economy initiative, said its growth was the most viable option for Africa’s development in the wake of declining mineral and commodity prices. He said the high level participation in the conference demonstrated the importance African countries attached to the blue economy and their resolve to use the resources of the seas and oceans

to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty to its barest minimum. The minister, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, stated: “As a country we are conscious of our responsibilities and international obligations which have given rise to our endorsement and domestication of key International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other important African Union continental instruments. “We are mindful and highly committed to our responsibilities to protect our marine environment to ensure that our continent does not become dumping ground for pollutants which can prevent exploration of ocean resources.� Amaechi highlighted steps taken by the federal government to mainstream the blue economy concept into its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to include formulation of a draft National Transport Policy, which is awaiting approval of the Federal Executive Council. The policy, according to him, will provide the platform to implement at the country level the framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of Africa’s maritime domain. “The government has also constituted a highpowered committee, coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, to formulate and map out a roadmap to align the Blue Economy regime with the country’s ERGP,� Amaechi said. Other steps include the drafting of a dedicated anti-piracy bill, which is before the National Assembly, to provide the requisite framework for the fight, prosecution and punishment of piracy and other related crimes in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, and approval for the acquisition of intelligence gathering maritime domain awareness assets and military response assets to fight pirates

Peterside further stated that it was high time Africans took advantage of the continent’s enormous maritime potential to develop their countries, explaining that climes without as much opportunities are making worthy use of the ocean economy and increasing the prosperity of their people. According to him, “It is common knowledge that among all the continents, Africa can be termed the biggest Island, and so if countries of the region can sustainably harness the blue economy it is sure that a large percentage of poverty level in the continent of Africa would have been tackled.� Dakuku delivered a statement of commitment on behalf of the association where he detailed the objectives of AAMA, the coordinating body for 38 African Maritime Administrations, to include improvement of the capacities of African maritime administrations, enhancement of member-states’ compliance with international maritime treaties, and coordination of programmes aimed at synchronising the ocean economy with other economic sectors. He said: “All these objectives assigned to us by AFrica Maritime Transport Charter put AAMA in a unique position to fully mobilise players in the maritime domain for optimisation of the potentials of Africa’s Blue Economy. “We have already taken a number of steps to realize these goals as set out in our various works and activities. In our past four conferences, we focused on the preservation and protection of the Marine Environment, and are committed to driving these beyond the Sustainable Blue Economy conference, for the simple reason that there cannot be actual sustainability irrespective of the economic benefits without consideration for the health of the Seas and Oceans.� “The Blue Economy concept is perhaps the greatest sectoral shift that has capacity to unleash the growth potential of our Continent. It is thus imperative that our approach to tapping the potentials of this new sector is coordinated and accelerated. “Finally, as a continental body, the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) is committed to working with African Union (AU) Commission and other institutions to deepen the attainment of the Blue Economy goals for the economic prosperity of our nations and the continent,� he stated.




Bala-Usman Advocates Improved Security at Nation’s Ports The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman has called on all Ports Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) to double their efforts and remain ever vigilant in order to curb high level of insecurity and threats in Nigeria’s Maritime domain. Bala-Usman, made this call in her goodwill message at the 2018 edition of the annual conference of Ports Facility Security Officers Forum of Nigeria which took place in Calabar, Cross River. The NPA boss further urged the PFSOs to pay special attention to intelligence gathering and sharing of information with other security agencies at the ports, noting that this will further enhance effective performance of their duties. Represented by the General Manager, Security, Iheanacho Ebubeogu, she commended the officers for their commitment to duty particularly on

the implementation of the International Ships and Ports Security{ISPS] code since its inception in 2004, by keeping ports facilities and the entire maritime industry safe over the years. While reiterating the preparedness of the authority to collaborate with all relevant security agencies and other stakeholders for improved security at the ports, she disclosed that the organisation will continue to support the security officer in their efforts to ensure continuous safety of Nigeria maritime domain. The 4th annual conference had as its theme; Integrated Maritime Security Architecture; A Panacea for Economic Growth of Nigeria, was hosted by the Niger Delta Maritime Security Area. Highlight of the conference was the presentation of awards to individuals and organisations for their contributions to the development of the forum.

Nigeria Cautions International Maritime Bureau over Reportage of Piracy Attacks Stories by Eromosele Abiodun The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called on the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to ensure fairness and balance in its reportage of piracy issues on Nigeria’s territorial waters. Peterside, stated this when a delegation of the International Maritime Security Operations Team (IMSOT) from the United Kingdom paid a working visit to the agency. He regretted what he called the exaggeration of reports on incidences on the country’s waterways by the IMB, a specialised department of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) dedicated to fighting maritime crime and malpractice. He bemoaned the distortion of facts in the coverage of Nigeria by the bureau, saying such distortions can do reputational damage to the country within the international community. He observed that even the

slightest crimes in the creeks and habours of Nigeria were often reported as piracy by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre. Peterside said: “Let me use this opportunity to call on the IMB to, please, report Nigeria appropriately and appreciate the efforts we are making to curtail security incidences within our maritime space. Is it in our laws that we are strengthening, is it investment in intelligence, maritime security and safety and also the regional collaboration we have engaged in, among other efforts being made. “We have made tremendous progress because we are putting a lot of effort and we are willing and determined to work with anybody who can assist us to ensure that the maritime space in Nigeria is safe and secure for everybody.� He noted that the agency had put mechanisms in place to reduce piracy to the barest minimum. These, he said, included investing in the satellite surveillance system, which has the capacity to view all vessels on the country’s waterways;

supporting the security agencies to acquire assets that will enable them fight piracy and other maritime crimes; and proposing an anti-piracy bill that, when it becomes law, will give the agency the authority to prosecute maritime related crimes, among others. He said: “Maritime security is multi-sectoral and the need for collaboration cannot be overstated; hence the reason the agency has continuously embraced collaboration with relevant government agencies and stakeholders with the intent of realising a robust maritime sector in line with best global practices. “We will continue to accord high priority to the issues of maritime crimes so that we can maximally benefit from the Blue Economy initiative, which is now the focus in the global maritime space.� Peterside, further assured the IMSOT delegate that the Agency was willing to collaborate with them and share ideas where necessary, all on purpose to grow Nigeria’s maritime sector.

In his remarks, the IMSOT team leader, Leigh Smith, commended NIMASA for its efforts to maintain security on the country’s territorial waters and high sea. He urged continuous collaboration in the areas of technology and information sharing. “We will work together with NIMASA and also share knowledge together; all with the intent of ensuring security in the global maritime space,� he said. A major highlight of the visit was the inauguration of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Implementation Committee (ICIC) by the DG. He asked the committee to ensure there was a remarkable difference in the next one year through their actions, the rules and regulation set, and collaboration with other stakeholders. “I trust that you will give your best to this assignment; it is about the reputation of our country, our sector, our ports, the shipping companies, those who do business with us and our stand in the face of the international community,� the DG said.

INTELS Donates 1,050 Garments to Physically Challenged Children Nigeria’s oil and gas logistics service company, INTELS Nigeria Limited recently visited the Compassion Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and gave children at the home 1,050 different types of clothes and garments. The Compassion Centre, established and managed by the Religious Sisters of Charity under the Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt, is a home for physically-challenged children in the society, providing them support, education and rehabilitation. The children are mostly victims of polio and other congenital deformities. The garments, which consists of children and adult wears, were made by INTELS’ Women Empowerment Programme Scheme Synergy (WEPSS). WEPSS is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project of INTELS, which focuses on empowering community women in fashion design and tailoring. Government and Public Affairs Manager of INTELS, Rex Asaikpuka and WEPSS Project Head, Nancy Freeborn, handed over the garments to the Compassion Centre, which currently houses 40 children, 29 residents and 13 nuns. Asaikpuka said: “A lot of people have been gaining from the expertise of the WEPSS Centre, then we remembered we had children at the Compassion Centre too who could also benefit from such expertise. “WEPSS trains women from INTELS’ host communities on tailoring skills; some of these women are from the grassroots with little formal education. But after the training, they are able to run a business of their own and they can sew clothes.� WEPSS Project Head, Nancy Freeborn, expressed delight at being able to give back to the society. She said: “For months, we

have looked forward to coming here. We are giving back to people who have the need for it. These are children who need our help and we are excited to reach out to them. “The women who made these clothes have just completed four and half months of training. They made these garments happily, and out of the goodness of their heart, they are willing to let it go and allow us to give it to you to. I hope you will be pleased with our gifts.� Child Welfare Coordinator at the Compassion Centre, Sister Ugochi Chukwu, described INTELS as a much-revered benefactor of the Centre. She said, “INTELS has been of great support to us for years. At the Centre, INTELS comes after God. They have given us scholarships, a well-equipped computer laboratory and virtually all the facilities we have. “If INTELS is not here, we will not be able to function anymore. God has used them to keep us going. We no longer go to the market to purchase Christmas wears for the children because INTELS supplies all that. Their generosity sometimes renders us speechless. “When I informed the children today that INTELS are here, they jumped up; even those I thought were sleeping. We are truly grateful to INTELS management.� One of the children at the centre, Innocent Nwokoye, was thankful for his INTELS scholarship, which ensures that he gets education up to the university level. Nwokoye said he had become computer proficient as a result of the training on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and 12 computer systems with access to broadband internet, which the centre received from INTELS.


R-L: Chairman Board of Directors, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye; Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman; former General Manager, Public Aairs, Michael Kayode Ajayi and Mrs. Toyin Ajayi during the commendation dinner for retired GMs and AGMs in Lagos‌recently

Port Security OfďŹ cers Lament Security Challenges The Port Facility Security Officers Forum of Nigeria (PFSOFN) has lamented the poor security situation in ports across the country, just as they called on the federal government to do what is needful to address the situation. This is just as the body has sworn in new executives that would pilot its affairs for the next three years. The swearing of the new executive was part of activities of the 2018 National Conference of the organisation with the theme: â€?Integrated Maritime Security Architecture: A panacea for Economic growth in Nigeria.â€? In his acceptance speech, the new National Chairman, Emmanuel Onyebadi, said it was no longer news that

security challenges have taken a new dimension with innovation and trends but with intelligence sharing and collaboration by different agencies such issue can be solved. “We are poised to ensuing that we collaborate in terms of information sharing and synergising with both the public and private sector to achieve relative peace in the maritime space and sector. “With such a gathering of great minds a lot of things can be achieved in the strengthening and integrated maritime Security Architecture the Operators, Security Agencies and Stakeholders in the maritime sector breach he the barriers of challenges in our areas of responsibility with a view to improving on the

status quo, only then can we open the frontiers of economic development of our country,� Onybadi said. Also speaking, the Calabar Port Manager, Mrs. Olufumilayo Olotu asserted that what was needed was an isolated security but in that nomenclature for effective partnership as the team even in isolation can ensure synergy. She called on all the agencies to avoid sabotage and do away with inter agency’s rivalry and ensure that data on digital footprint is properly expanded because no investor will come to a place where he is not sure of what is going to happen the next minute. Earlier, Commissioner of Police, Port Authority Police, Alex Opara said

Nigeria loses over trillion naira annually due to leakages and insecurity in the maritime sector of Nigeria. He said: “It is estimated that Nigeria loses about 1 Trillion naira annually in the maritime sector due to leakages in Revenue Generation and insecurity in the maritime sector. “However we must not rest on our oars as incidents of sea piracy, armed robbery Kidnapping, oil bunkering, trafficking in drugs, small arms, dumping of toxic waste, environmental degradation, facility vandalism, pilfering, militancy as wells as youth restiveness still rear their ugly heads from time to time which impacts negatively on the economy, peace and security of the ports.�




ART WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi 08152252325

Samuel Oniyitan Nollywood’s Next Big Thing




Samuel Oniyitan is an actor, producer and the Group Managing Director of Green World Entertainment. In this interview with MARY NNAH, the professionally-trained marketer with over 15 movies in his kitty and a fast rising acting pedigree, recently revealed his latest movie project and his passion for telling our African stories. Excerpts: the industry? It has not been easy combining both because one will suffer for the other. Now I’m busy with my production that’s why I’m not on another producer’s set acting. Once Abeke’s production is over, my acting schedule which has been fixed till the end of February 2019 will kick in. This makes it difficult to consult but to solve the problem I thankfully have a team I work with who have been engaging brands on my behalf. However I come in when my expertise is needed to deliver the goods. My experience in the industry has been awesome although it wasn’t easy when I returned two years ago because a lot had changed compared to those days. All things being equal, I have been getting more jobs. I’m not yet popular and sometimes when I go to locations, some people ask me when did I join the industry, I like the way you look and act, they’ll take my number and maybe in the next two, three days, they’ll call me to play a role in their movie

Give us a brief background of yourself? I am a filmmaker, an actor and aspiring model. I studied Marketing at LASPOTECH and have a Masters Degree in Marketing as well from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). I am a Chartered Marketer and Associate member of Nigerian Institute of Management. I am the GMD of Green World Entertainment, a production company with a vision to produce outstanding movies. I was involved in the movie industry say about 21years ago but left and returned two years ago. Within the space of two years, I have featured in more than 15 movies, turned down some roles and produced a couple of movies as well. Among the 15, I played the lead role in about five of them. Apart from movies, I am also a Consumer Insight Personnel and consult for local and International companies. How did you get involved in acting and what caused your hibernation from the movie circuits? Entertainment generally has been my passion but basically I love acting. It started when I was five, I was in primary school then and would watch certain local TV series which showed Abija, Awelu on TV. Then on Monday when I met my friends I would tell them I was Abija and another would say he was Fadeyi and then we would begin to recite the incantation as was used on TV. When I got to primary six they started involving me in the stage drama in school. I started realising that I had a passion for acting. When I got to secondary school, I was a member of the drama in JSS2 and in SS2, I became their president. After leaving secondary school, I went into it acting fully and was seen in Superstory but it wasn’t a major role, I was put there to add to the figure. The situation in the country was not encouraging because nobody knew me and I needed money to feed myself and pay bills. I felt I was wasting my time going for rehearsals especially with the fact that money wasn’t coming in. So I decided to go to school and made up my mind that when I had money I would return to the industry I loved and had passion for, which I did two years ago. How were you able to sustain the passion all through till you were able to return? I made sure I kept up to date with the movie trend and also watched movies that were released. RMD was and still is my role model. I watched the movies he acted in and I dare say I learnt a lot from that exercise until he stopped acting and of course when he returned to the screens, I followed him on social media as well. It would be an honour to act with him in a movie. What movies have you featured in since you returned? I featured in Impulse which was directed by the talented Rotimi Raji , The Snatch, in which I played the lead role as officer Obi, Adura by Ajani, Ase, My PA, Desert, among others With your base as a marketer how has it been getting yourself into the industry ? Nothing good comes easy but being a Consumer Insight Personnel, I understand the dynamics of marketing. I have put my experience into good use in the movie terrain and work hard to market my brand. Having a good understanding of how the industry works has really helped particularly with the crop of experienced professionals I have in my team as well. Various media platforms have taken interest in my works and my brand and I have been interviewed by them. It hasn’t been easy but with sheer determination I am confident about rising to the next awesome level. What do you think is good about your craft that will make you rank tops in no distant time? I am a good actor and can take on Yoruba and English speaking roles and execute them brilliantly. As a producer, word has begun to spread about my zero tolerance for non

Any plans for a cinema release? Yes it will be shown in cinemas in and outside of Nigeria in 2019 and my team and I are also working on having it on Netflix. It will also make the local and International film festivals circuit. Which would you say is your strength, acting or producing? Acting


quality based movies. I don’t compromise quality because I believe what is worth doing is worth doing well. I remember when I wanted to produce a Yoruba movie, my project coordinator said N600,000 would get it done. However, because I wanted something a lot better we produced it for N1.6million. When we were done with the job, word spread in the industry about its good quality. Before Kunle Afolayan started, some people had already been in the industry but now many look up to him. It’s just a matter of time for me and with my great team of sound professionals dedicated to telling our unique African stories and God’s grace, I believe it will happen. Which of your works is the most endearing to you and why? It’s the one we’re about to shoot and that’s “Abeke�. It is my first major work and I got the story and precise cast in the dream. I was lying on the couch listening to a Yoruba song relating to Abeke and slept off. In the dream I saw what the movie was about including the actors who played those roles. When I woke up, I quickly wrote down all I had seen and then called my project coordinator, Moses Adeyemo. I told him the revelation I had and he told me to call the script writer and explain what I had seen, which I did. When he was done writing, everyone who read it wanted to be a part of it because it was unique, strange and a potential awards winning movie. Dreams are powerful and being privileged to

Nothing good comes easy but being a Consumer Insight Personnel, I understand the dynamics of marketing. I have put my experience into good use in the movie terrain and work hard to market my brand. Having a good understanding of how the industry works has really helped particularly with the crop of experienced professionals I have in my team as well

have seen this through this medium makes it special to me. What is Abeke about ? Abeke revolves around a love triangle that takes us back to the late 70’s. There’s a beautiful lady called Abeke who comes from a wealthy home thanks to her father who is a Cocoa merchant. There are two men in the picture; one is Fayele, a handsome, humble, poor graduate who is a primary school teacher of Ifa descent in love with Abeke and the other Aderoju, the rich, arrogant, handsome timber seller who also loves Abeke. Abeke falls in love with the poor teacher as well but there’s another lady in the picture who also loves Fayele. I don’t want to give out much details now, but trust me, it’s a fantastic story that is enlightening and entertaining. What’s the selling point? We are using the best hands in the industry including the Director of Photography Lukmon Abdulrahman, who handles most of Tunde Kelani’s Mainframe’s movie productions; and a brilliant young director Rotimi Raji. We are even bringing a creative director on board which is rare to see in productions and of course a crew that knows their onions. The storyline is top notch sequel to our script conference and we’ll be shooting using Red Dragon camera. The main cast includes; Wole Ojo, Kehinde Bankole, Toyin Abraham Aimakhu, Akin Lewis, Yinka Quadri, the legendary Peter Fatomilola, and my humble self. The movie will be 80 per cent in English and 20 per cent Yoruba. It’s a blend of romance, drama, and tragicomedy How did you go about funding this project? Abeke is self funded and as you know it certainly hasn’t been easy. Besides filmmaking, I also consult for local and international companies leveraging on my marketing experience in terms of consumer insight to boost sales. Why didn’t you consider other credit facilities which are open across some spectrum especially in the creative industry? Will they easily release the funds? I wasn’t ready to have a three days journey turned to one of ten months What’s the ďŹ lms budget? About N15million and I dare say we’re still incurring more expenses. How do you manage combining working as a consultant, acting and producing movies. Also, how has the experience been acting in

Why become a producer then? It goes side by side, besides, the economy is not encouraging people to stick to a particular thing. You might not have been paid well by a producer and you’re on set. Then you ask for more money especially if the role is demanding and he or she refuses to pay. The probability that the producer will not call you up anymore for a role is high. What do you do when you stay at home and you’re going nuts because the bills are piling? If you have the talent to sing or someone calls you to be an emcee you’ll jump in because you need money, you need to move on and before you know you’re doing something else. From the onset, I came into the Industry to be an actor and a producer. Do you think you’ve acted enough to be a producer and an actor? A producer doesn’t have to act, it’s the money he has that speaks. Once you have the finance, a story and the knowledge to gather the right team to work with from pre to post production, then you’re good to go. However having a good insight into how the market works is key in recouping investment. What’s next after Abeke? We have a soap that will happen early next year called Tender Lines and after that another beautiful story titled “The Journey� but that’s still under wraps for now.? Where is the shooting location for Abeke? It’s Abeokuta. Why was Abeokuta chosen? The film is set in the late 1970’s and the ancient town of Abeokuta provides that exact scenery and set that we need to make the timeline realistic. You won’t find such in Lagos and even in Badagry. You’re a handsome man, tell us how you cope with the women folk? I appreciate the women folk including my fans. I’m a disciplined person because I know where I’m going to. Yes I receive all sorts of messages from them especially on Instagram, some are really shocking but I have to be smart with my response. Do you think Nollywood is still making money? Yes it totally depends on the quality of the movie you’ve made and if you understand how the local and foreign markets work alongside the various platforms to use in securing return on investment.




WANEP, AU launches Online National Early Warning System Platform The West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), as part of measures to prevent violence and other threats to the 2019 general elections, has launched the Online National Early Warning System (NEWS) Platform and the ArcGIS 360 mobile application. This was done with the support of the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help Nigeria mitigate election violence. The WANEP Executive Director, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, during the launch and training of 80 Election Conflict Monitors. Eze said despite the widespread success of the 2015 general elections, there were reports of over 60 violent incidences resulting in 58 deaths and wanton destruction of properties. This, according to him, necessitated the series of activities by the organisation partnering with ECOWAS, AU and others to ensure the peaceful and credible conduct of the election, especially that it is being seen by political analysts as a test for the nation’s democracy and stability. He said: “This two days training for community monitors who are going to begin to from now onwards to monitor the electoral violence indicators that we developed in October, to monitor the Nigerian elections. “This training is our own efforts on complementing the effort of the states both at the Nigerian level and then the intergovernmental

Some of the participants at the training

organisations, ECOWAS and AU on their efforts at institutionalising electoral processes and deepening democracy in Africa in line with the AU and ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.� Eze explained that the monitoring process is in three folds, involving looking at are the structural issues that could lead to electoral violence, thus the need to working with the state institutions, especially those who are involved in electoral process, the security, INEC, the Office if the National Security Adviser (NSA), the legislatures, the judiciary and others involved in electoral processes. He listed the second level as the proximate causes of the electoral violence and the key accelerators.

“Within the aspect of key accelerators, we have key indicators that we are going to use before, during and after the election. Because we have also realised that post elections, even managing winning and losing election have become a critical issue,� he added. When asked if the identified flashpoints changed as the election draws nearer or remained, he said that it was unfortunately that in the current electoral circle in Nigeria almost all the states have their own peculiar issues. “You know one of the things that we have come to realise is that election is simply a trigger that now ignites deep seated conflicts that exists even before the elections. “So, to that extent, it may not be election related

anticipation crisis, but because there are existing crisis in those place for example the entire north east because of the issue of Boko Haram. “If you come down to the North-central, the issue of herders conflict and also in the north-west, if you go down the East, it is the issue of IPOB and if you go down the south-south it the issues relating to the Niger Delta militant and all that. “However, what we have done is to use just baseline on the basis of history of electoral violence on the country. The good thing about the system we are operating with, is that the flashpoints are not static, so from now onwards if these monitors, 80 of them selected from all the 36 states including FCT begin to monitor this electoral process, then whatever they input as

Hilltop International Christian Centre’s Mandate to Nations The Hilltop International Christian Centre was inaugurated on the June 6, 1993. The inaugural service was held at Oroworuko Town Hall, Port Harcourt. Originally, this ministry was named International Christian Outreach Centre (ICC), but was later named The Hilltop International Christian Centre drawing from Mathew 5:14b. Astatement made available to THISDAY read this: “The Lord has instructed that we pursue ministry to the nations with an evangelistic focus. The Hilltop depicts a house set on a hill to reach out to the unsaved by planting networks of neighborhood cells. “Thus The Hilltop is a powerful replica of an outreach focused ministry. “The divine call to plant this church in Port Harcourt (Niger Delta region of Nigeria) was initiated when God revealed His mandate to the General Overseers, Pastors Chris and Stephanie Oarhe in two specific visions about Port Harcourt, while they prayed for the will of God. “Today the church has grown into a family of kingdom minded believers with outreaches (mission centres) extending from the city of Port Harcourt to many cities in Nigeria and

General Overseers, Pastors Chris and Stephanie Oarhe

other nations of the world. The vision of the ministry is to raise leaders who will model Christ and is captured in our vision statement: RAISING LEADERS, MODELING CHRIST “The mission is captured in our mission statement; Empowering you to recognise, maximise and utilise your God given potentials. Core values: love, excellence, accountability and purity (LEAP). “The Hilltop is organised for growth and expansion locally and internationally through missions, trainings and outreaches, the Niger Delta Mis-

sions was now birthed which now plants community churches in creeks and other towns in the Niger Delta Region. “Missionaries are sent regularly to build, train and equip the local indigenes to become leaders and unleash their divine potentials. “The calling on the GO’s life necessitated the training arms of the church. The Hilltop Leadership Institute that specifically build leaders to be catalysts for transformation wherever they find themselves; the Hilltop Ministerial Bible College another institution of learning that equips men and women for ministry and Hilltop

Skills Acquisition Scheme that empowers people to be entrepreneurs. “The Hilltop is geared towards eradicating illiteracy, this resulted to having the Hilltop Group of Schools. “Some of our outreaches includes New Experience Crusade with Rev Chris Oarhe, a teaching and miracle meeting that holds in major cities in Nigeria; Heart 2 Heart with Dr Stephanie, a quarterly talk show that is building families and relationships. Heart 2 Heart also runs a Students scholarship scheme, the Heart 2 Heart Teens Fan Clubs in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. “The Hilltop International Christian Centre through the ministries of Chris and Stephanie Oarhe has amongst others a strong divine mandate to minister through electronic and print media. “The Media Ministries Department launched the New Experience telecast in1999 and the Heart2Heart telecast in 2001. New Experience telecast is on ABN,7.00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; NTA,Yenegoa,5.30 pm on Tuesdays; RSTV,1.00pm on Sundays and STV,8.00 am on Saturdays. Heart 2 Heart is on ABN ,7.00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays; RSTV,6.00 pm on Tuesdays and STV,8.30 pm on Saturdays.

data, because it also have an aspect of coping mechanism, our definition of risk is vulnerability and threats. “Now, once they begin to make input, the system itself tells us where to focus our attention on and that becomes the hotspot even before the election,� Eze said. On his part, the Programme Officer (GIS) and Mapping, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Early Warning Directorate of ECOWAS commission, Mr. Ismaila Gueye, said ECOWAS is very concerned about election happenings in ECOWAS to promote peace security in the region that was why WANEP is thei r partner and that they know how WANEP is involved in building peace in the region. Asked to comment on thinking that ECOWAS might have failed if democracy and elections are still being conducted amidst threats, violence and other malpractices, he said that, this cannot be called a failure on the part of the commission. According to him, democracy is a long process and that looking at the progress made in the region, everyone can be proud of what has been achieved compared to other regions in the continent. “If you look at the last election in Ghana, Benin or any other country, you will see that there is a lot of progress,� he said. He also said the participants at the training are expected to add value with ‘the eyes’ component of the applications as the use paper in the field is being done away with for

computerisation.� Also, the Information Systems Officer, Continental Early Warning System, Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission, Taye Abdulkadir, said the AU has a number of frameworks that have been designed through the years to provide good governance, election, democracy. “The most common example is African charter on Governance, election and democracy. And it has been ratified by many of the member states, but in addition to that, the AU also dealing with operational conflict prevention as well as structural conflict prevention,� he said. He added, “In the operational conflict prevention aspect, we have the continental warning system and mechanisms like that. And in the area of structural conflict prevention mechanism, we have issues such as supporting countries to handle elections properly and there are also other areas AU supports all. Therefore we believe the member state Is the one responsible for responding to issues, but as much as we can at the AU awe are trying to assist the member states to increase its capacity in responding to any kind of situation such as election.� On her part, the Analyst for West Africa, Early Warning System, Peace and Security Department, African Union Commission, Mfrekeobong Ukpanah, said there are series of threats and there are series of signs and that was why they started the project in collaboration with ECOWAS and WANEP in October.

