Nigeria Most Logical Destination For Investors To Reap Maximum Benefits In Africa, Says Osinbajo At Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE NIGERIA – CANADA INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2019 (NCIS – 2019), ABUJA, ON MONDAY, 4TH NOVEMBER 4, 2019

Protocols

I am extremely pleased to be here with you at the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit 2019. I was here at the 2018 summit and I mentioned then, that the summits are important processes, not just events in deepening the socio-economic ties between Nigeria and Canada. There is no question that both our governments and business communities realize that there is enormous potential in our relationship.

Indeed since 2018, aside from summits in both countries, the sheer number of high-level contacts and visits of so many high-level officials, really endorse the fact that this is a very important relationship.

In 2018, the Governor-General of Canada, and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Canada, Her Excellency Julie Payette visited. There was also an earlier working visit of Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister for International Development and La Francophone (now Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food) and thereafter, Canada’s Minister in Charge of Immigration, Honourable Ahmed Hussein.

As we have heard, two Royal Canadian Navy ships berth to Lagos for very important joint training in security in the Gulf of Guinea. And as we have also heard, this was the first in the 108 years of the existence of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Our trade and commerce relationship have also been long-standing, and Nigeria has remained a major trading partner to Canada in Africa. We’ve also heard that bilateral trade is in the order of $984 billion. When that is put in context, we really have a long way to go. Canada’s imports include; mineral, fuels and oils, cocoa, rubber, lead and processed foods. Canada’s exports include; vehicles, equipment, manufacturing equipment, software and aircraft. We also have in place a double taxation agreement, which came into force I believe sometime in 1999 and we expect that our Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) will be concluded and ratified by both countries as early as possible in 2020.

We expect that in the first quarter of 2020, we ought to have that agreement in place.  This summit is particularly important, we have much richer private and public sector participation than before. The focus is on mining, power, agriculture, housing, education and technology. These are sectors that Nigeria has identified as crucial to the success of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. And we are determined to work collaboratively with investors to create the best possible environment for business in these sectors. We are determined, not just to ensure that we keep to the plans that we put in place, but that we encourage all our partners to work with us.

In mining, our Mining Industry Growth Roadmap lays out the scale of our ambitions in this sector and it goes beyond just extraction and exportation.

We intend to create a broad spectrum of value-added services by fully maximizing the abundant opportunities for mineral resource beneficiation, exploiting the possibilities in support services and support industries that will be nurtured around core mining activities. We are, of course, all excited about the prospects evident in the Spring Fountain and Bullion Mart collaboration and we look forward to that coming to fruition.

In the power sector, we believe that investment in renewable energy is bound to benefit from our focus, especially on off-grid and mini-grid options for delivering power to our huge population and commerce. Our Energizing Education Programme, which is installing private solar power facilities in several of our universities, and the Energizing market programme also, which is private solar power in markets and economic clusters all around the country; these have demonstrated that businesses are prepared to pay for regular power supply, and that this is a tremendous area of growth for renewable energy, for business and commerce in that respect. Given the very high radiation all around the country, the solar option makes perfect sense.

In agriculture and agri-business also, there are tremendous prospects. Our government believes that the next few years are crucial for our vision of food security and especially self-sufficiency in the production of different food and cash crops. But the whole agri-business value chain is open for investment. The sheer size of our market now, and in the immediate future, the export potentials point inexorably to the importance of investment in this sector.

Housing is also a crucial area of focus for us. With a housing deficit of about 17 million, the demand is obvious. Our Family Homes Fund is a special public-private sector fund dedicated to our mass low-cost housing scheme. Solving the off-taker constraints also calls for mortgage finance solutions. There is plenty of room for activity in the housing sector.

The next few years promise to be exciting for industry, trade and commerce in Nigeria, especially with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Nigeria remains the most logical destination for reaping maximum benefit from these agreements. Consequently, we have devoted considerable attention to improving the Nigerian business environment and we have by all accounts, recorded notable success.

Since 2016, we have risen by an aggregate of 39 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.  Just two weeks ago, the World Bank also rated Nigeria as one of the 10 best reforming economies in the world. We are set for business, and we look forward to continued engagement with the Canadian government and business community in the coming months and years.

