18 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 FORMER Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. T.Y. Danjuma recently fired the verbal equivalent of an armed warhead when he called on Nigerians to defend themselves against the unending rampage of armed herdsmen who have literally held the nation to ransom through their wanton killings. General danjuma, also a former Defence Minister, made the call at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, Jalingo. He called on Nigerians to defend themselves against these herdsmen who, he said, were bent on stealing their lands. He also echoed a long-held allegation that the military has become “partial” and “colludes” with the bandits in their crimes against innocent Nigerians. Taraba, his home state, is one of the worst hit by the rampaging herdsmen whose attacks have claimed thousands of lives and rendered more than a million people homeless. Benue, Kogi, Handle Danjuma’s call with utmost care Kaduna, Zamfara, Plateau and most Southern states have been victims of these deadly attacks. For a long time, and to the dismay of most Nigerians, the Federal Government paid little attention to the killings. It took the public burial of 73 victims of the 2018 New Year Day massacre in Benue State, broadcast live on television, for the military to launch its Exercise Cat Race (Ayem Akpatuma) to flush out the bandits from the Middle Belt area. Yet the killings have continued. General Danjuma is one of Nigeria’s most respected retired military officers. His role in the shaping the country’s political and economic history is widely acknowledged. His commitment to better life for Nigerians is reflected through the philanthropic gestures of his Danjuma Foundation. He is also not the first to accuse the military and other security agencies of partiality in handling the herdsmen crisis. Many legal authorities have since confirmed that Nigeria’s constitution and laws support “measured selfdefence” when citizens are faced with threats to their lives and property. However, this call, coming from General Danjuma, should be handled with utmost care. Nigeria’s unity is too fragile for that extreme option to come into play at this time when our armed services are stretched thin in operations to tackle terrorism, banditry and serious crimes around the country. It could result in anarchy, which would threaten the entire African continent. We call on the Federal Government not to sweep allegations of military, police and security agencies’ partiality under the mat. These allegations have been made even by state governments. For instance, the Taraba State Government alleged misconduct against a battalion commander and called for his redeployment from the state. Similar allegations have come from Benue and Kogi state governments. It is however gratifying to note that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has promised to probe these allegations. It should be professionally done to remove all shadows of doubt and reinforce the confidence of Nigerians in the ability and readiness of the armed forces to protect their lives and property. By Louis Amoke IN keeping with his vision to institutionalise an uncommon leadership style that is inclusive, focused, peaceful, godly, result and people-oriented, the Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has on good note continued to uphold decisions that impact the lives of the people positively, especially the poor and rural dwellers. As a grassroots politician, Ugwuanyi at the inception of his administration disclosed his resolve to redirect the attention of governance from urban centres to the rural areas. The governor’s sense of direction was based on the fact that majority of the people reside in the rural areas. The decision was also a mélange of his magnanimity, compassionate disposition towards the underprivileged and neglected and the need to give them a sense of belonging as the true heroes of democracy. This policy direction, which was aptly captured in the four-point agenda of the government, has seen the concentration of more development in the rural areas than in the urban centres. It is also responsible for the avalanche of innovative empowerment programmes carefully designed towards the youths, women and traders, among others - to assist them earn a living and grow their businesses. For instance, a visit to Ngenevu, (around the Coal Camp Enugu) a suburb of Enugu in Enugu North Local Government Area of the state shows that Ugwuanyi is a leader who is compassionate and firmly committed to the well-being of the people, especially the poor and less privileged in the society. The governor in keeping with his promise to take development to the rural areas and highly populated suburbs that have long been neglected and forgotten, brought joy and relief to the people of Ngenevu through the ongoing construction of their only access road, which hitherto had been in a deplorable condition. The people of the area are so excited and full of gratitude to Ugwuanyi, whom they OPINION Empowerment: Ugwuanyi, SDGs trainees and FG’s verdict described as a true friend of the poor and underprivileged, for remembering them after many years of neglect. They were so emotive when the governor, (the first since this democracy began) touched down on Ngenevu soil. Their joy is understandable because not only has their road been tarred to standard, but the governor has also provided and mounted two 500KVA transformers he promised them during his first and second visit to the area. On empowerment, it would be recalled that the administration, in February last year, launched an empowerment scheme for genuine traders in the state tagged: The Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme. The scheme, the first of its kind in the state, had an annual package of N60million that was won by 1,200 lucky traders through an open raffle draw conducted on a monthly basis among the then 37 registered markets. Consequently, I also want to encourage other states to borrow a leaf from Ugwuanyi by ensuring that their plans and projects are targeted towards achieving the goals of SDGs 100 traders won N5 million every month at N50,000 each and invested the money into their various businesses for socio-economic development of the state. Following the success of the first phase of the