01072020 - CAC deregisters splinter Ohanaeze Ndigbo group

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 01 July 2020

17

Hon. Justice

Ikpeme’s

appointment as

chief justice:

Birthplace - an

extraneous factor

APC: Tinubu, Amaechi,

el-Rufai dig in for 2023

•All eyes on Buni’s caretaker committee •Lacuna before Buni

Economic Advisory Council warns against multiple exchange rates

5

7

VOL. 27: NO. 64104 WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

CAC deregisters splinter

Ohanaeze Ndigbo group

• Group talks tough, wants FG to address genuine agitations of Igbo

CAC should withdraw 'erroneous' Ohanaeze certificate — IBEGBU

• We're intact, disregard fake news — NEW OHANAEZE

$2.8B AKK GAS PROJECT FLAG-OFF....

Court

dismisses

Oshiomhole’s

appeal 12

challenging

suspension

NBC

orders

DSTV to

suspend

new

13

tariffs

Woman

raped by

herdsmen

in Anambra

dies in

Ebonyi

The $2.8bn AKK Gas Project was flagged off yesterday in Lokoja, Kogi State. Here, Kogi State

Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari at

the event.

774,000 jobs: Senators, Reps,

Keyamo in shouting match

41 8

13

COVID-19:

Anambra

govt 41

identifies

6 herbal

products

Naira

depreciates

to N386.50/

$ in I&E

51

window

Mr & Mrs

FASAN 16 DEAR BUNMI 52

SEE

INSIDE


C

M

Y

K

2 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020


C

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Y

K

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 3


C

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4 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020


vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

@vanguardnews

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 —5

POCKET CARTOON

LAWAN, GBAJA MEET BUHARI—President Muhammadu Buhari receives in audience, Senate

President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in State House, Abuja, yesterday. Photo:

State House.

APC: Tinubu, Amaechi, el-Rufai

dig in for 2023

•All eyes on Buni’s caretaker committee

•How Oshiomhole's mistakes hurt his allies

•Tinubu returns to drawing board

•Why stakeholders moved against NWC – Amaechi loyalist

•Fayemi, el-Rufai move to strengthen party

By Clifford Ndujihe,

Politics Editor &

Ibrahim Hassan

LP AGOS—Following

r e s i d e n t

Muhammadu Buhari’s

intervention, some

founders and pillars of

the All Progressives

Congress, APC, have

returned to the trenches

to restrategise and plot

fresh plans to realise

their 2023 political

quests.

Notable leaders of the

party considered to be

posturing for 2023

include Asiwaju Bola

Ahmed Tinubu;

Transport Minister,

Rotimi Amaechi; Kaduna

governor, Nasir el-Rufai;

and Ekiti governor,

Kayode Fayemi among

others.

President Buhari, last

week, backed the

decision of factional

acting National

Chairman of the party,

Chief Victor Giadom, to

hold an emergency

National Executive

Committee, NEC,

meeting.

At the NEC meeting

held at the Presidential

Villa, members, on the

suggestion of President

Buhari, dissolved the

National Working

Committee, NWC, and

appointed a caretaker/

convention planning

committee headed by

Yobe State Governor, Mai

Mala Buni, with Senator

John

James

Akpanudoedehe as

secretary.

The main faction of the

NWC, which enjoyed the

support of 18 members,

was led by late Senator

Abiola Ajimobi. While ill,

and till he died, National

Vice Chairman, South-

South, Ntufam Hilliard

Eta stood in for him.

The faction enjoyed the

backing of suspended

National Chairman,

Comrade Adams

Oshiomhole and

National Leader of the

APC, Asiwaju Bola

Ahmed Tinubu. Thus,

some observers saw the

dissolution of the NWC

as targeted against

Tinubu and his 2023

presidential ambition.

The Presidency and

Governor Buni dismissed

this insinuation as

balderdash and insisted

that the sack of the NWC

was to save the APC from

implosion.

Indeed, Vanguard

checks showed that the

party, before the

dissolution, was facing

11 law suits in various

courts.

Following the

dissolution, some

members of the NWC,

who described the NEC

as illegal contemplated

challenging the decision

in court but later

changed their minds

over what a source

attributed to: "We don’t

want to be seen to be

challenging the

President’s decision."

Indeed, Tinubu at the

weekend said President

Buhari had spoken "and

we accept his decisions"

just as he said he had

not made any decision

regarding 2023 because

"the concerns of this hour

are momentous enough."

In like manner,

Oshiomhole said he has

taken the dissolution of

the NWC in good faith

and reassured the

President that his

confidence in his

leadership remained

unshaken. A stalwart of

the APC said the

dissolution of the NWC

has brought forward a

battle that would have

been fought in 2022

when Oshiomhole’s

tenure would have

ended.

How

Oshiomhole’s

mistakes hurt

his allies

"Oshiomhole made

many avoidable mistakes

that have caused a setback

to those depending on

him to prosecute their

2023 aspirations.

Although his tenure

would have ended before

the 2023 election but he

would have had a hand

in producing his

successor.

"Now, that opportunity

has been lost, those

depending on him will

fight hard to have a hand

in producing the next

NWC, and it is not going

to be easy," the source

said.

The source projected

that the national

chairmanship will still go

the South-South, though

the APC no longer has a

foot hold in the oil-rich

region, following the

defection of Governor

Continues on Page 51

By Olayinka Latona

160 as cut-off mark for university admission (3)

REDUCING JAMB

cut off mark to 160

shows decadence in the

nation’s educational system.

The slashing will

encourage students not

to take their studies more

serious. This will lead to

over population in the

universities.

—Olaoluwa Farotimi,

Agricprenuerial

JAMB should not

have reduced the

cut- off mark. 160 as cutoff

mark is too low for a

student to get accepted

into the university. The

change will only make

students to reduce their

effort in preparing for the

examination.

—Precious Odileku,

Musician

THIS is surprising

and funny in the sense

that the cut-off mark used to

be above 250. Except we are

receiving ourselves, the cutoff

mark will affect the learning

process in the sense that

students will no longer take

it serious. I suggest 200 cutoff

mark.

—Moreen Shanjo, Businesswoman

S

O many unem

ployed graduates

are roaming the streets,

so, pegging the cut cutoff

mark at 160 will definitely

cause overpopulation

in schools. It will increase

the rate of unemployment

and may lead to

other social vices.

—Oremokun Oluwatobiloba,

Student

THE aftermath of the

COVID-19 no longer

allow many students to

concentrate on their studies

and now that the cut

off mark has been reduced

to 160, I hope this

will not have negative

impact on them because

the mark is too low.

—Saheed Tope, Artisan

THE nation’s educa

tional system is not

stable so JAMB’s decision

is favorable to average students

who do not have

enough resources to prepare

for the exam. The decision

will encourage laziness

as some students will

not prepare adequately.

— Ayo Afolabi, Mediaprenuer


6 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Failed bulletproof

charm: I wanted

to fortify my son

against herders’

attack —Palm

wine tapper

By Ola Ajayi

IBADAN—A 12-year-old boy

almost lost his life in Lagelu

area of Ibadan, Oyo State

capital when his father, a

palm-wine tapper, Daniel

Qudus, tried a bulletproof

charm on him.

The father, yesterday,

revealed that the fear of

herders activities in the South-

West zone led him into the act.

The suspect, who was

paraded by the Oyo State

police command, said wanting

to fortify his son led him to the

herbalist, who gave him a

charm that was supposed to act

as bulletproof.

He said: “I went to this man

that I needed a gun charm. He

demanded N1,000 but because

we are friends I later gave him

N500. He gave me the charm

and asked me to test it when I

get home.

“I then asked my friend,

Akinyemi Akinlolu, to help test

the charm on my son. I

provided a gun, charm, and

other logistics. He shot my son

and he was almost killed.

“I took the steps to protect my

son from some suspected

herders who usually terrorise

our area because my son comes

back home late. So, I wanted

to protect him from being killed

by the herders.”

His hunter friend, Akinyemi,

noted that he was consulted to

do another charm for the man,

which he consented to but was

amazed when the father of the

boy brought him to his house

to remove a bullet from his

body.

“On the 23rd of this month, I

went out with one of my friends

and I saw this my brother

around 8 am. Though he had

told me to do charm for him

before, he didn’t have money.

“That day, he gave me N500

for the work so that I could use

it to buy materials, which I did

for him. The charm was meant

for his business to thrive not

for the gun.

“I was surprised when he

later came to my house with the

wounded son telling me that I

should help him to remove a

bullet from the body of his boy.

I ignored him because I am not

a doctor.”

Police recover human skulls, decomposing body

in kidnapper’s septic tank • Victims include 3 foreigners

By Evelyn Usman &

Egufe Yafugborhi

EMOTION ran high, Monday,

following the discovery of

decomposing bodies of kidnapped

victims, dumped inside a septic tank

by a notorious kidnapper and serial

killer, Anthony Ndubuisi, in

Umuebulu community, Etche Local

Government Area of Rivers State.

The kidnap suspect, who had been

on the Police wanted list, was arrested

by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping

Unit of the Rivers State Police

Command.

During interrogation, he confessed

to having kidnapped and killed some

of his victims. He mentioned three

foreigners and a Nigerian among

them.

His last victim was one Ajumiiene

Offor, a businessman in Aba, the

commercial centre of Abia State.

He was said to have lured Offor

from his base to Rivers State, on the

pretence of a business transaction,

on June 9, 2020, only to kidnap and

murder him.

Thereafter, he led operatives to a

septic tank in his apartment where

he dumped bodies of the murdered

kidnapped victims.

Confirming the arrest and recovery

of the decomposing bodies, Rivers

State Police Public Relations Officer,

DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said: “ The

suspect is from Ngor-Okpala in Imo

State but resides at Umuebulu Etche

Local Government Area of Rivers. He

was arrested through intelligence-

The septic tank where the human skulls and decomposing body were found

(INSET): Anthony Ndubuisi, the suspect.

led policing,

“In the course of the investigation,

the suspect led operatives to his house

at Umuebulu, where he pointed to a

septic tank that contained the bodies

of his victims.

"On exhumation, we recovered

three human skulls and the

decomposing body of his recent

victim. They have been evacuated

and taken to the mortuary for autopsy.

“At the scene of exhumation, the

Commissioner of Police, CP Joseph

Mukan condemned the act and

promised to declare total war against

perpetrators of heinous crimes in the

state, while advising the public to

increase their security consciousness

and report all suspicious characters

and movements to the Police, via the

following security Numbers:

08032003514; 08028915462 and

9 dead, 6 injured as farmers, herders clash

over farmland in Bauchi community

By Charly Agwam

BAUCHI—At least nine persons

have been reported dead in

Misau Local Government Area of

Bauchi State after herders reportedly

clashed with farmers, Monday, over

an unknown issue.

A source told Vanguard in

confidence that the crisis erupted

when some people from Misau

confronted herders whose cows

were allegedly grazing on their

farmland.

He said the farmers claimed that

the herders were destroying their

crops.

He said: “Some farmers went into

the village to challenge the

pastoralists, whom they said have

been destroying their crops and

burning their farms. But on that

fateful Monday, I don’t know what

happened there but they started

fighting and killing each other, and

burning some farms and houses.

“Almost immediately, youths of

Misau, who were

demonstrating in the

villages clashed with

Fulani herdsmen. As I

speak, this crisis has

resulted in at least 10

deaths with more than

10 people admitted in

Misau and Azare

General Hospital.”

Ibrahim Waziri, a

former chairman of

Misau Local

Government Area,

who confirmed the

incident, said he spent

the whole of Monday

tending to injured

people in Misau and

Azare hospitals.

Meanwhile, the

Bauchi Police

Command, through its

Public Relations

Officer, DSP Ahmed

Wakil, who said he had

sketchy information at

One of the injured in the hospital.

his disposal, confirmed that nine people have

died while six are receiving treatment at various

hospitals.

I killed, threw my girlfriend into well for denying me sex— Suspect

By Ola Ajayi

IBADAN—A 26-year-old man,

Shagbada Erigga, yesterday,

gave insight into how he killed

and threw his girlfriend,

Happiness Winfred, into a well

for allegedly denying him sex.

Erigga was among other 32

suspects paraded by the Oyo

State Police Command at the

headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.

While he was being paraded

alongside other suspected

criminals, he told newsmen that

the 30-year-old lady had been

denying him sexual advances,

which did not go down well with

him.

The suspect, who displayed

little remorse said: “I’m here

because I murdered my

girlfriend. We had a small

misunderstanding that night.

"On Sunday afternoon, I

invited her to my house. She

came and we went into the

bathroom to take our bath

together. Before we slept, I asked

her why I should be begging her

before having sex.

“I told her not to raise her voice

at me and I slapped her. She

then slapped me back and held

my shirt and said if I wanted to

kill her, I should kill her. I then

hit her mouth three times. She

slapped me again and I used a

hanger to hit her neck. She fell

and began to struggle on the

floor.

“I later went outside but

because the gate was locked, I

sat on the floor thinking of what

could happen to the girl. Before

I got back into the room, she had

died. I threw her inside the well

in the compound.”

Exhibits allegedly recovered

from the suspect include

handbag, trinket, underpants,

phone, set of condoms and the

footwear of the deceased.

Commissioner of Police in the

state, Mr Nwachukwu

Enwonwu, said: “A resident of

the area, Agu Benson alerted

them of the incident and after

discreet investigation, Shagbada

was arrested.”

08182157778.

“In the wake of his arrest, two

pump action guns and some

cartridges were recovered.

Investigation is ongoing and efforts

have been intensified to arrest other

members of his deadly gang”.

Silverpoint Estate

demolition: Family

accuses LASG of

plan to acquire

land for private use

By Ebunoluwa

Sessou

MEMBERS of Elejigbo family

of Langbasa community in Eti-

Osa Local Government Area have

accused the Lagos State government

of demolishing their property at

Silverpoint Estate to acquire the land

for private use.

The allegation came following a

demolition exercise carried out at the

estate by Ministry of Physical

Planning and Urban Development

on March 6, 2020, on the allegation

of illegal constructions and

encroachment on other lands.

Speaking with journalists on behalf

of the Elejigbo family and the

Langbasa community, the family’s

lawyer, Tayo Omosehin, described

the demolition as illegal, adding that

it contravened the Lagos law on

urban development and was done

for selfish interest other than the

reasons adduced by the government.

Responding on behalf of Lagos

State government, the Director,

Technical Services, Ministry of

Physical Planning and Urban

Development, Mr Muritala

Balogun, said: “I was posted to this

office in December 2018 and I met a

letter written by Nigerian Institute of

Oceanography and Marine

Research informing the government

that the land allocated to them has

been encroached upon by unknown

persons.

"In line with our practice, we try to

investigate by serving expulsion

notice, expecting the owners to

respond to the notice especially with

approval from the ministry to develop

those houses, we discovered none

of them has a building permit to build

the house."


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 7

:Vanguard News

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

TEACHERS' FIESTA: From left—National Treasurer, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Segun

Raheem; Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries, NB, Plc., Sade Morgan, and Head,

Sustainability and Regulatory Relations, NB Plc., Patrick Olowokere, during the 2020 Maltina

Teacher of the Year flag-off ceremony, held in Lagos, yesterday. Photo: Akeem Salau.

Hazard Allowance: Health workers

threaten to vacate isolation centres

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

A BUJA—HEALTH

workers, under the

aegis of the Joint Health

Sector Unions, JOHESU,

have threatened to

withdraw their services from

isolation centres in the

country, if the federal

government failed to

address the alleged

discrepancies in the

payment of hazard

allowances.

Already, the leadership of

the JOHESU has agreed to

meet with the Minister of

Health, Dr. Osagie

Ehanire, and his

counterpart in the Ministry

of Labour and

Employment, Senator

Chris Ngige, today to

resolve the looming

HURIWA cautions NBA on

comedian, Elenu

A BUJA—HUMAN

Rights Writers

Association of Nigeria,

HURIWA, has warned the

national leadership of the

Nigerian Bar Association,

NBA, not to stifle creativity

and muzzle freedom of

speech by threatening the

popular instagram

comedian, Lasisi Elenu, not

to make jest of their

esteemed profession in his

creative enterprise of

entertainment.

The Right group

wondered why a law

focused forum like Nigerian

Bar Association would

attempt to throw itsweight

around recklessly in a bid

to unduly stifle and

undermine the exercise of

the constitutionally guaranteed

freedoms by citizen Lasisi Elenu.

It said the NBA should rather

fight to upturn the growing rate

of professional indiscipline among

its ranks and speak out in

defense of constitutional

democracy and the separation of

....To meet Ngige, Ehanire today

dispute in the health sector.

The meeting is expected

to take place at the Ministry

of Labour and Employment

Conference Hall, Abuja.

Speaking while issuing

notice of the meeting

yesterday, the National

President of JOHESU, Joy-

Josiah Biobelemoye,

decried the alleged

discrimination within the

health sector.

He accused the federal

government of attempting

to redefine the term ‘health

workers’, especially since

issues of hazard allowances

for those managing

COVID-19 patients

cropped up.

Biobelemoye threatened

that if the meeting failed to

address outstanding

powers under the constitution

which have come under

considerable attacks by the

tyrannical executive arm of

government.

The group said the threats to

deal with the comedian by the

Nigerian Bar Association was

misplaced, reckless and

unwarranted.

It said: “Where has the

hierarchy of the Nigerian Bar

Association gone all this while as

national security deteriorates at

the speed of light since 2015 and

the rule of brute force is

systematically replacing the rule

of law under an executive arm of

government that has crippled the

judiciary and legislative

independence?

‘’Why is the Nigerian Bar

Association afraid of condemning

the atrocities of mass killings

going on under the current

administration but has suddenly

woken up from slumber to

threaten a creative and

productive individual struggling

to make a decent living for

himself using his innate talents?’’

grievances raised by

JOHESU, they might be

forced to mobilize their

members to vacate the

various isolation centres in

the country.

Recall that owing to a

recent industrial action by

the National Association of

Resident Doctors NARD,

the federal government

quickly mobilized N4.6

billion to settle their hazard

and inducement

allowances for doctors for

the months of April and

May 2020.

Sources at previous

meetings noted that all the

stakeholders agreed that 50

percent of the basic salaries

be paid as hazard and

inducement allowances to

all staff handling the

COVID-19 pandemic.

However, JOHESU has

alleged that the federal

government was reneging

on that agreement, a

development that has

prompted its leadership to

issue fresh strike threats.

Biobelemoye said: “We

do not pray that the

meeting should fail

because we are all

stakeholders in this fight

against COVID-19, but

where the unthinkable

happens, we will mobilize

our members within the

shortest notice to embark on

an industrial action.”

Other grievances

JOHESU insists must be

met include adjustment of

members’ salary to align

with the Consolidated

Health Salary Structure,

CONHESS, status, which

has been on the negotiating

table since 2014 as well as

promote those due to

directorate levels.

They also want the

government to recognize

JOHESU members as

consultants and pay them

special allowances

commensurate with their

status, including

implementation of 2017

collective bargain

agreement.

He said: “For the

avoidance of doubt, what

was agreed as captured in

the Memorandum of

Understanding was that

the Federal Government

agrees to shelve the

payment of the existing

hazard allowance of N5,

000 being paid across board

to health workers.

“In its place, a special

COVID-19 hazard and

inducement allowance of

50% of the consolidated

basic salary is to be paid to

all health workers in all

Federal Government

Teaching Hospitals and

Federal Medical Centres

and designated COVID-19

centres across the country

to last for the first three

months in the first instance.

“The Minister of Labour

and Employment, Chris

Ngige, even emphasized

that all health workers

would benefit and used

cleaners, ward-maids,

porters, laundry,

morticians/mortuary

attendants and drivers as

example of the

beneficiaries.

“We are very mindful of

the consequences of

shutting down the health

system at this critical period,

but we are being forced to

toe this path because we

entered an agreement to replace

whoever is earning N5000 as

hazard allowance with 50 percent

of the basic salary, the payment

is now generating huge uproar

within the health system.

“Today, some machinations

have been taking place to

redefine who a health worker is,

some said other workers should

be paid 10 percent. For instance,

the laundry people who collect

materials or waste products from

isolation centres, these people are

sometimes infected in the course

of carrying out their job."

Alleged $30bn fraud: Reps

threaten to sanction DPR,

PPMC, Chevron bosses

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA—HOUSE of

Representatives,

yesterday, threatened to

sanction the Director of

Department of Petroleum

Resources, DPR,

Managing Director,

National Petroleum

Investment Management

Services, NAPIMS, for

flouting orders to submit

documents before the

House joint committees on

Finance, Banking and

Currency.

The committees are

investigating an alleged

$30 billion annual revenue

leakages from multinational

oil companies.

Other companies and

agencies expected to

present documents are

PAN Ocean Oil Nigeria

Ltd; Statoil Company Ltd;

Shell Nigeria Exploration

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

A Presidential BUJA—THE

Economic

Advisory Council, PEAC,

yesterday, advised the Federal

Government to move away from

multiple exchange rates to a

unified currency exchange rate.

PEAC, in a statement issued

by the Senior Special Assistant

to the President on Media and

Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu,

also told the the government to

do all that was necessary to

continue to ease the

environment of doing business

in the country.

This is even as the President

appreciated the outstanding

support and guidance provided

by the PEAC, which he described

as a 'tutorial', urging the members

to do more to help the country

exit “our very terrible state of

development.”

Speaking during a virtual

audience with members of the

council, President Buhari said:

“We are a country characterised

by a large population of poor

people, serious infrastructure

deficit, lack of housing and a

vulnerable economy, now

haunted by the COVID-19

pandemic and collapse of the oil

sector and its effect on the Gross

Domestic Product, GDP.”

PEAC, while making a

presentation to the President,

commended the administration

for implementing several of its

recommendations, even as it

presented the government with

a number of tough choices to

make in order to put the country’s

economy on a higher growth

path.

Chairman of the council, Prof.

Doyin Salami, who led the

presentation, specifically

expressed delight with the ongoing

review of the Medium Term

Expenditure Framework, MTEF,

and the 2020 Budget, in view of

the disruptions caused by

COVID-19; the deregulation of

the pump price of Premium Motor

and Production Company

Ltd; Pipeline and Product

Marketing Company,

PPMC; Addax Petroleum

Development Company

Ltd; Chevron; Sterling Oil

Exploration, and Heritage

Oil Exploration, among

others.

Chairmen of both

Committees on Finance,

James Faleke, (APC-

Lagos) and Banking and

Currency, Victor Nwokolo

(PDP-Delta) issued the

threat, yesterday, at the

National Assembly.

Faleke explained that

several letters had been

written to the agencies and

organisations, which were

not honoured.

“According to the

chairman, the multinational

companies are also accused

of tax evasion, malpractices,

misuse and diversion of foreign

exchange allocations.

Economic Advisory Council

warns against multiple

exchange rate ....As Buhari wants

Nigeria’s quick exit

from underdevelopment

Spirit, PMS; approval for the

implementation of the Oronsaye

Report on the need to rationalise

and restructure federal

ministries, departments and

agencies, MDAs, as well as the

adjustment of the exchange rate

of the Naira.

He, however, noted that more

needed to be done to increase

efficiency, coordination and

accountability on the part of

MDAs.

The PEAC welcomed the

Economic Sustainability Plan,

ESP, produced by the Economic

Sustainability Committee, ESC,

headed by the Vice-President,

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and adopted

by the Federal Executive Council,

FEC, but warned that in the

implementation of the N2.3

trillion spending plan, there could

arise a number of problems,

which, if unattended, could

hamper smooth implementation.

The committee advised,

among others, that the ESP

should be implemented, using

existing institutional and

administrative structures;

attention be paid to sources of

funding to avoid inflation;

ensure that priorities, targets

and time limits be set for all

projects, to make for their

completion within the 12-

month life-span of the ESP.

It noted that where this was

not achieved, such projects

should be rolled into the new

Economic Recovery and Growth

Plan, ERGP II.

The PEAC recommended that

the ESP must promote 'exportoriented

production strategies';

ensure use of local resources;

curtail post-harvest losses in

agriculture now put at between

40-60 percent and, above all,

make the economy attractive to

“non-debt” private sector-funded

investment, in order to cut the

rising cost of debt services.


8 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

774,000 jobs: Senators, Reps,

Keyamo in shouting match

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—A mild drama ensued at

the National Assembly yesterday,

as the Minister of State for Labour,

Employment and Productivity, Festus

Keyamo, engaged lawmakers in a hot

verbal exchange over the 774,000 job

recruitment by the National Directorate

of Employment, NDE.

President Muhammadu Buhari had

earlier in the year, directed that the jobs

be created in the 774 local government

areas of the country, with the minister

superintending it. Each local

government is to benefit 1,000 job spaces.

The outbursts by both parties played

out at the interactive session on the

subject between the minister and

members of the joint committee of the

National Assembly on Labour.

Trouble started when the National

Assembly Committee requested that the

Director-General of the National

Directorate of Employment, NDE,

Nasiru Ladan, speak on the composition

of a 20-man committee inaugurated on

Monday by the Ministry for the

implementation of the planned

employment of Nigerians in the Special

Public Works Programme 2020

Ladan could not defend the N52 billion

budgeted for the recruitment of 774,000

Nigerians under the NDE programme.

The lawmakers were, however, not

satisfied with his explanation, having

given the impression he was not in

control of the programme.

Half way into his explanation, after

disclosing that he was aware of only eight

members of the committee, Ladan

referred the lawmakers to seek further

clarification from the Minister.

The National Assembly had in the

2020 budget appropriated N52 billion for

Court declines to stop Reps from

passing Infectious Diseases Bill,

dismisses Melaye’s suit

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—THE

Federal

High Court in Abuja yesterday

dismissed the suit Senator Dino Melaye

filed to stop the House of Representatives

from taking further steps to pass the

Control of Infectious Diseases Bill into

law.

The court, in a judgement delivered

by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, said it lacked

the jurisdiction to strike down a Bill yet

to be passed into law.

Justice Ojukwu held that the judicial

powers of the court could only be

exercised in respect of a law that has

been enacted, stressing that Melaye’s

suit is non-justiceable since the National

Assembly is still deliberating on the Bill.

Relying on the doctrine of separation

of powers, the court said it could not at

this stage, determine whether contents

of the Bill would amount to gross violation

of fundamental rights of the Applicant.

However, the court noted that

concerns Melaye raised in the suit were

“grave”, saying “it behoves on the

Respondents to accord the Bill a second

look”.

Melaye, who hitherto represented

Kogi West in the Senate, had in his

fundamental rights enforcement suit

marked FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020,

maintained that several portions of the

proposed law which is intended to amend

the Quarantine Act of 1926, are

unconstitutional, illegal, and wrongful,

saying they would amount to flagrant

abuse of his fundamental rights.

He told the court that the Bill which

was sponsored by the Speaker of the

House of Reps, is seeking to empower

the Federal Government to convert any

property in the country, including private

the Special Public Works Programme for

the employment of 774,000 citizens.

At this point, Keyamo said his ministry

was asked by President Buhari to

supervise the recruitment but the

lawmakers disagreed with his declaration,

and this sparked off a shouting match.

At this point, Keyamo snapped,

violently hitting at the table as the

lawmakers threw questions at him,

accusing him of hijacking the programme

from NDE and alleging acute

lopsidedness in the entire programme.

The drama took a different dimension

when the lawmakers asked that

journalists excused the meeting for an

executive session with the Minister.

Keyamo rejected this, insisting that

having been openly accused and

disgraced, the cameras should remain in

the room.

His outburst infuriated the lawmakers

who asked that he apologised for his

behaviour but Keyamo refused, saying

he had done nothing wrong to warrant

an apology.

Keyamo’s subtle threat to walk out of

the meeting further irked the lawmakers

who asked him to go, if he wanted.

When he refused to apologise, the

lawmakers reached a resolution, asking

Keyamo to leave the meeting.

Speaking with journalists, Keyamo

who accused the lawmakers of trying to

take control of the recruitment under his

ministry, said that while he was not

opposed to the lawmakers investigating

the programme, he would not allow

himself to be teleguided by them, adding

that doing so would mean sharing in the

powers of President Buhari.

He said despite granting the lawmakers

15% of the job placement; they still

wanted to hijack the entire process and

take over the powers of the President.

property, to isolation centres for infectious

disease patients.

The Applicant contended that the Bill

was further couched in a way that FG

could upon mere suspicion that a person

is infected with an infectious disease,

arrest and detain the person for as long

as necessary, among others.

Cited as Respondents in the suit FHC/

ABJ/CS/463/2020, are the Clerk of the

National Assembly, the Clerk of the

House of Representatives, the Speaker

of the House of Representatives, Femi

Gbajabiamila, the Attorney-General of

the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami,

and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr

Mohammed Adamu.

Meanwhile, before the judgement was

delivered, the court, struck out the name

of the IGP from the matter, noting that

the suit did not disclose any reasonable

cause of action against him.

Melaye had in a supporting affidavit

he attached to the suit, urged the court

to issue an order of injunction to restrain

the Respondents from further proceeding

with, or continuing with further debates

with respect to the Bill.

He averred: “That I know as a matter

of fact that section 3(8) of the Bill which

empowers the Director-General of the

National Center for Disease Control, by

himself or any officer under him or a police

officer on his direction, to enter into any

premises or gathering of people in an

area declared by the president as a public

health restricted zone, without a warrant,

is clearly in breach of my fundamental

rights to freedom of assembly and right

to liberty of my human person.

“That I also know as a matter of fact

that the said provisions conflict to my

rights to fair hearing and is also in breach

of the twin pillars of natural justice.''

EYESORE—Mountain of refuse at Kola bus stop, along Lagos-Abeokuta expressway,

yesterday. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

NLC demands outright cancellation, as

Buhari, NASS agree on electricity tariff

hike delay

By Victor Young, Johnbosco

Agbakwuru & Chris Ochayi

A BUJA—PRESIDENT

Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

agreed with the leadership of the

National Assembly on the need to delay

the planned hike in electricity tariffs.

The leadership of the National

Assembly had on Monday met with the

Electricity Distribution Companies,

DISCOs, where it was agreed that the

planned new tariff expected to take effect

today, July 1, should be delayed till first

quarter of 2021.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and

speaker of the House of Representatives,

Femi Gbajabiamil, met with President

Buhari after the virtual flag-off of the

Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline

project coordinated from the Council

Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Presiding Officers of the National

Assembly also met with the Vice

President Yemi Osinbajo in his office.

Speaking to State House

correspondents, Lawan and Gbajabiamila

said the timing for the tariff increase was

wrong, hence, the effective date has to

be postponed till first quarter of next year.

Gbajabiamila said: “Let me just say that

we saw the President earlier this morning

(yesterday) and we met with the Vice

President also. The whole idea is that

when there is a major policy decision, it is

always good that the legislature and the

executive are on the same page, so we

don’t sing different tunes.

“I will like to say that we have all agreed

on an increase in cost reflective tariff but

the issue is that the timing is also

important. Sometimes, timing is even

more important than the policy decision

that you make.

“We have all agreed to suspend this for

a while and get the buy-in of the people,

explain to the people why this has to be

done, that it is for the betterment for

electricity to get stable.

“They (DISCOs and GENCOs) are

businessmen and cannot be

undercutting themselves. I think so far

so good, the President and the Vice

President listened attentively and I think

everybody is on the same page and

hopefully, we will get some reprieve

between now and whenever, but it’s not

going to happen today.”

Also speaking, the Senate President

affirmed that the Villa meeting was in

connection with the plan for electricity

tariff hike, saying time was not right for

an increase.

He said necessary measures, including

the provision of prepaid meters must

first be put in place before any hike

could be made.

•DISCOs yield to NASS’ pressure to suspend hike

Lawan said: “We have come to visit

our Vice President, in connection with

the impending electricity tariff hike in

the country.

“The joint leadership of the National

Assembly sat yesterday (Sunday) with

DISCOs and Nigeria Regulatory Agency.

We believe that this is not the right time

to increase the tariff in the electricity

sector.

‘’Nigerians have a lot of challenges

today because of the COVID-19

pandemic and the situation requires that

we do everything possible to make life

easy for our citizens. Of course,

government is doing a lot in this respect

but we believe that DISCOs should meet

with consumers, find better cost effective

tariff.