Let me commend the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada His Excellency, Ambassador Ade Asekun, and his team, and Mr. Taiwo Odutola, MD/CEO of the Nigerian Investment Summit, for the incredible hard work that they have put into this summit and previous summits and engagements here and in Canada.

We welcome all the Canadian businesses, government representatives, and all our friends, partners from Canada to Abuja, and to this summit. In particular, we welcome the distinguished delegation from the City of Brampton, and we certainly look forward to meeting with them. 

I urge all our friends from Canada to be sure to take in the sights and sounds of Abuja while you are here and, of course, indulge in some of our well-known culinary delights. My recommendation last year was Suya, this year it is our world-famous jollof rice! I would like you to take part in it.

It is now my special privilege and pleasure to declare open the Nigeria – Canada Investment Summit 2019.

Thank you very much.

Released by:

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

Office of the Vice President

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Nigerian Army Urges Nigerians To Disregard Bricks Publication On The Purported Operation Positive Identification

Following the widespread apprehension on the purported Nigerian Army (NA) operation positive identification from 1 November to 23 December 2019, as mischievously peddled on the social media by a hitherto unknown and fictitious organization the so called Bricks company, which alleges that the NA will conduct the operation and went ahead to state how the operation will be conducted by the Army.

Specifically, Bricks alleges that – “residents shall witness large numbers of uniformed Nigerian Army personnel parading the roads in an exercise known as OPI”.

The NA wishes to inform members of the public that it has nothing to do with the so called Bricks company and its illusionary OPI, it is not an army operation and the NA does not create any operation with such name or abbreviation in all its operations across the nation in a manner maliciously presented by the so called Bricks company.

Similarly, NA has never issued press release through private companies or third parties because it has a full fledged Directorate that coordinates its public relations and Information aspects which has a robust cordial working relationship with the press.

Recall that in order to compliment the ongoing operation in the North East, NA has an ongoing operation positive identification which is intelligence driven, deliberate, targeted operation and not an independent operation but is integral and complimentary to Operation LAFIYA DOLE in the North East. The aim of the operation is to arrest all those terrorists fleeing or escaping the war zone/Theatre of operation to a safe haven or peaceful areas in Nigeria.

Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenanced the hitherto faceless and mischievous Bricks company and its alleged NA OPI.

The NA wishes to use this opportunity to enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with the NA and indeed all other security agencies by giving credible information that will assist in the identification and eventual arrest of the fleeing criminals/terrorists in any part of our beloved country.

SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
1 November 2019

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Much Is Achieved When Public Resources Are Used For Public Good – Osinbajo

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF WESTERN NIGERIA TELEVISION, IBADAN, ON THE 31ST OF OCTOBER, 2019.

PROTOCOLS

It is a special honour to be here today, to celebrate the pioneers of the first television in Africa.  Exactly 60 years ago today, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Premier of the Western Region, then flanked by Governor General, Sir John  Rankine, Chief Anthony Enahoro, the region’s Minister of Information, and Chief T.T Solaru, first Board Chair of Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, formally entered the history books by commissioning the Western Nigeria Television, the first in Africa; and ahead of China in 1962, Canada in 1967, New Zealand in 1960, and several European countries, including the Netherlands in 1960, Ireland in 1961, Greece in 1966 and Malta in 1962.

It was not just first in Africa, but first in many parts of Asia and, as you can imagine, even in Europe without even talking about Eastern Europe.

The event was historic for three reasons. Firstly, it demonstrated the capacity of the Nigerian mind to conceive and achieve anything no matter how complex or difficult. Secondly, it demonstrates how visionary leadership can inspire and lead people from the lowest levels to the high points of human imagination.    

Thirdly, it exemplifies the use of public resources for the public good. WNTV was built to inform, to educate and entertain. As Papa Awolowo himself said on that day sixty years ago, television is a powerful influence for good.