scheme, the administration re-launched the programme recently with an annual bumper package of N120 million to be won by 2,400 traders, representing a double increase. In the repackaged scheme, 200 genuine traders will now win N10 million every month at N50,000 each while 17 other markets were added to the existing 37 to ensure that the empowerment scheme was all embracing, reaching every nook and cranny of the state for more winners to benefit. Not surprising, the excited and fulfilled traders, in appreciation of the governor’s sound vision for the state and his kind thoughts for them, unanimously endorsed him for reelection in 2019. A few days ago, there was wild jubilation in Enugu the moment 536 trainees of the second batch of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Skills Acquisition Programme of the Ugwuanyi administration instantly received alert of N100,000 seed money each from the state government at the venue of their graduation ceremony. The seed money was to assist the graduands start-off their various businesses after they attended a one-year free vocational training in focal areas such as tailoring, hairdressing, barbing and aluminium works apprenticeship. The 536 trainees, according to the Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Inter- Ministerial Affairs, Hon. Mabel Agbo, were among the 750 participants chosen from the 17 local government areas of the state and enrolled by the state government under its SDGs programme as an empowerment intervention scheme designed to alleviate the sufferings of the people of the state through learning of a vocation that would enable each of them develop a career in life. It is pertinent to note that the first batch of 214 trainees, got start off grants, accordingly after their graduation in September 2017, and “have been able to set up viable barber’s and hair dressing shops and are now chief executive officers of their own businesses.” Another climax of the event was the commendation for Ugwuanyi from the Federal Government “for being SDGs-friendly and creating enabling environment for achieving the SDGs goals.” The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, (represented by her Sector Director, Pharm. Yahaya Hamza), while appreciative of the administration’s contributions towards the success of the programme added: “I also want to encourage other states to borrow a leaf from Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi by ensuring that their plans and projects are targeted towards achieving the goals of SDGs so that our 2030 Agenda will be realised as a nation.” As the governor congratulated the graduands on their achievements, he stated that the scheme was “undoubtedly a very important and timely intervention that is helping to create wealth, reduce unemployment and stimulate productivity especially among our youths and women.” He added that the scheme was a “welcome complement” to the efforts and initiatives of his administration in the area of youth/women empowerment, skills acquisition and poverty alleviation. He reassured the people thus:“we remain fully committed to our promise to reduce poverty in the state and will continue to do all that is necessary to promote the empowerment and economic emancipation of our youths, women and families.” In appreciation, Miss Aboh Tochi on behalf of other graduands, described Ugwuanyi as “a man of his environment” and “an impeccable leader” who takes “time to ensure that governance is felt by all and sundry in this state especially the youth. “The saying that you should not give a fish, rather teach one how to catch fish has been manifested in our lives. Many of us are now viable in different trades/crafts. For instance, I am now a successful fashion designer. In no distant time, you will be amazed at the capacities we have been able to acquire during our period of training.” *Mr. Amoke, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Enugu, Enugu State.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 — 19 DMO lists N100bn sovereign sukuk on NSE, FMDQ By Nkiruka Nnorom THE Debt Management Office, DMO, yesterday listed the N100 billion sovereign sukuk bonds, simultaneously on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc. The bond, offered for subscription to the public last year, the first of such to be issued in Nigeria, has a tenor of seven years and is priced at 16.4 percent. Speaking at the Facts behind the Listing on the NSE, Director General, DMO, Mrs. Patience Oniha, said that the sukuk issuance was DMO’s way of contributing to the federal government’s objective of infrastructure development. Consequently, she said that the proceeds would be used to fund 25 critical road projects within the country. She explained that the sukuk is also part of debt office’s role in deepening the capital market and providing investors with alternative instruments that would allow them to diversify their investment portfolio. Oniha stated: “The DMO issued the sukuk for several reasons. One is to say that we want to deepen the market by introducing a new product. We want to provide investors with alternative instrument so that they can diversify their portfolio further and we want to provide an alternative source of funding for the government. “Before we issued the sukuk, the products we have had in the market were conventional securities and we do know that for some time, the Financial System Strategy has been trying to promote financial inclusion and DMO is part of that. So, part of financial inclusion apart from reaching people in remote places CURRENCY BUYING SELLING US DOLLAR POUNDS EURO FRANC YEN CFA WAUA RENMINBI RIYAL SDR DANISH RAND $117.60 -1.05 $2,493.00 -9.00 $11.98 -0.38 $70.73 2.08 $65.21 1.79 304.6 305.1 305.6 430.1561 430.8622 431.5683 374.262 374.8764 375.4907 317.4901 318.0113 318.5324 2.8449 2.8495 2.8542 0.549 0.559 0.569 440.3847 441.1076 441.8305 48.2235 48.3031 48.3828 81.2202 81.3535 81.4868 441.0913 50.2441 441.8153 50.3266 442.5394 50.4091 25.1434 25.1847 25.226 CBN Exchange rate as at 10/04/2018 is also to offer a range of securities that the public wants so that we can bring more investors to the market. “So, the sukuk was one way to bring investors who will not invest in conventional instruments into the market. While also speaking at the FMDQ, Oniha said: “The purpose of the Sukuk is to integrate