Vanguard Newspaper 13 February 2018
8—Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 2019: Go home and rest, after failing Nigerians woefully, Junaid tells Buhari By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor A BUJA—SECOND Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, yesterday, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to take a dignified exit from governance and return home to take care of his troubling health and save Nigeria from further woes arising from his inability to hold the country together. He said avoidable skirmishes between herdsmen and farmers had heightened across the country under Buhari’s leadership and could escalate in the years ahead if Buhari continues as president of the country beyond 2019. Mohammed, who claims to be one of the closest northern leaders to Buhari, accused the president of losing focus of giving Nigerians a purposeful leadership as a result of paying priority attention to the interest and welfare of family members and friends than the wellbeing of Nigerians. The former aide to President Shehu Shagari said Buhari had also lost count of the Nigerian economy, having allowed his friends and allies to take charge of key economic enterprises that should be manned by experts and technocrats. He said: “There is no need for us to continue to keep silent while a cabal, led by persons with little or no knowledge of the economy and those who have never run any successful business enterprise, continue to toy with the well-being and future of over 180 million Nigerians just because they are related one way or the other to the president, who himself knows nothing about the economy. “It is also not in doubt that this president has brought more of his kinsmen, most of them who are unqualified, than any other Nigerian president in history into key national positions, thereby trivialising governance and promoting mediocrity at the highest level.” Asked if the north would present a consensus candidate to challenge Buhari in 2019, Mohammed, who is a member of the 2014 National Conference, described the thought of a consensus candidate as primitive and unworkable under the present political reality. Mohammed cautioned those behind the move to have a rethink and recognise the fact that the north does not have a monopoly of power and that the presidency could go to only those who are prepared mentally and physically to take it. He said: “Look, there is nothing that makes it compulsory for Nigerians to concede the presidency to the north at any point in time. Any group that needs the presidency of Nigeria must be ready to work for it. "We must not continue to accept a situation where some people sit somewhere and ‘anoint’ some persons they know are either ill or weak and impose them on the rest of the people and they either die midway into their tenure or fail woefully to perform due to ill health or poor understanding of the economy or both. DIGITAL SWITCHOVER: From left, Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olusegun Odebunmi; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Malam Modibo Kawu, during Enugu Digital switchover launch in Enugu, yesterday. Photo: NAN. SEC yet to receive application from MTN on IPO By Peter Egwuatu, with agency report SECURITIES and E x c h a n g e Commission, SEC, yesterday, said it was yet to be notified by MTN Group on plans to raise about $500 million from the nation’s capital market. A source, who pleaded anonymity, told News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the commission was yet to receive any application from MTN on Initial Public Offering, IPO. “As of today, we are yet to receive any application or notification from MTN on the proposed IPO,” he said. The source, according to NAN, said the commission would remain committed to investors’ protection and development of the Nigerian capital market. The media last week had reported that MTN Group Ltd was perfecting plans to raise about $500 million from the sale of shares in its Nigerian business in the first half of 2018. Standard Bank Group Ltd and Citigroup Inc had been advising Africa’s largest mobile-phone company on the disposal of as much as 30 per cent of the Lagosbased unit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). MTN had agreed to list the Nigerian unit shares as part of June 2016 agreement to pay one billion dollars fine for missing a deadline to disconnect unregistered subscribers amid a security crackdown. Speaking on the implications of MTN listing, Dr. Uche Uwaleke, Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University Keffi, said the deal, if perfected, would boost market capitalisation. Uwaleke told NAN that the eventual listing of MTN would increase stock market contribution to the economy as well as encourage other multinational to seek listing, thereby increase confidence in the NSE. According to him, it will help to de-risk the Nigerian stock market from the dominance of a few companies in terms of market capitalisation such as Dangote Cement. Uwaleke said the deal, if perfected, would enhance present demutualisation effort of the exchange and its success rate following improved confidence by investors and the general public. He added that it would increase wealth opportunity for Nigerians that would eventually become shareholders as well as increase tax revenue for the government. Sheriffdeen Tella, a Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago- Iwoye, Ogun said that the entry of MTN or any of the big telecom firms into the stock market would strengthen the market and bring confidence to local and international investors. “The more of such 1000 Nigerians in Austria face repatriation By Victoria Ojeme A BUJA—COUNTRY Director-General, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, ICMPD, Michael Spindelegger, has said about 1000 Nigerians in Austria would soon be repatriated. Spindelegger, who gave the hint, yesterday, at the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the repatriation was being put on hold for now to enable Austrian firms set up in the country and provide gainful employment for those to be repatriated. He added that the proposed programme would facilitate reversed migration of the irregular migrants, who had no likelihood of being given legal residence in Austria. He said: “It is a new idea of how to combine future investment in Nigeria with the return of irregular migrants. A lot of companies are interested in investing in Nigeria because of its market. ‘’The idea is to train these irregular migrants before repatriating them so that when they come back, they will have something to do, instead of becoming liabilities. “The idea is also to encourage more Austrian companies to come and invest in Nigeria so that they also could contribute