ATIKU: Former, serving APC govs, others returning to PDP — BODE GEORGE, USMAN LOOTERS' TRIAL: NJC panel receives 2,306 high-profile case files 5 8 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 Q3’17: 22 manufacturing coys borrow N839.2bn INSIDE VOL. 25: NO. 63429 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
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Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 5 POCKET CARTOON NIPSS —From left: Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; Acting, D.G., NIPSS, Mr. Jonathan Juma; Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and others, during the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course 39, at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State, weekend. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida. ATIKU: Former, serving APC govs, others returning to PDP — BODE GEORGE, USMAN By Dirisu Yakubu & Bashir Bello K ATSINA— PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairmanship aspirant, Chief Bode George, said, yesterday, that the resignation of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, from the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not the end, saying many more APC chieftains were on their way to the PDP. Similarly, National Publicity Secretary aspirant of the party, Mohammed Kabir Usman, said former and serving APC governors, as well as federal lawmakers who left the PDP for one reason or the other, were also ready to return to the party. Bode George, who spoke while fielding questions from newsmen in Katsina, Katsina State, also warned the party against shortchanging anybody, noting that the party belonged to Nigerians. “The fact is, I told them that not only him (Atiku), there are still many more who are founding fathers IT'S UP TO YOU Not everyone would like you and no matter h o w intelligent you are, not everyone would agree with you; so quit the attempt to please everyone. It’s up to you. TAKE HEART - ELLA RANDLE Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you —Lao Tzu FIND the things about yourself that you’re happy with. We tend to criticize ourselves easily, but what if we turned it around and asked, “What do I do right? What am I good at? What is loveable about me?” Make a list. Start to focus on these things rather than what you’re unhappy with. Do the same with others in your life. Instead of criticizing them, ask yourself, “What is good about this person? What do I love about them?” Make a list, and focus on these things above all else. SAYINGS OF OUR PEOPLE When a man rides a donkey, the donkey rides the man. that are preparing to come back to PDP. When your house is leaking, do you abandon it and go become a tenant? “You will repair and stay in the house because you are a landlord. Because once you are a tenant anywhere, the landlord can kick you out anytime. ‘’So, he is trying to come back home, the home they all built, the home which they were the foundation fathers of. Don’t jump from frying pan to fire. There are still so many that will come. Let them come. ‘APC, party of strange bed fellows’ “APC is a contraption, what you call a congregation of strange bed fellows, unlike PDP. PDP is a solid party with a very deep taproot in the heart of this country. I have traversed everywhere, in every nook and cranny of this country, you will find this party. Not like this one (APC). PDP bears the full emblem and colours of Nigeria,” said George. He said the party was at a crossroad and shouldn’t fail in the December 9 party convention towards wrestling power from the ruling APC in 2019. He likened the party to a ship in distress on the high sea and needed to be stabilized and then launch an attack. “I liken it to a ship on sea; if a ship is in distress, do you go and look for untested hands, somebody who has never worked in any management level of the party? ‘’You need a tested and trusted hand. You need that experience to take that ship on stage. First, stabilize the ship and then you can launch your attack. ‘’We must get it right; every Nigerian, the electorate are waiting and watching. We must do what is just, fair and equitable. If we fail on December 9th, God knows what will happen to the party. God gives you a second chance and we must not blow it. “That is why people should not try and appropriate the party in the hands of a few. The people of these country own the party and that is the mental discussion in minds of those people who established the party. ‘’Every Nigerian must have that semblance of being a member and proud to be a member, not a group of people. It was not meant for that. And that is why this convention is very very important. We must get it right. Don’t shortchange anybody,” Bode George cautioned. Meanwhile, National Publicity Secretary aspirant of the party, Mohammed Kabir Usman, said, weekend, that former and serving APC governors as well as federal lawmakers, who left the PDP for one reason or the other, were on their way back to the party. Usman made this known in an interaction with journalists in Abuja, saying a number of former and serving governors who initially left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC, had been consulted to pave way for their return to the party. Usman, who had been endorsed by the North Central geo-political zone for the office of the spokesperson of the party, said: “We have been very active and involved in a lot of issues in the party. Some Govs, lawmakers returning to PDP —Usman In the past seven to eight months, we have been making contacts with quite a number of people in the National Assembly and a number of serving and former governors, who were with us in the PDP before they left for the APC. ‘’All they are waiting for today is a free and fair national convention and once we are able to do that, they are back to the party because APC is not a credible platform and its gimmicks have been exposed. “At the level of the North Central zone where I have served for eight years as a Zonal Legal Adviser, quite a number of them now in the APC were in PDP and we have been in contact with them. ‘’I can assure you that more than 80 per cent of our National Assembly members from the North Central are practically set to return to the PDP. “So across Nigeria, we have done a lot of consultations and negotiations. Mark what I am telling you today, before the end of the second quarter of next year (2018), the National Assembly is going to be controlled by the PDP.” On the preparedness of the PDP to return to power in 2019, Usman said the issues that led to the exodus from the party had been addressed, arguing that the country would witness unprecedented political realignments that would return certain states as well as control of the National Assembly to the PDP. The former PDP Zonal Legal Adviser (North Central) also dispelled insinuations of tensions ahead of the party’s national convention, saying regardless of disagreements, PDP would get the convention right. “I can assure you that with our internal conflict resolution mechanisms, the PDP will resolve all issues relating to the national convention. We are determined to get it right because the entire nation now looks up to the PDP for direction and liberation from the clutches of APC misrule. “PDP is now re-engineered to take over power in 2019 and return the nation to the path of prosperity, freedom and political stability,” he said. Mr & Mrs COLUMNISTS OCHEREOME 35 OWEI LAKEMFA 33 HENRY BOYO 32
6—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 THE three British missionaries freed from the captivity of suspected Niger Delta militants have recounted their ‘horrifying’ ordeal in their abductors’ den. Alanna Carson, David Donovan and Shirley Donovan were released after UK and Nigerian governments Suspected cultists kill pastor in Ikorodu By Suliat Elemosho :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 British missionaries recount ordeal in militants’ den: A hail of bullets killed Ian Squire after he played Amazing Grace with guitar reportedly paid their ransoms. Ian Squire, their counterpart, was, however, unlucky as he was killed by the suspected militants, who kidnapped them earlier in October in Delta State. Recounting how Squire was killed in an interview with The Telegraph, David said the late missionary had lifted the group’s spirit while playing Amazing Grace, a Christian hymn, with a guitar. David said: “It was the perfect song and at that point things began to look not quite as bad. But then, after Ian finished playing, he stood up, and a salvo of gunshots killed him instantly. “We didn’t see who did it, but it was obvious that someone in the gang had shot him. It was terrifying to see. “We jumped out of the shack and into the water as we thought they were coming for us next, but a member of the gang came and put us back in there with Ian for the rest of the day.” Shirley and Carson had also feared they may be sexually assaulted by any one of the 14- U NKNOWN g u n m e n , yesterday, allegedly killed a middle-aged Pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, when his house at Offin, Igbogbo, a suburb of Ikorodu town in Lagos State, was invaded. Before his killing yesterday morning, the pastor, identified as Victor Kanayo, was in charge of Fingers of God Parish, Igbogbo. Eyewitnesses said his killers tattooed a human skull on his left arm after killing him and disappeared from the area without trace. Though details about the incident were still very sketchy at press time, it was gathered that detectives have already arrested some suspects in connection with the crime and they are being questioned with a view to fishing out those that committed the killing. Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Chike Oti, who confirmed the incident, said the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, has dispatched a team of crack detectives to unravel those behind the murder and dig into the past of the victim and see if there is a correlation between his past and his fate. According to him, “the issue of his past before he became a born again Christian is of interest to the Police, because of the human skull tattoo drawn on his left arm. “Investigation is ongoing and findings will be made public as usual by the Commissioner of Police.” ON THE LAND AND SEA: Selling fish and other food items at Mile 12 Market, Kosofe Bus Stop (left) and a shop of soft drinks on canoe, on the Lagoon in Makoko, Lagos. PHOTOS: Akeem Salau. Stray bullet kills DJ at funeral in Anambra By Vincent Ujumadfu AWKA—A disc jockey, DJ, hired to perform at a burial ceremony in Alaife Umuaku Uli, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State was reportedly killed by a stray bullet from the gun of a vigilante operative. The 34-year-old DJ, a father of four, Lotachukwu Nwagboso, who hailed from Ndikpo Umuaku Uli, was hired to play music at the burial ceremony of one Evangelist Vitalis Ihemeje and was allegedly gunned down by one Ibeanozie, who is presently at large. According to an eyewitness, the suspect reportedly put the gun on his motorcycle. The gun went off, when he was trying to start the bike, killing the DJ on the spot. The eyewitness said the incident, which caused pandemonium at the burial, sparked off outrage as youths of Ndikpo went on rampage, destroying property and pulling down houses belonging to the suspect, as well as those of the family that organised the ceremony of their father. The elder brother of the suspect, Ifeanyi Ibeanozie, said By Peter Duru MAKURDI—A herdsman, Umaru Easyam, has been arraigned before a Makurdi Magistrate’s Court by the Benue State Police Command for allegedly they were friends to the bereaved family, hence their commitment to ensure the success of the burial, insisting that it was not a deliberate act. By Ochuko Akuopha KWALE—ONE person was reportedly killed and others sustained various degrees of injuries in oil-rich Emu-Ebendo, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State, weekend, as opposing groups clashed over election into the community’s youth executive committee. The election, slated for last Saturday, is coming few months after the immediate past Chairman of Ndokwa West, Mr. Chris Osakwe, lifted the suspension he placed on youth activities in the community. Vanguard gathered that trouble started when one of the candidates for the youth chairmanship position and his supporters called for the postponement of the election, a development which did not Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Princess Nkiruka Nwode, who confirmed the incident, called on community leaders to be mindful of the go down well with the opposing party that insisted that the election must be held. A source in the community said: “Before the day of the election, there were gunshots renting the air at night, leading to the withdrawal of a chairmanship aspirant from the race before the election because of fear.” The source, who craved anonymity, said: “The President-General of the community was addressing the delegates when the place became rowdy and chaotic. The President-General was attacked and wounded on the leg. “Some houses have been burnt and this morning (yesterday) we were told that another house has been burnt. Apart from burning houses, they brought out kind of people they appoint as members of the vigilante and implored the people to give the Police information that will help in apprehending the suspect. One killed, many wounded, houses razed in Delta over youth body's election raping a pregnant housewife (name withheld), in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state. The accused, who claimed to come from Tse-Ikyer Mbakyoondo village, was arrested by officials of the Civilian Joint Task Force/ Livestock Guards when he tried to flee after allegedly committing the act. The prosecuting officer, Sergeant Godwin Ato, in his First Information Report, FIR, told the court that the properties of some persons living in rented houses and set them ablaze. “As the crisis was going on, it was discovered that one of the youths in the community was missing and could not be reached on his mobile phone. “Towards yesterday evening (Saturday), he was found dead. His body has been deposited in the mortuary. As we speak, so many people have been taken to the hospital.” Confirming the incident yesterday, Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, said one person was killed, affirming that the crisis was due to the disruption of the election by the opposing parties. At press time, security had been beefed up in the community as there was heavy presence of soldiers and Police officers in the area. Herdsman nabbed, arraigned, remanded for raping pregnant housewife husband of the victim, in company of Civilian Joint Task Force members in the area had on November 20 arrested and taken the accused to Naka Police Station. The complainant stated that the arrested herder abandoned
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—7 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 •Kidnappers' leader told his men: Touch and die by my hands member gang, who “spent much of their time playing violent videos and loud, sexually suggestive rap music on their mobiles. “But thankfully, the gang leader told his men that if they so much as touched the women, he would kill them personally. “At one point, the ‘General’ — leader of the gang — lashed an underling 50 times across his By Gabriel Enogholase BENIN—A Libya returnee and father of five, Mr. Sylvester Agho, has described his five months experience in the North African country as hellish and harrowing, just as he promised to join in the fight against illegal migration. He made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin, Edo State capital, weekend, shortly after their deportation from Libya. Agho, who said he was glad to have been back to the country, said the moment one leaves his country, he loses his freedom, pointing that there is no other country that can be likened to Nigeria. He said: “I am happy because there is no place like home. When you are in Nigeria, you have the freedom to move about without molestation, but the moment you step out of the shores of Nigeria, you have lost your freedom. “There is a great discrimination over there. But in Nigeria, there is nothing like such. You can work freely unlike over there.” Mr. Agho, who is among the 531 Edo indigenes deported from Libya to the state, said he will advise those still thinking of leaving the country to have a rethink and look for something meaningful to do to earn a better livelihood rather than endangering their lives in a foreign land. His words: “I left this country on June 15 this year and I am back today, which means that I spent five months and some week there. But throughout that period, I was in hell. “There was nothing good over there. There is nothing on earth that will make me to say that I want to travel by land to Europe. But for those going back, I will his cows in the bush and forcefully had sexual intercourse with his wife, who was returning from the farm. During the hearing, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction. The prosecutor told the court that investigation was still in progress and asked for another date. bare buttocks for falling asleep on guard duty.” The Boko Haram connection Daily Telegraph quoted them as saying the guards were overheard talking about selling them to the Boko Haram insurgent group. “While that seemed unlikely as Boko Haram are despised in advise them to stay in Nigeria and find something else to do.” ‘They don’t respect human’ Another returnee, Mr. Destiny Gabriel, said he was overwhelmed with joy to have being deported back to Nigeria. “When I came to Nigeria last night, I was happy. I had joy and freedom because we lived in a place where there was no Counsel to the accused, Mr. Ahmed Ahmed, informed the court that he was prepared to apply for the bail of his client. Ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Justice Isaac Ajim, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Federal Prison, Makurdi, and adjourned the case to February 20, 2018 for further mention. Christian southern Nigeria,” Shirley said, “at this point, as Christian missionaries, our blood ran cold.” David recalled that they had kept their spirits up by reading a Bible that the kidnappers had stolen in a robbery incident, adding that as time went on, they also used the Bible to build a rapport with the guards. My months in Libya were hell, says returnee father of 5 By Davies Iheamnachor HOODLUMS, weekend, attacked the convoy of High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs, regent of Abonnema, during a meeting at Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. Lulu-Briggs had visited Abonnema for a peace and reconciliation meeting among chiefs, opinion leaders and elders of the area in respect of the crisis rocking the chairmanship position of Abonnema Council of Chiefs. The Chairman of the Council, Chief Disrael Gbobo Bob-Manuel, was last week, allegedly suspended from the position based on allegation of witchcraft levelled against him. Lulu-Briggs, the nonagenarian father of Dumu Lulu, a Rivers State-based politician and businessman, was appointed in acting capacity to man the position till the controversies surrounding the position are resolved. Based on the development, Lulu- Briggs had visited Abonnema to broker peace, but was held by hundreds of youths, who attacked his convoy and damaged several cars. The youths, numbering over 200, who gathered at the community square, took over the scene immediately the convoy of the freedom. They do not have respect for human beings. “On coming home, we are expecting to get something to start up our lives again because a lot of us spent our last money, sold our property to leave this country to get a better life.” Destiny appealed to the Federal and state governments to provide a means of livelihood for the returnees to prevent them from taking into crime. High Chief arrived and started throwing stones and other weapons at the convoy. Eyewitness Chief Kingsley Young-Jack, who witnessed the incident, narrated: “Some youths we do not know attempted to kill High Chief Lulu-Briggs, when he came to Abonnema for a peace and reconciliation meeting. “They destroyed cars in his convoy, but he was saved because his car is bullet proof. They were shooting guns. We do not know what their annoyance is, but we know they “They justified their actions by saying that they had grown up with nothing and that we were privileged, but we pointed out that some of our clinic workers had also come from troubled backgrounds,” he continued. “There was a bit of a silence about that at first, but by the end two of them were asking for lessons on the Bible.” He said: “Governments should do something. They should not allow the youths to enter the streets. They should do something that will encourage us to know that our governments are really there for us. “I appreciate the governor, who said we should stay in this hotel for three days. But after three days, what then happens to us? Where do we go from here? These are the questions I am asking.” Hoodlums attack nonagenarian, Lulu-Briggs at reconciliation meeting •We must embrace dialogue, he insists Some of the cars destroyed at the scene. were hired to carry out that act.” However, Chief Lulu-Briggs has sued for peace in Abonnema Kingdom, stating that violence and killings will not resolve the issues on the position of the Chairman of Abonnema Council and infrastructure development in the area. Lulu-Briggs, who spoke through Chief Ibim Iyibo Young-Briggs, noted that there was need for reconciliation of all the factions in the face-off, expressing regrets over poor infrastructure development in the area. Truck drivers barricade roads in Delta over ‘Haulage Fees’ W ARRI—HEAVY duty vehicle drivers, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, yesterday, vowed to commence strike and remove their vehicles from roads in Delta State if the government fails to cancel its newlyintroduced ‘Haulage Fees.’ Protesting members of Udu and Ughelli South councils’ branches of NURTW, had, yesterday, barricaded both Otor-Udu and Jeremi junctions with heavy duty trucks and tipper-lorries, unsettling early travellers. It took a phone appeal by Vincent Uduaghan, the state’s Commissioner for Transport, to free the road after a promise to schedule a meeting next week, to resolve the matter. The new levy by the state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, condemned by rights lawyer, Oghenejabor Ikimi as “illegal,” engages consultants, who reportedly employ violence in the daily collection of various sums as haulage fees depending on the size of the commercial transport vehicle. Charles Kwode, Chairman, NURTV, Ughelli South branch, told Vanguard that “a gang in our locality, arrogating enforcement right to itself, has been attacking our members on duty in desperation to extort the said haulage fee. “Some persons have been reported injured in some places. We can’t come to terms with these levies. It is double payment, since we already remit to local governments and the union. “We hope the Transport Commissioner’s intervention will yield a lasting solution.” Joseph Obofuraja, Secretary, Ughelli South chapter of the union said: “I hope the peaceful protest drew the governor’s attention to our plight. If there is no appropriate response, we will have no choice than to remove our vehicles from the road.”
8—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 FG, Mabon PPA targets 40Mw By Chris Ochayi ABUJA— THE F e d e r a l Government has initiated Power Purchase Agreement, PPA, with Mabon Power Limited for the 40 Megawatts Dadin Kowa Mini Hydro Power Project in Yamaltu Local Government Area of Gombe State. This is part of the government’s effort to achieve its roadmap on incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply and implementation of Power Sector Recovery Programmer, PRSR. A total of 40Mw will be added to the national grid at the completion of the hydro project in the next seven months. Managing Director/ By Dirisu Yakubu ABUJA—AHEAD of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, national convention slated for December 9, a former Acting National Chairman of the party and chairmanship aspirant, Prince Uche Secondus, has appealed to other contestants to focus their campaigns on issues, rather than casting aspersion on his person. Secondus made the appeal yesterday, following alleged blackmail and attacks against his person and ambition. In a statement by his campaign Media Officer, Bisi Ezekiel, Secondus said: “We are not perturbed by the many attacks as we hold tight to the spirit and letters of agreement entered into by all aspirants at Wadata Plaza. “We have resolved never to raise a finger against fellow aspirants, but to run issue-based campaign that dwells on our agenda for the party. “We are resisting temptations to retaliate against savage attacks and falsehood, but instead, concentrating our energies on wooing delegates and convincing them that we are the best for the leadership at this material time.” He kicked against the model adopted by some of his fellow aspirants Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, Dr. Marilyn Amobi, who stated this during the ceremony, weekend, in Abuja, said with this initialisation, the company will accelerate the completion of the project that will eventually add about 40Mw to the National Grid. Dr. Amobi, while assuring the company of government’s support, urged other investors to emulate Mabon Power Limited. Responding, the Project Development Consultant, Mabon Power Limited, Christopher Cyril, commended NBET and assured government that the project will be completed on schedule. PDP chairmanship: Focus on issues, Secondus charges fellow aspirants who, rather than unveil what they have for the party, resorted to attacking his person. While describing his ambition as one intended to reposition PDP, Secondus promised to embrace whoever the system threw up, stating that his aspiration was not an act of desperation. The aspirant, who described himself as the best man for the job, stated that “we have conducted the most rancour-free campaign. We have focussed on issues rather than personalities. “We represent unity platform as we see all aspirants as positive partners in the quest to make the party great again. The National Careta-ker Committee has pledged to make the convention free and fair. We urge other aspirants to accept in good faith the avowed assurance of our leaders to make December 9 a success.” By Grace Udofia THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAIN, have teamed up to fight malnutrition with food fortification across the country. This strategy was unveiled at a two-day joint NEW TELEGRAPH AWARD: From left—Senior Vice President, Commercial and Gas, Aiteo Group, winner Company of the Year award, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo; former Governor of Abia State and Publisher, New Telegraph Newspaper, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; Managing Director, SystemSpecs, owner of Remita and winner, Product of the Year, Mr. John Obaro, and Commissioner for Special Duties, Rivers State, Mr. Onowu Chukwuemeka, at the New Telegraph Award 2017. PHOTO: Lamidi Bamidele. Looters’ trial: NJC panel receives 2,306 high-profile case files By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA—THE panel set up by the National Judicial Council, NJC, to handle high profile corruption cases has received no fewer than 2,306 petitions. This is even as the NJC has evolved a new practice that will fast-track hearing and determination of all pending high-profile corruption cases. The council, in a P RESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration was taking the necessary measures to end suicide bombings by Boko Haram terrorists, saying the attacks were like the last kicks of a dying horse. Speaking at the commissioning of Pulaaku Radio in Yola, Adamawa State, yesterday, the President, who was represented by the Minister statement in Abuja yesterday, said its Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trials Monitoring Committee, COTRIMCO, had also resolved to actively engage bodies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, in furtherance of its mandate to ensure quick determination of pending cases. of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Boko Haram had been massively degraded and its surviving members put on the run. His words: “Instead of being hunters, they are now the hunted. In their desperation to stay relevant they have resorted to the wicked and dastardly act of using innocent under-aged children to carry out suicide bomb attacks. “But what we are witnessing now are the last It said the new guideline will be issued to judges across the federation, who are currently presiding over trial of alleged looters. Besides, the NJC, which is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, also disclosed that COTRIMCO, which it said had been divided into four sub-committees, has received a total of 2,306 ongoing alleged corruption matters that were now receiving attention. Buhari describes Boko Haram bombings as kicks of dying horse NAFDAC, GAIN move to check malnutrition regulatory agencies’ retreat on food fortification organised by GAIN in Kaduna. Country Director of GAIN, Dr. Michael Ojo, noted the absence of fortified foods for majority of the citizens, especially in poorer countries, including Nigeria, and said that the agency was determined to reverse the trend in the interest of the people. Also speaking, out-gone NAFDAC Director- General, Ademola Magbojuri, said the agency will continue to collaborate with partners to promote fortified foods He explained that fortification enhances quality of food by adding vital minerals and vitamins in minute quantities; the absence of which causes micro-nutrient deficiencies. kicks of a dying horse. Yes, these kicks may be dangerous, but they don’t last long. Progressively, they become weaker and weaker until the horse finally dies.” President Buhari said the war against Boko Haram had moved to the next phase, which is intelligence-driven, with a view to ending the suicide bombings. According to him, “that is why I approved the establishment of an intelligence fusion centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to gather and share intelligence among security agencies in the country. This will go a long way in ending this campaign of suicide bombings.” The President said the new phase will depend largely on information and communication, and, therefore, rallied the media, especially radio and television stations, to play their part in enlightening the populace. Divisions According to the statement by the Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, “the subcommittees are Practice Directions, Training, Feedback and Engagement, and Awareness. They were constituted at the meeting of the anti-graft panel, under the leadership of the Chairman, Honourable Justice Suleiman Galadima (retd). “The committee also divided the country into three zones for ease of monitoring and evaluation of the said cases. They are Zone A, Abuja FCT; Zone B, Northern Zone, and Zone C, Southern Zone.” It said chief judges of state divisions that had yet to submit list of alleged corruption cases to the committee had been directed to do so without delay. “The committee directed its Secretary, Gambo Saleh, Esq., who is also the Council’s Secretary, to write the defaulting CJs. “At the last count, Zone A in Abuja has 554 pending alleged cases; Zone B, 347; with Zone C having 1,405 cases.” President Muhammadu Buhari had, at the flagging off of 2017 All Judges Conference in Abuja, commended the CJN for directing judges to submit a comprehensive list of all corruption and financial crimes in order to designate special courts to handle them. President Buhari said he was in support of the CJN’s action, saying “the public is awaiting the results of this initiative.”
VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—9 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 FG targets $1bn from tax amnesty scheme •Targets N120bn from VAT monthly By Adaeze Okechukwu L AGOS—THE Federal Government is targeting to rake in about $1 billion from the on-going Voluntary Income and Asset Declaration Scheme, VAIDS, before the deadline on March 31, 2018. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who made this disclosure on the sidelines of the VAIDS training workshop in Lagos at the weekend, said the ministry had received $110 million already from just two companies. She said: “We have set $1 billion as the success target. However, it’s not really about how much money that comes in. For me, it’s about getting people into the tax net, going forward. Once people start declaring the appropriate income, that revenue for the government will be continuous. Hence, regardless of the oil price, the government will have a steady source of revenue. “The problems we have faced in the last two years would not have occurred if we had a better tax collection system. Developed countries, today, have a very high tax to GDP ratio, some as high as 90 percent. The days of heavy dependence on oil ought to be over.” Adeosun further disclosed that Nigeria was already a part of the Automatic Exchange of Information, AEOI, that plans to supply the government with information concerning various categories of income and financial transactions of Nigerians in other countries. She said that from January 1st, 2018, the ministry will have full access to this information. She has promised that the ministry will name and shame wanting individuals and entities that fail to avail themselves of the amnesty programme after the deadline. “It would be premature to call persons who have/will receive letters, ‘Tax Evaders’. We will only label people as real tax evaders when the VAIDS deadline expires and they have failed to regularize. We will then proceed to apply the full weight of the law. Then we must name and shame the tax evaders,” she affirmed. Adeosun added that the ministry was working relentlessly with agencies such as Federal Inland Revenue Service,FIRS, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Nigeria Customs Administration, among others, to mine the data required to detect tax defaulters. “Increased cooperation between the Federal & State Governments, and also with foreign governments, has provided the ministry of finance with unprecedented amounts of data that allow us accurately profile taxpayers & identify those whose lifestyles/ assets are not consistent with their declared incomes. “We have compiled a list of about 500 Nigerians who own property and trusts abroad and are believed to have under-declared these assets. We will be writing to them to take advantage of our tax amnesty, VAIDS, opened until March 2018,” she asserted. Speaking on a related development, the finance minister uncovered that in October 2017, more than N89 billion was recorded as Value Added Tax, VAT collection. •Gives more reasons he left APC; He resigned on October 18 By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Omeiza Ajayi AVice BUJA—FORMER President, Atiku Abubakar, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over what he alleged as his dismal performance in office and for dividing the country along ethnic and religious lines. The assertions were made in his resignation letter from the All Progressives Congress, APC. This came as the former vice-president, ahead of his imminent return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the weekend, won the endorsement of the North-East caucus of the party to return to the party. Meanwhile, contrary to COMMISSIONING: From left—Governor Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (who represented President Muhammadu Buhari); HRH Lamido Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa; Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; the Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II and the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar at the commissioning of the Pulaaku Radio Station. the statement of the APC that it was unaware of the resignation of Atiku from the party, Vanguard gathered that Atiku resigned from the party more than a month ago. The resignation letter, dated October 18, 2017, was channelled through his ward chairman in Jada 1 Ward, in Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa Sate. In the letter, Atiku said his decision to quit the ruling party was not about him but about the future of the country as a democratic entity. Atiku’s resignation letter He said: “I wish to inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in this ward with effect from the date of this letter. “I am resigning from a party we formed and worked so hard, with fellow compatriots across the country, to place in government. “I had hope that the APC government will make improvements to the lives of our people and the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible nation. This hope has now been dashed. “I am unable to reconcile myself with the dismal performance of the party in government, especially in relation to the continued polarization of our people along ethnic and religious lines, which is threatening our unity more than any other time in the recent past and the unbeatable hardship that our people are currently undergoing. “As I said in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy, constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice. Let me emphasize again that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it. “While wishing you well, let me express the hope that in the near future, a substantial number of you will join forces with us to once again defeat impunity and restore vision and purpose to the politics of our great country. “Please accept the assurances of my highest regard.” WAIVERS: Importers, NGOs must follow due process —FG By Emma Ujah ABUJA—THE federal government said yesterday it would not succumb to the blackmail by importers and Nongovernmental Organisations who engage in economic sabotage under the guise of health services delivery to Nigerians. The importers and NGOs had accused government of not granting them import duty waivers in respect of drugs, health commodities and related equipment donated by the Global Fund. But the Ministry of Finance said in a statement yesterday that the complainants did not follow due process in asking for duty waivers, adding that explained the reason they were denied. The statement signed by the Director of Information in the ministry, Salisu Na’inna Dambatte, read: ‘’The attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance has been drawn to attempts by some importers and Non-Government Organisations, NGOs, to malign the name of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Ministry over spurious claims of refusing to grant import duty waivers in respect of drugs, health commodities and related equipment donated by the Global Fund. ‘’The Ministry strongly denies that the Minister has refused to grant import duty waivers to some Buhari dividing Nigeria along ethnic, religious lines —ATIKU Atiku meets North- East PDP Meanwhile, Atiku has continued to consolidate his grounds in the North- East sequel to what promises to be a tough presidential primary in the party, with some of the presidential aspirants in the PDP that have declared or are yet to declare their aspirations. On his arrival in Yola, Adamawa State, last Friday, the former vicepresident met with the state executive and some local government chairmen of the PDP, during which he intimated them of his resignation from the APC. A source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that he won the support and encouragement of the PDP chieftains who noted his leading role in bringing the party to the state. Atiku at the onset of the Fourth Republic, won the governorship election in Adamawa State in 1999 but side-stepped the office to run with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on PDP ticket. Following his meeting with the Adamawa State exco, the former vicepresident on Saturday met with all six state chairmen of the PDP in Yola. importers and NGOs for drugs and health commodities imported into the country. ‘’There are laid down statutory procedures governing the granting of import duty waivers to importers and NGOs, which are part of holistic measures put in place to check abuses of the Federal Government’s fiscal incentives, and to put a halt to rampart corrupt practices in the economic sector. ‘’These procedures include submission of an application by the importer and NGO to the Federal Ministry of Finance through the Federal Ministry of Health; evidence of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission; submission of an approved Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, duly signed by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning between the donor agencies, federal government and the recipient-NGOs. ‘’Others include presentation of a certificate of exemption from tax from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (only for those who engage in nonprofit making activities in line with their objectives), submission of a proforma invoice indicating the value of the imported items, bill of laden and if the imported items are donated, the NGOs are required to provide the Federal Ministry of Finance with authenticated letter from the donor agencies. " A d d i t i o n a l documentation may also be required where the need arises. Meanwhile, some of the applicants referred to in the sponsored write-up being planned for circulation did not submit the required documents for processing import duty waivers requests ‘’The Federal Ministry of Finance has in recent times observed the flagrant abuse of the import duty waivers by some NGOs and importers, who smuggled other imported items into approved waivers issued for the importation of medical equipment and drug related items. ‘’The Ministry has also observed that some importers and NGOs engage in the sale of imported drug items which are meant to be distributed to the public free after being granted import duty exemption by the government."
10 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 BOKO HARAM: Buhari vows to rescue remaining Chibok Girls •Approves N165m for school fees of 106 released girls By Johnbosco Agbakwuru A BUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the commitment of his administration to ensure the release of the remaining abducted Chibok Girls by Boko Haram terrorists. President Buhari according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja, Sunday, expressed appreciation of the progress made in the rehabilitation the 106 of those freed now back in school and promised to use every means possible to bring back all the girls held by terrorists. The President, who was reviewing the progress report submitted to him in line with his commitment to personally monitor the rehabilitation and reintegration into society of the freed Chibok girls, also gave assurances that government would provide full support for their education. In line with the promise, the President approved payment of N164,763,759 for the second semester school fees of the 106 Chibok girls at the American University of Nigeria, AUN in Yola. According to the progress report received by the President, the decision to pursue other optionsin addition to military action to free the abducted girls was in the resolve to protect the lives of all Nigerians, to end the insurgency in the northeast of the country, and to fulfil one of his campaign promises. In line with this, the Federal Government entered into negotiations with the Boko Haram Terrorist group for the release of the Chibok girls who were kidnapped from their school on the night of April 14, 2014. The statement said: “So far, two batches of 21 and 82 girls have been freed as a result of those negotiations. Three additional girls were rescued by the gallant efforts of our armed forces, bringing the total number of freed Chibok girls so far to 106. As a result of their experiences while in captivity, the freed girls were severely traumatised and afflicted by various ailments and injuries. Hence, they were taken to secure medical centres for Lagos begins removal of illegal structures By Olasunkanmi Akoni LAGOS—AS part of measures to ensure a cleaner Lagos ahead of yuletide, the Special Committee on the Clean Up of Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi, has served contravention notices on owners of illegal structures, disused buildings and automobile mechanics on the highways in the three areas of the state. Chairman of the Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Mr Bello, in a statement, yesterday, said the notices were preparatory to the commencement of enforcement on the affected structures and others from today. According to Tunji, the daily enforcement exercise would be restricted to the major streets and roads till the end of December after which the enforcement would move into the inner streets of the three areas. He said, “The serving of contravention notices and subsequent enforcement followed several weeks of sensitisation campaigns carried by the Task Force and Residents Associations for the areas like the Lekki Residents Association, Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association on the need for owners of illegal structures to remove such.” The streets were the Committee’s enforcement attention. “They also went through debriefing and deradicalisation by security operatives, after which the girls were handed over to the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. The Federal Ministry of Womens Affairs and Social Development was assigned the main role in supervising the rehabilitation and reintegration of the girls back into society. Long before the girls were released, the Federal Government had established the ‘Chibok CELEBRATION: Erelu of Isan Kingdom, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; the Onisan of Isan- Ekiti, HRM, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon; and Olori Christiana Adejuwon; at the 25th Isan Ekiti Unity Day celebration. team would operate on Monday in Lekki include Babatunde Dabiri Street, Admiralty Road, Fola Osibo Street, Omorinre Johnson Street, Durosinmi –Etti Street, Hakeem Dickson Street and Ogbunike Street. Also speaking on the Facebook to train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills By Prince Osuagwu Social media platform, Facebook has unfolded plans to train no fewer than 50,000 Nigerians, including students, small and medium enterprise owners among others in digital skills. The technology platform also disclosed that it will open first community hub space in Nigeria next year to encourage software developers and technology entrepreneurs. In addition, Facebook equally explained that it will be supporting a number of existing tech Hubs to serve the communities outside Lagos. The hubs will function as learning centres for local communities, providing multiple opportunities for training and access. Facebook made the announcements in Lagos, in a meeting with a cross session of journalists and other stakeholders in the technology ecosystem. Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships, Middle East & Africa Mr Emeka Afigbo said, “Nigeria is producing a new generation of exciting start-ups that have incredible potential. We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and we have invested in helping these communities build for the next billion. One of our key passions at Facebook is nurturing and helping to develop the tech and startup community, and I’m excited to announce our partnership with the Nigerian tech hub ecosystem especially the NG_HUB space, here in Lagos.” Lagos NDE trains youths on vocational skills By Victor Ahiuma- Young THE National Directorate of Employment, NDE,Lagos State has commenced a three month training in Basic National Open Apprenticeship Scheme, B-NOAS, under its Vocational Skill Development programme, for youths in the state. This came as its plan to train another batch of 2,500 youths in various skills across the state as it stepped up efforts at c o m b a t i n g unemployment among youths in Lagos. However, the ongoing training involving 100 registered youths is in line with the Federal Government policy on employment generation through skills acquisition programmes for the unemployed youths in the country. They are being trained in bead stringing, computer appreciation, small chops production and confectionery, Beauty therapy and Hair gear tying (gele) production and laying of interlocking blocks. A statement by the State Coordinator of NDE, Ambode’s wife urges end to discrimination against women Olasunkanmi Akoni LAGOS—WIFE of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has called for total eradication of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls. She made the call yesterday, in Ikeja, while chatting with journalists on the occasion of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. November 25th every year is set aside as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls across the world. Mrs. Ambode noted that violence against women and girls remained one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violence in the world, noting that achieving gender parity would require more efforts and legal frameworks, to tackle established anti-female practices spread across Ologbenla Adebowale, who disclosed that the trainees were to be paid stipends, noted that to ensure proper compliance with the official directive on training, management of NDE in Abuja, sent an officer to overview the programme in the state. According to him, the official from the NDE’s headquarters visited five training centres and interacted with both the trainers and trainees at the various training centres, listing the centres as “Balm of Gilead centre for women responsible for bead stringing, MIS computer, responsible for computer training and appreciation, ANNE PLACE for Beauty therapy and hair gear tying, RANITA catering and small chops production and Castle project Ltd, responsible for production and laying of interlocking block.” Meanwhile, the National Directorate of Employment Lagos, in its stride towards c o m b a t i n g unemployment among youths is in the process of recruiting another 2,500 youths to be trained in various skills across the state. socio-cultural and political landscapes. According to her, “Everyone has the right to live their life without the threat of violence. This holds for everyone irrespective of age, gender, religion or any other characteristics of human identity. ‘’We must all come together to put an end to these acts by supporting not just by the passing and implementation of laws to protect girls and women from child marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment but by agitating for it to be properly monitored and evaluated”, she stressed. She said prevention of violence against women and girls must begin early, adding that children and young ones must learn the principles of equality, respect and non- violence for future generations.
VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 11 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Fayose provides Xmas clothes for 10,000 Ekiti kids •It’s another plot to defraud the people — APC By Dapo Akinrefon & Rotimi Ojomoyela A GOVERNOR DO-EKITI— Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has promised to provide Christmas dress for 10,000 children in the state. But reacting to the governor’s plan, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state described it as callous and insensitive. Governor Fayose made this known during a meeting with tailors in Ado- Ekiti at the weekend. In a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the sewing and distribution of the clothes would take place in designated centres across the 16 local government areas of the state. Moreover, the governor said he would buy 100 sewing machines to complement those to be used by volunteer tailors during the exercise. He said: “When we were young, we always looked forward to the Christmas and New Year festivities, that at least our parents would buy clothes for us. VISIT: Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (left) and Dr. Nike Akande, Chairman, NEPAD Business Group Nigeria (NBGN) during a courtesy call by NBGN to the Minister in Abuja. But with the prevailing economic situation in the country, some parents may not be able to do that and we felt we can help to bridge such gap. “The exercise is part of our Stomach Infrastructure Programme and we have to take care of the needs or our people and make them happy. Also, it is a kind of financial empowerment for our people as we are buying all the materials here. We are also going to give the volunteer tailors some stipends during the exercise,” he said. Fayose said only children between the ages of one to 10 would benefit from the exercise and that it would be first come first served. On the style to be sewn, the governor said it will be buba and sokoto for males and gowns for females. Ekit APC kicks In its reaction, the party, which accused Fayose of alleged plot to defraud the state said the plan is an addition to his previous unsolicited show of love for the masses through which public funds were “fraudulently” spent on clothes with more than half of the actual cost ending in private pockets. In a statement in Ado-Ekiti by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party scoffed at the governor’s plan, noting that it was “another fraudulent game to loot the treasury.” He said: “It is sheer greed, wickedness and callous insensitivity to Ekiti people’s plights for Fayose to refuse to address doctors’ strike in the public hospitals over unpaid salaries while other workers remain unpaid for between six and nine months but he is planning and talking of buying Christmas clothes for 10,000 Ekiti children just because he wants to make money from such unsolicited show of love while tens of hundreds of Ekiti indigenes, old and young, are dying in hospitals for lack of medical services as a result of the governor’s insensitivity to the immediate needs of our people over non-payment of doctors and civil servants’ salaries and pensioners.” By Daud Olatunji A BEOKUTA—THE Ogun State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Titilope Adebanjo at a press conference in Abeokuta at the weekend said the union has withdrawn its support for the renewed agitation for local government autonomy in the country. He said granting full political and financial autonomy to councils, as it concerns the funding and management of primary education would be a disaster to basic education in the country. “As teachers, we have our fear and reservations, being haunted by the awful experience of teachers between 1990 and 1994 when Primary education came under the control of the Local You’re solution to most Yoruba problems, monarch tells Gani Adams By Dapo Akinrefon I KORODU—THE Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi has said that the Aare Ona Kakanfodesignate of Yoruba land, Gani Adams has the remedy to most problems besieging Yoruba land. The monarch said this, yesterday, when the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate paid him a courtesy visit. Expressing delight over Alaafin of Oyo’s choice of Adams, Oba Shotobi said: “Reward always await anyone who works hard for his people, I was happy when I heard the pronouncement by Alaafin, I know that no political or traditional personality will think otherwise or kick against the choice of Aare Gani Adams based on his antecedents as a fearless fighter for the Yoruba and a reputable cultural promoter.” In addition, he said: “I am totally in support of the mission of the Aare Ona Kakanfo. It is time for Yoruba to ignore the errors of the past including royal fathers, Aare Gani Adams is the solution to most of our problems in Yoruba race, I promise not to be far from you, I will do anything within my reach to make sure you succeed in the mission to unite Yoruba as we come together to have one voice. I pray to God for protection and ability to see your mission through.” Earlier in his remark, the Aare Ona Kakanfodesignate told the monarch that he came to pay homage to the Ayangburen as he has done to some prominent traditional rulers in recognition of the role and position the traditional rulers will play in the drive to chart a unified cause for Yoruba. With the blessing of the traditional fathers, a lot of things can be corrected, that’s why their palaces are his first point of call. Osun APC hails Aregbesola’s 7th year in office THE All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun State has commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s 7th year in office describing him as a phenomenon. In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, the party congratulated the governor and the people of the state for his exceptional achievements in the process of transforming the state. Ogun NUT withdraws support for LG autonomy According to the party, “years before Aregbesola came, Osun was in turmoil. There was economic depression, insecurity was the order of the day and result-oriented governance was virtually absent. And all of that changed dramatically from 2010. Ogbeni Aregbesola emerged on the Osun scene like a storm and became the pivot on which unprecedented transformation began to manifest. Government, when the school system witnessed poor funding and total neglect which led to industrial crisis because Local Government Councils failed to accord Primary Education the priority of place it deserved. “We submit unequivocally again that any attempt made to handover Primary Education to Local Governments amounts to consigning Primary Education to the abyss of total collapse. This is inimical to national development,” Comrade Adebanjo emphasized. He also called to establishment of National Primary Education Commission which shall be responsible for the payment of the salaries of teachers through the commission from deductions as first line charge from the Federation account. “So compelling was the change that Osun occupied centre stage as a pacesetter in effective governance in Nigeria” the APC stated. The statement reads: “Thousands of youths were taken away from the streets and given jobs under the O’YES programme; thousands more of children were attracted back to school as parents took advantage of the reformation Ogbeni effected in education.
12—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Memorial service held for 26 Nigerian girls who died in Italy By Simon Ebegbulem THE National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTlP, in collaboration with the Motorsports Club of Nigeria, MSCN, weekend, held a track race in memory of the 26 Nigerian girls found dead in an Italian ship. The event took place at Evbuobanuosa, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. Director General of NAPTIP, Juli Okan-Donli, who noted that Nigeria was yet to get the official report of what transpired from the Italian government, said, however, that they are in touch with Italy with a view to unravelling the circumstances that led to the death of the girls. She lamented further that several Nigerians have been killed and their organs removed, appealing to parents and relations to admonish their children to stop embarking on illegal trips abroad. She said: “This event is in remembrance of the 26 young Nigerian women who died while crossing the perilous sea this month. Many of them could be our sisters, but they are no more. So many unaccounted victims of human trafficking have lost their lives crossing the Sahara desert. “These incidents are sad reminders of the demerits of human trafficking. These victims erroneously believed that the grass is greener over there in Europe. Seeking for greener pastures may be legitimate, but it must be done in the right way through proper procurement of documents.” She further disclosed that between 2003 and today, NAPTIP has got 334 convictions across the country, pointing out that human trafficking has been mostly as a result of ignorance, "so we decided to partner with MSCN to sensitize the people and the youths on the dangers of human trafficking in Nigeria," she added. Immortalise Ekwueme, PDP’s Reps caucus urges Buhari By Levinus Nwabughiogu THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, House of Representatives Caucus, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immortalise former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme. And for alleging that former President Goodluck Jonathan institutionalized corruption in Nigeria, the caucus has asked National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to repent and see more good in others or he will be given a platinum award in corruption. In a statement, yesterday, titled Celebrating GEJ At 60, Immortalizing Ekwueme And A Look At Tinubu And The Nigerian Irony, by the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema, the lawmakers expressed gratitude to the president •Berates Tinubu over attack on Jonathan and Nigerians for celebrating former President Jonathan on his 60th birthday. While eulogizing the life and times of Ekwueme in his service to the nation, the PDP House Caucus emphasized its conviction that time would prove that ex-President Jonathan and ex-VP Ekwueme deserved very worthy places in the annals of Nigeria's history. “We express our sincere appreciation to all Nigerians who joined us in celebrating the lives of two of Nigeria’s truly great men of all times. “Beyond the realm of politics, it is noteworthy that these two fine gentlemen, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the passionate democrat and Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the very urbane and knowledgeable political leader, both bequeathed unto coming generations of Nigerians, models of inspiration. “Given the gargantuan odds over which he prevailed and rose to the highest position in the land, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s 60th birthday on November 20, was a milestone worth celebrating. “Yet, it was a time that the self-effacing, humble former president preferred that we pause and reflect upon the life and the passage into eternal realms, of a truly great and humble member of our family, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, GCON. “Ekwueme, one of the founding fathers of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, became the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria in 1979 and left office in 1983, materially poorer than his original worth after a flourishing professional career. “As we celebrate former President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, GCON, we recall his immortal words that his ambition is not worth the blood of any citizen and again, we congratulate him for being widely acknowledged as the Face of Democracy in Africa, a continent where genuine and exemplary commitment to democratic ideals inspire heroic felicitation,” the caucus stated. They continued: “We call on the Federal Government to seriously consider immortalizing Dr. Alex Ekwueme by naming a great institution of learning and other worthy structures that elevate the human spirit, after him. “In all these, we must not forget the vicious sponsors of vile propaganda and deceitful lies against PDP and former President Jonathan. As we pray for a long prosperous life for former President Jonathan, and eternal rest for the gentle soul of former VP Ekwueme, we also pray for GEJ's traducers like Bola Ahmed Tinubu for God to either give them a change of heart to see more good in others or for discerning Nigerians to give him his much-deserved platinum award in corruption." OLOROGUN O'TEGA EMERHOR'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN DELTA STATE Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, business mogul and Delta State APC leader, celebrated his 60th birthday at his countryhome, Evwreni, Ughelli North LGA, Delta State, last week. Vanguard captured some of the highpoints of the event. Olorogun O'tega Emerhor and wife, Rita. From left: Prof. S.W.E. Ibodje; Chief Tuesday Onoge and Rev. Dr. Israel Unutame Odoh-Tadafe. From left: Elizabeth Erigbegbe, one of the 262 beneficiaries; the celebrant's wife, From left: Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, former Speaker of Delta State House Rita; celebrant, Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, and former Speaker, Delta State House of of Assembly; Mr. Royce Itefue; Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, his wife, Rita Assembly, Victor Ochei, during the presentation of N50,000 business cash support to and Rev. Abayomi Lawal, during a thanksgiving service at Evwreni, Ughelli beneficiaries at the activities rounding off Emerhor's 60th birthday celebration in North LGA, Delta State. Evwreni, Ughelli North LGA, Delta State, yesterday.
