Lekan Paul

Atiku And Tale Of The INEC Server, By Dr. Baba Musa Ahmed

I have always wondered how Abubakar Atiku came to believe that he won an election that was monitored from polling booth to polling booth in Nigeria, by foreign observers, newspaper reporters, online news media, bloggers and all manner of busybodies in Nigeria, and he lost by 3.9 million votes! 

I think I now have a few ideas as to  why he thinks he could fool us with that funny story or why maybe he himself may believe the story. Some people took money from him and told him that they could hack the INEC server and put in figures for him. Simple.

Atiku’s main argument in his election petition is that INEC’s server  showed that he won the election by 1.6million votes. He also gave the details of the purported results from the server.

He claims that card readers were used to send the results electronically to the INEC server! Everyone saw just how ridiculous the figures were. Fortunately for truth, the lawyers are not good at maths.

So his lawyers didn’t see from the figures that the total votes of President Buhari and Atiku added up exactly to the total number of accredited voters! Meaning that there were zero votes for all other candidates, zero cancelled or invalid votes in all of the polling booths all over Nigeria! This should ordinarily be enough to throw out the petition without more and show Atiku that he has been caught out in his scam or he has been scammed.

But the PDP and Atiku are accustomed to 419 and propaganda. They now say that they will call Microsoft and Oracle ( how about Google and Huawei?) to show that the INEC server actually made him the winner of the election!  How can this make any sense?

Firstly,  we were all at our polling units on Election Day. Card readers were used to verify our voters cards. Then we voted. Votes were counted manually (by hand in our presence ) and entered into a  form by the INEC officials. The forms were then signed by party agents. This is the authentic result.

Most observers and online reports posted these results. I have not heard that anyone who was at his polling booth on Election Day saw any INEC official inputting  results on the    card readers  andposting them  electronically to a server!

What Atiku and his PDP fellow travelers want to sell to us is  that after the votes were counted and declared, they were then entered into the card readers and posted electronically on to the INEC server!

READ: Why I’m contesting for a second term – Yahaya Bello

Question is: who did the postings? Did the party agents see what was being posted by the INEC officials? If in fact the INEC officials secretly posted the results, how do we know if they were the same results properly counted at the polling booths? Or was the posting done after collation at the local government and State collation centres? If so, who saw this happen? Did the party agents see what was being posted? Every thing done by INEC at the State and National Collation centres were transparent, in full view of cameras and live television. So when and why were these postings done secretly?

The truth of the matter is clear for all to see. There were no electronic posting of results from polling booths or collation centres.

What happened could be either of the following: Atiku was tricked to believe that there was an INEC server that could be accessed or hacked to post results favorable to him. He must have paid a lot for it. The fake results were posted.

As of Monday when Atiku was seeing the authentic results as they were brought forward by Returning Officers, Professors from different Universities  announcing, Atiku started to  complain that the results he had were different from those being announced!

Or perhaps, Atiku is trying to save face after a bruising defeat. He wants to cast as much doubt as possible by inventing a tale, a ridiculous tale that there is an INEC server that only he has access to and not surprisingly it contains information that he won the elections!

The only question to ask him is how did you access the server? If you have exclusive access to it, then the integrity of the server is in doubt.   It means you could  change figures as you wish!  All told this is just too silly . Dear Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, it is time to go home.  Cameroun?

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Court Dismisses Suit On Sale Of 9mobile

A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday dismissed a suit filed by Spectrum Wireless Communications Limited against Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), owners of 9mobile, challenging the sale of the company.

The Court Presided over by Justice CJ Aneke in a ruling on the preliminary objections file by counsel to EMTS upheld the Defendant’s prayers in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/153/2018 that there is no direct shareholding relationship between Spectrum Wireless and EMTS, thereby vesting on Spectrum the right to sue EMTS to protect its alleged shareholding in EMTS.

The court also upheld the Defendant’s position that there isno privity of contract between EMTS and Spectrum as Spectrum is not a shareholder in EMTS and cannot be said to have been directly affected by the actions of its shareholders – Mubadala Holdings Cyprus Ltd, Myacynth and Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd.

