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Nasarawa man plans own kidnap after his business collapsed

A businessman, Abdullahi Mohammed, whose businesses reportedly collapsed, and conspired with his friend, Haruna Saidu, to staged his own kidnap in order to force his family to pay ransom, has been arrested by the Police.

The Police in Bauchi disclosed this yesterday, during the parade of 86 suspects arrested in 13 days for various offences across the state.

The Public Relations Officer of the Command, DSP Abubakar Kamal, said Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed of Nassarawa State allegedly planned his own kidnap.

police ,

Kamal said one Tijjani Mohammed of Sabon Fegi in Lafia town, Nasarawa State, had on May 12, reported at the Lafia Police Area Command that his brother, Abdullahi Mohammed, left home for business in Kano.

He said Tijjani told the Police that Abdullahi later called and informed him that he and others were kidnapped near Gusau, while on their business trip to Zamfara State.

Kamal said Abdullahi told Tijjani that the abductors demanded a ransom of N10 million and directed the family to deliver the ransom for his release.

He emphasised that Tijjani said the ransom was later reduced to N1 million and the abductors directed that the money be brought to Bauchi State.

Kamal said the command operatives attached to Anti-Kidnapping Squad later arrested one Haruna Saidu of Gamawa council in Bauchi State, who had come to collect the ransom.

He said further that investigation by the operatives led to the discovery of the alleged abductor (Haruna Saidu), and victim (Abdullahi Mohammed) at the residence of the alleged kidnapper, Haruna Saidu.

“Investigation revealed that Abdullahi Mohammed, a businessman, after his businesses collapsed, conspired with his friend Haruna Saidu and staged a false kidnapping in order to force his family to pay ransom,” Kamal said.

He said the suspects would be charged to court after completion of investigation.




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Shipping: Maritime Academy rector advocates jail-terms for gender discrimination

By Godwin Orirse

The Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), has called for sanctions, including jail-terms for operators who discriminate against or abuse female workforce on board ships in Nigeria.

He also charged ship-owners to employ more females in their workforce in line with the theme of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2019 Day of the Seafarers which states, “On-board with gender equality”.

Speaking to Maritime journalists on the sidelines of the event organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos, the MAN rector explained that the academy is on-board with gender equality.

He stated: “Anybody that believes that men are still intellectually superior to their female counterparts is still living in the past. We have seen female pilots, Generals, Admirals, Air Vice Marshals. We have seen female Captains commanding very large merchant ships. These should be role models to the younger females that we have now.”On my own part, I am on-board with gender equality. I have always encouraged it at the academy.

In our last admission, 29 female cadets applied for admission, and we took 28 out of the 29 that applied. The only one that was not taken was down to her medical condition. In the process of admission, we did not lower the bar just to get them in. The girls were academically sound. They were not inferior to their male counterparts.

“They have been there for about eight months now and they are doing quite fine.”I will advise ship-owners to consider more women in the new design of ships they are acquiring. Even old ships could be re-fleeted to accommodate for more females accommodation on-board.

“The issue of sexual harassment against female workers on-board vessels should attract jail-terms. I don’t think it’s fair or right to abuse women in whatever form.”



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Omeruo: I’ll cherish my first AFCON goal forever

Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo has revealed that he will cherish his first ever tournament goal for a long time to come.

Omeruo, scored the only goal of the Super Eagles group B match against Guinea in the 73rd minute to see Nigeria through to the round of 16.

“I will ever cherish my first AFCON goal for the Super Eagles in the ongoing AFCON tournament.”

“We needed a goal and it came at the right time, we have so far defended well which have yielded us two clean straight sheets in the ongoing tournament which is good for our confidence as a team.”

“As a defender I’m glad, we are yet to concede a goal in the tournament.”

“We will keep pushing because it is glaring there are no small teams in African football anymore and that is the reason for the slim victory in the first match against Burundi which ended 1 nil in our favour, this match against Guinea also that ended in 1 nil victory for us.

“The most important thing is that we have gotten the six points that progresses us to the next round of the tournament.

“We are not talking about the cup for now, we just want to remain focused and also not distracted as well, but we are effectively working hard to see what the future holds for us in this ongoing tournament” Kenneth Omeruo concluded.




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Insecurity: Delta monarchs decry rising killing, kidnapping

Call for vigilance, alertness by Deltans

By Maryann Michael

Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, DSCTR, has called for more vigilance and alertness among Deltans in the face of heighten insecurity in the country.

In a five-point communiqué issued at the end of its monthly meeting in Asaba, chairman of the council, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, decried the spate of killing, kidnapping and other criminalities across the country, saying Nigerians should adopt proactive measures to ward off any form of attack by herdsmen.

The meeting was attended by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli I, the Orodje of Okpe, Orhue I, the Obi of Abavo, Uche Irenuma II, and other traditional rulers across Delta State.

Flanked by the Pere of Akugbene-mien, Pere S. P. Luke Kalanama viii, the chairman of the council charged the federal authorities to be more decisive and firm in its approach to tackling insecurity in the country.

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The traditional rulers also deliberated on the activities of Presidents-General of communities, saying the council would not tolerate the usurpation of the authority of monarchs under whatever guise.

While underscoring the need for closer collaboration between community development unions and the traditional institution in promoting peaceful co-existence and order in the society, the royal fathers said they would not condone any parallel administration in their domains.

They said: “As traditional rulers of our different kingdoms, we will not allow presidents-general of development unions to take over the mandate of overseeing the affairs of our subjects. We want to us this opportunity to draw a line between the responsibilities of presidents-general and the sacred mandate of the revered institution of traditional rulers.

“We pledge our continue support to Delta State government and assure that all efforts will be geared towards the attainment of the stronger Delta vision of the Okowa administration in the next four years.

“We are particularly satisfied with the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his first tenure as he managed the finances of the state to the greatest advantage of Deltans as exemplified in the execution of people-oriented projects, which have impacted on the lives of the people.”

The monarchs congratulated the governor on his successful inauguration and his birthday anniversary coming up on July 8, 2019.



Climate change

Climate change

Climate change

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Iwobi dreams another final with Super Eagles

Super Eagles striker Alex Iwobi is hoping to play in another final at the Africa Cup of Nations after helping his club Arsenal to reach the final of the Europa League.