Movie Enthusiasts Applaud Light inThe DarkTrailer The trailer of one of the most anticipated movies, Light in The Dark, produced and directed by Nollywood’s acclaimed movie director, Ekene Som Mekwunye continues to generate lots of endorsements and commendations since its release few days ago. The two minutes and 14 seconds trailer has further raised the anticipation of people who have been looking forward to seeing the star studded movie. Featuring to Nollywood actors such as Joke Silva, Rita Dominic, Kalu Ikeagwu, Ngozi Nwosu, Saidi Balogun, Kiki Omeili, Nonso Odogwu, Big Mickey, Prince Unigwe, Angel Onyinyechi Unigwe,AbimbolaAdemoye , Doddy Abili, Richard Kanayo Mekwunye, Maxwell Ihuoma and Marie Awolaja, the film is a drama feature film that has a compelling story that would hold the viewers’ captivated with pronounced acting delivered by veteran actors. Billed for release into the cinemas on January 25, 2019, ‘Light in the dark’ tells the story of two lovers, who against the wish and permission of their mothers became a couple and began a family and are willing to go to any length for their love. The director of the movie, Ekene Som Mekwunye who is the CEO

Light in The Dark Producefr and Director Mekwunye ,.jpg

of Riverside Productions and a Hollywood trained filmmaker has put his experience in movie production to bear on this great film. Speaking on his expectations of the new movie, Ekene said all he wants is for people to come out and see the movie. “My expectations for the movie is that lots of people will go and see it and enjoy it, then spark a conversation on ethnic bigotry, adoption, sexual harassment and rape�. Ekene is also the producer of the movie SYLVIA that recently was in cinemas in Nigeria. His short film titled Oblivious won an AMVCAfor Best Short Film in Africa in 2015. Another short film he produced, ‘The Encounter’ also received quite a lot of accolades and international reviews, which include Newsweek. Before starting Riverside Productions, he worked at MTV Shuga and MNET.





‌Your weekly entertainment delight


In Bakassi Tells Harrowing Tales from IDP Camps in Virtual Reality Stories by Vanessa Obioha


s technology continues to move into the mainstream, filmmaker Joel Benson is taking the lead in Nigeria. He recently made a short film ‘In Bakassi’ in virtual reality, the first of its kind to be made in Nigeria. The film had its first premiere in Cairo International Film Festival recently and was screened in June to Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, who lauded the efforts of the filmmaker and other stakeholders at the launch of Northeast Innovation Hub. Benson who is always passionate about stories from the North-east conflict zone, plunges the audience into a simulated 3D Bakassi IDP camp in Maiduguri. The opening scene shows a busy market place while a child’s voice reels out the emotional words: “They planted a bomb in the market‌that’s how my papa died.â€? The voice belongs to Modu Mustapha, an 11-year-old orphan, whose father was killed in a suicide bombing. His mother absconded after the incident, leaving Mustapha and his younger siblings to the care of their aged grandmother. The young lad has been living in the Bakassi IDP camp for three years. Through the lens of the virtual reality headsets, viewers are submerged into Mustapha’s world, walking with him through the sandy camp, queuing with

Food sharing in camp.

him as he awaits his turn for food, going through the dumpsite to search for leftover meals to fill his growling stomach and taking up menial jobs to cater to his family. The great responsibility of taking care of his family at such an early age highlights the hardship faced in the camps. Since the rise of insurgency in the Northeast, millions of Nigerians have been displaced from their homes. Bakassi IDP camp is one of the

most populated IDP Camps in Northeast Nigeria, sheltering over 35,000 Internally Displaced Persons, out of which half are children, who live in squalid conditions and have little or no access to a proper education. Many of these children are orphans, victims of Boko Haram’s deadly war in the North-east. In Mustapha’s case, the conditions are no different. However the young man longed for access to proper education. Though there is a school in the camp, he harboured

SWEAT Band Pays Tribute to Bobby Benson At the debut edition of Uptown Skanking, a reggae themed event that aims at reviving the music genre in Nigeria, the popular 80s band SWEAT, paid tribute to the quintessential music legend Bobby Benson. Playing a reggae version of the icon’s popular hit ‘Taxi Driver’ (their version also catapulted the group to fame), the band leader Yemi Benson dedicated to the song to his father, who was influential in promoting highlife music in Nigeria. He added that reggae music is all about feeling some joy as the band performed some of their hits back in the day. It is the first time the founding members are


playing together after their split in the late 80s. Their reunion was initiated by the convener of the concert, Edward Brown who is also a Chef and

owner of the Smokey Bones Restaurant where the event took place. “It wasn’t that hard convincing all members to come together and play.

Francis Goldman was already playing here at our weekly reggae gig. When I shared the concept with him, he was excited as others too when they learnt about it. They came in for rehearsals and was quite enthusiastic about it.� Describing reggae as a soul music, Brown said that Uptown Skanking will be a monthly gig at the restaurant thy will showcase the best of reggae musicians. “There is a whole lot of young reggae stars out there. All we are trying to do with this platform is to let them know there is a place for them to showcase their talents and be recognised in the music industry.�

One Lagos Fiesta Promises a December to Remember For the fourth edition of One Lagos Fiesta, the Lagos State Government is throwing all in the ring to make it a December to remember for Lagosians. Rolling out plans for the fĂŞte, which will kick off on the eve of Christmas till New Year, the Honourable Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde said that the fiesta “draws parallel with other international events across the world, particularly the countdown night of the December 31. “With the unique features associated with the fiesta, it is anticipated that it will attract two million direct participants and about 90 million viewers via live television and live streaming on social media. “Lagos prides itself as a the economic and hub of West Africa, with vibrant expression of its arts and

Steve Ayorinde (5th left) with artistes for OLF

culture, therefore it has always been the pleasure of this administration to use this instrument as a springboard to drive development and market the state’s potential to domestic and foreign investors who will contribute meaningfully towards making Lagos Africa’s model megacity�. This year’s event will parade the best of musicians such as Fuji stars Adewale Ayuba and Osupa, Mr. P of the defunct P-Square, Humblesmith, Mr. Real,Blackky and a host of

others. The music concert will simultaneously take place in five locations: Agege (Agege Stadium), Victoria Island (Bar Beach/ Eko Atlantic City), Badagry (Badagry Grammar School), Epe (Epe Marina Waterfront) and Ikorodu (in Ikorodu Town Hall). He disclosed that the countdown night will be attended by the Vicepresident Yemi Osinbajo and other state officials. Tagged ‘A December to Remember’ the festival will retain some of its

features such as the Kiddies Corner as well as cultural performances, stage plays and talent hunt, otherwise known as Lagos Grows Talent — a grassroots’ competition which provides a platform for youths to compete using their talents in the areas of music, dance, comedy and other creative activities. For the first time in the festival, there will be a raffle draw where a lucky Lagosian will win a brand new saloon car, courtesy of one of the partners, CIG Motors.

a desire to go to the school in the city where he believes has better resources. His quest for knowledge is triggered by his late father’s words that education makes one successful and responsible. Beyond those words however lies a greater mission for Mustapha: to use education to rid the society of insurgents. Virtual reality is relatively new to most filmmakers in Nigeria. The 360 camera is not an easy gadget to work with, and often requires the director to be off-camera. Relaying his experience at the Facebook NG Hub in Lagos where the film had its official screening, Benson opined that the only thing a filmmaker can do is to hope for the best. “The 360 camera has cameras all over it. It is camera everywhere. If you’re coming from a traditional filmmaking experience, you have to make a switch in your mind because you’re no longer a present director, you are a director of camera and hope for the best because you can’t cut this scene or that scene.� In shooting ‘In Bakassi’, Benson and his crew spent three days in the camp, took some test shots and spent weeks in postproduction, which he said is a nightmarish adventure. Benson’s interest in virtual reality was stirred by a client who wanted him to make a virtual reality film. After watching a virtual reality film, he was determined to make one. He travelled abroad and garnered the knowledge. On his return, his first mission was to go to Maiduguri and make a story.

Luzol Launches New Fashion Line is known for art, and art

Leading fashion brand,Luzol will be unveiling its new retail fashion label Lzee at an exclusive event on Sunday, December 9. Known for its unique artistic designs in fabric, the line is a mix of ready-towear designs made from a combination of Nigerian fabrics that cater to the upwardly mobile male and female.It is the first time the brand will be making apparels for both gender. “It is all about inclusion. Over the years, we have promoted Wear Nigeria through our platform Fashion Art Fusion. And there is no way we can achieve that by excluding the females. With Lzee,we want to reach a wider audience with our Wear Nigeria campaign. Luzol

embraces all,� said Austin Aimankhu, founder of the fashion label. The launch is also part of the lineup activities leading to the next edition of Fashion Art Fusion — a celebration of fashion and alternative arts in the runway. The revolutionary show has been lauded by many as a veritable platform that effortlessly showcase the beauty of art on the runway. Lzee will also be available online for the smart individual who is always on the move. At the launch, which will take place at The Roots Restaurant and Bar in Ikoyi, Lagos, guests will be dazzled by the delicate and artistic use of Nigerian fabric to reflect the culture of the people.

A Y’ello Disney for Nigerian Children MTN Nigeria has recorded another first as a leading ICT company with the launch of Disney mobile web service in Nigeria, The new service is loaded with Disneythemed short-form content, games and shareables. The service is the result of a collaboration between MTN Nigeria and The Walt Disney Company Africa. The two-year deal grants MTN Nigeria exclusivity for the first year of the collaboration. The mobile web service was

MTN Disney Nigeria

launched amidst fanfare on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at MTN Nigeria Headquarters, Ikoyi, Lagos, after thorough test trials to ensure hitchfree experience for the intended audience. For N200 per month, Disney Nigeria opens a world of Disney – including short videos, wallpapers, Disney film and channel information and trailers, as well as select downloadables and much more – to MTN Nigeria users and their families.




Ruggedman Writes Open Letter To Celebrities, Asks Them To Challenge Government Sunday Ehigiator Ruggedman, who is one of the most respected Nigerian rappers, has written an open letter to his fellow celebrities on instagram. In his letter, the hiphop star admonished all Nigerian celebrities that they have a responsibility to their fans, who made them who they are, adding that it is their duty as celebrities to use their platforms to demand better governance for the people. The letter reads: “With humility and respect I come before each of you who has toiled so hard with discipline and sacrifice to come this far. May all your efforts and fame not be in vain. “I write to ignite your sub-conscious minds on the poor state of the nation and why as celebrities should demand from the government to fix electricity and security first! “A vigorous campaign through our social media, peaceful rally and personal rapport will be efficacious. In other

words, the revolution the poor masses and Nigeria need with zero casualty is “celebrity revolution�. “That is why you have a voice. A quick look into the slave trade era and ask some honest questions. Who were those selling their fellow citizens then? Who were the intermediaries? What was their gain and where do they stand in history now? “A vivid look into the approach of majority of our politicians today, you can strike a resemblance. If you have no choice than to campaign for any, kindly make your voice count. “Picture others including yourself from now till February vehemently breaking your silence and demanding that any government in power should allow the budgets and actions of the government in the next two years focus on restoring 24/7 power and rebuilding police services from personnel, police stations, welfare, national emergency number, national database, borders and human rights. “The police is tied to so many things and nobody can bring meaningful growth, fight corruption,

Alibaba Writes Open Letter to Buhari, Calls for Enabling Environment


insecurity and achieve peace if we have this kind of police system. “Police salaries and welfare are horrible, the stations are always in darkness and smelling. No staff toilet and they fuel patrol vehicles and generating sets with their money etc. “Police and army’s human rights abuses are disgraceful. The

government should fix the rot in these two so we can be as half better as south Africa.“Human rights abuses, domestic violence, insecurity are on the rise, sad part is when these crimes are going on, nobody to call, nobody to rescue and you must not take laws into your hands. Please decide now to add value to the society and not as usual.�

Alabi Tasks Nigerian Artists to Make Society Responsible With Music Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta A clarion call has gone to Nigerian artists to make use of their music to make the society responsible. Addressing newsmen at the NUJ Press Centre, OkeIlewo, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, at a pre-conference held on tuesday, to herald the 40th remembrance anniversary of an Apala music icon, Yusuf Olatunji, Chairman of Yusuf Alabi Foundation, Agbaakin Lekan Alabi, appealed to the Nigerian artists to borrow a leaf from the music legends

such as Chief Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Victor Uwaifo and other talented and creative artists to teach morals. According to him, “music is part of culture. And culture is like an umbrella where we have foods and music. So, music is to motivate the society, preach unity and promote creativity.� On the 40th anniversary, he said the event will hold on Saturday, December 15, 2018, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, with Fidau prayer and lecture titled, “impacts

of music in society�. “Abedeen Ajasa, heir of the late Apala music icon, with his “Yusuf Olatunji Memorial Band, is expected to entertain the audience. “The motives behind the memorial anniversary is to distribute the works of the Apala musician, to institute a department on any chosen centre of learnings and to hold annual events and lectures to commemorate the anniversary. “Pa Yusuf Olatunji was a doyen of Sahara music. He was an illustrious son

of Abeokuta, Ogun State. “He collapsed at a meeting of musicians being held in Ibadan, on December 14, 1978 and he was rushed down to Abeokuta, his hometown, where he passed on the following day, December 15. “I am the chairman of the foundation. It was my initiative that we founded the foundation in 2001, with the support of the Ogun State Government under the able leadership of Aremo Olusegun Osoba, the then, governor.

Amstel Malta Brings Fun to FitFam Fest Lagos came alive this past weekend as the largest comprehensive fitness festival, FitFam Fest in collaboration with Amstel Malta, brought men, women and children of all ages together for its annual, unmissable fitness and wellness experience. The event which held on Saturday, November 24 at the Hard Rock Cafe Beachfront, in Oniru, Lekki, saw top notch trainers and fitness enthusiasts converge on one place to partake in an array of fitness activities. FitFam Fest is a single day festival designed to promote health and fitness across Africa through fun and participation. The festival was geared towards identifying and validating every individual’s journey into fitness - through physical activity, proper

A ďŹ tfam participant

nutrition, mental well-being and other hacks that help attain a healthy balance. Speaking of the partnership, the Senior Brand Manager, Ugo Ahukannah said: “Amstel Malta recognises the capabilities of people and inspires them to always be their best. Amstel

Malta is a premium malt drink enriched with pure vitamins and minerals. It has a nourishing malt taste and perfect for getting that instant dash of goodness, energy and vitality.� Other aspects of the festival include, the Assault Obstacle Course: a military inspired obstacle

competition that introduced extreme entertainment, the 5k Colour Run for those with the chops for endurance, The Neon Room: the glow-in-thedark/silent-disco workout room that combined innovative tech with various workouts, the Soho Fitness and many more.


Sunday Ehigiator Veteran comedian, TV host and brand influencer, Alibaba, recently called on President Muhammadu Buhari to create an enabling environment and enact policies that will promote the arts sector. The open letter which he posted on his Instagram page reads thus: “like we told those before you, Mr. president, we don’t need you to give us money, just provide the enabling environment, and we will be the ones to

give you money. “Let the government make a deliberate attempt to promote the arts. Piracy laws, structure for enforcement of those laws, film villages, museums, cinemas, promotion of culture and tourism just like you promote crude oil, then we will show you the money. “Sir, see all these meetings you are having, we have held them before, plus several breakout sessions only to be forgotten and remembered just at the dawn of another election�.

MovieCompanyLaunchesOnlineTVinNigeria Rebecca Ejifoma A movie production company, SAF Production, has launched its online and movie streaming sites, MYSAFTV.COM, to give Nigerians and the world quality and accurate history of the coutnry’s heritage. MYSAFTV, which aims to tell the true story of Nigeria’s history by Nigerians, said there was need for Nigerians to demand quality and rich heritage production from movie companies. According to the founder of the site, Crey Ahanonu, the need to break the monopoly of Nollywood content cannot be over stated. Adding, he said the few handling it over the years have diluted the content, which invariably corrupted the cultural heritage. “Our story needs to be told by us and in our language. We are the ones that can tell our story better. If we don’t, we will not have true and safe history. Our site is here to protect our heritage

and leave history for generations to come,� he said. Speaking also, MYSAFTV Lagos Representative, Ugochi Eboh, enthused that November 23 would remain a great day in the history of Nigeria as the date an online television sites, protecting sacred institutions: marriage and children, was launched. She, however added that tapes and compact discs (CD) were quickly becoming obsolete as advancement in media technology now one can have all the entertainment one desires at one’s fingertips at a cheaper cost. “A brainchild of SAF production, MYSAFTV brings an array of high quality entertainment everyone’s device at very affordable rates,� Eboh said. Some of the programmes MYSAFTV is bringing to viewers are: tending movies, showcase movies and African Classics and the kiddies with thrilling shows like the P-Loloo, which is entertaining and educating.




Africa SERAS: Dangote Group Receives Two Sustainability Awards In recognition of its 2017 Sustainability Report and significant progress in Sustainability Best Practices and Reporting in 2018, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) received two awards at the 12th edition of the annual Sustainability Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS), which took place weekend at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Two DIL subsidiaries received the SERAS Sustainability Awards for ‘Best Company in Hunger & Food Security’ as well as ‘Best in Supply Chain Management’ categories. In special recognition of its pioneering Sustainability Journey in 2018, Dangote Group was also named by SERAS one of the Top five “Most Responsible Business in Africa/Overall Winner.� The conglomerate also received two Certificates of Recognition for the work of its Sustainability and Governance Function, which is responsible for embedding a culture of sustainability across the Group, tagged “The Dangote Way�. The founder of SERAS, Dr. Ken Egbas, acknowledged the visible and inspiring impact of the Dangote Way, which Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote has described

L-R: General Manager/Head Sustainability, Dangote Cement Plc, Eunice Sampson; Group Chief Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Industries Limited, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli; Group Chief Human Resources OďŹƒcer, Dangote Cement Plc, Musa Rabiu; and Senior Adviser, Stakeholder Relations, DIL, Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman, celebrating the award won by Dangote Cement at the event

as “our unique approach towards engendering sustainability across all our operations, at the core of our procedures and corporate culture, indicative of our absolute commitment to sustainability; powered by the highest levels of governance.� Group Chief Sustainability and Governance Officer, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli; Group Head, Human Assets Management

and Admin., Dangote Cement Plc, Dr. Musa Rabiu; Senior Adviser, Stakeholder Relations, DIL, Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman; General Manager /Head Sustainability, Dangote Cement Plc, Eunice Sampson; and Mr. Abimbola Akosile of the Corporate Communications Department, all Sustainability Champions, received the awards. The Dangote Way underlines

the importance of People and Stakeholder Engagement on its journey towards better financial performance through responsible and sustainable business practices. Dangote’s seven pillars of sustainability include the Economic, Social, Environmental, Financial, Cultural, Operational and Institutional (encompassing Governance, Risk, Compliance), which are aligned with the GRI Standard, Global Compact, IFC Performance Standards and SDGs, and are designed to ensure sustainability data embeds at the core of business processes and corporate culture, to demonstrate a clear business case for operationalising sustainability best practices. During the Dangote Sustainability Week, held in tandem with the United Nations General Assembly, hundreds of employees volunteered to further the Sustainable Development Goals across Dangote Cement Plants in 12 cities across Africa: Ghana, Congo, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal, Zambia and Nigeria’s Cement plants located at Obajana (Kogi State), Ibeshe (Ogun State), which cleaned up the Ajibese community and Gboko (Benue State).

Atiku, Uche Pedro, Others Win at Eloy Award 2018 Mary Nnah The 2018 ELOY Awards Ceremony has come and gone, but the memories it has left will linger for a very long time. The 10th Anniversary for the Exquisite Lady of the Year Awards held at Lagos Continental Hotel on Sunday, November 25 had in attendance guests who stormed the ELOY Awards black carpet looking gorgeous, as they followed through with the dress code for the evening; ‘Audaciously Iconic’. There were performances by Issac Geralds, Kemi Ladipo (spoken word) and Golden Curvy Models also did a catwalk showcasing designs by top plus size designer, JP Kouture. The highlight of the evening was the HE4SHE Award which was a first-time category at the ELOY Awards. The award in this category was won by former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON (Wazirin Adamawa), a man who constantly advocates for women. This is also the first time a man has ever received an ELOY Award. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was unavoidably absent, was ably represented by Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, Executive

Trophy Lager, a leading quality beer brand and one of the national treasures from the stable of International Breweries Plc, a proud part of the AB InBev family, over the weekend, organized a three-day beer carnival to celebrate the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III’s 80th birthday in Oyo with pomp, music, fun and mouth-watering prizes. The event, which provided an unforgettable, exciting and culturally appealing experience for consumers, also saw the brand reward winners in its ongoing National Consumer Promo, tagged Honourable Millionaires promo, which was instituted to celebrate Trophy Lager’s 40 years of facilitating goodwill and celebration for Nigerians. Consumers had a great time as they were thrilled to comedy, drama and musical performances from top artistes Speaking on the rationale for the initiative, Consumer Connections Manager, IB Plc, Jumoke Okikiolu, noted that the celebrations are two-fold. “On one hand, our decision to celebrate with Kabiyesi is very much aligned with our brand values as he is a personage who stands tall in the promotion of Yoruba socio-cultural values of honour, integrity and quality service. “Also, this fiesta has afforded us the opportunity to celebrate and reward our highly esteemed honourable men and women, who have stood with the Trophy brand for 40 years, for their support and loyalty, in a unique and fun way,� Okikiolu said. Mr. Funso Elubeku, Marketing Manager, Trophy Lager, IB Plc said: “At the heart of our National promotion is the need to provide a memorable experience for our loyal fans. “We are empowering 40 honourables to win N1 million for the duration of the promotion with other consolation prizes such as free instant airtime worth N80m and N40, 000 cash prize weekly for 40 consumers as well.� “Currently, 16 people have emerged as honourable millionaires and about 250 people have won N40, 000 each till date. “All our consumers need to do is to buy a bottle of Trophy Lager and look under the crown cork, text “TROPHY� space “UNIQUE CODE� under the crown cork to 30810 to win instant prizes and a chance to win either N40, 000 or N1m in the weekly draw. “The more entries put in, the better chance of winning the cash reward,� Elubeku added. Remarkably, Trophy Lager, popularly referred to as the pride of the South-West and widely accepted as the Honourable beer that is deeply rooted in the region’s socio-cultural values, and loved by consumers because of its distinctive taste and quality, has remained a market leader in its category. It is worthy to note that the promotion is not limited to South West alone as winners have emerged from other regions of the country.Consumers are encouraged to follow @TrophyLager on Twitter to find out more about becoming the next Honourable Millionaire and more updates on the promo.

