Page 1

lnflation drops by 0.06 % in March – NBS In its major duties, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that the country’s inflation measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March was 0.06 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in February. The NBS said this in its “CPI and Inflation Report’’ released yesterday in Abuja.

The bureau said the CPI which measures inflation decreased to 11.25 per cent (year-on-year) in March, 2019. According to the bureau, this is 0.06 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in February, 2019 (11.31) per cent. It, however, said

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index. On month-on-month basis, the bureau said the Headline Index increased by 0.79 per cent in March 2019, this was 0.06 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded

Vol. 06 No. 326

in February 2019 (0.73) per cent. The Report said the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the period of 12 months ending in March over the previous 12 months was 11.40 per cent. It said the figure showed 0.16 per cent point from 11.56 per cent recorded in

February. Meanwhile, the bureau said the urban inflation rate increased by 11.54 per cent (year-on-year) in March from 11.59 per cent recorded in February 2019. It said the rural inflation rate increased by 10.99 per cent in March from 11.05 per cent in February.

On a month-on-month basis, it said the urban index rose by 0.81 per cent in March 2019, up by 0.05 from 0.76 per cent recorded in February. Also, it said the rural index rose by 0.77 per cent in March, up by 0.06 from the rate recorded in February (0.71) per cent.

Page 29

N200

ISSN: 2408-6703

Foreign investors shun equities market for fixed income BY NIYI JACOBS

I

ndications have emerged that most foreign portfolio investors who are moving huge funds into the Nigeria’s economy in recent times, are

not investing much in equities as they do in fixed income securities where returns are more guaranteed in this uncertain period. In a statement issued at the end of the Monetary Pol-

icy Committee’s meeting at the end of March 2019, the CBN said the portfolio re balancing reflects the perceived risk at the long end of the yield curve. “The Committee (MPC)

noted that in spite of the recent upsurge in capital inflow into the economy, the AllShare Index (ASI) and Market Capitalization (MC) continued to decline, reflecting global sentiments in portfolio

rebalancing from equities to fixed income securities. This generally reflected the perceived risk at the long end of the yield curve,” the CBN explained. The equities segment of

the Nigerian capital market which comprises about 52 percent of the entire market, contracted by two per-cent in the month of March. This led to investors losing

Page 29

Q1: How household power supply dropped to 37% Y BONNY AMADI

I

ndustrial and domestic activities may have to continue to grapple with low power supply , as the, Nigerian households in first quarter (Q1) of 2019 recorded power supply decline to 37 per cent, from 41 per cent recorded in the preceding fourth quarter

Q4 of 2018. The new No1 Power Poll results released by NOIPolls for the first quarter of 2019 revealed that the power sector experienced a decline in power supply, against expectations that it would rather in-crease from the last reading of 42-percents obtained

Page 5

Court acquits, discharges suspended SEC DG, Gwarzo Page 12 President of the National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo (1st right) accompanied by Alhaji Aliko Dangote (2nd right) and former President, NSE, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede ( 2nd left), during a condolence visit to the family of late Professor Herbert Onye Orji, erstwhile National Council member of NSE and they were received by Dr. (Mrs.) Nnenna Orji, Wife; Mrs. Leslie Okoye, Daughter; and Christian, sister.

CBN introduces guidelines for NIFIs

Page 13

Nigeria produces 90% of rice consumed locally – Minister

M

inister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh yesterday expressed satisfaction that Nigeria was now producing 90 per cent of the rice it consumed locally.

Ogbeh disclosed this at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting held at the newly commissioned Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.

The theme of the meeting is: “Harnessing the Potential of Agricultural Export in Nigeria: The Role of Key Stakeholders”. Ogbeh, who was represented Dr Karima Babangida, the Director,

Extension Services of the ministry said that the sup-port of the present administration had triggered a visible shift “to eating what we grow rather than eating imported food’’. “One very good example that we see today is the locally

home grown Nigerian rice, hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies largest importer in the world. “But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm

shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 per cent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here. “Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed

Nigeria: Mobilizing resources to invest in people

Page 30 Backpage


2

WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

CLASSIFIED

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

SURE ELECTS OF GOD MINISTRY

ARANSE OLUWA FADLU-NABIYY MUSLIM SOCIETY OF NIGERIA

HOLY GHOST GLOBAL REVIVAL CENTER

Notice is hereby given that the above named organisation which is based in Lagos has applied for registration under Part C of the Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990 The Trustees are: 1. Oluwajinde, Olusegun Omotayo 2.Oluwajinde, Oluranti Ayodele 3. Samuel Gbadebo Openiyi Principal Aims and Objectives 1. Raising An Army Of Believers Who Are Heaven Bound And Doing exploits for the lord on earth 2. Preaching the good news (gospel) of salvation to all people. (Mark 16:15) 3. Nurturing children so at to be saved and allowed to serve God 4. To raise youths and prepare them for leadership in The church and the society according to the purpose and Standard of god 5. To raise godly homes that will be the backbone of the Church and the society. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general of the corporate affairs commission, pmb 198 plot 565 ndola square zone 5 wuse abuja within 28 days of this publication.

This is to inform the general public that the above named SOCIETY has applied for registration to Corporate Affairs Commission under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Mahmud Abdullahi Yunus Yunus Jamiu Omotosho Onile nla Razaq kolawole Ololade Nurudeen Oladapo Abdullahi Abibat Yetunde Olojede Kudirat Oluwaseyi Odunsi Bisiriyu A. Abdullahi Mustapha Olatunji Adekomi Rukayat Oluwafunmi

THE AIM AND OBJECTIVE IS :To peacefully propagate the religion of Islam Any Objection to the registration should be directed to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguyi Ironsi Street, Matiama, Abuja within 28 days from the date of the publication.

This is to inform the general public that the above named SOCIETY has applied for registration to Corporate Affairs Commission under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Ilesanmi Abiola Beatrice 2. Ilesanmi Damilola Gabriel 3. Ogunsanya David Oluwagbogo 4. Ige Esther Oluwasola 5. Onipede Adewale Amos AIM AND OBJECTIVE: TO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication

Signed: Chairman

SIGNED: SECRETARY

SIGNED STRAIGHT PATH CONSULTING

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

WORD OF LIFE TRIUMPHANT FAITH MINISTRY

DAILY BENEFITS & SEED HOPE FOUNDATION

This is to notify the General Public that the above-named ministry has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja to be registered as a body corporate with perpetual succession under Part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap 1, LFN, 2004.

The General Public is hereby Notified that the Above Named FOUNDATION has Applied to Corporate Affairs Commission for Registration Under part C of the Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990.

The Trustees Are: 1. DANIEL OLUFISAYO PAUL – President 2. DANIEL OLUBUNMI DORCAS 3. OGUNDIPE BUKOLA JUMOKE 4. EGUNJOBI OLUWAKEMI REBECCA – Secretary 5. DANIEL SAMUEL OLAOLUWAKITAN TOMISIN

THE TRUSTEES ARE:1. EROJIE ISIOMA FLORENCE 2. EROJIE BENEDICT AGOCHICHE 3. AKAGWU BAMIYO 4. AKAGWU GABRIEL ONALO 5. NWULI NDIDI ESTHER 6. AMUNIKORO ISMAIL OLALEKAN 7. EROJIE ODILILE AGOCHICHE

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach and declare the total package of the WORD OF GOD which is the WORD OF LIFE as contained in the Holy Bible and to demonstrate its power to save, heal and deliver those held in captivity by the devil. 2. To promote the Gospel through the use of electronic media, digital communication networks, social media, newsletters, brochures, magazines, Christian literature, books, manualsand instructional materials. Any objection to this application should be directed in writing to the Registrar – General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent Off Aguiyi-Ironsi Street, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, to reach her not later than twenty-eight (28) days from the date of this publication.

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE:1. To empower youths in the skill of economics and management 2. To counsel and teach the youth on the art of savings and financial management 3.To empower the unschooled the art of acquiring skills to eliminate poverty Any Objection to this Registration Should be Forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama District, P.M.B. 198 Garki, FCT, Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication.

ADIO CARE FOUNDATION The General Public is hereby Notified that the Above Named FOUNDATION has Applied to Corporate Affairs Commission for Registration Under part C of the Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990. Trustees 1) Adekoya jeleel Adio Williams 2)Ishola Yusuf olamilekan Aims To support and empower the less privilege To campaign against women abuse and child labour. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication. Signed Secretary

ANNOUNCER: BARRISTER OLUGBENGA TOBE

SIGNED BY: SECRETARY

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

ROSE TINUOLA FOUNDATION

LIBRATION ELDERS ASSOCIATION OF ORIMERUNMU

MASEV IHYAREV NONGOV YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FORUM

The above named Foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part c of companies and allied matters act no1 of 1990. Names of Trustees: 1. OGUNYALE TINUOLA ROSELINE. 2. OGUNYALE VICTORIA OLANIKE. Aims and objectives: 1. To Educate, Empower, Restore Hope and turn sad faces into Happy ones. 2. Spread love, Laughter, Good Health, eradicate poverty. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, P.M.B. 198. Garki, Abuja within 28days from the date of this publication.

The General Public Is Hereby Notified That The Above Named Has Applied To The Corporate Affairs Commission For Registration Under Part “C” Of The Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. GANIYU OLADUNJOYE -Chairman, 2, SODEDEJI SUNDAY AJOSE -secretary, 3, KELANI KAZEEM OLANREWAJU -Treasurer, 4, OBABUKOLA MUFUTAU, 5,OWOLABI SULAIMAN.

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days of this publication

Any Objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent , off Aguiyi - ironsi Street, Maitama District , Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

SUCCESS EMPOWERMENT AND ENLIGHTENMENT DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

Ambrose Alli University Economics Class Of 1998 Association

Aims And Objectives: 1. To give, provide and /or render help and assistance in cash and kind to poor and / or destitute people, widows. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, P.M.B. 198. Garki, Abuja within 28days from the date of this publication. Signed: Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE :1. To Address Members Needs, Creating An Avenue For Financial Outsourcing In Order To Empower Members 2. To Promote The Progress Of The Members

Signed Secretary

Names of Trustees: 1. Egbejiogu Anthonia Chisom . 2. Falodun Modupe Oluseun. 3. Chike Karl Okwara . 4. Osho Temitope Oluwatosin 5. Samuel Olufemi Adehoun.

THE TRUSTEES ARE:(1) ACHIV DANIEL DECHIER (2) AKIGHIR CYPRIAN IORWUNDU (3) UZOHO DOMINIC AONDOWASE (4) ZAKI TSEVENDE ALBERT

AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To promote unity and peace among members,

Signed: Secretary

The above named Initiative has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part c of companies and allied matters act no1 of 1990.

The General Public Is Hereby Notified That The Above Named Has Applied To Corporate Affairs Commission For Registration Under Part C Of The Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990.

The General Public Is Hereby Notified That The Above Named Has Applied To The Corporate Affairs Commission For Registration Under Part “C” Of The Companies And Allied Matters Act 1990. The Trustees Are: 1. Green Maria Ekhuemueghiian 2. Ero Kenneth Osayuwana 3. Idiake Onuwabhagbe Austin 4. Okoanegbete Darlington Abu Aim And Objective: To Foster Relationship Amongst Classmates. Any Objection To The Registration Should Be Forwarded To The Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, Within 28 Days Of This Publication Signed Straightpath Consulting 08023694015

SIGNED BY : SECRETARY

RECONCILIATION OF NAME The general public is hereby notified that, OHIOSIMUAN ILEOGBEN KELVIN and ILEOGBEN OHIS KELVIN, is one and same person. Henceforth, I wish to be known, called and addressed as OHIOSIMUAN ILEOGBEN KELVIN. All former documents remain valid. The general public, banks, and concerned authorities should take note.

x

Maxwell Chukwudi

I Formerly Known And Addressed As Okoro chukwudi, Now Wish To Be Known And Addressed As Maxwell Chukwudi. All Former Documents Remain Valid. General Public Should Please Take Note.

Nweke Gracious Oluchi I formerly known and addressed as christian oluchi Gracious Irechukwu, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Nweke Gracious Oluchi. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note. ALADEMEHIN SEGUN OLUWAWOMISAN I formerly known and addressed as GODWIN OLUWAWOMISAN ALADEMEHIN, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ALADEMEHIN SEGUN OLUWAWOMISAN. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.


WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

CLASSIFIED MARTINS CHIBOGWU ANAGOR I formerly known and addressed as MARTINS CHIBOGWU NWAJANA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MARTINS CHIBUZOR ANAGOR. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

BALOGUN OLUWATOBI ESTHER I formerly known and addressed as OGUNDEYI OLWATOBI ESTHER, now wish to be known, called and addressed as BALOGUN OLUWATOBI ESTHER. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

OYEDELE LATEFFAT BOLANLE I formerly known and addressed as AJIBODE LATEEFAT BOLANLE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as OYEDELE LATEEFAT BOLANLE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

AFOLABI EBERE ROSE

ADENUGA MFON BLESSING I formerly known and addressed as JOHNSON MFON BLESSING, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ADENUGA MFON BLESSING. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as UBOMA EBERE ROSE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as AFOLABI EBERE ROSE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

ADELEKE MARIAM OLUWASEUN I formerly known and addressed as BOGUNMBE MARIAM ADERONKE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ADELEKE MARIAM OLUWASEUN. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

CHIDIMMA GERALDINE OBIENYEM I formerly known and addressed as OLUEBE ESTHER OBIENYEM, now wish to be known, called and addressed as CHIDIMMA GERALDINE OBIENYEM. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

Nwanko Nnennaya Precious I formerly known and addressed as Nwanko Precious Ananechi, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Nwanko Nnennaya Precious. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

yinka joesphine awokoya I formerly known and addressed as okpala joesphine, now wish to be known, called and addressed as yinka joesphine awokoya. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

ANAS TUNNY EMMANUEL

I formerly known and addressed as GABRIEL TUNNY EMMANUEL, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ANAS TUNNY EMMANUEL. That Old Date of Birth: 15th July, 1987 and the new Date of Birth is 17th July, 1987. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

MR NWAFOR IFEANYI NICHOLAS I formerly known and addressed as MR OGBUKA IFEANYI NICHOLAS, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MR NWAFOR IFEANYI NICHOLAS. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

ONYEKWERE CHIDIOGO LILIAN

MR. KASSIM RASHEED (RICHARD) ADENIYI ADEBANJO

DADA LAWRETTA KANDE

I formerly known and addressed as MR. KASSIM ADENIYI ADEBANJO, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MR. KASSIM RASHEED (RICHARD) ADENIYI ADEBANJO. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

MRS NWAFOR ANULIKA JULIET

I formerly known and addressed as LAWRETTA MUSA KANDE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as DADA LAWRETTA KANDE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as MISS UBAH HAPPINESS ANULIKA JULIET, now wish to be known, called and addressed as MRS NWAFOR ANULIKA JULIET. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

EVOH NWABUEZE FRANK This is to confirm and certify that EVOH NWABUEZE FRANK is one and the same person bearing EVOH NWABUEZE FRANKLIN. That for now wish to be known and addressed as EVOH NWABUEZE FRANK. All documents bearing both names are valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note.

Olatunji Michael Isaac I formerly known as Isaac Moscow O. now wish to be known and addressed as Olatunji Michael Isaac. All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note

NOJEEM ZAINAB IYABODE

I formerly known and addressed as NOJEEM ZAINAB AYINKE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as NOJEEM ZAINAB IYABODE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

IDOREYIN ISRAEL NNA

JEPHTHAH UCHE EZE

JOHN COMFORT BLESSING

I formerly known as ISRAEL JOSEPH NNA. now wish to be known and addressed as IDOREYIN ISRAEL NNA. All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note

I formerly known as KENNETH OGBU. now wish to be known and addressed as JEPHTHAH UCHE EZE. All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note

IDOWU OLUWATOSIN ABIODUN (MRS) I formerly known as AJOSE OLUWATOSIN ABIODUN (MISS). now wish to be known and addressed as IDOWU OLUWATOSIN ABIODUN (MRS) . All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note

OHAMADIKE TOBECHUKWU JESSE I formerly known as OHAMADIKE TOBECHUKWU. now wish to be known and addressed as OHAMADIKE TOBECHUKWU JESSE. All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and general public take note

I formerly known and addressed as ONYEKWERE OGOCHUKWU LILIAN, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ONYEKWERE CHIDIOGO LILIAN. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as ARITCOMFORT OKON WILLIAMS now wish to be known and addressed as JOHN COMFORT BLESSING. I was born on 20/03/1978. All former documents remain valid. General public to please take note. OLALEYE OPEYEMI OLUWATOSIN

I formerly known and addressed as OGUNDARE TOSIN OPEYEMI now wish to be known and addressed as OLALEYE OPEYEMI OLUWATOSIN. All former documents remain valid. General public to please take note.

3

I formerly known and addressed as FEMI ADENIYI, now wish to be known, called and addressed as BELLO OLORUNFEMI ADINOYI. That my correct Date of Birth is 2nd June, 1994 and not 2nd June 1993. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

EGWU PHILOMENA ONYEKACHI I formerly known and addressed as ELUU PHILOMINA ONYEKACHI, now wish to be known, called and addressed as EGWU PHILOMINA ONYEKACHI. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

AYODELE AKOLADE JUNIOR I formerly known and addressed as AYODELE AKOLADE MICHEAL, now wish to be known, called and addressed as AYODELE AKOLADE JUNIOR. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

KALU NDIDI PRECIOUS

CORRECTION OF NAME

CHANGE OF NAME/ DATE OF BIRTH

I formerly known and addressed as KALU DANIEL MECHA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as KALU NDIDI PRECIOUS. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as AMARA UDEZE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as AMARA UDENZE CHARITY. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as NDUBISI, MARIA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ONYEJIKA, MARIA ULOMA. That my correct Date of Birth should read 4th Feb. 1984. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

Omoyeni Yetunde Oluwaseun I formerly known and addressed as Omoyeni Yetunde Ajarat, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Omoyeni Yetunde Oluwaseun. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

EGBA ESTHER

CHANGE OF NAME/ DATE OF BIRTH

Eda Elizabeth I formerly known and addressed as Adekoya Elizabeth, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Eda Elizabeth. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note. AKILLA ELIZABETH IROLI I formerly known and addressed as AJUEBISHI IROLI ELIZABETH, now wish to be known, called and addressed as AKILLA ELIZABETH IROLI. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

x AMOBI CHIKAODILI

ONOCHIE FAVOUR NNEKA I formerly known and addressed as NWABUA NNEKA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ONOCHIE FAVOUR NNEKA. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

x

Yinusa musefiu olusola I formerly known and addressed as Yunus sefiu olusola, now wish to be known, called and addressed as Yinusa musefiu olusola. All former documents remain valid. The general public, GT Bank Idi-Oro and concerned authorities should take note.

x

ADEGOKE TOLULOPE OMOLADE I formerly known and addressed as SEKUMADE TOLULOPE ADESOLA now wish to be known and addressed as ADEGOKE TOLULOPE OMOLADE. All former documents remain valid. General public to please take note. OFEJIRO MITCHELL JOHN

I formerly known and addressed as IKEDE IRENE now wish to be known and addressed as OFEJIRO MITCHELL JOHN. All former documents remain valid. General public to please take note.

PERPETUAL I formerly known and addressed as OGBODO CHIKAODILI PERPETUAL , now wish to be known, called and addressed as AMOBI CHIKAODILI PERPETUAL. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note. UCHECHUKWU JACOB

I formerly known and addressed as UCHE JACOB STATEMAN, now wish to be known, called and addressed as UCHECHUKWU JACOB. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as AIGBAH ESTHER IYAHOIHOI, now wish to be known, called and addressed as EGBA ESTHER. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note. ALIMI ABIBU LEKAN I formerly known and addressed as LEKAN ABEEB BOLANLE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ALIMI ABIBU LEKAN. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note. ADEGOKE BUKOLA FOLAKEMI I formerly known and addressed as KEHINDE ADEBUKOLA FADEKEMI, now wish to be known, called and addressed as ADEGOKE BUKOLA FOLAKEMI. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

IDOREYIN ISRAEL NNA

JEPHTHAH UCHE EZE

I formerly known and addressed as ISRAEL JOSEPH NNA, now wish to be known, called and addressed as IDOREYIN ISRAEL NNA. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

I formerly known and addressed as KENNETH OGBU, now wish to be known, called and addressed as JEPHTHAH UCHE EZE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

x MRS. OKWUNZE HOPE

OLUMOFIN TINUADE GRACE I formerly known and addressed as FOLORUNSO-OLUMOFIN TINUADE, now wish to be known, called and addressed as OLUMOFIN TINUADE GRACE. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.

