19032018 - Dapchi schoolgirls'll be released in 2 weeks— DEFENCE MINISTER

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2017 corporate earnings:

Stakeholders forecast

mixed outcomes

INSIDE

2019: Why Buhari delays to

declare intention — PRESIDENCY

Presidency demands electronic transmission

of manifest 7 days before ship’s arrival

42

8

VOL. 26: NO. 63508 MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

Dapchi schoolgirls'll be

released in 2 weeks— DEFENCE MINISTER

•Something is fishy, say PDP, Afenifere

•We want some questions answered —BBOG

Land Use

Charge:

We'll resist

any attempt

to disrupt

peace in

Lagos

— Police

10

ELECTION

RE-ORDERING:

Saraki,

Dogara meet

principal

officers

today on

veto to

override

Buhari

8

OBIANO'S SECOND TERM

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State (right), signing during his swearing-in ceremony for second

term before Justice Peter Umeadi, Chief Judge of the state, (left) as others watch during his inauguration,

weekend. Photo: Nath Onojake.

By Dapo Akinrefon

& Charles Kumolu

L AGOS—Defence

Minister, Mansur

Dan-Ali, has given hopes

that the 110 abducted

students of Government

Girls Science and

Technical College,

Dapchi, Yobe State, might

be released by Boko

Haram in the next two

weeks, noting that the

federal government was

closing in on them.

The minister, who

dropped the hint on a live

Channels TV programme,

Sunrise, weekend, said

intelligence reports at his

disposal indicated that the

girls would soon be

released, reinforcng

Continues on Page 5

Why

Nigeria

can’t

9

collapse

—Obasanjo

Mr & Mrs

Nobody can

unilaterally fix

port charges 30

anymore. says

Bello, NSC boss

YOUTH MEGA RALLY—Abia youths, weekend, held a Mega Rally to endorse and support the second

term bid of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. Governor Ikpeazu acknowledging cheers from the crowd on

his arrival at the Umuahia Township Stadium, venue of the rally.

COLUMNISTS OWEI 33 OCHEREOME 34 SOBOWALE 31 HENRY BOYO 32


2 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 3


4 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—5

POCKET CARTOON

AWARD FOR EMEFIELE—CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele,

receiving DAAR Man of the Year Award from Chairman, Juli Pharmacy Plc,

Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi in abuja.

Dapchi schoolgirls'll be released

in 2 weeks — DEFENCE MINISTER

Continues from Page 1

President Muhammadu

Buhari’s earlier disclosure

that the Federal

Government would rather

negotiate the release of

both Dapchi and Chibok

school girls to ensure

their safety.

Asked to give a timeline

as to when the girls

would be released, Dan-

Ali said: “It can be earlier;

maybe a week, it can be

two weeks, but we are on

it, and I’m telling you with

all sense of sincerity that

we are closing in on

them.”

On how much hope

there was for the girls’

rescue, he said: “I cannot

determine, it is an

intelligence, but it is as

soon as possible. I’m sure

with the latest intelligence

information we are

getting, we shall get the

girls soonest.”

President Muhammadu

Buhari, while meeting

former United States of

America Secretary of

State, Rex Tillerson, last

week, in Abuja, had said

he preferred to have the

girls back alive, hence his

government’s adoption of

negotiation, rather than

military option.

Disclosing that Nigeria

was working in concert

with international

organisations and

negotiators, to ensure

that the girls were

released, the President

added: “We are trying to

be careful. It is better to

get our daughters back

alive.”

The Dapchi girls were

abducted by Boko Haram

insurgents who invaded

their school on February

19, 2018.

We want some

questions

answered –BBOG

Reacting to the

statement, spokesperson

of Bring Back Our Girls,

BBOG, Mr. Sesugh

Akume, said: “We heard

the comments by the

Minister of Defence. That

is what we want. We want

all the Dapchi girls back.

"Today makes it one

month since the Dapchi

girls were abducted. It is

also four years since the

abduction of Chibol girls.

"We want all of them

back. Despite what the

minister said, we asked

certain questions that

needed to be answered.

Whether they are back or

not, we want the

questions answered.

"The fact that they will

be released does not do

away with the fact that we

want all our questions

answered. We want to

know why it happened.”

Government

knows where the

girls are— PDP

In its reaction, Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP,

said the assurance by the

Minister of Defence,

Mansur Dan Ali, that the

Dapchi girls will so been

released portrayed the

impression that

government knew where

the girls were kept.

In a telephone

conversation with

Vanguard yesterday, PDP

National Publicity

Secretary, Kola

Ologbondiyan, said the

Minister’s assurance of

the imminent rescue of

the abducted Dapchi girls

was an indication that the

ruling All Progressives

Congress, APC,

administration knew a

thing or two about the

whereabouts of the girls.

“If the minister said the

girls will be rescued soon,

that raises a lot of

questions. It shows that

there is a conspiracy on

the part of government.

That also means that

those who said

government kept the girls

somewhere for a purpose

know what they are

talking about.

"But we need to ask the

minister how soon the

girls will reunite with their

families,” said the PDP

image maker.

There may be

orchestrated

agenda—Afenifere

Continues on Page 42

By Bose Adelaja,

Bartholomew Madukwe &

Frederick Okopie

President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of Peace Corps Bill (1)

THE President was

right to have rejected the

Peace Corps Bill. We

have security challenges

but these problems are

neither as a result of inadequate

personnel nor

inadequate security

agencies. The problem is

the failure of leadership

at all levels of government.

The Peace Corps

issue should be forgotten.

Instead of pressurising

the President to assent

to the Bill, the Senate

should work towards

strengthening our security

agencies.

*Ann Ugbodu, Worker

The President stated

the reasons for rejecting

the Bill. It takes hours

before the Police arrive

at the scene of a crime.

If we had local Police,

they would be prompt in

responding to distress

situations. It happened

in my community a couple

of days back. Not

signing the Bill will

jeopardise our dreams of

having local police.

*Kazeem Ismaila, Artisan

The President ought

not to have rejected the

Bill because local security

agents are closer to

the communities than the

Police. I see no reason

for the rejection of a Bill

that would have made

the country more secure.

Apart from that, Nigeria

needs more policemen

for its citizens.

*Monsuru Hassan,

Carpenter

In my view, President

Buhari should approve

the Peace Corps Bill because

the agency will

create job opportunities

for the youths and fight

insecurity to the barest

minimum. The youths

are the future of this

country.

*Prince Wahab

Ogunji, Youth Leader

Buhari’s rejection is

justified since the State

Police matter is almost

becoming a reality. Nigeria

does not have the

resources to fund many

security agencies at this

time. Since the federal

government can’t fund

the agency, who will

fund it? The Senate

should focus on serious

issues.

*Olu Aluko-Apalara,

Farmer.

Rejection of the Bill is

a threat to security because

the Police are not

doing enough. Local police

like Neighbourhood

Watch, Onyabo and

other voluntary organisations

should be empowered.

For instance, If

the Neighbourhood

Watch can be empowered

by Lagos State State

government, the security

situation will improve.

The Police are armed but

people are being killed

daily. It shows that we

need more security agencies.

*Osayemi Bankole,

Carwash Operator


6—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

Police

Sergeant’s

killing: Scores

arrested, as

many flee Delta

community

By Ochuko Akuopha

OLEH—SCORES of

persons have been

arrested by the Police in

Delta State over the killing

of a Police Sergeant in the

communal crisis that rocked

Obodo-Eti community,

Ndokwa West Local

Government Area of the

state.

The community had been

embroiled in a leadership

tussle, a development that

snowballed into a

supremacy battle at the

community’s annual

festival between suspected

loyalists of opposing

factional executives.

The sergeant was shot

dead last Tuesday by some

youths, who laid ambush

for officers that went to the

community to arrest some

persons over issues

relating to threat to life.

Five other Police officers

were also reported to have

received gunshot injuries,

while some houses were

reportedly set ablaze in the

mayhem.

A source from a

neighbouring community

said many residents have

fled the community as Police

intensify their investigation

into the matter.

Undergraduate

drowns in

swimming

pool

TRAGEDY

struck,

yesterday, when a

student of a university in

the South-East drowned in

a hotel’s swimming pool

during a birthday

celebration.

According to reports, the

deceased, identified as

Ezekwe Jideofor John, was

celebrating the birthday of

his course mate, when the

sad incident occurred.

EXIT polls in Russia’s

presidential election predict

the return of Vladimir Putin for

another six-year term.

A Russian state exit poll gave

him 73.9 percent of the vote,

easily defeating his closest

competitor.

The result, which had been

widely predicted, is a marked

improvement from his 2012

victory.

However, some election

observers have warned of

widespread cases of ballot

stuffing and other irregularities.

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

3 die in South-South varsity cult clash

By Emma Una

C ALABAR—THREE

persons have been shot

dead in a Federal university in

the South-South region in an

ongoing supremacy battle

between two rival cult groups on

By Perez Brisibe

ABRAKA—AN unidentified

man in Abraka community,

Ethiope East Local Government

Area of Delta State was, weekend,

confirmed dead after allegedly

ingesting an overdose of

Tramadol.

It was gathered that the

deceased, who is in his mid 20s,

has been a regular user of the

drug.

He was said to have slumped

in front of his shop along the

Abraka/Eku Expressway, Abraka,

before he was rushed to the

hospital where he died.

Also at the weekend, three

partygoers were killed when the

gun of a member of Otokutu

vigilante outfit went off during a

burial reception at Otokutu

community, Ughelli South Local

Government Area of Delta State.

Sources at the event said the

vigilante member, who was said

to be under the influence of

alcohol, had failed to place his

pump action rifle on safety mode

when it suddenly went off.

This is just as two persons have

campus.

The war, according to a reliable

source, started last Friday

afternoon when an unknown

gunman shot a student from

behind, near a male hostel,

killing him and thereafter fled

into a nearby bush.

A student that resides at the

hostel told Vanguard: “The

trouble began on Thursday at

the hostel when the gang boys

had a face-off, but later settled

only for it to start again with

the shooting of a student on

Friday.”

The Friday shooting

exacerbated the clash which is

said to be between the KKK and

the Vikings with the killing of two

more persons on Saturday.

The sporadic exchange of

gunfire and killings on Friday and

Saturday sent fears into the hearts

Gbagyi cultural dancers performing during the Inter-House Cultural Day competition at Government Secondary School,

Gwagwalada, Abuja, yesterday. NAN PHOTO.

Man slumps, dies of drug overdose in Delta

Another term will take him to

nearly a quarter century in

power — a longevity among

Kremlin leaders second only to

Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin.

Many voters credit Putin, a

65-year-old former KGB spy,

with standing up for Russia’s

interests in what they view as

a hostile outside world.

Russia’s annexation of

Ukraine’s Crimea region,

alleged Kremlin meddling in

the U.S. presidential election

and Moscow’s bombing

campaign in Syria have been

•Accidental discharge kills 3; 2 die in youths clashes

been confirmed dead, while

another was arrested in Ovwor

community, Ughelli South Local

Government Area of Delta State,

following last Wednesday’s clash

by youths from the community.

Sources from the community

told Vanguard that a group of

youths from the community were

said to have launched a reprisal

attack following a suspected cultrelated

attack on the first victim.

Tramadol overdose

Confirming the Tramadol

overdose death to Vanguard, a

medical staff of the General

Hospital, Abraka, where the

victim was rushed to for medical

attention, explained that he was

rushed to the hospital half-dead

in a commercial tricycle,

popularly known as Keke.

The medic, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said:

“Those who rushed him to the

hospital said after taking the

drug, he started vomiting, went

into a sudden seizure after which

he slumped and started foaming

condemned in the West. But

for most people at home, they

have only burnished Putin’s

reputation as a strong leader.

A row with Britain over

allegations the Kremlin used a

nerve toxin to poison a Russian

double agent in a sleepy

English city has not dented

Putin’s standing.

“I voted for Putin,” said

Lyubov Kachan, a teacher in

the settlement of Ust-Djeguta,

in Southern Russia.

Meanwhile, British Foreign

Secretary Boris Johnson said

from his mouth.

“He was brought in too late,

as he had already gone into

coma and was confirmed dead

on arrival.”

When newsmen visited the

hospital, the deceased was

seen lying lifeless inside the

tricycle that was used in

conveying him to the hospital.

Vigilante accidental

discharge

On the accidental discharge

deaths, the incident disrupted

the event, as dignitaries at the

event ran for cover.

Two of the victims— James

Efemine and Sharp

Omosohwofa— are members of

the Eyerikugbe Social Club,

while the third victim, whose

identity could not be

ascertained at press time, was

until his death, a fish seller at

the Agbarho Market.

Scores of persons sustained

various degrees of injuries as

a result of the melee that

ensued, while others sustained

Putin wins by wide margin, as Britain accuses Russia of stocking nerve poison

yesterday that Russia has

been stockpiling the deadly

nerve agent used to poison a

Russian former double agent

in England and has been

investigating how such

weapons can be used in

assassinations.

Johnson said: “We actually

have evidence within the last

10 years that Russia has not

only been investigating the

delivery of nerve agents for

assassination, but has also

been creating and stockpiling

Novichok.”

various degrees of injuries from

shrapnel. The unidentified

vigilante member and his

colleagues were said to have fled

the venue.

Confirming the incident, DSP

Aniamaka, explained that the

incident is under investigation.

His words: “The vigilante

chairman in the area has already

given his statement on the

incident, but investigation into the

matter is ongoing to know what

line of action to take.”

Youths die in attack,

counter-attack

On the death of two youths and

arrest of one, tension gripped the

community over fears of further

reprisal attacks by the rampaging

youths.

Though reasons for the initial

attack was unclear at press time,

the first victim, who was stabbed

to death, was said to have called

out the names of his assailants to

persons who came to his aid.

Though efforts to speak with the

Delta State Police Public Relations

Officer, Andrew Aniamaka, were

fruitless at press time, a security

source at the Otu-Jeremi Police

Division confirmed the incident to

Vanguard.

The source, who spoke on

condition of anonymity, said:

“Some youths had attacked a

male indigene of the community.

Fortunately before the victim died,

he called out the names of his

assailants to youths who came to

his rescue.

“Upon his death, the youths

mobilised and went after his

assailants, killing one of them,

while the second suspect was

apprehended and handed over to

the Police.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—7

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of many students, who reside in

the hostels, causing them to vacate

their residence, spreading

rumours of closure of the school.

“Many students in the hostels

have left and the halls locked

down with the Homeland

Security, a security outfit

comprising of the Army, Police and

NSCDC, currently patrolling the

campus,” the student added.

The institution’s Information

Officer did not respond to calls to

his mobile phone, but a staff of the

school confirmed the killings,

noting that the school has not been

closed down.

“It is the management that has

the powers to close the school, but

that has not been the case so the

school is still operating,” the

source said.

DSS smashes arms supply

syndicate in 9 states

By Soni Daniel,

Northern Region Editor

THE Department of State

Services, DSS, yesterday,

released the names and

particulars of some notorious

criminals arrested in parts of the

country in relation to illegal

supply of arms to robbers,

kidnappers and other criminal

elements across the country.

The service, in a statement by

Tony Opuiyo, made available to

Vanguard said the arrest of the

masterminds and recovery of the

deadly weapons were made

possible through what it called

‘a nationwide sweep’ that lasted

10 days.

The agency said most of the

gunrunners, who had been on

its wanted list for several years,

were linked to violent activities

which include armed banditry

and kidnapping.

The sweep began on March 13,

at about 12:20p.m., with the

arrest of one John Abbey, a

suspected arms dealer, in

Wukari, Taraba State, who had

been on the agency’s wanted list

for over 10 years over arms and

ammunition trade.

The statement indicated that

Abbey, also known as Jonah Idi,

was arrested alongside his

alleged driver, Agyo Saviour,

a.k.a Dan-Wase.

He allegedly supplied arms to

criminal groups in Bayelsa,

Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra,

Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and

Taraba, working closely with

Terwase Akwaza, a.k.a. Ghana,

to terrorise residents in Benue

State.

The DSS linked Abbey to a

movement of arms and

ammunition from Konduga,

Borno State, to Taraba State,

adding that Mr. Saviour was the

driver used in the illegal transfer.

The statement said:

“Indications are that he sources

arms from the Republic of

Cameroon and parts of the North-

East of Nigeria.”

Abbey's arrest came barely days

after DSS nabbed one Sesugh

Troops kill 4, arrest 9

militiamen in Bauchi State

THE Nigerian Army said its

troops killed four armed

militiamen in Ningi Local

Government Area of Bauchi

State.

Brigadier-General Texas

Chukwu, Director, Army

Aondoseer, another suspected

member of the Ghana’s gang.

Aondoser, who was arrested

on March 7 around 12:23a.m.

near the International Market

along George Akume Road in

Makurdi, the Benue State

capital, was accused of

masterminding “several

kidnap and robbery

operations in Katsina Ala-

Ukum and Gboko-Makurdi

axis of the state.

He was also linked to attacks

in Takum, Taraba State.

In a similar operation on

March 15, 2018, around

5p.m., operatives arrested a

suspected kidnapper, Lawal

Ibrahim, at a hotel along

Bauchi Road, Jos North Local

Government Area in Plateau

State.

Ibrahim, a.k.a. Alhaji

Anwalu, was arrested

alongside Ado Saleh and

Bayero Adamu, some of the

men suspected to be members

of his kidnap-for-ransom

syndicate.

Public Relations, via a

statement yesterday, said nine

militiamen were also arrested.

Chukwu said troops of 33

Artillery Brigade of Operation

Lafiya Dole, on March 17,

were attacked by the militia

at Burra Junction in Ningi.

He stated that the

militiamen fired at the troops

who were on patrol.

Ckukwu added that the

troops, thereafter, engaged

the militias, killing four of

them.

He explained that the

troops also recovered five

Dane guns, 38 motorcycles

and nine bicycles.

The army spokesman said

one soldier was wounded in

the attack and referred to a

medical facility for

treatment.

His words: “Troops of 33

Artillery Brigade, in the

ongoing Operation Lafia

Dole, on March 17 at about

12:30p.m. encountered

members of a militia group,

massing up at Burra Junction

in Ningi Local Government

Area of Bauchi State.

“The militiamen on sighting

the troops, opened fire on

them while the troops reacted

immediately by engaging

them.

“At the end of the encounter,

four militiamen were killed,

troops recovered five dane

guns; 38 motorcycles, nine

bicycles and nine militiamen

arrested.”

Wetting 3rd

Mainland

Bridge

A motorist caught a

policeman peeing on the

3rd Mainland Bridge,

Lagos on his phone video

app. The reactions are

engaging and reproduced

here as they were written:

quaylaw24: If he had shot

you, then you would have

been crying. Must you do

notice me. Police officers are

mortals.

iam_guzzii: Why are you

people trying to ruin

someone's means of

livelihood. Your childish act

can cost him his job! This

man has a family to feed.

Baba is human like us.

truth_hurts_asfk: This is

not even my problem. My

problem is that if there is

robbery in your area, don't

call the Police and tell them

about the robbery. Just call

and say Yahoo boys are

loading money into their

house in your area. In less

than five minutes they will

come.

Actress, Jojo Charry,

posted nude pictures in

celebration of her

birthday and her

followers had their say.

Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Imohimi Edgal, holding up an AK-47 rifle, one of the weapons recovered

from former cultists in Badagry, Lagos.

Octogenarian kidnap: We’re not aware of N100m ransom— Police

By Bashir Bello

THE Katsina State Police

Command, yesterday, said

it was not aware of the

demand for N100 million ransom

to secure the release of Hajiya

Diya and octogenarian.

Sources from the area had

disclosed that N100m had been

demanded as ransom.

About five gunmen had, in the

early hours of Friday, stormed

Bayan Area, Dutsinma Local

Government Area of Katsina State

and kidnapped 82-year-old Mrs

Diya, the mother of Nagogo

Mamman, owner of Shema

Petroleum Filling Station.

The Command’s spokesperson,

DSP Gambo Isah, said Police

were in contact with the family

of the 82-year-old woman.

DSP Isah added that the Police

are on top of the matter and

working hard to secure her

release and reunite her with her

family, hale and hearty.

According to DSP Isah, “we

(Police) are not aware of the

ransom demanded. We are in

contact with the family

members and nobody told us

N100 million was demanded

as ransom.

“The Police is on top of the

matter and we want to secure

her release alive. We are

investigating.”

A source in the area said the

kidnappers had demanded for

money from Hajiya Diya.

When she could not provide

same, they took her away on

a motorcycle. When the

motorcycle broke down along

the way, they used a water

vendor’s cart to take her away.

The source said in the

process, a man, Usman

Barkiya, who attempted to

rescue her from her

kidnappers was shot twice in

his stomach and hand, and is

currently hospitalised at the

General Hospital, Dutsinma.

Source: Instablog9ja


8—VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

AGM: From left, Director of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Emmanuel Nnorom; outgoing

Chairman, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor; Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo;

incoming Chairman, Alhaji Abdulqadir Jeli Bello, and Company Secretary, Mrs Helen

Iwuchukwu, at the 4th Annual General Meeting of the hotel, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel,

Abuja.

Election re-ordering: Saraki, Dogara meet

principal officers today on veto override

•As Senate generates required 73 signatures

By Emmanuel

Aziken, Political

Editor

THE principal officers of

the two chambers of

National Assembly, led by

Senate President Bukola

Saraki and Speaker Yakubu

Dogara of the House of

Representatives, are

meeting today to finalise

plans to override President

Muhammadu Buhari’s

veto on the Electoral Act

Amendment Bill.

The separate meetings

followed a joint declaration

by the two presiding

officers to move against the

President’s veto of the

amendment bill that puts

presidential elections as

the last in a three-phase

general election.

Vanguard learned,

yesterday, that the Senate

has already generated the

required number of 73

signatures to override a

presidential veto. The

House, Vanguard learned,

is to compile its signatures

this week. Today’s meeting

is expected to set the tone

for the generation of the

signatures.

The National Assembly

has overridden the

presidential veto on only

two occasions; in 2000 on

Niger Delta Development

Commission, NDDC, Bill

and in 2007 on the Order

of Precedence Bill.

The constitution provides

that for the President’s veto

to be set aside, Two-thirds

of the members of each

House would again pass

the bill for a second time.

Two-thirds of the members

of the Senate is 72, while

that of the house is 240.

It was learned, yesterday,

that the bill had again been

taken for gazetting,

preparatory for the fresh

passage of the amendment

bill.

It is expected that the bill

would again go through

first, second and a third

reading and passed,

following which the assent

of the President would not

be required.

The most controversial

amendment in the

Electoral Act (Amendment

Bill) stipulates that the

general election should be

conducted in three phases,

with the National Assembly

elections coming first,

followed by the

governorship/state

legislative houses election

and the presidential

election coming last.

Senator Saraki and

Speaker Dogara in an

unprecedented joint

statement on their resolve

to override the veto had at

the weekend, dismissed

insinuations of a division

between the two of them

and the two houses.

...Court orders service of processes

on AGF •APP files joinder-application

By Ikechukwu

Nnochiri

A BUJA—ABUJA

Division of the Federal

High Court has ordered that

Attorney-General of the

Federation and Minister of

Justice, Mr. Abubakar

Malami, SAN, be served

with processes in the suit

challenging the powers of the

National Assembly to reorder

the sequence for the

2019 general elections.

Justice Ahmed

Mohammed also directed

that the AGF be served with

hearing notice to ensure his

appearance in court tomorrow

when legal fireworks will

commence on dispute

surrounding the Electoral Act

(Amendment) Bill, 2018,

which President

Muhammadu Buhari

declined to assent to.

It will be recalled that the

court had last Wednesday,

halted moves by Senate and

House of Representatives to

kick-start the process of

passing the electoral bill that

was vetoed by President

Buhari, into law, through a

two-thirds majority vote.

Meanwhile, the case has

assumed a fresh dimension,

as the Action Peoples Party,

APP, has filed an application

to be joined as an interested

party in the suit, which it said

was aimed at “stopping the

NASS from performing its

constitutional legislative duty

of overriding the President

for refusing to assent to the

bill.”

It is seeking to be joined as

the 4th defendant in the suit

that originally had NASS,

INEC and AGF as

defendants.

APP, in the application filed

by its lawyer, Mr Okere

Kingdom, told the court that

it is a registered political party

in Nigeria and has the right

to sponsor candidates in the

2019 general election.

It told the court that it

strongly believes that reordering

election sequence as

contained in 2018 amended

Electoral Bill, which was

rejected by President Buhari,

"will guarantee free and fair

election and give every

political party equal

opportunity.”

You betray ignorance on

causes of Kaduna crisis,

Kukah tells el-Rufai

CATHOLIC Bishop of

Sokoto diocese, Bishop

Matthew Kukah, has tackled

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of

Kaduna State, over the crisis

rocking the state.

Speaking at the burial of

Joseph Bagobiri, former

Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan

Diocese, Kukah accused the

governor of betraying

ignorance on the causes of

the insecurity in the state.

From kidnapping to

sectarian crisis, Kaduna has

recorded different acts of

violence in recent times.

Kukah recalled that he

sought the intervention of

National Peace Commission,

led by Abdulsalami Abubakar,

former head of state, and

military president, during

which they met with el-Rufai.

Kukah said: “We wanted to

hear from the governor.

Essentially, the thrust of his

comment was the fact that he

was determined to end

impunity and that for years,

people had got away with so

much.

“I was taken aback by his

(el-Rufai’s) combative mood

and worried if he really and

truly understood the issues.

