Sunday, 21 January 2018
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (743)

There is good news for small businesses and farmers.

They can draw from the N26 billion Agriculture and SMEs Fund, it was announced yesterday.

Union Bank Managing Director Mr Emeka Emuwa broke the news in Abuja at the end of the Bankers Committee meeting. He said the board of the Agriculture and SMEs Fund had been inaugurated.

The N26 billion in the kitty is expected to grow. The fund will finance agriculture and small businesses through equities, not loans. The fund is available for equity investment and there is no rate.

According to Emuwa, all “the banks are expected to set aside a portion of their profits, which will be made available for equity investment in agriculture and Small and Medium Enterprises.

“So, the board was inaugurated today as well as the Project Review Committee of the fund. Basically, the fund is going to start functioning and over the course of the next few weeks, there will be more communications as to how to access those funds,” Emuwa said.

For entrepreneurs, small businesses, agriculturalists, the opportunity is there for equity funding for their businesses. “The import of that to the economy at large is that those who are interested in accessing funds by looking for equity to support their agricultural ventures and SMEs should approach their banks now and apply so the banks will do a preliminary review and pass these requests on to the Project Review Committee of this fund.”

Members of the board are: managing directors of GTBank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank First Bank UBA, Director Banking Supervision at the CBN and the Director of Development Finance at the CBN.

There is also a Project Review committee, which looks at the projects. In addition to the board members, other members of the committee are FCMB, Unity Bank and Sterling Bank. The committee will pick the chairman based on the contributions of the members of the board.

Any business that is involved in agriculture or qualifies as small or medium scale enterprise are all encouraged to approach their banks with what their concerns are. It was noted at the end of the meeting that “Nigerians very often mistake the need for equity for bank loan, so you need to have sufficient equity first before you can go and get loan, go to your bank, let them know what the project is, they will do preliminary assessment to guide you to let you know whether it makes sense then send it on to the project review committee of this organization” the committee said.

Mrs Mobola Faloye, Executive Director at Standard Chartered Bank, said that the action of the CBN to set up the investors and exporters windows in May has resulted in a N4 billion volume of trade in the forex window.

According to her, the volume of trading has gone up in the window of that market which is about N4 billion “and that is actually quite a good number and it shows that the banks have really done a lot of rallying, it shows that the banks are resilient, it shows that the banks have contributed largely in bringing in as many investors as possible to come into the market”.

Mrs Faloye noted that “there is one particular single ticket that was done on the first of August, the value of the transaction itself was $240 million so we think that things are going to be looking up and we are very hopeful that we are going in the right direction and we’ll eventually get to a stage where the rates will truly converge, which is where we want to get to and things are looking up for us.”

Posted On Friday, 11 August 2017 02:07 Written by

President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign from office, The Presidency said yesterday.

It was in response to a call by some civil society organisations that the President should resign or return to work.

President Buhari has been in the United Kingdom since May 7 for a follow-up appointment with his doctors.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu told reporters at the State House that the President had not breached any law.

He said: “They are exercising their rights in line with the constitution of this country. Of what use or value is a democracy in which citizens cannot embark on peaceful protests? So we respect their right to convene or undertake peaceful protest.

“On the second issue, whether the President should resign or disclose or whatever, I think they are stepping outside the laws of this country.

“Anyone conversant with the constitution of this country will have noticed or seen that Mr President has complied 100 per cent with the requirements of the constitution..

“He has handed over power to the Vice President, relying on the constitution and the Vice President is carrying on with the affairs of this country; he is undertaking activities of government in line with the constitution in a way that the President himself has given words of commendation.

“So the President has not breached any law. What he has done is perfectly in line with the constitution of this country and people are looking for things to say. I think they should do their research very well.”

In a statement later, Shehu added: “I wish to respond to media enquiries following demonstration by a few citizens this morning in Abuja. The demonstration is in the exercise of their freedom under the constitution, which guarantees their right to embark on peaceful protests.

“There is nothing like a power vacuum in the country, given the competence and general harmony with which the whole government is running.

