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CBN’s Monetary Policy Lifts Stock Market by N204bn in November Goddy Egene The Nigerian stock market rebounded in November as the decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restrict individuals and local firms from investing in its open market operations (OMO)

auctions impacted positively on the market. Contrary to a decline of 4.9 per cent suffered by the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) in October, the market benchmark gauge appreciated 2.4 per cent in November. Similarly, the

market, which dipped by N642 billion in October, gained a total of N204 billion in November. While the NSE ASI appreciated from 26,355.35 to 27,002.15, market capitalisation rose from N12.829 trillion to N13.033 trillion.

Market operators and other stakeholders attributed the rebound recorded in the market to renewed demand for stocks as some investors shifted focus from fixed income securities following the central bank’s policy. Also, there was significant

bargain hunting in the month under review as investors took advantage of the attractive valuations as many of the equities dipped to a two-year low. A stockbroker, Mr. Ayo Oguntayo, told THISDAY that the performance of the market

in November reflected how a positive pronouncement could easily impact the fortunes of the equities market. According to him, while the market has potential to deliver good returns to Continued on page 9

Jim Ovia Seeks Expansion of Funding Scheme for Creative Industry... Page 8 Monday 2 December, 2019 Vol 24. No 9002. Price: N250

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Dangote Refinery Receives World’s Largest Crude Distillation Equipment... Page 5

ICPC Probes North-east N’Assembly Members over Diversion of Constituency Projects’ Funds MDAs, contractors should be queried, not lawmakers, says Ndume Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has beamed its searchlight on some National Assembly members from the North-east for allegedly collecting funds for constituency projects for several years without executing

them due to Boko Haram insurgency that ravaged the area, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed. THISDAY gathered that the ICPC, during its probe of constituency projects, found out that North-east was the worst affected by the nonexecution of the schemes due to the Boko Haram insurgency, Continued on page 9

Opposition Mounts against Hate Speech Bill as Editors, IPI, Olanipekun Kick Sponsor lists dangers of non-passage Chuks Okocha, Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja, Martins Ifijeh in Lagos, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti The groundswell of opposition to the passage of the Hate Speech Bill currently before the National Assembly intensified at the weekend with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian chapter of

the International Press Institute (IPI) and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), condemning it. They called on the National Assembly to pull back from further consideration of the bill, which they described as against national interest. Also, a member of House of Continued on page 9

MEGA DEAL... L-R: Chief Executive Officer Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu; an official of HAWTAI Energy (HK)Limited; President of HAWTAI Energy (HK) Limited, Mr. Cai Xianhe; Chairman, Waltersmith Petroman Ltd, Abdulrazaq Isa; and Executive Vice Chairman, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd, Mr Danjuma Saleh during the acquisition bid ceremony for oil block EG-23 in Equitorial Guinea ...recently.

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FG: IPPIS will Expose Atrocities in Universities... Page 5


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NEWS FG: IPPIS will Expose Atrocities in Universities

Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike

Email Ejiofor.Alike@thisdaylive.com, 08066066268

Says no agreement with union on how lecturers should be paid Kuni Tyessi in Abuja The war of words between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the order that university lecturers should be enrolled into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which enters its sixth day today, continued yesterday with the government saying the payment scheme will expose atrocities being perpetuated in the universities. ASUU has consistently opposed the scheme being driven by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, saying that it is in gross violation of the autonomy of federal universities as enshrined in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act 2003 (also called Universities Autonomy Act No1., 2007). The union also argued that IPPIS fails to accommodate the peculiarities of the Nigerian University System (NUS). The union alleged that IPPIS was driven primarily by selfish interests and motivations rather than the much vaunted claim about fighting corruption. The National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, had told THISDAY that the union had proposed an alternative to the controversial payment platform, But in its first official reaction to the controversial unified payroll system, the Ministry of Education told THISDAY in an exclusive interview that ASUU’s opposition to the scheme was due to the irregularities and corruption perpetrated at the ivory towers. The spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Education, and Deputy Director of press, Mr. Ben Bem Goong, said there

was no agreement anywhere that stipulated how ASUU members should be paid. Goong who reiterated that all the peculiarities of ASUU has been taken care of in the scheme, said the union was deliberate in its refusal as it is bent on taking the country back to the 1960s, despite the evolution of technology and its several phases. He said the decision of the federal government was in the best interest of the union and called on the university lecturers to reconsider their decision, noting that the threat of embarking on strike is uncalled for and should be a last resort. "There's no basis for anyone to resist payment through IPPIS. Even on the issue of double appointments in different institutions, which will be discovered by the scheme, the ministry of finance promised to take care of all that. Going on strike is unnecessary and should be the last resort. "If tomorrow technology evolves in such a way that we will have to move from IPPIS to a more refined system of payment, government will do that, but ASUU is saying that the nation has reached the final bus stop and so the system of payment should not be refined. Government will continue to refine the system and make it watertight so that some of the observed sharp practices can stop. "The federal government says ‘let's pay everyone from the centre,’ and ASUU is jittery. That means there is something that is fishy. What is it they are doing that they don't want to be on IPPIS, which will solve many things? "ASUU has no issue at all. You don't tell your paymaster how to be paid, but you can

negotiate with your pay master how much he will pay you. It is what we have been doing over the years under the national wage commission. Historically, civil servants and public servants were paid in cash, which evolved to payment through the banking system. With that evolution, why didn't ASUU resist it by insisting that they should be paid in cash, because they existed as of that time. Why didn't they resist the new model of payment? "What is ASUU looking for? Only God knows. Government has accepted to take care of

those peculiarities. In fact, they have been sorted out. The insistence that even if government recognises the peculiarities, they will still not be on IPPIS has set the public against ASUU. What is ASUU looking for since they have been told that their peculiarities will be recognised and resolved? "The question is what does ASUU have to hide? There is no agreement anywhere that states how ASUU members will be paid. They claim it will disparage their autonomy, but they have never been specific

mixture on the basis of their different boiling points. According to him, "Crude oil enters the top of the column, where the inlet temperature is 165 degrees Centigrade gradually increasing to 357 degree Centigrade at the bottom of the column. "During this passage the crude and its vapours pass through a complex web of internal trays to increase the contact time and surface area within the column with the hot vapours travelling upwards through bubble caps, which allow the vapour to pass through the tray with the cooler liquid flowing downward the column. "When the vapour reaches the height within the column where its boiling point is equal to the temperature of the column at that height it condenses to form a liquid. "The liquid then collects on various trays in the column at differing heights from where it is extracted out of the column. "It is therefore critical to control the heat load of the column to optimise the crude crack. "These separated fractions are mainly middle distillates namely, naphtha, jet fuel, kerosene, gasoline and gas oil."

by hand and pay envelopes. The payment system is evolving and is a machine you cannot stop. The wagon cannot be stopped. Wait and see, at the end of this enrollment, government will expose some level of atrocities being committed in some of these institutions. "ASUU should accept it in good fate and they should also be happy that government has said it will take care of their peculiarities. They should enroll as fast as possible as it is in their interest and that of the nation," he added.

STYLE BY ZENITH 2019... L-R: Group Managing Director/CEO, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia; Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and Deputy Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Dr. Adaora Umeoji, at the grand ďŹ nale of the ‘Style By Zenith 2.0’ Lifestyle Fair in Lagos‌ at the weekend

Dangote ReďŹ nery Receives World’s Largest Crude Distillation Equipment The world’s largest crude distillation column equipment designed for crude oil processing for Dangote Refinery yesterday arrived in Lagos. The equipment is the largest in terms of distilling capacity which is 650,000 barrels per stream day. It weighs 2250 metric tonnes; length, 112.5metres; width, 14.036m; and height, 13.752m; The above mentioned weight does not include the weight of the internal trays, which is approximately 536 metric tonnes. Head, Maritime and Ports Infrastructure of Dangote, Capt. Rajen Sachar, told journalists during the arrival of the facility in Lagos that the equipment is the biggest single-train facility used for refining crude oil. The refinery equipment, which was manufactured by Sinopec in China, is the primary unit processor of crude oil into fuels. Sachar said the crude oil consists of various chemical components that have different molecular sizes, molecular weights and boiling temperatures. He added that the crude distillation column works on the principle of fractional distillation leading to separation of various components in the

to which part of the autonomy. If you know, tell me. "It is all about the evolution and refinement of the system of payment. There is something some persons are trying to hide, which is when you send the bulk cost to some institutions, they manipulate it, and people are not talking about that and it is what ASUU is trying to hide. As we speak, staff verification and enrolment is going on in most universities. "For me, there is even no fight here. ASUU wants to draw the nation back to the 1960s when salaries were paid

The refinery, when completed, would produce Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. According to him, the crude column will enhance the economy of Nigeria and all neighbouring countries by making available refined petroleum products meeting world standards emission norms of Euro 5 and Euro 6. He said the strategic location of Nigeria in West Africa continent would help in reducing the transportation costs of these fuels to other countries in Africa. He said that the equipment was capable of refining 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) while the refinery was designed to be Africa’s largest, with potential to transform Nigeria from an importer of fuel to a net exporter. He added that the technology is significant to Nigeria and Dangote refinery because " this is the largest crude oil processor in the world." He stated that the crude oil processor took the Chinese manufacturers 14 months to build and eight weeks to bring it down to Nigeria. "We decided to ship it through vessel from China to avoid being damaged and also to avoid traffic congestion by using roads from

Apapa. Dangote refinery also invested heavily in dredging the sea from the refinery to Apapa for the easy passage of the vessel,� he added. He said the President of the company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, was passionate about technology transfer to Nigerians, adding that he has given standing instruction to train seven Nigerians to be a ship captain. Sachar said Dangote Oil Refinery Company is currently training about 150 young Nigerian engineers in refinery operations in preparation for the take-off of its Lagos refinery and petrochemical plant in India. Engineers are also currently undergoing training in Mumbai, India while the training programme is a continuum as more engineers would be trained to work effectively in the fertiliser plant and refinery being built by the company. In his remarks, Pilot Grade 1 of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Lawal Fagbo Saheed, commended the vessel crew who brought the equipment from China, adding that it took seven hours to drive the vessel from Apapa to Dangote refinery due to the heavy equipment.

NEITI: Nigeria’s Indebtedness to IOCs in Cash-call Now $3.501bn Says NNPC deducted N141bn in 2017 for fuel subsidy Chineme Okafor in Abuja Nigeria has significantly reduced the accumulated debt it owes International Oil Companies (IOCs) for cash-call for oil and gas production from $5.510 billion to $3.501 billion, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said. NEITI, in its latest 2017 oil and gas audit report, indicated that as at October 2018, the country’s total cash call liability to IOCs, including the negotiated debt of $5.125 billion, reduced to $3.501 billion. “Total cash call liability as at December 31, 2016, was $5.510 billion; this is inclusive of outstanding balance for 2016, which is $385.116 million as well as the negotiated liability of the federation of $5,125.423 billion. However, by October 2018, the liability has been reduced to $3.501 billion. “The total negotiated cash call liabilities as at January 1, 2016 was $5.125 billion. No payment was made to entities concerned as at December 31, 2017. However, at the time of filing this report, NAPIMS has made payment of $2.177 billion

leaving an outstanding balance of $2.948 billion. All the liabilities owed to indigenous oil companies were settled,� said the NEITI audit report. Nigeria, through the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, negotiated a discount off the total cash call debt it owed IOCs for oil production over the years. The NEITI equally explained in the report that the country was charged N141.632 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as underrecovery cost for supplying petrol at a government-regulated price of N145 per litre. It noted that N141.632 billion expenditure on petrol was 50 per cent less than what the country paid out in 2015 full year as petrol subsidy cost to oil marketers. “It is noteworthy to state that in 2015, the last year NNPC operated the subsidy for a full year, the total subsidy approved payment was N317.280 billion. When compared to the N141.632 billion charged for under recovery in 2017, the bill paid by the federation in relation to subsidy has decreased by 50 per cent,� it added.


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Jim Ovia Seeks Expansion of Funding Scheme for Creative Industry Sanwo-Olu, Ikpeazu outline efforts to support sector Vanessa Obioha The Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, at the weekend called for an expansion of the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to empower stakeholders in the creative industry. Ovia who was one of the panelists that deliberated on the theme: ‘Promoting the Growth and Development of Enterprise and SMEs in the Lifestyle Economy,’ at the Zenith Lifestyle Fair in Lagos, said the creative industry was more than entertainment and fashion. “Recently, CBN has been promoting the creative industry. It appears that the creative industry is being limited to movie-making, music and television. Creative industry in my opinion involves anything that is innovating. Thus, the CIFI by the Central Bank should be expanded to include those who are doing creative innovation. That way, we will be empowering the millennial,� he added. According to him Zenith Bank is exceptionally proud of the entrepreneurs that have worked with it in the past decade, despite the adversity it has faced during the years. “Various entrepreneurs have

gone through the lifestyle, adversity being one of them. We have been able to survive under various circumstances. If the roads are not good, we fix it; if we don’t have access to good water, we build our boreholes. All these leads to a maxim I live by: Build your own infrastructure. There's no use complaining too many times; be part of the solution and stop complaining,� he told the teeming young audience gathered in the master class hall. Moderated by filmmaker and EbonyLife TV founder, Mo Abudu, the session had in attendance the governors of Lagos and Abia states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Okezie Ikpeazu, respectively. The two governors shared insights on their plans to support the creative industry, with SanwoOlu saying the goal is “not just to make Lagos a destination but ensuring that everything made in Nigeria starts and ends in Lagos.� He said there was an ongoing dialogue between the state, CBN and the Ministry of Information and Culture to make Lagos State a fashion and entertainment hub, adding that a proposed N50 billion investment will soon be officially announced. “We are targeting the creative industry, which covers fashion,

film and music because we understand that there is a huge population that wants to operate in that space. We want to provide a place where they can operate freely. “Moreover, the creative industry is the future of Nigeria. We are focusing on the whole gamut of that industry. That is where the teeming youths in Nigeria can be found. We are giving them seed funds that will enable them to thrive,� he stated. The governor added that the Onikan Museum will be ready before the end of next year while the state is working with Linus Idahosa of Del York Creative

Academy for skills development in filmmaking. Ikpeazu also unfolded plans by his government to focus on making Aba, a manufacturing hub of shoes and garments. He stated that his effort since he assumed office was to ensure the growth of artisans. “They are currently installing automated machines that will enhance the manufacturing of Aba shoes,� he said. He expressed confidence that by 2023, Aba shoemakers will be major key players in the world. The master class session marked one of the highlights

of the second edition of Zenith Lifestyle Fair. The three-day event kicked off November 29 and came to a climactic end yesterday, December 1. This year saw an increase in participation. Over 300 retailers had access to the fair where they displayed their wares to teeming shoppers. The fair, which was held at Eko Energy City, Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, Lagos, accommodated vendors from different segment of the lifestyle industry. Ovia pointed out that it was one of the innovative ways the bank is empowering the

millennial. He described lifestyle as livelihood, stating that “Anything that the millennial survives on and are professionals in it is a lifestyle.� The three-day event also witnessed fashion runways from renowned designers like Tom Ford, Mai Atafo, Ituen Basi and Chulaap as well as master classes from Nollywood thespians like Eucharia Anunobi. Music was not left out in the mix as each day ended with a musical performance from music stars such as 2Baba, Niniola, Tekno, among others.

Nigeria Requires $136bn to Bridge Telecoms’ Infrastructure STERLING BANK AT CIBN DINNER... Deficit, Says NCC

Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said Nigeria needs to double its current $68 billion investment in telecoms infrastructure to $136 billion in order to address the infrastructure deficit in the sector. The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, while delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Distinguished Electrical and Electronics Engineers (DEEEAL) Annual Lecture in Kano, at the weekend, said although Nigeria had huge bandwidth capacity of submarine cable landings on the shores of Lagos, the country could not boast of ubiquitous broadband infrastructure in the hinterlands. This he attributed to inadequate telecoms infrastructure to transmit and distribute broadband capacities from the shores of the country to the hinterlands. According to Danbatta, more than 60 Tera bits per second (60Tbps) bandwidth capacity of submarine cable landings from submarine cable operators like MainOne, Glo1, MTN WACS, and SAT 3, are on the shores of Lagos, yet Nigeria uses less than 10 per cent of the 60 Tbps capacity as a result of infrastructure deficit. “More than 60 Tera bits per second (60Tbps) bandwidth capacity of submarine cable landings are on the shores of Lagos. Operators and the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) have laid over 42,000 kilometres of intercity fibre. Sub-optimal intercity fibre capacity utilisation exists due to duplications of some routes. Internet access is mainly through wireless infrastructure, and more than 40,000 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) are broadband enablers, yet Nigeria is underutilising its huge broadband

capacities sitting at the shores of Lagos for lack of sufficient telecoms infrastructure. “Currently there is underutilisation of the submarine broadband capacity on the landing shores. As it stands, Nigeria uses less than 10 per cent of the 60 Tbps capacity. There is inadequate intra metro fibre infrastructure in several towns and cities, and 120, 000 km fiber is required. We have deficit in telecoms investment. So far, telecoms investment in Nigeria is put at $68 billion, which is huge, however, double the amount is required to address our infrastructure deficit,� Danbatta said. Explaining the importance of ubiquitous broadband capacity for national development, Danbatta said broadband remained an interconnected, multi-layered ecosystem, which would provide exciting value chain of digital readiness, digital development, digital opportunity, and digital inclusiveness. “Therefore, broadband revolution is aspired globally by all countries, as it triggers remarkable changes in productivity and employment, economy and enterprise development, public services and national competitiveness, governance, among others�, Danbatta said. He cited a World Bank study, which has shown that for every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration, there is a corresponding increase of 1.3 per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of developing countries, adding that broadband is an enabler for social and economic transformation of every nation, and that Nigeria has adopted the Open Access Model (OAM) for the development of her broadband ecosystem.

L-R: President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uche Messiah Olowu; General Manager, Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank, Mojisola Bakare and the bank’s Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Abubakar Suleiman, at the 2019 Annual Dinner of CIBN, in Lagos...at the weekend

Atiku Seeks More Funds for Education Queries FG’s penchant for borrowing

Chuks Okocha in Abuja Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who was the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 general election, has called for more investment in education for Nigeria to lift majority of its people out of poverty. He also queried the increasing rate of borrowing by the federal government as against spending more on education. Atiku, at the convocation ceremony of the America University of Nigeria, Yola, said Nigeria could not grow if it did not invest heavily in education. "When philosophers say that an investment in education yields the most interest, they were stating a truism for which we see ample evidence in Nigeria," he stated. He also attributed insecurity in the country to poverty, adding that poverty is caused by illiteracy. "It is a cycle that we can only break by educating our people. For the past four years, our education budgets have demonstrated the fact that developing the minds of our people has not been our priority. "Two weeks ago, a friend of mine, Prof. Anya O. Anya, who just happens to be a former Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), revealed that Nigeria has taken more loans in the last three years

than she has taken in the 30-year period preceding 2016," he added. The former vice president queried the increasing rate of borrowing in Nigeria to the detriment of funding investment in education. He said: "Now, how can we have such a monumental increase in borrowings vis-à -vis an unprecedented reduction in investments in education?" According to him, as a businessman, the first lesson one should learn in business is that you do not take loans except it is to expand your business and there is no justification for taking out loans to pay salaries. Atiku said Nigeria’s greatness was not tied to its elders but to its youths, who should be the focus of national investment. He went further to give statistical relationship between education, crime and insecurity. "Scandinavia outspends every other part of the world in investing in education, with the Nordic nation of Denmark spending an average of eight per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on education. They are followed closely by Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. "Now, is it a coincidence that in every survey of crime and insecurity released by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) for 2018, these same nations and their region are listed as the safest parts of the world as well as the most crime-free states? I don’t think

so. In fact, as someone who has invested heavily in education for decades, I know that this is not a coincidence," he said. Atiku explained that instead of doing many things and doing them poorly, the federal government and the federating units should rather focus on doing one or two things so that they can do them well. He said: "When we get this right, we will get Nigeria right. The easiest way to make the most significant impact, in the shortest amount of time, is via education. "As proof, I cite the fact that 2014 represented the year Nigeria invested the most in education with a N493 billion allocation (then the equivalent of $3.3 billion) to education, representing 9.94 per cent of the total budget. "The very next year, the trio of the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and CNN Money rated Nigeria as the third fastest-growing economy in the world. Again, I ask, was that a coincidence? "If you think that it is, then how do you explain the fact that Nigeria slid into a recession the same year that our education budget began to drop from their pre-2015 levels? The total percentage of the budget allocated to education in 2014 was 9.94 per cent, which dropped to 6.10 per cent in 2016. It is as clear as night and day. “What I propose is that the federal, states and local governments should consider

a policy of allocating at least 10 per cent of the total budget appropriations to the education sector. If insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, it follows that the sane thing to do is that when you get a result that you like, you are challenged to repeat the process, and in fact, improve upon it, so that you can get the same or perhaps improved results." He explained that there is documentary evidence from the Human Development Index that the United Nations publishes annually that educated people are healthier. He said: "Because they are healthier, the proportion of their income and the income of the government that is spent on treating diseases and sickness reduces, they, therefore, have more disposable income to spend, which boosts the economy. Healthier people are more productive. Because they are more productive, they are less prone to crime. The multiplier effects go on and on. "And all tiers of government must recognise that there would be more money available to the government, via an improved economy, which means improved taxation, if they invest in education. I have been in this business since the 1980s. For every naira, you invest in educating a child, you add N5 to his life earnings. Tell me which other investment can yield that type of return on investment?"


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PAGE NINE CBN’S MONETARY POLICY LIFTS STOCK MARKET BY N204BN IN NOVEMBER investors, the high yields on fixed income securities over the years discouraged many investors from the market. “But the situation will keep improving. You can see how the CBN’s policy on OMO, which drove down the yields on fixed income securities, attracted patronage to the equities market. The stock market has potential to handsomely reward investors who are not risk averse. Last week alone, for instance, some stocks recorded

capital appreciation of between 11 per cent and 30 per cent,� Oguntayo said. The Managing Director/ CEO of Network Capital Limited, Mr. Oluropo Dada, recently said the market, more than ever before, presented an overwhelming buy opportunity for investors in the face of the attractive valuations and CBN's OMO policy. "The market fundamentals, despite the persistent illiquidity, are still very strong and prices

of quoted securities can only go up, which will be triggered by both arbitrage income and dividend income. Based on the third quarter results being released by the quoted companies, especially the banks, the market is where to be now," Dada said. A market analysts, Mr. Ambrose Omordion of Invest Data Limited, said that hopes were high that CBN’s unconventional monetary policy move that sought to stimulate

the economy, by ensuring liquidity was available to the real sector, was expected to result in the cost of funds reduction soon to the nation’s productivity sector. “This would eventually support the stock market, improving the performance of listed companies, driving prices. It would eventually enhance liquidity in the stock market, given the restriction on classes of those who can invest in the CBN’s OMO and

TBs,� he said. Mr. Michael Nwakalor of CardinalStone Partners Limited had anticipated a turnaround in the fortunes of the equities following the CBN’s decision. “There is real hope this could be good for equities. We should see a lot of corporate heavyweights gain in coming weeks as pension funds look for high-yielding investment,� he said. The CBN in the last week of October, had prohibited

individuals and local firms from investing in both its primary and secondary OMO auctions. The central bank’s directive was contained in a circular titled: “Re: Open Market Operations Auctions,� dated October 24, 2019, and signed by its Director, Financial Markets Department, Dr. Angela SereEjembi. Since the directive, investing in OMO bills has been for banks and foreign investors alone.

ICPC PROBES NORTH-EAST N’ASSEMBLY MEMBERS OVER DIVERSION OF CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS’ FUNDS which made it impossible for contractors to be mobilised to execute projects in many local government areas that were occupied by insurgents in the geopolitical zone. Although the source could not give the exact amount involved, in the 2019 budget, North-east National Assembly members attracted constituency projects worth N16.06 billion to the area, according to data from an ICPC report titled: "Breakdown of 2019 Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) Allocations. " But in a reaction on behalf of his colleagues from the zone, the senator representing Borno South Senatorial District and Chairman of Senate Committee on the Army, Senator Ali Ndume, told THISDAY that the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should be blamed for whatever lapses discovered. He stated that the MDAs were the ones that hired contractors that executed the projects, while the lawmakers only recommended projects to be executed. He described the allegation that the lawmakers in the zone misappropriated the funds meant for the projects as spurious, adding that the MDAs and the contractors should be queried. He, however, added that with the controversy generated by constituency projects in recent weeks, some contractors who had abandoned the projects, were already returning to the

site. On his part, the senator who represented Borno Central in the last Senate, Baba Kaka Garbai, also told THISDAY that though there were some areas in his constituency affected by Boko Haram and insecurity, the crisis did not stop constituency projects from being put in place. Citing an ICPC report, President Muhammadu Buhari had alleged that there was little to show for the over N1 trillion budgeted for constituency projects of the National Assembly members in the last 10 years. “It is on record that in the past 10 years N1 trillion has been appropriated for constituency projects, yet the impact of such huge spending on the lives and welfare of ordinary Nigerians can hardly be seen. The first phase report of tracking these projects by the ICPC confirms our worst fears that people at the grassroots have not benefited in terms commensurate with the huge sums appropriated for constituency projects since inception,� Buhari had said. But the House of Representatives had countered the ICPC and the president, saying that only about N500 billion or 50 per cent of the budgeted sum was actually released for the projects. A source at the ICPC told THISDAY at the weekend that even if N500 billion was the actual release as claimed by the House of Representatives, lawmakers from the North-east

benefited from this largesse without executing projects because a large part of the zone was occupied by the insurgents for many years. “For several years, Boko Haram had occupied many local governments in the affected states. Government activities in some of these states were restricted to the state capitals and the National Assembly members from this zone could not even visit their constituencies for fear of Boko Haram attacks, yet they were collecting constituency allowances without executing projects. Lawmakers from other zones also committed infractions but the zone affected most is the North-east and we are beaming our searchlight on these National Assembly members. They must account for the funds earmarked for projects in their areas,� the source explained.

