Lekan Paul

Four Nigerians Make Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative Top 10 Finalists List

The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) has identified the top 10 finalists for its grand finale event taking place in Accra, Ghana on 16 November 2019. Among them are four Nigerian netpreneurs.

The finalists were chosen from nearly 10,000 applicants from 50 African countries. After months of judging and deliberation, the finalists were shortlisted and will now go on to pitch their business directly to four finale judges – Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group – during a televised finale event called “Africa’s Business Heroes”. The winners will receive a share of the $1 million USD grant prize pool.

The Jack Ma Foundation will host a full-day Africa Netpreneur Summit, an invitation-only conference where African and global entrepreneurs, investors, educators, and leaders will convene to discuss how best to enable entrepreneurship and the digital economy across the continent. Guest speakers at the conference will include Ban Ki-moon, Former UN Secretary General and Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. The conference will be followed by the “Africa’s Business Heroes” event in the evening.

“We launched the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative to identify top entrepreneurs from across the continent, not only to reward them but to inspire a whole new generation of potential gamechangers for Africa. I have been inspired by the entrepreneurs I met in Africa, many of whom are dealing with the same challenges we faced when we started Alibaba years ago. I truly believe the potential of Africa’s business heroes is limitless,” said Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation.

“Africa’s Business Heroes” will air on November 29. More details of how to tune in to the program will be released in the coming weeks. Highlights from the Africa Netpreneur Summit will also be shared via ANPI social media handles. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The diverse group of 10 finalists represent a range of industries and experience.

Meet the finalists:

Waleed Abd El Rahman, CEO, Mumm (Egypt)

Mumm is a virtual cafeteria for businesses, harnessing the power of shared economy through technology, cloud kitchens and an online marketplace for home-based entrepreneurial cooks. Waleed is a seasoned entrepreneur with 12+ years in food tech. He is also the former founding managing director of MIT Technology Review-Middle East and a member of the Advisory Committee of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.   

Ayodeji Arikawe, co-founder, Thrive Agric (Nigeria)

Thrive Agric is an agricultural technology-enabled company that works with smallholder farmers to enable them with greater access to finance, as well as improve their income and harvest distribution. Today, Thrive Agric works with 22,000 farmers in Nigeria, but the company is aiming to build the largest network of farmers in Africa. They are on a mission to “build an Africa that feeds the world and Itself.” Ayodeji is an accomplished software engineer and serves as both co-founder and CTO for Thrive Agric.

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO, LifeBank (Nigeria)

LifeBank is a medical distribution company that uses data and technology to help health workers discover critical medical products. The company has saved over 5,300 lives in Nigeria. Founder Temie has over 10 years of health-management experience with Department for International Development, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme and Lagos State. In 2014, BBC listed her as one of the 100 women changing the world. She was also recognized by Quartz and the World Economic Forum.

Mahmud Johnson, founder and CEO, J-Palm (Liberia)

J-Palm Liberia (JPL) was founded with the goal of making premium consumer goods while creating income-earning and employment opportunities through sustainable palm-oil production. When JPL was first founded, palm oil kernels had been going to waste in Liberia, but founder and CEO Mahmud Johnson found a way to innovate productive uses for this overlooked natural resource. Today, JPL has created a range of beauty and clean-energy products, built a robust network of partnerships across the country, and helped to create jobs for hundreds of Liberians. Mahmud holds a degree in economics from Dartmouth College and is a 2017 recipient of the Order of the Star of Africa conferred by the President of Liberia.

Kevine Kagirimpundu, co-founder and CEO, UZURI K&Y (Rwanda)

UZURI K&Y is an African-inspired ecofriendly shoe brand established in Rwanda. Kevine is the co-founder and CEO of UZURI K&Y, and she is passionate about ending global waste while also leveraging her creativity to create employment opportunities for her community. UZURI has made a direct impact on more than 750 people through employment and skills training. In addition to obtaining her degree in creative design, she has participated in numerous entrepreneurship programs to enhance her skills in business development. In 2017, she was recognized as the winner of the Made in Rwanda Enterprise of the Year.

Christelle Kwizera, founder, Water Access Rwanda (Rwanda)

Water Access Rwanda pioneered INUMA™?, a Safe Water Microgrid that reclaims broken boreholes and transforms them into state-of-the-art solar-powered water kiosks and pipelines. The water is sold for $1/1000 litre and creates off-farm jobs for youth. Currently, Water Access Rwanda employs 68 people, and allows 47,612 customers to access water daily across 86 stations. Christelle is a mechanical engineer and was named INCO’s woman entrepreneur of the year in 2019, among other high-profile awards.