ONYEDIKA

Formerly Known And Addressed As Miss Emeagui Hope Onyedika, Now Wish To Be Known And Addressed As Mrs. Okwunze Hope Onyedika. All Former Documents Remain Valid. General Public Should Please Take Note.

x

EYINSAN JOSE EBIETAN

OKORO ROBERT

Formerly Known And Addressed As EBIETAN OJOSE, Now Wish To Be Known And Addressed As EYINSAN JOSE EBIETAN. All Former Documents Remain Valid. General Public Should Please Take Note.

I formerly known and addressed as OKORO IMUENTIYAN, now wish to be known, called and addressed as OKORO ROBERT. All former documents remain valid. The general public, bank and concerned authorities should take note.


NEWS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

4

25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily – Group N

o fewer than 25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily, Nigerian activists under the aegis of the Tobacco Free Nigeria campaign says. , A campaign specialist at Gatefield, Ebiuwa Uwagboe disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday . called on gov-ernment to enforce the law banning the sale of tobacco products to the underage to check such smokers in the coun-try. “Every day, a whopping 25,000 children in Nigeria between the ages of 10 and 14

years use tobacco products. “This equates to 17 children smoking every one minute. “This is a result of the relative ease of their access to cigarettes and other tobacco related products, which are sold to them by vendors,” she said. Uwagboe added that smoking among teenagers had devastating consequences including health related ones such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as reduced mental development. “Children must be protected as they lack capacity and are

often unwitting targets of the tobacco industry,” she said. She noted that a recent survey released by Gatefield discovered that one out of every four vendors sold cigarettes to kids in the country. She added that the Nigerian Tobacco act of 2015 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 but that the law was not being implemented or enforced. “While it is important to have the right laws, it is not enough. We need to enforce them now and ensure that the Na-tional

Assembly passes the tobacco control regulations. “This is what our campaign aims to do,” she added. She further said that the #DontWaitRegulate campaign also released two public service advertisements to create awareness about the existing law and pressure government to properly enforce it with the passage of the regulations by the national assembly. She said that a campaign

Building Collapse: Council urges better implementation of relevant laws

W

L-R: Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils; Lagos state Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing; Ogun State Governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun and his Deputy Governor-elect, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, at a reception hosted by British High Commission in Nigeria, in Lagos.

Director of Oyo State Teaching Service Commission, Mr Mustapha Taiwo; Oyo State Head of Service, Mrs Hannah Ogunesan; and Permanent Secretary on Service Matters, Oyo State, Mrs Adejoke Eyitayo, during the presentation of cheques to recipients of the 2018 'Most Efficient Workers' award at Oyo State Governor's Office in Ibadan.

petition page http://www.regulate.tobaccofree.ng was created while the campaign was pre-sent on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @Tobaccofreeng,” she said. She said the advertisement featured individuals including Fakhuus Hashim, #ArewaMeToo founder; Ogor Ben-Iweagwu, a public hospital doctor; Anna Usman, a mother and entrepreneur; and Providence Anaro, a teenage freshman at the University of Abuja.

orried by the spate of building collapses in Lagos and Oyo States, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), has urged the three tiers of government to be proactive in the implementation of building laws. The President of the council, Shola Tinubu, made the call on Tuesday at the quarterly media parley in Lagos. The two states witness building collapse in March. A building, which housed a school, collapsed at Massey Street, Ita-Faji, on Lagos Island, with no fewer than 20 deaths recorded. Barely 72 hours after that tragic incident, another building collapsed in Ibadan. According to Tinubu, the council is well touched by the incessant collapsed of buildings. He called on the governments to give more impetus to the enforcement of compulsory building insurance as en-shrined in Section 64 and Section 65 of

Shola Tinubu

Insurance Act 2003. Tinubu said the council believed that the unfortunate incidences were actually accentuated by the lax of regulatory enforcement agency in the construction environment. He urged governments to continually engage the stakeholders in the construction environment, while related institu-tions should elicit their inputs for a long lasting solution to the malaise. The council president, while commiserating with the victims of the building collapses, advised Nigerians, on their own, to insure their personal assets. “The insurance will mitigate the losses when losses of this dimension do occur. “Every individual should ideally live up to his responsibility of care by protecting whatever is valuable to him or her, both life and property “Our slogan has been: “Whatever is Worth Having, is Worth Insuring,” he said.


5

WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

ECONOMY

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Q1: How household power supply dropped to 37% BY BONNY AMADI

I

ndustrial and domestic activities may have to continue to grapple with low power supply , as the, Nigerian households in first quarter (Q1) of 2019 recorded power supply decline to 37 per cent, from 41 per cent recorded in the preceding fourth quarter Q4 of 2018. The new No1 Power Poll results released by NOIPolls for the first quarter of 2019 revealed that the power sector experienced a decline in power supply, against expectations that it would rather in-crease from the last reading of 42-percents obtained in Q4, 2018. Power supply dropped steadily from 46 percent in January to 35 percent in February and further dropped to 30 percent in March, 2019; which recorded the lowest figure in Q1 2019. The decline in power supply to households, according to the poll result, can be attributed to the com-bined challenges of gas shortage to the generating companies and low water levels at the hydro pow-er stations. The report shows that the downward trend in power supply was seen in all three months in Q1, as power supply dropped consistently from 46 percent in January to 35 percent in February and further dropped to 30 percent in March, 2019; which recorded the lowest figure in Q1 2019. The results obtained from the poll also revealed that the quarterly average cumulative hours of power supply experienced a marginal decline from 9.7 hours in Q4, 2018 to 9.6 hours in Q1 2019. The report noted that a cumulative power supply of 9.6 hours per day is a far cry from the standard 24 hours’ power supply which households in Nigeria are expected to be experiencing in an ideal situation. This shortfall of hours in power supply across the country further depict the perennial challenges ex-perienced in the power sector which has a direct effect on the economy of the country. It is on record that the Federal Government has embarked on attempts in the past to fix the power sector but it has all been futile as the power supply have continued to dwindle over the past months. Westafrica BusinessNews recalled that manufacturing firms have over a long period attributed poor power supply as one major cost of hike in cost of operations, which has continued

to affect the social and economic lives of Nigerians in one way or the other. Though the Federal Government has put is some efforts to ensure adequate power supply to Nigeri-ans but the effort have not yielded positive results as the power sector still falls short of expectation of the average Nigerian. The survey results, showed that the sector is still faced with the variety of issues ranging from power generation to distribution. Nigeria’s power generation

continue to hover around 5,000 and 7,000 megawatts making it one of the least electrified nations in the world with its attendant effect which include inability to cope with a burgeoning population. It has been established that a large portion of Nigerians do not have access to power supply which makes the country the highest with electricity access deficit. It is, however, against this backdrop that NOIPolls conducted its quarterly survey to assess electricity distribution to Nigeri-

This shortfall of hours in power supply across the country further depict the perennial challenges experienced in the power sector which has a direct effect on the economy of the country. It is on record that the Federal Government has embarked on attempts in the past to fix the power sector but it has all been futile as the power supply have continued to dwindle over the past months.

an households in the first quarter of 2019. The poll result in monthly analysis of the state of power supply between January and March 2019 re-vealed that only 30 percent of Nigerians experienced an improvement in power supply to their house-holds in the month of March, 2019. The figure represents the lowest power supply improvement in Q1 2019 when compared to February when it closed at 35 Per cent and January at 46-Per cent. Nationwide Average Quarterly Trend of power supply revealed a 5 percent decline in power supply in Q1, 2019 to stand at 37 percent when compared to Q4, 2018 which stood at 42 percent. This result therefore, reveals a decline in power supply to households in the Q1, 2019 Nationwide Monthly Average Cumulative Daily Power Supply, showed that January 2019 accounted for the month with the highest cumulative daily power supply in the first quarter of 2019. Respondents surveyed confirmed that they received an average of 10.2 hours cumulative power supply in January, while the lowest average cumulative daily power supply in Q1, 2019 was seen in the month of March, 2019 at 9.2 hours. Quarterly Average Daily Cumulative Power Supply, revealed

that on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the average daily cumulative power supply to households in Q1, 2019 declined to 9.6 hours when com-pared to the 9.7 hours obtained in Q1, 2018. The report pointed that, persistent unstable power in the country will continue to be a challenge until drastic measures are taken by the government to ameliorate the situation. It added that, venturing into other forms of power generation like wind, solar, amongst others, re-mains the most potent and viable option to solve the epileptic power supply situation in the country. Westafrica BusinessNews gathered that the opinion poll was conducted over a period of three months January to March 2019, involving telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 3,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. “With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise - within a range of plus or minus 3%” NOIPolls Limited is the No1 for country specific polling services in West Africa. The organisation con-duct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.


BUSINESSNEWS 6 WESTAFRICA WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

FINANCIALS

Aggressive demand boosts equities market value by N94.03bn BY BONNY AMADI

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he Nigerian equities market closed positive yesterday as NSE-ASI gained 0.85 per cent to close at 29,746.24pts, market capitalisation also advanced by N94.03 billion, to counter the N24 billion decline suffered on Monday. The equities market closed up Tuesday following the gains in Banking and Consumer names. Market breadth index was positive with 21 gainers against 10 losers, as investors on Tuesday, transacted a total of 321,357,743.00 million shares, worth N4, 657,186,639.16, exchanged in 2,979.00 deals. This was against a total number of 223,777,641.00 million shares valued N1,785,292,311.66 billion and exchanged by investors on Monday at 3,175.00 deals. Trend showed that aggressive demand for rewarding stocks pitched demand against supply, leading to massive gain across sectors and subsequent reversal of depressive returns, as turnover increased by 97,680,102 million shares, while value of transacted stocks which closed at N4,657,186,639 billion ,grew by N2.862 billion. Huge turnover and market reversal recorded yesterday, followed a bearish trade Monday with investors loss by N24 billion. Nestle Nigeria led the gainers with N48.1 or 3.31 per cent, closing trade at N1500.3 per share, followed by DANGFLOUR with N0.9 or 9.78 per cent gain in equity price , closing trade at N10.1 per share, while GUARANTY placed third on the gainers chart with N0.5 or 1.42 per cent, closing at N35.6 per share. Zenith Bank placed fourth on the gainers chart with N0.4 or 1.95 per cent, to close trade at N20.9 per share, while AFRIPRUD closed the top five gainers chart at N4.18 per share, having gained N0.31 or 8.01 per cent of its share value. The decliners chart on Tuesday, was led by Interbrew with N0.5 or 2.13 per cent drop on its share price, closing the day at N23 per share, followed by MAYBAKER with N0.15 or 5.26 per cent drop in share price, as it closed at N2.7 per share, while JOHNHOLT placed third on the losers chart with decline by N0.05 or 9.62 per cent, and closing price of N0.47 per share. UBN placed fourth on the losers chart with N0.05 or 0.73 per cent depreciation on its share price, to close at N6.8 per share, while OANDO closed the day’s top five losers’ chart at N4.8per share, following decline by N0.05 or 1.03 per cent. Sector Performance showed that the NSE Banking Index

Oscar Onyeama

gained 1.66 per cent, majorly driven by the buy interest in STERLNBANK by +5.38 per cent, UBA +4.84 per cent, FCMB +2.76 per cent, and FBNH by +2.76 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods index rose by 1.56 per cent, largely due to the gains in DANGFLOUR +9.78 per cent, NESTLE +3.31 per cent and DANGSUGAR +1.45 per cent. NSE Industrial Index closed up by 0.01 per cent, following the increase in BERGER +2.21 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index declined 0.13 per cent, on the back of the loss in OANDO -1.03 per cent. Meanwhile on Monday, equities market capitalisation dropped by N24.25bn over supressed sentiments The Nigerian equities market opened the week on a negative note as market value dropped further by N24.25billion, and NSE-ASI lost 0.14 per cent, to close at 29,518.85pts. However, market breadth index was positive with 26 gainers against 17 losers. Investors on Monday transacted a total of 223,777,641.00 million shares, worth N1, 785,292,311.66 billion and exchanged in 3,175.00 deals. The equities market closed down on Monday following losses in Banking and Oil & Gas sectors. This was against

232,773,944.00 million shares, worth N1, 972,834,530.14 billion and was exchanged in 2, 677, 00 deals last week’s Friday April 12. There was marked reduction in turnover, value of transacted stocks and total number of deals, when compared with market data the market opened week with. The market performance measuring indices closed negative as the equities market

capitalisation which opened the week at N11,103,136,663,769.78 trillion, closed yesterday at N11,078,887,506,359.04 trillion, reflecting N24.25 billion decline on the first trading day of the week. Also, the NSE All –Share index (ASI) closed the day negative on 0.64,56 points decline as seals the day’s trade at 29,495.91, from NSE ASI 29,560.47, which

The decliners chart on Tuesday, was led by Interbrew with N0.5 or 2.13 per cent drop on its share price, closing the day at N23 per share, followed by MAYBAKER with N0.15 or 5.26 per cent drop in share price, as it closed at N2.7 per share, while JOHNHOLT placed third on the losers chart with decline by N0.05 or 9.62 per cent, and closing price of N0.47 per share.

opened transaction yesterday. However, FBN Holdings Plc which released its audited financial statement on Friday and subsequently followed with depressive share price movement, yesterday recorded the highest number of deals in the market over N0.25 further reduction in its share price. To clinch the most traded stock, FBNH which opened trading at N7.50 per share and closed at N7.25, having declined by N0.25 or 3.33 per cent, posted 296 deals over 9,765,644 million shares that worth N70, 916,665.00 million. Meanwhile, Nigerian Breweries (NB) led the top five advancers for the day with N3.8 or 6.31 per cent growth on its share price, closing trade at N64 per share, followed by CADBURY which gained N0.9 or 8.91 per cent, to close at N11 per share, while CCNN was the third highest gainer with N0.9 or 5.63 per cent, closing trade at N16.9 per share. Dangote Flour placed third on the best gainers chart with N0.8 or 9.52 per cent growth, closing at N9.2 per share, while PZ closed the top gainers chart at N9.45 per share, having gained N0.6or 6.78 per cent of its share value. Decliners chart was led by Nestle Nigeria with N3.8 or -0.26 per cent loss on its share price, to close at N1452.2 per share, followed by DANGCEM which declined by N3 or 1.59 per cent, closing the day at N186 per share, while FLOURMILL placed third on the decliners chart with N0.45 or 2.67 per cent, closing trade at N16.4 per share. ETI placed fourth on the decliner’s chart having lost N-0.35 or 3.27 per cent, to close the day at N10.35 per share, while UBA closed the top five losers table at N6.2 per share, following decline by N0.3 or 4.62 per cent. The Sectoral Performances for the day showed mixed performances, as that NSE Oil & Gas Index lost 0.13 per cent, on the back of the loss in OANDO’s -1.02 per cent. NSE Banking Index also closed low by 0.11 per cent, majorly driven by the declines in UBA -4.62 per cent, FBNH -3.33 per cent, ETI -3.27 per cent, and STERLNBANK -0.38 per cent. NSE Consumer Goods Index however appreciated by 0.99 per cent, largely due to the buy interests in DANGFLOUR which gained 9.52 per cent, CADBURY +8.91 per cent, PZ +6.78 per cent, NB +6.31 per cent and MAYBAKER +5.56 per cent. Also, the NSE Industrial Index closed up by 0.56 per cent, following the gain in CCNN by 5.62 per cent.


FINANCIALS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Traders record low patronage despite price stability

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently reported that the nations February’s food inflation rose 13.47 per cent yearon-year, versus January’s growth of 13.51 per cent, but many traders have said that they’ve been recording low patronage after the conclusion of the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). NIYI JACOBS reports.

Dr Yemi Kale

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ollowing the conclusion of the closely contested 2019 elections and the reemergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with a fresh 4-year mandate beginning on the 29th of May 2019, traders in some of the market in the country have said that they have been recording low patronage. It would be recalled that some financial analysts have said that Nigeria’s fiscal vulnerabilities as well as her economic structural faults will continue to worsen poverty levels, unemployment and economic growth, which require the gov-ernment to take very decisively tough decisions. But, given the socialist leaning of the current government, would Ni-gerians have to wait till 2023? Meanwhile, some traders who spoke at Abule Egba, Ile Epo, Agege, ikeja, Iyana Ipaja, Ogba and Ketu markets said that that they have been recording low sales since after the election, saying people might have run out of cash after the panic buying they did during the elections. At Ayobo Market, Mrs. Chinazo who sells varieties of foodstuffs, said: “Seeing how people bought things days to the election, I refrained from stocking what I will not be able to sell within a week, because most of the things I sell are perishable.”

Traders spoken to at Iyana Ipaja Market said customers were not coming forward to buy as expected. “We expected that customers will be rushing to buy after exhausting what they bought during the elections. Speaking, Iya Sikura, said that she believed that people no longer have enough money to spend. Everybody is praying all issues about the elections should be resolved so that they can continue their normal life. At Ketu Market, traders said

though they did not change the pre-election prices of foodstuffs and other household items, the rush witnessed preparatory for the elections has changed for low patronage. Mr. John Isiguzo, a dealer in rice and beans and other foodstuffs seller at the market, said: “Sells is not good this week. It seems people finished their money before the last elections. We hope the situation will change next week as the elections are over now.”

Locally produced rice is still scarce in the market, adding that the only person selling it in the market, Nnamdi Onumajuru does not sell in bags because he does not have enough in stock, rather he measures in cups and pans.

He said that the price of foreign rice which slightly came down to N15, 000 to N17, 500 a 50 kilogramme bag is still selling at the price. According to him, locally produced rice is still scarce in the market, adding that the only person selling it in the market, Nnamdi Onumajuru does not sell in bags because he does not have enough in stock, rather he measures in cups and pans. Also, Westafrica BussinessNews observed that the percentage fall in the price of beans has in the New Year has re-mained unchanged. Survey of the prices of goods at the Sabo Market, Ikorodu (a Lagos suburb), earlier in Wednesday, indicate that the price of rice and beans has remained has not changed, even customer spoken to said that they expect the prices down to the 2017 levels after the successful completion of the elections. According to Iya Muri, a trader at the Ikorodu Market, the demand for rice and beans is high but the price is not yet attractive, “we are however expecting that the price of beans in particular, should be falling after the elections as the price of beans is normally low by this time of the year. She said: “By this time of the year, the price of rice and beans crash, like early in 2017, and by the same period in 2018, the price was

manageable and favourable to both the buyers and sellers. Mama Gold, one of the best premium rice sells from between N18000 for 50kg. The difference is too much for us the retailers and the buyers will always complain about the price before buying which is not good for the business. Customers are our only source of income. The same also goes for the local rice i.e Ofada Rice with a bag (25kg) sold from N10, 000 to N15, 000”. Beans are the most expensive with the different species going at different prices. Oloyin Beans (50kg) – N32,000 (de-pending on the market)Oloyin (25kg) – N15,000 – N19,000; Olotun (50kg) – N29,000 – N36,000, Olotun (25kg) – N14,000 – N17,500. Meanwhile, at the Garage market, Mrs. Ime Elele, told WestAfricabusinessNews that the price of noodles has been stable as a carton of Indomie Noodles (small size) formerly sells for N2100. She said since the price went up, it has not come down, saying the amount of money that would have easily bought fifteen cartoons can only buy eight cartons nowadays. She also decried low patronage where customers who normally buy in large quantities now buy in bits, a development she said has made the gains from such sales not enticing again.