MDAs, Contractors Should be queried, Not Lawmakers, Says Ndume Reacting to the allegation that the lawmakers from the North-east failed to execute constituency projects, a former Senate Leader, Ndume, described the claim as spurious. Ndume while exonerating himself and his colleagues of any blame, stressed that such allegations were unwarranted and very painful

to comprehend. He told THISDAY that the projects were never executed by the lawmakers but by the MDAs. He explained that the contractors who were engaged by the supervising agencies to execute the projects should be queried about what happened to the projects. He said: "The constituency projects were only identified by the legislators who filled the form and told the officials where he wanted the projects to be sited and most times projects nominated by lawmakers were turned down and at the end of the day they want to blame us for the shoddy execution. "Let me ask you: is it the senator that executes the project? The answer is no; you only suggest names of projects you want to be executed in your constituency and that is the end of your job as a lawmaker. How they execute the projects is not within your purview. So, the government officials that awarded and executed the projects have questions to answer. If you look at the list of constituency projects in the annual budget you will clearly see the names of contractors that are executing the projects and they are linked to the executing agencies and not senators or House members." According to him, even with the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North-east, constituency projects never

suffered any setback, adding that "the projects are still ongoing while some had been completed." He said in the three senatorial districts of his home state, Borno, "many constituency projects had been executed in the past and some are on the verge of being completed." Ndume, however, stated that the recent constituency projects controversy had resulted in some contractors who had long before now abandoned the projects, "now going back to site to complete the projects." He added that rather than lose interest in the constituency project, he is making moves to get a legal backing for their execution. "In this Ninth Senate, I have sponsored a bill, which has passed through first reading at plenary for the establishment of a commission to oversee the identification, funding and implementation of constituency projects in all the 109 senatorial districts and 360 federal constituencies across the country. “Once, we get the bill passed and president assents to it, all these blame games will stop as the commission will take over the control and management of constituency projects nationwide", Lawan explained. Also, Garbai said though there were some areas in his constituency affected by Boko Haram and insecurity, that did not stop constituency projects

from being put in place. He said there was peace, especially in Maiduguri and Jere, which were part of his constituency with massive population, adding that projects were sited there. He said among the projects he built were skill acquisition centres, classrooms in some schools, borehole and water projects. He said even members of his constituency from areas highly affected by Boko Haram were made to benefit from such programme as skill acquisition and given equipment to work with. "The beneficiaries are there to acknowledge what we did and the projects are still standing for everyone to see," he stated. Also speaking on the issue, a member of House of Representatives, representing Biu, Bayo, Shani, Kwaya Kusar, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara, said the insurgency did not and is not affecting his constituency that much. "They can go to my constituency. My constituency is not affected by insurgency so much. I have projects littering the entire four local government areas I am representing. And this they can see if they go to my area. You (THISDAY) are one of the few journalists that I have taken round my constituency to see my work there and you should be able to attest to knowing the projects I have been doing there," the lawmaker added.

of media businesses. “We wish to make it known that IPI does not in any way support the peddling of hate speech, fake news and deliberate misinformation through any social or conventional media platform. We are aware that all of the aforementioned are usually the preserve of quacks and non-professionals who have no regard for the implications that such acts would have for our polity and for national peace and security,� IPI stated. The group, however, expressed opposition to laws with prescription of capital punishment and any other stiff and dehumanising penalties for such abuse of the media space. “As responsible leaders of journalism, we appeal to all real stakeholders to go beyond the open condemnations by seizing the opportunity that would be presented at the impending public hearing to vigorously push for desired amendments or changes to any such bill prior to its likely passage or rejection by the legislature,� the group said. IPI urged members of the National Assembly to explore the alternatives of re-examining the provisions of the Cyber Crime Act (2015)

to accommodate the current realities. Also, Olododo told journalists in Ilorin that the bill, if passed, would do more harm than any good for the nation's fledgling democracy as politicians would use it against their opponents.

OPPOSITION MOUNTS AGAINST HATE SPEECH BILL AS EDITORS, IPI, OLANIPEKUN KICK Representatives, representing Ilorin East/Ilorin South Federal Constituency of Kwara State, Hon. Abdulganiyu Cook Olododo, faulted the sponsor of the bill, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, saying Nigeria's democracy is not yet ripe for it. A groundswell of opposition championed by civil rights groups and prominent lawyers, has trailed the bill, which originally prescribed death penalty for offenders. However, buffeted by criticisms, Abdullahi bowed to pressure with a commitment that he would expunge the death penalty from the bill. With criticisms against the bill not abating, Abdullahi yesterday railed against its critics and warned that not passing it would have dire consequences for Nigeria. The editors, rising from the 15th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC 2019), which held in Sokoto from November 27 to December 1, rejected the bill, noting that draconian legislation has no place in Nigeria’s democracy. Their position was contained in a communiquĂŠ issued at the end of the conference, chaired by a former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba. The theme of the conference was “A Distressed Media: Impact on Government,

Governance and the Society.� In the communiquÊ, which was signed by the NGE President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Mary Atolagbe, the editors condemned all dictatorial tendencies against the media. They stressed the need to collectively fight against all media abuses by nonprofessionals and frowned on attempts to punish conventional media for the wrongs of nonprofessionals on the social media platforms. They demanded the release of all detained journalists nationwide, stating that democracy can only thrive in countries that cherish and promote media freedom. They also raised the alarm that Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortune had contributed to the distress in the media industry, adding that there is need for government to overhaul its economic architecture in order to reflate the sagging economy and increase the revenue streams of the nation. In addition, they canvassed the need for diversification, improved funding, collaboration, specialised journalism education programmes, newsroom re-engineering among other innovations necessary for

revenue generation and sustenance of media businesses. The guild called for more capital injection into the media industry to overcome under capitalisation and dearth of funding that has hobbled operations of the media. It, however, identified ownership interference as a key factor militating against free operation of the media and advised owners of both public and private media organisations to focus on facilitating the smooth operations of the media as truly business outfits. The guild commended the government of Sokoto State for the rapid growth and acceleration of infrastructure development across the state, as well as the widespread human capital development programmes in the areas of free education, sponsorship of indigent students regardless of their origin as well as initiatives for improved medicare for the people. It expressed its appreciation to Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, for hosting and supporting the guild to have a successful conference. During the conference, the guild ratified the election of Isah as its substantive president, following the appointment of his predecessor, Mrs Funke

Egbemode, as a commissioner in Osun State. On its part, the Nigerian chapter of the IPI, a conglomeration of senior journalists and media entrepreneurs in the world, condemned the Hate Speech Bill and other media-related bills currently being considered by the National Assembly. In a statement yesterday by its Chairman, Kabiru Yusuf; Executive Board member, Mallam Wada Maida; and Secretary, Raheem Adedoyin, IPI noted that the bills have continued to attract comments and condemnations from various sections of the society. According to IPI, some stakeholders, including individuals and groups, have declared that the Hate Speech Bill is inimical to press freedom and the exercise of right to free speech. According to IPI, as the global network of editors, publishers, media executives, communication scholars, senior journalists/media executives and experts in the communication industry on press freedom, it clearly understands the implications of any law with contentious provisions for free speech, press freedom, media independence, safety of journalism practitioners and the unhindered operations

Continued on page 48

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MONDAY DECEMBER 2, 2019 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWS

DHQ Denies Recruiting Former Boko Haram Fighters Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) weekend denied reports that it was recycling insurgency by recruiting former fighters of terrorist group, Boko Haram. It said so far 500 terrorists were convicted by courts of competent jurisdiction, while the prosecution of another batch of insurgents would commence soon. There have been concerns that terrorists, who surrendered

to troops and undergone de-radicalisation programmes organised by the military were allegedly being absorbed into the military. Some media reports have also alleged that the military was recycling insurgency by the alleged recruitment. But a statement issued by Defence Headquarters said the military was not recycling insurgency. It said there was no plan to absorb de-radicalised

Taraba Assembly Speaker Resigns Wole Ayodele in Jalingo The Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. Abel Peter Diah has resigned his position. Diah, who announced his resignation in a short message to select journalists in the state yesterday, said he resigned on personal grounds. His resignation is the climax of a battle of wits between the state Governor, Darius Ishaku

and the leadership of the state assembly. An attempt to impeach Diah last Friday was botched as only nine out of the 24- member assembly were said to have supported the move while 15 stood on the side of the embattled former speaker. Until his resignation, Diah was the Vice Chairman of the Speaker’s Forum of Nigeria and has been a member of the state assembly since 2003.

insurgents into the military. Defence Headquarters Spokesman, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, said there was no plan to recruit ex-Boko Haran fighters into the military. “No Boko Haram ex-fighter has been recruited into the Nigerian military and no such plan is in the offing. “The de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration program is a federal government programme conducted under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor as a non- kinetic operation. “Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model is a very effective one, targeted at low risk combatants and has become a classical example in the Lake Chad Basin

Region and West Africa”, he said. He noted that “over 250 repentant insurgents who willingly abandoned their struggle and surrendered to federal troops have been de-radicalised, rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society by their respective state governments in conjunction with traditional and religious institutions. “Nigeria’s de-radicalisation model is therefore not new in the global community, as such model exists in Algeria, Colombia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where persons involved in violent extremism have been de-radicalised and rehabilitated. This process is therefore an internationally acceptable practice now”.

DHQ said there were no adverse reports from communities where the repentant and deradicalised terrorists were resettled. “So far in Nigeria, the de-radicalised ex-fighters are doing well in their respective communities, as no adverse report has been recorded against the repentant ex-fighters by Operation Safe Corridor’s monitoring unit. “There has not been report of molestation or harassment of any sort against them by members of the communities, where they are resettled. As a matter of verifiable fact, the reintegrated ex-fighters are doing well in their various endeavours and are positively impacting on their respective communities”, it said. On the prosecution of captured

ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters, Nwachukwu said “the federal government of Nigeria has continued to prosecute BHT/ ISWAP suspects in courts of competent jurisdiction and over 500 terrorists have so far been convicted. Meanwhile, the next round of prosecution of another batch of terrorism suspects is due to commence shortly”. He said the misleading reports on the alleged recruitment constituted outright aberration of extant recruitment procedures and practice of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The Defence Headquarters, restated its commitment to ensuring a well-motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is professionally responsive to national security commitments.

Couple Raises the Alarm over Encroachment by Land Grabbers Aided by SARS Chiemelie Ezeobi and Ayodeji Ake A middle aged couple, simply identified as Mr. and Mrs. Adeoye, yesterday raised alarm over the encroachment of their land at No. 39, Egbe Road in Ejigbo by the duo of Tajudeen Muritala and Mayaki Suleiman aided by the operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). In the video that has since gone viral, the couple made a passionate appeal to the federal and state governments as well as other relevant authorities to intervene as they have been continuously harassed and terrorised over a property they bought with their gratuity. While appealing to Nigerians to come to their aid, Mrs. Adeoye said: “I run an event centre at 33 Egbe Ejigbo Road, Oke-Afa. We have been operating this property since almost 12 years ago. Unfortunately on April 18, we saw SARS men on uniform fully armed with some mufti men.” According to her, “We saw them jumping over our property at 39, Egbe Road that was meant to be parking space for our event centre. We approached them to inquire what was happening, only for one Mayaki Hamzat to tell us that he led the SARS men from Abuja because the owner of the land wants to take possession. “This is the land we have been operating for the last 10 years. My husband bought that land with his gratuity after retirement from Guinness Plc. Since then, the policemen have been terrorising us. “That day, after telling us they were from Abuja, they made my husband to sit on the floor, collected his phone and held him hostage. They started pulling down all the trees and

beautification we did on the park. They made him to even start digging. That same day they started building. They began to construct on our property with the help of the SARS men that wore a scorpion shirt to cover their uniform. She added that she got no help either from the DPO or the area commander and so she lived in fear until her husband called her late in the night that he has been released. Also speaking, the patriarch of the family said they have been terrorised repeatedly by the duo of Tajudeen Muritala and Mayaki Suleiman. He said: “Mayaki is boasting that he has police in his pocket because the former Inspector General, Alhaji Idris is his cousin. Police shouldn’t be tools in the hands of privileged people. We are law abiding citizens and we bought this land genuinely with our gratuity. Reacting to the plea of the couple, the police hierarchy admitted that they were in the know of the case and would act judiciously. The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, who confirmed the incident said: “We are working on it already. It happened sometime in April.” Also reacting, Lagos State government through the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, has ordered the immediate and full investigation into the matter. Onigbanjo, who is also the Chairman, of the State Special Task Force on Land Grabbers, said he has also contacted and invited the couple involved to a meeting at the ministry for further clarifications.

UNUSUAL PRAISE 2019...

L-R: Wife of Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola; Minister ofTransport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; and Chairman, Unusal Praise Concert, Ms. Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi , at the Unusual Praise 2019 Musical Concert held at Lekki in Lagos...weekend MUBO PETERS

Presidency Replies Ogomudia, SaysViolence Not the Path to Effect Change

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The Presidency last night reacted to a statement by a former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (rtd), who suggested that Nigeria may be restructured violently. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Nigeria was a constitutional democracy and

changes to the country in structure, its systems, policy and politics must abide by the norms of democracy, otherwise they would be extrajudicial and unconstitutional. The presidential aide said the vituperation, coming from Ogomudia, a former military Chief spoke volumes about the mindset of groups of citizens who are still adamant to accept democracy as a form

of government. He noted that democratic ethos has subsisted, uninterrupted, for upward of 20 years, adding the country’s judicial system, with its armed forces, are committed at all times, to defend it using all means that are lawful. “The biggest challenge to the country today is not necessarily from perceived regional or state imbalances or conflicts between

the government at the centre and states but from the mindsets and entities rooted in the idea of violence as a means to change. “Such individuals, groups and entities peddling ideologies of violence and hate are closed to the notion of healthy dialogue through popular platforms including elected parliaments, hence only open to violence and destruction as their means,” Garba said.

Afe Babalola Backs FG on Border Closure The Founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) has implored Nigerians to endure the economic hardship brought by the partial closure of land borders in the country’s interest. Babalola said the federal government’s initiative was in the best security and economic interest to revamp the country’s industries and give local entrepreneurs hopes of survival in the country. He spoke yesterday during the closing ceremony of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project

training for youths in Oyo and Ekiti states under the Youth Employment in Agri-business and Sustainable Agriculture (YEASA). The foremost legal icon commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the closure of the country’s border with Benin Republic and other neighbouring countries to tackle persistent smuggling, which has crippled the country’s economy. He described the initiative of Buhari-led administration as a right step in the right direction, noting border closure had continued to yield positive results in improving

food production and invariably impacting on the country’s economy. He said that the policy apart from helping to checkmate influx of illicit arms and ammunitions which fueled insecurity, it has forced many Nigerians to go back to agriculture and local production improving markedly. “It is imperative that we continue to support the federal government on border closure and endure its attendant effect to ensure that Nigeria regains its lost glory in that all-import realm and in the best economic and security interest of the country.

“They should not open it in the best interest of the economy. The closure of border is helpful to the farmer. I see farming as the mainstay of this country. We just have to maintain it. And the only way is to close the border. “Nigerians might not understand this now, may be because of the little pains it has brought; but I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel as the positive and long term effects that will soon follow will make Nigerians happy.


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COMMENT

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

TACKLING SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASEDVIOLENCE

Masood Karimipour writes that terrorist groups who commit sexual and gender-based violence should be held accountable

I

t has been described as a global pandemic that destroys lives, fractures communities and holds back development. It is used as a weapon of war and terror, used to inflict suffering and instil fear in thousands of victims. Sexual and gender-based violence is not a pathogen, nor a bomb, yet it does devastate people and communities. Sexual and gender-based violence affects an estimated one in three women worldwide. Men and boys can also be targets. Sexual and gender-based violence can be manifested in physical, sexual and psychological forms. It is defined as a harmful act directed against a person on the basis of their gender, and includes sexual acts inflicted against a person using coercion. It is one of the most prevalent human rights violations taking place across the world, occurring in contexts of conflict, instability, and during peacetime, but is largely underreported due to a culture of impunity, stigma and shame that surrounds the crime in communities and families. One of the worst manifestations of sexual and gender-based violence to emerge in recent years is its use to further the strategic and tactical objectives, ideology and funding of terrorist groups like Boko Haram. Terrorists have deliberately weaponised this form of violence to increase recruitment, terrorise populations into compliance, generate revenue through ransoms, and to serve operational purposes, with traumatised victims also being used as human shields and suicide bombers. According to a 2017 report of the UN Secretary-General, Boko Haram is responsible for perpetrating widespread sexual violence against 7,000 women and girls between 2009 and 2017, including following abductions and forced marriage. The Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin, adopted in 2018 by Nigeria and her neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Niger also acknowledges that “while violence against women and girls is a serious patriarchal and cultural issue, it has been even more pronounced throughout the conflict as women and girls are subjected to sexual abuses and harassment as a weapon of war�. It adds that, while gender-based violence is predominantly caused by Boko Haram, women and girls “are regrettably victims of abuses and harassment by security providers also. Upon their return into communities, they continue to live in trauma and stigma undermining their social and economic reintegration.� The devastating impacts of sexual and gender-based violence used by terrorist groups on victims have been widely recognised and condemned by the international community. The UN Security Council and Secretary-General have called upon states to recognise victims of sexual violence committed by terrorist groups as victims of terrorism, and duly reflect

TERRORISTS HAVE DELIBERATELY WEAPONISED THIS FORM OF VIOLENCE TO INCREASE RECRUITMENT, TERRORISE POPULATIONS INTO COMPLIANCE, GENERATE REVENUE THROUGH RANSOMS, AND TO SERVE OPERATIONAL PURPOSES, WITH TRAUMATISED VICTIMS ALSO BEING USED AS HUMAN SHIELDS AND SUICIDE BOMBERS

this in domestic criminal law and victim assistance measures. In Nigeria, UNODC in partnership with the Nigerian government, the European Union and the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate has been leading efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Nigerian criminal justice system to hold accountable members of terrorist groups who perpetrate sexual and gender-based violence and to support victims. Through this project, UNODC supports Nigeria to ensure that individuals belonging to terrorist groups who commit sexual and gender-based violence are held accountable for these crimes and that the rights of victims are protected, through a three-pronged approach. First, by building the capacity of criminal justice sector actors to effectively investigate and prosecute these crimes through a thorough understanding of the applicable domestic legal frameworks, and key strategies to investigate and prosecute these crimes. Second, by training women and men in the law enforcement, security and judicial systems to adopt gender-sensitive practices throughout the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of terrorism cases in order to protect victims’ rights, encourage reporting of these crimes, and prevent secondary victimisation by contact with the judicial system and stigmatisation by families or communities. And third, by recognising the need to provide victims of sexual and gender-based violence with specific support, assistance and remedies. UNODC has been pushing for sexual and gender-based violence to be specifically addressed in the new Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill currently before the National Assembly. Today UNODC and its partners are launching the ‘Nigeria Training Module on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism’, a training and reference resource tailored to the Nigerian context for criminal justice and security sector personnel, as well as policymakers. This publication, which was developed jointly by Nigerian and international experts, includes dedicated chapters on accountability for sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by terrorist groups, as well as access to justice and remedies for victims. We hope that by building on the foundation of these initiatives, together with our Nigerian counterparts and our partners at the European Union, those who commit these terrible crimes will be brought to justice, that the voices of victims will be heard and respected, and that we can bring an end to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of terrorism.

Karimipour is Chief of the Terrorism Prevention Branch, United Nations OfďŹ ce on Drugs and Crim

ASUU AND IPPIS: MATTERS ARISING The government should resist any attempt to blackmail it by ASUU, writes Tony Ademiluyi

T

he locust years of military rule dealt a crippling blow to the nation’s educational system. Before independence, the University of Ibadan which was previously affiliated to the University College London was a Mecca of sorts for academics and students from all over the world. Foreign students interested in knowing more about Africa berthed there as well as academics who wanted to do their sabbatical on African soil. The other first generation universities like the University of Lagos fondly referred to as the school of first choice and the nation’s pride, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University and the Ahmadu Bello University were ranked globally as competitive institutions of higher learning. These schools alongside the second generation universities and the ones to follow were dealt a gargantuan blow – lack of funding, strikes, interference with the appointment of the vice-chancellor, dearth of research - are among some of the challenges that the schools are grappling with. There is a common practice of many academics in teaching in more than one institution at the same time on a full time basis. The academics cite the poor state of the economy as the reason for their decision. The practice is morally wrong as the innocent students, most of whom went through hell and high water to pay their fees are short-changed. Research which is a core function of academics the world over also

suffers a great backlash. The essence of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS) is to stop this unwholesome practice so that academics can only identify with one higher institution where they will be paid their salaries. ASUU has been vehemently resisting this, citing the lack of commitment on the part of the government to the tertiary institutions. To be fair, ASUU has a point as the budgetary allocation to the educational sector falls way below the recommended 26 per cent by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO). There is also the indiscriminate award of university licenses without a corresponding quality assurance check on those mushroom schools. However, two wrongs do not make a right. When two elephants fight, the grass suffers and the grass in this scenario is the hapless students who bear the brunt of the wrong actions and inactions of the two main actors. For starters, it is high time ASUU is disbanded as they have outlived their usefulness. The universities should be run according to the dictates of a free market economy as is done abroad. The unionization of higher education is doing more harm than good. It belonged to the Marxist era which has long collapsed – the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It has no place in the 21st century. The universities should then be run on a public-private partnership with the private sector leading the course. Fund managers should be allowed to manage the

endowment grants and funds from school fees and the rest to ensure that funding becomes a thing of the past. The vice-chancellor should not necessarily be an academic just as in the same way hospital administrators abroad are not necessarily doctors. The VC should preferably come from the private sector and should set the agenda for the smooth running of the universities. The professors should concentrate and channel their energies towards their core mandates of teaching and research. The scramble and battle for political positions especially the VC is a huge distraction which shouldn’t be allowed to subsist in the best interest of the students who in reality are the only customers and they have every right to be treated like royalty. Let’s take a critical look at the telecommunications sector and juxtapose it with the educational. In 2001, the former was liberalized and two major players – MTN and Econet wireless came in. In 2004, Globacom berthed and they were the ones that introduced the per billing second which forced the rates of call tariffs to go drastically down. Etisalat, now 9 mobile, arrived in 2007 and they came with their own bunch of goodies. NITEL, the government parastatal that held Nigerians to ransom for decades was also in the market through its GSM arm, MTEL. Today, who uses MTEL? They have been chased out of the market through a fierce competition. ASUU can be likened to MTEL; it’s time market forces hounded them out of the

student’s lives for good. The government has no business being in the business of education. Apologists contend that they are there to subsidize it but that is all hogwash. Do you keep on subsidizing a poisonous meal? Won’t the ‘beneficiary’ perish one day? No Nigerian institution is in the first hundred in the globe. None attracts foreign academics or students. None gets massive research grants from international donor foundations that have a deep interest in education. For how long will we continue like this? We need to replicate the gains of the telecoms sector in education. Agreed, the school fees may be rather high for a while but let’s cast our minds back to when GSM lines first came out. They were very expensive. Today, it’s within the reach of a secondary school student. That is the same change we need in our educational system. The market forces will crash down the price of school fees. Even if it doesn’t do so, there will be the attraction of student loans, scholarships, grants, financial aid, etc., that will ensure that every indigent student gets a shot at having a sound education. After all, education doesn’t come cheap in the west where our rulers send their offspring and minions to, but the aforementioned ways in subsidizing it are all there. The government should stand its ground and resist every attempt by ASUU at emotional blackmail for the swift implementation of the IPPIS. For once, the students should be recognized as the real Kings and Queens. Ademiluyi wrote from Lagos


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T H I S D AY ˾ MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019

EDITORIAL TACKLING MALNUTRITION IN NIGERIA Government should take immediate steps to address the prevailing poverty

I

n its latest report titled, “The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition” released last month, UNICEF revealed that while urbanisation, climate change and poor eating choices are driving unhealthy diets across the world, no fewer than 50 per cent of children under five in Nigeria are malnourished. This corroborates the 2018 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) which revealed that acute malnutrition levels in Nigerian children have remained at alert levels over the past six years and is higher than the global estimates. The cost of disregarding this issue in human and economic terms cannot be quantified. It is all the more disturbing because the NNHS research was conducted not by foreign institutions but by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in collaboration with the National Population Commission (NPC) and the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health. Yet, malnutrition implies a marked increase in the child’s susceptibility to infections and contributes to child mortality. Invariably, pregnant women who FOR EFFECTIVE are not adequately HEALTH AND SOCIAL nourished eventually PROTECTION, MOTHERS give birth to babies with MUST BE ENCOURAGED low weight thus putting their survival at risk. TO ADOPT EXCLUSIVE Nearly 60 per BREASTFEEDING HABITS FOR THEIR BABIES IN THE cent of the children (6-24 months) assessed, INITIAL SIX MONTHS OF according to the NNHS THEIR LIVES report, “are not fed to the recommended minimum meal frequency for their age and breast feeding status; 65 per cent do not meet the minimum dietary diversity and only 17 per cent children aged 6-23 months receives the minimum acceptable diet while less than 50 per cent are fed on iron-containing foods.” The report states further that “there are significant variations in rates of breastfeeding and complementary feeding indicators and some states especially in South West, North West and North East regions would require more effort to promote optimum breastfeeding benefits.” Unfortunately, even though malnutrition is the underly-

Letters to the Editor

ing cause for a third of child mortality in the world, it is yet to receive the nature of high-profile campaigning and investment necessary to address it effectively. Therefore, unless our governments, at all levels, take immediate steps to address hunger and malnutrition, especially in children and pregnant women, our poor indices on maternal and child mortality can only further worsen. Political commitment is necessary to ensure advocacy on the adverse implications of malnutrition and how to avoid its devastating consequences. Partnership with civil society and academic institutions with focus on food and nutrition is also an imperative.

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

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

owever, such political commitment is best demonstrated by a tangible increase in resource allocation, with the relevant ministries and agencies committing to establish a road map and coordinated mechanisms for implementing activities for up-scaling nutrition in the public sphere. This road map should consist of clear roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders, as well as implementable strategies, with milestones for mainstreaming nutrition into agriculture, fortifying basic foods with essential minerals or vitamins, mobilising communities for action on growing more beneficial foods, and highlighting the perils of malnutrition. For effective health and social protection, mothers must be encouraged to adopt exclusive breastfeeding habits for their babies in the initial six months of their lives. Thereafter, complementary feeding can be introduced for 24 months, then the consumption of various nutrients such as Vitamin A, iodised salt and zinc, among others. Nigerians, as we have always argued, deserve a life free from hunger, in a country so blessed with arable land and natural resources. Unfortunately, both poverty and hunger continue to saturate our country’s landscape. Hunger is both a cause and consequence of poverty, as people on low incomes tend to have worse diets, while people who lack adequate nutrition struggle harder to extricate themselves from poverty. We must begin to address the crushing indices and causes of malnutrition that have continued to deprive over half of our children (and mothers) of a healthy and productive life span.

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

DOES GOVYARI THINK NIGERIANS ARE STUPID?