Dr. Tosan J. Mogbeyiteren, founder, Black Swan (Nigeria)

WeMUNIZE by Black Swan Tech Ltd is helping to solve Nigeria’s public-health challenges by deploying an automated scheduling, GPS-enabled software-as-a-service that uses a combination of digital record keeping and community engagement to increase birth registration and early childhood immunizations. Black Swan is working with USAID Nigeria to expand WeMUNIZE coverage in northern Nigeria. Tosan is a public-health specialist with more than 13 years of experience in deploying technology to solve development challenges in Nigeria.

Chibuzo Opara, co-founder, DrugStoc (Nigeria)

DrugStoc is a cloud-based pharmaceutical IT and logistics platform focused on eliminating counterfeit drugs, expanding access to pharmaceutical products and improving transparency in pricing for healthcare providers and the product supply chain. Chibuzo is a health economist and medical doctor with over 12 years of experience in the health sector. He has worked with the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation.

Dr. Omar Sakr, founder and CEO, Nawah-Scientific (Egypt)

Nawah-Scientific is the first private research center in the MENA region focused on natural and biomedical sciences that offers analytical and scientific services online and on-demand. Dr. Sakr has 13 years of pharmaceutical experience, has worked as an adjunct assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Zewail City of Science and Technology, and holds scientific and business awards for innovative product design.

Moulaye Taboure, co-founder and CEO, Afrikrea (Cote D’Ivoire)

Afrikrea.com is the leading “Made of Africa” fashion, art and handicraft online marketplace. The marketplace has processed more than $4 million in sales across 101 countries and supports merchants from all over the world. After growing up in Mali and working for companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Alstom, Moulaye now dedicates his time to building the global infrastructure for African culture.

–ENDS–

About the Finale Judges

Jack Ma, Founder and Director, Alibaba Group; Founder of Jack Ma Foundation; United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate
Jack Ma founded Alibaba Group in 1999 and served as Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group from 1999 to September 2019. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group from 1999 to May 2013.

Jack currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum, President of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs and Chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club. He has been appointed by the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres as Co-Chair of the UN High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation since 2018.

Jack graduated from Hangzhou Normal University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English education.

Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman, Econet Group

Strive Masiyiwais the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever and National Geographic, and the Global Advisory boards of Stanford University and the Council on Foreign Relations. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also served as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa until August this year (now Chair Emeritus). In September 2019, Masiyiwa was awarded the prestigious World Food Prize Medallion.

Strive is a Co-Founder of the Carbon War Room and the Global Business Coalition on Education, is Co-Chair of Pathways for Prosperity Commission and serves as Commissioner on the Global Commission on Adaptation. Strive also serves on the Advisory Board of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum and drives continent-wide digital transformation as the only private sector member of the SMART Africa Board.

Since 2013, Strive has devoted his time each week to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs through his Facebook page, which has a followership of over four million young people from across the continent and the world. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signatories of the Giving Pledge.

Strive has been selected twice, in 2014 and 2017, to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” and has received honorary doctorates from Morehouse College, Yale University, Nelson Mandela University and Cardiff University.

Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited

Ibukun Awosika is the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and most valuable banking brand. She is also the founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group.

Ibukun chairs a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards amongst which are: Convention on Business Integrity, Digital Jewel Limited, House of Tara International and Afterschool Graduate Development Centre. She sits on the boards of Cadbury Nigeria Plc., International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge, Imperial Gate School and Peniel Apartments Limited.

Ibukun is a graduate of chemistry from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Nigeria. She is also an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School, the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain, and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and China European International Business School.

As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors and Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria, Ibukun, through her projects aspires to use her opportunities in life to help entrepreneurs to create jobs for the large unemployed youthful population. She is a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, served on the National Job Creation Committee, and sits on the International Advisory Board of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain and the Governing Council of Pan-Atlantic University.

Ibukun is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur and the first Nigerian recipient of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge Award as a nominee of the US Department of State in 2008.

Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman, Alibaba Group

Joe Tsai joined Alibaba Group in 1999 as a member of the founding team and has served on the Board of Directors since the company’s inception. He was Chief Financial Officer until 2013 and is currently Executive Vice Chairman. He serves on the Investment Committees of Alibaba Group and Ant Financial, and is a founding member of the Alibaba Partnership.