Arsenal lost to Chelsea in Baku, but Iwobi scored a memorable goal in the Gunners 4-1 loss. He said he was still pained by the drubbing and winning the AFCON could be a compensation.

“Of course it is everyone’s dream as a player to win a title. Of course it was painful losing the final with my club but now I have to focus here. For us as a country there is no bigger title in Africa to win than this (AFCON) so we will go for it,” Iwobi says.

The winger who grew up in Arsenal’s academy as a kid and picks inspiration from his uncle, Nigerian legend Jay Jay Okocha believes the current Super Eagles squad has a good chance to make history by winning their fourth title. Having won in 2013 under the late Stephen Keshi, Nigeria failed to qualify for the last two editions but have now returned with the hunger to ensure they get back to the king’s table of African football.

“I believe we have the potential because we have a lot of great players. It is not easy but as long as we do our best we will have a chance. We are in a tough group and the first target of course is to get out of it and then from there we will take a step at a time,” stated the Arsenal winger.




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Group to Bugaje: Stop hiding under security conference

The Northern Think Tank group has rejected the planned security conference by the Arewa Research & Development Project (ARDP).

ARDP had through its leader, Usman Bugaje, called for more proactive measures in addressing the security situation in some parts of northern Nigeria.

To provide solutions to these challenges, Bugaje announced that the group would be organising a conference on northern security which is scheduled to hold July 1 and July 2, at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation conference in Kaduna.

ALSO READ: The long read: Nigeria’s War of the Land

But in a statement, the group described the move by Bugaje and his followers as misleading, warning its leader, to stop “hiding his atrocities under security conference.”

“A group of disgruntled politicians under the aegis of Arewa Research & Development Project (ARDP) has announced plans for a Northern Security Conference billed to hold in Kaduna from July 1-2, 2019,” the statement read.

“ARDP is supposedly convened by one Dr. Usman Bugaje, a politician that has in the past played both sides of the game since he has been in government and in opposition, depending on what faction proves to be more lucrative.

“The last time this politician had any news mention of note was when he declined the offer to serve Nigeria as an ambassadorial nominee. We have since discovered that his reason for declining the appointment was he was aware that he would not have scaled security clearance because of the many activities he was engaged in with some of his other associates.

“Interestingly, it is this same set of people that are today announcing that they are giving northern Nigeria a security conference to discuss the same problem they helped create. While it is very possible that the same people that started a problem (or series of problems) may hold the key to the resolution, logic dictates that we question the motive behind this offer of proffering solution that is coming from the architects of the nation’s problems.

“In the prevent press briefing addressed by Dr. Bugaje, ARDP listed the security challenges confronting the country to include Boko Haram, banditry, kidnap for ransom, ethno-religious crisis, and farmers-herders crisis. It does not take a doctorate in security to figure that all these are security challenges that have their roots in the proliferation of arms that was actively promoted the political class.

“We are not unaware of the contribution of corruption to the toxic mix we are today dealing with. Bugaje and his co-travellers can lie to themselves all they want but it will pay them to acknowledge that the time is nigh for them to give an account of how their cohort enriched themselves as opposed to truly serving the people. Had the people being properly empowered as opposed to politicians building mansions the extreme poverty that is fuelling some of these problems would not have been in existence.

The conference announced by ARDP is, therefore, a smokescreen for achieving other objectives as the situation on the ground does not call for holding talk shops for grandstanding by people that already know what the causes of the problems are. We understanding that this grandstanding is aimed at unveiling a divisive agenda as the participants of this meeting plan to claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is not serving the term of the north hence the north will be again be presenting a candidate in 2023. But even this agenda is a ruse because the actual target of the conference is to provide justification for a planned forceful hijack of the government or at the very least some of its core functions.”



NDDC BOARD: Delta youths protest, demand appointment of indegene as Chairman, MD

By Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha

WARRI – YOUTHS of oil producing ethnic nationalities in Delta State, Wednesday,besieged the premises of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC in Warri, demanding the appointment of Delta State descents as the next Managing Director and Chairman of the Commission.

The youths who displayed placards which bore inscriptions such as “Delta State must produce NDDC MD and Chairman”, “Itsekiri youths demand NDDC MD and Chairman” “Urhobo people people demand rights from FG”, “Ndokwa youths demands equal rights to produce NDDC MD and Chairman” “Isoko youths demand NDDC MD and Chairman” “FG follow NDDC Act for appointments of MD and Chairman”, matched from the gate of Don Donmigos College through Shell gate to the NDDC office in Warri chanting songs of disenchantment.

They warned that they could not guarantee what would happen to oil production in the State and facilities if their demands are not met.

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Speaking during the protest, the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Eric Omare noted that: “It is the right of the major oil producing States which are Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom to produce the MD of the Commission. The reason is that it is major oil producing states that has the right to produce the MD.

“From 2001 to 2018, all the major oil producing states, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom have produced the MD. Logically, it follows that the MD will start from the state which the rotation started from which is Delta.

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“Not only that Delta State started the rotation, presently, Delta is the state with the highest quantum of oil production. It therefore means that it is the turn of Delta State to produce the next MD and that is the proper thing to do.

“If we don’t do what is proper, if we don’t follow the rule of law, it will create room for anarchy and disunity. If the rotation is strictly followed as it ought to be, it will engender peace in the Niger Delta.

“In the same vein, in the Act establishing NDDC, it is also the turn of Delta State to produce the Chairman of the board because the Chairman of the board rotates in alphabetical order. Cross River State which begins alphabet C produced the last Chairman, so D which is Delta is expected to produce the next Chairman of the board”.

Also speaking, President of the Isoko National Youth Assembly, INYA, Comrade Ovie Umuakpo stressed the need for the Federal Government to do the “needful so that we can continue to enjoy the relative peace we presently enjoy in Delta State to continue the production momentum in the state.”

President of the Urhobo Youth Council, UYC, Comrade Festus Otesiri said “we know that Edo, Abia and Ondo states have representation in the board but by the Act establishing NDDC, they don’t have the right to become the MD of the commission.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government because we don’t even know what the next step will be if we don’t have the MD and Chairman of NDDC board.”

