PAGE 42—SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 8, 2018 2019: You have failed us, group tells Delta lawmaker *’My achievements are verifiable’ From left: Assistant Director, Science and Technology Development, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Aberuagba Olufemi; Head of Channel Marketing, PZ Cussons, Ayodeji Adewale; Brand Manager, Anaekwe Aishat; Director, Science and Technology Department, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ibiyeye Adebayo, and the Activation Manager – Lagos, PZ Cussons, Olatunji Fisayo, First Stage, Examination of 5 th Edition of PZ Cussoms Chemistry Challenge in Lagos. I dreamt of building the tallest building in Africa —Ogundele, MD/CEO, Sujimoto BY DESTINY ESEAGA Mr Sijibomi Ogundele, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sujimoto, in this piece, says he dreamt of building the tallest residential building in Africa. Years 2016 and 2017 were probably the most difficult period of my life. I had dreamt and developed the biggest project in my life – the tallest residential building in Sub- Saharan Africa estimated to cost 90 million dollars. I invested all my money, time and passion into something I believed in. Unfortunately for me, the economy was very bad and things became very rough. I had to let go the best people around me. There’s a way life tries to snatch your dream away and suddenly everything you are doing looks •Sijibomi Ogundele impossible. Some people told me that real intractable. True? No. I do not believe so. We have had challenges of insurgency before and it was curtailed. We have had occasions where herdsmen quarrelled with villagers, and such were curtailed. But then, these things are on the rise because nobody is paying due attention to them. My advice is that the Federal Government should appoint a responsible and responsive Deputy National Security Adviser to deal with these internal crises rather than leaving it to the multi-agency platforms currently being used to tackle them. I intend to be part of the search for solutions for optimal security attention to some of these issues when I get to the Senate. From left: Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, Vice President. Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Valery Aleksandeuk, President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Paul Ruwase, FCA, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, NataliaMykolska and Ambassador of Ukraine to Nigeria, Sergi Skystil, during the Ukrainian Chamber Delegation to LCCI. estate is a difficult sector, so it would be best for me to leave my passion and do something else. I visited my old-time friend’s water factory in Abeokuta and thought about venturing into the ‘pure-water’ business. I even went back to Ijebu Igbo and visited some farms because it seemed agriculture and farming had become the new ‘oil’. Some people began convincing me to leave everything and deviate into something I knew nothing about (agriculture & farming). Even the guy (my supposed best friend) whom I borrowed almost two million dollars was always coming up with stories. I tried to sell everything I owned to move to NYC (New York City). I had spoken to a successful Nigerian actor who had moved to Atlanta because of the steep recession. He said life was easier there, things were stable and I could access credit through a flexible banking system. I was confused and devastated, but I kept the words of Napoléon Hills book on replay in my head. I remembered that my present situation should not determine my destination.. But I knew in my heart that running away wasn’t the definition of the Motomatics Philosophy I had created, the Sujimoto I know and advocated wasn’t a runaway loser, neither was it lack of focus kind of personality or company... I developed courage and refocused my life. I revisited my options and created Guilliano, the son of Lorenzo, the Grandson of Cosimo the Medici. I conceptualised, planned and executed the project, even though I didn’t have all the money. In less than six months, though I am still not where I want to be, but I am thankful to the almighty that I am not where I used to be. It’s been the most inspiring, most difficult and most challenging time for me. But now, I am thankful I didn’t give up, runoff or lose hope. OSHIOMHOLE: THE ANATOMY OF A STATESMAN Continued from page 41 workers apart from the fact that he was not associated with any godfather when he decided to plunge into the murky waters of Nigerian politics. Indeed he fought godfatherism to a standstill in Edo State and he had to quickly disband the rainbow coalition he put together after the titanic legal battle to retrieve his mandate when it became clear that those who made the previous government fail in the state were determined to undermine his resolve to transform the state and take it to new heights. In Nigeria, we have a legacy of dysfunctional political process marked by executive dominance and political corruption. This has created a “godfather” political culture that sees government mainly as an instrument of personal power and accumulation of private wealth. This was the situation in Edo State before Oshiomhole’s ascension to power. The “godfathers” were intolerably powerful and were unimpeded by law. Their hold on power made them acquire more wealth and, therefore, more power to the detriment of the poor suffering masses of Edo State. This obviously made the transfer of power in an orderly manner difficult in 2007 leading to many months of legal battle after the massively rigged gubernatorial election. Some few months to the inevitable end of Adams Oshiomhole’s tenure as governor of Edo State, the polity was