From 1995 to 1999, Joe was a private equity investor based in Hong Kong with Investor AB, the main investment vehicle of Sweden’s Wallenberg family. Prior to that, he was General Counsel of Rosecliff, Inc., a management buyout firm based in New York. From 1990 to 1993, Joe was an associate attorney in the tax group of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, a New York-based international law firm.

Joe is the governor of the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and chairman of Barclays Center. He is also the owner of the New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the San Diego Seals, a professional indoor lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).

Joe is qualified to practice law in the State of New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and East Asian Studies from Yale College and a juris doctor degree from Yale Law School.

###

About the ANPI

The ANPI is a philanthropic initiative spearheaded by the Jack Ma Foundation aimed at supporting and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors, who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent. For the next ten years, the ANPI will host the “Africa Business Heroes” show where ten finalists will compete in a pitch competition to win a share of $1 million USD in grant money. 

Media contact:

Bridget Lombard, Edelman

bridget.lombard@edelman.com

+27 (0)60 360 6271

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Ethiopian Indigent Students Arrive Rochas Foundation College For Africa

The Rochas Foundation College For Africa has welcomed another set of indigent students from Ethiopia.

In a statement released by the Media Director of the Rochas Foundation, Ahmed Mustapha, he noted that the new students arrived Abuja where they were received by a high delegation of the Ethiopian embassy and staff of the Rochas Foundation.

“ These five kids have a chance at quality education and the foundation is excited to welcome them, we are very confident that they would be worthy ambassadors of both their home country and the Rochas College of Africa”.

“ Our vision is to bring five kids from each of the fifty five African countries under one roof and give them the best education possible “

“ We firmly believe that this would not only help reduce poverty and illiteracy in Africa but it would also serve as a major bridge building exercise that further strengthen the unity of the black race”.

He noted further that the kids paid a courtesy visit to the foundation headquarters at Unity House, Abuja, after which they met with the founder, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

The kids he said were later flown to Owerri , the Imo state capital where the Rochas Foundation college for Africa is situated.

The Rochas foundation has over the last twenty-one years offered free education to indigent children from across the country.

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Troops Obliterate Boko Haram Criminals, Capture Arms Ammunition And Equipment

Troops of 242 Battalion in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Chadian Defence Forces (CDF) yeterday 10 October 2019 encountered a Boko Haram criminals’ ambush at Jigalta Village ahead of Marari, 27 Kilometers from Monguno in Borno State while on a joint clearance operation.

The criminals laid an ambush with 5 Gun trucks and unconfirmed number of insurgents.

However, the gallant troops responsively countered the ambush and decimated the uncoordinated criminals. Resultantly, 15 of the Boko Haram criminals were neutralized while few of them escaped with severe gun shot wounds. In addition, 2 Boko Haram Gun Trucks were destroyed while another 2 were captured. Also, 4 Dutshka Anti-Aircraft Guns, 9 AK 47 Rifles and a sizeable catche of ammunition were captured by the gallant troops.

Unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme sacrifice during the cross fire that ensued while a Chadian soldier was also wounded in action. The Commander Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE/MNJTF, Major General Abdulmalik Biu in company of the Commander Sector 2 MNJTF (CDF), Colonel Bokhit Ali, Commander Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE Artillery Brigade Brigadier General Jamiu Jimoh and Commander 3 Military Intelligence Brigade Colonel Abubakar Mohammed visited the jubilant troops at the location of the encounter.

Major General Abdulmalik Biu commended the efforts of the troops and conveyed the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s appreciation and commendation as well as the Force Commander MNJTF Major General Chikezie Ude’s words of encouragement to the troops.

Additionally, the Commander Sector 2 MNJTF (CDF) Colonel Bokhit Ali expressed his satisfaction with the collaborative effort and renewed his commitment to fighting the menace of the ISWAP/Boko Haram criminals’ insurgency together.

You are kindly requested to disseminate above information to the general public for awareness.
Thank you for your usual cooperation.

AMINU ILIYASU
Colonel
Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator
11 October 2019

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President Inaugurates, Sets Agenda For Economic Advisory Council

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja administered oaths of office on members of the newly constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), and also set an agenda of what they should accomplish in the shortest possible time.

Speaking at a meeting with the 8-man Council chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami, President Buhari charged them to focus on developing reliable data that will properly reflect what is happening in the country.

The President who called the task before the PEAC ‘‘most important national assignment’’, said:

”As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection.

” Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies.

” Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground.

” This is disturbing as it implies we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country.

” We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As you are aware, as a government, we prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to our rural communities.