The Court further upheld the Defendant’s position that if at all Spectrum has a right of action, its action should be against PTHNV, the company it originally invested in and not EMTS. The Court therefore upheld the submission of counsel to EMTS that not being a shareholder of EMTS, Spectrum lacks the locus standi to bring the suit against EMTS on the basis of any decision taken by the shareholders of EMTS.

The Court therefore upheld the Defendant’s prayers saying that Spectrum lacks the locus standi to sue, adding that the concept of “indirect shareholding/economic interest” claimed by Spectrum is unknown to Nigerian law, which only recognizes members of a company as those named in its Register of Members.

Justice Aneke also held that Spectrum is not a party to the credit facilities which it claims were unlawfully obtained; and it is elementary law that only parties to a contract can make judicial claims in respect thereof. The Court therefore dismissed the suit in its entirety.

It would be recalled that Spectrum Wireless Communications had sued EMTS and 16 other defendants including United Capital Trustees Limited (‘the Lenders’), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  over the sale of the telco.

The company had claimed that it acquired indirect holding of 30% of the shares of EMTS after a private placement and was allotted 4,041,096 Class A shares of Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV (“PTHNV”), which owns 99% of the shares in MyaCynth Coperative UA (“MyaCynth”).

The Plaintiff also claimed that MyaCynth holds 30% of the shares of EMTS BV; and EMTS BV holds 99.9% of the shares of EMTS) and that EMTS’ syndicated loan from the 2nd to 4th Defendants was granted without the requisite statutory approval of the CBN, and can, therefore, not be enforced through the sale of EMTS’ shares and assets by the 2nd to the 14th Defendants. 

Spectrum also claimed that its investments in EMTS will be lost if the 15th to 17th Defendants are allowed to effect the sale of EMTS.

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Easter Promo: Ecobankpay Offers Special Discount To Shoppers

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has announced special discount for shoppers using the EcobankPay option to pay for their goods and services during the Easter holidays and will run to the end of April 2019.

EcobankPay is a digital QR code/ Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that enables payments using the mobile phone, without the need for a debit/credit card. “When you sign up, your EcobankPay QR is emailed to you, which you can print and post/stick it anywhere your customers can see it to easily scan and pay. When paid, you receive notifications and transactions can be viewed in merchant app or online and most especially  your account is credited immediately . Your customers can now pay you from anywhere in Nigeria and around the world, anytime.  Your customers can use the Ecobank Mobile App or other bank’s mobile app to pay with MCash, MVisa and Masterpass.” 

Announcing the Easter promotion in Lagos, Carol Oyedeji, Executive Director Commercial Banking said shoppers are to get special discounts in shops in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri, Aba and other cities across the country where the EcobankPay QR code is on display. Explaining the accessibility of the EcobankPay QR code, she  noted that it accepts all three payment platforms available, be it MasterPass, MVisa and MCash.

“Also, the discounts are available at all EcobankPay zones. If the person that wishes to buy goods from you is coming from a bank that has MVisa and decides to pay, the same QRcode would accept MVisa payment and vice versa. This creates synergy between us and the other banks and convenience for the merchants. And as you know, the QR code is much cheaper than having a point of sale (POS)  and your account is credited immediately,” she stated.

For the merchants she said “the beauty of the EcobankPay, is in the cost of set up, as the shop owner simply print the QR code on a paper and can stick it anywhere and do not face any risk. It is convenient and the mobile app allows the ubiquity. It allows you 24/7 access. We cannot over emphasis the instant credit”

Ecobank has recently launched several EcobankPay zones in various markets across the country. The EcobankPay Zones are digital payment hubs  enabling businesses within a location adopt Ecobank’s wide range of digital products for ease of payments for goods and services. It provides the opportunity for both buyers and sellers to increase their sales in an enhanced and secured way.

The EcobankPay digital hub/markets  makes it easy for the seller to be paid instantly while buyers pay with ease and also have peace of mind associated with doing business without carrying cash around. Also available at the payment zones is the Xpresspoint which allows customers do their banking transactions within their neighbourhood and non-customer open accounts on the go in as much as they have their phones.