“By his own admission, the

governor said a thousand

churches had been destroyed

in Southern Kaduna and that

people had lost their lives. His

one grouse was that these

leaders were collecting

money from good wishers

abroad to bury their people.

“This was a clear case of

self-indictment by the

governor. By casting

aspersion on missionary

assistance, the governor

betrays a troubling ignorance

of the causes of the crisis we

have faced.”

Presidency demands electronic

transmission of manifest

7 days before ship's arrival

By Godwin

Oritse

IN a bid to enhance port

operations, Presidential

Enabling Business

Environment Council,

PEBEC, has directed

shipping firms operating in

Nigeria to ensure that ship

manifests were

electronically transmitted to

relevant stakeholders seven

days before the arrival of the

vessel.

Speaking during a

meeting with maritime

stakeholders, weekend,

Senior Special Assistant to

the President on Industry,

Trade and Investment, Dr

Jumoke Oduwole, said the

council in January came up

with a National Action Plan

and directed the Nigerian

Shippers’ Council to look

at the shipping firms, with

a view to reducing dwell

time and ultimately reduce

cost.

Oduwole also said the

policy was being proposed

to make the ports operate

seamlessly and enhance

cross-border trading.

She said: “The Vice

President and the Central

Bank of Nigeria have been

working with about 10

ministers that have critical

roles to play in the business

environment. The effort is

to make the port operate as

seamlessly as possible and

enhance cross border

trading.

“There are plans to install

scanners and establish a

single window project.

Whatever the policies that

the government may come

up with, it is to assist

shipping firms reduce

dwell time.

Chairman, Shipping

Association of Nigeria, Val

Usifor, while expressing the

commitment of the

shipping companies to

work with the government

to improve ease of doing

business in the country,

noted that the delay in the

issuance of rotation number

by Customs was one of the

bottlenecks that must be

addressed.

Earlier in his remarks,

Executive Secretary, NCS,

Hassan Bello, said the

council had been assigned

to ensure and moderate the

transmission of shipping

lines manifest to NPA and

Customs before arrival of

vessels to Nigeria.

He noted that it was the

duty of the government to

ensure conducive

atmosphere for businesses

to thrive in Nigeria, adding

that the cooperation and

support of stakeholders

would help move the

industry forward.

Senate, Reps to

harmonise PIGB for

Buhari’s assent March 28

By Prince

Okafor

THE Senate and House

of Representatives

have finally harmonised

the Petroleum Industry

Governance Bill, PIGB, for

President Muhammadu

Buhari’s assent March 28,

2018.

This is even as

Chairman, Senate

Committee on Petroleum

Resources, Upstream,

Omotayo Alasoadura, has

stated that the PIGB was a

subset of the PIB and that

the National Assembly was

in receipt of three new bills,

namely: Host Community

Bill, Administration Bill and

Fiscal Bill.

Speaking during the

maiden edition of Energie

Platform Lecture, entitled,

"The role of the PIGB in

sustaining the Joint

Ventures cash call exit

agreement." in Lagos, he

said: “On Wednesday,

March 28, 2018, the PIGB

will be taken to the Senate

and the House of

Representatives and

passed into law by the two

chambers simultaneously.

And two days after, that bill

will be committed to the

President of Nigeria for is

assent.

“We know he has only 30

days to say yes or no, but I

know since Legislature and

Executive worked that this

bill gets to where we are, I

do not think he will decline

assent to the bill. The three

new bills, when passed into

law, will complete the circle

of what was known as PIB

in the past.”

He noted that the PIGB,

as of now, had not been

completely passed.

“The Senate passed its

own in May 2017 and the

Reps passed their last

month. What we call a

conference committee in the

NASS has been set up to

look at areas of differences

between the two legislative

arms."

Also, former Director of

Department of Petroleum

Resources, Mr. Osten

Olorunsola, stated: “There

are four bill, there are

supposed to be five, the fifth

one is what they called the

Petroleum Revenue

Management Bill, which

we have to drop at some

point in time because

revenue allocation in

Nigeria is a constitutional

matter.


VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—9

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

BOLA TINUBU YOUTH SUMMIT: Lagos deputy governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule (middle)

supported by (from left); Dr. Ibrahim Dauda; Dapo Lam-Adeshina, member, House of Reps;

Chief Whip, House of Reps, Pally Iriase, representing the Speaker; Mrs Mariam Adams,

representing wife of the Lagos State governor, Bolanle Ambode; Chairman, Lagos State

House Committee on Health, Segun Olulade and Princess Aderemi Adebowale to cut the

cake to commemorate second edition of Bola Tinubu Youth Summit held at Shell Hall,

Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, weekend.

Why Nigeria can't collapse — Obasanjo

By Emmanuel

Aziken, Political

Editor

NIGERIA

cannot

collapse whether

President Muhammadu

Buhari wins a second term

or not, former President

Olusegun Obasanjo has

explained.

Rebuffing reports

attributed to him that Nigeria

will collapse if Buhari wins

a second term, Obasanjo said

after surviving the civil war

and the bestial inclinations

of the Sani Abacha military

regime, nothing worse could

happen to the country.

Obasanjo, the first

President of the Fourth

Republic, spoke in an

exclusive interview with the

online newspaper, Premium

Times, from Azerbaijan

where he is chairing a

meeting of InterAction

Council of Former Heads of

State and Government.

Earlier reports had quoted

him as saying in a speech

reportedly delivered at

Blavatnik School of

Government, Oxford

University, last Friday that

Nigeria would collapse if

Buhari wins a second term.

Obasanjo, who denied

visiting London since

January, said: “I won’t and

can’t say that (that Nigeria

will collapse if Buhari is reelected).

There will be

nothing that will make

Nigeria collapse. When

Nigeria did not collapse

under a civil war, it won’t

collapse now.

“My faith and conviction

about Nigeria is so strong

that I don’t see the country

either being dismembered

or collapsing.

“The worst has passed on

Nigeria. Once we were able

to survive the civil war, once

we were able to survive

(Sani) Abacha, nothing can

be worst than those two. And

our democracy is waxing

strong. Although there are a

few things we need to get

right.

“As far as I am concerned,

the worst is over. What

remains is for all of us and

for our leadership to show

good faith and commitment

to do what is right. Then

Nigeria will grow from

strength to strength.”

President Obasanjo, who

recently accused Buhari's

administration of corruption,

incompetence and

maladministration affirmed

that even those issues were

not enough to wreck the

Buhari has invested N2.5trn in

infrastructure since 2015 — Adeosun

By Emma Ujah,

Abuja Bureau Chief

& Emmanuel

Elebeke

THE

President

Muhammadu Buhari

administration has invested

N2.5 trillion in

infrastructure since coming

into power in 2015,

Minister of Finance, Mrs.

Kemi Adeosun, disclosed

this in an interview,

weekend.

Asked what has changed

in the economy since

Buhari administration

came into power, the

minister said: “Overall,

focus has been to invest

massively in infrastructure

to make sure we get the

economy growing. So far,

we have pumped in over

N2.5 trillion in

infrastructure, especially on

capital projects, between

2015 and 2017.

“If you move round the

country, you will see work

is on-going on roads,

power, bridges and other

areas. These are really

important building blocks

for the Nigerian economy.

“For us to really become

competitive, we have to

have good transportation

links. It is very important

for the movement of goods

across the country

efficiently and readily. Look

country.

He said: “I regard those as

aberrations and they will

pass away. Such aberrations

will pass away with the

regime that bring them.

“Don’t forget that Abacha

did more than that. Of course

Abacha’s regime was not a

democracy, it was a military

dictatorship. If we survived

that, then we will survive any

shenanigan against

democracy. That’s the

greatest advantage of

at the road sector, when we

came in, it was N90 billion

that was invested in the

sector in 2015. And in 2016,

we invested N304 billion

on roads.

“So, there has been a new

step, which is changing our

capital projects. This is the

foundation we have

identified with more

opportunities. All this

opportunities are not

limited to oil, but spread

across the nation.

"That is why you see

projects spread across the

nation. For me, that has

been one of the biggest

changes.”

Asked why the current

administration was owing

subsidy on petrol, after it

had earlier promised to

remove subsidy on

petroleum products,

Adeosun said the

petroleum products subsidy

for which oil marketers had

been clamouring was part

of the debt inherited from

the last administration.

Her words: “The subsidy

they are demanding is

actually the subsidy arrears

we inherited from the

previous administration.

We are not paying subsidy

in the old sense, the way

subsidy was paid oil

marketers.

"So, the subsidy they are

clamouring for is what they

democracy.”

Obasanjo had recently

called on Buhari not to seek

a second term on the basis of

poor performance,

clannishness, corruption

among other reasons and

called on him to “dismount

from the horse” to join the

league of the country’s former

leaders whose “experience,

influence, wisdom and

outreach can be deployed on

the side line for the good of

the country.”

were owed before the

present ajdministration

came in.

“But, we are negotiating

with them and we have to

also make sure the focus

remains on our capital

projects. That is really our

priority. But then, they are

clamouring for government

to give them attention and

pay them subsidy arrears

owed them before we came

on board.”

INTELS donates N1.2bn ultramodern

market to Onne community

By Bartholomew

Madukwe

THE management of

Nigeria’s oil and gas

logistics giant, INTELS

Nigeria Limited, has

constructed and donated an

ultramodern market to Onne

community in Rivers State.

General Manager of

INTELS Nigeria Limited,

Mr. Silvano Bellinato, while

speaking in Onne on Friday,

said the ultramodern market

was built at the cost of N1.2

billion. He said the facility

was built as part of the

company’s corporate social

responsibility, CSR.

According to him, the

company’s CSR focuses on

critical areas of intervention

Free trade, common currency:

Why my trip to Rwandan

was cancelled —Buhari

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

A BUJA—PRESIDENT

Muhammadu Buhari

said, yesterday, that the

cancellation of his trip to

Kigali, the Rwandan capital,

for Extraordinary Summit of

the African Union was to give

time for more consultations

with stakeholders.

Federal Executive

Council, FEC, had last

Wednesday, approved that

President Buhari should go

ahead to sign the framework

agreement establishing the

African Continental Free

Trade Area, AfCFTA,

expected to take place to

morrow.

The framework agreement

involves the adoption of

common currency and free

trade, among others, within

the African Continent.

With the approval given to

the President by FEC at last

Wednesday’s meeting

presided over by Vice

2019: Yar’Adua’s political

associates regroup

By Dirisu

Yakubu

ABUJA—AHEAD of

2019 general elections,

political associates of late

General Shehu Musa

Yar’Adua have resuscitated

his political structure.

Loyalists of the late

political stalwart, who met

in Abuja under the auspices

of Shehu Yar’Adua Political

Family, SYPF, are perfecting

strategies to enlist new

members nationwide

preparatory to moving

enmasse into a political

party ahead of the 2019

polls.

Yar’Adua, who died while

in detention during the

military regime of late

General Sani Abacha,

including creation of

employment, empowerment

and provision of

development projects for

host communities.

He said INTELS adopts

an integrated participatory

approach to its CSR and

community development

projects.

“At INTELS, our CSR is

tailored to create an

environment in which the

host communities and the

company become

fundamentally

interdependent, where

understanding is mutual and

commitment to growth and

development total,” he said.

He said the company also

provides scholarships and

employment to indigent and

President, Prof. Yomi

Osinbajo, some members of

Nigeria’s delegation had left

for Kigali on Friday, while

another set had already

booked their flight to Kigali

at Murtala Muhammed

International Airport on

Saturday when information

came around 1pm that the

meeting had been

cancelled.

A statement signed,

yesterday, by the

spokesperson, Ministry of

Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tope

Adeleye Elias-Fatile,

announcing the cancellation,

read: “President

Muhammadu Buhari has

cancelled his trip to Kigali,

Rwanda, to attend an

Extraordinary Summit of

African Union on Tuesday,

March 20, to sign the

framework agreement for

establishing the African

Continental Free Trade Area.

This is to allow more time for

input from Nigerian

stakeholders.”

played a key role in the

formation of Social

Democratic Party, SDP,

whose candidate and

business tycoon, Chief

Moshood Abiola, was

believed to have won the

1993 presidential election

annulled by the then

Military President, General

Ibrahim Babangida (retd).

Rising from a meeting of

its national leaders and 36

state coordinators in Abuja

over the weekend, national

coordinator of the SYPF, and

former member of the House

of Representatives, Bode

Ajewole, disclosed that a

committee had been setup

to recommend a political

party which they would

move into en masse ahead

of 2019.

physically-challenged

students, in addition to

instituting various

empowerment programmes

for youth and women.

Bellinato said no fewer

than 66 physicallychallenged

persons have

been granted scholarships

by the company, adding that

the scholarship scheme,

which was set up in 2003,

covers primary, secondary

and tertiary education.

Some of the beneficiaries

enjoyed the scholarship from

primary school through to

tertiary education, attaining

professional qualifications in

various fields of human

endeavours. The

beneficiaries also have the

opportunity of working at

INTELS after completing

their education if they so

desire.


10 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

NNPC wrong to reject my FoI

request for accountability

—FALANA

L AGOS—HUMAN

rights lawyer, Femi

Falana, SAN has criticized

Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

NNPC, saying: “The

erroneous submission that

the NNPC is not a public

institution is embarrassing

in that their Counsel did not

advert her mind to

section 2(7) of the Freedom

of Information Act which has

defined public institutions

to include the NNPC.”

The NNPC had rejected

Freedom of Information Act,

FOI request by Falana to

provide information on the

amount of money spent on

petrol subsidy and

turnaround maintenance of

refineries.

The NNPC said this in a

letter titled, ‘Re: Request for

Information on Proposed

Review of the Pump Price

of Premium Motor Spirit’

dated March 1, 2018.

NNPC said, “We regret to

inform you that the NNPC

is not in a position to provide

any information or

document as your request

is incongruous with,

unsupported by or outside

the scope and purview of the

Freedom of Information Act.

Be informed that the FOI

Act is not applicable to the

NNPC because it is not a

public institution within the

meaning of Section 31 of

FOIA.”

But Falana in a paper titled

“Advancing the anticorruption

fight: the role of

lawyers” and delivered at

the SAY NO CAMPAIGN

launched at Abuja on

March 17, 2018 said,

“Contrary to the untenable

contention of the Counsel

the NNPC is a public

institution as the federal

government has controlling

interest in it and it is utilizing

public funds to provide

public services. Indeed,

because the NNPC is a

public institution its budget

is appropriated by the

national assembly while its

accounts are audited by

auditors appointed by the

Auditor-General of the

Federation in line with

section 85 of the

Constitution.''

Segun Arinze apologises to

Doren Hospital

L AGOS—VETERAN

actor, Segun Arinze

has withdrawn the

derogatory remarks against

Doren Hospital, Ajah, and

apologised accordingly.

Arinze, who apologised

to management of the

hospital and Association of

General and Private

Medical Practitioners of

Nigeria, AGPMPN, at a

truce meeting brokered by

Mr. Paul Adams and Dr. S.T.

Akintade, chairman,

RETRACTION

ON March 13, 2018,

we published in our

People Talk column,

comments and a

photograph of Chimezie

Ucheagbo, a staff of British

Broadcasting Corporation,

BBC. We have since

discovered that Ucheagbo

did not make such

comment. We hereby retract

the comment in its entirety

and sincerely apologise to

Ucheagbo.

We regret any

embarrassment the

publication might have

caused her. – Editor

AGPMPN, Lagos State

branch weekend, noted that

his earlier comments on his

facebook page were based

on his perception.

Arinze said he didn’t

know that the purported

patient in the car parked at

the entrance of the hospital

was electrocuted, saying he

thought he was a victim of

a ghastly road accident who

was denied medical

attention by Doren Hospital.

He however, said he

knew better after he had

been properly briefed by

chairman of AGPMPN and

Chief Medical Director of

Doren Specialist Hospital,

Dr. Essien Ekong, who

explained with evidence,

provided by CCTV that the

patient was brought in

dead, having been

electrocuted.

Arinze had maligned the

hospital, accusing it of

negligence, insensitivity

and professional

shortcomings on his

facebook page.

Others at the meeting

held at the state secretariat

of AGPMPN included; Drs.

Michael Abba and Clement

Edobor, chairman and

secaretary respectively of

AGPMPN, Eti-osa zone,

Mr Nduaka Uwaezuoke

and Dr. Daniyan.

ANNIVERSARY: From left; Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church

of God; Pastor Brown Oyitso, special Adviser to General Overseer in Charge of Mission and other

senior pastors of the church during the 30th anniversary of First Born Family of RCCG held at

Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos yesterday. Photo by Lamidi Bamidele.

LAND USE CHARGE: Real estate professionals

the landlords to speedily

laud 50% reduction by Lagos govt pay Land Use Charge.

•As Police warn protesters planning to block 3rd Mainland Bridge

By Kingsley

Adegboye & Evelyn

Usman

L Chairman, AGOS—THE

Lagos

State Chapter of the

Nigerian Institution of

Estate Surveyors and

Valuers NIESV, Mr.

Olurogba Orinmalade, has

lauded Governor

Akinwunmi Ambode’s

gesture in slashing the new

Land Use Charge for

commercial properties by 50

per cent.

Lauding the state

government at a

stakeholders’ meeting held

at The Protea Hotel, GRA,

Ikeja, Lagos, Orimalade

described the Ambode led

government as a listening

government and pledged

his institution’s support for

the new law and all other

progressive decisions of the

government.

In his words, Orimalade

said: “We are committed to

work with the present Lagos

state administration to make

the new law succeed and we

have already set up a

technical committee to come

up in 10 days, with

direction, recommendation

and position of the

Institution on the law in

order to collaborate with the

government for a better

society.''

Arc. Ifeoma George, Vice

President, Nigerian

Institute of Architects, NIA,

said at the meeting that

“This is a listening

government and proposed

that stakeholders should

continue to be carried along

in all government dealings,

going forward.“

The commissioner for

Finance, Lagos State, Mr.

Akinyemi Ashade, used the

opportunity to further

enumerate other reliefs

entailed in the amended

Land Use Charge Law. He

emphasized that the state

government was opened to

further discussions on how

to solve the challenges

plaguing infrastructural

financing and investments

in Lagos State.

He also mentioned that

there will be no penalty for

late payment in this 2018

regime as earlier stipulated.

Furthermore, the amended

Land Use Charge Law is a

property tax that

consolidates the tenement

rate, Neighbourhood

Improvement rate, and

Ground rent.

‘’Outside of the

commercial properties,

properties occupied by

owners and third party used

for commercial purposes will

get a further 25% discount,

while a wholly owneroccupied

property will get

an additional 15% discount

as graciously pronounced

by the government. In

addition to these, all the

other reliefs enumerated at

the inception of the

amended law remains

valid.

‘’These include 40 per

cent general relief across

board, meaning that

whatever is the value of the

property, 40 per cent will be

deducted and the charge

will only be calculated on

the remaining 60 per cent.

For elder citizens above

70years old, there is an

additional 10 per cent

discount.

‘’For those living with any

form of disability, there is

also 10 per cent discount

while properties that are 25

years old and above will also

enjoy another 10 per cent

discount. Above all,

payments can be staggered

across the year to soothe the

economic convenience of the

payer,’’ Ashade explained.

The Commissioner also

emphasized that selfassessment

of property will

be encouraged to help

individuals calculate their

charges appropriately. They

are allowed to use their

independent estate valuers

to assess their property and

bring such discrepancies up

to the government for

reconciliation.

The state government,

according to Mr. Ashade, is

opened to discussions and

willing and ready to

dialogue on the Land Use

Charge Law or any other

government policy for that

matter.

Everyone present at the

meeting agreed and fully

appreciated the

unparalleled efforts of the

state government in turning

around the infrastructural

fortunes of the state. They

pledged their loyalty and

support to the government’s

efforts towards the Lagos

Mega City Drive.

Also pledging their

support, members of the

Estate Agents Association

present, said they were

ready to partner the state

government in advising

Declare herdsmen attacks as

terrorist acts, SERAP tells UN

By Abdulwahab

Abdulah

SRights

OCIO-ECONOMIC

and

Accountability Project,

SERAP, has called on the

United Nation Security

Council, to declare the

incessant killings by

heardsmen in some parts of

the country as an act of

terrorism.

To this end, the body

requested that the UN

council and its members

should as a matter of priority

hold an urgent special

session on Nigeria and visit

the country to engage the

government to end the

continuing killings and

destruction of property by

suspected herdsmen across

Nigeria, particularly in the

North-Central of the country.

In a statement by its

Deputy Director, Timothy

Police warn against

disrupting peace in Lagos

Meanwhile, Lagos State

Police Command yesterday,

warned that it would resist

any attempt by some groups

to disrupt the peace in the

state or infringe on

Lagosians rights through

planned protest.

The Lagos State Police

Command stated that

information at its disposal

revealed that some groups

which planned to stage

another protest, threatened

to block the Third Mainland

bridge in the process.

The command in a

statement signed by its

Public Relations Officer,

Chike Oti, read in part: “The

Command wishes to warn

those concerned that any

attempt by any individual

or group of persons to cause

a breach of the peace or

infringe on the rights of

others to pursue their daily

aspirations, would be met

with stiff resistance.''

Adewale, SERAP,

expressed concern for the

incessant killings which it

said have affected women

and children and that “ the

attacks by herdsmen have

uprooted families,

destroyed communities’

socio-economic activities,

and taken away their

livelihoods and common

heritage.''

It noted that the attacks,

“undermine the very

purposes and principles of

the UN Charter. If not

urgently combated, such

attacks may rise to the level

of threat to international

peace and security. SERAP

notes that the first ‘purpose’

listed for the UN is to

maintain international

peace and security, and to

that end: to take effective

collective measures for the

prevention and removal of

threats to the peace.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 11

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

Oba Edema affirmed as TROMPCON scribe

By Dayo Johnson

A KURE—THE

Association of

Traditional Rulers of Oil

Mineral Producing

Communities of Nigeria,

TROMPCON, in Ondo

State, yesterday, affirmed

the nomination of the

Molokun of Atijere

Kingdom, Oba Samuel

Adeoye Edema as the

National Secretary of the

association.

TROMPCON's Chairman

and Secretary, the Olugbo

of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick

Obateru Akinruntan and

the Olu of Igbokoda, Oba

Afolabi Odidiomo said Oba

Edema was “unanimously

chosen by the traditional

rulers from the oilproducing

coastal region of

the state.”

They, however, disowned

“the Odoka of Obe Ogbaro,

Oba Obafemi Ogbaro, as

the National Secretary of the

association."

The two monarchs stated

that “any other person who

parades himself as the

nominee or representative

of the traditional rulers,

aside Oba Edema, should

be seen as an impostor and

does not have the backing

of the traditional rulers from

the area.”

Confirming Edema’s

nomination in a letter to the

National Secretariat of

TROMPCON, state

chairman of the association,

Oba Akinruntan, said the

“nomination and ratification

of Oba Edema as the

National Secretary of

TROMPCON was

ANNIVERSARY: From left: Multiple Council Chairperson, MD 404, Lion

Gbolagade Adebisi; District Governor 40 B2, Nigeria, Lion Ayobola Samuel,

presenting plaque of recognition to the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Ibrahim

Agboola Gambari, who was represented by his son, Umar, during Lions Club

International 40th Anniversary Day with the United Nations in Lagos.

supported by all the

member monarchs in the

association."

Oba Akinruntan said the

state chapter of the

association “did not

nominate or present the

Odoka of Obe Ogbaro, Oba

Obafemi Ogbaro, as the

National Secretary of the

association" calling on

the body "to reverse the

recognition of Ogbaro as

the nominee of the

monarchs from the state

with immediate effect.”

The monarch, in a letter

addressed to the National

Secretariat of the association,

said: “all members have met

on the unanimous decision

of the choice of the

nomination of Oba Samuel

Adeoye Edema, to represent

TROMPCON at the

national level as National

Secretary, for which I write

for immediate ratification.

“In accordance, we

request that the above

ratification for Oba Samuel

Adeoye be implemented

and we solicit your support

in the discharge of his

duties.”

Also speaking, Oba

Odidiomo said the

nomination of Oba Edema

became imperative

“following a letter from the

National body of the

association zoning the

National Secretary position

of the association to Ondo

State.

Odidiomo said: “At an

emergency meeting of the

association in the state, held

at the palace of Alagho

of Odonla, the National

Deputy Chairman, Oba

Ikuomola Elias, where the

issue of nomination for the

National Secretary which

was zoned to Ondo State

chapter was extensively

discussed.

“It was collectively agreed

and Oba Adeoye Edema,

the Molokun of Atijere

kingdom, was duly

nominated by all members

in attendance.”

Make public officers accountable, Fayose charges

elder statesmen

By Rotimi

Ojomoyela

A DO-EKITI—

GOVERNOR

Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti

State has charged elder

statesmen in the country

not to keep quiet in the face

of poor governance and

leadership, but rather keep

public officers on their toes

by demanding good

governance and

accountability from them.

He noted that history and

posterity will not be kind to

them if they fold their arms

and watch situations

deteriorate to a dangerous

level in the country.

He said this, in Ado-Ekiti,

when members of the Ekiti

State Council of Elders led

by their chairman, Prof.

Joseph Oluwasanmi, paid

him a visit at the

Government House.

In a statement by the

governor’s Chief Press

Secretary, Mr. Idowu

Adelusi, yesterday, he

quoted the governor as also

charging the elders not to

only offer advice to public

office holders, but that they

must not shy away from

criticising them when the

needs arises.

