Sri Lanka To Become Ideal Location For Indian Films

Sri Lanka Tourism says plans are ongoing to promote the island country among top Indian film producers in order to become the next film location for Indian movies. “As a compact destination with various natural and large diversities, Sri Lanka can be shown as a destination which can be an ideal location for the perfect …

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Source: news

NGO Engages Traditionalists To End Southern Kaduna Crisis

A non Governmental Organization (NGO), Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation, said it has began consultation with traditionalists in Southern Kaduna in the efforts to bring about lasting peace to the area. The Founder of the NGO, Pastor Yohanna Buru said on Monday in Kaduna that the aim was to engage all the three key stakeholders …

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Source: news

Malaysian Police Arrest 5 Filipinos

The Malaysian police on Monday confirmed the arrest of seven suspects, including five Filipinos and one Malaysian immigration officer, in connection with the Islamic State (IS). Inspector-General of the police Khalid Abu-Bakar said that the first Filipino suspect, who has permanent residence in Malaysia, was found to have provided funds for Malaysian fugitives “Dr. Mahmud …

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Source: news

Car Bomb kills 2 In Mogadishu

A car bomb exploded near a hotel on a busy street in the Somali capital on Monday, killing at least two people, police said. “So far two civilians have died and two others were injured,” Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters. NAN reports that so far, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest …

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Source: news

Teacher Blinds JSS Student With Cane

A teenager, Raliya Suleiman, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) student of Government Secondary School, Kachai, has lost sight in her right eye after a teacher hit the eye with his cane. Raliya was allegedly flogged by a teacher in the school, one Moses Aura, because she came to school late on 23th February, 2017. The …

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Source: news

BEDC Staff Attempting Wire Connection Electrocuted

Tragedy struck in a town in the headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area, on Saturday following the electrocution of Kola, an ad-hoc staff of the Ondo Business District of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC. The incident occurred at the Government Reserved Area, GRA, located at Itanla along the Ondo/Akure highway, while he was …

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Source: news

Gender Equality Will Take 170 Years – Amina Mohammed

It will take 170 years to achieve economic equality between women and men, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, has said. Mohammed, in her message to the Youth Forum of the Commission on the Status of Women, ahead of the International Commission on the Status of Women, said women and girls were being forced …

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Source: news

Dalung Commissions Daniel Igali Recreation Centre in Yenagoa

The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Sunday in Yenagoa commissioned Daniel Igali’s Dynamite Recreation Centre tagged “Theatre of Wrestling’’. Dalung, in his remarks at the occasion, commended Igali for the wonderful edifice and his enormous contribution to sports development. “Igali is a grassroots man and his contributions to sports in general is …

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Source: sport news

PDP chieftains defect to APC

Katsina college gets NUC nod for degree programmes

From Agaju Madugba, Katsina, Ali Abare, Gombe

Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina and Gombe states, Senator Ibrahim Idah and Alhaji Farouk Bamusa moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the weekend.

Idah represented Katsina Central Senatorial District under the People’s Democratic Party while Bamusa, a founding member of the PDP in Gombe, who once contested in the governorship primaries in 2011, announced his defection to the APC, in his ward, in Kwami town.

He moved with thousands of his supporters.

Before his defection, Idah belonged to the Senator Ahmed Markafi’s faction of the PDP.

Meanwhile, Isa Kaita College of Education, Dutsinma, in Katsina State has received the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to award Bachelor of Education degrees in eight programmes at the institution.

Speaking at the weekend during the school’s maiden combined convocation ceremony, the Provost, Dr. Maigari Abdu, said the development followed recent NUC and the Ahmadu Bello University visitation teams which assessed resources at the college.

The provost noted that the school also had affiliations with a number of other institutions including the Bayero University, Kano, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, as well as the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, among others.

He described “brain drain” as one of the major challenges facing the school.

Said Abdu: “It is our hope to see the college take a leadership role in restoring the lost glory, respect and esteem of the teaching profession by producing skilled and competent teachers across all levels of education with the appropriate character to mould our future generations in an ever changing world.

“I call on our stakeholders to redouble their support to the college to enable it utilise its potentials and realise its aspiration and vision of one day transforming into a world class university of education.”

Also speaking at the programme, Governor Aminu Bello Masari reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to strengthening the quality of education at all levels in the state.

“As soon as we took over administration of the state, government embarked on massive rehabilitation and upgrade of schools and colleges which were abandoned by the previous administration in the state,” Masari said.

He said that government would soon issue a White Paper on the report of visitation panel to the state’s tertiary institutions.

During the convocation , the college conferred honourary fellowship awards on the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdumuminu Kabir Usman, Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk Umar, and a former Military Administrator of Katsina and Col. John Yahaya Madaki (retd). among other awardees.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Gombe State, Saturday,  sufferred another setback after one of its stalwarts defected to the All Progressives Congress, (APC, alongside with thousands of his followers.

Alhaji Farouk He said he took the decision based on clarion calls on him by his people for purposeful leadership. Alhaji Farouk said as a leader in the community there was no justification for him remaining in PDP while majority of the people are loyalists of the APC.

He said Gombe State, which is being ruled by the PDP has been left far behind in the current trend of tremendous change going on in the country under the APC leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He acknowledged the crises in the  state branch of the APC which he described as a leadership tussle but promised that his joining the party, among many others, is to bring a kind of consensus leadership for the party.

The APC Youth Leader in the state, Alhaji Garba Inuwa Akoma-Gona described the new entrant into the party as a welcome comrade that would further strengthen and bring cohesion into the party.

According to him, the coming of Bamusa into the APC will give the party viable chances of wresting power from the PDP led government in the state during the 2019 general election. “Therefore”, he said, “we will accord him all the necessary support, loyalty and homage he might require to move the party forward”.

It would be recalled that the PDP in Gombe State has witnessed a gale of defection prior to the recently concluded local government election.

A former member of the National Assembly, Senator Ibrahim, has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Explaining his move at a programme during which he moved along with his ward’s PDP chairmen and secretaries in Katsina at the weekend, Idah described the PDP as being embedded in leadership crisis a development which he noted may render the party irrelevant as 2019 approached.

According to him, “the factionalization of the PDP is part of the reasons why I decamped to the APC. Why should I remain in a place where things are getting spoiled.

“I am a lawyer and I know what transpired in the court and I know what might happen in the court. Any one of them can emerge victorious but what will happen after the judgment?

“I had to leave the PDP and join the APC. First, I have studied the PDP and having worked with party, laboured for it, I have come to doubt whether there is a future for the party and I felt that if I am to continue being in politics, then the right thing for me to do is to go for a party that can satisfy my desires.

“I decamped with my followers at the ward level. So, today, aside me and my wife, children and brothers, I decamped with the PDP Katsina Ward Chairman and Secretary.

“Then in the 12 wards, I have sat with six PDP ward chairmen, secretaries and their followers. There are people from so many local governments who are not from here, they would not want talk or do registration here, so we planned to go to their local governments to receive them into the APC.

“I therefore call on all my supporters and to let them know I have decamped from PDP to the APC.”

Governor Aminu Bello Masari who later hosted Idah at the  Government House said the APC would carry along the senator, along with the new members of the party.

Meanwhile, in another development, though unrelated, the Isa Kaita College of Education, Dutsinma, in Katsina State has received the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to award Bachelor of Education degrees in eight programmes at the institution.

Speaking at the weekend during the school’s maiden combined convocation, the provost, Dr. Maigari Abdu, said the development followed recent NUC and the Ahmadu Bello University visitation teams which assessed resources at the college.

The provost noted that the school also had affiliations with a number of other institutions including the Bayero University, Kano, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, as well as the University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, among others.

According to him, “it is our hope to see the college take a leadership role in restoring the lost glory, respect and esteem of the teaching profession by producing skilled and competent teachers across all levels of education with the appropriate character to mould our future generations in an ever changing world.

“I call on our stakeholders to redouble their support to the college to enable it utilize its potentials and realize its aspiration and vision of one day transforming into a world class University of Education.”

Also speaking at the ceremony, Governor Aminu Bello Masari reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to strengthening the quality of education at all levels in the state.


