Growth Prospects for MSMEs Widen as Buhari Signs Finance Bill New law heralds implementation of VAT hike, could raise more revenue for federation Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos Tax experts have welcomed the signing of Finance Bill 2019 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying
it will improve government’s revenue and ease tax burden on micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME). The Finance Bill, which the president signed into law yesterday, will kick-start the
implementation of the new Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 7.5 per cent, a 50 per cent hike from the old rate of five per cent. Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, the Tax
Leader/Head of Tax and Corporate Advisory Services at PwC, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, said: “The Finance Bill that has been signed by the president is a good development because in 20 years, it is the first time
since 1999 we are having something of this scale and size, which is focused on how to fund the budget and issues around tax and reforms and its effect on MSMEs. “It also has issues to do
with stamp duties where the threshold has been raised to N10,000 meaning you don’t have to pay stamp duties if you are buying less than Continued on page 8
Dangote Renews Interests in Arsenal, Plans Take-over in 2021... Page 42 Tuesday 14 January, 2020 Vol 24. No 9045. Price: N250
& RE A S O
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50 Years After, Gowon Rallies Nation Against Civil War Soyinka, Akintoye bemoan poor leadership Segun James Rekindling lessons of the Nigerian civil war yesterday, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), asked Nigerians to do all within their powers to avoid a repeat of the ugly side of the nation’s history. “We must do all in our power as responsible leaders and citizens of this great country and nation to
create enabling platforms to dialogue and proffer ideas on how we can live together in peace and harmony for the good of all Nigerians and the black race as a whole, thus ensuring political, economic, security and development of the country,” he said, adding: “I urge all Nigerians to ensure that we avert another civil war in Nigeria.” Continued on page 8
Okoro’s Illness Delays S’Court Judgments in Six Govs’ Election Appeals Alex Enumah in Abuja But for the sudden illness of Justice John Okoro, the Supreme Court would have yesterday decided the fate of the six governors whose elections are currently being challenged at the apex court in Abuja. The Supreme Court had listed 13 political cases, which included eight appeals and five cross-appeals, for hearing and
possibly determination, owing to the time bound nature of the cases. Among the appeals listed for Monday were that of Alhaji Abba Yusuf against the election of Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje; Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu against Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; and Alhaji Mohamed Abubakar against Continued on page 8
PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT... Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (left), and President Muhammadu Buhari during the visit of the governor to the Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday
PDP Blames Moles for Crises in Lagos, Kano, Kogi... Page 5
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Group News Editor Ejiofor Alike Email Ejiofor.Alike@thisdaylive.com, 08066066268
PDP Blames Moles for Crises in Lagos, Kano, Kogi Chuks Okocha in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday explained that the partyâ€™s internal crisis in Lagos, Kano and Kogi States were caused by moles that worked against the party during the 2019 general election. A top official of the party told THISDAY that those creating the crises in the party were those â€œwho ate their cake and still want to have it back.â€? Citing the instance of the perceived crisis in Kogi State, the source said: "These were persons that worked against the party during the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state. "As we talk, one of the defeated governorship aspirants in the last PDP primary elections is still in court against the nomination of Musa Wada. The aspirant that lost the governorship primary election is now trying to control the party structures that he worked against in the state.
"The National Working Committee (NWC) did not interfere in the primary elections. The primaries were the outcome of the wishes of the people and as far as the party is concerned, you cannot eat your cake during the governorship election where you played anti-party activities and turn around to claim that there is crisis in the party,â€? he said. In the case of Lagos State, the source said the tenure of the former state chairman of the party ended and a â€œcongress was conducted in line with PDP guidelines and someone emerged. But someone in the state, who sponsored a candidate and his candidate lost to a popular candidate, is now shouting crisis.â€? PDP had previously said a chieftain of the party in Lagos State, Chief Bode George, had erroneously misinterpreted the actions of the National Working Committee (NWC) with respect to the election of the Lagos State Executive Committee of the party.
George, a former deputy national chairman (SouthWest) of the PDP, had in a statement alleged that the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, would lead the party into â€œa comatoseâ€? if he continues to govern without recourse to the partyâ€™s constitution. He had accused Secondus of being behind the crisis in the state chapter of the party, which led to the emergence of two state chairmen, Messrs Adegbola Dominic and Adedeji Doherty, despite an order of the court restraining
the conduct of any election in the interim. But the NWC of PDP said the decision to conduct a fresh election was taken in order to reposition the Lagos PDP for future challenges against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. The source, while referring to the crisis in Kano State, told THISDAY that one of those claiming to lead a faction in the state, was a mole that worked against the Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso-led group that stood with the party during the presidential and
governorship elections in the state. The source explained that the other faction loyal to Alhaji Aminu Wali worked for the APC and wanted to reap where they did not sow by agitating to take control of the state executive. "Do you want the NWC to reward this loyalty to those who wined and dined with the APC during the governorship election? "The party is on top of the issues and will take appropriate decisions that will favour the continued growth
of PDP in Kano State," the source said, adding that there is no crisis in other states of the party. He said in Plateau State, the former chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Damishi Sango, resigned his chairmanship position without any threat and a new state congress election conducted and enthroned a new state chairman. â€œWhere then is the crisis?â€? he queried. According to him, Sango handed over to his deputy, Mr. Amos Gombi.
UK: Foreign Aid Cannot Lift Nigeria out of Poverty
CSOs Demand Omo-Agegeâ€™s Resignation over Alleged Perjury
The UK Head of Department for International Development in Nigeria, Mr. Chris Pycrof, has declared that foreign assistance like the ones from the UK's development agency, DFID, cannot lift the country out of the poverty currently ravaging its people. This is coming as the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Harriet Thompson, has said Nigeria's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is too low, stressing that the country received only $1.8 billion in 2018, compared to $7 billion received by its fellow African countries - Egypt and Ethiopia in the same year. Thompson, also said the country's economy was growing too slow at 2.28 per cent, despite coming out of recession. The UK chief stated this yesterday in Lagos at the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit pre-event press conference. The summit is slated for January 20, 2020 in London. According to Thompson, "There is potential for so much more. FDI is critical for the economic development of any country but it is too low in Nigeria â€“ Nigeria received only $1.8 billion in 2018 compared with $7billion for both Egypt and Ethiopia. â€œDespite our long history and some recent success, we think UK companies have far more potential to make financial and investment partnerships work in Nigeria. "Our UK private sector has been busy too â€“ two-way trade has now reached ÂŁ5.5 billion, while the stock of Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI) stands at over ÂŁ4 billion. "Even though Nigeria has emerged from recession, the economic growth here is still too low, at 2.28 per cent, it is not key contractual population growth, and foreign direct investment can help to grow and drive our economic value by using resources, technology and information. "But Nigeria needs to create 4.5 million jobs each year and that number is only going to be created at that scale by private sector in areas like agriculture, services and manufacturing." She pointed out that the objective of the summit was to use it to, "boost investment from the UK to Nigeria, to help create the economic growth that Nigeria needs, the jobs that Nigeria needs, to bring people out of poverty and to help it realise its enormous potential.â€? The deputy high commissioner also noted investors needed better infrastructure to thrive, saying that had been the biggest obstacle to doing business in Nigeria. She added: "Reliable estimates put the figure that is needed at around $36 billion a year for Nigeria to reach its potential, that is in transport, in energy access, and in sanitation. And infrastructure needs more direct FDI. "It can only be paid for by building revenue resources, and the best way to do that is to build tax revenues from sectors other than oil, including agriculture, manufacturing and mineral mining. These are all areas of focus for the Africa Investment Summit.â€?
Lâ€“R: Head, Trading Business Division, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Jude Chiemeka; Chief Executive OďŹƒcer, Chief Oscar Onyema; Head, Shared Services Division, Mr. Bola Adeeko; and Head, Listings Business Division, Mr. Olumide Bolumole, at the NSE 2019 Market Recap and 2020 Outlook session in Lagosâ€Śyesterday dan ukana
I was cleared of the allegations, says deputy Senate president Deji Elumoye and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja A coalition of seven civil society organisations (CSOs) has called for the immediate resignation of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, over his alleged committal of forgery and perjury in Los Angeles in the United States in 1996. This, the group stated, was in contravention of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). But in a swift reaction, OmoAgege, however, stated that he had long been cleared of the perjury allegation in the United States. The coalition under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society and Youth Groups also threatened that in the event that its call was not heeded, it would be left with no other option than to mobilise thousands of CSOs and youth groups to occupy the National Assembly until it is purged of corrupt elements. Its Convener, Mr. Solomon Adodo, while addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday called on law enforcement agencies to initiate fresh prosecution against OmoAgege for allegedly concealing his conviction by the state bar court of California, Los Angeles, United States of America (USA). While also calling on the Senate to immediately initiate
impeachment proceedings against the deputy Senate president in the interest of the nation, the coalition stated categorically that available evidence at its disposal revealed that Omo-Agege was convicted by The State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401. Adodo added that OmoAgege wilfully concealed the fact of the said conviction from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Senate thereby contravening the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Rules of the Senate. According to the coalition, sometime in April 22, 1996, Omo-Agege believed to be one and the same Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was ordered to be suspended from the practice of law following his conviction for violating California Penal Code Section 470, a felony criminal offence involving moral turpitude, under the authority of subdivision (a) of rule 951, California Rules of Court. He stated: "Our scrupulous findings reveal that the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was admitted into the State Bar of California on December 14, 1992. The records reveal that on or about March 7, 1992, the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was alleged to have committed the crime of forgery of Check in violation of Penal Code Section 470,
a felony. "Furthermore, on or about March 7, 1993 the said Augustine O. Omo-Agege was alleged to have committed the crime of perjury-application for driver's licence in the County of Los Angeles in violation of Penal Code Section 118, a felony. â€œFollowing a lengthy prosecution of the said allegations levelled against Augustine O. Omo-Agege, he was convicted of violating California Penal code section 470 and was also subsequently suspended from the practice of law pending final disposition of the proceeding. "As true Guardians of Democracy and firm advocates of transparency in governance, we are deeply perturbed at the fact that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege concealed all these information from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) thus he was allowed to participate in the general elections (contrary to Constitutional provisions) that produced him as senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District. "In violation of the Senate Rules he also concealed the said information from the Nigerian Senate thereby paving the way for his emergence as deputy president of the Senate. All these have resulted in the denigration of the image and esteem of the Nigerian Senate before the international body of legislators. Reacting to the allegations, the deputy Senate president
in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, said though he was tried of the allegations but was cleared of any wrongdoing. "For the umpteenth time, we would like to reiterate the fact that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was cleared of all charges in the said case and he was never a convict in the USA as being alleged. Till date, he travels freely to and within the country without any hint of harassment," the statement said. The statement added: "Ordinarily, we would have ignored this latest effort by political jobbers to drag the name of the distinguished senator into disrepute. "However, in a political environment like ours where silence could be misinterpreted as consent and evidence of guilt, we make haste to dismiss the entire allegation as not only unfounded and illogical; it is the residue of the warped imaginations and misleading rumour peddled without conviction some years back. "While the distinguished senator remains completely unperturbed by the nattering nabobs of negativity and their faceless sponsors, it remains clear that this is another feeble round of mere shadow- chasing that ultimately amounts to nothing. The deputy Senate president's spokesman also recalled his reaction to similar allegations against his principal in September 2018.
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Police Trust Fund to Take off February Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja The long-awaited Police Trust Fund is to take off in February after the ratification of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, THISDAY learnt yesterday. The National Assembly had passed the Police Trust Fund Bill into in January last year while Buhari assented to the bill in April. There has been clamour by stakeholders for the
inauguration of the board of the fund to oversee the full implementation of the law. But as part of the efforts to implement the trust fund, the federal government had set up an interim implementation committee for the take-off of the Police Trust Fund in October last year. The 12-member committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr. Maurice Mbieri, is expected to draw up the take-off budget for
CBN Reschedules January MPC Meeting Obinna Chima The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has postponed its first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2020, earlier scheduled to hold next week Monday and Tuesday, to January 20 and 21, 2020. The banking sector regulator disclosed this in a twoparagraph statement obtained last night, which was signed by its Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor. The Bank, however, did not give reasons for the decision. The statement read: â€œThe first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN for 2020, earlier slated to hold on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21, 2020, respectively, has now been rescheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020. â€œThe CBN regrets any inconvenience this change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public.â€? The MPC had at its last meeting, decided by a unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent and to hold all other policy parameters constant for the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent, Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30 per cent, and the Asymmetric Corridor at +200-500 basis points around the MPR. The CBN last week decided,
in the interim, to retain the minimum loan-to-deposit (LDR) ratio for commercial and merchant banks at 65 per cent. It had based its decision on what it described as remarkable increase in credit to the private sector. "The CBN has noticed remarkable increase in the size of gross credit by deposit money banks (DMBs) to customers. "Accordingly, the CBN has decided to retain the minimum 65 per cent LDR in the interim. All DMBs are required to maintain this level and are further advised that average daily figures are to be applied to assess compliance going forward. "The incentive which assigns a weight of 150 per cent in respect of lending to SMEs, retail, mortgage and consumer lending shall continue to apply, while failure to achieve the target shall continue to attract a levy of additional cash reserve requirement of 50 per cent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR on or before March 31, 2020. "DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) are further encouraged to maintain strong risk management practices regarding their lending operations. The CBN shall continue to monitor compliance, review market developments and make further alterations in the LDR as it deems appropriate," it had stated.
NERC Projects N244bn Revenue for TCN in 2020 The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday announced a N244,844,000,000 revenue requirement in 2020 for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Plc. It also forecast a N109,389,000,000 allowed recovery for the period while it estimated a tariff shortfall of N135,455,000. The commission, however, noted that in 2019, the revenue requirement was N209,740,000,000; allowed recovery was N107,551,000,000, while the tariff shortfall was N102,000,000. The review indicated a 16.74 per cent increase in revenue requirement, 17.09 per cent increase in allowed revenue requirement, and 32 per cent tariff shortfall. According to the NERC, the federal government will in the interim subsidise the excess of the cost-reflective tariff and
the actual payment from the end-users. It was contained in the order No. NERC/GL/195/2019, that was titled â€œBefore the NERC in the matter of the 2019 minor review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and minimum remittance on Market Operatorâ€™s invoice for the year 2020 for the Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc.â€? The NERC noted that: â€œThe federal governmentâ€™s updated Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) does not envisage an immediate increase in end-user tariffs until April 1, 2020 and a transition to full cost reflectivity by the end of 2021. â€œIn the interim, the federal government has committed to fund the revenue gap arising from the difference between cost reflective tariffs determined by the commission and the actual end-user tariffs payable by customers in line with the following."
the fund and liaise with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)for logistic requirements. The committee made up of top directors of the ministry, notably directors of human resources, police inspection, police service and the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, is to make recommendations for the administrative structure of the fund, the timeline for the take-off and propose a date for the inauguration of the board. The members of the committee include Mr. Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri, Permanent Secretary, Chairman; Dr. Kayode Musbau, Mr. Bombata Babatunde (DHRM), Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala (DDPIS), and Mr. Afroka
Chukudi (SA/Perm. Sec.). Others are Mr. Joseph Egbunike (CP), Mr. Shehu Usman Shuaibu (AG.CP), Mr. Augustine Saromi (DCP), Mr. Jonathan Towruru (DCP), Mr. Frank Mba (DCP/FPPRO) Mr. Abel Jangnap Zwalchir (ACP) and Mr. Zubairu M.G. (PSD). Head of Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr. Odutayo Oluseyi, told THISDAY that the interim committee, would present its report to the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, who would submit the recommendations to FEC for approval. He said the FEC approval would determine the date for the inauguration of the board in accordance with the Police Trust Fund Act. â€œThe honourable minister
set up an inter-ministerial committee; it is an interim committee. It is to fashion out modalities for the implementation of the Police Trust Fund. â€œIt consists of officers from the police force, officials of the Ministry of Police Affairs and the chairman of that committee is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Police Affairs, Mr. Maurice Mbieri. â€œWe also have top directors in our ministry as members. They are director of human resources, police inspection department, police service department and the Force PRO, Frank Mba,â€? he said. He stated that the interim committee was looking at a tentative date between January and February for the inauguration of the board.
The PTF, which is expected to be a game-changer for the police, would be funded by a levy of 0.005 per cent of the net profit of companies operating in Nigeria, 0.5 per cent of the total revenue from the Federation Account, any take-off grant and special intervention fund as may be provided by the federal, state and local government and such money as may be appropriated to meet the objective if the Act by the National Assembly. Other funding sources include aids, grants and assistance from international, bilateral and multilateral agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in addition to grants, donations and investments made by the fund.
TOUCHING BASE... Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi (left), and some members of the All Progressives Congress during the inauguration of OyeIkun-Otun-Dairy Farm Road in Oye Junctionâ€Śyesterday
NSE Targets New Products to Attract Investors Goddy Egene The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, yesterday said the stock market would introduce new products to target more investors in 2020. Reviewing the performance of the market in 2019 and projecting outlook for 2020, Onyema said in Lagos that efforts would be made to increase the number of investors in the market. He expressed optimism that the stock market will perform better in 2020, saying the exchange would leverage its vast network of stakeholders and develop new strategic partnerships with the goal of delivering better products and services. According to him, out of a population of 200 million, only five million invest in the stock market at the moment. He added that apart from new products and services aimed at attracting more investors that being introduced, enlightenment and education would be intensified to ensure more people patronise the market. He said the market had bright prospects, stressing that market sentiments may be buoyed by a steady and
stable recovery in the domestic economy, alongside continued sustainability in monetary policy. â€œThe signing into law of Nigeriaâ€™s Finance Bill 2019 and implementation of the 2020 budget may have a positive impact on companiesâ€™ earnings as well as consumer spending. Accordingly, the exchange will continue to advocate for business-friendly economic environment, working in conjunction with both the public and private sectors,â€? he stated. The NSE boss noted that in the aspiration to become a more agile and demutualised exchange, and pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)â€™s â€˜No Objectionâ€™, NSE would, among other steps, seek formal approval from members on the demutualisation scheme. â€œWe are committed to continually provide clarity on the demutualisation process to our various stakeholders through regular engagements. While keeping an eye on the strategic intent of the exchange post demutualisation, we will continue to leverage our vast network of stakeholders, in addition to developing new strategic partnerships with the goal of delivering better
products and services to our customers. As African champions, we will maintain momentum in executing the NSEâ€™s 2018 - 2021 Corporate Strategy in our efforts to elevate the prominence of Africaâ€™s global financial markets,â€? he said. Speaking on some of factors that will drive investorsâ€™ sentiments in 2020, Onyema said a stable polity and business environment would be key to Nigeriaâ€™s success. â€œEnhanced focus on infrastructure renaissance and promotion of laws that will support the business environment will be key to Nigeriaâ€™s success in 2020. "Nigeria moved 15 places from 146th to 131st in the latest World Bank ease of doing business report as such the country has been tagged as one of the most improved economies in the world in terms of doing business reforms. These are positive indicators that will drive investorsâ€™ sentiment in 2020,â€? he added. Reviewing market performance in 2019, Onyema said the Nigerian stock market, which declined 14.6 per cent, mirrored the performance of the larger economy, which continued its moderate path of recovery,
growing by 2.28 per cent. He said: â€œFrom an international investorâ€™s perspective, the Nigerian bourse had to compete with developed and emerging capital markets which saw risk-based assets priced and valued more competitively. Capital conducive United States Fed policy enabled foreign investors to economically enhance leverage and seek investment opportunities in their home and adjacent countries, as Africaâ€™s largest economy adjusted to new economic realities. On the domestic front, investors contended with the macroeconomic landscape; fiscal and monetary policy direction and a wait-and see attitude given trends in foreign portfolio investors(FPIs). â€œDespite challenges faced, we continued to execute on the NSEâ€™s 2018 â€“ 2021 Corporate Strategy, geared towards enhancing the customer experience across the value chain; reorganisation for success and capitalising on mission critical strategic initiatives. During the year, we continued to enhance our product portfolio, orchestrated groundbreaking investment forums and listed some of Africaâ€™s largest companies.â€?
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PAGE EIGHT 50 YEARS AFTER, GOWON RALLIES NATION AGAINST CIVIL WAR Gowon spoke through a video clip at a conference in Lagos, with the theme: â€œNever Again,â€? organised by the Nzuko Umunna and Ndigbo, to mark 50 years after the Nigerian civil war. Other speakers at the emotive conference were Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and a professor of History, Senator Banji Akintoye, who, spoke along the same lines bemoaning worsening low level of leadership, which they feared was creating similar conditions that led to war in 1967. They called for concerted efforts to avoid another civil war, saying the nationâ€™s current political situation is dangerously close to what led to the civil war between 1967 and 1970. Gowon, who was the head of state during the war, attributed its outbreak to the breakdown of the Aburi Agreement between Nigerian and Biafran leaders. The former head of state, described the war as an unnecessary one that could
have been avoided if the issues that led to it were not politicised. According to him, General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the leader of the now defunct Biafra Republic, believed so much in the Aburi Agreement, saying the agreement could have divided the country. He said the resolve of the other parts of the country to stay together played a pivotal impact in the resolution of the crisis, adding that was why he divided the country into 12 states. He defended the creation of the 12 states and other actions taken during the war. Soyinka, in his speech, lamented that humanity tends to forget history, and is doomed to repeat it. The Nobel Laureate, who reminisced on the events that led to the civil war, lauded the formation of Operation Amotekun, the security outfit of the South-west states, saying that it is the greatest New Year gift for the people. â€œI thank a number of publicspirited, humanity-considering
governors in this nation, who finally responded to the demand and yearnings of the citizens and produced one organisation called Amotekun. â€œItâ€™s one of the most unexpected, because I had given up on them; it is an unexpected but at the same time a desirable New Year present,â€? he said. Soyinka also called for the release of journalist and activist, Agba Jalingo. He lamented the leadership problem in the continent, in general, and Nigeria in particular, saying: â€œAny time that leadership, on whichever side, is about to repeat yet again the ultimate folly of sacrificing two and a half million lives on the altar of Absolutes, any absolute, we should borrow that credo, paint them on prayer scrolls, flood the skies in their millions with kites and balloons on which those words are inscribed: African Lives Matters!â€? Akintoye warned that the country was sliding dangerously towards
dissolution. The professor of History, who was also co-chairman of the event, said: â€œThe government of our country is being managed in ways that make it look like an exclusive preserve of a particular minority. There seems to be an agenda being pursued to establish minority in all positions of command in the executive, administrative, judicial and security services of our country. The voices of the majority register protests continually and are continually disrespected and ignored. â€œTo make restructuring produce a full and abiding good for our country, we must now, for the first time, correct a serious mistake, which we have been making from the beginning, especially from the beginning of independent Nigeria. The mistake is that we have been ignoring the fundamental fact that underlies our country. â€œIf we, in our sober deference to reality, find that we can no longer hold together as one entity, then
let us together peacefully find a rational solution and let us never again plunge into any kind of war among us. â€œIt is subhuman to continue to suffer pain and brutalisation without trying to get rid of it. And it is insanity to keep doing a thing the same way over and over again and expect a different solution.â€? He added that although Nigerians fought and ended a civil war, they have never moved away from the brinks of another war. Akintoye lamented that the â€œcharacter of the affairs of our country these days, and the prevailing mood among us Nigerians, are chillingly similar to the character of the affairs of our country in the months leading to our civil war.â€? Earlier, the president of the Ndigbo in Lagos, retired Major General Obi Umahi, had drawn attention to the mutual suspicion being exploited by politicians to further divide the people. "Nigeria has never been riddled with mutual suspicion and disunity as we are today,â€?
he said, adding: "Besides, life is cheap and threats of insecurity can almost be touched. We cannot afford to allow this to continue.â€? In his speech, the Coordinator of Nzuko Nmunna, Mr. Ngozi Odumako, said that 50 years after the civil war, the Igbos were yet to be fully integrated into the political system. He said despite the policy after the civil war of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reintegration, the situation had not changed from what it was after the civil war. â€œHave we truly rehabilitated? Have we truly reconstructed? Have we truly reintegrated? These are the key questions we are going to answer today and thereafter, direct our future actions in line with the answers. â€œAs I call on all to forgive and heal, we must remind ourselves too that healing and forgiveness can only be deeply achieved through justice, fairness, peace, prosperity, progress and development,â€? he said.
senior official of the Supreme Court announced to the court that hearing in all the appeals slated for the day had been adjourned to today for hearing. However, sources close to the apex court informed THISDAY last night that should the illness of Justice Okoro persist, he might be replaced by Justice Amina Adamu Augie. A senior lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), however, told journalists outside the courtroom that the adjournment would not make the cases statute barred. It is expected that the Supreme Court just like in previous governorship
election cases would hear the appeals and gives it verdict same day. Though the apex court was yet to sack any of the governors whose elections were brought before it for determination, there was fear that the court might spring surprises in deciding the matters. Only last week, the apex court upheld the election of Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, and three others in four separate appeals against their elections. The court had last December decided the cases involving eight other governors and returned all of them in its verdicts.
increase of 2.5 per cent from the hitherto five per cent rate. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had on September 12, 2019, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, Abuja, announced the proposed increase of VAT rate. But three days after, the federal government explained that the VAT increase was not 2.2 per cent rise as widely reported but rather an increase of 2.5, which it said would bring the new VAT rate to 7.5 per cent. Ahmed had at the September 12 briefing, explained that the VAT increase was conceived to be more largely beneficial to state governments than the federal government. According to her, the federal government only retains 15 per cent of VAT, leaving the bulk of 85 per cent balance for the states. She also said the decision was taken after extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders. However, the proposed increase then, which was the first official confirmation of the speculations in the polity for almost nine months, was accompanied by a wide range of criticisms from members
of the public who argued that the increase would further impoverish the people. The criticisms, notwithstanding, the president presented the 2020 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on October 8 last year, including the Finance Bill.
OKOROâ€™S ILLNESS DELAYS Sâ€™COURT JUDGMENTS IN SIX GOVSâ€™ ELECTION APPEALS the election of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State. Others are the appeals of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Senator Hope Uzodinma and Mr. Uche Nwosu against the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State; Senator Jeremiah Useni against Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Mr. Emmauel Jime against election of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State. However, with the exception of Bauchi governor, all other governors whose elections were being challenged filed cross-appeals also in the matter at the apex court. Early signs that the matters
might not go as scheduled emerged when the court rose few minutes after it commenced sitting for the day's proceedings. Chairman of the sevenmember panel and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, had announced a stand down of the cases, to bring sanity into the courtroom, which at the time had been virtually taken over by politicians and their supporters. It took the intervention of policemen attached to the Supreme Court to bring the court's population to a bearable size. However, when the court resumed again, circumstances
beyond the court's control forced a second stand down of proceedings. Being a constitutional case, the various appeals must be heard and determined by a seven-member panel. Shortly after Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), lawyer to Abbah Yusuf adopted his written addresses as his brief of argument seeking the setting aside of the decision of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the election of Ganduje as Kano State governor, the apex court again announced a stand down of proceedings. But this time, it was due to the ill-health of a member
of the panel, Justice Okoro. Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chief Joseph Daudu (SAN), was on his feet to adopt his brief of argument, when the CJN cut in, saying: "Due to circumstances beyond control, the court has to rise," adding, "a member of the panel suddenly took ill." Besides the CJN, other members of the panel include; Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice John Okoro, Justice Aminu Sanusi and Justice Uwani Aba-Aji. About an hour after the matter was stood down, a
GROWTH PROSPECTS FOR MSMES WIDEN AS BUHARI SIGNS FINANCE BILL N10,000.
â€œAnd of course, the most talked about VAT increase from five per cent to 7.5 per cent and there has been an expansion of items exempted from VAT to include what the poorest and most vulnerable people would consume in terms of food items, education, healthcare etc.â€? According to him, the law will encourage MSMEs to grow, reduce their tax burden and enable the government to raise revenue. The Head of Consulting, Agusto Consulting Limited, Mr. Jimi Ogbobine, described the new Finance Act as â€œundoubtedly the biggest fiscal reform of the Buhari administration, dwarfing the Voluntary Asset Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). He said by stratifying corporations by size via revenue, the Finance Act could potentially pare back the incidents of tax evasion amongst small businesses. Ogbobine noted that the Act also addresses fiscal disadvantages in the tax polity, especially those that affect the insurance industry and the treatment of withholding taxes on dividends. â€œThe big debate should now shift to the management of the VAT windfall by the state governments. The
sub-nationals (states and local governments) receive 85% of the VAT proceeds. For now, the VAT increase is supposed to help the states meet the increase in payroll owing to the increase in the minimum wage. We expect greater fiscal vision from the states. We expect the bulk of the VAT windfall to go into infrastructure to create greater impact for the tax payers,â€? he explained. On tax on dividends, he said: â€œPreviously when dividends are paid out to shareholders and these are higher than chargeable or total profits of the business, the dividend paid out was deemed to be the chargeable profit and a tax rate of 30 per cent was charged. â€œIf dividend is a residual income available to shareholders after tax has been charged, charging tax again when the dividend was paid out amounts to charging tax on an after-tax income, thus leading to double taxation. With the new Finance Act, this provision of charging tax from dividend is now removed. â€œMinimum tax computation will now be based on revenue alone. It will now be charged on 0.5 per cent of turnover. Of course, the revenue mentioned here must be at least N25m since companies
with revenue of N25 million are exempted from corporate income tax (CIT),â€? he further explained. Also, analysts from Ezcellon Capital stated: â€œThe VAT increase is not unexpected as the Nigerian VAT regime is one of the lowest in the world so it is not really a bad thing, especially given the government needs to fund its budget. â€œSo, while government revenue increases, we hope government would look into critical areas of infrastructural deficit and there should be strategical investments into that. "There is a part regarding the insurance company where their taxable profit is going to be reduced meaning that the insurance sector would benefit from it because it is an important sector of the economy. And that is a welcome development if this would improve their performance and sustainability over time.â€?
Buhari Signs Finance Bill into Law Buhari's assent to the bill yesterday was announced by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement. He said the president had told the National Assembly last year that the 2020 budget,
which comprised five objectives, was also made up of the draft Finance Bill. The draft Finance Bill, according to the statement, consisted of 7.5 per cent increase in VAT rate from the hitherto five per cent rate. He recalled the president's remarks that: â€œThis Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws. â€œThese objectives are; promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and raising revenues for government.â€? Adesina stated that with the president's assent to the bill, there would be more revenue to finance key government projects, especially in the areas of health, education and critical infrastructure. The signing into law of the Finance Bill will herald the much-awaited implementation of the new VAT rate of 7.5 per cent. The new VAT rate is an
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TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Babangida: Only a Stupid Soldier will Think of Coup Dike Onwuamaeze A former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has stated that the era of coup d’état is over in Nigeria, insisting that only a stupid soldier can think of such a move. He explained that a lot has been done to get the ideology out of their heads because it is no longer acceptable globally and regionally. Babangida who spoke on Channels Television Newsnight programme last night indicated that his generation will use everything possible to make sure that the country remains united.
“I can tell you no that only a stupid soldier will think of a coup d’état because this is outside their head, it is no longer in their psyche, it is no longer acceptable in Africa and in the world generally, so he is intelligent enough to know that if he stages a coup, the country will be ostracised in the world community of nations, there can be an uprising in your own country, so it’s no longer fashionable.” The former military president explained that for the country to move forward, the selection of leaders is very critical. He stressed that for a leader to be picked, a lot needs to be considered, including his
thought pattern towards keeping the country united. “The whole thing depends on the leadership selection; one of the things I would have loved to see is if you want to pick a leader, you should be able to access his thought about the country, the unity, he will not jeopardize it, try to use everything within his powers legitimately to make sure that the country remains one. “Our selection of leadership is the most important thing; political, military and economic
leadership. Once this is strong, and everybody in this sector believes in this country, I think we won’t have a problem.” The retired Army General said that his generation and the next, have held on to the unity of the country and that is what makes them qualified to move the country towards the required objective. “My generation is committed and they will use everything possible; apply logic, advice, talks just to make sure that the country remains united.
“You cannot convince me that this country should break; I wouldn’t talk to you for a long time because I know people died trying to keep the country one, so my generation will insist this country remains one. “There are 200 million people in this country and there are some people in my generation and the one after mine, who will always believe in this country and those generations, will move this country towards the required objective.”
He stressed that his generation saw the unity of the country as an article of faith amongst and they don’t plan to see the country go through another civil war. “Nobody will like to see this country disintegrated because we will be unfair to those who put their lives on the line and died for the purpose of keeping the country one. If we let it go, we will not be fair to them, thousands of people were killed, a lot was maimed, and some were permanently disabled.”
Two Die as Farmers, Herders Clash in Edo Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Two persons have been reportedly killed in a clash between farmers and herdsmen in Sobe, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State. It was gathered that trouble started on Sunday when an 11-year-old boy was found slaughtered inside the bush. The boy, whose name was not given, was said to have gone to the bush to pick firewood when he was killed by suspected herdsmen. This led to a reprisal attack which also saw to the death of a herdsman by people from the area. Witnesses alleged that the boy’s relatives from Kwale area of Edo State, upon hearing what happened, mobilised and went after the herders killing one of them in the process. Chairman of the locality, Mr. Frank Ilaboya, while reacting to the development, appealed for calm in the community.
Ilaboya said he has informed Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawal Jimeta, about the killings and also requested for reinforcement if the need arises. He said: “There is need for everybody to remain peaceful and calm in the community. I have personally spoken to the Odibiado of Sobe, His Royal Highness, Anthony Ero Aleburu, on the need to mobilise his people to ensure there is no more casualty. “I have also spoken and mobilised the security apparatus in the local government to ensure they are on standby to forestall further crisis. “Thank God the security agencies quickly moved in, and in conjunction with the Odibiado and the people of Sobe, calm has been restored. “This is why I am appealing to all for calm. People should refrain from further violence, as violence will not do the community or anybody good.”
N25m Furniture Destroyed as Fire Razes Abuja Market Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja Fire has razed Kugbo Furniture Market in Abuja, destroying about 39 shops and furniture worth over N25 million. Some of the furniture makers, whose wares were burnt, said they got to know about the fire at about 12 midnight from the guards on duty. Chairman of Kugbo Furniture Market, Austin Onuh, whose shop was also burnt by the inferno, said the incident occurred in the wee hours of yesterday when the shop-owners had closed for the day. He lamented that the destroyed furniture was contracted out to the traders by their customers. “We are yet to determine the cause of the inferno, but furniture worth over N25 million was lost to the fire. Some of us here just returned from the Christmas and New Year celebrations, and started work that our customers
gave us, but this morning we only came to see ashes,” Onuh said in an emotion-laden tone. He appealed to the FCT Administration, private individuals and corporate organisations to provide humanitarian assistance to enable them overcome the losses. Another victim, Timothy Eze, said an estimated N8 million worth furniture was destroyed by the fire in his shop. “Apart from the furniture, industrial machine, generators with several working equipment that worth millions of naira were also burnt,” he said. Vincent Ngutsen, another victim, said over N7 million finished and unfinished furniture were destroyed in his shop located at the same area. He added that despite the efforts of the rescuers living around the area and the fire fighters, they could not to salvage anything.
NO MORE CIVIL WAR ...
L-R: Chairman, Planning Committee, Never Again Conference, Prof. Pat Utomi; Chairman of the occassion, Prof. Anya O. Anya; and Keynote Speaker, Prof. Wole Soyinka, during the conference’, themed ‘Nigeria Civil War: 50 Years After,’’ held in Lagos...yesterday MUBO PETERS
Nigerian Lady Trafficked to Lebanon Regains Freedom A young Nigerian lady who was trafficked to Lebanon has regained her freedom and has now been handed over to the Nigerian Ambassador in Beirut. Channels TV reported that this was disclosed by the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Dabiri-Erewa made this disclose via her official Twitter page yesterday. According to the President’s special aide, the young lady who is known as Omolola Ajayi was received warmly by Ambassador Goni Zanna Bura and she is happy to be in safe hands.
She added that Omolola will soon be home. A few days ago, Omolola Ajayi cried out for help via a viral video, claiming that she was allegedly sold into slavery in Lebanon. Omolola who revealed that her parents, Mr. Kehinde Ajayi and Mrs. Felicia Ajayi live at Offa Garage at Under Bridge in Ilorin, Kwara State, alleged that a family friend perpetrated the sad act against her. According to Omolola, she thought she was coming to Lebanon to teach English but discovered she had been deceived upon arriving in the country.
Omolola disclosed that some of those who fell victim to the same scam are already dead as they are not taken to the hospital when they are sick by their “masters” who seized their passport upon arriving in the country. Reacting to the viral video, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State condemned the rising trend of human trafficking in the country. The governor vowed to deal with anyone caught in the state according to the dictates of the law. Governor Abdulrasaq said he ordered an immediate investigation into the matter,
adding that three suspects, comprising two Nigerians and the Lebanese referred to in the footage, had been arrested in connection with the case. He further revealed that all the suspects and those connected with the case are being interrogated. The governor also disclosed that discreet investigations by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, in Kwara State have revealed that there are at least 28 other victims of this horrible trafficking gang. He urged residents to be confident in coming forward with information regarding trafficking activities.
EFCC Freezes Shehu Sani’s Bank Accounts over Alleged Extortion The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen the bank accounts of a former senator from Kaduna State, Mr. Shehu Sani. In a statement, his senior special adviser, Mr. Suleiman Ahmed also said the former lawmaker was “forced to
declare his assets. The EFCC had arrested Sani for allegedly demanding money from Sani Dauda, who is owner of ASD Motors, to bribe the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, so as to influence an investigation. Although the former
lawmaker denied the allegation, the anti-graft agency insisted he had questions to answer on the matter. Sani’s aide said Suleiman Ahmed, accused the EFCC of bias in his principal’s case. He wondered why the anti-graft agency has not detained Sani’s
accuser “who admitted to giving bribe.” He also wondered about the connection between allegations of extortion of $25,000 and then the searching his residence, blocking his accounts and forcing him to declare his assets.
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Bandits Kill 35, Abduct 58 Others, Demand N100m Ransom in Kaduna John Shiklam in Kaduna About 35 people have been reportedly killed while 58 others were said to have been abducted following the invasion of 10 communities by bandits in Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State. The hoodlums were said to have demanded for the payment of N100 million ransom for the release of their victims. The bandits were said to have invaded the communities on January 6, 2020, sacking the villagers. Some who fled their homes, have taken refuge at Unguwan Bije Community Secondary School, Gonin Gora, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis while others were said to have fled to other communities. Speaking when the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Mr. Jonathan Asake visited the victims yesterday at the school, Pastor Habila Sarkin Noma, said the bandits had called to say “we must produce N100 million as ransom if we want to have them alive.” He alleged that the attackers were Fulani herdsmen who have been attacking the villages persistently, “but we always find ways of surviving them”. He said the herdsmen “would graze on our crops
and threatened to kill us if we protest. He said “sometimes when they attack and take captives, we will manage and pay ransom. Even after paying, sometimes they kill the victims. “But the attacks that took place on January 6, 2020, was the worst. They killed a total of 35 people and kidnapped a total of 58 in 10 villages. He said the affected villages include: Badna, Zankoro, Hayin Damisa, Unguwan Badole, Badimi, Kuderi and Unguwan Doma in Chukun LGA while others include: Rumana Gbagyi, Rumana Hausa and Malomo in Birnin Gwari LGA. According to the clergyman, the invaders came in hundreds and were well armed. “They carried out deadly attacks and looted our villages”. Speaking in an interview with journalists during the visit, Asake called on the federal and Kaduna State governments to immediately come to the aid of the victims. He also called on international community, individuals and organisations to render assistance. “As you can see from the way these people are, they are seriously traumatised and needed immediate assistance. “We have been told that the suspected bandits destroyed
all their farm products and also destroyed their houses leaving them with nothing to call their own. “Here at Ungwar Beji, there are about 200 of them with no
food, beds or clothes while we have also been told that about 8,000 of them have converged at Buruku with nothing with them. “Worst of all, most of the
children are sick. This calls for concern on all people of goodwill to come to their aid in any kind in order to give them hope of survival before steps could be taken on the area of
their education,” Asake said. The spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mr. Yakubu Sabo could not be reached for reaction as his mobile phone was not available.
WORK IN PROGRESS...
L-R: Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde; Oyo State Commissioner for Works, Prof. Raphael Afonja; Director of Highways, Mr. Emmanuel Akinpelu; Managing Director, KOPEK, Mr. Issam Fegnali; and Contracts Manager, Mr. Pascal Hafouch, during the inspection of Jakata/ Bembo/Apata road, Ibadan…yesterday
Osinbajo Hails Sanusi for ECOWAS Court Delivers 38 Judgments, Keeping Peace in Kano 10 Rulings in 2019 Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday hailed Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II, for keeping peace in his kingdom. Osinbajo commended the Emir for ensuring peace in the state, saying his efforts had gone a long way in maintaining the unity of the state. The vice president described the projects he commissioned as a great development, noting that they’re a part of the dividends of democracy that would benefit the good people of the state. While commending Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Osinbajo said the people of Kano deserved such development projects.
In his remarks, the Emir told the vice president to consider Kano State as his second home, commending him for recognising the state as one of the peaceful in the country. He described the vice president’s visit to commission projects by the state government as a welcome development. Projects commissioned by Osinbajo include Murtala Mohammed Way Flyover completed by the Ganduje administration and named after business mogul, Alhaji Aminu Alhassan-Dantata; Katsina Road Underpass named after Alhaji Tijjani Hashim. The vice president also laid the foundation for the construction of Kofar Mata Underpass.
Alex Enumah in Abuja The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court yesterday disclosed that it disposed a total of 48 Decisions in 2019, the highest number of Decisions given in a single year by the court since its inception in 2001. The figure, according to statistics made available by the Court’s Registry Department, revealed that out of the 48 decisions, 38 were judgments and the remaining 10 were rulings. The figure, which is being regarded as a milestone achievement, is said to be significantly higher than the 33 and 23 decisions given by the court in 2018 and 2017, respectively. “This is the most vivid
expression of the expressed commitment of the current judges since their assumption of duty at the end of August 2018 to expedite the handling of cases in order to reduce the number of pending cases and help strengthen the confidence of ECOWAS citizens in the Court”, a statement credited to the President of the Court, Justice Edward Asante said in reaction to the landmark achievement. The President in the statement noted that the milestone was achieved despite the challenges confronting the Court such as the reduction of the number of judges from seven to five. Asante assured that the judges will remain on this trajectory considering the trend in the number of pending cases
which increased to 119 in 2019 compared to 108 in 2018 and 89 in 2017. “It is widely acknowledged that justice delayed is justice denied and we want citizens who approach the Court to do so, confident that justice will be delivered in a timely manner unlike the experience with some national courts,’ he added. Consequently, he said the court has scheduled several court sessions for the first quarter of 2020 during which 55 cases will be heard while 12 decisions comprising eight judgments and four rulings will be delivered. He noted that although the violation of human rights has become its defining mandate and transformed the court into the preeminent regional court
in Africa, the community must not lose sight of its primary mandate related to its role in the integration process as the court charged with the interpretation of community instruments. The statistics also showed that 441 cases were filed as at December 31, 2019 with the Court since its inception while 116 rulings, 231 judgments and four advisory opinions were delivered during the period. In addition, the court issued 30 orders, revised 18 of its decisions based on 23 applications and held 1,002 court sessions. The President equally expressed concern at the poor working conditions in the Court caused by inadequate office space.