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—13 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Join PNDPC, Ayemi-Botu tells those lobbying him back to PANDEF By Emma Amaize & Chancel Sunday NATIONAL Leader of Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress, PNDPC, HM Charles Ayemi-Botu, has asked Niger Delta leaders pleading with him to come back to Pan Niger Delta People’s Forum, PANDEF, to join PNDPC. Ayemi-Botu, former national chairman of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, spoke, weekend, just as the former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, and others, intensified pressure on him to return to PANDEF. He declared: “I will not renege on my stand as the national leader of PNDPC. The congress belongs to all true Niger Deltans and non-Niger Deltans that live Emerhor splashes N13.1m on 262 Deltans By Egufe Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe LEADER of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, yesterday, gave a total of N13.1 million to 262 selected underprivileged Deltans in an empowerment exercise to make his 60th birthday. The event, which was the highpoint of a fourday programme of events lined up for the here. So I appeal to other Niger Delta leaders talking to me, to join PNDPC. At our last meeting attended by those who went back to their vomit, we resolved that PNDPC should exist independent of PANDEF and pursue common goals for the region. We have not changed that position. “For the avoidance of doubt, the purported merger of PNDPC with PANDEF is not only false and misleading, but also a mere figment of the imagination of those who orchestrated the nonexistent merger. On the contrary, at Opokuma summit of PNDPC, it was unanimously agreed that the PNDPC would continue to operate as an independent entity mandated by the agitators to open fresh dialogue with the federal government on the way forward. It should be placed on record that no celebration, was held at his Evwreni country home and was chaired by former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei. In his opening remark, Ochei, while applauding the benevolence of Emerhor, said: “We cannot describe what the Delta State Government is doing as empowerment because that is our common wealth. But we must commend the efforts of meeting has been held to review the standpoint of the PNDPC after the Opokuma summit. Therefore, no such decision has been taken to merge with any other organization. “While PNDPC is open to constructive engagement with all critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta project, it has no plans to merge with any organization, at least not in the foreseeable future. “It is, therefore laughable, unethical and a very painful betrayal of trust by a few self-serving individuals who have a penchant for double standard to unilaterally declare that PNDPC has ceased to exist.” He alleged that the leadership of PANDEF gave N20 million gratification to some unscrupulous persons to destabilize the PNDPC, but said, “I can tell you today that they failed because, as the national leader of the group, I have declared that the congress did not merge with any group.” Contacted on the allegation, National Leader of PANDEF, Senator Edwin Clark, denied knowledge of N20 million given to anybody to destabilize PNDPC, asking, “Where will I get that kind of money from and even if I see such money, why should it be spent on such a project?” Bozimo, who spoke in an interview with Vanguard, said: “HM Ayemi-Botu is my traditional ruler. We have been together in the struggle for the region’s well-being from the 1970s. I am appealing to him, let us remain united for the sake of the people and the region. Is it now that we are old that we should part ways in this course that we started together when we were younger?" BRIEFING: President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Otis Anyaeji (middle); Deputy President, Adekunle Mokuolu (left), and Executive Secretary, Olusola Obadimu, during a briefing on the State of the Nation and Engineering Profession, in Abuja, weekend. Emerhor because what he is doing today is from his personal pocket for the benefit of his people.” On his part, Emerhor, who was the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 general election, said: “Government has a responsibility to provide for the citizens so that there is a minimum standard of living for the people. But unfortunately, since 1999 when the PDP came to power, we have not been able to attain that level of empowerment. “This is one of the primary reasons we are fighting to take over government because we are people-oriented and APC must stand to ensure that good governance is enthroned in Delta State.” Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Onakpofure Martins, while thanking Emerhor for the gesture, promised to make good use of the package in his business. Mbang, others call for Gov Emmanuel's re-election in 2019 By Chioma Onuegbu THE Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang and other religious leaders in Akwa Ibom State, have called for the re-election of Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2019. Speaking during the special interactive banquet of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, with the governor in Uyo at the weekend, Mbang asked Christian leaders in the state to sensitise their members towards re-electing Governor Emmanuel in 2019. Mbang, who said this following the endorsement of Emmanuel for a second term in office by the PFN, stressed that the governor deserves a second term in office, adding that one of the things that endears him to the governor is his transparent Christianity. Rev Uma Ukpai, Founder and President of Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association, petitioned God to increase Governor Emmanuel’s level of anointing, noting that the church owes Emmanuel prayer support that must be paid as a debt. “I believe you were sent by God to transform our economy from an ordinary economy to an industrialised economy,” Ukpai said. Your votes'll count, Etiebet assures APC supporters By Chioma Onuegbu F O R M E R Petroleum Minister and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Otuekong Don Etiebet, has assured supporters of his party in Akwa Ibom State that their votes in the December 2 local government elections will count. Etiebet, who gave the assurance during the APC rally in his home town, Oruk Anam Local Government Area, yesterday, said the large turnout of party supporters at all of its campaign rallies across Akwa Ibom was an indication that the party was ready to wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. “With the large crowd that attended the APC flagoff campaign in Uyo Township Stadium, it is clear, even to the doubting Thomases, that APC has taken over Akwa Ibom State. You must come out in your numbers for the December 2 local government elections in the state. We can assure you that your votes will count, nobody will dare to tamper with your votes. And please when you finish voting, don’t go home, wait and get your results," he said. Isoko host communities task Heritage on projects CLUSTER 8 host communities in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30, Delta State, have charged the management of Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), to build secondary schools and staff quarters, provide potable water and other amenities in the communities, to improve their welfare. The Cluster Chairman, Mr. Francis Egho, in a welcome address at the H e r i t a g e / Stakeholders’ Engagement, held at Otor-Owhe, said the communities would, in return, provide the enabling environment for Heritage’s operations in the area. According to him, “Employment is our major concern and we have qualified indigenes to be given employment. We expect Heritage to have a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to construct roads and provide electric power for our communities. We also demand that all contracts of less than N10 million be awarded to registered local contractors from our communities. More so, we urge Heritage to commence the review of the GMoU which expired on August 31, 2017.”
14 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 CHIEF GUY IKOKWU’S 80TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN LAGOS Family, friends and associates were at Chief Guy Ikokwu, a foremost second Republic politician’s 80th birthday celebrations at Colonades Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos on Friday. Photos by LAMIDI BAMIDELE. The celebrant, Chief Guy Ikokwu (middle) with his children and grandchildren cutting his birthday cake. Chief Guy Ikokwu (left) and Chief Patrick Dele Cole at the event. Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (retd) and wife. Major General CRU Ihekire (retd) and his wife. Chief Dominic Ekesi and wife, Katia. From left; Chief Supo Shonibare, Chairman of the occasion; Professor Banji Akintoye; Chief Ikokwu; Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Lanre Omisore. From left; Eze Uche Dimgba, Eze Ndigbo, Ikeja, Lagos; Dr Ossai Onyemerekwe, Omeudo of Igboland and Eze Pat Eneh, Eze Ndigbo, Ojo, Lagos. From left; Dr Obafemi Olapade; Chief Emmanuel Ofulue and Chief Chuks Ikokwu. From left; Chief Oliha Thompson; Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Terence Okwusogu. From left; Alhaji Femi Okunnu; Chief Guy Ikokwu (celebrant) and Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd).
VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 15 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Araraume hails FG's plan to link S-East cities with railway By Anayo Okoli U chieftain MUAHIA—A of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, has commended the Federal Government's plan to link major cities of the South- East with rail services, saying it is what the zone needs to galvanize commerce and grow the economy. Ararume also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a free and fair election in Anambra State, saying, it has proven that the APC was party out to grow democracy. Speaking at the weekend in Abia State, he noted that the last governorship election must be used to gauge the level of the President’s preparedness to keep to his oath of office. He said, "Some people said different things before the poll, but today they are saying another thing. Today everybody is talking about the election as very free and very fair. This was exactly what the President promised and as you are witnesses, he is keeping to his word and I want to assure you that many more will soon emerge.” According to him, President Buhari who promised to link up all the South-East States by rail had also ensured that the deplorable federal roads in the South-East were rehabilitated and made motorable during the yuletide. “Mr. President has assured that he will link the entire South East by rail. Which means from Port Harcourt to Owerri, from Port Harcourt to Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Abakaliki will all be linked by rail. What this means is that there will be easy movement of goods and services from one end to the other and this is what the people of South East have been yearning over the years which was made possible then. If you take a look at the deplorable federal roads in the South East, the President has also promised to tackle them. These roads include the Enugu- Umuahia-Aba-Port Harcourt road; the Enugu-Awka-Onitsha road; the Owerri-Aba road, the Aba-Ikot E’pene-Uyo road among others. As I am talking now, the contractors handling them have fully mobilized to site. It is important to note that Mr. President is one person that does not owe contractors so you can be rest assured that funds won’t be an issue,” Ararume said. Ugwuanyi reiterates commitment to women, youth empowerment By Chinedu Adonu E N U G U — GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, weekend said the state government would continue to empower women and youths to reduce poverty especially at the rural areas. Ugwuanyi said this while laying the foundation stone for the N100 million Police Officers’ Wives Association, POWA, Ultra-Modern Skill Acquisition, Secretariat and Event Centre at the Superior Police Officers Mess, Agbani Road, Enugu. The governor said his administration had continued to design programmes in all sectors to alleviate poverty and create inclusion to governance and its benefits to women in the state. Ugwuanyi, was represented at the event by Commissioner for Gender Affair and Social Development, Princess (Mrs) Peace Nnaji. He said the state’s traders’ empowerment programme was targeted at market women; the various skill acquisitions, from which thousands had benefited. SYMPOSIUM: From Left—Medical Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Omolaja Odunuga; Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Bhushan Akshibar; Marketing Director, GSK Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd, Alexandra Spang; and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, during the Anti-Microbial Resistance, AMR, Symposium in Abuja to commemorate the 2017 Antibiotic Awareness Week. “We are also sure that this centre, when completed, will help to empower women and help to improve the economies of their families, as well as assist the state to reduce poverty. My administration's cardinal purpose is to reduce poverty. While we are pursuing it using women as a focal point to touch families and communities.” The governor, however, thanked POWA for coming up with such project as well as the police command for supporting the state’s POWA chapter to see the project to fruition. On his part, State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Danmallam, said the project, when completed, would help to check joblessness and idleness among wives of police personnel in various police barracks and formations in the state. Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, who also served as the chairman of the occasion, lauded the commissioner and his wife for their commitment to improving the image of the police and its personnel. Earlier, the Chairperson of POWA in Enugu State, Mrs. Bilikisu Danmallam, the wife of Enugu State Commissioner of Police, assured that any fund generated in the course of the project would be Judiciously used for the purpose for which it was meant. Catholic priest decries high level of poverty in Imo State By Chidi Nkwopara OWERRI—A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Cletus Uche, has decried the degree of poverty and suffering allegedly forced on citizens of Imo State by the government. Rev Uche spoke while preaching the homily during a Eucharistic celebration for Knights of Saint Mulumba at St. Mary Claret Parish, Owerri. “Many people in Imo State are suffering because of the state government’s policies and programmes, which many consider as antipeople”, Fr. Uche said. He was particularly irked that while Nigeria was passing through excruciating economic recession, the state government thought it was the best time to destroy people’s means of livelihood, saying “Nigeria is in recession and a governor used that period of economic hardship to cut the salaries and stipends of civil servants and pensioners and nobody is condemning it except the victims.” While saying it was common knowledge that civil servants were hungry and famished, the Catholic priest wondered why the state government should insist that the workers must wear suits and ties to pretend that they were happy. “Everybody knows that the civil servants are hungry but the government insists they must wear suits and ties to pretend that they are happy, because in Africa, hungry people don’t wear coats and ties”, Fr. Uche said. After recounting how people’s economic activities were allegedly destroyed by the state government, Fr. Uche reasoned that “the economy of the state can only grow where there are strong activities”. economic Ishaku, Abba-Gana laud Ekwueme's democratic virtue By Soni Daniel & B Chris Ochayi TARABA State governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has described former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, as the architect of Nigeria’s modern democratic system. The governor made the remark in a tribute sent to the family of the former Vice President yesterday. This came as former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and member, Board of Trustees, BOT, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mohammed Abba-Gana, said late Ekwueme, sowed the seed for the enduring democracy in Nigeria. Governor Ishaku in the tribute through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Bala Dan Abu, said: “Chief Ekwueme played a critical role in the political engineering process that gave birth to the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria. His very mature approach to politics, forthrightness and patriotism also helped in no small way to nurture and sustain that process. His contributions will certainly be accorded a generous place in the political history books of the country.’’ He consoled with the family of the late elder statesman and extended his condolences to the members of the family, the governors and entire people of the South East states of Nigeria over the demise On his part, Abba- Gana, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said Anambra election: vote buying allegation, false —APGA AWKA—THE ruling party in Anambra State and winner of the November 18 governorship election, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has described the allegation that there was massive vote buying by political parties during the election, as false and baseless and has therefore, urged the public to disregard the allegation. Evang Chinedu Obigwe, National coordinator APGA Media in a press release yesterday said, those behind the concoction of the falsehood were suffering election defeat and that they cooked up the massive vote buying moon light tale as an excuse to appease the conscience of their political godfathers that spent huge amount of money in their failed governorship project. Obigwe stated: "Governor Obiano’s election for a merited late Dr. Ekwueme was the architect of modern democracy in the country, given his remarkable leadership of the G34 and the courage and wisdom he displayed in fight for democracy and rule of law. According to him, “A great Nigerian leader and statesman has departed. A trusted and tested democrat. A proven patriot and nationalist and second to none team player. He came to the national limelight as Vice President from Oct 1979 to 31st Dec 1983. His immense contributions to the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference have endeared him to the generality of Nigerians. “His timely and remarkable leadership of the G34 and the courage, intellect and wisdom he displayed in the fight for democracy and rule of law singled him out as the real hero of our democracy and leader of high moral values and fear of God. Above all his acceptance of defeat in the 1999 PDP Presidential primaries held in Jos showed his love for one united Nigeria and faith in democratic institutions and processes. “By that acceptance of defeat he sowed the seed for the enduring democracy and democratic order and rule of law which we now cherish and enjoy. His family is definitely in sorrow but Nigerians who know his value and deeds are in more sorrow because they have lost a redeemer, nation builder and a just and dependable leader.” second term was a patriotic project of the people of Anambra State and they made it a consensus project for the sole aim of encouraging good works in the state and to also entrench political sense of belonging in the state. I praised the gallantry exhibited by APGA collation agent for Otuocha Ward 2 by ensuring that INEC officials did not compromise the election for that ward. I also praised those that toiled day and night to ensure the actualization of Governor Obiano’s second term mandate without receiving any monetary compensation for their efforts." He said that the victory of Governor Willie Obiano in the November 18th governorship election belongs to those that have not met the Governor one on one but they fought gallantry for his reelection. He assured them that there sacrifice will not be in vain.
C M YK 16 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
C M Y K Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—17 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 MEETING: From left— Shareholder, Legacy Pension Managers Ltd, Nurudeen Rafindadi; Group Chief Executive, FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun; Chairman, Legacy Pension Managers, Alhaji Lamis Dikko; Chief Operating Officer, FCMB Group ,and Director, Legacy Pension Managers, Mr. Peter Obaseki, at the Completion Board Meeting to conclude the acquisition of additional Legacy shares by the FCMB Group, in Abuja. MEDIA PARLEY: From left— Dr Okechukwu Ogah, Consultant Cardiologist, University College Hospital, Ibadan; Prof. Kamilu Karaye, Cardiologist, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano; Prof. Amam Mbakwem, President, Nigerian Cardiac Society of Nigeria and Prof. Michael Balogun, Chairman, Heartfailure Technical Board, NORVATIS, at the media parley on heart failure disease awareness held in Lagos. Photo Lamidi Bamidele ‘Buhari's emergence, divine intervention for nation's devt' By Olayinka Latona LAGOS—THE Baba Aladura of the Eternal Sacred Order of The Morning Star & St. Michael Star, Fountain of Life-Mount Zion, His Most Eminence, Olatunji Adenaike has said President Buhari was chosen by God to lead Nigeria and also take the country to the promise land. Speaking during the 60th anniversary and 2017 general conference of the church at the International Headquarters of the church at Ojuelegba, Lagos, the Baba Aladura stressed that Buhari’s emergence was an act of God and that he was convinced that God’s plan is to set things right and heal Nigeria through Buhari’s administration. He added that the president’s zeal and sincerity in governance had made him to be unperturbed inspite of the criticisms from various quarters in the country. In his words: “In the last election, we took it upon ourselves to earnestly pray that God should appoint somebody that will rule this country well and I am happy that God answered that prayer. “To the best of my knowledge, President Mohammadu Buhari is the best we can get as at now, I did not know about tomorrow. I came to that conclusion that President Buhari is the best that we can have at the moment because I know him to be an honest person whose integrity shows through in whatever he is doing.”
C M Y K 18 — Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 THE reluctant resignation by former President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, opened a new and anxious chapter in the history of Zimbabwe, which lived for 37 years under the iron thumb of the wily and stubborn 93-year-old sittight ruler. Edison Zvobgo, Enos Nkala, Maurice Ndabaningani Sithole, Edgar Tekere, Along with the late Joshua Nkomo, Nyagumbo, Solomon Mujuru and Mugabe had led the Rhodesian Bush recently, the Movement for War against the White Minority rule Democratic Change, MDC, leader, of Ian Smith, emerging as the Prime Morgan Tvangirai. Minister of the former Rhodesia However, his final gambit that forced (which was renamed Zimbabwe the military to take a stand for following the dismantling of White Zimbabwe was the recent sack of his Minority rule in 1980) after the Vice President, Emmerson Lancaster House Agreement. Mnangagwa, a move interpreted as In his 37 years in power, Mugabe positioning his wife, Grace, to succeed employed Machiavellian tactics in him. neutralising challenges to his position. Mugabe also deftly deployed the ageold tactics of divide and rule to survive He successfully saw off all major players in the country’s political for so long. To neutralise Nkomo, he leadership one after the other. These pitted Matabeleland against the rest of included Joshua Nkomo, the country. Next, he turned against the media and trade unions, violently Managing Zimbabwe’s post-Mugabe era assaulting the opposition led by Tsvangirai and seizing lands earlier confiscated for the benefit of White farmers. It was due to the patient and patriotic pressure exerted by the military leader, General Constantino Chiwenga, backed by South African diplomacy, pressure from the political forces (particularly Mugabe’s ZANU- PF) and the generality of the populace that forced Mugabe to let go. We commend the military for its patriotic role in not seizing power or emasculating the constitutional order of Zimbabwe but using its action to bring joy and positive change to millions of Zimbabweans whose youth have never experienced a different kind of leadership. However, the uncertainty that confronts the nation must be handled with care. Rarely does a dictator who has been in power for so long fall without unpleasant consequences for the stability of developing nations. The experiences of Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq are still festering. We call on the new leader, Mnangagwa, to see his position as part of the patriotic call initiated by the military to birth a new constitutional and democratic order in Zimbabwe, where all forms of political expressions will find accommodation. The trio of Mugabe, Mnangagwa and military chief Chiwenga, must forge a patriotic alliance to ensure a smooth transition and avoid witch-hunting that could spin matters out of control into unpleasant consequences. We call for a peaceful transition to a new political and economic era in Zimbabwe. By Segun Ojo ODU’A Investment Company Limited recently made public that the Company made a profit before tax of 788 million Naira from a turnover of 1.88 billion Naira for the financial year ended 31 December 2016. Based on this performance, the Group declared and paid out a gross dividend of 277 million Naira to its Shareholder for that financial year ended. At the Group’s AGM recently, attended by the Secretaries to the Governments’ of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States, on behalf of the Owner States, Shareholders were informed that despite the harsh conditions under which the company operated particularly the effect of the Recession and the knock-on effects of Foreign exchange controls introduced by the Central Bank since 2015 as a result of economic downturn, the Group's revenue grew by 11.3% while profit grew by 32% compared to 2015 financial year. We note that our financial performance is still a far cry from the set targets in the five year Strategic Plan approved in 2016 but overall judging by the outlook of threats and challenges facing similar Conglomerates like Odua Investment Company in other parts of the economy we have managed to hold our heads. Globally, continentally and nationally, we all continue to witness the rapidly OPINION Odu’a investment: Engine of South West economic development changing business dynamics of this century. All over the world a good number of legacy companies that failed to adapt to changing times have disappeared while the landscape is now dominated by technology driven companies that barely existed two decades ago. Our forty-one year old Company is not immune to this All over the world a good number of legacy companies that failed to adapt to changing times have disappeared while the landscape is now dominated by technology-driven companies that barely existed two decades ago phenomenon and is critically poised to overcome the current tide. Let me assure our Shareholders and Stakeholders that the Board and Management are aware of the paradox of challenges and opportunities of the current clime and are determined to reposition the Company with gamechanging initiatives and partnerships. We are rebuilding a very innovative and virile workforce for the organisation so as to take the company to the enviable position of the economic engine of the South West (formerly Western Region) as envisioned by our founding fathers. In keeping with above promise to Shareholders, the Board and Management has recently recruited two competent resource at General Manager level to head it's Treasury/ Investment and Real Estate Departments with the objective of leveraging and unlocking value from its asset base. The Company also promoted several of its workers, including Management Cadre, to boost the morale of its present workforce. Apart from this morale boosting initiatives in the human resource space, the Company has embarked on several new initiatives that will see it actively participate in the broader and strategic sectors of the Economy. As a private sector player, we are actively extending the Group's unique services to the Public Sector and Multilateral Agencies so as to significantly grow our revenue base. This is beside our current effort that has the approval of our Shareholders to attract majority equity partnership from financially and technically credible investors in our flagship Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja and Western Hotels (i.e. Premier and Lafia Hotels, Ibadan). This exercise is being handled on our behalf by one of the Big 4 Global Consulting firms in Nigeria as a demonstration of our commitment to excellence and transformation of our hospitality business to conform with existing global standards of quality and service. It is believed that these initiatives in our current business along with many more that are in the pipeline in Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Manufacturing, Transport Network, Telecoms & ICT, Power and Electricity, etc sectors that are anchored on partnership with capable local and foreign investors will significantly boost the Group’s revenue and reposition it as a true catalyst for the economic development of the South West. We are highly motivated on this mission by the support of our Owner States that mandate us to be their investment vehicle to deliver social and economic impact on all facets of the regional economy. In this regard therefore, we are open and welcome capable entities to collaborate and partner with us on this journey of success and transformation across the entire six South West States of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos. *Mr. Ojo is Chairman of Odu’a Group.