Source: politics

Hit gold manufacturing paper bag carriers

by Bimbola Oyesola

One profitable ventures that will stand the test of time is the paper carry bags manufacturing in different shapes and sizes. Paper carry bags are common packaging materials and there’s so much money to be made in the production.
Paper carry bags are widely used in all types of trade. Some of the majors are textile shops, bakeries, shoe shops, grocery shops, fancy shops, laundry shops, bookshops, sweet shops, stationery shops, hardware shops, all departmental shops and consumer shops. In Nigeria today, paper bags are equally widely used as souvenirs at weddings, naming ceremonies, burials and other social engagements thereby increasing the demand for the product.
There are paper carry bags that can hold up to 20kg of weight without getting torn. Bags that are made of paper material called sack-kraft can withstand such weight. Paper carry bags can compete with any kind of plastic bag in terms of all features and can cater to any kind of conceivable end-use. Paper bags making process is simple and does not require any complex technology. According to the demand and production projection, the initiative can be taken as small scale manufacturing operation.
Many governments today, especially in the developed world, are increasingly becoming environment-sensitive and at least project themselves to be so, hence encouraging more usage of paper carry bags than polythene.
Big businesses too want to be seen as eco-friendly. With more countries also championing the course of the climate change, Nigeria also may soon have a thought of joining the league of countries favourably disposed towards paper bag taking over polythene.
The eco-friendly paper bag manufacturing industry is therefore poised for a higher growth with a bright future. So if you are interested in starting a paper bag production company, then give it a shot!
Most popular and high demand paper bags sizes include:
Size in inches        Sizes in cms
4.25X 6                       11X15
5.25X7.5                     13X19
6.75X8.5                     17X22
8.25X10                      21X25
9.75X12.75                 25X34
10.5X16                      25X34

Getting ahead in the business, however, entails some basic steps, which are:
There is need to know that going into any business demands determination to succeed. Nothing good comes easy, except through dint of hard work and perseverance. Hence you will have to be mentally prepared to take whatever comes, with respect to financial, operational and people’s problems.
A feasibility study is very important as it gives you an insight into what you intend venturing into. Your feasibility report should provide details about who your customers are, your competitors, your market size, demography, production process analysis, manpower analysis and risk sensitivity. You need to get around supermarkets and other establishments in your area to discover those that may need your service. Feasibility research helps to determine if your city is a potential market.
Business plan
Without beating around the bush, a solid business plan is invaluable when starting your business. It may also become essential when you want to raise capital for expansion. Who are your target prospects? How much would you need to kick-start your paper carry bag business? These must be included in your business plan. Come up with ideas that will make your business more solid. Write a business plan and get started!
Business registration
This entails giving your paper bag company an identity. It is important therefore that you register with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The CAC has branches in almost every state of the federation. It’s essential that you register your business name or company before you begin operations to avoid problems with the law. In recent times, the CAC has updated its services in a bid to make processing of applications faster.
As any manufacturing business, paper bags making business requires two types of capital investment – fixed capital investment and working capital investment. The fixed capital investment includes land, building and machinery. Either you can satisfy all the investment from your own fund or you can apply for loan.
The working capital investment includes manpower cost, raw material cost, rent and other day to day operational cost. You can also apply for working capital loan as overdraft or cash credit facility from your nearby banks or any financial institution.
Location for production
The location of your company is essential. It is one of the important factors of production, so you must ensure that it is located where you can easily get across to your clients or on the other hand, where your customers can locate you easily. Ensure that it is easily accessible by transport systems.
Production process of paper carry bags
Paper carry bags’ manufacturing process depends upon the volume and weight of the products to be carried.  Accordingly, you need to use various kinds of papers with different GSM’s and bursting strengths. Steps are following: Cutting paper into proper size with cutting machine; printing the paper as per need; making bags by automatic bag making machine by folding, pasting and shearing; punching; eyelet fitting and lace fitting.
Paper sheets 40’ x 60’, 18,000 sheets; paper in roll colours and white 500 reams; printing ink, chemicals, etc; packaging consumable, etc.
You can go by either semi-automatic or fully-automatic process according to your required production output and budget. In addition, you can operate the manufacturing business with four to five skilled and experienced manpower.
The major machinery required for paper carry bags are automatic paper bag making machine; creasing machine; cutting machine; miscellaneous tools and equipment.
The production could be quite enormous and management intensive. So you need to get more hands to make the production seamless, more so, if you need to deliver on schedule, which is very important to expansion of the business.
Avoid clustering
Many businesses fail to grow because a lot of entrepreneurs like to get involved in so many things at a time. Take your time to grow a business before going into another; build that, then move on to another. If you are planning to start a paper bag business, then you must take your time growing it. Don’t diversify. It could alter the growth of your business.
Marketing is also essential to grow the business. Nigeria with its population is a haven to make it in paper bag production business. So the potential abounds to build a multi-million naira paper packaging industry.


Source: business

OPS seeks removal of obstacles to business devt

By Charles Nwaoguji

The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called for the removal of seeming barriers that have hindered entrepreneurship growth in the country.
It noted that current business environment has not supported growth of the real sector but admitted that government has made some noticeable efforts toward addressing them.
Operators in the sector who spoke to Daily Sun recently, commended the giant strides of the Federal Government towards the improvement of the business environment.
The President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Chief Bassey Edem, said improvements in the business environment will impact positively on the productivity, prosperity and progress of the Nigerian private sector.
Edem noted that the creation of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, as Vice Chairman would go a long way to ease the stress of doing business in the country. The profile of this council, he said, as reflected in its composition, underscores the importance the government attaches to business environment issues and by extension private sector development.
According to him, the PEBEC initiative will remove the numerous obstacles and barriers, which have been a source of frustration to entrepreneurs. “We commend the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business as articulated by government,” Edem said.
Speaking in the same vein, the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs. Nike Akande, said this would reposition the private sector to play a more important role in the economic recovery process.
She noted that the specifics of this action plan include reduction in the time required for business registration at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the upgrade of its online portal, reduction in the period it takes for product registration by relevant regulatory agencies of government and transparency and inclusiveness in the procurement processes.


Source: business

LCCI hails FG on Ease of Doing Business

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has commended the giant strides of the Federal Government towards the improvement of the business environment.
The LCCI said the creation of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, with Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah as Vice Chairman, underscores the importance the government attaches to business environment issues and by extension private sector development.
The Chamber in a statement by its President, Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande, noted that improvements in the business environment will impact positively and significantly on the productivity, prosperity and progress of Nigeria’s private sector.
“We expect that the PEBEC initiative will remove the numerous obstacles and barriers, which have been a source of frustration to entrepreneurs,” the Chamber said. According to Akande, the initiative would reposition the private sector to play a much more important role in the economic recovery process.
She said the Organised Private Sector (OPS) applauded the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business as articulated by government.
The LCCI President highlighted government’s actions worth commendable,  including the “reduction in the time required for business registration at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the upgrade of its online portal; reduction in the period it takes for product registration by relevant regulatory agencies of government; transparency and inclusiveness in the procurement processes; reduction in the number of agencies examining cargoes at the ports and commitment to the introduction of single window for cargo clearance by the end of the year; streamlining the immigration procedures and processes to reduce the bureaucracy of issuing passports and visas, as well as issuance of visa on arrival; upgrading of the websites of MDAs and commitment to the improvement of the ambience of the international airports.
The Chamber also commended the progress made in the engagement of the Niger Delta stakeholders, stating that the country has witnessed some respite from attacks on oil installations in recent times.


Source: business

Good policies can reposition Nigeria’s oil, gas industry

Stories by Adewale Sanyaolu

Nigeria’s inability to attract fresh investment in the oil and gas sector or expand existing ones has left the country in a precarious situation. The loss for Nigeria has become the gain of other countries, including, Ghana, Gabon and Angola, which have become new frontiers for oil exploration in Africa.

Today, investors, especially those operating in upstream, have found new haven in these countries. The investment loss for the country is occasioned by the lack of clear cut policy direction for the oil and gas industry as policies, including fiscals and legal regulatory framework, are not clear enough and in some cases shrouded in secrecy.

Industry experts and operators believe that despite developments in the global oil industry, the responsibility for giving direction to the Nigerian oil and gas sector rests on the government. Its actions or inactions will ultimately determine how well the industry fares.

Effect of non-passage of PIB

The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently raised the alarm that Nigeria was losing about $200 billion as a result of its failure to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as an enabling law for the oil and gas industry.

NEITI, in its policy brief entitled, “The urgency of a new petroleum sector law”, said some of the losses were projected investments due to regulatory uncertainty, which experts had put at $120 billion since the commencement of the process for the passage of the bill or about $15 billion annually.

The policy brief stated that clear, unambiguous rules, predictable policy-making and efficient regulations had been lacking in Nigeria’s petroleum sector since the process of enacting a law for the industry commenced.

It said governance deficiencies had been equally prolific and that its 2013 audit of the oil and gas sector revealed that $10.4 billion and N378.7 billion were lost as a result of under-remittance, underpayments, inefficiencies, theft or absence of clear fiscal regime in the industry.

