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Photo News: Fidelity Bank bags Best Bank SME Award

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L-R: Osaigbovo Omorogbe, Divisional Head, Managed SMEs; Chinwe Iloghalu, Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island; Chijioke Ugochukwu; Executive Director, Shared Services & Products; Isaiah Ndukwe, Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture; Richard Madiebo, Divisional Head, Retail Group, all of Fidelity Bank Plc during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support …Sunday
L-R: Osaigbovo Omorogbe, Divisional Head, Managed SMEs; Chinwe Iloghalu, Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island; Chijioke Ugochukwu; Executive Director, Shared Services & Products; Isaiah Ndukwe, Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture; Richard Madiebo, Divisional Head, Retail Group, all of Fidelity Bank Plc during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support …Sunday

THE Fidelity Bank Plc last weekend reaped from the good seeds it sowed over the years to support the growth of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.

The bank was honoured by the Business Hallmark People of the Year award as the best bank in SME Award.

Below are the pictures from the event.

L-R: Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture, Isaiah Ndukwe; Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island, Chinwe Iloghalu; Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Osaigbovo Omorogbe; Divisional Head, Retail Group, Richard Madiebo, all of Fidelity Bank Plc during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support… Sunday
L-R: Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture, Isaiah Ndukwe; Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island, Chinwe Iloghalu; Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Osaigbovo Omorogbe; Divisional Head, Retail Group, Richard Madiebo, all of Fidelity Bank Plc during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support… Sunday
L-R: Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Anya O. Anya; Executive Director, Shared Services & Products, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chijioke Ugochukwu; Chief Executive Officer, Overt Energy and Member, Hallmark Advisory Board, Sir Marc Wabara; Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc, Osaigbovo Omorogbe; Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chinwe Iloghalu; Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe; Divisional Head, Retail Group, Fidelity Bank Plc, Richard Madiebo, during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support…Sunday.
L-R: Chairman of the Occasion, Prof. Anya O. Anya; Executive Director, Shared Services & Products, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chijioke Ugochukwu; Chief Executive Officer, Overt Energy and Member, Hallmark Advisory Board, Sir Marc Wabara; Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc, Osaigbovo Omorogbe; Regional Bank Head (RBH), Victoria Island, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chinwe Iloghalu; Divisional Head, Export & Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe; Divisional Head, Retail Group, Fidelity Bank Plc, Richard Madiebo, during the Business Hallmark People of the Year Award where Fidelity Bank was adjudged Best Bank in SME Support…Sunday.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 19:12 GMT |

Nigeria contributes highest number to global pneumonia child deaths

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Stop Pneumonia
Stop Pneumonia

PNEUMONIA claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year globally, or one child every 39 seconds, according to a new analysis.

Nigerian children made up the highest number of those who died, with an estimated 162,000 deaths in 2018 – 443 deaths per day, or 18 every hour.

In Nigeria, 19% of child deaths were due to pneumonia in 2018, and it was the biggest killer of children under-five in 2017.

“Pneumonia is a deadly disease and takes so many children’s lives – even though this is mostly preventable. And yet, this killer disease has been largely forgotten on the global and national health agendas. We can and must change this,” said Pernille Ironside, Acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

The biggest risk factors for child pneumonia deaths in Nigeria are malnutrition, indoor air pollution from use of solid fuels, and outdoor air pollution.

Most global child pneumonia deaths occurred among children under the age of two, and almost 153,000 within the first month of life.

Sounding the alarm about this forgotten epidemic, six leading health and children’s organisations today launched an appeal for global action.

In January, the group will host world leaders at the Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Spain.

Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.

More children under the age of five died from the disease in 2018 than from any other. 437,000 children under five died due to diarrhoea and 272,000 to malaria.

Just five countries were responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths: Nigeria (162,000), India (127,000), Pakistan (58,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo (40,000) and Ethiopia (32,000).

Children with immune systems weakened by other infections like HIV or by malnutrition, and those living in areas with high levels of air pollution and unsafe water, are at far greater risk.

The disease can be prevented with vaccines, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed.

But tens of millions of children are still going unvaccinated – and one in three with symptoms do not receive essential medical care.

Children with severe cases of pneumonia may also require oxygen treatment, which is rarely available in the poorest countries to the children who need it.

Funding available to tackle pneumonia lags far behind other diseases. Only 3% of current global infectious disease research spending is allocated to pneumonia, despite the disease causing 15% of deaths in children under the age of five.

“Increased investment is critical to the fight against this disease,” said Pernille Ironside. “Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are – including especially the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach – will we be able to save hundreds of thousands of lives in Nigeria.”

In a joint call to action, the six organisations urge:

Governments in the worst-affected countries to develop and implement Pneumonia Control Strategies to reduce child pneumonia deaths; and to improve access to primary health care as part of a wider strategy for universal health coverage;

Richer countries, international donors and private sector companies to boost immunisation coverage by reducing the cost of key vaccines and ensuring the successful replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and to increase funding for research and innovation to tackle pneumonia.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 19:05 GMT |

AMAC MFB launches first ATM booth

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ABUJA Municipal Area Council (AMAC) Microfinance Bank on Tuesday, launched its first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the council’s secretariat.

Mr Abdullahi Candido, Chairman of the council, while launching the machine, called on Abuja residents to make use of the machine to sustain the project.

“The AMAC MFB is a project of the people and residents of this council and we need to sustain this project to compete with other commercial banks.

“Therefore, I urge you to make use of this ATM to meet your financial needs,” he said.

In his address, Mr Emmanuel Ohakim, Chairman, Board of Directors of the bank, said the ATM was introduced to join the league of banks providing electronic banking to numerous customers.

“The essence is to provide convenience to our customers and provide any service a human teller can provide to a customer.

“I want to reiterate our commitment to aid small and medium scale business owners by giving out loans at all time,” he said.

Mr Michael Nzegwu, Managing Director of the bank, assured that the ATM would be open every day, to meet the financial needs of Abuja residents.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AMAC MFB was established in January this year.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Alleged N2.1bn fraud: Court grants Dokpesi’s request to travel abroad for medical checkup

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THE Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, granted the request by Raymond Dokpesi, Founder, DAAR Communications Plc, to travel abroad for medical attention.

Justice John Tsoho, who granted the application filed by the defence lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, also granted the application for adjournment.

The judge later adjourned the matter till Jan. 21, Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 for the defendant counsel to open their defence.

Dokpesi had urged the court in the application to order for the release of his international passports in custody of the deputy chief registrar of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to allow him travel to the American Hospital, Dubai; London Hospital in the UK and to Liberia to attend his honourary award by the Liberian government on Dec. 8.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arraigned Dokpesi, before Justice Tsoho on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged N2.1 billion payments from the Office of the National Security Adviser retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, in 2015.

The defendant had earlier been arraigned before the court on a six-count charge.

When the seven amended charges were read to him, Dokpesi pleaded not guilty.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Truth will always triumph over lies, deceit – Abe

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Magnus Ngei Abe

THE immediate-past representative of Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has declared that truth will always prevail over lies and deceit no matter the manner in which it is presented.

Abe made the declaration over the weekend during the presentation of an award of Excellence, Non-Violence, Human Capacity Development and Apostle of Internal Democracy in Nigeria to him by All Indian Universities Alumni Association at the Indian High Commission in Lagos, Nigeria.

The occasion, which was held to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Ghandi, likened Ghandi’s principle of non-violence to the Nigerian experience.

Senator Abe described the occasion as a fitting tribute to the late Environmentalist and human rights activist, Kenule Saro-Wiwa, who imbibed and practiced Ghandi’s principle of non-violence as it coincided with the 24th Anniversary of the death of the Ogoni Leaders.

Abe said: “We were honoured by the All Indian Universities Alumni Association for our commitment to the principles of non-violence in politics.

“It was quite humbling to see that the world took notice of our determined commitment to non-violence.

“We have clung to nothing but the truth and refused to employ violence through what has been the most turbulent period in the Political History of Rivers State, a violent circle of elections and reruns, in spite of coordinated acts of violence and murder targeted at us and our supporters.

“Again in the internal crisis within the APC Rivers State, despite several acts of sponsored violence against us, we fought our battles without arming youths or sponsoring any act of violence against anyone friend or foe.

“Ghandi got it right, Martin Luther king got it right, Ken Saro Wiwa got it right. The truth will always triumph over better-armed lies and deceit. We are getting it right. And we will win.”

Meanwhile, Senator Abe has condoled the people of Rivers State over the death of Professor Tam David-West, Former Commissioner in old Rivers State and later Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

Abe, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson described the death as a great loss to the people of Rivers State and Nigeria.

The Senator said: “Professor Tam David-West was a man of integrity and decorum. One whose love for truth and justice as a leader deserves to be emulated.

“Indeed we shall all miss him. His voice always loud in defense of truth and justice is now forever still. We pray that the good Lord will give his family the strength to bear the loss and grant him eternal rest.”

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 19:05 GMT |

Progressive governance involves provision of education, jobs, healthcare – Osinbajo

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Osinbajo
Osinbajo

VICE President Yemi Osinbajo says progressive governance entails spreading education, providing healthcare services, employment among other services.