FINANCIALS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Investment: CBN intervenes as banks shun power sector BY NIYI JACOBS

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he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has offered N7 billion loan facility for the mini-grid power sub-sector, which has been plagued by dearth of investment. The mini grid sector, a small, privately-owned and operated system with generation of up to 10 megawatts (MW) capacity and a network that distributes power to several customers, is a potent addition to efforts to get Nigeria out of acute power insufficiency. The apex bank, this newspaper gathered, raised the N7 billion for the sub-sector, as the embargo placed by lenders on financing took toll on the mini-grid investment. All the commercial banks in Nigeria had, prior to this loan, embargoed funding for the mini-grid. “Banks, truth be told, are not social service entities; they are basically for business,” head of energy unit of one of the commercial banks told this newspaper. “And so, they cannot be blamed if they have refused to advance facilities towards ventures, they are not convinced guarantee quick returns on investment. “The good news is that CBN has offered facilities to be given to investors through the commercial banks. The accompanying conditions for the facility include a five-year repayment period with a single digit interest rate.” The mini-grid, an investor who said he had keyed into the loan through application said, “refers to a stand-alone power system or an integrated local generation and distribution system with installed capacity below 1MW, capable of serving numerous end-users independent of the national grid.” The mini-grid, she said, craving anonymity based on injury a full disclosure of her name could inflict on her loan application, “can provide

constant and affordable electricity in remote places where the population density is too low to economically justify connecting that community to the national grid and represents a viable and cost effective solution for the electrification of Nigerian communities through a decentralised energy system. “A mini-grid under the regulation may be ‘isolated’ with no link to any other network or ‘interconnected’ with the main grid such that energy exchange is possible between them,” she said. Aside from the mini-grid and off grid, the power sector investment is capital intensive with $1million investments needed to set up a one Mega Watt power generation plant. The term mini-grid as defined by the regulation applies only to any isolated or interconnected mini-grid generating between 0KW and 1MW. Generation of electricity beyond 1MW is governed by the provisions of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA), which makes it mandatory for an operator generating electricity beyond 1MW to obtain the permits required under the EPSRA. Similarly, power distribution companies are entering into partnerships with renewable energy firms for the development of mini-grids to boost the supply of electricity in Nigeria. According to officials from the Rural Electrification Agency and stakeholders in the renewable energy space, already, they have signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the execution of the project, adding that the move will reduce the poor power supply situation in communities not energised by the national grid. Chief Executive Officer, Rubitec Solar Nigeria Limited, a renewable energy firm, Bolade Soremekun, stated that interconnected mini-grids were being established by some Discos.

Fashola

Heritage Bank honors outgoing GM/CCO

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t was rain of accolades for the outgoing General Manager and Chief Compliance Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Adewumi Adeniyi, and yesterday as management colleagues praised him for his exceptional contribution to the growth of the sector after an unbroken stint of 37 years of working in the banking industry. Speaking at the send forth party at the corporate headquarters of the bank, Mr. Jude Monye, Executive Director South West, Heritage Bank, described the celebrant, fondly called Oga Wumi by his colleagues, as an embodiment of everything

called Heritage Bank as well as being a consummate banker of note. According to him, Oga Wumi is a man that will stand by anyone at any time and on any day because he has a caring heart. “He cares for his colleagues, both senior and junior members of staff of the bank and he is also full of compassion,” Monye said. The newly appointed Chief Compliance Officer for Heritage Bank, Mrs. Oluwatomi Ojo, in her remarks on the occasion, described Oga Wumi in glowing terms. “Our relationship was very cordial. He is someone who has exten-

Resort Savings & Loans to conclude capitalisation process by June BY BONNY AMADI

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esort Savings and Loans Plc said that its ongoing recapitalisation effort would be concluded by the end of the second quarter in June 2019. Based on the elongated process of recapitalisation, the company, said that it has applied to the bourse, for extension on submission time, in order to make its 2018 audited financial statement ready. The company further attributed persisting delay in meeting provisions of post listing rules on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in terms of timely result release, to the ongoing effort to recapitalise. The mortgage company, in a release on its behalf by the NSE,

recently ,signed by Benedicta Ovoke Sadare and S. E. NOMUOJA & CO, Company Secretaries, titled “Press Release to Sharehold-

ers of Resort Savings and Loans Plc on Delay in Submission of the 2018 Audited Accounts with The Exchange”

Resort Savings and Loans said , it is imperative to inform its shareholders, the NSE and other stakeholders of the delay in filing the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2018 (2018 AFS) within the regulatory due date of 31st March 2019. According to the company, “The delay is occasioned by the ongoing efforts towards concluding the capitalization activities of the Bank. We are optimistic that this will be concluded before 30th June 2019. Consequently, the approval of The Exchange has been sought and obtained for extension of time to file the 2018 AFS, the company revealed.

sive banking experience in various areas. He is also someone that is extremely matured, calm, thinks rationally and very strategic. “People that worked with him also received the fatherly touch but he is also a firm professional who is not afraid to take the unpopular decision when circumstances call for it. He is a well-rounded leader and very compassionate to his colleagues both at personal and official levels.” In his remarks, Mr. Adeniyi appreciated the board and management of the bank for the honour and also thanked God for such a memorable day. While assuring his now former colleagues that he is just a phone call away, Mr. Adeniyi encouraged them to carry on professionally and to occupy the space that God has given them. He noted that the send forth party appears to be more elaborate than any other he had experienced as a worker in the bank. Saying he would greatly miss the people who worked with him, he encouraged them to continue to provide leadership for the bank and to work towards the achievement of the common goals of the organisation so that customers and shareholders of the bank could continue to enjoy better services and returns on their investments. Adeniyi who is also a council member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) went down memory lane saying, “My banking experience has been very exciting. I started my career with UBA in 1982. I have spent 37 years in the industry, passing through the various phases that characterise the industry during the period and one is still standing. Surely, it is by God’s grace.”


ECONOMY

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Low economic growth, Youth albatross?

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he nation’s tertiary institutions produce no fewer than half a million graduates every yea, this is ac-cording to a report in 2018. the report further noted that the number of unemployed graduates keeps soaring as more diploma and degree-awarding schools are established. With this yearly turnout of graduates comes the task of creating additional jobs to provide opportunities for them. Previous years have been unnerving in providing jobs for the citizenry whose prospects for enhanced living conditions have not ceased to be a cause for concern. The country has experienced bleakness in employment creation, with jobs in public sector acquired through the back door. Just last week, a staff who works in a federal ministry disclosed how the virus of corruption has invad-ed the recruitment process. According to inside source, getting a job in ministries has been made diffi-cult, with job seekers forced to pass harrowing experiences. To grab the few job opportunities in the public service, applicants are now made to pay their way. In seeking for jobs, applicants are now required to pay their ways. Even before the jobs are advertised, job slots had already been shared among members of the powerful employment cabal, with most of the vacancies thrown into the open market for sale. For those desperate to get jobs in the ministry, such applicants must be ready to pay whopping sums depending on the ‘juicy nature’ of the job. For applicants whose interest is in high-paying parastatals, the acquisition of a letter of introduction from the top is now an irrevocable condition. With connec-tion, nothing seems impossible and those who cannot make it to the last line are those who cannot provide the cash. Against the backdrop of unemployment in Nigeria and attendant hardships experienced by the three tiers of government in paying salaries, not a few have expressed shock at the warning strike that was recently embarked and suspended by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to press home the demand for a new minimum wage. In some states, workers are still paid their salaries in percentages, while in others; they are owed sala-ries for many months on end. Instead of turning the public sector into a platform of real service for development, the civil service has been turned into a massive tomb in which national goals of devel-opment are interred. The bureaucratic bottlenecks and inability of government to deploy its political will in tackling the scourge of joblessness remains a mystery yet to be deciphered. Despite the setting up of many agen-cies aimed at encouraging job creation through skill acquisition, the challenges of job creation have become uphill, with thousands of young men and wom-

Despite Nigeria’s abundant human and natural resources, the task of turning these endowments into an effective platform for job creation aimed at positively engaging the youths has largely remained an illusion, NIYI JACOBS writes

President Buhari

en joining the dangerous journey to Europe through the Mediterranean for greener pasture. Though governments, both past and present, have always laid claims to dealing with the putrefaction in the public service, experiences have shown that corruption has always survived these governments. In the light of the economic adversity that has manifested in previous years, getting a job is now a ti-tanic struggle against unseen forces determined to foist hopelessness and despair on the lives of young people.For a nation that is increasingly finding it difficult to pay wages, the recent industrial ac-tion embarked upon by NLC remains a shot in the dark. Even before the agreed figure for national minimum wage was announced, some states have distanced themselves from the negotiation, saying they are not in support of the new minimum wage. In a country that has assumed a consumer status, one is at a loss how the upward review of the mini-mum wage can translate into enhanced standard of living for Nigerian workers. With less than 20 percent of over 190 million engaged in both public and organised private sector, in-cluding pensioners, the demand for a new minimum wage can only increase the level of currency in circulation and not necessarily translate into increased value of the naira. In a nation where Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have collapsed due to high interest rates charged by banks, running a business outfit in Nigeria has become practically impossible. Instead of advocating for new wage, organised labour should

task government to review policies in order to encourage the resuscitation of SMEs for job creation. A situation where workers are just interested in increasing the volumes of paper money in their pockets without seeking for increased value in their monetary reward for their labour is a sheer waste of time. It is an ill wind that will blow no one any good. Perhaps, that explains why settling for an ad-hoc measure aimed at upward increase of the minimum wage rate is a simple way of resolving a complex problem that has become unresolved due to certain interests of those who should take action. Beyond all reasonable doubt, the future seems bleak as the employment prospects take a downward slide. Factors that favour job

creation are left attended, with applicants forced to make do with leaner number of jobs. Lack of skills and inability of the nation’s education to rise up to the challenge of providing graduates with requisite knowledge of confronting modern challenges remain fundamental. Despite the estab-lishment of several agencies and schools to provide skills, the absence of energy to allow for the survival of SMEs remains a sore point. The poor state of the power sector has led to the collapse of many industries, including textile firms in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos, among others. With their collapse, many people who should have been kept busy are now roaming the streets. Corruption and nepotism have also taken their toll on attempt to provide

In some states, workers are still paid their salaries in percentages, while in others; they are owed sala-ries for many months on end. Instead of turning the public sector into a platform of real service for development, the civil service has been turned into a massive tomb in which national goals of development are interred.

employments, especially in the public sector. Due to dwindling resources and need to manage effectively revenues accrued to government, tech-nocrats responsible for recruitment now see such an exercise as an avenue for monetary rewards. With price tags attached to vacancies, less qualified candidates but with connections from the top of-ten get employed to the detriment of merit and competence. With the way the country is governed, the need to restructure and evolve measures at tackling issues of unemployment has become imperative in order to stem the rural-urban migration. The provision of basic infrastructure in rural areas by government can go a long way in curbing such migration. Govern-ment should focus on realising the agricultural potential of the nation in order to provide jobs for our teeming youths that are being attracted to illicit drugs and other crimes. The abundant potentialities of this sector to create millions of jobs and the establishment of agro-allied industries can turn out millions of jobs and create an effective platform for national development. Without any iota of doubt, only the opening up of the agricultural sector, confronting issues that mili-tate against the power sector and the development of steel industry in Nigeria can pave way to job creation and the smooth take-off of industrialisation in the country. Apart from these, among others, constant industrial bickering between organised labour and government over minimum wage can do little


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WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

ECONOMY

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Ex-ANAN President tasks FG on local content in foreign contracts A financial analyst, Dr Samuel Nzekwe, has urged the Federal Government to look critically into its bor-rowings from China to ensure local contents in implementing the projects for which the funds were meant. Nzekwe said in an interview with journalists on Monday in Lagos that loans taken from China did not encourage local content in the delivery of projects for which they were taken. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned Nigeria and other developing countries against taking loans from China due to unfavourable loan conditions. However, the Federal Government has allayed fears on the country’s escalating debt stock which rose from N21.12 trillion in 2015 to N24.38 trillion in 2018, saying the debt was sustainable. Nzekwe said that though such loans boosted infrastructure development and economic growth, they did not support human capital development. The former president, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), explained that most times when China gave out loans, it used its manpower and equipment among other things needed for the project for which the loans were taken. “The loan they took from China for the rail system has shown that Nigeria is at a disadvantageous posi-tion. “The Chinese will provide all the raw materials needed for the proj-

ect, including labour because the equipment they bring are marginal. “One of the equipment can take the work of 2,000 men within two hours. But you have paid for all these things because they are part of the loans.” Nzekwe said Nigeria should be able to provide about 20 per cent of local content in any project for which any loan was taken. He added that such loans would

be more beneficial to Nigeria, if local content was embraced. According to him, there is no local content in most projects embarked upon by China. The accountant said local content would continue to be stagnant if the services of Nigerians were not used for such contracts. “We need to ensure our own contribution. This is because the equipment they bring are theirs and

the country has already paid for it. “So, we need to see how we will engage our people. That’s why we need to talk about human capital development which Nigeria is not doing. “If you look at Nigerian budget, you will see that human capital development is very negligible and in small percentage. “This means we need to train our people to be able to fit in into

such roles. So, Nigeria has to look in-ward to develop its manpower. “So, what you have done now is that you are promoting their economy to our own disadvantage,” the ex-ANAN boss said. Nzekwe said if Nigerians, particularly the artisans, could ensure good delivery of their services, this would encourage foreign contractors to use the locals.

L-R; CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse and Director General Debt Management Office (DMO) Ms. Ms Patience Oniha during a press Brief after a successful outing at the Spring Meeting 2019 of the IMF and Wolrd Banking in Washington DC.

Market index inch up 77bps as equity market reverse losses BY JULIUS ALAGBE

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he Nigerian stock market index inched up by 77 basis points (bps) as bellwethers stock pushed domestic bourse to reverse losses. The bearish performance on Monday’s trading session was reversed yesterday as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) advanced 77 bps to settle at 29,746.24 points due to price appreciation in bellwethers - NESTLE (+3.3%), GUARANTY (+1.4%) and ZENITH (+2.0%). Thus, investors gained N85.4 billion as the market capitalisation closed at N11.2 trillion while year to date YTD return moderated to -5.4%. Similarly, activity level increased as volume and value traded rose 43.4% and 158.0% to 321.4 million units and N4.7 billion respectively. UBN (134.1 million units), GUARANTY (61.1 million units) and AFRINSURE (15.0 million units) were the most traded stocks by volume while GUARANTY (N2.2 billion), UBN (N912.2 million) and DANGCEM (N323.7 million) were the top traded stocks by value. Sector performance was large-

ly positive as 4 out of 5 indices under Afrinvest analysts’ coverage closed in the green with the Oil & Gas index emerging as the lone laggard, dipping 0.1%, due to selloffs in OANDO (-1.0%) while the Banking index led the advancers up 1.7% on the back of continued bargain hunting on GUARANTY (+1.4%) and ZENITH (+2.0%).

Following closely, the Consumer Goods index inched higher by 1.2% due to gains recorded in NESTLE (+3.3%) and DANGFLOUR (+9.8%). In the same vein the Insurance index appreciated 0.7% due to buying interest in CUSTODIAN (+2.4%) and LINKASSURE (+4.0%) while the Industrial Goods index closed flat

with a bullish bias marginally gaining 1 basis point. Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/ decline ratio) strengthened to 2.1x from 1.5x yesterday as 21 stocks advanced against 10 decliners. Leading the gainers’ chart were CHAMS (+10.0%), DANGFLOUR (+9.8%) and TRANSEXPRESS

(+9.3%). On the flip side, JOHNHOLT (-9.6%), ROYALEX (-8.7%) and AGLEVENTIS (-7.1%) were the worst performers. “Due to the positive sentiment in the equities market, we expect more sideways trading sessions and advise investors to continue guardedly hunting for bargains”, Afrinvest said.

Money market O/N, OBB rates decline to 17.43% and 16.14%

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he fixed income market yesterday , the money market rates declined on Tuesday as Overnight rate and Open Buy Back rate fell to 17.43 per cent and 16.14 per cent from 42.93 per cent and 40.00 per cent respectively. The decline in rates may be as a result of refunds from FX auction which could have improved system liquidity. In the parallel market, the Naira closed flat at N360, N475 and N404 against the USD GBP and EUR respectively. At the IEFX window, while the Naira closed flat at 360.30 against

the USD, it gained 0.18 per cent and 0.05 per cent against the GBP and EUR to close at N470.90 and N406.72 respectively. Meanwhile, the bond market was mixed Tuesday as yields moved in different directions. While yield on the 5yr benchmark bond declined by 6bps to close at 13.94 per cent, the yields on the 7yr and 10yr benchmark bonds rose by 4bps and 12bps to close at 14.42 per cent and 14.57 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, in the near term, analysts expect market activity to be influenced by liquidity levels and foreign investor participation.

Emefiele


FINANCIALS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Heritage Bank honours outgoing GM/Chief Compliance Officer I

t was rain of accolades for the outgoing General Manager and Chief Compliance Officer of Heritage Bank Plc, Adewumi Adeniyi, yesterday as management and colleagues praised him for his exceptional contribution to the growth of the sector after an unbroken stint of 37 years of working in the banking industry. Speaking at the send forth party at the corporate headquarters of the bank, Jude Monye, Executive Director South West, Heritage Bank, described the celebrant, fondly called Oga Wumi by his colleagues, as an embodiment of everything called Heritage Bank as well as being a consummate banker of note. According to him, Oga Wumi is a man that will stand by anyone at any time and on any day because he has a caring heart. “He cares for his colleagues, both senior and junior members of staff of the bank and he is also full of compassion,” Monye said. In her remarks, the newly appointed Chief Compliance Officer for Heritage Bank, Mrs. Oluwatomi Ojo, described Oga Wumi in glowing terms. “Our relationship was very cordial. He is someone who has extensive banking experience in various areas. He is also someone that is extremely matured, calm, thinks rationally and very strategic. “People that worked with him also received the fatherly touch but he is also a firm professional who is not afraid to take the unpopular decision when circumstances call for it. He is a well-rounded leader and very compassionate to his col-

leagues both at personal and official levels,”she said In his remarks, Adeniyi appreciated the board and management of the bank for the honour and also thanked God for such a memorable day. While assuring his now former colleagues that he is just a phone call away, Adeniyi encouraged them to carry on professionally and to oc-

cupy the space that God has given them. He noted that the send forth party appears to be more elaborate than any other he had experienced as a worker in the bank. Saying he would greatly miss the people who worked with him, he encouraged them to continue to provide leadership for the bank and to work towards the achievement of the common goals of the organ-

isation so that customers and shareholders of the bank could continue to enjoy better services and returns on their investments. Adeniyi who is also a council member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) went down memory lane saying, “my banking experience has been very exciting. I started my career with UBA in 1982. I have spent 37 years

in the industry, passing through the various phases that characterise the industry during the period and one is still standing. Surely, it is by God’s grace.” He said the values that kept him going were honesty, commitment and dedication to his work while his wife made the sacrifices of bringing their children up.

Keystone Bank, others partner Mojec to roll out prepaid meters BY NIYI JACOBS

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ojec Meter Assets Management Company, a subsidiary of Mojec International Limited, has announced partnership with Keystone Bank Limited and other leading banks in Nigeria to provide retail financing for rollout of prepaid meters to its customers within the coverage area of its partner Distribution Companies (DISCOs) across the country. This is a major step ahead of the commencement of the much-anticipated Meter Asset Providers (MAP) scheme. The partnership announcement was made at a press conference and Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony held in Lagos on Monday, April 15, 2019 between Mojec and the partner banks. The partner banks include Keystone Bank, Unity Bank, Zenith Bank, Polaris Bank, First Bank, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank and First Option Microfinance Bank. MAP is a scheme approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) through a regulation meant for the provision, supply, installation and maintenance of end-user meters by Meter Asset Providers with a view to fast-tracking a closure of the metering gap and end estimated billing in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mojec International Limited, Ms. Chantelle Abdul disclosed that the company was determined to bridge the metering gap in the power sector by ensuring provision of top-quality electricity meters to

consumers in Nigeria. “Now that MAP is here, Mojec is once again blazing the trail in the provision of high-end quality prepaid meters to consumers, helping to reduce the financial burden estimated electricity billing is putting on electricity consumers,” Abdul said,

noting that Mojec as a company has invested a lot of resources, positioning it as best suited to meet the metering needs of all consumers within the coverage of its partner DISCOs. She further explained that Mojec would be partnering with eight DISCOs including, Ikeja Electric,

Insurance brokers urge FG to inject fresh ideas into economic policy

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igerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) yesterday urged the Federal Government to inject fresh ideas into the running of the nations’ economy. The President of the council, Shola Tinubu, made the appeal at the First Quarter Media Parley in Lagos. According to Tinubu , the fresh ideas included creating more investment opportunities that will in-crease the nation’s earnings and reduce external borrowings. He said that the reflation of the economy should be anchored on enhanced promotion of local capaci-ty, to reduce over dependence on foreign goods and services. The NCRIB boss said by so doing, the strain on the nation’s currency vis-a-vis other foreign currencies would be reduced. Tinubu further appealed to the

Federal Government, to sustain the tempo of existing positive eco-nomic policies already put in place by the administration. Tinubu said “Permit me to express the delight of our Council that the 2019 General elections have been held and new political office holders to steer the affairs of the nation for the next four years have also been elected. “It is quite heartwarming, i want to utilise this opportunity, once again to congratulate the President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. “I also congratulate all elected state governors and members elected into the legislative arms across all levels in the country.” he said. NCRIB was established in 2003 to regulate the practice of registered insurance brokers’ in the country. The Insurance Brokers’ President said it is a known fact that pol-

itics and economy are inextricably wo-ven. He said that one negative or positive development in one would most assuredly affect the other, and vice versa. “The stability of Nigeria’s political environment is an harbinger of a stable and progressive economy,” he said. Tinubu said as actors in the financial ecosystem, the council further appeal that an improved enabling environment for business and professional growth must be created. “This must be initiation and tenacious pursuit of laws and regulatory prescriptions that would enhance economic growth “Urgent attention must be paid to reducing poverty, which has as its bye product, unemployment and poor standard of living,” he said.