Fayose said: “We must

make political office holders

accountable for our

commonwealth. The

essence of giving people

the opportunity to lead is

to make life better for all.

Evaluate the situation and

guide where necessary but

don’t say you have tried to

get across to some people

but that they are proving

stubborn or inaccessible.

“They are representing

the interest of the people

who elected them and

whoever feels too big to

identify with the people

must be taught the needed

lessons.

“We appreciate you for

appreciating the little we

have done. We are working

for history and posterity. We

will take a number of elders

around our projects for you

to appreciate them and

hand them over to Ekiti

people.”

While reacting to some

demands made by the

council, the governor noted

that the previous

administration left the

finances of the state in

tatters.

He said: “We can’t even

borrow money without the

approval of the Federal

Government. Right now,

we pay over N1.2 billion

monthly to service debts

incurred by the Kayode

Fayemi administration and

we will pay till 2036. This

same person has been a

Minister for Solid Minerals

for about three years now

and has not found

anything worthwhile to

bring to the state in spite of

the abundant solid mineral

in Ijero, Oye and other

parts of the state.”

Ondo to begin implementation

of Land Use Charge

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—THE Ondo

State government

has disclosed that it will soon

commence the

implementation of Land

Use Charge law in the state.

The Commissioner for

Finance, Wale Akinterinwa,

who chaired a meeting with

stakeholders across the

state, described the Land

Use Charge as a veritable

and legal revenue

generation means for the

government.

Akinterinwa noted the

state government’s

readiness “to drive the

programme with inputs

from all stakeholders hence

the engagement.”

He, however, sought their

support “to help create

effective awareness among

their people so that the good

intention of the government

will not be misinterpreted.”

He said: “The government

will continue to hold more

consultations until there is

an acceptable template for

the government, the people

and relevant stakeholders.”

On his part, state

chairman of the Board of

Internal Revenue, Tolu

Adegbile said the

administration of the law

would begin as soon as the

proposal for implementation

is approved by governor

Rotimi Akeredolu.

Adegbile said: “As you are

aware, prior to now,

tenement rate used to be

collected by the local

government for all houses

in the state. But a law was

passed in 2014 canceling

that, that law is a Land

Use Charge law. When I

came into office, I

realised that the law has

not been followed.''

Youth empowerment, key to

Buhari’s administration

— FAYEMI

MURDER OF ARMY COMMANDANT: Court

fixes trial for April 20

By Ola Ajayi

IBADAN—SIX accused

persons, who were

allegedly involved in the

murder of Colonel Anthony

Ekok Okeyin (52), an

Army Commandant in

Army Secondary school,

Ibadan again, appeared

before an Oyo State High

Court sitting in Ibadan.

The accused, Agada

Solomon Emmanuel,

Taiwo Adeniyi, Bibisoye

Kehinde, Ewere Andrew,

Udobata Orusa-Uzie, and

Ephraim Obi have been

By Rotimi

Ojomoyela

A DO-EKITI—THE

Minister of Mines

and Steel Development, Dr.

Kayode Fayemi, has said

that youth empowerment

remains vital to the Buhari

administration’s agenda to

make them contribute

meaningfully to nationbuilding.

Fayemi, a former

governor of Ekiti State, said

this at the first anniversary

of the Federal

Government’s N-Power

scheme in Ekiti State.

The minister, who

charged the beneficiaries of

the N-Power scheme to

support the All

Progressives Congress,

APC, at the forthcoming

governorship election in

the state, said this was

imperative for them to

have such schemes

sustained.

He said: “The vision and

mission of Mr. President

are to assure you of a better

standing trial for the murder

of the army officer in the

school premises since their

arrest and arraignment

before Justice Segun

Olagunju of an Oyo High

Court.

Colonel Okeyin was

killed on December 12,

2016, allegedly by the

accused around 6 pm on

the fateful day.

The pleas of the

accused persons were

not taken while their trial

has been adjourned to

April 20, 2018.

According to the charge

future. You must support

the president to sustain the

scheme.

“The President is in love

with the young people and

that is why he will continue

to empower you. Make

sure you collect your PVCs.

“If you want this

programme to continue,

vote wisely and vote

intelligently to ensure that

APC continues at the

centre and ensure that

APC returns to power (in

Ekiti) this year so that

programmes like this will

continue.”

A section of the

beneficiaries of the scheme

in Ekiti State pledged

support for the re-election

of President Muhammadu

Buhari if he declares an

interest to run in 2019,

saying that the scheme

had “lifted them from

poverty and saved them

from the pangs of

unemployment.”

A total of 3,600

beneficiaries in Ekiti State

joined the N-Power

scheme in 2016, while

8,000 were admitted into

the scheme in 2017.

sheet marked I/87c/2017,

the defendants were

arraigned on April 28,

2017, on a five-count charge

of murder and armed

robbery.

The defendants in the

murder case include Agada

Solomon Emmanuel,

Taiwo Adeniyi, Bibisoye

Kehinde, Ewere Andrew,

Udobata Orusa-Uzie, and

Ephraim Obi.

The defendants allegedly

committed the offence at

6.15 a.m on December 12,

2016 at Commandant

Quarters of the Nigeria

Army Secondary School,

Apata, Ibadan.


12—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

TOUR: From left—Umana Okon Umana, OGFZA MD; Mrs Cynthia Eguridu, COO, OGFZ,

Investment Ltd; Timipre Sylva, Chairman OGFZA Board of Directors; Israel Sonny-Goli, member

rep. Brass Constituency 1, Bayelsa State House of Assembly; and Abdulwasiu Sule, Head of

Legal and Secretary to OGFZA Board, during a tour of Brass Oil & Gas City in Bayelsa State.

MOSOP seeks end to delay in Ogoni clean-up

•Calls on world leaders for help

By Davies

Iheamnachor

PMOVEMENT ORT-HARCOURT—

for the

Survival of the Ogoni

People, MOSOP, has

expressed worry over the

continuous delay in the

clean-up of their

environment and called on

world leaders and all men

of conscience to intervene

in the situation.

MOSOP wants pressure

to be put on Nigerian

Government and Shell

Petroleum Development

Company, SPDC to

immediately commence the

implementation of the

United Nations report on

the Ogoni environment to

avert an impending

genocide.

MOSOP in a statement in

Port Harcourt, Rivers State,

yesterday by its

spokesman, Mr Fegalo

Nsuke, noted that there

was rise in reports of death

in the area due to exposure

to oil spill.

Nsuke said: “Between

March 2 and 17, 2018,

Bodo community in

Gokana Local Government

Area alone buried 33

persons while 29 persons

died in K-Dere also in

Gokana council. Similar

reports are coming from

other Ogoni villages.

“MOSOP wants to use

this opportunity to alert the

world of what is clearly a

shell/state-sponsored

genocide in Ogoniland. We

are concerned that Shell

and the government of

Nigeria are doing little or

nothing about the

restoration of Ogoniland

and the immediate

provision of water for the

people even as

communities record

increasing death rates.

“MOSOP flays this

inhuman attitude of the

Nigerian government and

Shell and urge the world

not to allow this happen in

this 21st century.

“We take exception to the

fact that just recently in

December 2017, the

Nigerian government

approved $1 billion to

purchase arms to kill in the

fight against insurgents, the

same government that has

failed to provide an agreed

sum of $200 million

annually for five years to

save the lives of over one

million people in

Ogoniland."

Edo PDP sponsors bill to stop open grazing

...donates N200,000 to widow of farmer killed by herdsmen

By Gabriel

Enogholase

BState ENIN-CITY—EDO

chapter of the

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, has explained that it

was due to its concern for

the well-being and security

of lives of people of the state

that motivated its sponsor

of a bill for the prohibition

of open grazing in the

state.

Chairman of the party,

Chief Dan Orbih, disclosed

this, weekend in Benin-

City, at a public lecture

organised by the Gate

Keepers, a non-political

organisation committed to

the enthronement and

sustenance of true

democracy in Nigeria.

He said his party was not

only committed to winning

elections in the state, but

equally takes seriously the

responsibility of social and

political education of the

citizens.

Orbih called on the state

government to be

accountable to the people,

noting that there was the

urgent need for the Edo

State Government to rise up

to its responsibility of the

protection of lives and

property of the people.

He also donated the sum

of N200,000 to the widow

of late Omoregie Efosa,

who was allegedly killed by

herdsmen at his farm in

Oben, Orhiomwon Local

Government Area of the

state last year.

The widow, Ruth Efosa,

who is left with nine

children to cater for after the

demise of her husband was

full of joy and thanked

Chief Orbih for the gesture

which she said would ease

the suffering she has been

passing through since the

death of her husband.

Orbih said: “The

government must be

accountable, the

government must be

responsive, once you are

able to meet up with your

campaign promises to the

people, the opposition will

have nothing to say.

“So, the good thing here

is that as a political party,

we will stand on the side of

the people; we are not just

criticising for the sake of

criticism, we will applaud

the policy of the

government when we

believe they are in the best

interest of the people."

Assassins after my family,

woman cries out

By Jimitota

Onoyume

WARRI—A

social

crusader and

prominent business

woman, Paulyn Ebiba

Olatunde has raised the

alarm over alleged plan to

assassinate her over her

political convictions, a

situation that has forced her

and her family into hiding.

Olatunde in a statement

yesterday, said she had

escaped two assassination

attempts in Delta and

Rivers states, adding that

the threat to wipe out her

family had forced her

children to stop going to

school.

She said her trouble

started, during the

senatorial election, adding

that there were pressures

on her to throw her weight

behind a particular

candidate in the Niger

Delta region, whose name

she declined to mention.

“Since then, my family

and I have not known

peace. We have been

running from place to

place. We have escaped

two assassination attempts

by the special grace of God,"

she alleged.

She stated further: “The

last time suspected

assassins scaled our fence

before breaking into our

house, they didn’t remove

any valuable instead they

carted away my laptop,

tablet, hard drive. Luckily

for us, nobody was at home.

Because of this, we have

been moving from house to

house, city to city, for fear

of being tracked down. If

we remain for too long at a

place, we are uncertain of

what could befall us, it

might be dangerous.

“The assassins have

vowed to get us at all cost,

we are living in fear, my

children can no longer go

to school, l am living with

fake identity, infact my

family members are

seriously considering

leaving the country for our

safety. It is so unfortunate

that we have not been able

to secure police protection.

We are at the mercy of God

almighty,” she said.

Ruling parties should allow

democracy in LG elections

—APGA

By Jimitota

Onoyume

W ARRI—ALL

Progressives

Grand Alliance, APGA, has

described situations where

ruling political parties in

various states in the

country swept local

government elections

conducted by the various

electoral commissions

constituted by the state

governments as civilian

coup.

Leader of the party in

Delta State, Dr Uvie

Uwanogho in a statement

yesterday, said political

parties should be

encouraged to be actively

involved in the supervision

of elections to strengthen

the nation’s democracy.

Uwanogho said: “There

cannot be free and fair

elections in Nigeria without

the active participation of

the political parties in the

management and

supervision of elections.

"The various state

electoral commissions and

the Independent National

Electoral Commission,

INEC will always do the

bidding of their

paymasters. That is why in

local elections, usually, the

ruling party in the state

“wins” all the seats.

Checkout Lagos, Kano,

Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Delta

and Edo LGA elections.

"If the All Progressives

Congress at the national

level wants to rig the

coming elections, it is my

belief that nothing can stop

them because we have left

the planning and

supervision of the electoral

process to appointees of

government."

Group lauds Tidi, Onoyake for keying

into Okowa’s SMART agenda

By Etop Ekanem

AN Urhobo pressure

group, Urhobo Youth

Employment Initiative,

UYEI, in Delta State has

commended Chairman of

Warri South Local

Government Area of the

state, Mr Michael Tidi and

his counterpart in Uvwie,

Ransom Onoyake, for

“immediately swinging

into action to restore the

twin cities of Effurun-Warri

to their lost glory in line

with the SMART agenda of

the Governor Ifeanyi

Okowa administration.”

In a statement, yesterday,

in Effurun, the group

through its convener,

Francis Onokpasa,

bemoaned what it described

as “the rot and economic

slump our beloved twin

cities of Effurun-Warri have

been suffering for quite

some time now.”

It lauded steps taken by

both chairmen to sanitise

the physical environment of

Effurun-Warri and their

efforts to improve security

in Delta's commercial city.

"We urge the chairmen to

pool ideas and resources

together, as we have

observed their vigorous and

energetic disposition to

governance, as young

performers representing

positive role models for the

youths,” he said.


VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 13

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

Tambuw

ambuwal al raises the alarm over

er

shrinking Goron

onyo o Dam

•Says 4 million residents in danger

S OKOTO—GOV-

ERNOR Aminu

Waziri Tambuwal of

Sokoto State has urged

stakeholders to work together

to tackle the problem

of water shortage at

Goronyo dam, whose

level has shrunk by almost

90 percent.

The dam serves as the

primary source of water for

close to four million people

in Sokoto and Kebbi

states in the North West of

the country.

It’s used for domestic

and irrigation purposes in

the two affected states.

Speaking when he led

officials on an inspection

visit to the dam, Tambuwal

said the depletion of the

dam’s water level was

alarming.

“The reservoir of Goronyo

Dam was constructed

EXTRA-BUDGETARY EXPENSES: : Reps

order HoCSF to refund N28m to FG

By Emman

Ovuakporie

ABUJA—THE House

of Representatives

Committee on Public Accounts,

PAC, has ordered

Office of the Head of Civil

Service to the Federation,

OHoCSF, to refund N28

million to the Federation

Account relating to 2014 infractions

raised by the Auditor

General to the Federation,

AuGF. The AuGF

had raised a query in 2014

asking why cash advances

amounting to N28 million

paid to civil servants

to carry out various functions

for the government

were not retired.

According to the AuGF,

such advances that were not

retired are assumed not to

have been spent for such

functions as various attempts

made to HoCSF

were rebuffed.

Asked to respond to the

query, the Permanent Secretary

to the HoCSF, Mr

Kola Ayodele said: “The

cash advances could not be

retired as at when due because

of paucity of funds.

But we have retired all the

advances except two that

were not actually retired

because the supposed beneficiaries

didn’t get the

funds.”

Probed further on whether

there was a time frame

for such retirements, the

PS affirmed that the time

frame was two weeks.

The committee members

queried why his office

failed to stick to the two

weeks as all the retirement

papers indicated different

dates well above the stipulated

time.

Responding, the PS apologised

noting that “in some

cases the cash advances are

not retired within the time

schedule and I have to

apologise for the delay as I

was not the PS when the

payments were made”.

Ruling, the committee

chairman, Kingsley Chinda

upheld the AuGF’s query of

and cautioned MDAs

against submitting retirement

of cash advances late

to the auditors.

to hold one billion cubic

meters of water but as

we’ve seen today, the water

in it is just about 100

million cubic meters. This

has resulted in inadequate

supply of water to our water

board and in effect, we

had to resort to rationing

water to the people.

“Our farmers are also

suffering because output

from this year’s dry season

farming will invariably be

affected. We are urging all

stakeholders, especially the

Federal Government, to

take the lead in rescuing

this important dam considering

the number of people

that rely on its water for

domestic use and business,”

he said.

Conducting the governor

round the dam site,

Managing Director of

Sokoto Rima River Basin

Development Authority,

Engineer Buhari Bature,

said the depletion was the

worst seen in the dam in

over 25 years.

He attributed the problem

to shortage of rainfall

in 2017, climate change

and lack of desilting of the

dam.

He said the problem

has affected water supply

to water boards and

irrigation farming in

Sokoto and Kebbi states.

ITF elects Nigerian, Adeyanju

Chairman, Seafarers Section

By Victor Ahiuma-

Young

A BUJA—INTERNA

TIONAL Transport

Federation, ITF, has

elected a Nigerian,

Comrade Adewale

Adeyanju, as Chairman

of its Seafarers Section,

African Region.

Adeyanju, who is the

President-General of the

Maritime Workers Union

of Nigeria, MWUN, was

unanimously elected

Chairman at the 9th African

Regional Conference,

hosted in Abuja, by Nigerian

chapter of ITF.

A statement by the Secretary

General of

MWUN, Comrade Felix

Akingboye, said: “The

ITF is the global federation

of all transport

unions worldwide and

has over 263 affilliates

with membership

strength of over 20 million.

Nigeria is one of the

54 African countries that

are affiliated to this

transport union federation.

“It’s our pleasure to

inform you that at the

Comrade Adeyanju

end of the 9th African

Regional Conference

held on March 9, 2018,

in Abuja, Nigeria, in

which no fewer than 54

African nation’s participated,

Comrade Adewale

Adeyanju, our

President-General, was

unanimously elected as

the Chairman, Seafarers

Section, ITF African Region.”

He called for unflinching

support of all stakeholders

to make Comrade

Adeyanju’s tenure

successful to take the

Maritime Sector to

the next level.

INAUGURA

UGURATION OF ANAMBRA STATE TE GOVERNOR OBIANO’S 2ND TERM

The inaguration ceremony of Chief Willie Obiano as governor of Anambra State for the second term took

place at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, Anambra State weekend. PHOTOS BY NATH ONOJAKE.

Justice Peter Umaedi, Chief Judge of Anambra State (left) swearing in Governor Willie Obiano.

From left; Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe; Ooni of ife,

Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

From left; Chief Nnia Nwodo, President-General, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo; Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology;

Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Senator Ken Nnamani and others.

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Hon.

Vivian Okadigbo.

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State

and wife.


14 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 15


16 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—17

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

Ezeagu LG, Nkanu traders endorse

Ugwuanyi for re-election

•As hundreds of APC members defect to PDP

By Chinedu Adonu

& Dennis Agbo

ENUGU—THE People

of Ezeagu Local

Government Area

yesterday, unanimously

endorsed Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

for re-election in 2019,

saying he has delivered on

his campaign promises and

considered the people of

the area in political

appointments.

This came as traders from

Nkanu land under the

auspices of Nkanu Traders

Association also declared

their support for the

governor in 2019, stressing

that they are behind him till

2023.

The people of Ezeagu

gave the endorsement

We won't succumb to threats, intimidation from

Okorocha—Owerri Archdiocese

O

W

By Chidi

Nkwopara

E R R I —

CATHOLIC

Archdiocese of Owerri

Ecclesiastical Province has

said it “will not bury it’s

head in the sand like an

ostrich, while things go

wrong in Imo State, no

matter the volume of threat

and intimidation” from the

state government.

The Archdiocese also

vowed to hold Governor

Rochas Okorocha

responsible, if anything

happens to His Grace,

Archbishop Anthony

Obinna, or any of those

working with him.

The Archdiocesan

position was made public

yesterday, in its official

mouthpiece, The Leader

and widely circulated

within and outside Owerri.

The Church held that the

press conference

during a well attended civic

reception organized in

honour of Gov. Ugwuanyi

by the Gburugburu

Movement Ezeagu held at

Aguogbuowa,

headquarters of the council

area.

The people said they

were highly impressed

with the development

strides of the governor and

his uncommon leadership

style which have

entrenched peace and

good governance in the

council area in particular

and the state in general.

The event at Ezeagu LGA

also witnessed the defection

of hundreds of All

Progressives Congress,

APC members to the

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP.

The defecting members

said they were tired of their

former party and

opposition politics in the

state, hence their conviction

for the action.

According to Gen.

Okafor, leader of the group,

"We were at the reception

for Governor Ugwuanyi to

see that we have fully

converted to the PDP and

for him to carry us along."

Moving the motion for

the endorsement of Gov.

Ugwuanyi for second term,

which was seconded by a

businessman, Dr. Ozor

Nweke, a Professor of

Media

and

Communication Studies,

Ike Ndolo said: "The people

of Ezeagu have every

reason to support the

Governor for re-election.

Apart from the

development projects, he

chose a daughter of

Ezeagu, Mrs. Cecilia

Ezeilo as his deputy and

appointed their son, Dr.

Festus Uzor as Chief of

Staff."

In her remarks, the

deputy governor expressed

delight that she is working

cordially with the governor,

who she described as “a

peaceful leader and the

governor for Enugu State,

not for PDP alone.”

Mrs. Ezeilo hailed Gov.

Ugwuanyi’s grassroots

development initiatives,

saying"the governor has

ensured that at least one

project is executed in every

community in the state."

Chairman of the reception

planning committee, Prof

Chike Anibeze said the

reception was organised by

the entire 43 communities

of the local government for

Ugwuanyi’s magnanimity

in allocation of human and

physical resources in the

state.

VISIT: Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (centre), flanked by the National Youth

Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. S.K.E Udeh-Okoye (left); Minority Leader

of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio; and Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi

(right), with youth leaders of PDP, during a courtesy visit to the senator at the National

Assembly, Abuja.

addressed by Okorocha’s

Liaison Officer, Dr. Edward

Ihejirika and Special

Adviser on Electoral

Matters, Mr. Steve Asinobi,

in Abuja, was not only

inciting but also “a

declaration of war on the

Archbishop and the

Catholic Church.”

According to the

APC coalition disagrees with Okorocha on LG election

By Chinonso

Alozie

OWERRI—IMO All

Progressives

Congress, APC,

Restoration Coalition,

yesterday, said it would not

accept a local government

election aimed at boosting

the 2019 gubernatorial

ambition of Okorocha’s

son-in-law, Mr. Uche

Archdiocese, the duo not

only accused the

Archbishop of “blackmail

and intimidation,” but also

warned that the Okorocha

administration would “not

handle him (Archbishop

Obinna) with kid gloves, as

was done by the Ikedi

Ohakim government.”

The administration had in

Nwosu.

This was part of their

resolution in a meeting held

in Orlu West Local

Government Area, home of

former deputy speaker,

Donatus Ozoemena, and

signed by their leader, Mr.

Theodore Ekechi, to

newsmen in Owerri.

The group’s worry is

coming when 20 out of 27

lawmakers of the Imo State

the press conference

warned that: “Archbishop

Obinna succeeded in his

blackmail then because

Ohakim’s government

handled the issue with kid

gloves, but that would not

be the case this time.

"We will not tolerate any

intimidation or blackmail

coming from anybody or

anywhere, even from the

spiritual realm.”

House of Assembly, had

consented to Nwosu’s

guber ambition.

The APC members said:

“We are aware of the

irritating plan to make

almost all the autonomous

communities as ISIEC

wards in the state.

"Herein lies the reason for

the now much talked about

Imo LGA June 2018

election."

N13.3m allowance: Senators

have turned NASS to marketplace

—MASSOB

By Vincent

Ujumadu

A WKA—MOVEMENT

for the Sovereign State

of Biafra, MASSOB,

yesterday, reacted to the

revelation that each

Nigerian senator collects

N13.3 million monthly as

upkeep allowance, liking

the parliamentarians to

market men and women

who only use the National

Assembly as a marketplace

for making billions of naira

profit, without investing in

the system.

MASSOB leader,

Comrade Uchenna Madu,

in a statement, said

majority of national

assembly members had

become so insensitive in

their dealings with their

constituencies, regretting

that it is only in Nigeria that

a senator would openly,

without shame, donate a

gas cooker with frying pan,

or grinding machines and

other materials unbefitting

of a country’s senator, to

few people in his senatorial

By Vincent Ujumadu

A WKA—THE

International Fund

for Agricultural

Development, IFADsponsored

value chain

development programme

has created1,504 new jobs

for both men and women

in Anambra State.

Of the number of jobs

created, 1087 are

permanent engagements,

while the rest are non

permanent.

Details showed that adult

men and women got 767

permanent engagements,

while youths got 320

zone as empowerment

project.

According to Madu,

Nigerian parliamentarians

lack innovation for

uplifting the backwardness

of the poor, including the

inequality in educational

system in Nigeria, where

southern students need to

score above northerners in

Joint Admissions and

Matriculations Board,

JAMB, and common

entrance examinations cut

off-marks to be admitted in

schools.

He said: “They(senators)

have never deliberated on

means to improve the

technological and

economical lives of the

people of this country

through a rigorous and

compulsory educational

empowerment of the

citizens. “They are only

interested in making

monetary profit without

investing in the business

itself. A business man or

woman who earns more

than thirteen million naira

monthly without a

legitimate production and

service is a criminal."

Agric programme creates

1,504 jobs in Anambra

permanent jobs.

Presenting the

programme’s mid–term

review report in Awka

when a team from the

Federal government and

donor agencies visited the

state, the programme's

coordinator, Mr.

Emmanuel Agwuncha

said: "Off-farm activities

has kept many women and

men in the various

communities, where the

programme is being

implemented very busy, as

they have been earning

adequate incomes from

farming activities."


18 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

THE Land Use Charge Law 2018,

LUC, recently enacted by the Lagos

State House of Assembly to replace

the LUC of 2001, has understandably

kicked off a firestorm of protests

across the state because of what many

see as its shylock provisions that if

implemented, will be very oppressive

on property owners, tenants and

long-term property users in the state.

The LUC is a consolidation of all

property and land-based rates and

charges payable under the Land Rates

Neighbourhood Improvement

Charge and Tenement Rates Laws of

Lagos State. It is perhaps a major

effort at raising the $50 billion which

the Lagos State Government says it

needs within the next five years to

transform the infrastructural

landscape of the nation’s melting pot

and former capital.

When it comes into operation,

property owners will find themselves

saddled with charges that could rise

Lagos land use charge law should

be retouched

to over 400 per cent of what they are

currently liable to pay. Governor

Akinwunmi Ambode explained that

the increase is justified by the steady

improvement in the infrastructure of

the state in the past 20 years. He also

pointed to the fact that since 2001, no

rate increases have been imposed

contrary to the requirement of the law

which recommends an increase every

five years.

