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Banks Brace for CBN’s Fresh Recapitalisation Plan Obinna Chima Commercial banks are preparing ahead of a possible announcement of a new recapitalisation plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) this year. THISDAY gathered that

most banks have gone far beyond the N25 billion minimum capital requirement and are strategising to raise Tier 2 capital. As part of this strategy, one of the bank’s chief executive officers, who spoke off the record, confirmed that his

bank would raise N500 billion Eurobond this year. He told THISDAY that the financial institutions had braced up for an imminent recapitalisation by the central bank. “It is something we are all looking forward to and we

are already working towards that,� the CEO, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had in his five-year economic blueprint that was unveiled in June last year, unfolded plans to recapitalise the banks within

the next five years, to make them contribute significantly to economic growth. Also, speaking in an interview with THISDAY on the matter, the President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Uche Olowu, said: “Down the line,

the banks are also preparing to beef up their capital because that is something that should happen this year and we expect the regulators to come out with an announcement because we need the financial Continued on page 9

Federal Govt to Replace ERGP with Medium-term Economic Blueprint... Page 8 Monday 13 January, 2020 Vol 24. No 9044. Price: N250 TR


& RE A S O



ËžBanker of The Decade ËžPerson of The Decade ËžCEO of The Decade

ËžEntrepreneur of The Decade ËžWoman of the Decade ËžPhilanthropist of The Decade

ËžInstitution of The Decade ËžGovernor of The Decade ËžMinister of The Decade

Each category will have The Editorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choice and The Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice. The Board of Editors' Choice is now ongoing. For the Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice, readers and audiences should e-mail their nominations, telling us why they made each choice to in 50 words. Nominations close at midnight, Monday January 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Board of Editors

23 States Run Local Security OutďŹ ts as Groups Demand Decentralised Policing Our Correspondents Before the launch of Operation Amotekun by South-west governors, 23 states in the country were operating local security outfits to complement the efforts of the police, THISDAYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investigation has revealed. The operation unveiled last week by the governors to help enhance the safety of the region against kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and related crimes, has attracted controversy as some northern youth groups have criticised the initiative. Following the controversy generated by the launch of the regional security network, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had in a text message to THISDAY on Saturday hinted that the federal government was yet to take a position on

the matter. But the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ado Ekiti chapter faulted the claim that the South-west governors breached the 1999 Constitution by establishing the security network, saying there was nothing illegal about the regional security outfit. Also, the apex Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere, and its Niger Delta counterpart, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), have canvassed for the decentralisation of the nation's security apparatus to give sub-national entities more room to protect lives and property in their domains. Amotekun, which will have its headquarters at Ibadan, Oyo State, and operational base in Gbongan, Osun State, will be funded by the six states in the region. The size of the operatives Continued on page 9

80 HEARTY CHEERS... L-R: Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the celebrant, Chief Razak Okoya, during Okoyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 80th birthday anniversary in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śweekend


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Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email, 08066066268

Bayelsa Appeals Judgment on Disputed Oil Wells Asks for stay of execution

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Bayelsa State Government has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which ceded disputed oil wells between Rivers and Bayelsa States to Rivers State. The appeal was filed by the Solicitor General of Bayelsa State, Mr. Preye Agada, on behalf of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Attorney General. Agada in addition said the state had also commenced move to stay execution of the judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court delivered on December 16, 2019, pending the resolution of the matter. According to him, the lower court erred in law

when it entered judgment against the state without joining it as a necessary party in the suit. In the motion on notice with suit no FHC/ABJ/ CS/984/2019, Agada claimed that Bayelsa State was not served the processes in the suit before the lower court delivered its judgment. The state government has also sought an order of the court to appeal the judgment as an interested party in the suit between Attorney General of Rivers State and National Boundaries Commission (NBC). Agada said Bayelsa State in the meantime had written all relevant federal agencies to stay action on the enforcement of the

judgment. The agencies include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; the Minister of Finance; the Accountant General of the Federation; the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)

and the National Boundary Commission (NBC). He said the contested oil wells, which Rivers State describes as Soku Oil Wells, are in Oluasiri in Bayelsa State, adding that Bayelsa has been receiving the 13 per cent derivation and other statutory allocations

accruing from the oil wells for a long time. According to Agada, Bayelsa State Government has been waiting for Rivers State and the National Boundaries Commission to comply with the Supreme Court directive to properly delineate the disputed areas

in the affected areas once and for all. Agada said it was rather regrettable that the Rivers State government, which pulled out of the boundary delineation in 2013, surreptitiously filed the action after years of inactivity.

PDP Urges Buhari to Address Injustices that Caused Civil War Chuks Okocha in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari to address the injustices and nepotism that led to the civil war in the country, stressing that it was not enough to tell the stories of the war to youths without tackling the issues that led to the war. The main opposition party called on the Buhari administration to address alleged exclusionist policies, divisive comments, disregard for rules, political witchhunt and failure to bring perpetrators of violence to book, stating that these were issues that led to the 30 monthsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; civil war. According to the party, all efforts by well-meaning Nigerians and groups to ensure unity and harmonious co-existence in the country are being destroyed by the APC and the Buhari administration through brazing acts of nepotism, total disdain for merit and complete disregard for federal character principle in appointments, projects and programmes. The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said Buhariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s habitual body count and reference to the sordid experience of the civil war, particularly to the youth, was fuelling disunity as his administration was still perpetuating similar, if not worse injustices, inequality, corruption and impunity that lead to disunity. According to PDP, it is sad that the president is always trying to push the nation backward instead of looking ahead to a glorious future. This, it said, was a sorry situation, which further confirms that the Buhari

presidency and the APC have nothing cheering to offer to the future of the nation. The PDP explained that by gathering the youth to engage in civil war recounts, while failing to take concrete actions to end the injustices of his administration and prosecute perpetrators of political and sectional violence under his watch, the president is doing more harm than good to the psyche of young Nigerians. "Exclusionist policies as well as repugnant protection of killers and corrupt elements, which have apparently become policies of the APC, are the very marked difference between the APC and the party, the PDP, which promotes inclusiveness, equal opportunity, justice, fairness, equity, regard for merit, federal character principle and security of citizens, which fostered national stability under the PDP. "Alas, the APC has done our nation a lot of harm. Indeed, there is no way the unity of our nation can be guaranteed under the APC that thrives in witch-hunt, violence and division; and which has not taken any step to demand for the prosecution of perpetrators of the mass killings in Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kano, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Adamawa, Ekiti, Niger, Borno states and other parts of our nation. "If the Buhari presidency and the APC are indeed committed to the unity of our nation, they should start by retracing their steps by adhering to rules; ending all their exclusionist polices and accord equal commitment and opportunity to all sections of our country as required by the constitution," the main opposition party explained.

TIGHTENING THE NOOSE ON BOKO HARAM... Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum (left), and Deputy Commander of Operation LaďŹ ya Dole, Maj. Gen. M.G. Ali, during the presentation of 70 new surveillance vehicles to the military, police, volunteer hunters and members of Civilian JTF, in Maiduguriâ&#x20AC;Śweekend

ASUU Reviews Position on IPPIS Today Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City, Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto, James Sowole in Akure, Gideon Arinze in Enugu and Daji Sani in Yola Following President Muhammadu Buhariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insistence that university lecturers must enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will today hold zonal meetings to decide on the next line of action. ASUU has rejected IPPIS, insisting that it violates university autonomy and proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centralised payroll system of IPPIS. The union had also threatened to embark on strike if the federal government withheld its membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; December 2019 salaries for refusing to enroll on the IPPIS. But at a meeting with the union leaders on Thursday at the State House, Abuja, the president urged the university lecturers to enroll on the integrated payroll scheme. Reacting to the presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position, the Zonal Branch Chairman of ASUU at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, Dr. Sadiq Umar, told THISDAY in Yola,

Adamawa State capital, that the National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, had called for a meeting for today to brief the zonal branches of the union on the outcome of last Thursdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meeting with Buhari and also decide the next line of action. He said it was at the zonal meeting that they would take the final decision on IPPIS. Also confirming todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meeting during an interview with THISDAY at the weekend, the Chairman of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) chapter of the union, Dr. Christian Opata, said that the leadership of ASUU had submitted the unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alternative proposal to the president during the meeting, adding that the government only said it would have to study what was presented. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We cannot allow our members to enroll into the IPPIS even though they have met with the president. In fact, there is no basis for enrolling in the first place,â&#x20AC;? he stated. He said the leadership of the union had not even reached out to the various zones as regards the next step to take but that it was hoped that at the end of the meeting of various zonal coordinators today, a decisive decision would be taken. The Chairman of ASUU, North-west Zone, Dr. Shehu

Jamilu, told THISDAY that the union had been having meetings since its leadership met with Buhari. "As I am talking to you now, I'm in a meeting and the outcome of the meeting will determine the next line of action,â&#x20AC;? Shehu, who is also a lecturer at Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State, said. Also, the Chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Dr. Olayinka Awopetu, said members of the union would only abide by the decision of the national body of the union on enrollment into the IPPIS. Awopetu in a telephone interview with THISDAY said the information on the meeting of the ASUU national body with the president was clear. He said: "If you read the information of the meeting of the ASUU national body with the president, it is stated there that ASUU still said they would not register. "I am referring you back to the report on the meeting of the ASUU with the president. It is stated clearly in the article and I am sure that by next week (this week), a statement would be issued because ASUU does not operate based on social media thing. "When we take our decision, the ASUU national president will make a

pronouncement on it or he will direct different ASUU chapters to hold a press conference and make official statements.â&#x20AC;? The Chairman of ASUU, University of Benin, Dr. Monday Omoregie, also told THISDAY that the branch was waiting for a directive from the national officers who visited the president. He said there would be a communiquĂŠ or directive to the chapters from ASUU national secretariat on any new stand or position, which would be communicated to zonal, state and chapters that make up the entire academic staff union of all the universities in Nigeria. On the claim by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on the number of university staff that had already enrolled into IPPIS, Omoregie said it was still part of the federal governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campaign to force ASUU to budge on its earlier decision not to embrace IPPIS. However, the ASUU Zonal Coordinator in Kano, Professor Mahmud Lawal, declined to comment when contacted by THISDAY.a The University of Uyo branch of ASUU also stated that the union was yet to take a position whether to participate in the IPPIS or not after the meeting with the president.


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Federal Govt to Replace ERGP with Medium-term Economic Blueprint Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja The federal government is fine tuning the process of putting in place a mediumterm economic blueprint as a successor plan for the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which runs its full course this year. A source privy to the emerging plan, which will most likely be christened Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan (MEGAP) 2021-2024, told THISDAY yesterday that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is putting in place details of the new blueprint in collaboration with some players in the private sector prior to its formal launch later in the year. Although the proposed

MEGAP will be a mediumterm economic blueprint, the source said, a successive long-term Vision 2040 would follow suit. According to him, while the underpinning consideration behind the ERGP (2017-2020) is recovering the economy from recession, when it was launched, MEGAP, as the name epitomises, is being designed to accelerate growth in the economy. The three broad strategic objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in human capital and build a globally competitive economy. The ERGP set a rather unrealistic target of seven per cent real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. However, GDP growth in

the third quarter of 2019 stood at 2.3 per cent while it is projected at least three per cent in 2020, a far cry from the seven per cent ERGP target. But the source told THISDAY that some of the pitfalls that resulted in the failure of the ERGP from meeting most of its targets would be addressed. "You know that revenue challenge is real. It's a major inhibiting factor to the realisation of many lofty objectives of the federal

government. But with the coming of a successor medium term plan for the ERGP, the revenue problem is being addressed through various fronts. "The launch of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) is a major launch pad to address revenue shortages. Revenue generating agencies have also been given a marching order on targets. So, the new medium term blueprint to succeed the ERGP is to accelerate

economic growth. "That is why the federal government may christen it Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan," the source, who craved anonymity, said. He added that the federal government might launch it in the second or third quarter of 2020. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had recently hinted about government's plan for increased coordination

of fiscal, macroeconomic, monetary and trade policies She said: "An important next step will be to transition our 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to a successive long-term Vision 2040 Plan. To this end, I am currently working with the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning to prepare a Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan for 2021-2024 as a successor to the ERGP."

Dangote Targets $30bn Revenue in Two Years

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has projected a turnover of $30 billion for his businesses in the next two years. According to him, though the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual turnover is about $4 billion now, with the completion and running of the refinery, fertiliser, petrochemicals and other businesses, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s turnover should be about $30 billion in the next two years. Dangote, during an interaction with some reporters, also lauded the federal governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts in the agricultural sector. He said the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serious focus on the sector would boost the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and also mean less reliance on the oil sector for growth and development. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have massive arable land, we have water; we have the right climate; so, the population growth does not really make me nervous. So, I think the federal government is doing very well by focusing more on the agricultural sector. We just have to tilt towards agriculture and manufacturing as against our oil reliant economy.â&#x20AC;? He also praised the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive in getting more revenue from taxes, noting that the restructuring of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tax system will generate more revenue for the government. He stated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sixty per cent of the government revenue is coming from oil but the government is doing quite a lot to diversify the economy by even trying to restructure the tax system because we need to make more money from taxes because as it is

now, the taxes generation in Nigeria is a bit low but the government is on the right track with these innovations.â&#x20AC;? While expressing optimism that Nigeria will be certified a poliofree nation by April, he lauded the collaboration between Aliko Dangote Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation on polio eradication in the country. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have done quite a lot. The progress has been very tremendous in the last three years, we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really had any wild virus of polio and by April, we will be certified to be polio free country, which means the entire, African continent will be polio free.â&#x20AC;? Dangote was recently said to be $4.3 billion richer in 2019 with his business investments in cement, flour and sugar. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the 62-year-old businessman ended the year with a net worth of almost $15 billion, making him the 96th wealthiest man in the world at the end of 2019. Dangote holds significant stake in Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, Nascon Allied Industries and Dangote Flour Mills among many others. Dangote incorporated his own business, selling cement at 21 and began cement manufacturing in the 1990s. He has a crude oil refinery currently valued at $12 billion under construction. The refinery, which would be single largest in the world upon completion, has the capacity to meet more than Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entire fuel consumption.

CELEBRATING A BUSINESS MOGUL... L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; National Leader, All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu; and Speaker, House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, during the 80th birthday anniversary of business mogul, Chief Razak Okoya, in Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śweekend

Quarrying, Blasting Activities behind FCT Earth Tremor, Says Seismologist Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja An expert in earthquake seismology and geophysics, Dr. Adepelumi Abraham, has attributed the earth tremor that rocked parts of Abaji Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) last Friday to massive quarrying and blasting activities in the area. Abraham, who was a former member of the Presidential Interministerial Committee on the 2018 Abuja earth tremor, made this submission in a preliminary interpretation of the incident that happened at the Abaji area and carried out by the Earthquake and Space Weather Laboratory, Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo

University, Ile- Ife. The report came after the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) on Saturday urged the public to disregard claims in some quarters of the outbreak of earth tremor in some parts of the FCT. The report said the faulting that resulted into the earth tremor ruptured and nucleated at about 5 km within the upper crust with a stress drop of about 0. 265 bar and with a 3.07 km radius rupture. Although the tremor was felt in parts of Kwali and Gwagwalada, the seismology expert said that majority of the fault plane solutions for the rupture process suggested a normal dip-slip mechanism. In terms of magnitude, the seismic incident was adjudged as one of the

largest tremors to have been recorded in the FCT since 2018. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the location of the event using flat sixlayered earth model, the result gave epicentral distance 325.7 km from Ile- Ife, and epicentre location of latitude 8.46 ° and longitude 6.95°, focal depth 5 km. The origin of the event was 13:45.46 Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) with rms (Root mean square) 0.7. The P wave arrival time was 13 46: 34. 2, with S wave arrival time of 13:47.10.4. The event gave a sensor peak displacement of 147.292nm and local magnitude (ML) of 3.79. Further analysis of the event provided a normal fault mechanism with median solution of strike 180°, dip 45° and rake -90°.

The faulting that resulted into the earth tremor, ruptured and nucleated at about 5 km within the upper crust with a stress drop of about 0.256 bar and a 3.07 km radius rupture,â&#x20AC;? the report said. The report added that the seismic database was managed with Winquake, while the data from the stations were used for the location of the earth tremor. For most parts of last year, the FCT residents, particularly those living in Mpape, Kubwa and Asokoro were jolted by earth tremors, which in some cases damaged their buildings and destroyed domestic items. The reason attributed by the authority was that the tremor was caused by rock blasting activities in the Mpape community.


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PAGE NINE 23 STATES RUN LOCAL SECURITY OUTFITS AS GROUPS DEMAND DECENTRALISED POLICING of Amotekun would be determined by the capacity of each of the six states and based on the level of security threat in the region. THISDAY, however, gathered that the controversy generated by the security outfit was needless as 23 states nationwide have similar local security outfits but not on a regional basis like the South-westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initiative. The states that operate one form of local security outfit or the other are Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Rivers, Osun, Benue, Katsina, Cross River State, Enugu, Taraba, Adamawa, Anambra, Ondo, Ebonyi, Edo, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Bauchi and Abia. For instance, in Kaduna State, the state government had in April 2018 established a security outfit known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kaduna State Vigilance Serviceâ&#x20AC;? to assist security agencies to tackle criminality. Its function is to complement the work of the police and other security agencies in intelligence gathering and crime prevention. Upon establishing the security outfit, the state government banned all private vigilante groups operating in various communities across the state. The Sokoto State Government also established a local security outfit called "Yan Banga," which operates in almost all the villages in the state. The function of Yan Banga is to track criminals and hand them over to security agencies for prosecution. Also in Sokoto State, the previous administration had established Sokoto Corps Marshal, which was retained by Governor Aminu Tambuwalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration with offices in the 23 local government areas of the state. The marshals are posted to the state tertiary institutions and traffic joints in the state capital to complement the internal security of the areas. Unlike the corps marshal, which does not bear arms, the vigilantes are allowed to carry small arms such as single-barrel and pump action, which are registered by the police. In Zamfara State, former governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, had established the arm-bearing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yan kansaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Local Vigilantes but the current governor, Alhaji Bello Mutawalle, scrapped it and empowered the local vigilantes to carry out its security functions without bearing arms. Vigilante committees were also set up in each of the 44 local governments in Kano State. Each committee, it was learnt, is chaired by a local chief called Mai Unguwa or any other prominent personality

resident in the area. These committees employ youths who provide security to such quarters where they are formed and they are paid allowances. In some cases, they also get assistance from the government. Their jobs include, checking movement of people at night, arresting thieves, and checking the activities of thugs and other criminals within the community they serve. They carry locally made guns and fire shots in the air while on patrol at night to register their presence in an area. In addition, Kano State has Hisbah Corps, a religious police set up in 2003 to enforce the Sharia law. The Hisbah Corps operates under the jurisdiction of a Hisbah Board comprising government officials, secular police officers, and religious leaders. Each local unit is supervised by committees composed of officials and citizens in the communities in which they operate. The Hisbah Corps does not have authority to execute arrests and officers are armed only with non-lethal weapons for self-defense, such as batons. Hisbah officers who observe violations of Sharia are expected to alert the Nigeria Police Force. In Borno State, many outfits were created by the state government and saddled with security duties, especially in the wake of Boko Haram insurgency. The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) created under the last administration is called BOYES (Borno Youth Volunteers). They work in collaboration with the military to fight Boko Haram. Also working for the security of the state are local hunters and vigilante groups, which have been around even before insurgency. Recently, the state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, employed the services of hunters from across the north and neighbouring countries to boost the efforts at fighting insurgency and criminality. All these groups carry light arms, like locally made guns and pomp action guns. In Yobe State, local hunters are empowered to carry out security duties. The Rivers State Government also established the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency but had to suspend its activities due to the high cost of maintaining the security outfit. Ebonyi State Government also established Neighborhood Watch Group with membership drawn from the 13 local government areas of the state to complement the efforts of security agencies to control crimes and other security challenges in the state.


NAME OF OUTFIT Homeland Security Nigeria Hunters Association Anambra Vigilante Services (AVS) Committee For Local Vigilante Livestock Guards Borno Youth Volunteers (BOYES), Local Hunters Green Sheriff Neighbourhood Watch Group Neighbourhood Watch Forest Guards


Kaduna State Vigilance Service Vigilante Committees Yan-Sakai Vigilantes trained by NSCDC Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) Local Hunters (Olode) Community Vigilante Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency YanBanga, Sokoto Corps Marshal Taraba Marshals Local Hunters Yankansai, Local Vigilantes

The group is armed with hand-cuffs only to arrest criminals. Before Amotekun was established, Osun State had organised local hunters, which in Yoruba, means â&#x20AC;&#x153;OLODEâ&#x20AC;? and they usually assist other security agencies to curtail criminal activities in the state. Since they are local hunters, they usually carry local guns called "Ibon" in Yoruba language. Benue State in the past had a vigilante security team that primarily provided neighbourhood security to residents of the state. The vigilantes usually are seen with local guns, cutlasses and small arms. However, in 2017 due to attacks by herdsmen on farmers and resident of the state, the state government set up the Livestock Guards. The guards were empowered to arrest people who flout the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anti-open grazing law. The immediate past administration in Katsina State also set up local security outfit a known as 'Yan-sakai.' However, after a peace summit of North-west governors convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, in Katsina in 2019, the state Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, disbanded the outfit, alleging that they were involved in extortion and other forms of criminality. Before its modernisation, the Vigilante Group or what is known today as "Neighbourhood Watch" in Edo State was created by the administration of Governor Lucky Igbinedion as an organised group made up of hunters devoted to crime

prevention within an area. In modern times, these groups of individuals have taken up the role of guiding the communities in collaboration with law enforcement agents like the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). As hunters, who bear their local guns, they are allowed to keep their weapons in order to keep playing their dual role of hunting and safeguarding the neighborhood. They make arrest and hand over suspected criminals to the police for prosecution. However, the set of Neighborhood Watch within the city centres are not allowed to carry weapons to avoid accidental discharge or using the weapon for political reasons. In Cross River State, there is an outfit known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Green Sheriff,â&#x20AC;? originally conceived as the state's version of state police by the administration of Governor Ben Ayade. However, due to criticisms that the state government would use it to oppress political opponents, the original intention of making the Green Police a conventional security outfit was moderated. The Green Sheriff now serves as an outfit that enforces rules and regulations designed to ensure that the environment across the state is kept clean. In Enugu State, the upsurge in the rate of criminality informed the decision of the state government to approve the engagement of 1,700 men in 2019 to serve as Forest Guards, a model of local vigilante. The recruitment of personnel into the militia was professionally handled and spread across the various wards of the 17 local

government areas of the state and was consistent with the community-based approach to securing lives of citizens adopted by the governor. In Taraba State, the Taraba Marshalls is a local security outfit set up by the state government in 2018 to tackle insecurity and other violent crimes. While a few of them carry local guns, others are armed with cutlasses and horse whip. In Adamawa State, the Vigilante Group and Nigeria Hunters Association had existed before the advent of the Boko Haram insurgency. These two groups were conscripted and recognised properly by the Adamawa State Government during the era of Governor Bala Ngilari who had to mobilise them to fight Boko Haram insurgency who were bent on seizing more territories after taking control of seven LGAs of the state from the Nigerian military. Some members of the local security outfits were given weapons and ammunition, while some members were permitted by state government to use their local weapons to fight the insurgents. In Anambra State, the Anambra Vigilant Services (AVS) operates in all the 189 communities in the state. The state government coordinates the activities of the AVS through an appointed coordinator. In Ondo State, members of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) have been working in many localities in the state. The VGN members carry arms like local guns and cutlasses.