heated up because of political realignments. Comrade Oshiomhole was however helped on this matter by the fact that the majority of Edo people perceived the defections of some former APC members to the PDP then as an elite contestation for power with nothing to do with the interest of the common people and the “fight” being merely a planned return to the “elite” or “oligarchic” arrangement of the pre-Oshiomhole involvement in Edo politics. Edo people were scared of the recurrence of old patterns in their political life in the state. During the period, Oshiomhole continued to maintain his position on the need to consolidate on the monumental infrastructural revolution he started in Edo state in the face of suggestions that he planned to foist a political lilliputian on the state after his tenure. Before the 2015 general elections therefore, there were ominous signs of a simmering political tension in the state over who to succeed Oshiomhole. This continued till the twilight of his administration. In coming around the ensuing political conundrum in Edo State, the Comrade governor realized that making progress was about making politics work because politics determines the choices we make. Politics determines what kind of society we wish to live in and create and hand on to the next generation and it is politics that will make poverty history. It is also politics that helped him to institutionalize his monumental infrastructural developmental strides in the state. There is widespread recognition that politics is fundamental in shaping development choices, strategies, trajectories and outcomes. It thus involves change that must inevitably challenge established interests, and prevailing structures of power that has always held sway in the state. Oshiomhole realized that politics consisted of two fundamental levels. The first concerns the rules of the game, that is the procedures and processes which underpin and structure political life, which distributes power and authorizes it’s use in particular ways. The second concerns the games within the rules, that is the normal contestations over policy and power. Since in Nigeria, the fundamental rules of the game are not well established, it was incumbent on him to balance his desire to get a dependable ally to succeed him after his meritorious tenure with the delicate politics of the state taking into consideration ethnic and other considerations. Oshiomhole performed outstandingly as governor. It is not easy anywhere in the world to be a harbinger of change as even the people for whom change is intended often resist the change. Institutionalizing change and development in Edo State was done with the election of a successor who was part of Oshiomhole’s success story from the very beginning as Edo people could not accept a throwback to the dark ages. A shipwreck at that point would have been catastrophic for the Edo people. Nigeria unjustly denies Igbo of 80 local governments Continued from page 41 The IPOB, MASSOB and other pro- Biafra groups and the issue of Biafra question, what is your view? The agitations in Igboland take their roots from the issue of marginalization. What you see here is a deliberate attempt to deny access to the South-East of benefits of governance, of development and of representation in some sensitive and strategic areas and positions of national discourse. This is structurally embedded in the constitution. While some zones have seven states, like the North-West, others have six. Only the South-East has five. The deficiency of two states is a huge revenue loss. Just check how much that accrues to each state every month. My estimation is that we are being denied of about 80 local governments that should accrue from two states that ought to be created from the South-East. Look at the revenue streams to the states and local governments and the monthly Federation Allocation Account Committee and you will then see the quantum of losses being suffered by the South-East. Then you go to the issues of national politics. While zones with seven states have times three senators making up twenty- one senators, like the North-West; the South- East has only fifteen. Also, the Constitution says that each state should have a Minister. Therefore in the South- East we have five Ministers, while the North-West has seven Ministers. Likewise we have forty-three members of House of Representatives while the North-West has ninety-three. We must look for a legislative solution to the issue. Since the National Constituent Assembly (Confab) recommended for BY AFESTUS AHON HEAD of the 2019 general elections, the people of Isoko North Local Government Area, under the auspices of Isoko For Development, have said the member representing the area in Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere, has failed them, urging him not to run for fourth term. The people, from across all the 13 wards in the local government area, cited 13 reasons Owhefere should not seek re-election, saying he should look for employment in Lagos. In his reaction, the lawmaker described the group as faceless, adding that they were bent on heating up the polity. He said their inflammatory statements were capable of pitching the people against one another, saying the “allegations against my person in the said publication can elicit negative reactions from my teeming supporters and the good people of Isoko North Constituency, whom I represent”. The group, in a statement by the President, Comrade Iruoghene Ufi, listed the 13 reasons to include that “for the three consecutive terms that Owhefere has been elected into the House, he has not fulfilled any campaign promise to any constituent that laboured for