According to energy experts, there is an urgent need for government to resolve with speed and finality, lingering issues that have slowed down investment in the sector. Oil revenue has over the years become a major source of funds for the country’s budgets. Despite being a major revenue source for the country, the sector, according to experts, is being driven by outdated laws and regulations that needed to be overhauled. For the oil and gas sector to become attractive and profitable to investors, its antiquated framework has to be updated to address current industry realities.

“The current law and regulatory framework is not responsive enough. The sector is being governed by outdated legal and regulatory framework. We have to re-examine the continued relevance of existing framework,” said an energy analyst.

Expressing support for the need for urgent reforms in the sector, another expert and Chairman Africa, Schlumberger, Mr. Sola Oyinlola, said the present government should put in place and implement policies that would spur growth in the industry.

“The Buhari administration has its work cut out for it and the industry awaits with bated breath any new policy directions, but we are all optimistic that challenges would be tackled expeditiously to provide a new dynamic investment destination.”

Achievement of tottering industry

However, despite uncertainties in the operating environment, recent accomplishments by some operators in the oil and gas industry have further demonstrated that there are still untapped opportunities in the sector.

Erha North Phase II project is one of the flagship projects executed by US oil giant, ExxonMobil. The project is a deepwater subsea development located 60 miles offshore Nigeria in 3,300 feet of water and four miles North of the Erha field.

The field has been producing since 2006. According to the oil firm, the project which was completed five months ahead of schedule and under its initial budget was a clear demonstration of its disciplined project management approach and expertise. 

“Executing successful projects such as Erha North Phase 2 ahead of schedule and under budget results from ExxonMobil’s disciplined project management approach and expertise,” said Neil W. Duffin, President of ExxonMobil Development Company. “We are able to create additional shareholder value by optimising existing infrastructure, which reduces capital spending requirements and improves capital efficiency.”

More than N50 billion has been invested in Nigeria for Erha North Phase 2, bringing direct and indirect benefits to the Nigerian economy through project spending and employment, consistent with project objectives.

Since completion, Erha North Phase 2 project has delivered additional 165 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude to Nigeria with a peak production of 65,000bpd.

Equally, the project was delivered with 63 per cent Nigerian content translating to 74 per cent Nigerian content man-hours which accounted for over $2 billion of project investment for goods and services. According to ExxonMobil, the project further demonstrates its contribution to and support for Nigeria’s long-term goal of increasing its oil production volumes.

Major milestone recorded

Energy experts believe the successes recorded by ExxonMobil on the project could be replicated on its recent oil find in Owowo field given the right operating environment. For such a huge project as Erha North Phase 2 to be completed despite the harsh operating environment, the Owowo oil field exploration could be a monumental success with the right policies in place.

The company last October announced the discovery of Owowo oil field, which it projected to hold over 1 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and over N3 trillion in potential revenue to Nigeria. Experts reckon that the oil field discovery has brought new hopes to the Nigerian economy, especially at a time when new investments in upstream operations were shrinking. The discovery came as a morale booster for the industry especially as Nigeria’s reserve replacement ratio has been on the downward trend.

The Owowo oil field has the potential to provide new employment opportunities for Nigerians once production starts. The implication of this is enhanced living standards for some households and revenue to government in form of taxes and royalties. But this can only be accomplished in a business-friendly environment.

Way forward

Head of Oil and Gas Research, Renaissance Capital, lldar Davletshin, tasked the Buhari government to use its mandate to implement much-needed reforms in the oil and gas sector, which continues to be the driving force behind the economy. “While it is unlikely that Nigeria will escape its dependence on the sector, there is clear potential for the country to strengthen its oil and gas industry and develop a more diversified and balanced economy, following the successful models of resource-rich countries such as Canada, Norway and Australia,” he said.

He added: “It is essential that the new administration avoids making the same mistakes as most other emerging nations and does not launch a complete overhaul. Nigerian taxes for onshore production are in the highest quartile globally, so some easing could make sense, especially in the weaker oil price environment”.

In the same vein, the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), while supporting reforms in the sector, warned that the rationale for such reforms should be to enhance the sustainability of petroleum wealth that would impact all stakeholders.

In a paper entitled, “An Appraisal of Oil and Gas Industry Reform and Institutional Restructuring in Nigeria”, the association said, “the rationale for restructuring the oil and gas sector in a petroleum dependent economy like Nigeria should be to enhance the sustainability of petroleum wealth and its impact on all stakeholders. Undergoing such reforms presupposes that the current state of the industry is inefficient in service deliveries and ineffective at promoting society’s welfare objectives. This notwithstanding, such reforms or restructuring must not only focus on enhancing industry effectiveness and efficiency, it must be mindful of equity issues with respect to wealth distribution among all stakeholders – governments, communities and operators.”

IAEE noted that a prompt passage of the PIB, provision of infrastructure and security for oil installations across the country would be a good start. And these are what government can do to support the industry.


Source: business

IBEDC secures $400m investment to boost power distribution

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) says it has attracted $400 million investment from Trans Sahara Consortium in a bid to ensure the commencement of its Smart Metering Programme.

This was made known in Ibadan last week by the Chairman of IBEDC, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Trans Sahara Consortium led by Senator Saminu Turaki.

Turaki stated that the investment would at the long run create over 250,000 jobs, though the IBEDC currently has about 3,000 staff. He added that the job creation would be sustainable in line with the initiative of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to create two million jobs.

“I am happy to partner with Trans Sahara Consortium led by Senator Saminu Turaki, who are bringing in technology in partnership with us to install Smart Meters within our distribution coverage areas.

“The MoU we signed will attract an investment of $400 million to cover both the metering plan and also infrastructure upgrade within our distribution area. It is the first phase of the investment drive that we have signed with Trans Sahara Consortium.

Beyond signing of this MoU, they will immediately go into action. We have designated an area within our coverage zone that will be used as a test sampling so that we can see how the technology works,” he said.

“The technology has been installed in over 32 countries around the world. It is not a new technology, but it is technology that is just coming into Nigeria. Our hands are open to embrace it so that the mistrust and distrust between Discos and consumers can be a thing of the past. We can monitor your consumption.

“It is a full system in the sense that it is a self-auditing system that takes control out of the hands of human into machine. You will be sure of what you consume and beyond what you consume, the system will shut down. You cannot bypass the meter. It is a full proof system; once you touch it, it shuts down your system. We will ensure strict monitoring and control to ensure that the system is worth the investment.

“You cannot steal power any longer. Nigerians should wake up to the reality of whether they are ready to pay for what they consume or those who don’t pay will have no electricity.

“The system of using people, who paid to cover for a larger people who don’t pay is gone. This industry requires huge investments and it is the consumers that fund the value chain.”


Source: business

Nigeria hosts 32 African maritime nations in April

By Isaac Anumihe

Nigerian will, in April, host about 32 African countries at the 3rd Conference of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA Conference) in Abuja.
According to the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the meeting will bring together all the major maritime administrators and leading stakeholders in Africa to discuss various issues and ways of improving the maritime sector in the continent.
Peterside disclosed that the hosting of the  conference in Nigeria is in line with the economic diversification agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, and the repositioning agenda of the present management to make Nigerian maritime industry a leading light in Africa and the global maritime sector.
He noted that it would open a new vista of opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths, as well as unlock the potentials in the maritime sector. This is just as the conference could serve as a platform towards Nigeria’s re-election into the IMO Council seat later in November.


Source: business

MultiChoice launches rewards programmes for DStv, GOtv subscribers

Pay-TV company,  MultiChoice, has introduced two new incentive programmes, DStv Thanks and GOtv WOW, to reward subscribers for their loyalty.
The programmes, which started on March 7 and run till March 21, will see all DStv , GOtv Plus and GOtv Value customers get the opportunity to have unlimited access to exciting channels offering a range of the latest quality content.
Also, all customers on Premium, Compact, Compact Plus, Family and Access plus GOtv Plus and GOtv Value, who stay continuously connected for three months and more, will have uninterrupted access to the channels.
Exciting rewards that await loyal customers include monthly airtime bonuses and two brand new entertainment channels for GOtv  as well as four additional entertainment channels, featuring the hottest telenovelas, movies and great local and international content on the DStv platform, at no extra cost. The entertainment channels offered as rewards will offer a fantastic line up of ‘not-to-be missed’ new shows on Zee Bollymovies  (DStv Channel 114) and GOtv Channel 12, Viasat Life on DStv Channel 177 and GOtv Channel 57, Nina TV on DStv Channel 143 and Trigger on DStv Channel 188.
“We are delighted to launch DStv Thanks and GOtv Wow to say thank you to our valued customers. Our business is committed to putting customers at the heart of the business and one of the ways is to show our appreciation for their loyalty and unwavering support by offering them more value. We remain committed to exploring various ways to improve our value-added benefits and create platforms where we can show gratitude for our customers for being part of our family,” General Manager, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho. Zee Bollymovies is a Bollywood movie channel offering a mix of classic and contemporary movies dubbed in English. The channel will launch with movies such as Mohra, Kushi, Shaitan and F itoor.
Viasat Life offers inspiring stories of ordinary people, who have made it big. The channel will feature shows with Hollywood greats like Snoop Dog and Martha Stewards in Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in Wake-Up Call and a variety of lifestyle shows like House of Curves, The Three Day Nanny and My Floating Home.