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think it is a jarring assault on our mental faculties by our political class to call us stupid and then flaunt a banner with the inscription “Nigerians are stupid”. That was how I felt when I read Gov Abdullaziz Yari’s letter demanding a payment of N10 million as allowance for being former governor of a state, where bandits rendered over 5000 women widows. Governor Yari’s request is akin to a student with F9 in mathematics, vigorously making a case for a maths scholarship to study at the university level. It is shocking, that the leadership in Nigeria does not have a smidgen of respect for the people. In saner climes, Governor Yari should be in jail after answering for his various misdeeds, but in Nigeria every politician has the temerity to ask for what does not belong to them. It would be foolhardy to blame Gov Yari alone as Nigeria now thrives on the ubiquity of corruption and mismanagement of public funds. In Akwa Ibom, despite the mismanagement of funds, and the fact that the state has one of the largest unemployment numbers in the country, Godswill Akpabio still gave himself a befitting retirement package of about N200million a year, despite being a senator and now a minister. I wonder why the people are so docile. Till date, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, still gets his retirement largesse from kwara. Kano State recently passed a law with hefty packages for the incumbent governor when he retires. Recently the lawmakers in Bayelsa State were about passing such hefty largesse for themselves, before the governor

stopped it due to public outcry. It is shocking that despite the mammoth poverty in the nation - politicians are more concerned about perpetrating their daylight robbery. All the states aforementioned are inundated with low social-economic growth, and one would have thought this would concern the governors so much, but their pockets mean more to them. Another part that hurts me is the loss of regard for the people with titles. I was shocked to see office of the former governor! I was more miffed to see that the letterheaded paper came with a seal-a government seal. All of these shenanigans are replica of the rent seeking French economy of the 1700 that snowballed into a revolution but are Nigerians ready to confront their politicians and sanitize the system? I doubt it. Why I say so is-Nigerians are part of the problem. We celebrate politicians and make it easy for them to run us riot because we don’t hold them accountable, we don’t participate in our democratic process, we forget that the people get the leaders they deserve, we forget that we have the capacity to change our destiny. I ask how long are we going to leave our destiny in the hands of wolves, when are we going to stand up for ourselves? Edward Murrow says, “A country of sheep would have a leadership of wolves”. My fear is we are becoming meeker than sheep, our docility has become stupidity, our future is traded for cheap. We are in precarious state. Rufai Oseni, rufai@rufai.com.ng

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA

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ven an unabashedly pro-Arewa newspaper, the Saturday Trust, in one of its cartoon segments of 23rd November 2019, did a political satire of the legislature by aptly conveying the idea of a “rubber stamp” with regard to the submissiveness with which Nigeria’s National Assembly is passing the social media restriction and the ill-defined hate bills. Recall that it was cynics and critics who used the epithet “rubber stamp” to describe the submissiveness with which the Ninth Assembly will grant the executive, the arm that it is supposed to checkmate excesses, corruption, and abuse of power whenever the executive desires to curtail the freedom of Nigerians and make laws to entrench the interests of the ruling class. What I hate in all this was the efforts the Ninth Assembly head honchos put into denying that the legislature would be free and independent of interference from the executive. It just does not make sense to deny the obvious, does it? Too bad if it does to some people because even their apologists will disdain their morals. Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State


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T H I S D AY ˾MONDAY˾DECEMBER 2, 2019

POLITICS

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

M O N D AY D I S C O U R S E

Ayade’s Budgets of Comedic Monikers Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Bassey Inyang write that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has reduced the candid fiscal procedure for improvement of the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people to an annual comedy

View of Obudu Cattle Ranch

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T H I S D AY ˾MONDAY˾DECEMBER 2, 2019

MONDAY DISCOURSE

Ayade

Cletus Obun

Bassey

Goddie Akpama

improvement in the living conditions of the people of the state. The Superhighway was still in its groundbreaking stage, the deep seaport was still in the mind of the initiators neither was there any social investment programme of note that the PDP government embarked upon from the over N1trillion budget throughout last year.” Budgeting in Cross River was largely an internal affair of the state until recently, when Ayade brought the attention of the world to his monetary pitch with the 2020 budget valued at N1.1 trillion. The estimate of income and expenditure for the set period of time is christened ‘Olimpotic Meritemasis’. Ayade’s pronouncement of the theme of the budget at its presentation to the State House of Assembly was greeted with loud catcalls from the packed gallery of the House. The booing of the governor was expected from a disgruntled people with pent-up grievance against Ayade, a man notorious for applying jaw-breaking words to the very serious business of budgeting. Ayade had reduced a candid fiscal procedure for the improvement of the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people to an annual comedy. An example of the comic spectacle was enacted at the presentation of the 2018 budget when the governor was reportedly in tears and requested a cleric in the audience to hold the signed copy of the budget in his hand and lead everyone present in prayers for divine intervention to make the budget achievable. Ayade is apparently given to gloomy showmanship as can be gleaned from his boast proclivity towards the outlandish. In one fell swoop, he appointed over 6000 aides to increase the wage bill of the state which is about N2 billion to service 22000 civil servants. Rather than set objective financial targets, he is engrossed with the base pursuit of self-glorification, while embarking on a futile attempt to overtake Lagos State in the volume of budget estimates. He said Cross River was the first to pass the N1 trillion (budget) mark among states in the nation. “Indeed this is the first budget in the history of Nigeria where a state will be given a budget in the neighborhood of a trillion. This is the first over a trillion budget in the annals of history. It is historic, it is unique. It is an ambiguous expression of the mood of the people of Cross River State; a deep understanding of the economics and politics of governance. We have decided to focus on a budget that will deal with the fundamental issues and commitments of this administration. It is the fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations our people, who decided to vote young people into power. “We are determined with very clear ambitions with clear timelines, with clear performance indicators that will measure for us what we are expected to achieve. We are not driven by the politics of the time. We are driven by the pain, the hunger, the agony of our people. We are driven by the ambition to change their story and that is why in the desperation of that ambition, we are mistaken to be excited young people in office.” He continued to make these exaggerated assumptions without any corresponding empirical substance. If critics describe him as an ‘excited young

man in office’. It is not speaking to his 51 odd years on earth, rather the reference is often to his childlike attitudes to the solemn business of governance. And Ayade tolerates no opposition as can be observed from the enduring harrowing experience of his ardent critic and journalist, Agba Jalingo. In the 2020 budget, Ayade pegged capital expenditure at N911 billion representing 82.8 percent of the budget, and placed recurrent expenditure at N188 billion, representing 17.2 percent of the budget. Explaining the meaning of ‘Olimpotic Meritemasis,’ Ayade said the budget is one that is anchored “in the spiritual force which is the third energy,” stressing that Meritemasis is an active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in this case represents the state.” The governor also announced that certain categories of staff and business practitioners are exempt from payment of taxes. “All low income earning people, civil servants earning below N100 thousand will be exempted from tax. Small scale businesses like barbing saloons, hair dressing and other surviving agencies are hereby exempted from taxation.” He also abolished the daily payments of N500 to N1000 levies by taxis plying the state, noting that they will now pay N2000 only every month. With a population of four million, if the 2020 budget of N1.1trillion were to be split among the people, each person will get a paltry, N275!

“The truth of the matter as I said; it is a sad thing that a government that is second to the least in the federal allocation list, is for the first time asking for Bridge Financing. Bridge financing is not like a long term loan. You guys are making a whole meal out of it. People borrow to pay salaries. States borrow to pay salaries. So, we won’t be the first. That is one. Two; it is shameful that in a country where the debt profile is about twenty-something trillion, and the Federal Government under this President Buhari’s government has collected many billions in loan; nobody is making issues out of it; that Cross River is collecting N5billion; even states like Akwa Ibom, that collects on the average N17 billion from federal allocation, is borrowing to fund some of their things. I just feel that it is in bad faith. It is lacking in substance. “What is the allocation to Cross River State? An average of N2 billion. How much do we spend on salaries in a month? Has APC federal government not borrowed to pay salaries? Don’t treat us as if we are not in the same country. If the federal government under APC is borrowing to pay salaries. If we are borrowing to pay pensions and gratuities what is new about it?” Ita’s reaction corroborates the fears expressed by critics of Ayade’s budget of N1.1 trillion, saying the state does not have the capacity to generate 10 percent of the projected revenue. Former chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), in the state, Goddie Akpama who spoke to THISDAY on the 2020 Budget concludes that the Ayade administration has no budget to implement, and has not implemented any since 2017. “The governor is taking the state for a ride and so he can reduce the whole issue of budgeting to a house of comedy. Are Cross Riverians now comedians? Have we become so useless and irrational to accept Ayade’s sermon that the budget means rebuilding from the scratch? What has he been doing with budgets in the last four years? The people should ask him and hold him accountable. It is clearly a budget of fallacy. How is the state expected to meet such financial projections of N1.1trillion? “We cannot keep lying to ourselves. We cannot keep ignoring the elephant in this room. For how long would we keep our heads buried in the sand? We must stop playing the Ostrich. “What kind of explanation do you want to give us about starting all over, Mr Governor? Now you tell us you want to privatize the deep seaport and superhighway. “The question is what did you tell Cross Riverians about these projects before today on their development? You said the money for these were ready. What are all these inconsistencies about? Now where is the money you said you had ready for the projects? “To start with where is the deep seaport and superhighway. Where are they located in Cross River? “We must continue to ask these questions, and challenge our government to be answerable to us and we would not relent,” Akpama who was also a one-time governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) said. Former member of the state House of

Assembly, Mr. Cletus Obun told THISDAY that it was absurd that the governor should continue to toy with the wellbeing and future of the people of the state. Obun heaped the blame on the lawmakers who have become unserious about good governance in the state. “When we were in the House it was different. We had the interest of the people at heart. But, today it is a different ball game. They are more interested in things that do not benefit the people. “In the days of Donald Duke as governor, if I get it right, there was this appropriation bill which had N80 million for auto photo mapping of the state. We kicked against it democratically because we felt that money would serve the people better in the education sector. So, we transferred the N80 million to education sector for the registration of final year students for WAEC and NECO examination. “That is totally absent today because what we have is “ an assembly of fools.” Obun said it was incumbent on the people, youth groups, the civil society organizations to mobilize during public hearing to challenge the so-called budget of Olimpotic Meritemasis. However, Ayade explained that the N1.1 trillion compared to what accrues to the state from the Federation Account and IGR is not an issue that can affect the full and successful implementation of the 2020 appropriation. “On the size of the budget, the governor said, “We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by the envelope size is limited in vision. “There are two ways in business and public sector management that you derive your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your envelope size or as an expression of your ambition. “The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting. Our budget prescribes the actual cost element while the intellectual financing shuns the cost because the ambition so expressed allows us the latitude to drive with to ensure that we guarantee that all aspects of the budget so provided are driven.” Speaker of the House, Mr. Eteng Jonah Williams has, however, assured that the lawmakers will do justice to the appropriation bill in the interest of the state. BudgIT, a leading civil society organisation campaigning for transparency in government described Ayade’s N648billion ‘super highway’ as a fraud. The highway is to be funded through N648billion Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) fund that will cost the state to pay back N300million per month for 180 years. Shakir Akorede, Communications Associate of BudgIT, noted that the highway construction is “misplaced priority and overly ambitious”. According to Akorede, “Suspecting an obstinate intention of the Ayade government to defraud the people of Cross River, we deem the project overly ambitious, superfluous and almost a misplaced priority especially – besides its viability to investors – when there has been hardly any explanation on ‘infallible plans’ to upscale the state revenue and clear cumulative debts let alone fix the human and environmental costs of the project.

Not a few have concluded that the budget is unrealistic, given the financial reality of the state which is considered insolvent, and near bankrupt within the nation’s financial circle. The reason for this line of thinking is not far-fetched. Cross River State is ranked among the least in terms of revenue that accrues from the Federation Account, as well as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and is one of the most highly indebted in the country. Data released from the Debt Management Office (DMO), indicate that Cross River State ranks among the top five most indebted states in Nigeria. The data indicates that the state has a foreign debt profile of $192.73 million, ranking fourth in the country while its domestic debt stands at N168.82 billion, thus occupying the fifth highest in the country. Added to the weight of the huge debt burden on the state is the poor state of internationally generated revenue which is about N15 billion annually, and income of less than N80 billion from the Federation Account. Recently, N1.72 billion was deducted from its Federal Allocation as part payment for the servicing of bail-out funds obtained from the Federal Government in 2015. In July this year, the governor’s application to state House of Assembly for the approval of a N5 billion loans facility brought to the fore, the state’s level of insolvency. As a result of pressure from opposing voices outside government, the governor, who normally carries out his financial transaction in secrecy was forced by public outcry to explain what the facility was meant for. Responding to critics of the application, Ayade, through his press secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, “If you cannot criticize Buhari don’t criticize us. It is as simple as that.”


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FEATURES

Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email chiemelie.ezeobi@thisdaylive.com, 08038901925

Towards a Greater Lagos Eromosele Abiodun writes that the recent trip by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and some of his executive council to China, was towards achieving his comprehensive ‘Greater Lagos Agenda’

Chairman, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and Secretary of Communist Party (China), Mr. Chen Fenjian welcoming Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Mr. Sam Egube, Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget to CRCC Headquarters in Beijing when the governor visited to discuss collaboration on infrastructural development of Lagos State recently

Governor Sanwo-Olu addressing the Management of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in Beijing

A

bout seven months ago, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was sworn in as the governor of Lagos State. Since his assumption of office, the governor has taken steps to attract global investors to the state in line with his agenda to take the state to the next level. Analysts are of the opinion that the election of Sanwo-Olu as Lagos State Governor has boosted global confidence in the capacity of Lagos State to realise its potentials as one of Africa’s leading economies, and the continent’s most populous city. Into the elections that heralded Sanwo-Olu into office, he preached T.H.E.M.E.S, an acronym for his government’s programme. T.H.E.M.E.S, which stands for Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism as well as Security and Governance, is a dashboard created for driving and measuring the Greater Lagos Agenda of this administration. So, beyond being a development framework for government, it is also an accountability guide for the public. With T.H.E.M.E.S, Sanwo-Olu has signaled the capacity to keep global attention on Lagos State positive and admirable. The governor demonstrated this recently when he visited China where the world saw the governor’s ability and audacity of his vision. It is indeed a new dawn in Lagos because the government has hit the ground running towards building a Greater Lagos through collaboration and partnership. The quest to turn Lagos into a 21st century economy is one of the critical elements of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s agenda. He also knows that a functional city supports business growth. With this awareness, the Governor is reaching out to more developed economies and societies for models and supports for building a Greater Lagos. This was what informed the mission to China. Building Strategic Alliances In China, Governor Sanwo-Olu reached out to his counterpart, Mr. Ma Xingrui, the Governor of China’s Guangzhou Province on a Twin City Agreement between Lagos and Guangzhou Province. For those who don’t know, what Lagos is to Nigeria is what Guangzhou is to China. Therefore, there is a strong fit in the collaboration between the two cities. With 44.2 million people in its metro area, Guangzhou is the biggest city in China, and has remained an important port in southern China for centuries. Sanwo-Olu’s choice of Guangzhou for a twin-city partnership with the Province which is acknowledged as the commercial center of China could be as a result of his admiration of its Beta+ Global Global City ranking, and perhaps because the intensity of

R-L: Mr. Jerry Zeng, Overseas Sales Company Assistant General Manager, Africa, Mr. Xie Dong Bo, President Assistant, Gree Electrical Appliances Inc of Zhuhai, Sanwo-Olu and Ms. Chief Diana of Choice International, Guangzhou, China while the governor was on a tour of Gree Electrical Appliances Inc facility Mr. Ma Xingrui’s headache doubles his, judging by the size of Lagos population, estimated to be 22 million. The partnership agreement between Lagos andGuangzhou is a deliberate step for Governor Sanwo-Olu. He stretched his hands across the Atlantic to understand why some cities routinely attract the best companies, the top talent, and the most investment dollars. Although his experience may have revealed that presence of the right mix of factors such as business activities, human capital, information exchange, political engagement, and positive experiences that help organizations and people to thrive makes one city more attractive than the other. Setting the Lagos Smart-City Agenda From the Guangzhou Traffic Management Centre, managing the entire vehicular traffic and emergency management services are just a click of buttons. The orderliness on the roads of Guangzhou, a city with a major terminus on the Silk Road, perfectly matches the picture of Sanwo-Olu’s ideal Lagos. The tour, after a demonstration of responsiveness to distress calls by emergency agencies, triggered an action that will make Lagos smarter. With about 7 million people in 5 million vehicles and 200 commercial buses on Lagos roads daily, the Governor must have reasoned that things must be handled differently to bring orderliness to Africa’s most populous city. At the discussion about transforming Lagos into a smart city and collaboration with leading

technology giants, Huawei and Ehang, as well as some reputable urban development organisations including Zhuhai Holding Investment Group, the socio-economic importance of Lagos to the world, and Africa in particular, was the central point. “We are at the stage of building critical infrastructure that that will make our city more habitable. We want technology to drive economic innovation, public security, health management, waste management, traffic management, government processes and services to the public�, Governor Sanwo-Olu averred when informing the companies about the readiness of Lagos State to take its rightful place in the comity of megacities in the world by rapidly transforming into a smart city. During the discussion, Sanwo-Olu signaled to the potential partners that, “we do not have the big cheques to sign for this total transformation now, but it is a journey we know will take us into the future we really should be as Africa’s most populous city and 7thlargest economy. The vitality of our 22 million people and political stability are valid collateral that should provide comfort in the collaboration we are seeking�, holds tangible hope. One of the companies, Huawei, which has an impressive footprint in smart-city development in South Africa, Dubai and across Asia said through the head of its Nigeria office, Eric Zhang while taking the Governor on a tour of the company’s Campus in Shenzhen, with the company’s Global VP, Enterprise Business Group, Mr. Laurent Fan, Vice President, Government & Public Utility, David Zhang and, Global Public

Safety Expert,Peter Goulding, said, “Huawei is excited that Lagos State is planning digitisation of its assets, processes, operations and public service facilities.� “I am familiar with Lagos State and I know that the State needs this transformation and is capable of embarking on it. As someone who is very familiar with Nigeria and Lagos State especially, our company Huawei is ready to work with Lagos on the transformation journey. I know that transforming Lagos into Smart-city is an exercise that will happen in phases, but the most important requirement is government commitment, which you have demonstrated,� he added. Also, the China-based world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company’s delegation led by Ms. Shiny Biu, the company’s Director, Strategic Cooperation said, “the company is open to partnering with the State and is open to discussing the appropriate models that will fittingly serve the goals of the two parties�. With Ehang, the governor thinks, “like other megacities in the world, Lagos State is still faced with some challenges that will require very innovative solution. For instance, emergency situations will require urgent and speedy response, just as when there are security challenges because safety of lives and property are very important to our government.� This may mean that the governor is considering collaboration in urban air mobility including passenger transportation and logistics, smart city management and aerial solutions, because Ehang is the forerunner of cutting-edge AAV technologies and commercial solutions in the global Urban Air Mobility industry. Gaining from Foreign Trade and Investment To keep Lagos ahead and sustain maintain its status as a foremost economy in Africa; the state needs to leverage its influence to attract quality investments, global businesses and large-scale enterprises. Even though its GDP of $136 billion and nominal per capita income of about $5,000 suggest the prosperity of the state, indicators are unequivocal about the fact the Lagos is yet to maximise its potentials. Perhaps this realisation may be Sanwo-Olu’s push and propelling force. Hence, his methodical knock on Chinese investors doors to make Lagos the home of their businesses. In China, he met and invited two Fortune 500 companies to locate plants and operations in Lagos State. “As you know, Lagos is the largest city in Africa with a population of over 22 million people and the State economy is 7th largest on the continent of Africa. The state is central for easy distribution of products and a fertile ground for recruiting highly skilled workforce that will help further the


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FEATURES innovation for which Gree Electric Appliance is globally reputed, �he told the company’s leadership, adding that, “we are the major driver of Nigeria’s fifteen places improvement on the World Ease of Doing Business Index, and we will continue to drive the process for continual ascension of Nigeria on the Index�. The company expressed gratitude for the invitation, and interpreted the opportunity to expand into Lagos as a channel to increasing its share of the air-conditioning market to the region to 35 per cent and annual production capacity from of residential air-conditioners (RAC) and central air-conditioners (CAC) from more than 60 million and 5.5 million sets respectively. Like the Zhuhai-based Electric Appliances Inc., Gree, the Board of Guangzhou Automobile Company (GAC Motors Group), led Chairman, Mr. Zeng Qihong, willingness to come into the African market through Lagos. Board members at the meeting include Mr. Feng Xingya, President, GAC Automobile Groups, Zhang Yuesai, Director General, Mr. Yu Jun, Director General of International Business and Kamel Zheng, Regional Sales Director African Region, and Mr. Zeng Qihong, the Group’s Chairman who said, “the Group is considering expanding strongly into international markets.� “With the governor’s invitation, we are quite confident and encouraged that coming to Lagos will be exciting. We will look into the process of establishing an operation in Lagos after our international business department has visited to carry out a visibility study of the market. But we are optimistic about coming to Lagos because of the market size and the significance of the economy to Africa,� said, an enthused Qihong. It is anticipated that GAC Motors operations in Lagos will contribute to the development of the State’s economy and encourage technology transfer between the Chinese and Lagosians. GAC Group is ranked 189 on the list Fortune 500 companies, with total revenue for 2018 being $53 billion and profit standing at $10 billion. It is anticipated that when companies like GAC Motors and Gree Electric Appliance come to Lagos, they will contribute to the growth of the State’s economy and encourage technology transfer between the Chinese and Lagosians. Driving Infrastructural Development In a move to address the infrastructural deficits that have held down Lagos from its envisioned greatness, the state has started making impressive efforts that will make roads smoother, connections easier with bridges in the right places, address housing deficit through disciplined urban development programmes and ease intra-city community with the introduction of a multi-modal transportation system. When all these are fully delivered, Lagos will be a beautiful example of what African’s can make of their continent. The anxiety to address extant infrastructural gaps was noticeable in Sanwo-Olu’s interactions with development partners and multilateral agencies in China. In Beijing, at the headquarters of the China Railway Construction Company (CRCC)), the governor who attended a project review meeting with a leading political figure and Chairman of CRCC), Mr. Chen Fenjian, listed projects Lagos State would require collaboration and investments from the Chinese corporations to build to completion. “See in Lagos State, we have a number of projects that we are putting on the table for you to consider even though their award will be via a competitive and rigorous bidding process that will guarantee that the project will be delivered to specification, and in a timely manner too�. “These projects include the construction of the 4thMainland Bridge in Lagos, our Railway projects – Blue Line, Red line, Yellow Line and Purple Line, the LekkiFree Trade-zone access Road, Water, Power and Urban development projects across the State, �said Sanwo-Olu. Also, at a different engagements with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the company working on the Lekki Deep-sea Port, which upon completion may contribute 70 per cent of Lagos State GDP, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasised the importance of the 4th mainland bridge to the government and people of Lagos State. “Construction of the 4th mainland bridge is extremely important to our government because of the positive effect it will have on our lifestyle and Lagos economy. The project will bring greater importance to the state, �Sanwo-Olu said. Creating Wealth from Waste Amidst the drive for functional infrastructure, industrial development and social security, Lagos

Sanwo-Olu looking at Gree Electrical Appliances Inc of Zhuhai production sta while on a tour of the company’s facility

Governor Sanwo-Olu making a business case for the company to locate a factory in Lagos to management of Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Motors) at the company’s headquarters in Guangzhou, China

Sanwo-Olu receiving a gift from Mr. Yu Jun, Director International Business, Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Motors) at the company’s headquarters in Guangzhou, China after presenting the business case for the company to locate a factory in Lagos still has its eyes on maintaining an ecologically balanced environment. Even though this indication has emerged severally in the governor’s interactions with Urban Development Corporations pitching their impressive footprints in Macao, Hong Kong and Hengquin for replication in Lagos, the discussion with Dyna Green Group, a Beijing-based company dedicated to the industry of recycling economy and renewable energy, affirmed the state government’s commitment to environmental cleanliness and ecological balance. Ecstatic Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. MuyiwaGbadegesin, let out the impression that the agency must have found an operational model in the activities of Dyna Green in their discussion of investment and construction, operation and management, technology development and supply of the core equipment. The scope of the bilateral talk also covered the processes for the treatment of urban household waste and medical waste, as well as providing the overall solution for the urban waste treatment.

“This model and partnership will pretty work well for Lagos State. We generate about 14,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, which aside from when taking off the streets contributes to wellbeing, could also bring forth energy and other useful by-products if recycled,� hintedGbadegesin. Over the past three months, state waste management strategy appeared to have undergone revival with the introduction of several initiatives and new waste-evacuation plan. Similarly, government is looking to commission a recycling plant, and continue with overhauling of the transfer loading plants to strengthen the capacity of the agency to keep the streets of Lagos clean. However, with the combination of population, income and urbanisation, Lagos will need a more sustainable approach to its waste management. The meeting of these elements in a fast-growing city and economy like Lagos compels a holistic waste management regime. Activating Formidable PPP Model With the array of needs the Lagos State Governor confronted investors, development partners, lending

agencies and financial institutions with, one may think the capacity of the State treasury to execute limitless number of projects. Conversely, the state has awakened a collaborative model between investors and the government to foster its development initiatives and ideas. In quest to sustainably build a greater Lagos, the government has revived its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. “We are at the stage of building critical infrastructure that that will make our city more habitable. We want technology to drive economic innovation, public security, health management, waste management, traffic management, government processes and services to the public�, Sanwo-Olu informed investors. He added specifically, “we do not have the big cheques to sign for this total transformation now, but it is a journey we know will take us into the future we really should be as Africa’s most populous city and 7th largest economy. The vitality of our 22 million people and political stability are valid collateral that should provide comfort in the collaboration we are seeking.� Most importantly, the contributions of the state to Nigeria’s notching 15 places higher on the Ease of Doing Business Index is a testament to the efforts of the current government to make the State an attractive destination to investments, a notion reinforced by an extract “In Lagos, commerce is our mainstay� published by the State in the Friday, November 22, 2019 edition of the Financial Times of London’s Invest in Nigeria Report. As Africa’s most significant subnational government, boosting a GDP of $136 billion which is bigger than the economies of forty-six countries and population size of 22 million, which makes Lagos the most populous city on the African continent, so the State needs to grow sustainably. Therefore, this PPP model may be a catapult that will take Africa’s 7th largest economy beyond its present position and help effect a greater growth above 4 per cent expected in 2019. Like other megacities, Lagos State has identified its social challenges, and pursued the opportunities in their resolution through credible and dependable partnerships. Acknowledging that there are challenges facing Lagos as a megacity, “Yes, we some have social challenges, but therein are opportunities for growth, prosperity, development. T.H.E.M.E.S offers a glimpse of openings for investors to sow into our fertile economy, because it is our path to becoming greater,� said the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. GbengaOmotoso. Securing Funding for Capital Projects It is unmistakable in every sense that every letter of the acronym T.H.E.M.E.S is an investment opportunity in the thriving economy of Lagos State judging by the government’s unfolding plans and engagement of the international investment community since May 29, 2019 when it assumed office. However, the government, notwithstanding limited resources, is expected to have its skin in the game. For the large-scale investments in infrastructure development, industry establishment and power, investors’ Dollar is expected to find succour in government’s cent, beyond the State guarantee. Accordingly, Governor Sanwo-Olu presented areas of intervention and projects to the China Development Bank, which granted $629 million loan for the LekkiDeep Sea construction, China Exim Bank that has provided over 60 per cent of funding for Chinese companies executed projects in Nigeria, may be in the region of $38 billion and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (SinoSure), the risk management leg of Chinese government’s investment outflow to creditors ahead of the Lagos projects. Unlocking Growth Potential As Nigeria’s most significant sub-national government and a major economy in Africa, the state of affairs in Lagos State remains a major point of interest to stakeholders across the globe, not just the residents of the state. The centrality of Lagos to economies in the African sub-region and her place as one of the largest cities in the world are some of the reasons the State remains on the world’s lens. But the world has been worried about the seeming lack of direction to take the State to a premium position on the socio-economic map of the world. Clearly, Mr. Sanwo-Olu must have sold his vision for a greater Lagos with so much vigour. His attitude, gait and sincerity, in propagating his plans for Lagos, often times, provides a peep into his heart of good intentions and purpose. He is a politician, but he came to public service with candour.