Several organisations – including

the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA,

Lagos Branch and some groups in the

Organised Private Sector – have

protested and threatened to drag the

state government to court. Some

landlords associations are also

considering class action suits to get

the law repealed.

There is no arguing the fact that

government has the right under the

law to seek ways of shoring up its

Internally Generated Revenue, IGR,

to continue to provide services to the

people. The Lagos State Government

has been a pacesetter and a source of

inspiration not just to other states but

also the Federal Government in the

aggressive pursuit of IGR.

We are pleased and relieved that the

LASG is already responding

positively to the call for another look

at the LUC. Also, Governor Ambode

has offered to reduce some of the

charges between 15 per cent and 50

per cent. This is highly commendable

and expected of a responsive,

democratically-elected government.

We call on the LASG to take this law

back to the drawing board and consult

more widely before re-enacting it into

law. LASG should also be mindful of

the crushing economic situation the

people are passing through because

it is the common man that will

ultimately bear the brunt of the

increase in charges.

Let this law properly reflect

Governor Ambode’s mantra that

Lagos is for all.

By Oludayo Tade

Kosewe, kosegbo, kosewe, kosegbo

Won tip’omi gutter po-ojuti dirty

Won tipo chemical po-awon omo Science

Students (Olamide, Science student)

POPULAR culture remains central to the

production of knowledge and

communication of societal ills in Nigeria.

While Nigerian hip-hop artistes smile to the

bank despite their bare embrace and

glamorisation of anti-social behaviours;

others get endorsement from multinationals

in a nation where first class products rarely

get the attention of chief executives. Others

however, detour, reckoning with the social

responsibility of communicating halting antisocial

behaviours. I argue in this piece that

Nigeria’s behindhand positionality in the

comity of nations is owing to mixing of wrong

elements in our private and public lives. This

has characterised religious, economic,

political and social activities. Nigeria’s socioeconomic

and political higgledy-piggledy and

tardiness of Aso-Rock is herein linked to its

unholy matrimony of a variety of progressive

and retrogressive actors forming exploitative

alliances to edge out a perceived enemy and

in the process, edging out the significant ‘others.’

As a metaphoric ‘science student’, President

Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

and Nigerians are reaping the results of this

unholy matrimony.

The rave of the moment in Nigeria hip-hop

circle is the Science Student, a song by

Olamide, the one they call ‘Badoo’ and its

associated shakushaku dance. The innovative

labelling of the song as ‘science student’ is

patterned after students in science class who

normatively carry out experiments in

laboratories, mixing different substances to

get the desired results such as the famous

iodine solution mixing with starch to give blueblack

colour. By implication, what is mixed,

OPINION

Buhari and Tinubu as metaphoric Science students

determines the outcome. If you mix the right

substances, the outcomes become desirable

and vice versa. Wrong substances (Tramadol,

Bajinatu, etc) litter major streets with huge

patronage; they are seen as performanceenhancing

drugs. The unintended

consequences of the intended action are

misbehaviour and poor body coordination

emblematic in the staggering shakushaku

dance. Wón tipo chemical pò ojúti dirty (they

have mixed different substances) therefore

reveals a person whose eyes become defocused,

blurred and uncoordinated to the extent of

In this revealing

combination of progressive

and anti-progressive forces,

no propaganda seems to do

the magic anymore

being capable of doing the unexpected owing

to wrong combination.

How are President Buhari and the ‘trashed’

leader, Bola Tinubu ‘science students’? After

three serial failed attempts to win elections

and control the Federal Government, PMB and

Tinubu did political amalgamation of

‘northern and southern’ Nigeria collapsing

their structures from the Congress for

Progressive Change, CPC, and the Action

Congress of Nigeria, ACN, into the new All

Progressives Congress, APC. They used traitors

in the Jonathan government to oust it. Rather

than testing their popularity with the masses,

they utilised the structures of persons with ‘dirty’

antecedents to actualise their political victory.

They forgot that once the common enemy is

defeated and power is won, the conspirators

will engage in battle of strength and supremacy

over party governance and government control.

Today, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has told us how

the combination of wrong political elements

has made the eyes of the ‘leader’ dirty. Just like

Olamide pleads with the smoky ‘science

student’, PMB now saddles the aggrieved leader

ejèbùré nítorí ànóbì (pacify partymen)

assignment ahead of 2019.

The 2018 poor international ratings of

Nigeria in corruption and poverty rightly attest

to the ‘science student’ character of the present

government which thrives on mixing ‘gutter’

characters with saints. The government

recruited supporters across party divides, not

minding that those with clean records were the

only essential elements needed in a government

that wants to fight corruption. After forming

government, fighting corruption from within

becomes a problem. They even appointed those

who have come to dent their anti-corruption

crusade as ‘science students’ to drive their

agenda. It is to the credit of these characters

and the behaviour of the ‘Oga at the Top’ that

has made corruption and poverty ranking

nosedive. Little wonder, kòséwé kòségbò, wón

tipo chemical pò, o júti dirty, won ti po chemical

pò awon omo science student.

In this revealing combination of progressive

and anti-progressive forces, no propaganda

seems to do the magic anymore. Why? Àsírí èko

ó tití lójú ewé (pap secret is unveiled in the

presence of its covering). Olamide constructs

this line to underscore the revelation of hitherto

impossible things which have now become the

essential features of the APC government. Many

traits which were packaged for Mr. President

before 2015 elections have fallen like a pack of

cards. The clannish, nepotistic and favoristic

manifestations rather than altruistic posture

reverberated again in PMB’s justification of his

first visit to Taraba rather than Benue and

Zamfara based on his belief that more persons

were killed where his tribal affinities domicile.

In Benue, PMB revealed that he was truly in

charge when he said he was not aware that the

Inspector-General of Police he ordered to

relocate to Benue never stayed beyond a day!

Olamide maintains that aféfé ti fé atirí fùrò

mother nature, gòbe ti selè àsírí tú (the wind has

blown open the hidden. trouble has started).

Now the smoke of insecurity, kidnapping,

poverty, and unemployment on one hand and

poor health infrastructure, poor education, poor

road network and electricity continue to billow

(eruku ti pojù àsírí tú); that even the pre-2015

mystical ozone layer constructed by the likes of

Tinubu for Buhari as the solution to these

problems is losing its protective testimonial.

Today, the Buhari monstrosity of pre-2015 era

is fast depleting. This is why it is funny for a

Nigerian president to promise assisting Ghana,

a better ranking country in fighting corruption!

When ozone layer bursts (Ozone layer ti be, àsírí

tú), the earth becomes warmer and more heat

creates more problems. Such is the current fate

of PMB as political actors begin to pitch their

tents strategically ahead of time. The fate of the

corrupt party-men being ‘ill-treated’ under the

present structure is to re-align with other ‘science

students’ since they have become Internally

Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the instant structure.

While Tinubu may be sounding as if things

are normal with the ruling party, PMB continues

to search for new ‘science students’ ahead of

2019. Let those interested in fighting corruption

align forces with the people who are interested

in ridding the society off corruption and not

curry the favour of the corrupt for electoral

victory and later turn back to haunt them. To do

that is, in my view, fraud and corruption. At the

receiving end are the masses who suffer from

ineffectual policy mixtures and

implementation by APC appointed ‘science

students.’

•Dr. Tade, a sociologist, can be reached

through dotad2003@yahoo.com


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 19

Flight to safety triggers N300bn decline in credit to private sector

•As credit to FG rises N284bn in January

•DMO bond offer, liquidity mop-up to shape interbank

By Babajide Komolafe

CREDIT to the private sector fell

by N300 billion to N21.99 trillion

in January, occasioned by investors’

increased preference for safe assets with

high yield as represented by

government securities.

As a result, credit to the federal

government rose by N284 billion to

N3.88 trillion during the month.

These were highlights of the

Depository Corporation Survey for

January released last week by the

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Among

other things, the survey showed a

decline in Broad Money supply,

currency in circulation, and Demand

Deposit (money in current account) of

banks.

These, according to analysts, at Lagos

based investment firm, Afrinvest Plc,

shows that the monetary policy

environment remains tight. On the other

hand, analysts at Lagos based Cowry

Assets Management Limited said that

the increase in credit to the government

was, in part, informed by the sustained

preference for safe assets by lenders due

to relatively high yields.

According to the survey Broad Money

fell by 0.17 percent month-on-month

(m-o-m) to N23.8 trillion in January

2018; while Net Domestic Asset (NDA)

Continues on Page 21

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

2017 corporate earnings:

Stakeholders forecast mixed outcomes

•As 16 companies’ turnover, PBT beat expectations

By Peter Egwuatu &

Nkiruka Nnorom

STAKEHOLDERS in the nation’s

capital market have forecasted a

mixed grill at the end of corporate

earnings releases for the full year for

2017 even as preliminary results

submitted to the Nigerian Stock

Exchange, NSE showed significant

improvement, beating analysts and

operators’ expectations.

The preliminary results released by

16 companies quoted on the NSE

showed that their gross earnings went

up by 30.4 percent to N2.477 trillion

in 2017 from N1.899 trillion in 2016, a

reflection of the trend in economic

recovery. In the same vein, the 16

companies’ Profit Before Tax, PBT, rose

by 46.1 percent to N594.9 billion in

2017 from N407.1 billion in 2016.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders have

opined that the Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN’s recent policy on

management of Non Performing Loans,

NPLs, may moderate earning of some

banks. They further said that though

the results released so far are in line

with expectations, they have not

enjoyed commensurate reaction from

the investing public.

The apex bank had stated that banks

that do not meet the minimum capital

adequacy ratio shall not be allowed to

pay dividend. Also banks that have a

Financial inclusion:

Transaction settlement cycle

frustrates agent banking

operations

Composite Risk Rating (CRR) of

“High” or a NPL ratio of above 10

percent shall not be allowed to pay

dividend and banks that meet the

minimum capital adequacy ratio but

have a CRR of “Above Average” or an

NPL ratio of more than five percent but

less than 10 percent shall have

dividend payout ratio of not more than

30 percent.

Because the banking sector has

largely dominated the stock market

investment landscape, the

PAGE.22

stakeholders hold the opinion that

whatever happens to the sector will

have significant impact on the overall

market positions.

Analysis of

companies’ results

A review of the 16 companies’

performance showed that the three

banks that have turned in their results

accounted for a whopping 55 percent

of the total turnover recorded in

Operators predict rebound in

stocks, amidst positive

earnings expectation

PAGE 24

2017. The banks are: Zenith Bank that

recorded N745.189 billion turnover,

Guaranty Trust Bank, which posted

N419.226 billion turnover, and Stanbic

IBTC Plc with N212.343 billion.

Four highly capitalised companies

across the sectors, such as Nestle

Nigeria Plc (N244.151 billion), Seplat

Petroleum Development Company Plc

(N138 billion), Total Nigeria Plc

(N288.062 billion) and Nigeria

Breweries Plc (N344.563 billion),

accounted for 40.9 percent of the total

turnover, while nine other companies,

which comprise Academy Press Plc

(N2.117 billion), Grief Plc (N1.405

billion), Neimeth Pharmaceuticals

(N1.534 billion), Vitafoam (N17.696

billion), Austin Laz & Co (N0.313

billion), Medview Airlines( N36.961

billion), United Capital (N8.915

billion), African Prudential (N3.004

billion) and Transcorp Hotel (N13.843

billion) accounted for a paltry 3.5

percent of the total turnover.

In terms of profitability, the three

banks crowded out the others

accounting for 78.1 percent of the 16

companies’ total PBT recorded in 2017;

the four highly capitalised companies

accounted for 19.9 percent of the total

PBT, while the other companies

accounted for an insignificant portion

of two percent of the total PBT.

Continues on page 20

Investors Forum

Zenith Bank: Between

market sentiment and stock

fundamentals

PAGE 29


20 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

2017 corporate earnings: Stakeholders forecast mixed outcomes

Cover

Continues from page 19

Operators, shareholders’

forecasts

Expressing his position on

the outlook for corporate

performance releases going

forward, Mr. Sola Oni,

Managing Director, Sofunix

Investment Communications

Limited & Chartered

Stockbroker stated, “The

expectation from full year

corporate earnings is a mixed

grill. We cannot expect a

unified performance as

companies operate in different

sectors of the economy with

peculiar risk and reward

characteristics. But one can

conjecture that many

companies were struggling to

survive at the peak of Foreign

Exchange, forex, crisis in

larger part of last year until the

Central Bank of Nigeria,

CBN, intervened.

“The intervention brought

about relative stability of the

forex market. It is not unlikely

that results of some companies

may reflect the initial impact

of forex crisis on their

operations. On dividend

payment, all the apex bank

has done is to set criteria for

companies that intend to pay

dividend, especially, the

minimum Cash Reserved

Ratio, CRR to avert abuse of

dividend payment.

“We expect an improved

performance from Tier-1 and

Tier -2 banks in 2018 because

the operating environment is

more conducive in terms of

monetary policies. However,

the apex bank’s policy on

management of Non-

Performing Loans, NPLs, may

moderate earnings of some

banks.

“As for manufacturers’ access

to forex, the CBN has created

the Investor & Export, I & E

forex Window to lessen the

burden. This is expected to

have positive impact on the

bottom line of the companies

in the real sector.”

Mr. David Adonri, Executive

Vice Chairman, Highcap

Securities Limited, said: “As a

result of recovery of the

economy and impressive third

quarter, Q3’17 results earlier

released by companies, full

year performance will be

good.

“At full year, most of the

banks would have reduced

their non performing assets to

the level that should enable

them pay good dividends. Full

year results so far released by

two tier one banks together

with proposed dividends

surpassed expectations. Same

is expected from tier-2 banks

save for security challenges,

corporate fundamentals are

expected to improve

significantly in 2018 due to

further recovery in macro

economy.”

Mallam Kasimu Kurfi,

Managing Director/CEO, APT

Securities & Funds Limited,

said: “Zenith Bank declared a

total dividend of N2.75, that

is interim dividend of 25k and

final at N2.50 compared with

25k interim and N1.80

previous year, 2016. GTBank

declared a total dividend of

N2.70, with interim dividend

of 25k and final N2.45

compared with 25k interim

and final of N1.75 in the

previous year, 2016. There is

a significant improvement in

their respective payment of

the dividend and we expect

the same improvement in the

other banks results. This is a

reflection of improvement in

their performance and the

economy in general.

“The CBN directive in the

payment of dividend by banks

has been in existence since

2014 and is not new to the

financial system. We expect

companies to repeat same or

even perform better in 2018.

However, we are not expecting

banks to repeat same because

already the treasury bills have

started falling and by the time

Monetary Policy Committee,

MPC, members are cleared by

Senate; they may hold their

meeting this month and we

expect them to bring the

Monetary Policy Rate, MPR

down from 14 percent and

same with other monetary

policy.”

Chinenye Anyanwu,

Managing Director/CEO,

Dependable Securities, said:

“The results are very fair. Am

not sure that any of the

companies has gone below

expectation, but the only

difference is that we have not

The reality is

that for some

investors, the

dividends

declared are not

as good as

expected

seen commensurate reaction

from investors. The share

prices of banks like Zenith

Bank have no reason to be

dropping after such a good

result.

“So, the investing public to

me is not responding

appropriately. There are other

micro and macro economic

realities that could be

responsible for their reaction.

“Investors’ reaction towards

the stocks is not a judgment

on the individual stocks, but

the trend of the market. When

the trend is down, it is down.

We are gearing up towards

election period in Nigeria and

the word is caution. We have

politicians holding the budget.

All those factors make external

investors to be apprehensive

and want to ask whether they

are in the right place. So, it is

mostly uncertainty on the part

of investors”

Also speaking, Mr. Patrick

Ezeagu, Managing Director/

CEO, Solid Rock Securities,

stated: “The corporate

earnings seen so far are

impressive judging from the

economic realities on ground.

“Ordinarily, one would say

that the results are wonderful

judging from the difficult

operating environment and

the fact that the country is just

emerging from recession. They

were able to cover their

overhead and still declared

some dividend.

“The reality is that for some

investors, the dividends

declared are not as good as

expected”.

Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo,

shareholder activist and cofounding

father of Nigerian

Shareholders Solidarity

Association, NSSA, said:

“Really, it was a bomb-shell to

the expectations of

shareholders on returns on

investment following the CBN

announcement. A sadistpolicy

to returns on

investments in the banking

industry, but CBN has a job

to do and it must be done

effectively.

“Therefore we shareholders

will have to hold the

managements/directors of our

banks liable if they are unable

to pay dividend. I am of the

opinion that any bank that

failed the test of CBN on

dividend-payment shouldn’t

pay emoluments to their

directors and the

management. They should

lose their bonuses/welfares

and be responsible for the

payment of any sanction from

the CBN forthwith.

“Sincerely, since, the

economy is out of recession,

the expectations were very

high because so many

opportunities were there to tap

into and everything been

equal, the sky might be the

limit. Dividends are the

results of every good

investment, therefore it’s

expected and in a better way.

“Some of the 2017 results we

are seeing now are good

considering the economy at

the beginning of last year. It

is a welcome development

and speaks volumes on our

economy on both directions

(positive or negative). We

shall have to wait to see the

effect of the current CBN’s

pronouncement concerning

the banks, while I wish that

Zenith Bank maintains the

tempo.”

Mr. Moses Igbrude,

spokesperson, Independent

Shareholders Association of

Nigeria, ISAN said:

“Companies’ dividends

payment is as good as their

performance. The question

then is, what is their

performance in the current

state of the economy. Some

companies like Zenith Bank,

GTBank with some

advantages over others

should pay good dividend,

while others should pay

according to their earnings

without adverse effects on

companies operations. To me,

the most important thing is the

sustainability and continuous

existence of the companies.

“If they don’t pay dividend

this year, what are they doing

today to pay good dividends

in the nearest future? My

problem with the CBN

directive on NPL is why

should the CBN wait until

when shareholders are

hoping and expecting banks

results?

“Why not six months

ago? The stocks market was

going up, suddenly when the

CBN released its directive,

this started affecting the

market.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 21

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Flight to safety triggers N300bn decline in credit to private sector

Continues from page 19

rose by 2.92 percent m-

o-m to N8.92 trillion,

accompanied by a 0.67

percent m-o-m in Net

Foreign Assets (NFA) to

N14.91 trillion.

The survey showed that

the increase in NFA

resulted from a 4.89

percent m-o-m increase

in foreign exchange

reserve position to $40.7

billion as well as increase

in foreign portfolio

inflows (FPIs).

On domestic asset

creation, the decrease in

NDA resulted from 1.51

percent increase in Other

Liabilities (net) to N16.92

trillion accompanied by a

0.07 percent m-o-m

decrease in Net Domestic

Credit (NDC) to N25.85

trillion.

Further breakdown of

NDC showed 1.35

percent m-o-m decrease

in credit to the private

sector to N21.99 trillion,

that constituted 85

percent of NDC,

accompanied by 7.93 Wednesday during which N53.96 billion from TB date rose to $12.78 billion intervention in the

percent increase in credit it sold N95.72 billion auction, as well as FGN from $11.26 billion the foreign exchange market

to the government to worth of bills. This Bond offer of N70 billion previous week.

by injecting $210 million

N3.86 trillion.

resulted to liquidity by the DMO. These Meanwhile, the CBN into the interbank foreign

On the other hand, outflow of N628.72 billion outflow combined with sustained its weekly exchange market,

decline in Broad Money from the market, which further liquidity mop up

followed a 2.32 percent cancelled out the by the CBN are expected

decrease in Narrow moderating effect of N453 to further push up cost of

Money to N10.78 trillion billion inflow from funds in the market this

(of which Demand matured TBs.

week.

Deposits fell by 0.67 Consequently, interest

percent to N9.2 trillion) to rate on collaterised Naira depreciates as

N13.05 trillion.

lending (Open Buy Back, turnover in I&E rises

Meanwhile, Reserve OBB) rose by 130 basis 130%

Money (Base Money) points (bpts) to 9.8 The naira depreciated

moderated m-o-m by 6.43

in the parallel market

percent to N6.06 trillion

and in the Investors and

as bank reserves tanked

Exporters (I&E) window

m-o-m by 5.15 percent to

The naira

last week, even as the

N3.77 trillion while

volume of dollars traded

Currency in circulation depreciated in the in the window rose by 130

fell m-o-m by 9.82 percent parallel market percent.

to N1.95 trillion

The naira depreciated

and in the

by N1 in the parallel

DMO bond offer, Investors and market as the parallel

liquidity mop to shape

market exchange rate

interbank

Exporters (I&E)

rose to N363 per dollar

Activities in the window last

last week from N362 per

interbank money market

dollar the previous week.

this week will be largely

week, even as the

In the I&E window, the

influenced by FGN Bond volume of dollars naira depreciated for the

offer of N70 billion by the

traded in the

second consecutive week

Debt Management Office

by 25 kobo. According to

(DMO) and the pace of window rose by data from the Financial

liquidity mop up by the

130 percent

Market Dealers Quote

CBN.

(FMDQ), the indicative

Last week, the CBN

exchange rate for the

rattled the market with

window rose to N360.57

N533 billion liquidity

per dollar last week from

mop up which pushed percent at close of last N360.32 per dollar the

cost of funds higher than week from 8.5 percent the previous week.

the the previous week. previous week. Similarly, This was in defiance of

On Monday the apex interest rate on Overnight 130 percent upsurge in

bank sold N89 billion lending rose by 83 bpts the volume of dollars

worth of secondary market to 10 percent from 9.17 traded (turnover) in the

(Open Market percent the previous market. Financial

Operations, OMO) week.

Vanguard analysis

treasury bills. This was This trend is likely to showed that market

followed by sale of N444 persist this week. While turnover rose to $1.52

billion worth of OMO liquidity inflow of billion last week from

TBs on Thursday. N234.32 billion is $659 million the previous

In addition to these, the expected from matured week. Consequently, the

apex bank held primary TBs, the market will volume of dollars traded

market TB auction on experience outflow of in the window year-to-

M

YK

C

M

Y

K

comprising $100 million

allocated to the wholesale

segment, $55 million to

the SME window and $55

million to invisibles.


22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

FINANCIAL INCLUSION:

Transaction settlement cycle frustrates agent banking operations

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

OPERATORS in the

mobile money market

appear to be struggling with

services delivery due to the two

days transaction settlement

cycle of the Central Bank of

Nigeria (CBN).

Financial Vanguard

investigations revealed that

due to the limitation of the two

day (T+1) settlement cycle on

their liquidity, agent banking

operators are turning down

request for financial services

from members of the public.

Confirming this development

to Financial Vanguard,

President of the Association of

Mobile Money Agents in

Nigeria (AMMAN), Mr. Olojo

Victor said: “One of the

problems affecting the business

is the CBN’s T+1 policy. What

the T+1 policy means is that

an agent does not receive

settlement in his/her bank

account the same day after

performing a withdrawal

transaction for a customer. For

instance, if you do transactions

on a Friday, you don’t get

settled until late Monday night.

“Imagine paying out

N300,000 to customers and you

don’t get your cash until

Monday. More needs to be

done in terms of how this policy

can be twicked a bit to support

and favour those in the

business. For instance someone

who is a Mobile Money agent

or Agent banking partner

should be able to do a N5, 000

transactions and get the value

instantly. This would

encourage the players in the

industry.”

On his part, Alhaji Adeoye

Abiodun, an agent of Paga and

Diamond Yello account, said,

“Sometimes when people want

to use the Point of Sale (POS)

to withdraw huge amounts I

tell them there is no network

whereas there is no cash. But

if I can get a loan with low

interest rate I can do those cash

transactions and the business

will grow.”

A First Bank agent, who

pleaded anonymity expressed

concern for the agents in the

business saying that if there is

a means of funding the

business in the area of agent

banking, it will have a bigger

input.

Introduced in 2013, the agent

banking system was one of the

initiatives of the CBN to

achieve the nation’s financial

inclusion goal of reducing the

national exclusion rate, or the

number of adult Nigerians

without access to financial

services to 20 percent by year

2020. A survey by Enhancing

Financial Innovation and

Access (EFInA), on access to

financial services in Nigeria

conducted in 2016, showed that

the financial exclusion rate rose

to 41.6 percent from 39.5

percent in 2014.

On impact of agent banking

on financial inclusion, Olojo

said, “If we are to grade the

performance of agent banking,

I would say we are still below

what is expected of us. Agency

banking is a system where

banks are allowed to include

third parties to carry out their

services on their behalf. And

not all banks in Nigeria are in

the agency banking sector

today. Those who are in the

space are still grappling with

the challenges of fine-tuning

their technology and their

system to suit what obtains in

the market.

“The challenge in the

industry basically is reaching

the last mile and also being able

L-R: Life Coach, Lanre Olusola; South African Director of The Global Women’s Initiative, Tumi

Frazier; U.S Consulate’s Head of Public Affairs, Darcy Zotter; and Advisory Board Member,

When Women Win (WWW), Motola Oyebanjo at the official launch of the When Women Win

initiative in Nigeria.

Emefiele reiterates CBN’s commitment to

development of agriculture

By Babajide Komolafe

GOVERNOR of Central

Bank of Nigeria CBN,

Mr. Godwin Emefiele has said

that the apex bank remains

committed to development of

agriculture and allied products

in the country.