Source: business

Sporty, stylish look for all-new lightweight BMW 5

By Moses Akaigwe           08072100049

When the seventh generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan hits the Nigerian market much later in the year, it will not have a difficult time hitting the top of its segment. This is because apart from the advantage of following the trail of success already blazed by its predecessors, the luxury car will have its sporty, elegant and stylish figure counting as a unique selling point.

Moreover, further enhanced dynamics, an unbeatable line-up of assistance systems, an unmatched degree of connectivity, as well as a new and innovative operating system are other important new features.

“The seventh generation of the BMW 5 Series points the way into the future, as we have defined it with our Number One > Next strategy. We see technological leadership, emotionally rich products and digitalisation as essential factors in achieving success. With the expansion of our model portfolio in the large-vehicle classes, we are satisfying the wishes of many customers. I’m in no doubt that the new BMW 5 Series will set new benchmarks technologically, but also have huge emotional appeal. It remains the epitome of the business sedan,” says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW AG.

The all-new BMW 5 Series was unveiled to the motoring press in South Africa early this month by BMW South Africa.

At the event, it was revealed that rigorous application of the BMW EfficientLightweight design concept, with increased use of aluminium and high-strength steels, achieved weight reduction in the new car by up to 100 kilogrammes from that of its predecessor. The newly designed chassis, a low centre of gravity, BMW’s hallmark even weight distribution and the lightweight body, help to achieve a wonderfully dynamic driving experience.

A wealth of assistance systems are on hand in the new BMW 5 Series to offer the driver unbeatable support – not only at critical moments, but also in less demanding situations at the wheel, such as traffic jams, slow-moving traffic and monotonous stretches of highways. To this end, it is fitted as standard with a stereo camera, which teams up with optional radar and ultrasound sensors to monitor the area around the car.

Also salient are the Lane Keep Assist with active side collision protection. The latter keeps an eye on the lane markings and the area around the car, and actively helps the driver to avoid looming collisions by applying corrective steering inputs.

The BMW 5 Series also takes another step towards automated driving with extended functions for the optional Active Cruise Control (ACC) system and Steering and lane control assist. These include adoption of speed restrictions, which drivers can select as part of the Speed Limit Assist option. Drivers can confirm adoption of a speed restriction and make an adjustment of +/– 15 km/h in the system settings. From rest to 210 km/h the car assists the driver with distance-keeping, accelerating, braking and lane control.

With even greater user-friendliness as its goal, the new BMW 5 Series is equipped with the latest-generation iDrive system. In top specification, it displays navigation, telephone and entertainment features, plus vehicle functions, on a high-resolution 10.25-inch screen.

The new 5 Series also offers a compelling proposition in terms of connectivity. Extensive BMW ConnectedDrive features are joined by new services which lavish business travellers with extra comfort and save them time. These include the optional Park Assist, which parks the vehicle automatically. The optional Remote Parking system allows the BMW 5 Series Sedan to be manoeuvred into even the tightest parking spaces remotely using the car key.

All the engines in the 5 Series Sedan line-up – three petrol and two diesel – belong to the newly developed, modular BMW EfficientDynamics family of power units, featuring the. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology which imbues them with outstanding performance combined with exceptional efficiency.

The new 2.0 litre, four-cylinder in-line engine under the bonnet of the BMW 530i has improved fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions of 126 g/km – down more than 11 per cent on its predecessor’s figures. It accelerates from 0   100 km/h in 6.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h.

It is very likely that when new 5 Series arrives Nigeria (probably towards the end of the second quarter), courtesy of the BMW representative in the country, Coscharis Motors, customers will have to make a choice between the 2.0 litre engine or the flagship 3.0 litre (straight six-cylinder)variant powering the new BMW 540i – or both engines. Despite the latter’s extra output and sharper dynamic edge, average fuel consumption stands at only 6.5 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are kept to just 149 g/km.


Source: business

OML 29: Aiteo grows daily oil production by 260%

By Adewale Sanyaolu

Aiteo at the weekend announced a peak production of 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its initial 25,000bpd when it acquired the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Vice Chairman of Aiteo, Mr. Benedict Peters, said this in Abuja, adding that the firm could equally grow its asset production to over 150,000bpd and 200mmscf/d when the several existing and developing projects come on stream.
“Our outlook is bright with three producing oil fields and viable crude exports via Bonny terminal. We also have contingent resources to appraise and prospective ones to explore in the medium-to-long term, including full 3D coverage and 2P NNS reserves at 1.6billion barrels. Put simply, we have a clear vision for the future with the experience and assets crucial to providing oil and gas consistently on a regional and global scale.
Aiteo’s ambitious five-year objectives include tackling the power challenges in Nigeria head-on through its legacy investments in the gas-to-power value chain. “This is a testament to our commitment to the transformation of the entire oil  and gas value chain into a world-class landscape,” Peters added. Recall that the company’s main subsidiary, Aiteo Eastern E&P, is also a major infrastructure provider for Nigeria’s oil industry as the operator of the 97km Nembe Creek Trunk Line, an industry-wide evacuation pipeline for produced fluids covering much of the country’s Eastern Delta region.
Aiteo’s Group Managing Director Mr. Chike Onyejekwe, said its growth drivers remain strong leadership, high commitment and motivation, technical and commercial excellence and superior asset base, adding that in the next five years, its operations will continue to be guided by these qualities as it leverages on capabilities comparable to oil majors elsewhere in the world .
Meanwhile, Aiteo says it is developing a pipeline of power generation projects across Nigeria. The company said it is confident that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long.


Source: business

PDP crisis: Makarfi hits Dickson

  Says Bayelsa gov stalling reconciliation process

From Noah Ebije and Sola Ojo, Kaduna

As leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Parry (PDP) lingers, Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has hinted that Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has an evil agenda for the party, which is partly contributing to its inability to reconcile the aggrieved members.

Makarfi accused Dickson of dropping the proposal drafted at a meeting of the 11 PDP governors with former President Goodluck Jonathan and coming up with a personal one, which he submitted to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s group. He described this  as a mischievous act that does not go well for the party.

Speaking at the secretariat of the Kaduna State Correspondents Chapel of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Makarfi said: “Just a week before Governor Dickson submitted his report to Ali Modu Sheriff, the 11 PDP members, including himself, met with former President Goodluck Jonathan and came up with a unanimous proposal on the way out of the crisis in the party. Then, out of the 11 PDP governors, he (Dickson) pulled out and made a proposal, which he presented to Modu Sheriff. “Well, for us the issues in the PDP is not just about conducting convention; it is about more fundamental issues. How do you go for convention if you don’t address these fundamental issues and achieve reconciliation? You have not talked about the problems; you have not sorted them and you are more concerned about a committee to organise a convention; that means you will go and do convention while the crisis is still on.

“Governor Dickson was at the meeting of the governors and the former president, where they came up with a unanimous proposal; so, how can he pull out a week after and make his own proposal? If he had anything contrary to what they agreed on, why didn’t he suggest it at that meeting? He didn’t make sense, out of 11 governors, you pulled out and you made a separate proposal and presented to Modu Sheriff.

“The proposal by the former president and the 11 governors was presented to us, to the BOT chairman and to Modu Sheriff. If anything is going to change, they should go back to President Jonathan and the other governors to discuss and review the responses from us, from BOT, from Modu Sheriff and see if there is going to be any modification to the proposal, not for one single governor, under whatever name, who was a party to the unanimous proposal, to now come out with a personal proposal.

“But, he spoke with me informally and said he was bringing his proposal, which I never saw. He called the president and they were to meet on Wednesday; then he also called BOT chairman, who gave him appointment for Wednesday, only for him to go and submit his proposal to Modu Sheriff,  to go ahead and conduct convention. And that is what Sheriff has been looking for. Now, he got somebody asking him to go ahead and conduct convention.

“So, what is Governor Dickson up to? I don’t know, but it is definitely an agenda not good for the PDP. His proposal is even a breach of the Court of Appeal judgment, because he is suggesting going for convention in June. The Court of Appeal said you cannot hold convention until August this year, based on the tenure it recognised.”