The initiative of the Ecobankpay zone is to deepen financial inclusion in the communities and specifically aid business transactions between merchants and clients.

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Re: Osinbajo’s Crocodile Tears In Kigali, By Muhammad Gulani

Nigeria is an African power. It’s economy, its politics, its people and the character of these rare diverse heterogeneous society has easily made it the Giant of Africa. So there is no wonder that as a country, we were invited to the 25th National Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide that held in Kigali, Rwanda. Representing Nigeria and its President was Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo – A pastor and an academician with depth of experience in law and governance.

So when the writer of “Osinbajos Crocodile Tears in Kigali” asked “What is the Situation in Osinbajos Nigeria? And answered with the word “pathetic” my first thought was that the writer either did not appreciate who the Vice President was, or did not appreciate Nigeria from a holistic point of view, or both – which is most likely.

It is surprising for one to think of the Nigerian state and the statements of the Vice President as a pun or as Casmir Igbokwe dubbed it in his article as“Crocodile Tears”, we all know that the Vice President has continuously shown that he is a man of Integrity, a man of God and would never disrespect the Nigerian people by playing politics with their lives.

As a country, I do believe that we are not yet where we should be – we are not yet at El-Dorado – but it is undeniable that progress is being made across board. Albeit slow and steady, nonetheless it is progress and that is what is key.

While speaking on the issues surrounding the NDIGBO people, the writer was quick to mislead his readers by pushing the narrative that the present government appointments were mostly Northern deliberately forgetting to take a broader look at appointments shared in the country. The Chief of Naval Staff, the Director General of NIMASA, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of Service among numerous others are all from the Southern parts of the country. Perhaps the writer willfully forgets that the Southern parts of the country is not limited to the South East alone, but also covers the South South and the South West – each clamoring for more representation as much as the other.

The southern parts of Nigeria is also as diverse in tribe and culture as the North.

The single narrative of the “Sidelined Igbos” deployed by the writer cannot stand the test of reality when one fact-checks the many benefits they enjoy in personnel and policies in this government.

Across the country are various construction projects, in every state of the Federation a federal project is ongoing. The President Buhari administration is working overdrive in terms of infrastructure deployment. Of key interest to any observer of the infrastructure being deployed across the country is the famous Second Niger Bridge. It finds itself in the heart of the South East and South South and has been an item clamored for by these people for decades.

The Buhari Administration has committed over N31Billion to the main works of the 2nd Niger Bridge. Work is over 51 percent completed. With little resources, President Buhari’s administration is doing quite a bogus lot for the people of the region.

The writer attempts to suggest tolerance of hate speech by the Buhari administration. Such a pedestal claim does not stand a place in reality. The President has been very categorical on this, and willingly signed the Peace Accord to enthrone sanity in the communications and campaigns during the electioneering periods.

It is so easy to dwell in the negatives of society forgetting the many good the world has to offer. That Nigeria has moved four places up in the Human Development Index and has also moved up in the Ease Of Doing Business Ranking are testaments to a country in upward motion. Nigeria today has attained self sufficient in rice production and has began even exportation. Foreing Direct Investments into the country has reached record levels; insecurity is being tackled ruthlessly and sincerely.

The various Social Investment Programs of this Administration prove that indeed better days for Nigerians are here. The programmes have reached a record 12 Million direct beneficiaries.

Terrorism is being fought day in day out in the areas of the North East and the Buhari administration can beat its chest to say it has recorded tangible achievements here. The banditry in Zamfara is being taken seriously. The full force of Nigeria’s military and other security arms have weighed in and are bombarding these criminals daily. The“Operation Sharan Daji”has been launched specifically to deal with the Zamfara bandits. Progress is being made.

The Vice President has also shown utmost sincerity and has never tried to downplay the killings in these areas. He has visited Benue, Plateau and Kaduna over killings that occurred in the areas – especially communal and inter-tribal clashes. He has advocated for forgiveness and offered pragmatic solutions towards peace building in these societies. He has seen to the facilitation of Peace and Reconciliation Committee in states like Kaduna, and Benue among many others.