Osinbajo made this known at the Public Presentation/Book Launch in honour of Chief Bisi Akande, the founding Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Governor of Osun State on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the title of the book is: “The Challenges of Good Governance in Nigeria’’.

Delivering a speech titled: “The Value of Introspection’’ Osinbajo said that Akande followed same tradition as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who in his lifetime, reflected extensively on the Nigerian political economy and all that surrounded it.

He said that in spite of its various alterations and versions, Awolowo’s inclination could be described as progressive politics.

“Awolowo did so in several books and speeches and he reflected on federalism, on fiscal policy within a federal state; he took positions on ideology and its place in developmental politics, he wrote and spoke extensively on public finance.

“Anyone who has paid attention to Chief Akande will notice that he observes that tradition; documenting his thoughts on governance on the responsibilities of those who govern.

“In progressive governance, you don’t think of yourself at all, you don’t think of building additional houses, buying new cars or things like that.

“You think of how you can spread education to your people; how to make health services generally available to your people; how to improve employment; enhance the environment and things like that.

“That is the purpose of progressive governance; simple but profound,’’ he said.

The vice president said he was also privileged to speak on the subject of reforming Nigeria’s electoral laws at Akande’s 70th birthday.

He said every year since March 29, 2008, was devoted to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu birthday and the Bola Tinubu colloquium where deep thoughts were given to one matter of importance in governance or political economy.

According to him, it is the duty of leadership to continue to reflect; to write, to debate on the rigour of thoughts and ideas and the discipline of execution that will lift people from ignorance to wealth and prosperity.

Earlier in his welcome address, Akande said he was humbled and flattered that the book and its launch had been put together his honour.

He said that the book could not have come at a more auspicious time than when everyone was engaged in ensuring that good governance thrived in the lives of Nigerians.

The former governor said that apart from the salient reasons succinctly stated in the book, the greatest obstacle to good governance in Nigeria was the low degree of the quality and quantum of Nigeria’s education.

“We all know the importance of education; it is the most important key to unlock the human potential.

“In Nigeria, today for example, the numeracy and content of education is too low compared to those of the people that once colonised and amalgamated our various communities into what they christened as Nigeria over century ago.

“Our knowledge of science and technology remain so perverted by our low education that while the global economy is being driven by technology, industrialisation and hard work, Nigeria’s economy is largely being driven by prayers, rituals and miracles.

“The truth is that the most potent and lasting miracle are found in workable planning based on accurate data interpretations, critical analysis and devotion to duty.

“Any country that fails to plan properly is planning to fail woefully; we, therefore need to rethink, to rework our school curricula, retrain our teachers; and rewrite our law to higher quality to our education,’’ he said.

He said there was also need to reposition and re-strategise the nation’s finances to spread high quality of education to every corner of the country.

The highlight of the event was the unveiling and presentation of the book by Osinbajo, who was flanked by Akande and other dignitaries. (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 19:05 GMT |

OPL 212: Supreme Court orders NNPC to pay N8.14bn in damages to BCE

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THE Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld its earlier judgment, ordering the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay $22.6 million(N8.1billion) in damages to BCE Consulting Engineers over a failed Consultancy Service Contract.

The NNPC through its counsel, approached the Supreme Court seeking a review of the July 5, 2019 judgment over an alleged error of facts.

Judicial Review is a procedure provided under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules for review of extant judgments.

The counsel argued that the court did not hear their preliminary objection and that their cross appeal was dismissed with hearing.

However, Justice C. C. Nweze, while delivering the judgment dismissed the appeal, saying `this apex court cannot be cajoled with this kind of application, it’s an abuse of justice’.

Nweze, therefore, awarded costs of N500,000 to be paid personally by counsel to the NNPC.

Meanwhile, BCE in its counter-affidavit requested the court to disregard NNPC’s application but urged it to uphold the award of the N8.1 billion judgment sum because NNPC breached an agreement with it.

In July 1999, BCE filed an action at the Federal High Court, Lagos in Suit No. FHC/L/C/I316/2000 against NNPC following the Corporation’s termination of the contract at the directive of the Federal Government.

On March 7, 2002, the Court directed NNPC to pay BCE the sum of 22. 6 million dollars in damages for the illegal cancellation of the agreement.

The Court of Appeal directed NNPC to deposit the Judgment Sum of 22.6million dollars into court as condition for appeal to which NNPC complied.

On June 9, 2011, the Court upheld NNPC’s appeal on grounds that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction over disputes arising from simple contracts.

On June 13, 2011, BCE applied to the Supreme Court to set aside the previous judgment in favour of the Corporation.

Upon the delivery of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated July 5, 2019, NNPC alongside its counsel, Babalakin and Co reviewed same and had good reason to believe that substantial miscarriage of justice had been done by the terms of the said judgment.

Accordingly, NNPC (through its counsel) applied for Judicial Review, which is a procedure provided under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules for review of extant judgments.

Also, the corporation submitted an independent request, addressed to the Chief Justice of the Federation, seeking intervention to facilitate timely action.

“We confirm that sequel to the above application for Judicial Review of the Supreme Court judgment, BCE had filed a counter-affidavit dated October 10, 2019, in which it requested the court to disregard NNPC’s application.

“Additionally, BCE sought the order of the court in directing UBA Plc, the fundholder, to release the entire judgment sum of $22, 630,000 which NNPC deposited in an interest yielding account in favour of the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal in 2008, as condition for appeal, to them,” the memo reads.

NAN reports that in July 1999, BCE filed an action at the Federal High Court, Lagos in Suit No. FHC/L/C/I316/2000 against NNPC following the Corporation’s termination of the contract at the directive of the Federal Government.

BCE claimed certain reliefs including the sum of 807,894 dollars being the alleged value of outstanding invoices submitted to NNPC on various dates between June and October 1999.

BCE claimed 28.1 million dollars or its Naira equivalent as special damages for illegal cancellation of the Consultancy Services Agreement.

On March 7, 2002, the Court directed NNPC to pay BCE the sum of 22. 6 million dollars as damages for the illegal cancellation of the Agreement.

After BCE filed an appeal, the Court of Appeal directed NNPC to deposit the Judgment sum of 22.6 million dollars into court as a condition for appeal which NNPC complied.

On June 9, 2011, the Court upheld NNPC’s appeal on grounds that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction over disputes arising from simple contracts.

“At a settlement meeting convened by the HAGF in 2016, NNPC offered BCE the sum of US$1 million in full and final settlement of their claims which BCE rejected,” it says.

On April 10, 2019, BCE and NNPC (through their respective Counsel) appeared before the Supreme Court to argue their case.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Zedcap Partners adjudged best Brokerage Service Firm at 2019 FMDQ Gold Awards

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Zedcap Partners Limited
Zedcap Partners Limited

Zedcap Partners Limited, ZPL, the Securities Brokerage arm of Zedcrest Capital Limited has been adjudged the Best Brokerage Service firm in Nigeria at the 2019 FMDQ Gold Award held on Friday, November 8, at Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

FMDQ is Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure, FMI, group, strategically positioned to provide seamless execution, clearing and settlement of financial market transactions across the debt capital, foreign exchange and derivatives markets, through the FMDQ Entities – FMDQ Securities Exchange, FMDQ Clear Limited and FMDQ Depository Limited – towards transforming the Nigerian financial markets through its “GOLD” (Global Competitiveness, Operational Excellence, Liquidity and Diversity) Agenda.

According to the organizers, Zedcap Partners was selected by members as the FMDQ Association member (Inter-dealer Broker) that provides the most exemplary brokerage service.

“On behalf of Zedcap Partners, I’m extremely honored to accept the Best Brokerage Service award from FMDQ,” Mr Oluseyi Akinbi, Managing Director, Zedcap Partners and Director, Zedcrest Capital said.

“This award is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and innovative mindset that all of our team members exhibit each day for our client progress. We are thrilled to be recognized for our achievements in improving brokerage service in Nigeria.”

“Our value proposition is to enhance price discovery and transparency in the markets we play by studying clients’ needs and providing all information and resources required to execute trades in a timely and efficient manner with minimal slippage and market volatility,” he said.

Commenting on the award, Adedayo Amzat, CFA, Group Managing Director of Zedcrest Capital reaffirmed the company’s commitment to deliver world-class brokerage service to its extensive client base of institutional clients including leading investment banks, commercial banks, asset managers, hedge funds and corporations.

“We want to continuously improve in every regard. Our vision is to enrich the lives of everyone we encounter. That includes our clients, employees and stakeholders,” he said.

The GOLD Awards, a first in the Nigerian financial markets, was designed to acknowledge and formally recognise the contributions of participants within the FMDQ markets, whose activities have positively and directly impacted the development of the markets thereby making them “GOLD” – Globally Competitive, Operationally Excellent, Liquid and Diverse.

The award is coming just few weeks after Zedcrest Capital’s recognition as the Diversified Financial Services Group of the Year at the 7th BusinessDay Banks’ and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards in Lagos.

The event which had in attendance industry captains from private and public sector had Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and Mr Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor of Lagos State as special guests of honour.