him and the party during the elections”. BOOK LAUNCH The launching of a book titled: “The Foolishness Of God” comes up on Sunday 15 th April 2018 at St Paul Anglican Church, Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Kirikiri, Lagos. The book authored by Ven. Levi E. Opara, the first Igbo archdeacon in the entire Lagos Anglican Communion, has set aside 50% of the proceed of the launch for youth rehabilitation scheme. The occasion will be chaired by High Chief Olabode George. Those who lost out in the scrabble for political power and influence have made it a pastime these days to denigrate Adams Oshiomhole by engaging in character assassination, odious insults and throwing political innuendos and brickbats against him in the press and especially in the social media. This has only made the man more popular. He remains an issue in Edo politics more than a year after handing power to Mr. Godwin Obaseki, a very compassionate and versatile team player who has all the attributes to continue the developmental initiatives of Adams Oshiomhole. Since his successful handover of power, the Comrade Governor, as he is still fondly called has been involved in several speaking engagements and helping to build bridges of cooperation among the various ethnic and religious groups and communities in Nigeria. – Hon. Nzeribe the creation of at least one more state in the South-East, the leadership of the South-East caucus should sponsor a bill on the floor of the National Assembly seeking for the creation of additional state in the zone. You must not continue to wait for the executive or constitutional amendment periods to do that. You have to sponsor a Bill; let’s move it up and see how far we can go to realize the real friends and the real enemies of the people. That way you start addressing the Igbo question. The Igbo question is not the issue of Igbo presidency. Igbo question is lack of representation, inferiority of states, inferiority of local governments, denials of revenues accruing to the South-East. That is what I call the marginalization of the South- East. It should therefore be addressed in the larger context of the Igbo question.
Viewpoint By Edwin C. Nnadozie VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Not where things go as assumed ALMOST every pay-television subscriber I run into attempt, not often successfully, to speak with authority on how pay-television business works. Pay-television operations and business tend to be put in the same category as sex in which everybody thinks he/she is knowledgeable, an expert even. The widely assumed familiarity with the pay television ecosystem feeds the almost-religious belief that pay television services should be cheap and that providers are ripping subscribers off. Even without actually saying it, I suspect, many subscribers believe that paytelevision services should be treated like public utilities in the country, amenities we think should be used free of charge but expect to function optimally. Having worked in the television industry for over a decade, I can, at the risk of sounding conceited, claim to know a thing or two about how the business works. Before proceeding, it is important to state that there is no intention to slate anybody for not being familiar with the business of pay-television. By Niyi Anibaba VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Dividends of democracy ON Easter Monday, Lago sians woke up to behold Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode move from one place to another with a crowd of loyalists, government officials and thousands of enthusiastic residents. The governor was performing the historic commissioning of a large network of 19 roads and two bridges in Alimosho local council. With a combined stretch of 27.4 kilometers, the streets are sited in the inner suburbs, far removed from the familiar Lagos - Abeokuta highway. Until that Monday, this overworked human and vehicular route used to be the economic and business hub of the people of Alimosho-OkeOdo-Agbado area, the largest federal constituency in Nigeria. But a visionary and compassionate governor mulled the choking hardship ensuing from this arrangement as well as its effect on Africa’s fifth largest economy which Lagos has become and decided to change the narrative. He came to the conclusion that governance is a failed enterprise if it doesn’t come close to the people via government projects, if it doesn’t shorten the distance between their abode and the centre of business through a good How Pay-Television Business Works It is no civic obligation, after all. Having assumptions is part of our make-up as humans. Some assumptions, of course, are reasonably well founded; others, not so much. First and very crucially, it is important to understand that paytelevision companies usually do not own the enchanting content they broadcast. They are often just vendors or brokers for content creators and owners. Content creators and owners sell to paytelevision companies for re-sale to the latter’s respective subscribers. There can be no prizes for guessing which party is dominant one in the pay television ecosystem. While providers own the customer relationship and make their money from rent on the delivery of content, pricing power belongs to the content owners. Most often, content owners, often large companies, charge affiliate fees-their primary source of revenue-for funding content production. Affiliate fees are carriage fees paid per month per subscriber by pay television companies or multichannel video programming distributors to SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 8, 2018, PAGE 43 By Sufuyan Ojeifo VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Celebrating an influential politician “Paint my picture truly like me,” Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) told the artist about to paint his portrait, “pimples, warts, and everything as you Dsee me.” avid Alechenu Bonaventure Mark, retired brigadier general, former senate president and longest serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, presents avant-garde views or perspectives to writers who indulge in the enterprise of questioning and contextualizing the essence or quintessence of grandees. In such an enterprise, the subject matter becomes a captive in the fertile imagination of the writer who is at liberty to either build or dismantle primordial prejudices; or deconstruct or even reconstruct the persona of the subject on the writ large platform of conscionable journalistic interrogation. Perceptions and perspectives assume free reins. That is the tragedy, so to speak, of heroes. They are subjected to the vagaries of characterisations that most times encapsulate both the sublime and the ridiculous; the garish and the outlandish; the profound and the jejune; the profane and the celestial. Inevitably, Mark, who is now 70 (April 8, 2018), is one of the latest captives of this obligatory ritual which many crave and many others loathe. There is always the existential fear about the doubleedged nature of good and bad that media hype breeds. The fear of the occasional collateral damage, yes, of the unintended consequences, is real and grisly. Yet, it could be salutary, somewhat, to introspective self-assessment of how well one has fared whether rightly or wrongly in the domain of public perception, especially for those in public offices, who must be taken through the critical appraisal index. It is in this context that the essential David Mark cannot escape essential consideration. Mark, without a doubt, means different things to different people. To some, he remains a gentleman officer even in retirement; to others, he is an astute politician and strategist with rare legerdemain; some more see him as a philanthropist with capacity for cornucopian eleemosynary while some perceive him as a passionate golfer Ṫhese are not all to the variegated perspectives: some see him as a budding religious aficionado of the catholic hue while others see him as traditional for his receptiveness of the traditional title of Okpokpowulu K’Idoma (the leader of war or the bulldozer of Idoma) from his Royal Majesty, Agabaidu Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, the Och’Idoma IV of Idomaland, in 2009 or thereabout in recognition of his numerous contributions to the development of Idoma land. But my preoccupation herein is to illuminate the philosophical underpinning of the activities, the life and times of a man whose entirety evokes, at once, multiple perspectives by admirers and traducers alike. I could have adapted the oneliner summation of the French philosopher, Rene Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum” meaning “I think therefore I am” when he was asked who a man is, to answer the question as to who David Mark is. Who is David Mark? And what Ambode: Between projects and merit votes road network. And so the Ambode administration refused to toe the line of elitist concentration of infrastructure in and around the expressway. He moved from there and headed for the underdeveloped outskirts to bring government to the doorstep of the people. Town planners call his action centrifugal country development. It breaks the monopoly of government presence in the metropolis. It restores the traditional concept of government as the father of all, both the rural dwellers and city folks, not that of the latter, even if government is in the city. Also, this practice inevitably causes subscription price hikes and subscriber displeasure, which pay television companies have to deal with exclusively. content owners. While the affiliate model benefits both content owners and vendors (the former is able to extend its reach and generate new sales; the vendor or affiliate makes commissions), the senior partnerby miles-is the content owner. Premium content, including live coverage of iconic sports events and recent Hollywood movie releases, determine where subscribers go. Competition for this category of content is as fierce and bruising as a prize fight, which naturally drives up the cost of acquisition. The subsisting broadcast rights to the Premier League, which lapses next The essential David Mark @70 Both flanks, that of Alimosho and of Epe, form a grand vision of an economic integration of all the southwest states, starting with Ogun state the closest In line with the mood of the moment that marked the holiest ceremony in the Christian calendar, Ambode spoke of the commissioning as a metaphor for the economic reawakening of Alimosho. Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter was a restoration of lost hope and a return to life. The roads he launched on Easter Monday were figuratively as it were, a new page in the continuous delivery of the dividends of good governance after a long period of deathlike denial. “This is what is called dividend of democracy,” Ambode told an ecstatic and jubilant crowd. “’We are making this Alimosho axis economically viable and livable. By opening up the whole network stretching 27.4 km we have brought economy back to this place. With the walkways and street lights, these communities are becoming safer and there is more to do. By expanding the infrastructure around this axis, you can travel as far as Ojo or Badagry without necessarily passing through the express road. That is what you voted for, and that’s why we are returning here to say we have kept all our promises.” The governor also opened up on how to spare the land routes of needless stress. His govern- year, cost UK’s Sky and BT a staggering 5billion pounds. This amounts to a 70 per cent increase over what was paid the last time. Even for content produced locally, costs are not static, as producers are not insulated from local and international economic indices, which impose upward cost reviews when new content agreements are being entered into. Just as with foreign content, local content is denominated in dollars, the international currency of doing business, because most paytelevision platforms operate across borders. Some pay-television companies, such as DStv, are known to develop sports and entertainment content, which costs astronomical sums. As with everything in life, profile almost always determines what you get. Thus, a small-time content owner is very unlikely to attract a sizeable affiliate fee for its content. But the behemoths such as Sky Sports, Viacom or Disney are well placed to negotiate and attract much fatter sums per subscriber per month because they offer compelling content, without which any pay-television package ment, he promised, will dredge the Illo River and rehabilitate roads in the area- Adekoya, Makinde, Suberu Oje, Old Ota, IshefunIjan which will be converted to a jetty through which residents can ride a boat to connect Marina on Lagos in less than half an hour. If you’re already getting the picture of a governor thinking beyond service delivery to the metropolitan people only, then you’re just close to Ambode’s long-haul race. For he says that a BRT corridor is coming in tow on the scene of the just-commissioned roads. Still more: something similar is in the offing between Epe and Ijebu Ode to make way for Lagos to access the Ijebu Ode- Ore Expressway in Ogun. Both flanks, that of Alimosho and of Epe, form a grand vision of an economic integration of all the southwest states, starting with Ogun state the closest. Ambode says: ‘’That is what economic integration means, that is how to expand commerce, that’s how to create jobs for our people and by this project people in the community will benefit from the jobs and also benefit from the commerce and that is what inclusive governance is all about.” The lesson from this Epe-born governor is that you can adroitly marketed stands at a debilitating disadvantage. Pay-television service providers remain in business because subscribers want access to popular content such as the Premier League, Spanish La Liga, documentaries, movies or kids’ entertainment. The bid to remain in business leaves them at the mercy of content owners who, on account of the hot properties they own, could keep charging higher sums as affiliate fees. Pay-television companies suffer further disadvantage when contentowning giants decide (and it is often) to band channels together and compel them to pay affiliate fees for all their channels whether popular or not. This often results in dispute between both parties. Also, this practice inevitably causes subscription price hikes and subscriber displeasure, which pay television companies have to deal with exclusively. Another plank of the business is the cost of satellites used for transmission. There are five major components involved in direct to home (DTH) or direct broadcasting (DBS) satellite system: the programming source, broadcast centre, satellite, satellite dish and the receiver. *Nnadozie, studio engineer, is resident in Enugu are his essences? I could settle for one of the perspectives supra in a quick riposte and go ahead to adumbrate his essences within the narrow confine of just a perspective. But on the unique occasion of his 70th birthday, I cannot be unfair to him with a one-dimensional or one-liner appreciation. Therefore, Mark is a fitting summation of all the perspectives and for a man to deserve this kind of approximation makes him a phenomenon. I take the opportunity of his 70thbirthday to celebrate a friend and mentor who chose, at a critical intersection in my coverage of the Senate as THISDAY politics editor in Abuja, to let me into his life by force of appreciation of my intellectual capital. My reportage of the politicking of the race for the senate presidency in 2007 had been misconstrued as opposition to Mark’s senate presidency and that disposition had preponderated reportorial interactions until 2009 when Mark turned 61. *Ojeifo wrote via firstname.lastname@example.org deploy endogenous initiatives to attract exogenous wealth and prosperity for your people. He went thousands of kilometers to Kebbi state to strike a deal for the now famous Lake Rice. Now he’s heading close by, westwards to his people to clinch the goal of an old dream cherished by Yoruba leaders of the 50s and 60s. Isn’t it instructive that just recently the other states of the southwest- Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti- completed the process of readmitting Lagos into the Odua Investment conglomerate with 115 million shares, thus kick starting what is being hailed as ‘’the real economic integration of the region”? When he met newsmen shortly after the road commissioning, an elated Senator Olamilekan Adeola said Ambode has ‘’surpassed expectations of Lagosians”. He added somewhat jubilantly: ‘’…many residents who relocated from the area years ago, have been returning to the axis due to the massive infrastructural by the Akinwunmi (Ambode)-led administration.” The federal lawmaker then addressed Ambode: ‘’Your Excellency, we are assuring you of giving you one million votes in the coming election (in 2019) in Alimosho alone.” *Anibaba, a journalist, lives in Ikorodu.