‘’But before then, there must be some

steps to ensure consumers are properly

metered, otherwise you will still go back

to guessing what consumers are

consuming. That is to say, let the billing

be scientifically based, it has to be based

on what you actually consumed.

“So we had this discussion with Mr.

Vice President and we are sure that that

announcement in the increase of

electricity tariff in Nigeria is wrongly

timed. We believe we need to do more

work to ensure that before any increase,

there must be some measures, steps, line

of actions that must be exhausted,

including the metering.”

On how to achieve billing without

overburdening Nigerians, he explained:

“I believe the share purchase agreement

signed by the government and the

DISCOs at the point of the privatisation

must be adhered to.

‘’These are businesses and they must

do everything possible to provide

services. It is when they provide efficient

and effective services to consumers that

they can make money. But as a

government, we too must make sure we

discharge our obligations as provided for

in share purchase agreement signed.''

Similarly, electricity distribution

companies, DISCOs, yesterday said they

agreed to align with the recommendation

of the National Assembly leadership

to suspend the implementations of

the proposed new tariff regime till

the first quarter of 2021.

The DISCOs under the umbrella of

Association of Nigerian Electricity

Distributors, ANED, which made this

known via a statement issued by its

Executive Director, Research and

Advocacy, Mr Sunday Oduntan, in

Abuja however, maintained that the

meeting to suspend the tariff hike was in

instance of the National Assembly.

Also reacting last night, the Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC, said the

suspension of the hike in electricity tariff

was not enough, and demanded a total

cancelation of any future hike.

It contended that besides any hike not

in tandem with nation’s socio-economic

realities, Nigerians could not be paying

for darkness and inefficiency of power

distribution companies.

President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said

in a statement: “As much as we are

pleased with the current truce on the

campaign by DISCOs to subject

Nigerians to killer-electricity charges, we

know that the battle is far from over.

‘’In addition to the untold hardship

that the intended tariff increase by

DISCOs would unleash on private

citizens, the NLC is greatly distressed

over the hemorrhage businesses in

Nigeria would suffer in terms of

productivity, jobs and livelihood if the

planned tariff hike is allowed to stand.

‘’Electricity is the backbone of

businesses – big manufacturing concerns

and small/medium scale enterprises.

Already, the inability of DISCOs and

GENCOs to provide constant power is

taking a huge toll on national

productivity, growth, employment

creation and job retention.

‘’The Organized Private Sector in

Nigeria, OPSN, in a recent statement

posited that electricity outages in Nigeria

average ten hours per day, with the cost

of self-generated electricity averaging

N119 billion in 2019.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress rejects

any further hike in electricity tariff, pump

price of petrol and other essential public

utility charges. The NLC is fully ready to

mobilize our people to resist attempts by

anyone to impose modern-day slavery

on Nigerians – be they DISCOs or

regulators of public utilities.

‘’We insist that further hike in tariff

and user access charges at this time of

great socio-economic dislocation would

be ultra-insensitive, callous and a premeditated

attempt to send many

Nigerians, workers, pensioners and

businesses to untimely graves.''

“In the interest of fairness, equity and

justice, we demand that the DISCOs

refund Nigerians all the estimated

billings that had been unjustly collected

from our people all these years. We also

demand that DISCOs pay consumers

the cost that their inefficiency has

imposed on citizens, residents and

businesses.

‘’DISCOs must also repay bailout funds

they had unjustly collected from public

coffers. We wish to remind the DISCOs

that the provision of pre-paid meters,

transformers and investment in the

sector are statutorily the job of the

DISCOs not consumers or government.''


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 9

GROUND-

BREAKING:

Executive

Director, North,

Fidelity Bank Plc,

Hassan Imam

(left) and

Chairman/CEO,

Oilserv Limited,

Mr. Emeka

Okwuosa at the

ground breaking

ceremony for

the $2.8bn AKK

Gas Project at

Ajaokuta, Kogi

State yesterday.

FG moves to recover unremitted

5-year Stamp Duty

By Emma Ujah, Abuja

Bureau Chief

ABUJA—THE

Federal

Government has begun moves to

recover a backlog of unremitted revenues

accruing to it through the Stamp Duty

in the last six years.

The Secretary to the Government of

the Federation, SGF, Mr. Boss

Mustapha, who represented President

Muhammadu Buhari, at yesterday’s

inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial

Committee on Audit and Recovery of

Back Years Stamp Duties and the launch

of the FIRS Adhesive Stamp, said stamp

duty would be second to oil in revenue

generation.

According to him, “Stamp duty will be

second to oil revenue, as it has the

potential to yield up to a trillion naira if

properly harnessed.”

Mustapha said that with the 2020

federal budget having already recorded

over N5 trillion deficit, the government

had to explore every possible revenue

avenue.

He said: ‘In the face of dwindling oil

revenue, and the global shift away from

oil dependent technological products, it

is even more compelling now to begin to

LAGOS—TOP

Nigerian

lender, Fidelity Bank Plc,

yesterday commended the Nigerian

National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC) and Oilserv, contractors to the

$2.8 billion Ajaokuta - Kaduna - Kano

(AKK) Gas Pipeline Project, which was

flagged off yesterday (Tuesday, June 30,

2020), with the ground breaking

ceremony at Ajaokuta, Kogi State.

Designed in line with the key objectives

of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s

Gas Masterplan, the AKK Project was

borne out of the need to not only boost

domestic gas utilisation in the country,

but reduce the infrastructure deficit

plaguing the oil and gas Industry.

Speaking during the ground breaking

ceremony, President Muhammadu

Buhari said the landmark project was

being developed at a critical time in

Nigeria’s history, particularly now when

it has become imperative to improve the

country’s infrastructure asset. The AKK

Gas Pipeline Project, he said will provide

gas for generation of power, facilitate the

development of new industries and

revive moribund industries along

transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja

(FCT), Niger State, Kaduna State and

Kano State. “When operational, the

think out of the box in order to safeguard

the future of our country.

‘’Therefore, this administration has

resolved to widen the revenue base by

activating stamp duties revenue

collection which has been neglected for

more than 20 years.

“I hereby also direct and request that

all relevant MDAs, particularly the

Central Bank of Nigeria, NIBBS, MDBs,

FIRS, NIPOST should give maximum

cooperation to the Committee in the

discharge of its mandate.”

He said in order to ensure

transparency and accountability in the

recovery of back year stamp duty, the

President has directed that all recoveries

made by the Committee be remitted to

appropriate stamp duty account

maintained by the Federal Government

with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In his address, the Executive

Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Muhammad

Nami, disclosed that the Federal Inland

Revenue Service had grown revenues

from Stamp Duties by over 1,000 per cent,

totaling N66 billion in the first five

months of 2020 alone, compared

with N6 billion naira collected from

January to May 2019.

cascading effect and impact of the project

will be immeasurable. It has significant

job creation potential both direct and

indirect, while fostering the development

and utilization of local skills and

manpower, technology transfer and

promotion of local manufacturing” the

President said.

The Managing Director of NNPC,

Mallam Mele Kyari commended the

Nigerian President for the governments

push and support to jumpstart the project

which he said, is critical to national

development. Kyari explained that the

project, when completed, will create an

enabling environment for development,

adding that NNPC has the capacity to

deliver and create opportunities for the

growth of other industries in Nigeria.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Fidelity

Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo stated

that the bank was delighted to be

associated with the laudable initiative to

improve gas supply, enhance power

generation and boost the productive

capacity of the Nigerian Industrial sector.

Okonkwo, who was represented by the

Executive Director, North, Mr. Hassan

Imam pledged Fidelity Bank’s

commitment to Oil Serv, the contractor

of this project.

•As FIRS generates N66bn

stamp duty January-June 2020

Fidelity Bank lauds NNPC, Oilserv, pledges

support for $2.8bn AKK gas project

He attributed this increase to the

dynamism triggered by the Finance Act

2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in

respect of prior years, and the

deployment of technology and

stakeholders’ collaboration.

“The introduction of the FIRS Stamp

Duties Adhesive Stamp will, among

other things, plug the revenue sink-hole;

enable proper accountability and

transparency; simplify administration of

Stamp Duties; and reduce disputes,’’

Nami said.

In his remarks, Senate President,

Ahmed Lawan, who launched the

adhesive stamp, said the FIRS deserved

commendation for its impressive revenue

collection, and promised that the

National Assembly would continue to

acknowledge, encourage, and support

the initiatives and efforts of revenue

generating agencies of government.

Lawan said: “The Senate and the

National Assembly will continue to

provide the necessary legislative

backings and oversight functions

that will help maximise the revenue

of government and ensure that

government is better positioned to

deliver its mandate.”

“As partner/banker to Oilserv, we are

happy to meet all the financial obligations

and other funding needs, required to

successfully execute this project” he

added.

Leveraging on its know-how and

capacity, Fidelity Bank Energy Desk

provides support to businesses in the oil

and gas value chain. The bank’s support

for local content development, according

to Fidelity Bank’s Executive Director,

Corporate Bank, Mr. Obaro Odeghe

“underscores our support for the key

infrastructure initiatives of the

Federal Government and our

customer, Oilserv Limited; a market

leader in the oil servicing space.”

Oilserv Ltd is an indigenous

Engineering Procurement, Construction

and Installation (EPCI) company. The

firm provides EPCI services to ppwer and

oil & gas companies/industries and have

executed several landmark pipeline and

gas infrastructure projects, including OB-

3 Pipeline Contract, OB-OB Project and

currently the AKK pipeline project.

Chairman & CEO, Oilserv Limited, Mr.

Emeka Okwuosa assured Nigerians that

the project would be delivered within the

contractual terms, adding that the

company has the capacity to handle such

a monumental project.

Condition of Service: NASS has breached

Public Service, Pension Laws — FIKA

•Says officers due for retirement should quit

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA—FORMER clerk to

the National Assembly and

erstwhile Chairman of the National

Assembly Service Commission, NASC,

Dr. Adamu Mohammed Fika, yesterday

accused the management of National

Assembly, led by Alhaji Mohammed

Sani Omolori, of violating the Public

Service Act, the National Assembly Act,

2014 and the Pension Reform Act, 2014.

Fika, made the declaration in his

presentation Monday at the meeting of

the leadership of the National Assembly

on the controversial revised condition of

service, which reviewed upwards the

years of service and retirement age from

35 and 60 to 40 and 65 respectively.

The leadership is led by the Senate

president as chairman, with speaker,

deputy Senate president, deputy speaker

and all principal officers of both chambers

as members.

The management of the National

Assembly made up of the bureaucracy,

is led by the clerk, Alhaji Sani

Mohammed Omolori.

Fika, was invited alongside the Head

of Service of the Federation, Mrs

Folashade Yemi-Esan, to guide the

leadership on the controversial review

of the condition of service.

In his memo presented at the meeting,

which was obtained by Vanguard, Fika

argued: “Unless the National Assembly

Service Act, 2014, is amended, the

resolution of the National Assembly

pertaining to the 2019 Staff Regulations

is ultra vires, null and void.

“The 2019 Regulations were illegally

tabled before the National Assembly

when there was no commission in place.

It was not and is not within the

competence of officials, who are

employees of the Commission, to table

such sensitive matters like the

retirement of staff from service at 40

years of service or 65 years of age

whichever comes first.

‘’The Resolution of the National

Assembly, which elongates the

pensionable years of employees in the

National Assembly Service is not in line

with the Public Service Rules, the

National Assembly Act, 2014 and indeed

the Pensions Reform Act of 2014.

“The issue of extension of pensionable

years by 5 years is not in conformity with

the provisions of the Public Service Rules

section 8, sub section 020810 (a-b) that

stipulates: ‘the compulsory retirement

age for all grades on the service shall be

60 years or 35 years of pensionable

service whichever is earlier. No officer

shall be allowed to remain in the service

after attaining the retirement age of 50

years or 35 years of pensionable service

whichever is earlier.

“The Pensions Act, 2014 also stipulates

the same number of years as pensionable

years of service. The National Assembly

staff should not be treated differently from

other employees in the wider public

service.

“The National Assembly Service, 2014

vested the Commission with the powers

to make Regulations and Conditions of

Service for National Assembly staff in

accordance with the constitution and

Rules and Regulations of the Public

Service of the Federation.

“The National Assembly Service

Regulations 2019 as reflected in the

opening paragraph of the Regulations

did not conform with section 19 of the

2014 National Assembly Service Act

because the Regulations did not

emanate from the National Assembly

Service Commission that has the legal

powers to make staff regulations relating

generally to the conditions of service of

staff of the National Assembly.

“I, therefore, wish to urge the

leadership of the National Assembly to

allow the Commission to invoke its

powers, in line with section 6(8), 7(1)(b)

and 19 as well as other relevant

sections of the National Assembly Act,

2014 to review the conditions of

service with a view to removing any

irregularities found therein.''

COVID-19: Expect more job losses

globally, ILO warns •Laments incomplete

labour market recovery

By Victor Young

G

E N E V A —

INTERNATIONAL

Labour Organisation, ILO, has warned

of more job losses globally over COVID-

19, saying the number of working hours

lost across the world in the first half of

2020 was significantly worse than

previously estimated.

It decried the highly uncertain recovery

in the second half of the year will not be

enough to go back to pre-pandemic

levels.

The global body in Geneva

Switzerland, warned that even in the

best scenario, and risks there will be

continuing large scale job losses.

According to the ILO Monitor:

COVID-19 and the world of work: 5th

Edition, there was a 14 per cent drop in

global working hours during the second

quarter of 2020, equivalent to the loss of

400 million full-time jobs (based on a 48-

hour working week). This is a sharp

increase on the previous Monitor’s

estimate, (issued on May 27), of a 10.7

per cent drop (305 million jobs).

ILO informed that “the new figures

reflect the worsening situation in many

regions over the past weeks, especially

in developing economies. Regionally,

working time losses for the second

quarter were: Americas (18.3 per cent),

Europe and Central Asia (13.9 per cent),

Asia and the Pacific (13.5), Arab States

(13.2 per cent), and Africa (12.1 per cent).

“The vast majority of the world’s

workers (93 per cent) continue to live in

countries with some sort of workplace

closures, with the Americas experiencing

the greatest restrictions.The new

Monitor presents three scenarios for

recovery in the second half of 2020:

baseline, pessimistic and optimistic. It

stresses that the long-term outcome will

depend on the future trajectory of the

pandemic and government policy

choices.

The report said “The baseline model –

which assumes a rebound in economic

activity in line with existing forecasts,

the lifting of workplace restrictions and a

recovery in consumption and investment

– projects a decrease in working hours of

4.9 per cent (equivalent to 140 million

full-time jobs) compared to Q4 2019.

“The pessimistic scenario assumes a

second pandemic wave and the return

of restrictions that would significantly

slow recovery. The consequence would

be a fall in working hours of 11.9 per cent

(340 million full-time jobs).

“The optimistic scenario assumes that

workers’ activities resume quickly,

significantly boosting aggregate demand

and job creation. With this exceptionally

fast recovery, the global loss of working

hours would fall to 1.2 per cent (34 million

full-time jobs).

The Monitor also found that “women

workers have been disproportionately

affected by the pandemic, creating a risk

that some of the modest progress on

gender equality made in recent decades

will be lost, and that work-related gender

inequalities will be exacerbated.


10 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

:Vanguard :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnewsNEWS HOTLINES:

VISIT—Oluwo of Iwo, in Osun State, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (right) and the

new Oniru of Iruland, in Lagos State, Oba Omogbolahan Abdulwasiu Lawal, during the

Oluwo's visit to Oniru's palace, in Lagos.

Strike: Pay COVID-19 hazard allowance,

others, NMA tells Lagos govt

By Chioma Obinna

LAGOS—THE

Nigerian

Medical Association, NMA,

in Lagos State, yesterday, urged

the Lagos State government to

take the advantage of the two

weeks extension of the strike

notice issued by members of the

Medical Guild to pay the

COVID-19 hazard allowances

and resolve other outstanding

issues.

In a statement by its Chairman

and Secretary, Dr. Adetunji

Adenekan and Dr. Ramon

Moronkola respectively, the

NMA said: “We believe Lagos

State, being the epicentre of the

pandemic in Nigeria, the

Government can replicate the

same remunerations by the

federal government, if not more.

“We salute the sagacity

displayed by the leadership of the

Medical Guild in engaging the

Lagos State Government.

“We, hereby, appeal to the

Lagos State Government to take

the advantage of the two weeks

extension of the ultimatum given

by the Medical Guild in resolving

all the outstanding issues which

include the welfare of our

members.

“The NMA Lagos is fully in

support of these demands and

already deployed necessary

human and material resources to

make this a reality.”

Oyo lawmaker breaks down in tears for Ajimobi

By Ola Ajayi & Ebunola

Sessou

IBADAN—THE lawmaker

representing Afijio State

Constituency in the Oyo State

House of Assembly, Mr. Seyi

Adisa, yesterday, betrayed his

emotion as he broke down in tears

during a special tribute held in

honour of the former Oyo State

Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi,

who died last week Thursday.

The legislator had the floor to

pay his own tribute when he shed

tears for the deceased who he

described as the architect of

modern Oyo State.

He said: “Ajimobi is no doubt

the architect of modern Oyo State.

His dedication throughout his

eight years in government and

beyond was towards the

continuous growth of the State

....As Lagos legislator walks out of Assembly chamber

and our people.

“We will miss him as followers

and mentees. The entire Oyo

State, APC and Nigerians will

miss his personality, generosity,

dedication and sense of humor.

Even those who do not see

Ajimobi’s legacies now will

acknowledge it later.”

Drama as Lagos

lawmaker walks out

of Assembly chamber

Similarly, there was a mild

drama in the Lagos State House

of Assembly as a lawmaker, Mr.

Moshood Oshun representing

Mainland 1, who walked out of

the chamber during plenary.

Oshun was said to have walked

out of the chamber after refusing

to take a seat allocated to him.

While in the chamber, Oshun

refused the seat allocated to him,

noting that the seat was not

convenient.

But the Speaker, Mr.

Mudashiru Obasa, however, told

him: “If everyone was given the

privilege to choose a particular

seat, the chamber might look

awkward.” Thereafter, Obasa

directed Oshun to comply with

the rule of the House or walk out

of the chamber.

At this point, Oshun walked out

of the chamber.

Oshun was one of the two

lawmakers suspended

indefinitely in March, while

principal officers, the Chief Whip,

Rotimi Abiru and the Deputy

Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa

Jimoh, were demoted.

Gridlock: Lagos govt orders contractor to fix deplorable

Lagos-Badagry expressway

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

LAGOS—THE Lagos State

Government, yesterday,

directed China Civil Engineering

Construction Corporation,

CCECC, awarded the

rehabilitation of bad portions on

the Lagos-Badagry expressway,

to return to the site without further

delay.

The directive followed a public

outcry over the deplorable state

of the road, which has led to daily

traffic congestion at Mile 2 and

the Oshodi-Apapa expressway,

impeding business activities in

and around the nation’s seaports.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-

Olu’s Special Adviser on Works

and Infrastructure, Mr. Aramide

Adeyoye, told Vanguard that

the contractor had been

summoned and directed to get

back to the site and commence

rehabilitation of the bad portions

on the expressway, which has

increased traffic congestion in the

area.

Adeoye, who spoke through

her Public Affairs Officer, Mr.

Shina Odunuga, said: “As I speak

with you, the contractor has been

directed to rehabilitate the bad

portion of the road immediately,

in order to restore succour to

residents and motorists in the axis.

“The contractor, CCECC,

was summoned on Tuesday

and, after much deliberation,

was directed to commence

rehabilitation of the Lagos-

Badagry expressway.

"Very soon you will see the

construction company on site.”

Adeoye, however, did not

explain why the execution of

repair work was delayed, until

the present moment.

Returning things to narmalcy!

Going back to the drawing board!

Including engineering and medical

students?


C

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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 11


12 — Vanguard

anguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

:Vanguard News

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

INSPECTION: Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State (4th right) with other government functionaries, inspecting the

Federal Secretariat, World Bank Road under construction in Owerri, yesterday.

COVID-19: Health workers protest

non-payment of allowances

• They will be paid once govt concludes payroll vetting — Osagie

• Inter-state travel ease: Police warn facemask violators in A-Ibom

By Ozioruva Aliu,

Davies Iheamnachor

& Chioma Onuegbu

BENIN CITY—FOR the

second time in two

weeks, personnel of the Edo

State mobile screening team

on Covid-19, yesterday,

staged a protest in Benin City

over the state government's

refusal to pay their two

months allowances.

The protesters blocked the

entrance leading into the

premises of the state Hospital

Management Board

thereby preventing movement

in and out of the compound.

The screening team which

comprised medical doctors,

health personnel, contact

tracers, data collectors among

others, was initiated to trace

people who have had contacts

with COVID-19 patients,

all in a bid to ramp up

testing in the state.

The protesters said after

working for two months, they

received a message from the

Incident Manager COVID-

19 mobile screening exercise,

disengaging them from

their duties without due payment

of monthly allowances.

Speaking on behalf of the

ad-hoc staff, Ojei Emmanuel

said they have not been treated

with pity and compassion.

He said, "I come from a distance,

I pay N600 on a daily

basis as transport fare, and I

have been doing that for 61

days.

"We just came in today to

find out that we have been

relieved of the jobs and we

have not been paid for two

months. We have 26 groups

consisting of about eight

persons per group. There are

group leaders in each group,

there are doctors.

"Though it was 31 days, we

still agree to be paid N90,000

from the outset, not N93,000.

So, why we are being owed,

we don't know. Why were we

relieved of the job, we still

also do not know. All we

want is for them to pay what

is due to us," he added.

But the state government

in a statement by Special

Adviser to Governor Godwin

Obaseki on Media and

Communication Strategy,

Crusoe Osagie said the frontline

workers would be paid

their outstanding allowance

upon the conclusion of the

vetting of their payroll.

He said, "The screening

exercise was massive and

crosscutting. The officials

were inundated with lists of

persons, who were said to

have participated in the exercise.

So, we are carefully

vetting the lists before making

the final payment. The

outstanding allowances

would be paid before the end

of the week.

"The taskforce for the

screening exercise was set

up in response to the COV-

ID-19 pandemic. The government,

upon the outbreak

of the pandemic in the state,

based its response on the

data polled from an epidemiological

study done in

partnership with the University

of Benin Teaching Hospital,

UBTH. This led to the

setting up of a taskforce to

embark on a massive screening

and testing of 500,000

and 5000 persons across the

state."

Ize-Iyamu condemns

non-payment of

COVID-19 screening

team allowances

Meanwhile, All Progressives

Congress, APC, candidate

for the 2020 governorship

election, Pastor Osagie

Court dismisses Oshiomhole's appeal challenging his

suspension

ABUJA—THE Court of

Appeal sitting in Abuja has

dismissed the appeal by a

former National Chairman of

the All Progressives Congress,

APC, Adams Oshiomhole, challenging

his suspension from the

party.

Ize-Iyamu, yesterday, condemned

the reported nonpayment

of three months allowance

due to the Edo State

COVID-19 mobile screening

team by the state government.

A statement by the Director

of Communication and

Media of the Ize-Iyamu

Campaign Organisation,

John Mayaki, described the

action of the Edo State Government

to the screening

team as "callous, inhumane,

and unacceptable."

The statement read: "We

observed today with concern

the protest staged by young

men and women of our state

engaged by the Obaseki-led

Edo State Government to

form the mobile team that

conducted screenings for

COVID-19 in Edo State over

Governor Godwin Obaseki's

refusal to pay their due allowances

for three full

months.

"These people are patriotic

citizens who carried out an

important assignment, at

great risk to their own personal

health, which proved

crucial in the fight against

the viral disease in the state.

To see them subjected to

such indignity and inhumane

treatment by the

Obaseki-administration is

saddening and extremely

disappointing."

Inter-state travel

ease: Police warn

facemask violators

in A-Ibom

Following the decision of

the Federal Government to

lift the ban on interstate travel

beginning from July 1, 2020,

the Akwa Ibom State Police

command has vowed to vigorously

enforce the wearing

of a facemask in public places.

Police Public Relations Officer,

Mr Fredrick Nnudam

in a statement, yesterday,

in Uyo, warned that violators

of facemask safety measure

would be arrested and

prosecuted.

Nnudam explained that

the decision of the police

command became important

as the state would witness

the influx of people

from other parts of the country

due to the opening of

inter-state travel.

He urged the good people

of the state to always

wear facemasks in public

places and follow other

safety measures aimed at

containing the spread of

Covid-19 pandemic.

RSUTH gets N15 m

medical equipment

support

Fear grips workers as A'Ibom govt reduces

minimum wages

By Harris Emanuel

UYO—THERE is dis

contentment among

workers in Akwa Ibom

State over the reduction of

the minimum wage by the

state government.

The development has delayed

the payment of June

salary in the state and there

are strong indications that

workers would down tools

in the coming days.

Vanguard gathered that

the state government

slashed the wages to be at

A three-man panel of justices

presided over by Justice

Uchechukwu Onyemenam

unanimously dismissed the

appeal, yesterday, at the request

of the former APC national

chairman.

Oshiomhole had approached

the court, challenging

his suspension from the

party by officials of his ward

par with what the Federal

Government is paying its

workers, a development

which has infuriated workers

and organised labour in

the state.

A senior civil servant told

Vanguard that "Print out is

yet to be sent out. It is when

it is out and returned before

salary is paid, but circular

on the reduction has been

issued by the state government

and it has not gone

down well with workers."

State Chairman of Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC,

Elder Sunny James, ac-

Come to our rescue, our farms are crumbling, poultry

farmers beg FG

By Festus Ahon

A SABA—POULTRY

farmers under the auspices

of Poultry Association of

Nigeria, PAN, have urged the

Federal Government to come

to their rescue, lamenting that

their farms are crumbling

over the rising cost of maize

and soya beans.

They lamented that small

poultry farms are closing

down as a result of the high

cost of feeds.

Speaking to newsmen in

Asaba,Delta State, state

Chairman of PAN, Chief Alfred

Mrakpor appealed to

Federal Government to save

the local poultry industry from

total collapse due to the high

cost of poultry feeds.

Mrakpor lamented the

large numbers of small scale

poultry farms that have closed

as a result of exorbitant prices

of critical ingredients in

poultry feed formulation.

Mrakpor said, "It is heartbreaking

to see that small

farmers are going out of

business and by extension

increasing the poverty level

of the citizenry. This is

not the expectations of our

members, and we are all

negatively affected by the

galloping price of maize by

maize merchants without

any remorse.’’

in Edo State.

Justice Danlami Senchi of

an Abuja High Court had given

effect to the suspension of

Oshiomhole from his ward on

the ground that the executives

of Ward 10 in Etsako West Local

Government Area of Edo

State acted in line with the constitution

of the party.

At the resumed hearing of the

cused the state government

of unilaterally reviewing

downward, the minimum

wage without the knowledge

of labour.

Meanwhile, Rotary International

has donated medical

equipment worth

N15million to the Rivers State

University Teaching Hospital,

Port Harcourt, to support

the ongoing fight against covid-19

in the state.

Presenting the equipment

to the management of the

hospital, yesterday, Dr Nze

Anizor, District Governor,

Rotary International District

9141, said it was part of the

clubs area of focus in health

delivery.

Anizor, disclosed that the

same equipment was distributed

to other hospitals across

the states of the district coverage.

He said: "We are here to

donate medical equipment to

the Rivers State University

Teaching Hospital from Rotary.

"We are actually doing this

for five hospitals, Rivers State

University Teaching Hospital,

Asaba Specialist Hospital,

Irua Specialist Hospital,

Central Hospital Warri, Federal

Medical Centre, Yenagoa.

"We just selected hospitals

in each of the states that handle

Covid-19 patients and

this is part of our contributions

toward supporting the hospitals

take better care of patients

during this pandemic.

"Some of the equipment

donated are Patient Monitor,

Oxygen Concentrator, Pulse

Oximeter, Suction machine,

AED, Automatic hand sanitizer

dispenser, 3- part Haematology

Analyser, Haemoglobinometer

with strips and

Chemistry Analyser. We

have roughly about

N15million equipment here."

appeal, yesterday, the counsel

representing the former chairman

informed the court of his

client's decision to withdraw

the suit which originally

sought a stay of execution on

the judgment of the court affirming

his suspension.

Other members of the threeman

panel are Justice Mohammed

Mustapha and Justice

Muazu Lamido.

The withdrawal of the appeal

followed President Muhammadu

Buhari's appealed

to all aggrieved members of

the APC to withdraw all pending

litigations in the interest of

peace.


Vanguard

anguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 13

:Vanguard News

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

SWORN-IN:

Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi of Enugu

State (left) and the

new Chairman of

Nsukka Local

Government Area,

Hon. Cosmas

Ugwueze, shortly

after the latter was

sworn in at the

EXCO Chambers,

Government

House, Enugu,

yesterday.

CAC deregisters splinter Ohanaeze as

group talks tough

• Wants FG to address genuine agitations of Igbo

CAC should withdraw 'erroneous' Ohanaeze certificate — Ibegbu

• We're intact, disregard fake news — New Ohanaeze

By Clifford

Ndujihe, Vincent

Ujumadu & Dennis

Agbo

AWKA—THE Corporate

Affairs Commission,

CAC, has allegedly withdrawn

the registration of the

splinter group of Ohanaeze

Ndigbo, saying it has not

fulfilled all the requirements

for registration.

The traditional ruler of Igbariam

in Anambra East local

government area of Anambra

State, Igwe Nkeli

Nzekwe had made waves

over the weekend after inaugurating

a splinter group of

Ohanaeze, making Basil

Onyeachonam as the president

general of Ohanaeze

Worldwide, with himself as

the chairman of Board of

Trustees, BoT, adding that all

those holding offices in Ohanaeze

before the inauguration

had ceased to function

in those offices.

President General of the

splinter group, Onyeachonam

said the group’s major

assignment is to ensure that

the president of Nigeria in

2023 should come from Igbo

land and warned that the

Igbo might resort to self-help

in handling insecurity in the

area due to the activities of

killer herdsmen.

He said: "I make bold to say

that come 2023, an Igbo man

will be elected as the president

of Nigeria. The unity of

Ndigbo is paramount and

sacrosanct in actualizing Igbo

presidency in 2023.

"We are confronted with

routes leading to diverse

goals, but as we see it, there

is only one road that we can

safely recommend for us to

tread and it is the unity of

Nigeria and Igbo presidency

in 2023.

"We need peace and security

in Igboland and Nigeria

at large; we need development,

empowerment of

Ndigbo in strategic government

positions, we need equitable

distribution of national

resources and national development

projects in Igboland.

"We want the Federal Government

of Nigeria to equitably

address the genuine

agitations of our people.

"The president must sit up

to the current security challenges

in Igboland, to dissuade

our people from inevitable

self-help”

However, confusion trailed

yesterday the alleged withdrawal

of the registration

granted the group by the

Corporate Affairs Commission,

CAC.

A statement by the commission,

which is circulating in

the social media read: “This

is to inform the general public

that the certificate of registration

No. IT 1444918 issued

inadvertently to the Trustees

of OHANEZE NDIGBO

GENERAL ASSEMBLY has

been withdrawn by the Corporate

Affairs Commission.

“The Trustees of the Association

have been advised to

return the said certificate to

the commission as same has

been cancelled. The conditions

for the issuance of the

certificate have not been fully

fulfilled.”

However, the chairman of

the splinter group of Ohanaeze

Ndigbo General Assembly,

Mr. Basil Onyeachonam

is still talking tough

against the leadership of

Chief Nnia Nwodo –led apex

Igbo socio –cultural organization,

telling the federal government

to address genuine

agitations of Ndi Igbo.

CAC should

withdraw 'erroneous'

Ohanaeze certificate

— Ibegbu

Reacting to the deregisteration

of the splinter group,

Deputy Publicly Secretary of

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr

Chuks Ibegbu said the main

stream Ohanaeze Ndigbo

led by Chief John Nnia

Nwodo was in support of the

move by the Corporate Affairs

Commission, CAC, to

withdraw the certificate of incorporation

erroneously issued

to the individuals.

According to Ibegbu, the

certificate should be withdrawn

because it was illegally

registered and should be

probed.

He said: "There are due process

to register such an organisation

and it was not followed.