Sanwo-Olu also received the “FMDQ Enabler Award” in recognition of the role as an ex-financial markets practitioner with considerable contributions to market development.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:55 GMT |

Court remands labourer for allegedly defiling neighbour’s daughter

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AN Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday ordered that a 45- year-old labourer, Chigozie Akwudiba, who allegedly defiled his neighbour’s daughter, be remanded in a Nigerian Correctional Service in  Kirikiri, pending legal advice.

Chief Magistrate P.E. Nwaka who refused to take the plea of Akwudiba, and ordered the police to return the case file to the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.

Nwaka adjourned the matter until Dec. 2.

The police charged Akwudib, a labourer who resides at 26, Ariori St., Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos  with defilement.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Christopher John told the court that the offence was committed on Oct. 16 at the defendant’s resident.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Sections 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State,2015(Revised )

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Bayelsa poll: Court disqualifies APC deputy governorship candidate over false information

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THE Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, disqualified the Deputy Governorship Candidate, All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Nov. 16 election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, said Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in relation to his educational qualifications and went ahead to depose to an affidavit to correct the discrepancies.

The judge held that all his documents bore different names.

Justice Ekwo, therefore, disqualified him on the ground that he provided false information to the electoral umpire to stand for the election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had sued the Bayelsa APC governorship candidate, David Lyon; his deputy, Degi-Eremienyo and INEC, seeking the disqualification of Degi-Eremienyo.

The court granted the prayers as canvassed.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

World Pneumonia Day: Nigeria contributes highest number of child pneumonia globally – UNICEF

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AS the World marks the Pneumonia Day on Tuesday, a new analysis by the UNICEF says Nigeria contributes the highest number of global pneumonia deaths.
The UNICEF analysis produced in September 2019 is based on WHO and Maternal and Child Epidemiology Estimation Group (MCEE) interim estimates and the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation estimates for the year 2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.
The World Pneumonia Day is commemorated annually on Nov. 12 and the theme for 2019 is “Healthy Lungs for All”.
According to the analysis, Nigerian children made up the highest number of those who died, with an estimated 162,000 deaths in 2018 – 443 deaths per day, or 18 every hour.
It said that pneumonia claimed the lives of more than 800,000 children under the age of five last year globally, or one child every 39 seconds.
In Nigeria, 19 per cent of child deaths were due to pneumonia in 2018, and it was the biggest killer of children under-five in 2017.
More children under the age of five died from the disease in 2018 than from any other, 437,000 children under-five died due to diarrhoea and 272,000 to malaria.
Five countries were responsible for more than half of child pneumonia deaths: Nigeria 162,000; India 127,000; Pakistan 58,000; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 40,000 and Ethiopia 32,000.
Remarking on the situation, Pernille Ironside, Acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, said: “Pneumonia is a deadly disease and takes so many children’s lives – even though this is mostly preventable.
“And yet, this killer disease has been largely forgotten on the global and national health agendas. We can and must change this.
“Increased investment is critical to the fight against this disease.
“Only through cost-effective protective, preventative and treatment interventions delivered to where children are, including especially the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach, will we be able to save hundreds of thousands of lives in Nigeria,’’ Ironside said in a statement.
According to UNICEF, the biggest risk factors for child pneumonia deaths in Nigeria include malnutrition, indoor air pollution from use of solid fuels, and outdoor air pollution.
Also, living in areas with high levels of air pollution and unsafe water, are at far greater risk.
To address the disease, UNICEF says it can be prevented with vaccines, and easily treated with low-cost antibiotics if properly diagnosed.
A joint global call to action by six health and children’s organisation to tackle the epidemic includes that governments in the worst-affected countries should develop and implement Pneumonia Control Strategies to reduce child pneumonia deaths.
They also called for improved access to primary healthcare as part of a wider strategy for Universal Health Coverage as well as increased funding for research and innovation.
Also, richer countries, international donors and private sector companies are urged to boost immunisation coverage by reducing the cost of key vaccines and ensuring the successful replenishment of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 
NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

World Pneumonia Day: Pulmonologist warns against exposure to tobacco smoke, indoor air pollution

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ABEL Kanji, a Pulmonologist, has stressed the need to avoid tobacco smoke and reduce
exposure to indoor air pollution to check the risk of pneumonia in children.

Kanji, a physician who specialises in the respiratory system, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)
on Tuesday in Abuja, on the commemoration of the World Pneumonia Day.

Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi and leaves children fighting for breath as their lungs get filled with pus and fluid.

NAN reports that World Pneumonia Day is observed globally on Nov. 12 to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring
people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease.

The theme for 2019 is “Healthy Lungs for All” which aims to promote lung health globally.

The pulmonologist said that to end the preventable burden of childhood pneumonia and deaths,
there was need for government to raise continuous awareness about the ailment.

Kanji appealed to government to strengthen, accelerate and sustain interventions toward preventing and treating pneumonia.

He advised governments to design specific strategies to reach the “hard-to reach” populations to improve accessibility to
available interventions and urged experts to conduct research to develop innovative strategies to reduce the burden of pneumonia in the country.

He added that “together with the government, we can end preventable deaths from pneumonia.”

Kanji said that pneumonia was also a common cause of death or illness in the elderly.

He explained that pneumonia was largely preventable, noting that with good nutrition, including exclusive breastfeeding in
the first four to six months of life and adequate complementary foods, could protect children from pneumonia.

He said that “comprehensive immunisation, including vaccines against common germs that cause pneumonia such as pneumococcus,
measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and influenza should be available to all children to prevent pneumonia.

“Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, early use of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children and
cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-infected and exposed children, can reduce the burden of childhood pneumonia.”

The physician added that pneumonia was largely treatable with timely access to appropriate management, including antibiotics, referral to
hospital and oxygen when needed.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Ondo State to partner with NGOs on sports development

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Rotimi Akeredolu
Rotimi Akeredolu

DOTUN Owanikin, the Ondo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, has reiterated the readiness of the state government to partner with Non- Governmental Organisations for the development of sports in the state.

Owanikin expressed this commitment while receiving members of the National Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS), Ondo state chapter on Tuesday in his office in Akure.

Owanikin said the government was willing to always support sincere motives that would help promote sports in the state, admonishing the association to be resilient in achieving its goals.

According to him, partnering with private organisations and individuals is the new way to develop sports in this current dispensation.

He stressed that the association needed to work assiduously to discourage doping and age cheating among athletes and imbibe the culture of talent-hunt among the young ones.

The commissioner, therefore, urged the group to promote inter school sports at the primary and secondary school levels in order to catch them young in their localities.

“This is our concern. We have to do the needful to develop sports and assist the youth with all our efforts even in the face of paucity of funds.

“As a ministry, we are there to assist you to achieve your noble goals but you need to be selfless in promoting sports and avoid over-reliance on government for funding,” he said.

Earlier, the president of the association, Princess Adejoke Adebusoye, said they were at the ministry to seek the support of the state government to achieve its objective of promoting sporting activities.

She listed the objectives to include, promoting morals, good conducts as well as encouraging athlete’s development and education.

Adebusoye, who laued the performance of the state representatives at the 2019 National Youth Sports Festival in Ilorin, urged the ministry to build on that feat of 7th position in the forthcoming festival in Benin, Edo in 2020.

She, therefore, called for the commissioner’s support towards achieving NAWIS aims and objectives and hosting of its forthcoming National Conference in December.

Adebusoye added that the association was yet to be represented at the National Sporting Federation due to its absence at the national forum and paucity of funds. (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:55 GMT |

Appeal Court Judgment: My mandate as Oyo gov remains intact – Makinde

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Makinde
Makinde

THE Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has declared that the mandate of the people of Oyo State given to him through the March 9, 2019, remains intact following the ruling of the Court of Appeal in Ibadan on Monday.

Governor Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, declared that the mandate given to him by the people of Oyo State cannot be taken through the backdoor.

The statement read: “There is no ambiguity as to the state of things in our Pacesetter State as far as the election of March 9, 2019, is concerned. Our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won the election.

The victory was reaffirmed by a ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Ibadan, the state capital.

“On Monday, the Court of Appeal, also sitting in Ibadan, delivered its judgement on the appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu.

“In its ruling, the Appeal Court refused to grant any of the three key reliefs sought by the APC candidate.

“The Court refused to nullify the election; it refused to order a fresh election and it also refused to order the retrial of the petition.

“With the above being the reality of the outcome of the Appeal Court ruling, the election of Engineer Seyi Makinde as the Governor of Oyo State has just been reaffirmed.

“There is nothing in the Appeal Court’s ruling that affects the returns made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and there is nothing that tampers with the mandate freely given to Engineer Seyi Makinde by the people of Oyo State.”

The statement added: “Governor Makinde hereby urges the good people of Oyo State to remain calm and refuse to be provoked by agents of disruption who are seeking to upturn the truth, which remains constant against all odds.

“We also wish to enjoin the people of Oyo State to ignore the doctored reports in some media outlets, which are merely quoting the judgement of the Court of Appeal out of context.

“With a clear margin of Makinde’s 515,621 votes to Adelabu’s 357,982 votes, the preference of the people of Oyo State is as clear as day and night.”