Saying that the youths in the state had agreed to work towards sustaining the relative peace to ensure the massive oil production in the state, he said “we have have given the Federal Government what it want, so we are calling on them to give us what we want.”

On his part, the first National Vice President of Itsekiri National Youth Council, Godwin Itieye Okotie said “the NDDC Act has spelt it out, so we don’t want to be shortchanged. Let us not solve constitutional issues with political solutions”.

He said the protest would be taken to the National Assembly and the presidency if their demands are not met.



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June 12 – The unending saga


Rage of cultists in Lagos

By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor, Evelyn Usman, Esther Onyegbula and Victor Arjiromanus

…Attacks, killings, rape on the increase
…Rival-cult gangs clashes order of the day as Police seem helpless
…Victims, community leaders cry out
…We have embarked on sensitization, special talks — Police

RECENTLY,  a certain Jude Igho, 45, was relaxing with members of his family in their one-room apartment at Akpasa area of Ajegunle, Lagos State when, suddenly, hell was  let loose in the neighbourhood.

cultists, Lagos

This came in the form of what initially sounded like maniacal shrieks and guttural expletives that triggered immediate commotion as residents panicked and started running in different directions.

He peeped through his narrow wooden door and saw more than 200 machete-wielding young men, also brandishing other dangerous weapons, including guns. It soon dawned on him that the community was under invasion by a group of cultists whose maniacal screams sent a chill down the spines of those that heard them.

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Within a twinkle of an eye, Jude mobilised members of his family of four and exited from their house through a back door. They ran into a neighbour’s scantily protected upstairs residence where many other families were taking refuge. While they were there, the invading young men, dressed in black attires with tattoos all over their bodies, were breaking into houses and shops and carting away valuables.

They were also freely attacking, with the dangerous weapons in their possession, anyone who stood in their way. Worse still, they engaged brazenly in massive rape of young girls who were heard crying helplessly while the rampaging cultists carried out their attacks. This ugly scenario persisted for over four hours after which the invaders exited the street and moved leisurely to another area of the city to continue their deadly exploits.

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The same ugly scenario was re-enacted in Somolu, another area of Lagos, few days later. In fact, the case of Somolu/Bariga has become a re-occurring decimal which seems to have defied all solutions. It is also as if security agencies, especially the police, have given up since they no longer seem interested in responding to the worsening situation and fail to check the excesses of cultists who now delight in invading homes and attacking people at will.

Though the above may read like a storyline for a Nollywood movie, the fact is that these are true incidents, with shocking reality. Indeed, the news media have lately been featuring screaming headlines of attacks by cultists in different parts of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre. It is a development that has left Lagosians in fear, especially against the backdrop of the intensification of attacks by different criminal elements in the state, often resulting in loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.

Over the years, cult activities have more commonly been associated with tertiary institutions. Indeed, there is hardly any academic session with no reported incidents of cult-related violent clashes in most schools in the country. In the event, cutting short the lives and dreams of promising youths.

Incidentally, cultism did not originate from the school environment neither is it a recent development. In fact, it can be traced to the pre-colonial period when individuals of like minds would come together to conduct rituals with the main aim of seeking protection from their ancestors. Secret cults have always existed in many parts of the country, with the Ogboni secret cult notable among the Yorubas, the Ekpe secret cult among the Efiks, Ekine cult in the Delta region and Owegbe cult among the Edos.

Cultism in higher  institutions

The root of cultism in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions has been traced to a group of seven students who introduced it in the University College Ibadan in 1952 and addressed themselves as the Magnificent Seven. They formed the Pyrates Confraternity following their observation that the university was populated by wealthy students with links to the colonial powers. To them, the privileged students enjoyed certain favours at the expense of poor students who were in the minority and usually struggled to be accepted by the rich students. Between 1952 and 1972, the Pyrates, which was later registered as the National Association of Sea Dogs, was virtually the only confraternity on Nigerian campuses.

However, another brotherhood known as Buccaneers Confraternity was registered as National Association of Sea Lords, with its membership extending off campus and spreading beyond the shores of the country. Today, almost all tertiary institutions across the country have confraternities otherwise known as secret cults. Some of them include the Supreme Eiye Confraternity, also referred to as Air Lords. Records have it that this confraternity which broke away from the Black Axe emerged from the University of Benin and its symbol of identification is the skull and crossed bones.

Another popular confraternity is the Black Axe otherwise known as Neo Black Movement of Nigeria. Report also has it that it emerged from the University of Benin and has an upright axe with a wide blade fixed to a short handle as its symbol.

There is also the Supreme Vikings Confraternity said to have been founded by a former member of the Buccaneer Confraternity and it has the inscription SVC as its symbol. Again, there is the Klansmen Confraternity also known as Eternal Fraternal Order of the Region Consortium.

It was founded by students of the University of Calabar and has KKK as its symbol, and the Two-Two or Black Beret, which was founded at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology. Other confraternities include Second Son of Satan, Red Sea Horse, Fraternity of Friends, Mgba Mgba Brothers, Night Cadet Sonmen,Theme of Eden, Executioners, Dreaded Friend of Friends, Eagle Club, Black Scorpion, among others. Aside these are also female cult groups which came to limelight in the 1990s on Nigerian campuses. Notable among them are the Damsels, Viqueens, Daughters of Jezebel, Black Braziers, among several others.

Artisans as cultists

Vanguard gathered that the major reason for forming cult groups in the distant past was to break the barrier created by privileged or advantaged students. But sadly, there is now a growing shift from its original purpose as it now tends to thrive more on intimidation, oppression and brutalisation of rival cult groups, leading to violence which, in most cases, proved fatal. Not only has cultism witnessed a shift from its original purpose, membership now cuts across artisans, farmers, traders and so many illiterate persons across the country.

From the North to the South and East to the West, cultism thrives everywhere. Checks by Vanguard showed that even commercial motorcycle riders, commercial bus drivers and bus conductors are also members of various cult groups spread across the state.