Emefiele who said this at the

inauguration of the Sunti

Golden Sugar Estates Sunti in

Mokwa Local Government

Area of Niger State, noted that

any individual or company that

wants to go into agricultural

and agro-allied productions

should count on the support of

the bank. He disclosed that the

FCMB invests N1 billion in development of Abia youths

By Anayo Okoli

THE First City Monument

Bank, FCMB, said it is

investing N1 billion in the

youths in Abia State as part of

its youth empowerment

programme aimed at

supporting youths with

entrepreneurial skills and

business ideas to develop

them.

Executive Director, Business

Development, FCMB, Mrs.

Bukola Smith, disclosed this

while speaking to journalists in

Umuahia, on the sidelines of

the just concluded Abia Youths

Mega Summit.

“Because of that, SME

department of FCMB decided

that we are going to partner

with the states and Abia State

being the first state that

decided to pick up this plan and

run the scheme, we decided to

partner with them to ensure

that the youths take part in line

with the desires of the

government”, Smith said.

According to her, “to quantify

the level of involvement of

CBN invested over N25 billion

into the Sunti Golden Sugar

Estates through a consortium

of banks at a single digit

UBA, Agence Française de Development

to finance SMEs across Africa

UNITED Bank for Africa

(UBA) Plc, and Agence

Française de Development

(AFD), France’s public and

solidarity-based development

bank, have entered into a

FCMB in the project, in terms

of financial support, the

financial involvement would be

upward to N1 billion, where

beneficiaries would receive

loans from N3 million to N10

million”.

Besides the financial support,

Smith explained that FCMB

also brings in a team to support

the training of the youths as

well as advice, which she

considered a lot more

important than the financial

component of the support.

Framework Agreement to utilise

the EURIZ and ARIZ schemes

offered by AFD to facilitate the

financing of small and medium

enterprises (SMEs) and

startups across the 20 countries

where UBA operates in Africa.

The new partnership, an offshoot

of the strategic

relationship both institutions

have had over the years, will

enhance UBA’s capacity to

finance SMEs in Nigeria and

across the other 19 African

countries where the bank

currently operates, whilst

ensuring AFD uses the financial

structure availed by UBA to

reach out to many SMEs across

Africa.

The AFD’s EURIZ project

helps the financially

underserved Micro, Small and

Medium Enterprises to receive

loans for business development

and sustainable jobs.

to improve on their technology

and tools to be able to meet what

is obtainable in the market. For

instance, technologies and

tools that last longer without

electricity should be deployed

to rural areas especially the

North.”

Commending the CBN’s

recent effort on the sharing of

quota formulas to all players in

the financial sector in other to

achieve the 2020 target on

financial inclusion, Olojo

stressed that the industry needs

to do a lot of collaboration to

grow rather than individual

effort.

“Non-availability of fund has

been one of the challenges we

face in the industry. The CBN

and the Federal government

through the Bank of Industry

(BoI) should begin to look into

this new industry.

“We have been collaborating

with them from time to time

and we hope that our

collaboration will move to the

next level. The CBN and other

AMMAN partners who are

serious with driving financial

inclusion should create a

window of opportunity in terms

of fund for agents in the sector.

“We are trying our best in

funding in the ways of

cooperative because this

business model requires fund.

Fund is the oxygen of this

business. We are mini banks

and if we don’t have enough

funds to cater for people when

they come for it, it would be like

a trigger effect which won’t be

good.”

interest rate repayable over a

period of 10 years.

Emefiele expressed

satisfaction on the level of work

saying it is in tune with

President Muhammadu

Buhari’s notion that Nigerians

should produce what they eat

and eat what they produce.

Speaking at the event, the

Chairman of the Flour Mills of

Nigeria, owners of the Sunti

Golden Sugar Estates, Mr. John

Coumantaros said the sugar

factory was a strategic

investment designed to

accelerate the production of

sugar in Nigeria.

He added that the factory

which will save the country

about $100 million in foreign

exchange annually is aimed at

achieving self sufficiency in the

production of sugar.

Coumantaros who commended

the CBN and the CBN

governor for the support

towards making the sugar

estate a reality said the era of

Nigeria solely depending on

crude oil for foreign exchange

is over with the inauguration

of the largest sugar factory

which is poise to overhaul the

entire agriculture sector in the

country.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 23


24 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Operators predict rebound in stocks, amidst

positive earnings expectation

By Nkiruka Nnorom

DESPITE the slow down in

activities in the equities

market that saw investors

losing N506 billion last week,

capital market operators have

indicated that the market will

take a positive turn this week.

Their assumption is premised

on the improving macroeconomic

figures churned out

in the last two weeks.

The latest figure on inflation

showed a consistent

deceleration for 12 consecutive

months with the number falling

to 14.33 percent at the end of

February 2018 from 15.13

percent in January. Also GDP

figure showed that the economy

expended by 1.92 percent yearon-year

(YoY) in the fourth

quarter of 2017 (Q4’17),

thereby maintaining its positive

growth since the re-emergence

of the economy from recession

in the second quarter of 2017

(Q2’17), while February

Purchasing Managers Index

(PMI) report for manufacturing

and non-manufacturing

activities, sustained expansion

during the month, at 56.3

points and 56.1 points

respectively.

Reacting, Mr. David Adonri,

Managing Director/CEO,

Highcap Securities Limited,

said: “The outlook is positive;

the companies have started

releasing their results and

results so far are impressive

and the distribution also are

impressive. So, we are entering

a season that would be driven

by the performance of the

companies as they release their

results. We will see a reversal

in tempo next week as

companies continue to release

their results.”

Also analysts at Cordros

Capital stated: “Despite the

loss recorded during the week,

we reiterate our positive

outlook for the equities market,

as

strengthening

macroeconomic fundamentals

suggest legroom for gains still

exist.”

“With sell pressure persisting

at session close, we believe

weak sentiment will filter into

trading at week open.

However, we note that renewed

interest in beaten down stock

By Nkiruka Nnorom

NASD OTC Plc has

reiterated its

commitment to leverage on its

soon to be launched enterprise

portal, the NASD Enterprise

Portal (NASDeP) to boost

investment in small enterprises

in Nigeria.

The portal, which will be

formally launched next month,

is designed to address the

information gap on start-ups

and other growth enterprises

and also provides a central

database of private investment

opportunities and investor

pools.

The portal presents structured

information on performance,

operations and investment

opportunities in growth and

value enterprises to enable

investors, especially private

equities, make appropriate

investment decisions.

Presenting the finance option

prices in addition to more

positive earnings releases

could improve market

sentiment,” analysts at Vetiva

capital said.

Analysis of transaction last

week showed that the equities

market halted two consecutive

weeks of gains, with the All

Share Index, ASI, plunging by

2.85 percent to settle at

41,935.90 points from 43,167.86

points.

Similarly, the equities market

capitalisation, declined by 3.26

percent to N15.002 trillion from

N15.508 trillion, resulting in

N506 billion losses to investors.

The banking sector posted the

highest losses at 9.79 percent

following losses in Zenith Bank

Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank,

despite broadly positive

corporate releases during the

week.

The oil and gas followed,

falling by 1.64 percent, while

the consumer goods and

industrial goods sectors were

down 1.59 percent and 0.24

percent respectively. On the

flip side, the Insurance sector

rose marginally by 0.25 percent.

NASD set to boost investment in enterprises

with new portal

at an interactive session with

Fate Foundation, a nongovernmental

organisation that

promotes business and

entrepreneurial development

among Nigerian youths, Mr.

Bola Ajomale, Managing

Director/CEO, NASD OTC Plc,

said that the portal is a

significant step in driving its

vision to become the hub of

capital formation in West

Africa.

He said that the portal upon

its launch would be open to due

diligence analysts, incubators

and investors alike.

According to him, NASDeP is

an organised portal where

companies can access third

stage capital as well as prepare

growth enterprises for entry

into the public domain.

He said that the portal is a

site where companies can

benchmark their performance

against a pool of other

companies and also take

advantage of recommendations

made on appropriate reporting

and governance standards.

“The NASD Enterprise Portal

is a critical first contact with a

segment of the capital market.

It introduces a start-up and

small and medium enterprises

to a select group of the

Securities and Exchange

Commission, SEC, licensed

capital market operators and

per-screened potential

investors,” Ajomale stated.

NSE, Access

Bank facilitate

financial

education for

students

THE Nigerian Stock

Exchange, NSE, in

partnership with Access Bank

Plc, has organised financial

education for students across

major cities in Nigeria in

commemoration of this year’s

Global Money Week.

The week-long outreach

themed, “Money Matters

Matter” took place in cities

like Lagos, Ibadan, Kano,

Abuja, Onitsha and Port

Harcourt, with excursions to

the trading floor.

The Exchange also joined

other stock exchanges around

the globe in the “Ring Around

the World” initiative, using its

closing gong ceremony to

further draw attention to the

importance of financial literacy

among youths.

In his welcome remarks,

Bola Adeeko, Head, Shared

Services Division, NSE, said:

“As a sustainable Exchange

championing Africa’s growth,

NSE takes the issue of

providing young people with

the tools they need to make

sound financial decisions very

seriously.”

Morison Industries Rights Issue

oversubscribed by 1.12m shares

By Peter Egwuatu ordinary shares as

M

shareholders took up their

ORISON Industries Rights and demanded for

Plc has recorded oversubscription

additional shares. As against

of 1.12 million

shares in its Right Issue

following the shares’ allotment

result released last week.

Consequently, the company

successfully raised N502.2

million in new equity funds,

thus providing it with the

much needed boost to

reposition its operations.

Morison Industries had late

last year launched a new

capital raising for about

N502.2 million in new equity

funds through new share sale

to existing shareholders.

836.98 million shares placed

on offer, shareholders placed

orders for 838.11 million

ordinary shares.

Chief Operating Officer, GTI

Capital, Mr. Kehinde Hassan,

said the success of the Rights

Issue has further confirmed

GTI Capital’s pedigree of

packaging companies to raise

capital, irrespective of the

macroeconomic and market

conditions.

According to him, GTI

Capital worked with the

directors and management of

Morison Industries offered a Morison Industries to

Rights Issue of 836.98 million

ordinary shares of 50 Kobo

each at 60 kobo per share on

the basis of 11 new ordinary

shares for every two ordinary

shares of 50 Kobo held as at

August 25, 2017.

GTI Securities Limited acted

as the stockbroker to the

supplementary share issuance

while GTI Capital Limited was

the issuing house.

The allotment results for the

Rights issue approved by the

Securities and Exchange

Commission (SEC) showed

convince shareholders on the

prospects of the 63 year old

healthcare company.

“We were able to get many

shareholders to subscribe to

the shares due to our

extensive research on the

prospects of the company.

Many subscribers were also

impressed by the fact that all

offers that we had handled in

the past usually turned into

goldmines, and the facts are

out there. So the trust in GTI

Capital positively rubs off on

the exciting prospects of a

that the Rights Issue was recapitalised Morison

oversubscribed by 1.12 million Industries,” Hassan said.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 25


26 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 27


28 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 29

Investors Forum

By Emeka Anaeto,

Business Editor

AS a week-long bear run

seized the Nigerian Stock

Exchange, NSE, last week

sending negative signals on

investment grade stocks,

stockbrokers are expecting

dividend yields and first

quarter 2018 results to stabilise

sentiments in the days ahead.

The All Share Index plunged

2.9 percent Week-on-Week, W-

o-W, to settle at 41,935.90

points while Year-to-Date, YTD,

return declined to 9.7 percent.

The bearish performance was

largely due to sell pressures in

bellwethers in the Banking and

Consumer Goods sectors,

notably, Zenith Bank, Guaranty

Trust Bank and Nestle Nigeria

Plc, which all released

impressive results for Full Year

2017 (FY’17).

The stock prices went down

with some stockbrokers saying

the initial price rises had

priced-in the expected

impressive results. But brokers

who spoke to Financial

Vanguard believe the bearish

sentiment would quickly

bottom-out this week paving

way for a re-surge in the share

price after a mark-down for

dividend payment.

Investment analysts at

Afrinvest West Africa, a Lagos

based investment house stated:

“Although the market

performed negatively, we

believe this has created

bargain hunting opportunities.

Hence, we expect a rebound in

the market as investors take

position in fundamentally

sound stocks that declined.”

Stockbrokers at FSDH

Securities Limited

told Financial Vanguard that

Zenith Bank is one of the key

stocks with sound

fundamentals historically and

as confirmed by the recently

released FY’17 results.

Zenith Bank’s

current financials

In line with expectations of

the investment community,

Zenith’s performance was

largely impressive. Gross

earnings surged 46.7% Year-on-

Year, YoY, to N745.2billion. The

Bank’s Interest income rose

23.4% YoY from N384.6billion

in FY:2016 to N474.6billion in

FY:2017 following increased

yield on loans and advances

(from 10.9% in FY:2016 to 11.8%

in FY:2017) while Non-interest

income surged 119.2% YoY to

N270.6billion in FY:2017 from

N123.4billion in the prior year,

majorly due to the significant

gains recorded from trading

activities (especially Treasury

Bills and Derivatives

trading).

As noticed in 2017, more

banks seem to be focusing on

trading activities to boost

income given the attractive

yield environment. This has

been particularly true for

Zenith Bank which consistently

recorded average quarterly

•Jim Ovia, Chairman Zenith Bank

•Peter Amangbo, Zenith Bank's CEO

Zenith Bank: Between market

sentiment and stock fundamentals

trading income of N39.9billion

between Q1:2017 to Q4:2017

from 2016 corresponding

quarterly average of

N7.1billion.

Analysts believe this is an

income line that has come to

stay as the bank takes

advantage of opportunities in

the market. Zenith Bank was

also able to maintain its drive

to optimize cost as Cost-to-

Income Ratio (CIR) moderated

to 42.9% from 48.0% in FY:2016

despite a 30.0% increase in

Operating Expenses, OPEX

(from N174.5billion to

N226.9billion).

Accordingly, profit after tax,

PAT, rose 37.2% YoY to

N177.9billion from

N129.7billion in the prior year

while return on equity, RoE,

improved to 23.4% from 20.0%

in the prior year.

Further analysis of the bank’s

FY’17 shows that the significant

uptick in impairment charge

was eclipsed by a marked

increase of 456% in trading

gains to N157.9billion in FY’17

from N28.4billion in FY’16.

Notably, trading income on

derivatives and treasury bills

spiked by 242% to N68.7billion

and by 928% to N88.8billion

respectively in FY’17.

Describing this as impressive

performance, financial analysts

at CardinalStone Finance

Limited, another Lagos based

investment house, stated:

“Gross earnings rose by 46.7%

YoY to N745.2 billion, beating

our estimate of N689.6 billion

(+8.1% deviation).

Surprisingly, after tax

earnings rose by 37.2%

to N177.9 billion,

outperforming our estimate and

consensus estimate of N157.9

billion (+9.3% deviation)

and N159.52 billion (+11.5%

deviation) respectively.

“Q4’17 revenue (+41.8%

Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ)

came in surprisingly stronger

than anticipated as noninterest

revenue doubled,

rising by 97.0% QoQ to N101.1

billion. Interest income also

advanced by 13.4% QoQ

despite the moderation in

interest rate levels during the

period.

“The surge in non-interest

income was predominantly

driven by huge trading gains

(+445.2% YoY and +345.4%

QoQ) from the bank’s

derivative (+243.7% YoY) and

treasury bill portfolios (+928%

YoY). Overall, the bank

reported a total of N158.04

billion in trading gains in

FY’17 (+21.2% of total

revenue) compared to N28.4

billion (+5.8% of total revenue)

in FY’16. We believe the huge

trading gains reported in

Q4’17 is most likely as a result

of mark-to-market gains on its

treasury bill portfolio which

reflects the capital gains impact

of the declining interest rate

environment.

A n a l y s t s ’

*Yearly breakdown of results

recommendations

Analysts at Afrinvest gave

what they called, ‘Compelling

Investment Thesis for Zenith’

and stated: “The resilience of

Zenith is clearly demonstrated

in its FY:2017 performance and

we have a positive outlook on

future earnings in 2018 and

beyond. In our view, the

dividend yield (7.9%) on the

stock is quite attractive given the

current realities in the market

and this presents a good

opportunity for investors

interested in dividend paying

stocks.”

Referencing the opening

share price of the Zenith Bank

on the day the result was

announced (last week Monday)

Afrinvest analysts had these to

say on the valuation:

“Considering the pre-earnings

announcement P/BV of 1.5x

and current P/BV multiple of

1.2x, we believe the stock is

currently undervalued and

presents an attractive entry

opportunity.

“In a scenario in which the

stock trades at the pre-earnings

release P/BV, we envisage an

implied price of N39.25 on

Zenith Bank which presents an

upside opportunity of 26.8%

against a price of N31.00 (13/

03/2018).

“Against the backdrop of our

expectation of positive

performance in 2018 as well as

the current attractive pricing on

the stock, we believe it is Open

Season on Zenith! and

investors should be on the hunt

for the stock.”

Another set of institutional

investment analysts at WSTC

Financial Services Limited,

looking into the future of

Zenith Bank equity stated: “We

expect growth in net interest

income in FY’18 to be driven

by loan book growth and lower

cost of funds in light of the

moderation in yields on

government securities.

“We have a fair value estimate

of N32.83 per share for the

stock and we retain our ‘HOLD’

recommendation. At the market

price of N28.75, the stock was

trading at a 14% discount to our

fair value estimate.”


30 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

We’ve ensured nobody

can unilaterally fix port

charges anymore

— Bello, NSC boss

The NSC as an agency of the

Federal Ministry of Transportation

is responsible for the

coverage of the entire transportation

chain and now

working on huge infrastructural

projects like the establishment

of the Track Transit

Parks, TTPs, to keep trucks,

tankers and trailers off our

highways. How far have you

gone with this?

Yes, we have appointed the

transaction advisers. Now we

are in the processes of procurement.

Some notices will be issued

for interested investors to

come and develop these parks

and two of them in Ogbulafor,

Enugu State and Lokoja, Kogi

State State. Two of them will

be like models. We had a presentation

on the project recently.

Again, this is a transport

infrastructure the Nigerian

Shippers’ Council is promoting;

we are not the one building

it, but it is going to be on

PPP basis. We are just the enablers;

we like the private sector

to lead in this investment.

This is a park, where you have

hotels, garages, repair yards,

restaurants and all the amenities

relevant to the business.

We’ve had tremendous enquiries

from investors, who

are willing to invest in the

projects. We want to work with

partners such as the Road

Safety Corps and we have executed

an MoU with them,

because enforcement is very

important. We are working

most importantly with unions

in the transport sector: National

Union of Road Transport

Workers, AMATO, REATAN ,

NUPENG and the luxurious

bus owners. We want them to

own the parks; we want them

to invest in the projects, because

if they own them, they

will patronize them.

Recently, President Muhammadu

Buhari commissioned

an Inland Container Depot,

ICD, also known as dry port

in Kaduna, the first among

many others being facilitated

by the Council to operate as

centres for shipment of cargo

to and fro the hinterland.

At what stages of completion

are the remaining dry ports

and what role is the Nigerian

Shippers Council playing to

ensure that concessionaires

By Samson Echenim

It is no longer news that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is

driving private sector investment for building of transport

infrastructures across the country. In this interview with

SAMSON ECHENIM, Executive Secretary/Chief Executive

Officer of NSC, Barr Hassan Bello speaks on the council’s

determination to see to the completion of these infrastructures.

He also spoke on the Council’s role in the Ease of Doing

Business plan of the Federal Government, which has seen it

through series of consultations with port stakeholders and

advocacy for a fair pricing regime and healthy competition

in Nigerian port.

Excerpts.

of these laudable projects that

hold great promise for revenue

generation and employment

creation deliver on

schedule?

You know these inland dry

ports are all being concessioned

to the private sector. So

each investor has his own

pace, even though it is our

duty to accelerate the process.

So we decided to give them a

time frame, within which they

are to deliver, or we revoke the

concession. But it is not easy

to build these infrastructures.

I have seen a report where it

was said that some have been

abandoned. There is no one

that has been abandoned, really.

There are circumstances

which may make a project

seem almost impossible. For

instance, in Jos, a governor

went and demolished the dry

port being constructed by a

private investor because, maybe

he didn’t like the project

and then they were in court

and so many things happened.

However, because of the commitment

of the concessionaire,

that project is now 75 per cent

completed. Yet, this is a port

that suffered such a setback.

For the dry port in Funtua,

lot of activities are also going

on. We will soon embark on

inspection of the port. In Abia

State, the concessionaire single-handedly

paid compensation

to locals and they have

technical partners. As soon as

the issue of guarantee is clear

with the state government,

work will start at the Isiala

Ngwa dry port in Abia State.

Of course, we have Ibadan and

Kano and we are talking with

the concessionaires, because

we are always ready to offer

technical advice on investment—whether

on access to

finance or on contracts. The

Minister of Transportation has

been very supportive. His desire

is how many people will

get employment; so he is very

concerned with the development

of the ICDs and we hope

this year, we will commission

Jos and may be, Funtua. There

are others too. We have one in

Lolo in Kebbi State and the

concessionaire is currently

going through the processes

of getting approval from the

ICRC, as we are working with

•Bello

...charges must be tied

to services; you have to

justify your charges as a

port service provider

and we have scientific

tools at arriving at that.

But even more

importantly, we are

using caps—maximum

and minimum, and we

give the shipping

companies the leverage

to choose between the

top and bottom, so that

the charges may not be

uniform.

the ICRC too.

Our target therefore, is to see

that there is inter-connectivity

and utility of different infrastructure

of transportation.

We want to see the transport

sector drive the economy; we

want inclusiveness; we want

growth of the sector; and we

also want the transport industry

to lead the employment

content and in contribution to

national GDP.

The House of Representatives

recently passed the National

Transport Commission

Bill, which seeks to transmute

the Nigerian Shippers’ Council

to National Transport Commission,

NTC. The bill is

awaiting concurrence by the

Senate. What should Nigerians

expect from the new commission

when it eventually

takes off?

Yes, what we are going to be

looking at is a lucid legal

framework. Before now, it is

not very clear in the industry

on the issue of regulation, so

you hear port operators complaining

that the industry is

over-regulated, because you

have many agencies you are

answering to. What we need

is to be clear of the responsibilities

and I think the NTC

will do that. Now, if the Shippers’

Council, as the House of

Representatives has advised,

should be the nucleus of the

Transport Commission, it is

nothing new, but a validation

of what the council has been

doing. The Nigerian Shippers’

Council even in it its 1978 Act,

has regulatory powers, but this

will be enhanced.

You know, because competition

is the heart of capitalism,

but how you control it is another

thing. We have a department

called the Regulation

Department and it has a unit

called Competition, so it is focusing

on that to establish

competition and to ensure that

there is no collusion. It is a

kind of anti-trust if you allow

people to come and set the

prices among themselves. So,

we are making an elaborate

effort with the shipping companies

to come out with a resolution

acceptable to the market.

We have been negotiating;

we’ve been in negotiations

for more than two months

and we are close to reaching

an agreement. In that system,

we first of all make sure that

no charges will be unilaterally

placed on Nigerian people

again. If you have charges you

want to increase or decrease,

you have to come to the NSC

and negotiate before it is allowed,

that’s number one.

Number two, all the charges

that were in force then, about

14 of them, have been reduced

to four or five now. Thirdly,

charges must be tied to services;

you have to justify your

charges as a port service provider

and we have scientific

tools at arriving at that. But

even more importantly, we are

using caps—maximum and

minimum, and we give the

shipping companies the leverage

to choose between the

top and bottom, so that the

charges may not be uniform.

So this is how we are going to

attain competition. It will see

that within a year, service providers

will not go above a set

maximum. So, going forward,

we will see a situation, where

an operator can reduce charges

within the charge range to

attract more customers. So,

this is what we have done and

we hope it brings about competition.

Attaining competitiveness

among port operators is a

core concept we have seen the

NSC pursuing, especially

since you took over the leadership

of the council. How is

NSC working to ensure a robust

port environment and a

level playing field for players

in the port sector?

That’s a very good question,

because we keep discussing

this at management level. We

are so focused on attaining

competition because competition

brings about efficiency. It

also brings us to the level of

having reasonable charges for

port services. If you recall,

when these GSM companies

came to Nigeria, there was

initially just one or two charging

over N30,000 for a chip

(SIM), but one more competitor

joined the market and

crashed the cost of chips. That

is what competition does for

consumers. I have not seen

competition in our sector. I

have not seen advertisements,

where a terminal will say,

come to us, we are better than

the other operator. So, competition

is very important because

it means we are not operating

a monopoly; it means

the consumer of shipping

services has a choice or option

and the economy will be better

for it.

I believe that all these are

part of your efforts at securing

your role in the Ease of

Doing Business policy of the

Federal Government. But as

the nation’s Economic Regulator

for the Ports, how would

you properly situate the Nigerian

Shippers Council within

the Presidential Ease of

Doing Business Initiative of

the current administration?

Cargoes should not stay

more than a day at the port,

but be taken to these ICDs for

processing and this is what is

going to happen. So, the seaport

is just a transit point for

cargoes and if we attain this,

that means we have done well.

Ease of Doing Business for

somebody in Isiala Ngwa is for

him to go to a port in Isiala

Ngwa to clear his cargo, instead

of hiring a truck, going

to Lagos, loading the cargo

and coming back to Isiala

Ngwa, with the attendant cost

of transportation, risk to life

and inconveniences. He can

have a bill of laden which will

show China-Isiala Ngwa and

goods will be examined in the

port and pay the duty there.