It is not in the nature of the Vice President both as an academician and as a man of God to play politics with the life of the people. Security is everyones responsibility and the Vice President has emphasized that time and again.

He rightfully pointed out during his remarks to journalists in Kigali “We must not allow a repeat of what happened in Rwanda.” Statements like that of Casmir Igbokwe tell only a lopsided truth that fuel division, fuel hate and promote tension. These were the harbingers of the nasty events of the Rwandan genocide. Mr. Igbokwe has not learnt his lesson. It appears in fact, that Professor Osinbajo’s sermon was indeed for him.

The problem with the single story is that it shows a thing as a single thing, forgetting that there are two sides to a coin. Nigeria just like any other country is as diverse in its triumphs and problems and it is highly unfair to Igbokwe’s reader and Nigerians to view our complexities from only the negatives.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a father and God fearing man, he has shown this time after time, will never play politics with his people.

Muhammad Gulani, is a political commentator and writes from Zaria, Kaduna

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NEPZA: Daily Trust deliberately misleading Nigerians, By Sunday James Akinloye

Anything you in the media these days call for a double check and Daily Trust, along with some supposed respected national newspapers seem to be leading the way with ‘Fake News’

Take for example, the Daily Trust’s reportage on the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and its presentation in a report titled, “Enelamah, this is very fishy”. Painting a picture of what happened, Daily Trust laced its account with falsehood and lies, writing it to soothe their paymasters.

That’s not where it stopped; the report tried to distort history and facts but that is what I will set straight here for those following the drama that has snowballed from NEPZA and NSEZCO’s debacle on SEZ.

The facts are simple and easy to understand except for those who are trying to cash out from the prosperity of Nigeria. Let’s start from the beginning. President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration sought to increase the export of locally made goods across the world so it conceived Project MINE.

Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports) was initiated to develop SEZs across Nigeria’s geo-political zones to world class standards in collaboration with private partners. The idea is to position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and as a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally.

President Buhari then set up a Project Steering Committee under the leadership of the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, comprising the leadership of the Ministry and members drawn from the Economic Management Team and the leadership of several Government Agencies: Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Office of Trade Negotiations, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bank of Industry and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank; as well as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Africa Export-Import Bank.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment (MITI) then set up a special vehicle to achieve this goal, that vehicle was NSEZCO and it was at this point that all hell broke loose, mostly because an agency in the MITI, which is NEPZA (Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority) was not particularly happy about this positive development.

The agency leadership felt that its own direct operations should be the vehicle that drives SEZ, even when their functions have been clearly spelt out in the constitution. NEPZA was set up as a regulatory agency but it wanted to do more than the constitution’s provision.

After NSEZCO birthed, NEPZA approached the Attorney General of the Federation to demand whether NSEZCO was legal and it could act as a special vehicle. This is how the office of the AGF responded;
Two critical factors that implicated the need for NSEZCO are operational efficiency and access to international capital market with limited or no direct burden on the Federal Government in like manner as NLNG.

The use of NSEZCO to implement Project MINE is to facilitate the creation of commercially-oriented, efficient and effective institutions, in line with international standards.

In section 1(2), the NEPZ Act explicitly recognizes that an EPZ may be operated by any of three types of entities:
(i) public entity;
(ii) private entity; or
(iii) a combination of public and private entity.

The response of the AGF also covered the question and claim by NEPZA that NSEZCO was a private institution. The truth is that NSEZCO is a public-private partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria holding 25% and private entities like AfDB, Afreximbank, BoI, etc holding 75% shares.

The structure of NSEZCO is no different from that of NLNG, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Limited and Development Bank of Nigeria Limited, so this is not new to Nigeria at all, and has always worked perfectly fine within all legal frameworks.

Not satisfied with the submission of the office of the AGF, NEPZA cons the Senate Committee on Trade to blow the matter out of proportion. The Committee chaired by Senator Sabo Mohammed, claimed that NSEZCO was a private company even after PPP explanations where clearly made.