CBN liquidity mop up to persist as N170bn hits interbank •Investors inject $727m in I&E window By Babajide Komolafe Efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to mop up idle cash (liquidity) is expected to persist this week, even as N170 billion inflow hit the interbank money market. Last week, in addition to the regular treasury bills (TB) issue, the CBN issued special TBs (Open Market Operations, OMO) worth N100 billion, which drained liquidity from the interbank money market, and caused average short term cost of funds to rise by 450 basis points. As a result, interest rate on Collateralised (Open Buy Back, OBB) lending rose by 416 basis points to 30.83 percent on Friday from 26.67 percent the previous week. Similarly, interest rate on Overnight lending rose by 491 basis points to 32.58 percent from 27.67 percent the previous week. This week, the CBN will issue TBs worth N117.2 billion to mop up liquidity inflow from maturing TBs worth N170.6 billion. While there are expectations of inflow from statutory allocation worth over N500 billion, which was expected last week from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), analysts opined that the apex bank will step up its liquidity mop up efforts to offset the impact of these inflows on market liquidity. In their projections for this week, analysts at Lagos based Afrinvest stated: “In the coming week, the CBN will be conducting a T-Bills auction of Continues on page 21 MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 Q3’17: 22 manufacturing companies borrow N839.2bn •Pay N108.3bn as interest to banks •Dangote, Lafarge Wapco, Flour Mills lead borrowers’ list By Peter Egwuatu Amidst the country’s economic recovery phase and inability to raise long term capital from the Nigerian capital market, top 22 manufacturing companies listed across the sub sectors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE were constrained to borrow about N839.2 billion in expensive and short term loans from banks and other financial institutions to bridge funding gaps, in the nine months financial period ended September 30 (Q3’17), 2017. These cumulative nine months loans represent 12 per cent increase from N746.9 billion recorded in the corresponding third quarter, ended September 30, (Q3’16) 2016. The 22 companies also spent N108.3billion servicing the loans they borrowed for the period under review. The loan servicing represents a 15 per cent increase from N94.154 billion used in servicing N746 billion loan liabilities recorded in the corresponding quarter, Q2, 2016. Financial Vanguard investigations revealed that the loan expenses got escalated by the persisting liquidity challenges in the banking sector coupled with subdued credit appetite of the banks as a result of huge loan defaults during the period that the country was in economic recession. Now, that the country is in economic recovery stage, companies’ profit soared in the Q3’17 recording N371.7 billion Profit Before Tax, PBT, indicating a growth of 111 per cent from N176.5 billion in Q2’16. Market operators have attributed the high cost of funds to the inability of the companies to secure enough foreign exchange, forex to meet up with their operations. Earnings reports from the companies indicate that most of them were constrained by increasing financing charges, otherwise known as interest expenses. Findings by Financial Vanguard revealed that the 22 companies paid a total interest of N108.3 billion to the financial institutions, representing a 15 per cent increase from N94.154 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016. The total interest paid by the 22 manufacturing companies also accounted for 29.1 per cent of the total profit they recorded in Q3’17. Earnings reports from the companies indicate that most of them were constrained by increasing financing charges, otherwise known as interest expenses, leading to steep declines in profits in some of the companies. Continues on page 20 Banks should collaborate with fintechs to improve financial inclusion —CBN Mixed of profit takings, bargain hunting to trail equities market PAGE 22 PAGE 24 C M Insurers seek additional capital in preparation for RBS PAGE 28
20 — Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 FINANCIAL VANGUARD Continues from page 19 Out of the 22 companies in this coverage, four companies’ PBT declined during the year under review as finance charges contributed to the major cost constraints. Management of these companies had stated that their inability to source new equity capital due to the meltdown at the capital market had forced them to continue relying on high-interest bank loans. A review of the report showed that while other macroeconomic conditions, especially slowdown in top-lines due to decline in purchasing power and increase in costs of sales due to exchange rate depreciation, contributed to weak performances by the companies. High cost of funds was the major factor that wiped off positive trading and operating profit performance. Borrowing lists Details of the borrowing for Q3’17 are as follows: Dangote Cement N273.065 billion, Cadbury Nigeria N2.706 billion, Nestle Nigeria N18.369 billion, Unilever Nigeria N7.596 billion, Flour Mills Nigeria N147.239 billion, Honeywell Flour N40.372 billion, Dangote Flour Mills N66.433 billion, Lafarge Wapco N171.345 billion, Guinness Nigeria N20.779 billion, Nigerian Breweries N28 billion, Dangote Sugar N2.034 billion, May & Baker Nigeria N2.587 billion. Others are Fidson Healthcare N2.995 billion, Meyer N0.603 billion, International Breweries N16.079 billion, FTN Cocoa Processors N3.274 billion, First Aluminium N2.587 billion, 7UP Bottling Company N32.761 billion, Beta Glass N0.042 billon and Livestock Feeds N0.356 billion. Findings show that Dangote Cement led the top five borrowers list with N273.065 billion, followed by Lafarge Wapco N171.346 billion, Flour Mills N147.239 billion, Dangote Flour Mills N66.433 billion and Honeywell Flour Mills N40.372 billion. On finance cost otherwise known as interest expense, Dangote Cement led the chart on interest payment in Q3’17 with N39.917 billion; it was followed by Lafarge Wapco Plc N17.309 billion. Flour Mills Nigeria occupied the third position with N16.267 billion, followed by Nestle Nigeria with N8.606 billion, while Nigerian Breweries Plc came fifth with N7.993 billion. On the other hand, in percentage terms, Lafarge Wapco recorded the highest increase in interest expense with 134 per cent growth to N17.309 billion when compared with N7.395 billion recorded in the corresponding Q3’16; it was followed by Meyer Plc with 105 increase to N39 million from N19 million. 7UP Bottling Company came third with 94 per cent increase to N1.797 billion from N917 million, followed by Beta Glass which rose by 94 per cent to N74 million from N38 million and Unilever Nigeria occupied the fifth position to N2.980 billion from N1.745 billion. Meanwhile, top five manufacturing companies on PBT in absolute terms showed that Dangote Cement recorded the highest profit during the period under review, recording N220.182 billion, followed by Dangote Sugar with N39.3 billion. Nestle occupied the third position with N34.5 billion followed by Nigerian Breweries N34.427 billion, while Dangote Flour occupied the fifth position on the chat with N18.009 billion. On the other hand, in percentage terms, Fidson Healthcare Plc led the chart on PBT Q3’17: 22 manufacturing companies borrow N839.2bn as it surged by 763 per cent to N346 N1.044 billion in Q3’17 from N121 million in Q2’16. Nestle Nigeria Plc trailed behind, rising by 587 per cent to N34.479 billion However, in the medium term, we are going to see growth in our reserve. This will impact CBN’s ability to provide liquidity in the Foreign Exchange, FX market, which will in turn translate into improved access to FX by local manufacturers from N5.019 billion. It was followed by Dangote Flour, which moved up by 581 per cent to N18.009 billion from N2.644 billion. Honeywell Flour Mills revved by 474 per cent to N2.768 billion from N482 million, while May & Baker Nigeria came fifth position with an upsurge by 388 per cent to N322million from N66 million. Stakeholders’ reactions Managing Director, High Cap Securities Limited, Mr. David Adonri said; “Manufacturers need working capital to finance short term business activities. Banks are the best source for this. They require long term funds for expansion of facilities. This occurs occasionally. Even if there is compelling need for long term funds, the primary market is still inactive in the capital market. Investors are still avoiding the primary market because there are better returns in the fixed income market. Primary market will be revived when interest rate falls to lower single digit.” Commenting as well, Managing Cover Director, APT Securities & Funds Limited, Mallam Kasimu Kurfi, said: “Companies that borrow from the market are those that have confidence of the market to lend money to them and must be doing well to be able to generate enough cash to pay back both interest and principal. Mostly companies do not like to dilute their existing holding. The implication is that you have to pay interest as an allowable expense instead of equity which will have to pay tax of 30 per cent of the profit before you declare dividend to the shareholders. Borrowing from the banks may help the company to sustain it working capital and delay coming to the market until the time price of the company’s stock is right. For example Guinness came to market at N58 per share but now trading above N100 now. It could have come to the market at N90 that is 50 per cent above the previous price.” Reacting to the growing economy, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, CEO, Cowry Asset Management Limited, a Lagos based investing banking firm, said: “The fact that the economy grew by 1.4 per cent is very positive in the sense that it will further boost confidence of investors in the economy. Investors go to economies that grow, not economies that are shrinking because you don’t expect to have a robust business in an economy that is shrinking. So, the growth of 1.4 per cent from 0.72 per cent shows that the economy is actually on a continuous recovery trajectory. “For the investing community, the implication is that the opportunity for improvement in returns is better now in the sense that it will eventually translate into positive performance by corporates. “Although, if you look at the performance of the GDP on sectorial basis, the major growth was recorded in the oil and gas sector. The non-oil sector contracted by 0.70 per cent, which actually implies that the growth we are experiencing may not translate to creation of jobs because we know that the structure of the oil and gas sector is that value chain in the oil and gas sector is not domesticated. So, the impact of growth in the oil and gas sector does not translate to direct creation of jobs within the economy. “However, in the medium term, we are going to see growth in our reserve. This will impact CBN’s ability to provide liquidity in the Foreign Exchange, FX market, which will in turn translate into improved access to FX by local manufacturers. “So, we should see a situation where local manufacturers can easily access FX for their raw materials and equipments. However, for the non-oil sector to start growing, we need to address the issue of local currency liquidity and that in turn increase local demand, which is the major constraining factor to the real sector. Due to lack of liquidity, the demand for goods and services is weak. The monetary policy committee and the Central Bank should find ways of improving the local currency in a way that will not trigger to an uptick in inflation.” In his own reaction, the spoke person for Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Mr. Moses Igbrude, said: “An increase in borrowing will result to an increase in finance cost and this will impact on the bottom line. Though, borrowing is part of the day to day business operations what is required is prudent and an efficient management of such borrowed fund to realize the set company’s goals and objectives.
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 21 FINANCIAL VANGUARD CBN liquidity mop up to persist as N170bn hit interbank Continues from page 19 N117.2bn for all indicative tenors (91, 181 and 364-Days). We expect the impact on liquidity balance to be neutral given the scheduled maturity of the same amount. However, an OMO maturity of N53.4bn is expected buoy liquidity levels while we expect the CBN to mop up via OMO sales.” The aggressive liquidity mop up of the CBN followed the decision of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to sustain the tight monetary policy stance by retaining its benchmark interest rates at the end of its meeting last week. The MPC retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 percent. It also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 22.5 percent and 30 percent respectively. This represents the eight consecutive times the MPC will retain all its policy rates. According to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Committee, “In arriving at the decision to retain the rate the MPC took note of the gains made so far as a result of its earlier decisions including the stability in the foreign exchange market and the moderate reduction in inflation rate. Speaking at the post Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) press conference held in Abuja, he said the MPC was faced with the decision “to hold, to tighten or ease policy stance”. He said: “While tightening would strengthen the impact of monetary policy on inflation, with complementary effects on capital flows and exchange rate stability, it would nevertheless also potentially dampen paucity output for growth and financial stability as this would constitute a risk to the productive sector of the economy. “On the other hand, whereas loosing would stimulate out for growth, by stimulating domestic aggregate demand, through reduced cost of borrowing, it could nevertheless aggravate upward trend in consumer prices and generate exchange rate •Quarterly GDP growth rates •Interbank Interest rates pressures. “Loosening could also worsen the current account balance of the country through increased importation. Investors inject $727m in I&E window The weekly volume of dollars traded in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window rose by 8 percent to $727.9 million last week, indicating increasing investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy. Data from the FMDQ showed that weekly volume of dollars traded in the window rose to $727.9 million on Friday from $674.3 million the previous week. As a result the naira recorded 15 kobo appreciation in the window, as the indicative exchange rate for the window fell to N360.25 per dollar from N360.4 the previous week. Last week, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele attributed the increased volume of dollars traded in the I&E window to increased investors confidence. Speaking at the post Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) press conference, he said: “The Committee viewed with satisfaction, the growing patronage at the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market and attributed the development to increased confidence by foreign investors and the preference of Nigerian investors’ and exporters’ for the window compared with all other windows. The MPC noted that the I&E window had increased liquidity and boosted confidence in the market with over $18.70 billion in transactions since its introduction in April 2017.” Meanwhile the CBN last week increased its weekly foreign exchange intervention to $482.89 million. On Monday the CBN injected $195 million in the inter-bank market comprising of $100 million for the wholesale segment and $50 million each for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and $45 million for the invisibles segment. On Friday injected another N287.89 million. Announcing the special intervention, Acting Director, C o r p o r a t e Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said the $287.89 million injection, which was through the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) was in favour of the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products and raw materials and machinery sectors. He noted that the releases were targeted at sustaining liquidity in the market as well as boosting production and trade. He reiterated that the apex bank remained committed to ensuring liquidity in the interbank sector of the market and would continue to intervene in order to drive growth in the economy and guarantee stability in the market. He expressed optimism that the CBN’s forex intervention had effectively checked speculations around the Naira. He, however, disclosed that the apex bank would continue to ensure enforcement through utilization report and market intelligence. C M Y K
22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 FINANCIAL VANGUARD Banks should collaborate with fintechs to improve financial inclusion —CBN The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on banks to collaborate with financial technology companies (Fintechs) to improve level of financial inclusion in the country. Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu made this call in a keynote address delivered in Abeokuta, Ogun State at the 2017 annual retreat of the Committee of E- Business Industry Heads (CeBIH). Speaking on the theme of the retreat, “Repositioning Digital Payments to achieve the Financial Inclusion goals of Financial System Strategy,” Adelabu also called on CeBIH and banks to be innovative in evolving options to meet the demand of the unbanked at reasonable price to them. He said: “As you are aware, the payments services are the channel for extending other financial services to users. The scale of transactions that we can drive through digital channels is therefore a compelling business case for you to increase investment in this segment of banking business. This business case, as you may have observed, is driving the interest of FinTechs into your terrain and failure to be agile in responding, not necessarily by stifling the space but by collaborating with the new entrants will impact you negatively. I therefore urge you to take this challenge and respond appropriately as other financial services providers outside the banking industry are waiting on the payments system to enable the extension of their services to the un-served and underserved.” In his opening remarks, CeBIH Chairman, Mr. Dele Adeyinka noted that 10 years after the launching of the Payment System Vision (PSV) 20:2020 with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) as its central theme, a significant number of eligible Nigerians are still outside of the financial system. He said: “Today, it can be argued that Nigeria has made By Elizabeth Adegbesan The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has called for restoration of banking services to the North Eastern zone of the country. Managing Director/Chief Chief Executive, NDIC Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim made this call in Kano at the corporation’s annual workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria, tagged: “The role of Nigerian banking sector: opportunities, challenges and the way forward”. Commenting on the low level rapid advancements in creating a robust payment system particularly in the area of fostering stability and confidence in the entire banking and payment ecosystem. “However, ten years after the inauguration of the payment of financial penetration in the North East zone, Ibrahim said, said there is need for the Governors of the North Eastern region to collaborate with the CBN on rebuilding the Financial Infrastructure in the region. He said, “I think that there is the need for more collaboration between the Governors of the North East and the CBN on rebuilding the Financial Infrastructure in the North East. I will like a situation whereby we seat with the governors of the North East and go over all decisions because without them on this issue, without the collaboration systems vision 20:2020 as a driver for financial inclusion, even with the incursion of fintech and other payment facilitators into the payment equation, a significant number of eligible Nigerians are still outside of the financial system. From Left: Vincent Ukoh, Chief Finance Officer, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Taiwo Otiti, General Manager, Business Development and Corporate Services, CSCS Plc, Nurse Ajoke Bello, Representative of Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice, and Haruna Jalo-Waziri, MD/Chief Executive Officer, CSCS Plc during a visitation to the Hearts of Gold Children’s Hospice, Surulere, Lagos on Friday. NDIC calls for restoration of banking services in North East Ecobank unveils promo on Rapid Transfer Payments Ecobank Nigeria has announced a one per cent (1%) fee on all Rapid Transfer payments via the Ecobank Mobile app from now through December 31, 2017. This promotion is designed to support citizens who have need to send money to loved ones across Africa during this festive season. Announcing this end of year promo in Lagos, Head of Remittance, Ecobank Nigeria, Esther Obot, said this is a “strategic initiative to support our customers and citizens in general who would wish to transfer money at this time of the year”. She explained that transfers are to be made only from domiciliary accounts in Dollar. The receiving customer gets his funds either in the sending currency or the local currency. She emphasized that beneficiaries will receive the money in their Ecobank account, Xpress Account, Mobile Wallets and cash at the Bank’s agent locations in any our 33 African countries. Speaking further “Obot said the Rapid Transfer also does in-bound transfers from our 33 countries into Ecobank account and all other bank account in Nigeria. Thus if you have a reason to receive funds from any of the 33 countries where Ecobank is present ask the sender to download the Ecobank Mobile App and enjoy this seasonal one percent (1%) promo. The Promotion is for all countries where Ecobank is present.” not much can be achieved.” Ibrahim also called on the CBN to provide incentives that will encourage banks to resume operations in the North East zone. He said: “It is necessary for the CBN to find a way for providing some incentives to the various banks, and other financial institutions in order for them to return to the North East. “My feeling is that a lot of the bank key holders seating in Lagos comfortably, have actually forgotten about the potentials that exits in the North East. They are likely being wrong. We should make sure we awaken them so that they appreciate the business potential that exist in the N/E. I mentioned that we have the National assembly, very well. I would like to say this with prudence well to add the National Assembly to push the CBN to provide much needed incentives for the bank to come back to the North East. I want to assure us that we will take this up with the governor of the CBN.” Speaking earlier at the workshop, Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Dr. Mudashair Olaitan disclosed that financial penetration in the North Eastern part of the country has degenerated to 3.6 percent based on the insurgence of Boko Haram. Fidelity Bank partners Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs on youth empowerment Fidelity Bank Plc. is partnering with Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E) to empower entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The partnership agreement between both organizations, signed recently, will strengthen the on-going efforts and initiatives of A.Y.E in developing and supporting future business leaders. It will also afford Fidelity Bank the opportunity to offer financial and technical advisory services to enhance the competitiveness and dynamism of young Nigerian entrepreneurs. With a network of over 12.6 million members across the continent and 1.6 million Nigerian members, A.Y.E is the largest network of entrepreneurs in the world. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said: “The partnership was made possible because we share the same ideals on entrepreneurship and job creation. In line with the Federal Government’s Economic Diversification Plan, more employment opportunities lead to poverty alleviation, improved food security and GDP growth”. “As a Bank, we are committed to growing the economy and in pursuit of this, we are constantly searching for critical partners that are closely aligned to our strategic objectives. A.Y.E is one of those partners”, Okonkwo said. Speaking in the same vein, A.Y.E President said that the partnership is in line with efforts at building the next generation of outstanding leaders, who will shape the economic landscape of the continent. “We are encouraged by this collaboration with Fidelity Bank which in no doubt, will enhance amongst other things, our entrepreneurship advocacy and empowerment objectives” he stated. A.Y.E encourages social entrepreneurship with role models, powerful mentors, social innovators, thought leaders, forward thinking investors and people passionate about addressing a range of societal and environmental challenges. These stakeholders gather once in a year in what is tagged the ‘Networking with the Giants Conference’. The 3rd Annual Conference which is the 2017 edition is billed to hold in partnership with Fidelity Bank on the 30th of November, 2017 in Lagos. C M YK
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C M Y K 24— Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 FINANCIAL VANGUARD Mix of profit takings, bargain hunting to trail equities market ... Analysts list Unilever, Dangote Sugar, Access Bank as stock to watch By Peter Egwuatu Following the bullish market witnessed last week in the Nigerian equities market, financial analysts have predicted that a mixed of profit takings and bargain hunting by investors will characterise the market this week. To this extent, analysts at Cowry Assets Management Limited in their reactions to the equities market performance, said: “This week, we anticipate a mix of profit taking and bargain hunting as the bourse, (Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE continues to present several undervalued stocks.” Analysts at Cordros Capital, a Lagos based investment outfit said: “Notwithstanding the absence of any major short term catalyst, we think market fundamentals (amid improving macroeconomic conditions) remain strong, and the snippets of profit taking seen thus far in value stocks should create an incentive for bargain hunting.” In similar reaction, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited, said: “With strong positive closes across key sectors and consistently positive market breadth at week close, we expect the healthy positive sentiment to filter into the start of next week.” While commenting on the stock to watch, analysts tipped Unilever Nigeria Plc, Dangote Sugar , Access Bank as stocks that might interest investors. Analysts at Vetiva said; “Unilever Nigeria Plc has advanced 11 per cent over the last four sessions and currently trades at ¦ 40.90, well above Vetiva target price of ¦ 26.10, returning 17 per cent Year to Date, YtD. Also, Dagote Sugar gained 11 per cent over the last five sessions as bargain hunters swooped into the stock following an 8 per cent decline over the prior seven sessions. The stock currently trades (N15.80), close to its year high of N15.84 – albeit lower than Vetiva target price of N16.75 and has returned 159 per cent Ytd.” For Cordros Capital, the analysts said: “Unilever’s share price has moved -8 per cent Quarter to Date, QtD and +26 per cent YtD, and we estimate the stock is trading on 2018 forecast Price Earnings ratio, P/E of 24.7times , a material discount to its five year historical P/E of 57.2 times .” Meanwhile, last week, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE witnessed overall bullish activity, resulting in the rise of the overall market performance measure, NSE ASI, by 180 bps to close at 37,365.91 points. On a year-to-date basis, equities gained 39.04 per cent. On the sectoral front, the NSE Industrial Index, the NSE Consumer Goods, the By Peter Egwuatu The Chairman, Association of Stock broking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Mr Patrick Ezeagu has identified some challenges militating against the capital market development and moved for more collaboration between governments and operators in the market Besides, Ezeagu advocated more partnership between the government and the capital market operatrs in order to ensure a more vibrant market. Responding to media enquiries, Ezeagu explained that the growth and development of the capital market had relationship with the nature of the economy. According tom him : “The challenges are so numerous. Number one, the economy is still fragile; hence, the greatest problem is Illiquidity. Once we don’t have liquidity in the market, every other thing takes cue from it. “When the Federal Savings Bond started off, we were able to do over two billion, but gradually the promoters are looking for ways of shoring it up. “Another thing is the issue of capacity of the various operators in the capital market. This has to NSE Banking Index and the NSE Insurance Index increased by 226 bases points, bps, 188 bps, 45 bps and 80 bps to close at 2,098.97 points, 906.42 points, 464.12 points and 138.02 points respectively. Meanwhile, Wapic Insurance Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc , Fidelity Bank Plc , Transcorp and First do with the Capital Market Operators (CMOs) which are us as well as the investors and the public. We need to be abreast of dynamics of changes in the market. “The issue of the way and manner the Pension Fund Administrator, PFA is being run currently requires some modification for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness as there are certain laws that stipulate the percentage of the fund than can be invested in the capital market and we are saying Bank Nigeria Holdings were the most active stocks by volume. Dangote Sugar, Flour Mills, International Breweries, Dangote Cement and Fidelity Bank emerged the highest price gainers on the chart, while Nascon, May & Baker, C & I Leasing , Continental Insurance and Access Bank topped the losers chart. ASHON boss advocates more partnership between govt, operators for market devt A listing of the shares of the new entity in the post-merger of International Breweries Plc, Intafact Beverages Limited and Pabod Breweries Limited is set to happen by midnext month. Disclosing this last week, the Managing Director of International Breweries Plc Anabelle Degroot, said all the necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities have been received just as the shareholders’ court ordered meetings have sanctioned it. She also expressed satisfaction at the smooth sailing through of all the transactions both at the shareholders level and at government and regulatory levels. The merger which was driven by the parent company, AB Inbev, according to her, would produce a formidable competition amongst leading brands in the market, and hence create a that this should be increased in order to deepen the market and strengthen liquidity.” Continuing, Ezeagu said: “Another challenge that needs to be addressed in the market is the absence of a deliberate policy from the government to ensure consistency in policy formulation and implementation. The capital market is information-driven; hence, government must demonstrate consistency of policy in order to sustain investors’ confidence in the market.” Global Spectrum to list shares on NSE today By Peter Egwuatu G lobal Spectrum Energy Services (GSES) Plc has concluded arrangements for the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The event scheduled for Monday November 27, 2017 follows the approval granted the integrated marine and oil and gas services firm by the Council of the Exchange. Sources close to the firm disclosed that GSES will in the process list its entire 800 million issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of 50kob each, offering good investment opportunity to discerning investors. The admission of the company into the official list of the Exchange, which is through a process of Listing by Introduction on the main board, will further deepen the stock market as well as open the flood gate for the general public to participate in the ownership of the company as the shares become tradable on the Exchange. The listing of GSES is a major fit that makes a strong statement on the strength of the company to have been granted the approval given the very tough conditions that have to be met in line with the rules of the Exchange. Most importantly, the company noted that it became imperative for GSES to seek listing in view of its rather ambitious expansion plans which derives from very huge untapped opportunities in its very specialized area of operation. In the short to medium term, the company said it has a welllaid down plan to expand its business in to the areas where it has already made significant initial investments. The areas of focus include gas production, establishment of steel plant for the production of pipes and allied products, as well the establishment of a lube plant for lubricants. Fresh listing for Int’l Breweries coming next month huge value to the shareholders. AB Inbev has over 500 beer brands sold in over 150 countries including popular brands Stella Artois and Budweiser, and employs over 200,000 people. Degroot said the companies and the brands are not new in the market having been around for eight years now. She said that the merger has provided additional synergy and capacity to compete better with more product availability and choices for the consumers and best quality and affordability. She also informed of increasing capacity with its ultra modern USD250 million Sagamu brewery coming on stream next year. The brewery is one of the company’s biggest in Africa, and was built in order to address a supply constraint issue that had limited sales of the company’s products to areas close to existing plants.