South-westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amotekun Not Breach of Law, Says Ekiti NBA However, as controversy rages over the establishment of 'Operation Amotekun,' the NBA, Ado Ekiti chapter, has said the South-west governors have not breached any section of the 1999 Constitution for establishing the security network. The association added that the governors only exercised their rights under the law, since the basis of the existence of any government, is to guarantee security of lives and property. The NBA Chairman, AdoEkiti chapter, Mr. Samuel Falade, told THISDAY that though Sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution mandated the police as the agency responsible for the protection of lives and property to provide security, this could not stop the governors from taking further measures to reinforce protection for the citizens. "However, Chapter 2,

BANKS BRACE FOR CBNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S FRESH RECAPITALISATION PLAN system to be more stable, especially now that we are now into major infrastructural development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And as they are supporting financial inclusion, they need to beef up their capital and I support that. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the mind of the regulators on how they intend to go about it, but if you ask me, they should categorise the banks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Recapitalising the bank would further improve confidence in the banking industry and if their capital base increases, they would be able to support the economy more.â&#x20AC;?

But, an analyst at Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ezun, explained that presently, most of the banks are strategising on how best to raise Tier 2 capital. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the major banks, many of them are planning to do Eurobond or to get capital injection from investors ahead of any announcement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For instance, Ecobank is planning to issue Eurobond next quarter. So, most banks would like to raise Tier 2 capital,â&#x20AC;? he said. Also, former CBN Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, recently said the total size of

Nigerian banks' assets, which was N43.7 trillion as at half-year 2019, was low compared to the banking sector in some other African countries. Soludo, who is a member of President Muhammadu Buhari's Economic Advisory Council, had stressed the need for banks to be able to finance large ticket transactions in the continent. "When we started, it was just about N1 trillion, before the banking consolidation. So, if you look at it from where we were before the consolidation, it was a massive change. "But the banking total assets

and all we say about their size are still too small. Let us look at where we are, in terms of the size, in comparison to African countries, in terms of ranking of banks' asset size as a percentage of GDP. "I was shocked to find out that our banks are far low, even by African standard. Countries such as Cape Verde, Mauritius, Kenya, Senegal and Ghana are much higher than us," Soludo had explained. According to him, the dream is for Nigeria to become Africa's financial and banking centre by creating a banking and financial sector that will make

the economy stronger. "Now that we are actually integrating Africa to have a continental free trade area, what kind of banking and financial system do we really need to be able to move this economy, which is the largest in Africa? "The question is what should be the next level for the banking sector? And what should be the type of disruptive changes that need to occur, to be able to move the sector, to that level that it would be able to power the Nigerian economy and increasingly, the African economy,â&#x20AC;? Soludo added.

Section 14 (2b) gives mandate and rights to president and governors to provide security across the country and in their respective states; that the primary duty of government is to protect lives and property. "Also, Section 20 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act allows a private citizen to arrest any criminal and handover to the police for investigation and prosecution. Under this context, operatives of Operation Amotekun can arrest and hand over to the police for proper action,â&#x20AC;? he stated.

PANDEF, Afenifere Call for Decentralisation of Security System Meanwhile, Afenifere and PANDEF have canvassed for the decentralisation of the nation's security apparatus. The two groups in separate reactions to last Thursday's launch of Amotekun, told THISDAY at the weekend that it was high time Nigeria's security network was decentralised to tackle the rising wave of security challenges facing the nation. They stressed the need for governors to emphasise the urgent need for the establishment of state police based on security challenges that have overwhelmed the central police system currently being practiced in the country. According to the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, the launch of Operation Amotekun cannot be equated to having a state police in place but an interim security arrangement by the South-west states. He added that the only way to end criminal activities in the country is through proper deregulation of the security architecture so that the federating states can manage their internal activities. On his part, PANDEF National Chairman, Air Commodore Ndongesit Nkanga (rtd), told THISDAY that much as his group supported the launch of Operation Amotekun and would want other zones to emulate the good move, much still needed to be done as regards tackling nation's security problems. Justifying the move by the South-west states to launch the security outfit, the former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, said no responsible state government would allow itself to be overwhelmed by attacks on its citizenry by armed bandits.


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MNJTF Kills Chief Judge of ISWAP, Khalifa Umar, Three Commanders Says gaps closed before Chad’s withdrawal of 1,200 soldiers

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) weekend said an air strike conducted by its Air Task Force killed a high ranking commander of the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP), Khalifa Umar. MNJTF has also clarified that necessary measures were put in place to close the gap created by the withdrawal of 1,200 Chadian troops from multinational task force. Umar, a high value target, is believed to be the third in command and chief judge of ISWAP. An update issued last night by the Spokesman of MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, said Amir Khalid Umar was killed in an air strike conducted in Tumbun Sabo in the Lake Chad Basin. “In continuation of the ongoing offensive operations against the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and other purveyors of violence and instability in the Lake Chad Basin, the Air Task Force of the MNJTF neutralised

the third-ranking commander in ISWAP leadership echelon, Amir Khalifa Umar, in an air interdiction conducted yesterday in Tunbum Sabon. “Khalifa Umar was a high-value target considering that he was also the Chief Judge of ISWAP,” the statement said. Antigha disclosed that in a separate air interdiction conducted in Kwalaram, three other senior commanders of ISWAP were also neutralised. He said the MNJTF air interdiction of ISWAP training camp and mustering area in Tumbun Madayi also yielded expected result. “Several terrorists and their commanders who gathered for training or an attack were neutralised or maimed. Battle damage assessment indicates that a sizeable ISWAP terror infrastructure was destroyed,” he said. He affirmed that “the MNJTF is firm in its resolve, in partnership with national forces and operations, to intensify pressure on ISWAP until it capitulates”.

Meanwhile, MNJTF has stated that necessary measures were put in place to close the gap created by the withdrawal of 1,200 Chadian troops from multinational task force. There were concerns that the decision of the Republic of Chad to withdraw 1,200 troops from the North-east and federal government’s resolve to embark on a gradual pull out of troops from the region and other volatile areas could ignite increased insurgent attacks in the region. But MNJTF said the announcement by Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, on plans to

withdraw troops was with regard to internal security operations. Antigha, told THISDAY that military operations in the Northeast are not covered by the Naval chief’s assertion. “What I would say is that the withdrawal of Chadian troops from their previous deployment in Nigeria was not done in confusion. “It was a deliberate withdrawal and all the relevant control measures were put in place prior to the exercise. Therefore, the apprehension over the withdrawal is unnecessary and uncalled for”, he said. He maintained that “what the CNS said was with regard

to internal security operations. “The operations in the Northeast of Nigeria are not internal security operations and therefore not covered by what the CNS said”. Intelligence sources have criticised the announcement by government to withdraw troops as premature, saying it was the reason for the spike in attacks by insurgents seeking to use the opportunity to reclaim lost ground. From January 3 to 9, 2020, troops clashed with insurgents in Gwoza, Bama, Mafa and Dikwa in Borno State, Geidam in Yobe State and Michika in Adamawa State with proportionate number

of casualties on both sides. Insurgents also ambushed the convoy of the Theatre Commander, Operations Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, precipitating a fire-fight that lasted several hours. There was also a bomb attack at a pedestrian bridge at the market town of Gamboru, near Cameroon while 35 people were injured. Many people were killed and others rendered homeless during an attack by insurgents in Monguno, Borno State last week. The insurgents posing as a convoy of soldiers last Tuesday attacked troops inside the town, destroying at least 750 homes in the process.

PDP Holds NEC Meeting Thursday on Edo Congresses Chuks Okocha in Abuja Barring any last-minute change, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will on Thursday this week meet to determine and approve the guidelines and other regulations for the party’s congresses in Edo State. This decision was the high-point of the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) that took place last Thursday at the PDP Legacy House in Abuja. The Edo State PDP state congresses scheduled to commence on January 15, 2020, needed the NEC meeting to approve the guidelines. The state congress is expected to elect the state party executives, including a new state chairman. THISDAY gathered that the

election of the wards, zonal and state executives is preparatory to the governorship election in the state later in the year. Also, ahead of the 2020 governorship election in Edo State, the PDP in the state has adopted a no-zoning policy in picking the party’s governorship candidate. The party also resolved that the position of state chairman would not be zoned as well. This was disclosed by the former governor of the state, Lucky Igbinedion after the state chapter of PDP had met with the national leadership of the party late last year in Abuja. It was gathered that this is part of the horse-trading ahead of the governorship elections in the state to entice and ensure a smooth landing for the incumbent governor, Godwin Obasike to defect to PDP

Babangida: Reconciliation Efforts after Civil War Not Enough Former military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has said that all the efforts made to reconcile Nigerians in the aftermath of the civil war, which ended 50 years ago, have had limited impact because they were not consistently pushed by the authorities. Babangida stated this during an interview with Channels Television. The ex-military ruler who fought in the Nigerian army during the 30-month battle, lauded

initiatives such as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the unity schools set up across the country. He, however, asked the federal government to do more by consistently pushing hard to achieve their objectives. “For example, the NYSC, unity schools - I think we didn’t push it hard,” he said. “We should have pushed all those hard so that people from different parts of the country can say that we met at unity schools together.”

CORRIGENDUM Our Missile of Thursday, January 9, 2020 was inadvertently attributed to Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. The error is regretted. -Editor


L-R: Ogun State Director of Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. David Tuska; Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kenneth Ebrimson; Commandant of 32nd Artillery Brigade, Abeokuta, Brig. Gen. Ehimwenman Amadasun; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; Chairman, Ogun State branch of the Nigerian Legion, Mr. Taofeek Oloyede; and Deputy Governor, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day service held at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Ake, Abeokuta…yesterday

Bakare: I Didn’t Ask Buhari to Handpick a Successor Dike Onwuamaeze The Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has stated that he never at any time within the course of the speech he delivered on January 5, 2020. asked President Muhammadu Buhari to hand pick his successor at the end of his tenure in 2023. Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, insisted that he never uttered the word ‘successor’ during the speech that has raised a lot of dust in the build-up to the next

presidential election. According to the cleric, “My use of the word ‘succession’ has drawn curious reactions from various quarters. Apparently, and without my participation, it has been interpreted as my asking Buhari to foist his choice on Nigeria in flagrant disregard of democratic principles. I neither did this nor did I insinuate at any point that Buhari should ‘pick’ ‘choose’ ‘select’ or ‘handpick’ a successor as some news outlets have reported. My exact words were: ‘…the third pivotal objective of governance should be to build a strong post-Buhari legacy facilitated by accurate succession…therefore,

even as we build institutions of democratic governance, a key responsibility that history has bestowed on President Buhari at this turning point in our journey to nationhood is to institutionalise systems of accurate succession that will build and sustain the Nigeria we desire. This is a task that must be done’.” Bakare made this clarification yesterday in a statement he read in the church with the theme: ‘Much Ado About Succession’. He said: “Following my State of the Nation address on January 5, 2020, I am constrained to make some brief clarifications due to the unrecognisable reconstruction of

my utterances in the media, and the subsequent responses to these distortions. “Speaking on the theme: ‘Unveiling the True Enemies of Nigeria,’ I surveyed in about an hour, the various forces militating against the emergence of Nigeria at the turn of a new decade. I highlighted the commendable efforts of our founding leaders in contrast with their wayward successors who occasionally resurface as democrats; I also highlighted the grave dangers of the proposed Social Media bill and an increasingly alarming tendency to clamp down on perceived dissent and opposition.

Supreme Court to Deliver Judgment on Imo Governorship Election Today Alex Enumah in Abuja The Supreme Court has announced that it will today deliver judgment on the petitions against the declaration of Emeka Ihedioha, as the governor of Imo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). While the members of the

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are upbeat that the Supreme Court would uphold Ihedioha’s victory, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) are hopeful that the judgment would go in their favour. The director of Imo Orientation Agency, Martin Opara, said that

there was no cause for alarm, expressing optimism that the apex court would uphold the governor’s election. He said that the declaration of Ihedioha as governor was in tandem with the Electoral Act as against the position of the petitioners. Opara said: “There is no cause for alarm. The governor

will win at the Supreme Court as he won at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal, respectively. This is a governor that was voted by the majority of our people.” But the APC chairman in the state, Daniel Nwafor, said that he was hopeful that the judgment would go in favour of his party.




SERAP Drags 36 States to Court over Ex-govs’ Life Pensions A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has filed a suit against the 36 states of the federation over life pensions being paid the former governors and former deputy governors. The suit, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, is coming weeks after the group got an order from the Lagos division of the court to order the Attorney General of the Federation to challenge the various state’s laws permitting former governors and former deputy governors to take life pensions.

In the new suit, SERAP urged the court to compel the 36 states in the country to publish the details of the amount they have paid to ex-governors and ex-deputy governors since return to democracy since 1999. The suit is also praying the court to order the 36 states to publish the names of their ex-governors and ex-deputy governors earning life pension. SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, said in a statement yesterday that the new suit followed the refusal of the 36 states to honour a Freedom of

Information (FoI) request made from them by SERAP. Oludare said SERAP would like the court to make a mandamus order to compel the governors of the 36 states to “publish names and number of former governors

and other officials that have received pensions and the total amounts received between 1999 and 2019 and have at the same time served and/ or serving as members of the National Assembly.”

He said SERAP was concerned that payment of life pension to ex-governors and ex-deputy governors amounted to using public funds for the private interest of politicians.

He said, “Only two governors —Delta State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and Kwara State Governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq— have responded to the FoI requests.

Don’t Withdraw Operation Whirl Strokes, Sule, Ortom Tell Buhari Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia Governors Abdullahi Sule and Samuel Ortom of Nasarawa and Benue states, respectively, yesterday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari not to withdraw the military operation code named “Operation Whirl Strokes” in the two states. The governors made the appeal yesterday at a joint security meeting of the two states in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, even as they said that they had written formally to the authorities concerned to suspend the withdrawal till the situations on the border line of the two states improved. Leading the discussions on the matter, Sule suggested to the federal government to give the two states another two years to work on a complete master plan for the return of peace among citizens of the states living on the border line. Sule argued that the withdrawal of the Operation Whirl Strokes at the moment as planned by the government would not augur well to the affected communities as security in such areas was still fragile. He however applauded

Ortom, for embracing the federal government’s National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP), which according to him, “its implementation would go a long way to mitigating the skirmishes between herders and farmers in the two states.” Also speaking Ortom insisted that the Benue State’s anti-open grazing prohibitation and ranching law has come to stay in the state, even as he called on governments at all levels in the country to support herdmen with incentives as is being done to farmers. Ortom appreciated Sule for initiating the peace process for the two states and pledged to be committed to anything that would add peace to the states. The Emir of Lafia and Chairman of the Nasarawa State Traditional Council, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), on his part appealed to the Benue State governor to review the state’s anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law to have soft landing. He, however, commended the governor and people of the state for coming up with the anti-open grazing prohibition and ranching law to protect their lives and property.

Bandits Release Two Kidnapped Customs Officers Francis SardaunainKatsina Armed bandits have yesterday released two kidnapped Customs officers to troops of the 17 Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Katsina State. The bandits had on January 8 abducted the Customs Officers at Mallammawa town in Jibia Local Government Area of the state. The acting Commander of the brigade, Brigadier Bello Idris, while handing over the victims to officials of the Nigeria Customs Service Area Command in the state, said the bandits released the victims unconditionally. He said the ongoing intensive Operations of HADARIN DAJI and 8 Division Nigerian Army which commenced in the past few days with attacks at several bandits hideouts, had led to the neutralisation of several armed bandits and forced many of their leaders to seek for peace. Idris said: “The bandits who earlier kidnapped two customs officers on 08 January 2020 at

Mallammawa town in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State have called for peace. “The bandits after testing the might of the Nigerian military have unconditionally released the two customs officers to headquarters of 17 Brigade in the morning hours of today, 12 January 2020. “Some armed bandit leaders who sent messages through emissaries to theactingGeneralOfficerCommanding 8DivisionNigerianArmywhooversees operations in Katsina and Zamfara states, have indicated readiness to embrace peace without any conditions attached.” He affirmed that the military would continue to remain resolute to ensure complete disarming of bandits before consideringthepeacedealasannounced by the various state governments in the North-west. According to him, “Troops of the operation have continued with what the commander calls ‘Mop Up Ops’ in order to clear all areas of bandit camps to ensure the release of all hostages.”


Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire (left), and Director General, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu during the minister’s visit to NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, in Abuja...recently

Military Kills over 100 Bandits in Zamfara, Katsina Troops of operation Hadarin Daji have launched offensive attacks on various hideouts and camps of suspected bandits located in four local government areas of Zamfara and Katsina states. The troops during the operation, also killed over 100 bandits, destroyed their camps and recovered assorted dangerous weapons and rescued ten kidnapped victims. A statement by the acting Force Information Officer

of Operation Hadarin Daji, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, said the kinetic operation was carried out in Anka, Maru, and Bukkuyum in Zamfara while another operation was executed in Jubia in Katsina State following the recent upsurge in activities of unrepentant bandits in both states who have refused to key into the ongoing peace initiatives of the Zamfara state government. According to the statement, between December 16, 2019

to January 9, 2020, the troops of Operation Haradin Daji, comprising personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies, conducted several clearance operations to smoke out and neutralise the recalcitrant bandits from their enclaves. The statement further stated that during the clearance operations, the troops in collaboration with the Defence

Forces of Niger Republic apprehended a high-profile gunrunner named “Kunene,” who is responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons to the region. In addition, troops also apprehended three suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, and two notorious drug dealers - Kabiru Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara State during the period

Kwara PDP Petitions NHRC over Alleged Use of Live Ammunition to Disperse Aged Women Hammed Shittu in Ilorin Kwara State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend sent a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja, calling for the probe of the alleged use of live ammunitions and tear gas to dispersed aged women during the recent dawn demolition of the house of former Senate Leader, late Dr. Olusola Saraki, popularly called Ile Arugbo along Ilofa Road, GRA

in Ilorin. The party, in the petition dated 8th January, 2020 and titled “Using and Firing Live Ammunitions to Dispel Defenceless Aged Women at Ile Arugbo byAgents of Kwara State Government” and signed by its state Legal Adviser, Mr. O. M. Aborisade, called for a thorough probing of the incident with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book. PDP, which called for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegation of the use of live

ammunitions and tear-gassing of the aged women at Ile Arugbo, suggested that Kwara State Governor, AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, should be reprimanded and cautioned against “future use of arbitrariness on the good people of Kwara State.” The party alleged that “the unambiguous and clear denials of Kwara State Police Command of their involvement in this dastardly and barbaric act, either covertly or overtly, call for proper investigation as to the identity of the armed uniformed

men in police uniform used by the governor on the fateful day.” It added: “We humbly present this petition to your office to cause an immediate enquiry to be conducted and carried out on the unfortunate, crude, and barbaric use of live ammunitions and tear-gassing of defenceless aged women on the property known, called and referred to as Ile Arugbo in the G.R.A area of Ilorin in the early hours of Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Lagos to Tackle Motorcycle,Tricycle Riders over Abuse of Traffic Laws Segun James Lagos State Government has announced plans to halt the abuse of traffic laws by motorcycle and tricycle riders, saying the menace could no longer be condoned. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the government intended on the enforcement of traffic laws in

the state to check motorcyclists and motorists violating the laws. He explained that the violation of traffic laws by commercial motorcyclists was unacceptable, thereby necessitating the enforcement of the state Traffic Law 2018 to pave the way for the implementation of the present administration’s transportation project.

He recalled that the alarming negative statistics resulting from motorcycle accidents and the compelling need to enhance safety led to the introduction of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012, which was reviewed in 2018. Omotoso emphasised that the law makes the use of safety helmets by riders and

passengers of motorcycles compulsory, obedience of traffic lights and signage mandatory and the conveyance of more than a passenger, expectant women, adults with babies, as well as children of school age forbidden. “Their operations were restricted on 475 roads, including highways and bridges,” Omotoso stated.