He said even the Sheriff group was not complying with the Court of Appeal judgment, as he (Sheriff) is still parading with party officials he single-handedly appointed after May 21, 2016, when the court ordered that the status quo before May 21 should be reverted to.

Makarfi, however, added that the way out of the PDP crisis was for all national officials to resign their positions, sign indemnity not to contest such position, then form a committee, consisting of members of his groups and Sheriff’s to organise a transparent convention, where there would be a level playing field for all the groups.


Source: politics

Controversy trails Centenary City probe

From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Controversy is trailing the probe of the Centenary City project by the House of Representatives Committe on Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The $18.72 billion Centenary City Project, which sits on  1,267 hectares of land in the FCT was conceptualised during the tenure of  ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to commemorate Nigeria’s centenary celebration in 2014.
The committee headed by Hon. Herman Hembe submitted its report to the House recently. The 64 page report indicted former Secretary to the Government of the Federation( SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and two directors of the Centenary City Plc, Paul Oki and Boma Ozobia. They were all indicted for allegedly breaching extant laws on Public Procurement Act and Presidential directive on the multi-billion naira Centenary City project.
Consequently, the report recommended their prosecution by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, the report is already generating ripples in the House as a member of the FCT Committee, Hon Linus Okorie, says the entire report was not a true reflection of the findings of the Committee.
Okorie in a minority report says Anyim and three others did not commit any offence to warrant their prosecution.
But the main report jointly signed by Hembe and clerk of the Committee, Mukhtar Kusari had observed that “the implementation of the centenary city project from the beginning to its current status leaves much to be desired. Presidential directives were flouted, relevant laws were violated and contractual obligations were wantonly breached for project for which private investors was sourced.”
It added that “as far as the Committee could determine, there was nothing in the portfolio of Centenary City Plc to suggest that the company had the financial capacity to implement a project of USD18,376,660,950” and argued that “the selection of Centenary Plc as the preferred investor for the project was shrouded in secrecy.”
Consequently, it recommended that:”relevant law enforcement agencies including but not limited to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should investigate the role of the parties involved in the promotion/selection of Centenary City Plc as an investor and their roles in the management of the Centenary City project. The promoters include the former SGF, the former FCT Minister, Ms Boma Ozobia and Mr. Paul Oki.”
Similarly, the committee recommended that all the statutory Rights of Occupancy purportedly revoked by the former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Moammed in the area covered by the Centenary City should be restored back to the original allottees unconditionally without delay by the present FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello.
The committee also recommended that the Right of Occupancy and Certificate of Occupancy granted to Centenary City Plc by former FCT Minister, Mohammed on 10th April, 2014, should be withdrawn by  Bello.
According to the report , the former SGF “applied for Certificate of Occupancy on behalf of Centenary City Plc vide letter dated 6th February, 2014, with reference umber SGF.32/S.47/III/. Awarded a contract on behalf of Centenary City Plc on 11th June 2013 for the relocation of 330KV DC transmission lines crossing the proposed Centenary City. Wrote to the then FCT Minister vide letter dated 3rd December, 2013 with reference number SGF.32/S.47/11 requesting for details of Bank accounts to pay on behalf of Centenary City Plc, the sum of N1,234,747,076 being compensation money to be paid by Centenary City Plc to displaced persons.”
On the other hand, the  minority report by  Okorie  disowned almost all of the recommendations , declaring the there was no basis for the call for the prosecution of Anyim and the three others as no wrong doing was established against them.
Okorie further said: “the reporting pattern and the consequent findings did not present the entire facts and consequently the recommendations did not flow from the true facts or  findings. It is clear that the recommendations were at variance with the findings of the Committee.”
According to him, the recommendation to probe the former SGF, and former FCT and the directors of the Centenary City Plc  Ozobia and Oki,  was alien to the work of the committee.
“The recommendation appears to come from the moon. The Committee did not make any finding as to fraud and did not also allege any,” Okorie said.
He further asked “So, what is the basis for asking the agencies listed in the above recommendation to come in? The Committee only alleged that conditions were not met. Does that come within the mandate of these agencies? At best, this could be an administrative infraction.
“Again, there is no finding in the Report that Senator Anyim acted outside the purview of his official responsibility as the government coordinator of the project.”
Okorie’s report also faulted  Hembe’s report that recommended the restoration of revoked land covered by the Centenary City carried out by the former FCT Minister to the alleged original allottees, saying “the basis for the recommendation is misplaced as the Committee had confirmed that the City is not a Land Swap Programme and so cannot be guided by Land Swap terms.
“Again, this is inconsistent with the findings of the Committee that the project is a government  (interest) project to be driven by the private sector. And so, there is no infringement on the Land Use Act and the Land Swap Terms no longer applies from the point the President approved it as a Free Zone.
“It is clear that the recommendations were at variance with the findings of the Committee. I believe that if the Committee had spent more time to make detailed findings, it would have come to a different conclusion from what is recommended, “he submitted.
The lawmaker further noted that :”On the capacity of the investor to implement a project of $18 billion, I am of the opinion that the Committee did not do enough work by undertaking necessary due diligence on ‘Eagle Hills’ or ‘Sheikh Mohammed Alabbar (the chairperson of Eagle Hills) to establish their capacity or otherwise. I recommend that the House should necessarily undertake this due diligence.”
Ironically, the Senate Committee on the FCT had much earlier,   embarked on similar probe of the Centenary City project, with a report remarkably different from the Hembe report.
In its report, the Senate FCT Committee chaired by Senator Dino Malaye had submitted thus:”the following compensation have been duly paid by CCPLC through the FCTA:Compensation on the Centenary City site; Compensation on the relocation of the 330 KVA Transmission line crossing over the Centenary City site; and Compensation on the Resettlement land.
“It was also established that due processes were complied with in the following areas: Issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy; Granting of the Free Zone status; Payment of all compensation; Obtaining of the Resettlement land and in developing the Development Control Regulations (DCR)
“We are pleased to note that the opportunity of this public hearing has been an eye opener on the whole issues about the Centenary City Project. There had been a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding and misconception of the Project and many issues about it.”
Since the commencement of the probe of the Centenary City Project by the House Committee ,it has been one drama and controversy after another.
Recall that at the inaugural sitting of the public hearing on the Centenary City Project, Anyim, whose office as SGF supervised the project had protested against Hembe presiding over the exercise.
After a hot exchange between the former Senate President and Hembe at the opening session of the public hearing, the former left the public hearing on a very rancorous note.
Subsequently, the former FCT Minister and Okorie had very sharp disagreement with Hembe in the course of the public hearing.
In fact, in the case of Okorie,the committee had to go into an executive session to address the disagreement between him and the committee chairman.
Although, the Senate and House of Representatives operate independently, when one chamber is completely done with an issue, the other chamber is less likely to dabble into it. However, in situations where both chambers come up with different resolutions on same issue, there would be a harmonisation. But analysts say the sharp variation between the House and Senate reports on the Centenary City project, is leaving many questions begging for answers.
With the submission of its report on the Centenary City probe by the FCT Committee,  the next stage is the debate on the floor of the House.


Source: politics

Judiciary must protect the weak –Kalu

By Louis Ibah  

Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu Kalu, wants President Muhammadu Buhari to push his economic team harder to evolve the right strategies that can effectively resuscitate the economy and bring it out of the ongoing recession.                          

Kalu spoke to aviation correspondents over the weekend at the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on his way out of the country. He said it would amount to an exercise in futility trying to operate a successful democracy in Nigeria under a climate where there is no rule of law and where citizens’ rights are arbitrarily breached and not respected.    

The former governor advocated a strong and independent judiciary, as panacea for the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracyPresident Buhari, after a long time abroad, has returned. What is your take on his return and how will this stabilise the polity?

Well, I think as Nigerians, we should be very happy that Mr. President is back. It is only in Nigeria where you find people wishing their leaders death, but this ought not to be so, no matter what any leader has done. I know that the President has done so well in the area of defence and pursuing Boko Haram. I congratulate him as Commander-in-Chief.  I also praise the service chiefs, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and the Inspector General of Police as well as the Director of the DSS for their back-up operation on Boko Haram. It was a collective effort.

Now that the president is back, I am very happy. We have been praying. Both Christians and Muslims have been praying because the country has been so polarised that the fabrics of our nation have been eaten with tribalism and religion. I am very happy that the President is back and he should listen to his doctors and continue to take his medications if any. He should work less and put more effort on the economic team so that the economic team will be able to address the issues of the Nigerian economy. This is very important to the Nigerian people; I guess if the Nigeria economy is good, the president himself will also be happy. He took over when there were a lot of doubts on the economy; he took over when the oil prices went down very sharply and whenever your expenditure is more than your income, then there is already a recession. So, I am not sure that recession is just going to end so soon. They need to put up a very strong strategy that will bring back Nigeria to where we are supposed to be.

