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Friday, 21 October 2016

SWAN Announces Otunba Gbenga Daniel As National Matron

Sports key to economic development -Gbenga Daniel


Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has described sports as a veritable tool for economic development, just as he called on financially-muscled Nigerians to invest in sports.

Daniel, made the remarks on Friday in Sagamu, while playing host to members of the National Executive Committee of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) who were at his residence to pay him a courtesy visit.

He noted that sports can create employment, empowerment and above all, develop the society economically. "I want to use this opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians who have the financial muscle, people like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Dr Mike Adenuga and host of others to try as much as possible to invest in sports.

"I heard in the news sometime ago that Alhaji Aliko Dangote wants to buy Arsenal Football Club. Well, he is a businessman, He must have seen the potential of making profit by acquiring the club but I want him to look inwards and consider having a Dangote Football Club in Nigeria. By doing this, there will be employment for some set of people and those depending on them for their daily needs will also benefit indirectly.

"It is also funny when I hear people say that sports does not bring any kind of profit when invested in. I remember when we hosted the Gateway Games in 2006, I think we recorded about N92m profit after the competition.

"Therefore, it is important to note here that sports as much as I know is one of the most profitable ventutes. Aside the economic value attached to sports, It also reduces social vices in the society because whenever any sporting event is taking place, the environment become friendly and devoid of any form of criminality". He said.

In his address, SWAN president, Honour Sirawoo, stated that Otunba Gbenga Daniel's tremendous achievements in the sports sector while in office prompted the visit of the NEC of the association to him.

"We are here today to let you know that all what you did to develop sports in Ogun State in Nigeria at large when you were serving as governor did not go unnoticed. And that is the reason we are here tell you that you are recognised and highly appreciated for your efforts.

"As a result of this, your excellency, I want to, by the power conferred on me and as stipulated by the SWAN statutes and also with the support of my fellow exco members announce you as our national patron".
Sirawoo, however, hinted that the formal investiture will be held at a later date and at the convenience of the recipient.

During Otunba Gbenga Daniel's administration, Ogun State hosted the National Sports Festival tagged 'Gateway Games 2006'. Also, during his tenure three international standard stadiums were built, One of which hosted some matches during the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup

CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF FLAGS OFF OPERATION TSARE TEKU III, INSPECTS COMMANDS



The Nigerian Navy’s anti piracy operations code named ‘Operation (Op) TSARE TEKU’ has been extended by 3 months with effect from 20 October 2016. This follows the successful conduct of the first and second phases of the Op which were launched on 25 April 2016 and 22 July 2016 respectively. TSARE TEKU which is an Hausa phrase means ‘Safe River’. 

Ships and platforms of the Nigerian Navy currently participating in the Op include NNS CENTENARY, NNS OKPABANA, NNS SAGBAMA, NNS ANDONI and NNS KYANWA. The Task Group is supported with a robust intelligence network from the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Centres (RMAC) and the FALCON EYE located at Yenagoa, Calabar, Lagos, Oghara and Abuja. 

At the flagging off ceremony of phase 3 of the Operation held on 20 October 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said that prior to the commencement of the Operation in April 2016, there were about 40 successful cases of piracy attacks in Nigerian waters. According to the CNS, this trend stopped as soon as the Op was launched. 

Giving an assessment of the Op, Vice Admiral Ibas noted that during the first phase from April to July 2016, only 2 successful cases of piracy were recorded, while 1 successful case and 1 unsuccessful attempt were also recorded during the second phase of the operations between July and now. He maintained that this significant achievements as evidenced by marked reduction in successful piracy attacks and other maritime crimes has no doubt enhanced shipping activities and protection of oil and gas infrastructure. It also provided support for Op DELTA SAFE as a viable platform to cover the whole of the Niger Delta region and surrounding waterways. 

Additionally, Op TSARE TEKU has continued to enhance the tactical and technical capability of Naval Ships and personnel. In the course of these operations, the Nigerian Navy has partnered with other maritime stakeholders in order to improve efficient intelligence sharing and compatibility for the benefit of maritime security. 

In a related development, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas has embarked on annual inspection of Nigerian Navy Ships, Bases, Units and establishments as part of strategies to mitigate operational and administrative challenges being faced by the service. 

NCS dismisses 29 Senior Officers



Twenty-nine (29) Senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been dismissed for various acts of gross misconduct. The dismissed  officers are among forty-four (44) Senior officers who were punished for actions capable of compromising national economy and security.

Ten (10) other officers were retired from Service, while the  appointment of one (1) was terminated. Four (4) officers were given written warnings to be of better conduct while another 4 officers who were investigated and tried for some offences were exonerated. 

Four (4) of the officers who got the hammer were of the rank of Deputy-Comptroller of Customs, while five (5) were Assistant-Comptroller. Others were seven (7) Chief Superintendents of  
Customs and four (4) Superintendents, among others.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd) had made it clear upon his assumption of duties that the Service will not compromise on Corruption and Indiscipline among the officers corps. In line with this, the structure and process for investigation of offences was strengthened to handle cases reported promptly and professionally. “We will give all officers fair hearing in line with the principle of natural justice. We will however insist that  sanctions be punitive, not only to match the offence committed, but to serve as deterrent to others”, the CGC remarked at Management meeting convened to consider the report of the Disciplinary Committee that  
investigated the cases.