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BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S MONEY MARKET OVERNIGHT OBB

A S

A T N O V E M B E R

REPO 4.50 3.79

CALL 1-MONTH 3-MONTH

2.50 7 7.50

S & P INDEX INDEX LEVEL 1-DAY MONTH-TO-DATE

453.37% 0.06% 2.46%

Group Business Editor Obinna Chima

Email obinna.chima@thisdaylive.com 08152447875

2 9 , S & P INDEX 1/4 TO DATE YEAR TO DATE

2 0 1 9 9.95% 27%

EXCHANGE RATE N307/1US DOLLAR* ĚŠ  

Quick Takes Dawodu Appointed Citi Head for Africa

The Managing Director, Citibank Nigeria, Mr Akin Dawodu has been appointed the Cluster Head for the bank in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The appointment is with immediate eect. Dawodu, would assume overall responsibility for driving Citi’s business in the 11 presence and 21 non-presence countries in SSA. But he would continue to serve as the Chief Executive OďŹƒcer for Nigeria until an approved successor is appointed. According to a statement, henceforth he would report to the Europe Middle East and Africa Emerging Markets cluster Head, Mr. Atiq Rehman. Dawodu, joined Citibank Nigeria Limited (Citi) in 2000 as a forex dealer and later became the CountryTreasurer.Thereafter, he held the position of Chief Operating OďŹƒcer and Public Sector Head for Nigeria. In 2015, he was appointed CEO of Citi in Nigeria. His role was further expanded in January 2019, when he became the Cluster Head for West and Central Africa. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Manchester Business School and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Polaris to Fund SMEs in Health Sector

CAPACITY BUILDING

Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice John Terhemba Tsoho (left), and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Ahmed Kuru, during the one-day Seminar for Judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja‌recently

Emuwa Provides Insight on Bankers’ Committee N1bn Charitable Endowment Fund Obinna Chima The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Mr. Emeka Emuwa, has provided insight on the N1 billion Bankers’ Charitable Endowment Fund that was announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele in Lagos at the weekend. Emuwa, who spoke at the Chartered Institute of Bankers’ of Nigeria (CIBN) annual dinner, said for 2020, the N1 billion would be devoted to the funding of education. Under the initiative which would commence next year, the CBN and banks, under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee, would

BANKING allocate N1 billion to the funding of a major charitable initiative every year starting in 2020. According to him, the committee agreed that for next year, they would use the fund to intervene in Bridge International Academy, to support the roll out of the educational institution in more low income communities across the country. The schools would be driven by technology, Emuwa added. “I hear people say the banks are not supportive. But, this is a clear evidence of what the banks have been doing. The Endowment will fund development programmes and initiatives in strategic areas.

“For 2020, we have selected education. Education is what we are going to focus on in 2020. We have chosen Bridge International Academy. The endowment fund would fund the role out of Bridge International Schools in low-income communities across the six geo-political zones. “So, in those low income communities, we would be pushing for high quality education, driven by technology. Technology will be the game-changer in delivering quality education in Africa going forward,� the Union Bank chief said. According to him, with Nigeria’s population growth rate at 2.6 per cent, there is need to get education across to people who do not have the means.

“So, this is what we want to use the fund for. A detailed roll-out plan would be provided by the Bankers’ Committee and this would kick off in the first quarter of 2020. “You know as banks, we are used to competing and fighting for market share, but now we are coming together to do something that is not generating income for the respective banks, but we are collaborating for national benefit. This, would also promote financial inclusion in Nigeria,� Emuwa added. Emefiele, had said the fund would be taken from the AgricBusiness/Small and Medium Continued on page 24

Declare Public Officials On Debtor List Bankrupt, BalogunTells AMCON A legal consultant and Senior Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi -LP, Mr Muyiwa Balogun, has advised the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Judges of the Federal High Court of Nigeria (FHC) to leverage the 2019 Amended AMCON Act and declare the corporation’s obligors who are holding public office bankrupt. The new 2019 Amended AMCON Act, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the year provided AMCON with sweeping powers, to help the corporation recover

ECONOMY its outstanding debt of over N5.4 trillion. Balogun, who reviewed the new AMCON Act 2019 at a one-day Seminar for Judges of the FHC in Abuja, at the weekend, argued that the only alternative to the recovery challenge was for the judges of the FHC to take the matter as a national assignment and explore all the powers of the new amendment. In attendance at the seminar were the Acting Chief Judge of

the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, officials of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), the management of AMCON and officials of Legal Academy. Balogun, said the Judges of the FHC, which incidentally is AMCON’s court of first instance should as a matter of fact support the corporation to explore the bankruptcy proceedings as provided by the amendment, which he said will at least make it possible for AMCON to rubbish its debtors that are holding public office as persons of no integrity and so cannot hold such office.

According to him, “Once you are declared bankrupt, you cannot hold public office. Today, we have AMCON debtors making laws for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. AMCON with your support, needs to go to court and declare such individuals bankrupt. Given the sunset period of AMCON and the fact that the debt we are talking about is the commonwealth of Nigeria, it would not be out of place to take the full advantage of the bankruptcy power among

As part of eorts to revitalise the growth of SMEs in the health sector, PolarisBankhasannouncedtheintroductionofanewPolarisHealthSector Loan bundle to support the growth of the sector. The product was designed to meet the funding needs of Healthcare service providers in Nigeria. Speaking on the beneďŹ ts of the new products, the Group Head, Products and Market Development of Polaris Bank, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna disclosed that, “Polaris Bank is passionate about the Health sector in Nigeria and is willing to support the private sector to drive themostdesiredgrowthneededforitstransformation.â€?Ihekuna,explained that, “the product is a loan program targeted at SMEs in speciďŹ c health sub sectors such as: Hospital’s (including Dental and Optometry clinics), Pharmacies and Medical Laboratories / Diagnostic Centers, with a view to meeting their funding needs. “The Polaris Health Sector Loan product oers a lot of beneďŹ ts for SMEs in the identiďŹ ed sectors including getting tailor-madefundingfortheirbusiness,paymentsolutionsforcollectionsof fees,ďŹ nancialadvisoryservices,capacitybuildingprogramsanddedicated relationship management, to mention a few.â€?

LAPO MFB Bags ISO CertiďŹ cation

LAPO Micro Finance Bank has been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 certiďŹ cation for Information Security Management by Professional Evaluation CertiďŹ cation Board, (PECB).This comes few days after the bankannouncedtheappointmentofanewCEO,Mrs.CynthiaIkponmwosa, followingtheretirementoftheFounder,Dr.GodwinEhigiamusoe.Itdescribed thecertiďŹ cationasatestimonytoLAPOMicroďŹ nanceBank’scommitment and adherence to the highest standards in information security management. Speaking on the certiďŹ cation, the retiring bank’s Managing Director, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, noted that the certiďŹ cation was a reection of LAPO’s philosophy of best practice in data security and protection especially of its customers. According to him, “The ISO 27001:2013 of the InternationalOrganizationforStandardization(ISO)standard,speciďŹ esthe requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS) within the organisation.â€?

Tecno Participates in Fashion Week

Tecno has participated at the just concluded Lagos fashion week 2019. SpeakingattheeventinLagosrecently,theDeputyMarketingManager, Tecno Nigeria, Attai Oguche, expressed delight with the brand’s participation in the fashion week. He said: “This partnership is coming at a time when the brand just launched its Camera-Centric mobile line the Camon 12 Series.The world of fashion is another medium to explore the limitless possibilities of its camera and that is what we are doing here today. Camon series is a phone loves by creatives and fashionistasâ€? The four-day event held recently, was a platform for designers to exhibit their new season designs and collections on the runway and maximise their exposure within and beyond the industry. It also aorded guests the opportunity to creatively showcase their sense of fashion to the world. TECNO was there to capture individual creativity of attendees and creativity on the runway.

“We have provided shared agent licenses as well as payment bank licenses to three companies in 2019. Our objective is to support the development of a robust payment infrastructure that would bring more Nigerians who do not have access to financial services into the financial system�

CBN Governor, Continued on page 24

Mr. Godwin EmeďŹ ele


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BUSINESSWORLD EMUWA PROVIDES INSIGHT ON BANKERS’ COMMITTEE N1BN CHARITABLE ENDOWMENT FUND Enterprises Investment Scheme, which is a fund that was set aside from the five per cent of banks’ annual profit. The CBN Governor pointed out that the Bankers’ Charitable Endowment would directly fund strategic social programmes in states and local communities across Nigeria. “This fund is a first of its kind in any industry in Nigeria and my hope is that it will spur a trend across other industries and sectors to collaborate and work together to better the lives of all Nigerians. “The CBN remains open and committed to working with all well-meaning parties towards supporting the growth and progress of our country Nigeria,� he explained. DECLARE PUBLIC OFFICIALS ON DEBTOR LIST BANKRUPT, BALOGUN TELLS AMCON

other special powers in the new amendment.� The concerned lawyer who stated that the bankruptcy proceedings have been explored in other climes to address similar matters argued that there was no reason why it should not work in Nigeria. He aded, “As a way of being proactive with the new amendment of the AMCON Act, let us test the bankruptcy proceedings because it will be effective. In other jurisdictions, this has proved to be a very potent tool and why not in Nigeria.� Balogun further painted a gloomy picture of what could further befall the already challenged Nigerian economy, if the debts were not recovered in good time before the sunset period. He said if the Federal High Court Judges and indeed the judiciary do not support AMCON, the debt profile of the corporation can easily rise to a whopping N6.6trillion by 2024 since AMCON still owed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) N4.5trillion just as it is still battling with N1.7trillion of Assets Under Litigation (AUL). The debt burden, he explained, would eventually become the burden of the federal government and by extension taxpayers.

NEWS

Ship-owners Seek FG’s Support on Vessel Acquisition Eromisele Abiodun The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has called on the federal government to assist its members in the acquisition to acquire more vessels so as to unlock the nation’s maritime economy and reduce Nigeria’s over dependence on crude oil revenue. The President of SOAN, Dr. Mcgeorge Onyung, made the appeal while speaking at the first Lagos International Shipping Expo, with the theme: “Shipping, Global Economy and National Development.� Having played in the industry for many years, Onyung said ship owners have the key to unlock the national economic prosperity, if Nigeria has enough ships to be able to enjoy what is in the blue economy. The SOAN boss stressed that Nigeria required more ships to be globally competitive in the shipping trade and to unlock economic prosperity. Specifically, he stated, “Ship owners holds the key to unlock the nation’s economic prosperity because we know if there is no shipping, there is no shopping, which is why there is a connection between shipping and national development and, of course, shipping controls 90 per cent of the global economy.� He added: “In addition, our seafarers are the most important workers on earth as declared by United Nations and we, ship owners, value them because their future is our development. “We cannot have ships and then hand them over to those who

are incompetent. That is why you see them as a member of our family.� Speaking on the importance of the event, he said SOAN organised the event in order to speak with one voice so that stakeholders and government who regulates them would be able to listen and proffer solutions to the challenges facing ship owners. Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Committee in the House of

Representatives, Legor Idagbo, commended the SOAN for organising the event, which showcased the role of the shipping value chain. According to him, “This is not just for Nigeria’s national economy, but indeed the global economy accounting directly or indirectly for 90 per cent of the global international trade. “On the eve of major upcoming legislative interventions: the amendment of the Nigerian Content Act, the Finance Bill 2019 and the Petroleum

Industry Bill, I must confess the timing of this event is impeccable. The National Assembly shares a special bond with the maritime industry. We are partners in progress. “The real story of the Cabotage Act 2003 and the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry Content Act 2010 is no that they were both Private Members Bills, but how they vividly demonstrated the commitment and determination of extraordinary Nigerians in the maritime industry who were able to take advantage these

legislation and use them to successfully transform their industry into a multidimensional enabler, actively supporting several critical sectors of our economy and employing thousands of Nigerians.� He said ship owners clearly established the value of the partnership of legislation and entrepreneurship in the successful implementation of policies. He therefore emphasised that a lot more needed to be done to incentivise local investments in the sector.

20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

L-R: Chairman, Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeia (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo; Recipient of Industry Achiever’s Award, Amina Oyagbola; Pioneer Member of ALTON, Titi Omo-Ettu; and Chief Executive Officer, IAS, Mohamad Darwish, at the ALTON 20th anniversary celebration and award night, held in Lagos‌recently ETOP UKUTT

Obaseki Advocates Long-term Financing for Housing Sector Oluchi Chibuzor With housing deficit in the country estimated at 17 million, Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has advocated a long-term financing model that will give room for single digit interest rate in the housing sector. This is just as experts in the estate and surveying industry reiterated the need for a robust mortgage system in the country, flexible for every citizen to own a house. The Governor, stated this at the send fourth and investiture event organised by Knight Frank, Nigeria, for its outgoing and new Senior Partner/Chief Executive

Officer (CEO), held over the weekend in Lagos. Obaseki, stressed that the challenge facing the country was finance and high interest rate. He called for a reduction of interest rate to single-digit to support affordable housing. “I do not think the problem is in building, but in long term financing required for off-takers. “If we find a situation where whatever you pay as rent today could be substituted for your mortgage payment, i am sure you will own your home. “But for us to achieve that, interest rate has to be at certain level, which is beyond the control of the

state. “Is important that household names in whatever industry - real estate or financial services - to be present in Nigeria because they help set those standards, because there is huge demand for real estate. Having a global name like Knight Frank is key and significant,� he said. On his part the incoming CEO, Knight Frank, an independent residential and commercial property consultancy firm, Mr. frank Okosun, stated his desire to increase the level of professionalism in the company and take it to the next level in the industry. In addition, he said the firm

would focus on capacity building and train more young people to become professional surveyors. With Nigeria’s housing deficit growing at 20 per cent yearly, according to the World Bank, he noted that reducing the figure would be his focus as the new CEO. “Our focus is to reduce the housing deficit in the country, which can be achieved by increasing more development in all the areas of the states; putting more property in the market and ensuring that there are mortgages for the young ones to own houses,� he stressed. The outgoing president, Chief Albert Orizu advised the new

CEO to resolve clients’ complaints within the shortest time, saying people remains central to the firm’s business. “The main problem we have is providing affordable housing because mortgages are not working very well in Nigeria and the housing cost is very high. “There is a lot of room for the government to try as much as possible to participate more in the low income and middle income housing because that is where the main problems are, once we are able to make land available and get a good mortgage system, then it would be easier for the middle class to be able to have their own houses,� he added.

NCDMB Urges Oil Firms to Prepare for Full Automation of Rigs Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt Group Business Editor

Obinna Chima

Capital Market Editor

Goddy Egene

Comms/e-Business Editor

Emma Okonji

Senior Correspondent

Raheem Akingbolu (Advertising) Correspondents

Chinedu Eze (Aviation) Eromosele Abiodun (Maritime) James Emejo (Finance) Ebere Nwoji (Insurance) Chineme Okafor ((Energy) Reporters

Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (ICT)

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has advised firms in the oil and gas industry to brace up for the full automation of operations at oil rigs. The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said this in Port Harcourt, at the foundation laying ceremony of PE Energy Centre of Excellence at Trans Amadi Industrial Layout. Wabote, after inspecting facilities under construction at the centre, noted that most players in the industry employ about 100 people in each rig today. He, however, said with advancement in technology and

trends in the industry, most rigs would run on full automation in about 10 to 15 years. He, therefore, called on indigenous firms in the sector to brace up and prepare for the development so that they would not only remain relevant but also reap from the technological advancement. He commended the management of PE Energy Limited for embarking of the automation and instrumentation aspect of operations, adding that the development was one of the achievement of local content in the oil and gas sector. Wabote, attribute the resurgence of local industries to the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he said was encouraging

local industries. “The president has been very clear in his commitment to create that environment for industrialisation, that vision for Nigerians, to believe in Nigerians and to make Nigerians realise that that they have more potentials than they can imagine. That is beginning to create some level of trust among the investors. “In the past one month, we have opened more than 10 facilities in Lagos, Port Harcourt and elsewhere. It is because of that belief. It also fits well with our strategic growth plan that in 2027 we will have attained at least 70 per cent local content in the oil and gas sector. “Don’t forget that when we

started, it was less than five per cent. Of the $21 billion we spent annually in Nigeria, only about three per cent stayed in the country. Today, we have been able to plough back about 30 per cent. “Our aspiration is to plough back 70 per cent in order to create jobs, create value, give Nigerians a sense of responsibility and enhance the industrial base of the country. That is the overall objective,� he said. He added that the facility of PE Energy would create more jobs, retain resources in the country and also showcase the industry of Nigerians. He also said, “Today, the borders are closed. It is also giving people an opportunity to invest in

the agricultural sector. We started local content about 10 years ago and that has created that verve in Nigerians that they have a lot of opportunities in them. “So, if this facility starts to run employing about 300 Nigerians and you multiply that by 10 and then you must also understand the indirect and induced effect of establishing a factory like this: there will be food vendors, transportation and hotels. So the effects will be enormous and Nigerians will feel it.� The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PE Energy Limited, Daere Akobo, in his address, said the company was committed to changing the business landscape of Rivers State and the country.


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Investors Commit N13bn to Stocks as Market Sustain Bull Run Goddy Egene Investors committed N13.174 billion to N1.161 billion shares in 18,142 deals last week compared with N17.249 billion staked on 1.416 billion shares in 20,303 deals the previous week. Although the value of investment was lower, the market was able to maintain its weekly growth for the fourth week running as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index appreciated by 0.04 per cent to close at 27,002.15. Similarly, the market capitalisation of equities rose by same margin to close at N13.033 trillion. An analysis of the performance by sectors showed that the NSE Consumer Goods Index led with a gain of 4.69 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index trailed with a gain of 0.35 per cent. However, on the contrary, the NSE Banking Index fell by 0.68 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index and the NSE Insurance Index followed with a decline of 0.43 per cent and 0.07 per cent respectively. Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said despite the marginally positive performance of the market during the week, the market seems to once again be losing impetus. “Consequently, we expect the market to shed points in the coming week, in the absence of a policydriven catalyst. Nonetheless, the case for the market to record some gains over the short to medium term remains compelling, even as the valuation picture becomes less compelling,� they said. While the Nigerian market rose 0.04 per cent the Ghana Stock Exchange gained 1.1 per cent. Similarly, Morocco’s Casablanca MASI appreciated 0.10 per cent. Conversely, Egypt’s EGX 30 index lost the most, shedding 1.7 per cent while Kenya’s NSE 30 and Mauritius’ SEMDEX indices went down by 0.04 per cent and 0.36 per cent respectively. The BRICS market recorded a negative performance as only one of the five markets tracked gained. South Africa’s FTSE/JSE declined the most, paring 2.6 per cent. In the same vein, Russia’s RTS index trailed, shedding 1.1 per cent just as Brazil’s Ibovespa and China’s Shanghai Composite indices depreciated 0.2 per cent and 0.5 per cent in that order in spite of progress in US and China trade relations. But India’s BSE Sens was the lone gainer, adding 1.1 per cent notwithstanding slowdown in economy. In the Asian and Middle East markets, performance was positive as four of five tracked went up. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul Index recorded the highest gain, up 2.6 per cent. Similarly, Qatar’s DSM 20 and Thailand’s SET indices followed with 1.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. In the same vein, UAE’s ADX General index rose 0.2 per cent. Conversely, Turkey’s BIST 100 indices was the lone loser, shedding 0.3 per cent. Performance in the developed market was bullish led by the United States’ S&P 500 and NASDAQ indices advanced 0.9 per cent and 2.0 per cent in that order as US and China reached a ‘common understanding’ on trade relations. Last week, President Donald Trump hinted that discussions on a phase one trade deal with China were near completion, claiming he is holding up the agreement

right bill aimed at supporting Hong Kong’s protesters into law. However, the Chinese government frowned at this and warned of “firm counter measures�, further clouding the prospects of a preliminary SinoU.S. trade deal in the near term,� Afrinvest said. Meanwhile, in Europe, United Kingdom’s FTSE All Share index appreciated the most, up 0.9 per cent just as Germany’s XETRA DAX and France’s CAC 40 indices gained 0.4 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 per cent, while the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index w as the lone loser, going down by 0.9 per cent. Market turnover Meanwhile, the activity chart showed that the Financial Services industry led the activity chart with 801.229 million shares valued at N6.219 billion traded in 10,415 deals, thus contributing 68.98 per cent and 47.2 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerate industry followed with 139.940 million shares worth N585.927 million in 943 deals, while the third place was Consumer Goods industry with a turnover of 84.546 million shares worth N3.445 billion in 2,674 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely: Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc accounted for 369.396 million shares worth N3.086 billion in 3,360 deals, contributing 31.8 per cent and 23.43 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. At the exchange traded funds end of the market a total of 11,991 units valued at N102,312.34 were traded last week in 30 deals, compared with a total of 150 units valued at N15,929.60 transacted the previous week in nine deals. Also, a total of 313,912 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N320.719 million were traded last week in 23 deals, compared with a total of 42,085 units valued at N47.490 million transacted two weeks in 30 deals. According to analysts at Afrinvest to ensure the US gets a fair deal. Similarly, the Chinese delegates West Africa said that suggested said consensus had been reached that there might be a roll-over or on properly solving relevant issues. extension of the December 15th

deadline if an agreement was reached soon. “On the other end, the US senate has successfully passed the human

Top price gainers and losers The price movement chart indicated that 31 equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 40 equities in the previous week, while 32 equities depreciated in price, higher than 23 equities in the previous week. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc led the price gainers with 30.3 per cent, trailed by A.G Leventis Plc with 20 per cent. Royal Exchange Plc added 15 per cent, just as LASACO Assurance Plc went up by 13 per cent. UAC of Nigeria Plc gained 11.8 per cent, just as WAPIC Insurance Plc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc garnered 11.7 per cent and 10 per cent in that order. Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Presco Plc and Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc chalked up 10 per cent, 9.3 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively. On the contrary, FBN Holdings Plc led the price losers with 10.6 per cent, trailed by C & I Leasing Plc with 9.8 per cent. Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Ikeja Hotel Plc shed 9.7 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively. Afromedia Plc went down by 8.1 per cent, while Access Bank Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc dipped by 7.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively. NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc shed 7.5 per cent, 6.0 per cent and 5.59 per cent in order.


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Is Nigeria Approaching Debt Trap? There are concerns that at the rate at which the federal government is accumulating debt, without commensurate investment in infrastructure, the country may plunge into a debt trap, writes Obinna Chima Since President Muhammadu Buhari represented the 2016-2018 $30 billion External Borrowing Plan of the federal government to the Senate for approval last week, there have been concerns that the country may be heading towards a debt trap. A debt trap is a situation in which a debt is difficult or impossible to repay, typically because high interest payments prevent repayment of the principal. Nigeria, less than two decades ago secured far-reaching debt forgiveness. The country’s total public debt stood at $84 billion as of June 30, 2019. A breakdown of this showed that the external component was $27 billion, while the domestic component was $57 billion. Therefore, if the president’s request gets legislative approval, Nigeria’s external debt stock alone would rise to $114 billion, while the external debt would also climb to $57 billion. Nigeria’s debt profile grew from N12.6 trillion in 2015, when President Buhari assumed office, to N25.7 trillion as at June this year, which was an increase of 104 per cent and will surge higher if the National Assembly approves the fresh request. The fresh loan request will certainly push up the country’s debt-service ratio which presently is about 60 per cent. Owing to the development, some Nigerians have argued that with the economy floundering as well as the federal government’s inability to diversify the economy, the country may find it extremely difficult to meet its debt obligations in the future. They further argued that the federal government’s debt accumulation drive could place a burden on the future generation. In addition, they warned that given the Nigerian government’s weak revenue generating profile, further indebtedness would not be sustainable and would likely lead to a debt crisis, especially if there is a plunge in crude oil prices. But the federal government has doused the fears, saying the country’s debt sustainability analysis shows that there is enough headroom for borrowing. It reiterated that the country does not have a debt problem, stressing that its low revenue level remains a challenge to the nation. The president in the request, explained that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the financial plan in August 2016 and sent to the Eighth National Assembly in September 2016 for consideration but it was then rejected. Buhari in a letter to the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, read during plenary of the two chambers, sought the permission of the legislature to borrow the fund. The in the letter dated November 26, 2019, gave reasons why his administration wanted to borrow the $29.96 billion, saying the funds would be used to finance 39 critical projects being executed by the federal government. The two- page letter entitled: “Request for The National Assembly to Re-consider and Approve the FG’s 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan,� reads: “Pursuant to sections 21 and 27 of the Debt Management Office (Establishment, etc) Act, I hereby request the resolution of the Senate to hereby approve the federal government 2016 – 2018 external borrowing plan as well as relevant projects under this plan. Looking Back Six years into the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, the government then was able to get the Paris Club to write off the country’s debt. According to Obasanjo, the move then represented, for the first time, a total exit and freedom from Paris Club debt. The package in final terms then yielded debt relief of about 60 per cent on Paris Club debt and Nigeria was made to pay off the 40 per cent balance through a buy back operation.