The circumstance that

led to the registration should

be probed. Something must

have gone wrong in CAC. I

think that the enemies of

Ndigbo are at work.

"These chaps are enemies

of Ndigbo and desperadoes.

They should be arrested for

impersonation.

"Ohanaeze leadership under

Nwodo is intact. There is

no crack whatsoever. Enemies

of Ndigbo are behind

this and we shall soon unmask

them.

"Can this kind of thing happen

in the North or West? I

doubt it. We must punish

Igbo black legs and sell outs.

We cannot tolerate this treachery

any further."

We're intact,

disregard fake news

— New Ohanaeze

But in a counter reaction,

the splinter group of Ohanaeze

Ndigbo has urged

members of the public and

Ndigbo to disregard reports

that its registration certificate

had been withdrawn by the

Corporate Affairs Commission,

CAC.

Dismissing the reports as

fake news, Publicity Secretary

of the new group, Sir Chimzobam

Nnalue, said the letter

was not from the CAC,

adding that the group is intact

at CAC's portal.

He said in a statement: ''The

general public is hereby informed

to disregard the fake

news being circulated on facebook

by some paid agents

claiming that our CAC certificate

has been withdrawn.

The letter is not from the CAC

The newly registered Ohanaeze

Ndigbo led by Barr

Onyeachonam is intact at the

CAC portal."

S-East Govs, Ohanaeze float regional

stabilisation fund c'ttee

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU—SOUTH East

Governors in conjunction

with Ohanaeze Ndigbo have

composed a 50-Man Alaigbo

Stabilization Fund committee

with former Economic

Adviser to President Obasanjo,

Prof. Osita Ogbu as chairman.

Ohanaeze said the committee

is to draft the basis of

the stabilization fund and its

governance, protocol as well

as development of Igbo land

to the status of Catalonia in

Spain and Bayern in Germany

Ṫhe steering committee is

made up of experts and professionals

in banking, finance

and development economics

drawn from the diaspora and

all the South East states.

Members of the committee

included: Mac Atasia, Ike

Chioke, Patrick Okigbo III,

Nnanna Anyim Ude, Dr

Nick Okoye and Dr Ndy

Onukwuesi.

Others are Emeka Onwuka,

Dave Nwachukwu, Chief

Aloysius Ihezie, Dr Bernard

Orbika, Ngozi Odumuko,

Jerome Okolo, Emeka Ugwuoju

and Reginald Ihebuzor.

Also in the committee are

Ben Nwawudu, Monye Chuka,

Dr Sam Amadi, Dr Joe

Abah, Ede Solomon, Barrister

Nwachukwu, Prof. Ejiofor

of WIC and Air Vice Marshall

Obierika.

Also included are Prof.

Epiphany Azinge, Prof. Viola

Onwuliri, Charles Nwodo,

Kalu Onuma, Solomon E.

Adimora, Uzodinmma Okpara,

Chief Tony Okeke,

Okey Nwadinobi, Onyeka

Onwenu, Mrs Ann Aligwe,

Ebere Onwudiwe, Emma

Onyilofor, AIG Dr (Mrs)

Grace Okudo, Dr Chukwuma

Agu and Prof.Joy Ezeilo.

There are also Ambassador

Alex Nwofe, Ben Ezenta,

Ebere Enemchukwu,

Max Osita Okonkwo, Dr

Mrs Grace Uwazuike, Dr

Ken C. Nwekpa and Dr

Ferdinand Agu.

Senator Anyim Ude, will

serve as secretary of the

committee.

Forgery: FG declares Uzoh, Cletus,

Ifunanya, Samuel wanted

By Innocent Anaba

AWKA—THE Federal Gov

ernment through the Nigeria

Police Force has declared

Obinna Uzoh, Anani Cletus, Ifunanya

Aroh and Faith Samuel

wanted in relation to offences

bordering on criminal conspiracy,

forgery and perjury, falsification

of facts and falsification

of court judgment to clandestinely

remove Senator Ifeanyi

Ubah from office as the Senator

representing Anambra

South in the 9th National Assembly.

Pursuant to a warrant of arrest

issued by a Chief Magistrate

Court in Abuja, in a special police

gazette bulletin: CR:300/X/

LEG/, FHQ/ABJ/VOL.8/56

published by the Central

Criminal Registry of the Force

Criminal Intelligence and

Investigation Department,

FCIID, the Police requested

anyone with useful information

on the whereabouts of the suspects

to arrest and hand over the

suspects to the nearest Police station

or the legal prosecution section

of the FCIID.

In a related development, in

charge no: FHC/ABJ/CR/78/

2020 between the Federal Government

and Eziafa Samuel,

which came up for trial before

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal

High Court, Abuja, the defendant;

Eziafa Samuel is currently

standing trial for conspiracy

and forgery of court documents

in an alleged cloned

suit: CV/3044/2018, which

was obtained clandestinely to

oust Senator Ubah from office.

At the last sitting, the defendant,

Samuel applied to the

court for an adjournment on

the ground that ill health.

NBC orders DSTV to suspend

new tariffs

By Tordue Salem

ABUJA—THE Acting Di

rector General of Nigerian

Broadcasting Commission,

NBC, Mr. Armstrong Idachaba,

yesterday ordered the management

of MultiChoice, to

suspend the implementation of

its new hiked tariffs on different

bouquets on its Digital Satellite

Television, DSTV

Besides, the Minister of Information

and Culture, Alhaji

Lai Mohammed, also disclosed

Federal government's

plan to break the Sporting

rights monopoly of DSTV.

The duo spoke at the National

Assembly, while briefing

members of an Ad Hoc Committee

looking into the hike in

tariffs.

"I want to agree, with the

Committee and call on DSTV

to suspend the hike in tariffs",

Idachaba, said when pushed by

1,610 persons trained in Imo for

N10m CBN loan

By Chinonso

Alozie

OWERRI—THE Imo State

government, yesterday,

said that one thousand, six

hundred and ten persons participated

in three days compulsory

training for Imo

youths to access the Central

Bank of Nigeria ,CBN, loan

between N1million and N10

million.

The commissioner for Entrepreneurship

and Skills Acquisition,

Noble Atulegwu,

the Committee.

Earlier, Mr Mohammed

told lawmakers that he already

signed a code to break

the monopoly of MultiChoice

in the country, saying "our

amendments to the Broadcasting

Act, will affect the break in

the monopoly of Multi-

Choice. Amendments to Section

628 of the Broadcasting

Act, is in our broad national

interest."

Chairman of the House Adhoc

Committee and other

lawmakers who quizzed the

Minister of Information and

Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed

on the new payment template

issued by Multichoice

for payment of DSTV subscription,

decried the high cost

of tariffs.

He said the House viewed

the increase in the price of

subscription of satellite television

on the Pay As You Go

system as an affront that must

be immediately suspended.

disclosed this in Owerri, adding

that the training which

started on Monday will last

for three days.

He said that the governor,

Hope Uzodinma, had paid

for the cost of the three days

training for the participants

and that the training would

also cover a vast area of entrepreneurship

skills for the

youths in the state.

The commissioner said:

"This workshop is timely for

those of you that want to start

their own businesses as well

as those interested in turning

their fledging enterprises into

a successful story.


14 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

CONDOLENCE VISIT TO LATE CHIEF BODE AKINDELE,

CHAIRMAN, MODANDOLA GROUP, IN LAGOS

Photos: Akeem Salau

From left: Chief & Chief (Mrs) Bode Amoo and Bolaji Akindele, son of the deceased

during a condolence visit to the late Chief Bode Akindele, Chairman

Modandola Group's house who died in Lagos on Monday, June 29, 2020 at his

resisdence, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, yesterday.

From left: Dr Wale Olawoyin and Brig-Gen Ayo-Vaughan, Chairman, Apapa Residents

Association.

Chief (Mrs) Atena Akindele and Chief (Mrs) Olabisi Akindele, widows of the

deceased.

From left: Mrs Abiola Aderigbigbe, Mrs Yemisi Oladapo; Mrs Folake Akindele

Coker and Mrs Oluwatoyin Isemede.


C

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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 15


16 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

One week, two troubles

IN just the space of about one

week Nigeria, “the giant of

Africa”, was involved in no less than

two, maybe three, diplomatic

debacles, each of which can be

traced to incremental reduction in

the quality of governance over so

many years that has now resulted in

the country’s loss of influence

among Nigerians and the rest of the

world.

The first piece of depressing news

came out of the Ghanaian capital,

Accra, where the Nigerian High

Commission was besieged by what

could be described as a wellorganised

mob. In plain sight of

security agents, a residential

building in the precinct of the High

Commission came under direct

attack as it was demolished in gross

violation of the Vienna Convention

on Diplomatic Relations to which

Ghana is a signatory. Under this

Convention the premises of a foreign

mission are inviolable and can only

be accessed with permission.

Acting otherwise could even be

viewed as an act of war that could at

the very least lead to a breakdown

in relations between concerned

countries. But not only were what

might be considered the hallowed

grounds of the Nigerian High

Commission in Ghana violated,

parts of its residential area were

reduced to rubble under the

onslaught of bulldozers in the service

of Ghanaian citizens.

An attack like this could easily get

out of hand as happened in Libya

after the ouster of Muammar

Ghaddafi when the American

Embassy in Tripoli was attacked and

the ambassador was murdered in

cold blood. Any of the Nigerian

occupants of the residential building

could have been injured or, even

worse, killed given the belligerence

that characterised the incident as

captured on available video footage.

It stretches credulity that

Ghanaian authorities could not be

summoned early enough to respond

to the distressed cry of the Nigerian

occupants of the building for the

period the attack lasted. We are not

here talking of some surreptitious

activity by ordinary thugs or petty

hoodlums. What was on display was

organised thuggery executed with

the probable connivance of the

Ghanaian authorities.

The goal was apparently to

embarrass the Nigerian government

for its alleged failure to live up to its

responsibilities. For the point at issue,

one line of narrative claims, is that

the lease Nigeria took on this

property in which it houses her

diplomats had lapsed without the

High Commission either renewing

it or moving out. Not only did Nigeria

fail or refuse to do either of this, it

went ahead to construct additional

structures on the property that is

owned by the Osu Traditional

Chieftaincy, a private entity that

resorted to self-help in the apparent

face of official, though foreign,

impunity. If the claim of expired

lease is true, then the authorities in

Ghana could not have executed the

demolition without ruffling

diplomatic feathers and risking the

ire of Nigeria.

Which then stands to reason that

what Ghana could not do by direct

use of force, it did through the moral

authority and outrage of her private

citizens. Ghana has, however, in the

wake of the attack regretted the

Should it turn out that

Ghana is only trying to

help Nigeria save face

after embarrassing her

publicly, then it serves

Nigeria right as this

country has no business

conducting itself as

outlaws outside her

borders

action of the perpetrators of this

heinous act while admitting that

Nigeria bought the piece of land on

which the High Commission

constructed its property 20 years ago.

Except Ghana is engaged in some

tongue-in-cheek exoneration of

Nigeria from the irresponsibility of

not paying due rent, then it ought to

bring the full weight of the law to

bear on the perpetrators of the

demolition. This should be in

addition to its apologies to Nigeria

and promised reconstruction of the

demolished portion of the High

Commission. But should it turn out

that Ghana is only trying to help

Nigeria save face after embarrassing

her publicly, then it serves Nigeria

right as this country has no business

conducting itself as outlaws outside

her borders.

Increasing number of Nigeria’s

missions abroad appear distressed

with reports of staff with backlog of

unpaid salaries working in

dilapidated buildings and even

rundown office spaces that

aggravate the already deplorable

image of the country in certain

quarters abroad. For effective and

proper management of resources,

including cost-saving, Nigeria could

cut down on the number of its

diplomatic missions or reduce the

status of some. We do not need

ambassadors in every nook and

cranny of the world.

In some cases, there is no

justification for this proliferation of

embassies other than to provide jobs

for the boys, compensating

associates, cronies and friends

among scores of other political

lackeys and journey men and

women masquerading as diplomats.

Let us do this and save ourselves the

embarrassments of angry creditors

setting thugs on diplomatic staff and

thereby putting diplomats lives in

harm’s way. The dust from the

demolition job in Accra had hardly

settled than there was an invasion of

the Nigerian embassy in Jakarta,

Indonesia. This time the attackers

are (wait for this) Nigerians

protesting against their treatment in

the hands of Indonesian

immigration agents; in this instance,

leading to the death of a Nigerian

who allegedly plunged to his death

from the ninth floor of a building

while running away from agents that

wanted to arrest him.

It is not at all clear how these angry

Nigerians thought the embassy

could have been of help. But their

sense of moral outrage was such that

their only line of defence was to make

Nigeria accountable for their

situation. In expressing their

grievances, they set upon the

embassy’s property, vandalising

vehicles and desecrating the

Nigerian flag.

While such actions are neither new

nor peculiar to the embassy officials

in Jakarta, the protesters need to

know that being Nigerians does not

excuse any anti-social behaviour nor

can an embassy provide cover from

the law for Nigerians thought to

have violated the laws of their host

nations. It is sheer foolishness to

think otherwise. Fugitive or no

fugitive, foolish or not, it is a

reflection of a high level of cynicism

that the gap between the rulers and

the led has so widened that it has in

turn resulted in a loss of faith in

Nigeria as a country worth living in

or dying for. Which is why Nigerians

will without scruples sooner deny

their country than affirm faith in her

survival. Nigerians must begin to

reappraise their relationship with

their country and not tie their

disillusionment with the country’s

leaders to the very idea of having faith

in Nigeria as a country. Nigerian

leaders are not Nigeria and their

conduct at any time, in or out of

office, should not be viewed as

representative of the Nigerian

character, dream and worldview.

What could have been a third

incident was again a self-infliction,

namely, the reported closure of the

Nigerian embassy in Germany.

What’s this about? Another nonpayment

of lease disguised as need

for repair work? What a week!

What if there is no COVID-19?

By ISSA AREMU

IT is trite to ask: “What if there is no

COVID-19?” Of course this question lacks

freshness precisely because we are into the

seventh month of the global pandemic. The

world (possibly, minus ever denying

Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Donald Trump’s USA)

is bracing up for the second wave of the

notorious pandemic. I agree with Dr. Chikwe

Ihekweazu, the Director General of the Nigeria

Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, that

contrary to the fairy tales from Kogi and Cross

River states, no corner of the globe is immune

from the pandemic.

The Secretary to the Government of the

Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task

Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, had

further raised the noise level of the virus spread,

and with attendant hysteria too! According to

him, “the country might start to count bodies

in their hundreds in the next three weeks

following the spread of coronavirus in the

country”.

With an alarmist Presidential Task Force,

PTF, Chairman like Boss Mustapha, it’s purely

academic to ask: “What if there is no COVID-

19? The plague is already leading humans to

mass graves with survivors in captivity of face

masks and mobile sanitisers. More than ever

before “a dry cough is the trumpeter of death!”

And that is the issue! My interest in national

and global response to COVID-19 is purely

academic. The recent global frenzy has

confirmed the old saying that “health is not

valued until sickness comes”. The 1999

Constitution with all its limitations, underlines

the importance of public health, safety and

and public welfare for nation building.

Section 14(1) of the Chapter II dealing with

the Fundamental Objectives and Directive

Principles of State Policy says (b) the security

and welfare of the people shall be the primary

purpose of government: and that (c) the health,

safety and welfare of all persons in employment

are safeguarded and not endangered or

abused; d) there are adequate medical and

health facilities for all persons: Section 17

envisages that the National Assembly may

make laws for the Federation or any part

thereof with respect to -(a) the health, safety

and welfare of persons employed to work in

factories, offices or other premises or in inter-

State transportation and commerce including

the training, supervision and qualification of

such persons.”

In addition, the “Right to life” is alluded to

18 times in the Constitution. Scores of

proposals to reinvent public health at the 2014

national conference are still gathering dust.

Are we then saying that without COVID-19,

our concerns about right to life and public

health would remain scandalously muted as it

had been for decades? Better still, without

COVID-19, couldn’t we be alarmed that

Nigeria records over 300,000 deaths per

year due to malaria which unlike COVID-

19 has a cure?

It is gratifying that Nigeria is now Wild

Polio Virus Free. One can imagine the trauma

of paralysed children as long as the virus

inflicted havoc. It is a credit to the Buhari

administration for eradicating the scourge

through adequate funding and mass

immunisation campaign. There are recorded

confirmed nine million coronavirus cases

globally. This pales into insignificance

compared to an estimated 100 million

malaria cases annually in Nigeria. What is

good for polio is desirable for malaria. A

disease known, should be half cured.

In terms of numbers malaria is a pandemic

no less than coronavirus is an epidemic. Of

course it is not yet Africa’s world. The World

Health Organisation, WHO, might not lose

its “breath” because malaria reportedly

contributes to an estimated 11 per cent of

maternal mortality in Nigeria. There are so

far 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths globally.

Nigeria records as many as 215,000 deaths

per year from HIV/AIDS, half of COVID-19

fatalities. There have been 7000 reported

recovery cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, can

NCDC avail the data about how many malaria

and HIV/AIDS recoveries? Where is the

Presidential Task Forces on Malaria and HIV/

AIDS?

Talking about the right to life, according to

2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety,

WHO estimated road traffic fatalities in

Nigeria at 39,802, while the estimated rate

per 100,000 deaths stood at 21.4. Whence

the lock down, sorry knock down, on

avoidable human “accidental” hemorrhage?

The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC,

reported last year that an average of about 12

people died daily last year due to recorded

8,527 road traffic crashes, RTC, across the

country. What massive graves “swallow” these

Nigerians compared to mass graves that await

the COVID-19 victims as hysterical Boss

Mustapha raised an alarm?

Don’t get me wrong! It is not COVID-19

deaths versus malaria and HIV/AIDS deaths.

There have been 7000 reported

recovery cases of coronavirus in

Nigeria; can NCDC avail the

data about how many malaria

and HIV/AIDS recoveries?

I don’t have the executive luxury of Governor

Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State who

attributed mass deaths to anything but

coronavirus. “Death expectancy” is not

divisible. Or better still, it matters less what

negatively impacts on life expectancy; whether

it is severe acute respiratory syndrome or HIV

infected blood. Mass deaths are mass life

subtractions with negative impact on

productivity in a developing economy like

Nigeria. Certainly the drafters of the 1999

Constitution envisage all inclusive public

health and safety from malaria as much as

from a global pandemic.

It is good that Boss Mustapha confessed as

much that his exposure at PTF “has given me

a better opportunity to champion reform and

transformation of the Nigeria health system”.

Its now time to work the new reform agenda.

The Minister for Water Resources, Suleiman

Adamu, has said no single city enjoys pipe borne

water in Nigeria for 24 hours. So much for the

rural areas! Yes, Nigerians are expected to hand

wash to prevent coronavirus spread. President

Muhammad Buhari commendably signed

Executive Order 009 in 2019 entitled: "The

Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and

Other Related Matters Order". Many states

are yet to build toilets in schools and public

places as millions still defecate in open places

with threats to public health.

It is commendable that CBN Governor, Mr.

Godwin Emefiele, had announced a N100

billion healthcare intervention fund following

the outbreak of the virus under his strategic

vision of “turning the tragedy of the pandemic

into opportunities”. For those who care, the

CBN governor had long seen tomorrow well

before COVID-19. In promoting import

substitution through development financing,

CBN removed some 42 imported goods from

the list of items valid for Forex Exchange in

the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market

according to which “importers who import

these goods can no longer buy foreign

currencies from the official windows (CBN,

commercial banks) to pay their suppliers

abroad. Rather, they will have to look for forex

(dollars, pounds etc.) from the parallel market

or bureau de change to pay for their imported

goods.”

CBN’s credit support facility for the health

sector will definitely help pharmaceutical

companies to expand and build build capacity

for all times and for all diseases not just

COVID-19. We don’t need a pandemic to put

an end to local health challenges whose impact

in terms of lives and livelihoods are even more

devastating. Emefiele puts it better (and I

agree!): “I believe we must now envision and

work towards a Nigeria with the cutting edge

medical facilities to provide world-class care

to the sick and vulnerable, enable our

universities and research institutions to provide

the requisite education and training that is

required to keep these ecosystems functioning

sustainably and efficiently, and millions of

Nigerians employed in meaningful and wellpaying

jobs. This is the Nigeria that we must

aspire to build.”

• Aremu, a Member, National Institute

Kuru, wrote from Abuja

C

M

Y

K


Hon. Justice Ikpeme’s appointment as chief

justice: Birthplace - an extraneous factor

AGAINST the backdrop of the

attention which the unfortunate

death of George Floyd at the hands of police

officers in the United States of America

has generated, there has been renewed

focus, worldwide, on issues bothering on

racism and indeed discrimination of any

sort.

Here in Nigeria, recent events in Cross

River State surrounding the appointment

of a substantive Chief Judge presents a

stark reminder of just how far we are from

true integration and existence as a nation

and how politicians are least interested in

anything that would bring peace and unity

to the governed.

Honourable Justice Akon Ikpeme, the

most senior Judge in the Cross River State

Judiciary who has been recommended by

the National Judicial Council for

appointment by the Governor was not

confirmed by the Cross River State House

of Assembly upon being presented to it. The

Cross River State House of Assembly, upon

assessment of the candidate, concluded that

Justice Ikpeme, who is an indigene of Akwa

Ibom but who is married to an indigene of

Cross River State, constitutes a security risk

to Cross River State.

It therefore on this basis alone declined

to confirm her appointment as the Chief

Judge of Cross River State. As I will explain,

this amounts to discrimination against the

person of Hon. Justice Ikpeme contrary to

the provisions of the Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As

Amended).

Firstly, it is pertinent to consider the

position of the law regarding appointment

of a Chief Judge of a State vis-à-vis the

situation in Cross-River State. Section 271

(1) of the Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended)

provides: 271. 1. The appointment of a

person to the office of Chief Judge of a

State shall be made by the Governor of the

State on the recommendation of the

National Judicial Council subject to

confirmation of the appointment by the

House of Assembly of the State.

Democratic

arrangement

The Governor of a state appoints a

person to the office of the Chief Judge upon

the recommendation of the National

Judicial Council. This appointment is

subject to confirmation by the House of

Assembly of the State. This method was

put in place by the Constitution to insulate

the Judiciary from the whims and caprices

of the Executive or the Legislative Arms of

Government, and therefore guarantee the

independence of the Judiciary which is

necessary for any democratic

arrangement.

In making its recommendation to the

Governor of a State, the National Judicial

Council does not act in isolation. Its

recommendation is predicated upon the

list of persons submitted to it by the State

Judicial Service Commission. (See

Paragraph 21, Part 1, Third Schedule to

the Constitution of the Federal Republic

of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended).

The National Judicial Council filters

through the list on the merit and

recommends a name to the Governor for

appointment. This recommended

candidate is the candidate who emerges

most meritorious amongst the chosen few.

What qualifications do the National

Judicial Council and State Judicial

Service Commission look out for in

shortlisting candidates for the position of

Chief Judge? Rule Three (6) of the National

Judicial Council’s Procedural Rules

provides that in carrying out the

provisional shortlisting of a candidate, the

Chairman of the State Judicial Service

Commission shall take into consideration

the following:

a.Professional expertise and competence;

b. Sound knowledge of the law

c. Seniority at the Bar and or the Bench

d. Federal character or geographical

spread where necessary and possible,

without compromising the independence

of the Judiciary or allowing politics to

permeate or influence the appointment

Rule Four (4) of the National Judicial

Council’s Procedural Rules further provides

that in considering the candidates, the

Commission shall take into account, in all

cases, good character and reputation,

diligence, hard work, honesty, integrity and

sound knowledge of the law and consistent

adherence to professional ethics.

Worthy of note is that amongst all the

qualities expected of a candidate for Chief

Judge, there is no provision in the

Constitution which requires that the

candidate must be an indigene of the State

in question.

Justice Ikpeme meets the criteria

Does Hon. Justice Ikpeme tick all the

boxes? The answer to this question must be

in the affirmative. She is the most senior

Judge in the Cross River State Judiciary.

She has the qualifications to hold the

position of Chief Judge of the High Court.

Most important of all, the National Judicial

Council found her fit and proper to occupy

the position on the merit and

recommended her appointment as Chief

Judge to the Governor of Cross River State.

The Cross River State House of Assembly,

unable to fault her appointment on the

merit has, therefore, simply resorted to

extraneous matters which have no

constitutional backing. Refusal of

confirmation based only on the fact that

she is not an indigene of Cross River State

by birth is in my view discriminatory in the

extreme. Section 15 of the 1999

Constitution provides: 15. 1. The motto of

the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be

There is no

provision in the

Constitution

which requires

that the candidate

must be an

indigene of the

state in question

Unity and

Faith, Peace

and Progress. 2.

Accordingly,

n a t i o n a l

integration

shall be actively

encouraged,

w h i l s t

discrimination

on the grounds

of place of

origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or

linguistic association or ties shall be

prohibited.

3. For the purpose of promoting national

integration, it shall be the duty of the State

to: ... c. encourage inter-marriage among

persons from different places of origin, or

of different religious, ethnic or linguistic

association or ties; and …

4. The State shall foster a feeling of

belonging and of involvement among the

various people of the Federation, to the

end that loyalty to the nation shall

override sectional loyalties.

Section 42 further provides:

42. 1. A citizen of Nigeria of a particular

community, ethnic group, place of origin,

sex, religion or political opinion shall not,

by reason only that he is such a person:-

a. be subjected either expressly by, or in

the practical application of, any law in

force in Nigeria or any executive or

administrative action of the government,

to disabilities or restrictions to which

citizens of Nigeria of other communities,

ethnic groups, places of origin, sex,

religions or political opinions are not

made subject; or …

2. No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected

to any disability or deprivation merely by

reason of the circumstances of his birth.

3. Nothing in subsection (1) of this

section shall invalidate any law by reason

only that the law imposes restrictions with

respect to the appointment of any person

to any office under the State or as a

member of the armed forces of the

Federation or member of the Nigeria

Police Force or to an office in the service

of a body, corporate established directly

by any law in force in Nigeria.

The House of Assembly of Cross River

State forms a part of the government of

that State. Furthermore, its role in the

appointment of a Chief Judge by

confirming the said appointment is thus

an action of government which by the

provisions of the Constitution stated above,

must not subject any Nigerian to any

restriction or disability by reason of his

place of origin amongst others.

Therefore, howsoever the reasoning of

the House of Assembly is couched, it is

clear that her place of origin, being Akwa

Ibom State has played a huge role in the

decision of the State House of Assembly

to refuse her confirmation. This action

contravenes the Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria which

recognises the right of a citizen to equality

regardless of origin.

At the time of her appointment as a

Judge, her place of origin was not a factor

that could have deprived her of the

opportunity of that appointment. It is,

therefore, ludicrous, illegal, and against

the laws of Nigeria to deny her of

appointment as Chief Judge on basis of

her state of origin.

In the State of New York, United States

of America, an appointment into the bench

of the Court of Appeal of New York State,

is made by the Governor from a list of

nominees prepared by the Commission on

Judicial Nomination, with the advice and

consent of the State Senate. The eligibility

requirements for appointment include

residence in New York State and

admission to practice as an attorney in

New York State for at least ten years.

It thus appears that the appointment

process bears similarities with the position

in Nigeria. It is clear from the eligibility

requirements that a Minnesotan, who is

resident in New York State and who has

practiced in New York for at least ten years

can be appointed as a Judge and even a

Chief Judge. This is what a progressive

jurisdiction ought to have a semblance of.

Extraneous matters such as state of origin

ought not to have any consideration in the

appointment/confirmation of

appointment of Chief Judges.

Conclusion

The confirmation of the appointment of

a Judge by the House of Assembly should

not extend towards extraneous matters

such as place of origin. The constitutional

provision requiring confirmation of the

appointment by the House of Assembly is

a check and balance measure on the

executive. The House is not expected to

consider extraneous matters. The House

of Assembly is expected to check the

qualifications of the candidate and ensure

that such a candidate is qualified to occupy

that office.

The House of Assembly is not the body

responsible for verifying the suitability of

the candidate. The National Judicial

Council and the State Judicial Service

Commission have the responsibility of

screening the candidate to ensure that

such a candidate is a fit and proper

candidate for the office of Chief Judge.

The law does not envisage a situation

where the House of Assembly will extend

its responsibility towards extraneous

matters such as place of origin. If the

National Judicial Council has found a

person capable and fit to be a judge, it is

impertinent for the House of Assembly to

consider places of origin and based on the

same decline to give their confirmation.

Given the national integration policies

in Nigeria, a House of Assembly, a body

saddled by the Constitution with the

important task of law making should not

lend itself to practices or considerations

that will not foster unity in Nigeria. The

government of Cross River State as a

whole must learn from some other states

of the Federation, most notably Lagos

State that has a history of appointing nonindigenes

to its Judiciary with some of

them rising to become Chief Judges.

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 17

Tension in Edo

council as

Police shut

legislative arm

over fracas

By Ozioruva Aliu

ENIN CITY—THERE is tension

Bin Akoko-Edo local government

area of Edo State as some elected

councillors were allegedly attacked

by their colleagues over their alleged

refusal to defect to the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, with the

council chairman, Hon. Don Umoru

who like many of his colleagues has

officially joined the PDP with Governor

Godwin Obaseki.

Vanguard gathered yesterday that

an emergency plenary was called for

Monday as against the house’ meeting

days of Tuesdays and Thursdays

and when they met, the councillors

were told of the need to suspend the

Vice Chairman, Hon. Philip Eguaroje

without “cogent reasons” and while

six of the councillors allegedly refused

to agree on the planned suspension,

they were allegedly attacked

by their colleagues with dangerous

weapons and in the process

some persons sustained injuries.

The council chambers was initially

locked by security operatives but it was

gathered that it was later opened to the

four councillors who were said to have

held an emergency session.

Narrating the incident to Vanguard

yesterday, the councillor representing

Ward 1, Hon Kingsley Ogini said: “Ordinarily

we hold plenary on Tuesdays

and Thursdays, we were shocked when

I got a message that we were meeting

on Monday and when we got there

they started talking about suspending

the Vice Chairman.

"All these are related to our decision

not to defect to the PDP because I told

the chairman that I will have to consult

with the people of my ward which

is the position my other colleagues

took. We cannot just go and announce

defections, our people voted for us under

the platform of the APC and so we

cannot be forced out.”

Repeated calls to the chairman of the

council yesterday was not picked and

the Commissioner for Local Government

Affairs, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo

said he was yet to get the full details of

what happened in the council.

FCMB Group set to

acquire 96% in

AIICO Pensions

L

AGOS—FCMB Group has an

nounced its intention to acquire

96 percent equity stake in AIICO

Pension Limited.

The acquisition, according to the

bank in a notice to the Nigerian

Stock Exchange, NSE, is being executed

through its pension arm,

FCMB Pensions Limited.

The move appears to be part of a

deliberate strategy to grow the

Group’s investment management

portfolio and build on the inherent

synergies between this and banking.

It will be recalled that FCMB Group

increased its stake in Legacy Pensions

(now FCMB Pensions) to 91.6

percent in 2019 and now has full control

of the business.

FCMB Pensions has since grown

its Assets Under Management,

AUM, to N325 billion with 350,000

customers as at March 2020, while

that of AIICO Pensions is estimated

at N126 billion with over 240,000. A

combined AUM of N451 billion and

almost 600,000 customers will take

the entire Group’s customer base to

8,000,000 and its total AUM (inclusive

of all investment management

activities) to over N560 billion.


18 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari

appears dead serious about his

intention to stop the allocation of

precious foreign exchange to food

importation by promoting local

production. But there are

contradictions that must be sorted

out.

Buhari’s newest initiative which

could help stave off hunger crisis as

a result of the coronavirus pandemic

(which necessitated massive

lockdowns) and the crash in the price

of crude oil is the resuscitation of the

National Agricultural Land

Development Authority, NALDA.

The authority was created by former

military president, General Ibrahim

Babangida in 1992, had gone defunct

due to our usual policy inconsistency.

Director General of the revived

NALDA, Paul Ikonne, recently

unfolded government’s plan to

empower the 77,400-member Buhari

Young Farmers Network in the 774

local governments within the next six

months under a business model and

in collaboration with the state

governments.