Vanguard investigations show that Lagos State has in recent times become a home to different cult groups with members drawn mainly from artisans. Areas such as Mushin, Yaba, Amukoko, Ajegunle, Ikorodu, Odogunyan, Okokomaiko, LASU Road, Ajangbadi, Ojo, Festac, Lagos Island, Ijora Badia, Ilasamaja and Idi-Araba are their popular haunts, a reason why these areas are usually prone to violence owing to attacks and reprisal attacks by rival cult groups. In some cases, innocent residents are killed and  private and public property destroyed.

Why artisans join cult groups

Investigation reveals that some artisans seek membership of  these dreaded secret cults due to the windfall which accrue to them while serving as errand boys for some politicians, particularly during elections. Others joined confraternity groups for protection against members of rival cult groups, and to gain financial assistance from politicians and some members of the elite who want to attack their opponents.

Another crazy reason some artisans gave for joining cult groups is the easy access it grants them to rape coveted girls or women within their localities. While some of them see rape as a means to have their pound of flesh, particularly on ladies who have turned down their love advances, others just derive pleasure from it. For those who rape for pleasure, they record such acts and threaten to upload same on the internet if their victims report the act to the police or their parents.

Rape as part of initiation into cult groups

Another startling discovery is that some cult groups rape new female members as part of initiation into the confraternity. Recently, it was  discovered that cultists set aside a particular day when they avenge killings of their members by rival cultists. The months of July (7/7) and August (8/8) were allegedly slated for this purpose this year, particularly in Lagos. But the Police Command, acting on intelligence, frustrated their efforts following the arrest of some of them in Ilasamaja, Ikorodu and Odogunyan areas of the state.

Forceful initiation   of children

Another worrisome dimension to cult activities is the forceful initiation of children into different confraternities. These children are made to swear to oaths of secrecy under a threat to their lives if they revealed names of the cult groups. These children, as gathered, are used to fight rival cult groups based on the assumption that their frail frame would never give them away as cultists. In January this year, a 16-year-old boy who was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, confirmed that their ages or innocence serve to mask their intention.

This was after admitting to belonging to a dreaded cult group that has been terrorising Satellite Town, in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos. He further exposed activities of members of various cult groups in various areas of the state. Most startling was the revelation that children as young as 10 years old are initiated into the various cult groups in Satellite Town.

In an encounter and interaction with Vanguard, Akiola, a Secondary School Certificate holder, revealed that primary school pupils and secondary school students and artisans in the area were forced into cultism. Resistance by anyone, according to him, meant the outright forced relocation of the child’s parents from the area.

He further disclosed that children between 10 and 13 years, who were initiated into major confraternity groups such as Arrow Baga popularly known as Arrow, were usually sent out to spy on their rivals. The children, as gathered, were also sent to survey places like the massive Navy Barracks before their masters would strike.

How I was forced into Eiye Confraternity

Narrating his experience, the source revealed that he was approached at the age of 10 to join the Eiye Confraternity group. He said: “When the pressure was too much, I had no choice than to give in. My father was an Okada rider (commercial motorcyclist). He was never at home. There was no one I could approach when the pressure to join Eiye was much on me. Even if I had approached my father, he would not have done anything because everyone is afraid of the cult guys.

He would be forced to pack out of the area if he tried to stop me. And he didn’t have the financial strength to do so. On one occasion, one of them, Samuel, seized my phone and my shoe. I went home barefooted. As if that was not enough, I was beaten to a pulp by members of the cult group even though I did not commit any offence. I eventually joined Eiye Confraternity in 2013 shortly after I finished my secondary school education.”

His account showed that most robbery operations in Lagos and some other states were perpetrated by cultists. He said he usually received between N1,500 and N3,000 at the end of any operation. This teenager further disclosed that killings earned members promotion, revealing that hit-men were referred to as Flyers and Adaba.  A 10-year-old boy, according to him, can head any unit in a cult depending on his ability to kill.

In Lagos at the moment, the trending cult group is known as Awawa, with its members spread across densely populated areas like Ikorodu, Ajegunle, Old Ojo Road, Agege, Ikorodu, among other places. Symbol of this cult group is a rain-like incision by the side of their left eye.

But Police say they are not unmindful of what is going on and are taking appropriate steps to ensure that activities of cultists are curtailed. Indeed, information at Vanguard’s disposal show that the Lagos State Police Command made several arrests of suspected cultists during raids on flash points. The command said it has succeeded in dousing the tension created by cultists in the Mushin area of the state, where attacks were witnessed before now on weekly basis.

The command under the leadership of commissioners of Police, Fatai Owoseni and Imohimi Edgal Fatai, also succeeded in curtailing the activities of the rising Awawa cult group. Only recently, operatives of the Lagos State Task Force arrested 15 notorious cultists popularly known as Awawa Boys who have been dispossessing members of the public of their valuables as well as raping young girls around Aluminium Village, Valley Estate and the entire Dopemu community in Agege area of Lagos.





How will the young grow now?

How will the young grow now?

How will the young grow now?

Continue reading How will the young grow now? at Vanguard News.



3 Nigerians top the world in British exams

Oghenefego Obaebor

THE trio,  Omoshemi Favour Oloriegbe, Prince Ogunlana and Chinaza Adaeze Osuji  have been adjudged Top in World in the  Cambridge IGCSE Sociology 2018,  Cambridge International AS 2017 and  Cambridge IGCSE Agriculture 2017 examinations, respectively.

While Oloriegbe was from The Childville Senior for Cambridge IGCSE Sociology, Ogunlana emanated from Lifeforte International High School and Osuji from Chrisland College.  Top in World winners are learners who have gained the highest mark in the world for a single subject.

Cambridge International and the British Council disclosed this in Lagos while hosting the annual British Council Recognition and Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards held at The Civic Centre.


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Besides, ninety one top performing students from 46 schools in Nigeria  received 125 Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards following their outstanding performance in the November 2017and June 2018 Cambridge exams series. The awards covered various subjects taken in Cambridge IGCSEs, Cambridge O Levels and Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

In her opening remarks at the ceremony, Kanto Adesina, Territory Manager for Nigeria, Cambridge International,offered warm congratulations to the students,their teachers and principals. She said: ’Events like this are very important for Cambridge because students are at the heart of everything we do. We believe continuous and interactive learning, not exams and tests, is the ultimate purpose of education to impact individuals and the world.