While reassuring the people of Oyo State that he cannot be deterred from taking the state to greater heights through the implementation of his four-point service agenda, Gov. Makinde insisted that positive governance and unprecedented development will continue to be the portion of the people of Oyo state through his tenure.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

2019 Africa Investment Forum kicks off delivering on the promise to redefine and unpack the continent’s investment opportunities

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Adesina
Adesina

THE 2019 Africa Investment Forum opened on Monday living up to its promise to move from commitment to action.

A $500 million equity deal presented by the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund last year, to speed up investments in agriculture, and a $175 million equity transaction from the Africa Guarantee Fund for investors to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, are among the transactions that found financial close over the past year.

The opening ceremony was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique.

“The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities,” President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he urged investors to move beyond pledges.

The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

“As the investor community, your presence here shows your unwavering will to help us and support us to succeed. I invite you, therefore, to join us as we pass the flickering torch of progress across every border of this great continent until the light of development and economic prosperity illuminates every African village, every African town, every African city, in every African household.” he said.

The inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion in less than 72 hours. “A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests,” with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions,” African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina said.

Another transaction tabled last year – a $600 million transaction for COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa – has also reached financial close, and will be signed during this edition of the Forum. Similarly, South Africa’s $350 million beef agro-processing project has reached financial close.

“Promise made, promise kept,” said Adesina. He noted that Mara Phones Ashish Takkhar made a commitment during the 2018 Forum. “In 2019, he delivered.”

“It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors’ interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors,” he said.

Several leading figures were in attendance including, the Premier of Gauteng province, David Makhura; Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance and African Development Bank’s Governor for South Africa; Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs and Ibrahim Mayaki representing the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Minister Philip Mpango from Tanzania; Minister Jean Jacques Bouya from the Republic of Congo; Mr. Vital Kamerhe from the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the high-level delegates who took part in the opening ceremony. Executive Governors from Nigeria, including Kayade Fayemi of Ekiti State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Adulrahman Abdurazaq of Kwara State.

Shortly after the opening ceremony, Masai Ujuri, President of the Toronto Raptors; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group and Tokunboh Ismael Managing Partner of Alitheaia IDF Fund shared their views on progress made since 2018.

The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, and the European Investment Bank. The Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:35 GMT |

Mary Kay Continues Its Commitment to Advance Skin Science Research at the Japanese Society of Investigative Dermatology

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Dr Lucy Mary Kay

AS a leader in skincare innovation worldwide, Mary Kay Inc. continued its commitment to advance skin science as a symposium sponsor at the 44 th annual meeting of The Japanese Society of Investigative Dermatology (JSID).

At the conference held Nov. 8 – 10 in Aomori, Japan, the symposium on skin barriers and skin redness provided a collaborative environment to share technological advances and breakthroughs on skin health.

Established in 1981, the mission of JSID is to advance inspire and energize the next generation of dermatologists by encouraging collaboration and scientific exchange between all dermatology societies.

The society also aims to bolster the position of dermatology in the interdisciplinary world by enhancing the quality of science and research to maintain healthy kin and further advance the treatment of skin diseases. JSID is the largest and most prominent organization in the field of dermatology research in Japan, and supports young academicians by organizing seminars to encourage promising young doctors to become dermatological researchers.

At the Mary Kay-sponsored symposium on skin barriers and skin redness, a panel featured Dr. Lucy Gildea, Chief Scientific Officer at Mary Kay Inc., as the moderator. The panel explored environmental protection strategies against skin aging in Asians, protein response to skin inflammation and skin barrier defects.

“Sensitive skin affects about half of all women across the globe and in recent years, there has been a rise in ‘sensitive skin’ and ‘redness relief’ claims in skin care products sold in Asia,” said Dr. Gildea. “The skin barrier is constantly strained by exposure to UV rays, haze and smog that carry pollutants such as black carbon, chemicals and heavy metals. These pollutants can accumulate on the skin and result in persistent flushing or facial redness. Therefore, consumers are seeking products that work to relieve and help sensitive facial skin.”

Panel speakers at the symposium included three renowned dermatologists: Dr. Akimichi Morita, MD Ph.D., Department of Geriatric and Environmental Dermatology at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences Dr. Sang Eun Lee, MD Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea Dr. Gyohei Egawa, MD Ph.D., Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine

“As a global company, it’s important that we have a broad product portfolio that meets the diverse needs of women worldwide, a portfolio that can grow and evolve as needs change,” said Dr. Gildea. “By participating in events like JSID, we’re able to learn and share relevant research while continuing to develop breakthrough products with powerful benefits that deliver the skin care benefits women want.”

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:35 GMT |

Safety of mother, only legal indication for abortion – Medical Practitioner

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OKECHI Ogueji, the Adviser, Health Systems, Independent Physicians Association (IPAS Nigeria)
says the only legal indication for termination of pregnancy is when the life of the woman is at risk.

He told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that abortion could be crucial to rescue mothers or women in deadly or emergency situations.

He said “it does not include sexual violence and other genuine concerns that women have for seeking abortion.”

He emphasised that even when it became imperative, it should be seen as last resort, after all other options were exhausted.

The medical practitioner explained that even though the country’s law is against abortion, “people would always have
need to terminate pregnancies.”

He described unsafe and clandestine abortion as the highest cause of maternal death in many countries.

Ogueji said that the possible way out would be to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Founded in 1973, Ipas is a global non-profit organisation that works around the world to increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and
reproductive rights.

It believes that every woman has a right to safe reproductive health choices and that no woman should have to risk her life, her health, her fertility, her well-being or the well-being of her family because she lacks reproductive health care.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Traders protest demolition of Ikosi/Isheri market in Lagos

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HUNDREDS of traders on Tuesday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly in protest against the demolition of the Ikosi/Isheri produce market in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters, mostly women, arrived at the assembly en masse, chanting different songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions.

Among the inscriptions on their placards were;  “Re-modeling is a political coined language to sell our market, we say no to it; “Nigerians of conscience should come to our help. Governor Sanwoolu please help us”.

Others were: “Our market is not to be sold in any form. We will explore all legal options to stop the satanic demolition of our market. OYESCO should be called to order; Iketu/Ikosi market belongs to all, it must not be sold”.

The leader of the protest, Mrs Adebukola Adejuwonbi, said the market was being destroyed without proper notification from the appropriate body.

Adejuwonbi indicted the Chairman, Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area, Mr Abdulfatai Oyesanya, as the prime mover of the demolition of the market.

She said: “We came from Ikosi/Isheri fruit market. I am one of the sellers at the market. On Friday morning, caterpillars came to demolish our market without any notice.

“Our leader, as well as the chairman of the local government said that if we wait, they will kill all of us.

“We were told they have sold out the market to a contractor to build an estate where we are selling our produce.

“We cannot challenge them. They even fired guns at us. Some people died, while some people sustained serious injuries.

“Amidst all this, the Chairman of Ikosi/Isheri Local Government, Fatai Oyesanya was standing upstairs telling the caterpillars to move on and if anyone waits, they should kill all of us.”

Adejuwonbi said that they had to run for dear lives since they did not have any weapon on them.

According to her, this is why we decide to come here to plead with the Lagos Assembly and the governor to come to our aid and deliver us.

Also, another trader, Mrs Yemisi Balogun, urged the government to come to their aid by helping them to get their market back.

Balogun said that their livelihoods depended largely  on the market to cater for the needs of their children and households.

She said: “Since they say the government is for the people, so, we are here to cry to them that they should come to our aid and deliver us from the destruction of our market.

“It is from the market we get money to send our children to school. By doing this to us, we are going to suffer. That is why we are here to come and plead for intervention in this issue.

“Most of us went to school. It is not everyone that will use his certificate to work in the office. So, that is why we are selling market.”

Responding, Mr Rotimi Olowo, representing Somolu Constituency 1, expressed dissatisfaction with the demolition allegedly without due process.

Olowo, however, assured the protesters that the House Leader had directed the council chairman to put a stop on the demolition.

He said: “I am assuring you that the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa and other colleagues, will be interested in this case and they will call the chairman.

“We have told the chairman to stop the demolition and I am sure we are going to resolve it. I know you will get justice.

“If we want to move Lagos forward by doing it in a modern way, we have to do it in a methodologically, we cannot just rush into it.

“Even if that market is to be used for housing purposes, it behoves on the local government chairman and the state to have understanding with you.

“If there is need to move you to another location, it has to be done in an appropriate manner. They cannot just come overnight and destroy your property. It is quite unfortunate.

“Mr Speaker and your House have listening ears. We will report this today at the plenary under Urgent Matters of Public Importance. (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:29 GMT |

Association screens 3,000 women for breast, cervical cancer

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THE Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Lagos branch, says it has screened no fewer than three thousands women for breast and cervical cancer.

Its President, Dr Omowunmi Bakare, made this known in Lagos at a press briefing on the association’s forthcoming 21st Biennial Conference slated to hold in Lagos on Nov 15.

Bakare said that women with breast lumps and those with aceto-white lesions on the cervix were referred to the General Hospitals for further evaluation and treatment.