“Any such calls as being made by this or any other group represents an irrational assault on the constitution and should be ignored by well-meaning members of the public.

“The need of the hour for this country is to rid it of corruption, reform and reinvigorate the economy and to fight crime and insurgency.

“The government is busy with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure all over the country. It is creating jobs for the unemployed. It has set its sight on the larger picture of the country’s development; investing in rail and power projects and redeeming the country’s image from the mountains of corruption scandals that have marred it. We will not, therefore, be distracted by this or any other groups.”

It was learnt yesterday that the President’s wife, Hajia Aisha Buhari, left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Sunday.

Mrs Buhari, who returned from the UK last week, had on several occasions, insisted that her husband was recovering fast and would soon return to the country.

Although there was no official statement on Mrs Buhari’s trip, some officials in the Presidency confirmed it.

In Abuja, the coalition of civil society groups demanded the return of President Buhari from his medical leave or resign.

It also urged the National Assembly to invoke Section 144 sub Section 4 of the Constitution and set up a medical panel to determine the President’s health status.

Convener of the protest Deji Adeyanju, expressed regret on whay he called “the failure of the National Assembly to launch an investigation or set up a panel to look into the true status of the President Buhari’s health”.

Adeyanju said: “The leadership of the National Assembly must choose between the Nigerian people and the cabal. 90 days is too long for a president to be away from his country without any explanation to the people that voted him into office.

“If Buhari had become incapacitated, he should do the honourable thing and resign because he cannot continue to hold the country to ransom; his absence in the country is being exploited by a cabal to loot the treasury.”

He added: “We hereby demand that the National Assembly invoke Section 144 sub Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and direct the setting up of a medical panel in conjunction with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to ascertain whether the President is incapacitated.”

A leader of the group and member, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said the Federal Executive Council should disclose to Nigerians the nature of Buhari’s illness.

Protesters led by artiste Charles Oputa (Charlie Boy), defied the early morning showers and walked from the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja to the Presidential Villa junction to demand the return of the President.

The protest was spearheaded by the National Coordinator, Foundation For True Freedom and Good Leadership, Deji Adeyanju; Publicity Secretary, #OurMumuDonDo Movement, Adebayo Raphael; Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye; and Secretary of Concerned Nigerians, John Danfulani.

The movement said it would continue with daily protests in Abuja and London to press for the return of the President.

Posted On Tuesday, 08 August 2017 04:21 Written by
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), on Sunday announced that it would hold its Policy Committee meeting next week Monday and Tuesday to determine the cut-off point for the 2017 admission.
The agency made the announcement in a statement on Sunday issued by its Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in Abuja.
‎Dr. Benjamin said the meeting approved by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu  would kick start the 2017 admission exercise.
According to him, the policy committee would announced the cut off point for  the 2017 admission exercise.
“‎The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has obtained the approval of the Hon Minister of Education to hold the Policy Committee meeting on 2017 admission.
“The meeting is scheduled to hold on Monday 21st to Tuesday 22nd August, 2017. This meeting will kick start the 2017 admission exercise. The policy committee would announced the cut off point for  the 2017 admission exercise.
“All stakeholders including  Vice Chancellors of Universities, Rectors of Polytechnics and  Monotechnics  and  Provosts of Colleges of Education would be in attendance.”
Benjami said the board has sent a soft copy of  printout of candidates to all institutions chosen by candidates.
“This year the Board has sent candidates who scored 100 and above in their JAMB to the institutions in its flexible admission policy for institutions to determine the suitability of the candidates in compliance with all laid down rules and regulations as determined by the propriators of the institutions and approved by Senate of the various schools.
“The Board will ensure that criterion set by Senate  are strictly adhere to by the institutions admission officers and no shifting of goal post in the middle of the admission exercise. This is to guarantee fairness and equity to all candidates,” the statement added.
He also said the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, at the foundation laying ceremony for a 500 capacity twin CBT centre in Osogbo, Osun State advised all computer based test (CBT) centre owners to ensure that their centres are up to date as the board would not compromise on the 2018 accreditation exercise.
He said having suitable centres was the bedrock of conducting a smooth examination.
“The 500 capacity twin CBTcentre built by NCC in compliance with presidential directive for NCC to build such centre in each senatorial district is to bring the centres closer to the candidates and also ensure standard.
“The Registrar urge the consultant to ensure that the centre is built according to specification,” the statement added.