‘Our examinations are designed to encourage, recognise and reward learning. They should not be regarded as an end in themselves. Our programmes and qualifications encourage students to develop their own strengths and interests, and cultivate an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.’

The British Council also awarded partner schools from the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN) that exemplifies best practice policies for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Child Protection.

Lucy Pearson, Country Director, British Council Nigeria and West Africa Cluster Lead,said: ‘At the British Council we are committed to creating opportunities for people all over the world by enabling relevant connections; between people in the countries where we are present, and the UK.

We have been doing this in Nigeria for the last 75 years and are currently marking our 75th anniversary celebration. We have been able to achieve several significant successes because of the key partners we work with – an example is our partnership with Cambridge International in providing Nigerian students access to globally-recognised qualifications.

At the awards this year, we also recognised outstanding schools who are key enablers to the success of the awardees through their implementation of policies that drive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Child Protection. We believe that providing an enabling environment allows young people to learn and thrive, embrace their unique characteristics and prepare for global citizenship.

We applaud all the award recipients and hope the awards spur them into achieving future accomplishments.’ Cambridge programmes are taught in more than 360 schools across Nigeria.





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Illicit drug abuse responsible for herders-farmers clash — NDLEA

By Michael Eboh

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has expressed concern over the abuse of illicit drugs among hunters, farmers and herdsmen across the country.

Speaking at a sensitization workshop in Abuja, Chairman of the NDLEA, Colonel Muhammed Abdallah (retd.), disclosed that the abuse of illicit drugs by these group of individuals is helping in no small measure to fuel the unending crisis between farmers and herders.

Abdallah, who was represented by Victoria Egbase, Assistant Commander General of Narcotics, Director, Assets and Financial Investigation, added that the abuse of the substance, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and environs, was also affecting their productivity negatively.

He said, “The implication of the unfortunate involvement of farmers, hunters and herders in drug abuse is enormous. Some researchers have attributed the persistent clash between farmers and herders to drug abuse.

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“For instance, under the influence of drugs herders lose control of their stock which often invades farms to destroy crops. The resultant effect is the bloody feud between the parties. Cattles equally become very aggressive when given certain drugs to make them strong to cover distances and in the process they invade farms.”

Abdallah noted that the NDLEA had decided to focus on improving its our outreach to the clearly identified but often forgotten target groups such as farmers and hunters, especially for the simple fact that this group constitute a larger percentage of the population, coupled with the fact that the food security of the nation rests squarely on the shoulder of farmers.

According to him, the NDLEA need to create a critical mass from the farmers and hunters by increasing their stake in the Drug-Free Nigeria Project.

He said, “We in drug control are concerned about the high rate of drug abuse among farmers, hunters and herdsmen, a development that has often diminished their productivity and has negatively affected their health and life span.

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“Study has revealed that ignorance of the grim implications of drug abuse has led farmers and hunters into believing that drugs can energize them to withstand the stress of their work whereas reverse is the case.

“The programme is therefore intended to bring hunters and farmers to speed on the catastrophic consequences of drugs in the language they can understand.”

Also speaking, Chairman of Abaji Area Council, represented by the Council Secretary, Hon. Kamal Suleiman, applauded the NDLEA for doing a good job in the fight against drug abuse.

“Some farmers are aware that Cannabis are being cultivated among them, thinking that they would make more profits. Unfortunately they would make more problems than expected when caught by NDLEA,” he explained.

In his own remark, the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Baba Adamu Yunusa, represented by the Etsu of Yaba, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, enjoined NDLEA to mount special roadblock in Yaba to curb the activities of these drug couriers, adding that currently, drug couriers always go through Yaba in order to avoid Abaji to evade arrest by NDLEA officers”.

He said, “Ninety per cent of drug abuse cases begin from broken homes. Many families have failed to curtail their wards from bad behaviour which often leads to illicit drug consumption.

“As a traditional ruler, I often ask Abaji NDLEA Officer to apprehend drug couriers and peddlers around our area when they are sighted and he has always responded swiftly. Therefore he should be given an award for his excellence.”



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‘UBEC ensures due diligence, transparency in SUBEB contract awards, no room for fraud’

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Executive Chairman of Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Dr. Philip Tachin has clarified that the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, ensures due diligence and transparency in the preparation of work-plan and award of contracts by SUBEB across the country.

Dr. Tachin who was reacting to the discontent being expressed by the opposition and allegation of fraud leveled against the board over the preference of a Makurdi based plastic chair and table manufacturer where Governor Samuel Ortom used to have majority stake before his resignation some years ago, said those peddling the false story where ignorant of the workings of UBEC.

According to him, “before we advertised the jobs in the papers, we did a work-plan, which is a usual procedure of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, and in this work plan all the items like furniture, construction, renovation and others must be itemized one by one and costed according to the prevailing market prices across the states.

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“When you do this which is applicable in all the states, you take it to UBEC which has a unique standard and you cannot do anything outside of that. They also have prices of building materials as obtainable in all the states. So if you bid or propose what is higher than what they know they will not approve it. Moreover the prices differ in the states given their different terrain.

“UBEC regulates the way the work-plan is done. The plastic chairs are a unique item. In fact, some years back, like 2016 when we ordered for them, UBEC gave us official letters nationwide that these plastic chairs must be done in Osun State because a firm manufactures them in that state.

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“So your work-plan will capture that. They approve the prices item by item. They have made that to be so specialized that you cannot even do it anywhere else and states have been going to Osun for that.

“But this time around when we were to do our work-plan we thought of capital flight from Benue especially when we have a plastic industry here. We felt we shouldn’t carry the money and give to another organisation that is far away from our state when there is a company here.

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“We deemed it fit that it was better to find a plastic firm in the state that manufactures the chairs. But if we had not gotten any plastic industry here, we wouldn’t have even thought about doing it here. And the only plastic industry we have here is Oracle Plastic Company. It could have been another company entirely because If we had two or three we would have submitted their names.

“What UBEC requires is that we take a sample of their product for approval because they have their own specifications, so once you do a sample it has to meet their specification and it should in line with the approved sample.