The committee chairman produced a CAC document showing that Dr Bakari Wadinga, Mr Olufemi Edun and Ms Oluwadara Owoyemi were directors of NSEZCO. However, what he mischievously failed to outline is that Dr. Wadinga was appointed interim director for the Federal Government, pending commencement of full operations, while the others where interim directors for the private partners. All this was done in agreement with all partners involved, as listed in the ownership structure.
The highly erroneous position of the Senate Committee shows why many Nigerians have little or no faith in the activities of the Nigerian Senate.

The Senate and Daily Trust also inserted a mischievous conclusion. “This is fishy, very fishy. Besides, the creation of NSEZCO negates the Buhari administration’s objectives of pruning the number of existing MDAs,” Daily Trust claimed.

“The Senate and Presidency must get to the root of this matter. Unless the public gets a cogent explanation, the inescapable conclusion is that someone tried to play hanky panky with public funds.”

This claim however negates the position of President Buhari. At the signing ceremony for the investment partnership between NSEZCO and its strategic investment partners on February 8, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari said:

“When we decided to continue with the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan of the previous Administration and launched our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to fast track implementation, we had a vision of Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a major exporter to our immediate West African sub-region, the rest of Africa and indeed the World. Special Economic Zones have an important role to play in achieving this vision. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) offer investor friendly incentives, world-class infrastructure and ease of doing business in order to attract local and foreign investment and have been used as a catalyst for rapid and inclusive development, job creation, industrialization and diversified export earnings in several countries.”

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Homegrown School Feeding Now In 30 States As FG Targets Millions More For Social Investment Schemes

In continuation of its efforts to invest in the country’s human capital development, the Buhari administration has continued to make significant strides through its National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).
President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s NSIP, is aimed at empowering Nigerians and improving their livelihood through several initiatives.
Millions of Nigerians nationwide are currently benefitting from the different schemes under the N-SIP, which is the largest social welfare scheme in the history of the country.
Through its Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) scheme, the administration is supporting the most vulnerable in society, while developing a skilled workforce for economic productivity by providing jobs for millions of Nigerian youths through the N-Power programme, and improving the learning and cognitive skills of Nigeria’s children through the Home-Grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP).
Also, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) provide financial support through micro-credit schemes to small traders and businesses at the bottom of the financial pyramid. Beneficiaries include petty traders, women cooperatives, youths, famers and agricultural workers.
Subsequently, in the Next Level of the Buhari administration, about 10 million Nigerians are expected to benefit from GEEP, which includes TraderMoni. MarketMoni and FarmerMoni. While the Cash Transfer scheme aims to reach one million poorest households, one million new beneficiaries are expected to be added to the N-Power scheme, arguably the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa.
The administration’s National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), which has a target of reaching 12 million pupils, is currently feeding over 9.5 million public primary school (classes 1-3) pupils with one free, balanced and nutritious meal a day in 30 states nationwide; while it has empowered 101,913 cooks in these states.
The 30 states currently benefiting from the school feeding programme are: Anambra, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto, and Nasarawa.

Others include Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Plateau, Delta, Zamfara, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Niger, Katsina, Ondo, Edo and Gombe.