It would ordinarily have been unimaginable that somehow in a part of the yet to be independent Nigeria, a man and his team would build a television station in three months, the first as we have seen, in many parts of the world. But for the man, it was not so surprising because Papa (Awolowo) had laid out a plan for the rapid development of the Western Region. It included physical infrastructure and human capacity development.

The plan included free and compulsory education. As of the date of the inauguration of WNTV, almost a million children were in school in the Western Region. Forty-one per cent (41%) of the Western Region’s budget was spent on education, the highest proportion anywhere in the free world, the highest proportion at that time anywhere in the world.

In the free world in particular, it was obvious that those who understood the value of education used it as a powerful proponent for the advancement of their people. Papa Awolowo clearly understood that so long ago.

Today, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of WNTV, we also celebrate what is possible in our nation and states, what vision, hardwork and a commitment to the public good can do. 

As Ambassador Yemi Faronmbi said, the celebration of the phenomenal achievement in 1959 would be wasted unless we recognize that the achievement represents sturdy shoulders for us to stand on. Today we can do more and the vision of Awolowo was to build a people capable of excelling beyond even his own achievements.

Every generation has a historic responsibility to reach for the highest peaks that human capacity can achieve. Today we are at the most advanced moment in science, technology and innovation in human history.

The smartphones you have in your hands have more computing power than all the computing power that the Apollo spaceship that took men to the moon in 1969 had. All things are possible and we are able! Let us be inspired by Papa’s words, that our only limit is our imagination.

Congratulations to the Foundation for Ibadan Television and to all of us friends, families and admirers of the pioneers.

Thank you very much and God bless you!

Released by:

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
31st October, 2019

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Nigerian Army Approves New Postings And Appointments

The Nigerian Army has released the postings and appointments of its officers. The posting which was approved by the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai is a routine exercise to reinvigorate the system for greater professional efficiency.

The highlight includes the appointment of Major General FO Agugo, the erstwhile Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation as the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Port Harcourt, Maj Gen J Sarham the former General Officer Commanding 6 Division is now the Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, while Maj Gen CO Ude has been redeployed from Headquarters Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena, Chad to Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja and appointed Director Nigerian Army Consult.

Others include; Maj Gen IM Yusuf from Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja to Headquarters Multinational Joint Task Force Ndajamena, Chad as Commander, while Maj Gen EN Njoku has been redeployed from Defence Headquarters to Army Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation as the Chief of Transformation and Innovation (Army).

Similarly, Brig Gen EJ Amadasun from Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery Kontagora, to 35 Brigade Abeokuta and appointed Commander, Brig Gen AM Adetayo of Army Headquarters Department of Army Transformation is now the Chief of Staff Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery, while Brig Gen LM Zakari from Defence Headquarters Abuja to Nigerian Army Institute of Science, Education and Technology, Ilorin, as Acting Commandant, Brig Gen EE Ekpenyong is posted from Nigerian Army Ordnance School, Ojo, Lagos to Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps Yaba, Lagos as Director of Land Service Ammunition

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai whilst wishing them well in their respective appointments charges them to take their new responsibilities seriously and discharge all duties professionally with utmost loyalty to Service and the Nation. All the appointments take immediate effect.

SAGIR MUSA 
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
29 October 2019

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AYCF Obsession With Tinubu Is A Desperation To Meet Deadline For Hatchet Job

The attention of the Arewa Progressive Initiative (API) has again been drawn to a statement credited to a faceless group, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) in which it alleges that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will not do anything concerning a petition against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by one Deji Adeyanju owing to the fact that he (Tinubu) is an APC member.

First of all, the pseudo ACYF should note that the person they said wrote a petition against Tinubu lacks the moral right to do so. Adeyanju, as someone who is facing a murder charge in Kano, and having been imprisoned for six years and recently for two months; is not in a position to institute a petition against someone he knows little or nothing about.

The Arewa Progressive Initiative notes the emerging opposition streaks of ACYF and would not have bothered responding to the latest promotion of the proxy political war the unknown group is spearheading, but for the need to correct misrepresentation.