N1.6 trillion, it stands to reason that all of that are targeted at the capital component of the budget. “The capital budget includes thousands of projects, so the debt can be used for any of the projects in the budget. So, at the point of consummating the transaction, that is when the specific debt is tied to any specific project as may be necessary,� he explained in a programme monitored on Channels Television.

Buhari The total write off then was close to $20 billion which compared very favourably with the $40 billion write off of debts for the 18 highly indebted and poor countries of the world by the developed nations during that period. The former president had stated then that, “This, debt relief offered to us, I am pleased and proud to say is the direct product of our relentless and persistent endeavour over the past six years. “Fellow Nigerians, how did we get to the point where our debt burden became a challenge to peace, stability, growth and development? “Without belabouring the point we can identify political rascality, bad governance, abuse of office and power, criminal corruption, mismanagement and waste, misplaced priorities, fiscal indiscipline, weak control, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and a community that was openly tolerant of corruption and other underhand and extra legal methods of primitive accumulation.� He then urged Nigerians to learn from the past, saying Nigerians; especially policymakers must all show collective responsibility to prevent a return to the past. “We must all commit ourselves to protecting,

The ballooning recurrent expenditure, in the face of declining revenue is a cause for concern. There is a need to clarify place of the new loan request in relation to the 2020 budget and the 2020 -2022 medium term expenditure framework

rather than squandering the future of our children. We must all agree not to remove the solid blocks on which our nation stands by accumulating debts that we cannot repay,� he had said. Unfortunately, some have argued that recent developments suggest the country might return to the past. FG’s Position The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, explained that Bi-annually, the federal government carries out a debt sustainability analysis, which is done by the Debt Management Office. According to him, the government would not be proposing to do further borrowing if it debt sustainable analysis does not support it. “We think we need to move away from being sentimental about this issue. As you have heard us say repeatedly and the Minister of Finance has said on several occasions, we do not have a debt sustainability problem, but we have a serious revenue challenge and if we do not fix that, it could lead us to debt sustainability problem. “That is why the government is doing everything now to tackle the revenue problem. Right now, one ratio that is a major concern to everyone looking at our debt is the Debt Service to Revenue ratio. But if we fix the denominator, the debt service to revenue ratio would cease to be a problem. “As you know, there is a medium-term borrowing plan and then there is the annual borrowing plan to fund the budget. For the 2020 budget, the deficit that needs to be financed by borrowing N1.6 trillion and that is the immediate request the president would want the National Assembly to address. That N1.6 trillion is split between foreign currency and domestic borrowing component, almost evenly. “Essentially, the Fiscal Responsibility Act says we should borrow essentially for capital expenditure, unless there are exceptions, where you can do otherwise. And when you look at the budget, the capital budget, excluding the amount in statutory transfers, is N2.1 trillion and if we are planning to borrow

Divergent Views To a Senior Lecturer at the Pan-Atlantic University, Dr. Bongo Adi, pointed out the challenge remains the country’s low revenue profile. He, however, did not foresee the country plunging into a debt trap. Furthermore, Adi said everything depends on the “honesty and sincerity of the government.� According to him, “investment in infrastructure is very important. This is one thing that has continued to affect productivity in the country. An economy of almost 200 million citizens, should be doing a lot more than we are doing presently. “We all can see that with the infrastructure that we have, it is not possible for us to achieve higher level of growth and quickly too. If we have the critical infrastructure enablers, I can tell you that this economy will be registering about seven per cent growth. And we need this in order to escape the population trap that we have got ourselves into and we need it to create job. “The problem with our borrowing is that it is still the bureaucracy and same people who have been inefficient over the years that would be the ones to husband this process. So, we do not have confidence in them.� But, he argued that the burden of creating infrastructure should be shifted to the private sector, while the government creates the enabling environment for them to thrive. “Public-Private Partnership is an alternative that should be explored, bringing in the private sector under what the World Bank calls Blended Finance, are possible pathways out of this quagmire that we are in,� he added. He urged the government to expand its revenue profile and called for an improved tax mobilisation system in the country. “What is important is that more individuals and businesses need to be brought into the tax net. But it is like a chicken and egg situation. You can’t bring people into the tax net if you have not given them the trust and confidence that the money you are collecting would be judiciously utilised. “We are operating in a very low trust system because the people do not trust the government. And that is because over the years we haven’t seen any impact in the taxes that they paid,� Adi added. But, the Founder of Proshare Nigeria Limited, Mr. Femi Awoyemi, noted under the present situation, three things are at play. He listed these to include debt, tax and cost of governance. This, he described as a trilemma. According to Awoyemi, debt looks attractive because you assume tax increases will pay for it, yet a tax increase does not reduce the size of government that created the debt in the first place. “We have to separate our cash-strap ‘wants’ from our infrastructure funding ‘needs’. The latter will pay itself if meritoriously embarked upon. Immediate cash gaps reflect the productivity gap...that is what we should focus resources on to help policy makers in the seemingly ‘tough task’ of arranging the ‘deck on a beach,� he advised the government. He noted that the country has a recurrentrevenue matching gap as well as a capital expenditure-revenue gap. “The latter is outside the sovereign infrastructural needs (repairs, maintenance and Continued on page 27


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IS NIGERIA APPROACHING DEBT TRAP?

TAJBank Commences Operations Today Obinna Chima

Osinbajo new constructs), essential to build and grow the economy. “If this is what the government is talking about, then we are in good stead and must then ask, which part are the funding? The bankable or unbankable infrastructural projects? “Does the prioritisation meet the foundational needs of being an enabler? “Other than this, we may simply be discharging energy to digging our way out of a pit, hoping somehow we will tunnel out somewhere, somehow,� Awoyemi advised. To a former bank CEO and presently Managing Director of KSBC Advisory Partners Limited, Mr. Chika Mbonu, the big picture is that economists recognise and accept that one of the key ways to get an economy out of recession or to reflate an economy struggling for growth is to spend your way out. These spending, according to him, should help create the highest growth impact and stimulate economic activities, thereby leading to expansion in the GDP and increase government revenue. Mbonu said the anticipated increase in revenue would in turn lead to new capital investments in the economy and would then enable the government pay back the principal and interest on these borrowed funds . “And because the government doesn’t have these monies to spend it has to borrow it or even print money. So, yes the government can actually request for new loans in line my comments above especially as our economy has very high infrastructural deficits that have badly hurt the efficiency of the economy. Name any sector. “Now to bring it home, despite the above analysis what are the concerns here in Nigeria? We have not had a history of proper utilisation of debts in the past such that the country has entered into debt traps in the past. “If the debts raised are diverted or used for consumption, the above benefits would not materialise and we will be stuck with servicing the new debts at the existing revenue levels-with already more than 60 per cent dedicated to service debts,� Mbonu, who is an analyst on Arise Television added. The Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, also noted that the growing national debt is a cause for concern. “The opportunity cost of high debt service commitment for the economy and citizens is very high. There is also the exchange rate risk inherent in the exposure to mounting foreign debt which we need to worry about. As the currency depreciates, the burden of servicing foreign debt would intensify. This is a major problem with increasing the stock of foreign debt. “This underlines the need for appropriate policy choices to attract domestic and foreign private sector capital for infrastructure financing. The government needs to look beyond tax credit in its quest

for more complimentary funding sources for infrastructure,â€? Yusuf added. He advised the country to look more in the direction of equity financing, just as he called for review of the spending structure of government and the cost of governance. “The ballooning recurrent expenditure, in the face of declining revenue is a cause for concern. There is a need to clarify place of the new loan request in relation to the 2020 budget and the 2020 -2022 medium term expenditure framework,â€? he added. To an economist and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, who acknowledged that the country’s infrastructure needs are very huge, vis-Ă -vis its dwindling revenue, he said, “what is happening is very alarming.â€? “The government inherited a low debt exposure, which was not up to $7 billion in 2015, but now it is about $84 billion. Now, you ask yourself, what has this money really been used for? We were involved in the debt negotiation for the Paris Club in 2005, that led to our exit from the Paris Club. “At that time, our total national debt was not more than $36 billion and even then, we were crying wolf and we said the amount was impossible and that we needed a debt relief. We negotiated and paid it off. Even though it was very painful, we succeeded in doing that. And within a space of five years, for this government to have accumulated such amount of debt is of great concern. “For me, the principle is not whether or not government can borrow, the issue is, what are you borrowing it for? And it is not enough to make a blanket statement to say you are borrowing for infrastructure. I would want to borrowing for specific project linked funds, so that the approval would be for specific projects. “Don’t forget, the first we took in 2015, was a $1.3 billion IDA loan for the north-east. I have been to the north-east a couple of times, there is nothing there to show for the loan collected. Therefore, I find the whole proposition unsettling, dangerous and unpatriotic,â€? Mailafia said on a programme monitored on Channels Television. According to him, the fact that Nigeria uses N5 out of every N10 it gets to service debt showed be a concern to every Nigerian. “The IMF is clapping for you because your GDP to debt ratio is one of the lowest in West Africa. Who are you competing in West Africa? We should be competing with Brazil, Indonesia and the rest. We don’t have a debt crisis, but we have a debt problem. “Anybody that is using N5 out of every N10 he earns to pay back loans borrowed for consumption, is not doing the right thing. I am not saying they shouldn’t borrow, but let’s have all the records and analysis of what has been done with all previous borrowings,â€? he added.

TAJBank, Nigeria’s second non-interest financial institution will today officially open its doors to customers as it commences operations in Abuja. Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, the founder and Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr Hamid Joda said, the bank would be bringing value to the industry as it seeks to change the face of banking with its unique offerings. “We are very prepared to face competition because we believe we are bringing value to the banking public. Our non-interest banking model is unique in the sense that we operate as a zero interest bank. This proposition is more business friendly to individuals, corporates and SME’s because they can plan better with more certainty if we finance them. “We will never change financing rates in the middle of the game as this is against the tenets of ethical banking. We are guided by ethical principles in all our dealings and all parties must be treated with fairness and equity. With us there are no hidden charges or strange surprises. “Our wide array of products

and the advantage of also transmuting to a trading entity under our sales contracts will do well in the SME space. Likewise, our lease and partnership based products are well suited for a developing economy like Nigeria. In the final analysis, TAJBank will distinguish itself in the area of service delivery,� he said. According to Joda, the bank’s key market entry strategy is high quality customer service. He disclosed that the bank was granted a regional license to operate in the north-east and north-west regions of Nigeria and a liaison office in Lagos. “We are commencing business in our Abuja and Kano branches on the 2nd of December 2019. Before opening for business, we conducted a thorough research on the Nigerian banking industry and our findings revealed a huge gap in customer’s yearnings for quality service delivery and what they are currently getting. “We have built this brand based on excellent service. A brand that our customers can be extremely proud of. This is a defining moment for all of us, one that we have worked tirelessly to achieve. We have an incredible team

behind us and the future – in our humble opinions - not just of the Bank, but the financial industry, is indeed bright.� He said TAJBank also offers a number of innovative products and services that would delight its customers. TAJBank offers an array of products and service offerings which are widely available to all Nigerians. Some of the products include: Partnership (Mudarabah) Term Deposit, Lease (Ijarah) Finance, Partnership (Mudarabah), Savings/ Current Accounts, among others. On his part, the Chairman of TAJBank, Alhaji Tanko Isiaku Gwamna, said, “at TAJBank, we are excited at the possibilities before us; the opportunity to significantly boost financial inclusion in Nigeria, the opportunity to empower millions of Nigerians and also, just as importantly, the opportunity to engender a much needed mind shift with regards to non-interest Banking, not just with our customers but the country at large. “We have an inspired and extremely industrious team who have worked tirelessly to bring this dream to fruition and I am eager to see the impact that TAJBank will make in the financial sector and in the lives of Nigerians.�

N1.5bn RoofTile Plant to Boost Job Creation, Says Adebayo James Emejo in Abuja The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo has commissioned a modern roof tile manufacturing plant estimated at about N1.5 billion in Asaba, Delta State. Commending the company for supporting the federal government’s industrialisation objective and diversification of the economy, he said the plant has the capacity to create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians. The minister expressed hope that the initiative would further develop the building materials industry in the country and position the economy for better competitiveness. He said: “The commissioning today is in line with the president’s agenda to fast-track the the Nigerian industrial revolution by creating avenues for more Industries. “ It will also support the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES), in order to create new jobs and opportunities for more Nigerians. “More importantly, it will accelerate both domestic as well as foreign direct investment in Nigeria, by creating an enabling environment for more Nigerian businesses to succeed.� In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Julius Toba-Jegede, Adebayo, particularly commended the Chairman, Wichtech Industries Ltd, Dr. Wilson Chidozie Nwankwo for ensuring that the high quality roofing tiles that are usually imported

into the country, will now be manufactured locally in the newly established factory. “This giant stride is part of this administration’s ‘Made in Nigeria’ policy thrust,� he said. Nwankwo, however, noted that the company was seeking to contribute its own

quota to the economic wellbeing of the country. He appealed to the government to help address issues of high bank interest rates, high import duty on imported materials and multiple taxes payable to all governments at various levels.


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‘Data PrivacyVital for Technology Growth’ Ugo Aliogo The Chief Executive Officer, Mines.io, Ekechi Nwokah, has said data privacy and quality remains vital in driving growth and penetration of technology. Nwokah, who disclosed this recently, in Lagos, during the 2019 KPMG Digital Summit, with the theme: ‘Leveraging Insights and Experience to Scale,’ explained that data privacy and quality remains key and part of the solution to lending at scale, through the use of AI, adding that government needs to take more risks with the processes so as to get the right results. Nwokah said: “Data privacy and quality are key to the growth of technology in Nigeria. There also has to be strict regulations concerning data privacy and important from a customer point of view because customers trust you with information and when the information get lost, then your business can go down the drain overnight. “Also, there has to be more risks taken to get the processes done in an effective manner because if there are no risks, then there cannot be the growth and development of technology we want to see.� In his remarks, the Partner and Lead, Digital Transformation, KPMG Africa, Boye Ademola, said the event which was the third in a series, was designed by KPMG to provide insights for organisations on how to leverage the digital space to create transformational value. Ademola, also stated that the

2019 summit was chosen to focus on the application of Artificial Intelligence, user experience transformation and design thinking in helping businesses gain competitive advantage especially in Nigeria. Speaking during a panel session on, ‘Powering Decisions with AI,’ the Founder, dbrownconsulting Limted, David Brown, said Africa was ready for the use of AI, “but a lot remains to be seen if it can take advantage of it to solve simple problems.� “AI is here, but the question is how ready are we in terms of using AI to solve our problems. So, whether we like it or not, AI is already here and there is a school of thought that says AI will replace us in terms of human intelligence and argument as well. “There are certain things that AI would replace but then for Africa, how do we take advantage of that? “Frankly speaking, we really need to do something for AI, we do not need to be data scientists but we can do something sort of local solutions and set up platforms and solve simple problems with applications you already have. So there are three things, have a platform, harness that as well as applications to be able to use it effectively�, Brown explained. However, for AI to thrive in Africa’s technology ecosystem, experts called for the establishment of an organised platform to harness its potential, adding that the continent was ready to explore opportunities.

NMRC Partners ITF on Enterpreneurial Devt The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has collaborated with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to empower 40 unemployed and vulnerable youths with technical skills in housing construction and entrepreneurship as part of its 2019 corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. According to a statement, the beneficiaries, comprising 15 female victims of various forms of human trafficking and domestic abuse under the care of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), underwent a two-month training program in electrical installation, plumbing, screeding/painting and interior decoration. Speaking at the closing ceremony to mark the graduation of the trainees, NMRC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Kehinde Ogundimu, noted that the training program was part of NMRC’s ongoing strategic community outreach program. He said the NMRC’s goal was to impact lives, empower the unemployed and vulnerable persons as well contribute to ongoing efforts to redress the skills gap in the building industry in Nigeria often cited as one of the key constraints to the growth of a robust housing market growth. The NMRC CEO thanked the management of the ITF for the continued partnership and timely completion of the training program. He also expressed ap-

preciation to NAPTIP for their collaboration and encouraged the beneficiaries to take make judicious use of the skills they have acquired to take their lives to the next phase. In his remarks at the event, the Director-General/CEO, Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph N. A. Ari, represented by the Area Manager, ITF, Abuja Mal Danladi F. Wase, commended the NMRC for sustaining the yearly empowerment program. He said that the training has given the beneficiaries the chance to take charge of their lives. Also, the Head of Training, ITF, Dr. Kemi Abayeh, lamented the high unemployment rate in the country and highlighted the need for strategic partnerships with corporate bodies to help fix it. She thanked NMRC for being a responsive sponsorship partner to ITF and sustaining the program three years on. Abayeh, noted that the programs have helped to create jobs, alleviate poverty and ensure economic development. In his response on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Kinayor Justice Lenebari, the leader of the trainees expressed appreciation to the NMRC and the ITF for empowering them with the capacity to lead more economically viable lives and become more responsible Nigerian citizens. The NMRC also provided the graduates with relevant start-up tool kits in their respective fields of training to enable them to ply their new skills.



FAAN, FCI Sign Agreement to Develop Aviation Expo Centre Chinedu Eze The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the FCI International Limited have signed an agreement to build a centre for development and international trade promotion within the corridor of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The centre would be known as Nigeria Aviation (NIGAV) Conference and Exhibition Centre. This followed the approval granted by the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, on a land lease agreement between the agency and FCI. The agreement was signed by FAAN’s Head of the Directorate of Legal Services and Secretary/ Legal adviser, Clifford Imade Omozeghian and the Managing

Director of FCI International, Frotune Idu. Idu, in a statement, said the 2500sqm centre is to project the best of Nigeria’s businesses and enterprises and stand as a centre of industry promotion of excellence. He said the centre, which would take off early next year was planned through three development stages. “The first stage is to develop a 1000 sitter capacity hall that can hold 100 exhibition booths where all kinds of industry activities including open-to-public ceremonies can be held. “Then the second stage is to expand by building meeting rooms, cafeteria for workshop and business hub meetings and the third stage will be a multistory facility with aerial hall, underground parking, meeting

rooms, recreation and learning facilities. “Centres of such at the international airport axis’s are often considered as investor’s gateway and the foresight to sign this project by the Managing Director of FAAN is in line with the President Buhari’s administration’s mandate of increasing indigenous capacity in creating wealth by opening a platform within the airport corridors where the numerous indigenous produce can be showcased for export market using the air cargo services. “This also reflects on various good gestures of the administration towards the development of the aviation industry,� Idu said. He stressed that the industry definitely needs the centre that would project development and

serve as meeting point for not just Nigeria, but Africa in general. “Exhibition and conference is a uniting force and it will bring people from all over the world to Nigeria. This of course means greater air traffic flow to Nigeria and with direct impact on the aviation economy and the Nigeria economy too. “The NIGAV centre is a win-win for the air transport industry and Nigeria. It is planned to start hosting events from February 2020, such as the Airport Business Summit and Expo, OPITeX for the oil and gas pipeline expo, NIMPORT, Agro Air Logistics Conference, WedExpo and hopefully the next Nigeria award will be held at the centre in 2020,� Idu, the organiser of the Nigeria Aviation Awards take place.

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS FORUM

L-R:ChairinBusinessandSustainableDevelopment,UniversityofEdinburgh,ProfessorKennethAmaeshi;ManagingDirector,GlobalEthicalFinance Initiative, Omar Shaikh; Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney; Managing Director, Fintech, Scotland, Michael Paris; CEO, FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan; Founder, Women Coin, Prof. Christine Bamford, and Dr. Emmanuel Ogbonna, at the African forum breakfast meeting on sustainable business held at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland‌recently

FCMB Seeks Agric, Power Sectors’Collaboration for Sustainable Devt First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has urged stakeholders in the agriculture and power sectors in Nigeria to deepen access to renewable sources of energy to fast-track and sustain growth in the country. The bank posited that this could be achieved by developing and implementing strategies that focus on efficiency, sustainability, accessibility and affordability with off-grid energy systems as drivers. The Executive Director, Finance of FCMB, Mrs. Yemisi Edun, stated this in her keynote address at a conference organised by the Bank on Energy-Agric Nexus for Rural Economic Development, under the theme, “Stimulating the Agricultural Sector through Off-Grid Energy Development,� held in Abuja, recently. It was in partnership with the

Rural Electrification Agency (REA), The European Union, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) Foundation and Power for All. The conference provided an opportunity for operators in agribusiness and the power sector to engage in constructive and interactive sessions with industry experts and decision makers on harnessing and deploying alternative, renewable, clean and affordable sources of energy, particularly the Off-grid power systems strategy, to stimulate farming. According to Edun, the bank’s decision to organise the conference was borne out of its strong and consistent commitment towards contributing to

the improvement of Nigeria’s energy access. She said off-grid power systems which are integral parts of solar, biomass, hydro and small wind power systems, offer veritable solutions to the challenges faced by most businesses, including the agric sector in Nigeria. This is because they utilise locally available renewable resources to provide electricity, particularly to the rural areas where bulk of farming activities take place. In addition, they are more cost-effective than extension of the national grid network. The Executive Director averred that, “the impact of off-grids as major source of energy for agribusiness has become profound, particularly at a period in which the federal government has dem-

onstrated immense commitment and resources to the sector. “The growing opportunity for renewable energy in Nigeria, evident in new grid technologies, such as concentrated solar power emerging as competitors to conventional, oil-based power generation, is a step in the right direction. “As stakeholders, we believe that protecting the environment, conserving our shared scarce resources and responsibly utilising these resources, should be a collective effort,’’ she added. Edun said FCMB had taken the lead in deepening the renewable energy space through a three-prong approach, namely capacity building, providing access to funding and providing opportunity to connect renewable energy developers with end-users.

EWT Begins Fabrication of PressureVessels for Ikike Oil Field Peter Uzoho The development of Ikike Oil Field in the oil mining lease (OML) 99 achieved a milestone recently as Energy Works Technology (EWT) executed the first steel cut for the delivery of four major pressure vessels for the asset. The first steel cut ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, marked the commencement of

engineering, procurement and fabrication of an Open Drain Vessel, Closed Drain Vessel, Pig Launcher and a Pig Receiver. The project was contracted to EWT by Total E&P Nigeria Limited, and it is a major feat in the execution of the OML 99 asset. The project is expected to add 32,000 barrels to Nigeria’s daily crude production. The Ikike sits on the northern part

of OML 99, which is estimated to hold 70 million barrels of crude. Speaking at the steel cutting ceremony, a statement quoted the Group Managing Director, Nestoil, Dr. Ernest AzudialuObiejesi, to have said the first steel cut marked the beginning of a highly-technical process of procuring the pressure vessels that would service the project

and demonstrate the mutually beneficial relationship between EWT and Total. Azudialu-Obiejesi, said Total’s decision to avail EWT another opportunity to demonstrate its sheer capacity as a leading industrial fabrication company was a vote of confidence on the local capacity of indigenous companies in the sector to deliver on complex projects at all times.