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26 — Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 FINANCIAL VANGUARD Nigerian Breweries, Guinness: By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) and Guinness Nigeria Plc, are amongst the leading multinationals in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, but their stocks and recently their financial performance are no longer in leading positions. Though investor sentiment appear stable (with modest upticks) for Guinness in 2017 overall performance, the shortto-medium term outlook, however, looks hazy going by analysts’ permutations. NB is even worse off as investor sentiment has already started pressuring the stock massively amidst a lack-luster interim results despite interim dividend. And investment analysts have also expressed discomfort with the financials. Already there has been reversals in performance metrics for both brewing and beverage giants especially in earnings and profitability in the near to medium terms while stock price targets have also been downgraded. Stock investor sentiments For NB the investor sentiment has been hugely adverse especially since the announcement of the 2017 third quarter (Q3’17)/ 9- Months (9-M’17) results in the last week of October. Consequently, the stock price has been pressured down with Year-to-Date (YTD) returns as at last weekend trading at significant deficit of -8.4%, down from a positive of 13.4% it had recorded as at date of the results announcement. In all the stock had lost value to the tune of 19..2% since the result was announced. It lost 13.3% this November already and the losing streak, according to stock analysts, would continue this week to a bottoming out yet to be determined. For Guinness, investor sentiments appeared stable so far though the financial results was not better significantly. Guinness’ financial year starts July, hence it counts first quarter when NB is counting third quarter. Return on equity investment in Guinness is still positive at a YtD of 22.8% as at last weekend! a modest inch up from 21.6% just before its Q1’17/ 18 results announcement a day after NB’s in October. However, the stock declined marginally by 1% upon announcement of the result considered to have fallen behind consensus estimates, following elevated costs. But the stock has recovered by 2.0% as at last weekend with uncertain indication of a fragile stability in the days ahead. The overall picture of the two beverage giants is that of uncertainty in stock pricing with analysts revising almost all estimates downward at the backdrop of negative surprises in their most recent financial •Mr. Johan A. Doyer, MD/CEO NB Plc Average growth estimate of 5% for 2018-2019 is unchanged, as the effects of price hikes wane. Significant moderation of inflation on stronger naira and election-related spending, are upside risks to our estimates which occurred in Q3’17 impacted sales volume (declined mid-single digit),” they observed further. They also stated: “Q3 ’17 cost of sales (+15.3% YoY) rose at much faster pace than revenue, as the company faced cost pressures on its raw materials and other production related expenses. As a result, gross margin moderated by 143 bases points (bps) YoY to 34.4%. Quarterly, gross margin contracted by 1103bps due to the high revenue base of the prior quarter. “ Further down, the company reported a 15.7% YoY increases in operating expenses, due to a 15.4% YoY and 16.5% YoY increase in distribution and administrative expenses respectively. This weighed on operating profit margin as it contracted by 211bps YoY. “While net finance cost increased by 47.4% YoY to N2.6 INVESTORS FORUM Weak financials repulse analysts ... But investors’ sentiments appear stable for Guinness statements. The weak lines in NB Drilling into the financial reports of NB for the 9-M’17, analysts at Cardinal Stone Partners Limited, a Lagos based investment house, stated stated: “Turnover rose by 14.4% year-on-year, YoY, to N254.7 billion, in line with our estimate of N256.3 billion (-0.6% deviation). After tax earnings for the ninemonth period grew by 19.4% YoY to N24.0 b i l l i o n , underperforming our estimate of N29.8 billion (-19.6% deviation).” They also noted that the company’s revenue rose by 12.8% YoY to N73.7 billion, primarily driven by price increases effected earlier in the year. “On a quarterly basis however, revenue declined by 17.9% QoQ due to seasonality - the rains •Peter Ndegwa, MD/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc Guinness Financial Ratios (July – Sept, 2017) Nigerian Breweries Ratios (July – Sept, 2017) billion, it declined by 25.3% QoQ, as a result of lower finance costs reported during the quarter (-25.1% QoQ). “Largely driven by the input cost pressures faced in the period under review, the company reported a 75.2% YoY decline in Q3’17 after-tax earnings. Sequentially, earnings declined markedly by 97.9% QoQ”, the analysts concluded. Nigerian Breweries announced an interim dividend of N1.00 kobo per share, which translates to a dividend yield of 0.6% based on the closing price on the day the result was announced. Why we are cutting forecasts on NB - Cordros Capital In its recent analysis of NB’s profile, analysts at Cordros Capital, another Lagos based investment house, stated: “We cut NB’s 2017F EBITDA (Earnings Before Tax, Depreciation a n d Amortisation) and net profit forecasts by 14% and 23% respectively, on downwardly revised revenue growth and gross margin estimates, following the surprise miss in Q3’17. “We also cut forecasts for 2018-2019 by 8% and 13% a v e r a g e respectively, specifically on the cut to revenue forecasts. On net, we cut our TP (Target Price) for the stock by 3% to NGN123.16/share and reiterate our SELL rating on the stock. We also roll forward our estimates and valuation by one year.” Continuing, the analysts stated: “We cut revenue growth estimate to 12% (previously 18%), after realized Q3’17 sales came 9% behind our estimate, notwithstanding that price was increased at the beginning of the quarter. “Average growth estimate of 5% for 2018-2019 is unchanged, as the effects of price hikes wane. Significant moderation of inflation on stronger naira and electionrelated spending, are upside risks to our estimates. “We cut gross margin (GM) estimate for 2017 by 220 bps to 43% and by 100 bps average to 44%, for 2018-2019. “While we consider the surprise 1,100 bps decline in Q3-17 GM as one-off (as we do not expect amount recognized for technical fees will remain elevated), the slight downward revision to 2018-2019 estimates reflects the upward price outlook of key production material inputs. “Specifically, the price of Barley, (a major raw material) is forecast to rise +6% over 2018-2019 while the increase in locally sourced Sorghum ( another major raw material) price could be more, on rising domestic and external demand, amidst slowly growing production. “And while acknowledging the better macro outlook, we expect a fundamental change in the current pattern of consumption in the beer industry (i.e. strong growth of the value beer segment) to lag”. The circumstances and outlook for Guinness were similar. We present the details next week. C M Y K
C M YK VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 27
28—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 FINANCIAL VANGUARD Stories by Rosemary Onuoha Insurance firms with inadequate shareholders’ funds have commenced moves to raise additional capital in preparation for the next phase of implementation of the Risk Based Supervision (RBS) by the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM. NAICOM plans to move to the next phase of implementation of the RBS which is determining the capital requirements for underwriting risks, by first quarter of 2018. Hence, to remain afloat, some firms are already scrambling for funds to enable them remain relevant when the RBS kicks off. It would be recalled that in the last insurance industry recapitalization, Non-Life insurance firms were mandated to raise their shareholders’ fund to N3 billion; life insurance operators to N2 billion, while composite companies increased theirs to N5 billion and reinsurers to N10 billion. According to the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari, the new phase of underwriting would distinguish big and fringe players “Our legislation had structured the industry into life, general and miscellaneous. So, if you are licenced to do general, it means that with N3 billion you can Deputy DG of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN, Mrs. Uju Chukwu; CIIN DG; Mr. Tayo Borokini; CIIN Council Member, Mr. Wale Onaolapo; CIIN President, Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye, and CIIN Council members, Sir M.O Oyegunle and Mr. Jide Orimolade during a press briefing in Lagos. Insurers seek additional capital in preparation for RBS attempt to insure petroleum refinery or you can claim the right to insure an Airline, which is not right if you look at the foundation of insurance. “This is because, to be able to hold a risk, you must have enough asset base to cover the risk. So, risk based is being able to identify what is your financial capability. from both the CII UK and Nigeria qualifying examinations. “This also facilitates the attainment of the Chartered Institute Advanced Diploma of both UK & Nigeria. Our desire is to replicate this programme in partnership with the University of Lagos for the benefit of our members. “The University of Lagos team in conjunction with the institute and Rector of the College of Insurance & Financial Studies are presently working on the content of the proposed M.Sc Risk Management and Insurance Programme. Also, a series of top level meetings are been held by all the key stakeholders to fashion out If your financial capability does not guarantee you to insure oil refinery or airline, you would not be allowed to do so. “Your financial ability may be to insure a Keke NAPEP, then you would be a specialist in Keke NAPEP insurance. That is what risk based is going to be. It is going to first of all require that the best possible modalities for the programme,” she said. Ashaye noted that the institute has taken the insurance awareness campaign to the youths, adding, “Our desire is to catch them young and imbibe in their consciousness the crucial roles insurance plays in human endeavours. “As part of this initiative, the Council has developed a roadmap to drive the Institute’s proposed partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Accordingly, the Institute has established contacts with the national headquarters of the NYSC, the Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state chapters to intimate them of the CIIN’s Catch- we review and see whether the minimum capital requirement is adequate. If it is not, we would require additional capital to meet that minimum. But if it is okay, we would just require the classification of companies’ assets plus the extra needed to get into the class of business one wants to undertake,” he said. CIIN targets additional 3,000 members resident of the Chartered PInsurance Institute of Nigerian (CIIN), Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye has said that the Institute is on a drive to achieve an additional 3,000 members within the next one year. Ashaye, who disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos, said that the institute is presently made up of 8,976 professionals. She said, “Pursuant to attaining the set target, I led a delegation of the CIIN to visit the Commissioner for Insurance in Abuja on the September 12, 2017 and after the deliberations, the Commission graciously promised to issue a guideline that will compel all staff of insurance institutions in Nigeria to register as members of CIIN. This will go a long way in achieving our set goal.” Ashaye noted that the Institute is presently working with the University of Lagos to introduce an Executive Master’s Degree programme in Insurance and Risk Management which will be structured like the programme of Cass Business School (CBS), UK. She added that on successful completion of the CBS Master programme in Insurance & Risk Management, for instance, its graduates are usually eligible to predetermined exemptions By Cynthia Alo Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, has paid over N1.25 billion claims from January to September this year. Managing Director, Jide Orimolade, disclosed this at a media parley in Lagos. He said that the firm has reviewed its claims processes to ensure that claims payment is done within a short time and that there are efforts to digitalize claims payment process. According to him, the firm’s gross premium written for the nine months period ended September 2017 stands at N3.51 billion as against N3.19 billion in 2016. Investment income was N611.86 million; profit before stood at tax, N727.87 million; retained Them-Young Initiative. “The pilot edition of the programme will kick-off at the Lagos State NYSC Camp during the November 2017 orientation exercise where a career talk will be organised for the benefit of Corps members. To facilitate continuous information dissemination, a CIIN enquiry and help desk will be on ground throughout the duration of the orientation exercise. “This initiative, which is designed to help attract young Nigerians into the insurance profession, will be replicated and sustained in other state s of the Federation until it achieves a national spread,” she said. earnings was N470.56 million; shareholders’ fund stood at N6.22 billion and total assets was N10.36 billion. He said the firm has in recent times won some awards, which were, Global Most Trusted Company in Quality Insurance for the year 2017 and CEOs Today 2017 in Africa. “You will all agree with me that one of the ways of measuring company brand visibility is through public recognition and award. “Part of our corporate objective is to create niche for ourselves in the industry. We are not unmindful of the competition which is characterized with price war in the industry, but we believe we could navigate through by differentiation and best service delivery. PTAD pays 33% pension arrears to pensioners Law Union pays N1.25bn claims in 9 months The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) said it has paid pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) another installment of the 33 percent Pension arrears. Assistant Director, Pension Administration, PTAD, Jibrin Idris disclosed this during an interview with Vanguard at the pensioners verification exercise held in Lagos. He said the categories of pensioners affected are the Nigerian Police pensioners; Civil Service Pensioners and parastatals pensioners. Idris maintained that all pensioners under the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensions Department had already been paid the 33 percent arrears in full since August 2016. The latest payment was made from the Service Wide Vote released by the Federal Ministry of Finance. He said that PTAD will settle the outstanding arrears of the 33 percent increment as soon as additional releases are made. According to him, PTAD verified about 5,000 pensioners in a verification exercise conducted last week which took place in Lagos; Abuja and Delta States simultaneously. He noted that the verification was for pensioners of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Delta Steel Company (DSC). He said the essence of the verification is to identify genuine retirees of the two agencies, stressing that in the last verification, pensioners of NICON Insurance; New Nigeria Newspapers and Nigeria Reinsurance were verified. Idris said, “The government we had in the past privatized a lot of agencies so this year the federal government gave approval to PTAD to take over the pension liabilities of some of these agencies and we are taking them in phases.” Idris said that after the verifications, the Directorate will review the captured data to identify genuine pensioners and compute it in their system along side what they are entitled to before final payment is made. It is on this onerous focus that we have been giving our best to our esteemed customers,” he said. On prospects for 2018, he noted that Federal Government’s budget proposal of N8.612 trillion with an improvement on capital expenditure which is 30.8 per cent, would really impact insurance business, adding, “With improved revenue, decrease in domestic borrowing with signal of decrease on interest on Treasury bill, there would definitely be an improvement in economic bubbling. Customer purchasing power is expected to increase and all things being equal, insurance is expected to have a better share, better penetration and improved gross premium written in the coming year.” C M YK
C M YK VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 29
C M YK 30 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
FINANCIAL VANGUARD G“ overning Italians is not impossible; it is merely useless.” Benito Mussolini, 1883-1945. Italian Fascist leader. Mussolini was fortunate; he had Italians to govern and not Nigerians. He would have shot himself long before his enemies got him, if he had my countrymen as subjects. There is probably no nation on earth where the people are the worst enemy the government has to face as Nigeria. Indeed, it might be right to claim that no external enemy can attack Nigeria and inherit the confusion and the lack of patriotism. On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, one of the leading national newspapers published a report which brought tears to my eyes. It was titled “N2.5Bn Chickens Wasting Away In Cold Rooms.” The immediate past President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Dr Ayoola Oduntan, reportedly announced at the Nigerian Poultry Show tagged ‘Abeokuta 2017’ that “N2.5bn worth of frozen chicken is wasting away in cold rooms all over Nigeria, produced in Nigeria by Nigerian farmers; while the people that are smuggling in chickens are feeding fat from the joblessness of our people.” A few months ago, the same poultry sector had lamented the glut of eggs in the Nigerian market resulting in massive losses for farmers. Altogether, Nigerians are deliberately or inadvertently working to dismantle our poultry industry. To start with, N2.5 billion worth of chickens is not a lot of birds. At N2000 per bird, we are talking of a little over one million birds in total. Despite our low per capita consumption of chicken, by global standards, still with a population of 180 million people, one million chicken should just about be sufficient for two weeks FINANCIAL VANGUARD By Providence Emmanuel Over the years, thrift collection, popularly called Esusu, Ajo or Adashe” in some Nigeria local languages was being done at a micro level. Individual men and women who were operating the business go to homes, markets and wherever they can find people to save money with them. At the end of the month, contributors collect what they had saved. Often times, the savings are used to finance a business or solve a need. However, Deposits Money Banks, DMBs, and other financial institutions such as insurance companies have intruded into the business, modernized it by using information technology. One of the commercial banks in Nigeria that has embraced Esusu scheme as one of its products is Diamond Bank Plc. Diamond Bank’s spokesperson, Chioma Afe, stated: “Diamond eSUSU is in line with the bank’s Poultry sector as metaphor for our problems or at worst a month. So, why are they wasting away in cold rooms? Three reasons account for the situation and they all point to Nigerians not doing what we N2.5bn worth of frozen chicken is wasting away in cold rooms all over Nigeria, produced in Nigeria by Nigerian farmers; while the people that are smuggling in chickens are feeding fat from the joblessness of our people should be doing to save our economy. In fact, Buhari might on occasions be wondering if governing Nigerians is not useless. The solution to this problem lies in our hands – consumers, investors and governments. Governments include all state governments. If the reader is one of those buying imported chicken from the open market or from the leading supermarkets, then, you are the major part of the problem. Let me explain. If every Nigerian insists on buying only chicken grown in Nigeria, one million birds per week will not be sufficient for our needs. Each of us can help the situation by simply refusing to patronize imported chicken whether smuggled or not. We can collectively turn the poultry sector into a job creating machine for rapid economic growth and lasting development because it has a lot of linkages which space will not permit me to address. To help the situation, we should all just stop buying imported chicken and encourage as many people as possible to do the same. The result will be astonishing. Once smugglers are deprived of markets the supply will dry up. Smuggling thrives only as long as there are customers for the product. Years ago smuggling lace was popular. Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—31 The poultry producers themselves should not assume they are totally helpless. In every situation, those under attack will repel the invasion if they also undertake self-defence. Smugglers, big and small, and their distribution channels are not peopled by ghosts; neither are the major intermediaries who bring the products to the ultimate consumers totally unknown or impossible to track down and identify. PAN should be prepared to tax its members to establish a team of investigators who will be charged with tracking the smugglers and mapping their distribution channels. Then, a series of sting operation with Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, will have to be carried out to gradually close the channels and penalize the owners. It has been done before and it can be repeated several times until the smugglers and their collaborators get the message that there is no market for smuggled chicken in Nigeria. However, neither consumer resistance nor investors measures will deter smuggling of poultry products until the Nigeria governments – all thirty-seven of Bank fine-tunes Esusu, micro savings scheme strategic objective to provide innovative products and services that meet the needs of customers. This led to the creation of this digital-based product. We sought for and acted on customers feedback and in doing so realized that the eSUSU system is not only widespread across all classes of the society but that it is also one of the preferred ways of mixing saving and lowcost lending.” She explained that the scheme has brought underbanked people into formal banking systems, adding that this is a huge achievement for Diamond Bank and the Nigerian economy. “Each member is able to access a larger sum of money (equivalent to the total amount due from the contribution of a fixed agreed amount by all the members within an agreed cycle) during the life of the contribution, and use it for whatever purpose she or he wishes. “Diamond Also, this personal plan allows an individual save towards a targeted goal such as rent, wedding, and tuition. The individual selects amount, duration and date he would like to be debited for up to 12 months eSUSU is the r e f i n e d traditional ‘Esusu, Ajo or Adashe’ as it is fondly called, in which two or more people of c o m m o n interest come together to contribute an equal amount in a common purse and the accumulated funds are assigned to each member of the group in rotation, until all have benefited from the pool of funds,” she said. Afe said that the savings plan is a contributory and rotating saving scheme where customers can save on a them — develop a policy of “No tolerance for Smuggled Chicken” in any state of Nigeria. Just as it required monumental global effort to eradicate polio, Nigerians, led by governments, must develop the will to stamp out smuggled chicken from the country. It might call for the creation of a task force whose members include NCS, Police, PAN and civil society advocates. Like NAFDAC fighting fake drugs, they should be charged with ridding the country of smuggled chicken just as we are now on the verge of eradicating polio. The first and most important step for them is to map the entire country to determine the major destination points for smuggled chicken and the network of distributors, wholesalers and retailers. It requires no rocket science intelligence to know that Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Warri, Calabar, Onitsha, Asaba etc will constitute the major markets. Neither does it call for much wisdom to guess that the fast food outlets and big hotels might be some of the biggest customers of the smugglers. The first step is identification of the criminals and from there the battle plan can be developed. It has been done before and it can be successful if all the parties are fully committed to it. There is no alternative to saving our poultry sector. It is “do or die” affair. MICRO-FINANCE secure platform with minimum of three and maximum of twelve people (friends, family, colleagues), plan collection dates and enjoy the benefit of bulk payment - an interest free borrowing (No management fees, no collateral!)” “Also, this personal plan allows an individual save towards a targeted goal such as rent, wedding, and tuition. The individual selects amount, duration and date he would like to be debited for up to 12 months,” she stated. A beneficiary of the scheme, Mr. Tolu Jagun, said” It is a modernised way of contribution which I advise most employees to imbibe; Where I work, we are five in the group, a colleague of five can decide to be paying N200, 000 monthly, every month the money is credited into the account of the person due for that month. You do not need to be dragged before paying. As a customer, it helps you plan your future and there is no room for default. “In our communities, Ajo is done locally to solve some immediate problems but in this case, the collection is done electronically in rounds and the money is paid to individual accounts based on what was agreed.” Mr. Jagun encourages corporate and individual to go into local contribution but in a modernised way. He asserted that Diamond Bank is committed to customers because they will call you two days before the due date to inform you of maturity date via email. Once the day is due, the money would hit the individuals account whether it is holiday or weekend. Mr. Afolabi James, another customer of the bank, said that he was patronizing local thrift collectors but decided to embrace the one being driven by banks because of the high risk involved in the local esusu. “Often times, you hear that the person collecting the esusu has disappeared, so, in order to avoid loss of money I pulled out to join esusu driven by commercial banks. Banks have their name to protect” he said. C M Y K
C M Y K 32 — Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 (08052201997) Is Emefiele’s promise of under 10% inflation rate credible? we talked about exiting recession in “When the second quarter of this year, many people did not believe. We are, (however) optimistic that our forecast to hit single digit (inflation rate) by next year will come to pass”. (CBN Gov. Godwin Emefiele, speaking to the media, in Abuja on Tuesday 21st November 2017, after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting). In view of the preceding expression of optimism, can Nigerians, now confidently, rest assured that the present economic hardship would recede, since the principal architect of monetary management, has promised that, by July 2018, the purchasing power of all Naira incomes, would fall by less than 10%, in place of the deprivations of the regrettable 15%+ loss in purchasing power of Naira in 2017. Hereafter, we will, in the following interrogative format, examine some issues, that would actually determine Emefiele’s promise of below 10% inflation rate; please read on. Why is it necessary that inflation should fall to single digit? A general rise in prices would reduce the amount of goods and services, that our regular incomes can purchase from one year to the other. If static nominal incomes, for example, can only buy 50% of what the same income bought last year, then, the inflation rate may be deemed to have eaten up 50% of your income. Conversely, if Nigerians could buy 50% more, this year, than they bought with the same income the previous year, then, this would also simply mean that, the average inflation rate has actually fallen by 50%, so that the related increase in purchasing power should expectedly reduce the anguish and attrition caused in most homes by rapidly rising prices. Best practice inflation rate is usually below 3% in more successful economies. So what is the economic impact on consumer demand, if inflation falls to say 3%? Invariably, lower inflation, preferably, lower single digit rates, will significantly boost the purchasing value of all incomes, so that citizens, can at least maintain their If Nigerians could buy 50% more, this year, than they bought with the same income the previous year, then, this would also simply mean that, the average inflation rate has actually fallen by 50%, so that the related increase in purchasing power should expectedly reduce the anguish and attrition caused in most homes by rapidly rising prices accustomed lifestyles and reduce existential pressures. In practice, sustainable and vibrant consumer demand will, significantly, drive industrial expansion, create more employment opportunities and spur national economic growth, with more government revenue, from an increasingly wider personal and corporate tax base. Conversely, manufacturing and other businesses sectors will become challenged, if rapidly rising market prices, significantly reduces consumer demand for various goods and services. How does inflation affect the competitiveness of local manufacturers and businesses? Firstly, lower inflation rates will increase consumer demand and therefore encourage and drive industrial activities with rising job opportunities to boot. In contrast, higher inflation rates will reduce demand for goods/services, choke industrial growth and employment opportunities and invariably, also trigger higher interest rates that will reduce profitability of manufacturing and other businesses, which may require loans to sustain their operations; ultimately, ‘Made in Nigeria’ goods cannot be competitively priced against cheaper import substitutes, which are supported with below 7% interest loans from abroad. How does inflation drive higher cost of borrowing? It is unrealistic that anyone would lend you money at a rate that is lower than inflation rate. For example, if someone borrowed N100, 000 from you at a rate of 10%, when inflation rate is already 20%, this implies that, although you will be paid N110, 000 after 12 months, but the total goods and services that this amount can buy, will actually be less than N90, 000. Consequently, if inflation is 20%, the cost of borrowing from a rational and business standpoint should normally exceed this rate. Thus, the current inflation rate of 15%+ has invariably triggered the prevailing 20-30% present cost of borrowing to local industries and businesses. So how do we bring down inflation below 3%, so that inclusive economic activity can be stimulated with interest rates around 5%? The severe economic stress from endlessly failing to balance, individual household budgets will expectedly ease, if annual inflation rate falls to 3%. Besides, pensioners with static incomes, will be able to maintain an accustomed dignified lifestyle for much longer than before. Furthermore, more businesses will also flourish, if the cost of borrowing is less than 7%, across board so that special intervention funds at 1-3% will become applicable for critical sectors, such as the agricultural value chain. Instructively, however, inflation will be gradually tamed below 3%, if CBN succeeds in combating the seemingly, ever present, threat of systemic excess money supply which invariably pumps up the rate of inflation. What is the proof that this inflationary threat from perceived surplus money actually exists? Well, the evidence is right there in your face. In 2016, for example, the federal budget was about N6Tn, but the CBN, simultaneously also, embarked on borrowing about N6Tn in the same year, to remove perceived excess funds, primarily held by banks, to curtail liberal consumer demand and hold back inflation. Furthermore, despite the misguided hope of Nigerians, that the bigger N7.298Tn 2017 budget will improve economic welfare, the CBN, may have also, simultaneously borrowed over N7Tn before December 31st 2017, ostensibly to reduce excess money supply to restrain inflation. Consequently, If CBN’s strategy for restraining the inflationary impact of systemic excess money supply, correlates with tradition, then the N8.6Tn proposed in the 2018 budget will, invariably also attract additional easy money to the banks, from the interest payments probably in excess of N700bn they will charge on Treasury bills that CBN would compulsively auction to reduce money supply and halt the threat of inflation spiraling out of control. Invariably, the primary driver of inflation, in every economy, is the systemic presence of much more money, than an economy has the capacity to absorb; thus, rising inflation is reflected in “a marketplace where too much money chases fewer goods”. You may have noticed the CBN’s ‘eternal’ struggle to control the perceived challenge of systemic surplus money, held by banks, by borrowing and sterilizing these funds from use, so as to restrain the inflationary impact of excess money supply. Regrettably, despite the zero social value of incurring these high cost debts, by the Apex bank, the Money Deposit Banks, practically drool on these unsolicited, CBN’s risk free borrowings, with enticingly high rates of interest. Consequently, so long as the threat of inflation rates above 10% persists, regrettably this counterproductive and retrograde management of monetary policy by CBN and the monetary policy committee will continue to hold back the chances of economic growth as usual. So there’s no hope that inflation will recede below 10% as promised by Emefiele? Such expectation will remain unlikely if CBN’s traditional counterproductive and financially reckless, failed monetary strategies, which deliberately instigate systemic excess Naira supply persist. FINANCIAL VANGUARD By Peter Egwuatu Chief Executive Officers, CEOs of stock exchanges in Nigeria, Pakistan and Kenya have moved for strict regulations in order to drive liquidity in the stock markets. The CEOs of the exchanges stated this during a second day panel discussion at the 7 th Annual EFG Hermes London Conference. According to a statement made available to Vanguard, the CEOs of the exchanges stated that regulators shoud create the framework for investor confidence. Noting the recent development of domestic capital ECONOMY Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan exchanges move for strict regulations to drive liquidity pools in the form of buoyant pension and mutual fund industries across their respective markets, Haroon Askari, Acting Manager Director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and Geoffrey Odundo, CEO of the Nairobi Securities Exchange pointed to the key role played by regulators in increasing liquidity. Odundo said: “The regulators have been very supportive. For instance, we recently launched an ETF, for which window has already been created – they’ve been very proactive in helping with this. The regulator is also very committed to having pension funds enhance liquidity in the market. They are looking at how direct property ownership can be reduced from 20 per cent to 2 per cent to support the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market.” Askari , agreed suggesting regulation was important in creating trust: “One factor which brings liquidity is the perception of a well-regulated market where investors are protected by the rules. Our regulator has done a wonderful job by bringing in new acts to strengthen the legal infrastructure. When you improve the integrity of the market you get new clients and when you get the trust of your clients you get liquidity.” The CEOs of the three exchanges further maintained that a steady pipeline of Initial Public Offers, IPOs was key to market development. Askari went on to note the importance of a healthy queue of new prospects for investors: “You have to have enough new IPOs in the region. If you are getting a flow of IPOs, you get new clients and everything that goes with that. If you have a stable market with a high level of integrity and a good pipeline of new IPOs, liquidity will automatically improve” he said. Commenting on technology in driving the market, the CEOs of the three exchanges stressed the need to increase access and education for retail investors. In Nigeria and Kenya, increased technological capabilities offered by mobile devices were singled out as having drawn in an area of the market currently massively outweighed by institutions. Onyema, of the Nigerian Exchange elaborated: “Ease of access to the market is very important.