Posted On Sunday, 06 August 2017 18:23 Written by

The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has told the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to act on the order given by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), warning that there will be “consequences for insubordination.”

The AGF had ordered the EFCC boss to forward to him the case files of ex-governors, including Bukola Saraki (Kwara, now Senate President ); Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Achike Udenwa (Imo); Ubong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom); Jolly Nyame (Taraba); Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo); Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo); Joshua Dariye (Plateau ); Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara ); and Gabriel Suswam (Benue), among others.

The EFCC boss had allegedly withheld the files from the AGF since July 2016 when the request was first made.

The follow-up request was made on August 1, 2017.

Obono-Obla told one of our correspondents that the August 1 letter to the EFCC was a follow-up request on the files of indicted former governors and senators, warning Magu that there would be “consequences for insubordination.”

Obono-Obla said the EFCC was not more patriotic than the office of the AGF, adding that the commission must involve the minister in any case that is above N50m.

He said, “A letter dated August 1, 2017, was written to the EFCC, urging the commission to comply with the EFCC Enforcement Regulation that was made in 2010. The regulation requires that in any case above N50m, the EFCC must carry along the office of the AGF from investigation to prosecution.

“The letter was about the case files because if the cases are not well prepared, the office of the AGF will be blamed for it. So, the office wants to carry out its oversight function. The EFCC cannot be more patriotic than the office of the AGF. Why is it that the EFCC is not cooperating when we are working for the same government?

“If the EFCC refuses to act on the letter, there will be consequences on acts of indiscipline and insubordination. There is no personality clash between the two heads. It is wrong to say that there is a clash. The EFCC is an institution and the office of the AGF is another institution. What we need is compliance. We should not personalise our institutions.”

However, Malami on Thursday said there was no rift between him and Magu, over his request.

The AGF, who held a press briefing on the maiden National Summit on Justice scheduled for the second week of August, was asked to comment on whether Magu’s alleged refusal to forward the case files to the AGF office had affected their relationship.

Malami said, “It has not; thank you.”

Earlier, the AGF said, “I am not going to comment over a news item I have not watched.”

But the EFCC said that there was no conflict whatsoever between it and the Office of the AGF.

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, attributed reports of the clash between commission and the AGF to mischief makers in an e-mail on Thursday.

Uwujaren said the EFCC was adhering to stipulations of the law and had no intention to be in conflict with the office of the AGF over the request to forward “serious” cases to the office.

He said it was not tenable for the commission to have a conflict or plan a showdown with the AGF or other government offices, adding the operational responsibilities and activities of the commission are within the confines of the law.

He said, “The EFCC has been consistent in its position that there is absolutely no conflict with the AGF.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, the EFCC is compliant with all the provisions of law and has no intention to stoke a misunderstanding over any request from the Minister of Justice.”

Uwujaren added that the conflict between the commission and the AGF’s office only existed in the imagination of corrupt elements out to create a nonexistent conflict to further their criminal acts.

“Any such conflicts being paraded exist only in the fertile imaginations of corrupt elements angling to knock heads together in furtherance of their own pro-corruption agenda,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile, the justice ministry has explained that the national summit on justice would bring together all stakeholders in the sector.

According to Malami, the stakeholders would consider, adopt and validate the draft National Policy on Justice developed by a technical committee constituted by the Federal Ministry of Justice in 2016.

“Given the challenges militating against an effective administration of justice and the peculiarity of our federal system, there is the need to harmonise and integrate the various reform initiatives into a clearly articulated national justice policy,” he said.

He explained that the policy would define Nigeria’s political philosophy with respect to justice delivery.

Posted On Friday, 04 August 2017 14:17 Written by

ABUJA- Chairman, National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Friday escaped unhurt as his vehicle collided with others along the busy Abuja/ Kaduna Highway. Ahmed Makarfi In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the PDP said neither Makarfi nor other occupants of the vehicle sustained any form of injury in the course of the collision.