According to her, at the MWAN centre, breast and cervical cancer screening services are also provided by our highly skilled staff at a highly subsidised rate.

“This is to give opportunity for the low income earners to regularly screen for such cancers.

“During the biennium, the association also implemented a school health programme which comprised deworming of 500 pupils in Mainland Local Government Area.

“The association also donated handwashing kits and demonstration of handwashing to prevent the spread of diseases as well as donation and planting of trees to promote green environment.

“The young doctors of the association, categorised as medical students and doctors under 40 years, are supported to plan and implement community oriented programmes.

“Mentorship of the young doctors and medical students is also given a top priority,” she said.

Bakare said that in the last two years, the current executive worked assiduously to implement community impactful programmes and projects.

She said that its theme was: “Impacting Lives Through Effective Collaboration and Strategic Engagement.

The president of the association said: “First on the list was the total renovation of MWAN Centre at 34, Market Street, Oyingbo, Ebute Meta, which is geared to serve the community better.

“As a Well Woman Centre, in addition to provision of health education and information for clients, it shall also provide family planning services, counselling on menopause, domestic violence and child welfare services.

“MWAN in Lagos seeks to promote wellness among women and the whole populace. The Well Woman Centre shall be a One-Stop Shop for women and children healthcare services.

“The renovation of the centre was considered the landmark achievement of the 2017-2019 biennium. This feat was achieved through funds raised from members, friends and families.

“The commitment of the elders toward the renovation works is highly commendable.

“Other activities implemented during the biennium were the commemoration of public health days– World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Aids Day, World Cancer Day, World Menstrual Hygiene Day, World Kidney Day
World Breastfeeding Day.”

Bakare said that most of these public health days were implemented in collaboration with several organisations as part of the target set for the biennium.

She said that other community outreaches were also organised in collaboration with corporate organisations to provide health screening services (breast and cervical cancer) as well as treatment of minor health conditions.

Bakare listed the organisations to include BOSKOH/PROFOH, Access Bank Plc, Immaculate Hearts Secondary School and St Judes Cathedral Church.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

‘We figured things out’ – England’s Sterling draws line under Gomez clash

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ENGLAND’S Raheem Sterling has conceded that emotions got the better of him in a bust-up with team mate Joe Gomez at the national training camp but said he was ready to move on after being dropped by the Football Association.

The Daily Mail reported that Manchester City winger Sterling had clashed with Liverpool’s Gomez after the England team got together at their Burton on Trent training centre on Monday -less than 24 hours after City lost 3-1 at Liverpool.

“Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.

“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

“…This is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and @joegomez5 are good we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing… it’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.

“Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday,” Sterling said on his Instagram account.

The FA has decided to drop Sterling from Thursday’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Montenegro as a result of a “disturbance” in a private team area.

Sterling, who has scored 12 goals in 55 England appearances, has been one of the first-team regulars under manager Gareth Southgate and scored twice in the recent 6-0 win to Bulgaria.

Last season, he was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association after scoring 25 goals in all competitions as City won a domestic treble of the Premier League title, League Cup and FA Cup

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Africa Investment Forum 2019: Billion dollar boost for African female entrepreneurs

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2019 Africa Investment Forum
2019 Africa Investment Forum

THE European Investment Bank, EIB, has announced a $1.1 billion lending programme to help women entrepreneurs on the continent.

EIB Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle, also revealed that the bank has signed three further agreements to boost sustainable development on the continent.

But the major deal is what the EIB has dubbed SheInvest. The EIB expects the gender-lending initiative to allow women to play a more active role in economies.

“This initiative aims to promote female entrepreneurship,” said Fayolle, noting that female entrepreneurs will also gain business skills from the initiative. He explained that the financing will promote gender investment related to climate change and is part of broader European engagement to provide targeted support for new investment that supports increased female economic participation in Africa.

The announcement was made at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, where hundreds of investors, development partners and wealth funds have gathered from 11 to 13 November for the continent’s premier marketplace.

The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union. The EIB has supported investment in Africa for more than 50 years. Last year, it provided a record €3.3 billion to African countries, with more than half the funds being pumped into the private sector.

As one of the largest providers of climate finance, the investment bank has also struck a deal with Guinea-based telecommunications provider, IPT PowerTech Group, which will see the company abandon fossil fuels for cleaner sources of power such as solar and wind.

Mohamed Al Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IPT PowerTech Group, says the move to renewable sources of energy such as solar power will help the company reduce its carbon footprint. Habbal estimates that thousands jobs will be created as a result of this deal.

A further deal that was signed on the first day of the second Africa Investment Forum, will see African Trade Insurance increase its membership in Western and Southern Africa. This increased insurance coverage is expected to attract more investment to the continent.

In Southern Africa the EIB confirmed a new lending programme to support access to finance by entrepreneurs across Malawi and confirmed a new scheme to finance smallholders in the country to be launched early next year.

Patricia Hamisi, a Senior Manager at Malawi’s FDH Bank, says the money will help the bank enhance its long-term credit to small businesses owned by women. “The agreement comes with technical assistance which will help the bank enhance its trade financing,” said Hamisi.

The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.

The 2019 Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:29 GMT |

2 in court for allegedly snatching Naval officer’s handbag

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THE police in Lagos on Tuesday arraigned two men in an Ojo Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly snatching a Naval officer’s handbag.

The police charged Abdullahi Gambo,30, and Abubakar Adamu,34, with one count of theft.

The prosecutor, Insp. Simon Uche, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on Oct. 26 at about 10 p.m. along the Iyana-Iba Road in Ojo.

Uche alleged that the defendant snatched Alice Idoko, a Naval Officer’s bag on her way home.

He said that the bag contained three ATM Cards, a National Identity Card and a Nigerian Navy Identity Card, all belonging to the complainant.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

The defendant however, denied the charge.

Magistrate A.A. Adesanya admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N50,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.

He adjourned the case until Dec. 20 for mention.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Court remands 2 fake herbalists over alleged N5m fraud

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A Chief Magistrate Court in Ilorin on Tuesday ordered that two ”fake herbalists”, who alleged defrauded two brothers of N5 million, be remanded in Police custody.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Kudirat Yahaya, ordered that Augustine Joko and Raheem Alaba, be remanded, following an application by the prosecutor, Insp. Mathew Olorunshaye.

Olorunshaye prayed the court to remand the defendant pending police investigation.

Yahaya adjourned the case until Nov. 26, for further mention.

The police charged Yahaya and Joko with two counts of conspiracy and false pretense.

Earlier, Olorunshaye, told the court that the case was reported on Nov. 3, through a petition by James and Donald Christopher, both of Budo-Doka, Gweri of Kaiama, to the Commissioner of Police.

Olorunshaye said that between the month of April and October 2019, the defendants and four others now at large conspired and presented themselves as herbalists, who  specialise in ”doubling money”.

He alleged that the defendants and their gang fraudulently deceived the brothers to give them five million with a promise to double the amount to N50 million.

The prosecutor said that the defendants were arrested during a sting operation, while trying to collect more money from the complainants in Maraba Area, Ilorin.

He alleged that other suspects took to their heels.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 97 of  the Penal Code and Section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006.

The defendants pleaded not guilty as charged.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

AfDB, Credit Suisse, Ghana Cocoa Board, others ink $600m loan agreement to boost cocoa production

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Adesina
Adesina

THE African Development Bank, Credit Suisse AG, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited and Ghana Cocoa Board, COCOBOD, signed a $600 million syndicated receivables-backed term loan on Tuesday, to boost cocoa productivity in Ghana – the world’s second-largest cocoa producer.

Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, senior officials from Credit Suisse and ICBC, oversaw the signing of the facility, at a ceremony held on the second day of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum.

The multi-million dollar agreement is a milestone for the Bank-convened Africa Investment Forum, a transactional platform dedicated to transforming the continent’s investment and development agenda, which kicked off in Sandton City Johannesburg on Monday.

The COCOBOD transaction was launched at the Africa Investment Forum in 2018, and a year later, the signing is a demonstration of the Forum’s ability to raise much needed financing, including from international commercial financiers, for projects in Africa. Prior to the agreement, COCOBOD did not have access to long-term debt capital.

At a press conference following the signing, President Akufo-Addo said the agreement would help to ensure higher incomes for Ghana’s cocoa farmers.

“It was critical that we find a mechanism for scaling up the value chain for our farmers and that is where the Bank came in,” Akufo Addo said. “We see this agreement as a turning point and…to what is possible on this continent.”

The Bank, as Original DFI Lender and Initial Mandated Lead Arranger, is partnering with Credit Suisse as Original Commercial Lender, Global Commercial Coordinator, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger. Credit Suisse is also acting as Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner to structure and fund a dual-tranche facility comprising a $250 million, 7-year DFI tranche with the Bank, as well as a $350 million, 5-year commercial tranche.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited London Branch joined as an Original Commercial Lender, Co-Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Commercial Underwriter and Bookrunner ahead of syndication.

Syndication of the facility is underway.

Making sure that Africa gets to the top of the value chain is one of the African Development’s Bank’s top priorities, President Adesina said, adding that Africa could become a global hub for cocoa and cocoa-based products.