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 33 Send Opinions & Letters to: email@example.com Tragic is a country in search of heroes NIGERIA, a country of 183 million people hardly has heroes accepted by all. A culture of opportunism, lack of principles, parochial politics, ethnic jingoism and an uncultured elite, has made the national acceptance of our heroes, virtually impossible. The nearest, is a military candidate who was consumed by the barracks infighting for political dominance. But heroes like Herbert Macaulay, Mokwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah and Bello Ijumu who fought colonialism, are hardly recognised or accepted. Also neglected are people like Tai Solarin, Ayodele Awojobi and Alao Aka-Bashorun who spent their entire lives fighting to emancipate the poor and build a country based on social justice. Men like Issac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa who sacrificed their lives for freedom, are tagged ‘Minority Rights Activists’ not national heroes. People like Beko Ransome-Kuti, Chima Ubani and Anthony Enahoro who fought to free us from the shackles of military dictatorship and the enthronement of democracy, are virtually forgotten. So it was quite novel when academics under the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, categorised some of their late leaders as national heroes and went on to celebrate them and their families in what promises to be an annual “National Heroes Day.” I was part of the guests at the November 12, ceremony in the University of Abuja where the families of former ASUU Presidents Dr. Mahmud Tukur, who passed away 29 years ago, and Professor Festus Iyayi, who was killed while on an ASUU assignment, were honoured along with those of late ASUU Treasurer, Dr. Regina Odeh and Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Usman Abubakar. Also on the honours list were former leaders, Dr. Frank Dimowo, who was once detained for ASUU activism, Professor Eskor Toyo, considered the union’s conscience, Dr. David Jangkam, former Legal Adviser, and the pair of outstanding intellectuals; Professors Funmi Adewumi and Abubakar Momoh who had served in past ASUU Executives. Perhaps why ASUU is so historically conscious is the fact that it is not just a union of academics who sell their mental labour, but because it has transformed into an intellectual resource. Almost all institutions in the country have suffered neglect, or collapsed, but the universities remain standing not because they had not been subjected to neglect and starvation of funds, but because ASUU has stood resolute and fought doggedly. A fact attested to by Professor Edmund Joseph Nwana, the Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Academics of the host, University of Abuja. He said: “One shudders to imagine what would have happened (to the universities) if nobody had stood up for what is proper; we cannot thank ASUU enough for the good it has done the universities.” Invariably, ASUU has produced outstanding presidents like Professor Attahiru Jega who was People who know their origins and are conscious of the present, will navigate better towards the future sent to prison without trial by the military and went on, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct some of the least contentious elections in the country’s history including the 2015 general elections. One of his successors, Professor Humphrey Assisi Asobie, also a graduate of detention without trial, went on to oversee the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, a federal agency designed to ensure increased transparency in the workings of the Nigerian Government and its service industries. The struggles of ASUU came at a high price as a number of its leaders like Dr. Dipo Fashina and Professor Gordini Darah were detained without trial. When there was an attempted coup in the country in April, 1990, the military regime used it as a pretext to attack ASUU by seizing three of its leading lights, Professors Idowu Awopetu, Omotoye Olorode and Obaro Ikime, the famous historian; accusing them of treason. ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunleye said the Heroes Day was to “Honour families rooted in the struggles of ASUU.” Veteran labour leader, Comrade Jonathan Ihonde said ASUU was conceived as a vanguard of the Trade Union Movement, a role he said it is fulfilling creditably. He said the union has become so successful that various unions now call themselves academic staff unions. Ihonde, a veteran of the Movement from the 1960s, asked the ASUU leaders to be ready to give leadership to the Trade Union and Labour Movements. He also paid tribute to one of the heroes: “ ASUU was like water to Toyo, if you took him out, he might not have been able to survive.” Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, President, Ayuba Wabba said ASUU’s initiatives in honouring heroes was worthy of emulation and that the union’s intellectual contribution to the trade unions have enriched them. The Vice- Chancellor, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Professsor Kyari Mohammed said the work of a vice-chancellor is to serve, adding that he is a committed member of ASUU: “My vice-chancellorship is a temporary job; taking leave from ASUU to come and serve, after that, I will return to my union.” An adaptation of Festus Iyayi’s novel, VIOLENCE, was staged under the title Idemudia. It was written and directed by Diran Ademiju-Bepo (Mask). After this, a lecture: ASUU in the Throes of Nigeria’s Liberation: Connecting the Past and the Future, was delivered by NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson. He argued that the role of the intellectual in society is to seek and produce the truth in order to guide the development of the nation. He said the economic colonial structures remain, leading to a more dependent country implementing anti-people policies like privatisation. He argued that the success of an organisation is not measured merely by its successes, but by the struggles it wages even if some of them were not successful. The economist argued that there are academics who have no business in the universities as they are there because they have no better jobs. Dr. Ozo-Eson said the World Bank’s template for Africa is that the continent does not need universities: “That the production of knowledge is not important for Africa; that Europe will produce knowledge and we will consume.” He said the Nigerian ruling class which backed that idea has now changed and is now setting up private universities, but not for the production of knowledge, but “as commercial enterprises” that do not care whether there are lecturers or not; provided huge fees are paid, certificates are issued.” Representatives of the families expressed gratitude to ASUU for its continued support especially in educating the children of its past leaders. The actions of ASUU in honouring its past leaders, reinforce the belief that those who seek directions, may not miss the way. That people who know their origins and are conscious of the present, will navigate better towards the future. An African proverb says a river that does not forget its source, will not dry up; ASUU chose to link up with its past; its future within historical realities, seem assured. By Chukwudi Enekwechi MALLAM Garba Shehu is a frontline journalist, accomplished newspaper editor and a former president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. His brilliance and expertise endeared him to the former government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who engaged him as the spokesperson for the Vice President then. His high qualities again caught the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed him as the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity in 2015 and since then, he has carried on with decorum and high sense of responsibility. In the Nigerian media circles, Garba Shehu is well respected as a towering figure from all corners of the country, and indeed, the whole world. Perhaps his distinguishing feature is his detribalised disposition to Nigerians from other parts of the country. His contributions to the growth of journalism in Nigeria has earned him several international recognitions and he has acquitted himself very well in serving Nigeria. I have gone this far to eulogise Mallam Shehu to dispel the wrong impression being created about his distinguished journalism career by a certain group known as National Volunteers for Lamido. Apparently, they reacted on behalf of former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido. I write this article bearing in mind that once an individual throws his hat in the political ring, he is bound to attract what may be described as ‘erasures’ and the tendency is that you get all manner of tantrums from some quarters. For the avoidance of doubt, Garba Shehu has relentlessly discharged his Garba Shehu: A quintessential presidential spokesman responsibilities as a spokesman of President Buhari with unalloyed loyalty, commitment and devotion to his duties. There is no doubt that in the course of defending the president, he is bound to attract opposition, but for the In the course of carrying out these responsibilities, he is faced with unwarranted and unprovoked insults on his person, yet these matters ought not to be personal or petty Sule Lamido group to resort to barefaced lies, innuendos and outright insults is unbecoming and totally out of sync with the tenets of democracy, decency and good conscience. For many Nigerians, Garba Shehu, a graduate from two prominent Nigerian universities- University of Nigeria Nsukka and Bayero University Kano, has through his professional practice, advanced the growth and development of the journalism profession and indeed, the country’s democracy. His grasp of issues and events is phenomenal, not to talk of his responses to them. As someone saddled with the task of shaping the president’s image, he never hesitates to react with facts and figures as occasion demands and in most instances, he inadvertently incurs the wrath of some individuals or groups who are directly or indirectly affected. Such vitriolic attacks against his person are expected and can get worse under an administration that has elected to tackle the corruption malaise frontally. Nonetheless, the Buhari administration will not relent as the fight against corruption was one of the reasons Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari, and gladly the results are already manifesting. As observers and even participants, Nigerians rely on presidential spokespersons like Garba Shehu to continue to distil government policies and promote the people-centred administration of President Buhari for the benefit of all Nigerians. But for the emergence of President Buhari and his officers like Garba Shehu, how would Nigerians have realised that the country lost such humungous amounts of money to past office holders and their acolytes? In the course of carrying out these responsibilities, he is faced with unwarranted and unprovoked insults on his person, yet these matters ought not to be personal or petty. As expected, former public officials have a responsibility to render account of their stewardship, but unfortunately, in the Nigerian context, it can amount to the vilification of serving government officials- in this case Mallam Garba Shehu. Garba Shehu has continued to play a pivotal role in promoting the achievements of the Buhari administration and the feeling among Nigerians is that his dedication to duty does not go down well with the opposition. His articulation of government policies, general interpretation and narration to Nigerians continue to bewilder the opposition. Ordinarily, they would prefer a man without clarity of thought as Garba Shehu, so that the president’s numerous achievements will remain unsung and unnoticed. Unfortunately for them, Garba Shehu has a full grasp of the situation and he is marketing President Buhari to the satisfaction of the administration and most Nigerians. Just last week, prominent Nigerians, diplomats, the media and the business community gathered in Abuja to bear witness to the public presentation of the president’s mid-term score card which Garba co-edited with Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s Special Adviser on media and publicity. Mallam Shehu deserves our accolades and indeed support for utilising his intellect and expertise for the benefit of the Buhari administration and by extension, all Nigerians. The practice of running down a performing government official should be discouraged as it does not augur well for us as a nation. Such approach has the tendency to discourage other patriotic Nigerians from offering their services when the need arises. Aganinst this backdrop, we implore him to trudge on and never look back in serving the country. His enviable role in promoting the administration of President Buhari’s administration and helping to build a virile and sustainable country will not be in vain. *Mr. Enekwechi, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja. C M Y
34—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 Sudden death: Hypertension biggest killer of Nigerians, new study reveals By Chioma Obinna ANEW report released by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, has revealed that hypertension is the No.1 killer disease in Nigeria, accounting for 52 percent of deaths in the country. The five-year report released in Lagos at a symposium tagged: “Public Dissemination of National Survey Findings” and carried out by the Non- Communicable Research Group, (NCD) NIMR, reviewed autopsies of 642 cases of sudden death within the period. The report said without appropriate interventions, the rate is expected to double by 2020. The survey found that the South West accounts for 70.9 percent of the total data brought in for the study. There were 410 (63.8 percent) males and 232 (36.2 percent) females giving a ratio of 1.8.1. The age group most affected was 41-50 years (21.2 percent) with the least affected in the age range of 18-20 years (1.25 percent). The report showed commonest cause of death was of cardiovascular origin accounting for 41.4 percent of cases, followed by cerebrovascular accident, 19.5 percent and respiratory causes, 14 percent. The most prevalent risk factor identified was hypertension accounting for 52 percent of the cases. The report noted that sudden death has become a leading global health; that over 7 million people are estimated to die suddenly annually, representing 40 percent of the annual global deaths. In a chat, the Director General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako said it was in a quest to find out the reasons for increasing sudden deaths in the country that led to the survey. “What have been shown today is that hypertension remains the No 1 public enemy all over the world. That is well known but this study has reaffirmed that again and has shown the importance of public health approach to prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. “By their results, the most frequent cause of deaths that they found after postmortem was heart disease including failure of the heart and some other disease of the heart, underling that was high blood pressure for all of them. So high blood pressure was the number one cause of the disease that led to sudden deaths in this study. “The implication of that is as Nigerians we need to pay particular attention to prevention of high blood pressure, to treatment by those who have it and of course, to managing the complications well if they develop complications,” Salako said. Presenting the report, Head, NCD Research Group, NIMR, Dr. Nkiru Odunukwe, said the study aimed to generate data on occurrence, causes and risk factor of sudden death as well as determine the level of knowledge, perception and practice on sudden death among health workers at selected teaching hospitals across the six geopolitical zones and also a cross-sectional analytical survey of health LAUNCH: From left: Chairman, PathCare Nigeria, Dr. Richard Ajayi; Managing Director, PathCare Nigeria, Dr. Pamela Ajayi; CEO, Synlab Emerging Markets, Thomas Degott; Executive Director, Operations - PathCare Nigeria, Dr. Tolu Adewole at tannouncement of SYNLAB's major acquisition of majority stake in PathCare Nigeria. PathCare, SYNLAB step up medical diagnostic services in Nigeria By Sola Ogundipe AS part of moves to improve healthcare delivery in the Nigerian health sector, Pathcare Nigeria, the market leader in human laboratory diagnostics in Nigeria and SYNLAB Group – the leading provider of medical diagnostic services in Europe laboratories, recently announced a transaction of interests. The transaction involvles acquisition of a majority stake in Pathcare Nigeria Limited, by SYNLAB to enable the former ability to offer Nigerians an extended portfolio of specialised tests being sourced from the SYNLAB network. Pathcare Nigeria will benefit from the technological advancements and comprehensive costeffective solutions to enhance the local business with hospitals and other customers. Announcing the development in Lagos, Managing Director, PathCare Nigeria, Dr. Pamela Ajayi, commented: “We are very pleased to be joining SYNLAB. There will be huge advantages to having the European Diagnostic Leader in Nigeria’s population is about 186 million, but a large proportion has no access to modern medical diagnostics workers at 12 tertiary hospitals, two per zone across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. Odunukwe noted that getting autopsy report from certain zones was a big challenge especially from the north. She called on government to support autopsy and enact the Coroner law in all the six geopolitical zones as its obtained in Lagos State. A Pathologist with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Dr Sunday Shoyemi, stated: “Let us all avoid sedentary habit. People should exercise. It is recommended that you walk at least 30minutes in a day to burn excess fat in the body. We should also watch what we eat. Avoid eating excessive salty food,” he advised. Nigeria, bringing the most modern technological advancements in the field within the reach of every Nigerian. “PathCare Nigeria’s customers will benefit from an enhanced test portfolio drawing from the breadth and depth of SYNLAB’s international expertise.” Ajayi said PathCare Nigeria will continue to push the boundaries. “The launch of this premier facility in Lagos with some of the most sophisticated technology in cytology and microbiology is just the beginning. We also expect this investment to have a positive impact on healthcare development in the country.” “What is required in the healthcare industry is accurate diagnosis and testing. The lab results must be accurate to prevent Bolanle Ambode tasks MWAN Lagos on maternal health By Sola Ogundipe WIFE of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has called for increased response and sustainable support to the state government’s efforts to tackle health challenges faced by women and the girl child. Ambode who spoke at the opening of the 20th Biennial Conference and 40th anniversary of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, MWAN, Lagos State branch, tasked the group to focus on educating and sensitizing women against life threatening diseases and to live a healthy life.. Speaking after her decoration as the Matron of the Association, Ambode described the theme of the event tagged: "Women's Health and empowerment : Tools for sustainable Development" as being very important to the growth and development of women in the society. "As women, mothers and Medical practitioners, I know you are aware of the health challenges we face in relation to HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other ailments that have continued to cut short the lives of women and the girl-child on a daily basis. "I therefore challenge you as medical practitioners wrong diagnosis,” she noted. In the view of Thomas Degott, CEO, SYNLAB, Emerging Markets: patients consulting with PathCare would have access to series of diagnositic tests offered by SYNLAB. He said although Nigeria has a population of about 186 million, a large proportion does not yet have access to modern medical diagnostics. SYNLAB Group is the leading provider of medical diagnostic services in Europe. It offers a full range of innovative and reliable medical diagnostics for patients, practising doctors, clinics and the pharmaceutical industry. Providing the leading level of service within the industry, With over 19,000 employees SYNLAB carries out about 500 million laboratory tests per year. Mrs Bolanle Ambode to do all within your capability to ensure that women are empowered with adequate information on healthy lifestyles that will prevent untimely death." The desire to attain sustainable development without deliberate attention on women development and access to quality maternal and health care services particularly in the area of family planning will not yield the expected result, she argued. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, who presented the keynote address, advocated greater attention to women’s health, even as she urged government at all levels to put in place health policies that will favour women considering their vulnerability to life threatening ailments. "It is my belief that if a woman is alive, an entire family will be alive and healthy. More important, there should be focus on women empowerment as a way of reducing domestic violence in different quarters across the country," Orelope-Adefulire stated. Newly elected MWAN Lagos President, Dr. Omowunmi Bakare, pledged commitment to promoting women's health while improving professional development, personal well-being of members and increasing the influence of women in all aspect of medical profession. "This Association is very much involved in cervical and breast cancer screening for women in Lagos State. This led to the establishment of a highly subsidized screening centre within the Association's Secretariat at 34 Market Street, Ebute- Metta, Lagos, and over 6,000 women have so far been screened.
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—35 THE basis of this article is to prove that Dr. Alex Ekwueme was the greatest symbol of the Igbo people’s struggle to reclaim their place in Nigeria’s socio-economic and political sphere after the Nigerian civil war. On two occasions, he fought and was highly favoured to emerge as the president of Nigeria. He failed because of the decision of the military class to keep the Igbo out of political relevance. In the first part of this article last Thursday, I narrated how the civilian political class opened its arms to the Igbo nation, barely nine years after the civil war. It was not just the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, that offered Ekwueme its VP ticket. Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, also (reluctantly) gave its VP slot to Chief Philip Umeadi, a prominent Igbo lawyer. While the civilians were eager for national reintegration, the mood in the military was quite different. They were determined to punish the Igbo for the first coup of 1966 which led to the death of prominent Northern leaders, and also for the civil war “rebellion.” The strategic and ideological purpose behind this ploy is beyond the scope of this series. Suffice it to say that shunting the Igbo nation aside opened up the oilrich Eastern region for mindless exploitation, which has lasted till date. With the Igbo out, the Eastern Minorities were glad to be seen as the new favourites of the North and West in the East, until their “eyes opened” in the 1990s and they started the agitations for resource control, sometimes with violent armed assertion. The military, as we noted in the first part, sealed by law, the seizure of Igbo “abandoned properties” in Port Harcourt, two days before handing over power to civilians in 1979 through Decree 90. Ekwueme, being a major investor in real estate in that area and beyond, was hardhit. As President Shehu Shagari’s Deputy, Ekwueme enjoyed enormous latitudes of trust over contracts and procurements, making sure to keep corruption to the minimum in that regime. He was one of the very few Nigerian leaders who were officially reported to have come out of public office poorer than they went in (as per the Justice Sampson Uwaifo Panel report clearing him of corruption). The then ruling NPN was the first party to adopt the zoning formula, which was meant to give all sections of Nigeria a sense of belonging. After Shagari and Ekwueme were re-elected in 1983, Ekwueme’s profile had risen so much that he was already highly expected to benefit from the NPN zoning principle and By Ayodele Adio THE story of the twenty-seven Nigerians who lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean has remained on top of our news feed, thankfully so because, no serious nation should normalise the loss of dozens of her citizens in such cruel and dehumanising circumstances, a phenomenon the Nigerian state has grown accustomed to. In countries where a premium is placed on human life, leaders will briefly suspend any immediate engagement to grieve with the immediate families of the bereaved in a live telecast or press briefing and further remind the entire nation that their lives do matter. Nigeria is unable to dignify these 27 even in death by at least referring to them by their names even as their president is unable to spare a minute to condole with their families and the thousands of other Nigerians who have either lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean or are planning to do so. The truth is, a country that does not recognise you is incapable of grieving with and for you. Perhaps, we need not look far to appreciate why young Nigerians will rather bleed through the deserts in Niger, slave in Libya and sail through the horrors of the Mediterranean in search of hope. Nigeria has shown consistently, albeit shamefully, that once you ‘make it’ abroad, she will roll out her finest drums to Ekwueme’s life in Nigerian Army’s shadow (2) succeed Shagari as President in 1987. No other Southern leader seemed to fit into that role more than him. It is widely Ekwueme, the symbol of the Igbo struggle against the military to reclaim their place in Nigeria’s mainstream, is gone; so are his military traducers going, one after the other. That page of our history is expiring through natural means believed that the principal reasons for the 1983 coup were that (a), the still very young military boys who fought the civil war were hungry to retrieve power from the civilians and, (b) they were not ready to accept an Igbo as their president. In fact, the vengeance still boiling in the minds of most of them manifested in the ways the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari regime maltreated Ekwueme. While Shagari was kept in a plush home on house arrest, Ekwueme was taken to Kirikiri Maximum Prisons where he spent two years, and was released only after Buhari had been overthrown. Ekwueme went into political hibernation from the moment he regained freedom in January 1986. During this period, he refused to grant interviews or participate in public affairs. He did not surface from it until April 1994 when he accepted the offer to lead the Igbo delegates (along with Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu) to the Abacha Constitutional Conference (1994 to 1996). At the Conference, he fought to actualise the Igbo Agenda meant to bring some changes in the geopolitics of Nigeria. These included the rotational presidency/ zoning, creation of the six geopolitical zones, the 13 per cent derivation policy for oil-producing areas, among others. This pitted him against many of his Northern friends and political allies, but Ekwueme, who finished as the Most Distinguished Delegate to that Conference, stood his ground. After the Conference, he volunteered to chair the various meetings of the political class aimed at forcing General Sani Abacha to give up his plans to transform into a civilian president. He led the All Politicians Summit meetings, which eventually became the G.34. After Abacha suddenly died on 8 th June 1998, the G.34 transformed into the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and Ekwueme immediately stood out as the most logical presidential candidate of that great movement. When the late Chief Bola Ige noticed this, he pulled out of the PDP and formed his Alliance for Democracy, AD, taking majority of his South-West colleagues with him. The military struck again. General Abdulsalami Abubakar, the Head of State, got in touch with General Ibrahim Babangida. They later reached out to General TY Danjuma and prominent Northern leaders such as Atiku Abubakar, Sule Lamido, Jibril Aminu and others. They decided to give the presidential ticket of the biggest party, the PDP, to a Yoruba man of their choice to compensate for Moshood Abiola’s annulled mandate. The lot fell on General Olusegun Obasanjo, who was serving jail term for treason. Obasanjo got elected president. By 2003, he was strong enough as an incumbent to beat Ekwueme to the party’s ticket, thus ending the political ambition of the Okoborn architect. Since then, the military has continued to call the shots in the leadership of this country. Obasanjo selected Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua to succeed him after failing to obtain a third term. He also selected Dr Goodluck Jonathan as Yar’Adua’s running mate, sidetracking the more popular and accomplished leader, Dr Peter Odili, obviously because of his Igbo background. When Jonathan seemed to have become the preferred candidate of the Igbo nation, the military joined forces, along with their civilian partners, to enthrone Major General Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Buhari has since returned Nigeria to the 1966-70 and 1984-85 mode, where the Igbo were sidelined from power, thus precipitating the resurgence of Biafra agitations. Ekwueme, the symbol of the Igbo struggle against the military to reclaim their place in Nigeria’s mainstream, is gone. So are his military traducers going, one after the other. That page of our history is expiring through natural means. The nation will regain its rightful opportunity to become one, once the win-the-war rapacious military class is gone. Adieu, Ide Oko. OPINION Nigerians: : Between hunger and the Mediterranean celebrate a success she was never a part of. She will write a letter through the office of the special assistant on foreign affairs to congratulate Brits of Nigerian heritage who won elections into the British parliament, even if she never educated them nor presented them with any m e a n i n g f u l opportunities. She will send a delegation, led by the Minister of Sports to take selfies with the highly successful British boxer, Anthony Joshua, whose middle name she suddenly remembers as The truth is, a country that does not recognise you is incapable of grieving with and for you Oluwafemi. Rather than cover her face in shame, she will argue that ‘Even if the Brits discovered him, trained and exposed him, and though he now fights for them, he is still our son.’ It doesn’t really matter to her, that the same minister who led the UK delegation, purportedly on public funds, is the same man who declared before the entire world that the reason the Nigerian female football team, which had just won the Bola Tinubu vs “ordinary reporters” ALL Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, has made it a habit to derisively refer to journalists seeking snap interviews with him as “ordinary reporters.” I thought it was a slip of the tongue when he did that in an earlier encounter at the Presidential Villa. When correspondents asked him last week in Akure why it took him so long to visit the Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Tinubu burst out again: “What is my decision is my decision and as an ordinary reporter, you cannot ask me that.” Perhaps, only editors, media executives and publishers are allowed to do that? Was it not the same “ordinary reporters” that tagged Tinubu “APC National Leader,” a title which he so proudly wears though there is no such post? Even President Muhammadu Buhari has bluntly told him he is not the APC National Leader. It is a lesson for journalists to be more circumspect in adulating politicians. The elders say it is the person who dresses up a masquerade that often gets flogged first. Anyone who cannot stand questions from “ordinary reporters” should kindly consider getting off the public glare. African championship, had not been paid their entitlements was because “he wasn’t sure they were going to win.” Yet, Nigeria can hardly see how she contradicts herself; she castigates her citizens for attempting to escape their woes by going through the desert but turns around to blow the trumpet for those who succeed over there. Her leaders have lost too much touch with reality and to a large extent, common sense, to see that they are the chief promoters of emigration by any means necessary. It really doesn’t matter to Nigeria that about 15,000 of the doctors she trained are now advancing other health institutions globally when some of her states cannot boast of more than 47 doctors. She doesn’t care that her finest academics have left town and her most influential columnists are writing from the comfort of an organised society. For as long as she can share oil rents monthly, Alhamdulillah, nothing else matters. Nigeria doesn’t care if you end up pushing a wheelbarrow and doing menial jobs to survive like Etim Bassey, a former Olympian and Nigerian weightlifter does today. As far as you haven’t ‘made it’, you are worth less than the Nigerian Kobo. *Mr. Adio, a social critic, wrote from Lagos. C M Y K