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IMAGES

L-R; : Zonal Head, Apapa/Alaba, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Endwell Brown; Iyaloja of Festac Model Market, Mrs. Stella Taiwo; one of the winners, Mr. Christian Njoku and Group Head, Consumer Liability & Segments of the Bank, Mr. Shamsideen Fashola, during the Lagos regional grand ďŹ nale draw of “FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 6â€? in Lagos...recently

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

L-R: Comptroller of Customs Service, represented by Deputy Comptroller of the Cross River State Command, Mr Bisi Alade; Chief Technical OďŹƒcer, MTN Nigeria, Mr Mohammed Rufai; representative of the governor, the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Ministry of Information & Culture, Mr Aye Henshaw Jnr, and Chief Sales & Distribution Executive, MTN, Mr Adekunle Adebiyi, at the Calabar demo of the 5th Generation of Cellular Network (5G) in Calabar, Cross River...recently

L-R: Founder, Riby Finance, Salami Abolore; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, XendBit Digital Transaction Services Ltd., Mobolaji Onibudo; Chairman/President Board of Trustees, Co-operative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN), Bola Orolugbagbe; Managing Director/Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, GTI Capital Ltd., Abubakar Lawal; Director, EPercent Investment Resources, Eric Olo; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Cavidel, Dipo Odeyemi; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, NASD Ltd., Bola Ajomale; and Director FinsureX Ltd., Ayo Banjo, at the sensitisation workshop on the establishment of a co-operatives shares exchange held in Lagos...recently

L-R; Father of the groom and Photo Editor of New Nigeria Newspaper, Mr Akinola Ariyo; Mother of the Bride, Pastor (Mrs) Elizabeth Aremu; The Couple Olawale and Taye Aremu; Mother of the groom, Folashade Ariyo and Father of the Bride/Bishop of Ibadan Winners Chapel, Bishop Thomas Aremu during the wedding reception of the couple in lbadan...recently

L-R: Executive Head of OB and Studios, MultiChoice Nigeria, Felix Awogu; Channel Director Africa Magic, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu; Faculty Member, School of Media & Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Dr. Mike Okolo and, Executive Head, Corporate Aairs, MultiChoice Nigeria, Caroline Oghuma during the tour of MultiChoice facilities by Masters Degree Student of School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos...recently

L-R: Senior Legal Adviser, SERAP; Mrs Joke Fekumo; Chairman, Cacol, Mr. Debo Adeniran and National Cordinator, Democracy Vanguard, Mr Adeola Soetan, during a consultative workshop in Lagos...recently PHOTO: KOLAWOLE ALLI

Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan (right) and ICAN President Mazi Nnamdi Okwuadigbo FCA during a courtesy visit to the Senate by ICAN in Abuja ...recently


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L-R: Chairman Board of MTN Nigeria, Ernest Ndukwe; Executive vice Chairman NCC, Umar Garba Danbatta; and Minister of Communications Isa Ali Pantami,during the MTN’s trial launch of 5G in Nigeria held in Abuja... recently

L-R: Chairman, Senate Capital Market Committee, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Acting Director General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Dapo Adekoje and Chairman, House of Representative’s Capital Market Committee, Honourable Babangida Ibrahim at CIS’ 23rd Annual Conference in Lagos... recently

L-R; Assistant Director, OďŹƒce of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Magdalene N. Osode; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, OES Energy Services, Dele Badejo; Founder of International Phenomenal Leadership initiative (IPLI), Kikelomo Ikuomola; Executive Director, Oil and Gas Grandball Africa, Oba Osoba, and Head, Business Development, OES Energy Services, Rosy Awolaja during the Oil and Gas Masters’ Ball 2019 in Lagos...recently PHOTO: ABIODUN AJALA

L-R: Mr Abimbola Ibrahim of United Capital Trustees Ltd, Company Secretary, FSDH Asset Management Limited, Mrs Obaro Rora- Ogor; Head, Public Trust, United Capital Trustees Ltd./ Chairman of the occasion, Mrs Tadeni Balogun; and Director, FSDH Asset Management Limited, Mrs Mayowa Ogunwemimo, at the general meeting of the Coral Growth Fund in Lagos... recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

L-R; Mrs Omosalewa Are Onilenla; Hon Justice Abiodun Akinyemi; Motunde Dada(Nee Moses); Professor Imran Oluwole Smith; Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ogun State, Mr Oluwemimo Ogunde, Chief Mike Osekhome SAN and Mr Tayo Oyetibo SAN cutting the 2019 Reunion cake during dinner organized by the Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers Alumni in Lagos...recently

L-R; Director of Sales, Bvlgari Resorts Dubai, Saeed Shehata; Chairman, CWT Business Travels, Mr Olufemi Adefope; Emirates Regional Manager West Africa, Afzal Parambil; and CEO, Dees Travels &Tours Ltd, Mr Daisi Olotu, at the exclusive VIP dinner hosted for CEOs of top Travel Agents in Nigeria by Emirates and Bvlgari in Lagos...recently

L-R: Regional Activation Manager, South East 2, Globacom, Mr. Noel Udeme; the proud winner of a brand new keke in the on-going My Own Don Beta Promo, Ugonwanne Nnaemeka, Nollywood superstar, Patience Ozokwor and another Nollywood star, Victor Osuagwu during the presentation of prizes to winners of the promo by globacom at Main Market, Onitsha...recently


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BUSINESS/MONEYGUIDE

‘Private Sector Funding Critical for Infrastructure Development’ James Emejo Ă“Ă˜ĂŒĂ&#x;ÔË The Director General/Chief Executive, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwah, has said the country will have to compete for available private sector funds if it intends to bridge current infrastructure deficit. Speaking at the opening of the conference of the Nigeria PPP Network (NPPPN) and PPP Units Consultative Forum (3PUCF), he said Nigeria was in a race for global capital with other countries, and must rise to the occasion to attract private capital for the execution of public private partnerships (PPP). He also said between 2010 and 2018, under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC, the federal

government had approved PPP projects worth about $8 billion. Borrowing the words of former US President, John F. Kennedy, who said, “America has good roads, not because America is rich, but America is rich because it has good roads,� Izuwah said likewise, Nigeria cannot have economic prosperity without goods infrastructure, especially roads. He said: “The implication of this quote from the 60s is an eternal economic truism. No country can become economically buoyant without good infrastructure.� Nevertheless, he said as at June, 2019, 69 post-contract PPP projects were under implementation at the ICRC Projects Disclosure Portal, which is the first disclosure portal in the world, established in collaboration with the World

Bank. He added that there are 139 pre-contract projects at development andprocurement phases at ICRC as at October 31, 2019. But he said infrastructure development in the country is still confronted with challenges of budgetary allocation which is often insufficient to cover responsibilities adequately, especially project development. He listed other constraints to include inconsistency in PPP project pipelines (long term planning) adding that regulatory and enforcement powers in the ICRC Act required an amendment. Izuwah said inadequate project preparation and technical skills and knowledge gaps remained a challenge and called for funding to upscale skills through the ICRC Infrastructure & PPP Academy.

CRC Credit Bureau Improves Access to Credit Consumers, MSMEs Goddy Egene The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of CRC Credit Bureau, Mr. Tunde Popoola, has said the firm has improved access to credit for consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Speaking ahead of the company’s 10th anniversary celebration slated for December 11, 2019, Popoola said CRC was licenced and commenced full live operations in 2009. CRC set for itself the vision, “to set standard for financial empowerment and informed decision making,� and a mission “to deliver innovative products and services that enable our stakeholders to make informed decisions and build credible profiles that enhance access to credit for strategic growth,� he said.

According to him, the company set as its core objective to generate and supply reliable and accurate credit information on borrowers in the consumer and corporate sectors for permissible purposes only. “Since we commenced live operations in 2009, CRC has never looked back. In June 2009, when CRC went live, six commercial banks submitted 1,525,228 credit records but only 154,030, representing about 10 per cent passed validation process due to the bad quality of the data. Today, CRC has over 1,300 institutions with about 30 million credit records successfully processed. We have entered strategic partnerships with the likes of the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) to power our credit scoring solution. FICO is the pioneer and global leader in credit scoring solutions. We partnered with Nova Credit, to

make it possible for Nigerian emigrants to the United States to access their data in our repository in Nigeria,� he said. Popoola explained that the partnership enables creditworthy Nigerian newcomers to gain access to credit opportunities previously unavailable to them because of a lack of credit history in the United States. “ The whole idea is to assist more than 16,000 Nigerians who move to the US each year to pursue new opportunities to settle down faster and have access to credit to continue their lives and lifestyles. The newcomers often encounter a common challenge when they reach the United States: access to credit, which is fundamental to basic comfort and livelihood from getting an apartment lease to obtaining a cell phone plan or securing student loan.

Stanbic, Ecobank, StanChart Lead in Capital Importation The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Ecobank Nigeria and the local unit of Standard Chartered Bank have joined Stanbic IBTC Bank to become foreign investors’ favourites for investment deals. Details of the Bureau report showed that out of 26 banks foreign investors used to deploy foreign capital into the country, the most investment came through Stanbic IBTC Bank. The bank attracted $1.63 billion worth of investment in the third quarter of this year, lower than $1.76 billion it had in the previous quarter. Ecobank followed with $754.38

million worth of foreign investment, while Standard Chartered Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Standard Chartered Bank occupied the third position by attracting $502.47 million inflows. Access Bank got $477.55 million; Rand Merchant Bank, $430.15 million; Citibank Nigeria Limited; $350.95 million; while First Bank of Nigeria had $307.94 million. According to NBS, while the total value of capital importation into the Nigerian economy fell by 7.78 percent to $5.36 billion in the third quarter of 2019 from the previous quarter, Ecobank Nigeria

attracted $754.38 million worth of foreign investment, representing 55.41 percent more capital thus making the bank foreign investors’ favourites for investment deals. Commenting, Adetokunbo Uko, Country Treasurer, Ecobank Nigeria, said the bank was leveraging on its pan-African strategy to attract capital to the nation’s economy, stressing that the Bank remains committed to increasing capital flows to Nigerian financial market. According to her, “As a gateway to the African market for foreign direct and portfolio investments, Ecobank Nigeria is

Group Moves to Bridge Gap Between Govt,Technology Hamid Ayodeji In line with its commitment to bridging the gap between government and the technology ecosystem and to co-curate the Lagos Innovation Masterplan, a design thinking talkshop was held in Lagos recently. The event had in attendance, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, among other top government officials as well as the academia. According to the Curator of Art of Technology Lagos 1.0 and Founder of Eko Innovation

Center, Mr. Gbenga Afolabi, the essence of the parley was to engage. “The government has always known that we need the ecosystem to leapfrog and create that 21st century economy that Mr. Governor has always talked about in turning Lagos into a smart city. “The ecosystem also needs to engage with government such that they enjoy the kind of patronage, access and funding that can make them do what they do best which is creating enterprises.� Sponsored by the Lagos

State Government through the office of the Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology and the Eko Innovation Center, the Art of Technology 1.0 would take place between 5th and 6th of December in Lagos Also expected at the event are 17 tech hubs, 50 developers, 23 investors, 28 startups and over 2000 participants. In his welcome address, Mr. Olatubosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, said there was a need for government and private sector to co-create wealth.

L-R: An oďŹƒcial of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr. Dauda Waja; star prize winner, Nabegu Bushira; Regional Head, FCMB, Mr. Lukman Mustapha; Principal Admin OďŹƒcer, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Sunday Adekanye, and Senior Admin OďŹƒcer, Ihenacho Chikudi, at the grand ďŹ nale draw of the FCMB Millionaire Promo Season 6 held in Abuja‌recently

MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS

(MILLION NAIRA)

SEPTEMBER 2019 Money Supply (M3)

35,029,779.72

-- CBN Bills Held by Money Holding Sectors

7,374,356.91

Money Supply (M2)

27,655,422.82

-- Quasi Money

116,533,891.21

-- Narrow Money (M1)

11,121,531.60

---- Currency Outside Banks

1,625,047.69

---- Demand Deposits

9,496,483.91

Net Foreign Assets (NFA)

13,911,335.83

Net Domestic Assets(NDA)

21,118,443.89

-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)

35,918,179.45

---- Credit to Government (Net)

10,452,199.38

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

11,007,422.79

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

25,465,980.07

---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)

-14,799,735.56

--Other Assets Net

7,000,253.07

Reserve Money (Base Money

2,005,600.83

--Currency in Circulation

4,677,530.81

--Banks Reserves

317,121.43

˞ÙĂ&#x;ĂœĂ?Ă?Ě‹

Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month Inter-Bank Call Rate

March 2018 15.16

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

14.00

Treasury Bill Rate

11.84

Savings Deposit Rate

4.07

1 Month Deposit Rate

8.82

3 Months Deposit Rate

9.72

6 Months Deposit Rate

10.93

12 Months Deposit Rate

10.21

Prime Lending rate

17.35

Maximum Lending Rate

31.55

ËžĂ™Ă˜Ă?ĂžĂ‹ĂœĂŁÙÖÓĂ?ĂŁĂ‹ĂžĂ?Ě‹ͯ͹Ϲ

OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT THURSDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2019

The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $63.94 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $64.40 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), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela) SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna


37

T H I S D AY ˞˜Ͱ˜Ͱ͎ͯ͡

MARKET NEWS

Investment Opportunity Widens as Cordros Dollar Fund Opens for Subscription Goddy Egene Cordros Asset Management Limited (CAML) has opened the Cordros Dollar Mutual Fund for public subscription. The offer opened last Monday and will close on Friday, December 27, 2019. The minimum subscription amount is $500, which is five units and a minimum subsequent addition of $500 (five units). According to the offer docu-

ment, the mutual fund that allows investors to conveniently invest and earn returns in United States Dollars. “The fund invests in United States Dollar-denominated securities like Sovereign Eurobonds, Corporate Eurobonds, Money Market instruments and other quoted Corporate Eurobonds. The objective is to offer you competitive returns than is obtainable from an average domiciliary bank accounts,� the firm said. CAML explained that the

P R I C E S MAIN BOARD

F O R

DEALS

fund is targeted at retail, mass affluent, high net worth individuals, Africans in Diaspora, and institutional Investors who desire to meet future medium to long term liabilities. Speaking at the signing ceremony early last month, Group Managing Director, Cordros Capital Limited, Mr. Wale Agbeyangi had said: “The Cordros Dollar Mutual Fund will help investors diversify their portfolio while also helping those with United States Dollar(USD) obligations hedge against currency

S E C U R I T I E S

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N )

risk. The fund’s objective is to achieve capital appreciation in short to medium term for investors with USD and convertible currencies�. Also speaking, the Managing Director of CAML, Mrs. Morenike Da-Silva, said: “With the Cordros Dollar Fund, investors who have been discouraged by the high entry levels for US Dollar based investments will now have easier, convenient access.� In the same vein, the Portfolio Manager, Adegbolahan Aina,

T R A D E D MAIN BOARD

A S

said: “We believe that the Cordros Dollar Fund provides professional management and will help investors hedge their savings from the eroding effects of inflation as the underlying assets are high-quality Eurobonds and USD money market instruments.� CAML explained that the fund was coming at a time when speculations are surrounding the strength of the Naira and investors were looking to diversify with investments denominated in foreign currency.

O F

“With an initial fund size of $2million, the Fund will be offering 20,000 units at $100 each with a minimum subscription of 5 Units ($500). The fund will be open-ended meaning investors can continuously add new subscriptions,� it said. The company said the Cordros Dollar Fund is another addition that strengthens its position as a growth-oriented investment manager, who continuously offers investors a wide array of sound Investment solutions.

2 9 / 1 1 / 2 0 1 9 DEALS

MARKET PRICE

QUANTITY TRADED

VALUE TRADED ( N)


38

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2019 ˾T H I S D AY

MARKET NEWS

FCMB Posts N135bn Earnings, N11bn Profit in Nine Months Goddy Egene FCMB Group Plc has announced a profit after tax of N10.791 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, showing a marginal decline of 4.8 per cent compared with N11.341 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.

Details of the results released last Friday showed gross earnings of N135.824 billion, up 2.2 per cent from N132.875 billion in 2018. Net interest income rose from N53.235 billion to N56.321 billion, while net fee and commission income fell from N15.459 billion to N15.307 billion in 2019. Net impairment

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

losses fell by 46 per cent from N14.626 billion to N7.852 billion. However, personnel expenses rose from N18.111 billion to N21.563 billion, just as general and administrative expenses increased from N21.857 billion to N23.439 billion, while other operating expenses grew from N12.267 billion to N13.387 billion.

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 28Nov-2019, unless otherwise stated.

Consequently, profit before tax fell from N14.767 billion in 2018 to N12.803 billion, while profit after tax stood at N10.791 billion compared with N11.341 billion in 2019. The nine months performance indicates that FCMB Group has a significant ground to cover in the remaining quarter of 2019

to record higher bottom-line for the full year. The financial institution had posted a growth of 73 per cent in profit in 2019. The Chairman of FCMB Group, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi, said:”In 2018, we continued to move forward on the path of good governance, strengthening and improving

our corporate governance structure and bringing it into line with our long-term strategy and the highest international standards. This was in order to increase the confidence of our shareholders, investors and other stakeholders in an environment that is demanding even more transparency.’’

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

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD aaml@afrinvest.com Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 818 885 6757 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Afrinvest Plutus Fund N/A N/A N/A Nigeria International Debt Fund N/A N/A N/A ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD info@acapng.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.89 0.90 6.23% ACAP Income Funds 0.77 0.77 34.54% AIICO CAPITAL LTD ammf@aiicocapital.com Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.18% AIICO Balanced Fund 2.42 2.46 9.44% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD enquiries@arminvestmentcenter.com Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 14.97 15.42 -9.77% ARM Discovery Fund 341.63 351.93 -4.21% ARM Ethical Fund 28.80 29.67 2.00% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.09% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED investmentcare@axamansard.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 96.58 97.25 -4.56% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 10.17% CAPITAL EXPRESS ASSET AND TRUST LIMITED info@capitalexpressassetandtrust.com Web: www.capitalexpressassetandtrust.com ; Tel: +234 803 307 5048 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn CEAT Fixed Income Fund 1.88 1.88 13.97% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD investmentmanagement@chapelhilldenham.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.78% Paramount Equity Fund 12.34 12.45 4.51% Women's Investment Fund 109.74 110.66 6.08% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmgtteam@cordros.com Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.55% Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 98.78 99.49 Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 100.66 101.54 CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT investment@coronationam.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A Coronation Fixed Income Fund N/A N/A N/A EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED mutualfundng@ecobank.com Web: www.ecobank.com Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 10.93% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 10.34% EDC Nigeria Fixed Income Fund 1,175.84 1,181.76 17.93% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD invest@fbnquest.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,251.07 1,251.49 17.24% FBN Balanced Fund 143.05 144.03 0.19% FBN Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.44% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional 118.68 118.90 9.07% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail 119.24 119.46 9.83% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 128.65 130.31 -14.23% FCMB ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED fcmbamhelpdesk@fcmb.com Web: www.fcmbassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.05% Legacy Debt Fund 3.62 3.62 11.69% Legacy Equity Fund 1.08 1.10 -11.42% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.08 1.08 4.60% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD coralfunds@fsdhgroup.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,049.86 3,083.08 2.23% Coral Income Fund 3,065.39 3,065.39 11.84% FSDH Treasury Bills Fund 100.00 100.00 12.69% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gtlgroup.com Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Nigeria Entertainment Fund N/A N/A N/A GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED assetmanagement@gdl.com.ng Web: www.gdl.com.ng ; Tel: +234 9055691122 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn GDL Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A

INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD enquiries@investment-one.com Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.28% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.18 2.21 1.20% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 12.39% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 141.61 141.75 13.33% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD fincon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.16 1.18 5.50% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,114.88 1,114.88 11.88% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD info@meristemwealth.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 9.39 9.48 -11.85% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.89% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD info@pacassetmanagement.com Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.30 1.32 5.32% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.29 12.36 9.81% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 11.79% PACAM Equity Fund 1.06 1.06 PACAM EuroBond Fund 102.45 104.48 SCM CAPITAL LIMITED info@scmcapitalng.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 128.27 129.60 6.55% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD investments@sfsnigeria.com Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.02 1.02 12.55% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD assetmanagement@stanbicibtc.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,454.88 2,466.08 6.02% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 209.46 209.46 12.53% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.85 0.86 -10.00% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 272.31 272.39 12.21% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 146.48 148.12 -10.21% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.37% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,528.10 7,528.10 -11.85% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.16 1.16 6.55% Stanbic IBTC Shariah Fixed Income Fund 101.74 101.74 0.00% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 1.17 1.18 1.07% United Capital Bond Fund 1.72 1.72 16.28% United Capital Equity Fund 0.65 0.66 -9.09% United Capital Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 11.29% United Capital Eurobond Fund 111.05 111.05 8.22% United Capital Wealth for Women Fund 1.06 1.07 6.15% QUANTUM ZENITH ASSET MANAGEMENT & INVESTMENTS LTD service@quantumzenithasset.com.ng Web: www.quantumzenith.com.ng; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 10.21 10.36 -9.55% Zenith Ethical Fund 11.56 11.71 -7.74% Zenith Income Fund 22.72 22.72 12.39% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 10.35%

REITS NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

5.40 118.34 53.38

-44.85% 6.46% 3.17%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

8.19 89.41 71.41

8.29 91.34 72.76

-17.59% -21.00% -16.81%

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

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

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

funds@vetiva.com Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

3.57 5.27 12.02 10.60 161.59

3.61 5.35 12.12 10.80 163.59

-10.78% -30.69% -17.75% -14.12% 21.49%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn

108.40

17.40%

INFRASTRUCTURE FUND Fund Name Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund

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


MONDAY DECEMBER 2, 2019 • T H I S D AY

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MONDAY DECEMBER 2, 2019 ˾T H I S D AY

NEWSXTRA

Obi, Amaechi, Zinox Founder, Others Grace Unusual Praise 2019 251 young entrepreneurs receive N40m grant

Peter Uzoho and Sunday Ehigiator Eminent political and business leaders, including the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi; Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi; Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zinox Technologies, Mr. Leo Stan Eke, among others, participated in the ninth edition of Unusual Praise, an annual special thanksgiving ceremony of the Catholic ArchDiocese of Lagos. This is coming as young entrepreneurs numbering 251 were at the event given seed funds ranging from N1 million; N500, 000; N250, 000; N150, 000, to N100, 000, and totalling N40 million, to help them grow their businesses, improve their economic status and fend for themselves and their families. The programme tagged: ‘’Declare the Glory of the Lord among the Nations,’’ as stated in 1 Chronicles 16:24, was held at the weekend at the Periwinkle Estate, Lekki, Victoria Island, Lagos, and had famous gospel singers performing and thrilling participants with their soulful songs of praise. Some of the gospel artistes who performed at the nondenominational event were Nathaniel Bassey, Jude Nnam, Panam Perci Paul, Big Bolaji, Chinyere Udoma, Osinachi

Nwachukwu, BJ Sax, Chioma Jesus, amongst others. The all-night programme, which is organised every year by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki, Lagos, was aimed at gathering people together to thank God in a special way through praise worship led by selected gospel singers. Speaking to THISDAY at the event, Obi described the event as exceptional, praying that his fellow political leaders would become more accountable to the people. He said: “I have always been attending Unusual Praise from its inception. This event has continued to improve every year by the grace of God. I really commend all the organisers and supporters alike for sustaining this event and improving it this far. “This year is exceptional because we now have successful entrepreneurs supporting other people to lift their lives and make it better. “And of cause, we would continue to pray that God should touch the leaders in Nigeria. Let him touch their hearts to use public funds for the purpose they are supposed to use it for.’’ The Parish Priest, Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Monsignor Paschal Nwaezeapu, who gave more insight into the programme, said it was also aimed at evangelising, aside praising God. According to him, “any church that does not evangelise is not a living church, and is not fulfilling

what God has instructed us to do. Yes, we are here to praise God, but the ultimate aim is to win souls for God, and we are optimistic that God would manifest himself here tonight.” Also, the Chairman of Unusual Entrepreneurs Committee and

President of Transcorp Hotel, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, explained that the church’s decision to empower the young entrepreneurs was a way of giving back to the society. Ozigbo added: “The essence is to be able to empower men and women of the church

economically as they are also filled spiritually. We believe that with this combination, they would have more reason to believe and trust in God. “But beyond that, they are able to fend for themselves, and those around them. We want them to

run successful businesses, hence we matched them with mentors; people who have been so well established in what they do. So basically, they handhold them, watch them all through the journey, and we have seen a lot of testimonies already’’.

LEARNED FRIENDS...

L-R: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Rivers State Chief Judge, Justice Iyayi Lamkanra; Chairman, Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), at the Call to Bar ceremony of over 4,500 lawyers at the Nigerian Law School in Abuja…recently

Group Seeks Probe of Military Operations in North-east Lagos Police to Commence over 22,000 Missing Persons Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri departments, and agencies) to (ICIR) with sponsorship any country. Trial of Cops Involved in It also claimed that nearly 60 deliberate on what could be from the Ford Foundation, Roundtable Meeting on Justice done to improve the conditions also recommended that there per cent of the reported missing Club Shooting Incident for Missing Persons in the of residents of violence-stricken should be a database with the persons were minors at the time Chiemelie Ezeobi The Lagos State Police Command will today commence trial of the five policemen who were involved in the Crest Inn Club shooting that led to the death of one person and left two others with injuries. The police officers were identified as Inspector Orubu Olusola, Inspector Apalowo Ola, Inspector Kasai Sule, Sergeant Momoh Ogwuche and Sergeant Adoga Collins, all attached to Akinpelu Division. The team who were arrested over the weekend on the orders of the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, had gone on a shooting spree at the inn in Balogun Street, Lagos. While assuring families of the victims, especially that of 27-year-old Maliki Mohammed, who died in the incident, that justice will prevail, Odumosu said impunity will not be tolerated under his watch. According to the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, the police team said they were at the club in response to a complaint made by one Makinde Omowunmi Abibat at Akinpelu Police Station that she was assaulted in the club. They added that while trying to effect an arrest, they were attacked by some hoodlums

which necessitated their use of firearms. Notwithstanding their argument, the command said it fell short of the provision of Force Order 237 which defined the circumstances in which a police officer will be justified to use his firearm and the use of force. Elkana said: “The police officers involved are already facing internal disciplinary proceedings known as Orderly Room Trial at the Provost Department of the command. If found guilty, they will be handed over to conventional court for prosecution. “Members of the public will be updated on the outcome of the Orderly Room Trial. Also note that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO); Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), DSP Oloko Wale; and the Divisional Operations Officer, ASP Adamu Babajo, were issued official queries for lack of supervision. “Eleven suspects were however arrested in connection with the attack on the team. The CP has ordered a thorough investigation into the case. “As the CP empathises with the families of the deceased person and the injured persons, he however called on the good people of Lagos State to remain calm as justice will not only be done but will be seen to be done.”

North-east has called on the federal government to probe the counter-insurgency operations in the North-east following the missing of 22,000 persons in the zone. A roundtable meeting which brought together human rights activists, media practitioners, participants from non-governmental organisations, government security agencies, as well as representatives of government (including the National Assembly, ministries,

regions in the country, particularly the North-east, who have gone missing or have been abducted. A communiqué from the Roundtable Meeting held in Abuja last week also recommended that rules of warfare, which required that the government must account for the missing and the dead, should be upheld. The Roundtable Meeting on Justice for Missing Persons in the North-east, organised by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting

government covering people who are being incarcerated to match against allegations of persons going missing or being extra-judicially killed. The International Committee on Red Cross (ICRC) had claimed that nearly 22,000 Nigerians had been reported missing in the ongoing crisis in the North-east. This figure, according to the ICRC, represented the highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in

they went missing, meaning thousands of parents did not know where their children are, whether they are alive or not. Other recommendations included empowerment of the media with funding and other resources so that it could continue to fostering accountability and transparency in governance as well as bringing touching issues affecting people in the North-east to the front burner through investigative reporting.

Appeal Court Victory: Bauchi Gov Extends Hand of Fellowship to APC Party insists on heading to Supreme Court Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has extended an olive branch to his political opponents, calling on them to join his administration to re-build state. The governor, who stated this at the Ramat House at the weekend in reaction to his victory at the Court of Appeal in Jos, said: “I have noticed a fine of N500,000. 00 awarded by the court in our favour. My humble self and our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I have in the spirit of reconciliation hereby forfeited

the fine. Following the verdict delivered by the Court of Appeal in Jos, Plateau State, last Friday, the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC), has vowed to seek redress at the Supreme Court. Mohammed described his victory at the Appeal Court as a victory from God to the entire citizens of the state. The governor said his victory at the court was not his but for the good people of Bauchi, who groan under the stress of seven months ordeal, as they watch him battle the opposition in several courts. According to the governor, the court ruling has further challenged

his administration to spread its tentacles of leadership that will unite the state regardless of tribe, gender, creed or political affiliation. Mohammed, however, appealed to all politicians, including political gladiators in the state, to sheath their swords and work with him for the common good of the citizenry. Meanwhile, following the verdict delivered by the Court of Appeal in Jos last Friday, the APC has vowed to seek redress at the Supreme Court. The state APC Chairman, Uba Nana, who made the party’s intention to head to the apex

court over the weekend during a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Party Secretariat, said: “The judgment has been passed, we have received it. We are studying it and we are taking the next line of action. “So we will be heading to the Supreme Court. The case will terminate at the apex court by the special grace of God.” Nana explained that the stakeholders’ meeting was aimed at rubbing minds together, reviewing how things are moving in the party with a view to taking corrective measures and strengthening the party.