Firm Announces $50,000 African Innovation Challenge Mary Nnah

Mr. Mustafa Chike Obi (left) receiving award on behalf of the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar at the event

Vice-Chairman of Alpha African Advisory Limited, who spoke about Abubakar’s agenda for women which includes; protecting and promoting the rights of women and the girl-child in Nigeria and creating an enabling environment for Nigerian women to return to the path of wealth creation and gainful employment. Ini Abimbola, a member of the ELOY Awards Committee spoke about the “Journey So Far� for the awards and congratulated this year’s recipients. Titilayo Oshodi, representative of Honourable Jide

Sanwoolu, (Member, Advisory Board of Exquisite Magazine since 2006) congratulated the ELOY Team and its founder Tewa Onasanya, who has year in, year out identified and honoured inspirational women in society. She spoke about Sanwoolu’s plans to create a conducive environment for greater female participation in every facet of life in Lagos. The evening ended with the announcement of the ELOY Foundation by Tewa Onasanya (ELOY Awards Founder). The ELOY Foundation is dedicated to empowering

women by providing access to finance, mentors, training and more, thereby uplifting female entrepreneurs to continue to be the economic power house of Nigeria. The Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY) Awards is executed by Exquisite Magazine, led by its publisher Tewa Onasanya, who is also the creator of ELOY Awards. The awards have been consistently celebrating, empowering and motivating women since 2009. The awards recognise inspirational women who are doing great things in their various fields.

AIG Media Pro Promises Quality Movie, Music Productions Ake Ayodeji To promote the Nigerian entertainment industry, AIG media Pro, a rental and media house, has pledged to partner major stakeholders to ensure quality musical videos and movies are shot in Nigeria. Speaking to Journalists at the AIG and Canon Unveiling Flagship of Cinema EOS C700 Camera at the AIG Media Pro Studio in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, AIG Media Pro, Mrs. Adeyinka Igbinoba,

Trophy Lager Honours Alaafin with Carnival, Rewards More Consumers

Stakeholders and guests during the AIG Media PRO and Canon Unveiling Flagship of Cinema EOS C700 Camera in Lagos

noted said good video shoot is incomplete without quality post production and editing, thus , ensuring the industry has quality productions.

“The truth is that AIG media Pro is a new brand but then we are ready to partner to use this camera next to nothing. In the nearest years, the en-

tertainment industry is going to be massive, with the level of equipment that we are bringing in. “One thing about movie and music is that no matter good the scripts are the post production and the visual matters. We want to put Nigeria there to have quality productions� she said. Speaking on the event, she said it was the official presentation of the camera from Canon as the first rental and media house that own the flagship products of canon.

In line with the theme “Repositioning Healthcare in Africa for Sustainable Development�, global brand Johnson & Johnson recently announced the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at the 32nd assembly of the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations General Assembly (FAMSA GA). The week-long conference which also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the federation held from the 18th-24th November at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Building on the Millennium Development goals, the United Nations and other development partners in 2015 adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to serve as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. With SDG 3 specific to health the FAMSA General Assembly was a proposed solution that brought together young vibrant minds as well as professionals and relevant stakeholders in both public and private sectors from across Africa to discuss ideas and initiate steps towards the goal. As efforts are made towards a path of development, Africa’s ability to create sustainable and efficient health systems is fundamentally dependent on its capacity to embrace innovative strategies, implement them and scale-up these solutions to the evolving health challenges of today and the future. The just concluded FAMSA General Assembly aimed to inspire a generation of healthcare students and participants to take charge and play active roles in structuring the future of healthcare in Africa for sustainable development. In a statement given by the conference organising chairperson, Jesutofunmi Omiye, he stated that “healthcare is central to the overall development of a region, hence, we must reposition healthcare in Africa if we are to achieve sustainable development.� He buttressed his point by saying, “Everyone should play a part in revolutionising the African healthcare system; government, those in the public and private sectors as well as individuals. If everyone is involved, then progress can be ensured.� To show their support, Dr. Ibrahim Badejo, Senior Director, New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston announced the Africa Innovation challenge 2.0 for budding Healthcare Entrepreneurs by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. This challenge helps to ensure that more of Africa’s bright minds have an opportunity to contribute to the future success of the African continent. “The overarching goal is to uncover entrepreneurs in Africa who have a creative solution to various pressing local healthcare needs�. Johnson & Johnson is calling on African Entrepreneurs to submit ideas in six categories: Mental Health, Consumer Packaging, Botanical Solutions, Health Worker Support, Digital Health Tools and Essential Surgery.




‌For pure art enthusiasts


This new novel from the award-winning author, Sefi Atta subtly navigates a tale of international espionage through everyday people in history, writes Yinka Olatunbosun


orn in Lagos in 1964, Sefi Atta is the author of Everything Good Will Come, Swallow, News from Home, A Bit of Difference amongst others. She has received several literary awards including the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Some of her radio plays had been broadcast by the BBC and her stage plays have been performed internationally. Her latest work of fiction and fourth novel, The Bead Collector, was published by Interlink Books (US) in October. Set in the days before and after February 13, 1976, it tells a very private story of two women, Remi Lawal, a Nigerian woman who owns a greeting card shop and Frances Cooke, who introduces herself as an American art dealer visiting Nigeria to buy rare beads. It turns out that Remi’s husband, Tunde is very suspicious of Cooke and her real intention for visiting Nigeria. She could have been an agent for the CIA, he thought but Remi didn’t buy that argument. After the assassination of the Military Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed in February 13, Remi reconsiders one of her last conversations with Cooke. Set in the well-heeled Ikoyi neighbourhood, the author, through research and vignettes of her childhood memory sourced materials for this novel. Atta was a classmate to General Mohammed’s daughter at the Queen’s College but asides sharing classroom, they shared a common military heritage. Atta’s father, before his death in 1972, was a secretary of state under General Gowon’s regime. Hence, it was inevitable for Atta to ground her works in social reality.

SeďŹ Atta

Her influences may have also been drawn from her feminist inclination. This is evident in her portrayal of Remi Lawal, who is bored being a housewife yet conservative in certain areas. “I am a feminist, but I don’t see why I have to keep announcing that,’’ she

declared in a recent interview. “What I do matters more – for example, supporting a woman who doesn’t have the means to further her career, or putting a girl through school if her parents can’t afford to. This is why I’m so unsure about how fourth-wave feminism is playing out. It

History-Inspired Installation Stuns LABAF Audience

has given a voice to women who have suffered sexual harassment and assault, but it has also given rise to the commercialisation of feminism to a degree I haven’t seen before. “It’s just a sideshow, but it attracts women who do nothing more than publicise that they are feminists, and sometimes for opportunistic reasons. For instance, I don’t see how you can call yourself one if all you do is profit from other women’s pain. I’m referring to women who exploit feminism for money and position. Their motives are easier to deny than to prove, but even when they’re involved in a worthwhile cause, you get the impression they’re trying to enhance their reputations. “I hope Nigerian women won’t imitate them because we can’t afford to take a self-serving approach to feminism. Apart from sexual harassment and assault, we have critical issues to address, such as high maternal and infant mortality rates, and cultural practices that harm girls and women. I would hate to see any of these issues exploited for personal gain.’’ Atta’s insight into the world of the upper class in Nigeria manifests in characters of Aunt Eugenia and Oyinda and others who enjoy unfair advantage over others in the area of business because of access to bank and government funding. Atta, who turns 55 next year says she may quit writing novels after publishing the next novel titled, “Made in Nigeria.’’ “Recently, Mango Books, an imprint of Quramo Publishing, launched my first children’s book, titled Drama Queen,’’ she revealed. “Stories keep coming to me, though, so I will continue to explore them in other forms, but I’ve reached a point where I’m able to produce works at an even slower pace.’’

The Night Lagos Vibed to Ibejii’s Tribal Marks Yinka Olatunbosun

Lagos 1851 Invasion Board Game

Yinka Olatunbosun The 1851 bombardment of Lagos and other stories formed the crust of the art exhibition by a conceptual artist and Founder, Asiri Magazine, Damola Adebowale at the just-concluded Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) held at Freedom Park, Lagos. The exhibition which captured historical details featured mostly illustrations

that documented the 1851 invasion of Lagos by the British Naval Forces; the invasion of Abeokuta by Dahomean Amazons; the Kiriji War (1877-1893) and the Rise of the Ekiti parapo army and well as the Life and Death of Madam Efunsetan Aniwura. For some hours, the Lagos audience awaited the arrival of the monumental work-a chessboard installation with chess pawns with historical nomenclature.

Made of plywood, mahogany and flex banner, the total process of execution took no fewer than six weeks. With help from the architect and carpenter, Bayo Ojoawo, the chess installation is designed to make the user get familiar with the story of Lagos through history using play method. “The interior is four inches by four inches while the exterior is five inches by five inches,’’ said Adebowale.

In that game of chess, titled, “Invasion 1851 Game board,’’ the Eyo served as Guardians and are capable of nullifying all the players in the game. Adebowale revealed that the installation was created as a real time adventure for people to engage with while at the same time learn about history. “There are plans to further modify the game into smaller boards and also create a game app from it.�

The anticipation was high in Lagos as Ibejii, the mystery man behind the retro sounds such as “Alejoo’’ and “Kirakita’’ arrived in time for the album lunch at Jazzhole Ikoyi. In his silk outfit, he stepped in and made peace with the microphone. Earlier that evening, the interview session with the media provided a scope into the new studio album. As usual, Ibejii started off his performance with his soulful songs before transmitting to the mid-tempo tunes. His 11-track album titled, “Tribal Marks’’ evokes some cultural elements of validation and identity. Ibejii, who is backed up by an amazing ensemble revealed how the new album is influenced by jazz and afro-beat. “Music by its nature is finding a place where you settle. What Ibejii represents is one strand of the alternative music genre. It undulates from the heavy dance to the very mellow. The tribal marks album sits somewhere in the middle. It is a medley of jazz soul and afroretro sounds, ‘’ he explained. Ibejii, as a music band is a two-year old journey, with two albums up on the music shelf. While Ibejii music may not be classified as popular music but the reaction you get every time a friend hears the sound is about the same-curiosity. “Is this your hair?�, so asked one of the journalists in the

audience who was perusing the musician’s looks from a distance. Ibejii seemed to enjoy interacting freely with his audience but with journalists being the most in the crowd that night, he showed signs of sweaty palms. Back to the journalist who wanted to probe Ibejii’s hair, the persistent journalist kept saying,“This is not your hair� and Ibejii, tongue-in-cheek, responded. “I thought this is supposed to be a Q and A but it looks like the answer is on that side,’’ laughing at his own humour. “It is really less about me and more about the music. There is someone hiding behind all of this. It is a signature. Ibejii is not just a performer but a brand. The people out there should be able to identify who the purveyor of the music is,’’ he said. Ibejii argued that there is indeed a growing market for alternative music in Nigeria. Citing the examples of Brymo and Asa, Ibejii explained how he grounded his music in ethnic roots and the reason for just a few collaborative tracks. “You will find melodies, folklores all through the medium of music. We also appropriated the Yoruba language and we hope you enjoy it. “We have worked closely with some artists that we have a lot of regard for. But we think the band should earn its credibility first before we start to collaborate.




with DR. KEMI AILOJE; Ă?ĂŒĂ?Ă“ĂžĂ?Ë? 08033083580

Cost Implication: A Major Barrier Preventing Access to Fertility Treatment and Services (Part 1)


n most cultures, the notion of childbearing is regarded as a hallmark of womanhood. Chelsea Polis of the Guttmacher institute estimated that about 31% of Nigerian couple fails to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected sex – a rate at least as high as in the western countries,but the high premium placed on children by extended families as well as difficulties in the procedure for legal or permanent adoption make stigmatizing attitudes experienced by infertile women particularly severe in non-western culture With the increasing awareness about the causes of infertility and acceptability of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Nigeria, there has been a corresponding proliferation of fertility clinics. This high incidence of infertility has also fostered the growth market for all other forms of fertility treatment which includes religious fertility treatment, traditional fertility treatment etc. It has been reported that the desperate infertile woman go to varying lengths visiting orthodox medical practitioners, herbalists, traditionalists and spiritualists in search of needed reprieve and solution while others visit clinics for regular counseling but not able to afford the treatment outlined, thus compounding more burden in fertility clinics. One of the fundamental human rights is the “Reproductive Right which is the basic right of all couple to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the means to do so. It is the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health and to make decision concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence� While family planning program, a component of Reproductive Health enjoys huge support from government policy as well as renowned Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), fertility treatment remains the business of the couples involved. Some western countries where the

reproductive rights of the citizen are fairly valued, government are not only involved in family planning for couples needing it but also supports and funds infertility treatment even up to IVF cycles. Africa can really be a bad place to be barren because you are stigmatized by the society and unrecognized nor supported by the government. Cost remains the greatest barrier to the use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART). The fact that no single ART technique guarantees a 100% success rate further compounds the issue. Although success rate of ART is influenced by factors such as age of the woman, egg quality, sperm quality, tubal and uterine factors etc. On the average a cycle of IVF treatment is considered expensive. The cost usually will depend on the age of the couple and cause of their infertility. ART treatment ranges fromconventional IVF to IVF/ICSI, PGD, and PGSand may involve third party

reproduction (use of donor egg/sperm) and in some cases surrogacy. Only very few fertility clinics are owned by the government and situated within teaching hospitals. Most IVF centers are owned by private practitioners. Even the government owned fertility clinics are not subsidized enoughto offer treatment for average Nigerians, thus the big question is how many Nigerians can afford that type of fees for a fertility treatmentthat is not even 100% guaranteed? However, fact remains that the chances of success with fertility treatment increases with number of cycles attempted, while it is possible to get pregnant following one attempt of IUI or IVF, international guideline for management of infertility postulates after extensive researches that for every 6 cycles of IUI a couple does,they have a 50% chance of a pregnancy and for another additional 6 cycles they have a 75% chance of conception. A cycle of IVF may give about

30% chance of conception but 3 cycles of IVF is likely to increase the success rate to about 60- 90%. The implication of this is that couples attempting IVF cycles are likely to back out following a first failed cycle due to financial constraint to try further cycles. In the traditional African setting where the woman is viewed as always the culprit for the couple’s inability to conceive, a lot of women bear this huge financial responsibility alone without the support of their husbands who in some cases do have a choice to remarry as the society and culture still permits polygamy WHY IS IVF EXPENSIVE IVF treatment is seen as the last resort in the management of infertility which may not necessarily be true. Many people wonder why IVF is so expensive, one of the reasons is that, unlike other medical procedures it is often not covered by insurance, so patients have to pay out of pocket. High cost has remained a hugehindrance to access IVF treatment. If IVF was cheap or even free, am sure most patients would attempt pregnancy every month. IVF treatment may remain expensive for as long as the equipment and consumables used remains expensive, most of which are purchased and imported into the country using foreign currency. The field of Assisted Reproduction also requires personnel with specialized skills and trainings, most of which they undergo outside the country and mostly self-funded. Another key factor in fertility set up is power source. As we all know that the supply of electrical power in the country is very erratic yetthe incubator which is very important equipmentin an IVF center must always be powered when in cycle. Most centers make use of heavy KVA inverters and generators as back up to ensure a 24hours power supply while in cycle. All this summed together makes IVF/ART servicesexpensive with add on costs. 



Overscenes 08060140882

Of 1,500 Nigerians in Italian Prisons and Greener Pasture Seekers


ime and time again, Taofik Adegbite, the CEO of Marine Platforms, a leading oil services company, has continued to prove his mettle and shatter his own records of lofty attainments to push for even loftier goals. Just when it appears the highly driven entrepreneur would slow down a little bit, having covered significant miles in his pursuits of great attainments, that’s when he revs up in pursuit of another goal, usually one deemed mission impossible by many mortals. It is not that Taofik is an extra-ordinary being. In fact, to borrow the term commonly used by Nigerians in examining the phenomenal rise and exploits of some certain individuals in the society, he does not have two heads. But what he has got that is really going well and paying handsomely for him is passion for his dreams and spirited determination to raise the bar of excellence in his endeavours. As a result, the self-effacing business mogul has become an enriching lesson in perseverance, hard-work and purpose; and a good example of the pre-eminence of the God factor. Though he’s ever prepared in pursuit of his desires which has resulted in many desirable outcomes, Taofik will never cease to acknowledge the God element in the attainments of all his plans. The cheery news of Taofik’s nomination and subsequent confirmation of the top Nigerian upstream oil and gas player as the


Norwegian Consul General to Nigeria is undoubtedly the biggest testimonial of his impeccable personality, business integrity and broad culture of corporate excellence. And certainly the topmost in his collection of awards and honours which have all come on the back of his several meritorious endeavours. Usually, most countries across the world, particularly the Western nations, do enlist some of their influential and accomplished citizens from diverse areas of human endeavours as representatives or as goodwill ambassadors with a view to having the selected individuals deploy their influence to help their countries expand and attain its international reach in trade and other worthy engagements. But, obviously for more impact and accelerated gains, these countries are now moving beyond their shores to head-hunt for corporate gurus with business integrity,

a prestige league made up of individuals like Taofik, to advance their interests in international trade and diplomacy. Norway is one of the economically strong countries in the world with absolutely fine records of bilateral relationships and engagements with the outside world. The country’s bilateral relationship with Nigeria predates Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and Norway’s current trade transactions with us is valued at $30bn annually. Little wonder that Norway is pushing forward to deepen exchange of opportunities between the two countries and also acknowledging an illustrious Nigeria who has contributed immensely to the sustenance of mutually beneficial engagements between Nigeria and Norway. Taofik is wholly Made in Nigeria; and he’s always proud to bear the tag. He perfectly fits into the narrative of the “can-do-spirit� inherent in most Nigerians. His remarkable achievement is a powerful evidence of the greatness that can be reached by Nigerians to the benefit of their country when given better opportunities and policies to unleash their potential. So, as one of the captivating success stories of the Nigerian Content Law, a legislation that provides considerable latitude for the participation of Nigerians and the use of local capacity in the Oil and Gas industry, Taofik has been leading the way in highlighting the benefits of the law to potentially competent Nigerians to explore it. Indeed, in Taofik and other accomplished entrepreneurs of his ilk, Nigeria has a new tribe of economic players and reputable nonstate actors that can be useful for the advancement of Nigeria’s interests in the international community and in facilitating huge foreign

investments and transactions to Nigeria. But how fast Nigeria would move to begin to tap into this enormous pool of human resources in the country and ensure the development and appreciation of more people with rewarding capacity in the manner of Norway, is the disturbing poser that is yet to be answered. Presently, Taofik is unarguably the most visible Nigerian in the business community in Norway especially from the latest massive diplomatic honour presented to him by the Norwegian government. And his company, Marine Platforms, is a major reference point in that country when it comes to discussions on excellent corporate governance and integrity in Africa. Marine Platforms boast of multi-milliondollar assets including two multi-purpose field and ROV support vessels which, though built in Norway, are symbolically branded African Inspiration and African Vision; a workforce of over 120; impressive global oil clientele and astounding annual turn-over through which the company makes significant contribution in tax payment to the Nigerian government. There are obviously few other Nigerians with similar reputable credentials who, like Taofik, operate with the same measure of corporate credibility that fits into global best practices. So, the task is now before the Nigerian government to renew its commitment in raising and encouraging economic stars amongst its citizens for greater gains. In the meantime, I say big congratulations to Taofik for making Nigeria proud through his latest diplomatic achievement, which I believe will serve as another potent elixir for Nigeria to get its act right.




Zapphaire Events Set to Launch ‘The Event Xperience Africa’ Nigeria’s pioneer event planner and founder, Zapphaire Events,

L-R; Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Olori Naomi Ogunwusi; winner of the Queen Moremi Ajasoro Cultural Pegeant, Miss Oreoluwa Toluyi; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo and wife of the governor, Olufunso, after Oreoluwa was decorated as the winner at the pageant held in Abeokuta...recently

The couple, Mr. and Mrs . Alemonu [middle], anked by Bishop of Anglican Diocese, Kabba, Rt. Reverend Dr. S.K. Akobe and wife during the wedding of the couple at St Andrew Cathedral, Kabba, Kogi State...recently

L-R; Chairman Pace Setters Academy, Barr Ken Imansuangbon; Blessing Egbara, representing Hajia Titi Abubakarand School Director, Mrs Kate Imansuangbon at Pace Setters Academy Abuja end of year party held in Abuja...recently JULIUS ATOI

L-R: Authorized Agent for SAAB Aerospace and Defence in Nigeria, Charles Nwodo Jnr; Ambassador of Sweden, Inger Ultvedt; and Managing Director, XL Security and Protecction Services Limited, Sylvester Williams during the reception hosted by the ambassador for Swedish companies operating in Nigeria... recently ETOP UKUTT

Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, has announced the launch of the maiden edition of The Event Xperience Africa (TEXA) to be held from 15 – 17 January, 2019. Tagged ‘Be More... Do More... Inspiring New Frontiers’, the conference is designed to bring together seasoned and new event professionals across the continent, taking participants on an exciting, informative, insightful and unusual experience, engaging them on trade secrets, curated sessions, emerging innovations and trends in the industry. According to the convener, “for over a decade, I have groomed several young people into becoming successful event entrepreneurs, many of whom have become industry giants themselves. It brings me so much joy and fulfils my life-long dream of empowering others. “For me, it has always been about enabling the environment, building an ecosystem, peering an industry, impacting lives and laying a legacy. “That is why after many years of prodding, requests and pushing, we have finally launched The Event Xperience Africa Conference - a three-day experience that will break down all you ever thought you knew, and re-mould you into a charged entrepreneur for higher success in the event space. “We want to groom more people, help those who have started scale, support superstars who have their eyes on global excellence and standards, and drive them to learn and share from one another. We want to inspire one another, sharing the ropes on how to climb the ladder of success.� TEXA is targeted at Event Planners, Event Designers, Concert and Show Producers, Bakers/Caterers, Audio Visual Experts (Lighting, Cinematographers, Photographers, and more), Entertainment Specialists (Musicians/Bands, Dancers), Wardrobe and Beauty Experts, and other industry service providers. It is also targeted at corporate stakeholders such as brand and corporate communications managers as well as experiential marketing companies. To register, visit The Event Xperience Africa (TEXA) is a global networking event which will be held on 15 – 17 January 2019. TEXA is designed to bring together seasoned and new event professionals across the African continent, taking participants on an exciting, informative, insightful and unusual experience, engaging them on trade secrets, curated sessions, emerging innovations and trends in the events industry.

The Future Awards Africa Set to Hold on Dec. 16

As the 13th edition of Africa’s biggest youth awards, The Future Awards Africa 2018, is set to hold on 16 December, 2018, at the Balmoral Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of TFAA has announced the nominees. With 20 award categories this year, the CWC unveiled 100 nominees which include artistes, Davido and Simi; footballer, Ahmed Musa; actor, Adesua Etomi; social media influencer and comedienne, Maraji; entrepreneur, Chidi Ajaere, scientist, Dr Mahmoud Maina; Taekwondo expert, Thursdaline Peter and many more – representing a new class of innovators, philanthropists, activists, entertainers, technocrats and creators promoting the shared values of creativity, social good, and innovation while making impact in entertainment, professional service, agriculture, business and sports. “Inducting these new set of performers into Nigeria’s New Tribe has been nothing short of inspiring as they have dutifully chosen the path of impact to their community, nation and the continent,� said Bukonla Adebakin, Chief Operating Officer of The Future Project. “We are reminded of how important it is to acknowledge the work of young Nigerians who have ignored limitations around them and excelling in their chosen fields.� Visit to see the full nominees profiles. There is a one-week window to send all inquiries and clarifications on the list and profiles to Follow @tfaafrica on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest news on the awards. The official hashtags for 2018 is #TFAA2018 and #NigeriasNewTribe. The Future Awards Africa 2018 is presented by The Future Project, Guaranty Trust Bank, and H20.

Future Award 2018 nominnees





Forever Brings Entrepreneurial Education to the Grassroots Mary Nnah With the youth population in Nigeria exploding, occasioned by unemployment and its overwhelming implications; it is obvious we need a total turnaround if we are to make headway. Forever Living Products (FLP), a health, wellness and beauty company is one of the multinationals with the focus on shaping the entrepreneurial mind-set of the Nigerian youth. Through its annual summit tagged “Forever Youth Summit�, the company created a platform where successful businessmen and captains of industry share their experience, expertise and advice with the youths with the singular objective of consciously building in them a mind-set that will focus less on white-collar jobs but think deep down to explore the creative and entrepreneurial potentials in them. FLP Nigeria Country Sales Manager, Mr. Daniel Ikechukwu, who recalled the infrastructural decays bedeviling Nigeria, however implored Nigerian youths to see the opportunities that abound within this same environment and align this with their innate potentials and creativity so that they can as youths, build the Nigeria of their dreams. As a keynote speaker, Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank Nigeria Plc. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, charged Nigerian youths to apply their talents and skills to build the nation, describing nation building as a national service. She said: “When people work collectively, you make a difference. Our youths have abundance of energy and passion to create value, and with discipline you will utilise the

L-R: Mr. Sobowale Adedola; Country Sales Manager, FLP Nigeria, Ikechukwu Daniel; President, Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka; Chairman, First Bank Nigeria Plc., Mrs. Ibukun Awosika; VP Africa, Forever Living Products, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Amichia; Double Diamond Manager, FLP, Business Coach/FBO, Dr. Clement Indigo; Soles Ezekiel at the event

opportunities you see. “Every challenge in Nigeria is an opportunity. In whatever venture you choose, you must understand that the bottom of the pyramid should be the target point of the population. “Don’t aim for the big businesses, rather start small and get the chance to prove your assumptions, and in all circumstances, do the right thing, consistently.� The President, Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, CON, in this own words said “If I were a youth here now, I wouldn’t find a better place to be born besides Nigeria that

provides me an unprecedented opportunity to show my skill. “Any little thing anybody does here will be a success. Many people think that Europe is the easiest environment for business. I say, no, the opportunities are now here�. Maduka revealed that success in business is based on three principles – Vision, Faith and Courage. “With a strong vision comes criticism by naysayers. Again, don’t think that your vision must manifest in your lifetime. Your vision might be accomplished far after you are gone.