And we are talking about

building a huge industry in

Isiala Ngwa.


FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 31

“In the long run, we are all dead.”

ECONOMISTS love to talk about the long run as a theoretical concept.

None of them expects governments tend to base their economic policies

and programmes on that indefinite date. The reason is clear. People don’t

live in the long run; they live for today, tomorrow and perhaps next year. The

benefits governments promise must be enjoyed in the shortest possible time;

otherwise they become totally

irrelevant to the needs of the

citizens.

At any rate, Nigeria’s

economic history is replete

Millennium Development

with grandiose promises for a

Goals – all eight of them –

robust future by virtually all

were promised for 2015.

the governments since 1976 –

Neither Babangida nor

all of them asking Nigerians

Obasanjo was in government

to make sacrifices in the short

in 2000 or 2015 to explain the

term for a buoyant economic

failure to deliver on the

future. In the agriculture

promises.

sector we have been deceived

That explains why the

with the Operation Feed the

Economic Recovery and

Nation by Obasanjo; the

Growth Programmed, ERGP,

Green Revolution by Shagari;

now being flagged off by the

the Structural Adjustment

Federal Government evokes

Programme by Babangida

such great skepticism. The

and the Sugar self-sufficiency

most rapid economic growth

programme by Obasanjo/

is envisaged for after 2020.

Yar’Adua/Jonathan

Ordinarily that would not

administrations. None has

have been too long a period

yielded the benefits promised

to wait. Two unpleasant facts,

to Nigerians. They have only

however, stand like the Zumo

succeeded in enriching the

Rock, in the way.

already super-wealthy who

The ERGP and the political

had taken advantage of duty

time table in Nigeria are not

waivers which are invariably

in tandem. The tenure of this

included in the salad bowl of

government ends in 2019 and

delusions served to

there is no guarantee that the

Nigerians.

tenure will be extended by

Invariably, the great benefits

voters. If it is not, a new

are promised for a distant

government might simply

future. Thus Housing for All;

revoke the contracts and start

Health Services for All and

experience

afresh. Then, as has always

Full employment by the year

been the case, all the benefits

2000 were promised by a

promised will never be

government in 1990. The

delivered to the people.

Poorer now richer in the long run – 2

Furthermore, the

implementation of the ERGP

is just starting, with the usual

round of launchings and

political grand-standing. But,

any time soon, election fever

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

We need special court to prosecute recalcitrant

debtors — CEO, Moyofade MfB

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Moyofade

Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr. Abimbola Michael, in this

interview speaks on how the National Collateral Registry

(NCR) would impact the microfinance industry. He also

highlighted challenges confronting MfBs in the rural area.

Excerpt:

By Providence Emmanuel

HOW would you assess

the National Collateral

Registry (NCR)?

It is still a new initiative. Some

years’ back the CBN organized

a lecture when they wanted to

introduce the collateral

registry and we are now in it.

When you are starting a thing,

there would always be hiccups

at the initial stage and we have

to put so many things in place

for that thing to be effective. So

that is the stage we are.

Hopefully when it is concluded

and we are able to start the

system, I think it would be better

for the MicroFinance Bank

(MfB) sub-sector and even the

clients. It would be easier to

access loan when we see both

movable and immovable assets.

Before now, we based our loan

on character, but because of

experience and the feelings we

are receiving from the market,

some people have to commit

themselves with one thing or the

other. That is the more reason the

collateral registry is very

important and they are coming

up with the idea, but I know that

before the end of the year, it

would be more effective within

the subsector.

Is your organisation part of

the MfBs that have embraced

NCR?

When a new programme or

process is being introduced, it is

a gradual process and we would

get there one day as people are

keying into it. We are getting

more information and proper

enlightenment, we would get

there.

What are your expectations for

the subsector in this year?

For this year, our expectation

for the subsector is to enlarge our

customer base, alleviate poverty

in the country, improve

productivity among the poor

and provide credit facility for the

active poor. They have the

The

Nigerian

experiment

has not fully

taken off

and can be

abolished as

early as

next year

will grip the nation. The

people who are supposed to

make the ERGP work will soon

be caught up on the

whirlwind of election

activities. It has been our

that

considerations of long term

take second place to next

election among Nigerian

politicians. And, the election

•Abimbola Michael

capacity to do business but they

do not have the money to finance

the project. We also want to

contribute to the economic growth

of the country.

Why are they not getting funds

despite all the funds made

available by the CBN?

CBN is trying in their own

capacity to ensure that money

gets to the active poor and people

that have the necessary

requirement are accessing the

funds and I think they have now

relaxed the conditions to ensure

the money gets to the

beneficiaries. Some states are

working with the microfinance

banks to access the fund and

release the money to the clients

fever will not end until

February next year. The

President who is supposed to

drive such a monumental

programme is going to be

busy fighting for his political

life. No man fighting for his

life has time for anything else.

Obviously, the real push

behind ERGP will not come

until 2019 – if at all. And, if

Buhari is not re-elected, then

ERGP will die prematurely.

Since this is the only lifeline

the Federal Government

has thrown to Nigerians now

trapped in increasing poverty,

it requires no great

intelligence to understand

that this excellent idea

proposed by the Minister of

Budget and Planning might

have a short life span and its

impact on poverty alleviation

might never be felt by

Nigerians.

The new development being

unveiled was crucial to the

success of the economic

component of the Vision 2020

programme embarked upon

by Malaysia in the 1990s. The

major and vital difference

between the Nigerian and

Malaysian programmes lies

in the fact that the Malaysian

leader who launched the

programme was certain of

remaining in power for

several years after the

commencement of the project.

So, he could have ensured it

was irreversible by successors.

It could be amended; but not

totally reversed. The

Nigerian experiment has not

fully taken off and can be

abolished as early as next

year.

With such a short expiry

date tagged on it, anyone

expecting the ERGP to lift us

out of poverty must be selfdeluded.

This is a programme

that should have been started

in 2015 – if only Nigerians

had elected a President who

understands how economies

work and who understands

that you prepare the recovery

programme for an impending

recession before it occurs and

not after its onset. We are

paying the price of economic

illiteracy at Aso Rock and we

will pay more dearly if the

occupants don’t leave –

voluntarily or otherwise.

MICRO-FINANCE

in their various states. What we

need most is enlightenment,

training and capacity building for

these people because some of

them believe that this money is

government money and political

largesse. So when they collect,

they do not want to pay back.

That is the kind of problem we

experience in this kind of

programme. But in Osun State

where we are operating, I can say

boldly that the state government

has tried. We were able to cover

some ground in respect of that

Fund and as revolving money,

we repay as at when due. But

government should try to

improve on the disbursement

and also look at ways of

evaluating the programme. For

Osun State I can say kudos

because they are trying and even

all the participating microfinance

bank are trying even with the

programmes in the state.

What are the solutions to some

of the identified challenges?

Both the MfBs and the

commercial banks are facing the

same problem. Even those that

have legal mortgage on their

property before you can realize

it, they would go to court to seek

for injunction. Majority of the

problem we have in this subsector

is lack of trust. We cannot trust

majority of the people with

money, they want to access fund

and they do not want to pay back

and the cannons of lending that

we are following does not agree

with that. We deal with the likes

of hair-dressers, vulcanisers;

meat sellers and other small

business people who need light

to function properly.

If all these things stop working

effectively, it would have

negative impact on their

repayment, so that is a challenge.

Secondly, when you give them

and they fail to pay and you take

them to court, they will even tell

you to go that they will meet you

in court. Another thing is that

they don’t have easy access to

fund in the commercial banks, so

they are coming back to the MfBs.

Majority of the commercial banks

are closing shops in the rural

areas.

Recalcitrant

debtors

It is only the MfBs that are

working there, so they put so

much pressure on the MfBs. All

these things must be considered

and government should come to

our aid and there should be a

special court to try recalcitrant

debtors of MfBs so as to serve as

deterrent to others that do want

to pay.


32 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

(08052201997)

THE National Bureau of

Statistics (NBS), reported

in March this year, that

Nigeria’s annual Gross

Domestic output had grown by

0.82% by December 2017; this

marginal growth rate has

nonetheless, been commended

generally, as a welcome reversal

from the negative -1.58%

contraction recorded in domestic

output by December 2016.

Notably, however, the related

euphoria from the marginal

annual growth rate, is probably

lost on millions of our

countrymen, who still endure

severe economic and social

deprivations, without any hope

of respite.

Consequently, the relevant

question, therefore, is whether

the collective pangs of hunger

and deepening mass poverty,

which are largely driven by

double digit inflation and

unemployment rate above 20%,

can be ameliorated by the

positive growth rate, recorded

by NBS.

This question and related

issues will be examined,

hereafter, in the following

interrogative prose. Please read

on:

Does the reported annual

GDP growth of 0.82% for 2017

suggest that Nigeria’s

economy has turned the

corner, after the contraction

recorded in output of goods

and services between 2016-

2017? Can we begin to expect

improvement in social welfare,

poverty reduction and

employment opportunities?

The present modest rise in

GDP is primarily instigated, as

in the past, by the spike in oil

price, from near $30/barrel to a

steady $60-70/barrel in recent

times. Consequently, if crude

prices further rise or remain

stable above $60/barrel, the

related statistical rise in GDP

rate may infact exceed 10% as

recorded in 2003 and 2004

when oil price bounced to $42.9

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Should the 2017 GDP growth rate of

0.8% induce optimism?

and $56.7/barrel respectively.

However, if as usual, such

higher growth rates, remain

primarily pumped up by higher

crude oil price and revenue,

then, the higher growth rates

recorded may, regrettably

actually fail to drive inclusive

growth or improve social

welfare in Nigeria.

So, if per-chance oil price

further rises and instigates

double digit growth rates in

output, shouldn’t we then

expect that, employment

opportunities will increase and

that life will be ‘more abundant’

and equitable in Nigeria?

Well, it depends, on what

happens to inflation; this is not

the first time that oil price has

been very favourable. In fact, oil

price was exceptionally high at

$140/barrel in 2008, and, yet the

GDP grew by just about 10%.

Unfortunately, however,

inflation also ran into double

digits at 11.6% during the same

period.

Instructively, an inflation rate

of 10% will, invariably, wipe off

50% purchasing power of all

income earners every five years,

and impoverish everyone with

static incomes; thus, pensioners

particularly, and millions of

other Nigerians, whose

incomes are predicated on the

legislated minimum wage will

become very very vulnerable.

Consequently the current

inflation rate of about 15% will

inevitably also increase social

deprivation and inequality.

So, do you mean that higher

crude oil prices and revenue

can actually make us poorer?

The answer is self evident,

from a historical perspective, as

explained above. Oil price may

never again approach $140/

barrel, but at least, we know that

when, such exceptionally high

price prevailed, the related

bountiful dollar revenue did not,

ironically, induce any significant

improvement in mass social

welfare and national economic

development. Unfortunately,

the relatively high rates of

inflation, which also evolved,

not only severely contracted

consumer demand but also

instigated higher cost of

borrowing to make productive

investment very expensive and

and social welfare benefits with

rapidly increasing job

opportunities and credible

national security?

Yes, you are right, the above

realities are well amplified in our

recent economic history.

So, why are we unable to

translate increasing export

revenue and dollar reserves to

the creation of a much ‘better

life’ with less inequality for our

people?

Obviously, the process

adopted for the infusion of our

oil export revenue into the

economy is responsible for the

unexpected distortion to our

reasonable expectations for a

better life’. The present

payment model, invariably

suggests, that increasing

income from crude export may

actually instigate GDP growth,

in statistical terms, but the

“wrongheaded” payments

system adopted for infusion of

dollar revenue has

unfortunately, continued to

challenge the attainment of truly

inclusive growth.

Invariably, the product of this

aberration, in the forex infusion

process, is vividly reflected in

the oppressive eternal presence

of bloated Naira surpluses

which continuously feed and

sustain higher rates of inflation,

every time, dollar allocations

become substituted with Naira

vouchers by CBN. So the reality

seems to be that higher dollar

earnings unwittingly increase

the threat of spiraling inflation

and therefore reduces the

purchasing power of all incomes

to deepen mass poverty!

So, is there a way out of this

double-digit inflation rate?

How can we make life better

for more Nigerians?

The simple answer is to bring

55% female students in STEM have full scholarships — US consulate

By Adaeze Okechukwu

THE United States

Consulate has revealed

that 55 percent of female

students in Science, Technology,

Engineering and Mathematics

(STEM) graduate programmes

in the U.S are on full

scholarships.

Head of Public Affairs, U.S.

Consulate, Mrs. Darcy Zotter

made this disclosure during the

debut of When Women Win,

WWW, conference themed

'Reach for the Stars' that held in

Lagos during the weekend.

She said, "55 percent of Science,

Technology, Engineering and

Mathematics (STEMs) female

graduate students have full

scholarships. While people

interested in humanities many

not be as fortunate, nonetheless,

41 percent of female graduate

students in humanities

programmes get full

scholarships.

"Currently, American colleges

and universities are actively

looking for African students,

particularly from Nigeria,

Ghana, South Africa and Kenya.

These universities typically

prefer applicants from these four

countries because of the

language skills and because

students from these countries

have traditionally had

impressive academic

The present

payment model,

invariably

suggests, that

increasing

income from

crude export may

actually instigate

GDP growth, in

statistical terms

risky.

Arguably, Nigeria also fell

into the ball pack of the world’s

poorest nations, even when oil

prices shot up from below $10/

barrel in 1999 and rose to $140/

barrel in 2008. Furthermore, the

Naira exchange rate has also

inexplicably collapsed from less

than N80=$1 with barely $4bn

reserves between 1995-8 to

N305-360/$1 with over $40bn

reserves and still rising in 2018.

So are you saying that

increasing oil price and dollar

reserves, may not necessarily

facilitate, the provision of,

better education and health

facilities, improved

transportation, power supply

performance overtime.

"For someone seeking an

international career in the United

States, it is very important that

she prepares herself. The first

thing to be done is a thorough

research on the field of interest

and the desired state in the U.S.

Following suit, she must look at

the qualifications required for

the job and ensure she fits that

role."

Speaking further on how

Nigerian businesses can create

U.S. partnerships, Zotter

suggested that they engage the

Office of the Commercial

Services in Lagos. "For Nigerian

businesses looking to expand

their markets to the United

States, we have an Office of the

Commercial Services here in

Lagos that can help you.

“We recognise that Lagos is

the hub of entrepreneurial

activity in Nigeria, hence I

encourage business people

looking to penetrate the U.S. to

reach to the Foreign Commercial

services office. By scheduling an

appointment with them, they

can help you identify trade

partners in the United States.

Recently, we had a delegation

of cement producers as well as

purchasers. This group of

Nigerian business people went

to the United States on trip

organised by the Office of the

Foreign Commercial service.

down inflation to international

best practice rates below 3%, so

that income values will also be

protected, across board to

sustain a level of consumer

demand that will spur

productive investment and

create more jobs. Infact best

practice management of

inflation is the first battlefront of

any responsible Administration.

It is for this reason that the CBN

is constitutionally empowered

to manage price stability, so that

the living standards of every

wage earner will be protected.

Unfortunately CBN’s

attraction to a subordinate role

as a monopolist supplier of

forex, has possibly dimmed the

vision of the Apex bank from the

prime object of its existence.

So, if inflation comes down

to best practice rate below 3%,

will the level of poverty

diminish?

Incidentally, with inflation

below 3%, CBN’s monetary

policy rate, which determines

the cost of borrowing, will also

plummet to make the abiding

dream of manufacturers for 5%

interest rate on loans possible.

Invariably, with increased

production and other economic

activities, more job opportunities

will also be created while

government will similarly

expand its revenue base from

additional personal and

corporate taxes.

Final question, how do you

bring down inflation to best

practice below 3%?

CBN should stop

compounding the unforced

error of persistent Naira surplus

whenever it creates more Naira

as payment for dollar

denominated allocations to the

3 tiers of government. This

simple reform will gradually

quell the threat of persistent

Naira liquidity which drives

inflation and pulverizes the

Naira exchange rate beyond the

public’s comfort zone.

SAVE THE NAIRA, SAVE

NIGERIA!!

ECONOMY

Recently, the Foreign

Commercial service held an

event for a large American

company- linking them to

business people in Nigeria. We

host events in Lagos and the U.S.

for Nigerians," she added.

The When Women Win

initiative was created to address

the issue of inequality cuts across

all sectors of the society including

education, politics and

governance by providing

affordable access for women to

the knowledge, inspiration and

opportunities they need to rise

above any challenges or

limitations, reach for their

dreams and succeed in whatever

field they want to.


Our future belongs to them

IAM used to observing and

monitoring elections both in

the country and Africa. However,

being invited to monitor the 2018

Unified Tertiary Matriculation

Examination, UTME, in which

1,451,691 young Nigerians

participated for places in the

country’s tertiary institutions, was

a completely different experience.

In this case, there were no

contentious issues, divisive politics

or misinformation. It was

infectious seeing faces of young

Nigerians freshly out of high

school or about leaving school,

sitting before desktops to

determine their fate in the

examinations. They were young,

innocent and seemingly

submissive, yet I knew they carried

on their young shoulders the future

of our country. In a sense, this was

our elite group on whose educated

shoulders, the burden of rebuilding

a Nigeria, destroyed over the

decades by generations including

mine. Nobel Laureate, Wole

Soyinka, now 83, declared his

generation as the “Wasted

Generation.” I don’t know how to

characterise mine except to

describe it as the prodigal

generation that frittered away the

little gains by the Soyinka

By Charles Onunaiju

BEFORE his departure on his current

five-nation African tour, U.S Secretary

of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson delivered a

lecture at George Mason University,

Virginia on the outline of the vision and

issues of Africa-U.S cooperation. Among

many other issues, he grudgingly admitted

that “Chinese investment does have the

potential to address Africa’s infrastructure

gap,” but added a curious caveat that “its

(China) approach has led to mounting debt

and few, if any jobs in most countries.”

Not only does this fly in the face of reality

but leaves one wondering if Mr. Tillerson

was adequately or properly briefed on issues

of China-Africa cooperation.

Last year, in June 2017, a prestigious U.S

–based global managment consulting firm,

Mckinsey&co issued a report of its elaborate

filed research on China/Africa with a title

of Dance of the Lion and dragons: How are

Africa and China emerging, and how will

the partnership evolve? On page 40 of the

highly rated report, it observed that “a walk

through China factory or construction site

almost anywhere in Africa will confirm what

our research finds,” that “Chinese

enterprises overwhelmingly employ local

workers. At the more than 1,000 companies

we surveyed, 89 per cent employees were

African, adding up to more than 300,000

jobs for African workers. Scaled up across

the more than 10,000 Chinese firms in

Africa, these numbers suggest that Chineseowned

businesses employ several million

Africans.”

Continuing, the report said: “Private

companies and SOEs across industries in

the eight countries we studied had majoritylocal

workers. In trade, for example, the

workforce is 82 per cent African, in

manufacturing, its 95 per cent African, and

comparing public and private enterprises,

SOEs employ an 81 per cent African

workforce, and private enterprises employ

generation. If Nigeria is to have a

fighting chance in the next

generation, those I witnessed

taking the Joint Admissions and

Matriculation Board, JAMB,

examinations, are our best fighters.

In one centre, the candidate

looked like a boy sent to buy sweets

from a corner shop. It turned out

that he was 15. In another instance,

two teenagers could not write the

examinations as their fingerprints

did not match what was captured

in the system. One could only give

them some counsel.

I found myself moving through

examination centres in Abuja

having accepted the invitation of

the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq

Oloyede to “Monitor the

Monitors” and “spot-check on any

centre(s)” the candidates wrote the

examinations which ran for one

week in batches of three daily. I

was one of those JAMB designated

“High Power Opinion Leaders.”

JAMB wanted independent and

credible Nigerians to monitor the

examinations so they can vouch for

its integrity. It also wanted people

who are not encumbered by

bureaucracy or career

considerations to do on-the-spot

assessment and tell it what should

be done in the overall interest of

the country. I got to a centre in

Kubwa, having observed it, I

simply sent a message to the

organisation to please cancel the

centre and relocate the estimated

1,000 candidates scheduled to

write the examinations there.

As I reflected on this experience,

I felt a tinge of sadness; no matter

the candidates' brilliance, only 30

per cent of them will be admitted

due to the limited space in the

schools.

The Executive Secretary of the

National Universities

Commission, NUC, Prof.

Abubakar Rasheed said during the

examination week that of the 7.8

million university admission

seekers from 2013 to 2017, only

Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 --33

Democratic Party, PDP, were

celebrating one of their own, the

charismatic Chief James Ibori for

his safe return from British prison.

He had agreed to be deported

having spent half of his 13-year

sentence for the alleged theft of

$250 million from the coffers of

Delta State when he was its

governor. Ibori had been jailed on

April 12, 2012 and deported last

December. Having been punished

with imprisonment, he deserves

rehabilitation and reintegration

into society, and of course a second

chance, but not to be celebrated.

Even as someone who does not

have a high opinion of our political

class, I was shocked by the

revelations at the social gathering

made by the National Chairman

of the PDP, Uche Secondus. Hear

him: “Before the 2015 elections, I

received a call from our leader

(Ibori), and I asked him the

direction. He (Ibori) told me

Okowa (current governor of Delta

State) should be supported. I was

then the Deputy National

Chairman. I gathered all my

people; I said I have received an

order from our leader. Your

Excellency, I am grateful that your

decision was right. That was how

we supported Dr. Okowa because

the leader spoke to us.”

Perhaps, only in Nigeria, will a

man serving time for stealing the

funds of a state, determine the next

governor of that same state. That

this is being publicly celebrated

two years later by the leader of the

opposition makes it the more

tragic. So what lessons are we to

draw from the Secondus story

narrated with so much relish? That

crime pays and that the governor

of the state I call home was

imposed by a man serving time

having been found guilty of looting

the state’s funds. What morals was

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

Secondus teaching the young ones

as they sat down to take the JAMB

examinations? That they do not

need to worry themselves going to

school or undergoing tertiary

education; that all they need is get

into power by any means and

continue the rot. The PDP has been

accused over the years of looting

the country, I had not bogged

myself down with this because its

main accusers are like the pot

calling the kettle black. But

Secondus as its leader, shot the

party in the foot. The PDP is like a

person accused of being a thief,

found cuddling another man’s calf

in her bosom; in a decent society,

or in a decent organisation,

Secondus would have resigned or

be forced to quit. But I do not think

such a demand would come from

the party or its members.

I have hope in the younger

generation provided they are

guarded by a patriotic ideology, an

abiding faith in the sovereignty of

the people with an agenda to chart

a different course from the one the

country has been subjected to since

independence. But to merely think

things will be different just because

a person is young, is to be unwise.

This is why I do not think the “Not

too young to run” campaign

makes much sense.

I recall that a similar campaign

was launched about 2000 by those

that styled themselves the “Under

50” politicians and another group,

the “Under 40s.” What has

happened is that the former are

now in their mid and late 60s and

the latter in their mid-50s and

nothing changed because they

simply worked to take over the

mantle of ineptitude and

parochialism, and have since

disappeared into the recycling bins

of the PDP and All Progressives

Congress, APC.

The U.S, China and Africa: Issues in Sec. Tillerson’s visit

a 92 per cent African workforce.” According

to Mckinsey&Co, “the reason for the bias

toward local labour is not hard to

understand; employing Africans lead to

lower overall cost,” and referring to one

Chinese construction company supervisor

it interviewed, the report quoted him as

saying that “even though Chinese workers

tend to be more productive, it is now five

times more expensive to bring a Chinese

worker to Africa than it is to hire locally.”

This report of a foremost and prestigious

American consulting management firm

would not have escaped the attention of the

meticulous and intelligent U.S Secretary of

State,(now former) Mr. Rex Tillerson, and

his horde of advisers in the U.S State

Africa is open to

partnership with any

country or region in the

world that shows respect

to her

Department. For why Mr. Tillerson chooses

to disparage facts in favour of ideological

hankerings is best known to the former

oilman who is not at all, a stranger to Africa

in his “former life,” as he put it at the George

Mason University speech.

Hawking outright lies and slander to

tarnish China-Africa cooperation is not new

and hardly makes any impression in Africa.

In 1991, a former U.S deputy assistant

Secretary of State for human rights in a New

York Times report accused China of using

convict labour in the Republic of Benin and

later it was picked up by the British Daily

Mail report in 2008. Without any foundation

in fact, the report was a sheer fabrication

and evidently did not harm the soaring

China-Africa relations.

The PDP is like a

person accused of

being a thief, found

cuddling another

man’s calf in her

bosom; in a decent

society, or in a

decent organisation,

Secondus would

have resigned or be

forced to quit

1.9 million gained admission into

the existing 161 universities. That

means, 5.9 million admission

seekers, in a country where a

citizen’s future is largely shaped

by the certificate, could not gain

admission.

Whether they gain admission or

not, the fact is that the future of the

country is going to rest on their

shoulders; a future already so

badly damaged that like brain

injury; repair will be quite difficult.

While the examinations were

going on, leaders of the People’s

As Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson

pointed out, U.S-Africa relations is

longstanding and has been buoyed by

former President Jimmy Carter's visits to

Liberia and Nigeria in 1978 where he

announced that “our nation has now turned

in an unprecedented way toward Africa.”

And in contemporary times, according to

Secretary Tillerson, “that turning

continues,” as “our country‘s security and

economic prosperity are linked with Africa’s

like never before,” and “will only intensify

in the coming decades.”