”Our programs covered the entire agricultural value chain from seed to fertiliser to grains and ultimately, our dishes.

”As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programmes and assure their sustainability. ”

The President also used the occasion to set agenda and expectations from the Council, constituted on September 16, 2019, to replace the Economic Management Team (EMT).

On the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the President told members that his administration was working to measure the impact of the programme targeted at improving the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens.

As such, the President said he had directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.

” Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the North East. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact.

” In 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.

” Therefore, actionable data is critical to implement effective strategies to address pressing problems such as these humanitarian issues.

” I, therefore, look forward to receiving your baseline study as this will help us shape ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future, ” the President said.

On his expectations from the council, the President urged them to proffer solutions on how to move the country and economy forward.

The President directed the Council to coordinate and synthesize ideas and efforts on how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, working in collaboration with various employment generating agencies of government.

”I am told you worked throughout last weekend in preparation for this meeting.

”I have listened attentively to findings and ideas on how to move the country and the economy forward.

”Yes, Nigeria has exited the recession. But our reported growth rate is still not fast enough to create the jobs we need to meet our national ambition of collective prosperity.

”Reason being we had to tread carefully in view of the mess we inherited.

”Many of the ideas we developed in the last four years were targeted at returning Nigeria back to the path of growth.

”I am sure you will also appreciate that during that time, our country was also facing serious challenges especially in the areas of insecurity and massive corruption.

”Therefore, I will be the first to admit that our plans were conservative. We had to avoid reckless and not well thought out policies.

”However, it was very clear to me after we exited the recession that we needed to re-energise our economic growth plans. This is what I expect from you, ” he said.

President Buhari also assured the Council that the Federal Government will ensure that all their needs and requests were met before the next technical sessions in November.

He said all key ministries, departments and agencies will be available to meet and discuss with them on how to collectively build a new Nigeria that caters for all.

”Now, no one person or a group of persons has a monopoly of knowledge or wisdom or patriotism.

”In the circumstances, you may feel free to co-opt, consult and defer to any knowledgeable person if in your opinion such a move enriches your deliberations and add to the quality of your decisions, ” he said.

Chairman of Council, Professor Salami, said the mandate was about ”Nigeria first, Nigeria second, and Nigeria always, ” adding that it was about Nigerians, not as numbers, but as people.

He added: ”Our goal is that the economy grows in a manner that is rapid, inclusive, sustained and sustainable so that Nigerians will feel the impact. ”

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Buratai Inaugurates Strategic Management Course 2019

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has inaugurated the second edition of the Strategic Management and Policy Studies Course 2019 at the Nigerian Army Resource Center, Abuja.

Speaking at the event, the Army Chief enjoined participants to take advantage of the course as it is conceived to enhance human capital development and improve security architecture in the country.
He maintained that the Nigerian Army Resource Center was established to proffer research based solution to defence and security challenges facing the country.

Buratai said the course has been reviewed with the number of courses increased to five to meet up guidelines of the National Universities Commission (NUC) in line with similar courses in other part of the world in conjunction with the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).

“The course is designed to examine security through other pure kinetic means. Consequently, factors like food security will also be considered.
“I enjoined participants to take advantage of the course and learn as no knowledge is lost. This is a unique course that offers more than you have learned before now therefore you stand to gain maximally.

“One of the reasons that inspired the course is to have a closer interpersonal relationship amongst participants which will be beneficial on the long run to the country,”.

Buratai thanked the various services and agencies that have subscribed to the course. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the support accorded to the Nigerian Army in terms of capacity development which led to the establishment of the center.

The event had in attendance Chief of Defence Intelligence, Director General Nigerian Army Resource Center, representative of the Chief of Naval and Air Staff, professors and other academics from various universities including participants.

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Troops Arrest Boko Haram Members, Rescue Kidnapped Victims In North East

As Troops intensify clearance operations within Operation LAFIYA DOLE Theatre, troops of 7 Division Garrison in conjunction with troops of Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE and elements of Nigerian Army Super Camp 4 while conducting clearance operation along GONI GAMBOMI, KADAMARI, MELIM, GONDORI and JANTILU in KAGA LGA of BORNO State rescued 15 persons who were apparently displaced by criminal insurgents. Among them were 8 adult males, one adult female and 6 children. Preliminary investigation reveals that they spent 3 days wondering in the bush trying to link up with any community where they could find succour. They were promptly evacuated and the adult females and children were handed over to NYSC IDP Camp while the adult males were handed over to 7 Military Intelligence Brigade for profiling and subsequent integration into the IDP Camp.