Falana: Use of Presidential Jet for Private Event by Buhari’s Family Illegal Davidson Iriekpen A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop members of his family from using aircraft in the presidential fleet. Falana said the use of aircraft in the presidential fleet by the members of the first family for private events is not backed by law. The president’s daughter, Hanan Buhari, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi last Thursday for a private function. Many Nigerians condemned the action, but the presidency defended it. Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said it was normal practice for the president’s family to use the presidential aircraft. “The normal practice in existence for a long time is that the presidential air fleet is available to the president and the first family and four others. These four are the vice-president, the senate president the speaker and any other person authorised by the president,” Shehu had said. But in a statement yesterday, Falana said there is no such practice, and that the “official policy” of the federal government “does not authorise the children

of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions”. He berated Shehu, for saying by tradition all members of the first family have the right to use the presidential jet for private engagements. He described the use of the president jet for personal use as an abuse of office. The senior advocate asked the presidency to apologise to Nigerians rather than justify the act. He reminded Buhari that Nigeria, which is the poverty capital of the world, cannot continue wasting over N8billion yearly on maintaining presidential jets. He said, “With respect, the statement credited to the Presidency is incorrect as it is at variance with the official policy of the federal government. In other words, the official policy does not authorise the children of the President to use the Presidential jets to attend to private social functions. “In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria. Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain ‘a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice-President and other government officials that go

on special missions’ President Buhari is stopped from allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs.” “In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria,” Falana added. He said Buhari had promised

to reduce the cost of maintaining aircraft in the presidential fleet, which according to him, stands at N8.5 billion in the 2020 budget. “The so-called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements

is not backed by any extant law or official policy,” he said. “In view of the foregoing, we call on President Buhari to stop the members of his family from using any of the aircraft in the presidential fleet “with a view to cutting down on waste.” “A country that is said to

be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.”

Judge Presiding over Ex-Katsina Gov Shema Case is Dead FrancisSardaunainKatsina The Katsina State Chief Judge, Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar, yesterday confirmed the death of Justice Ibrahim Maikaita Bako of the state High Court. Justice Bako, until his death, was the judge handling the ongoing trial of former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, and three

others accused of misappropriating local councils funds. The three other respondents are the former commissioner for Local Governments’ Affairs, Hamisu Makana; former Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Governments, Lawal Rufai, and the formerALGON Chairman, Lawal Dankaba. The state Chief Judge said

the deceased died on Sunday at Cedarcrest Hospital in Abuja as a result of varying degree of injuries he sustained in a ghastly car accident on Katsina-Kankara road on January 3, 2020. According to him, “He had an accident precisely at Kankara when he was leaving Katsina for Kankara, and he was move to Cedarcrest Hospital

in Abuja in preparation to fly him out of the country for further treatment. “He sustained serious injuries in his neck and spinal cord and he was admitted at Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. I was with him last Thursday. His death is a big loss to us. I will communicate you when and where his burial will be held.”

We Initiated Unbundling of Mass Communication in Universities, Says NUJ Segun AwofadejiinBauchi The National President of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ), Chief Christopher Isiguzo, has stated that the Union was in support of unbundling of Mass Communication in Nigerian universities across the country.

Isiguzo, who made the comment in Bauchi at the weekend while reacting to trending report that the National University Commission (NUC) had abolished studying Mass Communication in universities, said NUJ, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Nigerian Institute Public Relations

(NIPR), Radio, Television, Theater and Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) proposed the idea to NUC. According to him, “We are in it. This is what is obtainable in developed countries, and I think Nigeria is just trying to implement it. We have been saying that if anyone wants to study journalism, advertising,

public relations, broadcast and others, it should be separated from one another.” The NUJpresident,whoisinBauchi State on a two-day interactive visit with his members, also said the Union is working to ensure that all journalists are captured in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY



T H I S D AY ËžË&#x153; ÍŻÍąË&#x153; 2020


Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email

ILE ARUGBO AND OPTIONS NOT TAKEN Olatunde Ajikobi writes that Governor Abdulrazaq should do things that will unite the state


ince the controversy over the revocation of the title on Ile Arugbo commenced in the evening of December 27, 2019 and the subsequent demolition of the structures on it in the early hours of January 2, 2020, I have been thinking seriously about whether Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had options other than to send demolition squad around 3am that resorted to shooting guns and firing tear gas canisters on defenceless old women and youths. My thinking sessions led me to deduce some facts from the claims and counter-claims by the pro-government and proSaraki people. First, both parties agreed that the late Oloye Olusola Saraki whose company, Asa Investment Limited, is said to have been allocated the land did not use the land for commercial purpose. Neither him nor his family had derived any pecuniary or personal benefit from the use of the land. Rather, the land was used for the purpose of catering for the aged, the needy and the less privileged. The place, in fact, was used to execute the social welfare programme of the Saraki family. Second, it is a correct assumption that not all land in Kwara State has the necessary documents or was properly allocated by government. Third, the governor who in his statement of December 27, 2019 claimed that there was no document on Plots 1, 3 and 5, Ilofa Road, Ilorin, which is the correct address of Ile Arugbo is the one who told editors at the meeting he had with them last Tuesday that his officials only saw a letter of allocation and nothing more. A follow up to this claim by the governor would have been that since it is clear that the land is being used to serve public, humanitarian and social purpose, one would have thought that when the Abdulrazaq government realized that there was no record of payment of the land, it could have written to the Saraki family to inform them of its discovery. He could then invite the family to provide any receipt of payment or present it with the option to make fresh payment in order to perfect the document. While nobody is above the law, the law itself is made for the purpose of achieving peace, good governance and social welfare of the general populace. This is where the law needs to be used to achieve public peace, order and good health. And to serve that larger end of law, the Saraki family could have been given the opportunity to pay for the land with the condition that it is not to be used for anything other than social welfare purpose. This alternative move could have been used to achieve peace and to commit the family to the humanitarian goal of their late patriarch. The move would have seen the governor as a trouble shooter not a trouble maker. The governor would have been seen as somebody ready to honour a late hero of the state, a man who in life devoted his existence, wealth and

ambition to the service of Kwarans. That would have set the pace for prospective governors in the state of the need to honour the heroes, past and present, in the state. By the option Abdulrazaq has taken on the Ile Arugbo issue, he has laid a very dangerous precedent. Imagine that now that the government has made it its priority to be investigating title of lands, it finds out that a particular property owned by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, or the Olola of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esugbayi, or Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Folorunso Abdulrazaq, the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aged father, has no correct title or that the title is inchoate or that the allocation was improper or the land is being used for a purpose other than what it was allocated for, would the response also be immediate revocation and quick demolition as he did on Ile Arugbo?


Meanwhile, with his position on Ile Arugbo, the governor has set out a state policy to which it must now adhere. Otherwise, he will be accused of bias, favouritism, inconsistency and nepotism. This is the cul-de-sac this governor has driven his administration. Invariably, he is also laying a wrong example which future governors of the state may have to follow. Only the bold, wise and God-fearing ones among them will seek to differ. My argument above can therefore be summarized into a stand-point: The Ile Arugbo issue is not a strictly legal issue. That is why the posturing of the state Attorney-General, Mr. Salmon Jawando, on this issue across the media represents nothing but mere grandstanding. Where the AG is needed is not in pursuing an issue that we all know is more political than it is legal. The AG should get busy on initiating laws that can lead to development of the state, updating the laws to make them cope with contemporary challenges and expunging archaic and outdated laws from the Kwara State law book. The Ile Arugbo issue requires political solution. The governor should understand that Dr. Olusola Saraki has grown to become an institution in the state. Unfortunately, he is also no more. As Africans, we do not talk ill of the dead. In other worlds, we tend to forgive the excesses or short-coming of the dead, particularly the ones who are largely perceived in the manner that people see Baba Oloye. Therefore, the option that the Kwara State Governor chose to ignore is the path that would have given him political leverage, present him as a statesman, and mobilize Sarakiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supporters behind him. It is not too late. The governor knows that Kwara State needs no third secretariat after the existing one and the one that Abdulfatai Ahmed constructed which is just about to be completed. He should just give the opportunity to the Sarakis to look for the relevant documents or even perfect the documents and pay necessary fees. The governor is a politician. A politician does not seem to create enemies. He seeks friends and does what is right to all. The governor therefore should initiate reconciliation and seek to do things that will unite the state, not divide it. Ajikobi, a political economist, wrote from Ilorin

THE DEVIL AND THE DETAILS The minister of power, Sale Mamman, should concentrate on how to lit homes and industries, writes Adams Young The ongoing reforms in the power sector may have suffered setback in recent times following the avoidable crisis caused by the Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, through the suspension of the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola Ogunbiyi and the sack of the Managing Director Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC, Maryline Amobi. The dismissal and suspension of the duo were annulled and overruled by President Muhammadu Buhari for lack of due diligence; the two chief executive officers of the federal government agencies are appointees of Mr. President, and can only be relieved of their duties upon the approval of the Presidency after a thorough investigation into alleged misconduct and abuse of office. However, the Presidency was not briefed by the power minister before such official action was taken. This was perceived by senior Presidential Aides and the Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari as insubordination and executive rascality. In a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha on the 18th of October 2019 addressed to all cabinet members and ministers, all ministers were assigned statutory responsibilities and specific areas of operations for the purposes of accountability devoid of duplication of functions. Ministers and ministers of states were clearly detailed in their duties, their specific

areas of operations based on the Presidential circular which is in the public domain. The minister of power was assigned to oversee four agencies under the ministry including, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO), while the minister of state was by that Presidential approval assigned the following agencies: Rural Electrification Agency (REA), National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) and Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA). To put the records straight, by this document emanating from the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government as approved and directed by President Buhari, the minister and ministers of state were directed to work together to formulate policies and programmes emanating from challenges and prospects in the agencies they both oversee. The letter did not in any way state that there is a subordinate that is inferior to the other in the policy trust and implementation. However, the minister of power Sale Mamman has unilaterally taken actions that undermined the Presidency and the minister of state by going ahead to suspend the MD of REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, without consultation with the Presidency and the minister of state who by virtue of purview is entrusted with the responsibility

to oversee the Rural Electrification Agency. Again, the NBET is not a sole agency of the ministry of power, but a joint venture of the Federal Ministry of Finance with 70 per cent ownership, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), having 23 per cent and the ministry of power with only 7 per cent. NBET is therefore constituted with a board of directors to supervise the operations of the agency and trusted with the duties to formulate policies that will be implemented by the administrative heads of the agencies. The governing council members were also not consulted before the sack of the managing director by the minister of power. The abuse of power by Sale Mamman has jettisoned the trust and confidence of international actors and expatriates in the industry, drawing from the fact that the generation, transmission and distribution of the power sector has been at its lowest ebb for decades, and requires urgent deliberate policy and implementation strategy to revamp the sector. The Presidency had made two reversals of the sack and suspension of two managing directors of agencies under the ministry, describing such actions as void, for lack of due diligence, and questioning the capacity of the minister to deliver on the mandate of the ministry of power considered to be very strategic to rural and urban development. The thoughts of Nigerians and concerns have been on the epileptic supply of

electrify and the recent hike in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an agency the minister directly supervises. The worry is that Nigerians pay so much for electricity in the midst of fitful supply of power as the National Grid is said to be too weak to transmit the amount of power that is generated for consumption. It is also of major concern that the minister, rather than address the real and enormous challenges bedeviling the power sector, is more interested in usurping the power of some agencies in the Rural Electrification Agency which are under the purview of the minister of state for power, and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC. The reversal directive is in a memo issued by the office of the SGF. The agency has also been moved from the ministry of power to the ministry of finance. In December, 2019, the minister of power asked Amobi to step down with immediate effect in order to â&#x20AC;&#x153;restore sanityâ&#x20AC;? in the management of the agency. The minister also directed the constitution of a five-man investigative committee to look into the allegations against the MD. Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, a general manager of the agency, immediately assumed office as the acting managing director of NBET. Ewelukwa has now been asked to step aside for Amobi to resume her former position. The minister is advised to act within his powers.



EDITORIAL THE NATIONAL HOSPITAL MEDICAL FEAT The health sector needs more investment


he successful separation last week of conjoined twins by 78 medical personnel is a plus for healthcare delivery in Nigeria. With a fused liver, a protruding tummy and lower chest, the twins were delivered at the Federal Medical Hospital, Keffi, Nasarawa State before they were referred to the National Hospital, Abuja where the complex 12-hour operation was performed. “One of the reasons why some Nigerians travel abroad for treatment is because they lack confidence in the health sector”, said an apparently excited Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire. “They believe that we do not have specialists and the required medical equipment to handle sensitive cases, but this case has shown that we have the expertise. No foreign aid was involved in the surgery.” The assessment by Ehanire is frank and hard to fault. Only four years ago, for instance, a set of twin girls named Miracle and Testimony Ayeni, conjoined in the pelvic region, had to be flown NIGERIANS WANT TO to Tennessee, United SEE PRACTICAL STEPS States, where they were IN BUILDING HEALTH separated. In a very FACILITIES THAT CAN expensive venture, the twin girls were initially HANDLE COMPLICATED taken to the University MEDICAL CONDITIONS of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, immediately after delivery before they were moved to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), and eventually flown abroad in a sponsored flight. That such complicated operations could now be performed in Nigeria is worthy of celebration. It is noteworthy that the UNTH in Enugu has been performing open-heart surgery since 1974. Indeed, between 2013 and now, it has reportedly performed more than 300 heart surgeries, working in collaboration with the United States-based medical volunteer group, VOOM Foundation and the Pobic Heart International of Italy. Its medical students have benefitted greatly from the knowledge of such regular surgical interventions. However, while we commend the efforts and dedication

Letters to the Editor

of the Abuja medical team for this successful surgical intervention, the authorities must do more if we are to reverse the present trend and rekindle confidence in the country’s health sector, particularly in the area of modern medical infrastructure. In the last three years, the cardiovascular laboratory at UNTH Enugu has reportedly packed up. The entire South South and South East regions made of 11 states are now served by a cardiovascular laboratory in Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, Yenagoa. Lagos is served by three laboratories while the entire north is served by a privately-owned lab in Abuja. Since cardiovascular diseases are some of the leading causes of death, people are bound to seek help outside if the facilities are not available within the country.



he lesson from the Abuja surgery is the need to improve the working conditions and environment of medical personnel. There are pools of local talents but government has to do more by equipping established hospitals with modern technology and encouraging the private sector to establish multidisciplinary hospitals which offer specialist treatments in many fields. The brain-drain syndrome is accentuated by inadequate modern infrastructure for professionals to work with. Besides, confidence will gradually be restored if medical professionals are exposed continually to relevant trainings, workshops and continuing education. It is becoming clearer by the day that Nigeria can no longer afford to continue to waste billions of naira on overseas medical trips. The Medical Director of the National Hospital, Dr Jaf Momoh, said that the parents of the twins would have spent more than N20 million if they could afford travelling abroad. Only recently, President Muhammadu Buhari said the country spends around N400 billion annually on medical tourism, indirectly promoting capital flight. The federal and state governments must expedite action in ensuring that our health system is of international standard and efficient. Nigerians want to see practical steps in building health facilities that can handle complicated medical conditions which ironically have become so common.

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



he prolonged incessant killing of innocent people in Katsina State in the name of banditry is becoming so alarming, thereby causing serious setback in the socioeconomic development of the state. Recall my previous article titled, “Who are these Katsina Bandits?” published on 5th September last year. The write-up generated a lot of controversies because the author asked for the rationale behind the amnesty offered and dialogue engaged with the bandits by Katsina State government. As a peace and conflict resolution practitioner, the then program was not clearly spelled out and explained because it was copy and paste from Zamfara State governor. What is leading to the frequent attacks in Katsina State is a failure of the authorities to critically understand the situation before embarking on the mission of ending the conflict through non-kinetic approach. Banditry in Katsina is totally different when compared to Zamfara’s conflict; the situation in Zamfara was categorized into economic war and unwillingness of the then governor to take action before it slipped out of his finger. There were early warning signals in Zamfara because government allowed illegal miners operating in some communities. In a nutshell, the Zamfara banditry is more of gold mining and failure to secure the lives of the people especially in the affected communities. Katsina’s case is entirely different because there are no mineral resources like Gold or Silver in the affected areas. The state’s resource is potassium and has no physical value in the eyes of many Nigerians, so, it’s not worthy to kill people over it. In 2015, Governor Masari had tried this tactic of granting

amnesty to cattle rustlers; the program yielded fruitful results because many rustlers dropped their weapons, cows returned to their owners and the people returned to their communities, though people said the repented rustlers moved into neighboring states, while other sources were saying the rustlers returned to the people. The governor said “the rustlers learned how to kidnap from security agencies” who arbitrarily arrested herdsmen and released them only after being bribed. I am not disputing the fact that engaging the bandits through dialogue is wrong because even the high profile terrorists were engaged in dialogue after September 11. Dialogue is a very important instrument of resolving conflict and peace building, but these bandits are conflict entrepreneurs who will never rest without a comprehensive plan. They are the same bandits that the Zamfara State government engaged and paid handsomely; they moved to Katsina and engaged with the government authorities and also collected their share; paused the attacks and released people. Katsina banditry would be difficult to resolve if government continues with the current strategy without considering the various factors involved in the conflict. Firstly, there is explosive population growth and climate change. These issues are exacerbating economic anxiety and fomenting lawlessness especially in the communities that bordered Niger Republic; there is no restriction in these areas. Nigerien can come to Nigeria, commit any sort of crime and go back to their country. Corruption also plays a significant role here because some security agencies are collecting bribe from Nigeriens and granting them access

without proper checking and investigation. This kind of negligence and corruption in the security sector are the reasons why we have Boko Haram and ISWAP in Nigeria. When the insurgency first emerged Nigeria treated it with kid gloves and refused to investigate the conflict thoroughly before it launched its first attack in 2009. Nigeria can’t afford losing territory to an insignificant number of people in the name of insecurity. The decline in intelligence information gathering is worrisome. The Nigerian government has launched multiple military operations in the North West region since 2016 all because of the banditry and kidnapping, but these interventions have not recorded much progress because the government stepped into the crisis too late. If the government had done the right approach at the beginning, the situation would have been resolved since. This conflict is generating a serious humanitarian crisis in Katsina State; hardworking young people and women are being killed on a daily basis. We are losing land space for farming and most of the victims are from rural communities and have nothing to do now apart from being stranded in temporaries IDP camps. Government must understand the needs of the people, study the crisis very well, dialogue, and proper administration of justice can easily solve this problem. Everyone must participate for us to win this war. Idris Mohammed, Department of Mass Communication, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto


MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY




Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG


Email: 08114495324 SMS ONLY


For APC, PDP, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Time to Rebuild and Reconcile Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale write that the two major political parties, All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party maybe faced with similar challenges of reconciling aggrieved members to determine the future of their groups ahead of 2023





















Battle Within the APC Towards the end of last year, the All Progressives Congress (APC) appointed a 10-member National Reconciliation Committee as part of the plans to put an end to the battle within. The committee is chaired by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande as the Vice Chairman, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Wase; Sen. Tanko Al-Makura; Sen. Kashim Shettima; Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Alh. Nasiru Aliko Koki; Sen. Khairat Gwadabe-Abdulrazak; Sen. Binta Garba and Sen. John Enoh (Secretary). A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, noted that the committee was in line with the November 22, 2019 resolution of its National Executive Committee (NEC).

The committee was mandated to address grievances of party members and resolve existing conflicts, all with a view to fostering unity and oneness within the party. Similarly, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party appointed the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje to head its five-member fact-finding committee for the APC chapter in Edo State. Other members of the committee are; Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari; former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi; former governor of Borno State and serving senator, Kashim Shettima and Honourable Ahmed Wadada (Secretary). The Committee is expected to meet with all disputing interests and present its finding to the party. This, the party noted, marks another step in its effort to find a lasting solution to the crisis and ensure that the party comes out of it even stronger.