to solving the problem of unemployment and Grazing cattle destroy UNILORIN’s multi-million naira research farms I LORIN—Vice- Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has decried the destruction of the university’s multimillion naira research and training farms by cattle illegally grazing on the campus and poisoning the dam with chemicals. According to the university weekly bulletin issued, yesterday, the management of the institution last Thursday held a security meeting with the leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the university land. The publication quoted the vice-chancellor as saying that sundry economic trees’ plantations were destroyed by cattle illegally grazing on the vast land of the institution. The meeting was attended by representatives of law enforcement agencies, comprising Nigeria Police Force,Department of State Service, DSS, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC. At the meeting held at the institution’s auditorium basement, Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that the university management would no longer tolerate illegal grazing of cows on its land. He, therefore, told the illegal settlers, who have started building permanent structures to vacate the university land in the interest of peace. According to him, this is coming almost a year after the university authority first irregular migration.” Spindelegger noted that there was no provision for asylum in Europe and added that in a situation where an emigrant failed to secure asylum, the person would be deported in the long run. In his remarks, Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffery Onyema, said the initiative would not only have Nigerians come back home to contribute to national development, the country also stood to benefit from foreign investors. On how soon the project will take off, the minister said it would depend on the companies that are part of the programme. He said: “It could be companies in Austria that are interested in investing in any sector of Nigerian economy. They would be selecting from Nigerian irregular migrants in Austria, train them and send them down to Nigeria to work with their companies in Nigeria.” He, however, dismissed fears of likely ploy to deport Nigerians in the country through the process. He said further: “Remember that those Nigerians are in that country illegally, and do not have any prospect of regularizing their stay. As such, they would be deported in any case. “So, instead of being deported with the shame that comes with it, they would be given training and guaranteed employment with the companies that would be coming to invest in Nigeria.’’ issued a quit notice to the illegal settlers. The management recalls that the University management had on April 26, 2017 handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the Fulani herdsmen encroaching on the University land to quit the campus, but the quit notice was never complied with. The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Adamu, told the university management that the herdsmen destroying the university farm land were not living in the community. He said there were other ethnic groups embarking on illegal activities like logging, and were not differentiated from the Fulani.
Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018—9 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Pro, anti-Yusuf protesters take over NHIS office •As Police wade in By Luminous Jannamike ABUJA —NO fewer than 50 policemen, yesterday, took over Office of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, in Abuja, following staff protests over the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf. Yusuf was reinstated by the Federal Government last Tuesday, after a seven-month suspension by Minister of Health, Prof. Issac Adewole, over allegations of gross misconduct. Vanguard gathered that the policemen were mobilised to NHIS to avert possible breakdown of law and order as two groups of pro and anti-Yusuf protesters stormed the headquarters of the agency to either express their support for or resist Yusuf’s return as Executive Secretary. The anti-Yusuf protesters, under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, were led by the branch Chairman of ASCSN, Mr. Abdulrazaq Omomeji, said they were asking the reinstated Executive Secretary to give way for investigations into the allegations against him to be concluded The other group, on the platform of Concerned NHIS Staff, led by Mr. Uchenna Enwelike, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for reinstating Yusuf and urged Nigerians to support him in the provision of a focused and result-oriented leadership to the scheme. Enwelike, who addressed the pro-Yusuf group, said: “We all know that Professor Usman has already brought to bear his expertise and wealth of experience acquired over the years, home and abroad, to address the lingering problems of the scheme. “We must all, therefore, give him the necessary support he may require to achieve this mandate for the benefit of all. “The task of putting NHIS in the front burner of the Nigerian health system is enormous and realisation of its mandate critical in attainment of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goal. “The national unions of MHWUN and ASCSN should call the different factions of their local chapters in NHIS to order. They should be advised to rechannel their energy in helping the enrollees who are either poorly treated or denied access on regular basis.” However, Omomeji contended that most members of the pro-Yusuf group were NHIS staff employed and given undue promotion under the watch of the reinstated Executive Secretary. He also alleged that Yusuf had penciled down, for victimization, the names of staff members who testified against him at Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent and Corruption Practices Commission, ICPC. Omomeji urged EFCC to continue its investigation on the finances of the scheme for the benefit of enrollees and to strengthen healthcare delivery in the country but challenged the ICPC to shun its hypocrisy over Yusuf’s case and publish its reports on the matter. DINNER: From left, Valentine Obi, Founder/Chief Executive Officer, eTranzact Plc; Dr. Felix Ohiwerei, out-going Chairman, eTranzact Plc, Janet Ohiwerei, his wife and Wole Abegunde, Chairman, Board of Directors, eTranzact Plc, during the dinner party in honour of Dr. Felix Ohiwerei, in Lagos. Reps query Labour Min Perm Sec over alleged N45.7m cash advance By Emman Ovuakporie ABUJA—THE House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, queried Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Bolaji Adebiyi, for information regarding N45.7 million cash advance made to two officers of the