A former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who is standing trial on charges of money laundering involving N2billion yesterday appealed to the Federal High Court in Abuja to drop some of the conditions attached to the N1billion granted him by the Court in November last year. Maina, who was arraigned along with his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, has been remanded in Abuja prison since October last year due to his inability to meet the bail conditions. He told Justice Okon Abang,
yesterday that the part of the bail conditions requiring him to produce two sureties, who must be serving senators with landed properties worth N500million each in Maitama or Asokoro, two highbrow areas of Abuja, was excessive and stringent. Maina, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), urged the court to drop the said conditions in the interest of justice. As part of the conditions of the bail granted him by Justice Abang had on November 25, 2019 directed him to produce two serving senators, to
guarantee the N1billion bail sum. The judge added that the sureties to be produced by Maina must undertake to appear in court with him at every trial date, pending the conclusion of the case. He added that should at least one of the defendants fail to appear with Maina at any court sitting, the bail would be revoked. Among other conditions, the judge said the defendant should also deposit his United States of America passports with the Chief Registrar of the court, pending the conclusion of the trial.
At the hearing of the bail variation application filed by Maina on December 6, 2019, the defendant’s lawyer, Mr. Afam Osigwe, said while his client had met other conditions, it had been impossible for him to get senators to serve as the sureties. While commending the judge for granting bail to his client, Osigwe said the bail conditions were “excessive and impossible to meet”. “The stringent and excessive nature of the conditions is evidenced by the inability of the first defendant/applicant (Maina) to meet those conditions as of today, January 13, 2020.
Ahead of Supreme Court I Can’t Get Senators with N1bn Properties as Judgment, Bauchi Gov My Sureties, Maina Tells Court Hospitalised The Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, has been hospitalised in a London hospital ahead of the Supreme Court judgment on some governorship election petitions, including Bauchi State. This was contained in a statement made available to journalists Sunday night by his Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mukhtar Gidado. The Supreme Court had fixed yesterday for the hearing of the appeal brought against Governor Mohammed, by the
All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Mohammed Abubakar. However, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, had adjourned till today, January 14, for delivery of the judgment in the matter. The media aide quoted the governor as saying, “I am in the hospital in London but we strongly believe that Allah is sufficient for us and He is able and capable to give us victory! Cheers, success shall be ours, In sha Allah! Cheers to you all.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢ T H I S D AY
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢T H I S D AY
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢ T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY ËžËœÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
Editor, Editorial Page PETER ISHAKA Email email@example.com
CELEBRATING AN INTELLECTUAL ICON
Norma Perchonok pays tribute to Olusegun Osoba, scholar and chairman of the Yusufu Bala Usman Institute, at age 85
f how many people can it be said that they have lived to the age of 85 and have led their entire life without deviating from their designated goal, especially when that goal involves unrelenting struggle to bring about change to a Nigerian society rife with economic and political inequality and various forms of injustice? This can be said of Dr. Olusegun Osoba, who turns 85 this month, and who continues to be an inspiration to new generations, with his lifelong example of struggle for a better society - a society where oppression and exploitation have been eradicated and where each individual is able to develop his or her full potential in a truly democratic environment. Olusegun Osoba was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on the 9th January, 1935. He attended Ijebu-Ode Grammar School (1947-53); Nigerian College of Arts, Science & Technology, Ibadan (1954-56); University College of Ibadan (1956-59) and Moscow State University (1963-67). He taught at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School (1959-63). For most of his professional life he taught and researched in the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (1967-91). His special area of research interest is the social and intellectual history of modern Nigeria. As a teacher and lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife he was a mentor who inspired students and colleagues to think critically and develop their mental capabilities in order to generate ideas that would be used to move Nigeria forward. As a committed intellectual, his historical writings dissect the nature of the Nigerian ruling class with acuity and precision, exposing their hypocrisy and their incompetence. Last year, at the age of 84, he wrote an important New Introduction to the work he co-authored with late Dr. Yusufu Bala Usman in 1976, when they were both members of the Constitutional Drafting Committee, set up by then Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, to produce a constitution for a democratic Nigeria. At the time, they disagreed with the majority of the CDC members who were set on producing a constitution that enshrined the deeply unjust and undemocratic practices that had been enslaving Nigerian citizens for so long. They wrote a Minority Report and Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976. When, after many years, this work was finally published in 2019, Dr. Osoba produced a New Introduction incorporating a Minimum Agenda For Change, a blueprint for a path to implement fundamental changes in Nigerian society, which should be adopted by all those who seek to bring about progressive change in Nigeria. The five points Dr. Osoba brought out in this Minimum Agenda for Change are: One, there shall be one and only one Nigerian citizenship. . . .A citizen should be legally entitled to live and work in any community in Nigeria . . . and shall have full rights to participate in the total life of the community in which he chooses to live and work. Two, the need to demystify the colonially-derived legal system so that the Constitution and laws are written so that they are accessible and understandable to ordinary citizens.
AS A TEACHER AND LECTURER AT OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE, HE WAS A MENTOR WHO INSPIRED STUDENTS AND COLLEAGUES TO THINK CRITICALLY AND DEVELOP THEIR MENTAL CAPABILITIES IN ORDER TO GENERATE IDEAS THAT WOULD BE USED TO MOVE NIGERIA FORWARD
Three, in a new constitutional order, the fundamental rights and duties of citizens and the directive principles of state policy must be fully justiciable in law, as this is the only way citizens can hold their government to account. Four, there is the need to urgently abrogate the constitutional immunity from prosecution granted to executive arms of government, as no official should be above the law. Five, to ensure that political parties are responsible to the electorate, they should only be registered if they have national, non-sectional and non-religious programme of activities, and if they are funded exclusively by the financial contribution of their individual member, none of whom may contribute in any one year more than the national minimum wage for one month. The financial records of each party is subject to comprehensive auditing by the regulatory body, and parties are proscribed from charging their members any fees for seeking nomination, or making a statement of intent, to run for party or public office. Last year, Dr. Osoba also undertook the new responsibility of becoming the Chairman of the Yusufu Bala Usman Institute, an organisation established by colleagues and associates of his long-time friend and collaborator, late Dr. Bala Usman, dedicated to carrying on the work begun by Dr. Osoba and Dr. Usman, with the aim of creating a new Nigeria, where no one is oppressed and where true democracy reigns. The five-point Minimum Agenda for Change is no doubt a central pillar of the work of the Yusufu Bala Usman Institute. On the contentious issue of restructuring Nigeria, Dr. Osoba is very clear: â€˜â€™Restructuring is s lieâ€™â€™, he bluntly said at the public presentation of the Minority Report, at the University of Lagos in May of 2019. It is a con, a scam to create more avenues for the Nigerian ruling class to steal public funds. What is important, Dr. Osoba reiterated, is STRUGGLE, not restructuring. As he so cogently said at the end of his New Introduction to the Minority Report and Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976: â€˜â€™A successful engagement with our people on the core principles of this minimum agenda for change will blow away all the fears and anxieties being generated among them by the fake apostles of ethnic and regional separatism, hiding behind their mendacious and tattered banners of â€˜restructuringâ€™. What the masses of our people want, as most of humanity in the modern era, is NOT a coalition of mini unviable states whose human and material resources are at the arbitrary disposal of their separate ethnic and regional notables. Our people need a country, Nigeria, operating at full capacity and unshackled by the thieving activities of a good- for -nothing ruling class whose only operating agenda is looting the national treasury.â€™â€™ We heartily wish Dr. Olusegun Osoba many more healthy and fruitful years ahead to continue with the struggle. Perchonok is a Director Yusufu Bala Usman Institute, Zaria
MUCH ADO ABOUT SUCCESSION
Succession is about long term visions, building stable institutions and raising the next generation, writes â€˜Tunde Bakare
ollowing my State of the Nation address on Sunday, 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 â€œUnveiling the True Enemies of Nigeria,â€? I surveyed various forces militating against the emergence of the New Nigeria at the turn of a new decade. While highlighting the commendable efforts of our founding leaders in contrast with their wayward successors who occasionally masquerade as democrats, I challenged Nigerians to set aside differences of ethnicity, religion and partisan affiliations as we unite against our common enemies; 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. I concluded by offering counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari on three key areas of focus, namely: strong leadership, strong institutions, and strong succession. My use of the word â€œsuccessionâ€? has drawn curious reactions from various quarters. It has been largely interpreted as my asking Buhari to foist his choice on the nation in flagrant disregard of democratic principles. I neither did this, nor did I insinuate at any point that Buhari should â€œpickâ€? or â€œchooseâ€? his successor as some news outlets have conjured. My exact words: â€œâ€Śthe third pivotal objective of governance should be to build a strong post-Buhari legacy facilitated by accurate successionâ€ŚTherefore, even as we build institutions of democratic governance, a key responsibility that history has bestowed on President Muhammadu 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.â€? There is no variance between this and my earlier suggestion in October 2018 that: â€œWe need leaders who have the mental fortitude to navigate the complexities of our national realities
and conceive appropriate solutions to our national dilemmasâ€Ś â€œâ€Śwe must interrogate the method by which such leaders are produced. How effective is this electocracy masquerading as a democracy? Does our current system guarantee the emergence of the best and brightest leaders or does it constrain us to the choice between the devil and the deep blue sea? Have we helped ourselves by asking Nigerians to get their PVCs without paying attention to what happens at the primaries? What have we done at this time to ensure that after elections, a president or governor is not surrounded by people who will misadvise or incapacitate him or her? What safeguards have we put in place to ensure that an elected leader is surrounded by the right set of lieutenants, including ministers and advisers? How much consideration have we given to leadership succession? Beyond 2019, who are those trusted hands in whose care we must place our beloved nation? How can we begin to position such leaders in the current dispensation? [â€Ś] Any party that is unable to spell out its leadership selection criteria, as well as its long-term succession plan, should be rejected by Nigerians.â€? Again, the focus remains on systems of succession, which I sought to highlight using the Singapore, China and South Africa examples, while being mindful of our local realities. This was clearly conveyed when I said â€œas we build institutions of democratic governance.â€? Anyone who was not mindful of this either did not read or listen to my remarks in context, or deliberately chose to sidestep that crucial detail and respond to a phantom non-issue. When you take a text out of context, you become a con. The reference to China had nothing to do with the Chinese system of government but more to do with Deng Xiaopingâ€™s deliberate move to discover, develop and strategically deploy young leadership talents over an extended period as that country began a path to modernisation. Similarly, my reference to Singaporeâ€™s Lee Kuan Yew was to underscore the role of pioneer or pivotal leaders
of nations in institutionalising or resuscitating foundational values. Furthermore, the example of Mandelaâ€™s Succession Plan in South Africa was done within the proper democratic framework of a free, fair and credible election. My overriding concern in offering propositions was to forestall the emergence of recycled enemies who will once again seek to lock us into a cycle of doom and gloom at the turn of a new decade. If we have been excellent at anything in Nigeria, it has been at creating a succession pipeline of the worst of us ruling over the best of us. On my part, I remain committed to facilitating, however God enables me, the emergence of the best, brightest, fittest and most competent Nigerians across every gamut of our national life. I am more invested in discussions on the way forward and will thus not address individual comments, particularly as they were in response to words I simply did not utter or insinuations that were the concoctions of jaundiced imaginations. It was Peter Drucker who said: â€œThere is no success without a successor.â€? Great leaders think of succession from their very first day in office. The thought of succession informs the quality of lieutenants an effective leader appoints to strategic offices; it compels a leader to hire competent aides who can do the job as well, if not better, than they themselves can. Succession, or legacy-mindfulness, if you prefer, keeps a leader from the distractions of the side attractions of office, and keeps him or her focused on the deliverables, knowing that he or she has limited time. Succession is about casting long term visions, building stable institutions and raising the next generation. My copious references to young people in the January 5, 2020 address was deliberate. I was pointing to the future of our nation and the need for inclusive transgenerational governance. I was echoing James Freeman Clarke who once observed that: A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of
his country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift. These are serious issues that cannot be muddled up by perverts pretending to be patriots or zeroes pretending to be heroes. Inaccurate succession has been the bane of institutional leadership in Nigeria. Decades after the selfless leadership of our founding fathers, the citizenry has remained disillusioned with the self-aggrandisement of politicians who lack the values of the founding fathers. In the South, these politicians are quick to wear the cap and glasses of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but lack the mental capacity and foresight of the late sage. In the North, these politicians affiliate themselves with the legacy of Sir Ahmadu Bello, but lack the heart with which the Sardauna worked for the progress of his people. In the East, they associate themselves with the giant strides of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Okpara, but their governance accomplishments are dwarfed compared to those of these heroes. These are signs of leadership succession failure. To reiterate: succession is an expansive term that does not focus on one position alone, mindful as I am that no individual can singlehandedly solve Nigeriaâ€™s problems. Instead, it focuses on the institution of systems of predictable progress, and the sustainable replacement of capable hands with capable hands across the entire system, whether through elections or appointments. Unfortunately, some have chosen to place leadership succession on the one hand, and free, fair and credible elections on the other, as mutually exclusive issues when, indeed, the latter is the strategic vehicle for arriving at the former. I welcome discussions on the practicalities of this in our climate, even as I earnestly look forward to the day when the enemies of Nigeria, who are currently at large, will be rightly confined to the dustbin of history. Pastor Bakare is the Serving Overseer of the Citadel
T H I S D AY ˾ TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2020
EDITORIAL THE N37 BILLION‘RENOVATION’BROUHAHA The amount allocated for renovation of the National Assembly is excessive
he controversy over the N37 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the renovation of the National Assembly complex will not go away easily for obvious reasons. To build the complex, a contract for the sum of $35.18 million was awarded to ITB Nigeria on 18th February 1996 through the department of public building, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Abuja. Even if we use the current exchange rate of N360 to a dollar, the proposed cost for the renovation work will still exceed $100 million. The implication is that the amount now voted for renovation is almost three times what was used to build the complex. While we must factor in the addition of more buildings to the complex in recent years, not a few senators and members of the House of Representatives have also denounced the amount voted for the renovation. “As a A GOVERNMENT member of @nassniLIKE THE PRESENT geria, I don’t believe ADMINISTRATION THAT IS that the complex LOOKING FOR MONEY TO needs any renovation FUND ITS BUDGET SHOULD that would cost the country N37bn. We BE MORE CIRCUMSPECT IN THE MANAGEMENT OF need more upgraded classrooms and SCARCE FINANCES hospitals to cater for the Nigerian people,” Hon Ochilegor Idagbo, representing Bekwarra/Obanliku/Obudu Federal Constituency of Cross River tweeted. But some have even explained that the building belongs to the FCDA and that the proposed renovations to be carried would also be carried out by the agency and not the National Assembly. This is true to an extent. Budget estimates from the FCDA as experienced in the past have always been suspect. Shortly before both the Senate and House of Representatives were inaugurated in June 1999, there was a controversy over the planned furnishing of
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Apo Legislative Quarters. The FCDA had budgeted N11 million and N9 million respectively for furnishing the apartments of senators and members of the House of Representatives. Following the rejection of their proposal, each senator was paid N5 million and a House of Representatives member, N3 5 million to furnish their residence.
T T H I S DAY EDITOR BOLAJI ADEBIYI DEPUTY EDITOR YEMI AJAYI, DAVIDSON IRIEKPEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR ENIOLA BELLO DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR KAYODE KOMOLAFE CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD OLUSEGUN ADENIYI EDITOR NATION’S CAPITAL IYOBOSA UWUGIAREN MANAGING EDITOR JOSEPH USHIGIALE
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hose familiar with the National Assembly complex argue that the required work are in the sound system within the two chambers, resurfacing of the ﬂoor in certain areas, changing the furniture, upgrading the electronic voting and public address systems, repairing some leaking roofs as well as improving the sanitary system. What then would the FCDA use a whopping N37 billion to do? That is the question that is yet to be sufﬁciently answered and the fact that the amount is being defended by principal ofﬁcers of the National Assembly suggests some complicity between the lawmakers and the bureaucrats. That the president would approve such an outrageous amount of money for renovation works has led to the accusation that it was done as a payback for the approval in December 2019 of the $29.96 billion loan request that had been rejected by the 8th National Assembly. But what the authorities may not know is that N37 billion means a lot in the life of Nigerians in terms of rebuilding our roads and schools, buying drugs for our ill- equipped hospitals and generally improving on our dilapidated infrastructure. It is even more important that a government like the present administration that is looking for money to fund its budget should be more circumspect in the management of scarce ﬁnances. At a period of lean resources, blocking some loopholes and drainpipes alone would save the nation valuable fund that could be channelled into key projects in critical and productive sectors. This is therefore a needless waste of scarce resources. Besides, even if the complex requires some renovation, such works should not gulp N37 billion!
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BIAFRA: 50YEARS AFTER
anuary 15 will mark the 50th year anniversary of the Nigerian civil war which was fought between the federal government and the secessionist Biafran side led by LtCol. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. The war was a very bloody one as about one million people lost their lives. The images of starving children which was beamed all over the world left a heart-wrenching image in the mind of Steve Jobs that he vowed never to be a Christian again as he questioned the logic of a good God who allowed his creatures to suffer in the most horrifying manner. The remote cause of the war was the first military coup in the country which occurred on January 15, 1966 spearheaded by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu of the famous five majors. The then Premier of the Northern Region, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello was murdered in cold blood in his residence. The likes of Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime Minister, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the Premier of the Western region, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the finance minister were killed in the most gruesome manner. Some top military officers were also killed on that fateful day. Brigadier-General Samuel Adesujo Ademulegun, the Commander of the first Brigade in Kaduna was killed alongside his pregnant wife, his deputy Colonel Shodeinde was also murdered. BrigadierGeneral Zakari Maimalari, the most senior northerner in the armed forces was killed in Lagos. The only Igbo military officer who lost his life was the then Quarter-Master General, Lt-Col Arthur Chinyelu Unegbe because he refused to hand over the
keys of the armoury to the coup plotters. With the exception of Major Wale Ademoyega, the rest of the coup plotters were Igbos which made it to be tagged an Igbo coup. This made anti-Igbo sentiments very high especially in the north. When Major-General Thomas Johnson Umunnakwe AguiyiIronsi came to power, many Nigerians especially the northerners expected him to decisively punish the coup plotters for their heinous crimes. He didn’t do much and he further provoked Nigerians by making the nation a unitary state. There was the fear of Igbo domination. These fears led to the counter-coup on July 29, 1966 when Ironsi and the then military governor of the western region, Lt-Col Francis Adekunle Fajuyi were killed. The pogroms in the north began and the then Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, Lt-Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu asked all Igbos living in the north to return home as he could not guarantee their safety there. There was the personality and ego clash between Ojukwu and Gowon. The former said that the military hierarchy should be respected as Babafemi Ogundipe was the most senior military officer and as such should have been the Head of State and not Gowon. He therefore wouldn’t recognize him as his boss. Things came to a head and the then Ghanaian Military Head of State, General Joseph Ankrah invited both men to Aburi, Ghana for a peace meeting. In that historic meeting, Ojukwu canvassed that the best form of government for the
country was a Confederation which Gowon agreed to while there. When they returned home, Gowon changed his mind and broke up the four regions into 12 states to weaken the powers of Ojukwu. Ojukwu declared a Sovereign state of Biafra which led to the brutal 30 months war. Ojukwu disappointed many of those who believed in his cause as he left them in the lurch when he and his family ran into exile in Cote d’Ivoire leaving the rank and file who viewed him as a demi-god to their fate. The war was prosecuted without a single borrowing due to the sagacity of the then Federal Commissioner and ViceChairman of the Federal Executive Council, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He was quoted to have said that ‘starvation is a legitimate weapon of warfare.’ There were blockades which prevented food and essential supplies from entering the east. The war ended with a ‘No victors, no vanquished’ slogan by Gowon but it was all on paper as only 20 pounds was given to them irrespective of the amount that they had in the bank. They are the loudest voice in the cry for secession through the formation of the Movement for the Actualization for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) led by Ralph Uwazurike and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu. The tribe lost out in the military and civil service and they only had commerce to take refuge in. There is hardly any government presence in their area. Their cry is legitimate as they are agitating for a better deal from the government. Tony Ademiluyi, Lagos
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢T H I S D AY
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢ T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY ˾TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020
Group Politics Editor NSEOBONG OKON-EKONG Email email@example.com (08114495324 SMS ONLY)
Issues, Hurdles Before Ezeemo in Anambra PDP Nseobong Okon-Ekong scrutinizes the recent switch of political party loyalty by Chief Godwin Ezeemo, from the Peoples Progressive Alliance to the Peoples Democratic Party and concludes that the two-time governorship candidate in Anambra State still has many rivers to cross
hairman/CEO Orient Group of Companies and two-time governorship candidate in Anambra State, Chief Godwin Ezeemo recently met with the Ndubisi Nwobu-led state executive members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s secretariat in Awka, to declare his intention to contest the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State on the platform of the former national ruling party. The declaration makes it the third time that Ezeemo is making attempts to be Governor of Anambra State, having done so in 2013 and 2017 on the platform of the defunct Action Congress (AC) and Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) respectively. Perhaps, the Umuchu-born businessmanturned politician is the first to officially indicate his interest to run the 2021 race under the umbrella of the PDP. Others are yet to officially intimate the party of their intention to contest the next governorship election in Anambra on the platform of the erstwhile ruling party christened the largest political party in Africa. Analysts say Ezeemo is a good material for PDP considering the fact that he is substantial in terms of exposure, experience and quality of programmes geared towards good governance for the state. Again, the gentle, disciplined, cool-headed Ezeemo is a highly popular politician and philanthropist in Anambra State. Speaking on the intention of Ezeemo also known as Achinagbaroha, a political analyst, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme said, “Ezeemo’s intention to contest the next governorship election with the PDP flag is okay by me. First, he has made name and a good one for that matter because his popularity is built on his struggle to lead Anambra State for the purpose of good governance. In fact, Ezeemo is now a household name, which makes him more salable in the state. Others are going about buying chieftaincy titles and awards to be popular, but Ezeemo is well known to Ndi Anambra already.” “Second, he is a good man with deep passion for the wellbeing of humanity hence his interest to serve the good people of Anambra State,” Ezekwueme added. “Based on his passion to serve, I am sure he will guarantee a transparent and accountable governance devoid of corruption. So, with Ezeemo, it is as good as saying that PDP has presented us (Ndi Anambra,) with a dream choice for the job in Government House. Third, he has the capacity to lead Anambra State going by his achievements - assets and investment in Nigeria and other countries as an international businessman and that is a huge advantage for PDP.” Sitting atop chains of businesses, Ezeemo emerged on Anambra political scene in 2013, indicating his interest to run for governor on the platform of AC, now defunct. He got a baptism of fire from the leader of AC in the person of the current Nigeria Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige who after promising to give him the ticket of the party went ahead to contest the governorship election himself. Ngige, eventually defeated the Achinagbaroha at the primary to emerge the candidate of AC prompting Ezeemo to pitch tent with PPA where he secured the ticket as candidate for the 2013 race. Both Ngige and Ezeemo lost the 2013 race to the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano who contested on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). In 2017, Ezeemo again entered the governorship race riding on the PPA train and, again, he lost, taking a distant fifth position or so. Still much interested to serve Ndi Anambra as CEO of the Government House at Agu Awka, the Umuchu-born businessman has once again come out to try his luck this time through PDP, which, according to analysts, is a much bigger party with higher stakes than PPA.
Ezeemo The question now is, how far can Ezeemo go buoyed by the PDP? The answer to this question lies in how the Achinagbaroha would handle the issues and hurdles he faces as an aspirant on the platform of the party. The good, the bad and the ugly associated with party politics are waiting for him in hitherto Africa’s largest political party. The good side of it is that the PDP is capable of winning the election as a political party, so whosoever becomes the candidate of the party can emerge as the governor of Anambra State. The PDP has enough people -faithful followers-- to win the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State. In his previous campaign as candidate of the PPA to govern Anambra, Ezeemo has expounded a manifesto with the acronym;
SHAPE, which captured his vision in Security, Health, Agriculture, Power/Policy and Education. He announced an intention to develop first class healthcare facilities by partnering the private sector to improve healthcare and services. He promised to run an administration that engage the youths in meaningful economic activities as well as reinventing the community policing system, while deploying CCTV cameras across the state. As a successful farmer, Ezeemo presented a set of developmental programmes for Anambra that put agriculture in a pivotal position. Apart from the strategy to encourage private investors in agriculture to make Anambra State a food sufficient, another strategy on this wise is the proposed relationship with
The question now is, how far can Ezeemo go buoyed by the PDP? The answer to this question lies in how the Achinagbaroha would handle the issues and hurdles he faces as an aspirant on the platform of the party. The good, the bad and the ugly associated with party politics are waiting for him in hitherto Africa’s largest political party. The good side of it is that the PDP is capable of winning the election as a political party, so whosoever becomes the candidate of the party can emerge as the governor of Anambra State. The PDP has enough people-faithful followersto win the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State
higher institutions to develop agricultural research centres. With Ezeemo as governor, the people of Anambra can be assured of capacity building and continuous training for teachers, a robust library system and skill acquisition centres; sports and arts academies. Arguably, Anambra will become the first state in the country to take seriously the development of cleaner sources of energy that are eco-friendly, articulating policies for effective waste recycling, waste management and erosion control. Political pundits are of the opinion that if PDP can harness the popularity and acceptability of leaders of the party such as former Governor Peter Obi, Senator Ben Obi, Chike Obidigbo who is being wooed by the leaders of the party for support ahead of 2021 polls, Dubem Obaze, Alex Obiogbolu, Osita Chidoka, Uche Ekwunife, Stella Odua and the rest of them with Ezeemo as candidate, the party would easily defeat others at the polls. A marketable candidate and a united PDP is all that the acclaimed largest political party on the continent of Africa needs to reclaim Anambra State in 2021. The bad side of the show is that an aspirant could face betrayers in the party, those who speak from two sides of their mouth and end up doing more harm than good to someone that put hope in them. Third is the ugly such as imposition of a candidate on others. Some can use thugs and even security agents to cause mayhem all in a bid to have their way. Records show that party primary election in Nigeria is never a smooth exercise and nobody can safely trust a political party when it comes to the conduct of primary election. Party primary is not a gentleman’s affair. Ezeemo being a gentleman has to beware of the good, the bad and the ugly associated with party primary elections. One more hurdle that lies ahead of Ezeemo is the issue of zoning. If PDP sticks to its earlier stand against zoning, then his chances of emerging the flag bearer of the party could be jeopardized. A group rooting for Ezeemo to be governor known as Friends of Godwin Chukwunaenye Ezeemo (FOGCE) is making frantic efforts to draw the attention of PDP to the issue of zoning as, according to the group, PDP stands a better chance to win the 2021 race if the party concedes its ticket to the southern senatorial district. Director General of FOGCE, Hon Ibuchim Ezekwelu in an encounter with journalists stated that PDP is as good as coasting home to victory if the party yields to the clamour for zoning by relevant stakeholders in Anambra State. He said, “All relevant stakeholders such as the traditional rulers, town unions and market leaders including church leaders are of the opinion that it is the turn of Anambra South to produce the next governor of Anambra State and I think zoning the ticket to the South will largely work in favour of the PDP.’’ Hon Ibuchim added, “I have been in the system since 1999 as a grassroots politician so I know how things work in Anambra State. The impression is that the Central Senatorial Zone has taken 12 years with Ngige and Peter Obi respectively and the North senatorial zone likewise would take eight years under the incumbent Govrenor Willie Obiano by 2022, so it is justifiable to say that it is the turn of the southern senatorial zone to occupy the Government House at Agu Awka and that is where the minds of Ndi Anambra are going, so PDP has to go with the people by zoning the ticket to the South.” According to Ibuchim, zoning the ticket to the South and the popularity of Ezeemo are all that the PDP needs to reclaim the Government House at Agu Awka because Ndi Anambra know what they need and will identify such when they see one.
T H I S D AY ˾TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020
For Ogbee, a New Chapter Beckons Benjamin Nworie writes that the abrupt termination of the second legislative term of Hon. Lazarus Ogbee in the House of Representatives presents another opportunity to begin a fresh political cycle
n November 1, 2019, An Appeal Court sitting in Enugu terminated the second term of Hon. Lazarus Ogbee, as the Representative of Ezza South and Ikwo Federal Constituency in Ebonyi state. A strong believer in the axiom that when there’s life, there is hope and that power comes from God, Ogbee views his current travail as an aspect of the dynamism of politics, which is mostly characterized by ups and downs. So, he is learning to face with optimism, whichever side the coin turns. To onlookers, a new chapter is imminent for Hon. Lazarus Ogbee, as time is gradually ticking towards another opportunity for the former councillor, former Supervisory Councillor, former Development Center Coordinator, former Ezza South Local Government Chairman and former Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Reformatory Institutions, Hon. Lazarus Ogbee. Not minding the circumstances surrounding the abrupt end to second term in the National Assembly, the former representative of Ezza South/ Ikwo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said he was happy to put that episode behind him and look to future with renewed hope. Along with his teeming supporters, he organized a Thanksgiving service to appreciate God for his love, care and benevolence on his life, family and political career. Ogbee’s progressive political profile is uncommon in Ebonyi history, though likened to that of Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu. The duo have a common history in politics, having risen from councillor to the National Assembly respectively. Ogbee has distinguished himself as a true, jovial and accessible servant who feels the burden of his people. In his political sojourn, the Ex-lawmaker had taken critical decisions which shaped elections in Ebonyi state, especially in 2015. The decision was also instrumental to the struggle that enthroned the present administration of Engr. David Umahi as the governor. As the crisis of 2015 spiraled, the tenure of the 13 council chairmen were terminated. The termination of tenure of the council chairmen was to dampen and whittle down the power and influence of Ogbee and his few colleagues, who were supporters of the then deputy governor, David Umahi. But they persevered and made remarkable open declaration on the choice of Umahi as Martin Elechi’s successor. Out of anger, Elechi adopted and queued into the litigation that questioned the legality or otherwise of the 2013 local government elections, which later ousted Ogbee and his embattled colleagues. However, the ouster presented a new chapter in Ogbee’s political profile. Ogbee became the candidate of the PDP for Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency. With the Court of Appeal judgement that terminated his second term, people have expressed optimism that it will also present a new chapter in Ogbee’s political profile as it was in 2015. At the National Assembly, the exlawmaker distinguished himself and provided assistance to his constituents, empowered many youths with jobs and entrepreneurial skills. He was also visible at home and at government events and programmes in the state which also endeared him to Governor Umahi. After the appellate ruling, Ogbee
said he holds no grouse against anyone including his challenger and opponent. Ogbee was of the view that God has been merciful to him during his political sojourn. He appreciated all his admirers and actors and urged his supporters to remain calm. Ogbee said, “I want to thank the people of Ezza south and Ikwo Federal constituency for all the support they have given to me. I want you to appreciate the Governor of our state, Chief David Umahi. I want to thank the Divine Mandate and PDP families. I want to specially appreciate my people-the people of Amazekwe for giving me their support and I want to appeal to them to accept the verdict of the court in good fate.” “By the special Grace of God, I shall bounce back. I want to thank and appreciate my party, the PDP from my ward, local government, state to the national levels. I thank them for
giving me all the opportunities to serve. I thank them for the various capacities I have served. In chronicling my journey in political positions, I want to sincerely appreciate God. God is faithful. I cannot actually equate the love God has bestowed on me. “From being a supervisory councillor in a military era between 1998 and1999; I became a local government party chairman from PDP to ANPP. I came in again as supervisory councillor for education for Ezza East Development Center from 2005-2006. By 2007, I was appointed as the pioneer Coordinator of Ezza South East Development center. I was there for two years and two months and I resigned to contest for the chairmanship of Ezza south local government and I won. I was sworn in on November 1, 2010- 2013 and I contested again and I also won. By 2014, because of our support for the government of Ebonyi state today, the
At the National Assembly, the ex-lawmaker distinguished himself and provided assistance to his constituents, empowered many youths with jobs and entrepreneurial skills. He was also visible at home and at government events and programmes in the state which also endeared him to Governor Umahi. After the appellate ruling, Ogbee said he holds no grouse against anyone including his challenger and opponent
local government system was sacked through a court order.” “By 2015, I won as Honourable member Federal House of Representatives, representing Ezza south and Ikwo Federal constituency. And by 2019, against all odds, I won again. To this, I want to sincerely thank God and appreciate the people of Ezza South and Ikwo Federal constituency. They gave me their mandate and the court truncated it. I defended it to the Court of Appeal and the Court gave it to my opponent. On this note, I want to congratulate my opponent, Comrade Chinedu Ogah. To God be thy Glory.” Meanwhile, the ex-parliamentarian assured his teeming supporters that they would continue to work together. During the last yuletide, several groups were hosted to sumptuous meals and afterwards went home with different gifts and packages. Ogbee said, “I will not stop carrying my people and supporters along. Many of them throng my house whenever they hear that I am coming home and they don’t sleep till I come back. Sometimes it baffles me how they know that I am coming back. “During the last Christmas season, I hosted many groups. I hosted party executives in my ward and other groups. My wife took care of the women. That is the joy.” As part of his New Year message, Ogbee enjoined all Ezza people to continue to support the administration of Governor David Umahi, stressing that Umahi’s transformation has made Ebonyi, a shining example and beacon of collective achievements to the world. He also enjoined the governor to continue on his successful leadership path which has placed the state on an enviable place on the world map.
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛ËœÍ°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ
Group Features Editor: Chiemelie Ezeobi Email firstname.lastname@example.org, 08038901925
Embarking on a Journey of Consolidation The United Bank for Africa has transitioned into the new decade with a plethora of laurels and reorganisation designed to consolidate its position as one of Africaâ€™s most successful financial institutions, writes Charles Ajunwa
ate last year, the Banker Magazine, a magazine owned by the UK Financial Times, selected the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as the â€˜African Bank of the Year 2019â€™. It was the second time UBA had clinched the prestigious award, the first being in 2017. Also, six UBA subsidiaries - UBA Benin, UBA Tchad, UBA Gabon, UBA Congo, UBA Cote Dâ€™Ivoire and UBA Sierra Leone - won the â€˜Best Bank Categoryâ€™ for their respective regions. The unprecedented wins marked the first time ever in the history of the Banker Awards; no other bank, previously, had won six regional awards in one year. The Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, said the aim of the award â€œis to highlight industry wide excellence within the global banking community. The winner is selected from participating banks in each of the countries from which entries are received for the competition.â€? According to some sources, the â€œBank of the Year Awardsâ€? are widely regarded as the Oscars of the Banking Industry. For over 90 years, The UK magazine has positioned itself as the worldâ€™s leading monthly journal for the banking industry. At the awards ceremony, which took place at the Sheraton Grand, Park Lane in London, UBA was represented by its CEO, UBA Africa, Mr. Victor Osadolor, who received all seven awards on behalf of the bank. â€œUBA group will continue to innovate and lead in all our business segments, whilst delivering top-notch operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service. We are beginning to realise early gains from our ongoing transformation programme and I am excited about the days ahead,â€? Osadolor said. UBAâ€™s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, also expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker. â€œThe recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders,â€? he said. Uzoka added: â€œUBA must be doing something right, and for us, these awards mark another milestone for the Group. It is a testament of the diligent execution of the bankâ€™s strategic initiatives geared towards customer service. Being recognised as Africaâ€™s best bank complements positive feedback from customers and is a recognition of our improving efficiencies, service quality and innovation. I, therefore, dedicate it to our growing loyal corporate and retail customers, who are our essence.â€? He dedicated the awards to UBAâ€™s customers, â€œwhose loyalty, support and patronage have remained the source of the groupâ€™s growth and competitive edge in all the markets we operateâ€?. Stepping Up If success makes one complacent, that seemed not to apply to UBA. Weeks after the accolades from the Banker, the bank decided to promote over 5,000 of its staff and complete the recruitment of more than 4,000 new staff. UBA said beneficiaries of the promotion would receive up to 170 per cent increase in their salaries and benefits, whilst a good number have been moved to higher grade levels. The bank added that it was a carefully planned restructuring embarked upon by the bank in the last quarter of 2019, that has transformed its grading system and processes to become one of the most competitive within the industry. It also said it crashed its grade levels to 12 levels from entry-level to the top of the pyramid where previously it had been 16 levels. This means that staff will now find it much easier to
UBA House, Marina, Lagos attain top leadership management positions at UBA as their careers progress much faster, according to UBA officials. The UBA Chief, Uzoka, who announced the news, noted that UBA is continually seeking new ways to improve the fortunes of its staff as they are the backbone of the organisation.
Uzoka, who spoke to the staff in a bankwide live broadcast said, â€œAs a leading financial institution, we do not take issues relating to our staff lightly. We take great pride in being a listening bank that has the ears of our employees as they turn the wheels which make the organisation successful for our customers and sharehold-
ers. UBA recruits highly talented staff who perform at the best standards and deserve to be remunerated accordingly.â€? Continuing, Uzoka said: â€œWe have also taken steps to ensure that our bank remains at the top tier as it relates to the talent pool. We want to train the best and we have crashed the grade structure to make
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛ËœÍ°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ
Chairman, UBA, Mr. Tony Elumelu
CEO and MD, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka
Former CEO, UBA Africa, Mr. Victor Osadolor (middle) with the African Bank of the Year 2019â€™ award won by United Bank for Africa Group at The Bankers Awards held in London it easier and faster for our employees to progress along their careers. With this new grade structure, it will be possible for a new graduate employed at UBA to rapidly chart their own careers and become GMD by the age of 36.â€? In the same restructuring vein, the bank also announced top management changes, with Oliver Alawuba being appointed as CEO of UBA Africa, overseeing the bank's 20 African country operations, excluding Nigeria. Alawuba succeeded Victor Osadolor, who retired from the Group Board, after nine years of service working at UBA. Alawuba has close to three decades of banking industry experience. He was once the CEO of UBA Ghana and rose to become Regional CEO, UBA Africa before returning to Nigeria to run UBA's East Bank. Under his leadership, UBA's Nigerian East Bank division became the fastest growing regional bank in the group, according to UBA sources. The UBA Board further appointed Senegalese national, Abdoul-Aziz Dia as Executive Director for Treasury and International Banking, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Aziz became the
first non-Nigerian Group Executive Director of the bank. He is also set to be responsible for UBA's global network of operations in New York, London and Paris. Chukwuma Nweke, currently the Executive Director Operations, was confirmed by the Board as the Group Executive Director, Retail and Payments, demonstrating the groupâ€™s commitment to its retail offering. Nweke has close to three decades of banking experience spanning Banking Operations, Finance, Technology, Audit and Strategy. The board also announced the appointment of Chiugo Ndubisi as Group Executive Director and the Group Chief Operating Officer, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Chiugo is a professional with almost three decades of banking experience that includes the role of Chief Finance Officer(CFO) and Executive Director on the board of a financial institution. His in-depth understanding of banking and finance industry dynamics will bring a lot of value to the Group Board of UBA. Speaking on the appointments, UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu said: "These appointments emphasise the groupâ€™s commitment to our pan-African and global
network, our huge retail client base and our operational infrastructure. We are focused on improving our efficiency and further strengthening our pan-African mission, using the extraordinary pool of talent and experience available in the group." Elumelu thanked both the outgoing Osadolor, and the former Regional CEO for UBA in East and Southern Africa, Emeke Iweriebor, who just retired from the board, for their contributions to the bank. â€œVictor and Emeke were key players during the merger of Standard Trust Bank and UBA and have been valuable contributors to the growth of the bank,â€? Elumelu said. â€œWe wish them wellâ€?. Winning Continues The Banker Award wasnâ€™t the only recognition UBA received before the last decade shut down. In recognition of her impressive contributions at the steer of UBAâ€™s corporate Communications, the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation and Group Head, Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, received the Top Corporate Affairs professional 2019, at the 7th Annual Brands and Marketing Conference, which was held at the Lagos
Chamber of Commerce Exhibition centre in December 2019. Atta beat other nominees to the prize for, among other things, the successful organisation of the UBA Market Place, which took place in Abuja last July; positioning UBA as a foremost pan Africa Bank and the birth of REDTV, the fast-paced digital lifestyle channel. UBAâ€™s CSR arm, the UBA Foundation was also crowned best institution in support of Education (CSR) 2019 for its dedication to improving access to education on the continent, particularly through the National Essay Competition where students have received grants from the foundation, for the past nine years, at tertiary institutions in Africa. Speaking about the National Essay Competition as she thanked the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) for the awards, Atta said, â€œit is always such joy to see winners of this competition each year and to know that with the grants that they receive to go to university, they will be changing their lives, the lives of their families and impacting their communities positivelyâ€?.
‘NIGERIA’S JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IS FLAWED’
Dele Adesina, SAN
Order of Trial De Novo in a Pre-Election Matter PAGE 4
Pinheiro Sworn in as Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission PAGE 5
Justice Sanyaolu Calls for Review of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 PAGE 6
QUOTABLES ‘For us, this initiative (Operation Amotekun) conceived to secure our geo-political space, is so important to us.....We felt that a combined effort by all of us, will be very necessary. It will save us from all this banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen and farmers conflict, clashes for ritual killings and cybercrime. The current situation in the country, demands pragmatic and proactive solutions.’ – Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Governor, Ondo State ‘Amotekun in Yoruba, is Tiger......So, if we are to take the Nigeria Police Force as the Lion of policing in Nigeria, this Amotekun is not going to rival it, it can only complement its work.’ – Jiti Ogunye, Legal Practitioner, Lagos
‘Contemporary Lawyers must be Innovative and Versatile’ PAGE 6
Rights of Employees in Termination of Employment PAGE 12
COLUMNISTS DR. MIKE OZEKHOME, SAN, OFR, FCIARB, PH.D, LL.D Constitutional Democracy, means a system of government, in which political and governmental power, is deﬁned, limited and shared by a grundnorm called the Constitution, which provides inbuilt checks and balances. This column seeks to ﬁercely discuss constitutional, legal and political issues, with a view to strengthening, deepening and widening the plenitude and amplitude of democracy and good governance, without fear or favour. The writer of this column, Dr. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, is a Constitutional Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, Pro-Democracy Campaigner, Notary Public and Motivational Speaker. He co-founded the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria's pioneer human rights league, on October 15,1987, the Universal Defenders of Democracy (UDD), in 1992, and with Chief Gani Fawehinmi and others in 1998, the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria (JACON), to push out the military. In his early days, he lectured at the University of Ife. Dr. Ozekhome is an author of many books. He is also a Special Counsel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), at The Hague.
ABUBAKAR D. SANI Abubakar D. Sani holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Maiduguri, and has been in active private legal practice since he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987.He is the Principal of Abubakar D. Sani & Co., which has ofﬁces in Abuja and Kano. " INSIGHT" aims to unravel, analyse and proffer solutions to numerous anomalies in Nigerian law and practice, particularly statutes, vis-a-vis the Constitution, International Treaties and Conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, Judicial Precedent and other relevant statutes and issues.