C M YK 36 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017—37 08070524223 LITERARY REVIEW By OSA AMADI There are several themes in Aminata Sow Fall’s The Beggars’ Strike, originally published in French in Dakar in 1979 by Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines as La Greve des Battu. Some of those themes are Begging, Polygamy, Inordinate Political Ambition, Superstition, Strength in Unity, etc. But what can be considered as major theme in this work is the important role all human beings (regardless of their social or economic status) play in the social, political, economic, spiritual and biological life of one another. A more philosophical way to put it is ‘the interconnectivity of all things’ or ‘the socioeconomic and spiritual ecology of all things.’ It simply means that all things (especially human beings, whether rich or poor) are essential for the success and survival of one another. That is the central message of The Beggars’ Strike. The Plot This story is set in Dakar, the capital city of Frenchspeaking Senegal in the Islamic tradition. The chief character is Mour Ndiaye, Director of Public Health Services, who is obsessed with his ambition of becoming the Vice-President of the Republic. In order to clinch the appointment, Mour needed to put up an outstanding performance in his present duty, and the most pressing need in that line of duty is getting rid of all beggars from all the streets in the city…beggars whose presence are considered harmful to the prestige of Senegal, beggars who are defined as running sores which should be kept hidden, at any rate in the capital, beggars who are threats to public hygiene and national economy. These beggars, Mour and his superiors insist, are eyesores to tourists whom they scare away from visiting the country. Mour Ndiaye found a readymade instrument for this job of disposing beggars in his assistant, Keba Dabo, an honest, fine, and forthright gentleman, propelled by his nauseating feelings towards begging and beggars. Keba had been raised in a family whose absolute poverty ought to have pushed into begging, but his mother had refused to take that alternative. Instead, she had managed with the children, starving them often in the process. Keba had grown up to abhor all acts of dishonesty, life of dependence, and anything that could make people to pity him. Keba waged several wars against the beggars. Each “You think people give out of the goodness of their hearts? Not at all. They give out of an instinct for selfpreservation. They need to give alms because they need our prayers – wishes for long life, prosperity, to drive away their bad dreams, and for a better tomorrow…,” time he and his taskforce had succeeded in running the beggars out of town, they returned the following day. “You’ve got to track them down wherever they lurk,” Keba instructed his squad. “They think they can wear us down, but if we have to take severe measures, we shall take severe measures. It is a very serious problem, you know. No one can move about freely any more without being attacked (by beggars)....” Those beggars ‘who poison the air with their smell’, the plague that must be got rid of by all means, the canker that must be hidden from sight. Finally, Keba Dabo and his men succeed in putting all the beggars permanently out of town. Mour Ndiaye was excited. The President congratulates him for a job well done, and Mour, as usual, visits Serigne Birama, one of his many marabouts, to consult him over his Vice- Presidential ambition. “That which you desire is in God’s power to grant you. And I The enduring lessons in The Beggars' Strike think He will grant it, Insha’ Allah. You shall have your wish, if it pleases God,” the marabout told Mour. “All you have to do is to sacrifice a fine white ram. You will slaughter it with your own hand; you will divide the meat into seven parts and distribute these to beggars.” Meanwhile all the beggars have been hounded out of town and herded into the new Slum Clearance Resettlement Area. In the scuffle, many of them were fatally wounded. Even old Gorgui Diop has died of the injury he had sustained from the melee. Anger, beggarly anger, fills the Resettlement. “We’re not dogs! You know perfectly well we are not dogs. And they’ve got to be convinced of this too. So we must get organised,” Nguirane Sarr, the blind beggar who plays the guitar fumes. Ideas began to form in the minds of the beggars. They began to reflect on the real reasons why people give alms to beggars in the first place. “You think people give out of the goodness of their hearts? Not at all. They give out of an instinct for self-preservation. They need to give alms because they need our prayers – wishes for long life, prosperity, to drive away their bad dreams, and for a better tomorrow…,” the stubborn Nguirane philosophized. After much haggling amongst themselves, the beggars reached a consensus: never to leave Resettlement. Nguirane is proved right. People began to troop to the Resettlement with their gifts to offer them to beggars. In response, beggars dictate what they should be given, and givers had no choice but to comply. Who ever said beggars have no choice? Mour Ndiaye continued to seek out and consult new marabouts. His quest leads him to Kifi Bokoul, a marabout whose face no one has ever seen before, a man said to converse with spirits and of whom spirits had little or no choice but to carry out all his wishes. Mour brings Kifi Bokoul home and after seven days and seven nights, the marabout gave his verdict: “You will have what you desire…you will be Vice- President if you slaughter a bull and divide it into seventyseven portions which you must distribute to beggars. The gift must not be limited to one district of the town. If you make the offering as indicated with three times seven yards of white, nonsilky material, as well as seven hundred cola-nuts, of which three hundred must be red and four hundred white, you will be Vice-President a week later. Not later than a week.” Begging the beggars Mour springs into action. Suddenly, he realises that beggars no longer beg in the streets; he has purged the streets of beggars. First, Mour tries to persuade Keba Dabo to go and persuade the beggars to return to the streets. Keba finds the idea nauseating. Then Mour Ndiaye visits the Resettlement, begging the beggars to return to the streets, even for a few hours so that he can make his offering to them. “Go out into the street, can you be serious?” the beggars tell Mour. After a long political oration, Salla Niang who controls the beggars promises Mour: “Monsieur Ndiaye, you can go. Tomorrow, if it pleases the Creator, all the beggars will be back at their old posts.” Mour rushes home to slaughter the bull. He cuts the flesh and packages the meat according to Kifi Bokoul’s precise instructions. He loads the meat and other items into a van and drives round the town to distribute them to beggars. No single beggar anywhere! He has been tricked. He has been deceived by the beggars, especially by that wayward Sallah Niang of a woman. Mour is infuriated. He returns to the Resettlement. After some stifled conversation with the impertinent Salla Niang, Mour hurls several wads of bank-notes at the beggars. They all jumped up and scrambled for the bank-notes. “That’s for your bus-fares; so you can go into town and take up your places in the streets, can’t you?” “Yes, yes, we’ll come… this afternoon.” Yet, they did not come. On Salla Niang’s instructions, the beggars are continuing their STRIKE! The sun is going down. The day is getting over. “You must drive to the beggars’ house,” Mour tells Kouli, his driver, “we can’t keep all this meat all night in this heat. We must go and give it to them.” But that will be medicine after death. Right there on TV, the President is already announcing Monsieur Toumane Sane, Mour Ndiaye’s rival, as Vice- President of the Republic. The Lesson The core lesson we should learn from this award-wining novel is that all groups of human beings are important. They may be our servants, employees, the masses, or people who have been reduced to our dependents by circumstances. It would be foolish for us to look at these people and say “they have no choice” like beggars and therefore maltreat them. Like Mour, our fate, our life could one day depend on them in this world, or in the next world like in Lazarus and the rich man. Ultimately, we are all beggars in this world. You are either begging from man, or from God.
38--VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 08070524223 CULTURE Culture, colour speak as TOBVIC Schools hold Cultural Day N5m for grabs as Móremí queens go to camp By Chris Onuoha The heat is on. The atmosphere in the camp is charged and bubbling. The stage is set for the forty-one outstanding African beauties to slug it out for the coveted 2017 Queen Moremi Ajasoro crown. The girls are all eager to put in their best as all the actions are currently going down at the QMA Bootcamp where the beauties are taking on various tasks and challenges in order to qualify for the final stage. Artist Profile Rauf Thompson: tireless septuagenarian painter By Chris Onuoha Rauf Thompson is one of the pioneer students of Yaba College of Technology, Arts Department in the 70s. Having trained under the great masters like Prof. Yusuf Grillo and others, he practiced painting for a while and went into teaching as arts teacher for many years. He was also an education administrator with Lagos State Government before moving into advertising as a practitioner. Undaunted by what may be called a temporary distraction, he paints in his home studio and has exhibited severally to show he never gets tired of his first love: painting. One unique thing about Thompson is he stands as a bridge between the old and young artists by the type of works he produces. Some of his works tell stories of life, event, environment and social life around his neighborhood. In the camp, it will be a battle of grit and wit, where only the most intelligent, the bravest and culturally conscious will survive. There are 41 girls drawn from Yoruba extracts after rigorous audition of about 400 participants who registered for the competition. Eviction will definitely take place as most outstanding ones in character, behaviours, literary sound and qualities need of an ambassador will emerge to go to the grand finale at Oriental hotel, Lagos for crowning. *Rauf Thompson In one of his collections that spanned decades, you could see works done in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and even currently in the year 2016. If you peep into his studio at his home in Ilasamaja, Mushin, you would notice a painting of Tafawa Belewa Square (TBS) done in 1974 in its original form called Race Course with real horse driven by the colonial masters then. “Art as a profession should be seen beyond drawing and painting,” says Thomson, “it should be used to solve social and economic problems of a nation in terms of visual and communication perception as a powerful tool.” BY OSA AMADI The culture of Cultural Day has finally taken firm roots in Nigerian schools. This is evident in the way it has proliferated across the country. It is an event all students, pupils, teachers as well as parents look forward to. They are always excited to showcase their diverse cultures through wearing of traditional clothes, performing cultural dances, and delivering recitations in their local languages, some of which unfortunately are facing the threats of extinction. That was how it happened last Friday, November 24, 2017, when TOBVIC Schools, both the nursery, primary, and secondary sections, celebrated the diverse cultures of Nigerian people through the school Cultural Day. Speaking to Vanguard during the cultural event, Mr. Aluko, the director of the school, said that culture is a way of life. “I am delighted to present the leaders of tomorrow from TOBVIC Schools, Oko-afor, Badagry, Lagos State.” The director, a renowned educationist with a track record of success with children, revealed that the event was the third edition of the annual school Cultural Day. “As you can see, the children are very happy celebrating this great day in their local attires.” In a bid to strengthen the existing socio-cultural understanding, business and inter-personal relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, a team of media personnel from South Africa has paid a courtesy call to the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, to correct some impressions about Nigerians living in South Africa. The team led by Greg Maloka, Managing Director of KAYA FM 95.9 Gauteng, S.A, alongside David O’Sullivan, Olga Muteiwa, and Brenda Modibane, all of the same organisation, said they were in Nigeria to promote historical, cultural and tourism exchanges and to explore possibilities of marketing Africa to the world. Receiving the group in Lagos over the weekend at Boat Club, Ikoyi, Folorunsho Cok- *Pupils of TOBVIC Nusery and Primary school in their cultural attaires A number of parents who also spoke to Vanguard expressed their happiness and appreciation to the school for organising the cultural day, saying it is an important aspect of education which will prevent loss of identity on the part of the children, because when a people lose their culture they lose their identity. L-R: Bukky Enuha; Brenda Modibane,Bus Dev. & Mktg Mgr,; Greg Maloka, MD, all of KAYA FM; NTDC DG, Mr. Folorunsho Coker; Olga Muteiwa,Mktg Mgr and David O' Sullivan, from KAYA FM during their call on NTDC boss in Lagos. NTDC boss strengthens cultural ties with South Africa er stated that the visit would afford them the opportunity to engage and mingle with Nigerians, exchange ideas and correct the perceptions that Nigerians are only known for violence and crimes. He said “it is a new beginning; you have invested your time and money to come here to engage us and see things for yourself. We expect at the end of this visit, you will take the story back to South Africa that Nigerians are friendly and the country is a comfortable place for tourism. Meanwhile the group’s visit accorded them the opportunity of correcting the impression that South Africans are Xenophobic in nature, that they should not be viewed through the eye of group of scrupulous elements who feel aggrieved over some social issues.
08070524223 VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 39 How Oluwaseun won 9mobile photo competition with borrowed camera By Japhet Alakam Budding photographer, Oluwaseun Otitoola, is set to go to the next level in photography, courtesy of the Canon Digital Camera presented to him as the winner of the 2017 edition of the 9mobile Photography Competition, a talent development initiative of 9mobile, Nigeria’s most innovative and youthfriendly telecommunication company. Oluwaseun Otitoola who won the competition with his entry titled, Fragment of CMS Bookshop Building, beat two other finalists - Amanda Ihemebiri - The NestOil Tower and Taiwo Omotosho, for Lines Side by Side. Oluwaseun was announced winner at the grand finale and award presentation ceremony, which was held last week at the 9mobile Head Office, Banana Island, Lagos. An emotion-laden Otitoola Photography From left: CEO, 9mobile, Boye Olusanya; 1st runner-up, Taiwo Omotosho; 2nd runner-up, Amanda Ihemebiri; winner, Oluwaseun Otitoola, and Head, Events and Sponsorship, 9mobile, Modupe Thani, during the presentation of prize to the finalists of 9mobile Photography Competition revealed what inspired him to participate in the competition. According to 24-yearold Otitoola, “I didn’t have a camera of my own but I love photography so I borrowed my friend’s camera to participate. I chose Fragment of CMS Bookshop Building because of the symbolic status of the building and its environment which tells the story of Lagos in the past and the Lagos we know today.” Ikenna Ogbenta emerged winner of the voters’ choice category with his entry titled Skies and Scrapers. He won after pulling the highest number of votes online. Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, 9mobile, Boye Olusanya said being an innovative and youthcentric company, 9mobile created the p h o t o g r a p h y competition in 2014 as a talent discovery and reward platform. Accolade galore for a woman of the pen By Chris Onuoha Prof. Akachi Adimo ra-Ezeigbo today stands out as one African female writer who, even in retirement from UNILAG that spanned for decades, seems not tired in pursuit of a career she is passionate about – teaching and writing. On November 9, the literary community once again gathered at the Federal University, Ndufu, Alike-Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, her new abode, to honour and celebrate a woman of dogged but humble personae whose contributions to the welfare and equitable treatment of women in Africa through her literary works stand out. Her biography, Literature and life: Akachi Adimora-Ezigbo, which tells the story of her life, written by Ezechi Onyerionwu, was presented to the public, first at the University of Lagos few months ago, and later at FUNAI. “The amazing thing about the biography was that the writer was able to weave my life into the literary development of Nigeria. In the book, you will find some people like Achebe, Soyinka and other African literary writers mentioned. I think the biography speaks about those who are working on my works. People will find it so useful because it tells so much about the history of Nigeria, using me as model,” Prof. Akachi said. His Royal Highness, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, traditional ruler and one of Nigeria’s renowned authors was the chairman of the oc- *Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo and her husband, Prof. Chris Ezeigbo casion. In his words, Prof. Akachi is fantastic. “She combines all literary criticism with creativity, which is unusual because many writers look at creative scholars as frustrated writers, but she is combining both and doing it excellently. According to him, “Akachi Ezeigbo is also doing a unique thing by trying to create another literary genre in Igbo language. It is our language, our culture and heritage. To me, that is wonderful and I support such moves and will also encourage other Igbo writers to do more on that. It is a legacy we should keep for our children unborn to inherit,” Prof. Ike added. Prof. Dr. Christian Anieke, Vice-Chancellor, Godfrey Okoye University, while lending his voice to this woman of worth said: “She is a great personality. She is a fantastic human being and her works cut across all literary fields. She is not just a poet but a novelist, dramatist and she goes into all the literary genres. She identifies her voice in all genres and her very subtle, interesting feminism cuts across everything she writes. Women, so to speak, are marginalised in the country. You can see it in marriages, at work and how we subjugate them in families. You will also see it in the treatment of widows. If we can help to make the life of women better, it will help our society.” Professor Akachi’s husband, Chris Ezeigbo, said every human being, whether man or woman, will always be happy when his or her spouse is doing well. Mine is not different. I am happy with her achievements. I have stood by her, supported and encouraged her in her projects and will also wish for God to keep her alive to do more for humanity. L
C M YK 40 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017
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42 --- VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 Buhari’s poor performance has revived PDP — Makarfi •Says talk of presidential ambition will not distract him S enator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi is the Chairman, National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Elected twice as governor of Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria, Makarfi is one of the most respected politicians in the country today, given the manner he has steadied the leadership of the party in the past few months. In this interview, the accountant-turned politician speaks on his rumoured Presidential ambition, the upcoming convention, imminent return to the PDP of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar among sundry issues. It is a Vanguard’s exclusive! By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Dirisu Yakubu Talking about reconciliation, have you stretched a hand of fellowship to Ali Modu Sheriff? We set up a committee and sub-committees on that. We said we should devolve it from the caretaker committee and I don’t have up to date reports on that. The National Reconciliation Committee chaired by Governor Nyesom Wike and Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo are working and in each geopolitical zone, we have committees with chairmen. The chairman of the North-East is Governor Darius who has a strong personal relationship with Ali Modu Sheriff and I am sure that he must have been in touch with him but I don’t have the report from which I can be specific. Talking about issues in Kwara, there are two major tendencies there, what is the latest on the reconciliation report? Well congresses took place in the eleven out of the sixteen local governments. There is an appeal which we are going to sit on today (Wednesday) and the appeal is saying that even though there were votes and votes counted and those who won cut across the two divides, different positions, that the quorum to conduct the congress did not meet the constitutional requirement. We will look into that. But whatever the outcome may be, we will remain fair, just and equitable and we will not take a decision that will forward one faction against the other. Our role has been to harmonize different groups so that they become one. To what extent can you say the reconciliation committee has succeeded in wooing back aggrieved members into the party who left as a result of the conflict? We have made progress. Yesterday (last Tuesday) for example, there was a meeting with Osun to agree on a template for unification and I didn’t participate in that. I allowed them to meet with the National Organizing Secretary and I understand that they reached an understanding and both sides have signed; that is integration. You know peacemaking is a long process; it is not something at the snap of your fingers you achieve but •Sen. Ahmed Makarfi we have remained focused and resolute. We are not getting frustrated; we’ll keep on meeting until we achieve success and that is how it should be done and that is how we are doing it. What is your reaction to the crisis that preceded the election in Anambra State? There was a crisis and even the state executive committee was dissolved. There were five factions which we dissolved and right now there is no faction in Anambra state. What we have is just a caretaker committee. But before then, the Ken Emekaiya faction had become the main tendency and all major stakeholders were rallying round them apart from Chris Uba. Not at all. Senator Ben Obi is from Anambra State. He wasn’t aligned to that neither was he aligned to Chris Uba. And so was Senator Stella Oduah. So there were five factions with five factional leaders; that was the state of Anambra. But right now, we don’t have those factions again. We only have one caretaker committee and we are arranging for congress that will include all of them. But are you aware that most of your members worked against your own party in that election? We are aware but it was not the first time. But there is something going on in Anambra that only Anambrarians can tell you what it is. Right from 2003, this issue has been recurring. We pray and hope that this would be the last time it will occur. Part of the reason of course is that a state where you have five factions and structures; if two decide to go one way, three may decide to go another way, so this issue will continue. Unifying the party in the state in such a way that we only have one party structure in the state will go a long way in making sure that this is prevented in the future. Peacemaking is a long process; it is not something that at the snap of your fingers you achieve but we have remained focused and resolute What is your reaction to the petition from stakeholders in Anambra State that the congresses should be postponed on account of the crisis and the death of Dr. Ekwueme? I am aware that petition was received but I said they should sit together; mind you the National Secretary (Senator Ben Obi) is also from Anambra. So why can’t they sit at home with him and sort out the issue at home and come out with a unified position? I don’t want to look at what one side is saying. The point they are making is that Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the father of the party who started the party has just died and the party just came out bruised, scattered… I agree but why is it impossible for them to sit as one family at home and come out with one voice? We also hear the other side which is also saying that they just want that perpetual state of lack of leadership in the country/party. So we have heard both sides. With only a handful of weeks away to the convention, how optimistic are you that your party will get it right? We are working hard to get it right. Of course there are concerns. I have seen a letter from Professor Tunde Adeniran, I heard he had a press conference yesterday (last Monday). Prof Adeniran’s letter was specific because he made mention of five names that he thought might have been compromised, saying that they had a candidate; four names from Rivers and one name from Imo. The committee that we set up is made up of about 160 people. Did he take time to assess the remaining 155 to know their disposition? If you are going to be fair, you assess everyone of the members of the various committees. You cannot pick out five out of 160 and then make an analysis and then say maybe because of that, we have taken side. We must take nominations from states. We wrote and asked for nominations from each state and we got nominations from each state. So you cannot talk of nominations from Rivers State alone, what of nominations from other states, what is their disposition? I am not in a position to know, nobody is in a position to know. Bode George did not even mention anything specific but the first person who first wrote me was Professor Adeniran and he provided details. If Bode George had half of the details provided by Professor Adeniran it would have been better, but he made it wider without any specific details. I just received a call now that the committee to Lagos State that we sent because Bode George complained that something happened and some other leaders in the state changed the outcome of local governments and state congresses. They sent an appeal and the leader of the appeal who happens to come from my State, Honourable Bade told me that Bode George’s petition was right and authentic. Now if it is impunity why should we go and uphold his complaint? Where is the impunity here? Where is the issue of taking sides? So will the other side in Lagos now say we have taken Bode George’s side? So I think we should be careful when we throw accusations tying it to either I have presidential ambition or this or that. Which one of them have I called to say that I have an ambition, come let us work together? But in all honesty, virtually most of them with the exception of two including those who are complaining have approached me making the same offer. Offer of what, to be a presidential candidate? That we should work together but that is not what I am looking at, at the moment. So what gives you the moral right? But you cannot imply something to me and because I have not taken the bait, then you go and apply it on another person that oneon-one, I have never even met anyone with to discuss any particular thing. In any case, as I said we took nominations from each state and we took nominations from relevant organs of the party and in constituting committees, we picked from each of these nominations. Surely, some may be aligned one way or the other, there is no need for us to screen them. PDP never screened them before appointing them and commenting on about five, even if it were so, what about the other 155? But we have seen the concerns Contd on page ....
VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 43 Buhari’s poor performance has revived PDP — Makarfi Continues from page 42 raised and we will pay special attention to those states that those five come from and see if there is an appeal arising from there so that we will look deeply into that. And as a matter of fact, when we compiled this delegates list, we were going to call the state chapters’ chairmen to come with their own copy because the delegate election is conducted by states. This committee only compiles the reports, attends to petitions and makes report to the national headquarters; they don’t go there to conduct the elections. So, when we receive the reports, we intend calling the state chapters’ chairmen to come with their own copies and compare records with us in case there is any tampering so that we can deal with it and if the candidates for chairman wants to be present when this is done, they are welcome. We will be open and transparent but they must also be just and fair to us and discuss issues with us before they go to the press making will allegations. A national secretary aspirant Abubakar Mustapha has raised concerns about the micro zoning of the position even though the party has said that there is no micro zoning of the office of chairman. So what is really happening? First of all, if the main convention had taken place in May 2016, the complaint of Abubakar Mustapha would have been thrown at him because he was National Organizing Secretary at that time and for each position they only provided one form for each position to be contested for. In May 2016? Yes. They only printed one form; he was National Organising Secretary, Ali Modu Sheriff was chairman meaning that there could only be one candidate. Abubakar, when he came and picked the form, did anybody prevent him from picking the form? If we printed only one form, would he have gotten another form? Two, he said the NEC zoned positions between North and South and that we would not go further than what NEC has done. But we are also aware that NEC has not micro zoned what was zoned to north to geopolitical zones and that was purely a political arrangement; and the geopolitical zones met and micro zoned to the states. Now this micro zoning will not prevent us from making the race open to anybody, that is why he came and picked form. But anybody picking forms should be aware that people have made political arrangements of do me and I do you. I have this, you have that, I will give you my vote and you give me your vote. So if you are outside that political arrangement and if you think you can challenge that political arrangement, it is up to you to make that decision and go for it. But don’t expect us to say that no, don’t go and make political negotiations or political arrangements. We also said to the south if you want to reduce the run, you can also go and meet as the north met and make political arrangements but we as a party will not enforce it because NEC has not taken a position on that. If NEC has taken a position, we will enforce but since NEC has not taken a position, any other thing is a political arrangement. Some people are so used to sitting down and you give them something, they think we should come and be giving people something. We said we will not, go and work for it. Do you think the party is better after the low morale of the defeat of 2015? Of course because immediately after the loss you know the crisis we went through and we are just coming out of the crisis. We are not afraid, we have never been afraid of meetings or conventions but the party in power has been afraid of meetings, of holding conventions. So in spite of all these, at least we are able to sit in meetings to do convention knowing that opinion defers but at the end of the day, the party is supreme and we are matching on. So I think we are in a better state immediately after the loss and even up to the time we came out of the Supreme Court. We had •Sen. Ahmed Makarfi bright chances of taking over power in 2019. We have come out of the immediate crisis, I am very hopeful that we are going to come out of any possible convention crisis. But among the sub committees we intend to put in place, is a post convention reconciliation committee. We will not wait till after the convention but it would be in place knowing that there must be some fallout because there must be winners and losers and it is best to get prepared and work to assuage feelings as a result of having contested and lost. Of course I won’t be chairman by then but we need to take certain actions that would make sure that certain things are in place so that we can swing into action immediately. We are not afraid, we have never been afraid of meetings or conventions but the party in power has been afraid of meetings, of holding conventions Do you think President Buhari's stewardship of the country has made the prospect of the PDP better or more difficult? Better! They have been campaigning for us and we thank them so much and we pray that they will continue to campaign for us. How are they campaigning for you? They are not performing. We heard that Atiku Abubakar is about to come back your party? He or any other person interested is welcomed. Are you expecting him at the convention in December? I don’t know. Has he reached out to you? I have spoken to him severally but that has nothing to do with coming to convention. If he wishes to come to the convention, he is free. Has he indicated his willingness to return to your party? It is an open secret. He or any other person who is interested in rejoining or joining the party as a new member, they are welcome. Some have imagined potential conflict between your supporters and those of Atiku in the contest to win the 2019 presidential ticket. How do you think the party should manage such crisis? First of all, I have not made up my decision to what I will do or not but assuming I do, I would take things as they come; that is when I decide to do so. But at the moment, I cannot allow myself to be distracted, I want to remain focused. Yes there are risks, so we must go into this convention as one family and come out as one family. Otherwise whatever ambition anybody may have, that means it would go with the wind. So first thing first and I don’t want to be distracted with personal aspirations. There is this fear of the grip of the governors over the party; how do you react to this sir? I was a governor before and the same allegation was made and it has not gone away. We cannot discount the relevance of governors, the National Assembly members, State Assemblies. They are elected people because they are your first eleven. You cannot discount the relevance of elected people, everybody is important one way or the other and it is not one versus the other. It is how you can bring all of these people together. You know they work in unison for the good of the party and we have been doing our best to make sure both the Governors, the National Assembly, the BoT, the former ministers, the former leadership, we have been making efforts and we are succeeding in bringing everybody on board through working together as one and I hope and pray that those who would take over from us, will improve upon the modest achievements we have recorded.