We have it on good authority that the National President of the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum (ACYF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima is on the payroll of major opposition politicians in the country, which explains why he always rushes to issue a statement against APC leaders like Tinubu. As a ‘one-man’ group that is used purely for ‘political business’, we understand the so-called Yerima has a deadline to meet in carrying out the hatchet jobs of his pay masters.

If the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum (ACYF) or its President, Yerima Shettima, bothered to crosscheck their facts, they would not have made the laughable claim that the anti-graft agency, the EFCC, will fail to do its job of verifying the allegations against Tinubu simply because he is an APC member. One only need to ask ACYF the number of APC members that have been convicted under the Buhari government to see the folly in such a claim.

To set the record straight, the EFCC has prosecuted more than five prominent members of APC under President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Their Excellencies, Sen. Joshua Dariye and Chief Jolly Nyame, both two-term governors of Taraba and Plateau states respectively were, at the time of their convictions, members of the APC.

A former Accountant-General of Kebbi and member of the APC, Mr. Mohammed Dakingari was also convicted of corruption and sentenced to 70 years in prison under the administration of President Buhari. As we speak, former Governor Orji Kalu of Abia and serving Senator is still undergoing prosecution in court by the EFCC even as a member of APC.

No doubt, what the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and its sponsors failed to realise is that the Buhari administration represent a clear departure from the ignoble past of using the EFCC to witch hunt both real and perceived political enemies. The fight against corruption, being one of the cardinal focus of the present government, is one that is being pursued without fear or favor. This fact has been proven, and it can also be verified by all well meaning Nigerians who place the love of this country far above parochial and personal sentiments.

Like we observed in our last statement, It’s indeed quite unfortunate that a group of young people, who represent no one but themselves and their stomachs, would keep playing the role of attack dogs to some unscrupulous politicians who have held this country prostrate for so long. More disappointing is the fact that this small clique of young people are doing so in the collective name of northern youths.

Like we have chosen to do, it’s our hope that more foresighted and serious-minded youth groups in the north would rise to the need to salvage our collective integrity from financially induced and fake associations who pretend to speak for the young people of Arewa. We also challenge the ‘consultative youths’ behind ACYF to show their faces if they truly exist.

Signed:

Abuh Andrew Abuh
Secretary General

For: Arewa Progressive Initiative (API)

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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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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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2019 Ember Months: Nigerian Army Sustains Operational Activities Nationwide

In compliance with the Chief of Army Staff’s directives, formation and unit commanders have moved strongly to sustain their operational activities nationwide. To this end, troops continued in their relentless efforts at combatting the threats of criminal insurgency and terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen-farmers clashes, cultism and communal crises, amongst others. As a result, between 1st and 2nd October 2019, several operational achievements were recorded against the criminal perpetrators of these acts of insecurity particularly by troops deployed on Operation LAFIYA DOLE and Operation MESA nationwide. Some notable achievements recorded were as follows:

OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE

In continuation of their aggressive patrols, and ambushes to detect, deter and decimate marauding criminal insurgents, in the early hours of 2nd October 2019, the gallant troops of 192 Battalion, Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE conducted an ambush operation at LOKODISSA general area of GWOZA LGA of Borno State. Following the successful springing of the ambush, troops successfully neutralized one criminal insurgent and recovered one bicycle and some food items. Additionally, same troops switched to a position where smoke was sighted. The troops moved swiftly and established contact with the criminal insurgents at BALALGAJE general area, neutralised one of them and destroyed their criminal hideout and other belongings in the process.

Furthermore, troops continued to dominate the general area of TANSAGUA JUNCTION, KEKENO, MAIRARI, LINGIR, CROSS  KAUWA and BAGA among others with patrols and ambushes to maintain the achieved serenity within the entire theatre.

OPERATION MESA

In another development, troops of 82 Division Garrison, while carrying out their Operation MESA activities, rose to the occasion and averted a chaotic situation that could have led to the breakdown of law and order, where some trailer drivers at ONU-EBONYI ABAKALIKI barricaded ABAKALIKI – OGOJA Road to stage a protest over alleged maltreatment of one of their members by a Policeman. The troops were able to restore normalcy in the general area with the employment of their professional crisis management techniques.