Making Buhari’s 77,400 farmers

project work

There is nothing new in this

programme. Virtually every regime

has created its own agricultural policy

which were often abandoned even

while the regime was still on seat.

The agricultural sector was recharged

during the Goodluck Jonathan era.

It was the success of that programme

that recommended the Minister of

Agriculture in that regime, Dr.

Akinwunmi Adesina, for election as

President of the African Development

Bank, AfDB.

Government not only abandoned

the programme but failed to initiate

its own. It was the Central Bank of

Nigeria under the leadership of

Godwin Emefiele that reignited the

agricultural sector through the

Anchor Borrowers scheme in 2015

before the President gradually keyed

in. Agriculture has now become an

area of notable achievement by the

Buhari regime.

The biggest headache besetting our

agricultural sector presently is the

unchecked menace of armed

herdsmen in most parts of the

country. These land-grabbing

herdsmen have trespassed into

people’s lands, set up camps in the

forests and are killing, raping,

kidnapping people and destroying

farmlands.

The only way of showing genuine

commitment to the success of

NALDA and other initiatives in the

agricultural sector is to flush out

these bloodthirsty elements and make

farming safe again in Nigeria. Who

will like to farm his or her land

knowing that the herders would bring

in their livestock overnight to destroy

crops? Who will want to go to the

farm knowing that they can be killed,

maimed, kidnapped or raped?

The Federal Government must

evolve a ranching policy that does not

involve confiscating people’s land for

the benefit of an ethnic group which

will promote endless violence and no

farming. We will waste money and

yet go hungry.

The collaboration with the

governors is a welcome development.

It is only the governors, not the

Federal Government, that can

manage the land allocation to farmers

in a manner that will be acceptable

to the people.

Without farmers’ security there will

be no food security.

OPINION

TETFund budget and Buhari’s love for research and education

By JEROME-MARIO UTOMI

IN the words of Dr. Denis Taylor, a British

leading scientist in the electronics field and

former Chief UNESCO Advisor at the

University College, Nairobi, Kenya, who was

also among the British scientists that developed

radar during the Second World War, one thing

that is very apparent to all is that developing

countries must concern themselves first and

foremost with their natural resources. This

does not, however, mean selling these natural

resources abroad as raw products.

No, to get the maximum benefit, the raw

products must be turned, if possible, into

manufactured products and then exported. I

believe this is one of the main reasons why

developing countries should encourage a

proportion of their graduates to have training

in research method. Now, we can come back

to the question: “Is research important in

developing countries?” I think it is.

Despite the above truth, it is sad that the

Nigerian state has neither supported research

in the country nor treated the education sector,

one of the tripods on which nation building

stands, fairly since the nation’s independence.

The situation is exacerbated by successive

governments’ mindless or near-exclusion of

the sector from the nation’s budgetary

allocations.

In fact, by its admission, the Federal Ministry

of Education few years ago declared that the

funding of education at all levels in the country

is below the benchmark recommended by the

United Nations Educational Scientific and

Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. While

UNESCO’s benchmark for funding of

education was 26 per cent of the national

budget and six per cent of the gross domestic

products, GDP, Nigeria has been allocating

six per cent of the national budget to the

funding of its education.

However, there is one event in recent weeks

that came not only as a surprise, but probably

did more than anything else to help Nigerians

believe in President Muhammadu Buhari’s

declaration during the democracy day

celebration broadcast on the June 12, 2020,

that his administration remains committed

to expanding access to quality education in a

manner that enhances the productivity of its

citizens.

That event is the recent upward review of

the National Research Fund, NRF, of the

Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, from

While Nigerians celebrate this

new found love for education,

the situation in the sector says

something else that calls for more

work, more reforms and more

funding

N3 billion to N7.5 billion for the year 2020, by

President Buhari. While making the disclosure

lately at this year’s Board of Trustees, BoT,

retreat of the organisation in

Abuja, TETFund Executive Secretary, Prof.

Suleiman Bogoro, going by reports, explained

that the latest approval by Mr. President makes

the agency the largest holder of research grant

in Nigeria.

He noted that the President also approved

the establishment of six

medical simulation research and clinical

training facilities in six colleges of medicine

in each geopolitical zone within the year and

submitted that the authorisation provided

TETFund an opportunity to provide 12

COVID-19 and related infectious disease

molecular laboratories, two in each

geopolitical zone, making the fund the highest

single provider of the disease’s test centres

nationwide.

Essentially, aside this revelation and other

observations such as Mr. President’s fresh claim

that he has launched the Better Education

Service Delivery for All in 17 states, established

additional six Federal Science and Technical

Colleges, and executed a pro-active Teacher

Training Plan with all states of the Federation,

among others, there are in my views, an

entirely new set of reasons why President

Buhari’s actions in this direction are

commendable.

First, it is pretty obvious to most Nigerians

that the nation has in the past had too many

leaders who defined education too narrowly

in a manner devoid of process and fairness.

They got preoccupied with revenue generation

in ways that impeded scholarly researches,

truncated academic calendar with strike

actions, left Nigerian universities with

dilapidated and overstretched learning

facilities with universities producing graduates

devoid of linkage with the manpower needs

of the nation’s industrial sector.

Nigerians have equally at different times and

places witnessed leaders that continuously

mouth education as the bedrock of

development, proclaimed that with sound

educational institutions, a country is as good

as made, as the institutions will turn out all

rounded manpower to continue with the

development of the society driven by well

thought out ideas, policies, programmes and

projects. Yet, it always ended up as nothing but

lip service to the detriment of the development

of this critical sector.

Without doubt, there is simply no question

that Nigeria being a developing nation will

continue to face developmental challenges and

this reality underscores the importance of

research/education as well as provides answers

to why the president’s action needs to be

applauded. As an illustration, development

experts believe that the traditional progressive

Send Opinions & Letters to:

opinions1234@yahoo.com

solution to problems that involve a lack of

participation by citizens in civic and

democratic processes is for the nation to

redouble its emphasis on education.

Education is, in fact, an extremely valuable

strategy for solving many of society’s ills. “In

an age where information has more economic

value than ever before, it is obvious that

education should have a higher national

priority. It is also clear that democracies are

more likely to succeed when there

is widespread access to high-quality

education,” it has been said.

What about security and economy? Will they

benefit from this basket of support given to

research by Mr. President? I think they will.

The reason is not far-fetched. As the world is in

agreement that a country’s defense capability

has to continually upgrade as new technology,

especially information technology, is

incorporated into weapon system. This requires

a sound economy that can afford to pay for

new weaponry and a highly educated and

trained people who can integrate the various

arms into one system and operate them

efficiently and effectively.

While Nigerians celebrate this new found

love for education, the situation in the sector

says something else that calls for more work,

more reforms and more funding. Separate

from the painful reality that over 13.4 million

Nigerian children are currently out of school,

and the nation’s educational policy crying for

redesigning to suit the 21st century demands,

I believed that, as a nation, we are highly

skilled and frequently very good at ‘single loop

learning’. We have spent much of our lives

acquiring academic credentials, mastering

one or a number of intellectual disciplines that

neither has a link with our industrial and

global demands nor needed to solve realworld-problems.

Continues online:www.vanguardngr.com

•Utomi, a media consultant, wrote from

Lagos.


RISING DEBT: Nigeria, others face fresh

rating downgrade, says Fitch

•As Debt-to-GDP ratio rises to 71% in 2020

By Peter Egwuatu &

Elizabeth Adegbesan

Fitch, world’s leading risk

rating agency, has hinted

that the median of government

debt-to-Gross Domestic Product,

GDP, ratio for Nigeria and

18 other Sub-Sahara African

Countries it rated in the region

would rise to 71% by end-

2020 from 26% in 2012, while

the median debt ratio across

other emerging markets is expected

to climb to 57%.

Its report stated that public

debt burdens rising to high

levels in Sub-Saharan Africa

(SSA) at a faster pace is heightening

the risk of further rating

downgrades and defaults.

Fitch had downgraded

Nigeria’s Long Term Foreign

Currency Issuer Default Rating

(IDR) to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ in

April 2020 with outlook at

‘Negative’.

The downgrade and Negative

Outlook reflect the aggravation

of ongoing pressures on

Nigeria’s external finances following

the recent slump in oil

prices and the pandemic

shock.

The latest report released

yesterday stated: “The

coronavirus and oil price

shocks are having a severe impact

on SSA. Fitch Ratings

forecasts, the median government

debt/GDP ratio for the 19

Fitch-rated SSA sovereigns to

reach 71% at end-2020, from

57% at end-2019 and 26% in

2012.”

Fitch forecasts median real

GDP to fall by 2.1% in 2020

and the budget deficit to widen

to 7.4% in 2020, from 4.9% in

2019.

According to the report:

CURRENCY BUYING SELLING

US DOLLAR

POUNDS

EURO

FRANC

YEN

CFA

WAUA

RENMINBI

RIYAL

RAND

99.50 0.85

2,313.00 0.00

11.74 0.03

41.20 0.85

39.59 -0.11

360 360.5 361

446.076 446.6956 447.3151

403.596 404.1566 404.7171

379.3867 379.9136 380.4405

3.3648 3.3695 3.374

0.5071 0.5171 0.5271

422.7948 423.382 423.9692

50.8509 50.9219 50.993

95.9539 96.0872 96.2205

20.8368 20.8658 20.8947

CBN Exchange rate as at 30/06/2020

“This combination, amplified

by currency depreciation in

many cases, will cause a 14

percentage points jump in the

median debt ratio this year.

The coronavirus shock compounds

a marked deterioration

in SSA public finances that

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 19

has been running for a decade

and which will be challenging

to reverse.

“Widening primary budget

deficits have been the largest

contributor to rising government

debt/GDP. Debt will continue

to rise without substantial

fiscal consolidation.”

“The region’s main oil exporters

– Angola, the Republic of

Congo, Gabon and Nigeria –

have been hit particularly hard

given their high reliance on oil

revenues for fiscal and external

financing, and the dependence

of the rest of their economies on

crude earnings.”

From Left: Busola Wale Micaiah, Representative, USL Securities Limited (Registrar);

Joshua Ojo, Representative, Deloitte & Touche (Auditors); Bola Ajomale,

MD/CEO, NASD Pplc; Oladipo Aina, Acting Chairman, NASD Plc; Kasimu Kurfi

Garba, Audit Committee Chairman; and Lola Ikwuagwu, Company Secretary, GIO

Nominees Limited, at the NASD Plc virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos

China, Sinosure to finance $2.6bn AKK gas pipeline

project — FG

By Michael Eboh &

Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Nigerian National Pe

troleum Corporation,

NNPC, said yesterday that financing

for the Ajaokuta-

Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline

would be provided by China

and Sinosure.

Speaking at the virtual flag-off

of construction of the AKK Gas

pipeline at the Ajaokuta and

Kaduna camp sites simultaneously

by President

Muhammadu Buhari, Group

Managing Director of

the NNPC, Mallam

Mele Kyari, stated that

all the required conditions

precedent for

closing the debt financing

had been provided.

According to him,

the process of obtaining

internal approvals

by the lenders is in

progress to enable financing

close by August

2020.

He said: “The EPC

contract for the 614 kilometers

AKK gas pipeline

project was

awarded at a total contract

sum of $2.592

billion to Messrs.

Oilserv Plc/China First

Highway Engineering

Company (Oilserv/

CFHEC Consortium)

for the first segment

covering 303km and

Messrs. Brentex Petroleum

Services/China

Petroleum Pipeline Bureau

(Brentex/CPP Consortium) for

the second segment covering

311km under a debt-equity financing

model with loan from

Bank of China and Sinosure, to

be repaid through the pipeline

transmission tariff and supported

by a sovereign guarantee.”

He said as part of the agreement,

NNPC was utilizing the

equity contribution to commence

execution of the

project to recover lost time

and put the project back on

track, and expressed confidence

that the EPC contractors

would deliver the project on

time, within budget and to

quality/specifications.

Upon completion, Kyari

noted that the project would enable

the injection of 2.2 billion

standard cubic feet per day

(bscf/d) of gas into the domestic

market and facilitate additional

power generation capacity of

3,600 megawatts (MW).

Kyari further noted that the

AKK gas pipeline project, which

was part of the Trans-Nigeria gas

pipeline project, involved the establishment

of a connecting gas

pipeline network that would integrate

the Northern region of

the country with the Niger Delta,

Eastern and Western regions of

the country.

He said: “The realization of this

project will therefore bring

about the needed transformation

in power generation and industrial

growth in the Country.’’

Atedo

Peterside

steps down

as

Cadbury’s

chairman

Atedo Peterside has

resigned from the

Board of Cadbury Nigeria

Plc where he superintended

as the Chairman

for 10 years. The

resignation took effect

yesterday, June 30,

2020.

Peterside said in a

statement announcing

his resignation that he

decided to step down in

order to “concentrate on

other challenges”, adding

that his resignation

would allow the company

to inject “new

blood” into the Board.

Speaking, he said that

the company is on a

profitability path that

could be sustained if

normal trading conditions

are allowed to prevail.

He stated: “The Board

of Cadbury is well endowed

and my departure

from the Board also

enables the company to

inject a new independent

director into the fold.

The periodic injection of

“new blood” is good for

the system, especially

when further diversity is

achieved in the process

viz geography, demography

and the injection

of new and varied skill

sets.

“We successfully held

our 55th Annual General

Meeting last week and

our Managing Director

has settled nicely and

consolidated her position

over the course of

the last 15 months.

“I wish the Board, management

and staff all the

best in your future

endeavours and also extend

my regards to the

majority shareholder,

the minority shareholders,

the distributors and

all other stakeholders.”

Transcor

ranscorp Hotels gets shareholders’ s’ approval al to float

N10bn rights issue

By Peter Egwuatu

Shareholders of Transcorp

Hotels Plc, owners of the

iconic Transcorp Hilton

Abuja and Transcorp Hotels

Calabar, have unanimously

authorized its Board of Directors

to raise N10 billion in its

proposed rights issue to fortify

the Company’s balance

sheet.

The approval given at the

virtual Extraordinary General

Meeting of the Company,

which took place in Lagos

was to issue 2,659,574,468

ordinary shares of 50 kobo

each by way of a rights issue

to the shareholders based on

7 new ordinary shares for ev-

ery 20 ordinary shares of 50

kobo each held at a price of

N3.76 per share.

The shares will be issued from

the authorised share capital of

the Company which is currently

at N7,500,000,000

comprising

of

15,000,000,000 Ordinary

Shares of N0.50 each, and the

resultant issued and fully paidup

share capital will be

N5,129.989.184 consisting of

10,259,978,368 Ordinary

Shares of N0.50 each.

The Chairman of Transcorp

Hotels Plc, Mr. Emmanuel N.

Nnorom noted that ‘“This approval

and endorsement of

shareholders empowers the

Board and management to look

to the future with confidence

despite the current harsh

operating environment.”

Speaking at the meeting,

Mrs. Dupe Olusola, Managing

Director/CEO of

Transcorp Hotels Plc also

welcomed this approval

adding that “our track

record of excellent service

delivery has positioned us

as the first choice for international

and local guests

alike noting, we are not

resting on our oars but

working round the clock to

innovate new products and

services to further delight

our guests, notable of such

is the launch of asset-light

strategies to deepen our

hospitality footprints

across Africa.”


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N1BN SECRET ACCOUNT: Whistle blower lied — NPA

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

By Godwin Oritse

THE Management of the

Nigerian Ports Authority,

NPA, has debunked media

reports based on a petition

written by one Mr. John

Okpurhe to President

Muhammadu Buhari alleging

that a secret account was being

operated by the Authority.

A statement signed by the

NPA spokesman, Engr Adams

Jatto, said the petitioner

accused the Attorney General

of the Federation, Mr.

Abubakar Malami, SAN, of

allegedly refusing to reward

him after exposing over $1bn

supposedly hidden in an

account with Unity Bank Plc.

The statement also said that

“the said account number,

0013680344, allegedly being

operated by NPA does not exist

as evidenced by a letter from

the bank, Unity Bank Plc.”

Jatto stated that the

allegation lacks substance

adding, “Mr. Okpurhe,

claiming to be a whistleblower

cited an account number,

0013680344, allegedly being

operated by NPA but this

account does not exist as

evidenced by a letter from

Unity Bank Plc.

“The NPA operates an

account with Unity Bank Plc

with account number:

0013670344 with a total sum of

$1,057,772.03 as of December

4, 2019 and not

$1,034,515,000.00 as alleged

by the petitioner.

“However, the NPA account

has not been in operation since

August 27, 2010 due to a Suit

No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010

Continues on page 2

maritimerepor6005@gmail.com

Stories by Godwin Oritse

IN a bid to maintain peace

in the African continent,

Nigeria lost most of its maritime

security platforms to prosecute

the 14-year old war in Liberia.

Speaking to some maritime

journalists in Lagos the Director

General of the Nigerian

Maritime Administration and

Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr

Bashir Jamoh, said that at the

end of the war, virtually all the

maritime platforms that the

government took to that country

to prosecute the war were lost

adding that Nigeria had to start

from ground zero in acquiring

new platforms.

He explained that it was the

depletion of these platforms that

made the ex-President

Olusegun Obasanjo led

government to set up the

Presidential Implementation

Committee on Maritime Security

VOl. 2 No. 97

How Liberian war depleted

Nigeria’s maritime capabilities

and Safety, PICOMSS, to acquire

new platforms for the purpose of

securing the nation’s maritime

space. Explaining further, Jamoh

Tompolo in NIMASA: New DG sheds more light

SEVERAL years after the

cancellation of the

controversial engagement of

Global West Specialist Vessels

Limited, a company linked to

Mr. Government Ekpemupolo,

Inspections with Deficiencies and Total Inspections by Classification Society

said that at the end of the life of

PICOMSS, these platforms were

again shared with the Nigerian

armed forces thereby bringing

NIMASA almost to ground zero

again.

He disclosed that at the end

of PICOMSS, the aircraft were

given to the Nigerian Air Force,

the vessels went to the Nigeria

Navy while the Armoured

vehicles went to Army and

Police.

popularly known as Tompolo,

by the Nigerian Maritime

Administration and Safety

Agency, NIMASA, the

agency’s new helmsman, Dr.

Bashir Jamoh, has indicated

that the engagement was

positive to NIMASA’s

operations.

But the contract was not only

terminated, the company

and Tompolo are still being

prosecuted over the

engagement.

Speaking to newsmen in

Lagos recently, Jamoh also

said that there was a Public

Private Partnership

arrangement with Global West

adding that the engagement

of the firm was not limited to

maritime security. He noted

that their involvement with

NIMASA included

enforcement of certain aspects

of the agency’s mandate, in

particular the Flag and Port

State control.

The director general

explained that the

arrangement was also such

that it was only when an

Continues on page 2


WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

2

News

maritimerepor6005@gmail.com

L-r: Mr. Daniel Odibe, Stakeholder Manager, APM Terminal Apapa; Buba Danjuma, Assistant Director, Complaints Unit, Nigerian

Shippers’ Council; Rakiya Zubairu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Shippers’ Council; and Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma,

Director, Regulatory Services, Nigerian Shippers’ Council at the flag off of movement of cargo from the ports by rail.

Shipping expert aligns with NIMASA

over development strategy

By Godfrey Bivbere

THE former President of

Indigenous Ship-owners

Association of Nigeria, ISAN,

Isaac Jolapamo, has said that

the new management at the Nigerian

Maritime Administration

and Safety Agency, NIMASA,

should focus more on the development

of local shipping capacity

to help maximise potentials

of the sector for the benefit

of the nation’s economy.

Earlier last week while briefing

the media on his first 100

days in office, the Director General

of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir

Jamoh, had said that his regime

has already prioritised shipping

development as one of the three

key focus in his three-S strategy.

Speaking with Vanguard

Tompolo in NIMASA: New DG sheds more light

Continues from page 1

increase in the revenue profile

of the agency was recorded

that Global West could get

paid.

Jamoh said that 25

intervention boats were

procured by Global West until

it ran into problem with the

current administration and the

Economic and Financial

Crime Commission, EFCC,

had to move in.

He said: “The Jonathan

administration introduced the

Global West alternative, which

came in form of Public Private

Partnership arrangement and

the scope did not limit them

to maritime security; it

included enforcement, Port

and Flag State control.

“They also looked at our own

Maritime Report in Lagos,

Jolapamo said regulation and

other activities that the agency

had been focusing on in the past

has benefitted neither the industry

nor the nation. He added

that the best way to go is to set

an annual target of ship acquisition

for the country.

The former ISAN boss pointed

out the NIMASA can achieve

this in two ways; either by direct

acquisition or by giving the

necessary backing to known

ship owners to acquire the

N1BN Secret Account: Whistle blower lied — NPA

Continues from page 1

Garnishee Order Nisi in

Aminu Ibrahim & Co and Anor.

VS. Nigerian Ports Authority

revenue as their payment was

based on the agency’s

increment in NIMASA’s

revenue resulting from their

activities. If as a result of their

effort, NIMASA makes extra

monies, it was from the extra

that they got paid.

“Today, we have it on record

that they had about 25

intervention vessels. Because

of their issue with EFCC, some

are no longer serviceable but

we still have some serviceable

vessels that are in the custody

of the EFCC. All these issues

are under investigation and

we are yet to get to the end of

the investigation.”

Speaking on the

development, a former

Director of Shipping

where a garnishee order was

placed on it following a case,

which went from the Federal

High Court to the Supreme

Development, NIMASA,

Captain Enisouh Waredi told

Vanguard Maritime Report

that the strategy that was

deployed to increase

NIMASA’s revenue was just

intelligence.

Waredi explained that while

a lot of shipping firms tried to

short-change NIMASA by

under-declaring what the

vessel was carrying and paid

less than the three percent

bench mark, the agency,

through its intelligence

gathering mechanism, already

had a prior knowledge of the

content of the vessel.

He disclosed that before

Global West intervened

NIMASA was making about

Continues on page 3

much needed asset.

He stressed that it is only in

the acquisition of these vessels

that regulation can be productive

while the foreign ship owners

who are desirous to continue

operating in the nation will be

forced to comply with such

regulations.

He noted that the multiplier

effect of owning one vessel in

terms of revenue and employment

can be imagined because

it is huge, adding that every

ship needs bunkering, chanelling

services, dry dock services,

employment for sea farers, sea

time training of thousands of cadets

rooming the streets.

He, therefore, charged the

new management of NIMASA

to pay more attention to shipping

development if they truly

want improvement in the sector.

Jamoh had said that NIMASA

under him have decided to collapse

the agenda of the agency

into security, safety and shipping

development and has

given the agency a “bird’s-eye

view of the challenges inherited

in our sector.

Court over a period of eight

years.

“Upon the determination of

the case at the Supreme Court,

the judgment creditors

continued with the Garnishee

process which resulted in the

credit of the amount

$1,057,772.03 in favour of Suit

No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010

Garnishee Order Nisi-Aminu

Ibrahim & Co and Anor. VS.

Nigerian Ports Authority

on December 4, 2019 in line

with the Garnishee Order

absolute.

“It is, therefore, obvious that

there is no cloned account as

speculated in the alleged

whistle blowing effort of Mr.

Okpurhe.

“The account under

discussion was frozen on the

strength of a court order in

August 2010, following the

completion of the case, the

money was consequently

transferred to the judgment

creditor on December 4, 2019

in line with the Garnishee

Order Absolute.”

Siemens AG to

support

Maritime

Anti-Corruption

Network

MARITIME anti

corruption group,

Maritime Anti-Corruption

Network, MACN, has

received the support of

the Siemens Integrity

Initiative, to scale up its

collective action in the fight

against the vice in the country.

MACN is a global business

network of over 130 companies

working together to tackle

corruption in the maritime

industry.

The project will be

implemented by MACN and

the Convention on Business

Integrity, CBi, and run from

2020 up to January 2023.

In a statement signed by

the Executive Director and

Co-Founder of the Convention

on Business Integrity, Soji

Apampa, and made available

to Vanguard Maritime Report,

MACN noted that “Through

the generous support from

Siemens AG, CBi and MACN

will be able to contribute to a

stronger government and port

authority compliance

environment and encourage

public-private oversight of

compliance in ports and

terminals.

“We believe this will lead to

more effective seaports and

terminals services, and

improved corruption

prevention practices that,

ultimately, will benefit any

business using seaports or

terminals in Nigeria.”

The Siemens Integrity

Initiative promotes projects

around the world that seek to

combat corruption through

collective action. The selection

process is highly competitive

and favours projects that have

a direct impact on the private

sector and that strengthen

compliance standards and

legal systems. CBI was a

recipient of support under the

first round of funding which it

used to develop a Corporate

Governance Rating System,

CGRS, in partnership with the

Nigeria Stock Exchange.

“The Siemens Integrity

Initiative is a very competitive

funding call that, over the

years, has supported some of

the leading anti-corruption

initiatives globally. For

MACN, CBi, and our local

stakeholders, the support from

Siemens is fantastic

recognition of our Collective

Action work, and the impact

we had in the Nigerian port

and maritime sector.

We are grateful for the

support and excited to add

Siemens to the list of donors

supporting MACN” says

Cecilia Müller Torbrand,

Executive Director of MACN.


Regulations & Policies

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

3

Tompolo in NIMASA: New DG sheds more light

Continues from page 2

$10million - $12million per

annum but the intervention

raised the figure to about

$19.5million per month,

adding that “it was from this

increase that Global West got

paid for its services.”

On the local currency

revenue, Vanguard Maritime

Report also gathered that

before the engagement of

Global West, NIMASA was

making about N30billion per

annum but the intervention

raised the figure to about

N80billion.

Waredi also explained that

when the contract was

advertised, a lot of people

thought it was unprofitable

but Global West went for it

adding that for over one year

it did not make profit until it

changed strategy and

THE Standard Organisation

of Nigeria, SON, has

upped its campaign for

manufacturers to avail

themselves of the agency’s

technical support to keep within

the compass of acceptable global

standards, and to guarantee

consumers safety and value for

their money.

SON maintained that

manufacturers cannot go wrong

if they embrace these technical

supports, noting the effort will

also be made to offer a strong

window for the ease of doing

deployed intelligence to its

operation and started making

money for NIMASA

afterwards.

Tompolo’s involvement

On connection with

Ekpemupolo, Waredi said:

SON raises alarm over fake imported engine oil

•Tasks manufacturers on COVID-19 essential products

By Eguono Odjegba

THE

Standards

Organisation of Nigeria,

SON, has alerted Nigerians on

the circulation of suspected

substandard Toyota brand of

engine oil in the market.

Director General of SON, Dr.

Osita Aboloma, said the

suspected substandard engine

oil was discovered through the

agency’s regular market

surveillance in its 42 offices

nationwide. He further noted

that the imported product had

neither undergone the

agency’s offshore conformity

assessment process, nor

registered with the agency for

traceability and quality

verification.

This is even as the agency

has appealed to manufacturers

••Enjoins manufacturers to avail self with technical support

business as currently canvassed

by the Federal Government.

Dropping above hint during

recent facility tour of some

manufacturers in Ogun State,

SON said its technical support is

available to both big and small

manufacturers.

Director General of SON, Dr.

Osita Aboloma who was

represented by Ogun State

Officer 11, SON, Engr. Akanbi

Eyitayo Micheal said: “We have

always admonished

manufacturers to come to us for

technical support so that we can

“Global West approached

several banks for loan and

none listened to them before

they approached Tompolo who

helped them out with the

money to acquire their boats.

“That was how the whole

guide them through. SON is with

you all the way and in line with

the ease of doing business

mandate of the Federal

Government, we are here to

encourage manufacturers and

even the small businesses too.

Come to us, we will guide you

and give you all the necessary

technical support.”

Head Technical and Plant

Manager, Cormat Nigeria Ltd,

Mr. Jelle Van Der Meer thanked

SON for its visit and reassured

SON that the gesture and its

technical support will go a long

Tompolo’s boats came about;

he was never part of Global

West neither was he a director

or shareholder in Global West.

Even after Global West

acquired those boats, it was

still running at a loss until it

was advised to change its

strategy.

to adhere to acceptable

standards in the production of

quality hand sanitisers/hand

lotions as essential preventive

items needed to defeat the

prevailing fight against the

coronavirus global pandemic.

SON in a statement,

weekend, stated that the Toyota

brand of engine oil were being

sold in one litre and four litre

containers to unsuspecting

L-r: Rev. Jonathan Nicol, President, Lagos State Shippers’ Association; Chief John Aluya, Vice President, Lagos Zone, Manufacturers

Association of Nigeria; Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council; Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, Representative of

Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture; and Mr. Muda Yusuf, Director General of the Lagos

Chamber of Commerce at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos.

way helping the company to raise

the its performance bar.

He said: “The visit by SON is

very important because it gives

us the ideas and opportunity to

raise the bar and we are glad to

receive technical support from

SON to achieve bigger goals for

the greater good. I applaud SON

for being part of our journey to

get to the highest level of

producing quality products.

Their input has been very

important to us and it will trigger

us to do even more and become

better than our competitors.”

“It was at this point that I

was directed to draw up a

strategy on how Global West

should operate and how

NIMASA should respond. It

was after the change in

strategy that Global West

started making money for

NIMASA and getting paid.”

Nigerian consumers, further

stating that the suspected

substandard product has no

relationship whatsoever with

products of the Toyota brands

of automobile or related

products.

Consequently, SON’s

Director of Compliance, Obiora

Manama, has advised

Nigerians to avoid the

purchase of the suspected

counterfeit Toyota brand of

engine oil in the meantime.

Manama said the agency’s

operatives were on the trail of

other uncertified and

unregistered brands of engine

oil in the market for necessary

regulatory action.

He advised the general

public to patronise only

certified Made-in-Nigeria

brands of engine oil with the

MANCAP logo and imported

brands that had undergone the

agency’s offshore conformity

assessment process and were

duly registered for traceability

and quality verification.

Speaking on hand sanitisers

and lotions, SON warned that

local manufacturers who fail to

abide by the required

acceptable international

standards would be identified

and sanctioned. The agency

noted that the importance of

quality hand sanitisers cannot

be overemphasized at a time

the world was on the race to find

a cure to combat the

coronavirus pandemic or

COVID-19.

Aboloma, represented by the

Ogun State Officer 11, SON,

Engr. Akanbi Eyitayo Micheal,

said SON would not tolerate

any minus in standards, during

a facility tour of Cormat Nigeria

in Ogun State last week.

According to him, quality hand

sanitisers and liquid hand wash

are one of the critical tools to

battle the virus, saying that

hand washing with soap and

water was one of the most

important steps that can be

taken to avoid getting sick and

spreading the virus to loved

ones.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

4

Terminals & Ships

Border closure latest: Nigerians in Ghana, Angola,

Malawi, others resort to direct import

By Godfrey Bivbere

FOLLOWING the closure

of the nation’s border

since last year, Nigerians in

Ghana have resorted to direct

delivery of their importations

to other West African countries

instead of routing such imports

through Nigeria, a measure

that will result in loss of import

revenue to the nation.

Hitherto, traders usually get

their goods from markets in

Lagos and moved them by

road to West African countries,

but with the closure of the

border however, moving cargo

from Nigeria became

impossible resulting in the

traders seeking alternatives.

The first effort as reported by

Vanguard Maritime

Report late last year

was groupage shipment from

Nigeria to Ghana by sea which

did not work out as a result of

the time frame for the goods

to arrive at destination.

A source also told Vanguard

Maritime Report that the

delay then was deliberate as

the Ghanaian authorities

ensured that the goods did

not leave the port as early as

other consignments.

This, Vanguard Maritime

Report gathered, led to the

direct importation into the

West African countries from

China. The source said this is

the desire of the Ghanaian

government as the direct

importation benefits the

country more.

One of the traders stated:

“We are now importing

directly from Ghana. We

gathered ourselves, import our

goods directly from China into

any of the African countries.

Sometimes, three to five

people import their goods and

ship them in one container

like we were doing then in

Nigeria.

“Since our government has

refused to open the borders,

what do they want us to do?

We must survive. In the past I

had two homes, one in Ghana

and one in Lagos. I shuttle

between both countries,

coming to Lagos to buy goods

when my stock reduces and

move back to Ghana after the

transaction.