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Obey Nigerian Courts Like You Obey British Courts, Falana Tells FG Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has accused the federal government of disobeying valid court orders in Nigeria while it complies with orders from the United Kingdom. Granting a stay of execution for a $9.6 billion judgment

awarded against Nigeria in favour of Process & Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited, Christopher Butcher, judge of a commercial court in London, had ordered that Nigeria deposit $200 million. The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of

Kyari: Kidnappers Deploying Jammers, Encrypted Communication to Evade Arrest The Commander, Intelligence Response Team , Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, has called for the deployment of intelligence and acquisition of sophisticated technology against kidnappers. Kyari who disclosed that criminals were deploying several means to evade arrest, stated that kidnappers are now using encrypted communication for ransom negotiations, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, roam numbers and jammers to prevent tracking of their phones by law enforcement agencies. Kyari spoke in Abuja yesterday at the 2019 annual general meeting of the American Society for Industrial Security International, Chapter 273. The super cop disclosed that this had made it difficult to track the kidnappers, stressing the need for acquisition of further technical capabilities by the authorities. “The criminals have now understood that the police and other law enforcement agencies have developed capabilities in tracking GSM and have deployed more evasive means in executing their crimes; one of such smart moves by the kidnappers is the

use of victims’ phones for ransom negotiations, a development which has made it increasingly difficult to track the criminals even after the release of the hostage.” Kyari called for the use of drones to enable operatives to access very remote locations and social media analytical tools for analysis and tracking of encrypted calls from WhatsApp, Trima, Facebook, Instagram, and others. “Special attack helicopters are needed to provide air support to flush out kidnappers’ camps in the forests and remote locations that are not accessible in places like Kaduna, Kogi, Niger and Zamfara forest which is currently being occupied by gangs of Fulani kidnappers.” Kyari raised the alarm that the involvement of the Fulani in kidnappings had compounded the security situation in view of their knowledge of forest terrains which are not accessible. “This is the situation along Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano roads, Okene-Lokoja-Obajana Expressway, Abuja-Jere- KagarkoJos Road, Kaduna-Birin GwariMinna Highway and some parts of the South-West and South-South,” he added.

Justice, Abubakar Malami, said a $200 million bond deposit had been made following the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari. In a letter to Malami yesterday, Falana said the federal government did not give any precondition before obeying the court of its “former colonial master” as it does at home. The senior lawyer asked the federal government to comply with court orders and release Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement. “It is however disturbing to note notwithstanding such deference

virile, raising fears for the life of the DPO. The fears remained up to Saturday evening when the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) insisted that the police command was intensifying efforts to rescue the DPO and would not be part of ransom negotiation. However, a press statement from the state Police Command obtained yesterday morning, said the state Police Operation Puff Ader/Operation Farauta rescued the DPO from the hands of the

The federal government yesterday directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately come up with fresh regulations that would promote local broadcast industry and protect it from monopolistic tendencies. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave the directive in Abuja when he received the report of the NBC Reform Implementation Committee chaired by Professor Armstrong Idachaba. The minister said the regulations should cover advertising tariffs and production, to ensure that all anti-competitive behaviours are deterred and sanctioned where they occur. He also directed the commission to come up with regulations for the broadcast of content on the internet. Mohammed said the regulations should ensure that those who provide broadcast services on the internet do so with responsibility. He, however, cautioned that the regulations must not in any way gag the press or hinder

abductors on Saturday night. The press statement which was signed by the command Public Relations Officer, Sulaiman Nguroje, said the DPO was rescued unharmed. “The Command Anti-kidnap Unit is now investigating the matter with a view to arresting the fleeing kidnappers,” the statement said. The PPRO dismissed the claims that the DPO’s family must have paid ransom for the kidnappers to have released him.

Two Suspects Arrested over Abduction of Six Kaduna Schoolgirls John ShiklaminKaduna Kaduna State Police Command has arrested two suspects in connection with the abduction of six female students and two staff of Engravers College in Chikun Local Government Area of the state. The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Yakubu Sabo, disclosed this in an interview with THISDAY yesterday in Kaduna. Sabo said one of the suspects is the school’s security guard who allegedly conspired with the criminals to abduct the students, saying the second suspect is a herdsman who used to graze his cattle within the vicinity of

the school. The girls were abducted on October 3, when the bandits invaded the school at about midnight and were released on October 26, after spending 22 days in captivity. A total of N13.6 million ransom was paid to the bandits before their release. The police spokesman said the girls told the police that while they were in captivity, the security man was always communicating with the bandits on phone. “While the abducted school girls and the two staff were in captivity, they used to hear a voice each time the kidnappers called for

to bail pending trial. “In treating the court order with provocative contempt the State Security Service has insisted on approving the sureties of our clients after they have been verified by the federal high court. From the information at our disposal, there is no precedent whatsoever for the illegal demand. “Instead of purging the security agency of such contempt of the federal high court, the prosecutor, Dr. Hassan Liman SAN, engaged by your good self to prosecute our clients, has curiously applied to the trial court to have them

transferred to a correctional centre and detained indefinitely for having the temerity to question the illegal directive to produce their sureties. “In view of the fact that the federal government has never given any precondition before complying with the orders of the British court in the case of P&ID and other matters we are compelled to request you to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the federal high court for the unconditional release of our clients.”

FG Orders NBC to Formulate New Broadcasting Regulations

Police Rescue Kidnapped Adamawa DPO The Adamawa State Police Command has rescued its Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Mubi North, DSP Ahijo Muhammad, who was kidnapped last week. The DPO was kidnapped in the northern Adamawa town of Mubi on November 26 by gunmen who demanded N20 million for his release. A video clip on the abductors demanding the ransom and threatening to kill him if it was not paid and a family negotiator begging for more time, went

to the courts of its former colonial master the federal government has continued to disobey the valid and subsisting orders of Nigerian courts and the court of justice of the Economic Court of West African States including orders for the release of political detainees and criminal suspects from unlawful custody,” Falana said. “For instance, the State Security Service has continued to detain our clients, Messrs Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, in defiance of the order of the federal high court which has admitted them

negotiation of ransom. “Incidentally, it was the security man of the college that used to communicate with the kidnappers. “After their release the victims told the police that they used to hear one of the security men talking with the bandits while they were in captivity. So he was immediately arrested. “The other one was seen physically by the girls when they were in captivity. They identified him as the same boy who always came with his cattle to graze within the vicinity of the college.

their universal role of providing valuable information to the citizenry. The minister said that in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, the commission should amend its Code to reflect review of fines from N500,000 to N5 million for breaches relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency. He said willful repeat of the infractions on three occasions after

fine would attract suspension of license. The commission was also directed to upgrade breach of political comments relating to hate speeches and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code. The minister said following the committee’s report, he would commence the process of forwarding an Executive Bill for the consideration of the

Federal Executive Council and further legislative action. “The Bill will address the existing lacuna in the areas of the regulation of the internet, the ongoing Digital Switch Over, Digital Access Fee, and insulation of the regulator from partisan politics. “An important aspect of Mr President’s approval for the reform of the NBC is in the area of the welfare of staff.

Melaye Faults those Congratulating Smart Adeyemi Senator who represented Kogi West at the eighth Senate, Dino Melaye, has berated those celebrating the electoral victory of Mr. Smart Adeyemi in last Saturday’s rerun election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeyemi the Senator-elect for Kogi West, having polled a total of 88,373 votes, compared to Melaye’s 62,133 votes.

But Melaye had tweeted yesterday: “Congratulating Smart Adeyemi will amount to congratulating an armed robber after successful operation.”


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Gowon, Abdulsalami, Osinbajo, Oyetola, Charge Nigerians on Selfless Service to Humanity Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola; former Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdulsalami Abubakir, have charged Nigerians on the essence of selfless service to humanity, describing it as ‘ultimate’ to national development and nation building. They implored Nigerians to imbibe philanthropic spirit by dedicating their wealth and resources to service God and to impact positively on the lives of others. The four eminent Nigerians spoke at the weekend while Unveiling and Dedication of Owa Ofokutu (Memorial) Ecumenical Centre (OOFEC), in Ilesa, Osun State. Owa Ofokutu, was the Paramount Ruler of Ijesa land from 1842-1856, and the edifice was built, donated and dedicated

in his memory by Professor Debo Adeyemi of Ofokutu’s royal family. Osinbajo, who was represented by the Chaplain, State House, Abuja, Pastor Seyi Malomo, called on Nigerians to promote unity, love and togetherness. Osinbajo who described unity as central to development, said Nigerians must begin to see strength in their diversity. In his remarks, Abubakar, described the good gesture of the donor as “phenomenal and worthwhile.” He advocated the need for Nigerians to renew their faith in God by rededicating themselves to the service humanity. On his part, Gowon, urged Nigerians to emulate the good gesture of the donor. Gowon noted that the dedication of the buildings to service humanity was an affirmation to biblical verses. He urged the people of Ijesa land and its environs to put the

Advocacy Group Asks Court to Quash List of Supreme Court Justice-nominees An advocacy group, Access to Justice (A2Justice), has filed a suit against the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) at the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the recent elevation of four Justices of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court bench. The group asked the court to quash the list of the nominees submitted by the FJSC and NJC for consideration as Supreme Court justices. FJSC and NJC are the 1st and 2nd respondents in the suit, respectively. The plaintiffs, in the suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1460/2019, said the FJSC and NJC failed to comply with the established judicial appointment procedures, and therefore circumvented aspects of those procedures which make the recruitment process transparent, fair, merit-based and competitive and further failed to disclose information that would enable interested persons monitor how the recruitment exercise was done. The four justices are: Adamu Jauro, Emmanuel A. Agim, C.

Oseji and Helen M. Ogunwumiju. Other respondents in the suit are the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad; Senate President, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan; and President Muhammadu Buhari. A2Justice argued that both the 2014 Judicial Appointment Guidelines and the 2016 National Judicial Policy made far-reaching changes to previous judicial recruitment systems that were characterised by lack of transparency, opacity, lack of a level-playing field, influencepeddling and nepotism. The advocacy group stated that the 2014 Judicial Appointment Guidelines and the 2016 National Judicial Policy prioritised and promoted values of transparency, openness, merit and the availability of equal opportunity to all persons interested in judicial offices. It added that both instruments intend, in other words, to provide a level-playing field for all eligible persons interested in serving in judicial offices, whether they are currently serving as judges/ justices, are in private practice or in academic institutions of learning.

CACOL Reinforces AntiCorruption Campaign Drive The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has reinforced its anti-corruption campaign on the security and paramilitary agencies in Lagos state, with the aim of curbing corruption in Nigeria’s political processes. This was made know during an interactive session that cut across the diverse services at Presken Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The anti-corruption campaign, according to the executive chairman of the Centre, Debo Adeniran “has been in existence for a long time, we discovered that many agencies that have been projecting this campaign have only been targeting the elites and not the grassroots and

the middle class. In CACOL, we did a paradigm shift from the elite to the grassroots to bring the advocacy and enlightenment campaign to the grassroots who serve as the primary victims of corruption in our society. “This programme is aimed at sensitising the government agencies and the society on what transparency is about. He explained that the programme is not meant for government officials alone, we are extending it to schools, where we will be privilege to convey our message to the younger generation and the teacher on how to shun, shame, nail and prosecute corruption and report to the necessary agencies.”

facilities to good use. Inaugurating the edifice, Oyetola, urged Nigerians to focus

on things that can strengthen the bond of unity. He implored well-spirited

Nigerians, irrespective of their religious beliefs and persuasions, to emulate the motive and

the noble initiative that can strengthen the ties of unity in the country.

60 HEARTY CHEERS…

L-R: Charles Oputa a.k.a Charly Boy; Senior Apostolic Leader, Pastor Abraham Sam Aiyedogbon; his wife and celebrant, Rev. Grace Aiyedogbon; Dr. Elisha Attai; and Nigerian Singer, Korede Bello, during the 60th birthday anniversary of Rev. Grace Aiyedogbon in Lagos… weekend. AKINYELE ABAYOMI

OPPOSITION MOUNTS AGAINST HATE SPEECH BILL AS EDITORS, IPI, OLANIPEKUN KICK “Nigeria is not yet ripe for the Hate Speech Bill to be passed, because our democracy is not matured at all for such bill. The major problems we may have with the bill with the present democracy is that politicians would use it to deal with their opposition members and that would be killing our democracy instead growing it,” he said. “In United States of America where we copy democracy, the civilian rule is over 500 years and there is nothing like that since then up till now and we are just about 20 years in democracy.” In his contribution to the debate over the desirability or otherwise of the bill, Olanipekun, while speaking to journalists in Ikere, Ekiti State, urged the National Assembly to withdraw the bill, saying it violates the principles of fundamental human rights and tantamount to pursuing a policy that is self-serving . Olanipekun, who expressed disappointment that such bill could emanate from the National Assembly, warned that the Hate Speech bill will create bad blood and disunity among Nigerians if passed and assented to by the president . He urged the federal lawmakers to focus attention

on sponsoring bills that would cushion the effects of insecurity, poor education, hardship and bad roads that plague the nation, and shun retrogressive bills such as the hate speech own. “Let me advise the National Assembly to be more productive; let us stop chasing vanity, and things that are counterproductive. To me as a lawyer, as an elder, this bill will be counter-productive. The bill will bring disunity even among family members. We should not bring disunity. Wife and husband disagree, and if such happens, will you report your spouse for hate speech? “My little knowledge of law will not open my eyes to the definition of hate speech. In the law of defamation, we have libel, and slander and vulgar abuse. And they would tell you vulgar abuse is not actionable; we are all human beings, we all have emotions, everyman has his own lull moment. “Let us caution ourselves in this country, and my fear is that those who make the law might become victims of such law. They should respect the sanctity of human life. Nigeria is not in a stone age. We have laws that have taken care of all offences in Nigeria. No review,

no amendment will make it acceptable, but they should withdraw it outright. We will forgive them if they show that they erred,” he stated. Sponsor Lists Dangers of Not Passing Hate Speech Bill But Abdullahi pushed back criticisms of the bill, saying its opponents as ignorant of the dangers that loom if the bill is not passed into law. In a statement yesterday, the senator said the opponents were only pretending to protect ‘freedom of speech’ by misinforming Nigerians on the intent of the legislation. He warned Nigerians to beware of “false information being spilled out by some persons and groups parading themselves as serving the interest of the country.” Citing a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on ‘Overcoming Dangerous Speech and Endemic Religious Divides in Central Nigeria’, Abdullahi said persons with strong bias capable of escalating ethnic and religious violence were infiltrating the media. According to him, such

persons and groups are opposed to the passage of a hate speech law because it would end their trade that depends on using ethnic and religious bias for the realisation of self-serving interests. The senator, who cited another report by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), said there were strong indicators making it imperative for the introduction of legislation by the National Assembly to criminalise hate speech, which is responsible for violence and killing. The CITAD report said the resurgence of the Biafra agitation in the South-east; the clash between the army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly referred to as the Shiites Movement in the North-west and the transformation of the localised farmers-herders conflict and cattle rustling to the large-scale rural banditry that had taken an ethno-religious character the North-west and North-central zones of the country, provided fertile ground for hate speech. According to him, across the country, scores of people were killed as a result of these conflicts, further providing fuel for the wildfire of hate speech.

Herbal Practitioners to Float Digital Libraries in Six Cities Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta Traditionalists/Herbalists Association of Nigeria at the weekend rose from a meeting in Agbado, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State with a proposal to establish digital traditional libraries across Nigeria’s major cities and Abuja. Speaking with our correspondent shortly after the meeting, the association’s

spokesman, Chief Ismail Akiode, said the libraries would be located in Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Calabar. He added that the need to attract young Nigerians to traditional native practices, using the modern technologies, informed the new decision. “We have observed that our young ones have been carried away by foreign religions, and these religions are using the digital

library method to woo them and make them forget their roots; that is why we are so much concerned. “Again, through the digital libraries, we will succeed in exporting our cultures to the world at large, and thus attract foreigners who aspire to know about Nigeria’s traditional native practices,” he explained. He said the association deliberated much on this at their two-day meeting, noting that the body

would support any move taken by any community to salvage or protect its traditions. “We will support any moves by various communities to encourage the young ones to imbibe our native practices,” he said. He pointed out that the association particularly frowned at herbalists aiding and abetting criminal activities by preparing charms for hoodlums, noting that measures were being taken to expose such characters.


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Hate Speech Bill: Nigeria Back to Dictatorship, Says Archbishop Obinna Amby Uneze in Owerri The Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna has said that the country is gradually drifting to military-like dictatorship if the proposed hate speech bill before the National Assembly is allowed to succeed. The cleric who was delivering a homily yesterday, December 1, 2019 at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish, Owerri during the mass to inaugurate the Catholic Lawyers Association of Nigeria declared that many things are going wrong in the country as a result of bad leadership. According to him, reckless killing of people are going on everyday, kidnapping is the order of the day, all form of criminal activities have taken root in the country and the people are

helpless as if there is no democratic government that is engineered with the rule of law. “We seem to be under military rule. We are unjustly ruled through military-like dictatorship. You cannot unjustly introduce a bill for hate speech and against the social media. Christ himself who is the supreme justice suffered not only hate speech but physical abuse, hence he was crucified on the Cross for our sake. “We are facing tyranny in Nigeria and we just had it in Imo state until the last election when we were liberated from unjust governance. Nigeria has a hateful attitude that prevents the unity of the country”, the vocal cleric observed. He wondered how a country would allow her citizens die like chickens, citing ugly example of the gruesome murder of the

woman leader of a political party in the just concluded Kogi governorship election as well as the recent kidnap of an Appeal Court justice in Benin City with the Police orderly killed. Archbishop Obinna urged Nigerians and her leaders to use the opportunity provided by the birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas) to liberate the country and make peace with the Lord. He advised lawyers and justices to apply the fear of God when adjudicating justice on Nigerians, adding “you are called to continue to do good whether in the day or night”. The Archbishop, however, appealed to the members of the National Assembly to jettison the issue of hate speech and social media bill and give Nigerians laws that would promote unity, peace and justice.

Buhari to Flag-off University of Transportation in Daura Kasim Sumaina in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari, will today in his home town, Daura, Katsina State, perform the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed University of Transportation The establishment of the university according to the minister of transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, is part of the ongoing effort of the federal government towards the promotion and development of local capacity through technology acquisition in the rail transport sub-sector. Amaechi, observed that the university which is to be

established by Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is a corporate social responsibility project delivery expected to create employment, encourage local capacity development and among other things, pave way for localisation of manufacture of railway materials and domestication of rail science and engineering in Nigeria The minister who was quoted to have said in a letter of invitation sent to THISDAY by the Director, Rail Transport Services of the ministry, Babakobi that the ceremony would be perform by the president. He revealed that the proposed

University of Transportation will be located, off Daura-Kano road, beside Airforce Forward Base Daura, Katsina State. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo had few weeks ago, kicked start a similar project for the establishment of wagon assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun State. Osibanjo had said that the plant would offer an important platform for engineers, technicians, artisans and other professionals to gain the specialised skills required for the production and maintenance of the rolling stock.

SERAP Sues FG over Failed $460m CCTV Project The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a suit against the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, over her failure to disclose information and specific documents on the total amount of money paid to contractors from the $460 million loan obtained in 2010 from China to fund the failed Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) project. Ahmed was also sued for failing to name the contractors involved and explain why the government has continued to re-pay the loan. In the suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/1447/2019 filed last week at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is seeking an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct

or compel the minister to disclose the details of local companies and Chinese contractors that have received funds from the $460 million loan for the finance of the failed Abuja CCTV project as well as details of the status of implementation of the project. SERAP is also seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel the Minister of Finance to disclose whether the sum of N1.5 billion paid in 2010 for the failed project meant to construct the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was part of another loan obtained from China, and to clarify further whether the sum of N1.5 billion mobilsation fee for the construction of the headquarters of the CCB in Abuja was part of another loan from China.

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated October 25, 2019 to Ahmed, expressing concern that Nigerians are being made to pay for the Chinese loans for failed and abandoned projects, and for which they have not benefited in any way, shape or form. The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare, Opeyemi Owolabi and Atinuke Adejuyigbe. It reads in part: “Transparency in the spending of Chinese loans is good for everyone, as this would help to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy, and contribution of the loans to the development of public goods and services, and the general public interests.

Jakande, Osoba, Amuka, Others to Celebrate 160Years of Journalism in Nigeria Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan Former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, and the publisher of the Vanguard Newspapers, Sam Amuka, are

expected to join other members of the League of Veteran Journalists in Nigeria to celebrate 160 years of the pen profession in the country. The ace frontline editors of respected national daily newspapers in the country in

a statement issued yesterday by the Chairman, League of Veteran Journalists in Oyo State and former editor of Nigerian Tribune, Mr. Banjo Ogundele, said the event would hold in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, tomorrow.


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Waltersmith Petroman Oil Wins Bid for Acquisition of Block in Equatorial Guinea Ejiofor Alike Following a competitive bidding process in Equatorial Guinea’s 2019 licensing round (EGRONDA 2019), Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Nigeria’s leading integrated energy company, was recently awarded Block EG-23 in Equatorial Guinea’s Niger Delta basin. The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea offered to the international oil and gas industry a total of 27 oil and gas blocks and the entire continental region of the country for mining exploration and received 21 offers. Chief Executive Officer, Waltersmith Petroman Limited, Mr. Chikezie Nwosu, said in a statement issued at the weekend

that after the evaluation of the different packages of offers received from interested companies, Block EG-23 which hosts the Estaurolita gas discovery was granted to WalterSmith-Hawtai EnergyGEPetrol SA. According to the statement, GE Petrol, Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company has a 20 per cent participating interest in EG-23 while Waltersmith and Hawtai Energy Hongkong have 40 per cent participating interest each. The EG-23 block is a shallow offshore block with water depths of about a 100metres. The country’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbon in its website, also issued a press statement stating that “The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is pleased to announce

the award of nine oil and gas blocks and 15 mining blocks to selected companies that participated in the petroleum bid and the first mining bid in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (EGRONDA 2019).” Speaking at the award ceremony, the Minister of mines

and hydrocarbon, Gabriel Obiang stated that the EG-23 Block was a very strategic block for the Equatorial Guinea in view of the recently signed MoU for its LNG train, as the gas reserves from the block would be needed for LNG gas supply and expressed

confidence in the competence and experience of Waltersmith to deliver on the development of hydrocarbons. In his response, the Chairman of Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Abdulrasaq Isa, expressed his appreciation to

the Government of Equatorial Guinea for having confidence in Waltersmith as a company, and affirmed its readiness to bring its experience and capacity to Equatorial Guinea and collaborate with its partners.

I Never Attempted to Stop EFCC from Investigating Me, Says El-Rufai Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that he had never at any time prevented the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) from performing its functions as widely misreported. The governor in his reaction to widely reported news and comments which misrepresented Justice Binta Nyako’s reaffirmation of an earlier declaratory judgment, said, he rather went to court to clear his name. In a statement issued by ElRufai’s counsel, AU Mustapha (SAN), the governor of Kaduna State said that he approached the court in 2009 to clear his name when he was being smeared by the anti-graft agency. Mustapha reiterated that, ‘at no point did Malam Nasir El-Rufai seek to stop the EFCC from performing its statutory functions. He went to court in

2009 to defend his reputation against an EFCC that was leaking and smearing, not investigating.’’ According to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, “EFCC sustained a media campaign that N32 billion was missing, compelling Malam El-Rufai to approach the court for a declaratory judgment which has since been given in his favour.’’ The SAN reminded that, it was this declaratory judgment that Justice Nyako reaffirmed in her ruling, reiterating that the declaratory orders in favour of the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) subsist. El-Rufai’s counsel also argued that, a clarification becomes necessary because of ‘’the false and abjectly misleading reportage of the judgment of the Hon. Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on November 29, 2019.’’

EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME…

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State (middle) handing over cash grant of N20,000 to a beneficiary of the state government’s N4billion Micro Business Incentives (MBIF), which targets 200,000 people across the 23 local government areas of the state…recently

LASG Gets Court Order to Auction 108 Forfeited Vehicles Sunday Ehigiator The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has obtained a Court Order authorising it to auction 108 court forfeited and abandoned vehicles to interested members of the public. The Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi disclosed yesterday in a statement, that the vehicles to be auctioned by the government include 86 cars forfeited and 22

abandoned vehicles after they had been impounded by the enforcement team of the agency in different parts of the state for driving against traffic (one-way) and committing other traffic offences. Egbeyemi also stated that the public auction is scheduled to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3 and 4, 2019 at the Agency’s car park, in Ikorodu, Lagos. According to him, “It was after the expiration of the

30 days public notice issued by the Agency in line with the dictates of the law to all owners of the 22 abandoned vehicles to claim them that the government obtained the court order to auction them to interested members of the public. “Let me commend the present administration for the ongoing massive roads rehabilitation going on simultaneously across the state and to state clearly that motorists both private and commercial bus drivers should desist from

driving against traffic (one-way) or causing traffic obstructions to other roads users with.” While reiterating the state government’s zero-tolerance for the violation of the law under any guise, the Chairman maintained that the agency will continue to prosecute traffic offenders until sanity is restored on our roads and law-abiding citizens are allowed to commute without being impeded by unlawful individuals.

President Muhammadu Buhari mourned the death of Kano businessman, Alhaji Tijjani Rabiu. In a statement issued yesterday by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari described the death of Tijjani , the immediate younger brother of the late tycoon, Isyaku Rabiu, as “the fall of another star in the galaxy of commerce and trade in Northern Nigeria.”

Reacting to the passage of Tijjani yesterday, the President noted that “the deceased belonged to a business dynasty that has become famous since the birth of modern Nigeria and who has achieved business successes through sheer hard work and determination.” He praised Tijjani for “following the enviable path of his older brother Isyaku Rabiu who

remained relevant in a tough competitive environment, despite the passage of time.” According to the President , “the Rabius are not only a family of accomplished business people, but have also distinguished themselves as notable scholars and industrialists for years and are still going strong.” “Kano is historically an emporium of commerce and trade

and members of the Isyaku Rabiu family have played a key role in sustaining this positive reputation of the city for years. “I appeal to our younger generation of Nigerians to follow this example of pursuing hard work in order to create wealth and prosperity instead of seeking shortcuts to success by fraudulent means”, he further stated.