As he sees it, Africa by the year, 2030, will

represent about one-quarter of the world’s

workforce. And by the year 2050, the

population of the continent is expected to

double to more than 2.5 billion people –

with 70 per cent of them under the age of

30.” And secondly, according to him, Africa

is experiencing significant growth. The

World Bank estimates that six of the 10

fastest growing economies in the world this

year will be African,” and narrowing it down

to Nigeria, Mr. Rex Tillerson said that “for

context, by the year 2050, Nigeria will have

a population larger than the United States

and an economy larger than Australia's,”

and added that “to understand where the

world is going, one must understand that

Africa is a significant part of the future.

African countries will factor more and more

into numerous global security and

development challenges, as well as

expansive opportunities for economic

growth and influence.”

With such robust view and understanding

of the strategic potential of Africa, the

United States of America whose State

Department or foreign ministry created its

Africa bureau in 1958, should readily mean

business by engaging Africa more

productively than into a battle-ground for

ideological contestations by the unsolicited

and false alarm of so-called China’s

“Predatory practices.” As former Nigerian

head of state, General Murtala Muhammed

affirmed in 1976 that “Africa has come of

age, and it’s no longer under the orbit of

any extra continent power,” in response to

the earlier letter of the U.S President,

Gerald Ford on how Africa should steer

clear of the former USSR and Cuba

influence on the matter of then, Angolan

Independence. The Nigerian leader warned

then, that “for too long has it been presumed

that the African needs outside "experts" to

tell him who are his friends and who are his

enemies,” and affirmed that “the time has

come when we should make it clear that we

can decide for ourselves, that we know our

own interests and how to protect those

interests; that we are capable of resolving

African problems without presumptuous

lessons in ideological dangers, which, more

often than not, have no relevance for us,

nor for the problem at hand.”

Mr. Tillerson’s current anti-China

rhetoric is more likely to meet the same

fate as former President Gerald Ford’s in

1976.

The fact is that Africa is open to

partnership with any country or region in

the world that shows respect to her. China-

Africa relations is not perfect but is working

and delivering tangible results. It is a work

in progress and has established a

mechanism for routine consultations and

dialogue.Through the mechanism of

dialogue and consultation, instituted in the

Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

(FOCAC), both sides express their concerns

and work through consultation and

consensus to drive a process of mutual

benefits and win-win cooperation.

•Mr. Onunaiju, Director, Centre for China

Studies, wrote from Abuja.

C

M

Y


34—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

C

M

Y

K

OUR self-embattled President,

Muhammadu Buhari, has been on

the road of late. I call him self-embattled

because there is no trouble he is in today

that was not brought upon him by his own

actions and utterances, including those of

the people he hired to speak for him.

Unlike his predecessor, former President

Goodluck Jonathan, Buhari has generally

been spared the type of vitriolic opposition

and barefaced falsehood which were

deployed to unseat the university teacher

from Otuoke.

The organised Labour, civil society

groups, a section of the media and foreign

backers (like the Barack Obama regime

in America) which worked with the APC

to demonise, frustrate and frighten

Jonathan out of power, are hazards that

Buhari has been spared so far. There is no

strong figure in the main opposition party

now turning the heat on this

administration. Indeed, whatever

political heat that Buhari is facing is

coming from within the ranks of a very

poorly-managed APC.

Last week, we complained of how

President Buhari went to expose himself

and our country to ridicule by offering to

“help” their President, Nana Akufo-Ado

fight “endemic corruption” in Ghana. We

wondered if he did not read the

Transparency International’s report that

ranked Nigeria 148th and Ghana 81st in

global corruption perception. Pray, what

sense does it make for a student who came

148th to offer to “help” another student

who came 81st to overcome his

“endemic” failure? Is that not laughable?

Well, Ghanaians scorned us to their

hearts’ content because there are no

snakes and monkeys that swallow cash in

Ghana.

Buhari’s ongoing internal road trips are

taking him to at least six states where

Nigerians have been massacred or

schoolgirls abducted. On each of his stops,

our president has left us with something

sour to remember. Come to think of it, this

has been a hallmark of this President.

Remember how he went to America in

June 2015 and failed to understand the

meaning of “inclusive governance.” After

it was carefully explained to him by the

moderator of the media meet, he released

the bomb which has been the most toxic

policy of his administration so far: he said

he would give 97 per cent of the goodies

of his government to those who voted for

him, and 5 per cent to those who did not.

By Carl Umegboro

THE parliamentary arm of the Federal Government

has seemingly remained a drainpipe that impedes

economic growth in the country since this

democratic system commenced in 1999. Comparatively, a

Nigerian senator or member of the House of

Representatives earns several times more than their

counterparts across the world. Still, corruption sways in

the chambers. In fact, during the previous administrations,

‘Ghana-must-go’ bags with megabucks were practically

turned into lobbying and legislative tools for screenings,

confirmation of appointments and passage of budgets. As a

result, reckless, profit-motivated and episodic impeachment

motions became the order of the day on any president in

power particularly during the Olusegun Obasanjo years

which all ended in pecuniary deals. Later, it became a

routine in the successive governments until the present

administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. In effect,

do-or-die politics ruled the polity as belonging to the

parliament became the fastest money-making venture.

Notwithstanding the gross aberrations, the lawmakers

advantageously allocated outrageous allowances to

themselves. The recently exposed monthly-running costs of

a whopping sum of N13.5 million to each senator which if

allocated to visible developmental projects across all the

constituencies will no doubt, concurrently boost

development across the nation, remains mind-boggling. It

is indeed heartless, iniquitous and greed that as much as

the amount is self-allocated and collected monthly by each

of the senators separately from consolidated salaries on

inconsequentialities. Some lawmakers once in a while will

fix a quasi-amenity but file up fictitious copious receipts

without substantiation. Meanwhile, the people in their

constituencies remain in misery, joblessness and poverty.

Then, additional N200 million for constituency projects is

Aso Villa’s faux pas road show

One of the things for which his visit to

Taraba State will remain memorable was

his statement that more people had been

killed in Taraba than Benue and Zamfara.

The meaning of this is obvious if you

contextualise it. It is generally believed

(and many Fulani leaders such as the

Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi

II have voiced it openly) that the Fulani

And when the CEO

discovers that his order

has been flouted, that his

appointee has

embarrassed and

diminished him, and he

does nothing about it,

what do you call that? A

hidden agenda appears

to be playing out between

the President and the IGP

have been the main targets of the so-called

Mambilla militias. Putting it the way he

did, President Buhari created the

impression that he was more touched by

the alleged killing of Fulani people in

Taraba than the massacre of Benue

indigenous people by armed Fulani

herdsmen or militias.

Why should comparison come into the

picture? And why should it come from the

President himself when he should concern

himself with the task of securing all

Nigerians irrespective of their primordial

backgrounds or political choices? This is

what they call “unpresidential” utterance.

It also explains a mindset that blows hot

when his favoured people are targeted but

goes cold when those he does not consider

his favourite Nigerians are attacked. Yet,

all these people voted for him in 2015 and

he still depends on their votes to return for

a second term in 2019. He will not ask if

more Fulani voted for him. Nobody asks

such questions if they are normal.

Perhaps the worst faux pas Buhari has

committed in his condolence road show

took place when he went to Benue where

herdsmen have been massacring people,

burning farms and driving people into

refugee camps everyday even after Buhari

sent the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji

Ibrahim Idris, and the Army to stop the

bloodletting. You wonder exactly what

those guys are doing there.

Remember, it was not until January 9th

2018 that Buhari finally caved in to

pressure and ordered the IGP to relocate

to Benue to lead efforts to bring peace back

to the state after the New Year Day

massacres that claimed 73 lives. And it

was not until two months after the mass

burial before Buhari went to “condole”

Benue people. He did not set foot in any

community where the tragedy took place

nor did he visit the displaced persons’

camps in Logo and Guma local

governments. He spent only a couple of

hours in the Benue Government House in

Makurdi where he met with the leadership

of the state.

But the star attraction of that visit was

what Buhari said to the shock of millions

of Nigerians and millions more of the

spectators of the Nigerian drama around

the world. He said he did not know that

IGP Idris disobeyed his order to relocate

to Benue. It is on record that the Police

Chief, just like the President, only visited

the Government House where he had a

verbal shootout with Benue leaders. He

hopped to a few crisis points and a couple

of hours later, he surfaced in neighbouring

OPINION

N13.5m: Senators and the monthly running-costs

allotted annually. Perhaps, it should be appropriately

renamed paper-projects since they are non-existent

anywhere. Little wonder, the polity is pitiable and

abandoned. Without doubt, these actions fall below the bar

of civility.

This believably, accounts for the unbending attempts to

intimidate the chairman of the Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu out of office to

pave way for a companionable new helmsman. The

fundamental question for the lawmakers

is; how could the Public Procurement Act

they passed into law specify how projects

should be bade for and executed but they

indiscriminately allocated public funds to

themselves albeit the council is yet to be

constituted? Or is the country comparable

to George Orwell’s Animal Farm where

some animals are more equal than others?

For example, Section 16(17) of the Public

Procurement Act 2014 provides that “a

contract shall be awarded to the lowest

evaluated responsive bid from the bidders

substantially responsive to the bid

Legislature’s

budgets

alone keep

rising

yearly

with

outrageous

masked

allowances

solicitation.” By the way, how could the legislature prepare

and pass its budget and also clothe itself with powers to

override the president? Indeed, this is a blinder.

The recent episodes are glaringly satirical. Lawmakers

fantastically misappropriate public funds that could help

improve the economy but always shed crocodile tears over

unemployment ratio in the country. Sensitively, if the plights

of the youths truly move them as portrayed on the

controversial Peace Corps Bill, the appropriate action

should be to expand the budgetary allocation specifically

Nasarawa State from where he returned

to Abuja.

Every iota of the IGP’s itinerary since

then, including his unsavoury utterances

suggesting that he was more for the

herdsmen than the people they are killing,

is in the public space. Buhari’s media

manager, Femi Adesina, went on Channels

TV and swore that the President receives

his media briefings every morning. I also

expect that since Buhari gave the IGP the

order to relocate to Benue he must have

received briefings from him as the

Commander-in-Chief. How possible can

it be that he would not know that his orders

were flouted? How many more orders the

President gives get flouted without his

knowing? A CEO who gives orders and they

are flouted and he does not know, what do

you call him?

And when the CEO discovers that his

order has been flouted, that his appointee

has embarrassed and diminished him, and

he does nothing about it, what do you call

that? A hidden agenda appears to be

playing out between the President and the

IGP. This is a topic for another day.

When Buhari landed in Dapchi, Yobe

State to meet with the families of the

abducted girls, he made me laugh when

he compared the way he reacted at the

abduction under his watch and that of

former President Jonathan after the

Chibok schoolgirls’ abduction in April

2014. He praised himself, saying he

reacted “faster” than Jonathan did. As if

that was the issue!

Let me draw the President’s attention to

the main issue. Following the Chibok

abduction and Jonathan’s inability to

recover them and defeat Boko Haram,

majority of Nigerian voters turned to

Buhari, a retired and supposed nononsense

military officer. Nigerians

believed Buhari would do better than

Jonathan in handling Boko Haram and

rescuing the Chibok schoolgirls. They

never expected a repetition of Jonathan’s

blunders under Buhari. Telling us he

“reacted faster” amounts to turning the

Presidency into a child’s play.

Perhaps the victims'' families clapped for

him when he told them that. After all, in

Plateau State, indigenous people are

being murdered everyday by herdsmen

militias. Yet when Buhari visited, the

indigenes still climbed billboards to

welcome him. But discerning Nigerians

know that this was not what we expected

from Buhari and his “change” gang. We

are fed up.

as employment interventionist policy which will enable the

executive expand its workforce including the existing

security agencies and thereby absorb more youths into their

respective personnel. Unfortunately, legislature’s budgets

alone keep rising yearly with outrageous masked

allowances. Over the years, politicians often play on the

sensibilities of the vulnerable citizens especially the youths,

during election periods. Interestingly, the red chamber is

presently manned by unique identities; commonsense

advocate, great anti-corruption crusader, voice of the new

generation, defender of the down-trodden, economic

empowerment strategist and many other titles who

relentlessly criticise the executive every now and again. Yet,

they collaboratively overlooked, concealed and promoted

for several years, the fraudulent running costs and

constituency projects sufficient to improve the country in few

years if prudently expended.

Presently, the 2018 Appropriation bill presented to the National

Assembly early enough, precisely on November 7, 2017 by the

President to stimulate the economy that was critically hit by

recession, sadly still hops up and down at the end of first quarter.

Incontestably, the lawmakers work for their personal interests.

The constituency projects astutely envisioned has constituted

conduits to the treasury. The bicameral legislature itself is the

grand drainpipe. As a developing democracy, Nigeria

shouldn’t have clichéd the developed system verbatim but

modify progressively.

It therefore suggest that the anti-graft agency has a lot of

work to do. No amount of propaganda should dampen the

spirits from moving into action towards recovering

misappropriated public funds, however unselectively.

•Mr. Umegboro, a public affairs analyst , wrote from Abuja.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 35


36 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 37


38 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 39


40—VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

Justice on a slow lane

This concluding part of the report

focuses on the clamours for the creation

of special courts for corruption trials

and the credibility of the trials.

By Mike Ebonugwo & Bartholomew

Madukwe

DELAYED trials: Sign of corruption

fighting back — Quakers, SAN

Also speaking on the matter, a legal

luminary, Norrison I. Quakers, SAN, had

this to say: “Overtime, in prosecuting the

anti-corruption agenda of the Buhari ledadministration,

a cause for concern has

always been the dreaded forces of corruption

fighting back with media reports of mindboggling

revelations of criminal diversion

of public funds even within the present

administration despite several ongoing

criminal trials of politically exposed persons,

PEPs.

This led to the introduction of the ‘Bill

For An Act To Protect Persons Making

Disclosures For Public Interest And Others

From Reprisals’, also known as ‘Whistleblowers

Bill’, the Witness Protection

Programme Bill and the Bill on Mutual

Assistance in Criminal Matters Between

Nigeria and other Foreign States.

“Administration of Criminal Justice Act,

ACJA, 2015 has made laudable provisions

to curtail delays in criminal justice

administration. Section 396 Administration

of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 provides that

upon arraignment, the trial of the defendant

shall proceed from day-to-day until the

conclusion of the trial.

"Where day-to-day trial is impracticable,

the Act provides that parties shall be entitled

to only five adjournments each. Similarly,

Section 306 of Administration of Criminal

Justice Act, 2015 prohibits any stay of

proceedings in criminal trials.

Creation of

special courts

“Whereas, there has been clamours for

creation of special courts to combat

corruption, there is need to have a cursory

understudy of some underlining factors

fanning the flames of corruption.

Remarkably, a strikingly abysmal

investigation by the prosecuting agencies

provides a veritable avenue for defence

attorneys in discharge of their responsibility

to their clients by virtue of the Cab Bank

Rule guiding legal practitioners and the

Constitutional Presumption of Innocence of

an accused to make a convincing argument

in view of the onus of proof beyond

reasonable doubt strapped to the

prosecution like the hangman’s noose.

"Of note, the duties and responsibilities

of a lawyer to his client, are aptly captured

in the words of the iconoclast- Lord

Denning (Master of the Rolls), C. A.

England 195 viz:

“The duty of counsel to his client in a civil

case or in defending an accused person is

to make every honest endeavour to

succeed.

He must not knowingly mislead the court

either on the facts or on the law, but short

of that, he may put such matters in evidence

or omit such others as in his discretion he

thinks will be most to the advantage of his

client.

So also, when it comes to his speech, he

must put every fair argument which appears

to him to help his client towards winning

his case. The reason is because he is not

the judge of

credibility of

witnesses or of

There are

also strong

insinuations

that

politically

exposed

persons who

are members

of the ruling

APC are

treated as

sacred cows

instead of

being

prosecuted

like others of

the opposition

parties

of concern. So,

shouldn’t there be an increase in the

number of Judges? Similarly, isn’t there

need to decongest our prisons to create

room for these politically exposed persons?

Should the independence of the judiciary

not be re-examined? Is the compensation

for whistle blowing considering the risk

involved adequate?

Section 396

“Administration of Criminal Justice Act,

2015 provides that upon arraignment, the

trial of the defendant shall proceed from

day-to-day until the conclusion of the trial.

Where day-to-day trial is impracticable, the

Act provides that parties shall be entitled

to only five adjournments each.

“Succinctly, sincerity of purpose of all

stakeholders in the administration of

•One of the premises of politically exposed persons sealed off by the EFCC

validity of

arguments.

He is only the

a d v o c a t e

employed by the

client to speak for

him and present

his case, and he

must do it to the

best of his ability,

without making

himself the judge

of its honesty.

Cicero makes the

distinction that it is

the duty of the

judge to pursue the

truth, but it is

permitted of an

advocate to urge

what has only the

semblance of it.

“Of note, the

workload of the

judges handling

criminal trials of

politically exposed

persons is an issue

criminal justice is the panacea for the

numerous challenges confronting the

speedy prosecution of politically exposed

persons in Nigeria today.”

Credibility of the trials

But while acknowledging the anticorruption

stand of the Buhari

administration, some observers are wont

to disagree with the position that

government spirited efforts to bring

politically-exposed persons to book

through the EFCC and the courts derive

from noble and fair motive.

Since 2015, the argument has gained

ground in several quarters that the anticorruption

campaign was selective and

skewed to punish only vulnerable

members of the opposition deemed as

having committed acts bordering on fraud

and corruption while in public offices.

Indeed, it is said this impression has

continued to cast a question mark on the

credibility of the trials of the politicallyexposed

persons and raises issues about

whether they are not being persecuted for

political reasons.

Apart from that, there are also strong

insinuations that politically exposed

persons who are members of the ruling

APC are treated as sacred cows instead of

being prosecuted like others of the

opposition parties.

Opposition

parties

Some critics who share this view claim

this was responsible for the increasing

trend whereby many members of the

opposition PDP have decamped to the

ruling party ostensibly to seek protection

from EFCC harassment and prosecution

in court.

They readily cite the case of a certain

former South-South state governor whose

protracted trial for alledgedly looting the

treasury of the state was speedily

dispensed of as soon as he left the PDP to

join the APC.

Although the EFCC filed fresh charges

and brought 50 counts against him, the

judge had freed him without pleas taken.

Elizabeth Korede, a legal expert, is one

of those who share this sentiment. While

acknowledging that corruption is a very

difficult thing to fight, she also posited

thus: “The present administration is

actually picking on specific people. If this

government wants to fight corruption, it

should ensure that whosoever is indicted

goes through due process, not taking some

matters serious and being unserious with

some. “Take for instance the appointment

of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA,

Director-General, Mr Ahmed Rufai

Abubakar. This is

somebody who has

ben alleged to have

committed fraud.

Meanwhile, there are

people whose cases

weren’t as serious but

yet they were sacked”.

It was on the basis

of this that she

advocates the

position that: “Those

delayed cases, most

of them involve

individuals who are

opposed to this

administration. The

Buhari government

merely brought back

their cases to make it

look as if they are

serious in fighting

corruption”.

Additional report

by Wahab Abdulahi


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—41

AJAYI

I, formerly known and

addressed as Ajayi

Moriamo Akanke, now

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addressed as

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Akanke. All former

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valid. General public

please take note.

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addressed as Ezeribe

Chikodi Angela, now

wish to be known and

addressed as Mrs.

Okoli Chikodi Angela.

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remain valid. General

public please take note.

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addressed as Francis

Arit, now wish to be

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as Akinlosotu Arit

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please take note.

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Tosan Esther, now

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please take note.

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addressed as Miss

Iriemenam Mary-Jane

Jane, now wish to be

known and addressed

as Mrs. Nkeweshe

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please take note.

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Ocheze Alajuruonye,

now wish to be known

and addressed as Gift

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public please take note.

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I, formerly known and

addressed as Miss

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Ozioma, now wish to

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Correction of Name

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Rappertena wish to notify

the general public that in

my bank /BVN details, my

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written as Ojokojo Power

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Union Bank and general

public please take note

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take note.

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Correction of Name

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Confirmation of Name

I, Mr. Olali Jim Albert

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Addition of Name

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OSUN

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OR

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ER

THIS

SPACE

IS

FOR

SALE

Transcorp

Hotels gets

new chairman

By Emmanuel Elebeke

A Shareholders

BUJA—THE

of

Transcorp Hotels Plc have

elected a new Chairman of

the board of the company.

The election was conducted at

the 4th Annual General Meeting

of the company held at Transcorp

Hilton Abuja at the weekend.

The new chairman is Alhaji

Abdulkadir Jeli Bello and he is to

replace Olorogun O’tega

Emerhor, who had served on the

board for 10 meritorious years.

Meanwhile, the shareholders

commended the management

and staff of the Company for

achieving an impressive financial

and operational performance in

the financial year ended 31st

December 2017.

They said the commendation

was well deserving because the

management team of the hotel

strived very hard to deliver on

their mandate, despite the

challenging economic climate

and unforeseen events which

took a toll on the hospitality

business in the country, especially

in 2017, attributing the

achievement to 30 years of rich

experience in providing superior

luxury hospitality service.

National

Transport

Commission

Bill'll

ensure

positive devt

—Senator

By Olasunkanmi

Akoni

LAGOS—AS the Senate

finally passed the

National Transport

Commission Bill, last

Thursday, Senator Gbenga

Ashafa said the bill would

set the transport sector on

the path of positive

development.

The bill was passed after a

clause by clause consideration.

The National Transport

Commission Bill was sponsored

for the first time in 2008 but could

not be passed till the end of the

assembly due to the complex

nature of the bill.

The current version of the

National Transport Commission

Bill was sponsored by Senator

Andy Uba and was read for the

second time on the floor of the

Senate on 7th of October, 2015

after which the Senate referred

the Bill to the Joint Senate

Committee of Land Transport,

Marine Transport and Aviation

Transport, chaired by Senator

Ashafa representing Lagos East

Senatorial District.

The Chairman of the Joint

Senate Committee, Senator

Ashafa and other members held

interactive sessions with

stakeholders in the Transport

Industry to evaluate the bill

including a public hearing to

enable them diligently handle

the bill before same was

presented to the Senate for third

reading.


42—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

2019: Why Buhari delays to

declare intention— PRESIDENCY

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

Athe BUJA—DESPITE

plethora of calls

from loyalists of

President Buhari to

declare for 2019 election,

the Presidency has said

President Buhari’s

silence on making his

intention known was to

prevent the opponent of

his government from

sabotaging the country.

President Buhari has

also said the reason for

his proposed visit to

River State was to

condole with the families

of those affected by

various killings in the

state.

The President had kept

his party members in

suspense on whether he

will seek re-election in

2019, even though some

prominent Nigerians

such as former President

Olusegun Obasanjo and

former Head of State,

Gen. Ibrahim Babangida,

had advised him not to

seek another term.

But the Presidency said

if the President spoke

too early about his

ambition, it might give

ammunition to unnamed

opponents to throw

everything at him and

sabotage the country.

President Buhari’s

Special Adviser on

Media and Publicity,

Chief Femi Adesina, in

an interview in Abuja,

Dapchi schoolgirls'll be released

in 2 weeks— DEFENCE MINISTER

Continues from Page 5

Reacting to the Defence

Minister’s disclosure on

release of the Dapchi

girls, the pan-Yoruba

socio-political

organisation, Afenifere,

said there might be an

orchestrated agenda to

score some political

points.

weekend, said the

President could not

speak about his ambition

now since the election in

2019 was still a year

away because of the

consequences that could

follow if he declared his

intention.

The presidential

spokesman, who was

asked when President

Buhari will declare for

2019, said: “You know

Afenifere’s National

Publicity Secretary, Mr

Yinka Odumakin, said: “If

he is giving the timelines,

he may be unwittingly

saying that this is an

orchestrated agenda to

ensure that as we move to

elections, it will show that

this government is better

than the previous one.

"You will remember that

recently, the President

the peculiarity of Nigeria

particularly now. If the

president speaks too

early, it’s a problem.

There is a lot of sabotage

in the country.

“So, when you know

that, why then do you

speak early? I think it

makes a lot of sense for

you then to keep things

close to your chest till it

is time for you to then

say, ‘ok, I’m running’ by

said that his response was

better than the previous

government’s response.

So, if he is giving us

details on when they are

going to be released, it

goes to show that this

may have been

orchestrated to score

some political points.”

which time they can do

less damage.”

Recall that President

Buhari had in November

last year while speaking

with some members of

the Nigerian community

in Cote d’Ivoire said he

came to the meeting with

two governors so that

their people may vote for

him in future.

The President who

arrived late at the

meeting with the

Nigerian community had

said, “First, I want to

apologize for keeping

you for too long. This is

because I insisted on the

governors attending this

meeting.

“This is why I came

along with them so that

when we are going to

meet you, when you are

going to meet the rest of

Nigerians, if you tell

them that their

governors were in the

company of the

president, I think that

will be another vote for

me in the future. I’m

very pleased that they

were able to turn up.”

The Presidency also

explained the

President’s proposed

visit to Rivers State

which Governor Nyesom

Wike has faulted

because, according to

him, it was based on

wrong premise.

The Presidency had

listed Rivers among the

states the President

would visit over killings

in parts of the country,

most of which is blamed

on herdsmen but

Governor Wike had

claimed that he was not

formally informed of any

such visit and that the

state was not among

states in the country

under siege as a result

of herdsmen attacks.