The HGSFP has not only helped to increase enrollment rates of pupils in these communities, it is also effectively tackling early year malnutrition, while improving the cognitive skills of children.
The School feeding programme has also provided sustainable income for local farmers, cooks, which has increased growth and productivity in the local economy.
As of March; 297,973 Nigerians in 20 states (including the Borno IDP camps) are current beneficiaries under the National Cash Transfer Policy Programme (Conditional Cash Transfer), which started in December 2017; with over 5,000 savings groups and cooperatives formed as a result.
The following states are currently receiving payment: Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, and Taraba.
The Conditional Cash Transfer is designed to deliver timely and accessible cash to beneficiary households and so enhance their capacity for sustainable livelihood. The programme provides beneficiaries – poor and vulnerable households – with a monthly transfer of N5,000 with the sole aim of taking them out of poverty.
In the same vein, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which has the MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni schemes, currently has a combined total of over 1.7 million Nigerians benefiting from these schemes.
So far, since after the national and state polls, 30,000 minimum beneficiaries have been added to the TraderMoni scheme, which provides interest-free loans starting from N10,000 to petty traders nationwide and is payable within six months.
In addition, upon repayment of the N10,000 loans, some beneficiaries in some states, including Lagos, Osun, Borno, Ogun and Benue, have now started receiving the 2ndimproved interest-free TraderMoni loan of N15,000.
Managed by the Bank of Industry, GEEP schemes provide financial support through micro-credit schemes to beneficiaries which include petty traders, women cooperatives, youths, famers and agricultural workers.
In the same vein, the Administration’s N-Power scheme, which is designed to provide jobs for unemployed young graduates, and is arguably the largest job creation and youth employment scheme in Africa, has currently engaged 500,000 youth graduates deployed to provide public health services in teaching, health, agriculture and tax and monitoring; and a further 200,000 non-graduates in training or attached to organisations as interns.
N-Power beneficiaries across the 36 states and the FCT are provided with a N30,000 monthly stipend, in addition to technology devices with relevant content for continuous learning. Many N-power beneficiaries have gone on to become entrepreneurs who are building successes in their chosen vocations.

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NASS Leadership: Umuigbo Progressive Network Canvasses Support For Ahmed Lawan

A renowned socio-political and ethnic group, Umuigbo Progressive Network (UPN), has endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate President in the 9th assembly.

The lawmaker representing Yobe North Constituency of Yobe State, and as well the Senate Leader in the 8th assembly was recently endorsed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the statement signed by the National Coordinator, Barr Oscar Obi, KSM, the group stated that its decision to endorse Senator Lawan for the position of President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly is hinged on his cognate experience.

According to the group, the senate leader possesses unequal qualities and high commitment to good governance more than any other contenders for the post.

“Senator Lawan has been in the National Assembly for almost 20 years. This is a lawmaker that has served in the House of Representatives for eight years and in the Senate for 12 years. He has been a true progressive, and has always worked for the ordinary people.

“Senator Lawan has the capacity to lead a Senate that will work with the Nigerian people; this is a legislator that has supported entrepreneurship and business to grow and thrive for employment to boom. His people-oriented Bills and Motions have paved way for a vibrant economic development in the country.

“We believe that with Senator Lawan as Senate President, the 9th Senate would assist the country by helping President Muhammadu Buhari achieve his agenda in the areas of security, economy, job creation and anti-corruption battles.”

The group further urged leadership of the APC to zone the post of Deputy Senate President to the South-East geopolitical zone, where at the moment there are two APC Senators – Sen. Benjamin Uwajimogu (a ranking Senator) and H.E, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, stressing that the party is governing over the entire country and not some groups of interest.

“The APC Zoning formula should manifest principles of federal character anchored on equity and justice. We strongly appeal to the party to be democratic by showing equity in the distribution of Principal offices. The Southeast mostly made up of Igbo are formidable part of the tripod that forms Nigeria.

“The minimum that the Southeast should get should be the Deputy Senate President,” the group said.

Furthermore, the group pleaded with Distinguished Senators-elect from the South East and other geo political zones to rally round Senator Lawal and support him for the position of Senate President irrespective of their party affiliation. This it said is the beauty of democracy the nation’s forefathers fought to achieve.

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Zamfara: Placing Gov Yari On Responsibility Scale, By Mukhtar Jarmajo

I have seen bad students of history say that when it was Jonathan, we blamed him and never blamed Kashim Shettima. But today, “due to hypocritical tendencies,” we are sharing the blame for Zamfara between Buhari and Yari. This for me, amounts so much unfairness to Shettima.

Recall that Jonathan and Kashim were at loggerheads simply because Kashim wanted the BH problem to be solved while Jonathan hardly even believe there was a problem. A pointer to this was when Chibok girls were abducted. It took Jonathan two weeks to even believe there were any abductions. This was how it went on with Jonathan’s presidency frustrating every Shettima’s attempts at curbing the BH insurgency. 