Eko DISCO, Abuja DISCO, Kano DISCO, Enugu DISCO, Jos DISCO, Ibadan DISCO and Kaduna DISCO covering about 20 states of the federation. In his remarks after the MoU signing, the Acting Managing Director/CEO, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Abubakar Danlami Sule, represented by Mr. Yemi Odusanya, Executive Director, Corporate Bank & South Directorate shared the bank’s driving motivation for the partnership. “The importance of energy in the growth of businesses and for the livelihood of homes in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. “Energy cost is by all standards the major cost line in most homes and businesses. “The scheme is set to eradicate the unnecessary prevalence of estimated billing which deprived the national economy of funds which otherwise could be deployed into other productive use. “We are therefore excited to be part of this initiative to bring electricity to homes and businesses at the most prudent cost, putting households and business in control of their expenditure pattern.” He concluded. Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.


NEWS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Court acquits, discharges suspended SEC DG, Gwarzo BY NIYI JACOBS

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Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court on Tuesday discharged the suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, of the charge of fraud filed against him. Mr Gwarzo’s co-defendant, Zakwanu Garba, who was the Executive Commissioner of the commission, was also discharged and acquitted. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had arraigned

U.S. stocks rise on earnings

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.S. stocks rose toward alltime highs as strong earnings bolstered sentiment and global central banks continued to signal dovish policies will remain in place. The 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest level since the March Federal Reserve meeting. The S&P 500 climbed to a sixmonth high and within 0.6 percent of its September record. UnitedHealth Group Inc. paced gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after raising its outlook. Johnson & Johnson and BlackRockInc. also advanced after strong results. Bank of AmericaCorp. slipped on slower net interest income growth. JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. dragged trucking companies lower after its profit disappointed. Treasuries continued to slump, with rates reclaiming levels last seen before the Fed’s dovish tilt a month ago. In Europe, equities climbed for a fifth day, driven by insurance and financial services firms. In Asia, shares in China and Hong Kong outperformed markets in Japan and South Korea. The euro pared a decline after Bloomberg reported that European Central Bank officials are said to lack enthusiasm for any revamp of their negative-interest rate tool. Investors are spending the holiday-shortened week assessing the chances that stocks will sustain their rally even as similar gains in global investment-grade bonds have ebbed since late March. Optimism over earnings appears to be boosting bullish sentiment in equities, though volumes have been muted. Central banks are also in the frame, with Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who currently sees rates on hold until the fall of 2020, saying that the nation’s central bank may need to cut them if inflation falls. Officials from Australia, New Zealand and Japan also indicated appetite to support growth through monetary policy. Elsewhere, oil held near the lowest in a week in New York on estimates that U.S. crude inventories increased again. Emerging-market stocks climbed, though the currencies weakened.

the two officials before Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf on a five-count charge bordering on fraud. The former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, suspended Messrs Gwarzo and Garba from their positions in November 2017 over allegations of corruption. The minister then set up a panel to investigate the alleged issues, after which the ICPC arraigned them in court. Delivering judgment on the case on Tuesday, the judge, Mr Baba-Yusuf, held that the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused persons committed the offence for which they were charged. The judge said by its own admission, the prosecution through its witnesses and evidence confirmed that the action of the defendant was by a decision of the governing board of SEC, which is the highest decision-making body of the commission. Ruling on the first count of a five charge of use of office for personal enrichment against Mr Gwarzo, the judge said the ICPC did not prove its allegation. He held that while the first prosecution did not implicate the first defendant in her testimony, the remaining witnesses who are operatives of the ICPC contradicted themselves.“Furthermore, exhibit 19, which is a memo from the governing board of SEC, has clearly demonstrated that the decisions of the board of SEC as the highest decision and policy-making body of commission is legal. “As a result of this, the first defendant is acquitted on the first charge,” the judge ruled. The judge also absolved Mr Gwarzo of the allegations that he used his official position to corruptly enrich himself by using the monies paid to him as car grant as the DG of SEC. Baba-Yusuf held that: “The burden of proof was on the prosecution but through its own exhibit, which

Gwarzo

includes a board resolution which approved the car benefit for an executive director who had spent more than two years in office, the charge against Mister Gwarzo has not been established,” he said. He said the fourth witness under cross-examination agreed that the board resolution was lawful and that the car grant was non-refundable. Mr Baba-Yusuf held that the tes-

timony of Prosecution Witness Two clearly showed that the first defendant had no role in deciding what he was entitled to and as such could not have used his office to enrich himself. The judge, however, concluded that the evidence as a whole cannot be used by any court or tribunal to convict him. He, therefore, discharged and acquitted him. The court in the fourth count

also discharged Mr Garba on the grounds that the evidence that he aided the suspended director-general of SEC to use his office to corruptly enrich himself was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge then held that no prima facie case was established against Mr Garba who acted based on a decision of the governing board of SEC, which is the highest decision-making body of SEC.

CBN to auction N58.5bn Treasury bills this week NIYI JACOBS The Central Bank of Nigeria will conduct a primary market auction on treasury bills this week, offering a total of N58.5bn across the 91-day (N5.8bn), 182-day (N29.2bn) and 364day (N23.4bn) tenors. The 91-day tenor recorded the last stop rate of 10.29 per cent on Friday, the 182-day tenor recorded the last stop rate of 12.6 per cent, while the 364-day tenor had the last stop rate of 12.85 per cent. The Treasury bills secondary market sustained its bullish run into the second trading week of the second quarter of 2019. Analysts at Afrinvest Secu-

rities Limited said the bullish trend was sustained due to the absence of Open Market Operation auctions as well as N33bn worth of maturities that bolstered the system last week. Consequently, average yields across all tenors declined by seven basis points week-onweek to settle at 13.3 per cent from 13.4 per cent the previous week. Although buying interests were witnessed across all tenors, more investors positioned at the shorter end of the curve, causing yields on short-term instruments to contract by 20bps week-on-week, while the medium- and long-term bills depreciated by 17bps and 10bps week-

on-week, respectively. Analysts at Afrinvest said, “Going into the week, we expect to see a boost in system liquidity on the back of OMO and T-bills maturities worth N107.4bn and N58.5bn, respectively. “On the back of these inflows, we anticipate that the CBN will resume its liquidity management via OMO auctions, which will keep yields around current levels across the curve.” Investors were advised to take advantage of T-bills with attractive yields, as well as available OMO bill offerings. In view of the moderating T-bills yields, the commercial papers from corporates resumed last week as Nigerian Breweries

Plc announced its plan to raise N15bn in the first and second series of its N100bn commercial paper programme to support its short-term funding requirements. Meanwhile, activities in the bond market maintained a bearish outlook as the average yield trended northwards by 12bps to settle at 14.2 per cent last week due to sell-offs experienced across most segments of the curve. However, major sell-offs persisted on the May-19 and Jul-21 instruments. Analysts said a quiet trading session in the bond market was anticipated as investors await clearer policy directions.


NEWS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

CBN introduces guidelines for NIFIs BY NIYI JACOBS

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he Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced guidelines on the management of investment account holders for Non- Interest Financial Institutions in Nigeria.

The regulatory body said the objectives of the guidelines was to provide the minimum standard to be met by NIFIs operating in Nigeria before they could recognise profit sharing investment account Holders deposits as risk absorbent and de-

duct same from the computation of Risk Weighted Assets. This would enable them to calculate the Capital Adequacy Ratio as specified in the guidance notes on regulatory of capital for NIFIs in Nigeria issued by the CBN.

U.K. unemployment rate at lowest since 1970s

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he U.K. labor market continued its impressive performance in the three months through February as employment jumped and wage growth far outpaced inflation. The number of people in work rose by 179,000 to a record high, keeping unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 1975, the Office for National Statistics said

Theresa May

Tuesday. The growth in employment was driven mainly women, who accounted for more than 140,000 of the increase. An employee fits a door to an Aston Martin DB11 automobile on the final assembly line at Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s manufacturing and assembly plant in Gaydon, U.K., on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. . Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Basic wages rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, close to an 11year high. The figures help to explain the resilience of consumer spending, which has kept the economy growing as companies slash investment amid the continuing deadlock over Brexit. Pay is now growing comfortably ahead of inflation, which averaged less than 2 percent in the period. Real earnings growth is back at rates last seen after the 2016 Brexit vote The tightness of the labor market has raised alarm bells at the Bank of England but continuing Brexit uncertainty is expected to keep policy makers from raising interest rates any time soon. “The labor market continued to exude an air of invincibility in the latest cut of data. That’s despite all the uncertainty created by Brexit negotiations. Although its resilience is likely to be tested this year, we expect unemployment to remain broadly unchanged.” The buoyancy reflects the weakness of productivity. With hourly output barely rising, firms need to keep adding workers to meet demand. It may also be the result of Brexit jitters, with firms choosing to hire people rather than commit to big capital investment decisions in case Britain crashes out of the European Union in an economically damaging no-deal Brexit. Employment has risen by over 450,000 in the past year, with fulltime work and employee jobs accounting for all of the increase. Employment growth was strongest among the over 50s. The number of people classed as inactive — neither in a job nor looking for work — fell further in the latest three months, as more students and women looking after family or home joined the workforce. Female unemployment is at a record low.

It stated that the guidelines complemented the regulations for NIFIs in Nigeria issued by the CBN such as guidance notes on calculation of capital requirements for NIFIs; Guidelines on income soothing for NIFIs; and guidance notes on disclosure requirements to promote market discipline for NIFIs. According to the CBN, NIFIs mobilise large percentage of their funds using Mudarabah and Wakalah contracts. In Mudarabah, the bank is acting as the Mudarib (entrepreneur) and the fund providers as the Rabb-ulMal otherwise called PSIAHs. It explained that, “In Wakalah, the bank acting as Wakeel (investment agent) for the PSIAHs, earns a Wakalah fee, and an incentive fee in the event of the realised profit exceeding an agreed threshold, and the agreed profit goes to the PSIAHs. “Mudarabah contract by its nature entails the sharing of profit between the contracting parties based on pre-agreed profit sharing ratio and the bearing of loss by the fund

provider except in cases of proven negligence, misconduct or breach of contract by the entrepreneur in which case the entrepreneur would bear such loss.” The CBN explained that NIFIs in Nigeria essentially maintained two different types of Mudarabah accounts used for deposit mobilisation “which are Restricted Investment Accounts and Unrestricted Investment Accounts.” Under the RIA contract, it added, the bank would act strictly based on the investment mandate of the customer, while under URIA contract, the bank was free to invest the funds as it deemed fit. In practice, NIFIs co-mingle such PSIA deposits with other funds like shareholders’ funds and current account deposits into different pools and invest in profitable ventures. “Being an equity-based contract, the PSIAHs are expected to bear the credit risk of any counterparty the funds are invested with, as well as the market risk of the assets in which the funds were invested,” it stated.

Customs opens portal to recruit 3,200 officers – Official

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he Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday officially announced plans to recruit 3,200 officers into the service. The Acting Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Human Resources Department, Umar Sanusi made this known at a news conference in Abuja. Sanusi explained that 800 would be recruited to fill vacancies in the Support Staff for Superintendent Cadre Category, and 2,400 would fill that of Customs Inspector and Customs Assistant Cadre in the General Duty Categories. He said that the service’s portal for the recruitment would be opened 12 midnight of Tuesday and would be closed after three weeks. According to him, a web portal to receive and process all applications has been created as a sub-domain of the NCS website; www.customs.gov.ng. He said the portal “is a user-friendly one that prospective applicants from all parts of the country and even outside Nigeria can log in to submit applications and upload documents. “The URL is vacancy.customs. gov.ng, the specific requirements established for the vacancies. “Shortlisting of candidates will be done and such candidates short listed will be notified, invited for continuation of the recruitment process. “Following the necessary approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC), NCS is now set to recruit officers and men to fill existing vacancies. “Application for recruitment will be open to all eligible Nigerians, who meet the requirements irrespec-tive of their tribe, religion, state, or any other consideration. “In our bid to ensure equal and

fair opportunity to all applicants, we are working every step of the re-cruitment process in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Character Commission. “We are actively engaged with the commission to ensure that the process will earn a certificate of compliance on merit,” he said. Sanusi said that customs would deploy help desk for applicants to handle complaints, and offer support service. He said the help desk could be reached through the email address — helpdesk@customs.gov.ng, add-ing that a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was also populated on the application portal for further clarification. The Deputy Comptroller-General disclosed that more details of the recruitment would be advertised on seven national newspapers on Wednesday, April 17. “We are determined to conduct an exercise that is credible, fair and transparent and we will deploy all machinery within our powers to ensure that the integrity of the exercise is not compromised. “We will like to emphasise that participation in this exercise is free for all eligible applicants, any demand for or solicitation for any payments to process, facilitate, or influence the process under any guise is illegal and should be reported to customs’ office. “We are aware that some criminal elements may want to take advantage of this recruitment to scam desperate job applicants. “Some of them are reported to be operating illegal sites and portals, collecting various sums of money from applicants. “I want to reiterate that the portal for this exercise can only be accessed through the official service web site, where no fees will be de-


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WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

STOCK TABLE


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

The Plight of Nigerian Students on Scholarship Under BEA

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couple of years ago, the federal government of Nigeria opted to become part of a Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) with some countries essentially to enable some of her brilliant graduates acquire specialized skills and knowledge THE TEAM in certain critical areas of studies. Some of the counPublisher Westafrican Business Newspapers Ltd. tries involved in the laudable initiative are Russia, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Chi-na, Cuba, Ukraine, Enyi Moses, Esq Morocco and Algeria etc. The ultimate plan is for NEWS EDITOR the beneficiaries of these Bonny Amadi foreign trainings and exposure to return to Nigeria EDITOR, SPECIAL REPORTS after acquiring the necesJulius Alagbe sary knowledge and deploy same to move the country AG. BUSINESS EDITOR forward. Niyi Jacobs Consequently, the federal government sponCORRESPONDENTS sored, on Scholarship, a David Ayodeji few distinguished students Rasaq Olalekan who have exception-al acaGoddy Obinwa demic results in their first Clifford Agbajor degrees as well as Masters Amanda Mella, Abuja to these host countries for Masters or/ and doctoral DEPUTY ADVERT MANAGER pro-grammes. During the Tope Adesiyan, arpa period , the federal government was meant to pay DEPUTY ADVERT MANAGER stipulated amount of monMonday Itodo ey as monthly bur-sary allowance to the students to ADVERTS facilitate their trainings. Oniovosa Diejomaoh Nonetheless, it was Rosemary Ugiomoh saddening to hear that Rita Azita the federal government PRODUCTION EDITOR has since abandoned this Emmanuel Nwagbo project and its beneficiaries in the foreign lands PRODUCTION to their uncertain fate. ReAkintunde Akinsanmi ports indicate that many of Henry Enegede them for over eight months have not been paid their HEAD, IT monthly stipends and are Chinonye Moses currently on the verge of being deported with shatPHOTO EDITOR tered dreams and bleak Sunday Adesanya future. This development prompted a strongly wordCIRCULATION MANAGER ed appeal letter signed by Chidi Ephraim Godwin Eziukwo, the President of the Federal govLOGISTICS ernment’s sponsored docAkan Ekwere toral students in Russia, to President Muhammadu SALES Buhari, copied to the senVictoria Nnake ate President and Speaker, NEWSROOM House of Representative 08186867775 for urgent intervention. letters@wabusinessnewsng.com Despite the appeal, several of which had been ADVERT HOTLINE made in the past, it is re07015151515 grettable that no response letters@wabusinessnewsng.com has been extracted. Ac-

Malam Adamu Adamu

Nonetheless, it was saddening to hear that the federal government has since abandoned this project and its beneficiaries in the foreign lands to their uncertain fate. cording to reports, the despicable and reoccurring trend has succeeded to subject the affected students to untold humiliation. Westafrica BusinessNews views the federal government’s failure to honour her words as shameful and condemnable. When these helpless Nigerians are so frustrated in the far away countries under the guise of phantom scholarship, the tendency is for some of them to resort to unimaginable illegal dealings just to survive. In the process, it is a possibility that some may end up dying aboard out of starvation. Given the report that some of them especially those schooling in Russia are thrown out of their hostels, the natural consequence is that they may

be treated as illegal immigrants with the risk of possible deportation if they are unable to raise cash to buy their return tickets .Worst still, temptation to go into such illegal but lucrative drugs-related business with the likelihood of being nabbed will only end up tarnishing Nigeria’s image aboard. No doubt, sending Nigeri-an students aboard to live at the mercy of their other African counter-parts, begging for practically everything to sur-vive is least expected from the so-called giant of Africa. This is moreso with billions of Dollars being starched away on daily basis by our corrupt politicians and leaders. WestAfrica BusinessNews, therefore, calls on the new government of President Buhari to look

into the matter urgent-ly with a view to saving the lives of these students. After all, they did not send themselves there; they were sent by the Federal government as our Ambassadors to go and acquire knowledge on our behalf. To this end, a panel of in-quiry should be set to investigate the veracity of the situation in order to indentify the guilt and met out necessary punishment. We should, also, try to appraise the essence of the BEA generally and on the basis of the findings, Nigeria may decide to pull out of the scheme especially if it is certain we can no longer continue to waste our scarce resources on it. However, if the country considers the initiative worth the stress, we may have to float a bilateral scholarship Agreement Fund to cater for the needs of the students in the scheme. Of course, for those that are currently stranded, quick intervention should be made to stop unnecessary embarrassment of Nigeria. We can no longer afford to ridicule the country and its citizens aboard in the name of ostensibly failed scholarship project.


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WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Jigawa targets 1.7m children for polio immunisation T he Jigawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (JSPHCDA) has said it is targetting 1.7 million children in the first round of 2019 polio immunisation campaign across the state. The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr Kabir Ibrahim, said yesterday in Dutse. He said that enough personnel had been engaged to conduct the exercise simultaneously across the 27 local government areas of the state. He said that the agency had also received enough Oral Polio Vaccines (OPVs) and markers from Federal Government for the smooth conduct of the exercise. The executive secretary said all necessary arrangements had been concluded

for smooth conduct of the exercise. Ibrahim sought for the support and cooperation of traditional and religious leaders, as well as other stakeholders for successful immunisation. He urged parents to present their children for immunisation at designated centres in their respective communities. He added that “all arrangements have been concluded for the smooth conduct of the exercise. “Therefore, parents should please cooperate with immunisation officials. “The cooperation will facilitate quick response in combating the disease and address other emergency situations in the state.” The 2019 first round of polio immunisation will start on April 20.

Insurgency: Maiduguri Teaching Hospital builds centre for trauma patients

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o alleviate their sufferings, the management of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) has begun the construction of an ultra-modern centre to care for persons affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast part of the country. Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director (CMD) made this known while laying the foundation of the project yesterday in Maiduguri. Ahidjo said that the centre was designed to accommodate about 130-bed;

Accident and Emergency (AE), surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology units, among others. Ahidjo said that the hospital management had also embarked on the construction of additional hostels for students of its School of Nursing and two blocks of four bedroom apartments for other students and personnel. Besides, he said work would soon commence on a 150-bed capacity pediatrics and research centre in the hospital and commended the Federal Government for its support.

Polio Immunization

Ogun revenue agency generates N7. 7bn in three report of the agency be- the period would have monitoring of tax agents, months fore the House of Assembly been more if not for the tax audit of organisations

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gun Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), has generated N7.7 billion as revenue between January and March 2019 to the coffers of the state government. Adekunle Adeosun, the chairman of the agency, made this disclosure while defending the first quarter

Committee on Finance and Appropriation on Tuesday in Abeokuta. Adeosun, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account, Dahunsi Ogunleye, said that the revenue was generated from taxes and licences. Adeosun said that the amount generated within

lull in business due to the just concluded general elections in February and March. “Concerted efforts are being made to shore up tax revenue in the subsequent quarters. “The efforts include regular and adequate education, enlightenment, effective

to recover tax arrears, enumeration and enrollment of informal sectors for tax payment,” he said. Adeosun added that N76. 4 million was released for the payment of agency’s staff salary during the period under review while N255 million was expended on overhead cost.