The ruling party did not stop at that, it equally lifted the suspension on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, former governors of Ogun and Imo states Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Senator Rochas Okorocha, former Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani. The party chieftains were suspended immediately after the general election for alleged anti-party activities, but the APC was however silent over lifting of similar ban imposed on the Deputy National Chairman, North, Lawal Shuaib and National Vice Chairman, Northwest, Inuwa Abdulkadir, who were equally suspended for the same offence. The spokesman of the party had in a statement said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Through the suspension, our party has shown the capacity and willingness to implement its own rules and enforce discipline when there is an infraction. We

have also shown that no individual is above discipline and that the party would always apply equity and justice in the day to day running of the party.â&#x20AC;? The reconciliatory move by the party was not unexpected considering the fact that since the ruling party won the presidential election, majority of National Assembly seats, as well as, the highest number of states, the party has been enmeshed in internal squabbles which manifested immediately after the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primaries prior to the 2019 national elections. Another major reason the party is desperate to put its house in order is because the Buharifactor would no longer be an influence in the subsequent elections as his tenure expires in 2023. NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on


Understanding the Big Spending on Railway Nseobong Okon-Ekong attempts to unravel reasons behind the relentless construction of a modern railway system by the Muhammadu Buhari administration at seemingly overwhelming cost One of the evident achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is the assertion to put something new in place in the railway system of the country. Attaining a contemporary railway structure for Nigeria is one of the key pillars to boost the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. At different events, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to link the entire country through rail. The effort, he said, will cost between $36 and $40 billion to achieve complete interconnectivity of Nigeria. For over 50 years, since 1927, successive Nigerian administrations did very little or no development in the railways. As at 2013, an estimated N3.7 trillion had been spent on the railways from the Sani Abacha

regime to that time. The late President Umaru Yarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Adua had revoked a $8. 3bn contract, part of which was spent on the purchase of 50 locomotives at $500 million by Abacha. In 2003, N7 billion was allocated by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration for the completion of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) workshops and repair of grounded engines. The Federal Government was criticized for constructing one kilometer of railway line at N1. 22 billion. Many believed that the amount of N3. 7trillion was enough to complete light rails across the country. Critics of the high expenditure in railway construction argue that there are international benchmark prices for construction of kilometres of either roads or rail lines across similar terrains. But sources inside the

Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Railway Corporation explained that apart from environment and ecological conditions, there are other peculiarities that led to the high cost. Construction of the Lagos-Ibadan which was scheduled for completion in December 2018 was delayed for many reasons. The project which has faced delays now has a new completion date in May 2020. Some of the factors that impeded progress were heavy rains, hostility of communities occasioning deployment of soldiers to protect the railway workers from hoodlums and armed robbers. Unsure of what may happen during the 2019 national elections, the CCECC management vacated the construction site, but they have since returned, particularly when Amaechi, was again returned as minister in-charge of the project. Another factor which has led to high cost of construction of railway lines in Nigeria, particularly in the thickly populated Lagos corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan railway line is the cost of relocating some facilities. For instance, it will cost over N5 billion to find a new base for the Nigerian Army 81 Ordinance Corps in Yaba. Other facilities which need to be relocated in order to make way for the new railway line include oil and gas and water pipelines within the Lagos axis, level crossing obstruction, bridges, buildings and high voltage lines. Some of the cost intensive features of the Lagos-Ibadan railway line are four extralarge bridges, 11 larges bridges, four medium bridges, 2017 culverts, 40 railway no-level crossing and 31 pedestrian overpasses r.JOJTUFSPG5SBOTQPSUBUJPO .S3PUJNJ Amaechi says it will cost Nigeria between $36b and $40b to complete the interconnectivity of the country by rail r'PS  ZFBST  CFUXFFO  BOE   only two minor extensions were carried out; Kafanchan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bauchi and Bauchi â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Maiduguri r'PSPWFSZFBST GSPN TVDDFTTJWF Nigerian administrations did very little or

no development in the railways r*O BCODPOUSBDUGPSUIFNPEernization of Lagos-Kano standard gauge was awarded to CCECC r*O UIF.VIBNNBEV#VIBSJBENJOistration reached an understanding with GE (General Electric) and the consortium was expected to bring $2.7 billion to fix the old narrow gauge, which is about 3,500 kilometres rail line from Lagos to Kano; and on to Funtua. The syndicate of companies led by GE was also supposed to fix from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri; with a provision to recover its expenditure over 20 to 30 years. r5IF "CVKB,BEVOB SBJM QSPKFDU DPTU $874m. Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EXIM bank provided $500m as a concessionary loan for the project. The remainder was provided by the Federal Government. The Abuja-Kaduna segment is the first to be implemented as part of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge project. r*O"VHVTU BCJMMJPODPOUSBDU was awarded to CCECC to deliver the 312km long Lagos-Ibadan rail line, which is a doubletrack standard gauge line within four years. Completion date was fixed at 2016; with extensions to Apapa Sea Port and associated railway stations, commenced in March 7, 2017. The project which has faced delays was previously scheduled for completion in December 2018 now has a new completion date in May 2020. r5IFSFBSFJOEJDBUJPOTUIBUWBSJBUJPOTXJMM occur in the budget as a result of emerging details not included in the original contract details r5IF'FEFSBM(PWFSONFOUBQQSPWFE.JOJTtry of Transportationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request of $2.3 billion loan for the construction of Lagos-Calabar coastal railway project expected to cut across most states in the South East and South. The sum of $1.8 billion would come as a loan from Chinese banks, with the government providing a counterpart fund of $500 million r0O.BZ  UIFGFEFSBMHPWFSONFOU awarded $6.68 billion to CCECC to build a major segment of railway from Lagos to Kano


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Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email, 08038901925

Air Interdiction to Clear Terrorists in North-east Chiemelie Ezeobi chronicles the successes of Operation Rattle Snake one and two, an air interdiction operation, targeted at degrading the remnants of terrorists in the North-east, as well as deny them safe haven and freedom of action

The Chief of the Air StaďŹ&#x20AC; (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, welcomes gallant Nigerian Air Force pilots of the Air Task Force (ATF), Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Maiduguri as they return from a pre-dusk mission on terrorists in the ongoing Operation RATTLE SNAKE


ollowing the recent pockets of terrorist attacks in the North-east that have claimed the lives of both civilians and security operatives, the military have amped up its operational strikes and have taken no hostages in the fight to degrade all acts of terrorism. Operation RATTLE SNAKE 1 For the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), one of such measures was the inauguration of Operation RATTLE SNAKE, an air interdiction operation. Inaugurated on December 10, 2019, the operation is targeted at degrading the remnants of terrorists in the North-east, as well as deny them safe haven and freedom of action. NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, are expected to sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-east.

Strikes in Parisu, Garin Maloma Carried out by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE, the day one of the operation saw air strikes by NAF aircraft resulting in the neutralisation of several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and destruction of some of their structures at their tactical headquarters in Parisu as well as another settlement, Garin Maloma, both on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State. The attacks were executed following series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, that showed the presence of a significant number of BHT fighters in makeshift structures/ buildings under trees spread across the two settlements. According to NAF Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, overhead

Parisu, no fewer than 30 terrorists were observed by the ISR aircraft in different parts of the settlement. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The attack aircraft dispatched by the ATF to engage the location recorded accurate hits within the target area, leading to the destruction of some of the structures as well as the killing of several terrorists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Other fighters, who attempted to flee while putting up a fight, were taken out by follow on strikes at their hiding places under some trees as well as along the river line at the edge of the settlement. An attack conducted earlier in the day at Garin Maloma similarly resulted in the neutralisation of several BHTs. Neutralisation in Kokiwa, Bula Korege Not done yet, the ATF, also neutralised scores of BHTs and destroyed some of their structures in massive air strikes conducted at Kokiwa and Bula Korege on the fringes

of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State. According to Daramola, the air strikes were conducted in continuation of Operation RATTLE SNAKE after credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were also corroborated by series of ISR missions, established that the BHTs had intensified activities in the targeted settlements with a view to launching attacks against own troopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; locations in the area. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The ATF therefore detailed its fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the two locations. The combat aircraft took turns attacking targets at both locations, scoring crucial hits on the hideouts leading to the neutralisation of several BHT fighters as well as the destruction of many of their structures, some of which were seen engulfed in flames.â&#x20AC;? Obliteration at Kollaram In continuation of Operation RATTLE


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FEATURES SNAKE, the ATF has neutralised some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters as they assembled for a meeting at their hideout in Kollaram on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State. The operation was executed on December 14, 2019 following credible intelligence reports indicating that some of the ISWAP leaders had assembled for a meeting in one of two buildings at the centre of the settlement. The NAF jets dispatched by the ATF to attack the location scored accurate hits on the target building completely obliterating it and killing its terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; occupants. Decisive Blow at Kirta Wulgo Also, the ATF dealt another decisive blow on terrorist elements on December 15, 2019, in air strikes executed as part of the ongoing Operation RATTLE SNAKE that led to the destruction of some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) logistics storage facilities at Kirta Wulgo on the fringes of Lake Chad in the Northern part of Borno State. Daramola said the operation was executed after credible HUMINT reports indicated that three green-roofed buildings at the edge of the settlement were being used as warehouses by the ISWAP elements to store their food, vehicle spares, gunboats and other logistics items. Accordingly, the ATF, after carrying out confirmatory ISR missions, dispatched its attack aircraft to engage the location scoring devastating hits in successive strikes leading to the destruction of the buildings.

Some of the air strikes carried out on Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist camps and logistics facilities

Ngoske Takes a Hit The sustained air strikes yielded further results on December 16, 2019, with the destruction of another BHTs Camp at Ngoske in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State. The operation was executed after a NAF ISR aircraft had, over a series of missions, observed a scaling up of terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; activities in some compounds within the settlement. Accordingly, the ATF detailed an enhanced force package of attack aircraft to engage the location. According to the DOPRI, overhead the target area, a significant number of terrorists were observed. The munitions from the attack aircraft hit the designated location, wiping out a part of the cluster of buildings in the area and neutralizing several of the BHT fighters. Operation RATTLE SNAKE 2 Following the successes recorded by Operation RATTLE SNAKE 1, the NAF inaugurated the second phase to sustain the gains. The mission is also air interdiction operation aimed taking out some identified insurgent camps and logistics facilities in order to further unhinge the terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; centre of gravity and diminish their fighting capability. Operation RATTLE SNAKE 2 is planned to consolidate the gains of the earlier operation and shape the battle space for further air and ground operations. Abullamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Destruction In the first tranche of Operation RATTLE SNAKE 2, several BHTs were neutralised and some structures in their camp at Abullam in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State were destroyed in air strikes on December 31, 2019, by the ATF. Abullam was selected for attack on day one of the operation based on credible intelligence reports indicating that the terrorists had resumed using the once abandoned settlement as a staging point from where they launch attacks against own ground troopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; locations. Accordingly, the ATF detailed its attack aircraft, supported by an ISR aircraft, to attack designated compounds within the settlement. The jets took turns to engage the target in successive passes leading to the destruction of some of the structures as well as the killing of several terrorists. Gujeriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Night Woes At Gujeri, NAF combat helicopters destroyed the logistics facility of the terrorists in Sambisa forest. This was achieved in night-time air strikes executed on December 31, 2019 pursuant to series of ISR missions that identified some

Result is air strike conducted to take out ISWAP logistics facility at Kirta Wulgo in the fringes of the Lake Chad makeshift structures under some trees in the settlement that were being used by the terrorists to store fuel and other items for the maintenance of their vehicles. Accordingly, the ATF dispatched its combat helicopters to attack the location recording devastating hits in the target area resulting in the destruction of the storage facilities as well as other structures in the camp. On all the successes gained, the DOPRI

said the target continues to be that the NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, will sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North-east. CASâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Commendation Walking the talk, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, recently paid a visit to the gallant NAF pilots of the ATF after they returned from

a pre-dusk mission on terrorists in the ongoing operation. The CAS, while congratulating the ATF for the successes so far recorded in the operation and commending the pilots for their dedication and courage, urged them to sustain the tempo of operations in order to completely destroy designated terroristsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; operational/logistics bases and further deny them freedom of action.


MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY


T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153; 2020


Group Business Editor Obinna Chima

Email 08152447875

                  ÍŻ ÍŽ Ë&#x153;  Í° ÍŽ ÍŻ ͡ MONEY MARKET OVERNIGHT OBB

REPO 10.71 9.71


9 9.50 10


486.95% -0.01% 1.20%


1.20% 1.20%

EXCHANGE RATE ͱͮ͵˹ͯ ̩ ̩  

Quick Takes CBN injects $253.38m, CNY 16.7m

In its ďŹ rst intervention for the year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last Friday, made an intervention of $253.38 million in the retail secondary market intervention sales (SMIS) and CNY 16.76million in the spot and short tenored forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market. This was revealed by the Director, Corporate Communications Department,IsaacOkorafor,whodisclosedthattheinterventionwasforrequests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors. The Chinese Yuan, on the other hand, was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit. Okorafor,furtherexpressedsatisfactionoverthestabilityoftheforeign exchange especially during the yuletide and new year celebrations which according to him, was largely due to sustained intervention by the Bank. He assured that the apex bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s management would remain committed to ensuring that all the sectors of the market continue to enjoy access to the needed foreign exchange.Meanwhile, $1 exchanged for N359 at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market, while CNY1 exchanged at N46.

Firm Empowers Females


L-R: Registrar/CEO, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. Seye Awojobi; First Vice President, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi; Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Ade Shonubi; Former CBN Governor, Chief Joseph Sanusi; son of Alhaji Otiti, Mr. Olatokunbo Otiti; President/ Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Uche Olowu; Chairman, FBN Holding Plc, Mr. Oba Otudeko, during the CIBN special governing council valedictory session in honour of Late Alhaji Amusa O.G Otiti, at Lagosâ&#x20AC;Śrecently

Insurance Regulator to Prepare Operators ahead of IFRS 17 Adoption Ebere Nwoji The National Insurance Commission, (NAICOM) has said it will this year intensify effort in preparing operators for total adoption of International Financial Reporting System (IFRS) 17, an advanced of IFRS 4 which the industry had adopted. The commission also disclosed that it would more than double efforts so as to ensure that operators are well prepared ahead of 2022. Speaking exclusively to THISDAY on the workings of the IFRS17 and how the commission was preparing grounds for its full adoption, NAICOM Director Governance, Enforcement and Compliance, Mr. Barneka Thompson, said the commission would fully adopt the standards in 2022. He, however, pointed out that intensive preparation of the operators would commence this year.

INSURANCE According to him, the commission started this preparation since 2017, but on a very slow pace. Speaking on the difference between the IFRS 4 and 17, Barneka said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the degree of change from IFRS 4 to IFRS 17 is very huge and significant and it impacts not only on financial reporting processes but on every other system great. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The management information system of the company, the IT system the actuarial determination and practice of the company, the internal processes as in process management, the strategy of the companies the corporate strategy will be modified to accommodate the degree of change. Continuing he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;talking about financial reporting, both the revenue recognition, measurement will be significantly impacted and

also the degree of disclosure of matters and reporting on insurance contract will be different, the degree of analysis that will be required, the data system requirement, the past and present data and future projected data requirement will be significant.â&#x20AC;? According to him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is not just something that you copy and paste, you do your gap analysis, your scooping and impact analysis before you commence. â&#x20AC;&#x153;By awareness and determining what you require to comply with the IFRS 17. He said some countries started it since 2013, when initially the initiative introductory version was released until the final releases were made in 2018. He said the IFRS 17 was not a regulatory drive, adding that NAICOM has the responsibility as regulator to ensure that in collaboration with Financial Reporting Council, it ensures

that entities under its supervision conform to protocols signed by federal government as part of best practice . He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the objective of its adoption is comparability of financial reporting and reporting of insurance companiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; accounts across the world.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is what is being issued by the international accounting standard board and so it is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best practice aside the US that still uses its GAP,â&#x20AC;? he added. He said because of disclosure and reporting aspect of it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a lot of things are going to be disclosed this year.â&#x20AC;? The IFRS 17 is an standard that was issued by the International Accounting Standards Board in May 2017. It will replace IFRS 4 on accounting for insurance contracts and has an effective date of January 1, 2021. In November Continued on page 24

Co-living Concept Gaining Ground in Nigeria, Says Real Estate Expert Obinna Chima The Co-living arrangement, a modern form of housing where residents share living space is becoming popular in the country. The Chief Operating Officer, Northcourt, a real estate investment solution, Mr. Ayo Ibaru, said this in Lagos, during the presentation of the 2020 real estate market outlook, at a forum organised recently by his firm in Lagos. According to Ibaru, the residential market is showing signs of recovery, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and co-living as a concept is gaining ground, where

HOUSING you find people coming together, rent like a five-bedroom flat and share it equally.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this, you have a lot of advantages like you are in the city centre, you have a good address, the environment is serene and you can get to and fro your work easily.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you look at Ikeja GRA, Lekki, Magodo, you will find out that a lot of five bedrooms are being converted into offices. People move in and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put sign boards outside,â&#x20AC;? he added

The Northcourt boss pointed out that vacancy rates are proxy of how property prices, demand and supply interact in an environment. This, according to him, gives an idea as to where smart money is going. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Land prices have continued to appreciate. Lands in Lagos Mainland are expected to grow slightly faster than Lagos Island. Coming from 2016, we found that Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, on the average, vacancy rate has dropped and they dropped for various reasons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Lagos, we found out that developers are getting a bit more

thoughtful about what people want. Port Harcourt, largely because it has yet to extricate itself as a state that is unsafe. What that means is that it affects supply. Abuja, vacancy rates are dropping because we are not having many developments reaching completion and everyone is careful,â&#x20AC;? he added. Earlier, in his presentation on the 2020 Economic Outlook, the Chief Executive Officer, Graeme Blaque Advisory, said in terms of outlook, the current year is one of the most predictable years.

Kings and Queens Beauty Institute (KQBI) has announced the commencement of training for over 30 young female beneďŹ ciaries selected from Karimajiji and Kuchingoro communities of the Federal CapitalTerritory (FCT), in a conscious eďŹ&#x20AC;ort to help secure their future by promoting self-sustainability. KQBI is a government approved training institute for cosmetology and beauty therapy. The Director of the institute, Susie Aghedo, explained that the gesture, which was part of a corporate social responsibility (CSR), was envisaged to take the girl child out of the street and secure a future for them through proďŹ table training that would provide them a means of livelihood. She said most girl children are traďŹ&#x192;cked largely because they are idle with nothing to do while some had dropped out of school. Accordingtoher,whenthetraďŹ&#x192;ckerscomewithallmannersofenticement, the vulnerable girls often easily fall prey to the formerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s antics, adding that the reverse is the case where the young female is proďŹ tably engaged. Importantly, Aghedo said the training was a way of giving back to the society, adding that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;as the saying goes, when you train a girl you train the communityâ&#x20AC;?, adding that adding itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;more like train the trainer, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expected that these 30 girls will in turn train others in the community.â&#x20AC;? Also, Registrar of the institute,Toritse Ikomi said the Institute also offers diploma in cosmetology and beauty therapy to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in the salon and beauty industry,bytakingstudentsthroughalldepartmentsinhairdressing,beauty therapy, nail technology, make-up to blend, academic learning with hands on practical experience.

Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Africa to Keep Repo at 6.5%

South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reserve Bank will keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday as it awaits a February budget and a ratings review by Moodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s due in the next few months, but will cut by 25 basis points in May, a Reuters poll found on Friday. All but three of the 24 economists surveyed over the past three days said the repo rate would be kept unchanged at 6.5 per cent on January 16. That would be the third meeting to leave policy unchanged since the bank cut rates in July by a quarter of a percent. Francesca Beausang at Continuum Economics said the Reserve Bank would avoid a rate cut in the ďŹ rst quarter ahead of the February budget which is expected to have signiďŹ cant implications for Moodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision on the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit rating. The poll suggests the Reserve Bank will cut rates in May by 25 basis points to 6.25 per cent and then hold steady through next year. Beausang said one last cut in the second quarter was needed to give consumers a conďŹ dence boost and oďŹ&#x20AC;set some of the short-term disruptions hit to growth from a disrupted electricity supply. â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, inďŹ&#x201A;ation should then accelerate and peak in Q3-2020 given farmers are expected to sow 2.8 per cent fewer hectares of maize than in the previous season and electricity tariďŹ&#x20AC;s are likely to increase,â&#x20AC;? she said. The survey medians suggested inďŹ&#x201A;ation was expected to average 4.8 per cent this year, 0.2 percentage points faster than in last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s survey.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once you have clear direction and you have business confidence, then local investors will spend, build more factories, build more factories, they will invest in more business, expand their businesses and the foreign direct investors will also come inâ&#x20AC;? Investment Banker, Economist,

Continued on page 24

Mr. Tilewa Adebajo

T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153; 2020


BUSINESSWORLD INSURANCE REGULATOR TO PREPARE OPERATORS AHEAD OF IFRS 17 ADOPTION 2018 the International Accounting Standards Board proposed to delay the effective date by one year to January 1, 2022. Under the IFRS 17 model, insurance contract liabilities will be calculated as the present value of future insurance cash flows with a provision for risk. The discount rate would reflect current interest rates. If the present value of future cash flows would produce a gain at the time a contract is issued the model would also require a â&#x20AC;&#x153;contractual service marginâ&#x20AC;? to offset the day one gain. CO-LIVING CONCEPT GAINING GROUND IN NIGERIA, SAYS REAL ESTATE EXPERT

He noted that the early passage of the 2020 budget, which was the earliest the country had gotten in a very long time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are four things that the Nigerian economy is highly susceptible to. Those four things determine how the economy would behave. They are: Economic policy stability, election cycle, oil price and forex reserves. Now, these four things are extremely important for how the economy of the country would behave. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Remember, in 2015, all these crystalised at same time. Firstly, regarding policy, we had a new Central Bank Governor that came in, in 2014 and he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find his feet until towards the end of 2014 and as we entered the election cycle, oil price crashed from as high as $110 per barrel and eventually bottomed at about $28 and because of that, our reserves crashed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Needless to say, less than a year later, the country went into a recession. So, whether we changed the government or not in 2015, the recession was bound to happen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now, going into 2020, we are lucky, we have come out of an election cycle and so we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have that risk. Our Central Bank Governor is not new and oil prices have much more stabilised and with the US-Iran issue, it is more likely to go up than down,â&#x20AC;? he explained.

Group Business Editor


New NEPZA Boss Wants Act Amended to Liberate Economic Sectors James Emejo in Abuja The newly appointed acting Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Mr. Bitrus Dawuk, has canvassed the amendment of the agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s establishment Act which he described as currently obsolete in view of present reality. He said the NEPZA Act 63, 1992 had failed to meet the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current economic demands, adding that its amendment will be vigorously pursued under his administration. Speaking during his maiden interactive session with journalists, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My intention is to work with the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments, the National Assembly and other stakeholders to get this Act amended, if I can achieve this during the lifespan of my tenure, I will remain very grateful.â&#x20AC;? He said the proposed amendment would usher in lots of investments in infrastructure, finance, generate wealth, creates direct and indirect jobs as well as reduce the reliance on oil revenue in line with the objectives of the present administration to diversify the economy. However, the authority had made several attempts under previous administrations to

amend the Act without success due to some meditation factoring. Essentially, the NEPZA Act 63 was initiated to license, monitor and regulate all the free trade zones including Calabar, Lagos, Kano among others. He said the review would enable the authority

to be self-sustaining. He also clarified that a seven-member committee drawn from the authority and from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment had been set up to probe alleged diversion of funds from NEPZA to other accounts in violation of

extant financial rules during the tenure of the erstwhile minister, Okechukwu Elelamah. Dawuk, further vowed to prioritise workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; welfare and build their capacity to properly harness their potentials for better service delivery- and promised to

work with the supervising ministry, and other stakeholders to ensure that the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free trade zones deliver their maximum contributions to economic growth. He, further sought better collaboration and partnership with the media to advance the economy.