But Adesina explained

that President Buhari’s

intention was to condole

with the families of those

affected by various

killings in the state.

He recalled the Omoku

killings and the

beheading of other

victims whose heads

were taken away by their

assailants.

He said: “If he (Wike)

doesn’t understand, the

rest of the country

understands.We

understand, other

Nigerians understand.

Even people in Rivers

State understand

because on New Year

Day, a minimum of 24

people were killed in

Omoku."


VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018—43

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

Herdsmen killings in Edo: Obaseki

orders arrest of bandits within 7 days

•BNC, Esan youths to embark on procession with coffins

•Herdsmen've seized 3 communities in Delta — Okowa

•Urges security agencies to tackle menace

By Simon

Ebegbulem,

Festus Ahon,

Gabriel

Enogholase

BENIN— GOVERNOR

Godwin Obaseki of Edo

State has ordered the arrest

of the bandits responsible for

the death of three persons,

two adults and a minor in

Ugboha, Esan South East

Local Government Area of

Edo State, weekend.

The governor condemned

the unwarranted killings by

the bandits under the guise

of herdsmen, in

contravention of

government’s directive that

cattle should not move in Edo

State at night.

Five persons including a

first year student of Ambrose

Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo

State, Collins Ojierakhi, were

allegedly killed by herdsmen

in Ugboha, Esan South East

and Odiguete community in

Ovia North East Local

Government Areas of Edo

state.

Apart from the death, about

12 persons are currently

hospitalised at Benin Central

Hospital and other private

hospitals as a result of the

attack by the herdsmen.

Herdsmen have

seized 3

communities in

Delta—Okowa

Meanwhile, in Delta State,

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has

raised the alarm that three

communities in Uwheru,

Ughelli North Local

Government Area of the state

have been occupied by

rampaging herdsmen,

charging security agencies to

curb their nefarious activities

in the state before it

snowballs into crisis.

Speaking when Assistant

Inspector-General, AIG, in

charge of Zone 5, Mr

Rasheed Akintunde, paid

him a courtesy call, Okowa

said “the Uwheru community

situation is a very pathetic."

Obaseki orders

arrest of bandits

In Edo State, a statement

in Benin City by Special

Adviser to the Governor on

Media and Communication

Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie,

said the governor had

ordered that the culprits must

be apprehended within

seven days.

He said the governor also

directed the committee made

up of the police, Department

of State Services, DSS, and

other security agencies to

work with members of all

associations of cattle dealers

and people who have

information regarding the

activities of the bandits to fish

them out within the stipulated

period.

He condoled with the

families of the victims and

pledged his administration’s

commitment to the safety and

security of all Edo people and

residents in the state as well

as their property.

The governor appealed to

members of the affected

communities to keep the

peace and be rest assured that

the culprits will be

apprehended and that justice

will be served.

BNC, Esan youths

to embark on

procession with

coffins

Meanwhile, Benin

National Congress, BNC, a

socio-cultural organisation

FG to sustain relative peace in

N-Delta through dialogues —Minister

By Chris Ochayi

A BUJA—FEDERAL

Government has

reiterated its determination

to continuously engage

Niger Delta stakeholders

with dialogues to sustain

the current security

situation, peace and

development of the region.

Minister of State, Ministry

of Niger Delta Affairs, Prof.

Claudius Daramola, gave

the assurance at a one-day

peace and security

enlightenment town hall

meeting and community

health outreach

programme at Eyekogba

village in Oredo Local

and Esan youths, have vowed

to commence procession with

coffins this week, to demand

what they described as the

compulsory arrest of the

herdsmen, who killed five

persons in different parts of

the state, weekend.

BNC Director of Publicity,

David Ekomwenrenren, in a

statement, said: “We are

saying enough is enough.

The BNC is going to mobilise

our people across the three

senatorial districts of the state

for a procession with caskets

and coffins round Benin

metropolis and other major

towns in Edo State for seven

days until all the perpetrators

are arrested and brought to

justice.”

On its part, Esan youths in

a statement by Donatus

Akhere said: “We will go all

out to hunt for the killers of

our three brothers in Esan by

Government Area of Edo

State.

Daramola said: “This

initiative is specifically

designed to enlighten the

populace on government

programmes, projects and

policies geared towards

securing and developing

the Niger Delta region on

a sustainable basis.

“It also serves as a

feedback mechanism for

the ministry and our key

stakeholders.”

He said the dialogue

strategy had the capability

to mitigate some hydraheaded

agitations that

keep re-occurring in some

communities within the

region.

herdsmen, one of them a first

year student of Ambrose Alli

University, Ekpoma. They

have been raping our

women, killing our people in

the farms but enough is

enough.”

Herdsmen demand

payment from

farmers in Delta

Meanwhile, in Delta State,

Okowa said: “The presidentgeneral

of the community

spoke on the fact that the

farmers are told to pay the

herdsmen before they can

enter their farms and this is

very disturbing because it is

strange for indigenes to pay

money before they can enter

their farms and I believe

something has to be done

before it degenerates into a

major situation.

“This has been going on for

several years but it has got

worse in recent times, so,

AIG, this situation has to be

addressed immediately as

security issue.”

PRESENTATION: Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc,

Ademola Adebise (right) and Executive Director, South Bank, Wema

Bank Plc, Wole Akinleye (left) presenting a certificate of participation

to Principal, OAU International School, Mrs AOL Adeniyi, during

2018 Financial Literacy Day celebration, at the school, in Ile-Ife,

Osun State..

He pointed out that the

goal of government was to

create a conducive

atmosphere for

investments, stability and

socio-economic well-being

of Niger Delta region.

The minister, represented

by Mr. Gundu Marshal,

Chief Press Secretary in the

ministry, enjoined all

stakeholders to collaborate

with the federal and state

governments by building

the needed synergy and

partnership to promote

socio-economic

development as well as

sustainable peace,

development and stability

of the Niger Delta region.

N-Delta govs not commited

to issues that'll change lives

—Ikpomnwen

By Simon

Ebegbulem

BENIN

CITY—

FORMER Provost

Marshal of Nigerian Army,

Brig-Gen. Idada Ikponmwen

(retd), has said Niger Delta

governors are not

championing the struggle for

a thorough and holistic

change that this country

needs to move forward.

Ikponmwen, who stated

this in his acceptance speech

after he was elected Edo State

chairman of Pan Niger Delta

Forum, PANDEF, said: "From

what we have seen, it is not

party allegiance but may be

the governors feel so

comfortable that they do not

want to be instrument of

change."

He said PANDEF will

galvanize international

organisations and

government at all levels with

a view to uplifting the lives of

Ekere discloses plans to

establish NDEDF in

N-Delta

By Chioma

Onuegbu

UYO —MANAGING

Director of Niger

Delta Development

Commission, NDDC,

Obong Nsima Ekere, has

disclosed plans by the

commission to establish

Niger Delta Export

Development Fund,

NDEDF, in the region.

Ekere made this known

in his keynote address

while flaging off

distribution of liquid

organic fertilisers and soil

booster in Akwa Ibom State

and subsequent

distribution of 11,000 litres

each of soil conditioner and

agric zyme to farmers in

Warri North council

inaugurates education

c'ttee

By Gab Ejuwa

K

O K O —

DETERMINED

to improve the quality of

education in the council,

Chairman of Warri North

Local Government Area of

Delta State, Mr Aduge

Okorodudu has

inaugurated a 13-man

education committee to

assist in the provision of

quality education to

children in the council.

Okorodudu, while

inaugurating the committee

in Koko, headquarters of

Warri North council,

charged members of the

committee to be serious with

the tasks ahead because of

the strategic importance of

education to the future of our

the people of Niger Delta.

Conducting the election, a

member of National Electoral

Commission of PANDEF, Dr

Osasu Isibor, said

Ikponmwen emerged

through a concensus, adding

that the three positions zoned

to Edo State, which include

National Chairman of the

Advisory Council,

Organising Secretary and

Woman Leader of PANDEF,

were also contested for and

winners would be sworn-in

at the national convention of

PANDEF in Warri, Delta

State.

Ikponmwen, who

expressed gratitude to

members for electing him,

pointed out that contrary to

insinuations in some

quarters, PANDEF was not

an opposition to the Federal

Government, saying the

objective of the forum was

nothing political but to protect

the interest of the people of

Niger Delta.

Uyo, weekend.

Ekere who was

represented by Akwa Ibom

State Commissioner on the

Board of NDDC, Mr.

Samuel Frank, said: “The

commission is currently in

dialogue with Nigerian

Export-Import Bank,

NEXIM, to establish

NDEDF.

“This fund, when in

place, shall offer

opportunities to the people

of Niger Delta to access

facilities for processing and

export of agricultural

produce. We envisage a

good turnaround in

agricultural production and

processing and export of

product from the region

when this partnership is

established."

children of the council.

Okorodudu, represented

by the vice chairman of the

council, Mr Sunny Abilo,

said: “The committee is

made up of men of integrity

and seasoned educationists

with Elder Sam Bobi as

chairman and E.A.

Madamedon as Secretary

respectively, while Mr

Frank Olu was also

appointed Chairman Warri

North Local Government

Revenue Waterways

Committee.”

Speaking on behalf of the

members, Chairman of the

committee, Bobi thanked the

council boss for the

opportunity given to them

to serve and promised that

the committee will make

everyone proud by working

hard to achieve their terms

of reference.


44--- VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

•Nwosu

2019: Ignore

Obasanjo’s advise at

your own risk — Prof.

ABC Nwosu

PROFESSOR ABC Nwosu served as Political Adviser

to President Olusegun Obasanjo at the onset of the

Fourth Republic and was later appointed Minister of

Health in the same government.

In this interview, he describes his erstwhile boss as a

very intelligent and capable leader, submitting,

among other things that anyone who ignores his

advise especially on 2019 general elections would

be doing so at his or her own peril.

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

HOW, in your opinion, has

Nigeria fared in the last 3

years?

Very badly. Before people dismiss this

simple answer as an answer from a frontbench

PDP member, let me quickly add

that I am also very worried for our

country. These days Nigerians are no

longer worried about whether they will

be killed by joblessness, hunger and

poverty, Nigerians are now more

worried whether they will be killed by

herdsmen, suicide bombers ,

kidnappers, armed militias, etc.

Nigerians more than ever since 1970

have begun to question the very basis

of our nationhood. This is dangerous

and the security situation should be

quickly brought under control to give

citizens more faith in Nigeria. Nigerians

have seen through the hollowness of

the anti-corruption campaign and the

report of Transparency International and

are now more focused on security of

lives and property.

So, were you then surprised that the

abduction of girls from Dapchi, Yobe

State has occurred a year to the 2019

elections just like that of Chibok girls

in 2014?

I was shocked, frightened and

confused. My advice to the APC

government is that it must swallow its

pride and seek external (foreign) help

in a determined effort to reorganize,

reequip and redirect the intelligence

and coercive agencies of Nigeria in a

manner that shall bring the current

insecurity situation under control in less

than six months. Government does not

have beyond this time-frame because

too many people have died already.

And more will die if government does

not take urgent and decisive action. The

forces behind the current insecurity

situation may be too much for any

African nation to handle and concerted

action -militarily, diplomatically and

economically may be required. This was

how this government began in 2015. It

is no use playing the Ostrich now and

repeating ad-nuasuem that Boko Haram

has been technically defeated and that

herdsmen -farmers clashes are

communal issues or that herdsmen are

foreigners. Nigerians are not stupid.

But you were in PDP and the PDP

was in government when all these

began to happen?

I have been a member of PDP from

day one but I was not in government

when these problems began.

Incidentally, I was only in the

government of President Obasanjo as a

Special Adviser same as Prof. Ango

Abdullahi. That government inherited

insecurity in the Niger Delta and very

low oil export and that government dealt

with it.

That government inherited huge

foreign debts and dealt with it. That

government met a low tele-density and

dealt with it by giving Nigerians mobile

telephone system. That government met

massive corruption and established in

its first year ICPC first, and two years

later, the EFCC. Even the whistleblower

idea is a PDP idea; therefore I

do not really accept the garbage of

propagandists called “sixteen years of

PDP misrule” by a government that has

taken Nigeria back into foreign debt

peonage. I chuckle and simply point to

many APC-government missteps since

2015 and retort by saying “look at who

is talking”.

You are now responding like a

partisan PDP politician...

(Cuts in) That is what I am and that is

why I am committed to PDP regaining

popular mandate and the responsibility

to give Nigeria a renewed lease of life

in 2019.

So you believe that PDP can take over

government in Nigeria in 2019?

I do not know about takeovers but I

believe that the PDP shall win the

majority votes in 2019 general elections.

I also believe that this would be best for

Nigeria.

Why?

Because the PDP believes in Nigeria,

a Nigeria that works for all and not just

for some of its citizens. The PDP believes

in a northern presidency as well as a

southern presidency; an eastern

presidency and a western presidency.

The PDP believes in inclusiveness such

that all citizens no matter where they

come from will have a sense of

belonging.

Thus the Obasanjo government of

1999 had a Vice President from

Adamawa State, Chief of Staff from

Kwara State, Secretary to the

Government from Akwa Ibom State,

National Security Adviser from Zamfara

State, Inspector-General of Police from

Lagos State, Director-General of NIA

from Anambra State. Nobody felt

excluded.

But former President Obasanjo has

disowned the PDP and is now

promoting a “Third Force”.

Former president Obasanjo has

proposed a “third force” that is neither

PDP nor APC. In fact, his most recent

comments are anti APC government as

he can respectfully go.

And all of us who have had the

privilege of working with him know that

one can ignore him and his advise at

one’s risk, because he is a very

intelligent and capable leader. I believe

that his advice to Nigerians with regard

to the “Third Force” is for us to stop

being docile, to stop belly-aching over

bad-governance or non governance

and coalesce into a potent force-the

“third force “. My understanding is that

such a third force can only find political

expression via a registered political

party. I am convinced that for anybody

who is not satisfied with the current

trajectory of governance, the viable

alternative is the PDP.

Even with people like Professors

Tunde Adeniran and Jerry Gana

leaving the PDP?

It would be the most painful if they

leave. I do not believe that a person like

Professor Jerry Gana in whose house

the meetings to form the PDP were held

in 1998 will leave the party. Ditto for

Professor Adeniran and so. I believe that

everything is being done to ensure that

they remain a part of the party which

they helped to midwife.

I believe also that politicians of like

mind will come together under a

common banner before the 2019 general

elections so as to save the Nigerian

All of us who have

had the privilege of

working with him

know that one can

ignore him and his

advise is at one’s risk,

because he is a very

intelligent and capable

leader

project under a PDP government.

Prof, you are a prominent Igbo

politician. Where do Ndigbo stand on

all these; APC, PDP, “ Third Force “ or

Igbo presidency?

Ndigbo are not only troubled by what

Nigeria has become but also by what

they have become in the diminished

country they had very high hopes for at

Independence. Consequently, forces

more than third, fourth and fifth forces

are currently operating in the south east.

Everyone outside Igboland sees only

the neo-Biafra forces but the forces for

restructuring of Nigeria are more potent

and cut across all segments. In my view,

Ndigbo are more interested in political

restructuring of Nigeria than in Igbo

presidency. As the time for 2019 election

approaches, these forces and tendencies

in Igboland will begin to be resolved in

a manner that will permit prediction as

to what Ndigbo will do in the 2019

general elections.

You mean inspite of robust opposition

from the North, political restructuring

remains the number one agenda for

Ndigbo?

Yes. The opposition is from a few

groups and individuals and not from the

north really. Ndigbo cannot understand

why in a federal republic any reasonable

Nigerian will oppose devolution of

power, decision-making, and resources

from the center to federating units, thus

granting greater autonomy to the

government nearer to the citizens.

Who will be hurt if education, health

services, maintenance of some roads ,

etc, now become also responsibilities of

federating units? How will state police

established by law diminish national

security especially when it is states that

currently provide much of the funds for

the maintenance of internal security?

And will the monster of corruption not

be substantially tamed if there are less

funds at the centre (federal

government)? Where will public officers

steal billions of Naira from? Who is

happy with the high cost of federal

government and its size (over 500

Parastatals) with over 8000 abandoned

projects scattered all over the country?

So until those who are opposed to

restructuring proffer superior

arguments, Ndigbo will continue to

push for this single political action that

will bring Nigeria back to true

development and modernity.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 45


46 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

Ilechukwu

takes

responsibility

for MFM ouster

Mountain of Fire Miracle

FC coach, Fidelis

Ilechukwu said he was

disappointed with the

manner his side was

dismissed from the CAF

Champions League, stating

that his best was not good

enough to lift the team.

MFM making their

continental debut were

thumped 6-0 by Algerian side

MC Alger. MFM won the first

leg in Lagos 2-1.

“Blame me for the loss

against MC Alger. My

players did their absolute best

and the management also

tried, but my best wasn’t

enough to qualify the team to

the CAF Champions League

group stage,” Ilechukwu told

SCORENigeria.

“I understand that a lot of

people in Nigeria would have

been disappointed and at this

point I can only take full

responsibility and apologise to

our ever loyal fans, the Lagos

State Government and Daniel

Olukoya.”

NFF President Pinnick and Cadbury MD Shami Amir

NFF, CADBURY SEAL NEW DEAL

•UNVEIL TOM TOM AS OFFICIAL

CANDY OF THE SUPER EAGLES

For at least the next three

years, popular candy

TomTom will play the role of

‘Official Candy of the Super

Eagles,’ following a contract

agreement publicly presented

by chieftains of the Nigeria

Football Federation and

Cadbury Nigeria PLC in Lagos

on Friday.

The leading food beverage and

confectioneries manufacturers

have been on this route before,

but Mike Itemuagbor, CEO of

Pamodzi Sports Marketing

which is the Sponsorship

Agency,disclosed that “this is

much bigger than what they

were doing previously.”

President of the Nigeria

Football Federation, Mr. Amaju

Melvin Pinnick expressed the

football body’s delight and

excitement at regaining “a

CAF Champions League:

Plateau crash out despite

pipping Etoile

Plateau United were a goal

shy of advancing to the

group stages of the CAF

Champions League after

beating visiting Etoile du

Sahel 1-0 at the Sanni Abacha

Stadium in Kano.

The Tunisians went through

4-3 on aggregate having won

the first game in Sousse 4-2.

Plateau United will now battle

to reach the group stage of the

Confederation Cup, just like

fellow NPFL campaigners

MFM FC, who were trounced

by MC Alger of Algeria

Saturday night.

It is now five years since a

By Solomon Nwoke

World Silver medallist and

2014 Commonwealth

Champion, Odunayo

Adekuoroye (57kg), Eight

super brand” back into the

fold, while pledging that the

Federation would abide by

every letter of the contract

agreement.

“The Nigeria Football

Federation is pleased to be

publicly presenting this

worthwhile agreement with

Cadbury Nigeria Plc. We

appreciate what Cadbury

Nigeria Plc has done for

Nigerian Football over the

years and we rejoice that they

are back with us.

Managing Director of Cadbury

Nigeria Plc, Amir Shami

confirmed that the agreement

would be for three years and

that far more than the rights’

fee, the company would be

spending a lot of money in

activation.

Nigerian club featured in the

group stage of the Champions

League.

Plateau United striker Tosin

Omoyele scored the only gaol

of the match in 24 minutes

after getting an assist from

defender Salomon Junior.

The Jos club pushed for an

early goal and could have got

one as early as the 10th

minute but Peter Eneji could

only watch as his effort

crashed against the post.

However, Plateau United

goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye

pulled off a great save on 20

minutes to deny Bangoura.

C/Wealth Games: Adekuoroye,

Daniel, Oborodudu among 12-man

wrestling team

time African champion,

Blessing Oborududu (68kg)

and Six time African

champion, Amas Daniel

(65kg) who doubles as the

captain of the Nigeria male

team are among the 12-man

team of wrestlers that will fly

the country’s flag at the 2018

Commonwealth Games in

Gold Coast, Australia next

month.

The team made up of six male

and six women apiece which

include 2014 Commonwealth

Champion, Aminat Adeniyi,

2014 Commonwealth Bronze

medallist, Blessing

Onyebuchi (76kg), 2015 All

Africa Games gold medallist

and two-times African

Champion,Mercy Genesis

(50kg) and African champion,

Bose Samuel (53kg).

Others are 010

Commonwealth Games gold

medalist, Sinivie Boltic

(125kg), African champion

Melvin Bibo (86kg),

Commonwealth silver

medalist, Welson

Ebikewenimo (57kg); former

African champion, Soso

Tamarau (97kg) and Amos

Assizecourt (74kg).

Nigeria’s paratable

tennis will

deliver medal

F

aith Bazuaye, a para-table

tennis athlete has assured

that she has prepared

adequately to be able to win a

medal at the upcoming

Commonwealth Games.

Bazuaye said that she

resumed camping in January

under the supervision of Bello

Nasiru, the national coach of

the Nigeria Table Tennis

Federation (NTTF).

She said the training which

was targeted at putting her in

a good shape for a glorious

performance has fine tuned her

skills and got her ready for the

Games.

“Being the only female player

in the para-table tennis event

for Nigeria, I know that

expectations are high because

of the previous record of female

players in past Commonwealth

Games.

Ighalo

Ighalo rescues a point

for Chinese club

Chelsea, Arsenal Russian

owners in danger

There are fears United

Kingdom authorities may

clamp down on Russian owners

of Chelsea and Arsenal in the

wake of the diplomatic spat

between England and Russia.

The worlds of politics and sport

have been fused together in

recent days in the wake of the

alleged Russian assassination

attempt on a former spy and his

daughter in Salisbury.

On Sunday, Rory Smith of the

New York Times looks into how

Chelsea’s Roma Abramovich

and Arsenal shareholder

Alisher Usmanov could be

dragged into the UK-Russia

tensions.

Last week in the Times,

journalist Matthew Syed was

the first to suggest that

Abramovich risks losing

Chelsea FC.

Syed has long voiced his belief

that Abramovich only bought

Chelsea “for protection” in

case Vladimir Putin came after

him.

Syed suggested that

Abramovich could now lose his

Premier League club as

Russian oligarchs in the UK

Odion Ighalo yesterday rescued his club

Changchun Yatai their second defeat as

he scored to level up in their 1-1 draw

against Beijing Renhe in the Chinese

Super League encounter at

Development Area Stadium.

It was Ighalo’s first goal of the season. the forward

continued with the impressive form with a goal

against the newly-promoted side in his third outing

for the club this term to help Chen Jingang’s side

secure their second point in the division.

Following their 5-0 thrashing by Guangzhou

Evergrande in their last game, Yatai were

on the verge of suffering their second

consecutive defeat before the Nigeria

international came to their rescue.

Both sides failed to get the much-needed

goal to claim the victory as they both

settled for a point apiece.

Ighalo who featured from start to finish

in the tie will be looking to bring his

goalscoring touch when Nigeria trade

tackles with Poland on March 23 and

Serbia four days later in tuneup

games as part of their

preparation for the 2018 Russia

World Cup.

Salah set to claim EPL African

players goals record

With four goals to his credit last Saturday against Watford,

Liverpool top striker Mohammed Salah is two goals shy of

breaking the English Premier League for most goals scored in a

season for African players.

The Liverpool star’s haul in the 5-0 home win over Watford took

his tally for the campaign to 28 goals.

Not only did those strikes propel him four ahead of Tottenham

Hotspur striker Harry Kane in the race for the Premier League

Golden Boot, they also took him to within one goal of the tally

returned by Chelsea’s Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba,

who scored 29 in 2009/10.

Most goals by Africans in a PL season

Season Player Club Country Goals

2009/10 Drogba CHE Ivory Coast 29

2017/18 Salah LIV Egypt 28

2007/08 Adebayor ARS Togo 24

2006/07 Drogba CHE Ivory Coast 20

2013/14 Y Toure MCI Ivory Coast 20

2006/07 McCarthy BLB South Africa 18

2015/16 Mahrez LEI Algeria 17

2011/12 Adebayor TOT Togo 17

2011/12 Yakubu BLB Nigeria 17

could have their assets seized.

Both Britain’s prime minister,

Theresa May, and her foreign

secretary, Boris Johnson, have

raised the possibility of striking

back at Russia’s president,

Vladimir V. Putin, by targeting

the assets of oligarchs living in

London.

Abramovich


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 — 47


Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

TODAY’S PUZZLE

Sudoku

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER

TODAY’S CROSSWORD

QUICK CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’SOLUTION

ACROSS

1 Curved structure (4)

3 Pre-dinner drink (8)

9 Chewy sweet (7)

10 Composer of La

Traviata (5)

11 Mar (5)

12 Lever for turning a

rudder (6)

14 Something strange (6)

16 Pandemonium (6)

19 Three-legged stand (6)

21 Confronted (5)

24 Proclamation (5)

25 Chivalrous, dashing (7)

26 Roasting (anag.) (8)

27 Aspersion (4)

DOWN

1 Forbear (8)

2 Freight (5)

4 Courteous (6

5 Competitor (5)

6 Underwater projectile (7)

7 Equitable (4)

8 Charm (6)

13 One to whom money is

owed (8)

15 Beloved (7)

17 Nonsense (6)

18 Proverbs (6)

20 Donned (3,2)

22 Swimming stroke (5)

23 Nil (4)

How to Play Sudoku

Place a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two

of the same number).

Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines

from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine

blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no

number can appear twice in any block, column or row.

No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or

multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination.

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Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: EZE ANABA. Phone: 01-4548355, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.

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