“Now I am forced to give out

my accommodation in Lagos,

coming to Nigeria only at the

end of the year and I simply

move straight to the village. It

is Nigeria that will lose at the

end of the day.”

Confirming this

development, the National

President of the Association of

Nigeria Licensed Customs

Agents, ANLCA, Tony Iju

Nwabunike, explained that

some Nigerian traders based

in Ghana had contacted him

to provide them links with

Chinese manufacturers.

The ANLCA President noted

that unless the Federal

Government quickly reviewed

the border closure policy,

Nigeria will not only lose

revenue but would soon lose

its position as the trade

facilitator of the West Africa

sub-region.

He stated: “It is true. I have

clients that are in Ghana who

really wanted contacts of

manufacturers in China to

enable them import directly

into West African country. So

what it means is that the

closure of the border has

opened the eyes of

neighbouring West African

countries to leave Nigeria as

a hub to go import directly

from Europe and other

By Godwin Oritse

EXECUTIVE Secretary/

CEO of Nigerian Shippers’

Council (NSC), Hassan

Bello, has said that a well

structured freight forwarding

practice will checkmate quarks

and decongest the industry.

He lamented the proliferation

of quacks and lack of professionalism

in the freight forwarding

industry, saying that

the country needs only a few

freight forwarders that are well

capitalized.

Bello, who stated this while

speaking with journalists in

Abuja last week, said the business

of freight forwarding

must be restructured with a

view to streamlining both the

operators and the standard of

services.

He stated, “Working with

countries like China.

“This means that

neighbouring countries like

Ghana will increase their

revenue from imports while

Nigeria will continue losing

revenue and hub status in

West Africa.”

Similarly, the Vice President

of the Association of Nigeria

Tyre Marketers, Okechukwu

Eze-Ifeoma, told Vanguard

Maritime Report that it is not

only Ghana but most countries

in West and Central Africa.

Eze-Ifeoma told Vanguard

Maritime Report that though

they knew in the past that they

could import directly, they did

not do so knowing that they

could get their products

cheaper and faster from

Nigeria because of the

competitive nature of trade in

the country.

In his words, “That is

correct. Most people now are

buying directly from China to

any West or Central African

country. Even before the

lockdown, you know that there

was border closure which

government has failed to reopen

even before COVID-19.

“When COVID-19 came

everything became serious

and restricted. It is true and

the effect on the economy of

the country now is huge. Many

people that are supposed to be

coming to Nigeria; you know;

why most of these countries

come to Nigeria is because of

the competitive nature of

Nigerian business.

“One particular product,

•Deal with only corporate freight forwarding firms – Olayiwola Shittu

freight forwarders has exposed

us to very many important

things. They are vital to ports

operations, also truckers. But

freight forwarding must be

professionalized and consolidated.

“There are so many people

in freight forwarding. One

container can have up to 20

people following it. So we have

to reform that very important

profession. ‘‘Many of them are

focused but we have told them

that they must restructure. You

must reform or you are shipped

out. ‘‘There must be consolidation.

They have to come together.

We need like 10 freight

forwarders and they must have

adequate capital,” he said.

Recall that the Federal Government

established the Council

for Freight Forwarding in

Nigeria (CRFFN) to regulate

and sanitise freight forwarding

practice and regulate freight

forwarders. The Council is

charged with, amongst other

responsibilities, regulating

and controlling the practice of

freight forwarding in Nigeria,

and promoting the highest

standards of competence,

practice and conduct among

operators.

Reacting to the development,

immediate past President of

the Association of Nigerian

Licensed Customs Agents,

ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola

Shittu, said that the Nigeria

Customs Service, NCS, do not

license individuals but corporate

organizations as freight

forwarders.

The method of individuals

going to register with the

Council for the Regulation of

Freight Forwarding in Nigeria,

more than 2,000 people will be

importing it. At times you can

even get it cheaper; instead of

going to China to buy one

container; you could get

someone who could buy 50

containers. So most of them

know that they can get it

cheaper; which stops them

from going to China to buy

directly.

“Not only Ghana, even

Angola. Most of the people

from Angola come to Nigeria

as well. Most people from

Malawi, all these countries

come to Nigeria to buy; but

these days most of them have

been directing their money to

China to buy directly. If you

buy products and you cannot

bring it to your base, it is off

no use.”

Chaotic traffic situation at the Tin-can Island port. At the background is one of the terminals, with containers stacked seven

level high. Photo: Godfrey Bivbere

Restructuring of freight forwarding practice

CRFFN, was not the best way

to go.

He said: “To restructure the

freight forwarding industry to

have only ten firms practicing

is not practicable, it’s like telling

me that we need only 100

lawyers to handle all the cases

in Nigeria.

“The solution to discourage

people from parading themselves

in the ports as agents

in the name of freight forwarder

is that if you do not

work in a company that is licensed

by the Nigeria Customs,

you cannot be a freight

forwarder.

“If that is applied, it will resolve

the problem because

ninety percent of the people

roaming about in the port in

name CRFFN are not freight

forwarders because Customs

do not license individuals”


Customs & Imports

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

5

CAC special task force idiroko ogun state command intercept vehicle systematic assembled

with pineapple concealed with bags of foreign rice

Rumbles in the Customs over probe

into age, state of origin falsification

By Eguono Odjegba

THERE are indications

that the management of

the Nigeria Customs Service,

NCS, is currently investigating

some of its officers believed to

have enlisted in the Service with

forged state of origin and date

of birth; both of which are

standard official requirement for

regular evaluation of personnel.

The development is coming on

the heels of reported discovery

of discrepancies in the personal

data of officers across the rank

and file in which two deputy

comptrollers general, DCG, are

believed to be involved. But

constitutional and legal experts

have posited that any attempt

to pursue issues of state of

origin beyond tolerable limits

could backfire since citizens’

right under indigenisation law

protects them against sanction.

They noted that the official

emphasis is on nationality and

not on state of origin.

“If the said investigation is on

falsification of age, those

involved have case to answer,

because it is criminal to do so.

It is not same with state of

origin, indigenisation allows

citizens to lay claim on their

birth states other than their state

of progenitors or forebears”, an

in-house source knowledgeable

Customs destroys N1bn Indian hemp

By Eguono Odjegba

THE Nigeria Customs

Service, Western Marine

Command, WMC, has

destroyed seized cannabis

sativa otherwise locally known

as Indian Hemp, valued at

about N1.0 billion in Lagos.

Present at the destruction site

along Badagry Beach in Lagos

were top officials of the National

Drug Law Enforcement Agency,

NDLEA, Nigerian Army, Navy,

Police, Civil Defence, National

Agency for Food and Drug

Administration Control,

NAFDAC, Badagary West Local

Government council executives

and traditional rulers.

WMC Controller, Olugboyega

Peters, who led the destruction

last weekend said the

substance is the single largest

seizure in the history of the

Service, and was made along

Agaja Beach area of the state

in legal matters and who does

not want her name mentioned,

said.

“When you want to clean the

following an intelligence

report.

He explained that apart

being in contravention of

extant laws, indiscriminate

consumption of the substance

can elicit behavioural

imbalance through the

breakdown of the central

nervous system leading to

criminal tendencies like rape,

violence, domestic

disorderliness and other

adverse

societal

consequences.

His words: “The seizure was

based on credible intelligence.

The smugglers on sighting our

officers abandoned their

consignment and jumped into

the water, a terrain they know

so much. This cannabis is of

the highest quality as research

says it is the biggest catch of a

single item of cannabis ever

seized in the history of the

Nigeria Customs Service”

system, your approach must be

right and above challenge. A

man whose parents are from

Borno State born and brought

up in Ekiti State can claim Ekiti.

He has a right to indigenise and

the law protects him. What

constitutes a citizen is

nationality not state of origin.

Is Gen. Sani Abacha ancestrally

from Kano State? Is Gen.

Ibrahim Babangida from Niger

State? So if the probe lays too

much emphasis on state of

origin, people can challenge

unfavourable recommendations

made by it”, she posited.

There are concerns in the

Customs that some of the

geopolitical zones/states whose

senior management quota are

believed to have been filled by

persons with doubtful claim to

the zone, are feeling

shortchanged, and want a

reversal.

While the issue is believed to

cut across states and zones

nationwide, the present

challenge is said to be between

the South-South and South East

geopolitical zones, in which

one of the most senior

management staff of DCG rank

is currently battling to be off the

hook. “By this deliberate and

singular act of age and state

falsification, the DCG (name

withheld) had all these years in

the Service fraudulently shortchanged

and continuously

robbed the Southeast

geopolitical zone of their

rightful national quota and

representation in the Nigeria

Customs Service”, one of the

aggrieved sources said.

The alleged scam was blown

up following an investigative

exercise conducted by the

Human Resources Department

on the directive of the

Comptroller General of

Customs, Col. Hammed Ali

(retd), to scrutinise the

documents of mid junior cadre

officers suspected to have

falsified their age and state of

origin while entering the

Customs Area Controller of

Seme Border, Dalha Cheidi

Wada, who was present at the

event urged Nigerians to be

compliant and respect the rules

of exports and imports and to

continue to support the security

agencies with credible

information, noting that the

war against illicit drugs is a

collective one.

Chairman of Badagry West

Local Government, Hon Benu

Joseph, commended the

customs for preventing such

huge amount of drugs from

entering the country.

While pledging the support

of his council to the fight

against smuggling, he

commended the Customs

officers for a job well done and

urged the leadership to

consider them for promotion to

encourage them and others to

do more.

Service.

Those in the know of the

workings of the Customs

informed that the matter is not

entirely new to the CGC, further

informing that he has known for

over two years that the two

affected DCGs joined the

Service with incorrect state of

origin declaration.

While official sources say the

idea of the investigative

exercise is to purge the Service

of corruption in pursuit of the

CGC’s reform agenda,

independent sources described

the current probe as nothing

short of vain glorification, cheap

publicity or official propaganda.

A source at the NCS public

relations department has,

however, denied knowledge of

the said probe.

Lagos clears

air on wharf

landing fees

controversy

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

THE Lagos State

Government has claimed

that the state’s Wharf Landing

Fees Collecting Authority has

legal backing to collect fees from

vehicles cleared at the ports in

Lagos.

Chairman of the Authority,

Prince Gboyega Salvador-

Adebayo, made this claim

following trending story on the

social media about the

Authority’s alleged illegal

clamp down on 15 assorted

vehicles recently cleared at the

port.

Speaking through the Public

Affairs Officer of the Authority,

Oputeh Michael, Salvador-

Adebayo stated: “I will

categorically state that members

of the Nigeria Licensed

Customs Agent, ANLCA, and

other maritime unions are fully

aware of the wharf landing fees

collection by the Lagos State

Government.

“Immediately after leaving the

ports, trucks, buses and cars are

expected to pay the fixed fees

stated in the Law, which are

known to the agents. The

agents claimed they pay N200

and they issued a receipt, I will

equally state that the least of the

wharf landing fees is N300 for

cars and we don’t issue receipt

we only give stickers; the

agency only issues receipt to

those that pay penalty to the

state government account.

“Any person in possession of

goods on which wharf landing

fee is chargeable, whether as

owner, shipper, transporter or

agent shall be liable to pay the

amount prescribed in the

schedule in the law.

“The wharf landing fees

collectors are not thugs as

claimed by the agents and other

maritime union, they are

collecting revenue on behalf of

the Lagos State Government

and majority of them are

graduates from the Nigeria

higher institutions.”


WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

6

Corporate Report

NDLEA raises concern over rising drug trafficking

by sea in W/Africa

By Godfrey Bivbere

AS drug trafficking by sea

increases globally, the

National Drug Law

Enforcement Agency, NDLEA,

has stressed the need for the

Federal Government to

strengthen the Agency to

effectively combat the illicit drug

trade.

This is even as the Agency

indicated that there has been a

rise in the volume of drug

trafficking in the West African

sub-region.

The NDLEA made the call in

Lagos during the

commemoration of this year’s

International Day Against Drug

Abuse And Illicit Trafficking on

Monday.

Director, Seaports Operation

of NDLEA, Omolaja

INFORMATION technology guru

and founder of West Blue Consulting,

Valentina Mintah has been

elected to the Executive Board of the

International Chamber of Commerce,

ICC, at the recently held virtual 2020

World Council Meeting of the organisation.

Mintah, internationally recognised

for her expertise in trade facilitation

and business process automation, will

be the first Black woman to hold the

position. Having established West

Blue Consulting in 2012, Mintah led

her company to successfully develop

and deliver a national single window

platform for Nigeria, significantly optimizing

and improving trade facilitation

in the country, leading to savings

of USD25 million per month for

the government of Nigeria.

In 2014, West Blue Consulting further

harnessed its customs modernisation

expertise to develop and

implement a national single window

platform for Ghana. Within two years

Faboyede, noted that drug

trafficking through the sea has

been a security problem for all

countries of the West African

region because it involves the

movement of large quantity of

drugs.

According to him: “It

increases the level of insecurity

and drug related crimes.

Nigeria must have the political

will to tackle the issue of drug

trafficking,

the

supervising agency; National

Drug Law Enforcement Agency

must be strengthen and

adequately funded to combat

drug abuse and trafficking in

Nigeria.

“Criminality in the Gulf of

Guinea includes maritime

piracy, armed robbery, transorganised

crime such as illegal

fishing and associated crime

such as drug smuggling,

human trafficking, money

laundering, illegal dumping of

toxic waste and other sea based

crimes.

“Since mid-2000 West Africa

has emerged a transit point for

trafficking of cocaine from

South America to Europe. The

United Nations Office on Drugs

and Crime estimated that $1.25

billion worth of cocaine passed

ICC elects Valentina Minta as First black female Board member

of implementation at ports across

Ghana, the platform had saved the

government of Ghana about USD500

million. This resulted in Ghana rising

through the ranks of the World

Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index,

becoming a vibrant hub for continental

trade.

Speaking about her election,

Mintah who serves as Vice Chair of

ICC Ghana said despite the current

global health and economic crisis,

Africa cannot, and should not, be

overwhelmed. She said, “It is, therefore,

vital that intra-African trade is

strengthened in line with the goal of

the Africa Continental Free Trade

Agreement, AfCFTA. Therefore, leveraging

on the growth opportunities

for sustainable intra-African trade

is an objective that should be supported

for the benefit of the African

economy. In addition, focus should

be on ways to empower and support

small business owners to survive and

thrive in the era of covid-19 and beyond,

using digital technology and

innovative business practices.”

ICC Secretary General, John W.H.

Denton AO said, “ICC is delighted

to welcome Valentina Mintah to its

global Executive Board. Throughout

her career, Valentina has championed

international trade facilitation both in

her home region of West Africa and

in a number of transitional economies

across the world. With her additional

role as Vice Chair of ICC Ghana, she

is uniquely placed to promote the

strengthening of commercial and

trade ties within high growth global

markets.”

The newly constituted ICC Executive

Board has a two-year term which

begins on July 1, 2020. ICC is the

institutional representative of more

than 45 million companies in over 130

countries across the world. The Executive

Board is responsible for developing

and implementing ICC’s

strategy, policy and programme of

action, and for overseeing the financial

affairs of the organisation.

through the region in 2010

alone.

“Recent drug trafficking has

witnessed a massive movement

of Cannabis Sativa from Ghana

to Nigerian waters at an

alarming rate.”

He also noted that

trafficking of narcotic drugs by

sea has virtually become an

industry comprising many

individual enterprises of

maritimerepor6005@gmail.com

varying sizes, adding that it is

an attraction to major

i n t e r n a t i o n a l

criminal organisations and

terrorist.

He pointed out that there are

200 million illicit drug users

worldwide adding that the

number has continued to grow

every day.

Faboyede also said that around

190,000 people die of use of

illicit drugs every year,

stressing further that drug

trafficking is a threat to human

live, national development and

security.

Diving: Ministry of Labour responsible for

unregulated practices, foreign dominance

By Godfrey Bivbere

THE Ministry of Labour

and Employment has

been blamed for unregulated

practices and foreign

•Members of the National Association of Professional Divers in a group photograph in Lagos

dominance in diving business

in the country and for failure

to establish a Diving Advisory

Board, DAB, in line with the

nation’s 2018 Diving at Work

Regulations. A representative

of divers in the

c o u n t r y

and Chief Diving

Inspector, Julius

Ugwala, noted

that until the DAB

is inaugurated

the potential of

the sector cannot

be harnessed.

Ugwala, an

e l e c t e d

representative of

the National

Association of

Professional

Divers, NAPD, is

expected to be on

the Board of DAB

w h e n

inaugurated.

He noted that

the nation would

have to

inaugurate an

Advisory Board as

stipulated by

e x i s t i n g

regulations to

oversee activities

of diviers

including safety,

education,

remuneration

and local content

development.

The diving

expert lamented

that despite

Nigeria’s 853km

long coastline

that runs through

several states and

the numerous

maritime activities

requiring services

of professional

divers, the

F e d e r a l

Government is yet

to see the

enormous

potentials in the

sector.

His words: “The

government isn’t

aware of the

viability of the

diving sector and

how much it could contribute

in terms of revenue for

government and job

opportunities for the teeming

youth in the country. I think the

practitioners in the country

should take up the onus of

convincing the government

about the need to regulate the

profession.

“Setting up the Advisory

board would see the diving

sector become a duly regulated

one in Nigeria. It would also

lead to an influx of people into

the profession. People will be

more willing to pick a career

in diving and experts would

no longer have to travel out of

the country to be trained.

“The board would ensure

proper regulation leading to

the establishment of quality

schools in the country to train

professionals. This nation is

facing a serious unemployment

gap but this diving sector

could reduce the margin of

unemployment drastically by

more than 10 percent.”

He also decried the high

mortality rate of divers in the

nation, noting that unsafe

practices have become the

norm following the absence of

a regulator.

Ugwala opined that the

inauguration of an Advisory

Board would bring uniformity

to diving practice and

guarantee safe operations,

insurance for divers and

appropriate remuneration to

curb the paltry wages given to

Nigerian divers unlike

expatriates.

Speaking on safety

procedures for diving, he said:

“Nigeria isn’t conducting

diving safely. On a scale of 100

percent, I would score Nigeria

30 percent. The reason is that

today we have multinationals

in the country that carry out

diving operations without

regulation.

“They have guidelines and

mode of operations, but when

they find themselves in a

difficult situation, they tend to

cut corners leading to loss of

lives. Nigeria needs to have a

system to carry out an

oversight on these

multinationals.”


maritimerepor6005@gmail.com

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

There has been a rise in

incidents of piracy and

armed robbery in the Gulf of

Mexico over recent months.

Armed criminal groups have

been reported to target and rob

commercial vessels, oil

platforms, and offshore supply

vessels in the Bay of Campeche

area in the southern Gulf of

Mexico. The US Maritime

Administration has recently

issued an advisory, 2020-008-

Southern Gulf of Mexico-Vessel

Attacks, detailing such events,

and actions to be taken in the

event of piracy and armed

robbery incidents in the region.

The US government is aware

of at least 20 fishing vessels and

35 oil platforms and offshore

supply vessels that have been

targeted by pirates and armed

robbers since January 2018 in

the above-mentioned Bay of

Campeche area of the southern

Gulf of Mexico. Significant

underreporting of attacks in this

area is suspected. These attacks

have involved the discharge of

firearms, crew injuries, hostage

taking, and theft. At least five

of these attacks occurred in April

2020, details of which are

provided in the Office of Naval

Intelligence’s April 30, 2020

Worldwide Threat to Shipping

(WTS) report that is available at

https://go.usa.gov/xv7tF. A

current summary of recent

attacks and threats in this

region will be included in the

most recent Office of Naval

CHINA has retaliated

India’s custom hurdles of

its manufactured products with

equal measure. Indian exporters

have begun to face similar issues

with their consignments at the

Chinese ports, as per an Indian

Express report.

After the development,

Federation of Indian Export

Organisations (FIEO), an apex

body of export promotion

councils, wrote a letter to the

Ministry of Commerce and

Industry, stating that Hong

Kong and Chinese Customs

were holding back export

consignments from India over

the last few days.

This comes on the heels of

escalation of tension between

India and China on the disputed

territory of Ladakh followed by

a deadly clash that claimed at

least 20 Indian soldiers’ lives.

According to the

representation made by FIEO, a

copy of which The Indian

Express has seen, some

exporters have reported facing

hurdles with their shipments to

China. An exporter in the know

said a majority of the shipments

stuck for clearance at China and

Hong Kong include organic

chemicals.

Chinese imports to continue

till feasible alternatives emerge

in automobile, pharma

“We have been given to

understand that Customs is

physically examining all imports

Foreign Maritime 7

Gulf of Mexico records increased pirate

attacks on vessels

Intelligence weekly WTS report,

which is available at https://

msi.nga.mil/Piracy.

The pirates/robbers targeting

offshore infrastructure and

vessels in this area typically

operate in small groups of

between five and fifteen

individuals aboard several

boats. They usually employ

China retaliates India by stopping Indian manufactured

products from ports

from China, which is delaying

clearance, adding to the cost of

imports. While we have been

told there is no official

communication, but the

examination is leading to piling

of imports as reported in many

newspapers,” stated the body in

its representation.

“Some exporters have

informed that, in response to

such action, Hong Kong and

Chinese Customs are also

holding back export

consignments from India,” it

said.

The body has requested the

ministry to take up the matter of

delayed clearances at ports in

India with the Central Board of

Indirect Taxes and Customs

(CBIC) and issue a denial if no

instructions had been given to

customs authorities here.

At an e-conference on

leveraging e-SANCHIT for a

stronger single window system,

CBIC Chairman M Ajit Kumar

told CII members: “…unless we

ensure that your prices come

down unless we ensure that the

time taken for clearances are

brought down, it really does not

help us. We are truly your

partners in this endeavor of

yours. We are not here merely

as tax collectors, we want to

ensure that your time and price

both come down, you become

very competitive in the

international market and we

must ensure that you become

engines of growth.”

He added: “That trade leads

the industry and that ultimately

helps the nation in becoming

strong, in becoming self-reliant,

Atmanirbhar Bharat by

encouraging Make in India…

our attempt in this regard is to

ensure that you have hassle-free

procedures… and then you are

able to get goods, manufacture

goods here, export them, or get

them to the domestic area

without many problems,”.

“It is too early to say whether

this is retaliatory action, but a

SHIP owners are turning

towards second hand

ships in the post-pandemic era,

at least for now, turning their

backs on new building orders.

In its latest weekly report,

shipbroker Allied Ship broking

said that “on the dry bulk side,

the relatively good momentum

in the SnP market continued

for yet another week, with both

the activity being noted and

buying appetite seemingly reemerging

at a fast pace. As of

the past week, we experienced

a good flow of transactions in

the bigger size segments too

(and for more modern units),

helped (to some degree at

least) by the strong upward

trend noted in freight rates

during the same time frame.

small fiberglass hulled craft,

similar in appearance to local

artisanal fishing boats,

equipped with multiple highpowered

outboard motors that

small number of consignments

from exporters here have been

held up at ports over there,” said

an exporter close to the

development to Indian Express

on condition of anonymity.

Some companies have even

stopped picking up shipments

from China for India. DHL

Express India, the Indian arm

of German courier Services

Company, in a statement said

they are temporarily suspending

pick up of import shipments

from China, Hong Kong, and

Macao for the next 10 days.

enable fast travel to the oil fields

located between five and

ninety-five nautical miles

offshore. They typically carry

out their raids under the cover

of darkness so that their

approach is hidden and so that

they can use platform lights to

navigate toward their target.

The attackers are reportedly

armed with an assortment of

weapons including assault

rifles, shotguns, pistols,

machetes, knives and tools.

They are known to use violence

to ensure compliance and

prevent resistance.

Members are encouraged to

ensure they remain vigilant to

this threat when transiting the

region and ensure all relevant

anti-piracy and armed robbery

procedures and measures are in

effect as part of the Vessel

Security Plan.

Second hand ships more attractive proposition for

ship owners at present

All-in-all, with a far more

bullish attitude currently being

portrayed in terms of forward

returns, we can expect things

to ramp up further in the nearterm.

On the tanker side, total

activity noted seems to be on a

softening path as of the past

few weeks, given the relatively

mediocre number of vessels

changing hands. Whether this

is circumstantial or a new trend

remains to be seen.

Notwithstanding this, given

the recent positive spikes in

freight earnings, we can expect

a vivid sales market once

more”.

In a separate note, shipbroker

Banchero Costa said that “in the

dry market 2 x Capesize units

were reported sold during the

•Cruise

ship under

construction

week: New Stage 177,000 dwt

built in 2008 at Namura was

sold at $16.5m and Aqua Glory

171,000 dwt built in 2003 at

Sasebo at $9.5m to Jiangsu

Steamship. In February Shinyo

Alliance 176,000 dwt built in

2005 at Universal was done at

$14m.

Furthermore, a modern

Kamsarmax Aquavita Air

81,000 dwt built in 2020 at

Oshima was purchased at $28.5

mln by Greek buyer. In the

Supramax segment a

Norwegian controlled unit

Rosita 52,000 dwt built in 2004

at Tsuneishi Cebu was sold at

$6.6 mln to Chinese buyer,

previous week Odiris 53,000

dwt built in 2005 by Imabari

was done at $6.55 mln.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Data & Figures

maritimerepor6005@gmail.com

Vessels Expected At Lagos Port, June 29, 2020

Motor Vehicles Awaiting Berth At Lagos, June 29, 2020

Vessels Expected at Delta Port, June 5, 2020


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40— Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

DELTA COMMUNITIES TO BUHARI:

Address our demands within 9 days

or face shutdown of oil, gas industry

By Onozure

Dania

WARRI — Omadino

F e d e r a t e d

Communities, compromising

communities in Warri South,

Warri South-West and Warri

North Local Government

Areas in Delta State, yesterday,

gave a nine-day ultimatum to

President Muhammadu

Buhari’s administration to

address a 10-point demand

effective June 30, or face

complete shutdown of

operations in oil and gas

sector.

The communities, which

comprise of Ode-Omadino,

Esungbo, Egwa tie, Egwa

kporo, Aghigho, Ogheye-

Akpata, Ubaeyin, Eyin-ogbe,

Ubakporo, Oteghele,

Ukpokiti, Uba- Okorotie,

Okerenghigho, Uba-kokodie

and Ugbokoko in the three

Warri LGAs, in a petition

addressed to President

Buhari, accused his

administration of gross

marginalisation of its people.

The petition by Roland Oti

Yomere, Chief Priest of

Omadino and spokesman of

Omadino Federated

Communities and Tsaye

Mene, outlined areas of

marginalisation requiring

President Buhari’s urgent

attention to include: halting

the current process of bids for

the 57 marginal fields and

come up with new modalities,

where competent companies

owned by Omadino

indigenes as well as other

Itsekiri sons and daughters,

would be given “right of first

refusal.”

The oil-rich Itsekiri

communities also want

“proper renaming of the

Nigerian Maritime University

to ‘Okerenghigho’ as

opposed to the corrupted

name ‘Okerenkoko’ to reflect

the Supreme Court judgment

in accordance with the rule of

law and properly compensate

our people.”

Calling on Buhari to order

immediate resumption of work

at the multi-billion dollar Gas

Revolution Industrial Park

Project, GRIP, and Deep Sea

Port in Warri South-West LGA,

the petitioners also asked the

Federal Government to direct

the relevant MDAs/IOCs to

embark on large scale shore

protection/sand-filling projects

in all Omadino communities

and other Itsekiri riverine/oil

producing communities.

Their other demands

include immediate institution

of the process for the

facilitation of the abandoned

age-long Omadino-Escravos

(Ugborodo) Road;

electrification of the Federated

Omadino Communities and

other Itsekiri riverine

communities; employment of

Omadino and other

eminently qualified Itsekiri

graduates and technicians to

reflect the Local Content Act

in NNPC, NPDC, NGC and

the IOCs; immediate

relocation of the corporate

offices of the IOCs to

Omadino lands as well as

restart of the abandoned

Sapele-Ughuoton -Omadino

Bye-Pass Road.

Extra-judicial killing of 7

policemen: CLO urges IGP

to order full investigation

By Emem Idio

Y Liberties ENAGOA—Civil

Organisation,

CLO, Bayelsa State branch

has called on the Inspector

General of Police, IGP, to

investigate the circumstances

that led to the extra-judicial

killing of seven policemen of

the Bayelsa Command in

Delta State.

Addressing newsmen in

Yenagoa, yesterday,

Chairman of CLO, Bayelsa

branch, Chief Nengi James-

Eriworio, flanked by a former

Secretary, Alagoa Morris,

said the lives of all citizens

matter, no matter their state,

region, origin, religion,

creed, uniformed personnel/

security personnel or civilian.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa

Police Command has declined

to comment on the

killing of the serving policemen

from its command in

Delta State.

According to James-

Eriworio, the CLO is

interested, for the general

good of all, in knowing the

circumstances leading to the

killing of seven serving

policemen, adding that

seeing photos of their lifeless

bodies with rifles placed on

them presents an unnatural

situation.

He gave the names of the

murdered policemen as Sgt

Hitler Mumbo, CPl Omoro

Akpoebi, Cpl Oyindine

Ondongha, Sgt Dieyete

Joweigha, Cpl Philip Seikpo,

and Sgt Brown Abenego,

while one is yet to be

Group lauds Govs Mohammed,

Makinde over Edo gov primary

poll

Acivil society organisation,

Centre for Independent

Campaigns, has hailed the

emergence of Governor

Godwin Obaseki as the

gubernatorial candidate of

People’s Democratic Party,

PDP.

In a statement in Benin

City, Edo State, Director of the

group, Mr Osajie Ehis,

commended members and

leaders of the main

opposition party for

displaying a high sense of

maturity and honesty in the

conduct of the primaries.

“We applaud the level

Otugo, Janet, Okpako for burial

playing field the organisers

provided for all the

contestants and the spirit of

sportsmanship shown by all,

before, during and after the

primary election. The

atmosphere was peaceful and

the participants behaved

responsibly,” he said.

The group commended the

Governor of Bauchi State,

Bala Mohammed, and his

Oyo State counterpart, Seyi

Makinde, who led the

primary election committee,

for their fairness and

obedience to the laid down

rules and regulations of the

party.

Elder Otugo Chukwuemezie,

83, who died on June 10, 2020,

will be buried July 10, 2020 at

his country home, Awha-

Ndiagu in Ezeagu LGA, Enugu

State after a wake keep July 9,

2020.

He is survived by sons,

daughters and relations

including an Enugu-based

medical practitioner, Dr. Udeh

Samson.

Late Janet Collingwood

Wilson, 68, who died after a

brief illness, will be buried on

Saturday, July 11, 2020 at Volts

and Gardens, off Aggrey

Road, Port harcourt, Rivers

State.

Mrs Okpako Ofuyaekpone

(nee Omamena), 95, is dead.

The burial comes up July 11,

2020 at her home town in

Iriama, Okpe Local

Government Area of Delta

State.

She is survived by many

ralatives children, grand

children and great,among

whom is Mr Edward

Ofuyaekpone of Vanguard

Media Ltd.


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 41

:Vanguard News

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

Woman raped by herdsmen

in Anambra dies in Ebonyi

LIFTING INTERSTATE TRAVEL BAN: Peace Mass Transport Company prk at Rumuola Bus top, Port Harcourt

still Unoperational Yesterday despite the lifting of restrictions on interstate travel. Photo. Nwankpa Chijioke.

Anambra identifies 6 herbal products

for management of COVID-19

•As number of infected health workers in Enugu rises to 83

•Enugu Judge died of hepatitis, not COVID-19

•24 health workers infected in Ebonyi

By Emma Nnadozie,

Anayo Okoli & Peter

Okutu

A Adviser WKA—SPECIAL

to Governor Willie

Obiano of Anambra on

Indigenous Medicine and Herbal

Practice, Dr Onyekachukwu

Ibezim has said that the

government had identified six

herbal drugs that could be used to

manage coronavirus in the state.

Ibezim told the News Agency

of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka

yesterday that the agency had

forwarded the products to the

National Agency for Food, Drug

Administration and Control

(NAFDAC).

He said a team of medical

experts was assembled to review

the process before they decided to

take the products to NAFDAC for

its final confirmation and approval

for public consumption.

Ibezim said the products were

in capsule, powdered and liquid

forms.