Mitsubishi Motors Congratulates Winners of Future Awards Africa Buhari Mourns Tijjani Rabiu Sunday Okobi Mitsubishi Motors yesterday joined many Nigerians and organisation to celebrate all the winners of the Africa’s biggest youth awards, The Future Awards Africa, held recently in Lagos, charging the Nigerian youths to drive their ambition further to inspire more young Nigerians and the country. The Future Awards Africa was held recently in spectacular fashion with major support from Massilia Motors sole distributor of Mitsubishi Motors in Nigeria. At the event, the Head of Marketing of Massilia Motors, the sole distributors of Mitsubishi Motors in Nigeria, Funmi Abiola, said: “We all at Massilia Motors appreciate being a part of this initiative to inspire more youths to drive their ambition towards making positive impact to improve their communities, society, economy, and country using their skills and talent. “We celebrate all the winners

of the awards and charge them to drive their ambition further to inspire more young Nigerians as well as their country. Prior to the main event, Mitsubishi Motors Nigeria played a key role hosting the #TFAA2019 pre-event reception where nominees were hosted to cocktail networking and later handed certificates of nomination. The Future Awards Africa is an annual event that celebrates the extraordinary achievements of young enterprising Nigerians in the year under review. It recognises and honours young people who have taken the initiative to become solution providers in their immediate environment. Also at the event, the heritage automobile company showcased its Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Eclipse Cross, and also gave guests and nominees the opportunity to experience the exquisite interior of both vehicles.

REA Hosts STEM Workshop forYoung Women In its bid towards building young women in energy, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) held first female Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshop in Lagos. The workshop was organised by the agency in partnership with leading private sector developers and was attended by power sector stakeholders and business professionals. The aim was to bring together young women in the same room with top power sector and business professionals to share knowledge and discuss the opportunities for women in the industry.

The Energising Education Programme (EEP) being implemented by the REA to provide sustainable and clean power supply to 37 federal universities and seven University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria creates an avenue for the training of 180 female STEM students (20 from each benefiting university) during the construction phase of the project, which serves as a catalyst towards ensuring sustainability of the project and building young women for the future in renewable energy. The Managing Director/CEO, Damilola Ogunbiyi, in her opening remarks stated “this workshop is

designed to facilitate the increase in leadership and development of professional women. It is also a platform for the 180 female students and professionals present to network, share their knowledge, discuss achievements and encourage the advancement of women across the energy sector” Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba told the participants “that gender and social exclusion will soon be a thing of the past. As a government, we are working to ensure that we mitigate the plight of women and promote equality and inclusiveness across all sectors. We cannot hope

to reform the power sector without the skills, innovation and expertise of our women. That is why the importance of events like the one we are having today cannot be overemphasized. I therefore urge you to take charge of your future and make good use of the platform that has been established for you”. The final activity of the workshop was the Project Shark Tank competition between the participating universities in which students of Bayero University, Kano, emerged first and won a prize of N1,000,000.


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

AFN in Fresh $150,000 Scandal as Board Members Meet in Abuja Tomorrow Femi Solaja

board meeting in Abuja. “We have discovered that the money did not go through the proper channel as the AFN secretariat does not have evidence of such payment. “There are so many infractions committed by the leadership of the AFN and we want to get answers to this and many more including details of the contract with kits manufacturer,PUMA which has been shrouded in secrecy,� a board member disclosed last night. Findings further revealed that the money was paid into a private account and when confronted with the findings,the board member believes World Athletics could not have paid into a private bank account without an authorisation by either the President or Secretary General of the AFN. “This is why we will be demanding an explanation from our President Chief Solomon Ogba and the former Scribe, Ameachi Akawo if necessary,� the board member said. Meanwhile there are

Things are no logger at ease in the house of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN, following the fresh discovery that the federation received a grant of $150,000 for the hosting of the 21st African Championship held in Asaba, Delta state in 2018. Like other federations hosting a major events, the world body always give a grant to the host association but as the time Nigeria was staging the event last year in Delta State, the event itself was engulfed in organisation problems and the scandal of the overpayment to AFN a year earlier was still in the air. ThisdaySports was reliable informed that World Athletics (formerly IAAF) sent the grant to assist the host association, the AFN in this case in preparation for the championships. Many of the board members just got wind of the payment 16 months after the championships was held and will demand for an explanation from the federation’s president during tomorrow’s

insinuations around the AFN office in Abuja that former two-time AFN president, Evangelist Ogba may be recalled by his constituency, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

Ogba was brought in at the last minute to replace former Olympian,Ahmed Adio to fill the Philanthropist/Ex-Officio slot on the board. Ogba, it was learnt was not inaugurated as a board member

when 12 others were inaugurated in July 2017 and Sports Ministry officials are insisting that the man originally pencilled down for the slot should be inaugurated by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development.

Many of them feel justice must be served even if delayed for over two years.It is not clear yet when the Sports Ministry intends to carry out this reshuffling but our correspondent learnt it could be as early as this week.

CONFED CUP

Egyptian Pyramids Too High for Rangers in Enugu Nigeria’s Enugu Rangers have again crumbled miserably at home as they were battered 3-1 by visiting Egyptian side and continental debutants, Pyramid FC in the opening group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup. It is the fourth time the team has lost at home this year after an earlier 2-0 loss to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in March as part of the 2018/19 Confederation Cup, a 0-1 loss to MFM and 1-2 to Rivers United in the Nigerian domestic league. The chain of home losses have made the team very venerable on their home ground which they had earlier nicknamed “The Cathedral� after winning the Nigerian league 2016. Alas, The Cathedral is desecrated and prior to

Sunday’s loss, Rangers have been experiencing a down town that necessitated the sack of Benedict Ugwu as the coach and the NFF seconding former national team coach, Salisu Yusuf on a redemption mission. But there was no redemption for the team, which initially had a soul-lifting goal through Ibrahim Olawoyin in the 29th minute. Rangers carried the lead into half time, but could not sustain it. Mohamed Farouk put the visitors on level term from a 54th minute penalty kick. Amor Layouni put the Pyramids ahead in the 83rd minute before Islam Eissa scored again from the penalty spot, three minutes before regulation time.

ZENITH BANK/DELTA PRINCIPALS’ CUP

Ukah Praises Sponsors, Participants

The Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary School Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, has heaped praises on the sponsors of the just concluded Principals’ Cup football competition in the state, Zenith Bank Plc. School of Commerce Warri on Thursday defeated Zappa Mixed Secondary School Asaba 2-1 in the final match decided at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba. Ukah stated at the weekend that the sponsors and the government of Delta State have put smiles on the faces of hundreds of young ones in the state. He said: “I was excited to see the young boys display so much skill and enthusiasm all through the tournament. The standard was so high because some

schools that did very well at the preliminaries and zonal stage were unable to make the semis or even the quarterfinals. “These young footballers will not forget the experience and I am personally proud to be part of it. The sponsors did tremendously well from day one to the end. I am also happy that the Governor was at the final because it showed how much he cherished the project. Delta is a sports loving state and we are trying to combine education and sports for this young ones to shape their future.� Delta State is expected to also stage the Headmasters Cup very soon. The football competition is meant for all the primary schools in the state.

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare

AFN President Ibrahim Gusau

Nile University Abuja Wins Total Div 2 Basketball League Nile University Abuja Saturday emerged winners of the 2019 Total National Division 2 Basketball League concluded at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. In the final match witnessed a appreciable crowd, Nile University topped Coal City Basketball club 89-60 to win the league. From the jump ball, the lads representing Nile University left no one in doubt that they were out for business. They won all the quarters and were worthy champions and aside winning the overall trophy, they also dominated the individual prizes, including the Most Valuable Player of the tournament won by Emmanuel James. The Deputy Managing Director, Total Nigeria,Musa. Kida, who doubles as President, Nigeria Basketball Federation expressed satisfaction with the organization and standard of the competition.

President, Nigerian Basketball Federation, Ahmadu-Kida Musa,(4th right) with, NBBF VP,Babs Ogunade, anked by members of Nile University, Abuja Basketball team, winners of Total 2019 National Basketball Division 2 league during the presentation of trophies to the winners held at National Stadium, Lagos

Kida said that Total’s involvement in sports went beyond basketball. “Total is a major sponsor of CAF and I feel proud that the organization which is a global leader in oil and gas could identify with Nigeria Basketball at the

grassroots level. This is the second year running and still counting and with the hope that more talents would be discovered in the years to come,� he remarked. He said the NBBF on it’s part will continue to organise more

programmes both at the top, medium and the lower cadre and hopes that the dream of the federation for attract more corporate sponsorship will soon begin to manifest. Meanwhile the coach of the victorious Nile University team, Ali Sugh said, “wining the league and promotion has opened our eyes and given us a glimpse of what we can achieve as a team. We played in the Nigeran Private University games and we used this competition as a prelude to NUGA. “We are really enthralled by this victory tonight as it has proved that with a little push, we can achieve a lot as a team.�� Emmanuel James who won the MVP said he could not believe his luck. “I thought I did not play to my full potential. I’m surprised that I won the MVP. Thanks to Total.�

2019 NSA: Ese Brume, Anuoluwapo Win Sportswoman, Sportsman of the Year It was a glorious and celebratory night for the duo of Africa badminton champion, Opeyori Anuoluwapo and fast rising sprint sensation, Ese Brume as they won big at the 8th edition of Nigerian Sports Award even as the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has assured the organisers of the award of the Sports Ministry’s readiness to partner with it to make subsequent editions of the award more glamorous and successful. Dare gave the remarks at the award ceremony held on Friday, November 29, 2019 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The Minister who expressed delight at the rising profile of the award noted that he is quite

impressed with the organisers for sustaining the platform created to celebrate sport men and women till date. According to him, the award has significantly impacted the sports community having rewarded outstanding Nigerian athletes and offered needed motivation for youths to discover their talents and direct their passion towards sports. At the award ceremony, Anuoluwapo carted home with coveted crowns in two different categories of the award beating other strong contenders to become the 2019 Rackets Person of the Year and Sportsman of the Year while Ese Brume got rewarded with her sterling performance for the year by emerging both as Athletics star of the Year as

well as Sportswoman of the Year categories. Former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo emerged footballer of the year beating off competition from Super Eagles teammate, Samuel Chukwueze and Super Falcons captain, Asisat Oshoala. D’ Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator maintained her winning streak as she once again picked up the Basketball Person of the Year award category beating the duo of Ezinne Kalu and Josh Okogie while D’Tigress were rewarded with the award of the Team of the Year category following their superlative performance at AfroBasketball Championship and its subsequent qualification

for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic. While Emmanuel Appah and Bose Omolayo won the Individual Sports Award of the Year and Para Sport Person of the Year respectively, Farouk Yusuf went home with the Team Sports Person of the Year. Coach of the Under 19 Handball Team, Christopher Nwadei and Sam Ocheho were both rewarded for their stewardship in sports by winning the sports administrator of the year and Coach of the Year respectively. Folashade Lawal picked up the discovery of the year award while Odunayo Adekuruoye retained the title by emerging wrestler of the year for the second year running.


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New Man, Same Problem in Gunners’ Draw as Man Utd, Villa Draw It was a day of even scoreline for all the struggling teams in the English Premier League but most importantly, Caretaker manager, Freddie Ljungberg could not end Arsenal’s long wait for a win as PierreEmerick Aubameyang’s double only salvaged a 2-2 draw at struggling Norwich yesterday. The Canaries twice led through Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell only for Aubameyang to level, first from the penalty spot and then with a clinical finish after the break. But Arsenal also had goalkeeper Bernd Leno to thank for coming away with a point as the German saved brilliantly from Kenny McLean, Pukki and Emiliano Buendia. Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager after seven games without a win in all competitions that had seen the Gunners fall well off the pace

in the race for a top-four finish. Ljungberg remains a fans’ favourite from his title-winning days as an Arsenal player, but he suffered the same problems as his predecessor as the visitors’ firepower up front was needed to cover up their defensive problems. Granit Xhaka returned to the Arsenal side for the first time in the Premier League since an explosive clash with the club’s fans as he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month that cost him the captaincy among four changes from Emery’s last starting line-up in the league. Shkodran Mustafi was surprisingly recalled for his first outing in the Premier League this season, but it did not take Ljungberg long to realise the German is not his answer to Arsenal’s problems a centre-back.

Ljungberg’s side had made a bright start, but fell behind to Norwich’s first dangerous attack when McLean’s pass played in Pukki, who twisted and turned David Luiz before seeing his shot deflect in off Mustafi for his first goal in nine games. However, Norwich have also made a habit of giving themselves a mountain to climb this season with defensive errors and gifted Arsenal a

route back into the game when captain Cristoph Zimmerman handled a free-kick inside his own box. Aubameyang saw his first spot-kick saved by Tim Krul, but was given a second chance after a VAR review for encroaching by the Norwich players and fired home the retaken penalty. Just as Arsenal were beginning to get on top, they were again cut open with ease

as Onel Hernandez’s cut-back was passed into the far corner by Cantwell to give Norwich a halftime lead. Aubameyang has now scored half of his side’s 20 Premier League goals this season as the Gunners’ new captain led by example to smash home at the back post from a corner just before the hour mark. But it was Norwich who will feel they should have taken all three points as three big

chances went begging for just their fourth win of the season. McLean’s shot was turned onto the post by Leno, Cantwell’s strike from the edge of the area flew just wide and Pukki was denied by a fine Leno save in quick succession. Leno had one more big stop to make from Buendia in stoppage time, but a point still leaves Arsenal seven points adrift of the top four in eighth.

Messi, Rapinoe Set for Ballon d’Or Glory Tonight The biggest names in world football will descend on Paris tonight for the 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony, with Lionel Messi and USA women’s World Cup superstar Megan Rapinoe tipped to leave with the honours. It would be an enormous shock if Rapinoe did not depart the Chatelet Theatre with the women’s prize as she returns to the country where she was the driving force on and off the field for the United States as they retained their title. The suspense surrounds the identity of the men’s winner, 12 months after Croatia’s Luka Modric claimed the crown thanks to his exploits in dragging his country to the World Cup final and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. That ended a decade in which Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won the Ballon d’Or five times each, but the smart money now is on the Barcelona man claiming No 6. There are 30 nominees in total for the prize, organised by France Football magazine and voted for by 180 journalists from around the world. Among the names is Ronaldo, as well as several of the stars of the Liverpool side who won the Champions League, chief among them Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk. At one point he looked like the favourite, but Messi already

pipped him to Fifa’s The Best title in September. The 32-year-old top-scored in La Liga last season with 36 goals as Barcelona won the title. He did not have a great Copa America with Argentina, but his genius is undeniable. “If you give the Ballon d’Or to the best player of this generation then you should give it always to Lionel Messi. That’s how it is,� admitted Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk. I don’t know exactly how it will work but that is how I see it.� The value of individual honours in football is debatable, and the timing unsatisfactory, coming midway through the European club season. Yet surely nobody could suggest Rapinoe would not be a deserving winner of just the second women’s Ballon d’Or, an award voted for by a panel of 48 journalists. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won it in 2018 but will not retain her title after missing the World Cup. Among the stars of that tournament to be nominated are England’s Lucy Bronze, Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema, Australia’s Sam Kerr and the USA trio of Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath.

Arsenal Caretaker Manager, Freddie Ljunberg, (left), yesterday in his first match in-charge and right is Ole Gunnar Solsjaer in disbelief with another miserable draw at home against Aston Villa

Cheptegei Smashes World 10km Record in Valencia Joshua Cheptegei early hours of Sunday smashed the world record in the 10km, clocking 26:38 at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, a World Athletics Silver Label road The Ugandan star clipped six seconds from the previous record of 26:44 set by Kenya’s Patrick Komon in 2010 to complete a sensational 2019 hat-trick that included world titles in cross country and 10,000m on the track. Pacesetter Roy Hoornweg covered the opening kilometre

in 2:42 before Cheptegei moved to the front briefly demanding a quicker pace, a demand that was met - by the second kilometre the clock read 5:42 for a 2:40-kilometre split. Once Hoorweg dropped out, Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande took command with Cheptegei in tow, with the trio covering three kilometres in 7:57, well inside the word record schedule. Following a 2:41 split for the

fourth kilometre, Cheptegei overtook the pacemakers before the halfway point, reaching 5km in 13:23, one second shy of the world record for that distance. Running on his own over the entire second half, a determined Cheptegei reached 6km in 16:02 and 7km in 18:42. Cheptegei forged on, reaching 8km in 21:37, when it became clear that the world record was within reach. With 23:59 on the clock at the 9km point, Cheptegei needed to

cover the final kilometre in 2:45, a close well within his capabilities. “World cross champion in Denmark, 10,000m world champion in Doha and now the world record here in Valencia. What a year it has been,� the 23-year-old said. “I can’t believe it! I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special.�

Total E&P Nigeria Promoted Charity Through Sports The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Mr Mike Sangster, has said that his organisation was

L-R: Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission,Sola Ayepeku, Managing Director, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Mike Sangster, CEO/Founder, Paroche Reach-Out Foundation, Mrs Titilola Adebayo, Volunteer, Mrs Achinu Chris, Coordinator, Nigerians Braille Book Foundation Centre, Jean Obi and Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water District,Total Nigeria E&P Nigeria Ltd, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, at the 2019 Annual Total Charity Golf Tournament held at the Ikoyi Club 1938 golf course, Ikoyi.

committed to supporting sports and using the same to promote charity in Nigeria. Sangster made the assertion on Saturday in Lagos during the 2019 Total Charity Golf Tournament held at Ikoyi Club 1938, where two Non-Governmental Organisations were given Cheques of N1 million each to support their programmes. He commended the participants in the tournament, noting that the event was for Golf competition and a platform to raise money for charity as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives by the company to support the disadvantaged in Nigeria. The Managing Director said that they had leveraged this sport platform to help the weak and vulnerable in the society, adding that the 24th edition chose the two NGOs due to programmes that were having positive impact on the society. The NGOs, according to Sangster are Paroche Outreach Foundation that created campaign against substances usage/abuse/

addiction, and to bring about the desired and unprecedented post-rehabilitation care for those struggling with any kind of addiction. He said the second NGO, the Nigerwives Braille Book Production Centre, an NGO set up by foreign women married to Nigerians providing educational materials for the visually impaired primary, secondary and tertiary students. The Deputy Managing Director, Deep Waters, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Mr Ahmadu-Kida Musa, said that the organisation had been involved in supporting many sporting events in Nigeria, including national leagues. Musa said that Total decided to support sporting events in Nigeria because of it’s unifying factor to the people of Nigeria. He said that Nigeria’s political parties did not unite Nigerians as to what sports does, noting that his organisation would continue to support sports and charity. The founders of the two NGOs said that the support from Total

E&P Nigeria Ltd would go a long way to carry out their obligations. Mrs Titilola Adebayo, Founder of Paroche Outreach Foundation, said she decided to set up the NGO after loosing her son, Taiwo Adebayo, who was knocked down by a drunk driver in a hit and run accident. The platform is to rescue many young people involved in drug, stressing that drug addictiong among the young ones had become an epidemic and commended Total E&P for the gesture. The second NGO, Nigerwives Braille Book Production Centre Founder, Mrs Jean Obi, said they currently have over 315 titles for primary, secondary and tertiary students available for order on their book list with new books constantly added. She called for more support from other multinational organisations with a view to assist the visual impaired students in Nigeria. Awards were given to the Golfers who won in different categories.


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Price: N250

MISSILE

Shaibu to Oshiomhole

“The joy I have is that ‘no to godfathers’ has come to stay in Edo. We thank Oshiomhole for leading that struggle. We are helping him to sustain it. Like he said, you need to fight these people till you succeed for you to be able to free resources for the state to deliver dividends of democracy to the people. That is what we are doing” – Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, insisting that there is no room for godfathers in the state.

OKEYIKECHUKWU Zamfara Says Goodbye to Locusts EDIFYING ELUCIDATIONS

okey.ikechukwu@thisdaylive.com

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he governor and lawmakers of Zamfara State must be commended for standing up to be counted on the side of responsible and civilised leadership. They put an abrupt end to the rampage of political locusts in their land. They also did it with the type of speed needed in addressing a dangerous ailment. The bold step of repealing a thoroughly reprehensible piece of legislation, which allowed former governors and lawmakers to fleece the state for no reason whatsoever is an example that other states of the federation must now be forced to follow. The action of the current leadership of Zamfara State is uncommon in our clime. What obtains, instead, is that primary beneficiaries of a law will never be in the vanguard of those clamoring that it be repealed. But, in this instance, political office holders in Nigeria set out, deliberately, to “shortchange” themselves. That singular act has somehow separated this particular governor and the state legislators from the wave of madness that has taken violent hold of the body politic since the return to democratic rule in 1999. The rash of bogus “severance package” for former elected officials of a certain stature is one of the many obnoxious legacies of the PDP government in its sixteen years in office. No matter what anyone may say about the painful poor performance of the APC government of today, it must be admitted that the PDP was not exactly leading us anywhere close to 21st century leadership paradigms, before it lost power due to its own bungling. Even today, as opposition party, it is hamstrung by the impunity of little men. No one who looks closely at it will feel that this is a platform with the prospect of leading anyone to the Promised Land. At least not immediately. It lacks internal cohesion, offers no real hope and gives no clear indication of a new national vision. If anything, there are renewed doubts as to whether it has learnt any lessons and is treading a new path. But we are digressing. The letter from Yari demanding the payment of certain entitlements came from the “Office of the Former Governor.” That is what you find blazoned on the piece of paper conveying the displeasure of the former governor of Zamfara State to the current state government. Is there such an “office”? If yes, who created it? Where is it provided for in the constitution? Who can educate us on whether it is an elective, appointive, or presumptive one? Where can we get a manual on the duties of the occupant of this imaginary office? Who will explain what makes it lawful for a citizen to arrogate to himself a title that presumes to represent a state function? What makes it proper for anyone to put the national Coat of Arms on paper, any paper whatsoever, and use same as the crest for his private correspondence? Should anyone, using such a contrived persona, and who presents himself as having the authority of one who represents an institution of state, not be apprehended? Should an otherwise responsible adult who prints a letter headed paper using our national

Matawalle symbols and who presents himself in the guise of a government functionary after he has left office not be called to order by the security agencies? Yari’s letter is an attempt by a private citizen to secure personal advantages for himself under false pretenses. It is singed in the usual ink colour used by Nigerian government functionaries of a certain stature, trying to pass itself off as originating from officialdom. But the national outrage generated by the demand for compensation from a state he managed so disastrously as governor drowned out some points of law and national security in the matter. That is perhaps why no

Let us remember that the categories of public office under reference here have their post-service entitlements fully provided for by the revenue mobilization and fiscal allocations commission

one has thought of taking up the former Governor on charges of 419. Meanwhile, this singular fact is a more serious matter than what the former governor said in his letter to the state government, demanding his presumed entitlements. In writing his successor, Bello Matawalle, former governor Abdul’aziz Yari Abubakar had no doubts in his mind that he was within his rights. So, unfortunately, are many other former governors who collect unmentionable entitlements. Yari was angry that the state had not paid him his pension and monthly upkeep allowances, because he removed himself from the realities of his environment. That his unlawful entitlement should be his priority, requiring an angry letter, in a state where he left no commendable legacies and where he did not perform any miracles in the payment of the paltry entitlements of pensioners while he was in office says a lot. In fact, his letter of October 17, 2019 titled: “Grant of Pension and other allowances for former governor, former Deputy governor, former speaker and former Deputy Speaker of Zamfara” went so far as to assure the state government that his complaint was pursuant to an amended law. He did not say his role in the law in question. Listen to the former governor: “I wish to humbly draw your attention to the provision of the law on the above subject matter, which was amended and assented to on the 23rd of March 2019. He “made” the law, weeks before leaving office. But his planned channel of largesse ran into troubled waters with the new governor. He overlooked the fact that a law whose provisions decree that a former governor is entitled to a monthly upkeep allowance of N10 million in Zamfara State is criminal. He also forgot that such criminality must be accounted doubly so when the same law prescribes a pension equivalent to the salary the same former governor was receiving while in office. But, purely on the grounds that he was paid the monthly upkeep allowance of N10 million and a pension equivalent to the salary he was receiving while in office for only two months, he fired a letter demanding for his arrears with indignation. Hear him again: “… you may wish to be informed that since the expiration of my tenure on the 29th of May, 2019, I was only paid the upkeep allowance twice i.e. for the months of June and July, while my pension for the month of June, has not been paid.” Beyond that, the former governor went out of his way to educate his successor that the law (which he hurriedly made before leaving office) does not see the pension and upkeep allowances as privileges that could not be paid, “…hence, the need to request you to kindly direct the settlement of the total backlog of the pension and upkeep as provided by the law.” But this is not just a Zamfara matter. A quick inventory of the record of other state governments in this regard shows that this is a national malaise. Jigawa lawmakers had justified their own law on the grounds that granting huge severance packages to former office holders was a

way of discouraging them from corrupt self-enrichment while in office. Pathetic! Akwa Ibom State under former governor Akpabio provided for an annual pay to ex-governors of N200 million, who was also entitled to pension for life, a new official car and utility-vehicle every four years. This is in addition to one personal aide, adequate security, a cook, chauffeurs and security guards at a sum not exceeding N5m per month. The governor and spouse are also entitled to free medical services for a sum totaling N100m per annum, as well as a five-bedroom mansion in Abuja and Akwa Ibom. Gombe State offers a N300 million executive pension benefits to its exgovernors. Kwara State gives 300 per cent of salary as furniture allowance to its former governors, two cars and a security car replaceable every three years, a well-furnished five-bedroom duplex, five personal staff, three State Security Services personnel, free medical care among other humongous figures. Edo state is no better, under its Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor Law of 2007, which gives a former governor a 200 million naira house plus 100% of the salary of the incumbent governor for life. He is also entitled to an officer not above Salary grade level 12 as Special Assistant, a personal secretary not below grade level 10 who shall be selected by the former governor from the public service of Edo State. Osun state law stipulates that former governors and former deputy governors shall be entitled to pension at the rate equivalent to the incumbent office holder. Lagos State, under its Lagos Pension Law, gives a former governor two houses (one in Lagos and another in Abuja), estimated to cost between N500m and N700m, respectively. This is in addition to six brand new cars every three years, furniture allowance of 300 percent of annual salary every two years, among other frills. Rivers offers 100% percent of annual basic salaries for ex-governor, one house anywhere of his choice in Nigeria, three cars every four years, 300 per cent of annual basic salary every four years for furniture and 10 percent of annual basic salary for house maintenance, among other frills. Kano State provides for 100% of annual basic salaries for a former governor, a furnished and equipped office, a 6-bedroom residential house, free medical treatment within and outside Nigeria where necessary, two drivers and a provision for a 30- day vacation within and outside Nigeria. We say nothing about other states. We also say nothing about the entitlements of deputy governors and principal officers of the state houses of assembly. Let us remember that (1) the categories of public office under reference here have their post-service entitlements fully provided for by the revenue mobilization and fiscal allocations commission; (2) they are acting in clear violation of these provisions; (3) most of the beneficiaries of these unlawful hauls rigged elections to get into office; and, finally, (4) Zamfara State has created a commendable precedent for states that take their survival seriously to follow.

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MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2019  

MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2019  

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