Ikpeazu urges employers to assign challenging duties to corps members now of how you can make schedule and allowances.

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overnor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, 2 has appealed to employers of corps members to assign challenging duties to them rather than see them as tools to be used and discarded. Ikpeazu made the remark yesterday in a message to the closing ceremony of the 2019 Batch ‘A’ orientation course for corps members deployed to the state at the NYSC camp in Umunna, Bende Local Government Area. The governor, who was represented by his deputy,

Ude Okochukwu urged their employers to remunerate them adequately and not to see them as ‘birds of passage.” The governor said that the NYSC scheme had impacted positively on the socio-economic development of the nation. He noted that this impact was particularly in the rural communities through the various community development projects embarked upon by their predecessors. “I want to challenge you therefore to think seriously

your impact felt in the communities where you are going to serve,” Ikpeazu said. He pledged his administration’s commitment to continue assisting the scheme towards achieving its objectives and to ensure that the welfare needs of the corps members were met. State Coordinator, NYSC, Mrs Francesca Ifon, equally appealed to employers of corps members to accord them such treatment given to senior officers in various establishments in terms of work

She advised the corps members to stay clear of any act of indiscipline or anti-social behaviour and relate cordially with the people of their host communities. “You should avoid unnecessary journeys outside the state and if you must travel ensure that you obtain my written permission through the appropriate channel of communication,” she said. A total of 2,088 members were registered for the 21-day orientation in the state.


WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Lagos agency warns residents against illegal conversion of buildings I n a bid to stem the recurrence of building collapse, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) on Tuesday warned residents to desist from converting buildings from the original plan to suit their purpose. The General Manager, LASBCA, Olalekan Shodehinde, gave the warning in an interview with the in Lagos. Shodehinde said that most buildings in the state had been illegally converted to purposes different from their initial purpose. According to him, it is outright illegal to change the purpose of a building without obtaining approval permit for conversion from the government. He said it was also illegal to attempt to change a residential building to a commercial building within an area still zoned residential. He explained that the government allows for conversion of buildings provided it conforms with master plan of the area. “An approval permit must have been applied for and granted before such conversion can be performed.

“The Lagos State Government periodically reviews the master plan of the city. Therefore, whatever change one wants to make on his/her building must conform with the subsisting master plan of the area. “What is unacceptable is to use a building in an area for a purpose different from the government designated purpose for that area. “So, if you want to change the purpose of your building, all you need do is to follow the due process and apply for ‘a change of use permit’ and once granted, you are free to do the conversion,’’ Shodehinde said. He said that to obtain a building approval permit was not as expensive as presumed by most residents of the state. He appealed to every owner/developer in the state whose property was not covered by a valid building approval plan to regularise the property and ascertain the structural stability of their building. Shodehinde lamented that most of the structures within the state were built without the requisite approval plan or due regularisation with the agency.

Collapsed structure on the Island

Ugwuanyi charges Enugu youths to venture into entrepreneurship

overnor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has charged youths in the state to venture into entrepreneurship in order to contribute more meaningfully to the nation’s economic growth and development. Ugwuanyi gave the charge yesterday at the opening of the “Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) Talent Hunt Programme in Fashion, Art and Craft” in Enugu. The governor, represented by the Special Adviser on Small and Medium Enterprises and Investment Promotion, Anayo Agu, said that it was time youths defied

all odds and shine with their innovations and creative geniuses. He said: “Enugu state government reckons and values talent hunt as an opportunity for the contestants to challenge themselves to break their barriers, to step out of their comfort zone and test their business acumen. “In line with the state policy and directives, I assure the contestants that the state government will provide starter parks and further training for those whose business proposals are selected for the next phase of this programme.’’ Earlier, the Director General of SMEDAN, Dr. Dikko Umaru, said the programme

was designed to discover hidden talents and showcase innovative talents in fashion, art and craft. Umaru, represented by Director of Quality, Partnership and Coordination, Dr. Friday Okpara, said that the project was aimed at job generation, wealth creation and self-reliance in order to reduce poverty among youths. He said that the talent hunt, which was scheduled to hold in four states, would take place simultaneously in Gombe and Enugu States, where 300 talents in fashion, art and craft would be identified. The SMEDAN boss said that participants with innovative ideas would be given financial and technical support through entrepreneurship training.

Onwe said that the governor did not have to be in power for long for people to know that he was a man of total resolve. “He is a man that does whatever he says, he will do as intelligence reports reveal that cult membership in the state cuts across students, lecturers and public officers, including those in the state’s government. “The government has a comprehensive list of cultists in the state and it will

be published in the coming weeks. “The list will definitely be published even if not in a comprehensive manner but each of them will definitely be made public,” he said. The commissioner, however, noted that the cultists would be given reprieve by being allowed to desist from cult-related acts, denounce membership of the groups and cease the violence associated with it. “When this fails, they

will be named, shamed, prosecuted and imprisoned. “Any of them found to be involved in the death of any citizen will be prosecuted and punished as a murderer,” he said. He restated that cult activities had become deadlier in Ebonyi as in other parts of the country though it had been deadly in the past. “The government has resolved to battle them to a standstill, crush and eliminate them in every nook

G Easter: Osun offers free train ride to indigenes in Lagos

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n one of its peoples –oriented policies, the Osun State government has said that it will provide free train ride to Osogbo for its indigenes in Lagos willing to spend the Easter holiday with their families. Adeshina Adeniyi, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor . Gboyega Oyetola, made this known in a statement yesterday in Osogbo. According to the statement, the train will depart from the Iddo Terminus in Lagos by 10am on Friday, April 19, and arrive at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park Train Station in Osogbo by 6pm the same day. The statement said the train would have stopovers at designated train stations in Ogun and Oyo states to pick passengers. It said the train would also depart Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo on Monday April 22, by 10am and arrive at Iddo Terminus in Lagos by 6pm the same day. The statement said this would be the second time

the new administration in the state would be providing free train transport for Osun indigenes in Lagos coming home for religious celebration. It said hundreds of indigenes had benefitted from the free train ride during key religious celebrations of Muslims and Christians since the previous administration of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola introduced it in 2011.

He further disclosed that the panel of judges would evaluate and subsequently select the best 10 talents at the end of the programme and empower them through further capacity development, linkages and visibility via e-marketing. Speaking, the DirectorGeneral of National Council for Art and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, said that the programme was targeted at the youths, adding that the future of the nation depended on the youths. Runsewe, represented by a Senior Research Officer in NCAC, Aliyu Umar, said that the agency was partnering SMEDAN to train youths and ensure that they got the right information needed for capacity building to reduce unemployment.

Ebonyi vows to publish names of identified cultists

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he Ebonyi State government has vowed to publish the names of all identified cultists in the state, including those of public officers in the state’s government. The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Emmanuel Onwe who disclosed this yesterday while addressing reporters at the end of the state Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, noted that such was the governor’s resolve.

and cranny of the state. “It represents nothing but evil and is an avenue for a breed of people to spill blood for no reason, having no value for life. “Nobody has ever mentioned the gains of cultism or its value to the society,” he said. Onwe said that organisations which morphed into cultism like the pirates confraternity were not connected with viciousness or violence.


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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

FG to begin payment of N10.3bn debt to agro-dealers –Official

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he Federal Government will this week commence the payment of the N10.3 billion debt owed Agro-dealers in the country, Kabiru Umar-Fara, National Chairman, Agro Dealers Association, has said. Umar-Fara said the N10.3 billion outstanding debt accumulated under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme run during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He told journalists in Abuja yesterday that the money was for inputs supplied to farmers across the country between 2013 and 2015 for wet and dry season farming. The national chairman appreciated Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, for pursuing the payment. “The last chunk of our outstanding payment is ready and most likely will be paid this week. “We have to use this medium to thank the Minister of Agriculture for honouring his word and pursuing our payment. “We are thankful to this administration, they met a debt of over N60 billion from the last adminis-

tration and they agreed to pay. “As the National Chairman, I am confirming to you that the last payment, which is N10.3 billion is going to be made this week to agrodealers,’’ he said. The national chairman said he expects the Federal Government to re-introduce the GES electronicwallet system for direct allocation of inputs to farmers, now that it had settled the debt it inherited under GES scheme. “I understand that the minister did not want to do the GES because of the debt they met but now that the debt will be settled, it is the right time to pursue the GES. “We are appealing that the GES should commence with this rainy or dry season farming. “There is no system that you will bring that will not be marred by irregularities but you just have to fine-tune it. “As you go along, you continue to correct it until you perfect it. “No system will be perfect at the starting point until you perfect it over the years. Nigerian farmers want the GES to continue,’’ he said. Umar-Fara said that the GES scheme was different from the An-

Navy Captain Abdu Takes over as Commander, Ogbaru Naval Outpost By Afam Aminu Chimezie, Onitsha

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new Commander, Odekpe Naval Outpost, Ogbaru near Onitsha, Navy Captain A.l. Abdu has formally resumed duty as the new Commanding Officer of the military outpost. Navy Captain Abdu, a young and energetic military officer replaces Navy Captain Kabiru Mohammed who has been re-deployed to Defence Headquarters, Abuja. The new Commander who is widely acknowledged as a nononsense and seasoned military officer would have his experience to bear on his posting in view of pockets of crimes perpetrated around the riverine communities of Ogbaru along the axis of the magnificent River Niger. While introducing officers and men of the unit to his successor yesterday, the outgoing Naval Commander, Odekpe Naval Outpost, Navy Captain Mohammed stated that his redeployment was a periodic military routine which should always be expected. He said as soldiers one should be ready for any eventuality, adding that the same loyalty which he enjoyed from officers and men of the outpost should be extended to his successor whom he described as a “young and energetic military officer’’. According to Captain Kabiru,

“we as soldiers must always stick to the rules of our military engagement. I have enjoyed unalloyed support and loyalty from you within my period of stay here. I also expect you to extend the same hand of fellowship and cooperation to my successor, Navy Captain A.l. Abdu to enable him succeed in his new assignment”. In a speech, the new Naval Commander, Navy Captain Abdu pledged to work harmoniously with the soldiers, urging them to uphold the ethics of their career by not engaging in actions that might mar the integrity of the Nigerian Navy. He reiterated his readiness to rid the area of crimes, especially those committed along the waterways and hinted that soldiers are known for discipline and loyalty to their superiors. Captain Abdu would have the herculean task of sustaining the fight against criminal activities along the waterways which his predecessor fought to a standstill. He is also expected to assist other security agencies in combating crime in the commercial town of Onitsha and other parts of the state.The Nigerian Navy was instrumental in the fight against criminal activities around the creeks in Onitsha during the early days of Operation Kpochapu,a joint police and military Task Force instituted by Gov.Willie Obiano to combat violent crimes in Anambra State.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development

chor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative. “The GES is an intervention programme where a farmer is being assisted. “You bring N10, 000 and the government brings N10, 000 to combine, you get N20, 000 for you

to do your farming, but the Anchor Borrowers, they borrow you money which you must pay back after farming,’’. The agro dealers were owed about N60 billion by President Goodluck Jonathan administration for supplying inputs to farmers between 2013 and 2015.

Ogbeh at the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration announced the scrapping of the GES scheme replacing it with the Agricultural Input Mechanisation and Management Services. Part of the reasons he gave at the time was the GES was marred with fraud and irregularities.

The police charged Olaniran Idowu, 61; Opebiyi Oluwaseyi, 32; Abayomi Korede, 25; Ariyo Mayowa, 21,;Abe Wasiu, 23 and Ayeni Ebenezer, 20, with conspiracy, malicious damages, assault and breach of public peace.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to the prosecutor, Olookooba Sulaiman, the defendants committed the offence on March 14 at 8.30 a.m. at the IBEDC Office, Isare Ilesa. Sulaiman said the the IBEDC staff, is on admission for the injuries he sustained when the defendants assaulted him. He said the defendants also willfully damaged windows, doors, gates and vehicles, belonging to the IBEDC. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 69, 70, 71, 76, 81, 355 and 451 of the Criminal Law of Osun, 2002. The Defence Counsel, Femi Fafowora, prayed the court to grant his clients bail in the most liberal terms saying they would not jump bail. In his ruling, the Magistrate, Ishola Omisade, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1 million each with two sureties in like sum. Omisade ordered that one of sureties must swear to affidavit of means and the other surety a civil servant. He added that the sureties must also reside within the court’s jurisdiction. The case was adjourned until June 6 for mention

Police arraign six for assaulting lbadan Electricity firm official

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or allegedly beating up an official of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), the police yesterday arraigned a sexagenarian and five others in an Ilesa Magistrates’ Court in Osun State ,


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SMEDAN trains 312 young business entrepreneurs in Ogun, Bayelsa, Kaduna

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he Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has said that it intends to impart entrepreneurship skills on 312 young business owners in Ogun, Balyesa and Kaduna. The Assistant Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion Department (SMEDAN), Ime Andy, stated this yesterday in Abeokuta. Andy spoke on the training components designed by the agency to mitigate business failures being recorded by young business owners. She said that SMEDAN had selected Ogun, Bayelsa and Kaduna as beneficiaries of the Y-BON Initiative for 2019, saying that the programme was to run simultaneously in the three states. Andy explained that two centres were selected in each of the three states for the training and 52 participants would be trained in each of the centres. “Like in Ogun here, the two centres are in Abeokuta and Sagamu; 52 each in a centre which gives us 104 participants in Ogun. “The same thing goes with other states; so in that case, 104 participants are also undergoing the training in other two states and they would be supported with provision of workspace,” she said. Andy explained that the Young Business Owner in Nigeria (YBON), a Federal Government initiative, was to address the unemployment situation in Nigeria, which had reached a crises level. According to her, in addressing the unemployment challenges, the agency had sought to empower and assist young business owners with workspace in order to make them self-reliant and employers of labour. “The criteria for selected participants include youths between the age of 20 and 45, and they must already be in business,” she said. Andy said the training was aimed at educating beneficiaries on entrepreneurial skills to enable them to

run successful businesses and sustain their business over a long period of time. “The programme is in three stages: we have done the first stage which is the sensitisation stage; this is the second stage in which the participants are being educated and trained on building their capacity to run their business successfully. “After training stage, based on the provision by the government, SMEDAN will support the successful participants who have passed all the criteria with a token of money to provide for workspace. “I believe with this support the unemployment rate will be reduced and it will also contribute to the Gross Domestic Products of the economy,” she said. The South-West Zonal Coordinator of SMEDAN, Gbenga Ogundeji, also told reporters that the training components were parts of the solutions designed by the agency to mitigate business failures recorded by young business owners. Ogundeji said that the training on entrepreneurship and marketing skills would sharpen the business management knowledge of the beneficiaries and enhance their performance. He said that the Federal Government was supporting SMEDAN’s mandate to create new employment opportunities for young Nigerians, by assisting them to create jobs for others instead of relying on white collar jobs. Ogundeji urged the participants to make best use of the opportunities to become self-employed. One of the participants, Moshood Badejo, commended the agency for the initiative, calling for the sustenance and expansion of the training to enable more youths to benefit. Participants were trained on record and book keeping, marketing and sales techniques, entrepreneurship skills, products packaging and branding, among others.

L-R: All are Actors, Mr. Frank Donga; Mr. Salako Oluwaponmile; Master Korede Oni; Mrs. Tubosun Aiyedehin; Director/ Producer of Revelation Picture, Mrs. Bukola Ogunsola and Miss Simi Adejumo, during the Media Brunch of Another Father’s Day by Revelation Picture in Lagos on 16/4/2019, Photo; SUNDAY ADESANYA.

Abuja bakers, caterers appeal to millers to reduce price of flour

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or better services, the Abuja Master Bakers and Caterers Association of Nigeria has appealed to flour millers to reduce the price of flour to ease the burden on bread bakers in the country. Public Relations Officer of the association, Nura Musa, made the appeal in an interview with reporters yesterday in Abuja. “We appeal to millers to adjust the price of flour to reflect the present exchange rate of the naira to the dollar,’’ he said. Musa explained that the high cost of flour has negatively im-

pacted on the productivity and profitability of bread business. According to him, many bakers have closed down their business due to high price of flour. He said bakers now buy a bag of flour for between N10, 200 and N11, 300, stressing that this was the same price it was sold when the naira was exchanged for N500 per dollar. “Now that the naira has appreciated against the dollar at N353 to the dollar, we expect flour millers to reduce the price of a bag of flour from its present price,’’ he said.

He said the price ought to be between N9, 500 and N10, 000 as against the current price of N10, 200 to N11, 200. The public relations officer said the association had met with the flour millers but the meeting did not yield any positive results. He said the prices of other raw materials, such as sugar, salt, margarine, edible oil and yeast had reduced drastically in the market. Musa called on the Federal Government to assist the bakers remain in business, claiming that some of them had opted for other more rewarding businesses while some have become commercial motorcyclists.

Average price of kerosene reduces in Ekiti names Ajayi Head of Service March -NBS

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overnor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State yesterday approved the appointment of Ayodeji Ajayi as the new Head of Service. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Olayinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti, said the appointment followed the recommendation of the Civil Service Transformation Strategy Committee after a selection process. Ajayi, who until his appointment was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, is to take over from the Acting Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi. The new Head of Service is to be sworn in on Wednesday. The Civil Service Transformation Strategy Committee, which recommended Ajayi, is an advisory body of experienced technocrats under the chairmanship of Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun.

Other members of the committee are Dr Goke Adegoroye, Prof. Modupe Adelabu, Mr Philip Amujo and Alhaji Afolabi Ogunlayi. Meanwhile, the Acting Head of Service has been commended by Fayemi for her diligence and professionalism which, he said, helped in stabilizing the present government in its early days. She is to proceed on an overseas programme as a Senior Research Fellow at the African Leadership Centre, School of Global Affairs, King’s College, London, United Kingdom. During the programme, Babafemi will also undertake study visits to the Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA), Royal Institute of International Affairs, (Chatham House), Houses of Parliament, Cabinet Office in Whitehall, Westminster Foundation, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in the UK, among others.

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report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said the average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene decreased to N303.94 in March from N305.55 recorded in February. The Bureau said this in its “National Household Kerosene Price Watch (March 2019)’’ released

yesterday in Abuja. According to the NBS, the price of kerosene decreased by -0.49 per cent month-on- month and 12.99 per cent year-on-year in the period under review. It said states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene include Anambra (N329.09), Ebonyi (326.83) and Ondo (326.67). It also named states with the lowest average price per litre of

kerosene to be Gombe (N255.38), Niger (N278.02) and Kaduna (N279.75). Similarly, the bureau said the average price per gallon paid by consumers for kerosene decreased to N1,190.89 in March from N1,209.73 in February. It said the price per gallon of kerosene decreased by -1.56 per cent month-on-month and increased by 26.25 per cent year-onyear in the period under review. “States with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene are Borno (1,357.14), Jigawa (N1,283.33) and Katsina (N1278.13). “Also, states with the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene are Bayelsa (1,022.37), Kogi (N1,075.00) and Plateau (1,090.35).” The NBS said in arriving at the report, field work was done by more than 700 NBS staff in all states of the federation supported by supervisors who were monitored by internal and external observers.


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Tribunal fixes May 15 for hearing in tax N1.2bn assessment suit

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he Tax Appeal Tribunal yesterday fixed May 15 for definite hearing in the case of alleged N1.2 billion error in taxation filed by Joseph Daudu . Daudu said he was dissatisfied with Federal Inland revenue Service ( FIRS) assessments of his Withholding Tax (WHT), Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) for the period from 2010 to 2017. Specifically, he expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to assess him with respect to WHT and VAT in the sum of N 1. 2 billion. He prayed the tribunal to restrain FIRS. The tribunal, which was presided over by Mrs Alice Iriogbe, adjourned for parties to be served and reply before the next adjourned date. She then adjourned until May 24 for definite hearing. At the resumed sitting, Abedayo Adedeji, counsel for Daudu, told the tribunal that FIRS had yet to serve them and that their response was predicated on their process. In his response, C.I.A Offoregbunam, holding brief for Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, counsel for FIRS, told the tribunal that the legal team had not been able to get documents from its client. She said Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which was to give the team the

documents asked for more time to do that, hence her prayer for an adjournment to get the documents and serve the appellant. Adedeji had claimed that it was a misnomer for the appellant, who operated a law firm as a legal practitioner and did not deal in primary goods, to be assessed on Withholding Tax (WHT). “It is unheard of for a legal practitioner to pay Withholding Tax, the respondent acted in error when it assessed the appellant on individual Income Tax from 2010 to 2017,” he said. Responding, FIRS noted that its assessments were not in error and that it was discovered that the appellant did not deduct and remit WHT on some of the expenses and payments made under the period in review. The agency (FIRS), therefore, prayed the Tribunal to declare that the notices of assessments issued on the appellant for 2010 to 2017 assessment was right. It also urged the tribunal for an order mandating the appellant to pay the total sum of N1.2 billion being the appellant’s liability for WHT, Personal income tax and VAT for 2010 to 2017 years of assessment. FIRS stated that it rightly assessed the appellant; acting in accordance with the law and by collaborating with EFCC on nondeclaration of income as well as tax evasion.

William Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Boss

‘N37bn saved from errors in promotion arrears calculations to the agreed template of lion in cash while a total of N35 by MDAs’ MDAs billion is yet to be released to the promotion arrears payment.

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he Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris,has said that over N37 billion has been saved from misapplications, paddings, mistakes and non-compliance by

Expert urges software developers to validate ideas before launching

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Start-ups Programme Manager at Facebook ,Kendra Nnachi, yesterday urged software developers to validate their ideas before launching to enhance their success rate. Nnachi disclosed this during the 2019 Developers Conference Agenda held in Lagos and organised by Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA). She said that building solutions without validating the idea to see if consumers were willing to pay for such a service would lead to the failure of such a startup. “As developers, we identify problems in the market, think up potential solutions and jump right into building a product. “Sadly, we often skip the most important part of building a startup which is customer validation. “The hardest part of building a start-up is knowing what to build in the first place. Customer validation exercises can be timeconsuming but bypassing this critical learning process can be dangerous. “Start-ups fail if their solution

does not solve a real customer problem,’’ Nnachi said. She said that asides validating ones idea, it was necessary to build a team to bring in additional perspective. “Working with a team increases the quality of solutions developed and also challenges one as an entrepreneur to do more. “Code quality standards are

also kept high as code review process go through one or more team members,’’ she said. Nnachi said that developers need to understand their solutions first and also know that no idea is good or unique. She also noted that for startups to be successful, they should be prepared to fail severally before achieving their goal.

Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation

A statement by Head, Press and Publicity, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) disclosed this yesterday in Abuja. According to him, Idris gave the figure when he received the National Executive of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) on a courtesy visit. Idris said that following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that N10 billion be set aside monthly, commencing from May 2017 to offset backlog of promotion arrears, the OAGF inaugurated an in-house committee to verify Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) claims and submissions. “So far, the committee has paid out the sum of N42 billion out of the N55 billion released, leaving an outstanding of N13 bil-

office.” He, however, reassured civil servants of the commitment of the OAGF in line with the president’s directives to the continued payment of promotion arrears owed federal civil servants. He also promised to bring the concerns of the association to the notice of the Minister of Finance and dialogue with the DirectorGeneral, Budget Office, to ensure that government continued to keep its part of the agreement reached with the association to ensure industrial harmony. Idris commended the leadership of the association for its understanding and support in the implementation of government plans and programmes, adding that without industrial harmony, no meaningful development could be achieved. The National Vice President, ASCSN, Bola Innocent said the visit was necessitated by recent developments from the payment of outstanding promotion, salaries and other arrears owed civil servants in the public service. He said that the association understood that concern raised by the director-general of Budget Office was leading to delay in the continued payment of the arrears. He, however, said that failure of the government to continue to honour the agreement signed in May 2017 might lead to industrial unrest. The Federal Government had in 2017, signed an agreement with the ASCSN to ensure that arrears of payments to civil servants were paid and the backlog cleared.


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POLITICS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Reps probe issuance of fish importation licences I n line with its oversight function, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to probe all licences granted for fish importation within the last one year in the country. This followed a motion moved under matters of urgent national importance by Jonathan Gaza (PDP-Nasarawa), who called for an investigation into the recent issuance of licences for fish importation in Nigeria. Gaza, moving the motion, explained that in the last few years, Nigeria had gone through recession and had recovered largely due to diversification of the nation’s economy, especially by promoting agriculture. He said that fishery was an important subsector of Nigeria’s agriculture with the abundant rivers (Benue, Niger, Ogun, Osun) and lakes like Kainji and other dams and ponds. According to the Representative, fishery has also attracted an increase in the number of fish farmers using latest technology which has led to an increase in fish production and employment. Gaza recalled that in the past, the Minister of State for Agriculture held a meeting with the ljebu Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR) in Abuja sometime in August 2017. The lawmaker said that the minister, during the meeting, stated that the Federal Government will stop issuing fish importation quota to importers saying the venture was no longer sustainable. He said that calls have been made by various quarters, including the hallowed chambers, to ban the importation of fish into the country as it had a negative effect on the nation’s economy. Gaza also said that one could not ascertain the total health status of all the fish imported into this country all the time. He expressed worry that even

with pronouncements by the Federal Government to ban fish importation to encourage local farmers to support Federal Government’s diversification policy, licenses were still given to importers. According to him, these importers have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground for all manner of fish. Gaza said that if this continued, the gains that had been recorded by our local fish farmers and jobs created will be lost. “Fish importation is not sustainable and if the Federal Government does not urgently look into the matter and rescind its policy on the issuance of licences for fish importation. “It will continue to bring about backward integration in the nation with people not being able to set up fish farms or employ people and create jobs,” he said. Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff, said that it was imperative for Nigeria to be able to export the nation’s agricultural produce in order to generate foreign exchange. According to him, government policies should be directed towards this and encourage local food production. Also in his contribution, Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa), said that issuing of licences for fish importation should be reduced to increase local production. “As we did on the issue of rice by encouraging local production, we should also reduce issuing of licence to increase local production.” The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. The House therefore, requested the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the bank of Agriculture to provide incentives to local fish farmers that would boost production. It mandated that an ad-committee be set up to conclude the assignment within two weeks and report back to it for further legislative actions.

From left: Gender Advocate and Youth Activist, Maryam Laushi; Program Director, YIAGA Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu; and Coordinator, YIAGA Centre for Legislative Engagement, Dr Ernest Ereke, during the YIAGA Africa’s reflection meeting on how young women fared in the 2019 General Elections, in Abuja.

Umahi receives Certificate of Return, vows to prosecute electoral offenders

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overnor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and governorelect in the March 9 governorship election yesterday in Abakaliki received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC). The State Deputy Governor and also deputy governor-elect Dr Eric Kelechi-Igwe equally received his certificate of return. Umahi, who expressed delight in the smooth and successful conduct of the general elections in the state, dedicated his victory to God, Ebonyi people and all those that lost their lives in the cause of the elec-

Ondo promises better welfare for citizen

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ndo State Government has assured its citizens that their welfare would be prioritised at all times. The Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi gave the assurance yesterday while presenting relief materials to rainstorm victims in Supare and Ikare Akoko area of the state. The deputy governor, while pre-

Governor Akeredolu

senting the materials to the victims of the two local governments, said, “The present administration in the state attaches much importance to the well-being of the people. “I urge you to make use of the materials,“ he said. Ajayi urged the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Adedeji Adejoro to immediately implement the distribu-

tion of the materials to the affected victims. The materials came barely one week after rainstorm ravaged some parts of Akoko areas of the state. The items donated include several bundles of roofing sheets, various sizes of nail and other building materials. Speaking while receiving the items on behalf of his community, the Oba, the Onisupare of Supare in Akoko South West Local Government area of the state, lauded the timely intervention of the Akeredoluled government. According to him, it is unique in the history of the state to receive such help from government within a very short notice. He said the gesture of government would go a long way to ease the pains of the rainstorm in the community. Also speaking, one of the beneficiaries, Lucas Omotosho, thanked the state government for the assistance. Omotosho said the gesture had strengthened confidence in government and its promises to the people.

tion. The governor expressed his determination and commitment at prosecuting all those involved in all forms of electoral offences in the state. “I am committed as the leader of the state and by the reason of our constitution to prosecute in Ebonyi all electoral offenders. “It does not matter who is involved, it is something I will pursue to achieve better society and for a better Nigeria. “I have directed the security agencies to give me details of all the electoral breaches, security wise. “If any of the offences involve INEC, I will move into INEC as a citizen of this country and demand justice and we ought to look at the character of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and imitate him. “I seek not any help, I seek for justice and so, anyone involved in any election breaches, will be prosecuted “, Umahi said. The governor further called for immediate reform of the nation’s electoral law in the interest of the country’s democracy. “I want to ask Nigerians to look at our electoral laws; we have to start on time to amend the electoral laws. “In some advanced countries, you allow the ruling government to have their party’s primaries one year before the election and the opposition to do their own primary election two years before the election. “This process enables the country to do away with all issues relating to primary elections before going into the main election,” he added. Umahi also canvassed for the adoption of electronic voting system in future elections to ease tension, killings and other election violence that characterized voting in an election in Nigeria. “So, I believe that the Senate is

going to resend the electoral amendment bill back to the states, so that we can make our inputs, so that we can start that on time and reform our nation’s democracy, “. Earlier, Prof Godswill Obioma, INEC REC applauded the Ebonyi State government and the electorate for ensuring that the electoral process including voting in the February 23 and March 9 general elections were peaceful, credible and violence free in the state. Obioma noted that there was no credible alternative to democracy as it offered the people opportunity to participate in choosing who would lead them. He explained that the commission offered Ebonyi peaceful, credible, fair and transparent elections compared to most states of the federation. The resident commissioner noted that certificate of return was symbolic because it was through the issuance that those who won in election were confirmed and authenticated. He explained that the certificate was a symbol of the choice of the people as expressed through their ballot to the winner. “What we are here to do today is the peak of democracy, we commend the government and people of the state for ensuring that the elections were peaceful, successful and credible,” Obioma said. “The issuance of the certificate to the governor is the peak of the electoral process and to confirm and authenticate him as the true winner in the contest,’’ Obioma said. The high point of the event was the presentation of the certificates of return to Umahi and his deputy, Kelechi-Igwe by Prof Okechukwu Ibeano, INEC National Commissioner in charge of South-East, represented by Mrs Wendi Kuku, director of legal services, Abuja.


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POLITICS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Senate Presidency: Group urges Ndume, others to accept party supremacy

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nitiative for Leadership Development and Change (ILDC), an NGO, on Tuesday urged Sen. Ali Ndume and other senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to accept the supremacy of the party. President of the NGO, Chief Ugochukwu Nnam, told reporters in Abuja that the political decisions of the party should override those of individual members. Meanwhile, the National Youth Council of Nigeria ( NYCN), has advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) to cede key positions in the 9th National Assembly to the South-East zone. The council gave the advice through its Orlu Zonal Chairman, John Nwaulu, who spoke to newsmen in Owerri yesterday. Nnam said that allegiance and obedience to party decisions

were critical to viable democracy in the country. “Ali Ndume and others, who wish to aspire to leadership positions in the red chamber ought to drop the idea in accordance with loyalty to party supremacy. “None of them got elected as individual candidate, but on APC platform. Therefore, they must abide by the party’s decision,” Nnam said. According to him, there is need for a cordial relationship between the legislature and the executive for economic stability. He also advised PDP and other political parties represented in the senate to support APC for a progressive Nigeria. Also speaking, the Deputy National Coordinator of the group, Onyekachi Ebere-Njoku, advised all the political parties

represented in the senate to close ranks for a greater Nigeria. Ebere-Njoku said that it was time all senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria irrespective of party affiliation contributed their quota toward rebuilding the “Nigerian ship“.

He, therefore, urged them to support the ruling APC to move the country forward. Nwaulu, who was a former youth President of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), Ohaji/Egbema chapter, stressed that the leadership of the Ninth National Assembly, should not be hijacked.

He said that key positions in the National Assembly should be shared according to Federal Character principle, adding that it would promote national cohesion. Nwaulu said that the position of deputy senate president or speaker, House of Representatives, should be ceded to the zone to avoid any agitation.

Rainstorm sacks Kwara lawmakers will write to the Executive arm to from offices carry out the repair work on the

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o fewer than five offices belonging to Kwara State Iaw makers, a part of the administrative block, including the Office of the Clerk and a Hall under construction, have been damaged by rainstorm at the Kwara House of Assembly in Ilorin. Some of the affected offices and a Hall under construction in the Assembly premises had their roofs completely blown off by the storm. The damage by the rainstorm did not however disrupt yesterday’s plenary of the House as the hallowed chambers was not affected. The Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, told reporters after inspecting the damaged offices in company of some members, described the havoc caused by the rainstorm as “unfortunate’’. Ahmad said the Assembly

damaged offices from the capital expenditure in the 2019 budget of the state government. He noted that the monthly subventions to the House cannot cater for the repair work and urged the state government to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the affected offices. The Speaker called on the state government to provide immediate succour to hundreds of residents in some parts of the llorin metropolis whose houses and valuables were damaged by rainstorm on Monday evening. Some other areas damaged by rainstorm in llorin, the state capital, included Amilengbe, Sango, Ode Alfa-Nda, Agbarere and Ojuekun, among others. Several of the effected residents who are still counting their losses are now taking refuge with neighbours not effected in several parts of the llorin metropolis.

Senator Ndume

Edo Acting Gov. wants Nigerians to shun corrupt leaders

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do State Acting Governor, Philip Shaibu has urged Nigerians to stop respecting corrupt public leaders so as to win the war against corruption in the country. Shaibu stated this yesterday while declaring open a One-Day Public Enlightenment and Citizen Activity on Anti-Corruption, organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Benin . He said the practice where corrupt leaders are given chieftaincy tittles and elevated by religious leaders should be discontinued

and replaced with a reward system for hard working and patriotic leaders. “As President Muhammadu Buhari will always say, `If we don’t kill corruption, Corruption will kill us’, We must all support the President to win the war against corruption in the country.’’ “The way people see public office as an avenue to make money for themselves should be discontinued. Corrupt leaders should not, therefore, be respected in the society,’’ Shaibu said. He urged leaders to be role models to the youths, through leadership style and character,

so that youths could key into the `Not Too Young to Run’ idea. The State Director, NOA, Mrs Grace Eseka, said the theme of the programme, “Value Reorientation and the Fight against Corruption,’’ is apt as it is coming at a time when political leaders have just be elected in the country. Eseka said the populace needed to be sensitive on a continuous basis to hold their representatives and others in positions of authority accountable. “We must work together to change the label of corruption on the nation and emphasise the positive core values of the typical Nigerian, which include discipline, hardwork, honesty, integrity, social justice and patriotism,’’ she said.

Senate intervenes in alleged extra-judicial killings

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Flood after heavy downpour in Kwara

orried by the ugly trend, the Senate yesterday intervened in cases of alleged extra-judicial killings of some Nigerians by some security operatives. This followed a Point of Order by Senator Dino Melaye(PDPMelaye) at plenary. Presenting the Point of Order, Melaye said it had become necessary to speak out for Nigerians against the backdrop of cases of death caused by trigger-happy security operatives.

The lawmaker said it was high time the senate intervened to save the lives of Nigerians. Melaye, who came under Order 42, said the killings had almost become the order of the day and should be curtailed before it got out of hand. “I am bringing this motion before the Senate because we are not in a war situation. The lawmaker called for passage and signing into law of the Police Reform Bill to help tackle the problem.

He said, ” the Police Reform Bill is now important than ever. We should look at the bill expeditiously if possible pass it on time”. In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, asked Melaye to make full presentation of the motion on Wednesday. He also ordered the chairmen of the committees Police, Rules and Business to ensure that the motion was reflected in the order paper of Wednesday April 17, for presentation and debate.


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ENERGY

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Bauchi residents protest poor power supply, high tariff R esidents of Rafin Zurfi community in Bauchi metropolis yesterday staged a peaceful protest over poor power supply and high tariff by Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) in the state. Speaking on behalf of other protesters at the JED office in Bauchi, Mrs Paulina Timothy said the protest was to demand for immediate action towards addressing the poor power supply to the community. She said that over a year, their transformer had developed fault resulting to rationing of electricity in the community. “The transformer in our area had been faulty for over a year now and that resulted to rationing of electricity supply in the area.

The rationing is two days on and a day off. “However, despite the rationing, we are only given a very low current or not given the light at all whenever we are to have light. “What saddens us most is that, we are still being given monthly bills with high tariff. We stage this peaceful protest to call on concerned authorities to come to our aid,” Timothy said. The protesters however, assured JED that the people of Rafin Zurfi would not relent in supporting the company for effective discharge of its responsibilities. Responding, Jibrin Abdullahi, the company’s Regional Head, Customer Care Unit, assured the people that their demands would soon be addressed

Stakeholders urges review of Environmental Impact Assessment policy

Power Transmitting Station

Baru tasks energy group on efficiency

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call came on Monday from the Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru,to the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) to encourage enforcement of energy efficiency in the country. Baru gave the charge at the 12th Annual International Conference of the association in Abuja. The theme of the conference is “Energy Efficiency and Access Imperatives for Sustainable Development in emerging economies”. “My charge to NAEE, however, in respect of encouraging energy efficiency in the country are in threefold and strategic. “Collaborate with associations of like minds and the various tiers of government to effect policy development for energy efficiency in the Country. “Provide sustained enlightenment on the desirability of Nigerians to

embrace energy efficiency, individually as well as in their workplace. “Offer necessary trainings to champions of this cause,”he said. Represented by Chief Operating Officer NNPC Ventures, Victor Adeniran, he said that as a nation, corporate body or individual, there was the need to, at certain times, drop our old appliances and procure newer, energy efficient ones. He added that there was need to also install smart metres that offered opportunity to appropriately monitor a building’s energy use for necessary assessment. He also called for support of construction of intelligent buildings that would incorporate renewable energy technologies. “Design neighbourhoods in a manner that offer accessible options of “walking, biking and public transportation, among others,”

he said Also, James Momoh, Chairman Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said that African economy depended on availability of energy. He urged the NAEE to bring new thinking that could break barriers to help achieve energy efficiency in Nigeria and Africa at large. “We must find a way to track energy to change it from waste to wealth. We must help our younger ones to take energy efficiency issues to the next level,” he said. Also, Prof. Wumi Iledare, NAEE President, said that energy efficiency was key component for energy sustainability. He said that NAEE must ensure advanced knowledge across the energy value chain. He added that the association must provide the basis for educating the public on economic decisions on energy issues.

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he Federal Government has been urged to review the nation’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) policy in line with the current realities. Participants in Multi-Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Integrating Social and Human Rights Impact Assessment into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy and Legal Framework gave the advice at the end of their meeting in Abuja. The participants’ advise was contained in a statement issued yesterday by Peter Egbule, the Chairman, Communiqué Committee and the National Coordinator of Publish What You Pay, an NGO. They stressed the need for the Federal Ministry of Environment to subject the existing strategy in the EIA report for another public review, saying the use of animations/3-D videos should be adopted for EIA in place of presentation of bulky reports. “There was an expressed need to engage independent bodies to jointly review the EIA.

“The EIA Department of Federal Ministry of Environment should be funded and given a specific budgetary allocation to facilitate the EIA process in Nigeria. “There should be an MoU between the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on implementation of EIA process just as there is with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development,’’ they said. The participants said that the EIA Act, when reviewed should encourage the inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the EIA process. “EIA should be reviewed to address this gap by including employment and mitigation. “A copy of the summarised version of the EIA Reports should be made available to communities where it is conducted. “In essence, EIA reports should be sent to the affected communities to get their feedback since it affects them,’’ the statement added.

FG to explore diverse areas in Nigeria-China relations

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o ensure mutual benefits, the Federal Government it is set to explore diverse areas with China to reduce the “huge trade imbalance” between both countries. Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said this at the 2019 Belt and Road Nigeria and China Economic and Trade Forum in Abuja yesterday. “A good starting point will be the importation of processed goods from Nigeria rather than raw materials. “We expect in particular as relations are deepened that the funding provided to support Nigeria’s development will come increasingly in the form of investments rather than as loans. “We would also like to see greater cooperation between the private sector companies in both countries in order to leverage

on their respective strengths.” Dipeolu emphasised that there was already substantial economic activity between both countries, with China being Nigeria’s largest trading partner in 2017 and with 25 per cent of imports from that country. “The value of the exports to Nigeria was about $12.15 billion as compared to imports from Nigeria of about $721 million. “The extent of Nigeria’s imports from China helps to explain the importance of the bilateral currency swap between both countries. “The swap which is for 15 billion Chinese Yuan for N720 billion over a three-year period helps to facilitate trade between both countries while reducing direct demand for third currencies,” he said. He, however, said that there was still a lot to be done in terms of economic cooperation between Nigeria and China, despite

notable economic ties. He said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), intended to bring about macroeconomic stability and diversification of the productive base of the economy, drew some insights from the Chinese experience. He also said that the priorities of the ERGP in several areas would scale up China-Nigeria cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). These areas include agriculture, food security, energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, transportation infrastructure and manufacturing. The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road, is an open and inclusive international platform provided by L-R: President Xi-Xinping and President China with the principle of achieving shared Muhammadu Buari growth.