44—Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 SEDE I, formerly known and addressed as Mr. Sede Fiyp-Okoh, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Philip Osedebamen Okoh. All documents remain valid. General public take note. OLOYEDE Addition of Name I, formerly known and addressed as Ikudehinbu Michael, now wish to be known and addressed as Ikudehinbu Michael Oloyede. All documents remain valid. General public take note. JULIUS Addition of Name I, formerly known and addressed as Eguvwebere Julius in my NYSC, now wish to add Evuarherhe, to be known and addressed as Eguvwebere Evuarherhe Julius. All documents remain valid. General public take note. MONDAY I, formerly known and addressed as Chukwu Monday Bernard, now wish to be known and addressed as Chukwu Bernard Chudi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. OSAGBEMI I, formerly known and addressed as Osagbemi Tunde Israel, now wish to be known and addressed as Olugbemi Olutunde Israel. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. ITEGBOJE I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Josephine Omonigho Itegboje, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Josephine Omonigho Asamaigor. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. OISE MADU I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Rosemary Oise, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Rosemary Onagbonmama Lamikanra. All documents remain valid. General public take note, especially Lagos State Civil Service Commission. IGBOANUGO I, formerly known and addressed as I g b o a n u g o Lotachukwu Harry, now wish to be known and addressed as Igboanugo Lotanna Harry. All documents remain valid. General public take note. MOSES Addition of Name I, formerly known and addressed as Moses Isaac, now wish to add Iziegbe, to be known and addressed as Moses Iziegbe Isaac. All documents remain valid. General public take note. FADEYI Confirmation of name My name is Fadeyi Abidemi Elizabeth. But in my BVN my name was written as Abidemi Olushola Fadeyi. first bank, GTbank,UBA, Keystone bank and General public Should please note, both name belong to one and the same person and all former documents remain valid. OFAGBE I, formerly known and called as Ofagbe Avurakeoghene, now wish to be known and addressed as Ujah Avurakeoghene. All former documents remain valid, any authority it may concern and the general public to take note. TARI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Tari Emmanuel Martha, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Akuke Tari Awe. All documents bearing my former name remain valid. The general public and the authorities it may concern should please take note for record purpose. VANGUARD CLASSIFIED I, formerly known and addressed as Madu Emmanuel Mkem, now wish to be known and addressed as Michael Emmanuel Mkem. All documents remain valid. General public take note. DANIEL I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Daniel Nse Amos, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Amos Margret Nseobong. All documents remain valid. General public take note. ODOH EKUTU OGUNDIYI I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogundiyi Gbemisola Atinuke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Odeyemi Gbemisola Atinuke. All documents remain valid. General public take note. EGBUNUNO I, formerly Miss Egbununo Jacinta Ukamaka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Emerenini Jacinta Ukamaka. All former documents remain valid. General public take note. ONUWERI EZINWA I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Comfort Florence Onuweri, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Comfort Florence Akorhe. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. I, formerly known and address as Odoh Christiana/Orji Christiana Anulika, now wish to be known and addressed as Odoh Anulika Christiana. All former documents remain valid. Banks and general public, please take note. I, formerly known and called as Miss Joan Ogheneochukome Ekutu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Joan Ogheneochukome Ekutu- Ubiebor. All former documents remain valid, any authority it may concern and the general public to take note. ALUW UWOADE I, formerly known and addressed as Mrs. Mabel Osarugue Aluwoade, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mabel Osarugue Peter-Charles. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Alice Chinasa Ezinwa, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Alachi Alice Chinasa. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. AGEGE Confirmation of name This is to confirm that the name Agege Francis Omoghenekevwe Rus Ometa and Omo-Agege Francis Rus-Ometa refer to one and the same person, now wish to be known and addressed as Omo-Agege Francis Rus- Ometa. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. IGWE I, formerly known and addressed as Margaret Odegua Nwaeze Igwe, now wish to be known and addressed as Margaret Odegua Enekhu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. SPACE FOR SALE EMEKA I, formerly known and addressed as Ndukwu John Emeka, now wish to be known and addressed as Ndukwu J o h n p a u l Chukwuemeka. All documents remain valid. General public take note. OBARO I, formerly known as Miss Obaro Lauretta Arumala, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Lauretta Arumala Victor Ejah. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. OPUTU OGB Confirmation of Name I, Steven Oputu hereby certify that the names Stephen Oputu Matthew and Matthew Stephen Atake as they appear on some of my documents refer to one and same me. I now wish to be known and addressed as Steven Oputu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. OGUNNAIKE OKAGB I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogunnaike Abimbola Oludayo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ogundehin Abimbola Oludayo. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note. EVERICK ONW Correction of Name My name was wrongly written in my BVN as Micheal Prince Everick, instead of Ekpereonye Prince Everick-Micheal. My correct name is Ekpereonye Prince Everick-Micheal. All documents remain valid. General public take note. NNQ Award to drive quality in Nigeria —UNIDO chief By Providence Emmanuel LAGOS—THE Chief Technical Adviser, United Nations Industrial Development Organizations, UNIDO, Dr. Shaukat Malik, yesterday, said that Nigeria National Quality Awards, NNQA, would ensure quality culture is built in the country’s product and services. Malik said this at a media briefing to announce the first “Nigeria National Quality Award Distribution Ceremony” as part of the UNIDO-EU-FGN National Quality Infrastructure Project for Nigeria, NQIP. Quality Award National , QANC) would be hosting the ceremony with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO, in Lagos. Calling on the federal government to train farmers and product exporters on quality management for standards, Malik stated: “In the agric sector for instance, most Nigerians can embark on food subsidy farming, but not export farming because they are two different methods." Public Wi-Fi deployed in Lagos for cheap internet services By Destiny Eseaga L AGOS—THE management of Tizeti Network Limited has revealed that the deployments of public Wi- Fi in multiple sites in Computer Village, Ikeja and which is expected to expand to other parts of the country is to give internet users in the country reliable and affordable internet access. The company stated this at a ceremony in Lagos, to announce the launch of Express Wi-Fi by Facebook to consumers. Express Wi-Fi which goes beyond the conventional mobile network, would employe the use of broadband to offer an un-paralleled Wi-Fi experience with un-throttled data speeds as high as 10-20Mbps and price points as low as 50 Naira. Ananyi said: ‘’Buoyed by a call to duty and a passionate desire to provide accessible and affordable internet to Nigerians, the compnay has successfully harnessed an abundant natural resource, essentially providing internet access through the use of solar-powered networks to large numbers of users.” :Va Ne
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe cried when he agreed to step down — report ZIMBABWE’s former president Robert Mugabe cried and lamented “betrayal by his lieutenants” when he agreed to step down last week under pressure from the military and his party after 37 years in power, the Standard newspaper said in its Sunday edition. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe loyalist, was sworn in on Friday and attention is focused on whether he will name a broad-based government or select figures from Mugabe’s era. “He looked down and said ‘people were chameleons’,” one of the sources was quoted as saying. The state-owned Sunday Mail quoted Father Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest who is a close Mugabe friend and mediated his resignation with the military, as saying Mugabe’s face “just glowed” after he signed the resignation letter. “So we are not talking about a bitter man. I told him that it was good for him to see someone running the country...,” Mukonori told the Sunday Mail. Neither President Robert Mugabe listens to his wife Grace Mugabe at a rally of his ruling ZANU(PF) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 8, 2017. REUTERS Father Mukonori nor Mugabe’s close aides were immediately available for comment. Mugabe’s fall after 37 years in power was spurred by a battle to succeed him that pitted Mnangagwa, who had stood by him for 52 years, and Mugabe’s wife Grace, who is 52. The privately-owned Standard newspaper, which has been critical of Mugabe and his government over the years, urged Mnangagwa to “walk the talk on graft”. The new government is already moving to bring some of Mugabe and his wife’s close associates to book and former finance minister Ignatius Chombo was in court on Saturday on VANGUARD, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017V — 45 corruption charges. Chombo was among several members of a group allied to Grace who were detained and expelled from the ruling ZANU-PF party after the military seized power in “Operation Legacy” which it said was meant to remove the “criminals” around Mugabe. Chombo, who told the court he was forcibly removed from his home on Nov. 15 by armed men wearing military uniform, was detained until Monday when his bail application will be heard. Bavaria boss backs SPD tie-up as consensus grows for German grand coalition T HE leader of Bavaria’s conservatives threw his weight behind an alliance with Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) on Sunday, adding to momentum for a new ‘grand coalition’ to break the political deadlock in Europe’s biggest economy. Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose fourth term was plunged into doubt a week ago when three-way coalition talks with the probusiness Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens collapsed, was handed a political lifeline by the SPD on Friday. Under intense pressure to preserve stability and avoid new elections, the SPD reversed its position and agreed to talk to Merkel, raising the prospect of a new grand coalition, which has ruled for the last four years, or a minority government. “An alliance of the conservatives and SPD is the best option for Germany - better, anyway than a coalition with the Free Democrats and Greens, new elections or a minority government,” Horst Seehofer, head of Bavaria’s CSU, told Bild am Sonntag. China explosion: Ningbo port city rocked by major blast AT least two people have been killed and doz ens more injured in an explosion in the eastern Chinese port city of Ningbo, local officials say. The blast is said to have occurred at a factory at about 09:00 (01:00 GMT) in the city’s Jiangbei District, causing some nearby buildings to collapse. State media reported that at least 30 people have been taken to local hospitals amid rescue operations. Footage showed rescuers carrying people away from an area surrounded by debris. Industrial accidents are common in China, and have prompted growing calls for better safety standards. The government says it has been tightening the site inspections and toughening punishments for safety lapses. But while the number of workplace deaths in 2017 is reported to have fallen by more than 25% in 2016 - industrial fatalities still number at least 29,000 in the year to date. Algerian lawmakers approve budget calling for hikes in fuel prices, taxes ALGERIA’s lower house of parliament on Sun day approved increases in subsidised gasoline and diesel prices for the third straight year as part of the 2018 budget, amid government attempts to compensate for a sharp fall in oil and gas revenues. The budget also includes higher and new taxes on some imported and local products in a bid to diversify funding away from oil and gas exports. The budget calls for a 25 percent rise in spending to 8.628 billion Algerian dinars after two years of cuts. In order to cover the extra expenditure the government has amended a law to allow the central bank lend directly to the public treasury. The budget is widely expected to win approval from the Senate, where the government also has a majority. Oil and gas revenues account for 95 percent of the OPEC member’s exports and 60 percent of the state budget. State finances have been hit since crude oil prices first fell in mid-2014, forcing the government to cut spending on some subsidised goods and seek new financing alternatives. “Your support will help us cope with the current financial problems,” Finance Minister Abderrahmane Raouia told parliament. Algeria has announced plans to reform its subsidy system, which covers almost everything from basic foodstuffs and drugs to energy. Under the new increases, the price for premium gasoline, unleaded gasoline and regular gasoline will go up by 16.65 percent, 16.84 percent and 18.20 percent per litre respectively, while diesel will rise by 11.65 percent next year. Domestic fuel prices are very low by international standards. Liberia’s Liberty Party to appeal election fraud case to Supreme Court LIBERIA’s opposition Liberty Party will take its claims of election fraud to the Supreme Court this week after the electoral commission ruled on Friday that the first-round Oct. 10 vote was fair, it said on Sunday. The appeal will likely set the West African country’s presidential election back well into December, and could result in the first round poll being rerun, which could delay the first democratic transfer of power in over 70 years by months. Ex football star George Weah was meant to face Vice- President Joseph Boakai in a run-off vote in early November to determine who will replace Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But third placed candidate Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party said the Oct. 10 first round was marred by widespread fraud, and the Supreme Court ordered the National Elections Commission (NEC) to investigate. The NEC ruled last week that voting irregularities did not alter the outcome of the first round which Weah won with 38 percent versus Boakai with 29 percent. Brumskine won nearly 10 percent. International observers said the vote was largely free and fair. “We will take our case to the Supreme Court any time this week,” Brumskine told Reuters. “We were not surprised by the ruling. NEC was the defendants and judge at the same time. The Liberty Party complained of widespread irregularities in the vote, including polling stations not allowing his supporters to cast their ballot. Under the constitution, it has until Friday to file its appeal, after which the Supreme Court has a further seven days to make a final ruling."
46 –Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 YOUR LUCK TODAY By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139 PISCES: THE Moon makes an ingress into your star sign and INFLUECES YOU TO BE COME AGGRESSIVE which is capable of bringing unnecessary argument and avoidable confusion. To before warned is to be fore armed. ARIES: EARLY morning blues will affect many people today (yourself inclusive) but luckily for you, things will go according to your plans. And you will need to be more careful with money. TAURUS: THE moon fluctuates early in the morning. And if care is not taken you would promise more than you can actually deliver to the resentment of others. Yet, you’ll win. GEMINI: BEHIND-the-scene-activities are sources of avoidable trouble especially before mid-morning period when influence of the moon’s fluctuation will last. Avoid inordinate ambition. CANCER: IT’S important you don’t allow your thought for and/or about the future derail your plans for the present so that success will not elude you. Romantic attractions along your career/business lines may become stronger sooner than you think. LEO; EARLY morning blues will affect many people around you meaning that not everybody can be trusted during the morning period especially along your career/business lines. VIRGO: MAKE sure you perfectly understand what you are doing within your working arena before mid-morning period or else costly mistakes would be made. Be tolerant. LIBRA: TOMORROW is your day. Therefore you are advised to leave some important decisions and/or action till tomorrow when the heaven will smile at you. Your love life is favoured. L E I S U R E THOUGHT FOR TODAY Determination is an inside job, but inspiration comes from the outside. Barbara Aberc - Determination It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. J.K. Rowling It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. J.K. Rowling - Dream How many times have you read wonderfully inspiring things, agreed completely, and done NOTHING with it? Martin Nagle, Being Happy ...: the 10 most successful strategies - Procrastination I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. Stephen Covey - Decision TERROR MUDA in “Never say goodbye” By Kola Fayemi SCORPIO: TOMORROW will prove more challenging. Thus, if there are things you should do now, you better don’t contemplate procrastination as you are likely to be fully stretched tomorrow. Watch with you tell others early in the morning. SAGITTARIUS: AS the moon fluctuates early in the morning some people may promise more than they can actually deliver. And if you take them for granted, you would be disappointed.. KAPTAIN AFRIKA in “Pretty Lunatic’ By Andy Akman CAPRICORN: CERTAINLY some people will get on your nerves yet you must not over-react at least because of the immediate future. Truly thus is the wrong time to gamble with love. AQUARIUS: THE Moon fluctuates as it moves out of your star . That is why you will need to guard against confusion likely to be caused by others. ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING Send your date and place of birth to the Astr trological Counselling, P.M.B 100 007, 7, Apapa, Lagos What’s my way to success? Dear Joshua, KINDLY analyse my star and tell me about myself especially my luck. I want to know about my love life, social life and how to become successful in life. I have seen people who are close to me became big success without much struggle from them. Would my own be like them too? Halimat, Kano Dear Halimat, You are different to those you said came by success: in your own case you will need to work hard and earn success. It is important you watch and take practical precaution about inability to hold on to your gains for long. Some times unexpected assistance use to come your way at 11th hour. Your being friendly with the influential personalities especially WOMEN will help your finance greatly speculative (and) venture is not the best for you. Your magnetic personality makes it difficult for members of your opposite sex to the betterment of your love life. Luckily for you, you know how not to allow your rugged/ rigid personality to harm your love life; you are a sweet lover, although can be argumentative some times. Love happiness indicated for you. If you can analyse both your environment and social situation, you will have more to gain from social activities more than it’s attendant pressure. You will need to drop unnecessary rebellious approach when dealing with your social life; although what looks like radical approach can earn you a few number of friends who may not be in position to assist you. Many people love your gentle approach and will be willing to assist you especially the more influential personalities. Once again women can be helpful here. If you expect easy success, you would be frustrated because Saturn-the planet of delay, frustration but greater reward after much struggles, was with the sun (basic-self-hood) when you were born. Thus it will not allow easy success. And at the same time will not deny you whatever you deserve. The same Saturn will reward you with RECOGNITION WOMEN, children and younger people can enhance your prospects. Colours RED, WHITE and pink are good for you. Sleeping North/South axes with your head to the North is good for you. VIRGINIA HOME & ABROAD firstname.lastname@example.org By Lawrence Akapa
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 — 47 Onazi faults FIFA ranking •says its not a true reflection of Eagles Trabzonspor of Turkey midfielder, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi has faulted the recent monthly ranking by FIFA, which ranked Nigeria 50th in the world. Super Eagles are ranked 8th in Africa after Senegal (23), Tunisia (27), Egypt (31), Congo DR (36), Morocco (40) , Burkina Faso (44) Cameroon (45), much to Onazi’s bemusement Onazi said it was shocking that despite beating Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly that the Super Eagles are ranked below a team like Cameroon, who failed to qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia but are ranked five places above Nigeria Although Onazi pointed out that the ranking would not determine Nigeria’s performance at the World Cup but he still insisted that Coach Gernot Rohr side have done more than enough to deserve a higher ranking than their current position in the FIFA ranking According to the former Lazio Arsenal into top four after controversial win at Burnley Alexis Sanchez scored a last minute penalty as Arsenal moved ahead of rivals Tottenham and into the top four. Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi who had very little to muster for the Gunners was replaced after 67 minutes with Jack Wilshere. Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after midfielder Aaron Ramsey was pulled down in the box by James Tarkowski with just seconds left on the clock. And Sanchez coolly slotted past Nick Pope as furious home fans booed the officials off the field at the final whistle. The Gunners coach only arrived 52 minutes before kick-off after getting delayed on their short drive over from Preston. Man City restore eight-point lead Leaders Manchester City came from behind to beat Huddersfield Town and secure an 11th successive Premier League victory. Pep Guardiola’s side equalled the club record - set in 2015 - despite falling behind just before the break through a Nicolas Otamendi own goal. Sergio Aguero’s penalty early in the second half drew City level, and Raheem Sterling struck the winner with only six minutes to go. This was the first time City have come from behind at half-time to win a Premier League away match since April 1995. Huddersfield forward Rajiv van la Parra was sent off seconds after the final whistle following a clash with Leroy Sane. Victory meant City re-established an eight-point lead over secondplaced Manchester United. midfielder, ‘’ I don’t know how this FIFA ranking thing works but it doesn’t matter whatever position we are ranked. “The current ranking is not a true reflection of the way things The average Premier League wage has risen above £50,000 per week for the first time — a global first for any football league. But while average yearly pay in the 2017-18 season in England’s top division is now £2,642,508 (or £50,817 per week), the world’s three best-paid clubs come from Spain and France. Barcelona of La Liga top football’s list according to the 2017 global sports salaries survey (GSSS), published on Sunday, with average first-team pay of almost £6.6m a year. The Barca numbers include Lionel Messi’s £500,000-per-week contract extension to 2021, agreed in July but only signed on Saturday. Paris Saint-Germain, who sensationally signed Neymar from Barca last summer, are breathing down their necks on almost £6.5m a year, and rising fast. If PSG have a successful campaign on the field and splash big bonuses, they would likely overtake the Catalan club. Real Madrid are third on £6.2m. Best paying English clubs are Manchester United and are. it’s just not fair we dropped despite the performances we put up in the qualifiers and even in the friendly match against Argentina’’, added Onazi, who is the vice-captain of the Super Eagles. •Onazi Both Rivers and Lagos states have expressed readiness to win the maiden edition of the Governor Wike Wrestling Championship, which kicked off at the main bowl of the prestigious Alfred Diete Spiff Sports Complex in Port Harcourt at the weekend. This is just as the Minister of Youth Development and Sports; Barr Solomon Dalung will join Governor Nyesom Wike, alongside other dignitaries to declare the championship today. Dalung will also unveil the logo and mascot for the African Wrestling Championship, which Rivers state is hosting in 2018. Messi: I’ll never be close friend with Ronaldo Lionel Messi believes he and Cristiano Ronaldo will never share a close friendship because they do not get to spend enough time together to build the required bond. The Barcelona and Real Madrid stalwarts have shared a formidable rivalry throughout their La Liga careers and have collected myriad individual honours between them. But while Messi claims the alleged enmity is very much created by the media, he also admits the pair are unlikely to ever consider one another friends, if only because they rarely get the time to speak. He told Marca: ‘I don’t know if we will be. Friendship is built through spending time together and getting to know each other. ‘We have no relationship, mainly because we only see each other at awards ceremonies and that’s the only time we speak. ‘Everything is fine, but our lives don’t cross over very often.’ Both Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the footballing sphere for the last decade and have shared the last nine Ballon d’Or awards (Messi 5, Ronaldo 4) – the Portuguese is currently heavy favourite to equal the standings for 2017. But with both of them now into their 30s, Messi believes a new generation of players will soon take their places at the top and backs team-mate Luis Suarez, former Barcelona companion Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain sensation Kylian Mbappe to challenge for the coveted golden ball in the near future. He said: ‘There are many great players around today who can win the Ballon d’Or. In recent years there have just been two, but now players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Luis Suarez can compete for that award.’ Barca beat PSG, Madrid Manchester City, in that order, but only just. They are both on around £5.2m per player per year, or £100,000 per week basic average, across their WORLD’S BEST-PAID CLUB Messi Ronaldo Neymar squads. As with Barca and PSG, the on-field fortunes of the Manchester pair will likely dictate which has the biggest total wage bill for 2017-18. Wike Wrestling: Rivers, Lagos hopeful of winning Wrestling Head Coach, Rivers State Sports Council, Oyonomunude Eli in a chat with sports journalists expressed the readiness of the state’s wrestlers to sweep all medals available in the championship. According to him, Rivers is the home of wrestling and as such, they were adequately prepared to surmount their opponents and prove that they were not just hosting but ready to win in a free and fair contest. He disclosed that Rivers was presenting 60 male and 30 female wrestlers in both freestyle and Greco-Roman events, adding that they were prepared to compete well. Success and trophies for one club while the other won nothing, for example, would result in a higher bill through performance-related payments and bonuses. Also speaking, the Secretary of Lagos State Wrestling Association, Somade Ganiat declared that they were not in Port Harcourt for mere participation but to cart away available gold medals. She stressed that Lagos is the grassroots of wrestling in Nigeria and would prove same on the mats as the events unfold. She expressed satisfaction with the facilities at the venue, saying they were top class. Meanwhile, Commonwealth gold medalist, Adekuoroye Odunayo has dropped the gauntlet, saying she is ready for any opposition at the championship.
Vanguard, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017