In the same vein, troops of 82 Div Task Force Battalion at Strong Response Area NGOSHE while conducting clearance operations in NGOSHE and PULKA general area in GWOZA LGA of BORNO State also rescued 12 locals. Among them were 2 female adults and 10 children. They were later screened, documented and handed over to officials of the International Organization for Migrants at PULKA IDP Camp.

In a related development, on 5th October 2019, troops deployed at NJIMTILO and DALORI in KONDUGA LGA and MAIDUGURI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL of BORNO State respectively conducted Operation POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION at various Check Points and Crossing Points. The operation was aimed at identifying and arresting fleeing BOKO HARAM criminals as well as their informants, sympathizers and logistics suppliers who are evidently finding the Theatre more and more untenable. The troops conducted thorough searches and screening of pedestrians and commuters moving in and out of MAIDUGURI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL along MAIDUGURI – DAMATURU – BAMA Road. Those suspected to have links with the criminal insurgents were further investigated at a military facility.

Similarly, troops while acting on information, arrested 9 male suspects in a hamlet in MAINOK general area. Preliminary investigation indicates that suspects are BOKO HARAM criminals’ spies. Suspects are currently undergoing further interrogation.

In an unprecedented display of camaraderie, and cooperation among the LAKE CHAD BASIN countries, the Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Maj Gen OLUSEGUN ADENIYI, in company of Commander Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Maj Gen ABDULMALIK BIU and the Commander CHADIAN Defence Forces Col BOHKIT ALI of Multinational Joint Task Force conducted a joint fighting patrol to Strong Response Area (RA) GUBIO at about 12:00 noon on 6 October 2019. On arrival at the troops location at RA GUBIO, the 3 commanders took turn to congratulate the troops on their recent exploits against criminal elements within their Area of Responsibility and also enjoined them to remain steadfast in the fight against the criminal insurgents.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen TUKUR YUSUF BURATAI wishes to call on well – meaning Nigerians to continue to support the Nigerian Army with information to effectively tackle the myriad of the security challenges bedevilling our nation.

You are kindly requested to disseminate above information to the general public for awareness.

Thank you for your usual cooperation.

AMINU ILIYASU
Colonel
Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator
8 October 2019

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Deal Decisively With Criminals, Respect Human Rights, As Chief of Army Staff Addresses Troops in Zamfara Today

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has once again directed troops fighting bandits, marauders and other criminals in Zamfara, katsina and Sokoto States among others to deal decisively with all criminal elements in their areas of operations.

General TY Buratai made the charge while addressing the troops at the Headquarters 1 Brigade in Gusau, Zamfara State.

He commended the troops for their commitment and professional disposition at sustaining and consolidating on the ongoing peace deal in the state and urged them to maintain aggressive posture against unrepentant bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers.

He used the opportunity to reiterate the combat readiness and resolve of the Nigerian Army to protect the lives and property of all law abiding Nigerians. He further enjoined the troops to remain disciplined, committed, dedicated and absolutely loyal to constituted authority at all times.

General Buratai reiterated his charge to the troops to always adhere to the Nigerian Army’s extant Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct during operations and training exercises, as human rights violations by any personnel will never be condoned. According to him, – “No officer or soldier should take laws into his/her hands, innocent civilians must be protected at all times, rights abuses will never be encouraged, condoned or go unpunished”.

He assured the troops of the commitment of the Army under his leadership to their welfare and that of their families. He further informed the troops of the speedy completion of the numerous ongoing residential and office accommodations, water projects and provision of medical facilities in the newly established barracks in Gusau and others in the newly formed units and formations across the country.

While in Gusau, the COAS inspected ongoing projects in the barracks and visited Wounded In Action soldiers at the Federal Medical Centre Gusau. He was the day before, on 6 October 2019 visited the Zamfara State Governor Bello Mutawalle in Government House Gusau to thank him for the interventions in the Army Barracks Gusau where water and electrification projects are being executed by the state government.

SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
7 October 2019

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Confess, Apologise On Botched Release Of Chibok Girls, BMO Tells Jonathan

Chilling revelation by Britain’s former Prime Minister, David Cameron that former President Goodluck Jonathan rejected help to rescue the abducted Chibok Girls reflects the nonchalance and irresponsibility that brought Nigeria into the mess the country is in.

According to the Buhari Media Organization (BMO), the former President should confess his sins, apologise to the nation and stop grandstanding on an issue where he was indeed caught sleeping at the wheel.