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NEWS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Ministry to check frequent dumping of substandard steel –Perm Sec P erturbed by the menace, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development said it is making efforts to curb incessant dumping of substandard steel and other metals in Nigeria. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mua’azu, made this known at the second Nigeria’ Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders Forum (MISF) yesterday in Asaba, Delta State. The theme of the forum was, “Development of Nigeria’s Metal Sector – A Panacea for National Development and Imperative for Economic Diversification”. Mua’azu was represented by Zachius Atte, the Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement. According to him, the ministry is collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service toward curbing incessant dumping of substandard steel from abroad in Nigeria, as well as export of banned scrap metals. He said that the ministry had also articulated some strategies and activities for the development of the metallurgical sector with a view to taking it to the next level. Mua’azu said some of the strategies include recovery and re-operationalisation of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) And NIOMCO. The permanent secretary said that the ministry would also build the confidence of private metallurgical plants operators in the coun-

try, among others. He said that the ministry would ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari assent to the Nigerian Metallurgical Industry Bill when passed by the National Assembly. He urged stakeholders at the forum to bring their experiences to bear as well as their natural comparative advantage toward rebuilding the sector. The Director, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development, Victor Ihebinike said that Nigeria metal sector was lagging behind other countries due to failure to reposition it. Ihebinike said that failure to reposition the country’s metal sector in the past, made other countries that started metallurgical sector the same time with Nigeria to make tremendous progress. He said that South Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt among others had been able to lift their economy from starvation into industrialised nations through consistent commitment and doggedness in pursuant of their objectives. “We are self-centered and lack commitment; we visited some of the countries mentioned above to learn from them but we are still operating in our old ways,” he said. The director said that political will should not be left out in order to move the sector forward. Quoting official government data, he said that Nigerian economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3.75.77 billion dollars

Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister for POwer and Steel

was unarguably the largest in Africa, yet it spends about 3.3 billion on steel importation annually. “Nigeria which is the Africa’s largest economy has 30 steel manufacturers but they can only produce 2.2 million tons a year using scraps and billets imported mainly from China.” He said the all-inclusive stakeholders forum organised by the ministry was to avail metal operators in the South-South and others, the opportunity to interface with the Federal Government to

address all of these challenges. Professor of Geology, University of Port Harcourt, Akaha Tse said the strategy of the ministry to address the challenges of the sector was commendable, noting that it had taken steps to upgrade Geoscience data of minerals available in the country. Tse said that the right policies should be put in place and vigorously pursued for the sector to take its its rightful place. The ministry has resolved to vigorously pursue the diversifica-

tion of the economy through the development of Minerals and Metals sector of the Nigerian economy now more than ever. The government also said it would assist private metal operators to synergise toward creating necessary linkages required for rapid development of the sector. The forum which is being attended by metallurgical operators and professionals, chief executives, captains of industry, and the academia among others continues on Wednesday.

Censors Board to classify Stand-Up comedy videos

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xecutive Director of National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Adedayo Thomas, yesterday said the board was set to classify videos of Standup Comedy shows to ensure they were age-rated and regulated. Thomas said this while delivering a speech at a conference on Classification and Censorship by NFVCB in Onitsha, Anambra State. The one-day event, with the

theme, “The Dynamics of Online Movie and Video Contents”, brought together filmmakers, distributors, investors and members of the various guilds in the Nigerian movie industry from the region. According to Thomas, there are emerging trends and dynamics in film and video censorship, especially online, which necessitated the need to enlighten producers and distributors of video

NIgerian Comedian, I Go Dye on stage

contents. “The stand-up comedy live shows are subconsciously understood to be for adults, however their e-rated content is mass produced on video disks and sold. “They are thereafter watched in environments that are not agecontrolled, including long distance buses and viewing centres which urgently calls for regulation. “Stand-up comedy traditionally is for the consumption of a group of people in a hall, and it depends on parents whether they are going to a comedy show with their children or not. “However, when you now put it in DVD and other means for circulation, it needs to be regulated, because there are kids who want to watch it without understanding certain jokes and the motive behind them,“ he said. Thomas said that NFVCB, in its efforts to safeguard children toward preserving morals and values, was also initiating strategies to effectively regulate music videos. He noted that there was lack of self -regulation by local artistes as obtainable in advance countries, where radio and video versions of

explicit songs were specially produced or filtered. He however explained that the e move was not a witch hurt against artistes and their works but to ensure that “the right thing is done to safeguard our children.” “What is for adult should not be seen at 15, and what is for 12 should not be seen at 7, and this is what we are advocating. “We are Africans and we will remain a people with strong moral values which need to be sustained and transferred to the younger generation, no matter the degree of westernization. “We don’t have self regulation here, so you hear ‘F’ words and hate speeches,which call for stringent regulation,” he said. The Executive Director said that the board was holding stakeholders education campaign across the Nigeria, especially in film and video production hubs. He said: “Policies and actions are sometimes misunderstood if people concerned are not engaged and enlightened. “One of the reasons why we are here is to engage the stakeholders, and make them understand what we are doing and tell

them what is expected of them for us to have a better society.” South-East Zonal Cordinator of the NFVCB and host of the conference, Hubert Udeh said the event was part of efforts to engaged stakeholders in the region. “You cannot talk about Nollywood without mentioning Onitsha, because it is the root of the industry where you have foremost actors, directors, producers and marketers. “Because of the commercial nature of Onitsha, many people see everything as business opportunity, without realizing they are doing the wrong thing. “This forum will enable the practitioners and the consumers to understand the essence of classification and censorship,”he said. NFVCB is a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria. The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos, whether imported or produced locally. It is also the duty of the board to register all films and videos outlet across the country, as well as keep a register of such registered outlets, among other functions.


WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

NEWS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

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FG partners private sector on biometric cards worth N14.7bn

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NYSC Batch ‘A’ passing out

Ganduje, Otuaro, Wike, Akeredolu, others task corps members on diligence, service

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s the 2019 Batch ‘A’ corps members three weeks orientation course ends nationwide , governors across the country have urged the corps members to exhibit high levels of diligence, commitment and responsibility in their places of primary assignments. In Kano State,Governor Abdullahi Ganduje assured the Corp members of better welfare yesterday Ganduje who was represented at the passing out parade by the state Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Garba said “the Ministry of Information, Youths, Sports and Culture should synergise with the NYSC to ensure proper implementation of the local allowances for those posted to State and local government establishments without any further delay”. He enjoined the corps members to respect the socio-cultural and religious beliefs of the people and co-exist harmoniously with their host communities during the service year. He advised them to shun all acts that may pose threat to relationship with their host communities such as drug abuse, cybercrimes or anything that will tarnish good image of the scheme or their families. The governor said the state government would continue to live up to its statutory responsibility to the NYSC through the development of the orientation camp and other areas that improve the the scheme. In Delta State ,acting Governor Kingsley Otuaro tasked the corps members to make good use of the ideals and objectives of NYSC scheme . Otuaro, represented by the state

Commissioner for Higher Education, Jude Sinebe, gave the task at the completion of 21-day training of the corps members at the NYSC orientation camp in Issele-Uku. He said that the corps members should engage in skills acquisition programmes, take them seriously and make good use of them. According to him, the skills will make them to be complete individuals and prepare them to be wealth creators and employers of labour. The acting governor said that Delta was committed to encouraging on-hand training among youths which necessitated the establishment of several skill training centers across the state. He advised the corps members to contribute their quota to the communities where they would do their primary assignments and serve as agents of positive transformation and development. Otuaro also urged Chairmen of Local Government Areas where they would be deployed and the traditional rulers to ensure their seamless integration into the communities. In his address, Governor . Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State commended the corps members for their roles in the 2019 general elections in the country and in the state in particular. “Anytime we are reflecting over the successes recorded in these elections in terms of credibility, fairness and acceptance, the involvement of patriotic corps members will quickly come to mind. The country is proud of you,” Ahmed said. Ahmed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Tajudeen Alalade, appealed to the corps

members to accept their postings in good faith. “I charge you to put into use all tenets of hard work, discipline, commitment and loyalty imbibed during the orientation.” he said. Also , Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State yesterday urged corps members deployed to the state to ensure the people felt their positive impact. Wike made the call at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Batch “A” orientation programme at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Nonwa-Gbam, Tai Local Government Area of the state. Represented by George Nweke, Permanently Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Rivers Government, Wike urged them to help bring accelerated developments at their places

of primary assignments. “You’re therefore expected to join hands with my administration by making sure you embark on viable community development projects wherever you will serve. “The good people of Rivers expect nothing less from you than a total commitment to the oath you swore by diligently upholding its provision in letter and spirit,” he said. According to Wike, the orientation course has adequately prepared them physically and mentally for the task of national service at their places of primary assignments. “I therefore charge you to promote the key objective of the NYSC scheme, which is to raise a crop of disciplined and morally sound youths ready to build bridges of national unity.

n a new deal, the Federal Government is partnering with the private sector under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement to produce 13 million ECOWAS biometric identification cards for Nigerians worth N14.7 billion. Minister of Interior, Lt. – Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau,Rtd said this at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and Euphoria Printing Press Ltd. on Tuesday in Abuja. Dambazau said the agreement, which would last for 10 years, would be fully financed by the private partner, Euphoria Printing Press Ltd. He said the Nigeria Immigration Service would be saddled with the responsibility of issuing the cards to Nigerians. “It is my pleasure to inform Nigerians that in the shortest time possible the current ECOWAS travel certificate will be a thing of the past and the biometric identity cards will be operational. ” It will provide the maximum protection against fraud and identity theft within member states. ” It will promote economic and political cooperation between member states, abolish trade restrictions, remove obstacles to free movement of people, goods and services and achieve harmonisation of the individual. “I must say that this is a very important process that must not fail and this can only be done through transparency and accountability. “There must be constant monitoring and evaluation and most importantly we must abide by the TSA rule for all transactions, particularly of accrued revenue. “I call on all stakeholders for this project to uphold and strictly abide by the term of this agreement. “I also thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and visionary leadership without which this event would not have been possible,” Dambazau said.

House of Reps rejects forensic audit bill

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iting conflicting role in the proposed law, the House of Representatives yesterday rejected the Bill for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and investigative auditors of Nigeria for effective regulation and registration of members. The bill also determines the knowledge and skills that a practitioner requires to attain in order to qualify to practice as a Forensic and Investigative Auditors. The bill was sponsored by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) and two other lawmakers. The bill which passed first reading was rejected by the House for the conflicting role of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria with similar

professional body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN). The bill also had conflicting role with the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, (ANAN). Contributing to the debate on the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff stated that since the word audit was being contested, it could for clarity purposes be coined to read forensic investigators or experts. He explained that the Bill could look like an exclusive accounting bill, but with his advice it would be more encompassing for other fields. Nkem-Abonta said that the word audit, was encompassing and could be used as investigation and the bill should not be watered down just because accountants don’t feel comfortable with it.

He also noted that the bill, as it was, was not an exclusively accounting one, but all encompassing. Also in his contribution, Simon Arabo (PDP-Kaduna), said that if the word auditor, was the only contention, and could be expunged to accommodate the content Kayode Oladele (APC-Ogun), contributing said that since it had been ascertained by the Three-man Committee set up by the Speaker that other countries had the proposed body, the Bill needed to be passed. . Oladimeji Ayodele (PDP-Ekiti), said that if the proposed Bill was for the establishment of an association, it would be okay, but the fact that the proposed Institute seeks to be chartered, then it was contradictory to laid down Law.


WESTAFRICA BUSINESSNEWS

SPORTS

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

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My “Go Fund Me” account will boost my ranking –Olatunji

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igeria’s number one ranked female squash player, Yemisi Olatunji has disclosed that she opened a “Go Fund Me” account in order to attend competitions and boost her ranking in the Professional Squash Association (PSA). Olatunji, currently ranked 146 in the world, told NAN in Lagos that the response had being amazing, but it could be better. “I decided to open the Go Fund Me account because I can’t do this on my own any more, participating in PSA ranked competitions is the most fulfilling thing for player. “Because in such competitions, you are competing against the best in the game; I’m not comfortable with just being number one in Nigeria and I’m nowhere in the PSA. “Being a mediocre is not what I promised myself, so I’m going to keep pushing, we don’t have up to 10 PSA organised tournaments here.

“People are responding but honestly I still need more generous donations towards my course, most of this competitions are held outside the country. “I can’t afford to do that on my own without the good people of Nigeria’s generous donation,’’ she said. Olatunji added that her focus was to be among the first 50 female players in the world. “That’s my aim, top 50, that’s what I’m working towards achieving, and I strongly believe that I’d get there and maybe, surpass my own expectations who knows?” Asked if her PSA task will not make her less visible in the country’s squash circuit, the current best racket player in the country, she said that it won’t. “PSA has a programme and the bodies governing squash both at the state and federal levels are aware of this programme, so it guides us, so there is a balance,’’ she said.

GOtv Boxing: I will crush Nigeria’s “Joe Boy’’, says Ghana’s “Brave Warrior’’

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hana’s Success “Brave Warrior” Tetteh, the challenger for the African Boxing Union (ABU) Lightweight title, has boasted ahead of the fight that he will end the unbeaten run of Nigeria’s Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph. The fight is among the eight scheduled fights of the GOtv Boxing Night 18, holding on April 21, at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan. Tetteh told journalists in Lagos that he had seen many of his opponent’s previous fights and he was confident that the incumbent champion would not last the distance. “Initially, I thought of making the fans enjoy the fight for much longer, but I have concluded that there is no point doing that. “I need to finish him off quickly, go back to bed and rest enough for my trip back home. “I also have my eyes on the N1 million cash prize provided by the sponsors,” he said. The champion, meanwhile, has been very reserved about the upcoming fight and preferred to do his “talking’’ in the ring. “There is a reason I’m the ABU champion as well as the Commonwealth (Africa) Lightweight champion. It is because I’m good at this sport. “The mouth with which he’s boasting will be reconstructed and when he looks at himself in the mirror, he will imagine he’s another person. “It will be war,” he said with undisguised rage. A similar threat was issued by Akeem “Dodo” Sadiku, who will fight Ekpresso Djamihou of the Republic of Benin for the Lightweight bout. Sadiku described his opponent as too weak to challenge him in his

home town in Ibadan. He added that his opponent would be packed like “frozen turkey’’ back to his country at the end of their international challenge duel. In another outburst, Ridwan“Scorpion’’ Oyekola, said that his opponent, Taofeek “Taozon’’ Bisugawould, would experience a very tough night in his hands. “I’m the Scorpion, I sting until my opponents fall. The title is mine. His reign is over,’’ Oyekola bragged. Bisuga in his response, said that he was immune to a scorpion’s sting, adding that his opponent faced the prospect of beng hit with vicious punches he had never received before. He said that Oyekola was way too young to trade words with him. Even the West African Boxing Union (WABU) Welterweight Champion, Rilwan “Baby Face’’ Babatunde, a man of few words, joined in vowing to severely punish Ganiyu “Energy’’ Kolawole during their upcoming challenge bout. “I am looking forward to the event having been away for a while, due to the injury I was nursing and I am determined to crush any opponent in my path. “I promise my fans that they will really be entertained and should come out to support me as I deal mercilessly with Kolawole,’’ Babatunde said. Reacting, Kolawole said that Babatunde was simply making empty boasts. “I am going to beat him silly, he is tough, but I am tougher and mentally ready to crush him in Ibadan,’’ Kolawole said. The best boxer in the fight, which would be beamed live, would go home with a cash prize N1 million attached to the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy.

Yemisi Olatunji in action

Liverpool to ban supporter for throwing flare into Chelsea end at Anfield

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iverpool are working with Merseyside Police to find and ban the supporter who threw a flare into the away fans section during Sunday’s clash against Chelsea, the Premier League club saidyesterday. Police confirmed on Monday that a flare was thrown from the upper section of the Anfield Road Stand and landed on the away supporters below after Sadio Mane put Liverpool 1-0 up six minutes into the second half. Nobody was injured in the incident, but a young Chelsea fan suffered a panic attack.

Liverpool thanked the Chelsea staff, officials and supporters for their “compassionate marking” of the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters were killed. “As ever, the overwhelming majority of those present at Anfield ensured the occasion was a fitting tribute,” a Liverpool spokesperson said. “Regrettably however, a smoke device was thrown into the away section during the second half and we are actively working with Merseyside Police to investigate the matter.

A Premier League game between Liverpool and Chelsea

“Any person found to have committed this offence will be banned from our ground.” The Merseyside club also responded to the use of an offensive chant during the game, which Liverpool won 2-0 to return to the top of the league standings. “The club is also concerned about a chant from some of our fans, specifically referencing to Chelsea, as inappropriate and offensive,” the spokesman said.“we would urge all Liverpool supporters to respect each other and stop such chants as they do not reflect the inclusivity that the club stands for.”


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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Food prices rise in Kogi, Plateau, Lagos - NBS Continued from page 1

Wazobia Cultural Troupe performing during the visit of Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.Gen. Suleiman Kazaure to 2019 Batch A corps members in Gombe.

Investors jostle for fixed income markets Continued from page 1

a total N156.3 billion in value as sell pressure was consistent across the trading weeks for the month. It would be recalled that In 2018, total capital importation into the country stood at $16.8 billion compared to $12.2 billion capital imported in 2017, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Quarter on quarter, however, the capital importation during the fourth quarter of 2018 stood at $2.1 billion, representing a decrease of 25 percent compared to quarter three of 2018. The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 70.20% ($11,802.27m) of total capital importation, followed by Other Investment, which accounted for 22.69% ($3,815.53m) of total capital, and then foreign direct investment FDI, which accounted for 7.11% ($1,194.67m) of total capital imported in 2018. By sector, capital importation by shares, which is closely related to equity investment (FDI and portfolio investment) dominated 2018, reaching $10,425.18 of the total capital importation in 2018. However, since the dawn of 2019, both the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s all share index and market capitalization have been falling, with the all share index now below 30,000 points (29,202.54 points), while market capitalization dropped below N11 trillion (at N10.97 trillion) where it settled for the whole of 2018.