The process leading to the actions taken on the officers was painstaking in line with the Public Service Rules (PSR). All the  officers were served with Queries indicating offences committed,  
before they made appearances before the Special Investigation Committee. The Committee’s recommendation was discussed and approved by the Customs Management. The recommendation was thereafter referred to the Presidency for ratification, in the absence of a substantive Board for the Nigeria Customs Service. All the officers affected in the exercise have been communicated accordingly.

The Comptroller-General warned officers that punitive sanctions will continue to be used to discipline officers who refuse to embrace change.

Officers affected in this exercise were investigated for involvement in improper examination and release of containers without  proper documentation and payment of duties, illegal release of goods  in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items, release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.

Last week, seventeen (17) Junior officers were similarly dismissed  
from service for offences like bribery, drug addiction, use of fake  
certificates and absence from duty.

CBN, HERITAGE BANK, NYSC DISBURSE N774M TO 310 YIEDP BENEFICIARIES



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking services provider and The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have disbursed a whopping sum of N774million to 310 beneficiaries under the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP).
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the disbursement of funds to young entrepreneurs under the YIEDP, on Thursday, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended Heritage Bank for its painstaking effort to buy into the vision of job creation and piloting the programme to a successful stage.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the CBN in partnership with Heritage Bank and NYSC instituted the programme to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment affecting over 16 million unemployed youths in Nigeria, adding that the access to credit via this platform would be a powerful instrument to grow businesses and the economy.
He noted that the YIEDP was part of the plan by the CBN and the Federal Government to create over one million direct jobs by 2020.
Emefiele, who affirmed that the programme would have a multiplier effect on job creation and economy, urged all the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the fund.
He added that the YIEDP has the potential of becoming the stimulus for job and wealth creation, growth and economic development through improved access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
He also assured the business community that the CBN would continue to provide enabling environment, devise ways and means to grow the real sector towards a self-reliant economy.
Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Heritage Bank Plc, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, stated that the beneficiaries would get the fund as soon as certain concerns raised by the beneficiaries regarding the conditions for the loans are addressed.
According to Sekibo, who was represented by Group Executive Director, Lagos /South-West Corporate and Banking of Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, a proper process of disbursement would be done to the benefit and happiness of all parties.
He said, “They will get the money as soon as all those issues they raised are addressed. The money is available. They have been disbursed. CBN has disbursed to the bans. It is now about sorting out whatever the challenges are, and then the funds are now made available.”
Commenting on the process, Sekibo stated that the target was for 1,000 beneficiaries, adding that the initial applicants were 4,000, while there are presently 7,000 applicants waiting.
He said, “We are optimistic that by the time we are done with the initial 1,000, and we go back, we would be able to accommodate as many as are qualified as possible, and obviously expand the amount of money that is needed to do that.”
The MD disclosed that Heritage Bank leveraged on its robust electronic platform in order to ensure a seamless and successful disbursement of the YIEDP funds.
Also speaking, Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier-General Sule Kazaure, said the YEDP was introduced in March 2016, with the aim of funding the business plans of corps members so as to encourage and motivate others to imbibe the culture of entrepreneurship.
He further stated that the programme was also designed to facilitate access to other funding agencies and sources of support to corps members, while also making it possible for corps members to access Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMES, funds from the CBN through Heritage Bank and other banks wishing to join in the programme.
He urged the beneficiaries of the programme to remain focused, while also ensuring that the loans are paid back to make for extension of the same facilities to other corps members

Why Ogun West Leaders Will Support Hon Ladi Adebutu As Next Governor Of Ogun State- Malik Ibitoye, Ogun PDP Publicity Secretary

No doubt the battle for who will be the next landlord at Oke Mosan,the seat of power of Ogun State Governor is on. The gladiators are ready, the incumbent is hell bent on installing the next occupant,Yewa people have lost patience,while the West desire a shift after waiting for many years for others. 

In this interview Alhaji Malik Ibitoye,the spokesman for Ogun PDP made some revelations about the current situation of things. 

Enjoy: 


Sir, what’s your assessment of state of affairs of Ogun State politics?

 Well, we cannot divorce politics in Ogun State from  the politics in Nigeria generally, and especially from the peoples way of life in the State. I want to tell you specifically that Ogun State is moving backward in the last five years, and the backwardness is actually caused by the incumbent government of  Senator  Ibikunle   Amosun. The truth is that, the current  APC  government  has killed the political life of the good people of Ogun State. The people are afraid to talk, including members  of his party, they can’t question the man. We hear a lot of things from outside, and this has also translated into backwardness of the economy, because I can say categorically that the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has destroyed the fabrics of our economy in Ogun State. Despite the fact that he claimed to have increased the  Internal  Generated Revenue, Ogun State people are wallowing in abject poverty.  All the link roads in Ogun State have been destroyed, the public schools are in terrible state, all government hospitals are houses of horror. Ask any medical worker in the state, they will tell you sordid stories of how this government has abandoned the place.  There is no single project  the government is doing, because I know that when PDP was in power, during Otunba  Gbenga Daniel’s administration there is not a single aspect of life that OGD did not touch. Do you want to talk about internal roads? Do you want to talk about Agriculture, do you want to talk about empowering the people of the State? OGD built new hospitals and health centers across the state, rehabilitated existing ones. The PDP government of OGD built stadia in Ijebu Ode, Sagamu and Ilaro which engaged our youths in sporting activities and placed the state among the best Five states in sporting activities in Nigeria. What is the place of sports now in the state? Dead. Where is our Gateway Football Club now? Everything has collapsed under Gov Amosun and his band of APC team.