ONIKEPO BRAITHWAITE EDITOR JUDE IGBANOI DEPUTY EDITOR AKINWALE AKINTUNDE REPORTER TUNDE BUSARI GROUP HEAD OCHI OGBUAKU II ART DIRECTOR
Beyond Medical Tourism
H A Job Well done
earty congratulations to the medical team at National Hospital Abuja, who, over a period of 16 months, succeeded in separating conjoined twins, Goodness and Mercy Martins. The girls were joined in the chest, abdomen and some vital organs. This is indeed, encouraging news for healthcare in Nigeria. At a recent press conference, members of the team, Dr Jaf Momoh and Professor Emmanuel Ameh, and the Minster of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, all said something to the effect that, they hoped that this medical success will inspire confidence in Nigerians, and reduce the need to travel to other countries in the name of medical tourism. The Minister also mentioned that, our hospitals are adequately equipped (or something on those lines). Champions of Medical Tourism I was quite amused, at what they said! Isn’t it hilarious that, the first people they should inspire confidence in, is our President, Muhammadu Buhari (Baba) and his family? Are they not the champions of medical tourism, in the UK and Europe? During Baba’s ‘Change’ Campaign in 2015, Baba promised to bring an end to medical tourism, and revamp our underfunded, useless healthcare facilities. Granted, the rot in our healthcare system, started well before Baba’s administration. But, what has this administration really done, to improve it? The moment Baba came into office, he started to receive superior medical care in the UK, followed closely by his son after his motorcycle accident, and his wife, who declared in an interview upon her return from her extended stay abroad late last year, that the reason she had been away for so long, was (partly) because she went for ‘medicals’ over there. This is embarrassing, but the bottom line is that, self-preservation is the first law of nature! The majority of Nigerians, on the other hand, whether they are inspired by or have confidence in our healthcare system or not, have no choice but to stay in Nigeria and take risks and chances, playing “Russian Roulette” with their lives in our decrepit hospitals! They cannot afford anything else. Do you recall that on this page, I discussed the submissions of a Nigerian doctor residing in the US, who wondered how ex-Governors and Deputies in Edo State could be given such lavish pension packages, when there was no running water at University of Benin Teaching Hospital?! How can you achieve a pristine, sterile environment which is imperative in any healthcare facility, without an abundance of clean, running water? We have been deceived, with regard to the promises to revamp our healthcare system! In our 2020 budget, only a scandalous 4.5% or so, is allocated to healthcare (and about 6.9% to education). I’m sure that, we are all aware that Section 17(3)(d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) (the Constitution) provides that, Government shall ensure that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons. Sadly, the reality is that, the opposite obtains - we have inadequate medical and health facilities, and Section 6(6)(c) of the Constitution, prevents us from holding the Government accountable for not adhering to this mandatory constitutional provision - not just this administration, previous ones too, as healthcare has been on a steady decline for years. This provision, like its fellow provisions contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution, is not justiciable. Naturally, if I
Goodness and Mercy Martins, before they were separated
cannot be held accountable for my actions, I can pretty much do as I please. The Good Old Days! I remember that sometime in the early 1990s, my father, High Chief Omowale Kuye OFR (of blessed memory) had a leg injury, and was admitted to the private ward at LUTH (Lagos University Teaching Hospital) on the recommendation of Professor Koye Ransome-Kuti (also of blessed memory). He was in traction, for a few weeks. When he was fit and discharged, he proceeded to the American Hospital in Paris, France for a follow up check up. High Chief came back to proudly announce to us that, the doctors in France said they could not have done a better job than the doctors in Nigeria had done, and he was given a clean bill of health, with no further treatment required. Today, the story about our healthcare in Nigeria, is very different - wrong diagnosis and poor/ wrong treatment, are the order of the day. But, what do we expect? Without good, modern equipment, the practice of medicine would be just a little more than guess work. Since the inception of the Buhari administration, in every New Year Address beginning from that of 2016 to date, Baba never mentioned healthcare, until this year when he mentioned it once, while he mentioned security and Boko Haram over 20 times, ‘kwarrappsion’ (corruption), job creation and infrastructure over five times, and education - I’m not so sure whether it was mentioned. Those that we assume are priorities, because of the number of times they were mentioned - how far have they gone with them, talk less of those like healthcare, that were barely or not mentioned! Yet, healthcare is so crucial. Going Forward Many countries that are serious about the health and welfare of their citizens, allocate up to 10% or more of their budget, to health. We should, at least, try to reach the 10% mark for starters, instead of wasting N37 billion on the welfare of 500 or so citizens that form the National Assembly, in the name of renovations. Again, our people need to visit hospitals outside Nigeria and understudy them - possibly the ones that Baba and his family use in UK, also the NHS hospitals, some in Europe and USA, and even hospitals in India, to see what proper hospitals look like, and how proper hospitals are run. Salaries of doctors must be reviewed upwardly, or we will continue to lose them to countries that are willing to pay them better. A young doctor friend of mine, a rather good one at that, has just ‘checked out’ to greener pastures in Canada. The truth of the matter is that, even if you make your hospitals world standard, if the remuneration for nurses and doctors is not decent enough, we will continue to suffer brain drain in the health sector. For me, it’s as easy as ABC. Pay members of the National Assembly (NASS) and Parastatals much less, reduce the size of government (not just the Vice Presidents aides because he seems to be out of favour presently), and divert the funds to more useful areas like healthcare, education and infrastructure. As long as NASS for instance, is seen as a ‘gravy train’, it will only attract the ‘what can my country do for me types’, who have nothing whatsoever to offer and no problem with amassing illegal wealth, to ensure that they stay in office forever and live lavish lifestyles. If members of NASS are
The twins, Goodness and Mercy, after their separation
paid the type of salaries civil servants are paid, you will find that only those that are committed to offering their services to make a difference and better the nation, will be interested in the Legislature. If Politicians and Government officials are prohibited from traveling abroad for medical tourism, and their children constrained to attend public schools in Nigeria, automatically, we will see immediate improvement in these sectors. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and her family, make use of the NHS (public health system), like any other person in UK. P.S.: Still on Cape Town Our country Nigeria, never fails to be a source of tragicomedy. Last Wednesday, one of the news headlines announced that, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) had banned its members from nighttime open grazing. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed, that we still practice open grazing in Nigeria. It’s just so crude and primeval! South Africa is known for their meats, yet, there was absolutely no sign of any animals on any road we passed through in Cape Town, day or night. Instead of making statements that show the world just how primitive we are in Nigeria, in terms of civilisation, MACBAN should head to South Africa to gather knowledge of how to breed cattle or livestock discreetly, a better option than parading and littering them all over the place. Additionally, they need to learn how to breed tender, succulent meat, instead of the tough, stringy meat that we have become accustomed to over here! P.P.S.! Still on tragicomedy, I didn’t quite know how to react, when I saw a clip of Baba addressing APC Youth leaders, who visited him in Abuja last week. He told them that they (the elders obviously) had fought in the civil war, in which at least two million Nigerians were killed, and that he didn’t think “anybody should joke with our firmness as one country”. That is rich, coming from the head of a government which many have declared to be a government of Northern Nigeria only, one that has, for instance, totally discountenanced Section 14(2)(c) and (3) of the Constitution, and instead of reflecting Federal character in appointments and making them all inclusive, has engendered unprecedented
THE ADVOCATE email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @TheAdvocateTD
“ISN’T IT HILARIOUS THAT, THE FIRST PEOPLE THEY SHOULD INSPIRE CONFIDENCE IN, IS OUR PRESIDENT, MUHAMMADU BUHARI (BABA) AND HIS FAMILY? ARE THEY NOT THE CHAMPIONS OF MEDICAL TOURISM, IN THE UK AND EUROPE?” levels of strife, bitterness and ethnic division in the country as has never been seen since the same civil war Baba mentioned, as a result of so many appointments being skewed in favour of the North, to the exclusion of other regions of the country.
Re: Rumination on Cape Town Dear Editor, This is a very engaging, if not a highly provocative article. It takes courage, to make the above statement about Caucasians being better administrators and planners, but l guess without a very firm, disciplined and visionary leadership, it’ll be business as usual. Rwanda is now an exception to the rule; arguably the Buhari/Idiagbon regime were pretty well on track until... AAR My dear Editor, I read your article in Thisday Lawyer today, as I normally do on Tuesdays, and I must commend the candour and truth expressed therein. Until we start to put round pegs in round holes, embrace meritocracy, amend the Constitution to reduce the level of power at the centre, reduce the size of government, put our best in government and pay them well etc, it’s difficult to see where we are heading. Please, keep highlighting these topical issues. Someday, we will get it right. Hopefully, still in my life time. Best regards, SO Dear Editor, Compliments of the season to you and your family! May 2020 bring joy, peace and prosperity. I was forced to write, as I was somewhat disappointed that there is not one single female face amongst those identified as key
to shaping the legal landscape in Nigeria in 2020! You, for one, or like minded females, should feature. Perhaps, in time, this too shall come to pass. I don’t necessarily always agree with your views, but what really resonates, is the quality of expression of your view point, and the critical analysis you provide which is always stimulating and interesting. The boldness and courage you possess, must also be applauded. Please, do keep it up. I sincerely hope that your intellectual contributions do not go unnoticed, and you are recognised and rewarded in due course, for your significant contributions to Nigeria. Nigeria is a country that increasingly appears to glorify the superficial and non-value adding pursuits, at the expense of intellectual rigour and other important endeavours. Please, keep it up! OO, London, UK Dear Editor, Your piece? Good graphic coverage. AJC Dear Editor, Sadly, your piece is falling on deaf ears. EW Dear Editor, You are absolutely right. NKO
Order of Trial De Novo in a Pre-Election Matter
y an Originating Summons dated 24th October, 2018, the Appellant as Plaintiff, instituted an action against the Respondents, in which he sought the determination of three questions. These questions included whether by the provision of Section 87(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) the 2nd Respondent can appoint or select the 1st Respondent as its governorship candidate in Imo State for the 2019 general election, when the 1st Respondent did not participate in the primary election for the selection of the 2nd Respondent’s governorship candidate. The Appellant also sought the determination of the question whether, having regard to Section 87(4)(b) of the Electoral Act, the 2nd Respondent is not under a legal obligation to submit the name of the Appellant, who emerged winner of its primary election, to the 3rd Respondent as its governorship candidate for the said election. The Appellant thus, sought inter alia, a declaration that the 1st Respondent having not participated in the said primary election, his name cannot be submitted to the 3rd Respondent as the 2nd Respondent’s governorship candidate for the said election. He also sought an order setting aside the purported nomination of the 1st Respondent as the 2nd Respondent’s governorship candidate for the 2019 general election,K and an order mandating the 2nd Respondent to submit the name of the Appellant as its candidate for the said election. In its judgement, the trial court granted all the reliefs claimed by the Appellant, and adjudged him the winner of the 2nd Respondent’s governorship primary election for the 2019 general election. Dissatisfied, the 2nd Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal which allowed the appeal, and set aside the judgement of the trial court. The Court of Appeal arrived at its decision, on the basis that the Respondents were denied fair hearing, when the trial court failed to take any address from them after voiding the written address in support of the Originating Summons and without the said address, it proceeded to resolve the issues formulated for determination in the Originating Summons. The Court of Appeal then remitted the case to the Federal High Court, and directed the Chief Judge to transfer the case to another Judge for hearing de novo. The Appellant was dissatisfied with this decision of the Court of Appeal, and consequently, appealed to the Supreme Court. Issues for Determination In his Brief of Argument, the Appellant formulated two issues for determination. The 1st and 2nd Respondents also filed their respective Briefs of Arguments, in which they formulated three issues for determination each. The 3rd Respondent, did not file any brief. In its determination of the appeal, the court adopted the issues formulated by the Appellant thus: 1. Whether the appeal had not become academic. If so, whether the lower court was right to make an order of trial de novo, given the provisions of Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended by the 4th Alteration). 2. Whether the lower court was right to hold that, the right of the parties to address the court was trampled upon, thereby resulting in a breach of fair hearing. Arguments Arguing issue 1, counsel for the Appellant stated that, Section 285(13) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is not capable of any other interpretation, and should therefore, be given its literary and ordinary meaning, with the effect that the appeal is now spent, and so the order of the lower court for a trial de novo for a matter already spent, is in vain. He referred to COCA COLA (NIG.) LTD v AKINSANYA (2017) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1593) 74 at 121. Counsel submitted that, the order of re-trial made by the Court of Appeal is baseless, as the 180 days within which a pre-election matter such as the instant one should be commenced and concluded as provided in Section 285 of the Constitution, had long
Hon. Paul Adamu Galinje, JSC
In the Supreme Court of Nigeria Holden at Abuja On Thursday, the 12th day of July, 2019 Before Their Lordships Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili Olukayode Ariwoola Amiru Sanusi Paul Adamu Galinje Uwani Musa Abba Aji Justices, Supreme Court SC.626/2019 Between Dr. Casmir Anyanwu....... Appellant And 1. Chief Okey Eze 2. Social Democratic Party (SDP) 3. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ....... Respondents (Lead Judgement delivered by Hon. Paul Adamu Galinje, JSC)
lapsed. Counsel for the 1st Respondent on his part, contended that a pre-election matter does not become academic, merely because election has taken place; this is so because election matters
“.....A COURT IN EVERY PREELECTION MATTER, SHOULD DELIVER ITS JUDGEMENT WITHIN 180 DAYS OF THE FILING OF THE SUIT..... THE TRIAL COURT NO LONGER HAD THE JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND DETERMINE THE SUIT DE NOVO, SINCE THE CONSTITUTIONAL PERIOD AVAILABLE FOR IT TO HEAR AND DETERMINE PRE-ELECTION MATTERS, HAD LAPSED”
are sui generis. He cited HASSAN v ALIYU & ORS (2010) LPELR-1357 (SC), in support of his submission. He posited further that, the Court of Appeal was acting within its jurisdiction to order a re-trial at the court of first instance, and the 180 days limit stipulated in Section 285 of the Constitution would begin to run, in light of the finding of the court below on the breach of fair hearing. Counsel for the 2nd Respondent contended that, the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the appeal before it was not academic. He submitted that, the order for trial de novo made by the Court of Appeal was correct, in view of the obvious breach of fair hearing by the trial court. He cited PLATEAU STATE v ATTORNEYGENERAL OF THE FEDERATION (2006) ALL FWLR (Pt. 305) 50 at 646-647. On the 2nd issue, Counsel for the Appellant argued that, there was no breach of fair hearing at the trial court, and the finding of the Court of Appeal in that regard was unsustainable, as the Respondents failed to take advantage of the judicial instruments available before the trial court to ventilate their grouse, and had in effect, waived their right. He submitted that, the order for re-trial made by the Court of Appeal was thus, perverse. Conversely, counsel for the 1st and 2nd Respondents argued similarly that, the Court of Appeal rightly found that the Respondents’ right to fair hearing, was breached at the trial court. Court’s Judgement and Rationale Determining the 1st issue, the learned Justices of the Supreme Court held that: by Section 285(10) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended by the 4th Alteration), a court in every preelection matter, should deliver its judgement within 180 days of the ﬁling of the suit. The Appellant ﬁled the suit at the trial court on 24th October, 2018, and the judgement of the Court of Appeal ordering a trial de novo was delivered on 4th May 2019, by which time the 180 days prescribed in Section 285(10) had lapsed. The Court further held that: the Order of re-trial made by the Court of Appeal was erroneous, because as at the time the judgement was delivered, the trial court no longer had the jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit de novo, since the constitutional period available for it to hear and determine pre-election matters, had lapsed. The Court reasoned that, to continue with the hearing de novo will be an exercise in futility, and therefore, academic, as the order for trial de novo at the Court of ﬁrst instance, cannot be implemented in the face of the expiration of the time allowed it to entertain the trial from ﬁling to judgement. Their Lordships concluded that, once a suit no longer has live issues for determination, such a suit is academic, and a court should, on no account, spend judicial time or engage in academic exercise. The court relied on OYENEYE v ODUGBESAN (1972) 4 SC 244 and BAKARE v A.C.B LTD (1986) 3 NWLR (PT. 26) 37. The Court resolved the first issue, in favour of the Appellant. However, it declined to consider the second issue formulated by the Appellant, and dismissed the appeal on the basis that it had become an academic exercise. In line with decided authorities, the Apex Court declined the invitation to waste judicial time delving into academic issues which were now, hypothetical. Appeal Dismissed. Representation Chukwudi Adiukwu for the Appellant. A.I. Nwachukwu Esq. with M.C. Amanze Esq. for the 1st Respondent. R.A. Lawal–Rabana SAN with Ikechukwu Uwana Esq., Izito Zuoke Esq., Micheal Nwamu Esq., Chinedu B. Okoroafor, Fernadez Marcus-Obiene Esq. and Peter Abang Esq. for the 2nd Respondent. 3rd Respondent absent and unrepresented. Reported by Optimum Publishers Limited (Publishers of the Nigerian Monthly Law Reports (NMLR))
Court Orders Bank to Pay Lawyer N25m for Unlawfully Freezing his Bank Account Peter Taiwo
L-R: The Executive Secretary of Lagos State Law Reform Commission, Mrs. Ade Adeyemo, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, Chairman of the newly inaugurated Board of Lagos State Law Reform Commission (LAWRECOM), Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, at the swearing in ceremony of the Chairman of the Board of LAWRECOM at the Ministry of Justice, Alausa, last week
Pinheiro Sworn in as Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission Akinwale Akintunde Following his appointment by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu last week, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN, a Lagos-based Lawyer, has been sworn in as Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission (LAWRECOM). The State Governor had in December last year, inaugurated a new Chairman and Commission members of Lagos State Law Reform Commission. Sanwo-Olu had, in a letter of Appointment titled “Appointment as Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission”, and signed by the State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stated: “I am pleased to convey the approval of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor, of your appointment as Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission on Part Time basis for a three year term, with effect from 12th
December, 2019”. The letter stated further: “In approving your appointment, due cognisance has been taken of your integrity, selfless service, and record of impressive performance. I therefore, have no doubt that you will bring your wealth of experience to bear on the work of the Commission, and continue to justify the confidence reposed in you by Mr. Governor”. The Lagos State AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, presided over the swearing in ceremony last Tuesday. Also present at the event were the Executive Secretary of LAWRECOM, Ade Adeyemo, the Head of legal Department, Oreoluwatomi Bodude, and others. Other members earlier sworn in by the Governor as part of LAWRECOM Board are; Imran Dapo
Shitta-Bey, Babashola Alokolaro, Olukunle Oyewole and Oluyemisi Ogunlola (DLD). Mr. Oluwakemi Adekunle Uthman Pinheiro, SAN, holds the coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Member of the Institute of Directors in the United Kingdom, and past Non-Executive Director in National Bank of Nigeria. Kemi Pinheiro’s professional career, which spans over thirty years, includes employment in both the public and private sectors. He held several positions, within the Lagos State Government. He was a State Counsel at Ministry of Justice, in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Civil Litigation. He also served as a Special Assistant in the office of Lagos State
Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, from 1996 to 1997. Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN is a founding member of the ‘Live Abundantly Board of Trustees’, an organisation intentionally ardent on investing in the community, and promoting positive social change. He believes strongly in addressing the inequality which permeates society, and prevents the progress of the nation, particularly, women and children affected by poverty. His appointment as the Chairman of the Lagos State Law Reform Commission, is the latest feather added to his cap. He reiterated while addressing the LAWRECOM team, that he is committed in working with the team in moving the Commission forward, in line with the agenda of the State Government.
Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, has ordered Diamond Bank Plc to pay a Lagos-based Legal Practitioner, Adetokunbo Odutola, N25 million as damages for unlawfully freezing his bank account. The Judge held that, the bank failed in its duty of care to Odutola, and was thus, liable for the injury that arose therefrom. The Lawyer had initially dragged three banks to court, but the first and third Defendants settled with the Lawyer out of court, leaving Diamond Bank as the remaining Defendant in the suit. Odutola, who represented himself, had in his statement of claim, sought N25 million against the bank, as both special and general damages he incurred due to the bank's "negligence and breach of duty of care”. He averred that, he "suffered embarrassment, hardship, disgrace and loss of income", following the unlawful freezing of his account. In particular, the Lawyer averred that a cheque he issued was rejected by the bank, his practice was financially affected, and he had to resort to borrowing "N500,000 to repay N750,000" from a money lender. The Lawyer further stated that, he lost a brief, which would have earned him the sum of N10 million, all because of the bank’s action. In its defence, Diamond Bank contended that it froze the Lawyer’s account, on the instruction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The bank, through its counsel, Olatunji Muritala, countered that the cheque was dishonoured on November 29, 2016, when it got a letter from the EFCC asking it to place a lien on the
EFCC Arraigns Businessman over Alleged N45m Fraud Peter Taiwo
Lagos Businessman to be Arraigned Jan. 29 for Alleged N2.9bn Fraud Akinwale Akintunde A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed January 29, 2020, for the arraignment of Lagos-based businessman, Kenneth Amadi, and his company, Idid Nigeria Limited. Amadi and his company were scheduled to be arraigned last week before Justice Mohammed Liman, for allegedly obtaining the sum of N2.9 billion by false pretences from a Petroleum company Eunisell Limited. But, the scheduled arraignment was stalled due to the ongoing court’s vacation, forcing the court to fix a new
date for January 29, 2020. The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had filed a five-count charge against Amadi and his company, for allegedly obtaining N2.9 billion from a petroleum company by false pretence. According to the Prosecutor, the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused businessman and his company Idid Nigeria limited, are contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act, Cap A6, Laws of the Federation of
Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(3), as well as Section 435 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004. The arraignment was earlier fixed for November 28, 2019, but following the absence of the Defendants, the court adjourned till January 8, 2020. During the November 28, 2019 proceedings, the Defendants were not in court, but their counsel, Emeka Etiaba, SAN and the Chief State Counsel from the Department of Public Prosecution of the
Federation, Mr. Aminu Alilu, were in court. Alilu, had told the court that, it had been difficult to serve the Defendants a copy of the charge. However, the counsel to the Defendants, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, told the court that he and his clients were not opposing the arraignment and trial, and that he had spoken to the Prosecutor to avail him a copy of the charge, on behalf of the defendants. The Prosecutor, therefore, served Etiaba a copy of the charge, and Justice Liman adjourned the case.
customer's account. It also challenged the claim for N25 million, on the ground that Odutola "failed to prove any economic loss suffered when his account was placed on Post No Debit (PND)". The Defendant urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety, and refuse all reliefs sought, with substantial costs awarded against the Claimant. Delivering the judgement in the suit marked LD/ADR/800/17, Justice Nwaka held as unacceptable, the bank's contention that it froze the Lawyer’s account on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's (EFCC's) instruction, noting that, only a court could make such an order. While uphelding the Lawyer’s claims, the court held: "the bank went ahead to place PND on the account of the Claimant, on the instruction of the EFCC. The bank ought to have demanded from the EFCC, an order of court to that effect. "It is not in the power of the EFCC, to authorise a PND on any customer's account. The EFCC, must not usurp the powers of a court of law. The duty of care owed the Claimant by the second Defendant (Diamond Bank), is nothing but breached." According to Justice Nwaka, the bank's inaction of not demanding for an order of court or an official letter authorising it to place PND on the Claimant’s account, amounts to negligence, and this negligence is traced to the embarrassment and loss suffered by the Claimant. "This is a society whose affairs are supposed to be governed and conducted, in accordance with the law. The EFCC and the bank taking the law into their hands, is nothing but shameful. "I am satisfied that the Claimant has proved his case on the preponderance of evidence, and I so hold. Judgement is hereby entered for the Claimant against the second Defendant, as per his claims", she said.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a businessman, Mohammed Alkali, on a 26-count charge bordering on conspiracy to forge, forgery, obtaining money by false pretences, retaining stolen property, and stealing to the tune of N45 million. Alkali was arraigned last Wednesday alongside his companies, The Million Oil and Gas Limited and Yafandi Oil and Gas Limited, before Justice Mojisola Dada sitting at the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja, for alleged fraud. He pleaded not guilty, to the charges. According to EFCC, Alkali sometime in 2019 in Lagos, forged a document titled "Purchased Order" with LPO No.00/06/001. dated 27th June, 2019, which he purported to have been issued by Kuramo
Industries (Nigeria) Limited. The Commission further alleged that, the Defendant, sometime in 2019, forged the signature of Kuramo Industries Nigeria Limited in a document titled "Delivery Note" with No 001031 dated July 1, 2019, which he purported to have been signed by Kuramo Industries (Nigeria) Limited. The EFCC Prosecutor, Joy Amahian, told the court that the Defendant allegedly used his two companies to dishonestly convert the sum of 45,340,500.00, property of Ken Energy Limited, into his own use. In view of the Defendant’s plea, the Prosecutor, Joy Amahian, asked for a trial date and prayed that Alkali be remanded in a correctional facility, pending the outcome of the case. Justice Dada remanded the Defendant in a correctional facility, and adjourned the case until February 17, 2020, for the commencement of trial.
Justice Sanyaolu Calls for Review of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 Akinwale Akintunde A retired Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice E. O. Sanyaolu, has called on stakeholders in the justice sector, to take a look at the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019, in order to address possible areas of amendment of the Act. The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019, was signed into law by the President Muhammad Buhari's led administration, in January, last year. The Judge noted that, the critical areas stakeholders need to look at in the Act with a view for amendment are, the joint ventures; and mergers and acquisitions. Justice Sanyaolu, who was the Chairman, spoke at the 17th edition of the Chief Gabriel Oliyide Sodipo memorial lecture titled "Fair Markets: Regulating The Big Boys In The Market Place", held in December at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. According to the Judge:"The topic of this address to be delivered now, allows us to have appraisals of the Act, so as to assess its performance since its enactment in January 2019. In the view of some Lawyers, unless the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act is amended, it will continue to hamper the growth of
oil and gas industries”. In his welcome address, the doyen of the Sodipo dynasty, Professor Bankole Sodipo, said that in the time past, eminent personalities like Chief Ernest Shonekan, Justice George Oguntade, Justice Pius Aderemi, Professor Egerton Uvieghara and Chief Ayo Adebanjo, to mention but a few, have been Chairman of this annual event. He said that, some of the topics have been germane and sensitive issues in the years that the lectures have held, and that in 2019, the law firm was dealing with competition law. "Many people don't know when we talk about the history of competition law, that the very first competition laws in Nigeria were out, since one of the earliest in the English Commonwealth in 1623 Statutes of Monopolies. It's a Statute of general application and therefore, applicable in Nigeria. "The title of our lecture talks about big boys, it is not a bad thing to be a big boy. Some people become big boy by luck; some are born big; some, it is through entrepreneurship, and the question is, why should you be bothered if you don't have the brain that some people who are big boys have?
L-R: Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Justice E. O Sanyaolu, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Mr. Olanrewaju Kuforiji, Prof. Bankole Sodipo and Mr. Kalu Abosi.
"Some big companies like DSTV, Microsoft, Dangote, Indomie, all these are big boys in the areas where they do businesses. They are the kind of businesses that can disrupt the market place, because they can introduce rules and practices that can affect prices, and can kill competition very easily."
The keynote speaker, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Director General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in his paper titled: "An Appraisal of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019", noted that, the Constitution by it nature, CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
Legal Personality of the Week Pedi Chiemena Obani
‘Contemporary Lawyers must be Innovative and Versatile’ Please, give a brief introduction of yourself My name is Pedi Chiemena Obani, a Senior Lecturer in the department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Benin – my alma mata. In 2007, I was called to the Nigerian Bar. Following this, I ventured straight into litigation for a couple of years until 2009, when I commenced my postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom. While in the United Kingdom, I obtained my LL.M. degree in Law and Sustainable Development (with distinction) from the University of Aberdeen, and also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business Management at Keele University. I have also recently obtained my PhD from the University of Amsterdam, focused on strengthening the human right to sanitation, as an instrument for inclusive development. In 2019, I was selected by the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom, to deliver the biennial Mary Kingsley Zochonis lecture. I have worked for national and internal organisations providing legal research and consultancy services on issues of human rights, environmental regulation, and climate change. I am keenly interested, in the interactions between law and the dynamics of development. Have you had any challenges in your career as a Lawyer, and if so, what were the main challenges? My main challenge, is the need to proffer appropriate solutions to complex legal problems. To start with, most so called legal problems actually have diverse drivers and implications, for various institutions and stakeholders in the society, beyond the legal field. And, law making and implementation does not occur in a vacuum, but must take cognisance of other intervening drivers, institutions and stakeholders, outside the legal field. Indeed, the effectiveness of legal processes and judicial pronouncements, largely depends on the interactions with these other intervening factors and circumstances. This is often a blind spot, for doctrinal legal approaches. A common complaint among Lawyers, is that the training in the classroom hardly prepares them for practice. This is now
pleas from my senior colleague for an adjournment were strongly rebuffed by the Plaintiff’s counsel, and the trial Judge entered judgement in the claimed sum, which ran into tens of millions of Naira. It was very embarrassing, as my senior colleague and I appeared very unprofessional and ill prepared that day. In fact, we were learning of the facts of the case for the first time, from the Plaintiff’s submissions! Following this experience, we developed a new mechanism to ensure timely communication between the client’s legal department and our office, to forestall similar problems in the future.
Pedi Chiemena Obani
being addressed, through the introduction of clinical legal education in the Nigeria Law School and most law faculties, across the country. Beyond this, the challenge is to forge a synergy with various institutions in the society, that are necessary to ensure effective laws and legal processes. What do you consider to be your worst day as a Lawyer? Barely two weeks after being called to the Bar, I had a memorable experience, which I still consider my worst day as a Lawyer. I had barely arrived in the office that day, when a call came in from my Principal instructing us to head to a High Court in town, in defence of one of our corporate clients. I promptly rushed off in the company of my senior colleague, to what promised to be an exciting first day in court for me, or so I thought! First, we arrived late in court. Even as a new wig, I knew that was a bad sign. The Lawyer for the Plaintiff was addressing the court when we arrived, and everyone seemed to be listening with rapt attention. It turned out that the matter was on the undefended list, and our client did not file a Notice of Intention to defend. All
What has been your most memorable experience as a Lawyer, so far? My most memorable experience also occurred, during my early days in the profession. My Principal had instructed me to represent a client in court, in a matrimonial causes matter. On the day of the hearing, I was very excited, because it was my first day appearing in court by myself, and not just to take a date or move a motion, but for actual hearing of a matter. The matter was called, and to my utter astonishment, the Defendant’s Lawyer informed the court that, we had reached an agreement outside the court room to settle out of court. I had never met with this Lawyer before. I suspected he wanted to intimidate me, as he had been doing with the client, before she engaged the services of my office. I stood my ground, and informed the court that I had never met the learned senior before, and definitely not over this case. I also informed the court that, I was willing to proceed with the case as scheduled. I later learned that the Defendant’s Lawyer, had a reputation for employing intimidation and other delay tactics. I was very happy that I was able to think quickly on my feet, and confidently present my client's position in court. Who has been most inﬂuential in your life? I have benefitted from the positive influence of many people I have been opportune to meet, over the years. But, I can say that, the most influential people in my life have
been my parents. Right from my formative years, they have offered quality guidance and memorable lessons in duty, morality, honour, temperance, justice, honesty, fortitude, tolerance, and charity. Their influence has been strong in all aspects of my life, from personal, to academic, spiritual and professional. Their confidence in me and support for my decisions, have been critical elements for my success on all fronts. Why did you become a Lawyer? I deeply appreciate the important influence of Lawyers in decolonisation and national development, in different parts of the world. Within the Nigerian context, I have always felt strongly that, laws and enforcement are an important element of addressing some of the pressing development challenges, from corruption to urban planning. In some instances where laws exist, I noticed poor implementation. I therefore, developed a keen interest in understanding how the law works, and how it can be effectively deployed to achieve set goals. This is one of the man reasons, why I chose to become a Lawyer. I also see law as an important instrument that can be deployed for addressing oppression, and various forms of vulnerability in the society. What would be your advice to anyone wanting a career in law? My advice to anyone wanting a career in law is that, they need to be innovative and versatile, and see how best they can employ their legal skills to contribute to improving the quality of life, and addressing a pressing challenge in their environment. This is how to remain relevant, and build a decent career. They also need to embrace the reality that, Lawyers do not hold a monopoly of arsenals for dispute resolution, or other traditional aspects of legal practice. If you had not become a Lawyer, what other career would you have chosen? I would probably have chosen a career, in Psychology. Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself probably writing a book on human rights issues, and championing transdisciplinarity in legal training in Nigeria.
TALKING CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY DR. MIKE OZEKHOME, SAN
SMS only to 08098898888
Protecting the Legal Profession from Extinction, Adulteration and Inﬁltration (Part 4)
the end of outdated Lawyers.’ Consequently, for those within the legal profession to safeguard their jobs, they must focus less on maintaining their ‘fat cat’ status, and focus more on providing the services that people need at a reasonable price.
Introduction n the last three parts, we have incisively discussed this pertinent issue. So far, I have defined some certain legal terms; the legal profession and the schools of thought; the origin and make-up of the Nigerian and English legal systems; and who can enter the legal profession, and so many other issues. Today, we shall draw the curtains on this topical issue, continuing with the importance of NBA’s stamp and seal policy. Thereafter, I shall proffer possible suggested panacea. Please, read on. NBA’s Stamp and Seal Policy (Continues) By this, every Lawyer is competent to affix the stamp/seal. Lawyers, in salaried employment, other than lawyers employed as legal officers in a government department, as well as Lawyers in default of payment of annual practising fees who are not entitled to act in the capacity of legal practitioners, legal officers or advisers, cannot affix the stamp/seal on legal documents. Furthermore, it should be noted that, the requirement for affixing the stamp/seal only becomes imperative, when the Lawyer is acting in his capacity as a legal practitioner. Section 24 of the Nigerian 1975 Legal Practitioners Act, amended in 2004, provides that: "'legal practitioner' means a person entitled in accordance with the provisions of this Act to practice as a Barrister or as a Barrister and Solicitor, either generally or for the purposes of any particular office or proceedings". The purpose of the requirements to affix stamp and seal to legal documents in Nigeria, is to prevent the practice of law by someone who is not authorised to do so. However, in 2015, the Supreme Court held in MEGA PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S PARTY v INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (SC/655/2015) that: “Section 10 of the Legal Practitioners Rules of Professional Conduct relied upon by Dr. Ayeni, is directory and NOT mandatory in nature. Failure to afﬁx the Nigerian Bar Association stamp, cannot, in my view, invalidate processes ﬁled in a Court of Law”. The Supreme Court equally held in SENATOR BELLO SARKIN YAKI v SENATOR ATIKU ABUBAKAR BAGUDU (SC/722/2015), that a document that does not bear the NBA stamp and seal “is deemed not to have been properly signed or filed, but not incompetent”, and that the “process filed in breach of Rule 10(1) can be saved and its signing and filing regularised by affixing the approved seal and stamp on it”. The Supreme Court held in YAKI'S CASE that, failure to affix the Nigerian Bar Association stamp and/or seal cannot invalidate processes filed in court or legal documents; it only makes the document voidable. That is to say that, such documents are deemed not to have been properly signed, and not that they are invalid. See also ADEWALE v ADEOLA (2015) LPELR 25972 (CA); TODAY’S CARS LTD v LASACO ASSURANCE PLC (2016) LPELR – A 1260 (CA); MAINSTREET BANK & ORS v HAMMED (2018) LPELR – 45557 (CA). All these are geared towards protecting the legal profession from adulteration, and practice by persons who are not qualified to do so. The NBA is commended in this regard, and it is our hope that this is sustained. The various branches of the NBA are reminded to continue to be on the lookout for fake Lawyers who have for many years, dented the image of the noble profession. Some practicing for over a decades before they are detected. Saving the Legal Profession from going Extinct in the ever-changing World ‘The robots are coming’. This is fast becoming, the mantra of our age. And it comes with, more than a hint of threat. It can be seen that, for some years now, the phrase has become the go-to headline in the legal news pages, when they report on technology in the legal profession. For our profession – where for thousands of years, trust, diligence and ‘good judgement’ have been watchwords – the idea of Artiﬁcial Intelligence 'replacing' Lawyers, continues to be controversial. From Law School and all through our
“THE WORLD IS, SPEEDING UP. GLOBALISATION, TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES, AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS, ALL MEAN THERE IS HUGE PRESSURE TO BE QUICKER, SMARTER, MORE PRODUCTIVE”
Conclusion How do we prevent the legal profession, from extinction? How can we practice law, in a more innovative way? Communication and Innovation Some examples, come to mind. A Lawyer who communicates with a client by letters, and a Lawyer who communicates with email, cannot be the same. It is easy to tell, which category of Lawyer will get to the potential client first. The Lawyer who fails to embrace this new innovation, will fade out of practice – he/ she becomes extinct. A Lawyer who is innovative can move from being financially challenged, to becoming adequately remunerated for the legal services rendered.
President, Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN
careers, we are taught that the “trusted adviser” is what all good Lawyers aspire to become. The most enduring relationships in the legal profession, are the ones where the client feels and believes the Lawyer has their back. The world is, speeding up. Globalisation, technological advances, and the Internet of Things, all mean there is huge pressure to be quicker, smarter, more productive. So, if machines can do the learning, will Lawyers become extinct? The Artificial Intelligence (AI) that we are seeing on the market now and for the foreseeable future – which one is not naïve enough to put as any longer than 3-5 years – will enable us to deliver better legal services, quicker, more efficiently and sometimes cheaper. But, it does not fundamentally change the game, yet. Change is happening, and being simply a good Lawyer, is no longer enough. Let's be clear, this is not new. The financial services industry is going through similar challenges, but there will need to be an evolution in law and regulation, to allow the true potential of technology in the legal sector. If you look at document review, about thirty years ago, a client would pay so much to have thousands of documents manually reviewed. Thanks to technology, much of that work is now done by machines. Many other legal processes, can be automated. AI and the tools that 'bring it to life', is more of an opportunity than a threat: a chance to focus on the valuable work for clients; a chance to have more information to empower Lawyers to make better decisions more quickly; a chance to offer young Lawyers more than spending their first two years in a data room. This revolution impacts not only how we practice law, but also how the law applies to whole new sectors. Our global aviation group's first-of-its-kind Specialist Drone Team, is a good example of how we are adapting as the world changes. Drones are revolutionising industries, while simultaneously pushing aviation law’s boundaries, because they don't fit the standard aviation framework, and many companies entering this space for the first time, need industry-specific advice to navigate this rapidly evolving legal landscape and use drones to their fullest capabilities. Driverless cars are another example. When they knock someone over, who’s to blame? Who’s going to pay? Where are the liabilities? That’s a fascinating area for a Lawyer. In the growing age of technological advancements and the era of the credit crunch, the demand for some professions is decreasing. Some wonder whether the same can be said, of the legal profession. Some analysts have argued that, the ‘current market is increasingly unlikely to tolerate expensive [legal professionals] for tasks that can equally or better be discharged, directly or indirectly, by smart systems and processes. They argue further that, the jobs of many traditional Lawyers will be substantially eroded, and often eliminated. With the increasing number of alternative methods available to those needing legal advice, the constant influx of graduates choosing to enter the legal profession, the declining demand for applicants and the increased constraints on our finances, ‘the market will determine that the legal world is over-resourced.’ It will ‘increasingly drive out inefficiencies and unnecessary friction, and, in so doing, we will indeed, witness the end of outdated legal practice and
Continuing Legal Education To prevent the Legal profession from going into extinction, Lawyers should take advantage of the continued legal education programmes organised by various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, and update their libraries to modern standards, Lawpavilion, is a good example of moving with the trends. Internet services for easy access to information, must be embraced, because information is power. A Lawyer who achieves all the above, will find his practice grow from one strength to strength. Root out Fake Lawyers The legal profession, like every profession, has been adulterated and infiltrated by mischief makers. Over the last decades in Nigeria, societal interest in the ethical aspect of the legal profession, has nose-dived. There has been a significant increase, in the number of reported cases of fake Lawyers parading themselves as legal practitioners in Nigeria. There has been, lately, significant increase in the frequency with which litigants write petitions against Lawyers, with a view to suing them, only to later discover that, they are fake Lawyers, and their names are not on the roll of legal practitioners entitled to practice law in Nigeria. This set of individuals parading themselves as Lawyers are mostly found around court premises, under the tree, asking vulnerable and innocent passers-by whether they want to swear to an ‘’Affidavit’’. This set of individuals, give members of the legal profession a bad name. This set of individuals even go as far as going to the Police stations, as Lawyers. They are derisively called “charge and bail Lawyers”. Some even audaciously appear in court, as Advocates. Deal Squarely with the Inﬁltrators - Estate Agents, Accountants, Surveyors, Tax Practitioners Already, estate agents have taken over the whole sphere of landlord and tenant work. All that is left for Lawyers, is mere recovery of possession cases [litigation]. Agents are now drafting the tenancy agreements for individuals and negotiating the terms of commercial contracts, for business clients. Surveyors now advice on building codes, and building regulations [the interpretation of the Town Planning Laws]. Accountants and Tax Practitioners have also taken over the role of Lawyers in taxation matters, which is the interpretation of tax laws. The activities of those individuals if not checkmated, will lead to the legal profession’s extinction, and Lawyers will have little or nothing to do. The Place of Trust in the Legal Profession One fundamental issue, is trust. Our human instinct, is to want to speak to a human. I do not think that will change. Trust is what we crave; it is what separates us from machines; empathy, human instinct, and ability to read nuances, shake hands, and build collaborative relationships. Put simply, innovation is not about the business of law; it is about the business of business. So, how do we keep up? By having better conversations, and by having a richer understanding of the world. To listen and learn, so we are better equipped. Investment in technology, must be in tandem with investment in talent. Because, to be very frank, the market will kill those who do not adapt. They are the ones, who should be scared of the machines. For them, the robots are coming. For those who can find ways to use AI to augment, not replace, judgement and empathy, I believe the future is very bright indeed. The End. THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK “We now accept the fact that, learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And, the most pressing task, is to teach people how to learn.” (Peter Drucker).
