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The Board of Directors of United Bank for Africa PLC is pleased to announce the Group's unaudited results for the nine months period ended 30th June 2007.
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UBA Group Appoints New Managing Director For United Bank for Africa, a new Group Managing Director emerged yesterday. He is Kennedy Uzoka who had been Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group and was also the Chief Executive Officer of UBA Africa, responsible for the Group’s operations in 18 countries across Africa. The group also has a new
Deputy Managing Director, Victor Osadolor. A press statement by the bank said its board approved both appointments yesterday, adding that Uzoka would, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
assume his new position on August 1, 2016. He succeeds Phillip Oduoza, who retires on July 31, 2016, after two terms of leading the UBA Group. According to the bank, Uzoka has been leading its transformation agenda after
returning from an Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School. “Mr Uzoka has over two and a half decades of experience in commercial banking, strategy and business transformation. Prior to his
sabbatical at Harvard, Mr Uzoka served as Deputy Managing Director, UBA Group and was also the CEO of UBA Africa, responsible for the Group’s operations in 18 countries across Africa,” the bank said.
JAMB Releases 200,000 Results as Minister Expresses Concern… Page 6
Uzoka is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from University of Benin and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from University of Lagos. The new group deputy managing director, Osadolor, according to the bank’s Continued on page 6
Wednesday 2 March, 2016 Vol 21. No 7615. Price: N150
& RE A S O
Ese Oruru: Police to Prosecute Alleged Abductor
Reunites with family today Count us out – Kano Govt
Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
L-R: Incoming Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO) UBA, Kennedy Uzoka; GMD/CEO UBA, Phillips Oduoza; new Deputy Managing Director, Victor Osadolor; and Chairman UBA, Tony Elumelu, shortly after the appointment of Uzoka and Osadolor by the bank's board in Lagos... Monday
The police said yesterday that Yunusa Yellow, the alleged abductor of Ese Oruru, the 14-year-old girl allegedly abducted from Yenegoa and
Court Orders FG to Account Fully for Recovered Loot
Continued on page 6
Says Obasanjo, Yar'Adua, Jonathan breached accountability principles
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has held that successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999 “breached the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability for failing
to disclose details about the spending of recovered stolen public funds”. The court then ordered the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to
“ensure that his government, and the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and former President Goodluck
Jonathan account fully for all recovered loot”. The judgment was delivered on Friday by Justice Mohammed Idris following a Freedom of Information suit
no: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The details ordered by the court to be disclosed
Dangote, Adenuga, Otedola, Alakija, Rabiu Make Forbes World Billionaire List… Page 10
include: information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets by each government; the amount of recovered stolen public assets spent by each government as well as the objects of such Continued on page 6
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
JAMB Releases 200,000 Results as Minister Expresses Concern Paul Obi in Abuja The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday released results of 200,000 candidates who had written the examination even as the test continued. The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of JAMB, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, disclosed this during the monitoring of the exercise in Abuja and its environs. He explained that over
200,000 candidates’ results had been released since the examination commenced on Saturday. Ojerinde spoke just as the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, expressed concern over the plight and difficulties faced by non-computer literate students sitting for the examination. The minister expressed his reservation when he visited some centres in the FCT to monitor the on-going
Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) being conducted by JAMB. Adamu, however, said though he was satisfied with the conduct of the CBT mode of the examination, he was glad the board had addressed most of his concerns and other Nigerians. He said: "I seem to be very comfortable and happy with what they are doing. But my question has not been answered; that there may be
people who are not computer literate, so, what do you do with them. I do not have reservation about CBT but I have sympathy for those who are not computer literate and there are many of them." Notwithstanding the minister’s reservation, Ojerinde urged candidates who had sat for the examination to visit the JAMB’s website and check their respective results. According to him, "More than one million, eight hundred
and fifty thousand candidates applied to take the examination nationwide in 2016. "The figures however recorded a slight increase of 113,673 candidates who applied for the examination in 2015." JAMB kick-started full Computer Based Testing (CBT) in 2014 after eliminating the Paper Pencil Testing (PPT) system within that same period. Prof. Ojerinde further informed journalists that government had reached out to
the National Communications Commission (NCC) to produce at least four new CBT centres annually. "National Communications Commission has been mandated to give us at least four centres every year. Meanwhile, the first four are fully completed, the next four would soon be built and with time every nook and crannies of the country will have functional CBT centres," Ojerinde said.
SERAP’s request; that is, the Freedom of Information Act, having been enacted in 2011, does not apply to spending by governments since 1999. In response, SERAP argued that the FOI Act is a special specie of legislation to liberalise and expand access to information for all Nigerians; that the FOI Act does not impose any requirement of locus standi on applicants; that the only relevant limitation period in the case is that which requires filing of suit within 30 days if information is not given; that the right which the FOI Act seeks to protect is the right of the public to have access to information, which is in custody of a public official or institution; and that the information sought by SERAP is not caught by the law against retroactivity, noting that the right in question is expropriatory in nature, which justifies the granting of access to the requested information on the ground of overriding public interest. SERAP also argued in its pleadings that, “By virtue of Section 1 (1) of the FOI Act 2011, it is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution. By the provisions of Section 2(7) and 31 of the
FOI Act 2011, the Accountant General of the Federation is a public official. By virtue of Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.” The organisation argued further that, “The information requested relates to the spending on recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999. By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FOI Act, a public official is under a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to the receipt or expenditure of recovered stolen funds are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.” According to the organisation, “The information requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The government has no reason whatsoever to deny SERAP access to
the information sought. The requested information, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, borders on an issue of national interest, public concern, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.” It added: “The power or discretion to refuse to give access to information requested for cannot be exercised in vacuo. Such a power or discretion must be provided for by the FOI Act itself. This means, therefore, that a request for information can only be denied or turned down if the information requested is one which is exempted from disclosure under the provisions of the FOI Act. In the case at hand, the information requested for by the plaintiff relates strictly to the spending of recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999. “Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be a norm; it is an apostasy for government to ignore the provisions of the law and the necessary rules made to regulate matters.”
the leading financial services franchises in Africa. I have no doubt that both he and Victor with their expertise and depth of business experience will ensure that the Bank is best positioned to deliver on its strategic ambition. “I would also like to take
the opportunity to thank Phillips, for all that he has done for the Bank in guiding UBA through a particularly challenging period. The Board feels that the strong foundations created during Mr Oduoza’s term provide an excellent basis for our further
success,” the bank’s statement quoted the Chairman of UBA Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, on both appointments yesterday.
a deputy commissioner of police, said yesterday, would take place today at the police headquarters. Kolawole told journalists, who had massed at the police headquarters from the early hours of yesterday that the handing over of Ese to her parents would be done today, as her parents were still on their way from Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, as at 8pm yesterday. "The truth of the matter is that the parents are still on their way and instead of us waiting, let's leave it till
tomorrow morning," she said, explaining that Ese’s parents were in Abaaji about 8pm. Commenting on the reason for the delay, she said: "Their vehicle developed fault and that is why they didn't arrive at the time we expected them to arrive.” Leading the call for police prosecution, Governor Okowa who said he heard about the alleged abduction for the first time on Monday called on the police to investigate the
COURT ORDERS FG TO ACCOUNT FULLY FOR RECOVERED LOOT spending and the projects on which such funds were spent. Justice Idris dismissed all the objections raised by the federal government and upheld SERAP’s arguments. Consequently, the court entered judgment in favour of SERAP against the federal government as follows: · A declaration is hereby made that the failure and/ or refusal of the respondents to individually and/ or collectively disclose detailed information about the spending of recovered stolen public funds since the return of civil rule in 1999, and to publish widely such information, including on a dedicated website, amounts to a breach of the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability and violates Articles 9, 21 and 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act; · A declaration is hereby made that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant/ Respondent is under a binding legal obligation to provide the plaintiff/applicant with up to date information on the spending of recovered stolen funds, including: Detailed information on the total
amount of recovered stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria; The amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending; Details of projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent. The judge also made an order of mandamus directing and or compelling the defendants/respondents to provide the plaintiff/applicant with up to date information on recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999, including: · Detailed information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria; · The amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending; and, · Details of projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent. Reacting to the court ruling, the SERAP Deputy Executive Director, Olukayode Majekodunmi, said: “This judgment confirms the persistent failure of successive governments starting from the Obasanjo government, to respect Nigerians’ right to a corruption-free society and to uphold constitutional and international commitments
on transparency and accountability. The judgment is an important step towards reversing a culture of secrecy and corruption that has meant that high-ranking government officials continue to look after themselves at the expense of the well-being of majority of Nigerians, and development of the country.” He added: “This is a crucial precedent that vindicates the right to a transparent and accountable government and affirms the human rights of the Nigerian people to live a life free from want and fear. We are in the process of obtaining a certified copy of the around 60 pages judgment. SERAP will do everything within its power to secure the full and effective enforcement of this judgment.” Earlier, the federal government through its counsel, Sheba Olugbenga, filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection dated 26th of March, 2012 on the following grounds: that SERAP lacked the locus standi to institute the action; that the action was statute barred; and that SERAP’s affidavit evidence offends the provisions of the Evidence Act. On May 8th 2012, the federal government filed additional written address in support of its preliminary objection, arguing extensively on the retroactive nature of
UBA GROUP APPOINTS NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR statement, comes to office with a strong finance and risk background, having previously served as the Executive Director, Risk and Finance at UBA. He also held the position of Chief Strategy Officer at Ecobank Transnational Incorporation.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria, he also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting as well as an Advanced Management Programme Certificate from the Harvard Business School. “Kennedy brings an
extremely strong skill set and is ideally positioned to lead UBA in its next phase of growth. His most recent experience of managing the Group’s increasingly important African business, is particularly relevant, as we all work to build one of
ESE ORURU: POLICE TO PROSECUTE ALLEGED ABDUCTOR forced into marriage in Kano, would be prosecuted. The Assistant Police Commissioner in charge of Zone 1 Police Headquarters, Kano, Shuaibu Gambo, told journalists in Kano shortly after Ese was dispatched to the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja that Yellow would be charged to court to face criminal charges. The police chief spoke as voices, including that of Ese’s Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Kano State Government, rose in favour of the prosecution of the alleged
abductor. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and some members of the House of Representatives have also called for the prosecution of Yellow who allegedly abducted Ese from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and forced her into marriage in Kano, Kano State six months ago. The 14-year-old who breathed the air of freedom on Monday, following the intervention of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has also been promised full rehabilitation
by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, who admonished parents to be more vigilant about the activities of their children. Ese and Yellow were taken from Kano to Abuja yesterday for the handover of the former to her parents by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Solomon Arase. But the handover could not take place following the late arrival of Ese's parents to the federal capital city. The ceremonies, Police Force Public Relations Officer Olabisi Kolawole,
Continued on page 8
TOP GAINERS NGN NGN TIGERBANDS 0.13 1.51 OANDO 0.17 3.14 DANGCEMENT 7.08 148.83 PZ 1.09 22.99 ETI 0.83 17.58 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN FORTEOIL 33.34 308.66 CONOIL 0.87 16.56 UNITYBANK 0.03 0.64 AXAMANSARD 0.07 1.80 UNILEVER 1.00 28.00 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦715.00 Volume: 159.735 million shares Value: N1.101 billion Deals: 3,080 As at yesterday 01/03/16 See details on Page 46
% 9.4 5.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 % 9.7 4.9 4.4 3.7 3.4
T H I S D AY WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
T H S D AY • WEDNESDAY MARCH 2 2016
Bank Customers Defy ‘No Banking Day' James Emejo in Abuja, Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos The call by the Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON), a non-profit making organisation for bank customers, to shun banking services yesterday in order to protest the implementation of the stamp duty charge and other charges by commercial banks was completely ignored by residents in Lagos and Abuja, the federal capital territory, findings by THISDAY revealed. It was business as usual in all the banking halls visited as well as banking transaction channels including Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), point of sale (PoS) and online services were duly engaged by customers. The exercise tagged ‘No Banking Day,’ according to the founder of CAFON, Sola Salako, was aimed at expressing Nigerians’ anger over outrageous charges on deposits, transfers and withdrawals. Salako had asked Nigerians to stay away from the banks yesterday and to shun any transactions either on the counter or online with any bank. But findings by THIDAY in Lagos showed that the level of awareness on the exercise was poor, which affected compliance. Also, some customers who were aware of the ‘No Banking Day’ said they decided not to comply because they knew it would not be effective. THISDAY checks at the Gbagada area of Lagos yesterday morning revealed that Access Bank Plc, FirstBank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank had normal banking transactions with customers in their banking halls. Also, at a UBA branch situated on Marina road, there were customers. Similarly, in the afternoon, it was observed that it was business as usual at all the banks located on Oba Akran road, Ikeja. The banks visited were UBA, Unity Bank, First City Monument Bank, GTBank, Wema, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic, Union Bank and Ecobank. Furthermore, at Apapa, Lagos, THISDAY also monitored GTBank and Diamond
CBN Governor Godw n Emefie e Bank branches on Burma Road wh e Access Bank branch on Iesha road Lagos had norma bank ng transact ons as the r bank ng ha s were fi ed w th customers conduct ng a sorts of bank ng transact ons In fact some customers at Access Bank I esha had to eave the bank ng ha n annoyance after wa t ng for ong on the queue Speak ng n a chat w th THISDAY a customer at D amond Bank branch Burma Road Apapa who s mp y dent fied h mse f as Mr V ctor sa d “Who came up w th th s no bank ng day? I was not aware and a so f I had known I wou dn t have come to the bank today because the charges I am gett ng are s cken ng ” A so Mr Chukuma at GTbank a so on Burma Road sa d “I heard about the boycott but t s mportant I do th s transact on for my bus ness After a those p ann ng the protest are not putt ng food on my tab e ” S m ar y n Abu a t was bus ness as usua n a the bank ng ha s v s ted as a the bank ng transact on channe s nc ud ng ATMs Po nt of Sa e (PoS) and on ne serv ces were du y engaged by customers However most of the customers nterv ewed by THISDAY at var ous bank prem ses a so showed ack of awareness
of the d rect ve to shun the banks and other payment channe s yesterday Other customers showed d s nterest n tak ng part n any protest of such nature preferr ng rather that the advocacy group channe such gr evances to the Centra Bank of N ger a (CBN) wh ch regu ates the financ a nst tut ons Meanwh e the Consumer Protect on Counc (CPC) has sa d t was n support of efforts by non-governmenta organ sat ons and c v soc ety targeted at seek ng redress for consumer r ghts abuse In a te ephone chat w th THISDAY CPC spokesman Mr Ab odun Ob muy wa sa d the counc on ts part had a ready had meet ngs w th the apex bank over ncreas ng comp a nts of unapproved deduct ons by banks add ng that the CBN had assured t that t was ook ng nto the matter The CBN recent y urged bank customers to report ega and excess ve charges by the r banks to t (CBN) Accord ng to the centra bank t had rece ved ser es of comp a nts from bank customers a eg ng excess ve and n some cases ega charges from the r respect ve banks It po nted out that the Rev sed Gu de to Bank Charges c ear y spec fies a owab e charges for a bank ng serv ces and the CBN does not n any way condone the fleec ng of bank ng customers under any gu se “It was n the quest to prov de a strong vo ce to banks customers and moderate the arb trary charges that the CBN n 2012 estab shed ts Consumer Protect on Department For the avo dance of doubt the CBN has nvest gated over 6 000 comp a nts re at ng to unauthor sed bank charges brought to ts not ce fo ow ng whch banks have been compe ed to refund the sum of over N6 2 b on to affected customers n 2015 a one “The CBN w shes to re terate ts reso ve to cont nuous y enforce the prov s on of the Rev sed Gu de to Bank Charges and urges members of the pub c to report cases of nfr ngement to enab e t nvest gate and app y sanct ons on any err ng depos t money bank ” t added
ESE ORURU POLICE TO PROSECUTE ALLEGED ABDUCTOR a egat on and br ng to book a those who m ght be nd cted “No ega ty must be condoned n any soc ety” the governor sa d n a statement n Asaba by h s Ch ef Press Secretary Mr Char es Eh edu An agwu The governor descr bed the nc dent as unprecedented and uncanny cons der ng the age of the abductee who was a eged y forced nto marr age w thout the consent of her parents and reported y converted to Is am by h s abductor The Kano State Government n a statement by ts Comm ss oner for Informat on Youths and Sports Ma am Mohammed Garba d ssoc ated tse f from the a eged abduct on forced marr age and convers on to Is am of the teenager Condemn ng the ep sode and decry ng secur ty agenc es poor hand ng of the matter the government sa d a though the state government was not aware of the nc dent the d rect ve of the Em r of Kano Sanus II for the re ease of the g r shou d have been acted upon It therefore ordered that the abductor be brought to book s nce the Const tut on and Is am c teach ng abhorred abduct on and forced marr age The statement further condemned any statement by anyone or group nk ng the government to the matter n the soc a med a add ng that the act was meant to tarn sh the mage of the state It stressed that the abductor was respons b e for h s act on and shou d so e y take respons b ty for t not ng that the state has cord a re at on w th Baye sa nd genes and the state The government en o ned nd genes of Kano State v ng n other parts of the country to ve peacefu y w th the r host commun t es and respect the r ways of fe In ts react on the IYC condemned the a eged abduct on and asked the po ce to mmed ate y prosecute the a eged abductor "The IYC ns sts that the Inspector Genera of Po ce Mr So omon Arase
must br ng those who masterm nded the k dnap of M ss Oruru to ust ce n ne w th the ant -k dnapp ng aw of Baye sa State ” t sa d add ng "Th s s the on y way we can put a stop to such cr m na conducts espec a y cons der ng the worry ng act v t es of Fu an herdsmen n d fferent parts of the country The group commended the ro e of the med a n the rescue of Ese not ng that the med a had once aga n demonstrated how mportant t s n the task of nat on bu d ng A so react ng to the a eged abduct on a Mus m group MURIC ca ed on the po ce to mmed ate y commence the prosecut on of Ye ow In a statement n Abua by ts Execut ve D rector Ishaq Ak nto a MURIC sa d Yunusa s a eged act on “v o ated the aw and caused a Chr st an fam y to go through a traumat c per od” Ak nto a sa d the a eged abductor shou d first be charged to court n Yenagoa and ater before a Shar a court n Kano f t was proved that he had cana know edge of the g r "Our pos t on s based on the fact that the g r s a m nor” the group sa d exp a n ng “Attempt ng to marry off the g r w thout her parent s perm ss on s not on y a breach of common aw but a so a v o at on of the Shar ah prov s on on the need for the parents approva before n kah (Is am c marr age) can be deemed va d (La n kah b a wa yy n) “Of part cu ar s gn ficance n th s regard s the express command n the G or ous Qur an that women shou d be marr ed w th the perm ss on of the r parents The Qur an says nter a a …And marry them ( e women) w th the perm ss on of the r parents(Qur an 4 25) ” It commended the Em r of Kano for h s ro e n the matter say ng he “d sp ayed mmense understand ng of the ssues at stake and acted ke a respons b e eader and a know edgeab e Mus m by order ng
that the g r shou d be returned to her fam y” Amember of the House of Representatves represent ng Ughe North/Ughe South/ Udu Federa Const tuency of De ta state Hon So omon Ahw nahw n h s own react on ca ed for the enforcement of aws that protect m nors from a k nds of exp o tat on Ahw nahw who spoke to THISDAY yesterday sa d t had become necessary for aw enforcement agenc es to app y the aws protect ng m nors from abuse n order to foresta a repeat of Ese s exper ence by any other N ger an ch d Meanwh e the Baye sa State Governor D ckson who expressed regret over the a eged abduct on of Ese has prom sed to rehab tate the young g r A statement ssued yesterday by the Ch ef Press Secretary to the governor Mr Dan e Iwor so-Markson condemned the a eged abduct on but expressed sat sfact on w th the nd v dua s non-governmenta and c v soc ety groups for br ng ng the matter to nat ona and nternat ona focus D ckson p edged the government s preparedness to support every effort at not on y re-un t ng Ese w th her fam y back n Yenagoa but a so ensure her rehab tat on and re ntegrat on nto the soc ety to resume her norma fe Wh e commend ng the Governor of Kano State Abdu ah Gandu e for the ro e he p ayed n ensur ng the re ease of the v ct m D ckson a so app auded secur ty agenc es for the sw ftness and profess ona sm w th wh ch the matter was hand ed He thanked the Em r of Kano A ha Sanus II for ensur ng the safety of Ese and eventua hand ng over to the po ce n Kano "The government and peop e of Baye sa State w rema n eterna y gratefu to a those who contr buted n one way or the other n g v ng the ssue the des red attent on " D ckson sa d
Alakija, Rabiu Make Forbes World Billionaire List Five Nigerians including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga; Femi Otedola; Folorunso Alakija and Abdulsamad Rabiu, were named in the Forbes 2016World’s Billionaires’ list that was released yesterday. Page 10
EDITORIAL The Dangers of Open Defecation
Ekiti, a largely agrarian state highly regarded in education, is ranked 29th in population among the 36 states in Nige- ria. Ironically, it leads the country in the number of men, women and children who use the outdoors as convenience. Page 15
MARCH 2, 2016
Dangote, Ad enuga, Otedo la, Alakija, Ra Forbes World biu Make Billionaire Lis t Email davidso
valued at $1.8 Five Nigerians 1011 richest billion was ranked mogul person in the Aliko Dangote, including Alhaji Warren Buffett, world. In respectively Others who Femi Otedola; Mike Adenuga; placedthe same vein, Alakija was made the top . ago. Their aggregate include 10 net and AbdulsamFolorunso Alakija wealth 1121 on the list with her fifth on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at was $6.48 trillion, $570 worth top. Only two named in the ad Rabiu, were Rabiu put at $1.6 billion, just the list, Mark people in the billion 20 less than last Forbes 2016 World’s as Zuckerberg top managed to was ranked Billionaires’ the first time year. It was also ranks. hold onto their smartphone screens 1577 richest of Facebook at sixth, person in the list that was is enough to since 2010 that Oracle’s average Bill Larry Ellison make her the world. released yesterday. the person Gates remains the richest at seventh, Michael net worth of Meanwhile, in the world woman in the richest self-made a billionaire Bill Gates topped Bloomberg at eighth, The latest Forbes with a net world. She is worth and tied for dropped – it is now $3.6 ninth are David World Rich the list of the world’s 190 women in one of list profiled 1,810 billion, $4.2 of $75 billion, despite being $300 million and Charles Koch. richest billionaires across billionaires for the less billion poorer Forbes 197 last year. the list, down from the globe. than “Behind these than last year. He has 22 years. Though 17th time in markets, noted that Volatile stock been number a year ago. drop-offs are Among the notable figures is a the 60-year-old cratering While Dangote story one for three fashion designer retained his Microsoft head is $4.2billion stronger dollar oil prices and a peopleof huge upheaval, as 221 years in a row and Tory number one topped the Burch, Sam Adams chief poorer than 2015, fell off the list, position as the list 17 out of reshuffling of led to a dynamic newcomer Jim Koch and Dick’s while 198 22 man in Africa, richest $75billion his net worth wealth years FORBES years. (In the 30 Edward Sporting Goods head he s joined the of globe put him in the and a drop around the another the world. The was ranked 51 in of has tracked global ranks; wealth, Stack.” top spot the 29 in only 5 people The US had wealth was value of Dangote’s list Forbes’ World Billionaires fortunes for the first ten-figure died while people from 2015 have held put for 29 who’d previously the title of richest on the list, more 540 billionaires Also, Adenuga at $15.4 billion. after the third year in a row, 2009. They explained:time since fallen off climbed person on planet; 3 than of “For our those 5 still rank any other back on. Of those country in the $10 billion was with total wealth of Slim dethroning Mexico’s Carlos 30th annual guide who richest, we found to the world’s 892 were billionaires both years, 4 richest in the worldamong the by mainlandworld. It’s followed person in the ranked 103 richest fourthHelu in 2014. Helu came are poorer including 1,810 Warren Buffett world by Forbes, in down in Forbes’ 2016 (Hong Kong China with 251 from a record billionaires, to their fortunes.while 501 added as Otedola, and has another 69) whose wealth just billionaires, behind list of 1,810 1,826 a year “Another new Carlos Slim.) Germany and was Amancio Gates, Zara’s entrant “The reshuffling with Ortega and starts at the mentioning is Zhou worth 77, ten-figure 120. Russia has business fortunes, 11 Qunfei, than whose $5.9 fewer billion fortune last from 23 to year, while Brazil is down 31. Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo There was a bullion van One of the leaders of Afenifere, front. The vehicles in Chief Olu Falae, ahead of us were death after some yesterday escaped and overtaking the bullion van we too followed. shot at his along anti-riot policemen “I nearly passed Akure Expressway Falae was on them when . heard a I shot and to pay a courtesyhis way to Ile-Ife on my car. We I heard a bang visit to the Ooni stopped and of Ife, Oba Adeyeye we Ogunwusi, saw that they fired at our when he escaped car. “They didn’t stop. We stopped He spoke withgun shot. journalists in at Erin-Ijesa and complained Ile-Ife before the the police at to Afenifere’s the meeting with Oba Ogunwusi we were fired check-point that at by some police Falae explained yesterday. following a bullion that his car shot at at the van at Ile-Oluji Ile-Oluji junction was junction.” travelling to Ife while The old man to the Ooni. for Afenifere’s visit fear who over the continuousexpressed He was recently attack on kidnapped in him, said: “I don’t know Akure before was why he the security agents.was rescued by was kidnapped recently, why I arrested in 1997 I The former SGF and locked up for two years.” the shooting of expressed shock at When contacted his saying: “Before car by the police, Osun yesterday, the State police now they want I was kidnapped, Folashade spokesman, to Odoro, “I was comingkill me. not received any said they had from report from Falae, approaching Akure stating Ilesa. I saw vehicles ahead some at the that he should have reported of me. Ile-Oluji able to fish out police station to be the people involved.
Again, Olu Falae
PARTNERSHIP ON DIGITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
Fuel Scarcity Cripples Flight Operations
L-R: Chairman , MTN Nigeria, Adeluyi; Managing Mr. Director/ Pascal Dozie; his Moolman, as Diamond Bank CEO, Diamond Bankwife, Mrs. Chinyere Dozie; services in Lagos...ye partnered women’s Plc, Mr. Zoma Chairman, MTN Dozie; and sterday world banking MTN Chief Foundation, Prince Julius and MTN Nigeria Executive to develop global Officer Nigeria,Adelusi Ferdis
Aggrieved PDP Members Floa Woo frontlin t New e politici
model for digital statement. financial The biting fuel Although there Sunday Adigun scarcity has led cancelation and to the that are the Nigerian indications domestic airline delay of flights by Petroleum National operators, leaving Corporatio many passengers and oil marketers n (NNPC) airports, as they stranded at the concerted are efforts to end making adequate aviationcould not source it is the scarcity, projected that fuel, known Jet A1. if the product Onyebuchi Ezigboin as remains Abuja unavailable The passengers in the PDP. They would be grounded, air operation Owing who were mostly have decided affected were to the disenchantm form to a halt in the next few those travelling ent in the are something very new and to Alliance (APGA) chapters Peoples Democratic days, which the two major across give they states. of the opinion would in many big Party (PDP),a Nigerian cities, rise names and Lagos who Abuja in the to huge economic losses new political platform hand over the that they should LabourThere are people from believed the their supportcoming out to declare country. party to younger formed fronts Party (LP) and delayed flights had to endure of aggrieved to be elements who are and there membership However, some are bigwigs who and outright disenchanted of the party less some airlines . The cancellations has come into people from people you call bigwigs of can fight for corrupt and the ruling Air Peace and like in some cases. being. PDP will the interest of Although none start embracing party,” Spokesman fuel scarcity Dana Air said the PMP of the notable the people,” he said. As part of the he said. them have already , in fact some of carrier, Arik Air, of Nigeria’s largest operations was yet to affect their politicians were present major highlights Following renewed of yesterday’s indicated Adebanji Ola, during crisis the limited supply said the fact and this was attributed to the formation meeting in the PDP, many leadership and membersmeeting, promoters in teaming up with us and interest of the new that their daily of Jet A1 political it is just a chieftains of the country of new political matter of time.” organisation in the last fewacross is relatively not high, flight frequency painted organisation, the picture the party have been forced Meanwhile, drawn from has greatly hampered by the promoters days need to leave states so they do not the party, while high volume who spoke others have expressed and the Federal the 36 the meetings thePDPhasrescheduled at the event was the airline’s flight operations. of Jet A1. frustrations over of the National that they were Capital An Arik Air source Territory the goings-on acting as the just former “With over in the ‘Peoples (FCT) voted to choose BoardofTrustees(BoT)and Caucus, forerunners. ruling party periods the airline said at peak a 100 flights Mega At the National Executive Committee theNational this limited supply daily, 1.2 million requires about However, Opara. name. In the vein,Party’ as the party’s (NEC). of aviation national retreat Executive Council/ litres of who is The has resulted, regrettably, in fuel 800,000 litres at fuel a day and of the yet-to- held by the promoters associate of the estranged PDP a close through a voicethe meeting agreed been National Caucus meeting has low delays and rescheduled flight chieftain acronym and vote to be registered “Other airlines periods. sometimes outright party, the Ali former Presidential aide, Peoples - PMP, people use the 6, 2016 at 7p.m. for Sunday, March cancellations. Alhaji Ahmed as logo than 30 per cent may need less National Mega Party (PMP), the the bigwigs Gulak, said apart from ‘Forward Nigeria’ as the party’s and The re-scheduling of that and therefore Coordinator of We appeal may motto. from of the high-level have enough While the political organisation, Chief passengers to to our valued flights,” fuel to others from even the PDP, there are journalists,fielding questions from party meetings was Perry Opara, bear with us conveyed in the source said. do all their the delegates the time even as at this a that the mission told Progressives Congress ruling party, All organisationOpara said the new statement issued yesterday we Dana of the of pitching evening (APC), by the National would take to providing remain committed Ezenwa, Air spokesman, Kingsley new political platform the next Chief Publicity Secretary their tent with the desirous step to approach would provide safe a very focused flight experience. and comfortable affect said the scarcity did new party. Olisa , the Independen However and patriotic not the airline’s t meeting Metuh. He said the BoT body to mention , PMPcordinator declined National Electoral Commission We sincerely flight and devoid of negative traits of might for registration. (INEC) March would now hold on Monday names of those impunity APC inconvenience apologise for any few not affect it in the next and confusion. PDP and , 7, 2016 at 1 members days if the scarcity He our passengers “The major people meeting holds 1a.m, while the NEC may have suffered saying no one floating the party, going said PMP, when registered persists, the at 2p.m. on the who are in is Monday due to the adding that the manageme party are former same fuel shortage,” given permissionamong them has the to focus more on recruiting , March 7, envisaged possible members nt Mr. Ola said youths “The leadership2016 in a made scarcity and PDP who are disenchante of the “This does notto make it open. segment into it’s fold since that of the party provision. d by high level of corruption, high the only people from mean that it is about of the society constitutes deeply regrets any inconvenien 54 per of impunity and level the that may be ces high-handedness are in PMP, there are PDP that population cent the country’s caused by adjustment. . also people this from the All “As soon the Progressives The PDP had Grand registered, new party earlier scheduled is the meeting you will start of BoT, NEC seeing and for today tomorrow respectively .
ans PDP resched ules national
caucus, BoT, NEC meetin gs
ED TOR AL O
POLITICS Idahosa: The Underdog and
Game Changer Even before the Independent MIDWEEKPOL ITICS National Electoral Commission THE NE WSMAK ER (INEC) released the guidelines for Idahosa: The Underdog an d Game Chan ger the governorship elections coming up in Ondo and Edo States later this E year, last week, many of the political heavyweights, so to say, had signified interests in taking over the jobs of Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Adams Oshiohmole respectively... Page 16 16
T H I S D AY
2016 Group Politic s Editor Olawa le Olaleye Email wale.o [email protected] ylive.com 0811675981 9 SMS ONLY
The 37-year-ol issue in the d governorship aspirant Oyeyipo choice for a successor to in Edo State, Linus Idah Governor Ada osa ms Oshiomh appears to be the ole, writes Sho la
FEATURES Breaking Break ng the P Piracy racy Synd Syndicate cate
ven before the Independe National Electoral nt Commission (INEC) released the governors the guidelines for up in Ondo hip elections coming and Edo States this year, last later political heavyweig week, hts, so to say, many of the interests in had signified taking Olusegun Mimikoover the jobs of Governors and Adams respectively Oshiohmole and had been of their plans for their states.discussing some But as the September date of the Edo State draws election has been workingcloser, one young man, in who behind a formidable campaign andthe scene to put up strongly is joining contest the election the race. He the 37 years is no one old his name with Linus Idahosa. He only than but not relatedthe late Archbishop Ben shares he would say, to him in anyway, Idahosa much as “We are related Idahosa, a Philosophy by covenant.” graduate, is in the creative a silent CEO, Deliok industry and as the founderguru International, and in TV commerci which specialises and other notableal production with the CNN television stations world, he is across reputed to have approache the New York Film d the training academyAcademy, the best hands on in the world, five years, has and in the last Idahosa...dr train well over flown 78 experts into iven by conviction Nigeria 1200 students directing, producing in cinematogr to In what is coming , 3D animation and aphy, when it comes all that. offices. to youths vying as a challenge he has gone I wrote a piece to convention for , Generation that I called elective Nigerians who his decision through different phases ’. They to ‘The SA are all committed about the needed political water,”get into what he called before us is to be their always feel what is best for “murky with his resolve Special paradigm shift, to bringing gospel of generation to preach the the ones driving their Advisers, yet we are it all well thought out said he had al shift and that he policies.” the appropriat Speaking with and women, waited for who have beenand that young men journalists what stuff he e time to enter the fray about mettles should for able to prove and show is made up their he hashis ambition, the young the first time “I have the narrative come together to begin of. man who said said until I the support to change in the Nigerian am ready to of other notable come out. The The young man, political speak I won’t reason I am young is about the brainwho had already been sphere. talking because I have disturbed drain affecting gotten to that to you today I am turning the fact that place, Nigeria most of the happening in the resentment about where very intelligent and generation has what is youth we would our country today to resolve and decision-mbeen edged out of governanc be aking process, that e change in the able to change things that ignited got the spark and his but somethingsense of the way it is being not youth to come passion to urge the Nigerian and something pragmatic, something used country due together and take charge to simple of the the growing “I believe that clear. that the generation rate of if the foundatio there are a through, particular of young people despair n is set lot are going ly with the within the next of things that we can right, during the death of some National Immigrati do two and weeks, my intention seekers in 2014. I will be announcin on Service job g It is somethingto run as governor of Edo Explaining how that I have State. that influenced are going to join the governors his decision be putting up thought about. We hip to race, campaign. ing the 2014 an unconven Immigration Idahosa said: “Durtional “I do not have where we lost recruitment exercise, the APC, PDP the same kind of that I saw on so many youths – the resources people that field actually and all of the I thinking. Sunday understan folks have changed d but thought long the process very well. journalists sent Aghaeze, the THISDAY my photo the picture way I want and hard about this and I have me greatly. I once looked to me. It disturbed to come out so, the with a conversati had it on my for is to screensaver job like that. So, I on and the set the stage about generati it kept reminding for over a year conversation and is of what is energy of our possible “If you look youths and all of that. – the at your mind is that picture, what would how up in one place can 70, 000 people be come to cramped employ 4, 000 seeking for a job that can out that day people? 500, 000 people only all across the came people applied country and for the job. 7.5m them come Something out; they believed made the job. It is equally disturbing they could get state governor that no youths that sued the government over single lost their lives the 21 recruitment saga of March in the immigration “I believe that 15, 2014. we history. I believe have the opportunity to rewrite shift that needs that there is huge generation have been talkingto happen in this country. al We it on the social about it, we’ve been debating media and media but various traditional nothing has There is this been done veil that we about it. place before ourselves,
B eak ng he P a y Synd ae
From all indications, it was a well oiled-operation given the success they had recorded in the past before they met their waterloo recently in the hands of the Nigerian Navy (NN). Call them professional pirates and you F would not be far from the truth. Page 20
BUSINESS Experts Seek Improved Tax System to Raise Nigeria’s Revenue The federal government has been advised to strengthen its tax system, which has been described as a more sustainable option to raise government revenue. Page 23
CITYSTRINGS Rescue from the Menace of Erosion
T H I S D AY
MARCH 2, 2016
BUSINESSW R A T E S
OVERDRAFT PRIME NORMAL LENDING
LOAN PRIME LOAN
F E B R U A R Y 2 6 ,
DEPOSIT/LENDIN G SAVINGS ACCOUN T STRICT CALL 7 DAYS
2.3119% 2.8642% 3.2102%
60 DAYS 90 DAYS 180 DAYS
2 0 1 6
EXCHANGE RATE N155.70 US DOLLAR* *AS AT LAST FRIDAY
6.4400% 7.2438% 7.2417%
Firms to Raise
WOOING FORE IGN
L-R: Vice President,
Ansteel Group International Corporation, Trade Yu Zisu; Minister Railway Constructi Corporation, Li Fushi; Minister of Transport, on Corporatio recently Rotimi Amaechi; n, Chen Xiaoxing,of Solid Minerals Developm Deputy Director, during the minister’s ent, Dr. Kayode Anyang Group Fayemi; meeting with executives of and Assistant President, China some Chinese firms in Abuja...