Gov  Ibikunle  Amosu  will say he built roads in the state, but we all know he did not construct a single road, but expanded existing roads, empphais, existing roads, but no new ones. Even at that, he gave the multi billion naira contractss to Chinese firms and they did horrible jobs. Most of the roads he expanded are now failing, while the Ijoko-Akute road had been abandoned. He refused to engage our local contractors. He refused to use the money in Ogun State to empower Ogun State citizens. He refused to empower our local artisans. So, politically Ogun State is drawing backward, and it is very unfortunate that Amosun  has really underdeveloped  the State.

 What is the problem with Ogun State chapter of PDP?  

A: We understand our challenges  in Ogun State PDP because from 1999 to 2011, PDP was very strong in Ogun State, but towards  the end of Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s  second term, a lot of interests came to be at play. You remember that Ogun State PDP had the most powerful, most influential and most eminent  personalities in Nigeria. In fact, Ogun State had the first first functional permanent secretariat, even ahead of the National, Politicians like former President,  Chief Olusegun  Obasanjo, Former Spaker, Dimeji Bankole, Senator Jubril  Martins Kuye, Baba Sdule Onabiyi, Senator Iyabo Anishulowo, Chief (Mrs) Titi Ajanaku and a host of other leaders. But towards the end of the second term of  Otunba  Gbenga Daniel, there were personality clashes and these clashes resulted into some people either keeping quiet or taking a ‘siddon’ look attitude to the politics of the state which created a vacuum, as some people came in to highjack the structure of the party. That was the genesis of Ogun State PDP crisis. So for a long tme, many respected leaders kept quiet and some forces began to control, began to use money to woo people and at the end of the day PDP lost it’s soul. Right now, we have sat down, took a self internal, critical examination of ourselves and party and found out that we cannot abandon the Ogun State people like this, we have to redefine the politics of Ogun State.

I thank God for giving  us somebody like Hon. Ladi Adebutu, who stands like a liberator of PDP in Ogun State. He started the process, he began to move with the  leadership to woo back all the aggrieved members. He said ‘Please come back and let us let us do this thing together’. So we are in the process of redefining PDP, we are in the process of rejuvenating PDP and we are in the process of taking back what rightly belongs to us that is the governance of Ogun State, which is the government of the people and for the people.

 What is your view about the last Local Government Election in Ogun State?

A: it is very unfortunate that we have degenerated to this level of political and election manipulation in Ogun State where an incumbent government will deploy thugs and brazenly in the open, rig elections in favour of his party candidates. It is quite obvious that PDP won most of the seats, especially Ogun West and Ogun East Senatorial districts. Across the Wards in the state and local governments, thugs were deployed, our members were chased away, ballot boxes were snatched. In year 2016 ballot boxes are still being  snatched. Our agents were not allowed into collation centres. We all know that this election was a sham. It was simply a Vote of No Confidence of Governor Amosun, and the APC government. The governor sat somewhere, gave the mandate to OGSIEC to write election results and return all his candidates for him. And it is also unheard of, that you have an election into Local Government seats where the Chairmanship candidates will not have Vice- Chairmen. Right now as I am talking to you, most of the Local  Government  Chairmen  that were declared by the OGSIEC as winners have no Vice- Chairmen, which should have been a prerequisite to even contest the election in the first place, because you must have a vice Chairman, they  didnt  have. The names of Vice- Chairmen for all the Local Governments and the LCDAs are now being sent through text messages by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the governor, which means he is appointing the Vice- Chairmen after the election had been concluded. He sworn in all the Local Government Chairmen last week, just two days after election, without allowing for statutory number of days for litigation and legal challenge.  He is now sitting down with his caucus, just about five people to decide, okay who should we give the vice-Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government to? Who should we give this one to? Who should we give that to? Is that an election? It has shown that the election was a sham. But it was to test our popularity and we knew that it has given us a boost. Which has shown that by 2019, PDP is taking over in Ogun State, that is our position. We won the election squarely, because nobody wants to hear APC again in Ogun State because of how Amosun has destroyed the economies and social lives in all the nooks and crannies of the State. You can’t tell me APC won in Akute, You can’t tell me APC won in Alagbole,  you can’t tell me APC won in Ado-Odo/Ota here, you can’t tell me they  won in Shagamu. How can APC win in Shagamu? This is our stronghold.  And we believe that the Local Government election we participated in was to measure our popularity and we have confirmed that the people want us back and they want this visionless  government out of the State. 

 If you believe that the last Local Government election was marred by a lot of malpractices, will your candidates go to the tribunal for justice? 

 Yes, we are encouraging our candidates to present facts and figures at the tribunal. There is nothing stopping us to challenge the result because we have our results. No matter what the government says, we wil prove to them that we won the elections.  Although, they have the apparatus of the government at the tribunal, because they are the one setting it up, but we will not be deterred. They can do whatever they like, but we will pursue it to the logical end.

 What is your take on the recent call by the coalition of opposition parties for a change in electoral law to allow the local government polls  be overseen by National Electoral Commission instead of  State authorities?

A: I believe it is long overdue. Local government election should be conducted by a national body which is Independent National Electoral Commission, because Local Governments are creations of  the constitution,  we are practicing a Federal system of government  which has three tiers of government, that is Federal, State and Local Government.  The local Government also draw it’s funds directly from the National purse. This is not about PDP or APC issue. But it’s about having a strong Institution. We can see across the country, if government of a political party organizes a local government election in a State, hardly will you have an opposition winning a ward seat talk less of a Local Government seat. So we know it’s a sham and we would rather call for a total cleansing and remodeling of the law and give the power back to the Independent Electoral Commission to handle the Local Government Elections. So we accept that call. 