This is opposite of Zamfara’s case. Yari is never ready to face the challenge. At some point he announced his resignation as the chief security officer of the state. Funny enough however, he neither vacated from the seat nor resigned as the chief accounting officer of the state also. He is yet to take any responsibility as far as the insecurity of Zamfara state is concerned.

Now compare Yari with his neighbour, el-Rufai of Kaduna state. Nasiru has been up and doing. Aside that he is taking preventive measures, at any point crisis erupts, he rises to the occasion to thwart it. He holds security Council meetings frequently and when ever the need arises to seek federal assistance, he does so willingly. Only recently, he personally foiled an attempt at a kidnap on the Abuja-Kaduna Road.

While Kaduna state is not entirely bereft of kidnappings and attacks, fairness demands that we note here that Nasiru’s commitment towards curbing the security challenges have reduced the rate at which the crimes are being perpetrated. Assuming he is like Yari, Kaduna state would have been a terrible place to live today.

My point of emphasis is a governor is very instrumental in the administration of a state. Without their willingness and commitment to promote peaceful coexistence thereby placing the foundations for development, little can be done to them to foster peace.

However, on his part, the president has a constitutional tool that allows him to declare state of emergency in Zamfara state to have Yari off the stage and secure the place.

This is what the president has failed to do.

Jarmajo wrote from Bauchi. 

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Ecobank Takes EcobankPay zone To South East Market

Ecobank Nigeria has taken its digital product, EcobankPay Zone to the South East market with a launch at the popular Ariaria Market, Aba. 

Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan while launching the product at the market said it will facilitate easy, secure and convenient transactions for merchants within Ariaria and other surrounding markets. The EcobankPay Zone is a digital payment hub enabling businesses within a location adopt Ecobank’s wide range of digital products for ease of payments for goods and services.

“It is our determination to create ease of payment and boost economic activities most especially in a town like Aba, renowned for indigenous production of shoes and textiles. Our digital offering will be an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to increase their sales in an enhanced and secured way and without fear. The EcobankPay digital hub makes it easy for the seller to be paid instantly and buyers pay with ease and also have rest of mind associated with doing business without carrying cash around. Our Xpress point is also around for you to transact with ease, in as much as you have your phone you can bank with Ecobank.

“The initiative of the Ecobankpay zone is to deepen financial inclusion in the communities and specifically aid business transactions between merchants and clients. EcobankPay’s unique offering is that anyone from any bank in Nigeria can pay with MasterPass, mVISA and mCASH with any phone by scanning QR code or using USSD”. “if the person that wishes to buy goods from you is coming from a bank that has mVisa and wishes to pay, the same QRcode would accept an mVisa payment and vice versa. That creates synergy between us and the other banks and convenience for the merchants. And as you know, the QRcode is much cheaper than having a point of sale (PoS),” he said.

Mr Akinwuntan made an example of how the EcobankPay works by buying a pair of shoes from one of the Aba traders and make payment through QR scan and the seller received alert instantly.

EcobankPay is a fresh innovative payment solution that enhances transactions between merchants and their customers by eliminating risk of payment rejection and also delivers same day value and sales transparency for merchants. This is unlike the traditional ways that payments are made using cards on PoS where merchant, the small business person, the trader, the supermarket owner, the distributor that is holding a POS needs to wait for at least one day to get the value of the payment. EcobankPay enables the merchant receive credit instantly. This is very important for working capital particularly for small businesses.

Ecobankpay enables easy tracking of customers business profiling for quick access to credit, save faster, reduces the risk of security in terms of exposure to cash or exposure to pilfering of merchant’s credentials. The beauty of the Ecobankpay is in the cost of setting up as the shop owner simply print the QR code on a paper and can stick it anywhere and do not run any risks”.

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The Nigerian Youth Leadership Summit 2019

Today in Africa we are at a crossroad of defining moments largely because “the state of Africa” is as a direct consequence of the quality of leaders we have, and perhaps even more unfortunate is the fact that we are not even paying adequate attention to building the leadership capacity of the “Next” generation as is done in developed societies who have continuously repositioned their youths to ensure that the many achievements of its current leaders are not perpetually mortgaged due to the incompetence if the successor generation.