African companies $3.1bn via IPOs are likely to public offerings (IPOs) this year, launch more than a dozen and capital initial defying commodit flight from emerging y price drops firm Baker & markets, internatio McKenzie said pipeline are concluded they on Monday. If transactio nal law $1.5 billion more ns in the are likely to raise than was raised $3.1 billion, some continent, Reuters by quoted Baker last year’s 21 IPOs on the firm by deal & McKenzie count for mergers markets, in and acquisitio , a leading law a statement. ns in emerging The projected 2010, the law amount to be raised will firm force companie said, adding a lack of be the highest since demand at home s to seek pool of investors. dual listings could abroad to expand “Fifteen IPOs the Interswitch, are already in the pipeline, which processes with one, Nigeria’s in five African payments for IPO,” the firm countries, could be Africa’sbanks and operates said in a statemen first billion-dol Other IPOs lar expected include t. Salaam Stock the self-listin fund Tadvest’sExchange, Botswana Telecomsg of the Dar es and real estate & McKenzie dual listing in Mauritius said. and Namibia, Baker
In keeping with ers with Produc encouraging its tradition of stimulatin ts bi-lateral its trading partners, trade relations g the economy and between Nigeria deployed cutting-ed FirstBank Nigeria Limited said and ge technolog services at the it has y to drive 37th edition During the on-going of Kaduna tradeits products and 10-day fair, fair. that its broad clientele and the bank explained in a statement from its financial prospective ones would Obinna Chima internet banking, advisory services, on-line-rea benefit cards products, l-time Western Union/Mo consumer finance banking, ECONO MY The federal neyGram and products, lifestyle-fit government from a bouquet products the been advised of innovative Federal Board has cost to and services. The trade fair, and of and equipped which tax system, to strengthen its than improve tax collection Inland Revenue was attracted participanwas formally declared to implemen which has N4.69 or well-paid trillion, from been t described as N4.78 trillion and monitored there This year’s edition ts from 10 countries. open last Saturday a more sustainable term development other long- in 2013. has been inefficiency option to raise From this, plans such titled: “Promotin for Sustainab and corruption the tax the to Gross Domestic government as agricultural reformatio g Solid Minerals le in revenue. past. construction at supportin Economic Development Sector Product of refineries n, ratio was 5.9 per g the realisation of Nigeria” is “In Analysts at the solid minerals aimed of the multiple the Financial are expected to contributethat and 4.3 per cent cent in 2013 spread addition, the wideDerivatives sector, especially potentials of perception major source to was substantiall in 2014, which Company Limited revenue. that the its governme (FDC) gave y lower than job creation of the country’s revenue ability to become a Many the the will not nt is corrupt and with solid minerals earner latest economic advice in the revival have advocated the sub-Saharan African efficiently expend income earner average collected of the agricultura of 21 per cent fast becomingand massive the The Lagos-basreport. in l sector a strategic revenue as the way Over the years,in the nation’s economy. To this, the FDC 2014. out of the present of the general for the good and investmen ed research economic exhibitors and the fair has attracted public, acts “This declining report stated: a deterrent t firm noted challenge both has continued that unlike facing trend is the nation. groups and profession to tax payers. as to provide avenuelocal and foreign revenue This and other exports, from oil agricultur It is expected that problem of inappropriate not a is further complicate for various als and ideas as to present new trade policy unnecessa e would diversify but rather one d by the taxes have well products, services a very limited the nation’s in the country as tap into business opportuni vulnerability tax collection of an inefficient involved rily onerous process exports and particularly external pressure, system. to thus the in the payment in the solid mineral ties that exist adding that expand the supply source Nigerian tax Currently, tax.” According of it takes less industry. its foreign exchange. Policymakers system is of generating time, effort report, “Paying to PwC’s and much less Tackle Data Comparable, In 2014, total Taxes 2016,” than a research Challenges high tax revenue its potential. Because sound policymakquality and timely data that measures the tax officials are 36 are the not well trained Senior officials ing and foster economiccritical to support growth in Continued representatives from over 40 African on page 24 countries, as Agip. from academia, tanks, and internatio well as banks, rating agencies, think nal organisati data challenges ons debated the particular in Accra recently.facing African policymak ers at a conferenc It was one WEDNES continent on DAY, MARCH e the importanc of the largest conferenc policies. The es on the 2, 2016 • T H e of data for I S D AY better macroecon conference Goddy Egene was organised Ghana, the IMF’s omic Statistics Departme by the governme Kingdom’s Departme Acting Featur nt of STOCK MARK nt (STA), and Investors traded the United es Editor In opening remarks, nt for Internatio ET in February. 18.336 billion nal Developm shares worth Minister Email ent (DfID).: Charle s Ajunw billion. This of Ghana, Seth of Finance N99.198 billion charle A breakdown was followed and Economic a have affected January and s.ajunw of trading data policies is a Terkper, stressed that enhanced Planning by for the February 2016 in last week, which [email protected] the market “fundamental month January performance. the Nigerian accounted on for 4.47 growth of the key” to accelerati data for better 2016, .com bourse, The Nigerian to statistics obtained according N11.742 billion shares worth shown that the second had equities market He added that region in the coming decades.ng the economic week suffering of accounted is currently billion, while by THIS“all of our efforts DAY on Monday. for framework contribute to strengthe An analysis second week recorded the value of transactionthe highest of adversefrom the impact of the shares n our to enhancing 1.407 billion better policies, . Investors macro-economic our capacity statistical situation largely which that February traded showed billion.shares valued at N17.277 staked N14.165 billion on to implement also credit rating accounted for 2.177 drastic Investors traded billion shares due to a agencies, thus enhances our relationsh highest both the billion drop in the to markets.” allowing us to ip with shares for N9.641 1.202 The third weekin 21,471 deals. oil, in volume deepen our access value. Investors and in the negative public prices of followed with billion N10.753 third week of sentiment billion which billion shares traded 12.166 the invested is related to month. billion However, the in 2.177 worth N57.145 the state billion in February Exchange (NSE) Nigerian Stock while shares in 21,471 deals, the macro-economy and of compared the fourth week All-Share Index, of foreign portfolio exit to 5.668 billion which recorded investors in reaction to at N42.05 billionshares valued growthmeasures the aggregate N9.463 billion staked on the Central Bank 1.133 billion shares of the market, exchanged in January. A further in 16,680 deals. of Nigeria (CBN) declined by has The first on policy analysis of 14.22 per cent on foreign exchange. week accounted the performan the two It is on record in for indicated thatce in February But for months under review. the lowest transactio The headwind that the usage of a gain of 2.754 investors investing n with standing, s notwiththe highest volume and per cent recorded Chief Executive channelsalternative N7.669 Officer were traded value of shares would in February, the decline billion in 899 million tremend has increased in shares Onyemaof the NSE, Mr. Oscar have been higher. in 14,164 deals. where investors the first week, had advised The impactinously thereby Market analysts investors to take a portfolio billion shares exchanged 5.087 per centASI had dipped by 16.5 said the Nigeriansg on the lives of valued at N18.488 value in January alone approach before monthof the trading in the first investing in the market. to it appreciate d by 2.75 per of the year reflected Presenting Deputy Governo cent economic the NSE 2015 the headwinds, (Operations), r which Continued on page 24 CBN, Alhaji Suleima
Experts Seek Improved Tax Nigeria’s Rev System to Rais enue e
Investors Trad e Bourse in Two N99bn Shares on Nig erian Months
Rescue from the Menace of Erosion
Adibe Eme environmentnyonu writes on effor ts by the gove for commun rnme ities ravaged by floods andnt of Edo State to creat e a conducive erosion
Mrs. Janet Agbonze, a resident of Upper Lawani area of Benin City, capital of Edo State, had suffered the impact of flooding for over 20 years.Whenever it rains, she curse the day she was born because rather than it becoming a blessing M to her... Page 36 Edo State
rs. Janet Agbonze, a resident of Upper Lawani area Benin City, of capital of Edo State, had impact of suffered the flooding over 20 years. for it rains, she because rathercurse the day she Whenever than it becoming was born to her, the rain added a the entire sorrows to blessing neighborh her and ood always find its way into because water will This is primarily their houses. because there drainage and blocked. And the little one provided was no had been because the Okhoro to Upper Lawaniflood coming from channeled, wasn't properly this led to the around, leading destruction of houses to most people abandoning fleeing and during the their houses only to dry season come back is left and to salvage preparing whatever to take off next round again in the of This is the rainy season. Ewah Road, same story for most residents of Okha Local off Upper Mission road Government in Ikpoba who had vacated Area their places of Edo State, to incessant of abode due during the flooding of the area especially Osunde, a rainy season. Mr. Godwin 65-year-ol d house owner Tom of those hard hit by flood. is almost died The retiree one because he had but his tenants not only as well who lost his house, when they deserted him of flooding could no longer bear the effect affected his in the area which consequen tly he is not in only means of livelihood active service since It is the same any tale of woes longer. for people WEDNES DAY liv-
progress of work at
one of the
storm project ing around sites Evbotubu the Upper Siluko, Uwelu areas of the State, which and hitherto devastate were d by flood. It was in Storm Waterthe light of this that N500 million Benin City to fight the Project was conceived a St. Thomas to address the menace. persistent in 2011 In fact, whenever the area had Aquinas, a Catholic it rains. In flooding in the city Church in spent over usually glittery the past, residents keep its church N20 million at the sign are mission just to standing before Their fears of rain are came the rescue wreaked havocgenuine because in the sky. In one of thetheir way. floods have in the communi inspection hundreds of tated areas, tours to the Governor Oshiomho devastheir homes landlords and tenants ty forcing people that his administra to abandon for le assured the Apart from refuge in another to address tion has the area. submerging capacity the roads or erosion, these challenges be houses, within the it flooding promising flooded area some of would the past are do more work that the governme their worst smooth and motorablewhich in Project, nt on the Storm state of dilapidatio especially were in Water few roads this dry He said: “as n. Even at and houses that, we we are in the season. eyesore to still want to quickly left remain dry behold. an this drainage. rush and do season now, Flooding is some work by inhabitan not the only natural on before now, Because there was disaster faced no suffer from ts of Edo State. The through this the flood coming from drainage people also gully erosion area wasn’t Okhoro Queen Ede one of which and it led properly channeled gully site at to the destructio is the persons Ogbesan Benin-Agb , n of houses, or road, Ikpobapan Quarters, along fled most Benin; the some even and abandoned their demonium Auchi houses and died in the -Hill, Local Governm erosion, Auchi, past. “That is why Etsako West the Evbotubu ent Area of Edo the last time we decided to do the State; and the state whichgully in Egor council everybody we did it up to the work and said we had bridge and area of in the past, housed and job. to had With continue damaged properties swallowed the with the millions of did say we rains, we couldn’t continue worth several Naira. will continue and I Faced by these comes and you can see once the dry season devastatio government now. ns, the Edo how the drainage decided to State whichThe width of that drainage to obtain N25 go to the capital is is about 26 is 8 metres, the flooding billion worth of loan market high, which feet wide and 2.5 meters is about 8 Also in its through the Storm Waterto tackle means feet high. is that no matter bid to address Project. What this menace, Governme water that the the quantity passes through of flood nt decided gully erosion inhabitant the World to partner 2, 2016 • T H this environ, Bank through s of this with The billion and I S D AY the a facility water will area need not fear anymore. another pass through gully in addition N5.7 billion for of N7.8 to the river". the Auchi the drainage to setting aside the sum On the gully erosion devastatio of ernor said part of n, the govthe designs to completel y
Mr. Godw in Osunde, a Tom 65-year-old house owne those hard r is one of The retire hit by flood. e died becau had almost se he not only lost his but his tenanhouse, who deser ts as well ted him when they longer bearcould no flooding in the effect of MARCH the area
INTERNATIONAL Zuma Survives Impeachment
Zuma Surv IONAL By Oppositives Impeachment Mov ion e email:foreign
Move By Opposition outh African President, Jacob Zuma has survived an impeachment move with South African parliament voting down a no-confidence motion moved against him, while a court is hearing a case to reinstate 738 corruption charges against him. Page 47
South African President, Jacob Zuma The an impeachm has survived National governing African ent move with Congress (ANC) used to upgrade South African party said his private home, parliamen that despite voting down That case the buildingwhich included the a no-confidencet “frivolous antics” motion moved the DA and was brought by against of a of left-wing Ecohim by an independe against him, its confidence in Mrthe DA, amphitheatre, swimming pool, nomic while a court chicken run remained unshaken Zuma cattle nt ministers and party Freedom Fighters (EFF) anti-corruption body enclosure. to reinstate is hearing a case in a . after Zuma failed in 2014. In the High In December 738 corruption In 2005, Mr week. , South Africa’s to pay currency charges against the money, Zuma’s former lawyers said Court, the DA’s despite a ruling him. financial adviser, went the Governing NPA to drop decision of the after having into a tail spin Shaik, Schabir the corruption three finance defeated the party MPs charges was was unconstitu corruptio n. convicted of Zuma’s office motion, while and tional irrational. oppose the said he would Zuma’s office court The opposition case. said, was behind statement, that the court in a both actions, action was an “abuse accusing of of taking a bribe. Zuma him a political party process by denied the in order to has advance allegation, linked a political agenda”. to a multi-billi The president on dollar deal negotiated was confident arms over a decade that the NPA’s decision ago. would “withstand any scrutiny”, He was first the charged in statement added. 2005, and At the time, fired as deputy the NPA said president by phone-tap evidence, Thabo Mbeki. then-President the dubbed in local and political After much legal suggestedmedia as “spy tapes”, wrangling, political interferenc National Prosecutin the in the e investigation, (NPA) dropped g Authority “unconsc and the case in ionable” to it was April 2009, ahead with press the case. went on to and Mr Zuma The DA brought become president a month later. the case after it won a lengthy During a noisy parliamentary 2014 to obtain the “spybattle in session, DA tapes”. Zuma, a former leader, Mmusi Maimane, described ANC intelligence chief, Mr Zuma as a sell-out by controvershas been dogged whose main aim y throughou was self-enric time in governme t his hment. nt. South Africa The downward, and was “spiralling $23m government used some (£15m) doing of state so at an alarmingly fast rate” under his upgrade Mr Zuma’s money to presidency, Nkandla home. the in a statemen party added in courtLast month, he conceded t. that he needed to pay the governme nt for money Zimbabwean President birthday at , State House Robert Mugabe, with his wife Grace, in Harare… recently and son, Chatunga , cutting a cake to celebrate his 92nd Democratic presidential candidates are ahead of Republican of state faces off with either front-runner other two top Republican of the younger voters hypothetical Donald Trump in are much and s, things general election tighter The race for the independents. match-ups, according same as they and roughly the its primary presidency hits to a new were in January. CNN/ORC Poll. season peak Clinton trails as of 78% voters, including against Rubio, But Hillary Clinton, same share among almost the who is well with 50% choosing the ahead in the Florida senator Democrats Democratic for the presidency race Clinton, compared to 47% for Republicans and independe , who identical , would nts, say that the face a stronger likely in January. to the Against Cruz, results deeply divided nation is more Florida Senatorchallenge should holds on major 48% to his 49%, Clinton facing the Texas Senator Marco Rubio or tightening country than issues a slight it has the RepublicanTed Cruz capture January from a 3-point race in been in the past. nomination The survey president. for now. to a 1-point match-up choose which asked voters to In the scenario Sanders -top candidates,of all the remaining that appears most likely to regardless of party, most positive who enjoys the they emerge from trust most to favourable rating primary contests, the handle seven top issues. Trump Clinton tops of any presidential candidate Trump 52% tops the in to 44% among the field, according registered voters. to the poll on the economy, terrorism list -- tops and has tilted in Clinton’sThat result wide all three Republicans by immigration, while Clinton is the last CNN/ORC favor since Cruz,margins: 57% to 40% against the top choice when it comes 55% to 43% against to health care, Poll on the match-up in Trump, race and 53% to 45% January. relations and foreign against But when the former secretary Sanders fares better than Rubio. about evenlypolicy. Voters are Clinton split between in each match-up among men, Trump and Clinton on gun policy.
PRESIDENT IAL CAKE
Clinton, San ders Lead Tru National Poll mp in
New Bin Lade Suspicious, n Documents Show a Pressured Al Qaeda Lead ership
SPORTS NFF Launches ‘Operation Defeat Egypt’
Al Qaeda’s 54 leaders were increasingly worried about spies tranche from the raid to in their midst, been have air and secret drones in the 2015 declassified since May Afghanistan to North reporting theirtracking devices that - depict an al Qaeda and its ideological rival, Africa, was unwaverin Islamic State, has grown the U.S.-led movements as commitm g in its war against ent to In one documentand spread. ground on, document them but , bin Laden with its core global jihad, issues instruction s seized Pakistan in the 2011 leadership in s to bin Laden’s raid on Osama pressureand Afghanistan under members holding anal Qaeda Pakistani hideout Afghan hostage to be on multiple and reviewed AFCOU.S. wary of possible fronts. N 2017 by Reuters have President QUAL tracking technolog revealed. Obama has said drone Barack IFIER y attached to the ransom strikes and other The cache of payment. counter-te “It is important translated and 113 documents, depleted rrorism operation to get rid s U.S. intelligenc declassified by leadershipal Qaeda’s original of the suitcase in which the mostly dated e agencies, are Laden’s , culminating in bin funds are delivered, between 2009 due 2011, intelligenc and SEALs killing by U.S. Navy the possibility of it having to e officialsDuro a said. years on May 2, 2011. In the tracking chip in it,” bin The documents since, Laden states in a be the organizati - the second Ikhazuag letter to an has from on aide Eagles job. With barely proved resilient from theidentified only as “Shaykh “We have three weeks Mahmud. directly put the” the
NFF Launch es
With barely three weeks to the make or mar two-legged 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between the Super Eagles and the Pharaohs, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has launched “Operation Defeat Egypt.” Page 54
make or to 2017 Africa mar two-legged qualifying Cup of Nations clash between
resignation of Sunday Oliseh as chief coach of the Super Eagles in the We have made past.
T H I S D AY
with Director of the Technica l the federatio Amodu Shaibu,” n, he further clarified.
Super Eagles the position the the NFF and the Pharaohs, of known in the Contrary to the Nigeria statement speculations we issued Football a section of (NFF) has launched Federation departme through our media the media that in exit of nt “Operation the Defeat Egypt.” don’t want on Monday. We seriousOliseh was going to have effect on the The list of by reports to be distracted of players to make outcome of the the operation anybody. I am ultimatum from clash team in the two-legge successful is expected the Chairman a lawyer same as that with Egypt, Green hintedd more than 50 of the Technical tomorrow in to be unveiled Committe players have helmsman, Abuja after new Green,” e, Barrister Chris been calling the player Samson Siasia ready to observed be part of the the Technical team to play Committee and who also doubles Akinwunmi Egypt. “I am aware NFF have reached of the Football as Lagos State that many of Associatio top Eagles’ made their input on it. players have the Also speakingn chairman. contacted been First Vice and some at the interactive President have expressed on their own session, Green the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmof corroborated be part of the willingness to said in Lagos i Akinwunm the position of game. ’’ i, stressing The technical the federationyesterday that list that the chairman of players committee would not take chances equally refuted Defeat Egypt’for the ‘Operation fear any over the suitability showdown qualification with Nigeria’s be is ratified of the 2017 and the for the AFCON Thursday. and announced to Ahmadu Bello Stadium on for the World Cup qualifiers. 2018 first leg tie. in Kaduna “The technical “As “This is the ratify the list committee will have I speak with you, present prewe to be presented occupation our men by the coaching of Kaduna working on ground in for now. This the federation our to ensure that meeting Abuja crew after the pitch is no time politicking for We do is in top tomorrow or dwelling past. We are in the time not have the luxury . the AFCON 2017 shape for asking all Nigerians of Egypt. clash with on our side to join forces So far, we to begin to with the federation dwell on the past,’’ don’t have any reason to defeat the observed to Green. the NFF board be afraid,” said in Kaduna onvisiting Egyptians member. He revealed Eagles are scheduled going to Cairo March 25 before manager that caretaker to host of the Eagles, the first leg of five days later. for the return leg Samson qualifier againstthe AFCON 2017 Siasia has “We have a provided the been the NFF now single objective at logistic with a car to make Egypt on March 25, Pharaohs of in Kaduna. smooth for The Egypt in orderwhich is to defeat the him on later second leg holds four job. days in Cairo on Super Eagles to guarantee the “Coach a place at the Egypt currently March 29. AFCON,” stressed next provided Siasia has been leads Group the NFF chief G on six points with who refused other logistics a car and followed from two game resignation to dwell on the him by Nigeria to enable of Sunday with four points Oliseh his to perform. He and Tanzaniafrom two matches. staff will be working and other teams Chad are the in the group
Akwa United Ahmed Musa... FC leading Eagles in the battle against the Bassey Becom Board Sacked, Nwosu Pharaohs es Interim Head Frowns on in Uyo Move Olawale
to Hire Fore ign Coach
Ajimotokan in Abuja It was a new the federation as the month shock Super Eagles Akwa Ibom as the interim head of a three-mon with a foreign was negotiating voiced legend Henry State th yesterday coach to oversee board. Nwosu objection to a Tuesday sacked Government kicked at the the for the foreign coach Government stealth move national team after the unpalatable the board and by the national outcome management commended in the statement (NFF) Nigeria Football Federation experience with Sunday of current Federation Eagles captain team. The former against of the tough fixtures the previous Cup holders, Egypt. for its efforts board adviser.to hire a foreign technical who ditched the Eagles Oliseh, better than felt foreigners are no Akwa United that led to the indigenous “Siasia and Football winning Club of Uyo. few weeks before a crucial coaches. proven Amuneke have “I have no its first major the club Africa Two days ago, The sack of objection if domestic trophy and qualifying NFF President Nations qualifier against Cup of think they NFF coaches. themselves as young the former can of the club Egypt. to represent Amaju Pinnick, announced We can rely Former headed by board the country in coach but why afford a foreign with that Milutin Rwanda coach Sredojevic Mr Nse Ube might the continent. any of the older on them yesterday not “His support of suchI am not in total coaches generation with the shock be unconnected Udom Excellency, Governor mystery foreigner emerged as the have plan is that we or Keshilike Onigbinde, Amodu Emmanuel has in the first round exit of the team the list with strong on NFF’s wish provenindigenous coaches with in the background approved immediate dissolution hints indicating antecedent to advisers. Our Confederation of the 2016 CAF interim as that the one home ground realise of objectives the Cup, called board and manageme coaches ‘Micho’, who of securing Africa our are capable if Akwa United is the current of Akwa United they are supported. of Nations and nt Cup Even by the CongoleseFC was defeated of Football Club Keshi World Cup might take up coach of Uganda, for Uyo. slots he handledproved himself when the side Vita Club Mukanda of month after appointment next insisted. national team,” Nwosu the team. His “Consequently, Point Noire the double-hea offence only Godswill Akpabio at the the Governor against Egypt. was that der The Gateway International has approved the appointmen his gut,” Nwosu they did not like Stadium in Uyo, of Abeokuta gaffer In any event Mr. t of wanted He advised said. last weekend. the State capital of Paul Bassey as the chairman it would mark he is appointed, Siasia, NFF to make Samson NFF to rebound an interim the first time Emmanuel from the hangover Board The removal foreign a Salisu Yusuf Amuneke, to run the club coach would from office disaffection with caused by the be heading and Alloy Agu the former the technical of months for a period of three management Eagles as the the Oliseh, saying crew with immediate club was officially of the distraction Lars Lagerback of Nigeria since Chief long-term coaches, with should be Adegboye Onigbinde, of Sweden led made public the statement stressed. effect,” thing of the in a statement a Eagles the to past. Akwa United Shaibu Amodu the 2010 World “The raging government. issued by the state home FC Cup in acting or Christian Chukwu South Africa. crisis should only undermine defeat in the suffered a Siasia... care-taker in advisory not The government hands of the Nwosu, a member us coach He reasoned capacity. statement signed Congolese side after not a good Egypt. Oliseh is by the state’s of the that time effervescent national taking a one goal advantage coach. You BRIEFLY team of 1980, short for Siasia, saying is too good coach are Information Commissioner for played from the when you responda his fate to and Communic should not be at Point Noire. first leg Aniekan Umanah, pressure, ation, contingent on The team needed the suppresse not when you are disclosed that Governor just a draw d by tension”. to get to the Udom Emmanuel second round has appointed United’s but journalist and a veteran sports missed marksman, Ubing Ekpai Nigeria’s Commissioner,FIFA/CAF Match after a penalty in regulation time Oyinlomo rising sensation, trailing into Mr Paul Bassey, “We will be Ekpai missed the second half. be among Barakat Quadri will leaving for South the last penalty Africa on Wednesday the legion of kick with aggregate Manny Pacquiao emerging tennis has received at 7-6 in favour score standing the youngsters that will storm we will take a day rest after which an invitation Ching-Kuo 2016 ITF/CAT on Thursday to of the Point and compete by TODAY (8.45pm) Wu, Noire-based at the 2016 Olympics has Championships African Junior campingFriday, we will begin side. in Rio but Floyd invited Pacquiao to personally our Mayweath With the early which is the Arsenal Vs Swansea compete in in Pretoria, Southwhich will hold of Brazil. er has ‘absolutely last phase training for continent, Akwa exit from the March Africa between intention of ’ no West Ham Vs According to making 9 and 18. United would a Moroccan the AJC,” Maclouf, return Tottenham now focus the Philippine stated in an to the Games.a surprise Star, the According to on the domestic Stoke Vs Newcastle email to the Nigeria ITF Developme idea was league where Tennis Top profession Officer ntal Liverpool Vs al boxers will discussed when Pacquiaoinitially Quadri, 13, was Federation. Heartland FC they would face Central for North, West Man City one of the key become eligible to and players compete in Doha, Qatar for the AIBAflew to this afternoonof Owerri in Uyo Maclouf, Africa, Amine Man Utd Vs Watford Ben central for Nigeria at the west and this summer’s Olympics World Championships in a Match-day the ITF team 4 of the Nigerian qualifier held will depart its base in Abuja in radical new proposals under It is believed last October. Football League. Professional today in Casablanca, Morocco January where Nigeria Pacquiao, who pushed through being is preparing and will set for his fight up camp in top place to successfullyclinched world governing by the sport’s Timothy Pretoria on with defend the title the Friday. Bradley in country won In light of the body, AIBA. April, is wanted in 2014 is and 2015. decision, yet to be confirmed which as the to compete at the Games sport’s world , it emerged that AIBA President,has body bids to attract governing Dr names the biggest to Rio.
Nigeria’s Quadri , Seven Others Showdown in Pretoria
Dangote, Adenuga, Otedola, Others Make Forbes World Billionaire List
Five Nigerians including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga; Femi Otedola; Folorunso Alakija and Abdulsamad Rabiu, were named in the Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires’ list that was released yesterday. The latest Forbes World Rich list profiled 1,810 billionaires across the globe. While Dangote retained his number one position as the richest man in Africa, he was ranked 51 in the world. The value of Dangote’s wealth was put at $15.4 billion. Also, Adenuga with total wealth of $10 billion was ranked 103 richest person in the world by Forbes, just as Otedola, whose wealth was
valued at $1.8 billion was ranked 1011 richest person in the world. In the same vein, Alakija was placed 1121 on the list with her wealth put at $1.6 billion, just as Rabiu was ranked 1577 richest person in the world. Meanwhile, Bill Gates topped the list of the world’s richest billionaires for the 17th time in 22 years. Though the 60-year-old Microsoft head is $4.2billion poorer than 2015, his net worth of $75billion put him in the top spot of the Forbes’ World Billionaires list for the third year in a row, after dethroning Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu in 2014. Helu came in fourth in Forbes’ 2016 list of 1,810 billionaires, behind Gates,
Zara’s Amancio Ortega and business mogul Warren Buffett, respectively. Others who made the top 10 include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at fifth on the list, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at sixth, Oracle’s Larry Ellison at seventh, Michael Bloomberg at eighth, and tied for ninth are David and Charles Koch. Forbes noted that Volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe and a drop in ten-figure fortunes for the first time since 2009. They explained: “For our 30th annual
guide to the world’s richest, we found 1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 a year ago. Their aggregate net worth was $6.48 trillion, $570 billion less than last year. It was also the first time since 2010 that the average net worth of a billionaire dropped – it is now $3.6 billion, $300 million less than last year. “Behind these figures is a story of huge upheaval, as 221 people fell off the list, while 198 newcomers joined the ranks; another 29 people from 2015 died while 29 who’d previously fallen off climbed back on. Of those who were billionaires both years, 892 are poorer while 501
added to their fortunes. “The reshuffling starts at the top. Only two people in the top 20 managed to hold onto their ranks. Bill Gates remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $75 billion, despite being $4.2 billion poorer than a year ago. He has been number one for three years in a row and topped the list 17 out of 22 years. (In the 30 years Forbes has tracked global wealth, only 5 people have held the title of richest person on planet; 3 of those 5 still rank among the 4 richest in the world including Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim.) “Another new entrant worth mentioning is Zhou Qunfei,
whose $5.9 billion fortune from smartphone screens is enough to make her the richest self-made woman in the world. She is one of 190 women in the list, down from 197 last year. Among the notable drop-offs are fashion designer Tory Burch, Sam Adams chief Jim Koch and Dick’s Sporting Goods head Edward Stack.” The US had 540 billionaires on the list, more than any other country in the world. It’s followed by mainland China with 251 (Hong Kong has another 69) and Germany with 120. Russia has 77, ten-figure fortunes, 11 fewer than last year, while Brazil is down 23 to 31.
Again, Olu Falae Escapes Death Yinka Kolawole inOsogbo One of the leaders of Afenifere, Chief Olu Falae, yesterday escaped death after some anti-riot policemen shot at his along Akure Expressway. Falae was on his way to Ile-Ife to pay a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, when he escaped gun shot. He spoke with journalists in Ile-Ife before the Afenifere’s meeting with Oba Ogunwusi yesterday. Falae explained that his car was shot at at the Ile-Oluji junction while travelling to Ife for Afenifere’s visit to the Ooni. He was recently kidnapped in Akure before he was rescued by the security agents. The former SGF expressed shock at the shooting of his car by the police, saying: “Before I was kidnapped, now they want to kill me. “I was coming from Akure approaching Ilesa. I saw some vehicles ahead of me.
There was a bullion van in front. The vehicles ahead of us were overtaking the bullion van and we too followed. “I nearly passed them when I heard a shot and I heard a bang on my car. We stopped and we saw that they fired at our car. “They didn’t stop. We stopped at Erin-Ijesa and complained to the police at the check-point that we were fired at by some police following a bullion van at Ile-Oluji junction.” The old man who expressed fear over the continuous attack on him, said: “I don’t know why I was kidnapped recently, why I was arrested in 1997 and locked up for two years.” When contacted yesterday, the Osun State police spokesman, Folashade Odoro, said they had not received any report from Falae, stating that he should have reported at the Ile-Oluji police station to be able to fish out the people involved.
Fuel Scarcity Cripples Flight Operations Chinedu Eze The biting fuel scarcity has led to the cancelation and delay of flights by domestic airline operators, leaving many passengers stranded at the airports, as they could not source adequate aviation fuel, known as Jet A1. The passengers who were mostly affected were those travelling across the two major Nigerian cities, Abuja and Lagos who had to endure delayed flights and outright cancellations in some cases. Spokesman of Nigeria’s largest carrier, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, said the limited supply of Jet A1 across the country in the last few days has greatly hampered the airline’s flight operations. “With over a 100 flights daily, this limited supply of aviation fuel has resulted, regrettably, in flight delays and sometimes outright cancellations. We appeal to our valued passengers to bear with us at this time even as we remain committed to providing safe and comfortable flight experience. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience our passengers may have suffered due to the fuel shortage,” Mr. Ola said in a
statement. Although there are indications that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil marketers are making concerted efforts to end the scarcity, it is projected that if the product remains unavailable, air operation would be grounded to a halt in the next few days, which would give rise to huge economic losses in the country. However, some airlines like Air Peace and Dana Air said the fuel scarcity was yet to affect their operations and this was attributed to the fact that their daily flight frequency is relatively not high, so they do not need high volume of Jet A1. An Arik Air source said at peak periods the airline requires about 1.2 million litres of fuel a day and 800,000 litres at low periods. “Other airlines may need less than 30 per cent of that and therefore may have enough fuel to do all their flights,” the source said. Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa, said the scarcity did not affect the airline’s flight and might not affect it in the next few days if the scarcity persists, adding that the management envisaged possible scarcity and made provision.
PARTNERSHIP ON DIGITAL FINANCIAL SERVICES
L-R: Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Pascal Dozie; his wife, Mrs. Chinyere Dozie; Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi; Managing Director/CEO, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Zoma Dozie; and MTN Chief Executive Officer Nigeria, Ferdis Moolman, as Diamond Bank partnered women’s world banking and MTN Nigeria to develop global model for digital financial services in Lagos...yesterday Sunday Adigun
Aggrieved PDP Members Float New Party Woo frontline politicians PDP reschedules national caucus, BoT, NEC meetings Onyebuchi EzigboinAbuja Owing to the disenchantment in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),a new political platform believed to be formed fronts of aggrieved bigwigs of the party has come into being. Although none of the notable politicians were present during the formation meeting of the new political organisation, the picture painted by the promoters who spoke at the event was that they were just acting as the forerunners. At the National Executive Council/ national retreat held by the promoters of the yet-to- be registered party, the Peoples Mega Party (PMP), the National Coordinator of the political organisation, Chief Perry Opara, told the delegates that the mission of the new political platform would provide a very focused and patriotic body devoid of negative traits of impunity and confusion. “The major people who are in the party are former members of the PDP who are disenchanted by the high level of corruption, high level of impunity and high-handedness
in the PDP. They have decided to form something very new and they are of the opinion that they should hand over the party to younger elements who are less corrupt and who can fight for the interest of the people,” he said. Following renewed leadership crisis in the PDP, many chieftains of the party have been forced to leave the party, while others have expressed frustrations over the goings-on in the former ruling party. However, Opara who is a close associate of the estranged PDPchieftain and former Presidential aide, Alhaji Ali Ahmed Gulak, said apart from the bigwigs from the PDP, there are others from even the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), desirous of pitching their tent with the new party. However, PMPcordinator declined to mention names of those PDP and APC members floating the party, saying no one among them has given permission to make it open. “This does not mean that it is only people from the PDP that are in PMP, there are also people from the All Progressives Grand
Alliance (APGA) chapters in many states. There are people from the Labour Party (LP) and there are some disenchanted people from the ruling party,” he said. As part of the major highlights of yesterday’s meeting, promoters and members of new political organisation drawn from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) voted to choose ‘Peoples Mega Party’ as the party’s name. In the vein, the meeting agreed through a voice vote to use the acronym - PMP, people as logo and ‘Forward Nigeria’ as the party’s motto. While fielding questions from journalists, Opara said the new organisation would take the next step to approach the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for registration. He said PMP, when registered is going to focus more on recruiting the youths into it’s fold since that segment of the society constitutes about 54 per cent the country’s population. “As soon the new party is registered, you will start seeing
big names coming out to declare their support and membership. The people you call bigwigs of PDP will start embracing PMP, in fact some of them have already indicated interest in teaming up with us and it is just a matter of time.” Meanwhile,thePDPhasrescheduled the meetings of the National Caucus, BoardofTrustees(BoT)andtheNational Executive Committee (NEC). The National Caucus meeting has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 7p.m. The re-scheduling of the high-level party meetings was conveyed in a statement issued yesterday evening by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. He said the BoT meeting would now hold on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 11a.m, while the NEC meeting holds at 2p.m. on the same Monday, March 7, 2016 “The leadership of the party deeply regrets any inconveniences that may be caused by this adjustment. The PDP had earlier scheduled the meeting of BoT, NEC for today and tomorrow respectively.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Nigeria Spends 80% of Revenues to Service Debts, Says Development Bank Owes $60bn as External Reserves now $27. 82bn Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) yesterday described Nigeria as one of the few nations, which spend almost all their revenues to service debts, subsequently causing the economy to haemorrhage. This came as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, disclosed that Nigeria’s debt now stands at $60billion. Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has budgeted N1.361 trillion to service debt this year as against N953.6 billion proposed in 2015. The IDB, which made this revelation during its visit to Sani, said whereas the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of Nigeria’s debt was rated to be as low as 17 per cent, the revenues being deployed to service the debts were outrageous, rising to the tune of 80 per cent of the nation’s earnings. According to IDB’s representative, Abdallah Mohammed Kiliaki, Nigeria stands the risk of running into economic stampede if it continues to deploy huge sums to service debts. Abdullah who said the trend compelled his visit, advocated the need for Nigeria to urgently broaden the scope of its economy by diversifying to other areas with economic potentiall such as agriculture. “My visit is very crucial because we need to look at the debt profile of a country before we give it new contractual sort of financing. We also work closely with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ensure that our financing has the required threshold of grant financing which is normally 35 percent but at the same time, there is financing that is not a burden to a country to the extent that the debt may not be sustainable. “When talking about unsustainable debt, it means that a country or a borrower is unable to pay. So, we take very serious note of that. When you look at the debt GDP ratio of Nigeria, it is very low, it is very low. It is 17 per cent compared to Italy and other countries which is about 150 per cent while that of the United
States is about 100 per cent. “But there is a caveat; it is true that debt to GDP ratio is low but when you look at the amount, the revenue, to debt servicing ratio, the amount of money that the government is collecting, the revenue of the government vis-a-vis the ratio to the total debt, I think Nigeria pays about 75 to 80 per cent of its revenue to service debt. So, this is very, very high compared to other countries where they use just 10 per cent. “What this means is that one, the government of Nigeria needs to expand or mobilise additional resources through taxation by broadening the tax base but at the same time, we as lenders, financiers, we need to reconsider our conditions of financing meaning that we should try as much as we can, to extend to Nigeria, financing that will not make it difficult for the country to pay its debt. “In a nutshell, as clearly shown by available financial records, Nigeria still has considerable leverage of taking loans from multilateral financial institutions for development or investments purposes going by her very encouraging low ratio of debts servicing to GDP but the factor of dwindling revenues being used to service the debts must be urgently looked into by way of possible expansion,” he said. Responding, Sani said international banks and other multilateral financial institutions should stop encouraging Nigeria to keep borrowing in view of its low debt ratio servicing to GDP. He said whereas the debt ratio to GDP put at 17 per cent may look good, it may subsequently cruise at 77 per cent if it continues unchecked and consequently bring the country back to its former place in 2006 before London and Paris clubs granted it debt forgiveness. He said Nigeria’s total debt amounted to $60 billion out of which $10.6 billion is foreign loan. He promised that the committee would henceforth monitor every dime that every government
borrows in Nigeria. He said: “Available records have clearly shown that Nigeria’s total debt profile stands at $60billion out of which $10.6billion is from foreign loans. Borrowing should simply be a last option for any serious minded government and not just first option way out of problems at hand because we don’t need to overburden our next generations for repayment of needless loans taking before their time.” Meanwhile, it was good news again yesterday from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the rise of foreign reserves for four
days consecutively – the first of such since President Muhammadu Buhari took office. According to online news portal, The Cable, the reserves, which rose by $13 million on Tuesday February 22, have continued to blossom its way out of the 11-year low positions. The consecutive rise started on Thursday February 24, from $27.804 billion to $27.823 billion as at February 29, surging gradually through the days in-between. The rise has been attributed to a gradual recovery in oil prices and strict restrictions of capital flow. The consecutive rise makes for the
sixth daily rise in foreign exchange reserves in the last six months. After rising by $350 million in August 2015, the foreign reserves have not experienced any of such huge leaps in 6 months, with a meagre rise of $32 million in February 2016. Major restrictions have been put in place to curb excessive outflow of Nigeria’s foreign exchange, following fears that the reserves may be down to zero in 10 months. Speaking at The Cable devaluation debate, Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo state said the nation’s forex outflows vastly outweighs inflow. “As we
speak, I understand that our forex inflow is under $1 billion,” he said. “If you’re earning less than one billion, and your outflow remains at more than $4 billion, obviously, all other things being equal, I imagine that in one year, our foreign reserves would be zero”. The measures taken to avert the foretold crisis include; ban on CBN forex sales for the 41 items and halting sales of forex to bureau de change operators. The position of the CBN and the federal government on forex has been fiercely criticised by many, who consider capital control as counter-productive.