You said that you had already redefined Ogun State PDP but we hear  Ladi Adebutu’s faction and Buruji Kasamu’s faction here and there, what is really happening?

Yes, it is true there are factions in Ogun State PDP but I want to tell you with all sense of modesty that yes we have our differences,  but  we know how to settle the issues. Senator  Buruji  is a party leader and a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Ogun East.  And Hon. Ladi Adebutu is very respected and loved by everybody in the State and he is currently the House of Representatives member representing Ikenne/Sagamu/ Remo North Federal Constituency. Both leaders have issues concerning the interest of the party. Both of them have the interest of the party at heart. But at the end of the day, all the frictions will be settled. Our national leaders had waded into it, they will settle the whole issue.  So we can assure you that in the next few weeks, there won’t be any faction group in Ogun State and we know that either way, both of  them have the interest of the party and the people of Ogun State at heart. They might differ on their strategies, they might differ on their modus operandi, but the ultimate aim is to kick out APC and get good governance once again back to Ogun State. So right now, I can assure you that within the next few weeks you won’t hear  anything about faction again. You will see all our leaders coming under one umbrella to work for the enthronement of good governance in Ogun State once again.

 Sir, if you look at the indices, Hon. Ladi Adebutu  has gained a lot of popularity and is well loved by the entire people of Ogun State which has generated a sort of speculation  that he might  contest for  Ogun State gubernatorial election in 2019.

 Hon. Ladi Adebutu is a God sent man to the people of Ogun State. Very few leaders have his qualities, which is about having  human kindness in him. He is somebody that knows how to deal with the  grassroots. A lot of people will see him and say because he was born with a silver spoon,  they expect him to keep the politicians and masses  at arms length. But Hon. Ladi Adebutu is somebody that will eat on the same table with  you, will eat in the same plate with you. He understands the  people. I am aware there is a lot of pressure on him to run for governorship seat in 2019. He is not looking for money or popularity, the popularity is there already. The money is there already. So the only way he can help humanity is to spread the wealth. How much is the total budget of Ogun State in a year that some people will say he wants to go there and steal? He cannot take a dime of people’s money. This is somebody who has placed so many students on scholarships, even beyond his own Federal  Constituency.

 Across the State, he’s been giving out cars to empower people, he’s been giving out grinding machines to empower people. He is a very quiet person and very sociable. That is the kind of people we must have at the healm of affairs in Ogun State. So if some people are saying that Ladi Adebutu wants to be governor, it’s a welcome development. I believe he would yield to the clarion calls of the people to come and rescue them from this shackles of bondage being put in their hands by the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Interestingly, a lot of people don’t know that Ladi Adebutu is an experienced politician. This is not his first time in the National Assembly, he was first elected into the House of Reps in 1992 under the defunct Social Democratic Party during the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime. He contested in 2003, 2007 and 2011 for seats in the National Assembly, and had always been a member of the PDP since it was formed.. So, he is in tune with the political realities of Ogun State and Nigeria. It will therefore be a blessing if he accepts to run for the governorship seat.

 If Hon. Ladi Adebutu yield to the call of the people to contest for governorship election in 2019.  Do you think it will go down well with the people of Ogun West who according to political observers should produce the next governor. 

 I am from Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government, and Ado-Odo/Ota has the highest  voting population  in Ogun West. We have our own issues in Ogun West. And we have identified our issues in Ogun West.  Twice, Ogun West has been given the opportunity to produce governor, but whatever happens to that is left to history. We are not foreclosing the possibility of any other aspirant coming out from Ogun West though. If you know you can beat Ladi Adebutu, come out, we will accept you. But if Ladi Adebutu rolls out his political machineries today and say I want to be the governor of Ogun State in 2019, I think the best thing for us is to support him because Ogun East had always supported us. During the 2011 election, Ogun East gave us their support. At the last election in 2015 too, they gave us their votes and the question is, why cant Ogun West have a block vote for their own, because Amosun wouldn’t have won if Ogun West had delivered their votes. So it is logical we support Hon Ladi Adebutu so that we can begin a new process of re-set. Let me assure you, the Ogun West project is most likely to be easier with an incumben governor planning with us. Our best chance was when Governor Daniel swore to replace himslef with an Ogun west Governor. So, we can always reset and re-strategise. To this end therefore, I need to say, that right now, our leaders in Ogun West are behind Hon. Ladi Adebutu.  

Let’s even forget about where somebody comes from in terms of zoning or no zoning arrangement. What is the essence of government? To make life better for the people.  If somebody from Ogun 'South' can make life better in Ogun West, why won’t I follow the person? Why won’t I rally massive support for the person? If somebody from Ogun Central can do it, why don’t we allow him, if somebody from Ogun East can do it, why don’t we allow him? I believe that our Ogun West people too are trying to put their house in order. I know that our leaders cannot lead us astray in Ogun West. I am talking as an Ogun West politician. We have reached an agreement that we will support Hon. Ladi Adebutu in PDP to actualise his aspiration and are comfortable with Ladi Adebutu.