Chidinma Aaron Emerges Miss Nigeria 2018

“Example, the vision of Martin Luther King Jnr. was fulfilled when Barack Obama became the first black American President of the United States�, he added. Meanwhile, visiting Vice President, Africa, Forever Living Products, Jean-Baptiste Amichia, said the Nigerian youth had two main pillars to their advantage: education and knowledge of technology. He said: “the correlation between growth and culture in Nigeria are very powerful. When you add technology and culture, you have something very unique.

Ake Ayodeji Among the 12 finalists contesting for the 2018 Miss Nigeria beauty pageant, Chidinma Aaron, a serving National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member, was crowned winner. She was crowned at the 42nd Miss Nigeria Coronation event which took place in Lagos recently, while Chisom Dunu, another NYSC member emerged the first runner up, and Munirah Ameh, a program officer, ended up as the second runner up. As Miss Nigeria, Aaron was presented the prize of N3 million, a luxury apartment and an automobile, after she was crowned by Miss Nigeria 2017, Mildred Ehiguewe. Giving account of her administration as the ex-Miss Niheria, Ehiguewe said she embarked

on educational projects in the rural areas and outreach for the orphans. She said: “I worked on numerous projects and a few of my favorites were the back to school outreach in the suburbs of Ajegunle Local Government in Lagos state, the dark Lagos outreach, coconut planting, the 300 orphans outreach in Abuja and the kick malaria out football tournament in Akowonjo local government in Lagos.� The Project Director, Yvonne Anoruo, said that smartness, personality and impact were some of the criteria used in making the selection. “We had over 1,500 applications this year and you will agree with me that it was quite a hassle cutting down to 18. “So, we picked from the various states such as Lagos, Abuja, and Owerri. We are looking for

girls who are smart, looking at personality, impact, we are looking at people who could hold their own and be valuable to the society. “People who are socially conscious and determined to make an impact beyond beauty were also considered. “When we got our top 40 which was difficult. Over the past weeks in Lagos, we had to cut down from 40 to 18 and had a task where the girls were supposed to come up with a campaign that they will likely execute if they became a Miss Nigeria. “This is very important for us because Miss Nigeria is not just a beautiful girl, she’s also a smart and intelligent girl. So, we created that balance between beauty and brain and the outcome of that exercise is what you are seeing now,� she said.

very young and vibrant Forever business owners who seized the Forever Business Opportunity to showcase what they have been able to achieve. The summit also showcased all the tools that youths can use to build a business of the 21st century as the summit ended with a vote of thanks by the Country Sales Manager who urged Nigerians to look forward to the third Edition of the summit as Forever Living rolls out a mentorship programme for youths interested in changing their lives.

GroupGalvanisesSupportforaBetterNigeria Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Chidinma Aaron, Miss Nigeria 2018

“With these the Nigerian youth can withstand any growth for agriculture and for finance. In Forever, we aim to get people to think and look good, and we have the products for all. This opportunity can give them low capital intensive profile so they can start out a business with low capital and grow very fast�. He however encouraged them to build their business on values. The Forever Youth Summit 2.0 was a three-day event and featured so many other speakers/youth entrepreneurs like Ezekiel Solesi, Nkem Agboti,

As the nation prepares for the 2019 general elections, a sociopolitical and economic interest group under the name, Integration Summit Group Nigeria (INGN), said it is galvanising support across the country for a better Nigeria. They called on politicians to base their campaigns on issues and not hate speeches that would heat up the polity. Convener of the summit, Dr Chris Ekiyor stated this in Benin City, Edo State capital at a press briefing heralding the organisation’s sixth annual get together and its Senate’s live session. He said the essence of the group is to re-orientate the minds of Nigerians to seek the part of “peace, unity and peaceful coexistence� irrespective of ethnic, religious and cultural beliefs.

Ekiyo said the organisation is apolitical as its members are part of the all political parties in Nigeria. He said: “We have a robust membership in the 774 local governments that make up Nigeria. I can tell you that in every local government area, we have a member, we are established in the six geo-political zones. “Our focus is on national integration. We are filling gaps that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is not able to fill. We have members across NYSC. “We are about launching it in tertiary institutions, to invigorate the issues of Nigerian dream. “For the political gladiators, it is our clarion call and we are going to continue to simmer in the fact that we will not encourage them to use hate speeches against one another. “We will continue to champion a course that improve national discourse and debate

in terms of superior logical arguments for the purpose of winning elections. “We are not supporting the opposition or the ruling party because all of us here belong to all the political parties in the country. We call on those campaigning to allow their campaigns be driven by issues.� Ekiyor who also called on anti-graft agencies to live up to expectation of going after corrupt Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation, noted that the country is being run like the private estate of few Elites who have perpetually put the country down. “Our country has continued to be run like the private estate of a few elite who have perpetually put us down. They have divided and partitioned us along religious lines, tribal lines, poverty lines of the privileged elite, the not so privileged.

CommunicationOutfitUsesCrowdSourcingto AggregateDonationtoNGOs,IPDs Oluchi Chibuzor As Information Technology (IT) continues to drive every facet of human endeavors, Wow Effect Communications, under Giving Hand Initiatives, has created a platform to aggregate donation of unwanted household materials from any part of the nation to various established Non-governmental Organisation registered with relevant authorities in the country. Speaking to journalists at the donation of materials to some NGOs inLagos over the week-

end, Managing Director, Wow Effect Communications, Popoola Williams, said that, as an IT firm they are committed to providing solutions to filled the gap in social service delivery in Nigeria through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). While stressing that logistics still remains a key area to moving the gift items to where they are needed. Williams said that Giving Hand Initiatives is a social impact project that provides an easy and transparent way for people to donate unwanted, but useful things to others. He added that the initiative improves lives by

providing critically needed resources including clothing, non-perishable foods, shoes, books, home appliances and toys to the under privileged in the society while also contributing to a healthier environment. With plans to impact lives in all the six geo political zones in Nigeria, he further stated that the “project is different from existing initiatives because it makes the process of donating items tothe needy easy real-time through effective utilization of our platform with technology and crowd-sourcing.� He explained.




WhitfieldVenturesLimited:ChampioningDevelopmentinNigeria ÓÞÒÞÒĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă?Ă?Ă˜ĂžĂŽĂ“Ă?ÚÖËãĂ™Ă?Ă“ĂžĂ?ĂĄĂ“ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă™Ă?ĂšĂœĂ™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă‹ĂžÞÒĂ?Ă‘ĂœĂ‹ Ă˜Ă˜Ă™Ă Ă‹ĂžĂ?ÍşÍ¸ÍšÎ€ËœĂ’Ă“ĂžĂ?Ă“Ă?Ă–ĂŽĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă? Ă“Ă—Ă“ĂžĂ?ĂŽËœĂ‹Ă˜ Ă‹Ă‘ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ‹Ă–Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă–Ě‹ĂœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœËœĂĄĂ’Ă™Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ Ă“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂšĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂŽĂ‹Ă?ĂœĂ™Ă?Ă?ĂŽĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?Ă˜ĂžĂ‹Ă?ĂšĂ?Ă?ĂžĂ?Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă‘ĂœĂ“Ă?Ă&#x;Ă–ĂžĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă–Ă“Ă•Ă?ĂœĂ‹Ă˜Ă&#x;Ă–Ă‹ĂœĂ?ĂœĂžĂ“Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?Ëœ Ă“Ă›Ă&#x;Ă“ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂžĂ“Ă–Ă“Ă?Ă?ĂœĂ?ËœĂœĂ‹Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ?ËœĂ™Ă&#x;Ă–ĂžĂœĂŁĂŒĂ“Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă?Ă?ÞãĂšĂœĂ™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă?ĂžĂ?ËœĂœĂ‘Ă‹Ă˜Ă“Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă‹ĂœĂ—Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ“Ă–Ă™Ă?ĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂ‹Ă‘Ă?Ă?ĂŁĂ?ĂžĂ?Ă—Ă?ËœĂ“Ă?Ă?Ă?Ăž ÞÙĂ?Ă˜Ă’Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?ÞÒĂ?Ă“Ă‘Ă?ĂœĂ“Ă‹Ă˜Ă?Ă‹ĂœĂ—Ă“Ă˜Ă‘Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ™ĂœĂŒĂŁĂšĂœĂ™Ă Ă“ĂŽĂ“Ă˜Ă‘Ă‹Ă?Ă?Ă“Ă?ĂžĂ‹Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽĂ?ĂœĂ?Ă‹ĂžĂ“Ă˜Ă‘ĂŒĂ&#x;Ă?Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă?Ă?ĂžĂ?ĂœĂœĂ‹Ă“Ă˜Ă?Ă™ĂœĂ–Ă™Ă?Ă‹Ă–Ă?Ă˘ĂšĂ™ĂœĂžĂ?ĂœĂ?ËœĂĄĂœĂ“ĂžĂ? Mary Nnah Ă‹Ă˜ĂŽAke Ayodeji

The WhitďŹ eld Ventures Limited team at Agra Innovate 2018


Whitfield Ventures Limited, experts in Agro Inputs, has for the past ten years of its operations shouldered the promotion of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in Nigeria. At the Agra –Innovate exhibition which was recently held in Lagos, Director, Whitfield Ventures Limited, Ankush Arora, noted, “We stand for growing all kinds of agricultural inputs whereby we have the Granular fertilisers – SSP, DAP and MOP which have already been in the market, and besides direct application are also used as raw materials for fertiliser blending to be blended locally and suggest solutions which can be suited for all kinds of farms�. With the new launch of its wide range of Liquid fertiliser products, which includes Liquid NPK, Liquid Potassium, Humic acids and Fruit and Flower setters, all are recommended for all types of crops, fruit trees, vegetables and ornamental crops, the company is poised on taking farming to next level in Nigeria. The company which specialises in various aspects of agriculture like Granular Fertilisers, Artal Liquid Fertilisers, Sonalika Brand Tractors, Staldren Poultry hygiene products, Organic Moringa Farms and Silos Cordoba Grain storage systems, also introduced Artal Rice, particularly developed liquid fertiliser for rice. Arora stressed that the company is committed to growing sustainable agri-businesses in Nigeria, by supporting the farmers not only in terms

of input but also on agro outputs in terms of buying grains from the farmers. They provide agricultural storage facilities for most especially for grains. Besides this, they also import and assemble tractors for the mechanisation of Nigerian farms. It comes along with free training to ensure yields are on the increase. He said: “We will also be providing them with implements, organise free training sessions, spareparts availability, and local servicing to save farmers from running around.� Arora further added that the company concentrates on a lot of farming projects like the organic certified Moringa farm in Kaduna which is already spanning 65 hectares. “It’s the one of the largest organic certified farms in Nigeria. From there, we have the Moringa leaf, seed and we supply to our own processing facility where we further produce Moringa oil. “We are also working with other farmers which can be setup to grow Mo-

Farmers should embrace new agricultural practices and they should learn to utilise new machines to produce more agriculture products in the country and to save foreign exchange for the econom

ringa. We have a processing facility that we have installed for dehydrated fruits like; pineapple, mango and papaya. It’s also for export purposes and we are looking for farmers to benefit from the scheme by supplying us with their quality fruits. We are a Truly Nigerian at Heart Company�, he said. The Senior Manager, Sonalika Tractors Ashish Kumar believes that the whole idea is to share new initiatives to Nigerian farmers. According to him, it will be of interest not only to the farmers but the business men and women at large who specialises in supply and export. “These implements are the basic necessity of all farmers, because Nigeria has a fertile land but all the lands are not utilised for agriculture, that’s why if the farmer uses the conventional method, he won’t be able to cover the whole land but with our implements, the output production will increase so that the production of the land will increased to 40 per cent if they can use our tractors. He added that they expect that the farmers should embrace new agricultural practices and they should learn to utilise new machines to produce more agriculture products in the country and to save foreign exchange for the economy. Also, member of the executive, Ashish Gajjar, appealed to Nigerian livestock farmers to embrace the new Staldren Poultry disinfectant product. “Our products can be well reckoned with and we are the executive distributors for West Africa. These products are affordable and we have a lot of clients making good use of them. For a poultry farmer, when mortality decreases then you will be able to maximise more profit. It’s

like you are saving a lot of money. I will say it’s a very innovative product and people should make use of it to benefit, we are ready to help the farmers as our products speak for themselves�, he said. Virginia Moure, from Artal Liquid Fertilisers spoke to the Nigerian farmers that the fertilisation of plants are equally important as the fertilisation of their soil. “We are manufacturers of fertilisers and sow in agriculture in terms of quality. This will be the first time we are exhibiting our products in Nigeria. The products are specific fertilisers for specific stages of the crops. I think there is a lot to do as far as agriculture is concerned in Nigeria. We need to teach the farmers the best ways to make more profit with their crops�. Commending Nigerian farmers, Badih Nouh, Director, Silos Cordoba, urged them to exercise patience to achieve desired goals. “We specialise in storage facilities. We do all kind of grain storage; we have long lasting solutions for storage facilities. The truth is as far as agriculture is concerned, Nigerians must be very patient, this takes time, and if you are patient enough, you will always arrive at something good. “Our grain storage is increasing every year, as a result of continual harvest and we are happy about that, which makes our products high on demands in the market. I will say that Nigeria has a good potential in agriculture and they are producing a lot� Nouh said. The participation in Agra Innovate was the company’s effort to educate the Nigerian farmers and drive for Agricultural initiative as promoted by the Nigerian Government “Growing Agriculture Creating Wealth�.




‌Your city life in print

Honouring Agents of Peace, Justice In recognition of their valuable contributions to the pursuit of peace and justice in Nigeria and Africa, some socially responsible individuals and organisations were conferred with awards by the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group at its 2018 Peace Award and Conference in Lagos recently, Peter Uzoho reports


ecently, the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) held its 2018 annual Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference and Peace Award Dinner at the Grand Ball Room of the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Victoria Island, Lagos. The conference marked the organisation’s 20 years of advocating for peace and justice in Africa. The 2018 ADR Conference which held in the morning hours preceding the award dinner attracted dignitaries from the bar and the bench, the academia and other well-meaning Nigerians disposed to championing peace, fighting for justice, and ensuring an egalitarian society for all. Some of the notable personalities included the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and keynote speaker of the event, Justice Walter Onoghen, who was represented by a Supreme Court Justice, Chima CentusNweze; and the Administrator, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosaline Bozimo who delivered a goodwill message through a Senior Studies Fellow at the NJI, Mr. Ajibolu Afolabi. Others present at the conference were the Chief Judge of Kastina State, Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar who presented a paper on ‘New Pathways to Justice with Technology Driven Courts;’ and the Head of Human Capital Department at the Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Olufunke Amobi who on her part, did justice to the topic: ‘The Role of Technology in Driving Human Capital; amongst others. The NCMG Peace Award dinner on its own, recorded eminent personalities including a Supreme Court Justice, Amina Augie; Chairman of the occasion/Chairman of SystemSpecs, Dr. ChristopherKolade; Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; Professor of Law, University of Lagos, Oyelowo Oyewo; first female President, NBA, Dame Priscilla Kuye; Publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, Mrs Maiden Ibru; and Resident Programme Director, International Republican Institute; Sentell Barnes and his wife, amongst others. The NCMG founded as a non-government, not-for-profit civil society organisation has since its establishment been at the forefront of advocating and championing peace, social justice, defense of human right as well ensuring that people are free to develop themselves for society’s benefit. The organisation has carried on with this onerous task by initiating programmes aimed at realisation its golden objectives and principles. One of such programmes is the NCMG Peace Awards which comes up every year during its annual conference. The award which comes in various categories is given to individuals and organisations otherwise known as change agents whose lives and activities have made positive impacts on the society at large. Special Awardees The 2018 edition of the NCMG Peace Award, especially its Special Recognition Award brought a kind of closure (if there was none) to the family of one of the recipients, late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, a consultant physician and endocrinologist who paid the supreme price and saved Nigeria during the Ebola crisis in 2014. The reading of Adadevoh’s citation was accompanied with a standing ovation as participants rent the air with thunderous applauses and screaming. This was immediately followed by a minute silence basically observed to reflect on her sacrifice and selfless service to fatherland. The posthumous award was presented to her family, friends, professional colleagues and her only son and Chairman of Ameyo Adadevoh Health Trust, Bankole Cardoso, in recognition of her sense of sacrifice and commitment to saving the nation and humanity. Like Adadevoh, the Special Recognition Award was also presented to the family of late technocrat, former presidential aide and co-Founder of Gamaliel & Susan Onosode Foundation (GAMSU), Dr. Gamaliel Onosode,

Youth Innovator for Peace The NCMG Youth Innovator for Peace Award recognises youth with outstanding initiatives in peacebuilding, conflict management and reconciliation. It also honours exceptional youth exploring tools such as intellectual dialogue, conflict analysis, and transformation narratives to promote peace and cooperation beyond traditional boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity, and nationality. The award was won by 17-year-old rights activist and Chief Executive Officer of the Khairatul SaiduFoundation (KSF) owing to her persistence in advocating for the rights of those unjustly imprisoned.

L-R: Business Coach, Amina Oyagbola; Publisher, The Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Ibru; Son of late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, Dr. Bankole Cardoso; Director, Ameyo Adadevoh Health Trust, Niniola Soleye; and Chairman, SystemSpecs, at the 2018 NCMG Peace Award Dinner in Lagos...recently

L-R: Founder, NCMG, Kehinde Aina; Publisher, The Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Ibru; chairman, NCMG Peace Award Committee, Prof. Isabella Okagbue; and Resident Programme Director, International Republican Institute (Nigeria), Mr. Sentell Barnes and his wife, at the event

NCMG Justice Builder Awardee and President, Women Arise, Dr. Joe Odumakin (middle), receiving the award from a Supreme Court Justice, Amina Augie, at the event

in recognition of their father’s “exemplary life and unfettered commitment in making society a better place to live.� The NCMG Special Recognition Award was also conferred on the National Peace Committee for the role its members played which contributed significantly to the peace recorded during and after the 2015 general election. One of the members of the committee present at the occasion, Dame Priscillia Kuye, received the plaque on behalf of the committee. Peace Builder Award Another category of the NCMG Peace award is the Peace Builder Award. It is conferred on an individual or organisation that has made or makes outstanding contributions in shaping the destiny of their communities, by dealing adequately with issues of conflict, justice, reconciliation, as well as being highly instrumental in the peaceful transition to a more just and tolerant society. The 2018 edition presented three nominees comprising the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, His Eminence Ignatius Kaigama; Executive Director, NEEM Foundation, Dr. Fatima Akilu; and Founder, WWW Initiative, Esther Ibanga. Akilu emerged the winner of the award owing to the valuable roles she is playing to “deradicaliseterrorism, and also for her campaign to help every Nigerian child read 100 books a year.� Justice Builder Award This category of award honours individuals and organisations who demonstrate that access

to justice should offer a variety of approaches and options for dispute resolution within the judicial system. It also helps to shape new and humane approaches to equitable justice in Africa, while also defending and upholding the rights of those at the bottom rung of economic pyramid in order to pull humanity out of the mud of poverty, violence, war and conflict. The Peace Builder award for 2018 had three human right activists as nominees including two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, (SANs), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba and Femi Falana, and the President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Odumakin. The multiple award-winning human right fighter, Odumakin clinched the award because of her resilience in fighting for the right of the common man in Nigeria. Institutional Peace Builder The NCMG Institutional Peace Builder Award recogises any corporation, agency or organisation that develops strategies which promote peace and stability for a better and stronger harmonious society. The 2018 edition nominated the Almajiri Child Right Initiative (ACRI), WANEP Nigeria, and the Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Initiative. The award won by the Almajiri Child Right Initiative was in recognition of the role the civil society organisation is playing to make a difference in the lives of Almajiri children especially in the insurgency-ridden North-East of Nigeria.

Appreciation For being recognised by the NCMG, some of the recipients expressed their overwhelming joy and gratitude. Odumakin, who beat two SANs to grab the NCMG Justice Builder award, said: “The special recognition serves as a tonic for me in my untiring effort in ensuring there is peace and justice. Again, it goes a long way in saying that more work is needed on our part. Peace and justice remains the lubricant for the survival of any entity. Therefore, we must all strive hard in ensuring that we have a world and our great country Nigeria where justice and peace must reign at all times.� Also speaking to journalists, the Team Lead, AlmajiriChild Right Initiative, Mohammed Sabo Keana who received the award on behalf of his organisation, said: “Borrowing from the word of Mother Theresa, I will say we are not worthy of the award, but then, we feel extremely humbled and delighted to be recognized for our little contributions to amplify the voice of the vulnerable Almajiri children. Keynote Messages Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairman, Peace Awards Committee, NCMG, Prof. Isabella Okagbue, while congratulating the awardees, however, painted a picture of the current society that has been enmeshed with conflict, resulting from injustice and selfishnessthat is now governing human relations. Okagbue said: “A corrosive and pervasive, self-serving attitude has come to govern humanrelations. We have wrongly confused progress in economics, wealth creation, technology and science with the far more elusive and much more vital ethical progress that is needed for us to live in an environment of peaceful co-existence, sustainability and harmony beyond traditional boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity and nationality. “These are unattainable if those attitudes do not change. They will not come about merely by signing of agreements and treaties without more as Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr once said.� According to her, the NCMG International is desirous of seeing a society that is devoid of devastating conflicts and this desire underlines its reverence for peacemakers who have expended so much towards creating lasting peace, either through post conflict humanitarian actions or activities geared towards preventing the society from degenerating into conflicts. She added: “The NCMG Peace Award constitutes this next exciting step in NCMG International’s belief and commitment to a just and sustainable Africa where the inherent dignity of all members of the human family is acknowledged, human rights are respected, social justice is maintained, and all persons are free to develop themselves, lead meaningful lives and actively contribute to their own well-being as well as their communities.� On his part, the chairman of the occasion, Dr. Christopher Kolade, thanked the NCMG for keeping to its peace building and conflict management mandate especially in a challenging environment like Nigeria. Kolade explained that some of the things happening in the country currently were a manifestation of the kind of relationship that exists among people of the country. “I think we should remember that the context on which we operate today is largely of our own making,� he said.


F R I DAY ˾͵˜ͰͮͯͶ


Operation AWATSE: JTF Arrests 38 Pipeline Vandals, Cultists





Seized products: dividends of Operation Awatse



The creeks formerly used by vandals at Majidun, Ikorodu before Operation AWATSE

Chiemelie Ezeobi











Daniel Chukwudozie: A Salute to Dexterity and Humility Ingram Osigwe


s pregnancy is insuppressible so is a good man; his good works, his kind and large heart. This assertion finds meaning in Chief (Sir) Daniel Chukwudozie’s life trajectory. This shrewdindustrialist wears no air and exudes non; he is as simple as air itself. He exudes a calm ambience that belies his war chest, yet the more he tries to remain unassuming by avoiding the spotlight, the more his selfless service to humanity and God; his kind and golden heart lay him bare and drag him to the public arena for recognition. This way, avalanche of unsolicited awards and honours from individuals, corporate organizations, religious bodies and academic institutions have come his way. Last year for example, the University of Calabar singled him out for honour in recognition of his strides in the corporate world and contribution to the economic growth of the country. The citadel of learning had conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate Degree. This year, Nigeria’s premier indigenous University, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN), had no problem spotting the gold fish in its hiding place. Yes, Chukwudozie is a gold fish, and a big one for that matter. And just as he could not hide from UNICAL, he was an easy prey for UNN. The University is saying, hey, this man, our cap fits on your head and you must wear it as a mark of honour and recognition of your tireless effort to uplift your country and fellow countrymen. Hence, come December 1st, 2018, the serene university town of Nsukka will be agog as friends, well-wishers and businessassociates of Dozie pour in there to identify with one of their own as UNN confers Honorary Doctorate Degree on this Corporate Czar who sits atop a multi-billion Dollars conglomerate. Chukwudozie is an unassuming young man who mingles with the lowly and the downtrodden without discrimination, he isworkaholic, a business czar, corporate tiger and sits atop multi-billion dollars investments spanning several interests. He is a tested industrialist and an achiever-a job creator, an employer of labour and a philanthropist. Dr.Chukwudozie has indeed made a huge, indelible mark in the Oil and Gas sector of the economy. His contributions to the economic growth of his fatherland is undeniable.