“In fact before UBEC approved that we should manufacture the plastics here in Oracle it took a long debate because they insisted that it should be gotten from Osun state where they were used to.

“But I argued that they should also recognize that states that match these grants should also have their own benefits and that we should be allowed to source the plastic chairs here in Benue state.

“That is why UBEC accepted and approved it. So it is not as if the management of Benue SUBEB sat and came out with our own rates and the company that would manufacture the plastic chairs.

“It was done in conjunction with UBEC which verified the product and then approved. And that’s why we had to advertise, because it is only when they approve the work plan that you can advertise. So in all these we followed due process in the entire thing.

“Therefore whatever prices that were recommended by UBEC is not anything arbitrary, and whoever has an issue with that including the writer of the publication I saw is acting out of ignorance hence flying false information and I cannot let out what UBEC approved.

Continuing, Dr. Tachin said, “it is very very unfortunate when we go to a level of smearing someone’s name or the entire state or the Governor of the state. The Governor in the first place did not compel us to ensure that plastic chairs are sourced in the state.

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“So is it because a company that manufactures plastics in Benue was chosen to manufacture for contractors to pick and distribute to schools in the state that some people are making a lot of noise? It is very unfortunate. Would the people making the noise prefer that the manufacturer based outside this state is chosen?

“In the first place we were not compelled to chose the only manufacturer in Benue, we thought it wise that since there is a company here which could have been any Benue indigene’s company it was better we patronized that company. But because it is a company that the Governor has already resigned from, some persons are making much noise.

“Besides, the way it is done, we are not going to take money and pay directly to the manufacturer, that will be a violation of the law. You award to a contractor who will go to that company to source the chairs.

“Even with the one in Osun state we never paid directly to the company. We awarded to a contractor who went and paid to the company to do the job and they lifted it from there and distributed in Benue. So what is wrong with us having a manufacturer here in Benue and the contractor is able to source the plastic chairs here?

“You see, we just have the propensity for self destruction, we don’t want Benue to move forward. Everything we do is to throw stones and make sure that we defeat our selfs. It is unfortunate, there is nothing like fraud in this case. So that is why I feel very offended by the publication that alleged fraud because it cannot be fraud.

“Everything including rates were approved by UBEC which ensures that due diligence and transparently is strictly adhered to. Are you going to attack UBEC for approving prices and every other thing for the states? We have not even awarded the contract, we only opened the bids and some persons started attacking us.

“What is the motive of those behind this? Is it the handiwork of those that felt that they will not get it who then decided that they should rock the boat or what?

“For crying out laud, we have Benue families working in that plastic factory and they will be the direct beneficiaries of the patronage from UBEC. Why do we enjoy these needless self destructive acts? It’s quite unfortunate.”



Google opens Google News Initiative challenge for Middle East, Africa, Turkey

Lagos – Google on Tuesday opened the Google News Initiative (GNI) challenge for media publishers in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

The Head of Google News Initiative Innovation, Mr Ludovic Bleacher, made the disclosure at the unveiling of the initiative in Lagos.

Google News Initiative is a journalism-focused programme that will help publishers earn money and fight fake news.

It will also introduce an open-source tool called Outline, which will make it easier for news organisations to set up secure access to the internet for their journalists.

The official said that the challenge was open for application, adding that it was aimed at injecting new ideas and innovation in the ecosystem.

“The Google News Initiative is our global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

“The GNI Innovation Challenge is accepting proposals for projects from news organisations of every size to address increasing engagement with readers and/or exploring new business models in any form such as subscriptions, membership programmes, and so on.

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“ Traditional publishers, news startups and associations that aim to build innovative digital media projects are all eligible to apply,” he said.

The official said that the projects could be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and a significant digital component.

“We have long collaborated with the news industry to drive traffic, increase audience engagement and generate revenue, but there are legitimate questions about how high quality journalism can be sustained in the digital age.

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“As part of that, we are proud to open applications for the GNI’s first Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey,” he said.

According to him, the challenge is open to every news innovation and will focus on creative projects that demostrate opportunities to increase readers engagement and support the development of new business model.

He said that Google would fund selected projects up to USD $150,000 and would finance up to 70 per cent of the total project cost.

He said that special discretion might be considered by the jury depending on the scale and impact of a collaborative effort.

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He said that the application window would close on Sept. 2 , adding that only online applications in English would be considered.

He listed the criteria for the challenge as the impact on the news ecosystem, innovation and use of technology, feasibility and inspiration.

He noted that last year, Google announced the Google News Initiative to help news players in their transition to a digital future.

He said that the GNI was Google’s effort to help news players in their transition to a digital future, focusing on three pillars.

He listed the pillars as elevating and strengthening quality journalism, evolving business models to drive sustainable growth, and empowering news organisations through technological innovation.

He said that Google had in the last two years, trained more than 4,000 journalists across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

He said that for more information, applicants may reach out directly to the GNI Project Team, by emailing

“The GNI Project Team will also be holding an online town hall webinar session to give further information and to answer questions. This will take place on July 3 at 10.a.m GMT, ” he said.

Mr Eugene Okumu, Google Newslab, Sub-Saharan Africa, said that the digital space was encountering a lot of disruption, with fake news being a big element of the publishing space.

According to him, the introduction of the GNI is to ensure that credible information is passed to the readers.

He urged news publishers to leverage Google tools such as search, flourish, Google scholar, reverse image search, trends, historic image and others, to eliminate fake news.(NAN)



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Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

The decomposed body of a Rivers state indigene, Inedukoba Charles Tyger, was on Tuesday June 25th, exhumed from a shallow grave in Abalama Sandfield Asari-Toru Local Government Area in Rivers state, months after he was declared missing by family and friends.


A friend of the deceased, Ibiye Dokubo, had raised alarm on February 26th, via his Facebook page, that Tyger, had gone missing. According to Dokubo’s post, Tyger and his wife were at loggerheads after she found out he had impregnated another lady.


Sharing photos of the couple on the social media platform, Dokubo wrote;

I dont know what to say for now but I remembered the last time you spoke with me that you are with your wife in Abalama and I insisted you give her the phone for us to talk and I queried her of her decision to reconcile with you on that Saturday evening but uptill now we cannot hear from you and your wife have left to somewhere only God knows, but I pray you come alive to tell us what happened…but as for her if she knows what transpired as your wife then she cannot hide forever because the long arm of the law must surely cut up with her.