Dele Adesina, SAN Photos: Kolawole Alli
‘Nigeria’s Justice Administration System is Flawed’ The Nigerian Bar Association is unarguably the biggest professional body in Africa, with over 160,000 members spread across 125 branches. The challenges of administering this national behemoth can be quite daunting, as it entails not just being in charge of the discipline and professional conduct of its members, but effectively playing its role as the voice and defender of the rights of Nigerian masses and the rule of law. Pastor Dele Adesina, SAN, has served the Association in many capacities at branch and national levels, including being its General Secretary.The former Pro-Chancellor Ekiti State University spoke with Onikepo Braithwaite and Jude Igbanoi last Friday, on the Bar of his dream. He also analysed the challenges in justice administration, and spoke the truth to power on human rights and the rule of law
he NBA general elections are round the corner, and Nigerian Lawyers are set to elect their national ofﬁcers. As a past Secretary of the NBA, given the complaints, litigation and controversies that have trailed past elections, what would be your advice to the Association, on how to ensure that we have a rancour free election? Let me first and foremost, thank you for this interview. Like you said in the question, I am a Past General-Secretary of the Association, in addition to being a stakeholder in the affairs of the Association
and that of the legal profession as a whole, being a Life Member of the Body of Benchers, the highest regulatory body of the profession. The complaints,
“SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT, ALL OUR MEMBERS NATIONWIDE BELIEVE AND KNOW AS A FACT THAT, I HAVE THE CAPACITY AND THE CONVICTION TO REPOSITION THE BAR”
controversies and litigations that have trailed our past elections very recently, are not a thing of pride for the profession or the Association in particular. It has affected the unity of the Association, the collaboration and common fellowship that we used to enjoy. Pre and post elections of the NBA, the losers are always gracious in defeat and the winners are, usually, magnanimous in victory. The current leadership of the Bar, under the Presidency of Paul Usoro, SAN, has made a firm promise to the generality of the Bar that such complaints, controversies leading to litigations will be no more, because he is determined to put in place necessary mechanisms, and ensure the taking of necessary steps to see to it that we
have a free, fair and transparent election. Once people are able to vouch for the integrity of the process, such complaints, litigations and controversies, will be no more. The responsibility of quality leadership, is to confront problems and provide solutions, no matter how hard or difficult those solutions may be. All that is required, is a process open, fair and transparent. Once this happens, Lawyers nationwide are reasonable and fair-minded people without frivolities - they will be ready and willing to embrace that which they can vouch for. From the pronouncement of the current President, I have no doubt that he is willing to set a standard and conduct a clean election that will lead to the emergence of real time winners, defacto and dejure. Now that the NBA Presidency has been zoned to the South West in the upcoming 2020 elections, we understand that you have been adopted by the Egbe Amoﬁn (Yoruba Lawyers) as their candidate for the 2020 NBA Presidential election. The NBA has been accused of losing its voice in its mandate of being the voice of masses and one of primary proponents of adherence to the rule of law. What plans do you have to restore the Bar to its past glory, like in the days of Alao Aka Bashorun? I have heard these arguments and complaints. In truth, so many of our members have alluded to this fact. I can say that, promoting the Rule of Law is not only the primary motto of the Nigerian Bar Association as contained in its Constitution, but it is also one of its fundamental pillars of existence. It is our duty as Lawyers in a democratic society, to consistently defend the truth and justice, protect the independence of the Judiciary, and defend the independence of Lawyers and Judges in the discharge of their professional duties. Beyond this, we also owe it a responsibility, to ensure that the ordinary citizen of the country is properly protected from the excesses of power, including but not limited to its misuse and its abuse. The circumstances that existed during the very agitated period of Alao-Aka Bashorun’s Presidency, I am afraid, do not exist so much now. Even though I was between five and seven years at the Bar during that period, I was very active both in his ascension to the Presidency at the NBA Elections in Ibadan, and throughout his tenure between 1987 and 1989. I wish to recognise that the current Leadership has been speaking loudly and eloquently on the issue of the supremacy, promotion and defence of the Rule of Law, and I hope that he continues to do it. As for my plans in this regard, I plead with you to let me defer discussion on my plan until the ban on Campaign has been lifted by the leadership of the Association, otherwise I might be accused of jumping the gun, which as a Past General-Secretary of the Bar, I will not do. Suffice it to say that, all our members nationwide believe and know as a fact that, I have the capacity and the conviction to reposition the Bar. What are your utmost concerns about the state of the legal profession in Nigeria? How, in your view, can we raise the profession from its present parlous situation? The state of the legal profession in Nigeria today, is worrisome to me. In particular, the system and the structure of administration of justice in Nigeria in recent times, is flawed. For me, it is becoming more ineffective, inefficient in meeting the needs, aspirations and expectations of the people. Arguably, many people believe that it is getting more dysfunctional than it was in the past. Look, I can describe myself as an itinerant Legal Practitioner, today I may be in Lagos High Court, tomorrow at the Federal High Court F.C.T., Abuja and the day after, at the Court of Appeal, Ibadan and so on and so forth. So, I can say I am one of those wearing the shoes, and I can tell you authoritatively where it pinches.
“LET ME ALSO ADD THAT, ANOTHER VERY FUNDAMENTAL CLOG IN THE WHEELS OF SPEEDY JUSTICE IN NIGERIA, IS WHAT I CALL NEEDLESS AND FRIVOLOUS INTERLOCUTORY APPEALS, WHICH IN MOST CASES, RUN FROM THE HIGH COURT ALL THROUGH TO THE SUPREME COURT”
First, among these challenges, is the issue of delay and congestion in our Courts. From the Court of first instance, the High Court, to the Court of final resort, the Supreme Court, we experience delay and congestion. Even though our Supreme Court is reportedly the busiest Supreme Court in the world, cases of 2012 are still pending before the Supreme Court. There are many factors I have identified, as being responsible for this state of affairs. First among them, is the issue of delay and congestion in our Courts, which are the direct products of the triangular structure of the Judiciary established by the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. It is also a direct function of the very archaic long handwriting system, still in operation in our Courts. It is also important for me to mention that, the attitude of some of the Practitioners both at the Bar and on the Bench, have gone a long way to contribute to the incidence of delay and congestion in our Courts. When you look at Chapter 7 of the 1999 Constitution, all the several Courts of first instance such as the High Courts of the State, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory as many as these Courts are, appeals lie from these Courts to the Court of Appeal of only 16 Divisions. Similarly, under the same Constitution, appeals lie from the 16 Divisions of the Court of Appeal to the one and only Supreme Court sitting in Abuja. And, let me tell you that, about 70-80 percent of the judgements of these Court of first instance, go on appeal to the Court of Appeal, and not less than 80-90 percent of the decisions of the Court of Appeal go to the Supreme Court. So, delay and congestion is inherent in the system established by the Constitution. Let me also add that, another very fundamental clog in the wheels of speedy justice in Nigeria, is what I call needless and frivolous Interlocutory Appeals, which in most cases, run from the High Court all through the Supreme Court. There are cases where interlocutory appeals have spent about 10 – 12 years, journeying from the High Court to the Supreme Court. Most of these interlocutory appeals, are founded on the issue of jurisdiction. I have argued at several NBA Branch Law Weeks, including but not limited to Benin in June, 2018, and more recently in Ijebu-Ode in July, 2019. As far as issues of jurisdiction are concerned, there is no new law to argue. Some of the other factors that I have identified as being responsible for the callous situation you spoke about, is the attitude of the Practitioners both at the Bar and on the Bench. For instance, at the Bar, Lawyers raise endless preliminary objections, warranting endless Rulings and adjournments. Lately, this is highly worrisome, the new fashion of some Lawyers and their clients of petitioning
trial Judges for one flimsy excuse or another, to the National Judicial Council. The real intention of some of these petitioners, is to have their matter transferred to another Judge. Most unfortunately, when these petitions are found to be frivolous and dismissed by the National Judicial Council, there are no sanctions or punishments on such erring Legal Practitioners. Regarding attitude from the Bench, we see attitudes such as late sittings or not sitting at all. You travel from one location to another only to be told that the Court is not sitting, without any notification in advance. There is also the issue of lack of necessary determination on the part of some of our Judges, to apply and enforce the provisions of the Rules of Procedure, like for instance, the provision of personal liability of Counsel for cost which are provisions embedded in the Rules to curb the excesses of some of our Legal Practitioners. There are also factors which have contributed to the recent callous state of affairs, we are talking about. Apart from the inherent problems I have mentioned above, there are daily allegations of corruption against the Judiciary, some without any substantiation of facts, the fallacy of generalisation as I will call it, that the Nigerian Judiciary is corrupt is in itself a disincentive and demoralising to the incorruptible ones, and I dare say this category of incorruptible Judges, are much much more than the corrupt ones. Not less important among these problems, is the problem of inadequate funding. Thanks to the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Between 2015 and now, the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary has been between 100 and 110 Billion Naira, annually. Even though this in itself is not adequate because there are Ministries and Agencies of government that have about 300 Billion Naira and so on, but before his administration, the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary was indeed on a downward trend between 2011 and 2014. For instance, I was at the Federal High Court some years ago, and when in my study on this subject, I found out that in 2011 the budgetary allocation to the Judiciary was 85 Billion Naira, while in 2012 it was 75 Billion Naira, and in 2013 it was 67 Billion Naira. You cannot get the best from a Judiciary, bedevilled with this mirage of challenges. We must confront these challenges head-on on a priority scale, if we must raise the Profession from its present callous situation to an enviable situation. Let me finally say on this question that, there is no problem without a solution, and none of these problems constitute an impossibility of solution as far as I concerned. When campaign begins, I will roll out my suggested and possible solutions which we will drive with passion, as if our lives depend on it. The truth is that, there is no alternative to an efficient, effective and functional judicial system, which itself constitutes an instrument of stability of any nation. Our criminal justice administration system, despite its various reviews at different times which culminated in the enactment of Administration of Criminal Justice Act in 2015, now, many Lawyers are presently clamouring for a strict implementation of the provisions of the Act, especially as it relates to the prosecution of cases at the Magistrates’ courts by police men who are not Lawyers. Should non-Lawyer police personnel continue to prosecute cases at the Magistrates’ courts? It seems that the Kano State AG has taken the initiative, and Police Prosecutors are no longer allowed to appear there. Kindly, comment on this. To answer your question frontally, it is no longer expedient for non-Lawyer Policemen to continue to prosecute cases at the Magistrates’ Court. Well before the enactment of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act in 2015, I know as a fact that, the CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
‘NIGERIA’S JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IS FLAWED’ Bar had been advocating for a change in the status quo. As far back as 2002 through 2004, when I was General Secretary of the Bar before the enactment of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act in 2015, part of our policy strategy was to advocate for these eradication of non-Lawyer Police prosecutors, in preference to Lawyer- prosecutors at the Magistrates’ Court. The second thing we advocated for at that period, was the appointment of Legal Research Officers to all Judges of Courts of Record. Our objective at the time, was to explore and expand the frontiers of employment for junior members of the Bar. Some Judges agreed with us, and some disagreed on the claim that it might lead to leakages of judgements. We insisted that they would not, that the researchers are not to write the judgements, that their functions are limited to assembling judicial authorities for the Judge. I think one of the great problems we have had as an Association, is lack of continuity of programmes and policies by successive administrations, and we must find a solution to these problems. I can only commend the Honourable Attorney-General of Kano State, for his initiative. The same commendation also goes to the Honourable Attorney-General of Lagos State, who has set-up a Committee on the implementation strategy for the law. Lawyers have expressed worries over the prevarication by Nigeria to ratify the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCTA). The NBA Section on Business Law has organised several workshops for Lawyers on the huge opportunities available for them, yet the Government is still setting up committees to study the agreement, while other countries have since moved ahead. What would be your advice to the Government? I’m aware of the sensitisation workshops, that the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association has held on this matter. They are right steps, in the right direction. However, I will not consider the state of affairs of the government in relation of this very strategic issue of Continental Free Trade Agreement in Africa, as prevarication. In my humble opinion, it is an issue that requires very strategic thinking and strategic decision. The prime object for consideration, is the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. In terms of the size of the economy and the market which is a direct function of the population that is today put at about 200 Million people, it is not at all strange that, other African countries have moved ahead with the policy. No doubt, it is to their advantage to take the benefit of what I have said about our economy and market. Security implications of the Programme, is also not an issue to be underestimated. There is no doubt that, Lawyers will profit thereby, but let me state also that, some of our colleagues are already taking advantage of briefs in some other
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countries, particularly ECOWAS briefs. It is our duty to continue to expose our members to these areas, even including briefs from the United Nations and its agencies, as well as the pursuit for international briefs, alliances and collaborations, under the globalisation of Legal Practice Programmes. Like I said, all circumstances and parameters must be taken into consideration, including but not limited to the beneficial interest of Nigeria as a Nation, and its people. The Federal Government has been accused of massive human rights violations since the inception of this administration; disobedience or selective obedience of court orders. It has also been alleged that, the Government is being selective in its ﬁght against corruption. What role should the NBA play, in ensuring that Government adheres to the rule of law, and the wish of Nigerians are respected on these and many other issues? Let me start by saying that Rule of Law is not
“I MUST SAY WITH EXCITEMENT THAT, THE RECENT ACTS BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THE ORDERS RELATING TO THE BAIL OF OMOYELE SOWORE AND RTD COL SAMBO DASUKI, IS A CLEAR POINTER TO BETTER DAYS AHEAD, ON THE ISSUE OF RULE OF LAW AND OBEDIENCE TO COURT ORDERS AND JUDGEMENTS”
a magic word, that defies any precise definition. Rule of Law simply means that, everything must be done according to law. It means also that, government should be conducted within the framework of recognised rules and principles which restrict discretionary power. In the words of Honourable Justice Oputa in the celebrated case of Governor of Lagos State v Ojukwu, Rule of Law presupposes that the State is subject to the Law, and that government should respect the right of individual citizens under the Rule of Law. Of course, that the Judiciary is assigned the responsibility for the determination of all actions and proceedings relating to matters in dispute between persons, government and authorities. Flowing from this, it must be recognised that, the Court system cannot be maintained without the willingness of parties, whether individuals, authorities or governments to abide by the findings, Orders and Judgements of a competent Court, until reversed on appeal. Under the Rule of Law, no party, again, either individual, authorities or government or even court of subordinate or co-ordinate jurisdiction, can say “I don’t like the Order or the Judgement made. I am not going to obey it”. This is the clear position of the law. Let me also emphasise that, the basis and bedrock of any constitutional democracy, is the Rule of Law, particularly as it relates to the obedience of Court Orders and Judgements. There is no doubt that, the attitude of government to some specific orders in the past up to the tail end of 2019, leaves much to be desired in this regard. The NBA has no choice or option, than to hold individuals, authority and government accountable to Rule of Law. The Association CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
‘NIGERIA’S JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IS FLAWED’ has done it in the past, and I believe they can do it again. I remember very clearly, the struggle of the NBA in this connection between 1990 and 1992 during the high days of military dictatorship. The struggle of NBA against detentions under the dreaded Decree No. 2, the challenge and the follow-up Court Orders setting aside such detentions of the likes of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN; Femi Falana, SAN; Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti; Baba Omojola, an Economist; and Segun Mayejun, the then Student Union Leader, is well documented. In one single sentence, the role of the Nigerian Bar Association is to ensure that Orders and Judgements of Court are obeyed, subject of course, to right of appeal by a dissatisfied party and the granting of stay of execution by a court of competent jurisdiction. This, in itself, is a sure guarantee of stability and sustainability of our constitutional democracy. Law cements the society, not arbitrariness. I must say with excitement that, the recent acts by the government on the Orders relating to the bail of Omoyele Sowore and Rtd Colonel Sambo Dasuki, is a clear pointer to better days ahead, on the issue of Rule of Law and obedience to Court Orders and Judgements. I must not fail to add that, our courts must also take advantage of the power that the law and the Constitution have given to them. In one of the papers I read today, Friday, 10th of January, 2020, I think the Sun Newspaper, I read about some individuals who were ordered to be arrested and detained at the Kuje Correctional Service, having been found guilty of contempt for their refusal to obey court orders. The law has given these powers, our Judges must resolve to utilise them. Do you support the idea of unbundling of the Supreme Court and creating divisions like we have at the Court of Appeal? Presently, the Apex Court is so loaded with appeals, that cases are now being adjourned till 2022. You will recall my earlier statement when we started this interview, I did say that we are running a triangular system of Judiciary, with a very broad base and a thin apex. For me, this is a huge systemic and structural problem. Let me do a little calculation for you, we have 36 States in the Federation, every State has a State High Court, with so many Courts and Judges. Lagos State for instance presently has about 56 Courts, with most of the Judges having between 800 – 1000 cases on their dockets. Rivers State has between 35 – 40 Courts, and so on and so forth. Let us assume we have about 400 Judges, the F.C.T. High Court between 20 – 25 Courts. I think every State today has a Federal High Court, some of the States like Lagos and Abuja have minimum of 10 Courts. Let’s estimate that, we have about 80 – 100 Federal High Courts scattered within the 36 States of the Federation plus Abuja. Added to this, is the list of the National Industrial Court, also located in most parts of the States of the Federation. For purposes of this discussion, let us say we have about 500 Judges in this various Courts of first instance, they decide cases and render judgements. Like I said earlier, between 70 – 80 percent on appeal to the Court of Appeal, all appeals ending at the 16 Divisions of the Court of Appeal. Outside Lagos, Abuja and perhaps, Port Harcourt, the Court of Appeal has only one Court in each State, how can they cope with the
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barrage of appeals from the Courts of first instance? It is impossible. It is the same situation, to appeal from the Court of Appeal to the single apex Supreme Court. This scenario itself, makes a strong case for unbundling of the Supreme Court. The Justices of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, are definitely overworked. And, this is partly responsible for what we see, as some of them after retirement become mere vegetables. The volume of work, is too much. They seat, virtually every day. When they are not in open court holding sessions, they are at meetings reviewing cases.
“THE JUSTICES OF THE COURT OF APPEAL AND SUPREME COURT, ARE DEFINITELY OVERWORKED. AND, THIS IS PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE SEE, AS SOME OF THEM AFTER RETIREMENT, BECOME MERE VEGETABLES”
Yet, we still have cases of almost 10 years, pending. I have argued severally, at different fora and as late as July 2019 at the NBA Law Week, Ijebu-Ode, for what I call the “Federalisation of the Judiciary in Nigeria.” I heard it on good information that, the West once had a Western Nigeria Court of Appeal. I believe if we have a complete Federal System of Justice Administration, such as having a full complement of State Courts comprising of the High Court of a State, the Court of Appeal of a State and the State Supreme Court, a lot of load will have been taken away from the existing Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. We then go further to amend the Exclusive and Concurrent List in the Constitution, and transfer such matters arising from land ownership, marriage and Orders of personal and State nature, to the State Courts. While the Supreme Court will be concerned with only weighty Constitutional issues of dispute between State against State, or State against Federal and Presidential Elections. I am not aware of the Recommendations of the 2014 Constitutional
Conference on the Judiciary, such as the creation of Constitutional Courts, Anti-Corruption Courts, as well as the State Courts of Appeal. That if implemented, there would be a radical change in our justice system from this slow and sluggish race, to a speedy and functional dissemination of justice. The consequences of delay and congestion in our courts, including the Supreme Court, are in itself occasioning injustice. We say justice delayed is justice denied, and an injustice to one, an injustice to all. The Nigerian Bar Association must take on the responsibility most proactively, the business of Justice Reform as a matter of urgency and utmost priority. The positive impacts can only be imagined, not only for litigants, the practitioners of law, and of course the foreign investors. Some have expressed the view that, the nation is adrift, given the most recent happenings in the polity in 2019. There was a controversial Presidential election, violent governorship elections especially that of Kogi State, disobedience of court orders, clampdown on freedom of expression, and heightening ethnic tensions. What are your views on the future of Nigeria? What are your expectations from the Buhari Government in 2020? All these issues you have mentioned, are what we have seen and experienced. I dare say with all sense of responsibility that, the earlier these vices, infractions and negative conducts and practices are consigned to the dustbin of history, the better for our Constitutional Democracy. Otherwise, it will be concluded that, what we are running is something other than democracy. The truth is that, if it is not a democracy, then it is not a democracy; if I can borrow the advert of the makers of Panadol that, if it is not a Panadol, it cannot do the work of Panadol. Nigeria needs the emergence of true democrats, to practice our democracy. No one, can give what he doesn’t have. Only a democrat can practice democracy. And you know what, the word democracy has the same meaning and ingredient throughout the world. For instance, with regard to the election of Kogi State and Bayelsa State, where several lives were lost, this is an anathema, it is a dangerous trend that must not be allowed to continue. In a democracy, the ultimate sovereignty lies with the people to decide and elect leaders of their choice, under a free and fair election devoid of any intimidation, undue influence, blackmail and all forms of corruptive acts, such as vote-buying. As regard disobedience of court orders, clamp-down on freedom of expression, the Constitution has left no one in doubt as to its clear and compelling provisions regarding those fundamental conditions of democracy. The rights to fair hearing, is an inalienable right, it enjoys a constitutional flavour, and it can hardly be restrained by any law which, in any event, will be a subordinate legislation to the Constitution subject of course, only to the law of libel. Regarding my expectations from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020, I expect again, with all sense of responsibility, that the new found love for Rule of Law and obedience to Court Orders as demonstrated from the release of Omoyele Sowere and Colonel Sambo Dasuki, should be regarded as a seed planted by the riverside, that will grow and produce bountiful fruits after its own kind. Let there be more of such acts, they constitute the oil that will grow, a real-life democracy. Let us have more democrats, in principle and in practice. Somebody said that: “democracy in Nigeria is the government of the politicians, by the politicians, and for the politicians.” But, I say that, democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people, including but not limited to the politicians. The people are at, the very centre of democracy. Thank you very much.
Rights of Employees in Termination of Employment This article by Elvis Asia, highlights some of the developments and general statements of law on termination of employment, with a view to educating employees on their rights, when their employment is terminated
outsourced staff carries on like an employee of the end-user, even though the employment letter was signed with the contractor. The effect of this is that, in deserving cases, the outsourced staff can institute actions against the contractor and end-user, thereby increasing the chances of getting substantial damages in the event of wrongful termination of employment.
any employees lost their jobs, at the end of 2019. The most affected were bank employees. Unverified report has it that, one bank practically ‘imprisoned’ some staff until they ‘voluntarily resigned’ their employment. Many were threatened with dismissal and loss of benefits, unless they resigned. Unfortunately, employees are unaware of their rights, during the course of termination of their employment. Many choose, as it is typical of Nigerians, to ‘leave the matter in the hands of God or Allah’. This is partly attributable, to the general notion and practice that, employers have the right to terminate the employment of their employees with or without reasons. Case law even used terminologies reminiscent of slavery, like ‘master’ and ‘servant’, to describe the relationship. The situation is not helped, by Nigeria’s outdated Labour Act. The good news is that, things are changing. Buoyed by the Section 254C (1) (f) and (h) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which vested it with the power to apply International Best Practices and Labour Standards, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), is rewriting the rule book on termination of employment and related rights. Employers need to also be aware of possible grounds for claims against them, in the event of wrongful termination. There must be Reasons for Termination of Employment Prior to the Third Alteration of the 1999 Constitution, the general position was that, employers could terminate employment with or without stating reasons. In fact, it was fashionable to state that ‘your services are no longer required’, in termination letters. The NICN is now seeking to put an end, to this practice. In a few cases, the court has held that, it was contrary to International Labour Standards for employers to terminate the employment of their employees, without stating reasons (Aloysius v Diamond Bank Plc, Afolayan Aderonke v Skye Bank). The NICN also treated ‘services no longer required’ as redundancy, which attracts redundancy payment under the employer’s redundancy policy (Ubong Asangausung v Mainstreet). Proper Notice or Payment in lieu, must be given for a valid termination of employment Employees are entitled to notice of termination, or salary in lieu. A common practice by employers is that, they terminate the employment of their employees with immediate effect and subsequently, pay salary in lieu of notice, along with other terminal benefits the employees are entitled to. The NICN has held that, this practice is wrong, and that where the salary in lieu of notice is not paid on the employee’s last working day or contemporaneously with termination, the termination is invalidated and wrongful (Bello Ibrahim v Eco Bank Plc). Also importantly, the court held that, the employees are entitled to gross salary in lieu and not basic salary, unless the terms of employment expressly states otherwise (Ubong Asangausung v Mainstreet).
President, Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba
Liability for Constructive Dismissal It is not uncommon for employers to create a hostile working environment for an employee, with a view to forcing the employee to resign. In some cases, the employer will put pressure on the employee to resign through direct, and most often, subtle threats. In one case, the writer of this article was involved in at the NICN, the employee was asked to resign or be dismissed. There are instances where the hostile working environment, may not necessarily be with a view to getting the employee to resign. For example, where the boss is sexually harassing the employee or fails to promote the employee, despite meriting promotion. Where an employee resigns, because the employer has deliberately made working difficult; or the employee has been coerced, lured or otherwise made to resign, such employee is deemed to have been constructively dismissed (Obiora Modilim v United Bank for Africa Plc). Constructive dismissal, entitles the employee to make a claim against the employer for damages. Employees in outsourcing/contract stafﬁng arrangements, may claim damages for wrongful termination against the end-user Labour outsourcing or contract staffing, is a smart way for a business to focus on its core activities, reduce cost, manage risk, and generally, increase efficiency. However, in a country with little or no statutory protection for employees, like Nigeria, contract staffing can be, and has been abused. This is one of the areas the NICN has come in, to offer some remedy. The court has implied the existence of a contract of employment between an outsourced staff and the end-user, thereby regarding both the out-sourcing agency and the end –user, as coemployers (Anthony Agum v UNICEM & Anor; Inimgba v Integrated Corporate Services Ltd & Anor; PENGASSAN v Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU). A typical instance, is where the
“MANY CHOOSE, AS IT IS TYPICAL OF NIGERIANS, TO ‘LEAVE THE MATTER IN THE HANDS OF GOD OR ALLAH’. THIS IS PARTLY ATTRIBUTABLE, TO THE GENERAL NOTION AND PRACTICE THAT, EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO TERMINATE THE EMPLOYMENT OF THEIR EMPLOYEES WITH OR WITHOUT REASONS.....THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT, THINGS ARE CHANGING..... THE ERA WHERE EMPLOYEES WERE EQUATED TO SLAVES, IS OVER”
Loss of Expectation Interest Another scenario, is where an employer either terminates the employment of an employee or constructively does so, in order to avoid meeting its commitment to the employee. This can happen, for example, where an employee is promised promotion upon meeting certain conditions. Failure to give the promotion, may frustrate the employee to the point of resignation. The NICN has held in similar circumstances that, there was loss of expectation interest, in respect of which the employee is entitled to substantial damages (Obiora Modilim v United Bank for Africa Plc). The principle of loss of expectation interest, is pretty novel in Nigeria. It is contended that, it may be employed in cases where employees are forced to resign or their employment wrongfully terminated, just before meeting a milestone that would have entitled them to substantial benefits. Indeﬁnite Suspension amounts to wrongful termination An employer may suspend an employee pending investigation of alleged misconduct, but the suspension cannot be unreasonable, or indefinite without pay. An indefinite suspension without pay in the absence of an express provision in the terms of employment is wrongful, and entitles the employee to claim arrears of salaries and other benefits until the date of judgement in an action filed by the employee (Adekunle v United Bank for Africa). Substantial Damages may be awarded for Wrongful Termination The general principle of law before the NICN, was that damages for wrongful termination were limited to salary in lieu of notice, and accrued entitlements and benefits, as agreed under the contract. The NICN has again, moved away from merely awarding payment in lieu of notice as damages; the court is instead, awarding substantial damages to reflect the unlawfulness of a termination or dismissal (Olufemu Amodu v Epesok Paper Mill Limited). In one case, the court awarded about N77m against UBA, for constructive dismissal (Modilim v United Bank for Africa Plc) and recently, the court even went to the extreme of ordering reinstatement of the employee (Bello v. Eco Bank Plc). Possibility of Defamation Claim Upon termination of employment, some employers, particularly in the banking sector, would publish notices to their staff about the circumstances in which an employee’s employment was terminated, with a view to dissuading similar practice. However, where the publication is false and lowers the estimation of the employee in the eyes of reasonable members of society, the employer may be liable in an action for defamation (MHWUN v EHIGIEGBA). Conclusion The era where employees were equated to slaves, is over. The NICN is more than ready, to ensure equity in employer/employee relationships. An employee whose employment has been terminated in unpalatable circumstances, should engage the services of an experienced employment Lawyer, to explore possible legal remedies available to him/ her. Yes, God will take care of your future plans, but let the law take care of the wrongful termination of your employment. Elvis E. Asia, Senior Counsel, Chief Rotimi Williams’ Chambers, Lagos
INSIGHT ABUBAKAR D. SANI
Are the Legal Practitioners’ Rules of Professional Conduct Valid?
his thought provoking, if not outrightly provocative, question is fuelled by the seeming ambiguity in relevant legislations pertaining to the subject, and not merely a desire to play the Devil’s Advocate. Nevertheless, it is surely startling to challenge the very basis of discipline, etiquette, probity and accountability, in the supposedly noblest of professions. And why, you may ask, will anyone (least of all, a legal practitioner of over three decades standing) raise such a poser? I assure everyone that, the motivation is completely altruistic, prompted by no more than the demands of critical thinking, and a quest (at the risk of immodesty), for excellence. So, here goes. Regulatory Overview That the 1999 Constitution is the grundnorm of our laws, is trite. By virtue of Section 4(3) and Item 49 of the Exclusive Legislative in the Second Schedule to the Constitution, the National Assembly possesses the exclusive power to regulate “Professional occupations as may be designated by (it)”. The Assembly exercised that power in relation to the legal profession, by enacting the Legal Practitioners Act, Cap. L. 11, LFN 2010 (“LPA”). I believe that, beyond Section 1 of the LPA, one would be hardpressed, to find any provision which specifically authorises any person or body to enact the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession (“RPC”). This has been the position for more than half a century (since 1962, to be precise), when the LPA was first enacted. As for the aforesaid Section 1 thereof, it merely provides that: “(1) there shall be a body to be known as the General Council of the Bar (in this Act referred to as “the Bar Council”), which shall be charged with the general management of the affairs of the Nigerian Bar Association (subject to any limitations for the time being provided by the Constitution of the Association) and with any functions conferred on the Council by this Act or that Constitution; “(2) The Bar Council shall consist of:(a)The Attorney-General of the Federation who shall be the President of the Council; (b)The Attorneys-General of the States; and (c) Twenty members of the Association. History of the RPC The Legal Practitioners Rules of Professional Conduct were first enacted by the General Council of the Bar in November,1967, and were amended in1979; this amendment bears the imprimatur of the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Dr. (subsequently Hon. Justice) Augustine Nnamani, and was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation dated 18th January, 1980.The current edition of the RPC was made in 2007, by Hon. Bayo Ojo, SAN, the then Attorney-General of the Federation. Both versions of the Rules were apparently made pursuant to Section 1 of the LPA (see the Preamble thereto, which proclaims: “for general information, that the General Council of the Bar . . . in furtherance of the aims and objects of the Nigerian Bar Association under the Constitution of the Association as referred to in Section 1 of the Legal Practitioners Act, and for maintenance of the highest standards of professional conduct, etiquette and discipline in terms of that Constitution, has made the rules of professional conduct in the profession as are set out hereunder”. The NBA Constitution It can be seen that, apart from the LPA, the authority of the Bar Council to enact the RPC is supposedly derived from the NBA Constitution which proclaims one of its aims and objects as:
President, Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN
“the maintenance of the highest standard of professional conduct, etiquette and discipline” (see Section 3(1) (f) of the NBA Constitution 2015). This presumed power is clearly not a blank cheque, however, as Section 6 of the same Constitution categorically qualifies it, inter alia, as follows: “the statutory powers of the General Council of the Bar as provided pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Act shall not include:(a)any control over the budget or finance of the Nigerian Bar Association; (b)the power to appoint representatives of the Association to any Statutory, Executive/Judicial or other bodies; (c)the power to issue any statements purporting to express the view of the Association upon any matter affecting the interest of the Legal profession generally; (d)the power to make any arrangements whatsoever (including the drawing up of an agenda or choice of venue) for the Annual General meeting or any other General Meeting of the Association”. Applying the principle of statutory interpretation known as expressio unius est exclusio alterius, it would appear that these express limitations on the powers of the Bar Council over the general management of the affairs of the NBA, suggest that, to the extent that they are silent on the conduct, discipline and etiquette of legal practitioners, the Council may legitimately regulate them: I believe that this would be a suggestio falsio, however, as in my view, the key words are those of Section 1(1) of the LPA, which simply charges the Council “with the general management of the affairs of the NBA”. It is trite that, the object of every statutory interpretation, is to determine the intention of the Legislature; this is to be deduced from the
“THE INEVITABLE CONCLUSION TO BE DRAWN FROM THE FOREGOING, IS THAT THE RPC IS ULTRA VIRES THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE BAR, INVALID, NULL AND VOID. THIS IS REGRETTABLE, OF COURSE, BUT IT IS NOT BEYOND REMEDY”
words used in the enactment. In this regard, I doubt that anything in the entire provisions of the LPA (not just Section 1 thereof) even remotely suggests that the National Assembly intended to empower the Bar Council to micro-manage the behaviour of every legal practitioner in Nigeria, in the way the RPC evidently does. I believe I am reinforced in this view, by the fact that the aforesaid provisions of the LPA are general, whilst those of the NBA Constitution which enjoin the NBA to pursue the highest standards of etiquette, discipline, etc. are special. The legal effect of this is commonly expressed in the maxim, generalia specibus derogant, or general things derogate from special things. This means that “where there are two enactments, one making specific provisions, and the other general provisions, the specific provisions are impliedly excluded from the general provisions”: see ATT-GEN. OF THE FED. v ABUBAKAR (2007) All FWLR pt. 375 pg. 405 @ 472 and INAKOJU v ADELEKE (2007) 4 NWLR pt. 1025 pg. 423 @ 629. In my opinion, the Council over-reached itself and exceeded its powers by purporting to prescribe a code of conduct for every legal practitioner in Nigeria, as opposed to just their umbrella body, the NBA, which I believe is its specific remit under the LPA. I submit that, directing the general management of an entity or group, is vastly different from purporting to dictate or control how individual members of that organisation or group behave or make personal choices. I believe that, the latter is what the RPC represents, and is its entire raison d’etre. The question is: does it have that power under the law? From the foregoing analysis, I humbly submit that the answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. I believe that this conclusion is supported by the provisions of Section 27(3) of the Interpretation Act, which stipulates that “where a body established by an enactment comprises three or more persons and is empowered to make subsidiary instruments, any such instrument may be executed under the hand of any two of the members thereof as may be authorised by such body generally for that purpose, or specially on any particular occasion”. This is because, whilst at all material times the Bar Council consisted of 57 members, only Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, the then Attorney-General of the Federation signed the RPC 2007. This, of course, assumes that the Bar Council possessed the requisite vires, vel non, to make the Rules. It didn’t, and, in my view, it still doesn’t. Conclusion The inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the foregoing, is that the RPC is ultra vires the General Council of the Bar, invalid, null and void. This is regrettable, of course, but it is not beyond remedy. By way of a solution, I humbly recommend bold, proactive action by the NBA (in General Meeting), debating and adopting a brand-new RPC, in furtherance of the said aims and objectives of its Constitution to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct, etiquette and discipline among Nigerian Lawyers. I believe that this would be consistent with Section 10(2) of the Interpretation Act, which provides that: “An enactment which confers power to do an act, shall be construed as also conferring all such other powers as are reasonably necessary to enable that act to be done or are incidental to the doing of it”; See ATT-GEN. OF CROSS-RIVER STATE v OJUA (2011) All FWLR pt. 594 pg. 151 @ 169F. I posit that, the General Council of the Bar simply has no role to play in this, as we are eminently capable of regulating ourselves, especially as the structures for enforcing infractions of the Rules (Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, Appeal Committee of the Body of Benchers, etc) are already directly provided for by the LPA.
Review of Some Signiﬁcant Decisions: Labour & Employment 2019 This article by Folabi Kuti, is a review of some of the signiﬁcant decisions handed down by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in 2019, in the areas of damages for wrongful termination of employment and injuries sustained in the workplace
Damages for Wrongful Termination n the period under review, the underlying jurisprudence of the employment court (the National Industrial Court of Nigeria- NICN) on workplace issues, has been restless. Where some principles have been clarified and strengthened, a few other areas clamour for unanimity on the mind of the labour court. The case against high-compensatory regime of damages for a wrongfully terminated worker in the labour court (at the NICN), which some recent decisions of the Court of Appeal appear to have championed, may not, in all cases, hold to deny a successful litigant of appropriate award of damages with the lucid clarification in Edet v Fidelity Bank Plc (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/276/2014, judgement delivered on 17th December, 2019; per Hon. Justice B. B Kanyip (Ph.D (President). Here the NICN, still placing reliance on a more recent decision of the Court of Appeal, recognised the distinction between the somewhat limited scope of award of damages for a wrong arising from the termination of employment, and an award of (general) damages for alleged unproven malpractice, holding that, in deserving cases, both can be awarded. In a landmark decision around unfair labour practice, the NICN in Ajah v Fidelity Bank (Unreported Suit No. NICN/LA/588/2017, judgement delivered on 14th May, 2019; per Ogbuanya J.) resolved in the main, a recondite legal issue on the effect of a new policy on a party who had attained the exit point in an organisation. The question was, whether an employee after attaining 14 years and 11 months in service, and serving notice indicating her option to retire and take benefit of a certain policy extant at the time of serving the notice, should to her detriment, be subject to the employer’s sudden policy making those entitlements only due upon completion of 15 years in service? The Court examined the details of this case thoroughly and thoughtfully, calling in aid availing equities in: (i) pronouncing against the employee being subjected to a retroactive policy; (ii) holding the employer estopped from avoiding contractual obligations; and that in any event (iii) the principle of arithmetical approximation would nonetheless avail the Claimant in deeming her to have served the 15 years on the date the new policy was issued. Damages and Workplace Injuries Ajukwu v Blueche (Unreported Suit No. NICN/LA/510/2017, judgement delivered on 4th February, 2019; per Oji (Ph.D), J.), Adegoke v Ecobank Nig. Ltd (Unreported Suit No. NICN/
LA/407/2016, judgement delivered on 4th April, 2019; per Peters J.), Toluwase v MID Atlantic Sea Foods Company Limited (Unreported Suit No. NICN/LA/ 283/2014, judgement delivered on 11th June, 2019; per Amadi J.), Oyama Friday v P.W Nig. Ltd (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ ABJ/235/2014, judgement delivered on 8th October, 2019; per Anuwe J), Oluwatoyin v IBDC Plc (Unreported Suit No. NICN/AB/ 08/2015, judgement delivered on 19th March, 2019; per Peters J.) and Friday Godwin v Anthony Rocks Limited (Unreported Suit No. NICN/AK/46/2014, judgement delivered on 4th April, 2019; per Oyewumi J.) all considered workplace injuries and accident, in ascertaining the ambit of the duty of care owed to sustain a claim for damages in negligence. Some of these cases brought to the fore, the seeming uncertainty around compensable damages. Toluwase was awarded the sum of the N3 million as compensation for the eye injury he sustained, in the course of his employment with the Defendants. For workplace injury causing total loss of vision in his right eye, Friday was awarded the sum of N5 million. Oluwatoyin succeeded in establishing negligence on the part of his employer for injury (electric shock) sustained in the course of work, which, in turn, led to the amputation of his arms. Much less straightforward, with respect, is the rationale for the denial of an appreciable amount of the sum which he claimed; on the premise that the court was yet to be confronted with such a situation, and consequent award of such a sum as that claimed. With respect, the resignation of the court in this regard, suggests the fettering of judicial discretion. Litigants and counsel are entitled to the expectation that a case can be decided on its peculiar fact pattern, which may be completely unique. The facts of Oluwatoyin’s case evoke deep emotion and, oddly enough, the said facts were perhaps, given their most compelling expression by the court, which nevertheless significantly whittled down his claim for a compensatory sum of N850 million. In describing the nearvegetative condition of the Claimant on account of his workplace injury, the court summed it up pitiably thus: ’I watched the Claimant while testifying in chief. He has no hands, and no arms. He joined the services of the Defendants as a complete human being, but got disengaged as an incomplete being. For all intents and practical purposes, the Claimant will forever be dependent on somebody virtually 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. He needs a person to bath, feed, dress
“OLUWATOYIN SUCCEEDED IN ESTABLISHING NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF HIS EMPLOYER FOR INJURY (ELECTRIC SHOCK) SUSTAINED IN THE COURSE OF WORK, WHICH, IN TURN, LED TO THE AMPUTATION OF HIS ARMS. MUCH LESS STRAIGHTFORWARD, WITH RESPECT, IS THE RATIONALE FOR THE DENIAL OF AN APPRECIABLE AMOUNT OF THE SUM WHICH HE CLAIMED.....”
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige
him. He needs an assistance, to use the toilet. He needs an assistance to even scratch his body, in event of an insect bite. Should he ﬁnd himself in a place of public disturbance or riot, the Claimant is right on his own and all alone to fend for his dear life. The appearance of the Claimant at trial, was one of a sorry state. One cannot but think aloud, as to how much could be awarded in damages, to be able to put the Claimant back in his position before the accident leading to the amputation of his both arms’. The Claimant was nonetheless, awarded the sum of N150 million for the permanent injury he suffered as a result of the negligence of the Defendants, against the sum of N850 million sought. Friday Godwin, in turn, was awarded the sum of N10 million of the N100 million sought as general damages, for permanent injury sustained from an industrial crusher while in the employ of the 1st Defendant. The court recorded his plight thus: ‘I observed that the Claimant throughout the trial, had his right hand static, he could not move it, which might be due to the wasting of the right shoulder and upper limb, inability to ﬂex and extend the right shoulder and elbow ....I equally observed that his right ear lobe was chopped off. It is better imagined than to experience the pain and trauma he must be going through as a result of the injury he sustained, which permanently led to the loss of his right ear lobe/external ear and paralysis of his entire right hand from his shoulder down to his ﬁngertips, as stated supra. The import of which is that, he can no longer use his right hand. His injuries are such that cannot be quantiﬁed in monetary term. The paralysis of his right hand, has taken life and means of his livelihood from him’. Other Decisions: Employee’s Right to Resign, Calculation of Gratuity etc Drawing a balance between its normative role and evolving dynamics in the world of work, the NICN, in Samson Systems & Investment Ltd v Nabih Chamchoum (Unreported
Suit No. NICN/LA/87/2015, judgement delivered on 13th March, 2019; per Obaseki-Osaghae J), held that, a business covenant which restricted the Defendant from visiting Nigeria for a minimum of five years for employment or business after his resignation from the Claimant, as unreasonable in terms of time and width. Perhaps, underscoring the importance of submitting proper issues for adjudication, an almost identical restraint of trade fact scenario emerged in Captain Chergui v Dana Airlines Ltd (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/129/2015, judgement delivered on 25th February, 2019; per ObasekiOsaghae J.), where the court held that, the Claimant was strictly bound to the terms of his contract with the Defendant. It is also instructive to look at the paradigm shift from, I daresay, a customarily settled position of law. This shift is as represented by the radically altering decision, in Bello Ibrahim v Ecobank Plc (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/87/2015, judgement delivered on 17th December, 2019; per Sanusi Kado J ). In a very influential passage, perhaps, in anticipation of the critique to follow, the Court ‘demystified’, as it were, the common law rule that, reinstatement cannot avail as a possible remedy in the breach of master and servant contractual relationship. The holding of the court unswervingly points in one direction – a probable reversal of the decision, if submitted to the higher court for review. The unfettered right of an employee to resign, even in the face of express stipulations to the contrary in the employer’s handbook, was reiterated in Adigwe v FBN Mortgages Limited Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/526/2016, judgement delivered on 9th July, 2019; per Kanyip J. (as he then was, now President, NICN). Relying on citation of cases expounding on the principle, the court cast its decision in the light of international best labour practices and the applicable International Labour Organisation Convention; lest such a practice be deemed to amount to forced labour. Curiously, Fajuyitan v CONTINUED ON PAGE 15
THE LIGHTER SIDE/15
We Hold Your Brief JUDE IGBANOI email@example.com Dear Counsel, On my recent trip home during Christmas, I was amazed at the level of alcohol consumed by commercial bus drivers. In the bus I entered from Lagos to my village, the driver had a bottle of gin under his seat from which he occasionally took sips throughout the journey. On my way back last week, while waiting for our bus to be filled, I saw many drivers drinking all sorts. When I asked one of them, he said, without the drink, he won't be able to dive for long distances. My question is, aren’t there laws against this kind of behaviour, that prohibits drivers from drinking and driving? Private car owners, are also fond of this. Prince F.E., Anyangba, Kogi State. Dear Prince, It is unfortunate that, our laws do not capture with specificity of the offence of driving under the influence of alcohol, and this is sad, given the number of lives that are lost every year therefrom. However, there are general provisions in both Federal and State laws, prohibiting the use of alcohol while driving or driving under the influence.