LUNCHEON FOR LEADERS
L-R: Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia; Dr. Christopher Kolade; and Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), during a luncheon by the Centurions at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja...yesterday
N5,000 Monthly Allowance: Buhari Has Duped NigerianYouths, Says Fayose Gov: President turning diaspora leader Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the stoppage of the N5,000 monthly allowance promised unemployed graduates by President Muhammadu Buhari, as a colossal fraud against Nigferian youths. Fayose said the All Progressives Congress (APC) duped Nigerians by allegedly obtaining their votes by trick, declaring that; “Everything Buhari and his party promised Nigerians when they were looking for votes, they have denied and it won’t be a surprised if one day, Buhari comes out to even deny that he was elected on the platform of APC.” Lampooning the federal government for what he described a policy somersault, Fayose insisted that Buhari’s declaration that he would not pay the N5,000 stipend he promised to unemployed
youths in the country and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s claim that the creation of three million jobs per year was not promised by the party as the peak of political fraud that the President and his party represent. “They have not fulfilled any of the promises they made to Nigerians. In fact, they have even told us that they never made any promise. It is close to one year that Buhari assumed office; no single job has been created. Instead of the three million jobs per year that they promised, what we have been witnessing is job losses, economic hardship and budget padding.” Fayose through his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Lere Olayinka, said it was more worrisome that President Buhari always choose foreign lands to make major policy pronouncements, asking whether the president
has turned himself to Nigeria’s Diaspora or Online President. The governor described President Buhari’s declaration of support for Palestine and description of Palestinians as his brothers and sisters that must achieve their desired objectives as a confirmation of the growing suspicion that the president was interested in Nigeria becoming a full Islamic State. He said: “Even though I am a lover of Muslims, I relate with them as I do with Christians in the state and across the country, but Nigeria must remain secular and a free nation where its citizens proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) freely.” The governor said the moment President Buhari disowned his own campaign document titled; “My Covenant with Nigerians,” that was circulated to Nigerians during the electioneering campaign and also published in national
newspapers and posted online on March 16 and 17, 2015, he knew that Nigerians had been that duped. “Nigerians have now realised that they are inside a ‘One Chance Bus’ because Buhari and his APC have disowned their entire campaign promises by disowning their campaign document titled; ‘My Covenant with Nigerians.’ “This document that they disowned in August, last year contained everything they promised Nigerians and if today, President Buhari chose faraway Qatar to announce that he won’t pay the N5, 000 promised unemployed youths and Lai Mohammed is here in Nigeria saying no job was promised, no one should be surprised. “Rather, Nigerians can only begin to pray that God, who rescued Daniel from den of lions will rescue us from this Buhari/APC’s one chance bus that we have entered,” he said.
Sonnie Ekwowusi charges the authorities to look after the welfare of the people
e seem to be moving round the same circle. In Nigeria everything looks the same day after day, month after month, year after year. We are who we are. Nothing has changed. The same failed leadership; the same electricity failure; the same hue and cry over corruption; the same injustice everywhere; the same collapsed educational system; the same crumbling economy; the same agitation for self-determination; the same law trying to catch up with those who have fallen foul of it; the same justice being trampled upon. There is nothing new under the sun in Nigeria. We have been travelling the same road over the years. This is evident when you try to dig a bit into our past. Recently I stumbled across some discarded old newspapers. Perusing through them it dawned on me afresh that public discourses in Nigeria have revolved around the same subject matters. Newspaper editorials harp on same troubling issues. There are sounds, movements and flashes of light everywhere. Government acts the big brother. It talks big. It reels out mouth-watering agenda. It announces big budgets. It gives the people a certain sense of security. It gets the media to preoccupy itself reporting government activities. In the streets, in beer parlours, in the stadia, in market places the mammoth crowd dance and chant: “Salvation comes from our government”. In fairness, the much-vaunted salvation is wrought at times. A cool-headed and incorruptible leader emerges and inaugurates a selfless regime that really and truly improves the well-being of the people. But oftentimes, they turned out very disappointing. We see this emptiness in the miserable living condition of the average Nigerian. Just take a studied look around you. What can you find generally? Miseries, anguish, despondency and hopelessness. Don’t be deceived by the number of luxurious cars on the streets. The cars in the streets of Nigeria do not directly translate to economic prosperity. Neither are the expensive mobile phones in the hands of most Nigerians a good measure of the standard of living in Nigeria. We must avoid the mistake of equating accumulation of commodities and gadgets with improved living condition. In truly assessing the standard of living of the average Nigerian, the questions to ask are: Do the people have access to electricity supply in order to be able to power their electric fan and sleep at night and so become productive at work? Do they have access to potable water? Do they have access to medical treatment in public hospitals at affordable fee when they are ill? Do they live in a degrading environment where people shamelessly urinate and defecate in the open? Or, do they observe any personal hygiene in daily commercial and social intercourse? The questions can be endless. Obviously, answers to the questions are germane to determining the real living condition
DO THE PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY SUPPLY IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO POWER THEIR ELECTRIC FAN AND SLEEP AT NIGHT AND SO BECOME PRODUCTIVE AT WORK? DO THEY HAVE ACCESS TO POTABLE WATER?
in Nigeria. Human development is the ultimate focus of all developments. If human development is jeopardised everything is jeopardised. For example, a few days ago a banker friend and a good neigbour came knocking at my door. From his distressed look, I was certain he had been losing sleep. He was sweating profusely. Before I could say a word, he opened up and said; “Sonnie, I am tired of this country. You know that for the past five days we had no light in this area. My generator and inverter have packed up”. “What of Madam, I learnt she is sick? I asked. “Yes, she is still on admission in a nearby hospital”. Thereafter, he engaged me in the most absorbing one-hour discussion. After he lost his bank job, he started the business of buying and selling. But with the sudden fall in the value of the naira, that business has collapsed. Meanwhile his wife has been diagnosed of cancer. You may not be as distressful as my banker friend, but I am sure there are many around you who are. Apart from losing night sleep, many have no access to hospitals because they cannot afford the exorbitant bills. And to make up for this, they have resorted to patronising self-proclaimed “prophets” and “miracle workers” in the land. The other day a part of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was blocked to traffic because a church had decided to encumber the expressway with their activities. Therefore amid the scandalising human misery and poor living condition in Nigeria both the federal and state governments should adopt new strategies for promotion of human welfare in Nigeria. The purpose of development is defeated if the people, for example, do not have access to good water, basic primary health care system, ordinary electricity supply and shelter. As I have constantly argued on this page, the 21st century economic development approach is more concerned with the welfare of the people than with government rhetoric. Therefore, the Buhari government should forget about rhetoric and go straight to remedying where it pinches the ordinary people. The EFCC now boasts that it is catching plenty of “thieves”. But the EFCC is not the first thing: the first thing is real governance specifically targeted at providing essential public utilities and infrastructure such as electricity, water and good roads that will improve the living condition of the people who queued up on Election Day to vote for the people in power. I don’t know about you, but I feel greatly ashamed that a great country like Nigeria cannot provide her citizens with uninterrupted electricity supply. Yet we busy ourselves discussing so-called “important things” forgetting that the only thing that matters at the end of the day is improving the lot of the ordinary man in the street. Successful world governments have always paid any price and borne any burden to improve the living condition of the people. Therefore if the Buhari government wants to be successful it should go and do the same thing.
RETURNING SANITY TO OSHODI (2)
he state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, during an interministerial chat with journalists, debunked the claims and insinuations that the demolition of the Owonifari Market had ethnic or political undertone. He said the demolition was done to further ensure security and bring sanity to the area. He stated that the demolition exercise actually confirmed some of the fears of the government, “as we discovered concrete bunker and arms underneath the shops.” Ayorinde said that the traders were formally served a quit notice on December21 before the demolition exercise, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. “It is important to be informed that the issue of that market had been on for nothing less than 10 years,” said Ayorinde. “The state government had been engaging with the leadership of the market to say that we could no longer continue with the manner in which that area of the market was being used. So, for 10 years, there has been back and forth engagement between the government and the leadership of the market.” The commissioner alleged that the leadership of the market, in the last three years, had refused to move. He spoke further: “Certified that we have provided a befitting alternative, we started another round of engagement with the leadership of the market. The governor appealed to them through the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs. They met with members of the state executive on December 16, 2015, where the governor
The Owonifari market is demolished in the interest of all, argues George Chigozie
reiterated his plans for Oshodi and the need to relocate them. A few of them expressed certain misgivings, but largely, they felt that if their interests were accommodated within the Isopakodowo Market that they were willing and ready to move. We advised that discussions should be ongoing, particularly regarding how much they will pay for each stall within the market.” Ayorinde said that on December 21, 2015, the governor went on a tour of the market, particularly Isopakodowo Market, where he again met with the leadership of the Owonifari Market. According to the commissioner, it was eventually agreed that, based on the proposition from the market leaders, what they were willing to pay for each market was N5, 000 monthly. Ayorinde argued: “There is really no market anywhere that you will be paying such an amount in a month. The governor agreed with them and we said we were ready to concede. Along the line, convinced that our New Year project was to relocate them to Isopakodowo Market, we got intelligence reports that as at during the Yuletide, a number of criminal activities were going on there. We also got reports that the place was harbouring criminals and a number of untoward activities. This, of course, necessitated that we should move immediately to safeguard lives, property and to ensure that there was no breech of peace. This was what led to the demolition exercise.” He reiterated that the intention of the government was certainly not to destroy any goods. “We believe a good number of the traders, if not all, had moved because they were aware they needed to move. From
reports, quite a good chunk of them acknowledged that they were properly served and that they were ready to move; many of them packed their things just before the end of the year”, he said, adding: “Government, I should say, will not be blackmailed because we have done everything humanly possible. We believe very strongly that Isopakodowo Market is quite ideal, a lot bigger than where they were.” The commissioner said the aim of the government was to ensure that the area of the market conformed with the type of image that it wanted the state to be. In his words: “It is to return sanity to the place, to beautify the market and construct a world class bus terminus around the place. We also believe the exercise will largely reduce the gridlock that is associated with that area and the criminalities that were rampant in Oshodi. What we have done is in the interest of the generality of residents and to ensure that people who use that place on a daily basis – the commuters, traders, everybody, enjoy what it means to go to a market in a mega city.” Ayorinde added that while markets would always be in Oshodi, some illegal structures already marked by the state government would have to be demolished to make way for traffic free-flow and crime-free Oshodi axis. He also revealed that the government had already commenced the fencing-off of the set-back on Agege Motor Road that stretches from Ilupeju end of Oshodi all the way to the PWD/Ikeja GRA end of the area. He said the ongoing fencing-off and beautification of the road set-back from Ilupeju bypass to PWD/Ikeja GRA would
constitute the first phase of the transformation of the Oshodi area. The second phase, he added, would begin from PWD/Ikeja GRA and stretch all the way to Agege/Pen cinema axis. The exercise, he said, would assist the federal government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation as the railway corridor will be beautified and safeguarded leading to discouragement of street trading. Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, also speaking during the press conference, said contrary to claims in some quarters, none of the occupants’ property was destroyed in the demolition exercise. “On Tuesday night, we found that all the occupants have complied and moved to the new market. The only one that remained actually called us to say that he was in the East burying his late mother. For that one, we had to evacuate his property and they are safe with us. So, nothing was destroyed in the exercise.” The Ambode’s move is the second time in six years that the state government would be carrying out major re-development work at the Oshodi bus stop. In 2009, his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, received accolades for clearing the popular bus stop of street traders and miscreants, easing the traffic gridlock in the area. However, the area soon degenerated into what it used to be as street traders and urchins returned, posing serious threat to lives and property in the area. The bus stop once again became a hotbed of clashes between rival gangs and cult groups. Ambode’s efforts are meant to put a decisive stop to all that. Chigizie wrote from Lagos
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
EDITORIAL THE DANGERS OF OPEN DEFECATION The provision of water and toilets will ensure a healthier environment
kiti, a largely agrarian state highly regarded in education, is ranked 29th in population among the 36 states in Nigeria. Ironically, it leads the country in the number of men, women and children who use the outdoors as convenience. The United Nations Children’s Fund and European Union said that 1.8 million Ekiti residents out of a total population of 2.7 million defecate in the open and account for 60.8% of the shameful practice nationally. Over 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation globally, of which one billion are engaged in the unhygienic practice of open defecation. At a two-day workshop organised by European Union/UNICEF on Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign held at Ijero Ekiti last week, the coordinator of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) said many residents were arrested and prosecuted for open defecation, particularly in Ado Ekiti, the state’s capital while efforts were being made to compel every household to have toilets. Defecating in open DIARRHEA, A DISEASE fields, bushes and bodOFTEN ASSOCIATED ies of water, is widely WITH POOR SANITARY practiced in Nigeria. CONDITIONS, AND RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS Indeed, the country is one huge field, RESULTING FROM POOR where people defecate HYGIENE, KILL ABOUT without shame and 400,000 CHILDREN without taking into UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE consideration the ANNUALLY impact of their actions on the health of others. In many rural communities, people still build houses without provisions for toilets, or as the case may be, latrines, where waste can be emptied without others coming into contact with it. In the urban centres, such cases are also pervasive. In many of our so-called modern cities, people use the outdoors as bathrooms and toilets. Many walkways and nearby bushes reek of urine and decaying faecal matter. Yet experts have consistently warned that when
Letters to the Editor
large numbers of people are defecating outdoors, it’s extremely difficult to avoid ingesting human waste, either because it has contaminated the food or water supplies or because it has been spread by flies and dust. According to the joint UNICEF and the World Health Organisation report previously published on the issue, the absence of toilets remains one of the leading causes of illness and death among children. The report said that diarrhea, a disease often associated with poor sanitary conditions, and respiratory infections resulting from poor hygiene, kill about 400,000 children under the age of five annually. These deaths are largely preventable with improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene.
T T H I S DAY
EDITOR IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU DEPUTY EDITOR BOlAJI ADEBIYI MANAGING DIRECTOR ENIOlA BEllO DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR KAYODE KOMOlAfE CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD OlUSEGUN ADENIYI EDITOR NATION’S CAPITAL IYOBOSA UWUGIAREN
T H I S DAY N E W S PA P E R S L I M I T E D
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CHAIRMAN NDUKA OBAIGBENA GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS ENIOlA BEllO, KAYODE KOMOlAfE, ISRAEl IWEGBU, EMMANUEl EfENI, IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR OlUfEMI ABOROWA DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS PETER IWEGBU, fIDElIS ElEMA, MBAYIlAN ANDOAKA, ANTHONY OGEDENGBE DEPUTY DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR OJOGUN VICTOR DANBOYI SNR. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR ERIC OJEH ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS HENRY NWACHOKOR, SAHEED ADEYEMO CONTROLLERS ABIMBOlA TAIWO, UCHENNA DIBIAGWU, NDUKA MOSERI GENERAL MANAGER PATRICK EIMIUHI GROUP HEAD fEMI TOlUfASHE ART DIRECTOR OCHI OGBUAKU II DIRECTOR, PRINTING PRODUCTION CHUKS ONWUDINJO TO SEND EMAIL: first [email protected]
he UNICEF report was amplified by Dr. Michael Ojo, country representative of WaterAid to Nigeria, who said every seven women out of 10 had no access to a safe toilets, and millions of other women and girls lacked safe and adequate sanitation. “Every year, over 85,000 mothers in Nigeria lose a child to diarrhoeal diseases caused by lack of adequate sanitation and clean water,” said Ojo. “Women and girls living in Nigeria without toilet facilities spend 3.1 billion hours each year finding a place to go to the toilet in the open.” The provision of water and toilets are verifiable measures in fighting poverty and diseases. Even the modest efforts in the campaign against open defecation in some communities in Ekiti are already yielding good results. “We have brought improvement to 250 towns and communities in ODF by providing 10 toilets per public,” said Mohsena Islam, UNICEF/EU water sanitation and hygiene specialist. “We have also provided technical supports in 313 communities for them to know various ways to build and take ownership of low cost latrines and how to repair them in case of damage.” We therefore call on governments, at every level, to invest more in the provision of water and public toilets, and create awareness on the dangers of open defecation. As Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general once declared, sanitation is a vital tool for improving the lives of millions of the poorest people.
TO OUR READERS Letters in response to specific publications in THISDAY should be brief (150-200 words) and straight to the point. Interested readers may send such letters along with their contact details to [email protected] We also welcome comments and opinions on topical local, national and international issues provided they are well-written and should also not be longer than (9501000 words). They should be sent to [email protected] along with the email address and phone numbers of the writer.
INJUSTICE IN ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION GOVERNOR FAYOSE: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
ecently, we woke up to an interesting collaboration between the federal government and the power consortium to compel Nigerians into swallowing another bitter pill of multi-year tariff review, which always meant increase in what the citizenry had to pay for power or energy without minding whether they had power or not. More intriguing however, is the classification by the Ibadan Electricity distribution company of its consumers particularly in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital into George Orwell’s ‘animal farm’ type of domain, where some animals are more equal than others. Prior to the drop in power-generation from close to 6000 to just over 3000 megawatts, consumers in Abeokuta observed a trend, where some class enjoyed power nearly uninterrupted, others enjoyed it for an average of 12 hours daily, while others just endured momentary remembrance by the distribution companies. Typical of Nigerians, many complained in their minds and perhaps at their homes, while others resigned to fate, hoping for some providential intervention to bring about change. After the reported drop in megawatts, the groaning grew louder among the ‘unequal’, occasioned by the severe atmospheric condition prevalent around this time. All the more puzzling is the way the distribution company went about allocating the quota, despite the purported drop. The class of
people that previously enjoyed near un-interruptions kept their quota, while the rest of us, suffered and smiled in silence. Meanwhile, when some of us sought explanations, we were told quite unashamedly, that “Those are the people on 33 KVA”. Asked what this meant, they told us that preference had to be given to the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, and every consumer on the route through which that particular transmission-line travelled through, on the way to the source. What’s more? That route is a stretch of high-brow residents, where the high and the mighty are situated. So whereas the rest of us had to endure the drop in what little we enjoyed prior to the so-called reduction in megawatts, some persons keep their own full share of the cake. Presently, those who were placed on an average of 12-hour daily power supply, now barely run on two hours per day. Imagine the experience of the third class. Never mind the fact that most of us are given a monthly estimated bill, which never reduces. Worse still, the air of predictability which attended to the use of power prior to the reported drop no longer exists - except of course for the more equal animals on 33. We ask: why can’t everyone endure the power-cut evenly? Unfortunately, a low-level electricity worker asked me in a tone of misguided finality: “Can you pay the amount paid by those people”? Akindele Akinyemi, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta
had thought with the end of the last electioneering campaign and the decisive victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his eventual inauguration on May 29, 2015, into office, those with Buhari-phobia such as the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, would declare a ceasefire on their vociferous and scaremongering propaganda and hate speech, calculated to demonise the president! But from all indication the likes of Governor Fayose are not done yet! I am therefore not a bit surprised at the antics of Governor Fayose recently when he tried to whip up religious sentiments and generate fear among Nigerians when he thoughtlessly suggested President Buhari’s trip to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East is a fulfillment of his agenda to Islamise Nigeria! It is surprising and curious that such a pernicious, reckless, infantile and indeed inflammatory statement calculated to stir up passion and cause disaffection among the people of Nigeria would come from the mouth of the governor of a state of the federation in the guise of opposing the federal government! Undoubtedly, Governor Fayose, is part of the decadent and reactionary wing of the Nigeria bourgeoisie class that have always used the ethnic and religious cards to divert and distract ordinary Nigerians to see themselves as perpetual enemies while they help themselves to the resources of the
country. Otherwise, how would a business and private religious trip by President Buhari Islamise Nigeria? Is President Buhari the first Nigerian President to visit the Holy Land on religious pilgrimage? The answer to the question is certainly in the negative. Did former President Jonathan not visit Jerusalem on pilgrimage with a large entourage and with pomp and fanfare in 2014? Why didn’t Governor Fayose tell us that former President Jonathan wanted to Christianise Nigeria? Surely, the likes of Governor Fayose are full of deceit even though their attempt to use ethnicity and religious differences to continue to divide and rule Nigeria has definitely failed and would continue to fail. The immutable and fundamental truth is that Nigeria is a secular country and it is absolutely impossible for anybody to Islamise or Christianise the country. It is incontrovertible fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has no modicum of power to Islamise the country. This is because by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) for anybody to change the secular status of the country, two-thirds majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives must vote in support of such proposal. Additionally, 24 states of the federation must vote in support of such proposal. Okoi Obono-Obla,[email protected]
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Group Politics Editor Olawale Olaleye Email wale.o[email protected] 08116759819 SMS ONLY
Idahosa: The Underdog and Game Changer The 37-year-old governorship aspirant in Edo State, Linus Idahosa appears to be the issue in the choice for a successor to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, writes Shola Oyeyipo
ven before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the guidelines for the governorship elections coming up in Ondo and Edo States later this year, last week, many of the political heavyweights, so to say, had signified interests in taking over the jobs of Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Adams Oshiohmole respectively and had been discussing some of their plans for their states. But as the September date of the election in Edo State draws closer, one young man, who has been working behind the scene to put up a formidable campaign and contest the election strongly is joining the race. He is no one than the 37 years old Linus Idahosa. He only shares his name with the late Archbishop Ben Idahosa but not related to him in anyway, much as he would say, “We are related by covenant.” Idahosa, a Philosophy graduate, is a silent guru in the creative industry and as the founder and CEO, Deliok International, which specialises in TV commercial production with the CNN and other notable television stations across the world, he is reputed to have approached the New York Film Academy, the best hands on training academy in the world, and in the last five years, has flown 78 experts into Nigeria to train well over 1200 students in cinematography, directing, producing, 3D animation and all that. In what is coming as a challenge to convention, he has gone through different phases before his decision to get into what he called “murky political water,” with his resolve to preach the gospel of generational shift and that young men and women, who have been able to prove their mettles should come together to begin to change the narrative in the Nigerian political sphere. The young man, who had already been disturbed about the brain drain affecting Nigeria and the fact that most of the very intelligent youth generation has been edged out of governance and decision-making process, got the spark that ignited his passion to urge the Nigerian youth to come together and take charge of the country due to the growing rate of despair that the generation of young people are going through, particularly with the death of some during the National Immigration Service job seekers in 2014. Explaining how that influenced his decision to join the governorship race, Idahosa said: “During the 2014 Immigration recruitment exercise, where we lost so many youths – the people that I saw on that field actually changed my thinking. Sunday Aghaeze, the THISDAY photo journalists sent the picture to me. It disturbed me greatly. I once looked for job like that. So, I had it on my screensaver for over a year and it kept reminding of what is possible – the energy of our youths and all of that. “If you look at that picture, what would come to your mind is how can 70, 000 people be cramped up in one place seeking for a job that can only employ 4, 000 people? 500, 000 people came out that day all across the country and 7.5m people applied for the job. Something made them come out; they believed they could get the job. It is equally disturbing that no single state governor sued the government over the 21 youths that lost their lives in the immigration recruitment saga of March 15, 2014. “I believe that we have the opportunity to rewrite history. I believe that there is huge generational shift that needs to happen in this country. We have been talking about it, we’ve been debating it on the social media and various traditional media but nothing has been done about it. There is this veil that we place before ourselves,
Idahosa...driven by conviction
when it comes to youths vying for elective offices. I wrote a piece that I called ‘The SA Generation’. They always feel what is best for us is to be their Special Advisers, yet we are the ones driving their policies.” Speaking with journalists for the first time about his ambition, the young man who said he has the support of other notable young
I believe that we have the opportunity to rewrite history. I believe that there is huge generational shift that needs to happen in this country. We have been talking about it, we’ve been debating it on the social media and various traditional media but nothing has been done about it. There is this veil that we place before ourselves, when it comes to youths vying for elective offices. I wrote a piece that I called ‘The SA Generation’. They always feel what is best for us is to be their Special Advisers, yet we are the ones driving their policies
Nigerians who are all committed to bringing about the needed paradigm shift, said he had it all well thought out and that he waited for the appropriate time to enter the fray and show what stuff he is made up of. “I have said until I am ready to speak I won’t come out. The reason I am talking to you today is because I have gotten to that place, where I am turning the resentment about what is happening in our country today to resolve that we would be able to change things and not change in the sense of the way it is being used but something pragmatic, something simple and something clear. “I believe that if the foundation is set right, there are a lot of things that we can do and within the next two weeks, I will be announcing my intention to run as governor of Edo State. It is something that I have thought about. We are going to be putting up an unconventional campaign. “I do not have the same kind of resources the APC, PDP and all of the folks have but I understand the process very well. I have thought long and hard about this and so, the way I want to come out is to set the stage with a conversation and the conversation is about generational shift. Within the next two weeks, I want to set that stage – generational shift – and how important it is for our polity and I want to use Edo State as a pilot. “Young men, not just in Nigeria, but outside of this place have come together to say they want to create this kind of movement. We will go sector by sector, we would come up with a blueprint and we would by every means put up a formidable campaign like has never been seen in this country before,” he said assuredly. He sees nothing wrong or ambiguous about his aspiration; he only wishes that the Nigerian youth, irrespective of wherever they may be, should take possession of the generational shift movement and begin to make inroad into the Nigerian political landscape. “If Donald Duke says I want to run for president, it makes sense because he had been there and he has the idea but he was 36 when he became governor. Most of the colonialists that colonised Nigeria were in their 20s and 30 in the 16th century. The likes of Kwame Nkrumah, David Kahunda, Julius Nyerere, even Awolowo – they
had no money, it was their voice of conviction. That is what they took with them and that is what I am taking with me. “I believe there is a veil that stops Nigerians from seeing how possible it is to rein power or vie for this kind of position. In fact, by the look you get from the faces of not the old people, but young people, you will be shocked but the idea that young people should take over the narrative. If we do not make it happen by ourselves, nobody will give power to us,” he said. While may might assume that he stands no chance against the two main political parties – the APC and the PDP – Idahosa considers the platform on which he wants to pursue his ambition, the Young Democratic Party (YDP), as a budding platform that would appeal to the young and old and become a third force that would create an unprecedented upset in the state. “The YDP is a registered political party. It may not be seen as viable by the standard we use to measure the strength of political parties; we might say it is not strong but I believe it is the party that will change the way people think about what constitutes political power in Nigeria because we have done our work and we have been very quiet and the fact that we are able to do it quietly till this time is a plus to us. “The YDP is a movement – it is an idea whose time has come. We are going to prepare ourselves for the most interesting political experience. I have brains that work. I cannot match them (the political bigwigs) toe-to-toe but to have contemplated this, I must have thought about how to go about it. We are relying on the power of God and the power of conviction. “If the youth generation is represented on the platform of the APC and the PDP, we would have supported them but I have looked at all the people contesting in Edo State; they are the same people. That is why I am out. It should not be like that,” Idahosa said. Idahosa is married to Nollywood super model, Stephanie Okereke, now Stephanie Idahosa, who also passionately share his persuasion. When she joined the discussion at the media parley held at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, Stephanie said her husband’s concept is not hinged on contesting power with the older generation but a passion to show that the younger generation is capable of contributing significantly to national development. “The older generation must begin to give us a platform to show what we can do. To be responsible give us something to do to show what we can do but if they don’t, we just keep looking before you know it our generation will pass away and the next will come,” Stephanie interjected. In fact, according to Idahosa, he would be meeting and soliciting support from Governor Adams Oshiohmole, former PDP BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih and other major players in the state’s politics. If voted, he hopes to bring out the creative potential of Edo State youths to fore. He hopes to build a state that would compete with Dubai and to attract all sorts of investment into the state using his contact in and outside the country. “I have some of the smartest Nigerian youths, who will be taking it sector by sector coming up with a master plan. There is no single person that would have done the kind of work we have done. My unique selling point is that I will represent the youth generation like no one else ever did. I can bring resources into this country. When I start coming out, you will start understanding,” he noted.
T H I S D AY ˾WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Taming Kogi’s Civil Service Bogged down by the state’s inability to pay salaries, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is taking steps to address the problem, writes Yekini Jimoh
oday, the workforce in Kogi State is about 30,000 with a total wage bill of about N3.2billion on a monthly basis. Until April/May last year, when the allocation came down to about N2.8/2.6 billion, the state workers are said to be the highest paid in the North Central. Out of the N40 billion earned by the state from the federation account in 2015, and N4 billion from internally generated revenue, bringing the state total inflow to N44.7billion, the state expenditure in the year amounted to N46.8billion; thus leaving the government with a deficit of over N2billion. A look at the break down of the analysis of expenditures for 2015 stands as follow: Salaries, N22.5 billion, pension and gratuity N4.2 billion, while monthly imprest to MDAs stands at N1.8billion. The state’s overhead and capital expenditure was N11.5 billion and N7 billion respectively. Kogi was among the first states that applied for the federal government’s bailout. However, despite the CBN’s approval of a N50.9 billion loan to enable the state pay its workers (N5.9 billion at the state level and N45billion for the 21 local government councils), the state’s share was withheld for no reason other than what is seen as political factor. Several screening exercises had been carried out to correct the over-bloated wage bill but even at that, the past administration failed to implement the outcome of the workers’ screening. Recently, in a circular, the state government said all workers in the state must embark on screening exercise to ascertain the work force in the state and also to bring to an end the problem of ghost workers. Therefore, all the civil servants in the state are expected to come along to the screening center with their Bank Verification number, statement of account in the last two years, certificate of local government of origin, one recent passport, letter of first appointment, letter of confirmation, staff identity card and their last promotion. According to state government, the policy on data collection in Kogi State Civil Service was primarily aimed at weeding out ghost workers to make it convenient for government to pay genuine and bonafide civil servants. The process was also expected to help government build a database of its workforce for effective planning. Also, Governor Yahaya Bello has abolished arbitrary deductions from the allocations of Local Government Councils in the state. The governor disclosed this while meeting with local government chairmen at the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Bello, who frowns at the various deductions from the council allocations by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said state laws could not override the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He then directed the ministry to submit its running cost to the Office of the Governor and stop exploiting the Local Government Councils. He urged council chairmen to ensure pensioners and teachers are paid their pensions and salaries this month asking them to ensure council workers are promptly paid their full wages, while also warned against profligacy. He said the chairmen must account for every penny received from the federation account. He also called on them to execute projects that will impact positively on the people of the state, reiterating his desire to visit Local Government Areas to commission projects. He canvassed for forensic audit of Local Government pensioners. He also advocated for better supervision of teachers to ensure efficiency. Just some few weeks ago, Governor Bello directed that all Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Finance and Administration should embark on one month compulsory leave with immediate effect.
Bello...working to change the narrative
Addressing the Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Finance and Administration, the Head of Service, Dr. Moses Atakpa said the directive was from the governor. Although he did not give reasons for the directive, he said everybody must comply with immediate effect. Others are the Accountant General, Mr. Ibrahim Idakwo, who was sacked from office while the second in command also proceeded on one month compulsory leave. The only exemptions in this category are people on acting capacity and the Permanent Secretary, Government House. At local government level, all the directors of local government areas, the treasurers, education secretaries and cashiers are also to proceed on one month compulsory leave. Speaking on the issue, Bello said the directive requiring all permanent secretaries to proceed on one month compulsory leave was to pave the way for a transparent staff audit of ministries, agencies and parastatals. According to the governor, he could not be distracted from achieving his laudable goals by agents that are opposed to change and therefore, cannot afford to fail the Kogi people who voted massively for the party of change. “I am prepared to fulfill my pact with the people to remain a fair governor, who is interested in developing the state and its people,” he stated. Bello also expressed his determination to root out corruption from the civil service to ensure probity, accountability and productivity, stressing that for Kogi to move forward, the people of the state must begin to see corruption as a common enemy. The governor also reiterated his determination to reposition the state and make it the first destination for development through investments, adding that his leadership will herald a new beginning of the true value of governance. He also promised to “refocus the state to meet the needs of her people through quality education, healthcare delivery, agricultural revolution and a marshaled plan to make the state the industrial hub of West Africa.” He said his bilateral dialogues with local and foreign agencies will start yielding fruits, pleading with the people of the state to sup-
port his administration to bring the desired change that will make Kogi the pride of all. “To achieve development, we know we have to achieve ethnic, industrial and political harmony. Civil servants must receive their salaries to curb incessant strike actions and the attendant security challenges associated with such. My government has moved to ensure that ghost workers are removed from our payrolls to pave the way for genuine workers to earn their salaries regularly. We have also moved to stop the deductions from local government allocations that have made it impossible for them to pay their staff.” The governor pledged to work harmoniously with the State House of Assembly, saying members of the assembly are honourable people, who have genuine interest of moving the state forward. Already, the governor had inaugurated the composition of a steering committee for the public service screening. The committee comprises senior citizens, labour members, dons of higher institutions, civil servants and private sector operators. Inaugurating the committee headed by General (Rtd) Olusola Okotima, Bello said he took a vow and pledged that he would reposition civil service for better delivery and efficiency. He said he was inaugurating the committee that would look into the screening and repositioning of reforming the civil service. Bello, who lamented that he didn’t want to be governor that will only come and pay salary and then leave, said “For the past 25 years that the state was created, we were created along with other states in this country. It is sad that we still find ourselves, where we are today. Civil service is the engine room of any state and where we are today, it means, that the engine room must be overhauled because we can no longer compete favorable with other vehicles the same time.” He said because of the situation, there is the need to carry out the screening exercise. According to him, the reform is going to be in various stages, and the first stage would be financed and sponsored by Zenith Bank and executed by Cyber Space Company. He said Cyber Space would carry out the biometric verification of every worker, adding that the physical verification of the biometrics and other documents would be carried out
within twelve days, including Saturday and Sunday. The steering committee, he noted, would review the report at the end of the exercise, pointing out that appropriate recommendation would be made by the committee and urged them to complete the assignment within thirty days, maximum. According to him, he expects that the chairman of the committee would update him on a weekly basis on how far they have gone and the discoveries. “As at January, the revenue or income that we had was not enough to pay salaries and other over heads cost and if the state must proceed, we can’t do that without funds. What we are doing today is not for Yahaya Bello but for our state, our children and for the future. This is an opportunity for us to write our name in gold and I promise that by the grace of God, whatever the outcome of the result of the exercise, I shall implement hundred percent. “I am not going to play politics. The politics we played over the past twenty five years brought us to where we are today. We must do it a different way so that we can have result this time around,” he said. Other members of the steering committee are Alhaji Nda Muhammed and Mr. Steven Yakubu representing senior citizens. The representatives of higher institution are Linus Atapai College of Education; Otaru John Friday Polytechnic and Moses Balogun. The committee also has representatives of civil service who are Dr. Jerry Agbaji, S.O Muhammed, Emmanuel Onoja, Oloruntoba Kehinde, Sadiq Abdallah Gomina and H.O. K Lawal, who is to serve as secretary of the committee. Representatives of Labour are Ojo Ranti Matthew – ASSUS; Suleiman Ndalayi – NUT; Comrade Miliga Obaka – NLC; Tom Abutu – NULGE; I.O Abubakar joint negotiating council and Badmus Abdulkadiri Medical and Health workers union. Others are S.B Emmanuel – civil society; Samuel Ochu – NAM; James Kolawole – TUC; Joseph Ipemida and Chief M.S Aka state and local government representative of Nigeria Union of Pensioners. In all, the people of Kogi do hope that the step taken so far would help put an end to the civil service menace and reposition the state on the right tract.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Why Must Okonjo-Iweala be the Scape Goat? Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s role in the administration of Goodluck Jonathan was no less professional, writes Olusola Daniel
The immediate past Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, illegally approved the transfer of at least N61.4 billion ($300 million and £5.5 million) from funds recovered from the late dictator, Sani Abacha, to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, few weeks to the 2015 presidential election…” Those were the words of Nigeria’s online news platform, Premium Times on December 9, 2015 on the controversial diversion of security funds by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). Since the issue of the alleged $2 billion loot recovery by this present administration came to the fore, Nigerians have been grossly entertained by the principal actors in the macabre dance that would have probably been fit for Nollywood but which unfortunately happens to be “based on true life stories”. It is spinning into a long series (or is it seasons now?) especially by the protagonists of the State who are overzealously bent on acting out a script in order to receive lead roles in other subsequent movies as written by the democratic dictator, the writer, director and producer of the movies. The question of the role of former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Jonathan’s administration has again gotten the attention of this writer. Let us be quick to admit the fact that like all mortals, Ngozi has her own faults too. This writer thinks her fault perhaps was her being too professional in her job. Before
you crucify me, let me explain what I meant by my last statement. This write-up is about the role of professionals in government which must lead us to confront the prevailing and competing conceptions of governance as well as to examine what we understand to be professionals in government. We live in a society that typically compares professionals in government to politicians in government. We seem to entertain a false dichotomy between professionals, who are credited with expertise in public policy and the mechanics of governance on the one hand, and on the other hand, politicians who are often perceived as mere jobbers trawling through public life for position and power, and who are mainly motivated by the possibilities of self-aggrandizement. While a problem-solving ethic is attributed to professionals, politicians are seen as Janus-faced, opportunistic and self-serving. The devaluation of public service and politics owes something to this perception. This popular perception has made it difficult to understand and mitigate the often unhealthy rivalry that exists between these two important cadres of public officials, who are supposed to be operating collaboratively in the public space for the common good. The origin of the commonly held concept of professionals or technocrats in government can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when technocrats supported by Western donors and the Bretton Woods institutions, came to power in a number of African nations. The belief in these financial institutions was that these technocrats in African
governments, being impartial empiricists, would unsentimentally deliver sustained economic growth and development through trade liberalisation and structural adjustment programmes, thereby bringing about political stability and economic growth. The failures of the policies of that era owe largely to the fact that while the technocrats enjoyed foreign backing, they had little local support because they were ill-prepared to manage the expectations and frustrations of the people, who were reeling under the effects of structural adjustment programmes and other anti-people policies of that epoch. The failings of the technocrats brought their inadequacies to the fore and showed
them to be professionals, who were experienced and skilled in the technical requirements of their jobs but who lacked the know-how in people management needed to succeed in public office. If the problem most people have with Madam Ngozi is being highly professional, then I suggest they purge themselves of professional phobia. There is nothing so far in the whole affair now linked with the Jonathan administration. Let us even admit for the sake of argument that Okonjo-Iweala is “guilty by association” working for Jonathan. It is on record that President Buhari worked in a capacity with the notorious regime of General Sani Abacha. Wait a minute, can we blame Buhari for the corruption or the brutalities of the Abacha regime? By way of inference, let us not forget that Okonjo-Iweala worked as a professional in government. As a professional, she is required by the ethics of her profession to do things the right way not to engage in unnecessary politicking. After all, we all recall Buhari in the ‘90s publicly saying that Abacha was not corrupt because the allegations against him have not been proven. With the “Abacha loot” becoming a point of contention, can we still call him a saint? If we cannot hold Buhari accountable for Abacha’s crimes, why should Okonjo-Iweala be the scapegoat for Jonathan’s alleged crimes? I leave you with your conscience to answer this! -Daniel wrote from Lagos
Should This Senate Still be Retained?