What do you think this government should do, on the short, medium and, perhaps, long term to gain public confidence that it has the capability to fix the economy?

Now that the president is back, he should be able to fine-tune the economic team and put some recovery policies in place. The team should be very serious. The team should not take anything for granted. The government has fought Boko Haram. This kind of thing cannot be eradicated totally in one day and it also affects our economy.

The most important thing government should look into is the issue of electricity and internal security because internal security is very important. Internal security and electricity are the engine room that drives development, that drives the future of any country and I believe these things can be done.

 There have been two passages in the last few days, Gen. Adebayo Adeyinka and Dr. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia. Arguably, these are statesmen. What are your words on their life and times and how can their lives serve as a source of encouragement to those who are still around?

Well, both men were great statesmen. Like Gen. Adebayo, he is my colleague’s father, Niyi Adebayo, and may his soul rest in peace. I am sure that both of them maintained what they stood for and what they believed in; God will rest their soul in peace.  Gen. Ogbemudia was a good General but I don’t know why these two Generals should be buried at the same time because Nigeria needed them more now for their experience and what we are going through.

I believe it is God’s time and God’s own time; nobody can stop it. So, I send my condolences to the families, especially to Niyi Adebayo. I made effort to call him but unfortunately his phone is not going through, but I will surely visit. I thank God for the soul of the departed. God will bless their souls and they will rest in peace.

 What is your response to your ongoing trial at the Federal High Court, Lagos?

 I cannot say anything but what I believe is that the best behaviour of any society is the fairness of that society where there is rule of law. Nigerians as people should learn how to respect the rule of law. Respecting the rule of law is very essential and very important. When people refuse to yield to the rule of law, then it means that most things being done in that society are gone.

For any country that wants to succeed, number one is for that country to go back to rules of the land and maintain the rules of the land.

You can check, during 1999 to 2007, our state went to Supreme Court 15 times and we won 13 times. So that shows you that there is courage. As far as what people will say, the Nigerian judiciary is still strong.

And I call on the judiciary to give rulings based on rule of law and not based on politics. People do not take politics very serious. When judges or jurists at any level, give political judgment, it is not right. It is good to define judgment based on the rule of law. If anybody is wrong, then you punish him, but if people are not wrong, you don’t punish them.

I have been one person that I know my conscience tells me; I am not a thief. I can never be one and I don’t think to be one, but I have left this to a court of competent jurisdiction to decide.

I know that I have suffered a lot because of constitutional democracy, which I entered in 1999. I have lost a very big bank with 33 branches, 5,000 workers, which was Hallmark Bank. I lost the Slok Airline. All these things are for a few reasons that people are pursuing me. One, in 2007, the party did not want me to run for president. I ran on the ticket of another party and I got 5.6 million votes. Of those 5.6 million votes, only 1.7 million votes came from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. The other votes came from other parts of Nigeria. These are reasons I am being hunted and secondly, because of the issue of Third Term, which I stood vehemently against. I went to Mandela. I went to President George Bush. I told them what was going on. So, the powers-that-be will never forgive me for what I did, because of Third Term; but I don’t care about what anybody says. The fight for Nigerian democracy is a fight of our conscience. People who came to do politics with zero money are behaving like kings. We brought the money used to finance the party. We were not more than five. There were big financiers of this party, Gen. Danjuma, Atiku Abubakar and a few others, who brought real money that we used in supporting this political party. Those that brought the money to support and finance the political party are now called thieves, while those that came with zero money are now billionaires and nobody is asking them how they made the money. So, you can see the contrast in a fragile republic, where people cannot be honest with themselves.

So, unless the judiciary stands up to protect the weak, there will be no polity. Look at what happened in the United States. President Trump has already signed his ban on people, but the judiciary stopped him and said this is not the law of America and he made a U-turn. I call on the judiciary; no matter the circumstance, no matter the treatment or condition, they should stand up and defend the rule of law. They should defend the constitution that they have sworn to uphold, because these are things that make democracy very beautiful.

There are two components of democratic process.  One is software and the other one is hardware. People are seeing the hardware on the streets. They want to see bridges, they want to see aeroplanes, they want to see houses, but no, the most important part of it is the software, which is the rule of law; respect for our constitution, respecting all levels of people with the law protecting them.  There is a common law, written law by Nigerians. We should go through that law and those laws must be respected.

Nigerians have taken tribal sentiments more to heart than speaking the truth. When you look at what we did at Enyimba Football Club, you will find out that you see Mohammed there, you see Kabiru there, you see Yinka there, you see Enyeama there; any name you want was in that team and that was why they were able to achieve what Nigeria could not do in 40 years, by winning the CAF Champions League twice and getting to the semi-finals before losing to Al-Ahly. So, you can see that when we come together as Nigerians, we do a lot, but when we are divided, we don’t do very well.

I commend Nigerian people for their patience with what we are going through and I also commend Nigerian journalism, which is one of the most vibrant in Africa and in the world. People criticise journalists and say all kinds of things about them, but Nigerian journalists have protected democracy.

 Looking at what governors are doing across the country, who would you say have impressed you?

I am very impressed with what is happening in Lagos State and the continuity Governor Ambode is doing in boosting the infrastructure of the state. If I am to vote as an individual, I will vote for Ambode as one of the best governors. I have seen a lot of changes. The mark I am giving him is very high. My advice is that he should keep it up and he should not relent in his efforts in trying to defend democracy here in this state. He has been doing well in all areas. He is furthering communication with the judiciary; he is decongesting the roads; he is looking into primary schools and he is paying attention to the growth and development of the society, which is very important.

Lagos economy is between 35 and 40 per cent of the Nigerian economy. So, if it is well with Lagos, it will be well with other parts of the country. However, I believe Ambode can do more. I am not saying this to flatter him. I have never met him since he became governor. I am not saying this because I want to praise him for no reason. I am saying this because of what I have seen. For the first time in the last seven years, I spent time in Lagos. I spent about eight days and I have seen the difference with what he is doing and I sincerely give my good wishes to him and the Government of Lagos State.