It is therefore no surprise that UNN fished him out for honour.Surely, Chief (Sir)Daniel Chukwudozie, Chairman of Dozzy Oil and Gas will be the cynosure of all eyes on December 1st at the UNN as he stands shoulder high to be honoured by that prestigious citadel of learning east of the Niger. UNN’s decision to honour Chukwudozie confirms that awards and honours he has received in the past, including The Authority Icon Award by Authority Newspaper, were well deserved. Essentially, besides The Authority Icon award, UNICAL and UNN’s conferments on Chukwudozie, the Oil and Gas magnet has in his award collections, the Industrialist of the year award from Grassroots Newspapers Publishers Association, the most respected Nigerian CEO award (2010) by This Day Newspaper among others. Chukwudozie’s rise to the top was not a one-step movement. It was a humble beginning for a humble man. The inter play of factors that would established him as one of Nigeria’s reputable captains

of industry shaped his principle and philosophy of life and business-humility, honesty and hard work. His unassuming nature and infectious humility explain why he does not trumpet his numerous philanthropist gestures. One these philanthropist acts was the construction and handover of a magnificent three storey school building to St. James Anglican Church, Awada, Onitsha. Having lost his father at a young age, vicissitude and obfuscation became the family’s companion as his poor mother toiled to raise him and his siblings. But the young Chukwudozie would not allow poverty to limit him. He thus forcefully brushed aside vagaries of life to embrace hard work, and then reaped subsequent strings success in the business arena. Starting off as a trader in 1982, through the dint of hard work and resilience, Chukwudozie nurtured and expanded his trade, transforming it into a limited liability company under the name, Dozzy Nigeria Limited. At inception the nascent company was concerned only with the importation of belt and general goods from Europe and Asia. A shrewd businessman, Chukwudozie later diversified leading to Dozzy becoming a conglomerate with SubsidiariesSpecialty Oil company Nigeria Limited, Dozzy Plastic Industries Limited, Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited, Guttroff Gas Limited. The Dozzy Group is also into Lubricant, Oxygen and industrial gas production, industrial automotive, household as well as high precision plastic products, wigs/artificial hair attachment production among others. The Dozzy conglomerate also has interest in Real Estate, Logistics and hospitality. The Oil and Gas sector of the Group came on stream in 1994 with the incorporation of Dozzy Oil and Gas. The sector has grown to become the Group’s flagship. Dozzy Oil and Gas operation is anchored on four areas: Blending, distribution, industrial Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Dozzy Oil and Gas depots are well entrenched in Nigeria’s three strategic, main port cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar. Dozzy Oil and Gas is determined to meet Nigeria’s energy needs and this why the company’s combined capacity of oil storage will be 200,000 metric tons when fully installed. Chukwudozie enthuses about his company’s success story: “It takes a serious patriotic group in the present circumstances to build a petroleum product storage depot that is capable of handling 120 million liters of assorted petroleum products

at once. We are happy the facility which we built in Calabar has helped to address the attendant high prices of petroleumproducts in most of the South South, South east and parts of Northern Nigeria� Dozzy Oil and Gas’ sister company, Specialty Oil, is into blending of base oil into different brands. With a state of the art and fully installed blending plant at Onitsha, Anambra state, the company has the capacity to blend 48 million litres of oil on continuous shift production roster. Chukwudozie exudes patriotic fervor. Having tasted poverty and deprivation, the Dozzy Group boss goes about doing good-putting smiles on the faces of his fellow country men and women through philanthropist gestures and job creation. For example, he has over 300 skilled and unskilled combined workforces on his payroll in Dozzy Oil and Gas. The combined total workforce of the conglomerate stands at about 2,000. Chukwudozie believes that mentoring culture, suitable team, unique and reliable product and service delivery channels, conformity of product and service with international and national standard policy of giving back to the host communities and the society result in business success as well as impacts on society� Married to Lady Ada Chukwudozie, a Chemical Engineer and apublisher, the Dozzy Group boss hails from Okija in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. Chukwudozie is one of illustrious sons of Okija that have put the community on world map by executing many high profile people-oriented infrastructural projects. The Chukwudozies, though super rich, are not slaves to wealth. Rather, as devout Christians, they put God first in everything they do. They are of the view that each individual, including the rich could encounter problem money cannot solve but God has all solutions to all problems. As he stands before a sea of academics, family members, friends and well-wishers to receive UNN’s honorary academic laurel, many agree that for a man with a large, kind and generous heart; a silent achiever and a blessing to humanity, his community, Okija and fatherland, Nigeria, the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honouris Causa) is a fitting recognition.Wear, the cap, Akudo, it fits and custom- made for you! Congratulation. – Osigwe is MD of Fullpage International Communications Limited

Dr Chinwe Okolo: Celebrating a Literary Amazon


n the scheme of things, Dr. Chinwe Jane Okolo, can best be described as an Amazon. A consummate wife and mother, erudite scholar and linguistics major, but perhaps what stands her out the most is her passion to help all she comes across. Her students at Ebonyi State University, where she was once the Head of Department call her a virtuous woman, her children call her blessed, likewise her siblings, who see her more as a mother-figure than an elder sister, having stood in the gap when their mother died early. Born in the 1960s, Okolo who is married to a medical doctor, recently bagged a doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), thus crowning her decades of teaching and love for education. Her educational qualifications also speaks for her. Before bagging a PhD this year from the prestigious UNN, she already had in her kitty Master of Arts degree in French, also from UNN, a Bachelor of Arts in Education and French, still from UNN and a Diplome Superieur (French for diploma) from Universite De Grenoble, France D’Etudes Francaises IIIème Degre in 1982 and a Diplome D’Etudes in 1981, still from Universite De Grenoble, France Francaises IIème Degre. She also had her West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1977 from Oraifite Secondary School, Anambra State. Her work experience has spanned years, from 1998 till date. At the Abia State University in Uturu, she was a lecturer at the Abakiliki Distance Learning Centre. From 2000 till date, she has been a lecturer at Ebonyi State University. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndifu Alike Ikwo from the 2016/2017 session. She has held educational administrative positions like the Head of Department (HOD) of languages and linguistics at the Ebonyi State University, Abakiliki from 2004 to 2010 and the Coordinator, French Unit from 2010 to 2015. Okolo is also a member of so many professional bodied including the University French Teachers Association of Nigeria (UFTAN) and FÊdÊration Internationale des Professeurs de Français(FIPF), among others. Internationally, she has attended workshops like BELC UNIVERSITE D’ETE 2014, UniversitÊ de


Nantes, France from July 5 to August 3, 2014 and UNIVERSITE DE RECFLEA, Village du Benin, Lome, Togo on April 6 to 7, 2009. Locally, she attended the Stage PĂŠdagogique enseignement du fle CFTD, Enugu from November 3 to 5, 2011, Technique de formation dans l’enseignement Pre-Universitaire du FLE, NFLV, Badagry, Sept, 10 to 12, 2012, Stage de recyclage pour les professeurs de français des universitĂŠs, NFLV, Badagry, December 3 to 7, 2012 and Stage PĂŠdagogique enseignement du fle CFTD Enugu from March 11 to 15, 2013. Okoli also has many publications in her kitty, some of which include journals like Okolo Chinwe J. “La Transformation Sociale : Apport de l’œuvrede Jacques Roumainâ€? African Literary Journal ALJ B5 (2005) :78-100; Okolo Chinwe J. “Social Transformation: The literary contributions of Jacques Roumainâ€? English Translation in African Literary Journal ALJ B5 (2005):78-100; Okolo Chinwe J. “L’organisation de l’espace dans La Vie et Demie de Sony Labou Tansiâ€? in La Revue Internationale de LittĂŠrature et Linguistique AppliquĂŠes (RILLA) 1 1(2010) :149-179; Okolo Chinwe J. “Le Carnavalesque dans L’Etat Honteux de Sony Labou Tansiâ€? in Nsukka Journal of Humanities 18 (2009/2010) : 201-211; Okolo Chinwe

J. â€œĂ‰valuation de la version française de la traduction de Purple Hibiscus par Mona de Pracontalâ€? La Revue des Etudes Francophone de Calabar (RETFRAC) 12 1 (2013) : 212-231; Okolo Chinwe J. “RĂŠflexions sur l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de la littĂŠrature : Le cas des UniversitĂŠsNigĂŠrianesâ€? Le Bronze, University of Benin Journal of French Studies, 2 1(2014) :128-155; Okolo Chinwe J. “La Non violence active : Discours social dans Le Mat de Cocagne de RenĂŠ Depestre et Les Sept Solitudes de Lorsa Lopez de Sony Labou Tansi.â€? Revue de l’Association NigĂŠriane des Enseignants Universitaires de Français (RANEUF) 12 (2014) :105-122; and Okolo Chinwe J. “L’enseignement du français de base aux universitĂŠs nigĂŠrianes: Le dĂŠfi du CECR. â€? Revue de l’Association NigĂŠriane des Enseignants Universitaires de Français (RANEUF) 16 (2015) : 148-168 Others include Okolo Chinwe J. “Towards improving linguistic competence among core french graduates in Nigeria Âť Ebsu Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 5 1(2015):63-73; Okolo Chinwe J. “Le Dialogisme dans Le Zeheros n’est pas n’importe qui De Williams Sassineâ€? ABUDoF Journal of Humanities Department of French Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.6 1(2016): 262-275; Okolo Chinwe J “ L’intertextualitĂŠ au service du discours social : Gouverneurs de la rosĂŠe de Jacques Roumain et Le mât de cocagne de RenĂŠ Depestreâ€? International journal of humanities and Cultural Studies 3 1(2016) :1026 -1035 (indexed in Thomson Reuters and Web of Science); Okolo Chinwe J. “L’EsthĂŠtique de l’espace dans Allah n’est pas obligĂŠ de Ahmadou Kouroumaâ€?. International journal of humanities and Cultural Sudies 3 2(2016):445455 (indexed in Thomson Reuters and Web of Science}; Okolo C.J , Ali M.I. ÂŤ La mĂŠmoire au service de la rĂŠsistanceculturelle : L’exil selon Julia de Gisele Pineau . An International Journal of Arts and Humanities (IJAH) Vol. 6 1 No 20 2017 pp.74-84. More journals include: Okolo C.J. “Exploiter la literature en classe de Fle: Allah n’est pas obligĂŠ d’Ahmadou Kourouma’ African Research Review Vol. 11.1 No 45 January 2017 pp. 182-191; Ali, M. I. Okolo C.J. “L’absorption d’un discours social NigĂŠrien : Esclave Ă 11ans de Fatima Boscaro. An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies(LALIGENS)Vol. 6.2 No 14 August , 2017 pp

111-121; and Okolo, C. J. “L’espace Romanesque de Sony Labou Tansi: Enjeu des forces sociolectalesâ€? An International Journal of Arts and Humanities (IJAH) Vol. 6 4 23 No 20 2017 pp103-113. Some of her books and book chapters include Okolo, C.J. L’inscription de l’espace dans les romans de Sony Labou Tansi. Beau Bassin : Éditions Universitaires EuropĂŠennes, 2018; and Okolo Chinwe J. “Le Procès Juridique dans Une Aube si Fragileet 15 ans ça suffit : Une Technique romanesque significativeâ€?.Languages and Nation building, a Festschrift in honour of Prof Evaristus Ogechi Anyaehie. 2015 191-200, respectively. She has also presented conference papers like; Okolo Chinwe J.â€?La Transformation sociale : Apport de l’œuvre de Jacques Roumainâ€? 5th Annual NUFTA Conference, University of Ife November, 3 - 7. 2002; Okolo Chinwe J. “Le procès dans Une Aube si Fragile et 15 ans ça suffit : Une technique significative.9th Annual UFTAN Conference, University of Nigeria Nsukka November 5-9 2006; and Okolo Chinwe J. “La Non Violence Active : Discours Social Dans Le Mat De Cocagne De RenĂŠ Depestre Et Les Sept Solitudes De Lorsa Lopez De Sony Labou Tansi.â€? 16TH UFTAN Conference, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife 9th -14th March 2014. Others include; Okolo Chinwe J “Le dialogisme dans Le ZĂŠhĂŠros n’est pas n’importe qui de Williams Sassineâ€? 17th UFTAN Conference, Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, November 9 to 13, 2014; Okolo Chinwe J. “L’enseignement du Français de base aux universitĂŠs nigĂŠrianes: Le dĂŠfi du CECRâ€? 2nd Biennial International Conference, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Benin, May 3 to 7, 2015; Okolo Chinwe J. “La memoire au service de la resistance culturelle: L’exil selon Julia de Gisèle Pineauâ€? Ist International Interdisciplinary Conference of the Deparment of Linguistics and Literary Studies, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki from August 2 to 4 ,2016; and – Okolo Chinwe J “La Reine Pokou de VĂŠronique Tadjo : une subversion dialogique d’un discours social ivoirien â€? 20th UFTAN Conference, Nigerian French LanguageVillage, Badagry, November 12 to 16, 2017






Ahmed Proposes N157bn Budget for 2019 Hammed Shittu in Ilorin Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday presented an estimated budget proposal of N157billion for the 2019 fiscal year. He said the budget estimate was a marginal increase of over N1billion to that of 2018. Presenting the Appropriation Bill to the state House of Assembly yesterday, Ahmed said, “out of the total budget size, a total sum of over N77 billion is for recurrent expenditure while a total sum of N79 billion is for capital expenditure.� He explained that, “sectoral allocation of the budget proposal of over N157 billion shows that, economic affairs sector has the highest allocation of over N54 billion or 34.6 per cent, followed by the general public service of over N32 billion or 22.6 per cent, while education sector has over N28billion or 18 per cent and health sector of over N27 billion or 17.5 per cent. “This is an indication of our commitment to the priority

sectors of our administration on the need to add more values to the socio-economic development and growth of Kwara state.� He said that, “the primary sources of revenue available to the state government to finance the proposed estimated budget of 2019 will be through expectations of statutory federal allocations put at over N49 billion, Value Added Tax of over N11 billion, internally generated revenue of over N33 billion, income from other sundry internal sources of over N250 million, capital development fund of over N30 billion, among others�. He stressed that, the 2019 budget proposal would also take care of total recurrent expenditure that was put at over N77 billion. The budget which will be the last of this outgoing administration to be presented at the state House of Assembly, according to the governor, was anchored on the desire to consolidate and sustain the significant achievements recorded by this administration

in the past years. Ahmed opined that, “I wish to note that the 2019 draft budget is designed to focus on the successful completion of the ongoing projects and the effective implementation of programmes and projects that have direct bearing the peoples well-being. “This direction will be enable the government to consolidate the gains of the past years in the provision of social amenities for the people of the state.� In his remark, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Ali Ahmad lauded the efforts of the government to make life more bearable for the residents of the state in the area of delivery and implementation of budget every year. He, however, assured that the lawmakers would quickly look into the budget so as to pass it into law before the end of this month, so as to allow the governor sign it into law for implementation and the overall benefit of the people of the state.

L-R: Head, Institutional Sales, Vetiva Capital, Ms. Zephia Ovia; Head, Africa, Climate Bonds Initiative(CBI), Mr. Olumide Lala; Executive Director,Vetiva Capital, Mr. Damilola Ajayi and Head, Investments,Vetiva, Mrs. Oyelade Eigbe, whenVetiva and CBI signed a partnership to develop a liquid green and climate bonds market in Africa, in Lagos... recently


Accion Reiterates Commitment to Financial Inclusion To ensure that the goal of financial inclusion is deepened amongst Nigerians, ACCION Microfinance Bank (MFB) has stressed that digitisation remains key to unlocking unique potential in the microfinance sub-sector. This is just as the bank also urged regulatory bodies to adjust their framework around financial technology to ensure access to finance is not limited. Speaking during the second edition of 2018 financial inclusion seminar which was organised by the bank yesterday in Lagos, the Chairman, Board of Directors, ACCION MFB, Patrick Akinwuntan, while reiterating the bank’s commitment towards delivering its financial inclusion mandate to every household in Nigeria, said financial inclusion was critical to the survival of an economy. Akinwuntan, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and urged them to move faster to support fintechs so as improve access to finance in the financial space. He explained: “Today, we

have technology, we have the fintechs, mobile phones and today I can stand in another location and serve a microfinance customer who is in another location simply by access on a mobile phone. “These are developments in terms of reality of the operation on the field that the regulators need to keep abreast of, anticipate ahead, adjust appropriately because the whole idea is to include everyone in the financial inclusion category. “Today we are around 40 per cent despite the fact that we are 180 million, this means that there is so much ground to cover and so we need to collaborate more together in order to advance, leveraging technology to make the cost of access cheaper.� According to him, ACCION MFB is leveraging on the use of mobile phone to reach more people with the USSD code which is *572# to ensure that the bank continues to deepen its reach to those who are yet to be financially included. Corroborating, Managing Director, ACCION MFB, Mr.

Taiwo Joda, said the bank has plan to leverage on financial technology by unveiling a fully digitised product, an end-to-end loan product by first quarter of 2019, while adding that 80 per cent of the bank’s activities are automated. According to him, the bank has disbursed over N8.4 billion in consumer loans to customers from January till date. Joda further said, “we are amongst the best in the market but again in terms of market share, we have over 300,000 active accounts and we think that looking at the potentials in the market and we will probably stand at 5-10 per cent and that is why we are growing very quickly. “This is why we are driving technology to ensure that we reduce cost and ensure we scale up significantly. “We intend to penetrate the market further by going into those areas that we are not currently operating and so by next year, we will open branches in more states and in the next five years, our strategy is to actually cover the 36 states.�

Access Bank Wins SERAS Award Access Bank Plc has announced that it recently won the ‘Most Responsible Business in Africa’ and three other awards at the 12th edition of the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS) held in Lagos. The SERAS CSR awards is an annual event aimed at recognising and celebrating organisations for investing resources in the improvement of lives and the environment they serve through several innovative program and initiatives. Other awards won by the bank included ‘Best Partnership for Development; Best Corporate Communication Team and

Sustainability Practitioner of the Year – received by Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Group Head, Sustainability at Access Bank. According to a statement, the award ceremony attracted several dignitaries, business executives and several other sustainability professionals across the continent. Specifically, a total of 26 awards were presented to several corporate organisations and individuals in recognition of their efforts toward practicing sustainable business principles and embedding concern for the environment into their business consideration.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu said: “We believe that a sustainable business is a more successful business, hence we have made sustainability the bedrock of all our business operations over the last ten years. “These awards represent a recognition of what we have done and point to the things that lie ahead. We are truly grateful to God and the organisers, and we are inspired by this opportunity.� Since 2008, Access Bank has shown unwavering commitment to sustainability, winning several awards in recognition of its hard work.


MARCH 2018 Broad Money (M2)


-- Narrow Money (M1)


---- Currency Outside Banks


---- Demand Deposits


-- Quasi Money


Net Foreign Assets (NFA)


Net Domestic Assets(NDA)


-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)


---- Credit to Government (Net)


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


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


---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)


--Other Assets Net


Reserve Money (Base Money)


--Currency in Circulation


--Banks Reserves

4,357,551.58 ˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

Inter-Bank Call Rate


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


Treasury Bill Rate


Savings Deposit Rate


1 Month Deposit Rate


3 Months Deposit Rate


6 Months Deposit Rate


12 Months Deposit Rate


Prime Lending rate


Maximum Lending Rate




The price of OPEC basket of ďŹ fteen crudes stood at $60.08 a barrel on Wednesday, compared with $61.09 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




UACN Shares Rise as Elemide is Appointed Acting Group Chief Executive Goddy Egene UAC of Nigeria Plc was among the price gainers at the stock market yesterday as the company announced a board change that brought in a new group chief executive officer(GCEO). Although the market closed bearish halting a two-day positive performance, shares of UACN appreciated by 5.2 per cent or 50 kobo to close at N10 per share. The stock closed as the eight

highest price gainer as market reacted positively to the news of a change on the board. In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), UACN announced the GCEO, Mr. Abdul Bello would be proceeding on retirement from January 1, 2019. According to the board of the company, the Executive Director, Corporate Services of the company, Mrs. Omolara Elemide, has been appointed as acting GCEO with effect from



January 1, 2019. Chairman of the UACN, Mr. Dan Agbor thanked Bello for his dedicated service to the company and wished him the very best in his future endeavours. Elemide, who joined UACN board on 1st January 2018, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). She joined UAC in October 1983 and has worked in various capacities within the UAC Group including Group





Audit Manager, Finance Director of UACN Property Development Company Plc from where she joined the Board of CAP Plc as Finance Director/Company Secretary in February 2005. She was appointed the Managing Director of CAP Plc in May 2009, a position she held until December 2017. Meanwhile, the stock market turned bearish following sell offs across bellwethers. Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index went



down by 1.07 per cent to close loser at 30,819.10, while market capitalisation shed N121.4 billion to close at N11.25 trillion. The depreciation recorded in the share prices of Access Bank, Unilever, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Dangote Cement were mainly responsible for the loss recorded yesterday. However, a total of 22 stocks depreciated while 17 appreciated. Niger Insurance Plc led the price losers with 9.0 per cent, trailed


by A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc and LASACO Assurance Plc with 6.9 per cent apiece. UACN Property Development Company Plc, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc and Okomu Oil Palm Plc went down by 5.7 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively. On the positive side, Champion Breweries Plc led price gainers with 9.6 per cent, trailed by Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc with 9.5 per cent. Diamond Bank Plc continued

0 6 / 1 2 / 2 0 1 8 DEALS




     ˾  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2018


Friday, December 7, 2018


ThisDay Afrinvest Sheds 78bps zĞƐƚĞƌĚĂLJ͕ƚŚĞdŚŝƐĂLJĨƌŝŶǀĞƐƚƐŚĞĚϳϴďƉƐƚŽƐĞƩůĞĂƚϭ͕Ϯϵϵ͘ϵϮ

Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index




Current Price


Previous Current Price Weighting Change

Price Change YTD

Price Change Index to Date






Divinden Earnings d Yield Yield









Guaranty Trust Bank PLC











12.5% 19.2%

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Zenith Bank PLC














Nigerian Brew eries PLC



































Nestle Nigeria PLC

In today͛Ɛ ƐĞƐƐŝŽŶ͕ ƚŚĞ ůŽĐĂů ďŽƵƌƐĞ ƚƵƌŶĞĚ ďĞĂƌŝƐŚ ĂƐ ƐĞůů ŽīƐ


Dangote Cement PLC



FBN Holdings Plc













Access Bank PLC
















United Bank for Africa PLC












Ecobank Transnational Inc










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SEPLAT Petroleum Development C














Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC













Unilever Nigeria PLC














Guinness Nigeria PLC














Lafarge Africa PLC












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Fidelity Bank PLC











Oando PLC










39.5% 23.3%


Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC













Okomu Oil Palm PLC













International Brew eries PLC











Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC











13.9% 18.3%




Transnational Corp of Nigeria













UAC of Nigeria PLC












Diamond Bank PLC




































Total Nigeria PLC







0.1x 6.9x

1.3% -75.4%





FCMB Group Plc


11 PLC


Forte Oil PLC







PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC







Cadbury Nigeria PLC













Presco PLC

























NASCON Allied Industries PLC








UPDC Real Estate Investment Tr







Union Bank of Nigeria PLC











Julius Berger Nigeria PLC




















Sterling Bank PLC









Dangote Flour Mills Plc









GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Niger












Chemical and Allied Products P













Beta Glass PLC













Transcorp Hotels Plc












T o p 10 G a i n e r s

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

T ic k er


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




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

P ric e

P ric e C hg %










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Investment Research

Brokerage Ayodeji Ebo |

Robert Omotunde |

Bolaji Fajenyo |

Jolomi Odonghanro |


T H I S D AY Ëž ËœÍżËœͺ͸͚͜


SEC Boss Urges Investors to Embrace E-dividend Registration Goddy Egene The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has enjoined more Nigerians to take advantage of the on-going electronic-dividend registration in a bid to reduce t unclaimed dividends as well as increase liquidity in the capital market. Acting Director General of the SEC, Mary Uduk, made the call at an enlightenment programme on e-dividend and contemporary issues in the Nigerian capital

market held in Enugu, Thursday. Represented by the Head, Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the SEC, Mr. Obi Adindu, Uduk disclosed that the commission was currently leading the entire capital market industry in an effort to migrate all shareholders to an e-dividend regime. “The essence of the e-dividend mandate management system is to eradicate or reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of unclaimed dividend. Unclaimed dividend is an undesirable

A Mutual fund (Unit Trust) is an investment vehicle managed by a SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registered Fund Manager. Investors with similar objectives buy units of the Fund so that the Fund Manager can buy securities that willl generate their desired return. An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a type of fund which owns the assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, gold bars, foreign currency, etc.) and divides ownership of those assets into shares. Investors can buy these ‘shares’ on the

feature of the Nigerian capital market which denies investors/ shareholders the gains of participating in the capital market. It denies the economy access to the huge amount of money which should have accrued to shareholders and would have gone into circulation to oil the wheel of the economy. “It is a consequence of the bottlenecks which are inherent in the erstwhile paper dividend warrant regime such as postal system inefficiency, change in

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 0512-2018, unless otherwise stated.

investors’ addresses, poor fidelity and human fallibility in dividend payment processes, amongst others,� Uduk said. According to her, the e-dividend regime bypasses these limitations by ensuring that dividends which do not exceed 12 years of issue are credited directly to an investors account after declaration by the paying company and within a stipulated payment period through simple interbank transfer. The e-dividend registration

exercise started on November 23, 2016. Each successful registration cost N150, however, between that time and March 31, 2018, SEC underwrote the registration cost for all investors that mandated. It is my pleasure to let us know, that a total of 2.4million accounts had been mandated. “May I therefore, implore you all to key into the e-dividend registration exercise by visiting the nearest bank branch or registrar. In addition to migrating to the e-dividend regime

yourselves, kindly tell everybody you know to do same in their best interest. I am informed that some registrars are present at this forum. I implore us to visit them and take advantage of the services they are providing to register for your E-Dividend, here and now,� the SEC boss said. She disclosed that the commission is implementing various initiatives which are aimed at making our market deeper, vibrant and more effective.