He urged herbal practitioners

in the state who peddle different

types of herbal products without

seeking approval from the

government agency in-charge of

herbal products to desist forthwith.

“We have a team of medical

experts in all areas of medicines

who are saddled with the

responsibility of reviewing herbal

products in the state before they

would be made public for use.

“We will give approval if the

products fit our standard. We do

not discriminate, the government

has provided a friendly

environment for business to

thrive for all genuine herbal

practitioners despite their states

of origin,” he said.

“Anambra Traditional Medicine

Board has been assigned the

responsibility of properly analysing

herbal products in the state and

declare them fit for use by the

public or otherwise before they are

pushed out; all practitioners are

advised to comply,” he said.

Ibezim said there were several

unauthorised herbal products

being peddled by some

CHI Ltd shares COVID-19 relief

materials

CHI Limited has made

additional support towards

combating effects of the COVID-

19 pandemic as it donated cartons

of Hollandia Evaporated Milk to

several non-governmental

organizations, frontline medical

workers, and the vulnerable in

different communities.

The company said the donation

will help to ease the challenges

of vulnerable communities

currently experiencing

inadequate nutrition, and

support health workers by

providing healthy dairy

nourishment to boost their

immunity and wellness as they

remain in the frontline fighting

to save the lives of people infected

with the coronavirus disease.

The Managing Director of CHI

Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, said

the company has been at the

forefront of providing quality,

healthy and nourishing products

through its Hollandia dairy

products to frontline health

workers and vulnerable members

of society during the ongoing

COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a socially responsive

company, our aim is to support

organizations in delivering the

healthy nourishment that

Hollandia Evaporated Milk

provides to medical workers and

economically vulnerable groups

during this challenging time

when maintaining good health

is of utmost priority.” he said.

He added that only recently,

Chi Limited donated 15,000

cartons of Hollandia Evap Milk

to the COVID-19 Presidential

Taskforce and to several Isolation

& Treatment Centres across

states of the federation.

Beneficiaries of the latest

gesture by CHI include Nigerian

Red Cross Society (Lagos

Branch), Nursing and Midwifery

Council of Nigeria (Lagos

Chapter), Heritage Homes and

Orphanage, as well as Old

Peoples’ Home (Lagos State

Ministry of Youth, Sports and

Social Development), he said.

practitioners in the state, adding

that government would soon

clamp down on such.

He said the state government

had provided enough support for

the agency to ensure that fake

herbal products are wiped out

from circulation.

Ibezim said the agency had

achieved some results and is

desirous to consolidate on its

past success while

commending the governor for his

support to the office of Indigenous

Medicine and Herbal Practice.

“All our success is attributed to

Governor Obiano’s interest in

providing total health for the

residents of Anambra,” he said.

24 health workers

infected in Ebonyi

Meantime, no fewer than 24

health workers have been

infected with COVID-19 in

Ebonyi State since the outbreak

of the pandemic in the state.

This is as Governor David

Umahi, weekend, announced

that his administration has

approved N105 million for the

purchase of medical equipment

for Ivo, Ishielu and Ikwo General

Hospitals in the state.

According to him, the

availability of these equipment

will enable health practitioners

tackle the pandemic without any

reservation.

From reports available, the

number of cases in the state has

risen to 503.

Commissioner for Health,

Daniel Umezuruike who

confirmed the figure while giving

an update on the outbreak of the

disease to Governor David

Umahi at the new Government

House, Abakaliki, added that a

total of 357 of the infected persons

have recovered and discharged

in line with NCDC guidelines.

He said a total of three deaths

have so far been recorded in the

state.

Mr Umezuruike also added

that a total of 3,369 samples have

been tested in the state.

Responding, Governor Umahi

expressed worry at the increasing

number of cases recorded in the

state despite the efforts put in

place by his administration to

combat the pandemic.

He frowned at the non-chalant

attitude of residents whom he

said have refused to obey safety

protocols leading to increase in

Covid-19 cases, even within the

communities.

Enugu Judge died of

hepatitis not COVID-19

The family of Enugu State

High Court Judge, Justice Fidelis

Ngwu, yesterday, said he died as

a result of hepatitis C which

resulted in damaging his liver and

not Covid-19 as widely published.

First son of the Judge, Barr.

Chukwuebuka Ngwu said in a

statement that his father was told

by doctors six months ago that

the sickness will eventually lead

to his death and he was prepared

for the ultimate end.

The statement read: “I thank

the good Lord for this beautiful

soul that he gave me for a father.

As you deemed it right to take

my father to heaven, I thank you

Lord. My father died in the early

hours of today (yesterday). I held

him in my arms as he breathed

his last. He suffered hepatitis C

for close to a decade and it

destroyed his liver.

“He was diagnosed with stage

4 liver cancer and was given 6

months to live. He accepted

death with courage and

worshipped the Lord till his death.

It is not a sad day; rather it’s a

glorious day in heaven.”

Meanwhile, no date has been

fixed for the burial.

83 health workers

infected in Enugu Also

yesterday, the number of health

workers infected by coronavirus

in Enugu State rose to 83,

according to the State

Commissioner for health, Prof.

Emmanuel Obi.

Obi, however explained that

the number is from both

government and private

hospitals, saying that the state

has been doing its best to provide

the necessary needs of the

frontline workers in the battle

against the spread of the virus.

Late Justice Ngwu.

By Vincent Ujumadu

AWKA—A

middleaged

woman, who was

allegedly raped to coma in a

farmland at Ebenebe in Awka

North local government area of

Anambra State by suspected

herdsmen has reportedly died in

her home state of Ebonyi.

The woman, whose name was

given as Agnes Okekpe from

Abakaliki local government area

was said to be working on a

farmland in the community as a

labourer late last year when

suspected herdsmen who went

into the farm with herd of cattle

allegedly gang-raped her until

she lost consciousness.

She was later taken to her state

by her relations for treatment

where she recently died.

President-general of Ebenebe,

Mr. Paul Nnatuanya, while

narrating the emotion –laden

story, said the woman’s ordeal

was the common thing his people

have been experiencing, in

addition to the destruction of

farmlands by suspected

herdsmen.

He said: “The information we

got from Ebonyi State was that

Agnes has died. After she was

raped to coma, our people took

her to the hospital where she was

revived. She died as a result of

the trauma she suffered.

“After she was discharged

from the hospital, she

travelled back to her place in

Ebonyi State; perhaps, to

continue treatment there.

''She didn’t continue with the

business she came for.

“Her colleague who was able

to escape said that before the

rape, the herdsmen hit the

woman with a log of wood, which

made her weak and unable to

raise the alarm..''

Umahi effects minor overhaul

of cabinet

By Peter Okutu

GOVERNOR

David

Umahi of Ebonyi State

yesterday, carried out a minor

overhaul of his cabinet. No clear

cut reason was given for the

development. However, it is

believed that the move would

assist the governor to effectively

pursue the policies of his

administration.

In a statement signed by the

Secretary to the State

Government / Coordinating

Commissioner, Kenneth Ugbala,

the reshuffle/redeployment and

appointment of the State

Executive Council members are

with effect from 1st July, 2020.

The statement read: “His

Excellency, the Governor of

Ebonyi State, Engr. Dr. David

Nweze Umahi has approved a

cabinet reshuffle and

redeployment as follows: Chief Dr.

Emmanuel Offor Okorie – Chief

of Staff now Chairman EBBC

Board; Chief Mrs. Chinwe Okah

– Commissioner for Budget and

Planning, now Commissioner for

Market Development and

Management; Prof. Ogbonnaya

Chukwu – Commissioner for

Finance and Economic

Development, now Commissioner

for Commerce and Industry;

Chief Moses Oshibe – Commissioner

for Lands and Survey, now

Commissioner for Ricemills Development;

Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji –

Commissioner for Information and

State Orientation and Ag. Commissioner

for Human Capital Dev.

And Monitoring, now Commissioner

for Information and State

Orientation; Chief Emmanuel

Uguru – Commissioner for

Environment, now

Commissioner for Lands and

Survey; Comr. Jonah Egba –

Commissioner for Solid Mineral

Development, now

Commissioner for Environment.'

''Others are Chief Donatus

Njoku – Commissioner for

Commerce and Industry now

Commissioner for Solid Mineral

Development.

“Mrs. Mojibade Ekuma – SA-

Finace now Acting Accountant

General. Mr. Emeka C.

Nwankwo – SA-ICT now SA-

Finace and ICT. Mrs. Chinyere

Udoka – SA-Women Affairs

(Central) now SA-Capital City.

Princess Francisca Okeke – SA-

Women Affairs (South) now SA –

Market Lot 1.

Graft in maritime sector: Global

business network berths in Nigeria

By Etop Ekanem

A

global business

network, termed

Maritime Anti-Corruption

Network MACN, comprising of

over 130 companies, have come

together to tackle corruption in

the maritime industry in its

Collective Action initiative in

Nigeria. The initiative, also has

the support of the Siemens

Integrity Initiative.

The project will be

implemented by MACN and

the Convention on Business

Integrity (Cbi) and run from

2020 to January 2023.

Throwing light on the

initiative, Executive Director

and Co-Founder of the

Convention on Business

Integrity, Soji Apampa said,

Siemens AG, CBi and MACN will

contribute to a stronger

government and port authority

compliance environment and

encourage public-private

oversight of compliance in

ports and terminals. We

believe this will lead to more

effective seaports and

terminals services, and

improved corruption

prevention practices that,

ultimately,will benefit any

business using seaports or

terminals in Nigeria.

Cecilia Müller Torbrand,

Executive Director of MACN

said: ''the Siemens Integrity

Initiative is a very competitive

funding call that, over the

years, has supported some of

the leading anti-corruption

initiatives globally.

''For MACN, CBi, and our local

stakeholders, the support from

Siemens is fantastic recognition

of our Collective Action work and

the impact we had in the

Nigerian port and maritime

sector. We are grateful for the

support and excited to add

Siemens to the list of donors

supporting MACN.''


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42 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020


C

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Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 43


44— Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Google floats tech, grant-based initiative to support Nigerian non profit organisations

By Prince Osuagwu

PPARENTLY keeping with

Aits tradition of providing

springboard for start-ups and

budding organisations with social

economic impact, global

search engine, Google, has

launched a platform to help notfor-profit

organisations, NPO

scale their objectives past

awareness and financial hurdles.

Tagged Google for Nonprofits

initiative, the tech giant aims

to use the platform empower

qualified not-for-profit organizations

with free premium services,

including access to a collection

of premium apps at no cost. Google

says such tools are the same

tools large enterprise corporations

use to gain traction in the

businesses. It said that a qualified

NPO can gain access to programs

such as Google Ad Grants,

G-Suite for Nonprofits, You-

Tube’s nonprofit program, and

more which will assist such organizations

to work more quickly

and efficiently to reach a wider

audience, spur more supporters

to take action, and tell their

story in a more compelling way.

Nonprofits can qualify for a

grant of up to $10,000 a month

that is available for six months

through October 2020, to spend

on text-based ads among other

offerings.

Google said that for an NPO to

be eligible for the Nonprofits program,

it must be a registered nonprofit,

charitable organization in

Nigeria and verified by TechSoup

Nigeria. It must also meet eligibility

criteria listed on the Google

for Nonprofits page.

Head, Government Affairs and

Public Policy, West Africa, Google,

Titi Akinsanmi, said: “Nonprofits

face unique challenges

when making decisions about

what technology to acquire amid

competing demands for funding

and resources. Our overall goal

is to provide access to tools and

technology quickly and effectively,

so that these organizations

can focus their efforts and

resources directly towards

achieving their goals”

Google also announced that

its philanthropic arm,

Google.org will be giving a

grant to Teach for Nigeria, a

non-profit organization focused

on support for students in underserved

communities in Nigeria

while the COVID-19 school

closures persist.

New telecom regulation beckons

..As Danbatta floats new plans after reappointment

*Reshuffles top management staff

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-

Tech Editor

THE Nigerian telecom sector

may soon herald fresh transformation

as new guiding principles

have started to unfold gradually.

Barely a month after the current

Executive Vice Chairman, EVC of

the Nigerian Communications

Commission, NCC, Prof Umar

Danbatta was reappointed, the

man is beginning to give an indication

that a new sheriff is in town.

From his actions since his reappointment,

Danbatta has been

passing message to industry operators

that it is no longer going to be

business as usual.

First, a week after his reappointment,

the chief regulator quickly

announced the unveiling of a new

strategic management plan, SMP.

He said the action was in line with

his objective of creating a seamless

strategy to augment effective management

and regulation of the telecommunications

sector.

Why SMP?

Hi-Tech checks revealed that the

SMP leverages on the National

Digital Economy Policy and Strategy,

NDEPS, as well as the new

National Broadband Plan, NBP,

2020 – 2025 Roadmaps.

It covers the guiding principles

and act as the operations manual

for the Commission towards actualising

the digital economy agenda

of the Federal Government in

the next five years.

Essentially, the SMP which the

commission said was developed inhouse

with the stamp of the Management

and Board is a visioning

document of the Commission for

planning, monitoring, analyzing

and assessment of the Commissions

goals and objectives in the next five

years.

It was also gathered that the SMP

will be resident in the Corporate

Planning, Strategy And Risk Management

Department of the commission,

to ensure that the contents

of the document truly become the

guiding principles for the Commission

in the next five years.

Two days after the announcement,

Danbatta launched the plan, in

Abuja, and openly revealed that the

SMP was a deliberate strategy designed

to aid the NCC in driving its

telecom regulatory mandate in the

fast evolving telecoms industry, in

the next five years. He said it will

serve as a roadmap for the future of

the Nigerian telecoms sector, taking

into consideration the current

and emerging trends in the industry

and the numerous expectations

of the diverse Stakeholders.

According to him, “the Federal

Government’s economic diversification

plans are focused on a robust

digital economy, which will

improve employment generation, as

well as encourage innovation. This

was a prime point in our minds during

the formulation of the SMP. We

have invested great time and effort

in ensuring that this document is

pragmatic, and I am very confident

and excited in its completeness to

successfully guide the Commission

in achieving the set objectives. We

are committed to the implementation

of this SMP,” he added.

His boldness apparently impressed

the Minister of communications

and Digital Economy, Dr

Ibrahim Pantami, who said: “I feel

very excited for the fact that there is

a serious improvement in the performance

of NCC. The launch of this

Hi-Tech checks revealed

that the SMP

leverages on the National

Digital Economy Policy

and Strategy, NDEPS, as

well as the new National

Broadband Plan, NBP,

2020 – 2025 Roadmaps

SMP 2020 – 2024 is a clear indication

of that. When a parastatal is performing,

it will create an innovative

idea on how to be more successful.

When a parastatal is not performing,

you will not hear anything on

how to implement policies and

come up with different strategies and

plans,” he said.

However, Pantami noted that despite

the enhanced performance of

NCC, there is a need for the Commission

to redouble its efforts, challenge

and ridicule its previous successes

by setting new records

through effective implementation of

the SMP 2020 – 2024.

Top management reshuffle

Again, two days after the launch

the EVC showed willingness to

make changes in the sector. He started

with an in-house reshuffle of his

top management officers.

In one fell swoop, four directors

at the commission were suddenly

redeployed to different departments.

The directors affected, included

the Director, Compliance Monitoring

and Enforcement Department,

Mr. Efosa Idehen; Director, Public

Affairs Department, Dr. Henry Nkemadu;

Director, Consumer Affairs

Bureau, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and

Director, Research and Development,

R&D Department, Mr.

*Danbatta

Ephraim Nwokonneya.

In the new order, Adinde is the

commission’s new Director, Public

Affairs Department, while Nkemadu

resumes at the Research

and Development department

of the commission. Recall, he

was a deputy director before he

was promoted and moved to

Public Affairs department in

2019.

Also, Idehen becomes Director,

Consumer Affairs Bureau,

while Nwokonneya is the Director,

Compliance Monitoring,

and Enforcement Department.

Sources close to the EVC said

the reshuffle was motivated by a

renewed confidence and willingness

to break some eggs in order to

prepare a sweet omelette for the industry.

The source said that the EVC

moved Efosa to Consumers Affairs

so that he can also strengthen the

protection of consumers’ rights and

interests. “You see that consumers

are still complaining about data

depletion, billing matters and other

issues. EVC believes that from

his robust knowledge in his previous

department, Mr. Efosa will be

challenged to demonstrate his

skills in his new department to

strengthen consumer protection, information,

education,”

“Nwokenneya, who replaced

Efosa, is coming from R&D Department

but had been known to

have worked in compliance department

for many years, is expected

by the EVC to bring fresh ideas on

the table on how to ensure improvement

in the areas of strengthening

of compliance to SIM registration

rules by the operators as

well as general compliance in the

telecoms sector in line with the Federal

Government’s agenda to

strengthen national security.”

He also said that bringing Adinde

to Public Affairs department

was also strategic considering the

need to sustain the good reputation

the Commission has been known

for in effective communication of

activities to all stakeholders

Post-COVID-19: Businesses need

trust-based processes — VerifyMe Boss

By Juliet Umeh

CHIEF Executive Officer of

an identity verification

technology company, VerifyMe

Nigeria, Mr. Esigie Aguele, has

said that trust should be the new

currency for any business that

hopes to thrive in the post-COV-

ID-19 era

Aguele said that as businesses

are coming to terms with the realities

of Covid-19 pandemic,

business leaders need to build

trust-based processes across

their systems in order to thrive

after the pandemic.

He said: “It has become increasingly

clear that trust is a

major economic driver that enables

faster and more cost-effective

transactions. This makes it

imperative for businesses to consciously

invest in processes and

systems that establish trust in

every

action, relationship and transaction.”

He noted that trust will enable

businesses to attract the right

kind of partners in order to

achieve their goals, arguing that

it will be a grave mistake for organisations

to continue to view

trust from the lens of a token social

virtue.

For him,”in the past few weeks,

Nigeria has seen most businesses

adapt their processes to work

remotely in response to the repeated

lockdowns. As this becomes

the new normal, identity

authentication and fraud solutions

must become the competitive

differentiator for organisations

if users are to put their faith

and money in them,” he

said.

“In financial service industries

such as banking, insurance and

credit-lending institutions,

businesses have statutory and

reputational-risk mandates to

ensure that new

customers are adequately vetted

on boarding. They need to

verify that

customer’s match who they

claim to be even without physical

interaction.

“Establishing a digital identity

and KYC infrastructure will

help organisations within the

sector protect their ecosystems

as they grapple with the expected

increase in demand for services,

particularly with approving

customers for loans and other

forms of credit,” he added.

Tranter IT links ONGO Framework to

digitise SMEs operations

By Juliet Umeh

ECHNOLOGY service pro

Tviders, Tranter IT has inked

a partnership deal with ONGO

Framework to create robust digital

platforms to help small and

medium scale enterprises, SMEs

businesses in Nigeria grow rapidly.

The partnership will introduce

latest technologies and services

that will provide small and medium

scale enterprises, SMEs,

with robust portfolios to digitally

compete with their counterparts

globally.

CEO and Founder of ONGO,

Rama Kuppa, said his company

is proud to partner with Tranter

IT and its network of trusted technology

experts to promote ON-

GO’s robust portfolio of platforms

and products

He said: “As we continue to

expand our global footprint, we

believe Tranter IT is uniquely

positioned for success.”

Also, CEO and Executive

Chairman, Tranter IT, Lare

Ayoola said: “We are delighted

to announce this partnership

with ONGO Framework, whose

pedigree and reputation in the

technology markets are exemplary.

Combining their best-inclass

technology with our technical

expertise provides a powerful

synergy which will undoubtedly

bring significant value

to the various industries we

provide digital transformation

services to.

“ONGO Framework harnesses

the power of the latest technologies

to serve clients across

the globe and transform their

operations with digital and technology

models. Tranter IT focuses

to make technology solutions

feasible to SMEs and enterprises,

and digitally transform them

to compete in this technologydriven

world” he added.

“Tranter IT uses the easy-to-use

innovative ONGO framework

solutions to help schools bring

digital learning to their students

with the Learnovate School

Management System, retail businesses

provide “social distancing”

solutions powered by Tongo

and convenience to the customers,

Remelca Health enabling

hospitals to provide online

consultation to patients

among other services.”

Ayoola added that, “ONGO integrates

innovative technologies

such as Cognitive Computing,

Artificial Intelligence, and Machine

Learning with industryspecific

solutions to create robust

platforms for businesses to

grow. Pioneering in fast delivery

with less code, ONGO now provides

end-to-end IT solutions

with complete customization to

meet specific business goals.”

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A nation in search of

cost-based pay TV model

HE broadcast industry has been

Tin the news lately. First the National

Broadcasting Commission (NBC),

the •Okoh regulator Aihe of the industry released

the 6th Edition of the Nigeria Broadcasting

Code which has simmered in

cacophonous responses from multistakeholder

interests in the industry.

Then, only last week, the regulator got

buttoned in the National Assembly

where members of the lower house

almost stampeded it into effecting a

pay-as-you-go model in the pay TV sector.

These are very interesting times and

also the season for anomalous patriotism.

Those with some kind of power

including vested ones are boiling to exert

it and the beneficiaries are hidden

in a veneer of deceit. Especially the

National Assembly members, they have

so much power that a friend once told

me, once you get into their chambers,

even if they want to see the colour of

your pants, you have got to take your

clothes down. You may call this

hyperbole in the extreme but, sometimes,

hyperbole is the only word that

can conveniently habour our ostentatious

manifestations as a people.

Otherwise how do you capture the story

of lawmakers who simply told the

regulator to go and find ways to effect a

new business model for a sector of the

broadcast industry? Yet, they had the

Broadcast Act before them and they

know that with all the powers that the

regulator enjoys, including the ones

preventing it from being able to complete

a broadcast license process, unlike

the Nigerian Communications

Commission (NCC) which can start a licensing

process within the Commission

and also end it there, the regulator

before them does not have the powers

to make price determinations for the in-

08055069060 (SMS Only)

Email: aihebho@yahoo.com

dustry. At

best, it can arbitrate!

However,

the lawmakers

have the support

of the

people behind

them, those

who voted

them into

power, and

can therefore

nearly legislate

on anything.

Chairman

of the adhoc

Committee,

Hon

Unyime Idem, from Akwa Ibom State reclined

on this support earlier in the year

when he stated that “As Chairman of this

ad-hoc Committee, I want to assure Nigerians

that their interest will be protected.

When I moved the motion on the

floor of the House, I stated that in a business

of this nature, the customers should

be given the right to choose what they

want. We have interacted with Nigerians

and what they want is pay-as-yougo,

so that when they are out in their respective

locations, their subscriptions

can be there and they will make use of it

when they return.”

As a country with guesstimated statistics,

our population is just over 200million

(mind you there are no three

government officials who will speak at

the same forum on population issues that

will give you the same figures), out of

which nearly 100million live below poverty

line; meaning that the folks in this

category are not concerned about TV or

even DSTV as they pursue the mandatory

one dollar a day to activate their

stomach infrastructure. The remaining

folks could just be as pressured, pursuing

issues that assail their lives. Of the

remaining figure I want to be audacious

in claiming that the addressable pay TV

market will be about 20 per cent.

Supposedly, the figure above should be

shared among some of the market operators

in Nigeria, which include: Multichoice,

owners of DSTV and GOTV, Startimes,

DaarSat, ConSaat, Kwese TV and

TSTV.

But reality doesn’t always support suppositions;

which is why the pay TV subscription

uptake in Nigeria might just be

less than 5million, with Multichoice enjoying

substantial advantage, followed

by Startimes while others rank a distant

third in jostling for market visibility.

Yet I have seen publications

somewhere which ascribe about 11mil-

lion subscribers to a particular

operator with the

eye-popping conclusion

that such operator earns

over N100bn a month.

That figure sounds very

utopian and well over every

market projection.

My position here is not

about any operator but

about market possibilities

and industry regulatory

practices that can

strengthen the broadcast

sector. While trying to

carry out a dispassionate

assessment of the industry

in this regard, an esteemed

voice within

government reasoned

that “there seems to be an

elite conspiracy against

some operators. Some

guys are using national

sentiments to whip up an

elite conspiracy and

make the operating field

difficult for existing operators.”

This is one thing the

National Assembly

should not encourage. In

as much as members are

in the hallowed chambers

upon the votes of the

people, the people also

include those who run

businesses in Nigeria.

Everybody in the society

should enjoy their protection

and be encouraged

to be more productive.

We need to dig in together

in order to position

ourselves to capture the

future. For this reason,

we must always look at

the flipside of the coin,

the other side of the story

and work towards redeeming

our very sorry

situation.

For instance, pay TV

earnings globally would

peg at $183bn by 2023,

according to Statista, a

German online platform

for statistics. Obviously,

this is a very big business

pie and countries

around the world are

struggling to increase

their stakes and derivable

from the big apple.

How do we have more

profitable access to this

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 45

business as a country?

Perhaps the answer to

this question should caution

the National Assembly

to create a friendlier

platform for fruitful discussions

instead of a

monologue and a seeming

directive to the NBC

on how to regulate the

industry henceforth. Discussions,

a source told

me, should be captured

within the law; no externalities.

The lawmakers are

driving the story of payas-you-go

for the pay TV

industry, meaning that

you pay only for the

things you watch. The

flipside is saying that

pay-as-you-go is a telecommunications

term

which simply measures

out airtime as per the size

of your pocket. Pay-perview,

the flipside says, is

the TV language which is

directly opposite pay-asyou-go

in terms of cost

and affordability. Payper-view

is synonymous

with premium TV

programming which also

attracts premium payment

for high-end programming.

If a cardinal objective of

the National Assembly is

to get a better deal for

pay TV subscribers, an

industry voice very close

to some operators, told

me over the weekend

that pay-as-you-go is

technically impossible in

the immediate. “It is not

a part of business model

for subscribers or operators.

It is not possible to

do pay-as-you-go on subscription

TV because the

business model does not

support it. The operator

will need new technology

configuration to do so,

which itself could come

with additional cost to

the subscribers.”

In order to manage cost

for the subscribers, pay

TV operators usually develop

bouquets targeted

at different segments of

the market. Such bouquet

would usually encourage

the subscriber to manage

his/her taste according to

the size of the pocket. No.

In this part of the world

our taste is controlled by

greed and the unattainable.

And when we fail to

have our way we start to

threaten the operator

with our huge population

and the size of the country’s

market, forgetting

that the preponderance of

poverty in the land nearly

put in deficit those

who are outside the ring

of the poor.

Where the threat has

failed to work, they begin

to point to other lands:

Sky in the UK has a

weekly card; but you

have to enter a contract to

be qualified and the contract

ties you down for a

time. Oh, Comcast in the

US has Xfinity plans for

subscribers. It even

comes with a data bundle

and all kinds of attractive

tie-in. But they know

very little about the

superstructure Comcast

has built over the years,

including the acquisition

of American Cellular

Network in 1988 which

has given it a lot of market

strength.

The point is that we

need a conversation, how

we approach the future

as a people. The National

Assembly may lead the

conversation. After all,

they have the votes of the

people. Since they have

chosen the pay TV sector

as point of intervention,

I actually expect the law

makers to carry out an inquisition

into factors responsible

for the dismal

failure of local operators

in the pay TV business or

why they are unable to

start operations at all. We

shall remain on the

fringe of a huge industry

if we continue to play to

the gallery as we saw on

television last week. The

times we are in call for

very deliberate action

with the future in mind.


46 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

VOL. 2 NO. 64

Communities in S-East

groan as herdsmen

take over farmlands

*Our people have suffered enough — ASETU

*They harvest our crops to feed their cows — Ugbene Ajima

*Govt. is brokering peace —Ebonyi Govt.

*Herdsmen claim they pay land rent to community leaders

By Anayo Okoli, Vincent

Ujumadu, Peter Okutu,

Chimaobi Nwaiwu,

Ikechukwu Odu &

Chinonso Alozie

ENUGU—THE destructive

activities of rogue

herdsmen on farms in

communities in Igbo land are

becoming worrisome and

frightening.

They, with hordes of cattle

have been invading farm lands

with reckless abandon and

making mess of the crops which

the poor village farmers toiled

to put in place. Sadly, in some

cases, these killer herdsmen

even violently attack and kill the

farmers if they have the gut to

question them.

The evil activities are taking

place in all parts of the the South

East: from Abia to Imo; from

Anambra to Enugu and

Ebonyi. The people have been

crying especially in the face of

the emphasis the Federal

Government places on

agriculture.

None of the herdsmen have

been arrested and tried by the

law enforcement agencies. Yet,

the evil acts continue unabated.

The matter has been of great

concern to Igbo leaders. Just

recently, the association South

East Town Unions, ASETU, who

actually operate from the rural

communities where the evil acts

are committed, raised alarm

over the rise in the destructive

activities of the herdsmen. The

President General of the

association, Chief Emeka Diwe

lamented what the rural farmers

are going through in the hands

of these herdsmen.

“Our people have died

enough. We cried out when

Ozuitem community in Bende

area of Abia State was invaded

and attacked by the herdsmen

and nobody did anything.

People were slaughtered and

property destroyed. A month

later, another community in the

same Abia State, Ndi Okereke

Abam in Arochukwu council,

was equally attacked by the

herdsmen. Nothing was done.

In early hours of April 6, 2019,

the herdsmen attacked farmers’

settlement in Anambra West

council of Anambra State. They

set the farm houses ablaze and

killed the men and raped the

women they captured, yet

nobody came to our rescue.

Can we keep beating about the

bush while our people are being

taken to slaughterhouses day

after day? What about the

dastardly attack on Umuawa-

Ibu community in Okigwe

council area of Imo State. In all

these cases, we cried to high

heavens, petitioned here and

there, and complained

everywhere, yet the authorities

never cared.

“In Enugu, on June 14, 2019,

the same herdsmen attacked a

commercial bus carrying

traders, mainly women

returning from the market along

Agbani-Ugbawka road in

Nkanu East council area and

abducted three young women

after they had robbed the

traders. The internal outcry over

these atrocities has become

deafening. These herdsmen

also butchered a whole family

and a Catholic seminarian on

apostolic work in Nkanu.

“The story is the same Ebonyi

and Imo States. In Imo State,

herdsmen have unleashed terror

in Oguta, Ohaji-Egbema and

Orlu as well as other parts of

Igbo land. And recently, the

killing of Ozoemena Iriaka from

Umuekpu in Agwa community

in the same Oguta council area

was added in the list of

casualties of these murderous

herdsmen. Even the

Despite these

atrocious acts, the

authorities have

looked the other

way, maybe to

create a scenario

that would elicit

retaliation from so

that they would

criminalize and

annihilate us and

exonerate our

predators

•Herdsmen in

peoples farms

international community has

rated these herdsmen as the

fourth deadliest terror group in

the world, yet the Nigerian

authorities have kept mum.

“Despite these atrocious acts,

the authorities have looked the

other way, maybe to create a

scenario that would elicit

retaliation from so that they

would criminalize and

annihilate us and exonerate our

predators. When citizens of

Nigeria are slaughtered in cold

blood and the authorities look

the other way, it is a violation of

those charters of peace.

“For almost a decade, our

people have endured the agony

of murder, rape and molestation

in the hands of killer

herdsmen, a minority group

that appears to be sacred cows

because they control all state

apparatus and hence are

unleashing violence on our

people. Our people at the

grassroots whose livelihoods

depend almost entirely on their

farmlands have had those farms

ravaged by the herdsmen and

their cattle. As I speak to you,

there is hardly a single

herdsman standing trial

anywhere in Nigeria for these

killings and atrocious acts;

hardly can you find one in

detention or even one being

prosecuted. Our people now

feel their lives do not matter

anymore”, Diwe lamented.

Living in fear

Farmers in Ugbene Ajima

community, Uzo-Uwani council

area of Enugu State said they

now live in fear due to incessant

destructive activities of

suspected herders on their

crops as well as threat to their

lives. A farmer from the

community who gave his name

as Edward Ugwu, said he lost

over N500, 000 when herdsmen

harvested his cassava to feed

their cattle.

According to Ugwu, farmers

are afraid to go to their farms in

the community for fear of

herders attack. He said there is

fear of famine in the community

as most farmers have left their

farms for fear of attacks.