For instance, in February 1988, a glimmer of hope appeared, when the Federal Government of Nigeria created the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) through Decree No. 45 of 1988 as amended by Decree 35 of 1992, referred to as FRSC Act Cap. 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN). In 2007, it was passed by the National Assembly as the Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment) Act 2007. The Commission has been trying its level best, to curb this menace. Recently, they acquired breath analysers, in its further efforts to deal with this issue. Lagos State, in its 2012 laws, also criminalised drinking and smoking, while driving. In the ’64 Traffic Offences’ under the LASTMA Law, Schedule 1 at Section 10 provides that drinking and smoking while driving, or under the influence attracts a penalty of N20,000 and 3 months prison term for a first time offender, while a second time or subsequent offender, is liable to 6 months in prison and N30,000. While these are grossly inadequate to deter offenders, there is the further difficulty of even proving the offence, especially where the tools to do are rather expensive. Breath analysers don’t come cheap. So, the law enforcement agents have to rely mainly, on catching the offenders directly in the act. But, with the recent efforts of the FRSC, things will certainly get better.
How are an apple and a Lawyer alike? They both look good hanging from a tree. ˾˾˾ How can a pregnant woman tell that she's carrying a future Lawyer? She has an uncontrollable craving for bologna. ˾˾˾ How does an Attorney sleep? First, he lies on one side, then he lies on the other. ˾˾˾ Someone left the cages open in the Reptile House at the zoo the other day, and there were snakes slithering all over the place. The Keeper tried everything, but he just couldn't get the slippery animals back into their cages. Finally, he yelled, "Quick, call a Lawyer!" Someone asked, "A Lawyer? Why?" The Keeper said, "We need someone who speaks their language". ˾˾˾ How many Lawyer jokes are there? Only three. The rest are true stories ˾˾˾ A Lawyer gets on an airplane in New Orleans with a box of frozen crabs, and asks the blonde stewardess to take care of them for him. So, she takes the box and promises to put it in the crew's refrigerator. The Lawyer tells her that he's holding her personally responsible for them staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner that he's a Lawyer. He then goes on a rant at her, about what will happen if she lets them thaw out. Of course, this really annoys the stewardess but she walks away without saying anything. Just before the plane is due to land, the stewardess uses the intercom to announce to the entire cabin, "Would the Lawyer who gave me the crabs in New Orleans, please raise your hand."
How many Lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Three, One to climb the ladder. One to shake it. And one to sue the ladder company.
What are Lawyers good for? They make used car salesmen look good.
JUSTICE SANYAOLU CALLS FOR REVIEW OF FEDERAL COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 2019 it history and it purpose, always applies to everybody in the society, and the law for promoting competition in protecting consumers applies to 200 million people, one way or the other, and the person or organisation who will regulate that, must understand the importance of their role. "There is a reward for succeeding, there is a reward for your being hardworking, and that is the classification of being a big boy, and there is patronage and custom that come with being big, because there is a responsibility arising with being big. That is why, if you are a dominant
player in an economy, you should be congratulated, you should not be condemned. "As a matter of fact, you should present to us, a case study of how you succeed, but that carries certain responsibilities with it, the responsibility is not to abuse your dominant position. That you have the power to act unilaterally in a way, without considering the other competitors that will potentially be against the interest of consumers in the market, having that ability is not a problem in itself. "However, if you exercise that power or ability in a manner that truly causes a distortion or an injury, then
REVIEW OF SOME SIGNIFICANT DECISIONS: LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT 2019 Guinea Insurance Plc (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/ 209/2012, judgement delivered on 21st March, 2019; per Obaseki-Osaghae J.) reached a divergent position about an employee tendering a letter of resignation when facing disciplinary hearing, and the Employee Handbook stipulating otherwise. Consistent with the thrust of the court’s previous decisions in matters with similar fact patterns, ASP Kiriben v Nigeria Police Force (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/209/2012, judgement delivered on 3rd December, 2019; per Hon. Justice B. B Kanyip (Ph.D) (President, NICN) hinted at how gratuity is ascertained with exactitude, and particularised in a claim. Adefowope v MTN (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/526/2016, judgement delivered on 15th May,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
you have violated the law." Other discussants are Mr. Kalu Abosi, Managing Partner, Aster Law, Chairman, Capital Market Committee of the NBA Section on Business Law who spoke on the topic: "Mergers and Acquisitions under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019, and Mr. Olanrewaju Kuforiji, Commercial Legal Manager, MTN Nigeria Communication Ltd, who dealt with the topic:" A Brief Review of the Provision of the Competition Practices Regulation 2007 of the Nigeria Communications Commission”.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
2019; per Kanyip J. (as he then was, now President, NICN) and Kayode Tijani v FRA Williams (Jr) (Unreported Suit No. NICN/ LA/130/2015, judgement delivered on 9th July, 2019; per Kanyip J. (as he then was, now President, NICN), gave imprimatur that payment in lieu of notice period must be made contemporaneously with the termination, otherwise termination, in the circumstance, would be wrongful. Okonyia v UBA (Unreported Suit No. NICN/AWK/ 09/2014, judgement delivered on 9th July, 2019; per Targema (Ph.D.) J., inter alia, emphasised the distinction between termination/dismissal that is wrongful and termination/dismissal that is unlawful/illegal, and ensuing court orders attending upon each incident. Jonathan Pigden v Tolu Ogunkoya (Unreported
Suit No. NICN/ LA/303/2018, judgement delivered on 20th March, 2019; per Oji (Ph.D.) J., affirmed that, remuneration alone may not suffice as establishing a contract of employment, as to confer jurisdiction on disputes arising from a contract of employment/service which the NICN has jurisdiction over. In the realm of trade unionism and trade disputes, Joachim v Union Registrars (Unreported Suit No. NICN/LA/139/2014, judgement delivered on 17th December, 2019; per Hon. Justice B. B Kanyip (Ph.D) (President, NICN), fortifies the protection of employees from persecution or termination of employment, on account of trade union activities. Folabi Kuti, Partner, law ofﬁces of Perchstone & Graeys, Lagos
WORDS OF WISDOM
(Culled from the Internet)
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
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Quick Takes Eâ€™Guinea Targets Increased Oil Production
OIL & GAS SUMMIT
L-R: President, Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), Engr. Nuhu Yakubu; Founder and Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Tecno Oil Limited, Mrs. Nkechi Obi; Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Plan, Office of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Dayo Adeshina; Director LPG Summit, Mrs. Neasa Hapiak and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development, and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote, during the Nigeria LPG Summit 2019 organised by NLPGA in Lagosâ€Śrecently
EquatorialGuineawilladd20,000barrelsperday(bpd)ofoilproduction by October, the countryâ€™s oil minister said on Sunday. â€œWe expect an increase this year of around 20,000 bpd additional because of the new discoveries,â€? Reuters quoted Gabriel Obiang Lima, to have told reporters on the sidelines of an energy event. Equatorial Guinea, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), currently produces 120,000 bpd. Asked about the need to extend the OPEC+ production cuts agreement beyond March, the minister said the deal should be maintained if the oil price range remains between $60 and $70 a barrel. â€œAs an OPEC member, if the price is between $60 to $70 then we are happy, we are achieving. If we do evaluation and that price continues then we should maintain the deal and continue forward,â€? he said. In the countryâ€™s budget for 2020, the oil prices is forecast at $51 a barrel, he said.Obiang Lima also said agreements and memorandums ofunderstandingfortwonewoilreďŹ nerieswouldbeannouncedinApril. Plans for new energy projects worth $1 billion, including the two reďŹ neries, were announced in November. Construction of the two reďŹ neries, which are expected to process up to 40,000 bpd of crude oil, is expected to start by the end of the year, Lima said.Equatorial Guinea will also probably announce a new bidding round for several exploration blocks in April, the minister said. â€œIn April we are probably going to announce new blocks that will be put for licensing...it will be direct negotiations.. they are about four to ďŹ ve blocks,â€? he said.
Fordâ€™s China Vehicle Sales Drop
NERC, CBN Move to End Revenue Leakages in Power Market Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would begin to track payments made by certain categories of electricity consumers in Nigeria to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos), a document from the regulator has disclosed. NERC in the document said it would with the cooperation of the CBN seek for more visibility of the revenue generated by the Discos for the countryâ€™s power market, and has in this regard enunciated an order that would make residential, industrial and commercial consumers pay their bills through cashless payment channels. It noted that the initiative was decided to shore up the revenue generated by the Discos.
ENERGY Nigeriaâ€™s privatised power market has remained challenged by chronic financial illiquidity with the Discos reportedly engaged in discriminatory remittance practices. However, NERC in the order explained that mandatory transition of certain classes of end-use customers of Discos from direct cash settlement of bills to cashless settlement platforms was done to reduce collection leakages and revenue losses. It noted that the move would improve the overall revenue assurance in the power sector, adding that, â€œthis policy directive complies with EPSRA and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and furthers the objective of improving transparency in NESI by introducing greater
clarity on collections from end-use customers and prudence in the utilisation of market funds.â€? On how the order would be implemented, the regulator said, â€œWithout prejudice to the provisions of section 10 of the Meter Reading, Billing, Cash Collections and Credit Management for Electricity Supplies Regulations, 2007 (the Cash Collection Regulation); all Discos shall transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of industrial and commercial customers by 31 January 2020. â€œWithout prejudice to the provisions of section 10 of the Cash Collection Regulation; all Discos shall transit to cashless settlement platforms for the billing/collection of R3 class of residential customers by 31 March 2020.â€? The NERC further explained that all the Discos would have
to leverage on available banking channels approved by the CBN in complying with the directives, and that all the collection agents, super agents, sub-agents, payment solution service providers (PSSP) and payment terminal service providers (PTSP) engaged by them would be done in compliance with the order. These third-party revenue collection agents, it noted would have to be duly registered with it and the CBN in addition to operating dedicated accounts strictly for the purpose of billing and collection of revenues from customers of the Discos. It insisted that the Discos shall equally promote the transition to cashless payments amongst their customers and provide appropriate bank account details and other approved channels for Continued on page 24
IT Professionals Urge Buhari to Implement Digital Economy Strategy Emma Okonji Information Technology (IT) professionals in Nigeria, made up Computer Professionals Registration Council Professionals of Nigeria (CPN) and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), recently paid have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to effectively implement the countryâ€™s digital economy strategy, in order to boost local content development and youth employment. The said this during a courtesy visit to president in Abuja.
IT President/Chairman of Council at CPN, Prof. Charles Uwadia and the President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, who led the delegation of IT professionals, stressed the need for the presidency to effectively implement the digital economy strategies of the country, in order to stimulate innovation, research and development in the indigenous software production ecosystem. The IT professionals were of the view that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of govern-
ment should be directed to give priority to the computerisation of their key processes and activities. According to them, â€œAutomation of all government operations starting with the front end can be completed in one year. At least a recognised IT Professional must be member of the Boards and Councils of all MDAs. â€œThis will accelerate the nationâ€™s move towards a digital economy by ensuring appropriate and effective deployment of IT for governance.â€? In his presentation, Uwadia called for full support of IT Professionals, while seeking for
the intervention President Buhari for the recognition of Computer Professional Examination certificates, explaining that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation has been handling the recognition process, which has been on since 2008. â€œRecognised professionals must be the Head of all government IT departments and units at the Federal, State and LGA levels. A major requirement for appointing an individual as Director or its equivalent should be CPN/NCS membership,â€? Uwadia said. Continued on page 24
Ford Motor Coâ€™s China vehicle sales fell for a third consecutive year, by 26.1 per cent, as it battles a prolonged overall sales decline in its second-biggest market that has hit demand for its mass-market Ford brand and sports utility vehicles. The US automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7 per cent year-on-year, Reuters quoted Ford to have said in a statement.In total, it sold 567,854 vehicles over 2019. Ford has been trying to revive sales in China after its business began slumping in late 2017. Sales sank 37 per cent in 2018, after a six per cent decline in 2017.The President and chief executive of Ford Greater China, Anning Chen, said that while 2019 was a, â€œchallengingâ€? year for theautomaker,itsawitsmarketshareinthehigh-to-premiumsegment stabilizeanditssalesdeclineinthevaluesegmentstarttonarrowinthe second-half of the year.â€œThe pressure from the external environment and downward trend of the industry volume will continue in 2020, and we will put more eďŹ€orts into strengthening our product lineup with more customer-centric products and customer experiences to mitigate the external pressure and improve dealersâ€™ proďŹ tability.â€? The automaker plans to launch more than 30 new models in China over the next three years of which over a third will be electric vehicles.
Bezos to Face Protests from Traders
Thousands of small-scale traders in India are planning to organise protests against Amazon.com Inc. founder, JeďŹ€ Bezos, who will visit the country next week for a company event and potential meetings with government oďŹƒcials. Bezos will participate in an Amazon event in capital New Delhi aimed at connecting with small and medium-sized enterprises, three sources told Reuters. He has also sought meetings with the prime minister and other government oďŹƒcials, with conversations expected to center around e-commerce, one of the sources familiar with the matter said. Details of Bezosâ€™ visit, including his arrival date and the duration of his stay are not known. Amazon did not respond to a request to conďŹ rm the visit.The prime ministerâ€™s oďŹƒce also did not respond to requests for comment. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a group representing roughly 70 million brick-and-mortar retailers, said it will protest across 300 cities during Bezosâ€™ stay in the country. CAIThas since 2015 waged a battle against online retailers Amazon andWalmart-controlled Flipkart, accusing them of deep discounts and ďŹ‚outing Indiaâ€™s foreign investment rules. Both e-tailers have denied the allegations.
â€œWe 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 economyâ€? Minister of State, Budget and National Planning
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
BUSINESSWORLD NERC, CBN MOVE TO END REVENUE LEAKAGES IN POWER MARKET
receiving and processing payments to them. According to it, they must: â€œProvide details of all CBN authorised payment channels including but not limited to automated teller machines (ATMs), quick response (QR) code, vending platforms, point of sale (POS) terminals, unstructured supplementary service data (USSD).â€? â€œThe commission and CBN or its delegate shall monitor all third-party dedicated accounts for the billing/collections of funds from industrial, commercial and R3 residential class of customers of Discos. â€œThe CBN or its delegate i.e. the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) shall be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of all customer payment transactions. All switch operators shall provide required information and access to NIBSS. IT PROFESSIONALS URGE BUHARI TO IMPLEMENT DIGITAL ECONOMY STRATEGY In the area of support for local content development and youth empowerment, Uwadia said: â€œIn order to create 1.5 million jobs in IT sector in the next two years, the federal government should impose a Software Import Tax of an amount to be determined by the appropriate government authorities on all software imported into Nigeria. â€œThe fund from this tax regime should be used to fund local software development activities in Nigeria. It is also important to mandate all foreign ICT companies to establish Local Research and Development Laboratories in Nigeria. â€œThere is need for the establishment of Credit Guarantee Scheme by the government to support working capital credit extension to qualified ICT firms in Nigeria. â€œThis will increase youth employment and return on investment. Banks should reserve a percentage of their loan portfolio for technological research and development thereby ensuring that 60 per cent of their digital processes is made up of local content,â€? Uwadia told Buhari.
NAMA Begins Calibration of Navigational Aids Nationwide Chinedu Eze The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has announced that it will begin the calibration of navigational equipment in the nationâ€™s airports this Thursday. This is coming after international carriersâ€™ existing navigational aids at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport that did not meet the standard of operation (SOP) diverted their aircraft to land at neighbouring countries. NAMA assured that it would carry out the calibration exercise efficiently and in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended standards and practices. A statement from the agency, signed by its spokesman, Khalid Emele, confirmed that on January 6, 2020, a British Airways London Heathrow â€“ Lagos bound BA 075 flight was diverted to Accra, but not because its navigational aids were unserviceable, but for another reason best known to the airline. â€œThe reality is that our navigational infrastructure nationwide is not in any state of degradation. But, the facilities are operating optimally though they are awaiting flight calibration in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and ICAO regulations and world best practicesâ€?, the statement said. It further explained that the
idea behind the installation of Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) in strategic airports in the country was borne out of the need to enhance safety, efficiency, access and seamlessness of flight operations especially, during the harmattan season The statement further disclosed that the prevailing weather condition in regards to visibility in Lagos as at the time British Airways diverted to Accra was still within the
1800 meters permissible, while the airlineâ€™s requirement for visibility during Performance Based Navigation (PBN) was 1500m. NAMA reiterated that the weather condition on January 6, was within the approved minimum state weather conditions for Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach and landing on Runway 18 Right as well as Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach and landing on Runway 18 Left,
which is 400m. The statement noted that all other foreign operators, including Emirates, Delta, KLM, Lufthansa, etc landed on the same runway in similar weather conditions. It, however, added that BA, despite the diversion, has since been operating into Lagos dAaily using the ILS CATII on Runway 18 Left (known as domestic runway) with the same prevailing weather
conditions. â€œTherefore, these diversions are avoidable based on existing facilities,â€? Khalid Emele stated. The agency therefore reassured all airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace remains safe for air travel even as the agency is working assiduously towards continuously upgrading its navigational infrastructure in line with ICAO Standards and recommended practices.
L-R: Business Head,West and Central Africa, Arik Air, Mr. Sylvester Egogo; Pilot, Captain Chris Najomo; Cabin Services, Mrs. Christine Roland, and Cabin Crew, Ibiyemi Ogunjobi, during an award where the airline was named the, â€˜Best Cabin Crew ofTheYear,â€™in Lagos... recently ETOP UKUT
Phillips ConsultingTasks FG onTalent Management,Technology Adoption Hamid Ayodeji Phillips Consulting, (pcl.), one of the leading consulting firms in Africa has advised the Federal Ministry of Interior and other government agencies under the ministry, to embrace talent development, technology and teamwork in order to deliver the federal governmentâ€™s promise of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2023. The statement was made during the Ministry of Interior retreat in Osun State, that was facilitated by pcl recently During the retreat, a statement
quoted the Managing Director, pcl, Mr. Robert Taiwo, to have said only talent development, deployment of technology and teamwork among the staff across the ministries and agencies of government, could deliver President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s promise in 2019 by 2023. According to him, â€œThe retreat was designed to generate innovative strategies, policies and programmes for reforming Nigeriaâ€™s internal security agencies, thus enabling them to further address the challenge of insecurity in the country.â€? Taiwo added, â€œThere was
significant focus on how the Ministry will execute the projects and programmes that will deliver the mandate.â€? Meanwhile, the chairman of the company, Mr. Funso Phillips in his paper, â€œThe Case for Change and Impact on Human and Capital Development,â€? said, the key factors to drive performance within the public sector include adoption of innovative funding models to address the perennial challenge of insufficient funds. Phillips added, â€œDigital transformation deployment will aid improved service
delivery as well as improved systems for managing talent, which constitutes the core of the agenciesâ€™ delivery capacity.â€? He stressed the importance of character over competence, while recommending that leadership of the Ministry, CDCFISB Board and Paramilitary agencies, should ensure that their people were given the best training and development adequately empowered and appropriately deployed. Continuing, Taiwo, while providing insight into strategic project failure said, â€œGovernment project fails
due to the fact agencies of government focus on cost increment and scope creep.â€? He explained the power of purpose and how it was important for the presidential mandate and its underlying rationale to be shared across all facets of the ministry and its supporting agencies. He clarified the need for urgency in a fast-changing world, just as he described the importance of governance, key performance indicators and identifying funding sources for the entire project lifecycle.
Nigeria Preaches Energy Integration for Africa at Upcoming Parley Chineme Okafor in Abuja Group Business Editor
Capital Market Editor
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)
Nigeria would be seeking to get the rest of Africa to focus on integrating their energy resources for development at the upcoming 2020 edition of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), organisers of the parley have said. Brevity Anderson which is the event organizer, explained in a statement that the countryâ€™s intention at the 2020 edition of the NIPS scheduled to hold between February 9 and 13, in Abuja, would be to get countries in Africa begin to focus on
furthering energy integration for the continentâ€™s much needed renaissance and shared prosperity in the unfolding decade. With the theme, â€˜widening the integration circle: technology, knowledge, sustainability and partnershipâ€™, the organisers explained that the use of emerging technologies and knowledge for the benefit of exploiting the continentâ€™s vast hydrocarbon potential in a sustainable way would be emphasised at the conference. â€œAfricaâ€™s energy sector needs to move into the new decade with a serious and result-oriented conversation
around technology, policies and investment in our quest to build a more prosperous continent,â€? said the Managing Director of Brevity Anderson, Mr. James Shindi. According to the statement, the summit has also realised that the continentâ€™s energy sector cannot reach its desired destination without the pre-requisite investment and as such would have a keynote address delivered by the Chairman of the World Energy Council, Younghoon David Kim at the Africaâ€™s ministerial session. The session would focus on â€˜the pursuit of new
investors and strategic collaborations to exploit natural reserves.â€™ Similarly, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, who reportedly supported the parley, would deliver a presentation on how Nigeriaâ€™s oil and gas industry has fared over the past 60 years. The statement noted that at the NIPS, the SecretaryGeneral of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Barkindo will launch the OPEC World Oil Outlook for 2020 (WOO2020).
It explained that: â€œNIPS is a federal government of Nigeria official petroleum industry event with the federal ministry of petroleum resources and all its parastatals including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) are joint hosts. â€œThe event is a convergence of African and global energy heavyweights and it is a reflection Nigeriaâ€™s unique place on the map of oil and gas industry regionally and internationally.â€?
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
Oduntan: Appropriate Pricing Key to Delivering Stable Power Supply In the wake of controversy trailing the recent announcement about review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order and the proposed cost-reflective tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, in an interview on â€˜The Morning Show,â€™ on Arise Television, threw more light on the issues. Peter Uzoho presents the excerpts: Your argument has been that the tariffs are not cost-reďŹ‚ective, not market-oriented. So as it is, it looks like the distribution companies (Discos) that you speak for have been able to have their way with the recent increase in electricity tariff? Let me start by commending our regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the efforts they have been making in the last six months, to stabilise the power sector. A lot of issues are going on. But we have not really left Egypt, we are really at the port, even though we are at the seaport, just boarding the ship, and that journey is a long journey. The reform process started in this country as far back as 2001, up to the point of the law that was enacted in 2005. Privatisation came in 2013. All these historical and all the shortfalls and problems are a very long journey. We are not even half way to that journey. What people want in this country is electricity, if possible, they want uninterrupted power supply. It is just like you want bread and that has to do with bakery that will produce bread. For the bakery to produce bread, there must be a flour mill to produce flour, and for that flour mill to produce flour, there must be a farmer that will grow wheat. In all of this, money is involved, there is cost to it. So we should show understanding when it comes to the issue of cost. And in the case of electricity, there are some macroeconomic indices. For instance, the foreign exchange component of the business, like we use the US dollar in Nigeria to calculate forex. The last time a review was done in this sector was in 2015 and it took effect on February 1, 2016. What the law says is that there should be minor review every six months, which is why I have commended NERC for coming out for the first time since 2016, to do what we should have done every six months from that February 2016. So there is no way you look at the foreign exchange for instance, as at first quarter of 2016, it is not the same as what we have today. You look at the lending rate, you look at the rate of inflation, all those ones have changed, and whether it goes up or down, there is supposed to be a review to put things in perspective and ensure that we have proper pricing on the product. Even what people are talking about now, firstly, let me do some clarification, it was not a tariff increase. So there is no need for any hysteria about tariff increase. First, the regulator, NERC, is empowered by law to review tariff, to regulate the industry; and as at today, no tariff increase. What they are proposing is a slight increase that will occur in April 2020, and it is even planned to be a gradual thing. We will not have what should be the appropriate pricing of the product this year, what is planned is to see that by the end of 2021, there will be a way to ensure that appropriate things are done such that there will not be that huge shortfall. When you are talking about efficiency, efficiency is also linked to pricing. You cannot be efficient in any business, even in bakery if there is no appropriate pricing. And I have said that before in this programme, that the woman who sells bread on Awolowo Way Road, Ikoyi, who buys from a bakery in Agege, maybe on credit but there is a price to it. If the price of bread is N80 from the bakery, why should the woman be selling that bread for N31.46 kobo? The moment the woman keeps on selling at N31.46 kobo, what it means is that the woman will not have nylon with the bread and flies will be flying around it. There is no way she can be efficient, and very soon the business will collapse. That is the same situation with the power sector. People are already groaning under the huge cost that they have to pay and the standard of living here is quite expensive, and now the tariff hike? Well, I think as Nigerians have to start facing the reality that if you really want something
the government to think about the best way to deal with all these issues regarding those who cannot afford certain things. And as you mention R1, R1 is residential customers who live in villages, rural areas, and I can give you one example. In Kano, there is a place called Bumpai. At the back of Bumpai there is a rail line, at the back of that rail line there are so many villages. Can you believe that they have more electricity supply because of the unique location they are than the people in that GRA called Bumpai? Bumpai too has meters, most of them, more than 90 per cent. Most of the people in those rural areas do not have meters, they canâ€™t even afford to pay N500 in a month, yet those who also need this electricity canâ€™t get it. Thatâ€™s the world we have found ourselves. But we are trying all our best now to ensure that one, there will be generation, better transmission and more synergy between us as distribution companies, transmission company and generation companies. We all need to just work together because at the end of the day, if we all work together, this year, no naming, blaming or claiming. All we need to do is for all of us to work together in the interest of the consumers, in the interest of the country and in the interest of our businesses.
Oduntan good you must be prepared to pay for what is good. We as Nigerians cannot expect electricity like in South Africa, in the United Kingdom while at the same time we donâ€™t want to be paying. Even over there in Senegal, they pay. In Ghana, they pay more. And the bread analogy works because what I am telling you is that if the woman is taking bread at N80 per loaf and such a woman is forced by law to sell the same at N30 for instance, there is a shortfall of N50. You cannot get the bread after a while because first, there will not be efficiency, with time there will not be availability. So the issue of electricity is availability and efficiency. People are not happy but I can see you now linking it with the reality in the country. Again, you cannot blame the private sector to which I belong for either the minimum wage, peopleâ€™s ability to pay for certain things, I understand that, and we do understand the pain of our people. The only solution to that is for us as a country to at some point sit down and agree on those things that government should spend money on and those things that should be allowed to float like electricity, petrol. There is no point subsidising fuel. If I want to buy my fuel or I want to use three cars, why should it be a problem? So if it has to be N200 per litre, reality, what is the purchasing power of the person who is buying that? This is the kind of thing we should all look at. We should not be emotional about it, we should look at it in terms of the reality on the ground. The question to be asked is: is Nigeria a rich country? I donâ€™t think so, but even if we are not rich, are we even doing the right thing as a nation? What happened to our recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure? What happened to the cost of governance? What happened to the size of government? Where does the money go? How much do we spend on the National Assembly for instance? But can we ignore the fact that there is no consumer conďŹ dence? So, how do we ensure that we are giving the customer the sort of conďŹ dence they need which they never had before? I think we need to be more sensitive to
the needs of our customers. I think we are not there yet but the discos that I represent and everybody, all stakeholders in the value chain are not efficient enough. Efficiency is very important as I have spoken about the link between efficiency and pricing. But even at that, I think there is the need for us to do more, and even when there is no light or when there is a problem, what I have seen in the past is, sometimes there is lack of communication or us taking our customers for granted. That is not right, that cannot be right. So what we need to do is one, we need to improve our communication with our customers across board all over the country. We need to also deploy more technology because sometimes, the transformer at your house is faulty, if you are under Eko Disco, you will know almost real time. There is an equipment called SCADA, so far in this country now, Eko Disco has acquired one, very expensive, even the Transmission Company of Nigeria is still in the process of getting one. We need to have things like that to enable us know things and deal with things as they happen. So, I agree 100 per cent that there is the need for more consumer confidence, consumer education; and like now, people have been talking about tariff increase in January 1. All those ones, we need to do more in terms of letting people be aware of what is going on. The piecemeal or gradual increment makes people to think that they increase tariff all the time. The other option would have been to say from day one (2013), this is the cost of production of this electricity, this is how much people should pay. But the truth of the matter is that for those who are on N18,000 per month, if you have 24-hour electricity and you are living in a 3-bedroom flat, and you have two or three fans, maybe one air conditioning system and iron, your monthly payment may be about N12,000. So if you are on N18,000 per month, how can you afford to pay N12,000? But should we say because some people are on N18,000 per month, we should now neglect the sector and not fix the appropriate price? So, what I am not talking about subsidy, but an option. I think it is for
Persons from the South-east are saying that the cost-reďŹ‚ective tariff that the government or the regulator has bought into, that there is a discrimination against them, that it looks like the South-east will end up paying more than the other parts of the country, that, this is another case of the marginalisation against the South-east? First of all, let me talk about the issue of alleged marginalisation. We are distribution companies, so we are in Enugu, we cover the whole of South-east. Enugu Electricity Distribution Company covers the whole of South-east just like Port Harcourt Disco covers the whole of the South-south. So, there is nothing like Igbos or Yorubas or Kanuris paying more. The regulator that fixes what should be the price in all of these things have certain parameters they use. So, there is nothing like discrimination, there is nothing like ethnicity and you may also want to also ask the regulator, NERC for more clarity. But I am sure that there is nothing like discrimination against the South-east. In October 2019, the regulator said all the Discos have violated Section 74 of the Electricity Sector Regulatory (EPSR) Act, and they had asked the Discos to give reasons why their licences should not be revoked within 60 days. Where are we on that? Again, the regulator has power under the law, which empowers them to regulate the industry, to take certain action in accordance with the law. What they did was that they asked us to show cause, and we have shown cause. In the course of showing cause, they have seen reasons why certain things are the way they are, and I can assure you that a lot of those things, they have also considered while reviewing the tide. The issue of MDAsâ€™ debt is one of them, the issue of generation cost is one of them. I wonâ€™t go to all those technicalities here, but I just want you to understand it. But the truth of the matter is when the order was reeled out and some media organisations went out, saying they are going to take the licences, and all that, we chose not to say anything, because we knew that what they asked us to do was to show cause why the licence should not be revoked, and we have shown cause why those licences should not be revoked. Sixty days has passed, no licence has been revoked so far, which means that they understand, they now see why certain things are done in certain way. That was what I said when I was talking about bread. You cannot talk about efficiency without talking about the price.
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛ËœÍ°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ
Thompson: Economic Diversification Crucial for Nigeriaâ€™s Success Ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit holding in London this January, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, in this Interview with Peter Uzoho, gives details of what the UK Government is doing to attract more mutually beneficial investment to Nigeria in 2020 and beyond. Excerpts: Can you shed more light on the UK-Africa Investment Summit scheduled to hold in London? With pleasure. Hosted by the Prime Minister, the summit will bring together UK and African Heads of State and Government, business leaders, young entrepreneurs, and international institutions. It takes place in London on 20 January, and intends to promote the breadth, depth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa. The summitâ€™s overall aim is to help unlock investment to deliver more trade and jobs for both Africa and the UK, securing sustainable growth and long-term prosperity: this is win-win. The summit is a great opportunity to highlight and discuss the investment issues that are relevant for both the UK and Nigeria. Other countries will also be looking to promote their investment offers. Weâ€™ve seen how competition to attract foreign direct investment has increased â€“ across most emerging markets and particularly in Africa. So, we are keen to provide a platform for Nigeria to showcase projects of interest to potential investors. At the summit, the Nigerian delegation will have the chance to engage investors on business environment issues and to emphasise Nigeriaâ€™s commitment to continuing to improve conditions for doing business, as recognised in its steady climb up the World Bankâ€™s Doing Business index from 146th to 131st in last Octoberâ€™s report. There are also events before and after the summit on manufacturing, renewables and infrastructure. We know that these are all priorities for the Nigeria at federal and state level and are areas where Nigeria has great potential. We want to focus on facilitating deals, engaging one-to-one and actually doing the business. Thatâ€™s ultimately the goal of the summit: to attract investors. The UK is known for the quality of its investments, and a key element of that is ensuring investments are sustainable. Using our world-leading innovation and technology, this will be a major theme for the UK Government in a year where the UK will also host the global climate change summit: COP 26. Why is the UK interested in attracting more investment to Nigeria? As Africaâ€™s largest economy and most populous country, Nigeriaâ€™s success matters â€“ to Nigerians, first and foremost, but to the rest of the world, including the UK, as well. Realising the enormous potential of Nigeriaâ€™s markets, human capital and natural resources will require massive and sustained investment in security and stability, job creation and growth, and human development. These are areas in which the UK is already supporting the Nigerian government and will continue to do so. We support Nigeriaâ€™s work towards economic reform to promote the conditions for sustainable and inclusive growth. We welcome President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s continued commitment to this cause through his second term, particularly his focus on creating jobs, as well as the dedication of his administration and statesâ€™ efforts to increasing investment, diversifying the economy and boosting growth; not only GDP but also Nigeriaâ€™s per capita income. Efforts to promote diversification, particularly around agribusiness and manufacturing, are crucial for Nigeriaâ€™s success. Encouraging greater investment is key to the work that the UK government is doing in Nigeria. And our companies tell us there is more to do. There are many British companies whoâ€™ve been operating successfully in Nigeria for decades, and more coming all the time. But they â€“ and indeed the many Nigerian companies we talk to â€“ tell us it can be hard, citing issues such as the high cost of logistics, customs delays, and sometimes unpredictable policy changes, for example. But when it works, itâ€™s good for Nigeria
ties for long-term, sustainable and mutual benefit.
Thompson and itâ€™s good for the UK. So, whether thatâ€™s DFIDâ€™s programming supporting investment promotion (at both Federal and State level); the UKâ€™s global Prosperity Fund supporting further reform of the business environment, trade, and investment capacity; CDC (the UKâ€™s development finance organisation) investing in projects or British companies opening new facilities, the UK government will continue to support greater investment from the UK to Nigeria. The Africa Investment Summit is part of that effort, mobilising our impressive private sector alongside our government efforts. Nigeria is already a top destination for UK investment in Africa and we want the UK to remain a major partner in achieving Nigeriaâ€™s huge economic potential. Our investment stock in 2018 was valued at ÂŁ4.2 billion. As the UK leaves the EU, and with Nigeria set to become the worldâ€™s third most populous country by 2050, we want the UK to be the investment partner of choice for Nigeria. What is the UKâ€™s trade relationship with Nigeria? Iâ€™m sure your readers will know that the UK has a longstanding and highly valued trade relationship with Nigeria. We want that partnership to grow. The UKâ€™s twoway trade with Nigeria stood at ÂŁ5.5 billion in 2018, an increase of around 40 per cent from the previous year. While oil and gas still dominate our two-way trade flows, UK companies invest in a wide range of sectors in Nigeriaâ€™s economy, including consumer goods, food and drink, financial services and waste management. Although Nigeria remains the largest oil producer in Africa, we are keen that British businesses think beyond this sector, and there is plenty of scope to trade in a wider range of goods and services. Our world-class export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), has notionally allocated up to ÂŁ1.2 billion to support UK companies selling to Nigeria. UKEFâ€™s support for overseas buyers, primarily in the form of guarantees on bank lending â€“ including in Nigerian naira, can help the Nigerian government and business community access attractive financing terms to accompany their purchases of goods and services from the UK. Many UK businesses operate successfully in Nigeria. British Airways first flight from the UK to Nigeria was 84 years ago; Diageo/ Guinness, Shell, and Unilever all have strong and long-established operations in Nigeria. We would like to see more UK businesses investing in Nigeria â€“ and increase our bilateral trade
What is the value of the United Kingdomâ€™s Investment in Nigeria? Nigeria is already the second largest destination for UK investment in the whole of Africa. As Iâ€™ve mentioned already, in 2018 that investment was valued at ÂŁ4.2 billion. UK companies invest in a wide range of sectors and there is scope for more. Diversification is an important aspect of our partnership, essential to create jobs and tackle poverty. We know how important boosting agriculture and manufacturing are for Nigeriaâ€™s future and the UK has a range of programmes designed to support these sectors. We listened when Nigeria told us that they wanted a mutually beneficial partnership that moved beyond aid, one that would attract quality investment that drives growth and creates the millions of jobs needed. Working with the Nigeria government, the UK will build stronger partnerships to secure investment that will deliver exports, jobs and economic growth that are essential to lift people out of poverty, and which will benefit both Nigerian and British businesses. The UK will also ensure that future investment is green, sustainable and transformative by using innovation and technology to provide solutions to our shared challenges. I mentioned earlier the progress we need to see on the Nigerian side to encourage that much needed investment. Together, in partnership, Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing those efforts come to fruition. So, how will the UK-AIS directly beneďŹ t Nigeria and Nigerians? The summit will create new, long-term partnerships that will deliver more investment and jobs. This will benefit people and business in both Nigeria and the UK. The UK is already here in Nigeria, in a big way, with numerous examples of mutually prosperous partnerships. But we want to do more, and the UK-AIS will be a vital landmark towards that goal. To help Nigeria take full advantage of the opportunity the summit represents, we have worked together to create an investment guide and nine sector brochures that highlight some of the major commercial opportunities in Nigeria. This builds on a successful event we held in London in November last year, at which we showcased some promising opportunities to more than 50 companies, and as a result are already working on concrete deals. More generally, the UK has much to offer ambitious Nigerian firms, with the City of London â€“ home to the worldâ€™s major investors, regulators, innovators and multinational businesses â€“ as the global financial gateway for investment and expertise. One of the UKâ€™s strengths is as a world class financial centre to raise capital for investment. Investment which is important for Nigeriaâ€™s long-term growth â€“ and thatâ€™s how â€œthe average Nigerianâ€? will benefit from this summit. The UK ambition is to become the investor with the greatest impact in Africa: that impact will be quality jobs, economic growth, reliable infrastructure and sustainability. Nigeria has an economy with a reputation for innovation. The summit will help Nigeria demonstrate this to potential investors. Further investment in innovative industries will help young Nigerian people reach their potential, and help to create the millions of new jobs needed every year to keep pace with Nigeriaâ€™s rocketing population. We will also use the summit to highlight the importance of supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs with the skills and connections to overcome the gender gap and grow their businesses. Empowering all girls and women is fundamental to ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, in the tech sector â€“ so exciting in Nigeria â€“ the UKâ€™s Female Tech
Founders programme has selected five female tech entrepreneurs from Nigeria to travel to London in the week of the Summit to receive expert advice on developing their businesses further. How is the UK helping Nigeriaâ€™s economy? We know how important it is to continue efforts to tackle poverty and to boost growth, so that the fall in Nigeriaâ€™s per capita GDP of the last five years can be reversed. In particular, we realise how crucial job creation is. The World Bankâ€™s most recent report noted that five million Nigerians joined the labour market in 2018 and we can expect this trend to continue, given Nigeriaâ€™s demographic trend for greater population growth. The UK has already committed more than ÂŁ200 million to support economic development in Nigeria over the next five years. The money goes towards helping the poor to access financial services, for example, or raising the incomes of at least 4 million poor Nigerians by at least 25 per cent. Our Solar Nigeria programme has given at least 3 million people access to solar energy, Thanks to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFINA, a financial sector-deepening programme), over 2,000,000 active customers have accessed financial services through products supported by UKâ€™s financial sector programme. The Growth and Employment in States (GEMS 3) programme has helped 3.9 million people and households with either services or improved incomes. The Rural and Agriculture Markets Development programme for Northern Nigeria (PrOpCom Mai-karfi) has already helped increase the incomes of 850,000 workers in Nigeriaâ€™s northern states. These programmes and many more, provide technical assistance to support Nigeriaâ€™s economic priorities ranging from infrastructure to agriculture to the rapidly growing digital sector. There is a particularly strong investment support element across many of them. CDC Group, the UKâ€™s development finance institution, has a portfolio in Nigeria approaching half a billion dollars, with around 100 investments in power, fertiliser manufacturing, telecommunications and private equity fund managers (supporting diverse market segments including small and medium enterprises). Those investments have supported 41,000 jobs in Nigeria. It established a permanent office in Lagos in November 2019 and is looking to partner with Nigerian businesses operating in various sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, health, education, financial services, construction and real estate that present significant opportunities to deliver development impact. As I mentioned earlier, Nigerian companies can also benefit from UK Export Finance (UKEF), which offers attractive finance terms for buyers of UK goods and services. We hold a six-monthly ministerial meeting with the federal government to discuss further co-operation. Itâ€™s called the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum and the next meeting â€“ due to take place in spring - will be an opportunity to build on the Africa Investment Summit. While many Nigerians speak of the deep friendship between the UK and Nigeria, there have been some questions about whether the UK is still a major economic and commercial partner for Nigeria, whether we could be doing more given our shared history. With the varied support provided through the UK government, and significant and growing trade and investment links, itâ€™s clear the UK remains a serious partner, and that our offer to Nigeria is compelling. The Summit, which takes place in just two weeksâ€™ time, will open a new, exciting chapter in a partnership that can deliver long-term, sustainable prosperity for Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
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Strengthening Pan-African Banking Status The United Bank for Africa Plc is positioning itself to continue to benefit from economies of scale, writes Obinna Chima
here has been a rapid expansion of panAfrican banks (PABs) in recent years. According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), overall, the PABs are now much more important in Africa than the long-established European and American banks. PABs have expanded mainly through subsidiaries, via the acquisition of existing banks. Only a few PABs have used greenfield investments to expand across countries. In fact, the IMF stressed that the growth of PABs offers a number of opportunities and benefits, stating that the expansion of the banks reflect the increase in economic integration within Africa more generally and was contributing to improve competition, support financial inclusion, and give rise to greater economies of scale. â€œPABs raise the importance of transparency and disclosure, good governance, strong prudential oversight, and a legal and regulatory framework that supports effective and comprehensive supervision and crisis management, particularly in the countries that are homes to major PABs. â€œAnecdotal evidence suggests that the expansion of these banks has improved competition and given rise to economies of scale especially in host countries with small local markets. The PABs are driving innovation, offer opportunities to enhance financial inclusion, and in some cases have contributed to lowering costs. African banks have also become lead arrangers for syndicated loans filling the recent gap left by European banks The expansion of PABs increased diversification effects for home countries and provided further growth opportunities,â€? the fund had stated in the report. Similarly, a report by Capital Markets in Africa, noted that a number of strategies are helping pan-African banks to expand. â€œPan-African banks have also benefited from a strategic combination of using brick and mortar expansion as well as modern banking and communication technology. First banks often need to time markets and enter when it is profitable to do so. â€œBrick and mortar banks require significant investments and branching. Hence in more populated areas where businesses and jobs are expanding, these banks are willing to sink the initial cost of entry to have a physical presence. In others where markets are thin, a combination of mobile banking and networks of agents are used to source customers from otherwise unattractive and underserved markets. â€œIncreasingly, Africa-originated banks are playing significant roles in filling the financing and technical needs, of various governments,
Alawuba including the financing of large infrastructure projects that are in most cases co-financed with multilateral banks,â€? it added. Clearly, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), a pan-African bank, has continued to take advantage of the opportunities with its wide network in the continent. Also, the recent appointment of the first nonNigerian as its African Executive, Mr. AbdoulAziz Dia, a Senegalese as Executive Director for Treasury and International Banking, epitomises its pan-African character. This is, however, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Dia becomes the first non-Nigerian Group Executive Director of the bank, bringing a wealth of multi-geographical experience to the Group. â€œDia will be responsible for UBAâ€™s global network of operations in New York, London and Paris, together with Group Treasury, where UBA offers a sophisticated suite of products to multinationals, international institutions and African clients,â€? a statement from the bank added. Indeed, Africa has provided ample opportunity for UBA to diversify its banking business and therefore ensure sustainable revenues regardless of economic cycle. Other Appointments Apart from Dia, the bank also appointed Mr. Oliver Alawuba as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UBA Africa. He is to oversee the bankâ€™s 20 African country operations, excluding Nigeria.