In another post on March 1st, Dokubo wrote

Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

This is the wife of the missing man Mr. Tyger Inedukoba Charles, he was with her on Saturday before his sudden disappearance till date, they had issues because he impregnated another woman and up till now she had packed out of their rented apartment, she had transferred herself to an unknown LGA, she don’t pick her calls and she is hiding from the truth so please help me share this until we get her arrested or better still report her to any police station if you see her..thanks” Dokubo had written on his Facebook page on March 1st


After many weeks of detailed investigation and thorough search, the corpse of Mr Tyger was exhumed yesterday, June 25th in the Asari-Toru local government area in the state.


The wife, Ajemina Douglas, has been accused of killing him and burying his remains under the bridge. She was allegedly arrested by the police recently and she led the officers to the shallow grave where he was buried. 


Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant


The state police command is yet to release a statement on this case.


See photos of the deceased body after it was exhumed below.


Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant


Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnantShocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnantShocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant

Shocking! Decomposed body of man exhumed months after he was declared missing in Rivers, wife accused of killing him for getting another lady pregnant



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Teenage girl reacts horribly after consuming drugs in Abuja (video)

Teenage girl reacts horribly after consuming drugs in Abuja (video)

A teenage girl reacted horribly and caused a scene after abusing drugs in Abuja.


The girl, reportedly aged 17, and another friend, aged 15, went to the National Stadium in Abuja. While there, the older girl consumed an illegal drug and began reacting to it.


The younger girl narrated how the incident unfolded. She said her older friend has experimented with drugs before at her home during her brother’s birthday. She claimed the girl took “small drop” on that day.


Narrating how the latest incident occurred, the girl, named Favour, said she and her older friend and some others were hanging out. She bought Coke for them but they refused to take it and she wasn’t aware when they went to buy the drug her friend reacted to.


The one who took the drug can be seen on the floor rolling and screaming while calling Favour to take her home.


Watch the video below.





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BBNaija winner, Miracle Ikechukwu is certified as an "Instrument Rated" pilot

BBNaija winner, Miracle Ikechukwu is certified as an "Instrument Rated" pilot

Miracle Ikechukwu, the winner of Big Brother Naija season 3, has been certified as an “Instrument Rated” pilot.


The ambitious young man, who quickly threw himself into his career after winning the prize money last year, made the announcement on Instagram.


He wrote: “A lot of turbulence while en-route but finally landed.. “Instrument Rated!”.. It’s only Your Grace Lord.. Thank You.. and to everyone who has supported meh thus far, I Appreciate… GOD Bless.. “


BBNaija winner, Miracle Ikechukwu is certified as an "Instrument Rated" pilot



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The place of local data hosting centres in driving nationa security, economic growth

By Toyosi Lana
Recent stakeholder discourse in the Nigerian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector have called into question the effectiveness and security of local data hosting in the nation.

However, the proliferation of services provided by state of the art local data centres in Nigeria over the last 5 years have been widely adopted by key industry verticals including FSI and Public sector while being lauded as reliable and highly secure in addition to enabling operating cost reductions.

In Nigeria’s current eco-system, though data hosting has improved significantly in the last 5 years, a sizeable number of the country’s data is currently being hosted abroad.

This is clearly a cause of concern as it encourages forex outflow from already strained reserves and poses potential security issues, as data hosted offshore remains subject to the laws of the country in which it is stored. Localising data hosting is critical for security, and safety because it ensures that company and government information is domiciled in country rather than leaving sensitive data within the purview of foreign organisations and governments.

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In recent years, Nigerian businesses have benefitted from the rise of locally based state of the art Tier III data centres such as MainOne-MDXi, Rackcenter, and MTN. These colocation facilities provide enterprise-grade multi-level security and video surveillance, carrier grade connectivity, precision cooling, safety and fire suppression systems.

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A crucial benefit of these colocation data centres, especially for government agencies and multi-branch organisations is the ability to enable disaster recovery and business continuity seamlessly.

This is as a result of multiple redundancies built into the power, cooling and security infrastructure of these data centres which ensure operations remain uninterrupted even in the midst of unplanned outages. In a country where uninterrupted power supply is a luxury, and businesses are susceptible to diverse power related failures, system down times and a myriad of other interruptions, local data centre support means they do not have to break the bank to access the high availability required for operations in today’s digital economy.

Just as Nigerians are required to keep foreign reserves and currencies within the shores of the country in order to ensure growth of local banks and ecosystems as opposed to currency manipulations when large currencies are kept offshore, so will the country and the local ecosystem benefit from localisation of data. This is because, it means secure banks and government data are kept by Nigerians and manipulation or foreign interreferences is at a minimum.

It is important to note that, ICT has a substantial impact on both GDP and employment across Sub-Saharan Africa and throughout Nigeria. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics 2018, The ICT Sector’s 12.4% contribution to the National GDP reflects a 9.5% growth rate from the previous year, demonstrating substantial growth despite broader economic slowdown. The sector which includes the growth of local data centres and hosting sites, created an estimated 2.5 million jobs over a 10-year period from 2004 – 2014. It is critical for this GDP growth and job creation to be reflected within Nigeria and not generated by Nigerians for foreign Governments via outsourcing of data to offshore data centres.

According to the World Bank report in 2018, “Billions of people are connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, foreshadowing stunning possibilities.” This underscores the amount of data being consumed worldwide by the masses at any given time, alluding to potential latency problems. Most especially when the data is being affected by geographic limitations in the form of high latency.

Nigerian businesses embracing local data centres now have access to significant improvements in latency in the sub 20millisecond range as opposed to the 100+millisecond range in previous years. This translates to better customer experiences for end users and ensures that the limitations previously experienced on latency sensitive applications are significantly reduced or eliminated.

At the end of the day, it is imperative that businesses, government departments and agencies should be encouraged to take advantage of the robust, world class, state of the art data hosting infrastructure which already exists in Nigeria. This would enable local businesses and government participate in the various benefits alluded to in the foregoing, as well as encourage the growth of the local data centre environment and associated ICT ecosystem.