ministry in 2014 against the public service financial regulation. The permanent secretary was originally billed to face the panel in respect of four different queries raised by Office of Auditor-General of the Federation, AuGF, in 2015. He, however, deferred his response to the queries due to lack of preparedness, saying he was not aware there were queries for 2015. Recalling its report before the committee, officials of the office of the AuGF had saidin 2014, N45.7million was granted to two officers as advances on their retirement benefits but were yet to be retired, even when such benefits were paid. They said such were usually meant to be retired and a memo sent to the head of finance and account of the Ministry did not yield any response, prompting the AuGF to ask the permanent secretary to recover the said amount and return same to the treasury. Asked if he had done that, the PermSec said the affected officers have retired the said amount and that the particulars of retirement were contained in the submitted response to the committee. Adebiyi explained that the sum given was for retirement benefits of the two officers whose documents were not being processed on time, prompting the ministry to grant the advances. Another query demanding the recovery of N300,000 cash advance made to another officer in the name of “special imprest,” also came to the fore with the panel frowning on its violation of financial regulation. Asked if he was aware of the limit for cash advance to officers, the Perm Sec said it was N250,000, while what was given was N300,000. His Director of Finance, however, tried to explain that “where there is a special imprest, the threshold can be crossed.” Demand explanation over 2 missing vehicles The committee also heard another query bordering on missing Prado Jeep and a pickup van said to have been taken away by one Paul Okule, a retired director in the Ministry. Asked why the vehicles have not been recovered, the Perm Sec disclosed that officers sent to recover them realised that they were in bad condition, hence the ministry’s decision to auction them out to the retired director. The committee, therefore, ruled that the said Paul Okule appears with the PermSec at the next adjourned date on February 26 with all necessary documents on the missing vehicles. Don’t sell National Theatre, Reps caution FG By Emman Ovuakporie ABUJA—The House of Representatives Committee on Tourism and Culture, yesterday, cautioned the Federal Government not to sell the National Theatre situated in Iganmu, Lagos State. Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, gave the caution during an interactive session between his committee and Minister of Information and Culture Shehu Sani’s constituents vow to recall him By Ben Agande K A D U N A — CONSTITUENTS of Senator Shehu Sani have vowed to start a recall process against him for criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress, APC, as well as deviating from the mandate given to him. Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, yesterday, the constituents, under the aegis of Concerned Indigenes of Kaduna Central Senatorial District, said since his election into the National Assembly, Senator Sani has not achieved any tangible result except engaging in social media war. Leader of the group, Aliyu Saidu, who also claimed to be Senator Sani’s Deputy Campaign Director in the 2015 election, lambasted the senator for deviating from what the party and his constituency sent him to do in the National Assembly. He said: “Instead of investing his legislative resources and privileges towards deepening our legislative culture and uplifting the conditions of his constituents, he becomes the foster boy of President Buhari’s enemies, always amplifying the challenges we are facing while ignoring the , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at National Assembly complex Abuja. The Edo lawmaker insisted that the position was in the best interest of Nigerians and promised to wade into the crisis between the Artistic Director of the monument and his personnel in the event that the Minister failed to resolve it. Ogbeide-Ihama expressed concern over the neglect of the culture and toursim sector, adding that it was incumbent on the authorities to invest heavily in the sector in the quest to many progress the Buhariled administration is making in order to portray the government as incompetent and clueless. “We the people of Kaduna Central are saying enough is enough. Senator Shehu Sani’s three years in the Senate have been nothing but betrayal and a crime against our people. “This recall process will proceed apace. There is no quitting, no giving up and surrendering until we restore to our Kaduna Central, the kind of representation it deserves.” Sani reacts But reacting to the threat, Senator Shehu Sani said he would continue to criticize the anti-peoples policy of the government. Senior Special Adviser on Politics and Ideology to the senator, Alhaji Suleiman Ahmed, who addressed a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat, Kaduna, accused Governor Nasir el-Rufai and his cabals for sponsoring a campaign of calumny against him through jobless youths. According to him, the socalled recall is the handiwork of the the government of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and his cabals in the state. Plateau varsity VC laments insecurity on campus By Marie- Therese Nanlong. JOS — THE Vice- Chancellor of the Plateau State University, Bokkos, Professor Danjuma Sheni, has raised the alarm over the open grazing of cattle in the institution. Sheni, who stated this, yesterday, disclosed that 15 of the 17 programmes offered by the university needed to be re-accredited by May this year, warning that failure to get the needed accreditation would affect students currently running the programmes. He also lamented cases of theft and harassment of female students on campus, saying such insecurity tendencies could be escalated if not checked. Sheni, whose tenure is coming to an end this month, spoke with journalists in his office where he pointed out the achievements and challenges made during his tenure. He urged that “a wise man” takes over from him so as to continue the vision, which would consolidate on the gains made and instil public confidence in the institution. diversify the nation’s economy. The minister, who presented his Ministry’s 2018 budgetary proposal of N2. 6 billion for the approval of the lawmakers, remarked that he had been able to provide the enabling environment for the culture and tourism sector to thrive. He cited the five years tax incentive put in place for those that invest N100 billion in the creative industry, which comprise the film and music industry as an instance of government’s intervention.