What are the machineries being put in place by Ogun State PDP to make sure that the party emerge as a winner in 2019 gubernatorial election because the same factional syndrome that is affecting PDP at the National level is now plauging Ogun State chapter of PDP

 I have said it earlier on, that in every big political party like the PDP there are lots of contending forces; there are several  interests at play, which brought out the issues of factions. We have done our assessments, and we are working hard from Ward level to Constituency level, to Regional level, to State Level to resolve all these issues.

Politics is about give and take. Politics is about compromises. Yes this is what I want, okay take this. Because at the end of the day, it is the people that will be the beneficiary. That is why I said the other time that we all want to work to achieve good governance for the people of Ogun State. But our styles are different. We now realized that we need to close rank, if we don’t close rank, it might be difficult for us. When you go on any street in Ogun State they will tell you that PDP should please close rank, we are tired of this present administration. That is why people themselves (the masses) are bringing the factions together. So we have no option when people say go and close rank. Because PDP is a party built for the masses, it is a party built on the people. I can tell you 2019 is just by the door. We will get there. We are getting to the government seat of Ogun State in 2019. We are putting all the structures on ground, there is no doubt about that.

What is your take about  President  Buhari’s approach to corruption. People believe that the President is being lopsided  as only the PDP former office holders are being haunted  and detained while the alleged corrupt APC office holders are walking free

 It is quite obvious that President  Buhari cannot fight corruption. It is obvious that Buhari  is a sectional leader. It is quite obvious that he has nepotism in him. It is quite obvious that Buhari  is also a despotic leader.  He is somebody that does not believe in the rule of law. And the foundation of democracy is built on the rule of law. That is the first thing in a democracy. So when you say you suspend the rule of law to fight corruption, on what stand are you placing the corruption if it is not based on the rule of law? All these war on corruption has no single conviction since Buhari assumed office as the President. Even it’s on record that the PDP government of Obasanjo arrested an IG, Tafa Balogun convicted, sent to prison. The PDP government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo  arrested S.M  Afolabi  during the I.D Card scam. People were saying that why didn’t Jonathan do that? Jonathan was handicapped. We knew the impediments he had to work against. But this government of APC, Buhari government, we have not seen a single person. It has all been media trial all along. And you say you are fighting corruption. There have been indictments  upon indictment of people that are in your government. Fayemi  has a load of corruption cases on him. Amaechi has a trailer load of corrupt cases, even with a judicial indictment and you still sent his name to be cleared in the Senate and he was rewarded with plum ministerial position. Is that the way to fight corruption? You unleash your attack dogs (the DSS) on sitting Judges to go and burst them. And you say it is ‘Sting Operation’ what kind of Sting Operation on judges that you did not invite. These are elderly men, go to their houses, broke their doors. If they have heart attack, what would you do? Because you don’t care. You have locked Dasuki in prison for over a year. Despite all the court judgments that said grant him bail. Recently the ECOWAS court ordered that Dasuki should be released with immediate effect, they even awarded a cost against the Federal government. What is our president  Buhari doing? He is doing nothing. The economy is in shamble. He has not started a single road project for over a year. They have not added a single thing to our megawatts in the national grid. There is nothing going on in our Aviation sector. Even the minister of Finance is confused. It is because of the level of intellectual capacity of the kind of minister of Finance that they appointed. The woman destroyed Ogun State Economy as Ogun State Commissioner of Finance. She couldn’t give her master, Amosun good economic  advise. And because of political consideration, she was appointed as a Minister of Finance. What is her pedigree. Where has she worked before? The world has become a global village, you must understand the dynamics of whatever happens in Ukraine, affects us here in Nigeria. The war that is going on in Syria has an impact here. Whatever happens in Russia has an impact here. That is why we have Ambassadors all over. So you must have somebody that understands the global economy, and the person is not Mrs  Kemi  Adeosun . Though she can speak good Queen’s English but can you match her with an Okonjo Iweala? Can you match her with Obi Ezekwesili? PDP has done well for Nigeria. President  Buhari has nothing to offer this country. I will just appeal to Nigerians to be patient till the next election. Even Buhari’s wife, Aisha is attacking him. This is first time in the history of the world that the sitting president’s wife will say my husband is getting it all wrong, that she will not vote for her  husband if he wants re-election.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

UN HABITAT 111 CONFERENCE IN ECUADOR: NIGERIA CALLS FOR URGENT GLOBAL ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT


·      Says it is an increasing urgent necessity to provide secure and sustainable way of life for the 21stCentury population

·      “We cannot afford to fail our Nations. We cannot afford to fail our peoples. We must not fail the future generation” - Fashola


The Federal Government has called for urgent global action on sustainable urban development as an imperative for a secured future for the growing world urban population at the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador.

 

In a Country Statement read on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari at the global event, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, said such global action had become an increasingly urgent necessity if the 21st Century was to provide a secure and sustainable way of life for the growing global population.

 

Fashola, told the gathering of world leaders, “Theeconomic and health imperative to plan for people-centered societies and sustainable cities is no longer a luxury, but an increasing urgent necessity if the 21stCentury is to provide a secure and sustainable way of life for the growing global population”.

 

Acknowledging that it would not be easy to embark on such development given the rapid growing urban population, Fashola, who noted that there were inherent opportunities in the challenges of urbanization, added that with political will and with the New Urban Agenda as blueprint, the world could secure a sustainable future.

 

The Minister declared, “It will not be an easy task, neither will the turn-around come quickly, but we strongly believe that through strengthened political will and intelligent planning, we can improve the lives of millions with the New Urban Agenda as our blueprint and road-map to a sustainable future”.