Another farmer, Regina Iggah

said she has not recovered from

the shock since she was attacked

in her farm. Iggah said her

crops worth over N800, 000

were destroyed by herdsmen

who allegedly invaded her farm

with their cattle even as she

appealed to the state and local

governments to come to her

rescue.

The traditional ruler of the

community, Igwe Romanus Eze

confirmed that he had been

receiving series of complaints

from farmers over destruction of

their crops by herdsmen. He

said he and the council

chairman, Chukwudi Nnadozie

have been obeying the peace

initiative of the state

government to settle all farmers/

herders issues amicably.

“The herdsmen problem is like

a sucking mosquito on a man’s

scrotum.If you hit it hard, you

will severe the genitals. If you

leave it there, it would suck your

blood and invariably give you

malaria. We have been advised

by the governor to manage them

peacefully. We normally engage

the herdsmen in a peace talk

and where they are culpable; we

mandate them to pay for

damages on people’s farms.

Our forest guards and vigilante

groups have been playing their

roles to curtail these clashes”,

the monarch said.

Strangely, some farmers

equally alleged that certain

persons collect money from the

herders to allow them access

into the community, an action

that emboldens the herdsmen.

lamentations in Anambra

THERE is hardly any

community in Anambra that is

not complaining about the

negative activities of

herdsmen. Although most

Anambra communities were

used to herdsmen who graze

their cows essentially in places

that were not cultivated, the

resurgence of herdsmen began

when the federal government

muted the idea of establishing

Fulani colonies in the heart of

Igbo villages.

Most communities objected to

it because of the peculiar nature

of the Fulani who, they argued,

once they are given a place to

settle, would try to dominate the

area and chase the original

dwellers out. Following the

refusal of most communities to

willingly donate their lands for

the establishment of the Fulani

settlements, the herdsmen

adopted another method, which

was to forcefully enter the farms.

From Ayamelum to Awka

North; from Ogbaru to Ihiala;

from Orumba to Anambra East

and West, the story of Fulani

herdsmen is the same.

Stories abound that apart from

destroying farmlands, the

herdsmen have been accused of

raping women and sometimes

killing their victims. In Anambra

State, for instance, there is no

day that one could not hear of

worrisome activities of Fulani

herdsmen.

Continues on Page 47


•Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika announcing

closure of Enugu Airport rehabilitation due to COVID-19.

By Dennis Agbo

Different renovations and

new constructions are

presently

ongoing

simultaneously at the Akanu

Ibiam International Airport in

Enugu, but there are issues the

Federal Airport Authority of

Nigeria, FAAN, are facing that

are constituting hiccups to their

speedy completions.

Apart from the popular

runway reconstruction, other

constructions that have gone to

advanced stages include

terminal building rehabilitation,

perimeter fencing, drainage

systems, roads construction,

signal equipment installations,

Cargo section construction,

clinics, Pilots lounge,

Emergency center, water

treatment plant, among others.

One of the present issues the

airport authority has is

perimeter fencing of the entire

airport landmass. FAAN

recently wrote to Enugu State

government, stating that

Ukwuorji community, lying

eastwards of the runway

turning pad, has refused to

vacate the area for round-off of

the perimeter fencing.

In a letter to Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi, the Akanu Ibiam

International Airport Manager,

Mrs. Cecilia Oguama stated

that “the contractors in charge

of water treatment plant and the

perimeter fence are facing

obstruction along the Ukwuorji

area by the railway as a result

of some buildings standing

along the pipeline route and the

perimeter fence.”

THE TEAM

SUPERVISING EDITOR:

Chioma Gabriel, Lagos

(08052201257)

EDITOR

Anayo Okoli, Enugu

08034046839

Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri

Peter Okutu, Abakaliki

Chimaobi Nwaiwu,

Nnewi

Nwabueze Okonkwo,

Onitsha

Ugochukwu Alaribe, Aba

Denis Agbo, Enugu

Chinoso Alozie, Owerri

Chinenye Ozor, Nsukka

Eric Ugbor, Aba

Ikechukwu Odu: Nsukka

She requested for the

governor’s intervention to effect

immediate removal of the

obstruction to enable completion

of the works.

SEV learnt that the Enugu

Capital Territory Development

Authority, ECTDA, had in June

last year, before closure of the

airport for renovation, marked

buildings in the Ukwuorji

community for demolition,

returned again in June this year

for another round of markings

but is yet to enforce evacuation

of the residents. Chairman of

the Ukwuorji-Emene Residence

Association, Mr. Bolaji Morufu

however told SEV that the

land does not belong to FAAN

but to the Nigeria Railway

Corporation, NRC, whom they

pay rent to, for temporary

occupation of the land.

Morufu said the community is

in complete obedience to

Enugu State government, but

that the NRC which is their

landlord has not given them

any directive to vacate the

occupied land, adding that the

entire community cannot just be

evacuated without some

•Airport water treatment point

•Ongoing renovation of Enugu

Airport runway.

Why Akanu Ibiam airport's

renovation is being slowed down

Last week,10 communities in

Awka North local government area

of lamented the destruction of their

farmlands by herdsmen, which

they said, had become a daily

occurrence.

Former chairman of Awka North

local government area, Chief

Shedrack Anakwue said the action

of herdsmen’s menace in the area

had led to astronomical rise in the

prices of agricultural produce

which is the main source of income

for his people.

“The herdsmen had left many

families in pitiable situations as

their source of livelihood, which is

their farmlands, had been totally

destroyed. The unfortunate thing

is that the herdsmen alleged that

they reached agreement with their

host communities which allowed

them to operate in any community

as they liked.

“When you confront

theherdsmen, they tell you that

they have settled the leaders of the

settlements.

Chairman of ECTDA, Dr. Josef

Onoh blamed FAAN for being

inconsistent with its exact land

boundaries and failure to

summon stakeholders and

security meeting to arrive at

resolution of the impasse.

SEV investigation at the

Eastern District headquarters of

Nigeria Railway Corporation in

Enugu, indicated that the

disputed portion of land is a

reserve for future development

of the railway that would serve

the airport and the railway

terminus in same manner as the

Nnamndi Azikwe International

Airport in Abuja where

passengers board trains to and

fro the airport from the capital

city.

“We have our boundary

gazetted and nobody, either the

government or FAAN, has

approached us over the land.

We have already written to the

Aviation ministry, FAAN and

Enugu State government not to

touch our land and that’s why

they invited us to a meeting.

The agreement was that a

committee would be set up to

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 47

resolve the issue but the

committee is yet to be set up,” a

competent source in railway

told SEV.

Checks indicated an earlier

perimeter fencing of the airport

that went behind the Ukwuorji

community and made straight

to Gabon, another squatter

community owned by the

Nigeria Airforce authority. The

surveillance indicated that the

intake source for the airport

water treatment plant is not

under any threat of occupation

at the Ekulu River where it is

located.

In a similar development, the

Umuenwene Iji-Nike

community wrote the airport

authority demanding N3.5 million

as traditional rites, development

levy, elders entitlements and

youths empowerment, being

money for the community’s

ancestral inheritance.

The youth chairman, Mr.

Emeka Ugwu told SEV that the

money is for youth

empowerment, adding that the

state government has however

waded into the matter.

Other uncertainties inhibiting

the faster completion for

reopening of the airport closed

in August 2019 include the slow

work pace by the contractor

handling reconstruction of the

three kilometers runway.

SEV findings from Mr.

Mahbub Khan, the Project

Manager of PW Nigeria

Limited, handling construction

of the runway, indicated many

obstacles inhibiting faster

reconstruction of the runway.

Khan outlined insufficient

asphalt plants, rainy season as

well as some other technical

issues as part of encumbrances

towards earlier completion of

the runway. He however said

that about 75 percent of the work

has been done, adding that it

will take up to September,

barring disruption of rains,

before the runway

reconstruction will be

completed.

But the FAAN official

supervising the runway job said

that the level of work done was

not more than 65 percent,

pointing at the contractor as

being responsible for the delay

in speed of the job.

The turning pads that have

been completed were pointed

out to have some measurement

deficiency but the contractor

insisted that all he did were a

diligent guide of the design

given to him by the ministry of

aviation.

Chairman, House of

Representatives Committee on

Aviation, Rep. Nnoli Nnaji said

that based on what was on the

ground; no one can give definite

completion time, noting

however that what is important

is that the contractors are

working while the national

assembly is doing its own

oversight function.

“What is important is a good

job first, completion second. The

contractor is not complaining

and the client is not

complaining. We appreciate Mr.

President who released the

fund, the ministry for ensuring

that the work is being done and

the South East Governors for

their interest and supervision of

the job. “We believe that this

airport is very critical to the

people of the south east and

everybody is looking forward to

the reopening of Akanu Ibiam

International Airport and that of

the cargo section, the terminal

buildings. Well, with availability

of funds, we will laugh last

because this airport will come

out properly,” Nnaji said.

Work for fixing of the airfield

lighting is yet to commence

at the airport.

Communities in S-East groan as herdsmen take over farmlands

Continued from Page 46

community. Our elders are not

happy about the situation but the

leadership of the community

appears to have been settled by

the herdsmen.”

President General of Ebenebe

in Awka North, Mr. Paul

Nnatuanya, lamented that the

inordinate activities of Fulani

herdsmen had become very

worrisome, claiming that between

September last year and now,

farmers in the community had lost

over N100 million to herdsmen.

“Herdsmen are destroying our

farmlands with reckless abandon.

All the towns in Awka North are

not spared from their dastardly

act. They even come to graze their

cattle in people’s houses and

when you tell them to move, they

will be looking at you as if you

are talking to the cows”, he said.

In the words of the Catholic

Bishop of Awka Diocese in

Anambra State, Most Rev

Paulinus Ezeokafor, the activities

of herdsmen whose cattle destroy

farmlands were undermining

food production in the country,

describing the killer herders as a

big threat capable of increasing

hunger in the country.

“We condemn the killing and

harassment of innocent citizens in

their farms in some agro

communities across the country.

Some of them are now scared of

going to their farms to avoid being

murdered by killer herders.

“We all know the economic

implication of not having farm

produce, which is that the prices

of food items will increase and

hunger will become the order of

the day. I call on the Federal

Government to rise to the occasion

and put a stop to all forms of

killing of innocent citizens in the

country, including those who go

to farms to produce food for our

people,” he said.

Igbo in Diaspora are also

worried about the activities of

herdsmen. The union said the

killings of Igbo citizens by

herdsmen had become routine

and urged the governors of South

East to do something to end the

ugly incidents.


48,— Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Nnamani, Bello to reconcile

warring groups in Edo, Ondo APC

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA— AS part of efforts to ensure

electoral success in the governorship

elections in Edo and Ondo states, the

Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National

Convention Planning Committee of the

All Progressives Congress, APC, has

named former Senate President, Ken

Nnamani and the Governor of Niger State,

Abubakar Sani Bello to spearhead the

party’s reconciliation efforts in both states.

While the governorship election in Edo

is slated for September 19, that of Ondo

has been scheduled to hold on October

10.

Spokesman of the party, Mr Yekini

Nabena in a statement said the action “is

in line with the process of true

reconciliation among leaders and

members of the party at all levels,

announced by the National Chairman of

the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National

Convention Planning Committee,

Governor Mai Mala Buni.”

Those who will join Senator Nnamani

in the reconciliation efforts in Edo are

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Festus

Keyamo, SAN, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Mrs.

Margaret Okadigbo, Mr. Sanusi Musa

and Hon. Abdul-Rahman Kawu Sumaila

who would serve as Secretary.

Bello would be joined in Ondo by Sen.

Adamu Aliero, Sen. Bamidele Opeyemi,

Gambo Magaji, Mr. Jasper Azuatalam,

Hajiya Binta Muazu, Hon. Iquo Inyang

and Mr. Shina Pellar who would also serve

*Governor Buni of Yobe State: APC

Caretaker chairman

as Secretary.

The party had been greatly factionalized

in both states ahead of the elections. In

Edo, while the state governor, Godwin

Obaseki had since left the APC for the

opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP,

most of his lieutenants are still in the APC.

In Ondo, the deputy governor, Agboola

Ajayi had since defected to the PDP as a

result of issues with Gov. Rotimi

Akeredolu.

Many stakeholders in the party are also

at loggerheads while there have been

reports of party men attacking one another

on behalf of their principals.

Legislative arm suspends 3 over 'illegal' sitting

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY —THE legislative arm

of Ovia South West Local

Government Area of Edo, have

suspended three of its councillors

indefinitely over alleged illegal sitting

where they purportedly carried out the

suspension of the leader and the Chief

Whip of the House.

Apparently reacting to their

purported meeting which was said to

have been held in the private

residence of a chieftain of the All

Progressives Congress, APC, where

the purported suspensions were made,

the six lawmakers met at the chambers

of the legislative arm presided over

by the leader, Hon Robert Fiyes where

they also lifted the suspension of the

council’s Vice Chairman, Mr Fred

Aimienwanwu who was also

purportedly suspended by the three

councillors.

In its resolutions yesterday, the

legislators, also summoned the

Council Chairman, Mr Destiny

Enabulele, to render the income and

expenditure of the council to the

House.

It would be recalled that Fiyes while

briefing newsmen after their purported

suspension said they were suspended

because of their refusal to defect from

the APC to the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, with the council chairman.

Fiyes alleged that the signatures of

the seven councillors who did not

partake in the alleged removal were

forged.

“We are not aware of any

impeachment; our signatures were

forged into a document and three of

our members went to the house of a

leader of APC who is not even from

our local government but in

government and purportedly removed

the leader and suspended a councillor.

“The allegation is that we are not

loyal to the chairman who is

supporting Governor Obaseki,” he

said.

But when contacted, the chairman

of the council, Enaulele, denied

allegation of such development,

saying: “I am not aware of such, we

operate independent arms of

government but I have been informed

that I have a letter from the legislative

arm which I have not even seen.”

Why I'll work against

Obaseki —Afegbua

By Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA—A chieftain of the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, and former

Commissioner of Information in Edo State,

Prince Kassim Afegbua has vowed to join

forces with the All Progressives Congress,

APC, to ensure the defeat of Governor

Godwin Obaseki in the September 19

governorship election.

Afegbua who stated this in an exclusive

chat with Vanguard carpeted the party for

offering its ticket to Obaseki who

decamped to the PDP barely a week ago.

Condemning what he called the

governor’s desperation to run for a second

term at all cost, the former commissioner

came hard against his own party,

wondering how Obaseki it once branded

a failure, suddenly merited the ticket so

much that all three aspirants stepped

down for him.

“We will join hands collectively with the

APC candidate to ensure that Godwin

Obaseki does not return. I am a PDP

member, but I will vote APC. A man with

the humility of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

is better than a governor who fights

everyone who disagrees with him.

“Edo has become too polarised over

avoidable and needless battles. Let us have

a new leadership that will usher in quiet

and peace to everyone. The noises from

the Obaseki aspiration have become too

polluted and cannot be in the best interest

of anyone,” he said.

Resign from office, S’West

PDP tells Ondo dep gov

•Why he won't resign — Ondo PDP

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—THE Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, South-West zone,

yesterday, asked the embattled Ondo

State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola

Ajayi, to toe the path of honour and

resign from office.

The party’s Zonal Publicity Secretary,

Mr. Ayo Fadaka, who spoke on

a Channels TV Sunrise Daily, said

Agboola should resign from office since

he can no longer cooperate with the

Governor.

Ajayi, who defected to the PDP, vowed

not to quit office.

But the party in Ondo State dissociated

itself from the call on Ajayi to resign

saying that he is not under any

compulsion to resign his position.

However, Fadaka noted that the

manner some politicians play politics

“suggests to the world that politicians

in the country do not have a

conscience,” adding that there are still

politicians with a conscience around.

The PDP spokesperson said it was up

to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the

All Progressives Congress, APC, to do

an appraisal on whether they still have

a running mate in Agboola Ajayi as the

deputy governor now in the PDP.

He said: “Impeachment is expected to

be initiated if it is considered that the

person to be impeached has committed

high crimes against the system. But

again, with the decamping of Agboola

can it be construed to be a high crime

against the state?

“The constitution says that for every

Governor that will contest, he should

have a running mate and that’s why

there is always a deputy governor to

assist the Governor. The Governor

picked Agboola Ajayi, the PDP was not

part of whatever they were doing when

they decided to run with each other

FORMER former National Vice

Chairman of PDP (South West) and a

governorship aspirant of the party in the

state, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, said that nobody

is a threat to him in the coming party

primary.

Olafeso spoke while inaugurating his

pre-primary campaign committee which

includes the first female speaker in the

state House of Assembly, Jumoke

Akindele; Messrs Ifedayo Akinsoyinu and

Ayo Fadaka among others.

Akindele is to deputise Akinsoyinu as

the Director-General of the campaign

committee, while Fadaka is the chairman

*Ajayi: Embtattled Deputy Governor

of Ondo State

“If they still feel comfortable running

with each other, we do not want to have

an input into it. Ordinary, it is up to

Agboola Ajayi to do what I think is

honorable by resigning himself if he

feels he could no longer cooperate with

the man who placed a level of trust in

him to assist him in doing his job.”

Why Ajayi won’t resign, by Ondo PDP

But the PDP in Ondo State dissociated

itself from its zonal spokesperson, who

called for Ajayi’s resignation.

In a statement by its Director of Media

and Publicity, Mr. Zadok Akintoye said:

“The Ondo State PDP wishes to

dissociate itself from this statement and

inform the general public that the

position expressed by Mr. Ayo Fadaka

does not represent the opinion of the

PDP in Ondo state.

“Mr. Agboola Ajayi remains the

Deputy Governor of the state and is not

under any compulsion (either moral or

legal) to resign his position.”

No aspirant is a threat to me —Olafeso

*Olafeso: PDP aspirant

Media.

Olafeso said: “In this race, I am a threat

to myself if I leave what I should do or fail

to carry my team along or cannot convince

ordinary man on the street.

“As I said before if those organising our

party primary have done their bits, then,

we are sure of winning because we

understand the terrain enough, we

understand the politics of the state and

have the experience to win.

“My desire and humility to serve the

people are far above those I am competing

with.

“We are committed and we have the

resources to continue to fight this battle

on behalf of our people. I came from a

poor background, I understand their

desires, I understand their needs and we

are going to work towards this.”

Speaking on the plans by some aspirants

to step down, Olafeso said: “I think it’s

too late for now. In an Olympic, over 200

countries usually participate and you

come with your capacity, your experience,

knowledge, state of preparedness into the

competition.

“I fear it might not be possible at this

moment to placate any of the aspirants to

withdraw from the race that they have

spent several millions of Naira.

“It should be a challenge to our people

that if they truly want a leader committed

to the welfare of the people, who have

integrity, honour, character and strength,

we must begin to minimise the influence

of money politics.”


VANGUARD, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 —49

vicahiyoung@yahoo.com

Pensioners decry neglect by FG

•As NUP gives palliatives, PPE to members

Stories by Victor

Ahiuma-Young

HUNDREDS

of

pensioners, not ago

gathered at the

headquarters of Nigeria

Union of Pensioners, NUP,

in Abuja and alleged

abandonment and neglect

by the Federal

Government and the

Presidential Task Force,

PTF, on COVID-19, as

Nigeria struggles to

contain the rampaging

pandemic.

They gathered to benefit

from the meagre

palliatives the national

leadership of NUP,

provided for them.

According to the

pensioners, they had

been neglected by the

government and the PTF

despite being the most

vulnerable in the society.

General Secretary of

NUP Elder Actor Zal

lamented that its members

across the country have

been neglected by the

Federal Government and

A cross section of pensioners protesting non-payment of their pensions and other benefits.

the PTF in the distribution

of palliatives and other

relief materials to the

vulnerable citizens to

cushion the effect of the

pandemic.

According to him, This

neglect is despite the fact

that the union has written

to the PTF on the need to

take special care of the

pensioners at this critical

time and make use of the

NUP national

headquarter as the

channel of distribution to

get to their members and

the real elderly people.

Elder Zal, explained

that in NUP effort to

provide succour to the

helpless vulnerable

pensioners, the NUP

under the leadership of

Dr. Abel Afolayan came

up with the palliatives,

informing that the

palliatives which include

food items, money and

Personal Protective

Equipment, PPE, were

distributed to the

vulnerable members to

cushion the effect of the

COVID-19 lock down in

the country.

"With this token, we

believe that the Union

has been able to reach out

to its members in this

critical time in the history

of our nation," he said

One of the sectoral

leaders of the pensioners,

who spoke on the gesture

of the Union, under the

leadership of its National

President, Dr. Abel

Afolayan, lamented their

pathetic condition and

called on the government

to pay their pensions

promptly. They also called

on the PTF to consider

them in the palliatives

being distributed to the

vulnerable citizens.

The National

Chairman, Federal Civil

Service Pensioners,

Omezi Sunday, who

spoke on their plights

said: "We commend the

National leadership of

NUP for this kind

gesture. We are appealing

to the PTF that they

should assist the National

Union of Pensioners

because we are

vulnerable so that

pensioners all over the

country can get this

palliative."

....As ULC urges FG, states to pay senior citizens their entitlements

UNITED

Labour

Congress of Nigeria,

ULC, has called on the

federal and state

governments to

immediately pay the

nation's senior citizens all

arrears of pensions and

other benefits.

The body insists that the

welfare of the pensioners

at the trying period is very

critical, saying "It is

important that we address

the issue of our Pensioners

who are retired workers

both in the Public and

Private sectors of the

nation's economy COVID-

19 pandemic.

President of ULC, Joe

Ajaero, in a statement,

said "We believe that

within our context,

pensioners are one of the

most vulnerable group in

our nation as they are of

course peopled with old

men and women most of

who have become infirm as

a result of age and therefore

can no longer fend for

themselves and their loved

ones.

''We strongly suggest that

the palliative regime be

extended to them

without bias. Every

pensioner ought to have

unfettered access to the

palliatives. Cash

Transfers should be

extended to them as they

need it more than any

other segment of the nation.

"Every arrears of

payment to them must be

fully paid immediately.

We therefore urge the

federal government to

mandate the state

governments who are

heavily indebted to

pensioners to pay up

immediately in the spirit

of our collective effort to

defeat the pandemic

with fewer casualties.

The Contributory

Pensions Union and the

Federal Pensions Union

that are the affiliates of

the ULC have

complained variously

about this apparent

oversight and neglect of

the welfare of their

members by the various

governments.

"We propose that steps

be taken immediately as

the report we are getting

is worrying and the need

for mitigating actions has

become imperative to

avoid deaths within their

ranks. Such actions

should be coupled with

a dialogue between

governments at all levels

with the unions in the

sector to create roadmap for

continuous successful

engagements.

"Once again, we reiterate

that the idea behind the

Pension scheme is to

protect the Pensioners

in a situation like this.

It is therefore our duty

to protect the Pensioners

to give meaning to the

Pension Act. Government

must demonstrate urgency

unless it is not serious

about successfully

combating COVID-19

outbreak.

ULC boss, Joe Ajaero.

Centre for Labour Studies decries backlog of unpaid pensions to Imo pensioners

THE Centre for

Labour Studies, CLS,

has called on the Imo State

Government to pay the

backlog of unpaid pensions

since February 2020.

A statement by Femi

Aborisade, a lawyer, on

behalf of CLS, lamented

that the non-payment of

pensions in the state had

compelled pensioners to

embark on a completely

novel mode of mass protest

termed “alms-begging

protest” for material

survival and to draw public

attention to their plight.

According to the

statement,”Other

categories of workers in the

State are also being owed

several months of unpaid

salaries. According to

ordinary workers in the

state, when wages are paid

occasionally, they are paid

haphazardly in ridiculous

percentages.

“Non-payment of wages,

as and when due, is not

only unlawful, it is also

unconstitutional. It

contravenes the

Protection of Wages

Convention No. 95 of the

International Labour

Organisation, ILO, which, in

Article 12(1), makes it

mandatory and obligatory,

that “wages shall be paid

regularly.”

“Nigeria ratified ILO

Convention No. 95 on the

17th day of October 1960. By

the authority of Section

254C(2) of the Constitution

of the Federal Republic of

Nigeria, 1999, as amended,

the provisions of ILO

Convention No. 95 have

become constitutional

provisions. By the authority

of the NICN in Aero

Contractors Co. of Nigeria

Limited v. National

Association of Aircrafts

Pilots and Engineers,

NAAPE,) & ors [2014] 42

NLLR (Pt. 133) 664 NIC

delivered by His Lordship

Hon. Justice B. B. Kanyip,

PhD (as he then was, but

now the President of the

NICN), ILO Conventions

that have been ratified

prevail over any other

domestic legislation by

virtue of their

Constitutional status.

“The Centre for Labour

Studies, CLS, calls on the

entire organized labour to take

practical action and support

the pensioners in Imo State,

to ensure payment of wages,

which include pensions, in all

the states of the Federation.

“It is the height of

inexplicable callousness for

governments to impose

lockdown on account of

COVID-19 and still fail to pay

wages to ensure workers and

their families are able to

purchase food for necessary

nutrition to be able to resist

COVID-19.”

Imo abolishes pensions

to ex-govs, speakers

Recall that in May,

Governor Hope Uzodinma

of Imo State assented to a

bill repealing the law that

created pension

allowances and gratuities

for former governors,

deputy governors,

assembly speakers and

deputy speakers.

This development was

hailed by stakeholders in

the state and other

commentators including

civil

society

organizations, CSOs as it

would help the

government to save

needed funds to address

critical areas including

payment of backlog of

pensions for retirees of

the state.

Signing the bill into law

in Owerri, the governor

noted that the erstwhile

law runs contrary to the

1999 constitution as

amended, which

stipulates that a

pensioner must have

worked for at least 10 years

and must be up to 45 years

of age.

He decried a situation

where some of the

beneficiaries of such

payments also get huge

amount of money as

salaries and allowances in

other positions they

occupied such as serving

as senators or members of

the House of

Representatives.

“Apart from the

inconsistency of such a law

to the provisions of the

ground norm, which is the

Constitution of 1999 (as

amended), this has led for

a very long time a

precedence that does not

encourage diligence and

prudence in service

delivery,” the governor

said.

Governor Uzodinma

however thanked the State

House of Assembly for

rising to the occasion and

embracing totally the

desire of government to

strengthen the Internally

Generated Revenue (IGR)

base of the state.


50 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

:Vanguard

News

Why Police can’t prosecute

rape offenders —Oyo CP

By Adeola Badru

I BADAN—THE

Commissioner of

Police, Oyo Command,

Mr. Chucks Enwonwu,

yesterday, disclosed that

the delay in the

prosecution of rape

offenses was occasioned

by failure of government

agencies saddled with

the forensic examination

to speed up the exercise.

He said this while

receiving the

Commissioner for

Women Affairs and

Social Inclusion, Alhaja

Faosat Sanni, who led

the state Rapid Response

Rescue Team on Sexual,

Gender-Based Violence

and Child Abuse on a

courtesy visit to him.

Enwonwu stated that

Police officers, under his

Command, were doing

their best to fight

undesirable elements in

the society who were

fond of acts of violence

to the weaker sex.

He said: “Our officers

are doing their best to

Access Bank launches

self-service to curb fraud

IN furtherance of its

commitment to

safeguard the

investments and

savings of customers,

Access Bank Plc. has

introduced *901*911#.

The code allows

customers to deactivate

their USSD profile once

their mobile devices get

lost or stolen.

This self-service

enables users to

deactivate their

accounts, using any

alternative phone

number, giving account

holders full autonomy

to safeguard their funds

before official reports

are directed to the bank.

Speaking about the

COVID-19: 150m Nigerians at risk of

non-communicable diseases —Report

By Chioma Obinna

LAGOS—A new study

has shown that 150

million Nigerians are at

risk of Non-Communicable

Diseases, NCDs, amidst

coronavirus pandemic.

The study also stated that

men are more at risk than

women.

The year-long study,

which commenced in 2019,

by WellNewMe in

collaboration with Novartis,

was aimed at determining

Nigerians’ risks for

developing chronic

diseases as part of the

disease activities for World

Hypertension Day.

fight undesirable

elements in the society

who violate the weaker

sex, women, battering,

defiling the underage,

raping women and

adding murder to it.

“Each place I visited,

we keep advocating for

partnership especially in

giving the Police

intelligence to help us

fight the crime generally,

also ignorance in the

rural areas is rife to the

extent that when sexual

offences happens, they

try to conceal and settle

the matter because of

social stigmatisation,

they should rather go to

court and not succumb to

family pressure for a

settlement.”

In her remarks, the

Women Affairs

Commissioner, Alhaja

Sanni, solicited more

support, mutual

relationship and

cooperation of the

security agencies as an

upscale measure against

rape cases and killing.

development, the

Executive Director,

Retail Banking, Access

Bank Plc., Victor

Etuokwu, said: “Access

Bank is always seeking

innovative ways to

safeguard the resources

of our customers.

"We have listened to

customer complaints

and have now

introduced the

*901*911# USSD code.

Simply dial *901*911#

from any phone, input

the registered phone

number for the account

you want to blacklist

and your USSD profile

will be deactivated and

b l a c k l i s t e d

automatically.”

According to the World

Health Organisation,

WHO, people with Non-

Communicable Diseases,

NCDs, such as

hypertension,

cardiovascular diseases,

diabetes, or cancer are at

higher risk of complications

of COVID-19.

The result of the study

released, weekend,

disclosed that a total of

1,900 people were enrolled

for the pilot, and 1,269 of

them completed the

assessment as part of the

pilot programme.

The participants were

drawn from different parts

of Nigeria including the

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

LAUNCHING: Form left—Assistant Director, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, Mrs.

Joy Okuna; Deputy Director, NLRC, Lagos, Mrs. Priscilla Onuzulu; Afrohip hop artiste and Lotto9ja's

Brand Ambassador, Omoniyi Temidayo Zlatan, and General Manager, Lotto9ja Limited, Mitchel

Okorie, during the official launch of Lotto9ja, in Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday.

Fear grips commissioners, others, as

Akeredolu tests positive for COVID-19

By Dayo Johnson

A

K U R E —

GOVERNOR

Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo

State, yesterday, tested

positive for the coronavirus.

The governor’s COVID-

19 status, however, sent

fears down the spines of

commissioners, lawmakers

and traditional rulers, who

had contacts with the

governor in the last one

week.

Akeredolu, however,

assured that he will

continue to perform his

official duties from his selfisolation.

The governor, who broke

the news on his twitter

handle, said: “Earlier today

(yesterday), I got

confirmation of a positive

result for COVID-19.”

His words: “I am

asymptomatic and not

displaying any symptoms.

I am currently selfisolating,

and supervised

home management will be

administered by the

Federal Capital Territory,

Abuja, which majority of

them coming from Lagos

30 percent, Oyo 8 percent,

Abuja FCT 8 percent,

Ogun 7 percent and Rivers

5 percent.

Three-quarters of those

who completed the

assessment were found to

have an increased risk of

developing a chronic

disease.

Commenting on the

study, co-founder of

WellNewMe and author of

the pilot report, Dr. Obi

Igbokwe, said: “The report

of the pilot, while not

extensive, does lend

importance to

•Work goes on —Ondo Govt

wonderful team at our

Infectious Disease Hospital,

IDH. I ask that we all stay

safe and be well.”

Later in a state broadcast,

Akeredolu said: “My good

people of Ondo State, it

gives me great pleasure to

address you at this

moment.

“I had malaria a few days

ago and was treated and

did get over it and as at the

time we had our party NEC

and my colleagues called

on me, I spoke with one of

them who said malaria

should not be treated lightly

but I should go ahead and

have a test for COVID-19.

The result came out

yesterday, 30th of June,

2020 and I tested positive

but I am very

asymptomatic.

I’m asymptomatic

“I do not feel sick neither

am I feeling hot in any way,

but my doctors have

decided that I should take

considerations by the

Nigerian health authorities

when designing the

country’s response to the

COVID-19 pandemic, that

they need factor in NCDs

as well.

“As patients with chronic

diseases are at greater risk

of the coronavirus that in

itself presents an extra

burden on our already

struggling health services

across the country. It is also

of great importance, that

even when the pandemic

has passed, we will still

have to deal with the

burden of tackling these

chronic diseases which by all

accounts are here to stay.”

the normal treatment and

self-isolate.