The role of the National Assembly in oversight functions cannot be underestimated, reckons Abu Quassim
s Senator John Owan Enoh read from the 37-page report that Wednesday morning on February 24, the question above repeatedly came to my mind. At a point, I looked at the fellows sitting beside me in the Public Gallery overlooking the red chamber of the Senate to see whether the figures coming from the report and the deprivation that our country has been made to suffer as a result of a policy aimed at plugging loopholes in government revenue safe keeping had the same chilling effect on them as it was having on me. The guys were just not bordered. They just looked on. The question plaguing my mind is whether after reading the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions and Public Accounts on the Abuse and Mismanagement of Single Treasury Account (TSA) Regime, anybody still wants to argue on the desirability or otherwise of the institution of the Senate in our political system. Let us go into the connection between the Senate and the TSA before we examine the debate on whether Nigerians actually need a Senate or not. The TSA has been described as a public accounting system under which all government revenues, receipts and income are collected into one single account maintained by the country’s Central Bank. The purpose is “to ensure accountability of government revenue, enhance transparency and avoid misapplication of public funds. The maintenance of TSA will help to ensure proper cash management by eliminating idle funds usually left with different commercial banks and in a way to enhance the reconciliation of revenue collection and payments”. When the Buhari Administration decided
to enforce the policy which had earlier been introduced by the Jonathan administration and gave a deadline of September 2015, the National Assembly lauded the move but said since it is an executive policy – it cannot be part of the arrangement. The National Assembly hinged its stance on the fact that it is not a revenue generating government agency. Rather, it is an autonomous arm of government. Many have criticised the National Assembly for its decision but nobody has been able to fault the rationale for its decision. This position then set a scenario for suspicion. It is this suspicion that underpinned the motion moved on the floor of the Senate on November 11, 2015 titled “Abuse and Mismanagement of the Treasury Single Account Regime” sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye. He alleged that the nation is being shortchanged by a collusion of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and the platform provider,
SystemSpecs, owner of REMITA. The Senate then ordered its committees on Finance; Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; and Public Accounts to coalesce into a joint committee and investigate the operations of the TSA. It is interesting what the joint committee came up with. The CBN was required to provide the Electronic Transfer Platform for the TSA when it started in 2012. The apex bank said it lacked the capacity and then selected SystemSpecs as a stop gap solution. In the appointment of this platform provider, two conflicting contracts were created. In the first contract dated March 28, 2011, signed by a Deputy Governor of CBN, the deployment of the REMITA and training for staff of MDAs, the cost of the service was to be N85.1 million. The contract was to last 12 months. The fee was to be N100 on every million transferred. On this contract, there was also a snag. Though the Accountant General did not endorse this contract as required, “some middle level officials at the CBN still went ahead to purportedly issue a renewal of CBN’s contract with SystemSpecs”. Also, instead of a year extension requested by the platform provider, the committee noted that while the purported request granted tenure of one year, “the language and content of the so-called renewal contract that ought to have been determined by the award letter suddenly granted an automatic, timeless and limitless engagement”. This fact is deductible from the provision of Clause 4 of the new contract, which deals with Commencement and Duration of the contract. It says “The parties have agreed that this agreement shall commence on the date of its execution for a term of one year and shall continue unless terminated in
accordance with the terms contained in this Agreement.” The committee also discovered an alteration of the fee regime in Clause 3 which now states that “A tariff of one per cent (1%) of funds collected shall be charged for government revenue collection”. The new tariff rate is to be shared at the ratio of 50 per cent to SystemSpecs, 40 per cent to the DMBs as collecting agents and 10 per cent to CBN as introducer. The Senate committee however noted that based on the provision of Sections 80 (4) and 162 (1) can be taken from the Federation Account without the approval of the National Assembly. Since the money said to be transferred under TSA does not fall under revenue collection but mere movement of funds from one account to the CBN account, the CBN approved banking tariff in its Revised Guide to Bank Charges which covers this type of transaction is between N500 to N700 per transaction. Using that rate for the transactions made between March and October 2015 on the REMITA platform, the appropriate charge on the N1.32 trillion transferred in 937,869 transactions is N656,508,300 using the upper limit of N700 tariff per transaction. But alas, using the one per cent rate smuggled into the unapproved agreement, the Senate committee noted that N7.65 billion was deducted upfront by SystemSpecs. This translated to a loss of N7 billion to the government. This arrangement, according to the Senate, runs counter to the war against wastage, corruption and leakages in government revenue management. -Quassim wrote from Abuja READ FULL TEXT ONLINE
T H I S D AY ˾WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
The Battle for Abia North Nta Orji Uduma writes that the rerun poll this Saturday in Abia North Senatorial District is a battle that will separate the boys from the men
head of the March 5 rerun for Abia North senatorial zone of Abia State, political activities in the zone have heightened with political parties and candidates fine-tuning their strategies for victory at the poll. Visibly, four political parties have fielded candidates for the election and they include the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Nnenna Nma Lancaster-Okoro as candidate; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Mao Ohuanunwa; All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief David Ogba and Chief Orji Uzor Kalu of the Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA). The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had last year sacked Senator Mao Ohuabunwa of the PDP and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election for the senatorial zone. The PDP candidate Ohuabunwa was declared winner of the election which was conducted by INEC in April 11 and the tribunal which sat in Umuahia upheld the election in which Orji Uzor Kalu of the PPA challenged the outcome of the exercise. But delivering judgment on the Appeal filed by the PPA candidate, Justice I.G. Mbaba noted that the senatorial poll which produced Ohuabunwa of the PDP was marred by high level irregularities and that the results were mutilated. The judges therefore ruled that “it was better for a fresh election which would be transparent and credible because the previous poll was marred by fraud and the results were mutilated”. The judgment of the Appeal Court was described victory for democracy as there was proven evidence that the mandate of the people was subverted in that election. But as the political parties and their candidates return to the status quo ahead of this Saturday’s rerun, the electorate in the zone expects that INEC performs a credible election that would reflect the wishes of the people in the zone. The election is poised to be a battle between the giants, political ‘Irokos’ and the biblical David, who are rated underdogs that might pull surprises in the poll. Political analysts opine that the zone has suffered underdevelopment, poverty and neglect since the advent of the present political dispensation and that despite the caliber of politicians from the zone, who had represented the people, there is nothing on the ground to show for it. Political observers and opinion polls conducted within the zone show that the people are desirous of change. They want
to try new hands and new names as old faces, who have dominated the political scene of the zone had failed the expectations of the people. A non-governmental organisation under the aegis of Mandate for Good Governance in Abia North (MAGGN) which conducted an opinion poll in the zone came up with a result that the people of the zone want change. MAGGN said “Over 80 per cent of the respondents from the zone have become disenchanted and disillusioned by the failure of the so called big names in the zone since 1999 and want a change, which they believe would up-turn their political fortunes for better. Briefing journalists after their exercise recently in Umuahia, the leader of MAGGN, Orji Eke Udensi, said “Abia North people yearn for change and they see the candidate of the APC, Nnenna Nma Lancaster-Okoro as a better candidate that is outstanding in all ramifications and stands a better chance of effective representation of the zone. He said a majority of the electorate in the zone see him as the symbol of change that would transform and connect the zone to
As the political parties and their candidates return to the status quo ahead of this Saturday’s rerun, the electorate in the zone expects that INEC performs a credible election that would reflect the wishes of the people in the zone. The election is poised to be a battle between the giants, political ‘Irokos’ and the biblical David, who are rated underdogs that might pull surprises in the poll
the center politics. According to him, the electorate in the zone had decried what they have suffered under the hands of inept politicians, whose only achievements have been to enrich their pockets while the zone continued to wallow in abject poverty and under development. “The people said they had a governor from the zone, who was at the saddle for eight years and many others, who had represented the zone at the federal level and the National Assembly but the question is: what have they attracted to the zone in the past sixteen years?” The organisation observed. MAGGN noted that there is no federal presence in the zone. All the federal roads in the zone are death traps, the hospitals even the only one from the state located at Ohafia has been overgrown by weeds and rodents under the watchful eyes of a former governor from the zone. “We don’t want our people to be deceived again by this money bags, whose stock in trade is to come out during elections and give the people peanuts from their ill-gotten wealth after which the people are abandoned in penury. “We have critically assessed all the candidates currently jostling to represent the zone in the senate and we have come to the conclusion that the APC candidate Lancaster-Okoro has an impeccable character and pedigree and possesses the best credentials with the interest of the people at heart and would make a better senator for our people”. Udensi, therefore, called on the people of the zone to be vigilant and vote for the APC candidate for a better Abia North that would be linked to the centre for the positive development of the people of the zone and appealed to INEC not to compromise the wishes of the people of the zone as well as avoid a repetition of flaws that characterised the cancelled exercise. But the APC candidate enjoys the overwhelming support of the people as they root for a change especially considering the pedigree of the contestant and her intimidating qualifications and experience. Lancaster-Okoro is from Ugwuavo Village in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State. She is a Telecommunications Engineer and a Lawyer. She combines several years of legal and business experiences, communication expertise and professional consulting to create insightful, motivating and highly customised executives services to public and private sector clients. She is an experienced international lawyer, who understands the unique chal-
lenges faced by lawyers handling cross border issues. She is a graduate of English/ philosophy combined Hons, from the University of Lagos and trained as a network and Telecommunications Engineer in the United Kingdom before She later qualified as a lawyer. She gained a post-graduate diploma in law at Middlesex University London and completed her law school at the College of Law, Sore Street, London before she went back to Middlesex University for a Master’s Degree in International Economics Law (LLM) in which she achieved a distinction in her dissertation on intellectual property rights and an overall merit in 2004. She also attended BPP in London for a professional Skills Course and passed the relevant business Finance exams in 2009. She was awarded a scholarship from Harvard University (Herchel Smith) in 2006 for a PhD Course in Intellectual Property Rights. She presently consults for major International firms and also runs an NGO that helps to resettle women affected by Violence – REWOVINA. Speaking with journalists recently at Ohafia, Lancaster-Okoro dismissed her opponents as lacking the intellectual prowess for the effective representation that would turn around for the best, the political development of the people of the zone. “What I have, my opponents don’t have. I have compassion but they don’t have it because if they have it Abia North Senatorial zone wouldn’t have remained underdeveloped as it is today after their many years of governance in the state and country. “Some of them come out without knowing what the Senate entails, just because they have cornered wealth meant for the people, they move around giving people peanuts. We need human development and these people have not given it to our people in the past years,” she said. Lancaster-Okoro stated in her manifesto to perform the roles of a parliamentarian, which are lawmaking, holding government to account (oversight duties), solving constituency problems and promoting the interests and economy of her constituency, supporting her political party policy and working with civil society organisation. Many residents of Abia State see the APC candidate as a gem for the zone and the country and despite the fact that she is new on the turf; she has the confidence and possesses what would turn the political expectations of her people into reality. But while she is riding on a high profile acceptance and overwhelming endorsement across the zone, her opponents are not faring better. -Uduma wrote from Umuahia
Breaking the Piracy Syndicate Chiemelie Ezeobi writes on the recent daring operation of the Nigerian Navy that broke the back of one of the most notorious piracy syndicates, which had unleashed a reign of terror on maritime vessels in Nigeria waters
The notorious pirates and the recovered arms and ammunition
rom all indications, it was a well oiled-operation given the successes they had recorded in the past before they met their waterloo recently in the hands of the Nigerian Navy (NN). Call them professional pirates and you would not be far from the truth. These groups of pirates had already gained a name for themselves based on their notoriety. Made up of Nigerians and Ghanaians, the union of both countries saw to many successful heists and hijacks at sea and the sale of the ill-gotten petroleum products to willing customers. Often armed with highly sophisticated weaponry including grenades, the eight-man syndicate was made up of marine and ship engineers, captains, armourers, trackers, who help in piloting any stolen vessel, especially their targets of oil tankers. Their modus operandi is to monitor a vessel they want and they target it until it's sailing alone and then they swoop in like vultures. They overpower the crew and then lock them up and sail with them till they sight another vessel they want. In this particular incident, the pirates had already hijacked an oil boat named Dejikun, at the Lagos Port, sacked its crew members before using it for their illicit operation. The stolen vessel was said to belong to a popular oil boat operator simply identified as Charles, who resides at the Lekki area of Lagos. Upon hijacking the vessels, the pirates always keep the crew members as hostages until they sell off the stolen products and abandon the vessel for parts unknown to recoup their supplies before they strike again. Also, to evade arrest, the gang often deletes the real name of the stolen vessel and imprints their own names and they also disconnect the radar which disseminates information
on a ship's location to other ships. With that practice, they have continued to evade arrest until now. The Hijack In this particular incident, it was on February 11, 2016, that the pirates struck again off the coast of Abidjan, Ivory Coast and hijacked an oil tanker, the Panama-flagged Maximus, owned by Emirati company, which had a
We were far off the shore when it happened and we are not trained to defend pirates so we were practically helpless. They hijacked our ship and took total control. They were prepared. They had marine and ship engineers who could control the ship. They locked us up in the citadel. We were there for days
crew of 18 from India, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Sudan and Ghana and was carrying 4,700 tons of diesel fuel. The pirates, identified as Captain Mike Ogboroma, Ayo Joshua, Marcus Adesoji, Adeyemi Paul, Oluwafemi Samuel and Collins Friday, had renamed the stolen vessel as MT ELVIS-5. After the hijack, the pirates were also said to have disconnected the radar which disseminates information on a ship location to other ships, in order to evade arrest, after which two of the pirates escaped from the stolen vessel by using two crew members, a Pakistani and an Indian, as hostage bait. After the vessel was hijacked, the 18-man crew members were locked up in a citadel for eight days, with torture and pain being the order of the day. They were also denied access to their belongings and phones. The Rescue Mission Although an American vessel had witnessed the hijack, their initial attempt to chase the ship proved abortive as it turned and fled South-west towards Togo. Unable to continue the chase of the vessel which has left its route completely, the American ship was said to have radioed Togolese Navy to take over. The Togolese Navy was said to have however notified the Nigerian Navy, which deployed three naval ships, NNS OKPABANA, NNS CENTENARY and NNS SAGBAMA to the rescue. While OKPABANA and SAGBAMA were deployed from Lagos, CENTENARY was deployed from the Central Naval Command, thereby smoking the hijackers at a corner on international waters, off SAO Tome. Upon sighting the naval ships, the hijackers who allegedly refused to surrender, shut down the oil tanker and opened fire on the navy. However, the naval personnel braved the
odds and forcibly boarded the vessel and rescued the crew members, but not before one of pirates were gunned down. The six men who were paraded at the naval dockyard also had in their possession, 11 phones including a satellite phone, nine SIM cards, different currencies including Ghana cedis, dollars, pounds, naira and euro. They also had charms and two AK47 guns and a double barrel gun. Also recovered were magazine ammunition and expelled pellets. So, in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas zero tolerance to illegalities in the maritime domain, operatives of the NN arrested the six suspected pirates on Saturday, February 19, after the vessel was recaptured at about 310 miles from Lagos and was on escorted Monday into Lagos harbor. Recounting the daring move by the naval personnel, the Commanding Officer, NNS OKPABANA, Captain Olusegun Ferreira, who led the team said, "They delivered a rain of fire and we released some warning shots at the superstructure of the vessel at intervals of 20 minutes. Thereafter, we decided to board the vessel forcefully. It was a decision I had to take at the last minute and I must confess a very tough decision because pushing my men out into harm’s way is not an easy decision to be taken but we had to take it because something needed to be done. "We boarded the vessel in a swift and professional manner and we had to take over the bridge immediately and in the process, one of the hijackers was sighted and had to be engaged immediately in order to pose no harm to my men. We had one hijacker down and the captain was able to quickly rush out and when we secured the captain and three others and thereafter I ordered that we should continue negotiation because
• T H I S D AY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
FEATURES they were still onboard. "We tried to lure them out that we meant no harm, rather we were being objective to secure the crew and vessel safely. They refused to listen and answer us but we knew they were still down there. Luckily, the crew were able to come out and we took them back to my ship (NNS OKPABANA). It was there we started to strategise on how to take on the hijackers. "We started negotiating with them again until about 9pm when the first came out arms raised without any arms. He was taken into custody and we continued negotiating and a little bit of fire fight in the area they were located and little before 5am, five of them emerged and we arrested them and took them onboard our ship and returned the crew back to their ship with some of our men. "It was a daring mission but executed professionally and with no casualty on our side. It was 360 nautical miles away from the shores of this country and this shows the regional reach of the NN, not just as a national power but also as a regional power. In the morning of Friday, February 19, before we intercepted the vessel, we understood that they probably saw us shadowing the hijacked vessel and they escaped and took two hostages." Also, the Chief of Naval Training and Operations (CTOP), Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, said the naval team was highly professional and was cautious to avoid fire outbreak. Babalola, who visited the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, where the recovered vessel was berthed, was in the company of the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Raphael Osondu; the Director Naval Information, Commodore Chris Ezekobe and the Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Abraham Adaji. Babalola, who disclosed that the operation was coordinated from the naval headquarters in Abuja, commended the cooperation of neighbouring navies. He also said the success of the operations was with the help of the FALCON EYE, a technology that increases the reach of the navy at sea. He said, "It is normal that they change the name of the vessel and switch off the AIS System just to evade arrest but what we did was to dispatch NNS OKPABANA but because we weren't sure the number of days we will spend at sea, we also dispatched NNS SAGBAMA and NNS CENTENARY from the Ventral Naval Command was on standby to relieve them. "We gave pursuit and backed them to a corner but the first challenge we had was that the pirates said we cannot touch them because they were at international waters but we debunked it and told them that they were in the corridors of the Joint Development Zone. “The team that went for the operation sighted a mother rogue vessel with the two pirates and two kidnapped crew members. The rogue vessel is not in Nigeria at the moment. It is somewhere around Equitorial Guinea and contacts have been established with the authorities there to ensure their
It was in a bid to tackle crude oil theft, piracy and other maritime illegalities that the Nigerian Navy acquired a mass civil surveillance system known as the FALCON EYE, to enable it monitor and track suspected crude oil thieves and other sea criminals within the nation's territorial waters
Some rescued crew members of the oil vessel
L-R: The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Raphael Osondu; the Chief of Naval Training and Operations (CTOP), Rear Admiral Henry Babalola and the Director Naval Information, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, at the parade of suspects in Lagos The captain of the hijacked vessel, Pillai Krishna
release." The Indian defense attache, Captain Gautam Marwaha, who was also on ground to receive their nationals, said one hostage is an Indian national and the other is believed to be from Pakistan. He said they have received no ransom demand. The Captain's Tale After they were rescued, the captain and its crew were treated and safely taken back to their vessel but this time, with naval personnel onboard to safeguard it until the mission is completed. Speaking to THISDAY, the captain of the oil vessel, Pillai Krishna said the pirates were highly sophisticated as they came onboard with grenades and other weaponry, adding that they were beaten up severely. He said, "It was a very bad experience. It was also unexpected and they were obviously prepared for the operation. This is my 10 years as a sea man and I haven't experienced anything like this before. Look at our faces and see our experiences. They attacked from nowhere and bullets were passing over our heads. We were far off the shore when it happened and we are not trained to defend pirates so we were practically helpless. "They hijacked our ship and took total control. They were prepared. They had marine and ship engineers who could control the ship. They locked us up in the citadel. We were there for days. They will cook chicken and pass by us eating it. It was until Saturday that rescue came in the form of the navy. "The navy captain assured me of our safety. He told me that they will give their lives
for us. I have never seen such thing in my life. However, I want to plead that our two colleagues, an Indian and a Pakistani, who were taken hostage to be rescued too." The Gains of RMAC and FALCON EYE It is without gainsaying that the recent successes was with the help of the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Centre (RMAC) and the FALCON EYE, two surveillance infrastructures that aids the monitoring and tracking of vessels at sea. Stressing that if the lanes are not safe, shipping will become more expensive and in the long run, the effect will be transferred to consumers, Rear Admiral Babalola said the surveillance structures were a great help in the mission. Also giving credit to the enhanced platforms acquired by the navy, Babalola said another plus was based on cooperation and more scientific ways of monitoring the maritime environment. Mentioning the FALCON EYE project, he said, "The falcon eye is a state of the art gadget that actually monitors the maritime environment from the safe confines of your home and office. It's not enough to say that illegalities are happening. The question is what do you have to interdict when you get an information. For example, if you are attacking offshore Lagos and you don't allow ships and boats to go there, the information is useless to you. "But now in all the commands you have standby vessels that can prosecute these information. In the next seven months, we will launch the Falcon Eye properly at the
Naval Headquarters but what would have even made it more better is that we are supposed to have radar sights in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos and Araromi in Ondo. But it's been difficult and we have involved the presidency now and the National Security Adviser to advise the governors that it's in their own interest to give them access to it and the radar will complement the Falcon Eye as it will increase our horizon well and far above 200 nautical miles." It was in a bid to tackle crude oil theft, piracy and other maritime illegalities that the NN acquired an Israeli-installed mass civil surveillance system known as the FALCON EYE, to enable it monitor and track suspected crude oil thieves and other sea criminals within the country’s territorial waters. The system was designed to assist in monitoring, tracking and collating maritime activities to protect national interest, thus, it would enable the force monitor the movement of vessels within the country’s territorial water and the Gulf of Guinea and enable them also to track such vessels and ultimately arrest them. The project also has the ability to analyze and share information with stakeholders to enable them have a better understanding of maritime security issues, thus providing a centre where the activities within the exclusive economic zone would be monitored. While this recent mission by the navy was undoubtedly successful, the onus however lies on them to sustain the tempo in ensuring that the corridors of the nation's maritime domain remain safe and secure.
Group Executive Director, Conoil Plc, Oyindamola Mike-Adenuga (middle); flanked by the dealer, Conoil Station, Lekki, Mr Akinyemi Omoyemi (left), and Executive Director, Conoil Plc, Mr. Yinka Adebiyi during the inauguration of Conoil ultra modern station, Chevron Roundabout, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos on Monday, ABIODUN AJALA
L-R; President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Ogun State Commisioner for Commerce & lndustry, Bimbo Ashiru and former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo at the 60th birthday of Ben Murray-Bruce in Lagos...recentl
R-L; Redhot Promo Winner, Marcellinus Sedi; RedHot Promo 3 Winner Ugorchi Chidi;RedHot Promo 3 winner Mamiyo Abisu ;Communications Manager, Airtel Nigeria Erhumu Bayagbon, and RedHot Promo Winner James Jondi, at the World’s tallest building, Burj Kalifa, during a special tour for winners of the just concluded Airtel RedHot Promo 3, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates...recently
L-R; Mr Jola Peters; Mrs Adenike Omosehin; Barrister Kole Ajayi and Mr Olumide Ogunsusi during the Inauguration ceremony of Vision Kole Ajayi Ekiti 2018 in Lagos...recently
L-R: MBA Director, Lagos Business School, Dr Uchenna Uzo; Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr Enase Okonedo; Country Managing Director, Accenture, Niyi Yusuf and West Academic Director, Lagos Business School, Dr. Yinka David, at the LBS MBA Career Fair 2016 in Lagos...recently
L-R: Harpic Brand Ambassador, Helen Paul; Marketing Director, RB West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili and GM, RB West Africa, Rahul Murgai, at the RB/Save the Children Initiative charity Ball in Lagos...recently.
President, National Association of Seadogs,worldwide (NAS), Prince Ifeanyi Onochie(left) and the Akibio of Iloraland, Afijio LGA, Oyo State, Oba Stephen Olufemi Oyeniyi Oparinde, during a courtesy visit by NAS to the palace of the Oba at the start of their Medical Mission in Iloraland ....recently
L-R; Programe Director, Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, Dara Akala; Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Ubani Uguru Usani and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme and S A to the President on Niger Delta, Brig Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) during a Technical Workshop on ‘Niger Delta, Way Forward: From Stabilisation to Sustainable Development in Abuja...recentl Julius Atoi
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
BUSINESSWORLD R A T E S
OVERDRAFT PRIME NORMAL LENDING
LOAN PRIME LOAN
F E B R U A R Y 2 6 ,
DEPOSIT/LENDING SAVINGS ACCOUNT STRICT CALL 7 DAYS
2.3119% 2.8642% 3.2102%
60 DAYS 90 DAYS 180 DAYS
6.4400% 7.2438% 7.2417%
2 0 1 6
EXCHANGE RATE N155.70 US DOLLAR* *AS AT LAST FRIDAY
Quick Takes Firms to Raise $3.1bn via IPOs
African companies are likely to launch more than a dozen initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, defying commodity price drops and capital flight from emerging markets, international law firm Baker & McKenzie said on Monday. If transactions in the pipeline are concluded they are likely to raise $3.1 billion, some $1.5 billion more than was raised by last year’s 21 IPOs on the continent, Reuters quoted Baker & McKenzie, a leading law firm by deal count for mergers and acquisitions in emerging markets, in a statement. The projected amount to be raised will be the highest since 2010, the law firm said, adding a lack of demand at home could force companies to seek dual listings abroad to expand the pool of investors. “Fifteen IPOs are already in the pipeline, with one, Nigeria’s Interswitch, which processes payments for banks and operates in five African countries, could be Africa’s first billion-dollar IPO,” the firm said in a statement. Other IPOs expected include the self-listing of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, Botswana Telecoms and real estate fund Tadvest’s dual listing in Mauritius and Namibia, Baker & McKenzie said.
FirstBank Fetes Customers with Products
WOOING FOREIGN INVESTORS
L-R: Vice President, Ansteel Group Corporation, Yu Zisu; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Deputy Director, Anyang Group International Trade Corporation, Li Fushi; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and Assistant President, China Railway Construction Corporation, Chen Xiaoxing, during the minister’s meeting with executives of some Chinese firms in Abuja... recently
Experts Seek Improved Tax System to Raise Nigeria’s Revenue Obinna Chima The federal government has been advised to strengthen its tax system, which has been described as a more sustainable option to raise government revenue. Analysts at the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC) gave the advice in the latest economic report. The Lagos-based research and investment firm noted that unlike revenue from oil and other exports, taxes have a very limited vulnerability to external pressure, adding that it takes less time, effort and
ECONOMY cost to improve tax collection than to implement other longterm development plans such as agricultural reformation, construction of refineries that are expected to contribute to revenue. Many have advocated the revival of the agricultural sector as the way out of the present economic challenge facing the nation. It is expected that agriculture would diversify the nation’s exports and thus expand the supply source of its foreign exchange. In 2014, total tax revenue
from the Federal Board of Inland Revenue was N4.69 trillion, from N4.78 trillion in 2013. From this, the tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio was 5.9 per cent in 2013 and 4.3 per cent in 2014, which was substantially lower than the sub-Saharan African average of 21 per cent in 2014. To this, the FDC report stated: “This declining trend is not a problem of inappropriate policy but rather one of an inefficient tax collection system. Currently, the Nigerian tax system is generating much less than its potential. Because the tax officials are not well trained
and equipped or well-paid and monitored there has been inefficiency and corruption in the past. “In addition, the widespread perception that the government is corrupt and will not efficiently expend the collected revenue for the good of the general public, acts as a deterrent to tax payers. This is further complicated by the unnecessarily onerous process involved in the payment of tax.” According to PwC’s report, “Paying Taxes 2016,” a research that measures the Continued on page 24
Investors Trade N99bn Shares on Nigerian Bourse in Two Months Goddy Egene Investors traded 18.336 billion shares worth N99.198 billion in January and February 2016 on the Nigerian bourse, according to statistics obtained by THISDAY on Monday. An analysis of the shares traded showed that February accounted for the highest both in volume and value. Investors traded 12.166 billion shares worth N57.145 billion in February compared to 5.668 billion shares valued at N42.05 billion exchanged in January. A further analysis of the performance in February indicated that the highest volume and value of shares were traded in the first week, where investors exchanged 5.087 billion shares valued at N18.488
STOCK MARKET billion. This was followed by last week, which accounted for 4.47 billion shares worth N11.742 billion, while the second week recorded 1.407 billion shares valued at N17.277 billion. Investors traded 1.202 billion shares for N9.641 billion in the third week of the month. However, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index, which measures the aggregate growth of the market, has declined by 14.22 per cent in the two months under review. But for a gain of 2.754 per cent recorded in February, the decline would have been higher. The ASI had dipped by 16.5 per cent in January alone before it appreciated by 2.75 per cent
in February. A breakdown of trading data for the month January 2016, had shown that the second week of accounted for the highest value of transaction. Investors staked N14.165 billion on 2.177 billion shares in 21,471 deals. The third week followed with N10.753 billion invested in 2.177 billion shares in 21,471 deals, while the fourth week recorded N9.463 billion staked on 1.133 billion shares in 16,680 deals. The first week accounted for the lowest transaction with investors investing N7.669 billion in 899 million shares in 14,164 deals. Market analysts said the value of the trading in the first month of the year reflected the economic headwinds, which
have affected the market performance. The Nigerian equities market is currently suffering from the impact of adverse macro-economic situation largely due to a drastic drop in the prices of oil, negative public sentiment which is related to the state of the macro-economy and exit of foreign portfolio investors in reaction to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on policy on foreign exchange. The headwinds notwithstanding, Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema had advised investors to take a portfolio approach to investing in the market. Presenting the NSE 2015 Continued on page 24
In keeping with its tradition of stimulating the economy and encouraging bi-lateral trade relations between Nigeria and its trading partners, FirstBank Nigeria Limited said it has deployed cutting-edge technology to drive its products and services at the 37th edition of Kaduna trade fair. During the on-going 10-day fair, the bank explained in a statement that its broad clientele and prospective ones would benefit from its financial advisory services, on-line-real-time banking, internet banking, cards products, consumer finance products, Western Union/MoneyGram and a bouquet of innovative and lifestyle-fit products and services. The trade fair, which was formally declared open last Saturday attracted participants from 10 countries. This year’s edition titled: “Promoting Solid Minerals Sector for Sustainable Economic Development of Nigeria” is aimed at supporting the realisation of the multiple potentials of the solid minerals sector, especially its ability to become a major source of the country’s revenue earner and massive job creation with solid minerals fast becoming a strategic income earner in the nation’s economy. Over the years, the fair has attracted both local and foreign exhibitors and has continued to provide avenue for various trade groups and professionals to present new products, services and ideas as well as tap into business opportunities that exist in the country particularly in the solid mineral industry.
Policymakers Tackle Data Challenges
Comparable, high quality and timely data are critical to support sound policymaking and foster economic growth in Agip. Senior officials from over 40 African countries, as well as representatives from academia, banks, rating agencies, think tanks, and international organisations debated the particular data challenges facing African policymakers at a conference in Accra recently. It was one of the largest conferences on the continent on the importance of data for better macroeconomic policies. The conference was organised by the government of Ghana, the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID). In opening remarks, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana, Seth Terkper, stressed that enhanced data for better policies is a “fundamental key” to accelerating the economic growth of the region in the coming decades. He added that “all of our efforts to strengthen our statistical framework contribute to enhancing our capacity to implement better policies, which also enhances our relationship with credit rating agencies, thus allowing us to deepen our access to markets.”
It is on record that the usage of alternative channels has increased tremendously thereby impacting on the lives of Nigerians Deputy Governor (Operations), CBN, Alhaji Suleiman Barau
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
EXPERTS SEEK IMPROVED TAX SYSTEM TO RAISE NIGERIA’S REVENUE
ease of paying tax, Nigeria ranks 181 out of 189 countries. “Thus, the problem of inefficient mobilisation of tax needs to be solved to improve internally generated revenue. At the state level, Lagos offers a valuable lesson. As the nation’s commercial hub, Lagos state has a population of about 21 million, of which at least 20 per cent are in the working class. In 2012, the Lagos State government generated N219 billion internally, amounting to 55 per cent of the proposed budget for that year. “Of this internally generated revenue, 78 per cent stemmed from pay-as-you- earn taxes (income tax). The state’s success is due to its rigorous collection of tax at all levels of enterprise- even small scale businesses. This cumulative collection has funded Lagos’ fast development and industrialisation.
INVESTORS TRADE N99BN SHARES ON NIGERIAN BOURSE IN TWO MONTHS market recap and 2016 outlook in Lagos, in January Onyema had said the current state of the market created both challenges and opportunities for investors. “We believe that taking a portfolio approach to investing provides the best risk adjusted alternative for participating in the capital market. As such, we want to ensure that the NSE provides a repertoire of products that will allow investors to create well diversified portfolios of uncorrelated asset classes,” he said. According to the NSE boss, the negative performance of the stock market is a reflection of the domestic economy and to some extent, international economic performance. He said assured investors not to panic, saying once there is recovery in economy, the stock market will equally bounce back. “It would have been more worrisome if the economy is going down and the stock market is going up. But what is currently happening is a reflection of the heath of the nation’s economy,” he said.
Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (AgricBusiness)
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the planned adoption of a second foreign exchange (forex) window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). While some players in the manufacturing sector argue that a second foreign exchange window will make no difference to what they are facing currently, analysts believe a second, more ”free” window would be well received, for example, by oil majors, NGOs and embassies selling foreign exchange for their local expenses, by non-oil exporters and by foreign direct investors. While stressing that a large gap would remain, analysts at FBN Capital stated, however, that a system of two windows is more suited to an economy in which exports sensitive to the exchange rate dominate (such as cocoa and coffee). The CBN currently operates the Inter Bank Foreign Exchange Window where the official exchange rate is fixed at N197 to one United States Dollar. In 2013, the CBN closed the Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) and Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) Foreign Exchange window to help stabilise the nation’s currency. Last December, the Central Bank stopped the sale of foreign exchange to all the 2,786 licensed Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators across the country. The ban was announced by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at a special media briefing in Abuja when the naira reached N285 against the
dollar at the parallel market. He said with the decision, the CBN would no longer provide foreign exchange to the BDCs, adding that henceforth, all BDC operators must source for foreign exchange from autonomous sources. Further commenting on the matter the analysts said, “We have seen the commentary in the local media about the adoption by the CBN of a second foreign exchange window. Since we can find no official endorsement, we are treating the policy as perhaps the
subject of a discussion paper that has somehow entered the public domain. The idea, we understand, is that the current rate is available for priority transactions and a second, less managed rate covers all other goods and services. We assume that the CBN would regulate both windows: otherwise “speculative attacks, round tripping and frontloading activities by actors in the FX market” (the governor’s words) would be expected to prevail.” However, they stressed that such a system dovetails
with CBN thinking because it establishes import priorities and involves extensive regulation. “The question then becomes what impact a system of two windows would have on foreign exchange supply. The more the second window was allowed to move freely, the greater would be the impact. We assume that its adoption would not affect the circular on the 41 banned import items. Emefiele had, while explaining the decision by the CBN to stop sale of foreign exchange to BDCs, said Nigeria was the
only country in the world where the central bank would provide the BDC operators with foreign exchange, adding that with the continued depletion of the foreign reserves, such funding was no longer sustainable. For instance, the governor said that between July 2014 and January this year, the country’s external reserves had suffered a great pressure from speculative attacks, round-tripping and front-loading activities by actors in the foreign exchange market.
L-R: Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Vitablom Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olalekan Sanni; Shareholder, Chief Samuel Bolarinde; Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mrs. Titi Bakare and Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi at Vitablom’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos …recently
IITA,NNPC/CNLJVLaunchYouthAgriculture Enugu to Revive Moribund Programme Industries Crusoe Osagie The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Chevron Nigeria Limited, (CNL), operator of the joint venture (JV) between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and CNL (the “NNPC/CNL JV”), have launched a youth-in-agriculture (agripreneur) programme, aimed at providing training opportunities for young men and women to venture into agribusiness. CNL launched the agripreneur programme in collaboration with the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC), the Egbema and Gbaramatu Central Development Foundation (EGCDF), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND). The pilot programme, which was targeted at forty youths from the Itsekiri and Ijaw communities in areas where the NNPC/CNL JV operates in Delta State was flagged off in a ceremony at PIND’s Economic Development Centre at Egbokodo, Warri. The event was attended by various stakeholders including representatives of the Delta State Government, the IRDC and the EGCDC (the bodies representing the Itsekiri and the Ijaw communities in the NNPC/CNL JV Global Memorandum of Understanding
(GMoU) process), IITA, PIND, CNL and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), an arm of NNPC. CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Deji Haastrup stated that the objectives of the agripreneur pilot programme, which will gulp over N188 million, include empowering youths to embrace agriculture and agribusiness as income generating activities and training them on aquaculture, cassava, plantain/banana production and processing. In addition, the pilot program will assist the Community Youths in Agribusiness Group (CYAG) to enhance the sustainability of the program. Haastrup stated that from the inception of the GMoU in 2005 to 2015, the NNPC/ CNL JV has contributed about N16.7 billion to the eight Regional Development Committees (RDCs) - including EGCDF and IRDC - through the GMoU process. Mr. Haastrup emphasised that following the successes recorded in infrastructural development in the communities, the GMoU+ was introduced as a new direction of the community development concept, which focuses on business development, income generation and economic empowerment as well as third party partnership and collaboration that align with the
Sustainable Development Goals. This project is in line with the GMoU+ and the Economic Growth Opportunities/Sustainable Livelihood Assessment studies opportunities identified. The Group General Manager, NAPIMS, Mr. Dafe Stephen Sejebor, represented by Deputy Manager, Community Development, Mrs. Clementina Arubi expressed delight at the agripreneur program and stated that the program will help encourage the youths to pursue other economic activities outside crude oil in the light of the challenging economic situation in the country. On his part, Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Austin Chikezie represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Ede Oghoro, applauded the efforts to embrace agriculture as an income generation activity. Oghoro said that the agripreneur programme accords with the state government’s agenda of strategic wealth creation projects and provision of jobs for all Deltans; Meaningful peace building platforms aimed at political and social harmony; agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialisation; relevant health and education policies and transformed environment through urban renewal (SMART), and pledged that trained youths from the program.
Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu Determined to drive the state to economic prosperity as well as attract investors to help boost the state’s business potential, Enugu state government has commenced plans for the organisation of a three-day Investment Summit billed for April 12 -14 this year. This came as the government equally identified about 17 moribund industries for revitalisation. Briefing newsmen at the Government House, recently, the Director-General of the Enugu State Investment Summit, Mr. Ike Chioke said the investment summit had become imperative in view of the need to shore up the state’s dwindling revenue, provide job opportunities for the teeming unemployment people as well as take the economy of the state to the next level. He said the summit would target both strategic and financial investors that understand the key sectoral focus of the state which he said include Solid Minerals and Mining, Power generation and Distribution, Agriculture and Agri-processing, Tourism and hospitality and Health Tourism Development. Other areas he identified are Transportation, Aviation and Railway, ICT, Media and Entertainment, Free Trade Zone, Manufacturing and Industrial Parks, Real Estate and finally
Tertiary Education Department. Chioke who was accompanied to the briefing by some members of the State’s Economic Advisory Committee including Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Sam OgbuNwobodo, his Special Duties/ Inter-Governmental Affairs counterpart, Rita Mbah, a former Economic Adviser to former president, Prof Osita Ogbu and the Executive Secretary of the State Economic Planning Commission, Dan Onyeishi said participants at the summit will appraise sectors of interest to them as well as understand the state’s strategic direction regarding those sectors. He noted that the state was open for business stressing that the sectors that have been selected for investment focus would go a long way in taking the state to the next level. For instance, he said in the tourism sector, the state has plans to revive the moribund Presidential and Ikenga hotels, adding that the state would also take advantage of the International Airport to host important conferences. In the area of health tourism, he said by the time the state’s Diagnostic centre was properly completed and become functional, other states would even take advantage of it and by so doing reduce frequent overseas trip for medically related activities.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Of DMO and Debt Enlightenment Given the reactions that trailed federal government’s plan to borrow to finance part of the 2016 budget, the Debt Management Office should do more to enlighten the public on the country’s debt profile, writes Goddy Egene
When considering past experience of Nigeria in terms of debt deployment, many Nigerians always kick against new moves by governments at all levels to borrow. Most part of money borrowed in the past, were wrongly deployed. And in some cases, the funds were completely diverted. Hence, skepticism and protests always greet attempts to increase the debt burden of the country. An analysis of the debt taken by Nigeria over the years will show that it is not commensurate with the level of infrastructural development. However, to achieve any rapid and meaningful development and growth, the country cannot rely solely on its internally generated revenue. The country needs to get extra funding that could accelerate the infrastructural development that will ultimately lead to growth of the economy. That was why some analysts said what was needed was proper utilisation of the money borrowed. Why nothing is wrong in borrowing, everything is wrong when the money borrowed is diverted. Besides, there is the issue of whether or not Nigeria has over borrowed. Analysts are divided on this. But the Debt Management Office (DMO) has restated that at below 20 per cent debt-to-gross domestic ratio, Nigeria is very much still in the comfort zone to borrow. One analyst, who believes Nigerian can still borrow for productive purposes is a development economist, Odlim Enwegbara. According to him, the DMO has been effective in the management of the country’s debt portfolio, adding that what should be the focus of the government is to ensure that debts being taken are project-driven. “This is, however, dependent on if our debt remains project-driven, particularly infrastructure-based loans that by reducing our current infrastructure deficit, reduce the present high cost of doing business and high interest rate causing high arbitrage,” he said. Comparing the debt-to-GDP ratio of some countries, Enwegbara said Japan’s stands at 224 per cent; Italy’s at 128.50 per cent; the United States at 107 per cent; France’s at 95 per cent; the United Kingdom’s at 89.80 per cent; South Africa 44 per cent; India’s 66 per cent; Brazil’s 60.8 per cent; Kenya’s 50 per cent; Ghana’s 67.50 per cent. “With Nigeria at 17 per cent, the country
has the opportunity to raise funds that are projects specific to fast-track the infrastructural development of the nation,” he declared. DMO’s Achievements Established in 2000, the DMO has recorded significant achievements. Prior to the establishment of DMO, the management of the nation’s debt prior to the establishment of the DMO the management of our national debt was characterised by systematic and structural deficiencies. In practice, debt management functions were split across several government departments including the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria. This approach was laden operational inefficiencies and poor coordination, inadequate debt data recording system and poor information flow across agencies. The result was inaccurate and incomplete loan records which gave rise to difficulties in the verification of creditors’ claims
Despite the numerous achievements and transformation DMO has brought to the management of debt in the country, many stakeholders believe there is the need for more enlightenment on its activities. According to them, as the government prepares to raise debt capital to finance part of the 2016 budget
arising from conflicting figures from various bodies handling the debt management function. However, the establishment of the DMO brought sanity into the system as it centralised the nation’s debt management functions with the statutory mandate of maintaining comprehensive, accurate and timely records of the nation’s debts, prudent management of the debt portfolio and negotiating with and ensuring debt relief from creditors. The emergence of Dr. Abraham Nwankwo at the helm of DMO on 2007 gave more fillip to the operations of the agency with positive impact on the economy. Given his solid academic background and position as one of the pioneer management staff of DMO, Nwankwo led the charge in the on-going transformation of the capital market and played a pivotal role in the repositioning, strengthening and resuscitation of the FGN Bond market. The DMO has formulated a National Debt Management Framework (NDMF), 2008-2012, a review of same and publication of the revised (2nd) NDMF, 2013-2017 which incorporated debt management policies and guidelines.The agency has ensured regular and timely servicing of government’s debt has continued to conduct an annual Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) and has successfully prepared a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS), 2012-2015 which is being implemented. One of the major objectives of MTDS is to achieve optimal composition of external and domestic debt structure and to ensure low cost of government debt consistent with a prudent level of risk. DMO has consistently promoted policies to encourage the creation of opportunities for private sector access to long term capital in both domestic and international capital markets in order to sustain and expand their businesses. Determined to facilitate access to the International Capital Market for Nigerian corporate players, DMO issued $500 million Sovereign Eurobond in 2011. This was followed with $1 billion dual-tranche Eurobonds in July 2013, thus creating benchmarks for corporate borrowers. In 2014, DMO issued FGN Bonds in Global Depository Note (GDN) format for the first time aimed at diversifying the investor base and attract foreign investors to the domestic
securities Market. Besides, DMO developed a template for the establishment of Debt Management Departments (DMDs) which include outline of the legal institutional human resource framework. All the 36 states including the federal capital territory (FCT) have established DMDs) in conjunction with the agency. Late last year, DMO assisted in the managing and restructuring of the debt of cash strapped states in the country as a result of their failure to meet their financial obligations. Following the announcement of a bailout package for the states by President Muhammadu Buhari, 22 states applied to DMO for their debts to be re-structured into Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds. The agency successfully concluded the restructuring of N322.788 billion short term commercial bank debts of 11 states out of the 22 states to long term domestic bond at 14.83 percent yield in 20 years. Carrying Nigerians Along Despite the numerous achievements and transformation DMO has brought to the management of debt in the country, many stakeholders believe there is the need for more enlightenment on its activities. According to them, as the government prepares to raise debt capital to finance part of the 2016 budget. “Considering the current economic challenges, some people believe borrowing more may throw the country into more indebtedness. This is one of the reasons DMO should do more so as to enlighten the citizenry on the need to borrow to fund the budget. Also, DMO should adopt a system whereby all parts of the country is reached for enlightenment. The more the people understand the debt position, the more support they would give to the government so as to find ways of funding the budget,” an analyst said. About N1.8 trillion will be borrowed from both domestic and foreign markets. Already, the DMO has concluded arrangements to raise between N260 billion and N350 billion from primary issue in the first quarter of 2016. Hence, the agency needs to do more in terms of enlightenment, reaching across to more people to understand how these funds would be deployed for growth and development of the country.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Alternative Channels as Future of Banking The payment space is already undergoing a major change primarily as a result of the impact of electronic payments, writes Obinna Chima We live in a world in which more and more things happen electronically as online activities continue to grow rapidly. That extends to payments as well as millions of people now access their bank accounts online, transferring money between accounts and paying off credit cards. Today, the number of people handling cash has been on the decrease as emphasis continues to shift to electronic payment services. Electronic payments and online financial services are turning the banking system and regulators on their heads. Electronic payment refers to technological systems that enables bank customers perform financial transactions electronically. A sound payment system infrastructure, where banks and their customers can transact business with confidence and convenience, trust and timeliness, underpins many of the reforms. That is why in Nigeria, there have been efforts over the years aimed at creating a robust financial system framework through several reform initiatives targeted at fostering stability and restoring confidence in the system. In 2007, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched the Payment Systems Vision 2020, which identified series of recommendations to increase the resilience of the payment system infrastructure in order to encourage the usage of electronic payment methods were inaugurated. Indeed, the economic benefits of migrating from cash-dominated environment to an electronic payment market are unquestionable. That is why experts have stressed the need for operators and regulators to continue to build and make safe and efficient services available as well as ensure that regulatory framework encourages innovation, but protects the stability of the payment system. Rise of Alternative Banking Channels For instance, with the growing adoption of the cashless policy and increased patronage of mobile money, the CBN recently has put the value of transactions recorded through that platform at N40 billion monthly The Chairman of the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Alhaji Sulaiman Barau, who is also the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), pointed out that the cashless policy has seen a tremendous growth since its introduction. Barau said: “It is on record that the usage of alternative channels has increased tremendously thereby impacting on the lives of Nigerians including funds transfers ease, reducing cash related crimes, safety of lives and so on. The mobile money scheme has also recorded tremendous growth monthly transaction value of over N40 billion. “The number of PoS terminals registered and deployed at the inception of the cashless policy in 2012 was about 5000 POS terminals. However, as at February 2016, the total number registered and deployed stands at 138,990 and at two weeks ago it was 132,000 showing that it is growing.” To Barau, the central bank is already implementing regulations that would facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the Payment Vision 2020. On his part, the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, had stressed that in line with global best practices, the CBN had decided to adopt a more collaborative approach to its regulation of the payment system in the country as well as promote self-regulation among e-payment schemes. He said the objective of the CBN is to facilitate economic activities by providing safe and efficient mechanisms for making and receiving payment with minimum risks to the central bank, payments service providers and end users. “We are not oblivious of international best practices and global standards and we strive continuously to ensure that the
Nigerian payment system is at the forefront of payment system development. “Having benchmarked against the principles for financial market infrastructure issued by the Committee on Payment and Settlement System (CPSS) of the bank for international settlement, we seek to bridge observable gaps through specific recommendations,” he added. Furthermore, he pointed out that the central bank had indicated a shift in its payment system regulatory stance. Some of these include strengthening of governance structure to reflect the significantly greater responsibility of scheme management, covering all aspects of risk, business management and operational resilience as well as the setting up of Scheme Management Board which has the responsibility to complete an annual self-assessment against the CPSS/ IOSCO PFMI. “The significance of this is that self-regulatory principle is being embraced by the Central Bank of Nigeria. This is intended to foster discipline among participants and enhance compliance level to regulations.
Sound payment system infrastructure, where banks and their customers can transact business with confidence and convenience, trust and timeliness, underpins many of the reforms
“It is however, in no way an abdication of the overseer role of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the national payment system.” FCMB e-Banking Offerings For First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, the need to continually build and sustain its values especially in the retail banking space is a task that is getting a lot of attention. As one of the leading financial services provider, the bank is aware of the fact that effective use of technology, innovations and topmost service delivery represents the future of banking and this is the way to go in order to attain the highest levels of customer advocacy. It is for this reason that FCMB has continued to embrace these priorities to keep pace with evolving consumer demands and market trends to consistently provide world-class banking experience at all its touch points. To further prove this, the bank recently upgraded its information technology infrastructure to the Finacle 10 Core Banking solution, from the Finacle 7 version. The advanced service-oriented architecture (SOA) of Finacle 10 helped the bank to optimise its processes, enhance system capability, performance, scalability and security, among others. This has ensured that transactions at the Bank’s branches and other touch points are faster with less downtime at its alternate channels, while also ensuring the provision of more innovative products to customers. Market research has also revealed that the bank’s electronic cards would benefit immensely from the information technology platform upgrade. It is widely acknowledged that FCMB provides one of the best alternate channels banking services cutting across ATMs, mobile banking, internet banking, FlashmeCash, Cards and Point of Sales (PoS) as it is ranked among the top 3 banks in PoS collections with more than 10 per cent market share. FCMB has continued to consolidate on these achievements while leading the industry in card issuance, immediately an account is opened. The bank’s internet banking platforms, FCMBOnline and FCMBOnline Business version, provide real-time solutions that allow the Bank’s customers 24/7 access to their accounts to carry out various transactions in a secure and convenient manner. The FCMBOnline, which is the brand
name of the retail internet banking platform of the bank, gives customers the opportunity to manage their finances anytime and from anywhere with the aid of any internet-enabled device. Among other features, the platform can be used to set-up standing instructions for periodic payments, check and download account statements in PDF, MS Word or Excel, request for ATM debit card/ Cheque book/ bank drafts, mobile banking, view credit card account and block ATM debit cards among others. In addition to the internet banking platforms, the Bank also offers mobile banking solution known as FCMBMobile. With this service, which is a value proposition that comes with a mobile app, customers of the bank can carry out banking transactions with the use of their mobile phones or other mobile devices anywhere and at anytime in a hasslefree manner without having to step into the banking hall. Commenting on the bank’s performance in electronic banking, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said that the feats achieved so far were inspired by FCMB’s quest to ensure that all segments of the population, especially the unbanked and the under-banked, embrace mainstream banking services. He also said the bank was conscious of the needs of its target market and the evolving dynamics of the society with an increasing technology savvy population. “Our e-banking and cards business remain a key focus area. We will continue to leverage on these to bring greater convenience and consistency of experience to our customers. That is why we have expanded our e-banking platforms to further raise the bar in products and service delivery using the opportunity provided by digital channels in banking. “We want to make banking transactions more exciting and rewarding. We will remain focused on improving operating efficiency, whilst also continuing with our steady customer acquisition drive and migration to alternate service channels to provide products and services that align with the lifestyles of our existing and potential customers. Overall, we are confident, our progress as an inclusive lender will be sustained, as we grow our market share and efficiency ratio,” Balogun added.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Gupta: CBN’s Forex Policy Will Enhance Real Sector Growth Recently the Central Bank of Nigeria excluded some imported goods from the list of items valid for foreign exchange from the official market. The chairman, African Industries Group, Raj Gupta shared with Eromosele Abiodun how the policy has spurred massive investments in the real sector and the challenges facing manufacturers African Industries Group has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years, Can you tell us about the company and what you do for the Group? I am Raj Gupta, Chairman of the African Industries Group. We have 12 manufacturing plants across Nigeria, out of which six are steel manufacturing plants. All together, we produce one million tons of steel, which account for at least 60 to 70 per cent of the steel requirement of Nigeria. Our plants are situated in several states starting from Lagos, where we have the African Steel Mills and Ikorodu Steel Mills. In Ogun State, we have African Foundries Limited. We have Abuja Steel Mills in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Trident Steel Mills in Port Harcourt and African Wires and Allied Industries in Agbara. Aside from steel, we manufacture glass and alum, which is used in water treatment and used by most of the state’s water board. We also manufacture sodium silicate, Sulphuric acid. In addition we generate power. In total, we are able to generate 108 megawatts of power and we are in the process of supplying power to the national grid. We also have a lead refinery where we produce refined lead ingots. We are a major supplier of industrial chemicals to most of the multinationals, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, food and beverage companies and the healthcare industry. Let me reinforce that, we are the only steel plant in Nigeria that is producing our own power and also sell power to the national grid. This demonstrates our business’ commitment to Nigeria. Our vision is to continue to add value to the Nigerian economy and our business. Now you have been in Nigeria since about four decades; as a major player in the manufacturing sector, can you share some of your experience and give an overview of the manufacturing sector? These are very challenging times for any manufacturer. As you are aware, the world economy is not doing too well at the moment, commodity prices have gone down and obviously Nigeria is affected by what is happening around the world. At the same time, the scarcity of foreign exchange is also affecting our business. Fortunately the federal government stepped in otherwise, I am sure most of the local industries would have folded up by now. By protecting the local industries by not giving foreign exchange to the 41 banned items, it has helped our industries in a very big way. Most countries around the world have imposed anti-dumping regulations on foreign goods, in Nigeria, there is no such mechanism. Regulations like this have protected countries and prevented people from importing substandard and cheap products into their markets. How will the government’s foreign exchange policy enhance your growth plans and capacity to employ more Nigerians? Currently we are looking at sustainability of the policy to help local industries survive. Growth is something that will take place as the countries grow. The country is going through a difficult time and this policy is helping us to survive to a large extent. We are praying that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to support the manufacturing sector. Remember that the manufacturing sector generates local employment. The steel sector is a labour intensive sector and in our case we source most raw materials locally. Our main input is scrap metal – it is collected by people who would otherwise be unemployed – whether graduates or under educated people. This alleviates a lot of the social problems of Nigeria. The production and sales process also generates many jobs.
In my opinion, the focus of the government on the steel sector is not commensurate with the importance of the steel sector as the single largest employer in the country. In recent times, I have talked to several local manufacturers and one of the complaint is the negative impact of cheap Chinese products. Aside this, what other challenges will you like the government to tackle to help the sector in Nigeria? If you look at things in a fair way, people should be able to appreciate quality. The National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) are responsible to checking quality and I believe they are doing a good job. That also helps. NAFDAC’s registration of food products ensures that the quality of foods coming into the country is of very good quality. Similarly, the SON does the same thing for other products. In what ways are imported Chinese products affecting local industries?
Capacity utilisation is a function of demand. At the moment, demand has been low. There was hardly any government spending last year and government is the biggest spender and the major driver of any economy
It has to do with pricing of the products. They have huge government subsidies and are given export grants by their government. Secondly, their interest rates are in single digit. If they are able to borrow money at three per cent, they are at an advantage. Industry is not a one day affair, it is something that takes a long time, a long gestation period to come through. China has a national industrial policy. I urge the federal government to look at the steel industry and see how they can support it with funding. Today, we are borrowing from the banks at 16 per cent. Now at 16 per cent manufacturing cannot survive in the long run. A few of the local manufacturers that still survive gets loans outside Nigeria at six per cent or seven per cent. But they are exposed to foreign exchange fluctuations. So we are stuck between the rock and the hard place. If the government can create a fund like they have for the power sector that steel manufacturers can access at a reasonable interest rate, this will go a long way in revolutionising the sector. I would add another thing, while steel production was in the public sector, the government spent billions of dollars public sector. The reason they embarked on the efforts is because they understood that steel production is the backbone of an economy. It is the engine that basically drives all other sectors. Now that the sector is being handled by private sector investors, the government should equally be committed to prevent a total collapse of the sector. Now let us look at interest rates. Will you advise the government to create a special interest rates for manufacturers? Yes I would. In all fairness, there is actually such a scheme under the Bank of Industry (BoI). But it is still very high. The rate is 10 per cent. The power intervention fund was given out at seven per cent, if this can also be done in the steel sector at even a lower rate, it will go a long way. I have heard some manufacturers complain about multi agency supervision that lead to multiple taxation, in what way is multiple taxation affecting local industries? I believe that if there is a single government body that is looking into all the problems that manufacturers have, things can be different.
But the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has to be represented in that agency. At the moment, MAN has to deal with several ministries and time coordination is an issues. There are issues of multiple taxation but these are complex issues. They cannot be addressed without having an agency handling the affairs of manufacturers. There is the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) that is for investment. There should be an agency focusing on the issue of industries, perhaps on the under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry, may be under the Ministry of Industry. Importantly, it has to interact on a regular basis with the MAN and the manufacturers. This will create the enabling environment to find solutions to the challenges facing manufacturers. Earlier you talked about the denial of access to foreign exchange to the 41 items listed by the CBN, can you tell us what you have been able to achieve since the regulations were announced? Capacity utilisation is a function of demand. At the moment, demand has been low. There was hardly any government spending last year and government is the biggest spender and the major driver of any economy. If they are not able to spend money demand gets affected and therefore affects capacity utilisation. The 2016 budget proposal has a very high portion devoted to infrastructure, if that is implemented, it will have a major impact on capacity utilisation. The caveat however is that we must get the foreign exchange to bring in raw materials that are not available locally. Some people have argued that the decision by the CBN to deny the 41 items access to official foreign exchange was a bad decision. What is your counter argument against some of their points? In my view it is a good policy. Why is it a good policy? With the collapse of the oil price the country does not have the foreign exchange to support everyone’s demands. Banning of these items from getting official foreign exchange means that the CBN can now support the real sector. So the argument is clear, the CBN Continued on page 29
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Monye: Risk Management at FG Level is Done on a Silo Basis President of Risk Managers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Jude Monye, in this interview with Nume Ekeghe and Nosa Alekhuogie spoke on the factors hindering banks from lending to the real sector and other sundry issues relating to the financial sector. Excerpts: What is RIMAN about and what impact does your organisation have in policies involving risk management? Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) formally known as Credit Risk Managers Association was founded on 29th March 2000 as a foremost non-profit association established to promote best practices and advocacy in risk management and related disciplines in Nigeria. We also strive to be a dependable body in sustaining best practices and high professional competencies in management of risks in the financial and non-financial industry. Recently, your organisation announced collaboration with the chartered institute of bankers Nigeria (CIBN). Can you tell us the objectives of the alliance? One of the objectives for setting up RIMAN, apart from the capacity building, is also education which means certification. Today, if your look at the competency framework of central bank, our qualification has been subsumed as one of the requirement for you to be a risk manager whether in banking or out of banking. To get this going, we are not yet a chartered institute and we have been given a right to certify people and the process in Nigeria is rigorous, it is not something you do overnight. We decided ride on the back of CIBN that is a known institute for decades and have done this over and over again. So we decided to partner with them by way of collaboration and using their backbone to administer this examination. It is both the theory and practice of what we do. People who are risk managers in finance, insurance, pharmaceutical or energy as long as you are a risk manager because risk exists in everything. So CIBN gives us the backbone to provide the logistics for the examination but everything about registration, exam testing, and validation is done us because we have our in house capacity. At the end of the day, if you pass the exam, you would be certified CRM holder so you can practice. We have three stages; the first one is starting April this year not solely with RIMAN because I must emphasis on it. It is in collaboration with CIBN. Presently, there are more bankers in your organisation, what does RIMAN contribute in terms of risk managements in banks? It is not for bankers only, It is for everybody whether financial or non-financial. It was started by bankers. We started this in 2000 and we called it CREMAN (Credit Risk Mangers) and credit risk basically exists in financial sectors. It was mainly in banking so now we have migrated it out to Risk managers that is all spectrums of risk; credit, market, strategic reputation, legal risk all kinds of risk. So this is risk managers association. We have lawyers, bankers, insurance practitioners and even energy people amongst us. But saying today we are actually dominated by banking, it is true it is because that is where the practice of risk management has been made pronounce in this country. So if you look at the sector that has taking risk management to another level, it is the financial institutions. RIMAN is in the forefront of championing activities of risk management. We have impacted on our profession in the financial institution through research, capacity building, training and also advocacy. We can give our government especially policy formulators, our views how it affects the banking landscape of the financial landscape as it were. Maybe I should use this opportunity to say that one part of advocacy that I would want the association to champion more would be getting the country to establish what I call national risk institute or national risk assessment centre. If Nigeria has a risk assessment centre, this
issue of mono product would be cautioned. If you look at CNN today, analysis were being made bout Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola down to brazil that their economies are shaking to the root. The reason being that oil prices have gone down from over a $100 to about $30. Basic risk says concentration risk and key and that is what we have had since the 70s’ when we started down playing on other sectors and pushing off the oil and gas as it applies to us today. So if we have national risk assessment sectors, a chief risk officer for the country like we have the chief finance officer for the country, Nigerians should also have chief risk officers whose dimensions identifies measures and profile metical for all the risks that the country is facing and then we would take it from there and before you know it this same thing would be proliferated in the state. States would begin to have chief risk officers for the state as we are clamouring here for institutions whether banks, non-banks, we must have a risk management process manned by a chief risk officer and other risk professionals and
So risk management is the process of identifying, managing, measuring, controlling risk. That is a very mundane definition. How do you measure it, assess it, and control it, what is the value of going through that process. Firstly, it helps you to know what we call inherent risk in what you do
then we are also sustaining this practice by providing guidance training, education and equipping them to the various emerging and dynamics of risk in the space where they all are operating. What has been the response from banks and other institutions to this capacity building you talked about? Response has been good but I would not end without saying that we need significant improvement. We need to project what we do, what we would have done, what we can do to people outside. As leaders of institutions, you do not wake up and say I want to subscribe to an association. You have to x-ray the value, what value is on the table for the institution. We know how we have added value to some institutions, we know how we can add value going forward and we do not have the medium to push it out there that is why we need the media. Now, improvement is needed because membership grew from less than a thousand to over a thousand, individual membership and institutional membership. Today institutional membership is very low compared to others like pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy. So we do not really have that base. But for banking we have quite a lot of banks. All the banks have institutional members. And they all pay for the subscription even as it is today, if there is no value, they would not pay that much. We are looking at raising our subscriptions and I know in consultation with them that they would all pay. So there is value on the table but how do we reach out to other people who are not bankers so that they can belong. A hospital needs risk management, every hospital needs a risk manager and they should be part of this association so it is not limited to banking. Now the job is on us now to expand our curriculum and scope of operation from being core financial to other risk areas. If a chief risk officer for a general hospital comes into our meeting, what does he expect to gain? That is why we need some significant improvement in terms of our scope of delivery and reaching out to people outside by putting the value preposition on the table for everyone to see. What are the core values risk managers add to organisations?
Risk management is a process. So anything that is a process means that there is no destination. Or there is a destination but when you get to that destination, it becomes a process again from there. So risk management is the process of identifying, managing, measuring, controlling risk. That is a very mundane definition. How do you measure it, assess it, and control it, what is the value of going through that process. Firstly, it helps you to know what we call inherent risk in what you do. If Nigeria were to have an office dedicated to risk management, what would be its value to the nation? Now the value to the nation, there must be somebody who is screaming and telling the whole country for example this oil revenue alone is called concentration risk. We can’t depend on one product to finance a nation. Secondly, this same person would begin to say you need to get more people of very strong character that can avoid leakage is a risk. Leakage is a risk, looking at a publication recently, NNPC has done over how many trillions and they have remitted only about nine hundred and sixty something billion in 2015 so where is the Gap? So it shows that there is risk on the national sphere, so leakage is a risk, concentration is a risk, and then the next one is people. What kind of people, that brings about operational risk. What kind of persons are working in our institutions whether federal, state or even the agencies. What kind of background checks do we do on them? So there is a lot that the chief risk officer or the national risk institute / assessment centre would do as it were on that. So now bringing it down to RIMAN, what is the value that RIMAN adds, I have started by telling you that we have capacity building, research, advocacy that we do to provide information on the dynamics of risks on the changing phases of risks for institutions. Three we can provide what we call expertise for the bank. If a bank comes today and says I am having a problem on Information Technology risk issues or getting a chief information system officer because I am worried by this Continued on page 29
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MONYE: RISK MANAGEMENT AT FG LEVEL IS DONE ON A SILO BASIS cyber risk, RIMAN what can you do for me? We should be able to say this is the way you should go and this is how we can help you. Consultancy, we can also do that for them. Today, Nigeria is losing a lot of money because of lack of project assessment. They embark on projects when a risk assessment is not done and half way into the project, the project is not completed and they are sourcing for more funds. When at a national level you have risk managers who can assess the risks before a project starts, we can be sure the project would be completed within the time frame and there would not be loses along the line. Are you saying we don’t have risk managers at the national level? Risk management is done in Nigeria on what I call silo basis. An example, NNPC wants to execute a project; they get a project manager to do the environmental impact assessment. It is part of risk management. Impact assessment is if there is a project, is it going to cause harm to the environment and if they are, to what level. Is it on people alone, is it on animals and is it on the ecosystem entirely. So they do all those and then they submit a report. And it ends there. So NNPC comes to a bank and says they need a project to be funded. A bank should ask for the environmental impact assessment before we give you money. Now this is leading to what we call sustainability banking. The country has no framework. There is no legal framework on which a risk management framework would ride on. If we come as a nation and create this integrated framework where Nigeria can say this is the Chief Risk Officer who is charge of managing risk. Presently, banks are suffering from liquidity problems since the emergence of TSA and other monetary policies that are reducing their income. What is the position of risk managers in steering them back to earning more? TSA is not new. I have of TSA since 1993 when I was in Citi Bank it never saw the light of day. Obasanjo came and wanted to implement it through Soludo it also did not see the light of day. Goodluck came back and stared it and now got to the point of implementation until Buhari came in to implement. This has long been on the table so it is not new to banks. The banks know the effect but a country were government is the highest spender which Nigeria is, would always face what we are facing. If you apply TSA in the United States of America, the banks
the other funds are funds from fix deposit or in current account where they can withdraw anyway. Those monies, we use them in buying T-bills and put them in liquid assets so that the day the customer says they need their money, you just convert to cash and give the person their money. Because the day you cannot give a customer his money, one trumpet can cause the bank to shut down. And that is why CBN has also created the liquidity ratio of 30percent. We are lending to the real sector and before you talk about to but it is what quantum, you must talk about the environment and Infrastructure. Government has a part to play or in private partnership in providing infrastructure for this real sector.
are running very well because the energy of the banks come from three segments; SMEs, insurance and pension . Insurance are the richest institutions in those developed worlds and also pension funds. These three are not government institutions and they fund most of these banks. But in Nigeria, it is the government money we use to do business and now the government has taken it. Your question on how risk managers would redirect banking institutions to core banking. Simple core banking is taking from surplus to deficit so we intermediate. The money to intermediate is no longer there. So must continue that your basic practice. That is your core function of intermediation. How we can do that is to get liquidity from other sources and one of those is to drive the retail. Retail is you and I, the SMEs etc. the good thing about retail, is that those funds are stable and cheap. The down side of it is that it takes time to build. Number two is diversification in other areas, not just retail banking to see other sources we can get. There are a lot of financiers outside, developmental institutions that gives banks funding. And the last would be cost cutting. With the reduction of CRR, which was targeted at increasing loans to the real sector, why has it been difficult for banks to lend to the real
sector. Are the risk mangers not prepared? Banks are lending to the real sector but in what quantum. Banks are lending to real sector. When people say real sector, they are talking about manufacturing, farming etc. the point is what basis point CBN dropped to. CRR dropped from13 to 11percent.now who has taking time to see what that translates to in banks. What does it translate to in their books, and how much deposits do banks have and what that 2percent drops translate too? If what I have lend to the real sector is almost 30percent of my total portfolio, I have other obligations. The monies I am holding are not government monies for me to say let me use it for long term financing. The other funds that I’m holding are from people like you that are just giving me up to 30 days. You cannot do 30 days lending to any real sector. You can’t also do 1 year lending to real sector. So which money in my intermediation process am I going to use to lend. Any regulator who looks at my balance sheet would see gap and would think that asset and liability management here is zero. What I am saying is that, we still do not have does developmental funds. If you want businesses to grow and then export, it is developmental funds long term funds. The longest funds that we get used to be from government because
The CBN has MSME fund given to banks at 3per cent which they asked banks to lend at 6percent. Why hasn’t there an improvement to people who fall into this category? When the central bank has taking the liquidity risk and has provided the money, they are giving us the credit risk, which is the ability for the customer to repay because if the customer does not pay, we pay CBN that money. They have dropped both credit and performance risk with the banks. There is what we call risk premium, charging for the risk, does that 6percent cover that quantum of risk. Now let’s assume that it covers and if it does cover, why are the banks not giving that money? I do not want to collect from CBN and give to a customer who would default so I would first of all look at qualified customers who would get these funds from CBN. First of all, they don’t have financials I can rely on so the banks would try to see how they can qualify into this category. Some look at it as CBN money or national cake not knowing that the liability is on the bank. Ask CBN, that money is not being assessed. Another suggestion I would give which others have said before is to have a collateral registry. SMEs don’t have collateral to give to banks. This would help. There is also something we call risk weight in competition of our capital adequacy ratio. The collateral that these SMEs would provide, what would be the risk weight of them and if we are talking about margin, the margin is ok but the issue for me is did they properly price that risk. We also need to develop our credit bureaus, we need to establish and grow the collateral registry and also they should have unify and reliable financial data that can help us to lend to them.
GUPTA: CBN’S FOREX POLICY WILL ENHANCE REAL SECTOR GROWTH can support the real sector and not frivolous imports! This policy should be supported by all Nigerians and it should be sustained for a long time. Since the policy took effect, we have outlined plans to invest in the country. We have plans to build a plywood factory, an agro allied company, green house farms using hydroponics, which will be used for making fresh vegetables so that all the supermarkets are not selling imported vegetables. At the same time, we are exploring other projects as well. All these will have a direct impact on foreign exchange savings and generate local employment. I will like to emphasize add that our group currently with about 12 manufacturing plants produces goods which otherwise when imported will drain foreign exchange from the economy in the region of $620 million (N122.1 billion). Our readers will like to know the process that goes into steel manufacturing and what backward integration has to do with steel manufacturing. Backward integration can be done by producing steel from iron ore. Our Group has already acquired mining leases and exploration is going on. We will be using coal and iron ore to make what can be used as substitute for steel scrap in our melting process. We manufacture BS4449 grade which is used by all the major construction companies who, until recently, were only insisting on imported steel. In fact we are now CARES certified: A UK certification that is the predominant certification for reinforced steel used all over the world. It allows construction companies to comfortably use them with further testing. In terms of further investments and expansion where do you see African Steel in the next
help eliminate manipulation and abuses in the future. Earlier you talked about high interest rate in Nigeria, as a group that has been in Nigeria for over 40 years, one will expect that you explore cheap funds in the stock market and list on the exchange? Equity and debt are two separate things. There has to be adequate debt and equity in a company. Any company should have both debt and equity in its capital structure. We did, in 2007, sign an advisory to take us to the equity market, but the 2008 global recession put that on hold. We are not ruling out returning to the Exchange in the future, but at the moment the steel sector is not doing well globally and it needs help to survive in Nigeria.
10 years? Our destiny is tied to the destiny of Nigeria. We are a Nigerian company, our Group has been operating here for over 40 years. As the country faces its challenges like it is facing currently, we are also feeling them. We need to get out of the current economic crisis and move ahead. I see us pioneering investments in West Africa and Nigeria been the giant. We will expand further into other West African countries. We are currently exporting even though the
export grants have been withdrawn. At the same time, if we are able to expand our branch network across Africa that will equally help us to penetrate into those markets. The government said it suspended the export grant because of the abuses. Will you advice the government to reinstate it? I will strongly advise the government to do so. However, I will advise them to look into the reasons why they suspended it. This will
India is one of Nigeria’s big trade partners, how would you advise Indian businessmen who would like to come and invest in Nigeria? India and Nigeria share a common colonial heritage and apart from that, both countries have the same geopolitical issues. Both countries are multi-cultural, multi-religion, share similar legal systems and mentality. Some of us ethnic Indians have made Nigeria a home for generations; I believe that these two countries have a lot to do together in the future. Where Nigeria partners with India it will always be a win-win situation for both countries. To answer your question, I will advise them to first of all understand Nigeria, understand the challenges in the country and set up industries. India became a success because of its industrial policies not trading policies. That is something they should come and do here.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
NAICOM Vows to Stamp out Insurance Frauds Stories Ebere Nwoji Insurance Brokerage business, which hitherto was the last resort for chief executives of insurance underwriting firms, who lost their jobs or retired from service, will no more be an all comers business, as the industry regulator, National Insurance commission (NAICOM) has commenced moves to sanitise the sector. NAICOM, recently said in addition to its delisting of 108 insurance brokers trading with lapsed licenses late last year, it is ready to delist and publish additional lists of firms in coming weeks for the purpose of sanitising the industry as well as protecting the insuring public from falling victims of their illegal activities. The Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to THISDAY Newspapers, recently said this has become necessary to rid the industry off intermediaries who don’t want to play according to rules and want to
make insurance intermediary business fraudsters’ business. Kari, said the commission was determined to ensure that only genuine operators, who play by the rules remained. He said a new angle, which the commission wants to introduce in its fight against operators without genuine license is to arrest and prosecute individuals behind such companies but expressed the regret that some of them operate without names. The commissioner insisted that such operators must this time be brought to book despite their complaints. “Though they will complain, the interest of the consumer is more important than their complaints, we must remove the rotten eggs among them no matter the level of complaints because they are the ones that bring problem in the system. “We will continue to look into our records to identify more that should go out of practice, we have taken it a level further, we will prosecute individuals behind such fraud.
Thank God law enforcement has improved in the country, the time is ripe to instill discipline into the system”, he insisted. The commissioner also said he had reached agreement with insurance underwriters to publish names of companies that shirk payment of genuine
claims under its ‘name and shame’ agreement with the underwriters. He also said NAICOM has reached agreement with the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria ( CIIN), which is the professional arm of the industry that registers every practitioner to suspend the license of any
professional, found wanting in his operations and to seize it for life,if the offence is too grievous. THISDAY findings revealed that since the delisting of the 108 insurance brokers in December last year, those concerned have been mounting pressure on the leadership
of the brokers’ council. But president of Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mr. Kayode Okunoren has told the brokers that though he has been pleading with the regulator to temper justice with mercy, the council will not be ready to defend any operator, who goes against the law.
RIMSON Strategises on Risk AUTO INSURANCE LAUNCH Awareness in Business L-R: Group Chief Human Resources Officer, FBNInsurance Limited, Emeka Dibia; Head, Technical, FBN General Insurance Ltd, Olumide The Risk Managers Society of Nigeria (RIMSON), said its major concern is to ensure that in the current economic downturn in Nigeria, business managers embrace risk management practice in order to remain afloat in their business. RIMSON said to achieve this, it has taken the task of paying courtesy visits to leaders of various sectors of the economy especially public sector managers and organised Private Sector group (OPS). RIMSON president, Jacob Adeosun, in an interview with THISDAY during a courtesy visit to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said improper management of inherent risks in the manufacturing business such as risks in sourcing of raw materials, importation of equipment and spare parts, credit risks, health safety and environmental risks, human resources and operational risks, sales and marketing risks as well as reputation legal and government policy risks has hindered the manufacturing sector from operating at full capacity. He said this was so despite the sector’s position as the bed rock of the country’s economy. According to him, collaboration with risk managers will help the manufacturers as RIMSON has specialists in different profession, who can handle their risks. Established in 1985, RIMSON, is an Association of Corporate bodies and individual professionals dedicated to the advancement of risk awareness and risk management culture in Nigeria. It is a self financing society with members cutting across all facets of the economy: Energy, Banking and Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing, Government Parastatals, Construction among others.
The association, in a similar statement signed by Mr. Joseph Obah, its media and events management consultant gave insights into its ongoing efforts and contributions to economic growth of the different sectors of the economy. According to the statement, over the years, RIMSON has continued to contribute towards human capital development initiatives through regular specialised training, notably in Oil and Gas, contemporary strategic seminars in Enterprise Risk Management, professional advocacy and promotion of best practices as well as synergy with local and international bodies.” The statement further quoted Adeosun, president of RIMSON to have said: “Our joint professional training with the Institute of Risk Management, London in 2010 as well as the 2014 collaboration with the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers( NCRIB) and the Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria(ILAN) in a workshop on Challenges and Solutions in Insurance Claims Administration, are a few testimonies to our efforts in growing the human capital in this vital knowledge area”. Speaking on the current repositioning of RIMSON, Adeosun said there is renewed drive by the association to bring all stakeholders on board the risk management flight, adding that its recent visit to National Insurance Commission ( NAICOM), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) as well as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria ( MAN) will engender a positive drive in the direction of the policy thrust of RIMSON to bring risk management in the front burners of business governance in the country.
Ibidapo; Head, Brokers Market, FBN General Insurance Ltd, Chinyere Elue; Managing Director/CEO, FBNInsurance Limited, Val Ojumah; Acting Managing Director, FBN General Insurance Ltd, Olasupo Sogelola; Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FBNInsurance Limited, Elizabeth Agugoh; Head, Alternative Business, FBN General Insurance Ltd, Shola Osho and Group Chief Financial Officer, FBNInsurance Limited, Festus Izevbizua, during the FBN General Insurance Ltd Auto Marketing Experiential Launch, held in Lagos… recently
Mutual Benefit Assurance Counts IEI Interim Management Spells Gains of Franchising Scheme Reposition Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, which last year pioneered insurance distribution franchising scheme in the country recently, took account of the exercise and said it has successfully increased its product penetration and consumer value benefits. The company, which was the first to uphold the insurance regulator’s micro insurance initiative from the onset said its focus in the franchising scheme is to expand accessibility of insurance across the population. It said the scheme brought together matured men and women, who are majorly retired top executive in different sectors of the economy and have been empowered to interface and present insurance to the general public. Speaking on the achievements recorded by the company in the scheme, General Manager, Mutual Retail, Demola Fagbayi said at an event to mark the one year establishment of the franchise unit that it was envisioned to create a strategic unit of elite professionals in a conducive environment that will add value to the business of insurance. He said the experience in one year has been quite encouraging, as beyond deepening penetration, the group has added reasonably to the premium income of the company. “Mutual, as a deliberate strategy to deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria, has created employment opportunities
to the teeming population of unemployed youths and matured citizens, design and develop alternative distribution channels leveraging on the National Insurance Commission’s (NAICOM’s) Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDR).” Fagbayi observed that with over 40 outlets and 700 retail marketers nationwide, Mutual Benefit has taken insurance business crusade to the grassroots thereby creating massive employment opportunities and financially empowered several thousands of its stakeholders. The long term vision of the company through the scheme he noted, is to open at one mutual office in all the local government headquarters in Nigeria and employ250, 000 franchisees and retail marketers by the year 2020. Inaugurated a year ago, the Company has 316 franchisees and employed 250,000 franchise and retail marketers by the year 2020.
The Interim Board and Management of the International Energy Insurance (IEI), said it has embarked on what it termed “Next Level Measures of Success and Stability”, which aims at reviewing and repositioning the vital areas of operations of the company such as corporate governance issues, investment policies, prompt payment of claims, products, human resources, cost management, and sales growth among others. Interim managing Director of the company, Peter Irene, speaking on the steps so far taken by the company in this regard, said as part of its corporate restructuring exercise undertaken to improve organisational efficiency, productivity and competitiveness, sound policies have been put in place, including a revamping of human resources, which has necessitated a right-sizing of the work force.