ethical investors into the domestic securities market, establish benchmark for pricing of Sukuk by other domestic issuers and offer investors the opportunity to earn returns while contributing to the infrastructure development of the country.” “For the first time we issued a security that was tied specifically to infrastructure. There is a lot that adequate infrastructure can do for employment, economic growth and various other benefits. So, in the case of this sukuk, right from the beginning, it was aimed at 25 road projects and the funds were separated to make sure that those were the only projects that are being financed.” Earlier in his welcome remark, Oscar Onyema, CEO, NSE, congratulated DMO on the successful issuance, saying that its over-subscription “is a strong attestation of the confidence investors have in the Nigerian economy and markets, and also opens up new financing windows for prospective issuers of capital, seeking more costeffective means to diversify their funding sources.” From left: Stephen Van Coller, Vice President, Digital Services, MTN Nigeria; Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank; Rob Shuter, Group Chief Executive Officer, MTN and Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive, Consumer Banking, Ecobank, during the MOU signing between MTN Group and Ecobank Group for the provision of Pan- African Mobile Financial Services, in Lagos. Tin-can Customs records 24% increase in Q1’18 revenue collection By Godwin Oritse & Godfrey Bivbere THE Tin-Can Island Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, recorded a 24 percent increase in its revenue generation in the first quarter 2018 (Q1’18) as it raked-in N76.78 billion against N61.9 billion in the corresponding period of 2017. In a statement signed by the Public Relations officer of the Command, Mr. Uche Ejesieme, Comptroller of the Command, Musa Abdullahi said that efforts towards enhancing efficiency and productivity in line with statutory mandate appears to be yielding results as evident in the quantum leap of the Command’s revenue in the first quarter. Abdullahi stated: “Though the first quarter of each year is usually synonymous with low volume of trade, the migration to NICIS II platform by the Command, also contributed to some hiccups that affected declarations, but which we have surmounted.” He however reiterated his resolve to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to enable the Command fulfill its statutory mandate, stating that his concept of continuous Stakeholder Engagement, Training and Retraining Officers as well as Trade Facilitations model will be leveraged on for better service delivery. The Controller stressed that deliberate and concerted efforts were being made to ensure that the policies and programs of the Command are tailored towards achieving enhanced efficiency, while promoting competitiveness in the trade value chain. NPA concludes concession plan for Lilypond By Godwin Oritse IN a bid to improve efficiency of port operations and quick turnround of vessels in Nigerian ports, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has concluded plans to concession the Lilypond terminal at Ijora, in Lagos. Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, speaking in Lagos during the visit of the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, Engr Chidi Izuwah, to the NPA, said that plans have almost been concluded for the business model meant for the Lilypond Terminal, as part of management’s resolve to improve service delivery at the terminals. She charged all concerned with the working document for the review of the terminal’s agreement to speed up the processes that would allow for swift consideration and possible approval for a 5-year renewal being sought by Lilypond. GTBank shareholders move against AMCON’s continuity plan By Peter Egwuatu SHAREHOLDERS of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, GTB, yesterday, moved against the proposed plan to elongate the existence of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, from the initial 10 years plan as stated by the Act establishing it, saying it has outlived its usefulness. The shareholders equally commended GTBank management for the efficiency in curtailing cost as well as its drive in growing deposit base, which resulted to increase in the bank’s Profit Before Tax, PBT, to N200.24 billion for the financial year 2017, from N165.1 billion in 2016. “We will resist every plan by AMCON to elongate its existence. We are begging on the National Assembly not to consider any plan by AMCON to increase its lifespan. How can AMCON continue to impose huge fine on corporates that are trying to survive given the harsh operating environment. These fines affect the returns that these companies would have reported. We also call on corporate entities to fight against the plan by AMCON to increase its lifespan,” they stated. Addressing shareholders, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said: “2017 was a pivotal year for the bank. We delivered a strong result in a challenging environment; achieving record growth in earnings, carefully managing cost margins and leveraging our digital-first customercentric strategy to deliver world-class services that are simple, cheap and easily accessible.” He further stated: “The result demonstrates the fundamental strength of our franchise as well as the progress we are making in transforming our organization into a platform on which our customers could build their businesses, connect with their consumers and access all the resources that they need to.” A review of the results shows positive performance across major financial indices, reaffirming the bank’s position as one of the most profitable. Gross earnings for the year grew by 1.1% to N419.2 billion in 2017 from N414.6 billion reported in 2016, driven primarily by growth in interest income as well as e-payment revenues. Similarly, Usman reiterated the determination of the Authority to support the completion of all deep sea Ports projects across the country, in view of their importance to maritime activities of the nation. She stated: “The early completion of the project would not only facilitate operational efficiency in the nation’s Maritime system but would also further strengthen the Federal Government’s policy of the Ease of Doing Business.