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 270 1680 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund 159.91 161.26 -9.82% Afrinvest Plutus Fund 100.00 100.00 11.00% Nigeria International Debt Fund 274.39 275.99 18.72% ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.83 0.84 1.26% ACAP Income Funds 0.63 0.63 6.90% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.45% AIICO Balanced Fund 2.21 2.23 -3.69% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Discovery Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Ethical Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 130.09 131.00 -14.24% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.32% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 13.46% Paramount Equity Fund 11.49 11.79 3.65% Women's Investment Fund 101.12 103.71 0.49% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.55% Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 94.61 94.75 Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 98.34 98.71 CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.28% Coronation Balanced Fund 0.85 0.86 Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.16 1.16 10.34% EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 11.63% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 11.32% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,170.22 1,170.98 11.53% FBN Heritage Fund 140.96 142.16 1.07% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.82% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional $112.52 $112.91 3.40% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail $112.09 $112.62 3.25% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 146.10 148.16 -8.01% FIRST CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Equity Fund 1.21 1.23 -6.29% Legacy Debt Fund 3.22 3.22 11.37% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.02 1.02 2.41% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 2,942.74 2,971.44 -1.44% Coral Income Fund 2,738.88 2,738.88 11.88% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.24% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 106.16 106.52 5.92% INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 12.10%

Vantage Balanced Fund 2.15 2.17 1.88% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 15.46% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 123.66 123.84 7.43% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD ďŹ Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.20 1.22 4.43% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,090.28 1,090.28 12.88% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 11.10 11.19 -14.22% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.55% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.33 1.36 11.84% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.12 12.18 9.78% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.36% SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 127.32 127.74 -1.84% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.69 1.69 13.82% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,305.80 2,320.71 4.92% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 188.39 188.39 8.18% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.95 0.96 -5.45% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 245.46 245.50 13.73% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 159.59 161.42 -10.88% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.88% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 8,447.55 8,550.42 -11.16% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.10 1.10 6.85% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.16 1.17 -2.13% United Capital Bond Fund 1.57 1.57 9.70% United Capital Equity Fund 0.70 0.71 -7.58% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 12.50% United Capital Eurobond Fund 106.04 106.04 5.97% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.08 1.09 4.14% ZENITH ASSETS MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; 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%


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

10.34 115.92 88.66

10.44 118.38 90.32

-12.68% -18.84% -18.84%

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

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

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

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

4.05 7.23 14.62 12.23 140.75

4.09 7.31 14.72 12.43 142.75

-14.45% -24.30% -16.24% -37.66% 4.80%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn



SPECIALIST FUNDS Fund Name Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund

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




Anyaoku Calls for Unity, Integration of African States Emma Okonji Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has called for the unity and integration of African states in order to advance development among Africans. Anyaoku made the call while delivering a keynote speech at the 1958 All African People’s Conference (AAPC), organised by the trio of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS), the School of Advanced Study (University of London), and the Westminster United Nations Association, to mark the 60th anniversary of

AAPC, which held in London. Anyaoku who assessed the impact of the 1958 AAPC Conference on Africa, admitted that a major objective of the conference which was the attainment of the unity and integration of African States, was yet to be achieved. According to him, despite the gallant efforts in the transformation of the African Union (AU), the establishment of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the active support for the sub-regional organisations like the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOAWS), the East

African Economic Community (EAC), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the African continent still has a long way to go in its integration efforts. Extolling the virtues and efforts of the former President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, in uniting Africans, Anyaoku quoted Nkrumah who had said: “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with total liberation of the whole African continent”. Nkrumah’s call for African unity, in other words his Pan Africanism, “was deeply rooted in the racial discrimination

he suffered in the USA and his association with the other Pan Africanists with whom he interacted at the Manchester Pan Africanist Congress,” Anyaoku said, adding that although Nkrumah was conscious of the need for Africa’s and Ghana’s economic and social development, his primary aim in organising the 1958 AAPC was to mobilise support for the struggle to end colonialism and racism against Africans and peoples of African descent. According to Anyaoku, Nkrumah had in this regard in his famous address to Ghana Parliament declared “seek ye first the

China Angry over Arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou in Canada China is angry over the arrest in Canada of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, a top executive and daughter of the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. She now faces extradition to the United States. China’s embassy in Ottawa has demanded Meng’s release. “The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim,” the embassy said in a statement. “The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms Meng Wanzhou.” The detention of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, comes after American authorities reportedly launched an investigation into suspected Iran sanctions violations by Huawei, which was already under scrutiny by US intelligence officials who deemed the company a national

security threat. The arrest stirred tensions just as the United States and China agreed to a ceasefire in their trade spat while negotiators seek a deal within three months. News of her detention rippled through stock markets in Asia, particularly Shanghai and Hong Kong, with tech firms among the worst hit. By lunch Shanghai was 1.3 percent lower while Hong Kong was 2.6 percent off. “China is working creatively to undermine our national security interests, and the United States and our allies can’t sit on the sidelines,” US Senator Ben Sasse in a statement linking the arrest to US sanctions against Iran. “Sometimes Chinese aggression is explicitly statesponsored and sometimes it’s laundered through many of Beijing’s so-called ‘private’ sector entities that are in bed with (President) Xi (Jinping)’s communist party,” he added. Meng was arrested in the

western city of Vancouver on December 1, Canada’s ministry of justice said in a statement, the same day that Trump and President Xi Jinping announced a truce in their tariff war in Argentina. The ministry said the US is seeking her extradition and she faces a bail hearing on Friday, adding it could not provide further details due to a publication ban that was sought by Meng, whose father, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is a former Chinese People’s Liberation Army engineer. Huawei said it was unaware of any wrongdoing by Meng and was provided “very little information” about the charges. “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU,” the company said in a statement. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into

Khashoggi: US Senators Debate Ways to Punish Saudi Crown Prince United States senators, bent on punishing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, said on Thursday they want to vote next week. The vote is intended to penalise Riyadh, but the senators are struggling to agree on how best to do so. In spite of President Donald Trump’s desire to maintain close ties to Saudi Arabia, several of his fellow Republicans have joined Democrats in blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death. They are also backing legislation to respond by ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, imposing new sanctions and stopping weapons sales. But others strongly oppose linking the Yemen conflict with

the killing of the journalist. “It would be a mistake to fracture that relationship with the Saudis. ‘It’s not based on friendship as much as it’s based on common interests, combating extremism in the Middle East and countering the Iranian threat,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican. Five Republican and Democratic senators met behind closed doors on Thursday morning to discuss how to move ahead. They said afterward they had not yet come up with a compromise that could win enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate. The lack of agreement contrasted with some senators’ harsh words on Tuesday against the crown prince, the de facto

ruler of the kingdom. The prince has denied knowledge of the operation that killed Khashoggi on Oct. 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A briefing by Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel for senators on Tuesday hardened their resolve to act against the prince known as MbS, who has the support of Trump. There are three different measures making their way through the Senate: a war powers resolution ending any U.S. involvement in the Yemen conflict, legislation imposing a broad clampdown on Saudi Arabia, including ending arms sales and levying new sanctions; and a nonbinding resolution targeting the crown prince.

UN Western Sahara Talks End, to Resume 2019 Two days of UN talks on Western Sahara ended with all sides promising to meet again for a similar “round table” in the first quarter of 2019. UN envoy, Horst Koehler,

disclosed this to reporters after the meeting ended unexpectedly early on Thursday. He declined to take questions from reporters. However, Koehler said the

foreign ministers of Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania as well as representatives of the Polisario Front independence movement had “engaged openly and in a spirit of mutual respect.”

suspected violations of Iran sanctions by Huawei. The New York Times said the company had been subpoenaed by the Commerce and Treasury Departments over alleged violations of Iran and North Korea sanctions. Huawei is not the first Chinese telecoms equipment firm to face the ire of US authorities.

political kingdom and all other things shall be added unto you.” He said Africa’s potentials for integration in ways comparable to Europe, were still seriously hampered by certain paradoxes. “This is in addition to the low level of economic development that is in many ways exacerbated by the constraints on Africa by the negative forces of globalization and the fact that the economies of many African countries are still commodity centered. “There is also the inhibitive influence of Africa’s colonial legacies as well as the continued manipulations by interests external to the continent. These factors and forces continue to aid Africa’s divisions and inability to integrate. But more perniciously, conflicts and political instability are still rife in many African countries, with the guns still booming in the Great Lakes Region, in Libya, in South Sudan, and in Somalia. “Again, a democracy deficit in many African countries, with a serious hiccup still being experienced in countries like The Gambia where the former President Yahaya Jammeh was practically

forced out of power by the ECOWAS leaders when he refused to leave office after losing an election, and the DR Congo where the election that is scheduled to hold this month (December 2018) is still be clouded by endless controversies, and Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Mali and Cameroon, where democratic practice is under very serious strains,” Anyaoku said.

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Kachikwu: Nigeria to Take Decision on Refineries’ Upgrade December 15 Chineme OkaforinVienna,Austria The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday disclosed that the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will on December 15, hold further discussions with investors to decide whether to continue with the planned upgrade of the country’s refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna, or not. Speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the ongoing 175th meeting of the OPEC in Vienna, Austria, Kachikwu also said it

would be difficult for Nigeria to participate in the expected oil production cut, which member countries of OPEC are likely to undertake. He, however, noted that member countries expected every member to participate, adding that Nigeria would be comfortable if the volumes demanded of it would be minimal. The minister who spoke with Bloomberg, added that Nigeria would try to contribute to whatever the group agreed on. Kachikwu said negotiations with investors for the refineries’

upgrade has been slow, stressing that “the board of the NNPC has decided that by December 15, we should draw a ceiling whether we should be going forward or not with investors.” “We think that we will be able to go forward with minor adjustments in terms of the terms and by first quarter of next year we begin to see some works begin at least with the initial ORBs,” he added. On oil production cuts and Nigeria’s position, he said: “Very difficult to do that; where we are now is that everybody must be seen to contribute. The smaller

it is the more amenable we are to participate, the larger it is the more difficult it will be to participate.” “I am keeping all fingers crossed; we have gotten exemptions three times understandably; this time around, I think there is a decision that everybody must be seen to chip in. We don’t know the numbers yet but let’s get in there first; I know it is going to be very little.” Shortly after the meetings where no decision had been announced yet, Kachikwu said he was confident a deal would

be reached but added that the position of non-OPEC countries led by the Russian Federation was relevant to whatever would be achieved after all. His position however was different from that of the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Khalid al-Falih, who told journalists he was not confident a deal has been reached yet on the production cut. Kachikwu, however, told THISDAY that “given what has happened today, I think we are fairly close to getting a deal within OPEC.However, we will

still leave it up to non-OPEC. It depends on what happens in non-OPEC”. “Still preliminary, we will like to see how it moves. What we have is some level of proposals on the table right now. “Tomorrow, we have a meeting with non-OPEC, some level of meeting with OPEC members and by then we will know for certain where we stand on this issue.” He refused to disclose what number Nigeria has agreed to cut its oil production to accommodate the demands by OPEC and non-OPEC.

2019 Elections Result will Reflect People’s Will, Buhari Reassures President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said he understood the yearnings of Nigerians and strongly believed in the collective dream for a greater country, assuring that all would be done to ensure that results of 2019 elections reflected the will of the people.He made the remark while receiving the Letter of Credence from Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr. Jyrki Juhani Pulkkinen, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said Nigerians reserved the right to elect leaders at various levels in 2019, stressing that all efforts would be made to safeguard the integrity of the process. “I respect the people’s feelings. I assure all that we will have a free and fair election next year,’’ he said The president congratulated Finland on its 101 independence anniversary on December 6, 2018 and commended the growing relations with Nigeria, especially in areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), trade and education. In his remarks, the envoy said the areas of mutual benefit in relations with Nigeria could

be extended to electricity, smart technology and crises management initiatives, pointing out that he will work hard to improve the trade figures and exchanges. “We will like to contribute to Africa rising, and we know that Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent, so we are very interested in the growth of Nigeria,’’ he said. At the level of the United Nations, Pulkkinen said his country would continue to support the restructuring of the multilateral institution to give greater roles to African countries like Nigeria. Buhari, who also received letter of Credence from Ambassador of France, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, said French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Abuja, and the stopover in Lagos, was really impressive in bolstering both countries’ relations. The president said he was impressed with relations between France and its former colonies in Africa, noting that France continues to play positive roles in promoting security and economic growth in the countries. “France is investing so much in Nigeria and we are grateful,’’ he added.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Seeks Saudi Arabia’s Support to Combat Extremist Islamic Ideology Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The federal government has pleaded with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to come to the aid of Nigeria by assisting in combating the extremist Islamic ideology among the youth in the North-east, which gave birth to the Boko Haram insurgency. The Saudi Monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has also donated relief materials worth $10 million, about N3.6 billion, to victims of Boko Haram. The Minister of Defence, Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), made the plea to the Kingdom while speaking at the flag off of the distribution of relief materials donated by King Salman Ibn Abdul-Aziz Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre to IDPs in the North-east. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should please help Nigeria in the propagation and promotion of the right

Islamic ideals to the youth in the North-east in order to eradicate the wipe out Boko Haram Islamic ideology in the region,” the minister said. The minister, who expressed the belief that poverty occasioned by bad governance was the cause of Boko Haram insurgency, also appealed to Saudi Arabia to share defence intelligence and information with Nigeria on insurgency and terror. He said the donation of the relief materials was in response to his visit to the Kingdom in November 2017, where he pleaded with the Kingdom to assist Nigeria with relief materials for the IDPs. The representative of the King Salman Foundation, Nasir AlSubai, had earlier appreciated the federal government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for facilitating the delivery and distribution of the relief materials.


L-R: European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Ketil Karlsen; Uyi Malaki; Programme Manager, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Nigeria, Abraham Tamrat; Project Manager, Managing Migration Through Development Programme (MMDP), Dr. May Ikeora , during the EU delegation’s tour of returnees’ training centres in Benin City, Edo State…recently

Nigerian Military Needs N9bn Annually for Shoes, Boots, Says Bureau Buratai transfers promoted officers to North-east Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja The Director General of the Defence Research and Development Bureau, Abuja, Jumo Osahor, has said the Armed Forces of Nigeria need about N9 billion to provide military boots annually to meet soldiers’ kitting needs. This is coming as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has transfered some of the newly promoted senior officers to the theatre of war to strengthen the ongoing counter-terrorism operations

in the North-east. Osahor, an air vice marshal, stated this yesterday in a paper he delivered at the Third Annual National Conference organised by the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists of Nigeria (SLTCN) at the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the theme of the conference is: “The Contributions of Leather Science, Technology

and Innovation to the Nigerian Economy and National Security.” The commandant spoke on: ‘Indigenous Leather Production and Military Kitting: The Armed Forces of Nigeria Perspective.’ “The Armed Forces of Nigeria will require about N9 billion to provide a pair of work shoes and boots for each soldier. “The amount will double if we are to provide two pairs each per soldier every year. “This huge sum of money if channelled to the indigenous

leather industry will go a long way in revamping the sector and improving our national economy as well as security forces and provide jobs to our teeming youths. “However, the leather industry in Nigeria is yet to take advantage of the huge potential that exists in the military leather requirements of the AFN,” He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force all utilise leather materials as part of their military kitting.

Gowon Seeks Social Welfare Fund for Elderly Persons Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja A former Head of States, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has expressed support for the institutionalisation of a special intervention fund for the elderly in the country. He made the call yesterday in Abuja at the National Conference on ageing citizens organised by the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN)

and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. Gowon, who chaired the event, where COSROPIN was formally launched, said old age is not a disease, neither are grey hairs punishments for any infractions, which people knowingly or unknowingly committed at some point in their lives. He said the aim of conference, among others, was to sensitise

the government on the plight of older persons, solicit the support of privileged Nigerians in the advocacy for the rights and privileges of older persons and to encourage respect, rights and dignity of older persons and prevent their abuse. “If anything, the issues of poor health management, delayed pension payment and inadequate housing, especially as reported in the media daily, remind us of the plight of older

citizens and the urgent need to redress them,” he said. The former head state said people easily forget that not all retired men and women are tired, adding that some young people in service also act as though they will not grow old. According to Gowon, there are elderly persons in different living conditions across the country, adding that most of them live in deplorable and almost sub-human conditions.




Ganduje $5m Bribery Scandal: Kano Court Stops Assembly’s Probe Panel Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano A Kano High Court presided over by Justice Ahmed Tijjani Badamasi yesterday in Kano granted an Order of Injunction restraining the Kano State House of Assembly’s Investigative Committee from further investigating the $5million bribery allegations involving Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

It should be recalled that the court had earlier ordered the state House of Assembly to maintain the status quo ante pending the determination of the originating summons filed by the National Coordinator of Lawyers for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, Mohammed Zubair, which ruled in favour of the plaintiff. On behalf of himself and the Lawyers for Sustainable

Buhari Congratulates Obiano, Adimora Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, for his recognition by Pope Francis for his efforts at ensuring social harmony, good neighbourliness and willingness to help individuals, institutions and other states. Buhari has also congratulated Chief Obi Adimora for his recognition by the Pope. The president’s congratulatory message was contained in yesterday’s statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who also stated that the president equally commends Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments at the Vatican, who will lead a Pontifical Mass preceding the special award

Four governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Southeast states visited Aso Rock presidential villa yesterday. The candidates who had a closed-door meeting with Vice President Yemi

The Assembly, according to him, only has the powers to make laws, establishing an anti-graft agency which, by law, can investigate such matter. In his submission, the state Attorney-General, Ibrahim Muktar, who is also the Third Defendant in the litigation, aligned himself with the position of the counsel to the plaintiff. ”By virtue of my office, my own is to follow the law. I have perused the application, I stand with the plaintiff and I adopt all the processes by the plaintiff, including his argument.” Also, the Attorney-General

urged the court to disregard the counter affidavit filed by the First and Second defendants, arguing that, “It is not safe for the court to rely on the entire affidavit,” because the identity of the witness was not disclosed. While citing Section 115 of the Evidence Act (2011), he insisted that the affidavit lacked credibility. Counsel to the defendants, Mohammed Waziri, in his argument, told the court that the Kano State House of Assembly Investigative Panel engaged in a fact-finding mission, and not the investigation of criminal allegation.

While delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Badamasi ruled in favour of the plaintiff, stating that the power of investigation by the state House of Assembly, as contained in Section 128 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “is neither absolute, nor at large. It is restricted by sub-section two of the same Section,” At the close of the day, counsels to both the plaintiff and the defendants not only congratulated the judge for his “deep sense of judgment,” but also agreed to abide by the verdict.

by the Catholic Church to Governor Obiano on December 8, 2018. According to President Buhari, the recognition accorded Obiano will send the right signal to other states and all Nigerians that free, fair and peaceful elections are realisable, especially when political leaders declare their stand against non- violence and properly sensitise the electorate. President Buhari extended his congratulatory message to Adimora and Mr. Chidi Amamgbo who will also receive awards at the event. “The president also felicitates with the government and people of Anambra State for the deserved award to the governor, which takes into full cognisance the maturity and decency of the governor in handling the last elections in the state,” part of the statement reads.

Four South-east APC Governorship Candidates Visit Aso Rock

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

Democracy in Nigeria, Zubair had sued Kano State House of Assembly’s Chairman of the Investigative Committee on the bribery allegation against Ganduje, Baffa Babba Danagundi, and the state Attorney-General, challenging the constitutionality of the Assembly investigating the bribery allegation, which is a criminal case. Counsel to the plaintiff, Nuraini Jimoh, in the last sitting before the judgment, argued that the Kano State House of Assembly lacked the powers to probe the criminal allegations against Ganduje.

Osinbajo, declined to reveal the purpose of their visit, insisting that it was a private affair. The four APC candidates that visited the seat of power were Senator Ayogu Eze (Enugu); Hope Uzodinma (Imo); Sunny Uboji (Ebonyi) and Uche Ogah (Abia).


L-R: Deputy Governor, Abia State, Ude Oko Chukwu; Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BoI), Kayode Pitan; Founder, Nigeria and Entrepreneurship: Summit and Honours(NESH), Emeka Ugwu-Oju; and Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Climate Change, Hon Sam Onuigbo, during the presentation of 2018 NESH Champion Honors (Public Sector) Plaque to BoI for supporting entrepreneurship development in Nigeria at a meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, held in Umuahia, Abia State...recently

House Passes Bill to Make June 12 National Holiday Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The House of Representatives has adopted the report of the Committee of the whole to officially make June 12 a national holiday. The legislative work titled: “A Bill for an Act to Amend

the Public Holidays Act, Cap. P40 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, was cosponsored by Hon. Edward Pwajok (Plateau, APC), and Kayode Oladele (Ogun, APC) and adopted at Thursday plenary. It was designed to update

the Act to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari had declared June 12 a national holiday on June 6, 2018. The bill was referred to the Committee or the whole on November 22, 2018 by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara

after passing second reading on the floor. While debating the bill, Pwajok had noted that countries set aside some days to commemorate special events such as celebrating their independence, religious festivals, and some heroes.

bridge project had come under heavy criticism from some quarters following the temporary suspension of early works largely due to funding constraints- particularly the mode of financing- as well as community- related obstacles. However, the Managing Director/Chief Executive, NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji had during a courtesy visit to the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, as well as the Iyase of Asaba, His Majesty, Patrick Isioma Goodluck, assured that the project would be completed by 2022. He added that there would be visible signs of the bridge by the end of 2019 when some concrete slabs would have been positioned. The NSIA boss explained that the resumption of work followed the deployment of

capital to key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) which was announced recently. The PIDF, an initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari, was designed to facilitate the rapid completion of key infrastructure projects that had been stalled for years- and managed by NSIA. The Funds had already been disbursed for construction works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Second Niger Bridge Project as well as the Abuja-Kano Expressway. Orji said till date, the NSIA had disbursed 71 billion under the PIDF programme. According to him, other projects being undertaken under PIDF include the Mambilla Hydro-Power Project and East West Road. He pointed out that the funding sources for the PIDF

included 585 billion from the Nigerian Federation (Federal, State and Local Governments); 97 billion from NSIA, 1,500 billion from export credit agencies, and 372 billion from private investors. He added that the NSIA is currently working closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Power, Housing and Works to ensure proper financing and completion of the projects. Orji added that all issues pertaining to the sustainability of the funding for the project had now been addressed, through the amendment to the funding structure. Also, Julius Berger’s Project Director for the 2nd Niger Bridge, Mr. Friedrich Josef Wieser told journalists that he was convinced that the project would be completed on February 28, 2022.

Buhari: Our Govt Will Promote Excellence Second Niger Bridge to be Completed in 2022 honoured will be remembered Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his government will continue to stick to the tenet of excellence in its endeavors. President Buhari, who gave the assurance yesterday when he conferred the 2018 prestigious Nigerian National Order Merit (NNOM) award on Professor Olufemi Obafemi at the Council Chamber, State House Villa, Abuja, also tasked the academic community to continue to contribute their quota to national development. Addressing the well-attended event which attracted, NNOM board members, previous recipients of the awards and top government officials, President Buhari said: “We will continue to promote excellence and merit in our drive to enhance rapids development and national unity” adding that “In this regard, those who are

and will serve as motivation and encouragement to future generation of Nigerians.” He said: “The Nigerian National Order Merit Award is the most prestigious honour this nation bestows on it its citizens at home and in diaspora for creative, intellectual and academic contributions to national and global significance. “Since it’s establishment 39 years ago, the integrity of this award has been preserved through the rigorous and painstaking assessment exercise in the area of science, engineering technology, medicine, humanities and other fields of human endeavor. With only one awardee this year 2018, the total number of Nigerians who have been honoured with NNOM Award now stands at 76. This is a pointer to high standard and merit driven evaluation procedures underlying the selection of leaders for the award.

James Emejo in Abuja The much-anticipated completion of the 2nd Niger bridge has been slated for February 2022. This was confirmed by the project financing partner, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and the contractor, Julius Berger, during a joint facility tour by the authority and traditional rulers from both Onitsha and Asaba. The tour afforded the parties the opportunity to inspect the bridge’s construction site and the pre-fabrication plants on both sides of the bridge. It further emerged that the first phase of the three - phased project will gulp a total sum of N220 billion- covering the bridge and the 11.9 kilometer stretch. The entire 44 -kilometer




EU: We Committed over 100m Euros to Nigerian Elections Alex Enumah in Abuja The European Union (EU) yesterday disclosed that it had committed more than a 100 million Euros in support of democratic processes in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999. The assistance, which entails institutional and technical, according to the EU, was aimed at ensuring elections in the country are free, fair, credible and peaceful. Head of the EU Delegation in Nigeria, Ketil Karlson, who disclosed this to journalists yesterday, shortly after a meeting of some EU ambassadors to Nigeria with a delegation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), expressed

confidence that INEC would conduct a free and credible election come 2019. Karlson added that as part of its support to Nigeria’s democracy, the EU had just concluded tours of the six geopolitical zones, where it educated the youths and women on the essence of participating in the 2019 general elections. “EU has been supporting INEC for a very long time; it is not something that we started doing just ahead of the elections. As a matter of fact, we have been providing institutional support and technically support to INEC for a very long time. And as some of you may have seen we have done something very innovative - doing a youth vote

count campaign throughout the country; in all the six geopolitical zones including a number of celebrities. “Through that we have literally reached million of youths and potential voters and educated them about the importance of their participation. “But let me say the support of the EU doesn’t stop there; we have since 1999 provided

more than 100 million Euros in support of democratic processes in Nigeria and I have a very good piece of news for everyone namely that our high representative and vice president has just now approved that we will have again a long time observation mission here next year,” he said. He said the meeting with the INEC delegation led by

its chairman afforded them to assess the level of preparation and further look for other areas of collaboration that would enhance the credibility of the 2019 general elections. “Today we have had this opportunity to discuss inclusiveness, the importance of participation of people with disability, the importance of women and youth. “Sometimes,

there are quick fixes - things that can be done without great investment to ensure that these people have better access to voting also”, he said. Responding, INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated that the commission is fully prepared to conduct an election that would be an improvement on previous election.