“All cocoa producing countries will get similar support (from the Bank). Ghana is bankable, cocoa is bankable and of course Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.

COCOBOD will use the facility to raise cocoa yields per hectare and increase Ghana’s overall production. These include financial interventions to sustainably increase cocoa plant fertility, improving irrigation systems, rehabilitating aged and disease-infected farms. The funds will also help increase warehouse capacity and provide support to local cocoa-processing companies.

Signing for Credit Suisse, Madthav Patki said the “landmark” transaction would facilitate future long-term investment in the Ghanaian cocoa sector.

“This is a positive contribution to a key sector of Ghana’s economy. “It is a moment of tremendous pride…This is what the Africa Investment Forum is all about,” Patki said. He also commended the Bank’s signature expertise in financial instruments, that enabled them to leverage financing for the deal.

The Africa Investment Forum, an initiative of the African Development Bank is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace, dedicated to raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

Ghana’s cocoa sector employs some 800,000 rural families and produces crops worth about $2 billion in foreign exchange annually. COCOBOD is a fully state-owned company solely responsible for Ghana’s cocoa industry, controlling the purchase, marketing and export of all cocoa beans produced in the country.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

Court discharges former IGP Ehindero, CP Obaniyi of N16.4m fraud charge

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JUSTICE Silvanus Oriji of the FCT High Court, Apo, on Tuesday discharged former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Sunday Ehindero, and Commissioner of Police, Budget, John Obaniyi, of N16.4 million fraud charge.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ehindero and Obaniyi, a Commissioner of Police in charge of finance and budget at the Force headquarters, were arraigned on May 10, 2018, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) .

Delivering judgment, Justice Oriji held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants and failed to prove that they converted the said interest generated to their personal use.

According to the judge, the investigation officer, a prosecution witness, did not discredit the claim of the defendants that the interest generated from N500 million deposited in fixed deposit  accounts was used for operational purposes.

“I therefore uphold the defendants’ no case submission.The defendants are hereby discharged,” he said.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the Counsel to Ehindero, Kelvin Omoraw, and Samuel Odariko, representing Obaniyi, had filed a no-case submission.

The ICPC had accused the former IGP and Obaniyi of misappropriating the sum of N557 million donated by the Bayelsa Government to the Nigerian Police Force for purchase arms and ammunition.

The prosecution alleged that the two defendants used their positions to divert N500 million out of the N557 million into separate fixed deposit accounts belonging to them.

The N500million placed in fixed deposits, according to the anti-corruption commission, yielded N16.4 million interest, which they were accused of converting to personal use.

NAN

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Kaduna’s most eligible bachelor, New Nigerian online editor set to wed

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Jacob Onjewu Dickson
Jacob Onjewu Dickson

KADUNA’s most eligible bachelor, Jacob Onjewu Dickson, who is the online editor of New Nigerian Newspapers Ltd is set to tie the nuptial knots.

It was reliably gathered that the epoch making event is billed for November 16, 2019 at the Resurrection Anglican Church, Ungwan Gimbiya, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna.

The wedding will bring together a couple from two different cultures as the fiancée, Faith Godiya Joseph, is from Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna state.

The wedding is expected to attract several dignitaries from across the country and abroad and the couple would be joined by the Vicar of Resurrection Anglican Church, Reverend Enyi Clement Enyi.

It was exclusively gathered that top among those invited are the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, his deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Senator representing Kaduna Central, Distinguished Senator Uba Sani and top media executives, including the entire management staff of the New Nigerian

Also invited is the President Nigeria Volleyball Federation, NVBF, Musa Nimrod as well as top business executives, notable politicians, traditional title holders and the clergy.

Ex-students of Federal Government College, Kwali Abuja where the groom had his secondary education and Kaduna Polytechnic where he graduated from are expected to light up the day.

Billed to deliver the sermon, is Pastor Innocent Adoyi of Jesus Faithful Family Church Abuja.

Ministering in songs, is top Abuja based gospel artiste, Evangelist Markson and Makurdi based Solwize

Investigations revealed that the Kaduna journalism family are also gearing up to support one of their own, who has been practicing the profession for over 13 years.

A top notch reception for the guests of the couple is slated for Wusili Tourists Lodge, opposite Living Faith Church, Sabon Tasha immediately after the church service.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

Nigerian editors elect Mustapha Isah as acting President of the Guild

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Mustapha Isah
Mustapha Isah

THE Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has elected Mustapha Isah as acting President of the Guild to fill the vacant position of Funke Egbemode, who was appointed as Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in Osun State.

A statement by the NGE said that “invoking Article 13(4) of the Nigerian Guild of Editors Constitution, the Standing Committee constituted itself into an Electoral College and elected Mustapha Isah as Acting President of the Guild”.

According to the statement, the Standing Committee also discussed the state of the nation and the media and took particular note of the ongoing plans by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ‘sanitise’ the Social Media space and thereby resolved as follows:

“That the Federal Government should rescind the decision to regulate the Social Media, as such measure is in clear contravention of Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended), which guarantees every Nigerian citizen the right to “freedom of expression, including the right to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

The Guild reminds the Federal Government of the dire consequences of similar attempts in the past to gag freedom of speech, as such initiatives were usually misconstrued by security agents and some public officials to harass, arrest and in most cases, illegally detain journalists and other Nigerians for holding their opinions.

The Guild advised the Federal Government to seek ways to maximize social media to disseminate information on the activities and policies of government, rather than its current attempt to stifle it.

It urged the government to engage the founders and promoters of social media, namely: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among others – to creatively find ways of sieving information disseminated through their respective channels, to curtail extremisms of violence and hate speech.

Recognising that Nigeria is already in the red zone of nations with very poor record of Press  Freedom and Freedom of Speech, the Guild notes, for instance, that the 2019 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders placed Nigeria in a distant 120th position among 180 nations under review.

“Also, in the 2019 Global Impunity Index published by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), which chronicles countries where criminal groups, politicians, government officials, and other powerful actors resort to violence to silence critical views, dissent and particularly the media, Nigeria ranks as high as the 12th position, sharing the top bracket with impunity-prone and conflict-riddled nations like Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mexico, Pakistan etcetera.

“Sadly, this is not a good profile and the Federal Government of Nigeria should not take further actions that would add to this unpleasant tar on the nation by seeking to ‘sanitise’ Social Media but, should rather build bridges and collaborations with the Nigerian media and promoters of social media. Such synergy and partnership in an Information Age, is the best way to make the most of the advantages of social media which far outweigh any perceived disadvantages,” it said.

The Guild notes that Nigeria has enough extant laws, including the Cyber Crime Act 2015, to deal with issues of ‘hate speech’ and ‘Fake News’. It urges the government to test such laws in the courts of competent jurisdictions in accordance with due process of the law rather than create another legal instrument and atmosphere that would give agents of state the latitude to harass and criminalise citizens especially journalists.

The Guild also observed that in most cases, “it is the officials of governments at all levels that push out Fake News and hate speech by their words and actions; stressing that it behoves  government actors to check their actions and utterances”.

The Guild called on government and security agencies to release forthwith all journalists being detained nationwide, as their continued detention runs contrary to the grains of the Constitution.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:15 GMT |

MOL Group completes acquisition of Aurora Group, strengthening position in recycled, sustainable plastics compounding segment

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Ferenc Horváth, Executive Vice President of MOL Group Downstream
Ferenc Horváth, Executive Vice President of MOL Group Downstream

FOLLOWING satisfaction of customary transaction approvals, MOL Group announce that effective 31 October 2019, it has acquired 100% shareholding in Aurora, a German plastic compounder company. As a result of the acquisition, MOL Group is strengthening its position in recycled, sustainable compounding segment and in the automotive supplier industry.

MOL Group is a well-established virgin polymer supplier, continuously looking for opportunities to extend its petrochemical value chain towards higher added-value products.

To reach this goal, MOL aims to widen the synergies with its current polymers product portfolio via both organic and inorganic developments, to gain expertise and high-end capabilities in both virgin-based and recycled plastic compounding. With the acquisition of Aurora, MOL Group is further expanding its product portfolio with Aurora’s excellence in engineering plastics and polypropylene recyclate-based compounds.

Aurora with its innovative products and business model are greatly complementing MOL Group’s current petrochemical portfolio and also contributes to its sustainability objectives. Aurora, with production plants located nearby automotive manufacturing and plastics conversion clusters in Baden-Württemberg, Germany has a unique and lean closed-loop business model.

Aurora collects the industrial plastic waste, recycles it and then upgrades the properties of the material into an enhanced plastic that suits the requirements of the customers in the car manufacturing industry. By combining MOL Group’s experience and Aurora’s exceptional know-how, the long-term objective is to accelerate further market growth while relieving the burden on the environment.

The acquisition is another important milestone in MOL Group’s transformational journey to become the leading chemical player in CEE, after the partnering with German APK in plastic recycling. With Aurora in the portfolio MOL Group can increase its footprint in the automotive, a strategic segment for MOL, while addressing the increasing needs of its customers towards more sustainable products.