L-R: Acting Head, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Ayodele Osolake; Chief Financial Officer, Ibukun Oyedeji; Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Carol Oyedeji; Managing Director, Patrick Akinwuntan; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary, State Government, Folashade Sherifat Jaji and Treasurer, Ecobank Nigeria, Tokunbo Uko, during a courtesy visit by Ecobank Nigeria

Enugu Airport: Contractor Condemns Hostility of Host Community Chinedu Eze The company handling the reconstruction of the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu PW, has complained about the hostility by the host community at the quarry site where it sources gravel and called on the state government for protection. The company said its trucks conveying materials from the site were usually blocked by people from the communities, thereby frustrating the movement of the vehicles and progress of work at the airport. The complaint was made recently when the House Committee on Aviation summoned the aviation agencies to explain why British Airways and Air France diverted their flights

from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Accra and Cotonou respectively. However, the contractor, PW and consultant, KEFE Engineering Limited, assured that work at the airport would be completed at the targeted date, noting they were working assiduously not only to meet the completion target, but to also deliver a runway that would be of international standard and that flight would resume before Easter, as promised by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. During the interactive session with the chief executives of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA), Captain Akinkotou, and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN),

Captain Rabiu Yadudu, the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Nnolim Nnaji expressed dismay that the development could force the aforementioned airlines destined to Lagos to land outside the country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was embarrassing and does not portray us in good light. I thought we had passed this stage. In our last oversight in Lagos, you people assured us that with category three instrument landing system, (ILS) flights could land at zero visibility at the airport so to read in newspapers that foreign flights were diverting to other countries raises a lot of questions,â&#x20AC;? Nnaji said. Nnaji, who represents Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State noted that the committee needed explanations from the two agencies on why the country should

experience such unfortunate development despite the earlier assurances from them that harmattan haze would not affect international flight operations this time around because of the facilities that had been put in place. The chairman and members further reminded them that the report was not only damaging to the image of the country, but had also raised safety concerns among the travelling public. He noted that since the report of the incident he and his members had been bombarded with calls from the constituents regarding the state of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s airspace. Responding, Akinkuotu assured the committee that based on the national weather minima and the available aids, the flight would have

landed safely but the British pilot chose to go to Ghana based on the airlineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standard operating procedure, (SOP). He said that it was regrettable that the same captain came back and landed under same weather without problems, noting that several other foreign airlines were landing at the same time the British Airways aborted landing without issues. The House thereafter mandated the agency to issue a statement to allay the fears of Nigerians and visitors to the country. The chairman equally expressed worries over the state of facilities at the international terminal of the Murtala Mohammed Airport; (MMIA) especially the conveyor belts, which he said had deteriorated.

Obinna Chima

Capital Market Editor

Minister Harps on Planning

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)

James Emejo in Abuja The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, has advised state governments to take planning seriously, pointing out that the country was able to successfully overcome the recent economic challenges with the aid of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). He said most states appeared to elevate budgeting, thereby

relegating planning which according to him is the most important element for achieving success in economic growth. Speaking when he received a delegation of the Katsina State Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Council (KS MSMEC), led by the State Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, who doubles as the chairman of the Council, over the weekend, the minister said, planning had been found to be useful in

managing the economy. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had in the past concentrated our efforts on just budgeting, but budgeting must grow from a development plan and that explains the success we have recorded so far in the economy, although this has not met our expectations, but it has remained consistent in the last ten quarters.â&#x20AC;? He further commended the state government for setting

up the council adding that available statistics suggested that MSMEs employ between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the working population and remained key to economic prosperity. The minister urged the state to take advantage of the â&#x201A;Ź500million approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the Bank of Industry (BoI) to support MSMEsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; development in the country by working with

the bank to access the fund. Earlier, the deputy governor had informed the minister that the state was desirous of creating an enabling environment that would facilitate economic growth. He asked the minister for technical assistance in attracting more funds from development partners and other donor agencies as well as to build the capacity of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s workforce.

T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153;Í°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ




All-Share Index Rises 9.1%, Records 2-year Highest Weekly Gain Goddy Egene The Nigerian equities market recorded the best weekly performance in two years following sustained bargain hunting by investors. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index rose 9.1 per cent to hit 29,415.39, while market capitalisation rose by 16.5 per cent to N15.175 trillion last week. The last time the market posted such a major weekly gain was January 12, 2018. Investorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; appetite for risk assets increased significantly as traders continued to take advantage of low prices of equities that suffered major decline last year. Against the backdrop of the increased demand and major gain last week, the year-to-date growth has risen to 9.6 per cent. All other indices finished higher with the exception of NSE Oil/Gas Index, which depreciated by 0.04 per cent and NSE ASeM Index which closed flat. According to analysts at Cordros Capital, while they expect profittakers to dominate activities this week, they still see significant legroom for a further rally as the elevated maturities from fixed income instruments hunt for investment vehicles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nonetheless, we advise investors to cherry-pick fundamentally sound stocks,â&#x20AC;? they said. Apart from the NSE ASI that posted a major jump, the market capitalisation of the exchange also hit N15.175 trillion due to the listing of BUA Cement Plc. A total of 33.864 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of BUA Cement Plc were listed at N35 per share. However, high demand for the stock on lifted its share price to rose to N41.00 per share, boosting its market capitalisation from N1.18 trillion to N1.388 trillion. Speaking at the listing ceremony, Managing Director of the company, Yusuf Binji, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;BUA Cement is poised to add even more value to the Nigerian economy as a whole through this listing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over the past few years, we have significantly ramped up capacity and currently boast the most efficient and integrated operations in the Nigerian cement industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This new publicly listed company will continue to deliver exceptional value to all stakeholders in the foreseeable future.â&#x20AC;? According to him, the merger provided a compelling opportunity to capture significant synergies and create value for the benefit of the shareholders of both companies in the form of stronger competitive position of the enlarged company, economies of scale, enhanced operations and administrative efficiencies that will accrue. He said it is a major fulfillment for the group to have its shares listed after a merger of two companies that control significant markets in Southern and Northern parts of the country. According to Binji, the listing of BUA followed the merger of Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN)Plc and Obu Cement Company Limited. He explained that while CCNN was the listed company before now, its merger with Obu Cement, both of members of the BUA Group, gave birth to BUA Cement Plc , an enlarged firm, with a total installed capacity of 8.0 metric tonnes per annum(mtpa). â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is in line with the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision to unlock opportunities inherent in the business space in Africa for Africans by Africans through

BUAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategic investments in key industries within Nigeria and across the continent. The new entity, BUA Cement, will be the second largest producer of cement in Nigeria by Volume with factories in Sokoto State, North-east Nigeria (2million mtpa) and Okpella Edo State, South-south Nigeria (6 million mtpa),â&#x20AC;? he said. He disclosed that a new three million mtpa plant currently being constructed is scheduled to be

operational in 2020 in Sokoto State. â&#x20AC;&#x153;BUA Cement also has the benefit of market leadership positions in its key regional markets of the North West, South-south and South-east Nigeria due to its location and proximity to those markets. It also has a huge export market in Western Africa. He said with the listing the shareholders should expect better returns because the company will

be one the top best dividend paying companies. Binji said in addition to meeting the demand from customers in our core regions in the country, the enlarged company would be positioned to distribute its products in new geographical markets, creating the potential for additional shareholder value creation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The merger of the two companies to become BUA Cement would pro-

vide opportunities for significant cost savings and improved operational efficiencies by streamlining operations and optimising the use of combined resources. It has also provided a platform where the enlarged company benefits from economies of scale in procurement, distribution and manufacturing of the products offered to our customers. We expect the benefits accruing from greater economies of scale to accrue to many stakeholders,â&#x20AC;? he said. According to the CEO, the listing further restated the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s commitment towards the Nigerian economy and delivering of exceptional value to stakeholders at all times. Also speaking, the CEO of the NSE, Oscar Onyema, applauded the Founder of BUA Group and Chairman of BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, for bringing BUAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expanded cement business to the exchange it as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;show of confidence in the value the NSE offers.â&#x20AC;? According to him, BUA Cement Plc had become the third company on the NSE. He said the capital market community, and NSE in particular welcomed BUA Cement listing with excitement, adding that it is historic to record such a major listing at the beginning of the year. He said the listing offers another opportunity for investors to have access to a company with good performance track record and bright future prospects, adding that the company has plans to move to the Premium Board of the NSE in very short period of time. Market turnover Meanwhile, investors traded 2.683 billion shares worth N32.646 billion in 30,956 deals last week, up from 2.309 billion shares valued at N21.675 billion that exchanged hands in 14,906 deals the previous week. The Financial Services industry maintained the lead on the activity chart with 2.035 billion shares valued at N18.592 billion traded in 18,876 deals, thus contributing 75.8 per cent and 56.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates industry followed with 225.720 million shares worth N504.123 million in 1,217 deals. The third place was Consumer Goods industry, with a turnover of 123.382 million shares worth N3.116 billion in 3,403 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely, United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and WAPIC Insurance Plc accounted for 934.661 million shares worth N10.925 billion in 7,194 deals, contributing 34.8 per cent and 33.4 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Regarding Exchange Traded Funds, a total of 15,390 units valued at N13.095 million were traded last week in 32 deals, compared with a total of 4,033 units valued at N4.233 million transacted the previous week in 26 deals. In bonds market, a total of 64,840 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N71.362 million were traded in 30 deals, compared with a total of 204,300 units valued at N237.207 million transacted the previous week in four deals. Top price gainers and losers The price movement chart showed that 51 equities appreciated during the week, higher than 44 equities in the previous week, while 20 equities depreciated in price, lower than 24 equities in the previous week. Dangote Cement Plc led the price gainers with 21.1 per cent, trailed by Presco Plc with 19.7 per cent. Livestock Feeds Plc garnered 18 per


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Adegbite: Conspiracy Led to Failure of Ajaokuta Steel Company TheMinisterofMinesandSteelDevelopment,Mr.OlamilekanAdegbite,inthisinterviewon â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Morning Show,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; on Arise Television, spoke about the efforts by the federal government to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company through a partnership with the Russian government. Among other issues, he also spoke about efforts to enhance capacity and productivity of artisanal miners, to enable them thrive better. Peter Uzoho presents the excerpts: How optimistic should we be about Ajaokuta Steel Company considering the fact that it has almost become a white elephant project and since 1979, we have just been moving back and forth, from the Russians to the Indians? We need to be optimistic about Ajaokuta. This administration is giving its best shots now on Ajaokuta, we have tried quasi-privatisation in the past, we have tried concession with the Americans, like you said, with the Indians, and all that, and it all failed. Now we have gone to the original people that built Ajaokuta. It is unfortunate that we are at this impasse, because Ajaokuta like everybody will tell you is 95 per cent or 98 per cent complete, and you just wonder why not that little push. There is a conspiracy internationally for Nigeria not to produce steel, especially then we were buying our steel from the West. Of course, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want us to produce steel, and of course, with some local collusion or whatever, Ajaokuta has failed. But that is in the past, the focus now is on making sure that Ajaokuta works. President Muhammadu Buhari has said we cannot throw Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s money, hard-earned revenue at Ajaokuta again. So we are looking at something totally different and innovative. We have gone back to the Russians who are the original builders under the Soviet Union â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Russia, Ukraine, and then some Romanians participated. What we are doing now is, we have gone to the Government of Russia and they are working with the Nigerian Government to say that Russian will nominate a contractor from their country. We have got funding from the Russian Export Centre, that is something like an Eximbank and of course from the Afreximbank, we have this funding. Now, the Russian Government will bring the contractor forth and we are working government to government. This seems to be a better idea than what we had in the past, where it was just profit-oriented and then people just came in and milked Ajaokuta. Ajaokuta has worked at different times sporadically, one activity or the other, but now the thing is to get it working and keep it working. The arrangement we have now in place is that a company will come in, with the funding we are getting, and Ajaokuta will pay for itself. So we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to involve public fund in Ajaokuta, that is the model we are working on now. As we speak, we are developing a business model to justify that, and this time, with all hands on deck, I think we should get it right. You said that public fund will not be involved, but in the 2020 budget, there is a provision of a substantial amount of money for Ajaokuta Steel company, which contradicts what you just said? When I came into office a few months ago and I looked at the budget over the years and I said, look, we are paying staff in Ajaokuta, I mean something close to over N2 billion every year, that is the budget; and I said, why this? But I have visited Ajaokuta and I realised that the only reason why we have assets there today, why Ajaokuta is intact, is because we have been spending that money annually paying the staff. What government has done over the years is to maintain the staff in Ajaokuta and they have been operating skeletally. They keep the machines moving, they do the routine maintenance and that is why there is something you can come back to. We all know what this country is like. Look at the rail slippers that have just been installed and people were stealing them. If Ajaokuta has been left since about 1994 or so, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t meet anything there. The whole place will be vandalised, it will become a ghost town. Let me give you this, Ajaokuta itself is bigger than the whole of the FCT. Ajaokuta was created as a steel territory and it is a bigger town than Abuja that we have here. It has its own airport, it has its own port, it has communities, over 10,000 housing units, all these have been maintained by this model that you see in the budget and of course the same thing for next year. The staff

Adegbite are there. Ultimately, when Ajaokuta is running, of course, like I said, the business model will take over, because then it will be able to pay the staff and of course pay, its way out of this borrowings. So, what you see in the budget is actually the fund to pay the staff of Ajaokuta and it has been like that, and I think it is something that is commendable. Currently mining and solid minerals only account for 0.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product as it stands. How are we looking to increase that? Well, I think your data is slightly out of date. We were 0.03 in 2015. As of end of 2018, we have grown to 0.05. You may say that is just marginal increase, but that shows you that since 2015 when this administration came on board, they have put a lot of attention on mining and have put a lot of money into it as well, and we will begin to see increment on that. Even our revenue this year has surpassed whatever we have done in the past since we started monitoring. We have been monitoring revenue since about 2015 and right now this year has gone on record, I think we are going to make about N5 billion. That is from direct royalty and licensing. There is a lot of money that come from mining which we are now trying to insist should be credited to mining. Look at all the cement companies in Nigeria, essentially their major ingredient is limestone which is from mining. So a lot of money that is paid to government as taxes on this limestone thing is not credited to mining, it is credited to the industry and some other sectors. If we credit that, actually what mining is contributing now is slightly higher than the data we have. But as of 2018, it had climbed from 0.03 to 0.05. Looking at the way Nigeria is enriched with over 40 different types of solid minerals, how are we proposing to utilise these minerals to serve the people? Well, what really happened was that Nigeria lost focus on mining when we got oil and gas. This is because when the colonial masters were here, they relied on mining. Nigeria was quoted copiously on the London Exchange. We were the largest exporter of columbite at one point. We were exporting coal, exporting tin to the world. But with the advent of oil and gas, we shifted focus away from mining. But now that oil and gas, fossil fuel is on its way out, everybody is talking about climate change and all that, the

focus is now back on mining; and the potential in mining actually can surpass what we have in oil and gas. Like you said, as of today, we have about 44 minerals which have been identified, especially the minerals of the future, like cotton, cobalt, lithium. These are materials of the future and Nigeria has abundance of that. You know, when you go into electric car, when you go into your mobile phone and all that, these are the materials that are used for that. But besides, the immediate ones are the industrial minerals that we are trying to make sure we use. I have spoken about barite in so many fora, that is one. Nigerians spent several millions of dollars annually importing barites into Nigeria. Nigeria has plenty of barites. The problem has been the gap between the mines and the market, and we are bridging that to make sure that in about a year time, we start supplying Nigerian market with barites, and we are looking at about two years, to make sure that we satisfy local demand and then stop importation, meet the quality that is required, that is one. There is dimension stone. You mentioned marble, we have granite. People spend millions of dollars annually importing from Italy, from China and all that. But we have got these materials. There was a success story when I was working for Ogun State Government. The largest ceramic tile manufacturer came into Ogun, that is CDK, they are there at the Sagamu Interchange, and now, the good thing about that which is for mining is that they are producing tiles which they export to the world, and you see made-in-Nigeria from Ogun State on those cartons that are being exported to the world. Yes, it is a success story. They are the largest manufacturer of tiles and ceramics in the world. They do all toilet fixtures, fittings and all that. It is just being done out of Shagamu in Ogun State. It is one of the success story of mining. The material is there. We are trying to extend that to marble, granite. We have got various stones all over the country, dimension stones. Instead of importing your granite, marble for millions of dollars, we can do it here. It is the same stones that are cut. All you need is the right equipment to polish them. We all know that the Nigerian Iron Ore Company was tasked with processing and supplying Ajaokuta Steel Company with iron steel and all of that, so since the Ajaokuta is not functional at the moment, what exactly is its function? Well, I think I have explained Ajaokuta. You

need to visit Ajaokuta. Everybody keeps talking about Ajaokuta, people are emotional about it. Some even said let us sell it outrightly. Nigeria has spent close to $6 billion on Ajaokuta as it stands. But you need to go there. It is bigger than the whole of Abuja, and it is a lot of money that has been sunk into that place, it is a lot of investment. But this investment has been kept alive by the money we pay to the staff annually. About 10,000 housing units are there. You have got the plant itself which is being maintained. Even now as the Russians are coming, all the mechanical parts are intact, almost 100 per cent. Most of the things that will be changed in Ajaokuta will be the electronics and few things like that, which are of course obsolete because they have been fixed since 1994, that was the time they pulled out. So, Ajaokuta itself is something that is a game changer for Nigeria, because you cannot industrialise when you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have steel, it is very important. Even in construction we spend several billions of dollars every year importing steel into this country. If Ajaokuta could come on stream, there a few local companies that are producing steel now but they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even meet local demand. So we still import a lot of steel into Nigeria. If Ajaokuta were to produce, the facility in Ajaokuta is so outstanding, we can even begin to make ammunition for the military, we can begin to make car parks for vehicles, engine blocks, everything is there. So, there is a lot of potential, ones you produce steel you can now transform it to anything; and of course it is creating a lot of employment which is the mandate the president has given us â&#x20AC;&#x201C;create a lot of employment, generate revenue for Nigeria, and of course begin to take millions of youths who are roaming the street off the streets. Ajaokuta has a lot of benefit downstream as well. There are a lot of foundries that will benefit from Ajaokuta, our industries will benefit. There are so many things that will come from Ajaokuta. And like I said, Ajaokuta itself is mining because you have to mine the iron ore, which is the major ingredient for steel production. We mine the iron ore at Itakpe, and of course there is a rail link that transports it to Ajaokuta and so on and so forth. There is so much potential in mining and steel for Nigeria. I think we have put the right focus and as we are doing that and we are sustaining that we will get there. What is the current status of the iron ore company in Itape, it was supposed to be feeding Ajaokuta Steel Mill? Also, I will like you to tell us what is happening at the Aluminum Smelting Company in Ikot Abasi; and also the one that has been sold off by AMCON â&#x20AC;&#x201C;the Delta Steel Company in Alaja? What is the Minister of Mines and Steel Development doing about all these strategic national assets? Well, let me start with the Nigerian Iron Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Itakpe, it is still intact, there is nothing wrong with it. Itakpe is ready to supply iron ore to Ajaokuta. So we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have so much to do in Itakpe. Itakpe is actually good to go. Like I said, a few tweaking. The minister of transportation just rehabilitated the rail line that links it from Warri, of course that is at Alaja to Itakpe and to Ajaokuta. So, we are good to go as far as Itakpe is concerned, just a few tweaking. But then, I must tell you the other two you asked about - that is, the Aluminum Smelting Company in Ikot Abasi, it is no longer Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s asset. That has been privatised, it is a private company now that has been sold. Also, with Delta Steel Company in Alaja, it has also been privatised and out of the hands of the Nigerian government. So, those two entities are no longer national assets, they have been privatised, of course in the best opinion of the government that came before us. But do you really believe that focusing on mining can boost the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GDP? Yes, I can say that, the potential in mining is so



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ADEGBITE: CONSPIRACY LED TO FAILURE OF AJAOKUTA STEEL COMPANY vast that it can of course surpass oil and gas in terms of earnings. For instance, there was a joke just recently, between myself and the minister of state for petroleum, I said give me one kilogram of gold and I give you one kilogram of oil, I call him the minister for black gold. And you see, you cannot compare that. Maybe a kilogram weight in oil will sell for maybe about N1000. For gold, that will sell for about $1.4 million. So, if we get it right, with the potential we have, we have plenty of gold. I have not even spoken about gemstones we have in Nigeria. Some of these stones are so rare that they are not found anywhere else. People are coming after them. Unfortunately, we have had a couple of this illegal mining activity, but we are stemming that. So, we got gold on one hand, which is a game changer. If we can get our gold right, it can earn so much for us. We have got all these sapphire, ruby, so many of these gemstones, that is another industry on its own. Apart from the revenue potential, it also can create job. Now, part of the things we are doing is that we are training people to be able handle gemstones, create jewelry and all that. Recently, I was in a factory in Abuja, I went to inspect, there was a lady that making jewelry and I was so happy. She made a custom-made jewelry for a big society wedding in Nigeria, I saw the picture and the bride was looking so lovely. You will think that this came from any of those big capitals of the world, but it was made right here in Abuja, and that was the potential we are trying to push forward. This industry can create jobs for our youth, from people who cut the stones to people who make the metals, whether it is gold, silver or any metal, from diamond and all that, people who cut this, there is a big industry there that we can create employment for our people. So it has got a lot of potential. It is unfortunate that we left it behind for so long and that inertia of starting again is what we are witnessing now. But once we get moving, it will be coasting down here and of course Nigeria will be better for it. Artisanal mining is a huge source of livelihood for a lot of people in the rural areas. However, the health hazards are inevitable and I am curious as to if there are other alternative to this form of mining, looking at the fact that it is terrible for their health, especially lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, amongst others? Well, artisanal miners as it were, people used to call them illegal miners but we say no, they are not illegal miners. These are artisans who are engaged in subsistence living. They go there, they do surface mining, they dig about two feet, 10 feet miles and they get some minerals, they sell and then get their next meal or something to keep them for the next one month. So these are the artisanal miners, but they are going about it the illegal way; and government has done something very fantastic even before I came into office. They have created a fund for them. We have a N5 billion fund which we are managing, to say look, these artisanal miners should come in, we train them, we give them equipment, we teach them safer methods. You know, because they are not trained and they are just doing this haphazardly. We have had incident like you mentioned, lead poisoning which happened in Zamfara. We have had the walls of the mine collapsing on them. At times, it hits the water table and then the water just flows into the mine and before you can get out it drowns people. So this is what we are doing: we are calling these artisans miners, training them, we are organising them into cooperatives, because that is the only way we can deal with them and that is the only way we can ensure that the money we give them comes back. What do you think is responsible for Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inability to move from a mineral-rich country to a mining country? Well, the truth of the matter is that these potential is not something that is just academic. You need to look at what sustains Nigeria. You are right. From 1902, what sustained Nigeria before the advent of oil and gas, I told you, it is not just a matter of saying the potential is the, it actually was the main earner for Nigeria. We were exporting coal from Enugu, exporting tin from Jos, and of course, we were doing colombite. So, it is not that we are just talking about potential, it is what had happened before in Nigeria. And someone would say, it is the curse of oil. When we got oil and gas in the 50s, we drifted away from mining. Mining was the main thing Nigeria