In a related incidence, on 1st October 2019, troops of 144 Battalion arrested 27 members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) comprising 4 females and 23 males led by their spiritual leader, one Pa MICHEAL MADUMERE (56 years) who hails from IDEATO South LGA of IMO State. One of the proscribed IPOB members named Mr OLIVER ONYEBUNACHI was arrested with one AK 47 Rifle with Registration Number 562511003 and 2 Magazines containing 8 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition. The suspect was shot on his right leg as he tried to shoot at own troops. Normalcy has since been restored in that area as troops continued to maintain surveillance in the general area.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai hereby solicits the support of our good citizens of our great country in availing Nigerian Army formations and units nationwide with timely information that will assist them in ridding the communities of criminal elements and their nefarious and violent activities. All law-abiding citizens are requested to go about their businesses without fear of molestation

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 

2 October 2019

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Independence Day: Let Us Harness Our Diversity For Nation Building – Bulama

I wish to congratulate fellow Nigerians on the occasion of our nation’s 59th Independence day anniversary.

Indeed, despite our challenges, we have cause to celebrate. Since our independence, we have struggled and survived as a nation through thick and thin. This year marks 20 years of uninterrupted democratic rule – the longest in our history. We have successfully broken free from the strangehold of military rule and it’s attendant costly effect on our socio-political life.

With our collective resolve, we successfully enthroned progressives ideals in 2015 with the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a historic election in which the opposition defeated an incumbent government – a first, in our nation’s history.

While we cannot say we have tackled all the challenges of underdevelopment, we are definitely not where we used to be. Since 2015 there has been greater commitment to tackling the problems afflicting our great nation and thus strengthening hope.

We have dealt terrorism and organised crime severe blow, our anti-corruption war has recorded significant successes that has generated worldwide acclaim – it is no more business as usual. Accountability and probity has been largely restored to our public service.

Our Social Investments Programme, unarguably the most ambitious in sub-Saharan Africa, is directly impacting tens of millions of Nigerians, in addition to unprecedented investment in Infrastructure, with the power supply situation being tackled with new innovations and uncommon gusto.

The President Muhammadu Buhari led APC administration is blazing the trail in making the welfare of the people, the core of his programmes, in line with the manifesto of the APC.

With the call for institutionalization of our great Party, the progressive ideology of the APC – we must nurture and deepen, such that even after the exit of President Buhari, our development and progress will be sustainable.

We must, as Nigerians magnify our strengths and deemphasize our weaknesses bearing in mind that there is no nation devoid of challenges. Citizens in all great and stable nations rise above them with unity of purpose, and determination.

That the labours of our heroes past may not be in vain, we must eschew bitterness, harness our diversity for nation building, and commit ourselves to putting Nigeria first – subduing the proclivity for religious or ethnic jingoism.

Upon deep reflection, as a nation we have made great progress in nation building largely due to the sacrifices of many citizens and gallant men and women.

The ‘Nigeria Project’ – the abiding aspiration to attain enduring peace and prosperity is an everyday work. Nigeria of our dreams is a task for us all but much more today for the APC, which has been honoured with task of governance by our citizens. Let’s join hands to make her greater everyday.

Congratulations and a Happy Independence Day Nigeria.

God bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Signed: Arc. Waziri Bulama
Deputy Director- General, APC. Presidential Campaign Council

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AFFC Lauds Heritage Bank On Youth, Entertainment Devt

African Freestyle Football (AFFC) Championship 2019 in collaboration with World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) have commended Heritage Bank Plc for its pivotal role in enhancing youth development and engendering the Nigeria’s entertainment space on the world’s stage.

The 2019 African Freestyle Football Championship ended on a high note, with defending champion Abdul Titi Kone of Cote d’Ivoire emerging as the African Champion once again. This event marked the 2nd edition of the African Championship and the 3rd annual edition of the Nigerian Championship hosted by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited.

The final was a repeat of the 2018 championship, as Kone again defeated Egypt’s Yousef Mohamad just as he did in last year’s final while Ashley Mhkize of South Africa placed third.In the female category, Evelyn Okafor (Nigeria), Hadhara Charles (Tanzania) and Augustina Unamba (Nigeria) placed first, second and third respectively.