We are focused on adding value to the customers as we strive to give them an excellent experience at all times. We do this by having a vivid understanding of our customers and their speciďŹ c needs, and by effectively monitoring their satisfaction through the feedback mechanism, and more importantly, making valuable improvements from their feedback
Dia Alawuba succeeds Mr. Victor Osadolor who retires from the Group Board after nine years of service working at UBA. Alawuba has close to three decades of banking industry experience. He was once the CEO of UBA Ghana and rose to become Regional CEO, UBA Africa before returning to Nigeria to run UBAâ€™s East Bank. Under his leadership, UBAâ€™s Nigerian East Bank division became the fastest growing regional bank in the group. Similarly, Mr. Chukwuma Nweke, who is currently the Executive Director Operations, was confirmed by the Board as the Group Executive Director, Retail and Payments, demonstrating the groupâ€™s commitment to its retail offering. Nweke has close to three decades of banking experience spanning Banking Operations, Finance, Technology, Audit and Strategy. The Board also announced the appointment of Mr. Chiugo Ndubisi as Group Executive Director and the Group Chief Operating Officer, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Ndubisi is a professional with almost three decades of banking experience that includes the role of Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and Executive Director on the board of a financial institution. His in-depth understanding of banking and finance industry dynamics will bring a lot of value to the Group Board of UBA. Speaking on the appointments, the Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu, said: â€œThese appointments emphasise the groupâ€™s commitment to our pan-African and global network, our huge retail client base and our operational infrastructure. We are focused on improving our efficiency and further strengthening our pan-African mission, using the extraordinary pool of talent and experience available in the group.â€? Elumelu thanked the outgoing Deputy Managing Director/CEO, UBA Africa, Mr. Victor Osadolor, and the former Regional CEO for UBA in East and Southern Africa, Mr. Emeke Iweriebor, for their contributions to the bank. â€œVictor and Emeke were key players during the merger of Standard Trust Bank and UBA and have been valuable contributors to the growth of the bank. We wish them well,â€? he added. According to the statement, the board appointments underlined UBAâ€™s broader commitment to investing in the highest quality human capital. The bank recently reformed its grade structure and technology teams, having reduced its grade structure from 16 to 12 levels, at the end of 2019. The bank also welcomed 3,000 new staff members in 2019 and promoted over 5,000 employees. Under the Group Managing Director/CEO,
UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, the bank has expanded across the continent and beyond, meeting clientâ€™s global banking needs through its presence in London, New York, Paris as well. In 2019 alone, UBA launched operations in Mali and upgraded its operation in the United Kingdom. On March 1, 2019, UBA launched its full banking operations in the United Kingdom, an expansion move that further consolidated its positioning as the first and only Sub-Saharan African financial institution with banking operations in both the UK and the US. A techie himself, the GMD has ensured significant investment in the digitalisation of the bankâ€™s activities and processes, particularly the introduction of UBAâ€™s chatbot, LEO which is the first of its kind by any financial institutions in Africa. â€œOur commitment to customer service excellence is translating to strong, operational and financial efficiency,â€? Uzoka said, reiterating the bankâ€™s commitment to continue to put customers at the forefront of its activities. â€œWe are focused on adding value to the customers as we strive to give them an excellent experience at all times. We do this by having a vivid understanding of our customers and their specific needs, and by effectively monitoring their satisfaction through the feedback mechanism, and more importantly, making valuable improvements from their feedback. I am pleased to see we are increasingly becoming the bank of choice for individuals and businesses across Africa,â€? the GMD said. â€œUBA remains committed to its vision of becoming the undisputed leading and dominant financial services institution in Africa. We will continue to innovate and lead in all our business segments, whilst delivering top-notch operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service. We are beginning to realise early gains from our ongoing Transformation Program and I am indeed excited about the days ahead,â€? Uzoka added. The bankâ€™s chatbox, LEO, is available on different platforms including Whatsapp, Facebook and more recently on IOS, the mobile operating system of Apple Inc. UBA customers can use the services of Leo, to open an account, buy airtime, check account balance, make account transfers and pay bills. With business chat, customers can always reach a live person and are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business, the bank said at the launch earlier in September. Since its introduction in 2018, Leo has effectively been replicated in 18 African countries and the list keeps growing.
Telemedicine Ambassador, Global OďŹ€site Care, United State of American (USA), Dr Frances Kemelagha (left) and other members of Rotary Club of Jos. during the inauguration of the Telemedicine unit at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos...recently
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Photo Editor ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜Ă”Ă‹Ă–Ă‹ Email Ă‹ĂŒĂ“Ă™ĂŽĂ&#x;Ă˜Ë›Ă‹Ă”Ă‹Ă–Ă‹ĚśĂžĂ’Ă“Ă?ĂŽĂ‹ĂŁĂ–Ă“Ă Ă?Ë›Ă?Ă™Ă—
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde(Right) and Ooni of Ife Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, at the oďŹƒcial Launch of Western Nigeria Security Network (AMOTEKUN) in lbadan, Oyo State...recently PHOTO: FELIX ADEMOLA
L-R: Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Chairman QUITS Aviation , Mr Sam Iwuajolu; Former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala;President, Dangote Group of Companies,Alhaji Aliko Dangote; former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mr Femi Pedro and Former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola during the 80th birthday of Chairman of Eleganza Group of Companies, Alhaji Akanni Okoya in Lagos...recently PHOTO: ALABA IGBAROOLA
L-R; Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Director General, National council for Disease Control(NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a Laboratory attendant, during the ministerâ€™s visit to NCDC National Reference Laboratory at Gaduwa, in Abuja,..recently
L-R: Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Governor of Osun State, Mr Gboyega Oyetola and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dame Georgina Ehuriah, during the Ministerâ€™s courtesy visit to the Governor in Osogbo...recently
L-R: National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Monguno and INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu at an expanded meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja... recently PHOTO: JULIUS ATOI
Chairman, Edo State Chapter, National Union of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Sunny Egbon (left) and Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, during the presentaion of the Best ArtisanFriendly Governor of the Year Award to the governor by the union in Benin...recently
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L-R; Governor, Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; AlaaďŹ n of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Chief of StaďŹ€ to the Governor, Cheif Bisi Ilaka, during the visit of the Governor to Kabiyesi in Oyo Township...recently
Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu (right) congratulating the newly promoted Commissioner of Police, Celestine Nwachukwu after his decoration in Abuja...recently
L-R ,Katsina State Governor, Aminu Maseri ; former Governor of Ogun state , Senator Ibokunle Amosuna ; PDP Presidential Aspirant, Abubakar Atiku ; Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Chief of StaďŹ€ to the President, Abba Kyari, and other guests during the wedding fatiha of Ribaduâ€™s son, Abubakar Sadiq Ribadu in Abuja ...recently PHOTO: GODWIN OMOIGUI
L -R: Comrade Hassan Somunu; ASUU Vice President, Victor Osodeke; ASUU President Biodun Ogunyemi; President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of StaďŹ€, Mallam Abba Kyari during the visit of the Leadership of Academic StaďŹ€ Union of Universities (ASUU) to the Presidential Villa, Abuja...recently PHOTO: GODWIN OMOIGUI
L-R: Group Managing Director, African Industries Group (AIG), Mr. Alok Gupta; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; and CEO of AIG, Mr. Partha Ghosh, when the minister inspected the steel plant being built by AIG in Jere, Kagarko Local Government of Kaduna State...recently
L-R: Senior Legal Counsel, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kimberly Clark, Tayo Fagbamigbe; Former President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. (Mrs) Nike Akande; Government Relations Manager, West, East & Central Africa, Kimberly-Clark, Olayinka Zainab Obagun; President, LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje; Principal Consultant, America to Africa, Jeannine Scott and Associate Consultant, America to Africa, Mrs. Hope Egwu during a courtesy visit by Kimberly Clark (Makers of Huggies) to LCCI in Lagos...recently
T H I S D AY ˾TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020
PROPERTY & ENVIRONMENT ICPC Gets Forfeiture Order for 25 Properties Belonging to Yar’Adua Foundation, Others Bennett Oghifo
he Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said
it got final forfeiture order against 25 properties in Abuja belonging to Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation and 24 other registered entities. Spokesperson for ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa said in a
statement recently that “Federal Capital Territory High (FCT) Court (No.3) Maitama, presided over by Hon Justice Baba H. Yusuf, ruled on an exparte application filed by ICPC granting it the final
forfeiture order against the properties. “The order obtained by the Commission against the properties is for their owners’ alleged failure to pay their taxes as at when due, for which the Federal
Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had to prepare a schedule of tax obligations against them.” These companies, the statement said “were among 29 entities that had been earlier approached with a net N8.6 billion tax liability, but they denied ownership of the properties. For this reason, a complaint was submitted to the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which was forwarded to the Commission for further action. “Consequently, ICPC filed an ex-parte application in the FCT High Court under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006, seeking an Interim Forfeiture Order against the properties of the tax defaulters, which was granted.” The statement said “In compliance with the order of the court, the Commis-
sion published notices in national newspapers calling for persons having interest in all or any of the forfeited properties to appear and “show cause” why the said properties should not be finally forfeited to the federal government. “That being so, three companies -- Frankdiowo Nigeria Limited, Kati Nigeria Limited and R.Timmermann & Co Nigeria Limited – appeared in court to explain why their properties should not be finally forfeited by urging the court to discharge them. “However, amongst them, only Frankdiowo Nigeria Limited showed “good cause” and was discharged, while the other two will return to court for the hearing of their affidavits. “Many of the forfeited properties are located in central highbrow areas of Abuja such as Utako, Wuse, Garki II, etc.”
Julius Berger, Others Rated Highly in Assets, Performance, Revenue, Profits Julius Berger Nigeria Plc has been ranked in the upper Top 100 Nigerian companies in terms of assets, revenue and profits in fiscal year 2018. Julius Berger, MTN, Dangote Group and Zenith Bank, were announced as “Nigeria’s Top 100 Companies”; an exclusive club of the country’s corporate elite. The company’s officials said in a statement that “a survey by influential Business weekly magazine, NEXTMONEY in its December 2019 edition, Julius Berger ranked among the first 21 of the top 100 companies in terms of Assets of over N288.43billion. In terms of revenue and
profits for the period, the publication rated the company number 16 with N194.62billion and N6.1billion to show. According to NEXTMONEY, the Top 100 Companies “is a galaxy of Nigeria’s blue chip companies with humongous assets, hefty revenues and princely profits. It is a showcase of publiclyheld companies in the country that have posted impressive results after weathering the country’s excruciating economic weather.” The statement said it is an album of companies that represent a goldmine in the business world where investors can put their money and reap bountiful
London Housing Market Still Being Impacted by Brexit in 2020 Based on new research by international property consultant Knight Frank, the headline rate of the UK’s house price growth continued to slow through 2019, leaving annual house price growth for the UK 0.7% at the end of October 2019, down from 3% at the same point last year and down from more than 6% as recently as 2016. This statistics from the World Property Journal said, “Uncertainty regarding the outcome of Brexit weighed on buyer sentiment through the year, particularly in London and across the South, where prices are expected to end the year either flat or falling.” The clarity afforded by a Conservative majority in the General Election should remove some of that uncertainty - as well as the threat of an economic recession - increasing the likelihood that the UK will leave the European Union on January 31, 2020. In the short-term, this will pave the way for the release of
some of the pent-up demand that has built in recent years, though the extent to which this translates into transactions will depend on the size of the pricing expectation gap between buyers and sellers. The risk of a no-deal has not completely disappeared, however, and December 2020 marks the end of the transition period, potentially raising the spectre of a no-deal in the second half of 2020. Elsewhere, interest rates are also likely to begin a gradual process of normalisation in 2020, which could mark the end of a period of ultra-low mortgage rates and squeeze affordability for some purchasers. Even so, Knight Frank expects rates to be low compared to long-term norms by the end of the forecast period, with economists expecting interest rates of below 2% by 2023. Overall, they are forecasting price growth of 2% across the UK in 2020 and of 15% cumulatively between 2020 and 2024.
harvest in terms of return on investment, even as it stressed that, “this report covers the 2018 accounting year.” On how the top companies were decided, NEXTMONEY said, “We extracted the relevant data from the audited accounts of the companies listed on the NSE and sorted them from the largest to the smallest and cut off at the 100th.” Thus, it said from any angle they are viewed, assets revenue and profits, companies falling into the upper 100 group in Nigeria “are high performers to be coveted and sought after by serious and discerning investors.”
Managing Director Julius Berger Plc., Dr. Lars Ricter
Lagos to Introduce Standard Operating Procedure As part of the efforts to reduce the incident of building collapse and address some of the challenges in the built industry in the Lagos State, the government has disclosed that the State Executive Council was considering for approval, the introduction of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, especially, Ministry of Works & Infrastructure. The proposed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) when operative, would spell out dos and don’ts for all construction projects in the state which must comply with applicable Laws, Executive Orders, Circulars and Ministerial Mandates as well as outline responsibilities for the execution of projects as defined. Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye who disclosed this today at the 28th Lagos Builders Conference held on Lateef Jaknade Road, Agidingbi Ikeja, Lagos, noted that it was regrettable that built industry
in the recent time has been opened to public condemnation because of the incessant building collapse and other problems occasioned by the use of substandard materials, existence of quacks in the industry and in particular failure of the practitioners to imbibe appropriate procurement methods. Engr. Adeyoye expressed regret that building collapse was often accompanied by loss of lives and properties, and urged the builders to use the advantage of the conference to chart a course for a more professional way of building that would be safe and comply with the international best standard practice. The Special Adviser noted that the theme of the conference “Appropriate Procurement Methods; Ensuring Effective Building Production’’ was apt and timely. The Public Procurement Act (PPA) according to her was designed to entrench quality, efficiency and safety, in line with global best practices. ‘’It is a catalyst for success, a recipe for growth and the bedrock of sanity in every area of public
procurement especially as it affects the construction sector” She enthused Adeyoye added that usage of the appropriate procurement methods in building production helps the client (Government, Corporate or Private Developers) to ensure and promote sustainable developments by utilizing available resources in the most efficient, transparent and ethical manner. The PPA, she noted, helps in minimizing cost through effective competition, protection of public funds; timely delivery of quality projects at the right price, and provide high level of satisfaction for all its users. While recognizing the impact of the professional builders in ensuring safety and standard in the built environment in the State; and as reflected in the construction of numerous projects dotting the State’s landscape, the Special Adviser appealed to them to use the platform of their conference, to support and partner the Lagos State Government in her efforts at ensuring a built environment
where accountability, transparency, professionalism and quality of the procurement process are the watchword. As stakeholders who understand the inherent dangers in cutting corners, Engr. Adeyoye urged them to continue to collaborate and cooperate with Lagos State government as she strives on daily basis to nip the incident of building collapse in the bud. “build appropriately with building methods, weed out quacks and report illegal developments. This is the way forward, it will help us to protect our individual and collective integrity” She advised. Speaking at the event, the President of Nigerian Institute of Building, Bldr. Kunle Awobodu noted that frequent incidents of building collapse in the country called for great concerns and called on the authorities in the Ministries of the Environment, Housing and Works both at the Federal and State level to go back to the drawing board and come up with appropriate guidelines and regulations that would strengthen the ethics of building profession.
T H I S D AY ˾TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020
PROPERTY & ENVIRONMENT
Lagos Set to Construct 19.39Km Ijegun, Ijagemo, Ijedodo Roads Fadekemi Ajakaiye
n furtherance of the priority given to road rehabilitation and construction in Lagos state, the people of the flood prone areas of Ijegun, Ijagemo and Ijedodo will soon put harrowing experience behind them as the State Government prepares to construct the 19.39 kilometer network of roads in the Ojo Lacal Government area. The special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye said road construction is a focal point of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration as it is central to the delivery on all the pillars of the THEMES agenda. She made this known while leading a team comprising the Member of the House of Assembly representing Ojo Constituency
1, Hon. Olusegun Akande, the Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr Olujimi Hotonou and his counterpart in the Office Drainage Services, Engr Lekan Shodeinde and a retinue of Engineers on a tour to validate the design of the road. Aramide observed that, the area was perpetually under water when it rains, partly because of the topography of the area but largely because the channels of the various water bodies have been heavily compromised by illegal structures. She noted that having harmonized the design with the consultant and all the outfalls of water run-off established, flooding will be a thing of the past when the roads are completed. The Special Adviser reckoned that the road project has been provided for in the 2020 budget and it will be
executed in phases as it cut across many water bodies. This implies that, given the topography some sections of the road will built on pile(deck on pile) and there will be many bridges to be built in the course of the construction. The road according to Adeyoye will bring a lot of relief to the area. For instance the Ijagemo road leads to Ojo Barracks while Ijedodo links Abule-Ado on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The roads will change the socio-economic fortunes of the entire axis and raise value of properties in the area. Speaking to the leadership of the residents and community associations, Honourable Olusegun Akande implored the people to show their commitment for the commencement of the project by cooperating fully with government towards ridding the right of way of all encumbrances.
L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr Olujimi Hotonou; Member of the House of Assembly representing Ojo Constituency 1, Hon. Olusegun Akande and Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, during inspection of Ijagemo road… recently
Sustainable Management of Biodiversity will Boost Enterprises, Says Ikeazor Fadekemi Ajakaiye Minister (State), Federal Ministry of Environment, Chief Sharon
Ikeazor stated that sustainable management and use of biological diversity will boost enterprises.
She stated this at the just concluded Nigerian Businesses for Nature Forum, which is a collaboration between Nigerian
Unique Space for Water, Wastewater Utilities to Embrace Digital Solutions The International Water Association is organizing the first IWA Digital Water Summit. Targeting all stakeholders involved in the water sector digitalization, it is designed to bring together Water technology providers and water utilities with a focus on business and industry. Designed to be the reference in digitalisation for the global water sector, it will take place in Bilbao, Spain, 27-30 April 2020. Enrique Cabrera, IWA Vice President and Professor at Valencia University expresses that “the idea behind the Digital Water Summit is to bring those people together in a way that experiences can be shared, solutions can be explained, and do what we do best at IWA, which
is sharing content and creating networking opportunities for those attending.” IWA has an opportunity to leverage our worldwide member expertise, to guide a new generation of water and wastewater utilities during their uptake of digital technologies and integration into water services. This Summit is part of a wider initiative to provide a platform that helps utilities recognize emerging digital technologies and solutions, how they can be integrated across the utility value chain, help them learn from it, and help them adapt and embrace change to create value. The engagement and commitment of incumbents, start-ups
and entrants from other sectors is part of the success of digital water technology adoption. Water professionals often lack information technology skill sets and the perspective to appreciate what is possible, while technology entrepreneurs may not understand the nuances of complex water systems affected by multiple factors. Engaging beyond the water sector to maximise the potential of digital tools is crucial, as emphasized by Dragan Savic, CEO of KWR, who is leading the Digital Water Summit programme committee: “Collaboration between sectors will mean the more effective application of new technologies for better management within and beyond our cities”.
Continued Social Unrest Pushes Hong Kong’s Office Vacancies to Highest Levels in Years According to JLL’s Property Market Monitor for December 2019, as Hong Kong’s office market continues to reel from the impacts of the local social movement and economic uncertainties, leasing across all business districts in Hong Kong have been subdued. Notably, vacancy continued to rise in all of the core submarkets for office space in Central, Wanchai/Causeway Bay and Tsimshatsui. The overall leasing market recorded a net withdrawal of 91,900 sq. ft, causing the vacancy rate to rise to 5.9% overall across Hong Kong. The trend of rental decline continued in November as the average monthly office rent dropped to HKD 73.9 per sq. ft, a 0.6% decline mo-m. In Central, net take-up has remained negative every
month since October 2018, with vacancy now reaching its highest point of 3.5% in more than four years. For 2019, in spite of softened demand for office space, JLL estimates an overall net absorption of more than 1 million sq. ft in Hong Kong. Alex Barnes, Head of Markets at JLL in Hong Kong commented, “Leasing activity was largely dominated by tenants seeking more cost effective options within the submarket. Amid the on-going trend of tenants seeking more cost-effective options within Central, decentralised markets such as Hong Kong East and Kowloon East tightened slightly.” One of the major transactions is Huarong (Macau) reportedly leased 20,300 sq. ft at One Pacific Place, while
Guosen Securities leased 13,500 sq. ft in the same building. Both companies are relocating out of Grade-A1 offices in Central. Nelson Wong, Head of Research at JLL in Greater China and Hong Kong also reported, “As internal and external factors continued to weigh in on investor sentiment, the office sales market mostly remained quiet. The few transactions that have taken place more recently have been at a discount. However, most potential buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach, as Hong Kong’s property market has been remarkably resilient even under pressure. Market sentiment in Hong Kong’s office market will most likely pool its focus on properties with value-add potential next year.”
Conservation Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Environment. This first of its kind event was supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and BirdLife International. Ikeazor stated that biodiversity will ensure availability of raw materials for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises to flourish. Despite their buff, the foreign exchange earning capacity for biological diversity, especially when linked with tourism needs no further emphasises for this informed gathering, she said. She stated “Our renewed desire is to catch up with lost opportunities in ensuring sustainable socio-economic development for the citizenry
of Nigeria.” We must take advantage and optimally utilise our God-given resources, without compromising both our existence and the ability of our next generation to meet their own needs, she said. Ikeazor stated that the theme for the forum, New Deal for Nature and People presupposes that we need to adopt new measures, processes and interactions to improve our current interface as a people with nature and apply our desires to re-engineer how we individually and collectively relate with nature. She stated that there is need to find means of improving what we are currently doing to produce a result that engenders a win-win for the country.
She urged the forum to come up with insightful and realistic recommendations for businesses that could fill into Nigeria’s preparation for the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity, and also, to agree on a post 2020 Global framework for biological diversity. I thus want to charge you to come up with practical solutions that will engender a new deal for Nigeria and its people, she said. This event and forum is important to the President, Mohammadu Buhari, and us, as it provides opportunities for linkages with the job creation pillar of the next level agenda of the current government, she said
Architecture and the Visual World Charles Maduka The early men were patrons to diverse dwelling places, primarily for protection and survival. Prehistoric men applied their native intelligence and realized that they could be better protected from wild animals and inclement weather conditions by living in more protected natural habitations like caves. Furthermore, by intuition, they came to the knowledge that their foodstuffs and hunting implements were more secure in the caves. That realisation made them live a better life and safely co-existed among other living creatures in the ecosystem. Man, however, focused on his choices in his decision making but with the advancement in science and technology, he thought a building should be more than a mere shelter. Besides, before the advent of the computer and information technology, architectural drawings were made manually by using the drawing boards and T- squares along with adjustable set squares, paper and pencils/ ink pens. Several iconic buildings were created using this approach. Then, came
the era of the computer and the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. The CAD approach to designs and development was embraced immediately because of its convenience and ease. It had since then been the medium for making architectural drawings, building services and structural drawings among others. Models of buildings were made manually before the advent of information technology by using cardboards to give a three-dimensional representation of building proposals. Perspective drawings were also done manually to explain the concept to the building owner. Many landmark buildings were created by using those methods which are now outdated. Though the application of computer for designs aids the user in the concepts generation and the designs of the building, AutoCAD is actually the Computer-Aided Design. AutoCAD software and computer applications do not have the capacity to generate design ideas for the architect. The computer - pictorial views of a building are also products of the bits of information and directives fed into the computer by its user. It is also possible for
one to virtually walkthrough ones building interior to see and appreciate its functionality. Virtual reality is another method of assessing the functional values of a building. Virtual Reality ( V R) is created in such a way that the user is placed in an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and are able to interact with 3D worlds. The Oculus V R headset is an example of those devices capable of 3D immersive virtual worlds. According to WhatIs.com, virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. In architecture, Virtual reality devices enable the client to experience a proposed building as if it were already built. However, they are not capable of the intuitive aspect of the concepts and ideas development which only human can undertake According to Ma Yansong, Architecture is about the experience: Not only visual but also what you can touch, what you can feel. -Maduka, an Architect writes from Lagos
T H I S D AY ËžÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
Stakeholders Call for Establishment of National Cybersecurity Centre Emma Okonji Information Technology (IT) stakeholders have stressed the need for the federal government to establish a National Cybersecurity Centre for Nigeria to protect the country against cyberattacks. The stakeholders who gathered in Lagos, recently, at the instance the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), also called on the federal government to establish a specialised cybersecurity agency, whose functions would be different from that of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). In order to checkmate cybercrime, the stakeholders said the proposed National Cybersecurity Centre would be managed by a separate specialised cybersecurity agency that would be responsible for monitoring all online activities on the Nigerian cyberspace. The stakeholders were worried that cybercrime s on the increase and that no body or organisation, including government agencies
was safe from attacks, since the attackers who hack into organisationsâ€™ website and data, are becoming sophisticated by the day in breaking strong and multilayered security codes. In one of the panel sessions at the forum, a Cybersecurity Consultant and Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr. Morufu Olalere, said: â€œAs of today, no agency of government is responsible for the control of our cyberspace, despite having a National Cybersecurity Law, hence it has become an all-comer affairs where everyone with internet connected device can freely enter the countryâ€™s cyberspace without any form of restriction and monitoring. This therefore called for serious concern and the federal government must rise up to its responsibility in addressing the situation.â€? Cybersecurity expert, Mr. Abdulhakeem Ajijola, in his presentation on the dangers of cybersecurity, advised the NCS to collaborate with the academia in designing a curriculum that will make cybersecurity, a compulsory course in all tertiary institutions in
the country, Ajijola also stressed the need for NCS to develop cybersecurity solutions for law enforcement agencies and to create basic cybersecurity awareness programme for all Nigerians. Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who was represented by Kayode Emmanuel, said the Nigerian Police needs technology solution to address cybercrime that is perpetrated at the speed of light. He however commended the police for their gallant efforts in combating cybercrime, while calling for support from technology bodies. President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya said the country, especially the financial sector spent so much money last year in addressing cybersecurity challenges in all financial transactions, adding that Founder, CV Basket, Buwa Memeh (left), with the event Guest Speaker/ Head, Human Capital, Letsegho Microuniversities should have school fiance Bank, Emmanuel Michael, at the CV Basketâ€™s January 2020 edition of itâ€™s â€˜Career Talk Programme,â€™ held in of computing that would allow Lagosâ€Śrecently Computer Science Departments to stand alone as a full fledge faculty, where computer science courses would be thought in such a way that it would produce graduates that would address the countryâ€™ MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS (MILLION NAIRA) cybersecurity challenges.
MARKET INDICATORS SEPTEMBER 2019
Nigerians Urged to AdoptTimely Financial Planning Ebere Nwoji Nigerians have been advised to start making wise financial decision early enough this year, in order to achieve their set goals. The Chief Operating Officer, AXA Mansard Investments LTD, Alex Edafe, who gave the advice while addressing the media on the need for good financial planning among Nigerians, said financial planning was the beginning of the journey towards financial independence. He emphasised the importance of taking decisive steps early enough to foster the achievement of 2020 financial goals. Edafe, stated that yearly, people all over the country aspire for financial independence by starting out with new year resolutions and set goals, but regretted that many often do not realise the goals due to various reasons including low financial literacy, lack of determination, unclear goals and late implementation
of financial plans. He, however, noted that in spite of the challenges, anyone could commence his financial planning any time, arguing that it was better late than never. Edafe, further pointed out that financial goals differ for everyone and could be short-term (0 â€“ 1 year) such as investing towards the next house rent, school fees, travels, wedding, automobile among others. He also said it could be medium-term (1 â€“ 5 years), adding that such goals would not be limited to investing towards buying a property (land/house/shop), advance/ continuing education, starting a business/equity ownership in business(es), future school fees among others. He said long-term (beyond 5 years) goals include philanthropy, retirement savings, financial independence among others. He pointed out key strategies that could be applied for financial success in the new year includes
paying attention to oneâ€™s health, building an emergency fund whilst improving financial literacy, taking insurance on risks you are unwilling to take, getting an extra source of income, automating oneâ€™s savings and investments, getting out of debt, creating and living within budget, proper record-keeping of savings and investments. Edafe, noted that, â€œfinancial independence can be achieved by focus and intentionality. â€œAs we go into the year, one of the ways to achieve financial independence is to invest in the AXA Mansard Money Market Mutual Fund which provides unit holders with capital preservation and competitive returnâ€?. According to him, the fund is liquid, hence a unit holder can liquidate within 24hours, affordable when you consider the minimum investment amount of N1,000, accessible through various online and offline channels and professionally managed by AXA Mansard.
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HollandiaYoghurt Unveils New Partnership Hollandia Yoghurt, one of Nigeriaâ€™s leading drinking yoghurt beverage brands, has announced a partnership agreement with Miss Yemi Alade, an artiste, as part of a new campaign to celebrate the brandâ€™s 15 years of nourishing Nigerians and reinforcing its market leadership. A statement explained that the partnership aims to celebrate the values of consistency, hard work and talent which the brand and the artiste have in common. Hollandia Yoghurt is one of the leaders in the yoghurt category, a position it attained through innovation and continuous passion for excellence. Similarly, Alade has continuously innovated herself and has risen to the top of her music career with various awardwinning hits. â€œSince it was introduced into the Nigerian market over 15 years ago, Hollandia Yoghurt has transformed the Yoghurt
market landscape with its high quality products, packed under very hygienic conditions. â€œTo address varying consumer needs Hollandia Yoghurt has remained consistent in providing healthy, tasty, and nourishing yoghurt drink that contain proteins, minerals and vitamins that unlocks the energy in its consumers. â€œEvery day, Nigerians enjoy Hollandia Yoghurt because its nourishing goodness give them energy, serve as meal-replacement and keep them positively recharged to be at their best. â€œWhether on-the-go, at work, in school or at play, Nigerians trust the brand to nourish their body and keep them active,â€? the statement added. Therefore, it pointed out that no wonder that the brand had, â€œachieved the feat of becoming the most preferred and generic name for drinking yoghurt amongst consumers.â€? Speaking on the partnership,
Alade said, â€œI am really excited about this partnership with Hollandia Yoghurt because the brand stands out differently from all other drinking yoghurt products. Like me, Hollandia Yoghurt displays an insatiable quest for increased creativity and innovation. I love the delicious taste and revitalising energy of Hollandia Yoghurt.â€? Also, the Marketing Director of CHI Limited, Mrs. Toyin Nnodi, said: â€œIn our quest to find a brand ambassador for the Hollandia Yoghurt brand, we have taken a strategic decision to appoint Miss Yemi Alade as our brand partner. On his part, the Managing Director of CHI Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, said â€œHollandia Yoghurt has provided satisfying nourishment for Nigerians for the last 15 years and would continue to demonstrate leadership in the drinking yoghurt category in the years ahead.â€?
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OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE ËœÍŻÍŽÍ°ÍŽÍ°ÍŽ
The price of OPEC basket of fourteen crudes stood at $67.04 a barrel on Friday, compared with $67.26 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 ËžÍŻÍ˛Ëœ 2020
Marketâ€™s Year-to-Date Gain Hits 10.4% on Continuing Bullish Trading Goddy Egene The year-to-date (YTD) gain by the Nigerian equities market hit 10.4 per cent yesterday as the bullish performance extended further on a day the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema unveiled plans of the Exchange for 2020. The NSE All-Share Index(ASI), which gained 9.1 per cent last week, rose further by 0.74 per cent to close at 29,633.58 yesterday
as investors sustained demand for stocks. Market capitalisation added N112.6 billion to close at N15.3 trillion. Also volume and value of trading rose significantly by 24.0 per cent and 77.5 per cent to 348.2 million units and N8.5 billion respectively. The most active stocks by volume were Access Bank Plc (63.7 million shares), United Bank for Africa Plc (40.6 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc(39.5 million shares) while Seplat Petroleum Plc N2.6 billion); MTN Nigeria
P R I C E S MAIN BOARD
F O R DEALS
Plc(N1.5 billion) and Zenith Bank Plc (N861.1 million) led by value. In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Insurance Index gained most with 0.3 per cent rise. The NSE Oil & Gas Index followed with 0.1 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index recorded the highest decline of 3.2 per cent trailed by the NSE Banking Index that shed 0.4 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index went down by 0.4 per cent.
S E C U R I T I E S
VALUE TRADED ( N )
Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc led the price gainers, chalking up 10 per cent to close at N127.60 per share. Market operators said the price gain may be due to investorsâ€™ positive reactions to last Fridayâ€™s news that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had transferred the resolution of allegation of tax indebtedness against MTN to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Custom Service.
T R A D E D MAIN BOARD
The AGF had in September 2018, accused MTN Nigeria of two separate revenue indebtedness to the tune of N242,244,452,215.97 and $1,283,610,357.86, an allegation the firm vehemently refuted and subsequently went to court to challenge. But the minister had handed off the matter after holding on to it for 17 months. Expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said: â€œWe are very pleased with the decision of the AGF and we commend
him for his wisdom. We maintain our dedication to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria and remain fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.â€? Market operators said this a good development that would impact positively on the performance of the MTNN hence investors have increased their demand for the stock.
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˾ TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2020
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 Thisday Afrinvest 40 Index Gained 2.3%
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 INDEX
Yesterday, the Thisday Afrinvest 40 Index advanced ϮϯϯďƉƐ ƚŽ ƐĞƩůĞ Ăƚ Ϯ͕ϯϴϬ͘Ϯϭ ƉŽŝŶƚƐ͕ ŽŶ ƚŚĞ ďĂĐŬ ŽĨƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶŝŶMTNN ;нϭϬ͘ϬйͿ͕UBA ;нϯ͘ϲйͿĂŶĚFLOUR-
Fundamental Performance Metrics for THISDAY AFRINVEST 40 Index
MILL ;нϭ͘ϯйͿ͘ dŚĞƐĞ ƐƚŽĐŬƐ ĐƵŵƵůĂƟǀĞůǇ ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚ ĨŽƌ ϯϰ͘ϲйŽĨƚŚĞŝŶĚĞǆ͘
THISDAY AFRINVEST 40
Price Previous Current Change Price Weightin YTD Change g
1 MTN Nigeria Communications PLC
2 Airtel Africa PLC
Price Change Index to Date
62.2% 138.0% 30.3%
Divindend Earnings Yield Yield
3 Guaranty Trust Bank PLC
dŚĞ ǁĞĞŬ ƐƚĂƌƚĞĚ ŽŶ Ă ďƵůůŝƐŚ ŶŽƚĞ ĂƐ ƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ
4 Zenith Bank PLC
in MTNN ;нϭϬ͘ϬйͿ͕ UBA ;нϯ͘ϲйͿ ĂŶĚ UACN ;нϳ͘ϴйͿ
6 Dangote Cement PLC
dŚĞƵůůŝƐŚ^ƚƌĞĂŬŽŶƟŶƵĞƐ͙ASI Leaps 74bps
5 Nestle Nigeria PLC
ďƵŽǇĞĚ ƚŚĞ ďƌŽĂĚ ŝŶĚĞǆ ƚŽ Ϯϵ͕ϲϯϯ͘ϱϴ ƉŽŝŶƚƐ͕ ƵƉ Ϭ͘ϳй͘ ŽŶƐĞƋƵĞŶƚůǇ͕zdƌĞƚƵƌŶũƵŵƉĞĚƚŽϭϬ͘ϰйǁŚŝůĞŵĂƌŬĞƚ ĐĂƉŝƚĂůŝƐĂƟŽŶ ŝŶĐƌĞĂƐĞĚ േϭϭϮ͘ϲďŶ ƚŽ േϭϱ͘ϯƚŶ͘ ĐƟǀŝƚǇ
8 United Bank for Africa PLC
7 Access Bank PLC
9 FBN Holdings Plc
10 Nigerian Brew eries PLC
11 Lafarge Africa PLC
ůĞǀĞů ĂĚǀĂŶĐĞĚ ĂƐ ǀŽůƵŵĞ ĂŶĚ ǀĂůƵĞ ƚƌĂĚĞĚ ƌŽƐĞ Ϯϰ͘Ϭй
12 SEPLAT Petroleum Development C 13 Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC
14 Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC
ŵŽƐƚĂĐƟǀĞƐƚŽĐŬƐďǇǀŽůƵŵĞǁĞƌĞACCESS ;ϲϯ͘ϳŵƵŶŝƚƐͿ͕ UBA ;ϰϬ͘ϲŵ ƵŶŝƚƐͿ ĂŶĚ ZENITH ;ϯϵ͘ϱŵ ƵŶŝƚƐͿ ǁŚŝůĞ
15 International Brew eries PLC
16 Ecobank Transnational Inc
19 Okomu Oil Palm PLC
20 Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC
21 Transnational Corp of Nigeria
;нϱ͘ϲйͿ ŐĂŝŶŝŶŐ ƚŚĞ ŵŽƐƚ͕ ĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ƉƌŝĐĞ ĂƉƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶ ŝŶ MTNN ;нϭϬ͘ϬйͿ͘dŚĞ/ŶƐƵƌĂŶĐĞĂŶĚKŝůΘ'ĂƐŝŶĚŝĐĞƐĂůƐŽ ŝŶĐŚĞĚ ŚŝŐŚĞƌ ďǇ Ϭ͘ϯй ĂŶĚ Ϭ͘ϭй ĚƵĞ ƚŽ ŐĂŝŶƐ ŝŶ MAN;нϮ͘ϰйͿ͕
23 Guinness Nigeria PLC
25 Sterling Bank PLC
22 Unilever Nigeria PLC
24 FCMB Group Plc
Mixed Sector Performance
17 Fidelity Bank PLC 18 11 PLC
SEPLAT ;േϮ͘ϲďŶͿ͕MTNN ;േϭ͘ϱďŶͿĂŶĚZENITH ;േϴϲϭ͘ϭŵͿ
;нϮ͘ϲйͿ͘ DĞĂŶǁŚŝůĞ͕ƚŚĞ/ŶĚƵƐƚƌŝĂů'ŽŽĚƐŝŶĚĞǆůŽƐƚϯ͘Ϯй ĂƐ ƐĞůů-ŽīƐ ŝŶ WAPCO (-Ϯ͘ϲйͿ ĚƌĂŐŐĞĚ ƚŚĞ ŝŶĚĞǆ ĚŽǁŶ͘ ůƐŽ͕ ƚŚĞ ĂŶŬŝŶŐ ĂŶĚ ŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ 'ŽŽĚƐ ŝŶĚŝĐĞƐ ƉĂƌĞĚ Ϭ͘ϳйĂŶĚϬ͘ϰйƌĞƐƉĞĐƟǀĞůǇĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐƉƌŝĐĞĚĞƉƌĞĐŝĂƟŽŶŝŶ
26 UAC of Nigeria PLC 27 PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC 28 Custodian and Allied Insurance 29 Presco PLC 30 Union Bank of Nigeria PLC 31 Total Nigeria PLC
32 Oando PLC 33 NASCON Allied Industries PLC
34 Julius Berger Nigeria PLC
35 Wema Bank PLC
36 Forte Oil PLC
37 Cement Co Northern Nigeria PLC
38 Continental Reinsurance PLC
39 Beta Glass PLC 40 Transcorp Hotels Plc
&E,;-ϱ͘ϮйͿ͕GUARANTY (-ϭ͘ϰйͿ͕UNILEVER (-ϱ͘ϯйͿĂŶĚ
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Afrinvest West Africa Limited
T ic k er
Ayodeji Ebo | email@example.com
Ola Belgore | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abiodun Keripe | AKeripe@afrinvest.com
Adedoyin Allen | email@example.com
Oluwarotimi Ashimi | firstname.lastname@example.org
Adedayo Bakare | email@example.com
TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
NSE Restates Commitment to Protect Investors, Recovers N1.44bn Shares Goddy Egene
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) facilitated the restitutions and recoveries of shares worth N1.436 billion in 2019, the Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema disclosed this yesterday, saying it showed the commitment of the
exchange to protect investors in the stock market. According to Onyema, the restitution of the shares is one of the milestones recorded by the exchange in 2019, stressing that the exchange would continue to protect investors’ interests. Reviewing the performance of
A Mutual fund (Unit Trust) is an investment vehicle managed by a SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) registered Fund Manager. Investors with similar objectives buy units of the Fund so that the Fund Manager can buy securities that willl generate their desired return. An ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a type of fund which owns the assets (shares of stock, bonds, oil futures, gold bars, foreign currency, etc.) and divides ownership of those assets into shares. Investors can buy these ‘shares’ on the
the stock market in 2019 and giving outlook for 2020, the NSE boss said the exchange also worked with securities lending agents to develop a securities lending pool currently worth about N1.07 billion. “The NSE launched: X-Mobile App to boost investors’ participation; investor relations data pack to
floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) is an investment vehicle that allows both small and large investors to part-own real estate ventures (eg. Offices, Houses, Hospitals) in proportion to their investments. The assets are divided into shares that are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. GUIDE TO DATA: Date: All fund prices are quoted in Naira as at 10Jan-2020, unless otherwise stated.
enhance issuers’ stakeholder engagement and mutual fund trading and distribution platform to enhance the retail customer experience,” he added. On market development, he said the exchange hosted interactive session in collaboration with Coronation Merchant Bank to spur
growth in the insurance sector. “The NSE also hosted an interactive session with stakeholders in the Consumer Goods Sector to discuss the role of the capital market in unlocking value in its sector. We also held the inaugural edition of the Islamic Finance in Nigeria (IFN) forum in partnership with REDmoney
Group to harness the Islamic Finance Sector for infrastructure development and economic growth. We equally organised fixed income trading workshop and retail investor coverage workshop to enhance the capacity of dealing members and increase investors participation from various investment classes,” he added.