 

Calling for the strengthening of UN-Habitat “as the focal point for its effective implementation and review”, Fashola added, “We must collectively agree on the common principles that will guide our response to the challenges facing human settlements and ensure that we embark on a path of sustainable urbanization over the next two decades, as aptly captured in the New Urban Agenda”. 

 

The Minister, who noted that the decisions arrived at the Ecuador Conference would have long-term consequences for cities, and their dwellers, as well as for the wider issues of human sustainability and the quality of life of future generations, added “Indeed, as the world waits in anticipation for the outcome of this landmark Conference, we cannot afford to fail our Nations. We cannot afford to fail our peoples. In fact, we must not fail the future generation”.

 

 

On the benefits and opportunities derivable from functional and sustainable urban centres, Fashola, who said they were already evident, pointed out that as crucial engines of growth for the economy and concentrations of activity and places of connectivity, creativity and innovation, “cities offer a multiplier effect for the development of their surrounding areas”. 

 

“Urbanization can help to jump-start industrialization and manufacturing, which in turn can result in a host of other productive and economic development processes. The occurring rapid urbanization must therefore be exploited to unlock its economic potentials, and provide a solution for rapid transformation of our urban centres”, the Minister said. 

 

According to him, “This Habitat lll Conference presents this precise opportunity. It is for us a reminder, and a call to action on our obligations if our cities are to be properly positioned to play a meaningful role in achieving the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and other internationally agreed instruments aimed at creating productive lives for the growing number of urban dwellers”. 

 

“Certainly, we owe humanity a responsibility to significantly step-up political commitments globally if we are to ensure a better quality of life - one that is dignified and productive- not only for all our citizens today, but especially for the generations to come, for whom we are merely holding the earth in trust”, he said.

 

Fashola said nations must take bold and decisive measures to implement the provisions of the New Urban Agenda at all levels, and mobilize commitments for institutional and attitudinal changes backed by innovative funding arrangements adding that in order to record success the Private Sector and development assistance must be tapped into.

 

This, he said, was necessary in order to provide capacity, finance and technology to address in a comprehensive manner the critical challenges of homelessness, growing poverty, social exclusion, urban sprawl, lack of basic infrastructure and services, environmental degradation, increased vulnerability to disasters and the food and energy crises.  

 

The Minister said in order to make the programme both inclusive and comprehensive, special provision must also be made for those with disabilities, women and youth in the human settlements policies through programmes and projects targeted at achieving equitable and efficient growth. 

 

Nigeria, on her part, the Minister said, has demonstrated renewed political will to install a well-functioning urban system through the pursuance of efficient, transparent and accountable governance, including progressive economic reforms that were directed at creating jobs, reducing poverty and promoting stability - which are all essential elements to sustained growth and development.

 

Noting that the country is currently one of the largest economies in Africa, blessed with significant natural and human resources, and with growing democratic institutions, the Minister added that as a mark of her commitment to the global urban development agenda, the country has endorsed the provisions of the New Urban Agenda with its strategic interventions to reverse identified urban lapses and ills. 

 

“The Administration, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated renewed political will to install a well-functioning urban system through the pursuance of efficient, transparent and accountable governance, including progressive economic reforms that are directed at creating jobs, reducing poverty and promoting stability - which are all essential elements to sustained growth and development”, the Minister said.

 

Pursuant to this commitment, he said, the country’s priority interventions have included among others, increased investments in affordable housing, modern road infrastructure, highways, bridges and robust, efficient transport networks adding, “The National Housing and Urban Development Policies have been reviewed, with the incorporation of new development strategies for dealing with the pertinent issues of housing finance, climate change, resettlement, participatory governance, and better land management and administration”.

 

Fashola said in order to remove the inhibitions and obstacles to the supply of affordable housing units and to bridge the huge housing gap, Nigeria recently embarked on developing a sustainable National Housing Programme, that would form the bedrock for aggressively reducing the housing deficit in the country. 

 

According to the Minister, critical features of the programme include; “Responsiveness to the needs of the end users based on surveys, affordability analysis and income differences; Responsiveness to cultural and climatic diversity; Responsiveness to local economic needs and focus on SMEs and cottage industries as drivers of building inputs like doors, windows, plumbing and electrical fittings; and Piloting and validating the concept by starting small with a N35 billion ($115million) to prove the concept“.

 

Noting that the country has over the past six years contended with a violent insurgency in its North-East region, resulting in the dislocation of many communities,  and extensive damage to public infrastructure and basic services, Fashola said,  “Government’s strategic response has included a comprehensive humanitarian response actively supported by the United Nations System and International Non-Governmental Organizations, as well as our local Civil Society Organizations, to whom we remain deeply grateful”. 

 

The Minister said Government has evolved an elaborate redevelopment plan which, according to him, would soon be launched by President Buhari through the intervention of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNEI) towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas affected by the insurgency and relocation of the displaced populations in their communities.

 

He said despite the difficulties associated with the prevailing economic challenges which include the slowing GDP growth, high poverty rate and infrastructure gap, the Government has recently been exploiting new sources of growth in agriculture, industrialization, telecommunications and services.

 

“Our economic diversification policies, coupled with improved fiscal management are translating into significant decline in poverty levels, and bringing strong growth”, Fashola said adding that the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) launched in 2012, provides a strategic and integrated Roadmap towards industrialization with an actionable plan across three sectors: agro-allied, solid minerals and oil and gas-related industries. 