This year’s edition accommodated at least 30 African countries that participated at the championship.The Chairman of AFFC, Valentine Ozigbo, who commended bank for being at the forefront of promoting freestyle football for the past two years, said Heritage Bank is “always very innovative and supportive to the cause of entertainment and youth development.

According to him, these achievements would have been impossible without the extensive support of the official bankers (Heritage Bank) for the championship for two years running.Speaking further, Ozigbo hinted, “since inception, Feet ‘n’ Tricks has been committed to promoting freestyle football talent to stardom and we haven’t relented. Through this platform, we have seen talented freestylers get a head start in life, travel to exciting places and represent our beloved continent doing what they know how to do best.”

The MD/CEO, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank has strong desire towards developing and positioning youths to become world-class citizens equipped and ready to be absorbed into an increasing competitive professional skills and endeavours.

Sekibo, who was represented by an Executive Director, Jude Monye advised the youths who were participants to adopt strong positive character to enable them take advantage of the platform being presented to them.“One of the reasons why we chose, as an organization, to support the freestyle championship is to enhance youth development in sport and entertainment, which will empower them play vital roles in the socio-economic development of the country and help curb the high level of unemployment,” he stressed.According to Sekibo, the drive to support youths seeks to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

It is against the backdrop of the competition that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, promised to give more support to the entertaining part of football.“We need to encourage this entertaining part of football because what they are doing here is great. Freestyle is quite interesting, and I am happy with what I have seen so far.“With this project, a goal has been achieved. I also want more ladies to come out and do freestyle football because it is highly entertaining and competitive.

“I will see to how we can give more support to freestyle football in the future,”he said.Congratulating the Feet n Tricks team, Daniel Wood, Co-founder and Head of Global Partnerships, World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) said, “Feet n Tricks have proven that they can produce world class events and we are so excited to be extending our partnership. We are fully committed to creating opportunities for young people and this event is to be the focus point for our sport in the continent of Africa.”

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Report Insinuating Vice President Didn’t Follow Due Process In Supervision Of Agencies Under Him Is False

Our attention has been drawn to a sensational report by The Cable published on September 17, 2019, which claims that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to seek approvals for agencies under him.

The report suggests, falsely, that agencies under the supervision of the Vice President do not normally comply with established rules where presidential approvals are required. 

This is obviously misleading and aims only to plant seeds of discord in the Presidency, while attempting to create unnecessary national hysteria.

The agencies in question are established by law and the Vice President has always insisted on due compliance with the enabling statutes and other established regulations. 

Depending on the particular scope of activity in question, agencies may require management approval only, at the level of the Director-General or Chief Executive Officer. In this category falls the great majority of their day-to-day activities. 

However, other activities, or procurements, with value exceeding a certain threshold, require Board approval. These may get to the agency Board chaired by the Vice President. In a few cases where Presidential approval is required, the Director-General must seek such approval from the President, through the Vice President. These rules have always guided the activities of statutory agencies and the ones under the Vice President’s supervision have always been so guided.  

To claim that in the first term of the Buhari administration, agencies of government have not been complying with the provisions (of getting final approvals from the President) is false, and the attempt to suggest the Vice President’s complicity in such irregularities is simply mischievous and reprehensible.

The effective and mutually respecting relationship between the President and the Vice President is well known to Nigerians and it is futile to insinuate otherwise. 

Even though the Vice President has a statutory role as Board Chairman of some government agencies under his office, with appropriate approval limits, which often do not include contract approvals; it is ludicrous to even insinuate that a Board Chairman approves contracts.

Evidently, the Federal Executive Council, which oversees Federal Ministries and agencies of government, is chaired by the President, and it is in its purview to approve or ratify award of contracts within the prescribed threshold. 

The Vice President remains committed to the service of his fatherland and will continue to do so despite the purveyors of fake news. We urge media organizations, as gatekeepers, to uphold truth, balance, fairness and objectivity in their reports.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
17th September, 2019

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