Offer price: The price at which units of a trust or ETF are bought by investors. Bid Price: The price at which Investors redeem (sell) units of a trust or ETF. Yield/Total Return: Denotes the total return an investor would have earned on his investment. Money Market Funds report Yield while others report Year- to-date Total Return. NAV: Is value per share of the real estate assets held by a REIT on a specific date.
DAILY PRICE LIST FOR MUTUAL FUNDS, REITS and ETFS MUTUAL FUNDS / UNIT TRUSTS AFRINVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.afrinvest.com; Tel: +234 818 885 6757 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Afrinvest Equity Fund N/A N/A N/A Afrinvest Plutus Fund N/A N/A N/A Nigeria International Debt Fund N/A N/A N/A ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD email@example.com Web: www.acapng.com, Tel: +234 1 291 2406, +234 1 291 2868 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ACAP Canary Growth Fund 0.91 0.92 8.52% ACAP Income Funds 0.76 0.76 33.70% AIICO CAPITAL LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aiicocapital.com, Tel: +234-1-2792974 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AIICO Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 9.85% AIICO Balanced Fund 2.48 2.53 0.68% email@example.com ANCHORIA ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED Web:www.anchoriaam.com, Tel: 08166830267; 08036814510; 08028419180 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Anchoria Money Market 100.00 100.00 7.13% Anchoria Equity Fund 108.20 108.60 5.98% Anchoria Fixed Income Fund 1.16 1.16 1.72% ARM INVESTMENT MANAGERS LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.arm.com.ng; Tel: 0700 CALLARM (0700 225 5276) Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn ARM Aggressive Growth Fund 16.66 17.16 8.73% ARM Discovery Fund 367.53 378.61 6.39% ARM Ethical Fund 30.66 31.58 5.41% ARM Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 9.17% AXA MANSARD INVESTMENTS LIMITED email@example.com Web: www.axamansard.com; Tel: +2341-4488482 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn AXA Mansard Equity Income Fund 102.27 102.99 6.45% AXA Mansard Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 7.52% CAPITAL EXPRESS ASSET AND TRUST LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.capitalexpressassetandtrust.com ; Tel: +234 803 307 5048 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn CEAT Fixed Income Fund 1.94 1.94 26.84% CHAPELHILL DENHAM MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.chapelhilldenham.com, Tel: +234 461 0691 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Chapelhill Denham Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 10.71% Paramount Equity Fund 12.64 12.86 0.95% Women's Investment Fund 110.92 111.95 0.48% CORDROS ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cordros.com, Tel: 019036947 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Cordros Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A Cordros Milestone Fund 2023 N/A N/A N/A Cordros Milestone Fund 2028 N/A N/A N/A CORONATION ASSEST MANAGEMENT email@example.com Web:www.coronationam.com , Tel: 012366215 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coronation Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 8.79% Coronation Balanced Fund 0.96 0.97 3.42% Coronation Fixed Income Fund 1.33 1.33 0.17% EDC FUNDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ecobank.com Tel: 012265281 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class A 100.00 100.00 7.50% EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund Class B 1,000,000.00 1,000,000.00 9.68% EDC Nigeria Fixed Income Fund 1,168.43 1,168.97 0.49% FBNQUEST ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.fbnquest.com/asset-management; Tel: +234-81 0082 0082 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn FBN Fixed Income Fund 1,301.42 1,302.50 0.80% FBN Balanced Fund 152.09 153.25 3.59% FBN Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Institutional 119.67 119.93 0.36% FBN Nigeria Eurobond (USD) Fund - Retail 120.29 120.56 0.38% FBN Nigeria Smart Beta Equity Fund 135.22 136.93 3.91% FCMB ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fcmbassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 462 2596 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Legacy Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 10.26% Legacy Debt Fund 3.66 3.66 0.24% Legacy Equity Fund 1.21 1.23 6.49% Legacy USD Bond Fund 1.08 1.08 0.12% FSDH ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: www.fsdhaml.com; Tel: 01-270 4884-5; 01-280 9740-1 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Coral Growth Fund 3,165.85 3,203.51 6.16% Coral Income Fund 3,084.05 3,084.05 12.52% FSDH Treasury Bills Fund 100.00 100.00 8.75% GREENWICH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.gtlgroup.com ; Tel: +234 1 4619261-2 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Greenwich Plus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 7.01% Nigeria Entertainment Fund 120.29 121.05 11.84%
GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED email@example.com Web: www.gdl.com.ng ; Tel: +234 9055691122 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn GDL Money Market Fund N/A N/A N/A INVESTMENT ONE FUNDS MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.investment-one.com; Tel: +234 812 992 1045,+234 1 448 8888 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Abacus Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 8.63% Vantage Balanced Fund 2.29 2.32 6.26% Vantage Guaranteed Income Fund 1.00 1.00 11.83% Kedari Investment Fund (KIF) 144.80 144.97 15.89% LOTUS CAPITAL LTD ﬁncon@lotuscapitallimited.com Web: www.lotuscapitallimited.com; Tel: +234 1-291 4626 / +234 1-291 4624 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Lotus Halal Investment Fund 1.21 1.23 3.78% Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund 1,131.27 1,131.27 0.28% MERISTEM WEALTH MANAGEMENT LTD email@example.com Web: http://www.meristemwealth.com/funds/ ; Tel: +234 1-4488260 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Meristem Equity Market Fund 10.35 10.45 13.21% Meristem Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 7.49% PAC ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pacassetmanagement.com/mutualfunds; Tel: +234 1 271 8632 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn PACAM Balanced Fund 1.37 1.39 12.19% PACAM Fixed Income Fund 12.31 12.39 9.06% PACAM Money Market Fund 10.00 10.00 10.27% PACAM Equity Fund 1.20 1.21 PACAM EuroBond Fund 107.20 109.03 SCM CAPITAL LIMITED email@example.com Web: www.scmcapitalng.com; Tel: +234 1-280 2226,+234 1- 280 2227 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn SCM Capital Frontier Fund 139.96 141.34 10.43% SFS CAPITAL NIGERIA LTD firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sfsnigeria.com, 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 email@example.com Web: www.stanbicibtcassetmanagement.com; Tel: +234 1 280 1266; 0700 MUTUALFUNDS Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Stanbic IBTC Balanced Fund 2,521.35 2,532.80 3.64% Stanbic IBTC Bond Fund 210.33 210.33 0.21% Stanbic IBTC Ethical Fund 0.88 0.89 7.30% Stanbic IBTC Guaranteed Investment Fund 273.87 273.95 0.35% Stanbic IBTC Iman Fund 154.92 156.64 5.88% Stanbic IBTC Money Market Fund 100.00 100.00 7.73% Stanbic IBTC Nigerian Equity Fund 7,674.15 7,756.30 6.82% Stanbic IBTC Dollar Fund (USD) 1.16 1.16 0.14% Stanbic IBTC Shariah Fixed Income Fund 118.18 118.18 0.00% UNITED CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD Web: www.unitedcapitalplcgroup.com; Tel: +234 803 306 2887 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn United Capital Balanced Fund 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.quantumzenith.com.ng; Tel: +234 1-2784219 Fund Name Bid Price Offer Price Yield / T-Rtn Zenith Equity Fund 10.94 11.11 6.63% Zenith Ethical Fund 12.13 12.29 4.62% Zenith Income Fund 22.95 22.95 3.28% Zenith Money Market Fund 1.00 1.00 6.01%
REITS NAV Per Share
Yield / T-Rtn
3.50 119.19 52.14
-63.85% 0.22% 0.17%
Yield / T-Rtn
9.37 104.99 79.18
9.47 107.24 80.64
7.40% 13.54% 7.39%
Fund Name FSDH UPDC Real Estate Investment Fund SFS Skye Shelter Fund Union Homes REIT
EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS Fund Name Lotus Halal Equity Exchange Traded Fund SIAML Pension ETF 40 Stanbic IBTC ETF 30 Fund
VETIVA FUND MANAGERS LTD Web: www.vetiva.com; Tel: +234 1 453 0697 Fund Name Vetiva Banking Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Consumer Goods Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Grifﬁn 30 Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva Industrial Goods Exchange Traded Fund Vetiva S&P Nigeria Sovereign Bond Exchange Traded Fund
email@example.com Bid Price
Yield / T-Rtn
3.93 5.87 13.77 12.75 174.29
3.97 5.95 13.87 12.95 176.29
10.78% -0.60% 13.16% 22.53% -7.02%
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 www.fman.com.ng. Fund prices are supplied by the operator of the relevant fund and are published for information purposes only.
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Niger Sacks Security Chiefs after Deadly Jihadist Attack UN condemns attacks Niger Republic replaced two top military brass on Monday, four days after a jihadist assault on an army base left 89 dead in the biggest single loss in the country’s history. This is as the UN Security Council condemned the attack, saying it would do everything possible to help the country. The new armed forces chief of staff is General Salifou Modi, who replaces General Ahmed Mohamed, the government said in a statement read on national radio. The new head of the army is Brigadier General Seidou Bague, replacing Sidikou Issa. The decision was made by a cabinet meeting shortly before Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou left for Pau, southwestern France, for a summit on the crisis in the Sahel. It brings together a summit of the so-called G5 countries — Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania — with
France, the former colonial power in the region, who is leading the fight against the insurgents. According to UN figures, jihadist attacks in Burkina, Mali and Niger last year left 4,000 dead. Niger declared three days of national mourning after the attack on Chinegodar camp in western Niger last Thursday. It was carried out by attackers arriving in vehicles and on motorbikes. The raid occurred in the same region, Tillaberi, where 71 soldiers were killed in December — a loss that deeply shocked the country. Mohamed and Issa had been appointed to their jobs only in 2018. Modi, 57, was a member of the Supreme Council for the Restoration for Democracy (CSRD), the official name of the military junta which staged a coup in 2010, returning the country to civilian rule after
Nations Affected by Ukrainian Plane Crash to Discuss Legal Action against Iran Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has said five countries whose nationals died in the downing tragedy in Iran would gather for a meeting on Thursday to discuss possible legal action against Iran. Prystaiko, who spoke on the sidelines of an official visit to Singapore on Monday, said the issue of compensation and an investigation into the incident would also be addressed at the meeting. “We have created a group of foreign ministers from the grieving nations. “On Jan. 16 we will meet in London to discuss the means, including legal, to follow up on this, and how we will move forward in holding Iran responsible,’’ he said. The minister also dismissed Iran’s suggestion that the jet had been flying near a sensitive military installation as ‘nonsense’.
Prystaiko added that the plane was travelling according to the international route provided by dispatchers. “This is the Iranian government’s responsibility. We have to dig out who gave the order, who pushed the button. Everything, all these people should be punished.’’ A Kiev-bound Boeing of the Ukraine International Airlines crashed on Jan. 8 near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people on board. On Saturday, the Iranian military admitted to unintentionally shooting down the jetliner, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile in anticipation of a retaliatory strike from the U.S. Iran admitted on Saturday to downing a Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 by mistake. The plane earlier crashed, killing all passengers on board.
Britain Summons Iranian Ambassador for Detention of Diplomat The British government has summoned Iran’s ambassador to London over the “unacceptable” arrest of the British ambassador to Tehran, who attended what was advertised as a vigil for last week’s Ukrainian plane tragedy. “I would say this was an unacceptable breach of the Vienna Convention and it needs to be investigated. “We are seeking full assurances from the Iranian Government that this will never happen again,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said
on Monday as reported by the Press Association. Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Rob Macaire on Sunday, accusing him of attending an “illegal demonstration” in Tehran on the evening prior. Macaire had defended his conduct, insisting he had attended what he thought would be a vigil for the 176 victims of last week’s downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight outside of Tehran. He said he left the event as soon as it became a protest but was then briefly arrested.
elections in 2011. Meanwhile, the UN has condemned the terrorist attack on a military base in Niger which left no fewer than 89 soldiers dead. The council’s position came
in a resolution along with a one-minute silence in honour of the victims at its meeting in New York on Monday. Media reports quoted a government spokesman as saying the incident occurred
when heavily armed militants attacked an army outpost at Chinagodrar in western Niger. After the resolution, the Permanent Representative of Niger to the UN, Abdou Abarry, commended the council and
the international community for condemning the “cowardly’’ act. Abarry said the Sahel Region and the whole of West Africa needed the support of the council to end the scourge of terrorism.
L-R: Chief Executive Oﬃcer, ENRG, Lolade Oresanwo; An Economist, Andrew Nevin; Chief Executive Oﬃcer, DFID, Chris Pycroft; British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Harriet Thompson; Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, at the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 media brieﬁng in Lagos ...yesterday ETOP UKUTT
Queen Agrees to Let Harry, Meghan Move Part-Time to Canada Queen Elizabeth II agreed Monday to grant Prince Harry and and his wife, Meghan, their wish for a more independent life, allowing them to move part-time to Canada while remaining firmly in the House of Windsor. The British monarch said in a statement that the summit of senior royals on Monday was “constructive,” and that it had been “agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend time in Canada and the UK.” The summit at the queen’s Sandringham estate in eastern England marked the first faceto-face talks with Harry since he and Meghan unveiled the controversial plan to step back from their royal roles. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,
the queen said in a statement. “Although we would have preferred them to remain fulltime working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family. The meeting came after days of intense news coverage, in which supporters of the royal family’s feuding factions used the British media to paint conflicting pictures of who was to blame for the rift. Buckingham Palace said “a range of possibilities” would be discussed, but the queen was determined to resolve the situation within “days, not weeks.” Buckingham Palace stressed, however, that “any decision will take time to be implemented.” One of the more fraught questions that needs to be worked out is precisely
what it means for a royal to be financially independent and what activities can be undertaken to make money. Other royals who have ventured into the world of commerce have found it complicated. Prince Andrew, for example, has faced heated questions about his relationship with the late convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew, the queen’s second son, has relinquished royal duties and patronages after being accused by a woman who says she was an Epstein trafficking victim who slept with the prince. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also face questions on paying for taxpayer-funded security. Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to comment, but said safety was a priority. There were signs earlier in the day that the House
of Windsor had moved to unite. Princes William and Harry issued a joint statement criticising a newspaper article on the severe strain in their relationship, calling the story offensive and potentially harmful as they embark on talks regarding the future of the British monarchy. Though the statement didn’t name the newspaper, the Times of London had a front page story about the crisis in which a source alleged that Harry and Meghan had been pushed away by the “bullying attitude from” William. The joint statement insisted that the story was “false. “For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful,” the statement said.
Militants Attack Primary School, Kill Three Teachers in Kenya Three teachers were killed near Kenya’s border with Somalia in a suspected attack by al Shabaab militants early on Monday, police said, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of assaults by the group in Kenya since the New Year. A child was also wounded by a stray bullet when the militants attacked Kamuthe primary school, in Garissa County, a police report seen by Reuters said.
The militants also burned down a nearby police station and destroyed a telecommunications mast in the attack in the early hours of Monday, the report said. Al Shabaab has targeted Kenya in frequent attacks, part of a retaliation campaign against the country for sending troops into Somalia in 2011 after a series of cross-border raids and kidnappings. But the group has stepped up
the pace of its attacks in Kenya since the New Year. Last week, four schoolchildren were killed following a gunfight between the Somali militant group and local police in Garissa. The attackers targeted a telecommunications mast in that assault as well. The U. S. bolstered its presence in Kenya last week after al Shabaab killed three Americans in an attack on a military base
in the East African country used by the U.S and Kenyan forces. Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab has waged an insurgency in Somalia since 2008, aiming to topple the government and impose its own strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law. In December 2018, at least 90 people were killed in a bombing in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu in the country’s deadliest attack in more than two years.
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Lagos Principal: How I Defiled Twins, Impregnated one Henry Onyeka A principal of a secondary school in Lagos, Mr. Samson Adeyemo, has admitted before an Ikeja Special Offences Court that he had sexual relationships with two 17-year-old twin students of his school. Adeyemo, 41, who resides at 8, Odesanya Street, Abule Egba, Lagos, is the principal of Legati College, Abule Egba. He is facing a two-count charge of defilement of a child. While being cross-examined yesterday by state prosecutor, M. Oshodi, the defendant, who has a national certificate in education (NCE), admitted to defiling the underage students (Twin A and Twin B). “I had a relationship with Twin A and Twin B. I’m married to Twin A. The marriage was not conducted in the church or registry. I had her consent and her parents were aware,” he said. “Marriage is done between a male and a female and it is for life. What is between me and Twin A is marriage and the one people do in the church or registry is wedding. “The relationship with Twin A started in 2016 and I had sexual intercourse with her in 2017. I did not start the relationship
with Twin B until I met their mother and also had sexual intercourse with Twin B after I met her mother.” Adeyemo admitted that the school he operates had not been fully registered with the Lagos State Ministry of Education. He, however, denied having sexual relationships with other students in the school. Earlier, while giving his evidence-in-chief, the defendant admitted impregnating twin A while she was under his care. Led in evidence by the defence counsel, R. O. Akande, Adeyemo said twin B had become jealous when she discovered that her twin was in a relationship with him. “Twin B came to me that why was it her sister that I was dating. I told her that it was Twin A that I wished to date. She said she was having other relationships, but she wanted me because I am her twin’s boyfriend,” he said. “In 2017, Twin A got pregnant and I decided to cater for her but Twin A’s parents refused (insisting) that the pregnancy will be aborted. I refused because I wanted the baby and I wanted to marry her as well. “I gave her some upkeep money and her parents collected the money from her
and terminated the pregnancy.” The principal said the father of the twins asked him to pay N200,000 or be punished. “Two days after the twin’s uncle, named Kayode alias
Kokoro, led some thugs to beat me up and on April 26, 2017, I was called by Kayode that I should meet him to sign an undertaking that the twins shall collect their WAEC results,”
he said. “I went to meet him not knowing that he had laid ambush for me and he handed me over to the police. Twin B was 14-years-old when I met her and Twin A was 15-years-old
when we met.” According to the prosecution, the principal defiled the twins sometime in 2016 within the school premises, located in Abule Egba.
House to Probe Telcos over Non-remittance of N200bn Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT), Hon. Lado Abdullahi, yesterday said the lawmakers may involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate non-remittance of one per cent annual turnover of each telecoms service providers to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Abdullahi, while speaking with journalists in Ibadan last night on the efforts of the committee to meet the one-month deadline given to his committee to investigate the matter, said the House would ensure that the chief executive officers of the nation’s telecoms service providers account for why they failed to remit “just one per cent of their annual turnover to NITDA for several years since the Act became effective in 2007.” A source at the NITDA
alleged that the “telecoms service providers owe NITDA over N200 billion and this has made Nigeria lose a verifiable source of generation of revenue, thus making development in the telecoms sector to be slow or hampered.” But, Abdullahi whose committee had been given one month to investigate the matter, following a motion sponsored by a member, representing Ukwa East/West Federal Constituency, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, in December 2019, said “the
committee has not started work, because the motion was moved during our last session before we went on recess and we are yet to resume. According to him, “When we resume, we should be able to investigate the matter. Hopefully by January 20, the committee will take off but we are writing letter to the telecoms service providers to furnish the secretariat with vital information about their annual turnover starting from 2007 till date when the NITDA Act was enacted.
EFCC Arrests Eight Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Ibadan Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the weekend arrested eight suspected internet fraudsters in Ibadan, Oyo State capital. THISDAY learnt that the suspects, whose ages range
between 17 and 30 years, were apprehended at different locations across the city. Those arrested include: Abdulrahman Qozeem, Umoru Ibrahim, Umoru Abdulahi Gregory, Famous Ose Itahma, Umoru Shaibu Pedro, Durrele Oyeniyi,
Umoru Evidence and Judge Okoye. It was gathered that their arrest was sequel to series of intelligence received by the commission concerning their alleged involvement in internet-related crimes. Items recovered from them
include six exotic cars, various brands of phones, laptops, international passports and several documents suspected to contain false pretences. It was learnt that the indicted among them would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Kwara Gov Meets Buhari, Seeks Support Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, yesterday briefed the President Muhammadu Buhari on some developmental challenges
he inherited and the steps he has taken to gradually reposition it. “The governor held a one-on-one meeting with the
Thief Bags Three-year Jail Term for Vandalising BEDC Equipment Efforts by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc to curb the menace of vandalism on its network have again received a boost with the sentencing of one David James to three years imprisonment by a Benin Magistrate Court 6 in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The accused was sentenced to prison on a two-count charge of stealing armoured cable and three transformer bushes spindles both valued at nearly N500, 000. The judgment was delivered by Mrs. E.A Aghedo at Egor Magistrate court on January 7, 2020, after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges. The offence was contained in the charge sheet No MSG/005c/2020 titled: Commissioner of Police vs. David James. The vandal, a male, 26, was sentenced without an option of fine. James reportedly committed the offence on December 22, 2019, at along Upper Ekewan road in Benin-city in Egor Magisterial district, a crime punishable under section 390 (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 48 volume II Laws of Edo State. The accused was caught by residents of Bedekeme Street in Obaji off Ugbiyoko quarters who alleged during
an interview conducted by a television station in Benin-city that they had been thrown into darkness due to the activity of vandals at different times. The accused, who confessed to committing the crime, said he wanted to sell the vandalised items before he was arrested by men of the Nigerian Police Force, Evbuotubu Division in Benin-city. In a confessional statement given to the police, James, who said he was not a first time offender, said the vandalised items were usually sold to dealers in scrap items, and that he has been to prison before on account of vandalism. The accused also confessed to have served a jail term of one year and six months at the Benin Correctional Service centre for vandalism in 2005, adding that he is a driver and a builder. Vandalism of electricity distribution network and other forms of electrical thefts are serious threats to the power sector sustainability and economic growth, and have been major acts negatively affecting service delivery to customers. Revenue that could be used for critical development projects are being used to restore damaged and stolen installation, the BEDC officials said.
Lagos Assembly Invites Gov’s Nominees for Final Screening Eddie Alegbe Lagos State House of Assembly has invited 11 nominees from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to fill some vacancy slots at the State Executive Council, the Civil Service Commission and the state House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM) for final screening on January 16. Giving the report of the eight-man Ad-hoc Committee on Screening of Governor’s Nominees during plenary yesterday, the committee’s Chairman, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, said all the nominees met the criteria. He explained that all the nominees were screened by the committee and they answered the questions put to them and provided all the necessary documents. While some members including Hon. Tunde Braimoh, Hon. Rotimi Olowo and Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu wanted to know the specific performances of the nominees, the Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said there was no need to doubt the competence of the committee as he said they had done it in the past. “The nominees would still be invited by the Assembly to defend their nominations and this would give us an opportunity to know their ability and capability,” Obasa said.
The report of the committee was then adopted as the resolution of the Assembly and motion for its adoption was moved by Hon. Abiodun Tobun and supported by Hon. Victor Akande. It would be recalled that the committee screened three commissioner-nominees, including Mr. Ganiyu Ayuba, Mr. Olugbenga Oyerinde, and Bamigbose Martins. The Assembly had on August 16, 2019 rejected three of the cabinet nominees presented to it for approval by the governor, necessitating their replacement. Those rejected by the Assembly included Mr. Ajayi Bembe, Mr. George Obafemi and Prince Olanrewaju Sanusi. The eight other nominees screened by the committee included three for the state House of Assembly Service Commission and five for the state Civil Service Commission. Those screened for the House of Assembly Service Commission included: Hon. Akeem Bello, a former member of the 8th Assembly, Hon. Kabiru Lawal, a lawmaker (2007–2015), and Mr. Richard Osungboye. The nominees screened for Lagos State Civil Service Commission were: Mr. Babatunde Seriki, a former member of the Assembly, Hon. Avoseh Suuru, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, Mrs. Olubunmi Fabanwo, and Mr. Kamalrudeen Olorunoje.
President on Monday at the Villa in Abuja to keep him abreast of the situation he met on the ground especially as regards infrastructural deficits in the area of water, roads, education, health, and agriculture,” said a statement by AbdulRazaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye. “The governor, meanwhile, appealed to the President on the condition of Federal Roads in the state. “He also told the President that the state will construct the Kosubosu-Bode Saadu Road to open up Kwara State. He also urged the President to give special attention to the roads. “He also told Mr. President
that Kwara wants a Federal College of Education. He equally requested the fasttracking of the National Livestock Transformation Programme because Kwara wants to be an integral part of it, especially the dairy component of the programme,” the statement said. The statement said AbdulRazaq also told Buhari about how he ended the strike across the Colleges of Education when he assumed office and how he had since paid over N700million to settle their salary arrears. He also narrated to the President how his administration restored
constant and timely payment of salary of workers, subventions and running costs across various ministries. He also explained to the President that Kwara is already keying into various developmental projects of the federal government, including passing the state’s Social Investment Programme law that provides for school feeding, soft loans for marketers, and conditional cash transfer for the elderly to cut poverty rate. “The governor also told Mr. President how he has been tackling these challenges such as gradually restoring potable water in the state capital and other parts of
the state, the payment of various counterpart funds in the health sector, how he has returned UNICEF back to the state after many years, the blacklisting of Kwara State by UBEC and the payment of the N450million debt to restore the relationship, among many other steps he has taken,” it added. Buhari, on his part, commended AbdulRazaq for the visit, his giant strides, and his ongoing efforts in repositioning the state. Buhari promised to look into his requests for the development of Kwara and Nigeria as a whole, the statement added.
EPISCOPAL LUNCHEON ...
L-R: Wife of the Chairman, Council of Legal Education, Mrs. Ogochukwu Ngige; Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Rev. Valerian Okeke; and Chairman of the Council, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), at the luncheon hosted by the Archbishop for key supporters of the Archdiocese in his residence at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha…recently
Buratai Inaugurates 206 Flats for Soldiers in Kaduna The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday inaugurated 206 flats for some non-commissioned personnel in 81 Barracks Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna. Buratai said the flats, which were fully furnished, were part of efforts to improve the welfare of Army personnel for effective service delivery. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the 206 flats consist of a block of 26 flats for senior Non-Commission Officers and five blocks of 36 flats each for Corporals and those below.
Buratai, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding the 1 Division Kaduna, Maj. Gen. Faruq Yahaya, explained that the initiative was part of his effort to improve the living conditions of troops and their general welfare. He pointed out that the additional steps of furnishing the houses testify to the resolve to improve on troops’ welfare, in spite of other constraints. According to Buratai, the comfort and health that the accommodation will bring to troops will go a long way in motivating them to rise above
the call of duty. “Indeed, the comfort and health of service personnel is a force multiplier in confronting our internal security challenges. “Military houses such as these contribute to the wellbeing of families in general and to the military community. “I was told that the primary labour for the construction was sourced from the immediate barrack community, one of the focus of the barrack’s investments initiative programmes, which entails lifting military families economically,” he said.
The Army chief stressed that the provision of such modern accommodation for the troops will help the military to retain as well as attract the best personnel. Buratai charged the beneficiaries to keep the facilities in good condition and manage them with utmost care. Earlier in his remark, Chief of Military Intelligence at the Army headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Samuel Adebayo, disclosed that the conceptualisation of the buildings was the baby of the Army chief, to give personnel a sense of belonging.
We Won’t Demolish Properties without Engaging Owners, Says Makinde Esther Oluku The Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, has declared that his government would not demolish any property to facilitate road construction without adequately engaging owners and paying due compensations. Makinde stated this during an assessment tour of the Kuola-Jakata-Benbo-Apata road on Akala expressway, which connects the LagosIbadan expressway to the Ibadan-Abeokuta Road.
“You cannot demolish people’s properties without compensating them. So, we will engage the property owners. We must know that development comes at a price. It may be painful, but for the common good of all, I believe they will cooperate with us,” he said. In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Makinde submitted that a lot of money had been expended on the project which was later abandoned by the immediate
-past administration. He noted that his administration would ensure the completion of the project as it was already captured in the 2020 budget of the state. Makinde added that it would be a quick win for the government to complete the abandoned project, which he noted would ease traffic on Ring Road, as commuters travelling from Lagos-Toll Gate axis towards Apata-Abeokuta Road would no longer need to go through Ring Road. According to the governor,
“You can see that a lot of money has been expended by trying to link the road coming from the Toll Gate area to the Ibadan-Abeokuta Road. It is just about three kilometres to get here. If we do it, we will decongest the Ring-Road, and people coming from Lagos will either go through this way or the other way. They do not need to reach Ring Road to get here. “The project has already been captured in the 2020 budget, and I think this is a quick win for us.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Buhari Commiserates with Niger President over Terrorist Attacks Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend had a telephone conversation with his Nigerien President, President Mahamadou Issoufou, commiserating with him, the government and people of Niger Republic, over the terrorist attack of January 9, 2020, in Chinagodrar, which killed
scores of soldiers in a military base. A statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari sympathised with families, friends and colleagues of the victims, and condoled with them. He also said Buhari condemned the heinous attack by the terrorists and assured his Nigerien
counterpart that Nigeria would continue to work closely with his country and other international partners to
combat terrorism and violent extremism. According to him, the president reaffirmed that
the perpetrators of such cowardly acts and their sponsors deserved no peace and comfort.
He also said Buhari told Issoufou that Nigeria stood in solidarity with its allies to ensure that justice is served.
UTME Registration Commences in Lagos The registration exercise for 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) commenced at centres in Lagos yesterday with candidates showing up as early as 7 a.m. A correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the exercise, reported that candidates waited anxiously for the centre operators to attend to them. By about 8.45 a.m, some of the centre officials in Ikeja, who did not want their names in print, were seen putting the logistics in place to attend to the growing number of applicants. At Ogba, a centre official told NAN that he expected seamless exercise. “We are starting the registration today as soon as we are through with setting up. “We have all the facilities fully on ground, the backups in top shape, but we want to ensure that we get things right from the scratch before commencing,” he said. At another centre in Ojodu area, an official, who also
pleaded anonymity, told NAN that that the centre was ready for the exercise. NAN reported that as at about 9.00 a.m, over 30 candidates were seen sitting and waiting patiently for the exercise to commence at the centre. “I want to say that JAMB, on its own, is fully set for the exercise, but on our side, we are trying to do the necessary connections as well as put required logistics in place to enhance our job. “Our systems are in shape. Just recently we carried out our facility maintenance all in readiness for this exercise. “So, we can assure you that we are good to go and we look forward to a hitch-free exercise,” she said. Meanwhile, the Lagos State Coordinator of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Mrs. Patricia Arukwue, told NAN that about 65 centres had so far been approved for the registration of candidates for the UTME in Lagos.
Court Fixes Feb 25 for Suit Challenging Gbajabiamila’s Qualification An FCT High Court, Jabi yesterday fixed February 25 to hear a suit challenging the qualification of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to contest for election. The suit is also challenging his nomination as Speaker in the 9th Assembly. When the matter which was slated for hearing of pending applications came up, the claimant’s Counsel, Obed Agu, informed the court that he had motion on notice before the court. Agu said his application was seeking to regularise his processes by way of asking for an extension of time to enable him file his reply to defence counter- affidavit and preliminary objection. The motion was brought in pursuant to the rule of the court dated Nov.18 and filed Nov. 19, 2019 in a fourparagraph affidavit. Agu in addition informed the court that he had filed his written address and wanted to adopt same as his oral argument and urged the court to grant his prayers.
The judge, Justice Charles Agbaza asked the first defendant’s counsel, Mr. Femi Adedeji, if he had any objection to the applications. Adedeji on his part did not raise any objection and Agbaza therefore in his ruling said the applications had merit and according to him granted it in the interest of justice. The judge also directed that hearing notice be served on the other defendants, who were absent in yesterday’s proceeding. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the court had earlier refused to grant an order which came via an ex-parte motion with No. M/6809/2019 which sought an interim injunction restraining Gbajabiamila from contesting for the office of Speaker in the 9th National Assembly The court had also refused to grant the order praying for an interim injunction restraining the National Assembly from recognising the candidacy of Gbajabiamila for the speakership position.
L- R: Academy Director, MultiChoice West Africa, Mr. Femi Odugbemi; Film Maker/Producer, Ms. Aderonke Adeola; and Executive Head, Corporate Affairs, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mrs. Caroline Oghuma, during the screening of the docufilm “AWANI” by Adeola at one of the MTF Academy 2020 Film Appreciation Class in Lagos …yesterday
Fayemi Promises Not to Disappoint Ekiti Despite Paucity of Funds Victor Ogunje in Ado-Ekiti Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said his administration won’t disappoint in the delivery of developmental and infrastructural facilities, in spite of the acute dearth of funds. Fayemi added that his administration was incurably determined to spread the tentacles of development across all the 133 towns and other villages in fulfilment of the social contracts he signed with Ekiti residents. The governor spoke yesterday at different towns when he flagged off the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Agbado-Omuo road,
Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo-Ijan road, Oye-Ikun-Otun road, and Aramoko-Erijiyan-Ikogosi road in the state. Fayemi urged the people to create enabling environment for the contractors handling the projects to operate for prompt and timely delivery of the projects. He said his administration would strive hard and mobilise funds to carry out landmark projects that would add values to the socio-economic and physical well- being of the populace. “The contractors started some of these roads being re-awarded in 2013 during our first term, but could not proceed substantially before my
exit. The last administration did little work before the roads were abandoned and that informed why we terminated the contracts and re-awarded them to the original contractors. “If you check critically, all these roads are critical to the economic development of our people. The Ilupeju-Ire- Ijan road will resolve the challenge of moving the Ire Burnt Brick products from the town to other parts of the state and the country at large. “We are determined and we shall make sure that every part of the state is accessible by good road network in line with the cardinal objective of infrastructural and capital development of
our administration. “Let me assure you that we won’t allow paucity of funds to deter us from achieving this. We have sourced for funds to solve many of our challenges. “I want the contractors to deliver in record time. But to achieve this, I implore our people to cooperate with the contractors to be able to deliver timely, so that the projects can be beneficial to every Ekiti people and intending investors,” he said. Fayemi tasked Ekiti residents to pay all relevant taxes to be able to strengthen the revenue base of the state to facilitate delivery of more democracy dividends to the people.
Osun Monarch Urges FG to Site College of Education in His Domain Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo An Osun State monarch, Orangun of Ila-Orangun, Oba Abdulwahab Oyedotun, has canvassed for the establishment of the proposed Federal College of Education (FCE) in his domain. It would be recalled that recently the federal government announced the establishment of Federal College of Education in six states across the federation in Nigeria.
Oyedotun, while speaking at a press conference in his domain, said “in the pursuit of the laudable goals of fairness as demonstrated by President Muhammad Buhariled government, Ila-Orangun remains the best and the most suitable place for the location of the proposed Federal College of Education in the state.” In justifying his position, the monarch noted that Osun State comprises three Senatorial districts, Osun West, Osun East
and Osun Central. He explained that in Osun West, there’s a Federal Polytechnic located in Ede, while Osun East is equally blessed with a federal university, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He said Osun Central remains the only senatorial district without the presence of any federal-owned institution. Oyedotun noted that it was absolutely logical and fair to establish the proposed FCE in
Ila-Orangun community where relevant adequate facilities and amenities are readily accessible for the smooth take-off of the institution. The monarch stated that there’s no federal institution in Ila-Orangun community contrary to the wrong notion in some quarters. He added that Ila-Orangun is largely an historical town to be reckoned with not only in Osun State but generally in Nigeria.
GEPCare Foundation to Hold Human Trafficking Summit in Ireland The indifference to human abuse and exploitations around the world has taken a negative toll on the society. Therefore, the GEPCare Foundation has concluded plans to organise a two-day summit to fight against human trafficking with the theme: ‘Getting Involved’ in Ireland. The summit, according to the organisers, will feature a seminar,
the movie screening of ‘Osato’, a movie based on the true story of a trafficked victim, who raises awareness on the ills of human trafficking, and a fundraiser geared at engaging industry stakeholders; the flashpoint demography and the government in order to commit to working together in line with the global goals of United Nations against the trafficking
of persons. Riding on the valuable partnership it has with reputable government bodies and organisations, such as the Nigerian Embassy, the Office of the Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, and support from the Department of Justice and Equality, the GEPCare Foundation said it aimed to
use this summit to bring more awareness and shine more light on the stigma, whilst seeking ways to reduce it to its possible minimum. The Foundation said: “We urge you, with a sense of urgency, to join this multilateral action! We invite you to attend this lifechanging summit that aims to contribute to the exposure and reduction of human trafficking beast. It is time to speak out.”
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 ˾T H I S D AY
Kogi NMA Condemns Assault on Female Doctor in Abuja Hospital Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter, has condemned the recent assault on a female doctor by a patient’s family at Maitama District Hospital, Abuja. A female doctor whose name was not immediately disclosed at the Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, was allegedly assaulted recently and stripped naked by the relatives of a patient (their mother) following her death, as she was said to have had
chronic illness. A statement made available to journalists in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, and jointly signed by the Chairman of the NMA National Committee on Gender Violence, Dr Tijani Godwin, and Secretary, Dr Nnanna Agwu, “condemned in a strong term the unwarranted assault on the female doctor.” The association condemned the assault on the female doctor and the threat to the life of medical doctors by relations of patients in Abuja, noting that this was not the first time such a thing would happen.
The NMA, however, expressed gratitude to the law enforcement agencies for the prompt action in arresting the perpetrators of such act, noting that they were currently in detention at the Maitama Police Station in Abuja, and would be charged to court soon. It, therefore, called on the federal government, states, the Federal Capital Territory authorities and various hospital managements to beef up security in health facilities to end all forms of assault on health workers.
Crisis Hits Edo CAN over Second Term Bid Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo State chapter, has been hit by crisis following the failure of the state executive led by Bishop Oyonnude Kure to secure a second term. Trouble began when an executive committee meeting of CAN which was called yesterday could not agree on the second term bid of the current chairman. However, the meeting which started smoothly became rowdy after Kure read his address and Revd Fr. Richard Ofere
moved a motion calling for automatic second term for Kure and his team, because they have performed well in the last three years. While waiting for a secondment of the motion, Revd Chris Igbinosa raised a point of order, saying the motion was premature because there was no financial report of the association in the last three years, arguing that there was need for such basic expectations to be met before talking about re-election. Incidentally, the meeting which started at about 11.00 a.m. was not concluded until
3.00 p.m. when Kure adjourned and thereafter informed members that a new date for a fresh meeting for election would be communicated to voting members of the association. Efforts to get the views of Kure after the meeting was not successful as several calls and text messages to his mobile line Kure were neither picked nor responded to as at press time. However, Secretary of CAN, Sir Humphrey Iriabe, when approached for comments, said he did not invite journalists to the event as it was a private meeting.
Obaseki’s Aide Accuses Edo PDP Chair of Seeking Political Relevance Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, has berated the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, for fabricating stories of an empty treasury against the state government to score cheap political points and save his ebbing political career. PDP last Sunday had urged its governorship aspirants to begin to brace up to the challenges of inheriting empty treasury after the party might have won the forthcoming elections. The party alleged that Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has emptied the treasury through indebtedness. Orbih, who spoke at Fugar in Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state
during a sensitisation rally for PDP members ahead of the party’s primaries, said Edo State is the second most indebted state in Nigeria and dared the governor to declare the true state of indebtedness to the people of the state. He told PDP governorship aspirants to prepare for hard times at Government House, alleging that they are going to inherit empty treasury. But, Osagie, in a statement noted that the rumours of an empty treasury were products of Orbih’s imagination as there’s no proof to that effect. According to him, “The chairman of the PDP in Edo State, Dan Orbih, has once again gone to town with yet another fabrication about an empty treasury in Edo State. To set the records straight, the accusation is false, misleading and ill-conceived.
“We are familiar with Orbih and such beer-parlour gossip is his stock-in-trade. As chairman of the PDP, which is about to hold its congress, he is seeking means to be relevant amid plans to oust him from office. “We are happy to report to Edo people that we have maintained a healthy balance sheet, with perhaps the most transparent and prudent government in the country. “The Debt Management Office (DMO) attested to this during the last Alaghodaro Summit during which the state was given a healthy rating.” Osagie added that the state government also runs one of the most transparent budgeting processes in the country and has a pact with the people to ensure an open government, which makes it possible for citizens to assess by themselves the financial standing of the state.
Wike Tasks Ease of Doing Business Council on Investment Climate Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has inaugurated the Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council (EODBC) with a charge to the council to improve the investment climate of the state. Inaugurating the council at the Government House in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said the council is critical to the economic development of the state.
He said: “It is important that we have this council to improve the investment climate of the state, and to create the environment for investors to come to the state. “The council will draw up programmes and policies to create the platform for the ease of doing business in Rivers State.” He said the membership of the committee is drawn from the public and private sectors to ensure that all sectors are accommodated in
the drive to enhance business opportunities in the state. Wike said the state deputy governor is chairing the council because of the importance his administration attaches to the ease of doing business. According to the governor, “I believe that those appointed will live up to the expectations of Rivers people. That the deputy governor is the chairman of this council shows how important it is to the state government.