Source: politics

Nigeria’s loss at AU elections self-inflicted –Shehu

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The election of officials of the African Union Commission has come and gone. However, not only did Nigeria lost out, the country would not be heard in the AU, for the next four years.
In this interview, Group Captain Sadeeq Shehu (retd) who was a Deputy Head of the security department at the AU blamed it on lack of preparation and lack of patriotism, insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari was misled into endorsing a green horn, Fatima Kyari Mohammed despite Nigeria having retinue of well qualified Nigerians.
The African Union elections just held and Nigeria lost out in the leadership positions. What do you think happened?
I need to put on record that here I am commenting as someone who has followed national issues, who has served at the African Union for about two years as deputy head of national security and who has some knowledge on how the AU politics is played. As a Nigerian I’m very disappointed that once more we have made the mistake that we always make. This loss at the African Union was self inflicted injury we did not learn anything from our past mistakes and I make bold to say that those who advised government on this issue were either dishonest or unpatriotic and unserious. Even though I left African Union for over year now, I still have colleagues there and we have a big crop of Nigerians that are working at the African Union and we see ourselves as brothers and sisters and so when things come up like this, we get to discuss and know what is happening.
This election I can bet you that no Nigerian who is working at the African Union will tell you that he or she is surprised that we lost this election. The question to ask then is, how come with such crop of professional Nigerians working in the African Union, the Nigerian policy makers could not harness these ready- made materials in the African Union and ECA office in Addis Ababa. I told you earlier that it is a self inflicted injury on many levels.
How do you mean?
One, like we normally do in Nigeria we don’t prepare until it is too late. We believe that we can come at the last minute and then throw money at the problem. That is where we made the mistake. Secondly, it is the question of the candidate we selected, we did not tell ourselves the truth. To be honest with you, with all due respect to the young lady that was selected to represent us – Fatima Kyari Mohammed, she is a green horn and lacks the experience needed for the position we were going for. After the chairperson of the African Union Commission, probably the next most important position is the Commissioner for Peace and Security Architecture even though there is the position of the vice chairperson. This is because unfortunately, Africa is a continent of conflict so the issue of peace and security is always taking forefront. To be honest with you partners and international community tend to relate more with the Commissioner for peace and security than they do with any other official.
Now, that being the case, people know that Nigeria is a strong country on the West Africa sub-region; we are a strong country on the continent. However, we insult people’s intelligence when in the name of being the elephant in the room we think we can carry any candidate and shove down the throat of the African Union. At the background of this election, some senior AU officials have made the remarks that Nigeria is taking them for granted by bringing such a green horn to contest that election. Compared to other people she contested the position with, she was the one with the least experience or qualified, yet Nigeria still went ahead with that candidate. As you know, every country is meant to present their best for the election. For the first time even before the election, the African Union decided to contract a panel of independent experts to assess the candidate. But that is not to say that if you are considered weak you cannot contest or you are asked to pull out. But they did that to provide information for countries who want to vote and show the weight in terms of experience and qualification of each candidate. When the result of that analysis came out, our candidate was the sixth out of the six candidates assessed. If we are serious and sensitive, that was the time to make another strategic move and save ourselves this embarrassment. I mean what were the chances having been adjudged the least? Yet Nigeria went ahead and pushed her candidacy, I don’t know what they told Mr. President that made him succumb to such an embarrassing move.
When was the result of that assessment released?
It came two months or so before the election. The election was held in January and the result was released either end of October or in November. On that panel were former Nigerian ambassadors who were recognized as experts to judge. I would have thought anybody who advises this government honestly, that was the time to do a re-check. In such elections there are two ways to go about it, sometimes you don’t even have to present a candidate, you can withdraw and support a candidate and then extract a promise because four years in an international organization is not such a long time, that in the next election you will get the support of the country whose candidate you withdrew for. To tell you honestly, is a shameful thing to be defeated in such an election and countries recognize that and that is why sometimes they withdraw their candidates and shift their support to you and encourage their supporters from other countries to do same with a caveat that you please note that in the next election we are interested in this or that position. When you get such a diplomatic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), you can then withdraw your candidate. But sadly despite the opinion of these experts Nigeria still went ahead to push for Fatimah Kyari’s candidacy.
I told you earlier that I have been following this election right from time and I can tell you authoritatively that Nigeria was indecisive. I will not like to mention some names out of respect but you know there is this unwritten law that the Big Five – South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and Libya will not go for the position of the chairperson but South Africa broke that deal by contesting the last election that produced the last chairperson, Madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Nigeria was initially thinking of going for the position of the chairperson and so was Algeria. Nigeria finally decided not to go for the chairperson but for Commissioner for Peace and Security Architecture, after a long time of ding dung. Again, it is important to stress that before the election, we had a Commissioner for Political Affairs in the person of Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi. In the history of the AU, it is almost automatic that all the commissioners serve two terms unless something happens or you opt out of your own volition. So one would have expected that since the assessment result revealed that our candidate for the position of Commissioner for Peace and Security Architecture was weak and the least experienced, we should have settled for Dr. Aisha Abdullahi and support her to return for a second term because she not only has the experience but she has garnered enough clout, it would have been easier to sell her but for one reason or the other she did not get the support, this is sad.
When this decision was made, there is one lady in ECOWAS Commission, Hajia Salamatu Sulieman I don’t know if you have met her, she is Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security in the ECOWAS commission and was the first person to be touted to go for this position of Commissioner for Peace and Security Architecture at the AU. She was told to prepare by the government to contest the election, she had started mobilizing both governments and individuals but midway through the process, the government or should I say officials of ministry of foreign affairs or should I say some advisers to Mr. President because we really don’t know nor have the facts but somehow interest was lost in supporting her candidacy for the AU position. I have it on good authority that she was not even contacted to stop her mobilisation; she was somewhere probably doing her mobilization when someone hinted her that she was no longer Nigeria’s candidate for that position. The next person they picked was a Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but along the line again he was dropped and then from the blues Fatima Kyari Mohammed emerged as the candidate of choice. I have it on good authority that she was somewhere in another African country when she was called to head to Addis Ababa that her name has been dropped as candidate to contest for the position of Commissioner of Peace and Security Architecture. Let us look at it critically; even psychologically, she was not prepared, not to talk of her inadequacies which were made known by the Board of ECOWAS not me.
Let me be honest with you, those Nigerians I spoke with in Addis Ababa believed she was the wrong candidate. My real question is, I will like to know how much Mr. President knew about this election because to be fair to him he cannot be everywhere and that is why he has advisers and ministers. He relied on some so called diplomatic guru. But for me, the failure of Fatimah Kyari Mohammed did not come as a surprise to us, but it is very sad.
But what does this loss mean to Nigeria, considering the country’s contribution to AU Commission?
Well, Nigeria contributes 15 percent of the AU budget. So when you  multiply 15 by five that is 75 percent from the Big Five countries and the remaining 25 percent comes from the remaining 49 countries on the continent. This is just the budget contribution. But in between, Nigeria contributes to other programmes or issues to be addressed on the continent by the Commission if they have no money to execute, that one cannot be calculated or quantified. But let me shock you further, the money that was spent on this wild goose chase by a country in recession can only be imagined. I have it on good authority that Nigeria’s delegation from the Vice President, to ministers in pursuit of this election, sometimes fly out in presidential jet and other times in commercial flights even when we knew that we had a weak candidate, one, we knew was not good enough, was that fair to Nigeria?.


Source: politics

Recession : Buhari should hire experts to run economy -Omehia

By Chinelo Obogo

Sir Celestine Omehia is a former governor of Rivers State and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was at the recent Sun Man of the Year Awards and he spoke on the crisis in his party , how the country can overcome recession, and other national issues.
You accompanied Governor Nyesom Wike to receive the Sun governor of the year award. How would you describe him as a person and as a governor?
As a person, the governor of Rivers State is very intelligent, friendly, hard working, amiable and an example to all. He is qualified as a lawyer and he is using his wealth of experience to bring more development to Rivers State and that is one of the reasons why he deserves the award.
What has been his role in the post-2015 PDP?
His role in the party has been very strategic.
In what way has his role been strategic?
He has been like a rallying point for other members of the party and as a high ranking officer of the party, he has shown warmth to them. He has shown that we can get whatever assistance we want, in any form we want it. He is a man of the people and that is why he is hugely popular especially in the state. The number and calibre of people who accompanied him to receive this award is a testament to that.
The Appeal Court recently upheld the leadership of the acting national chairman of PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff. How did you feel about the judgment?
Judgement comes and goes, and no matter what we say, that is the view of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has given its own judgement, the details on how they arrived at it, we don’t know, but the fact is that, the conclusion is that Sheriff is the party chairman. The judgment disrespected and disregarded the party members who gathered in Rivers State to appoint the Caretaker Committee; it disregarded the opinion of the people. The interest of the people should have been considered before taking such a decision. But whatever grounds and whatever it is that made them to take such decision does not matter now; it is already late. The decision has been made; so, what is important now is that the party has to reorganise itself. The elders of the party should resolve the issue so that it can plan towards wrestling power from the All Progressives Congress (APC). We must recognise the fact that we are in the opposition; and we must also recognise the fact that the APC is not going to peacefully walk out and say take over power. We need to be united, we need to be strong. But then, all the people involved must bury personal interest for the interest of the party as a whole because it is the basic thing.
One of the PDP senators advised the party to work with Sheriff and go for a convention where it will elect its leaders. He said that without embracing Sheriff, the party is headed for destruction because according to him, Nigeria is a one-party state and it has no opposition. What’s your view?
If PDP does not really reorganise itself, APC will have its way, no doubt about that. But then the proper thing has to be done. It is not to say that Sheriff’s faults should be forgotten, no! Everything about it should be done properly and then the party has to move forward because many things have been taken for granted. If Sheriff has taken the party for granted, if he has taken the members for granted, we shouldn’t say because the court has given its decision or  judgement, then every other person should just sweep the rubbish under the carpet and move forward. You can’t move forward if things are swept under the carpet. Therefore, whatever the problem is, it must be sorted out and then we can move forward. If you don’t sort out the problem from the primary level to the topmost, you cannot move forward. Therefore, all those things have to be looked into then we can move forward. So because the judgement of the court says that Sheriff is the national chairman does not mean that every other thing he has done or purported to have done is correct; it is not correct.
Would you blame the party for not carrying out due diligence before it even accepted him as an acting chairman?
I don’t know about that. I wouldn’t know who promised what or if there was any promise at all, but the fact is that the party officers are human beings and they could make their own mistakes. You know human beings can be pretentious. If he had pretended to be what he is not and at the long run exposes that which he is, therefore, there is bound to be a reaction because it is deception. It is a pretentious attitude and therefore, those attitudes which he pretended to be which he is not have to be corrected.
For a while, the country has been facing economic crisis; from your own candid point, what do you think the government can do?
I think that the issue of recession and economic disorganisation of the country has to do with professional arrangements. As far as I am concerned, the headship of the country has to be focused; has to be interested in the affairs of the people and have to know what is good for the people and go for it. If they don’t have the interest of the country at heart which is what is playing out now, then whatever thing that is happening in recession would not bother them. Therefore, they have to first and foremost, purge themselves by asking if they are qualified to be there. If they are qualified, are they interested in the affairs of this country? If they are interested in the affairs of this country, then what steps can they take to make sure that the people of this country benefit from their presence as a government? They have to hire the best hands; they have to think about themselves being competent or not, or do the best in any manner or form to reorganise the economy and move the country forward.
Are you in support of the ban on over 41 import goods?
My idea about importation is simple and straight. Ban on importation is only supposed to be where there is local competition with the imported goods. If we are producing, then why should we import contrary to the needs of the people? If we ban what we are not producing, it leads to starvation and if that is the case, it simply means that smuggling will increase in the country. Therefore, the government should not ban the importation of things we are not producing. For instance, if you say they should ban the importation of rice because there is production of rice in Nigeria, then the question we ask is what quantity are we producing? And what is the level of consumption of rice in Nigeria? Can the rice produced in Nigeria balance off if we ban the importation? If it is not, then you liberalise importation of rice.
The same thing is applicable to shoes, same thing is applicable to other things. Mind you, the more they ban the importation of goods, the more restricted the dollar that comes into this country. If there is ban on importation of things, investors will not come to Nigeria to invest because their products would not come into this country and if their product do not come into this country, it simply means dollar scarcity will still continue to rise and that is the problem Nigeria will continue to have. This is a simple economic sense   and they need to get experts to think with them. The problem in Nigeria now is that, the people in government are only thinking of what they can get instead of what the people can get and that.