“Earlier today, July 28, 2017, a vehicle conveying the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, CON, was involved in a multiple collision with other vehicles along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway. “However, we are happy to report that fortunately, the Distinguished Senator and all other passengers in his vehicle came out unhurt. This is to allay the fears of our party members, teeming supporters as well as wishers who heard of the accident and have been making frantic calls; as well as those who may stumble on half-baked information,” the statement reads. Senator Makarfi was on his way to Kaduna from Abuja when the accident occurred.

As at the time of going to press, the identity of the other occupants could not be established.

Posted On Saturday, 29 July 2017 00:05 Written by

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned that Nigeria’s fragile growth risks falling back into recession.

Addressing reporters at the end of the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee Meeting in Abuja yesterday, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said “forecasts of key macroeconomic indicators point to a fragile economic recovery in the second quarter of the year”.

”The Committee  cautioned that this recovery could relapse in a more protracted recession if strong and bold monetary and fiscal policies are not activated immediately to sustain it,” he stressed.

To guard against this, the MPC noted that “the expected fiscal stimulus and non-oil federal receipts, as well as improvements in economy-wide non-oil exports, especially agriculture, manufacturing, services and light industries, all expected to drive the growth impetus for the rest of the year, must be pursued relentlessly.”

The Committee said it “expects that timely implementation of the 2017 Budget, improved management of foreign exchange, as well as security gains across the country, especially, in the Niger Delta and North Eastern axis, should be firmly anchored, to enhance confidence and sustainability of economic recovery”.

The MPC of the CBN also expressed concern over the increasing fiscal deficit estimated at N2.51 trillion in the first half of this year.

Emefiele lamented “the crowding out effect of high  government borrowing.”

He called for “fiscal restraint to check the growing deficit” and also disclosed that the committee had once again resolved to retain lending rates at 14%.

The Committee welcomed the government’s proposal to issue sovereign-backed promissory notes of about N3.4 trillion for the settlement of accumulated local debt and contractors arrears.

The Committee advised the  CBN “to monitor the release process of the promissory notes to avoid an excessive injection of liquidity into the system, thereby offsetting the gains so far achieved in inflation and exchange rate stability”.

On why the MPC chose to retain Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) for so long, Emefiele noted that “there is a need for a low interest rate because we know that low interest rate will make it easy for people who want to borrow money to borrow at low rates, we know it will inject liquidity into the system but we are saying that inflation at 18.8% and even today at 16.1% is still considered very high in the light of studies that have been conducted”.

He explained that “there are acceptable models for computing the inflation threshold and this models have computed inflation threshold for Nigeria at a range of between 10%-12%; what that means is that when inflation rises above 12%, no matter the action that you take to stimulate growth, it will retard growth.”

Emefiele said the authorities “need to look at how we reverse the trend in inflation and we’re happy that we have done so from 18.8%-16.1% and we are hopeful that it will continue to trend downwards and as this is achieved, we also believe that there is a need to ease rate and also bring interest rate down”.

Defending the decision to retain interest rate at 14%, Emefiele noted that “we’re truly not there yet because of the reasons I have stated but also more importantly because we believe that easing now or reducing interest rate will pull the real interest rate further into the negative territory which is a disincentive to investment”. “Those are some of the fundamental issues,” he added.

A disincentive to investment, he stressed “will hurt our stability that we have so far achieved in the forex market and there is a need for us to ensure that this does not happen”.

“That is the rationale and we would continue as much as possible to continue to provide this explanation. We understand the pain but the actions of the MPC will be reflected in whatever direction that we think is good for Nigeria.”

At the end of the meeting, members of the MPC resolved to retain the MPR at 14 per cent; retain the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent; retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30.00 per cent; and retain the Asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

The Committee is satisfied with the gradual but consistent decline in inflationary pressure in the domestic economy, noting ”its substantial base effect,continuous improvements in the naira exchange rate across all segments of the foreign exchange  market, and considerable signs of improved i nvestments  inflow”.