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢ T H I S D AY
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 â€¢ T H I S D AY
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Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe Email firstname.lastname@example.org 0811 181 3083 SMS ONLY
Dangote Renews Interests in Arsenal, Plans Takeover in 2021 Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report Africaâ€™s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has renewed his interests in North London club, Arsenal FC and is likely to take over the Gunners from absentee owner, Stan Kroenke in 2021. The 62-year old billionaire net worth is in excess of ÂŁ8.5billion made largely from business interests that cut across but not limited to cement, salt, sugar and flour manufacturing. Dangote is at the moment building one of the worldâ€™s largest oil refinery in Lagos. Speaking on David Rubenstein Show and quoted extensively by UKâ€™s Daily Mail on Monday, Dangote said what is delaying him at the moment is the refinery project expected to be completed later this year. â€œIt (Arsenal) is a team that, yes, I would like to buy some day, but what I keep saying
Dangote...renews interests in the Gunners
is we have $20billion worth of projects and thatâ€™s what I really want to concentrate on,â€? Dangote told the David Rubenstein Show yesterday. â€œIâ€™m trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe some time in 2021 we can. â€œIâ€™m not buying Arsenal right now, Iâ€™m buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects, because Iâ€™m trying to take the company to the next level,â€? stressed the business magnate whose love for the English Premier League team is well documented. The Kano-born businessman first muted the idea of buying Arsenal in 2018 as Arsene Wenger was winding down his over two decades tenure at Emirates Stadium but the building of the refinery remains uppermost on his agenda. Arsenal fansâ€™ frustration with current owner Stan Kroenke has been bubbling for years, with the Denver Nuggets and LA Rams owner rarely showing his face at the Emirates, while Arsenal continue to look rudderless behind the scenes in their search for a route back to the top four. It is expected that fans of the London club would certainly welcome a change in ownership, and Dangote could radically change Arsenalâ€™s fortunes with his positive interest and passion. Arsenal have been left languishing in 10th spot in the Premier League after a torrid end to Unai Emeryâ€™s reign, but there have been signs of life after the appointment of Mikel Arteta. Scrutiny on the Arsenal
L A G O S C I T Y M A R AT H O N
High Altitude Runners Target Nigeria Marathon Record Runners in the stable of Nigeriaâ€™s foremost Marathons and Road Races Club, the High-Altitude Athletics Club of Jos, Plateau State, have vowed to send the menâ€™sâ€™ national record in the full marathon to the athletics archives at the 2020 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on February 8, 2020. The current national record of 2 hours .15 minutes was set by Army Officer Abass Mohammed over three decades ago. High Altitude Head Coach, Steve Nuhu, told journalists on Monday that, â€œAccess Bank Lagos City Marathon is our premium event and there is no better place to set a new national record than our best races as the attention of the world media will be on usâ€? said the Nuhu With all the nation elite runners like Emmanuel Gyan, Deborah Pam under his stable, Nuhu will not reveal which of the runners is primed to break the national record, â€œ I wonâ€™t talk about that but all I can tell you is that we are coming to Lagos with about 30 runners. 25 are ready now
by the end of the month the other five will be ready but I can assure you that one of these runners will set a new national recordâ€?. Nuhu said he is proud that Nigeria is the nation that is behind the biggest one-day event in Africa, â€œEverywhere I go out, I sing the praises of the organizer and sponsors of the Access Bank Lagos City Nigeria. We have been able to prove to the world that we can organize a worldclass event like New York or Paris Marathon in Lagosâ€?. Nuhu is especially proud of a member of the athletics family Yussuf Alli who has seamlessly transmitted from being a long jumper to organising road races and marathons, â€œAlliâ€™s is a pride to the athletics family to move from field event to becoming of the best managers of road races and marathons is not a small feat. He has nurtured the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to become a Silver Label Race within four years, this is a huge achievement. I hope I will be lucky one day to spend enough time with him and learn from himâ€? said Nuhu.
owners and board was ratcheted up during the miserable winless run that eventually saw Emery sacked. Stan Kroenkeâ€™s son, Josh, is a director on the Arsenal board, and told fans to â€˜be
excitedâ€™ in the summer after the Gunners signed Nicolas Pepe for a club record fee, as well as Kieran Tierney and David Luiz. There wasnâ€™t much excitement about by December
though, and banners calling for the Kroenkes to leave were on show once again. The pressure will be somewhat relieved if Arteta delivers on the early positives showed in the 2-0 win over
Manchester United, but Arsenal fans will still be hoping Dangote follows through on the promise he made in 2018 that: â€œEven if somebody buys, we will still go after it.â€?
Oshoala...gets more plaudits after emerging Africaâ€™s Best Player for the fourth time last Tuesday
Barca Femini Coach Hails Oshoala over CAF Award Barcelona Femini Coach, Lluis Cortes, has congratulated Asisat Oshoala for emerging Africaâ€™s Womenâ€™s Player of the Year for the fourth time. Oshoala initially joined the Spanish outfit on loan from Chinese side Dalian Quanjian a year ago before being handed a three-year permanent deal last summer. The 25-year-oldâ€™s 2019 breakthrough in Spain saw her edge Cameroonâ€™s Ajara Nchout and South Africaâ€™s Thembi Kgatlana for the
award and equalled the record of her compatriot Perpetua Nkwocha. Having scored 14 goals in 14 games this season, including four and first her professional hat-trick against Tacon, the Barcelona manager admits it was a privilege to have the Nigerian in his team. â€œHaving the best African player (Asisat Oshoala) in my team means a lot,â€? Cortes told Goal.com yesterday. â€œShe earned the award and they arenâ€™t giving her
for who she is but based on merit. This in part benefits us, from her success and her individual performances. â€œWe are privileged to have her because she is a very different player with a different physical form in comparison to any other player in the league. â€œHaving such a unique player thatâ€™s so different from what you can find on the national market is an advantage for us and itâ€™s our responsibility to know
in what moment to play her. â€œThe moment when maybe another player can perform better but we are very happy with her. Her attitude and her game coming back from the holidays has been excellent and we hope this continues.â€? Cortes is eyeing a quadruple, including a domestic treble and Champions League this season and will be counting on Oshoalaâ€™s scoring form to help his side dominate the continent this season.
Stadium Facility Expert, Egbe, Sad over Nigerian Pitches Foremost stadium facility expert, Ebi Egbe, has warned that the sorry state of pitches across the country will seriously affect sports development adversely if the authorities continue to neglect them. Egbe told reporters at the weekend that no national foreign coach would invite home based players to the national teams as they usually play on undulating surfaces. He observed that some of these pitches are so bad that they appear as if they are not meant for football in the first place. â€œWhenever I see our players play these pitches on TV, I want to cry. Nigeria is too advanced for all these things that are happening to our football. If you bring the best coaches to Nigeria to coach the national team, itâ€™s going to be so difficult for him to pick even the highest goal scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League because of our playing surface.
â€œThe coach can only pick goalkeepers. Donâ€™t forget that our national team coaches donâ€™t have time to start teaching our local players how to control the ball on zero undulating because most competitions we go to are being played on zero undulating surfaces,â€? he noted. The facility specialist further warned that local players might not be able to stamp their places in the national teams even in the next 50 years unless investment are made on playing surfaces to help these talents enjoy the proper standard pitches required for their development. He also pointed out that Nigerians must stop holding these coaches responsible for the failure of the national as these foreign tacticians limited by the honed talents available to them. â€œToday, competitions are being played on zero undulating surfaces so, itâ€™s going g to be very difficult foe these coaches to pick players from our local league! Nigerians must
understand that! Donâ€™t point accusing fingers at the coaches. We as a country must look inward. Without good playing facilities, without good playing surfaces in the league, there is no way our local players can make it even on trials. Thatâ€™s why our players can make in teams like Barcelona. They can only go to Egypt, Portugal and some lower leagues,â€? stressed Egbe. He then advised the League Management Company (LMC) who are in charge of running the league to enforce strict rule on standard pitches for matches, even if games can be played in four stadia. â€œSouth Africa donâ€™t show all their pitches on television but when you watch SuperSport, the good pitches are always shown, not the bad ones. â€œLet the LMC take all the matches to few pitches that are good in Nigeria. Let them work with SuperSport and see our game improve, you will see Gernot Rohr come to these places
and pick players for the Super Eagles. They should pass a law that if your pitch is bad and it doesnâ€™t meet the standards, you canâ€™t play in the NPFL. In the very important. If we want our players to excel, if we want to be at the top in marketing, Nigeria must invest in playing surfaces,â€? he concluded.
Ebi Egbe...sad over state of Nigerian pitches
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 •T H I S D AY
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KEY – * EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER ** EDITORIAL CONSULTANT ***COLUMNIST ****DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
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OF TELLING TRUTH TO POWER TR
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OF PROMOTING JUSTICE TR
& RE A SO
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KEY – * EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER ** EDITORIAL CONSULTANT ***COLUMNIST ****DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 •T H I S D AY
25 YEARS OF REASON 556. ISSA-ONILU, LANRE 557. ITA, CHRISTAIN 558. ITAYEMI, OMOLOLA 559. ITAYEMI, OMORODION 560. ITOBORE, OGENERUONA 561. ITODO , JAMES 562. IVEREN, MADUBUIKE 563. IWEGBU, ISRAEL 564. IWEGBU, PETER 565. IWEZUE, COLLINS 566. IWORI, JOHN 567. IWU, ETHEL 568. IWUALA, CAJETAN 569. IWUOHA, MAGNUS 570. IYAJUJEM, I OLUFEMI 571. IYAMA, SYLVESTER 572. IYANDU, OLAMIDE 573. IYANNAM, ETIP F 574. IYERE, A. ANDREW 575. IYIOLA, WASIU 576. IYOZUA, ISAAC T 577. IZEGBU, CHINWE 578. IZEVBIGIE, OMORUYI 579. JACKSON, SUNDAY 580. JAMES, O. SEGUN 581. JEGEDE, ABAYOMI 582. JIMOH, JESSICA 583. JIMOH, RAHMAN 584. JOHN, JOSHUA 585. JOHNSON, SUNDAY 586. JOLAYEMI, M. OLUWASOJI 587. JOSEPH, GRACE UCHE 588. JOSHUA, ADAH 589. JOSHUA, OLA 590. JUDUM, MARKUS 591. JULCIET, SANDRA 592. KALU, PATRICK 593. KAMMA, CHARLES 594. KANO, JIBRIL IBRAHIM 595. KASSIM, ABIODUN ABBEY 596. KAYODE, ADEKUNLE .K 597. KAYODE, ELIJAH 598. KAYODE, GABRIEL 599. KAYODE, IDOWU 600. KAYODE, KASALI GANIYU 601. KEANA, SIMON CEPHAS 602. KEHINDE, OLUYEMI 603. KIKA, FREDRICK 604. KILANSE, AKEEM 605. KIMEBE, CHINEDU 606. KINTUM, FRANK 607. KUFORIJI, DAYO 608. KOLAWOLE, SEUN 609. KOLAWOLE, SIMON 610. KOLAWOLE, YINKA 611. KOMOLAFE, KAYODE 612. KONYEBAGU, NGOZI 613. KUEGBA, DOROTHY 614. KUKOYI, SYLVESTER 615. KUPOLOKUN, BANKOLE 616. KUPOLOKUN, BUKOLA 617. KUTI, SAHEED 618. KYARI, ABBA * 619. LAMIDI, OLATUNJI 620. LASISI, OLUWAFUNKE 621. LAWAL, AFOLABI 622. LAWAL, HASSAN AJAYI 623. LAWAL, KAYODE 624. LAWAL, LUKMAN 625. LAWSON, CHIBUZOR 626. LIYAS, PATRICK 627. LOHOR, JOSEPHINE (LATE) 628. MACEBUH, STANLEY (LATE)** 629. MACULAY, RONKE 630. MADAKI, MOHAMMED 631. MADUEKE, OJO 632. MADUGBA, AGAJU 633. MAGAFU, SOPHIA
634. MAGDALENE, MEMEH 635. MAKANJUOLA, SEMIU 636. MALAOLU, NIRAN 637. MALLO, EZRA 638. MARK, RANDOLPH 639. MAYAKI, TAIWO 640. MEGBOLU, INNOCENT 641. MEGBOLU, JOSEPH 642. MEMAYI, ITUNU 643. MESEKO, DUROSINMI 644. MGBAKOR, GOZIEM 645. MGBAKOR, COLLINS 646. MGBO, DESMOND 647. MOHAMMED, NAFISAH 648. MOHAMMED, SAFINA 649. MOMODU, DELE 650. MOMODU, SHAKA 651. MOMOH ,TONY * 652. MOMOH, ABDULMUMUNI 653. MONYEI, ISIOMA 654. MOORE, NELSON .U. 655. MOORKWAP, PATRICK 656. MORMAH, PIUS 657. MOSERI-ERNEST, NDUKA 658. MUHAMMED, HABIB 659. MUHAMMED, SAFINA 660. MUIBI, YAHAYA 661. MUKAILA LAWAL 662. MURAINA, FUNSO(LATE) 663. MUSA, JOSEPH 664. MUSA, NUHU 665. MUSA, WASIU 666. MUSA, YAKUBU 667. MUSILIYU, GAFARU 668. MUSTAPHA, DEJI 669. NAKPODIA, OGO 670. NDIANEFO, OLUCHI 671. NDIULO, HENRY 672. NDUBUISI, FRANCIS 673. NDUKA, ALLOY 674. NDUONYI, ETIM EDETT 675. NELSON, UTIP 676. NEME, SONY 677. NJOGWUNI, NGOZI 678. NJOKU, ETHEL 679. NJOKU, JERRY 680. NJOKU, JUDE W. 681. NKEM, HARRIET WHITE 682. NKEMEHULE, REUBEN 683. NKOR, PHILO OGUZIE 684. NKWAZEMA, JOHNNY 685. NKWAZEMA, STANLEY 686. NKWOR, JUDE 687. NNABUIFE, STELLA 688. NNADOZIE, AZUBUIKE 689. NNAIKE, UCHECHUKWU 690. NNAJI, DAVID 691. NNAKWE, UGO 692. NNAMANI, UCHE 693. NNAMDI DURU 694. NNOCHIRI, PETER 695. NSIDIBIE, AKPAN 696. NSIKAK, IBANGA 697. NUBI, M.O 698. NWABOGOR, KONYE 699. NWABUEZE, OKONKWO 700. NWABUIKWU, PAUL * 701. NWABUIKWU, IKECHUKWU 702. NWABUKO, CHUKWUDI 703. NWACHUKWU, EUGENE 704. NWACHOKOR, HENRY 705. NWAGWU, MICHAEL 706. NWAMEFOR, KEN ARINZE 707. NWAOKORO, DENNIS 708. NWARGWE, GODWIN 709. NWAUGBALA, ONYEKA 710. NWAYEN, IMA UDUAK 711. NWEZEH, KINGSLEY
712. NWOGWUGWU, IJEOMA 713. NWOKO, CHIKA C. 714. NWORIE, BENJAMIN 715. NWOSU, CHIEBOH 716. NWOSU, NDUKA 717. NWOSU, JOANNE 718. NWOSU, STEVE 719. NYA, THERESA 720. NZETEH, CLEVER 721. OAMEN SUNNY 722. OBADAN, AINA 723. OBAIGBENA, CHIKA 724. OBAIGBENA, JONATHAN 725. OBAIGBENA, NDUKA 726. OBAIGBENA, ONYEMAKONOR 727. OBAJEMU, OLAJUWON 728. OBAJEMU, FELIX 729. OBAJI, HENRY 730. OBAJI, MUSTAPHER 731. OBALANLEGE, YEMI 732. OBASOGIE, ESOHE 733. OBAZE JUDITH 734. OBI, AMANZE 735. OBI, JOE 736. OBI, PAUL AKAN 737. OBI, SIMON 738. OBIA, VINCENT 739. OBIAGWE, NDUKA 740. OBIAJURU, SUCCESS 741. OBIANWUNA, PETER (LATE) 742. OBIETOH, UGOCHUKWU 743. OBIKE, UCHE 744. OBINNA, CHIMA 745. OBIOHA, VANESSA 746. OBISESAN, SHOLA 747. OBIWU, JUDE 748. OBOH, JULIUS 749. OBONODI, MONDAY 750. OBONYANO, MATHIAS 751. OBUIY, JOSEPH 752. OBUN, RICHARD JUDE 753. OBUSEH, HENRY 754. OCHU, C CHINASA 755. OCULI, OKELLO 756. ODEBODE, BODE 757. ODEH, ANDREW 758. ODEH, GODWIN 759. ODEH, WILLIAMS 760. ODEKA, VERONICA 761. ODETOLA , HORATIO 762. ODIGIE,PATIENCE(LATE) 763. ODIMOKWU, OKECHUKWU 764. ODITTAN, BERNARD 765. ODION, LOUIS 766. ODIVWRI, EDDY 767. ODJEGBA, FRED 768. ODOGWU, WILSON 769. ODONZI, NGBEKEN 770. ODUNIYI, MICHAEL 771. ODUNLADE, RAIMI 772. ODUNUGA, ABAYOMI .O 773. ODUNUGA, SAMUEL 774. ODUSILE, ABDULWAHEED 775. OGANNAH, AUSTIN 776. OGBANG, EKANGHE ALEX 777. OGBOBAGHASE, NOGOSA 778. OGBONNAYA, ROLAND 779. OGBU, AHAMEFULA O. 780. OGBUAKU, OCHI 781. OGBUENYI, NOSIKE 782. OGBULIE, NIK 783. OGECHUKWU, PEACE 784. OGEDENGBE, ANTHONY 785. OGENE, FRANKLIN 786. OGHENCHI, IMONIV .E. 787. OGHIFO, BENNETT 788. OGOH, JOSEPH CHIEDU 789. OGOH, ONYEMA .E
KEY – * EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER ** EDITORIAL CONSULTANT ***COLUMNIST ****DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
824. OJEAGBASE, CLEMETINAN 825. OJEDIRAN, BISI 826. OJEDIRAN, TAIRU 827. OJEH, BLESSING 828. OJEH, ERIC 829. OJEH, FRED 830. OJEIFO, SUFIJAN ISA 831. OJEIKERE, ADE 832. OJENAGBON, PAUL 833. OJERAHI, SAMUEL 834. OJI, GEORGE 835. OJILE,KELVIN 836. OJO, ADEMOLA ANTHONY 837. OJO FOLAKE 838. OJO, MARY ODUNAYO 839. OJUKWU, IFEOMA 840. OKAFOR, CHINEME 841. OKAFOR, IJEOMA MAGARET 842. OKAFOR, INNOCENT (LATE) 843. OKAFOR, JOHN 844. OKAFOR, JOHNSON 845. OKAFOR, LOVETH 846. OKAFOR, VIVIAN 847. OKAGBUE, ISABELLA * 848. OKEDH, GABRIEL 849. OKEKE, EDITH 850. OKEKE, IFEANYICHUKWU 851. OKENWA, LILLIAN NGOZI 852. OKEOWO, OLUSEYE 853. OKEREKE, M. MICHAEL 854. OKESOLA, M. IDOWU 855. OKHAHUME, ANGELA 856. OKIGBO, ONYINYE 857. OKOBI, C. SUNDAY
790. OGUACHUBA, MERCY 791. OGUAMA, MOSES 792. OGUJIUBA, AZUKA 793. OGHUMA, AUSTIN 794. OGUNBADEJO, BISI 795. OGUNBOR, JONATHAN (LATE) 796. OGUNBOR, MARK 797. OGUNDARE, FUNMILAYO 798. OGUNDARE, IYIOLA (LATE) 799. OGUNDELE, JOSHUA AFOLABI 800. OGUNFUYI, OLAKUNLE 801. OGUNLANA, B. SUNDAY 802. OGUNLEYE, G FLOURISH 803. OGUNLOWO, CAROLINE 804. OGUNMADE, OMOLOLU 805. OGUNMEFUN, EMMANUEL 806. OGUNSAKIN, GBENGA 807. OGUNSANWO, OGUNBIYI 808. OGUNSANYA, JOHN N. 809. OGUNTEBI, OLUWAFEMI 810. OGUNYE, OLUSEGUN 811. OGUNYOMI, O. SUNDAY 812. OGUZIE, CHARITY 813. OHADOMA, CHIKAS 814. OHAEGBULAM, IFEANYI 815. OHAGBLEM, UZOMA 816. OHAJU, KELECHI 817. OHDAM, JOHN ARUJWU 818. OHIA, PAUL (LATE) 819. OHIRI, FELIX 820. OHIWEREI, JOSEPH 821. OHUE, EMMANUEL 822. OHWOVORIOLE, JAMIN 823. OJEABU, LAWRETTA
OF SUPPORTING FREE ENTERPRISE TR
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20 01 2020 THE COMMEMORATION IS
OVER 1000 VISIONARIES BEHIND AFRICA’S MOST AUTHORITATIVE NEWSPAPER
TUESDAY JANUARY 14, 2020 • T H I S D AY
25 YEARS OF REASON 892. OLADIPO, SUNDAY 893. OLADUNJOYE, KEHINDE 894. OLADUNJOYE, MANSUN 895. OLAIDE, JIMOH 896. OLAJIDE, ROTIMI FADIPE 897. OLAKUNRI, OGHOGHO 898. OLAKUNRI, OLANIKE 899. OLALEYE, WALE 900. OLALEYE, YAKUBU IDOWU 901. OLANIYI, TUNDE 902. OLANIYONU, YUSUPH 903. OLANREWAJU, GBADEBO 904. OLANREWAJU, YEKINI 905. OLAODE, OLUFUNKE 906. OLAOLUWA, OLANIYO 907. OLAREWAJU, MAYOWA 908. OLARINDE, IDOWU SUSAN 909. OLASUPO, KOLAWOLE 910. OLATUNBOSUN, IDRIS 911. OLATUNBOSUN, YINKA 912. OLATUNJI, BUKOLA 913. OLATUNJI, KAZEEM 914. OLAWALE, SUNLOLA 915. OLAWALE, TAIWO 916. OLAWUNMI, O. ODUNAYO 917. OLAWUNMI, OLAITAN 918. OLAWUYI, O. RUFUS 919. OLIVER, MATHEW 920. OLOGBODIYAN, KOLA 921. OLOJO, ADEDAPO .A 922. OLORUNLOGBON, AKEEM 923. OLORUNTOBA, A. AKINTOLA 924. OLORUNTOBA, SULAIMAN 925. OLOTU, OLUSEGUN
858. OKOCHA, CHUKS 859. OKOH, CHUKS C. 860. OKOH, G. ALEICHENU 861. OKOH, JOSHUA .M 862. OKOH, KINGSLEY C. 863. OKOH, NORBERT 864. OKOISOR, HILDA NGOZI 865. OKOLI, ANAYO 866. OKOLI TUNDE 867. OKOLO, JACOB 868. OKON-EKONG, NSEOGBONG 869. OKONJI, EMMANUEL 870. OKONKWO, CHINYERE 871. OKONKWO, CHUKS 872. OKONOFUA, SYLVANUS 873. OKORO, FRED 874. OKORO, SUNDAY (LATE) 875. OKOROUGO, PRINCEWILL 876. OKOWORI, DAVID 877. OKOYE, CHINYERE 878. OKPALA, JOY A. 879. OKPANACHI, FRANCIS 880. OKU KARO, EJIRO 881. OKUDO, HENRY T 882. OKUISE, NGOZI .O 883. OKUNBOR, DAVIDSON 884. OKWE, JUDE (LATE) 885. OKWE, VICTOR 886. OKWU, PETER EDOR 887. OKWUE, VICTOR 888. OKWUONU, OLUCHI FIDELIA 889. OLABANJI, SUNDAY 890. OLABODE, TAIWO 891. OLADEPO, WALE (LATE)
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20 01 2020 THE COMMEMORATION IS
926. OLUARE, OLUWATOSIN 927. OLUBUNMI OLADIMEJI 928. OLUGBODE, MICHAEL 929. OLUSINA, EBENEZER 930. OLUSOLA, POPOOLA (LATE) 931. OLUWADARE, KEHINDE 932. OLUWALE, OSHINAMUO 933. OLUWASEUN, SAMUEL (LATE) 934. OLUWATOMI, MARYAM 935. OMABONU, SUNDAY 936. OMALE, PETER (LATE) 937. OMANUFEME, STEVE 938. OMATSEYE, SAMUEL 939. OMENGE, FEDERICK 940. OMENYE, EMMANUELLA 941. OMODON, NDUKA 942. OMOIGUI CURRENCY 943. OMOIGUI, GODWIN 944. OMOIGURI, GORDON 945. OMOKHUNU, KELLY 946. OMOLOLU, KOLA DARE 947. OMOMA, RICHARD 948. OMORODION, O. FAITH 949. OMOTOLANI , NUREEN 950. OMOTOSIN, JIDE O. 951. OMOTOSO, ABIOLA 952. OMOWONYOLA, MARTIN 953. ONABU, OMON-JULIUS 954. ONADEKO, FUNNAYA 955. ONAH, MATHEW 956. ONAH, NWACHUKWU 957. ONANA, JAMES 958. ONI, ABAYOMI PETER 959. ONI, BUNMI EMMANUEL 960. ONI-OLUSOLA, OLUGBEMIGA 961. ONIKEPO, BRAITHWAITE 962. ONOKO, OJI 963. ONONO, UCHE 964. ONU, EMELE ODEH 965. ONUOMA PIUS(LATE) 966. ONWUDINJO, CHUKS 967. ONWUEGBUSI, ADAEZE 968. ONWUGBOLU, BIBIAN 969. ONWUGHALU, MOSES 970. ONWUKA, AZUKA 971. ONWUZULIKE, TEJAN ANOM 972. ONYEJENA, EMMANUEL* 973. ONYEKA, CHRISTAIN 974. ONYEKAMUO, CHARLES 975. ONYENOBI, ERNEST 976. ONYIBE, CHARLES 977. ONYIBE-IMUDIA, STELLA 978. ONYIMA, TONY 979. OPARA, CYRIL 980. OPARA, GODWIN 981. OPARAH, KINGSLEY 982. OPEODU, CHRISTAIN 983. ORESEGUN, AYO 984. ORIAREHU, BONNY. F. 985. ORIAREHU, EROMOSELE 986. ORIH, ABEL (LATE) 987. ORIOHU, IKECHUKWU 988. ORLU, EMMANUEL 989. OROGUN, BAHOMA 990. OROGUN, WENESO 991. OROKOH, I FEDELIS 992. OSAGHELU, PATRICK 993. OSAGIE, ERNEST 994. OSAGIE, ERIC 995. OSAKWE, HENRY 996. OSAKWUNI, CHRISTOPHER P 997. OSAMGBI, ISICHEI 998. OSAMOR, GABRIELLA 999. OSANEBI, ISRAEL 1000. OSEYANDE, FRIDAY 1001. OSHIEN, PATRICK 1002. OSHO, MIKE 1003. OSHOWO, FOLAJIMI
1004. OSIEBO, GODWIN 1005. OSIME, RUTH IDA 1006. OSONDU, EMEKA 1007. OSUJI, STEVE 1008. OSUNTOKUN, AKIN * 1009. OSUYAH, MACAULAY 1010. OTARU, EMMANUEL .O 1011. OTI, GAIUS 1012. OTIONO, NDUKA 1013. OTO-OBONG, MERCY ISANG 1014. OTTI, ALEX * 1015. OVIA, FRANCES KEZI 1016. OVIAWE, ALEXZANDER, 1017. OWENKPA, SEGUN JAMES 1018. OWOJOBI, Y 1019. OWOLABI, AKINMUYIWA 1020. OWOLABI, OWOLOLA 1021. OWOLABI, SAMUEL 1022. OWOLABI, SARAFA 1023. OYARIN, JUSTIN 1024. OYEBADE, SAMUEL 1025. OYEDE, OLUWATOSIN 1026. OYEDEJI, WASIU 1027. OYEDELE, DAMILOLA 1028. OYEFIOLA, ROBERTS 1029. OYEFUSI, ISHAQ IDOWU 1030. OYEKANMI, OLUWAFUMIKE 1031. OYEMAKA, DESTINY 1032. OYENIBI, OLUSEGUN 1033. OYERINDE, AHMED 1034. OYESILE, KAYODE 1035. OYEWUNMI, ABAYOMI 1036. OYEYIPO, OBANISHOLA 1037. OYIBOKA, OSEMEKE 1038. OYIWE LORINE 1039. OYOLOLA, JANET 1040. OZEGBE, AUGUSTINE 1041. PETER-OMALE, FUNMI 1042. PETERS, MUBO 1043. PREST, DAVID 1044. RAHMAN, TUNDE 1045. RAIMI, IFEOLUWA G. 1046. RAJI, AFEEZ 1047. ROBERT, UKOUTIBE 1048. ROTIBA OLA 1049. ROTINWA, AYODEJI 1050. SAIDU, MUHAMMED 1051. SAIDU, MUSA 1052. SAKA, OLALEKAN 1053. SALIU, SAMSON 1054. SALMON, ISMAILA 1055. SAM, AUGUSTINE 1056. SAMALLA, DANIEL 1057. SAMDA, J. NUHU 1058. SANNI, DAJI N 1059. SANNI, M. ADENIKE 1060. SANNI, TUNDE(LATE) 1061. SANYA, LINDA .A 1062. SARIOR, JOHN 1063. SASORE, RISIKAT 1064. SAVIOUR, JOHN 1065. SEUN, KUNLE 1066. SHAGARI, HASSAN 1067. SHAIBU, MATHEW 1068. SHEHU, MUSTAPHA 1069. SHIKLAM, JOHN MUSA 1070. SHITTU, BABATUNDE 1071. SHITTU, BAKARE WAHAB 1072. SHITTU, SURAJUDEEN 1073. SHOLA, OYEDEPO 1074. SHOPE, SHADE 1075. SOBOWALE, O. ADEDAYO 1076. SOFOWORA, TUNDE 1077. SOKOH, DAVID OKON 1078. SOLAJA, OLUFEMI 1079. SOLUDO, CHARLES *** 1080. SOMORIN, KUNLE 1081. SOMORIN, ZACHEAUS
1082. SOMUYIWA, GBAYODE 1083. SONIYI, TOBI 1084. SOROYE, RILWAN 1085. SOWOLE JAMES 1086. SOWUNMI, IDOWU 1087. SOYINKA ILEMAKIN 1088. SOYOMBO, FUNMILAYO F. 1089. SULEIMAN, TOBA 1090. SULEIMAN, TUNDE 1091. SULYMAN, TAIYE 1092. TADAFERUA, KEN (LATE) 1093. TAIWO, ABIMBOLA .S 1094. TAIWO, JULIANA 1095. TERIBA, AYO 1096. THOMAS, EDWARD DAYO 1097. TIJANI, KAMORUDEEN .O. 1098. TOLUFASHE, FEMI (LATE) 1099. UBAKA-ADEKOYA, PATRICIA 1100. UBANI, EZIUCHE 1101. UCHE, FRANK 1102. UDO, SILAS 1103. UDOMA, UDO UDOMA * 1104. UDUAKU, ALBERT 1105. UFUO, PEDRO 1106. UGAH, NDUBUISI 1107. UGBAH, DAVID 1108. UGEH, PATRICK 1109. UGHAKPOTENI, PIUS 1110. UGORJI, PRINCESS 1111. UGWU, ANTHONY 1112. UGWU, EMMA 1113. UGWU, ENITAR 1114. UKANA, DAN 1115. UKEJE-ELOAGU, NNEOMA 1116. UKOH, TIMOTHY 1117. UKPAKA, ABIGAIL 1118. UKPONG, NKESE 1119. UKUTT, ETOPUBONG 1120. UKWA, IKENNA 1121. UKWATA, KARI 1122. UMAR, DANJUMA 1123. UMARU, ISSA 1124. UMARU, T. SULEIMAN 1125. UMOREN, PAULINUS 1126. UMOREN, VICTOR 1127. UNACHUKWU, JOHN E. 1128. UNEZE, AMBY 1129. UNIMNA, DANIEL (LATE) 1130. UNWANA, SUNDAY 1131. URANTA, TONY * 1132. USHIGIALE, JOSEPH 1133. USIADE, KINGSLEY 1134. USIFO, NDUKA 1135. USIFOH, CHRISTAIN 1136. USIFOH, N. IJEOMA 1137. USMAN, IDRIS 1138. USMAN, UADIZA RABI 1139. USMAN, YUSUF OZI 1140. UWADE, I. POWELL 1141. UWAEZUOKE, OKECHUKWU 1142. UWAIS, MARYAM * 1143. UWUGIAREN, IYOBOSA 1144. UYA, DAVID (LATE) 1145. VICTOR, FRIDAY 1146. WEWEH, VIVIAN 1147. WILLIAMS, UCHE 1148. WILLIAMS, ISSAC 1149. YAHAYA, ABDULKAREEM 1150. YAKUBU, TIMOTHY 1151. YEMBRA, LABAKE (LATE) 1152. YOHANA, SIMON 1153. YUSUF, AYO ILIAS 1154. YUSUF, RASAK 1155. YUSUF, SAKA 1156. ZUBARU, KABIRU 1157. ZURU, ABDULLA
...to be continued OVER 1000 VISIONARIES BEHIND AFRICA’S MOST AUTHORITATIVE NEWSPAPER
KEY – * EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER ** EDITORIAL CONSULTANT ***COLUMNIST ****DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Tuesday January 14, 2020
& RE A S O
MISSILE PDP to APC
“Two weeks ago, I issued a public invitation to Oshiomhole and 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” – PDP Chairman in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, mocking the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole; and Governor Godwin Obaseki over the lingering faceoﬀ between them.
TUESDAY WITH REUBENABATI email@example.com
The ‘Betrayal’ of Asisat Oshoala T he Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards 2020 has come and gone – the event was held in Hurghada, Egypt on January 7, but the dust is yet to settle on what is now known as “the betrayal” of Asisat Oshoala. Asisat Oshoala, 25, is the winner of the CAF Africa Women Footballer of the Year, 2019. She is Nigerian and one of our country’s greatest ambassadors in women football. Her latest award is the fourth time she would be declared Africa’s Best Female Footballer, making her equal the record of her compatriot, Perpetua Nkwocha with whom she now shares that distinction. CAF winners are chosen by members of the Technical and Development committee, journalists, football legends, coaches, and representatives and captains of national teams of Football Federations. Nigerians have always been strong members of CAF in both professional and administrative capacities. This year, five Nigerians were part of the final decision process in the women’s category. Ahmed Yusuf (aka Fresh), Osasu Obayiuwana, Chisom Mbonu, Tunde Adelakun, and Perpetua Nkwocha. What shocked most Nigerians and what has now been termed “an act of betrayal” was the realization that none of these five Nigerians considered Asisat Oshoala good enough as the Best Female Footballer in Africa in 2019. Oshoala was voted for and rated the best by outsiders and international football Federations. Ahmed Fresh did not vote at all; he alleges that he did not receive the voting papers from CAF. Osasu Obayiuwana rated Oshoala 3rd, Chisom Mbonu thinks she is second best, Tunde Adelakun voted her 2nd best, while Perpetua Nkwocha rated her 5th in Africa, even when the judges were to choose from a final shortlist of three. No one would have known the pattern of the vote, were it not for CAF’s transparency. CAF’s openness is commendable. But was Oshoala betrayed? Osasu Obayiuwana who has had to defend himself vigorously on twitter insists that he wasn’t on the panel of judges as a Nigerian to defend Nigeria’s interest but as an expert who is expected to be professional and fair-minded. In his own opinion, Oshoala was not the best female player in Africa in 2019. He and Mbonu insist that Tabitha Chawinga of Malawi is more deserving of the recognition. Tabitha Chawinga plays as a forward for Jiangsu in China. She won the best goal scorer award in the Chinese Women’s Super League, 2019. She is without doubt one of Africa’s great exports. She is a younger version of Nkwocha, Mercy Akide, Cynthia Uwak, and Asisat Oshoala, and an immensely gifted player in her own right. She has been shortlisted twice for the African Female Footballer of the Year, and now thrice. She is 23, with big potentials. I understand where Osasu Obayiuwana and Mbonu are coming from. When Nigerians accuse them of “betrayal”; it would seem as if those critics are recommending favouritism or partiality or cronyism in a process that should reflect fairness, merit and choice. The only problem is that with all five denying Oshoala of Nigerian votes, it really looks as if there was a Nigerian gang-up against a lady who is probably currently at the peak of her game. Nkwocha whose record (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011) she has now equalled even rated her 5th out of a shortlist of 3. Is that a subtle way of suggesting that she did not deserve a place in the final shortlist in the first place? Is this a case of sibling rivalry? Is Nkwocha uncomfortable with her own record being broken by a compatriot? It is in the light of these questions that Nkwocha’s warm congratulatory message to Oshoala, after winning in spite of her 5th-grade rating, has been dismissed as sheer hypocrisy.
Oshoala Osasu Obayiuwana and Mbonu have defended the choice that they made. But they really do not owe anyone any explanation. CAF is satisfied with the process and I guess their participation. The fans across Africa are pleased with the outcome. A judge is committed only to the rules of engagement and the criteria governing his or her assignment. He or she should not be bound by either umbilical or nepotistic attachments. I consider absolutely unnecessary therefore, the attempt by both judges to explain themselves to Oshoala’s supporters. Nigerians should get used to the right of persons to make their own choice, as long as there is no supportable evidence of ill-will, mischief or malice. The truth is that the Nigerian team’s seemingly unanimous rejection of Asisat Oshoala even makes her victory more convincing and credible. She didn’t win because the Nigerian team supported her. She emerged as Best Female Footballer on the basis of her impressive performance and her high estimation in the eyes of others. While the controversy over her being betrayed or not may have further projected her, her response to the Nigerian judges is pointless. She has exchanged a couple of messages on twitter with Osasu Obayiuwana. She has also reportedly blocked him on Twitter. Asisat Oshoala must realize that the distinction that she has enjoyed and the accolades she has received both come with responsibilities: the biggest responsibility is for her to conduct herself in a disciplined, humble and mature manner. She does not need to create unnecessary enemies for herself. Osasu Obayiuwana has been in this game long before she kicked her first ball. She should UNBLOCK him. He is not on the CAF Technical Committee as her publicist. He is there to serve Africa and he or any other person can discharge that responsibility only to the extent of their own understanding. Didn’t Nigerian representatives vote for Ms. Oshoala during the three previous occasions when she emerged as African Female Footballer of the Year? Those who have their palm kernels cracked for them by benevolent gods must learn to cultivate a sense of proportion. So, Asisat Oshoala, no more twitter tantrums. It is bad PR for you. It is better to stick to your initial response which is: “For me, I don’t think that anyone should be obligated to vote for anyone… The only thing in my head right now is how to help my team to win a lot of laurels as much as we can this year…I also have the African Women’s Cup of Nations…” Stick to these lines and shun needless drama.
But why are other Nigerians accusing the five Nigerian judges of “betrayal”? This is for a couple of reasons. One, many Nigerians believe and considerably correctly so, that our country is governed by a “Pull Him or Her Down (Ph.D) Syndrome”: the more successful you are, the more you are the target of envy, intrigue and mischief in Nigeria. People think your success is a reflection of their own failure and so they opt for a “crab mentality.” They will do whatever it takes to drag you down, if only to show that you are not as special as you imagine. Human beings generally have dark sides whoever they may be, but pulling the other person down or working hard to sabotage the other person is a very dark side of the Nigerian character. Envy is not always the cause; it could be differences in ethnicity or religion or some totally irrational primordial sentiment. In sports, there are hundreds of tales about lack of support for those who excel, and even those who fall sick, or who become destitute for one reason or the other, and those who die after years of service. The House of Sports in Nigeria is a House of Horror. Rashidi Yekini, the first Nigerian footballer to score a goal for Nigeria at the World Cup (1994) ended up as an invalid and died unsung. The legendary Chairman Chukwu of Enugu Rangers and former Captain of the Super Eagles took ill. It had to take the intervention of billionaire philanthropist, Femi Otedola, before those who should have helped suddenly realized he still existed. Isaac Promise, Nigeria’s representative at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels, and captain at every turn, including captain of an AFCON gold-winning team in 2005 and an Olympics silver winning team at Beijing 2008, died in October in the United States. His family duly informed the Nigeria Football Federation. Even with that three-months’ notice, no NFF official showed up at his funeral. The NFF has offered an unconvincing explanation. The NFF should shut up. Bash Ali, the Nigerian who made history in 1985 as the first WBF African cruiserweight boxing champion wants to be the oldest man (at 63) to seek a world title. Nigeria is not supporting him. Grace Aluko, former Rivers Angels and U-20 goalkeeper needed help. She didn’t get it. In 2016, some Nigerian athletes who were to represent Nigeria at the Olympics had to resort to the internet Go-Fund-Me platform to plead for financial support when they couldn’t get help from the Nigerian Government. Many of our athletes, male and female, have had to acquire other nationalities because Nigeria does not care enough. Asisat Oshoala and many others in other sports owe their achievement not to any support – financial or emotional - from Nigeria but to the benevolence of outsiders and foreign institutions. And now, two, you have Asisat Oshoala, standing out at CAF Awards 2020, only to hear that not even one Nigerian gave her the vote. Two out of the five Nigerians that rejected her are women! Nigeria as a country, didn’t even show up well at this year’s CAF awards. No Nigerian male footballer could make the list of best XI in Africa. How are the mighty fallen? Nigerians ended up celebrating Sadio Mane, of Liverpool and Senegal, as Best Male Footballer in Africa. We spent time talking about Mohammed Saleh of Egypt and Liverpool, and Riyadh Mahrez of Man City and Algeria. The Women’s National Team of Cameroon took the trophy making the Super Falcons team of Nigeria, easily the most accomplished female team in the continent, staring at empty hands. The argument that the Francophone bloc has hijacked CAF and that the awards are political is unacceptable to me. The truth is this: In four years, Nigeria has
not won any major male football tournament or championship. We have a national coach, Gernot Rohr, who stays in Europe, and makes his contribution by remote control. He collects Nigerian salary but he doesn’t think Nigeria is good enough for him. Someone should remind Rohr that one foreign coach like him once came to work here for the Eagles, and he ended up marrying a Nigerian lady from Akwa Ibom. Long after the man’s contract ended, I understand he is still in Nigeria enjoying great hospitality. Rohr must be ready to do the job if his contract is renewed. Absent minded stakeholders in the sports arena create problems, they don’t solve them. However, what I am trying to say is that the biggest news in Nigerian football, male or female, in 2019, is Asisat Oshoala’s victory in female football at the CAF Awards in Egypt. Forget about the choice made by the five Nigerians, Oshoala got 351 votes, 30 more than Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout and 103 votes more than Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa and Beijing BG Phoenix F. C. Five Nigerian votes would not have made any difference! In Nigerian-speak, the stone that was rejected at home is the pillar that holds the building. Oshoala was our only claim to glory at the CAF awards. She is certainly most deserving of the award and it is not true that she did not distinguish herself in the year 2019. Asisat Oshoala’s career has been driven in more than one decade by sheer talent, passion and extra-ordinariness on the field of play and single-minded consistency. She is a multiple winner of Golden Ball, Golden Boot, and Youth Player of the Year awards. In 2014, she won FIFA’s U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Boot, FIFA’s Women Golden Ball and the African Women’s Football Golden Ball. In 2015, she was BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. In 2017, she was Top Scorer in the Chinese Women’s Super League. This was when she played for Dalian Quanjian F. C. Oshoala is African Women’s Footballer of the Year – 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019. She has played for Liverpool, Arsenal Ladies and currently she is with the Spanish Club, FC Barcelona Femeni, to which she was loaned in 2019, and where she distinguished herself most impressively, resulting in the announcement of her full transfer to the club until 2022. She was a key player at France 2019 and a nominee for the goal of the tournament award. She also helped Barcelona to a runner-up position in the Primera division. In 2019, she was Africa’s highest female goal scorer. Before and since she won the 2019 African Women’s Footballer of the Year award, Oshoala, on her return to FC Barcelona has performed feats that have shown her mastery and dominance. To borrow a typical Nigerian cliché, “she has been on song and on fire!”. Two days before the award ceremony in Egypt she scored two goals, a brace, and her 10th goal for Barca in 13 games this season. Barca won 3-0 against Athletic Club. On January 11, 2020, four days after she won the award as best female footballer, she scored four goals in a Barcelona Femeni 6-0 win against CD Tacon. Oshoala is a true Queen of the pitch. She stands ready and certain to beat her own record. Three lessons from all of this: (i) don’t ever rely on the support of kinsmen but don’t betray yourself either, (ii) work on your talent, it is the only asset that won’t fail you; … “always remember that this world is so hard and so stony…” (iii) and also remember that we live in a mysterious world where we are all pawns in the hands of the Master Builder… Here, then, is to your good health in a song!... Congratulations, Asi-STAR!, winner of “the three jewels” and one more. Keep shooting…
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