Source: politics

Forex: 41 items remain banned, says Emefiele

By Omodele Adigun

Those thinking that the embargo on  the 41 items may have been lifted were proed wrong over the weekend as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, stated that the ban is not only in force but also canvassed their support for the policy.

According to Emefiele, the policy was not just in response to the pressure on the Naira, but also as an opportunity to change the economy’s structure, resuscitate local manufacturing, and expand job creation for the citizenry.

The apex bank boss, who stated this at the weekend in Lagos while recieving Vanguard Newspaper’s Personality of the Year Award, enjoined Nigerians to support  the policy as its variants have proven to be highly effective in other climes and even in the country. He stated: “This policy was basically borne out of necessity to conserve foreign exchange. I know that no policy is cast in stone, and we may have no need for it some day in this country. But, policymakers across this country need to pay attention to global trends and ensure that they reflect upon our strategy and thinking. Given the new realities of nationalist and populist sentiments sweeping across the world (Brexit in the UK, election of Donald Trump in the US, rise of Marine Le Pen in France, and Geert Wilders’ encouraging poll numbers in the Netherlands, etc), the calls from certain quarters for a reversal of this policy is quite saddening.

“For example, throughout the early days of South Korea’s economic renaissance, the government intermittently used excessively stiff tariffs, quantitative restrictions and prohibitive inland taxes to effectively ban many items with potential for high imports, and simultaneously, offered generous and subsidized loans to firms for export promotion causes. In fact, at some point, about 93 per cent of total imports into South Korea were subject to one or more such restrictions.

“And here at home, this policy have been used to achieve significant sufficiency in cement, a product whose importation could have been costing us over US$3.2 billion in foreign reserves annually.”

On the issue of foreign exchange (forex), he assured Nigerians of the apex’s bank’s willingness, determination, and capacity to meet all legitimate foreign exchange(forex) demands, threatening to make forex speculators lose their money. He stated that the CBN would not sit idly and watch faceless criminals destroy the currency.

His words: “Let me also reiterate the central bank’s willingness, determination, and capacity to continue to meet all legitimate transaction-based FX demands in the market. I obviously cannot be of help to people or businesses who are into speculative FX demand. My promise instead to this group, whether foreign or local, is that the CBN will make sure they lose money!”

The CBN boss also took time to dress down those calling on the country to emulate Egypt and allow the free float of the Naira. “I have always had one simple question for this group of persons: name me just one country in the whole world that practises a freely floating exchange rate regime? Just one.

I have heard commentators suggest we

should follow Egypt’s example and free the Naira. What they do not

tell you is that following their currency adjustments; inflation today

in Egypt is over 30 percent. Is that what we want in Nigeria?

On nation’s inflationary trend, he explained that the nation is

suffering from “cost-push inflation, exacerbated by supply shortages

in food, fuels, and FX.”

He added: ìIn view of the fact that our current episode of

inflationary pressure is coinciding with contracting

economic growth, we have to recognize that the

dilemma it poses to policymaking. This is because no single

macroeconomic policy can address rising inflation and slow growth

simultaneously, because fighting inflation may require implementing

policies that might, in the short term, be inimical to economic

growth, whereas, adopting expansionary policies to stimulate growth

usually worsen inflation. This is the reason the Monetary Policy

Committee has , rather than concede to reducing rates, decided to HOLD

its position through the adoption of tight monetary policy and this is

also the reason we have seen a deceleration in the rate of month-on-

month inflation in the last couple of months. Like all other

Nigerians, the Committee is conscious of the adverse impact of

inflation and rising prices on the lives of ordinary; hence the

posture it currently adopt.î

On high interest rate, he blamed it on cost of capital and  cost of

doing business in the country. ìThis is why the CBN’s fight to bring

inflation down is strongly connected to our quest to ensure that

lending rates also come down in due course, ì he said.

Shedding more light on why interest rate is high, he said: ìFirst, I

sympathize with people

when I hear the call on the CBN to reduce interest rates. I share

their goal of a reduced

single digit interest rate regime in Nigeria. But many people do not

seem to understand that in times of high inflation, reducing interest

rates make inflationary pressures much worse, with a second round

effect of making economic growth even less possible.

It is also important to note that interest rates reflect both cost of

capital as well as cost of doing business. If we can approximate cost

of capital as the average saving interest rate, which is about 6

percent, what then accounts for lending rates at 25 or more percent?

It is cost of doing business. For example, a typical Nigerian Bank

must employ the services of policemen and other security people

deployed constantly to protect its branches. The bank must also

provide a significant amount for reliable electricity and broadband

Internet services to keep its systems running. These expenditures only

further increase costs of doing business for lenders, a cost they must

pass on to borrowers.

This is why the CBN’s fight to bring inflation down It is also important to note that interest rates reflect both cost of capital as well as cost of

doing business. If we can approximate cost of capital as the average saving interest rate, which is about 6 percent, what then accounts for lending rates at 25 or more percent? It is cost of doing business. For example, a typical Nigerian Bank must employ the services of policemen and other security people deployed constantly to protect its branches. The bank must also provide a significant amount for reliable electricity and broadband Internet services to keep its systems running. These expenditures only further increase costs of doing business for lenders, a cost they must pass on to borrowers.î



Source: business

Unity Bank drags Tompolo ‘s company to court over N5.3billion debt

In a bid to recover a debt of N5,320,953,095.40, Unity Bank Plc has dragged a Limited liability company Muhaabix Global services Limited owned by the leader of Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a. Tompolo before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

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Source: news

Son bags hat-trick as Rampaging Tottenham demolish Millwall 6-0

Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup with an easy 6-0 win over League One Millwall but lost striker Harry Kane with an ankle injury.

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Source: sport news

Man who stole 6 laptops at Seminar arrested while hosting church members

The operatives of Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a man who specialised in stealing laptops and properties of conference and seminar participants in Lagos State.

The post Man who stole 6 laptops at Seminar arrested while hosting church members appeared first on PM NEWS Nigeria.

Source: news

LASTMA GM escapes death as ‘Danfo’ driver almost ran over him

The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Olawale Musa escaped death by the whisker as a commercial bus driver, David Agiri, driving with a stolen vehicle with number plate FKJ 875XC at Oshodi area of the State almost ran over him in a bid to escape.

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Source: news

Ambrose Ali University Denies Cases Of Sexual Harassment

The authority of Ambrose Ali University (AAU) Ekpoma in Edo, says neither a case of sexual harassment nor admission racketeering exits in the institution. Its Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo made the disclosure on Sunday in Ekpoma. According to him, the AAU engages in a monthly prayer session for sound spiritual development and to eliminate …

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Source: news

FG, States To Curb Gender Based Violence

The Light Up Africa Development Initiative (LADI), an NGO, has called on the Federal and state governments to develop practical political will and policies to tackle Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country. Mrs Kehinde Macaulay, the focal person of LADI, made the call on Sunday in Abuja. The appeal was in continuation of the …

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Source: news