 

The Minister said stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power were also being developed to meet the overall national vision of promoting growth, creating jobs and generating wealth adding, “It is in furtherance of these, that Nigeria prepared its Habitat III National Report, and equally initiated and funded the development of a Common African Position for Habitat lll (CAPH3)under the auspices of the African Urban Agenda Project in full partnership with African Governments, UN-Habitat, the AU and UNECA, as a strategy to revitalize African cities. 

 

He expressed delight that the essential elements of CAPH3 as endorsed by African Heads of States and Governments at the 27thOrdinary Assembly held in Kigali, Rwanda in May this year, were fully integrated in the New Urban Agenda, commending the support of his colleague African Ministers who worked diligently to bring it to fruition.

 

Congratulating President of the Bureau on his election, Fashola, who was also one of the three Vice Presidential nominees representing the Group of African States, expressed confidence that with the President’s wise guidance and support of members of the Bureau, the desired outcome at the Conference would be achieved

 

The Minister, who also conveyed President Buhari’s wishes of a successful Conference, expressed, on behalf of the Nigerian delegation, appreciation to the Government of Ecuador for the warm reception accorded them since the delegation’s arrival adding, “We appreciate the excellent work of the Preparatory Committee infinalizing the New Urban Agenda on schedule for adoption by this Session“.

 

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its unaudited financial results for the 3rd quarter ended September 30, 2016, to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges. A review of the 3rd quarter performance shows positive growth across all key financial metrics and improved strategic positioning of the brand. Gross earnings for the period grew by 44% to N329.3billion from N229.4billion reported in the corresponding period of September 2015; driven by growth in fee & commission income as well as foreign exchange income. Profit before tax stood at N140.84billion, representing a growth of 53% from N92.06billion recorded in the corresponding period of September 2015.The Bank’s loan book grew by 19.6% from N1.372trillion recorded in December 2015 to N1.640trillion in September 2016. The Bank closed the third quarter ended September 2016 with Total Assets of N3.093trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of N483.4billion. The Bank’s non-performing loans remained low at 4.13%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA) stood at 35.31% and 5.69% respectively. Commenting on the Bank’s financial results, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director/CEO said that “The Bank’s strong performance is a reflection of the continued support of our customers, hard work of our Staff and the commitment of the Management and Board to manage the Bank for long term sustainable returns. Recognizing that we operate in challenging business environments, we set high goals, benchmark ourselves against global standards and aggressively pursue our key objectives for the year, which are focused mainly on adding value to all stakeholders and improving the customer journey. He further stated that “As a Bank, we will continue to leverage collaborations and technology to drive customer engagement, improve the overall customer experience and grow our business for long term sustainable returns.” Guaranty Trust Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 35.31% and a cost to income ratio of 36.20% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. Overall, the Bank has enshrined its position as a clear leader in the industry. In due recognition of the Bank’s leading role in Africa’s banking industry, owing to its bias for world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the course of the year. They include Best Banking Group from World Finance Magazine, Most Innovative African Bank from African Banker Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria and Best Digital Bank in Africa from Euromoney Magazine.

 

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its unaudited financial results for the 3rd quarter ended September 30, 2016, to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.

 

A review of the 3rd quarter performance shows positive growth across all key financial metrics and improved strategic positioning of the brand. Gross earnings for the period grew by 44% to N329.3billion from N229.4billion reported in thecorresponding period of September 2015driven by growth infee & commission income as well as foreign exchange income.Profit before tax stood at N140.84billion, representing a growth of 53% from N92.06billion recorded in the corresponding periodof September 2015.The Bank’s loan book grew by 19.6% from N1.372trillion recorded in December 2015 to N1.640trillion in September 2016.

 

The Bank closed the third quarter ended September 2016 with Total Assets of N3.093trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of N483.4billion. The Bank’s non-performing loans remained low at 4.13%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA) stood at 35.31% and 5.69% respectively.

 

Commenting on the Bank’s financial results, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director/CEO said that “The Bank’s strong performance is a reflection of the continued support of our customers, hard work of our Staff and the commitment of the Management and Board to manage the Bank for long term sustainable returns. Recognizing that we operate in challenging business environments, we set high goals, benchmark ourselves against global standards and aggressively pursue our key objectives for the year, which are focused mainly on adding value to all stakeholders and improving the customer journey. 

 

He further stated that “As a Bank, we will continue to leverage collaborations and technology to drive customer engagement, improve the overall customer experience and grow our business for long term sustainable returns.”

 

Guaranty Trust Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 35.31% and a cost to income ratio of 36.20% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. Overall, the Bank has enshrined its position as a clear leader in the industry. In due recognition of the Bank’s leading role in Africa’s banking industry, owing to its bias for world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the course of the year. They include Best Banking Group from World Finance Magazine, Most Innovative African Bank from African Banker Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria and Best Digital Bank in Africa from Euromoney Magazine.

DIAMOND BANK PARTNERS MICROSOFT, HP TO EMPOWER SMEs


 Intent on promoting small businesses in Nigeria, Diamond Bank Plc, has teamed up with Microsoft, Intel, HP and MTN in a strategic partnership focused at providing SMEs in the country with essential tools required to give them the competitive edge in a dynamic business environment. 

The event which held recently in Ikeja, Lagos, featured an idea pitching competition involving five young business enterprises with Greenville Organic Foods, an agro-allied company emerging the winner of a four million naira business solution from Microsoft .