 In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said history would judge Jonathan for treating governance as a matter of ego, without respect for lives and property, as well as his disservice to Nigeria.

‘What other proof do Nigerians need to know that if Jonathan had been allowed an extra week in power, the country would have been in a worse state than Venezuela. 

“Nigerians must appreciate the rescue mission embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the last four years. The country was a mess; governance was on auto-pilot with a President who was lukewarm towards his duties. 

“The revelation by former Prime Minister Cameron in his book (For the Record) that Jonathan refused British assistance for the rescue of the Chibok girls after they were sighted shows how the country was being managed by an incoherent leadership intent on driving her to either deliberate or irresponsible crash and wreckage.

“Even the late United States Senator John McCain alluded to this when he told CNN, few weeks after the abduction, that if he were the then US President Obama he ‘wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan’, in a clear reference to the indecision of the former President on a rescue mission.

“Which sensible President and leader would ever miss such an opportunity to save the lives of his abducted citizens,” the group queried.

It said former President Jonathan simply showed that he was not a patriot, and did not care for the Chibok girls, their traumatised parents, and Nigeria as a whole.

BMO said: “The Jonathan administration simply played politics with the lives of over 200 abducted school girls at a time the world’s focus was on Nigeria

“We recall that the then Chief of Defence Staff, late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh said categorically at a pro-government rally that the military authorities had been able to pinpoint the location of the abducted school girls six weeks after the incident but ruled out military operations to rescue them at the time. Is this not a confirmation of what the former British Prime Minister said?

“The former President clearly made a mockery of serious business of governance and history would not be kind to him in spite of efforts to obfuscate issues with Nigeria’s rejection of gay marriage bill.

“We are also not surprised that Cameron claimed that Jonathan had turned the war against insurgency into a feast for his military chiefs. 

“It only confirmed investigations carried out by the Buhari administration and the consequent prosecution of several senior military officers who helped themselves to funds meant for the war against terrorism, aside from dipping into it to fund the expensive lifestyles of PDP leaders and their friends.”

The group added that the entire picture brought up by the details of the former British Prime Minister’s book is evidence of the hard work and commitment that President Buhari had to put in to rescue Nigeria and set it on the upward path that it is on right now.

“The mess left by PDP and Jonathan crumbled the country. Of course, this is not a complaint, but we are only keen on ensuring Nigerians understand where we are coming from, and why the process of resuscitation is tedious, even though we are seeing steady recovery.

“Is it not instructive that it took President Buhari coming on board for Nigeria to secure the release and rescue of 82 of the abducted Chibok girls and is still doing all that is within his powers to secure the other girls still in captivity.

“Just imagine what could have happened if his predecessor had the presence of mind to accede to Britain’s request to help with a rescue mission soon after the April 2014 abduction? 

“We recall and also invite Nigerians to remember how the Buhari administration swung into action to ensure the release of some students that were abducted by the same group in Dapchi, Yobe state within days of the unfortunate incident.

“It is this determination, seriousness in the business of governance and high sense of responsibility that led to the Buhari government being able to secure the eventual release of all the Dapchi girls, save Leah Sharibu, who the President has sworn to ensure her release.

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Vice President Osinbajo To Participate In Nordic-African Business Summit In Oslo

In pursuit of the Buhari administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, especially regarding the active mobilization of foreign investment, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, will be honouring a personal invitation of the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, to attend the Nordic-African Business Summit in Oslo this week.

The invitation is a long standing one and the event, holding from Monday to Wednesday, is being organized to give particular prominence to trade and investment ties between Africa and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The summit will attract the largest Nordic companies doing business or interested in doing business in Nigeria, with interests in agriculture, light manufacturing, transportation, digital technology and entertainment, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

Specifically, Prof. Osinbajo would, among other critical issues, be speaking on the strides made by the Buhari administration in improving the economy and human capital development.

The Vice President will also headline a specific Nigeria-focused investment roundtable, which is expected to lead to increased trade and investment into Nigeria by building confidence about business prospects in the country and its role as an economic gateway into Africa.

There will also be a high-level plenary session at the summit to be attended by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, featuring the Nigerian VP, Deputy President of South Africa, David Mabuza, and other global business and government leaders. That plenary session would be moderated by Financial Times editor, David Pilling. 

Also, while in Oslo, the Vice President would hold a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss issues of mutual interest to both countries, including bilateral cooperation, especially trade and private sector investments, as well as regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern.