According to him, 50 staff and 34 drivers of the company affected by the exercise, are to be given special exit package’ without delay. He said IEI brand pulse at the moment portends very positive signs of growth, now and in the future adding that the company has addressed squarely, all issues bordering on the late submission of Annual Financial Statements. “Our 2013 Financial Statement was approved by NAICOM while 2014, has been submitted and awaiting approval. Our External Auditors are working on the 2015 Financial Statement with the aim of meeting the March 31st deadline set by SEC for quoted companies. We have worked hard to retain existing businesses and break into new market frontiers’, the IEI boss stated. He also spoke on the turn-around measures and repositioning of IEI.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Naira Depreciation: Blame Governors’ Forum Daniel Osofisan The naira has been on a steady decline for the past few months. The disparity between rates at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that of the parallel market is as clear as the difference between day and night. Many economic analysts and keen followers of the economy have blamed the situation on factors varying from the fall in oil prices to the depletion of the Excess Crude Account and the role of the Bureaus De Change (BDCs). It would be recalled that former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had a run-in with the 36 governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Against her
advice, significant portions of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) were used to augment monthly allocations to local and state authorities. The states had maintained that rainy days were already at hand and in fact (the rain) was already pouring, so the money needed to be used right away. This rash nature of the governors, who always want to spend, spend, and spend, is why we are presently facing this freefall in the value of the Naira. If they had heeded the counsel of the former finance boss to save for the rainy day, we would not be in the mess we are in now. But, no! They decided to feed fat on the nation’s oil boom and ended up plunging the entire country into economic crisis. Between 2011 and 2014, the 36 states of the federation
FMDQ, Channels TV Partner to Deepen Debt Market Goddy Egene
FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s foremost debt capital securities exchange and Channels Television (Channels TV) last week launched the FMDQ Price Ticker Tape on Channels TV. The FMDQ Price Ticker Tape on Channels TV, an unprecedented initiative of the securities exchange, will provide Channels TV viewers, local and international, with up-to-date information on the FMDQ Fixings (the Nigerian Inter-Bank Offered Rate (NIBOR), the Nigerian Inter-Bank Treasury Bills True
Yield (NITTY) and the Nigerian Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Fixings (NIFEX)); as well as intraday and closing prices of Benchmark bonds and treasury bills traded on the Exchange. The ticker tape on which is a complimentary to the Price Ticker Tapes on FMDQ’s website will be broadcast to a wider and more diverse audience via the extensive reach of Channels TV’s coverage. In addition to launching the FMDQ Price Ticker Tape on Channels TV, the event also signaled the beginning of a partnership between FMDQ and Channels TV, in their
joint quest to transform the Nigerian financial markets landscape through the provision and dissemination of current and accurate market data to the investing public around the globe. Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director/CEO of FMDQ, Mr. Bola Onadele. Koko, said: “The partnership between the securities exchange and a TV station is one that we have desired and thought through for so many months in FMDQ and we were quite clear on the quality of the TV station we wanted to partner with.”
received a total of N2.92 trillion from the Excess Crude Account. This amount alone is close to 50% of the country’s 2016 budget. What would be the strength of the Naira if these monies were saved and not expended by the governors? Dr Okonjo-Iweala also said that a significant portion of the billions of dollars drained from the oil savings account over the past two years was distributed to “powerful governors” instead of being saved. The decline in oil price reduced the earnings of the country. This situation in turn made the CBN to devalue the naira last year by 8 percent stating that it was running out of forex reserves with which to defend the currency. If the governors had not arm-twisted Dr Okonjo-Iweala by depleting the ECA, the CBN
would have had enough forex to defend the Naira instead of having to devalue it. And since then, the naira has declined steadily before its recent rise against the dollar. You would remember that these same state governors requested $2 billion from the ECA to complete projects and provide security ahead of last year’s elections. The powers the governors wield have to be put on a leash lest they run this nation aground with their insatiable appetite. Nigerians must rise up and speak with one voice to confront waste in government so that our economy can be brought back to life. Daniel Osofisan writes from University of Jos [email protected]
Ei Consulting Unveils Digital ‘Moodle’ for Educational Advancement Sunday Okobi Ei Consulting Limited, a United State-based technological firm, which specialises in providing e-learning solution to corporate and educational institutions, has launched its digital learning aid project in Nigeria to meet the growing learning and training requirements in the country. The system software, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Etinosa Iyare, known as ‘Moodle’ can be downloaded for free on any Operating System (OS) on any device to aid students as well
as teachers to meet up with the 21st century standard of learning globally. Addressing journalists in Lagos last week, Iyare stated that the company has provided and supported the model in many universities and corporate bodies in US, United Kingdom, Holland among others, but decided to berth in Nigeria because of the developing nature of the economy where the system would be of immense importance. “We are in Nigeria now but we have been in existence in the US with over 10 years of experience.
One of the drives that brought us to Nigeria is because the country is fast developing and coming to the new market, and in the new market, we have a lot of internet and other technological facilities. It will only make sense that we start revisiting the way we run our educational system. The old way worked for us up until now, but we are hoping that EI Consulting can revolutionise this entire process, from paper to digital copy, bringing everybody to the 21st century so that we can transform the learning standards of the country.”
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
EDUCATION How to Conduct Hitch-free UTME With the numerous complaints of network failure experienced by candidates at this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), which started at the weekend across the country, experts have stressed the need for the Ccomputer Based Test (CBT) centres to get fibre optic connectivity and fast internet broadband to prevent future occurrences. Funmi Ogundare reports
Candidates writing the UTME
hough the 2016 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), expected to last within two weeks starting from February 27, is in its fourth-day, there have been myriads of complaints by candidates writing the examination. Issues raised by the students border on server problem or interrupted electricity, which they claimed might lead to their failure in the examination. A total number of 1,589,175 candidates applied for this year’s UTME, which also included 201 visually impaired, across the country and eight other foreign countries. The Registrar of the board, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, had explained that it was the first examination it would be conducting under the presence administration, and that the board after the closure of registration had to reopen its portal for candidates who couldn’t complete the process of the 2016 registration to do so. According to him, “the board wants to use this opportunity to clearly state that the federal ministry of education and JAMB will not be doing this again and prospective future candidates should take note as registration will close as indicated on our advertisement.” He noted that the examination has grown to be a vitally indispensable getaway to tertiary institutions in Nigeria with a great measure of performance and integrity emulated globally in spite of increasing number of candidates and other challenges which the board’s management has consistently devised ways of addressing. THISDAY monitored some of the centres, including Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH); West Midland Communication Limited; Ikeja, Electronic Test Centre (ETC), and in JKK Ikorodu Road in Lagos, where a number of candidates complained about one issue or the other relating to server problems. In YABATECH, where about 180 candidates were accredited for the examination, a candidate
called on the board to look into the issue of faulty computers provided for candidates by Computer Based Test (CBT) centre owners. Another candidate complained that the frequent shutting down of computers and power generating sets kept interrupting his examination and he could not finish at the stipulated time. The Coordinator of the board’s national headquarters, Lagos Annex, Dr. Beatrice Okorie, also complained about a brief poor network at the centre, adding that, “out of the 180 candidates assigned to the centre, only one was absent. Candidates came in as early as 8.30 am and the examination started by 12noon,
We like to experiment on things that will not really work for our system, it’s as if we are putting the cart before the horse and we don’t know what we are doing. We haven’t thought about the people in the rural areas
we only had a brief problem with the Local Area Network (LAN) at this centre, but the examination went without hassles and there was no impersonation.” A Professor of Computer Science, University of Lagos, Dele Longe, decried the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) using the Computer Based Test (CBT) by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), saying that the planning by the board was not adequate. He expressed concern that some rural areas in the country are still experiencing challenges in electric power supply and access to computers, thereby making candidates to travel far to locate their centres, as well the recent inconveniences faced by candidates who protested over the poor network system and slow servers. Longe stressed the need for the board to still allow the dual approach; CBT and PPT, noting that it could be something that could take up to four to five years to get to perfection. According to him, “We are too much in a hurry. I am angry. When you want something done properly, you must plan and prepare properly, the planning was not adequate and that is why you have the confusion. They need all the devices and computers such that the students don’t need to move to a far distance which will create confusion.” He also stressed need for the board to do a statistics of candidates who can use CBT and those who cannot, noting, “If you have about 95 or 96 percent of people and the basic infrastructure are not there, it’s a problem. Everything must be put in place before putting the country into that kind of chaos. It’s confusion and demoralisation on the part of candidates.” The Dean of Education, University of Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Prof. Florence Obi, had said the CBT is a good idea, but expressed concern that candidates from rural communities who have never seen computers may not gain admission into the university. She said there is need for the federal ministry
of education to ensure that all schools in the country have access to computers. “I come from a village where there is no light and because there is no light, there is no business centre in that place, and I am just wondering if my own people have been cut-off completely from university admission now that there is CBT. In the first instance they don’t know what computer is like, how much more, telling them to travel to a long distance where there are computers will not work out. Parents cannot even afford the money for these children to even travel. We still have a lot to do.” She expressed concern that the country is not giving a second thought to its educational system, saying, “we like to experiment on things that will not really work for our system, it’s as if we are putting the cart before the horse and we don’t know what we are doing. We haven’t thought about the people in the rural areas.” On how to overcome the challenges of network being experienced by candidates at the centres, an ICT expert, Mr. Michael Okeke, said the JAMB centres should have a fast broadband internet connection, which can help boost the server and ensure that candidates spend less time trying to open web page and focus more time on answering questions. He added that the CBT centres can use fibre optic connectivity as is being used in developed countries. “Connection happens at the speed of light and fibre optics is designed to eliminate zero downtime,” he said. A parent, who identified herself as Mrs. Amanda, said it is obvious that JAMB has not perfected the art of CBT, as most of the accredited centres still experience technical hitches during the conduct of the examination. Rather than jeopardize the future of the candidates, she called on the board to consider reintroducing the Paper and Pencil Test (PPT), pending when the country will be fully ready to adopt CBT as the sole mode of conducting examination.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Fayemi Accused of Hindering Ekiti from Accessing N2.8bn UBEC Fund Fayose’s brashness caused it, former governor replies
Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti The Ekiti State Government has restated that the exGovernor, Kayode Fayemi’s alleged diversion of N852.9 million State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) counterpart funds prevented the state from accessing the N2.8 billion UBEC fund. The government disclosed that UBEC Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Yakubu Gambo told the Senate Committee on Finance during the Budget Defence recently that Fayemi, who is now the Minister of Solid Minerals diverted the N852.9 million counterpart funds to other areas. In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the SUBEB Chairman, Senator Bode Ola regretted that Ekiti State and its people are suffering from the sin allegedly committed by the APC government under Fayemi. Ola said it was embarrassing and ridiculous that Fayemi’s Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Kolawole could rationaliee this alleged criminal act perpetrated against the people by saying there was no law prohibiting states from borrowing counterpart funds to support their capital development operations.” “A sum of N852, 936,713.92 was paid into the SUBEB Access
Bank account on January 14, 2014 as counterpart fund for 2012 UBEC projects and on this premise, UBEC released its matching grant of N852, 936,793.12 on January 3, 2013. “On October 8, 2014, eight days to the end of Fayemi’s tenure, the same amount, N852,936,713.92 was transferred from the account of SUBEB, leaving N9,139,691.40 as credit balance in the account. “UBEC in a letter dated April 16, 2015, with reference number UBEC/ FA/SUBEB/EK/183/Vol. II/162 described the withdrawal as criminal act that violated Section 11(2) of UBE Act 2004 and conveyed its suspension of Ekiti State from accessing any further FGN-UBE Intervention Fund. “For this reason, all UBEC/ SUBEB 2012 ongoing projects have been halted; payment for all 2012 projects cannot be made to contractors, fund for special education; teachers capacity building etc for 2013, 2014 and 2015 cannot be accessed, infrastructures in our schools are neglected, in fact, SUBEB in Ekiti State is totally grounded.” Reacting to the state government’s allegation, the Special Assistant on Media to Fayemi, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said Fayose’s reckless utterances and primitive approach to governance should be blamed for the UBEC’s sanction.
World Book Day: Reading Corner Seeks Revival of Reading Culture Uchechukwu Nnaike A Lagos-based book store, Reading Corner at the weekend organised series of activities aimed at encouraging children to read and to spread the joy of reading, to mark this year’s World Book Day. The event, which held at Fantasyland, Ikoyi, Lagos featured book readings, storytelling, prizes and giveaways, ‘Ajapa’ performance, among other fun-filled activities. The children were also encouraged to donate their old books (in good condition) in exchange for a N500 book token, which they could use to either get free book or get money off a purchase; all the proceeds will go to the Bethesda Child Support Agency. Explaining the essence of the event, the founder of Reading Corner, Dr. Funmi Ogunlesi, said though the actual day is March 3, but the celebrations can be around that period. She said the event sought to encourage and promote reading and to spread the joy of reading. According to her, the Reading Corner started as an online book store in 2013, but her real passion was to open up a library because she grew up in an environment that libraries were on every corner and if children wanted to read books, it was easy; they didn’t have to spend money to buy books. Ogunlesi, who called for the establishment of public libraries to promoting reading by making books available to students, said “the way to go is to have a system where if you cannot buy books and for those whose
children read like five books a day and are always going for books, it will be nice to have a place where they can read books for a small fee of for free.” She said reading is very important because it helps one to grow; it improves the vocabulary and enables readers to discover new things. “Your imagination grows and even for children it exposes them; a child who has read a book about Russia may have never been to Russia but if the child talks about Russia you will think he/she has been there because the author has been there and has written a perfect description. That to me is the importance of reading it teaches people about various places it exposes children to various things and places.” While regretting the declining reading culture, she said it is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. “It is around the world; there is too much competition it is easier to watch television, it is easier for the parent to say switch on the television if they are making noise. Among the generation coming up you can see that they have suffered from the lack of reading and lack of exposure to books from the way they write, you tell people to write a letter, their punctuation is poor, they can’t spell even simple text messages.” To revive the culture she urged parents to start reading to their children from a tender age and to always read so that the children can emulate them. “Let them see you read whether book, newspapers or magazines. Let the children know you as someone that reads.”
Fayemi said Gambo was at the senate, he did not accuse the immediate past administration led by his government of misappropriation of UBEC fund. Fayemi in a statement in Ado Ekiti explained that “the immediate past government had taken a loan from a bank to be able to make available its counterpart funding to access the UBEC fund. But the bank withdrew its money when the government lost the 2014 governorship election for fear that the incoming government might not honour the terms of
repayment. “So the sitting government that took the loan from the bank to provide the counterpart to access what is in the coffers of the federal government lost an election. And the bank decided that the state had not met up the requirement for pay back. And so as not to have problem with the incoming government, they decided to withdraw their money. “So Ekiti State went ahead to implement part of the action plan with the N826 million assessed from UBEC. When
we went out for monitoring and we discovered these anomalies we sanctioned the state by ensuring that until it formalises and brings back that matching grant, it will no longer access any form of funding from UBEC. And that is the position now,” added Gambo in response to questions from the senators. “Fayose’s government is to blame for this. Its crude approach to governance, careless utterances and verbal threats to financial institutions shortly after the June 21, 2014 election
made many banks to review their relationships with the state. “It is on record that when the Fayemi administration came in 2010, SUBEB counterpart funding of 2008 was outstanding and contracts were already awarded by the previous government led by Segun Oni. “We supported all the government left behind and funded the SUBEB projects through loan arrangements from the bank which was paid back on monthly basis. Theses procedures remained for the 2009, 2010 and 2012.”
Students of Whitedove School, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria’s delegates to the Model UN conference
US Firm Unveils Digital Whitedove Students Represent Nigeria at NHSMUN ‘Moodle’ Educational Aid Sunday Okobi Ei Consulting Limited, a United State-based technological firm, which specialises in providing e-learning solution to corporate and educational institutions, has launched its digital learning aid project in Nigeria to meet the growing learning and training requirements in the country. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Etinosa Iyare, the software known as ‘Moodle’ can be downloaded for free on any operating system (OS) on any device to aid students and teachers to meet up with the 21st century standard of learning globally. Iyare, who addressed journalists in Lagos recently, said the company has provided and supported the model in many universities and corporate bodies in US, United Kingdom, Holland among others, but decided to launch in Nigeria because of the developing nature of the economy where the system would be of importance. “It will only make sense that we start revisiting the way we run our education system. The old way worked for us up until now, but we are hoping that Ei Consulting can revolutionise this entire process, from paper to digital copy, bringing everybody to the 21st century so that we can transform the learning
standards of the country.” Iyare stressed that it is still on the level of underdevelopment that Nigerian education system is still based on paper, biro and pencils, “therefore what we are trying to bring about is a change in this digital age, a change that the learning industry needs to be at par with its counterparts in other parts of the world.” On how the system works, he explained that the solution to educational problems share the same core features and functionalities to facilitate dynamic student-teacher learning environment across the world. He said the company provides services to school curricular management working in conjunction with its faculty or organisational structure to create reusable digital classroom complete with learning activities like “syllabus, weekly readings assignment CBT/examination, setting up scoring and grading rubrics, competency tracking learning plans, automatic certificate generation among others. “We provide support with integrated e-textbooks, LTIs, and third party internet tools with our product. We also provide a cloud environment to ensure 99.9 per cent uptime and reduce the burden placed on institutions to manage backups, disaster recovery power shortage, among others.
Ten students of the Whitedove School, Lagos, have been assigned Cape Verde which is an Island off the coast of West Africa at this year’s annual National High School Model United Nation’s (NHSMUN), holding in New York from March 2-5, 2016. The students are chosen as ‘diplomats’ and will reflect the views and policies of their assigned countries. Just like at the United Nations, there are specialised committees and plenary sessions. The NHSMUN is a subsidiary of the International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA), which has been officially recognised as a nongovernmental organisation of the United Nations. The 42nd conference, which has just 3,500 high school students from around the world, will simulate the real sessions at the United Nations in New York. According to the VicePrincipal, Mr. Ola Ehuwa, the students will be deliberating and understanding the intricacies of international affairs, adding that the exercise is no new thing for the students of the school, who are continuously groomed to be global citizens. “Our vision is to be a foremost global Christian school that integrates academic, creative and moral excellence
in raising purposeful future leaders. Our mantra is that excellence is our birthright. “The uniqueness in our students lies in their awareness that they are role models and creators. This reflects in their comportment, speech and interaction with people. Every year, the students of the Whitedove School explore their creativity at their annual innovation fair.” According to the Administrator, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Adekoya, “leadership is an important aspect of vision. The National High School Model United Nations Conference provides the right exposure for our students to learn the rudiments of leadership at global dimension. It broadens their knowledge on international diplomacy and relations. It gives them a multi-racial exposure and enhances their team work skills and builds up confidence. It also gives them an opportunity to assemble in the hallowed chamber of the UN Headquarters, New York.” For Maero Ozako a child motivator and editor of the children’s pages, Chummies, who is also in New York for the session, “this is a grand opportunity for any child; in all my work with schools and children, very few children show the level of intellect and confidence that the children of the Whitedove School show.”
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Foundation Creates World’s Largest Bag to Raise Funds for Vulnerable Youths Uchechukwu Nnaike A non-governmental organisation, Lightup Foundation has made history by creating the world largest canvas bag, which measures 10.32m (33ft 8in) long; 9.36m (30ft 7in) tall; and 2.65m (8ft 6in) depth. According to the Chief Executive Office of the foundation, Mrs. Olasubomi Iginla Aina, the Bag of Hope (BOH), which was made in Nigeria, is a project the foundation wants to use to create a global awareness about the plight of young people and children in the would now; “we also want to use it to raise funds for the less privileged children in selected countries that we intend to work in.” She said the foundation started the creation of the bag on October 31, 2015 and ended on November 1, 2015 and it was adjudicated by the Guinness Book of Records on November 24 as the largest canvas bag in the world. “Now that we have made
the bag, we are on the second phase of the project, we want the handle of the bag 14.4 metres by 0.6 metres width to be decorated by leaders in the world; we want many leaders to decorate the handle. We want to get the leaders involved because we want to create a global awareness of the plight of children. They are aware that children are facing a lot, but when we get them involved, we will make them realise that there is need to revisit policies that relate to children now. “If they were devoting a per cent for children in whatever they were doing in the past, it has to become 99 per cent now because there is a lot happening in terms of child abuse and all manner of things that are happening; children are becoming victims more now. So we are using this to recall their attention to the fact that there is need to re-address the issues.” Aina said the bag would also be decorated by children in all parts of the world that
are participating, adding that each child would have the opportunity to put one sequin on the bag. “To achieve this we are going to cut patches of the material used for the bag and send to countries with different colours of sequins and a manual to each country to guide the children. “While the children are decorating the bag, they are also working towards or attempting to break another record of making the largest sequin mosaic in the world. The Guinness World Records is already working with us to achieve the. While the children are decorating it, they will get a world record breaker sticker confirming that they were part of the team that decorated the largest sequin mosaic in the world and that will boost their profile in future, boost their morale and help solve some of their problems.” However, she said the foundation, which has been operating in Nigeria for the
past 14 years is yet to reach the president to accept the certificate that was awarded to the country and for the president to be the first to decorate the handle of the bag. “There is a certificate that was awarded to Nigeria, I have to hand it over to the president so we have written the president to say that we want to present the certificate and we want him to use the opportunity to decorate the bag as the first leader in the world to decorate it because it is made in Nigeria.” When the decoration is completed, she said the foundation would keep raising funds with the bag “because the bag will become a treasure that anyone will want to have; we will allow museums in different parts of the world to display it, they can write us to say they want to exhibit it for a period of time and we can charge them for that and we plough the money into the project we are executing for children.”
L-R : The Principal, Olashore International School, Mr. Derek Smith; The School Head Boy, Mr. Patrick Unokiwedi; Chairman, Board of Directors, GTBank and Guest Speaker, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren; Immediate Past Chairman of the Governing Board, Mainland General Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Adewale Sanni Balogun; Head Girl of the School, Iremide Arowolo; and the Chairman Board of Governors, Olashore International School , Abimbola Olashore, at the Founders Day Celebration last weekend
Multichoice Donates Digital Resource Centres to Ogun Schools MultiChoice Nigeria has donated digital learning aids to 22 schools in Ogun State with its resource centre intervention, as part of efforts to improve education in the country. The MultiChoice Resource Centre (MRC) initiative, a corporate social investment (CSI) entails the provision of a television set, DStv explorer decoder, satellite dish, a power generating set, uninterrupted power system (UPS), sets of chairs and tables for the laboratory, and other equipment. It will give students of the benefitting schools access to educational channels that include Discovery World, Channel ED, National Geographic, History Channel and Mindset, among others. The project, introduced to improve the knowledge levels and understanding of technical subjects by students, is in its 12th year and has been launched in 363 schools in 31
states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Some of the benefiting schools are Abeokuta Girls’ Grammar School; African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta (Jnr.); Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode; Ansarudeen Comprehensive College, Ota; Baptist Boys’ High School, Abeokuta; Makun High School, Sagamu; Odogbolu Grammar School; Owode High School, Egba Owode; Our Lady of Apostles, Ijebu Ode; and Yewa College Ilaro. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Modupe Mujota thanked MultiChoice Nigeria for donating the resource centres to the state, adding that they would make teaching and learning interesting, delightful and empowering. She described the donation as an endorsement of youth-oriented initiatives in educational development in
the state, while appealing to principals, teachers and students of the beneficiary schools to “use the facility to upgrade your academic performance in the state. I urge you to ensure that this gift contributes immensely to an upgrade in academic performance in various examinations, especially the school certificate examination.” She called on other corporate bodies to emulate MultiChoice, while appealing to the schools to make maintenance their watch word. “This equipment must never be allowed to be in misuse and we urge corporate bodies to emulate MultiChoice by providing educational materials that will give our children free, affordable and qualitative education.” The Managing Director of the organisation, Mr. John Ugbe, who was represented by a staff, Ms. Efe Obiomah, said MultiChoice launched the project with a view to improv-
ing the standard of education in public schools in the country primarily, and to give back to its host community. “The MultiChoice Resource Centre project is our way of promoting the use of integrated and communication technologies to raise the standard of education by deploying the imagery of sight, and the power of sound to make learning more vivid, creative and memorable. “MultiChoice as a company believes that improving the standard of education of its host community is one of the ways by which the organisation can create value for the community. We have a strong conviction that the technological, economic, and socio-political advancement of any country and her future are intrinsically tied to the quality of education that the youths are exposed to. MultiChoice intends to take the learning resource centres to all the states of the federation.”
YourTeen-aged Student andAcne Acne is possibly the commonest skin problem experienced by secondary school students. It could cause them severe body image problems as well as engender behavioural issues. But acne is suffered by all people, at some point in their lives, irrespective of age, race, gender or social status. It could be a very embarrassing and lingering problem indeed. Acne often presents as raised red spots on the skin. Sometimes it is filled with yellowy substance, or may be itchy, painful or become infected. Acne may stay on as a problem on which you have little control. It could take up a part of, or an entire phase in your life, for example during your teen years. Some people however experience acne all through their lives. A good teacher and parent should be aware of the different suggested ways to treat acne. Medication prescribed by a dermatologist or other skin specialists may work for you. You could also try homely or natural remedies. Natural remedies could be more readily available, less time consuming, less costly, with little or no side effects. It may however require a little patience because the routine of application may have to be followed diligently. A natural remedy for acne may be just as effective as medication. A top natural remedy for acne is water. The recommended daily consumption of water, whether or not you have acne, is a minimum of eight to 10 200ml glasses of safe drinking water. Water helps to detoxify your entire body systems and kills harmful bacteria that cause acne. It is suggested that eating too much of oily foods may contribute to having acne. Therefore fried and spicy foods should be strictly reduced. Eat more fruits and vegetables that provide you with great antioxidants like: vitamin C and vitamin A, fibre and minerals. The significance of proper skin care cannot be overemphasised. You should always use facial soaps, wash or lotions on your face. Know your skin type and choose a product that is suitable for you. When you buy a skin product, test it first on a small patch of your skin to assess its suitability for you. A mixture of nutmeg powder with un-boiled milk when applied on the affected area regularly may help to treat acne. Also cinnamon powder mixed with honey is equally effective in managing acne. There are good soaps available in pharmacies that may help to reduce the discomfort and appearance of your acne. Makeup should be kept at its minimum when you are suffering from acne. Makeup may actually make acne conditions worse. Furthermore, acne should never be squeezed as the substance in it may spread to unaffected skin and infect the area. Squeezing your acne may also lead to permanent markings on your skin. Avoid your hair falling on the acne-affected area. You need to keep the area clean and uninfected always. Pillow covers and beddings should be washed regularly to avoid the spread of germs. Regular cleansing of your skin should be upheld to keep it germ free. All in all, a healthy lifestyle of balanced diets, regular exercise and adequate sleep contributes to the successful treatment of acne as well as for other skin issues. Omoru writes from the UK
Samuel Adegboyega Varsity Honours Late Pioneer VC Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Edo State has honoured its late pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Prof Samson Adedoyin, describing him as a scholar per excellence. The current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ben Aigbokhan, who spoke during the first memorial lecture organised in honour of Adedoyin, at the Pastor John Aliko Babatunde Hall of the university, said one of the reasons behind the memorial lecture was to propagate Adedoyin’s advocacy for increased investment in agriculture. “The memorial lecture is our late pioneer Vice-Chancellor’s
stance on the need for farming and to reflect the agricultural viability of Esan people as the land holds enormous potential in terms of profit maximisation on investment.” He added that the lecture in honour of Adedoyin (1952-2012) is aptly giving the swing in the economic pendulum of Nigeria against the continued dwindling crude oil price which the country cannot sustain been a micro earner. Aigbokhan said with the ideas canvassed by the late Adedoyin, Nigeria can survive acute food insecurity through massive investment in agricultural businesses and encouragement of SMEs in the agro business chain.
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, FMARCH 2, 2016
Start Degree Programme in Radiography in LASUCOM, Lagos Told Peace Obi In order to produce more specialised professionals in the field of Radiography, the Lagos State Government has been advised to start a degree course in Radiography at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) without hesitation, and to have the state government through the ministry of health provide the needed infrastructure for the training. Delivering the 52nd LASU Inaugural Lecture, tagged ‘Diagnostic Radiography: The Centrepiece and Hub of Medicine and Dentistry’, Professor Gbadebo Awosanya noted that Radiology, which is a scientific imaging that culminates in an ultimate revelation will continue to be in great demand and that it should be supported by research so as to drive the specialty forward. On the way forward for diagnostic radiology in Nigeria, Awosanya, noted that Radiography, which remains a technology-driven and equipment-oriented specialty that provides services across
all clinical disciplines, must be anchored on sound academic grounding in Anatomy, Pathophysiology of Disease and Medical Physics. He said the federal government should set aside a reasonable amount to fund research and retraining of university teachers. “Radiology remains a technology-driven and equipment-oriented specialty. Knowledge acquisition in Diagnostic Radiology entails the power of observation, power of comprehension and the linkage between both anchored on sound academic grounding in Anatomy, Pathophysiology of Disease and Medical Physics. “Radiology provides services across clinical disciplines, basic medical services, Veterinary Medical Sciences and Dentistry. If we do not move with the times, we will be left behind.” Awosanya, who advised the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to allow Diagnostic Radiology and Radiotherapy to function separately, said it will enable radiotherapy to grow multi-dimensionally. He said for a solid foundation to be laid for the understand-
LIFE Initiative Acquaints Students with Success Principles Uchechukwu Nnaike The Leadership, Inspiration, Family and Entrepreneurial (LIFE) Initiative recently organised a leadership and social etiquette seminar for more than 300 students from schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos. The seminar tagged ‘Read to Lead Seminar’, was aimed at helping senior secondary school students to acquire success principles and good personal image essential in achieving goals. Some of the principles are contained in the book ‘Power Teens Success Habits’, written by the Principal Initiator, Mr. Obafemi George, which were distributed to the schools and students free of charge. In his remarks, George, who is also a real estate consultant, life coach and author of ‘Bounce Back’, said the organisation tried to communicate to the students how to be good leaders by being good citizens. “We have inspired them and let them know that in life they will come across challenges, but they need to have a good attitude so that they can keep overcoming whatever life throws at them. He said he also invited his wife to support him at the seminar so that the youths can have a sense of family value and to know that family is between a man and a woman. George said the seminar was the first this year and that the organisation would hold three more this year across the state. Asked why he set up LIFE, he said: “With my personal experience in life, books I have read, I came to the understanding that these four
key areas are basically things that form a good foundation for any great nation, good leadership, well inspired, respect for family value and entrepreneurial culture. So I have that burden to teach the youths the four key principles. “Basically, we commit certain percentage of our income in our real estate company, we channel it to the NGO, we organise seminars for secondary schools in Lagos State and we have been doing it now for the past 13-14 years.” His wife Temitope, a barrister and Principal Consultant of Protouch Consulting and Etiquette Company, highlighted the importance of etiquette among students, saying, “I was glad with the definitions some of the came up with. They said etiquette is giving people the right impression about you and I thought that was good.” While stressing the need to dream and be focused in order to achieve the dream, she told them that she started dreaming of becoming a barrister since she was 10 and achieved her dream through hard work and focus. “It is never too late or too early to have a dream and never underestimate the power of that dream. You can be everything you want to be as long as you are focused and determined. You need to have staying power and focus; start acting and present yourself as what you want to be.” The invited schools were Etiosa Community Senior High School; Gbara Community Senior High School; Lagos State Model Senior College; Ilasan Senior Secondary School; Olomu Community Senior High School; and Community Senior High School, Badore.
ing of various dimensions of anatomy of organs, “radiologists should be drafted to anatomy departments to teach medical and dental students, radiological anatomy pari passu gross anatomy. This will lay a solid foundation for future understanding of two-dimensional
and three-dimensional anatomy of organs.” Emphasising the need to provide medical professionals the right exposure that will strengthen their specialty in radiology, he said, “Radiology residents in training programme of either West
African College of Surgeons or Nigerian Postgraduate Medical College should, as a matter of compulsion, do a four to six week posting in the Department of Morbid Anatomy and Histopathology to give them exposure in Histopathology and make
them more conversant with Forensic Radiology. “The potential advantages of holistic radiological investigations are boundless. If we experience radiology’s bright future, we must keep up with the pace of its global development holistically.”
The Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly and member, 1993 set of the Political Science graduates of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam (fourth left), with some of his classmates during their reunion in Osogbo, recently
NBTE Boss Makes Case for Science Courses
WATFON Conference Targets 3,000 Students
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Adamu Kazaure, has urged parents and guardians to advise their children seeking admission into polytechnics and colleges of technology in the country to show more interest in pursuing science and technical courses. This he said would enable them to be self-sufficient, thereby creating employment opportunities at the end of their academic pursuits. Kazaure disclosed this during the valedictory programme organised by the management of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State in honour of the outgoing Rector of the institution, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo. He said Nigerians have had enough of Ordinary and Higher National Diploma in Marketing, Finance, Banking, Purchasing and Supply, among others from the outputs of the various polytechnics and technology institutions. “Concerted effort now should be shifted to pursuing of various sciences, technical and technological courses in the country’s polytechnics and colleges technology so as to advance the development of technology in the country.” He said it is by so doing that the demand for employment opportunities among unemployed graduates and youths would be achieved. The executive secretary, who lauded Olatinwo’s giant stride,
said his 10- year tenure as rector and chief executive officer of the institution has brought tremendous academic and infrastructure development to the polytechnic. He stressed the need for the incoming administration to emulate the outgoing rector’s leadership quality so as to transform the institution. Kazaure also advised the students to shun acts of restiveness and cultism to enable them make the best academic results at the end of their programmes at the institution. He also assured the management of the institution that the NBTE would continue to support the institution and other polytechnics and institutes technology in the bid to add value to the technological and technical growth of the nation. In his remarks Olatinwo acknowledged the support of principal officers, staff, students and Offa community in transforming the polytechnic for better academic and infrastructural development since he assumed office 10 years ago. He said his administration has witnessed peace, academic development and infrastructure attainment, stressing that he would continue to be a father to the institution in the area of offering useful advice that would lead to the growth of the polytechnic. He advised stakeholders in the institution to also support the incoming administration so as to bring more development to the institution.
In its passion for a new and better Nigeria, EDUMARK, the organiser of the annual youth event, ‘We are the Future of Our Nation’ (WATFON), has concluded plans to host over 3,000 final year secondary school students across the country, who will be mentored by role models drawn from several professions and various fields of endeavours. The event tagged ‘I believe in Nigeria’ was designed to inspire patriotism, celebrate role models, promote unity and instill a positive belief of the country in the minds of youths as it has lined up leaders of thought from business, law, entertainment, politics, education among others as speakers to discuss the various topics slated for this year’s edition. The programme, which will hold tomorrow in Lagos, will afford the participating students the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the leaders of thought. Describing this year’s edition as a celebration of great expectations and hope for the country, the Project Coordinator, Biola Aroyehun said: “With the theme for this year being ‘I believe in Nigeria’, it is expected to be a celebration of great expectation and hope about the future of our dear country. “As a nation, there is no denying the fact that we have many issues that need to be corrected. But in the midst
of all that, it is important we continue to hold onto a positive outlook for this country.” Aroyehun explained that the passion to see a new and better Nigeria has kept the programme running, stressing that it has being the undying drive by the EDUMARK team and all WATFON role models to build a future whose leaders are nurtured with the right values. Meanwhile, Sir Newton Jibunoh has been announced as the chairman of the 10th edition. According to a statement, the organiser said the renowned environmental activist would recount lessons learnt from his Sahara Desert expedition and that among distinguished guests and speakers, wife of the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola will speak on ‘Patriotism in Unknown Places: Ripples, Impact of Personal Social Responsibility’. Other speakers are Oluwemimo Ogunde, SAN, Principal Counsel of the Latter House Chambers; Mr. Tonye Cole, Managing Director, Sahara Oil; Adeola Azeez, Deputy Country Representative/ Deputy Managing Director of Deutsche Bank of Nigeria; and Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, Chief Operating Officer of Supreme Education Foundation Schools. Aroyehun added that some eminent personalities who have positively affected the Nigerian youth would be honoured by the WATFON class of 2016.