Emefiele said “the  Committee welcomed the move by the fiscal authorities to engage the services of asset-tracing experts to investigate the tax payment status of 150 firms and individuals in an effort to close some of the loopholes in tax collection, towards i mproving government revenue”.

However, the Committee expressed concern about the slow implementation of the 2017 Budget and called on the  authorities to ensure timely implementation, especially, of the capital portion to realise the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Regarding complaints by banks of liquidity constraints caused by the apex bank’s mop-up activities, Emefiele said he was once there (private sector banking system), adding that “their business is to complain because they’re economic agents that are interested in making profit”. “We, as regulators looking at all the data that confront us, certainly know that we must be alive to our responsibilities and do our work.”

Doing their work, he said “means we must do what we have done to continue to achieve the sliding trend in inflation and stabilise the forex market, that is what we are doing and we will continue to do so”.

On the forex trend the CBN governor the apex bank had “left that now for the market”. “The market will decide. Gone are the days when CBN will be seen to be leaning on somebody as to whatever he thinks is the direction of the market will be,” he said.

However, the CBN, Emefiele said, “remains a player and from time-to-time, given our sensitivities regarding where we think the market will be, we would intervene and that is why you are seeing the level of intervention in the last five months. The intensity of that intervention will continue”.


Posted On Wednesday, 26 July 2017 16:48 Written by

Southwest governors on Monday lamented the splitting of the old Western Nigeria into six states by the Federal Government, saying the action not only robbed the people of their oneness, but also hampered the region’s socio – economic development.

The governors – Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ayo Fayose Ekiti) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), spoke during the Southwest Governors’ Quarterly meeting held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Amosun, the host Governor in his welcome speech, said instead of building bridges, state creation led to boundary disputes and security challenges among them.

The governor recalled that many landmark achievements were recorded in Yoruba land during the time of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as Premier of the Western Region.

He advised that the time has come for them to unite, promote and re – enact the achievements of the South-West in the Nigerian Federation.

Amosun said: “As a region, it is important that we promote the pre-eminence and achievements of the South-West in the Nigerian Federation. This in reference and in particular to the greatness we have achieved as a people when we were together as a regional government in Nigeria.

“We will recall those laudable feats made us the envy of other regions. Time and space will, definitely, not permit me to begin to list the giant leaps that the South-West took as a region between 1957 and 1967 particularly under the leadership of the late sage, Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo.

“Permit me to list a few. We have physical infrastructure such as the Cocoa House at Ibadan, which was aptly named after the source of its funding; the Agodi Secretariat at Ibadan; and the different roads that connect our towns and cities some of which are still standing the test of time. We also have the educational infrastructure of which we are still benefitting from today.

” Indeed, many of us seated in this room are beneficiaries of the Free Education Programme of that time. It is the same Free Education Programme that culminated in the establishment of a University that was once the most beautiful campus in Sub-Sahara Africa, the then University of Ife, and now appropriately named the Obafemi Awolowo University, at Ile-Ife.

“We cannot also forget the economic infrastructure; we have the O’odua Group as the umbrella Investment House for the commercial enterprise of the region such as the Sketch Publication; the Wemabod Estates; the Lafia Hotels; the Premier Hotel at Ibadan; the Area J4 Forest Reserve and others.

“However, the creation of states from the old Western Region in 1976 which should have been an impetus for further socio-economic development had been allowed to create artificial boundaries between our people.

“And to further worsen the situation, some of our people are also making themselves available as instruments of division because of their selfish political gains. The consequence is that our people begin to see themselves as a people of one state or the other rather than as a sub-unit of the entity of the Yoruba people.

“This is not without its attendant challenges of intra and inter-state boundary disputes which have worsened security in some states and, hampered socio-economic development. Instead of building bridges, some of our people are digging trenches for protection against their own brothers and sisters.

“My dear brothers, the onerous task on our hands is to lead our people to further prosperous living. That is why the chosen agenda for this meeting ‘Economic Self-Determination for South-West Nigeria’ with special focus on ‘South-Western Nigeria Export Initiative’ is very apt.