New capital base for banks may rise to N230bn

By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor, Babajide Komolafe & Emma Ujah

ABUJA — There are indications that the new minimum capital base requirements for Nigeria’s banks would range between N35 billion and N230 billion going by the new position of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Yesterday, speaking to journalists on his agenda for the next five years, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, explained that the current capital base of the banks are no longer realistic, principally because of the massive devaluation of the Naira since the benchmark was set about 10 years ago.

The apex bank under Lamido Sanusi as governor had pegged minimum capital base of banks at N15 billion (US$113 million at exchange rate of USD/132.85 then) for Regional Licence, N25 billion (US$188m) for National Licence and N100 billion (US$753m) for International Licence.

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But at current exchange rate, the value of the Regional Licence has gone down to US$49 million from US$113 million, while National Licence is now down to US$82million from US$188 million with the International Licence down to US327.9 million from US$753 million.

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Though Emefiele had indicated that the apex bank was looking at benchmarking with the Investors & Exporters, I&E forex window rate of USD/360, the apex bank may use the official rate of USD/305 to minimise the immediate impact on the banks.

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Consequently, barring other considerations, at current official exchange rate of USD/ 305 the value of Regional Licence would be N35 billion, up 133 per cent from N15 billion, while that of National Licence would be N57.3 billion, up 128 per cent from N25 billion and International Licence at N230 billion, up 130 per cent from N100 billion.

On the percentage point increase, Chukwuma Soludo’s capital base adjustment was at 1,150 per cent to N25 billion from N1billion, while Joseph Sanusi, the CBN Governor before Soludo, had effected a 1,900 per cent increase.

Banks must recapitalize

Emefiele had stated: “In the next five years, we intend to pursue a programme of recapitalising the banking industry so as to position Nigerian banks among the top 500 in the world. Banks will therefore be required to maintain higher level of capital, as well as, liquid assets in order to reduce the impact of an economic crisis on the financial system.

“It was Governor (Chukwuma) Soludo, in 2004 who did the last recapitalisation we had, moving the capitalisation from N2 billion to N25 billion.

“I must commend that effort because it resulted in positioning Nigerian banks, not only in Africa, but to become among top banks in the world, in terms of capitalisation.

“It also helped strengthen the banks to take on large transactions and those are the things they badly needed.

“Today, when you relate N25 billion in 2001 exchange rate, which was about N100/$1, N25 billion was about $200 million. Today if you relate N25 billion at N360/$1, you can see that it is substantially lower than $75 million .

“What we are trying to say is that the capitalisation has weakened quite substantially and there is need for us to say it is time for us to recapitalise Nigerian banks again.

“It is a policy thrust which will be discussed at the Committee of Governors’ Meeting and of course, the framework for the recapitalization of Nigerian banks would be unfolded for the whole world to know.”

Vision for next 5 years

The governor said that in the next five years, his team would work closely with the fiscal authorities to ensure macro-economic stability, double-digit growth, single-digit inflation and greater access to finance for businesses.

Mr. Emefiele said: “Working closely with our fiscal authorities, we pledge to target a double digit growth by the next five years and at the CBN, we commit to working assiduously to bringing down inflation to single digit while accelerating the rate of employment.

“Put succinctly, our priorities at the CBN over the next five years are the following; First, preserve domestic macro-economic and financial stability; Second, foster the development of a robust payments system infrastructure that will increase access to finance for all Nigerians, thereby raising the financial inclusion rate in the country; Third, continue to work with the Deposit Money Banks to improve access to credit for not only small holder farmers and MSMEs but also consumer credit and mortgage facilities for bank customers.

“Our intervention support shall also be extended to our youth population who possess entrepreneurship skills in the creative industry.”

On foreign exchange management, he said: “We will continue to operate a managed-float exchange rate regime in order to reduce the impact which continuous volatility in the exchange rate could have on our economy”

The CBN, the governor said, would support measures that would increase and diversify Nigeria’s exports base and ultimately help in shoring up our reserves, particularly by supporting domestic industries and creating jobs on a mass scale for Nigerians.

The governor said, “We intend to aggressively implement our N500bn facility aimed at supporting the growth of our non-oil exports, which will help to improve non-oil export earnings.

“Will launch a Trade Monitoring System(TRMS) in October 2019, which is an automated system that will reduce the length of time required to process export documents from one week to one day. This measure will help support our efforts at improving our non-oil exports of goods and services.

“We will also work with our counterparts in the fiscal arm in supporting improved FDI flows to various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, insurance and infrastructure. These measures while supporting improved inflows into the country, will help stabilise our exchange rate and build our external reserves.”

Livestock/dairy intervention coming

Mr. Emefiele said that his team would boost productivity growth through the provision of improved seedlings, as well as access to finance for rural farmers in the agricultural sector, across 10 different commodities namely: Rice, Maize, Cassava, Cocoa, Tomato, Cotton, Oil-palm, Poultry, Fish, and Livestock/Dairy.

He said, “Our choice of these 10 crops is driven by the amount spent on the importation of these items into the country, and the over 10 million jobs that could be created over the next 5 years if efforts are made to expand cultivation and processing of these items in Nigeria. So far, we have held series of engagements with importers and producers of these products.

“Most of them have committed that they would install or expand their production capacities in Nigeria. We believe these measures will help to boost not only our domestic outputs but also improve our annual non-oil exports receipts from $2 billion in 2018 to $12 billion by 2023.”

He added that CBN would support an aggressive embroilment of prospective banking customers in the informal sector on to the BVN system and move the current enrolment of 38 million unique banking customers to 100 million over the next five years.

Mr. Emefiele said that the consumer credit programme would be pursued more vigorously, including mortgage at nine per cent interest.

KEY agenda

•Target double-digit growth by the next five years; bring down inflation to single digit
•Preserve domestic macro-economic and financial stability
•Foster development of a robust payments system infrastructure
•Work with banks to improve access to credit
•Continue to operate a managed-float exchange rate regime
•Support measures that would increase and diversify Nigeria’s exports base
•Launch a Trade Monitoring System(TRMS) to cut time required to process export documents from one week to one day



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