Adegbite was doing, Nigeria was not known for oil. We left mining behind. Those countries that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have oil and were relying on mining of course progressed. You know, new technologies, new findings and all that. Mining also has to do with exploration. As of today, we say we have found 44 minerals. There may be many more there. We need to invest more in exploration to discover them, they are all over this country, you find them in every nook and cranny. So, what really happened was that we lost focus, and then by the 70s, I think by 1975, with the Indigenisation Decree, the big mining companies left Nigeria because government of course naturalised everything, they left. So, we are totally out of mining. So we are talking potentials today is because we are just starting all over again. And like I said, there is always inertia, something you have not done for a long while and you are trying to go back to it, it is going to take you a while. We go to all these miming fora abroad and sell Nigeria to them. Nigeria is not known for mining, that is they tell us, Nigeria is known for oil and gas. So we are trying to sell Nigeria back to the consciousness of this people. We need the big miners to come into Nigeria to develop the mines. What the artisanal miners are doing is scratching the surface. That is not even the minerals we gave in Nigeria, the minerals we have in Nigeria are deep down there and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that with artisans mining with all these simple implements. You need to build proper mine shaft; at times it goes down about half a kilometer into the ground before you hit a pale load. So this is what we are trying to do: get the people who can do this, and that is where Nigeria can make money from this. We are not making money from the artisanal miners. Most of these people are known informally, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have licences, they just do it because it is at the back of their house; they met their parents doing it and they are just doing it for their subsistence living, and we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to deprive them, if you chase them away of course that is going to create a lot of problem. Tech companies like Tesla, Google, Apple are now under investigation for use of child miners in the Democrstic Republic of Congo. What checks and balances do you have in place to ensure that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take place in Nigeria? Well, seriously, you know DRC has its own peculiar problems because it is a war-torn country. Some would say a country is not at peace because of the mining activity. Because it pains a lot of people when the government is not in place a lot of illegal activities can take place, that is the problem of DRC. In Nigeria, thank God our system is not near that. We have children in mining, essentially most of these kids in mining are brought in by their mothers. So there are a lot of women in mining. Government is doing something already. We had few pilot programmes that have worked. What we did was that we

provided the women with simple implements like wheelbarrows, shovels and all that. At the same time, we furnished classrooms in those communities and enrolment went up to about 400, enrolment shot up. The women are able to produce more with the implements we gave them because hitherto they were using their kids. Now, they can put their children in school, they have the equipment which we provided them with which they can use to increase their productivity. We have done this in about two places, trying to get the kids out of the mines. We support the women because mostly you find that women bring their children to mining. We support the women with equipment, give them a little funding and of course taking the kids out of that. Of course, we also help the classrooms, help the schools in those areas and then the kids can go back to school. So, these are some of the success story. But I can assure you that the responsible miners, the big ones will not employ children because they have reputation to protect and all that, and these are the people we are trying to encourage to come into Nigeria. When they do, they will even absolve all these artisanal miners because they now become their workers, they can now work deep down the ground and of course do what they are doing now in a safer environment. In April 2008, the Minister of Mines and Steel at the time mentioned that Nigeria was considering coal as an alternative source of power. Now I am curious as to whether or not this is still in the works, knowing that we have about 10,000 megawatts of coal for power lying idle? As we speak, coal being used for power is ongoing in Nigeria in so many areas. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to mention specific companies so it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be like I am advertising any company. But a lot of companies are using coal to produce in Nigeria now. So coal as a form of energy is already a big thing in Nigeria: coal-to-power, coal-to-fire engines, to get aid and all that is already a big thing in Nigeria. As we speak, people are asking for more licences to mine coal to produce power whether for their own use, captive generation or to put on the grid. So it is something that has already gone very big in Nigeria. We gave a lot of companies now that are using coal in their production system. In Zamfara, bandits, illegal miners, and artisanal miners took over gold mining in that state and that led to a crisis and eventually government had to shut down mines in the state. What is the situation in the state presently? What happened in Zamfara, we need to distinguish it. There are people we call artisanal miners and then, of course the illegal mining. These are foreign nationals who have invaded Nigeria and of course are going into the hinterland to do mining illegally. We welcome foreigners to come and do mining, but you need to go

through the proper protocol, you need to get your licence and then go and do your work and if course you need to report on what you are doing. So the illegal miners we are dealing with those ones. What happened in Zamfara in that particular case was that in most cases you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find minerals in isolation, they come with other things. Of course when these artisanal miners mine gold in Zamfara, there was lead with and they needed to separate the gold from the lead. Unfortunately, because they were not properly schooled, trained in what to do, they were using their pestle and mutter to pound it, because it comes out in chunks. When you do that the gold budget will fall off and then the lead is there. The same mutter that they were using for the grains they were eating was the sane mutter they were using to separate gold and lead; and of course, this is how they inject that lead, unfortunately it led to several deaths. Government itself gone in now, and like you said, that fund, we are working with Medecins Sans Frontieres, this is doctors without borders. They have been working with the ministry in rehabilitating people there. Of course a lot of people died. Lead injection itself is a major thing, it affects the nervous system; and we are working with these kids, people who are affected, we are trying to rehabilitate them. So it is an ongoing process, it is something that has been going on and that is why government shut down mining activity in Zamfara, especially with the illegal miners. The illegal miners themselves are creating some instability. You had situations where because of what they want to do, maybe it falls within a community, they set a few huts on fire and people run away, banditry and all that. While people are away, they are busy mining. You know, a Presidential Taskforce was set up on that and people were actually arrested, they were caught, because you go to some remote areas that you and I will think they are saying there is Boko Haram, there is this, you will not want to go, but you go there and you find this people there and they are thriving. So you begin to ask, there is a lot of hype about this, and some people are hyping that, so they can hide under that, because people will not come there and they are doing their illegal activity. Some of them have been arrested. The presidential taskforce is a standing force we use to intervene. We have federal mines officers all over the states, they rove with their staff. Whenever we have report of this illegal activity, we send in this presidential taskforce to arrest situation there. So we have them all over the country and they are mostly foreign nationals who are involved in this illegal mining activity. The artisanal miners on the other hand are Nigerians who are doing the mining though without proper licensing regime but we are trying to organise this people into cooperatives and bring them into the fold. What are the opportunities and the expectations from this new and developing value chain? The first thing I told you, apart from revenue, is the employment opportunity that is there. This sector can generate a lot of jobs. I even told you about the gemstones industry. It is a very good opportunity. Now, at the same time, there is a new policy we call â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the downstream policyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. In the past, most of the minerals mined in Nigeria were exported in the raw form. We are now saying there must be beneficiation. That is, you must add value before you export them. Of course, there is a lot of job opportunity in this as well. And of course, we will not be getting peanuts. When we export crude oil for instance, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get as much as we should get. If we refine the crude oil and we export PMS or AGO or Aviation fuel and all that, we get more. So, we are avoiding that pitfall in mining. We are making sure that we add value, that is beneficiation. We add value to whatever we are doing whether it is steel, it is melted and all that. We are giving licenses to at least two gold refining companies. One is based in Ogun State, the other one is in Abuja. So instead of just taking the raw gold abroad, we refine them locally. Government has also created a situation where the CBN can buy gold from us and keep some of their reserves in gold. So these are measures to encourage mining in Nigeria. Like I said, the revenue will come but most importantly, at this point in Nigeria, we need to create employment for our people, because the idle hands are ones causing the problem in the country.


MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY



MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY



MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY




L-R; General Overseer, The Lordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Pastor Lazarus Muoka; his wife Pastor Joy and Head, Public Relations and Media, Pastor Chidi Louis, during the 17th years anniversary and thanksgiving service of the Ministry in Lagos...recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

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Photo Editor Ă&#x152;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039; Email Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;Ë&#x203A;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;ĚśĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x2013;Ă&#x201C;Ă Ă?Ë&#x203A;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;

L-R: Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun (right), presenting certiďŹ cate to the newly turbaned Wakeelul Muslimeen of Yoruba, Sheikh Iskeel Awwal in Abeokuta...recently

L-R: Director, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Igho Orienru; CEO, Proshare, Mr. Femi Awoyemi; former Chairman, LIRS, Oba Folarin Ogunsanwo; former Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lagos State, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; Vice President, Risk Management of Nigeria (RIMSON), Mr. Henry Akwara; and Managing Partner, Highnet Services Ltd, Ms Vivian Ani, during the 6th Anniversary Lecture of January 9 Collective (J9C)in Lagos.. recently PHOTO: AKINYELE ABAYOMI

L-R: Team Lead, Investment Banking, C&I Leasing Plc, Osagie Ikhuoriah; Managing Director/Chief Executive OďŹ&#x192;cer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane;Executive Director/Chief Financial OďŹ&#x192;cer, C&I Leasing Plc,Alex Mbakogu; and Head, Treasury, C&I Leasing Plc, Babatunde Oguntunrin, during a presentation of C&I Leasing Rights Issue Unique Investment Teaser Plan in Lagos...recently

President Muhammadu Buhari and APC National Youth Leader, Comrade Sadiq Shuaibu Abubakar during the Courtesy Visit of APC National Zonal Youth Leaders and Representatives from 6 Geopolitical Zones to the Presidential Villa, Abuja...recently PHOTO: GODWIN OMOIGUI

L-R: Ceiebrant and Chairman Eleganza Group, Chief Rasak Akanni Okota and Ambassedor George Oguntade during special prayer to mark 80th birthday of Rasak Akanni Okoya held at Olorinishola Estate in Ajah Lekki Island Lagos... recently PHOTO: MUBO PETERS

L-R: Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun during an inspection of Urban Regeneration sites in Lagos Island...recently

T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153;Í°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ


L-R: Council Member, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mrs. Mercy Ojo; Wife of the President, CIBN,Mrs. Beatrice Olowu; President/ Chairman of Council, CIBN, Dr. Uche Olowo; Former President, CIBN, Otunba Debola Osigbogun; and Rt Rev. Micheal Akinwale, at the CIBN evening of songs to mark 2019 Christmas carol in Lagos...recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

L-R: Chief of StaďŹ&#x20AC; to the FCT Minister, Mallam Bashir Maiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;borno, Director of Treasury, Alh. IsyakuIismaila, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu at the presentation of FCT 2020 Budget Proposal at the National Assembly in Abuja....recently

L-R: Senior Manager, Digital Products, MTN Nigeria, Funso Finnih; Music Artiste, Praiz; Chief Digital OďŹ&#x192;cer, MTN Nigeria, Srinivas Rao; Chief Executive OďŹ&#x192;cer, MusicTime, Oye Akindeinde and Music Artiste, Djinee at the MTN Music Time Exclusive Hangout in Lagos...recently

L-R; President British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Rob Lawson; Founding President, Society of Lifestyle Medicine in Nigeria, Dr. Ifeoma Monye; Wife of Delta State Governor, Dame Edith Okowa; Chairperson of the Conference, Dr. Pamela Ajayi and the Vice President , Diaspora, SOLONG, Dr. Adaeze Ifezulike addressing journalists during the 2nd International Lifestyle Medicine Conference and First Board CertiďŹ cationb Exams in Lifestyle Medicine at the State House Auditorium, residency in Abuja....recently

Family and friends celebrating with Mrs. Dayo Aregbesola , wife of THISDAY Graphic Artist, Abraham at the ďŹ nal burial ceremony of her mother, late Madam Omonike Ojabineni, at Ituan-Agan village, Snake-Island, Apapa, Lagos.. recently

L-R: Regional Operatives Director, West Region, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Osilajo; Regional Marketing Manager, West Region, Airtel Nigeria, Adetokunbo Alegbejo serving beneďŹ ciaries during Day 2 of Airtelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Five Days of Loveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; annual feeding programme at Lafenwa Market, Abeokuta, Ogun State... recently

L-R: Deputy CEO & Head IBD, RMB Nigeria, Dalu Ajene; Principal, Commercial Finance, Shell Nigeria, Remi Soyannwo and Head Corporate Finance, Seplat Petroleum, Brian Marcus during the Bonds, Loans and Sukuk Conference Nigeria 2019 sponsored by RMB in Lagos..recently


T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153; 2020


ABCON Cautions FG against â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ECOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Currency Obinna Chima Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has advised the federal government to be wary of the involvement of France in the Eco currency arrangement. Giving this advice in a statement, ABCONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s President, Aminu Gwadabe said Nigeria should critically examine the role of France in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ecoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; currency project before further decision to participate. Describing the recent decision of the francophone countries to change the name of their common currency to Eco as worrisome and should be seen as an attempt by France to continue its control of the Francophone West Africa countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economies, the ABCON boss warned that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria must not adopt the currency with France or Euro

as the background promoters to avoid enslaving West Africa economically. The association added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the prime objective to facilitate cross border trade and economic development of the member states is still to be achieved, the structure of the system must be built on fundamentals in the sub region to complete with other economic blocks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Government is encouraged to pursue the project with sincerity of purpose based on sound policies devoid of interference from any economic block. The Central Bank of the sub region should be independent to invest the reserves in any world currency to satisfy the interest of constituent states.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, ABCON has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address the various factors threatening to the profitability of BDC business

in the country, particularly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a market structure that exposes a BDC firm to unconventional structure, unfair competition and riskâ&#x20AC;?. Gwadabe added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Monetary authority determines the BDC firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buying rate, but unconcerned with open end of selling rate even though there is a cap. They should be free to determine what to buy and sell like in any market structure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Very clearly, the BDC firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selling rate is still largely determined by the parallel market rates which is higher in liquidity without any restraint from the authorities to curtail their activities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The firm is still largely exposed to several operations and systemic risks which require the appropriate articulation and design of structural adjustments to place the BDC firm on the right part during the new decade.â&#x20AC;?

Leadway Appoints New CEO, Hassan-Odukale Bows Out Ebere Nwoji Leadway Assurance Company Limited has announced the retirement of its erstwhile Managing Director, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale. A statement from the company explained that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;After three decades of nurturing the company in executive capacity, Oye has picked this moment to bow out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;During his tenure, Oye saw the business grow from a small regional company into one of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost insurance companies, attaining the number one position in terms of GPI and balance sheet size.â&#x20AC;? The statement said Oye, is succeeded by Tunde Hassan-Odukale as the organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Managing

Director/ CEO effective January 01, 2020. It added that the new CEO has been a key member of Leadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive and leadership team since 1999, previously serving as the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Director, Financial Services and Systems. Announcing Tundeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appointment, Leadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outgoing CEO, Oye Hassan-Odukale stated that in his 30 years of leadership experience at Leadway, Tunde has been the driving force behind the tremendous growth Leadway saw in the areas of Life Assurance, Investments, Finance and Technology. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;this makes him a natural successor to steer Leadway to its next phase in history. Oye,

commended the professional team at Leadway, emphasising his confidence that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tunde will build on the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy with his unflinching and committed support.â&#x20AC;? Reflecting on his appointment, Tunde said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am honoured, yet humbled to lead this company at a time like this. We have a customer-centric culture and an engaging approach that has enabled us to grow strongly through the years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Building on this legacy is a challenge that I accept together with our professional team. We are where we are because our clients, brokers and direct customers trust our ability to support them in a friendly, empathetic and reliable manner.

So Energy Enhances Access to Petroleum Products in Ghana So Energy Ghana, an affiliate of Sahara Group, has commissioned a retail station located at Alajo, in Accra, to promote seamless access to petroleum products in the country. According to a statement, the new retail station would serve both private and commercial vehicles in Kotobabi, Alajo, Circle and other suburbs in and around Accra. The operation of the So Energy station would also enhance availability of petroleum products in the region, with projected sale of a minimum of 200,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) monthly. Speaking at the inauguration

ceremony, the Managing Director, Sahara Downstream Companies in Ghana, Yvette Selormey, stated that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;with the addition of this station, So Energy will continue to provide exceptional services to its customers, sell quality products delivered at good pump levels and competitive prices.â&#x20AC;? She added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;expanding our retail network across the major cities in the country is in line with our vision of bringing energy to life by providing access to clean, safe and exceptional petroleum products to drive economic growth and development in Ghana.â&#x20AC;? Selormey said So Energy, in keeping with the dedication to providing premium

customer experience, remained committed to working with the government and good people of Ghana to enhance the growth of the energy sector as well as contribute to empowering lives through support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). â&#x20AC;&#x153;So Energy has since become a notable corporate citizen in Ghana with remarkable interventions in education, health, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship. We are delighted that the So Energy brand is household name amongst private and commercial drivers in Ghana as they would drive long distances just to purchase fuel from a So Energy Branded Station.â&#x20AC;?

WFP Creates Awareness on Challenges of Insurgency in North-east Judith Obaze As part of efforts to create awareness about insurgency in Nigeria, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently premiered â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bintu The Musical,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; in Lagos. Bintu The Musical, is a dramatisation of the humanitarian impact of the decade-long crisis that has plagued Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

It was based on the real-life experiences of people caught in the conflict which has driven an estimated two million people from their homes, over three million people struggle to meet their needs in the north east Nigeria. The play followed a young girl called Bintu, whose dream of going to university was dramatically cut short when insurgents struck. Bintu and her friends found refuge in a camp for internally displaced

persons (IDPs), where they received humanitarian assistance. While in the camp, Bintu slowly began to rebuild her life. The stage play was written and directed by Agozie Ugwu, a Nigerian Playwright who teaches performing arts at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja. The play uses powerful song, dance and poetic performances to depict peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s struggles, their will to survive and the vital humanitarian assistance they receive.



SEPTEMBER 2019 Money Supply (M3)


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---- Credit to Government (Net)


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


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


---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)


--Other Assets Net


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--Currency in Circulation


--Banks Reserves



Money Market Indicators (in Percentage) Month

March 2018

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The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $67.26 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $69.60 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


T H I S D AY Ëž ÍŻÍąË&#x153; 2020


UBA Board Meets to Discuss Dividend Recommendation, Others Goddy Egene The Board of Directors of United Bank for Africa Plc will meet on Monday, January 27, 2020, to discuss the audited financial statements and report for the year ended December 31, 2019, as well as proposal for the final dividend. In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), UBA said the results would only be published after relevant regulatory approval. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In compliance with the post

listing requirements of the NSE for quoted companies, UBA hereby declares the commencement of the closed period for trading in the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shares from January12, 2020, in respect of the reports and financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2019, as well as the final dividend. Accordingly, no director, person discharging managerial responsibility, employee with sensitive information, adviser, and consultant of the bank and their connected persons may directly



or indirectly deal in the securities (shares and bonds) of the bank until 24 hours after the release of the audited reports and financial statements of the group for the period ended December 31, 2019 to the NSE,â&#x20AC;? the bank said. Shares of UBA were most active last week and gained 13.8 per cent to close at N10.25 per share. Investors had increased demand for the shares ahead of the release of the 2019 results and declaration of dividend for the full year.





The bank paid a total dividend of N29 billion in respect of 2018, which translated to 85 kobo per share. Already, UBA had paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share for the half year ended June 30, 2019 and investors are bullish that the bank, in its traditional way of rewarding shareholders, an impressive final dividend would be recommended for the year. The bank recently made some top executive management appointments as part of efforts



to improve its performance and strengthening its pan-African mission. For instance, Mr. Oliver Alawuba was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of UBA Africa, overseeing the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 20 African country operations, ex-Nigeria. A Senegalese, national, AbdoulAziz Dia was appointed as Executive Director for Treasury and International Banking while Chukwuma Nweke, currently the Executive Director Operations, was confirmed by the Board as the Group Executive Director,


Retail and Payments, demonstrating the Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to its retail offering. The board also announced the appointment of Chiugo Ndubisi as Group Executive Director and the Group Chief Operating Officer. Commenting on the peaking on the appointments, Group Chairman, UBA, Tony Elumelu said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;These appointments emphasise the Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment to our pan-African and global network, our huge retail client base and our operational infrastructure.