Addressing over 200 participants at the event tagged “Accelerate Your Business’’, Head, Emerging Businesses, Diamond Bank Plc, Njideka Esomeju stated that most Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are saddled with the problem of Access to Finance, Access to Market and Access to skills, pointing out that 80% of over 35 million business ventures in Nigeria fall under the MSME category.  

Njideka revealed that Diamond Bank is focused on going beyond banking to take people to the next level in life. In her words, “At Diamond Bank, we back our passion with action as we continually seek to deepen inclusive financing in all sectors across the country’’. Sharing her wealth of knowledge on small businesses with the attendants, she stated that most start-ups are designed with borrowed business plans and are consequently wired to fail from the start.  

Njideka reiterated that Diamond Bank has embraced the challenge of serving small and growing businesses by setting up a focused unit to drive MSME initiatives.  “The Bank’s Emerging Business Propositions team recognizes that finance is not the only need of small and growing businesses, which is why we have developed interventions that go beyond the traditional services offered by most banks. Our Capacity Building, Access to Markets and Access to Finance offerings are specifically designed to assist businesses realize their growth potential”, said Njideka.  She pointed out that the proposition comprised of special accounts for different vocations and practices ranging from schools to agriculture, entertainment and medical practice all tailored to suit industry needs. 

She also disclosed that the theme for the year at Diamond Bank is focused on the digital revolution and the Bank has designed revolutionary tools and platforms in line with this drive. “The Diamond Mobile app, Online Loan application platform and the Diamond E-susu scheme are some of the digital products created to give our customers the competitive edge”,  she said.  She urged the attendants to utilize the Bank’s SME club events where it partners with relevant industry stakeholders to organize events bringing together people within an industry to create value chain networking. 

Head, SME Customers’ Marketing, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Adeniyi Adebote , in his address said; MSME’s have to leverage technology to deepen consumption in their various industries. He further stated that Microsoft is driven to empower each individual to achieve more. This is reflected in Microsoft 365 which has been developed to narrow the generational gap and enable people to grow their businesses innovatively he said.


Gbenga Daniel Elected President, Nigerian-Finnish Business Council


The former Governor of Ogun State and Chairman, Kresta Laurel Limited, Otunba Gbenga Daniel FNSE., has been elected as the President of the Nigerian-Finnish Business Council.

Otunba Daniel was elected to succeed Late Ambassador Segun Olusola who passed on in 2012 after a brief illness.

The Nigerian-Finnish Business Council was established to foster business relationship between Nigerian companies and their counterparts in Finland with the goal of encouraging trade and investment.

Daniel's Kresta Laurel firm has been acknowledged as one of the most successful business concerns with technical back up from Finland and Germany.


AFRICA'S STARS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO MANU DIBANGO, KING SUNNY ADE, PAPA WEMBA AT AFRIMA 2016


The performance stage of the 2016 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, will come alive on Sunday, November 6 at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos in Nigeria as African music stars line up for pulsating and emotive tribute performances in honour of Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade and late Papa Wemba, three of Africa’s renowned music legends.

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, and the support of the Official Host City, Lagos State, AFRIMA 2016 grand awards ceremony is preceded by The AFRIMA Music Village on Friday November 4, 2016, a non-stop music concert with over 40 African artistes performing live at the Waterfront, Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos in Nigeria. Thousands of guests expected in Lagos for the various events.

82-year-old Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player Manu Dibango, is hailed for making an enormous contribution to African music as a whole. Nicknamed ‘The Lion of Cameroon’, Manu Dibango is recognised for developing a music style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. His song “Soul Makossa” has influenced several popular music hits, including Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”, as well as his recording of that song with Akon, the Fugees’ “Cowboys”, and Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” and Comedian Eddie Murphy in his 1982 parody song “Boogie in your butt”.

Artiste-in-Residence at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, King Sunny Ade is classified as one of the most influential musicians of his time. The Nigerian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and two-time Grammy award nominee is known for his pioneering of modern world music. His stage performance is characterised by dexterous dancing steps and use of the guitar.

Papa Wemba, the late iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who died at the age of 67 on April 24, 2016 during a stage performance in Cote d’√ćvoire, also pioneered a blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds which became one of Africa’s most popular music styles. Dubbed the ‘King of Rhumba Rock’, Papa Wemba was also a fashion icon who popularised the La Sape look and style through his musical group Viva la Musica, with whom he performed on stages throughout the world.

Speaking about the purpose of the tribute, President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada said: “Contemporary African stars will be pledging their loyalty to these grassroot legends of African music to show the beauty of their music through outstanding performances on stage during the AFRIMA awards. It is also a means of showing the younger generation that they can connect to music made by older generations of artistes and use this to unite the world through music.”

Mr. Dada described these three music icons as the ‘voices of African music and the epitome of Africanness’.

Some of the top African artistes billed to honour the legacy of the three African legends include: Kiss Daniel (Nigeria); Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania); Brymo (Nigeria); Wax Dey (Cameroon); Seyi Shay (Nigeria); Fally Ipupa (DRC), Yemi Alade (Nigeria); Victoria Kimani (Kenya); Tiwa Savage (Nigeria); Aramide (Nigeria); Niniola (Nigeria); YCee (Nigeria); TJAN (Nigeria) and Flavour (Nigeria) among others.

Meanwhile, public voting continues on AFRIMA website via the platform