However no matter the level of animosity we have for the quality of leaders we have had at all levels, it is even more imperative that we pay attention to the next generation of leaders so as to stem the ugly tide of stagnation and underdevelopment and this can be effectively done if we pay a concentious attention to building leadership capacity in our “leaders of tomorrow” as tomorrow is closer than we think otherwise this cycle will not only continue but we will then be condemning unborn generations to jeopardy.

Therefore it was on this template that we began the Nigerian Youth Leadership Summit in 2012 to begin to build leadership capacity in young Africans and this year’s edition which is the 6th in the series has the theme: Mentoring and building leadership capacity for good governance. This is to examine the effects and importance of being mentored in other to effectively lead.

Date: Friday 5th of April 2019

Venue is:

Events and lodgings
PLOT 931

Time: 9am

This year’s exciting faculty include:

Dr Babatunde Fowler
Chairman FIRS (keynote)

Pastor Poju Oyemade
Senior pastor covenant Christian center and convener, The platform.

Dr Jumoke Oduwole
Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian Vice President on Trade & Investment.

Hon Bimbo Daramola
Chief of staff to the deputy speaker house of representatives. Nigeria

Barr Ismail Ahmad
Special Assistant to the President on social intervention programs

Mosun Akinwamide
CEO IPC Events and
Events and destination wedding planner

Participation in this event is free and you can register to attend by sending a direct message on our social media handles:

On Instagram: @africanyouthleadership

On Facebook:

Or log on to our website:

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Nigerian Workers Are Safe Under President Buhari – BMO

President Muhammadu Buhari is a just and fair man who has the interest of Nigerians at heart. Therefore, the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian worker is guaranteed under his leadership, the Buhari Media Organisation(BMO) has said.

“They are safe and there is no need to worry about rumours of their employment. President Buhari is committed to their well-being. He knows their fears, hears their pleas and would not do anything to make their lives worse, he can only make it better.”

In a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, its Chairman and Secretary respectively, BMO stated that any fears as to the welfare of Nigerian workers under President Buhari were needless and have no place in reality.

“We have a President who is sincerely interested in the welfare of Nigerian workers. And he has demonstrated this times without number.

“This concern has been shown when he questioned the attitude of some Governors towards the payment of salaries to workers in their states.”

The group stated that the President’s expression of concern did not stop at merely lambasting debtor Governors for their dereliction of duty, but went further to make provisions to the Governors to address these issues relating to the welfare of workers in their states.

“President Buhari has made provisions for Budget Stabilization Funds and Bailout funds to States to assist them in paying the salaries of their workers.”

“He similarly made funds available to States by refunding owed moneys through the Paris Club Refund. President Buhari sternly requested that these funds be used to take care of the welfare of workers in States.”

The group noted that if during an economic recession, President Buhari did not retrench workers or consider payouts for them, then it is certain that he would never do anything that would negatively affect their welfare.

The group highlighted that President Buhari’s concern for the Nigerian worker had also been exemplified in the payment of backlogs of Pension Arrears owed by the Nigerian government.

“Pension Arrears owed by previous administrations are being cleared by President Buhari. Many ex-staff of the Nigerian Airways have received their payments, so also Ex-Biafran security personnel, among others”, the group concluded.

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Buhari Leaves Nigeria, To Attend Inauguration Of Senegal President

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Monday for Dakar, Senegal to attend the inauguration of Senegalese President, Macky Sall, following his re-election for a second term.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, who confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said the President’s trip followed an invitation from his host.

According to the statement, President Buhari, who is ECOWAS Chairman, will be Special Guest of Honour at the ceremonies, to be attended by other African leaders at the Diamniadio Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

It stated that the Nigerian leader would be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Abubakar, Nasir El-Rufai and Tanko Al-Makura of Bauchi, Kaduna and Nasarawa states respectively.

Others on the Presidential entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai, and other top government officials.

“The President is expected back in the country at the end of the inauguration ceremonies,” the statement said.

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