“I believe that supervised

home management will be

ideal for me for now, so from

now I will be isolated and

go on with the supervised

home management.

“Let me assure our

people that as you can see

me there are many of us

like this that don’t have the

symptoms but it is there and

you cannot see it and in few

days time, we will conduct

another test and we will

know the result.

“Let me assure our

people that the work is

going on here at home I will

be attending to files which

are the normal thing I do

and there is nothing that

will stop work from going

on.

“I want to plead with my

political associates that they

should continue with the

project we are sure to win.

“As you know, I am gifted

to get through to my

destination, knowing that I

am a man with special gifts,

and my trust in God to get

through this is unshaken.”

Fear grips

commissioners,

lawmakers,

monarchs, others

Vanguard, however,

gathered that

commissioners, lawmakers

and traditional rulers, who

had contacts with the

governor in the last week,

expressed fear of being

infected with the virus.

Members of the Ondo

State House of Assembly,

led by the speaker, Mr.

Bamidele Oloyelogun, led

the members to obtain and

submit the governorship

nomination form in Abuja

and, on arrival, visited him

at the Government House.

Also, the chairman of the

state council of Obaship the

Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba

Frederick Akinruntan led

other traditional rulers to

endorse the governor for a

second term in office last

week.

A reliable source told

Vanguard that the

governor had sent words to

all the commissioners and

others, who had contact

with him in the last one

week to submit themselves

for tests so as to know their

health status.

No component of

govt will suffer

—Ojogo

Reacting, the Information

and Orientation

Commissioner, Mr. Donald

Ojogo, in a statement, said:

“the governor has resolved

to self-isolate, in line with

accepted global standards

in respect of COVID-19

protocols. This becomes

necessary to ensure a

proper determination and

direction of focus.”

The statement reads: “Mr.

Governor trusts in God that

all will be well even as he

seeks the prayers of all and

sundry during this period.

It must be noted, however, that

the decision by the governor to

go into self-isolation is voluntary

and clearly depicts the need for

transparency as we confront the

COVID-19 pandemic.

“Accordingly, there is nothing

to fear; and no component of

government business will be

adversely affected within the

period of the Governor’s selfisolation.

“In this regard, Mr. Governor

calls on all to be steadfast and

remain committed to his or her

assigned official responsibilities.

“Specifically, Mr. Governor calls

on his Campaign Team to

continue with all planned events

and itineraries as regards the rerun

project. We shall win and win

big, he assures.”


vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 —51

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING —From left: Minister of Labour and Empl;oyment, Sen

Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clement Agba and Senior Special

Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, during President Muhammadu

Buhari’s virtual meeting with members of Economic Advisory Council at the Presidential Villa in Abuja,

yesterday. Photo: NAN.

APC: Tinubu, Amaechi, el-Rufai dig in for 2023

Continues from Page 5

Godwin Obaseki of Edo

State to the PDP.

According the source,

the South-West will not

accept the chairmanship

slot because its leaders

are interested in the

presidency. In like

manner, the source said

the North does not seem

ready to relinquish power

to the South in 2023 and

may not accept the

position.

Tinubu returns

to drawing board

R e g a r d i n g

permutations for 2023, a

top Tinubu supporter told

Vanguard yesterday that

"the dissolution calls for

retrospection, going back

to the drawing board and

re-strategising for 2023.

Our leader is an

experienced politician.

He knows the game. He

also knows his onions. He

was elected to the Senate

in 1993 with over one

million votes, the first

person to be elected to the

Senate with over one

million votes.

"We still have more than

two years to 2023. He

cannot be seen to be

fighting the Commanderin-Chief,

though he

would have loved

Oshiomhole to serve out

his tenure as APC

chairman."

Fayemi, el-Rufai

move to

strengthen party

On the same count, the

camps of Fayemi and el-

Rufai have started

reaching out to

stakeholders on the way

forward. A close aide of

Governor Fayemi said the

dissolution of the NWC

was done in the interest

of the party and "it is a

welcome development”

adding that the governor

is now joining forces to

make the APC strong and

virile because "it is when

the party is strong that

you can realise your

aspiration."

Why

stakeholders

moved against

NWC – Amaechi

loyalist

Also, a source loyal to

the Amaechi tendencies

in APC said: "At the

Naira depreciates to

N386.50/$ in I&E window

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

THE Naira, yesterday, depreciated to N386.50

per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E)

window.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative

exchange rate for the window rose to N386.50 per

dollar yesterday from N386 per dollar on Monday,

translating to 50 kobo depreciation of the naira.

However, the volume of dollars (turnover) traded

in the window dropped by 88 percent to $14.37

million from $122.89 million on Monday.

Meanwhile, the naira yesterday was stable at N458

per dollar in the parallel market.

inception of the APC, the

agreement was that the

CPC will control power,

ACN will control the party,

and n-PDP will control the

legislature but now the

CPC and ACN want to

control all. This cannot be

allowed to continue as we

approach 2023."

Amaechi is one of

biggest pillars of the APC

in the South-South, given

the fate of Oshiomhole.

Others include Chief

Timipre Sylva, Mr. Festus

Keyamo, SAN, and

Senator Godswill Akpabio

but Amaechi is said to be

closest to President

Buhari among the lot.

El-Rufai had no

hand in

Oshiomhole’s

ouster — Abba

Governor el-Rufai is

considered as one of those

who played crucial roles

in the sack of the NWC

and is now backing efforts

to reposition the APC

ahead of the 2023 polls,

where he is expected to

go for the vice presidency

or presidency, though he

recently made case for

power-shift to the South

in 2023.

However, Alhaji

Abdullahi Gambo Abba, a

chieftain of the APC in

Kaduna State, said since

Governor el-Rufai of

Kaduna had not publicly

disclosed his intention or

plans for 2023, it would

not be credible for anyone

to speak on that.

On the dissolution of the

APC NWC, Abba, who

had aspired for the

Kaduna State House of

Assembly to represent

Kawo constituency in

2019, said there were

many insinuations that

some governors allegedly

worked against

Oshiomhole.

“Till date, I’ve not heard

any governor or group of

governors claim they had

a hand in Oshiomhole’s

removal. It was just a

party affair and calling

names, including that of

El-Rufai to have played

any role, would be unfair,”

he said.

All eyes on

Buni’s

committee

As it is, all eyes are on

the caretaker committee

over how it will navigate

the sore spots in the party.

This is one of the reasons,

all eyes are on the Buniled

committee. Already,

some members are laying

land mines for the

committee, saying Buni’s

appointment and

swearing-in violated the

APC constitution.

Make-up of

caretaker

committee

Essentially, the geopolitical

composition of

the committee, to a large

extent, reflects the legacy

parties that fused to form

the APC in 2013.

In February 2013, four

legacy parties – Action

Congress of Nigeria,

ACN, All Nigeria Peoples

Party, ANPP, All

Progressive Grand

Alliance, APGA, and

Congress for Progressive

Change, CPC, merged to

form APC. They were

joined in November 2023

by the n-PDP, a gathering

of five Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP

governors, leaders and

other stalwarts.

In November 2013, the

APC announced a merger

with the Abubakar Barajeled

faction of the PDP. Of

the seven governors (G7)

in the breakaway faction,

five including Rotimi

Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu

Musa Kwankwaso

(Kano), Murtala Nyako

(Adamawa), Abdufatah

Ahmed (Kwara) and

Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto)

joined the APC.

Others bigwigs who left

the PDP for APC were

former minister of the

Federal Capital Territory,

FCT, Nasir el Rufai,

Speaker of the House of

Representatives, Aminu

Masari; former PDP vicechairman,

Sam Jaja;

Timipre Sylva, former

House of Representatives

speaker, Aminu Tambuwal

and former Kwara

governor, Bukola Saraki.

The APC, with Buhari as

presidential candidate,

went on to win the 2015

election and defeated

incumbent President

Goodluck Jonathan of the

PDP. It was the first time

an incumbent president

would lose a re-election

in Nigeria.

However, midway into

its first term, most of the

n-PDP members alleged

marginalization and

returned to the PDP. In this

crowd are Atiku Abubakar,

Saraki, Tambuwal, and

Dino Melaye among

others,

Currently, most of the

legacy parties are no

longer in reckoning in

the affairs of the APC.

The faction of APGA led

by Chief Rochas

Okorocha appears

annihilated in the APC.

The ANPP team led by

George Moghalu seems

to be on the fringes of

activities. The n-PDP

also appears decimated

with Amaechi, and Sylva

among others remaining

as survivals. Thus, the

ACN and CPC wing are

the strongest arms

remaining. While the n-

PDP provided a sizeable

chunk of the financial

war-chest for the 2015

election, the CPC

contributed voting

strength and what has

been described as

"integrity." The ACN

anchored by Tinubu also

contributed men and

material to the electoral

onslaught. Before the

NWC dissolution, the

CPC and ACN wings

were alleged to have

cornered most of the

juicy slots and sidelined

the others, which

necessitated the fightback

from the other

camps.

13-man

caretaker

committee

make-up

The make up of the 13-

man caretaker committee

shows a mix of persons

from the legacy parties.

The chairman, Governor

Mai Mala Buni of Yobe

came from the ANPP

camp. He served as Yobe

State chairman of the

ANPP before the APC

merger.

The secretary, Senator

Akpanudoedehe came

from the ACN camp. He

was ACN governorship

candidate in Akwa Ibom

in 2011.

Governor Isiaka

Oyetola is from ACN,

Senator Ken Nnamani

came from the PDP, which

he left on February 6,

2016 and went into

political sabbatical. He

joined APC in January

2017 and is considered a

loyalist of President

Buhari

Chief David Lyon, the

APC 2019 governorship

candidate in Bayelsa

came from the PDP. He

defected to the APC in

2015.

Hon. Ismail Ahmed,

APC Youth Reps, was a

member of the CPC.

Other members of the

caretaker committee are

Mrs Stella Okorete,

Governor Sani Bello of

Niger, Dr James Lalu,

Hon. Akinyemi Olajide,

Abba Ari, Professor Tahir

Mamman and Senator

Abubakar Yusuf.

Although a chunk of the

appointees are seen as

loyalists of Tinubu and

President Buhari, no

fewer than five of them

are said to be favourably

disposed to Governors

El-Rufai (Kaduna) and

Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).

Buni’s

appointment

violates APC

constitution

Meanwhile, as a fallback

position, some

leaders of the party, who

have decided to sheathe

their litigation swords,

are laying land-mines for

the Buni committee on

the grounds that his

appointment violates the

APC constitution which

forbids officers of the

party from holding any

executive position in

government.

Section four, article 17

of the APC constitution

reads: “No officer in any

organ of the Party shall

hold executive position

office in government

concurrently.”

Again, they contend that

Buni should have been

sworn-in by an officer of

the APC and not the

Attorney General of the

Federation and Minister

of Justice, Abubakar

Malami as provided by

Article 29 of the party’s

constitution

The section reads:

“Every officer elected or

appointed as an officer of

the Party shall subscribe

to the Oath of Office as

provided in Schedule II to

this Constitution before

an appropriate Principal

Officer of the Party as may

be approved by the

National Working

Committee.”

Responding to the

legality of his swearingin

of Buni, the Justice

Minister reportedly said

he could swear-in people

at government and party

levels.


52 — VANGUARD, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

Mv husband’s friend is hot!

Dear Bunmi,

I’ve been with my

husband for over 10 years

and we have three lovely

children and a good house

of our own. We both have

good jobs and life is good.

Although I love my

husband to bits, I’ve

fancied his very good

friend for years. He’s been

quite helpful and friendly

to me and I even get

jealous if he speaks of other

women.

If he hits on me, it’s

The reality is, if you knew

your partner’s best friend, as

well as you know your

husband, you’d feel the same

about him...you’d be

affectionate but restless. So,

instead of trying to hurriedly

have a bite of the forbidden

fruit, hoping not to get

caught, put your energy back

into loving your husband.

Talk yourself out of doing

anything you’ll later be very

ashamed of.

Mom's a pain in the neck!

Dear Bunmi,

Even now I’m in my mid-

30s, my mother is as

overbearing as always. She

thinks she knows exactly

what’s best for me and has

always had my whole life

mapped out.

For example, as a teenager,

we fell out because she

didn’t like the make-up I

wore and disapproved of my

friends. They were friends I

really got on well with, but

mum wanted me to be friends

with her posh friends’

children.

These days, her problem is

about my choice in men and

my career. What can I do to

stop her interference,

especially now I’m still

single?

Temi, by e-mail.

Dear Temi,

Could your poor mum be

over compensating for her

own life not turning out as

planned? Well, let her know

she can’t live her life through

you. I guess you must have

said this to her time and

again over the years. Calmly

My hubby's a mama's boy

Dear Bunmi,

My husband is completely

tied to his mother’s apron

strings. At first it was kind

of endearing, but now it’s

starting to really get on my

nerves. She fusses over him

non-stop, taking him

lunches at work and even

bringing him local soups she

swears he loves.

It might be alright if he was

a teenager but he’s 36 years

old for God’s sake! Now the

whole situation is starting to

affect how masculine I see

him in the bedroom

department. I could take over

from her but I’m a busy

career woman, and I’d prefer

him to man up and learn to

look after himself, instead of

running to his mum to wipe

his nose! We have only one

child of school age.

Ifeoma, by e-mail

Dear Ifeoma,

I can understand why

you’re upset. We women

generally want a man who

would look after us and

protect us, and it doesn’t feel

like your man is that when

his mother pampers him all

of the time. As a career

woman, it’s obvious taking

over domestic chores is the

going to require all my

willpower to turn him

down!

Christy, by e-mail.

Dear Christy,

What you’re describing

has all the signs of lust, not

love. You’re happy with

your home and husband,

but you want the

excitement of strong

emotion.

So, you lust after this man

from a distance, get jealous

if he sees someone else.

The reality is, if you knew

your partner’s best friend,

as well as you know your

husband, you’d feel the

same about him...you’d be

affectionate but restless.

So, instead of trying to

hurriedly have a bite of the

forbidden fruit, hoping not

to get caught, put your

energy back into loving

your husband.

Talk yourself out of doing

anything you’ll later be

very ashamed of.

communicate your feelings,

but learn to step back too.

She may never really

change.

Any mother would be anxious

about a daughter in her 30s

who isn’t married, especially

since the longer you leave

childbearing, the more difficult

it gets to conceive.

Try to brush off her

overbearing behaviour as

challenging as it may be. After

all, you’re in control of your

own life and there’s not much

she can do about it now you’re

a grown up!

least of your problems. You

might be focused on your

career, but men don’t like

getting their own meals all

the time!

Try to calmly discuss with him

about his mother backing off.

But not before you’ve sorted out

domestic alternatives like a

reliable househelp, for instance,

since you can obviously afford

one. On top of which you could

do a few things to take care of

him, as part of your loving,

nurturing relationship.

Role reversals in a marriage

sound interesting but it’s not

popular in this neck of the

woods!

What present would impress

my married lover?

Dear Bunmi,

I’ve been involved with a

married man for about two

years. This year, I’m thinking

of giving him a complete

native wear, come Christmas.

He seems to be short of this. I

don’t care if his wife finds out,

but, from past experience,

gifts that look remotely

suspicious have been left in

my flat.

What do you suggest I give

him that he could take home?

Chichi, by e-mail.

Dear Chichi,

You say you love this man,

but wouldn’t you rather have

a man of your own to share

your birthday and Christmas

with? Someone you could

shower with love and gifts for

the whole of various holidays?

I think you’re playing a

dangerous game if you think

you can give him something

so special he’ll wear it all the

time, so that his wife will

eventually find out about you.

This is hurtful to say, but be

rest assured that whatever

you give him that couldn’t be

taken home would be given

away to someone else, rather

than have his wife find out.

Why not get a bottle of good

wine to share, or prepare his

favourite meal you can eat

together?

Why not make sure you get

out, meet and have fun with

other single people?

Mv teenage lover offers to

teach me sex

Dear Bunmi,

I will soon be 16 and of the

same age with a girl I am

friendly with, next door. We

play with other friends in a big

compound and, when no one

is looking, we show each

other our private parts.

Now, she wants me to try sex

with her. She brags that she

has done it before and will tell

me what to do. She says that,

at my age, I am too young to

father a child. Is she right? I

have never had sex and

would love to try it if there is

You say you love

this man, but

wouldn’t you

rather have a man

of your own to

share your

birthdays and

Christmas

with...shower with

love and gifts?

no danger.

Bolade, by e-mail.

Dear Bolade,

You would be playing with

fire if you had sex with this

girl. I shall advise you to steer

clear of her. If you are old

enough to have an erection,

you will have a discharge

during proper intercourse and

the girl might get pregnant.

She is obviously more

experienced than you and,

with the AIDS scare, you have

to be really careful.

How do I get rid of my boring

boyfriend?

Dear Bunmi,

I am in my late twenties and

have been with my boyfriend

for over two years. In those

two years we’ve had what

could best be described as an

on/off relationship.

Twice I’ve called off the

relationship because I

thought we weren’t right for

each other, but he always

convinced me to get back

together.

He is a very caring and

generous man, but he’s very

boring and critical of the

modern society. We don’t go

anywhere or do anything.

Now he’s talking of marriage

and I feel trapped.

I don’t want to marry him,

so how do I let him down

without hurting his feelings?

Lanre, by e-mail.

Dear Lanre,

You have to summon up the

courage to tell this man how

you feel. Even though he is

nice to you, you don’t love

him enough to commit to a

lasting relationship with him.

Know that even if he’s the

most wonderful man in the

world, you will never be

happy with him if he irritates

you. Pity is no reason to stay

in a relationship.

So, let him know you are not

ready for commitment.

Release him to seek his true

soul mate and if he pleads to

come back, stick to your

decision.

Share your problems and release

your burden. Write now to

Dear Bunmi,

Vanguard Newspapers,

P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, or

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk


YOUR LUCK TODAY

By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

SCORPIO: Even if there is minor misunderstanding

within your working arena, the whole thing will work

favourably for you. You just have to be your practical

self. Watch what you eat, drink and the state of your

health.

SAGITTARIUS: Some of you will start to see the result

of your recent romantic escapade. Try your best to

consolidate on success you have recorded yesterday. This

is the wrong time to gamble at all.

CAPRICORN: Much will depend on how willing you

are to co-operate with others, especially those within

your base of operation. Lovers may be in for a romantic

day. Try to be more family-minded.

AQUARIUS: Don’t believe that every information

supplied to you is correct as there is the possibility of

deception. Make sure you are as practical as possible

at work.

PISCES: As the saying goes, ‘money is the root of all

evils,’ you will need to watch carefully your financial

transactions today so that costly misunderstanding’ll

be averted.

ARIES: Not everybody within your base of operation

is honest with you today. Yet, success is your portion

today. Those of you who are more financially ambitious

will have a rewarding day. Be loving.

TAURUS: Your good days are closer to you more than

you imagine now but you will need to be a little bit

careful today who you repose confidence in. Lovers will

smile.

GEMINI: Not all friends can be trusted with money

today when temptation to deceive you is very strong.

The more secretive you are, the better for you.

CANCER: The Moon and Neptune are at loggerheads,

therefore, you’ve got to watch your step so that

you don’t work against your own interest.

LEO: Those of you who are ambitious and hard working

will have more to show for your efforts. However, if

you fail to respect the law and its agents, you’ll be disappointed

today. Be loving.

VIRGO: Romantic Venus makes young-at-heart to

crave for loving attention. Then all of you will need to

guard against deception.

LIBRA: Those of you who are moderately ambitious

are in for a good day. As Neptune and the Moon are at

loggerheads, it’s important you don’t take partners for

granted.

L E I S U R BE

TAKE HEART — ELLA RANDLE

TERROR MUDA in “Never say goodbye”

DUDU in “ROLLING HOT”

“HOT”

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 —53

“We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what

we see in the mirror? And, according to our

light, according to our understanding, according

to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay -

and rise!” -Maya Angelou-

Having the awareness and the courage to look at

oneself and others honestly and gently come to

terms with true reality is an enlightenment journey

into newer discovery of self.— Ella Randle

SAYINGS OF

OUR PEOPLE

He who eats

another mans

food will have

his own food

eaten by others.

~Swahili

Proverb

By Kola Fayemi

By A.O.OLAIDE

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING

ASTROLOGICAL our date and place of COUNSELLING

birth to the Astr

tr

Send your dat

trological

Counselling, P.M.B 100

007, Apapa, Lagos

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELING

BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF LEO

TIME SCOPE=AUGUST 1 – AUGUST 9

RULER = LUCKY AND EDUCATIONAL JUPITER

QUALITY =MUTABLE .

ELEMENT = FIRE.

SYMBOL = THE ARCHER (HALF HOURSE HALF

MANN).

GROUP = MASCULINE.

ZODIACAL POSITION = THE 9TH.

Mutable means changes and experimentation, while fire

is all about enthusiasm, taking of the initiative and leadership

ability. Thus, you are the type that will exhibit strong

interest in an important project that catches your fancy and

you will not mind to experiment with ideas just to achieve

your objectives and aims. Sagittarius is the 9th sign of the

Zodiac that rules philosophy, RELIGION, law, foreign land,

higher mind/higher institutions, lawyer, long (distance) travelling,

in-laws, future, optimism and bluntness. Major problem

or weak points of Sagittarians are excessive openness/

bluntness and sometimes fanatical approach to religion.

Being a born adventurer, you are not afraid of exploration

and new beginning. Sagittarians are incurable optimist

and ever ready to listen to and eager to believe others;

you are not an exception. Honesty is truly in your inner self

.You are a tolerant person but you are not ready to compromise

your FREEDOM

Sagittarius as a fire sign can make you a quick tempered

person. Half horse half man as the symbol, of Sagittarius

indicates dual (double) personalities known in different

circle with different personalities. Yet, you are not a pretender.

As the Archer aims arrow into the sky also

Sagittarians have many lofty ideas and ambition. But sometimes

their ideas and/or ideals are not practical enough for

realisation. Many times, they start too many thing at a time

only to either forget or lose view of their original target.

Development of practical approach is more important

for Sagittarians this is in order to make success of many of

their brilliant ideas, otherwise they tend to become dreamers.

In reality, Sagittarians are dreamers (by this 1 mean real

dream many use to have at night) and many of their dreams

usually come to pass. Sometimes their dreams are vividly

prophetic.

Sagittarians are born philosophers. That is why they have

well developed minds indispensable to rare wisdom, Sagittarius

is the Zodiacal constellation of WISDOM Then, you

are humorous, lively, sports loving, out going, energetic,

good hearted, in love with change/experimentation, ever

willing to co-operate, socially inclined, enthusiastic and

highly intelligent. As intelligent as you are, you can surprisingly

appear fanatical about your conviction and/or views.

VIRGINIA

dadadekola@yahoo.com

HOME & ABROAD

By Lawrence Akapa


54 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

CAF postpones AFCON to

2022 over Covid-19 fears

The next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)

has been postponed by 12 months because of the

coronavirus pandemic, the Confederation of African

Football (CAF) confirmed in their Executive

Committee meeting yesterday.

CAF confirmed that the tournament, initially

pencilled to take place in Cameroon between

January 9 and February 6 of next year, will be

pushed back and played in 2022 instead.

With qualifying having not yet finished, and the

logistical nightmare of travelling between countries

during the pandemic, CAF have decided to go early on

the postponement.

Clashing with the European domestic season has

often been a difficulty for the Africa Cup of

Nations tournament, and last year’s edition in

Egypt experimented with a summer event

instead.

But with the concerns over climate and

feasibility, the competition was moved back

to its usual January-February slot in the

calendar and that is not expected to change.

Jurgen Klopp last year described the

decision to switch the tournament’s position in

the calendar back as a “catastrophe”.

He said: “The African Cup of Nations going back

to January is, for us, a catastrophe.

“We will not sell Sadio, Mo or Naby (Keita) now because

they have a tournament in January and February – of course

not.

“But if you have to make a decision about bringing in a

player, it is a massive one because before the season you

know for four weeks you don’t have them.

“That’s a normal process and as a club you have to think

about these things.”

The move now means that African stars will have to play

Former Liverpool defender

stabbed

Derby County star Andre Wisdom was stabbed in the

head and buttocks by an armed gang who stole his

watch, police have revealed, with the 27-year-old in a

stable condition in hospital.

Further details of the brutal robbery have been revealed

by police after the defender was attacked in the early hours

of Sunday while visiting relatives in Liverpool.

Wisdom was attacked by a gang of four men armed

with knives and wearing

masks as he walked to his

car in the Beaumont

Street area of Toxteth at

around 4.30am.

Police said he suffered

stab wounds to his

buttocks and head and

was taken to hospital for

treatment for his injuries,

which are not believed to

be life-threatening.

His designer watch was

stolen by the gang. The

attack came just hours

after he and his teammates

celebrated

promotion-chasing

Derby’s 2-1

Championship win over

Reading on Saturday.

•Wisdom

•Mane

Napoli confident of landing

• 100m Osimhen, Gabriel

Napoli are confident they have won

the race to sign Lille duo Victor

Osimhen and Gabriel for a combined

price of €100 million, sources have

told ESPN.

Osimhen, a 21-year-old forward

•Gabriel

and Gabriel, a 22-year-old defender,

travelled from Lille, where

they resumed training, to Italy on

Tuesday to start talks with Aurelio De

Laurentiis, the Napoli owner and his

sporting director, Cristiano Giuntoli.

The offer made by the Serie A club is split €70m for Osimhen

and €30m for Gabriel, which meets Lille’s asking price.

The two players are set to stay in the south of Italy for a few

days where they will hold talks with Napoli manager Gennaro

Gattuso and a deal could be finalised quickly.

Two of the revelations of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season, they are

among the most coveted players in Europe this summer and

Napoli are edging towards recruiting them, in what would be

a great coup for the club.

•Osimhen

and team

mate

•Mahrez

in two major tournaments in one year, with 2022 being

rounded off by the winter World Cup in Qatar - scheduled to

begin on November 21.

The African Nations Championship is now set to take place

in January 2021. The competition was originally scheduled

for April 2020.

Both the Africa Cup of Nations and the African Nations

Championship will take place in Cameroon.

Osimhen

dedicates

award to late

father

Lille striker, Victor

Osimhen has dedicated

his Marc Vivien Foe best

Ligue 1 African player

award to his late father.

Osimhen, who lost his father

last month at the age

of 80, has taken to social

media to dedicate the

award to him while also

applauding other nominees.

“I am grateful to God almighty,

I dedicate this

amazing award to my late

father. Thanks to those who

voted for me and also a big

shout out goes to Moses Simon

and the rest of the nominees.

Thank you once more,” Osimhen

tweeted.

•Etebo

Ighalo makes FA Cup Q/F

Best X1

Of the four Nigeria-eligible players

who tasted action in the

quarterfinals of the FA Cup, only Odion

Ighalo has been selected in the FA Cup

Team of the Quarter-Finals by

Whoscored.

Both Arsenal wonderkid Bukayo

Saka and Leicester City midfielder

Wilfred Ndidi went the distance against

Sheffield United and Chelsea

respectively,

while

A d a m

I d a h

played the

•Osimhen

•Ighalo

•Milla

The clock has started ticking for Aruna

Quadri as the Nigerian is eagerly looking

forward to joining the elite players in the world

for the 2020/2021 German Table Tennis

Bundesliga League.

After more than a decade plying his trade

in the Portuguese League where he has

established himself as the number one player,

Quadri will on September start a new chapter

in his illustrious career when he wears the

colours of TC RhönSprudel Fulda-Maberzell

in the German Bundesliga.

“For years many people are aware that the

last two minutes for Norwich City.

Joining Ighalo in the Team of the

quarter-finals are four of his teammates

at Manchester United, namely fullbacks

Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw, center

back Harry Maguire and midfielder

Bruno Fernandes.

The Shanghai Shenhua

loanee showed his

poacher’s instinct with an

acrobatic effort to break

the deadlock five

minutes into the second

half against the Canaries

and was also involved in

the build-up to the matchwinning

goal.

Ighalo was awarded a

rating of 7.35 for his

efforts against Norwich City.

He attempted 2 shots one of

which was on target, won 2 aerial

duels, won two fouls for his team, and

completed 68.4 percent of his passes.

Ighalo and Ross Barkley are the top

scorers left in the FA Cup with three

goals each after they both got on the

scoresheet last weekend.

ameroonian football icon Roger Milla says it might

be difficult for players to match his FIFA World Cup

record. The legendary striker became the oldest

goalscorer in World Cup history by scoring against

Russia in the 1994 tournament at the age of 38.

“Nothing’s impossible but it’ll be very difficult to

beat,” Milla said on FIFA’s official website.

“Football’s a very different sport today and it’s really

hard to see anyone other than a keeper getting capped

at the age of 42.

“And, as we all know, keepers don’t score very

often. I think my record has got a few good

years left in it yet.”

Cameroon ended up losing 6-1 to Russia

and they failed to reach the knockout

stage and it also proved to be Milla’s

last competitive match for Cameroon.

“It was a mix of emotions because

we got knocked out and we were so

disappointed we hadn’t lived up to the

expectations people had of us,” he

said. “I also knew that I’d played my

last match at the World Cup and that I

was saying goodbye to the competition.

“So I just tried to put it into perspective and

make the most of every moment. At the time, I

didn’t think a lot about the record because

the goal had little impact on the game,” he

added.

I’m ready for new challenge in Germany,

says Aruna Quadri

Etebo, Getafe keep Champions League hopes alive

Super Eagles midfielder Etebo Oghenekaro started on the bench as Getafe secured a

hard fought 2 – 1 win over Real Sociedad on Monday.

The Nigerian midfielder was a 68th-minute substitute and received a yellow card a

moment later for dangerous play.

Getafe was far from their incredible form at the beginning of the season, but they

finally secured a win at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez for the first time after Covid-19

break. Jaime Mata was the hero as he bagged a brace to help wrestle a point away from

visiting Real Sociedad.

The Spanish striker scored the first of his brace in the 20th minutes, but Adnan

Januzaj canceled out the advantage earlier in the second half. Mata however scored the

winner for Getafe from the penalty spot with seven minutes left to play.

Meanwhile former Warri Wolves midfielder, Etebo is yet to add to the lone goal he

scored against Eibar this season.

My W/Cup record

‘ll be difficult to

break, says Milla

C

•Aruna

German league is the toughest and strongest in

Europe and for myself I have no doubt about

that. I am fully aware of what I am going to be

facing with the start of season 2020/21.

“The Portuguese league is entirely different

from the German league, there is an enormous

difference regarding the level. For me, the

German league is of the highest level, while the

Portuguese league is a normal one, but not too

bad. The German Bundesliga has several players

rated top 100 or even top 10 in the world. For

this reason, the level is high and the competition

is tough,” he said.

To bolster the team ahead of the new season,

the management of Quadri’s club has signed

Hong Kong number three Lam Siu Hang.

The central German-based team will be relying

on Quadri to spearhead the squad which also

has German international Ruwen Filus and

German youth international Fan Bo Meng.

The Nigerian added that he is familiar with his

teammates at his new club, when he said: “Yes,

of course! During the world tours I used to

practice with Ruwen Filus for a while, he is a

great player and one of the best defenders in the

world. I also met Fan Bo Meng on world tours,

he has lots of talent. I am certain we will all

become a great family in the TTBL.


C

M

Y

K

Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020 — 55


Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020

TODAY’S CROSSWORD

QUICK CROSSWORD

YESTERDAY’S SOLUTION

TODAY’S PUZZLE

Sudoku

YESTERDAY’S ANSWER

Across

1 Censure (7)

5 Objectives (5)

8 Forthright (5)

9 Supervise (7)

10 Insinuated (7)

11 Diminutive (5)

12 Blunder (6)

14 Excellent (6)

18 Vocal compositions (5)

20 Organise (7)

22 Silly (7)

23 Classical language (5)

24 Ascended (5)

25 Design (7)

Down

1 Bosh (7)

2 Well-rounded (5)

3 Silhouette (7)

4 Deluges (6)

5 Conjecture (5)

6 Sausage (anag) (7)

7 Odour (5)

13 Microsoft operating system (7)

15 Perpendicular (7)

16 Enter forcibly (5,2)

17 Clean the dishes (4,2)

18 Until now (2,3)

19 Coins (anag) (5)

21 Female relative (5)

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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