In extending its invitation to the Vice President, the Norwegian government noted that Nigeria’s participation in the summit would contribute considerably to its success, as the country “plays a crucial regional leadership role and has the largest economy in Africa.”

The Vice President, who had earlier this afternoon attended the Extraordinary Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, leaves Abuja later today and is expected back on Thursday.

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At NES25, President Buhari Says ‘Nigeria’s Unique Challenges Can Only Be Solved By Made In Nigeria Solutions’

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja declared open the 25th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES25) with a charge to public and private sector leaders to look inward to solve the unique challenges confronting the nation’s socio-economic development.

President Buhari also pledged that his administration will continue to collaborate with the private sector in designing and implementing developmental projects that will keep Nigeria on track for sustained, inclusive and prosperity driven growth.

In his speech at the opening of the 2-day Summit, the President said the successful conclusion of 2019 general elections and the resort by aggrieved candidates to seek redress in the courts rather than the street was proof that Nigeria‘s ‘‘democracy is maturing.’’

‘‘I am informed that this year’s Summit has identified key job-creating sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, creative industry and extractive industry as focus sectors.  

‘‘I am also told that your deliberations will focus on unlocking capital through our financial services sector to actualize the opportunities in these sectors.

‘‘In your deliberations, I would request that your proposals are productive, inventive and innovative keeping in mind that Nigeria’s unique challenges can only be solved by made in Nigeria solutions,’’ he said.  

Recounting the 2019 general elections, the President said Nigeria has shown the world that it is capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner.

‘‘The elections have come and gone. Our country, once again, has shown the world that we can choose our leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner.

‘‘Apart from a few pockets of unrest, majority of voters exercised their civic rights without hindrance.

‘‘Furthermore, we also saw an increase in the number of aggrieved candidates, and supporters, who took their concerns and grievances to the courts as opposed to the streets. This is how it should be.

‘‘Ladies and Gentlemen, what this clearly shows is that our democracy is maturing,” he said.

Reflecting on the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party, the President noted that his administration’s economic policies in the last four years focused on the need to uplift the poor and the disadvantaged and encourage inclusivity.

‘‘During the elections, almost all candidates proposed their vision for the economy and for the country.

‘‘Our party, the APC, put before the country policies that focus on delivering prosperity to all Nigerians through enhancing security; eliminating corrupt practices in public service; supporting sectors that will create jobs; and promoting socially focused interventions to support the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

‘‘These areas are all interconnected and are equally important in creating a prosperous society for all,’’ he said.

Underscoring the importance of collective prosperity, President Buhari asserted that a prosperous society is one where majority of its citizens have an acceptable standard of living.

‘‘Today, many mistake prosperity with wealth. They are not necessarily the same.

‘‘Experts and analysts explain economic trends by making references to indicators of wealth.

‘‘Wealth, however, in its simplistic form, is money or other assets. In recent years, global events have shown that when a society and its leaders are driven and motivated by these alone, the ultimate outcome is a divided state of severe inequalities.

‘‘But a prosperous society is one where majority of its citizens have an acceptable standard of living and a decent quality of life,’’ he said.

The President also used the occasion to affirm that in addressing population growth, security and corruption matters in developing economies, policies and programmes must focus on promoting inclusivity and collective prosperity.

‘‘Nigeria is a country with close to 200 million people living in 36 states and the FCT.

‘‘A significant proportion of Nigeria’s prosperity today is concentrated in the hands of a few people living primarily in 4 or 5 States and the FCT. Some of the most prosperous Nigerians are here in this room. 

‘‘This leaves the remaining 31 States with close to 150 million people in a state of expectancy and hope for better opportunity to thrive. This, in the most basic form, drives the migratory and security trends we are seeing today both in Nigeria and across the region.

‘‘In the recent weeks, I have been to Niger Republic to attend the ECOWAS summit;  Japan with fellow African leaders to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development; the United Nations General Assembly in New York and South Africa on a State visit to exchange ideas on the common themes we share as the two largest economies in Africa.

‘‘What was very clear at these meetings, and numerous others I have been privileged to attend over the years is the increased consensus by leaders that to address population growth, security and corruption matters in developing economies, our policies and programmes must focus on promoting inclusivity and collective prosperity.

‘‘This shift implies that the concept of having competitive free markets that focus on wealth creation alone will be replaced by those that propagate the creation of inclusive markets which provide citizens with opportunities that will lead to peaceful and prosperous lives,’’ he said.

On the focus of this year’s economic summit which is discussing what Nigeria would be in the year 2050 when many studies estimate the country’s population will rise to over 400 million people, the President said:

‘‘As a government, our view is to equip our citizens with the means to seize any opportunities that may arise.