Rescue from the Menace of Erosion Adibe Emenyonu writes on efforts by the government of Edo State to create a conducive environment for communities ravaged by floods and erosion
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, inspecting progress of work at one of the Benin water storm project sites
rs. Janet Agbonze, a resident of Upper Lawani area of Benin City, capital of Edo State, had suffered the impact of flooding for over 20 years. Whenever it rains, she curse the day she was born because rather than it becoming a blessing to her, the rain added sorrows to her and the entire neighborhood because water will always find its way into their houses. This is primarily because there was no drainage and the little one provided had been blocked. And because the flood coming from Okhoro to Upper Lawani wasn't properly channeled, this led to the destruction of houses around, leading to most people fleeing and abandoning their houses only to come back during the dry season to salvage whatever is left and preparing to take off again in the next round of rainy season. This is the same story for most residents of Ewah Road, off Upper Mission road in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, who had vacated their places of abode due to incessant flooding of the area especially during the rainy season. Mr. Godwin Tom Osunde, a 65-year-old house owner is one of those hard hit by flood. The retiree had almost died because he not only lost his house, but his tenants as well who deserted him when they could no longer bear the effect of flooding in the area which consequently affected his only means of livelihood since he is not in active service any longer. It is the same tale of woes for people liv-
ing around the Upper Siluko, Uwelu and Evbotubu areas of the State, which were
Mr. Godwin Tom Osunde, a 65-year-old house owner is one of those hard hit by flood. The retiree had almost died because he not only lost his house, but his tenants as well who deserted him when they could no longer bear the effect of flooding in the area
hitherto devastated by flood. It was in the light of this that Benin City Storm Water Project was conceived in 2011 to fight the persistent flooding in the city whenever it rains. In the past, residents are usually glittery at the sign of rain in the sky. Their fears are genuine because floods have wreaked havoc in the community forcing hundreds of landlords and tenants to abandon their homes for refuge in another area. Apart from submerging houses, some of the roads within the flooded area which in the past are smooth and motorable were in their worst state of dilapidation. Even at that, few roads and houses still left remain an eyesore to behold. Flooding is not the only natural disaster faced by inhabitants of Edo State. The people also suffer from gully erosion one of which is the Queen Ede gully site at Ogbesan Quarters, along Benin-Agbor road, Ikpobapandemonium-Hill, Benin; the Auchi erosion, Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State; and the Evbotubu gully in Egor council area of the state which in the past, had swallowed housed and damaged properties worth several millions of Naira. Faced by these devastations, the Edo State government decided to go to the capital market to obtain N25 billion worth of loan to tackle the flooding through the Storm Water Project. Also in its bid to address the gully erosion menace, Government decided to partner with the World Bank through a facility of N7.8 billion and another N5.7 billion for the Auchi gully in addition to setting aside the sum of
N500 million to address the menace. In fact, a St. Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic Church in the area had spent over N20 million just to keep its church standing before the rescue mission came their way. In one of the inspection tours to the devastated areas, Governor Oshiomhole assured the people that his administration has the capacity to address these challenges be it flooding or erosion, promising that the government would do more work on the Storm Water Project, especially this dry season. He said: “as we are in the dry season now, we want to quickly rush and do some work on this drainage. Because there was no drainage before now, the flood coming from Okhoro through this area wasn’t properly channeled, and it led to the destruction of houses, most persons fled and abandoned their houses and some even died in the past. “That is why we decided to do the work and the last time we did it up to the bridge and everybody said we had to continue with the job. With the rains, we couldn’t continue and I did say we will continue once the dry season comes and you can see how the drainage is now. The width of that drainage is 8 metres, which is about 26 feet wide and 2.5 meters high, which is about 8 feet high. What this means is that no matter the quantity of flood water that passes through this environ, the inhabitants of this area need not fear anymore. The water will pass through the drainage to the river". On the gully erosion devastation, the governor said part of the designs to completely
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Reclaimed Queen Ede erosion site
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, at another erosion project site
end the flooding in the capital city and its
In one of the inspection tours to the devastated areas, Governor Oshiomhole assured the people that his administration has the capacity to address these challenges be it flooding or erosion, promising that the government would do more work on the storm water project, especially this dry season
environ was the Benin Storm Water Project. He promised during some of his inspection tours of the project that the government would do more work on the storm water project, especially this dry season. However today, life is returning to these communities following government several interventions to bring them back to their homes. The good news for them today is that the situation is different. After years of devastation by flooding and gully, those who abandoned their homes are coming back as government did not only reclaim their land, but build new access roads for them. Little wonder the same Godwin Tom Osunde, a resident of one of the flooded areas, is full of praises for Oshiomhole. According him, "I am a common man and I know where it pains me. I am more than 65 years now but I have never seen a governor like you. My house in April last year was flooded and I had no one to help me. But today, you have done me proud and May God bless you. You have done so much for us, and as you have remembered us, so will God remember you.” Also to Mrs. Mary Omoruyi who formerly abandoned her home because of the erosion menace at Queen Ede, "this is the first time, money that comes to the state to work for us are not shared among some individuals. If not for his intervention, this place was almost lost to flood and erosion. One particular night, I almost drowned in the flood, I shouted and cried and God rescued me but I lost everything I had, my livestock, my properties all were washed away by the erosion but today, you have reclaimed this place for us and now we are safe and secured. Thank
Queen Ede gully erosion site
you for your concern and effort and may God be with you.” The Benin Forum, a socio cultural apex body in Benin, was not left out in showering encomium on Oshiomhole. The group led by Chief David Edebiri, Esogban of Benin, during an inspection of some the projects in the state capital, marveled at the level of reclamation done on the Queen Ede gully erosion site, saying that critics of the government should see the project so that they would know that the money that comes to the state is judiciously spent. He said, “we have 12 wards in Oredo and I would love them to one day, come and see this. Those critics, lame duck critics at home, let them come and see what is going on here, so that they may know that any money that comes to this state is for development and not wasted or appropriated to individual pockets. “The work going on here is simply marvellous and I have asked that those lame duck critics in Benin City and elsewhere should be given the opportunity to come and see this work. Only people with large heart can venture into this type of work to salvage many people from imminent flood destruction. “I am impressed and every good person will be impressed. It means that every penny that comes to this state is used for the benefit of the people and not what we used to have here in this state where few people appropriate public and state money as their own personal money. So I thank the governor for doing what he is doing for the people of Edo State in general and for the residents of Benin City in particular. I am impressed and I think everybody will be impressed.”
Also, the Enogie of Evbuobanosa, Prof. Greg Akenzua said: “a lot of earthwork is being done at Queen Ede erosion site and as you could see, many of the homes there have been restored and the people are quite happy with the governor that he has brought happiness to them, that he has saved their homes and so we really must commend the governor for his courage”. At the Upper Siluko area of the state, which was hitherto devastated by flood, Prof Akenzua said “we can see that a lot of money has been spent here. Those who knew the difficulty of this terrain will appreciate this. Many people had abandoned their houses because of the flood, now they are all returning and the Teachers House, was notorious for the flood water that used to be here. It was not passable but now, look at the road, quite solid and the drains are wide and the place is dry. So we are very happy and the people in the neighbourhood are all cheering as we appeared, so we are all very happy.” On his part, one-time Minister of Science and Technology and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Emmanuel Emovon had this to say: “Oshiomhole is doing marvellously well and we will also support him in every way. He is a saviour to most areas of Benin. He has done extremely well and anybody who thinks Oshiomhole hasn’t done well, you would have to examine their head. He has done extremely well”. Although it’s not yet Uhuru, but residents of the affected areas today can beat their chests to say things are getting better for them and their environment.
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T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
SEC Boss Wants FG to Woo Multinationals to List on NSE Says commission’s income can’t offset 50% cost James Emejo in Abuja The Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Munir Gwarzo yesterday urged the federal government to help encourage multinational companies operating in the country to list on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to give Nigerians opportunity to benefit from their investments. Speaking in Abuja while receiving members of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, Gwarzo also lamented that what it currently generates from the market operations could not cover 50 percent of its cost, partly as a result of the downturn in the market. He said: “There is a need for the government to encourage them (companies) there are so many options on how to get there. Some of us are of the opinion that you can use certain incentives, for instance I personally think you can use certain incentives to say that
if government is to award a contract, unless a company is listed, other than that that company will not enjoy that contract.” He said: “If Julius Berger and Setraco are bidding for construction work, Julius Berger should have an advantage because whatever income Julius Berger makes, Nigerian shareholders will also benefit. On the very low level, you can say if government is doing an evaluation of the companies that they will be giving contract, the company that is listed will get a higher percentage, 5-20%. SEC is very keen for companies to be listed, the more listed companies, the deeper the market.” The SEC boss further expressed concern that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) operation had greatly reduced the capital market regulator’s ability to be flexible. He said the commission was currently “running a very tight budget, given that the market has gone down and given that there are aspirations to move
the market up we have to set aside some amount of money.” According to him: “The budget of 2015, we had projection of N6.9 billion as our income but we were only able to make N4.9 billion because of the state of the market. We no longer take our staff on overseas and local training and our earning are now 30-40% less than we had in the past.” However, he stated that the commission was working to attract more retail investors into the Nigerian capital market to deepen and develop the market. Furthermore, he said: “As a country we have only less than 2% participation of retail investors in our market. Malaysia has 9%, South Africa 19%, USA 43%, and UK 13%. So our market is less being participated by the retail investors. Due to the dominance of the foreign investors, anytime they move out of the market the market goes down. Our effort is to see that in the next 5-10 years we raise the level of involvement of the retail investor to at least 5%.”
Elumelu Harps on Increased Trade, Investment across Africa Eromosele Abiodun The Chairman, Heirs Holdings and the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, has stated that the private sector must collaborate to ensure increased trade and investment opportunities across the African continent. Elumelu, while speaking on the role of African private sector in the continent’s development and regional integration at the 4th International African Development Forum in Casablanca, Morocco . Organised by the Attijariwafa Bank since 2010, this year’s forum, was held in collaboration with the Moroccan Government institution, Maroc Export with focus on ‘Agriculture and Electrification: Harnessing Energies’. Elumelu stressed that sustained Investments in agriculture
and energy can lead to and sustain economic transformation across the continent. He said that while African countries are united by geography, North Africa is increasingly counted as Middle East. “I come here today to embrace my North African brothers and sisters and also my francophone brothers and sisters represented here. African unity should be about shared bonds and trade. As we grow closer we will address the challenges caused by our trade barriers. I believe in Africa, and I believe in the power of entrepreneurship to deliver the future we all want for the continent- a future of stability and prosperity, with sustainable energy and food for all!” he noted. Elumelu further stressed the importance of investments and of providing the right infrastructure for development across the continent.
According to him, “The private sector has the capacity and must acknowledge and embrace its role in the development of our continent. We have common challenges. We need investment and we need development in Africa. I decided that I needed to be here to participate in such a forward moving initiative. I call this Africapitalism. “Africapitalism proposes that the African private sector has the power to transform Africa through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth; a belief that we have backed by launching the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme - a 10-year, $100 million commitment to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs and generate $10 billion in annual revenue, creating at least one million jobs across Africa.”
Diamond Bank, Women’s World Banking, MTN to Deepen Financial Inclusion Nume Ekeghe Diamond Bank Plc, MTN and a global non-profit organisation, the Women’s World Banking have unveiled the next phase of the Diamond Y’ello Account through an innovative partnership aimed at deepening the financial inclusion for women in Nigeria. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the partnership seeks to build understanding of what it takes to make digital financial services work for low-income women. The Diamond Y’ello account would be developed as a global model for expanding women’s access to and usage of digital financial services through simplified
steps in account opening and banking transactions, using mobile phones. Speaking yesterday at the unveiling of this product, the Chief executive officer Diamond Bank, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said that the bank was passionate about the financial wellbeing of women, noting that the strategic focus of this project is to enhance the financial lifestyle of women by providing convenient mobile banking services. “Diamond Y’ello is an account you open without the documentation and other rigours associated with traditional accounts. We are aware that the future of financial inclusion is digital, and we aim to use this product to bring banking to everyone
no matter your income, where you live or the type of mobile handset you are using,” Dozie said. Diamond Y’ello, first launched in Nigeria in 2014, is a mobile-based bank account opened instantly through the customer’s mobile phone in a few simple steps and is available to MTN’s over 63 million subscribers and potential subscribers. Industry insiders hail Diamond Y’ello account as a unique financial product that helps not only to optimize the use of mobile phones in carrying out full banking services, but also serves as an effective means of spreading financial literacy in urban, semi urban and remote areas.
MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS
DECEMBER 2015 Broad Money (M2)
-- Narrow Money (M1)
---- Currency Outside Banks
---- Demand Deposits
-- Quasi Money
Net Foreign Assets (NFA)
Net Domestic Assets(NDA)
-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)
---- Credit to Government (Net)
---- Memo: Credit to Govt. (Net) less FMA
---- Memo: Fed. and Mirror Accounts (FMA)
---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)
--Other Assets Net
Reserve Money (Base Money)
--Currency in Circulation
3,954,802.55 • Source - CBN
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Price (N) Stanbic Balanced Fund
Stanbic IBTC NEF
Stanbic IBTC Ethical
Stanbic IBTC GIF
UBA Balanced Fund
UBA Bond Fund
UBA Equity Fund
UBA Money Market Fund
ARM Aggressive Growth Fund
ARM Discovery Fund
ARM Ethical Fund
ARM Money Market Fund
13.1030 (Yield % ) • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%
OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT FRIDAY, 29 FEBRUARY 2016 The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $30.13 a barrel on Monday, compared with $30.74 the previous Friday, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. (View Archives) The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
Nigeria’s top 50 stocks based on market fundamentals
20 Mobil Oil Nig Plc. 21 Julius Berger Nig. Plc. 22 Sterling Bank Plc. 23 Total Nigeria Plc. 24 Flour Mills Nig. Plc. 25 Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc 26 U A C N Plc.
TOTAL MARKET CAP
% OF MARKET CAP Annotation - MA* = Simple Moving Average
Table 1 Market Statistics Mkt Indicators NSE All Share Index NSE Market Cap (N'Trillion) Thisday BGL 50 Index Thisday BGL 50 Market Cap (N'Trillion)
Table 3 Top 5 Gainers Stock
Oando Plc Dangote Cement Plc P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Fidelity Bank Plc
Close Change 1-Mar-16 %
2.97 141.75 21.90 16.75
3.14 148.83 22.99 17.58
5.72 4.99 4.98 4.96
Table 4 Top 5 Losers Stock
Open Close Change 29-Feb-16 1-Mar-16 %
Forte Oil Plc. Unity Bank Plc Mansard Insurance Plc Unilever Nigeria Plc. Lafarge Africa Plc.
342.00 0.67 1.87 29.00 84.52
308.66 0.64 1.80 28.00 81.65
-9.75 -4.48 -3.74 -3.45 -3.40
Positive earnings announcement and dividend declaration drives ASI by 1.09% Market pulse on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today-Tuesday March 1st, 2016, was bullish as the stock market closed green today, due to renewed optimism. This was further highlighted by positive performances from all the NSE Sub sectors; Bankin, Oil & Gas, Insurance and Consumers Goods. Trading activities increased in volume as 467.24 million shares worth N1.49 billion in 2,549 deals exchanged hands today. This is an increase from the 280.39 million shares worth N1.73 billion in 2,771 deals carried out on Friday. Topping in volume terms was Zenith Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc and Transcorp Plc, while Nigerian Breweries Plc and Zenith Bank Plc ended trading as the most active stocks in value terms. The All Share Index (NSEASI) closed positive with a 1.09% (+609.52) increase to 24.838.31 from 24,570.73 the previous trading day. Market Capitalization appreciated in tandem to N8.54 trillion from N8.45 trillion of prior trading day. The Thisday BGL 50 Index also followed suit with a 1.18% increase to close at 101.35 from 100.17 the previous trading day, while its market capitalization stood at N7.85 trillion from N7.80 trillion of the previous trading day. A total number of 20 stocks gained on the bourse today while 15 stocks declined, leaving 61 stocks unchanged. Oando Plc emerged the toast of investors as it topped the Thisday BGL 50 Index gainers’ list with a gain of 5.72% to close at N3.14 per share. It was followed by Dangote Cement Plc with a gain of 4.99% to close at N148.83 per share. Others on the gainers list include; PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and Fidelity Bank Plc while on the decliners’ list Forte Oil Plc led with a loss of 9.75% to close at N308.66 per share. It was followed by Unity Bank Plc with a loss of 4.48% to close at N0.64 per share. Others on the losers list include; Mansard Insurance Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc. REQUIRED DISCLOSURE This report has been prepared by BGL Plc. BGL Plc does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should use this report as one of many other factors in making their investment decisions.
For more details go to www.thisdaylive.com
T H I S D AY • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016
Dangote Cement Records N181bn Profit, Declares N8.00 Per Share Dividend Goddy Egene and Eromosele Abiodun Dangote Cement Plc yesterday declared a revenue of N491.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, showing an increase of 26 per cent from N391.6 billion in 2014. Profit before tax was N188.3 billion as against N184.7 billion, while profit after tax rose from N159.5
billion to N181.3 billion. Based on the performance, the directors recommended a dividend of N8.00 per share, showing an increase of 33 per cent above the N6.00 per share. Dangote Cement, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is seeking to boost sales and protect market share in Nigeria amid slowing economic growth, while rapidly expanding elsewhere
T H E MAIN BOARD
in sub-Saharan Africa. The company cut prices in Nigeria in September, to boost consumption and compete with imports, and said last month it will build two new plants in the country. “New factories performed very successfully across Africa, gaining significant market share against long-established incumbents,” Chief Executive Officer of the company Onne van der Weijde said: “In our
N I G E R I A N QUANTITY TRADED
STO C K
VALUE TRADED ( N )
Daily Summary as of 01/03/2016 Printed 01/03/2016 14:36:46.046 Daily Summary (Bonds) No Debt Trading Activity Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board EQTY AGRICULTURE Crop Production OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. PRESCO PLC Crop Production Totals Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. Livestock/Animal Specialties Totals AGRICULTURE Totals CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. JOHN HOLT PLC. TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC U A C N PLC. Diversified Industries Totals CONGLOMERATES Totals CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Structure/Completion/Other G CAPPA PLC Building Structure/Completion/Other Totals Infrastructure/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. Infrastructure/Heavy Construction Totals Real Estate Development UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED Real Estate Development Totals Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Totals CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Totals CONSUMER GOODS Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. GUINNESS NIG PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. Beverages--Brewers/Distillers Totals Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. Beverages--Non-Alcoholic Totals Food Products DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC TIGER BRANDED CONSUMER GOODS PLC Food Products Totals Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. Food Products--Diversified Totals Household Durables VITAFOAM NIG PLC. Household Durables Totals Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. Personal/Household Products Totals CONSUMER GOODS Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED FIDELITY BANK PLC GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. SKYE BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC UNION BANK NIG.PLC. UNITY BANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC. Banking Totals Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC. GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services Totals Micro-Finance Banks NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC Micro-Finance Banks Totals Other Financial Institutions AFRICA PRUDENTIAL REGISTRARS PLC CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED PLC FCMB GROUP PLC. STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC UNITED CAPITAL PLC Other Financial Institutions Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC
home market of Nigeria we increased sales by 3.2 per cent against the worst economic crisis the country has faced in many years, which demonstrates that the Nigerian market is very robust.” Dangote last year announced plans to add 25 million metric tons of capacity across African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, as well as a new plant in Nepal. The com-
pany has last month announced new nine million metric tons per annum plants being constructed in Okpella and Itori in Edo and Ogun states in Nigeria. When Dangote paid N6.00 last year, shareholders hailed the performance, saying it was highly encouraging given the challenging environment. For instance, the President, Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian
Shareholders, Dr. Farouk Umar, commended the board and management of the company for the steps they had taken to ensure the sustained growth of the company. Dangote had told the shareholders that 2014 was a year in which the company achieved significant progress in its goal to become a truly pan-African manufacturer and distributor of cement.
E XC H A N G E
MAIN BOARD Pharmaceuticals Totals HEALTHCARE Totals ICT Processing Systems CHAMS PLC Processing Systems Totals ICT Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials ASHAKA CEM PLC BERGER PAINTS PLC CAP PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC DN MEYER PLC. PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. Building Materials Totals Electronic and Electrical Products CUTIX PLC. Electronic and Electrical Products Totals Packaging/Containers BETA GLASS CO PLC. W A GLASS IND. PLC. Packaging/Containers Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals NATURAL RESOURCES Chemicals B.O.C. GASES PLC. Chemicals Totals NATURAL RESOURCES Totals OIL AND GAS Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC Integrated Oil and Gas Services Totals Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CONOIL PLC ETERNA PLC. FORTE OIL PLC. MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals Exploration and Production SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD Exploration and Production Totals OIL AND GAS Totals SERVICES Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. Automobile/Auto Part Retailers Totals Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Courier/Freight/Delivery Totals Hotels/Lodging IKEJA HOTEL PLC Hotels/Lodging Totals Printing/Publishing LEARN AFRICA PLC Printing/Publishing Totals Road Transportation ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC Road Transportation Totals Transport-Related Services NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Transport-Related Services Totals Support and Logistics C & I LEASING PLC. Support and Logistics Totals SERVICES Totals EQTY Board Totals Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board ASeM OIL AND GAS Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CAPITAL OIL PLC Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals OIL AND GAS Totals ASeM Board Totals Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board PREMIUM FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC Banking Totals Other Financial Institutions FBN HOLDINGS PLC Other Financial Institutions Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials DANGOTE CEMENT PLC Building Materials Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals PREMIUM Board Totals Equity Activity Totals
Zuma Survives Impeachment Move By Opposition South African President, Jacob Zuma has survived an impeachment move with South African parliament voting down a no-confidence motion moved against him, while a court is hearing a case to reinstate 738 corruption charges against him. Governing party MPs defeated the motion, while Zuma’s office said he would oppose the court case. The opposition was behind both actions, accusing him of taking a bribe. Zuma has denied the allegation, linked to a multi-billion dollar arms deal negotiated over a decade ago. He was first charged in 2005, and fired as deputy president by then-President Thabo Mbeki. After much legal and political wrangling, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropped the case in April 2009, and Mr Zuma went on to become president a month later. During a noisy parliamentary session, DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, described Mr Zuma as a sell-out whose main aim was self-enrichment. South Africa was “spiralling downward, and doing so at an alarmingly fast rate” under his presidency, the party added in a statement.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) party said that despite the “frivolous antics” of the DA, its confidence in Mr Zuma remained unshaken. In the High Court, the DA’s lawyers said the decision of the NPA to drop the corruption charges was unconstitutional and irrational. Zuma’s office said, in a statement, that the court action was an “abuse of process by a political party in order to advance a political agenda”. The president was confident that the NPA’s decision would “withstand any scrutiny”, the statement added. At the time, the NPA said phone-tap evidence, dubbed in the local media as “spy tapes”, suggested political interference in the investigation, and it was “unconscionable” to press ahead with the case. The DA brought the case after it won a lengthy battle in 2014 to obtain the “spy tapes”. Zuma, a former ANC intelligence chief, has been dogged by controversy throughout his time in government. The government used some $23m (£15m) of state money to upgrade Mr Zuma’s Nkandla home. Last month, he conceded in court that he needed to pay the government for money
used to upgrade his private home, which included the building of a swimming pool, amphitheatre, chicken run and cattle enclosure.
of state faces off with either of the other two top Republicans, things are much tighter and roughly the same as they were in January. Clinton trails against Rubio, with 50% choosing the Florida senator compared to 47% for Clinton, identical to the results in January. Against Cruz, Clinton holds 48% to his 49%, a slight tightening from a 3-point race in January to a 1-point match-up now. Sanders -- who enjoys the most positive favourable rating of any presidential candidate in the field, according to the poll -- tops all three Republicans by wide margins: 57% to 40% against Cruz, 55% to 43% against Trump, and 53% to 45% against Rubio. Sanders fares better than Clinton in each match-up among men,
younger voters and independents. The race for the presidency hits its primary season peak as 78% of voters, including almost the same share among Democrats, Republicans and independents, who say that the nation is more deeply divided on major issues facing the country than it has been in the past. The survey asked voters to choose which of all the remaining top candidates, regardless of party, they trust most to handle seven top issues. Trump tops the list on the economy, terrorism and immigration, while Clinton is the top choice when it comes to health care, race relations and foreign policy. Voters are about evenly split between Trump and Clinton on gun policy.
New Bin Laden Documents Show a Suspicious, Pressured Al Qaeda Leadership Al Qaeda’s leaders were increasingly worried about spies in their midst, drones in the air and secret tracking devices reporting their movements as the U.S.-led war against them ground on, documents seized in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout and reviewed by Reuters have revealed. The cache of 113 documents, translated and declassified by U.S. intelligence agencies, are mostly dated between 2009 and 2011, intelligence officials said. The documents - the second
tranche from the raid to have been declassified since May 2015 - depict an al Qaeda that was unwavering in its commitment to global jihad, but with its core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan under pressure on multiple fronts. U.S. President Barack Obama has said drone strikes and other counter-terrorism operations depleted al Qaeda’s original leadership, culminating in bin Laden’s killing by U.S. Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011. In the years since, the organization has proved resilient from
against him by an independent anti-corruption body in 2014. In December, South Africa’s currency went into a tail spin after having three finance
ministers in a week. In 2005, Mr Zuma’s former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was convicted of corruption.
Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, with his wife Grace, and son, Chatunga, cutting a cake to celebrate his 92nd birthday at State House in Harare…recently
Clinton, Sanders Lead Trump in National Poll
Democratic presidential candidates are ahead of Republican front-runner Donald Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll. But Hillary Clinton, who is well ahead in the Democratic race for the presidency, would likely face a stronger challenge should Florida Senator Marco Rubio or Texas Senator Ted Cruz capture the Republican nomination for president. In the scenario that appears most likely to emerge from the primary contests, Clinton tops Trump 52% to 44% among registered voters. That result has tilted in Clinton’s favor since the last CNN/ORC Poll on the match-up in January. But when the former secretary
That case was brought by the DA and left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party after Zuma failed to pay the money, despite a ruling
Afghanistan to North Africa, and its ideological rival, Islamic State, has grown and spread. In one document, bin Laden issues instructions to al Qaeda members holding an Afghan hostage to be wary of possible tracking technology attached to the ransom payment. “It is important to get rid of the suitcase in which the funds are delivered, due to the possibility of it having a tracking chip in it,” bin Laden states in a letter to an aide identified only as “Shaykh Mahmud.”
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Assad Backs Syria Truce, Accuses Opposition of Violations Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, has been backing the cessation of hostilities that have been in force since Saturday, while accusing the opposition of violating the agreement intended to halt nearly five years of fighting. The opposition has in turn accused the Syrian government of breaching the fragile truce by repeatedly attacking its positions, which the government denies. International observers have acknowledged violations of the agreement while stressing that the level of violence has decreased considerably. “We will play our part to make the whole thing work,” Assad was quoted as saying in an extract of an interview with Germany’s ARD television network. The president said the Syrian army had not reacted to truce violations in order to give the agreement a chance. “The terrorists have breached the deal from the first day. We as the Syrian Army are refraining from responding in order to give a chance to sustain the agreement. But in the end there are limits and
it all depends on the other side,” Assad said. He also said people in Syria were suffering from a “humanitarian disaster”. The war has killed at least 250,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes. The United Nations hopes the cessation of hostilities will allow it to deliver aid to more than 150,000 people in besieged areas of Syria. The cessation of hostilities agreement, drawn up by the United States and Russia, is also seen by the United Nations as an opportunity to revive peace talks, which collapsed before they had even started a month ago in Geneva. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was an urgent need to implement the agreement and for the warring parties to return to the negotiating table, a U.N. statement said. “They agreed on the importance of urgently moving forward simultaneously on implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, providing vital humanitarian
assistance to civilians, and returning to political negotiations,” the statement said. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said on Monday that while efforts were being made to track down alleged violations of the cessation of hostilities, there was currently no evidence to suggest they would destabilize the fragile peace. The agreement does not include Islamic State and the Nusra Front, and Assad and his Russian backers have made clear they intend to keep attacking the jihadist groups. The Saudi-backed “moderate” opposition says that because some of their fighters are located in areas alongside Nusra, they fear being targeted too. The Russian Defence Ministry said it was refraining from striking areas in Syria where the “moderate opposition” was respecting the ceasefire agreement, Interfax news agency reported. A total of 15 ceasefire violations have been registered in Syria in the past 24 hours, Interfax quoted the Russian military as saying.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
EFCC to Arraign Ex-CDS, Badeh for Money Laundering Court orders anti-graft commission to release Jonathan’s former ADC Dasuki’s assistant sues army, asks court to order his release Tobi Soniyi inAbuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has formally filed a 10-count charge of money laundering against the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), yesterday just as the former defence chief asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him bail from detention. This came as a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Jabi yesterday granted Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, former Aide-deCamp (ADC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan bail after spending 20 days in the custody of the commission. Badeh is charged alongside a company Iyalyam Nigeria Limited, the company allegedly used by him to acquire property. The charge which has suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/46/2016 has already been assigned to Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja. An EFCC source said Badeh would be arraigned tomorrow. Badeh is being held in Lagos by the anti-graft commission since February 8, 2016, when he was invited for questioning. However, in a bid to secure bail, Badeh through his counsel, Samuel Zibiri (SAN) filed an application at the Federal High Court Abuja seeking his release from detention. The application dated February 15, was brought pursuant to Section 35(4) and Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 158, 162 and 165(1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. Justice James Tsoho had already reserved ruling in Badeh’s application to release him for March 4. Zibiri is praying the court for an order admitting Badeh to bail on self recognizance, or on such favourable and liberal terms as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case pending further investigation by the respondent and/or arraignment before this court. Zibiri said the application was
based on the grounds that the applicant voluntarily went on the invitation to the office of the respondent, (EFCC) on February 8, and was subsequently detained by the respondent after several hours of interrogation and being compelled to write a bulky statement. The alleged case of fraud for which the applicant was invited is ordinarily bailable, according to Zibiri, adding that “there is no reason for, or any likelihood that the applicant will jump bail, escape from Justice, interfere with witnesses or investigation if same is still ongoing, or the course of justice upon his being granted bail.” But opposing the application, counsel to the EFCC, Cosmas Ugwu told the court that Badeh had not even made any effort to secure bail in Lagos, where he was presently being detained. “He is in custody in Lagos; Abuja is not holding him, so, the convenient court to grant the applicant bail is a court within the same territorial jurisdiction,” Ugwu argued. More so, the EFCC lawyer informed the court that Badeh was being held under a remand order issued by a Lagos magistrate court because he was fingered in the NIMASA fraud allegation. Consequently, Ugwu urged the court to dismiss the application. The presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho has fixed March 4, for ruling. Meanwhile, In the case of Adegbe, the court further ordered that he should be granted bail on liberal terms forthwith pending his arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction even as it wondered why the EFCC had refused to grant administrative bail to the applicant until an action was instituted against it. Following his detention since February 11, Adegbe, through his lawyer, Ogwu Onoja (SAN), filed a fundamental rights enforcement application wherein he specifically sought release from the custody of the EFCC. Ruling on the application, Justice Yusuf Haliru, declared the detention of Ojogbane as unconstitutional,
Saraki Hires New Lawyer as CCT Shifts Trial to March 11 Tobi Soniyi inAbuja The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has rescheduled the hearing of the case against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to March 11. The tribunal had last month fixed March 10 for the resumption of proceedings shortly after the Supreme Court dismissed Saraki’s appeal, challenging his trial before the tribunal. It was learnt yesterday that the rescheduling was at the instance of Saraki, whose new lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), wrote to the tribunal requesting a shift from the earlier date. CCT spokesman, Ibrahim Alhassan, confirmed the new date. Agabi’s letter read: ‘‘I write as lead counsel to the above defendant
(Saraki) to apply that the matter, which is now scheduled to come up on March 10 2016, subject to the convenience of the honourable tribunal and learned counsel for the prosecution, be taken on March 11, 2016, due to my earlier and urgent commitments in other courts on the 10th. ‘‘I will sincerely appreciate the indulgence of the tribunal to accommodate me in this way.’’ Saraki was charged for allegedly falsely declaring his assets by federal government. A 13-count filed against him. He had objected to his arraignment and appealed the matter at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. On February 5, the apex court had okayed his trial.
illegal and in breach of provisions of Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution. Consequently, the court directed the anti-graft agency to grant bail to the ADC. The court noted that the ADC’s detention “is most an aberration” and sought to know whether the EFCC has reduced itself to the status of a police station or detention facility of the Nigerian Army. “From the affidavit in support and against the application, “it is a fact that the applicant was under the custody of the EFCC. Justice Haliru stated that fundamental human rights entrenched under Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution is not an outlet for those whose hands are soiled to escape punishment but an outlet for those whose
rights are trampled upon to get Justice and freedom. The court described the EFCC as dancing “makossa dance” based on its position that it was the army that invited Ojogbane for questioning in one breath and that his detention was at the instance of the Nigerian Army. However, the court refused to grant the N100million claim for general damages pressed for by the applicant as well as the order for an apology letter to be written to him by the EFCC. The motion on notice was filed by his lawyer, Onoja, and dated February 16, 2016. Adegbe had prayed the court to make an order for the federal government to pay him the sum of N100million as general damages for detainning
him unlawfully since February 11, 2016. The applicant also asked for “a declaration that the arrest and continued detention of the applicant by the respondent since February 11, 2016 is unconstitutional as it offends his right to personal liberty as guaranteed by Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution. More so, Ojogbane pleaded with the court to order the EFCC to release him from unlawful detention with immediate effect. Also, Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, a serving officer in the Nigerian Army, who was Special Assistant to the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has filed a suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) and
the Nigerian Army challenging his continued detention. In the suit filed through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the army officer is challenging his detention for about 12 weeks without any charge preferred against him. Ashinze was first detained by the EFCC for eight weeks and released to the army, which subsequently detained him, without any charge for another four weeks in a military facility. In the application for an order enforcing his fundamental rights, which also has the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as a respondent, was filed pursuant to Order 2 Rules (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009.
WE WISH YOU WELL
L-R: President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh (SAN), outgoing, Managing Director/CEO, Ecobank Nigeria, Jibril Aku; and Outgone Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc Phillips Oduoza, at the sendforth dinner in honour of Aku hosted by the NBA president, in Lagos...yesterday
Pope Greets Pro-Biafra Activists, Sues for Patience Pope Francis on Sunday greeted a group of activists from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who are campaigning for secession from Nigeria, after they gathered at the Vatican. During his weekly Angelus address—where the he addresses crowds of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace—the Catholic Pontiff extended a word of welcome to the Indigenous People of Biafra. The statement was greeted with cheers and celebration by the Biafran group, who were waving flags during the address. The Pope traditionally greets travelling groups of pilgrims during his weekly addresses and the Vatican has not publicly commented on the Pope’s position on Biafran agitation for secession. IPOB is led by Nnamdi Kanu, a United Kingdom-Nigerian dual citizen who is currently detained in Nigeria. He was charged for
treasonable felony. Kanu is the director of Radio Biafra, an underground media outlet that broadcasts material in favour of an independent state of Biafra in the South-east. But a text released yesterday by IPOB, said the Catholic Pontiff addressed over 35,000 members who gathered at the Vatican City for the weekly Angelus, warning their oppressors, the federal government and its agents to repent and stop killing Biafra agitators or face the wrath of God that will be catastrophic. The text of the Catholic Pontiff”s address which was made available to THISDAY by the IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, disclosed that the Pope Francis advised the Biafra agitators and the crowd that gathered at St Peter’s Square from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to be patient in all they are doing, that God’s patience towards their oppressors is without limit but the time
for change of heart from their oppression is now. IPOB quoted the Pontiff to have said: “It is never too late to convert an oppressor to change from his evil activities, including murderous activities, but it is urgent, it is now, let them begin today to change from their oppression and killing of innocent people through all sorts of violent means, including the jack boot of the military.” The pro-Biafra said the Pope spoke on “invincible patience,” explaining how God’s “unyielding concern for sinners” should provoke patience in us, asking “if we have you thought of God’s patience, have you even thought of his unyielding concern for sinners, how this should provoke patience among people, including governments, instead of killing people on slightest provocation or no provocation at all, let alone people who are protesting against unfair treatments or for something they feel is their rights.”
IPOB said the Pope told them that God does not permit tragedies to punish sins, rather, Jesus uses warnings that sinners will perish if they do not repent, adding that if the oppressors of peaceful agitators like the Biafra agitators in Nigeria fail to repent the wrath of God will be catastrophic against them. The Pontiff according to IPOB, welcomes the need to firmly and unreservedly focus on negotiations and dialogue between governments and agitators all over the world including pro-Biafra agitators and the government of Nigeria, like done in Syria which has brought the current ceasefire in the country, involving government and rebel forces, which has entered its fourth day. “I invite all to pray so that this window of opportunity can give relief to the suffering people and agitators and encourage the necessary humanitarian aid, and open the way to dialogue and much desired peace” he said.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
House C’ttee, Minister Disagree over Sack of 13 Vice-Chancellors
Lawmakers caution on planned shutdown of 556 illegal private schools in FCT
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, yesterday disagre over the recent sack of 13 vice-chancellors by the federal government, when he
(Adamu), appeared before the committee Where the lawmakers raised issues with the legality of removing the VCs, and the appointment of their replacements without recourse to the governing councils, the minister insisted that there was no illegality, as there were no
Umeh, APGA kick Charles Onyekamuo in Awka The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State yesterday announced the indefinite postponement of the rerun election for Anambra Central senatorial district hitherto scheduled for March 5. The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr. Lawrence Azubuike, who announced the postponement at a stakeholders’ meeting of registered political parties with the commission at the Women Development Centre in Awka, the state capital, said it was as a result of an order from a Federal High Court in Abuja that the commission should include the People Democratic Party (PDP) as one of the parties to contest the election. The court, presided over by Justice Anuli Chikere had ruled last Monday that the PDP has the right to contest the rerun senatorial election following an action filed before the court by the party. The REC however gave indication that the commission would appeal the decision. But the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election, Chief Victor Umeh and the party in their reactions to the order of the court, expressed shock at the court’s decision, saying the supreme court which is the highest court in the land cleared this issue
in the matter between the Labour Party and the INEC in 2009 to the effect that only candidates who participated in an election abinitio would be eligible to contest in the rerun. “It is a rude shock because the same judge had in three similar cases in Kogi East and West and Niger State where the All Progressives Congress (APC) sought to effect replacement of its candidates declined jurisdiction only for her to reverse herself in Anambra Central senatorial rerun because the PDP asked her to do so. “It is simply bizarre because this time, she did a summersault. We suspected this when she rejected our application to be joined because the outcome of the court of litigation would affect us one way or the other,” he stated. The APGA candidate, who was also the immediate past national chairman of the party, said at a briefing in Awka yesterday that the court order was an ambush by the PDP and the church to get to APGA and its candidate in the election, adding that as it appeared, the order was a pre-mediated. He said the judge was allegedly compromised to make the order given that it was the same preliminary objection and affidavit used by the INEC in the three previous objections which the court considered to strike out the APC applications in Kogi and Niger States that were used.
Again Chief Judge Re-assigns Oronsaye’s Case Tobi SoniyiinAbuja The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has again re-assigned the case against a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Steve Oronsaye. Indication that Justice Auta had reversed his earlier decision became public yesterday when the judge to whom the case was re-assigned, Justice James Tsoho, declined to take any step in the case. Justice Auta had earlier this year re-assigned the cases from Justice Gabriel Kolawole (before whom Oronsaye) had been arraigned) to Justice James Tsoho, who was recently redeployed from the court’s Lagos division. Yesterday, parties were in court, hoping that Oronsaye and others, named in a 35-count charge, would be re-arraigned before the new
judge. But, when the case was called, Oronsaye and two other defendants, Osarenkhoe Afe and his company, Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited were present. Oronsaye and Afe went into the dock. Prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), noted that other defendants in the case - Global Services Limited, Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited and Crew Investment and Construction Company Limited - were not represented. Jacobs urged the judge to direct that the charge be read to the defendants in court and that “no guilty” plea be entered for the other defendants in accordance with Section 478 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
laws backing the establishment of the affected institutions in the first instance. The minister who conceded that the president does not have the power to sack a VC, hinged his argument on the premise that the VCs cannot enjoy the protection of the law governing other institutions established by law. But Hon. Jonathan Gaza (Nasarawa PDP) said the action amounted to politicising the education sector, adding that a bad precedence is being set. “Education is the bedrock of the society. The moment we begin to play politics with education, we are heading to a bad ending,” Gaza warned. Hon. Sopuluchuwkwu Ezeonwuka insisted that the action of firing the VCs and replacing them in the manner it was executed is illegal.
He noted that the affected institutions are also guided by the basic laws existing in other universities, and wondered why the government would delve into their administration, if they were not recognised. Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Adamu Suleiman, said the members remain unconvinced by the minister’s arguments. “The section of the law you read to us did not show that you can proceed without the council. There are still contentious issues which you need to show us clearly. So you need to come with proof to show us. We sit to protect the law and so when we are confronted with the provision of the law, we surrender,” he said. The minister was directed to return with the relevant documents next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the House, at plenary, urged the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Muhammed Bello, to stay action on plans to shut down 556 private schools alleged to be operating illegally in the city. This, the lawmakers said, would throw at least 100,000 pupils out of school, and advocated that plans be made to absorbed them in other schools. This followed a motion sponsored as a matter of urgent public importance by Hon. Albert Adeogun (Osun PDP) who noted that the Department of Quality Assurance of the Education Secretariat of the FCT Administration (FCTA) has said the schools would be shut down once the funds to execute the plan is available. “This will impact negatively on the future of the children and
destroy the need to improve the literacy rate of Nigerians. The closure of the schools without alternative panacea for the placement of the children in schools that can absorb the large population will expose the children to crime and abuse. “That may be the consequences of this policy. The children laid off shall become victims of unwanted and unfortunate circumstances by virtue of the closure of the schools. And may never have the opportunity of furthering education which shall not augur well for the country,”Adeogun added. He lamented that the number of public schools in the FCT could not cater for the needs of the increasing population, resulting in the emergence of more nursery and primary schools.