“Instead of the bowl-in–hand practice that each of the states seeks from the Federal Allocation, the time has come for us to map out strategies to harness the natural resources of the entire region for further socio-economic development of the South-West Region as a whole and for more prosperity for our people.

For Aregbesola, the old Western Nigeria recorded greater feats when it operated as single state.

“If we look critically at the achievements we had as singular state of Western Region. We must be mindful of the fact that as singular state then, we achieved more than now when we are divided into six states.

“We must identify our strength, unify those strength and explore them for the benefit of our people. We use the development to galvanise our potentials,” Aregbesola said.

Posted On Monday, 24 July 2017 20:51 Written by

•LASIEC chairman expresses satisfaction with election
•Observers seek better mobilisation by political parties

Early returns from yesterday’s local government elections showed that the   All Progressives Congress (APC) was having an easy ride in all parts of the state.

At press time, the party’s candidates had won the chairman position in Lagos Island LG, Badagry West LCDA, Epe LG, Eredo LCDA, Onigbongbo LCDA; Lagos Island East LCDA; Ikorodu LG, Ikorodu West LCDA; Badagry LG; and Ejigbo LCDA

Below are details of the results: 

  • Lagos Island

Adetoyese Olusi (APC) 14,692

Yisa Ismail (PDP) 925

Kasumu Olanrewaju (LP) 1211

  • Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA

Atanda Lawal (APC) 7120

Samuel Akinwole (PDP) 756

Mohammed Jubril (LP) 542


  • Eredo LCDA

Rasal Saliu (APC) 10910

Kunle Ayantuga 737

  • Epe LG

Dayo Adesanya (APC) 21441

Omobibi (LP) 948

  • Lagos Island East

Kamal Olawale (APC) 9060

Adebayo Temitope  (PDP) 1128

  • Onigbongbo LCDA

Hakeem Olayemi (Accord Party ) 842

Oke Babatunde (APC) 1631

Badagry West LCDA

Bello Joseph (APC) 5332

Setonji Ojugbele (PDP)  935

  • Ejigbo LCDA

Bello Oloyede (APC)4876

Akinlude (PDP) 179

  • Ikeja LG

Alabi Balogun (APC) 6191

Olowolagba Omolara (PDP) 990

  • Badagry LG

APC 3990


Accord 1597

  • Ojokoro



APC:  1,351

PDP:  156


APC:  1,351

PDP:  156

  • Ojokoro Ward-B


APC: 912

PDP: 169



APC:  880

PDP:  172


  • Ojokoro Ward-C


APC:  1,786

PDP:  178

LP:     085



APC:  1,757

PDP:  196

LP:     070


  • Ojokoro Ward-D


APC:  1,380

PDP:  133


APC:  1,432

PDP:  151

  • Ojokoro Ward-E


APC:  2,080

PDP:  333


APC:  2,060

PDP:  040

Ojokoro Ward-F


APC:  1,233

PDP:  119


APC:  1,205

PDP:  129

  • Ojokoro Ward-G


APC:  978

PDP:  152

LP:    082

AA:   04


APC:  981

PDP:  130

LP:   088

AA:  05


An early morning downpour and voter’s apathy yesterday had hampered the commencement of the election at 8am as proposed in the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Developments Areas (LCDAs).

It was an anti climax to months of painstaking preparation by the Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retired)-led   State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).

The rain and the attendant flood in parts of the state prevented electoral officials from reaching their duty posts on time.

Thus, accreditation and voting which were supposed to commence at 8am began much beyond the scheduled time and only when the rain subsided.

Besides, many registered voters chose to stay indoors.

Only a few bothered to go out and vote except in  areas where  opposition parties  tried to have a foothold.

They include Mushin, Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ojo, Coker Aguda, Itire-Ikate, Agboyi-Ketu, and some parts of Ikorodu.

Youths turned the roads to temporary football ‘pitches’.

Some party officials attributed the low turnout to inadequate electoral awareness by  the LASIEC.