House Summons Finance Minister Seeks completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company with Abacha loot Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja The Minister of Finance, Zanaib Ahmed, has been summoned to appear before the House of Representatives to explain the reasons for the non-release of the fund appropriated for the National Assembly and the judiciary in the 2018 budget. This development is coming as the lawmakers have urged the federal government to use the recovered funds from the late former Military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, to fund the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. The lawmakers also want the original builders, TPE of Russia be recalled to complete the project. The summon followed the adoption of a motion by Hon. Edward Pwajok over the Tuesday industrial action by National Assembly worker under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), which protested the non-payment of their Considered Salary Structure (CONLESS). Pwajok attributed the nonpayment of the workers’ benefits to low level of implementation of the 2018 budget, noting that “the National Assembly and Judiciary are on first line charge

and so there ought to be full implementation of the budget of the two arms of National Assembly.” Emphasing that the workers protest was not against the leadership of the National Assembly, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, said it is necessary for the minister to appear before the House to explain why funds appropriated for the National Assembly in the 2018 budget has not been released. “We have summoned the minister to come and explain why resources have not been released. The National Assembly is structured in such a way that the Senate has its own fund; the House of Representatives has its own fund and the management has its own fund. None of the two presiding officers has access to the funds of the management. We are not supposed to be fighting people working with us,” Namdas stated. The call for the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company was contained in the adopted report of the ad hoc committee on Ajaokuta Steel Complex headed by Hon. Idris Ahmed.


L-R: Former Chairman, Punch Newspaper, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola; President/Chairman of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Mr. Eddie Efekoha, Inductees Mrs. Bernice Izilen Okosun, and Mr.Olona Oladimeji at the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria 2018 Induction of Fellows and Associates, held in Lagos ...yesterday PHOTOS: DAN UKANA

Court to Hear Suntrust’s Suit against San Leon February 6 Davidson Iriekpen A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed February 6, 2019 to hear of all pending applications and the winding up petition filed by an indigenous oil company, Suntrust Oil Company Limited against an Irish company with business interests in Nigeria, San Leon Energy Plc. The court, presided over by Justice Sule Hassan, arrived at the following the collapse of the out-of-court-settlement at the instance of the respondent, San Leon Energy Plc. Trouble stated on March 14,

2018, when Suntrust commenced winding up proceedings against San Leon. In the winding up petition with suit number FHC/L/CP/402/2018, Suntrust sought the winding up of San Leon on the grounds of insolvency, alleging San Leon’s inability to pay a debt of US$53,839,129 owed to Suntrust. The petition debt arose from Suntrust’s sale of 1,642,857 shares in Martwestern Energy Limited to Midwestern Leon Petroleum Limited (an affiliate of San Leon) in June 2016. San Leon took the shares but failed to pay, choosing instead to

play games and have something for nothing. Instead of paying the debt in response to the winding up petition, San Leon challenged the jurisdiction of the Nigerian court to wind it up, contending that Nigerian court has no jurisdiction to wind up foreign companies and therefore no jurisdiction to wind it up as an Irish company. This was in spite of the fact that the petition debt is clearly undisputed. San Leon raised a cloud of spurious objections as most companies facing a winding up petition do.

Between July and early October 2018, Suntrust and San Leon and other interested parties explored out-of-court-settlement and the winding up proceedings were adjourned. While some progress was made, San Leon and its affiliates could not perform their own side of the bargain. This made Suntrust to resume the litigation. To this end, on December 3 2018, the Federal High Court scheduled 6 February 2019 for the hearing of all pending applications and the winding up petition.

Obla (SAN), stated that the state is ready for the expeditious trial of the former lawmaker. He said: “The defendant’s absence was not excused at all. On the basis of that, we applied for bench warrants to be issued for the two different cases to compel the appearance of the defendant in court on the next adjourned date of January 10, 2019. “Two bench warrants have now been issued mandating the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State to arrest and to detain Chidi Lloyd in Port Harcourt prison till the next adjourned date and to produce the defendant in court on the next adjourned date.” Also, APC State Chairman, Mr. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, was absent in court to take his plea in his second murder trial before Hon. Justice Joy Akpughunum.

Meanwhile, the APC in the state has said it has uncovered a plot by Governor Nyesom Wike, and his aides to blackmail APC, Chief Chidi Lloyd, and Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree. A statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Chris Finebone, said, “the plot which was hatched and being perfected in the office of the Chief of Staff, Emeka Woke, involves the printing of APC logo on T-shirts and handing same to select Neighbourhood Watch recruits who will go to carry out protests and violence in some predetermined local government areas to give the impression that such protests are being carried out by APC youths over the ongoing persecution of Lloyd and Flag-Amachree by the state government.

US Seeks Support for Persons Rivers Court Orders Arrest of Cole’s Campaign DG with Disabilities Vanessa Obioha diminished as a result,” Brooks for Attempted Murder The United States Consulate in Lagos yesterday called for more concerted efforts to ensure the full inclusion of persons living with disabilities in every aspect of social, political, economic, and cultural life. Delivering remarks at a programm organised by Project Enable Africa in commemoration of the 2018 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the US Consulate Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks, reaffirmed the US government’s support for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. “In pursuing diplomacy that is inclusive and empowering of persons with disabilities, the United States opposes discrimination against persons with disabilities everywhere and in all its forms. If we permit anyone in our society to be accorded less than their full human rights, we are all

stated. At the event, rights activist and President of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, and Access Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, emphasised the importance of the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. Project Enable Africa, a Nigerian civic organisation that promotes the rights, empowerment and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, established a disability-friendly digital hub last year in Lagos with funding from the US government. To date, the hub has trained 20 young persons with disabilities in various information and communication technology-based skills, and supports them through mentorship.

APC alleges blackmail plot by PDP Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday issued two bench warrants directing the Rivers State Police Commissioner to immediately arrest and produce a former Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Tonye Cole’s Campaign Organisation, Chidi Lloyd, to appear before it for attempted murder. This is coming as the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has raised the alarm that it has uncovered a plot by Governor Nyesom Wike, and his aides to blackmail the party. Justice Chinwendu Nwogu of the Rivers State High Court 19 issued the two bench warrants

following the absence of Lloyd and his counsels at the court. The court ordered that Lloyd be detained at the Port Harcourt Federal Prisons and be produced in court on January 10, 2019 to take his plea on the attempted murder trial. The former majority leader was expected to take his plea in Charge No: PH/692CR/2018 - The State V. Chidi Llyod and Charge No: PH/693 CR/2018 - The State V. Chidi Llyod. Lloyd’s lawyers were in court on Wednesday on the same cases when their objection was dismissed. Yesterday, the same counsel appeared and registered their names before the court, only to disappear when the case was mentioned. Addressing journalists after the court sitting, Counsel to the Rivers State Government, Chief Godwin




Lalong Warns against Hijack of APC Campaign Council Oshiomhole, state chairmen, candidates map out strategies Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to allow “Abuja” politicians to dominate the party’s campaign council. He also cautioned the party

to be careful with those saying that they will campaign for the president but not the governorship candidates in their states. Lalong’s position is coming as the state chairmen and governorship candidates of the APC passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Chairman, Adams

INEC Appoints OrianmnAnthony as Secretary Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has approved the appointment of Mrs. Rose Orianmn-Anthony as Secretary to the Commission for a fouryear term with effect from December 6, 2018. The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, in a statement yesterday , revealed that the decision was reached during the commission’s weekly regular meeting, also held yesterday. He said Mrs. OrianranAnthony, an indigene of Edo State, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Education) degree in Language Arts from the

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Master’s degree in Public Communications and Public Relations from the University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. Okoye added that in a career spanning 28 years at the Commission, she has served in various capacities, including Public Affairs Officer, lNEC Website Content Manager and Head of Civil Society Liaison Division of the Voter Education Department before her promotion as Director, and subsequent posting as Administrative Secretary in Delta State. Orianran-Anthony has also undertaken several professional and leadership programmes both within and outside the country.

Oshiomhole and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) at a meeting held yesterday at its national secretariat in Abuja. Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting with the leadership of the party, Lalong expressed worry that some influential persons who reside in Abuja have started lobbying to take over appointments in the Presidential Campaign Council. He said the danger in allowing such persons hijack the campaigns is that they do not have grassroots impact and will ultimately be less useful in the campaign. The governor also expressed

worry on the delay in forming the campaign council. “I remembered that as chairman of National Caucus, the president will say that the campaign for president and vice president is going to be borne by the states and that it is the state that will vote for the president and not Abuja. “That emphasis is that when it comes to election, people should learn to return to their states. Earlier while addressing the chairmen and governorship candidates of APC, Oshiomhole asked them to ensure that they form an-all inclusive campaign council at the state level. He advised them to try and extend hands of fellowship to

those who may have lost out during the primaries. The national chairman however frowned at the posture of some of the aggrieved aspirants who he said were trying to hold the party to ransom by refusing to withdraw cases in court despite reconciliation efforts. He said such individuals by their actions are wittingly or unwittingly paving the way for the opposition to win against the APC. “I am aware that we have some instances where some people have to go to court. And they are in two parts. There are some who is asking the court to declare them the

winner. It will be subjudice for me to comment on such matters or cases. “But, where people are going to court to claim that there were no primaries, such persons are not looking for solutions. Such persons are more or less agents of opposition. “This is because if the court were to uphold their prayers, it means our party will have no candidate in such states. “And the implication is that opposition will win such state. So, we have to distinguish between those who are in court in pursuance of justice and those being sponsored by opposition particularly in states where APC do not have sitting governors,” he said.

Former House Speaker, Na’Abba, Dumps APC Segun James A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, has resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Na’abba, from Kano State, was Speaker between 1999 and 2003. He announced his resignation in a letter addressed to the APC Chairman of his Sharada Ward of Kano Municipal Local Government. A copy of his resignation letter read: “This is to notify you of my resolve to resign from the APC effective today, December 5, 2018,” he wrote. “My decision to resign from the party follows the cavalier manner in which both the federal government, states controlled by the APC and the APC itself are being run, as a result of which anybody who has eyes to see only sees doom and not prosperity for our dear country.” The politician based his decision on the manner

congresses and primary elections were conducted in the party. He said there was clearly no doubt in his mind, and the minds of visionary Nigerians, that the APC administration is characterised by “lack of consultation, crass incompetence, lack of vision, arrogance, and dangerous fixation.” He made reference to defections in the National Assembly as a sign of the failure of the APC. “It is a measure of the incompetence of the APC government that after all is said and done, it has lost a Senate President and a Speaker of the House of Representatives and many others for reasons that border on meanness, lack of simple management skills and capacities and a great measure of arrogance.” “It is also a measure of the incompetence of the party that there is almost no state in the federation where there is no conflict .”

APC Candidate Unveils Manifesto, Inaugurates Campaign Committee The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Ojo federal Constituency for the House of Representatives, Yinka Durosimi, yesterday unveiled a three-point people- oriented manifesto ahead of the February, 2019 elections. The campaign mantra described as people’s project provides for scholarship scheme for the youth,

empowerment for women, traders and stipend for the unemployed, and a biennial briefing to ensure a collective progression. Residents of the area were excited at the development and expressed optimism that the candidate would attend to their needs with dividends of democracy as he did while he was the Chairman of Ojo Local Government Area.


L-R: Head, UBA Academy, Akin Morakinyo; Group Head, Human Resources Operations and Shared Services, United Bank for Africa(UBA) Plc, Bayo Odeyale; First Vice President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria( CIBN), Mr. Bayo Olugbemi; President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Uche Olowu; Group Head Human Resources, UBA Plc, Patricia Aderibigbe; 2nd Vice President, CIBN, Ken Opara; Registrar/Chief Executive, CIBN; Seye Awojobi; National Treasurer, CIBN, Deji Olanrewaju; and Chairman, Capacity Building Committee, CIBN, Abdulraham Yinusa , during the presentation of certificate of accreditation to UBA Academy by the Institute in Lagos…yesterday

Money Laundering: Court Remands Former Kebbi Gov, Two Others The Federal High Court sitting in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, yesterday, remanded the immediate past Governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Dakingari, and two others in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) custody pending the ruling on their bail application on December 10, 2018. The two others are Sunday Dogoyaro and Garba Kamba. The defendants were standing trial on 13 counts of conspiracy and money laundering filed

against them by the EFCC. They were alleged to have laundered N450 million; part of $115million collected from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison-Madueke, contrary to Section 1A of Money Laundry Act 2015. The lead Counsel for the EFCC, J A Ojogbane, said the defendants should take their pleas, adding that the charges be read to them for immediate commencement of their trial. He told the court that the

EFCC was ready for the trial with their witnesses. However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts. Counsel for the 1st defendant, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), while applying for the 1st defendant’s bail, told the court that his client was a former Governor of Kebbi State without a record of criminal cases, and argued that he would not jump bail if granted. He also pleaded that the

judge should rule in the interim on his client’s bail application by remanding the 1st defendant in Kebbi State or Sokoto State in the facilities of the EFCC. The counsel for the second defendant, O A Dada, in his application for bail supported with a 21-paragraph affidavit, argued that if the court granted his client bail, he would make himself available. He argued that the client had been punctual consistently since the commencement of the case before the court.

Ex-Punch Chairman, Ogunshola, Bags CIIN Fellowship Award Peter Uzoho Chairman of Punch Newspapers/non-executive Chairman, Continental Reinsurance, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, was yesterday conferred with the prestigious fellowship award of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) in recognition of his valuable contributions to the growth of the institute and the insurance industry. Ogunshola was among three members of the institute honoured with the fellowship

award at the 2018 CIIN Induction ceremony in Lagos, with the theme: ‘The Insurance Industry and Professional Integrity”. The institute also at the occasion inducted 138 mem be Associates, 207 Diploma awardees, and 500 Certificate awardees. Ogunshola holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Hons) degree in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan in 1967. He was the first black African to qualify as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of England in 1973.

He was at various times Managing Director of Niger Insurance Ltd now Plc; Chairman, Committee of Actuaries, United Nations Pension Fund; Chairman of Alexander Forbes Consulting Actuaries; and President, Newspapers Proprietors’ Association and Foundation President of Nigeria Actuarial Society. Ogunshola is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Society; past Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of England; and recipient of a D.Sc (honouris

causa) in Management Science from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. During his stint as the chairman of Punch, he was known to have brought new life into print medium. In his acceptance speech, Ogunshola thanked the leadership of the institute for the honour. “When you are honoured by your colleagues, the first thing that occurs to you is to remember all those you have studied and worked with,” he said.





Customs Revenue Hits N1.1tn in 11 Months Responsibility of Pluralism in Islam - 1

Edited by: MJO Mustapha Email

Sharon Emi The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said it generated N1.1 trillion revenue and seized contraband goods worth more than N40 billion between January and November 2018. The Public Relations Officer of the service, Deputy Comptroller, Joseph Attah, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. Attah said the amount realised had far surpassed the N1.03 trillion generated in 2017. The spokesperson also said 59 containers of tramadol and other controlled drugs were confiscated across the commands within the period of time. He added that 40 containers

were seized in Apapa Port, 10 in Tincan Port in Lagos State and nine in Onne Port in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Attah said that the quantum of seized goods was a testimony that the service had improved in its ability to block leakages and enforce the anti-smuggling law this year. He also disclosed that the automation of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System had been upgraded. According to him, the strategic deployment of officers and men of the service and establishment of strike force as the third layers of security, have impacted positively on customs operations. “We are aware that our insistence on compliance, arrest and prosecution of smugglers and increasing disposition

of customs officers to place national interest above self, is against the interests of some people. “With these achievements, we must have stepped on toes, and that is why some enemies go to town with misleading information by accusing the service of nepotism, non-facilitation of trade and corruption. “It is curious that such people will choose the time when officers are turning down bribes like the Apapa case. “Our officers rejected N150 million bribe offered by the arrested suspect, to save the nation from consuming 40 containers of dangerous drugs. “We will insist that all international trade actors comply with the fiscal policy of the government,” he said.

Pressure Group Lauds Buhari’s Reform in Key Sectors Hamid Adedeji A socio-cultural group under the aegis of BringBackBuhariMaritime (BBBMCG), which includes, Odua Maritime Group, Igbo Maritime Group and Arewa Maritime Group in the maritime sector of the Nigerian economy, has advocated the support and re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second-term bid in office. In a statement signed by its National Chairman, BBBMCG, Uchechukwu Aniezechukwu, and National Coordinator, BBBMCG, Alhaji Aliyu Lameen, respectively in Lagos, the association explained that President Buhari deserved a second term re-election bid considering the administration’s performances in critical sectors of the economy in the country, including, agriculture, security, infrastructural development in the transport sector, rail sector, fight against corruption, creation of jobs for graduates via N- Power, social intervention scheme-

tradermoni. It said these initiatives have impacted positively on Nigeria’s economic development in all ramifications. “As members of the maritime industry in Nigeria and various sub-industries and socio-cultural groups under the industry which includes Odua Maritime Group, Igbo Maritime Group and Arewa Maritime Group, we are of the opinions that having critically considered the ongoing reform in the critical sectors of the economy in the country, including, security, infrastructural development in the transport sector and the rail sector in particular, the fight against corruption and the untainted personality of President Muhammadu Buhari, in particular, towards the Nigerian economic development, especially, in the agricultural sector, the creation of jobs for graduates through the N- Power programme, creation of social intervention scheme, like tradermoni, we, therefore, say these economic

reform policies have had such an influence on all facets of the sectors of the economy and also at least, boosted 85 per cent of Nigerians of all ethnic groups, directly or indirectly,” the statement stated. The statement added that the association is ready to abstain from smear campaign against the person of the president and All Progressives Congress in the forthcoming general elections as part of its political agenda. The association also explained that it would engage the youths and media to showcase the President’s achievements in the last three and half years. “We shall engage the young Nigerians through our new media campaign by stating in clear terms the revolutional giant strides of the president in securing their future not only in his youth empowerment programs. Also in stopping Nigerians who are hell bent on milking the nation dry by corruptly enriching themselves through the social media tools,” the National Chairman said.

Bristow Boosts Capacity Devt for Nigeria Immigration Service Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, a leading aviation player in the service of Nigeria’s oil and gas, has boosted human capital development as it donated two multi-million naira blocks of classrooms and two solarpowered boreholes to the Nigeria Immigration Training School, Kano as part of its corporate social responsibility. The company has also revealed that it will soon unveil similar projects at NIS training school in Ahoda, River State in due course, with a view to guaranteeing good learning environment for Immigration officers. Speaking during the recent official inauguration of project, the Managing Director of Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, Captain Oladapo Oyeleke, said the projects are strategically conceived to enhance quality of training for efficient service delivery by the

Nigeria Immigration Service. Oyeleke said Bristow’s gesture was in line with the organisation’s belief and commitment to professionalism through sustained capacity development. He said it is the vision of Bristow Helicopters Nigeria to replicate global standard centres across Nigeria Immigration Training Schools as part of its corporate social responsibility. “The face of Nigeria Immigration Service is so conspicuous. They are the last face on your way out of the country and the first face on your way into the country on arrival. So, it is important that Immigration staff acquires quality training equal to global standards in a conducive environment. For us at Bristow Helicopters, we consider the donation of the classrooms has a way of enhancing our goals that is training intellectuals and

bringing out the best in our Immigration Officers. “We are extending the core value across the training schools of Nigeria Immigration as part of our community relations projects” Oyeleke explained. Responding on behalf of the NIS, the Comptroller General of the Service, Mr. Muhammed Babandede, commended Bristow Helicopters for the support while appealing to other corporate organisations to emulate the good gesture. The Comptroller-General revealed that the service under his leadership has enhanced both human and capital development for efficient service delivery and results achievements. He disclosed that no fewer than 651 cadets are currently undergoing 6-months training programme at the NIS facility in Kano, a figure which he said is the highest in the history of NIS.

John Andrew Morrow/IslamiCity Introduction


uhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was a Prophet. He was a Messenger of God. He was the Seal of the Prophets. This is something agreed upon by all Muslims: La ilaha illa Allah Muhammadan Rasul Allah: there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.


Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was a nabi or a prophet, namely, a person sent to preach the Word of God; a person who was following in the footsteps of his prophetic predecessors. He did not preach a new religion; he preached the primordial religion, Islam, submission and surrender to the One and Only God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah was also a rasul or a messenger, namely, a person who was sent with a scripture, a book from God, a revelation, and a code of law. He came forth, not only with ‘aqidah or beliefs but with shari‘ah or law, a comprehensive social, political, and economic system. Islam is a complete way of life. Unlike the prophets and messengers who preceded him and unlike the founders of other faith traditions, which focus on governing themselves, Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, also focused on how Muslims should interact with others. If one reads the Old Testament, and one study the Halakha, one sees that that Jewish Law was concerning primarily with regulating the lives of Jewish people. If one reads the New Testament, and studies Canon Law, one sees that Christian law was concerned primarily with regulating the lives of Christian people. There is little in the Judeo-Christian tradition regarding the rights of non-Jews and non-Christians. There is little with regards to the manner we should treat different faith communities. For many religions, both Eastern and Western, it was pretty much: “Follow my way or I will send you on the highway to Hell.” Although the belief system and code of conduct of believers was clearly delineated, the rights of unbelievers were often reduced to the right to die. In many cases, it boiled down to “Convert the unbelievers or kill them all.”


Islam, however, came to the scene with an entirely novel and unique approach: pluralism. Unlike many other religions that insisted that salvation was for them and them alone, Islam insisted that salvation was within the reach of all righteous monotheists. So long as one believed in God, and one did good deeds and avoided evil deeds, one had hope in the mercy of Almighty God. As Almighty Allah, says in the Holy Qur’an: Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (2:62) As Mustafa Akyol, the author of The Islamic Jesus, has observed: The fact that the Qur’an promised salvation to [the Sabians], along with Jews and Christians, reflects a theological liberality in early Islam that most contemporary Muslims would have a hard time to even consider. I have studied Islam for over three decades. I too was taught that only Muslims were believers and that only Muslims went to Heaven. I was taught that Christians were mushrikin or polytheists. I was taught that the People of the Book were kuffar or infidels who were destined to eternal damnation in Hell. I studied all the so-called Muslim authorities who misrepresented and misinterpreted the Qur’an to suit their intolerant purposes. I read all the so-called “authentic” traditions that extremists use to justify denying non-

Muslims basic civil and human rights. I read all the so-called authoritative commentaries of the Qur’an that present an intolerant image of Islam. I can assert, openly, and unabashedly, that the extremist, fundamentalist, exclusivist, absolutist, fascist and supremacist interpretation of Islam is false. It represents a re-invention of Islam. It is not the Islam of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. It is not the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad. And it most certainly is not the Islam of the Qur’an and the Islam of Almighty Allah.

Political Responsibility

When the Messenger of Allah established himself in Madinah, he consulted with Jews, Muslims, and polytheists, and created a constitution, the first of its kind in the political history of humanity. Known as the Covenant of Madinah, it placed all citizens on equal footing with equal rights and obligations. The citizens of the city-state of Madinah consisted of Jews and Arab non-Muslims. They numbered in the tens of thousands. Muslims, however were a minority during the early days of Muhammad’s rule: they numbered in the hundreds. Nonetheless, the Prophet proclaimed that they were a ummah wahidah, a single community, a constitutional confederation. The term mu’minin or believers is used almost a thousand times in the Qur’an. As Mustafa Akyol recognizes, the term “was a broad umbrella that could incorporate all monotheists”. In the Constitution of Madinah and in the Covenants of the Prophet, the Messenger of Allah described the People of the Book as mu’minin or believers. And this makes perfect logical sense: anyone who believes in God is a believer. When the Messenger of Allah referred to his followers, those who embraced Islam, he used the term muslimin or Muslims. The Prophet spearheaded a movement of believers and created a Confederation of Believers. The rightly-guided Caliphs used the title Amir al-Mu’minin, Leader of the Believers, not Amir al-Muslimin, Leader of the Muslims. They were the leaders of all the citizens of the Ummah. As Mustafa Akyol explains, “The existence of different religious traditions on earth is not an aberration but, quite the contrary the very will of God”. As we read in the Holy Qur’an, And we have sent down the Book to you [Muhammad] with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires deviating from the Truth that has come to you. We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. And every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (5:48) This is pluralism plain and simple, a condition or system in which various groups, principles, sources of authority or religious traditions co-exist in respect and tolerance. It is pluralism as defined by Diana L. Eck: energetic engagement with diversity; active seeking of understanding across lines of difference; encounter of commitments; and the language of dialogue. One day, when the Prophet Muhammad was in Madinah, a delegation of Christians visited him from Najran. They debated and discussed religious matters. They agreed on some issues. They disagreed on other issues. When it came time for the Christians to perform their prayers, they excused themselves to leave the mosque. The Prophet Muhammad insisted that they pray in his mosque as it was a place of prayer and a house of God. And so the Christians prayed and celebrated mass in the mosque of the Prophet. This event is meticulously documented in Muslim sources. Not only is it authentic, it is exemplary. It is the very embodiment of Islamic ethics. Compare that to the actions of ISIS (or Boko Haram).