THANK YOU FOR THE JOB
L–R: Out-going President of ECOWAS, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo (left), receiving a gift from President Muhammadu Buhari, during his farewell visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja...yesterday. With them is the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Khadija Bukar Ibrahim Gdwin Omoigui
Investment in Immunisation Can Boost Nations’ Economy, Says Okonjo Iweala Martins Ifijeh The Chairman of GAVI board, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that for every dollar spent on childhood immunisation, nations will save $16 in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. She said if governments take into account the full value people place on living longer, there would be a further increased return on investment to as much as $44. Okonjo-Iweala who is Nigeria’s former Coordinating Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance in Nigeria, stated this during an interview with a Japanese radio station, NHK, saying with more than 30 vaccine doses administered worldwide every second, immunisation was already recognised as one of the most cost-effective health interventions. According to her, over 1.5 million children are still dying from vaccine preventable diseases because of lack of political will, particularly from
finance ministers, “ and because of lack of understanding within governments that vaccines aren’t just good value for money, but are an investment. “In addition, there is a widespread assumption within governments and beyond that childhood mortality is a matter only for health ministers. In reality, it has implications for just about every aspect of government. Preventing illness through immunisation can have a huge impact in helping to contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and countries,” she added. While stating that the bulk shouldn’t stop with health ministers alone, she said protection of child health needs to be a concern for all governments. “After all, children are not just the most vulnerable members of society, they are also a nation’s future. And, if this alone weren’t enough to make childhood
disease prevention a national priority, compelling new evidence suggests it also makes sound economic sense, too,” she stressed. Okonjo-Iweala, who became the head of GAVI board in September last year, explained that strong routine immunisation programmes form a vital part of robust universal health systems, which are themselves critical to helping national leaders achieve economic and development targets. She said to put a figure to the narrative, a new study published recently in the Journal Health Affairs looked at 94 low and middle-income countries, and predicted that between 2011 and 2020, childhood immunisation stands to offer up to $1.43 trillion in economic benefits. “However, if we wish to harness these benefits, as well as further economic returns beyond 2020, then we need to see greater long-term domestic commitment towards immunisation. Since 1990 we have seen childhood mortality more than
halve and since 2000 witnessed more than 500million additional children receive vaccines, thanks to organisations like UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, of which I am the board chair. But if this kind of progress is to be sustained then we need to see strong immunisation policy backed up by long-term health spending allocation. “This means we need to stop preaching to the choir by focussing only on health ministers, and instead engage all aspects of government, in particular finance ministers. As former finance minister of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, I know how important it is for health ministers to make a better case for immunisation to finance ministers when it comes to defending their health budget. They need to make finance ministers understand the critical role that reducing infectious disease has in boosting the economy, and the role they have to play in making that happen,” she stressed.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Lawmaker Decries $2bn Annual Capital Flight, Weak Education Policy FG inaugurates varsities’ boards amid opposition Gbemi Saraki chairs Federal University, Otuoke Paul Obi inAbuja As the federal government search for practical solutions to the lingering crisis in tertiary education, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Senator Binta Garba, yesterday said Nigeria loses about $2billion annually to service the fees of elite’s children who embark on foreign education at the expense of Nigeria’s educational system. The lawmaker stated this at the inauguration of the governing councils of 12 universities, bemoaning the trend, which she described as embarrassing to Nigeria’s global standing. She observed that the ugly trend could be curbed if stakeholders work to strengthen the weak educational system in the country. Garba explained that the
ongoing government’s economic policies remain a deliberate agenda to reduce such huge capital flights by 2019. She contended that: “Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are gradually scaling up to be ranked among the top 1,000 best universities in the world, and this is a positive development. “Capital flight from education in Nigeria is about $2billion, and this is something we must work hard to put a stop to. “We at the National Assembly are projecting that before 2019, there should be a very drastic reduction of such funds going out of the country.” Meanwhile, amid stiff opposition, the federal government yesterday went ahead with the appointment and inauguration of members of governing councils of 12 federal universities established by former
president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. The new appointments continued to receive strong opposition as well as protest against the decision of the federal government to arbitrarily sack 13 Vice Chancellors through what the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called ‘executive fiat’. ASUU had argued against the sack of the VCs by the government, stressing that only the governing councils reserve such rights. They also disapproved the setting up of the universities through an executive order during the last administration. Last week, President of the Nigerian Academic of Science, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, had accused the National University Commission (NUC) of negligence
and corruption, while tackling the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on interference on university autonomy. Also, in the new appointments, former Senator and Senate President’s sister, Gbemisola Saraki, was appointed the Chairman of Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State. The universities are: Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State; Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State; Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State; Federal University, Dutsin Ma, Katsina State; Federal University, Gusau, Yobe State and Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State. Others are Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State; Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State;
Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State; Federal University, NdifuAlike, Ebonyi State and Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State. The Minister of Education, Adamu, at the inauguration cautioned the new governing councils against undue interference in the day-to-day administration of the institutions. He charged them to carry out their job on a part-time basis without meddling in the overall running of the universities. ‘’As governing councils, you must be bold, courageous and responsive in ways that provide the kind of leadership that supports the growth and development of universities, making them globally competitive and attractive. ‘’In doing all these, you must
ensure that the universities’ planning and growth are in consonance with NUC guidelines, especially with regards to the issues of academic briefs and development of appropriate master plans. I would like to remind you that governance and management are two distinct responsibilities in the university system, Adamu said. Speaking on behalf of the board members, Saraki assured the minister of the readiness of the boards to contribute their quota to the upliftment of the education system. She further stated that members are eager to assist government in formulating policies that will improve standards of education across a broad spectrum of the sector.
Buhari Pledges Nigeria’s Continuous Support for ECOWAS Senator: Only regional group’s intervention can end herdsmen’s violence in West Africa Tobi Soniyi andOmololu Ogunmade in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said Nigeria would continue to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to realise the noble objectives of regional integration and peaceful co-existence that inspired its creation in May 28, 1975. A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said Buhari made the pledge while receiving the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, at the State House. Buhari said the pursuit of the laudable goals of the regional economic bloc would always remain a top priority for Nigeria. ‘‘Nigeria, by its size and resources, has no alternative than to back ECOWAS to the hilt. We are part of ECOWAS. Indeed, we are at the very heart of it, so we will continue to play our role,’’ the president said. Buhari said the gains recorded so far in collectively providing peace in the sub-region and curtailing health challenges were major achievements of ECOWAS that must be sustained. ‘‘Now we have to get more reliable intelligence and support from the international community, and utilize the gains for the development of our countries,” he added. The president commended the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission for his diligence and visionary leadership, while wishing him well in his future engagements. In his remark, the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Commission recounted some of his achievements over the four-year period of serving to include peace and stability in the region, resolution
of crises in Mali, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso and the tackling of the Ebola scourge. ‘‘We signed trade agreements with China, U.S and Japan. The biometric identity card has been approved and is due for launch this year, while a single currency by 2020 is on course. On behalf of all ECOWAS institutions, I express my sincere thanks to Nigeria for all her support,’’ Ouedraogo said. Meanwhile, Senator representing Yobe East senatorial district, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, yesterday said only deliberate moves by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resettle herdsmen can put paid to recurrent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in West Africa. The senator who made the call while speaking with journalists in Abuja, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of governments of other West African countries to promptly intervene in the matter. He said the entire 15 countries in the region must be involved in the move if the menace is expected to be tackled once and for all, noting that the problem had been persistent for over 100 years. `”The issue of the very volatile relationship between the herdsmen and farmers means it is a war between all the communities in the country. There is war in all the 15 West African countries and it is not a new problem; ever since I was born, I was born into it. I am half Fulani, half Kanuri. This problem will not go away until and unless the 15 governments of ECOWAS do something drastic, revolutionary and fundamental about it. “There is no other solution rather than the resettlement of the herdsmen with assistance of all the governments of the 15 countries in the ECOWAS region.
HARDSHIP IN THE ERA OF CHANGE
As fuel scarcity bites hardser commuters stranded at Pen Cinema, Bus-stop, Agege, Lagos....yesterday
Armed Gang Storms Seminary in Lagos, Abducts Three Students Kidnappers contact school, demand ransom Chiemelie Ezeobi In a move similar to the abduction of the Chibok girls in Bornu State, an armed gang on Monday night stormed a seminary in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State and abducted no fewer than three students, two girls and a boy of the Anglican Communion-owned school. The students were abducted from the premises of Babington Macurley Junior Seminary (BMJS) at the Ijede area of Ikorodu late in the night. Although the whereabouts of the students remains unknown as at pres time, THISDAY can authoritatively report that the kidnappers have contacted the school and made demands for ransom running into millions of naira. THISDAY also gathered that the Monday abduction came barely two weeks after an attempt to kidnap some male students of the Government Senior Model School, Owutu area of Ikorodu was fiercely resisted by the school security guards. Expectedly, the text scheduled
by the school for yesterday was cancelled, as the school battled to calm frayed nerves and prevent parents from withdrawing their kids from the institution. The school also scheduled prayer sessions for the safety of the abducted students, even as the police went about combing the entire area for trails. The armed men suspected to be dislodged pipeline vandals from the Isawo area of Ikorodu had stormed the school premises located at Agunfoye-Lugbusi village, gained entry by breaking the perimeter fence and successfully took the three students. Numbering about 10, the heavily armed men were said to have stormed the school at about 8.30p.m with automatic rifles while the students were still at prep (compulsory reading class). Upon accessing the school, they first marked down the security men on duty and held them hostage at gun point before five of the gang members were detailed to go
to the class for their victims. The operation, which lasted for about 40 minutes, saw the armed men taking over the school, as the students scampered about to safety, while some hid under their desks. After picking three students without any resistance, the gang left in their three Utility Sports Vehicles (SUVs). Speaking on account of anonymity, a senior police officer told THISDAY that the attack was not expected even though a similar attempt was made at another school in Ikorodu. Parents had since stormed the school to be certain their children’s safety since the text message sent by the school Principal, Venerable Ola Oluwa, did not disclose the identities of the abducted children. As at press time, the patrol by the police air wing was still ongoing, while a combined team of anti-riot policemen from Mopol 20, 22 and conventional police were combing the bushes, even as they put the seminary under
heavy security watch. Already, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni and a team of crack detectives had visited the school premises and left about 4a.m only to regroup again and this time in the company of the Assistant Inspector General Of Police (AIG)in charge of Zone 2, Bala Hassan, for an on-the-spot assessment. Confirming the incident, the state command’s spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, said that efforts are ongoing to track the abductors and rescue the girls, although she did not disclose their identities. She said, “Three female students were taken away by some criminals on Monday night but investigations are on to track them. “We are doing all our best to rescue the girls and bring the abductors to book. We want to assure parents to be calm as we will bring back the girls. Badmus said they were yet to know the motives of the abductors, adding that, “but be rest assured that the command will rescue the girls.”
WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016 • T H I S D AY
APC: Speculations Rife over Oyegun’s Fate Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja The absence of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has caused a lull in activities of the party at its national secretariat. THISDAY gathered that even members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have deserted their offices apparently to avoid enquiries from the media and other members of the party who suspect that the national chairman is being shoved aside. At the party’s national secretariat yesterday, some staff and members of the party could be seen discussing the sudden decision of Oyegun to proceed on leave. Some of the staff at the secretariat who spoke with
THISDAY but did not want their names mentioned, were of the opinion that Oyegun must have been forced to proceed on a compulsory leave which might end his tenure as the pioneer chairman of the APC. Oyegun, while reacting to the reports, told journalists last Friday that he would be proceeding on a 10-day leave beginning from Monday (two day ago). When asked the reason for the break, the APC national chairman said: “I have been chairman for how long now, going to two years, and it has been a very intense period building the party and a very intense period putting government together up to this point. “All that has happened is that I think I deserve a bit of a break and that will start effective on
Monday and in my absence, my deputy here, Mr. Segun Oni, will cover my beat. It is that simple; it is that straightforward. Any speculation about not being in the office is of no consequence. On Tuesday I was down with malaria, I managed on Wednesday to attend that crucial meeting at the presidency, so, yesterday I had to go to the hospital just to
be sure and today I am at work, full stop. “So please, I know the media is supposed to be imaginative and steer the news but not when there is really nothing to steer. It is that simple.” THISDAY gathered that with Oyegun’s nearly all the national officers could not be found at the national secretariat of the party.
It was learnt that only the acting chairman, Oni, and national youth leader, Dasuki Jalo, were seen in the office on Monday and yesterday. A staff at the secretariat who pleaded not to be named told journalists in confidence that “all the national officers are staying away because they don’t want to be bombarded
with questions on affairs of the party.” Another source revealed that the acting national chairman, Oni, has moved to Oyegun’s office, saying: “That is an indication that Oyegun might not come back because if you are acting as chairman, he supposed to act from his own office not Oyegun’s office.”
NERC, CPC to Go after Discos Extorting Customers for Transformers, Others Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) yesterday agreed to work together in a new partnership arrangement that would see both agencies go after and prosecute electricity distribution companies (Discos) that usually extort from their customers funds to procure and repair electrical installations on their networks. Both agencies in this regards signed in Abuja, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to activate the framework titled: ‘consumers’ redress legislation.’ They indicated their intention to closely work to get rid of instances of disregard for customers’ rights and abuse of service trust by the Discos. According to the acting Director General of the NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, the commission had already issued a non-tolerance notice to the Discos on wrongful estimates of consumers’ electricity consumptions, compelling customers to buy, install and repair such distribution equipment like transformers, poles and wires. Akah also noted that instances of unsafe electrical connections and safety practices would be covered
in the new memo on consumers’ redress legislation. He added that NERC would equally monitor Discos meter roll-out plans with the CPC to ensure that willing consumers get value for electricity services they pay for. “We intend to intensify enforcement of consumer protection regulations on metering, billing and the perennial complaints of estimated customers. “There shall also be concerted efforts aimed at greatly reducing the incidence of estimated billing and eventually eliminating them completely. The commission has issued a non-tolerance statement on wrongful estimates, compelling customers to buy, install and repair transformers, and poles,” Akan noted. He explained that the commission’s partnership with the CPC is aimed at promoting speedy redress of consumer related issues in the delivery of electricity services to them. The Director General of CPC, Mrs. Atoki Dupe, in her comments, said the CPC hopes to leverage on the partnership to bring the Discos to appreciate the service delivery challenges of electricity consumers in their network.
Buhari Felicitates with Adeboye at 74 Tobi Soniyi in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, as he turns 74 years today. A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari believed the revered Christian leader, who paid him a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa on February 16, 2016 and whom he had interacted with many times before, epitomised the virtues of honesty, peace, patience, contentment, humility and diligence, which he said were the trademarks of a good believer. The statement said: “As a
Christian leader, the president commends the relentless efforts, sacrifices and the grace of God upon the life of the General Overseer, who has over the years propagated the gospel around the world, organized large gathering of Christian worshipers and consistently counselled leaders and their citizens on living right before God. “Besides preaching the gospel, Buhari salutes the social and humanitarian interventions of the RCCG leader in providing health and educational services to complement the efforts of governments. “The president prays that the Almighty God will grant Pastor Adeboye long life and more strength to carry on the good work.”
L-R: Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; Representative of the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Tijani Yusuf; and Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, when members of the review of Legal Institutional and Regulatory Instrument paid a courtesy visit to the senate president in Abuja ...yesterday.
Saraki: 54 Nigerian Laws are Obsolete Senate extends implementation of N144bn FCT capital budget to March 31 Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
to the amendment of obsolete laws, saying since some of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola affected laws require constitutional Saraki, has told by a team of amendment, the planned process consultants from the Department for would be expedited to ensure that International Development (DFID) all stakeholders concerned make that 54 of Nigeria’s existing laws the changes happen as soon as have become obsolete and need possible. According to him, the to be either amended or repealed if the country is to make progress collaboration with the private in its quest to attract investors and sectors, development partners, professional groups like the become business friendly. Saraki who made this disclosure Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) while receiving a 168-page report, as well as the academia in the titled: “Comprehensive Review on-going process to review laws of the Institutional Regulatory, affecting business will give birth Legislative and Associated to a new business environment Instruments Affecting Businesses in that will boost the economy, solve Nigeria,” said the present economic the problem of unemployment, challenge facing the country presents curb social vices and restore our another opportunity for its leaders national values and pride. He also said the Senate and the to show leadership, courage and House of Representatives were ingenuity. He said the nation needed in agreement with President to exploit the present economic Muhammadu Buhari’s policy situation to set the stage for a on diversification of economy. He said:”Our President has laid post-oil era in which the private sector will be allowed to steer out a vision to fully diversify the the ship of the economy while economy beyond oil and has been the government only provides committed to the actualization f the project. the enabling environment. “The overarching objective “The National Assembly through the our legislative agenda seized of the agenda targets private on the moment to chart a new sector investment and business course for the nation’s economy. The development as a major plank legislative agenda we have adopted of the plan. This is because is one framed largely around of our belief in the ingenuity, good governance, accountability, creativity, entrepreneurship of opening up of the economy for our people and that in order to greater investment, ease of doing create jobs, give our people better business and security of lives and opportunities, the private sector remains our best option. property,” he said. “This is at the heart of the He added that the eigh National Assembly would give priority clamour for diversification; from
agriculture business support, to credit, economic reform bills, to MSMEs, taxation, conflict resolution, regulatory reform bills, our agenda is firmly rooted on increased participation, diversification and capital formation”. Saraki assured. The leader of the team that was sponsored by DFID, Prof. Paul Idornigie, said apart from 54 laws reviewed, they also did a comprehensive analysis of 50 other bills pending before the two chambers of the National Assembly. He said the priority rating list would help the legislature to focus on some areas which require urgent intervention as he recommended nine bills, saying if passed into law by the eight National Assembly, it would have been deemed to have comprehensively reformed the business environment. The bills recommended by the expert as requiring urgent attention are Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2015, Federal Roads Authority Bill 2015, National Inland WaterwaysAuthority Bill 2015, National Roads Funds Bill 2015, National Transport Commission 2015, Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Bill 2015, Nigeria Postal Commission Bill 2015 and Nigeria Railway Authority Bill 2015. The team also recommended the establishment of a Federal Legislative Clearing House with the mandate to scrutinise and review bills before they are presented to the respective legislative chambers
for first reading. Nigeria was recently ranked 169 out of 189 economies in the World Bank Doing Business Report. Meanehile, the Senate yesterday acceded to the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for the extension of the implementation of N114 billion 2015 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) capital budget to March 31, 2016. While moving the motion for second reading of the extension bill, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, recalled that 2015 FCT Appropriation Bill was passed on May 28, 2015, a situation he said gave room for only seven months of implementation. He said approving the president’s request had become imperative if the FCT must measure up to its obligations to reposition the capital city. According to him, the implementation of 2015 FCT budget as at December 31, stood at only 40 per cent. Hence, he said the request for extension of the bill was a right step in the right direction. After passing the extension bill, Senate President, Saraki, raised a conference committee to harmonise its figures with the House of Representatives. Buhari had in a letter read by Saraki on February 23, 2016, requested for the extension of the budget, citing delay in the commencement of its implementation as the reason for the request.
NFF Launches ‘Operation Defeat Egypt’ Duro Ikhazuagbe With barely three weeks to the make or mar two-legged 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between the Super Eagles and the Pharaohs, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has launched “Operation Defeat Egypt.” The list of players to make the operation successful is expected to be unveiled tomorrow in Abuja after new helmsman, Samson Siasia and the Technical Committee of the NFF have reached made their input on it. First Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi said in Lagos yesterday that the federation would not take chances with Nigeria’s qualification for the AFCON 2017 and the World Cup 2018 qualifiers. “This is the present preoccupation of the federation for now. This is no time for politicking or dwelling in the past. We are asking all Nigerians to join forces with the federation to defeat the visiting Egyptians in Kaduna on March 25 before going to Cairo for the return leg five days later. “We have a single objective at the NFF now which is to defeat Egypt in order to guarantee the Super Eagles a place at the next AFCON,” stressed the NFF chief who refused to dwell on the resignation of Sunday Oliseh
from the Eagles job. “We have put the resignation of Sunday Oliseh as chief coach of the Super Eagles in the past. We have made the position of the NFF known in the statement we issued through our media department on Monday. We don’t want to be distracted by reports of ultimatum from anybody. I am a lawyer same as the Chairman of the Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green,” observed Akinwunmi who also doubles as Lagos State Football Association chairman. Also speaking at the interactive session, Green corroborated the position of Akinwunmi, stressing that the list of players for the ‘Operation Defeat Egypt’ showdown is to be ratified and announced on Thursday. “The technical committee will ratify the list to be presented by the coaching crew after our meeting Abuja tomorrow. We do not have the luxury of time on our side to begin to dwell on the past,’’ observed Green. He revealed that caretaker manager of the Eagles, Samson Siasia has been provided with a car to make logistic smooth for him on the job. “Coach Siasia has been provided with a car and other logistics to enable him to perform. He and his staff will be working
directly with the Technical Director of the federation, Amodu Shaibu,” he further clarified. Contrary to speculations in a section of the media that the exit of Oliseh was going to have serious effect on the outcome of the team in the two-legged clash with Egypt, Green hinted that more than 50 players have been calling the player ready to be part of the team to play Egypt. “I am aware that many of the top Eagles’ players have been contacted and some on their own have expressed willingness to be part of the game. ’’ The technical committee chairman equally refuted any fear over the suitability of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna for the first leg tie. “As I speak with you, we have our men on ground in Kaduna working to ensure that the pitch is in top shape for the AFCON 2017 clash with Egypt. So far, we don’t have any reason to be afraid,” said the NFF board member. Eagles are scheduled to host the first leg of the AFCON 2017 qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt on March 25, in Kaduna. The second leg holds four days later in Cairo on March 29. Egypt currently leads Group G on six points from two game followed by Nigeria with four points from two matches. Tanzania and Chad are the other teams in the group
Ahmed Musa... leading Eagles in the battle against the Pharaohs
Akwa United FC Board Sacked, Nwosu Frowns on Move to Hire Foreign Coach federation was negotiating voiced objection to a foreign coach outcome of the tough fixtures Bassey Becomes Interim Head Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja the with a foreign coach to oversee the for the national team. The former against Egypt. Okon Bassey in Uyo
It was a new month shock as the Akwa Ibom State Government Tuesday sacked the board and management of current Federation Cup holders, Akwa United Football Club of Uyo. The sack of the former board of the club headed by Mr Nse Ube might not be unconnected with the shock exit of the team in the first round of the 2016 CAF Confederation Cup, Akwa United FC was defeated by the Congolese side Vita Club Mukanda of Point Noire at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, the State capital last weekend. The removal from office of the former management of the club was officially made public in a statement issued by the state government. The government statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aniekan Umanah, disclosed that Governor Udom Emmanuel has appointed a veteran sports journalist and FIFA/CAF Match Commissioner, Mr Paul Bassey,
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as the head of a three-month interim board. Government in the statement commended the previous board for its efforts that led to the club winning its first major domestic trophy and qualifying to represent the country in the continent. “His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel has approved the immediate dissolution of the interim board and management of Akwa United Football Club of Uyo. “Consequently, the Governor has approved the appointment of Mr. Paul Bassey as the chairman of an interim Board to run the club for a period of three months with immediate effect,” the statement stressed. Akwa United FC suffered a home defeat in the hands of the Congolese side after taking a one goal advantage from the first leg played at Point Noire. The team needed just a draw to get to the second round but United’s marksman, Ubing Ekpai missed a penalty in regulation time after trailing into the second half. Ekpai missed the last penalty kick with aggregate score standing at 7-6 in favour of the Point Noire-based side. With the early exit from the continent, Akwa United would now focus on the domestic league where they would face Heartland FC of Owerri in Uyo this afternoon in a Match-day 4 of the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Super Eagles legend Henry Nwosu yesterday kicked at the stealth move by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to hire a foreign technical adviser. Two days ago, NFF President Amaju Pinnick, announced that
Siasia... care-taker coach
national team after the unpalatable experience with Sunday Oliseh, who ditched the Eagles few weeks before a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt. Former Rwanda coach Sredojevic Milutin yesterday emerged as the mystery foreigner on NFF’s wish list with strong hints indicating that the one called ‘Micho’, who is the current coach of Uganda, might take up appointment next month after the double-header against Egypt. In any event he is appointed, it would mark the first time a foreign coach would be heading the technical crew of Nigeria since Lars Lagerback of Sweden led the Eagles to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Nwosu, a member of the effervescent national team of 1980,
Nigeria’s Quadri, Seven Others in Pretoria Showdown Nigeria’s rising sensation, Oyinlomo Barakat Quadri will be among the legion of emerging tennis youngsters that will storm the 2016 ITF/CAT African Junior Championships which will hold in Pretoria, South Africa between March 9 and 18. According to ITF Developmental Officer for North, West and Central Africa, Amine Ben Maclouf, the ITF team will depart its base in Casablanca, Morocco today and will set up camp in Pretoria on Friday.
“We will be leaving for South Africa on Wednesday after which we will take a day rest on Thursday and by Friday, we will begin our camping which is the last phase of training for the AJC,” Maclouf, a Moroccan stated in an email to the Nigeria Tennis Federation. Quadri, 13, was one of the key players for Nigeria at the west and central qualifier held in Abuja in January where Nigeria clinched top place to successfully defend the title the country won in 2014 and 2015.
Eagles captain felt foreigners are no better than the indigenous coaches. “I have no objection if NFF think they can afford a foreign coach but why I am not in total support of such plan is that we have indigenous coaches with proven antecedent to realise our objectives of securing Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup slots for the national team,” Nwosu insisted. The Gateway of Abeokuta gaffer wanted NFF to make Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amuneke, Salisu Yusuf and Alloy Agu as the Eagles long-term coaches, with Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, Shaibu Amodu or Christian Chukwu only acting in advisory capacity. He reasoned that time is too short for Siasia, saying his fate should not be contingent on the
“Siasia and Amuneke have proven themselves as young coaches. We can rely on them with any of the older generation coaches like Onigbinde, Amodu or Keshi in the background as advisers. Our home ground coaches are capable if they are supported. Even Keshi proved himself when he handled the team. His only offence was that they did not like his gut,” Nwosu said. He advised NFF to rebound from the hangover caused by the disaffection with Oliseh, saying the distraction should be a thing of the past. “The raging crisis should not undermine us Egypt. Oliseh is not a good coach. You are a good coach when you respond to pressure, not when you are suppressed by tension”.
Pacquiao Gets Wild Card to Compete at Rio 2016 Olympics Manny Pacquiao has received an invitation to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio but Floyd Mayweather has ‘absolutely’ no intention of making a surprise return to the Games. Top professional boxers will become eligible to compete in this summer’s Olympics under radical new proposals being pushed through by the sport’s world governing body, AIBA. In light of the decision, which is yet to be confirmed, it has emerged that AIBA President, Dr
Ching-Kuo Wu, has personally invited Pacquiao to compete in Brazil. According to the Philippine Star, the idea was initially discussed when Pacquiao flew to Doha, Qatar for the AIBA World Championships last October. It is believed Pacquiao, who is preparing for his fight with Timothy Bradley in April, is wanted to compete at the Games as the sport’s world governing body bids to attract the biggest names to Rio.
T H I S D AY •WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2016
WEDNESDAYSPORTS NPFL… NPFL… NPFL… NPFL…
NPFL, La Liga Seal Devt Partnership
A meeting to forge a collaboration between the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Spanish La Liga held yesterday in Madrid with officials on both sides expressing their delight at the possibilities the meeting opened for the league in both countries. Nigeria had since the inaugural meeting of the World League Congress in the United Kingdom shown interest in different areas of La Liga’s work in the international development field This Monday saw La Liga receiving the delegation of the League Management Company (LMC), the organisers of the NPFL, Shehu Dikko and an Independent Director, Hon. Nduka Irabor. La Liga President, Javier Tebas, in welcoming his guests expressed delight at the prospect of a partnership between Spain and Nigeria in the area of football and underlined his keenness to develop partnership with the Nigerian football authorities. Dikko explained that the aim of the working meeting was to align positions and work together towards establishing a partnership agreement. The LMC chairman said the meeting has enabled the team to gain a firsthand insight into the working methods of several of La Liga’s departments and for La Liga to showcase the progress being made in the international development field. Dikko further said the LMC
is interested in the various elements of La Liga’s workings and commended them for being an organisation known to set fine examples for other leagues around the world to emulate. The discussion covered such areas of interest as the International Football Development Programme, Commercial Development and Branding, Broadcasting Rights, Financial Planning and Controls, Security, Legal Structures, Data Management and Commercialisation, Integrity, Training and Capacity Development. The meeting also provided the representatives from the two leagues with the opportunity to share ideas and experiences. The two league bodies conclusively agreed to pursue projects of common objectives and to enter into a bilateral agreement, in due course and set clear timelines for the conclusion of the processes commencing with a visit of La Liga delegation to be led by the President to Nigeria within the next few weeks. “It will enable the La Liga president appreciate the NPFL through a first-hand assessment of the situation of our League vis-avis the core areas of action agreed to start up the partnership”, Dikko stated. La Liga President, Tebas, Director General, Javier Gomez and La Liga’s Middle East office Manager and head of international projects, Fernando Sanz, were on hand to receive their guests. Also present at the meeting were some of La Liga’s heads
L-R: LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko; La Liga President, Tebas; and LMC Independent Director, Nduka Irabor at the sealing of the development partnership between both leagues in Spain...yesterday of departments, including Adolfo Bara, La Liga’s sales, marketing and sponsorship Director and Melcior Soler, director of the audiovisual department.
Nigeria thus joined other international delegations from around the world that have also expressed interest in La Liga’s management model and the progress
which has been made across different areas. As a part of La Liga’s internationalisation strategy, the aim of these strategic meetings is to build closer
relationships with the federations and leagues from other countries in order for bilateral exchange agreements to be established.
Odita Seeks End to Rangers Title Drought
Tornadoes’ Poor Form Temporary, Says Biffo
Niger Tornadoes Head Coach, Abdullah Biffo, has dismissed claims that his side will struggle in the elite division, despite failing to record a win in its first three fixtures of the season. Tornadoes is one of the four teams promoted from the Nigeria National League (NNL) to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the start of the season and have managed one draw at home and two defeats on the road thus far. Biffo in a chat with npfl.ng, shortly after his side’s loss to Rangers International at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, on Sunday, expressed optimism that the Minna side would overcome the seeming early poor run of form and compete well. “The fact remains that we have dropped another three
Rangers Captain, Okey Odita, is confident the Enugu side can end their title drought in the 2016 Nigerian Professional Football League Season. After a painful surrender of a first half lead in Kano on Match -day 1 to lose 2-1, Rangers returned to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu to secure two back to back wins against Plateau United and Niger Tornadoes. Odita told npfl.ng, after his side’s 2-1 win at home to Niger Tornadoes, that, the focus of the six time league champions in the current campaign will be on the league title, which they
last won in 1984. “It has been more than three decades since we last won the league. We have waited so long; I have a strong feeling that this is our season. “We have started on a bright note, winning two of our three games. We narrowly lost out on the first game of the season away to Kano Pillars. It was a sad experience, but we are determined to put everything in place to ensure that does not repeat itself. “Rangers is a club with magnificent history and reputation, and we will capitalize on these to win the title this season. Part of the challenge
has always been starting the season on a poor note, but we will overturn that this season”. Odita remarked. Ahead of the midweek fixture away to Warri Wolves, the former Enyimba FC defender is optimistic his side can secure a good result when both sides clash on Wednesday at the Warri Township Stadium. “Our squad is formidable this season, and we can pick up points anywhere. We will approach the game on Wednesday with full concentration and the focus will be to depart Warri on a positive note”, Odita said
Chevron, NCDMB in Titanic Battle Action continues today at both Chevron Recreation Centre, Gbagada and Ikoyi Club 1938, venues of events of the 2016 Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games with teams squaring up for the basketball event. After a blistering start to the games, Chevron Basketball team that defeated Shell 25-20 in their opening match will today take on their NCDMB counterparts in a decisive encounter. Total will square up against Shell while NNPC and
ExxonMobil will test their might in the last game of the day. All the matches will hold at the Chevrom Recreation Centre, Gbagada. In the opening matches, Total defeated NCDMB 26-17, while ExxonMobil defeated NLNG 29-25. Other events taking place at the Gbagada centre include chess and scrabble. Meanwhile, Kate Ezeanya of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC yesterday
won the first gold medal at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games after defeating Mrs Mfon, representing Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in a pulsating squash match in the veterans category. Ezeanya won the match in two straight sets. Events at Ikoyi Club 1938 include squash, table tennis, tennis among others. The games rounds off on Saturday at the Teslim Balogun stadium, Surulere.
Match-day 4 Giwa v Rivers Utd IfeanyiUbah v 3SC MFM FC v Sunshine Enyimba v Ikorodu Utd Lobi v Elkanemi Akwa Utd v Heartland Abia W’ v K’ Pillars Wikki v Plateau Utd Tornadoes v Nasarawa
points and that is not what we bargained for. It was our third game of the season and we are yet to record a win and it gives all of us major concern. I believe we will get it right in the next few games. “We will pick up from here and win games. We have had only three out of 38 matches; there are 35 more games to play before one can make any concrete statement as regards the season. We have not even gone halfway yet. No team can at the moment know where they will finish in the league. It is too early to make predictions. As the league progresses we STANDINGS
hope to improve”, the Coach told npfl.ng Niger Tornadoes will play Nasarawa United in a Matchday 4 fixture at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja this afternoon.
“It is therefore critical, if the PDP must get back to national reckoning, we model its leadership on the platform of honesty as required by the party manifesto. To this end, we call on all the party organs to rise to the challenge by insisting on the reversal of what was clearly an imposition of Senator Sheriff on the party.” – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rescue Group asking the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to reverse the appointment of the party’s National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
KAYODEKOMOLAFE Of Poverty and Cash Transfers THE HORIZON
t is astonishing how some members of the Nigerian elite find the idea of giving money to the poor revolting. The more charitable ones among them would say it is impracticable or nonsustainable. It is also a philosophical riddle that the same members of the elite belong to the great religions in which alms -giving is ordained. More weapons were inadvertently provided to the arsenal of the elite by President Muhammadu Buhari last week. He said in Saudi Arabia that he would rather empower the poor by funding infrastructure and developing agriculture and mining than giving N5, 000 monthly to those “who don’t work.” In a clime where informed policy-making process reigns supreme the least that could be said is that the President’s declaration would be eminently suitable for a rigorous policy debate. Unfortunately, there is now a rash of out- –of- context amplifications of the President’s statement. To be sure, the President has not deleted from the budget proposals before the National Assembly the N500 billion allocated to social intervention from which the cash transfer is expected to be drawn. So the discussion should be on what is to be done to make the programme achieve its purpose. Even the President has not denied that it is a programme of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power. Of course, on the Election Day it was APC’s name that was on the ballot paper. Who knows how many of those who voted for the party might have been attracted by the cash transfer element in its manifesto? However, the perception in some quarters is that cash transfer to the poorest and the most materially vulnerable is a brain wave of some policy do-gooders. The other day, someone called the proposed programme a “poisoned chalice” and advised Buhari to be wary of it. There are those who just loathe the idea of a dole. Some commentators talk as if cash transfer is a Nigerian invention. Yet this is a poverty-alleviation programme that has been implemented in some countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa to the applause of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and even the World Bank. In fact, the right-wing London newspaper, The Economist, made a case for cash transfer in a July 29, 2010 editorial simply entitled “Give the Poor Money.” This is how the journal aptly put the matter: “Celia Orboc, a cake-seller in the Philippines, spent her little stipend on a wooden shack, giving her five children a roof over their heads for the first time. In Kyrgyzstan Sharmant Oktomanova spent hers buying flour to feed six children. In Haiti President René Préval praises a dairy co-operative that gives mothers milk and yogurt when their children go to school. These are examples of the world’s favourite new anti-poverty device, the conditional cash-transfer programme (CCT) in poor and middle-income countries. These schemes give stipends and food to the poorest if they meet certain conditions, such as that their children attend school, or their babies are vaccinated. Ten years ago there were a handful of such programmes and most were small. Now they are on every continent—even New York City has one—and they benefit millions”. That was the picture as seen by this highly influential organ of global capitalism six years ago. And
to our neo-liberal elite, all that can be said is simply this: you cannot be more market forces-oriented than The Economist. For the debate to be helpful in policy-making, the question should be properly framed. The argument should not be about which constitutes a priority – funding infrastructure and agriculture or social intervention. The government should assiduously implement its programmes in infrastructure, agriculture, mining and other important areas. The poverty situation in the country demands that the government should implement programmes of social protection for the poorest segment of the society as envisaged in the budget. Instead of cavalierly killing the idea of this humane programme by saying it is impractical; policymakers should face squarely the challenge of policy comprehension, articulation and implementation. This challenge is evident in respect of other programmes of the administration. You don’t solve the problem by dropping the programme. Cash transfers have been implemented successfully in countries as far apart as Brazil, Philippines and South Africa. In fact, in Africa health-related cash transfers have been implemented Ethiopia,
The poverty situation in the country demands that the government should implement programmes of social protection for the poorest segment of the society as envisaged in the budget
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Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho and Tanzania among other countries. With proper policy comprehension and articulation, it would be determined which is suitable and implementable given the Nigerian condition – conditional cash transfers or unconditional cash transfers? The conditions could be making poor parents in remote areas play their roles in keeping children at school or ensuring immunisation of babies. If conditional cash transfer were the choice of the policymakers, then the challenge would be how to ensure an accurate targeting of the beneficiaries. This is probably the greatest basis of the skepticism about the programme. But then it is really a matter of developing the capacity for policy implementation. The perennial question of data and management of figures would be thrown up again. As the Chairman/Editor-inChief of this newspaper, Nduka Obaigbena, often remarks: Nigeria still faces the challenge of counting its people, counting votes and counting money. It is not impossible to prepare the database for those who are deserving of cash transfer. It is quite practicable to keep the statistics of the poorest. You should not kill an idea because of the fear of shoddy implementation of the programme or the corruption that it could engender. Census would still be conducted periodically despite
the controversy that trails every exercise just as elections still take place notwithstanding the bloody activities of electoral offenders. What serious nations do is to tackle these problems headlong as the programme is implemented. Brazil, which has implemented the biggest and one of the most accomplished cash transfers, has demonstrated the national passion for this programme. The result: poverty has been significantly reduced. Social protection should be central to the socio-economic agenda of this administration because of the enormity of poverty in the land. Issues of social protection are not to be discussed glibly. When a nation does not make social protection a central issue of development, inequality worsens. Widening inequality is a social scourge afflicting mankind with all that it portends. Cash transfer is just one-minute aspect of social protection. Those who perceive Nigeria as a Darwinian garden where only the fittest materially should survive cannot possibly imagine the great difference N5, 000 can make to the monthly real incomes of some families. The challenge is how the administration can competently design a programme of cash transfer that could be targeted at the poorest segment of the society without corruption and other leakages.
JOBSEEKERS ALLOWANCE ABOUT-FACE SINCE COMING TO POWER, THIS GOVERNMENT HAS DENIED OR MODIFIED MANY PROMISES THEY MADE TO THE PEOPLE! ...THE LATEST BEING THE MONTHLY N5000 JOBSEEKERS ALLOWANCE!
MORE LIKE AN ABOUT-FACE, ISN’T IT?
THEY’LL HAVE TO DENY OR MODIFY THEM, DON’T THEY?
YES, NOW! HOW ELSE CAN THEY DRUM IT INTO OUR HEADS THAT WE SHOULD NEVER TAKE THEIR PROMISES AT FACE VALUE? WE SHOULD LEARN TO DO A DOUBLE TAKE!
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