“The recyclate-based products of Aurora greatly complement our current product line, underlining our increasing efforts towards sustainable development. As we strive to strengthen MOL Group’s presence as an automotive supplier, we recognized compounding as a key activity which we want to integrate in our business portfolio.” – said Ferenc Horváth, Executive Vice President of MOL Group Downstream.

Leading ESG, environmental, social and governance, rating agencies, including Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (where MOL is the only emerging European member), MSCI and Sustainalytics have confirmed MOL’s efforts in the area of sustainability and the transition to a low-carbon economy.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:15 GMT |

Enterpreneur lauds Obiano, as Anambra tea gains greater acceptance

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THE Anambra State government under Governor Willie Obiano’s leadership is a model of how the private sector and the government can work in close collaboration for the good of all, according to a new entrepreneur.

In a letter sent to Governor Obiano on Tuesday, November 12, the chief executive of Obinwugo Farms Ltd, Emeka Obinwugo, lauded Obiano for “consistently going out of his way to lend incredible support to private sector operators, especially new enterpreneurs, for the good of all in our society”.

Obinwugo, an indigene of Umuoji in Idemmili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, said he gave up his law pursuit to set up a foods company in Nnewi in response to Gov Obiano’s campaign for Anambra people to invest at home particularly in agricultural and industrial development known as the Think Home policy.

The entrepreneur noted that he is happy to heed the call which has enabled him to produce the first two tea brands in the Southeast geopolitical zone.

“The governor provided us the seed money with which we began our enterprise through the Anambra State Small Business Agency, ASBA, and the result is the now famous Anambra Tea, which is sold in the market as Ijele Hibiscus Tea and Ijele Lemon Tea,” Obinwugo revealed in the letter.

“Just last week when we ran to the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, to seek assistance to get our tea brands to some international retail chains in Nigeria, Chief Obiano immediately directed the commissioner to ensure that the brands, already approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, are available in top shops in Lagos and beyond.

“Less than a week, the general manager of Shoprite in Nigeria, Carl Erikson, informed the Anambra State government that the teas will be sold and distributed nationwide by his firm because of the high quality.

“It is noteworthy that the state government bore entirely the cost of marketing our products and others from the private sector in the state.

“Yet, the governor does not know any of us personally. What matters to him is that we have products which exceed national standards.

“Other state governments should borrow a leaf from Anambra State to promote public private partnerships,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Obiano has directed the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment as well as the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Wealth Creation and the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA, to quickly devise a strategy to export Anambra Tea to the West African sub-region and to Europe, North America and even Asia.

“If Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese teas could effectively penetrate world markets, including Anambra State,” argued the governor, “there is no earthly reason why teas from Anambra State produced from hibiscus flower and lemon fruit, which have no additives or preservatives, cannot be consumed in large quantities everywhere across the globe.

“You are, therefore, required to start working with Foster Ihejiofor, the chief executive of Grafil Nigeria Ltd, who has been doing a good job of exporting Anambra’s pumpkin vegetable, bitter leaf, yam and ogili seasoning, to include Anambra Tea in his list of exports to Europe and North America.”

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 18:12 GMT |

Minimum wage: Labour tasks legislature on implementation in Kwara

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NLC
NLC

THE Kwara Joint Labour Congress (JLC), has sought the support and cooperation of the Kwara House of Assembly on the full implementation of N30,000 minimum wage for workers by the state government.

Mr Kola Olumoh, the Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Kwara, made this plea on Tuesday when the state Joint Labour Council paid a courtesy call on the Speaker, Mr Danladi Yakubu-Salihu at the Assembly complex.

According to Olumoh, the support of the Assembly has become imperative since it is an important organ of the government in any democratic setting.

He reminded the Speaker that some state governments had expressed readiness to begin the implementation of the new wage in November and urged the Speaker to assist in quickening the implementation in the state.

The TUC chairman lamented that what workers in the state were currently receiving monthly could not take them anywhere following the increase in the prices of essential commodities.

The labour leader expressed confidence in the 9th state Assembly under the leadership of Mr Danladi Yakubu-Salihu.

Olumoh urged the House to increase and monitor the annual budgetary allocations to ministries and agencies in the state, as a way of ensuring proper accountability.

The state NLC chairman, Mr Issa Aliyu Ore, who was represented by the vice chairman, Mallam Salihu Yusuf, congratulated the lawmakers for their victory at the poll.

The Speaker in his remark, described the 9th Assembly as a new generation that would be labour friendly. (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:37 GMT |

Court disqualifies APC deputy governorship candidate over false information

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APC
APC

THE Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, disqualified the Deputy Governorship Candidate, All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Nov. 16 election.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, said Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in relation to his educational qualifications and went ahead to depose to an affidavit to correct the discrepancies.

The judge held that all his documents bore different names.

Justice Ekwo, therefore, disqualified him on the ground that he provided false information to the electoral umpire to stand for the election.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had sued the Bayelsa APC governorship candidate, Lyon Pereworimin; his deputy, Degi-Eremienyo and INEC, asking court to disqualify Degi-Eremienyo.

NAN reports that the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1101/2019 was instituted on Sept. 18 by the opposition PDP, its governorship candidate in Bayelsa, Douye Diri, and Lawrence Ewhruojakpo.

The judge ruled that the act amounted to giving false information in violation with Section 31(5) and (6) of the 2010 Electoral Act.

Justice Ekwo, who pointed that Form CF001 was a document validated by oath, said that “the consequence of lying on oath is grave.”

He noted that it had been held in Action Congress V. INEC (2007) “that where a candidate is found to have lied on oath, a court must issue an order disqualifying such a candidate from contesting the election.”

Upholding PDP’s case in his judgment, Justice Ekwo held that that Degi-Eremienyo presented documents of academic qualifications with various variations of names different from the name that appeared on his Form CF001.

The names on the different documents attached to his Form CF001 were said to be, Biobarakum Degi-Eremienyo, Degi Biobaragha, Degi Biobarakuma, Adegi Biobakunmo, Degi-Eremienyo Wangagha.

The APC’s candidate was said to have claimed to have obtained “his First School Leaving Certificate in 1976” and presented to INEC “a First Leaving School Certificate of one Degi Biobaragha other than the one bearing his name Biobaragha Degi-Eremieoyo as shown in his INEC Form CF001.”

He was also said to have claimed to have “obtained his West African Examinations Council General Certificate of Education in 1984” and presented to INEC, “a GCE certificate of one Adegi Bibakuo other than the one bearing his name Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo as shown in his INEC Form CF001.”

The judge held that there was no evidence to prove that the documents with different name variations were his.

“I further hold that the information given by the 3rd defendant on Form CF.001 that the documents thereto attached as his have not by any iota of credible evidence been so established.

“The information is false in all material particular as none of the said documents have any nexus with the name of the 3rd defendant (Degi-Eremienyo) on the said Form CF001,” he said.

The judge went on to make a declaration “that the information which the 3rd defendant submitted to the 2nd defendant in his INEC Form CF001, that, affidavit in support of personal particulars of person seeking election to the office of the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State is false contrary to section 31(5) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).”

He also said: “A declaration is hereby made that by virtue of the mandatory constitutional and statutory provisions of sections 6(6), 186 and 187(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the 3rd defendant stands disqualified from contesting the forthcoming Bayelsa State Governorship election as deputy governor, slated for November 16, 2019 or any other state thereabout on the platform of the 1st defendant (APC) or any other political party by reason of the fact that the 3rd defendant has presented false information as to his educational qualifications or name in INEC Form CF001 in support of his nomination contrary to section 31(5) and (6) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).

“An order is hereby made disqualifying the 3rd defendant as the deputy governorship candidate at the 1st defendant (APC) in the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa State governorship election by reason of the 3rd defendant presenting false information to the 2nd defendant (INEC) in support of his nomination contrary to section 31(5) and (6) of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).” (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:35 GMT |

INEC ready for Kogi, Bayelsa polls – Yakubu

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Mahmood Yakubu
Mahmood Yakubu

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it was ready for the smooth conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a stakeholders meeting in Lokoja.

Yakubu said that 12 out of the 14-point steps for the smooth conduct of the election had been achieved. “Only four days to the election, how prepared is INEC?

“The short answer is that we are ready. So far, the commission has successfully implemented 12 out of the 14-point plan for the election as required by law. We have just two more activities outstanding.

“The first one is the last day of campaign which is at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. The second is the election day itself which is Saturday, Nov. 16.

“The commission has delivered nonsensitive materials for the election to our office here in Lokoja. The sensitive materials for both the governorship and Kogi West Senatorial re-run elections are ready. As usual they are being handled by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said.

Yakubu added:“The normal process of inspection and distribution of sensitive materials within the state will be done in the presence of party leaders, security agencies and the media.

“We are combining the governorship election with the court-ordered re-run election for the Kogi West Senatorial District in seven Local Government Areas.”

He urged stakeholders to abide by the slogan, “Election No Be War, Vote Not fight,” saying that he was praying the Almighty God to guide INEC’s efforts towards hitch-free conduct of the election.

Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), pledged that corps members would be apolitical during the poll.

Ibrahim said that corps members had been consistently selfless in serving the country. He appealed to traditional rulers and other stakeholders to help safeguard corps members on election duties in their various communities, saying they were precious to the nation.

The Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, represented by High Chief Joseph Osagbemi, said democracy was about quality representation to the people and leadership which could only be actualised through credible election.

He said that the traditional institution in the area had held regular meetings in Kabba towards ensuring peace before, during and after the election. “We want to ensure that democracy is given the right meaning,” he said. (NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:25 GMT |

Information minister lauds women’s leading role in creative industry

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Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

THE Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has lauded the leading role being played by women in the country’s creative industry.

The minister gave the commendation at the opening of the 2019 Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, in Lagos on Sunday.

He hailed the organizers of AFRIFF, which was founded by a woman, Chioma Ude, for using this year’s edition to celebrate women, hence the theme of the event, ‘Shero’.

Mohammed identified Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Road to Yesterday’, Bolanle Austen Peter’s ‘The Bling Lagosians’, ‘Waka The Musical’, Saro

The Musical as well as ‘Fela and the Kalakuta Queens’, and Mo Abudu’s ‘The Wedding Party 1 and 2 as some of the movies and stage shows produced by women, which made waves in the creative and entertainment industry.

“During our first tenure in office, I attended a number of movie premieres, stage performances and other creative industry events and it’s amazing that a whole lot of them were produced by women.”

”I therefore wish to implore the women of the Creative Industry not to relent in showing the way in this great industry,” he said.

The minister assured that the federal government will continue to support the Creative Industry.

“The evidence of our support can be seen clearly, whether in granting the industry the pioneer status or improving access to long-term, low-cost financing for entrepreneurs and investors in the Creative Industry and the Information Technology Sectors through the CBN’s Creative Industry Financing Initiative, CIFI.

“Beyond that, we plan to finalize work on the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria, MOPICON, Bill in order to create a proper regulatory environment for the sub-sector that has put Nigeria’s name on the global map, thus attracting the much-needed investment to the
industry, and also establish the Endowment Fund for the Arts to create a legal framework for the financing of the Creative Industry,” he said.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:05 GMT |

SERAP writes Archbishop of Canterbury, seeks his intervention in Sowore’s case

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SERAP
SERAP

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has sent an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Portal Welby urging him to use his good offices and leadership and his “friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on him to obey court orders most recently involving activists Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare who remain in arbitrary detention despite a court order for their release.”

SERAP expressed “serious concerns about the disturbing trends by state governments and federal government to use the court as a tool to suppress citizens’ human rights.”

In the letter dated November 11, 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “We believe you can use your leadership position and influence to persuade President Buhari to promote the rule of law in words and in action by obeying all court orders including the order for the releasing of Sowore and Bakare from arbitrary detention.”

SERAP also said, “As the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, we believe you can reaffirm your belief in justice, rule of law and the basic human rights of all people by speaking out with a strong voice against the repeated disobedience of court orders and the implicitly lack of respect by the government for the integrity and authority of the Nigerian judiciary.”

The letter read in part: “Taking a stance on the issues of the rule of law and respect for court orders in Nigeria will also contribute to ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law by the 36 state governments in Nigeria, as these governments seem to be taking their cue from the federal authorities regarding disobedience of court orders.”

“Journalist and activist Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare are facing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari, simply for exercising their human rights. Sowore, was arrested on August 3 by Nigeria’s State Security Service, SSS, for planning a protest.”

“Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted Sowore and Bakare bail but the security agents have continued to refuse to release them despite being served with the court orders. This refusal implicitly violates the defendants’ constitutional rights to presumption of innocence.”

“We therefore respectfully call on you to speak out on the repeated disobedience of court orders by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and urge him to obey all court orders including the orders for the release of Sowore and Bakare from arbitrary detention.”

Specifically, SERAP asked Most Revd Justin Portal Welby to: Clearly and publicly condemn lack of respect for the rule of law and court orders in Nigeria; call for the release of Sowore and Bakare from detention as ordered by the court.

Call for greater legal protections for human rights activists and journalists in Nigeria who are simply exercising their right to freedom of expression and working to hold their leaders to account.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:25 GMT |

Four immigration officers kidnapped in Rivers

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Gunmen
Gunmen

FOUR senior officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) were on Monday morning kidnapped on Bonny waterway in Rivers State.

An indigene of coastal Bonny, the headquarters of Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers, confided in our correspondent that the immigration personnel left Bonny for Port Harcourt, the state capital for documentation and other official matters at NIS’ headquarters when pirates attacked them on the high sea.

They were said to have been whisked away in a Commando-like operation.

The source revealed that the boat’s driver was allowed to go after personnel of the para-military agency were moved into the higher-capacity speed boat, which immediately sped off.

The Bonny native also stated that no demand for ransom has been made stated shoot sporadically into the air to prevent being challenged or accosted by the security agents on patrol.

Bonny Island, by the Atlantic Ocean, is the base of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), the crude oil export terminal of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited’s (MPN’s) export terminal for crude oil, condensate and Natural Gas Liquid (NGL).

The strategic Bonny/Bodo-Ogoni road with many bridges, a partnership between the Federal Government and NLNG, is being handled by construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited.

Besides the use of boats, Bonny can also be accessed through expensive helicopters or aircraft with about 60 seats, which the functional airstrip can accommodate.

In view of the criminal activities on Bonny waterway, most people prefer travelling with NLNG’s two luxury/executive and secure boats with air conditioners, which are usually booked in advance, leading to a busy jetty located behind the newly-built corporate headquarters of the gas company in Port Harcourt, following NLNG’s 2011 relocation of its head office from Lagos.

Bonny route is one of the most dangerous waterways in the Niger Delta with frequent attacks by daring and fully-armed sea pirates, who kidnap or dispossess passengers of their cash, phones, other valuables and most times remove the expensive engines of the regular speed boats with drivers left with no choice but to use paddles to move the boats to the shores.

Beautiful ladies/women are also regularly raped in the boats on the high sea by the criminals despite the patrols with gunboats by security operatives.

Rivers Police Spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), couldn’t be reached for comment on the development.

Text messages to his mobile line and WhatsApp messages have not been replied. – The Nation

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:15 GMT |

Are you an EdTech Entrepreneur?

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Staff at the University of Rwanda, Rukara campus, prepare and deliver online courses in physics and philosophy
Staff at the University of Rwanda, Rukara campus, prepare and deliver online courses in physics and philosophy

Submit your proposal for a chance to grow your business and disrupt how secondary education is delivered across Africa

 

 

THE Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT has issued a Request for Proposals, RFP, inviting growth-stage, educational technology, EdTech, innovators to apply for an opportunity to grow their ventures while contributing to improving the quality of education in Africa. The deadline for submissions is November 21, 2019.

This is the first RFP to be offered by the Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT located in Kigali, Rwanda. The Centre works with governments, EdTech developers, and other stakeholders to identify and eliminate the barriers facing young people pursuing secondary education in Africa. Selected EdTech companies will be supported for a minimum of 12 months and benefit from a comprehensive package that includes: customized mentorship, financial support, and the opportunity to test, validate and scale their business.

At a recent ministerial roundtable hosted by the Mastercard Foundation in Botswana, education ministers, African Union representatives, academics, young people, and EdTech entrepreneurs met to discuss how EdTech can improve outcomes for teachers and students. During these consultations, two priority areas emerged – professional development and enriched learning content. Innovators are invited to submit proposals that will either:

Enhance and increase accessibility and affordability of professional development for in-service teachers, which also minimizes their out-of-classroom time; or

Create and deliver enriched learning content that improves quality, relevance, and accessibility to both in-school and out-of-school secondary school learners.

“Our aim is to create an active connection between those who need the solutions and those who create them,” said Joseph Nsengimana, Regional Director, Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT. “Solutions often do not consider the on-the-ground limitations from both a training perspective and the technical environment. We’re talking about co-creation every step of the way.”

Working with EdTech entrepreneurs and governments, the Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT will support entrepreneurs and scale up their innovations. Eligible organizations must meet the following criteria:

A registered company that is now post-product with the potential to scale (typically in operations for two years or longer);

Company is majority African-led and/or owned; A for-profit or non-for-profit operating model is in place; The company is already operating in, or interested in moving into, the education market in Africa; and

The company’s product specifically addresses (a) the professional development of teachers; and/or (b) the need for enriched and accessible learning content for learners.

The Centre was established as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Strategy to enable 30 million young people to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Technology has the power to strengthen and improve how education is delivered across the continent, however, education technology entrepreneurs and implementers often struggle to grow and scale their solutions.

Access to quality education is often difficult, especially for young people living in rural and remote communities. While great strides have been made in access to primary education, only 43 percent of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa enroll in secondary education. Educational technology can be a digital bridge to those hardest to reach. For the vast majority of youth, secondary school is their springboard to employment or to entrepreneurship. In order to find work that provides a decent living, it is crucial that they are equipped with strong foundational, technical, and soft skills.

In addition to accessibility, secondary education systems in Africa suffer from a lack of qualified teachers, due in part to conflict, difficult working conditions, poor remuneration, and lack of support. Professional development will improve the quality of teaching among existing teachers, and it may revitalize the profession by providing teachers an opportunity to grow.

– Nov. 12, 2019 @ 17:09 GMT |

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