…to be continued.




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Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY

Ighalo, Zokora, Others Team up with African Legends for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Matchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in Lagos Duro Ikhazuagbe AFCON 2019 qualifiers leading scorer with six goals, Odion Ighalo, has joined the long list of past and present stars of the game to feature in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Match: A Celebration of Excellence in Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; project scheduled to hold March 16, 2019 at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos. The Changchun Yatai player in the Chinese Super League who is likely to return to Europe in the January Winter transfer window following the relegation of his team to the lower division was reported to be excited with the prospect of joining some of the biggest names in the game in the continent in extolling the giant strides made in sports development by Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. Also listed to have accepted to be in Lagos is former Is Ivory Coast defensive midfielder for 14 years, Didier Zokora. Zokora left Tottenham Hotspur to join Trabzonspor in the Turkish topflight. It was not long ago that Zokora who is the most capped Elephant dumped Indonesia club, Semen Padang, to end his club career. One of the Organisers of the

game, ex international, Waidi Akanni, announced yesterday that Kadeer Naira and Tienne Siaka have also signified their intentions to team up with several others including former Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, Senegalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s El -Hajj Diouf, Drogbaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former Elephants teammate, Kolo Toure, Ghanaian duo of Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah and former French star, Christian Karembu to storm Lagos. From the home front, ex internationals like Samson Siasia, Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Joseph Yobo, Julius Aghahowa and several others have been listed to participate in the African All-Stars versus Nigerian Legends. In all, 21 African football legends including Drogba and Liberian President, George Weah, have been selected to participate in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Matchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Speaking at a media parley in Lagos recently to announce the project, Akanni who along with Samson Siasia are the chief architects of The Match, said Gov Ambode has made laudable sports development in Lagos that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth celebrating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As internationals, we have

seen the infrastructural developments in Lagos under Gov Ambode. The Onikan Stadium

that has been abandoned over the years is under reconstruction to meet FIFA standard. Teslim

Balogun Stadium is undergoing similar reconstruction while the Agege and Epe Stadiums are

in fantastic shape not to talk of the Maracana Sports complex in Ajegunle.

Students performing callisthenics display at the opening ceremony of the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja, yesterday

Pinnick Pledges NFF Will Implement Reform Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Recommendations r*OBVHVSBUFTNFNCFSQBOFMFYQFDUFEUPSFGPSN/JHFSJBOGPPUCBMM President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Melvin Pinnick has made a firm pledge that the football-ruling body is ready and willing to implement the recommendations of the Reform Committee set up by the Executive Committee and endorsed by the NFF Congress at its Annual General Assembly in Asaba on 24th October 2018. Speaking at the inauguration of the 27-member panel at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos yesterday, Pinnick eulogised the members of the panel and said there couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been better persons to do the job. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There would have been no

compelling need to put together this group of eminent Nigerians, persons of considerable weight and relevance across football and beyond, if we were not determined to implement the committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recommendations,â&#x20AC;? Pinnick pledged. The committee is headed by the 1st Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, and has among its terms of reference, the provision of the most stable and sustainable foundations for football in Nigeria, guaranteeing of commitment to the principles of good governance, inclusion and transparency in all areas of its operations which also requires its member associa-

tions, officials and employees to meet the high standards set in this regard, and adaptation to the latest development in the world of football to ensure that its operations and values adhere to the best governance principles possible. The committee is also to progressively adopt a wide range of reforms that reflect the views of the Nigerian and international football community in order to meet the evolving needs of the modern game. At the end, it is to ensure that the principles enunciated by it and its recommendations which are accepted by the Executive Committee are incorporated

into an amended version of the NFF Statutes and pave the way for further significant and munch â&#x20AC;&#x201C;needed changes to the Federationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governance structure, electoral procedures and dispute resolution mechanism. Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of CAF and Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, praised the commitment of the eminent persons to serve, affirming his belief that the committee will come up with recommendations that will set Nigerian Football on the pathway to immense glory. Before now, there had been many reform committees such as the SO

Pomp, Festivity as 19th National Sports Festival Begins

Kickboxing President Commends Army, Police

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

President of the Kickboxing Federation of Nigeria (KBFN), Abubakar Yakubu, a chief superintendent of police, is excited over the outcome of the maiden Rivers State National Open Kickboxing Championship held between November 12 and 18, 2018 at the Alfred Diete Spiff Civic-Centre, in Port Harcourt. The Nigerian Army team topped the medals table with nine gold, eight silver and five bronze medals ahead of the police team that placed second with five gold, one silver and four bronze medals. Delta State won four gold, two silver and two bronze medals to finish third position thereby coming first among the nine states that took part in the exercise.

After several postponements since the last edition in Lagos in 2012, the 19th National Sports Festival began yesterday on a colourful note at the National Stadium, Abuja with athletes from 26 states of the federation filling out for the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was graced by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, and several other dignitaries. Calisthenics, cultural show, mini durbar, cycling exhibition and skating were on parade last night. The cultural performers danced to the tune of Afro beat Legend, the Late Fela Anikulapo- Kuti.

The total number of athletes that will be participating in 40 sports at the festival is 7227. The events will be held over 10 days. The total number of delegates from all the states is 8,861. FCT stepped in as host nine months ago as the original hosts, Cross River State defaulted in organising the Games on schedule. Edo State will host the next edition in 2020 paraded the largest contingent with 591 athletes, followed by Delta, which will feature 545. Lagos has 495 athletes here at the Festival. Plateau is to be represented by 332 athletes while FCT has 473 athletes on parade. FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, expressed pride that the FCT is hosting the Games of Unity.

CSP Yakubu commended all the states and clubs that participated at the weeklong championship that was sponsored by the Plant-Geria Nigeria Ltd in conjunction with the Rivers Stated Government as packaged by the Kickboxing Federation of Nigeria and the Karate Federation. With 38 gold 38 Silver and 76 bronze totalling 152 medals available to be won in any organized kickboxing championship, the KBFN president assured that his federation will continue to pursue its developmental agenda in order to take Nigeria kickboxing to the zenith. According to the Secretary General, Mr. Peter Njoku, a total of nine states and seven clubs totalling 16 teams featured in the championship

Williams Sports Reforms committee in the 1980s, the Amanze Uchegbulam committee on agegraded football activities of 1999, the Emeka Omeruah Committee of 2004 and another one some years back which recommended the formation of a domestic Court of Arbitration for Sports to avoid the administrative and legal logjams that almost strangulate football administration in the past four year. Akinwunmi has as deputy, the NFF 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko, with NFF Executive Committee members Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau and Hon. Chidi Ofo Okenwa, and the General Secretary, Dr.

Mohammed Sanusi also on the membership. There are also Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi (Chairman, Osun State FA); Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen (Chairman, Benue State FA); Alhaji Mohammed Nasir Saidu (Chairman, Sokoto State FA); Alhaji Garba Mohammed (Chairman, Yobe State FA) and; Barrister Poubeni Ogun (Chairman, Bayelsa State FA). Dr. Kweku Tandoh (Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission); Barrister Godwin Dudu Orumen (Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission) and; Alhaji Farouk Yarma Adamu (Commissioner for Youth Empowerment, Gombe State) are there.

Leicester Crashed Helicopter Rotor Pedals Failed, Says Probe Disconnected cockpit pedals caused the helicopter crash that killed the Thai billionaire owner of Leicester City football club and four others on October 28, a British investigation found out yesterday. The death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha shocked global sport and left the small city in the heart of England in mourning two years after their improbable first and only championship season. The helicopter, decorated in the blue and white colours of the team, spun out of control on takeoff moments after it cleared the stadiumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roof. Vichai attended most Leicester home matches, landing and taking off from the centre of the pitch. Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Air Accident

Investigation Branch (AAIB) said a series of cockpit pedals had somehow become disconnected from the rotor on the helicopterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tail. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The loss of control of the helicopter resulted from the tail rotor actuator control shaft becoming disconnected from the actuator lever mechanism,â&#x20AC;? the eight-page AAIB report said. The helicopter began to spin uncontrollably to the right as a result. The AAIB said it was treating a further probe into what caused the pedals to disconnect â&#x20AC;&#x153;as a priorityâ&#x20AC;?. Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aviation safety authorities have ordered mandatory checks on the type of helicopter involved, finding no other problems to date.


 ÍżË&#x153;ͺ͸͚Î&#x20AC;ËžT H I S D AY


Catalan Capital Derby Headlines LaLiga Weekend Clashes The Catalan capital derby headlines this weekendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LaLiga Santander Matchday 15 schedule, with current table-toppers Barcelona travelling to neighbours Espanyol in a schedule packed with neighbourly and historic rivalries. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been 11 years since Espanyol beat Barça in front of their own fans, back when current Blaugrana Captain, Lionel Mess,i was still establishing himself in the first team, but Los Periquitos have only lost once so far this season at their RCDE Stadium. An extra edge to Saturday eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game is that Barca Coach Ernesto Valverde played for and coached both clubs. Espanyol Coach Rubi, meanwhile, was on the coaching staff at the Camp Nou during the 2013/14 season. LaLigaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weekend kicks off with another derby in the Spanish capital, as Leganes and Getafe meet at Butarque. The two teams are based just five kilometres apart in Madridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s southern suburbs, making them geographically the closest local rivals in the top flight. Both also come into the game in good form following important wins last weekend. Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s action begins elsewhere in the capital with third-placed Atletico Madrid

Nigeria Can Win the Next World Cup Amaju: Say No to Politics, Please

Samuel Chukwueze in action for Villarrealâ&#x20AC;Ś yesterday

hosting fourth-placed Alaves. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely to be a tight affair as the team from Vitoria have drawn two of their last three games, while Antoine Griezmann and company are unbeaten at the Wanda Metropolitano this term. Next comes another historic clash as Valencia face Sevilla in a game always humming with rivalry between Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third and fourth biggest cities. Valenciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inconsistent start means getting a victory to make up ground in the table is even more important

than usual, while second-placed Sevilla will know that another three points would put them temporarily back top of the LaLiga Santander standings. Villarreal host Celta Vigo later on Saturday afternoon with both clubs still in the bottom half but showing recent signs of improving form. The Yellow Submarine have also scored nine goals in their last two games against Celta at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Two of LaLigaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most in-form sides meet in Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early game,

with Eibar looking for a third straight win in front of their fans at Ipurua and visitors Levante unbeaten in their last four games on their travels. Next up are bottom side Huesca, badly in need of a boost, who welcome Real Madrid and newly crowned 2018 Ballon Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Or winner Luka Modric to El Alcoraz for the first time ever in LaLiga. Los Blancos have already been beaten on trips north to Eibar and Alaves this season, so will be out to avoid a nasty surprise.

Chukwuemeka Shines asVillarreal HammersAlmeria 8-0 in Copa Del Rey Villarreal secured their spot in the last eight of the Copa Del Rey with a comprehensive 8-0 win over Almeria which gave them an aggregate win of 11-3 after drawing the first game 3-3. Karl Toko Ekambi was the hero of the win with four goals to his name while Carlos Bacca grabbed a brace and the duo of Gerard Moreno and Daniel Raba netted one each to complete the rout.

this clash dropping to the bench after lasting the entire duration of their 0-2 loss to Barcelona in the La Liga on Sunday. He was introduced in 71st L- R: Coach, Ikoyi Club Tennis Section, Chris Agbim; Senior Brand Manminute for Javi Fuego with ager, Seven-Up Bottling Company, Segun Ogunleye, Chairman, Ikoyi scores at 6-0 in favour of his Club Tennis Section, Abimbola Okubena and The General Manager, Ikoyi Club, Tunde Orugbeja at the press brieďŹ ng for Ikoyi Club/Seven- team and for the minutes he was on he was his usual self Up Secondary School Tennis Tourney in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently but didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t push up the pitch as The win was achieved by teen star Samuel Chukwueze they were comfortably leading Villarreal with their Nigerian who scored in the first leg of before his introduction.

Mo Salah Emerges SuperSport Player of the Month Leading sports TV network, SuperSportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pick for the November 2018 Player of the Month is Liverpool and Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah. Salah who has shrugged off his sluggish start this season is back to his signature showstopping play manship. Salah helped Liverpool secure a 3-0 away win over Watford, which kept them in touch with Premier League pacesetters Manchester City. The 26-year-old opened the scoring at Vicarage Road to pave the way for an emphatic Reds victory, which also featured goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino. The Egyptian was thrown under the bus by critics for a solid but unspectacular start to

the 2018/19 season. However, things have been looking up for him since the middle of October. The winger has scored eight goals and provided two assists for club and country and also managed to become the fastest player to ever reach the 50-goal mark for Liverpool. Additionally, Salah has been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC African Footballer of the Year award which he is widely expected to win for a second successive time. Salahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s combination of strong performances and his humble, down-to-earth demeanour have earned him praise from his fellow professionals. Brighton & Hove Albionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cameroonian defender Gaetan Bong believes

even if Salah is not scoring, his attacking contribution is always a positive one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has everything, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top scorer,â&#x20AC;? Bong told BBC Sports. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is a good player and good on the ball, strong and always working hard. You might not see it sometimes but when you are on the pitch, he is making a lot of runs, a lot of strong runs.â&#x20AC;? Veteran Ivorian attacker Gervinho (who was a candidate for this Player of the Month after becoming the top-scoring African in the Serie A this season) was a teammate of Salahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at Italian giants Roma and believes the hard work the Egyptian puts in at the gym underscores his on-pitch brilliance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Salah is a tough guy,â&#x20AC;? the Parma attacker told the Guard-

ian. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Always calm and strong, with the mentality of a hard worker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never forget his training sessions: very high rhythm, pushed like a madman, you watched him in amazement. He had a sort of positive effect â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you saw Salah and wanted to work harder. Talent and sacrifice.â&#x20AC;? As does Octoberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Player of the Month, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose goal helped Arsenal beat Bournemouth this past weekend brought him level with Man Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sergio Aguero at the top of the Premier League scoring chart, while Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) and Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) have also impressed.

GOtv Boxing Night 17:â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fijabi â&#x20AC;&#x2122;llTaste First Defeatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Fast rising light welterweight boxer, Yusuf Muftau, has declared that he will be the first opponent to defeat former West African Boxing Union title champion, Olaide Fijabi. Both boxers are scheduled to clash at GOtv Boxing Night 17, holding on December 28, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. In an interview after a training session yesterday,

Murphy said he is undaunted by his more celebrated opponentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unbeaten record. He explained that the fact that Fijabi is yet to taste defeat as a professional boxer is a motivation for him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very motivated to become the first boxer to defeat Fijabi. It will be a great thing to do. I have watched him fight many opponents, who clearly did not

know what to do to defeat him. This time, there is no chance of him escaping defeat,â&#x20AC;? boasted Murphy. He added that he is not a novice and he is training very well to ensure he realizes his dream. The odds are against Murphy, who is facing an opponent that has won all of his 11 fights and is known for his savage punching power, which

has brought his many knockouts. The eight-fight show will also feature musical performances by Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Teni Da Entertainer and Daddy Showkey. The eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headline fight is the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental super featherweight title between Seun Wahab of Nigeria and Issa Nampepeche of Tanzania.

I am one of those who believe that the Super Eagles did well in South Africa against the Bafana Bafana in the last AFCON 2019 qualifier played by the Nigerian senior national team. I told a group of friends who watched with me that the South Africans were lucky to escape with a draw because we had a more experienced collection of players who know how to do what they have to do while they have a more cohesive team short on talent and experience. In truth, the Super Eagles were denied victory by the incompetence of the referees of the match. But that is not what I want to talk about today. My concern this morning is to advice the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick to concentrate more on his job and do less of politicking. I believe the job of the President of our football federation is clear cut- create the enabling environment to grow our football in all aspects of the game. In the process, ensure that all teams representing our country reflect the quality of our football. Under Pinnick, our football has not done as well as it should. Our teams, particularly the age group ones have been unimpressive. Most times they have floundered and apart from qualifying for the World Cup our senior national team the Super Eagles could not be said to be outstanding in results recorded over a five-year stretch. Twice consecutively, they could not manage to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. The women teams have not fared better. The once glorious heights achieved, is now severely threatened by teams who dared not pass rudely bye years before. During the recently concluded AWCON 2018 in Ghana, South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Banyana Banyana humiliated our poorly prepared Super Falcons who played more like pregnant women in the group opening match and were lucky to win the shoot out in the final last Saturday. Truth be told: We were poor against the South Africans. Only providence retained the AWCON trophy for Nigeria. Our girls literally walked into the competition and came out of it with nothing spectacular in our game. The South African had better preparations for several months. It was like we never knew an African Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Championship would take place! Now we have qualified for another World Cup to be hosted in France next year, yet one cannot be too sure of the kind of preparation to make our girls go beyond completing the numbers in the competition. The expectations when Amaju was campaigning for reelection was that he was

coming to right the wrongs of the past. Most people felt he has acquired enough experience from the numerous failures of the past. That from what he has learnt he is best suited to lead our federation. Some critics are beginning to have a second opinion. I, however, feel he can still do the right thing, leading our football to El Dorado. That is why I am advising him to please stay off politics. Some days ago, I read from the blog of one of the most respected sports journalists about an attempt to play some politics. He was reported to have been quite effusive in his praise for our President for making it possible â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;for our football to continue to thrive. He was also reported to have praised the Plateau State Governor Mr Simon Lalong for asking his wife to come along to watch the Eagles play in SA. Ordinarily these actions are innocuous and should be allowed to pass. But the truth is that he was praising President Buhari for political reasons. The campaign against him during the last election was that he was a PDP man (as if that has become an offense). Now, Amaju wants to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;belongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. If he must do that he must work on our football which at the moment is definitely not thriving. Our result at the last World Cup was a regression. We could not get to the second round as we did in the previous edition. Our football is still bedeviled with maladministration. En-route qualifying for the World Cup, we fielded a disqualified player and got docked for it! So how is our football thriving? I do not believe we should be indebted to Lalong for coming to watch the Super Eagles with his wife. If he loves the team so much he could sponsor two hundred supporters to South Africa. I know Lalong helped Amaju to stay in office when the Sports Minister was aiding his enemy to plot his removal but it is to our football that he owes his loyalty. We have a lot to do in developing the structures that would grow our football. We need a strong administrative base on which we can build an organisation that is not only effective but also efficient. I am told that Pinnick has succeeded in making the NFF 60% self-sufficient. We expect him to spend the next four years building a solid base for self-reliance. He should set his sight on creating an NFF that would operate like a business enterprise peopled by those who know what it is to run football. That is the task before Amaju Pinnick. Not fawning on politicians. Definitely.

Friday, December 7, 2018



& RE A S O


Price: N250

MISSILE Tinubu to Atiku

“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.” –National Leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, dismissing the presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as unfit to be entrusted with the presidency of the country.


Gogo Goes Home S

ince August when our dear mother, Mrs. Goldcoast Dickson (Gogo), was called to be with the Lord, my family and I have passed through what I consider to be the worst period of our lives. My mother was hale and hearty until January this year when she was diagnosed with cancer at the Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre. The prognosis was later confirmed in London, where she received treatment until she was transferred again to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston Texas, USA. She finally returned to her Creator on the 8th of August 2018. Although there was no written record of her birth, available accounts hold that she was born about 72 years ago to the family of OruamaNipe, one of the earliest sailors from this area ‘popularly called Captain Nipe’ and ‘Areambrado of Indiamazi’ in Sagbama community. Mama Gogo was the third of four children, Afani, Queenmary, and her only brother, Kumasi Akpi, who died in 2006 as a serving Superintendent of Police. Her two surviving elder sisters are here with us today aged about 78 and 75. My mother was named Goldcoast by her sailor father whose children all bore names of either marine vessels he worked on or popular port cities he visited as a sailor. Goldcoast was the colonial name for present day Ghana and Kumasi is a port city in Ghana. She was his favourite child, and he gave her the pet name Atabeniere (meaning a wealthy woman from the sea). As a child learning to speak, I could not pronounce her name, Goldcoast, correctly. My infant tongue twisted her name as ‘’Gogo’’ and that became her name until her death. Everyone, including my father and her mother called her Gogo. She often cautioned me jokingly; however, teaching me an important lesson, that my tongue should not be used to make any negative pronouncement. My mother was a kindhearted, softspoken, decent, loving and caring woman. From my father’s household and community, to her father’s household, family, community and indeed all who encountered her even for a brief period, felt her positive infectious personality. It was not a surprise, therefore, that in her sick bed in the United Kingdom and in the United States, she would crack jokes and engage in lively discussions with doctors, nurses and care-givers, most of whom developed strong bonds with her. Knowing the severity of her illness, and the impending loss of this

Late Mrs. Dickson

warm personality, some of them would leave her bedside to secretly shed tears of sorrow. A number of them are here today and have promised to support the Cancer Centre and other charitable activities to be instituted in her honour. In addition, all my associates, appointees, subordinates and affiliates, who have encountered her even for a brief moment, felt her warmth and motherly disposition. Each one of them has a story to tell. Interestingly, it was after she had passed on that I learnt that she had several groups of young couples that she quietly mentored. My mother, who was the last wife of my father, was both a wife and a daughter to my father. She was younger

She taught us love, respect, tolerance and compassion. She gave encouragement, love, care to my siblings and I, our spouses and her grandchildren. My mother cultivated a special bond with all our children, she sang and danced with them to their delight!

than my father’s first child: a male who is now deceased. She was also slightly older than my father’s first daughter, Siliki. Even in this large polygamous household, she endeavoured to make a success of her marriage. My quintessential mother was the centre of love, unity and care for the family. I saw her cook my entire father’s meals with uncommon diligence and she was indeed a great cook. She loved and cared for him till his death in 2011 about the age of 86. She passed on as the only surviving wife of my father. My mother, Mama Gogo, was more than a mother to me! As her first child, she was my elder sister, my friend, confidant and my prayer warrior. Growing up, in the village in those difficult days, in the 70s and 80s, my mother and I farmed and fished together to feed the family. I often tell the story of her forthrightness, integrity, love and sacrifice. As typical of the women in her time, women in the village would fish at night, return early in the morning to cook for their families, set out to farm and return at night to start the cycle all over again. One of such nights, while this wonderful woman was fishing, drums of diesel floated around her canoe. She quickly took out her fishing net and solicited the assistance of another woman to secure the drums to shore and that ended her fishing for that night. My parents told the community to notify them if any one came asking. Prior to this time, I had dropped out of school for over half a term because my father had explained that the downturn he was experiencing in his business at the time made it impracticable for my brothers and I to continue with our education. For this reason he decided that I, being the youngest make the sacrifice of dropping out until his financial situation improved, though he acknowledged that I was the most promising academically. I recall my mother getting angry and crying, trying to change a situation that was beyond her control. Growing older I now understand her feelings at the time. Afterwards, the owners of the drums who had lost them to heavy rain and erosion from a far-off location came enquiring. Of all the drums he lost, only those found by my mother were reported. Typical of my dad, he told the owners that they were only custodians and unconditionally released the drums. To show their gratitude and appreciation for her unassailable integrity and selflessness, the owners rewarded my mother with eighty Naira (80) out of which she gave twenty Naira (20) to the

woman who assisted in securing the drums. With the remaining sixty Naira (60) in her hand, my mother gave me that unforgettable, triumphant, soothing and re-assuring look saying, “My son, you would be heading back to school tomorrow.” What a relief! I recall also my first trip to the secondary school. As my parents escorted me to board the boat, my mother started crying wondering how I would cope and care for myself since I was only 12 years old and that would be the first time, I would be separated from her for a protracted period. The memories of the times we spent kept the tears in her eyes since I always accompanied her to all her farms. I still remember the stories she told me and the joy in her eyes when we caught some fish. She would say, “Oh, we will eat today.” And on the days we were not so lucky, you could see the sadness envelope her face. She taught us love, respect, tolerance and compassion. She gave encouragement, love, and care to my siblings and I, our spouses and her grandchildren. My mother cultivated a special bond with all our children, she sang and danced with them to their delight! They all have fond memories that may last their entire lives. Throughout her life time in the village, I never saw my mother engage in any quarrel with anybody. She was a peaceful and sympathetic person. My father used to joke that my mother was a bad trader, who was always giving out her wares on credit and would be too sympathetic to demand such debts. Her greatest gift was prayers. When she later gave her life to Christ, she became prayerful and a prayer warrior at that, praying and fasting frequently. She attended all devotional sermons of the family and later on of the state government when I became governor. After every morning, devotion she would embrace me and make proclamations for protection in line with the Ijaw culture, clasping her hands upon her chest and looking towards heaven. I would never leave her presence without her embrace, which I truly miss. My mother, just like my father, never bordered me even as a governor. She was always concerned about my wellbeing, progress and success of others. She prayed and constructed a bank of prayers enough to last my siblings and I for a life time. For as long as I live, I will always miss my mother. t%JDLTPOJTUIF(PWFSOPSPG#BZFMTB 4UBUF

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