1 0 / 0 1 / 2 0 2 0 DEALS







Dangote Cement Shares Gain 21% on Increased Investors’ Demand Goddy Egene

highest growth in two years. shareholders on January 22, According to some market 2020 to amend its Articles Shareholders of Dangote Cement operators, investors are taking of Association to enable it Plc recorded a capital gain of 21.1 positive ahead of full year undertake a share buy-back of up per cent last week as investors results announcement and the to 10 per cent of its issued shares increased demand for the most positive impact expected from on such terms, and conditions capitalised stock on the Nigerian the company’s proposed share and at such times as the board of directors deems fit. Stock Exchange (NSE). Dangote buy- back programme. Dangote Cement Plc will According to Dangote Cement, Cement shares rose from N142 to N172 per share in a week that convene an extra-ordinary the programme is in line with the stock market witnessed its general meeting (EGM) of the company’s corporate strategy A Mutual fund (Unit Trust) is an investment floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. vehicle managed by a SEC (Securities and A REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is an Exchange Commission) registered Fund Manager. investment vehicle that allows both small and Investors with similar objectives buy units of the large investors to part-own real estate ventures (eg. Fund so that the Fund Manager can buy securities Offices, Houses, Hospitals) in proportion to their that willl generate their desired return. investments. The assets are divided into shares that An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a type are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. of fund which owns the assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, gold bars, foreign currency, GUIDE TO DATA: etc.) and divides ownership of those assets into Date: All fund prices are quoted in Naira as at 09shares. Investors can buy these ‘shares’ on the Jan-2020, unless otherwise stated.

to improved its return on equity, the NSE rule book which will and shareholder value in order consequently lead to a reduction to future long term growth. in issued share capital,” the “The relevant shares will be company said. repurchased out of the profits Market analysts said of the company and any such with a share outstanding number of shares bought under of 17,040,507,405, about the programme is required to 1,704,050,741 shares would be be cancelled in accordance with absorbed through the programme the Securities and Exchange consequently, cancelling these Commission (SEC) rules and shares after 10 trading days 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.

post acquisition. At the completion of the buy-back scheme, Dangote Cement shares outstanding will stand at 15,336,456,664. This, analysts said, would enable the company increase long term shareholder value, improve its balance sheet efficiency, enhance earnings and yields to its various shareholders.

DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; 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 Web:, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.91 0.92 8.55% ACAP Income Funds 0.76 0.76 33.68% AIICO CAPITAL LTD Web:, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A AIICO Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD Web:; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 16.58 17.08 8.24% ARM Discovery Fund 366.91 377.97 6.21% ARM Ethical Fund 30.49 31.41 4.84% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 9.32% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED Web:; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund N/A N/A N/A AXA Mansard Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A CAPITAL EXPRESS ASSET AND TRUST LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 803 307 5048 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn CEAT Fixed Income Fund 1.94 1.94 266.75% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD Web:, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 11.19% Paramount Equity Fund 12.63 12.85 0.87% Women's Investment Fund 110.91 111.95 0.48% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 9.54% Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 105.13 105.86 Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 107.24 108.14 CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 8.92% Coronation Balanced Fund 0.97 0.98 4.44% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.33 1.33 -0.26% EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 7.49% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 9.66% EDC Nigeria Fixed Income Fund 1,167.25 1,167.71 0.38% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,302.99 1,304.08 0.92% FBN Balanced Fund 152.60 153.76 3.94% FBN Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional 119.65 119.94 0.34% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail 120.27 120.55 0.37% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 134.80 136.51 3.59% FCMB ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 10.41% Legacy Debt Fund 3.66 3.66 0.21% Legacy Equity Fund 1.20 1.22 6.29% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.08 1.08 0.11% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,184.16 3,222.02 6.77% Coral Income Fund 3,082.35 3,082.35 12.46% FSDH Treasury Bills Fund 100.00 100.00 9.33% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 7.01% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 120.23 120.97 12.42% GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web: ; 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 Web:; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 8.63% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.29 2.32 6.39% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 100.00 100.00 11.88% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 144.58 144.75 15.71% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.21 1.23 3.72% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,130.99 1,130.99 0.26% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD Web: ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 10.10 10.20 10.71% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 7.49% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.35 1.37 10.47% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.31 12.39 9.06% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.27% PACAM Equity Fund 1.15 1.16 PACAM EuroBond Fund 105.76 107.56 SCM CAPITAL LIMITED Web:; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 133.63 134.54 9.52% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD Web:, Tel: +234 (01) 2801400 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SFS Fixed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 0.07% STANBIC IBTC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,521.35 2,532.80 3.59% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 210.33 210.33 0.19% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.88 0.89 7.30% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 273.87 273.95 0.34% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 154.92 156.64 5.39% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 7.72% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,674.15 7,756.30 6.88% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.16 1.16 0.13% Stanbic IBTC Shariah Fixed Income Fund 118.18 118.18 0.00% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web:; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Bond Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Eurobond Fund N/A N/A N/A United Capital Wealth for Women Fund N/A N/A N/A QUANTUM ZENITH ASSET MANAGEMENT & INVESTMENTS LTD Web:; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 10.96 11.13 6.87% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.15 12.31 4.73% Zenith Income Fund 22.94 22.94 3.24% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 6.87%


Yield / T-Rtn

4.30 119.09 52.14

-55.85% 0.13% 0.17%

Bid Price

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

9.37 104.37 79.63

9.47 106.61 81.09

7.38% 12.87% 8.00%

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

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

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

Offer Price

Yield / T-Rtn

3.98 5.87 13.75 12.34 174.55

4.02 5.95 13.85 12.54 176.55

11.94% -0.60% 13.01% 18.56% -6.89%

NAV Per Share

Yield / T-Rtn



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




89 Soldiers Killed as Terrorists Attack Niger Military Camp A jihadist attack on a military camp in western Niger three days ago left 89 soldiers dead, according to a new toll announced by the government on public radio Sunday. “After a thorough search,

the toll has been established as 89 dead among friendly forces, and 77 dead for the enemy,” said spokesman Zakaria Abdourahame. Three days of national mourning have been declared

to honour the dead. The previous toll given for Thursday’s attack on the Chinegodar camp was 25 soldiers killed. Heavily armed assailants had stormed the military base in an

Iran’s Top General Briefs Lawmakers over Downed Ukrainian Jet Iran’s top Guards commander briefed parliament on Sunday, a day after the armed forces said a Ukrainian airliner was shot down in error in an admission that sparked an angry demonstration. His closed-session testimony comes after the temporary arrest Saturday of Britain’s ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, shortly after he left a vigil for the air disaster victims that turned into a protest. On the day after the rally at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, tensions appeared to be mounting again on the streets of the capital, with a heavy police presence notably around the iconic Azadi Square south of the centre. Riot police armed with water cannon and batons were seen at Amir Kabir, Sharif and Tehran universities as well as Enqelab Square. Around 50

Basij militiamen brandishing paintball guns, potentially to mark protesters to authorities, were also seen near Amir Kabir. The military acknowledged Saturday that the Ukraine International Airlines plane was mistakenly shot down Wednesday, killing all 176 people aboard, after denying for days Western claims it was downed by a missile. The majority of those on the Boeing 737, which slammed into a field shortly after take-off from Tehran, were Iranians and Canadians, and many were students. World leaders welcomed Iran’s admission, but Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others have also called for a full and transparent investigation. The Kiev-bound plane was

shot down at a time when Iran’s armed forces were on a heightened state of alert after launching a volley of missiles at US troops stationed in Iraqi military bases. Iran had vowed to exact “severe revenge” for the January 3 US drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm. The Guards’ top commander, Major General Hossein Salami, briefed parliament about the general’s killing, Iran’s retaliation and the downing of the airliner, semi-official news agency ISNA said. At the end of the session, speaker Ali Larijani asked the Majles’ security and foreign policy commission to examine the air disaster and how to prevent such incidents from occurring again, ISNA said.

Rockets Hit Iraq Base Hosting US Troops A volley of rockets slammed into an Iraqi airbase north of Baghdad where US forces have been based, wounding four local troops, the Iraqi military said on Sunday. Its statement said eight Katyusha-type rockets landed on Al-Balad airbase, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen. Al-Balad is the main airbase for Iraq’s F-16s, which it bought from the US to upgrade its air capacities. The base had held a small US Air Force contingent as well as American contractors, but a majority had been evacuated following tensions between the US and Iran over the past two weeks, military sources said. “About 90 per cent of the US advisers, and employees of Sallyport and Lockheed Martin who are specialised in aircraft maintenance, have withdrawn to Taji and Erbil after threats,” one of the sources said. “There are no more than 15 US soldiers and a single plane at al-Balad,” the source added. Military bases hosting US troops have been subject to volleys of rocket and mortar attacks in recent months that have mostly wounded Iraqi forces, but also killed one American contractor last month. That death set off a series of dramatic developments, with the US carrying out strikes against a pro-Iran paramilitary group in Iraq as well as a convoy carrying top Iranian and Iraqi commanders outside Baghdad airport. Pro-Iran factions in Iraq have vowed revenge for those raids, even as Iran said it had already responded in “proportion” by striking

another western airbase where US soldiers are located. Rocket attacks against Baghdad’s high-security Green

Zone, where the US and other embassies are based alongside international troops, are still taking place.

area where dozens also died in a previous jihadist attack. The raid near to the volatile frontier with Mali was carried out by attackers in vehicles and on motorbikes. The attack happened in the same region Tillaberi, also bordering Burkina Faso, where 71 Niger soldiers were killed in a December attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, that saw hundreds of jihadists storm a camp near the border with

Mali with artillery. The latest attack is the deadliest on Niger’s military since Islamist extremist violence began to spill over from neighbouring Mali in 2015. The December attack spurred leaders of the G5 Sahel nations to call for closer cooperation and international support in the battle against the Islamist threat. Militant violence has spread across the vast Sahel region,

especially in Burkina Faso and Niger, having started when armed Islamists revolted in northern Mali in 2012. Thousands of civilians have also died and more than a million have been forced to flee their homes since the jihadist revolt began. Analysts note an escalation in the jihadists’ operational tactics, which seem to have become bolder and more complex in recent months.

Queen, Prince Harry, Senior Royals Set For Crisis Meeting Queen Elizabeth II will host a showdown meeting with Prince Harry today in an attempt to solve the crisis triggered by his bombshell announcement that he and wife, Meghan, were stepping back from the royal frontline. Other senior royals including Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, with whom he has strained relations, will join the monarch at her private Sandringham estate in eastern England, according to British media. Meghan will join the meeting via conference call from Canada as they attempt to work out the “next steps” towards a compromise and nip the growing crisis in the bud. Issues up for debate include

how much money the couple will still receive from Charles’s estate, their HRH titles and what commercial deals they can strike, according to the Sunday Times. Harry, Meghan, and son Archie spent Christmas in Canada, with the American former actress returning there this week. The Queen last Thursday demanded that staff work with the couple to urgently find a “workable solution” that would take into account their demands for more freedom. Several Canadian media reported Meghan had returned to Vancouver island off the country’s Pacific coast, where the family spent the year-end holidays and where baby Archie had remained with his nanny.

Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to seek a “progressive new role” and divide their time between Britain and North America. The Queen’s office issued a terse statement the same evening, saying there were “complicated issues that will take time to work through”. Harry and Meghan said they intended to continue to “fully support” the queen and “collaborate” with senior royals. They also want to keep their home on the queen’s Windsor Castle estate as their British base, while aiming to become financially independent.



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Osinbajo, Abiodun, Wike, Others Laud Military on Armed Forces Remembrance Day Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike; Governor Seriake Dickson; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State have hailed the military for keeping the country safe and preserving it for future generation. The vice president and these governors spoke separately on the occasion of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Church Service in Abuja and the states. Speaking at the National Christian Centre in Abuja on Sunday, the Osinabajo who argued that “Their labour will never be in vain,” also noted that the country

had not been fair to its legioners, Osinbajo said the government was determined to improve the lives of the military personnel “The government is determined to better the lives of the military men and officers by improving the budget of the armed forces.We thank you for your faithfulness to the nation and pray God to continue to bless and protect you.” On his part, Abiodun said armed forces men who died in active service should be regarded as martyrs, while their families should be given recognition. Abiodun also spoke at the special church service to mark the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance

Tinubu Hails Lawan at 61 The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has felicitated with Senate President, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan on turning 61. He described him as a profound academic, experienced parliamentarian, patriotic Nigerian, excellent politician and forthright human being. Commending the Senate President further, Tinubu said he had changed the face of lawmaking and Executive-National Assembly relationship forever. In a congratulatory statement released by his Media Office yesterday in Abuja, the APC leader said: “I heartily congratulate Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan on turning 61 and join his family, colleagues in the 9th National Assembly, the government and people of his Yobe home-state and indeed all Nigerians in wishing him a most memorable birthday. “This occasion brings to mind Dr. Lawan’s commitment to the

country, consistency and reliability as a lawmaker and politician. “His rich background as an academic and lawmaker has positively impacted law-making and institutional relationship. “Having previously served two terms in the House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate before emerging Senate President in his fourth term, he has lodged remarkable institutional memory such that he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced lawmakers we have around today. “It is no surprise that the gains of his leadership of the Senate and chairmanship of the National Assembly have been bounteous. “Within a spate of one year, the 9th National Assembly under him passed the all-important Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract law to shore up Nigeria’s oil revenue, and returned the country to January-December fiscal circle among other things”.

Niger Gov: Why APC Lost Councillorship Seat in My Ward Laleye Dipo in Minna Almost three weeks after the local government election conducted by Niger State Independent Electoral Commission, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has explained why he and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost the councillorship seat in his Kontsgora ward to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Bello blamed the loss on impunity by some local government officials of the APC in the choice of the candidate for the election in the ward. The governor’s explanation was contained in an address he read at the closing of a three-day retreat for local government chairmen which according to his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, was held in Kaduna. The governor was quoted as saying that “imposition of candidates often leads a party to lose election and also forces some candidates to leave the party and run under a different political party platform. “It was due to the wrong candidate imposed by ‘some people’ in my ward in Kontagora that the APC failed to secure the councillor’s position.” The governor, according to the statement, also chastised some

local government council chairmen who refused to inaugurate councillors that won election on the platform of other parties in their areas. “If me as the governor let it be, why then would a chairmen not swear in the councillors from the opposition,” the governor reportedly queried, describing the action of the affected chairmen as “wrong and against the rule of law.” “The rule of law is key. For those of you that have deliberately or mistakenly refused to swear-in councillors, because they come from opposition party, it is wrong,” he said. Bello was reported to have also admonished the chairmen to “find a subtle way to settle their political differences,” adding that divergent political views would always arise and create challenges in the discharge of their duties with their vice chairmen and legislators. He said APC not only represents change, but also stands for fairness, fair-play and justice, noting that this must be seen to be exercised by the members of party and its elected officials. In the last local government election, APC unlike in previous polls lost one chairmanship seat and about 30 out of the 274 councillorship positions.

Day at the Cathedral Church of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta. Abiodun said, “The military martyrs paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria to remain one and for us to sleep with our two eyes closed. “Let us look around us, let’s find a widow; let’s find a widower; let’s find an orphan of a fallen soldier; let us reach out to them. “As an administration, we shall continue to support the Nigerian Legion. We shall continue to appreciate all our fallen heroes.” In Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said the armed forces were helping Nigeria to move forward. The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, said

Abia State had remained peaceful and secured. He prayed to God to grant the family of the fallen heroes the fortitude to bear the loss of their relatives as they forge ahead. In Rivers State, Wike said heaven and Nigerians would never honour members of the Nigerian Armed Forces engaged in the snatching of ballot boxes and rigging of elections. Wike, who spoke at the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, Rumuepirikom on Sunday, urged soldiers to be professional. “It is unfortunate that the military has lost its integrity because of some unprofessional personnel. Nobody is afraid of the military because of their unprofessional conduct. Those who come to rig elections or kill Rivers people, heaven will

never remember them,” the governor said. The governor, however, praised the armed forces for the role they had played in preserving the unity of the country. “But for them, kidnappers, cultists, insurgents and armed robbers would have taken over the country,” he said. Akeredolu of Ondo State urged Nigerians to show love, support and pray for the wives and children of the military men who died during the service to their father land. The governor, who was represented at a church service at the Christ Apostolic Church, Iro, Akure, by his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, added that the selfless service of the men of the armed forces had ensured national cohesion.

He said, “The current counterterrorism operations by the Nigerian Armed Forces have claimed lives of some of our finest officers and men. The selfless services of these people have ensured national cohesion and global peace. “If we remember our brothers and sisters that fell victim of terrorism and insurgency, we would then appreciate the sacrifice made by officers and men of our armed forces.” Also at the service at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, yesterday called on government at all levels to increase support for the armed forces and other security agencies to enable them perform their statutory duties effectively in the country.


L-R: Ms Erika of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); member of parliament, Napel, Ms Radha Gyawall; former member of parliament, Germany, Ms Barbel Hohn; member of parliament, India, Ms Vandana Chavan; and member of House of Representatives, Hon. Sam Onuigbo, at the 2020 Legislators Forum of the 10th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates…recently

Beloxxi Group Boss Plans Foundation to Immortalise Brother David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka Chairman of Beloxxi Group, Obi Ezeude, has stated that he would immortalise his late elder brother, Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ezeude, to keep his memory alive. Emmanuel Ezeude, a US trained engineer, had died in September 2019 at the age of 72.

The late Ezeude sat atop chains of industries including being President and CEO of Gemini World Enterprises, sole distributor of Proline hair products in Nigeria and founder of Emkay Enterprises which is into cosmetics. Obi Ezeude, who spoke with THISDAY in Uke, Idemili South Local Government Area

of Anambra State shortly after the interment of his late brother’s remains, said the departure of his brother would leave a big void in the family. “He was a gentleman. He was that kind of man you met and always wanted to meet again, several times over. Very warm, very receptive and always willing to help. We may set up

a foundation in his memory, or some other thing, but after now, we will begin to think of how to do that. “We cherished him, and his absence will be well felt. We will look for a way to immortalise him. I am not sure now what we will do, but we will surely do something to immortalise him,” he said.

APC, ADC Chieftains Defect to APC in Ogun Idowu Sowunmi A former Deputy Governor in Ogun State, Alhaja Salamat Badru of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the last election, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, were among others who have indicated their interests to decamp to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. The defectors, who are scheduled to formally become APC members at an event slated for next Tuesday at Ake Palace Ground in Abeokuta, would also be joined by other political big wigs and thousands

of their followers from the 20 local government areas of Ogun State. Speaking ahead of the event, Badru, the deputy governor in the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel, disclosed that “the future of the state was in capable hands under the leadership of Governor Dapo Abiodun, and that members of the PDP were ready to work with him to actualise his lofty plans for the state.” Also speaking, Isiaka, who was a gubernatorial candidate of ADC in the March 2019 election, expressed confidence in the Abiodun administration. According to him, “We are very confident because the morning shows the night from what we

have seen in five months. If we have not seen positive signs, we probably would not have graduated our relationship. “I have come with the leadership of my political structure across the state. This is to signify the fact that we are very confident and happy with the way the government is going about putting the state in a greater scale.” Other people, who are expected to also decamp to APC, include a two-term member of House of Representatives, Apostle Dave Salako, a former PDP chairman in Ogun State; Chief Joju Fadairo, a former PDP secretary; Chief Pegba

Otemolu, prominent politician; Chief (Mrs.) Iyabode Apampa; a former Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry, Alhaji Ali Ajibode; former Commissioner for Works, Hon. Olayiwola Waliu Taiwo; former Commissioner for Rural Development, Otunba Fatai Sowemimo; Olootu Dipo Sofowora, and others. Commenting on the development, the APC Caretaker Chairman in Ogun State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, described the decision of the politicians from two major parties in the state as a “welcome development and also a clear indication that Abiodun is doing well in governance and politics of our dear state.”



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Edo PDP Chair Mocks Oshiomhole, Obaseki over Unresolved APC Crisis Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Chairman of Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, has jeered at the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; and Governor Godwin Obaseki

of Edo State, over the lingering face-off between the two, saying both turned down his patriotic effort to reconcile them. Orbih, who spoke weekend at Afuze, headquarters of Owan East Local Government Area of the state while addressing party supporters, challenged Obaseki to probe the award and execution

of the multi-billion naira Edo Central Hospital project executed by Oshiomhole. Besides, he bemoaned the pitiable state of public schools and hospitals in the state, saying they have been abandoned by the present administration.

Orbih, who noted that all is no longer well with the state as the crisis rocking the APC continues to rage, declared: “Two weeks ago, I issued a public invitation to Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki to come before me so that I can settle them in their political

fight, but they have not answered my patriotic call. With all this, you will agree with me all is not well in Edo State. “Today, the state of our schools in the state is something one cannot be proud of. Here in Afuze, the promises made to

the good people of Afuze by Godwin Obaseki during his campaign tour have become mere promises. He has neglected the College of Physical Education. Our hospitals are worst than mere consulting clinics.” On accountability in governance,

Nigeria is Gearing up for Growth, Says Jejin Jeon Peter Uzoho The Managing Director of Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) Limited, operator of Africa’s leading marine fabrication and integration yard in Lagos, Mr. Jeijin Jeon, has predicted robust economic growth for Nigeria. He described SHIN as a leading player in the West African oil and gas sector, with a cutting-edge marine fabrication and integration yard located in Lagos. “Our parent company, Samsung Heavy Industries, is based in Geoje, Korea and is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders and a leader in servicing the offshore oil and gas industry. “We at SHIN have always considered ourselves part of an global organisation, serving clients all over the world. As a result, the quality of work we deliver, the goals we set for ourselves, the way we envision the future – are always guided by world-class standards and expectations,” he explained. Jeon disclosed that this heritage drove the company to choose Nigeria as the location for its first construction facility outside Korea. According to him, Nigeria’s location and economic growth make for a strong business case, adding however, that what really persuaded the company was the enormous human capital Nigeria possesses. He noted that harnessing Nigeria’s potential together with its local partners would help place Nigeria on the global map. “We are not alone in our observations. In its recently published African Energy Outlook Report 2020, the African Energy Chamber outlined Africa’s growing demand for energy which is being met by new oil & gas resources coming online. As the African continent continues to urbanise, the demand for power increases,”Jeon explained. He said in order to meet the

surge in Africa’s energy demand, domestic policy-makers aim to encourage operators and contractors to rely more heavily on local industry players for services and supplies, supported by local content regulations across the continent. Jeon acknowledged the efforts of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, in pushing to expand the Nigerian Local Content Act into new sectors of the economy, including power, construction and ICT. According to him, this also presents a tremendous opportunity for natural gas as a power generation resource in areas which lack some of the needed infrastructure. He called on the leading international companies in Africa to support the domestic industry through investment capital, training and knowledge transfer. “I say this from experience, having led SHIN’s efforts to construct the flagship of the Nigerian offshore oil sector, the Egina FPSO. Before the Egina project, most maritime construction for African oil and gas projects took place outside of Africa. The Egina proved that strict local content rules can work and produce international quality results. Following the Egina project, we are now focusing on leveraging our experience in local content and vessels for the oil ane gas sector to complete work for other Nigerian oil fields such as Bonga South-west and the HI-Block project. We are also committed to supporting the development of LNG projects by constructing Floating LNG platforms. This will help countries develop gas-to-power projects to meet rising electricity demand while also reducing wasteful gas flaring. Like its parent company, Samsung Heavy Industries, SHIN has always partnered with local and regional operators in the oil & gas sector,” he said.