But Justice Philips dismissed any such suggestion, saying adequate publicity was carried out.

She admitted that these was delay in the commencement of the elections in some areas, which said was caused by rain.

She told reporters at Old Yaba Road while monitoring some polling units the area that the rain affected the movement of electoral materials.

She said all eligible voters would be allowed to exercise their right as there were enough materials.

“We are addressing the situation and we are assuring that everybody in the affected areas will vote once people have been accredited and are on the queue, they will be allowed to vote even after 3pm,” she said.

She expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct in most areas.

Phillips said there were a few cases of violence but said security agents had quelled the situation.

Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Segun Adewale blamed LASIEC for ‘disappointing’ Lagosians.

He said the late arrival of voting materials discouraged some people from voting after waiting for hours at the polling station for voting materials to come.

He also accused supporters of the ruling APC of harassing people.

“People were harassed by members of the ruling APC, my own sister was beaten up and people could not vote before the end of the exercise,” he claimed.

Kebbi State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Buhari Ailero, who led Election Observers from  other states, hailed the peaceful conduct of the poll.

Ailero confirmed that the election materials were distributed on time to the polling units.

He urged political parties to do more in mobilizing voters in subsequent elections.

Twelve  parties – Accord Party (AP); Action Alliance (AA); Alliance for Democracy ( AD ); All Progressives Congress ( APC ); Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ); Labour Party ( LP ); All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA ); United Democratic Party (UDP); United Progressive Party (UPP); Kowa Party ( KP ); National Action Council ( NAC ); and Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).

Posted On Sunday, 23 July 2017 01:25 Written by

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi on Thursday dissolved his cabinet , sacked the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Bello Ilelah and disengaged his Special Assistants.

A statement to that effect, signed by Permanent Secretary, Special Duties and Political Affairs, Malam Saidu Maikobi, directed the affected appointees to handover the affairs of their ministries to their Permanent Secretaries, latest July 21.

Maikobi also announced the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Nadada as the new SSG, while Brig-Gen Ladan Yusuf (Rtd) had been retained as Special Adviser on Security.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new SSG, Nadada, a 1978 graduate of Law from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, had worked with the State Ministry of Justice, Bauchi State Investment and Property Development Company Ltd and New Africa Merchant Bank Ltd, among others.

He was also the SSG from 1999 to 2006 under the administration of Alhaji Ahmed Muazu.

He had also contested as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate in 2007, but was defeated by the then ANPP candidate, Malam Isa Yuguda.

Posted On Friday, 21 July 2017 02:42 Written by

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of a property at Banana Island, Lagos, reportedly bought for $37.5m in 2013 by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The property, designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, has 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses, according to court papers presented on Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Apart from the property, the court also ordered the temporary forfeiture of the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70, said to be part of the rent collected on the property.

The funds were said to have been found in a Zenith Bank account number 1013612486.

Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered the temporary forfeiture on Wednesday, following an ex parte application to that effect brought before him by a counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Anselem Ozioko.

Ozioko had told the judge that the EFCC “reasonably suspected that the property was acquired with proceeds of alleged unlawful activities of Diezani.”

The lawyer said investigations by the EFCC revealed that Diezani made the $37.5m payment for the purchase of the property in cash, adding that the money was moved straight from her house in Abuja and paid into the seller’s First Bank account in Abuja.

“Nothing could be more suspicious than someone keeping such huge amounts in her apartment. Why was she doing that? To avoid attention.

“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubts because, as of the time this happened, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke was still in public service as the Minister of Petroleum Resources,” Ozioko told the court.

The ex parte application taken before the judge was filed pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, No. 14, 2006 and Section 44(2)(k) of the Constitution.

Listed as respondents in the application were Diezani; a legal practitioner, Afamefuna Nwokedi; and a company, Rusimpex Limited.

After listening to the EFCC lawyer on Wednesday, Justice Obiozor made an order temporarily seizing the property and the funds.

He directed that the order should be published in a national newspaper.

He adjourned the case till August 7, 2017 for anyone interested in the property and funds to appear before him.

Posted On Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:05 Written by
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