‘‘This means we continue investments in education, health care, infrastructure, security and strengthen and entrench the rule of law.’’

While wishing the 25th NES fruitful, robust and productive deliberations, the President praised the organizers and stakeholders of the Summit for sustaining the platform established since 1993 to deliberate on key issues on national development.

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Troops Rescue Kidnapped Victims From Boko Haram Criminals, Destroy Improvised Explosive Devices And Raid Kidnappers Den

In continuation of the Nigerian Army’s drive to clear marauding criminal insurgents and other unscrupulous elements from Operation LAFIYA DOLE and other theatres of operations nationwide, troops of 151 Battalion in conjunction with elements of 21 Special Armoured Brigade’s Quick Response Force (QRF) thwarted the kidnap of 3 civilians by the criminal insurgents. This rescue operation occurred at about 12:20 pm on 4 October 2019 when the said troops, while acting on information volunteered by some patriotic indigenes, blocked and engaged the criminal insurgents in a fierce fire fight at a crossing point around FIRGI village in BAMA LGA of Borno State, leading to the rescue of the civilians and a Canter truck loaded with grains. The criminal insurgents, who succumbed to the superior fire power of the troops, abandoned the hijacked truck and its occupants and fled in disarray into the forest. The gallant troops are still on the trail of the criminal insurgents while the rescued victims have been escorted safely back to their destination. Troops continue to dominate the area and deny the criminal elements freedom of action within the entire Theatre of operation.

In another development, at about 9:30 am on 5 October 2019, troops of 114 Task Force Battalion, while on clearance operations, discovered 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by criminal insurgents along BITTA – YAMTEKE Road. The devices were successfully detonated by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, thus making the route safe again for commuters.

Similarly, in the South South, troops on Operation MESA raided the criminal hide-outs of some identified kidnap kingpins in Rivers State. The suspected kidnappers who have been terrorising innocent citizens met their waterloo when troops of 29 Battalion simultaneously raided the said criminal hideouts in OBIO/AKPOR, TAI and GOKANA LGAs of Rivers State on 2nd October 2019. The raid led to the arrest of 4 high profile criminals who have been on the Security Agencies’ wanted list. Those arrested include DUMBARI Bro from B-DERE community, VICTOR DOKARA from K-DERE community, GBARACO KAVILOBA from LEWE and CONFIDENCE FRIDAY from BODO community. The suspects are currently undergoing interrogations and will soon be handed over to the appropriate Security Agency for prosecution.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai wishes to once more appeal to the good citizens of our great country to continue to support the Nigerian Army’s resolve to completely rid their communities of criminal elements by providing useful information to effectively tackle the myriad of the security challenges facing the nation.

You are kindly requested to disseminate above information to the general public for awareness.

Thank you for your usual cooperation.

AMINU ILIYASU
Colonel
Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator
7 October 2019

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BMO Cautions Labour Over Salary Adjustment For Senior Staff

Organised labour has been urged to tread softly and not to take any rash action over consequential increment for senior staff in the new minimum wage implementation.

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) gave this advice even as it commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his genuine commitment to taking the new national minimum wage issue to a positive conclusion.

The organisation said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsuji and Secretary, Cassidy Maduke that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated sincere commitment over the minimum wage by signing the enabling Act without delay.

“The President has equally directed the implementation of the initial stage of the new minimum wage which is already being paid to junior staff in the federal public service, while the government will reconstitute the Tripartite Committee to find an amicable solution to the issue of consequential pay for senior civil servants”.

BMO noted that while labour wants 29 percent as consequential increment for senior staff on GL07-14 and 24 percent for staff on SGL 15 -17, the government is suggesting 11 percent for those on SGL 07-14 and 6.5 percent for those on SGL 15 -17 respectively.

The position of the Government is informed by the huge responsibility of managing conflicting demands in the areas of security, infrastructure development, education and care for internally displaced persons, among others.

BMO reminds Nigerians, and organised labour, of the inadequate revenue, huge recurrent expenditure on salaries and pension which constitute a serious financial challenge despite continuing efforts to block leakages in the system.

BMO recalls “with appreciation” the resolution by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to list President Muhammadu Buhari as a ‘friend of labour’ because of his openness to labour and accommodation of its reasonable demands and recommendation which promote industrial peace in the country.

The Buhari Media Organisation urged the labour movements to continue on this path of dialogue for a sustainable industrial peace that benefits everybody.

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