The Central Bank of Nigeria attributed the falling indices (all share index and market capitalisation) at the nation’s capital market to global sentiments in portfolio rebalancing from equities to fixed income securities. An analysis of trading activities carried out by WestAfricabusinessNews showed that of the 168 stocks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), 68 stocks recorded price depreciation spurring the negative performance. The All Share Index (ASI) which opened the month at 31, 718.70 points was down to 31,041.42 as at close of trading on Friday 29th March 2019. Market capitalisation which measures investor’s worth similarly dropped by 1.6 percent to N11.67 trillion from N11.83 trillion at the beginning of March, representing a decline of N156.3 billion

Chief Audu Ogbeh

In March, 79 stocks recorded no change in price movement during the month, this was higher than the 72 out of 168 listed compa-nies on the NSE that recorded no change in value in the course of February’s trading activities. Majority of these stocks are however listed on the main board and the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) of the NSE. A market analyst, Ambrose Omorodion, attributed the development to investors disappointment over the outcome of the elections. Omorodion explained that smart investors that took a position earlier in the market ahead of the presidential election and earnings seasons were disappointed. He said that the outcome of the election failed to meet their expectations with many of them resorting to profit taking and movement of funds

to the fixed income market with high interest and lower risk. According to him, investors are dumping their shares in spite of impressive earnings reports and high yields. He said that apart from the outcome of the elections, everything was against the stock market, ranging from delayed budget, expiration of the tenure of CBN governor by June. “The only factor for the stock market now is this earnings season, because nothing will happen between now and May 29,” Omordion said. He said that 2019 budget implementation would likely commence in July and the Central Bank of Nigeria governor tenure likely to expire in June, contributed to the current trend. Omorodion said that the trend might likely continue unless there was a change in economic policies and reforms by the president

According to the report, the corresponding twelvemonth year-on-year average percentage change for the urban in-dex is 11.78 per cent in March. This is less than 11.95 per cent reported in February while the corresponding rural inflation rate in March is 11.08 per cent compared to 11.23 per cent recorded in February. The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for dayto-day living. The construction of the CPI combines economic theory, sampling and other statistical techniques using data from oth-er surveys to produce a weighted measure of average price changes in the Nigerian economy. The weighting occurs to capture the importance of the selected commodities in the entire index. Also, food prices rose in Kogi, Plateau and Lagos in the month of March as headline inflation rate declined 60 basis points to close at 11.26%. The consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 11.25 percent (year-on-year) in March 2019, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistic notified in its recent report. The change is 0.06 percent points lower than the rate recorded in February 2019 when inflation rate rested at 11.31 percent. Increases were recorded in all 12 Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index. Meanwhile, the corresponding twelvemonth year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 11.78 percent in March 2019. This is less than 11.95 percent reported in February 2019, while the corresponding rural infla-tion rate in March 2019 is 11.08 percent compared to 11.23 percent recorded in February 2019 The composite food index rose by 13.45 percent in March 2019 compared to 13.47 percent in February 2019. This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Meat, Fish, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Oils and fats, and Soft drinks, Vegetables, and Fruits. On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.88 percent in March 2019, up by 0.06 percent points from 0.82 percent recorded in February 2019. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelvemonth period ending March 2019 over the previous twelve-month average was

13.42 percent, 0.20 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in February 2019 (13.62) percent. The ‘’All items less farm produce’’ or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 9.5 percent in March 2019, down by 0.3 percent when compared with 9.8 percent recorded in February 2019. On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.53 percent in March 2019. This was down by 0.12 percent when compared with 0.65 percent recorded in February 2019. The highest increases were recorded in prices of Domestic and household services, Tobacco, Actual and imputed rent for housing, Dental, Medical and Hospital services, Tobacco, Major household appliances The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 10.04 percent for the twelve-month period ending March 2019; this is 0.15 percent points lower than 10.19 percent recorded in February 2019. In March 2019, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kebbi (14.65%), Zamfara (13.15%) and Taraba (12.98%), while Kwara (9.84%) Cross River (9.66%) and Delta (9.61%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation. On month on month basis however, March 2019 all items inflation was highest in Kogi (1.91%), Plateau (1.77%), and Lagos (1.63%), while Nasarawa (0.26%), Kwara (0.16%) and Enugu (0.13%) recorded the slowest rise. In analysing price movements under this section, note that the CPI is weighted by consumption expenditure patterns which differ across states. Accordingly, the weight assigned to a particular food or non-food item may differ from state to state making interstate comparisons of consumption basket inadvisable and potentially misleading. In March 2019, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Kebbi (16.35%), Niger (16.22%) and Kwara (15.95%), while Bauchi (11.82%), Delta (11.70%) and Ogun (11.55%) recorded the slowest rise. On month on month basis however, March 2019 food inflation was highest in Kogi (2.97%), Lagos and Plateau (2.11%) and Oyo (2.04%), while Imo and Nasarawa (0.12%), Enugu (0.11%) recorded the slowest rise with Bayelsa recording food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a nega-tive inflation rate).


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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Amnesty International pledges better ties with Nigeria

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L-R: Directorate Head, Service Bank/Chief Information Officer, Heritage Bank Plc, Ike Williams; Chief Compliance Officer, Oluwatomi Ojo; Executive Director, Jude Monye; outgoing General Manager/Chief Compliance Officer, Wumi Adeniyi; Directorate Head, South South and South East, Osepiribo Ben-willie; and Regional Executive, Lagos & South-West Office, Dike Dimiri, during send forth of out-going General Manager/ Chief Compliance Officer of Heritage Bank Plc at the Bank’s head office in Lagos.

‘90% of locally consumed rice produced in Nigeria’ Continued from Page 1

itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China,” he said. According to him, the same thing is happening in other sectors of the agric economy, with collective efforts of stake-holders, Nigeria will have a favourable balance of trade in food items. Ogbeh stressed the need for all stakeholders, researchers, extension service providers, farmers groups, policy mak-ers, development partners, input suppliers, agrobased NGOs among others must all synergise to continue to harness the

enormous potential in the country. He minister called for improved crop varieties, both arable and tree crops, livestock and fisheries, adding that it was the only way to improve comparative and competitive advantages and become selfsufficient in food and agricultural production. “The National Agricultural Extension System also needs to strongly adopt best piracies in the cultivation of the various commodities to ensure high quality farm outputs that in turn determines the quality of the final product. “The extension system has a critical role to play in ensuring famers’ adherence to processes that assure quality and traceable of farm

produce,” he said. Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, who is also the ViceChancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Ib-rahim Garba observed that the future of Nigerian economy depended on agriculture. Garba, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Prof. Ezra Bako-Amans said that the Nigerian agricultural export potential were enormous. “Nigeria has all it takes to lead the African trains-border trades in food and fibre. It can cut its global share too in a number of crops it has comparative advantages in their production. “The world’s cotton economy for instance, is about 1 trillion dollars. Needless to say is that cotton used

to be one of the most important fibre crops in Nigeria, but down the line, we lost relevance on this crop. “With the current renewed focus on agriculture, this glory can be reclaimed and Nigeria can have her fair share in the global cotton industry,” he said. The V-C requested on behalf of the IAR and other research related units of the university the Federal Government to return the mandate of the institute to contribute toward the improvement of some horticultural crops to which the institute had relative advantage to handle. He also appealed to the ministry to consider mechanism that would make industries fund and support developmental research.

mnesty International, has expressed readiness to discard all misgivings and forge a harmonious working relationship with Nigerian authorities. Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, gave the assurance yesterday in Abuja. Ojigho said that the organisation had a standing invitation to the Nigerian authorities of its readiness to honour an invi-tation to discuss and resolve all grey areas. “Amnesty Nigeria has a standing invitation to the Nigerian authorities that we are open to discuss with them whenev-er they call on us. “We believe that these misunderstandings have come as a result of lack of clarity on the role Amnesty International plays. ” We are a watchdog, so to speak, we monitor, we document, we report; our role, essentially is to make government see those things that oftentimes attention is not drawn to. “We are also solution oriented, we give recommendations in our interventions and we understand that there is need for constant dialogue,” she said. She said that having regular contacts would help clarify the issues that the Nigerian authorities had with Amnesty In-ternational. Ojigho observed that certain vulnerable individuals who were scared of the authorities unusually took their concerns to the organisation for intervention. ” If there are violation of rights, Amnesty International will speak about it,” she said. Meanwhile, Ojigho who spoke on the sidelines of a workshop on women, youth and security said that the organisa-tion was committed to seeing the involvement of women in Nigeria’s security architecture. ‘The role of Amnesty International is to contribute to discussions around women, peace and security in Nigeria.

Domestic travellers account for 74% of air passengers in 2018 BY JULIUS ALAGBE

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s economic performance continue to pick compare with 2016 when recession hit the nation, the report from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has showed that domestic passengers accounted for 74% of total air passengers for the whole of year 2019. Drawing on data provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its lat-est report on air passenger traffic signal that there were improvement last year compare with preceding periods. The report estimates total traffic in 2018 at 17.2 million passengers, representing an increase of 19% year on year. NBS stated that the various items that make up airport transportation in Nigeria experienced growth in 2018. The total number of passengers who passed through Nigerian airports reached 17,230,438. The total number of international passengers who passed through Nigerian

airports reached 4,438,799 in 2018 as against 4,056,717 passengers in 2017. This represents 9.42% growth rate. Similarly, the total number of domestic passengers who passed through Nigerian airports reached 12,791,639 in 2018 as against 10,383,452 passengers in 2017. This represents 23.19% growth rate. “The economy is performing relatively better when compared to three years ago. However, household wallets are not fully rebuilt; as such, purchasing power has not picked up, broadly speaking”, FBNQuest remarked. According to the report, 74% of total air passengers in 2018 were domestic travellers. Air passenger traffic within Nige-ria is generally skewed towards business travel as opposed to leisure. Last year, passenger traffic for domestic travel grew by 23% y/y to 12.8 million passengers. The cost of domestic air travel has however picked up considerably over the past four years. The price of a return tick-et for one of the

frequent routes, Lagos- Abuja, on the two most favoured airlines is about N50, 000 or US$139 – double the fare a few years ago. Air travel is regarded as a luxury item on spending priority lists for most consumers. Last year the Federal Government announced the removal of 5% VAT on domestic

air transport to make air travel more affordable. However, this is yet to be implemented. As such, road transportation, which is a significantly cheaper option, is likely to remain the pre-ferred mode of transportation for most Nigerians. As for international travel, air passenger traffic grew by 9%

year on year during the period under review. Passenger traffic was highest in August, September and December – that is, during holiday months. High patronage on international flights during off-holiday season was linked to business travel. The national accounts show that air transport grew by 21% year on year but accounted for just 8% of total transport gross domestic product, GDP, in 2018. “Aircraft traffic reached 290,328. The total number of international aircrafts recorded was 55,961 in 2018 as against 40,328 aircrafts in 2017. This represents 38.92% growth rate. Similarly, the total number of domestic aircrafts recorded was 234,367 in 2018 as against 210,693 aircrafts in 2017. This represents 11.24% growth rate. However, a growth of 1.94% was recorded in 2018 in total cargo traffic as against 2017. Similarly, there was a 19.96% increase in total mail traf-fic recorded in 2018 when compared to the same period last year”, the Bureau of Statistics stated.


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Building Collapse: Council urges better implementation of relevant laws

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orried by the spate of building collapses in Lagos and Oyo States, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), has urged the three tiers of government to be proactive in the implementation of building laws. The President of the council, Shola Tinubu, made the call on Tuesday at the quarterly media parley in Lagos. The two states witness building collapse in March. A building, which housed a school, collapsed at Massey Street, Ita-Faji, on Lagos Island, with no fewer than 20 deaths recorded. Barely 72 hours after that tragic incident, another building collapsed in Ibadan. According to Tinubu, the council is well touched by the incessant collapsed of buildings. He called on the governments to give more impetus to the enforcement of compulsory building insurance as enshrined in Section 64 and Section 65 of Insurance Act 2003.

Tinubu said the council believed that the unfortunate incidences were actually accentuated by the lax of regulatory enforcement agency in the construction environment. He urged governments to continually engage the stakeholders in the construction environment, while related institutions should elicit their inputs for a long lasting solution to the malaise. The council president, while commiserating with the victims of the building collapses, advised Nigerians, on their own, to insure their personal assets. “The insurance will mitigate the losses when losses of this dimension do occur. “Every individual should ideally live up to his responsibility of care by protecting whatever is valuable to him or her, both life and property “Our slogan has been: “Whatever is Worth Having, is Worth Insuring,” he said. 25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily – Group

No fewer than 25,000 underage Nigerians use tobacco products daily, Nigerian activists under the aegis of the Tobacco Free Nigeria campaign says. , A campaign specialist at Gatefield, Ebiuwa Uwagboe disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday . called on government to enforce the law banning the sale of tobacco products to the underage to check such smokers in the country. “Every day, a whopping 25,000 children in Nigeria between the ages of 10 and 14 years use tobacco products. “This equates to 17 children smoking every one minute. “This is a result of the relative ease of their access to cigarettes and other tobacco related products, which are sold to them by vendors,” she said. Uwagboe added that smoking among teenagers had devastating consequences including health related ones such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as reduced men-

Collapsed building

tal development. “Children must be protected as they lack capacity and are often unwitting targets of the tobacco industry,” she said. She noted that a recent survey released by Gate-

FG partners private sector on biometric cards worth N14.7bn

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n a new deal, the Federal Government is partnering with the private sector under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement to produce 13 million ECOWAS biometric identification cards for Nigerians worth N14.7 billion. Minister of Interior, Lt. – Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau,Rtd said this at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and Euphoria Printing Press Ltd. on Tuesday in Abuja. Dambazau said the agreement, which would last for 10 years, would be fully financed by the private partner, Euphoria Printing Press Ltd. He said the Nigeria Immigration Service would be saddled with the responsibility of issuing the cards to Nigerians. “It is my pleasure to inform Nigerians that in the shortest time possible the current ECOWAS travel certificate will be a thing of the past and the biometric identity cards will be operational. ” It will provide the maximum protection

against fraud and identity theft within member states. ” It will promote economic and political cooperation between member states, abolish trade restrictions, remove obstacles to free movement of people, goods and services and achieve harmonisation of the individual. “I must say that this is a very important process that must not fail and this can only be done through transparency and accountability. “There must be constant monitoring and evaluation and most importantly we must abide by the TSA rule for all transactions, particularly of accrued revenue. “I call on all stakeholders for this project to uphold and strictly abide by the term of this agreement. “I also thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and visionary leadership without which this event would not have been possible,” Dambazau said. The minister reiterated the ECOWAS mandate to ensure an identity card to member states of the same colour, with biometric features of the holder that could be checked instantly.

He said that it would reduce the time spent at entry points and enable the Interpol identify persons involved in cross border criminal activities within the region. According to him, the decision to grant approval for the production of the cards on a PPP arrangement was based on the realisation that it would inject new capital into the economy. This, Dambazau added would help release the financial burden of public budget. Also speaking, the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah, commended the President ‘s decision to use the private sector to kick-start and drive the economy of the country. Izuwah said the cards which would be done across the country would improve the database and manage migration across the sub region. “This project is expected to provide a reliable database for movement of people within the ECOWAS sub-region.

“It will also create employment and jobs in the IT base for the country. “What the PPP means is that the entire financing for this project will be provided by the private sector but government will benefit substantially from the project. “The internal rate of return for this project is 30 per cent, which shows it is a bankable project. “It went through a development where the ICRC issued an outline business case supply certificate and a full business case which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). “Today is the highlight of that engagement and by Law, ICRC will take custody of this contract and we expect Euphoria Press Ltd to achieve financial close at the soonest possible time,” Izuwah said. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Euphoria Press Ltd, Abdullahi Girei, expressed readiness of the company to deliver the project. Girei, however, urged the government to ensure it kept to its bargain of the project to ensure its speedy implementation.

field discovered that one out of every four vendors sold cigarettes to kids in the country. She added that the Nigerian Tobacco act of 2015 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 but that the law was not being implemented or enforced. “While it is important to have the right laws, it is not enough. We need to enforce them now and ensure that the National Assembly passes the tobacco control regulations. “This is what our campaign aims to do,” she added. She further said that the #DontWaitRegulate campaign also released two public service advertise-

ments to create awareness about the existing law and pressure government to properly enforce it with the passage of the regulations by the national assembly. She said that a campaign petition page http://www. regulate.tobaccofree. ng was created while the campaign was present on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @Tobaccofreeng,” she said. She said the advertisement featured individuals including Fakhuus Hashim, #ArewaMeToo founder; Ogor Ben-Iweagwu, a public hospital doctor; Anna Usman, a mother and entrepreneur; and Providence Anaro, a teenage freshman at the University of Abuja.

Suspended Benue Assembly Majority Leader resigns

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he suspended former Majority Leader of Benue House of Assembly, Benjamin Adanyi (Makurdi South-APC) has resigned. Adanyi tendered his resignation yesterday via a letter dated April 10, and addressed to the clerk of the House. In the letter, Adanyi stated that by the provision of Section 108 (2) of the Constitution, he could no longer continue as a member of the House after his confirmation by the Senate as representative of the NorthCentral in the North-East Development Commission. Adanyi regretted that he

would have been excited to announce his resignation during plenary but the political intrigues had robbed the 8th Assembly of that legislative comradeship. He, however, appreciated the members for the support given to him while he served as the majority leader. Adanyi alongside seven other members of the house including former Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, were suspended in 2018 for attempting to impeach Gov. Samuel Ortom. Adanyi is the first member of the House to resign since the creation of the Benue SAtate in 1976.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019 Vol. 06 No. 326

MARKET WATCH

Nigeria: Mobilizing Resources to Invest in People

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iversifying the government’s revenue base, increasing non-oil revenues, and securing oil revenues, will all be critical, says the IMF in its latest economic health check of sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous economy. “Identifying two or three big-ticket items could lift revenue sustainably and in a timely manner—other reforms could follow,” said Amine Mati, IMF mission chief and senior resident representative in Nigeria. Challenges of a global dimension According to the report, public services and infrastructure in Nigeria are under considerable strain. Globally, Nigeria ranks first in the number of children out of school. Infant mortality is also high: 12 percent of all children who die under the age of five are Nigerian. At 1.7 percent and 0.6 percent of GDP, levels of spending on education and health are among the lowest in the world, and insufficient to address growing challenges. To meet these large spending needs, greater resource mobilization is critical. With rapid population growth that could make Nigeria the third most populous country in the world by 2050, these issues will intensify if left unaddressed. Limited breathing space The revenue base is simply too low to address the current challenges, says the IMF. At 3-4 percent of GDP, Nigeria’s nonoil revenue mobilization has been one of the lowest worldwide, reflecting weaknesses in revenue administration systems and systemic noncompliance. For corporate income tax, less than 6 percent of registered taxpayers are active. Estimates on payment compliance in the case of value added tax (VAT) vary between 15 and 40 percent, and Nigeria raises less than 1 percent of GDP in VAT revenue, compared to almost 4 percent of GDP in the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Tax exemptions and incentives are narrowing the base. International evidence shows that a minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 12.75 percent is associated with a significant acceleration in growth and development of state capacity. It would allow increased expenditure for economic development and reduce budget exposure to oil revenue volatility. Accelerated and forceful reforms needed to make a visible dent The government is recognizing these challenges. It has taken welcome steps to increase tax audits, use e-filing, selfassessments, conduct data matching exercises to close collection loopholes, strengthen tax enforcement, and combat corruption in tax offices, and increased excises on alcohol and tobacco. It also launched the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative that calls for the appointment of a high-powered steering committee to guide reforms and monitor progress on several welcome proposals. A more comprehensive tax reform

President Muhammadu Buhari

International evidence shows that a minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 12.75 percent is associated with a significant acceleration in growth and development of state capacity. could help increase the tax-to-GDP ratio by about 8 percentage points. These could be generated through tax policy and revenue administration measures that could yield an additional 3½ percent of GDP from VAT reforms, 1½ percent of GDP from excises, 2 percent of GDP from the rationalization of tax expenditures, more than 1 percent of GDP from efficiency gains and stronger internally-generated revenue collection, and through taxation of property at the state level. Such a reform program would broaden the base of income and consumption taxes improve data collection and monitoring, improve tax compliance and create

incentives for sub-national tiers of the government to raise their own revenues. Moving forward “VAT reform would benefit both the federal and sub-national budgets,” said Amine Mati, IMF mission chief and senior resident representative in Nigeria. “It would include tax credits for intermediary inputs used for the final products and capital expenditures, an annual turnover threshold for VAT registration to exclude small and micro businesses, and improved monitoring and control,” he added. The report suggests there should be a single and higher rate for VAT of between

10-15 percent. Exemptions should be limited, well-targeted and follow equity considerations. The report underlines that vulnerable populations must be shielded from any negative impact of the reform, including through targeted social transfers. Short-term tax and customs administration measures are essential, suggest IMF economists. They should include strengthening taxpayer register and improving filing and payment compliance and initiating large scale data analysis and cross matching. Improving filing and payment compliance, for example, through document simplification and penalties for non-compliance, and putting in place appropriate management controls in customs are other key measures. Oil revenues that make up a substantial share of government revenues also need to be secured. This includes ensuring that the ongoing work on new petroleum legislation brings an appropriate government take, while not discouraging foreign investment. It is also important that any sales of oil assets should be preceded by changes in legislation (Petroleum Profit Tax Act) to ensure revenues of the new operator are not exempted and find their way into public finances. The report acknowledges that raising revenues in a short time by a significant amount is ambitious, but the authors believe the proposal is feasible, as shown by international experience. Facing this challenge will help Nigeria make the necessary investment into priority areas— crucial to boost living standards for its young and rapidly growing population.

Printed and Published by Westafrican Business Newspapers Ltd., 9, Fadeyi Street, Ikeja, Lagos. Abuja Office: 1st Floor, BEF’s plaza, Utako, Abuja. Editor, Enyi Moses – 08037152217 Email: letters@wabusinessnewsng.com, westafricabusiness@yahoo.com, www.wabusinessnewsng.com, Newsroom: 08027562807,, Advert hotline, Lagos: 07015151515. All correspondence to Westafrica BusinessNews. P.O. Box 3120, Shomolu, Lagos.

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