Oshodi Transport Interchange Targets 1m Passengers The managers of the global icon, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Planet Projects are targeting one million passengers daily when the facility becomes fully operational. The Managing Director, Planet Projects, Mr. Biodun Otunola revealed this recently at a parley with media executives at the site in Oshodi, Lagos. He said this would enable the facility take care of one ninth of the nine million passengers who go through the Lagos State traffic daily. The interchange, which began operations in Terminal 3, one of its three terminals on May 1, lastyear

recorded 1,600,000 passengers by end of year implying an average daily traffic of 6,400 passengers. While the Planet Projects manages the facility owned by the Lagos State Government, the Lagos State Bus Services handles the transportation of passengers. LSBS’ initial fleet of 35 at the facility was recently boosted by the Babajide Sanwo-olu administration with an additional 65 buses and there are hopes that the delivery of 820 buses currently at the ports will put more buses on the road and move the facility closer to its target.


L-R: Base Manager, Eastern Asset, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr. Emeka Onyeagba; General Manager, Eastern Asset, Mr. Ayodele Olatunde; General Manager, External Affairs and Communication, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku; Imo State Governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; Operations Director, Seplat, Mr. Effiong Okon; and Imo State Commissioner for Gender and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs. Nkeiru Ibekwe, during the donation of relief materials to flood victims by Seplat in Owerri … recently.

APC Celebrates Senate President at 61 Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has he marked his 61st birthday. APC, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, described him as a patriotic Nigerian, a diligent and experienced legislator, a loyal party man and a foremost progressive politician with enviable

passion for the growth and development of our country. He said Lawan’s leadership of the 9th National Assembly has put the interest of Nigerians above any pecuniary interest. According to him, “In less than a year since the current lawmakers were inaugurated, Senator Lawan has deftly moulded a Senate where the party in the majority, the APC has been working harmoniously with the minority parties on common issues

of national concern.” Issa-Onilu added that the 9th National Assembly under Lawan has continued to enact people-oriented legislations and sustained cordial working relationship with other arms of government, a critical requirement for good governance and smooth administration of the country. The party spokesman said the leadership of the party has every reason to share in the glory and achievement of the current Senate

leadership. Issa-Onilu added: “In acknowledgement of the Senate President’s sterling leadership qualities, our party recently appointed him to lead the APC National Reconciliation Committee. “We are confident the committee will succeed in its mandate to address grievances of party members and resolve existing conflicts, all with a view to fostering unity and oneness within the party across the country.”

Atiku Groups Slam PDP BoT Chairman Chuks Okocha in Abuja Two pro-Atiku Abubakar support groups have cautioned the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BOT), Senator Walid Jubrin, to ensure that his views reflect the position of the party at all times. The groups, The Desecration.Org and Project774ForAtiku2019, which has offices in the entire 774 local government areas of the country was reacting to the statement credited to the PDP BoT chairman that the party would

soon commence a search for a consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential elections. In an interview with the Coordinator of the groups, Dr. Sani Adamu, he said the views expressed by the BoT chairman were personal to him as the party has not met on the issue. According to him, “The official position of the party on nominations or candidates in 2023 will take long in coming. Therefore, the party is solid, united and ready to face future challenges.”

The coordinator of the groups said the BoT chairman either under-estimated the magnitude of his comment or was flippant with his mouth. He said the BoT chairman should ordinarily be the soul or moral high ground of the PDP, explaining that by implications, “this means that at all times his public statement should reflect the view of the party, its followers and its leadership. His public comments on party affairs are assumed the official standing of the party. “Therefore, when he makes

comments without the due regards to the party leadership, he is actually on his own. He should bear the full consequences of his comments. The big lesson there is that there is no thin line between his personal comment and that of the party, especially when it is in the media. “He should refrain from controversial comments or issues not reflecting the position of the party leadership. He needs to apologise and withdraw his comments rather than making more wild allegations on threat to his life.”

Dickson Begins Payment of New National Minimum Wage Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa Workers in Bayelsa State at the weekend heaved a sigh relief as Governor Seriake Dickson approved the payment of the N30,000 new minimum wage from this January. Dickson, who gave the approval during a meeting with the leadership of organised labour in Government House, Yenagoa, also

directed the state’s finance team to follow through the template set by the National Wages and Income Commission in implementing the new salary level. The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said nothing was too much to be paid to workers in view of their contributions to national development. Describing the state’s workforce

as hardworking, Dickson, however, noted the need for the public service to remain apolitical, disciplined and professional in the discharge of its duties. He explained that the meeting was convened to enable the state government and the labour unions to jointly work out the modalities for the payment of the new wage in such a way that Bayelsa State

would not lag behind in its implementation. The governor expressed appreciation to labour unions for their cooperation and understanding especially during the economic recession, and urged them to extend the kind gesture to the incoming government with a view to sustaining the prevailing industrial harmony in the state.


Ë&#x153; ͚͝Ë&#x153;ͺ͸ͺ͸ËžT H I S D AY


Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY


Stanley Dimgbaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hat-trick Move Enyimba into Comfort Zone Rangers held 1-1 in Enugu to dim hope of reaching knock out phase

Duro Ikhazuagbe Stanley Dimgba yesterday conjured a brilliant display to silence visiting Algerian side, Paradou AC 4-1 in Aba yesterday as Enyimba climbed to the second spot of their CAF Confederation Cup of Group D. The Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Elephant sensationally erased the sad memory of losing the first leg a fortnight ago by a lone goal margin. The brilliant football show at the Enyimba Stadium on Sunday aptly belonged to Dimgba whose hat-trick did the magic for the Aba team. Dimgbaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early 15th minute

strike set the tone for the goal-feast. With Caretaker Coach Fatai Osho who replaced Usman Abdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Allah in charge of his first game in the continent, the former Remo Stars gaffer made the difference show. The Enyimba that was on display was completely different from Abdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Allahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wards drubbed 4-0 away to Plateau United in the NPFL last week. The team appeared to have put that sad episode behind them. Dimgba went on to grab two more goals to complete his hat-trick with Victor Mbaoma also notched up one as the

Nigerian champions picked up only their second win of Group D. A fortnight ago, a single Abdelkader Ghorabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal seal the victory for Paradou AC in the reverse fixture played inside the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, Algeria. Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s victory for Enyimba means they now have six points in the campaign and are second

behind Hassania Agadir, who played a late game against FC San Pedro in Agadir last night. In a fortnight, log leaders Hassania Agadir will be guests of Enyimba in Aba. Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other representatives in the competition, Enugu Rangers have their chances of reaching the knockout rounds dealt another blow as the Flying Antelopes could only

force visiting FC Nouadhibou of Mauritania to a 1-1 draw in Enugu. Rangers and the Mauritanian champions are both on two points apiece after four matches with the Nigerians only edging on goals difference. Pyramids lead the standings on 12 points after they defeated fellow Egyptians Al Masry, who now have six points.

Yassin El Welly stunned the Enugu crowd when his free kick gave Nouadhibou the lead after just 23 minutes. Rangers fought back to salvage a draw when they drew level through Ibrahim Olawoyin through a penalty in the 68th minute. The Flying Antelopesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; next game is away at group leaders Pyramids on January 26.

Troost-Ekong, Other Super Eagles Shine in Europe Super Eagles central defender William Troost-Ekong along with his teammates on Sunday helped Udinese remain on their winning run as they beat visiting Sassuolo 3-0 in the Italian Serie A. The game was the Nigerian defenderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 17th appearance for Udinese in the topflight Italian league this season. It is also their third consecutive league victory following the good runs against Cagliari and Lecce. Interestingly, Udineseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first goal of the day was scored by Italianborn Nigerian striker Stefano Okaka in the 14th minute. Ken Sema doubled the home sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lead on 68th minute before Rodrigo De Paul added the third on the dot of 90th minute. Udinese are now ninth on 24 points and are five points away from the Europa League qualification spot. Elsewhere in Europe at the weekend, some of Troost-Ekongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Super Eagles teammates also shone brilliantly for their respective clubs. Samuel Chukwueze was on from the start for Villarreal who needed extra-time goal to edge third division club Orihuela 2-1 in the Copa del Rey. Chukwueze was later substituted with just two minutes remaining in the game. A brace from Gerard Moreno in the 72nd and 118th minutes, saw Villarreal progress into the next round. Brian Pallares got Orihuelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; s

goal in the 83rd minute. In another Copa del Rey clash Ramon Azeez featured for Granada who piped fourth-tier side Tamaraceite 1-0. Antonio Puertasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 19th minute strike was enough to seal Granadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passage into the next round. Azeez was later replaced in the 85th minute of the encounter. And in the French Ligue 1, Super Eagles winger Samuel Kalu was subbed on but could not prevent Bordeaux from losing 2-1 at home to Lyon. It was Bordeauxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fourth consecutive league defeat and Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game was their first in the New Year in the top flight. Kalu came on in the 54th minute for his 17th league appearance, scoring just one goal. His Super Eagles teammate Josh Maja was an unused substitute and has made 16 league appearance and has scored five goals. The defeat leaves Bordeaux on 13th position on 26 points in the league table. However, the only Nigerian international whose absence was really felt by his club is Wilfred Ndidi whose Leicester City lost at home to Southampton 1-2 at the King Power Stadium. Ndidi is away on the sideline for several weeks due to injury he sustained last week. He is likely going to miss some of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s games in the both World Cup 2022 and the AFCON 2021 qualifying round.

NPFL: Lobi Topple Plateau at the Summit Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders Plateau United were toppled from the top of the table for the first time this season yesterday as Lobi Stars stepped up to the No 1spot. Lobi Stars defeated MFM FC 1-0 in Makurdi while Akwa United forced Plateau to a goalless draw in Jos. Rivers United who lost in Uyo 2-1 to Dakkada FC however remain third on the NPFL log. New comers Dakkada FC however replaced their â&#x20AC;&#x153;big

brotherâ&#x20AC;? Akwa United at No 4 on account of superior goal difference. Hard fought victory by Jigawa Golden Stars only lift them one step up but they remain in the relegation zone.

MATCH-DAY 14 Ifeanyi Ubah 3-1 Wâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Wolves Heartland 1-0 Abia Warriors Kwara Utd 2-0 Katsina Utd Plateau Utd 0-0 Akwa Utd Wikki 1-2 Sunshine Jigawa GS 3-2 Adamawa Utd Lobi Stars 1-0 MFM Dakkada 2-1 Rivers Utd

R-L: Troost-Ekong and teammates, including Italian-born Nigerian striker Stefano Okaka celebrating the victory over Sassuolo...yesterday


Nigeria to Battle others for Tokyo Slots in Portugal Nigeria as the only African flag-bearer in the race will be making another attempt at qualifying for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the West African nation battles 33 others in the men and 29 teams in the women category at the 2020 World Team Olympic Qualifying tournament holding in Gondomar, Portugal on January 22nd to 26th. From the men and women events, 18 teams made up of nine men and nine women are expected to pick their slots to Tokyo 2020 from the Portugal

showdown. According to the playing format, the matches will be in knockout rounds with the first stage made up of a knockout of 64. The eight teams, which make it to the quarter-finals will qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final matches will not be played. The 9th and final qualification place for both menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teams will be determined via a second knockout stage between teams

losing in the Round of 16 of the First Stage. The matches are best of five individual matches consisting of a doubles and four singles. Also, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed the five-man contingent of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men team made up of Aruna Quadri, Olajide Omotayo, Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and junior sensation, Taiwo Mati. Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team will be made up of; Edem Offiong, Olufunke Oshonaike,

Fatimo Bello, Ajoke Ojomu and Cecilia Akpan. The tournament would give Nigeria another avenue to qualify for Tokyo 2020 after missing the continental sole slot to Egypt at the 2019 African Games in Morocco. The Multiusos de Gondomar, in Portugal will host the tournament with nine teams (men and women) qualifying to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and subsequently be entitled to confirm two athletes to take part in the singles events.

AFN: NOC Panel indicts Gusau, Approves Adeleyeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Removal as Technical Director Suspended President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Gusau is in for stronger censure as a panel of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) indicted him saying his declaration of autonomy for the AFN from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was out of order and impossible because the Ministry will always supervise National Sport Federations. The Committee also endorsed the removal of Mr. Sunday Adeleye as the technical director of the AFN albeit Mr Adeleye has

ceased to exist as a member of the AFN board following his recall by his constituency, the athletes. Set up by NOC at its meeting of December 11, 2019 and headed by NOCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second Vice President, Mr. Francis Orbih, the committee had quietly presented its report on the situation in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos last Friday at a low-key event. It said it discovered that the leadership crisis in the AFN had been brewing since

the last National Federation elections in June 2017 and worsened before the 12th African Games Morocco in August 2019 when some board members asked Gusau to step aside as president and be investigated. Most AFN board members have scores to settle with each other in addition to ego, emotions and sentiments that now threaten the sport. On the declaration of autonomy from the Ministry by Gusau, the Committee found that â&#x20AC;&#x153;The declaration of autonomy by AFN was out of order as that is practically not possible. The Ministry will

always retain a supervisory role over all the activities of National Sport Federations.â&#x20AC;? The NOC Committee supports the idea that Ibrahim Gusau should appear before the investigation panel set up by the December 3, 2019 AFN Board meeting even though it recommended the expansion of the investigative panel to include â&#x20AC;&#x153;representatives of NOC, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Federal Ministry of Justiceâ&#x20AC;? so that the suspended AFN president can defend the allegations leveled against him within two weeks.

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY



MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY



MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢T H I S D AY

MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;¢ T H I S D AY


Monday January 13, 2020





Price: N250


Rivers State Govt to EFCC

“It is unfortunate that in a democracy, someone holding a public office would want to muzzle the court. Magu cannot claim that the judgment cannot stand, except he wants Nigerians to believe that he has started issuing instructions to the Supreme Court.” – Rivers State Government, insisting that the EFCC has no power to investigate financial transactions of the state.


Shaka Momodu: A Columnist as Hater-in-Chief


or many years, week after week, Shaka Momodu opens the sewers, and pours vitriol on President Muhammadu Buhari on the back page of THISDAY Newspapers. We ignore him, reasoning that when a mind is diseased, there is hardly much you can do to point such soul to decency. It remains impervious to anything not from the very nether region of hell. However, on Friday, January 10, 2020, Shaka Momodu overreached even himself in hatred and deviousness by his piece with the headline, The General is Divider-in-Chief. Yes, you know who he was talking about. He usually has no other topic than President Buhari, whom he takes delight in using the foulest language against. Foul language is often evidence of poor breeding. In the build-up to general elections last year, Momodu embarked on a crusade, urging all and sundry to vote out President Buhari. And what did he, and his cohorts, get at the end of the day? A shellacking, drubbing that left them reeling in shock. But rather than wake to reality that he is among the tiniest of minority voices in the country, the columnist rather gets worse by the day. He still stubbornly waves a flag that is perpetually limp, not even at half mast. In the very repetitive January 10 verbiage, the columnist, who curiously is also an editor with THISDAY, demonstrated that hatred for President Buhari was deeply embedded in his bones. He dug up, and kept repeating long discredited narratives, parading them as truths, to attain his jaundiced purpose. Hear one thing he kept repeating like a broken gramophone record in the piece: “He declared from the outset of his regime that he would pursue a policy of 97 percent and 5 percent and proceeded to implement his regime’s policies and appointments on that basis.” Thick skulls and sick minds keep repeating falsehood, even when their follies have been repeatedly pointed out. The columnist was referring to what the President said in the early days of his administration, as he met with Nigerians in Washington, United States of America. He said in rewarding those who voted for you in any election, it stood to reason that those who gave 97 percent of votes should get more positions than those who gave 5 percent. But he ended by submitting: “The Constitution forbids me from such, and I won’t do so.” What did perennial haters do to that speech? They took the earlier part only, cut off the conclusion, and began to trumpet it on all media of mass communication. We explained the true position, but since it didn’t favor their narrative, they refused to listen. It is amazing that an editor and columnist is among those still advancing the jaundiced position after much explanations. See

Buhari what hatred can do to a man! Another falsehood, talking of President Buhari: “He so defended Boko Haram that it nominated him as one of its negotiators with the Jonathan government.” But that is just a tiny part of the story. When that purported nomination came from Boko Haram, it was seen clearly for what it was. An attempt to cleverly demonize the then General Buhari by the government of the day, who saw the Daura born General as the greatest obstacle to its continuation in office. Buhari denounced the nomination, and said he had nothing to do with Boko Haram. Why did Momodu leave out that part of the story, if mischief was not at play? Hatred addles the mind, and makes people lose all sense of reasoning. If Gen Buhari was to be Boko Haram negotiator, why did the same group attempt to terminate his life in Kaduna in July 2014, leading to loss of many lives? Except maybe it was not Boko Haram...

And the columnist gave himself out again, when he posited: “For those who have chosen to forget, the support of people like Buhari, the Borno Elders’ Forum, the Northern intelligentsia, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) made it difficult to defeat the group... Boko Haram is what it is today because it had a big supporter in Buhari and his party, the APC.” Ah ha. This is about hatred for a man, a section of the country, the North, and a political party. Can we rightly say then that Shaka Momodu is one of those who miss the wheeling-dealing days of the People’s Democratic Party? Well, those days are gone, and a new order is here. You may resent and deride the new order, but here it is. And it is laying a new foundation for our country, giving the people a future and a hope. The bilious article was written based on a statement issued by the Presidency, after 11 people were executed in December by Boko Haram. Momodu said they were of the Christian faith. Does it really matter which faith they belonged to, except to somebody who wants to divide Nigerians further? Long ago, it has been established that Boko Haram is not about religion, but sheer evil and anarchy. They kill Muslims (even possibly more than adherents of other religions); kill Christians, animists, and anyone they can lay their hands on. It is not about religion, except to columnists with convoluted minds. He alleges that “useful idiots” foisted Buhari on Nigeria. Fifteen million voters are idiots, while Momodu and his ilk are the only wise ones. Good luck to them. Before the elections last year, we told them that Buhari would give them a whacking. They didn’t believe. Now, they are still licking their wounds. The pains would endure till 2023, God willing. There is something about believing, and chronic unbelief. Those of us who

There is something about believing, and chronic unbelief. Those of us who believe in Buhari will follow him from Cape to Cairo, while those who don’t believe are welcome to their unbelief. Momodu is in the latter group... God, give us journalists that are not blinded by hate, those who won’t attempt to feed the populace with noxious substances in the name of information

believe in Buhari will follow him from Cape to Cairo, while those who don’t believe are welcome to their unbelief. Momodu is in the latter group. How do I know? He gave himself out again: “I scoff at his speeches and preaching of peace each time I come across them and turn away in perplexing bewilderment at how successfully he has managed to fool so many people.” Once you have resolved not to believe a man, and “scoff at his speeches,” you are really beyond redemption. Chronic unbeliever! Right is the man who said to those who believe, no explanation is necessary, and to those who don’t believe, no explanation is possible. Shaka Momodu is obviously in the latter group. At the end of 2017, the Presidency released a comprehensive list of all appointments made since 2015. It was very revealing. Ogun State had the highest of 21 positions, Imo and Kano followed with 15 each, Edo and Katsina (the President’s home state) had 14 each, Ebonyi and Abia, two each, Kebbi, three, while Zamfara, Sokoto, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti, and Akwa Ibom, had four each. Yet, the cry then was still about lopsided appointments, till statistics put the lie to it. More than two years later, Momodu still repeats the same hollow lie: “His high profile appointments to strategic national parastatals are so lopsidedly in favor of his tribal/ethnic/religious stock almost to the total exclusion of other parts of the country.” God, give us journalists that are not blinded by hate, those who won’t attempt to feed the populace with noxious substances in the name of information. To the columnist in question, all is fair in love and war, including lies. The Hate Speech Bill, he says is promoted by President Buhari, “to now gag us.” Lie! The President has nothing to do with the Bill, and it has been said repeatedly. Even the lawmaker promoting the Bill has said so. But when you are Haterin-Chief, reason flees. All attempts to bring amity between farmers and herdsmen in the country, Momodu describes as land grabbing gambits. He seems to prefer that the bloodletting should continue, thinking it would discredit Buhari. It’s like swallowing poison, and thinking it would kill your neighbor. Issorait (as it’s said in local lingo). Let’s leave Shaka, who usually attempts to treat the President shakashaka (Yoruba word for treating someone like what the cat dragged in), and go attend to more serious things. We simply commend to him the words of William Shakespeare: “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor. If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart... If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.” r"EFTJOBJT4QFDJBM"EWJTFSUP1SFTJEFOU #VIBSJ PO .FEJB BOE 1VCMJDJUZ

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